December 12, 2016

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DSCF0030Current zone

     Holy smokes this week was NUTS!  We were out tracting last Monday and we were hitting up these sketchy apartments and people were decently nice, but a whole lot of “not interested” and then we were coming to the last building for the night and we knock this door and hear a lady say “who is it?” So we told her who we were and she then said “Oh, just one second!” So I was thinking to myself, “Oh, heck yeah! This never happens!”   She ends up answering the door and we start teaching her the Restoration and she is super nice!  Her name is Sister Tanja and she is from Germany!  We end up giving her a pamphlet and set up a time to come by later in the week.  We then get a call from her Wednesday and she said “Hey elders, I finished the pamphlet and I was very impressed. Make sure when you come Saturday you bring a Book of Mormon!”  How cool is that!?  Well, it gets better!  So we end up going by Saturday with a man who served his mission in Germany, and sadly they had no connections, but she told us that she believes that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that his experience was real and that God is leading her to the LDS church and she wants to read the Book of Mormon so badly!  It was way cool!  We invited her to baptism and she just kinda shrugged it off, but we will get her here pretty soon!  Well, the Spirit obviously will, but we will be apart of it!  WAY COOL!!!!

     Another miracle!  We texted this less active, part- member family and asked if we could set something up.  We ended up getting a church tour set up for them.  He is the member and is in the army and married to a lady who used to be Catholic.  We had the church tour, but sadly she couldn’t come cause she is pregnant and wasn’t feeling well.  But, we were then talking to brother Coon and he said that his wife told him that she wants to be baptized and then sealed to him!  That she knows that this is true and that it’s where they need to be!!  So we are super excited to be able to teach her and help her come to church and be baptized!  He is in the military and will be gone for the next week or two, so we might not be able to teach them this week, but soon!  So that was a huge blessing!

     Okay one more, I got a call last night from the Buckley elders in my last ward and they told me some amazing news!  Chris Smith, the 22 year old we helped get baptized, who read the Book of Mormon in 7 weeks, and all that, is getting married to the girl who introduced him to the church!!!  Even crazier, they got engaged yesterday and will be married on the 18th of December!  They will only be engaged for a week!!!  How crazy is that?!?  Yeah, so that is mind blowing… but super cool and they plan on going to the temple in one year to be sealed.  So amazing!
     Now the bad for the week….we ended contacting that referral we got the other week.  Kim, the one who said she wanted a Book of Mormon and wanted to learn more about family history.  Well her husband is SUPER ANTI!  He let us in and she wasn’t home, but he just took so many jabs at the church and I was getting super frustrated.  I kinda went off on him a little… but then his wife came home and she isn’t super interested, but willing to do things.  So we are going to continue to work with her and try to get him out of the picture.  Super rude guy.  So that happened Sunday morning and then I was really looking forward to church and to be surrounded by nice, kind people who actually like us.  I was surprised when we were going around talking with people that some of those in the ward aren’t the nicest either!  It must be a Washington thing… so, if you see the elders or sisters at church or the store or whatever, just go be nice to them.  Going out of your way to say hello makes things so much nicer!  We get by though, and things are going great here!  Our bishop and ward mission leader are rock stars!  Well that is pretty much the run down of the past week!  I’ll talk to you next week!  I love you!

December 5, 2016

DSCF0003New companion…Elder Boyack

It is crazy how fast time flies by!!!  We are now in DECEMBER!!!  But hey, I’m not even depressed this year so that is pretty nice.  Just staying busy and working like the sun is out seems to work pretty well!  We have had lots of miracles happen this past week!  We were able to find quite a few new investigators and set things up with some people who have been taught before, but dropped the elders in the past.  Apparently one was super pushy, but hey if we have more people to teach because of it, that is fine with me! We had a super big break through with our investigators.  They are mother and daughter, but the daughter is in her 40’s.  We learned about their past and that made all the difference!  We now have solid fellowship set up and they are doing great!  No baptismal date set yet, but it should be soon!  They thought they had to wear white jump suits to church and had to be baptized in order to come!!!  So many false ideas!!!  Now they have it straightened up and are ready to progress!
     This last week we had stake conference with Elder Stapleton of the Seventy and it was pretty sweet!  He is like 7 foot tall!  And the podium thing didn’t go any higher and so he just hunched over and talked for like 30 minutes!  That is endurance right there! He talked a lot about how no one is in the clear from trials.  He told us how many crazy things just happened to him in the past year, but how as we keep our eye on the Savior we will be supported.  He told a story of how there was one of the Seventy who received the call to serve and he and his wife told the apostle that they would love to, but just not right then at that time in their lives.  The apostle then sat there and thought and said, “Brother, this church is not a church of convenience.”  And that really rang true with me.  Rarely ever do we receive a call to serve and it’s convenient with our schedule but when the lord calls we must answer.  Life is just a constant stretch and pull and twist till we become what God needs us to be.  I thought it was pretty amazing being able to hear from him.
     Real quick miracle.  The other night we were walking around in this complex and we talked to this guy who said that elders in the past had taught him and wanted us to text him to set something up.  That’s what they all say so nothing new there, but we ended up doing so and got an appointment.  We taught him last night and holy smokes he is so prepared!  His wife is catholic and he asked “so I can’t be baptized unless my kids and wife are baptized right?”  haha!  So we told him ‘no’ and then we invited him to pray right there and ask if it’s true.  He is from a small island close to Guam, called Palau.  He prayed in his language and we left time for him to focus on the feelings after the prayer.  The spirit was soooo strong!  We invited him to be baptized right when his wife came into the room and he was going to say ‘yes’ we could tell, then his wife just told us that he will get back to us.  We were super frustrated at her, but he was pretty much saying ‘yes’.  We could tell.  We have a church tour set up wed night and the bishop will be there!  So they can meet him and it will be great!  He is such a good man!
     Well I have to get going, sadly!  Thanks for the update!  I am glad that things are going well for the family!  I love you!

