Monday, October 24, 2016

Week #72

Another week has come and gone. I'm still alive, for those of you who
were worried 😁. But it was quite an eventful week. It started last
pday when we were running around like chickens with our heads cut off
doing all this random stuff. We went to the mall, played basketball,
went grocery shopping, etc. it was a busy day. I'm excited for today
though, we don't have too much on our plate. We are getting groceries,
a hair cut, and then we are going to wash the car. Our car is terribly
dirty. We accumulated it pretty dirty though. Don't worry, I'll put a
little Leishman Cleanin Lovin on there and we will be in ship shape
for Zone Conference tomorrow🚕

This week elder Arritt and I killed it. We were able to find a lot of
new people as well as have some lessons with some of our investigators
that we found last week. Man, I am so happy with the work that's going
on here in the Quantico Ward. We have seen the lord really extend his
hand to so many in the short time we've been serving here. We spend a
lot of time just tracting but we have a lot of success that comes from
it. I'm super excited to see what this week has in store for us.

On Friday morning we had a lesson with one of our investigators who is
actually Jehovah's Witness. She is so sweet. We had a member come with
us and before the lesson we asked the member to invite her to church
this Sunday. The lesson was had was awesome. Our investigator had a
lot of really great questions with regards to the Book of Mormon and
Joseph Smith. We were able to answer them, no problem. Then our member
invited her out to church and it was perfect. She committed to come
and was really excited. Well, fast forward to Sunday morning. We text
her and confirm that she's coming to church and she replied that she
is still planning on it. Then about an hour later we get another text
saying her daughter woke up sick and she couldn't make it. So we try
to suggest some ideas for her to still be able to come and what not.
She said she would try and have her brother watch her while she goes
to church. So we get to church about 25-30 minutes early and she texts
us and says "hey, give me a call after you guys get out of church" and
so now I'm thinking "oh crap, what's going on now..." so we just
decide to call her before church since we had 20 minutes. And she
answers the phone and proceeds to tell us that she doesn't want to
meet with us anymore and that she isn't interested in the church. She
said "after TALKING TO SOME FRIENDS and also reading and praying, I've
decided that the Mormon church is anything I want to pursue
anymore".... man, my heart was shattered. She dropped us. And then
later on that evening, we had two other investigators text us and drop
us.... it was a rough Sunday. Right as I thought we were making huge
steps in the right direction, we got dropped. It was a tough Sunday.
But, you know what that means right? Back to square one, gotta find
some more prepared people. I know they are out there.

On a happier note, I found out earlier in the week that one of the
investigators that I found and taught while I was in manassas was
getting baptized this week. So I was able to go back and attend the
baptism with elder holdaway. It was so nice to see all the manassas
family again and see Julie get baptized. It was like I was back home
for a little bit. But, another cool story, ANOTHER one of the
investigators that I found and taught in manassas is getting baptized
this coming week. So stay tuned for Donnell's baptism! It was a great
way to end off my rough Sunday!

Well, I love and miss you guys. Blessin's🙏🏼

- Elder Leishman 🕴

Gain train meal - my mission has made me want to pursue a career in the culinary arts...

Elder Arritt's Birthday.  The other Quantico Elders got him a cake.

Julie's baptism with all the Elders that have taught Julie.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Week #71 - "pst90x"

It feels like I was just emailing you guys yesterday. These weeks are really going by so fast. It's like I blink and I'm at pday again. This week was awesome. Elder Arritt and I are doing great. We are finally starting to pick up on the ward and where everything is. Whitewash training has definitely been the hardest thing I've done on my mission. But it's been a lot of fun too! 

Last Monday we went up to the temple and did a session. It's always awesome when there is a holiday on a Monday and the temple is open. What more could you ask for on a pday? We went up there with Bishop Dzaran (from my last ward in Manassas) and we met up with Elder Simpson and Elder Winn who were up there with Zac McIllece who just got back from his mission! It was cool to be with those guys up there as well. The session was awesome. I'll get to go 1 more time before Christmas, so I'm pretty excited about that! 

We had zone training on Tuesday (let me tell you how grateful i am that I don't have to worry about planning those thing anymore🙌🏼) and we had a mission goal presented to us. We have a mission goal of baptizing 300 people this year and we are only at about 230. So we are making smaller goals that will help us accomplish the larger goal. So this next small goal is called "pst90x" (which comes from the workout p90x). It stand for "plan, study, and teach". It's another way we can help prepare our investigators for baptism. He has set a mission goal for all of us to do it 21 days (3 weeks) straight. So it will consist of planning every night for the needs of our investigators and what to study for, studying each morning so we can be prepared for each lesson, and then teaching and evaluating our teaching after the lessons to see what we can improve on. I'm really excited for these next 3 weeks! 

We have seen a number of miracles this week. First off, we were able to find 9 new investigators which is awesome. That helped out our teaching pool a ton! We found a couple families that are really cool. Nobody was able to come to church though but I'm sure we will get some here in the next couple weeks.

We were walking around quantico town our first day here and we street contacted a guy who is a baptist minister. He's a super cool guy. We talked to him for quite a while. He gave us a little spiritual pep talk which didn't turn confrontational at all. Then we gave him a Book of Mormon and asked him if we could come back and talk more about it with him. So we went back and talked with him a couple days later. We got to share the message of the restoration with him and he was actually really intrigued by it. We invited him to read and pray about it and he said he would. It was a really cool experience and during it all, I realized that I know the Bible a little more than I actually thought I did.... 📖

We had some really cool member dinners this week. Since there are now 2 companionships of elders in our ward, when members sign up to feed the elders, they sign up to feed all 4 of us. It's been a lot of fun to share dinners with them. And bless the hearts of these members for feeding all 4 of us hungry guys😂🙏🏼 (especially since we are all over 6 feet and we can really pound some food🍴

I'm excited to see what's in store for us this week. Elder Arritt is making huge steps each and everyday. He's going to be a great missionary and I'm learning a lot from him. Now I just hope he's learning something good from me... 😬 have a great week! 

