Monday, February 15, 2016

Time is Flying!

Time is Flying!
Hey everybody!                                                                                                          February 15, 2016

As I said, time is flying! This week seems to have gone by in a blur. We had a great week though, we had MLC (Missionary Leadership Council), a trade-off with Elder Erekson, my two week companion, and we had some great lessons!

MLC was great. We counseled about how we can go about helping missionaries and came up with different scenarios, having companionships share how they would handle the situation. I shared Matt. 20:25-28, and D&C 84:106 in talking about what our role is as leaders, and why we have leaders. It all went really great. Elder Erekson and I were together at MSU. We were in a lesson with Trey, and didn't have a member so we invited President Jacobsen to join us. It was awesome. We used an analogy to help Trey understand the importance of being baptized, and being a part of Christ's true Church. We compared it to a kite. We often associate God with being literally above us in the sky. We are the kite, and our goal is to get to a certain height. Commandments are the string and only our church has all the commandments in order for us to fly as high as we need to, to be with God again. He really liked it and it clicked with him. It was also great to have President Jacobsen there to help him and the power that he taught with. Right after that we had about 20 minutes before our next lesson, so we went on campus and talked to one girl, named Becca. She wasn't interested at first, but after we continued to talk, we were able to share with her what the Book of Mormon is, and we set a return appt! Then we taught Jake S. We had Kalin, Heidi, and Ajee there and it was a great lesson with him, and the Spirit was so strong during the First Vision. I love it! :)

We also had some great lessons with Tatiyana this week. She accepts everything with so much faith and has such a great desire to follow the Lord. She. Is. Elect! Our obstacle with her is, she goes home every other weekend, and the other weekend she works until 2AM so she can't come to sacrament meeting. She knows that she needs to come to sacrament meeting before being baptized and during our first lesson with her we promised her that she would be able to be there. Immediately after the lesson, she got on Facebook to see if she could get work of, then when we met on Saturday we promised her the same thing again. That night she said she called the HR for her work (she works at Sparty, the on campus store) and they said that if her manager lets her, she can just leave early, so we were pumped! Then on Sunday we found out that she wouldn't be able to leave until 1:45. I was really disappointed. It's been hard not seeing that promise that we made not come to pass. I don't know if any of our faith was wavering or if it wasn't what God wanted us to say, but I feel like it was. All I know is that God knows infinitely more than I do and Tatiyana is righteous and He has a plan for her. Possibly He has given her and us this hurdle so we can build our faith even more, but it will all work out!

I love the opportunity and responsibility to promise people blessings in the name of Jesus Christ. It's so powerful, and it has helped me to realize the power of my calling so much more. I love the scriptures in D&C 50:26-29, 

26 He that is ordained of God and sent forth, the same is appointed to be the greatest, notwithstanding he is the least and the servant of all.

 27 Wherefore, he is possessor of all things; for all things are subject unto him, both in heaven and on the earth, the life and the light, the Spirit and the power, sent forth by the will of the Father through Jesus Christ, his Son.

 28 But no man is possessor of all things except he be purified and cleansed from all sin.

 29 And if ye are purified and cleansed from all sin, ye shall ask whatsoever you will in the name of Jesus and it shall be done.

I recently shared this with a district of missionaries as I attended their district meeting. This is why it's so important to be obedient and strive to be pure and clean. As a missionary I can represent Christ in others lives, and promise them the blessings that He would promise them. 

This is the Lord's work. His church has been restored, and through obedience to his commandments, we can be happy now and have joy with Him for eternity!

Elder Chalmers
Whipped Cream eating competition. Elder Haddock vs. Sister Mathis vs. Tatiyana (Elder Haddock won)

Elder Haddock caught me in the act of "sleep praying." oops!

Austin Fisher=Born of the Water and of the Spirit!                                                   Feb 8, 2016
This week was off the charts! So many great things took place. Austin Fisher being baptized and confirmed was definitely a big one! I also had the opportunity to return to CMU for a trade-off and we were made instruments in the hand of the Lord to witness and bring about miracles and I also found out that a seed I had planted and cultivated a while ago is beginning. The Lord is so good, the church is so true, and the work of salvation is so great!

