Monday, December 30, 2013

Words from Elder Austin Davis in Oregon

 

"Not lots going on this week, lots of our contacts headed home for Christmas but it is still
busy enough for sure. Have had some long meetings especially since they opened our mission
up to Face book. It s going to be a great teaching tool. I love you guys and I am so grateful to
be serving the people in Oregon."

Words from Elder Spencer Lee in New York, New York Mission

 

"After President Morgan spoke we said a closing prayer and headed into the gym to have dinner. Now let me repeat, there are 250+ missionaries to feed. A senior couple, Elder and Sister Hohosh were in charge of the food. The Christmas devotional was the Hohosh's last day in the mission, they are military relations couple for West Point military academy. They serve in the Newburgh Zone and have been a great friend to all the missionaries that have served with them, it is sad that they will be leaving. For the dinner we had ham, turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, and rolls; they fed us like kings! While we all ate they had a slide show going of pictures that missionaries had sent in from the entire year of 2013, and what a great year it was. So many memories, so many friends made; this mission has been such a blessing to me. Now let us remember that I was at last years Christmas devotional......yup, that is how old I am!

I truly am grateful to be a missionary, to be in the best mission in the world, and to rub shoulders with some of the best people the church has to offer. This Gospel is true, I can't believe I did not see it before; only took me 20 years to finally open my eyes. This Christmas season is about our Savior Jesus Christ and his birth. This time of year is when the entire Christian world gathers together as families and celebrates His birth. This is going to be the 2nd Christmas away from my family, but it will also be the last Christmas away from them. I love my family more than words can express, I miss them everyday. Seeing my family again will be an indescribable feeling, but I can't think about that now, there is still more that I need to do here in New York. :)"

Words from Elder Garrett Anderson in Brazil

 

"This week has been great. I think after a year i might finally be getting the hang of it out here. I have also miraculously started keeping a journal now. I think i have written for 3 days straight which is a miracle because i do not like writing at all.
Before i forget let me tell you a story. So last week at about midnight as my companion and i were sleeping, there was a really loud knock or someone pounding on our door, followed by a weird sound like a moaning sound. After about 5 minutes of the pounding i woke up, my companion had already been awake and i was pretty out of it not knowing what was going on. As i got out of bed i turned on the bedroom light and told my companion we need to answer the door and see what all the ruckus was about. As soon as i turned on the light my companion got really nervous and was telling me to turn the light off quick and get back in bed he also told me to keep my voice down and i was wondering why he was being all weird. After about 5 more minutes the pounding stopped and then my companion went on to tell me how this is what robbers will do. Late at night they will go to a house and then ask for help or something like that and then rob you. Its pretty messed up and if it were me and another American, i am pretty sure we would have opened the door.

Well i have had some good experiences, not everything has been about robbers. I finally watched the movie "17 Miracles" which is about the pioneers and their journey to Utah. It was one of the best movies i have ever watched. After the movie was over i felt very ungrateful because of how easy i or we as members have everything in the church today. Although we still do have challenges and struggles and the world is more wicked now than ever before, we have the tools necessary to combat this evil.

In this month's Ensign, there is an article by President Henry B. Eyring that is titled, "Family and Friends Forever". This article is perfect and explains how we can share the gospel more with are friends and how thankful they will be knowing that we have shared something with them that is so important to us.

I hope all of you have a great Christmas, that it is full of joy and lots of gratitude for the birth of The Savior into the world. Love you all."


Words from Elder Jared Anderson in Brazil

"All is well in Brazil, learning more and more each day, I just have to be patient with everything and trust in the Lord, I have learned more in these short 5 months than I have in just about my entire life, I love you all so very much and thank you for each and everyone of your support and help in each of your own ways, Love you all and may the Lord bless you and your loved ones."

 
 
 
 
 
 
"I would also like to send a little piece of something I read thanks to ELDER DAVIS! I strongly believe this is very true and hope that you will take this chalenge seriously, `´All you families that have missionaries out, I want to promise you something. If you are getting people for the elders and sister to teach, your sons and daughters are going to be blessed with new investigators and baptisms where they are serving.`` This was such a powerful statement by a member of the 70 Elder Davis heard from, family friends everyone, please we need to do better, we can do better, we are losing to many brothers and sisters each day becuase we are not sharing the gospel, if you have trouble knowing HOW to share the gospel, ASK THE MISSIONARIES, they can help you (Elder Nielsen´s General Conference talk) Love you all! WE GOT THIS!"

Words from Sister Kortlynn Herring in Japan

"Hey Hey Hey! How goes it? It's going great here in the frozen land of Sanjo! I never realized how hard it was to walk in snow, until I actually had to do it, all day. I'm going to have great legs by the time this winter is over :) Haha! Well, I can't believe it was Christmas, and now it's over. So weird! It didn't really feel like Christmas. I guess it's because it's not a big deal over here. Some people with little kids did Santa and stuff, some houses had Christmas lights, but it was pretty much a normal day. When we went out housing that day, I asked them what they did for Christmas, and lots of people said, we don't do Christmas! :( I was SO sad! So I told them so, and then invited them to hear the message of why we celebrate Christmas. When I asked some people what they thought the true meaning of Christmas was, one lady said it was because Christ died. I was surprised to hear that one! Haha! But since Christmas was on Wednesday, we had Eikaiwa that day, and it was great! We had a Christmas party with LOTS of food! BTW THANK-YOU THANK-YOU THANK-YOU for that European chocolate! SO YUMMY and it was a big hit at Eikaiwa! Now, for the details of the week

 Tuesday: We went and taught a members Mom. We originally wanted to share a Christmas message, because it was Christmas Eve, but she just kept saying it didn't apply to here, so Hoshino Shimai (the member) told us we should teach prayer again. So we went over prayer and told her she can pray for anything. We then wrote down the "method" for her so she could pray on her own. She is a goofy lady. But in the end, she prayed! yay!

 Wednesday: Christmas! So fun! We had district meeting then went to lunch at the WORLD BUFFET. SO GOOD! I ate way to much, but it was lovely. Then we visited some less-actives, did some housing, and went to Eikaiwa. We wanted to have a Christmas party, but we didn't have music, so I called Y (awesome Eikaiwa student, and one of my best friends, and not just because she loves the backstreet boys as much as I do) and asked her to bring music so, she brought Big Time Rush's Christmas. So funny! It was a great party, and we were able to invite one of the students to hear the lessons. We will see if she is interested.

 Thursday: We had a couple lessons with S Shimai and K San. We taught the creation to S Shimai and challenged her to give up coffee and sake. She said she would do her best. Then we taught K San. I LOVE that woman! She is awesome, and we went over The Family: A Proclamation to the World with her, and she loved it! We told her about the blessings of an eternal family, all she needs to do, is continue learning, doing her best, and obey the commandments like get baptized and go to the temple! She loves learning about the gospel, but her situation right now is super complicated and so she can't get baptized yet, but it's definitely going to happen! Then we did some housing! Great fun, I love singing to people at the door steps. Japanese people just aren't use to caroling!

