Monday, September 26, 2016

Growth outside of our Comfort Zone

I can't believe that the stake is getting reorganized! That is really crazy! One of my favorite things that I heard at the MTC was "there is no growth in a comfort zone and no comfort in a growth zone". That will definitely be true for you guys back home when the changes take place, but I am sure that it will be for the good. I know that that is definitely true for me. It is not always easy to talk to everyone that you know, but I know that each time I open my mouth, I am growing a little bit more and more. I am still not perfectly comfortable doing it, but I know that I am growing by doing so!

I really can't wait for this weekend to be able to sit down and watch all 5 sessions of conference! Ever since listening to talks every day at work at 3G I have really come to appreciate conference talks more. They are so good and so inspired for us. It is literally scripture for our day, which is awesome to think about. (I can't wait to get my iPad in a couple of weeks to have a little more access to talks so that I can read them and listen to them). We actually had a cool story with the Women's Conference. We were at an appointment with a girl named Tracie and her future mother-in-law Pearl. They had heard about the session of conference earlier in the week and wanted to go. Keep in mind this was about 3 oclock and conference started at 5. And the Stake Center is in Redmond, which is about 40 minutes away. So we called one of the members in our ward, and she ended up taking them down there. It was awesome to see how willing our ward members are to serve! Tracie and Pearl ended up loving it and came to church the next day. Our ward is super cool. The Bishop is an awesome guy and it really sprinkles down from there. 

We have been super busy this week. We have started to walk and bike more, and this has given us an opportunity to talk to a lot more people on the street. Like I said earlier, it isn't always easy to open your mouth, but I am starting to realize how important it is. At a lesson yesterday, our ward mission leader made a comment to the couple that we were teach that "Heavenly Father promised you that he would give you an opportunity to hear the gospel". That really stuck with me. I know that if I don't open my mouth, I am not allowing others to get their chance. So it is definitely a goal of mine going forward to talk to everyone. We had splits on Wednesday with the Zone Leaders, and Elder Sawada who I was with was awesome at that. I know that over time, if I put my trust and faith in the Savior, it will become more comfortable. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Talk to People!

Madras is cool. It is definitely different though. There are only about 6500 people so it has a really small town feel. Our area is super huge though.  The members are really cool. We have been fed almost every night that I have been here so far, so that has been awesome. The biggest issues in Madras are drugs and homelessness. It is kind of sad to see how much those two things have played a role in the way that the town is. But we have been super busy! This week, we met a guy who was playing basketball at the park. We had about 10 minutes until dinner at a members so we decided to walk over to the park for a few minutes to try and contact some people. We saw him shooting by himself so we started to talk to him and invited him to church on Sunday. We didn't really expect him to show up to church, but sure enough, he was there! He is a college age kid so it was really cool to have him there. The members in the ward play basketball at the church every Thursday night so he is probably going to go do that this week. We are meeting with him tomorrow, which will be awesome. 

We are also working with a couple that is going to be married on the 6th of October and baptized on the 8th. They have been working with the missionaries since before I was here and have been on-date to be baptized for a while, so we have been working towards that and are excited to see that. We have a really cool appointment with them yesterday! Our ward mission leader Brother Robinson, who is pretty new to the ward as well, came with us. He is really cool. He and his wife just finished serving a mission in Chicago, so he is very active in helping us. He is in contact with us almost every day and helps out whenever we need him. He has an extremely strong testimony and is really powerful when speaking. Last night we talked about prayer and how essential it is for them to pray every day before they are baptized and also talked about faith. It was a really cool lesson. 

This past week we went to Newberg for a mission conference. Elder Schwizer of the 70 was there. It was a really cool experience. He talked a lot about being yourself and relating to people. For p-day today, we went rock (thunderegg) hunting with Brother Robinson and his son. . He made a cool analogy to these eggs that on the outside they don't look great, but on the inside they look really amazing. There are a lot of people out here who don't necessarily look like they may be ready to hear the gospel, but on the inside they are prepared and ready. Here in Madras, I know that that can definitely be the case. President Tateoka and Sister Tateoka talk a lot about opening your mouth to everyone, so I know that that is the only way that some of these people are going to be found. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

First Week in Madras, Oregon

This week has been crazy. Leaving the MTC was a lot harder to do than I would have imagined. As a district, we became really close, so leaving was tough! But I am excited to be here. Our first day here was pretty long. We got to the airport and then took a 2 hour drive to the beach to see the 4th largest "haystack" rock in the world out in the ocean. They talked about how Christ is our rock and how if we rely on him with faith then we will be able to withstand anything that Satan throws our way. We also "buried our fears" in the sand, which was a very cool experience. 

The next day I got my companion. Elder Halaeua. He is Tongan and is from Murray Utah. He is a really cool guy. Very fun loving and outgoing. I am serving in a tiny town called Madras. It is about 4 hours from the mission home. There are only about 6000 people out here! But it is cool to be in a smaller area. We have been really busy. And we have had some awesome experiences that have come from listening to the Spirit. 

On Friday, we had a little bit of extra time to spare so we said a prayer to know where to go. After praying, we felt prompted to walk down a certain street. We made a couple of street contacts but with no luck. As we were walking back to our car though, we found a guy in his front yard who wanted to learn more. As we were teaching him, a random guy on his bike pulled up and said, "I have read that book cover to cover. I know its true! I have been looking for you guys in the white shirts for 6 years!" That experience was such a testimony builder that Heavenly Father listens to us and guides us through the Holy Ghost! 

I am really excited to be serving out here in Madras. We are teaching some people and have been making contact with a bunch of others. . 

Elder Halaeua and Elder Klima

Friday, September 9, 2016

Arrival in Oregon!

The new Oregon Salem Mission missionaries arrived on Wednesday morning.  The mission president and his wife, President and Sister Tateoka, took them to the Portland Temple. We can hardly wait till Monday to hear all about it!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Special Experiences at the MTC

This past week flew by. It literally feels like I was emailing just yesterday! The days seem so long, but then all of the sudden you look at what day it is and it has been a week. It is pretty crazy. This week was good though. On Saturday, we were able to finally get our TRC investigator to pray for the first time in a very long time. We met with him 4 times and each time all we really talked about was prayer and its importance and how he can receive answers for himself, even if he had bad experiences in the past. It was really cool when we got him to pray on our last visit with him before we left. It was probably the strongest that I have felt the Spirit since being here, which was a really sweet experience. He was a really good guy, so it kind of stunk that we weren't able to teach him any more after that visit. 

On our Tuesday night devotional, Elder Maynes of the Seventy came and talked with his wife. It was a really good talk! He talked about the Restoration and about Joseph Smith. He mentioned how Joseph Smith the man could not have done the things that Joseph Smith the prophet was able to do, and that is all because of the power that God gave him to accomplish the work. In his talk he also mentioned how, as missionaries, we need to be "sweetly bold" when talking to people and that we need to talk to every single person that we can. He spoke a lot about the worth of 1 soul and how important it is that we don't miss out on opportunities to let that 1 soul who is ready to accept the gospel to miss out on all of the blessings that we receive from accepting Christ as our Savior through baptism. It was a really good talk. 

We went to the temple this morning and it was really awesome. It was really good to be able to take that break from everything and enjoy the Spirit that was in the room. By the way, I forgot to tell you that I was able to give a blessing on like my fourth day at the MTC, which was a cool experience as well.