Cameron is serving in the Michigan Lansing Mission Jun 2014-Jun 2016
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Snow and other good stuff!
Hey Everybody! I hope you are all doing great!
This was a great week for Elder Rapp and me, we got a ton of good work done. It was great!
Last Monday: We went to the Midland 2nd sisters' apartment complex's clubhouse and we played pool,
ping pong, and Catch Phrase. While we were there, Quan Porter, the black guy who Elder Hess and I used
to see everywhere walked in, so I invited him to hang out with us. ha. He goes to the Pentecostal church
and he invited us to come to church and that will be significant when I tell you about yesterday. :) Just a little hint
Tuesday: We had a super heavy lesson with the Shocknesse's. There was a concern that was brought to the
attention of the bishop, so he had Bro. Jones go with us to ask Karolyn about it. So, Bro. Jones just asked her
and then she really opened up to us. It was really intense and emotional. We gave her a blessing of comfort and
it was also really powerful, Bro. Jones gave it. We just left there, and man, The Spirit was so strong in there! I
was sick today with a fever and that made it pretty hard to go and knock doors since I was freezing and then we
got into one of the houses and I got super sweaty and then was even colder, but I made it through. :) We had
BFD at the Jenkins house for dinner. It was awesome. They have 5 kids all about 10 and younger. They are the
coolest family. We had a good time over there. We had the kids tell us ways we can do missionary work, and
they were all killing themselves to get there arm high enough for us to call on them. :) hah. They rock.
Wednesday: We had District Meeting. It was on the Book of Mormon. It was really great. We also taught Ben
today. Other than that we knocked a lot of doors and met a couple of really cool people. We met a guy named
Doug who had met with missionaries before so I could tell he was trying to bate us into a bash, but we ended up
having a really nice conversation. It was really cool. He asked, "Am I saved?" And it went from there. ha. Then
we had dinner at the Cormiers. That was great as usual. I love them. They are struggling right now, but they are
staying strong in their faith, which is great to see.
Thursday: Today we had to do weekly planning, and I would have to say that weekly planning is my biggest
struggle in missionary work. It's just so long and I have such a hard time getting through it. We also taught Dale
Fultz, who is a less-active member who was baptized about a year ago. We had a really cool lesson with him, on
doing the "small and simple things." We committed him to do the small and simple things. He said he would read
and pray but that he has back problems and doesn't know about church. Then we made him a promise that if he
would commit to church his back wouldn't bother him and he would enjoy it. Then he said, "OK, I will come." It
was really cool. And he did come! :) We had dinner at the Bowman's which was great, they are spiritual giants.
Then we went out to John's with Bro. Place. It was just John, so we read 2 Nephi 31 with him. We just took turns
reading one verse each and discussing. It was really awesome how much we all learned.
Friday: Today we taught Helen and we were in her humidity room since we couldn't be inside, since we couldn't
get anyone to come with us and we accidentally didn't fully unlock the door, so it locked us out. We locked an
85-year-old lady outside of her house. I was able to climb inside a window though and save the day. :) hah.
When we left Helen's, it was snowing, A LOT! It was nuts. Then we met with Joe and had a potential who moved
in across the street from him, so we called Joe and asked him to teach with us. The guy ended up shining us,
but Joe had gotten all dressed up and was super excited to get to teach with us. It was so cool to see Joe so
excited. Then we met with Bro. Sovereen. After that we taught a guy named AC. He's an ex-military guy and is a
little crazy. When we walked into his apartment, he had a pistol hanging on his bedstand. And I said, "you were
right, you are packing." hah. It was funny. He was hard to keep focused, so the lesson was alright. He said he
read the BOM though...
Saturday: Today we helped fill the font for Valorie Padgette, the sister's investigators baptism. Then we went
and raked leaves for a potential we met on Friday. She is a single mom and is an OB nurse! It was a ton of fun.
Her 4 year old son was out with his little rake helping us out. It was adorable. :) She was really appreciative and
we are going to teach her next week. Then we had Val's baptism which was great. Then we went with Bro & Sis
Joneses to teach the Shocknesse's. It was a great lesson. They are both really prepared for next week. Then we
met a girl named Jessica who we knocked in to yesterday, who is looking for a church, so we got to know her
better, she is really cool. Then we had dinner at the Marcou's. It was great. Jan asked us a really cool question.
