Monday, October 26, 2015

Service and Stake Conference -October 26th, 2015

Hey everyone! This week has been interesting yet again!  

But first a little update on my ankle. It's A LOT better. I finished therapy this last week and it's been getting better and better every day! I can fully walk on it now, without the brace and the swelling and bruising is almost completely gone! The therapist was amazed at how quickly it healed and how well it responded to the therapy. It's been such a miracle and blessing. I know that it wouldn't have been possible without all the prayers, support and love that everyone has shown me. 

So this week, like the subject says, has been full of service. Which has been so great! We volunteer at the Gurley Public library so we got to do that at the beginning of the week, then we went to our weekly frozen yogurt run. While we were there a girl came in and said that she locked herself our of her car and her car was running... How you ask? I have no idea... but it happened. So we called around and spent some time trying to figure out how to get into her car. All the stores that we called were busy or closed and nobody was able to come help. We spent a while brainstorming and asking people and couldn't come up with a way to get into her car. Then the owner of the Chill Factory told us to go ask Bill next door. Bill is the owner of a liquor store night next to the frozen yogurt shop. So we went (didn't actually go into the store) and got bill and told him the situation. Bill is this hilarious old man that has lived in Alabama his whole life. He has hair down to his back and sits on his beat up car outside of his store all day. After we explained the situation to him he explained to us how he was a retired car thief and that we'd be in that car quicker than we could be if we had the keys! And trust me, he wasn't lying! He ran over to his car, got his tools and some wire from another store and was able to pry the door open and get it unlocked. While he was doing this he actually taught me how to do everything watch out. I am now a threat to society. 

This may sound like a pointless funny story but believe it or not we were actually able to do missionary work while this whole thing was going on! The girls that had locked themselves out of their car were actually Pentecostal. So we were able to have some great discussions with them about their religion and ours and were able to actually teach them a lot about the LDS church (all while Bill was breaking into their car lol). So all around that day was just great and I learned a lot;)

The rest of the week was also filled with service that we were able to do and it was awesome! Anything from helping an old man change his car tire to cleaning and moving a 19th century hospital bed for a lady in our ward, it was all a blessing to be able to serve. 

Then this weekend we had stake conference which was the coolest thing ever. Have any of you heard of Elder Fred A. Parker of the seventy? He was presiding at the meeting and I absolutely loved him! I kid you not, he is the closest thing to a Baptist preacher that we're going to get in the Mormon church. It was the coolest. We walked into the Saturday night session early and stumbled into the leadership training that was still going on. My very first thought was that they were having a guest speaker that was a baptist preacher come talk to everyone. But nope, it was a member of the seventy, preaching the word of God to the leaders of our church. At the end of the adult session I went up and talked to him with another missionary. He asked us to try our hardest to have an investigator at the session tomorrow because he was going to talk about baptism and invite anybody that wasn't baptized to enter into the waters of baptism. We accepted the challenge and I pulled out our phone and texted the first investigator that I thought of. We've been teaching him for a long time and the only thing stopping him from being baptized is basically stubbornness. But we love him to death so we've continued to teach him. Anyways, I sent him a text asking if he was coming to stake conference tomorrow. No reply. The next day we show up and he's no where to be found. We go through the awesome conference and at the end Elder Parker talks about baptism and extends the invitation of baptism. We were pretty sad because we hadn't seen our investigator and thought he missed the awesome talk. We close the meeting and guess who comes strolling up to us as we're putting away chairs, our investigator! He explains that he arrived 15 minutes late to the meeting so he just sat in the back, further explaining that he head the whole meeting! We were so happy that he was there and we made an appointment with him on Wednesday to talk about the invitation and what he thought about the meeting. 

This conference was so amazing and I absolutely loved listening and learning from Elder Parker. I know that he is truly called of God and that all the leaders of this church are as well. 

Anyways, regardless of how slow the work is going, we were still able to have an awesome week and help a lot of people! It was a real blessing and a privilege. 

I hope you all have a great week and I'll talk to you next week!

Elder Honn 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Slow, Slow Week -October 19th, 2015

Whats up?! How has everyone been?

Like the title says, this week went by so slowly! Its probably because we were stuck in the apartment for a bunch of the time because of my annoying ankle... I think the Lord was just letting me practice my patience and learn that everything is on his timetable and not mine, which is so very true. Even though this week was slow we still had an experience that I'll share for this weeks email. 

While I've been in Alabama, we've befriended a worker at the local CVS (kinda like a Walgreen's) named Sam. This whole time though she had some other missionaries teaching her and her boyfriend. So we just took the times we saw her as times to get to know Sam and be her friend. This last couple of weeks though, some stuff happened with the other missionaries and her and her boyfriend asked us if we would start coming over instead and start teaching them! This was so crazy and probably wouldn't have happened if we hadn't been able to be her friend first and gain her trust. We were able to actually go to her house yesterday and teach both her and her boyfriend and get to know them. The missionaries prior connected more to her boyfriend than to Sam but during our lesson she told us how much our message touched her and she was practically in tears. It was super spiritual and I know that it wouldn't have been able to happen if the lord hadn't provided a way for us to have a relationship with Sam first before teaching her. We're going to continue to teach them every Sunday and I can't wait to see where this goes! 
I know that the Lord has a plan for each and every one of us and that everything that happens is on his timetable.

I hope you all have a great week and I'll talk to you next Monday!

