Favorite Scripture

Alma 37:37
Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Last Pictures from Eagan, MN!

Surprise Email with Pictures!


Elder Mower Letter #22

Hello from the town of Brainerd!!!

So it wasnt untill i got to Brainerd that i started to learn how true Minnesotans really are. The accents are REALLY THICK. They wern't that bad in Eagan. It's a HUGE difference. Plus i was in the cities and now i am in the "sticks." BUT, i absolutely LOVE this area. Even more than Eagan, as far as the work goes. We are getting soooo much more people to teach. The numbers are higher, we already have 3 people committed to baptism with more on the way! Brainerd has EXTEREMELY supportive members. The members are mostly upper aged people and they feed us soooooooo much fatty foods. So im gonna need to buy P90X or something when i get home! haha. Geographically, it is a HUGE ward. The area has a diameter of about 50 miles. So Elder Johnson and I have a BIG area to cover. But we have more miles in this area. Overall, I think this will be one of my favorite areas i will serve on my mission.

Elder Johnson is my new companion. He is LEGIT! He is actually from Centerville, UT. I dont know why President Clements said he was from AZ. haha. He is 6'1 (not quite as big as my last companion, Elder Black), he is a football player. Our personalities are very parallel. He is an AMAZING missionary. I have been out a transfer longer than him but he can talk to people soooooo much better than I can! I even felt a little bit inadequate! He is that good! He is very excited about missionary work and he is BY FAR my favorite companion so far. This is going to be such an awesome transfer to serve with Elder Johnson.

So just last friday, a HUGE miracle happened. So on a typical day, we get 1-2 future investigators. Not this day though. Elder Johnson and I got 6 future investigators. We found a lot of people to teach. That was awesome! The Lords hand was evident in this miracle. We couldn't be anymore grateful.

We taught only a few people and because i am new and i have a TERRIBLE memory, i dont remember who we taught but they are very close to being committed to baptism. I'm very sorry about that but i will have a detailed report next week.

My spiritual thought this week is from the Saturday Afternoon session of General Conference, Elder L. Tom Perry of the 12 Apostles said: "If you will respond to the invitation to share your beliefs and feelings about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, a spirit of love and a spirit of courage will be your constant companion." Being courageous has been a challenge on my mission and it continues to be so. But on those moments that i have found courage in sharing my testimony of the gospel, I have seen a difference in my testimony. The power distinguished from one to the other is crystal clear. I am still very scared of people and i feel inadequate sometimes when i speak to them because i am not the strongest speaker. But every time i bore my testimony courageously, that spirit of fear has ALWAYS left me. My faith has increased. I am more able to trust in the Lord. I develop a greater love for whom i am bearing my testimony. Anyone can have courage in a short moment. But can that individual carry on that zeal consistantly to all that he or she comes into contact with? I am not to that point yet and it is a weakness that i have but i know that through patience in myself, through my best efforts, and through the divine grace of the Lord, He can help me strip myself of this spirit of fear and replace it with a spirit of courage, faith, hope, and charity. This includes all, not just myself. Some of us may feel intimidated to share the gospel because we feel inadequate and the spirit of fear seems to be powerful. Allow me to testify through my own experiences that if we are bold yet loving in our testimonies, the spirit of fear will depart from us. We will progress to a higher ground than we already are. Let us all be open with our testimonies. If you are scared or intimidated to share the gospel with a friend, to bear your testimony in church, to defend the Church, to protect your integrity even when you stand alone, know this: it is your complete right and power to cast out the spirit of fear and invite the warm spirit of love and courage in your lives and greater blessings are in store for those who show greater courage. I testify of this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Love Elder Mower

Friday, October 28, 2011

Elder Mower Letter #21 The Transfer

Hi everyone!

Transfer calls were today! The results are in! After 4 1/2 months in Eagan, I will be leaving Eagan to go serve in Brainard, Minnesota which is North of the Twin cities in the Saint Cloud zone (the most northern zone except for Duluth). Not even near as cold as the Duluth zone but a little bit chillier than the cities. Its definitely a "sticks" area but i hear AMAZING THINGS about the area. There is already a baptism set for Nov. 5th in Brainard. Every missionary told me that i can expect MANY miracles there. It is a very successful area. I am very excited!!! My new companion will be Elder Johnson. He is from Arizona. He is one transfer younger than me. Strange enough however, I will be "greenie-breaking him. That means that this next transfer will be his first transfer after his training. I will be his "mom" (in missionary terms). Basically, your trainer is your dad and your greenie-breaker is your mom. I can't wait for a MAGNIFICENT transfer in a great area!

Oh! and my current companion, Elder Black will be training a new missionary! He'll be a dad!

So unfortunately this has been such a slow week but we did teach a few lessons. We taught a "lost sheep" named Kerry. A lost sheep is a less active member who moved and the Church has no idea where they are. Elder Baker (my dad) and i found her. We talked to her about church. She left because she never came to church for the right reasons but she doesnt recognize that. Basically, she came to church just to socialize. She sees church as a formal get-together. We are trying to get her to come back. She said she would! but now its all up to Elder Black and his companion, whoever it may be. Sergio Sanchez (LA) came with us to Stake Conference. He is progressing soooo much. He is probably my favorite person that i have worked with in Eagan. I will miss him and i will always stay in touch with him. I'm really hoping that i can go see him and his family be sealed in the temple for time and all eternity. I pray that i may receive the opportunity to see them receive the amazing blessings of an eternal family.

No more lessons this week but there is a miracle that i would like to share with you about following the promptings of the Spirit ALWAYS. It will also be my spiritual thought. Just last night, Elder Black and I were tracting and we weren't having much success. It was about 8 pm which is a very ineffective time here because people go to sleep not by the time but by the light. When its dark, everybody is asleep. However, Elder Black received a strong prompting to go street contacting around the northern part of Eagan which is pretty much all shops and businesses. We were walking on the one street and this man is pulling out of a parking lot and he sees us. He then yells: "Hey are you guys missionaries?!" We said yes and he then replied: "Walk over to the parking lot. We need to talk." Elder Black and I were thinking: "This will be either an anti-LDS or it will be a miracle." He came and said that he is a member of the church that fell away when he was 18. He expressed that it was time for him to come back. He wants to feel the peace again that comes from the gospel. He said that he is also trying to talk to his fiancee about getting baptized as well. That gives us a reactivation and maybe even a baptism!!! unfortunately i won't teach him other than this Tuesday but i know that he is in good hands. I almost got emotional walking away because it was such a precious experience. The Lord has lead us to this man and his fiancee. Elder Black and I knew that street contacting would be ineffective for 8 pm yet we followed the prompting and look what happened. The Lord helped us find that one lost sheep of the 99. How great is the joy in heaven over the one sinner that repents than the 99 just people who need no repentance!!! We experienced this joy and there is no expression adequate enough to describe it!!! I testify that as we ALWAYS follow spiritual promptings, even if it doesn't make sense, miracles WILL happen. Maybe not right away, but trust in the Lord because he has a purpose behind every prompting. As you do this, I PROMISE that you will be blessed over time to be able to recognize the Spirit easier. I leave you this testimony and promise, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Love Elder Mower

Elder Mower Letter #20

Hola! Just kidding: i wish i was a Spanish speaker sometimes. haha That's ok though. Teaching in English is quite enough for me!

So Eagan has been great this week! Unfortunately, flu season has come and it dragged me in bed for a few days with a cold but I am back to work in one piece!

