Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Week #47--May 31, 2016

Good morning America!

I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day. That is the reason this is coming a day late. 

This week was good. We had a lot of service still. A lot of weeds here in Californial.  I don't know if I mentioned this before, but the reason we do so many weeds is because the city considers it a fire hazard and will fine you up to 2,000 dollars unless the weeds are taken care of. This results in us doing a lot of weeds. 
I'm going to be honest, this week hasn't even felt real. So many strange things have taken place it's been pretty funny. I don't even know how to describe it, haha. 

We went to the San Bernadino County fair yesterday. That was pretty fun. I've learned I don't like window shopping, but I do love rides. Although I don't have the stomach capabilities I used to. Riding the zipper took Elder Wedel and I out for the day, haha. 

Sunday was so needed. Our Ward mission leader's wife gave an amazing talk on Forgiveness. It was so so so good. Made me realize how much I need to forgive. 

Everything is on for Yvonne to get baptized 2 weeks from now which is exciting! It's been cool to see the impact that Reatha's baptism has had on her friends and family and the teaching opportunities it's given us. 
Also, I found a quote that literally blew my socks off. While this may not have the same impact on you all as it did on me, I hope that it can help someone looking for something to carry them through the next few days. (Talking about the story of Joseph and his coat of many colors, and more specifcally when his brothers through him into the pit)

"If we wonder today why, when individuals in groups become unprotesting participants in a veering toward evil, no one seems to speak up and if we are perplexed that when some speak up it is only in a weak Reuben-type dissent (which makes “I told you we shouldn’t have done that” a likely utterance)‚—if we wonder why those things happen, it is because individuals, in this case Joseph’s brothers, failed. It is always the same, brothers and sisters. Our failures are individual. You and I, therefore, have an obligation to grasp those opportunities for truth saying and for restraining evil. If we do not, we will tumble, as Joseph’s brothers did, collectively. Weak individuals make great dominoes!"
-Neal A Maxwell

Dang that's so good. I think about a bunch of dominoes falling over in a cool pattern. According to the law's of science the cause of each domino falling was because of the fall of the original domino. This is a common excuse among us as people as well. We blame our faults on the actions of others. We choose to be quiet when those around us are doing wrong. This is not the case. If we allow ourselves to be knocked down/dragged down by Satan it is our own individual mistake. 

As President Monson has counseled: 
Dare to be a Mormon;
Dare to stand alone.
Dare to have a purpose firm;
Dare to make it known.

Well, I love you all and I'm so grateful for the influence you've had on me. I know this church is true. The Savior's Atonement and the power of his Grace is the only source of change. Wether we deny that power and it takes time, or wether we plead for it and allow it to work miracles in us, changing us from who we are to who God wants us to be. 

Have a great week!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Week #45--May 23, 2016

Hello all! This email will be short, but I just want to let you know that Elder Wedel and I will be staying for a 3rd transfer together in the Santa fe ward! This was wonderful news and we're excited to throw everything we can into this next transfer.

Also, we're starting to get closer to the desert summer heat so just count your blessings you're not going to be tracting with us all June, haha.

Also, this week the big news was that they released the 10 most dangerous cities in California (based on violent crimes) and #8 was Victorville! My last area! Haha, no wonder they call it Victimville!

That's pretty much it. But I love you all! Church is true!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Week #44--May 16, 2016

Good morning! We had an awesome week! Things weren't easy, for sure but they were very good. 

Reatha did indeed get baptized! It seemed very surreal to be honest. I don't think it's fully set in... But I will tell you something: It doesn't matter how hard it's been the past few months, every single trial was worth it to see the look on her face coming out of the water. 

I look back to when I first met her, and she wasn't sad by any means she had just lost purpose. She was weighed down by the world. And now? EVERYTHING is different. Don't get me wrong, she's still the same person but she's so much happier! It's so incredible. We'll continue to work with Dan, because I think he is right around the corner. 
Yesterday was my 10 month mark 📣📣🎶🎵🍞(jk on the bread, I'm allergic to gluten)

Also, this is the last week of the transfer. That means Elder Wedel and I may only have 6 days together. This is sad, but understandable. It happens. And this next transfer will also be my last transfer with my current mission president. President Hobbs has done a lot for me and all the missionaries out here, so it will be hard to see him go, but I look forward to the new things President Taylor will bring when he arrives. 

Fun quote by President Monson: (This is what is called the W formula) "Work will win when wishy-washy wishing won't". I have learned this transfer that we've got to pull our pants up and start working if we want anything to get done. And if we start something, we need to finish it! Follow through! After all, stopping at third base adds no more points to the scoreboard than striking out! (When I was a young lad, my dad told me "All things can be tied back to baseball". I am now beginning to believe him. John Brown for President 2k17)

Church is true Lads and Lassies!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Week #43--May 9, 2016

Happy Mother's Day everyone! I hope it was wonderful. I hope you're all grateful for your mothers and all just slightly jealous that you don't have the best Mom in the world like me. It's okay, we will understand that slight envy (or large envy, I don't judge)

We had another good week. All things are set and ready for Reatha to get baptized! That's so exciting. We're so very pumped. 

