Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I Now Know Why People Live in Northern Michigan

                                                                                                                                      April 27, 2015
This was a great week in Kalkaska! They all are, but this one was great as well. :) We met a super prepared lady this week, it was incredible!

Monday: I had to catch up on a lot of journals today, and I exercised, it was a pretty bland P-Day. We got some pizza with Bro. McDuffie and then helped Chris rake his yard. We had a great lesson with Tiffany and then Chris & Angel. It was a great day. We also called the lady who we met while we were driving down the highway and felt impressed to stop and talk to her. She asked us before we asked her, when we will be in Bellaire again, because she "really wants to talk to us" so we were pumped about that. :)

Tuesday: Today we met with Deb (the lady from the highway).. Before that though... we had a lesson at the Lamb's. Bro. McDuffie brought cupcakes for E. Houser's Birthday which is on the 28th. We taught the GOJC and had some great discussion then we had lunch with the Draher's. They drive trucks, but their truck is broken down so the whole branch is happy that they are here for a little longer. They rock. We were knocking doors and we met a 19 year old who let us in. We had a cool discussion with him and we're going to see him later in the week. So, we had our lesson with Deb... WOW! Steve was already there and she has been reading a book called, "The Keys of Enoch" which talks about the church and the Melchizedek Priesthood. So we had a prayer, and the second question she asked us was, "How do I go about being baptized?" We almost didn't know what to do. It was a miracle. She had read the restoration pamphlet and believed it all! We went through it with her and she believed it all so we gave her a Book of Mormon. It all happened so fast, she is so prepared! We left and then went back because we felt like we should give her a Plan of Salvation pamphlet. She answered the door and told us she was just about to pray and also that "it felt like God was just in my house." Again, Wow. It's so rewarding to look back and see the fruits of following the Spirit. We met this lady while driving down the highway. The Lord will put people in your path so we need to be worthy and courageous enough to follow those promptings and then wait to see the hand of God bring salvation to souls. We had dinner with Sue who is a new convert and the Robinson's, then we had a lesson with Stanley. Deb was such a miracle!

Wednesday: We had a great district meeting today. I got the chance to study humility, it was really cool. We had an intense lesson with Bill. We talked about being baptized by the proper authority and things got a little contentious. By the time we left, however, he had prayed and asked that his heart would be softened and he wouldn't be so set in his ways. It was the power of testimony. Elder Houser bore a really powerful testimony to him. Then we had a lesson with Virginia and then had a lesson with the Piatts.

Thursday: Today we spent quite a while in Fife Lake knocking doors. We met some cool people and had a great time. We had a lesson with George today that went really well. We are having a hard time getting him to keep commitments, which has been a little tough. We had a potential leave us a note saying that she didn't want to meet anymore, but she did call us "fine gentlemen" which added some humor, even though we were sad she didn't want to meet. 

Friday: Today we had lunch with the Hildebrand's then went to Bellaire and did some door knocking. We met a guy who was walking and talked to him. He told us how he used to weigh 420 pounds and then started walking, and 4 years later, he weighs 170 pounds. It was incredible! We are going to go back and see him! We had a lesson with the 19 year old, Dominic. It was good, he had a lot of good questions and hopefully we can see him again. Then we taught Tiffany.

Saturday: Today we went out with President Robinson. We visited a less active member, and she and her husband are super cool. We also read 1 Nephi 4 with Angel. That was awesome as well. We went to Priesthood leadership and the adult session of district conference. It was really good. We went with Gary Piatt. He is the coolest guy ever. He is so new to the church and is so sincere and just does things. He's amazing. 

Sunday: We tried to go with Gary to get George for church, but it didn't work. :( For district conference we got to watch a broadcast. It was Elder Andersen and Hales and it was really good. We had a bible study with Virginia's niece and nephew, they are super cool. We are hoping for some really cool things to happen over there. :) We also taught Tiffany and Chris & Angel. We also saw Donna, her baby is due this week, so that should be cool!

Today we are in Cadillac for our district p-day, so that should be a lot of fun. :)

My spiritual thought from the week comes from my study on humility. In D&C 67:10 it says that fear and jealousy oppose humility. As I thought about that, it all made sense. When we become jealous, it's because we are insecure about ourselves and how others view us. Having low self-esteem also equates into this. So because of that we focus all of our time and attention on trying to improve ourselves in the wrong ways so we can be "seen by men". When we are truly humble we know that our true strength lies in God and that being more and more Christlike each day is really all that matters.

I love you all!

Elder Chalmers
With Steve after Penny's and Virginia's baptisms...YES!!

                                                                                                                                    April 20, 2015
This was a great week. The work has been great here, as usual. But the change has been the weather, it was such a nice week! :) I already partially understood why people lived here, everyone here is awesome, but the cold just isn't too great. However, the sunny and 70 degree weather makes it all make sense. :)

Monday: We got invited to lunch with Bro. Chowhan after e-mailing. So we did that and then had to clean our apartment for inspections. After that we went to Bro. Chowhan's and spent the rest of P-Day over there. Then we tried by a few people. We had an awesome lesson with George. We read the Book of Mormon with him. We prayed really specific before and after and took a few minutes to really think about it. The Spirit was really strong and we knew he could feel it. :) We left him to ponder how he felt when we left. Then we met with Chris and Angel. That went pretty well also. We had to leave, but Steve stayed over there until like 11:30 talking to them. ha. Steve is awesome!

