Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Week 16 An Instrument In God's Hands

Hey guys. This week consists of a lot, like a lot, and I didn't do any of it. The Lord did it for me. I was just His instrument playing the right cords and looking for those people He wanted me to find. Our mission has something they call standards of excellency, as every mission should. Thanks to the Lord, Elder Stoddard and I hit those standards. This was the first time in 8 months, almost a year, that the Stillaguamish Ward has hit those standards. This week, we had  5 lessons with investigators, 3 investigators attend sacrament meeting, 4 investigators with a baptism date, so many referrals, and 4 progressing investigators! We also picked up 3 new investigators this week, which is amazing, and it's all thanks to the Lord. 

Before I talk about how my week went, let me answer some questions that have been asked. I have time to do this.
How was your Thanksgiving? 
Thanksgiving was crazy!! Since Monday wasn't p-day, Thursday was our p-day. That's what most holidays consist of, and yes, that's what Christmas will be like too. We had dinner with two families....😰 Man, I feel so fat just saying that. We had two turkeys, two bowls of stuffing, two of everything pretty much, and one of our families sent more of the dinner with us to go home!!! We got so much food this week, I don't need to go shopping!! That's the crazy part!!πŸ“πŸ“πŸ“πŸ“πŸ“πŸ“πŸ“πŸ“ Thanks to it, I've beenπŸ‹ (exercising)!! A lot!

Are your clothes holding up ok?
Yes, but the funny part is the bottom part of my sleeves are starting to look like Justin's mission shirt collars! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜… It's pretty funny, but other than that, they look fine.

So Monday was interesting. We had two hours to email, and then the rest of the day we had to go visit people. No p-day since it was on Thursday, so we visited a lot of people and tried to find people to teach with no luck really, but that's ok.

Darrington day. Funny story. So we get there, and we realized that we left the area book in Arlington.....πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜‘ So we went to the people we knew down there and then went to seminary and listened to Sister Mauldin teach us about the birth of Christ. Then we went back home and did some area book work and visited some other members.

Oh my! So Elder Stoddard is the District Leader, so we had a district meeting, and it was great! He taught us the importance of keeping and making good goals. Then we had lunch, and that's when a miracle happened. We got a referral from the mission office that someone requested a bible. So after we did some service for a member in the ward, we went over and gave this girl, named Lydea, a bible and also a pamphlet for the restoration. Soon after, we got a return appointment for Saturday to teach her more about the Book of Mormon. It was amazing, and it made me happy that we were able to help her when she needed it. She said before that she was an alcoholic and had a hard life, but now she is reading the bible for comfort and to push away the temptations to drink again. In my whole 4 months of my mission, I had never ever heard someone say that. It brought me joy to hear someone say that. After that, we went and visited some people and then had a lesson with Barbra and her family at 7. We taught them the plan of salvation, and that took 2 hours to explain because they get off topic so much, and they believe in reincarnation.... funny huh? So we taught them the plan, and it seemed to us that they understood it.

You already know about Thursday.

Thanksgiving with members
(Note from mom) Just when Paul and I were wondering where Jordan was spending Thanksgiving, a sweet member from Arlington sent me these pictures. What a great surprise!
So Friday we went to an alpaca farm and helped clean the stalls. It was pretty gross, but that's ok. I lived through it. After that, we had lunch and did some weekly planning. Then we did some service for some members in the ward and had dinner with them. They wanted me to play guitar, so I played for them, and they seemed to enjoy it. I hope they did... Then we left dinner after an hour and had a lesson with Barbra and her family again. We got all of them on date for baptism Wednesday and taught them the gospel of Jesus Christ. The funny part is that Mike, the father, brought up reincarnation, and Barbra, his wife, shut him up about it. It was pretty funny. He was about to say something to do with it, and Barbra was like "Mike, shh. The elders need to teach us this lesson." It made me happy that they are starting to understand that reincarnation is false doctrine and is made up by history shows and the apostasy.

Saturday and Sunday
Saturday was a hassle! So Elder Stoddard and I went to some members' houses and started to show the new Christmas video the church has put up on It's a cool video, and I will use it as my spiritual thought today. After we went to the old folks place and served there while Elder Stoddard took Elder Poulsen's new companion, Elder Wake, to our lesson with Lydea. They put her on date, invited her to church, and invited her to the come see for yourself fireside for investigators that was happening the next day. It was great, and all I did was bowl with the old folks, play bingo with the old folks, and then went home for lunch and heard all the news from the elders. It was great!! Then around 4, another miracle happened. We got a text from someone who wanted to come to church this week. Long story short, her name is Kelly, and she has an 8 year old son and a 5 year old girl. We gave them a church tour that night, and they came to church yesterday which was awesome! We are planning on teaching her on Wednesday. She told us that her first day at church was amazing, and everything she was taught applied to her in her life. She wants to learn more. Lydea got a ride from the Mauldins and came to church. She said she really liked it and wants to keep coming. She also says she feels at peace when she comes, and she can put the world aside when she comes. I can't tell you how grateful I am to hear all of these things coming from investigators mouths! Its like, DANG!! What do I say to that?

So that was my week. It was amazing, and I can't wait to have another week like that. Here is my message: 

That is the new Christmas video, and brothers and sisters, the message that it shares with us this year is simply "Light the World", serve others, help them to become better, and show some Christmas joy in your community. But this message is more then gifts and presents. It's about Christ, our Savior, and the love he shows for us. We may be celebrating his birth, but we shouldn't focus on just that. We should focus on what He did for us and how we can show others what He did to help others. I know He can help you when you need Him. I've seen it in my life. Please don't think you're alone in this world because you're not! He is here for you. I know that to be true, and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

--Elder Hammond

Elder Hammond and his roommates.
His companion, Elder Stoddard, is on the far right.

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