Monday, June 1, 2015

Springtime for a Michiganary!

KEEP THAT FIRE BURNING!                                                                                        June 1, 2015
The subject line for this e-mail comes from Quan Porter in Midland. I was looking back through my journal and read about how one day at the Tridge we saw him again and when we were parting ways he told us to "keep that fire burning" like 10 times, so we have adopted it here in the Kalkaska district. :)

This was an awesome week. There were so many miracles, the Spirit was our senior companion, and we were able to be instruments in the hand of the Lord! Here are some highlights:

•We taught Rich again this week. We had President Robinson and Steve with us. The lesson started out with Rich sounding like he was going to drop us. He kept saying how "this stuff comes hard for me."  How Joseph Smith was confusing to him but then the Spirit really directed the lesson from there. We told him how he was overthinking things. We told him how we all have different stories and journeys on how we come to know the truth, but the one thing every story has in common is the we can only truly know by the Power of the Holy Ghost. After we watched the Restoration video and told him to pay attention to how he feels. It was powerful for all of us there, I love that movie. After it Rich told us how that made it all make so much more sense. It was amazing.

•We taught a new investigator named Allisha on Wednesday. She is Donna's best friend from when they were kids and we taught her at Donna's house. She was really open with us and we taught her about the Atonement. She committed to be baptized! 

•I got to go on a trade-off with Elder Johnson. He's from Saratoga springs, UT and is super cool. We had a ton of fun, he's super funny and we spent the whole time laughing and having a good time. 

•We were finally able to teach Deb again! It had been a month since we had a chance to teach her. It went super great. She is still super committed to getting baptized. We taught her the GOJC and she loved it. She had a ton of great questions, like she asked us, "If we lived with God before, and we are trying to live with him again, what's the point in even leaving?" It almost doesn't even matter what you say to her, she is so prepared!

•We met with Justin. He has had some hesitancy with the Book of Mormon and more specifically Joseph Smith. He hasn't read the Book of Mormon yet, so we read it with him and the Spirit was super strong. He really enjoyed it and we are teaching him again tonight and are very hopeful for similar results, and a similar Spirit. :)

• We went to try by a potential on Friday and he answered so we asked him if we could come in. We may have caught him a little off guard, but he let us in. We had an amazing lesson with him. The Spirit was guiding us so much. We were able to teach him the Restoration and relate it really well to him and he committed to be baptized! It was so cool because when we first met him he really didn't seem that interested but we were supposed to be there for a reason!

•Another miracle was, we were door knocking and we came to a AFC home and the guy outside told us to go in, we were a little hesitant, but went in anyway. The lady working used to meet with the missionaries like 6 years ago and we got an appt. with her next week! :) 

My spiritual thought today comes from the talk I gave yesterday. Elder Allred and I both had the opportunity to speak in Sacrament yesterday. Sister Draher spoke as well on her journey from baptism to the temple. That is all we had as a topic so I looked up "journey" in the TG and was led to these scriptures in Mark 13:32-37
32 ¶But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

 33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.

 34 For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.

 35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:

 36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.

 37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

I loved them and I spoke on what our "work" that we have to do on our journey to meet the Son of Man when he returns from His. First we need to seek our own salvation, we need to be in a position to where we can be of help to others and not just company. We do this by living the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not just knowing it. Only faith in Christ can produce salvation, repentance is change and brings happiness, our baptismal covenant gets us off neutral ground and puts us in a position to act and secure promised blessings do we truly understand the Gift of the Holy Ghost? If we did, we would crawl over broken glass to get it (Elder Holland), Don't think of it as endure to the end, endure to something... Once we are in a position where we are help and not company, we need to be the Hope of Israel that we are...

Hope of Israel, rise in might
With the sword of truth and right;
Sound the war-cry, "Watch and pray!"
Vanquish ev'ry foe today.

We are the Hope of Israel!

Elder Chalmers
Party van with Steve!

Torch Lake with Elder Allred

You can't help but love Steve!

SEEK AND YE SHALL FIND                                                                                                May 25, 2015
This was a great first week with Elder Allred! We were able to have a lot of time to find new investigators and it went really well. Some highlights of the week:

•We had a lesson with Rich Mason. We left him the Joseph Smith pamphlet to read and it was a little too much for him. We took President Robinson with us and he has known Rich since they were in kindergarten together. They got to reminisce a little bit and we talked about Joseph Smith. Elder Allred bore his testimony of how he knows that Joseph Smith is a prophet and it was super powerful. It was a great lesson. Rich was referring to me as "brother" the whole time. He'd be talking to Pres. Robinson and say something like, "I was telling my brother here that this comes hard for me..." Rich is so awesome. 

•We were able to have an amazing lesson with a new family we are teaching. Their names are Ralph and Katie, and their kids are Noah 17 and Olivia 13. We really hit it off with them and we were having a great lesson on the Restoration. After we taught them about the First Vision, the picnic table we were sitting on broke. As it was happening we all stood up really quick (distractions always come while teaching the First Vision). I said a personal prayer that the Spirit would stay with everyone and we all just stood where we were and continued with the lesson. Ralph asked us how we knew the Book of Mormon was true, so both of us and Bro. McDuffie shared, then Ralph told us about his past experience with church. It was such a spiritual lesson. At the end Katie said how she thought it was cool that even though the table broke we just kept on going and didn't let it stop us. They are a great family.

•On Friday all of our appts. cancelled on us so we had lunch with the Hildebrand's and then tried by some people, and we forgot something at the Hildebrand's so we had to go back and get it, so we decided to knock by their house. We turned down this street to park and felt like we should knock it. It was this dirt road that seemed pretty desolate from our efforts though, we were able to get 4 return appts with people and they were all super prepared. It was a miracle! 

