"Alright I want to see you two outside"
Here is Elder Hintze's email dated Monday, August 19th. Thanks for looking in on this blog once in a while. If you get a chance, Elder Hintze would love to hear from you. Hope you enjoy:
Hello there Family, another fantastic week in the mission field. Some really pretty fantastic things happened this week, the Lord's hand really is over all that we do. I hope all is well back at home! Alright I am just going to get right into our week!
Monday- So as I mentioned last week, we taught Kevin his lesson in the morning. And he just wants his Bible, and proof from the Bible. But I will get there later. So unfortunately I didn't get to go skating or to teach the Restoration lesson on roller skates. But today I believe we are going to go skating, because I don't have any letters to write. So tried to track a bunch of unknowns down afterwards, and couldn't find them, so we taught mission prep to Cameron and Luke and we continued to work on our new maps. The sister missionaries one upped us again, and got us a giant map.. Psssh.
Tuesday - So starting today, we have been venturing into the sketchy areas within the circle, which is awesome. All kinds of young black people drive by and yell stuff at us, and I don't even know what they're saying. It's so awesome! But anyway we visited a less active member Bonnie Lou Crunelle, and she was talking about how her house is falling apart, and how there are holes everywhere, but yet she owns like 13 cats, and just keeps picking them up from the shelter. What in the world? She told us a lot of heavy stuff though, she doesn't even know where her daughters are, some of them she hasn't talked to in years, that is so sad! So after that we took Paul Kennedy to teach an investigator with us.. we felt prompted to take him. And it was awesome! We took him to Barbra Phillips and he was able to apply a lot to her, about being alone, and he's blind, and she's hard of walking. It really was fantastic, plus they both smoke, so hey! :) But it really was awesome, and he was able to testify of how prayer had helped him in his life. Then we met with Linda Pollium, she is still my favorite person in the ward! I love her. Then we went to basketball, and I got a little competitive.. I know, I just wanted to win, and the head honcho Marine recruit was there, so I couldn't let him beat me.
Wednesday - Really awesome day! So we went to Linda's because she asked us to help her move stuff from her garage to her shed and what not. So we helped her with that, and we cleaned off her back yard, and did everything that she asked. And then her neighbor was about to mow her lawn, a woman, so Linda offered us to help her, which was so awesome, we were going to offer anyways! But service is huge, it is by far the best way to find people, so we are trying to do service as much as we can! So we go over there, and her lawn mower is broken... I don't know anything about lawn mowers or engines really.. But I fixed it, I took out the air filter, and that baby was clogged, so I washed it all up. And she ran like a charm, its weird how the Spirit knows engines too? :) So we mowed her lawn, and while Stubbs mowed I helped the two little kids build a tree house, the first thing they said to me was, "I'm Jasmine and this is my brother Tarence Johnson." Hahahaha. But they were awesome, they said to me, "Elder you are the bestest friend we've ever had." And "Elder can you come over every day?" So then I took a turn mowing, and while I was mowing, Stubbs and Linda taught the lady, Deborah the first lesson! She just came up and started asking! She has a Book of Mormon and has been exposed to the church already. Then we met with Gloria and offered her service, so this Saturday we are helping them! Then we visited Sister Newton because we were told she needed help, and she just showed us around her garden, and holy mosquitoes, I got bit literally probably close to 150 times. Then we saw Sister Rush, and offered service, and we have to go back and pick the weeds in her garden, I love picking weeds. :) So then we get home shower, and get dressed, and we got a call that Bro Prigmore needs help moving couches, so we go and get drenched in sweat again moving couches! But he gave us a free table. Then we went with Cameron to see Itsoku the Buddhist woman and she has been reading her Book of Mormon in Japanese, and she said "let me keep studying" She is a better Christian than most people. Then we met with the ward mission leader and went over the ward roster, in hopes to figure out who people are. Nobody knows like half of the roster?
Thursday - We met with Kevin and April today. And we finished the 2nd half of the Plan of Salvation lesson. And it got really good towards the end, and we had to show him where in the Bible it talks about all of the steps in the Plan of Salvation. And he was like, "woow well I can't dispute this it must be true." Which is good, but awful. He needs to receive he answer by asking God, and exercising Faith, he is still unsure about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, but we give him reading assignments now in the Book of Mormon. So hopefully it will get him reading. Then we met with Sister Barbra Erb, she is really awesome, because we had the Sister missionaries with us this time.
