This was not a normal week for me because I got to go pick up my boy in Lansing this week! It was super fun getting to personal contact on Michigan State University's campus and it's been super fun so far getting to serve with Elder Rapp, my boy!
Last Monday we had dinner at the Peterson's house. They are a young couple who just moved out here from BYU. They are really cool but it was actually pretty weird because I'm so used to eating dinner with big families but it was all good. We just shared funny mission stories. Then we went to see Blake, Elder Hess had to say goodbye, which pretty much stinks. I don't want to have to say goodbye to all these people!
Tuesday morning we woke up at like 4:30 and drove to Mt. Pleasant so we could play some transfer ball. We played volleyball and basketball. There were about 12 of us elders then we all went back to the Zone Leaders apartment and showered and chilled for a little bit. Once we were all freshened up,we headed back to the Mt. Pleasant church and waited for the transfer van. There were a ton of missionaries there and I don't know like any of them but it was cool getting to see all of them. I rode to Lansing in the assistants truck with Elder Derricott (the assistant), Elder Elmer, Elder Hess and Elder McBride. Once we got to Lansing I had to say goodbye to Elder Hess which stunk. Then Elder McBride, Elder Taylor, and I went out on MSU's campus and starting doing some personal contacting. Elder Taylor was only with us because he had to wait for the transfer van to go over to Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo, since that is where his companion was. There were a ton of people on campus. They are all really open to hear what you have to say. We met a guy named Lucas, who is from Mozambique, and we got an appointment with him then at 3, Elder McBride got to interview a girl who the assistants had been teaching. She was so solid. Then after he interviewed her, we got to teach her. The transfer van got back and I got to see Elder Adams, my MTC companion! He's doing great. We were waiting at the Institute building for Lucas to show up, but he never did, so we put our stuff back in the assistants apartment, then on our way back out, we spotted Lucas and chased him down. :) We taught him the Restoration while walking around campus. He said he wanted time to think about it. I got some sweet pictures of the football field. It was pretty sweet. We talked to a lot of cool people, and got a lot of people's info. Then at the end of the day we went to the campus cafeteria and they had a Panda Express! :) It was soo good! Then we all chilled in the assistants' apartment. The other trainers who were with me were Elder McBride (my companion), Elders Wiscombe, Wilson, Blatter, and Gregory. They are all super sweet!
Wednesday morning for studies Elder McBride and I talked a lot about leadership and pride. It was really good. We read D&C 121:34-46 which is awesome! We just worked campus all day long! It was raining the entire day so we got pretty wet, but we just stole a couple of Elder Derricott's jackets. :) It was a ton of fun though. We would like try extra hard to talk to people who had headphones in, for the challenge. ha. We met even more really cool people. College kids are really cool and easy to talk to. Then since all of the new missionaries who were coming in had their flight delayed we got to go to the mission home and eat dinner with all of us trainers and President and Sister Jacobsen. Pulled pork baby! :) Then we had our training on how to be good trainers and then just chilled at the assistants' apartment. I had so much fun with all the other trainers, they are all studs and I love them!
Thursday we woke up and Elder McBride and I started to work out but after we benched we lost motivation so we just chilled and looked at all the pictures of the new missionaries and were guessing who would be with each trainer. One of the greenies pictures he is looking past the camera so we called him GQ. :) Then we went to the Lansing stake center and we had to wait for what felt like forever because they were running behind schedule, since the new missionaries didn't get to the mission home until like 1 in the morning. Then they finally walked into the gym and we all introduced ourselves. Then all of us trainers were given papers with our Greenies name on it so I looked, and mine said, Elder Rapp so I found him and gave my first born a big hug! :) Then we had Subway and cookies for lunch. President Jacobsen then did a little presentation and sent us on our way. I drove up with Elder Rapp, Sister Cornia, and a couple who live in Lansing. They took us up to Mt. Pleasant then I had to say goodbye to Elders Wilson, Wiscombe, and McBride which was lame, they are so sweet! Then we drove back to Midland. It was so sweet. We got back and went to the Tridge for a little bit but it was pretty dead and it was also kind of cold. Then we had dinner at the Bowman's which was really good. They made this same chicken dinner they had made the last time I went there. We shared the story of Ammon with them and talked about how when we are obedient, God can trust us. Then we knocked doors and the very first door that someone answered, he let us in and we taught him!! It was awesome and we were both super pumped about it! Then we went to Bro. Jones house and the new Sisters in our ward were also there. Sister Nuttall and Sister Chisholm. Sister Nuttall is also training. We went over the area and all that good stuff.