First of all, I want to tell you all about my time at CMU this week. We got there Monday night and went to the YSA FHE. Calie, my recent convert was teaching, and she did awesome. We had about 45 minutes left to work at night so we used Facebook at the CMU library. I set up an appt with a former investigator and the first member I saw to invite was an LA (less active) and he joined. At the end of the lesson, he messaged us and said he wants to meet with us this week! It was a huge miracle, because he hasn't been involved in church at all, and he reached out to us! Then that night during planning, we were talking about a lot of the really cool investigators that we had last semester that they haven't been able to get a hold of, and the Spirit prompted me to call them on my phone (we have 2 phones as assistants). So I called them, and they answered! We set up two appointments for the next day, and one for later in the week. We were so pumped. I was with Elder Mafile'o who's from Maui.
So the next day, we had our first lesson with Ashley S. I found her during the week I was in a trio after Elder Haddock was called to be an assistant. She told us how she had put it on the back burner over the break and come back to school and gotten busy and it had kind of been pushed back. We talked first about how when we put God first in our lives He makes everything else better (Matt. 6:33, Luke 1:37). Then we made sure she understood that there is opposition in all things, and we went right to setting a new baptismal date. She knew it was what she needed to do, but was nervous about being "reborn" and at that point, Bro. Byrd saw us and walked over and we asked him about his baptism, and he reassured her how great it is and the blessings that come, and then she was all on board with it and committed to March 5th! What a miracle! We were so pumped about the lesson. The other lesson with Taylor didn't work out. :/ We did teach this guy who lives way out of town and he kept telling us we were men of God and was all about joining the church, it was great! I also saw a few people I had met before and we scheduled appointments with them! I love CMU!

Austin's Baptism was great. His parents and brother came as well as his grandparents. It was a great service with great talks. The family that introduced him to the gospel and fellowshipped him and really did all the work, were super excited. Their 16 year old son, Hyrum baptized him, and their dad, Garret confirmed him. Austin was on top of the world this whole weekend. He leaned over to me in church and asked if it would be possible to be able to go to the temple this weekend. He's excited for more and more. He's so sincere and super funny. When we were teaching him about tithing, the room was really warm and he committed to live it, and someone said, "It's hot in here..." and he said, "It would have gotten hotter if I had said no." ha. I really like him a lot and we connect super well. He's going to do great things in the Lord's Kingdom!

On Saturday, we prayed to know where we needed to go on campus to find the elect. So we were inspired to walk on service road, which is quite a bit less populated than Shaw, which is where we usually go. While walking to the road, we met a Chinese girl named Phyllis, she said it's short for Philosopher. It was only like a 20 second conversation, but we got her info and texted her. She said she could meet, so we invited her to church. She came! During Fast and testimony meeting, she asked us, "People just go up there?" We said, "Yes." and a few minutes later, she asked "Can I go up there?" We said "Yes." and then I explained to her what a testimony is, and a few minutes later she said to us, "I'm going next!" She got up and said how she knows that science and God can go together. She also took the name of the Lord in vain while she was up there, but it was great. She didn't know what to do at the end and said, "Okay, I'm done." So Elder Haddock and I both loudly said, "Amen!" So she knew she was good to come sit down. ha. She then told us she had to go like 2 minutes later. It was so cool and funny! It was a great meeting including Austin's confirmation.

I found out some great news during call-ins last night. Deb K. from Kalkaska is on date to be baptized. I don't know if you remember her but she is the one we saw walking down the highway, and we felt impressed to stop and talk to, and our first meeting she asked us right away how to be baptized. We had some great meetings with her, and then she was gone for a while, and she ended up dropping us. A few weeks ago she called the elders since she knows our church has the priesthood and had them bless her home and she came to church yesterday and is all set to get baptized in a few weeks! I was so excited about it, it's so cool to see how the Lord works and the seeds you planted are cultivated. I'm still super pumped about it. I can't wait to tell President in a few minutes! :)

This week I also got to go on trade-offs with Elder Smith. It was great. It was our 3rd one, and he's so great. Spiritual giant. He's black and loves to sing whatever he is doing in his R&B voice. It's a lot of fun. ha.

We listened to a really cool talk by President Benson about prayer. He counseled us to use variety in how we pray and he used a cool comparison. Here's a quote from the talk: "Do not use the same phrases at each prayer. Each of us would become disturbed if a friend said the same few words to us each day, treated the conversation as a chore, and could hardly wait to finish it in order to turn on the TV and forget us." This was really profound to me. I fall guilty to this especially when I'm tired, but the more and more we can understand and remember that prayer is a conversation with a person, a glorified and perfect person, but a person, it can become so much more meaningful and powerful to us. I know the power of prayer is real and Heavenly Father is eager to answer our prayers.

