Thank Goodness For A Planner And A Journal Mar. 21, 2016
I feel like each time I sit down to write these emails I remember less and less of what has happened over the past week. I feel like I ask my companion, "What did we even do this week?" every time. Not in a bad way, but the days seem to blend together and fly by. However, I'm grateful for my planner and my journal, which are life savers! :)
This week I got to spend Tuesday working at CMU with Elder Tubagus on trade-offs. We were reunited. It was a ton of fun. I love the CMU campus, it's really easy to talk to people, and I'm just comfortable there. We had a really good time. We were able to teach one lesson and it went really well. I like teaching with Elder Tubagus a lot. I always have a good time with him.
Elder Sauer worked really hard in our area this week. We have a mission standard to do 15 hours of finding every week which isn't an easy task, but we were determined to reach it, even with our leadership responsibilities. On Saturday, we had two baptisms to attend so we PC-ed right away in the morning then attended the baptism and then went straight back to campus before we had to leave to drive to Harrison (2 hours). We did it though and it was great. By having that goal it really motivated us to work harder and push ourselves which really strengthened my own testimony of goals and the power they have! The Branch President there also invited us to speak at the baptism on behalf of President Jacobsen, so I had the opportunity to do that which was great!
We had a few lessons this week with new people who didn't turn out to be investigators, which was a blessing and also a bummer. One girl we'd talked to were then able to meet with immediately, which was really cool.
I had a really good experience in being chastened by the scriptures this week. While reading in 3 Nephi, one of my weaknesses was highlighted and it really helped me to see the consequence of that weakness unless I change, so I'm very grateful and know that by diligent study the scriptures can help us see who we truly are and who we can become. The verse is 3 Nephi 27:9-11...
"9 Verily I say unto you, that ye are built upon my gospel; therefore ye shall call whatsoever things ye do call, in my name; therefore if ye call upon the Father, for the church, if it be in my name the Father will hear you; 10 And if it so be that the church is built upon my gospel then will the Father show forth his own works in it. 11 But if it be not built upon my gospel, and is built upon the works of men, or upon the works of the devil, verily I say unto you they have joy in their works for a season, and by and by the end cometh, and they are hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence there is no return."
During sacrament meeting, I was able to receive some amazing revelation. I thought about how when I learn something, but something I previously knew, I will think, "oh yeah, I already knew that." But then I reflected on how often the word "remember" is used in scripture, and also how it's used in the Sacrament prayer, "always remember him." I really do feel that if we don't remember something, we don't really know it. We can know that Christ is our savior, but if we don't remember that, than it won't impact us. There is always ways to remember
Keep on living the gospel, not because it's what you do but because it's who you are!
me and Elder Sauer
Transfer Week...busy. busy.busy... Mar. 14, 2016
This was one of the busiest and most tiring weeks of my life. It was great though! We moved missionaries all over the state, sent 8 missionaries home, welcomed 14 new missionaries, paired them up with trainers, and then transported them to their new areas. We then had to prepare for MLC which was on Saturday. It was jam-packed!
First of all, Deb's baptism last Saturday! It was one of the best days of my life. Walking into the Kalkaska building was the best, I love it there so much. I got to see Deb, and we had pictures taken together. Then I walked into the chapel, and I see Tyrone, a recent convert, sitting on the stand. He conducted the baptism! He came up to me and gave me a hug, and said, "Look how far I've come!" He's so great. The baptism was great, watching Deb be baptized was really special, it really helped me to realize and build my testimony that God is mindful of each of His children and that as missionaries, we are instruments in His hands to bring about miracles in the lives of His children. President Hoover invited Elder Sauer, Haddock, and I to each bear our testimony, so I shared my experience of meeting Deb and my testimony of following the Spirit and how when we do, good things will always happen. On the drive home I was so happy, happier than I had been in a long time, and that doesn't mean I haven't been happy, it was just that great. I now have a better understanding of D&C 18:10-16, and how great my joy is when I bring a soul unto the Father! :)
Monday was spent driving all day around the state and it was great. I love getting to be with so many of our missionaries, they are great!
Tuesday we got to go to the temple with the departing missionaries. It doesn't get much better than the temple!