November 28, 2016

     IMG_4519     Super fun week it sounds like!  That is a WAY cool snow elder!  And J’s hair is black!!!  Where did that come from!?  My companion just left Monday morning for Utah!  He was originally from New Jersey, but his mom moved to Heber City and so that is where he is now.

     My Thanksgiving was awesome!!  We had a half mission activity with all the southern half zones meeting at our stake center and turns out that me and my companion were in charge to make sure it all went smoothly!  It was a little hectic, but we had basketball and volleyball going on, with some board games on the side, and all seemed to really enjoy it.  Then we had our studies and went off to dinner at a members home and there were lots of non members there.   We got to know them all better.  This ward is pretty amazing!   They take care of us well.  We then got done and had to leave and went tracting!  We were out and about and seeing quite a bit of rejection.  We came to this one house with tons of cars there and heard lots of laughing and joking coming from inside.  I was super scared to knock it, but we did anyways and this lady barely opened the door and told us to go away.  So on to the next one!  We then were looking up the street from where we came and see this ripped guy come out from the house that we just knocked and look around and we rush over to him and he asked if we were all good or needed anything.  We ended up giving him a new Light the World card and left.  We are then way up the street and hear all this yelling!  So we turn around and it’s the same guy waving us over.  We get over there and he asks us if we would like any food!  We were already stuffed to the gut, but the thing is if we get food then we will have more time to talk with those inside!  We say ‘yes’ and end up getting a huge plate of food…. the things we missionaries do for opportunities to share the gospel, I tell ya!  We somehow managed to eat all of it and have a great conversation about the church and what we as missionaries do and they seemed to like it!  None of them lived there besides one, but we gave the cards out with the chat function and they told us they were going to check it out!  Super good!!!!  Then we had a member inspire at 8 and they were getting ready to feed us dessert, but we told them NO WAY!!!!!  I almost had to throw up….
     This week we were blessed with a miracle!  Katie S. was able to be baptized Saturday night!  She is the 9 year old with split parents and had to get permission from the 1st presidency.  It was a pretty cool experience!  I have pictures, but sadly didn’t bring my camera to the library today… whoops!  Next week!  But her uncle baptized her and confirmed her!  She wanted us to do it, but we shucked it off to her uncle and told her we are going to be leaving soon and her uncle will stick around for a while.  The church would rather have us do that then for us to baptize them, unless they really insist.
     I was a taxi service this weekend!  Elder Czarnecki went to the temple Saturday with another missionary who is dying (when they go home that’s what it’s called).  We picked him up that night from the mission home, went to Auburn and picked up another elder who taught Katie, went to the baptism, then went back to Auburn dropped him off, then back to Puyallup.  Then Sunday we had to drive back to the mission home and drop off Elder Czarnecki, then back here.  Today we have to drive to Kent to go get our new comps and make sure everyone knows what’s going on in the zone.  It’s pretty hectic.  If we calculated all the miles I’ve driven the past 3 days it would be over 300!
     My new comp is from Herriman, Utah and his name is Elder Noah Boyack.  Never met him!  So we will see how it goes today.  I’ll talk to you all next week!  And don’t worry about Christmas presents.  I don’t need anything, and don’t really want to have to move whatever I get from area to area and then eventually either shipping it home, or having to leave it when I go home.  If that makes sense!  I LOVE YOU!!!!

