Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Email 6-8-2015

So it has been a while since I've been able to email.  I miss you all.  Everything is going really well here.  I was sent to the Plymouth Branch in New Hampshire.  I will try and go into everything that has happened over the last almost two weeks a littler farther into the email.  Also I get two hours to email instead of one!  Awesome.  ALSO!  I can read emails throughout the week, I just can't reply until Monday.  Which is awesome!  So it's awesome when I get emails throughout the week from people and I appreciate that!  It may be changing this week as the mission President gives out more rules about our Ipads but for now we can check our emails whenever we are in the apartment.

So I'll start where I left off on the last email which I believe was Wednesday in the MTC.
Wednesday was cool.  P-day in the MTC.  Obviously I emailed.  And I couldn't get my SD card to work which was annoying.  The computers were blocked up so much that I couldn't trouble shoot it and get it working.  We did laundry and just kind of hung out for a while before we went to the temple.  The Provo Temple was cool.  It felt huge inside and designed kind of like a maze.  I got lost a couple times.  It was really cool going with my district and doing endowments and the spirit was really strong.  The new district came in and they all seemed pretty cool.  We really tried to set a good example for them and keep up the tempo and excitement so it was an easier adjustment for them.

Thursday was kind of lame.  One of the sister's had a grandfather die Wednesday night.  She was really close with him so that was hard for her.  She didn't come to class that day but we saw her at lunch and dinner, she is so strong.  Our Progressive investigator Kate committed to be baptized and our TRC investigator told us he was gone the other day because he got engaged that day.  Which made him interested a lot more in learning about the church since his fiancé wants to be married in the temple.  We started having trouble staying as focused in class because we were all kind of thinking about heading into the field as it got closer and closer.

Friday was pretty lame, we had in-field orientation all day long.  It just dragged on and on.  I didn't need to get a tetanus shot which is sweet, and saved me $50.  I had some deep talks with Sisters Hoffman and Bagshaw about the atonement, Satan, and the souls lost with him which was cool.

Saturday felt weird because it was the last normal MTC day.  We kind of had to fight the feeling that Saturday didn't matter because we were leaving the next night.  Our progressive investigator is good to go and was going to be baptized on June 15th.  We told her we were being transferred and other missionaries would finish her lessons.  Our TRC investigator was more difficult.  We fought and fought with him to get him to pray about anything we said and about the church, and he kept fighting us on it.  One day he committed to do it on his own but he didn't.  He kept asking us how he would know the answers and we kept telling him and he wouldn't pray.  Today finally we were able to get him to pray and ask with us there and that was our last lesson at the end.  Even though we didn't like finish the lessons with him, it felt like a huge step with him because he finally overcame that resistance to praying.  Sister Fisher and I got into a minorly heated discussion about blind faith.  She said we shouldn't question anything in our church because it can lead us astray.  I feel like that is dangerous for a few reasons.  We are commanded to ask of God to find out of all things for ourselves, we tell our investigators to question their religions so that they can see that ours is true and we can't be hypocritical, if I never questioned the truth of the church I wouldn't have joined it, and finally if Satan ever somehow infiltrated the Church we would all follow him astray because we just listened without asking for ourselves.  I say pray to God and ask about everything.  There's a difference between that and looking to find stuff saying that the church is wrong.

Sunday was a long day.  We had morning meetings for branch leadership.  Then we had Priesthood where I lead the ordinance training.  I taught about blessings.  Then we took our temple walk around the Provo Temple which our branch.  We never got too close with the new district which was sad but we tried and they didn't seem super interested.  Elder Lee and Elder Randall are going to the Canada, Winnipeg mission.  Maybe they'll run into Maddyson.  Sacrament was good.  Then we had a devotional by Janice Kapp Perry who apparently is some big children's hymn writer.  She just kinda talked about her life and sang songs.  Then we watched some cheesy LDS movie.  We sang our last closing hymn and prayer with our district and headed back to our rooms.  It was sad, I'm going to miss the Sisters.  Then we had to pack to leave early the next morning.  I didn't get to bed until like 00:30.

