Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May 30, 2016

Hey Mom!                                                                                           June 30, 2016

Well, there certainly is a duty we carry as children of God to help others out. We among others are that light on a hill, and we need to give that same light to all that are in the house.

We definitely saw an increase in added blessings from God this past week than last one. Of course, there's no such thing as wasted effort in the Lord's kingdom! For starters, Alva and Bev came to church! We had really been trying to encourage them to come, and on Thursday we talked with them and asked if they would mind doing a church tour first. They accepted, and so the next evening we got the relief society president and her husband to come with us for that. They were outstanding! Alva and Bev loved it as well, they were very appreciative. And Lo and behold, they were there on Sunday! They were only able to be there for Sacrament meeting, but Bev loved the fact that the children were allowed to be in the chapel during the meeting. I forgot to mention, but before that, Alva expressed to us that he wanted to be baptized, and they are continuing to be an outstanding couple!

Go humanity!

To make it better for them, we had an RM homecoming yesterday. It was funny though, later on during 3rd hour, we were talking to the Dutchers, who were sitting in front of them. Bev told us that she really loved the boys who sat in front of her, and that shocked Sis. Dutcher quite a bit, since her sons could be quite rambunctious at times. She was very proud of them for setting that example.

The rest of last week was done in majority, actually, doing service. Of course, there was a good amount of proselyting and door-knocking (which had a good impact as well!), but we spent a good amount of time helping folks out. Matter of fact, we helped the same Dutchers rip some of their old roofing off. Well, I guess we should say we de-constructed the tar-paper/shingle lining they rolled off the roof. According to mission health code we can't climb more than 3 pegs on a ladder. Yeah, I know. I'd like to meet the missionary whose incompetence made that rule sometime.

One fun story, we were tracting down in the trailer parks again, and I noticed that someone had an old Bronco parked in their yard. Of course I had to knock it. My trying to start a conversation with them about my Bronco project didn't avail anything. Matter of fact, I think they were more obliged to closing the door as soon as I talked about something other than the Gospel. Ironic! I just wanted to talk cars, but ok...

Also coined a new fun term! Meowled: v. d;getting surrounded by cats and having the fear of getting mauled by them. I'll explain the origin of that one later...

But you know, other than that, nothing else has happened much. I guess it was a good, slower week. Being a District Leader was not as hard as I feared it would be. Kind of feels like my AS-III year again. But I appreciate you prayers anyway! I love you guys and hope that you can have the best for your endeavors. 

I would love to talk to you more, but we are bingo on time, but I love you all! Very, very much!

Elder Camit

I believe Michael took a picture of this plaque in someone's home.  It is a poem that we used to recite together when the task at hand seemed hard, tedious, or just boring.  I'm glad that he remembers it!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

May 23, 2016

So the thought hit me yesterday. I was looking at my Cadet staff picture a few days back, and realized that banquet was going to be the next night. That hit me like a brick wall. That staff picture is now a year and few days old. When I met with Mckay before reporting to the MTC, he told me that we and only 3 others of that staff were out of Vegas. I wonder where they are now?

What hit me even more was that after this transfer, which just began, I would've been out for a year. SAAAAaaaaaAAAYYYYyy WHAAAAAATTTT? Of course, the feeling will be more relevant in 6 weeks. Also, speaking of transfer conditions, Elder Painter and I are staying in Ephrata. And....I've been called to be a District Leader. In the brief job description that Pres. Lewis gave me over the phone, it sounds like the same as being a Flight Commander back at Palo. Looking forward to it! 

Matter of fact, out of the 10 of us in the District, 6 are getting transferred. However we will be receiving a certain Hermana (Spanish for sister) Juarez, who I think is from Redrock stake, the last time I remembered. So, it'll be interesting to see what happens!

In terms of what happened this week, let's just say that things were...emotional. For one, Jason, Eliana, and Joe dropped us. It hurt, a lot. Particularly since they did it by text message. Hopefully we can visit them this week just to make sure that that's what they really want, and if so, to end with a good note. The last thing I want is to seem like I was friends just for the sake of conversion. Because that is arguably one of the last things Christ would do. Some of the recipients of His miracles weren't interested in learning more, but He didn't criticize them for it. He did it all out of love, a love that I wish I could emulate.

We also ran into a couple of ...ahem, not-as-interested people. We went on exchanges Weds. and I experienced what it was like for the elders on the other side of main street. By the time we came back for lunch we had already had a Born-Again care-taker calmly (who took things as literally as the Pharisees did) tell us why we should leave our church. Testifying didn't really get anywhere. Our offering to do service for her ticked her off even more, and asking if she knew anyone else who could use help also ticked her off. She couldn't "imagine sending Mormons to anybody" for service. 
It took a long time to brush that last part off (particularly because of my background with KHAS) . But honestly, if I gave into a lesser man, I would've said that was discrimination. But who am I to judge? She was caring for a 101 year old lady, and I bet there was a lot on her mind. She had strong faith! And I liked that about her. We are all imperfect, and I pray that maybe one day she will be able to find peace. Who knows? Sometimes testifying went a loooong way.

