Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Survived another week here...

Dear my family,

Survived another week here and it was pretty exhausting. Bishop told us to work our buns off and we did it... we worked our "buns and thighs." But it was worth it and we have seen a lot of blessings that have come from it. Well first I will include my Presidents letter:

"Things are going good here in Thibodaux. Elder Stratford and I have tried to work as hard as we can and we have seen the Lord bless us for sure. We have tried to align the keys as best we can, by consistently going to the Bishop and asking us what he needs done. We have been able to find a few investigators from the assignments that he has given us and it is just cool to see how it is all playing out. Elder Stratford and I are getting along pretty good and I think we are still in the initial awkward phase of new companions where we still aren't quite sure of how each other works. But I think more time and practice will iron out the wrinkles in our companionship, also relying on the Lord to help unify us. We are trying to use all our resources and planning effectively to make sure that we get everything done and it is working. Elder Stratford is really good at setting up appointments and opportunities to go out with members and I know that by doing so we will see a lot of miracles. I was able to see this while I was on exchange with Elder Davidson in Houma. We brought a member with us to bear his testimony about the church and his conversion story to an investigator. Although I couldn't understand anything...  I was able to feel the spirit and I could tell that the investigator was listening and feeling the spirit as well. It was cool for me to experience that, to see that a simple, powerful testimony can speak to anyone, even a skinny, white, English missionary. But I am definitely being humbled in this experience and realizing just as Ammon did that "as to my strength I am weak... in God's stength I can do all things." I believe that is true and I believe that he wants us to rely on his strength in everything we do. He wants to help us and I am realizing that I need his help to become the missionary and person he wants me to become.

I want to share one scripture that really stuck out to me this last week and that was in 1 Nephi 17: 51:

"And now, if the Lord has such great power, and has wrought so many miracles among the children of men, how is it that he cannot ainstruct me, that I should build a ship?"

Nephi just before this told them again of the story of Moses and the miracles that he performed. He is saying here that if "the Lord could command Moses to part the red sea, then why can't he command me to build a boat, doesn't he have the power to do that too?" I feel that we can insert all of the things the Lord commands us to do as well in this scripture. "If the Lord had and helped Nephi to build a boat, then why can't he help me become the person he wants me to be...a good listener...a powerful teacher...a good instrument in his hands?" The Lord has performed many many miracles through his children and he has the power to make me, that skinny, white, really young looking person into a great missionary. Once again, we have to rely on him to help us, but it is possible. I think I am going to take on President John Taylor's motto "The Kingdom of God or nothing!" And also President Kimball's,  "Do it."

So Thibodaux is actually another car area, but it is small enough that we can bike and walk as well. I prefer biking and walking because you can interact with the city and the people on a much more personal level, rather than than just getting from point A to point B in a car. But we do need the car so we can get to church and some of the farther out places in our area. We area still getting used to the dynamics of the Thibodaux and I think over time we will find a good balance. That was cool to hear about Bishop Anderson's brother and how he was able to save that one boy's life. I think that family is very strong willed and driven, but really devoted to the gospel. At least Bishop Anderson and Coach Anderson both played football at BYU. And another guy in our ward, Bro Stubb, was a coach at BYU for a little while with Lavell Edwards and then coached at Alabama and is now the head coach at nicholl's. Our ward is super nice and super helpful and generous. It is definitely different working with a ward rather than a branch and I definitely mess up a lot, I am learning a lot from my mistakes, but I am learning haha

