Wednesday, December 14, 2016

This week was a blast. This work is so much fun. I love it with all of my heart! This week Elder Westover and I had the opportunity to speak to many different people about the gospel. Many of our lessons fell through but the Lord guided us to many potential families whom we are excited to share our testimonies with! 
In the past 2 days we have received around 8 inches of snow. Which was perfect because we had our Branch Christmas party Saturday night! The Branch party was a lot of fun and we were able to see many less actives and non members come. It is exciting to see the work going forth as the members fellowship and invite their friends to come to these activities! For one of the activites we had a lip sync battle which turned into a bit of a dance off battle as well. Which was hilarious! They had 1 for women, 1 for youth and then they had myself, Brother Segovia, and President Powell go at it to the song, "All I Want for Christmas is You." It was great! Brother Segovia is latino and busted some real moves. It was great! He and I were going at it! :P I am quite sure though I embarrased 2 of our members during the dance by some moves I pulled. It was great!
Real quick spiritual thought from my studies this morning. It is a quote by Elder Thomas S. Monson. "Regarding ones testimony, remember, that which one willingly shares he keeps, while that which he selfishly keeps he loses..." I testify of this truth shared by our prophet and I invite you during this Christmas season, specifically this week, to find someone whom you can bear your testimony to and do it! I know your heart will be filled with the warmth of knowing you have a loving Heavenly Father and a Savior who died for you.
Have a great week! Sorry it was so long this time.

Monday, December 5, 2016

My week was amazing. We found a way cool new investigator named Ethan. He is a lot like J.C. Silotti. Just not a latter day saint. He is great! He even lives in an old Baptist church that was turned into a home. So his living room is a huge cultural hall. It's pretty sweet. Elder Westover and I are doing great. It was fun this morning. We went and received a free private kickboxing class from a member in our branch that is huge into martial arts and is extremely great at it!
We also had our first bit of snow for the year. That is quite exciting. :) 
Training is still a lot of fun. I am loving working with Elder Westover. It was quite funny. This morning Elder Ekpgaha came over and Elder Westover was in another room and I guess he has picked up on some of my language I speak or phrases so to speak. Elder Ekpagha heard Elder Westover say some of those things and said, "Ha! He is so much like you and even talks like you!" It made me laugh but I realized how much of an impact I do have on him and all those around me as we all do. It motivates me even more to want to do better, because I know that when it comes to being a husband, a father, and any sort of calling or other leadership positions I may be in, people will follow my lead and example. If I diligently read my scriptures, pray and go to the temple, my kids will follow. If I am kind and serve others, if I open the door for ladies and the elderly and others I love, my children and those close to me will follow that example. I won't even have to tell them to do it! Its great. :D Unless I am naughty. Anyways, always remember the impact your example has on others and be a light to the world. Love you all! :D

Sunday, December 4, 2016

This week was superb! Always so much fun on the mission. :)
This Thanksgiving was neat. We started teaching a new investigator named Daniel. He is from Mexico but has been here for work. He has a wife and 2 beautiful young children who still live in Mexico as they don't have the paperwork to come to the United States yet. So for Thanksgiving he was going to be all alone. We asked our Branch Pres. if he could join us and he, of course, said yes. Daniel was grateful and filled with joy. It was a beautiful Thanksgiving miracle!
Transfers, and the way the mission is running, has changed up a bit. We hear who is getting transferred on Saturday evening instead of Monday morning now. 2nd change is that in a Stake their used to be 2 zones which included 2 zone leaders, 2 sister training leaders, 1 district leader. He switched it so there will be 1 zone per Stake so everything in size will about double. That will be exciting! Anyways it was a great week. Love you all! :D

Monday, November 21, 2016

Last night we went to our General Stake Priesthood meeting and had a marvelous time! One thing which stuck out to me was when the Patriarch got up and bore his testimony. The spirit truly burned in his heart as he spoke and I felt it. One of the things he mentioned was how his testimony grows when he sees others have a change in their heart as they come to recognize Jesus Christ and his gospel. Well, we have been working with a returning member named Chris, he hadn't been to church in 10 years and actually told his wife, less than a year ago, when she started to go, "Well this church may be the cause of our divorce." Well, we started to meet with him and he has been to church 2x. He came to the Priesthood meeting and had a heart changing experience. He apologized for being hesitant and was ready to jump full in and expressed how much love he felt as well. It was a great week! :D

