Tuesday, June 28, 2016

June 27, 2016

Hey Mom!                                                                                           June 27, 2016

This week:
(Call Daniel for the story), a good sign of work, service-days & service-days, and good ole' "wait, what?" moments

For starters, get this: So in the Agriculturally inclined county of Grant County Washington, there is a town called George. Size wise, I would rank it up with Panguitch, or maybe Hatch. But there is nonetheless a town called George, Washington. So, obviously any 4th July activities will take place there. We haven't heard much about it. Evidently there's a giant cherry pie involved, and Bro. Adams from the ward being one of the main pyro-Technics for fireworks (and also dressings up like George Washington in George, Washington).

Now with regards to the first item mentioned in the week-in-words, let's just say that I'll email Daniel the story. It's a story worth telling nothing wrong with it, but I don't think it would seem very, ahem...professional to put on the blog.

However, we had a pretty good amount of work this past week. At one point we had to split up to cover all our work at once, which was a good sign of the work load here. Alva and Bev are doing awesome as ever before! Their spirits are so strong and they've seen how the Gospel has helped them now. He's asked me if I would baptize him. This will be the first time I've ever done the ordinance itself, so I'm feeling really honored to do so. That spirit will be amazing.

On Saturday, things worked. No really, things actually worked. For once, it all, just, worked! 

Well, sorta, I guess. We started off with Helping a member of the ward move, which was uneventful but helpful. As we were changing back to Prose at our apartment, the phone rang and Sis. Whetstone, the primary leader, told us she had a LA friend whose kids wanted to take the discussions. OOOOHHHHHH SNAP! Well, actually it was more like a "wait, what?" moment, but the spirit was the same. Later on that day we helped the  Hermanas and ZL's with an investigators garden. I hauled pulled weeds through a run-down garage to a chicken coop, which brought back memories. And after that we went over to the Sortommes to help them pick cherries. It was there that I ate a cherry right off a tree for the first time in my life. I'll put that on the "eaten right off of a tree" list for the mission. And then after that we had dinner, followed by a couple of lessons, and then the day was over.

It never runs that efficiently as that. But I must say it was a fun day!

Yeah, things went decently well for the week. Sorry to say I never was able to recall in precise detail when I type these things, but I hope that it will work out well with you guys back in Vegas. I can't recall any particular thing I would like in a year-mark package. Heh, maybe a picture album of my life I could show people should they inquire about my past life. I think that would be my only request.

Until then, thanks for all the support! Ephrata is really picking up now, and it will continue too! Nevertheless, keeping being awesome and know that I love you!


Monday, June 20, 2016

June 20, 2016

Hey Mom!

This week:
The Andersen connection, getting Members out, half-decent talking, The first district council,  and the combine parade!

In terms of our P-day schedule, today we are going to a member in Quincy's home. I...don't know what he does, but evidently it involves orchards, and evidently he's very successful at it. The Yaetes, that was their name. They're super nice, and they invite us over sometimes for fun and food!

But before I forget, you gotta tell Paul this: So there's an Elder named Andersen in our district. He's one of the Zone leaders, and his brother served in the Macon Georgia mission from 02 to 04. And...you guessed it, sorta, they served together in a tri-panionship for a very brief time. He tells me his brother and Paul were with this one odd-ball of an elder who asked them "what is your favorite water type?" Paul's answer; "tap?"

To double-tap the question of whether or not that was Paul, Elder Andersen mentioned that after his brother left he looked up Paul on Facebook and made the comment that he must've thrown all his shirts away because most of Paul's pictures are him...with his shirt off! Yep, that's him alright.

But on a more current field of view, we spent a concentrated effort of scheduling member-present lessons beforehand. And, man, it worked like clockwork doing it that way! We got 7 of them this past week, out of a goal of 6. Go Humanity! And all of those (well, minus one I suppose), went incredible. Zuamy is still being just a little apprehensive, but she's opening up the more we get to talk to her. And of course, Alva and Bev are doing outstanding. We got to take them to the baptism of Saul Gamboa for the Hermanas this past week, and although it was in Spanish, they really enjoyed it.  Heh, Alva asked me if the jump-suits come in larger sizes than the one Saul was wearing even.

After that we pulled them aside and discussed their date with them. We have them now for the 2nd, that way they can both be keeping the Word of Wisdom and therefore be baptized together. It broke our heart to move the date, and Alva looked a little bummed as well, but they understood. They came to church the next day too! And John and Ashley came there too. Yay! The spirit is changing them so much! 

We've also been improving our Street-contact approaches. Simply talking to people is doing the trick. Matter of fact that was one of the thing Elder Holland suggested in Preach My Gospel, eventually something in conversation gets turned to the Gospel. And it does! It really does! Usually when a good conversation ensure just about anything can be tied back to the word. A lot of good experiences have come from it. One this week came when we talked to one of our neighbors. We were able to talk to her for a good time and in the end, she was alright with the sisters coming to teach her (ironically, we live in another ward's area). Sister Holmes and Enman reported back to us that they seemed solid when they went by to visit them!

