Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Monday, February 23, 2015

We Are Family

Laguna Niguel
I never get tired of the view here. 
So Zone Conference was awesome. President Orgil talked about growth and then taking offense. It was a really good talk about the need to be obedient even when no one is looking. He talked about how Satan whispers to us to do this little evil, not, commit this great sin. It was way helpful to me. It just made me wanna be that much more obedient. And the best part was the concept that taking offense is a personal choice. It made me think of all the times that I got angry or mad at people for their dumb choices or something they said... but I got offended because I chose to be. It was an awesome lesson that I took to heart even though it was also directed to the fact that we have tons of less actives who don't come to church because they were offended. It was a way for us to understand a way to help them get over the problems they are facing. 
I am not sure if you have heard but there is a huge shift in the type of mission work that we are doing. The work is truly hastening. It says in the scriptures that there are fishers of men meaning that we are out among the people trying to catch the few that will listen. Then there is what it's changing to -- instead of fishers we are hunters of men (also scriptural). We are out looking for the people who are less active and have gone unnoticed and are hidden in the world. We're trying to bring them back into the fold. We now have a completely new set of key indicators that we are also reporting. They have more to do with the less active people we work with. I am loving this new shift.

We have been able to work with Don a ton this last week. They are finally moved into a stable home all to themselves. They will be there for the next month at least. So that's great. Also we have become like family with them. They love and appreciate all that we do. Alyssa is so kind and sweet. She basically thinks of us as family. And we have become friends with Gavin (her son) the last week. In fact, we were the first ones he called to let us know that he was in the hospital for a broken leg. So we rushed over to see him. It was a good experience to just get them to love us. We are hopefull that we can get Don to come to church and eventually get baptized and get Gavin into scouts (and also be baptized) and hopefully get Alyssa to also. 

Alexis is a work in progress. We have found out that there is some other stuff going on so we don't think we are down for the count. We have some people in the ward who are friends with her helping out. 

This last week was crazy slow due to the fact that everyone was out of town or just really not ok with us coming over. But finally the clouds cleared and we stopped by to see a lady who was contacted a month ago but she was never home. She let us in and just jumped right into the whole thing. She is Jewish but not Orthodox... I don't even know how that is, but we just talked about our beliefs. We discussed why we need a Savior and how we have final proof of His divinity. I finally got to bear my testimony to someone about the BofM and I just was blown away by the Spirit I felt pushing me on as I spoke. She was really nice and appreciative of us coming over. She says we can come back to talk and see how she is doing. We felt the spirit and we hope that something will come about because of it.

I feel that I sorta ramble in my emails so I hope to do better on that in the future. We have a kid who is the son of a less active who is starting to come back. He is going to start taking the lessons because his dad finally said that it's ok for him to be baptized. I think he was blown away at the fact that we said we could be the one to baptize his son. I think that made his world and I think he is going to come back to activity for his son's sake.

It sounds like you guys have so much going on its hard to keep track of. But I am so happy yall are doing good love you all and hope you guys have an amazing week! 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Shootin' Some BBall Outside The School

Laguna Niguel 
Wow guys! That Roots Conference thing sounds like the bomb! I sometimes feel like I want to be like that Jewish guy cause when I see some of our recent converts do stupid stuff, I want to just stone them too. But we don't, we stone them with kindness:) 

Well it has been a bit of a crazy week. I went on my first exchange on Saturday. They usually last a night and a day so we have to take a bunch of stuff for the next day. They're kinda like sleep overs but they are way fun. I learned a lot. But I went with Elder Clements, one of our Zone Leaders. He is an awesome missionary. I learned to contact better from him and hope to use what he taught me more. 

Last Sunday we found out that the homeless guy that was recently baptized was in jail (explains why we couldn't get a hold of him). But then this Sunday we found out he is in the hospital. We went and visited him and he was happy sounding but also sad. 

On Tuesday we had our first break up with Alexis. We haven't been able to set up an appointment with her for some time. But we kinda saw this coming. One day we texted her and asked if we could come over to talk she said no and probably not for awhile. :/ It was basically the "it's not you, it's me" scenario. The worst part is that we got no closure on the whole thing. It's ok... we have this feeling that things with her aren't done. She totally felt the spirit and we know she will come back.

On a side note, I kinda might try and find a cheap long board some where in town and buy it. Just letting you know so if it shows up on my card don't freak out. :)

PDay was awesome yesterday. We woke up early and we got a bunch of other elders and played basketball on these courts right next to the ocean. So awesome! You can see them if you go to the Laguna Canyon Road and find where it connects to the PCH. You will see them. It was so much fun! We ended up going to the stake center and hanging with our zone the rest of the day and we played more basket ball. We ended the night visiting Austin in the hospital. When we were heading out the paramedics came in and they were moving him to a different hospital. Austin asked if we could say a prayer before we left, they said yes and just stood there and waited while we prayed. I don't know if they felt it but the spirit was strong in that room. It felt so good. The paramedics were super nice and they just started asking us questions about general stuff with what we were doing. It was awesome!

Well till next week... Love you all and hope you had an awesome Presidents Day!