Friday was our first full day together. I woke up and worked out but Elder Rapp isn't really into that... Dang it! ha. Then we studied and had our first comp study. We went over what we were going to teach for the day and did some practice teaching. Then we went to see Helen. Brother Place came with us. We taught her the Plan of Salvation. She had a ton of questions, and was like "I have never learned this before." So that is why we go over everything again. :) It went really well though. Then we taught Joe. We watched the Restoration movie with him and talked about prophets. After that we had lunch and then did weekly planning which took forever for some reason. We taught Curt and Patty tonight. We taught them about obedience, prayer, and scripture study. I love getting to teach Curt because he just ends up teaching me.
Saturday was fun. We woke up and studied then we went and did service at Dennis's house. We were able to completely finish one of the sides of his roof. Elder Nielsen and I hit a groove while we were shingling and got it done pretty fast. I had on shorts and a short sleeve and I got pretty cold, but it's okay, I need to get used to it anyway. Then we went to Arby's for the creme brulee shakes. We also stopped at Sister Reyes garage sale. Then we went and taught James C. We talked about prayer with him since he said he feels awkward when he prays. We read about prayer from the Bible Dictionary with him. It went really well. Then we went and taught David C. We shared D&C 59 and chatted with him. After that we knocked doors for a while. We met a few crazies, but it was good though. Elder Rapp has to get used to the majority of people we meet. hah. Then we made some mac n cheese for dinner. I was eating my peanut butter oreos that the Miller's sent me and I spilled milk all over myself and I was wearing my Eagles footie pjs. I have spent too much time with Megan. hah.
Sunday was a super busy day, but it was so awesome! :) We went to church, and I introduced Elder Rapp to as many people as I could. It was also really cool because we had 3 investigators and less-actives at church. So the new sisters in our ward are go-getters, especially Sister Nuttall. She was trying to steal Helen from us, but Helen totally shut her down, it was awesome. :) ha. Then we talked with Bishop Savage about Joe and we agreed that he was ready to finally be baptized so right after that we pulled Joe out of elders' quorum, and told him the good news. He decided to get baptized this Saturday! It's so awesome. He's been giving us updated agendas for his baptism the past few weeks so he's super excited for it. :) Then during correlation meeting after church we planned out Joe's baptism, which is at 11 on Saturday! Also, Bro. Jones showed us how to fill up the font. Then we studied right after church. Then we went to the McCormick's. We taught them the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was an awesome lesson. Elder Rapp was a lot more confident about it as well, which was awesome. By the end of it, Bro. McCormick was even trying to convince Penny to go to church. It was cool. Then we had taco's at the Herzog's. They are super cool. Then we taught Jeff Horn and Drew, the Seventh-Day adventists. We taught them the Plan of Salvation. But Jeff kept asking us questions and we ended up teaching them about exaltation which isn't what we wanted to do. It's NEVER what you want to do. hah. But I think we were able to clarify things enough for them. hah. Then we watched Legacy last night and went to bed.
So far today we had gone shopping, studied and played volleyball with some of the sisters in our ward. It was more like Relief Society though, since they play in a league, they were talking all these strategies and stuff and it was super annoying. They were working us though. hah. Then we played basketball and now we're e-mailing. :)
It's been super fun getting to be a trainer so far. I love getting to serve with Elder Rapp. He is super excited to be a missionary and has such a strong desire to be the best he can be. I know that we are going to have a ton of fun together and I'm so lucky to get to have such an excited companion.
So a really cool scripture and principle that Elder Rapp and I studied this week was Guilt. I am a firm believer that God does not make us feel guilty. I feel like he makes us feel godly sorrow, that way we have a desire to change. Because if we didn't know we had done something wrong, we wouldn't know to fix it! So, as we were studying this out, we came to Alma 24:10. It says, "And I also thank my God, yea, my great God, that he hath granted unto us that we might repent of these things, and also that he hath forgiven us of those our many sins and murders which we have committed, and taken away the guilt from our hearts, through the merits of his Son." I really like this scripture. Guilt causes us to feel like we aren't worthy or good enough to repent, which isn't from God and after we had come to this conclusion, Don McCormick brought it up in our lesson. He talked about how he feels guilty sometimes and so we shared that scripture with him, that we had just found the day before, it was really cool. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that no matter what you have done, you are always worthy to repent and be forgiven. As long as we have faith in Jesus Christ and his Atonement, we can have all our guilt taken away, and can have those burdens taken from us. I promise you that this is true. I love you all and am so thankful for all the love and support you give me.!
|The Spartan statue|
|Elder Rapp and me|
|The greatest car I have ever seen! :)|
|Balloon tie for the Balloon Festival|
|Happy Hippos=Happy Elder|
Last Week with Elder Hess :( Sept. 8, 2014
This past week was my last one with Elder Hess. I'm pretty bummed out about it. He is going to Williamston, which is just east of Lansing and I'm staying here in Midland and I'm going to be training a brand new missionary! I'm pretty nervous, but am super excited for it. :)
Last Monday we didn't do that much. We went shopping and e-mailed, nothing fancy. Then we went and taught Don and Penny. We finished teaching the Plan of Salvation to them. She even told us that she believes it's true, which was really cool! The only issue is that Don is a less-active and has a word of wisdom problem, which keeps him from coming to church, which is too bad. It was a good lesson though.
