Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Up, Downs & Turn arounds

Another week in the mission with its ups, downs, & turn arounds. Just a
blast! You don't know when your going to have a trial thrown at you or
an attack from Satan on you or your investigators, but you also don't know when you'll see the next miracle,and if that miracle is a blessing for you or for another. We had a Good week that got eaten up by meetings,
Monday- prep day 10-6 
Tuesday- new missionary training 8-6 
Wednesday- district meeting 10-1, exchanges + service 1-6 Missionary coordinating meeting 6:30-9, 
today was a baptismal interview and exchanging back 10-2 
weekly planning 2-6  
Friday was our first full day of proselyting which we had some good success.
   We got to teach Barb, the investigator getting baptized on the 30th.
She is so solid! She has been doing a lot of personal study in the
scriptures and church books. She has pretty much taught herself with
the spirit testifying of the truth to her. All she needed was the
right tools. That shows a person who will stay active and help out
the church for the rest of her life. She learned most of the lessons
by her self. Prayed about being baptized and told us she was ready,
already invited friends and family to her baptism and the church
events. She is just the best. This Sunday though, was the first time
she had something she had to sacrifice to join the church and that was
shopping on the sabbath. Haha and after teaching her about it she
was so on board for not shopping on Sundays ever again. I wish it was
this easy for every investigator. While preparing for her lesson I
found this way sweet quote from the guide to the scriptures.
"The Sabbath reminds people of their need for spiritual nourishment
and of their duty to obey God. When a nation grows careless in
observing the Sabbath, all aspects of life are affected and its
religious life becomes decayed (Neh. 13:15–18; Jer. 17:21–27)."
I changed it up a little to make it more applicable to the every
day person.
The Sabbath reminds us of the need for spiritual nourishment
and of our duty to obey God. When a person grows careless in observing
the Sabbath, all aspects of their life are affected and their
religious life becomes decayed.
It so important to keep the sabbath day holy!
When we were in her home it may have been the hardest lesson to stay
focused on, the reason why was not because of company, not kids,
not cars but....... Puppies..... Barb houses puppy's for a couple of
weeks for a animal shelter and this week she got brand new baby
puppy's, you can't stop looking at them or at that point hear anything
because all they did was wimper and puppy howl. It was too cute..
At the end of the lesson we got to hold them and get our puppy fix.
    I think it's funny the way God's timing is sometimes when he places us in people's lives. We met this family who just moved in town. They wanted a church to go to and when they heard about the Book of Mormon loved the concept. They said they would try to make it to church. Well Sunday rolled around and no family. We were bummed but we called them later that day and asked if we could meet with them and they said it wasn't a good time. When we asked why, they said, "did you hear about the person thst got hit on the highway today? That was our daughter-in- law that you met a couple of days ago." We were astonished. We had just met that girl and now she's gone. We expressed our condolences and offered our services as representatives of Christ and ordained ministers and they we're very happy.
    I'm glad I know the plan of salvation and the purpose of life. It
makes times like those much easier to handle. I've also learned the
importance of teaching our children about Christ and true principles. 
To understand what I mean I would invite you to read 2 Nephi 22:23 then
read Enos 1:3-5 and Alma 36:16-20 and see how they link together and
how even when people aren't listening at the time that they need
it most the spirit can recall those teaching to the remembrance of
those people.
I love my family and most importantly my parents and want to thank
them for all that they do and have done for me God be with you till me
meet again.

-Elder Herdt

Sent from The Lord's iPad

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What is a "Wonderful Bad Week?

What a wonderful week to have a bad week. To answer the the question
of what is a wonderful bad week? Well bad as in the only lessons we
were able to do were just inspired stop bys. For some reason no one
likes to set appointments in this town. Also we didn't have the best
week ever due to the fact that we had to drive a bajillion miles and that didn't help much ether. But, this week it contrasted the miracles
pretty nicely, just as a diamond is more brilliant in front of a black
velvet backing.
I got the chance to go to Dixon for exchanges with my MTC companion
Elder Bezzant and then from Dixon to to Sterling for zone leader's,
Elder Brown (my former companion) and Elder Scott, (the elder I replaced in my first area in Dekalb, for a baptismal interview with our recent
convert brother Sanchez to translate for us. The zone leaders
had been teaching this miracle family whose mother spoke Spanish.
The reason why they were a miracle family was because the mother of
the family had a dream a week before she meet the missionaries about
these 2 angels trying to find her and she was hiding from them and a
week later had the same dream. While she was dreaming this dream she
awoke from a knock on her door to these 2 missionaries inviting her
to come to the gospel. She said she felt like her dream became a
reality. She knew the elders came from God for her. She and her
daughter were baptized last Saturday and this Saturday her son and
friend will baptized.
The next miracle I want to share is about our investigator Barb. So
like I was saying we had almost no appointments this week. One of the
appointments was with a excommunicated man's daughter, so we went over
to their home and no one was home. We had an investigator who lived
3 blocks down who we hadn't had the chance to see in about 2 weeks
because her father broke his knee cap and she was taking care of him.
So we decided to just drop by and give her a new triple and bible and
when we got up to her door she was so excited to see us and let us in.
She said while she had been taking care of her dad she has been doing
her own studies in the Book of Mormon and the gospel principles book
and other church materials and told us while she had been studying
about the doctrines she had an overwhelming feeling that she needed to
be baptized and she was studying it more and realized she wasn't going
to get the feelings from the spirit that she was going to need without
first baptized. So we didn't hesitate a moment and invited her to be
baptized on the 30th of August and she gladly accepted. She felt like
she was on air. She told us through her studies that she found she
needed to meet with us and take more discussions, also that she need
to be interviewed and so on. She just prepared herself so much by her
studies and by the spirit. The spirit has just worked within her so
much she is truly coming closer to Christ.
It's moments like these that make a mission so worth it. I just can't
help myself and be happy. Through all the pains and misery these
moments of pure joy last longer than any pains do. I love The Lord
and I love this work!
-Elder Herdt
PS: We got a 100% on our Apartment cleaning check!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

