Thursday, October 13, 2016

West Virginia Flood Relief Week

Hello hello!

How is everyone doing this wonderful fall week? It's starting to get a little windy and chilly here in Virginia. I'm pretty excited for this
fall and winter. Virginia is like the prettiest place during the fall.
This week was pretty fun! We had some good things happen! Last pday we went to DC! It was really cool! We went to see the Korean War memorial and the Vietnam memorial along with the US history museum. It was all things I haven't seen before so it was kind of refreshing. DC is a fun place to go but you are always so tired once you come back...that night we taught a few less actives and spent some time with them. Eric Murray and the esquivel family both of them are so cool.  Tuesday we had district meetings and I
taught about the importance of General conference and listening and believing the words of the prophets and apostles. It was cool we then had a little testimony meeting on what we learned from general conference! It was great! That afternoon we did some service for a Vietnamese lady our friend Hoa! She is cool. Barely speaks any English but is always so nice to us. I mowed the lawn with her super old lawn mower that's about to break. She is very grateful for our service. We visited a member in our ward going through a hard time and helped him with moving some stuff around in his house. Then we were going to
teach a less active family and they all were outside helping change a tire on their van. We helped them fix it up and look nice. They were very grateful as well. The pereira family is a great family I wish they would come to church... Wednesday was awesome! My aunt Jeanie and uncle Grant came to visit me! They took my comp and I out to Chilies!
It was nice to have some good ol Dalton humor that I haven't had in a year and a half. It made me miss the Daltons a lot! We talked and
talked! I really enjoyed it! They are very sweet people:) after their
visit we met with Abay the Indian dude. He is super cool just doesn't really understand our faith even though he is a we are reteaching him. He is convinced that he needs to go back to India to preach the gospel. So that's pretty cool... We then went out and did some street contacting with a member of our ward. Emmanuel is a cool guy just recently married. He helped us with our Spanish. We then met with the Reese family. We are trying to reactive them. Hopefully they come along. They are super funny and so nice. I've been praying a lot
for them...Thursday was transfers. My comp elder Benard and I are
staying together for another 6 weeks which is awesome! We are having a good time! A member took us and the Algonkian elders whom were transferring out to Ihop before transfer meeting. It was so much fun. Elder hild is a funny missionary and they moved him to the other side of the mission dangit! That night we had dinner with the decker family and brother decker is in charge of helping these West Virginia flood victims from back in June. So we traveled  around the area with him picking up furniture and moving it to the church. We were so tired by
the end of the night. Friday we week planned and helped brother decker
again with furniture. Saturday was the big flood event. We helped all morning picking up furniture and loading it into three big semi truck trailers. It took forever but it was so rewarding and so much fun. I also experienced a miracle while working for the flood victims... About a year ago my companion elder Blanchard and I taught a little girl by the name of Madison Phan. She is the daughter of a less active
family. Things weren't really going anywhere with them. As I was
walking into the church to go to the bathroom I noticed a baptismal
program. IT WAS MADISONS! Holy cow! I about died when I read it. My heart was filled with joy! I made sure to congratulate Madison and the Phan family. WOW! Saturday was such a rewarding day.
Sunday was just as good! Okay...Dave got confirmed a member and
received the gift of the Holy Ghost. Bishop then interviewed him for the priesthood. Dave came out of his office and said "well elder
Routsong would your confer the priesthood to me?"
I was speechless...the spirit was so strong the whole time at church.
After church we taught Dave and I could tell he was different. I saw a new light in his eyes..God is so loving and so good to us.
After Daves lesson we went and taught a young 24 year old man named Noah. He was hesitant to let us in. We taught him the restoration and the spirit filled the room... He said "I know this is the right way to live but I'm not sure what to do about it!" We invited him to be baptized if he knew it was true and he said YES! We will continue to work with him. Elder Benard and I were fasting for people to teach and God blessed us with Noah... God is so good!
This week was very blessed. Being a missionary is wonderful. We will make it to heaven if we keep trying! I love the words of elder Cornish this past conference

"The God of heaven is not a heartless referee looking for any excuse
to throw us out of the game. He is our perfectly loving Father, who
yearns more than anything else to have all of His children come back
home and live with Him as families forever. He truly gave His Only
Begotten Son that we might not perish but have everlasting life!"

