Monday, November 24, 2014
Here's a little about my week:
We had a combined Zone Meeting this week, with the Round Rock and Round Rock East zones. President Slaughter was there and gave an excellent training on 'Apostasy', and how it occurred. He also talked about this new initiative the Church is doing this Christmas season. It's unlike anything I have ever seen before. It is called, "He is The Gift". Helping people draw come closer to Christ and focus on him this Christmas season. They will be sending out millions of cards. Each missionary will be giving away at least 10 a day for over a month. On December 7th, The Church will be THE ONLY advertiser on YouTube's homepage..... all day long.... the only advertisements..
ALSO, The Church bought many of the billboards and mega screens in Times Square, those will be going off all day, every day until January.
This is crazy!!! The work is hastening so fast! The Gospel is flooding the earth!
Elder Nichols and I also gave some training's at the meeting. I prepared mine that morning haha, I've gotten pretty good at shooting from the hip.
One of my best friends from the MTC, Elder Butterfield, is in this zone now! We haven't really seen each other since the MTC. This week we went on an exchange together, so he came to my area and we worked together for 24 hours. It was so much fun! haha we just instantly picked up where we left off in the MTC.
We taught a lesson together to a college student in Georgetown, Texas. He is an agnostic, and doesn't really trust any religion. We started teaching him about the Restoration and we just blew his mind! hahaha he was loving everything we said, and he agreed with all of it! We gave him a copy of the Book Of Mormon, and he is going to start reading it. The Spirit was strong in the lesson, and he definitely felt it. We are teaching him again this week.
One of the lessons we taught was to Malik, where Elder Butterfield gave him his Baptismal Interview. I'll send a picture of the 3 of us together. It was such a fun day!
I also went on an exchange with Elder Hobbs. Elder Hobbs is getting towards the end of his mission. I went to his area with him. Half-way through our day it started to ran really bad, so the rest of our day we were just completely soaked! We had a lot of good times though. We just happened to find a lady in her garage cleaning some furniture. As we talked with her, we found out that her husband is an inactive member of the Church, and she is a non-member. However, just recently they were both talking about going back to Church.
That was the first day they moved into the house. It was a miracle! They are going to come back to Church, and i'm sure that she will get baptized.
Ladies and Gentleman, we have a new member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His name is Malik Jamal Abdul-Khaliq.
From the first time we taught him until the day he got baptized was only 11 days! haha crazy, right?
Malik was just so prepared. He always shares his testimony on how the Lord has been preparing him his whole life for this moment.
He was baptized on November 22, at 3pm.
His good friend, who he is living with right now, baptized him. Also, a friend he met at work, who is a recently returned-missionary, confirmed him on Sunday and gave him the Gift of The Holy Ghost.
Malik's mother, who is an inactive Muslim, came to the baptism. She could feel The Spirit and seemed to really enjoy the baptism. Afterwords, she grabbed a copy of the Book of Mormon and some pamphlets that we had set out. Awesome!
As soon as the baptismal service ended, and everyone was standing up. Malik walked over to me and gave me a big hug. While we were hugging, it sounded like he was holding back tears when he said, "thank you". Just a simple "thank you", and everything up to that point was worth it. No trial on the mission is too hard, when you're standing next to the font with your new recent convert, and he is hugging you saying "thank you".
Malik and I have become really good friends. Every time we see each other he just comes up to me and gives me a hug.
I love y'all so much, and I am grateful for each one of you!
Love, Elder Giles
Monday, November 17, 2014
Kinfolk,Winter has arrived in Utah, I'm sure glad I'm not there. It has been pretty cold in Round Rock this week though, like 30's or 40's. It did not snow though, so that is good! I finally had to dig through my suitcases and pull out my jackets and sweaters from last winter. That was a weird experience. I couldn't believe it had been a year since I was in Heritage ward teaching Dion, and Manuel (PT) and all the other great people there. This year flew by!
