Monday, September 25, 2017

Meeting Goals

Things here are really busy, but it has been a really good week. It was sad to say goodbye to Elder Bills. He was great. He will be finishing his mission down in Salem, because he goes home in December. It is fun to have Elder Patterson up here with us though! Neither of us were expecting that to happen, so it was a pleasant surprise. This week it seemed like I didn't get to see Elder Oswald at all. It was transfer week, so there was a lot of stuff happening with new missionaries coming in, having the trainers meeting, and having a couple of other meetings. There is a lot of stuff that is going on in our mission right now and a lot of cool things happening soon. The Lord is really hastening His work out here. It is fun to be a part of it all. 

We did have some really cool miracles happen. Yesterday, we were able to teach the children of a part-member family. It was cool to see how the father of this family found his way back to activity because he wanted the best for his kids. He wanted them to be able to enjoy the companionship of the Holy Ghost and have clear direction in their life. So the kids have been coming to church with him for a few years, and finally the mother gave permission for the kids to be baptized! We had our first lesson with them this week and look forward to helping them progress towards baptism in October. 

We had another cool lesson yesterday. We met with a guy who, at first, didn't seem very interested. He has sort of been avoiding us for the past couple of weeks. We finally saw him yesterday and had a really good lesson. He had read from the Book of Mormon and the pamphlet that we gave him! He had a lot of really good questions and seems to be honestly seeking for the truth. He just wants what is best for his family. We spent a lot of time trying to stress how the Gospel of Jesus Christ blesses his family. We talked about the importance of having a modern-day prophet who receives revelation to guide us and keep us on the straight and narrow path. We are excited for him. 

We also saw the importance of goal-setting and how the Lord can help us with our righteous desires. At the beginning of the month, we set some pretty lofty goals that we truly felt would make us stretch. At the beginning of last week, it looked like some of those goals were not going to be able to happen. But throughout the week, the Lord really blessed us and last night we looked at our goals and we hit each one on the dot! That was really cool and was definitely a testimony builder to me. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Another Great Week in Newberg!

The week here went really well. It flew by. I don't know what happened to it. On Monday, we went on a temple trip to the Portland Visitor's Center with Yana and our Ward Mission Leader and his wife. Yana really enjoyed the temple and learning more about the Book of Mormon. She committed to start reading it in English, even though that is harder for her. We sent her records over to the missionaries in the Netherlands, so they should be there waiting for her with a Bulgarian Book of Mormon when she gets back over there! It is pretty cool to see how the Gospel is truly being spread to all of the world. We are excited to keep in touch with Yana and see her progress from afar. 
Tuesday was Sister Francis' Baptism! That was really good! She is going to help a lot of people come into the Gospel. She has a light about her and she really treasures what she has been learning. The adversary was attacking her a lot this week with a bunch of stuff between her baptism and her confirmation on Sunday. But the confirmation yesterday was awesome! I am really grateful to have the opportunity to help in the small ways that we did. Elder Oswald and I feel like we didn't do anything to teach her, she was just prepared. 

We had some other miracles happen this week. We were able to find a ton of new investigators. It felt like the Lord was just putting them in our lap, even when we were having a rough day or things just seemed to be off. We also had an awesome lesson with Brandi and Jennifer. We talked about the Plan of Salvation and really focused on Our Life on Earth. We talked a lot about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how that is the plan for us to find success in this life and eternal life. We focused on the importance of being baptized by proper authority. Brandi was hesitant because she doesn't want to give her mistakes to Christ and make Him suffer for it. So we tried to help her understand that He already did suffer for us. We just have to have faith, repent, and be baptized to allow Him to take it from us. At the end of the lesson we invited them both to be baptized and they both said yes! We were really excited about that! One of the things that the mission is trying to work on is inviting people to make commitments by teaching the doctrine and promised blessings from the scriptures. So it has been really cool to see the progression of those that we are teaching as we apply that principle. There are so many good scriptures in the Book of Mormon and Bible that teach the doctrine and promised blessings of the commandments that Heavenly Father has asked us to keep. 

After that lesson with Brandi and Jennifer, Elder Bills and I got together to make transfer calls! It was my first time doing that. It was fun. For transfer news, Elder Bills is leaving.. He has 2 more transfers left, so he is being transferred to the Creekside ward in Salem. I am going to miss him a lot! He is one of the most humble people I have ever met. He is a really good example. And he taught me everything that goes with this assignment! The new Assistant that will be up here with me is Elder Patterson from Salem 1st! It is pretty cool to be able to be back with him! He is going to finish training Elder Greenwood and I am going to finish training Elder Oswald, but it will be fun to be living with him again and be his part-time companion for this transfer. This next week will be really busy. There aren't any departing missionaries since they all left a month ago, so that will take some of the craziness out of the week. I am definitely a little nervous with Elder Bills leaving though. I am trying to make sure I know everything that I am supposed to do so that everything goes smoothly. It will be fun though. 

I had an opportunity to talk yesterday in Sacrament. I talked about conversion. It went well I think. I was pretty nervous for it, but after I got up there the Spirit really just guided what I said, so that was awesome. I am grateful for the gift of the Spirit to help us out. By the way, you can tell Gramps that I have shared his basketball story in a lot of the talks I have given in Sacrament out here and it is always appreciated..

Monday, September 11, 2017

Many Tender Mercies

Things out here have been going pretty well! There have been a couple of really smokey days because all of the fires, but the past couple of days haven't been too bad. A couple of weeks ago when we were coming back from the zone conference in Bend, Elder Bills and I got stuck on the highway for 45 minutes because of the fires. It is pretty crazy the way things have been out here. Zone Conferences were really good. We are officially done with them for the transfer. Elder Bills and I talked about "How to Begin Teaching" from Preach My Gospel chapter 10. It went well. 

