Monday, November 10, 2014

Milking of the Cows!

And the Milking of the

Oh. We got to hold Tom Thomas's rabbits too!! And Remember Brer Rabbit? 
Brer Rabbit!
This week was good. Now that I have been here in Owego for a full week, I've got a bit more of an idea of what I like about the area and what I don't.  And I just got to sending that package today actually.So you guys should get it this week And I did hear about your surgery. Everything will go well!! And don't worry about it. Take your time!! I'll try to give them a call this week as well. Now for Owego. I'm serving here with Elder Ricks. He is from Pleasant View, Utah, and is really into motorcycling/fourwheeling.  He has been out since April of 2013, so we neither of us are very new. When I got to the area, we didn't have many investigators of less-actives we were teaching. It felt a lot like when I got to Schoharie. And like Schoharie, the teaching pool is going to increase. The investigators and less-actives we teach here seem to have the same concern. They all are mad at God and don't understand why trials are in this life. So Elder Ricks and I taught the Plan of Salvation a few times this week. So the place we live is called Newark valley. And the area is a lot like Schoharie. Rural with lots of hills and the big Susquehanna river running right through Owego. All the leaves are gone now to, so it looks pretty dead here. Owego is a bit busier, but that is the Sisters area, so we don't go there. I do cook quite a bit more in this area than others, which has its pros and cons. We visited a few times with our investigator Valery this week. She's sweet and very funny. She will just make unusual connections with what we are teaching her and blurt them out. Haha. But at least she is listening to what we have to teach her. She has a testimony of the book of mormon, and is scheduled for baptism in January. She asked Elder Ricks and I quite a few questions, so we decided to start from the beginning with her. We taught her the restoration/1st cornerstone experience, and it pretty well. It got off to a rough start because when we asked her what she saw in the 1st picture of the restoration pamphlet, she told us that Jesus was just going to sacrifice that lamb later, and jumped right into the mosiac law. (She reads the old testament quite often). That was interesting. She lets details from the old testament hang her up a lot, especially since she doesn't have the Joseph Smith translation. I'm so grateful that we have the Joseph Smith translation. It clarifies understanding from the bible so much. Luckily Brother Cassin (the member present) was able to maneuver the lesson back on track after that rough beginning. She prayed at the end and said that there was no doubt with what we were teaching her. It was awesome. We also taught her the 1st half of the plan of salvation this week. Again she got hung up on the nature of God, and it is hard to keep the Spirit in the lesson when your investigator has some hard feelings towards God and voices them in the lesson. Spirit goes right out the door. But we will keep working with her. She will turn around. I know it. We are also teaching a less-active member named Tom Thomas. He's way sweet and very funny. But he has a daughter who has some sort of mental/emotional or physical health issue that she was born with, and he doesn't understand why God allows that stuff to happen. He doesn't seem to have a testimony anymore, but he is willing to meet and find out if its true, so I'm excited to see what happens with both him and Valery. Starting this week, one of the new things President Wirthlin wants the Owego zone to keep track of his how many active member lessons we teach. It's really important as a missionary to visit with members to help them feel the spirit, gain trust in us as missionaries, and help them do missionary work. We've been teaching a lot of active members the new teaching method and how to use facebook to share the gospel. We had some very interesting experiences with a member who I will call brother Joe (it's not his real name). First we went over to his house and showed him how to share media from church websites on facebook. Then he turned on his TV, and showed us all the foreign channels he likes to watch. I didn't watch, but asked him if he could understand anything they were saying. He said they didn't, and realized I was thinking to myself "then why does he watch it." Apparently he likes to see what foreign countries think of America. Then he came and taught Brandon Hill, our recent convert with us. We read 3 nephi 19 with him. And when we read verse 18, which reads "and behold, they began to pray, and they did pray unto Jesus calling him their lord and their God." Brother Joe then goes on to explain to Brandon that we pray to Jesus because it is through him that we communicate with the Father...Elder Ricks and I just looked at each other. I just was thinking what the heck could we say to get this false doctrine out of the lesson without making brother Joe look bad. I then said that is why we pray to the Father in the name of Christ, because is our advocate with him. And that is what we do. Pray to him directly in the name of christ. After I said that, Brandon just said that makes sense. I was so relieved haha. It's always interesting when experiences like that happen with members who come teach with you. We also picked up a few new investigators this week. I had a unique experience with facebook. We scheduled to teach Stacey Eddy, a less-active member over facebook. She invited one of her friends to join in on the chat with us. She actually texted us in advance to make sure it was ok. Of course it was. So we picked up Jacklyn without meeting her in person yet. Sister Eddy said after our lesson she wants to feed us this week with Jacklyn and another one of her friends. It was really cool to see that and how facebook and technology can be used to further the work of salvation. We also taught a lady named Amber on her porch. We got to the Apostasy in the Restoration pamphlet, but she had to cut us short due to her baby crying. It was dark outside. Hopefully we will meet with her today and finish it. We also picked up an old lady who goes by Peg. She's sweet. She has pictures of Jesus all over inside her house and actually had a restoration pamphlet standing up on her microwave. It collected quite a bit of dust though. She cancelled our return appointment though, so we will see how that one goes. Nothing really changed with the Mercers this week. Oh the Hoffmiers. They are the people we get to milk cows for. We had a pretty good lesson with Brother Hoffmier. We read Enos with him. He left the TV on though so he could look at the cute girls. And he's like 60 or 70. I was laughing so hard and jokingly said amen to that and I would enjoy it to. But then everytime my eyes seemed to go to the TV he called me out on it.... We also went over to milk the cows this week. And when Nancy Hoffmier showed us how to handmilk them, I asked her if she could shoot the milk into the cat's mouth (like in TV). She tried but the cat ran away. Then she squirted me in the face. It was pretty funny and gross. Well I love you all and have a great week!!!

Elder Richins

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