Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Last Week of Transfer

The week here was good. On Tuesday we had a District Leader Training Meeting with all of the District Leaders coming in from throughout the mission. It is always fun to have those meetings and to listen to the inspired words of President Tateoka. It has been cool to see the way that our area has been taking off. We have been blessed by the Lord with people starting to really progress. Last Monday evening, we texted a family that we are teaching to ask them how they enjoyed church the day before, and they responded by telling us that they were at a family in our ward's home! The family in our ward invited them over for FHE! It is super cool to see the way that this family has been being fellowshipped into the ward so well. And a lot of it has come by the ward without us even asking, so that has been really cool!

We had a lesson with a man named Ryan. He came to church last week. He has floated throughout churches in his life, but when he came to church last week he felt more loved than he had ever felt at any church before, so that was awesome to hear! He is one of the most interesting people that I have met on my mission. He's a funny guy, but he has been interested in continuing to learn, so we are excited for that! 

Javon is the 13 year old boy that rode his bike to church last week. He is really prepared! We went over this week and talked to his mom and she was all for us coming over to teach him and to help him come to church and activities. Javon has really enjoyed coming to church and getting to know the boys and learn more about Heavenly Father. The Deacon's Quorom is having the boys each teach a part of a lesson during the month of February, and Javon said that he wanted to do it one week!
We are excited for him and really feel like he could be baptized next month. 

We also had an exchange this week. I stayed in Newberg with Elder Lemmon. He is from Lehi Utah. He came out during the same transfer as me, but this is the first time that I have had the opportunity to go on exchanges with him and get to know him. It was a good exchange! It was a beautiful sunny day and so there were a lot of people outside. We rode bikes too, which was really fun! Elder Hallenberger, who is in charge of bikes, let me trade my bike for a different one because about 2 months ago another Elder was riding my bike and snapped my chain.. But yeah it has been fun riding bikes. We were able to talk to a bunch of people and find a few new investigators. I even got bit on the finger by a chihuahua.. I am not a huge fan of little dogs! 

Playing Pickle Ball
This week will be good. It is the last week of the transfer! Time has flown. We have a big missionary fireside for the stake here on Sunday! It is put together by the mission. There will be a couple of recent convert talks and President Tateoka will talk for a few minutes, as well as the Stake President. There will also be some Mormon Messages and we will sing a couple songs as a choir of missionaries in the zone. Sister Francis who we baptized in September will be on of the recent convert talks! We are super excited for that. She is rock solid! 

Roller Coaster Week

The week was a roller coaster. The beginning of the week we had a lot of new investigators that we found recently drop us and not want to learn anymore. But the end of the week was really good. We had a lot of our investigators at church. A lot of the main people that we are teaching were able to make it and had a really good time. We had a really good Sacrament meeting in which the Spirit was very strong. Our gospel principles class was probably the biggest I have seen my whole time here in Newberg. But all of our investigators felt the Spirit Sunday which helped them stay all three hours. It was good! The beginning of the week was rough but at the end of the week we were blessed and saw the fruits of our labors. 

One of the kids that we were teaching decided he didn’t want to learn anymore which was a bummer. Another kid that we are teaching, Javon, came again for the second week in a row to church! He is a really cool kid. Neither his mom or dad could take him, so he rode his bike to church! It was really cool to see him there. He had a lot of questions this time at church. He was a lot more comfortable, which was really cool to see. The deacons have done a great job fellowshipping him and the advisor gave him a Duty to God Pamphlet, so that was really cool. 

This week won’t be too crazy. We have a meeting here in Newberg with the District Leaders throughout the Mission tomorrow. That will be good. Other than that, we have an exchange Friday and the rest of the week is pretty normal. We also have interviews with President which will be good! 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Happy New Year!