Tuesday: Today was also a pretty good day. We had a good lesson with Chris and then Bro. Lamb. We tried by a referral and then knocked a few doors. One of the guys we met was not too happy to see us and made it clear he didn't want us on his property... :) We had dinner with Bro. McDuffie then had our apartment inspections. We passed with flying colors. We had second dinner with the Chowhans. :) We watched Kevin W. Pearson's talk from conference, "Stay By the Tree." It was so good. It's one of my favorites!

Wednesday: We had district meeting in Cadillac. I stayed there for trade-offs with Elder Hoover. He's a stud. We knocked on doors all day. It was great! The weather was great and we met a lot of cool people. They might move the Cadillac elders out to Manistee, so I asked him if he wanted to stay or go out to Manistee and he gave a golden response. He said, "I don't care, I'm here to serve." He's got a great attitude! 

Thursday: We went running along Lake Cadillac in the morning and at the turn around point we stopped and had a great view of the lake and the sunrise. The sky was all pink, it was super pretty. We did some more door knocking and then traded back. Elder Houser and I spent some time in Fife Lake. We were knocking but it's on the lake, so not very many people were home. We tried by a few referrals. It was pretty good, we set some return appts with them so we were really excited about that. We had dinner with the O'Neills and after that we tried by one of Bro. O'Neills friend and on the way back, we felt like we needed to stop and see Angel. She really opened up to us and it was really great. We are excited to get to help her progress more.

Friday: Today was a great and busy day. We had lunch with Bro. McDuffie. We watched "None Were with Him" by Elder Holland. It was so good then we met with the Drahers, since they aren't on the road. We met with a new guy named Bill. He knows all kinds of stuff about the Church, so that was really cool. We aren't sure of his intentions, but he is a really nice guy then we met with Penny, she's doing great! We had dinner with the Shafer's. It was super good and they stocked us up on leftovers! We went and read the Book of Mormon with Angel. It was really good and she gave a super sincere prayer at the end. It was so awesome! :)

Saturday: Today we had a good lesson with Bro. Chowhan, we taught Stanley about prayer. Then we had correlation and lunch. That was really good. We did a lot of door knocking today. It was really good. We got a few potentials, so that was great.

Sunday: I found out on Friday morning that we have been asked to give a talk. It was on dedication to the Lord and building his kingdom. I want to give a special thank you to both of my Grandpas. As I was thinking and praying what to speak on, I was led to a portfolio that my Grandpa Green had given me a few days before I left on my mission. I had looked over it briefly, but not very much. In it there was a speech given by a Navy SEAL about 10 life lessons and it was exactly what I needed. In my talk I spoke on how doing the small things is how we can be truly dedicated to the Lord. I gave some examples, and one of them was of Elder Smoot and Anderson. I read to the Kalkaska branch the story that my Grandpa Chalmers shared at Bob Smoot's funeral. I'm thankful that I'm able to have that to read and reread and cherish. I love that story. Elder Houser also gave a really great talk. In Gospel Principles, Bro. Chowhan taught the lesson. Chris and Angel were there. He shared his conversion story, it was really cool, and the spirit was really strong. We had potluck today, so that was great. I got to meet one of the converts here who lives in Florida part of the year. She joined, met a guy and got sealed and is super solid. Her name is Sue. She said her stepson is serving in Concepcion. Do you know him Megan? We were able to have a lesson with Donna then I had to do call-ins. We were able to knock doors for a while and met a guy who was super knowledgeable about our church and we had a great discussion with him. We also met a Seventh-Day Adventist and my past experience of dealing with them really paid off and we taught him about the Spirit World, he really liked it! :) Then we taught Chris and Angel. It was another good lesson.

Today we have shopped and studied and that's about it. ha

My Spiritual thought goes right along with what I was able to speak on. As we do the small and simple things, such as pray morning and night, read our scriptures (both individually and as a family), go to church, magnify our callings and so forth, is how we can be dedicated servants of the Lord and build his Kingdom. Because 2 faithful missionaries were out working, my great-grandma was able to meet them and invite them over. It wasn't anything huge that they did but miracles came from their small act of faith in serving the Lord. The same can be true for each on of us! 

D&C 123:13-17: Therefore, that we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them; and they are truly manifest from heaven—These should then be attended to with great earnestness. Let no man count them as small things; for there is much which lieth in futurity, pertaining to the saints, which depends upon these things. You know, brethren, that a very large ship is benefited very much by a very small helm in the time of a storm, by being kept workways with the wind and the waves. Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.

I love you all so much. Thank you for the prayers and support!

Elder Chalmers
A swing at an old rundown house in Kalkaska

Me, George and Elder Houser

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