Monday, April 25, 2016

April 25, 2016

Hey Mom!

I'm on time restriction here, so I will make this as short but as detailed as possible. But yes, I know Tyler Reese, briefly. Sounds like Makayla's dream of marrying a valley boy is coming true. I'm not going to lie that threw me a curve ball to hear she's engaged already. What about my good cousin Maddie? Is she looking around yet?

Mason is getting married too eh? Wow, people moving on in the family. That was odd to hear. But at the same time I feel very happy for him too!

Geeze, seems like the world is spinning so quickly back home. Out here, the work progresses. Remember the guy who pulled us over and asked for a pamphlet? We had a lesson with him and his wife that went incredibly well! We were able to help answer their questions and in the end they'd say that they'd read the Book of Mormon to know if it was true. In fact, Alva (that's his name, his wife is Bertha) would say he'd be baptized if he came to know it was true! Go Humanity!

We also had an amazing lesson with a younger couple named Jason and Eliana. She has a million questions, but she's asking them so she can learn more and find answers. We got to meet with them twice and they also committed to start reading the Book of Mormon as well to know of it's truth. I'm certain they'll come to know themselves!

Did a good move-in. One of the members enlisted our help in moving a friend of his brother-in-laws into town. She was extremely grateful for that. She had an average-size moving truck unpacked into a single-wide trailer,  so there was a lot of taken-room when we were through. We asked if the ward would like to come back and help her organize, and she said that she would love that! So we brought it up on Sunday, and we should be getting around to help her out as well.

In other news, got a voter-information pamphlet this week in the mail. It wasn't too shocking to see how it was written. You could tell that a lot of the background information written in 1st person by the candidate was written by political scientists instead. Shocker there. Kaische seemed about the only competent one there. Meh. That's not our concern as of right now.

 With regards to P90X, I was asking if it would be alright to send the original. But Elder Myers got them in the mail yesterday, so we're actually all good on that. Thanks anyway!

Sounds like you guys have been doing a lot of travel! Glad to hear everyone's been staying safe despite it., Anyway, take care, I'll actually be writing more on Thursday hopefully, that's when our temple trip is. It's going to be so amazing! I love the spirit the House of the Lord brings. You can't really find that sense of humility and peace anywhere else.

Anyway, love you all!

Elder Camit

April 18, 2016

Hey Mom!                                                                                   April 18, 2016

This week:
Elder Painter, puzzle building, absentee voting, speaking Japanese, church tours, and baptismal invites!

Hm. Misty is still alive eh? I'll be. I don't know what the life expectancy of an average donkey is, but I had a hunch that she would still be at it. Moving into Alton back in 2008 was an odd time for me, the culture shock was real coming from Denver. Misty was one of the few things I could relate to simply because of my feelings for Winnie the Pooh animals. Of course now I know better. Don't get me wrong, I'm not terribly sentimental as you know, but that donkey does help me call back on those inner feelings that got me through that rough time. 

And....dangit, I was sentimental right there. Nuts. 

Anyway, Ephrata has been getting a lot of sunshine recently. My new companion is named Elder Painter and he is from Springville, UT. Yeah, I asked vaguely if he just so happened to know Daniel and Hannah, and that was a negative. Still, he's into hunting, fishing, out-doorsy stuff and the occasional video game. So I relate to him decently well!

But as you can guess, transfer days were odd. At first it consisted of me and Elder Myers, one of the ZL's who house with us, talking story and building a puzzle. A 500-piece puzzle of late 19th century Paris to be more precise. I was...surprised to see myself getting really involved with it. It made me think about all the video-gaming time I did back in Vegas. Gave me a moment to pause and consider the more simpler ways one can spend quality time. I'll probably still make some game time back home. But I also will probably get into writing, building puzzles, and maybe even baking bread with you, dear mother! Heh, I'm almost tempted to take the jerky door-to-door simply because I feel like we do that a decent amount out here.

Oh, and before I forget, we are allowed to do absentee voting. So I don't know what exactly how that works but I believe you guys send me a voting packet of some sort. If I'm honest though, from what little I've heard of the campaign so far, I'm not too certain where to cast my vote. While the primaries aren't still for another 7 months, here's my predicament: As far as I feel like I could be concerned, I got rich, rude, ugly hair man playing red, or straight up stereotypical liberal feminism on PMS rage playing blue,  and I don't know what the 3rd party is like at all.

Now I'm not too certain where Mckay is right now, but I could really go for some detailed discussion ‘cause he's the only fella-my-age I ever met who actually does research that offers both sides of the discussion. But because he's like that, I also wouldn't be too surprised if the government just sent him to the front hoping to write him off! Because if they did, they are going to fail. That guy could fight a horde of aliens with one hand tied behind his back, the other slapping fools around, or something! By the way, could you ask Sis. Curriden where he's at right now? Haven't heard from him in a while because of school.

