Man, I have a little over a week left.
That's weird to think. For this weeks email I'm going to cheat a little
and send what I wrote for our missions newsletter. All the missionaries
going home write a little article for the newsletter. Hopefully it's not
mission has been such a great experience. I don't even know what words
use to describe that enough. It seems that anything I have to say
about it doesn't
do it justice. One thing I do know is that my mission
has been more fun than
anything I've done. Honestly, if my mission had
been any more fun it would be a
bad thing. All of the experiences, all
the lessons, all the crazy things that have
happened have been more fun
than I ever imagined. Now, my mission has also been
full of experiences
that weren't so fun. There's been a few times where I was convinced
I wouldn't make it through the day. The crazy thing is, here I am! It
that sometimes I thought I was going to drop dead on a
side walk in Long Beach!
Heavenly Father asks us to serve 18-24 months
and he provides a way for us to
do it. Nobody can stop God's work from
moving forward. Not even the weaknesses
of those he sends to teach his
gospel. Heavenly Father wants his missionaries to b
e happy! Teaching and
finding and having awesome experiences make missionaries
Lord will never leave you alone.
I can remember in
particular one investigator we had in Fountain Valley. The whole 6 weeks
we taught him we had powerful lessons where the spirit testified to him
and us that what we were saying was true. We had members actively
involved in the teaching process and eventually he was baptized by his
brother who had joined the church a year or so before. Along with all
that it was super fun! That's what missions are meant to be like. You
should have the time of your life teaching and testifying! Life is meant
to be enjoyed but you're the only one who can decide to enjoy it. I
love ll of ya'll and I know Heavenly Father does too. Keep on fighting,
keep on pushing. he world needs what you have to say.
Keep it real.
Yeah that's right, I put keep it real at the end! I ain't no robot!!
This week was pretty
crazy. We had a ton of problems with our car and trying to find lost gas
receipts and going to the DMV and getting the registration renewed
because the tags never came and they expired and all that crazy stuff.
Along with the crazy there were tons of awesome experiences though. We
had a really really good Zone Conference (my last one!). It was all
about helping investigators progress. That's the focus here for March.
In Southern CA there are TONS and TONS of people. That makes finding and
teaching a little bit easier. There are enough people who are open
minded that we are able to add to our teaching pools a lot, thus making
our teaching pools bigger and we can teach more. The hard thing however,
is helping investigators to progress. A lot of that depends on their
agency but we can create and environment where the spirit will be the
strongest and will testify the most to them. Then, when they feel
something hopefully they will do something. At the end of the day if we
do all we can and prepare and practice and execute it's all up to their
decision. That can be hard but as long as we do what we can then we know
that we're successful and we're doing what the Lord wants us to.
This week was pretty
cool. Elder Miura is awesome. He's told me a ton already about cool
Japanese stuff. Turns out they have 3 alphabets and one of them has like
thousands of letters! It's very uncommonly used though. They really
only use the other 2. Also one of them is used specifically for writing
out words that have heavy American influence. It's cool.
also had a great lesson with a new investigator named Debbie. She goes
to one of those really really big Christian churches where they have
super famous pastors that are all over tv and stuff like that. She was
pretty blown away by the Joseph Smith story and in particular the 1st
vision. She definitely felt the spirit and we made sure to point out
that she was feeling the Spirit so she would be able to recognize the
Spirit more. I've found that is a great way to help people to understand
the Holy Ghost in later experiences. One of the most powerful ways to
bear testimony is to say something along the lines of "I know that
[insert topic here] is true by the same feeling that is in your heart as
we talk" after pointing out that the spirit is testifying to them. The
times where I or my companion, or anyone I've been around for that
matter, have said something like that it's been a very powerful
statement. Being bold is the best way to testify. If you're going to
testify make it bold! They're going to feel the spirit either way, you
might as well add some extra juice to it! That's my personal philosophy
Well, I hope you guys all have a great week! I love you all!
came in and I'm staying right here in the Woodruff ward! I'm going to
finish my mission here! Great! Also I'm getting a new comp. He's from
Japan and his name is Elder Miura. I checked and yes, his name does have
"Yoshi" in it. Best. Comp. Ever. We're going to have a blast I already
know it. He's been out for about 3 months so he's straight fresh out. I
hope that keeps me from getting "trunky" #april7. I also found out that
one of the Elders I came out with who was in the zone is also staying!
And to add to that there's another Elder coming into the zone who is
"dying" this transfer! It's going to be a bunch of old men hanging out
together. It'll be a blast.
