Monday, February 29, 2016

The Gardener, Small Cakes & Cloud 9

Cupcakes from Small Cakes!
Dear Family & Friends, 
This last week flew by, like the others. At the beginning of the week, I went on exchanges to Evans with Elder Haines. I learned, or re-learned some things. We went tracting in one neighborhood before dinner. We met one lady, who husband is a Baptist Minister, but she has found herself Spiritually 'stuck'. She had seen missionaries around before and she wanted to know ho she can find her faith. Elder Haines jumped in before I could speak and said we could help get her unstuck. We often, as members and non-members find ourselves in a rut of sorts. We may feel like why is Lord letting this happen to me? Visiting with her, I referred to the parable of the gardener in the Book of Mormon. The gardener is the Lord. We are the flower bush. It may not be a direct reference, but it works nonetheless. The gardener sees the bush and it may be in bloom and after the season of blooming, the gardener sees that he must prune it in order for it to bloom even more the next year. Just with us, the Lord seems to be cutting us down or holding us back. But in reality he is pruning and halting us from making a terrible mistake. We had a lot of success on those few homes we knocked on. 

When we exchanged back, we reviewed the exchange and Elder Jordan and Elder Allen had been doing a lot of work as well. They had been tracting with Grant, who will soon have his papers in for his mission. They found some potential investigators which boosted us to keep moving forward. On Thursday, we went tracting on the same street as Brother Ferraro. We started knocking away and we came up to one in particular. The door was open and the lady inside introduced herself as Lisa. She said that she has a Book of Mormon and was taught by Missionaries in the past! She said she would like to have the lessons and to learn more. Elder Jordan and I walked away from that one smiling. A couple doors down, we knocked on another one. We knocked twice and I was about to slide a pas-along card into the door-frame. Elder Jordan said to wait, then the door opened. A young woman, in her twenties, answered. We introduced ourselves, and she replied she had to go pick her sister up from school, but she would like to hear our message. Man, I was walking on cloud nine! 

German Food & Small Cakes!
Thursday my companion and I were treated to dinner by the McClellan's at a German Restaurant called Augsburg Haus in Evans, Georgia. I had the Schweinbraten and potato salad. The German food was amazing. The German Potato Salad is incredible! Right next door to the restaurant was "Small Cakes" 

We haven't been able to meet with Garret for a while due to scheduling conflicts. But we remain hopeful.
I am not sure if I told you, but I have set a goal to read the entire Standard Works before I come home. I've read the Book of Mormon, and now I'm going through the Bible. I am now in Joshua. Yeah, I'm hoping to finish the bible by September. Then I will read the Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price. 

With the vigor from last week, I am transferring into next week. I really love how much we can really do when we push ourselves and go out there and preach the gospel to all who will listen to our message. This was definitely one of the best weeks of my time in North Augusta. 

Have a good week y'all!
Elder Kestner