This week was a crazy one. We were so blessed to be able to go to the Nauvoo Temple and Carthage. It really Built our testimonies and got us more pumped to do missionary work. We found out later that Carthage was not apart of the approved locations for missionaries soo.......now we know. haha I felt really blessed to see the City of Joseph, Nauvoo the Beautiful. The Whole Place has a spirit to it that cant me compared to. It just took my Breath away.
We had an outstanding week. One of the best that this area has seen in a long time. It was Great to be able to see some miracles. The biggest one that stands out to me was Saturday. We had an appointment with a new investigator and had planned a recent convert to come out with us and we get there and no one was home, So we asked our recent convert If he would like a Lesson, he was kind of excited because he hasn't a lesson in a while. So we taught him about missions and about struggles that missionaries have on missions and what he should expect and how he should prepare for a mission. He really appreciated it, He is going to be leaving to Philadelphia mission in February and he is so pumped to GO. He asked us what we had next on the schedule and we told him he
had tracting next so we invited him to come tracting with us. He told us he has never been tracting before and really wanted to Go. So we tracted around where are appointment earlier. We actually found some pretty sweet potential investigators! One of them had already been to temple square and she was in Love with the Christus statue! He bore powerful testimony of how much the Gospel and blessed his Life and that It could bless hers too. We got done with Tracting and went back
to the apartments that our first appointment was at and our
investigator was home we were able to come in and talk to him about the Plan of Salvation and he just got it all, it was really cool because we were going to watch this video about the plan of salvation when his up stairs neighbor, who is the girlfriend of another
investigator came in and watch the whole video. It was so Cool the
Spirit was so strong. After that lesson we where on our way home to
Have dinner and Elder Scrogham had an impression that we needed to try
to contact a referral a member gave us that we were never able to
catch. Lo and behold, she was home. Were able to teach here on her
door step and asked here what she wanted to in life. she said 2
things, one how could she get a relationship with God and 2 why did
God take her Husband. It was great that Elder Scrogham and I were able
to teach her, because lately Just knowing God is real is something,
Elder Scrogham and I have been teaching that a lot. She was very
comforted from the things we were able to share with her.
I know Heavenly father works with our life so closely so we can do His
will. I Love doing the Father work his will. I makes me feel so much
better than anything Else I could do.
Sunday, November 9, 2014
Friday, October 24, 2014
Well I want to apologize to everyone, its been a pretty great couple of Weeks. No need to worry about me I've been doing Just fine. Better than Fine, I've been living the dream. I had a pretty good send me off from Rochelle. We were able to go to sister schuler's home and teach her sons the restoration and that went really well. We took some pictures and Barb thanked Elder Earl and I for teaching her, she just about broke down crying as she thanked us for being here, that if it wasn't for us she wouldn't be baptized right now. That there was a moment that made my mission. Sunday night we had President Fenn come to Rochelle for a Fireside and give a presentation on the Book of Mormon. It went really well. Some families from Dekalb came and we had a lot of recent converts there. Sister schuler our most recent convert bore her testimony and it is one of the sweetest testimonies I have ever heard. I had to follow her up and sing a solo, which I believe is the first solo I have ever sang, high on the mountain top. President then began to speak thanked the people who bore testimony and gave me one of the greatest compliments a missionary and get from him which is, "you didn't bring shame on the mission."
I am proud to Announce my Son Elder Earl is Training. Elder Engler is also Training for his last transfer on his mission. So I now have a brother and also a grandson. As weird as mission families are I sure do Enjoy them. Transfer day was a pretty odd one. Elder Scrogham didn't come up to Naperville to meet me so I was without a companion for 8 hours. It was weird not having a companion for so long but I got to Morton safely. Im really excited to serve Here in Morton. The Ward here is Great, all we really are trying to do is find people to teach. These last couple of weeks we lost all of our investigators, all except one. Who is a members son and can't get baptized because his dad wont let him. If you could do some praying for us. Pray that we can find some new investigators. We have though had some of the best teaching Lessons that I have ever had on my mission.
