Tuesday, June 23, 2015

It's Been a Wonderful 2 Years!

It's been a wonderful 2 years. It's been hard work, with miracles, with a constant wind of adversity but it has been completely worth the 2 years. " a mission is a series of disappointing events interrupted additionally with moments of pure joy" and I feel lucky in the sense that I would say that I have had a great amount of those moments of pure joy. I just want everyone to know that this mission has made the greatest impact on my life than anything else.  It has molded me into the man I have longed awaited. On top of that it has made me the type of man that God has wanted me to be. It has help me in building a testimony of The Book of Mormon, given me the type of testimony of Joseph Smith that someone like I would need, being one of believing Blood. It has also help me understand in great measure the plan of salvation. Before my mission I had no idea how to share the plan of salvation. Now I can teach it with great detail and also perfect simplicity that a child could understand. My mission president is one of the greatest men I have ever known or have read about. Truly a caliber of man that I would imagine even Joseph Smith would be proud of have acquaintance with. I know that I have been on my mission exactly when I have needed to be. I have meet people who I would have never had met if I left later on my mission. I have also been placed in the exact cities in this wonderful state at the exact time that I have needed to been placed in. I think it all hit me, the kind of impact my mission had on me and the impact that I have had on others a week ago today. Last Monday night our investigator who got baptized this Wednesday ask me to give him a blessing. It was a wonderful blessing and he has a lot in store for him. While we taught him that night he told me if it wasn't for me he might have not Been baptized. It was because I got him and when I would teach him he felt something he hadn't felt with other missionaries. He said a lot of other things that made a difference as well but that was it for the most part. God is the master and he is in control. just trust that he is and you will see miracles in your life. 
My mission can be summed up in 3 words. 
Diligent inspired work. 

-elder Herdt

Monday, April 20, 2015

All is Well Now!

Another interesting week here in Joliet. I am very surprised about how well we did even though all of our appointments fell through. We worked diligently though, with all our heart, might, mind and strength. We knew that if we did that, diligently working and unloose our tongues, that God would bestow unto us some reward and he did. Here are a little updates about what is going on in our area and in My mission
Monday- We got a less active member who had not been attending church because of work, to cut our hair . It was really great because he had a pretty cool conversion story to tell. We were able to relay some pretty great news to him as well. Our bishop wanted him to know that he could go to a different ward that had a earlier sacrament meeting just so he could take the sacrament. The reaction on his face was great! He was thrilled to hear that he could do that. He then told us that the company that he was working for was changing management and that he should soon be getting Sunday off anyways. One joy that I do love experiencing is getting those lost sheep back into the Fold.
Tuesday- Zone conference was an exhilarating experience like always. One of my favorite parts of zone conference was Pres. Fenn's  doctrinal exposition of the last week of Jesus Christ. I feel often that because  I have focused so heavily on The Book of Mormon and Peach My Gospel on my mission, that I have not had the chance to learn much about Christ's earthly ministry thoroughly. I just want to thank Pres. Fenn for teaching us that. On top of that this was my first zone conference where I had to train. I was a little nervous of how it was going to go, but It worked out well in the end . I definately felt the spirit super strong during a majority of the training. I know I was edified and trained during the training. I just pray that the others were too. After the meeting Elder Dickerson and I stayed in the area on exchanges. I was glad that I was able to go on exchanges with him because he is a great listener and I needed to talk. He was able to help me clear my mind and motivate me on the work. That Tuesday night we called one of our investigators, Quentin, who was on date, who's mom was in the Hospital and we got some sad news. His Mother had just died, she was having a lot of seizures and she was in and out of a coma while in the Hospital and passed away that day. I was really glad that I just happened to be on exchanges because Elder Dickerson and I were able to find some scriptures in The Book of Mormon to help him handle going through this trial.
