Monday, December 28, 2015

December 28, 2015

(We were able to Skype with Michael on Christmas day, and it was the highlight of our Christmas!)

I must say, its rather fun to be writing a simple note to you without the formality of a letter. I'm doing this because I still have an hour on the computer, and all of my mail's been taken care of. Man, it was so awesome to see you all! Sorry if I was a little straight-faced about it, but gee, that was like the highlight of the holiday so far!

So, funny thing happened. After we got done talking to you guys, we went to visit Christmas evening with a wonderful family in the ward named the Kloepfers. Bro. Kloepfer is the manager at the local Toys 'r Us, so it has been super busy for him. Still, they were kind enough to give us some nerf guns for Christmas! Sweet!

Anyway, that's really all that has happened so far. I'll let you guys konw what goes on the next week.

Love you though! Like a lot!


Monday, December 21, 2015

December 21, 2015

Hello Mom!
(and everyone else)

So, I can probably sum up the actions of this past week in a simple albeit-there's-no-such-thing-as-sympathy way:

We lost Korra. Our car.

It went to some elders who covered an area about 5 miles away from where they lived. Evidently one of them had a busted ankle, or so he said.  We got their bikes. You see, it's not so much the action than it was the timing that caught us. The night we performed the exchange the temperature plummeted to about 26. So we rode to a member's home in about 25 minutes, and when we got there, Beatty's water bottle was frozen, and there was frost on my coat. And you know those moments that even after you take your gloves off, stupid hot water feels pretty numb? Yeah, it was one of those. Fortunately the member we visited had a bike rack and was more than happy to give us a ride back home.

The other times we biked were awesome. Other than the fact that the road had frozen over, and our tires are not built for snow. Anyway, we decided to start coordinating with members for rides. It's been a real help since that allows us to get a member out with us to every lesson, so we adapt and overcome! I just pack around my first-aid kit now.

Funny, I don't recall eating out that much in November. We go home for lunch, and I use MSF funds for most quick lunches. I'll...look into that. It's probably not fraud, but then again, someone did break into the church a few nights ago. Lost some TV's and projectors, and the keys to the building. Yeah, it's been an interesting week.

So, I guess I’ll just hear from you come Friday! I've already told Dad, but they allow us to call for a little bit Christmas Eve to coordinate times for calling Christmas day, or skyping I guess. Glad to hear that Brooke's on the case for the whole tech deal. She is the smartest one of us all after all!

I forgot to mention, but it's snowing out right now! I love the snow! Or at least love it until we're forced to crawl through it. It's always so peaceful and nice just to stand outside when it's snowing, and then to wake up the next day and see the flesh blanket that covers the ground. Snow always seemed so pure. Or at least the snow I've grown used to. Such a perfect accommodation to the celebration of the birth of He who is pure and loving. I love the Savior, I know he has a plan for us. All of us. Whether in this life or the next, He's provided a way for us to continue to grow and learn more, even as much as He knows. Definitely a long-term process, but I know that one day, we can be even as He is, and get to live in the presence of our Perfect Master and Friend. I love Christmas, and I know that one day the world will know without question of the divinity of the Savior.

And...there we go, I just realized how much testimonies break the rules of romantic writing. Joy during the winter?! Ha! Who would've known! God's ways are HIGHER than man's ways! And that includes writing too!

Anyhoo, I guess we'll hear/see you guys on Friday! And a little on Thursday! Love you all, stay amazing!


Hey Mom! So this was a message I sent to Mckay, and I felt like I should send it to you to post on the blog. Just probably the biggest take-away I have gotten from the holiday.

You oughta have a blast this holiday season! But promise me Friend that you'll take time to remember the true meaning of the holiday.

I had a fun thought about Christmas I felt like I oughta share with you though. You ever notice how people say that despite all the Santa-ness of the holiday that Christmas is still considered a religious holiday? It's true it is. But really think about it. We celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, of the miracle of a being such as He to be brought into the world, to suffer, bleed, and die for us. He underwent all the sins of everyone. Think about that! Everyone who had ever lived, lives, and will live, He felt for them. Those drops of blood had everyone's name written on it. Everyone.

Why should only Christians celebrate Christmas? It doesn't matter what you believe in terms of faith, Christ feels for all of us. He lifts us up, and whether it be in this life or the other, there is a way for us to come to know. And a way for all of us to repent and become clean again. Without that, where would we be?

I can't wait for the day that we will sustain Christ Himself as our perfect Ruler and Leader. Master and Friend. Judge and Mediator. Messiah and Savior. Every knee, every tongue.

So, I say to you friends, Merry Christmas. Let us celebrate our ability to be redeemed, our chance to overcome sin and death, through He that was born to save us all, even Jesus Christ out Lord.