Fortunately, politics aren't a Celestial topic. On the other hand, recently I came in possession of a book called "An introduction to Modern Japanese" and I have been reading it on and off. There are two members in the ward that served in Japan, so I get quality checks from them. Fun little past time!

We also gave Emily a church tour this past week! It was truly incredible, the spirit that was felt. We took some time to ponder in the chapel, and the baptismal font had a very special feeling to it.

We also got to give a soft baptismal invitation to one of our investigators, and she said that she would once she came to know that the Book of Mormon is true (by the is)! I really love it out here, and while it is a little hard missing all the cool things going on back home, I truly am coming to see myself in a more detailed way just how blessed we as children of God are. He's provided a way back to Him through the atonement of His Son,  and we will always be able to return to Him as long as we follow the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It's more than simple confession. It's lifestyle, a willingness to change and improve in ways that may not seem comfortable at first, but are worth it. It's standing up for yourself and others, just like Christ would. We can't judge, but we can choose and serve. 

And right now, I choose to serve. We find our way back to Him not alone, but with those who we helped out along the way back to Him. And because of awesome folks like you and Dad, then we all can return to him, no matter what. 

Anyway, I appreciate all your emails! Also, are you guys still using P90X? Because if not, would it be too much asking if you could send it up? Still, love you guys! Keep up the good work! Through Him we can all make the right decisions!

Love you!

Elder Michael Camit 

Monday, April 11, 2016

April 11, 2016

Hey Mom!

It truly is incredible to think about the power and authority of the Priesthood. The force that holds everything together in place, that power of God, delegated down to His servants who use it worthily for the service of others is remarkable to say the least. 

Still, This week:
Ain't no mountain high enough, a comprehensive-yet-confident voice,  the sauerkraut grenade, and goodbye Elder Allen!

For starters, it's pretty crazy to hear that guys like Jose and Bridger are leaving in July and August. The hilarious thing is that that'll be after my year mark, which is only in 3 months, and I'll find myself on that end of the spectrum. I remember when I was in Vegas mission thinking about Brad Boice, Brigham and Mario and seeing that they all had a good amount of time left. And now that I've hit 9 months, I realize that they'll be home very soon.

Nevertheless, we ran into a lot a verbal adversity this week. I won't go into detail for the sake of respect towards the persons, but safe to say that a lot of questions and accusations were rather rudely shoved into our face. Whenever that comes along, we don't argue, we answer. And usually...that doesn't stop the onslaught. But sometimes I just take a step back and recognize that these are good people who have different opinions and just lack the courtesy to express them in a genuine, productive way. It seems as if the world believes the only way to climb the staircase to heaven is to use their luggage to smash other people back down. Meh. Still, I know that the Lord puts us through those challenges in order to see if we break under anger or simply be patient about it. It's hard to do the latter, but the blessings that follow are as rewarding and as repairing as the damage done!

(But like my friends the Black Eyed Peas once said: Where is the Love?)

And reward and repair He did! We had two miracles (yeah they were) happen this week! For the sake of time, on Friday we were going to tract this one street. Recently Dad and The Captain's teachings about approaching with solutions have re-surfaced, so we said a brief prayer at said street, asking our Father if it was the right place to be. What followed was a feeling of "nothing," so we settled on walking around for a bit.
 In due time, it was time to head back home, and we traveled the blocks back to our apartment. We could've went so many different routes because of the grid system, but followed a path that seemed normal and conventional. 
After talking to a lady in Army fatigues, thanking her for her service, we traveled down the main street back to home, when all of a sudden a black truck pulled up. The driver and his wife asked us if we had pamphlets about our faith they could read. At first we were like "these guys are totally members," but it became evident that these were a couple who wanted to learn more. We talked for a little, they said they had a daughter-in-law who was LDS, and that we could come back anytime to teach them what we believe. And then after that, they went and bought us water and powerade at the concession store along our route back. OOOOHHHHHH SNAP!

Another instance occurred the next day. We stopped at the Stake Center for a quick bathroom break before we headed out, and I had thought of a place we could tract before hand. En-route I got a feeling that was best described as a comprehensive-yet-confident back-seat navigator. Kind of like, "travel the next block, wait no, two more blocks and then turn left."  We did, and while driving down F street, that's what it was, I got a good feeling of tracting there. Stopped, and said a prayer if this was the place. We got a good feeling about it, so we did. Well, one tracted side and a nagging "go to heck!" later, we ran into this one lady named Elizabeth, an elderly lady who invited us in to teach her. She is so prepared to hear the Gospel. OOOOOOHHHHH DOUBLE SNAP!

It's truly incredible to see how the Lord really does put people in our path when we are willing to follow Him and His spirit. We've definitely seen the fruits of that labor, and it's given me a new perspective of street-contacting.

