Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Trying to Teach 3-22-14

Hello family and friends,
   This week went very well. We finally found someone who we could extend a baptismal date too. A 15 year old boy named Poppsy and his cousin 11 year old girl named Leona. They are taken care of by one of the less actives we recently activated. Man I can't tell you how excited I was to extend that date. It has been far too long since I have done that. But they are on track to be baptized the 26 of April
   It seems that we have tried everything to find people to teach! From playing ping pong to street contacting, asking referrals to talking with executives of companies. Nothing has seemed to work. (Which is part of the reason why I am so grateful for those two investigators). All I know is that there has seemed to be a serious push from the adversary's side is stopping the work in Downtown. For example, we have two sets of elders in downtown. The office elders (us) and the normal missionaries. Well the other missionaries over the past couple of weeks have come down with colds, and injuries. One after another. Don't get me wrong, they are good missionaries. But it seems that everything that is good has been put on a stand still. That is to be expected though because you must push into the darkness of a tunnel before you can see the light at the end. And so it goes in missionary work.
   We have been very fortunate to have the Spirit constantly with us this week. We have gotten out an hour earlier to "teach" (not to eat lunch) than ever before. On top of that everything here in the office is going even smoother than ever before, President and the Assistants have even told us that. All I can say is that God is good and he knows how to run an office and area at the same time. All the credit goes to him. I can't tell you how many times I am just about to leave to go do something and the Spirit puts a flag up and tells me to go back and get something so I don't have to return and waste time. I know that if we always trust the Lord and counsel with him we will get far more done in less time than you would think to even be possible.
   I have been reading the dying words of the prophets in the Book of Mormon. What power! I would encourage all to do the same. Ever single one of them challenges anyone to try to disprove the Book of Mormon. They give great counsel! Wow! I will let you know next week what all I have learned. I forgot my notes. Every prophet though has started their writing saying they "will" go. And by the time they die they say I "must" go. I think this is largely because they have felt the Spirit cleans them and they hate the feeling of being dirty so they will do all in their power to stay "out of the mud". If we can all try to strive to stay "out of the mud" things become easier to do and bear. Following Christ is easy. We as humans make it hard. Lose yourself, give it all to the Lord and the Lord will give you more than you can think even possible. 
   Swinsons- Thank you for all the letters!!!! Erynn my answer is YES!!!! I do think it is a fabulous idea to go on a mission. It will bless your life in more ways than you could even believe. Jessica- Good luck with State and have a blast at Disneyland!
   Grandma- I heard Duke lost. What can you expect from a team who plays only high school teams? Just kidding. I thought they would go farther this year but so it goes. Next year they should do better. I love you. Thank you for all the letters I love reading them!
   Grandpa- I miss you and love you. I head the Caden case is going in your favor. Keep me posted. Also, do you have any more advise for a newbie missionary like me? Let me know because you are full of wisdom. Again I love you.
   Joshua-Do what you love! If your love is soccer than do it. Do not let something diter you, like the fact that hardly anyone makes the freshman team. You can! Go do it. Make him have to keep you. Don't let that scare you. But again do what you want. I believe in you ability. Believe in yourself.
    Nikayle- miss you and love you. Keep up the good work in all you do. Thanks for the letters and pictures!
   Carter-.......Don't drive accross the field.......unless I am there with you. Love you and keep up the hard work so we can go to school together!!!
    Siri- you are the best! I love you. Keep smiling and laughing. I love you pictures that you send. I have them hanging up. 
   Brixen- How did you get so cute? I will never know but HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! You are getting way too big! I don't think I will be able to hold you when I get back. I hope your birthday was awesome.
   I love you all. Thank you all for your support, prayers, and kindness towards me. I will never forget it. Until next week, your friend,

Elder Henderson

Rough Week 3-15-14

 Well this was a different week for me. There isn't a whole lot to talk about. We met some very prepared people this week. The very thing that we were asking for in our prayers. We are finally finding some different people to teach that want to listen to our message. We have seen miracles in this area. One of them being we have found a counselor for the Branch Presidency. He just needs an interview now with the mission presidency. But that will soon come. I am very excited about that! We need a fully functioning branch so that the work can progress the way it should. 
   That is really it. Sorry it is so short. Thank you all for you support and prayers.
Elder Henderson

Journal Entry 3-8-14

This week I would like to start off with a journal entry of mine from earlier in the week. 