Before i start talking about the work, i need to announce this: my mission president put a new rule into action. Unfortunately, i can no longer reveal any real names of people that i am working with. Something happened with some other missionary regarding this thing. I don't know what happened but it doesn't matter. It will be a little bit difficult to keep track of who each person is but I am pretty sure i can work something out. So for the time being, i will replace the persons real name with another name other than their actual name. Make sense? Good. Lets get started...haha

So my mission president also came out with a new idea to contact people. Now we can use a survey to ask people different questions and tie it in with the gospel. There are 8 different surveys: Family History, The Bible, Jesus Christ, Prayer, Prophets, and others that i cant quite remember. We started using them later this week and they are VERY effective. One lady for example, we contacted her and she was not excited at all to see us but then we give here the Bible survey and we tied it in with the Book of Mormon and it sparked her interest. She got a Book of Mormon, she said that she would read and pray about it, and she even wants us to come back! All from that survey. That idea is inspired! I can't wait to use it more in the future to find more people to teach.

Remember that really solid referral that i mentioned last week??? (I won't mention any names...haha) We taught him and his 3 daughters yesterday after eating dinner with them. The father was VERY open and willing to try out what we have to say. He just needs to read and pray to find the truth of the Book of Mormon and once he finds out that it is true, he is GOLDEN! He let his daughters choose whether or not they want to hear us. They listened and they said they would be willing to have us teach them again. We gave each of them a Book of Mormon. They all committed to read and pray about it. We have high hopes for this family.
We also taught Bill who lives with a less active member, Samantha. He has some Word of Wisdom issues so now we need to work with him on that. I think he really wants us to teach him but ONLY teach and NOT commit him to change. We aren't giving up on him though. We committed him to read and pray about the BOM. Apparently, he told us that he ALMOST said no but his girlfriend asked him to. So she was a HUGE help for us.

Those were the only 2 lessons we had this week but we are working to teach more lessons for next week.

Now i will share with you THE BEST PART of my mission that happened last friday. Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles came to the mission with his wife. He is a personal friend of my mission president. He agreed to come as it was unexpected. About 160 of the 200 missionaries in the mission came. We all got to shake his hand and meet him. That was an indescribable experience. He gave such an amazing sermon! Randomly, Elder Black and I were the very last ones to shake his hand. After Elder Black and I took our seats, my mission president came up to the stand and said: "I just want you all to know that the companionship of Elder Mower and Elder Black is inspired, Elder Black being the tallest and Elder Mower the shortest." I was thinking: "I just got punked for my height by my mission president in front of an apostle!" Not only that but he asked us to stand up in front of an apostle and 160 missionaries to see our height difference!!! 6 foot 6 inches and 5 foot 7 inches. That's a shocker! Now i know he really didn't mean to do it make fun of me but it was a pretty funny occasion. It was such a unique and wonderful experience.

I would like to share my spiritual thought for this week now: When i got sick, i thought it was no excuse for me not to work. So then as Elder Black and I are going to lunch, I felt 5x worse than i did before, rain was so intense that it was like a huge bucket was being poured on us, and our only appointment that day canceled on us. I took it as the Lord does not want me to work today. Elder Black then shared a scripture with me which reads: "And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength (Mosiah 4:27)...." We are all human. We have weaknesses both in the body and in the spirit. We need to do our best of course but there is a line of what we can do. The Lord won't give us anything that we can't handle. I know that if we put our trust in Him and do our best in all things that we will be happier and the Lord will compensate for the rest. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Love Elder Mower

Elder Mower Letter #19

Its been such an amazing few weeks overall! We have had quite a bit of referrals this week. I think that i should start off with our BEST referral! His name is Cha Yang. He is a single, Asian father of 3 teenage daughters. He worked with a very close friend who is LDS. His friends name is Gary. Cha told us that Gary called him a "dry Mormon." Basically he meant that its someone who follows pretty much the fundamental teachings of the church but is still unbaptized or "dry." He then asked us: do i have to come into your chapel for church, walk in, and shout "Hello everyone! im DRY!!!." Elder Black and I were laughing our heads off! He is a funny dude! He has also been sincerely looking for a church that fits him. He told us that every church he has been to doesn't seem right. He looks up to Gary as the best example in his life. Gary is actually the one who called Church headquarters and the Church then gave us the referral. We stopped by and he let us in immediately (this was our first initial contact with Cha). He really wants to come to our Church. We told him our purpose and he invited us back this next Sunday for dinner and not just any dinner he said that he would feed us steak, lamb, pork, etc. He's really solid and we are EXTREMELY excited to teach him!

We received other referrals that aren't near as legitimate as Cha is but we will see this week or later.

Before I go on with the work this week I will now be using a key to categorize people that we are working with from now on. Here's the key:

I = Investigator
LA = Less Active Member
RC = Recent Convert

Last Tuesday, we taught Brad Nivala (I) whose girlfriend is Jamie Nolan (LA). We gave him a spiritual thought on how the Atonement not only can redeem him from his sins but it can also heal him from his afflictions and from everything that seems to be unfair in his life, especially his financial situation. We then committed him to take the missionary lessons. We have them for dinner tonight and will be starting with the 1st discussion. Last Friday, Elder Black and I saw a HUGE change in one of our investigators. Her name is Angela. She is a Unitarian (so basically she takes the best doctrines of each Church including our beliefs about eternal families and puts it together in one religion). A member (Brother Winspear) came with us. He helped us out ALOT. He is a VERY blunt man and will tell you how it is. Before this we were thinking about dropping Angela because she thought that we were there to compare religions. So we really established our purpose along with Brother Winspear. It got a little bit heated but Brother Winspear told her to put aside her beliefs and to listen to us missionaries and pay attention to how she feels. From that point on, she listened to us and committed to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. HUGE change. It was either a do or die. It was a success! That was the highlight of my week. That's evidence right there as to why we should be bold in our teaching. Yes it may seem that a relationship might be on a thread after that but it may also influence them them to pay attention to the gospel. President Brigham Young once said: "If you go on a mission to preach the gospel with lightness and frivolity, looking for this and that and to learn that which is in the world, you will go and return in vain." That statement is extremely plain. But its true. It has started to push me to be more bold while loving in my teaching. I have noticed a huge difference in doing so.

Here is my spiritual thought of the week. Elder Carl B. Cook said this last general conference: " At the end of a particularly tiring day toward the end of my first week as a General Authority, my briefcase was overloaded and my mind was preoccupied with the question 'How can I possibly do this?' I left the office of the Seventy and entered the elevator of the Church Administration Building. As the elevator descended, my head was down and I stared blankly at the floor. The door opened and someone entered, but I didn’t look up. As the door closed, I heard someone ask, 'What are you looking at down there?' I recognized that voice—it was President Thomas S. Monson. I quickly looked up and responded, 'Oh, nothing.' But he had seen my subdued countenance and my heavy briefcase. He smiled and lovingly suggested, while pointing heavenward, 'It is better to look up!' As we traveled down one more level, he cheerfully explained that he was on his way to the temple. When he bid me farewell, his parting glance spoke again to my heart, 'Now, remember, it is better to look up.' sins are forgiven and burdens are lightened as we look to Christ. Let us remember him, … and not hang down our heads, for, as President Monson said, 'It is better to look up.' " We all go through tough times in life. Just because i am experiencing "the best 2 years" doesn't mean that its the perfect, care-free 2 years. I still go through MANY hard times. There are times like Elder Cook where i feel discouraged and i look down. But i promise through my mission experiences and learning that if we look up to the light, we will be ever happy. Live life to its fullest. I am only beginning to realize how short life really is in an eternal sense. Remember that it is ALWAYS better to look up. I say that in the name of our Good Master, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Love Elder Mower

Elder Mower Letter #18

How are you all doing?!