So this last week was super busy and we were able to see a lot of different people. We had an FHE with the D. family and we ended up getting a refferal from E., she is 15 years old, and she told us her friend might be interested. Her friend S., has met with the missionaries before and has a testimony of the gospel, but her family is a little bit weary and is getting pressure from extended family. So for awhile it sounds like they just left things alone. But Elder Stratford and I have been able to meet with her a little bit this last week and things are going really good. We have been meeting with her at the D's nd she wants her Mom to come over for and FHE sometime to maybe come in contact with the Gospel in a more informal and fun way. There are definitely a few road blocks if she does want to get baptized, but I do know that she has the desire to learn more and wants do as much as she can at this moment to come closer to Christ. It is really cool. We also have met with S. again and she is doing good and she had a lot of questions about why kids had to die during the tornado in Oklahoma and so we gave her a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and we are going to go over that with her today. I got to go on exchange with Elder Davidson, who is a spanish Elder, and go see a lot of the hispanic people down in houma. I felt like I was in Mexico. The music that is playing everywhere and the people that are all around. We met some guys in their 20's who were not hispanic and they were a little crude haha but curious, Ones last name was Moorman, ones name was Darby and the others was Yo. When Yo came out, he has this giant beard, they all said "Behold... Jesus" But we talked to them for a little while and told them a little bit about the Restoration and invited them to church and they came! That was the coolest thing ever haha.

Well I better get going and sorry I didn't email yesterday, the library was closed. I am excited to hear from you guys and that made me so happy to hear to Jack wrote you guys. I really looked up to him and his devotion to the church. Well I love you guys so much and yeah, I love you guys! I think about that all the time.

Prayers and thoughts always :)

Elder Babyface

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

So I am in Thibodaux, Louisiana right now, pretty south and pretty Cajun...

Hey Family,
Well this has been a crazy week and I am still in a little shock haha. So I am in Thibodaux Louisiana right now, pretty south and pretty cajun. It has actually been really awesome so far despite the insane situation. Oh without further ado... here is my new address 1017 President St. Apt C. Thibodaux, LA 70301. I can't wait to get some of your letters! So here is what happened. Me and my companion, Elder Stratford, got double transfered into the area and our time in the mission together doesn't even add up to a year. I have been out 5 months and he has been out 6 haha. So neither of us know the area and by the sounds of it, work has been pretty slow here for about the last year. The bishopric changed about three weeks ago after years and years of the same Bishop. President Wall said that he thought that me and Elder Stratford would be a perfect with this new Bishop and that is why he did what he did. 

So the first day we got down here we called the Bishop and asked if we could meet him. By some sort of miracle we were able to find the church ( we just have maps and word of mouth directions haha maybe soon I will invest in a GPS) and we were able to receive some assignments. So his name is Bishop Justin Anderson and he was born and raised in Orem Ut and went to Orem High... What? I know... He played football for BYU I am pretty sure and his Brother is in our Stake and is the Head football coach at Orem High. Funny too, is that Coach Anderson was my track coach for a little while, small world. Yesterday at Church whenever I would introduce myself and say that I was from Orem Bishop Anderson and one of his Brother in laws, Brady Bybee (who is also from Orem), would get huge smiles on their faces and pump their fists in the air and then Bishop would say "I knew there was something special about this guy" haha it made me feel pretty good and Bishop and I even did the pound your chest peace to each other. He is actually a really young guy in his 30's and he is a football coach at Nicholl State University here in Thibodaux. The ward is really nice, welcomed us in and made us feel really loved. They are more than willing to help us and they are really fired up about kicking the ward into high gear. Bishop has really caught people on fire and is ready to make this an awesome ward. There was about 120 people there or so and a large portion of the ward is made up by two familes: The stocks and the Voisan's. Bishop is married to a Stock, One of his councelors is a Stock, The Elder's Quorum Pres is married to a Stock and THE Stocks live in the ward. He is actually the Stake Pres. The Voisan's are awesome too. Sis Voisan is the Relief Society Pres and her husband passed away a few months ago at 59 from a heart attack. Alot of her kids live in the ward as well and we had the opportunity to teach them an FHE lesson and have an activity with all of them last night. Her husband owned a huge oyster and clam company and was  pretty wealthy. We also got to hear Sis Voisan's conversion story and it was pretty amazing, I will have to tell you about it next week. But she is an amazing lady. There really are a lot of cool people in this ward and I am excited to tell you more about them as I get to know them better.
We have had lots of opportunities to do service this week... a lot haha but it has been awesome. We have been volunteering at the Salvation Army store which is a lot like Savers, helping them organize, fill the dumpster and just help them sort through the massive amount of donations they get each day. There is a lot of work to be done there, but we are making really good friends with them and it is a blast to help serve there. They also have some pretty scary suits and dresses there, it is awesome haha. This saturday we also helped paint the bathrooms at Nicholl state university with the Ward. That was an awesome opportunity to meet a lot of ward members, serve the community and get specks of paint all over your body. One of the members told me that I had a painter's hand, Thank you mom and Dad! I am glad that I was able to make the dirty, stinky, rusted, mildewy, mosquito-infested bathrooms look like a gray and red impressionistic painting. It took some work, but I think it came out nicely. This morning too, we were able to help a woman named s., paint her windows on her little self owned and opperated bakery outside her house. She is a potential investigator from the previous Elders and her bakery is named La Petite. We have been walking around a lot this week, just trying to figure out the lay of the land and we have been able to talk to a lot of people. We played basketball with a couple kids on the street, we gave out some pass- along cards and we asked for a lot of directions haha. We are finding our feet here and it definietly helps to have support from the ward, Heavenly Father and you guys. I could really feel your prayers each day and they helped me to stay comforted happy and at peace. I knew that you guys were praying for me and I felt really close to you guys, I knew that you guys were thinking of me and I was thinking of you. It really kept me going this week and to tell you the truth I can't believe I have made it through this with my head above water so far haha. I know that I have been being strengthened eachday by Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Couldn't do it without them.

