Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Hey hey hey, look who it is.
This week has been awesome, not quite as adventurous, but very uplifting for me. Last week’s antics are what allowed me to click into another new
gear, I needed a little slap in the behind. Thank you so much for the cupcakes!!!!! (We had Cocoa Bean Café deliver cupcakes to him to celebrate his one year mark in the mission.) They were sooo good! It was such a surprise when they called me haha. Thank you so much! I can’t believe it’s already been a year.
So the lessons I’ve learned this week: Hard work is everything. Persistence is key. Pain is good. I love my mission because it is all of those, it is extremely hard, so you work hard and you’re happy, if you don’t...well, you are miserable. Without persistence you will never baptize a single person in Idaho. You are hit with so many shots from other missionaries, members, and anti people, you really learn to take criticism in a good way. I now love it, it’s hard, but I need it. Pain is what allows us to grow. I love going through a trial, I love the pain that comes because on the backside of that trial is success, happiness, and victory. Like Coach Herb Brooks from “Miracle” said, “Great moments are born from great opportunities.” Life is full of opportunities, and the harder we work, the more prone we are to find them and take them! Every second opportunities are coming and passing. We have to be awake, energetic, and confident in order to see and take them. The mission just brands that into our minds and hearts. I love Muhammad Ali when he says, “I’m going to show you how great I am!” He just does it. I get a little bit crazy when it comes time to train, because I just let all of that passion out. I don’t have tons of knowledge, but I do have enough intelligence to know that hard work is what makes you a success or a failure. I love hard work, and taking other people’s complaints and learning from them on how I can grow. Not every time you succeed, but when you fail, you are one step closer to winning.
Anyways, Elder Alligood and I have been stopping by the local basketball court, and we teach the kids right on the court. Well, I made a deal that if I made a full court shot they all had to come to church. They all agreed, I thought for sure that I would make it...faith right? Well, I didn’t. Here’s the lesson: it’s the act and evidence of our faith that matters! Did it shake my faith? Nope. The kids still came to church, Heavenly Father helped them want to come. We took our step, and he took his. We walked in 1 minute late to Sacrament Meeting and walked all the way to the front row. I also bore my testimony and Alligood as well. The ward is catching the fire. It is starting to really explode. I love Rigby. People say CTR...well, that means Come To Rigby zone. This zone is huge also, we have 23 missionaries! I love it!
So yesterday, a family came tracting with us to invite nonmembers and less actives out to a ward picnic. It was awesome, they were such an easy way into the door! Dah! It was awesome! We are teaching the plan of salvation to the basketball boys with sidewalk chalk!! Man, I love teaching the gospel and showing people their potential. I have learned that in leadership, generally we are the problem! By showing someone what they are not....they will never change. But showing someone who they are and the potential they have, they naturally live up to it. I learn valuable life lessons every single day out here.
Vanessa also sent me a box for my 1 year mark!!!!! Man you guys all made my day. The work we are all involved in, is the best calling in the entire world! To preach the gospel! I will do it for the rest of my life. I rely heavily on miracles out here. That is how this all happens. 18-21 year old boys representing the church, something has to be right that we haven’t ruined it by now. I love my mission!!!! I love it so much!!!! I have grown and changed, I am so far from where I am going, but I sure am going right along, right towards who I want to be. Having this church is so essential to a happy life, I will keep the standards given to us in my life for the rest of my life. The difference between a gospel centered family is so different from one that’s not. Thank you for the way you raised our family, you and dad did an excellent job. I can’t picture a better way to be raised. We run into tons of anti people that just start going off on us, they stink because they sound illiterate. If they would just study even the Bible they would see the pattern and that it builds up to and requires the Book of Mormon.
Rigby is such a small town, but that’s great, its kind of like a business, the faster you get your name out there, the better you are. In a small town, good news spreads fast, people have been calling us, asking for help and telling us to go and teach their neighbors and friends. I love my mission! But I gotta get going. I love you all so much! Keep going strong! Just be yourself and enjoy life. I love you!
This week has been a very, very crazy one! Strap in and hold on, try to keep up. So the headaches are a downer, the doc gave me some vitamins to start trying, and a new medicine to try and calm down the nerves, they have been a little better this week with the vitamins. I had to buy a bunch of them at Walmart and other stores, so that’s why I have been spending so much money...I will be extremely frugal over the next few months...don’t get mad, but I got a speeding ticket.. :/. Whoops, but I guess it was about my time, from driving to Vanessa’s house at a million miles an hour, it was eventually going to catch me. I was in the process of slowing down! But that SNEAKY MOM caught me! IT IS FOR $90! So I will have 30 dollars for the month of August! It is going to be awesome!!! Being frugal to the max!!!
