Monday, January 25, 2016

January 25, 2016

Hello Mom!

This week:
The baptisms, the sun, effective finding, overall work, and other things!

The baptisms did happen! We were so blessed by it. We had a really good turn-out to it too, President Lewis and his wife came as a matter of fact. But the spirit was so strong there, I could tell it. Sorry to say but I found myself a little over-stressed about it. I didn't really delegate the event out in the best way that I could. But looking back, I guess I was just over-concerned about having enough chairs and the font filling up on time. Still, despite that, the baptisms themselves were so strong and powerful. It got super quiet when Brandon, Tyson, and Lily were baptized. Like SUPER quiet. And I knew that the spirit was present there. Two of the priests in the ward performed the baptism, and I know that it will be an experience they probably never will forget. I remember when I told the one of the mothers, who was Sis. Van de Venter actually, that her son would be baptizing and she just about broke down in tears. Hoorah for Israel!

Also, the sun came out! It's been out for the past three days, which is more sun than I've seen in the past two months! Don't worry, I'm not going blue because of it. Whenever I start thinking about the want for sunlight, I just think back to the average day in the Vegas mission and suddenly I'm not so sad anymore! Still, it was beauuuutiful weather for biking! Which we were actually able to do, finally. We were blessed to have four new investigators this past week, and I know that God has prepared them to at least hear of His message. One is Jessica's daughter, who voiced her mother's concern to us that she doesn't want to feel pushed in any way towards baptism. We re-assured her that we were there to help her draw closer to God at the rate that they know. Funny, she actually had more questions about Mormon stereotypes, which transitioned into what we do as missionaries. She was really shocked, and I mean really shocked when she heard we can't go swimming, movies, games, TV, etc. 

We also met a lady by the name of Ilene this past week too! Last Tuesday before the sun came out, we were hit with a massive rain-turn-snow-turn-rain-turn-snow-and finally rain storm that we were out in the middle of. We had plans to go see a Less Active member, but it fell through, but due to a recent training, decided that the Lord had us down here for a reason. So we started tracting, and the first door we knock on, we meet Ilene, who invited us back! All doors after that were Spanish speaking or put-on-nice-face contacts. By then it had turned snow. 
Still, we went back a few days later, and whaddya know, Ilene lets us in! We get around to teaching her about the Restoration, and she liked it! We hope we can continue to teach her.

The last two people we met were a 17 year old guy and his girlfriend. They were referrals, and he wanted to start coming to an LDS  church. We taught them a shorter lesson, and were able to get to know them more. His name's Jared, her's is Crystal. They live with his brother, who is turned off to religion, so hopefully we can work around that. 

Yeah, not too much else happened this week. We had dinner with a recent move-in family. They have four children all ages five and under. The five year old girl they have is absolutely adorable. When we were leaving, she was dragging my shoulder bag, which probably weighs as much as she, across the floor towards me, saying something along the lines of "I got your bag for you Elder Camit!"
Gee, I could just hear Toefaeono, Delph, and Wilder doing that feminine "awww" just watching that. 

I am very sorry to say, but I am unable to send pictures right now of the baptism and the sun. The computer I'm working at isn't reading my camera's USB plug in. Oh well, we'll figure it out. Oh yeah, Broncos are going to the Super Bowl! Hooray for that! I really hoped I didn't just jinx it.

Anyway, you guys have a safe flight over to Hawaii, tell Paul I said hello! Ask him if he got my letter from Christmas, hope it wasn't too sentimental. Still, the mean white shirt and tag machine rolls onward. I hope to hear from all you guys real soon! Know that I love all of you!

Love you!