Have a wonderful week!!
Elder Routsong

Dave and Conference

Hello hello

Wow what a weird week...spiritual highs and lows and happiness and sadness! Haha pretty much normal for missionaries I guess right?! This week was good. Just a roller coaster! Time is flying so fast! Monday was fun we went to president Huntsmans house and had a bbq and played some hardcore volleyball. It is always good being with President and Sister Huntsman. I love them so much and they teach me so much as well! After pday we tracted out in the rain for a couple hours and then we had a lesson/dinner with the Clark family. They are pretty sweet. They are less active and we are trying to help them so much!
This whole week has been Rainey and dark and junky hahaha. It's great!
Fall in Virginia! Tuesday we had district meeting and I talked about
the importance of the Book of Mormon and how it can answer ALL
questions! It's more than just A BOOK! it's the gateway to our
salvation! After district meeting we got together with the Algonkian elders and went to move this really creepy non member in Reston to the Algonkian Ward.  I don't even know where to begin with this guy. He was the most touchy guy I've ever met. He like grabbed my shoulders and crap. Then I was leaning up against the truck and he starts massaging my was SO FETCHING CREEPY! He comes up to me and elder hild and says "how old is your guys dads?" We were both like "uhhhhhh 52" then we said "well I'm about that age so today I will be your dad!" Then we started rubbing our shoulders. I hope I never see that guy ever again. Hahahahahaha. Wednesday my drivers
license expired so we gave the car to Algonkian for the day. It rained alllllll dayyyyyy I literally felt like I was in forest gump. We met with Abay and I was soaking wet. It was nasty. We had a good dinner that night though with a less active family who fed us super well.
Thursday was super cool. We had return and report. It was awesome. We got to spend time with President and Sister Huntsman. It was great!
After that I went on exchanges with elder prince in the Spanish
program I'll miss this kid he leaves next week. We had a lot of fun.
Friday we exchanged back and got prepared for Daves baptism! We nailed
out the program and went to buy him some ties. It was good. Saturday was Daves baptism!! Heck yeah! We watched general conference while filling the font. It was such a rewarding experience... I loved
hearing that water in the background while listening to the inspired
leaders of our church. Daves baptism was incredible. We love him so much...I was honored to baptize Dave. It was incredible..after he came up out of the water he immediately said a prayer to thank god...I wanted to cry. He said he felt clean! And he truly was... Words cannot describe the joy I felt on Saturday in the next sessions of conference. That night we ate at fudruckers with the Ward. Then hit up priesthood session. It was great! Sunday was a rough day. Fetching fudruckers got me and elder Benard poisoning to the max. I layed in bed all day wanting to die. The shenendoa sisters were kind enough to get us some Sprite. Sunday was horrible hahah but Dave
watched conference! This week was great! Love you all so much! I
rejoice in my heavenly fathers love! Have a wonderful week!
Elder Routsong

Sunday, October 2, 2016

18 months!

