Elder Nathan Hubert's Mission Blog

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Baptismal Dates, Christmas Devotional, and teaching a lot!

Hey everybody!  Here's another report from the happy (but cold) state of Wisconsin.  Actually, it's not been too cold this last week, but we just woke up to some recent snowfall, so it's definitely going to be a White Christmas this year (which I'm sure it is every year up here).  But I had a very good week, and Elder Norris and I were able to do a lot of good, to help a lot of people, to help them come closer to Christ, and to come closer to Christ ourselves in the process.

On Monday we played sports for our P-day activity, but because P-day technically ends at 6, we had time to proselyte for the rest of the day, until we went back home for dinner.  Lately, there has been a really big push in the mission to use this new survey to take tracting, or door-to-door contacting.  It has 8-steps and 10-questions, and it requires a lot of boldness because a lot of it is basically inviting ourselves into their homes, using much more dignified language than that, of course.  But we decided to give it a try, so we went a little bit farther down the street that we live on, and knocked on the first door we saw.  It was a hispanic man named Johnathan and he invited us right in!  After about a half hour lesson with him, we set a return appointment and went on to knock on the second door on the street, which was a hispanic family, who also let us right in!  We took the survey with the daughters of the family, showing them that we as missionaries are just regular people, too.  :)  But then their mother, who was sitting on the floor organizing papers, asked us a very thought-provoking question:  "What is religion?" (This entire conversation was in Spanish)  We attempted to explain that we had the same church that Christ had established, but that was not the answer she was looking for.  After a few more failed attempts to answer the question, it finally came to me, (I am so thankful for the Spirit) and I told her that religion was simply the way that we lived our lives, the way we carried ourselves, who we are.  That was what she was looking for.  But then she gave us an ultametum - we could be like every other religious person that stopped by and share a message about their church and how it is true, but if we did that she told us that we could leave.  Or, we could share something about true religion.  We continued to share with the family that as missionaries, we share messages about Jesus Christ and how we can change our lives to live in the way that he showed us - to have His religion showing in the way that we carry ourselves.  She liked that answer, and told us something that she had never told another proselyting group:  "You can stay."  :)  That made me happy.  :)

Tuesday was also a really good day!  For District Meeting, we had a great discussion on the new survey and had a role-play with the other elders, giving a real-enough (kinda) example of what that situation might be like.  We also got to discuss the different finding methods that work around this time of year, such things like Caroling, the "He Is the Gift" thing the Church is promoting right now, and other things, such as testifying of Christ ourselves.  It was an enjoyable meeting.  Later, we attempted to contact a referral who lived quite some distance away, but he was not home.  On our way walking, we got to a familiar area and contacted people that had met with the missionaries before, picking up a few of them to be taught in the future.  Later, we went to an appointment, but they had forgotten we were coming.  So instead, we caught a bus over to Manuela's house and talked to her and her son-in-law, sharing with them thoughts of Christmas, including the "He is the Gift" video, and scheduling another appointment where we could come over.  And we ended the night with a lesson with the Carlos family, which took so long that by the time we had ended, we had missed the last bus going home!  But I am so thankful for other missionaries who are selfless and care so much about others, because we called our Zone Leaders who had just gotten home after a long day, and they dropped everything to come pick us up and take us home.  They are great elders - I love and respect them so much.  :)

Wednesday, we had an appointment that once again forgot we were coming, so in an attempt to fill up that time, we saw two men that were conversing up on a porch, and went to talk to them.  That resulted in a very good conversation about religion with a man named Christopher, and he was very interested in what we had to say: about how our church has 12 apostles, just like in the days of old.  About how we have Another Testament of Jesus Christ, as we shared the Book of Mormon with him.  He was extatic!  We also had a lesson with the Solorio family, which went pretty well.  They currently don't want to commit to do anything, but we're working with them.  Later, we had a great lesson with the Nieves family where we talked about following the prophet, about tattoos and piercings, the Word of Wisdom, and about temples.  :)  We're excited for their progression!  They are all getting ready to be baptized on the 20th!  :D

Thursday morning after we had finished our studies, we got a text from Lisa telling us that she didn't want to meet with us any more.  We were really sad and confused, so we responded to that and skipped lunch and weekly planning to go to her house and address the concern.  We talked to her and her husband (who currently is not interested in pursuing the same course as his family), and it turns out that she is just scared.  We were able to share a really good scripture with her, it was Alma 7:15 (I'd reccommend that you look it up) and it basically just says that we should fear not, and come unto Christ by being baptized.  I thought it was perfect for her.  :)  Later, we went to Luis Munoz's house and we are basically going to be his new Mission Prep. teachers!  We are teaching him the material and doctrine in a way that he would be able to teach it later - he really wants to be ready to go on a mission.  :)  And to end up the day, we went to dinner with the Zone Leaders and played Basketball!  :D

Friday we did some service at a thrift shop called St. Vincent de Paul's store, and we sorted things from place to place for nearly 3 hours, after which we went to have a lesson with a lady named Tina, who we had contacted on Tuesday.  However, she had forgotten we were coming, so we walked home, contacting on the way there.  We talked to a woman named Maria, and a man named Guadalupe, and then took a bus to go to a later lesson, talking to a woman named Ruby on the way there, and visiting the Grijalva family from the branch on our way to Manuela's house.  As we were with Manuela, we made plans for us to come back the next week, when her entire family is going to be there, so it will be us at the front talking to a group of a lot of people, so we're both very excited to be doing that and leading a good discussion of the lessons!  :)

Saturday after studies, we had our Branch Christmas Activity, and it was relatively enjoyable.  It just took a very long time to finish.  They had presents for each of the kids, and a whole bunch of activities for the kids, but we just sat there the whole time.  :P  But that's okay.  Later, we contacted a Headquarters Referral that we had gotten, and after walking a long way, talked to a man named Wilmer that we had not seen for a long time.  We ended the day with a lesson with the Nieves family, again, teaching them about tithes and offerings, how to pay them, and then going over the baptismal interview questions so help them prepare for that!  :)

Sunday consisted of us going to church, and the Nieves family going there too.  However, they were missing one boy, and it was vital that Hubert (the name of the boy) go to church so he could be baptized with his family!  So, after the branch, we went to their house to teach Hubert and Orelia the things that they had missed when they had been gone during lessons, and then we went to church with Hubert to the English ward.  :)  So now he's back on track.  Later in the day, we talked to Maria (the same one from Tuesday), but she had no man at home so we couldn't teach her a sit-down lesson.  Later, we talked to Jesus, (an investigator, not the 2nd coming) and scheduled a lesson for later in the week, and finally contacted another referral before going to the Christmas Devotional!  And let me tell you, I really enjoyed the devotional.  Of all of the talks, I think my favorite was that given by D. Todd Christofferson.  It was so powerful, especially with the story that he shared about the young man with cancer, and how everybody came together to make those days special for him right at the end of the life.  The story was so powerful, and the Spirit was so strong.  I know that we need to do all we can and make Christmas not only an annual thing, but have the Spirit of Christ always circling through us and radiating as we do good for those around us.

I love each and every one of you, and I hope that you have a great week and that you all remember, in prepartion for the Christmas holiday, that Christ is the greatest gift that was given to us by our loving Heavenly Father.  If you've not yet seen the "He is the Gift" video, I recommend it.  It is wonderful!  Have a great week, and look for opportunities to love and serve other people!  Adios!

--Elder Nate Hubert

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