At Zone Conference

Monday, February 9, 2015

Putting Down Roots

Laguna Niguel 
Hey! So ya, it's gone so crazy fast! It's incredible. The saying here is that the days are long and the weeks are short but the months are shorter! And it's so crazy how true that is. 
So our apartment is pretty tiny. It's a casita of a member. The address is confusing so I will try to tell you (so you can Google Earth it). We live on Bluebird Lane. and it's like the 2nd to last turn on the left - closest to the mountain. Then it's off this little drive way that is shared by 3 different homes. It's all the way at the end of the drive way and you can see a path that leads to our casita. It's kinda ghetto and we have to rig a bunch of things to make it work. But I love it! It's the only member house in all of our mission. 
Oh and just to give you an idea -- on average all of our mission housing is around $1500 a month. It's probably one of the most expensive missions in the world.  Getting around is a little annoying. The traffic here is crazy busy, the roads are super narrow and parking is the hardest, most aggravating thing in the whole world. Like, everytime we park we have to walk about a block usually to our appointments. But I still love it here. I want to put a down payment on a apartment and keep it till I leave the mission and come back and live here. 

On different note, our investigator and now turning into internigators which is basically means they are going to take awhile. But we have so many less active we are working on. This last Sunday we had 3 less actives show up! YAY!!! And we have a ton of youth nonmembers that are attending activities and things of that sort. We have this one girl that has given away 5 BoMs this last month to her friends at school and she brought a nonmember girl to church. We also are starting to have a representative of all the Young Mens and Womens groups attend our correlation meetings cause there are like 15 potentials in those groups. There are too many names to keep them all straight. 

We had a cool run in the other day. When we stopped at a gas station we were about to leave when Elder Hancock was like, "I need to get the receipt." So he ran in while I stayed in the car. After a few minutes I looked up and he was waving for me to come in. He was talking to a lady who was from St. George so I was way psyched! It turned out she was actually from Ivins and she was a convert to our church about 3 years ago and was moving into the Laguna Beach ward! Her name is Shannon. We are trying to get her info cause she seemed to be less active so we are pumped about getting to talk to her more. 

Also another cool story is Linda. We got a call like the day I got here from a lady named Sonya who lives on the east coast and is dying of cancer. She is a member and she is really worried about her cousin named Linda who lives in our area. So we have been calling her every Monday trying to get a hold of her. Last night we finally got a call from her. She feels that there is something missing in her life so we are going to meet her sometime this week. 

I will keep you updated! 

Love you all so much!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Everything is Incredible!

Hey so I will try and answer everyones questions in this email. 
So we eat just about every night at a members house and it's awesome. Just about everyone we go to tells about someone they know who needs the gospel and they are trying to help them get it and ask us for help. 
I should probs let you know that when I came into this ward they took out the other sister missionaries. So we got all of their load of people and contacts plus our own. Instead of having 1 area book we have 3!!!! Ya it's pretty nutz. We have a list of about 20 people ranging from investigators, progressing, high potentials, and less actives and recent converts(commonly referred to as LARC's). It's crazy just how busy we are. And yes, me and my comp get along real well. It was kinda awkward at the beginning but it has come a long way! 
We are hoping to push 2 of our progressors towards setting dates for baptism this week, so that's pretty intense. Zach and Morgan are the children of Michele Perodot. They go back and forth between their dad and her. Michele is baptized but just recently. Last week though, Michele was given permission to have the kids on Wednesday as well and Michele is part of the young women's group. So Morgan has started to go (not baptized) and she loves it! The girls in the ward are incredible! They really make an effort to invite and make the girls feel welcome. Morgan has stated that she wants to start attending church and we will probs start teaching her soon. Zach is just rebellious at this point so we are trying to make a connection with him.

We didn't plan on it but we ended up watching the last quarter of the Super Bowl at Michelle's house, We figured that they weren't foot ball people but they were and we didn't want to be rude or any thing. That game was amazing! It was the most miraculous ending to and game I have ever seen.

On Sunday, me and Hancock were sitting in sacrament meeting and the bishop texted us and told us that we should bear our testimonies. So we did and it was incredible the feeling of love I had for the people. I just stared talking bout the scriptures and my own conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Both of our testimonies were just incredible and the feeling of the Spirit in the room was almost suffocating. Later we learned that an investigator from another ward who was being taught by some of the other missionaries felt that Spirit and told the lady she was with that she finally felt that she was ready to be baptized! It's incredible how the Spirit works! it made me think of a talk that was given in the MTC about "Minding the Gap". It's about how most people's spiritual expirences come when the missionaries that are teaching them aren't even around. That's exactly what happened.

To Sara and her missionary work of her own: Doesn't it feel amazing to bear your testimony of what is true? There have already been several occasions where people, mostly the homeless, try and figuratively shut down what we are doing and it's incredible just how much your testimony powers you through those experiences. I would suggest two things for you: 1) read the talk "Come and See" by David A. Bednar, it's about why we do what we do as missionaries and 2) give the talk "His Grace is Sufficient" to this guy with the smoking addiction. It can really help him out.

We have done a crap load of service this week -- like a ton! We got 12 hrs in 2 days. We should be averaging 10 a week. But the coolest experience was going to a homeless shelter and feeding them. It was incredible the amount of joy that brought to them and all I could think was how the gospel would help them. Also, as a plus there was this guy Larry, he is kinda like our best friend now. He just tells jokes all the time and he just busts up laughing everytime, we love him!

Well love you all so much!! and I will attach a few pics to make yall jealous!