Wednesday- 3 of our appointments with our investigators fell through which was a bummer but we had 2 Miracles that related to those missed appointments. The first was after a potential investigator bailed out of our appointment we sat in our car and were looking through our planning for a back up plan and there was an investigator who we lost in contact with, due to his phone getting shut of. We normally met him at the library because we had contacted him while driving and he just happened to be on our side of the street, so we had never been to his house, even though we had his address. We pulled up his information and surprise! He lived on the very street we were on. Knowing that this was not by chance we rushed over to find and he was home! Had been keeping his commitments and the only thing stopping him from contacting us was that he couldn't call. We taught him the message of the restoration. It was great to see him again. MIRACLE NUMBER 2. Elder Hermansen had to really use the bathroom room so we hurried to McDonalds and while we were walking in we noticed these three kids coming out and we looked over at the table that they were sitting at and there was a smartphone left on the table. So we grabbed it and I rushed it out to them. After giving them the phone I contacted them gave them  "He Lives" and walked back into the McDonalds.  Elder Hermansen then told me to talk to the people at the cash register. I was stunned because it was just one thing after another. Elder Hermansen left  to use the restroom and there I was alone. The people behind the cash register asked, who do you guys work for? So I replied, Jesus. but in real honesty I am serving my church as a full time missionary. Then some more questions were asked and one young lady in particular was interested. She said she was atheist but wasn't quite atheist. After more questions I told her that "if she wants to know and have evidence that God is real and that he loves you. All she needs to do is to figure out if the Book of Mormon is true. She didn't know what the Book of Mormon was so I started by recounting Joseph's experience and It was so cool because the spirit just flooded the place where we stood and it felt like no one else was even in the McDonalds. She was really connecting it. After teaching her the rest of the lesson of the restoration Elder Hermansen came in and we set a return appointment to the next night. It was so cool just how this all transpired. 
Thursday- Besides weekly planning the only thing that was amazing was the lesson with Jenni, the cashier from McDonalds. Our ward mission leader came with us to the lesson and it went super well. We retaught her the restoration. It was interesting because she grew up catholic and stopped going to the catholic her freshman year and she couldn't tell us anything about the bible, anything about Jesus Christ or God. By the end of the lesson her understanding grew so much and the seed of faith was planted in her heart. Now all she needs to do is nourish it and let it grow.  
Friday- I Finally got to teach one of our investigators on date. Every time I've tried to teach her, she either isn't home or Elder Hermansen just goes with another missionary and gets to teach her. But htis lesson went great. We started off with reading the Book of Mormon and she loved the first part of Nephi. It's just so much joy to watch others gain an appreciation of the Book of Mormon.
Saturday-  The day was just going down the tubes all day. Canceled appointment after canceled appointment. But we caught our investigator Quentin at home.  He got home the night before from takinig care of his mother's funeral. He told us he had read all of the scriptures that we suggested to him about the plan of salvation and they all really helped him. (We have a return appointment with him today). One event though changed it all up for the better. We went to a return appointment of a member referral at the members home and when we got there, we found an additional member referral waiting for us to teach. We were able to teach 2 new investigators the Restoration and put both of them on date.