Monday, October 13, 2014
Monday, October 6, 2014
I've found out that by next week I'll have 8 Months left on my mission. I felt like the MTC was only months ago but weeks are going way too fast. Transfers are just a dash and all my days blur into one memory. It's so crazy what the mission does to your sense of time. But you can't resist it because worrying about time is time wasted on a mission. You have to press forward, kind of like a full court press in basket ball, your continually active in achieving your Goals. Time is such a precious thing on a mission and I imagine in life in general even though time is only measured to man. One of the biggest time wasters for me on my mission was studying unnecessary doctrine, the things of the kingdom and the mysteries of God. It gets real hard when you have and iPad and the Gospel library app that even though it not a lot you can still dive deep into doctrine. Try to avoid studying those type of things like a plague if you are in this season of life or preparing for this season of life, that is serving a mission. It's a selfish endeavor that will not allow you to work and teach with all diligence. You have the rest of your life to study those things so Study for your investigators, read preach my gospel and the Book of Mormon, make it a daily activity. You will find the Greatest treasure of knowledge by doing this, which is the spirit. Your most important thing to teach an investigator is how to feel, recognize and obtain the spirit. You do this best by teaching the restoration and the Book of Mormon. Implement the doctrine of Christ in all lessons and teach about the blessings of the temple in as many lessons as possible. The most important thing to teach by the spirit is to be exactly obedient. You with find the windows of heaven endow you with the spirit at you are more obedient and an increased faith will be given. I loved conference this year. One of the best years I've watched. Really powerful. Elder Ballard's talk really made a mark on me. It was a answer to one of my prayers that I had for conference. The other talks I really like were elders Lynn G Robbins "fear no man", Jorge klebingate "take responsibility face your weaknesses"' Henry B Eyring " a love for a prophet or a leader will give you the power necessary to receive confirming Revelations." Plus his story about him and his mom reminded me of me and my mom And to not for get President Monson's "walk the path AS the he walked, the path of obedience, the path of freedom, not bondage but eternal life." I made picture notes for conference instead of trying to write out their talks. Check it out:)
Good thing I have the skills to fix them!
This week went by so fast I was blown away. I know the rest of my mission is going to be like that, so I wont resist it and I'll get to work and I'll think about that kind of stuff later.
It has been such a blessing this week being able to work by inspired weekly planning. Elder Earl and I applied what our zone leaders taught us about weekly planning at zone meeting. We had several instances where unplanned opportunities came to us just because we were at the right place at the right time and we acted quickly to promptings of the spirit. The first instance was where we had some tracting planned and as were walking through a parking lot for an apartment. We saw a lady with a lot of Groceries so we asked if we could help, she said "why yes, that would be a blessing." We carried up her groceries and ask if we could share a brief message with her. She thought for a minute and accepted. We then showed her the video, " the church from a glance" which I have found to be a great finding tool. It goes over a lot of the "Fruits" of the church and including the restoration. She Was crying throughout the video. She found it such a blessing that we came at the time we did. She has been depressed for years. Other churches haven't been cutting it for her. She loved how family oriented the church is and wanted to learn more. We asked her to read and pray about the Book of Mormon, she said she would. She expressed that we did not meet her by chance, that it had been God sent for us to be here. We have a return appointment this week.
Leaving from there we were feeling the spirit so strong and as we were not even an apartment down a young women stopped us and said if we're were knocking doors don't knock on her's because she didn't want her baby sister opening it. We asked if we could then come back and share a message with her. She asked if tomorrow evening would work. We check and it was. We went to the appointment with our branch president and he knew the lady's father/ family. Its nice when we can take our branch president out because he is the Locksmith in Town and knows everyone.
Another small miracle we had was that we were driving to one of our investigator's home and decided to call him to make sure it would be okay for us to come by because he is normally in a ton of pain and can't meet. We called him and he was telling us that we couldn't come by but it was a miracle we called when we did because he was in so much pain only minutes before we called him it was so bad he couldn't answer the Phone and that he was a lot better now. We got to talk with him about the gospel and he was so thankful that we called him and lifted his spirit. We invited him to read 2 Nephi 2 because it teaches us two great principles, why do good people go through bad things and why is it necessary for bad things in the world. He was so excited to read it and talk to us and wants to talk to us soon.
