Monday, September 21, 2015

September 21, 2015

Hey Mom!

This week:
Investigators attending church, English muffins, outdoor lessons, Buffalo Wild Wings and the Restoration, saying bye to Ruby, the light side of dirt, and the ugly truth (?)

We had another great week this last week! Elder Kempton and I were able to teach investigators frequently this past week, and most of them with a member present. And to make it all better, this one family we have been teaching, the Mclains, attended sacrament meeting yesterday! They really enjoyed it! T hey have two families in the ward that they are neighbors with, and then bishop got to know them better too! We really have high hopes for them!

I also was able to remember to buy English muffins for the week. I don't know why, but I guess those are my carb weakness. It was really nice to have a whole-wheat English muffin for breakfast this past week. I would've bought the white ones, but I still have Bro. Thoroughgood's encounter in mind. Another awesome food experience we had this week was with an investigator who is probably the most awesome guy I've met out here. Dave Matthews is his name, and he is keenly interested in learning more. So he decided to take us out to dinner at our choice! We met him at Buffalo Wild Wings, and we taught him lesson 1. Funny, despite the sounds of the restaurant mixed with the sports jumbo-trons, we really had a meaningful lesson over wings! Dave was really able to relate to Joseph Smith in the sense of finding truth on one's own. He said we teach him again sometime and we are really excited to meet and teach him. And here's the best part; someone else in the restaurant paid our check! 

I also would like to hook up with his cousin. Dave was telling us how he was able to get floor tickets to the Mayweather fight because of him.

We also taught a lesson outdoors, and that went well. I did feel a little awkward just sitting in the open teaching about the Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity, but in the end, it went well! We also learned this past week that Ruby went back to Taiwan. We were unable to schedule a final appointment with her, but we do have the information to pass to the elders in Taiwan, so it'll be nice for her to learn now in her native language. We must not fail to pass that info. She seems like she is learning so much about the God that loves her.

I also had a bit of an experience that humbled me in a way. We were visiting the name of this one former investigator that Bro. Hernandez wanted us to start looking into again. When we knocked on her door, we heard one man scream at his dogs to quiet down and when we came in I couldn't help but notice the stench of second-hand smoke. The lady's name was Rhonda, and we got to talking to her. I had a hard time taking her seriously at first, but when I listened to her, I felt the spirit with her. She explained to us how she wanted to come to and join the church, but feared that she would be a bad image on her daughters because of her drinking and smoking problems. We learned that she loves the church, and deeply respects the missionary efforts, despite the living conditions they were in. I had a bit of a moment afterwards where I realized how much I had at first judged based off of environment. Now I realize that the spirit can permeate any condition on Earth as long as there are good people He can get to in said environments. I've found I have a problem tolerating bad living conditions, but I should realize the people that live there are God's children too. Something to work on I guess.

But, wow. It's hard to believe that three months have gone by already. It'll be very nice to see you guys again! I'm definitely looking forward to it! I still haven't gotten any word on call extension yet, but I'm certain that the Lord in his infinite ways will send me down the path that He knows I can accomplish for Him! I know that this is His true church and that He speaks to prophets today, and that if we have faith, He will answer our prayers, and He will continue to guide us in today's world. I know that to be true, and I know I will continue to learn and grow afterwards! 

Thanks for all the love that you guys have sent me. Don't know where'd I'd be without you Mom! After all you've done for me, I can't even imagine letting you down in any way! But......just wondering; have you guys suspected me to have evolved past a point of having fun? I just don't know if you guys would find it improper for me to be having fun during my week off, i.e. like seeing some movies, hanging with Daniel, etc.

Still though, I got one more week to kick down here, and I guess I'll be seeing you in exactly one week!

I love you guys!

Elder Michael Camit

Monday, September 14, 2015

September 14, 2015

Hey Mom!

This Week:
Santa Claus, a most classy dinner, falling roaches, and digging holes!

Yeah, I know how you feel concerning critters. Something tells me that I was born with your sympathy towards nature, yet raised in what is best described as staunch conservatism. It yields some pretty hilarious moments sometimes. But I really wish I could've shot that squirrel. If I never draw for a hunt for various reasons, at least let me shoot some kind of critter. 

Good to hear the guests loved the ranch! I also got those pictures from the wood party. Glad to hear no one was hurt in the process. I really miss the ranch, or at least visiting it. How's Smokey doing? I haven't heard anything about my cat for a while, I do hope that you all are taking care of him. 

But the work here is going fine, we as a companionship are struggling to find new people, but it seems like those we find are solid investigators! Still, Kempton and I could use some help when it comes to talking with people. In a most recent incident where a couple of other elders were nearly mugged street contacting some folks, we've been trying to discern whether the situation is safe or not. Thankfully we haven't met anyone so physically unstable, but we did see Santa Claus this last week. 

No seriously, we SAW Santa Claus. He seemed a little wasted if I'm honest. He was walking out of this home up against Black Mountain, and sure enough, he had the round belly, the jolly nose, and the hair and beard combo. Despite the fact he was wearing a sleeveless tank top along with some shorter shorts and flip-flops, we can now safely affirm that Santa exists! 

On a more serious note, I had the tremendous opportunity to invite one of our investigators for baptism, and they accepted! It's amazing to see the spirit work in their lives, and even more awesome to hear their stories and see how they never lost faith. But they also are meeting with us very frequently, and I hope that maybe I'll still be in town for the event! And on the subject of mission calls, I'm afraid I've heard no news whatsoever. Both President Snow and Elder Kempton told me they'd be really surprised if a call extension didn't come, but I have good faith they'll send me where they need me to go! But I honestly have no idea how that one is going to come about. We had interviews with President Snow this last district meeting, and he said that the mission department is pretty effective on this. I also asked if there were other trial-missionaries in the mission, and he said that I'm actually one of four. Cool! I didn't know that there were other TM's out here. 