Well I have to get off pretty soon, but I love you guys so much and thank you for your prayers. I really needed them this week. But I am happy, I have a good companion, the ward is awesome, Thibodaux is a good place right on the bayou and things are going good. Thank you so much for your support and I can't wait to here from you!
Thoughts and Prayers Always :)
Elder Devin Soper
Ps here is my Pres Letter
Dear President Wall,
Well these first couple days have been a whirlwind of trying to figure out exactly what is going on. Luckily Elder Robles knows the area pretty well and because we met with Bishop Anderson our first day, we sort of have a view of what we need to be doing. I feel grateful that I have a companion that is very calm and collected among all the craziness and it has helped me keep my head above water. We have jumped right in and have hit the ground running, litterally, with talking to everyone we see, having lots of service opportunities and learning the lay of the land. We really have been working as hard as we can and the Lord is definitely blessing us. I have seen so many little miracles everyday from finding people, finding locations without a GPS (using the old fashioned map) and being able to be happy. We have definitely been trying to use our planning session effectively and setting up a lot of appointments and it has payed off. The ward is so great here and more than willing to help us. I love Bishop Anderson already and really admire and look up to him for his determination and drive to push the work of the Lord forward in the Thibodoux Ward. It has been awesome.

I have learned a lot in my study of the Book of Mormon lately. Ether Chapter 12 is famous for the scriptures about weakness and I really wanted to understand exactly how it works so I can use it for mine! What I have found is that our weakness allows us and gives us the ability to rely on Christ for help. In 2 cor 12:9 paul says that he " [glories] in his infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon him." Our weakness is given to us that we may be made strong through the Atonement of Christ. It comes down to the enabling power of the Atonement and how it can make us better than our natural capacity. I really want to be able to do that and rely upon and use the strength of Christ that is so readily available to us. I know that it will make me a better companion, teacher, friend, example, missionary, son and future husband. Also I have been focusing a lot on the word "determination" and how in Moroni 6 it talks about how the people had to have a determination to serve Christ until the end. Also in 2 Nephi 1: 21 where it talks about how they need to be determined to live in unity. I looked up the word determine and it means "to render a decision, to reach a conclusion after study and consideration." I then looked at the next word, determination " resolved, steadfast in purpose." These definitions reminded me of the talk by Pres. Eyring where he talks about how we must choose this day, that we need to make our decision now. I am going to begin to ask myself if I am determined to do things. Am I determined to make this personal study the best one yet, Am I determined to talk to everyone I see, Am I determined to be happy. I need to make those decisions now and be steadfast in that purpose. I believe that will help me help others.