Before i start, if any of you have written me a letter within the past 2-3 weeks, I apologize for not writing back yet. I have been VERY busy lately and I'll do my best to get back to all of you if i can!

I'm SO EXHAUSTED because of such a busy week. We taught 6 lessons this week with one of them being with another member! We also received 3 new investigators! But before i get into that Here's a really neat miracle that happened last Wednesday. So Elder Black and I were walking around in downtown Eagan and just as we were walking out of the parking lot, a man drives up next to us and says: "Hey are y'all Mormons or Jehovah's witnesses?" We told him who we were and then he said "Alright. Do you guys happen to have a Book of Mormon? I've read most of it already and i have like 40 pages left but i can't find mine. Could i get one from you guys?" We immediately gave him a Book of Mormon and our contact information. He never called but we know where he works since he was in his work uniform. The church is so true and God is truly a God of miracles. It's undeniable.

So here are the lessons that we taught this week. Just last Monday night, we planned on stopping by a less active member named Jayme Nolan who lives with a non member, Brad Nivala. We stopped by and Jayme wasn't home but Brad was. He doesn't make the best choices in life and he is going through a lot of financial trouble right now but he expressed his deep appreciation for the Church's fasting program that allowed him to be fed when he didn't have the money to buy food and pay for mortgage. He even said that even when him and Jayme get married and their financial situation slows down, he might even become a member of the Church. MIRACLE! Thus, He became an investigator. We are meeting with him again tomorrow! On Tuesday, we taught 2 lessons. First we taught Victor. He is still jobless and has been for the last 3 months. We promised him that if he is baptized, that he will find a job. We extended a baptismal invitation and he declined nicely by saying that he's a Catholic and he'd like to keep it that way. Leaving that lesson i was VERY disappointed in Victor. I was disappointed because our time as missionaries is VERY short and we can't waste it by comparing religions and letting our meetings go on and on and on without making any progress. Elder Black feels prompted to go back and give him one more shot but after that its a do or die for Victor. Later that day we met with a former investigator named Julie Happy (she LOVES being called Sister Happy). Could've guessed why right?! haha. This lesson was definitely one of the most Spirit filled experiences this week. She has been having some health problems, especially with her back and, as a result, was prescribed some Vicadine to help with her pain. Because the pain was intense and continued to worsen, she took more and more and eventually became addicted to it. As she was explaining this to us into tears, she expressed a desire to get off of it. She said that we called her at the perfect time. We offered a Priesthood blessing for her and she accepted. I had the wonderful opportunity to give her the blessing. I remember after the lesson, she said that she literally felt like "crap" physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. But she also said that Every last bit of it went away after we gave the blessing. Even the physical pain vanished. She was extremely grateful for this Priesthood blessing. I think she is GOLDEN and may have the potential of all our investigators to be our next baptism. She is SO ready to receive the gospel after we help her through her struggles and help her come to the light. Last Thursday we taught Paul and Barb. Unfortunately they dropped us but there is a remarkable seed planted. We taught about the Plan of Salvation and they love that heavenly Father is a loving Father in Heaven. We also talked about how they can know all these things are true through reading and praying about the Book of Mormon. Brother Anderson (a member) came with us and bore a powerful testimony in tears that he KNOWS that he will again see his 2 grandchildren who have passed away and he knows that they are in the hands of a tender, loving Heavenly Father. Barb started to get emotional and the Spirit was VERY strong but when they asked our purpose in meeting with them, they said that they have no intentions of being converted. But they promised to read and pray sincerely about the Book of Mormon together as husband and wife. We will miss them. Last Friday we taught another former investigator named Angela. She has EXTREMELY WEIRD ideas. I don't even think i should share these ideas. We are going back one more time to reinforce our purpose as missionaries. That will be either a drop or it will turn out very good! Later that day we taught a referral that we received named Sasha. Her mom is a member. We taught her the restoration. She was willing to listen but EXTREMELY shy. She was committed to read the Book of Mormon and to pray about it. We'll see how things go with her. Those were our lessons this week!

General Conference was amazing! For my spiritual thought, I would like to share a powerful experience that i saw with the Burnsville missionaries and one of their investigators watching general conference with us. This investigators name was Kristi. Remember that one of her main concerns is that she feels that God doesn't even care about her and that she is worthless in the sight of God. We were watching the Saturday Morning Session. She liked it all. She loved President Monson's humor! But then the last talk given that session was President Uchtdorf. He said something that struck her hard (and I as well); he simply but powerfully said (not in exact words): "If you are feeling worthless, insignificant, lonely, or forgotten, know this: YOU MATTER TO GOD!" What a statement! I looked over and Kristi wasn't crying, she was balling. Her concern had been fixed by a general authority. That is a witness to me that the general authorities of the church ARE INSPIRED! God inspired President Uchtdorf to say this because He knew that Kristi truly needed to hear that. I bear witness that these men, who are the leaders of our Church, are inspired of God. They are His true servants called to lead and guide us. I'm grateful for their counsel and boldness to me that has compelled me to become a better missionary and disciple of the Lord. I testify that President Monson is a prophet called of God! He is today's mouth piece of the Lord. I invite all men to heed his counsel, for it is from God. I promise that as you do this, your lives will be improved and you will find joy and know that when you are following his counsel, you are following the Lords counsel. I know these things are true and i bear witness of their truth as an instrument in His hands, and i do so in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Love Elder Mower

Monday, September 26, 2011

Elder Mower Letter #17

hi everybody!

So this week had its ups and downs. We didn't get to teach any lessons to investigators this week. However, we got to teach 6 RCLA (Recent Convert or Less Active) lessons! We also had a VERY good contacting ratio. Our ratio was 0.6/1.9. The ratio is Future investigators/Invitations to Learn. So basically out of all the people that we invited to learn about the gospel, about 30% of them became future investigators and agreed to learn more. Makes me soooo happy! but unfortunately the appointments fell through but we're still trying. We asked them when would be a good time to come again and one of them said "come on the most holy day. Sunday!" That's a good sign I'm assuming! haha

So here were the lessons this week. First we taught Sister Briggs last Wednesday about tithing and fast offerings. She committed to live it and she is progressing closer to living the Word of Wisdom fully. Shes given up coffee and now its all just getting her off the nicotine gum. SHes cut down SO MUCH on the gum and we are proud of her and the changes that she has made in her life. Later that day, we had dinner with the Trader family. They come to church pretty frequently now but they are just getting back to full activity. Brother Trader actually served his mission in the MMM as well! pretty cool! They are a great family. Last Thursday, we came into contact with a LA member named Sarah Gutierrez and she is WAY SOLID! she knows the church is true and wants to come back soon but she is scared to do it. She was baptized in 1997 i think and was sealed in the temple in 1999. But in 2000 she went through a nasty divorce and took offense to that against the Church. but looking back she realizes that it wasn't the Church's fault. She now has 2 kids and is married to a non member. But she does want to come back to church. Thats huge. We taught the wonderful Rodriguez Family just last Friday about the gospel of Jesus Christ and how it is the "Road of Life." They also came to church again so i have a great feeling that they were serious about saying that they will now regularly come to church. Im so happy for them!!! I love that family so much! Last Saturday we found a less active member named Gloria Paulson along with her daughter, Sister Sutten, and she has a VERY hard time with hearing but loves the missionaries. She is a convert in 1972 along with her family. We just shared a spiritual thought but the Spirit was so strong! we talked about How our Heavenly Father usually answers our prayers through other people. Sister Sutten got emotional and actually came to church this last Sunday. The only reason that they are less active is because Gloria cant really hear anything at Sacrament meeting. We are trying to resolve that though so that she can enjoy the blessings of coming to church. We got to teach a gospel principles class during 2nd hour at church to RCLAs and we taught about keeping the Sabbath day holy and the blessings that come from it. It was a great lesson. They really enjoyed it.

