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

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
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
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.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Father Again!

  What a week to end transfers on. We had preparation day, then exchanges with the zone leaders which we got to see a few Miracles. We went tracting and we both had the impression to go to the other side of the street to start. We went all the way down to the end of the street with only a few people answering their door.  On the way back we saw a young man pull up and go into his home. His sister was outside and we started to talk to her, she expressed she wasn't religious but her brother was. We met him and told him that we were representatives if Jesus Christ and we had a message to share with him. He let us in and we taught him the restoration. He accepted a return appointment and a soft baptismal invite. Wednesday we had a wonderful district meeting and felt the spirit strong as we discussed about our purpose in life. We felt impressed by the spirit and realized how selfish we are to deny someone the opportunity to access the atonement by not inviting them to be baptized. Thursday was weekly planning. Friday because of the meeting and other hiccups we didn't get back home until after 9 pm. Saturday was a blast with the mini missionary and a shock to the system with transfer calls. This has been the fastest transfer cycle I have ever gone through and tomorrow will be the End. A whole lot of missionaries already guessed who the new AP was going to be and they were right, Elder Ward. Some major changes are going on in my neck of the woods too. Elder Engler called Saturday night and told us elder Wilson (my companion) will be going to Bloomington normal with Elder Stoking as a co senior companion. And then elder Engler said " Elder Herdt your pregnant...." I was extremely confused but then realized that he meant I was going to be training again!!!! I could not believe it! I felt really surprised because I didn't see it coming. I pray every night now that God will help me through training again. I'm going to need it. Next mind blowing event is The Zone leader's area is splitting. Elder Allgood is going to be taking over the area, the splitting and training and the most Mind blowing thing is Elder Brown  is going to be my Zone Leader!!!!! Next I not going to be district leader of the Sycamore sisters, Sycamore Hermanas and Belvidere sisters any more.  Now I'm going to be district leader over the Zone Leaders and the old assistant and Byron sisters and Freeport sisters.

       Earth shattering news in Rochelle! A member showed us the Thursday newspaper and we saw that The Church is requesting a special building permit to acquire the 2 year vacant bank building on 1010 7th st. , for a house of worship.  This means a miracle for missionary work! Many less actives, investigators and even former investigators will be able to attend church here in their own town. This town has needed this is a long time and this will bless the lives of hundreds to come. The church hasn't even said anything yet about it though.   A member said the is the first time in years that Rochelle paper actually broke some news.
  There are some good Mexican Eats around here but I need to look for some more. (miss Pepe’s)
That's about it I love serving The Lord and will be doing it for the rest of my life.

 -Elder Herdt 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Jesus Wants Me For a Sunbeam!

This week was a great one in my eyes with a few disappointments in between. We had an investigator who planned on being baptized Saturday but because she will be moving to a neighboring ward this week we thought it would be best to have her baptized in the ward that she will be moving into. The Lord did bless me with the chance to go see an
investigator I taught for 6 months in my last area. He finally gave up
is "man pacifier", aka 'cigar', and was baptized. He said the reason he
was changed was because of his testimony of the Book of Mormon. He is almost done reading it now and he is a totally different person from the first time I saw him. The gospel has changed this man from a grumpy
old drug dealer to a sweet kind loving man. After the baptism his wife
said that she guesses it's her turn and his mom's as well. Truly
salvation is a family affair.
We have found a lot of success with trying to find people. Even though our investigator pool is still pretty low, it's been going great!  I have found some sincere seekers of truth. One was an investigator of the Jehovah witness' church. She said she liked a lot about their church but she said she didn't agree with a few things; one of which was that you shouldn't go to war to protect your country and family.  She believed that it was right to fight to protect your family, so we showed her Alma 48, the chapter about Captain Moroni and what type of man he was and what God's stance was. She said we could come back.  We can't wait to go back! We also found this man who was in gang but is the sweetest guy ever. He said he would be willing to do anything to get that peace of the spirit in his life. We told him baptism is the way and he said he wanted to be 100% committed first. I have been working pretty hard and been feeling the spirit. 
Elder Herdt

Thursday, May 29, 2014

"Bikes in Bloom"

I think we are finally free from the grasp of winter! Those
vial cold hands of winter have loosened their grasp for good until next winter. We should be having a warm spell and a thunders storm soon.

