Monday, November 26, 2012

Week 21: A Whole New World

The thing about emailing: You don't always remember what you want to email when you are writing it, and if you didn't write it down somewhere, you likely won't remember. Such is the case with last week. I forgot my planner, so I couldn't write about the exciting stuff from the week before. Now here I am with what I hope to be a more exciting installment in the missionn life of mann.
I guess the big thing that I meant to bring up last week that I didn't is that everything happens for a reason. In my farewell talk, I spoke about joy vs. pleasure. Certainly, pleasure is great! It feels awesome!....but it's not as long lasting as joy. Joy can last for all time whereas pleasure is momentary. Why do I bring this up. There are a lot of things that can bring missionaries pleasure, but it's not always 100% or even 91% obedient. The joy found in following the rules is far greater than what can come from not following the rules.
I meant to write about a baptism that happened too! If I didn't, we had a baptism! If I did, oops. I already told this story. About a month ago, we had a family(the Garcias) move into one of the wards we work with. Bro Garcia wasn't a member, so we asked if we could start teaching him. He said yes. After 5 weeks of meeting with him, Joe was baptized! If I had my camera with me, I'd include a picture, but I left that in the car(...Wait, what?!).
Transfers were/are today! I moved out of my Meridian safe haven into the far reaches of Wendell(GoogleMap it if you need to find where it is)! I've been here a whole...well, actually I haven't even made it to Wendell yet. Right now I'm in Jerome emailing. I haven't even dropped my bags off yet. That's how important emailing is. My new companion is Elder Bingham from Prescott Valley in AZ. He's been out all of 6 weeks, so I'm senior companion and follow up trainer! We've been out a combined 6 months between us, so it'll be exciting. The nice thing: We've got a car! It'll keep us warm. That's always a plus.
Oh yes! This past week was Thanksgiving. I kind of forgot about that because of transfers. I got to go over to eastern Meridian and see some familia(Thanks Steve, Sandy, Amy, and Eric!). That was pretty fun. I especially liked that we had Grandma's Rolls(a home recipe). They are my favorite, so I was glad to have them.
Friday night is when we got the transfer call, so we got together with a few missionaries to have a mini fire and spend some time together. We had a short testimony meeting and sang a few hymns which made the whole thing worth it.
That's all from the field for now! Those in school, good luck prepping for finals! Those are coming up soon! TTFN

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Week 20

Well this was a special week up here in Meridian, ID. Lots of stuff happened, some of which you already know about through the delayed email. Exciting? I'd say so.
Like I said Wednesday, Tuesday was Zone Conference. That was pretty cool. We learned all sorts of missionary stuff there, like how to leave better commitments and how we should try to really connect to people and not just know them on a superficial level.
Thursday was supposed to be a really busy day because we had a lot of appointments set. What ended up happening? Very little. We'd show up to an appointment only to have them cancel, and then we'd get a text from another saying they needed to move up or cancel their appointment. That's missionary life though. Not much to do there other than to keep working so that you can get to as many as possible!
Friday was cool. We had interviews with our mission president, President Cannon. He's a super jolly guy. Imagine the jolly green giant but older, not green, and with glasses and that's him! haha Seeing him was great. He truly cares about each individual in this area and tries to do what he can to help us and those others around us. Once interviews were over, we went over to a pizza place for district lunch. You know what made this pretty cool? We got to make the pizza again! I didn't just throw on toppings! I threw the dough too. People up here are very relaxed, so it is easy to get along with everyone.
Saturday there was a lot of paperwork to fill out and a lot of studying to do in preparation for the upcoming days. That night there was a youth cultural celebration in honor of the rededication of the Boise Temple the following day. President Monson, Elder Bednar, and Elder/President Christianson (of the 70) were there to witness it. BSU was brought into the celebration of course because, up here, if you don't love the Broncos probably like the Vandals or BYU. President Monson was just as fun to watch as the dancers because he'd be dancing along and having a great time watching it.
Sunday ended up a lot like Thursday with appointments cancelling, but there was one GIANT upside. The Boise Temple was rededicated! We got to watch from the Stake Center, and it was amazing! The scripture I heard used over and over again was Mosiah 2:17. We need to serve those around us, and by so doing, serve God.
Transfers are next P-Day, so if you were planning on writing a letter this upcoming week send it to the mission office(1111 S Cole Road) for me! Thanks! I'll likely be leaving my area this transfer to go somewhere new. Have a great week!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Week 19: A delayed note