With that appointment canceling we travel to our back up plan. We walk down a dusty street in the middle of a trailer park to our back up plan when this man asked us why were we there. We started to introduce ourselves but he had to leave. But, a women came up behind him saying she would talk to us. We told her who we were and she started to open up to us. She expressed how she had been through hell and back. She had been homeless for a few years and lost her 4 kids and now is being evicted from her home the following day. She was thinking that religion is the thing that is missing from her life. We asked if she needed help moving and she told us they were in desperate need of help. She was talking with her boyfriend, who we only moments talked to earlier that they had no Idea how they were going to get it all done. We told them that not only will he help but that we will get missionaries on the other side to help unpack. They were shocked that we were to willing to Help. We then asked if there was anything else we could help them with. They told us that they were in desperate need of boxes and we told them to not worry about it, we would fine some for them and that we would see them tomorrow morning with the Boxes. We called up our branch president and said he had some boxes at his Locksmith Shop so we hurried and Grabbed them. The move went smoothly we helped them get all packed up in about 45 minutes and got them the contact information for the Arlington 1 Elders which area they were moving into and also gave the Elders a heads up on them.
We also had a blessing of another back up when we followed on with kid we tracted into a few weeks before. We came in and watched the video again "the Church from a glance" and taught him about the importance of the Book of Mormon. We asked him if he were to know if this was true and that this is Christ church would you be baptized. He said he would, which was one of the most sincere and sweetest "yeses" I have ever heard.
The last and maybe the Biggest miracle and maybe it doesn't seem to be a big miracle is our investigator Eric that we have been teaching him 2 times a week for the last 2 weeks finally prayed for the first time out loud in his life. We have been asking him to pray every time we come by and he did it! we also Gave him the Book of Mormon on audio because he can't read and he was pretty excited to listen to it!
I know without a doubt that the work is progressing and hastening. I see peoples lives change every day and I get so happy every time I get to see someone life get blessed! I have on my spare time been reading up on the Prophets gaining a testimony on each one. I have came to LOVE Heber J. Grant and a quote I found the other day can sum up my letter pretty well.“I know of nothing that brings greater joy to the human heart than laboring at home or abroad for the salvation of the souls of men. I know of nothing which gives us a greater love of all that is good, than teaching this Gospel of Jesus Christ."
Love Elder Herdt
Monday, September 22, 2014
This may have been the fastest week on my mission that I have ever experienced. We started off with a p-day and a Family home evening with our recent convert Salvador, he is the best guy ever. He treats us like his sons. He takes time to teach us skills and learn new things. We only had 2 full days of proselyting this week because every other day we had a meeting or something so our first full day was on Tuesday and we had the chance to visit Barb our recent convert. Barb wasn't able to make it to church the Sunday before. Everyone cared about her so much, which was really nice, but they were worrying too much. We knew Barb was solid and that somethings must of come up so we didn't feel the need to pressure her. She has been to church since the Branch has opened more than some members of the Branch presidency. As we taught her the plan of salvation she just spilled the beans why she wasn't at church. She must have felt really bad because she told us that she was having some family issues and she was back up on a lot of things. She said she prayed about it and the Holy Spirit told her what she needed to do. Wednesday we had a Zone Conference that was Just Amazing. I really do love meetings. I had a companion once who would say that meeting were one of the most pointless things ever done in a mission. I would strongly disagree. I really need meetings and this one was one I really needed. The meeting had a reoccurring theme of personal evaluation. The first thing and most important thing to evaluate is your thoughts. Spencer W. Kimble said, "How can a person not become what they're thinking? " President David O. Mckay stated once that "the hardest battles of life are fought within the chambers of the soul" (Improvement Era, Feb. 1970, P. 84). Out of all the things I have learned on my mission one of the most important things I have learned is Controlling my thoughts. I didn't know controlling your thoughts was a thing for my mission. Now I realize how critically important it is. Without mental focus you can not over come the natural man. 3 other things that I learned in this zone conference is the importance of these 3 things, attitude, desire and faith. On a mission you see a lot on missionaries laking one of these 3 major things sometimes all of them and other times just one. I have even missed having those sometimes. It is near impossible for anyone to help someone fully make the covenant of baptism without these things. An endowment of Faith comes from obedience. Persistence becomes vain and repetitious without