Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Two Years of Awkward Experiences......

Hello hello! How is everyone doing this week!? I hope that all is well with everyone and life back at home is going great! So on Monday last week after pday we went out and did some solid tracting in the ghetto and found 3 new investigators so that was pretty awesome!! We had a great time with the people there they were so friendly to us! Tuesday was also a pretty exciting day as well! We had interviews with president huntsman! It was such a great experience! He said that he is glad to have me around for the long haul and I will do good things for this mission... I am certainly trying my hardest to be the best missionary that I can be! He said that president Riggs told him good things about me so that's always nice to be on the right page with the new mission president! I am so excited to have the Huntsmans around they are so amazing! Oh! One thing scary he hinted at was me training in the near future! That's so scary! So yeah after interviews on Tuesday we spent most of the day just trying to visit less actives and recent converts. That night we went  to visit one of our investigators named Kingsley! He let us in and we talked for awhile! Ha while we were talking he turned on the mlb all star game and offered us some rather inappropriate drinks hahaha after we told him we don't drink he was like "okay but I'm going to!!" So word of wisdom will be a fun lesson hahahah. He told us the last time we met with him that he was sleeping on the floor  without any blankets or pillows and has been looking for a mattress but they are all just too expensive!  We had to help him out! So we brought him a mattress a member of our ward gave us and bought him some sheets and a pillow. We brought it to him on Tuesday night after we shoved it all into our little Toyota Corolla hah! We knocked on the door and he started to tear up he was so grateful for the mattress! I was so happy that we were able to help him out! I am grateful for Kingsley and we were so happy that we got to serve him! After we left from the apartment we walked outside and walked to where our car was. It was gone... I ran up to a lady that was just getting home and asked her if she had seen a blue Toyota getting towed away. She said yes... It was 9 at night and we had no car to get home. So we spent the next 2 hours walking home. I'm not sure how long we walked for but it was quite a while! Hahaha we were so exhausted by the time we got home we just passed out on our beds!Tuesday was a full day!! Wednesday was less exciting but it was still pretty great! That morning after studies we asked the zone leaders to come and help us get our car back. So mom I'm really sorry but I had to spend $60 getting the car back Elder Lee and I split the cost...sorry momma:(  once we got the car back one of our less active and recent converts called us to have lunch with him! It was great we talked for a good long time and taught him a couple principals it was really great!  That evening we were tracting a pretty nice neighborhood and Elder Lee got bit by this huge dog hahahaha holy cow it was so funny it totally just bit the crap out of him! It was intense he was bleeding! So that was the highlight of Wednesday haha. On Thursday we had some conference and I got to hangout with Elder King the whole day so it was pretty fun! I miss being Elder Kings companion he is such a stud! After some conference we went to chick fil a and I got to chill with Elder King some more! After lunch we drove up to Vienna and I saw a chiropractor and he totally worked me over! My back is still having problems but it was pretty fun getting my neck popped and stuff. The chiropractor wants to see me again this week so Itll be interesting! But he adjusts missionaries for free so that's awesome! We also found a new investigator named James and he is an atheist so we are going to go teach him the restoration this Thursday! I'm pretty pumped about it! I also had the opportunity to give sister Williams( a recent convert and less active member and new move in to the ward.) a priesthood blessing. She has come down with a bad staff infection of the blood and he Daughter is in the hospital after a major car crash in not the best condition. I was so nervous to give her a blessing but it was such a powerful experience!!! She was so grateful for the blessing and she told us that her daughter was released for the hospital the very next morning after the blessing. I was speechless... I felt the spirit so strongly and I am grateful that her family is okay now. I love being a missionary! On Saturday I had one of the most embarrassing experiences of my life... It was pretty darn bad. We went that morning to correlate with bishop about our work in the area and after he wanted is to Come and help with a move so we said yes of course! We were still in our missionary clothes though... We got to the move and it was going great! All of the sudden I was squatting down to pick up a box and my pants ripped... So yeah that was awkward I spent the next hour standing against a wall hahaha well something I've been told is the mission is just two years of awkward experience hahahaha it's all good!! This Sunday was pretty good we went to church and did some tracting we didn't find anybody but we had some good conversations about the gospel at people's doors so that's always a win! I am a firm believer in planting the seed with people so when they are receptive to missionaries they will remember how nice we were to them! During church we went over a pretty cool talk I would like you all to read called the "first great commandment" by Elder Wirthlin! It is such a great talk! It tells us that we need to demonstrate Christlike love all the time no matter how people treat us or what the situation is!! This week was great! I hope that you all have a great and wonderful week you are all in my prayers!! Love you all!!