I Like Barns:)



I want to apologize for not writing last week we had to go do exchanges and had to drive all they way to Stirling, which is about and hour. A trip which we have to make again today for another exchange/ baptismal interview. But I made sure this week I write y'all. So we split our area, lucky for me I wasn't required to leave my trainee. But the other area became a sisters area, which is good and bad in some regards but it's crazy how they split our little town of 10,000 between us 2 sets of missionaries. God must be really working with our leaders and they must be inspired to have them do this. Because it's nutso! Were doing pretty well though, it's hard when all your appointments either fall through or your investigators drop you when your member is there. Almost all our lessons we had were not set appointments, it was really hard. But we made sure we were working and serving The Lord, helping others come unto Christ. We had this cool experience where we were out biking and we had to bike through this part of town were there are 4 train tracks right after another. So we come up to the first track and we get spotted by a train and a kid pulls up behind us and after that train the 3rd track has a train on it and then it stops. And on the 4th track ANOTHER Train stopped. I'm thinking to my self at this time. Okay I think God is trying to give us time to talk to this kid. So I roll back and start talking to him about his religious life and his belief in God and so on and so forth. Posing him religious questions here and there that really made him think about things he has never thought about. Taught him about Joseph Smith's experience and his search for a right religion. Then we told him how Jesus was a perfect example and was baptized and how Jesus told us, unless a man is baptized you can not enter into the kingdom of heaven. So I looked him in the eye and said "Larry, when you know this is true, will you be baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God?" And he accepted. The hardest thing about that was when we got his contact information we found out that he was in the sisters area. That's how missionary work is often done. One sows while another reaps. I love The Lord and I Love this work. Best thing I have ever done. Also the hardest but I would trade it for anything. " a mission is a series of disappointing evens PIERCED with moments of PURE joys" - President J. Fenn -Elder Herdt

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

"The Antonement", by far my favorite subject.

Hey ho howdy do,
I was thinking about Christ sacrifice he made for us and I
love the atonement. It's by far my favorite subject. To even try to fathom everything the atonement encompasses just shatters all mortal comprehension. The atonement was and is "infinite and intimate".
Because we are not infinite beings yet, we cannot comprehend infinite and the intimacy of the atonement was so very personal that he felt every living thing, every feeling from them birth to death from before his birth and even after his death. How could someone feel an
infinite amount of pain and suffering in a limited amount of time though? Well let's go to some math how many fractions are between the numbers of 1 and 2, it's infinite. Jesus is the son of God, which makes him a God and being a God he could live forever and lay down his
own life and lift it back up again. But being the son of a mortal woman he had the ability to suffer plain and suffer so allowing him the opportunity to be the only one who can atone for the sins of men and still live. Those are all of my thoughts.
Work is been pretty great out here we had some pretty big things
happen. So this last Sunday was the first Sunday we had both sacrament
and Sunday school classes. It went pretty great, I gave a talk too, with
a high councilman and he was so funny. He is a big black guy and
preaches like a baptist preacher, he is hilarious. It was great because
we have an investigator family come and she is a white lady with 3
adopted black kids, I think it really helped them feel comfortable at
church. Now the really big thing is that our area is getting split
tomorrow! There going to put a companionship of sisters in half our
area. It's crazy but I just means the work is hastening and The Lord
sees it fit that Rochelle is going to have a lot of work to do.
Love elder Herdt

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

First Sunday of Our New Branch!