 Friday: We went to contact a guy that we found on Tuesday that was interested. But he wasn't home, so we went housing in a nearby area and found 2 young Mom's who were super nice! One after she told us she wasn't really interested in hearing the lessons asked us if she could ask us a question. We said of course and she asked us what the difference between bunny and rabbit were. She was teaching her daughter English. So, luckily Sister Worth knew the difference, because I had no idea. And we were able to invite her to Kid's Eikiawa, which is something we are starting this Saturday! yay! So funny! :)

Saturday: So, it snowed, a lot, so we weren't able to ride our bikes, but it was so cool! The snow is like Dip N' Dots! It hurts when it's windy but it's cool! We went to contact a lady who comes to a lot of activities, and she wasn't home, so we did her a service instead and shoveled her drive way. My first time ever really shoveling snow! SO fun! Haha! :) Sister Worth, who is from Idaho, northern Idaho thought it was insane that I had never really done it before.

 Sunday: Church! Was great! Then went with the Elders to lead them to the guy we had found who was interested. He became their investigator and we got to go housing again! Even though Christmas is over, we still wanted to carol, so we did. I guess that's the nice thing about caroling in a country that isn't really familiar with caroling. Anyway, we knocked on this one house and the lady actually came out! Let us sing, we talked a bit, and she wasn't really interested in learning about the gospel, but she was interested in Kid's Eikaiwa! And as we were leaving, she ran out of the house and gave us these delicious cream filled pancakes! SO nice!!! I'm so glad we decided to start Kid's Eikaiwa, because since we made that decision, we have found a lot of people who are interested. These people say they aren't interested in the gospel at first, but when they come to activities and stuff and see that we are normal people and build relationships with us, they realize that something is missing! Then they realize they are interested! One of the most effective ways of finding solid investigators here is through Eikaiwa or our other activities! So awesome!

 Monday: Today! P-Day, went shopping, email, and sent your Christmas package finally! Should get to ya in a couple week! Then tonight we have music night and a potential investigator coming! Yay!

 Life is great! I love being a missionary, especially at this time! I know that this is the Lord's work. I love teaching people about our Savior, and this time of year is wonderful because we just focus on Him. Sister Worth is awesome, I'm so grateful for this opportunity to be her companion. She has taught me a whole lot! Love you all!! Hope you have a fantastic week!"

 

Words from Hermana Amanda Greer in Chile

 

"Well I am leaving this beautiful and cold city of Punta Arenas. I have had a wonderful 6 months here, and I´ll catch my flight to Entrelagos Wednesday morning. I have a mixture of emotions. This is my mission; Punta Arenas is the only place I have known as Hermana Greer. I love the people here. I am really going to miss the members and my investigators. (and I might have cried a little as a said goodbye to a few people)
>>> I had a great week. I loved seeing my family and talking to you guys. Thank you so much for your support, love and prayers.
>>> The other day we went to a plaza in downtown Punta Arenas with our zone and drew the plan of salvation with chalk. It was so fun, and a great way to be able to contact people and teach them about the plan of salvation. And a miracle happened! There's a lady I met my first week here in Punta Arenas. We had a good lesson with her, but her land lord wouldn't let us pass by on another day, but I found her in the plaza and we taught her the plan of salvation and now have her number.
>>> We had a lesson with a less active lady, who's mom is like the pillar of the ward. We taught about the temple and we are going to help her make it there one day(the plan is in one year, because she wants to be able to pick up her son who is serving a mission and go to the temple with him). I love her, and I love her parents. I am going to include a picture of them.
>>> Friday was an interesting day, a little bit more difficult for me then the average day in the mission.(but still a great day, because its not possible to have a bad day as a missionary). I was very happy for my sister/best friend/ best-person-in-the-world to get married to an amazing guy. I am so very happy for them. Also we finally found Jovi, and she told us in the door that she doesn't want to get baptized and she needs to focus on other important things in her life. I was dumbfounded, and didn't know what to say. But then I was just filled with so much love for her, and sadness with the thought of her not having the happiness of this gospel in her life. So I shared my testimony with her and I really felt the guidance of God as I spoke with her. I told her how I know that I have felt the spirit with her, and I know that she has felt it too. And that I know that what we have shared with her is only going to bless her life, and strenghten her relationship with God.
>>> We have a lesson planned with her today. I really hope she is there.
>>> Also, Friday is usually the day that they call to tell you send your bags when you are getting transferred out of Punta Arenas, so I was in a slight state of unease waiting for the call that was going to tell me what was going to happen with my life.
>>> I loved Christmas here. We had a great week.
>>> I am happy, and am excited to meet the wonderful people of Entrelagos. I am sure I am going to see many miracles there, and that Hermana Teeples and her new companion who are going to stay here in Punta Arenas are going to see miracles with the people I love here."

Words from Elder Bo Mullenaux in the California Santa Rosa Mission

"I couldn't have asked for a better week!! Christmas was so great especially because i got to see most of you! It was a little rough trying to focus after that, but all is well now! Ha ha
So this week, even with it being so busy, we picked up a new investigator! He is a very, VERY interesting feller. But hey, He is a child of God and one of my brothers and i know with out a doubt that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, he can change! When you think about it, that really is what the Atonement is about, change. I love the atonement and I've learned so much about it out here. The Lord definitely shows us our weaknesses so that we can be humble. But, through faith and the Atonement we can make weak things become strong, and i know that's true!

Sorry this week I'm cutting it so short, but I love you all so much! I couldn't ask to have more support or any better support than I already have from all of you! I hope everyone had a great Christmas, and has a safe New Years!!"

Words From Elder Riley Pulsipher in Mexico

Still making a BIG impact!


Words from Elder Shad Lindsey in the Ukraine

 

"Well, it doesn't seem that long since I wrote my last letter, because our last P day was on Wed. for Christmas. I hope that you guys all had an incredible Christmas and enjoyed spending time together with your families. I know it was great skyping mine!
These last few days have been really good! We have just been doing good old fashion missionary work!! I love the members here in Ukraine. They are all so solid and their testimonies are the strongest testimonies I have ever heard. Its just such a privilege to serve such incredible people. Man, I wish you guys could just listen to the ward here singing Christmas songs! They all sing so beautifully, and they love singing Christmas songs!!!! Russian is such a beautifully language, I wish you guys could listen to everyone sing!!

I am so thankful for all that the Lord has blessed me with. I realize that I take all of the blessings God has given me for granted. The people here don't have hardly anything, but they have the gospel and that is all they need. They are just so humble, and so faithful because they aren't distracted by all the material things that I was before my mission. Words can't describe it, but I love these people so much.

Well, New Years is coming up, and that means that there are gonna be even MORE drunk people then usual. Its crazy because there are a ton of drunk people just on a normal day. So we have to be in by 6:00 instead of 9:00 like usual. Well we have a lesson tonight with a member referral!! His name is Roman, and he seems like a super cool guy. We also have a lesson with a family later on this week, so please please pray for them! I know that the Lord has blessed them to cross paths with the missionaries, and we just want to help them come closer to Jesus Christ and our Loving Heavenly Father! Well I love you all very much, and I am so thankful for all that you have done for me. Happy New Years!!!"

