Visiting this blog will keep you up to date on Elder Bradley Brent Hintze and his two years in the mission field. He has been called to preach the Gospel as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Florida Tallahassee Mission. He is currently serving in Tallahassee, Florida. He appreciates your love and support.
"You know to tell you the truth, I haven't ever felt the need to, I haven't once doubted a single word that you guys have said!"
Monday, September 1, 2014
Can't tell you how great it is to hear from you all! Reporting to you live with real time updates from Elder Hintze!
Monday - Today for P-Day we went to this park called Tom Brown Park.. huge park it is awesome, all of the Elders met up and we played sand volleyball and football, super fun! Love all of these guys! It has been so hot here lately... and I got sun burned today.. So our evening kind of came crashing down, our dinner appointment had to cancel on us.. so we ate at home.. and Gonzalo canceled on us, he had to reschedule... so we were left out to dry, so we ate and then got out working the neighborhood, doing some finding, with no luck this time.. talked to a lot, but these people just don't get it.. if they only knew what they were rejecting. But we did meet with Ted & Kaityln.. that couple, it has been a little while, since they have been mentioned, they have been unable to meet, but the super awesome Catholic couple. We prepared to teach the Restoration lesson, and we studied super hard on the Apostasy, so we would know what to share... but all day I just felt so uneasy about our lesson, not nervous.. just an anxious feeling, so I knew something was up... so we met with them and really they are so nice, I love them so much! We got to share the Restoration, and they didn't agree with it entirely, they just don't see why the authority line ended and all of this, so we just went back and forth and they are so nice about it, but they just couldn't agree, and so we just told them, even if we set the gold plates of the Book of Mormon in your lap, you wouldn't know any better now than you did before of the truthfulness of what we speak of, all throughtout times, the Holy Ghost has taken the truth to the heart of man, we invite you to read from the Book of Mormon and pray about it! They are moving this weekend and we are going to help them move.. we have just layed a foundation for them.. because they love us, they have been telling people at the Catholic church about us and they said, the week after you came we met with the Jehovahs Witnesses and it was a complete 180 from when we meet with you guys... we just love you guys and you are so courteous and kind, we just want you to know that you are always welcome in our home! So we aren't going to convert them, and they are moving to another area.. but I don't know what will come of it, but we taught them doctrine and they are going to read, and they said that they will come to church with us and we are going to go with them one time! So it is all good, I want to remain friends with them.. even after I am home, some of the best people that I know! I just wish that we could do more with them, or get them to believe, ahhhh its all good! They have 2 kids and another on the way, we also went over the Family Proclamation with them, and they love that! So whoever they meet down the road that is Mormon, they are going to say, hey we met with 2 of your elders and they are so awesome! Today was also the first day of school here at FSU.. so Tallahassee is literally madness, traffic and people everywhere!
Tuesday - MLC day! We got up bright and early and headed over and we rode the van to Fort Walton, Florida. A good trek over there to see Elder & Sister Zwick.. and it was really pretty awesome.. Elder Zwick just started and he talked to us about Learning by Faith, advancing in faith. He talked a lot about being an Example and being Willing to Change, being Willing to Change is the theme of the whole meeting... It was awesome, the Spirit worked on me the whole time, I gotta be better and more receptive to the Spirit.. he said, "If you are willing to change, the Spirit will be with you!" He talked a lot about Simplifying and Intensifying in all that we do, keep our teaching simple.. make it easy and intensify it! Another huge thing he talked a lot about! Again some more about example... also a lot about what we will become because of our missions "I will be a great missionary, but I will also be a fantastic son, father, brother, and husband." "There is a fine line between discouragement and success." He then took us on a journey through D&C 88:63 the qualifier to be a leader, then in 68 Sanctify yourselves, then 72 take care of your flocks, and then 73 I will hasten my work in its time! Sanctifying is Perfecting us on the Lord's time! Elder Zwick is so powerful..