Overall things are going well with our area. The people that we have been finding are starting to progress and keep commitments, which is awesome. The week was full of tender mercies. Our Saturday was pretty good. I will try to explain the story of our crazy Saturday. Firstly, we had a lesson with a lady that we met at 840 at night earlier in the week. It was really dark and kind of an awkward encounter, but she said that she would meet us at the church on Saturday for a lesson. Unfortunately a lot of times in missionary work people don't show up for their lessons. Because of the weirdness of the way we met her, we weren't totally sure if she'd be there. 1130 rolled around and she was there! That was the first tender mercy of the day. We did a church tour and then had a quick lesson. She committed herself to read the Book of Mormon before we even could. She was telling herself that she wasn't interested, but I think she was more than she realized. That lesson was over at noon. Here is where the dilemma started to kick in. At 1230, we had a planned lesson with Camille. We had to finish teaching Camille all of the principles before her baptism, which is tomorrow, so it was a really big lesson to have. We also had a lesson planned with Brother Chuck, a man we met a few weeks ago who doesn't currently have a stable living condition so sometimes it is hard to meet him. After our lesson with Angela, we saw that we missed a call from Brother Chuck, so we called him. He answered the phone and said "I'm on my bike on my way, can't talk, see you soon" and hung up. It was 12 so we were really confused because our lesson was for 130. We decided that we would call Camille and see if we could push the lesson up to 1215, but it didn't work out because she wanted to go pick us up lunch, so she wanted to see if we could do 1 oclock. So, we felt like we should go wait for Brother Chuck by the tree we meet him at. We got there and waited for a few minutes. He didn't show up. We felt prompted to go and try and contact a lady a few streets away named Teresa. Our thought was we would go contact her, then on the way driving to Camille's drive by the tree to see if Brother Chuck showed up early. When we went to Teresa's, rather than parking in the trailer park, Jaden (the member who was driving us) parked on the street. Once we parked, we saw a bike in front of a car and a man in the car. We walked over to go talk to him and... it was Brother Chuck! It was crazy to see how Heavenly Father knew we were kind of in a mess and had a lot to get done, so He took us straight to Chuck. It was amazing. We shared a Mormon Message "Our True Identity" with him and he started to cry. He was definitely feeling the Spirit. It was really cool. After talking to Brother Chuck, we still had a few minutes before Camille's and we were able to find a new investigator in that time. 

Later on Saturday, we were walking in the evening in the rain (First time it had rained in a while). And a white car pulls up and a girl hops out and runs over to us and starts asking us a bunch of questions about the church. She is from Bulgaria and was in Oregon for the summer for an internship. We talked to her for a while about the church and the Book of Mormon and stuff. We found out that she goes back to the Netherlands on Wednesday. We also found out that she had seen the Oregon Temple but had never visited it. So we set up a Visitor's Center trip for tonight! 

This week will be really good. Another busy one too. We have Camille's baptism tomorrow night. We also have transfers this week, so we are going to have to do some stuff for that. It should be another busy one. 

Monday, September 4, 2017

Loving Newberg

The week was really good. It was insanely busy, but it was really fun. It's crazy to me that we were in Bend a week ago. It felt like so much longer than that. It was really good to be able to go over there for Zone Conference. On the drive over, Elder Bills and I were trying to prepare a role play that we had to do as part of the meeting. We were role playing how to extend the invitation of inviting someone to church using scriptures to teach the doctrine and promised blessings of church attendance. We were really struggling with how we wanted to do it. For some reason it just didn't feel right. We eventually felt like we needed to change the invitation to baptism. After we made that determination, the role play came much quicker. We were able to find doctrine in the scriptures and promised blessings in the scriptures that supported exactly what we wanted to do. The next day, as we were in the meeting, we realized that we were assigned to role play the invitation to be baptized! It was a pretty huge tender mercy that the Spirit helped guide us to the correct invitation as we were practicing on the car ride over. 

Bend was really smokey! There are a lot of fires over there right now, so the air was thick with smoke. It was fun to be on that side of the mountains again though. It reminds me so much of Northern Arizona! After Zone Conference, we went on an exchange until the next morning. I stayed in Bend with Elder Donaldson (he went to Mountain View) and his trainee Elder Rasmussen. It was a lot of fun. They are great missionaries. It is really cool to see how prepared the missionaries that are coming out into the field are. 

Thursday was MLC! It was a busy day, but a lot of fun. Friday was another Zone Conference. This was for our zone and the neighboring zone. It went really well too! Toward the end of the meeting, President started talking a bunch about goals. It was totally by the Spirit and it was really cool to be able to hear and listen to. The Zone Conferences have been mainly about teaching skills. President and Sister Tateoka are training about using the scriptures to teach the doctrine and promised blessings of the invitations that we extend to people. Elder Packer said that true doctrine, understood correctly, will change behavior quicker than a study of behavior can change behavior. I think it is really cool and it has been awesome to learn about. Elder Bills and I have been training on how to begin teaching. It has gone well too. We have two more zone conferences this week. It should be fun. 

The weekend was really good. Elder Oswald and I have been seeing a lot of miracles. On Saturday, we had a couple lessons planned that evening. We prepared a really solid lesson plan for this group of teenagers. It was mainly about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how He can strengthen us through our trials. As we were walking to that lesson at the park, we saw a girl on her phone. We felt prompted to give her a picture of Christ and ask, "when can we come back to talk?" She said, surprisingly, in an hour! So we proceeded to the park. The kids that we prepared that lesson for were not there. But as we went back and had that lesson with that girl, we realized that the lesson that we prepared for the other kids, was in reality made for River! It had exactly everything she needed to hear. She saw us showing up to see her as a sign that God was reaching out to her. We are going back tonight to teach the Restoration.

We also met a guy, Brother Chuck, who is an interesting fellow. He is a funny guy but seems like he wants to change. He said that he would prepare to be baptized in August, so we are excited to try and work toward that with him. The work is going well here. We are finding a lot of people. Heavenly Father is blessing us with people to teach. It has been a struggle to help these people actually progress. But we found a bunch of new investigators this week and are excited about all of them. Things are starting to pick up! One thing that has been helping us is we are making a really concerted effort to treasure up the word throughout the day. We are picking one principle from the lessons, such as God is Our Loving Heavenly Father, and keeping all of our conversation focused on that throughout the day and trying to practice teaching the principle very simply. It has helped both of us a lot. I am having a blast here in Newberg! I am hoping that Elder Oswald and I will stay together to finish his training next transfer! 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Really Good Busy Week!

The week here was really good. Really busy. Tuesday was busy with the departing missionaries going to the temple. Then we had to plan for the next few weeks worth of things to come. It is going to be an extremely busy 3 weeks. Wednesday we were able to take the missionaries to the airport! We also had two missionaries coming in, so we picked them up and took them back to the mission home. That afternoon was a new missionary training for these two missionaries and their trainers. It went well. Then on Thursday we went on exchanges with the Elders in Forest Grove. It has been crazy how busy things have been. But Heavenly Father has truly helped us out in getting done all that we have needed to get done. The craziest part of all of this is that Elder Oswald and Elder Greenwood are with each other just as much, if not more, than with us! So they are pretty much training themselves with the help of the Spirit. They are awesome though! They are doing great and are doing better every day. It is fun to see. 