Wednesday was a full day. We were up at 4:30 and sent off the departing missionaries. It didn't help that the van got a flat tire overnight and we had lost our truck keys, but we got it figured out eventually. :) ha. Then we got to pick up the new missionaries. They keep on coming out more and more prepared. They were all excited/nervous, and it was fun.
Thursday we matched up trainers and trainees and did some training. I trained on finding, then we drove all the way to the west coast to take Elder Haddock and his two trainees to their area and that took up the rest of our day.
Friday: We had to prepare for MLC which was Saturday, we did get time to PC though. It's Spring Break here, so campus has been dead, but we did meet a guy named Ketelelo from Botswana. The Spirit led us to him. We were prompted to try to talk to an Asian girl, so we turned to catch up to her, but she walked away and then he came towards us. We met with him a few hours later, and he committed to be baptized. It was a huge miracle!
Saturday: We had a training on the church's new initiative, Just Serve. The former mission president of the New York New York South mission trained us, he was really cool. Then we had our own MLC after which was crazy getting all set up for, but it turned out great! We discussed what it meant when we as a mission say, "We Are Family" I love the MLM! We had the privilege of attending the oratorical "Lamb of God" composed by Rob Gardner in Kalamazoo. It was amazing and so powerful. I'd recommend the soundtrack to everyone!
I've never been so tired in my life, but I'm honored to give all that I have to the Lord in this labor of love. There's no reason that we should ever not give Him everything, I love the quote by Neal A. Maxwell, "Consecration thus constitutes the only unconditional surrender which is also a total victory!"
|at the temple in Detroit with my comps...Elder Haddock and Elder Sauer|
|Me and Tyrone!|
|Me and Deb!|
|At The Lamb of God performance. We weren't allowed to wear our name tags so we kept them hidden.|
|Elder Rapp's "son," Elder Pfau, so that makes me a "Grandpa."|
Transfer Planning 2.0 Mar. 5, 2016
We had a good and busy week here in East Lansing. It was our transfer planning week, which consists of a lot of preparation for making transfers happen this Monday. That is also why I'm emailing on Saturday instead of Monday which is when we will be driving all over the state, moving missionaries around, and getting things in place so that the Lords will can be accomplished in the Michigan Lansing Mission (The Greatest Mission in the World).
We spent a big majority of our time doing transfer planning. We did get to teach a few lessons though. It's also Spring Break this coming week, so it was hard to meet with people, since they were all saying that they were leaving and busy getting ready to leave. We got to teach Tatiyana. She is still doing great and we are seeing some really great miracles with her. She just got a job promotion so she said she shouldn't have to work on Sunday and if she does, she should still be able to be at sacrament meeting! We also have promised her that her family will accept the gospel and she told us how she was talking to her sister, and her sister asked her if she was still getting baptized and Tatiyana told her how it needed to be pushed back and that here sister told her to keep working for it because she has seen the change in her. It was super cool to hear. Tatiyana is so solid! We also taught Naveed, we read 1 Nephi 1 with him, he's doing well. We took him to sports night again and he really enjoyed that.
Transfer calls yesterday all went well even though we forgot to call one companionship, but we got that all figured out okay.
Today we are going to Kalkaska. Deb, the lady we found as she was walking down the highway and the Spirit told us to talk her, is getting baptized. President Jacobsen has given us permission to go and I'm really excited for it! It will be a great experience and I look forward to seeing everyone in Kalkaska. I love that place so much!
As I studied this week and read in 3 Nephi, I learned a lot about receiving revelation. As Jesus teaches the people in America he continually tells them to ask the Father in His name and that the Holy Ghost will teach them. Receiving revelation is just that, it must be received. Just like the best quarterback in the world is useless unless he has receivers who can catch the ball, if we aren't striving to receive revelation, we won't. God is answering our prayers and raining down revelation on us more than we even know, we just need to be better at actively receiving it. The other great thing is that as we receive it, God will give us more, and the cycle repeats itself. The ingredients are prayer, pondering, listening, faith, and the love of God.
|The Trio! Elder Haddock, Elder Sauer and me|
Trey is Baptized! Feb. 29, 2016I had an awesome week in the Michigan Lansing Mission. Trey was baptized on Saturday. We had a huge snowstorm on Wednesday and Thursday and then on Sunday it was 55 degrees and sunny and basically melted all the snow. So it's still a really warm winter! Things have just been great!