Tuesday was a good day. Elder Hess and I went to the Tridge in the morning and did some personal contacting then after lunch we went with the 1st ward elders out to Dennis's house. We helped him out some more with his roofing. It was really fun. We were able to finish doing tear-off on one of the sides of the roof. After that we had dinner at Curt and Patti Cormiers. Patti made enchiladas which were so dang good, I could have eaten so many of those, but thank goodness I have been working on my self-control. We watched the John Tanner movie with them after that and talked with them about magnifying their callings since they are ward missionaries. We shared D&C 88:77-81 that talks about how when we teach others about the gospel we learn them better ourselves which I think is a really cool principle. So, we were scheduled to meet with Blake after the Cormiers, but he canceled, and then we got a call from Jeff Horn, who is a Seventh-Day Adventist. We met him at the Tridge and we set up a time to meet. However, when we had set it up it was on Monday night and we were planning for Tuesday so we told him we could meet with him tomorrow but we thought tomorrow was Wednesday, but we had the Cormiers and Bonnie scheduled for Wednesday, so we kind of messed that one up. But with Blake cancelling on us, it all worked out. We met with Jeff and his friend Drew at our church. We were a little late, but it all worked out. We taught them the Restoration and it went really well. They were taking notes the whole time. So they are pretty staunch Seventh-day Adventists, so we set that the next time we would meet up, they would teach us which was actually yesterday, but I will explain that later. :)
Wednesday was sweet! So I won a free day pass to the Midland Community Center last month. Elder Hess and I finally decided to use it. We woke up at 4:50 so we could get there at 5 when it opens. It was so awesome! I felt like a kid in a candy store! We are used to working out in our tiny apartment so it was like heaven. We worked out until about 7:45. We destroyed ourselves, it was awesome. We also had a lot of fun with the row machine. :) There were also freebies blasting the whole time which was a bonus. Then we had district meeting. We talked about "we invite, they commit, we follow up." It was really good. I also played "God Be With You Til We Meet Again" on the piano for it. It was a "wrong note" fiasco, but oh well. ha. Then we did district pictures which were pretty funny. :) We had lunch at Mancino's which was awesome as usual. Then we taught Joe the Plan of Salvation. It went pretty well, Joe kept getting way off subject, but it's okay. Then Elder Hess and I went to the Tridge and knocked doors for a little bit. We met a couple of cool potentials there. One guy had a problem with not being able to see God so we talked to him about modern-day prophets. Then another guy really liked how Jesus Christ came to the Americas. All that happened knocking doors was a lady threatened to call the cops on us, because we knocked on the door twice. haha. I also got a package today which was a big box that was pretty heavy. Turns out the my awesome mama sent me 12 liters of passion fruit juice. :) I never would have expected to get sent juice on my mission, but I'm not complaining. :) We had dinner at the Henson's. Of all things, we had taco salad, which was just like being at home. hah. They are such a cool couple. We talked to them about Mosiah 2:20-24. I have been really hot on this one lately. I love it. "Of what have ye to boast?" I think that it is such a great scripture, because really, without God, we are literally nothing, all we have is from him. After the Henson's, we taught the Cormiers and Bonnie. We went over the organization of the church with them.
Thursday was a day of finding. We accidentally planned to do weekly planning, but forgot that transfer calls were on Friday, so then our whole day was kind of messed up. I got a package today from my Dad. He sent me an Eagles tie and hat, which are awesome! And he also sent me a full rack of ribs that are super good. I have the best parents in the world.! :) We knocked a lot of doors. We met a few ladies who talked FOREVER! One of them just did a good old Gander-rant. Then the next lady was a street preacher and she was crazy. She was talking all about how if you are sick, it's only because you don't have enough faith. She said one time her hip hurt her and she just smacked her hip and said "Get in line with the word of God!" It was hilarious. Then we went to the Tridge and stopped by Blake's at the end of the night so Elder Hess could say bye to Blake's step-son Kyle, because we assumed he'll be getting transferred.
