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Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Year!!!!

I'm just gonna get right into it cause we had some awesome exchanges I want to tell you about!

So on Tuesday we went on an exchange with the Elders that are serving in our ward.  One of them is being trained still so we get the honor of going on an exchange on his 3rd and 9th week to see his progress and make sure he is being trained well.  I was the one who got to go with Elder Earnshaw (the new missionary).  We started the day off by trying to contact some potentials and referrals... it was going really slow and to top that it was REALLY cold.  We knocked on sooo many doors and apparently no one wanted to let any cold into their house cause no one was answering.  (We heard plenty of peephole push up against the door to look out the people) Hehe.  Anyways... we stayed diligent and worked hard.  We didn't see any success from it... but I believe it's because He was saving those blessings for later that night!  That night we went to dinner at a less actives house who has recently been returning back to church.  Her name is G***... she works at a restaurant... Hence, she makes some DANG good food. However, that wasn't the blessing I was talking about haha.  We had an awesome lesson that got her thinking and she commited to learn more about the restoration in her own personal study.  The blessings hit all at once in a lesson we had with J** and R** C**.  I don't know what we did to invite the spirit as strongly as we did... but it was one of the most powerful lessons I have ever been in.  My favorite part about it too is.... we were only talking about the basic principles!  Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End.  The Spirit was pumping through everyone.  The cool thing about the Spirit is when you point out that He is present they recognize that what they are feeling is God's love.  Practically brings me to tears everytime I feel the Spirit that strong because I can FEEL how much Love Heavenly Father has for me.  I can promise you that any person in that room at the time would have been converted just from the overwhelming feeling of love.  After that lesson Elder Earnshaw just looked at me and said "WOW... do you and Elder Hyde have lessons like that all the time?!?!"  haha. Maybe not all the time... but we are sure trying to!!!

The next exchange was on Friday with one of the District Leaders in our zone.  His area hasn't found a new investigator in quite some time so we wanted to help show him that there are definitely people out there prepared and waiting for us to find and teach them.  I went with Elder Craig (the district leader).  We ended up going by a referral that we have stopped by over 6 times and we just couldn't seem to catch them.  Well, we parked the car and as we were approaching the apartment she was just getting home from somewhere! Woot... Miracle in and of itself.  She looked pretty emotional and stressed.  We introduced ourselves and asked her what was going on.  She explained to us that her ex husband broke into her last apartment, stole money... then ended up breaking into her mailbox... stole some money that was in there... and then right before she had gotten home she was at the bank... left her purse there... went back and it was gone.  She had just finished talking to her apartment manager and he told her that she HAD to pay the 60 dollars left on her bill or she would get thrown out.  Because of all the craziness that had happened all of her money was gone and she had no way to pay for it.  I SOOOO badly wanted to just go to an ATM and get 60 bucks to give to her.  She seemed so hopeless.  Instead, we followed the spirit and began to bear testimony about the love Heavenly Father has for her. No matter what we are going through God is aware and won't leave us empty handed or comfortless.  I shared a scripture from the Book of Mormon with her.  We were going to leave and she asked if she could have the bible I read the scripture from... well, Elder Craig rather than just giving her one followed the Spirit and explained what it is.  We ended up teaching her for about half an hour.  We set her with a baptismal date and when we left she was so happy! 100% change in countenance. After that we ended up having some great lessons with some recent converts and found some more investigators through them!  God likes to prove all things are possible and He tends to do it on exchanges:)

Also, another sweet experience.  We had 30 minutes left before the end of the night on Wednesday and we could not figure out where God needed us.  I said a prayer in my heart and in big bold letters I saw FLOREZ.  They are a family we dropped 4 months ago.  We went by had a pretty good lesson and they committed to come to church.  As we were leaving the 17 year old daughter wanted to walk us out... my first thought was "yikes, she's gonna try and kiss one of us!" instead... the second we stepped outside she started crying.  She said she has been praying that God would reach out for her and show her what she needed to do.... and we showed up.  Her boyfriend was arrested a couple days before and she was worried for him.  She said she was praying that he would get out and if it happened she would do whatever it takes to follow God.  Well, he got out yesterday... so She best be getting baptized in a bit;) haha but it was just really cool to feel so inspired to be in a certain place at that exact time.  I love being the tool God uses to answer a prayer:)

Lastly, We had a lesson with T***, B***, J*** and R*** all at J***'s house last night.  It was awesome to have 3 of my recent converts and one soon to be all in one room.  We asked them about some of the hardships they've had as a recent convert.  We had another powerful lesson similar to the one we had on exchange on Tuesday.  

It is safe to say that I have felt the Spirit quite a bit this week and quite a few different ways.  I love my Mission!

Elder Hyde is awesome... the end.

Love,
Elder Crandall the Vandal

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