From ushering in a new mission president to meeting a voodoo evil spirit summoner, I'd have to say this was a pretty crazy week!!
To make a long story short about the voodoo man it all started from hitting doors. This guy answered and started talking all about his worshiping of devils and then just started lighting on fire all sorts of demonic objects. It was one of the most nerve wracking experiences for me up here in Baton Rouge for sure! I thought I left all of that down in New Orleans haha. Definitely not in Kansas anymore, or at LSU for that matter hahaha. Anyways, bless my heart. It was pretty freaking and I "accidentally" knocked one of them out of his hands and he got super mad haha. Luckily, we got out of there quickly and safely. You gotta love Louisiana, you just never know what you're going to get! We didn't stop there though, we ended up finding and talking to this really cool guy about the B.o.M in relation to medical school books :) Just imagine that!!
Exchange: Last week I got to go on an exchange at LSU with my good buddy and previous companion Elder Teare. We had such a blast, and it was just like old times. Such a good man. We got to take advantage of all of the best aspects of the work over in that area. These include, but are not limited to: Going to Free Speech Alley and talked to the 5 students that walked past (being that it is summer and not very hopping haha bless these elder's hearts), went to Institute class with some investigators, and got cussed out by the apartment managers while knocking doors at an apartment complex haha. All the best memories just flooded right back :) Good times, good times.
Friday was the beginning of a few busy, crazy days! We had our final interviews with President Hansen and he gave me some incredible advice for the rest of my mission and life. He is such a great man, and I have learned so much from him not only about missionary work, but about life. We had to drop them off at the New Orleans airport on Saturday and meet up with our new mission president Pres. and Sister Varner later in the day. They are so awesome though! They are going to take this mission to the next level it will be great! President Varner didn't go on a mission when he was younger, but was an incredible football player at BYU. He was a defensive end with coach Edwards and apparently destroyed! We met them at Raising Cane's fried chicken, and so as you can see they are definitely going to do well in the south :) We went out tracting with him and had a ton of success! He was so excited it! More about them next week, but we then traveled with them all of the different zones and had conferences so they could meet all of the missionaries. We had the opportunity to go and give a little training as well. We shared the talk given by Elder Holland called "Missionary speech of all time" about a younger brother going on a mission and finds his older brother. Please read it! It is amazing. It was a really great week!
Miracle of the week:
We met with our investigator Sheryl who came to church last Sunday and loved it! She told us more of the story tonight that she felt the spirit whisper to her "refuge" when she drove up the church building. Apparently that is a very spiritual word for her that goes way back to when she was inviting all kids in the neighborhood to "hear the word." We had an amazing restoration lesson with her. It was so crazy because Elder Arellano and I both felt like we needed to commit her to baptism, but instead we kept committing her to pray. The spirit totally wacked us upside the head when we asked her to give the closing prayer and she thanked Heavenly Father for sending us and that she knew our message was true and that this was the true church of Jesus Christ restored on the Earth. It was stunning. We committed her to baptism right then and there for July 15th as a goal! "I am just so eager to go to the temple," she told us afterward. It was so cool!
2 days later we went back with members of the ward, the Hilton family. They are both converts and are incredible. Brother Hilton is probably the funniest guy in the ward. He told Sheryl the story of how he was baptized after 5 days of meeting the missionaries back in the 70's. So crazy! He shared that Satan was throwing every possible thing in his path that week and told Sheryl that it will happen to her as well, but she just can't give in. It was powerful!
Well, I love y'all so much! I know it, and you know it! Thank you so much for your prayers and fasting in my behalf. It is truly felt even if the Lord has a different plan sometimes. It has been amazing just working my hardest and not always seeing success right away, because I know Heavenly Father is teaching me something like he always is in our lives.
And Happy Independence Day!!! the 4th of July is such a special day, how could I forget! Without the freedom of this country, we wouldn't be able to share the gospel! An incredible gift.