Those were our lessons this week but now for this upcoming week: we have 3 lessons set up on Tuesday (All investigators), 2 on Wednesday (All investigators), 2 on Thursday (1 Recent Convert and 1 investigator), and 2 on Friday (all Less Active member lessons) with possibly more on the way. Plus we are really pushing general conference with investigators. With all these lessons and general conference this weekend, this is probably going to be one of the busiest weeks on my mission yet but im very excited to teach these lessons and hear the words of our beloved prophet, President Monson.

I found a video on this last week that really touched me and id like to share that with you all. President Hinckley told us a story one time in general conference that his father once told him.

"An older boy and his young companion were walking along a road which led through a field. They saw an old coat and a badly worn pair of men’s shoes by the roadside, and in the distance they saw the owner working in the field. The younger boy suggested that they hide the shoes, conceal themselves, and watch the perplexity on the owner’s face when he returned. The older boy … thought that would not be so good. He said the owner must be a very poor man. So, after talking the matter over, at his suggestion, they concluded to try another experiment. Instead of hiding the shoes, they would put a silver dollar in each one and … see what the owner did when he discovered the money. So they did that. Pretty soon the man returned from the field, put on his coat, slipped one foot into a shoe, felt something hard, took it out and found a silver dollar. Wonder and surprise [shone] upon his face. He looked at the dollar again and again, turned around and could see nobody, then proceeded to put on the other shoe; when to his great surprise he found another dollar. His feelings overcame him. … He knelt down and offered aloud a prayer of thanksgiving, in which he spoke of his wife being sick and helpless and his children without bread. … He fervently thanked the Lord for this bounty from unknown hands and evoked the blessing of heaven upon those who gave him this needed help. The boys remained [hidden] until he had gone. They had been touched by his prayer and felt something warm within their hearts. As they left to walk down the road, one said to the other, 'Don’t you have a good feeling?'"

That story really touched me because the Lord knew this mans needs and his prayers. But he answered his prayers not by money magically growing from a tree in his yard or something but by a small act of kindness from these boys that had a huge impact on this mas life. It is my prayer that we may doing something kind for someone that is having a hard time. Search for these opportunities. A lot of times in our lives we become so preoccupied with our own lives. We become caught up in the thick of thin things. Let us go out of our way and do something for someone who may have lost a loved one, who is dealing with marital problems or spiritually lost children, dealing with the bitterness of disease or illness, dealing with sorrow, dealing with loneliness, or any kind of suffering. We will feel that warm feeling in our hearts as we help someone who is more weary than ourselves. We ourselves will be made stronger. Do as the Lord did. Help those in need. Fulfill what really matters most in life. I promise each of you that if you that if you do this, you will feel this good feeling in your heart, you will be stripped of pride and bitterness and filled with love and charity, and you will experience the joys of serving those who the Lord would have you to serve. This is my testimony and i share it with you, in the name of our Lord and our Savior, even Jesus Christ. Amen

Love Elder Mower

Surprise Photo #4

Here is a picture of Elder Mower and his new companion Elder Black! It makes my day to get these pictures!!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Elder Mower Letter #16

Hello from Eagan, MN!

Something funny happened yesterday so ill share that: We knocked on a future investigators door and a girl looks through the window (the window was open so we could hear her). Then she yells to a boy saying: "ITS THE FREAKING JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES! WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO!" Elder Black and I were laughing our heads off. Eventually she answered the door because she knew that we saw and heard her. We just shared a card and invited her to check it out but that's about it. haha

So I'm not gonna lie, this week started off as one of the roughest weeks of my mission.

Mary Hellan dropped us. She was our most solid investigator but she had a huge problem with us not believing in transubstantiation. It didn't make sense because she said herself that she believes that Joseph Smith was a prophet. So the Book of Mormon shouldn't be a problem with her. She also didn't like that we don't use wine for the blood of Christ. She quoted that even the Book of Mormon said wine. So her question really is: "Was Joseph Smith a total fraud or was he a true prophet inspired from God?" If she believes he was a prophet, then i really don't know how else to help her. I do think that the only reason that she met with the missionaries is because she was more attached to the missionaries that started teaching her than to the gospel. Elder Baker (my last companion) was one of those elders that started teaching her. A week after he left, she dropped us. Its ok though because she said that she will still read and pray about the Book of Mormon. She told us that she will call us if she has any questions. a definite seed was planted.

We BARELY had any lessons this week. Most of our lessons fell through. It was really testing my faith. I felt like an unsuccessful missionary. Elder Black felt the same way.

We knew that we had to over come that obstacle. So for companionship study all this week, we really focused on attaining the attributes of a successful missionary. We re-evaluated our efforts and worked even harder. Then after our hard work came THE GREATEST MIRACLES I've seen on my mission.

We received a referral on Friday. Best referral yet! She flat out said that she wants to become a Mormon!!! that made me soooo happy!!! Her name is Jayme! The only problem is that she wouldn't give us her address because her mom is SUPER ANTI against the church and she doesn't want us to have to deal with that. We know that she lives in Rosemount but we only cover part of Rosemount so we don't quite know if she is in our area but there is a good chance that she is. We haven't contacted her yet but we know that she is SO READY to receive the gospel.

Elder Black and I tried new finding procedures this week. We completely went through our area book and we found 2 former investigators that said that we could come back and teach them!One of them actually told us why she stopped investigating the church (she felt rushed). So we promised her that we would take it slow with her. Now we know her needs and that is HUGE! If you see the missionaries and they are having trouble finding people, then ask them when the last time was that they checked their area book. Elder Hinckley (president Hinckleys son) came to the mission once and left us a promise that if we stop by our former investigators and do 10 x 10 tracting (10 houses left and 10 right from the former investigators house) that we WILL find someone to baptize. Awesome promise right there because it is SO TRUE!