There was still much good to report upon! Elder Painter and Oliverson  (I mentioned we were on exchanges) had an outstanding lesson with Alva and Bev. They are progressing so well! The Lord has such a great way to express love to his children. The memory of them finding us last transfer is still a miracle to me. Because it was. Sometimes reading Sis. Woods emails you send me I feel like I could be having so many miracles as well. But the beautiful thing about miracles sometimes is that you don't really notice them until later! They are all around us. The rocks, the trees, the grass, the breeze...As Alma said, "all denote there is a God" and miracles are a direct expression of His love!

We are also meeting with a gal named Tandra, a single mother who we regularly work with down at the thrift store. She has such loving faith, and a strong disposition to do good. Whenever we visit, she is so happy because she feels the spirit teach her heart peace. Recently a close friend, Bishop Pugh's mom actually, passed. And she told us how much she appreciates our message, and also our love and service. We also met with another lady named Cori, who kindly lets us visit. A question she had about Celestial inheritance led to a discussion of the Plan of Salvation, which she took really well! And we also met with another new guy by the name of Charlie, and while teaching him the Restoration, you could see the emotion of the spirit in his him. The members here are a wonderful bunch! In fact, one of their elders is coming home Wednesday! His dad, Bro. Cobb offered to give us a ride back after church and he seemed so ecstatic! I can't even imagine that part of the mission yet. There's still so much that needs to be done and accomplished!

Yep, God is good!

But in other places I find myself thinking about home. Of course, not to interfere with missionary mindset. I wanted to ask you to perhaps move the wii up the ranch as a replacement to the gamecube. I had a good run with that, and now I think it would be nice to retire it to a place where it'll still be used. Can't wait to hear how the rental season is going! Know that I love you Mom. I still ask myself sometimes where'd I be without you? I appreciate all you guys have done for me and my brothers and sister. I'll keep hitting it hard out here and you guys can still enjoy the blessings of our Heavenly Father back home!

Love you!

Monday, May 16, 2016

May 16, 2016

Hey Mom!                                                                                           May 16, 2016

This week:
Washington Rednecks, the most interesting day in the mission, getting the hang of teach-to-needs, and the most gloomiest day in the mission!

Wow, I would've suspected you and Dad to maybe have slowed down after becoming an official empty-nester. Seems like you guys have a whole bunch of other things to attend to anyway, but I guess that's good! One of the things I've come to learn is that if it wasn't for work time, we'd forget the value of quiet time!

Speaking of work time, we expanded our tracting efforts this past few weeks. Ephrata isn't necessarily a metropolis if you know what I mean. So on days we had the car we headed out to the more rural communities and side-streets off the highway to knock on doors. According to RM's who served rural, proselytizers in general aren't seen there, so it's a good place to go! 

Well, after getting our of the car and stepping in a patch of bullhead thorns, we began knocking. I'm not going to lie, the run-down shacks and single-wide trailers surrounded by overgrown cotton wood thees reminded me of something Paul probably saw/endured on his mission. My main concern was probably not getting shot. Much to my surprise/relief, everyone there was pretty nice! Sometimes you throw formality out the window just talking normal. Only one family flat-out turned us down (they told us off from their lawn/field as we approached the fence), but other than that it was pretty nice!

Anyway, we found ourselves doing it again to not much luck a few days later. That's when Elder Painter got the impression to drive back to town and tract a series of town homes we hadn't hit before. After saying a prayer to ask if it's what we needed to do, we drove back down to Ephrata. And....things got interesting after that. Turns out, that impression was valid! We ran into a younger guy named Joe who's an auto-mechanic. Set a return appointment, and it was pretty good! After that though, it got super weird. Let's just say we looted the variety bin when it came to the types of people we got around talking too. It was all pinnacled in a conversation we had down in a sketchy trailer park with a young couple. The conversation was going well until her husband stepped out and, after waiting a few lines, started talking to us about the spiritual effects of weed w/o getting high. Yeah...I know.  They talked to us about a half-hour about that subject, and to summarize it, they basically wanted us to know that you could churn cannabis with butter or salad for a more "healthy alternative."

Words do not describe how hilarious it was listening to that one. The guy'd obviously ate some "butter" or something before he came out.

Well, on a more spiritual need of things, we got to meet a less active named Steve on Saturday. The lights aren't all on upstairs for him (a result of a rougher past), but he's got a sincere heart and a desire to serve others. We talked to him about the atonement and how that helps us figure out, and then the conversation turned towards keeping the Sabbath day holy. It was a concern with him that he had previously told us about. In short, we helped him recognize that he could appreciate church and the sacrament more if we relied on the atonement to help us overcome our past. We then explained the repentance process and let him know we'd be there to help him out no matter what.

