Monday, July 21, 2014

Mission Letter Week 53 - 21 July 2014

First to my dear Brak...I mean father... eh, same difference.  :) That is fantastic to hear about the good things you've been able to do with the C. family. I really really hope that G's heart will be softened as well...I know service is definitely one of the BEST ways for that change to come about; that’s why I try to do service ALL THE TIME! When you can help someone out of the kindness of your heart and work along side them, few things touch a person’s heart like that. Keep me posted on how they are doing!

That’s sad to hear about Brother A. though. He is a champion and it's no fun to hear about his pains and struggles. :( I will pray for him that he heals well! Thanks for that update as well. (And Mama.)


I forgot to bring the letters with me to emails so I will be going off of memory today… hope I get it all in...I got Emily's first then yours; and I wanna start by saying EMILY YOU AND I ARE GOING TO SEE LINDSEY LIVE WHEN I GET the first week I'm back if she’s in town...fasho. We goin'. And then I'll REALLY ask her to marry me and she'll be your sister-in-law! :D I thought it was cool that the Pratts were there too, they are very nice people. :)

YOWZA does Girls Camp sound like it was a blast! I think the Secret Sister activity you did was cool too - Lots of fun and lots of friends! Always a good time with that! Sounds like you learned a lot of good stuff while you were there and had a grand ol’ time! I’m glad! :)

Okay, soooo about my new area here in Bakersfield...there were some missionaries that didn't update the area book at all in three months. No teaching records, no updates, not even a hint of some notes left behind!  But we have found out, through the members mostly, that we have some investigators, like N., D. (whose spouse is a semi-active member) S., R. and J. ... that we know of... and we have no idea what they’ve been taught so we have to ask them and figure out what they remember and write-out teaching records for them... I am less than pleased with that but it feels good to fill it out at least. :) Lots of work and lots of miracles. It’s been good so far. Elder Ray and I have been getting along famously! We stayed up a little late last night because we were laughing up a storm! XD It was hilarious!!

As for baptisms though, nobody has a date set that they can meet, because they haven’t been coming to church! So we are going to focus on that while helping them to set a new goal for a baptismal date. :) These are good people we are talking with and they seem to really want to do this, to make these sacred covenants and receive all the blessings that are promised! The biggest part is just figuring out where they are at and going from there.

I am Jr. companion again. :) Yay! It's actually nice being Jr...though in a regular companionship it doesn’t really make a difference...the only time it makes a difference is when one is a leader...and we are not...

My District Leader is ELDER FLINT!!!! WOOOOOO!!!! It’s been great. :D haha! I have literally been around Elder Flint all but two transfers my WHOLE mission! We are happy about this. Mucho happiness. My Zone Leaders are Elders Monzon and Geren.  Monzon and I came out together and were even in the same travel group together from the MTC so we already know each other fairly well.

Car-share basically means we get the car for 3.5 days and then we switch and Elder Hjorth and Elder Harper get it for 3.5 days. It's nice, but I wish I was either just bike or just lazy side says I want a car and my skinny side says bike, haha. But it’s fun and it shakes things up a bit.

I’ve been doing well. One of the members, J., who’s a fairly recent RM comes out with us a lot and he's been helping me get out of a rut that I’ve been in for a few months now. Just habits and routines in teaching and finding that have gotten "monotoned" in a way I guess. He just gives a lot of good pointers and it’s kinda been waking me back up. So I'm re-vamped to get-up-and-go! Other than that everything is actually going very nicely. Just getting to know the area and the people more.

I gotta run now. I love you guys! Have a swell week, and remember to be on the Lord's side, not your side, at all times!

~ Elder 9

Mission Letter Week 52 - 14 July 2014

(Daddy,) HAPPY YOU'RE-TURNING-OLD-DAY!! :D hahaha! 

Brak, I want you to know I really really seriously do like you just a little bit....and love you a lot too....I also want to thank you for all the things you've taught me, the "man tips" and many other points of help and advice you have given me in our shared lifetime. You are truly a champion amongst heroes and I love you for it. THANK YOU.

Transfers!!! So I am with Elder Ray! He's super cool. I knew him in Palmdale when I was there and for forever (and I like it...) and he seemed pretty cool… I was right. :D We've been having a great time!! We are in a car-share area, not just car, so we switch off with Elders Hjorth and Harper (amazing guys too) being in car or on bike…it's a change that’s for sure...

