October 4, 2015
This guy! I've been super impressed by how fast Elder C is taking in
all of missionary life. I've let him take the lead in all aspects in
the work and man, he's risen up to the challenge. There was a time
this week when we ran into some drunk bum who tried arguing with us. I
didn't even have to look at Elder Cespedes and he took charge and
kindly yet firmly let the wild man know we had places to go and
weren't interested in combating-verbally or physically. He's ready to
go and be the leader which is excellent because transfers are coming
up. It's easy to train when the person you're working with is humble.
These next few weeks will be so sweet!
We watched general Conference at the ward building with some of the
members who couldn't watch it any other way as well as some who wanted
to eliminate some distractions. It was very peaceful to be able to
just sit and listen to the inspired speakers. I don't have a favorite
talk yet but very much enjoyed the ideas of asking 'what is stopping
me from progressing?' as well as 'Ponderizing'. I chose this morning
Helaman. to start this week. I'm anxious to see how this adds to
my studies and general mood. It's so true how we need to not only stay
away from the many evils in this world but actively combat it.
Thoughts turn into actions and this is a great way to make our minds
an uplifting place.
On a sad note, we learned this morning from Brother Shumway that
Brandon, the young man who came with us on an all day split out in
Wenden, just passed away. He had graduated early and was always
available to go with us to lessons. It saddens me that we lost such a
bright and energetically positive guy. I'm grateful for the eternal
perspective that I have thanks to this gospel. The scriptures are like
old friends who are always there, this morning I read several verses
that are so important and encouraging.
But behold, I will show unto you a God of miracles, even the God of
Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and it is that
same God who created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in
12 Behold, he created Adam, and by Adam came the fall of man. And
because of the fall of man came Jesus Christ, even the Father and the
Son; and because of Jesus Christ came the redemption of man.
13 And because of the redemption of man, which came by Jesus Christ,
they are brought back into the presence of the Lord; yea, this is
wherein all men are redeemed, because the death of Christ bringeth to
pass the resurrection, which bringeth to pass a redemption from an
endless sleep, from which sleep all men shall be awakened by the power
of God when the trump shall sound; and they shall come forth, both
small and great, and all shall stand before his bar, being redeemed
and loosed from this eternal band of death, which death is a temporal
It's comforting to know that Brandon is still alive, doing missionary
work on the other side. One day I'll see him and Warren and others who
have moved on.
The past couple weeks we've had to drop all of our investigators which
makes for some dull weekly letters, my apologies. You might remember
Brenda, the famous yard sale lady. We stopped by to donate some old
clothes and found that she was still interested, very unlike the signs
we were getting over the phone. She even committed to baptism if she
got an answer. we are going over to get some things down
from up high in her shed to set up for her Christmas season and set up
a lesson with some members who also live in Congress. We feel super
excited for what's in store, both the members and Brenda want to get
the ball rolling. Nothing's better for me than coordinating a lesson
and then having members who can be a friend to these people, help us
teach them. Teaching is the best!
September 28, 2015
We've enjoyed this week seeing members start doing missionary work,
informing us on where their friends and contacts are progressing.
Nothing better than having normal people invite people they know to
learn more about the Gospel. Sometimes we need to think about how they
must feel when we go to invite them. We can look strange but we want
everyone to know we're just regular people who want to share what we
Heather who was baptized in July moved out of our area and out of
activity in the church. We were super sad and not understanding what
happened. We reconnected the other day when a member told us she moved
back into town. It's like she never left. Elder Chase Bryan is still
confused but happy she wants to get back into the swing of things.
General Conference is this weekend!!!
As a missionary, general conference is the best. Everyone we meet,
"you know anything bout prophets? Haha well (flip hair in the wind)
would you like to hear on this Saturday?" Obviously it goes nothing
like that but you get the gist.
For a couple weeks we've been going on full day exchanges in Wenden
with little results but we all felt like we were changing things.
These past two weeks we first doubled the attendance from 5 to 12
members to this week of 20 people. The coolest part was everyone there
was from the branch and not on an assignment from the stake to talk or
even the branch presidents family. Wahoo! Elder Nistler came down to
go to a sealing in Verrado and drove me to the branch on Sunday. It
was really cool to chat with him, especially since he served in this
area. It's really cool to see how close of friends we've become.
Didn't have much time today to write, I've been driving these elders
all around Surprise. Love you all though!
September 14, 2015
Whenever we could, we have tried this week to find people in the
elders quorum home-teaching list who aren't easy to find, district
four. When someone moves and doesn't let anyone know where they are,
it creates a 'black hole' which many missionaries fall into, going
time and time again to visit members because they're new to the area
and getting nowhere. In the process we've found a less active guy who
feels nature is his church. We'll work slowly with him and with the
wards help, invite him to come back.
This myth of a guy has been giving me grief for quite some time. We
would set up a lesson and then we go to an old address, or never
responds but tells all the members that he wants to get baptized and
doesn't know what our problem is. We finally finally got to meet him
face to face at a dinner with some members and turns out, he just
moved to circle city- community on the very border outside our area.
This makes it the 4 person who's moved right outside our area. Never
thought I'd have to explain Ward boundaries so many times and why we
can't teach them. Slipped right through our fingers. Move back Dan!
On Wednesday we went on a 3 team finding activity-brother Erekson,
president Bohlen, brother lamb, Brandon (youth from Wickenburg), and
us. It was extremely successful. We found in those hours, around a
dozen or more households who were interested in visits, going to
church, and/or the movie we will be playing at the branch building in
October. The most promising is Ken and Katrina who live right next to
sister Stewart- a teacher in Blythe who we helped move on Saturday.
They just moved in from Utah, like the church and invited us back for
another visit. While we were moving furniture from sister Stewart's,
ken came over to help out. Even though I still can't figure out why
everyone decides to move at the hottest time of year at the hottest
hours of the day, I've come to realize that if someone can willingly
and actively search for opportunities to serve someone else-they will
more readily accept the gospel.
Brother Lamb who's a service missionary with his wife for the branch
is on fire with missionary work. We agree that there are five families
in Salome/Wenden who are waiting to hear the message of the gospel.
Stoked for more splits in the coming weeks.
We had several lessons with Niyierma this week, a dropped investigator
who showed up as a referral in our area book from who knows where.
We're thinking the change from last time is that we have sister
Mueller coming with us to the lessons. Last time she didn't have
friends to be with and so she stopped going to church because she felt
like an outsider and the missionaries dropped her. She's on the ball
with the reading assignments and writes down questions she has about
the doctrine that she reads about. Sister mueller is a convert and one
of the best people to have at lessons. Someone could say, "I just need
more time" and she can shot that down with her personal experience of
waiting many years and how she wishes she didn't postpone. Things that
wouldn't have the same weight if we said them. She's also going to
invite her friend who we haven't been lucky enough to contact, Mari,
into her home for a family home evening.
The cool thing is that anybody can be a superstar like sister Mueller,
just actually have to put forth a little effort.