Monday, September 28, 2015

Goodbye Thomson..Onto Area #3

Dear Family & Friends,

This week was a long one. On Monday, P-Day, we went as a District to Ft. Gordon and bowled. We had a lot of fun and I could use some improvement in bowling. 

On Tuesday, I was with Elder Lowe in Harlem, a green missionary from Las Vegas. He is 18 and very enthusiastic about missionary work. We taught a few people and tracted a neighborhood. We walk down this dirt road and we two men sitting and talking. We approached them and introduced ourselves as missionaries. One of them asked, ''What have y'all got for us today?''. Without hesitation, I said, "Our message is that God has called Prophets today just like Abraham and Moses in the Bible". They sat up straight and paid attention as we taught an amazing Restoration lesson with that principle in mind. I have found that being bold and direct with contacting proves fruitful if we lose our fear about rejection. It is a fact that I have had doors slammed in my face. I strive to have a positive attitude even though I may have the temptation to be sad or angry or judgmental. I hope to keep my attitude like that my whole mission.  

A couple days ago, Elder Thornton and I were tracting. We had some luck with one lady who invited us back. We knocked on a few more with no success. We then approached a door with Alabama, "Roll Tide" porch decorations. I knew how we could break the ice since Alabama was my last area. We knocked and a man came to the door and I broke the ice by saying, "I see you're the only Alabama on this street while everyone else are Georgia fans". He laughed and he told us that he knows Becky, one of our investigators. Before we left we asked if we could come by and he accepted. Another example of why I don't need to be nervous when I'm out tracting. 

On Thursday, a funny thing happened. We were coming back from RMT at the library. We were almost home when Elder Thornton noticed that the driver of a red van was waving at us. We were confused and a little concerned at first. As it turned out, it was Becky! She followed us back to our apartment and asked us if we have had lunch yet. We hadn't yet, but she said she was hungry and doesn't like eating by herself. So, long story short, we met her at Taco Bell 15 minutes later. We had a good meal and a good visit about how she is doing and how the rest of her family is. After our visit and meal, went back out to do missionary work. 

Elder Kestner & Jeremy
Later that evening we went to visit Jeremy and Jamesta, two of our investigators. We were there for about 15 minutes when Jamesta asked us, "Be honest know, have y'all had dinner yet?" We hadn't, so we were fed for the 2nd time that day. They picked up some Pizza Hut and it was good!

On Wednesday, we were in Lincolnton. We got there and biked around. We visited Barbara, an investigator and talked to her about Joseph Smith. After that visit we biked around to see what the area looked like. We got chased by some dogs, which is pretty funny and entertaining for us.We were coming back down a hill when we saw a van pulling out of a driveway. I noticed on the front driver side that the tire was flat. We stopped and offered assistance. The driver of the mini van, Teresa, who is from Mexico, was happy to see us. 20 minutes later we had the flat tire off and replaced it with the spare. We got her information and she wanted to see us again. This was such a rich experience that I hope to remember. 

On Saturday, we helped our Ward Mission Leader, Bro. Carlsen, clean the church before our weekly Ward Mission Meeting. During our cleaning, we listened to the transfer call over a conference call. They made some announcements and read off the names of missionaries that are being transferred. My name was called, much to my dismay. I was shocked I was leaving after only being here for 6 weeks. After our cleaning and meeting, Bro. Carlsen treated us to Subway and took us home. That put a damper on my day. That evening we visited and had dinner with the Klekotka family. The dad, Rick, is the only member and they all love us and have similar interests and hobbies as I do! After dinner and some visiting, we took some pictures. I love this family and will be sure to visit them when I go on my mission tour after my 2 years as a missionary. 

Yesterday, we went to church and broke the news to the
Elder Kestner, Bryant Koschene & Annabelle
members. I took some pictures with some members and we had dinner with the Koschenes. Fun fact about them. They have had Tillamook cheese and they agree it is the best cheese and ice cream! The Koschenes have their oldest son serving his mission in Seattle, WA. Small world! We got a couple pictures of them and we went home. 

When we got back we visited Jeremy and Jamesta and said goodbye, talked a little football, and got a picture with Jeremy. 

Austin & Elder Kestner..see ya later!
After church we taught Austin, a recent convert and his mom, a non-member. We talked about the Plan of Salvation and Stacy, Austin's mom had some good questions. My hope is that she will want to join the church and receive the blessings of the Gospel. She then sent us off with a picture, a bag of homemade cookies and 2 space bags. I have been spoiled this week!

The last 6 weeks here in Thomson have been amazing. I have grown to love the members and investigators here. They are all great! I will miss this area, but I am excited for my next area. I am hopeful that my next area will be the one I will stay in for Christmas. Thank you for everything and I look forward to this week of changes!

Your son,

Elder Alexander Kestner