She asked is the Mormon religion started with the Book of Mormon. That took me a while to explain and figure
out, but we got to the bottom of it. :)
Sunday: It was a great Sabbath. A girl in the ward played "I Love to See the Temple" on the piano in sacrament,
it was beautiful. We had the Shocknesse's at church and Dale and Sister Bethea were also there. It was great.
We also got to show the Shocknesse's the font, which was cool. They are excited. :) After church we knocked
and met a few potentials then we had open faced tacos at the Herzog's, which were delicious. Then we went
to the Pentacostal Temple. Holy Cow. They are just partying in there. They were singing songs and dancing,
one of the songs was called "My God is Awesome." It was great. They would go around putting their hands on
each other's heads and praying and "healing" each other. People were running around. The pastor's sermon
included him "healing" a few people of their fibromyalgia. It was just insane. I never knew that you could call
that church. All I can say is WOW....
I don't have very much more time but my quick spiritual thought of the week has to do with prayer, which we
talked about in Gospel Principles. It was really good. All I can say is to try and make your prayers more personal
and meaningful. Remember that you are conversing with your Heavenly Father and he is there to help you, you
just need to ask. The power of prayer is real and is there to help you.
I love you all!
me and Joe
Going to church in the snow
5 MONTHS A MISSIONARY! 11-10-14
So we got some new mission rules... Our e-mailing time is now only 90 min. Which you should
be thankful for because now you won't have to read my WAY too long e-mails. :)
Some cool things that happened this week:
-I went on Trade-offs to Midland 1st ward with Elder Nielsen. We were without a car and it was raining so
caused for a lot of walking. We knocked into a member and he was doing this 3D puzzle so we helped with that.
It was really cool.
-We did service for a less-active lady who we home teach with Bro. Lindauer named, Sister Bethea. We pulled
weeds for her, it was really fun.
-We went to teach the Cormiers on Wednesday night. And Curt is a black belt so he was showing us his system
of fighting. So if any of you ever try and grab my collar, you will be in deep trouble. :) We also shared Alma 26:27
and D&C 122:7-9 which talk about how God is always with us and will support us through our trials. Then we
took Emma for a walk and when we got back Curt said, "I was praying to the Lord this morning for something,
and your message answered it for me." It was really cool.
-We met with Helen and we were talking about Adam & Eve with her. She just couldn't understand that Adam &
Eve had to partake of the fruit. It was frustrating. I just wanted to give her the biz and show her Isaiah 55:8-9!
She is going to read 2 Nephi 2 and pray about it so that should help out.
Some of our knocking adventures this week: Yesterday we met this guy named John, who is from Kentucky. He
was hilarious! He was a textbook redneck. We helped him move some stuff and we swapped info with him. He
wants us to give him a call. We also met a guy named AC. He was a former military guy. He was pretty funny, he
was telling us how the crackheads don't even dare step on his porch the way we did. We asked him if he would
want to hear our mesasge and he said "Yea, probably sometime when I'm not drunk." hah.
The Highlight of the week was of course, John and Karolyn Shocknesse! We have taught them last Monday,
Wednesday and yesterday. They are the Best! In our lesson on Monday, John said, "I feel like my life can be put
into two parts now, before I met the Elders and after I met the Elders." I was also expressing to them how
grateful I am that we were able to meet them at the Tridge. Then Karolyn told us that John originally was too
nervous to meet with us the first time and was going to cancel but she convinced him to give it a try. We taught
them the Word of Wisdom and then the next time we came back John said they had thrown out all their coffee.
We also taught them about Tithing which we were pretty nervous about because Karolyn brought up tithing the
very first time we met with them, but after we taught it John said, "We will find a way". They are so humble, and
just have so much faith! John prayed at the end of our lesson on Monday and he just said in his prayer that he
can't ask for anything more and just expressed to Heavenly Father how grateful he is. The Lord truly is preparing
people. I'm so thankful to be able to be one of the missionaries that gets the opportunity to "teach the
Shocknesse's. (They basically teach themselves, it's incredible. I swear he quoted Preach My Gospel in our last
lesson about Prophets!)
