Monday, November 30, 2015

Kaytee and me

November 30, 2015

The Road goes Ever On...

"Down from The door where it first began..."

(What does he mean?)

I will explain later, but first I will tell you of the week we had.

We had a good pday to start the week off. I made Mickey a super cool walking stick that he added to his collection. He enjoyed that. Creativity is your best friend on pdays.  What was even better is that it looks good considering how much it costs to make. 

We had a great time tracting and finding more people to teach. We have actually been running into a few investigators that were dropped and now we are teaching again. How cool is that. No coincidences there. It's need because I read today in PMG(preach my gospel) about no effort is Wasted. Everything you do is like planting a seed. You plant one, you water it and then you reap. Different missionaries have different jobs. Some will plant, some will water and fertilize and then some will reap. Each is vital in the work of the Lord.

...When people choose not to investigate the restored gospel, your work is not wasted. Your consistent efforts in serving and teaching as many people as you can is one way God prepares His children to eventually receive His servants. He often reaches out to His children through you. Even when people do not accept the opportunity to learn the gospel, your service and words are evidence of God’s love for them and may plant seeds that future missionaries and members of the Church will harvest.

When people do not accept the gospel, do not be discouraged. You have raised a warning voice. You have given them a clear choice. Disciples of Christ feel sorrow when people choose not to repent, but they maintain a vision of who they are and what they are doing. They continue to diligently move forward... (Preach my gospel.)

I love that part. Remember that. I will, you should to. 

I gave a training in District meeting about how to understand and recognize the spirit. I shared this story with everyone from the Ricciardi's long though but very good.

...Teaching with The Spirit

In D&C 50 verses 13-14, 17-22 it says:

13 Wherefore, I the Lord ask you this question—unto what were ye ordained?

14 To preach my gospel by the Spirit, even the Comforter which was
sent forth to teach the truth.

17 Verily I say unto you, he that is ordained of me and sent forth to
preach the word of truth by the Comforter, in the Spirit of truth,
doth he preach it by the Spirit of truth or some other way?

18 And if it be by some other way it is not of God.

19 And again, he that receiveth the word of truth, doth he receive it
by the Spirit of truth or some other way?

20 If it be some other way it is not of God.

21 Therefore, why is it that ye cannot understand and know, that he
that receiveth the word by the Spirit of truth receiveth it as it is
preached by the Spirit of truth?

22 Wherefore, he that preacheth (Missionary) and he that receiveth
(investigator or companion), understand one another, and both are
edified and rejoice together.

A few weeks into my companionship with Elder Ricciardi, I was ready to
be the lead in teaching a discussion.  I was nervous.  We were
teaching a family.  The husband was a very articulate knowledgeable
man.  During the discussion, I really felt what I thought was the
spirit.  I say “thought” because it is a big challenge of a missionary
to decipher if you are actually feeling the spirit, or if you just
happened to be in a good mood.  You know…you might have received a
really awesome letter from home that morning, breakfast tasted
especially good, your uncle sent extra money.  Who knows the reason,
but there is still personal doubt as a new/experienced missionary as
to what would cause the kind of euphoric good feelings you might have
while teaching someone the gospel.  Anyhow, we reached a point in the
discussion where I spoke about the First Vision.  Deep emotion came
over me as I recounted the story.

Elder Ricciardi looked at me and I could tell he wanted me to identify
the spirit that was there in our discussion, Ricciardi was feeling it
too.  Again doubts cropped into my mind, but I looked at the husband
and said “the spirit is here with us, confirming the truthfulness of
the things we are saying.  How do you feel right now?”  He replied “I
feel fine, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call it the spirit.  You
have a nice story to tell, it is interesting”.  I didn’t know what to
say, but Elder Ricciardi reliably stepped in.  “Sir, that good
feeling, as subtle as it may feel, is the spirit, letting you know
these things are true”.  Again, the man was adamant that he certainly
felt good, but would hardly call that the spirit.  Again, Ricciardi
responded “Sir, we feel the spirit, and as representatives of the Lord
Jesus Christ, can assure you that this same spirit is touching you
now.  We know this for one simple reason, we are telling you the
truth, we feel the spirit, and the Lord has told us in the scriptures
that when the preacher preaches by the spirit of truth and the hearer
receives it by the spirit of truth, both are edified.  In other words,
because we are teaching you, we know if we feel the spirit, you feel
it as well.”