My birthday was this last week and it was a lot of fun! Dan and Reatha threw me a surprise party and I was blessed with plenty of gifts! They made me my favorite cake (German Chocolate) they had balloons, they bought me blank sheet music, it was great! 

Elder Wedel and I both got sick this last week, which took us out for 2 half days, and we did a FETCH ton of service, so that took away from proselyting time quite a bit, but we still had fun!

We saw Jeremy and taught him. He's doing well, but now that he's receiving blessings I think he's losing interest. (Logic: You feel sick. You receive medicine to make you feel better. You take medicine and start to feel better. Do you stop taking the medicine?) But we'll continue to try and meet with him. He also has surgery on his clavicle in a week, so that will put him in bedrest for a while. (Fact: Only studs break their clavicle)

Tony (Our INvestigator who is a bounty hunter) still hasn't caught the bad guy, so we couldn't meet with him this week. But he is still interested!

And Dan is just one of the most Christlike guys. Him and Reatha truly are going to be such awesome members.
Quick thought: Stop judging so much. Start loving more. That's something Elder Wedel and I are working on. Just love people for who they are, even if they wrong you. You don't know what they're going through, just like they don't know what you're going through. 'Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved' -My Boy Pres Monson

Love you all!

Church is true!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Week #42--May 2, 2016

Hello all! Holy cow, this was the most eventful week of my mission. Like... There was so much. Sorry future wife, I don't know if I could ever love anything as much as I love my mission right now!!

I'll try and adequately describe what took place this week but it won't come close:
Monday: P-day, we played board games at Dan an Reatha's with the Sister Missionaries. Mostly just Monopoly. I can honestly say I've never been in a more competitive board game. When I say there was yelling and screaming, it wasn't in a nice way. Tensions were high, and the stakes were higher. But alas, the TRUE board game MASTER came out on top (That would be me, amidst the cheating of the sister missionaries and Dan)

Tesuday: We had a District Meeting and then... Well... Actually that day was uneventful...

WEDNESDAY: So we went on exchanges. While most of the exchange was... interesting.... We did service for this member with some other Elders. (Elder Paxton who was in the MTC with me and Elder Johnson who is a hipster beast) Afterwards during lunch, they mentioned 'the guitars'. Elder Johnson and I both love music so we were excited at that notion and asked to see them.

THE DUDE HAD THE SET UP! Huge drum set with electric guitars and amps and what not. Elder Johnson Immediately ran to the drums and I threw a guitar on and we JAMMED SO FREAKING HARD. The dude can slay on the drums!!! We played Green Day, 3 Days Grace, Walk the Moon, some Oldies, it was crazy! And then we decided we should bring it back to the gospel so we played heavy metal versions of Come, Come Ye Saints and If You could Hie to Kolob. #Dreamcometrue

Thursday: We had Squash for friends where we volunteer at a squash farm for charity. Then that night, we went to Dan and Reatha's and taught her Sister who was staying with them and would listen in from the other room and she told us she saw the change in Reatha, and she felt the spirit we brought into the house whenever we came and she wanted to be baptized! So all 3 of them came to church that Sunday! We set a date with her on May 28th

Friday: Did service for a guy named Brother Moore. We fixed his car (Mostly Elder Wedel fixed the car and just taught me how to Jack a car up and down and told me when to do it then I got bored and found Brother Moore's guitar and played that while he fixed the car, haha) And then went and did more service cleaning a house. Another family in the ward is moving into this house in the backyard of another member. Both parties on this property are Grade-A Crazy

Saturday: We moved the family into the house. At first, no one showed up so we called up Dan the man! So our investigator brought his trailer and we moved them! That was a long day. Especially because the Husband kept yelling at us for not doing good enough work, even though he was doing LITERALLY nothing, haha. Dan sure ripped him a new one. 

Then right after we were done (After 7 1/2 hours) Dan got a call from Reatha, and she had gotten the car stuck in the middle of the desert, so we got some boards and shovels and what not and went to save her and her sister (Yvonne). Now when I say the middle of the desert, I mean the MIDDLE of the desert. 40 minute drive from civilization, and she couldn't give good directions. She kept saying things like "Go behind the Airport" (from which side) "Start driving towards the sun, but a little to the right" "I'm buy the trees!" Haha, but we finally found her. They sure had got that truck stuck, but we were able to get it out. We had to smash the welds on a fence and go through a lot of private property but we made it out safely!! The reason we were so desperate to do it that night, is because the Tow Truck couldn't come until the next day during church! And if Reatha misses a week she can't get baptized!!! SO we pulled it off and got home before curfew. 

Sunday: They all 3 came to church! Then Bishop invited us to their family party afterwards. He told us that Elder Wedel and I were basically like family, and we felt like it! We were joking around with all of the youth! Swapping sarcastic jabs with the adults, it was awesome! I love this ward so so so much!

So Reatha's still getting baptized, Yvonne's getting baptized later,  Dan's looking at June to get baptized, Jeremy wants to get baptized in June, our investigator Tony told us he wants to get baptized.... This is the life! Seeing people's life change from the Gospel? Who wouldn't want to do this full time all the time? The only sad thing is that we might not get another transfer together, and this transfer is half over. But we'll just keep working hard and if we leave, keep the work going!!

I love you all, THE CHURCH IS TRUE!!!!!