Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Transfers and my second Trip to the Temple

Temple Trip #2                                                                                                           August 24, 2015
This week was another amazing week to be a missionary in the Michigan Lansing Mission (The Greatest Mission in the World). I'm really happy that I'm able to say that. I think back and I didn't think that at all when I got my mission call. It's funny, when we tell people what we do and how we are called to serve a mission they always say something like, "Why did you choose Michigan?" I remember that as I was still coming terms with the fact that I was going to Michigan, instead of Brazil, or a foreign country, my dad told me that "it's all about the people." Once again, my dad is always right. I have met some of the greatest people ever and I'm grateful every single day that on March 6th, 2014 I was called to serve in the Michigan Lansing Mission!

  • The big highlight of this week was going to the Detroit Michigan Temple on Saturday. It was really last second. I was aware of it but didn't know any final plans until Elder Allred called me on Saturday morning and asked if I was still planning on coming, since Tyrone S. and Virginia H. were both going to do baptisms for the dead for their very first time! I made the phone calls I needed and got permission to go. Steve Cole was driving the party van down to the temple so I rode down with Steve, Joy, Virginia, and Elder Allred. It was a blast. There is nobody like the famous Steve Cole! I saw so many people I know at the temple. I ended up seeing someone from every single one of my areas. The Hoerters from Big Rapids, Bro. Bowman from Midland, The Riley's from Mt. Pleasant and a lot of people from Kalkaska. :) I was talking to Ty in the waiting room and I asked him if he'd finished the Book of Mormon yet, he said, "I'm in 124 of the Doctrine and Covenants" so I said, "You've finished the Book of Mormon then!" He said, "Oh yeah, a while ago." He is such a stud and is doing great. He brought about 5 family names to the temple. He's been a member for less than 2 months. He also goes teaching with the missionaries all the time. He is super prepared and keeps on working it. Elder Allred and I did the confirmations which was a first for me, it was a great experience. I got to see Bro. Chowhan and Pres. Robinson as well. We were all so happy to see each other. I knew I loved Kalkaska but seeing so many of them at the temple helped me realize just how much I really do love that branch, some of the greatest people you will ever meet. :) Elder Allred and I got to talk a lot on the ride home, it was really nice. I love Elder Allred. Nothing beats the temple!
I also got to go on a few exchanges this week:
  • I was in the Ithaca/Alma area with Elder Baker first. He is a stud. He is in his second transfer and has been having some struggles with adjusting to life as a missionary. We had such a great exchange together and I learned so much from him on enduring and having unshaken faith in Christ. We had some good lessons and he is such a powerful teacher, it was amazing.
  • I also went with Elder Wharton from Kamas, UT. He has been out for a week. We had a great time together. He is one of 10 kids, just like my mama. :) 
  • I went with Elder Bloskas, one of the assistants. I got to go to MSU for the day. It was a crazy day, but we had a lot of fun together. 
Another experience from this week and my thought for this week. Elder Elmer and I on Friday felt like we should go and knock doors on Maple street, so we went and when we got there, there was a guy who was "asleep" on the grass right on the corner of the street, so we parked and headed over there. Turns out he was totally drunk. I've never seen somebody so drunk. At first we thought he might be special needs, but then realized what was going on. He tried to stand up and started to fall straight back so Elder Elmer caught him. He would have smacked his head on the concrete. His name is Rob. (I thought that was pretty funny.) :) So, we called the police and 4 cars showed up and even an ambulance (we watched from our car). It was really sad, he had lost all of his accountability. We left him our name and our number. He actually called us the next day and told us that last thing he knew he was in Traverse City, then woke up in the hospital in Mt. Pleasant. He was grateful we helped him and asked if we would buy him a bus ticket back to TC. I really learned how important it is to keep the commandments. Rob had really put himself in a predicament and it was sad to see. By simply keeping the commandments we put ourselves in a much better position for happiness, peace and joy in this life and for eternity. I know that Jesus is the Christ and that the things in our life that keep us from experiencing these feelings can be made right through his Atonement. CTR!

Elder Chalmers 

The Rob Incident

Temple Trip-my head got cut off. ha.