We were feeding some horses and they started showing off and running around, and the showboat of the crew fell flat on his face!! IT was so funny!! He got up and just walked into the corner of the yard. Then we were walking and we saw an RC plane in the canal in the water!!!!! We pulled it out and put the electronics in rice....it works! haha we don’t have time to play with it today, but one of these p-days we are going to fly it...we are also trying to find who it belongs to.
So ok here’s the big shabang story. Well you know when you get this idea that is just the best idea ever and you can’t think about anything else...well we were weekly planning and we took a little break and started talking about the wet bandits...our missionary prank name. You know, from Home Alone. Well, we decided to get a set of sisters that live down the road from us. We put on their doorstep in whipped cream "the Wetbandits"...then 2 days later we got the real idea. We sealed their doorframe with garbage bags, and in the space between the door and the bags, we filled it with popcorn and shredded newspaper. We left on their door a sign that said “The Wetbandits strike again!!!” with a picture of 2 dogs laughing haha. Yeah, we thought it would be so funny. So we knocked and ran home haha. Well, they got super scared, they called us and we go over and clean it up, we planted a mormon.org card with Elder’s names on it that we pass out to people in there to frame them...they didn’t believe us, they said they were fine so we went home. Well, we were falling asleep and I asked Alligood how we would explain it to president if he just so happened to call us about it. He was like, “why would you even think of that”? Well we forgot about it and went to bed...the next morning president calls!!!! He starts saying how we had to go over there, help pack their stuff and find a new house for them!!!! I just said president, it was us! He didn't hear me...so he keeps going on about how the area isn’t safe and they are getting scared and what not...I say “president, it was us”! Silence!!! The longest 30 seconds of my life!! He says....”why?” Oh boy, the sledge hammer!!! I explained we were trying to be funny and that it didn't work...he had to go so he said he will call us back. We go over to the sisters’, apologize and fix it, so we thought. Nope! They called the police!! So we went to the station and told them, they were all laughing so much. Kind of embarrassing, but we deserved it. Then president called again and drilled us for a few minutes, then laughed about it haha. So the Wetbandits have died, now the Stickybandits rise!!! haha jkjkjk But it was such a crazy day! So we will not be pranking any missionaries anymore.
Ok now to the missionary work side of the week haha. So there aren't many nonmembers in our area, just tons of less actives and excommunicated members. We have been teaching tons of them, they love us!! We have a lot of less active people who are starting to come to church for the first time in years, there are also a few ex members that we are working hard with. One of them is this huge grumpy old man, but he has such a soft heart! He is so humble! I just want to give the guy a big bear hug!! Well we taught him about prayer, faith, and following Christ’s example. We didn't even invite him to church and he came!!! He is starting to read his scriptures again! YEssssss. I just love teaching the gospel to people, I love feeling the spirit testify of our words. It is so powerful and so moving. The less active people that don’t like the church, are now the ones that pull over and ask us if we need a ride or a drink of water!!! They are the craziest people, we love it! From x navy seals, to tattoo artists. It is the best. We have been walking everywhere and working so hard. It is all so worth it. We have been working on being exactly obedient, we have a lot of fun and are always smiling, and obedience is the reason. When missionaries are depressed it’s because they aren’t teaching or being obedient. It is so easy to spot, we had a few missionaries that didn’t understand obedience, so we talked with them about it and there are no problems there now.
Yes, I saw Elder Homer!!!! (He is now Randy Homer, and he served his mission 13 years ago in the New York, New York North mission, where we live. We love him!) He is so awesome, if he was shy back then, he isn't shy now!! He is so outgoing and friendly. See the mission changed him! He was so welcoming to all of us. He showed me pictures of our ward back home, and explained what a super ward ours is. It was awesome to see him. I will be seeing more of him. Hey, who were the missionaries that baptized dad? So yes, this week has been a crazy one to say the least. We have interviews with president on Tuesday as a zone, so I am going to show him our Wetbandits sign haha. Hopefully he thinks its funny :/. I just love my time out here! I love studying the scriptures in the morning and really applying the teachings to my life and to others. I love the wave of work that I and we are involved in. This mission is taking leaps and bounds! The spirit within is so strong, and we are all pushing forward. The fire of some of these new Elders is so inspiring! They are so passionate about the work and their purpose! They care about our calling! I love it! We are trying to get the members to be obsessed with the work as well, it worked in St. Anthony and Idaho Falls, so now we are speaking in the wards out here and will give it our best shot. I love Rigby, I love Idaho. There are so many wonderful families out here that are so helpful to us. One family picked us up off of the side of the road and took us to get some food! When I get home, I will do all I can to help the Elders around me. I owe it to every missionary I see for the rest of my life.