the right kind of Attitude and Desire to share the gospel comes from personal conversion, best stemmed from a testimony of the Book of Mormon. I was thinking about that last one about the Book of Mormon a lot. You can quote me when I say that "the Book of Mormon is the level for aligning our will with Gods will." With having iPads on our mission we have the Gospel Library app, which has oodles on information and doctrine. I thought about what I have gained from all of the things that I have learned by having that app and this Quote hit me. They are the words of a man named T. S. Elliott, who asked "Where is the Wisdom we have lost in Knowledge, where is the Knowledge that we have lost in Information?" I have realized that on my mission I have gained a lot of knowledge from information but not a lot wisdom need to teach the gospel from that knowledge. I then realized that I needed to Go back to the basics being, Reading the Book of Mormon and Preach My Gospel. I want to as soon as Im finished with my prayers in the morning to read a Chapter of the Book of Mormon to start my day right. I would Invite you do try to do the same and see how it works. I know that as I do this I will be expressing to God what matters first to me. Thursday was pretty uneventful due to weekly planning but Friday we had to drive an hour and a half to Naperville for MISSION CONFERENCE. What a great conference. Like I said I love meeting and I love hearing President Fenn give discourses. I hope President Fenn becomes an Apostle some day so I can hear him at least twice a year for general conference, Which is coming up too!!!! woot woot! General conference is Like Christmas for missionaries. Back to mission conference though. The conference was based on the "coming forth of the book of mormon". Sister Fenn taught the importance of the date of September 22 1823, 191 years ago to this day. On this day Joseph smith saw the Angel Moroni. which this day is also very special to the Jewish Faith because of the holiday The Feast of Trumpets, which signifies the -gather Israel -renewing the covenants given to their fathers -start the millennium -and the great harvest. How profound because the Book of Mormon is fulling those prophecies RIGHT NOW!!! It is also jewish Traditions that for 3 weeks after September 22 the veil is at its thinnest. After the President Fenn arose and Gave us a 2 hour lecture on the history of the Coming forth of the Book of Mormon, starting with the First vision and ending at first Printing of the Book. I was blown away at the account of the Book of Mormon which I have never before heard. I bet he has Just about read any and all accounts of the Book of Mormon. He went on and on teaching every little detail of the Book of Mormon. On of my strongest testimonies about the Coming Forth of the Book of Mormon is that Joseph Smith Could not have fabricated it out of his mind. Emma Smith said once as she was a scribe for Joseph that. Joseph at the Beginning of the Translation of the book of mormon couldn't write a letter or dictate to some a well composed letter, let alone dictate a Book to someone. At the time the beginning of the Translation Joseph was also very illiterate on the subject of the Jewish culture. He was say in the middle of the translation statement like.I didn't know that Jerusalem had walls. Then Emma would have to confirm to Joseph that there were wall around Jerusalem. Joseph was in a VACUUM of Knowledge. how could the Prophet Joseph, A Farm boy, compose a Book 531 one pages in 65 days? It would be impossible with out the influence of God! President Fenn then Finished off with the Doctrines of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. That as missionaries we are under a mandate to teach the things that are revealed by Joseph Smith. God has promised those who serve a mission worthily will Gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon. Those who Gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon have a steadfast testimony in Christ and will not fall and those who have just have a testimony of the Bible may not have such as strong of a testimony. The Book of Mormon teaches us that the Book of Mormon is True. You should not try to prove the Book of Mormon by the bible. the old testament is vague about christ. The Book of Mormon is not. The doctrines of the only Begotten, The fall, the atonement and the resurrection , are best taught in the Book of Mormon.The Book of Mormon is a great sifter for the second coming. The Book of Mormon holds us under condemnation if we do not use it right. And the MOST important doctrine of the Book of Mormon is that people need to read and ask did Joseph smith write the Book of Mormon or has it been translated by the power and authority of God. I don't want to bore you with a long email so I will wrap it up with My Testimony. As I have been On my mission I have gained the BIGGEST witness to the Truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon has been the biggest corse corrector in my Life. Mainly because of the constant corse correction. My life as been Like an Airplane Flight I took of real fast and climbed to the skies because of my new found testimony of the book of Mormon. As I have Looked to the Book of Mormon as a compass I have been able to make small corse corrections to keep me on tract to my destination. I have been through, much turbulence of affliction, even in Clouds that seem innocent and I have broke through those Clouds to see the Beautiful sun rays of God's Glory to give me strength time and time again. I will always keep that testimony strong and lit so that I can help others find the way. I know that this is