   Today was terrible. I am tired, my companion is driving me nuts, we have no one to teach, there is no end to the things we have to do in the office, the work is slow, it stinking rained on us and I am wet, I feel like just sleeping, I just want a break, people are so very disrespectful to us in the office, my comp keeps leaving stuff and forgetting things, the branch is not going anywhere fast, people are dumb,.............(it goes on but I think you get the point) But, I am grateful for the atonement so that I can have the strength to carry out this work from day to day, a companion who will at least work hard, to have a bed that doesn't hurt my back, to be in a tropical paradise, to have food to eat in the pantry, to have a guitar that I can play, to have a healthy body and not be sick, to be able to eat jerk, to have a truck, to be able to play basketball......................You know what after putting things like this it makes it very clear for me, 1. I need to eat and 2. I really don't have any problems worth getting angry over especially when I count my many blessings.......

I want you all to know that this is the same for you. I don't know how many arguments I get in with people out here who have a nice car, nice cloths, etc. and beg for money. They want to always know why I won't give them some and I will respond with this question "Well, I could but what about the kid down there who has no cloths, car, and no roof to live under?" They will then explode on how they don't have food. But that is not the point. The point is that we all have so many things yet every single day we think about what it would be like if we had ________. (fill it in) When in reality we have so many things, we should be sending prayers of thanks and praise up to the almighty. Remember that when you have a bad day, get a bad score on a test, or simply don't have anyone to teach because you have limited time to proselyte like me.
   Many things happened this week. First I want you all to know that Elder Newcomb and I worked everything out. He is a stud. The coolest thing that happened to me this week was probably what took place yesterday morning. We got up to just go shoot some hoops in the getto part of town, that has a really nice basketball court. While we were shooting a Jamaican walked up to us and asked to play. Of course my experience in the past I wasn't too thrilled but we never the less started to play some 21. Come to find out he was really good! I was shocked what is even more is that he played professional in Jamaica in the NBL D1 league. I don't know what that is. But long story short I beat him 21-13 and 21-8. Oh and he wants to set up a game with us and his buddies. Did anyone call for some Mormon Yankees? I think yes! Hopefully we can play them and also get to teach them. We are still working on the idea. 
   Another finding idea that we had came to us last week when we went to meet with an investigator at a park. Emancipation park is a amazing park. You have a track around  the outside with trees, a theature (the outside one), pond, chess tables, and ping pong tables. We went back another night and played some ping pong while the other talked to the people were watching. I got stomped! 21-9. I didn't even know the ball could do some of the things that man did. WOW! We did how ever get a referral for the missionaries in Port-more. We are going back tonight to do two things. 1. Play some chess and ping pong while getting people to teach. 2. We have planned out a sermon we are going to teach in the middle of the park just like how they used to do it in the olden days. I will keep you all updated on how that goes. 
    I know this email has been a little bit random but I have had a wonderful week! We get to do a lot of cool stuff here in the office. I know though if you will but simply "fear not" and trust the lord you can do all things. I have seen that ever more prevalent every single day here. I am amazed at the end of the day how much we get accomplished. The Lord is truly in this work. I would invite you all to take a step outside of your conforte zone and invite someone to church. We need every ones help! I love you all.
   Grandma! How is Duke doing? Probably not as good as North Carolina but that is okay because well I am not sure if they will ever be as good. :) I hope that the snow isn't getting you this year. I love you. Thanks for all your do. I really appreciate all the letters and stuff.
   Grandpa how is everything? I sure do miss the war stories and the simple counsel you have given me. Because of you I have made choices that I am glad I have made. You are a hero to me. I can't wait till we can talk again. I have questions for you but that will wait. I love you. Keep going only 4 more years till 100!
   Thanks again. I miss you all. I am grateful for all you do every day in my behalf and in the behalf of my brothers and sisters all over the world. Keep it up. By the way Nathan. That card you sent me, were you just sending that because you were being funny or did you have an impression. I did meet someone who only speaks Spanish. We will be giving them that card later. Let me know. Till next week. 