Preaching the gospel really is the best calling. I sent Vanessa a little cutout from my study journal about the atonement and happiness. It is just a few notes of my actual thoughts, but ask her if you can read it as well. I try and switch it up each day, so when I come home I have a study journal full of revelations, teachings, and experiences. It’s incredible how the work is moving along. I am so grateful for President Brinkerhoff, he is an incredible man. I learn something from him every time he talks to me. But I just love my mission, I love every second of it. It is not a sacrifice to serve, but an opportunity. It has changed my life for eternity. I have been so moved, so deeply affected, and so changed because of this work that I have just lost myself entirely in. When you truly lose yourself in this great and magnificent cause, you begin to find yourself. When you devote all of your time and attention, you begin to change and be taught from the Savior’s hand. I have learned that when it’s time to work you work, when it’s time to sleep you sleep, when it’s time to write letters, you write your letters. The schedule is perfect, and I love every second I have to Serve the Lord. Don’t worry about me, I am just fine. Love life, share the gospel, serve everyone around you, forget yourself and follow the Savior. I have to get going, we have another busy preparation day today. I love it! I love you all so much, Mom you are the best, I always teach from your example. Dad you are so inspiring and motivating, every missionary knows something about your life and the things you have accomplished. Michael you are the kindest kid I’ve ever heard of, just have fun and enjoy being a kid. I love you all! Have a great week and be safe!
Love and charity can accomplish anything.
Hey hey hey, look what the cat dragged in. haha
Sounds like you are doing awesome! I am so glad you girls made some cookies and got to do something fun! How does it seem everyone back home is doing? It sounds like all is well as of now. How is Vanessa? She is pretty much the best, so I guess not much you can tell me there. She is thinking about going to the Fashion Institute in NYC, that would be awesome for her.
So the new area is awesome, definitely hard, but it will be worth it. My new companion, Elder Alligood is legit. He is from north Florida. I am so glad I finally get to do missionary work!! We walk everywhere so people see us and also so we can talk with every person we see. We live with a family whose son is leaving for his mission in 3 months. He is big into weight lifting, so we work out with him every night before bed. I am finally really working out hard again! I have gained a few lbs. so far, and we are focusing on eating healthy as well. I am so excited for this whole transfer. It will be hard work, but that’s what we love most.
SO yes, your friend did drop off the goodies!! That was so nice of her, I will write her soon, this day is going to be a crazy P-day, but I will find time. We have met tons of crazy people, from super anti people, to crazy drug addicts, to people that say we each have a star. Yeah, there are some crazies around here, but I love those kinds of people. I could talk with them for hours and not get bored. We have a bunch of them coming to church with us next week!!! It is going to be awesome, we will walk right up to the front row with the entire family haha. They are the nicest people in the world, just have some bad addictions. We are definitely going to help them out. I love Rigby already, the people here seem great, and there are a lot of members that are head over heels for missionary work. There was a man in town who asked the Elders quorum for help sheet rocking his house...nobody showed up!! Can you believe that?? Not one person, the bishop said he would make calls to people and must have forgot, so we made one phone call, and within 30 minutes had 16 missionaries there! The man was so excited haha. It was a really great experience to help a family in need. They are recently returning to activity in the church.
It has been like 100 degrees out here this week!! So hot out to be walking, but a lot of nonmembers said they really respect us for still doing the work. We got an AC unit from a family who are not even members, and well it broke :/. So we just open our windows at night and use a fan. We aren’t really home during the day anyway, that’s the way it goes as missionaries. We never get a second to relax, it is so hectic at times.
You let the dogs swim in the hot tub?? That is awesome!!! haha Must be a mad house! Today I have a doctors appt. with that neurologist again, I haven’t had a headache for the past 4 days, but before that I was taking Excedrin every day...maybe it is neck problems? Maybe lifting weights helps with the muscles? I don’t know, I will talk to him about that today. I am serving in the Rigby Idaho Stake, in 4 of the wards. Our house is little, and the family we live with is so humble, I love it! They are older and remind me of Grandma a little bit. Can you believe I am almost at the hump? The big ole 1 year mark?? So nuts! Before we know it, I will only have a few days left! ahh, time flies so fast, I hope it doesn't go by this quickly when I get home! I just want it to slow down so I can enjoy everything! I guess it goes by so fast out here because we are so busy and work hard all the time. It’s good though, keeps us from getting discouraged!
So I would really like a few of my friends’ email addresses. No rush, but if you find them I would appreciate it a lot. Olivia and her family in my last area were so sad that I was leaving, they wrote me a nice card and said how much we have changed their lives, they will be baptized soon so I will go to that. I love my mission so much, every second of it I am learning and growing, I have changed in so many ways, but my personality is still the same, I still spazz and what not. I am being prepared for life, it is such a blessing that I am able to be learning all of this at such an early age in life. I hope that you all have a great week, I don’t have a lot of time for emails because of the doctors appointment. I love you so much! Keep living each day to the fullest, and just enjoying the small things in life. Don’t worry about me, I am just fine. Stay safe, happy, and healthy. I love you! Tell everybody I said hello!
