Monday, July 3, 2017

Death by Fire -July 3rd, 2017

Wow... my final weekly letter to y'all. I'm not sure how I feel about this! Very bitter sweet. 

I'd like to start by thanking all of you for the love and support that I've received throughout my time here in Alabama. It's definitely gotten me through some hard times and I appreciate it all so much. To the missionaries who I've sent this to as well, I didn't send this to the whole mission... so feel special haha I love each of you and am grateful to have be able to serve around you and grow close to each of you. Keeping working hard and being obedient!

During my mission, I've been blessed to learn so many different things. I'm so grateful for these two years that I've been able to spend in Alabama.

Out of all the different things that I've learned while serving the Lord, here are just three that I thought I'd share.

First, we truly are nothing without the help of the Lord, but with His help we can accomplish anything. Alma 26:12 reads "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever" My mission has been the most humbling experience and I'm so grateful for that. I know that ALL I am and ALL I have is from the Lord and I will forever be grateful to Him. As I've given up my will these past two years, I've watched as He is then able to support me and give me more strength and happiness than I've ever been able to attain from my own efforts. Which leads me into my second thought....

Second, true happiness comes when we forget about our own needs and desires and focus on others. "Turn our arrows out!" This past two years have been some of the most challenging times... but amazingly, they've also been some of my happiest times in my life! I've learned the power of selflessness. Christ lived a completely selfless life, and I've learned that as I try to follow His example and do the same, I experience a level of happiness that I have never before fully experienced to this degree. As we "forget ourselves and go to work", that's when the Lord can mold and shape us into true disciples. "By helping others come unto him, you will find that you have come unto him yourself." -Henry B. Eyring

Third, we need to make sure that our testimonies and understanding of the gospel are constantly increasing and growing. If not, both will end up declining and becoming weaker and weaker. I've learned that, in order for my relationship with Christ and my testimony of Him to grow, He needs to be my focus in life. The Savior won't scream and shout to have our attention. He will wait patiently for us to turn to Him and put all other aspects of life aside. And then, when we make that step, he blesses us in those other aspects of life. Matthew 6:33 reads "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." As I've been on my mission, I've gone through times were I wasn't as focused completely on Christ as I should've been. During those times I discovered that the development of my testimony and relationship with Christ had slowed down tremendously. I've also seen the opposite times during my mission, where I was completely focusing all my time and attention to serving Christ, and my relationship with Him and my testimony of the gospel grew stronger and stronger. This is something that my mission has taught me that I hope I never forget!

Words can't describe how grateful I am for this time that I have been able to spend serving here in Alabama, with all of the amazing missionaries here. I was blessed to be able to serve with both President and Sister Hanks and President and Sister Sainsbury, all of whom I'm so grateful for. My life has forever been changed because of the ABM and I will always be Steadfast in Christ because of it.

My relationship with the Lord has grown so much as I've given these two years of my life to Him. I bare a simple testimony to y'all that the Savior lives, He loves each one of us more than we can comprehend, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is His true church restored on the earth today.

Love, for the last time,

Elder Honn
Steadfast in my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

p.s. To explain the title of this email, when a missionary finishes his/her mission they're referred to as dying/ I burnt an old suit hahaha

Monday, June 26, 2017

Rain, Rain, Go Away! Don't Come Back Another Day.. -June 26th, 2017

Well, it rained all week... I'm not talking light rain either... I'm talking heavy, southern rain haha 

So this week was good but we spent most of it wet! Good thing it wasn't cold or else we would've been miserable haha

Before I get into the main parts of this email, we got transfers calls this past Saturday and I'll be getting transferred again to one last place for my last two weeks. I'll be heading to hoover, Alabama which is basically Birmingham. I get to be with one of my close friends in the mission so I'm pretty excited!

Because of the rain, we had to get creative with how to spend our time so that we weren't dripping wt 24/7. We got some good things done though! 

Amidst all the rain, Elder Furgeson and I made the decision to get out of the car and play basketball for a couple minutes haha. It was quiet the experience and the seats in the car were wet for the next 3 days!

We also went back to teach this referral named Patricia more about the restoration and someone else came to the door and said that Patricia couldn’t talk to us right now cause she was on the phone trying to get her ex husband arrested. Last time we were there she told us about how she read the first chapter in the Book of Mormon. I don’t know if I’ve been reading the same book as her cause what she was explaining definitely isn’t in the first chapter of my Book of Mormon! haha

On Saturday we were following up with all our potential investigators and nobody was interested/answering their doors. we had a lady to follow up with named Joann. We had found her in the area book, she had been taught by missionaries a little bit in the past. So we went to the address written on her record and the house looked like it had been abandoned and was right next to one that was definitely abandoned. We figured we might as well try since we were there. We got out of the car and walked towards the door.. We smelled fried chicken and realized someone lived there! Her son answered the door and we asked for Joann and talked to her for a sec. She wants us to come back and said she’d call us from her new number! She hasn’t called yet but we know where she lives now ;)

Here in Northport there is an amazing member named Sister Brannon, this week we made her an award because she does so much for the missionaries here and making sure we’re taken care of. She’s the best! She liked it quite a lot, btw when we printed it we didn't expect it to be so big haha so we had to find a larger picture frame than we were planning but it all worked out!