We had an cool experience this week. Last week, we were in a mobile home park and were leaving it. A lady was at her mailbox in her car. Elder Oswald gave her a picture of Christ through the two inches that were open on her window, and then we all left. This week, when we were on exchange, Elder Smith and I were back in the same complex area to see someone else. As we left the guys house, I saw the same lady! At first the natural man said, "we already tried talking to her, no need to try again." But the Spirit impressed that we needed to talk to her again. So we did. She turned out to be really accepting! We gave her a Book of Mormon and then yesterday we texted her to see if she has had a chance to read it and she read what we invited her to read! She was really cool and we are going to go back and meet with her again on Thursday. 

This upcoming week is going to be a busy one. Elder Bills and I take off for Bend this evening around 6. It will be cool to make that drive over the mountains, just like the days in Madras. And I will be able to drive through Stayton on the way which is cool! So we have Zone Conference in Bend tomorrow, MLC on Thursday, and then a Zone Conference in Forest Grove on Friday. It will be fun. I am truly amazed at President and Sister Tateoka. I don't understand how they have the strength, time, sanity to do what they do! Their calling is so crazy! I'm grateful for the chance to be around them. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Solar Eclipse in Newberg

The eclipse was pretty crazy. We watched it with President. It was fun! Newberg wasn't in full totality. It was at about 99%. But it was still really cool! It got dark for a minute. Here in Newberg it wasn't crazy. Places like Madras and Salem were pretty crazy I'm sure. 

The week was good. It was really fun having all 6 of us here. It was fun spending time with Elder Price! He is fun. It was good being with Elder Woody and Price this week before they go! They were both really focused, so that was good. It's going to start getting extremely busy here this week. Tomorrow we are taking the departing missionaries to the temple. Then on Wednesday we are taking them to the airport and picking up a couple of missionaries coming in. So it'll be a full week and then we are going to start having Zone conferences and stuff here coming up soon. 

We have been doing a lot of finding. A lot of talking to people. We have seen some success. Elder Woody is great at street contacting people and so we have learned a lot from him. Elder Oswald is awesome too. He is very willing to learn for a new missionary. He is so humble! We had a returned missionary speak at church yesterday, so that was good. The Spirit taught me that I need to really focus on learning of the Savior and that's what will bring peace. I know that that is true for all of us. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Busy Week in Newberg

The past week has been insanely busy. But has been really fun. It was great to be able to see the departing missionaries and how far they have all come. To see the contrast between the departing missionaries we take to the airport and the new ones we pick up is pretty funny. It is cool to see how much they have learned and grown. We picked up a ton of new missionaries too. There were 31 of them. Next week, because of school, the September transfer is getting pushed up to go home on the 23rd, so we will have the opportunity to take them home as well. There are 17 of them, and then in September, 28 will come out.

The week has been super busy with a lot of stuff to get done and take care of, but it has also been extremely fun. Currently, There are five of us in the apartment. We have two trainees, elder Oswald and Elder Greenwood. And then Elder Bills and I. And then Elder Woody, who has been an assistant for a few transfers and is going home with the transfer next week! Elder Woody, Oswald, and I are companions and then Elder Bills is with Elder Greenwood. Whenever we have to do stuff for President, Elder Bills and I go off and do it and the rest stay together. It has been a blast though in our little tricompanionship. Elder Woody is awesome. I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve with him, even for just these two weeks. I have learned a ton from him already and will be really sad to see him leave. We are having a really good time talking to everyone and enjoying each other's presence! And Elder Oswald is awesome! He's already a really good missionary and will continue to grow.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Getting Transferred

Hey! So we did get transfer calls on Saturday evening. Elder Patterson is going to be staying here in Salem 1st and I am going to be going over to Newberg. This transfer is going to be pretty crazy. We have 31 missionaries coming in on Wednesday and 28 going home. And then the September transfer, because of schooling reasons, is going home on August 22nd, so we have 16 more missionaries leaving that date. But then in September, we have 28 more coming out. So there is a lot of stuff going on. There are a lot of trainers. Elder Patterson and his new zone leader companion will both be getting trainees, so there will be four missionaries in this ward and all living together. For me, I will be going up to be with Elder Woody and Bills. Elder Woody goes home on the 22nd though. Elder Bills and Woody will both be training and then I will take over training when 
Elder Woody goes home. There is a lot of stuff going on. It is going to be an extremely busy time. This week was super busy. But it was good. We had MLC on Wednesday. That was really good. We learned about the importance of helping the people we are teaching understand the doctrine that will help them have a desire to act. We also talked about the importance of using the scriptures to show the promised blessings that the Lord has given us. It was a good MLC! We also had exchanges with Jan Ree on Tuesday. That was fun. I was with Elder McElreath. He is a new missionary from Georgia. He is a really good missionary! He has been out for six weeks now, but he is awesome. It was fun being with him. (His new companion will actually be Elder Lambert from AZ). Other than that, we had a lot of stuff happen, but today is going to be super busy so I don't have a ton of time to write. Gotta get ready for the move. There is a lot of stuff being talked about with this big eclipse happening on the 21st. People are going to be coming into the state from all over, so we are having to prepare for that as well. Crazyness.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Baptisms went great!

The week here was good. The baptisms went great! Jeff and Audrey were both extremely excited to be able to take that step and be baptized. I was blessed to have the opportunity to baptize Audrey, and confirm Jeff on Sunday. It is amazing to think of how far they came in just a couple of short months. Their example is a great one to me of how the Lord is preparing people to hear the Gospel and how He will guide them to the truth. For Jeff, it all started with a simple prayer and it led to him and his wife both being baptized. The Baptismal service was great! President and Sister Tateoka were both there and our Ward Mission Leader asked  

President if he would like to bear his testimony at the conclusion of the service. That was really cool. It was a really powerful testimony. The Spirit definitely testified to me, as I know it did to everyone in that room, that this is Christ's restored church once again on the earth.

After the baptism on Sunday, we took some pictures with Jeff. He has had this idea in his mind of taking these pictures next to his motorcycle with us in cowboy hats. It was pretty funny! But they turned out awesome. So that was fun! The confirmations on Sunday were very cool as well. Both Jeff and Audrey were feeling the Spirit a ton. They were extremely happy and at total peace with everything, which was really cool to see. 