I'm loving being a missionary in Michigan. There is nowhere I'd rather be and nothing I'd rather be doing. The Lord makes our lives so much more, more joyful, happy, fulfilling.. when we strive to put Him first. I'm grateful for each of your prayers on my behalf. I feel the strength from them and they help to sustain me. You're each wonderful!

Elder Chalmers

Pics: Austin's Baptism!!!

Transfer Week!
Hey Everybody!                                                                                                                  Feb. 1, 2016

This was one of the craziest and most tiring weeks of my mission, but it was great, as all things associated with the Work of Salvation are! We moved all the missionaries around that were transferring, sent 10 missionaries home that had completed their service, and welcomed 11 new missionaries to the MLM and had plenty of other things intertwined with each of those activities. :)

Monday was Transfer Day. For us, that meant we drove all over the state moving missionaries around. We took turns driving the transfer van, which is a 12-seater, with a trailer behind it and our truck. Here is how our day of travel went: Lansing-Battle Creek-Kalamazoo-Grand Rapids-Lansing-Mt. Pleasant-Lansing-Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Grand Rapids-Lansing. We left at 7 AM, and got home at 9 PM, it was quite the day of traveling, but it was fun to see almost all the missionaries in the mission. We even had a missionary tell us how he was supposed to be in Grand Rapids early in the morning, and wasn't sure how he would have time to pack, since he didn't want to pack on Sunday and so he prayed that it would work out, and as we were going through the logistics, we found out we had too many to move so we moved him to the afternoon and answered his prayer! It was really cool! Transfers are inspired!

Tuesday: Today we spent it with the departing missionaries. We spent a lot of time at the mission home. We went to the temple and did an endowment session. It was all missionaries, including senior couples, and it was amazing. I love the temple. I hadn't done endowments in 10 months, so it was heaven to be there, feel the Spirit, and receive answers. Later, we had dinner and a testimony meeting and it was very powerful.

Wednesday: We were up at 4 and got ready and took the departing missionaries to the airport. We even had time to clean up the mission home, and prepare for the arriving missionaries to arrive. They flew in at 4:30 and we greeted them at the airport. It was fun to see it from the other side after all this time. The new missionaries were all really excited and great! We had dinner and they did paperwork.

Thursday: We had training for the new missionaries and paired them up with their trainers which was fun. We had to take some sisters to Kalamazoo and then drove home. We had lessons the rest of the night with Trey, Tatiyana and Austin. They were all great. We put Trey on date, and our members we had with us were super bold with him, and we talked about living and praying with real intent. He really felt the Spirit. Tatiyana is doing great. She has told her family she is getting baptized and she loves the gospel, and Austin is just like Tatiyana. It was a great night!

Friday: We had to get a lot of little things done, like getting the trailer fixed and stuff. We had time to PC and it was great!

Saturday: We had a great lesson with Adam, an LA we meet with who has been coming to church regularly now. We had to drive to Caro (in the thumb) to take some things to the missionaries. We had a lesson with Tatiyana, and she is still money. Then we had a chili dinner with a lot of the members and it was fun.

Sunday: We taught Austin before church and he committed to live the Law of Tithing, the room in the church we were in was really hot, and after we committed him, he said, "It would have gotten a lot hotter in here if I had said no." hah. He's super funny. We had Tatiyana, Trey, and Austin all at church. Austin's baptism is Saturday, and we are all pumped about that. We had dinner with Zach, and Tatiyana came. She is being fellowshipped so well, it's amazing. The East Lansing University Ward is money!

We are being so blessed in all that we do here. I'm so grateful to have a great companion to work with. 

One things I learned recently comes from 3 Nephi 1:13-15 -Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets.

 14 Behold, I come unto my own, to fulfill all things which I have made known unto the children of men from the foundation of the world, and to do the will, both of the Father and of the Son—of the Father because of me, and of the Son because of my flesh. And behold, the time is at hand, and this night shall the sign be given.

 15 And it came to pass that the words which came unto Nephi were fulfilled

The Lord fulfills all that he says. This has helped me in my scripture study, because whenever I see a promise, I know that the Lord will fulfill it. He's proved it time and time again. It's just like Malachi says to prove the Lord, when speaking of tithing, we shout Prove the Lord, in all the commandments and promises that He gives, so we can see all the blessings that he has ready to bless us with!

I know this is the work of the Lord, and that nothing will frustrate it. We would all be wise to join in and be an active part of the Hope of Israel, as in all things, the blessings will always outweigh the costs! 

Elder Chalmers
Elder Haddock and me at the Detroit Temple!