Also, on Saturday I got a call and was asked to give a talk my last Sunday in this ward... I knew they were going to try to get me haha. I was asked to speak about the faith of Joseph smith and it went alright! I've given better talks but the meeting was still very powerful. Furgie sneaked some pics of me preparing my talk though so I'll attach those along with all the other pics from the week!

Oh yeah, we also stumbled upon some intense ghetto ball, one court was full of Hispanics, the other was full of black guys and they were all just balling in the middle of the forests of Alabama on a Sunday afternoon.... I'm gonna miss this place! haha 

And lastly, this will be the last weekly email with pics courtesy of Elder Samuel Cooper Fugeson, so I hope y'all enjoy them! 

Well, until we meet again next week for my LAST weekly email... Love y'all! 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Vroom Vroom -June 19th, 2017

Hey guys!

This week was another good week here in North Port.

We spent most of the week following up with potential investigators and trying to help people progress. We've found quite a few people but we're struggling finding people who will actually progress... so we've just been finding and dropping and finding and dropping trying to find those who are ready.

We've had some success with part member families though! We got to have dinner with the family that I told you about last week and it was great! They're such nice people. And after dinner, we got to go for a ride in his Volvo that I mentioned! It was a ton of fun. He's done so much work to it, so it was awesome to ride in. 
haha funny story though, his front seat had something jammed under it so the seat couldn't go forward or backwards for leg room and was actually pushed all the way forward when it got jammed... so I volunteered to take one for the team and sit in the front seat since it was me who mainly wanted to go for a ride haha It was a tight squeeze but i made it work. Furgeson snapped a few pics of the car and what not so I'll attach those. Along with some other random pics from the week:)

We also had interviews this past week which went well. My last normal interview with President Sainsbury, it was surreal. He kept it pretty short though because I'll have my exit interview here shortly. The Sainsbury's are amazing though! I'm so grateful to have been able to spend this year with them serving in the world greatest mission. They're doing great things to this mission and I'm excited to have been a part of it. 

Also, a BIG shout out to the worlds best father! Happy Fathers Day Dad! I'm glad to hear you had a good day. I hope your card arrives sometime soon haha 

Well, i think that's all I have to report on for this week! I love y'all! 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Archibald the Duck -June 12th, 2017

Hey hey hey! I'm back:) Another weekly email for y'all!

This past week was good! We were able to stay relatively busy and get quite a bit accomplished! We spent the week mainly finding and we had some success this week. We found a handful of new people to start teaching so we're excited to see where it goes!

We met this awesome new part member family as well! The wife is a member her husband is not. We met them the first week I was here and I was so excited because he had a modified Volvo sitting in the drive way! We talked to her though and found out that he wasn't home but she wanted us to come back. So we texted them this past week and found out that they needed help building a swing set! So we went over and helped him build a swing set for his three kids. He's an awesome guy and we were able to talk a lot about cars and what he's done to his Volvo. We ran out of time and had to get to an appointment but he told me he'd take us for rides this Friday when we go to their house for dinner! I'm pretty excited. I'll try to take a pic of it to show y'all. He's done a ton of work to it.

We also had an exchange in Birmingham area this week and while we were down there I decided that I had to go see one of my favorite families from my mission, the Morris's, one more time before I leave Alabama. So i dropped in an surprised them! It was so cool to see them again. I'm so grateful to have met them and served in their ward, even if it was just for six weeks!

While on this exchange I had an interesting experience... with a duck hahah
Archibald the Duck, the be specific... at least that's what I named him! haha so during lunch we went to walk around the lake next to their apartment and I found a baby duck that had been left behind from its mother. I searched high and low to find the family before I picked it up but couldn't find them anywhere. So I scooped him up and carried him around the lake to try to find his family. I found a family of ducks but it turned out not to be his as they attacked him and I had to save him again haha the other ducklings were a bit bigger so it made sense. We couldn't find his family so we took him inside and put him in a box as we try to decide what to do. We decide to go to the computers to try to research how to take care of an abandoned duckling. The results proved to be way to complex for a missionary so we had to make the sad decision to just let him back go around the lake and let him fend for himself. It was sad, and hard because we had all gotten attached to him at this point haha. Good thing we had Elder Furgeson with us to document the whole thing lol pics will be attach! Along with other random pics from our week + more pics from the Alabama Stadium tour​​:) enjoy!

haha that's all I've got to report on for this week... till next Monday! Love y'all!