Monday, November 14, 2016

This week we had Zone Conference which I love so much! It was inspiring, motivating and changed my mission. In a talk I read one time the speaker speaks of going into general conference or sacrament or other meetings with a jug waiting to be filled. In other words, go in with many questions and desires of the heart, then search for the answers and give thanks afterwords. Well, I went in with an empty jug waiting for it to fill and it did just that. I was starting to feel the past week that though I still loved the work that fire wasn't there as strongly as I often feel it. It had dimmed a little bit. I thought it was because I was not being authentic but that was not quite all of the reason why. Though it is a big part of the problem. As Elder Westover and I were speaking that evening it was revealed to me that the reason my fire was dimming is I was not having any experiences with the Atonement and repentance that week. It goes back to that phrase on like page 2 or so, as your understanding of the Atonement increases so will your desire to preach the gospel. I testify of that and this week I have been working hard to be more authentic in all I do. Apply the gospel and repent constantly at every opportunity I recognize. I feel Joyful and my fire is back on!  So I invite you all, if you are not feeling a bright Joy in the gospel at this time, figure out what is holding you back from experiencing the atonement regularly and repent and work towards a better you.
Love you all!
Oh! Also, thank you all so much for the many happy birthday wishes and cards! They are much appreciated. I had an amazing 20th.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

This week went really well. One of the prospective Elders, whom we are working with, came to church for the 2nd time in 10 years. It is great to see him exercising his faith in his Savior. Also we are now working with a wonderful family, the Pearls. It is both parents, with 2 daughters and a few weeks old son, Payton, who is adorable. What a cutie! Can't wait till I have my own family. I am still as baby and family hungry as I was before the mission. If not worse. It's rough telling everyone about how great eternal families are and not having your own. Haha! Except for you guys, of course. You know what I mean though. But it's okay. I can control it and am doing a pretty good job I feel. ;)  We have really been getting blessed though to work with a lot of families in this area. It is such a great thing. I love it and am grateful to God for it.

