Thursday, September 25, 2014

Week 97 - 7 weeks to go, ---Miracles----

On Monday at our zone activity I was schooling some other missionaries at basketball until I went to jump for a block and then I came down wrong and sprained my ankle! I'll give it a 6 out of 10. Nothing too crazy. It sure did hurt like crazy though. It took me 30min to walk a 10min walk to the train from the park. It was sad haha! Because of the pain I was in, we went to the church to finish out our night by doing some google drive updating and making phone calls. Elder Goodson made phone calls for 1.5 hours straight. He just went through the phone and started dialing numbers in our contacts. He set up 3 appointments and 2 for today while on his exchange! It was great. I was so proud of him. I think The Lord caused this ankle sprain so he could have that chance. Our plans were definitely not to be calling people that night or to hang on the church. I am walking 90% normal now. The swelling is going down and it is still a little bruised.Elder Heywood and I taught an awesome lesson with a Spanish family At first we were just teaching about prophets and it wasn't clicking with them. After this kind of ended I just felt impressed to just crank down and say "we are not here to drag you to come to church and force you to do these things. We are here because we know who you can become. We see the potential in you to be better than who you are now. What is keeping you from participating in church?" They opened up after that. The wife said that she was worried about people judging her since she hasn't come for a while. She was worried about talking with the branch president and repenting. She also had some questions. The husband said that he has been seeking other truths outside of the gospel and feels that he is being held back by going to church currently. He is trying to find answers that fit both atheists and believers. The mom said she just has hard feelings towards some of the members. Elder Heywood (who I was on exchanges with) said something very profound- "we did not make covenants with sister soandso. We didn't make covenants with the elders quorum president, and we didn't make covenants with the branch president. We made covenants with God and we shouldn't let others' actions keep us from keeping our covenants and severing our relationship with God.

A miracle happened Sunday night. At 8:06pm, Elder Goodson and I had no plans. We went to a Stake Priesthood meeting that we thought was going to take the test of our night. I told Elder Goodson that we should pray and ask God for direction for the next 45 minutes. When my companion closed the prayer, I sat and pondered for a moment. The idea came to go visit a house of multiple people we met a few weeks ago who said we could come back. As we walked to the street, we saw our neighbor Carlos, who was a potential investigator. We had a really good talk with him and prayed with him. We gave him a commitment and set up a temporary appointment. Now we got on the street with the family I was originally thinking of and I heard someone playing the violin. It was a Bach concerto that I had heard before and it is a very challenging piece. Whoever was playing it was good. My companion gave me some courage to go and knock on the door. To my surprise it was a younger man, probably in his late 20s. I was expecting a woman! There aren't many men violinist in NY that I have met. I told him that he sounded really good on this difficult concerto. We talked about our different music backgrounds and I got his phone number to jam out sometime. We finally get to the door of that one family and they weren't even home! We walked back to our apartment and sat down and made a phone call until a man with a beautiful dog walked past. I asked him what kind of dog it was and then he told us that his dad came to our church before. It is amazing to see how God works! He used the memory I had of a certain family and the route we always take to get there to put me on that path where he knew that only I could touch those individuals' lives. God heard my prayer of faith that night. He seems to do that often- putting people in my mind to visit, but really intending me to reach someone else along the way.

Elder a Goodson and I had a pretty good week. We have been finding new Less-Active member families and we are helping this branch grow. At a stake priesthood meeting I was able to see all of my Staten Island friends. That was a good boost for me. It brought back a lot of good memories!

I love you all, have a great week.

#LDSconf in 12 days

Elder Hooper

 Playing in the subways!
Taking some fun pictures at the Brooklyn Bridge Park! 
 This is what I did on Monday after I stopped emailing. Still hurts, but I can walk on it. I was playing basketball- while schooling some kids, I jumped to block a shot and came down on my ankle wrong!

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