As for you finding out (early) where I am, I don’t really have an opinion on the if you want to find out by members telling you or just waiting or whatever, you go for it. :) However for keeping tabs on peeps, I email the people I want to keep in touch with on a regular basis already and find out from them what’s up so no need for that. :D But thank you for the offer!

Cool that you got to email with President and talk to him about somethings...I love getting to talk with him whenever I about really "getting it". That man is a superhero and I love him.

BTW this is going to be short and unless I find somewhere else to email besides the Stake Center here, I will only have approximately an hour every Monday to yeah...sorry!!

Good to hear from the W's too and about I. !!!! THAT’S AWESOME!! I’m so excited that she is taking the lessons regularly now. :D Thanks for the update.

I have actually been keeping track of people, like the C's, and their info, that I want to contact after the mission, but I think having a second source like that would be good so I'll let you know. :)

I did hear about the iPads Mini and thought it was pretty cool. I like that I won’t have to carry as much stuff with me! :D

I promise to be careful when doing sports.

And I will take some pics.

You did not tell me D. got his (mission) call!! That’s awesome news! :DDDD

Thank you for your wonderful emails and great support. I love you all. Stay close to the Spirit in these last days… da times they are a changin'! I do not doubt the words of the Lord, for my mother, and father, knew it. I love you dearly. BYE!

~ Elder 9

I will not have time to read it (Emily’s long email) though I previewed some of it... snail it to me!! And start using the mission address now btw, because President has asked that we start doing that now and also to not post my current address anywhere like blogs or FB... but yeah if you could just mail through the office that’d be great. :D They do same-day forwarding so it doesn’t take any extra time. :)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Mission Letter Week 51 - 07 July 2014

“The Big Goodbye”

(I think that’s a Next Generation episode title...)

Whelp, I'm getting transferred out of the Ward but I don't know where to until transfer meeting. We shall see! I'm excited to see who my comp will be too…

HEY! I heard from C finally (MTC comp) and he said all is well, some good news, some bad, but he plans on being back on the mission very soon!!! :D Looks like he'll make it! Pray for him if you would. I'M SO EXCITED!!!!

I got your letter in the mail btw, and I loved it, of course. :D That is SO COOL to hear Lindsey (Stirling) made it to the Grand Ole Opry! Talk about getting serious! WOOO! One day I'll see her there...and ask her to marry me again....back to the email...

Jonesy (completed his mission) is going home?!?! :O NOOOOOO!! I'll have to say bye to him if I can. Hopefully he'll be at transfer meeting.

I also really liked Joseph's (Smith) last dream that you shared in the letter. Really cool experience and testimony.

I can't wait to hear about Girl's Camp! Sorry to hear Emi is sick. :( When she feels up to it I'm ready for the deets. :D

Oh and did you guys know about the letters I got from SCONT?? I just got them the other day as they were sent to my last apartment so it took a while for the other guys to get it to me, haha. I thought that was awesome! Especially Emily’s letter...clearly the best one of them all! :D So thank you far that… I have written...a lot of replies...including a thank you to Sister Reid and so forth. I got to the mailbox late on Saturday so they are probably just now getting picked up by the man of mail. :D

No rain here, still dry as a bone. You see, when it "rains" in Ridgecrest, it evaporates before we even feel the moisture.  .__.

No pics. :'( sorryyy. Been a crazy week. I'll take pics in my next area though!

Celebrate the 4th...hmmm...does reading scriptures all night because you had to go home early for a holiday curfew count as celebrating? If so, YES! :D

My waist size is 43...I might be able to squeeze a 42 but I wouldn’t know unless I tried ‘em on first. So if you can’t find a 43, then a 44 tailored down is probably our best bet. As for inseam length...I believe I'm a 34 on that. Yep. I am. And I think I want to do khaki color. >:D It’s been a while since I've tried that.

Brak! (Term of endearment meaning "Daddy") Good to hear the week and holiday went well, minus Emily being sick. :( Never a fun thing, but sounds like it went well considering! I bet no one cried because I wasn’t making a fuss ;)

I just read that scripture the other day (Alma 31:5) and was thinking about sharing it too...looks like you beat me to it! And it is so very true as well. The word of God is more powerful than anything that can be done to us. And it’s a positive force too. Thank you to both of you for bringing me up by the Word of God. It has impacted me more than you know. And it is also sad to see how many people have NOT had that good force in their lives. This world is going downhill fast and, just as Mama said, we are being sifted and it’s going quick. Hold tight, and stay strong, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride! I love you all very much!