I also, got to conduct my first district council this past week, and it went well too! Kind of like a briefing for an hour-and-a-half. Talked a lot about lesson fluency, what we could do to be better, role-playing, etc. Got a good amount of positive feedback from it. 

In short, the district did incredibly well this past week. We're really seeing the work pick up in the area here. Pray it all holds together, which it will! 

And to top it all off, a member who lives at the most bottom end of our area had us over for dinner, and while pulling into his driveway, we saw a line of combines starting down the highway. I don't know why this stuck out to me, but it did. I guess it was kind of funny-looking, Grant County for you. Anyhow, thanks for all the love and support. We need it, if it wasn't for the spirit that comes from Christ and the prayers, I don't know how'd we be effective. Still, the mean green tag & tie machine rolls on!

Love you!


You know, I don't really know why, but I felt like I should've sent a brief testimony to you,

But I can safely say that I know that this is Christ's church on the Earth. There's just so much beauty behind the history of the Gospel and so much divinity behind the priesthood and all things that Christ does for us. He's provided a way for us to return to a Celestial level of glory, and we can attain that by living his Gospel, which we now have the awesome opportunity to teach to the folks of the world!

Anyhoo, love you!
Elder Michael Camit

Monday, June 13, 2016

June 13, 2016

Hey Mom!                                                                                                       June 13, 2016

Smokey is still digging in the garden, eh? Well, certain cats don't change too much. Smokes is kind of in that stage of life where he emulates what appears to be the mindset of an old man mixed with the actions of a cat. He is getting up there, I'll tell you that much. Doesn't seem like too long ago that we brought him and Bandit up from the Woods' place in Alton. 

We had a lot of different things happen to us this past week. Fortunately most of it was good and bearable, but there was the swallow of not-so-good as well. Still, always better to report on the good right? All about attitude (or as we say occasionally out here, "tracttitude")!

For starters, we were on exchanges last week with a certain Elder Krogue, one of the Zone Leaders. We go and contact this referral named Kella, and she actually knew him from Moses Lake a year back. Whaddya know? A few days later we tract into a lady named Brenda in Lake View. Recently I've made it a point to try and simply initiate a general conversation with people just for the sake of friendship. Get talking to her about a lot of things, and although it was just a little bit awkward at first, she eventually opened up! Turns out missionaries have visited with her before way back when, and she recently wanted to train to be a religious teacher as well. In all sincerity, she said we could come back. Yeah!

On Thursday we got to go to Wenatchee for Zone Conference. It...felt nice to travel outside Ephrata for the first time in about a month or so. Wenatchee is a beautiful town. I recommend looking it up on Google Earth or something because you feel like you are stepping into a scene from Sound of Music. Elder Daniel A. Johnson of the Seventy spoke to us, putting a lot of emphasis on our divine nature of literal children of God. It was very insightful, because I feel like we grace over that truth a lot. In reality, we should recognize the Celestial truth of that truth! He knows us down to the last detail, and He loves all of His children equally well! When we accept His Gospel, we feel that love in our lives even more and we can see how we can share that with others too!

It was  a good conference it really was! Bishop Pugh drove us there and afterward he treated us to Sushi, which is always incredibly pleasant!

In other teachings, we are now helping Alva along with Tandra to quit smoking. Interestingly enough, missionaries use a 15-step program that was designed by an RM from Dublin for that. Alva took it really well! Part of the teaching process for that one is having them crush their current stash of smokes, which Alva did gladly! Tandra did as well, but for a comic twist to it asked what we would give up for the week that the program lasts for. After some awkward thought, out of the blue Elder Painter said sugar. I was more than happy to try to cut back. Elder Painter struggles with it a little more. He accidentally bought some blue lemonade the next day and had to stick it in the fridge after I reminded him. It felt pretty good doing that.

On a more slightly comic note, we tracted into this one gal named Brittney. First thing that came to mind when she answered the door was the all-to-evident smell of weed coming from inside. That,  along with the presence of about five cats (one of whom was a Russian grey named Smokey). Talked to her anyway, and we actually had a lot in common in terms of video games. Once again, simply be yourself in your talking! We were even to relate it back to the gospel, and she said she'd be comfortable with learning more about it! We'll see how that one goes.

All in all, it was a pretty good week! Minus a certain youth and his mother who are devout baptists bashing us. But what can you do? I won't complain about them, God has a infinite number of ways he loves us. But it was an outstanding week for the district! With the Lord's help we can make it better. And of course, smiling and whistling goes a long way. Tandra expressed to us one of the reasons we're one of the first pair of elders she actually listened too was because we were simply us when visiting her. And to top the week off, Alva and Bev came to church agian! YAAAYYY!

Anyway, happy Summer vacation! This will the be the 1 1/2 Summer I've spent on the mission. Weather gets hot, but the gospel remains cooler (in a hipster way) than ever before!

