It’s been a busy week!
Tuesday, we had our zone conference and it was good! We got to watch a missionary broadcast, really good! The zone conference was in Hammond so we swung through Ponchatoula to drop by some people’s houses. It was great to see Kim and Kelly Newsome and I realized how many people in this zone I don’t know. There are a lot of new missionaries!
Wednesday, was a long day! We biked to the library to update a referral. When we got out my bike tire was flat so we pump it up. When we got home, it was almost flat again. We spent the rest of the day walking because the nearest place to get a new inner tube was a bit far. We walked 10ish miles, started at 1:20 and got to the appointment we had at 6 at Bo’s house! He’s a ward missionary and is doing a amazing job at it!! He had a friend over and we taught her the restoration! It was really really awesome! She’s had a really hard life and has over come a ton of hardships. She told us that she had lost all hope in church and didn’t care to go to any. She liked what we taught and said that she felt like she had been missing something. By the end of the lesson, she told us that she hasn’t felt like this in a long long time! On the way to Bo’s house we stopped and tried to see a few people along the way but out of them all only 1 was home. Lots of walking. The next day both Elder Condie and I had some stinken sore feet for the next 2 days. Needless to say, having a bike instead of walking is a huge blessing! That morning a less-active called us and told us that he had been in a car accident, broke his back and separated the cartilage from some of his ribs. Please pray for the Nolan family!
Thursday, we walked…. that night a Brother Cancienne took us out to go see some less-actives and we went by Wal-mart to get his car battery checked and me a new inner tube for my bike! I found out that he used to be the bishop in Hammond ward so we both had a great time talking about Hammond/Ponchatoula 🙂 It was great!
Friday, I found out that I bought the wrong size of inner tube for my bike. We were on foot again till about 2:30 when brother O’leary came and took us to get the right size at Wal-mart. haha…. Then we went and did some tracting. It was okay, not too many people opened up. We got permission to sleep over at the Mandaville elders apartment because there was a Mardi Gras parade literally right out side our apartment Saturday Morning and they close off all the roads…. literally all of the roads near our apartment so there was no way we could get out….
Saturday, we woke up at 4:45 am to get ready and leave by 6:30 to get to the mission conference. It was amazing! We had Elder Zwick, Elder Blooth and also the Apostle Elder Rasband there! It was really really good! Elder Rasband wanted to shake all the missionaries hands! It was great! That man knows how to love, he show’s it! He talked a ton about the importance of a name and gave us a lot of apostolic promises! He asked us if we had any questions! Elder Condie asked a question and opened it up for a 20 min discussion! It was about keys, who had them and how mission calls work and how we get called to our areas and with our companions! It was amazing! Elder Rasband promised us that if we did not ask for referrals but ask for names that we will find people to teach and that we will be a huge blessing to the members and to the area.
I also got to see my closest friend in the mission 😀 It’s amazing how God puts people in your path so that you both can bless each other! Helped me through a lot of hard times! Sadly, that was probably the last time I’ll see that friend in the mission That missionary has done more for me in 9 months then any other missionary I have met! Never take for granted those god puts in your path! You don’t know what you have till it’s gone!
Saturday night, we went to a Mardi Gras parade! It was interesting…. it was a family friendly Mardi Gras parade! Now remember everyone, this is Louisiana! Family friendly just means safe and there will be lots of family’s there, along with a ton of beer. You could literally smell it across the street! We had a lady named Japonica come up to us and ask if we are going to save someone tonight. We told her yup we will if the Lord helps us find that person! Needless to say she was tipsy….. really really tipsy…. I dont know how she was still walking, she was so drunk. One float was so bad 2 of the guys on it nearly fell off. I thought I would have to go and catch the guy. As missionaries we try to get our faces out there and pray that those who are looking, will recognize us. It went well! We had a ton of people thank us for what we do! Sadly, there are those that aren’t too fond of us. At Mardi Gras, the beads everyone throw out come in 5 pound bags and that float that had the guys nearly fall off, didn’t like us 4 Mormon missionaries. Those 5 pound bags of beads can be chucked pretty hard but luckily they were drunk enough that they couldn’t aim. haha… my companion and I only got hit once! They might be drunk but they can chuck those bags nice and hard. I got one right in the chest, nearly knocked me off my feet! I caught it though 🙂 We ended up with about 20ish pounds of beads that we caught! Not counting the bags that got lobbed at us, haha! By the time we left, there was a very grateful person! We protected his car from getting wacked and dented by the beads! haha! It was amazing how many people knew who we were and were really nice to us! It was really just 1 of the floats that wasn’t nice.
Sunday was great! We had ward conference and the stake president asked all the missionaries to come up and talk about the meeting with Elder Rasband! It was a bit of a surprise but it went well! Only the sisters and my companion got to talk about it because the stake president ran out of time. The last 15 mins of church I got permission to facetime an investigator I tracted into and taught in Eunice because he was getting baptized! Gene Young was literally the only person I met in the 4 months I was there that even cared about meeting with us or was willing to change! My companions and I tracted that whole town alot and he was literally the only one who was willing to talk to us! Every other investigator either got carted off to jail, dropped us or avoided us when we came by! It really taught me how much 1 soul is worth to God! God had that area open for 6 months with a set of elders serving there! 4 of which I was there and he is the only one who ever went anywhere! Everyone else was like smoke… there then gone. It was amazing to see how much happier and at peace he looked! God will do anything to save 1 soul! It was great to see a lot of people from the Opalousas ward! They are like family!! They know how to show love and treat everyone like family! It’s awesome and we had a potluck after church!
Something that I learned this week is that there are blessings behind everything God asks you to do! It’s not a matter of you have to do this because you have to. You do it because you want to, because you need the blessings that come from following the Lords called servants and because you love the Lord! God asks us to be obedient not to make us have a hard time or to make us learn. He gives us commandments so that He can bless us! Something Elder Rasband helped me under stand is that God doesn’t want us to do everything all at once. We would utterly fail if we tried to do everything all at once! Start with some thing small! Start with something you struggle with! As a representative of Jesus Christ and in His name, I promise all of you, if you find 1 thing every day you struggle with and you fix it, you do your best and ask Heavenly Father for help. You will have the Spirit with you more strongly and you will see the blessings that come from obeying the commandments.
Glad Zacharys wisdom teeth extraction went well. How loopy did he get? I’m glad Dad got a blessing for his surgery. Can y’all pray for Matthew, Lexis, Bo, Nick and Gene? Can y’all send me some more allergy meds? I ran out… My mission companion is a great man! Changed a ton on his mission from the time I met him. I think he was at 7 1/2 months when we met. The wards great! I’ve been reading in reading in D&C 84! It’s been good and I’ve been studying the Old Testament manual. I knew a missionary that liked to study everything, both things from the church doctrine and things not from the church doctrine. He’s having a really hard time now by listening to those who really don’t know what they are talking about but think they do. God knows best, pray. Its true what you let in is what you will become!
The weather here has been awesome, in the 60’s and 70’s and so nice!
Hope y’all have a great week!
Elder Micah A. Ralph