-Старейшина Линдзи

Words from Elder Clay & Sister Cookie Overson in San Paulo Brasil

"We serve in Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo State in the Church Office Building with the Perpetual Education Fund and in the Self-Reliance Center. Our mornings are spent facilitating classes for people who are looking for jobs, helping them however we can, practicing interview skills or personal power statements, etc., and encouraging them. These are awfully good people and we are amazed by their commitment to the church and to their families. For part of our day we work with people who have received loans through the Perpetual Education Fund.

One of the most fun things we do is teach Basic and Conversation English classes. We teach Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 5:00 until "whenever" because we don't know how to tell them it's time to go. We love our students and have a few who are not members of the church. We gave two of them Books of Mormon in English and in Portuguese and they said they would read them. One of them, Patricia, said that she doesn't understand it but she has never felt the way she feels when she is with us in our classes. Of course, we know that what she's feeling is the Spirit and we're hoping to send the missionaries to her soon. Though our mission is a PEF Self Reliance Mission, we understand that the purpose of all missionaries is to invite others to come unto Christ and we love it when we get that opportunity. We have distributed lots and lots of pass-along cards and hope we're planting lots of seeds.

On Sundays, we serve at the Missionary Training Center. Elder Overson is a counselor in a branch presidency and I work with him and teach Relief Society. There's probably no other place in the world, other than the temples, where the Spirit is stronger than in our MTC's. We get to give lots of talks and lots of lessons and are amazingly blessed to spend every Sunday there not only with the missionaries but with the other amazing Brazilian brothers and sisters who serve with us there."

Words from Elder Rey Patterson in Ontario Oregon Mission


"Elder Reymond Scott Patterson is serving in Ontario, Oregon as a Senior Zone Leader. There is a lot of snow on the ground and he is figuring out how to drive in it. He sent his family sunglasses made out of beautiful wood for Christmas. They are lightweight and very unique for us here in the desert. He mentioned that it is very easy to keep the Christmas Spirit all year long as a missionary because they study, teach, and learn of Christ each and every day. He loves the people in Idaho and Oregon and strives diligently to serve them."

Words from Elder Kade Garner in the Peru Lima West Mission

"Christmas Eve or as it is called here La Noche Buena was something new and fun. We had pday that day, but we had to start working like every pday at six in the evening. We had a baptism this day. The baptism was so cool. The whole time fire works were going off in the background as if to celebrate the birth of Christ and the covenant one of His brothers was making with our Heavenly Father. Every message related back to the importance of Christmas. I do not know if I have been to a baptismal service where the Spirit was that strong. Everyone should get baptized on Christmas Eve.

 Other than that, the week was kinda slow. We did however have another small miracle. We found one of our investigators who disappeared for a time. We had an appointment that we were late to but I had a feeling to take a different route. This route took us past the house of Mery. As we walked past her house she saw us and invited us to talk to her. She is a 50 year old woman who lives with her 30 year old son and his girlfriend. She had gone to Arequipa for some business but is now home. We had a lesson with her and set a new baptismal date for the 11th of January. She is so excited and so am I. She is a great person who works a ton. We are just praying that she will be able to find a new job that will give her more time to go to church and enjoy herself.

 That was basically my week. I was just thinking about the week to come. We have new years which means new goals. This year I have decided to make no goals that benefit me. I want to only make goals that will benefit others. I was thinking of goals that God would want me to set. I have made a few and already set them into place. I am just going to rely fully in the Lord this year and I know that I will accomplish the goals that I have set and made with my Heavenly Father. I hope this year will be the most prosperous and rewarding in my life so far. I know that can only be if I make the year one that keeps me focused in what the Lord wants rather than what I want."

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Words from Elder Austin Davis in Portland, Oregon Mission

" Well this week was okay ha okay I'm not going to lie this week was a rough week...oh yeah so it started off sweet had a great thing the Stake President called us or one of his councilors did and they asked us to teach the restoration at the high priest group leader meeting and so we went and we taught the Stake Presidency and the high priest group leaders! little intimidating! but it went great there were people in tears Heavenly Father really did bless us. Which I'm so thankful for! then Thursday night i was in hillsboro dropped by the melansons bishop melanson over the Cornell ward and he was like elder I'm going to see patty Haynes she is about to pass away and the last time i saw her, her husband was about to pass and she was healthy as a horse but we went over, thanked bill her husband for letting us in. the spirit was there she couldn't talk. She just laid in bed sleeping it was her time to go. but we just talked with bill that's all he needed was a friend. Then Friday came around no baptism. Montserrat didn't want to go through with it but its okay she will continue to study in Spain.  Sunday morning rolls around got a call from bill saying patty had passed away @ 9:51. Bill was crushed but he knows about the plan of salvation, hopefully he accepts it. bill is a non member love that guy !  Well its been a rough week but i love my Savior i really do! I hope everybody is doing well I do miss my family but I know that I have to do this! And I love doing this I just want to let you know I love you and thankful for all the things that you have done for me I love you . I love testifying of the plan of happiness because most people don't understand the truth so we have the opportunity to explain it to them and I love it !"


Words from Elder Spencer Wilhelm in Angola


"This week was awesome!!! As i told you last week we were in luanda for a zone conference with all of the elders of Angola. So we had the privilege of riding in that wonderful chicken express(the bus) for 18 hours to go and watch it:) Don't worry this time there weren't any chickens on the bus:)

On Tuesday we got permission from president to do some divisions with the elders from huambo. I walked with elder tilley in terra nova, an area that we both had served in to go and see a few people for probably the last time. It was a really sweet experience to walk back in that area and see what had become of the area. It has grown and now has many very strong members. We only were able to see three people, Guilheirme, Danilson, and Lorenco. Guilheirme will be going on a mission in January to mozambique so this was the last time for tilley and i to see him. He hope to pass by more people when we are getting ready to leave.

The zone conference was on Wednesday for most of the day. It was such a good conference!!! Elder Hamlton, a member of the second quorum of the 70, came and spoke at the zone conference. It was such a neat experience as he spoke to us and taught us. At the very beginning he did something that i had never really seen done in a conference. To start it off he just asked us what the biggest challenges we had as we worked. We named off a list of 10 or so items from helping people make commitments to getting people married, to how to work with the members more closely. Throughout the whole conference he discussed about every one of the worries that we had and helped us to understand how to teach more efficiently.

Elder Hamlton used a really good example for Helping people keep commitments. he said that when we find people and we start teaching them we are trying to help them make huge changes in there lives that seem almost impossible. Kind of like jumping over a 10 foot brick wall without any help. So something people will run head on at the wall and jump as high as they can and just end up slamming straight into the wall. So as we are teaching we need to make "stairs" for them to easy their way up to the top by giving smaller and easier commitments such as reading a chapter in the bofm or something like that. The he went on and explained that we we teach and invite people to do something we need to ask them in a very straight, yes or no answer. such as "will you...?" and if they start to make excuses to be a little persistent by testifying and promising blessing and then asking them again. kind of a don't take no for an answer type thing. ha ha but i really enjoyed the whole conference!!! I learned so much!"