Christ Church because I know the Book of Mormon to be True. I know Joseph Smith to be a Prophet of God because I know the Book of Mormon to be True and I know that Jesus is the Christ and My Savior because As I have read those pages I have felt his love stronger than any other time in My life. I pray you may look for a Testimony of The Book of Mormon so you can know these Truth. I Pray for these things in the name of Jesus the Christ. Amen. ELDER HERDT
Sunday, September 21, 2014
This week was a pretty sneaky week with productivity. We really didn't think much about our week until we looked back and realized how many miracles we were able to see. Monday we taught a man named Samuel and he was an interesting fellow. His father was a Satanist and his mother and step father were both Catholics but he clams all of his knowledge of Christianity and his love for Christ came from his real father teaching him about Christ. Which was a little interesting and he had a lot of what we would call the philosophies of man mingled with scripture. We didn't know why we felt like we needed to stay and talk with him, we thought it might of been because of his children that were listening to us but there is more about Samuel later in the week that made us sure we need to be there. Tuesday was a great day, we had a chance to meet with our recent convert Barb and we talk to her for a little bit about how her week was going. Barb fosters puppies for an organization until they get better and one of the puppies she was fostering she fell in love with. She is a single mom of 3 kids, on a fixed income and it wasn't the smartest thing to do to keep it she thought. She told us she prayed to know what she should do and she had an over whelming feeling to let it go and she said it was funny because instead of being all sad about it she said that she was comforted. The miracle happened next, a few hours later the foster puppy organization called her up and told her, That they are going to give her the puppy as a Gift for all the help that she gives them. She really was so thankful for God and that God blessed her for putting It in his hands. The spirit was very strong in that lesson and it was a blessing to see God working in her life. We told her that the next goal is the temple and she desired to go to the Nauvoo temple for a goal in a year. Mostly because of how historic it was. As we were trying to find some new people to teach we tracted into a fella named Eric. Eric grew up on the south side of Chicago, moved to Dekalb and now lives in Rochelle, with a lady he takes care of for trade for a place to sleep. He believe his life is good, and doesn't quite feel like he needs anything more. He can't read, so it's hard to help him gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon. He has also never prayed in his life, which is another road block to teaching him, he feels even uncomfortable with praying by trying to pray by himself. Eric is willing to meet with us though 2 times a week so were trying to find out how we can help him... It's going to be a fun one. Friday we had exchanges with the Dekalb Elders. I had the opportunity to exchange with Elder Freitas in Rochelle. Elder Freitas was called to serve in Ukraine. And because of the wars out there he got reassigned to here. We had a great lesson with a young couple, who first thought we were Jehovah witnesses. There very interested in the Book of Mormon. We had a referral the Hermanas gave us which was the second half of Samuel's story. It was for a man named Steve. Steve gave us 2 addresses one for his home and 2 for the home he was a baby sister for and the second address was Samuel's home. So we found Steve at Samuel's and we set up an appointment with him at his home for this week and as we left Samuel's wife came home and we started talking to her and she also expressed interest in meeting with us. Something else was up with us needing to be there. A lot of potential and now God has sent us to help that family. Sunday was our last little miracle. We had a the opportunity to teach an excommunicated members daughter and his mothers friend's daughter moved in with them and is also interested in learning more about the gospel because she knows a member from the last town and was interested in getting answers to questions of the soul of hers. The work is really progressing here in Rochelle, we pray we can see more and more growth and soon maybe well have a branch building built here. And to top off our week an elder we were out disk golfing with ran a stop sign with us at the back of the car. And 2 cops were sitting right there. He was lucky and got 125 buck fine But to end with a spiritual note. Something I was sharing a lot with people was the question stated in Alma 5:14 "And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God ? Have ye received his image in your countenances ? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts" Linking it to Luke 6:20-26 https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2011-10-048-render-unto-caesar-and-unto-god?category=bible-videos-the-life-of-jesus-christ&&lang=eng Referring to how we are, in the image of God and when we give our selves to him. We receive is countenance more upon us. And finishing of the thought with a quote from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. "Preach the gospel at all times and if necessary, use words." One of the best ways to share the gospel is to be a good example and keep the COMMANDMENTS. -Elder Herdt