Howdy all! So...It's Wednesday. A little bit later than usual, huh? There is good reason! Monday was Veteran's Day, so the library was closed. Yesterday we had Zone Conference, so there wasn't any time to email after having been at the conference from 9 to 5. Finally, here it is in all it's glory(if you want to call it that)!
I guess I'll start by bringing up Zone Conference since I already started to! For those of you non-missionary folk reading, a zone conference is when all of the missionaries from a certain region get together to have a training taught by our mission president(boss). One of his counselors spoke first on the importance of unity. If we aren't united, we won't be able to reach our full potential. It says in the scriptures that the Lord's people were of "one heart and one mind, and there was no poor among them and they dwelt in righteousness". This made me think of how you can be of "one heart and one mind" but if you are doing bad things, you are not on the Lord's side which makes a lot of sense. Unity is good. Evil Unity(like a Luthor-Joker tag team) creates a greater evil, and good unity creates a greater good.
Our mission president spoke about the importance of real growth. Oftentimes, we are touched and decide to make a change for the better. Some of the time, this change doesn't last because we don't stick with it. What he emphasized was making sure we stick with it and "endure to the end". Is it worth starting a race if we don't plan on finishing it? Sometimes we need to take breaks, but we need to remember to keep moving forward regardless. Life isn't meant to be a stagnant process where things stay the same. We are supposed to grow and to learn throughout our lives.
It's getting colder, and we can feel it. We've started bundling up before heading out on our bikes. It's not always easy doing what's right, but it's always better in the end.
This zone conference we were permitted to watch a movie because we are deprived all of the rest of the year. The movie that was chosen(by the mission president) was The Other Side of Heaven. It was my first time seeing it. I'm glad I did. It helped me to know that I am the cheesiest of them all. In the beginning the main character brought up how he and his friend would be able to look up at the moon and know they were looking at the same thing even if they were a million miles apart. Why do I say I am the cheesiest? Without seeing the movie, I had said something similar to my friends about looking at the stars and knowing we were looking at the same stars(which, I guess isn't true if you're in separate hemispheres...but that's beside the point)
The work goes on! Life isn't meant to be had standing still! Keep moving forward!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Week 18: It's not easy being green

Why did I call my message that? That's weird. I don't feel green. Some people wouldn't say I am. Others would. I'm still newer than half of the mission, so I guess that makes me a little green. Good news though! I'm not going to be green much longer(by my companion's standard)! Today is my 4 month mark! What does that mean? Nothing! Well, I guess it means I've been out for 4 months. It's a little bit crazy and hard to believe. I'm 1/6 of the way done, but that doesn't matter! Whether your 1/730th or 729/730th of the way done, we are told to act like we are in the middle. If you're not an active missionary, you're not a good missionary.
I apologize to everybody for the lack of an email last week. Elder Barnes is a very social missionary and enjoys spending time with other missionaries, so we didn't get to email last week! He's been a great companion though. He's taught me how to interact well with ward leaders. It's funny because being out here I see the things missionaries and ward mission leaders do, and it's similar to what they did back home. They are trying to do missionary work, but back then-me being the teenager that I was-wasn't paying very good attention. I was paying enough attention to know that I was being a goofball back home, and that I shouldn't be that way (entirely) when I go back. They are just out there trying to help as many people as possible.
Missionary work has been booming! Since the temple open house started, we've more than doubled the number of people we are teaching! The great thing is that a lot of them are seeking us out! We haven't had to go out and seek them. They have found us! There is a cool quote in the "missionary handbook"(Preach My Gospel) that says(talking about finding people to teach)"He will lead you to them or He will lead them to you." I'm definitely seeing that right now. Everybody we are teaching has found us. They've requested us in one way or another.
Here's a question for all of you that have a story to tell: How have you found God through/despite trials in your life? We've had somebody talk to us about this thing, and now I am talking to all of you that are brave, strong souls. If you've got a story to share, share it!
Y'all have a good week! TTFN