The rest of the week was good. We met up with a girl named Chantelle that we originally met a couple of weeks ago. It was cool because the Lord's hand was really in the opportunity that we had to talk to her. We originally planned to go over about 3 oclock, but because of some things that happened throughout the day, we decided to go over around 2. It was a blessing because when we got there she told us that she had somewhere to be around 3, so we were able to talk with her for a little bit. She invited us to come back the next couple of days as well, so that was awesome! Overall, it was a good week. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Roller Coaster Week

The week here was another roller coaster. We had some really good moments and some challenging ones as well. We talked to some really hard-hearted people this week, which was a bummer. On Wednesday, we had Zone Conference. That was good, as usual. I really felt renewed by the Spirit there. The biggest takeaway that came to me through the Spirit was that we need to have patience through our afflictions. We talked a lot about finding and about developing the faith to find, so it was good. I think that a lot of missionaries are going to begin to find more people because of the theme of the conference!

Jeff and Audrey are getting closer to their baptism, so we are really excited about that! It was Jeff's birthday on Saturday, so we were able to go over and talk with them. A couple in our ward who was baptized just over a year ago, and who have been great fellowshippers for Jeff and Audrey, got sealed in the temple that day! It has been cool to see them and how far they have progressed in the gospel and it gives us a look at what Jeff and Audrey will be going through in a year! 

We also talked to a man who we met last week. When we talked to him last week he didn't necessarily seem too interested, but when we dropped by his home this week he let us in and we talked for a bit. We are hoping that he will act on the invitation that we left him with so that he can begin to gain a testimony for himself! 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Witnessing the Spirit Working

The week here was good. It went by really quickly. I honestly can't remember a lot that happened! We went on exchanges with the Spanish Elders in Woodburn, so I was up there for the day. That was fun. Jeff and Audrey are doing great and are all set for their baptism on the 29th! We are really excited for that. Just like Nicole in Stayton, they have been being prepared for a while by Heavenly Father. We were just blessed to be able to be the ones that could help them find the Gospel. The day that we met Jeff, my first day in the area about 2 months ago, he was outside working on his motorcycle. He told us this week of the experience that he had in buying the motorcycle. Basically the previous owner had recently passed. Jeff didn't plan on buying another bike, but as he was on the phone with the representative, he had the overwhelming thought and feeling that the previous owner wanted him to have the bike. So he bought it. Three days later he was outside working on it when we met him! We have no doubt that it was the Spirit impressing on his mind to buy the motorcycle so that he would have that opportunity to meet us! That was really cool to hear! 

We talked to a lot people this week. We are working on trying to contact 10 additional people outside of the plans we make each day. It is helping us a lot. We had a cool experience with a man named Doug. He lives in a van on the property of a friend. We knocked on the van and thought we heard something, but nothing happened. Then we knocked again. It didn't look too promising so we started walking to the gate, but the Spirit gave me the thought to look on the other side. It was a little weird, but decided to do it and we were able to find him. Just another small thing, but definitely another witness of the Spirit working! 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Miracles and Tender Mercies

The week here was pretty good. Overall I think a lot of progression was made. Fourth of July was good. We had a ward breakfast combined with the other ward that meets in the building, so that was fun. We had to be in by 6 that night so we didn't see too many fireworks. We saw some outside of our window that some people near our complex were lighting off so that was fun. Wednesday was really good. We had MLC up in Newberg and that went really well. We talked about a lot of different things that we want to implement as a mission. President and Sister Tateoka have been out for just over a year and it is awesome to see how much the mission has changed since their arrival. And how much it continues to change. There is a really clear focus and purpose and everything they do continues to build on itself. The mission as a whole is definitely being set up to see a lot of miracles. 

One of the things that President is encouraging us to do is to make contact with 10 extra people who are not on our plans each day. Making real contact and talking about the gospel with them. It was cool because right after MLC we exchanged with the Silverton elders and Elder Hunziker came to be with me in our ward. One of the things that we focused on that next day was trying to make these 10 additional contacts. It was really cool to see all of the miracles that happened as we went out of our way to try and make that happen. We found a few people that we are going to return and see. And the day was full of a lot more energy too, which was cool. 

We were able to have interviews with President Saturday, which was awesome. He shared a scripture with me and it was really good. It really set the tone for the rest of my day and my weekend. I think the advice he gave me will really help moving forward. We saw a lot of cool tender mercies today as well. We had an awesome lesson with Jeff and Audrey. They are doing so well! They are totally in line to be baptized at the end of the month, which we are extremely excited about. They are going to be a huge addition to the ward. A year from now when they are going through the temple will be so cool. After our lesson with them, we had someone in the area that we wanted to go contact. We felt prompted to walk instead of drive. On our way to their house, we saw a lady behind her trash can watering some flowers. We went up and started talking to her. She wasn't interested at all at first. Her husband peeked his head around the corner and then came up to talk to us. He was much more willing to talk. We had a great conversation with him. Eventually she came back out and was much more willing to listen. They are both part of a very unique religion, so their beliefs weren't totally in line with ours. But it was cool because the Spirit led the conversation to talk about the after-life. Elder Patterson felt prompted to share a scripture in Alma 40:11-12 about what happens after this life. As she read it, she started to cry! It was really cool to see the Spirit testify to her in the moment! That was an awesome experience and it really shows the Hand of the Lord in the work. He prompted us to walk. We were able to see her at the perfect time as she was outside. The husband came out at the perfect time when the wife was sort of done in the first place. The Spirit prompted Elder Patterson to share that scripture. It is just so cool to see all of the intricacies that the Lord helps to direct in His work. 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Another Great Trip to the Temple

Things here this week were good! The week was kind of a blur though. I don't really know where it went. We had a few cool experiences this week. On Friday, we were able to go up to the Visitor's Center at the temple again. This time it was with Kyle and Aerial. We have been teaching them and they are doing good. They really enjoyed the temple trip and felt the Spirit there. The temple is an awesome place to be able to put life into perspective and help us regain an idea of what really matters most. It helped me a lot on Friday for sure! One of the coolest takeaways that I had from that trip though was the Christlike service of Brother Garrett, who drove us. He is great. He took the time to go out of his way to drive us the 45 minutes up there, spend and hour there and then drive us back. We hit a ton of traffic on the way back and it took about an hour and a half, but he never complained or murmured. It is cool to see people who are dedicated to the gospel and are willing to help others receive the gospel into their lives.