Again, the husband said “well, I also just had a cup of my favorite
coffee, how do you know my good feelings aren’t from that?”  Ricciardi
replied, “Because there is no reason at this time, as we are teaching,
for the Lord to ONLY want to edify US at your expense of time and
hospitality.  We know that you feel it, you may not understand these
feelings at this time, you might not even want to agree with us on
this matter, but we know you are feeling the spirit.”

We were hastily asked to leave this man’s home.  He definitely did not
take kindly to the suggestion that he did not want to admit to
assigning his good feelings to the same thing we were.  Here is why
this is such an important story.  Those verses above unveil a very
powerful concept vital to missionary work.  When you are teaching by
the spirit of truth, and you feel the spirit, know this…that the
hearer of the message is feeling it too.  Whether it is to the same
magnitude as you or the same emotions is not relevant.  Whatever
“extra” good feeling they have, no matter how subtle, is the Lord’s
promised mechanism from the above referenced verses that  he that
receiveth the word by the Spirit of truth receiveth it as it is
preached by the Spirit of truth? Wherefore, he that preacheth and he
that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and
rejoice together.

Now that experience seems like we certainly did not “rejoice”
together, but that was the investigators choice, his freedom, if you
will.  Is this so?  How are we to know?  The truth is, the spirit was
there, he felt it, we felt it, we identified it, and he chose to
assign those feelings to something else.  That is ok.  He has that
agency.  But we did what we were supposed to do, knowing that the
promise of the verses from D&C 50 indicate that if we feel it as the
preachers of truth, the hearers are feeling it to.  I testify to you
that this is how missionary work gets done.  Many will react as the
man I just described.  What you must come to terms with is that the
Lord distributes his spirit in these discussions, but it is still a
world of agency.  Did we understand one another in the way the verse
above meant?  Perhaps only in the sense that we made clear the spirit
was there and he made clear that his good feelings about our message
doesn’t necessarily mean it was the spirit.  Nevertheless, the spirit
was there, we felt it, and he felt it, and he kicked us out, and we
KNEW we had done what the Lord wanted us to do (or should I say that
Ricciardi did what the Lord wanted me to do).

Elder Ricciardi did not need him to agree with us to know that the
spirit touched him, because the spirit touched us WHILE WE WERE
TEACHING HIM THE TRUTH.  If you will embrace these verses, open your
mouth at all times in all places (just swing), be strictly obedient,
your mission experience will change your life forever.  These are
courageous moments to boldly tell someone they are feeling something
they don’t either understand or necessarily agree with.  But here is
the key, many will “rejoice together with you” and many won’t.  You
must be ready to make that bold statement when the spirit prompts, and
not let fear (that tool of the devil and the devil alone) creep into
your heart.

BUT IF YOU DO NOT FOLLOW THE PROMPTING, you are keeping investigators
from the chance to understand that what they are feeling is directly
correlated to the truth they are hearing.  Remember, you teach truth
and feel the spirit, know that they are feeling the spirit too.  The
difficulty comes in the courage to identify and explain it to the
investigator, and the investigators willingness to accept that this is
what’s happening.  When you have meetings where the preacher
(missionary) and hearer (anyone you are teaching, which includes your
missionary companions) understand one another and rejoice together, it
is life changing.  Remember, this event still may not end in the
investigator being baptized, but that does not take away from the
courage to recognize and identify the spirit when teaching gospel
truths, and the effect that such experiences have on you personally.

You will not feel the spirit in every discussion that you teach, I
sure didn’t.  When you do feel the spirit, know that the spirit is not
just touching you for your own personal edification and leaving
everyone else in the discussion “out in the cold”.  Heavenly Father
can provide you those feelings of the spirit in your own private
moments.  While teaching investigators, he gives you those feelings to
let you know that “he that preacheth and he that heareth” are in the
presence of the spirit of truth, who is there to confirm the words
being spoken.  Don’t let an investigator who denies or chooses to not
acknowledge the presence of the Holy Ghost make you lose confidence or
else your future investigators will miss the opportunity to be taught
the importance of what those feelings actually mean, and that those
feelings come from God...

For one of the train I gs I read a story that always invites the spirit. I tried it on them and it worked. What cool scriptures and boy are they true. 

Thanksgiving was very delectable. We went to TWO families homes and ate. First the Huddlestons. That family is very very very good at cooking. And very good at getting us fat. We then went to the Cobianponces and we had a very good feast there as well. "You know that feeling when you eat so much you make yourself sick?...Isn't that the best.?"(Jim Gaffagin)
But boy it hurt. I think I need to swallow like two or three tapeworms. You get the idea. 

Now for the bad news....

I'm leaving Livingston....