Thank you for this opportunity to grow President and we will do our best to help the work here in Thibodaux.

Elder Soper

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I am getting transferred tomorrow...

Dear Family,

So I might not have too much more to write this week since I was able to tell you guys a lot of it on skype! Which was so awesome. And I have to say that I really did enjoy that a lot and was really satisfying. I really felt like I was able to be completely myself as I was talking to you and I haven't really felt that in full on my mission ever. It was a good feeling and a fulfilling conversation. And I wasn't overwhelmed at all, I just loved it. We only have the opportunity to do that a few times and I loved getting as much information as I could while we had the chance. I was so nice to be able to talk to you face to face since a lot of the times over email we don't get the same effect. Haha it is true that Elder Gentry and I could have had a pretty rough companionship, but somehow despite the odds we have become really great friends and he is somebody that I will always remember. I will say that we became most unified when we recognized each others differences and accepted each other for who we are. Once that happened we were just able to have fun. You have to be really humble though haha and just realize that everyone has problems and we just need to be patient.

Yeah at first this mission was kind of a shock to the system in how radically different the culture is. There have been times that I just can't believe what I am seeing. But even within the trouble there are always those diamonds in the rough. We have met some people that look rough and gruff, but that understand and know the scriptures and are really intelligent. I have been pleasantly surprised a couple times at the knowledge and skills that a lot of these peeps have. I will say people down here are pretty resourceful in some really weird ways haha.There are still those people that have trouble finding their way in life and go to the wrong things to try to find it, there are a lot of those people. But still, there are still people to give you hope. And I am sorry that I told you guys about Baton Rouge... (how dangerous it is) I wasn't going to tell you, but Elder Gentry really wanted me to. And in all honesty I wouldn't worry because the Lord really does protect us. I have never really felt afraid for my safety and I definitely feel the prayers from people around the world. I really did love that talk so much and I have to say that I love you guys so much. You guys are my best friends and that really was a confirmation of the huge blessing yall are in my life. It is cheesy to say this haha, but there aren't really words to describe how much I love yall and how much I loved to talking to yall. It was crazy to see how much Taylor and Emma have grown and I just loved seeing all of your faces, it made me so happy. I will admit I had a hard time saying goodbye, not because it made me homesick, but I just realized how much I appreciate and love you guys. I have said that a lot haha, but it is true! It was so awesome and was a much needed emotional boost. It was so satisfying and awesome!

A couple things that are going on, is that I am getting transferred tomorrow. I don't know where I am going yet or what is really happening, haha I just know that I won't be here in Plaquemine anymore. That was pretty sad because I really fell in love with  this area and the people here. We just threw ourselves into it and the accepted us with open arms. It felt like home away from home and it kinda feels like I am leaving my family. But I guess this is what missionary work is and I will be able to use the knowledge that I have gained and use it in my next area. I am nervous but excited. So I will email you guys next P-day with the information and the new address, sound good? ...scawry...

But next week I will have a lot more news too haha. I will end with my Presidents Letter and maybe a couple pictures too.

"Well I am nervous, but excited to see the outcome of this transfer. I am sad to leave behind an area and people that I have fallen in love with by working with them. I am also sad to leave a companion that I have become such good friends with. But I have learned a lot here and I know that I will be able to carry that over into my new area. One thing Elder Gentry taught me, was to just love the area and companion you are currently in and with. Make your current your favorite. Thank you for letting me serve here!

