Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Elder Almen Thorpe - Working Hard

Elder Thorpe Working Hard!!
Dear family and Friends! 

Finally got my bike fixed!!! Elder Matua and I are now doing some real missionary work. Walking takes too much time. Few, thank goodness for bikes! The weather was CRAZY! The winds were blowing hard. While it was raining and the sidewalks were covered with water so bd that we couldn't see them, plus there was thunder and lightning. Talk about a rough week to do some missionary work...too much fun!!! Good old rain! 

This week, my companion and I, while in the horrible, slash, amazing, slash, scream like a little girl storm were able to finally find one of our potential investigators at home! We had to bike up the great north road in the stormy weather (yes, we were singing hyms on the way up), no worries, we had our spiritual armor on that day. We showed up to Mefi, an investigators of ours that we found (which was a miracle). Mefi has some friends that he grew up with that had some Mormon buddy's go on missions. It took us until the next transfer to finally get in contact with Mefi.  We had a lesson with him outside in his garage while the storm was still going on. It was coming down hard, and we could all hear the thunder and lightning. We then decided to go inside the house because Mefi's father in law, who isn't a member, kicked us out of his garage to drink with his buddies. Mefi is really kean about looking into the church!! We showed him a scripture in Alma 32:21. When he read that he asked us, "How did you two know that is what i was thinking?" Alma chapter 32:21 talks about faith and how we don't need to have a perfect knowledge of things but to have that faith for things that aren't seen that are true. He couldn't stop thinking about how we found that scripture talking about everything he told us. About how he wanted to believe and also to stand up to his friends about God and the missionaries. Mefi has a partner and a daughter. They are not members but the daughter has been praying at night with Mefi. When we were ready and about to leave, Mefi told us that he would feel more comfortable about taking the lessons we share when he isn't in his parent in law's house because they don't like us. We told him that we would be more than happy to teach him at the chapel and he agreed. Again, he was still shocked about the scripture and couldn't stop talking about it (which is good). We told him that it wasn't us telling him, it was from the spirit. Everything we do is from the spirit.  He was happy and plus some of his friends are returned missionaries. We have a good hold of him to progressing, hopefully towards baptism with his family, if not my time while in Henderson then it will be the next elder. Either way, I will be happy if he decides to get baptized with his family. 

On Saturday aftertnoon Elder Matua and I had a prompting to go down an unknown street. We had no clue why we needed to ride our bikes down there but we decided to go down and find out. We then decided without any hesitation that we should both go to one of our less actives house that was near that neighborhood. We went up and knocked on the door. Charlie, the little boy opened the door and didn't say much but ran back inside to get his mom. Marlyn came out and greeted us at the door, we talked to her but she didn't say much, she just looked at her other son Josh, who is 24 years of age, just lying on the couch. I noticed that she was giving us a look like something wrong just happened. Marlyn left the room and went back to her own business, and we were left on the porch just poking our heads in the door. We started talking to Josh and at first he said, "Is there anyway I can get out of the church? Because I don't want to join anymore." Hearing those words shocked Elder Matua and I, we both just stood there in silence not knowing what to say, then Josh said, "Right now I don't want anything to do with the church because I want to just think about myself." Josh's background is that he lives in a house that is not very nice like other homes, he just lives with his mom and brother and has had some bad history with drugs, drinkings, and so on. He started talking to us and told us everything that was going on in his mind saying that at times he felt like he wanted to kill himself and just leave this whole world. Josh doesn't have a job, he doesn't know what his family is or who his dad really is. A 24 four year old man, who feels all alone and doesn't think he can be forgiven for anything he has done in the past and really was struggling in life. I looked at my companion  and saw him starting to tear up. The rain started coming down harder and we went right inside the house. Without an hesitation, Elder Matua asked Josh before we left if we could say a prayer with him. As soon as we said that prayer with him, we could see Josh starting to cry. His whole attitude changed, he had a smile on his face. We  gave him a hug and as we left we saw him giving his little brother a hug. 

People at times judged Josh as being someone who CAN'T be helped, but how wrong were they? All Josh needs is someone to listen to him about his problems in life, he needs a friend, someone who can listen to him and try feel what he feels. He needs a father figure and really needs some help. I can admit that when I first met Josh with my other companion, I was judging him wrongly! It was when he was smoking weed, but this time, this was a different, Josh I was seeing. Afterwards I felt so bad, so guilty for doing something like that, that I couldn't forgive myself. Elder Matua and I stopped at a corner and said a prayer, I could hear my companion crying, he could feel the same way Josh was feeling because he has felt like that in his life before. That day changed my view on people like Josh. I thought i had that Christlike love for everyone but that was a life check up on me. I need not to judge people for their experience but what is really inside of them. 

The next day Elder Matua and I fasted. Bishop, during the week, asked Elder Matua and I to sing, (for all those who know me, I do not sing very well). Well Sunday showed up and the time was at hand when Elder Matua and I were getting ready to sing. During the testimony of one of the members, my companion and I could seriously feel the spirit in the room. I have never felt the spirit so strong before in the sacrament meeting! This was the very first time in my life that I have felt the peaceful feeling so strong! it was a feeling that i wish I could explain to you all! When the member got done, we then got up to go sing "Love at home". Elder Matua and I had a different song picked out to sing but when we got to the church we had the impression to change the song on the spot. We only practiced going over the song once, my nerves were, you might say, CRAZY!!! I HAVE NEVER EVER sang in sacrament before. It was a good thing that the spirit was there to help us sing, because in the middle of our song, Elder Matua and I heard the congregation start singing the last versus with us! What a neat experience that was. Our bishop was also singing along with us and the other bishopric member too. Afterwards people said we were great! Which is a good sign, because now the members like us even more, (getting the trust of the members...check that off the to do list). 

Our week was a hard, fun, sad, and all thumps up and smiles week. Elder Matua and I have unity that is strong, we both agree that unity in a companionship is beyond important in missionary work, without it we would not have the spirit with us. We also have to be obedient with the mission rules but if we are exactly obedient then we will see miracles. I know this to be true. Ever since my brother in law's parents sent me the card saying "obedience brings blessings, exact obedience brings miracles"  when they were mission presidents in Guatemala, I have seen miracles happen when we are striving to be exactly obedient. Rules never were something easy for me to keep but since I have been out I have seen the the rules are what gives us happiness. 

There is a quote that i want to end with "Heavenly Father gives us commandments to give us freedom, Satan gives us freedom to rule us" That is so true, I know it to be true!!! I hope you all have a wonderful week! 
Elder Thorpe 


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