A Pair Of Thermals:
A week ago, Monday, we had a return appointment with a man we talked to a few days previous. We met him when we was walking outside of his house about yo get in his car. We were on the other side of the road, but started talking to to him and went over to introduce ourselves. He mentioned how he grew up Jehovah's Witness, but never actually believed it. He is 38 years old and has been looking for truth in religions for most of his life. When we told him what we do, he invited us back for Monday evening,
We knocked on the door, and he answered the door in nothing but a pair of thermals and working boots. He seemed quite comfortable, even though we were in a shirt and tie. This man is African American, probably about 6'3'' and looks like he works out quite a bit. He has one extremely lazy eye and a nice set of dreadlocks.
The lesson went very well. He understood everything we taught and was eager to read from the Book Of Mormon. He wanted to come to Church on Sunday but didn't make it because his flight got in later than he though. We have another lesson with him later this evening.
I'm curious to see if he is in his typical thermal and boots combination.
My Boy, Malik:
Malik is getting baptized this Saturday. It will be the fastest baptism I have ever been a part of, or even heard in this mission. From the first time we taught him until his baptism is 11 days.
We taught him for the first time this past Tuesday. The Spirit was so strong in the lesson, and we was loving everything we were saying! A few days after the lesson he told us that when we told him the "First Vision", he felt The Spirit stronger than he has ever felt it in his life. He knew that what he felt was The Spirit, and that Joseph Smith a true prophet of God.
I could tell that he was ready for baptism, by all the answers he was giving throughout the lesson. So at the end I said, "Malik, when do you want to be baptized?" ,"As soon as possible" ,"Okay, November 22", "Okay".
hahahaha it was so awesome!
This week we taught Malik: The Restoration, The Plan Of Salvation, The Gospel of Jesus Christ, The Law of Chastity, Word Of Wisdom, Law of Tithing, and the 10 commandments.
I have never met someone so prepared to receive the gospel before. He is so full of faith, and is an inspiration to the entire ward.After we taught him the Plan Of Salvation (which was so powerful!!), Elder Nichols and I were back at our apartment planning for the next day when he sent us a text... I'll send you the picture I took of the text.
Malik At Church:
Yesterday was Malik's third time at Church. The first two times he pretty much just wore whatever, he didn't really have any "church clothes". However, he walked into Church yesterday in this nice black suit and purple tie. He was looking like a modern day Johnny Cash (except that Malik is black). It was so awesome to see him at Church, in a nice suit and how excited and comfortable he looked!
In the Sunday School class, the teacher called on him and asked him essentially, "how do you feel now that you are getting baptized?"
"In my life, I have been excited for a lot of things. When you are a child, you get excited so easily and there have been many things in my life that have made me feel excited. but.... I have never been more excited for anything, than how excited I am to get baptized"
Malik is just such a boss. I love how much faith he has! He is a miracle.
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I love y'all!!
p.s. the other picture of of a Texas-sized doughnut we ate
p.s. the other picture of of a Texas-sized doughnut we ate
Here is a lunch I made this week:
Posted by Amanda Shaw at 10:17 AM
Monday, November 10, 2014
Mission Leaders Council: Is a meeting that happens every month for all Zone Leaders in the mission, at a chapel in San Antonio. I've been going to it for a few months now, and before it was just a few minutes from our apartment. However, Round Rock is the very top of the mission. The drive is much, much further now. This past Thursday, we had to wake up at 5 am, to shower and get ready and drive to San Antonio. It was a long drive haha. M.L.C. is always so awesome though, we just learn from our Mission President all day, as he just fills us with knowledge and doctrine of the gospel. The previous MLC a member of the Seventy was with us.
After M.L.C. was over we began our long journey back home. We stopped in downtown Austin at a little Mexican restaurant called "Super Burrito". It reminded me of Rancherito's only a lot dirtier and greaser. So, obviously, I loved it! (even though I was feeling pretty sick the next day)
We didn't get home until around 8 pm, it was such a long day! I feel asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow that night
Sabbath Day: Because we cover two wards, we are in Church every Sunday from 8 am- 5 pm. The first Sunday was really rough haha I was not used to that long of Church, but I think I am already getting used to it, and love it! There are a lot of really great people in the wards here.
