Monday, June 24, 2013

June, 24, 2013

This Sunday was my last week in the Frankford Branch. I am getting transferred! I sang in church yesterday and it didn't quite go as planned. I was planning on singing the song I Heard Him Come but the lady that plays piano for our branch had a bad migraine and so I had to figure something out last minute because she wasn't coming. Luckily, the organ we have is computerized so I sang Hymn #62 All Creatures of Our God and King. It was good. We also had the Temple President from the D.C. temple and his wife speak. They were awesome! His wife talked about how they have a special needs daughter that is 40 years old that started working in the temple after she received her endowment. It was really inspiring. I am sure going to miss the people here but I know I am needed somewhere else. Or, the more likely reason, I have something to learn in a different area, from different people. I love Philly!

Monday, June 17, 2013

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This is Daryl. He is a preacher that preaches on the street a lot. He seemed to want to just argue with us at first but he is really nice to us. He seems to feel like he is a father figure of sorts. He is pretty cool. By the way, I cut my hair pretty short.

June 17, 2013

So last week we had Zone Conference and it was off the chain! Our mission president is going home so we sang him a song. Do you remember when I sang a song written by one of the other missionaries a few months ago? Well, he wrote another song and this one was just for President and Sister Schaefermeyer. It was pretty awesome. One of the Elders played guitar and we had some beatboxing on the chorus. We did it in the gym so it wasn't too irreverent. The mission president's wife was crying the whole time. It was really pretty cool because our whole zone, about 36 missionaries, were all singing. There were a few solos and the spanish missionaries sang their line in spanish. It was seriously awesome.
We have one person right now with a baptismal date. He is ten years old and his family are members. He didn't get baptized for some reason but we are teaching him now. We have taught him twice and the first time we went over the Restoration. He actually told us all about Joseph Smith's experience and the Book of Mormon. It was pretty cool. This family has about 7 children and they are awesome. The youngest one is approx. eighteen months old and she is super quiet. However, Elder Riehle and I have recently got her to talk and play with us a little. She mainly will just bring us random objects but I also got a few high-fives so I am pretty proud of myself.
This last two weeks we have had a lot of appointments on our schedule. A lot of them fell through but that is irrelevant. Elder Riehle and I both felt like we needed to spend some time finding more people. On this last Friday we went on an exchange. Elder Lovaas, a missionary that came out with me, came into my area for the day. We had planned about 4 hours of tracting. Most missionaries don't like tracting very much and neither Elder Lovaas nor I have done much of it. We needed to find people so we did it anyway. Knocking on random peoples' doors is a little intimidating but when it comes down to it, I know this will make them happier so that thought makes it a little easier.
Elder Lovaas and I tracted into a few really cool people. One such human being(I know, shocking) is a nineteen year old kid. He is Christian and loves God a lot. He likes to read so when we told him about the Book of Mormon he was excited. We brought one by on Saturday and he was pretty happy. We are going to meet with him this week so I will let you know how that goes. His name is Bernard and he is super nice. I can't wait to teach him because he is really down to earth.
 One last thing I wanted to share with you. I have been trying to really improve my teaching skills. My mission president told me in an email to ask inspired questions, teach simply, and testify more often. I tried to do just that and it worked! Elder Riehle and I were teaching one of our investigators and he seems to have a problem with coming to church. He doesn't give us a reason but he just says no. This time I asked a few simple questions. I asked him if he would pray about it and he said yes. I then proceeded to testify to him that I knew what blessings come from church and that he can have some of his questions answered. It was pretty cool because when we left that lesson he had more understanding than I have ever seen him have. I have taught this investigator six or seven times with Elder Olaveson. The lesson is learn to be simple and the Spirit will have a lot more room to teach.
Elder Joseph Engelman
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Mormon Helping Hands Day - Elder Engelman got into some poison oak

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

June 11, 2013

On Sunday, we got to hear a talk from Elder Rasband, the president of the Quorum of the Seventy. He didn't actually prepare a talk but he did a question and answer session. He wanted to know "what [kept us] up at night?" He answered about three questions and one of them was "why do bad things happen to good people?" He first told us that we would need a few hours for him to explain but he answered it anyway. He told us some pretty cool stories but it came down to the fact that people have been given agency. If he were to stop people from exercising that agency, despite the evil intent, he would frustrate and ruin the Plan of Salvation. He also told us to look up his talk from General Conference in 2012 called "Special Experiences".

Monday, June 3, 2013

June 2, 2013

It has been pretty warm lately and the Humidity is pretty fine. I have been fine but I think short sleeve shirts will be more comfortable.

The work has been awesome. Elder Riehle has learned that I am a procrastinator but I am getting better. I haven't been falling asleep as much so he doesn't even know how easily I can sleep. We have been doing great. The investigators we have are few right now. Christina and her sons have a baptismal date but it is going to be pushed back because we haven't been able to teach them. We have a new investigator that we met on Wednesday but we haven't had the chance to meet with him yet. His name is Damien and he is in his 40s. He has battled leukymia three times! He stopped and talked to us and asked us to help him get his faith back. All four of the missionaries in this branch were teaching together when we talked to him. It was cool but really hard. He said he felt a lot better after talking to us and when we asked when we could come teach him some more he said he was just about to ask the same thing. It was pretty much awesome.
I have just started reading conference addresses from past years. In the scriptures it talks about how anything that is said by the spirit is scripture. Conference talks are scripture so I have decided I want to read all of them. I'm not sure how many I am going to be able to read on my mission but I want to try.