Monday, December 15, 2014

Big Rapids, Michigan-Rounds 1 and 2

Hey everyone!                                                                              Dec. 15, 2014

So I don't have a lot of time this week, due to technical difficulties. So I will just give you some highlights.

We were able to teach a lot of lessons this week. It was really good. We have a lot of really great investigators (Bonnie, Connie, Debora, Mary Ann) to name a few. They are all so close but they all have their little hang-ups, which we are working on. :)

We had interviews with President Jacobsen this week in Spring Lake. It went really well. He is just a great guy, I love him. 

Yesterday, we went to see a less active who is awesome. But the GPS took us on a seasonal road and we almost got stuck, it was crazy. It was also really foggy, so it was a real adventure. :)

So the real miracle of the week happened on Tuesday. We drove out to a little town in our area to try and visit some less actives. We went to see a girl named Jasmine. We knocked on her door and the lady who answered is named Nina. Turns out Jasmine is 14 so Nina is her mom, she let us in and started talking to us about the Godhead/Trinity. We talked for a while and she is an excommunitcated member and has been really looking into religion lately because her life is falling apart. As we were talking, she started crying and said "I want to know if there really is a God." We talked about the Gospel with her and how much God loves each one of us. She asked us for a blessing and agreed to let us come back. It was a really cool experience how Heavenly Father put her in our path. 

My quick spiritual thought of the week comes from 2 Ne 28:32 and also from Mosiah 11&12. These verses highlight a critical point of the gospel. That is, that we can always repent. In Mosiah, Abinadi is continually telling the people how they are going to be persecuted and all kinds of other stuff, but he always uses the phrase, "Except they Repent." It's never too late, just humble yourself and the Lord is always ready and willing to receive you.

Merry Christmas, I love you all!

Elder Chalmers

                                                                                                    Dec. 8, 2014
Hey everybody!

So this week was a challenging week for sure. Elder Laing and I are white-washing Big Rapids. So, there have been sister missionaries serving here for the past like 4 years, but a ton of sisters went home and not enough came out,so they have put elders in Big Rapids now. 

I met Elder Laing on Tuesday morning in Grand Rapids and then we drove the hour and a half up to Big Rapids. When we got to the apartment the sister missionaries had left us with a TON of info on the area, to be honest, it was way too much info. So we were reading through all that and just got super overwhelmed. We did get a chance to meet Gabe, who is a less-active member. He was super happy to see that elders were here now. We got to know him a little bit better and we also gave him a blessing then we were trying to visit a ton of people, but nobody was home!

Wednesday: Today was a pretty good day. We have basically set a routine to go and personal contact on Ferris State University's campus every morning after we study. It's been pretty good except this week is Finals week, and then all the students take off for the next 4 weeks so the campus is going to die pretty soon. :/ We also got a chance to meet a less-active recent convert named Jack. He was super cool. We also met another less-active named Jill then we finally got to teach a lesson and we even took Jack with us! Her name is Connie. She is 50 or so. We got to know her and she is on date to be baptized so we talked about that. It was a great lesson and she loved having Jack there, he related to her really well. She has 5 dogs that are all small but they are all over you the whole lesson... :/ Then we got to meet with President Williams. He is a great guy. He gave us a lot of  good direction. He told us to really focus on getting to know the members and building trust with them. The thing about Big Rapids is that there are a lot of less-active members here, so the members who are solid and active get burned out pretty fast because they are the ones who are keeping the branch going. 

So that is what we did the rest of the week. We went around and got to know everyone better. There are a ton of really great people here. I'm super excited to be here to get the work going. We have a big task ahead of us, but all we can do is our best.

We have so far picked up one new investigator. He is a student named Lucas. He is cool but I don't know how much desire he actually has and he's leaving pretty soon, so that's a bummer... We also got to meet another one of our investigators yesterday. We had a great lesson with her. It was weird. She told us how she knows the Book of Mormon is true and she even said that, "Mormons are better" because they have the Spirit more. We invited her to be baptized but she said she didn't know. So we told her to pray about it. She will be baptized. :)

Church was so different yesterday. The only time I have been in a group that small was in China. We were assigned to give talks after being at church for like 2 min. hah. I get to talk on Dec. 21 about Christmas. :) Our branch did a cookie swap before the 1st presidency Christmas devotional that was fun and we got to know everybody better. I loved the devotional, it was awesome. It's kind of funny, but I always look for Michael David in the MOTAB choir and every time I see him, it makes me really happy. I don't even know him that well, but it's nice to see a familiar face. :) 

My spiritual thought for the week: I have been reading through the Book of Mormon and I was in Mosiah 7. Verse 30 talks about how we reap what we sow. So I did some study on that. I read Gal. 6:7 and Hosea 8:7 as well as a talk by Jeffery R. Holland called, "Borne upon Eagles' Wings." It's really cool. It talks about how we reap what we sow. But Elder Holland explains it well. He says we reap in kind what we sow so if we are mean to people, we can't expect to get love in return and he also said that we often reap in greater quantity. (Hosea 8:7) I feel like that is the important part. Being a missionary has been hard and really challenging at times but when I look at the past six months I have already gotten back way more than I have put into it. I feel the same way about being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It often feels like there is a lot expected of us as members of the church but I know that if you look back on the blessings you have received from fulfilling and magnifying various callings and keeping the commandments, you will be able to see the blessings that the restored Gospel has and will continue to be in your life. 

I love this Gospel and I love each one of you. Merry Christmas.

Elder Chalmers

Half of our original MTC district!

I love Elder Rapp!

Posterity pic! (Elder Elwood trained Elder Hess, who trained me.) Elder Elwood just went home. He went to high school with Doug.

Gotta love campus life. hah.

Twice is Nice!!

Big Rapids!

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