• On Saturday we knocked pretty much the entire day and met some really cool people. We got a few return appts. and also were able to respond to people's objections by the Spirit really well. On our way home for dinner we kept running into people to talk to and there went our dinner. It was a super cool day. 

•A member here gave an amazing talk yesterday, he started it out by reading the Gettysburg address, it was great. I never realized how spiritual it is. He talked about how we need to remember those who gave their lives, and finished by talking about how Christ gave his life, it was powerful.

Things have been great in Kalkaska. We are finally getting some great weather and that has been a blessing. 

My spiritual thought is to be prepared. There is a scripture that President Hoover loves to share, it's Alma 13:5 "Or in fine, in the first place they were on the same standing with their brethren; thus this holy calling being prepared from the foundation of the world for such as would not harden their hearts, being in and through the atonement of the Only Begotten Son, who was prepared." I've been reading in the war chapters of Alma, and Moroni is constantly preparing the people for war, and when they're prepared, they always succeed. It's no different for us today, we need to always be preparing ourselves, especially spiritually. We never know when our trials are going to come, and if we aren't ready for them, we won't be able to withstand them. Always be preparing!

Elder Chalmers
Elder Allred at his finest! :)

Elder Chalmers!

TRANSFER CALLS...                                                                                                    May 19, 2015
This week we got our transfer call, and Elder Houser is leaving down to Battle Creek and I'm staying here and my new companion will be Elder Allred. He's from Orem and has been on his mission for about 5 months. I'm really happy to be staying in Kalkaska!

Last Monday we spent the majority of our day doing service at Bro. Chowhan's.

Tuesday: Today we spent most of our day in Bellaire knocking on doors. We had a great lesson with Rich. He is still really open to learn. We have known him for like 2 weeks now and he loves us, we love him as well. Rich is great! We had dinner at President Thomas' and then went to the Young's. 

Wednesday: We had our last district meeting down in Cadillac. After lunch I got to do a couple of baptismal interviews and both of the guys were really great. They were so different but both super spiritual experiences. I love getting to do interviews! We met with this crazy guy. He pretty much invited us back so he could tell us how wrong he thinks we are. He said he won't believe anything that a man says but then he would read a scripture from the Bible, so we would tell him how a man (prophet) wrote it, but he just made no sense. ha. Then we taught Bill the Plan of Salvation. That went really well, he's open to learn, but we don't know if he's open to change... Following that we met up with Tiffany then we had a lesson with Bro. Chowhan's stepsons. They weren't really interested but it was a good experience!

Thursday: Today we knocked pretty much the entire day in Fife Lake. It was a really nice day and we were out in the sticks all day. We met some cool people though. We had dinner at Carrie Norman's. She made some ridiculous chicken alfredo... It was a good day.

Friday: We got our T-Call in the morning, and as I said, I'm really happy to be staying put,=. I really like Kalkaska! We tried to go to a lesson with Bro. Brown but they shined us. He talked to us on our way back about how he taught English in China, it was really cool. We then went to Bellaire and Elder Houser said his goodbye to Rich. We went on a walk with him and talked about Joseph Smith, it was great! Then we did some door knocking. We had dinner at the Shafer's. They made some huge steaks and it was a feast! Then we knocked doors in Kalkaska and got a couple of really cool potentials.

Saturday: Elder Green and Elder Sauer, who are serving in the U.P stayed the night with us. Elder Green went down to the temple with the Drahers and Elder Sauer got to be with us for the weekend. We went with Gary to teach Chris and Angel then we had burgers over at the Piatt's. We then went with Steve down to Cadillac for the baptism of Richard Marvin, it was a really sweet experience and once we got back we did some door knocking. We had this couple let us in and they were asking some awesome questions about the Plan of Salvation, we are going to go back, it was a miracle! :) 

Sunday: Church was great as usual. We had potluck and ate a lot of food. It was all super good! Then I did call-ins. Following that we tried to see Donna but she had a ton of people there so we went to say hi to Sis. Wilke. We were able to set an appt. with her friend that was over there, so that was really sweet. :) We had dinner and Bible Study at Dennis'. They really like the comments we make and I know that we really are softening their hearts. After that we met with Tiffany and then Chris and Angel.

Monday: This morning we decided to do a food challenge... It's called the Skillet Challenge, it's a 5 pound skillet. It was a ton of food and I almost did it...out of Elder Houser, Sauer, and myself, I got the closest but it was a ton of fun then we drove down to Mt. Pleasant with the Hoovers. I got to see Elder Rapp again. I also got to see Elder Laing and I got the scoop on what's what in Big Rapids. Then we stopped at Wendy's on the way back. After our P-Day was over we knocked on doors and had a ton of success in the short time, it was sweet. We went over and had correlation with Bro. Chowhan and had a lesson with Jessie. Elder Allred is a really cool Elder and I look forward to working with him!

My spiritual thought for this week is the importance to put your heart into being obedient to the Lord, I read a scripture this week, Alma 45:6-7 "And Alma said unto him again: Will ye keep my commandments? And he said: Yea, I will keep thy commandments with all my heart. ' If we really put our heart into our obedience, then the Lord will help us to truly change and become more Christlike disciples, if we withhold our heart, then the Lord won't change us against our will.

I love each one of you, and am so thankful for the support!  

Elder Chalmers
The Piatt's made us both blankets

The District

Skillet Challenge before...

...and Skillet Challenge after.

Steve Cole and me

Rich and me

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