What i am about to share is an experience that completely changed my perspective on families and even changed my mission. Because it is such a touching experience for me, i will go ahead and leave this lesson as my spiritual thought. We were able to teach the Rodriguez Family (LA) just last Friday. The Rodriguez family is sooooo AWESOME! They have 3 kids Felix Jr. (14), Calvin (11), Cassie (8). We taught them a lot about the Restoration to make sure if they know that the Church is true. When we were teaching about the Holy Ghost, we asked them if they had ever felt the Holy Ghost in their lives and invited them to share that experience. Sister Rodriguez shared that it was an amazing feeling and would do ANYTHING to get that feeling back. Brother Rodriguez shared that whenever he was on an airplane that was very shaky, he was afraid but when he would read the Book of Mormon on the plane, the fear would leave him and he wouldn't even notice the plane shaking. Their youngest daughter, Cassie, is 8 and always bugs them about her getting baptized by her dad. So Brother Rodriguez wants to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood. He wants to baptize Cassie. The family made a SOLID commitment to come to church. THEY CAME!!! But here was the highlight of that lesson: Brother Rodriguez said: "I feel very close to my family, but i still feel that there is an emptiness in my home." He then asked us to bless his home. He basically asked us to dedicate his home. We said we would do it Sunday, which was yesterday. Elder Black dedicated their home and it was a powerful prayer. We talked about the prayer. Brother Rodriguez then shared a wonderful experience that he had. He had a dream not too long ago. Here is his dream: "He and his family were having some struggles and felt that emptiness in their home (the one that i just talked about). He asked his bishop to dedicate their home. He didn't do it because the bishop said that he had the authority. But Brother Rodriguez felt inadequate and unready, so it didn't happen." Brother Rodriguez started crying as he expressed his desire to get the Priesthood to bless the lives of his family. He said that this dream was a wake up call for him because he didn't feel good enough to get the Priesthood. That hurt him because he really knows that he needs it and that his family needs it. He wants the blessings of the Priesthood SO BAD for his family. But he expressed his firm commitment to work towards receiving the Priesthood. After that Sister Rodriguez started crying. Then even I started crying!!! That was the only time so far that i had ever cried in a real lesson on my mission. The Spirit really touched me that day and I truly felt the love within this amazing family. They also said that from now on, they will be attending church regularly and are making it a goal to be sealed in the temple! That touched me MORE THAN ANYTHING in my life. That opened me to to realize how much a father really loves his wife and children. I developed such a great love for this family. It also helped me better understand our Heavenly Father's love for His children. It really is something beautiful. I love this family sooooooo much! This was without a doubt the happiest moment of my mission so far and is one of my biggest mission highlights. The Spirit pretty much made my heart explode!!! (in a great way).

Keep on praying for the missionaries throughout the world! they are doing amazing things in the Lord's behalf. Thank you for all you do and may the Lord always be with you.

Love Elder Mower

Monday, September 12, 2011

Elder Mower Letter #15


So school started this week in Eagan and Rosemount so NOBODY is available for us. So it was a LONG week of no success. :[ It was pretty lame but thats ok because winter is coming soon and hopefully people will immediately let us in to help us warm up (plenty of missionary opportunities there)!

So as you all may know, my companion, Elder Baker got transferred to Rochester in the 3rd singles ward there. My new companion is Elder Black. I mentioned that i heard that his snores are loud and sound like Darth Vader. That is correct. The first night he was here, i COULD NOT go to sleep. So i have been sleeping on our couch since Wednesday but that will end today because Elder Black said that he would buy me some earplugs. He has been out for almost a year. He's 20 years old. He is VERY tall (6 feet 6 inches). He LOVES Taco Bell and Mountain Dew. He was in Marching Band in High School. Because last transfer was only 5 weeks, this transfer will last for 7 weeks. It'll be a good 7 weeks.

So like i said, school just started here and nobody was free for us. We called everybody but everything fell through. But we were able to get 2 lessons this week and form a SOLID ward mission plan. Last tuesday was our 2 lessons. First we taught Sister Briggs (LA) about the word of wisdom. We had 2 sisters from Relief Society come and help us as well. She drinks coffee and chews A LOT of nicotine gum. It was a good lesson and she committed to live the WOW. We call every night to see how she is doing with it. She has been saying that it has been going "just alright." A turning point was just yesterday though! At church, we sat next to her and she said that shes officially quit coffee as of yesterday. We were soooo happy to hear that. Now we just need to focus on eliminating the gum. She is sooooo awesome. After that lesson, we taught Mary Hellan Boodrum (I) with another member about the Restoration and we were very aggressive with the Book of Mormon. She did say that she believes (not KNOWS) that Joseph Smith was a prophet. She said that she had no problem changing things to join our religion except for one problem. She believes in the holy sacrifice of the mass (its where one believes that the bread and wine of the sacrament is LITERALLY turned into the flesh and blood of Christ). She strongly believes it. She told us that it is the only thing that is holding her back. We strongly bore testimony that the Book of Mormon can solve this complex problem by a simple answer from the Holy Ghost. We told her that if the BOM is true, then the way that we administer the sacrament is true and if Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God, then he restored the true way to administer the Sacrament. We extended a baptismal invitation but she said that she needed to find our if the BOM is true first. and she agreed to be baptized if she found out that these things were true. We were extremely bold with her but we believe that by being this bold, we basically got out of the "comparing religions" phase. We established our purpose with her, she does keep her commitments, and she loves the church. So now we just need to help her know how she can find out if the BOM is true. You see how important the BOM really is? its not just another book of scripture that we know is true but it is literally what holds the gospel together. Its the determining factor of ALL investigators. It all matters on the BOM. Every question eventually boils down to: "Is the BOM true or is it not?" This all weighs on the BOM. Speaking of the BOM, it is now the central focus on our ward mission plan. Now the ward mission leader, his assistant, and Elder Black and I go to the auxiliaries to commit a few of them each week to give out a BOM and report back to us. The assistant ward mission leader also found a 23 questions of the BOM compilation (its alot like the questions of the soul). It gives a chapter or even just a scripture to read under that question. Elder Black and I went to Relief Society and 2 sisters took a BOM as well as the 23 questions paper. We pray that this new effort will improve our finding results.

So here is my spiritual thought for the week. Before i say this, i apologize for how long it is but it is such a powerful testimony of the BOM. It is Elder Hollands testimony of the Book of Mormon in his talk titled "Safety For The Soul." He says: "May I refer to a modern “last days” testimony? When Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum started for Carthage to face what they knew would be an imminent martyrdom, Hyrum read these words to comfort the heart of his brother: 'Thou hast been faithful; wherefore … thou shalt be made strong, even unto the sitting down in the place which I have prepared in the mansions of my Father.' 'And now I, Moroni, bid farewell … until we shall meet before the judgment-seat of Christ.” A few short verses from the 12th chapter of Ether in the Book of Mormon. Before closing the book, Hyrum turned down the corner of the page from which he had read, marking it as part of the everlasting testimony for which these two brothers were about to die. I hold in my hand that book, the very copy from which Hyrum read, the same corner of the page turned down, still visible. Later, when actually incarcerated in the jail, Joseph the Prophet turned to the guards who held him captive and bore a powerful testimony of the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon. Shortly thereafter pistol and ball would take the lives of these two testators. As one of a thousand elements of my own testimony of the divinity of the Book of Mormon, I submit this as yet one more evidence of its truthfulness. In this their greatest—and last—hour of need, I ask you: would these men blaspheme before God by continuing to fix their lives, their honor, and their own search for eternal salvation on a book (and by implication a church and a ministry) they had fictitiously created out of whole cloth? Never mind that their wives are about to be widows and their children fatherless. Never mind that their little band of followers will yet be “houseless, friendless and homeless” and that their children will leave footprints of blood across frozen rivers and an untamed prairie floor. Never mind that legions will die and other legions live declaring in the four quarters of this earth that they know the Book of Mormon and the Church which espouses it to be true. Disregard all of that, and tell me whether in this hour of death these two men would enter the presence of their Eternal Judge quoting from and finding solace in a book which, if not the very word of God, would brand them as imposters and charlatans until the end of time? They would not do that! They were willing to die rather than deny the divine origin and the eternal truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. For 179 years this book has been examined and attacked, denied and deconstructed, targeted and torn apart like perhaps no other book in modern religious history—perhaps like no other book in any religious history. And still it stands. Failed theories about its origins have been born and parroted and have died...None of these frankly pathetic answers for this book has ever withstood examination because there is no other answer than the one Joseph gave as its young unlearned translator. In this I stand with my own great-grandfather, who said simply enough, 'No wicked man could write such a book as this; and no good man would write it, unless it were true and he were commanded of God to do so.'" A video of his testimony is also on I know that the BOM is true and that it is the concrete of our faith in Christ. It is the most reliable written source that gives me simple and powerful answers to questions that may be difficult to answer. If you haven't received that testimony of the Book of Mormon, then I encourage you, like Moroni did, to get on your knees after reading it and plead with your Heavenly Father to know if it is true or not. If you do so with a humble heart and are willing to use this witness to defend this book, then i PROMISE that you will receive the unshakable knowledge that this book is of God and that this is His kingdom established on earth, preceding the Second Coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Thank you for all you do and I know that this is the only true gospel of Jesus Christ.