Sunday, January 24, 2016

January 18, 2016

Hey Dad!
That's some real great insight from Pres. Hunter. I've often found myself thinking about the definition of peace, and how we see it vs. how the world sees it. One of the biggest connections I've made is that it seems like worldly peace only lasts for so long, but the tranquility that comes through the spirit lasts for eternity. Heh, now I just realized that's one of the things we do out here, be peacemakers. Offering the only peace that lasts beyond death. 
I believe it was Harold B. Lee who said something along the lines on how the Gospel is the only thing that can unite men of all cultures and backgrounds together in harmony. Looking around the world, I see how that is so. Devout Latter Day Saints all over the world seem like the most unified of any organization on Earth. Treaties and whatnot eventually are locked up in some glass case, but the gospel is proclaimed for the rest of the Earth's life. That's the beautiful thing (one of the many) the gospel of Christ does; helps us look beyond flags and rather at family. I guess the thing to do now is to continue to preach it to all of God's children!
We had a lot of Member-present (MP/LTM) lessons this past week. As a matter of fact, all lessons taught were with a member present, so we are making good progress with using members more often! 
Yeah, it's definitely a little challenging taking over the area, you should know. Elder Vajner's only been out 4 and a half months, but we are making do anyhow! I feel like I'm back in Staff to a certain extent, every day there's a plan to be carried out and all that jazz. Feels good actually, being back in the scene. But still, I shouldn't worry too much. 
Anyway, thanks for the email! Yours are always the more spiritual ones that I get every week, and I always appreciate the insight/reminders you give. Thanks for all you did to teach and provide for me!
Love you,


Monday, January 11, 2016

January 11, 2016

Hello Mom!

This week:
Goodbye Elder Beatty, slower days, a friend named Thomas, and good ole' lunch trips!

Funny to think about moving buildings to the stake center. You know it's also funny, I'm finding Yakima more and more home-feeling. It's a little hard to think about the differences between here and Vegas and then to think about my home in Vegas. I kind of feel like I'm at home here. And......that's where I stop talking. Don't worry, I still know where home truly is.

Still, we had a slow week this week. Contrasted the out-standingness of last week, Elder Beatty was down and out of it last Monday and Tuesday. But we got to work afterward, and although few, saw many blessings along the way. Elder Beatty is getting transferred down to Oregon, and I will be receiving a certain Elder Vaejner (pronounced Vainer) from Colorado. 

Yesterday at church we were talking to Bishop. The whole ward was really sad to hear that Beatty is leaving. So am I. We have accomplished so much together in the Randall Park ward, and the members have noticed this. But Bishop took a minute to come and talk to us about how grateful he is about what we have accomplished. I'm not going to lie, I'm kind of nervous for this. Vaejner has been out not as long as me, so I'll be the senior. But I remember that this is the Lord's work and that I am perfectly capable of leading this. Besides, I got this. If there's one thing Staff is going to help me out with, along with the mission this far, it's leading this part of the area!

But we had the most people in church in a long time come yesterday! Including five Investigators. Three of them are set for baptism on 23rd January! Hooray!

Good experience though, during tracting this week we ran into this fellow by the name of Thomas. He asked us a question regarding the validity of certain aspects of the gospel. I didn't want this to descend into arguing, so I said a quick prayer in my head and started talking. I told him about how the Lord reveals his Gospel to the extent that his people will understand and obey it. He really liked that! We then got talking about how no one is greater than the other in God's perspective,  and that we all have a charge to be good Christians to everybody we meet! We really got to like Thomas. He wasn't interested in what we had to say, but I think both of us were really pleased that we built common ground on Christ Jesus our Lord. Why can't everyone else be like that!

Sorry, not too many other things happened this week. A less active family took us out to Red Robin for lunch, and that was great! But other than that, nothing else too much happened. Still, got to hear from you guys right? That's motivation in and of itself to continue on stronger than ever! Hoorah for Israel!

Anyway, please remember us in your prayers. I hope that Elder Vaejner and I get along well, but I guess that's all part of the journey. And right now I'm in the greatest part of that journey, with the greatest family ever backing me up!

Love you all!


Monday, January 4, 2016

January 4, 2016

Hello Mom!

This week:
2K(0)16! having an ice day, playing racquetball, familiar tools and different scenarios, Jessica and Chaplain Wiberg, the threat of taco bell, meeting thugs, and the day the church boilers went out!

First off, Happy belated birthday! It's incredible to think that another year has gone by. 2016?! Who would've known! Mission year!