The Chisholm Trail ward (Young Single Ward) is considerably smaller than the adult ward. For example, this Sunday there were not enough speakers to take up the full hour. So, they just called me up to take up the last 15 minutes of Sacrament Meeting hahaha. It was really fun though, I actually love speaking now. I just talked about receiving answers and then following through with our answer. It was good.
We have an investigator in the Young Single Adult ward named 'Malik', who has come to Church twice now. He is just an absolute perfect investigator, he loves everything and want more! In Priesthood class he stood up to introduce himself and said "My name in Malik, and I will be converting here very shorty", and then sat down hahaha! SO COOL!!
The reason it is so amazing, is that it's an answer to prayers. Elder Nichols is getting towards the end of his mission, he has less than 2 months left. The area that we are in now, has been very slow for a while now. They haven't had a convert baptism in a very long time. I promised Elder Nichols that we would get him at least one more baptism before her goes home. WE have been praying really hard, and working just as hard for that miracle. The next thing we know, Malik is brought to Church by one of his friends. It seems as is he will be baptized before November is over!!
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Thank ya'll for all the love and support. You really do have an incredible on me. Please keep Elder Nichols and I in your prayers, also Malik.
Until next week
Monday, November 3, 2014
This week was really crazy. I spent the first few days packing and saying goodbye to all of the amazing people that I had to go know in the Bulverde ward. It's a shame that I was only there for 2 transfers. I really did love it there, and there are so many amazing people. I took many pictures, i'll send you the one of me and Jose Gomez. He is one of the investigators that we were teaching. He is such an incredibly humble, kind man! He is a Mexican cowboy, and so I borrowed one of his 13 cowboy hats to take the picture haha.
This will be just one example of the amazing people I have met on my mission, and the affect they are having and will have on me.
Brother Bermea only got baptized a little less than a year ago, and he is already about to get the Melchizedek Priesthood. He is a humble man, who doesn't have a steady job. He works here and there whenever he can find work. He always offers to feed us, and they had us over for dinner at the time. They live in a very humble double-wide trailer.
We went over there on my very last night in Bulverde to say goodbye and have one last lesson with him. While we were there talking, the topic came up on what makes a good father and he went on the explain...
"When a woman has a child, that is when she becomes a mother. But that's not when the man becomes a father. The man becomes a father when we wakes up in the middle of the night and sees his wife stumbling through the dark on her way to their crying child and he gets up, tells her to go lie down, and takes care of the baby. That's when he becomes a father"
A father is much more than just someone who has children, it's a man who would, and does, do everything for them.
I'm grateful to have such a father in my life.
I got transferred on the day before Halloween, up to Round Rock, Texas (to the best of my knowledge there isn't a town here titled "leaf" BUT there are a bunch of leaves on the ground...)
***2410 Great Oaks Drive #702, Round Rock, Texas, 78681*****
That is my new address. I would love to get some letters this week :)
My new companion is Elder Nichols. Man, he is a BEAST. He is such an incredible missionary! He only has about 2 months left on his mission, and you can tell he is very experienced. He is a bigger guy, with a large build, but he is such a soft-hearted person. He loves everyone, and sincerely wants to help them all.
Elder Nichols is a phenomenal missionary, and I am so excited to serve along side him and learn from him!
In this new area, we cover two separate wards. One is the family ward, "Walsh Ranch" and we also cover the YSA ward "Chisholm Trail". For the YSA ward, our boundaries are two full stakes, so when we visit some of them we have to drive pretty far.
So far, I love working with the younger people who are closer to my age. I feel it is easier to be real and genuine with them, and it's easier to connect with them.
Unfortunately, this week we have a lot we have to do and I can't write much more in the E-mail.
I love you all though, so much!
Please continue to pray for me as I start this new area with my new companion, your prayers mean more than you think.
Posted by Amanda Shaw at 11:07 AM