My first area come and gone. It's pretty rough. Rough more then I expected. I'm sure it's only a taste of how it feels when you go home. I'm glad I could be here though. His place is really special. Not kidding. Everything about it is incredible and I would have been happy staying for the two years. Oh well. It's not my call really. If the lords wants, he gets. So I will go where he wants me to. That's all you can do is obey. 

What was really cool though is that KayTee came to church with us! And the best part is he asked us if he could! We got him from his home and brought him here. It was great how he participates. He fits right in with everybody else. Completely comfortable. Aw man, he is so close! If there was a trail that started where he was and ends at the font, he is so close if he took one more step he'd fall in! But it's sad to leave that guy. I know he will come along. He loves the church and agrees with just about everything. He just needs the finishjng touches and he will be ready. Just gotta get him down on Joseph Smith. Elder Powell and the new guy better take care of him or it will be Sodom and Gomorrah all I've again.

Well in the end, saying goodbye to people is rough. Especially the Cobianponces and Betty and James  and Fred and I don't know how I'm gonna a do it with Mickey. But as King Benjamin says...
... Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend...

That's all you gotta do and that's all you can do. 

Well I love you all and will let you know where I end up. Keep smiling, keep writing, love you!

Elder Weight

walking stick for Mickey

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Thanksgiving with the Huddlestons and Mickey-November 26, 2015


November 23, 2015

Hey everybody, good to talk again!
This week seemed like a lot of work. And I mean work work...physical.
We started off our week with an exchange with the Elders in Lafayette.
They just opened up that area as the Lafayette area so the elders are
pretty new there. Me and Elder Delange spent most of our time tracting
houses trying to find a person to teach. After running into what
seemed an infinity of Baptist missionaries that weren't interested, we
finally found this woman who was walking to her mailbox. We pinned
her down and the Elders now have a new potential investigator! That
calls for a triumphant hoorah! We also saw their potential investigator
and we spent the whole time talking about the Church's new change
about kids not being baptized until 18 with gay parents and so on.
While I was there we discovered a "secret room" in the apartment aka
the attic. For some reason Elder Delange got really excited over the
Once I got back to Livingston I found out that Elder Powell and Wood
just drove tractors everywhere and hauled dirt for service... It's
more fun then it sounds.
This week we are scraping the bottom of the bucket with miles. So we
finally rode our bikes! We didn't get more then 100 feet away from the
trailer when Elder Powell's bike blew up on him. I turned around and his
brakes exploded and his handlebars flew off...we then went back and
jumped in the car. He then got his bike fixed and later that evening
we went off on our bikes again. These hills are murder! I had to get
off and walk my bike. I think I walked my bike more then ride it! We
then went down this really jerky road and tracked. Everyone was in a
'tude on that street or something. We would walk up to people's houses
and before we would even get on the porch they would tell us to go
away. People would drive by and laugh and flip the birdie to us. It
stunk...but then I remembered the scripture in Doctrine and
...And if they persecute you, so persecuted they the prophets and
righteous men that were before you. For all this there is a reward in
So I laughed at them and said thanks to them in my head and went on my
merry way.
The next day I had a real sore rump because of that bike seat. That
was fun. Like Elder Calhoun says, with all this bike riding my rear
end has become quite beautiful...(Keep working on that Dutch Elder.)
(T.M.I.)(You have to watch the Best Two Years to get this one.)
We then got to do more work for Andrew and we cemented the cinder
blocks in place and began setting beams on the blocks for the ramp.
Good hard work. We then got to see people with Mickey. One of our
investigators said no when we invited him to church. We were
like...huh? No!? He said yup, I don't have a reason I just don't want we left the house I said well that was really weird, but then
I realized that he didn't close the door and watched us leave. I think
he may have heard me. My advice is keep your mouth shut before you get
in the car. Face with open mouth and cold sweat
Thanksgiving should be good, more about that next week.
Other than that it has been another good old week here in Livingston.
I hope all of yours was good and I hope you are ready to give thanks.
Keep smiling, keep laughing and keep out of jail. Love yuns!
Elder Weight~
( It's almost nog season!)

How rednecks attach a GPS to their bikes. (Gotta love tape!)

Elder Delange and his smolder face

people on are strange.

No this is not what I do all day.


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Weight and Powell

Conference with Elder Zwick!