Monday, July 13, 2015

My First Baptism!

How is everyone doing this fine week!? I hope all is well back on the Homefront! This week here has been pretty interesting. Not going to lie... there were some hard days. But we pulled through! So on Monday last week we had a sweet zone activity and played volleyball for basically the whole day I LOVED it. We got sunburnt really really bad though hahaha. We also played water ballon volleyball which was a fun time! That evening we were out in the country and we got yelled at by some farmer guy that we were trespassing... He was pretty darn mean. Threatened to call the cops haha. We found a new investigator out of it which was pretty nice and we taught him about the restoration it was super great! His name is Ali and he is out of town right now but we are hoping to teach him this upcoming week! On Tuesday everything we planned totally fell through so we spent most of the time checking in potential investigators and such with some tracting thrown into the mix. We also had a very fun Skype lesson with a recent convert named Tom he was super super cool and he has a great testimony of this gospel. On Wednesday we got yelled at by some guy and he was going to call the cops on us and he wrote down our license plate... He was pretty darn mean as well. We went over to check up on a part member struggling family and their air conditioner broke and it flooded the air basement so we stayed there till 10 p.m. Trying to help them dry the carpets and fix the air conditioner inside the house so that was quite the chore but we were happy to help with that! She also told us about her son and how he is inactive and wants us to meet with him so we are excited to meet with him! Thursday we went to go help out a recent move in to our ward move a bunch of rocks it took forever and it was so humid outside haha but we had a good time! The rocks were infested with black widows and I wasn't wearing any gloves... Things got real! Luckily I didn't get bit. But on the car ride home I propped my leg up on the dash and saw a HUGE tick sucking blood out of my leg.... Yep. So mom don't worry Sister Huntsman knows about it and we are watching for the lymes disease rash. It's all good though:) I'll live! On Friday we weekly planned and did a bunch of tracting.  People around here aren't really receptive but we still are trying our best at sharing the gospel with everyone! And Saturday was the perfect day for me. It was the greatest day of my mission because I got to see Jackie get baptized. We got pictures and then our ward mission leader asked Elder Adair and I to share our testimonies before the baptism. I was so nervous and I was tearing up the whole time because I was so proud of Jackie and the progress and testimony that she has of this gospel. I cannot express how grateful I am that Heavenly Father let be be a part of her conversion. Brother Blake, a member of the bishopric baptized her and I was so happy about that! I put Jackie on date at his house that's why it was so special! It was so amazing to see Jackie's  whole family there ( none of them are members) they were saying how amazing her service was and it made me super happy! Once Jackie came up out of the water I received the most powerful witness from the spirit that I have ever felt in my life. It will be a moment that I will never forget for the rest of my life... I'm grateful for Jackie and Josiah and the wonderful people that they are! They have taught me so much in such a short time that I have known them! So mom and dad we have to go visit them after the mission. I won't take no for an answer. Hahah. I was also very happy to see all the members of my old ward and to see elders Adair Stenquist and Haddon! They are great missionaries!! I love Kingstowne and I miss it very very much! Anyways that night we called up a less active member our our church,  he referred us to his roommate and now we are teaching him! His name is Kingsley and he loves the concept of our church and is very open to it! We gave him a Book of Mormon and invited him to church unfortunately he got called into work so he wasn't able to attend. We met with him again on Sunday and taught him the restoration! He is great and I can see him being baptized very soon!:) Saturday and Sunday were so great! This week I read out of the book of Alma chapter 26 and specifically verse 27 

"Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success."

This week reminds me of this scripture! We were not having the best of time and people were being pretty mean to us. But we were patient and worked our absolute hardest and the lord gave us the opportunity to see Jackies baptism and to find Kingsley who is a solid investigator. I am so grateful for for the Lord and the showing of his hand in my life and in our missionary work! The mission is not easy but I know that if we have patience and love all of the people that we come across no matter what they say to us the lord will show his hand in our life! I want to share one more scripture found in the Doctrine and Covenants section 123:17 

"Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed." 

