Monday, September 22, 2014

The Book is Blue and it is True!

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

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.


Sunday, September 21, 2014

"Preach the Gospel at All Times and if Necessary use Words!"

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
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
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

-Elder Herdt

Thursday, September 11, 2014

My Week YO!

After a baptism he had a pretty hard week of work. Our teaching pool was malnumbered on the account it was a miracle to have Barb as an
investigator to teach in the first place. So to say the least, this week was filled with a lot of hitting the pavement and creative thinking on trying to find some people to teach. The added help of
having a car share allows us to just go out and find people to teach.  I need to get better at talking to everyone. I do though want my companion to step up and make first contact because I'm naturally comfortable talking to anyone. We had a cool experience with tracting this week. We found a young man who grew up in Chicago moved and lived in Dekalb and has now been kicked out of his home and is staying in a home with a lady friend as a helper until she recovers form her surgery/ illness. So we are hopping to get him baptized, he is a real nice guy. 
He can't read though so it's a struggle teaching.  But we got him some church clothes and have high hopes on him progressing.  I feel like I have been doing a lot better focusing my thoughts while I have been on a mission. It's probably been the greatest thing I have learned on my mission. Past companions and President have really help me learn how to do so. I have had great tools on how to handle my thoughts or my personal "Goliath" as president Monson Would call it.  This week I read a rest in the ensign "bridle your passions" and I applied it to mental discipline.  There are 2 ways to control a horse, kill it or bridle it. I imagine God would rather have us learn to control
ourselves rather than eradicate all emotion. We had a great end of a week with fast Sunday. I do love fast Sunday in a branch, mainly because half the people there are recent converts.
Our most recent convert Barb gave a POWERFUL testimony on how she felt like she always had a set of "beliefs" and "morals" since she was a kid but as she search and search for a church she could find non that fit her beliefs. Until she met us and when we taught her of the plan of salvation and how she lived with God and God taught us the Gospel and the Plan it all just made so much sense why she had these ideas In the first place. the truth seemed familiar to her and she felt so
blessed, to be apart of God church and have his love more in her life.  It touch my heart so much and I'm so grateful to have been able to be here to hear her testimony.  The church is true and the work goes on. And nothing will stop it from progressing till it floods the earth.
-Elder Herdt

This is what it's all about!

And this is what it's all about. Family! In an eternal sense, salvation is a family affair. This was such a blessing to me to see her be baptized. She is leading her family in an excellent way by following the most important person to ever walk the earth, Jesus Christ. 
And for after Barbs baptism, Elder Earl And and these 2 other cowboys, set up and took down for the branch social potluck.  Almost half the people there were non members. It was a great success!