Sunday- 3 Investigators came to church. 2 of them were the ones we put on date the night before. I also saw the bishop from the Sycamore ward. He was my bishop when I was Dekalb and Rochelle. It was so cool to see him and talk with him. He told me that my first convert was still active and going well. It was just a blessing because I haven't had contact with her in a long time! He had been inviting her to family home evening and he was keeping close tabs on her it was great, I felt so relieved. He gave me some updates on the tornadoes in Rochelle. He said some members there moved a few months ago and their house was leveled. The Cream of the Crop of my whole week came from one text. A investigator that I referred to Chicago mission almost 20 months ago told me that on May 13th he is going to the temple! I'm just pumped above all belief!
All is well now!
Elder Herdt

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

All in all, life is just grand here in Joliet!

Dear Reader
          Another wonderful Week here in the Joliet South area. Elder Hermansen and I have been truly seeking the Elect of God in hopes to Baptize this Transfer and to continue baptizing in the area for the future to find. In seeking to try to implement part of our Zone focus (Balanced finding) Personally we tried to really focus our efforts this week of having the "Faith to Find" we have been really trying to work hard by talking to everyone, which we saw a few miracles, which I'll mention later & doing the hard thing and having the faith to drop, even those we like teaching but are not progressing. The next thing we tried implementing in our zone for the week was to get as many return appointments with Potential investigators as possible. With the help of the district leaders we tracked the number of those return appointment that happened and it was amazing to see there was a good amount of return appointments kept. The Second part of our zone focus was "exacting in records". I must admit that since we have received iPads I have not been as good in "exacting in records" mainly because I didn't know how to. Since I have been in this area though it has increased dramatically. I even JOY "exacting in records". It makes record keeping more enjoyable and reliable. We are a record keeping people and I know that this is helping me do so. Now onto the week.
We have had this floater investigator, Martin,  who has been in and out of the scene since Elder Blackner was here. On Monday though we committed him to go to the Book of Mormon Class that we hold on Tuesday and he came! Afterward our ward mission leader grabbed him and us into a class room so that we could have a lesson and it was pretty successful. We read with him Alma 34 and that the reason why he needs to meet with us is so that he can better prepare to meet God. Something must have clicked with him because the next morning he wanted to meet with us before district meeting. The next morning we had a Wonderful lesson with Martin on keeping the Sabbath day. He understood it very well and said that he want to makes this a more serious commitment in his life. We invited him to be baptized but he didn't know if he could make that commitment yet. He then told us though that he was really thinking a lot the night before after our meeting, In fact it kept him up all night and He had been praying to know what he needed to do to get his life in order. We told him that baptism would be that way. We continued on from there and finished up that great lesson with a prayer and headed to district meeting. Martin came to church this week and loved it. I over heard him talking with a member on Sunday that he loves this church because I reminded him the way church should be from when he was a kid. 
The next day was one of the best lessons I have had in a while. It was with a man named Quentin. Now Quentin is amongst the most prepared elect individuals I have ever taught. We had a member pick him up to take him to the church so we could do a Gospel of Jesus Christ, Church tour Lesson. On the ride there our member did a great Job fellowshipping Quentin and we later found that he was a perfect Amulek for our investigator. The lesson went fantastic! We were able to teach him a little about missionary work, Temples, and Family History which he just LOVED! After we taught him about faith we brought up the doctrine of repentance and he mentioned to us about a concern that he had. He expressed to us that in his time in the military he had killed people in active duty and wanted to know if what he did was right and if he could be forgiven for it. So we turned to the Book of Mormon and read with him Alma 43:47 and after reading that he said well that answers my question, we can move on now. It was great to see how the Book of Mormon answers concerns of our day so well. One of the Coolest parts of that Lesson was when we were teaching about baptism we went to the baptismal font and showed him it, he was just in awe. Our member, His Amulek, started to bare powerful testimony about his baptism after serving in the military and how it was this very font that he got baptized in. We continued to teach him about baptism and right before we asked him to be baptized he, Quentin, turned to us and said, I want to be baptized. It was so great to see how in tune to the spirit he was. We told him that was the question the we were just going to ask. Quentin expressed that he wanted to be baptized ASAP! We then went through with him the steps that he needed to take in order for him to be baptized. It was so powerful we went through the rest of the lesson and finished in the chapel. It was so powerful to see how much he wanted this in his life. Sadly later that week we found out his mom was in the hospital in a coma and was not expected to live through it. We expressed our love for him a followed with how everything was going and how he was doing. We really love this guy. Because of this unexpected situation he wasn't able to come to church because he had too be with family and lawyers. We are hoping to see him Tuesday though for our Book of Mormon Class and maybe a lesson after ward. I have great hope for this man!
The rest of the Week went very well and we had 2 very spectacular finding situations. The first was such a miracle from God and beyond all probability of happening. I was Driving down a pretty busy road on our way to a stop by when out of the corner of my eye though several lanes of traffic, I see a young man walking down the opposite side of the street. He looked tired and beat and in general looked like he had a story to tell. Seeing this individual made me really think, and it opened my eyes a little. I was thinking every person has a story to tell and I want to know their stories and know how I could help them come closer to God in their story of life. So here is the miracle started. Our wifi at the church was down due to an extremely bad storm. So we chose to Go to McDonalds to grab their wifi and to grab a snack. As we walked in and got a cup to get some water,  I looked over and saw that very young man I saw earlier, at a table alone and still looking beat. I said to my self, if I don't talk to him now I may never seem him again. I quickly went over to him and introduced who I was and told him how I already saw him that day and want to talk with him. He welcomed me to sit with him and thought it was the coolest thing that I noticed him and he though that God had something's to do with it. We started teaching him and he told us that he was really struggling with life and he became homeless a few Days earlier and a lot other stuff. We had to leave thought because it was close to curfew. but we exchanged information and we hope well be able to teach him soon.
One other cool experience we had was when we were driving down to that same street that I noticed the last guy at and Elder Hermansen said, HEY! flip around and go to the Walgreens. I had no Idea what he was talking about, so I  just  went along with it and when we pulled up he pointed to the car and he said that is who we want to talk to. It ended up being former investigators, who were homeless and live in their car. They told us that their phone had been shut off and that's why they couldn't call. We taught them about how God blesses us in our trials using 2 nephi 2:1-2 and alma 32. They were really happy to see us and after we had a lesson we got on our way and had a great rest of the week.
All in all life is just grand here in Joliet!
Elder Herdt
Last meal in Schaumburg!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Heading to Joliet!

Surprise!  My area is being whitewashed and I have been moved to Joliet to serve as a Zone Leader.  No time to write today, I'll catch up next week.