I love this scripture!! If we do all that we can in our lives the lord will take care of the rest!!

Anyways I'll sign this one off! I love and miss you all! Hope you have a great week and don't have too much fun without me!!


Elder Routsong

Monday, July 6, 2015

Down in Manasses

Hello hello hello!

Hey everyone!
 It's another pday! First of all I hope that you all enjoyed your Fourth of July! You all better have shot off some huge fireworks and had Roman candle and bottle rocket wars just for me! Especially you Shawn, Shane, and Matthew! So last Monday I was having a super super had time adjusting to my new area and lack of people to teach... I was so bummed. The struggle is real here in Virginia! Hahaha. I'm doing good now... when life hits you like that as a missionary its best to just work work work! And that's what we have been doing!  The words of president Hinkleys dad "forget yourself and go to work" it works! It's not easy at all but it works! Haha on Tuesday we had a lesson with this kid named Jordan (he is really cool). He is 19 years old and white with dread locks! He grew up catholic and it took me 45 minutes on the phone to convince him to have a lesson with him. He finally agreed so on Tuesday we went and taught him at the park  near our gym that he works at. He has a lot of deep doctrine question and a lot of questions about the nature of God! We did the scripture study out of the preach my gospel about the nature of God! Then we showed him the video "the hope of gods light" I encourage all of you to watch it.. It's a powerful video and a great story about a man named Todd Sylvester. He loved the video! We gave him a Book of Mormon and he said that he would pray about it! I've been praying every day for him. On Wednesday we had district meetings and it was super super good we talked about accountability and the zone leaders and sister training leaders are in our district so we all just own! Haha it's a good time! That evening we went out to the country! And I'm talking about the Virginia country! I felt like,such an old school missionary walking down dirt roads and knocking these huge farms it was so much fun! The people are really nice out there! On Thursday we got to meet our new mission president!! His name is David Huntsman! He has 8 kids and they are such a great family holy cow I will miss president Riggs and his family but the Huntsman family is so great!:)  I really do look forward to getting to know the Huntsman family!  On Friday we did a lot of tracting and it was intense and we also weekly planned so that was a boring day but we got a lot of stuff done! For the 4th we had a district brunch it was a ton of fun! We had a bunch on pancakes and waffles and bacon.... we all just wanted to die we were so darn full! After our Brunch we went out as a district and drew the plan of salvation at several parks around our zone it was fun but I am just awful at drawing things... So I was pretty embarrassed! We went over to bishop Wightmans house for some fireworks! Here in Virginia people aren't allowed to shoot fireworks off the ground but nobody really cares... Hahah so there were tons of fireworks going off! People are so darn patriotic here! MERICA! The whole neighborhood was covered in a huge cloud of smoke it was that bad literally everyone was shooting off fireworks! We couldn't light them as missionaries but I was at least glad that I got to watch some sweet ones! And they were shooting some off in Manasses a few miles away so we could see those too! Yeah the 4th was pretty fun and bishop and his family are so awesome they remind me of my family haha so it's all good. I hope that the 4th was awesome for you all and I can't wait to go crazy with fireworks when I get off my mission! Still haven't had any luck getting back to jackies baptism but I know that things will workout and I'll make it there some way or another even if I have to walk there! Jackie sent me a Facebook message the other day talking about how she has read 2 Nephi 31 and has gained a true testimony on repentence. I was so happy to get a message like that! I'm so happy that she has made the decision to get baptized it's been a very spiritual experience for me although I'm not teaching her anymore I know that she is doing great and making the best decision of her life. Today I was reading out of Isaiah chapter one and I came across a scripture I had forgotten about! So it's Isaiah 1:18 

"18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."

I know that this is true and the lord is willing to forgive us all for anything that we have done!! 

So we just got back from a zone activity and we played volleyball out side for like 4 hours it was intense and I got sunburnt so darn badly!! Haha well I hope that you all have a great week!! I love and miss you all!!! 

Much love 

Elder Routsong 


Sunday, July 5, 2015

I am going to get fat..... I am in a car now

Hello hello!