The week here was really good! It felt like we had a lot more time to actually proselyte this week. And it seemed like the results of being able to just go out and work were really positive. It was cool because we spent a lot of time in a neighborhood where we do not usually do much work, and we saw that that area was very fruitful! We were able to find a bunch of different people that we have now started to teach! We are teaching a 14 year old boy, who seems really prepared. He has been reading the Book of Mormon and the pamphlets that we leave with him and seems to really enjoy everything that he is learning. The crazy thing is while we were on an exchange this week, Elder Patterson and Elder Kersten met another middle school aged kid. He invited us back over to his house this Sunday, and so we went over and met his dad who is a really nice guy. The amazing thing is that this boy is best friends with the other middle-schooler that we are teaching! What are the chances of that? Also, we met a couple of other middle school kids this week playing basketball with their dad. Their dad actually coached basketball down at Coolidge high school in Arizona. Well, we talked for a few minutes and invited them to church on Sunday and the dad told us that Javon would be there. As we were sitting in the chapel on Sunday right before church started, we saw Javon! He came to church and stayed the entire time! That was a huge tender mercy. And the crazy thing is that Javon also knows the original middle school boy that we are teaching that I mentioned first. So that is all confusing, but in short, we are teaching practically the entire middle school here! It has been cool to see how the Lord is preparing the hearts of the young people. They listen and act and feel the Spirit.

We had a bunch of cool experiences this week. One was when we were in that neighborhood that we haven't spent much time in. We had just finished talking to one of our ward mission leader's neighbor's and had a very good conversation with him. We were pretty excited and came up to a street that we hadn't been on before. I thought that it was a through street because it didn't say "no outlet" or anything like that. So we decided we would try. We soon found out that it was a couldesac! As we were walking back down a man pulled up to the mailboxes there and because of the perfect timing we were able to have a good conversation with him and he agreed to have us come back. He has been going through recovery and seems to be open to listening. It was just cool to see the Lord's hand in it. 

We also spent a little bit of time in Salem this week! We went on a short 2 hour exchange with a couple of different sets of elders down in Salem and were able to have a good experience. And then we had dinner with President and Sister Tateoka at their favorite authentic Japanese place in Salem! It was SO good. I was honestly really surprised at how good it was! It is called Bon Japan 86. Then a couple of days later in the week, we went on exchange with the Zone Leaders in Salem. We had a really good exchange and were able to talk to a bunch of different people! I was down in Salem and we made a determination that we would talk to everyone. The start of the day was rough, but as the day went on, we were able to talk to a ton of people and find a few humble people that were willing to listen and accept what we were saying! 

Earlier today we played pickleball with President and Sister Tateoka and the other Elders here in Newberg! It was a ton of fun. I don't know if you have ever heard of it or seen it before, but it is basically like a shorter, smaller version of tennis played with paddles and a wiffle ball. I think you guys would really like it. 

Merry Christmas!

It was wonderful talking to Jake as a family! Best Christmas present ever!
Breakfast  and Guesstures with Pres. & Sister Tateoka

Monday, December 18, 2017

The week here was busy, crazy, and fun. Looking back on the week, it’s hard to remember that transfers were this week. On Wednesday, we helped take the departing missionaries home and bring the new ones back from the airport. It was crazy to see Elder Bills going home! It feels like he just left Newberg. I only had six weeks with Elder Bills, but he was one of my favorite companions. He was one of the most humble people that I have met. I am definitely grateful for the chance to serve with him! Thursday was busy. We had a meeting for the trainees and their new trainers. It was crazy, because it was by far the smallest group for this meeting that we have had the entire time I have been there. But the smallest and littlest things were going wrong! It was frustrating at the time, but everything worked out. After that, we drove out to Bend because we had their zone conference/Christmas talent show on Friday. That was a lot of fun! It was good to be able to see Elder Oswald and be around some of the missionaries out there. We came back on Saturday. On the drive back, we got to a fork in the road where we usually go through the Santiam pass because it is quicker, but the highway was closed and we had to take a 50 minute detour down through Lebanon! It was a beautiful drive. 