Friday, December 18, 2015

December 14, 2015

Hello Mom!

You were actually correct, I was checking my email when your and Dad's email came in. It definitely helped build my moral, and I am glad to hear that all is seeming to go well for the family this last week!

So...what were your guys's plans' for the holidays? I would assume that you are heading up to the ranch for Christmas. I'm wondering if Daniel will bring Calvin and Hobbes with him. If he did, Smokey and Harley probably wouldn't be to pleased. But oh well. Will Brooke be able to be down there as well? Christmas is always a lot more fun when family is involved. We have been working with that initiative with overtime in the mission though. Christmas is such a wonderful time to spend with family, and to remember the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We've been showing those videos on the church website so much now.

You know, it's funny being on a mission during Christmas. When you are doing nothing else but being in servitude to God, you really grow closer to your spiritual center. I've found my anticipated celebration of Christmas more focused on the birth of the Savior, especially after all I've seen Him do to help boost up those we are teaching and those we taught. Ourselves too. I really recognize now why we give gifts, because He was the first gift given. He was the gift the Father gave to all his children, to save us from our sorrow and sins. And like you said in your last email, as we follow God's commandments, we please Him, and we also utilize the gift of the Savior while doing so. After all, it is by Him that we are able to return back into God's presence of His spirit while on the Earth, and ultimately, to return to Him in full. I guess I now truly realize why we celebrate Christmas, and why it is a time of joy and singing, no matter where we are in the world, no matter what our condition may be. It's not just a christian holiday, but rather a holiday for all men.

I think I'm going to become an author by hobby when I get back. Remember how Daniel said that the mission gives you a lot of time to think? Well, my imagination has been working really well in conjunction with my spiritual side, and I think I have a few ideas for a story worth trying.
The work this last week has been going fantastic! To sum up the past days it's safe to say that we did a lot of less-active teaching. Our efforts weren't in vain, too! We had the ward Christmas party, and we saw a whole bunch of people there that we had been trying to get back to church! And out of those who we saw, one of them, a certain Sis. Holvorsen, was able to make it to church on Sunday. Awesome! I'm really hoping that Beatty and I can stay for another transfer after this one is done, but Beatty's been in this ward for six months now, and I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised if he got moved somewhere else come January. Still, we will make do with the time we have here.

Fun stories for the week! The town coroner had us over for dinner. His name's Marshall (everyone calls him by his first name), and he fed us huge and I mean HUGE steaks. They were pretty good too! Also, our dumpster got stolen. Or , at least we thought it was stolen until we asked the landlord. He said that the city probably took it for some reason that we don't know about. Oh well. We're on the case though.

But in all honesty I just really hope that all goes well for you guys this next week. I love you much Mom! I still ask myself somedays where'd I be without you. Gee, I miss all of you. But I know that you the family and God need me out here, so I stay here in the work (and also because I know I need to be here too) So I hope that you all have another outstanding week this week!

Love you all more than ever!


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

December 7, 2015

Hey Mom!

This week:
Breaking in the newsies, waiting in the waiting room, and...ok I'll just write whatever comes to mind because I can't remember everything and condense it into one sentence-list, right!

Another week has come and gone in Yakima, and I must say it was pretty gloomy. Work wise, I would say it was decent. But weather wise....GLOOMY. I remember Mr. Schimko talking about how depressing Washington is sometimes, and I guess I didn't really understand what he meant utnil now.  About Monday through Friday there was nothing but fog, rain, snow, hail, sleet, you name it. If it is cold or wet and falls from the sky, it happened. Don't worry, the wool insert that Dad gave me with his coat is quite effective at blocking all of these. And it looks pretty classy too!

There was a good amounts of highlights from the past week that are definitely worth sharing, so I'll do my best to recall them. We had grim news that there is a slight possibility the car may be taken from us. But it's not official.

I guess one thing worth writing about is that we had a fun time taking the latest sets of missionaries out for the first time. I took a certain Elder Hansen from Orange country CA, to a lesson with a less active sister named Ruby Martin. She is such a sweet old lady who has a sincere and strong testimony, but can't seem to make it to church. It was a good lesson, we talked about the Restoration of the Gospel. Later in the week we also had the privilege of meeting with a certain less-active member named Jeff. He's awesome. The lesson we taught him eventually turned into a commitment activity for him to come back to church, and boy...was it cool. I'm glad I have Elder Beatty here, he seemed to be guided by the spirit in whatever he said, because Jeff told us how everything we were saying was coming right off his patriarchal blessing. OHHHHHHH SNAP! And then to make it even cooler his wife, Erica,  who has a thick Portuguese accent, started talking. We could understand her well, but there were times during her speech that Jeff reminded her to speak English, as if she was speaking straight Portuguese. OOOHHHHHH DOUBLE SNAP! I'm not terribly certain if it was the gift of tongues was present, because we were just simply understanding her. Then again...that's what the gift of tongues is! Either way, they loved us to death by the time we left, and Erica decided to give us her new milkshake blender as well. I guess that means it was good lesson.