Friday - We started out working at the Food Bank, super great. Then we tried to track down a bunch of potentials and less actives in the middle of the circle. And that never turns out, a lot of the lost people we try and find, or people on the roster, we go there and it is an abandoned house. So these people are just lost! And so basically there are 10 steps you have to go through to find them, and if you can't then they just excommunicate them, they do that a lot down here I've learned. Any whom, so we go to the hospital, and we are making our round through the ER and we stop to talk to this lady, and she says she would like somebody to talk to, so we start talking to her. And she says, "I used to be a Mormon." So we were like woooww, So we talked to here about that, she joined in Tennessee when she was 15, and she said it was because she had a crush on one of the missionaries. But we find out that she is in there because she was huffing some chemicals. And so we started talking to here about the Atonement and that God still loves her, and so she just starts crying. And it was so awesome, the Spirit was really working on her, so we left her our number and everything, and invited her to church, she didn't come. But we are going to try and find her. I hope that we can, she seemed fairly sincere! After that we visited Tarin Burnsed a recent convert girl, she is 14 I think, she lives in rough circumstances, but she seemed to be pretty happy, which was really awesome. Alright here is the real good story: So we were eating dinner at a Members home, the Lints, and it is out in the middle of no where in Alabama, in a trailer. Any whom, so the family is really nice, the dad used to be a satanist, (super sketchy story about that too.) So we are eating and Sister Lint's brother and girlfriend come over to pick up a phone, and you can tell they both are looking a little rough. So shortly after that, we sat down for a message, and the brother was like "oh well we gotta get outta here." But the girlfriend, made him stay. So we just shared the 1st Article of Faith, and we were all talking about how the knowledge that we have a loving Heavenly Father has helped us in our lives. And I was talking about a Buddhist lady that we are teaching, and how she didn't believe in God, and just how sad it was that she had no knowledge of this. And so he starts asking questions, kind of angrily. Such as "Well were all from one God right? so why does the church matter?" "No one has really died and come back, so we don't know what its like in heaven." So he is just going on and on, and he talked about how he was in prison for 16 months, and how he read the whole bible from cover to cover. And how there is so much misinformation, and he said nobody has an answer for that. So he says, "I just feel like a monster sitting here with all of you, because I just don't know if there was a God." And so Brother Lint, could apply to him because he was a satanist, and we just testified that we had the answers to all of his questions, and we gave him a Book of Mormon. And then he says, "Alright I want to see you two outside." To Elder Stubbs and I.. So out in the middle of no where, really dark outside, just one porch light on, we follow this man out.. And so I'm real nervous not going to lie. You can tell he's a rough and tough guy, So I'm thinking alright Bradley, now be smart, I'm thinking I might be tangoing with a man here pretty soon. BUT! We go out there and he says, "Alright I drink a whole lot, and I mean a lot, and I want to make things right with my girlfriend. And so I want you two to say a prayer with me right now, to help me stop drinking, and get my life in order." CAN YOU SAY CURVEBALL. How awesome right? So we say, "Do you believe that you are a child of your Heavenly Father?" He says, Yes. We say, "Do you believe that Christ died for you?" He says, I don't know about that. So we say, "Do you want to know?" He says, Yes. So we say, "Alright because for this to work it is going to take a lot of faith in your Savior Jesus Christ, because through His power you can quit." And so we prayed with him, and he said that he is going to try us out, and read the Book of Mormon. It was like life changing for me, The Spirit was so strong there. Unreal experience. So we hopefully will see him again! Also the marine Nathan, Tony got a letter from him, and he got to see a baptism while at boot camp! And he said in the letter that he can't wait to get home and be baptized! And he is taking his buddies to church with them, and giving them Books of Mormon!!!!
Saturday - It poured rain all day. And apparently we are supposed to get a ton all this upcoming week. So we went and saw Bro Nunez and he is doing great, but his family is none existent, so we asked him how we can meet with them. So hopefully we will get that figured out. Then we visited the Forzey family, real big dude, says he was up all nights playing computer games, but hahaha really cool family. Then Linda had us over we had Subway and we had "Bible Study" as she called it with Anita (RC), Sis Newton, Prigmores, and her. So that was really pretty awesome to be able to strengthen so many members, or develop frienships with them. Then we took Paul Kennedy to Barbra Phillips again. And we basically talked about prayer again, because I think she is getting Alzheimer's she can't remember anything. But it was really great again, Paul relates to her really well. Then we met with Tony Hansen and he drove us around to see a bunch of people. And he bought a new truck and while at the dealership, he taught a couple that worked there the 1st lesson, word of wisdom, law of chastity, temples, all of that for 2 hours he did! And they were way into it. So hopefully we will be able to work with them, he got their info! But while we were driving Tony says, "That's the guy I'm looking for!!" And were like who? Apparently some kid that he is trying to recruit in the marines. And so he takes off and we follow the kid to Sonic, and he hops out and goes and talks to him. Hahaha. If you have ever wondered where all of the military come from? Its Alabama. Everyone is in the military. Also the women in the ER who was huffing chemicals, was picked up by Tony's wife Alicia. Mormon cop, Mormon drug abuser, Mormon Missionaries, we gotta find her!
Sunday - So we had a lot of hopefuls at church, but sadly we got nobody.. But it is alright! We ate at the Hall's after church super awesome family, love them, with the dream house! We then introduced the sisters to Sister Rush, and she has recovered from cancer, so now we just have to get her to church! After that the Elders Quorum President called us and we went and made some visits with him, which was awesome. We got to talk to him a lot, and he really is such a good guy, so it was great to go out with him. Then we just stopped by Barbra Phillips, because she wasn't feeling well, that why she didn't make it to church. She talks about how it is hard for her to stand in the shower, so I said, Do you have a seat? So she says, Yes it doesn't work. So I says, Let me figure it out. So I put it in, and she was saying, how am I supposed to use that? So I proceeded to get into her bathtub and model the seat out for her, I shut the curtain and everything. Hahahaha. Then we went and saw Sister Knight to finish off the evening.
Pretty good week for us, we don't have anybody that is really solid yet! But I really do love everyone in this ward! That is a huge thing that changed for me this week, every where that we went, I truly felt love for everyone! I know this isn't even relative, but I don't want to leave Dothan. The people here are awesome, and I feel like just now we are connecting with all of them! But regardless of what happens on any of my days here it's happy. I am wearing Christ's name, I am representing His church! I am His Missionary. Regardless of anything that happen's I am happy because the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true!! Love you all so much! Think about you a lot, and miss all of you!!
Love Elder Bradley Hintze