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!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Great General Conference and Staying in Stayon!

It's crazy that it is already April. Time;s flying. General conference was really really good. I really liked President Nelson's talk. He talked about how too often we refer to the Atonement and things, rather than referring to Jesus Christ. It is Jesus Christ who can help us, heal us, strengthen us, and succor us. His Atonement allows Him to be able to do so, but it isn't the Atonement that strengthens us, it's Jesus Christ! I thought that was cool. I also really liked Elder Ballard's talk. He talked about setting goals and making plans. It really made me think about needing to do some real reflecting and setting some long-term, mid-term, and short-term goals. And some Eternal-goals! And then making real, measurable plans that will allow for me to be able to work towards those goals. We set goals a lot as missionaries, but if you're not focused on achieving those goals and making plans to do so, it becomes very easy to just lose track and focus of them. Really, all of the talks were really good. Priesthood session was awesome. One of my favorite talks of all, though, was the talk given by the prophet on Sunday morning. He shared a really powerful testimony about the Book of Mormon and the power that comes from reading the Book of Mormon. I thought it was really cool that President Monson shared this with us, because he obviously isn't doing too great in health. But he felt it that important to share with the world a message about the Book of Mormon. It makes me want to get more out of my Book of Mormon study! I'm grateful for President Monson and all of His service. He is truly the living prophet of God on the Earth today and it's a privilege to be able to hear his words! 

I will be staying here in Stayton. Elder Pinkston is going to be getting transferred into Albany. It'll be weird to be in Stayton without him, but I am glad that I am staying. I'm excited to be here. My new companion will be Elder Smith. He has been in the field as long as Elder Pinkston. He's most recently from Gilbert.