Monday, March 28, 2016

March 28, 2016

Hey Mom!

Thanks much for the pictures of Ole' Smokey and the Bronco. Sometimes I'm still surprised at how much people seem to love that car. I remember during my week in-between missions Dad and I took the Bronco down to Ashton's for a haircut, and on our way out some Hendertucky-Redneck in a beat-up jeep drove past us yelling out the window "It's Gorgeous! Keep up the Freedom!" Heck, I remember when we first hauled the frame from Cedar down to Vegas and folks at the gas-station in Mesquite were admiring it then. 

But, there will be plenty of time to drive it after the mission. Right now we are stuck with a Chevy Cruze that we share with another set of Elders. Our cars are set up with funny little "tiwi" devices that verbally attack us whenever we do something wrong on the road. 

Anyway, the past week in Ephrata passed generally well. But John was baptized! It was such a phenomenal experience for him. Only a handful of the ward could make it, but the spirit's presence there was fantastic! John's come a long way from his past life, and he truly now has a sincere desire to follow Christ to the end. It's incredible to see what the atonement of Christ is able to do for all who truly desire it. He is there, and He wants us to be happy. But He also wants to be certain that after He blesses us, we would still follow Him. Hence trials and tribulation. We can't control sometimes the down moments of our lives. But we can control how we react to them. And it's through Christ that this response to distress can turn into a change for good. 

That event that you helped with was probably a zone conference. We had one this last week in Moses Lake, which has an incredibly nice climate. There was a lot of spirit there as well, and a lot of commemoration for the Savior's last week on Earth. Truly beautiful, the prophecies and the law that was fulfilled in those final days.

 To my joy/surprise, Elder Beatty was there too, but he was absolutely without strength. I don't know if I ever mentioned that he has a rare kidney disorder that's very serious. I guess the week before it got to a point where a member down in Goldendale brought him up to the mission home. They're sending him home for medical. I was crushed, but at the same time glad for him. It took a lot to take him down, but he'll be alright.

On another experience, we contacted a referral, a couple named Marla and Marty, and were able to teach the Restoration to them! It was great! Additionally we got to meet with Emily with Bishop this past week. She's another investigator, and after teaching the Plan of Salvation, we extended a commitment to be baptized. And after explaining how the Holy Ghost works with regards to conversion, she said that she would once she felt that it was true! All in all, the work is going well. 

I also forgot to mention a fun little detail a few weeks ago. There's a street in our zone where a certain homeless cat follows us around. We call him Tag, like Tag-along. But we didn't see him this week, so he's probably being a gangsta-cat somewhere else.

But anyway, great to hear that Justin's going to Cali! That'll be a culture shock for him. When's he leaving at? It's great to see all the friends I know head off on their missions as well. Because it truly is one of the most evolving experiences you can feel, ever. And I know that feeling of rising above the natural man comes because of the Power of God that comes to those who truly dedicate themselves to his service. 

Still, where would I be without you Mom? I still ask that sometimes. Know that I love all of you and I really appreciate you guys's prayers. Always remember to be charitable!

Love you all!

P.S. got some pics from the baptism, along with my final pic with Elder Beatty. I don't think I need anything too soon. But I'll let you know if anything does come up. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

March 21, 2016

Hey Mom!

Glad to hear that you and Brooke were able to attend the Front Sight class. It is a really good skill to carry around with you. I don't know if ever told you that we carried pepper spray in Yakima, but I would've felt more comfortable carrying a .40 or .45 just because I was more used to it.

My birthday went pretty well! We had to move John's baptism back a week due to the time it would take for he and Ashley to obtain a marriage license, but he is still an awesome guy who has such a sincere desire to learn more and come unto Christ. But the 19th was pretty much a normal proselyting day for me and Elder Allen. But during it, we were driving around, both of our plans fallen through, when we found ourselves parked in front of  a member's home brainstorming where to go from there. While we were doing that, Bro. Belnap, the member who lives there, came out and told us his Dad, who also lives there, just had a stroke and needed a blessing. His oil vile had frozen over, so we happened to be at the right place at the right time. I anointed and he sealed the blessing, right as the EMT's arrived.