Oh, and don't feel too bad about my room. I feel like I have an obligation to take better care of my living quarters and feel like I should go out of my way to clean it when I get home.  We did have an incredibly classy dinner on Sunday. It wasn't ultra-fancy or anything, but they served soup in saucers. SAUCERS. I've only ever heard of using such bowl-like plates in stories and movies, but to be actually eating soup from these strange things felt incredibly formal. The family also had a couple bookshelves of authentic classics, Winnie the Pooh among them. They allowed me to read it.

We also had a roach drop from the ceiling during ward council onto the head of one of the sisters there. That was funny. But we also had the opportunity to do some service this last week too. A member in another ward volunteered us to help him with some terracing in his back yard, and part of it involved digging holes and building walls. I've fondly familiar of those tasks. It felt incredibly good to get behind the pick-axe again. Definitely brought back a number of good memories.

Glad to hear that everyone is doing fine! Hard to believe my time here is almost up. Holy smokes. I guess I'll literally be hearing from you guys soon, so stay strong and keep to the Lord and have faith as well!

Love you Mom, couldn't have asked for a better mother!


Monday, September 7, 2015

September 7, 2015

Hey Mom!

This week:
Getting pulled over, corny jokes, driving again, and...uh.....You know there's not actually too many exciting things that happened this week. 

Still, it was productive!

Glad to hear that the wood project went well. Or is going well to be more specific. I've never seen a tree brought down by wind, but your story did remind me of the scene in Where the Red Fern Grows where the Billy prayed for wind to bring down a tree, because he knew that God had helped him get his two hounds in the first place.
Unfortunately, I didn't receive your pictures, but don't worry! I've done enough wood parties to know all the shenanigans that go down there. Get it? Going down? Like a tree when you, when you....ah never mind. 

But yeah, I'm really glad that all my Valley buddies are on their missions now. Something tells me Coleman'll like Ohio. But did you know that one of the South America Missionaries is THE Aaron Stout? Imagine that! Aaron Stout, speaking Spanish in that heavy South West accent! He'll probably love it too.

Yeah, so we got pulled over this last week. Nothing huge, just got off on a warning, otherwise it would've been a $305 speeding ticket. Kempton was driving. He goes the speed limit now. We were late for district meeting because of it though. I was also able to drive for exchanges this last week. I'm not as bad as I remember. It actually felt really nice to be driving again. 

And yes, as if learning to missionary rap wasn't bad enough, now I'm coming up with really corny jokes. For example, ”What did the cocoa puffs say when it came back from the dead?” "That was a cer-e-al experience!"
I'll give you a moment to recover from your groanings.

Don't worry, we still had a good week this last week. We had the wonderful opportunity to teach the McClain family the plan of salvation. Man, Sister McClain is soaking it all in! Bro. McClain is learning at a slower pace, but still, we are incredibly blessed with these teaching opportunities. We were also able to teach the Acosta's lesson 1 this week. We decided to try them in the morning, and so we did that, and whadday know! All the family is there minus the oldest daughter, Alexandra. We gave them the invitation to baptism, and Sandra, the mother, gave a slow-nodded yes. So we have hope and faith that we can continue them successfully down that course. We were also given the opportunity to visit a number of less actives this last week! And while some responses were more positive than others, we were nonetheless to get new data that we can use to our advantage. Hooray for data!

Hate to say it, but that is literally all there is this week. We were short on crazy experiences, but we were super blessed to have all these teaching appointments. We were able to have three new investigators this week! And receive a few new referrals as well!

But still, I wish and hope the best for all of you. Remember that this the Lord's work and that we all have a duty to be examples and serve others, and also to help others return to the truth and come unto it

Love you all!



Morning Dad,

I've never failed at having a spiritual pondering over the sacrament. It's fascinating to see all the important symbolism along with the spiritual values that make it such a meaningful thing to do. I've seen one of the challenges in life for me has been focusing on the Savior during the process. Still, I'll have to look at that in the perspective you've mentioned, on being at that moment tuned with the spirit. 

It's funny. After being out here I've probably come more in two months than in my whole life on how necessary it is to look at things as other people see things. Especially teaching investigators. I guess my whole life I've taken missionary visits for granted. Then I come out here and realize how deep a connection that progressing investigators feel towards missionaries, and how much that missionary remains in their memory. That's probably one of my biggest fears now, or developing fears. That I would baptize someone, but then loose contact with them because I never saw them again. 

Still, there is always room for hope! Elder Kempton and I have been really blessed this last week but finding three new investigators. Elder Holt and I found them first, a family by the last name of Acosta, and this week Kempton and I were able to catch them all home, minus the oldest daughter, and we came in and taught lesson 1. I knew the spirit was working there, and I believe that they will come to know. But we are guides, and we hope the spirit can manifest itself to their family. Still, I pray for them and our other investigators daily.

I've also come to have a semi-pride check. We were listening to Uchtdorf's talk on grace that he gave last conference, and I pondered on what he said concerning how redemption isn't bought with obedience, but with the atonement. I had to look back on my life and consider that. It seemed like all through high school part of me was motivated to be obedient because I wanted to appear more spiritually strong than my peers, kind of a filler for my social weakness. Now I realize that I shouldn't have judged them, rather should've helped them with the atonement. I guess that's something I'll be doing for life, looking back to learn and live in the present and prepare for the future.

Anyway though, glad to hear that everyone was safe at the wood party. I'm not going to lie, I was kind of bummed not to be there. Work is always more fun when you do it with friends and family. 

Therefore, the mission is still fun! I'm surprised on how fast the weeks are picking up now.

Anyway, look forward to hearing from you again.

Love you,