There is a Christus statue at the Portland Visitors Center and one of my favorite parts is when He says, "Walk in the meekness of my Spirit." When we do that, we allow His peace to enter our lives. His power comes as we are obedient and acknowledging it. It is definitely always important to do your best to act like Him and try and follow in His ways. One way is by being joyful. Sometimes I get so caught up in myself that I forget to just take a moment to pause and think about how we are here to have joy and if we are doing our best then that is all that matters. It is really amazing to me to see the different challenges that you face in different areas. Some are with missionary stuff, some are with ward stuff, and some are just within yourself. The adversary really will try and attack us in whatever way he can to try and get us down, so we need to remember to be happy and choose Christ. I came across a cool scripture this week about that. It is in Doctrine and Covenants 93:37 and is very simple. It says, "Light and truth forsake that evil one." I really like that! Christ is the light of the world, He is truth. When we are down, we need to look to Him and remember to put light into our lives because it will forsake that evil one. 
We also had a cool experience this week with Jeff and Audrey. Their family was in town, so we dropped by to meet them and talk with them, so that was fun. As we were heading out, Jeff basically started bearing his testimony to his son about everything that he has felt since he started looking into the gospel. It was really powerful and an awesome thing to see! Oh,  and Audrey made us Jalapeno jam. It isn't hot, just sweet, but definitely has the jalapeno flavor. It's good! 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Awesome Trip to the Portland Temple

The week here was good. It was extremely busy! We had two exchanges. On Tuesday we went with Elder Christensen and Elder Evans. I was with Elder Christensen for the first time since our exchanges in Madras when he was my Zone leader out there! It was a fun day. We had some crazy experiences. But overall it was a really good day. I got to do a baptismal Interview that day as well for a 19 year old guy named Remington and that was really cool! He had a really strong testimony so that was awesome to be able to see. The other exchange that we went on was with the Assistants on Friday. I went up to Newberg to be with Elder Woody. It was a really good time. He is a really good missionary and I definitely learned a lot from him. It was a day I won't forget! Definitely helped me out in a lot of ways, so I was super appreciative to be able to go on that exchange.

Saturday was a really busy day as well. We had a temple visit with Jeff and Audrey! Brother and Sister Angell, who were baptized just over a year ago, took us up there. It was a very good temple trip. The Spirit was extremely strong there. I was grateful to be able to be on temple grounds for a couple of hours. It was an awesome experience for Jeff and Audrey as well. They really really enjoyed it and are steadily progressing towards baptism sometime next month. Saturday evening we got transfer calls. Elder Patterson and I are both staying here, which we expected. We think we are going to be here a while. There are about 15 missionaries going home this transfer, and then another 40+ in August, so next transfer is going to be a crazy one! There are a lot of missionaries coming in as well. Like 30. We are hoping that we might be able to train next transfer and split the area, but we will see! 

Today I was studying about the Book of Mormon and what happens when we prayerfully study it.
Here's my notes of the 
Promised blessings that come from prayerful study of the Book of Mormon:
  1. The Spirit of the Lord will come into your hearts - Pres. Hinckley
  2. Strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to God's commandments - Pres. Hinckley
  3. Stronger testimony of the Living Reality of the Son of God - Pres. Hinckley
  4. Be in a position to hear the voice of the Spirit - Pres. Monson
  5. Be in a position to resist temptation - Pres. Monson
  6. Be in a position to overcome doubt and fear - Pres. Monson
  7. Be in a position to receive heavens help in our lives - Pres. Monson

Monday, June 19, 2017

Motivated to Proclaim the Truth

Dr. Bean, he is the one I saw Friday and is a member, said that I actually did have shingles. He was really surprised that the doctor didn't originally prescribe me medicine and was surprised that the dosage they gave me was the way it was. So he upped my dosage and said I should be all better soon. I have definitely been blessed because the shingles really hasn't hampered me at all besides that one day. I am definitely doing better. I have really been supported in this trial, it is really cool to think about when I take a step back and think about how the Lord has blessed me with strength and an ability to press forward during the sickness that I have faced. I am definitely blessed. 

Things are going well over here. It is always hard on Monday to remember what happened throughout the week. I need to start bringing my journal or something to give me a reminder. We were on exchanges on Tuesday and I was serving in the Spanish ward for the day, so that was fun. It was good to be able to eat some good Mexican food because there is not a lot of that stuff up here! It is a rare commodity. 

On Thursday we had interviews with President. Those are always good. It has been really cool to watch the way that President is finding his groove per se. He has a vision for the mission and that vision has started to filter it's way down to all the missionaries and it has been cool to see the miracles that are ensuing and the way that the mission is changing in a great way. From talking with him, it sort of sounded like I will be here for a while. We have transfer calls Saturday, so we will find out if anything happens. We don't think anything will. 

We also had a really good lesson with Jeff and Audrey. They are both doing really good! It is amazing how prepared they were to receive the Gospel. Every time we talk to them we get excited because of how excited they are. It is something that I want to try and capture and take with me every day because it is pretty motivating. They are still on track to be baptized and this weekend we are actually going to go up to the Visitor's Center with them, so we are excited for that!

The biggest lesson that I learned this week came yesterday. We were talking to Kyle, one of our friends that we are teaching, at the gas station that he works at. He is a gas attendant and fills the cars with gas. He had some really cool questions about the Plan of Salvation, specifically the adversary and his followers. It was very interesting, because every time we started to get a good conversation going, another car would pull up to stop it. We knew that that was the opposition trying to stop him from being able to learn. Then once we finally had a few minutes free and had a really good conversation going, one of his supervisors pulled up and told us that we had to leave and couldn't hang out by the pumps anymore because Kyle had to work. We have been teaching and talking with Kyle at the pumps for over a month and nothing had been said until that point. And there were no cars around either so we weren't keeping him from doing anything! But we know that that was inspired of the adversary to keep Kyle from learning and growing closer to Christ. That was probably the most blatant I have seen the adversary work to try and stop someone from learning on my entire mission. It was really annoying! But motivating at the same time to realize that the adversary doesn't want anyone to find happiness, but we have the opportunity to proclaim the truth and help others find it. 

Other than that, things are going well. This week should be interesting. It is going to fly. We have exchanges tomorrow with the Jan Ree elders. It'll be fun, I will be on exchange with Elder Christensen for the first time since Madras so that'll be sweet. Then on Friday we have exchanges with the Assistants. On Saturday we have the temple trip with Jeff and Audrey and also have transfer calls. Crazy busy week. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Super Cool Stuff!