Words from Elder Ryder Nielsen in the Philippines Manilla Mission

"What an exciting time of the year Christmas is right around the corner. To tell you the truth now that i am older i feel i have lost the Christmas spirit as far as presents and Santa Claus goes. But a new kind of Christmas has grown inside me. A time to be thankful for the Savior Infinite Atonement. It is also a time we can be grateful for our wonderful family. That is what i will miss the most is being with family. I know that the family is central to Heavenly Fathers plan. Life just isn't worth living without our family. I remember the first phrase i learned in Tagalog back at the MTC it goes like this Ang Diyos and ating mapagmahal na Ama sa langit at Tayo ay mga anak Niya. Which means in English: God is our loving Heavenly Father and we are his children. That simple truth has grown from a little seed into a Redwood because of the things that i have experienced on my mission. It is so amazing to me the love and care he has for each of his billions of children on this planet earth. I am humbled everyday to be and instrument in his hands in blessing and helping one of his children. One of my favorite quotes is from a prophet he said " God does notice us and he loves us, but it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. That is why it is vital that we serve one another." With this in mind i would like to share a quote from Elder Ballards talk this last conference, "We are not asking everyone to do everything. We are simply asking all members to pray, knowing that if every member, young and old, will reach out to just "one" between now and Christmas, millions will feel the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. And what a wonderful gift to the Savior." What a wonderful Christmas gift to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with some one. That is my challenge for all the family back home if they have not already reach out and share your knowledge. The Lord is truly hastening his work and we will be privileged to be apart of it. Elder Ballard also said that the hastening of the Lords work is only possible with the members. What a wonderful thing it is to know the Will of the Lord through living prophets. (1 Nephi 7:12)"

Words from Elder Kade Garner in the Peru Lima West Mission

"I love you all and want you to know that I know the church is true. The members are far from perfect, but we cannot allow their defaults to drive us away from what we know to be the truth. I can now say without any doubt the Jesus is the Christ. I know that He was born in humble circumstances, that He suffered for each one of us personally, and that He was resurrected on the third day so that all mankind would one day be resurrected too. What a blessing it is that we have an older brother who loves us us knows us perfectly. Through Him we receive a remission of sins, through Him we will be perfected, and through Him we will live together after death with our families for the eternities. He is our Shepard of Shepard's, our king of kings, He is our everything. We owe all to Him and yet He asks for almost nothing. What a blessing to have this Christmas season to remember the birth of our dear Lord. And what a blessing it is that He allows His missionaries to talk to their families on His special day. Merry almost Christmas!"

Words from Elder Shad Lindsey in the Ukraine

"Man it sounds like you guys are all doing so good! I love haring your stories and how good everything is going. I am doing good over here. A lot of you asked about what is going on here in Ukraine so I guess I can kinda talk about that. The country is trying to impeach their president so they can join the Euro union. It's kinda crazy right now in Kiev because all the protester's, but don't worry because we are all safe! We just aren't allowed to go into the center of KIev, which is kinda good because I hate going there anyways! haha

But really, I am doing so good! I love the new ward that I am serving in. It is weird serving with a bishopric, and all the Elder's quorum counselor's and stuff, but it is awesome! I know that the Lord needs me to be here. We have already made a lot of plans on how we can strengthen the ward here.

On Thursday we were able to give a blessing to these 2 ladies named Larisa and Irra. Irra is about 40 years old and is paralyzed. Larisa is her mom and she takes care of her. It was so incredible to talk with such humble people. They both were just so grateful that we took the time out of our day to go and meet with them. I had the opportunity to give Irra a blessing. It is hard to put into words the things that I felt, but I felt an overwhelming sense of joy. I knew that Heavenly Father loves her. It truly did feel like HE was blessing her through me. I didn't use any big or eloquent words. I just said what I felt I needed to in as good of Russian as I could, and I felt the Spirit so strongly. It was an experience that changed my life forever. I know that the priesthood is real, and that it works in accordance with people's faith in Jesus Christ.

I have been really trying to learn as much as I can about Jesus Christ in my personal studies. I think I have always had a testimony of Him. I mean I always knew that He was my Savior, and because of Him, I could return to my Heavenly Father. But that testimony I had, is being strenghtened so much. It is like I am just rediscovering truths that deep in my soul I have always known. In a sense, that is literally what I am doing. It always amazes me to think that not very long ago at all, we were all with our Heavenly Father. Not very long ago, all we wanted to do was to return to live with Him again. We even fought a war in Heaven for that same thing. And then you see how fast and easy it is for people, including myself, to get distracted. I read an awesome verse in 2 Nephi 26:24. I encourage all of you to read it because it is awesome!! Everything Jesus Christ does is for us. HE finds the most joy in making sure that we are happy. A lot of people say that in our church we have too many commandments like the word of wisdom, tithing, and etc, but they are only there to make us happy. Obedience to all of these commandments, exact obedience, is how we will find the most happiness.

I don't mean to sound all intense, but I felt inspired to share that with you all. MY mission is super fun though! The other day I helped these kids make a huge snowman and then we got into this huge snowball fight it was awesome. It was cool because afterwards we were able to talk to their moms about God's plan for families. Everyday seems like it is always just so fun. Days are definitely hard, but we always try to be having fun, because missionary work would be so hard if we didn't have fun."

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Words from Sister Kortlynn Herring in the Japan Mission

"Now for the bad news, we had transfer calls this morning and my beloved Palmer Shimai is leaving me! I'm quite upset about it, but it's ok. I'm so glad I get to stay in Sanjo! And I found out that I will be getting a new missionary this next transfer. What?! I still don't speak Japanese yet...but I will ganbaro! I will try my best. I'm trying not to worry or stress about it to much, because I know that the Lord is with me every step of the way, but lets face it, I'm scared. It's going to be great though! I'm super excited to see what's gonna happen!

 Now, this week was a great one! We taught a bunch of lessons and everyone is progressing pretty well. We have a lady who is so ready for baptism, there are just a couple, well one major obstacle. But we are hoping to have her ready for Christmas!

 So this is my week;
Tuesday: Taught Sugawara Shimai and had lunch with a recent convert. I LOVE them! Then did a little finding and talked to a less active lady who is super nice! We are hoping to set up a mogi lesson with her.

 Wednesday: Had District meeting and really focused on preparing our investigators for baptism. The best way for that is to set up correct expectations. Then we ate lunch at this super yummy place called well, it's not really called Soil, but that is what the elders called it and I like it, so Soil and it's this awesome pasta and waffle place! Yes, I said past AND waffles! SO YUMMY! And it's in the back of this super old/new Japanese building. It just has a cool atmosphere. Was super fun and even better the waitress is now a PI and she is interested in the book of mormon! Yoshi! Then we had splits that day and I did some caroling with a sister crane from Niigata Shi. Then we had Eikaiwa, (English class) and it went really well! The students are awesome and we had a newer student named Angela and she also became an investigator!

 Thursday:Had lunch with an investigator at a members house. It went great! Then we visited an American who is here teaching English and she is really nice and we are hoping to have a good discussion with her about the Bible and the Book of Mormon.