Friends and family,

Hello hello!! This week was pretty stinking awesome. We had a lot  of success! Sterling Virginia is the place to be fellas. Elder Benard and I have been doing our best work. We were basically like full time home teachers this week with the less active people in the Ward. But we got to visit with some pretty awesome people. Last pday was pretty awful hahah it rained all day and we were planning on going
to top golf :/ we just went to the mall and I bought some Volcom pants to work in. We also got a little bit of basketball and one ball dodgeball in. After pday we were super hungry so we slammed a bunch of Taco Bell then I realized I needed to go on a diet Hahahah. Monday night was good we got to visit a few people. Tuesday was kinda a
nightmare. Hahahaha so the entire day went good up until dinner. In the morning I taught district meeting about the importance of loving others and having Christlike charity! We then went to the office with
the zone leaders cause I had to send some stuff to my doctor. Elder Hild was telling stories about dates he had been on at BYU haha kid is hilarious. We call him Bobby light. We ate dinner at a Cambodian ladies house. Her name is Pibot and her husbands name is Paula. They
are super nice but never make the best food. We ate this dessert that was literally green beans, black beans, kidney beans, red beans, and some other bean mixed in coconut milk and hot tapioca pudding. Easily the nastiest thing I've ever eaten. I was sitting there eating it
and gagged at the table. I'm a wuss I know. But it was gross. It made me sick and her dinner I was up till late sick. Horrible evening. We also taught the Perreria family after that dinner. I was dying! Hahaha
Wednesday I stayed in while my comp and Algonkian went on splits so Elder Hild was with me. We had some good talks. After I started feeling better we went to falls church to help clean an apartment with the office elders. They also generously gave me a weight set ;) so I
can get back in shape! Yay! They night we went on splits with two members. I went with brother Jimenez and he is a total boss. He's my favorite member. Anyways we taught s less active lady named Vicky.
Vicky is very special. Her husband passed away 15 years ago and she hasn't been to church since. She welcomed us in and loved having us. Such a sweet lady! She looks at me and says "this is the first time
I've had a missionary in my home since 1990!" We got to know her and I shared with her some versus from 1 John chapter 4 about perfect love.
It was so good! :) Thursday we had a busy day too! We had a nice full study then my favorite member Ann Williamson took Elder Holdaway and I out to lunch for my late birthday! I love the and
dad they hopefully will be one of the first people you meet when you come here! She was talking about how the man she is renting her house out to is looking at sketchy stuff on the internet haha oh my gosh too
funny. You just have to meet them. After lunch we visited with our favorite guy Abay. He has this cool Siamese cat who's name is ackichi.
We read the scriptures with him and helped him understand. He's awesome. Then we went to visit with Eric. He is going through a tough spot. He is 40 and suffers from some mental illness and his mom is in the hospital. We made sure he was alright and had a lesson with
him. Eric is great. We hope he is doing good. Thursday I was so tired. I slept though dinner and then got back to work. Before returning home that night we stopped at firehouse and a less active member bought our
food. I was like yussss. We are going to start teaching her and her family now! How cool. Friday we weekly planned and then helped the
Spanish elders fix their car. We met with another less active member named Ed. He is a great guy. Mid single adult. We go and read the scriptures with him every week. We talked about the importance of personal revelation. There is s talk given in the September 1999
ensign. Check it out. Loved it. We also had a lesson and dinner and nerf war with the Clark family. They are less active and have their
struggles. I love them a lot. It was good meeting with them. Saturday we played soccer with our investigator almumy and helped brother Jimenez move some things out of his storage unit. We also taught this
inactive member who's name is Will. It was interesting...he opens the door and blows cigarette smoke at us Then we had a long talk about the
New Testament hahahahah. So weird. He is cool though. We woke Eric up to get to church and also Vicky came to
church for the first time in years! And Dave Marr was there! Dave had
his baptismal interview and passed! We taught him about the
priesthood. He is getting baptized this Saturday! He said "you guys knocked on my door in and my life did a 180!" Dave is
incredible...we ate dinner at a members house who had 8 kids. I felt like I was at your house Auntie Kristy! Hahaha we also found this guy
named Noah while tracting. We are meeting with him today and will probably pass him to the singles ward sister missionaries! This week
was awesome. We were basically full time home teachers. But it went
well! We did all we could do with cheer! I love my father in heaven
and my savior Jesus Christ. He has changed me some much these past 18 months of my life. I'm a new man. Love you all!
Elder  Routsong