Monday, January 27, 2014

"Well that was unexpected. As was that." -Meet the Robinsons

Well a lot of unexpected things happened to me this week and all of them were good.    

This past Tuesday I received a call from the AP's that I was being ET'd to the Monterey area Seaside ward.   An ET is an emergency transfer.   They told me that I needed to be packed, picked up and on my way in an hour.   So I packed and called the number they had given me for an Elder Horlacher.   So when Elder Horlacher, Elder Giles and Elder Fakava arrived I bid farewell to Elder Sant and Mercer and left with them on "another world win big city adventure."   While in the car I was told what was going on.   Elder Horlacher's companion Elder Smith hasn't made it here from the MTC or some such, for reasons we don't really know.   So I am serving here till February 1st.   This is an amazing area.   Beautiful view of the Bay, lots of great areas and great people and a relatively new ward.   They just split the wards so this ward is full of new leaders all ready to do their calling to the best of their abilities.    On Saterday I was able to witness a Baptism.   It was such an amazing experience.   When Elder Fakava and Zack stepped into the water the Spirit got so strong, I had to fight back tears of joy, and my heart swelled within my chest.   I am so happy to be serving here.   The only thing that makes this area hard is that it is one giant hill, and we are on bikes.   But I am getting stronger and will be back in Cambrian Park soon, so please don't worry about a new address.   

My Companion Elder Horlacher is very old, in mission terms.   He goes home at the end of this transfer.   He is an amazing missionary and he has a powerful testimony.   He is a CODA, for those of you who don't know what that means, it is Child Of Deaf Adult.   He knows Sign Language and serves as a Sign Language Missionary, and he is from Dallas Texas.   He is a Zone Leader, so we go on exchanges a lot.   We live with another pair of missionaries, Elder Giles and Elder Fakava.   Elder Giles is also a CODA who is called to serve as a Sign Language Missionary and he is the other Zone Leader.   Elder Fakava is an Elder from Tonga.   He is a great guy.   Elder Giles has been out for 21 months and Elder Fakava has been out for 19 months.   So I am the young guy in the area.   They are all amazing Missionaries.   Our Zone, I think this is funny, has two sister missionaries from my first area, and an Elder from my second.   

I have a Testimony that the Lord hears and answers prayers.   Me and Elder Sant and Mercer were talking about being changed by our mission, and that you have to allow it to change you.   So I started to pray that Heavenly Father would help me to be changed by my mission. The next day I was transferred to work with Elder Horlacher, and the first thing that Elder Sant told me when we found out was that this will change my mission, and that Elder Horlacher is a wonderful missionary.   I have since found several things that I want to do as a missionary and latter on in my life.    And I know that prayers are answered because of what happened with Paul.   Paul is our investigator in Cambrian Park, and he has progressed really well.   On Friday I received a call from Elder Sant, and I was told that Paul has set a baptismal date.   We have been praying for so long that we would know what to say to help him make that choice, and now he is fully committed to baptism.   The Lord loves us and answers our prayers, not always right away, or in the way we think, but he does answer.  

There is a quote by a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, I think, who once said, "When the Lord calls you he makes you equal to the task.   But he can only guide your feet if you take the steps yourself."   I love that quote.   Because it is true, the Lord doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.   When we accept callings from the Lord, he makes it so that we can meet those callings and be able to do what he wants us to do.   But we have to take the steps to do it.   We can't sit by the wayside and expect miracles to happen, we have to show our faith and help make them happen.   I know that as we do this we are blessed.

On the topic of Visa's: Elder Stimpson has arrived in Africa on Monday of last week I believe.   He had a lot of things to say about the area and the people.   But most pertinent to Visas, he said the Mission President said that more missionaries will be coming soon, so maybe visas will start to arrive.   

This quote it is for Nicolas and Jeremiah
"BO YA KA SHAW!   Sounds weird when he says it.   Sounds weird when you say it."
Please ask them if they remember where it comes from they should.

One Momma should know 
"Why is the rum gone?   Why is the rum always gone."

Two for Daddy
"Deep down you want me on that wall you need me on that wall.   Did you give the Red Alert?!    You're darn right I did!"
"You can't handle the truth!"

One for anyone else.
"There's one in every family sire, two in mine."

Love you all

Monday, January 20, 2014

"What this place lacks in water and shade it makes up for with blazing heat and blinding sunshine. Home sweet home Pumba"

This week is transfers out here in Sunny California.   And I am not getting Transferred.   That is right.   I get to stay here in the terrific area of Cambrian park, and I am very happy about that.   We had Stake Conference this past week end and there was a lot of emphasis put on following the guiding of the Spirit and on Family History Work.   It was a good set of meetings.   

This week we had some good times.   We had another meeting with our Investigator Paul.   He really opened up to us.   He was clean shaven and he told us he really appreciates what we have taught him, and that he is considering Baptism, but that he wants to make sure he isn't just jumping into it to end up falling away.   Can I just say that I love Paul?   He started taking the lessons because of a girl he was dating and now he isn't dating her anymore but he told us he wants to see this out to the end, no matter what comes of it.   He said he was feeling the Spirit at Church and that he is working his way slowly through the Book of Mormon.   I love seeing how the Gospel can change peoples lives.