Friday: Taught quite a few lessons, all went super well. The best one was when we went to lunch at soil again..(hehe it's SO good!) with 3 investigators from Eikaiwa. It went SUPER well! We were able to teach them all about the Book of Mormon and there is one named Yuki who I absolutely LOVE she has been an eikaiwa student for like 20 years and has done the whole missionary thing a lot, but she told Palmer Shimai and I that we make her want to read the Book of Mormon! PROGRESS! Yay! Then we helped a Less Active with her English class and that was great. She really opened up to us and now we understand more of why she isn't active anymore. I love that lady she is so sweet and loving. I just want her to feel Heavenly Father's love again.

 Saturday: Taught Sugawara Shimai again about the restoration then had oyster pasta which was yummy! Then we headed over to our family of investigators. The Kokai family. They are SO cute! Their situation is complicated so they can't get baptized, but Kokai San has her family pray together! Without us even asking her to! She has so much faith and desire! I love her!

 Sunday:Gave my talk in church, and Palmer Shimai and I sang Mary's Lullaby. Not to brag, but we sounded really good, Palmer Shimai has an amazing voice! Then we had dinner with a family in the ward. The Nakagawas. I LOVE them! They have a little boy who just got baptized and he reminds me so much of Cody boy! We really bonded and we are best friends now :) I love that family! The food was super yum too! And we got to teach a less-active and a recent convert that night about the true meaning of Christmas! I love this time of year!

And the today Palmer Shimai needs to pack and then tonight we have music night! Super fun stuff! Mom, I got my coat and boots! Thank-you so so so much! I also kind of got the other package, but the Elders have it because it was forwarded to them instead of us. But they are giving it to me today. BTW if you send by amazon they can't forward it, so I have to pay the shipping cost to get it up to me, so if you could use the post office that would be better. Thank-you so so much! I LOVE the boots! :) And ya, that was my week. It was wonderful. I'm super sad that I won't have palmer shimai with me anymore, but I'm so excited to see what this next transfer will bring! I love you all!"

Words from Elder Shad Lindsey in the Ukrane



"I hope you are all doing great back home in Arizona. I am doing so good here in Ukraine! I love being a missionary. Words can't describe exactly how I feel, but I absolutely know that the Lord's hand is in this work!
 
I just wanted to send a quick letter and talk about a few of the things that I have learned since I have been out here in Ukraine. First of all, I know that miracles are real. They happen all around us, but we sometimes just don't take the time to recognize them. At least I didn't. They may not always seem so profound or significant at the time, but the Lord truly does work miracles everyday. For me, they may be when I just have a good conversation with someone on the street. Or when I help some little old Russian Babyshka(Grandma) carry her bags for her. At the time they don't seem like anything at all, but the impact that we have on people will always remain. There are so many people who have come to church just because the missionaries have done service for them, or were just nice and respectful to them. I am learning how important it is to be a good example because we never know when someone may be watching us.

Something else that I have really come to appreciate is the help of members and missionary work. The last area where I was in, when I first got there there only 40 members that would come to church on a really good day. But for 2 transfers we worked together with the members and with the help of the Lord we were able to bring a lot of new investigators, and even more less actives back to church. Yesterday, was my last Sunday in that area, and when we counted how many people were at Sacrament meeting, we counted 60 people!!! You cannot imagine the joy that we all felt when we realized how many people were there. We couldn't believe it! We had to count 4 separate times! I am telling you all that the missionaries had nothing to do with it. It was all the members. They worked together with the missionaries and we were able to bring 20 of our dear brothers and sisters back to church in just a short amount of time.

I would challenge you guys to never miss an opportunity to share the gospel. This truly is the Work of Salvation, and the Lord needs all of our help. So talk with the missionaries. Invite them over and give them names of people to teach, and I promise you as Representative of Jesus Christ that He will shower blessings upon you. I have seen it firsthand, and I know you will too.

I hope you all know how much I love you, and I pray for you everyday. You are an incredible ward, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you have done for my family. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and hope you guys have a great time with your family and friends."



-Старейшина Линдзи (Elder Lindsey)

Words from Elder Kade Garner in the Peru Lima West Mission


"So this last week I did not write a ton so we are going to try to make up for it today.

So the culture here in Peru is a little different than that in the US for the Christmas season. They have adopted most of our traditions as their own however. Here it is summer right now. Which means it is very humid. It is so gross. If any part of your body touches any part of another person´s body it is going to be wet. It is not always sweat it is just wet. I have no idea how to explain it. Anyway, it is hot here, but they drink hot chocolate and eat paneton or as we know it, fruit cake. Yes the one thing we do not like to eat for Christmas they love. They also do Christmas lights and sing jingles. However, they celebrate with cuetes or fireworks. That is a tradition very much South American.

There is also something that I am still getting used to. The bubble between people. In the states we all have our personal bubbles in which we do not want other people in. Mine was always a little bigger than the norm too, however, here it does not exist. They, all Latinos, are very close and personal. My companion too is a little bit close and personal. When we are walking down the street he is always shoulder to shoulder with me. As companions we are always pretty close to one another but I have never had a companion who walks this close to me. Sometimes when we are in an abandoned street I point out to him that there is enough street to share. So, when I come home and I talk to you right in your face just know that that is what living in South America will do to you. Hey, it might be a good thing though. Maybe I will finally be someone who expresses his love for everyone. We all know that that is something I need to work on.

For Thanksgiving the three gringos went and bought food like you already know. We could not find anything of nutritional value so we just went with all the junk food we could find. It ended up being a good Thanksgiving. Oh yeah, and Spencer Lee emailed me today. They are Face book missionaries and he saw that picture on Face book and downloaded it to their ipad. He told me it just makes him happy to see me stupid face every once in a while. I have such good friends.

So I was actually having a hard time last week. We are working so hard and with very little success. We are not seeing results right now and we are getting rejected a lot. Then mom´s package came in with an ensign. There was one article I read that helped me a ton. I then went to the scriptures and Preach my Gospel for some more help. I found so many things that helped me feel better and know what to do in this area. It was one of the best personal studies I have had so far in the mission. To end I decided to read my patriarchal blessing. It is amazing to me how many times that blessing has helped me in the mission. It always says something that I need to read. At times the mission is going to be hard and it is going to test our faith, but when it does, that is when we need to act more strongly in our faith. The mission gives us the privilege of understanding the Atonement of Jesus Christ just a little more. The things we learn help us better understand exactly what He want through for us. The pain we feel for the investigators is the pain he felt for us. When we do not understand why someone won´t accept the Gospel we have to remind ourselves how hard it must be for Him. We are here to help other find salvation. It cannot be an easy task for us because it was not an easy task for Him. How lucky we are to have a Savior who loves us and knows us. What a blessing it is to have challenges in life so that we learn, grown, and have to rely on our brother and Saviour Jesus Christ.

President Archibald spoke to us this last week. He let us know that December will be the hardest month in the year. First, we will miss our families more and we will think about them. Satan will use this to discourage us. Second, our families and investigators will be going on vacations this month. The work is going to be slow and the baptisms will almost come to a stop. We have to keep working through it and not let the hard times get the best of us. He, by the way is a very strict president, told us to work extra hard the first two weeks because the last two weeks not much is going to happen and he understands that we are not going to get a lot of work done. He also told us that we could call home any day the week of Christmas. I am going to call on Christmas. I just figure it is more fun that way.

