Monday, November 16, 2009

Another fun filled busy week as a missionary!

Dear Family,

Another fun filled busy week as a missionary! I can't believe this is the fifth week I have been in Lexington! This coming Saturday we will receive a phone call from the Assistants in which we will be told if we are staying or going. I feel I will stay in the area, but after being transferred out of Simpsonville after six weeks I have no idea what will happen. There is going to be a big change in the mission this next transfer. There are five missionaries going home and there are 18 missionaries coming in from the MTC! As time goes on, it is very strange to realize that all of the missionaries that I look up to, are going home. Hopefully I can fill their shoes and be a good example to the younger missionaries.

Tuesday: Elder Andersen and I tried to visit a lead that we had met last week. She told us to come by on Tuesday at 2:00. When we arrived, she was not there, (strike one) so we decided to give her a call and leave her a message. Kaneetha called us back and she apologized for not being there and she wanted us to come by the next day at the same time. We went by on Wednesday and Kaneetha was home, but she was the only one home so we could not go in (strike two). We set another appointment for Friday and this time we decided to bring a sister from our ward to come with us. We took Sister De Rosa with us and Kaneetha was home and we had a great lesson. Sister De Rosa had to be home at a particluar time to pick up her kids and right before she had to leave, Kaneetha's boyfriend arrived, so we were able to keep teaching her after Sister De Rosa had to go home. We have an appointment with Kaneetha and Freddie this evening.

Last Sunday we met Melissa while knocking doors and she told us to come back when her husband was home on Wednesday. As missionaries we get that comment quite a bit, and when we return for the appointment the husband runs us off. I didn't think much about it, but we stopped by on Tuesday and we met Melissa's husband, Jeff. Jeff grew up around members (the bishop's wife of the Gilbert ward tutored him when he was in high school). He loves all the members he has ever met, so we sat down with him and taught him the first lesson. When we finished, he told us that he had heard bits and pieces of what we believed, but he had never heard the whole thing. Jeff became very excited to read the Book of Mormon and to come to church, but he works two jobs and one of them is on the weekends. :( We set a return appointment for Friday and when we came back, Jeff was standing at the door waiting for us. :) He invited us in and he told us that since we came by on Tuesday he has just been in a happy mood. He was so excited for us to come back by and teach him. We followed up on the commitment we had extended, and he had not read but he had begun to pray. We taught him the importance of reading the scriptures and especially the Book of Mormon. We also gave him the Restoration DVD. He committed to read the Book of Mormon and to watch the DVD, and he wanted us to come by after work on Sunday. We went by yesterday and he had read the introduction, the testimonies of the three witnesses, the eight witnesses, Joseph Smith's testimony and the first chapter of the Book of Mormon. He also had watched the Restoration DVD and when it finished, his comment was, "that was it? I want to learn more!" So he decided to watch it again! We are seeing him again this evening. He is on fire. He wants to learn everything so we are going to give it to him. :D Elder Andersen and I are trying to get his wife to become more excited. She used to be married to an inactive member that was addicted to drugs. We are trying to find a good fellowshipper from the ward that she can become friends with. It's going to be difficult to try and find someone to come out with us on a Monday night but we are going to find a single person to come with us.

To start this next story, I need to give some background information. A couple of weeks ago, Elder McMurray (another missionary in my District) came to Lexington on an exchange. When we were working, we knocked half of a street. This past week Elder Andersen and I went back to that street and started working from the other end. As we came near the middle, I knew we were getting really close to where Elder McMurray and I stopped a couple of weeks before, but I was not sure. We knocked on a door and a man answered who I had talked to when I was with Elder McMurray. I was worried that he was going to get upset that we came back after he told us he was not interested, but I let Elder Andersen contact him. To my surprise, he told us that he was busy, but wanted us to come back! We went by on Wednesday and we taught Mr. and Mrs. Hall. We had a great lesson with them. They have a seven year old daughter and another child on the way. They were not able to come to church this weekend because he had to go out of town for work and she visited her mother down in Charleston. We have a return appointment with them this evening as well.

On Wednesday we were able to meet with Brandon again at the Connor's home. We had another great lesson with him, but he is having a difficult time with his girlfriend up in Union, SC. the only time he can visit her is on the weekends, so he has still not come to church. I am trying to get his girlfriend's address so I can get ahold of the missionaries in Union and together we will tag team him.

Thursday I had the opportunity to interview a baptismal candidate. I love holding interviews. It is great to see the fire in the investigators eyes and the excitement they have for the gospel. The young man I interviewed is qun (sounds like quwin) he has been meeting with the missionaries for 8 months now and he got baptized and confirmed this past Saturday and Sunday. Before the missionaries knocked on his door, he did not believe in a God, so he has come a long way, and now that he is baptized, he will continue to progress and learn. He is supposed to receive the priesthood next Sunday. I love the gospel.

The Zone Leaders asked me to train again at the Zone Development Meeting on Friday the 13th. I was asked to give a training on the power of the Holy Ghost. I was excited because that is the same topic I was asked to speak on in the Gilbert ward. The training and talk went well.

Stephanie moved to New York. The man who tried to kill her earlier in her life is getting out of prison and for her safety she left. Hopefully she will continue to learn up there. She promised she would call the missionaries once she got up there.

I love each of you and I love hearing about your lives! Keep being great examples to those around you! I am so pleased with your determination to serve the Lord! I heard a poem this week called:

When You Don't Understand Why This Happens to Me
My life is but a weaving between my God and me.
I do not choose the colors, he worketh steadily
Oft times he weaveth sorrow and I in foolish pride,
Forget he sees the upper and I the underside.
Not till the loom is silent and the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas and explain the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful in the skillful Weaver's hands
As the threads of gold and silver in the patterns he has planned.

I am so thankful for the testimony I have received of the restored gospel. I know Heavenly Father has a plan for us and as we follow his guidance we can pass through this "second act" where we pass through temptations, tribulations and trials, then we will reach "act three" where the happily ever after occurs.

Elder Cowan

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