We had a pretty good week besides all the driving. Tuesday we had to drive all the way up to Freeport about a 60 mile drive one way so I could interview someone to be baptized and then Wednesday we had to drive 25 miles to go to a funeral for a part member less active family.   The 20 year old mom who was the member lost her youngest of 3, who was only 6
months old. It was rough. But I love our plan of salvation. So many sweet truths we know because of revelations that the church has had on the subject. Sadly I enjoy funerals not because of the bitter tears and all but because, oh much death brings us closer to God.  It's such a blessing.
Thursday we had  had to drive down to a town called Sandwich another 60 mile drive, so we could go to the dentist. And finally our last long  trip of the week, on  Friday  we had to drive 80 miles one way to
Schaumburg for an 8 hour zone conference meeting:) Oh the joys of a missionary. Saturday I went on exchanges for the day in Dixon, Illinois. So we didn't get a lot of proselyting in but we had 8 lessons
with investigators which isn't to bad!
The Gem of the week though was the opening of our new branch for its first
sacrament meeting. And, speaking of Sunday, what a Sunday this was! It was the first sacrament
meeting for our new branch! We had 53 attend, 10 being less actives and 7
being nonmembers and 5 being investigators! The less active family who lost
their child even came and the parents of the less active who were also less
actives in my first area even came. I say it was prettying great to see
this happen. And we'll have enough people here pretty soon that we will
have a branch building built out here. The service was pretty interesting
though. No microphones., so it was a little hard for people to hear and the
weird thing was we had a higher than average amount  of little children in the meeting and
almost each one of them cried as one point is the service. The only
person who could attempt at playing the piano was  the branch president's
daughter.  It was hard to listen to because almost every cord struck had
at least one wrong note in it. Everyone just was overwhelmed on how much
this girl was trying that it brought the spirit of love through compassion
even though it was a pretty hymn.
Oh and I have been recently studying about keeping your focus on Christ in
our lives and I found this verse that really touched me. It's found in
Mathew 6:22.  This is the key to spiritual strength. Figure it out for
 Yourself.

Love Elder Herdt

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A Week In the Life:)


A week in the life of Elder Earl and Myself. We had a pretty good
week. But weren't able to teach a lot because of the fact that a ton
of lessons that we had planned fell through. Even one day all
of the lesson set fell through. But this must mean something is coming around the bend. That thing I'm guessing is what was announced by
the church this last Sunday, which was that next Sunday they will be
announcing the changes in the ward/wards about Rochelle's up coming
branch.
And as hard as our last week was this week is going to be even crazier
because today's is preparation day, tomorrow is new missionary
training meeting in Naperville from 9-4, Wednesday is district meeting
and Thursday is mission leadership council for 9-4. Friday we'll be in
Sycamore all day for the fourth of July. And Saturday is our window to
proselyte for the week. So were going to make it count.
In closing I do want to share with you what I've been pondering
today. And that is what I have learned most on my mission. On my mission
I have learned how much obedience is important. Think of obedience or
disobedience in this way. Being willfully disobedient is like telling
GOD, who is omniscient, "I know better than you". We can only see veil
to veil, God sees eternity to eternity. We can only theorize on our
own past, that which we can see. But with the word of God, which is our
peep whole into eternity, we can know what we need to do in this life.
All else is secondary and all else that is against what which we see
through that peep whole in to eternity is and should be not even
considered.
I love God, I love this work and I love this gospel!
-Elder Herdt

Friday, June 27, 2014

My Half Way Mark!


It's crazy I'll be half way this Thursday. One of the cool things about being half way is everyone that I helped get baptized throughout my mission up
to this point, I will now get to see go through the temple in the following year. Jen Tomas who was my first baptism, is going to
the temple hopefully in early august, while I'm still in Rochelle. I get to see her every Sunday and I think it's really good for her to
have me her to get through this first year of membership. Well let's
make this analogy a bike analogy. You could think that hump day is the
peak of a mountain and the difference between a consecrated missionary
and a regular missionary, or a committed missionary and just active
missionary, is a consecrated mission would pedal to the end when a
regular missionary would just coast because he can. I don't plan on
being a coaster. I want to crescendo till the end of my mission. Our
mission president talks 2 kinds of missionaries who will at the end of
their mission do ether of 2 things the get trunky or crescendo till
the end and it's funny out of my 2 companions who are home. The
companion who was a zone leader just coasted till the end of his
mission and the the missionary that was my hardest companion
crescendo-ed till the end of his mission.
Well Elder Earl and I are having a blast! I really enjoy having him as
a companion. It makes training really easy when you get along so well.
He reminds me a lot of Jorge Velazquez but white haha. He has Jorge's
laugh and everything.
We have had a lot of miracles this week. First of all we backed into the mission's truck and left a hug dent in our car but the truck had no damage. Later went to a lesson and when we got out, the dent was gone. (Whew! Dodged a bullet) We have found a lot of new investigators and have been teaching a lot. We got a referral from a member and because of that referral we are now teaching the referral, the mother, the sister and the brother of the referral.
We have an investigator right now who is really progressing, she is a
really sweet lady who has 3 adopted black children. She is a Jehovah
witness investigator that goes to their church but won't get baptized
in their church because she doesn't agree with all their doctrine. But
everything we teach her she loves and makes so much sense to her. We
had a young man come to a lesson with her and the daughter of the lady
was friends with our young man. Last but not least we have an investigator who isn't progressing but has been investigating for a while, because her husband is less active and she is still kinda progressing we go still go see her.  We brought
our recent covert with us and they knew our new member and it feel we are going to make some ground now with her.

I have to go another busy week but love you all!

-Elder Herdt.