Another fun thing that happened was when we were with the Elder's quorum president visiting this one less active couple. The last time we visited was rough because they were struggling to have a baby or several years with no success. Well when we got there that night, they told us she was pregnant! And the husband now, because of it, is making a serious effort to get off smoking and drinking too! We called up Bishop right then and there to tell him the news, and he was over 10 mins. later! It was a wonderful visit, and in the end we gave them both blessings that it would all pan out well.

We also got to teach a new gal named Emily, who is super solid and excited to read the Book of Mormon; shake the hand of someone born without a right index finger (a less active guy super interested in coming back to church), and also meet another great part member  family who are super friendly as well!

Go humanity! (Don't get me wrong, God is awesome too!)

The rest of my birthday panned out normal. Went out for lunch and dinner. That's really it. But Elder Myer's, one of the ZL's received a package from home with two pazookies earlier that week. So they stuck a red crayon in the top, lit it, and presented it to me as a "cake" so to speak. Mission life. Still, it was good pazookie too! You and Dad's package came in the mail that night. Appreciate the ties and socks! And the jerky too! Every time I see that stuff it brings back the good ole' days of contraband that I think only Paul and I would understand. Mckay practically summed up the jerky business with one line, "Mike, this is me literally throwing my college fund at you..."

 Anyway, how's the rest of the family and ward doing? It's amazing to see everyone getting shipped out now if not soon! I often look back and realize how early I left after graduation, but I am so glad that I did. Granted of course had I not I would've been able to hit the nickle-cade in Povo with Mckay, but there will be a time for that later! 

If you're looking for great insight on the Savior's life and atonement, I recommend Jesus the Christ, by Elder Talmage. It's such an inspiring book. Other than that Mom, keep up the amazing work you guys are doing back home. 9 months is going to hit pretty quickly, but there is so much more that needs to be done out here. Still, I'll go where the good Lord needs me to go!

Love you,

Monday, March 14, 2016

March 14, 2016

Hey Mom!

This week:
Teaching in the rain, approach of solutions, of intelligent conversations and practical realizations, custom guitars, stake conference, and other shenanigans!

Hmm. Well, glad to hear that you didn't burn the field or the cabin down. It's bad enough whenever a wildfire starts, but I can't imagine living it down if it were known that it was we who did it. Still, glad to hear that Dad saved the day! Be careful of Murphy, his law is the definition of dastardly. 

Fortunately, Washington hasn't caught on fire like it did last Summer. If you recall, I was serving in Henderson when it happened, but Beatty told me that the smoke was bricks thick when it was happening. Thankfully, the rain and the snow that's happened so far has definitely helped.

Speaking of rain, it down-poured, thrice this week. And consequently, some sections of the road were covered with worm jerky. least they were jerky when we got walking in the day. Anyway, during one of these downpours at night we got a text message from a former investigator informing us that her grandfather just died. Came to find out later that we had been to her grand-dad's home to teach her uncle, who had been helping him. Anyway, she was really sad about the tragedy, so we met with her the next night at her grand dad's placed with a member. Since there seems to be a lot of tension between her and uncle, we more or less helped her move some stuff from downstairs to a car out back. After that we shared a comforting message about life after death with her while the rain (which hadn't stopped from the previous night) completely drenched us. I had taken the water-proof layer to my coat earlier, but my Newsie hat got soaked. Still, it felt really good to help her out. 

On a more positive note, we were sitting in our car Thursday after a good 45 mins of fruitless tracting. We decided that there was something more productive to do. Gave it some thought, and we figured we could try by this one gal who was a solid potential who we never had much luck meeting before. We prayed to know if it was the right thing to do, and I felt immediately good about it. Drove out there, and what do you know? We get to meet with her! And schedule an appointment to come back as well. Her name is Emily, and she seemed very happy to meet with us. 

We also had dinner with an older couple in the ward named the Nielsons. When I first met them, I had a hard time connecting with them. But when we were in their home, I noticed a series of Issac Asimov books on their book case. I got talking to Bro. Nielson about Foundation, one of the books I read Senior Year. After discussing Asimov novels a little bit, and a little of Dune as well, I decided to try and sound intelligent and gave him my thesis that it Foundation was all about the effects of post-war cultural assimilation. He responded "Well, that's one way to look at it. More or less it was about what we do with technology and how we use it too." That one hit me like a brick wall. I remember very distinctly failing an essay from Ms. Lewis about Foundation's lesson, and it was at that moment I realized why. The most generic lesson in Sci-fi literature, and I over thought it so much that it landed me a 23/45ish or something like that.