The other night something fun happened. We were walking past a flat bed trailer. I was closer to the trailer and my companion was closer to the street. It was so dark and we could not see much. As we were walking a dog attacked me from under the trailer. I do not know how I managed to do it but I dodged the dog. We were next to a huge group of people and they all saw. I walked away like I was a stud because I did not react badly, but I was thinking to myself the whole time thank goodness I did not scream because that would have been embarrassing." 

Words from Elder Bo Mullenaux in the Califonia Santa Rosa Mission



"Another week has come and gone. It just seems to go faster and faster. This week i will hit 6 months! I know that this past 6 months and the next 1 1/2 years of my life will be ones that i will look at for the rest of my life. I am so glad i made the decision to serve.
This week is transfers! I am so excited to be staying here in Vacaville for at least another month and a half. My companion is migrating all the way to Winters. My new companion is still in the MTC right now probably not having a clue what's coming ha ha. I love having the opportunity to train because i know that i learn more than the new missionary. It will be another humbling experience.

So i heard an analogy this week that i really love and i know is true. Our testimonies are like us going up a down escalator. If you want to make progress, you have to keep walking. not just walking, but walking faster than the escalator. If you stand still, or walk slow, you will move backwards. The same with our testimonies. If you continually work to strengthen your testimony you will make progress. as soon as you slack off. it starts to go the other way. It starts to become weaker. That is why something as simple as reading scriptures and praying daily makes the world of a difference. Those small and simple things are how great things come to pass.

I love you all so much. I'm so thankful for all of your love and support. I hope you all have the best week! But really, that's up to you :)"

Words from Sister Elese Hauser in Ilinois Chicago West Mission


 
"Hello Everyone!

Well we had a very eventful week with many ups and downs. But overall, it was a busy, but good week for us in Belvidere! Well, Christmas is fast approaching. I honestly haven't even thought about being able to Skype home. So transfers are one week from tomorrow but we'll find out this Saturday night what's going to happen. A few weeks ago I was terribly nervous that I would be the one leaving one week before Christmas. But this week I had the feeling that I probably will be the one going but I think its time. One thing my trainer taught me is that you can feel when its your time to be transferred. And if I'm completely honest with myself, I think its time. That doesn't mean that I want to leave at all!!! I love Belvidere with my whole heart. The members are fabulous, but we'll see what happens. And so with transfers being the week before Christmas I have no idea what time and if it will be calling or Skyping. They may let us Skpye from our iPads, but we'll see. So next week let me know what works for you. I do believe we are one hour ahead of you and so remember that. But we are allowed to call from our cell phone or to Skype and I would prefer to Skype. So next week let me know what time works for you. And Mom- what is your Skype name so I can look you up?

Well it snowed about 3 inches last night and its pretty cold today. The picture i'm sending is of me with the coolest ear muffs ever!! They really do keep your ears warm. I didn't even know that they made ear muffs like that anymore! And that's my big puffy winter coat. I don't think I've ever owned a coat so warm, but its already in the negatives here. And Mom, those tights you sent me are like warm awesomeness on my legs! So thanks for the package:) I will look for your Christmas packages next Tuesday when we have transfers.

Well this week we were able to teach this awesome family that was a referral from a member. And it was the most awesome lesson! We taught them about the Book of Mormon and invited them to be baptized and they said they would!! I could feel the Spirit so strongly as we testified of the Book of Mormon. As I reflect back on my mission, and my life, I have realized how much the Book of Mormon has healed me. When we deepen our own conversion of the Book of Mormon then that is what leads us to want to share it with others. As I have emailed home about missionary work, and the how to, I want you all to know that being a true member missionary comes first from reading the Book of Mormon. President Fenn always teaches us that a doctrine Satan does not attack is not worth teaching. Think about how much the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith are attacked in this world. That's because they're the most important things in our Gospel. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. And nobody can ever take that knowledge away from me. I have seen miracles come about because of that book, and there is no better thing to read, ponder, or to pray about in this entire world. I know that the message we have is the most important message anyone will ever hear in their life. We have the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We offer Salvation. And we have the greatest gift to give for Christmas, the knowledge that God speaks to us today. That He loves us, and that love is unfathomable. So share that precious gift we have this Christmas season, what a better gift to our Savior than to share His love with all of His children. Well we received a call last night from this family we taught earlier this week. They are having extensive medical problems and the Dr, has told them to not add any more stress to their life, so they want to hold off on the lessons. I think my heart broke a little bit last night. What this family doesn't realize is that baptism will help them. Having the Holy Ghost will comfort them. And reading the Book of Mormon will bring an enormous amount of peace into their lives that will help with any problems. When I found out last night I just wanted to run over to their house and start teaching them the Plan of Salvation. Everything will be alright! We aren't sure what to do at this point.. But you can all be my witness that we will not give up. This is too amazing, too much of a miracles to just walk away. From the moment I met them I knew they would be baptized and it will happen, you can all be rest assured.

This week was also Stake Conference and President and Sister Fenn came and spoke. The Saturday night session was for ages 12 and up and it was all about missionary work!! I felt so proud as our mission President told all the missionaries to stand up and then told all the members that they can trust us with their friends. I know that member missionary work is the only way this work will succeed! So don't give up! This work is incredible. And I am so grateful for all your support! I love all so much!!!!"

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Words about Elder Austin Davis in Oregon Portland Mission

 

 
Missionaries spotted doing good in the community! Thank you Elders!

Words about Elder Tyler Crosby in Tonga Nuku Alofa Mission

 Its a small small world! Ron’s a dentist and goes to Tonga two weeks every year and works with the Tongan people. Tyler’s companion was one of the people he worked on while in Tonga.

Ron is a relative of Justin Lee. It was interesting two people tied to St. Johns meet in Tonga.
 




Words from Hermana Amanda Greer in Chile Osomo Mission

 
 

"I had a great week.
There is one boy(13 years old) who came with his mom to church last week. In a lesson we had with him this week we asked he and his mom to be baptized. He didn't hesitate as he said "Yo. Si!" And he wanted to know everything we knew about more classes at the church. He would be baptized next week I'm sure, but baptism is a big deal, and if he doesn't have the support from his family it would be really hard to stay active. His mom is interested in the church but doesn't know for herself it is true, but I think with a little more time they will both be baptized.

The husband of the young couple we have been teaching from the beginning came to church this week, even though his wife couldn't come because she was sick, and even though it was day lights savings time and we lost an hour, and he stayed for all three hours and really liked it, and was given a book of the teachings of Lorenzo Snow and has already read the beginning of the book. It is inspiring to see his example of desire to have the light of the gospel in his life and his families, even though his friends and family aren't encouraging. He was baptized when he was 8, with his mom and brother but has{t gone back to church until yesterday.

Today we had lunch with him and his wife and little 3 year old son. They are great. It was really nice of them to invite us over for lunch. It was fun being able to sit and talk with them more than we usually can when its not p-day. We ate rice and hotdogs, which is typical. but it actually tastes pretty good the way he prepared it. Tonight we have FHE with them and the new bishop;s family. It should be good. I wish that the wife was as excited about reading the book of Mormon as her husband.

