N's email 9/26/2016

area: Fred Branch (Silsbee, Texas)
zone: Beaumont
companion: Elder Souza

This week was good! We did a little bit of everything. Service, tracting, biking, teaching, driving, eating, sweating (lots and lots of sweating, it's still very hot), and churching.

It looks like we might have some surprises this week, not sure though. Just expect to be surprised next week from my email…

We had Jehovah's Witnesses knock on our trailer door this week. We learned a little about contacting. Like we should look people in the eyes because when we don't, they feel like our message isn't personal. Also, to speak confidently because if we don't, then it's difficult for them to believe what we're saying is true.

We also read the Book of Mormon with Michael this past week, just going through reading some of the more important verses pertaining to doctrine. It brought the Spirit so strong. There's so much power in the words of Christ! As Alma put it, "And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just--yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them--therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God." I love the scriptures and how much they teach me about Jesus Christ.

I love being a missionary!

I love y'all. But I love our Savior more. And this is where He wants me. So this is where I want to be.

Your favorite missionary, Elder Combrink

N's email 9/19/2016

area: Fred Branch (Silsbee, Texas)
zone: Beaumont
companion: Elder Souza

We had a good week. Work slowed a little bit but we managed to stay busy.

In district meeting we talked about using scriptures and it went well. Elder Chamberlin and Elder Ericson (who are now together as zone leaders) were there and they helped with discussions about how to use the scriptures and sharing stories.

This morning I finished cleaning out my egg. That was exciting! It still smells a little but I'll figure out how to fix that.

Last thing - our investigator, Michael, had a goal to be baptized this coming Saturday, the 24th. But his sister who is kinda his legal guardian won't give permission for him to be baptized. He might need to wait until he turns 18 in January. He still loves the Church and us so it'll all be good. Just need to work on patience a little bit.

I love y'all. But I love Jesus Christ more. And this is where He wants me. So this is where I want to be.

N's email 9/12/2016

area: Fred Branch (Silsbee, Texas)
zone: Beaumont
companion: Elder Souza

I love Fred!
I love being a missionary!
I love Elder Souza!
I love the Texas Houston East Mission!
I love Jesus Christ!
I don't have a lot to say. We had a another good week.
I do have a story though!

Quick Story: I was on exchanges in Jasper with Elder Galbraith. In the morning, we were trying a few potential investigators and less active members. For some reason, we drove down this road and it ended up being a dead end. As we were turning around though, I saw large, round, white things sitting on the ground in the forest of this empty lot. I asked, "Were those eggs?" Elder Galbraith didn't see anything. So we flipped around again and he looked at them and said, "Those have got to be rocks..." I jump out and rolled one with a stick. I noticed it had a hole in it and it was hollow on the inside. "That's an egg!" "No way," responded Elder Galbraith as he jumped out of the car. He looked at the hole and was surprised like me. Because it already had a hole in it, we figured we'd break it open and confirm it was an egg. So he took a stick and hit a few times, but it wouldn't break. He ended up snapping the stick. He hit the egg one more time with the remains of the stick and then it broke open. Whatever was in it had died a good while ago, there were maggots crawling around. I immediately smelled it. ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING! "That smells nasty! Go! Go! Go!" I was saying but Elder Galbraith couldn't smell it. So he meandered over to the car. Just as he got in, he finally smelled it and started gagging. Bad bad bad smell!

We had lunch, then continued with our day. We talked about the eggs, thinking they were alligator eggs, but then a member told us that alligator eggs are pill shaped while these are round. Anyway, during dinner hour we went back and took a couple of them. We realized all of them had little holes in them and they were all dead.

I now have a giant egg behind our trailer which this morning I started cleaning out.

The miracle of the story is is that over the past month I've been praying, asking for cool souvenirs (I know, not important at all, but still a little want I was having) and Heavenly Father answered my prayer. It grew my testimony of "if it's important to us, then it's important to Him."

I love y'all. But I love Jesus Christ more. And this is where He wants me. So this is where I want to be.

N's email 9/5/2016

Area: Fred Branch (Silsbee, Texas)
Zone: Beaumont
Companion: Elder Souza

I love being a missionary! Life is so great! Fred is so celestial!

We have several people we're working with right now. Michael will be getting baptized on September 24! We're so excited for him. Out of all the other investigators, the ones who are making the most progress are Jamie and Donielle. Donielle has been coming to church for quite a few weeks with friends, but she's still working on understanding the spiritual significance of it all. Jamie knows it's true, but is struggling coming to church. They're both going to get baptized within a few months as well.

Elder Souza is great! I love him.

Quick Story: Elder Souza and I were driving down this county road and there was a couple on the side of the road looking up into the trees. We rolled down our window and stopped. The conversation goes as follows:

Elder Souza: "Do you need any help?"

Man: "No, we're good." (after he said that I noticed he was holding a rifle kinda behind his back)

Elder Souza: "Did your pet get stuck in the tree?" (I thought, "why would they shoot their pet with a rifle to get it out of the tree...?")

Man; "No, haha. Just shooting squirrels."as he pulls the rifle out in front of him)
We all laugh.

Me: "Alright. Have y'all ever seen missionaries like us before?"

Man: "Maybe. I don't go to church though."

Me: "Do you want to go to church?"

Man: "Nah, I'm not ready for that yet."

Me: "Sure you are. But anyway, our purpose as missionaries is to prepare people to get baptized. We have messages to share to help us do this. If you came to know our message is true would you be baptized by someone holding Christ's authority?"

Man: "I don't know... You can come back Tuesday though."

Again, Fred is great! The people here remind me of Apple Hill! The Branch Mission Leader is amazing! He has so much faith in this area!

I love my mission.

I love y'all. But I love Jesus Christ more. And this is where He wants me. So this is where I want to be.