MLC - Elder & Sister Zwick
The Spirit was tangible, he had a way of making me feel like I was the most important thing in the world! Then all of us ZLs and STLs shared all of the things that we have been doing in our areas and our zones... that have increased our productivity. Learned a lot from everyones ideas! We talked a lot about ward councils, how we can best work with them. He said, "I will always replace myself in my area." Meaning we need to find prospective elders, YM or YW, who are going to replace us! President Smith added in a little bit he based it on Follow Me --> And I will Make You! 3 Nephi 27:20-21 We must do!! "We cannot expect someone to do something we won't do ourselves!" "If I change, be the example!" Sister Smith talked to us about prayer, she killed it, it was a huge answer to my prayers. She based it in Enos verse 4 - to be Spiritually Hungry! Followed with 5 steps v. 4, v.9 pray for self and others, v 11 pray for hearts to be softened, v. 16 Pray for the FTM, and v. 17 & 18 our soul can rest! Sister Zwick talked to us about asking questions.. their oldest son has special needs, they talked a lot about him and told many stories of him.. They said he is always talking, always asking questions.. one day when they were traveling, he was particularly quiet for 20 minutes in the car... and after all of that he says "Mom and Dad do you know Jesus?" In Alma chapter 5 there is 41 questions asked! The question we need to ask ourselves is "What is it that the Savior wants me to learn?" Then Elder Zwick came in and finished it off with his agenda he just barely created... "When you receive help, in any form--> Give Thanks!" Talked a lot more about connecting us to the members and to the ward councils! He said, "Success is when you can kneel down and everyday say, "Heavenly Father wilt thou accept the very best I could do this day?" Family I can't describe to you how powerful this meeting was, and it only got better and better, tangible Spirit... the theme for me was I need to be willing to change, moldable, I need to purify myself and lead by example!! Can't leave anything behind! So after the meeting we drove back home and rolled right into the chapel in Tally and arrived a few minutes late for the broadcast all over the mission by Elder Zwick, all the ward councils were invited and he just told them we needed them, we needed their help, we needed them to help us find! Sister Zwick told of a missionary that arrived in their mission when they were Mission President and wife, a new missionary ran to her in the airport and shook her hand and said, "Sister Zwick, I can't tell you how long I've waited to meet you.. Sister Zwick, you can count on me!" Then she said, You can count on these missionaries! Elder Zwick told us of his mission in Argentina, he and 3 other missionaries opened up the work in Bolivia, not a single member in 4 cities.. he spent 17 months there, built a chapel and organized a branch. Just incredible people!
Wednesday - We had just another awesome day... the Lord really is richly blessing our work as of late. In the morning we had to run around and go do some building set up, we had to get the mission truck and cart a white board over to the other chapel. Then we taught Eddy Jones, he is the man.... we taught Eddy out of 2 Nephi 31.. so we talked to him about baptism, talked to him of the importance of it, and we committed him to begin to work toward his baptism, we then taught the Word of Wisdom! He drinks coffee and tea, but promised and committed to live the word of wisdom! "If God commands it I will do it." Then we taught Tim Morrison the returning guy... Then we taught Robert Delmonico in the Gray's home.. it was an absolute awesome lesson, we taught him the Plan of Salvation, the spirit was so strong. I keep saying that, but unlike ever before on my mission, ever lesson we have, the Spirit testifies so strongly! No problems, he loved the plan of salvation... the Grays were really great, they always bring the spirit! I asked him if he had prayed about the Book of Mormon or Joseph Smith.. He said, "You know to tell you the truth, I haven't ever felt the need to, I haven't once doubted a single word that you guys have said!" Then we had dinner at the Brock's home, super cool! Then we taught Gonzalo at the Knudsen's home, we talked quickly on the Holy Ghost and then we watched the Prophet of the Restoration. Super good, he liked it! Then we got home and all of the other missionaries from Dothan and Panama City, were there and so we had a houseful, it was a good sleepover!
Big party at the Compound! 10:30 bedtime boys!
Thursday - Quite possibly the single greatest day of my mission.. for real though!! So incredible. We got up early and we got over to the other Tally Building for the Half Mission Conference, it was held in the chapel, we were all there very, very early and so we had a lot of time to see everybody and then to just sit and get into the zone of the Spirit.
