Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Week 51: "Seasoned Veterans"

You know you're getting old when you no longer hear comments like "Wow! What a young companionship!" "A greeny!" and other similar comments. With my older companion, Elder Larsen, we're now getting two compliments: "seasoned" or "veterans". E Larsen has been out for 18, and I'm at about 11. That's the oldest companionship I've been a part of. We're at 29 months combined time, whereas with the rest of my companionships we've had totals of 24, 16, 10, 12, 16, and 13.

Somebody let it leak that I had a birthday this past week. I'm now 20. I feel old...but not really because I don't actually feel 20. Time stands still even though it is flying by out here. I feel similarly different to how I felt 11 months ago. Last year I climbed down from the top of a mountain with a few friends. This year I did service in the rain. Aside from a happy birthday from my companion and another missionary who had caught wind, I would have escaped with no notice of my birthday(which would have been ok), but my uncle showed up to drop off cupcakes at the end of the night. They are slowly being eaten so that I can savor it longer. They are awesome. Steve went through the front door of the house though, so the members also found out that it was my birthday. Those decorations are what I came home to the next night.

Last night was the Work of Salvation broadcast. That rocked. Apparently we will be readily available to let people into church buildings now. I'm not sure how that's going to work, but it sounds good to me. Plus, Elder Perry mentioned increased use of technology and digital missionary work. How soon will it be implemented? We're not sure. It might not even be here by the time I am done, but I know they are planning on phasing it in over the next year and a half around the world. It felt like another session of general conference. Every member needs to be a missionary. Tracting is a thing of the past. We need to be united in the work.

Elder Larsen is a pretty great companion. We're having fun, doing work, and having fun doing work. He's from Colorado. He's the youngest of 5 children. All the rest are married, and most have kids. Makes me think of all of my siblings and how we are not like that. Life's good though. Nothing to complain about.

Next time: The new mission president and official split of the missions!
Elder Mann

Monday, June 17, 2013

Week 50:Transfer Day is here again!

It's transfer day! This is a special one though. This transfer day determines which mission you'll be a part of for the rest of your days up here. My companion, Elder Cavin, got shipped off to Argentina, so I get to stay here in Nampa!(1200 Autumn Wind Drive, Nampa, ID 83687)

I saved this email for last unfortunately, so I'm all but out of time. I'm alive. I'm well. I'm getting an elder from Colorado, Elder Larsen. Things are looking great for the summer! More to come next week, but the email to really look forward to is two weeks from now.(and three weeks)

I'll intentionally make this email lame and vague to make the next couple even better.

Have a great week where ever you are!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Week 49:A time for change and a time for things to stay the same

Howdy! This weekend is transfers. I have absolutely no idea what is going to happen. I'm here with Elder Cavin(a visa waiter), so it would make sense for me to stay. Transfers don't always 'make sense' though. With the mission split happening during this next transfer, I think a lot of missionaries will get surprising transfers. At the same time, I also think that a lot of people are already where they need to be. Things will be however they need to be. If a lot of missionaries move, they move. If they don't, they don't.

A year later, I'm finally learning the true secret of one of my ties. My Grandma got me a tie that is discretely blue and orange for BSU. Not everybody makes the connection between the tie and BSU, but everyone that does makes a comment about it. I feel like it is a subliminal message designed to be understood only by true fans of BSU.

I'm approaching my 12 month mark(sort of), so I'm working on rereading my journal. I can see changes in writing style and mood as the months go on. Elder Barnes mentioned that a lot of missionaries will get depressed near there year mark with the thought being "I've got to do another year of what I just did?!". I've got a great advantage: I'm serving at the same time as all of my friends, so we all push each other! None of us are thinking that because we know that a year from now we'll all get to return home and share all of our stories together.

I didn't take my camera out this past week, so there is no picture of the week. The work is going great. We've got a few people who will be ready for baptism near the beginning of July. It's warming up. Air conditioning ROCKS! Catch y'all later.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Week 48: It's June, and the sun is shining

This was a good week. We were able to find some new investigators. We committed a 9 year old to baptism.

Today we had a BBQ/game day over at the church. I got to grill. It kind of worked. Only half of the grill would heat up. This was only my second time grilling burgers. I did hot dogs over a coal grill at the beach last year, but Saturday was my first time grilling burgers. We got to play some frisbee. We played volleyball, and I had a sister spike on me...How did it happen? I don't know. It might have to do with me not actually watching the ball and just throwing my hand up and hoping to hit the ball. I got shunned after that.

Speaking of grilling Saturday, we got to grill on Saturday. 33rd ward was having a bbq and vegetable derby(like a pinewood derby but with vegetable cars). They had us grill so that we would be recognized by the ward. Elder Cavin and I made a fun car. We put back wheels on a banana, stabbed it with a toothpick and added cut up carrot for front wheels, and we called it the banana boat. It was the absolute worst car, but it wasn't supposed to be good. It was supposed to be funny. It was... a little bit.

Wednesday we had new missionary training. That was fun, but the trip back was the best part. We made a stop in Meridian. I somehow ran into these three random people that I took pictures with. One of them is getting ready to go on a mission to California, so I let him wear my nametag and post-it note his name over it to take a missionary picture with me. There were two other people that my mom would call mom and dad. It was a treat that missionaries rarely get, but that's what happens when you've got a cousin that lives in the mission boundaries a town over who's about to go on a mission.

Week 47:An appropriat​e Memorial Day...of sorts

This was an interesting week. I lost my planner. I lost my handbook. I lost the game. Plus, I temporarily misplaced my camera. It was still a good week, and this week has started off right.

Last Thursday and Friday we had leadership training. We all met up in Caldwell to talk about how we could become better leaders. The main topic was listening to the Holy Ghost. The best way to lead is to listen to the third member of the companionship that should always be there. It will tell you where you need to go, what you need to say, and who you need to see. By is tending to theSpirit, you can know what questions you need to ask to increase your ability to help those you ar teaching.

Friday we spent a lot of the time talking about qualities we admires in our leaders. Being a builder seemed to be one of the most important. A leader will build up, not tear down. You will strive to be positive as you give constructive ways to build up those you serve.

A member from Meridian West invited us back over for a Memorial Day BBQ. I hadn't really been to Meridian since my time there back in November. The trip was awesome! We got to play washers and relax in a fun way with some of my favorite people. Part way through we got a call from the first guy I taught that got baptized, so we ran down to his house to see him and his family. I can't tell you how great it was to see them again! Nothing gives a missionary more joy than seeing someone they were able to teach in the future still going strong. I also found my camera in the zone leaders car after already looking where we found it three or four times. This has been a fantastic Pday!

This week's picture of the week is a fun one. We took this a few weeks back at a ward party. The plan was to put it on posters that would say "meet your missionaries" and give a little bio about each of us, but we found out recently that the wards we cover will change next transfer, so there isn't much point in putting the posters up when we won't be the missionaries they need to knowin about 3 weeks. It's still a good picture though!