Last week at the capital

On Exchanges with Elder Ludwig
Last Week at the Capital
The week here was good. We had exchanges on Tuesday with the Fairgrounds elders. I was in Fairgrounds with Elder Ludwig. I love going on exchanges because you can see all of the differences in the missionaries around you. Everyone is so different, but it is awesome to see their unique testimonies and the ways that they do missionary work. We had a couple of small, but cool spiritual experiences. I am coming to learn that you have to seek out and look to recognize spiritual experiences because they aren't always going to be so strong that they smack you in the face and you see them before your eyes. But as we look for the Hand of the Lord in our life more fully, the more we will see it. 

On Thursday, we had an awesome lesson with Jeff. His wife, Audrey, sat in on the lesson. It was her first time listening. We were teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ and at the end of the lesson Elder Patterson and I both felt prompted to invite her to be baptized on the same day as Jeff and she said yes! We were really excited about that! Jeff and Audrey are really amazing. They are a huge testimony builder to me of the power of the Savior and the light that He brings into our lives as we turn towards Him and His gospel. It has been awesome to watch. It is so cool because we met Jeff on my first day here. He was outside just working on his motorcycle and we just went over to talk to him and now they are doing amazing! Super cool stuff. 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Teaching, Exchanges, and Sunny Days

The week here was a good one. We had a bunch of sunny days. There were a couple of cloudy days back to back, which drove us crazy though! It is June! And both being from Arizona, we miss the sun. The cloudiness really does have an affect on your mind! It is crazy. But yeah, most of the week went well. Jeff, who we met my second day in the area, is doing great. We had a really good lesson with him on Thursday about the Plan of Salvation. He understood it all and really has a desire to continue learning. He really wants to go to the right church, the true church that Christ established when He was on the earth. Isn't it so cool that that is the exact message that we share?! Jeff came with us to a baptism on Saturday that a couple of the elders in our District had, and that was a good experience. Then on Sunday, he came to church and brought his wife!! That was so awesome! The crazy thing is that we had a meeting at the stake center prior at 8  AM, and we didn't get to church until 9:30! So we missed the first 30 minutes, but it was awesome because Jeff and his wife sat with the member that we brought to the lesson. That was cool to see.

Another cool little experience was when we were driving by the gas station yesterday that one of our friends works at and we saw him reading the Restoration pamphlet that we gave to him about an hour prior! That made our day. 

The adversary will do literally anything to pull us down. I see it SO much out here. Whether it is with the people we are teaching, random strangers on the street, or even within myself or other missionaries. The adversary never stops working and one of the ways that he works the hardest is he wants us to feel down on ourselves and give in. He wants us to question ourselves first and make us think bad things about ourselves, and eventually start to question our testimony of the Gospel, of Christ, and of Heavenly Father. Like it says in 2 Nephi 28:22 - ". . . and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell." That is what he tries to do to us. It's crazy how quickly beating yourself up can progress to questioning of testimony. But the amazing thing is that the Savior is always there, so long as we are willing to open our hearts and let him in. Amulek, in Alma 10 talks about how many times he was called, but would not hear. He knew of the Lord and His mysteries, but he would not know. The greatest thing about the gospel is that there is always hope, we just have to look in the right places. The Power of Jesus Christ to help us overcome trials is real and is readily available if we put the time in to reach up to Him. 

It was a very cool experience being able to talk with Elder Ardern one on one like that. I am definitely grateful for the experience. I feel like I must be super hard-headed and stubborn if Heavenly Father is going to allow me the opportunity to speak personally with both President Uchtdorf and Elder Ardern. But I am definitely grateful for both of those opportunities and know that as time continues to move on, I will be able to look back on both of them with appreciation to Heavenly Father for sending those two opportunities my way. 

We also went on exchanges this week. I stayed in the area with Elder Quinlan. It is cool to have the opportunity to go on all these exchanges and learn from other missionaries. I made some really good BBQ pork in the crockpot that lasted us for lunch for like 4 days! 

Monday, May 29, 2017

Great Mission Conference with Elder and Sister Ardern

The week here has been really good. It has seemed really long, yet really short at the same time. Especially having the mission Conference with Elder Ardern. There were two days of the conference and so half the mission was at each of the two days. The day that weattended, Tuesday, was at our Stake Center here in Keizer so Elder Patterson and I had to make sure everything was prepped and ready to go. The meeting went extremely well. Elder Ardern and his wife are both really amazing.  It was amazing to see how in tune with the Spirit they both were. They talked about a ton of different things, but it was cool because it was all by the Spirit. They talked a lot about how our first responsibility as missionaries, and I believe that is not just full-time missionaries but all members, is to prepare spiritually. It's important to obtain knowledge of the Savior and use the knowledge that we have as He would. He also talked about how Obedience Opens Opportunity. I really liked that. Because it is so true. I know that when I feel like I'm being as obedient as I can, I feel a light come into my life. It's something to always strive for. He also talked about really studying the scriptures and not turning until you learn. How we can learn something personal in every single page. Overall, there are so many notes and so many different things that I learned from that conference that I can't even come close to writing them all down. But it definitely helped me recognize that there are a ton of different things that I need to work on and
continue to try and improve. 

Other than that, things are going well out here. I've met a lot of the active members. There are only about 75-80 that come every week. We have found some more people to teach though. We actually found a guy, Jeff, my second day out here. He was just working on his motorcycle and we went up and talked to him and he has progressed a lot over the past couple of weeks. It has been cool to see how he has had some spiritual experiences and how he is coming to learn more and more of the gospel!

I heard about President Monson. It stinks that his health is 
declining in the way that it has been. But he is an awesome example of serving the Lord. I'm grateful to know that we have a prophet of God on the Earth and the direction that that provides us. And it's so cool
to see how the Lord has set up His church in such a way that it won't miss a beat. We are blessed to be a part of the Lords Kingdom established on the Earth again.

One thing that I studied about this week was in Alma 10. It's in 
verses 5 and 6 and it's Amulek talking about how he didn't pay attention and hearken to the Lord. He recognized that he had seen the hand of the Lord in his life, but didn't really give it the heed and consideration that it deserved. That's something I feel like we all need to pay attention to. It's important to do our best to recognize the hand of the Lord and then to act on what we see. It's something I'm really trying to work on personally.

Oh a member shined my shoes with a blowtorch, so that was pretty cool 


Monday, May 22, 2017

First Week in Keizer

We had MLC this morning, but we have the conference tomorrow so our pday is going to be short so I don't have a ton of time. First off I just wanted to let you know that the address I gave you wasn't totally correct because I didn't have the apartment number on it. The full address is: 3647 River Rd NE #102

But yeah our MLC was good this morning. Elder Ardern of the Quorum of the Seventy, and his wife, ran the training. It was really good. They talked about the principles of leadership. They talked about how the essence of leadership is teaching. They also talked about how every moment is a teaching moment. I'm really excited for the chance to hear more from him tomorrow during the Zone Conference we are having. It will be exciting! 

