Called to Serve

Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey family!!
So you are having some bad weather over in AZ? Well it hasn't been all sunshine and rainbows here either. It has been a pretty cold week, not to mention it was bike week for us! Other than the weather it was a really good week for Elder Spencer and I!

First off....last friday was my 6th month birthday for my mission! So I got to burn a tie that night for the sake of tradition! I cannot believe its been 6 is going by way to fast! Anyways we have had the chance to see some miracles this past week.

Have I told you about our new investigators? They are Chris and Jessicas friends and ever since Jessicas baptism we have been working with them to get baptized, but before that they have to get married and before that she has to get a divorce from her last marriage. We thought it was going to take a couple months for all of this to get over and done with but we have been praying for it to speed up and yesterday She told us that she talked to the judge and it should only take a week or so to get it done! They are really excited to get married and baptized! Chris and Jess are just the best missionaries ever. They talk to everyone about the church! I love them! But ya so they are doing good.

Michael Scott wasn't able to come to church yesterday and we are still trying to figure out why. I hope he didn't accidentally step on a George Foreman!

We started teaching this guy  a couple of weeks ago and he came to church last week. He lives out in the middle of nowhere, he is about 50, and he owns about every gun you can get!  He is awesome to talk to though and is very interested in the Book of Mormon. The guy is really lonely and he has really lost hope in his life. This Gospel is going to change him. He is actually a referral from Ken Slade in the Quitman ward. He said he is related to all the slades in Arizona! Then again I think everyone is related to the slades in Arizona.

Bishop asked me to speak in sacrament on repentance yesterday and it was pretty fun. I love the whole speaking in front of people gig for some reason. Anyways remember how I used to have like anxiety and butterflies all the time before sports games? Well believe it or not I get that a lot out in the mission field too. It happens when I think about the goals we have and how bad I want to accomplish them! I start getting super stressed and Elder Spencer knows when it happens because I start walking around our apartment really fast and biting my nails. I hate when I get like that! But i realized when I get like that is when I think of my inadequacies and weaknesses. In my personal study a couple of days ago I read 2 Nephi 4. This is my new favorite chapter. In it Nephi is stressing hard with his weaknesses and shortcomings. But in verse 19 he turns his thoughts from himself to his savior and the stress goes away! Thats they key. Going from self to savior.

Well I am excited for this next week! Thanksgiving is on thursday so Elder Spencer and I get to play in the turkey bowl and we are getting fed A LOT that day! Its going to be sweet! Alright family thanks for all your support! Thanks for the letters! They mean a lot! I love you all!

Monday, November 18, 2013

He may never leave Searcy!!!


Ya so......I am staying one more! Thanks goodness! And I am finishing training Elder Spencer! That made my day because now I get to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas here.

What a week it has been here in Searcy! I tell you what. It has been full of surprises, cold weather, warm weather, crack houses, gang fights, blessings, Irish whistles, and challenges.

So it all started last Tuesday at specialized training. President Petersen  was here in Searcy training a bunch of missionaries that came here.When we had our little lunch break Bishop Mcgrath and Chris came in the building and so President got to meet with and got to meetChris that day! It was sweet! President loved him. President later told me he knew Chris was one of the elect by the way that Chris prayed. He said it was one of the most sincere prayers he has heard.  We play basketball every wednesday night at the church and we always get plenty of the local non members there and President Petersen said he is either going to come play with us this wednesday or next wednesday! How awesome is that! I'm pumped! But ya this last week Elder Spencer and I have worked really hard trying to prepare our investigator Michael Scott for baptism. Yes, that is really his name. Our ward loves him for that reason. Elder Spencer and I were able to find the sketchiest neighborhood in Searcy this past week! Thats where the crack house comes in. We were walking down the street and there was this house with like 6 cars in front of it and twice as many guys chillin on the front porch. So naturally Elder Spencer and start walking up to them. One guy sees us and says "Don't come over here! Please don't! I don't want to talk! Please!" and so I was like "wo,wo you don't want to talk about Jesus?" and he said "No thats not what I am about anymore. If you want to talk about this (holding up his beer can) or weed I will talk to you about that. Thats what I am about." So anyways we go to this house next door and talk to this lady and she tells us how we are in the worst part of town and there is gun shots every night and all that. I asked her what she was doing living in a place like that and she said her and her AR 15 run these streets. This was like a way older lady! Very sketchy street. Right after that house we heard a bunch of screaming and yelling so we went over there and there was like 15 guys in the middle of the street and when we went over there they all took of to their cars and peeled out and then 2 cops came right after them. It was crazy! But Elder Spencer has helped me grow a lot as a missionary and a person. I have been really lucky with all of my companions so far. I feel like I have changed a lot since I have been out. Its crazy how different life is out here! I love it! I am so lucky to be able to spend all my time helping other people. I realized that that is why missionaries are so happy all the time. They don't worry at all about themselves. True happines as a missionary come when you abase yourself. In Alma chapter 4 it talks about how some people in the church became prideful and tried to lift themselves up. While others were "abasing themselves" and serving other. When I read that I went to the dictionary for the word abasing and it means to bring down low. So these people were actually bringing themselves down low and lifting others up. I have found on my mission so far that that is when I am happiest. When I am humbling myself ad helping to lift other. That is when I experience true joy.  Anyways....I am so grateful for all of your support. I love you all!! Cammie I am going to write your letter today! Yesterday was crazy!  