Monday morning at 02:45 we had to get up and head down to the buses.  I was the travel leader for all 18 going to our mission so I had to keep track of them and try to keep them together.  That didn't really work, everyone kind of went off on their own.  We had missionaries not staying with their companions, not checking in, etc.  It was annoying.  I slept through 80% of the flight to Detroit.  We didn't sit next to our companions on the plane, it wasn't booked that way and when I got off he had disappeared.  We looked all over for him and it turned out he waited like two minutes and when we weren't out yet he decided to go down to the gate by himself and call his family, it was frustrating.  Then we flew to New Hampshire which was a couple hours.  When we got there Pres. and Sis. Stoker met us in baggage claim.  We went from there to the mission home where we stayed the night.  They seem really nice.  They are from Mesa AZ.  We had dinner there and Sister Stoker made something called Café Rio which was really good.  Then we had interviews so he could get a feel for us and see where and who with we should be assigned.  It was raining from the time we got there which surprised me.  Pres. Stoker converted at 18 and went on a mission a year later.  It was hard waiting to find out where I was going, it was like waiting for my call all over again.  It's super green here and the trees are so thick EVERYWHERE.  It's crazy.  It's like the whole state is one big forest.

Tuesday we had breakfast at the mission home then went to the Church in Manchester for transfer meeting.  We got our Ipads.  Then we had transfer meeting.  It was super sad saying goodbye to the Elder's from my district.  I was assigned to serve in the Plymouth Branch area with Elder Mckay Johnson as my companion.  He's 19.  He's from Mesa AZ (Not a Utah Mormon).  And he's pretty legit.  He's obedient and has had some pretty lame disobedient companions for his last few.  His last companion went home after six months at this transfer.  We taught a family named the Tremblay's (Trem-Blay)who Bro Tremblay is a less active who has returned and his wife is getting baptized on the 20th.  They have two kids.  They are pretty awesome and are so excited about everything and keep all their commitments.  Bro Trembley is baptizing Sis Trembley which is awesome.  His dad is confirming her.  We met an investigator named Stephen who reminds me alot of my Uncle Frank.  We taught at a BoM class that day and street contacted some.  A member made us food but we had to pick it up to go because she is a single sister.

Wednesday we had our district meeting in Laconia.  I met the other Elder's in our district.  There's only three areas in our district so six Elders.  Everyone seems nice.  There's an Elder from Roseville his name is Elder Jensen.  We went street contacting and tracting which we probably do almost every day so I went mention it anymore.  Just assume we did.  :P  We met a cool potential investigator while tracting named David.  He's probably 18 or so and his dad is a Methodist Pastor but lives in another state.  His parents are divorced and he felt like he's kind of lost his faith.  He seemed interested and I hope we can meet with him and help him out.  We met with Bro Lopez who is the Branch Mission Leader.  Then we went to the Rino's (Ree-no) for dinner who both seemed super nice.  Brother Rino is fron Concord, CA.  It was cool finding a potential while tracting, it helped me be more interested in it because I didn't really have high expectations for tracting.  I love teaching real people after the MTC Role-plays.  Elder Johnson and I seem to click well during teaching.

Thursday we did a lot of service.  We went and served meals at the community center to Seniors which we do every Thursday.  And we helped plant a Garden at the Lopez's.  We then had dinner with the Billin's who seem nice.  The son, Isaac who recently got back from serving his mission in the California, San Jose mission and is a Branch missionary who I guess comes with us sometimes.  We met with Johnathon who is a little special needs but seems super nice.