We had Stake Conference this weekend. During the Saturday evening session, President Jacobsen spoke, and
during his talk he had all of the missionaries go up and we hummed and sang Called to Serve. It was really cool.
There were a ton of great talks. I feel like they were all General Conference worthy. Sister Jones gave a talk
how we need to all develop a spiritual appetite.
That is what my spiritual thought is going to be about this week. Sister Jones talk was one of the best talks I
have ever heard. She first talked a lot about having a willing heart. She said she likes the word willing because it
promotes progress, not perfection. Then she said that we don't need to love every calling or assignment we have
in the church but as we have a willing heart and continually do it, we will learn to love these things. She then
talked about how we need to be preparing Zion. She mentioned Enoch and how when he brings back down his
city to Zion, we need to be preparing ourselves so that it will be a smooth transition. It reminds me of Brad
Wilcox's talk, His Grace Is Sufficient. We aren't earning heaven, or Zion, we are learning them. Salvation isn't an
event, it's a process. As we learn to develop an appetite for spiritual things we will continually become more
Christlike, and it will bring us more Joy than we could ever imagine. I want to add my testimony to this, and say
that it's true. The beginning of my mission, I was really working on this. I didn't exactly love missionary work, I
was always thinking about home and the things I would rather be doing. But as I have had a willing heart and
mind and have worked hard at being a missionary, I can say now that I love it. I know I can learn to love it even
more, so that is what I'm working on. I know you can all do it!
Also, Jesus the Christ is one of the coolest books ever! It helps you gain a better understanding of Jesus
and who He is and what He has done for us. I'm only on page 40 and I have learned so much already!
I love you all and am so grateful for all the support you give me! CTR!
The 3D ship puzzle
THE FIRST SNOW 11-3-14
This was another great week, so I will get right into it...
Monday: Today after P-Day had concluded, we had dinner at the Depierro's house. It was really good, they gave
us some brownies to go (which were amazing), since Bro and Sis Jones picked us up from dinner. We taught
John and Karolyn. We finished teaching the Plan of Salvation to them. It was a great lesson. We taught them
about Priesthood blessings as well since both of them are really sick. Pray for them! Then we traded-off. Elder
McBride was with me in M2. :)
Tuesday: Today was a great day of trade-offs with Elder McBride. We were on bikes but it was a little rainy so
we decided to walk. I also had the "smart" idea of breaking in my new shoes since my other ones have huge
holes in them and the heel is non-existent. We ended up having to walk like 5 miles and I got some gnarly
. Then we taught Ben where we talked about keeping the Sabbath-Day holy. Then we got the bikes and
we met with Judie Berryhill. She was a former investigator who we picked back up. She is 70 and is a super nice
lady. We brought Bro. Sovia with us, it was really cool. He was testifying about the Book of Mormon to her, it
was really powerful. Then we knocked doors for a little while. We had dinner with the Jensen's. They made sweet
n'sour meatballs which were delicious. Then we biked home in the dark and made some phone calls.
Wednesday: Today we had District Meeting on "The Power and Authority of our Calling" It was really good. After
Rapp and I got picked up by Bro. Cannady and we went to see John and Karolyn. We taught them the Gospel
of Jesus Christ. We also gave each of them a blessing. It was a really spiritual meeting. We also set their
baptismal date for the 22nd of November. :) Then we knocked for a while. We had dinner at Bob Evans with
Sister Anderson and Nyman. I got these cinnamon pancakes which were basically a huge cinnamon roll. It was
a "slug between the teeth."
Thursday: Today we tried to contact people all morning then we met with Joe which was great. I love Joe!
still so cool to see how much he has changed. The Atonement is for real! Then we knocked doors. We were
weekly planning and then Bro. Jenkins called us and we went home teaching to Bonnie Bash. We talked about
prayer with her. We had dinner at the Gudmunsun's. The sisters put us on the spot and made us give the
thought. ha. It was good though.