New Transfers=Touring Mid-Michigan                                                                  August 17, 2015
This week was the start of a new transfer in the Michigan Lansing Mission! For me, that means that Elder Elmer and I have nine companion exchanges to complete in 3 weeks and as a result we'll spend a lot of time in the car driving to different areas to conduct companion exchanges then going back the next day to trade back. It's a crazy few weeks, we barely ever get to see each other, but it is a blast getting to spend time with all the amazing missionaries and meeting all kinds of different people in different areas. I love it! We had a great week.

  • On Monday, we scored the sweetest deal on suits. It was seriously so cool. They were on clearance and then the store was doing 25% off, so we scored big time. We can completely match, we just need to get matching ties and belts then we will be so unified, there will be no stopping us. :) We also met with our new investigator named Melvin, he is about 60 and he literally grew up on the streets in Detroit. It was crazy and really sad to hear about. His upstairs neighbor was blasting rap music the whole time, so that was distracting, but we had a good lesson.
  • Tuesday was really cool. I went on my very first split as a missionary. I was with an 18 year old priest, named Ryan Bess. We went and found a new member who moved into the ward. Ryan really clicked with him and we had a great lesson. It was a miracle that Ryan was there. Afterwards we taught Alysha, who is our top investigator right now. We taught her about the Godhead and how They all work together to help us to return to live with God again. It was great. I got to talk to Ryan for a while about how he is really trying to be better and how the youth went to Kirtland for Youth Conference and he really felt the Spirit for the first time. It was inspiring. Youth activities really are so powerful and influential. I remember visiting President Benson's grave in Idaho on scout camp, it was a great experience. We then did some finding and drove to West Branch. I was with Elder Turner and we went to see a part member family where the wife is getting baptized this week. They are so cool. They just moved there from California. Crazy story, she has already been baptized but on the day she was supposed to get confirmed she got arrested due to not paying traffic tickets...crazy stuff. 
  • Wednesday we spent time door knocking and visited a couple of really cool people. The real highlight of the day was getting to do a baptismal interview for Jennifer whom I met the day before. It was a really spiritual experience for both of us and I'm really grateful for it. We traded back and traded off with Harrison on the way home. 
  • I was with Elder Woodland today in Mt. Pleasant. The theme of the day was Gander Rant (a term we use here because they all love to get off on a tangent and it doesn't end). It was pretty painful. But we still had a good day.
  • Friday we had a great lesson with Alysha. We asked her what she learned last time, and she remembered it all perfectly! She's so awesome. She said her life feels more complete now. Then we did some planning and had a few lessons. We had a really great talk tonight about our companionship and how we can both improve. We came to the conclusion that we need to become master planners, so we can magnify our responsibility as Zone Leaders and take care of our area as well. It was really good.
  • Saturday we were out walking all day. It was 90 degrees and humid. We met so many awesome people. We were walking home to eat dinner and kept feeling prompted to knock on random doors even though we were in a hurry. But we followed the Spirit and eventually we ended up at this one house, and as we were talking to the girls outside, this guy walked out and it turns out he's a former investigator and wants to meet again. It was so great to get to see that witness after we exercised faith!
  • Sunday we were both exhausted all day, but it was still a delightful sabbath!

My thought for the week comes from a great study I had about studying, oddly enough. I was studying the importance of writing things down. From multiple scriptures I learned that revelation received and not recorded is destined to be forgotten (Mosiah 26:33 Ether 4:1 D&C 76:49). So my plea to each of you is to not only keep a daily journal, but keep a study journal to use as you study the scriptures. I have found it to be so helpful in receiving and remembering the revelation the Lord has blessed me with!

I love you all so much and am grateful for your support and I'm grateful to be a member of the only true and living church on the earth today!

Elder Chalmers
Right before our short, little hailstorm

me and Melvin Morris

me with the West Branch elders

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Miracles, Miracles, Miracles

                                                                                                                                  Aug. 10, 2015
This week has been a blur. Once I sit down to e-mail I can't even remember what I did during this past week. Blessings of keeping a journal! :) We really did see so many miracles this past week in Mt. Pleasant. We had a great time. I wouldn't say that anything that happened to us this week was what the general population would consider a miracle, but really, what is a miracle? I don't know if there is a true definition for it. But simply put, they are blessings from a loving Father in Heaven and we were sent an abundance of them! I will fill you in on a few examples. 