We had another lesson with a great guy named Andy.   He has a member son who went to the lesson with us.   We spent a lot of time with him and talked a lot about the Sealing Power in the Temples.   I bore my testimony to him about how I feel when I am in the Temples and how I know that families can be together forever.   It was a great experience and he seemed to really listen to what we said and what his son said.   Now we need to see if he will remember what was taught to him.   He is a little latter on in years, but I think he will do what we asked him to do.   

I think that it is so amazing how close these two have come to the Lord.   I believe that they are both very close to finding that one final thing that they need to find to be baptized.   It is just amazing.   I love this area so much and I love these people.   

Me and my companions are doing great.   We are one of the two companionship that aren't being changed in my Zone.   Like half of our zone is being transferred    That is cool, and sad at the same time.   I was really enjoying being with my zone.   But in saying that I know I will love the new Zone just as much. 

I know that this Gospel can change lives.   I have seen over the past six weeks the way that Paul has changed.   Our first meetings he was a little closed off and a little hard of heart.   Now he is feeling the Spirit and is making changes in his life.   I also know that members are essential to the work of salvation.   Without members we wouldn't have found Paul.   We were told a statistic on arriving here that for every 4000 or so people the Missionaries contact one will get baptized, but for every four people a member introduces into the Church, one will get baptized.   That difference is like, just wow.   I know this is the Gospel of Jesus Christ that we are teaching and I know that it is Christ and His love that are changing the people who we teach.   It isn't us, none of it is us, it is all Him.

There is a verse in Doctrine and Covenants 62: 3 that says to paraphrase every time we bear Testimony it is recorded in Heaven and the Angels rejoice over it and we are forgiven of our sins.   Testimony is one of the most important ways to invite the Spirit into a lesson.   I loved that verse and the only reason I don't have it down word for word is because I don't have my Scriptures right here next to me.   

I love you all.

"Let me tell ya, once you hit the point where your warranty expires, you start falling apart."
"Fix it? It has been disintegrated, by definition it can not be fixed."
"Super ladies, they always trying to tell you their secret identity.   Think it will strengthen the relationship or something like that.   I say "Girl I don't want to know about your mild mannered alter ego or anything like that. I mean you tell me you some super, mega, ultra lightning babe, that's alright with me.   I'm good.   I'm good."

Monday, January 13, 2014

Rule number one out here Always no Never take an Investigator to Gospel Doctrine Class!

Okay so I will be taking advice I received from my Auntie Lizzie.    Love you Liz.

My area is going great.   We have biked 90 miles this week ( my comp got a thing to measure our distance.)   We got three new investigators in this week.   Our investigator Paul came to church yesterday and we took him to gospel doctrine class and guess what we learned?   Abraham 3.   Yep you know the one.   Full of deep doctrine and all that good stuff.   Hence the subject.   NEVER TAKE YOUR INVESTIGATOR TO GOSPEL DOCTRINE CLASS!   So we will stick with Gospel Principles with investigators.   The members are great and the Ward Council is very supportive of us.

There were some bumps in the road.   On Friday we learned that all of our investigators were busy and that we weren't gonna be able to meet with them.   That was hard.   On top of that one of our investigators dropped us.   He and his wife were sick, and we stopped by to see if they were okay, and he took that as pushing and got scared.   

But there is good news and there is light at the end of the tunnel.   (This is a story you can use for the church report mom)   We went to the store to buy some batteries for my companions bike lights and a woman collecting money for a charity called out to us.   Her name was Brandi.   She asked us how we Mormons were different then Christians.   After that we had a great discussion about our faith and she took a Book of Mormon, and when we explained that it was another Testament of Jesus Christ she said that it makes sense that there would be more Testaments of Him and that if the Bible and Book of Mormon support each other that it would all make sense.   She was a perfect person to talk to and had she not called out to us, we may never have spoken.

My companions and I are doing well.    We are really working well together, we support each other in what we do.   We have learned to use each others strengths and to help each others in our weaknesses.   They are Elder Daniel Mercer from Colorado Springs Colorado, and Elder Richard Sant from Saint George Utah.   They are a great pair of Elders who fully embody what it means to be Consecrated unto the Lord.

I know Heavenly Father is watching over me and keeping me safe.   I know he hears the prayers of my heart as I plead with Him to help us find people to teach.   Brandi is a perfect example of that.   I know He protects me and my companions.   Yesterday while on the way to a Less Active lesson Elder Sant swerved to avoid a pile of sticks in the road.   Apparently they put yard waist in the road here.   So because I couldn't dodge the pile I went through it and proceeded to land on the ground.   And then before I had much time to think, Elder Mercer landed on me.   Amazingly we were both able to walk away with little more then dust on our pants, smiling and laughing.   No torn clothing (or skin) no messed up bikes and no problems.   We continued on to our lesson with out any problems. I know that my Heavenly Father loves me enough to keep me safe and to answer my prayers.   I know this is the work of the Lord and that He is hastening His work.    