Friday: Halloween! Today was the best! We had lunch at the Kepler's and then we set out raking all day. All 9 of
us would go to a house and blitz it. The way they do it in Midland is they just put all their leaves out on the side
of the street and the city picks it up so you rake the backyard and use tarps to drag it out. It was snowing while
we were raking and it was like 35 degrees. It was a ton of fun. Then we had a make-your-own pizza thing at the
Henson's. Jefferson Glenn, Tilah Parker and Joe Booth joined us. We played Apples to Apples and then played
Catch Phrase. It got INTENSE! It was so much fun. :)
Saturday: Today almost everybody cancelled on us. We went to the Shelterhouse and did service, it was a ton
of fun. Then we met with Ben for a little bit. We met with the sisters and Sis. Nyman & Anderson to talk about
the singles in the ward. Then we tried to go see James but he told us to leave since he was eating cereal. hah.
So we knocked. We met this lady named Dani. She is "spiritual," not religious. We were talking to her and of
course she brought up polygamy and we explained it to her and she said, "That's the best argument I've heard
for that." So everything we said after that she was a lot more open to. It was really cool. We got a return appt.
with her. :) Then we got to go to GENJI! :) which is like Sakura. It's the Hibachi cooking place. It was so good.
Sister Wheeler took us there. I was in heaven! Then we went to the Cormiers and we took Emma for a walk since
they are both pretty sick. It was fun. Then we stopped and saw a less active member.
Sunday: Yesterday was a great day. I read Jesus the Christ and it was really good then at church John was
there and so was Joshua Bick, who we saw yesterday. That was really cool. Fast and Testimony meeting was
really good. One of the members got up there and talked for about 25 min, it was all over the place.
made a joke about it. :) hah. I was laughing pretty hard. We talked about Adam and Eve in Gospel Principles and
Bro. Duncan shared some really cool insights which will be my thought for the week. We had combined
priesthood and relief society. We had a lesson on strengthening marriage. ha. They taught how keeping our
covenants is the best way to strengthen marriage and family relationships. After church we knocked for a few
hours then we went home teaching to the Pierce's with Bro. Lindauer and we had dinner in our apartment which
was still great after a fast sunday. Afgter dinner we went Home Teaching again to Sister Bethea and Andrew
Sheppard. We shared Elder Uchtdorf's talk, "Lord, Is It I?" It's such a good talk and it helped me a lot.
Today we have shopped and we had to deep clean our apartment because we had inspections today. It all went
great. Then we went to the mall. Now we are e-mailing. It was cool at the mall, Tilah Parker saw us and gave us
So about Adam and Eve. What brother Duncan shared is that, in 2 Nephi 2, the whole thing talks about how we
need opposition in all things. So he brought up that the reason that Adam and Even couldn't have kids is
because since they couldn't die, they couldn't create life because there would be no opposition. I though it was
really cool. So there is your thought for the week. :)
The intense game of Catch Phrase
The Halloween Group
This past week was another great week to be a missionary, I'm starting to be really thankful for
my planner and especially my journal because I feel like it's all starting to blur together. Also by the end of this
letter you will understand why it's titled Shocknesse. ha.
Last Monday: Last P-Day was good. We had dinner at John and Becky Jenkins. They are awesome. He is a
resident and they have 5 little kids. It's a blast being over there. I love all of their kids. Then we went over to
Blake's. We raked leaves with Kyle for a little bit and then talked with Blake.
Tuesday: Today we knocked doors for quite a while which was fun as usual. We met a guy named Andrew, who
let us in and we taught him the Restoration. It was a really cool lesson. We also talked a little about the Plan of
Salvation. He was really sincere. It was sad though, because what he said to us before we left was that he knows
that Christ is preparing mansions for us but he said, "I'd rather be a dog in heaven, then a prince in hell." It's
really sad when we meet people who are okay with settling for less then what Heavenly Father wants for them
which is the very best. Then we had dinner at Bishop Savage's. It was really good, Sloppy Joes. ha. His parents
were there and they live in Kalamazoo. She is European and has a super strong accent and is really cool. Elder
Hess had told me all about her so it was good to finally meet her. Then we met with Helen.
Wednesday: Today was also really good. We tried to visit a lot of people in the morning since we had to give up
the car today. After we gave the car to the Mt. Pleasant sisters we got the bikes. Then Bro. Cannady picked us
up and we went and taught John and Karolyn Shocknesse. We taught the 1st half of the Plan of Salvation, it
went really well. John had already been reading his Gospel Principles book, so he knew it all and of course, he
believed it all. She was also really involved in the lesson. We invited them to be baptized at the end of the lesson,
and they both said YES! They are on date for the 22nd of November. It was such a great lesson! Then we had
dinner with the Millwards. They made this breaded chicken with rice and the only way to describe it would to use
the words of a wise man I know, it was Gangbusters! :) Then we met with Jeff & Drew, our Seventh-Day
... They basically were railing and slandering on Joseph Smith which naturally tested my patience. But
we talked with them and told them our purpose so we decided to not meet anymore. Thank goodness. They are
both super cool guys, though.