- Elder Leishman🏃🏻

Elder Arritt and I.  We decided to do our companion study on the balcony because the weather was nice and cool.

We were driving on the base with one of our members and we saw this sweet military plane.  This is the plane that they will fold up the Presidents helicopter and put it in there to transport it to whereever the President is going.  Pretty neat.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Week #70 - "Q Town"

I feel like so many different things have happened since last Monday, I don't even know where to start. It's been a week full of highs and lows that's for sure. Last Monday we went ice skating. That was pretty fun. Don't worry, there were no serious injuries. Just a couple hard falls  but now that I've got it down, you can call me Chaz Michael Michaels. 

Oh and before I get down into the dirty stuff. Throughout the whole transfer we have been in a little friendly prank war with the sisters that serve in our ward. Throughout the transfer we have been saving our water bottles that we use along with a couple other companionships. So this week we decided to fill their closet with water bottles and to top it off, we went out and bought a live lobster and a live tilapia. We filled their bath tub and put the tilapia in there, then we filled their sink and put the lobster in there. It was pretty funny. The sisters got so mad😂 but it was all chill. They were over it right away.  

On Monday night, we were at Bishop Dzaran's house when I got a call from one of the assistants and he told me that I would be training this next transfer and that I was also leaving the Manassas 1st Ward. Which meant that I would be whitewash training and opening up a new area. He didn't tell me where though, they leave you with a little cliff hanger. So I was pretty bummed to find out that I was leaving manassas. I love that place so much. I've really come to love and gain a lasting friendship with so many members there. It was the hardest time leaving behind the Bercian family as well. They are like my second family here and I've seen so much progression since we first started meeting with them. They are going to be awesome. 👌🏼

On Tuesday and Wednesday I started packing and saying my goodbyes. Tuesday night is when I got the transfer doctrine that said I would be getting transferred to the Quantico Ward and opening up another set of elders there. (They already had 1 set of elders and 1 set of sisters) I was pretty excited when I found out that's where I was going. It isn't too far from manassas and it has the same demographics as manassas. But what I was probably most excited about is opening a new area. That meant I would get transferred somewhere that had 0 investigators, 0 potentials, 0 less active to work with, and I would have to build it up with my companion from scratch. I thought that was pretty cool. 

Thursday was transfer day. It started at 8:30am when I had to be at the train the trainer meeting. Then I found out who my new companion is. My few companion is Elder Arritt. He is from Twin Falls, ID. He just graduated this fast spring. He likes football and rugby, he's pretty tall too. He is going to be a stud missionary. We have been working super hard here in the Quantico Ward. We don't know anyone here, not even the members, so that's been super tough. But we have been grinding away. We already have 3 new investigators and a lot of potentials. So we will have to see where the lord takes us on this adventure. 

I'm super excited for this transfer and the experiences I'm going to have. I'll be sure to send my pics from this week! Much love! 

- Elder Leish

Ice Skating

Attempting to take a district picture

The last supper at the Mcllleces house, they were so awesome to me while I was in the ward.  #blessed

Saying goodbye to the Bercians.  Man was that a tough night....

Saying goodbe to Bro. Cox.  He was our WML

Elder Ma went home this transfer.  His home is in China.

More district pictures

Monday, October 3, 2016

Week #69 - General Conference (a.k.a. Spiritual Feast)

So many things have happened since I emailed last Monday, I don't even know where to start. Last Monday we went into DC. It was super fun. We visited Chinatown, the Verizon center (where the wizards play), the national archives (where the Declaration of Independence), and the White House. When we were at the White House, president Obama was rolling up. It was pretty gnarly. They had like 3 streets closed. 20 unmarked cars and these two HUGE Souped up rolls Royce type cars that were completely bullet proof. It was so cool. We couldn't get close enough to see anyone but we watched them drive from one building all the way up to the back door of the White House. I wish I could roll up in that style.... 🚗

This week it rained on and off every single day. The first day I saw the sun was yesterday.... we had some service projects this week which were pretty cool. We went and helped a member of the warrenton 2/Gainesville ward. They are working to build this farm that's going to kind of be like thanksgiving point. Just where you can come and learn about farming and see some cool stuff. But, the whole time we were working, it was pouring rain. We were shoveling mountains of gravel in the pouring rain. It was absolutely a blast. I got soaking wet but it was so much fun. They took a lot of pictures so I will be sure to attach some of them! 

Then, we hit the spiritual feast we had this past weekend. Man, I enjoyed general conference so much. I think my favorite talks were by Elder J. Devn Cornish and Elder Neil L. Anderson. Elder Cornish talked about how we need to stop comparing ourselves to others and only worry about what God thinks of us. Elder Anderson said something that really stood out to me. He said "Stop feeling guilty about any insufficiency you have about sharing the gospel"I thought that was exactly what the members of the church, myself included, needed to hear. General conference is really my favorite time of the year. It such a blessing to have living prophets and apostles to lead and guide our discipleship. I so grateful for the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ! 

Have a great week! Love and miss you guy! 

- Elder Leish



Breakfast with the zone and President Dionne

Zone service project