Monday, August 24, 2015

Bring on the rain.. well at least an overcast - 8/24/15

Alexandria Stake Conference brings friends and Elder Lehr's mission "sons" together: Elder Toone, Elder Allen (son #2), Dawn Leone, Elder Lehr (mission dad) and Elder Sabey (son #1) -  happy times!

This week has been real good. The weather was an overcast basically all week so biking was soo nice. We had some pretty dang cool stuff happen this week.

Finding: Well we were trying to contact a referral the sisters gave us and we got a little lost along the way. Any who we stopped at this one house to check our planners and stuff and we get a prompting to knock on this door. So we do and we find a mother with 3 children and they met with missionaries before in Shreveport and saw how members of the church were always happy and they want that. So we had a great lesson and it was so cool all the kids pulled out their notebooks and took notes of everything we said and were asking great questions and the whole family wants to be baptized! So we will see how that progresses.

Stake conference: We had stake conference this weekend so I got to see Elder Sabey and Elder Brimhall and we all had a great time. It was also so neat to see all of the members in Many there. It was like a family reunion for me basically. I love them so much. Also our stake president, President Deford is seriously one of the most humble and spiritual people I know. Seriously talking to him just makes you feel like a million bucks. He is just so loving and profound and understanding. 

That was most of the exciting stuff that happened this week. It's interesting I only have 7 weeks left. It feels like I'm going home soon but it feels like I'm gonna be a missionary forever. It's weird. Also I talk about going home a lot but it doesn't distract me. I am just happy here. Life is good. Natchitoches is just not a very stressful place. I'm working hard, playing hard and enjoying every last bit of my mission I have left.
Love yall 
Elder Lehr

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Special Treat for the Allen and Lehr families

Elder Lehr's family was able to meet Elder Allen's family and friends this last weekend.  What a treat that was. The Allen family is awesome.  We also came across the Vincent family at the same park that evening. Bro. Vincent is related to the wonderful Vincent and Leone families that had taken such good care of Elder Lehr in Many. Now they are doing the same for him and Elder Allen in Natchitoches.  Such wonderful people!  So glad that our sons get to serve together and be amongst the salt of the earth there in Louisiana.

Allen, Vincent and Lehr families (some of us, anyway)

Going to Many - 8/17/15

A few pics of Natchitoches, LA

Alligator Park
Elder Lehr being himself

Elder Lehr (w/his bucket hat) and Elder Allen - good times!
Elder Cole (?) and Elder Lehr at the Alligator Park

This week was really good. We got a lot of work done. 

Many: I got to go on exchanges in Many with Elder Dobe and it was so great. I got to see Trent and the Hayes family over there. It was so great. Elder Dobe is a nerd like I am so we had a great super nerdy conversation. I haven't had one of those in sooo long. haha it felt nice. I kinda wish I could have stayed a few more days there. I only got to visit like 4 people in Many.  

Miracle?: Well to follow up on last week. We tried to see the lady we tracted into last week. And when we came she wouldn't answer her phone or the door and so we left a pass along card and right when we got out of sight some members saw her open the door and crumple up the card. So that was a huge bummer. But a really cool miracle is that we saw the Brown family and they are less active and the whole family came to church on Sunday! And then they gave us a referral! That was probably the best miracle this week.

P-day: We went to the Alligator park on P-day and that was real fun. I wore my favorite bucket cap, made it a great time. You know me. Even if I try to be serious it just won't work. I'm too much of a goob. 

Well that was pretty much this week. Still trying to find more people. Having fun while we do it. 

Love yall 
Elder Lehr
Elder Lehr got to see his old Jr High friend, Elder Bown, at transfers. They haven't seen each other in 5 years.

Elder Allen's First Day in Natchitoches

Elder Allen's First Flat Tire on mission
Elder Allen and Elder Lehr tracting

Fishin' on p-day
Studying on the deck

Monday, August 10, 2015

Contemplation - 08/10/15

Dang this is probably gonna be a longer email. It's just being out here in the woods gives me a lot of time to think back on my mission. And I just wanna share a few thoughts and things I have learned. 