Everyone I'm so excited to write you all! Goodness it seems likes it's been an eternity since my last p dizzle day! Goodness what a week it has been... So after pday last week we were so tired. Pentagon and standing outside for the change of the guard really made me want to die but it was so much fun!!!!! Yeah that night we went to go see Jackie and we taught her some of the commandments and she did a real good job at understanding! We have been working so hard with Jackie and it's been great!! On Tuesday we had district meeting and it was great we took our last picture together as a district because we knew that somebody would be transferred! Haha the American flag picture is us. I love my district it is so amazing and I am so happy to have been a part of it:) so Tuesday it was 100 degrees outside and very very humid. It was pretty miserable especially cause we don't have a car. We had a lesson to teach down in this neighborhood called Rockshire and the Franconia elders were nice enough to give us a ride there but they couldn't pick us up. So we get to the appointment and her name was Aljelique and her kids. She walks up to us and says we already believe in Jesus and we don't need any more than that and slams the door in our faces! Oh I was so upset... So we had to walk 45 minutes home in the crazy hot weather outside. Haha it's all good though! When we got back we immediately were picked up for dinner so it's all good:) the rest of the night we went out with brother McGee and tried to find less active members and potential investigators. That night was transfer calls. Elder Stenquist got the call that everyone would be staying except for me....... I was so upset because I wanted to stay and teach Jackie and I had only been in Alexandria for two transfers! Oh well the Lord needed me elsewhere! So Wednesday we spent a good amount of the day packing up my things.That night we went to go see Jackie and we taught her the law of chastity ha she was pretty nervous for this lesson but we told her she would be fine:) we told her that repentance is a real process and it does work! I'm so excited for Jackie and the progress that her and her son Josiah are making. I'm going to miss Jackie and Josiah so much. I would do anything for them they mean so much to me and I am so happy for the progress that Jackie is making In the gospel. I will admit that when I told her I would be leaving and couldn't see them again I did tear up. It was so rough! So mom and dad we are going to visit Jackie and Josiah after the mission and Emilee can be friends with him! I am trying to make it back to Jackies baptism for July 11th so I really hope I can get a ride there or I'll be pretty sad:( Thursday was transfer day and I got to take a picture with president and sister Riggs! This was their last transfer meeting. I'm going to miss them so badly too! Urg! I am not good with change! So it turns out I got transferred to the Vint hill ward out in Manasses Virginia! I live on the very border of the mission! It's straight country out here! It's a big change from Alexandria. But I'm in a car now so I am probably going to get FAT! Oh wait I already am fat! dangit! We have a big gym to ourselves here though so I'm trying to stay in shape! I've been rowing on the row machine and that kills me...my new companion is Elder Lee and he is from Fresno California. He is a pretty cool guy. We have been working pretty hard and I have been learning a lot from him. He is the district leader right now so that's pretty cool. There are like 5 people In The vint hill ward that have either lived in Colorado Springs or have family that are living in Colorado Springs so that's pretty cool and our bishop is so awesome! Bishop Wightman is so sweet! This week I've really been having a hard time with change. I honestly miss my old area and miss Elder Adair that guy is a stud. But I know that the lord wants me to be here in Manasses and there is somebody that only I can teach here! I read the talk from October 2008 general conference "come what may and love it" by elder Joseph b Wirthlin. I love this talk and it has helped me out in my time of trial and all the stress I have been having has been settled 

"I think she may have meant that every life has peaks and shadows and times when it seems that the birds don’t sing and bells don’t ring. Yet in spite of discouragement and adversity, those who are happiest seem to have a way of learning from difficult times, becoming stronger, wiser, and happier as a result."

Later on in the talk elder Wirthlin says

"I know why there must be opposition in all things. Adversity, if handled correctly, can be a blessing in our lives. We can learn to love it.

        As we look for humor, seek for the eternal perspective, understand the principle of compensation, and draw near to our Heavenly Father, we can endure hardship and trial. We can say, as did my mother, “Come what may, and love it.” Of this I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen." 

I love Elder Wirthlin and the great words of his mother. I'm pretty sure I've heard my own mother say this a couple of times to me ;) anyways I hope that you are all having a great week and I miss you all so badly and I know that I care about each and every one of you. You are all amazing and I am so happy that each of you are part of my life and each of you are great examples to me!! Love you all!

Elder Routsong