I would just like to share a scripture that I really enjoyed in the Book of Mormon this week in Ether 12 verse 4:

"Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God."
I think this scripture captures "faith, hope and charity" really well and the even the purpose of this life on earth into the life after. When we believe in God, truly believe in God, we have a hope or trust of a "better world..a place at the right hand of God." Those are promises from Heavenly Father and we can completely trust him to keep those if we do our part. This hope only comes from faith which comes gradually and must be nurtured. But line upon line this faith will anchor us deeper and deeper in Christ. Also in the talk by Bishop Dean M. Davies in conference talks about how living the doctrine of Christ will anchor us or build our foundation on the Atonement. So that faith comes from living the Gospel. When we have this hope and faith we will live to glorify our Father in Heaven. As we progress in life by helping others, marrying in the Temple, raising righteous families, serving God and enduring to the end (etc.) we are "abounding in good works" and glorifying Heavenly Father. This scripture meant a lot to me and makes me want to live worthily and do all I can to follow the pattern this scripture lays out. I am loving reading Ether and am really getting a lot out of it.

We worked hard again this week and were able to pull off 19 lessons. And I think from being able to teach so many lessons in the past couple weeks the quality of the lessons has increased more than the quantity by comparison. We were able to solidify relationships, grow closer together with others through the scriptures and learn a lot through the spirit. It has been an awesome transfer."

Once again I loved talking to you guys so much! I just have to say thank you and I love you more than anything.

Prayers and thoughts always,

Your Budda Baby,

Elder Soper

Monday, May 6, 2013

Our trials and hardships blow us towards our "promised land"...

Dear Edabody,

So here is my Presidents letter this week:

"I thought a lot about what you said with how you love to see different insights that missionaries have on the Book of Mormon and at first I thought "Oh man, I hope I can find some pretty cool stuff to share with him." I realized that that was the wrong way to go about it haha but since then I do find myself looking deeper into the Book of Mormon, trying to find what the Spirit is telling me. This is one thing that I came across this last week. I have been reading in Ether and in chapter 6 they make their journey across the water. Verse 5 does a good job of describing their experience and it says,  "And it came to pass that the Lord God caused that there should be a furious wind blow upon the face of the waters, towards the promised land; and thus they were tossed upon the waves of the sea before the wind." I like to compare the winds and the waves to the trials that are in all of our lives. I think being stuck inside one of those ships being tossed around like that would seem a little pointless and disorienting. But the verse also says that the winds blew them "towards the promised land," the winds and the waves were pushing them to where they needed to be. Similarly, our trials and hardships blow us towards our "promised land" or help refine us to reach our potential. Sometimes it may seem they are tearing us down more than they are building us up, but after all is said and done we can look back and see how the Lord brought us to where we need to be. It is also cool because the people the whole time were praising God and thanking him for "tender mercies." They were grateful for the little things and they knew that the Lord had their best interest in mind.

Elder Gentry and I have gone through a lot together and that has resulted in us having really good unity. We try everyday to be patient with each other, help each other with our goals and look out for each other. I really feel like I can trust him and confide in him when I really need someone to talk to. That being said, we are still pretty different people, but I think we have learned to respect each others difference and get past any of the little things. I also think that our unity has directly expressed itself in our teaching. We have been trying to include the pamphlets more often in each of our lessons and use the many different uses that the pamphlets provide. They have actually been really helpful when you try to use them more. It has also allowed us to have shorter lessons, by briefly going over something, giving them the pamphlet to review and then discussing it in the next lesson. Not only does this let us see more people, but it helps them to teach themselves. We are still working on and figuring out how best we can use the pamphlets in our teaching, but we are trying a lot of different things. Also with the Book of Mormon, things are going really well. We have always had a pretty big emphasis on the book of Mormon ever since I got here, but since zone conference, we were able to pick up some new ideas to help us use it more effectively.

