Sunday, December 22, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Feliz (early) nacido familia,

Thank you so much for the packages and Christmas presents.  Brooks and Braxton I loved the pictures!  I got all of the pictures from the primary too.  Elder Payne and I also loved the stockings.  We are going to put those ornaments on our tree when we get home.  It's crazy how much it is snowing in Arkansas!  Holey moley.  That looks like fun. :) Thank you for the pictures Rynda.  

This week's verse comes from a letter from Moroni:

"I am mindful of you always in my prayers, continually praying unto God the Father in the name of his Holy Child, Jesus, that He, through His infinite goodness and grace, will keep you through the endurance of faith on His name to the end."
Moroni 8:3

This week my testimony has been strengthened of the power of prayer.  This week Elder Payne and I had a lesson with one of our investigators, Brother Knauls, (the dad of Emma, who was baptized a couple weeks ago).  He is an ex-marine sniper, who almost played in the NFL, but dislocated his knee.  He could have gone back after healing, but decided to get married and be a dad.  He says being a dad is far better than being in the NFL.  It's been neat relating with him on a smaller scale, with my femure and playing football, and my choice to go on a mission instead of playing football.  He is the guy who played football for Northside and keeps me updated on how the Bulldogs are doing. :) 

Brother Knauls, because he is an ex-marine and has been through a lot, has PTSD. Yet he is still really funny and optimistic.  He's really fun to talk to and makes us laugh every time we come over.  On Tuesday, we taught him a lesson about the power of prayer.  He testified to us that prayer is what gets him through PTSD and He relies every day on the power of faith.  

Robyn has also turned 180 degrees from the first time we saw her.  She was the investigator that recently lost 3 family members and had to move out of her apartment because they weren't able to pay rent.  She has a husband named Rob (Rob & Robyn Kaulfuss) and two sons, both Eagle scouts! (or at least scouts, I think she said they are Eagles) who are 20 and 23.  They both also played football in high school.  Josh and I were able to relate because he was injured playing football and did home bound school.  We went over to help them move.  They are the neatest family.  They've been through a lot, but because they are now looking to God, they are happy through it all.

We taught them CPR: church, pray, read.  Those three things bring you back to life, and keep you going.  She committed to reading the Book of Mormon on the way to Virginia (they are going to live with her Sister in law) and has been praying through the whole moving process.  She went to church with us last week and it completely changed her perspective on her situation.  The talks were on self reliance.  It was perfect.  She and her family plan to attend church in Virginia.  She thought it was neat that Elder Payne and I both have 6 kids in our family.  I showed her a picture of us in front of the Washington DC temple and she says that's something she wants for her family, to be sealed in the temple.

The trip is 36 hours and they plan to sleep in their car and eat PB&Js on the way.  I really wish there was a way I could help them out financially, but I know the spiritual blessings we give her will help her in the long run.  

There have been so many experiences I've had, in meeting people, that testify to me that there is a reason I am in Las Vegas for a season (that rhymes:).  I've been able to relate with some of our investigators in a unique way.  I know that I am here for a reason.  There is a Brazilian family that Elder Payne and I are trying to get to come back to church that love it when we come over and sing.  We also are teaching them the missionary lessons again in Portuguese.  

Overall, it's been another good week.  I am so grateful for the blessings Elder Payne and I receive each day.  So many miracles!  I wish I could video all that goes on in the life of a missionary and send it too you - there is nothing in this world that draws you closer to Christ.  I love the people here so much, and I can't begin to imagine how much Heavenly Father loves them too.

I love you all!

Have a great week - Merry Christmas! =|>>>*

Elder Young the Younger

p.s.  I have a lot of pictures to send, but will have to attach them next week because I'm out of time.  We ate at Inn 'n Out today!  It was so good.

Elder Erickson says hi and happy new year

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