Monday, May 30, 2016

A Week of Photos

Elder Siebach will return home in less than two weeks! He will be reporting on his mission experiences during sacrament meeting on June 12, 2016 at 11am. Please join us to hear his testimony and to welcome him home! 
The church is located at 500 W. McDonwell School Rd, Colleyville, TX 76034

No letter arrived this busy week, but a photo journal instead:)

Monday, May 23, 2016

God's Impeccable Timing

Feeling like a giant :-/
Dear Family,

We saw a lot of really cool miracles this week that Involve God's impeccable timing! It truly amazes me how good He is at it! Out of all of the millions of people in this area, he leads us to those that are being prepared! It is a wonderful thing! We taught a lot of lessons this past week and found some great new investigators. We have invited so many people and some of them are just getting rocked by Satan! He is a jerk.

I got to go on splits with a brand spanking new missionary with the last name Andrus! He must be some distant relative of mine! I think our time together blew his mind a little bit. That is how you know it was a good split! If their expectations are surpassed so thoroughly that their eyes don't return to normal size! I think I got to be the Lord's tool to raise his vision to a higher plane! What a good time!

My companion and I have to give a training at this next MLC and spent some time yesterday mulling over the possibilities. We threw out dozens of ideas, but none of them felt right. We hit our knees so many times and just pleaded with the Lord to inspire us, but the widows of heaven stayed shut. So we called it and went out to do some finding. That was pretty good as usual. I hope the next guy that replaces me can handle an area book with an infinite amount of PIs. I feel like I have done everything to help them, but it seems like they just need time now. Some super star missionary will come hear and baptize them! Unfortunately that doesn't seem to be my calling!

It's kinda strange. I haven't seen very many baptisms in my areas while I am there, but every time I move there is at least one that occurs in my old companionship during the following transfer. Laying a foundation, right? I do wish I could have seen more of those baptisms or at least been there to watch!

Got my new travel plans this week. Looks like I get home around 5:30 pm on Saturday, June 11th. Can't believe I am saying that!

Sorry this is so short! Hope y'all have a wonderful week! See you soon!

Elder Siebach

So this happened...

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A Beautiful Sight for a Tired Old Missionary Like Me

Dear Family,

My week was so good! It was a bummer to lose my companion, but I got another pro missionary, so it's alright! Elder Driscoll got transferred out to fit a zone leader vacancy. Then the AP that got booted out by the new one came to be my new companion! His name is Elder Livingston! We are torn as to what to do because I only know the area so well and I will be gone in a few weeks, so we have to get him up and running here. There are so many people that we are working with and it would be a sin to lose them! But we also have a responsibility to train the mission! Last week we went and taught a lesson with another companionship. I'm glad they called us in because they have such an awful relationship with that investigator! It felt like a teacher asking for his homework to see if he did the reading assignment! So bad! But we got his number and have been calling him periodically and he is progressing so well now! His testimony and commitment grow more and more with everyday!

This week I had some great experiences that I will tell you about! Yesterday was a day of finding because we only had two lessons. While we were out "streeting" we stopped a boy named N. I started talking to him and found out that he is 21 living with his family. Then the conversation went somewhere else and we ended up talking about things we are grateful for. When asked he said that the person he is most grateful for is his mother. We both agreed with him and then asked more about his family, "How many people do you have in your family?" He looked into my eyes and then looked down and said "only two of us". When he said that I felt so much love well up in my heart for this boy. I looked at my companion and his eyes were tearing up too. We stood there and bore our testimonies of the influence we have felt in our lives from our mothers, and asserted that the influence from our moms is divine, the love we feel from them is divine, and the relationship we have with them is eternal. I felt a tear roll down my cheek as I promised him that God is there and loves his little family, I got to promise him that God was reaching out to that little family through my companion and me. I am so excited to be one of the messengers God uses to pierce a life of suffering and pain with light.

The next cool experience was a man named M. This was another guy that I stopped while we were streeting! Our eyes met right as I was a bout to get on an escalator. My companion was already on and actually had to run opposite in order to get back off, but I looked in his eyes and felt the strongest urge to stop and talk to him right immediately. We started talking and I found out that he is Roman Catholic by birth, but when he described his relationship with God to me he said a lot of things that resembled our teachings of God and less so of the teachings of the Catholic Church. Turns out he feels like there is more out there than what his church offers. The things he feels in his heart are a little bit different from the things he feels like his church is teaching. We shared our testimonies and invited him to try out our message and see if we can add to the things he has come to know. We promised blessings and he gave us his number and said we need to meet sometime this week! Elder Livingston and I walked away from that lesson wondering how much more we could possibly be blessed!