Love Elder Mower


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Elder Mower Letter #14

Hi everyone!

So transfer calls were just yesterday and after 9 months of being in Eagan, Elder Baker will be transferred to a singles ward in the Rochester zone. He was such an amazing companion who has taught me sooo many valuable lessons that i can apply both on my mission and for everything that i do for the rest of my life. He will be missed alot! my new companion will be Elder black. I only know a few things about him so far. I know that he is VERY tall (about 6'5), he snores sound like Darth Vader (i may need some earplugs. haha), and he is a good missionary. He is just reaching his year mark. I am excited to take over the Eagan area and learn more about leadership.

So here is the update of missionary work in Eagan: unfortunately none of our referrals have contacted us yet. We will keep on trying and I'll let you all know when we do. Our ward missionary efforts are thankfully improving. Although we only had 2 lessons this week, all of them were one with a member present. That makes me very happy! Elder Baker and I were working so hard to get the ward members excited about missionary work. Things with the ward mission leader are looking good because now we have a solid plan to update him with all of our missionary efforts. I couldn't be happier with the ward. There is always room for improvement though. We still need more missionaries. So wherever you are, ALWAYS look for those opportunities to preach the gospel to friends, family, co workers, etc. You may need to say something that they need to hear. I saw that in both of our lessons. We briefly taught Victor last Wednesday with a member. Like I said before he is unemployed and has been for 2 months. He is really struggling. He applied for a job and the interviews went very smooth and he thinks he did well. Instead, the employers said quite the opposite and said they are pursuing someone else. He was devastated. We showed him this video titled Hope Ya Know, We've Had a Hard Time (it is on The member now wants to play some NFL Madden with him and also help him find a job. Its a miracle! This member HAD to be there. It was inspired for him to be there. Last friday, we taught Monika and Ravi. Before one instance, they were very receptive and we actually brought 2 converts from Hinduism to help us out. Monika and Ravi has 2 kids. They are a Hindu family with beliefs that are VERY parallel to Christianity and with even our own faith. Unfortunately, they asked us the Churches standpoint on eating animals and that was tough to answer. Elder Baker responded: "well that's a very good question. I don't really know that Churches standpoint on this but I personally enjoy eating meat." Then Monika totally lost it and got emotional in defending animals. I think it is safe to say that she was VERY offended. Thankfully we had these 2 members with us because they understood her and they calmed her down. But we can meet with them again. We did commit them to come to church in a few weeks as they are busy for a while. They said that they would come. We found out last Thursday that Sister Briggs (LA) has word of wisdom issues. So we made an addiction recovery plan and set a temple date with her to go to the temple. But it needs to be approved by the bishop since she is a member. But we call her every night to see how she is doing now. She is making LOTS of progress. We are so proud of her and the long way she has come.

Here is my spiritual thought of the week. Just last Saturday we were tracting in the middle of nowhere and we came to this lady's house. She suffered from a stroke so she was barely able to speak to us clearly. I had no idea what she was saying at first. But I prayed for understanding of what she was saying to me. Next thing I knew, I was able to get a general idea of almost every sentence that she was saying. In 1 Corinthians 14:1-4, it reads: " Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church." Just because I am an English speaking missionary, I KNOW that i am still entitled to receive the gift of tongues whenever I need it to prophesy of Jesus Christ. I know that as we strive to testify of the truthfulness of the gospel, we can be entitled to all spiritual gifts of the Spirit to assist in the building of God's kingdom here on earth. Thank you so much for all you do! The church is ALWAYS true!

Love Elder Mower

Monday, September 5, 2011

No letter but more Surprise Pictures!

So, I didn't get a letter today (Labor Day), but I figured since the library was closed. I did however get another surprise text from a Sister in Eagan Minnesota. I just love her dearly, and I have never met her. She has brightened my day so much, and taken pictures of my boy here and there and sent them to me. I am so grateful for her, and I'm guessing it is good practice for her since she has a few to send off on missions someday!!! These are pictures of a contest at the ward picnic in Eagan. They hammer a nail into the log, and I hear it gets pretty competitive. She tells me they do a lot of rounds and all the men participate. She assured me he will email tomorrow when the Library opens! Thanks again to my friend in Minnesota!

Elder Baker and Elder Mower with Brother Winspear from the Eagan Ward.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Elder Mower Letter #13

Hello everybody!!! Not too much has happened this week unfortunately but I will do my best to make the most of it in this letter. We have received LOTS of referrals. The most solid one is Jamie Hansen. She is friends with a member in Northview, MN. We haven't been able to get a hold of her yet but the members that she knows are working VERY hard to get her with us. She is practically homeless but said that she is looking for a church. She also said that she is more than willing to meet with us! :D So once we meet with her, I think we can get her committed to baptism. The hardest part is just getting in contact with her. We'll see. We are trying to also come into contact with a man named Rob. He moved from Farmington, MN and the Elders there referred him to us. He also requested a Book of Mormon and for a missionary visit but when we stopped by his address, it was actually his workplace. It was a tux store. So we walk in and ask for Rob but he wasn't there. We told the co-worker who we were and he said Rob got his hands on a Book of Mormon! So now we are hoping to get in touch with him soon so we can start teaching. We also received another referral from the zone leaders in Rochester, MN. His name is Andrew. We don't know too much information about him but i will be sure to let you all know!

This week we gave 2 blessings. We gave a few more last week as well. The Spirit is always so strong during blessings because it is God's power. With faith, you can do anything with the Priesthood within the bounds of the Lord. I had the opportunity to give one of the blessings. I had never given a blessing before so it was so neat but also it was such a testimony builder of how real the Priesthood power really is. Such an amazing experience.

We picked up on a new investigator this week! His name is Don. He didn't seem too interested until we mentioned that the family can be together after death and forever. He is divorced and has a 2 year old son, Kaden. He has served some jail time and we actually found him drinking one time. But he loves his son SO much and wants to be with him forever. We gave him a plan of salvation pamphlet and committed him to read and pray about it. I can really see him being baptized and sealed to Kaden. I pray and hope that this miracle will happen in their lives so that they can come to their heavenly home.

Here is my spiritual thought of the week. Overall this was a very rough week. Motivation in our district was very low and there wasn't a whole lot of faith. Elder Baker and I were kind of slacking off with our prayers this week. So we decided that it would be best to take an hour out of our two hours of companionship study to have an "Enos prayer experience". We prayed for an hour straight. I have never said such a heart-felt prayer in my life. The Spirit was INTENSE. As I was pondering the things I prayed about, these are the words that I heard: "Remember this love." At first I thought: "wow. that's a little bit broad and not clear." but I thought about it for a while and I finally got it! I truly felt the love of my Savior as I prayed because feelings in that prayer were indescribable and powerful. As I have felt the Saviors love, I need to feel the same way towards those Elder Baker and I teach. I love them but do I strive to love them like Christ loves them? That lead me to make it a priority to love them even more than i do and to "remember this love" as I teach them. I encourage each of you to pray sincerely for the Saviors love to be upon you and then to "remember this love" not to keep to yourselves but to share it with others, just as the Lord would. I testify that as we bear witness of our loving Heavenly Father to the world, no matter how crazy this world is and no matter how much hope seems lost, that they will ""remember this love" and they can find peace in their lives through our Best Friend, Jesus Christ.