We had a really
cool experience with a brand new investigator named Jenny. We have
talked with her before but never actually taught her. The first time we
ran into her was just before Christmas. We happened to be in her
neighborhood just out of the blue. From what I remember we just took a
random turn down a street because we though a potential lived there. We
were walking by Jenny's house and she gave off every indication of being
someone that we shouldn't talk to (just based off of past
experience) she was on the phone, smoking, and looked like she was
having a bad day. She ended up being really awesome and we had a great
talk with her. So now fast forwarding to this past week: she had a close
friend pass away and we were able to teach her about how trials are
hard but God has a plan for us and we can make it through anything. It
was a great experience for sure.
Well, I love you guys! I hope you all have a great week!
week was a pretty fun week. Lots and lots of fun times for sure. We
accomplished something great this week! We had NO people sign up to feed
us on our calendar so we went ahead and took matters into our own hands
and somehow managed to have a dinner (or at least someone dropping food
off or something like that) every night this week! Where there's a will
there's a way! That was cool. The members here are very loving and a
lot of them are willing to feed us but somehow don't get to see the
calendar. I guess some people get skipped over when it's being passed
This week our Mission President had
challenged every companionship to teach every night and we were able to
do it! We had some really good lessons and things kinda all fell into
place. We were also blessed to be able to have a lot of members from the
ward come out and teach with us. Having members take us to lessons is
the BOMB. We love it. We finally started to officially teach a guy named
Oscar that we've been trying to visit for a month or two. We were
finally able to teach him and focus on his family and how much of an
impact they have had on him. They moved a few years back to a completely
different place because he and his wife wanted their daughter to be in a
safe place. Now that's some commitment to helping a child. That was
super cool to hear from him. There are so many people that we meet who
are worried about their families and who want the best for them. Finding
and teaching those people are my favorite things to do! It really makes
me love being a missionary and doing this work.
I hope you guys all have a great week! Love love love
Keep it real.
I got my flight plans this week...Turns out I have a 5 hour layover in
Salt Lake City....That'll be fun...I'll just spend that time playing
with my phone and all that fun stuff that dudes coming home from their
missions totally have.
So this week was pretty cool.
We had a lot of fun for sure. We helped a few people do some service.
One type of service we did was taking apart pallets so that this lady
could make furniture out of it. Look it up on Pintrest that's where she
got the idea from. That was extremely difficult. We didn't even finish
it either. Turns out those things are dang hard to get apart. I
only broke 4 of the panel things on it. You know what it is. We're going
back tomorrow to finish the job. Hopefully we can do it without
breaking everything we try to take apart.
also got to teach a lot more than usual this week. Our Mission
President has really been focusing on making sure that every
companionship teaches every night. In this mission that's sort of tough
to do but we're working on changing the culture of this mission to be a
mission where missionaries teach. We hope to be able to look back and
say "the missionaries in the California Long Beach Mission teach every
night". Everything we do has a culture. A culture is a way of life, an
expectation or a standard that you hold a group of people to. Along with
groups, individuals also have a culture. I think that could be better
worded as a character. President David O. McKay said“We
sow our thoughts, and we reap our actions; we sow our actions, and we
reap our habits; we sow our habits, and we reap our characters; we sow
our characters, and we reap our destiny.” Changing your character to be
someone different, someone better, starts one thought at a time. Trust
me. My mission has changed me more than I could have ever known but my
character didn't start to change for the better until I dug deep and
started to change who I was, starting with what I thought.
I hope you guys all have a great week! I love you guys!
calls came in an I found out that Elder Van Kammen and I are staying
together again. It's pretty cool. This ward is the bomb. It's going to
be a great place to die. Unless President Tew decides to send me back to
HB for my last transfer. That's pretty much all I'll ask him to do
every week this transfer. Just kidding I'm glad to be wherever the Lord
needs me to be. This week we were able to teach a lot more than the past
few weeks. It's good because it seems to be a trend that the end of the
transfer is always a really slow week but we've kept things pretty
consistent. This week should be pretty fun. It's cool to get to see all
the new missionaries who come into the zone. Our zone is pretty
"stacked" right now. There are a ton of awesome missionaries here. There
are quite a few brand new missionaries in this zone. It's always
awesome having brand new missionaries (not greenies, Elder Baxter from
the Quorum of the 70 told us not to use that term anymore when he came
here last month). They always seem to bring a lot of enthusiasm to the
zone instead of being old washed up cynics like me. Just kidding that's
not how I am at all.
Well, I hope all of you have a great week and remember how much I appreciate all of your lives.