Monday, September 5, 2016

New Experiences and Inspiring Moments

Hello Everyone, Brade here!

Wow this week was crazy! Didn't get to much done with investigators but wow it was busy!

So first of all we were told that the ward I am working in is getting dissolved into 3 other wards. So we called President Reynolds asking him what we should do about all of this and he told us to come this office the next day because he needs our help making new zone boundaries. So Elder Parrish (tall guy), Elder Garica (short brown guy), The Shepherd and I all went. 

During this meeting president Reynolds was the cutest little thing. He was so stressed out because he has so much on his plate. He even said "this is stupid, let's just leave it the same! It's a lot easier that way". It was adorable because he has the cutest little voice and it's hard to picture him mad. He later then backed it up by saying "if missionary work was easy, then everybody could do it". Wise words of PR himself. 

He said that whole mission is going to need to step up because there are gonna be some members and investigators who aren't gonna want to travel an hour to get to their new church building. He has such strong testimony. I love that man! So this week our focus has been on getting in contact with every single member in our ward. Elder Shepherd and I made over 300 phone calls in the last week and did so may home visits. Oh, not to mention, there's 600 people we need to reach out to that are supposedly members. Fun stuff

So here's a fun story for y'all! Elder Shepherd and I were walking back to the train station one day and this Muslim guy starts shouting at us to come talk to him. So we go over there he asks a little bit about our beliefs and then ask if we know about Muslims. We said not much, then he asked if we wanted a Quran! I said yes so he goes and gets one and comes back and then asks us we want to go into the Mosque. So we went in and took off our shoes, we went done stairs and saw all these men washing their feet, hands, faces, etc.. Getting ready to worship. We then watched over 100 men do their prayer ceremony to Allah! It was so cool! They are some humble people. They put their noses all the way to the ground when they pray. It's the real deal! It's sad because in New York they have a really bad rep because of the extreme terrorists. But they are some of the nicest people! I think it's so cool that in New York I can experience all different cultures. Wow I'm so blessed to serve here!

Last story of the week! So J** is leaving for Boot camp tomorrow. I'm pretty sad! I came out on a mission expecting to change people's lives, but no I was wrong, in turn J** changed mine! I was not expecting to come this close to an investigator. His story is so Inspiring! I know he isn't baptized yet but he his truly becoming converted to God. So I'll tell the story again. 

J** grew up in Africa! His father abused is mom and they lived in very poor circumstances. There was one point that him, his mom, and sister all got kidnapped and were put through a lot of trials. They escaped, and then moved to New York. Now J** grew up in the projects. Not the best place to be raised. He got into drugs, into violence, gangs and all that crazy stuff! He got to a point in life were he felt he didn't have a purpose and was going to take his own life. There was one day he was thinking about what he was going to do and he said a voice came to him saying "I'm hear". It was the first time he ever felt like God exists. That motivated him to change. He put himself in a program that showed him how to get over his past and live a successful life. He started to be happy again and then a month later after he got out of his program we ran into him. We started teaching him and his mom. They came to church and started to read the Book of Mormon and are now hooked. He is gonna have to wait to get baptized until he gets back from boot camp but he gets it! And now we are here and he is one of my best friends! I love J** and I'm gonna miss him! It's so cool that he is going to serve our country and bring his light through out the world. So far he is the miracle of my mission.

So that was my week! Full of new experiences and inspiring moments. Thanks for listening. Until next time.

Much love,

Elder Jeppson

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