Love Elder Mower

Monday, August 22, 2011

Elder Mower Letter #12

Hola from Eagan!

It was yet another crazy but miracle filled week here in Eagan! I had my first zone conference just last Wednesday in Oakdale. President Clements was there. He gave us A LOT of insight as always! The highlight of zone conference was when we got to walk out to the St. Paul temple (it was in the same parking lot as the church building). He told us to imagine our investigators going into the temple to be sealed for all time and eternity and then to imagine the pure joy when they come out. It was pretty powerful and emotional. Me and all the missionaries bore their testimonies after that. It was soooo spiritual. I like one thing that President Clements said: "Mission determines mortality, mortality determines eternity, therefore, mission determines eternity." That's why its sooo important for all of us to be missionaries throughout our lives. I promise that there is no greater happiness that comes from sharing gospel with all the world.

Elder Baker and I also had the opportunity to go to the Presidents fireside just last night with Sister Briggs, a recently reactivated member. This is held every 3rd Sunday of the month and you can come if someone that you are working with is able to come (we didn't have anyone to bring last month). We heard some POWERFUL testimonies of people who were just baptized. There was this one man named John who strengthened my testimony. He has LOTS of tattoos everywhere on his body and has gauges. He has had such a hard past but made a BIG change. He was heavily involved in drugs and alcohol and he ended up in prison eventually. Him and his friend (now wife) wanted to get married and start a family after he came out of prison and went through rehab. He also decided that it would be best if the family had spiritual guidance in their lives. So they went to a Baptist church i think. He liked it a lot but he felt like something was still missing. THE missionaries ended up coming over and they showed him the Restoration DVD. He expressed that he felt an overwhelming yet peaceful feeling and he knew that it was the Spirit. He knew that this was what was missing. He wanted to be baptized after that and receive the fullness of the gospel. That strengthened my testimony because it just shows that even the foulest of all sinners CAN CHANGE! I know it because I have seen it through this mans testimony!

We have had a very successful week considering our success since I came in the mission field. We picked up on 3 referrals, received a new investigator, and invited 3 people to baptism on our first initial contact with them. Our new investigator is Victor, the man who i said last week is more worried about the chaos in the world than coming closer to Jesus Christ. We visited with his brother before and after a while of investigating, his brother asked us not to come by anymore. But then a month ago, we received a prompting to go back there and we met Victor who is now an investigator! Victor just got laid off about 2 months ago and he is really struggling but he is in his humility phase and really trying to have faith and be patient with God. We gave him a blessing of comfort and he really appreciated it. The Spirit was so strong there. I knew that the priesthood is real and that the Savior perhaps has done the same thing 2000 years ago that Elder Baker and I did. We received a referral from the sister missionaries in Northville I believe. Her name is Jamie Hansen and we have heard that she is homeless. The members in Northville and working with us to try and start teaching her. We are pretty sure that if the members are working this hard for her, then she must be a legitimate referral. We also received 2 referrals from the Burnsville Elders where one of my VERY good friends from BYUI is serving (Elder Sande). One is Diane and we contacted her a few nights ago but gave us an excuse that she was too busy to meet with us at all. she said that she would keep our number. At least a seed is planted right? the next one is a very solid referral (according to the Burnsville Elders) and his name is Maleike. We haven't contacted him yet but we are still trying. Ill get back to you all on that. For contacting we invited 3 people to baptism. 2 said no but one did say YES! the bad news is that she gave us a wrong phone number though. We were so sad but its ok. The missionaries will come across her sometime down the road. We were definitely A LOT more bold this week and we are being more successful as missionaries because of that. We taught Mary Hellan this week with a member named Brother Stettler. He is VERY missionary minded and LOVES to preach the gospel. The problem with Mary Hellan is that she doesn't understand fully why we are there. She thinks that we are there to compare our faith with Catholicism but she feels something different when we come over like we are her "angels." Brother Stettler definitely helped us out in knowing how to be bold with her. She likes to dominate the conversation and as you all know, I am not the most outspoken person so it is a challenge! but aside of the spiritual things I am learning, I am learning sooooo many social skills and how to talk to people on my mission. Its really good for you in EVERY aspect of your life.

My spiritual thought for the week is in Luke 18:18-25 (sorry it is so long) which says: "And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not bkill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." President Clements also referred to this story at zone conference telling us that each of us has something that we lack like this rich man. But let us be willing to find that which we lack and to make it better. We all have weaknesses. I have weaknesses every day on my mission. They may not be big all the time but they are there for sure. We all have them. I pondered President Clements remarks and i decided as a result to make a sacrifice list to give up all those things that i lack. I encourage you all to do the same. I have received divine strength as a make small but meaningful sacrifices for the Lord to better lose myself in his work. I have found that a lot of times i would miss my hobbies at home while i am on my mission. I have been able to focus more on the work as i made this sacrifice list. Remember this: "for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Luke 12:34)." As we sacrifice all things we have for the gospel, our hearts will be dedicated to the Lord and we will never be more happy. I thank you all for all the love and support given to me and may the Lord bless you as you strive to diligently dedicate all that you have to glorify the name of Jesus Christ!!!

Love Elder Mower

Friday, August 19, 2011

Another Surprise Picture

I feel so blessed to have the Manzella family taking care of my boy! I got another surprise picture of Elder Mower after he had dinner with their family! All I can think is that poor mom who has to send off four boys on missions!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Elder Mower sent us some more pictures. Again, I have no idea what they are pictures of, but oh well! We just love getting them!





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Monday, August 15, 2011

Elder Mower Letter #11

Hello to Cali from the MMM!!!

It has been an awesome week!!! VERY stressful i must say. Because my companion is our district leader, we go on companionship exchanges at least once per week. So while he is doing district leader business, i have to do all the planning for like half of the days and sometimes i have to take over the area. Because we do more driving for these things, that means less driving and more biking! lol. but thank goodness that the humidity is dying down! That is a tender mercy from the Lord. haha Pretty overwhelming as a new missionary. But it was a humbling experience and i didn't do as bad as i thought that i would because i relied on the Lord for help. So this whole district leader deal is keeping both me and Elder Baker on our toes but we are hanging in there!!! he was pretty humbled and honored to hear that he would be a district leader.

