Called to Serve

Monday, February 3, 2014

I love the people in Searcy! How can i ever leave?

Well it won't let me "reply to all" so mom I am leaving it in your hands to spread the word! Well first I just wanna squash the rumor that may be floating around that missions are stress free! This week has been crazy with stress for people that I have gotten close too. Every bit of that stress and worrying and praying and working is worth it though. It is amazing watching this cycle that takes place with everyone! The worst trials and feelings and stress comes right before the craziest miracles. I like to think that in Lehi's vision, right before the people get to the tree of life and partake of that amazing fruit, thats when the darkness is the thickest. Thats when the trail gets bumpy, but man is the fruit worth it!!

This week we went on exchanges in Clinton and I went to Clinton with Elder Farnsworth. It was a good time! Clinton is a really small town and the closest church to them is 40 minutes away so they struggle with that sometimes but we were able to have some good experiences on the exchange. That night it was about 8:45 and we had nothing else to do, we were near our apartment and the Elder I was with suggested we just call it a night. Well we still had a good 15 minutes so I told him that we could just go walk and see what we could find. So we did and absolutely no one was outside. It was about 12 degrees and windy so we were not really expecting anything but then what do ya know! A woman comes to take her trash out! So we offer to help and talk to her and set up a return appt. to go teach! She seems really prepared!

BRANDEN AND SIERRA GOT BAPTIZED! Hallelujah! It was awesome. I baptized Sierra and Kevin Berkheimer baptized Branden.  Jessica spoke on the Holy Ghost at the baptism and it was one of the best talks I have ever heard! You would think she was a member her whole life! She had everyone crying. There was so many people from our ward there we had to move it to the chapel and even then it was full! We accidentally forgot to turn off the font water so it over filled into the bathrooms.

Ok one last experience because I am sick of typing! Last week we had dinner with some members,  and we asked if they knew anyone we could teach and they said nothing good has ever come from sharing the gospel after all these years (and they are pretty seasoned), so they have just kind of gave up. I promised them if they would pray for a missionary experience that night that the Lord would put someone in their path. Well 3 days later a man came and knocked on their door and said he was a direct descendant of Brigham Young, he wasn't a member of the church but wants to no more and he heard they were members so he was wondering if they could teach him! He came to church this sunday and now we are going to teach him! Crazy stuff! Too many things have happened this week. I cant write it all! Anyways thanks for everything!

ya!! man mom.......i m most likely getting transferred, says Bishop. which sucks but its ok. All my companions are great but Elder Soelberg has been my favorite companion by far.
ya this is like home. i dont know how i'm going to leave! I love the ward and everyone I teach. I never thought I had the ability to care about people like I do right now. I used to hate people! But now all I want is for them to live this gospel. Mosiah 28:3 status. Missions are crazy. I know Kylie is the best sister missionary out there right now.
 I love you mom. Every night I pray for you by name. (I use mom not rita don't worry) I would never have came out here without you. This mission has already changed my life so much. I am so grateful for how much you love me.

Week of January 27th

This week has been the busiest week ever. It has been crazy!! So we went on a couple of exchanges with some district leaders in the zone.

First I went to Heber Springs with Elder Blocker, who is actually a visa waiter thats going to Australia today. I went with him and man we had a wild time. We had a lady pull up in a hippie van when we were walking to an appointment, she said that God told her to stop and talk to us, so we started talking to her and I asked what role the Savior played in her life, She said "O thats my husband!" Well I will let you imagine how the rest of that conversation went. Basically she was on drugs.

Anyways before Elder Blocker and I went out that day we made 2 goals: to talk to everyone, and to set a baptismal date! We were able to accomplish both. It was great stuff. That night we went hometeaching with a member. His name was Dusty Sherwood! So naturally we had our little  sherwood "Who's who" conversations. He was a way cool guy! He invited me to go ride horses with him on a P-day but unfotunately i cant do that. 

So the next day I went on exchanges again in Jonesboro. This time I was with Elder Reid! He is awesome. He is from Montana, he is a red head, and he loves hunting, sports and country music. He actually quoted the song "Pick-up Man" and Joe Diffie at the beginning of the exchange. So I knew it was going to be a good one. And it was! I got to interview some of their baptismal candidates. I love doing interviews. It was a god time.

 So on Saturday night we had the night session of Stake conference and they wanted all missionaries to go. Elder William R. Walker of the 70 was there. Chris, Jessica, and Brandon sat on the 2nd row. They loved it! After the session we walked up to talk to them and they were talking Chris and Brandon were talking with Elder Walker and President Petersen!  A couple minutes after that ELder Walker walked up to me and Elder Soelberg and shook our hand and told us how much he appreciated us. It was cool stuuf. But ya the next day we had stake conference again but it was in the Lonoke high school basketball gym. There was so many people there. They split the stake! And guess what the new stake is called, the Searcy Stake! O ya! But ya that was a cool little deal.

Anyways last night we had a baptism for Cassie! It was so awesome! She was elect and prepared. So many things have happened this week its hard to remember all of it. I wish everyone could have the chance to see what we as missionaries get to see everyday. My understanding and testimony of the atonement has grown so much from watching it work in peoples lives. It is a literal power. It not only cleanses people it changes them! I have seen peoples desires change completely as they live the first principles and ordinances of the gospel. His grace is sufficient not only to heal us but to transform us. Thanks for all your support everyone!