And whaddya know? He was at church the next day!

On Friday we saw Joe. We eventually got to see him a few days later on for a great Restoration lesson. Said he'd be baptized when we came to know the Book of Mormon was true! Go humanity!

And to cap it all off, yesterday we walked around in the gloomiest weather I think I've ever been in. Even the dogs that regularly bark at us were asleep on the door step. Kind of felt like Eeyore to a certain extent. No sun, clouds, a light dirzzle, and dead silence.

But it's been a great week, and your emails always make it better Mom! We had an amazing lesson with Alva and Bev, and we could tell they were truly devoted to learning more about the gospel. But the work rolls forward in the town of Ephrata. God is so good to us that sometimes we may not notice. But when we slow down to realize all He's done for us, then we truly begin to appreciate all that life has for us.

Love you!

Elder Michael Camit 

Monday, May 2, 2016

May 2, 2016

Hey and Hello Dearest Mother!                                                                    May 2, 2016

To answer your question right off the bat, I will be calling a day before mother's day to coordinate a time to skype. It's crazy to think that it's Mother's day already. Feels like yesterday was Christmas the last blessed time I had to talk to you all!  It's funny because on Mother's day the ward is having a potluck at the local pizza joint (who's a member and gives discounts to missionaries), so it'll be a grand ole' day!

This week:
Member power to the max!, Temple trip, a step back to civilization, Sushi and mercantile stores, and another hole of childhood filled! 

To start on a work perspective, we had a lot of members out with us for lessons this week, which is optimal. Matter of fact, we surpassed our goal for MP lessons. And they were all outstanding lessons at that! One sticks out to mind: we were going to go and teach Alva and Bev (the folks who pulled over next to us) when our split fell through. So we had to quickly come up with someone else we could invite in the next hour. So we called up a young man in the ward named Matt Sortomme. He and his twin brother, Mike, just got back from their missions in Canada. Because of this recent homecoming, we knew he would probably understand our plight, and sure enough not 2 sentences into the phone call he already knew why we were calling him. We were able to teach Alva the Plan of Salvation, and it went so perfectly! He's got a sincere desire to change his life around, and dang, it's great being able to do that along with Him!

And that's just to name one! We got to see Elizabeth again. We went with a certain rock-hound in the ward named Bro. Payne. and she told us that even though she can't see very well, she doesn't have to read far in the Book of Mormon to know that it is true. The spirit has an incredible way of bridging the gaps that our physical bodies have. It was a wonderful lesson as well. She's moving to another town-ship in our area and we are maintaining contact with her still!

We also did a church tour with a certain Jason and Eliana Hatmaker. The Sisters found and referred them to us. Church tours are a little different than the campus tours I used to give back in staff, but we make do! It was great, taking some time to ponder in the chapel and feeling the spirit we know that they felt.

And then there was the temple. Oh. Mah. Golly. I felt like I was in Heaven during that. I love sitting in those holy edifices where the Spirit of God is so present, and I love receiving the answers to life's questions there as well. I truly gained a testimony of the divinity of those sacred houses, because we can feel the spirit anywhere, and in a place that is the literal house of the Lord we can even more feel of His presence there.

Yeah, it was an outstanding week in spiritual things. But it was also phenomenal in other ways as well! It's funny because the temple is down in Tri-cities WA. outside the mission. Bishop took us down, and while driving through, it felt real weird because of the availability of everything there. Yakima is our largest city in the mission. So it was kind of a shocker to see other super-stores other than Wal-mart around. Afterward, Bishop took us out to Sushi, and it was divine sushi. A real throw back to the time we spent in HI before I came out.

And to top it all off, on the way back, we stopped at a mercantile store off the freeway where we got some pretty dang good milkshakes. As we walked in I wasn't expecting much, until I saw that the place has an entire open display of all sorts of fine chocolates. It was pretty straight-forward. Wear a glove and put whatever you want into a box. I...guess you could say I was feeling a little giddy at that, so I loaded up a box of chocolate without really thinking about anything else. Safe to say I finally got to fulfill the childhood fantasy of running free through a candy store. That is, until they rang me up, because it was about $24 worth of chocolate I had collected. I used my personal funds. Shoutout to all the guys who bought jerky from me to help me pay for my occasional incompetence. 

But hey, that was good chocolate!

Anyway, that's about my week. I guess I will be vocally reporting on the work this Sunday. Thanks for all you guys did to help prepare me for the awesome/grueling/worth it task of being a missionary. It truly is the greatest thing I have done and probably ever will do! 

Love you!