In-Field Week 7 – Banishment

Goodness, I just barely wrote an email, did I not? Anyway, welcome to Port Arthur, banishment for Spanish Elders! (It’s considered banishment because it’s the farthest you can get from the mission office as a Spanish Elder. Lousiana doesn’t have any Spanish areas.) My new companion is Elder Trent and he’s a homie :). It felt like this week was crazy fast so things are a bit hard to remember. Also, this week we had at least one miracle every single day! It’s been lit down here in Port Arthur. But I do miss Broadway. Broadway will always be my home here in the mission.

Tuesday we finished out the day with a trip to Walmart, some pizza bought for us by a non-member (wow), and settling in to the new apartment.

Wednesday we hadn’t even started contacting people when a miracle happened. We’d just barely stepped out of the car when a man approached us and, in essence, asked if we had a Book of Mormon and if we could come by tomorrow and teach him. That’s the first time Elder Trent or I have ever seen that happen.
Next, we talked with a man about faith and how religion has blessed his life. Then we had an English Connect class. English Connect teach non-English speakers how to speak English. It was really cool to watch and reminded me of how it must have been like (and still is like) for me to be learning Spanish. You can kind of get your point across but it’s not as dynamic as you may have wanted it to be. Oh well, with time it will become better.

Thursday we had our lesson with the man who approached us in the street. His name is Ernesto and says he’s had a lot of ‘signs’ lately that lead him to us. I mean, he’s not wrong. He read like half the Book of Mormon last night! We extended a baptismal date but he said he’d like to read more before committing. Fair enough.
Later, we had an express Book of Mormon lesson with a less active on her doorstep. And I mean ‘express’. Like we taught the lesson in like three minutes. So that was fun.
Right after that was a really cool but kinda scary incident. So we were walking down the street and Elder Trent points to this house and is like “think we should knock it?” I said “sure, why not?” We approached the house and we both stopped like threevsteps away from the door. I thought he was doing something similar to Elder Blackburn where he’d stopped a few steps away from the door as a sign for me to start the contact. So I took another step right as we both felt the Spirit very strongly tell us “No. Do not knock this door. Leave now.” So we backed away, marked the house and a “Do Not Contact”, and left it at that. We were talking later and Elder Trent said he felt a dark presence there. I didn’t feel that, at least I don’t think I did, but regardless, that was an experience with the Spirit I’ve not had in a while. Spooky.

Friday we had an English Connect training. Basically, it just helps us figure out how to teach a language class. Then we had a bunch of contacts that all ended up going great.
We went to go visit this investigator that was in our area book. So we knocked the address that was listed. Nope, wasn’t him. Maybe the next house over? Nope, not that one either. But that house had someone who seemed really interested so it ended up working out.
Then we went to a returning members home. She was the only one home so we had our lesson on the porch. She said she misses the church and wants to return but only at her own pace. That’s okay.
Finally, we had a lesson with a teenager who is interested in the gospel. That was fun and went about how you’d expect a lesson to go with a teenager.

Saturday we met a man named Nolan. He says to Google him because apparently he was an actor back with John Wayne. So I guess if you want to, his screen name is Jim Prejean. Anyway, we talked for almost two hours and he accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon.
Later, we had member lunch and then we went to stake conference with a members grandson, who is not a member. So that was pretty dang cool.

Sunday we had stake conference! Elder Adrián Ochoa from the seventy was there and he’s a really cool guy with a lot of stories!
Afterwards, we went to lunch with a member. The members here are so awesome. I think the members wherever you are, are amazing. Afterwards, we had some awesome lessons with so many different investigators, I honestly couldn’t tell you exactly what happened. But what I do know is that they all were accompanied by the Spirit.

And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee.

Jeremiah 1:19

I can truly testify that as we search out the Spirit and become worthy of his presence, that he will be there to help and guide us throughout our lives. I have truly been able to see that. I know that God knows every single one of his children by name and he loves us all perfectly, even despite our imperfections. I love you all, have a fantastic week!

Elder Thacker