November 21, 2016

This week was great!  I was able to go on an exchange with a cousin!  Elder Rex from Utah is a descendant from Helaman Pratt, but a different wife.  But still that is pretty close!  He is the assistant and we were able to find and see miracles!  We went out tracting the other night together and in this complex where I know missionaries have been kicked out before.  It was raining and we decide that it was better to tract in the apartments then out in the neighborhoods in the dark and rain.  We knocked this door and met this lady who just moved from Georgia and told us that we could come back in 30 minutes when her husband gets home!  So we went right across the hallway and then met this lady named Melissa S. and taught her the Restoration and she loved it!  We then went up the stairs and taught another lady!  Holy smokes, this place was on fire!!!  She wasn’t interested in changing though.  She wanted to govern God instead of playing by His rules… silly lady.  Then we went back down and talked with Samantha, the lady from Georgia, and her husband Chris.  They said “oh we don’t have too much time” so we said “oh well, it will only take 10 minutes”.  We lied… it was 45, but it was an amazing lesson we had with them.  We invited Chris to pray at the end about the truth, and once we all said amen, we just all sat there and didn’t say a word.  They loved the feeling they were given from the Holy Ghost.  It was quite an amazing miracle.  We then set up a church tour and invited them to be baptized.  Chris excepted the 17th of next month and Samantha wants to pray about it.  So that all happened in one day!  A week later, we met with Melissa S. and taught her and her daughter and we are going back tomorrow night.  The Hernandez’ stood us up for the church tour… but our ward mission leader and us are going over tonight and paying them a visit.

     We had the mission devotional and it was great!  I was able to sit with the Gunns and Somer, Kole and Kassidy!  Oh I was just so happy!  I absolutely LOVE THEM!!!!  Great people.  But as far as that goes this week was pretty normal.  That isn’t a good word for a missionaries week, but I should say not a huge eventful amount of info.  We got news today about Katie S.  THE FIRST PRESIDENCY SAID YES FOR HER BAPTISM!!!!  So, my comp and I are going to help her be baptized this week!  Probably Saturday.  He gets to end his mission with a bang!  Next week is transfers, so it will be Tuesday morning when you hear from me!  I’ll talk to you then!  Love you all!

November 14, 2016

Brother David Youmans got baptized!!!!  It was so much fun to be able to be there for the baptism!  He just kept on talking about how happy he was and that he loved being able to have the gospel.  It was a pretty cool experience.

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November 7, 2016

This week was great!  Lots of mini miracles and tender mercies!

     On Tuesday we finished with our district meetings and then Ed and Chris Smith come walking in the church and tell us they want to take me and my comp out for lunch!  It was sooo good to be able to talk with Chris again and to see how he is doing!  He is awesome!  He told me that he and Rebecca are getting more and more serious and that they are most likely going to get married/sealed in the temple this time next year!!!!  Honestly I am a little bummed cause Elder Knight and I wanted him to serve a mission so badly, but hey, he can go undercover and baptize em all! 😉 I just love him so much!  It was great to be able to see him again!
      Things with K. Surber aren’t looking too good…. (she is the 9 year old) We technically need permission from her dad in order to baptize her, which makes it a little hard because the dad is in prison.  So we are working with our bishop and mission president to find a way around it so that she can be able to have the Holy Ghost.  She needs it and wants it BAD!  She is pretty amazing though.  We have worked hard with her to understand the doctrine and the other day we went over the baptismal interview questions and she nailed it!  We are hoping and praying that all will work out.
     A. Salsberry wanted to be baptized this weekend, but we taught the law of chastity and he doesn’t agree that you have to be married in order to live with your woman. (I dont know how else to put it!) He said that he is going to pray about it and see what kind of answer he gets.  On the other had, his girlfriend agrees with him, so we don’t think he will be able to be baptized this week.  She is a little stubborn, but we will see what comes of his praying and see if we can get more members involved to share their opinion on it and see if that doesn’t help.
     And the best news of all…. I was able to go back to Enumclaw with Elder Kofford and be a part of Craig Detric receiving the Melchizedek priesthood!!!!  Oh it was great!  My joy was full.  It was so much fun to be able to be there for that.  He is so amazing!  Elder Kofford ordained him and it was pretty special.  He did a great job.  Then even better news!!!!  Craig and Kristianah are getting married/sealed sometime in April and they want Elder Kofford and I to be there!!!!!  Oh it was great news!  I am so happy for them!  It’s pretty cool cause Kristianah introduced him to the church and we started teaching him and now look where he is, and where he is going!  The gospel works wonders in the lives of those who apply it.  I was telling Elder Kofford on the way back home that the mission has brought more joy to my life than anything I have ever experienced.  There is nothing I would trade it for.  I just hope and pray that I will continue to be a tool in the Lord’s hands in bringing about the salvation of souls for the rest of my life.
     Two more miracles to look forward to!  This Saturday David Youmans is getting baptized and also the Chistiansens in my first area are getting sealed the 17th!  And I get to go to both!  I LOVE IT SOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!
Well I hope all is well on the home front!  I sure love ya!  Talk to you next week!