I had a humbling experience this week too. There is a woman who served a mission but then married a non member and hadn't gone to church for 15 years, that is until yesterday. When she found out there were sister missionaries in this ward she got reeaalllly excited. Her husband left her/she kicked him out this past week. She has decided she wants to live a life conducive to the will to the spirit, following gods will. Her husband is a nice guy but sometimes gets really drunk and it causes him to do things he shouldn't do. She still loves him, but told him she doesn't want anymore of that in her house. So they are trying to figure things out. She lives in the sector of the elders in our ward, but we went to visit her a few times this week, and are now really good friends. She has a strong testimony and is great. Last night we actually shared a message with her, and at the end she told us how she has been praying for her husband with all of her heart, and she thinks that sister missionaries would be perfect for him because he is too much of a gentleman to turn them down. She also said that just maybe we are the ones meant to teach him, so asked us if we might start praying for him and for an opportunity to be able to teach him and that he can have an open heart. It hit me, how I have a grand responsibility to be that missionary she has been praying for and he unconsciously waiting for. I know that through the help of God and the power of the spirit all things are possible, I only hope I don't mess it up too bad. I need to be prepared and worthy at all moments. Right after she asked us to pray for her husband, there was a knock on the door, and it was her husband. She had a huge grin on her face, and then invited him to sit and talk with us as she got ready to get her stuff together to give us a ride home. It was perfect timing. He was great to talk to. She told him that I had a beautiful voice, and she asked if I might be able to sing something for him. I sang for him "I Am a Child of God", first in English(he kind of knows English) and second in Spanish. The spirit was there, and hopefully his heart was touched.

This hermana refers to us as her angels. This last week in church several different people referred to us as their angels, and how great of a blessing it is to have servants of the lord, who are so close to God, walk into their homes. Its humbling."

Words from Elder Bo Mullenaux In the California Santa Rosa Mission

  " So one thing that i really was able to see and learn this week is that obedience brings blessings. There has been a few elders that i have seen the light of Christ in them slowly diminish. The Light of Christ is real. Everyone has it. When you make right choices, the light of Christ that you have within you grows. When you choose to disobey, that light goes away. The more light you have, the easier it is to feel promptings from the Holy ghost. The less light, the harder, until you eventually have no light. Before my mission, i thought that all missionaries were happy-go-lucky. Ive quickly come to learn that this is not true. I am striving to keep my light, not only keep, but build my let and let it continue to grow. I am so thankful for how merciful the Lord is to each and everyone of His children."


 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Words from Elder Lamar y Hermana Sarah Jean Gray in the Dominican Republic



 
"We are serving in the Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Temple and live in an apartment building near the temple that also houses the MTC,

Area Presidency office, family history center, and the distribution store.

 We work every day in the temple except Sunday and Monday. On Monday Elder Gray drives the temple van and takes the temple missionaries to do their shopping. 

Sundays we serve in a small branch, Los Llanos, which is about 50 miles from Santo Domingo. Elder Gray is the branch president. The average attendance is 50. They are a loving, gentle people. For example, we also go on Tuesday evenings where I 'teach' the keyboard. My Spanish is limited and one day I was frustrated and said, "Mi español es muy malo." They all quickly said, "No importa, Hermana Gray, no importa" and expressed their appreciation for my effort. We currently have 4 Elders from the Santo

Domingo East mission working in Los Llanos and helping us in the branch.  We enjoy
their enthusiasm and support. 
 
The workers in the temple are also very patient with those trying to learn Spanish. The natives feel it is such a privilege to work in the temple. Many come a long way on motorbikes, buses, taxis, metro, etc. Few have cars. 

 One of our favorite days is Thursday because the MTC missionaries come to the temple. They are awesome, humble young people and, like all missionaries , there are lots of challenges ahead of them. We are in awe of all of the missionaries in the world!

 On the weekends, many wards and stakes come to the temple. They come off the guaguas (buses), taxis, vans and public transportation in their Sunday best--white shirts and ties and dresses. Many have traveled at least 4 hours to get here.  The building we live in has rooms that they can rent ($3.00 US) and lots of them come and stay a week at a time, especially those from the other islands.  It’s interesting to see them cook meals in the kitchen of the MTC and gather around as one happy family. 

 This temple serves all of the islands in the Caribbean and there are many languages spoken, the main 3 are Spanish, English, and French.

 Many temples in the world are closed on holidays, but here the members stream to the temple on holidays. 

Well, here it is December 1, and the temperature at 10:30 pm is 84 degrees. One of the reasons we love it here.

 Merry Christmas to you all."

Words from Elder Austin Davis in Oregon Portland Mission

"This week was rough we only had like 7 lessons and a lot of tracting hours but its all good :) something cool that happened this week was we had an interfaith dinner with like 15 other church's ah man there was some weird religions like Scientology and Hindu and just everything in that area from baptist to catholic to mother earth people ha ha :) but it was super interesting   and everybody got to give a little spill on their religion for like a min or min and half it was good ha a lot of weird ones especially in Oregon but when they talk and read scriptures out of the book of Mormon just reassured my faith :)
> but yeah transfers are on Monday i don't have a guess whats going to happen i hope every body is getting into the groove of things in there new schedule and workouts i hope and pray for you guys everyday truly do love my family ! im excited for the thanksgiving the turkey bowl ;) haha that will b fun im excited :) oh yeah i heard a 70 speak that was great he said all you families that have missionaries out i want to promise you something if you are getting people for the elders and sisters here your sons and daughters are going to be blessed with new investigators! and baptisms where they are at ! it was sweet :) well i had an interview with P.morby that was good he gave me a section in pmg to study pg 96 look it up great section to know!"

Words from Elder Spencer Wilhelm in Angola




" This week was awesome!!! Yesterday as it was starting to get dark we were walking up to another appointment by the railroad tracks. As we were walking along the road this guy on his motorcycle turns around and stops to talk to us. He had a friend that had received the book of mormon and that he wanted to know more.

While we were talking to that guy another guy stops abruptly and asks us what we are doing, so elder wilson continued talking to the first guy and i went over the second guy. I explained to him that we were missionaries of the church and that we had a message that we would like to share with him. So i grabbed his number and elder wilson got the other guys number.

As soon as those two guys started their bikes yet another man stopped us on his motorcycle. He knew that we were missionaries of the church and started explaining that he needed help to stop drinking and to start going to church. So we explained that would could help him the best we could, and then asked for a number. The man put his head down and said he didn't have one, but he really wanted us to pass by. So we gave him our number and he was about to take off when, low and behold, his brother and his cousin drive up on their motorcycles to see what we were talking about:) ha ha it turns out that they all lived in the same area and those two guy had telephone numbers:) ha ha it turned out alright. Angolans are so curious some time:) ha ha I love them so much. So hopefully we will get to talk to these guys this week.

