December 1, 2014
So Tuesday we went to a big interfaith Thanksgiving celebration at the Methodist church. It was really cool their hymn books are like 800 pages! We sang some hymns that are also in our own hymn book. They had choirs sing, our Primary sang, and they had lots of readings from different faiths. They had Buddhist, Islamic, Confucius, Taoism, Judaism, Christian, and a bunch of others that I can't remember all gathered there. There were lots of LDS people there, and 2 other sets of sister missionaries that we saw. We also met the mayor of Lompoc there, he is around 6"10, (Super tall), he was really nice he asked Elder Robinson and I where we were from and talked with us for a little bit. On exchanges with Elder Wickern, we ran into Tamra outside her house. She told us how after we left last week, she had a personal experience where she discovered that there is a God! That is the most positive thing I have heard her say. We talked a bit about how God talks to people in their own understanding and read from the Book Of Mormon. We had Thanksgiving with Bishop and his family. He wanted us to play in the turkey bowl, but President said we shouldn't so we ate a lot instead. We took Brother Issacson to Ella's for a lesson, but she had to reschedule. So we walked over to Juan and Shiloh's which is close by. We had a very focused lesson on what they desire and how they can get there. They know a lot of doctrine and the steps of the gospel, they say that they are ready for baptism and Shiloh told us that she wants to be baptized soon! Juan wants some time to prepare, but we set Shiloh with a date for baptism on the 20th of December!
Elder Robinson and I are working effectively and in unity. He knows his way around the area like the back of his hand now, and we are working a lot with members. He has had older brothers go on missions and one of them went to the Hong Kong, China mission!
I know that through our Savior, we can develop Christ like attributes such as Charity. That we can learn to love our fellow men around us and serve them as Christ did. I know that true happiness is found through living the gospel, keeping covenants and spending valuable time with our friends and families.
We were able to help Robin move out everything from her house and put it in storage. That was a big project!! We also helped the Julca's (recent convert family), tear out a few bushes from their front yard. Our neighbor was moving and he knocked on our door during lunch and asked us to give him a hand. So we helped him move some big mattresses and box springs. We found out that he is a member from New Zealand, that he served his mission is Australia. He was very nice and we got to know him better right as he was getting ready to move.
Sincerely Elder Stout
December 8, 2014
We met a guy on the street, named Frazier, who remembers Elders coming to his home when he was a boy in London. He asked for a Book Of Mormon and wants to learn all about it! We exchanged numbers and also gave him a Restoration pamphlet. We contacted a referral from the sisters, his name is Balthazar! We made plans to meet with him next week. We saw Naomi, and she is a friend of Shiloh's. She told us that Shiloh is excited for baptism, and that she's prodding her to go to church with her! It's awesome to see people get excited about the gospel, they spread it around like wild fire, and naturally become great missionaries! William Topete is an 8 yr old that is about to turn 9. We have been working with him for a long time and he is now getting baptized this upcoming Saturday! We have challenged him to read the children's Book Of Mormon before the end of the year and he has so far been doing great. We have been giving members that we eat dinner with, "He is the Gift", pass along cards and challenged them to share it with someone. It's a great video the church has put out about the true focus of Christmas.
Elder Robinson is doing great work connecting with everyone and helping them come unto Christ. We are getting along great and are keeping busy with lots of work to do here.
I love this time of year when people are prepared with softened hearts to hear and apply the gospel in their lives. I know that Jesus Christ, is the Son of God and that He is our Heavenly Father's gift to us. It is through Him that men are saved, and if we learn about and embrace Him more, we will notice the many things that have been given us. We will also know true happiness and enjoy our lives abundantly more.
The service we have been able to do has been a great reminder of what I am here to do. It is to love others and support them in doing good. This is an effective way to show people that we do love them individually and that we desire their happiness.