On a more fun note, we were helping this elderly guy clean out his basement that, kid you not, hadn't been cleaned out in 20 years. Yeah, it was gnarly. I was tossing old, obviously expired canned food into a trash box when I noticed one can bulging so bad it would've blown up given a few more years. It was labeled sauerkraut. You know those scenes in movies where people have the bomb and they handle it very, very carefully? Yeah, I didn't chuck that one straight into the box. That experience taught me a lesson about house-keeping.

Oh, and Elder Allen is getting transferred to the rock bottom of the mission. I will be receiving a certain Elder Painter from Springville, Utah. Yeah, I know, perhaps Daniel knows him. 

Well, that's all I got to say. Thanks for all your spiritual insight Mom! I am ever so proud to call you my Mother, because I truly believe I got the best of 'em all!

Love you!
Elder Michael CAmit

Monday, April 4, 2016

April 4, 2016

Hey Mom!

This week:
General Conference. Yeah, I'm not going to lie, that actually sums up the week. 

I am so glad that you guys finally put that coat rack to use. It seems like yesterday that I was asking Kim Cox for rusted horseshoes for the weld project Jeff had us on. Those memories in the wood shop are special to me. Sure, I can't see myself being a carpenter, but I really did like building something that others got to use. After all, we still use that cutting board (or the zombie-killing board as Daniel puts it) that I made in 7th grade for cutting bread right?

So....there's a stray cat at the cabin eh? Well, I guess it's not bad that you guys are being sympathetic to it. When you described it I immediately thought of Bandit. Perhaps it was him resurrected or something. Meh, probably not. Still, cats have a fancy survival skill of making their way across mountains to where they were last welcomed. Hearing it come all the way from Alton was a fun thought.

I can't really way that I know too much of John's story to accurately re-tell it. Sorry. Keep in mind he was already an investigator when I came in and I never got around to personally asking him what his story was. But to answer your question on the Holy Ghost, I can safely say that I still sometimes struggle to heed His promptings, but when I do there is a distinct feeling that speaks to me. I remember when I was in Yakima, Vajner and I had just got back from service and we had the elders who gave us a ride drop us off at our next appointment. It fell through, so we decided to go tracting. As we were walking down the street, I got a feeling like we should go down this one street and knock doors on the north side of it. Beatty and I previously did the south side. Well, few doors in and we run into a young guy named Austin, who let us come back to teach him! I am uncertain as to how Vajner and his new comp. are doing with him now, but that experience was a testimony builder to me with regards as to how the Holy Spirit works. If you get what you think is a spiritual impression, act on it! What's the worst that could happen?

And speaking of Spiritual things, General Conference. Oh mah golly that was spiritual! I definitely felt the spirit all throughout the sessions that we watched. I've always been a fan of President Uchtdorf's talks, and the ones he gave in Priesthood and Sunday morning were absolutely fantastic! I loved how he compared the church in Dresden to our ability to rebuild our lives into something grander even after we get knocked down. Elder Holland's address at the end of the conference was also great insight to me as well. We'll always have to return to the world after out special moments, but that doesn't mean that we have to fear tomorrow. As long as we hold to the spirit we receive, then we can have hope for our future because of the love that God has for us! And of course, President Monson's talks were short, but very uplifting as well! You can tell that despite the fact that his age is taking a toll, the spirit is working with him as he speaks. I must say that the spirit was so strong during the whole thing. Particularly when the choir sang "Come thou Fount of Every Blessing." Safe to say that some tears were shed at that too.

It was a real testimony builder of the restored Gospel, conference was. You can always tell a person by the way that they speak about what things they do. And I can say now that I know that god has a prophet here on Earth because of how much our Father in Heaven loves us to give us His gospel to live by. It definitely was a spiritual highlight watching General conference as a missionary. I felt so much peace and joy afterwards that brought a lot of calm to the qualm of mind that I have sometimes. 

But either way, I hope you get the chance to watch what you missed! It doesn't really matter what faith you are, General Conference will serve as an answer to your questions if you listen for them. Despite the noise of the world, sanctuary still exists, and it is more felt in the word and presence of those called by God to direct His work on the Earth. Yeah, the world may label you as Christian, and then Christendom may label you as Mormon, but God and Jesus Christ forget labels and call you loved. So...what have we to fear? As Paul said "If God be for us, who can be against us?" In a peaceful way of course.

Still, I appreciate the love you send me in the emails. We don't get to much as missionaries with regards to most entertaining things, and I've definitely come to see the value of penned or typed encouragement. Keep up the faith that you guys have! Hope that the season goes well with the cabin, I do miss our cleaning trips we'd make in the summer, but there will be plenty time to do that after I'm done here. And boy, is this an awesome work!

Love you dear Mom!