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 companion...an 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 :)