Wednesday, May 28, 2014

If you don't know anybody, you can't help anybody.


Mom,

Here in Texas things are rolling along. We are working hard to get a member out with us everyday, something that shouldn't be so hard with such an awesome ward. We just need to be diligent. The other thing is talking with more people. If you don't know anybody, you can't help anybody. That means talking to at least ten strangers a day. I can remember being unable to say hi to my kindergarten classmates. Now we track down people on the streets and invite them to change their entire lives. It's awesome. 

We saw a huge demonstration of faith from a less-active recent convert this week. In order to be able to spend more time with his family, and be able to get to church, he quit his 7-day a week job and is looking for a new one. He showed that he has real desires to follow God and do the right thing, even though now he isn't sure where his next pay-check will come from. It built my faith a lot to finally see someone making sacrifices for God. We hope this will lead to the baptisms of his two kids.
Last week we had our last zone conference with President Crawford. He is a great man with a big heart, we are going to miss him and Sister Crawford a lot. One big thing that we talked about was using Family History as part of our proselyting. To use as a tool in contacting situations, President Crawford has asked that we have our family put together one of these "My Family" booklets containing our family history. It looks like this:

https://www.lds.org/church/news/my-family-booklet-brings-generations-together?lang=eng

They should be available at the distribution center. Could you get one (Spanish if they have it, if not whatever) and fill it in for me? That would be stellar.

Yesterday we had a big zone p-day barbacue and played football. It was loads of fun, even though it rained the whole time. Last night we had to stay in because we didn't want to get the car flooded. It rains in Texas.
 
I know that what we live and have is true. I know that the Gospel really does bless families. I've already seen innumerable examples of the pain that comes from a lack of God's truths put to practice. I love to be a missionary, to invite others to come unto Christ and be perfected in him, and to make their family a happy one.
 
Elder Decker





 

Friday, May 23, 2014

I think they call that diligence.

May 19, 2014
 
Mom,

Last Monday was a great day. After trying hard to be obedient we really saw blessings. Following the spirit, we went to go see a lady we had met the week before, neither of us remembered that we had already referred her to the English sisters. After getting rejected by her ex-husband, we went to try again two referrals we had in the same apartments complex, neither one really turning out. As we went to leave a little girl asked us to donate to her school fundraiser for children with heart problems. I gave her the 16 cents I have in my pocket and we obediently asked her for a referral. She took us right up to her mom, whom I was afraid would be send us away and chastise her daughter. She did neither. She listened to us, expressed her admiration for the values several of her Mormon friends have, and her interest in a modern prophet. My testimony was strengthened that no matter where we might be taken by appointments, referrals, or even getting lost, there is someone nearby the Lord has prepared. I just need to stop giving up so soon, and the blessings will come. Almost the exact thing happened two more times that night, never was it the person we were originally looking for that we found, and we ended up finding 3 families in the 3 proselyting hours we have Mondays.

Unfortunately, our success didn't continue quite as well through the week. It turns out you've got to keep being obedient to get the same good results- I think they call that diligence.

My love for the Book of Mormon is really growing. I'm reading it everyday- in two different languages- and loving every moment of it. I am surprised how much there still is in there, after having read it my entire life. I know  it is inspired. I see now more than ever that it really is a witness of Jesus Christ. The whole book may not include Him there physically, nor do we today, it describes real people really seeing the consequences of obeying or disobeying God's laws. It displays perfectly God's love for each of us. I know it is true.

Embrace the chaos Mom, and say hi to Justin for me  

Elder Decker

 

The Lord's work moves on.


May 12, 2014
 
Best Mother's Day ever! I was able to talk to Zach in Texas on his mission, and Justin on his mission in Hungary. Zach is fab-u-lous! He said he plays the Book of Mormon in Spanish all night long. The deep Mexican accent is apparently soothing. Zach's Spanish sounds amazing, so I guess it helps. I miss Zach every day. His quiet thoughtfulness, kind words and good humor mean so much to me. I am so grateful that God sent His son, so that I can have my son forever.
-Karen, Zach's mom
 
Mom

The only thing that happened this week I didn't tell ya'll about was our mother's day party on Saturday. (El Dia de las Madres es el diez del Mayo por aquellos que no lo saben) It was a ton of fun to just sit there eating awesome Mexican food, hearing awesome (not missionary approved-yikes) spanish music, and just being there with the ward, waiting for them to bring investigators to us. 

The Lord's work moves on in spite of of flat tires, hot weather, cranky white people, and liars. I love the message we bring. I love that it's true. I love that it works. I love the Lord and look forward to this week.

love,

Elder Decker

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Enjoy the craziness!

Mama

My new area is not too far away. It's called Broadway 2 East. It's actually the area where the chapel I've been going to all year is located. It's quite a bit bigger, with tons of members, and we have a car with 500 miles a month. This new area has already been a really good change for me. A great chance to start fresh, make some changes, and do some work. My new comp Elder Dennis is a great guy who works hard, has an open perspective, and makes things fun. He's from Anchorage Alaska and just finished getting trained. Our address is: 

2926 Dover st
Houston, TX
77017

My first week here was surprisingly tranquil. Even though we got lost a bunch of times and had some other struggles is was fine. I felt watched over.

Something I really want to do is know and work with the members, there sure are a lot here in Broadway 2. That's where the awesome referrals, the support, and members present lessons will come from. I really have a desire to bring people to church. That is something I didn't think would be so hard. I need to try to help people make that THEIR goal, not just my goal or God's goal. 

My testimony of two different topics grew a lot last week as we taught two different people. The first was a guy that doesn't believe in the New Testament because of supposed conflicts it has with the Old Testament. This guy refuses to go to any church, believe in Jesus Christ, or eat pork because of what he has studied in the Bible. I am really excited to show him the Book of Mormon, which clarifies so many things, that proves the Bible is true, the Jesus is the Christ and shows that God never stops loving and communicating with his children. 

The other person was a lesson active who just moved here from Mexico. She stopped attending church and her life really went downhill when she had a child out of wedlock 4 years ago. As she described the loneliness, stress, and guilt she feels about being away from her daughter, and making big decisions about whether or not to move back to Mexico and if she should get married, I realized what a huge blessing being chaste really is. 

I know now more than ever that The Book of Mormon is God's word that was written for our day, and that Chastity is a real eternal commandment bringing real eternal happiness.

Enjoy the craziness, and think about how proud God is of Trevor and Jill too!


Elder Decker