Elder Zwick came in and he just got right to it, he is a constant teacher he said, "Reverance invites Revelation!" Also got this one for you: "If you ever need a helping hand, look at the end of your arm!" -Bryan B. Gardner eh? Any whom, he took us to D&C 107:34,35,38 talked about his job as a Seventy and how us and him are the exact same thing, we are here to preach and administer the Gospel. He told so many neat stories of the Apostles and Prophets, he spoke of Elder Eyring's first experience as an apostle assigning missionaries to their areas, he had Elder Richard G. Scott there with him and he watched as he did it for about an hour.. it was then Elder Eyring's turn and he said, "I can't do this, I just cannot do this." Elder Scott said sure you can and you will. Elder Eyring said the first young elder came up and as he sought for revelation, he saw that young man on a corner in Bucharest, Romania talking to someone with his companion, the next he said he saw that young man walking the streets of Mexico. Pretty fascinating how we are assigned our missions! I know more than ever this is where I'm to be! He also spoke of President & Sister Smith, he said they are consecrated and devoted.. he said, "I watch how they pray for you, I watch them late at night as they think of you." Then he went into a role play thing, where certain companionships went up and they said a principle, shared an experience and then doctrine, and then testify! Keep it so simple and keep it within about a minute or so.. from that he then critiqued each one and talked about it. I learned a whole lot from it, I was hoping we would be chosen! But we need to keep things simple, don't confuse people, he taught us how to use scriptures more powerfully! "Teach true principles the same way that you learn them!" He talked of Elder Holland when he gives his conference talks, he has watched and he has run a count on how many words he says a minute, he says he runs about 160 words per min, but then at times goes to 80 words per minute.. He slows down and he really grabs you! Then Sister Smith took over and she talked a little bit about marriage, told of President & her marriage. She said, "When we let ourselves learn, change, & strengthen we are preparing to serve as righteous companions." She showed us a picture of the 1st missionaries to the south, talked about the things we have that they did not. She referenced Alma 26:22 and said the things that we do have are Repentance, exercising Faith, Good Works, & Pray continually without ceasing. Just another one about changing ourselves! Throughout this whole experience the Spirit was tangible, it was nuts, I was brought to tears many times. President Smith went up next and I have never seen him emotional. And it was that way the whole time that he talked, when he spoke the Spirit was so strong. "He is turning us into what we must become." "The Lord expects us to do these hard things." "But, it is okay to not be okay." President just killed it, he talked a lot about Sister Smith and he told a story of an Elder McCallister, who does not have any legs, who is in a wheelchair, and who did absolutely fabulous things as a missionary, walking with his hands on the Arizona blacktop, ran the Boston Marathon he said, "My stub hurt a lot, my arms were exhausted, my lungs were shredded, but I had fun." President was my favorite! Sister Zwick came back at us and he talked about Prayer! She told of Clayton Christensen a story he told of his kids and him building this marvelous tree house, his kids would run home from school to help build, soon neighbors got involved, everyone was so excited for this tree house. Once it was completed, he watched day after day as no one came to use it... it wasn't about the tree house, it was about building the tree house! She also spoke of their first day in the mission as President and wife in Santiago Chile.. they received a phone call from a missionary who said, Hey President I am calling you from a phone booth and I am only wearing my companions trench coat, we were in the church building giving a baptismal interview, when 7 terrorists with maching guns came in and put them to our heads, they made me take off my clothes in front of the seminary students that were there and then they poured floor wax on my clothes and lit them on fire and now the church building is burning to the ground, what do you want us to do? .. Hahaha, how about that eh? She talked about her experiences and how she relied on prayer, referenced Enos and said, "Pray for things of Eternal Consequence." Then Elder Zwick came in and he finished us all off, just a straight KO with the Spirit throwing punches!!!! He told of some cool stories from the Apostles. One time they were in the room with the Twelve and they all stood just to stretch and Elder Nelson just said, "Yes, Brethren lets stand for something!" So he went off that. He told of being with President Hinckley at the Hill Cumorah. (Pres. Hinckley is my favorite!!!) And how he ran up the Hill Cumorah and then he stood there and he made the same pose as the angel Moroni statue... and Elder Zwick said he watched it all in the silhouetter of the sun, said he would never ever forget it! Told of when Elder Packer and him rode home on the plane, he called Elder Packer the "constant teacher." Elder Zwick had just spoken at the Palmyra temple dedication and Elder Packer said to him, "Ya know Craig you just did alright today, you could have done better and I will tell you how!" Then he drew on a plane napkin and told him that he told a story, shared doctrine, and then testified, and then he did that again, he said, "your talk would have been much more powerful if you would have stopped after the first time!" Pretty cool lesson there, of how to give a talk... experience/story, then doctrine, then testimony! We have 2 missionaries from Sierra Leone and he said it is not very often that the prophet prays for a mission by name.. but yours was in his prayer in the temple... are you kidding me, that just gives me chills thinking about that!!! The basis of his thing was sanctifiying ourselves and what are we willing to change, it was the best thing of my life for real though! Afterwards I was with Elder Uriquaga, and he said, "I think that I need to ask him a question." So I went up with him and he asked, 'How can I overcome pride?" Super awesome question. Elder Zwick said, "You need to do hard things. You need to raise your expectations. You need to force yourself to be humble. You need to rely on the Lord, then you can overcome it." Super awesome answer!!!! So I am going to work on doing that as well!!