November 16, 2015
Hey mates! What's going on? This week has been rather busy. We had a
zone meeting and Elder Zwick came to see us! That was fantastic. He
talked about purifying ourselves from the world and doing things that
bring us closer to God and invite the spirit. It was cool. I shook his
hand and now I never will wash it..  His wife that came with him was
amazing! She talked about her son Scotty that was disabled and
couldn't serve a mission because of his disability. The Zwick had to
go to Thailand for some business Their son was serving there and he
almost finished his mission and they asked if they could pick him up
from it. The mission president was like, sure! But I want to meet Scotty. 
I have heard so much about him and he sounds amazing! When the
missing president met him he learned of Scotty's intense desire to
serve a mission even though he couldn't...the mission president set
apart Scotty as a full time missionary and made him companions with
his brother for a few weeks until he was done. The whole time they
were there they prayed for some special person to teach. They were in
the bus on day and heard people speaking English! The brother said
this one is yours Scotty! Go get them! He went over to the young
couple and and sat next to them. He said to them, "I have been praying
for you! Take this book, it will make you really happy." They took it!
Once they got home a few months went by...Hey got a phone call one day
and it was the people who Scotty gave the book of Mormon to. They
called and said that when they heard when someone was praying for them
they where touched...and they called to tell Scotty that they were
baptized a few months ago...
Isn't that amazing! I love that story.
We also had stake conference his week. That was pretty funny. We tried
to broadcast it from Cookeville to Livingston with our redneckaneering
skills. It worked actually! It was cool seeing conference in another
place besides home. It makes you grateful for what you have I
guess.Half way through the broadcast when he stake president was
talking it picked up some radio station and all you hear is  some lady
talking about Miley Cyrus with her new album or something bizarre like
that. It was awesome though. The talks that were given were inspired
I'm sure. I loved it all in all. My favorite was when sister Andersen
got up and talked about how there are no coincidences. He sisters
called her and asked if she would come out with them. She was happy to
go but she was late because of car repairs. She called them back and
said hey I'm going to be late. The sisters laughed and said, oh we
thought we called the other sister Andersen in our ward... Sister
Andersen was like, we'll I can go back if you don't need me, but they
invited her anyway. They had AMAZING lessons! She was able to testify
to them about the gospel. She new she was the sister Andersen that
needed to be there. Later on hey had a mission conference later to go
to and they went on a flight. They sat next to this lady and and
talked. She said she was going back to Tennessee because she lived
there. She said she new who they where and said, actually I met a
mission president earlier, except he was the Knoxville president. No
coincidences! None, zero Nada.
When it had come to teaching we have been steadily and slowly doing
better. It is a test of patience I am sure but I know that if we do
our best then God will see our efforts and do his part also. We did
get to do service and build a wheelchair ramp for this one man because
we keep trying to offer service. That was fun! We got to drive a
tractor. That's a first for me. We spent the whole time though chipping
mortar of cinder blocks. I felt like I was making the salt lake temple
or something. It was cool! Service works.
I know his email is short but my love for you all isn't. I love each
and every one of you and you bless me. Thanks! Keep doin your best and
if you need anything,no am an email away.
Love ya!
Elder Weight~

Me eating a sandwich over the trash. Classy

he Livingston sword!! In all its glory!


my cartoons

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

 November 9, 2015

Hey everyone. I opened yuns had a good week. You did? That's good. How was mine? Well Let me tell you...

We went up to Byrdstown to visit KayTee. He is doing...well? It is hard to say. Every time we see him now he seems real serious and asks us these questions that are real minor things and after we resolve his concerns, he brightens up and is all happy to learn. He is a good guy. His wife doesn't like us though. He way KayTee explained it was "She is stuck in her ways and isn't willing to learn and change." He wants us to come back though.  He said, keel coming back and don't let my wife discourage you! I think we need to push him a little more. He is testing the waters right now trying to decide if he should dive in or not....I think it's time we give him a push :)

Elder Powell had some really nasty shoes...they are completely trashed! He says they are his missionary shoes and he wants to wear hem out entirely before he retires them...
We go to this one investigators house to talk with him, Mickey was there with us. The guy keeps looking at his shoes. After a few minutes of that he goes back in his house and comes out with something and he gives it to Mickey. He says to Elder Powell, " I ain't tryin to be mean, but it is gettin to be winter and it'll snow soon...get yerself some new shoes. Mickey looked at what he handed him...a hundred bucks! I laughed the whole time. That wasn't the first time people offered to buy him shoes either. Mickey told me when Elder Powell was in the shower to look at what size he wore so he could get him a new pair...