Thursday: Today we knocked for a while then later in the day we had to bike way out to Joe Booth's house. He
had us over for dinner. It was BFD! :) It was good stuff. It was also Joe's B-day dinner, he turned 42 on the 26th!
It was a really fun dinner. Joe's a funny guy. Then we helped set up for the Ward party.
Friday: Today we finished setting up for the ward party with Bro Jones then he outfitted us in our costumes. hah.
We wore tail coats and top hats to the chili cook-off/trunk or treat. ha. Then we got shined by Ben and we went
and raked leaves for a less-active member, Brother Fultz. It was a beast of a job, but it was really fun. Then we
went and taught Ben since he called us. We made prayer rocks with him. He loved it! It was a ton of fun and he
also gave us his cigarettes! Then we had the ward party. It was a lot of fun. The missionaries got to be the judges
for the chili. The very first one I tried was super spicy so I could barely taste the rest of them. hah. Then we got to
be in charge of Bro. Jones trunk. He made a candy wheel thing so that was fun. We even had an investigator
bring her girls to it. :) Then we helped clean everything up and all that jazz.
Saturday: Today was Awesome! We got to play soccer with the ward again. It was so much fun! The weather
perfect and I was feeling good. :) Then we had lunch and studied. Then we went to the Tridge and
with James Cannady. We watched Finding Faith in Christ with him. He loved it! He said, "I like
movies more than
reading scriptures." He also said, "It's so overwhelming all the things that Christ did for us."
Then he volunteered
to say the closing prayer and he prayed that he would be able to do the "small and simple
thing" like pray, read
scriptures and go to church which is what we taught him last time. It was a really cool
experience. On our bike
ride back from his house I told Elder Rapp, "Mark my words, he will come to church
tomorrow." (spoiler alert, he
did. :)) Then we met with a former investigator named Matt Manceau, he's a really
open guy, but nothing really
happened with him. Then we were knocking and ran into a member, named Bro.
Marshall. He talked to us about
his mission and he gave us pie and ice cream. He really inspired Elder Rapp and
I to go out and work. It's hard,
because I feel like I'm working really hard but I always feel like I still have more to
give and it's hard because I
don't know if
that's normal. But I just asked President Jacobsen about it. Then we
met with Jeremy and Lauren
Jones at the church. They are a part member family except he doesn't even
remember anything. It was really cool.
We also talked about the importance of the Book of Mormon with them. It
was a really good day.
Sunday: Yesterday was great. The whole Shocknesse family came to church, and so did James. It was also the
primary program, so of course it was the best. :) The lesson in Priesthood today was on Elder Bednar's talk from
April's conference, Bear up Their Burdens with Ease. It was really good. After church, we went to the Tridge. We
met a couple with two young kids and we talked about forever families and they were like, yeah, we're interested
in that. It was cool. Then we did our studies and after had pulled pork sammys at the Kruegers. It was really
great. Then we went Home Teaching with him to sister Wheelers. It was awesome. We talked about prayer with
her and then also talked about the Eagles/Cowboys as well as Hawaii. It was awesome.
So far today we have studied, and shopped and also played some B-Ball.
My spiritual thought for the week is about D&C 4:5-6, and also the song "Love one Another." So the message
that Bishop Savage has been having us share with members from D&C 4:5-6 is about Christlike attributes. We
are showing members how exemplifying these attributes to those around us will be the best way to do
missionary work. As I was studying this, I thought of the song, Love one Another, and also John 13:35, which
says, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." So, the way that we
are supposed to show others that we are disciples of Christ and members of his true church is by exemplifying
him in our actions. That would be my challenge to all of you, to try and be Christlike to others, so they can know
ye are disciples of Him.
I love you all so much!
Joe's for Dinner
Prayer Rocks with Ben
The old school missionaries. :)
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