Half Mission Conference - Elder & Sister Zwick
After the Half Mission, we did some family history with James and Veronica, brother and sister... they were referred to us, so a member who works here was helping them and so we were just in the back and I was praying the whole time... "please let them ask why we do family history!" And what do you know, he stops and he says, "why do you guys do family history?" So we just began to tell, the member kind of ran the show, which was awesome, and we just testified and we were on a spiritual high from Elder Zwick and Veronica was crying and James was pumped.. so we are going to do more with them and teach them in full why we do it!! We had to get the whiteboard back again, and when we were doing it, we thought that we saw President and Sister Smith pull in. We just talked with him and he gave us a drink, President was just so humble and it was so cool to talk to him, about what had just happened that day! So cool!!!!!!
Friday - We did our weekly planning in the morning! And then we got out and we visited with a woman named Sister Adams, part member family, she has a tesimony, but just does not come to church at all, so we are hoping we can begin to work with them. Then we went and we taught Gonzalo with Dean Delp. And the whole time we were in there, Gonzalo just didn't seem right, so we were reading in the Book of Mormon with him.. talking about Lehi's Dream and I just felt prompted to ask about the Word of Wisdom... and he had gone back on it.. he had drunk Wednesday night. And it turned out to be so good... once we began to talk about it... the Spirit entered the room in great force... we didn't get upset or anything, we just talked about Repentance, bore testimony of the Atonement. He said, he hated drinking again, and he felt sooo guilty as he did it, ever since then he had been praying for forgiveness! It was such a neat experience, when we left he felt so much better. As I spoke towards the end, he just stopped and he said, "I think I feel the Holy Ghost right now!" It was so neat.. so he is doing great!
Saturday - We helped Ted & Kaitlyn move in the morning... and it was the bomb! They are so awesome, turns out Ted plays tennis big time and he loves basketball, so we are going to go play tennis with him! They are really awesome. After that we taught Jimmy and Margie again, this time with the neighbor Bro Gentry. We are going to turn it over to the spanish elders here in the stake, since Margie speaks spanish as well! Then we taught Eddy Jones at the church with Bro Porter... we taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and it was without a doubt the best lesson that I have taught on the Gospel. It was killer! And I keep saying the Spirit was strong, but more than ever before on my mission, the spirit is so strong!!! So we committed him to be baptized on Sep. 27th!! Then we taught Val.. a man that we just talked to on the street, he is so cool. We will be turning him over to the FSU Elders, because they teach YSA, darn it! But we taught him the Restoration and he understanded it really, really well, and after words he said, this whole time that you have been talking, I have felt nothing but peace! And then visited shortly with the Leidy's... but it is college football season, so FSU was playing and they were not about to turn it off, so we had to get out of there! :(
Sunday - We had Eddy at church, he came super late and he had to leave after Sacrement though! Then we had Gonzalo there, he is basically part of the ward he is so awesome! I have been feeling bad about him having to wait for baptism, he wants it so bad! Please pray for him. We also taught Gospel Principles. Then Val came to the 1 pm chuch, and so we didn't plan on staying for all of it with him, but we ended up staying the full 3 hours of the YSA Ward. Val is the man, for real, he was just roaming the building, checking it all out, he ended up in the high council room, hahahahaah, he is from Haiti! He has a awesome accent! Then we ate dinner at the Pope's.. and then the Knudsen's invited us over for cake and ice cream!!!!
This morning for labor day we played ball with all of the 1st ward people.. we had Gonzalo there and Val there. Val couldn't play but was just there talking with everyone. Gonzalo is pretty dang good... Cooper, Gonzalo, and I were just out there having a blast. Gonzalo is just like our best friend and everyone in the ward knows him. I love Gonzalo a whole lot! Bishop gave me a bloody nose when we were playing! Family sure do love you to the moon and back!!!!