And so the week went on..there is this one road I absolutely hate. It is filled with dogs and they are all stupid. They bark at us and if we go up to a house they go insane! I wonder how to get rid of them...Later on in the week there was a house that had this insane dog and it wouldn't let us get close to the door. One day it was chained up in the back yard and I uttered a triumphant haha! But then we go in. One lady let's us in and she goes behind this curtain. We heard her talking to some other woman and the other lady was like " why did you let them in! They could be criminals! She then gave us this story about how she was from out of town and she was busy so we just left. I thought that was funny. As we were leaving I was tempted to say, for the record we aren't criminals:)

Something completely unexpected happened though this week....
One of our members, Michael Vinson, passed away.
He wasn't even very old. He was only sixty. We believe he had a massive heart attack and died before he fell to the ground. His sister, sister cobianponce found him on the floor. It was and still is very hard on the whole family, especially her. We went over with Mickey to help them but there really wasn't anything we could do... We went to the funeral home and saw him. It was so strange to see him there like that. Just a few days ago we saw him and he seemed just fine...
All I know is that the Lord has something to do with it. Maybe it is a blessing because he did have cancer and if he hadn't of died when he did, the cancer would have got him eventually. We are all very sad that he is gone. He was probably the one we could count on the most. Every Thursday he would take us out and he almost never cancelled. He was an example of diligence and would do what the Lord wanted him to do no matter what. I just know that he is still doing good work. After all, the life to come is a life of peace. It is found in Alma and Mosiah,

11 Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection--Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life.

12 And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow.

6 And now if Christ had not come into the world, speaking of things to come as though they had already come, there could have been no redemption.

7 And if Christ had not risen from the dead, or have broken the bands of death that the grave should have no victory, and that death should have no sting, there could have been no resurrection.

8 But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ.

I know that they are okay, Brother Vinson and Sister Cooper. They are still working for the Lord and are at peace doing so.

They are good examples to me. They make me want to keep going even when it gets hard or boring or long or etc. I am glad u could learn from them and get to know them.

Well, in the long and short of it all, life goes on. And for the rest of us, I hope we are always found doing the right thing. I love you all and hope for the best. Keep loving, keep laughing, and keep thinking what would Jesus do. Love yuns,

Elder Weight~

November 2, 2015
What is happening my fellows? I hope all is well with yal. This week
was a pretty solid week. Our main focus is cleaning our Areabook.
About half the people in it we don't even know! Not to mention some
haven't been taught for a year or more! So yes, we are keeping busy
here. Member involvement has increased once he ward council found out
that each department head is to provide at least one member to go with
us every week. And usually when members go with us they feed us.
Double win!  We have been able to meet many amazing people. Hopefully
they will be baptized and come to church.
Me and Elder Powell are trying our best to get along. He has this
strange obsession with fajitas... He makes hem in bulk and then
freezes them. He cooked a whole pan of onions and my eyes were burning
from. The back room. I come out and see him.. He looked like he sat
through a chickflick. We cracking the door open and tried to air out
the house. This cat kept trying to get in the house because it wanted
food and could smell it. We kept pushing it away. Then at one point it
ran in the house and hid behind the couch and I tried to kick it out.
That was an adventure. But after all that our house still stinks like
a burning onion patch.
This week we have been trying to focus more on our work as
missionaries. For some reason everything that we are either not
supposed to do or have seems to be just that much more fun now...funny
how that works. God is good. He helps you out when you screw up and he
even helps you forget about the stuff back home. Ask for help and he
is there.
For one pday we went to muddy pond which is the Mennonite community.
They have a leather store! It was heaven...okay not really but it was
still cool. I had he idea of making a leather tie. Me and Elder Powell
got stuff to do it. We wore them to district meeting and now everyone
wants one! We went back today and got more stuff to make more. It is
really cheap too!
This is what you do when you are bored as a missionary.
The strangest part of the week was Halloween day. If I was at home I
would be at parties and having a blast and eating candy. My first
missionary Halloween consisted of cleaning up this husband and wife's
front yard that was just littered with trash EVERYWERE. It was wild.
We found some rotten dog food that was soaking in water and it was the
most awful smell you ever put your nose to. You could smell it from
the other side of the house! That night we needed to be in by six
unless we had a ward activity to go to. We went to the church and had
a mini gathering and people wore their costumes. Elder Powell and I
swapped name tags. A classic. It was a weird feeling doing and being
somewhere different. But that is life. Change makes you better. You
learn from it, and after all this whole time on earth is a learning
experience. It is good for you! As the Travelocity gnome says, "go out
and smell he roses!"
Love you all! God bless,
Elder Weight~

This is there toilet for amish people!
oh my....