Elder Herdt

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Wasn't the first day of Spring last week?

 Elder Herdt and Harvey

So while walking to an appointment I ran we took wrong turn and found this lady who needed some help. While talking to her we found out that she investigated the church in Massachusetts and we had a great time talking to her and she invited us back!

This is why I didn't write much today!  Zone Bowling.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

100% and more miracles!

Another 100% on our apartment cleaning!
“I have often said one of the greatest secrets of missionary work is
work! If a missionary works, he will get the Spirit; if he gets the
Spirit, he will teach by the Spirit; and if he teaches by the Spirit,
he will touch the hearts of the people and he will be happy. There
will be no homesickness, no worrying about families, for all time and
talents and interests are centered on the work of the ministry. Work,
work, work--there is no satisfactory substitute, especially in
missionary work.”
–President Ezra Taft Benson
So after having a heated wrestling match with my companion who is at least 40 pounds heavier than me I choose to write my epistle for the week
Our zone's focus is to "Fill the funnel" of finding. By focusing on the 10/10/30 principle  (invite someone to hear the restored gospel by 10 minutes of leaving the apartment, contacting 10 people a day and contact someone every 30 minutes if you don't have an appointment) and inspiring members to follow Elder Ballard's council. 
Something new that our district has been doing to focus on the Zone focus has been to daily report on how many people we have contacted. I have found that with a greater frequency of follow up allows a greater increase of results. similar to the quote by president Monson; "When performance is measures performance improves. When performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates".
Last week as a district we contacted a total of 122 and this week we contact 187. This week our district is shooting for contacting at total of 200! I will love to see that increase. Our district has seen a lot of miracles since we have been trying to do this. like this week, we talked to this lady who was out side and we gave her a card and asked her if she was religious she said, "kind of" she had a problem knowing why things happen and was kind of bitter. One of the sides of the card had a picture of the salt lake temple on it. We asked her if she had ever seen it and she no until we told her what it was then she remembered that she went to Salt Lake a few years ago. he conversation was really picking up till her husband came home and kind of shooed us away. We invited her to check out mormon.org and if she would be interested give us a call. Another man we contacted use to be married to a member. Its always cool to see small blessings.
We have a few investigators on date, Robert who has been investigating for quite a few years is on date for April 11th. I am convinced he is getting close to the waters of baptism. One lesson last week we started off the appointment asking Robert one question. "Do you have a testimony of the Book of Mormon?" and what an answer we received. The Book of Mormon has been apart of Roberts like way longer than the misisonaries have ever been visiting with him, He says he has been in contact with the Book of Mormon for the last 35 years! He knows it is true, he feels the power of its pages. He has learned much about Christ form the Book of Mormon and is so grateful for it coming into his life. His only problems is he has not been able to come to church the last months do to being in the hospital. also he needs to quite coffee within the next week. I'll I can do at this point is follow up and pray.
This week was also Zone Conference and after Zone Conference President Fenn asked, "Who knows any good places for authentic Mexican food?" You could guess who answered that question. Because I told him where to go he took us out with him. It was very cool to eat with president Fenn.
So I'm getting tired and getting a head ache. Maybe it was because of wrestling.... 

-Elder Herdt

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Almost a Full Grown Man!

Hey Sunshine,
Thought I'd wish you a happy 20th birthday.  Your packages are at the mission home if you haven't got them yet. Have a wonderful day. You are no longer a teenager, you're almost a full grown man! 
Yer mama
Thanks mom!
Had a pretty great birthday, way better than My 18th. Remember that,
when I went skeet shooting all by myself? Bad birthday. But this one
was pretty good.
Look what Tyler sent me, you can can tell we're all family

"Happy Birthday Bro!!!! You are officially no longer a teenager.
That's kind of a big deal. Your almost a full grown man. That means no
more cutting the crust off of your sandwich"
-Tyler Herdt

Got all my packages, Thanks!

Thanks for the shirts. My first shirts are not looking the best.
I can not believe Jenna is married. That's too weird.
(Sam Moody enters the MTC the same day Elder Herdt gets home)
Maybe I can face time Sam right before he goes in. Speaking
about FaceTime. The mission is getting new iPads re-issued to
missionaries I'll send you the email on it. I am not required to buy
it though because I came out before August 23rd. In the Future I may
be able to purchase the iPad the mission is lending. The new one is updated and
has 32 gigs so it would be cool because if I owned it then I could
make a quick call at the air port.
Elder Herdt