Another wonderful week in the small town of Rochelle.
We had a great week being able to serve a lot of people,
serving at food banks and finding small things to do here and there.

We helped this lady edge her lawn which she hadn't been able to do
for years.  We also fixed up her bike and helped her get it outside for a thing she calls "bike in bloom". People get these old bikes and put flowers all over and around them and it looks pretty sweet to me on the account of how much I love bikes.
  Speaking about bikes, on Wednesday morning before district
meeting our investigator invited us to go on a morning bike ride. I was
so stoked to go out riding because 1. This investigator is a bike
fanatic and 2. he designed, funded, and oversaw the town getting a 5
mile bike path put in. So to say the least I was pretty stoked. I
didnt know, on the other hand, that my companion hadn't rode a bike in 10 years. We woke up extra early to a nice foggy morning and made our way to our investigator's home. He geared us up with bikes and he let me use his first mountain bike that he ever got. It was like the Trek in the garage back home but much more maintained and tuned up. On our ride Elder Wilson was doing pretty good for not riding in years but as soon as I stopped worrying, the next thing I hear is a yip and a yep like
something you would hear from Jorge Velazquez, and as I looked back and at the very beginning of the path were 3 metal pillars, 1 on each side and one in the middle and I see Elder Wilson hit the middle pillar
straight on. He couldn't have been more accurate aiming for it.
He flipped right over his handle bars and landed right on his tush.
He got up dusted himself off and we were riding moments later. There
must have been karma floating around in the air because not even 500
feet later going around a curve my tires slipped right out from
underneath me. I was so shocked because of how nice the bike path was
and how foggy it was the tires couldn't hold enough grip to keep me
up. Now I felt so bad because I have rode bikes my whole life and
something like that had never happened to me. The investigator was
really cool about it though and like a true cyclist would say,
"if your bike doesn't have a scratch or 2 on it. You don't ride
  The same is with us and life. Some people might ask, why do
bad things happen to good people. Well I may just say to them if bad
things don't happen in your life your either doing something wrong or
your not living. Trials, struggles and pains are influential in life to
help you get stronger, wiser, and smarter. It is through these experiences where we learn the most. Sometimes the only way for us to learn some lessons is through extreme trials. I know this is a true principle because I have experienced it in my own life. This is also taught in the Book of Mormon, Jacob 2:1-2 which Lehi the father of Jacob said, "Jacob because of the rudeness of your brothers you have gone
through a lot. But you know God's greatness and he has blessed your
trials for you to gain from them and to learn and grow." GOD BLESSES
YOUR TRIALS! So start seeing them for what they are. If your want
your trials to end, learn what God is trying to teach you and they might
just stop. Sometimes it stinks having to learn lesson the hard way but
it also the only way sometimes. You give a person a book on how to
ride a bike and they had never rode a bike in their life and the first
time they try to ride they decide their going to ride a 50 miler. You
mike as expect them to fail. We have to start out slow learn from our
mistakes and press forward so that one day we can ride that 50 miler
with out even thinking.
I know God loves us and seeks to bless our life, and this is why I'm
out here to teach people how to ride their "bike".

Keep on press forward strong
-Elder Herdt

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

100 degrees vs 3" of Snow

100 degrees in Vegas eh? I can beat that. We had 3 inches of snow one morning
this week.So much snow almost every street had a broken branch because of the weight of the snow. 
    Something else really cool happened! We had a baptism! Woot woot! The first baptism this area has had since it was opened.  
It was the coolest thing because we combined it with their wedding and they
just loved it so much. The relief society put on a beautiful wedding reception/baptism.  We got to Skype in past missionaries and their
family from Honduras. I gave a talk at the baptism comparing life to a bike ride up a mountain. It was way cool and the son of the person who was baptized told us he wants to take the lessons. 
   Another cool miracle was as we got out of a lesson at these apartments, we crossed paths with this big Mexican guy with a ton
of tattoos and we told him who we were and he said, "Well how about you
come in and we will talk some more." We then taught him the restoration and right before we got to Joseph Smith, his wife walked in and just sat down and joined in on the conversation. We showed them the video " Book of Mormon Story". After the video she said she wanted to read the Book of Mormon because something is drawing her to it. Ahhh! it was such a cool lesson. The spirit was so strong and that kept me going through the week.
- Elder Herdt