Elder Honn

Here's a pic of the view of our area at the top of Monte Sano Mountain at sunset, so beautiful! And also a picture of what we were doing this last week or so... ( icing/resting my foot in our apartment).

A couple days ago I was able to ditch the boot and move to a smaller ankle brace from back home. Its been so nice not having to lug that huge thing around! I really feel for you dad and I don't think I could have done it for as long as you did! It's been getting better and better and therapy has really helped. Heres a picture of the bruising and swelling.

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Best Way to Find Yourself is in the Service of Others -October 12th, 2015

Hey everyone!

My week was pretty crazy! Not crazy like awesome mission story experiences crazy but crazy like I'm now in a boot and will be for at least another week.... haha let me explain. So on Thursday night we play basketball with investigators (people interested in the church). We have this so that we can have fun with people and connect with them through that camaraderie that comes with sports. Anyways we were playing a good game of basketball and I went up for a shot under the hoop and came down on another missionaries foot. It was pretty painful and I was in quite a lot of pain until late the next day when we could finally get to a doctors office where they took X-rays and got me taken care of. They thought for sure it was fractured but they couldn't see anything on the X-rays so they decided it was a severe sprain. Which means that I just tore and damaged the ligaments in my foot/ankle. So I was in a boot and on crutches until Sunday then was able to walk on the boot without the crutches(thank goodness, crutches are just the worst). So a chunk of the second half of our week was spent in our apartment with my foot elevated...not too fun. But it did give me a lot of extra time to study the scriptures and feast on His word!

While I was going crazy in the apartment I spent a lot of my time studying the Saviors mortal ministry, focusing on the acts of service that He performed. And that's what I want to focus on today. Jesus Christ truly set the perfect example of how to love and serve those around Him. The whole life of Jesus Christ really makes it clear the responsibility and privilege we have to serve everyone around us. We should all be striving to become like Christ, and I have a testimony that it's through service that we can more fully understand His plan and through forgetting ourselves and serving others we will grow and progress toward the end result of becoming like Him. 

So far some of the best experiences on my mission have been the opportunities that the Lord has given me to serve those around me. Whether this be mowing someones lawn that we met while tracting, or helping a ward member with something they are struggling with. The love and happiness that comes from forgetting yourself and serving your fellow man is amazing. And, like the subject of this email says, the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. I have a very strong testimony of this and can testify that some of the happiest times of my life, not only as a missionary, have been when I was fully engaged in helping others and serving those around me.

I challenge all of you to make that a focus in your life, not only this week but for the rest of your life. Because some of the happiest people that I know are the ones that serve people the most and have dedicated their lives to the service of their fellow man. And I promise that applying even a sliver of selfless service into your life will bless you in so many ways.

Anyways, I hope you all have a great week and i'll talk to you next Monday!


Elder Honn

Monday, October 5, 2015

Conference and Congestion -October 5th, 2015

Haha I'm pretty proud about coming up with the subject for this email;)

Anyways! Whats up! How was everyone's week? Mine was say the least. Here in Huntsville we enjoyed a very rainy and cloudy week. Which I personally loved and would prefer over a scorching hot day any time! 

It was a hard week though. Nothing throughout the week seemed to go our way. All of our appointments cancelled, everyone we tried to talk to wasn't really interested in the gospel and all of our missionary efforts were just not working. We were pretty discouraged. And to top it all off I got pretty sick on Thursday...(hence the title of this email) and thankfully am just starting to get better haha but then, after the rainy and discouraging week comes the massive light and testimony builder of General Conference!! What an amazing thing and what a blessing it is for all of us to be able to listen to the words of the living Prophets and hear personalized counsel for our generation and our lives. I don't know about y'all but conference was exactly the spiritual lift that I needed this week! 

One of my favorite talks was the talk by Larry R. Lawrence. So awesome! Something he talked about, that was exactly what I needed to hear, was asking the Lord "What do I need to improve/work on?". I think its so easy for us to, at times, just shift into neutral and not focus on constant spiritual growth. And the idea of constantly asking the Lord what you should work on next is so awesome to me! Its such a great way to be spiritually proactive. And something that I personally will definitely be incorporating into my life as a missionary and after my mission, so that I may constantly be growing and progressing into the man that He wants me to be. 

I challenge you all to incorporate this into your life as well! Your spirituality and testimony is like a muscle, if you don't use it then you will slowly lose it! Another saying that I love and have used a lot while I've been out is "there is no growth in comfort". Which means that if we're comfortable in our situation and spirituality then we need to reevaluate our lives/situations and make the change to constantly be uncomfortable and growing! I have a huge testimony of the growth that comes from discomfort, which sounds weird but is so true! haha 

I also have a testimony of the importance of living day Prophets and heeding their counsel. These men are truly called of God and the lessons that they teach are directly meant to lead and guide us in our lives. If we let them, the light and comfort that their words can bring will bless our lives immensely. And, while a small example, their words and counsel was a massive light at the end of a hard and discouraging week for me.

This church is true! This is Christ's church restored on the earth today and I love it with all my heart. 

I hope you all have a great week, and I'll see ya'll next Monday:)

Elder Honn

Here's a pic of the Birmingham temple from our trip a couple weeks ago and also a pic of our lovely apartments! I'll also send another email with a pic of our car (which we recently named Lilly) and the basketball court inside our chapel. The last two pictures were kind of random but I felt bad because I promised more pictures last week and totally forgot so I ran around and took some pictures of some things in my life this morning haha:)