Monday, November 11, 2013

Jessica is Baptized!

So......I don't know what is happening to me next transfer....but I have heard a lot of rumors! A lot of things are supposed to change. Other Missionaries in the mission have been calling me all day to see if i know anything.  Bishop Mcgrath wanted me to ask President today in my email if I could stay one more so I did. I am having anxiety about it though.

So this week has been probably the best week of my mission so far. JESSICA WAS BAPTIZED!! It was amazing. It was the best feeling I have ever had in my life. I wish you could have been there to witness the spirit that was there.

Funny Pre-Baptism Story: So we were setting up for the baptism and it was going to start in about 5 minutes so everyone started trickling in. Well we invited one our investigators I told you about in one of my first letters. The one who thought his door was locked so he started trying to knock it down and then we went and just turned the knob and opened it for him....ya he is a big man about 35 years old. Well he came and was in the bathroom and i guess he got confused and instead of coming out the way he came in he went in the baptismal font door and fell in!! He was soaked from head to toe! So we had to run him home and get him changed before we started! He was pretty embarrassed about to lighten the mood I went up to him and said " if you wanted to get baptized you should have just told me!"........ha ha ya that didn't help.

Anyways after that little pool party we started the baptism and it was the best service. Bishop is the one that baptized her and she was just crying and smiling the whole time. Towards the end we had Chris bear his testimony and I have never felt the spirit so strong when he did. This is a big black dude, former gangster/hustler, hardened in the Little Rock ghetto, and he was up there crying and saying how much he loves this church and the Book of Mormon! It was so spiritual. Jessica shined. She was a beam of light. Chris waited for her to get changed after the baptism and when she came out they hugged for like 5 minutes straight. It was the best day ever. And their friends were there and they felt the spirit so strong and that night we had a lesson with them and now they are getting baptized on the 23rd!! What a miracle! This work is hastening. I seriously don't think I have ever seen a happier day than Saturday. I was exhausted that night from all the excitement. Now I got an idea how Ammon felt. I am just happy!! I love you all and thanks for all your support. Happy Veterans Day Grandpa! I love you all so much.

Monday, November 4, 2013


Hows it going family?! Sounds like everyone is doing awesome! I love Kate's Halloween costume. Thank you so much for that package! I ate so much of that candy already! It was sweet!! (pun intended)

Anyways this week has been super awesome!! So My favorite investigator put a picture of me eating a neck bone on Facebook eh? ha ha funny stuff.

Last Tuesday i had District Meeting and it was......not that good. ha It was alright but just not as good as the first one. My ZL's and President Petersen and Sister Petersen came to it again! So I was pretty nervous. Everything went ok though. President loved my SALSA acronym and asked if he could use it. He is big on using acronyms too.

Elder Spencer and I have been humbled and blessed so much this week. Those things tend to go hand in hand. Its to the point where I get a little excited anytime we have a trying or humbling experience because then I know something awesome is about to happen! ha ha its weird. Anyways Elder Spencer and I were in a lesson with our investigator last friday and we were teaching about the importance of temples and why we have them. So we were giving our little spiel when all of the sudden she interrupted us and said "I guess I will just get baptized this saturday. There is no use in waiting." She was originally planning on waiting to get baptized when her husband does but she told us she does not want to wait! This totally took us off guard! All week up to that point we were trying to explain to her the importance of not waiting and she just wasn't budging. So we just decided to  back off about it. But then out of nowhere she tell us she should get baptized next saturday!!! We weren't even talking about baptism or anything! It just goes to show you that its not the missionaries that help people change and progress.....its the spirit! I wish you could see the change that has taken place in her. She is a totally different person from when we first knocked on her door. When we first started teaching her husband she wouldn't even come out and listen to us and she thought we were crazy people that were part of a cult. She was also just...never happy. She was truly just sad all the time. She is so happy now!! She and her husband just have a glow about themselves now and its amazing to see how their countenance has changed!

Anyways when she said she was going to get baptized I was like in shock......and then i did kind of a yell for joy and then got up and did a little touchdown dance and ya.....ha ha I couldn't help myself! The spirit was so strong in the room! was less strong when I started touchdown dancing but it was just awesome! I am so grateful I get to be here when she gets baptized! I sat behind them at church yesterday and kept trying to get them to bear their testimony. I told them i would make them caramel cakes (their favorite) if they did, but they wouldn't. ha ha

Things are going awesome here though! The trunk r treat was great and we were able to find some new investigators there! I have so many stories to tell you guys. Miracles are taking place out here in Arkansas! I'm sick of typing though so I'll just tell you them in like 2 years or something. Anyways thanks for everything yall do for me.

O one more story: This week was bike week and we have this rough dirt bike trail we go through as a short cut. Elder Spencer is not an experienced seasoned rider yet, and we were riding the trail at night and so I get through the trail and look back and my comp is no where to be found! So after trudging through the great Arkansas wilderness I was able to find him and he had ran into a thorn bush and got cut up pretty good. So after a short-lived laugh we bandaged him up! ha ha ELder SPencer is a good guy! He is really starting to adjust to missionary life and I love training him! Thanks for everything family!! I love you all. Thanks for the letter Camz, Kate, and Ryan! Preciate it!   

Eating Neck Bone

Elder Udall placing the Book of Mormon