Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Merry Christmas from Big Rapids, MI

                                                                                                                                    Dec. 29, 2014
This past week was pretty slow in terms of missionary work, but it was a great week none the less. :)
Last Monday we were able to have a great lesson with Connie. We read the Book of Mormon with her and then watched He is the Gift. She is super cool. We are just really struggling to get her to church.
Tuesday: Today was our Christmas party/devotional in Grand Rapids. It was so great! I was able to see Elder Finlayson and Anderson and Sis. Cornia (From Midland), Elder Erecksen and Lowder from the MTC, Elder Wilson, Stevensen and a ton of other elders (friends). It was so great. Elder Green did a training on how to be better finders. I really liked it. I realized that at times I'm not bold enough in defending the truth. People will stay stuff that isn't true at all and I don't defend it enough. So I made a resolve that I will be bold with people, and tell them what I know to be true but still in a nice way. :) Elder Rhodes talked about being more diligent missionaries then we had an hour to go and get lunch so we went to Jimmy John's. I got to talk with Elder Anderson, Finlayson and Nielsen. We talked all about Midland. It was fun. When we got back we played games. Jeopardy was one of them and it was fun. Pres. and Sis. Jacobsen spoke to us and Pres. told us to make sure and make Christmas a special time for the right reasons. There were also a ton of musical numbers. It was a really fun day. We then drove back to BR and met with Sister Tucker. We watched He is the Gift with her and had a discussion about why we always remember the hard times more than the good times. We came to the conclusion that during the hard times is when we are better able to humble ourselves and see God's hand in our lives. (2 Cor. 12:9-10)
Wednesday: Christmas Eve was such a great day. We spent like the whole day knocking doors. We also had a great idea to take all of the Joy to the World DVD's that we have and wrap them and take them to investigators and less-actives. We had to walk everywhere, since we are low on miles and it was also raining all day. While we were walking from place to place we met this guy named Nolan. We just stopped him and had an amazing conversation with him. He is super interested and really loves that we believe in a modern day prophet. It was so cool. We haven't been able to get in touch with him since, but we will soon. :) We also met another cool guy who is interested in the purpose of life. It was so great. I loved it. After we made deliveries of all the rest of the DVD's we had dinner at Sis. Tift's with her parents. It was great. we watched He is the Gift and it was great!
Thursday: CHRISTMAS! Christmas was awesome. I got spoiled by my parents and also my grandparents and everyone. It was so great. I got a calendar of my family that Courtney made that was so awesome! :) The pics are the best. Elder Laing called home first so I made cookies ( burnt cookies ha) and was then able to call home. It was the best! I loved getting to hear everyone. After my phone call we went over to Larry's. I gave him his Christmas present (cowboy hat and John Wayne DVD collection). :) We had a super good dinner at the Williams and played Heads Up. I was super tired after we ate so once we got home, I fell right asleep at like 8. ha. It was a great Christmas though.
Friday: Today was a little rough... We did weekly planningand then went out with the Lewis'. We met with Bonnie. She fell and got a concussion so she was still a little out of it. She was telling us about the "dream" she had. It was crazy. Apparently we kidnapped her and all other kinds of crazy stuff. The second we'd start teaching, she'd go more into depth on her dream. She also forgot everything we have taught her. :( So we are going to try and start over. We got to meet a less-active member, Sis. Cox. We shared the message about prophets in the January Ensign. It was really good. We had french toast for dinner at the Lewis'. After that, we met with Jill Huzzey. We talked about Enduring to the End and how the entire Gospel of Jesus Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, gift of the Holy Ghost) plays a role in it.
Saturday: Today was pretty cool. This morning when we were out knocking we met this girl, and were talking to her, then her friend got home and we helped them carry in groceries. We were talking to them about how the true church is on the earth today and they were super interested. So we asked if they had any questions and one of them asked, "What is the church's view on same-sex relationships?" Turns out they are a couple. One of them told us how she used to be Catholic and they kicked her out and she wanted to be able to feel welcomed somewhere. I told them that Heavenly Father loves all of us and that in order to follow Jesus Christ's example, as we've been commanded, we all have to make changes. They took it well and they still wanted to learn more! So we are going to teach them. I'm actually really excited because I have been somewhat intolerant of homosexuals in the past so I feel like this will be a good learning experience for me; to love everyone, no matter what. We got shined by everybody! So we were with Bro. Thompson and went up to Reed City and got Subway and went to see Sis. Carpenter. She is really cool and we got to know her better. When we got home I called former investigators for like an hour. I was able to get 2 appts and 1 other potential, it was really cool. After that we met with Debora for a little lesson. Her daughter came in and wasn't too happy to see us. We watched the Joseph Smith movie with Larry for his 1 year baptism annivesary! Elder Laing fell asleep, so we took funny pics with him. :)
Sunday: Church was good today. There were a few really good talks on scripture study and revelation. Elders Quorum was also good. We had good discussion about revelation and other things. After church we helped some former investigators move. They really needed help and we happened to call them yesterday so it was really cool how the Lord made that work out. We tried to see a few people and ended up spending a while at the Harvey's. We got to know them better and had a great message on missionary work. They gave us a referral of their nephew whom we are going to teach on Wednesday!
This was a really great week and made me realize how blessed I am to have the family and friends that I have.
My spiritual thought for the week is from Mosiah 23:21-22 
 21 Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trieth their patience and their faith.
 22 Nevertheless—whosoever putteth his trust in him the same shall be lifted up at the last day. Yea, and thus it was with this people.
Sometimes we go through trials not because we aren't being good but because we are being good. The Lord is giving us chances to grow and prove our righteousness and love for him. When things get tough, turn to the Lord and trust Him! He will always deliver you. D&C 122:7-9

