Monday, June 30, 2014

Similar Conversations

This week has been interesting. I taught district meeting and it went well I like doing these now. I talked about patriarchal blessings and how they can bless your life. I had them bring it and read it and while they were reading it they were to look for who God wanted them to be.

Also one of my recent converts got her patriarchal blessing as well. She loves it. 

So I don't know if you know this, but my companion has not gone through the temple yet, he will go though it when this transfer is over. He is so excited to be able to go though and have these blessings. Unfortunately he feels a little self conscience about the whole thing because he feels like he is a little bit less, due to not going through the temple. I think he is great and a really hard worker, but it is hard for him being so close to home and every time he tells someone where he is from they say, "Wow and they sent you here on a mission? Why would they do that? When you opened your mission call did you just stomp on it in frustration?"  It just gets tiring after 100 people say just about that same thing. 
He is excited to be able to receive a call to go somewhere else and not have those comments.

That is one thing about a mission- everyone asks the same questions. 
Here they are:
Where are you from?
I am from Modesto, California.
Where is that? in Northern California or Southern?
It is a little below Sacramento and above Fresno in the Central Valley. (Normally they then name someone they know in southern California to see if I know them. I never do.)
So elders, how long have you been out?
About 18 months.
Wow that is a long time. Are you trunky yet? (I don't like that question)
No, I like my mission. 
How many people are in your family?
5 kids including myself. 
I have one older sister who is going to have a baby soon, one older brother who went on a mission in the South, one little sister who is going to go to BYU and one little brother who is now bigger than me. 
I give all this information at once because if I don't they will ask me and if I do it all at once then we can maybe have a little bit of a different conversation than the ones I have had a lot.
It is funny because I have had this exact conversation with so many people I can't even count how many it is.

Now when I go home I am sure that I will ask the missionaries the same questions so I am not doing this to complain, just tell you a little what I say about my life. 

The 4th of July is coming up. 

That means we get to go to 9 ward parties. That is something really cool about being a missionary over 9 wards is that they have lots of activities that we go to. More people to meet and more people to help. Normally they do breakfast on the 4th of July. I like breakfast. It is something we rarely have time for. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Missionary Work is like a Roller Coaster

This week has been fun as always. Lots of blessings in this week. I have gotten the chance to see people change completely. For example I was able to go to the temple with one of my recent converts to do baptisms for the dead. Now I was not allowed to do anything but watch but still a neat experience.

Have I ever told you about the senior couple in my district, they are called a MLS missionary (missionary leader support missionary)? They are great. We work with them a lot they help us in our stake because they serve in our stake as well. They are full time missionaries and they are always willing to help us out as missionaries when we need someone to go with us to a lesson or to go to some of the ward councils that we can't make it to, even to pick up some of our investigators when they can't get a ride to church on Sunday, the MLS missionaries are willing to help. They are really cool. Their names are Elder and Sister Brown. They have been on their mission for about 7 months and I have been there district leader the whole time. They call me their trainer. 

All of the youth from our stake went this week [to camp] and it snowed about 5 inches on them and it was not expected at all so no one was prepared. They said it was cold. It did rain really good here for Utah. Normally we go outside and it is raining and in about 5 min it will stop. That is the normal weather here in Utah. It makes it convenient it you want to be hot and cold all in one day. haha

So this Sunday we had a nonmember give a talk in church. That was strange. She is what we as missionaries call a dry Mormon. We hope to be able to teach her sometime this week. We were able to put someone on date to be baptized on July 5th. I am excited to see the work picking back up this week. 

Missionary work is like a roller coaster. At the beginning of life we are getting ready to start everyone is excited for you to go some give advice to hang on tight and others give the advice to hold your hands up the person in charge puts a safety belt on you to keep you safe though out the trip. Then all of a sudden you start going up and up and up and you are scared thinking, "Did I sign up for this. Then the ride gets to the top and you look down and say this is going to be really hard to get through all of those bumps and flips. So the ride starts you are moving 100 MPH down the track. and you are screaming and scared. Then you make it up the second hill and start to slow down and think to yourself I did it I can continue doing this then you start again and you hit a hard turn and then a loop and you are upside down and have no idea what to do because your perspective has changed. Finally you actually start to enjoy it and think to yourself this is not too hard, but something comes and tells you that you still need to rely on that safety belt that they put a little too tight on you. We have to rely on the things that we have learned from the people before our mission and to remember the blessing that we have received. Then you see the end and think, "Is it done already? I want to continue going through these trials because each time I overcome one I am happy and glad that I went through it and learned from it." Then you pull up to the stop and you get off and everyone is glad to see you and that you made it. I like this analogy I heard it in church once and I changed it a little to relate it to missionary work but I think it really shows what a mission is like. 

