Monday, July 10, 2017

Family and Friends,

To start my letter off this week I wanted to write a little bit about the talk that I gave yesterday. It was such a great experience for me to be able to study some of my notes that I have taken over the course of my mission. I was able to choose my topic and I decided to speak on Repentance Through Jesus Christ. The basis of my talk was centered on a story from my high school year that I related to repentance. It was awesome to see how one of my really dumb car accidents could relate to a process that Christ has gifted to us. I enjoyed it. I also got to speak for 20 minutes because the kid that spoke before me spoke for 7 of his 15 was awesome.

My Fourth of July was very awesome. We were able to drive out Newman which is about 30 minutes south of where we live and we literally drive through all of the almond/alfalfa/produce farms. It is such a cool drive, but we don't get to do it too often. We spent the day down there on a team up with our branch mission leader. He drives a challenger so it was fun to cruise around for awhile in a fast car. After we went there we drove clear out to the outskirts of Hughson which is farmland clear across our area... We had dinner out there with our Branch President's family. It was so fun. They have some really cool property. A river flows through their backyard. The yard is massive. They own a lot of tree orchards. So we got to go skip some rocks and take pictures. Which I will get to you soon. While we were in Newman that morning we got to teach a member that had one of his non-member friends over. Well... we taught the Plan of Salvation and it went super good. Afterwards our branch mission leader asked the non-member if he had questions. Alec, the non-member, replied with an honest, "I don't have any questions, but I have contradictions." The spirit was out the window. We could feel contention in the room. Alec is baptist by the way. So we explained to him that we were not going to bible bash with him, but that we could answer his humble questions if he had any. Well he put his contradictions into a question and we were able to show him in the Bible where our doctrine came from. We totally tag teamed and killed it. The Lord was there with us. Weston the member friend bore a powerful, emotional testimony during the meeting as well and we could feel the spirit so strong. Hopefully Alec was touched. But those baptists are tough man...

We had a zone conference that was on Wednesday this past week. Elder Robison and I were assigned to do a training on one of our missions "points of emphasis." We had a very good training on extending commitments and following up. In preach my gospel it talks about how if we don't extend commitments we are not inviting people to repent. I really enjoyed it.

Funny crazy story... So this new kid was at institute this last week and he was a returned missionary from Richmond, VA. That is where Cole Dean was serving... Well I told him I knew him. He ended up sending a picture of me and him to Cole. Well after about 20 minutes Cole facetimed this kid. It was so awkward for me hahah. I did not want to break any rules, but I am not going to lie it was pretty cool to see him! I told him to send me an email;) It was cool haha. I was super anxious about it. But I cannot control others... lol.

Another funny story. So we were driving home from a court of honor dinner in crows landing... By the way it didn't feel as awkward not joining the eagle's nest as I thought because my companion didn't get his either lol. But....anyways. We were going about 55 mph down this country road (the speed limit). And.... all the sudden we went shooting up into the air haha all four tires were in the air. It turned out that we hit the railroad track and it had a really big incline so we got air... It was awesome.

So there are a TON of black widows on our apartment complex grounds. So we caught two of them the other day. Scared the crap out of me... lol. But it was super awesome. I will send pics. And videos... haha. 

I love the work and I am doing so good!

Elder Willden

they are catching these in their apartment!

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