The week here was good. It was good to meet the ward. We have a really small ward. And a pretty old ward. We have about 500-600 on the records. But only about 75 actually come, so there is a lot of rescuing to be done. It will be good though. I'm excited! 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Happy Mother's Day and Getting Transferred

Yeah it was great to be able to see all of you yesterday! It looked like everyone was doing good. I can't believe I have already made half of my calls home. The next 7 months until the next call are going to be big for me in trying to forget myself and turn outward. 
Yeah it should be really interesting going into a new area with different responsibilities. I know it'll be good, but I'm a little nervous. Not as nervous as I was coming into Stayton at the time we did in the way we did, but still a little nervous. I am definitely going to miss the people of Stayton. The ward here was really really good. And I made a lot of really good friends. So I am definitely going to miss everyone here! But I am going to be going to an area that I am needed.  This week was good! I will probably keep it short because I am going to be super busy today. Oh and by the way, I think I have a meeting up in Newberg next Monday so there's a chance my pday will be Tuesday. 

But yeah, the week here was good. I think that we literally are half of the food supply here in Stayton. Sister Copeland from the 4 corners ward took us and the four corners elders (our district) out to lunch at a place in Sublimity. I got what they call the Rhino burger. It was huge! It was basically a huge loaf of bread with meat on it. It wasn't a burger!

 Later that day we dug a grave for a lady's dog. Then we had pizza for dinner and helped the activity days girls after that by judging their cupcake wars challenge. So much food!

We had some cool experiences. I definitely keep learning that we can't judge anyone, especially as missionaries. There was one guy that we saw, Richard, who was up on his porch outside smoking and we barely caught a glimpse of him, but of course we wanted to talk to him and he ended up being a really nice guy who was pretty interested. That was awesome. 

Brother Graham was out of town this week so we taught gospel principles at church. It went super well. The lesson was on The Atonement of Jesus Christ. I could feel the guidance of the Spirit helping us out and giving us confirmation of the reality of the Savior and what He did for us. 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Amazing Week - 4 Baptisms and a Birthday

Things are going well here. The baptism Saturday went really well! We had a really big turnout from the ward. We probably had 50-60 people there. And we got a call from President in the morning saying that he was going to come for it, so he and Sister Tateoka were there for it, which is always cool! But yeah overall, the baptism was awesome. There was a really strong Spirit there. It was just really cool to be able to see all of these sisters decide to follow the Savior and be baptized. It has been a really cool experience to watch the change that has taken place in the lives of them individually, but also in the lives of their families. Especially for Aishia, it has been awesome to see the change that has taken place in her life. We have been teaching her since Elder Pinkston and I came into the area and the light of Christ has really come into her life and countenance. 

We were able to do the confirmations yesterday and that went really well too. It was awesome to be able to feel and witness the Spirit present as we confirmed them members of the church. It is awesome to be able to be a part of this process and see first hand the change that the Gospel of Jesus Christ can bring into someone's life. It is motivating to me to always try and allow the Savior and His gospel to create a change in my heart. Since my birthday was Friday, I made a goal for this next year to experience the "mighty change of heart" that Alma talks about in the Book of Mormon. I know that I am already beginning to experience it, but my goal for the next year is to truly allow myself to feel it and to fully give my heart to the Savior. 

Other than the baptisms, we had a bunch of other cool stuff this week. We had Zone Conference on my birthday. It was really good. We talked about obedience and about following up with the people we teach and making daily contact with them. Elder Pinkston was at this Zone Conference and he brought me a Dairy Queen cake, so that was good. On Saturday morning, we had a breakfast with the Stake Presidency here in the Salem Stake for our Zone. It was really good as well. Our district sat at a table with President Cook here in the Stake Presidency and he gave us a lot of good advice about the future when looking for careers and stuff. Overall it was really fun. 

Monday, May 1, 2017

4 Baptisms Coming Up!

We have a really good ward. We had dinner with the Mitzels on Saturday and we thought it was just them, but it turned out to be the Mitzels, Burtons, and Saari's. They had a surprise birthday party for me.  It was super fun! We have a really good ward and I'm really lucky to be a part of the ward here. 

The baptisms are all set for Saturday. Aishia and the three Amida girls are all going to be getting baptized on that day at the same baptismal service. It should be really fun. We are expecting a lot of people to be here, so there is a chance we mug have to move it to the chapel. But it should be a really good baptism and we are really excited for all of them. The Gospel has really changed their lives, individually and as families. The Amida family is really coming closer and it's awesome to watch. The cool part is that we know that this is a blessing from Rose's son who is serving a mission in the Philippines. I can't imagine how excited he is to hear the news that his sisters are getting baptized! And for Aishia, she has come a long way over the 5 months that I have been here. She has changed her life in so many ways and the light that has filled her life is amazing to see. She is being an awesome example to her husband and kids by following the Savior and I know that it is going to have a really good impact on them. 
The Savior's grace is something that I am definitely trying to figure out for myself. The adversary will always try and make us not feel worth it or feel like we deserve the love of the Savior. But it's up to us to just do our best and when we do that is when the power of Jesus Christ will come into our lives. We aren't expected to be perfect in this life, we are only expected to strive and do our best. That is something that I really have to work hard on every day. I am finding that I am far too hard on myself. So I am trying to focus on the Savior and how He can help me achieve what He expects of me and just on making progress every day. One of my favorite scriptures is Moroni 10:32

Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.

All we have to do is love God and try our best to follow the Savior. He will pick us up and carry us. He will get us to where we want to be and carry us there. We just can't get down on ourselves, because that is a trick of the adversary. By the way, I loved that article from the Ensign
about the war going on between us and the adversary. It was really good!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Happy Early Birthday, Elder Klima!

"We have the pleasure of being in the ward Elder Klima is serving in. He is an amazing missionary and we love him so much. There was a little surprise early birthday party for him and we wanted to send you a few pics."

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Monday, April 24, 2017

Really Good Week!

Elder Smith, Elder Radmall (the tall one), Elder Pectol, and I went hiking at Silver Falls with Brother Meeks and a member from their ward. It was super fun! But because of that, there isn't much time left in the day. Trying to be obedient and get everything done that we need to get done on pday, so we are still flying around to finish everything.