Another fun experience found us sitting in a waiting room waiting for an elder, who we gave a ride, who was seeing the doctor. Anyway, Beatty does the brave thing and breaks the silence by talking to this one guy about the Book of Mormon. Turns out this guy had some pretty good questions of the soul that needed answering, and we were able to refer him to the elders in his area. Later Beatty told me he was prompted to do so. I guess I need to work on that, acting on the promptings of the Holy Ghost.

It must've been great being able to attend the Christmas devotional! I bet the conference center is such an awesome place. See if Daniel and Hannah get tickets to the Christmas concert there! When the choir was singing the piece from Handel's Messiah, I was thinking about how much you would love that classic! And whaddya know, you were there for it too! I loved President Uchtdorf's talk too.

Still, I hope all the best for everyone back home! I recieved a card from Grandma and Grandpa Camit this last week, so can you please tell them thank you for me? I'd write, but I need to find resources first. Anyway, love you all! Hope you guys have an excellent start to your holiday season!

Love you!


Sunday, December 6, 2015

November 30, 2015

Hey Mom!

Thanksgiving, Special permission denied, adapt and overcome, meeting brother Boye, and the day it stayed below 35!

 Ok, so you can probably guess that this last week was probably the most awesome week in my mission life so far. And that is absolutely true!

First off, Beatty and I are staying together for another transfer! It was killer to wait to hear if we were getting transferred or not, because both of us can act like who we really are around each other. But now that we are staying, we will be able to continue on working with the Randall Park ward and helping it get back onto it's feet! The work has picked up so much ever since we could consolidate our efforts, and I get the feeling that members here are really starting to trust us more and more!

 And yes, Thanksgiving was a blast! Because trying to proselyte or work on family holidays never quite yielded receptive folk, we stayed inside with members most of the time. In the morning we went for a walk in the same park I got the money picture in, which was blanketed in snow. We wished fellow walkers a happy Thanksgiving, and after returning to the apartment for light lunch and 12-week training, went to our dinner appointment at 2. We had dinner at a certain Bro. Van De Venter and his family. It was great! They had the turkey and the ham and the rolls and salad and the sweets as well! We were also blessed with the tender mercy of an on-TV. Don't worry, I didn't crash my motivation to serve. And the only thing I thought was really worth watching was the new Star Wars Ep. 7 commercial. I'm not going to lie, I felt really down after seeing that twice. Forgot to mention last week, but I asked Pres. Lewis during interviews if we had special permission to see ep. 7 like how Dad and other missionaries did whenever those movies came out. He frankly told me that it would be best for us to wait. Dang it. I was really hoping to tell street contact somebody in theater lines on how the force is like the priesthood.

 Still, we spent the rest of Thanksgiving at the home of Marshall Slight, the town coroner. People are always dying to see him! He's an awesome guy. And later we visited the bishop's home, as well as another member's home. Overall, a great holiday spent! 

 But a more work wise level, we had four people drop on us this last week. We spent little time pondering reasons and rather got to work finding new. And sure enough, the Lord blessed us with work to do! We found six new investigators this week despite the setback! Four of them come from a single family whose name I cannot spell due to pronunciation-to-writing inability. But they are amazing! They have three children and all four of them agreed to baptism! Awesome! I know that the Lord provides means for us to recover from out setbacks if we put our trust in him.

And speaking of diving trustworthiness, I finished the Book of Mormon again today. I've found that scripture study is more meaningful and inspired as a missionary, and while reading Moroni 10, I noticed something. Here's Moroni, basically the last man standing physically among his civilization and spiritually among the world, and despite it all, his last words before hiding up the record is his testimony and his knowing that we can be perfected through Christ because of the grace of God and Christ's atoning sacrifice for us. The last three verses of the Book of Mormon, testifying of the divinity of Jesus Christ, when Moroni could've said anything else, he chose that to write. I just loved that! It was a real testimony grower for me about the divinity of the Book of Mormon. I know that it is true, and if Moroni could hold his testimony strong despite all he went through, the battles, the huntings, death and the sword all around him, then so can we.

 Alex Boye also came through for a concert, and yesterday we had a fireside where he spoke to us. It was pretty neat! I would've loved a picture, but it was past curfew when it was over and we had to skedaddle. And lastly, I just wanted to report that there was a good chunk of the week this past week where the temperature stayed below 35 farenheit. The coat is coming in real handy now.

 Anyway, love you Mom! Don't worry, I'll still be the poison checker again, but for now I'm just doing my service as a missionary! And my-oh-my is it grand!

 Love you all!