Hard but rewarding. I am grateful for the Spirit that I can rely on and count to always protect me. (safety belt), but you have to have it on tight (exact obedience) to work the way it was designed to. For the hard turns and flips (transfers and becoming a district leader) and the fact that when you get off you think that was really hard to go though but I really want to do it again. (I love my mission and am a little sad that it is coming closer to the end)

I am sorry that I forgot to tell you that I would not be emailing on Monday. We are going to the temple today so that is exciting. I love the temple and we are so blessed to be able to go though it being here in the Utah Salt Lake City Mission. One of the smallest but the one that has the most temple in it and is the best mission in the world. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Father's Day Weekend

I like that I remember when the Book of Mormon story about the Anti-Nephi-Lehies tells us about the part when they go outside and get slaughtered. I am really sad, but I remember that they are dying to keep there covenants they are blessed and their families are blessed and everyone that hears the story including us.

This week has been interesting. The beginning of the week was slow. Very little work because we baptized all of our investigators, but as we were persistent we were blessed with 6 new investigators. Now they are going to be a little harder to be able to baptize, because of their circumstances but the fact that the Lord blessed us with this many is such a miracle. I love following the commandments. I have found that when a commandment aka mission rule is harder to follow, when you are able to stay exactly obedient then you will be blessed more. I love that. 

Also Happy Fathers Day Dad!!
I kinda forgot it was fathers day until when in church and they had gifts after Church because of Fathers day. We got lots of gifts. We are the ones that people think of. Well I have 20 extra sodas. Who would use them? How about the missionaries? Then we get 20 cans of soda that we will not drink because that is way too much so we give it away to some of the families we are teaching. Same thing with candy and cookies. We even gave away a pie the other day.

We have been doing lots of service. Like mowing peoples lawns, weeding or other yard work activities. I am now a professional mover. I have moved so many people on my mission that I think I would be qualified as a professional mover. I can even do it in dress clothes when it is snowing or sunny when it is wet or dry. I like doing that. 

Also Kaden the recent convert of mine that was baptized a few weeks ago just got the Aaronic Priesthood. I was able to be part of the circle. I was also able to talk to Brother Maltsburger and found out some really cool things about him. He said he reads the Book of Mormon every day and he is the Sunday school president in his ward. Also he is moving and he told his wife that as soon as they move into the new house they are going to both go to church, because she still does not go to church. The wife is a member but less active because of word of wisdom problems. I love them so much.

Only problem with older people is that they like to talk a lot. As missionaries we have a busy schedule and they talk and talk and I don't think they realize that they just took up an hour of our time when at the beginning I tell them we have 10 mins to visit. Don't get me wrong, I like to talk especially to people that mean a lot to me, but we have a lot of things to do and I don't think it is the most productive use of the Lords time.

I am the kind of elder that likes doing things and always be doing something productive. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Same Area :)

I moved someone last week and it took 4 hours. I was so physically exhausted after carrying things down a flight of stairs and up a flight. There was a lot of stuff. Very heavy stuff. Then we still had to go out and work. That was crazy. Thanks for all the food and stuff. I love it.

I also think it is funny that Kelsie called you and that is where all the questions came from. She is a great convert of mine. I really enjoy talking to her and seeing her progress. 

We had another baptism this week. Nataly. She is really cool. I enjoy seeing these people change for the better. I did her confirmation.

So I stayed in this area. That means I will be here for at least 9 months in 1 area. I like that. I am still a district leader, but I am second transfer training. His name is Elder Garver. He is a good elder. He is another trial missionary. I have gotten every trial missionary for the past 5 months that has come in our mission. I don't fully understand what that means. He is really humble and really wants to learn. For that I am grateful. It is so much easier to help and train missionaries when they are humble. I just hope that I was humble when I first came out. haha. 

We went hiking up near the Draper Temple. That was fun. 

So we gave talks yesterday. I was really impressed with how well I did on my talk. [For those of you who don't remember, before Joshua left on his mission he dreaded giving talks.  He would be extremely nervous about them and could hardly eat or sleep in the time leading up to to his talk.]  I shared some missionary stories and I cried. I thought of you Mom crying up while giving a talk. ha ha

Well I am really grateful for the experiences that I get on my mission. I love it and I love seeing how much I have changed and to see how much the people I have taught have changed. I don't say this to sound prideful, but it is good to see what the Lord can do in me and how He can help me change and become something that I did not think I could. Like giving good talks. I could never have seen myself giving a good talk and one where I don't have to read it all from a paper.

We are really studying a lot about the atonement and how much it can help us in our lives. For example, when Nephi gets tied up my his brothers he does not cry to the Lord for the bands to just go away, but that be will be strong enough to overcome it. So to strengthen him and not necessarily get rid of the trials in our lives, but to help us though them. For example, I should not pray that all of my investigators concerns should go away, but that they will be strong enough to over come them when they do come into their lives. Or on a funny note, to pray so that I will be given guidance of how to overcome eating tomatoes, and not that I will never be served tomatoes again. ha ha I will try that.
That is just a simple example of how the atonement can help us not do it all for us. We need to be changed by grace not just accept it.