Those pictures were awesome! I always love it when you guys send pictures in, really helps me feel like we're not separated by a couple states. Even then, if the spirit can span the eternities, then we're practically next door neighbors right?

But, I can definitely relate to the cold/ice of your holiday experience. Yakima has been getting blasted with cold, cold cold weather. Ice in abundance too. One member put it well. In Yakima, the plowing job's on the main roads aren't the greatest, so everyone drives extremely slow and extremely cautious. And still, people get in wrecks. I guess I can't really blame them. Mother Nature's pretty dastardly about that. But anyway, he was saying that everyone just drives over the ice and it packs it down until the road's practically an ice rink. I didn't really take much note of it until Elder Beatty and I were walking the other day and slipping all over on the side roads! No one biffed it, but we did have to jerk/catch our balance. Still, good times!

Last P-day a family in the ward was kind enough to take us to the local rec-center to play racquetball. I'm not going to lie, it', I guess. I mean, apart from the fact that the only one getting hit by the ball was me, it was a new sport to kill time. But I was able to do something more up-my-alley when we helped a member break ice off his driveway. Using the tamp-bar doing that brought back memories of cutting out wall trenches in the side of hills, only except for dirt and clay hitting me in the face, it was ice and snow instead.

But man, this week was fantastic for missionary work! We had the extreme blessing of teaching 3 new investigators this week! And we were also able to exceed our goal of other lessons taught. Truly the good Lord has blessed us in this regard. We are doing His work after all. It's incredible to think about just how much He has blessed me in my life with awesome family like you guys! But fun work story for the week; One of our new investigators is named Jessica, she is in her late 30's and has a cousin who's a member. The first lesson we taught with her was super powerful. She told us that she hadn't felt the holy spirit like she did then in years, and when we asked her if she would read the Book of Mormon, she just opened the book, looking into the ceiling, telling us that's how she reads the Bible. And, whaddya know, she opens to Alma 5! Great chapter. So for the next meeting, we brought a member in the ward who in a chaplain in the Army, Brother Wiberg, and he connected perfectly with Jessica! Turns out he is also a counselor too! We began the lesson by reading Alma 5  with her (she hadn't got the chance to yet), and about v. 18 then her son asked us a question about pride. Well, we started to talk about it, and we spent the rest of the lesson just discussing their needs. Chaplain Wiberg did an amazing job connecting how important the Gospel is to them, and he was able to also relate it to Jessica's past religious experiences as well! In the end, Jessica said "I am so glad I opened to Alma 5!" It was awesome, the spirit was so strong! and then we learned that she attended church that Sunday with her cousin in a different ward! 

God is Good! Fun fact about Bro. Wiberg I learned is that he served his mission in Milan. How cool is that! 

That was the pinnacle of the week. The rest of the week was spent going about our business. I learned that you could buy Cruchwraps at Taco Bell for only $1.08, so we are staying away from that place for the sake of health. Along the lines of street contacting some people, we ran into a couple of thug-like folks walking down the street, in an attempt to street contact them, they just kept walking one went off on a prepared speech on why he doesn't need Jesus. Sad, but I thought that was pretty funny. Good ole' Yakima!

And on a chronologically final note, the boilers at the church broke down Saturday night. So we arrive at church Sunday morning for ward council, and it's 48 Fahrenheit in the chapel. So bishop Oplinger reversed the schedule and we had Priesthood first, and when the boilers showed no signs of fixing, we just decided to bless and pass the sacrament during second hour when everyone's in either one room or the other. Goes to show how helpful the intercom system is. Still, despite cutting church an hour short, we still managed to make do. And we taught a lesson to the kids we have on-date afterwards. Awesome!

Yeah, that was the week pretty much. I would argue the best week of the mission so far. I can already tell 2016 is going to be an amazing year! We just need to make it that! I love to hear from all of you guys back home, and I know that this is the Lord's work we are involved in. Stay tenacious, and He will bless us beyond any of our reason. Love you all and remember to thank God for all that He has blessed you with, no matter how great or small it is!

Love you!