We didn't have a ton of time to proselyte this week, but it was cool because yesterday we were able to see some cool miracles while using the time that we actually did have. After one of our lessons, we were walking to the car and I thought I heard a vacuum for a car in a garage, but kind of disregarded it. As we were driving away, we passed that home and saw that there was someone in the garage vacuuming his car, so we turned around and stopped to talk with him. He turned out to be a really cool kid who is graduating high school this year and he said that we could come back on Thursday to talk more! We had a similar situation later that night. We were driving to go visit someone and passed by the home of a potential investigator that we had neither met, but had both tried knocking multiple times. There was a lady outside, so we decided to stop and go try to talk with her. Apparently the person that we were looking for does not live there anymore. But the lady that we met was really nice and she was going through a lot of different things right now. It was definitely inspired that we were able to drive by and see her and talk with her at this point in her life. 

This week should be fun. We have Christmas talent shows for three more zones this week! It should be fun, and then it will be Christmas. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Staying in Newberg

I will be staying another transfer here in Newberg! I am excited to be able to spend Christmas here around President and Sister Tateoka. It will be a lot of fun. The Elders in the 2nd ward (Elder Greenwood, who has been here as long as me - he was trained by Elder Bills and Elder Patterson, and Elder Cluff) will both be staying as well. We are excited to be around each other for Christmas. 

The week here was really good! We had MLC on Wednesday. President felt inspired that we should focus on commitment invitations. As we prepared for the training that we were asked to give, it was really cool to see the revelation come and to know that the things we were preparing were exactly what needed to be talked about. We had an exchange this week with the Elders in Jefferson. Elder Radmall, one of my old District Leaders, is who I was with! It was a lot of fun. We had a cool experience right after we
exchanged. We wanted to go give a Children's Book of Mormon to one of the boys that we are teaching, but we had just recently given away our last one. So we dropped by the mission office really quickly to pick one up. Right as we were leaving, the janitor man of the building was there so we talked with him for a bit. We were able to run right back inside and get him a Restoration pamphlet in Spanish and then refer him to the Hermanas that cover the area.

This week we also had transfers calls! It was a busy week getting things ready for that. But it went really well! We had a meeting with President and Sister Tateoka about transfer week and all of that stuff, and then afterwards we were able to help President for a few minutes to put up his Christmas lights. That was fun! We also had our ward party this week! One of the people that we are teaching was able to come and was welcomed a lot by the members. It was good to see them have a good time and to be able to connect more with the members. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Continue to Light the World!

Everything is going well. The zone conferences went really well this week! President really thought that they went well and was really happy with the way that they went! It is crazy how quickly the transfer has flown by. It is going to be another busy week with transfers coming up. We were able to go on an exchange while we were over the mountains with Bend and Redmond. It felt really good to be in the sunshine again! It has been a lot of fun to participate in Light the World. We have been sure to participate in each day, however we can. It was really cool because on the way back from Redmond we stopped at a place in Salem to eat dinner. For some reason, I was not nearly as hungry as usual. I am usually able to eat most of the plate that I get. But I didn't and took the rest home. As we were leaving, we pulled up to the street to turn on the main street and we saw a homeless guy. Right as Elder Patterson was about to turn, I just yelled, "wait!" I was really thinking about it and he was really confused, but I was able to quickly grab the food and hop out and give it to this man and to give him a Light the World pass along card as well! It was nothing of my doing, but the Spirit was the one that put the thought into my mind really quickly and to make it all happen. It has been cool because this campaign does help us to look outside of ourselves a little bit more. 

After our zone conference on Thursday, we were able to go on a short power exchange with the Elders in the Salem 1st ward because we were going to be doing something in Salem that night. I was able to go over and have a lesson with Jeremy, who we used to teach in Salem 1st! It was cool to be able to see how far he has come. His wife even came to church on Sunday and they are doing well as a family! That was fun to see. 

Yesterday was really good as well. We were able to watch the Christmas Devotional with Camille and her husband Brian. That went really well! Camille took Brian and their kids this week to the temple visitor's center and they really enjoyed it! It is cool to see how she has only been a member for about 3 months and she is such a great missionary to her family and those around her. She is a great example and is extremely converted. I really liked the talks from the Devotional as well. I liked President Uchtdorf's talk a lot. It seems to me that recently the Prophets and Apostles have been talking a lot about the love that Heavenly Father has for us. He wants us to be able to look back to Him and not get so down on ourselves.