"our deepest fears are like dragons guarding our deepest treasure."
Monday, August 12, 2013
This week has been awesome!! So I don’t know why I am being transferred up to Rigby, the Lord needs me up there, I guess. Change is good...I like it. It is sad leaving an area, but it is just A-ok with me. So yes, I found an awesome suit!! You would love it....well, I actually got 2 for $300. LEGIT!!!!! DEALS. So the first one is like you said to get, very dark charcoal, and super durable. It came with 2 pairs of pants!! So perfect. The manager was from NY and a member so I guess she wanted to help me out haha. I do take care of all of my clothes very well by the way.
So we had another baptism this weekend!! It was for a 9 year old boy named Parker. There were tons of less active family from all over the US there. Elder W and I gave a little lesson on the restoration during the baptism. A man was talking to Brother M, our high councilman, over missionary work and said that the message we shared had so much power. He said he could feel our words inside of him and it helped him feel the spirit again. Such a cool experience. My companion was sick this week, so I went on tons of splits with youth and other missionaries. One of the youth, Austin, is going to NY next Tuesday for a camp at Fordham University. I gave him dads cell#, but I guess you will be at high adventure. He was going to call for advice on what things to see and where to eat. His dad is the one who owns Yellowstone Partners, aka helicopter guy, aka batman of IF. So if he calls or texts you, that is why.
I learned a huge lesson this week. I gave Elder M a blessing and within the blessing, the words “I bless you with the gift of healing, but it is all contingent on your faith, and of course faith means action”. So the first few days, he just got even worse, but then I told him what was said so he started working, and he felt much better....the spirit knows all. Also, I gave a blessing this week to Olivia our investigator, and I started sealing the anointing, and what I thought was me choking on words turned out to be the spirit speaking. I wound up blessing the oil! Elder M realized the oil was not consecrated...so he started praying that I would bless the oil in my blessing...I didn’t even know I was doing that, I just thought I was tripping over my words. So cool!! We are on the Lord’s errand, he takes care of us for sure.
I LOVE MY MISSION! It is everything I ever dreamed of it being and much, much more. I can’t put in words all that I learn and how I grow...it’s just impossible to put it all into words. You don’t know till you experience it for yourself...it’s incredible how true this all is, how real it is! We pray and it happens! dah it’s incredible. I just love it, I don’t ever want it to end. Sorry, but that is the truth of it. It is the best, it is so hard, and so challenging, but I love it! I love the failure, I love the harsh days, I love the shortcomings...because at the end of the day, we still won! I still exhausted myself in the service of others. I still gave my Savior everything I have, every ambition, every thought, every action is for him and his kingdom. I am really striving to be better, I know that I am nothing, and that I know nothing. But I still have something to give every time. I strive for exact obedience, that is what we have to do, that is our part. Then the Lord blesses us with words and guidance. I love giving to people as well, we give all of our time to others! That is what we are about, being like our Savior who was the best minister ever. I love it so much, I love the missionaries I serve around, I love giving myself, I love my mission. It’s just focus that matters out here, focusing on our purpose is key. Missionaries can get distracted by girls in the area, girls back home, trendy clothing, family problems, failure, and just things stop them from doing the work. That is my only strength out here...is the focus. I don’t like being idle, I don’t like wasting time, I just want to be out there doing the work. This church is everything, the Gospel is everything to me, my relationship with God is everything, because if you have those...nothing else matters. When we fear or doubt, we forget our true identity and purpose. God is our Dad! (our Father in Heaven) So who are we to lose, so who are we to fail? God made us to succeed. He made us to have joy. If we embrace the gospel and stay focused on it, life is good. All is well! Come, Come Ye Saints is one of my favorite hymns.
Oh hey we had zone training meeting on Tuesday, I trained on persistence, and what motivates us. It was about 25 minutes long and it went well, so I think. We also started teaching a neurosurgeon!!!! He is super smart but we told him about the gospel and he wants to know why we gave up so much to come out here. SO LEGIT! Stinks I have to leave the area, but it’s all good. I am excited to get to Rigby! My new companion has been a zone leader for a few months now, he is very solid and this is his last transfer, so president wants me to help him finish strong it sounds like. Elder G by the way is now a zone leader!! That stud! Man, but ok I gotta get running, I love you all family! You guys are the best! I know that this gospel is true, I know that the work we are doing is for such a greater cause than we can comprehend. I love every bit of this gospel, true conversion is when you set your own will aside and follow Heavenly Father’s will. That is what we are all working on. If I can’t master it here, how can I ever expect to master it back home...it starts over every single morning, so each day it’s up to us if we run it, or let it run us. The choice is made the night before. I love you so much! Have a great week, have fun, and just enjoy life!
There is no try, only do.