Anyways we are teaching this guy named Carlos. On Friday Carlos invited us over to his house so that we could teach him and clear up any doubt that he had. When we got there we found Carlos, but he was not along. He had like 5 of his buddies, all of them from his church that wanted to listen in on the lesson. (So I have had this happen to me before and when you have a room full of 25 year old men that are strong in their faith normally it turns into a bible bash and we just try and leave them with pamphlets and leave.) This time it was different. We went in there and we explained about the restoration. All of these men were understanding it perfectly, except for Carlos. So whenever Carlos got confused about something all of these other 5 guys would explain it to him perfectly from what we told them:) ha ha At the end of the lesson when we got out the book of mormon they were all intrigued and wanted to know more. Sadly we only had two copies on us, so they started playfully fighting over the books:) ha ha it was a lot of fun and they were are supper inteligete guys. Later we went over and brought the rest of the books of mormon. It was a very good lesson though and some of them ended up coming to church on Sunday!!!!

We also had an investigator that got bit by a dog this week. His name is Junior. we have been teaching junior for a week and a half now, but he is sick! when we taught about the restoration he just wanted to know for himself, so we gave him the book of mormon. He just has not had that much time to read it, because he is always working. So in one of our lesson we read the intro with him and he really liked it. but because of his dog bit this week he has to stay home:) i know i am a little selfish in thinking this, but know he has time to read from the book of mormon!!!! ha ha he has already read the first couple of chapters."


Words from Elder Shad Lindsey in the Ukraine

 



"This week was another incredible week. I saw so many miracles its just amazing. It makes me think that God always works miracles, we just don't always take the time to recognize them. At least I didn't before my mission. But I am beginning to see the love that God has for all of His people. Especially the people here in Chernigov.

Elder Copling and I had just got done contacting around town, and we were heading back to the church to warm up (it is getting pretty cold) and plan our lesson and stuff. We wee almost to the church when we saw these two guys standing outside it. We talked to them and invited them inside and stuff. They are the coolest guys ever! There name's are Alex and Anton. They heard that we had a message about Jesus Christ, and wanted to learn more about it so they just showed up at the church. So we gave them the first lesson right there. It was an incredible lesson. They excepted everything and they both wanted to read the Book of Mormon. We have another lesson with them tonight, so I am super pumped for that.

 Man I don't even know what to say. I love my mission! It is definitely hard, and the language is really challenging, but Жизнь Хорошая!(Life is good)

I had a few opportunities to give blessings this past week to people who were in desperate need of help and comfort. The priesthood is real. It is such an honor and privilege to hold it. And it is such a privilege to be a missionary of the Lord Jesus Christ. Especially to serve in a place like Ukraine, where the people (whether they realize it or not) are in such desperate need of the hope that the Gospel brings into people's lives. It is sad when people make fun of us or call us bad things. Not because I am offended by what they say, but mostly because they don't know what there missing out on. The Gospel of Jesus Christ was created to bring us joy and happiness. I see it more and more everyday."


 

Words from Elder Bo Mullenaux in California Santa Rosa Mission

 
"We had the opportunity to go to the Sacramento Temple this week!! It was such a great experience, as going to the temple always is. Our Heavenly Father is so merciful. He has tilted the table so much in our favor to make it back to Him. When we first got there, the member who took us had to go right in to get some names taken care of. Us missionaries were outside taking pictures. When it was time for us to go in, i realized my temple recommend was in the car. And according to my luck, yes, it was locked... Haha so that was fun trying to go find the member in the temple. But everything worked out and it was one of the best sessions I've attended. When we came out of the temple, there were some deer over in the trees! So, you know me, I grabbed my camera and went trudging off through the woods with Elder Ashton! Haha We even got some ok pictures!

We also had Stake conference. I really tried to prepare myself for it. The Lord really does hear and answer our prayers. it is amazing how much personal revelation you can receive by going to Sacrament meeting and church with a prepared mind. The Lord really is pushing missionary work forward and is increasing it in so many ways! It was so cool in the Saturday night session, President Bennett (the stake president) basically prophesied that they will, in the future build a temple in Vacaville! The spirit was so strong! I love feeling the spirit and i love how happy it can make you.

Well I'm doing great here in Vacaville! Their isn't too much to complain about! The work is starting to pick up. We have been teaching a lady named Jaenne and she has a baptismal date for December! I love this gospel. I love Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. I know that the priesthood is real. I had such a great experience giving Bishop Sandifer a blessing and i know the priesthood power is real."

Words frim Elder Bradley Lynch in Washington Federal Way Mission

 
 
"Everything happens for a reason, Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. I know that when we do this we will truly see the Lords hand in our path. We may not always no why or we may even think why us? But that is the temptation, those very thoughts are the ones that lead to contention and anger and depression, those are the things that will drive away the Spirit and will leave us on our own and that is the most dangerous and wayside path we can be on. As Elder Holland taught us so beautifully last conference: It is simply always there. Never, ever doubt that, and never harden your heart. Faithfully pursue the time-tested devotional practices that bring the Spirit of the Lord into your life. Seek the counsel of those who hold keys for your spiritual well-being. Ask for and cherish priesthood blessings. Take the sacrament every week, and hold fast to the perfecting promises of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Believe in miracles. I have seen so many of them come when every other indication would say that hope was lost. Hope is never lost. If those miracles do not come soon or fully or seemingly at all, remember the Savior’s own anguished example: if the bitter cup does not pass, drink it and be strong, trusting in happier days ahead. I add my own testimony that when all is said and done it isn't until we do ALL that WE can before the miracles come. He knows all our Pains and afflictions, but his Yoke is easy and His burden is light and that is the yoke we should all try and bear no matter how hard life is. He knows our sorrow. In the end all will be well, I know it will. We are all of Gods beloved children and he will help us overcome our trials as we lean on him and His Atonement. I know this, I have seen it and I have done it so much. I know God will Provide and all will be well. Remember he is the Prince of Peace and the Great Physician and He can Heal all of our wounds if we allow Him too. I know as the saints of past that we will all be able to say someday, All is Well, All is Well. I leave that with you in our Good Shepherds name, Even Jesus Christ, Amen"

Words from Elder Tyler Crosby in Tonga Nuku Alofa Mission

"These last couple have weeks have been pretty slow with the work, but I had two baptisms last friday! They were a learning experience because I messed up on the names a couple of times and feet came up another time so it was a little frustrating plus everyone was trying to tell me what to do so it was hecktic but in the end they got baptized and I learned alot. I have really learned alot from my studies also. I read quited a bit now and the spirit really teaches me alot. Also I received letters from Mr.Zieler and from you guys of course. Oh the packages too. I gave almost all my candy from aunt perri to a family that always does stuff for us I try to show my appreciation because I cant speak it that well. My companion also really enjoys when I get candy he gets a little crazy sometimes! haha He is one of those guys that is quiet when everyone is around but when its just me an him holy cow he is a character. He is a good guy we have alot of deep talks and he has alot of knowledge. I really love it here in Tonga, eventhoug I get frustrated and get down The lord always finds way to bring me up I am beyond blessed."

Elder Jared Anderson is off to Brazil

 
Elder Jared Anderson is flying out to Brazil on Monday, Dec 2nd. We will post his new address
when we receive it! Congrats!