The week here was really good. The things that happened were all good. Aishia finally committed to be baptized! Now it is just trying to settle the date that it will happen. We are going back tonight to set the date. Hopefully the 6th of May. The Amyda's are also scheduled for that day. It's all pretty exciting, but it's great to see the Spirit working in their life. In the lesson that Aishia committed to be baptized, the Spirit worked on her throughout the whole thing. At the beginning of the lesson, if we would have asked, she would have probably said no. But the Spirit worked on her and then by the end of the lesson we were reading Ether 12:6 and talking about how baptism would be her "trial of faith" and then we asked if she would and she said yes! She has come a long way since I met her back in March. The Savior has really changed her heart. I'm excited for her. 

I had a couple of cool experiences with the Spirit this week. The main one was during one of my nightly prayers. I asked a very specific question to Heavenly Father. I got the feeling to just be calm and listen. I received a very distinct feeling from the Spirit. I know it was from Heavenly Father. I bear witness that He lives and listens to our prayers. That knowledge doesn't remove any trials I face, any doubts, any fears that I have, but I can't deny the testimony that I have received. 

By the way, one thing I've learned is to write down spiritual experiences. It's important to remember those! 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Happy Easter!

Easter was really good. We had a bunch of people come to church. It was really packed. And a lot of people that we are teaching came, which was good. Sacrament meeting was really good. The primary kids did a special musical number, Gethsemene, which really brought the Spirit into the room. I am grateful for the reverence that is so present at church. I know a lot of people worship with loud music or loud speaking, which is good because they are at least worshiping the Savior, but sitting in Sacrament meeting and feeling the Spirit through the reverence makes me really think of how the Savior must have been. He wasn't loud or boisterous. He was calm, peaceful, confident, and full of the Spirit. There is just something special about being in Sacrament meeting.
For dinner, we ate at the Mitzel's. They are an awesome family. Sister Mitzel is from Thatcher, Arizona. Their 10-year-old son, Owen, wanted to go on splits with us. So what we did was he taught the dinner message with Elder Smith while I listened to it with Brother Mitzel as my companion. It was fun. He did a really good job and even dressed up with his suit and everything! He was super excited to do it. So that was fun.

Celebrating the Savior at Easter should really be a daily thing! President Nelson told us in General Conference that becoming a powerful disciple of the Savior is not easy. It's not easy to look unto Christ in every thought like it says we should in the scriptures, but as we do that we can draw upon the power of Jesus Christ in a very real way. I definitely have a testimony of that. The past week, the Savior has really been changing my heart, desires, and thoughts. As I continue to pray and really try and think of the Savior I have felt His love begin to change me. I have only tasted a tiny bit of this light and understanding, but it makes me want to really continue to focus on the Savior because the joy that came with this change was pretty indescribable. It's so cool that His gospel has been restored to the Earth! That he very literally guides this church because it is His! I'm really grateful to Heavenly Father and the Savior for blessing me with this light that has started to fill my mind this past week. The way I view people and things are starting to change and I know it is only because of them.

I think missionaries can really experience this. Especially if you are obedient. When you are obedient, you really begin to draw upon the power of the Savior and He changes you. I think obedience is the only way that a real lasting change will occur on your mission. It's the only way to allow the mission to go through you, rather than the other way around. Everything we do has an opportunity to point towards the Savior and our Heavenly Father. This week more than ever, I am finding myself looking at people and thinking, "how would the Savior handle this situation? How would He show His love for them?" I really liked the talk in Conference, "Then Jesus Beholding Him, Loved Him". Charity and seeing others through the eyes of the Savior was a huge theme that stuck out to me in Conference and is something I am really working on. Preach My Gospel says that charity is a gift and as we receive that gift in our lives, through our actions and obedience, then we will really experience a mighty change of heart.

We saw a lot of miracles this week! So many that I can't really write them all down because I don't remember them all off the top of my head. The Amyda girls, who's mom is a returning less-active and who's brother is on a mission in the Philippines, committed to be baptized on May 6th! We are really excited for that. We feel really confident that they will make that date. Their father, who isn't a member, is also interested and is sitting in on the lessons. Their family is awesome. They had us over for one of their daughters birthday dinners and we had so much food! Aishia is also progressing a lot towards baptism. Hopefully in this month. She has been to church 13 weeks in a row! And she is doing awesome. The light of Christ is continuing to grow and grow in her countenance. It has been really cool to watch.

Being with Elder Smith has been fun. We are both really excited for the rest of the transfer. We are working hard and talking to everyone. We both have a desire to grow closer to the Lord and we are working on it. We are trying to really learn how to be obedient and how to be ourselves. I feel like a lot of missionaries don't think obedience and fun can coexist, but I feel like the fun and joy only comes when we are being obedient! When you are being happy, being yourself, and being obedient it is really fun. And especially if you take time to just ponder for a moment or two a day and think about how blessed we are. To think about how cool it is to know of the Plan of Salvation and of who the Savior really is. It's fun. I'm starting to look at people and think, "they already chose Christ before this life! They would not be here if they didn't choose His plan in the pre-mortal existence." And it is really changing my perspective.

It was a good week. I am definitely grateful to the Lord for being able to serve in His vineyard and help others come to know the truths of eternity.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Mission Life is Great!

The week here was good. Elder Smith and I are doing good. He's from Gilbert, Arizona. He's had a sprained ankle, so this week our proselyting was all driving. Driving a bunch kind of gets me a little stir crazy. But it'll be good, we will get out and walk a lot more his week.

We had a really good day yesterday. It was a great Sunday. The lessons were about the Holy Ghost, which was exactly what Aishia needed to hear. I've been studying Charity a lot recently. I think it was talked about a ton in Conference and was something I needed to hear. In Preach My Gospel it talks about how basically if we can receive the gift of charity in our lives, a ton of our problems will go away because we will be able to see other people in the way that the Savior sees them. It's definitely something I want to work on! I would encourage you to read the charity portion of chapter 6 in Preach My Gospel. 

We had interviews with President Tateoka this morning, so I am a little bit short on time in trying to get everything done this pday. Interviews went well though! It is always good to be able to talk with him and Sister Tateoka. By the way, I found out that the Tateoka that was talked about in Conference is his cousin. Pretty cool. One thing I'm learning a lot is to try and just stay in the moment and not think too much. Thinking too much has always been a problem for me but I'm learning to try and stay in the moment and keep my thoughts to the Savior as best I can.

This week should be good. We are just looking to try and teach more people. Nicole is going with the Grahams to do baptisms for the dead for the first time, so that will be sweet! 

Sorry this couldn't be longer, just super busy today!