Honestly it is sometimes pretty easy to get discouraged here. I mean it's like at least 110 outside and we're on bikes. And Natchitoches is really small so it feels like everyone here has been talked to like a million times. It sometimes just feels like I'm not really gonna make a difference. But now when I see someone I ask myself what have I done to invite him to come to Christ. To give him a chance to be happy. I was also thinking about to serve the Lord with all your heart. Often why I tract or talk to people. I get rejected so much that I honestly just expect a rejection and often don't really put my heart into the work. I expect a rejection so it doesn't hurt as much when I put my heart into it and they do reject me. But if I expect a rejection that's what I'm gonna get. Recently though I have changed that. I looked at the example of the Apostles. They always are so passionate about what they say. You can feel that it really means something to them. I think that as I am truly passionate about our message. As I let them see what it it means to me. They will feel it. And yes I will still receive rejection that will make me stronger. But more importantly the people I come in contact with will be more likely to act on our message and receive the blessings that come from living the gospel. 

How the mission has changed me: I look back at the beginning of my mission and I see how shy and uncertain I was. I didn't know how to talk to people or deal with their problems. I didn't know the scriptures like at all I feel like. I knew the Church was true and saw how it blessed my family but that was about it. Now I know that God loves me. I know that he loves each of his children so much he is constantly sending people to help bring them back to him. And to help them feel his love. It is such a privilege to be a messenger from God called to do exactly that. In Sierra Leone I learned that the gospel is fun! That no matter how hard or humble your circumstances you can be happy and still have fun. I am just saying if I didn't goof off a little bit and just joke around and have fun then the mission would have really sucked. Now I'm gonna share a really neat miracle that happened this week.

Miracle: We were biking and it was really really hot as usual and I stop and feel something prompt me to knock on this door. I look and it says the family name right in the front yard and I'm like dang! Family sounds promising! Though it looked like no one was home. We knocked anyway and there was no answer. We knock again and still no answer. As we are about to leave this woman answers the door. She let us in. She has a husband. Anyway this lady tells us that she saw us out of a side window and thought we were from a different church. She wasn't going to answer but she felt something prompt her to answer the door. She then told us about how her twin brother had just passed away and how she was going through a hard time. We had a great lesson and the spirit was so strong. We have a return appointment for tomorrow and she is soo excited for us to come back. 

I know that God lives. That we can make a difference in peoples' lives. It doesn't matter if they have been talked to a million times. We can still let them know that God loves them. 
I love you all and am looking forward to finishing strong!

Love Elder Lehr

Monday, August 3, 2015

Dang its hot! - 8/3/15

Dinner with the Leones - looking happy!

Wow it is soo hot. With the heat index it's been 115 outside and that's in the shade! And biking in it is fun. Especially up hills. Let's just say I'm getting a good forearm tan :) 

Leones: The Leones took us to dinner and it was so good to see them again. They are the best. Lance Leone finally popped the question and now he is engaged. It's about time. 

Fishin: For pday we went fishing and it was real fun though we didn't really catch anything since it was so hot outside. Dang I got some cool pictures but the computers here are really lame and won't let me send pictures home. 

Work: We have been visiting quite a lot of less actives and trying to work with part member families. We have a few potential families to teach so that is real cool. Just right now it's all potential. 

Dang sorry I don't have much time right now. I spent all my time trying to get the pictures to send. Darn it. But things are going good here. I'm loving my companion and loving life

Love yall 
Elder Lehr

P.S. (Email to Mom)
Dang, Sister Leone came to church with us on Sunday. She is so excited for yall to come and visit. I am still working really hard. I mean it's hard in this heat and since the area is so small. But we are doing all we can. Elder Allen already knows how to work really hard. So now I'm just trying to teach him to relax a little and enjoy the mission. Just don't worry so much and be happy. (It wasn't until after Elder Lehr's first transfer in Sierra Leone that he learned that he should enjoy the mission. Once he did it changed his whole outlook on the experience for the better.  It made getting through the difficult times a lot easier.) And all I'm saying is I'm in the woods. There is a higher chance of me running into a cow then a car. I'll keep yall in my prayers love you!
Elder Lehr