We met with Trey three times this week leading up to his baptism. They all went really well. He's really intelligent, and understands things well. He chose President Jacobsen to baptized him, it's the first person that President has baptized in the MLM. It was a super great baptism. Elder Haddock and I both spoke and the influence of the Spirit was powerful! He's going to do great things in the work of the Lord!
We went to a district meeting in Oscoda and afterward we went to lunch at a members home and it was so good! She knew what she was doing! On the way home the snowstorm hit. We were really fortunate though because it was really light where we were and we made it home safe! All is well.
We have been using a survey on campus that asks some basic fundamental questions that basically everyone has and it has worked wonders. We stop people, ask them to take a survey, and then wait for them to finish it. We have gotten a lot of phone numbers and solid conversations!
Things are going really well for me. We have some big news. We have a new Assistant to the President, his name is Elder Sauer. He's great and from Southwestern Idaho. We aren't sure where Elder Haddock is going yet but we'll know soon. We are about to start transfer planning with President Jacobsen.
I've been working on finishing the Book of Mormon. I had recently been going really slow and in depth, but I want to finish it and I'm praying really hard for a greater spiritual witness of its truth. I've learned a lot already while reading 3 Nephi. One thing I really like is in chapter 11, when Heavenly Father's voice is heard from heaven. It takes three times because the people took so long to finally "open" their ears. Receiving revelation is just that, receiving. We need to be the ones to accept it, and that can happen in many ways. I encourage you to pay special attention to receiving the revelation that comes your way!
|Me, President Jacobsen, Trey and Elder Haddock|
|A small town that some members of our ward are from...|
It's All About Attitude Feb. 22, 2016Another great week is in the books here in Michigan. I'm pretty sure I was just emailing yesterday, but I guess time says that it's been a week. Crazy! I had a great time this past week, we had two trade offs, one in Lansing, and one in Traverse City, we had some great lessons, and met some great people on campus! Nothing too crazy, pretty routine, but even when what we are doing is routine, (study, find, teach, etc) it's amazing how different and uplifting the experiences you have can be! It's a matter of looking for and finding the beauty and joy in each routine thing you do. It's all about attitude, and ultimately, it's all about faith.
I started out this week with Elder Lowder serving the more downtown Lansing area. We had a great day. We got a few media referrals earlier in the day so we went to try by one of them. As we were walking up to her house, we saw her outside, and then she walked in. So, we knocked and she didn't answer... We knew that we were there for a reason so we knocked her side of the street and met some really cool people. We went back to the car, (they drive a minivan :)) and were going to leave, but we felt like we should stay and knock the other side, so we did. Nobody was interested but as we walked down from the last door, we saw a guy across the street, so we ran over to him, and he said his name is "Edward, like Scissorhands." He was a younger guy and super cool. We set an appointment for Friday! From that experience I gained a sure witness that in the Lord's work, it's all about being in the right place at the right time for the right person. And because we followed the Spirit, we were exactly where we needed to be! :) We also taught a part member family. The way they found them, is that they were at the gas station and the mom came up to them and introduced herself and said that she was inactive. They have two little kids, and they want them to have a church. It was great to be with Elder Lowder, we were in the MTC together. He's the man.
On Wednesday we went to the district meeting in the Grandville Spanish District. The whole thing was in Spanish, it was quite an experience. It made me think of what district meeting was like for Megan and all my friends who are learning languages. I'm glad I was there but my three years of high school Spanish didn't help me at all. ha.
We went to Traverse City for our blitz. I was with Elder Sauer, he's super cool. We taught an older guy named Bill, who basically had us over because he likes company, so we talked a lot about having real intent, but it was hard to get him to listen and understand. I'm used to teaching college students! ha. We also gave a blessing to a member who played a season for Vince Lombardi on the Packers, so that was cool.
Trey is getting ready to be baptized this Saturday. We're excited for that, he's ready to go! He's a super cool guy. He drives dirt sprint cars professionally and is super funny. He had sweet comments in Elder's Quorum as well.
What I've learned this week is really what I shared earlier. We may not know why we feel like doing something, but if the Spirit is prompting us to, it's always the right thing to do. A few weeks ago, I felt like I should pull over on the highway, so I did, and then 15 seconds later, I felt like I could drive again. I don't know why, but I know it's what God wanted me to do.
I love you all. Have a great week!