Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Elder E Letters three weeks worth.

Due to some illness I was not able to get these letter on in an orderly manner.  This his last three weeks of emails.
Howdy Howdy Howdy!!!
How good it is to be able to write to my homeland on such a repetitive basis. I do love General Conference. It feels like a holiday for each missionary in the world. Never had I been more excited for conference than this one. I took so many notes and learned so much from what was spoken. I wait anxiously for when the Ensign comes. Let me retell an experience I had on Saturday.
Before the Priesthood session, Elder R and I went to see a less active member of the branch. It was immediately apparent that he joined the Church because of the sisters that taught him years ago but we did our best to bring to conference. Actually, Elder Rdid all of the talking. I sat like a lump on the log and said nothing. After we left, I felt horrible. How can I be serve the Lord if I couldn't even open my mouth to say one little thing. As we sat down to listen to prophets and apostles, I said a prayer in my heart that what is spoken in the session will help me to speak or I would go home and leave the church. Almost immediately after I closed my prayer, Elder Robert D. Hales was first to speak. As he opened his address with Ephesians 6 on the Armor of God, tears began to stream down my face. This had been what I was waiting for! Not only was my prayer answered, but every word that was shared that night touched me in such a way that amazes even me. I really did grow 5 feet that night. I am so grateful for prayer.
That scripture that Elder Hales shared is the very scripture that I live by. No more do I need the Lord's council than I do now. Thanks to General Conference, I know how to be a better missionary than I have been. Now is the true beginning of Elder DeCoursey.
This past week, we spent much time over at Nikki's house and doing service with her husband. They really are a great couple. I was shocked when she asked for visiting teachers . She's not even a member yet. Once she's read the Book of Mormon. I know that she will join the true church of God.
It's been rather difficult to find any new investigators. Sometimes we won't be able to find investigators but that;s alright. I know that God is just testing my faith. He knows what I need learn so until then I'll keep on working.
We made a new missionary meal calender that covers till next December. Each page has a funny comic that had to have been made by a return missionary. I know that the branch will love it.
Nothing much else really happened. Love you lots.
Elder Ephraim Kade DeCoursey
Family and Friends,
 I've got a riddle for all of my friends and family at home. :When the music stops the girl dies. How does the girl die?" Now don't use the internet to answer this. Use your best judgement and then I'll answer it next week.
Hello everyone. My mission has committed us to memorize all 40 of the scriptures they have given us to study. I'll be honest in saying that I've been neglecting this privilege to study these verses in the past 6 months. I want to take on this challenge so I can become a better missionary. I will let you know how the progress goes as the weeks go by.
Yesterday we went to see a less active family of the branch. They are super nice to the missionaries. The husband is the member and he hasn't been to church since he was in his teens and his wife is not a member. However, 2 of their kids have been baptized into the church and these kids regularly go to the youth activities every Wednesday. We had a great time visiting them. He makes his own hot sauce and he asked if we wanted to try some. So of course we tried some and our mouths were definitely on fire. It wasn't the hottest I've had but it was certainly hot. After our visit we counted the wife as a new investigator.
In one of the towns that we cover, we tracted into an older gentleman that spends the majority of his time wood crafting. And he is really good. He made a carnival, many churches, portraits, and more. He is really good. I'll be sending some pictures along so you can see his work.
Niki, one of the investigators that we already have is progressing quite well. She's already a member but she's what we call a "Dry Mormon". She doesn't think she knows enough yet to make the decision but she is reading the Book of Mormon regularly. She believes that she has to read the entire book before she makes a decision. That certainly is very good, but she really doesn't have to know every little detail about the church to get an answer. The Holy Ghost is the best teacher and it can help her to learn more. But for now she is truly progressing.
That's all the highlights of the past week. I love you all so much.
Love, Elder Ephraim Kade DeCoursey
So I have recently discovered a certain modern day Apostle by the name of Elder Bruce R. McKonkie and his works. Have you heard of him? I've heard of him before but I had no idea what he's done. He is so cool!!! My district leader has a copy of one of the books that he wrote. It's called Mormon Doctrine. It's basically a dictionary for latter day saint terms and great stuff like that. I love that book. I wish I had my own copy so I could read it on my free time. But it is no longer in print so it's not so easy to find. I can live without it for now.
So last week we did something called the Burgess challenge. The Burgess's are a member of the branch that moved in from Utah 3 months ago and we were having dinner with them a few weeks ago and we got on the subject of challenges. Bro Burgess wanted to create a challenge for us to do and future missionaries to come. So last Tuesday we arrive at their house for dinner and on the table are 6 loose-meat burgers, 6 spanish style coney dogs, and a quart of chocolate shake for each of us. After the prayer, the challenge began. I had 3 burgers left, 1 coney left, and I had drank all my shake before I had to quit. I was stuffed. Elder Riggs, on the other hand, was able to finish. we sorely regretted it later. We were rolling around on the floor in pain in our apartment. I gained several pounds from that meal alone.
We discovered that we had an investigator that had "fallen through the cracks" in missionary communication. Her name is Roberta. She is a 70 year old confederate and she lives in a very historic home. She has had the Church's influence almost all her life. Ever since she moved in missionaries have visiting her for 12 years now. She has a lot of old stuff that if she sold it all she would have a lot of money by now. But she likes having all the things she has. She loves the Church so much but she's told us the only reason that's holding her back is that she's a traditional Lutheran and she's not used to all the business suits and no robes out on the podium. But she wants to be baptized. She understand what the proper authority is and she's even told us she's Mormon at heart. We just need to help her come to church and to ease into the Restored Gospel. In an effort to help her, we went to her church on Sunday before our church. She ended up not coming to ours because she was going on a trip to Georgia to scope a house that she thinks God wants her to have. We still went to her church with her and I will tell you this. The Church of Jesus Christ really is the only true Church upon the earth. I felt empty the whole time I was at the service. It was foreign to me. The Holy Ghost could not have been there in that building, unfortunately. I almost felt silly while I was there. But coming to our Church felt right. Taking the sacrament is the greatest thing I can do in this life. We have something that no other church does. And that's a Prophet that has restored all the eternal truths to the children of God in these latter days. I am always thankful to be worthy to hold the power of God in my hands to use for the good of others. No where else can I find such a feeling like this anywhere else.
That's all I got. Till next week. It should be next Wednesday when I'm online next so don't worry if I'm not online on Monday.
Elder Ephraim DeCoursey

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