So here is the scoop of what has happened in Eagan. We stopped by Victor last Monday. He is a potential investigator who has been struggling with finding a job. I cant remember what he does for a living. Anyways, We went over there and he has a desire to have faith and patience in the Lord, but he is more concerned about the craziness that is happening in the world. Like we would be ready to teach him and then he would go on and on about the riots in London, the status of the economy, and what not...We are praying that he will see that these things don't matter in an eternal sense because "if it isn't ok, then its not the end yet." There is a video that we committed him to watch on it is a video that he relates to. It is titled "Hope Ya Know, We Had A Hard Time." It is based off of one of Elder Cooks talks. It is about a man who gets laid off and is really struggling because he doesn't know how he will support his wife and kids. As he was pulling into his driveway, he notices an old man, who is his next door neighbor, that is struggling with taking his trash can to his garage. This man has had health problems. So then the younger one goes and helps out the elderly man and they both just look happy after that. Service can really heal us of sorrow. The medicine for our sorrows is helping out our fellow neighbors who are burdened perhaps more than we are. Its an amazing video and i encourage all to watch it. So back to the work: Me and Elder Baker tried something new for planning on where to proselyte. Its called inspired contacting. So we would pick a general area to tract and write 7 streets w/ crossroads where we feel inspired to go. Then we would compare our results. Everytime we did, we had at least one of the same streets. It was so cool to see that we wernt choosing our own preferences but choosing what the Spirit was telling us. The power of the Holy Ghost is SO REAL! Sister Hampton is a less active member. We almost got her to church last Sunday but the members that were supposed to call and give her a ride never called her. Elder Baker and I were very disappointed. Less active members deserve special attention to both full-time missionaries and member missionaries. Members are VITAL to missionary work. Thats something that worries me about the ward here, that members arent all that excited about missionary work. Support the missionaries wherever you are and help them out because they really need it. The missionaries cant do this great work of God alone!!!! Take advantage of every missionary opportunity as members! We got a new investigator on Friday! her name is Bridget! she isn't the most solid investigator because she isn't willing to change her religion but she has A LOT of faith in Jesus Christ and is willing to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. We just need to help her receive that witness from the Holy Ghost and to find the desire to act upon this witness. We are praying for her. On Saturday, we went on a blitz with the elders in Cottage Grove (WE traveled to cottage grove). The point of blitzes is to help double the effort in an area. So 1 hour of proselyting would really be 2 for 2 companionship's in an area. We got them a pretty solid potential investigator. Her name was Lindsay. It wasn't all that easy to talk to her because she was appealing to the eye. LOL. Elder Baker did most of the talking and I just helped out but she was VERY willing to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. the Cottage Grove missionaries were VERY grateful. Other than these things we have had a few potentials drop us while we picked up on a few more so ill be sure to give you all the report on that next week.

So here is my spiritual thought for the week: I was feeling like i wasn't quite as in-tune with the Spirit this week when i taught. So i thought about it and why that was. I prayed and nothing came. So then i came across an answer to my prayers from a quote from Elder Dallin H. Oaks that says: "Each of us is influenced strongly by our own desires and preferences. We may even mistake these influences as the ratification or prompting of the Holy Ghost. It is therefore significant when we feel prompted to do something contrary to our personal preference. That is good evidence of authenticity. Conversely, a feeling that seems to confirm a person in some action he or she strongly desires should be received with caution and subjected to more than one test of validity. In that circumstance a person could well ask himself, 'Am I humbly submitting myself to the will of my Heavenly Father and asking for his guidance, or am I proudly submitting my will to my Heavenly Father and asking for his approval?' Humility is more likely to receive inspiration; pride is more likely to be deceived and fall." I pondered that question and thought back to the perfect example of humility from the Savior's suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane. He said Father if it be possible, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not as i will, but as thou wilt. The Savior didn't ask for his will to be granted, he willingly submitted his will to His Father's will. I know that if we strive to be more humble in our lives, we will experience the joy of receiving inspiration from our Father in Heaven. I know that if we strive for humility, we will find more joy in being obedient to the Lord. I know that if we strive for humility, we will feel the peace of everlasting forgiveness through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I know that if we strive for humility, we will feel more joy in becoming more like our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ everyday of our lives.

Thank you for all of your support and remember to be thou humble.

Much love,

Elder Mower

Surprise Picture!!!

A sister from our ward here in Castaic has a best friend in Eagan, Minnesota. She contacted her and asked her if Elder Mower was in her ward. To our surprise, he was, and in fact she had taken a picture of him and Elder Baker at the baptism of Dylan. This was Elder Mower's first baptism. What a great surprise it was to have this surprise picture sent to me! He looks so happy, doesn't he?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Elder Mower Letter #10

Hey everybody!!!

It is a beautiful day in Eagan! Everyday is a great day to talk about Jesus Christ!!!

How about a little bit of humor: Just as I was typing this email, this Mong man comes to me and Elder Baker and he thought we were the men in black! Pretty cool right???

Also, Elder Baker told me something that President Howell (our last mission president) told him and another group of Elders: "Think about it: you walk around in a white shirt and tie talking about Jesus all day every day! Elders, your NOT COOL!" So I hate to announce that I am officially not cool anymore! Sorry to disappoint all of you! haha

This week was nothing but MIRACLES!!!! I'd like to start off with probably the coolest miracle on my mission that happened yesterday! So about a few weeks ago, we got a potential investigator in rosemount and we never got his name, just his address. I felt so bad about it. So that night I prayed and prayed and prayed to know what his name was. the name of Chris popped in my head. I didn't know what that meant though. So yesterday came and we knocked on his door. He wasn't home. So then we start talking to this other man across the street from this house. His name was (you guessed it) Chris. He became a potential investigator and was very willing to let us come back and teach a message to him. That is why the name Chris came to my mind. Its amazing how revelation can also work miracles of faith. I was very surprised at first but it was honestly so amazing. I'm praying that me and my companion will be able to teach this man.

I wasn't the only one to receive revelation though. Elder Baker had another miracle. We were biking around Rosemount last Saturday and we came across this random street. Elder Baker got a strong prompting to go there. So we knocked on the doors there and we found a less active woman whom we have no records in Eagan ward. On top of that, she was going through a nasty divorce and needed comfort. It was her mom who answered at the door because she was at the hospital. Her mom was also LDS and does not want to come back but she knows that the missionaries of the Church are good people so she told us to come back for her daughter. We found a lost sheep. That was so neat to see the Spirit working through us to bring miracles to pass in other peoples lives.

There wasn't one day where we haven't had a miracle. Our Potential Investigators have gone off the charts, we have had A LOT of quality gospel discussions, We've given out MANY Books of Mormon, and people are willing to hear our message. Great things are happening in Minnesota, let me tell ya!

So Dylan was baptized about a week ago. Now he wants to get the priesthood and baptize his 7 year old brother next year. We are so excited for him. He loves church and he will, without a doubt, be an AWESOME missionary. We extended the Nelsons kids to be baptized. There are 3 of them. So if we can set a date with them in August, then we will have 3 baptisms this month! We taught Sister Briggs the Plan of Salvation last Wednesday and she liked it. She did ask some interesting questions though. Never an easy thing for a missionary to answer these things. Actually that is it for the people we have taught this week. This was more of a finding week than a teaching week. We have proselyted 25 hours this week. That is a lot and we are happy with the results.

We are trying to get the members more involved in missionary work so if any one has ideas please let us know! Gracias! :]

So here is the spiritual thought of the week. In Doctrine and Covenants 84:106, it reads: "And if any man among you be strong in the Spirit, let him take with him him that is weak, that he may be edified in all meekness, that he may become strong also." Brethren and sisters, our seeds of faith have been planted, grown into mighty trees, and some of us have already brought forth fruit. let us be unselfish in sharing that fruit of eternal life. As you invite people to partake of the fruits of eternal life, encourage them to plant their seeds of faith and help them to become strong like unto yourself. Reach out to those whose trees are weakening. Make them strong. Reach out to them as the Savior would. Bear their burdens. Establish hope in their lives. I testify that as we do this, our Heavenly Father will bless us with soooo much happiness in our lives knowing that the Lord brought a miracle to pass through us. Thank you for all that you do, always choose the right, and remember the Savior in all that you do.

Love Elder Mower