P.S. Oh yeah…. I’m going car. >:(   I’m gonna get fat now… not okay. hahaha! jkjk! I will use the card. :)

I hope the 6 weeks I’ve been here will do something good for them.

PHOTOS sent to us by a sweet, kind member. A lovely surprise! 

Saying goodbye as Elder Nine transfers out to another area....

Reading from the Scriptures

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Mission Letter Week 50 - 30 June 2014

Hi Guys!!

Wow has this week been awesome or what. We found 12 new friends this week to teach and work with!! Some of them are family and some just individuals. One lady, Amanda, was a particularly good experience. We were teaching her the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and she just soaked it all in like she wouldn't be able to breath afterwards! She really tried to take it all in and try to understand it. It was wonderful to see someone feel the importance of the gospel that much. She doesn't have much of a background in religion but wants her kids to start going to church (young kids) and her mother was there too when we were teaching and she asked us to come by and talk with her as well! Amanda's boyfriend, Brandon, who lives with her, may be interested as well. He's a super cool, nice guy! Amanda also referred us over to her neighbor as she is having a tough time lately with her family and she may need support, Amanda said. There are many other stories of how we found these other investigators/friends, but to abbreviate...I shall move on… :P

Right now our focus for getting the members involved is getting them to have a family mission plan in their home...I think we might slip in the ‘Willing and Brief’ in our lessons with members though, to help them out. I remember when that started back home and I thought it was a great idea! It's been a little tough getting things together, but it is starting to come together now and we are very excited to see the many miracles that await us! (meaning the whole ward)

For the shoe question, when I was in Palmdale I went to Burlington Coat Factory and got a couple of ties for like, $4 each, but they were really nice name-brand ones like Sean Jean and stuff (because Burlington is cool like that) and I also got a pair of Steve Madden shoes, the ones I wear to meetings and sometimes church. :P They are quite pointy....and shnazzy! On a daily basis, however, I wear my Doc's! :D Although they are getting really bald! Haha. They’re still sturdy though!

For shirts I think I'm okay for now. Maybe one or two more when I'm in a car area and they won’t get as nasty, but for now I'm okay. :) It's easier to pack light… although some light colored slacks for the 110 degree weather wouldn't hurt… but I'm not picky...

This transfer, above all other transfers, I have learned the importance of seeing people's true potential, to be the best they can be. We should really work to see everyone with the "salvation mindset" as Elder Peterson put it for me - Which means to see everyone as the best they can be, and do EVERYTHING for the eternal betterment of myself and all those around me. It's tough, but it pays off. The hardest thing, as with all things spiritual, is staying focused. The adversary tries VERY hard to distract us and we often fall for it. We must stay focused, because we don’t have time to waste. These are the last days, and it is time to get to work!
Yowza! Girls Camp looks and sounds like it was a blast!! Emily tell me all about it!! Well, I guess you will in the snail mail won’t you? Haha! Look at me being impatient! :P Who are the R's again? Next door neighbors? That’s cool they’ve been coming to church!! Fantastic even! Keep up the missionary work!

Emi, I hope you had a really good time at Girls Camp and learned a bunch. :) LOVE YOU LOTS!

WOW. Brother Phillips. I love that man. I still remember those times when he would come up to the Teachers and Priests and ask if we could go with him to visit people at the retirement home. Good times. I always enjoyed helping with that, to help those good people receive the Sacrament! I thank the Lord for great people like Brother Phillips, and I thank good people like Brother Phillips for helping my family, too. I will definitely write him a letter. :)

Time for me to go now! I love you guys! I'll be on for a few more min and then I gotta run. BYEEE!

- Elder 9

PHOTOS:  I received the following photos from very thoughtful people who live in the Bakersfield Mission and in Elder Nine's Ward at church.  Always a "treat right on time" for this Mama! ;)

Love my goofball!
He's sporting "new" blue glasses from the Ward's "Lost-n-Found"!

And it's always "Fun Time" when swords are involved!

These are real swords, and the one he's  holding in the top, middle picture is a replica of the Lord Of The Rings sword!

Notice the one behind him hanging over the fireplace.

Hey, missionaries get a few minutes of down time too! ;)