The last experience was so sweet! We were just inside the train and looking out through the doors that were standing open. We had already tried to talk to everyone, but had gotten rejected or ignored so we were just waiting for the doors to close and to be on our way. We looked out and on the other side of the platform we saw a man sitting in a wheel chair talking to the station employee that was going to help him on to his train. This man in the wheel chair had obviously been in his wheel chair for his entire life. We watched his exchange with his helper in the setting of a big busy train station filled with a bunch of rushing, busy business men and business women all around. The shocking thing was that this man, who had been confined to a wheel chair for his entire life and never experienced the joy of having a mobile and free body, had a huge smile on and was telling jokes and spreading a lot of joy to his helper. It was a beautiful sight for a tired old missionary like me to see! I wanted to go talk to him when the doors closed and whisked me away.

What a great day yesterday! And a great week! So many cool things happened this week! I wish I could write all of them!

I hope y'all had and have a wonderful week! Love you! It was a blast to talk to you on Mother's Day!

Elder Siebach

Sunday, May 8, 2016

I Know That I WIll Be Able to Be With Him Again

Dear Family,

As you know, this week I got the sad news that Grandpa Siebach passed away on Tuesday. It sounds like he might have had a heart attack!?!😭  I wish I could have known him better! I was hoping we could go there to the farm for a couple weeks this summer to spend some time with him and Grandma! Too bad! He was an amazing man. This week being fast Sunday really helped me feel close to him and to y'all! I know you're frantically trying to figure out travel and his funeral and everything--I hope you'll still have time to skype! If not, I guess I will see you soon!

This week was pretty good! I got to go all over the mission and teach some baptismal candidates! Those were some pretty crazy lessons! Simple but frequent testimony brings the spirit in a BIG way! That plus sharing experiences! Dang! I have so much to tell you about this week, but my time is short! I will have to just tell you in person in a few weeks! It was tough though, realizing that Grandpa is dead and I won't get to see him for a while brought a sullen mood that was hard to fight against. I was in the middle of MLC on Thursday when I got the news. Sister Wada and a bunch of other sisters (no elders cuz they don't notice things like that) came up and said there was a noticeable difference in my mood between the beginning and the end and asked why. OH WELL! I regret not getting to know him better!

This week a Jehovah's Witness tried to tell me that my belief in the Plan of Salvation and eternal families is wrong. I bore my testimony that it is true and told him about how despite the fact that I will never meet my grandpa in this life again, I know that I will be able to be with him again if I am righteous. The spirit was super strong, but he was too contentious to listen and so he didn't feel it. He started to argue and I got pretty mad and tore him apart. That's what you get for denying the spirit I guess!

I have so much more to tell you! Love y'all so much! Happy Mother's Day Moot!!

Elder Siebach

Sunday, May 1, 2016

He Shrunk and Would Not...

Dear Family,

This week I got to see a lot of miracles! We healed a man of his back aches, met with families that are progressing wonderfully, and got to invite a man that has rejected guidance and revelation from God, to repent, get back on course, and follow God!

The man with the back aches has a ridiculously strong testimony and knows that the church is true. He has a desire to be baptized. But for one reason or another he is hesitating. We have yet to uncover his unmet needs. He exercised a lot of faith in accepting a blessing and felt the effects of it for a short time. This is a testimony to me of the necessity of walking in faith for forever! He exercised a strong amount of faith and saw a miracle, but in order to retain it, number one it has to be God's will and number two we have to keep exercising faith. This man failed to continue exercising his faith in keeping the basic daily and weekly commandments (reading praying and coming to church) and so has seen only a temporary healing. This is a valuable teaching opportunity that we will take advantage of in our next lesson with him.

We were sitting at dinner and I looked our investigator in the eyes and asked him "Do you know why I have the title 'Elder' attached to my name and you don't?" He said no, so I then proceeded to teach him about my calling, authority, and rights as a called Elder of the Lord in this area at this time. I told him that my main role is to preach repentance and then to baptize those that are converted. We then spoke about this man's experience. He had a baptismal date for a few months ago, he prayed about it and felt strongly that he should get baptized. Despite that, he wimped out and didn't get baptized. During the lesson, we read a verse from 1 Nephi 4 about Nephi being told to kill the wicked Laban and then it says that he "shrunk and would not that he should kill Laban". We focused on the word "shrunk" and told him that he, like Nephi, shrank. We told him that, like Nephi, he needs to repent, and if he does, God will give him another chance to get baptized. He is going to start preparing and praying about a date to decide on next lesson! It was awesome! Hopefully he does what he said he would and will prepare to take that first step on the path back to Christ!

I love y'all!

Elder Siebach