I will share one tender mercy that happened this week, actually yesterday. So we have this family that we have begun teaching and they have a strong desire to learn more about the gospel. But we have also run into a new problem with them and that is they can hardly read and have difficulty comprehending. They came to church yesterday and they really enjoyed Fast and Testimony meeting. D. and I., the two parents, said they really wanted to get up and bear their testimonies, but they felt too nervous. They said something just kept prompting them to get up and go to the podium... hmm... But Elder Gentry had the great idea to have a little testimony meeting with them right in their house. They loved it! They told us that they felt really really good and we told them that was the spirit. As soon as we told them that their faces lit up and they couldn't believe that a Heavenly being was just in their home. It made me so happy that I was able to be a part of that and it just reinforced to me that this really is the Lords work. They were then pretty sad that we had to leave and asked us if next time we could stay for a little longer. They may have a hard time reading the Book of Mormon right now, but they definitely can now recognize the spirit influencing their lives. It was really cool."

We had Zone Conference this week (it was split up in two parts: Wednesday from 9 to 4 and Thursday from 9 to 2. It was long but really cool.) President Wall asked us to include certain things in our Presidents letters and this is a result of that haha. He also told us that missionaries getting tablet/ipad things is in the works...what what? But in Zone conference we learned how to use the Book of Mormon more effectively and how to use the pamphlets. If you have some of those Mom and Dad, those are really good tools to prepare for missionary work, I had no idea how awesome they can be.

This week was pretty good. We were busy with meetings but we were still able to see quite a few people later in the week. A few bits of news. J., the ab rocket guy, got his license and a brand new car. It is a little scary, especially because we were driving down the street a few days later and he pulled out right in front of us haha Me and Elder Gentry were laughing pretty hard. But I am also happy for him because he has a lot more freedom and he loves it. D. and I. are doing well and they love church and love having us over. They really have a strong desire to come closer to God. I. was really scared to pray at first and would take deep breaths while doing it, but now he asks us if he can pray cause he just thinks it is so cool D. has a hard time reading, but she still works on reading the Book of Mormon everyday. E. is doing really well and we taught him the Plan of Salvation this week. He asked to some really really good questions and he is genuinely and sincerely interested in learning more, that right there is a little miracle. We are trying to get him to church and invite him to be baptized soon. We have a less active member named K. and we asked her a little bit about the Restoration one day and it turned out she didn't remember a lot of it. We gave her the pamphlet and asked her to go through the scriptures and the questions in the back. We followed up with her and not only did she read and answer the questions, but they were really insightful and spot on answers. I was really impressed and she taught me a lot about the restoration. There are just cool things that happen while you are a missionary. There are always the little poopy things that happen, but I am finding that the awesome things really cover those up and that is really a tender mercy from the Lord.

I love you guys so much and think about you all the time. I feel so blessed to have an amazing family that motivates me and gives me answers to prayers. I am looking forward to talking to you guys and also thank you again for the awesome letters! More pictures next week.

Thoughts and Prayers always :)

Elder Devin Soper

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

We were able to keep the momentum that we had last week...


Well I think I am going to include excerpts from my President's letters now, just a cool way to involve you guys I think. 

"We were able to keep the momentum that we had last week and it resulted in another 22 lesson week! I remember at the start of my training here Elder Gentry told me that at the beginning it would be very tough to get 20 lessons and it was, but he told me also that if we were diligent that we could see ourselves getting there in the future. And now that future is here and it is awesome to see how the Lord really blesses you for striving to be diligent and obedient. It feels good that we were able to reach the mission goal, but feels even better that we were able to see people so often this week. Repeated visits and working with people and their needs has brought a lot of blessings to us and to them.