Elder Henderson

Where Does the Time Go? 3-1-14

Once question for all of you out there. Where the devil did the month of February go?!?!?! Wow it has been one quick month. I expect that this one will be the same way. The days just keep going faster and faster. I swear it is always night time and time to go to bed!
   Anyway, this was a really fun week for me! The highlight of the week had to of been our "road trip" to Portie aka Port Antonio. We had to help some missionaries move houses out there. So, late last week President asked if Elder Newcomb and I could do it. Of course we responded yes. So on Thursday we sat down to discuss the route we wanted to take. There was only one route that came up and so it was sort of easy to decide. But I had a great idea, I switched the direction points from going to coming from to coming from to going. And we discovered a new route that lead across the whole eastern half of Jamaica. It was a lot longer distance but after talking back and forth we discovered that the amount of time was about the same. So we did one long loop. Oh man I didn't know what I was in for! What splendor! What gorgeous beauty! If any of you come to Jamaica you must see what I just saw! Wow. 
    We set out Friday morning as the sun was coming across the mountains (yes mountains!). We drove and drove. We saw spectacular parts of the jungle aka bush. As we went we took a wrong turn and drove on this dirt road for like 20 minutes! I felt like I was on a safari hunting lions, because we were in a bunch of cane fields. But after 20 minutes of head bobbing we discovered a construction sight. I will send a picture of it here in a minute. We climbed up to a ridge and took some pics they were awesome! Back in the car and finally after much teasing on my part we made it back to the correct road and drove the rest of the way along the beach. I wish I could do it justice and describe it in words but I simply can't. Just like the Nephites couldn't write things because they couldn't even utter words which described how they felt. Same thing. I was truly a blast! And what's more is the drive home. We went through some of the most curvy roads known to man. ( I of course was the driver then.) And guess what!?!?! There was no speed limit so people were crazy drivers and flew around those bends. I will not lie though I felt like a race car driver with a stick shift and all. Yes you will see the highlights on ESPN tomorrow night. But that was a beautiful drive as well. 
   This week was fun as well with teaching. We never seem to stop. Always going. Thank goodness for a truck. As I have been thinking about what President Brown told me that I needed to do I got a revelation. His exact words were quote "Your task will be to baptize in the office". While we are still trying to get 'water' baptisms I was prompted that I am more here to baptize those less actives by fire. As we have started to do this I have noticed that we have run into many more people who are members who are less actives and some who aren't even members. So we stick them to the less actives and ask them to help us teach. Boom killed two birds with one stone! Slowly but surely this branch is progressing. Also, the Relief society finally has all the counselors! YES!!! Big step there. We have one for the Presidency and one on the way. Small increments. 
   Another cool story for all of you. We just finished teaching a lesson. (my bicycle was in the bed of the truck. We were taking it to Elder Nelson to use) Elder Newcomb wanted to get some fries really quick so we did. When we returned my bike was gone! It killed me because we forgot to strap it down to something. Elder Newcomb said we should say a prayer so we did. We then drove around the block twice and decided to get out and look in people's yard. (People here are not the most honest) as we were walking down  this one street I noticed a man who was walking quickly away from us. We crossed the street and he went to the other side. So I crossed back, leaving Elder Newcomb on the other side of the street. He picked up his speed. I followed him a little bit and he went into his yard and brought out my bicycle saying "sorry". I was so grateful for that tender mercy. God is truly good to all of us if we will but let him. What is even more awesome is that is almost a 0% chance that anyone would fess up to it here. I think that part of the tender mercy was the fact that he thought we were CIA. I have not ceased to thank God for that blessing. The next day we saw him sitting on a fence. He looked really down and sad so I took a pack of the seeds Mom sent me and gave it to him. Not only did he look shocked he smiled. I felt an overwhelming feeling that God loved him just as he does you or me. I will never forget those smiling, thankful eyes. He truly needed that.
   There are so many more things that I wish I could share with all of you. But what I have said will have to suffice. Remember that the Lord is always looking out for you. "consider the lilleys  of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:.... Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?.......BUt seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." If we will but trust God he will help us in our every circumstance. I promise you! If you are lonely turn to him he will comfort you. If you are struggling with finances turn to him he will provide. If you are simple looking to help yourself become a better person turn to him because he will make all things become our strengths. (Ether 12: 27) I bear solemn testimony that Christ is our Savior and that he died not only for the sins of the world but for all the other "pains" the world has. Turn to him. No longer let him knock endlessly on your door but open the door and watch as he will make you and your life into far greater than you could ever imagine. He lives and loves you. I wish I could speak to you all face to face and let you know how much he loves you and how much I do. But that will wait until I have finished the work my Father has asked me to do. I love you all. 

Elder Henderson