I love you all! Have a Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas!

Elder Laing's nap

BIG RAPIDS 3.5                                                                                                                   Dec. 22, 2014
Hey Everybody, Merry Christmas! I can't believe it's almost Christmas time, it came so fast!
This was a great week here in the Big Rapids Branch, I will tell you all about it. :)
Tuesday: We basically knocked doors the entire day. It was awesome. I was feeling a little homesick because it's Christmas time and P-Day is pretty much the worst day of the week. We got out there pounding on doors and it fixed everything. The key to missionary work is most definitely WORK! The first door we knocked on they let us in and we got a return appt. We also met a single-mom who was really struggling with worldly things so we watched He is the Gift with her and it was really cool. We got a return appt. out of that as well. Then we met Bea who has been investigating for a long time, so we went with Larry (The 3rd missionary). She wants to be baptized but has a hard time acting on her desires. Then Sis. Milton brought up pizza, so we had a pizza party with Larry (not really, but it was still a party). We drove to Morely and met the Krome's. He has a Christmas tree that has $9,000 worth of ornaments on it, it was so cool!
Wednesday: We had district meeting in Big Rapids. The zone leaders came as well. We went on Trade-offs today. Our District Leader, Elder Walker stayed in BR with me. He is a really cool guy. He goes home in like 3 weeks. We had a great lesson with Connie on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She really liked it. She is super solid but we can't get her to church. :( We also went way out to Bitely with Larry to see Sis. McClure and teach her great grandsons, AJ & Ryan. She made these venison steaks and then peach cobbler for dessert. She is from WV and makes some amazing food. Then we taught AJ. He is 11 and is super smart, but the problem is, he knows it. We taught about who God is with him. It went well.
Thursday: We were able to go see Mary-Ann. She is recovering from surgery so we took her the Book of Mormon on tape and we also watched He is the Gift with her. When baby Jesus came up, she went, "oh, baby Jesus" It was so cute. :) She is a sweet old lady. Then we knocked for a while. It was pretty cold, both of our feet went numb. We went to see Wyatt and Melody, who are inactive. We were talking to Wyatt, and Melody came out, and asked us for a blessing. It was really cool.We had dinner at the Williams'. We watched He is the Gift with them as well. I love that video, it never gets old!
Friday: After studies we drove to Morely and traded back. Then Elder Laing and I did our weekly planning. We also had a really good companionship inventory and got on the same page. It was awesome. We met Sis. Tucker. She is an awesome lady. She has a super strong testimony but her anxiety makes it hard for her to get to church. We had dinner at Sis. Tift's. She texted us before and told us that her kids' Dad wanted to be taught by us, so we were pumped. After dinner we taught him and talked about the BOM. We also watched He is the Gift and The Hope of God's Light. It was good. But it sort of seems like she is forcing it on him and you can't force spiritual things.

Saturday: This morning we were knocking and an old lady invited us in and just gander-ranted for like an hour. We kept trying to bring up the gospel but she would just start talking about her grandkids. hah. We met a 93 & 94 year-old couple. They were really cool. We met Bro. Harvey at Mackenzie's who we met on Tuesday. We had a great lesson with her. She has a lot of desire and is really teachable. After that we visited Bonnie. She got a concussion, and was really out of it, it was sad. We knocked for a while and then saw a huge hill, so we ran to the top of it for fun. There was one house at the top so we knocked on it, and they guy wasn't interested, but we were able to tell him that we do believe in Christ, it was cool then we watched Legacy with Larry.
Sunday: Today was awesome. I gave a talk in Sacrament, on the He is the Gift initiative. I felt like it went really well. We also had Debora at church. It was awesome. She liked it. After church we had a lesson with Debora and she loved it all. She also really likes Larry. We had dinner with the Koepfs, Hawaiian Haystacks and decorated cookies, it was awesome.
My spiritual thought of the week is the He is the Gift initiative. From watching it with people, everyone thinks that the beginning part of it is an ad and that is what Christmas has become. But as it goes on, it tells us the true message. I'm out of time. But I love you all. May we have the Spirit of Christ with us all this Christmas season. I love you all.

Elder Chalmers

Merry Christmas!
Ready for Christmas in Big Rapids, MI


Elder Laing, Larry and me

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