Friday was a nerve-wracking day! It was hard to stay focused on studies because we were super anxious about transfer calls. We finally got the call at like 10:30. Elder Hess is going to Williamston to be a District Leader and I'm staying in Midland and I'm training! I was just in shock for a little while after the call. I just finished training yesterday and now I have to train. But I'm also excited because me and my greenie will get to learn together. After that we did weekly planning except I will be gone all next week. Then we taught Ben about prayer with Bro. Cannady which went pretty well. He's been off cigarettes for a whole week! It's pretty exciting. Then we knocked doors for a while and it was extremely humid today. We had dinner at Bro Jones house. Sis Jones made peach crisp for dessert that was amazing! Then Blake canceled on us again so we drove way out to Jeremy Joneses. We were finally able to find his new house and we chatted with him and his wife Lauren for a while. We were able to teach them the Restoration. We asked Lauren if she would be baptized if she came to find out that our message was true, and she said Yes. :)
Saturday was another day of finding. We made Comp Study Pancakes, which were super good. I peeled a ton of the Hershey's kisses that Courtney sent me like my first week here. They had melted when she sent them, so they were a pain to peel, but they were worth it in the pancakes. :) Then we went to the Tridge and we saw Helen and her family there. They all looked super lost so we went and talked to them for a little bit. After that we went and talked with Nick K. We helped him build these mini-greenhouse things. Then we went and met with James. He's a less active. He has special needs. We talked with him about why we go to church in D&C 59. It was pretty sad though, because you can tell he's super lonely. After that we had lunch and I just skipped lunch and took a nap. ha. It was awesome. Then we knocked doors. We knocked on a door and a lady answered. Then her husband and his friend pulled up and they were decked out in their Michigan apparel. The friend had met with missionaries before. We were talking a lot about football and stuff and the husband was setting up a projector to watch the Michigan vs. Notre Dame game. We were just chatting with them for a while about all kinds of stuff, even Sister Wives came up. (Thanks Mom, I was able to actually talk intelligently about that.) Then the guy brought up how we do work for the dead in temples and we explained the Spirit World. A lady named Heidi really liked it. She gave us her info and told us to come back so we're pretty excited about her. :) When we finished up at the Tridge, we met a couple of Seventh Day Adventist preachers. They were super nice guys and knew Jeff and Drew.
Sunday was a great day. We took our Sunday morning nap, which was great. James came to church! His mom came and told us that he was really excited when she called him asking him if he wanted to come to church and thanked us for going to see him. It was really cool. :) When Elder Hess was telling people he was leaving they were all complimenting us, which was really nice to hear. :) Sister Jenkins especially thinks we are super stars for some reason. hah. Elder Hess bore his testimony about how much he loved being in Midland and about member missionary work. Jabari Parker's sister bore her testimony as well. She gave her background info and said she had a brother who went to Duke and I knew exactly who she was talking about. :) hah. Then sister Henson bore her testimony and was really loving on us, which was really nice of her. It's nice to know that you have the ward on your side. :) Gospel Principles was a train wreck. It was on exaltation which I have no idea why it's in the Gospel Principles book at all. The teacher made the mistake of saying that we would become equal to Heavenly Father which ruined the rest of the lesson because we could tell people were confused and it was just bad. She even quoted the King Fallott sermon which isn't the best thing to share with recent converts. Then after church we had correlation, which was good. Then we tried to go visit a lot of our potentials and other people, but nobody was home. We then went to the Cormiers, so Elder Hess could say bye to them. We also cleared up the exaltation confusion with them, but Curt already had a really good understanding about it all. It was sad watching them say goodbye. I'm already dreading when I have to say goodbye to all these people that I love. Then we went to the Marcou's for dinner. We had stuffed hamburgers that were delicious. :) They had football on so it was tough to not get distracted. But it was the Cowboys and 49ers...so at least that made it somewhat easier, but I love football! We were able to teach Jan about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We just taught it really simply but it was good then we met Jeff and Drew at the Seventh-Day Adventist church. They taught us about their religion. It was really interesting. They also really aren't that far off but I really learned to appreciate the Holy Ghost. Because He testifies of truth so I was able to know that what they were teaching isn't true. I learned a lot though, and they are super nice, cool guys. After that Elder Hess and I played with some glow sticks that we have had for a while and went to bed.
Today we drove to Mt. Pleasant to go to the Dentist but there was some miscommunication and they actually weren't going to clean our teeth, so Elder Hess got his retainer reattached and then we drove the hour back to Midland. And now I'm e-mailing.
This week was a really good week. I studied humility this week. I really liked the definition that it gave me, it was something like, it's knowing where your true power lies. I have been able to better understand humility and it has really helped me. Knowing that all I have and also all the success I have is from my Heavenly Father, has really helped me to realize how thankful I am to Him for that. As I do humble myself, I have found that I'm much happier as well as more successful. I also liked Mosiah 4:11. It says "I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness." Even once we come to the knowledge of the greatness of God, we still need to remember that it's all because of Him. I'm so grateful for my Heavenly Father, and for all the blessings He gives me.
I love you all so much, and am so thankful for all the support you have given me!
|The Midland District|
|Me, Bonnie, The Cormier's and Elder Hess|
|Helen and her family with me and Elder Hess|
|Elder Hess, Joe and me|