One example of this, L., an investigator that we have, has come a long way since I have been here and as I have heard since he has been being taught. He has been investigator for over a year and has always had a really hard time understand even the most simple of Gospel doctrines and concepts. When I began visiting him, we would go through the same 10 minute conversation maybe 4 times in one lesson. But we were able to get him a big Book of Mormon and began increasing the number of visits and it has helped so much. He recognizes that his back doesn't hurt as much, he can read with almost no difficulty, his memory has improved drastically and he is now really coherent. He lost much of his brain capacity with prolonged use of drugs for most of his life, but reading the Book of Mormon and his desire to come closer to Christ has restored a lot of what he lost. It has been awesome to be a part of his progression and I feel really blessed to know him. I am grateful that the mission vision motivated Elder Gentry and I to work harder and thus help Leonce more. It is so cool to see."
I really do feel like I can really relate to you dad, with the stories of your mission and through our similar experiences being a missionary and a bishop. It took me awhile to get comfortable in different situations and I think it is true that you just begin to get used to those situations and you are able to learn more of how to interact on a more personal and helpful level. That is something that I have learned from you guys (Mom and Dad). It is cool to hear a little bit of how your mission was and I think things have changed quite a bit. Our mission has put a big emphasis on Loving, serving and teaching.  So our 20 lessons a week goal goes into teaching investigators, helping less-active members return and strengthening  the members. I always pictured missionary work a lot like how you described it and but it is not at all like I imagined it being. I guess that the strong baptist and catholic roots here has made it hard to make an impression on a lot of people. I think that our missions in the way that they work are actually really similar.

And Mom I really liked your experience of becoming a full time mom. I have felt like that while I have been out here, not a full- time mom haha (sometimes maybe...) but in not gaining much recognition and being able to find satisfaction in your commitment and effort. We really do have the choice to be happy and it is as simple as making it. I am so grateful that you did such a good job raisin' little chilins'. And I like our little long distance therapy sessions haha it reminds me a lot of what we used to do back home. Things are getting easier though and it is a process. There are some days that you would like things to go your way, but most of the time you just have to be patient and take a few hits so everything goes smoothly. Everything usually works out for the best and I am also learning more (probably like you guys already have) that you can't take life to seriously. I am sure as a parent you just have to go along with things a lot to make your kids happy. But you live and you learn and you choose to be happy!

But this week has been pretty good. Looking back it was actually really crazy. So we went on exchanges again this week and this time with the Zone Leaders. I went up to North Baton Rouge and that was quite the experience. So the first day that I was there we had this crazy adventure trying to find this Hospital, but we finally got there and then had trouble trying to figure out how to park haha. But we gave a blessing to a boy named D. who had pneumonia and has lupus. That was a really cool experience to teach him a little bit about the priesthood. That same day we were able to go contacting a little bit by a media refferal in a pretty ghetto neighborhood. We gave out a couple book of Mormons, got some crawfish, some water and a couple really cool potential investigators. So the next day was even crazier. The first half of the day we were running around doing errands. But we then went to see this lady named B. She is super smart and graduated with her masters in education. She has gotten older now and has a problem with her jaw and is in constant pain. It was here brother who was legally blind and thought I looked super young haha. But there was another lady there that when we began teaching them about the priesthood she got up and started preaching and walking was crazy. We finally just bore our testimonies and that calmed her down, because she couldn't combat our testimonies. Everyone there were non-members (besides us) and Billy has a strong testimony of the priesthood from receiving blessings and I think that everyone's testimony of the priesthood was strengthened in that lesson as well. I also met the sassiest black girl ever and I had a hard time not laughing because I just couldn't believe the duck faces she was making, the stink eyes she was giving and her attitude haha. But besides that she is a faithful member of the church and has a desire to do good. It was a crazy exchange. We also met a woman named T. who is going through a really hard time in her life, but she has a strong determination to provide for her family and be a solid foundation for her family.
But last thing we finally saw E. this week and taught him the restoration and he was really accepting. We found out that he has already almost finished the Book of Mormon! Cool to see that he was progressing a lot even on his own.
Well I better get going. I love you guys so much and here is a goofy picture of me with some friends.  Remind me to send some more pictures next week. Love you!
Prayers and thoughts always :)
Elder Devin Soper