Friday we did weekly planning in the morning which was super long but kind of awesome.  We planned lessons for all of our investigators ands less actives.  We got to think about what they need and really focus on each one which was really cool.  Then we went and served at a Thrift shop in Plymouth.  It was fun.  All the proceeds of the thrift shop go to a homeless shelter here in town.  The lady who manages it really likes and appreciates the missionaries I think.  We serve there every Friday.  Then we went and taught Brother Mcpherson who is a convert who has depression and we shared a Mormon Message with him called Good Things to Come which has Elder Holland in it and is awesome.  My challenge to everyone who reads this is to look up the Good Things to Come Video and watch it.  Here's the link.  Good Things to Come

Saturday we didn't get a lot of missionary work done but it was a pretty good day.  We did service for the Cate's which went way longer then planned.  The Cate's are both converts and super nice people.  We went out and helped them carry around 50 bags of fertilizer and some other stuff.  Then we had part one of Stake Conference in Concord.  they drove us there.  A 70 named Elder Kunez (I think?) came and talked.  It focused a ton on the Sabbath and the bishopric and ward council are now being asked to plan sacrament meetings a month in advance which I think is pretty awesome.  The Cate's wanted to stop for dinner and we did but it put us way past the time we were supposed to be home which was stressing Elder Johnson out but it was kind of out of our control we couldn't tell the members who had helped us out by driving us that they needed to drive straight home.  We didn't get home til like 22:30 ish.

Sunday was so long.  We were so tired when we woke up and went to Laconia for Stake Conference part two.  The same 70 was there again.  The Smith's took us there.  They are super nice, both converts.  Sister Smith had stage 4 colon cancer and five years ago was given 12-18 months to live.  She got baptized two years ago and I could totally see how Heavenly Father had pushed her to that.  She has no cancer left in her body at this point.  So awesome!  It's amazing how we get to a certain point in our lives after all the trials, tribulations, and struggles.  And we can finally see how all the pieces fit together and how it all shaped and pushed us in the direction our Heavenly Father wants us to go.  It's a perfect puzzle and I have a huge testimony of that.  We then had breakfast lunch at the Merrifields which was cool and Bro Merrifield is a convert.  There are tons of converts out here.  They referred their less active daughter to us to go see which is cool.  Everybody seems super nice here, I expected people to be more stand-offish than they are.  We watched Pres. Monson's biography which was cool and interesting.  We had to plan for today and tomorrow because Elder Johnson has to go to Missionary Leadership Training because he is the DL now.  Which means I'm going to be here alone for a while with another brand new missionary.  I don't know where anything is or anything and barely know anyone.  It'll be interesting we'll probably spend half the day lost.  But I'll survive.  At least I get to drive for a little while!  :)

Today is P-day!  We went and did laundry at the Merrifields during study time, then we had lunch.  Now we are at the library emailing.  We could do it from home on our ipads but typing is so much faster on a computer!

Let's see what else can I tell.  The weather is amazing here right now.  When it's sunny it's pretty cool, like high of 70.  Then it rains quite a bit, which could be a problem because I have no rain jacket or anything.  I didn't expect it at all but apparently it rains a lot during the summer too.  It's really pretty and super green here.  So many trees and so much grass.  Everything is super spread out.

Elder Johnson had to stop drinking caffeine because he was getting high blood pressure and elevated heart rate.  He drinks a lot of mountain dew.  We got some Baja Blast because it was in walmart the first time we went shopping.  It's gone now :(

Ticks are a big problem here.  They are everywhere.  I've found like 4 on me so far, one had bitten me, so they had to put me on some antibiotic because they carry lyme disease which is bad here.

Anyways I'll be on for a little longer so hit me up!  Also email me throughout the week!  It's kind of like getting mail.  Speaking of getting mail, my address is 3 Fox Park drive #14, Plymouth NH 03264.  That's just while I'm in this area, but I should be here for a while.  We live in an apartment.  This is a college town but school is out so it's pretty quiet.  We picked up a mini-fridge that was left outside when the college kids moved out.  It works awesome and we made it our soda fridge haha.

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