  • We had a lot of first lessons with new investigators this week and got quite a few new people to teach (Miracle). One of those lessons was with a guy named Kevin. He is doing a masters program at CMU and is super fit. We were able to get a member to come with us who is studying physical therapy at CMU. We had a good lesson and the member was great. At the end, Kevin brought up how he's in a Parkinson's disease support group and he had been trying to find someone from the PT program to get them involved. Kevin said, "And you come walking through my door." We have sort of a hard time right now getting members to come out with us since we're in a college town in the summer, but this was a miracle!
  • We picked up a new investigator named Alysha. She is so cool. She doesn't have much of a religious background but she wants to get a better relationship with God. We are going to start meeting with her quite often and she has such a sincere desire to learn. We're super excited for it! 
  • We also started teaching a guy who loves golf more than Dad, so that is noteworthy, his name is Greg. 
We found so many people that were interested this week, it was awesome. We were able to schedule a lot of return appointments, so we should be able to stay busy.Also, the new transfer just started so we have a lot of companion exchanges to go on, so the next three weeks should be a lot of fun! 

  • One of the highlights of my week was strangely enough when we met the most anti-mormon person of my mission. For about 30 minutes he was telling us all kinds of stuff and he had definitely done his research. We tried a few times to tell him that he needs to read and pray about the Book of Mormon to know the truth for himself. I was able to feel sincere charity for this man, but it was so sad to see how against the truth he was. Right before we left, Elder Elmer bore his testimony and said, "I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet." After that the guy cut him off, but it was powerful. I'm so grateful for Elder Elmer. He's a great missionary and has an amazing testimony. I've learned a lot from him and I'm grateful to be his companion. 
This week in my studies I learned a lot from reading in Helaman. One thing I learned recently from chapter 9, I'd like to share. Nephi, son of Helaman, is prophet to the people, on his garden tower (chapter 8) and tells how the chief judge has been murdered. The judges there send five men to go and check and they find the chief judge dead and they fall to earth from shock, realizing how Nephi was correct. They are arrested because the people assume that they did it. The judges from before free them and then they start to tell the people how Nephi must have set it up so somebody would kill the chief judge, so the people would think he's a prophet. Then the five men confound the judges but the judges ignore them. 
I share this story because it teaches a valuable lesson taught by Elder L. Whitney Clayton in this last General Conference. We all have to choose to believe. You can't convince people, even after they receive a clear witness of the truth. Never get discouraged in your missionary efforts. As long as you invite others, either by words or by example, you are successful!

I love you all so much! Never forget that The Church is true, God is our Father, Jesus is the Christ, Joseph Smith was and is a prophet. Nothing anybody says can change that, all that is left to be determined is whether or not YOU will be true to the truth. Are you true?

Elder Chalmers

View from the CMU library

Follow up District Meeting in Saginaw

The Sister Trainer Leaders and Zone Leaders

Half Mission P-Day                                                                                                      August 3, 2015
This was a great week. We had a big activity day in Mt. Pleasant. Half of the mission was there and we had a blast! I had 5 of my companions there! Elder Elmer and I have seen so many miracles and life has been great!

I'll give you a few highlights:

  • We had a ward FHE activity on Monday. We had hot dogs and food and really just socialized. Our investigator, Ron, showed up and brought his friend Renee and her son. It was super cool and they really enjoyed it. We hope to be able to teach both of them in the future!
  • I went on companion exchanges with Elder Norton, one of the Assistants this week. We had a pretty crazy day having to drive around to get stuff for the half mission p-day as well as do a baptismal interview. I got to do the interview. Her name is Joana. She is a super sweet lady and the Spirit was super strong during the whole interview. She had such a sincere intent to be baptized.
  • We were out finding and felt like we should knock a different street than the one we had planned and then it took us down another street and we went up to this door and the guy came out and told us that he had just opened his Book of Mormon to start reading it. He was a less active member who wanted to get back into church, so we read with him right there! It was a huge miracle!
  • Half-mission P-Day was a blast. We played all day until about 4. I got to see so many of my good friends. We played soccer, football, did relay races, ate KFC and all got super sunburned. It was a blast. President and Sister Jacbosen both went on the slip n slide. It was so awesome! :) 
  • We had a great and busy week. There is nothing more rewarding than hard work, especially when it is the Lord's work. I love it!
My spiritual thought this week is really simply to work hard. I have found more joy and satisfaction in working hard while I've been a missionary than doing anything else in my life. I'm so happy when I'm busy, busy helping others and in doing so, improving myself. If what we're doing isn't helping us to become more like Christ, it probably isn't worth our time.

Elder Chalmers
Most of my old companions