Yeah, I never told you guys I failed that one. Surprise!

We also had dinner with a wonderful older couple named the Soritos. Sis. Sorito reminded me so much of you, Mom. She even had a son named Michael coming home from his mission in 9 weeks! She also loved horses too.

Also ran into a super cool guy named David who showed us back to his work shop. Guy makes custom guitars for hobby! The people we meet out here right?

Stake conference also occurred, and there were a lot of talks on family preparation, family history and temple work, and also strengthening the youth as well. Speaking of youth, I sat for the very first time in my life the other day at the "adult" dinner table. I'm not going to lie, I really miss the youth table. 

Anyway, thanks for the email!  I'll probably celebrate my 19th birthday by going for a bowl of won-ton soup at the local oriental restaurant, Mommy Yum-Yum's. It's actually pretty good! I love it here in Ephrata, but it will still take some time to get over the love I had for Yakima, but time rolls onward and the Gospel goes forward. And therefore we strive to become more divine each day of our lives!

Love you dear Mother!

 Elder Michael Camit

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

March 7, 2016

Hey Mom!

I really liked the picture you sent! It was nice to see everyone smiling and all that. I still find it odd to think about home back in Vegas just because of the other-worldliness that the city offers in comparison to the quite Kanab-like feel of Ephrata. 

Anyway, this week:
On date for the 19th, deeper studies, handing the helm to the spirit, and the night of the night-crawlers!

But the work this week had definite improvement over the last week. Elder Allen and I thought so, and so we conclude it that. We did do a whole lot of finding though. I'll probably owe Elder Beatty for teaching me on how to get over talking to people in a significant way, because it's definitely helped. The Spanish tid-bits assist us as well. But this week we had a total of 31 street contacts, which is roughly better than the average 12 that Elder Allen told me we got before I came in.

The members still treat us awesome though! Bishop had us over for dinner Monday and he invited our most solid investigator, John, for it. John is co-habitating with his Girl friend, Ashley, she being a member. He's got such a strong spirit about him, and he has a sincere and earnest desire to do more to come unto Christ. We met with him later on during the week at his home. He had talked to Bishop and long story short, they're working on their marriage docs as of this week. OOOHHHH SNAP! And to add more to it, we set him on date for the 19th. OOOHHHHH DOUBLE SNAP! It's great because even though I've only been here two weeks now, I feel like I've already connected well enough with John and Ashely to lend a hand to this part of their eternal progression.

Go humanity!

I've also started to keep a study journal. Preach my Gospel recommends it, so I picked up one of those seminary-issue study journals from Elder Allen. It definitely helps, even though I'm not the best at it. Still, I've come to make a few deeper finds with regards to the scriptures. I'll share an insight or two later.

We also had a neat experience going door to door. We hit another one of those "nothing's working" moments. So we decided the best thing we could do was go off the spirit and start walking. When we approached an intersection, we usually turned whichever way it felt would be best, and we did. At one point we were standing in the middle of an intersection, and before I could answer which way to turn, I found myself turning left almost automatically. Spirit's pretty cool! Well, the first door we tracted into was a gentlemen by the name of Joseph who is going through some hard times with his grandson. We talked to him, and we found out that we had caught him on his one day off in the past long while. We gave him a Book of Mormon and testified that it helped build and rebuild our families. He accepted it, and while we may never see him again due to his schedule, we definitely felt that a good seed had been sown in good ground.

On a more fun note, it rained real hard a few nights back, and the next day the ground was covered in dry worms. If I was uncle Gus, chances are I would've gathered them up for bait. But even then, they were more like worm jerky by the time we got out.

Ok, maybe that wasn't the best note to end on, but it was a fun experience. I guess. Anyway, love you all! I really appreciate the testimony that you sent Mom, and if there's anyone else reading this I'm just going to come out and say how much I love my dear Mother. Because I do!

Anyway, love you!