A scripture I enjoyed this week came from Alma, I don't remember where.   It said that we should teach the Gospel with boldness but not overbearing.   That touched me because I was struggling to be bold.   After reading that and some teaching from my Zone Leaders on how to apply it I am now bold in teaching and declaring what I know.   And the results aren't always an immediate yes.   But I am happy to know that I am serving to the best of my ability.

"I hope you like the loop-dy loops!   I hope you like carrots!" 

"I said dart gun not Oh My.   Oh cause I was wondering, under what circumstances would we ever use this?"

"Him?   He's a Panda.   You're a Panda.   What are you gonna do big fella, sit on me?   Don't tempt me."

Do you know these?   
Love you all. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Today, Jan. 5, 2014 Momma and Boy email

Dear Elder Andrew, 

Good morning my beautiful boy.  How are you this fine, foggy morning?  We are all well.. I am getting ready to take Sister to the bus.  Did I tell you the school has decided to make all of the kindergartens full time instead of every other day?  Mikayla is very excited... today anyway. :)  

How was your Sunday?  We began our new schedule of starting at 9:30.. we had stayed up late on Saturday so it was a bit of a challenge but it was nice to attend church in the day time and come home while the sun was still out.  All of the kids have new teachers with it being the new year.  Nicolas has Bro. Dunn and Jeremiah has Sis. Phillips.  (Speaking of... Bro. Phillips asked me how you were and said to tell you hello... so ... here is their address that maybe you could drop them a short note if you have time... edited for privacy)... also Bro. Dunn had to jump start the Moose for us on Saturday after we all went to the Chiropractor and the Moose wouldn't start.  He was coming out of the bakery with Rex and Kolton so we asked him to help us because I did not want to walk home.  

How has your bicycling going?  Any new disasters?  Someone told me that missionaries are only supposed to tell their parents good news so that we don't worry... is that true?  I have not had a chance to look for any gloves for you.. is there a Walmart near you?  It might be faster if you just bought some...

There is not much news to report this week... we had testimony meeting at Church so we did not learn much there... I worked last night and that is always mostly the same... the moon looked cool thought last night... and Daddy is thinking about going to Haiti in May for two weeks..

So... what do you do on P-days?  Your brothers have asked me and I truly am not sure...

We are studying the Old Testament in Sunday school this year... the coolest thing we "learned" yesterday is that God knows who we are... do you ever think about that?  Heavenly Father not only knows what you are doing but he knows your name.  I find that so very amazing... I struggle with remembering Miah's name half the time..:)  

I love you my missionary.  Have a beautiful day today.  Smile at strangers and share your big spirit (I am not calling you fat...) and amazingness.  Sing. 

Water and shade to you, 

Dear Momma,

My Sunday and week have been great.   We got three new investigators and things with Paul are great.   The ward is great and we now have sisters co-covering our area, which is good since they can see people that we can't without another man there.   

I am only supposed to tell you the good things that happen, but nothing really awe-full has happened.   The hardest thing about this week was that the people who fed us last night had a little three year old girl who made me supper nostalgic and miss Mikayla.

I don't know if I really need gloves and we catch a ride with another companionship when we go shopping.   On P-day we shop, and do laundry and we clean house and we can do zone activities and we email and write letters.   That is about it.   At six we get back to work.   

I have thought about it a little that God knows me.   It is a little hard to grasp.   But wow this week we had Miracles

I am so happy to be out here doing the work.   If Daddy goes tell him to be safe and tell him I pray for him every night.   I pray for you two Momma.   

I love you Momma, Shade of my Heart.

Don't you know it's a new year? It's a brand new beginning, another 365 and the world keeps spinning. Yeah!

Happy New Year!!!

Wow it is already 2014 and the time is flying past.   It is hard to believe but it is a new year.   

This week was great.   Lots of miracles and only a short time to tell them in.   

We got three new investigators this week, which means that we had a lesson with them and then set up a return appointment.   The area is beginning to explode with people to see and teach.   That is great.   

Our investigator Paul said at our last lesson that he found his answer about the Book of Mormon but he has yet to tell us what that is, but we are holding out that it is a good thing since he still wants to meet with us and he said he would tell us what it was at our next meeting.   Exciting!!1

It was weird not being home for New Years, but it was great out here.   My companions and I had a great day and we couldn't be happier to be out here.   

We had exchanges this week, which means that one of our Zone Leaders came to our area and one of us when to theirs.   Elder Mohl came here and Elder Mercer went to their area.   The whole point of it is so we can learn things and grow to be better missionaries.   It was awesome.

We had at least three Baptismal Invites, but no baptismal dates, though people said if they learned it to be true they would join the church and be baptized.   

The work is hastening and I get to participate in it.   I know this is the Lords work and that he has bestowed countless blessings on our area.   I am so glad to be out here doing the work.   

Love you all

"You Dragged me all the way up here for a bath?  
Panda, we do not wash our pits in the Pool of Sacred Tears."

"Master Ugawe, you wanted to see me, is something wrong?
Why must something be wrong for me to want to see my old friend?
So nothing is wrong?
Well, I didn't say that."

Do you know those ones?