Monday, October 24, 2016

This week went amazing. I will copy and paste from my email with President Welch so you can read more about it in detail. I love the new area. I was so excited to come here and it has been amazing.  My new companion is Elder Westover. He is from Weiser, Idaho. He is a farm boy who is very hard working. Cool fact, he graduated a year early from high school, he came out here at 18. He was on the wrestling team, took Jui-Jitzu classes and loved to shoot guns and do outdoor things. He also loves to work out so morning workouts get pretty wet. We pretty much take a pre-shower before our shower.  Being a trainer is great. I love it! We do have a car every other week. We switch with Angola. Our address is  1000 Old Brick Rd. Apt. #214, Auburn, IN  46706. I love the place. We are in an upstairs apartment. It needed a bit of cleaning. We are purging the place and it is feeling/looking much much better.
I loved this week, I was able to see time and time again the Lords hand in his work. I have been trying my best to follow every prompting, to always pray when I feel we need guidance or strength, when I am thankful etc... and the spirit has been filling our hearts and this area. We have been receiving so many blessings this week, though we were doubled in that did not stop us because we both know, that if we turn to the Lord and act when prompted, he will guide us where we need to be. We have been blessed with 4 wonderful new investigators and 11 referrals, a few of which were from members and are now some of those new investigators. We have been speaking to everybody and the first day my wonderful companion was willing to be the one to strike up a couple of conversations whether on the street or door approaches etc... I am so proud of him, he is dedicated, motivated, and powerful. Expect great things from Elder Westover, I am confident he will surprise you many times. I could not have been blessed with a greater companion at this time and I feel a great sense of trust from you and the Lord at this time, I am grateful for that. I also know the Lord hears and answers every prayer, there were a few weaker points I wanted to strengthen and he has exactly those things needed to help me grow.
2 awesome miracles. 
1) We received a call about 9:30 from a guy named John who kind of frantic and wanted to meet up as he had just been kicked out of his apartment, I think that is what he said. We set a time for 2:00pm to go see him, 12:50 came around and he called again urging us to come sooner but with no good reason from what he told us. Our 1:00pm apt was a no show, so we went to meet him at the Library and called him on the way, he was excited and said he would be there in 10 minutes. We get there, and call him. No answer, we shoot him a text. No answer... We walk around, in the library and then come out, he is still not there and its been around 20 minutes, we tried calling again with no answer. We felt prompted to walk around the building, as we did we saw a house across the street and I knew we needed to knock on that door. So we did, a 13 year old (Breanna) opens the door and states "hold on, my mom usually meets with you guys". After 5 minutes her mom comes down and speaks with us, not 10 minutes into our conversation she has told us "Im not joining the mormon church" "my uncle is a mormon" "you guys tried by for a year before i let you in last time" well she said she was not interested. With a few inspired questions she opened up about her past few weeks which have been rough, I felt to share how we came to knock on her door and she immediately began to tear up and express how she had been praying for Gods help and knows God sent us to her. Minutes later she said to us "Okay, you guys can come back, I am going to give it a shot because I know God sent you, I also want my children to join us". Then she began to grab food and water for us to eat as we had not had lunch and invited us over Sunday for lunch. (had to reschedule). This experience was a miracle, we have tried calling john multiple times with no answer and I know "John" was one of the Lord servants urging us to get to Garrett so we could speak to one of his so loved daughters.
2) Last night we were driving around with 40 or so minutes left to find something to do. We drove around for a moment and pulled over to get out and speak to a couple people with all rejections, as we headed towards the apartment area we felt prompted to park and get out and start speaking to whomever we could find, so we did. We desired that the Lord would give us the opportunity to share the gospel with atleast 1 more person, after one attempt and rejection Elder Westover says "lets go speak to her!" We walk up to her and ask, can we speak with you for a minute and share a quick scripture. "Sure" she says and sits down on the steps with us, and we begin to feel the spirit enter her heart as we shared about Jesus Christ and how she can come to know of him and the truth of all things by the power and influence of the Holy Ghost which we taught about, she was smiling brightly as she was enlightened to a new understanding and recognition more fully of Gods love for her. I know the Lord will provide us with his Children if we are willing to follow the spirit, I am grateful for that, I love him.
I hope you have an amazing week, I love you!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Things are going great here in Hamilton. Elder Glad and I are both being transferred tomorrow and I am training! :D I am going up to Kendallville, Indiana which is right below Angola. I am sooo excited! I love that place!!! :D It is going to be the best!
The other day I was studying John 17, the Lord's intercessory prayer, and I came upon a verse and a quote. John 17:16. "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." The quote is by David O. McKay and is one of my new favorite quotes. "This question of being in the world but not of it is a question of increasing concern. The world is ever shrinking in size and we come ever closer to the influence and attitudes of others and there are ever more compelling pressures to be as other are, to do as others do, with questions of compromise and of preserving principles. How far to go, how different to be, how to live comfortably among men? One of life's most important problems is learning to get along with the people with whom we live in the world without compromising our principles. One of the plausible ways of getting along with people is to make concessions pertaining to principles or to go the way of the world. "Abandoning principles is no solution to the problem of getting along with people. Indeed, it is false and foolish to suppose that compromising principles will win the respect or acceptance of anyone. Compromising principles isn't getting along with people; it is simply surrender; it is simply self-betrayal. And he who betrays himself is never solidly accepted or respected anywhere by anyone." (Conference Report, April 1959)
I know that what is said in this quote is true. I look back on my life and wish many times that I did not lower my standards or compromise who I was, even on the mission! So I just want to invite you all to remember who you are. To remember that you are sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father and that you have the potential to become like him. In order to become like him though, we have to act like him. I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Monday, October 10, 2016

This week we have interviews with President and Sister Welch. Those 2 are so amazing. I love them! 
Also this week Elder Glad and I and our group twig leader, Brother Martin, held a funeral service at the church for an investigators friends family. It was sad. It was my first funeral I have been too and knowing that they don't know about the plan of salvation was the tough part. We both said a prayer in the program and I read the obituary and dedicated the grave. It was an interesting experience to say the least.

Conference was amazing!!! I loved it so much, but I did get to hear Elder Holland speak so I didn't feel ripped off, though I wouldn't mind hearing him speak more haha! I would need to relisten to and review my notes to know which would be a solid favorite. I really enjoyed Pres. Uchtdorfs first talk though. I loved his quote, "We are of the royal house of Elohim the most high God." It is interesting if you look in the Hebrew or Greek (can't remember which) Elohim actually means Gods. So it may mean Father and Mother when we say Elohim. If you read in Genesis it says and they shall be one flesh, speaking of Adam and Eve when married. So I learned about that and it's not official doctrine but I personally feel it is right. And I learned that a couple days prior to conference which made that statement to me so much more powerful! I really enjoyed also the 2nd or 3rd speaker, it was the lady that spoke on prayer, wow that was a beautiful talk, so powerful!