Love you all! I'll keep whistling and the spirit will keep directing!


P.S. if you ever give a talk on Sunday, ask the elders beforehand if they have anyone coming. It helps. A LOT.

Monday, June 6, 2016

June 6, 2016

I really loved your insight on Abinadi and Alma. Whenever a missionary feels down and out of it, we can at least turn to him (or Stephen, in that matter) and recognize we're not being burned at the stake for what we preach and teach. Along with that, we never know how much good we actually do! Not only did all of Limhi's people convert to the gospel later on after initial rejection, but from Alma came Alma the Younger, who became the type of missionary caliber that Peter was as well! Thousands were brought to the knowledge of their Savior from He and his buddy’s works.

On that note, I always thought it cool to think what it would look like if Peter and Alma were missionary companions...

So, you ripped out the new counter tops and Harley's wearing what's basically a life-jacket for heat now, eh? Sounds like things are changing around the home. For the better, of course! The heat peaked here this last week as well. Sunday maxed at and around 103, which isn't the hottest I've proselyted in. You'd think that maybe one of these days people would be sympathetic and maybe just let us in for the sake of escaping the sun. Fortunately we have the car for the transfer, so that makes travel more bearable, under the sacrifice of set miles. Meh, we make it work.

Speaking of work, we had a pretty cool miracle this week! We were up in the dirt-roads again close to where a recent convert is. I noticed a street off the highway that I hadn't had much attention to, and I felt like the spirit was nudging us to knock it. So after a little more driving around we did. Parked, said a prayer, felt good, and started hiking. Now I'm not usually the one to expect the "like always," outcome of things, but...like always, we get to the last house of the dirt road, and this guy about our age named Anthony opens. He's visiting his Mom, Zuamy (pronounced Swam-ee). They let us in and we talk to them and share the last verses of Romans 8. Always a good set of scripture to bring hope. That's when Zuamy opened up. Recently she and her 5-year old son have been facing a lot of doubt and adversity together. She expressed to us she wanted to start following God again, and so we offered to bring a Bible by to her. The next day, we took an RM in the ward, Rocky, to visit her. We gave her a copy of the Bible and the Book of Mormon. Rocky just got home from his mission in Louisiana, and he was totally still in missionary mode (even intro'd himself as Elder Cobb).We explained how the two books go hand in hand in drawing us closer to Christ, and how by following His teachings, we can overcome our challenges. She was awfully appreciative, and even shared with us that she wants to come back to church. And although there's still some concerns she expressed to us, we could tell at the end that the spirit had led us to her to comfort her.

In the end that's basically what we do. Comfort. I don't need to follow media rules for missionaries to recognize how comfortless the world is getting. Invasions of privacy, usurpation of power, destructive criticism; all of those seem to rob the world and man of true comfort. Spiritual Comfort is what we aim for, not physical. And the only way we can ever earn the comfort that the Comforter gives us, is through adversity. It was one of the Savior's last mortal teachings. Through the Holy Ghost we can find comfort. The same Holy Spirit we help others recognize in life.

A lot of people like to slander us by saying we don't believe in the same Christ they believe in, all based on the philosophies of men. Well, that's because we believe in a Christ who still speaks to all us. Who still reaches out to all of us at an individual need level. A being who still calls Prophets like He always had, the same being who is at the head of this church. The Living Christ. The Resurrected Messiah. My Elder Brother, the Firstborn of my Eternal Father.  He is the same being that I know is real. He does love us. Nothing shall separate us from that. We just need to reach out to Him.

I never understood why people don't believe someone's Christian after they comfort someone like we did. Kind of like Berta back in Yakima.

Apart from that, not too much else happened in the week. Our meeting with Alva and Bev was more or less of a talk-it-out. Recently they've been going through a lot of family issues. But he still wants to be baptized, and he told us that he'll make it through. He's amazing, Mom, he really is. I also learned this past week that Jessica Gonzalez from Yakima was baptized this past week as well. That was an incredibly heart-warming feeling. Someone I had the privilege of teaching, someone who was Christian already, to recognize how more and more how much Christ loves her. I'm not certain you'll remember her, but she is incredible. Our progression back to God can be an infinite amount of downs at times, but also an infinite amount of ups as well. Stupendous success is usually preceded by horrific failure at times, but dang, it's worth it.

Well, there's my spiritual schpeel for the week. But it's true! God really does love us. There's a Mormon message on LDS.org called Shower of Heavenly Blessings that really describes the nature of blessings that God rains down on us. Sometimes we may not notice them, but they are there. That I can testify.

Yep, this week was outstanding for the district. Things are going great here! And I know that it'll be great back home as well. I love you Mom! I'm always pondering back on how much you and Dad taught me, and I'm seeing more and more the benefits of all of those lessons. Still, I love you, and everyone else. Stay cool at home and we'll keep the work hot out here. After all, we do this for God and family!

Love you,

Elder Michael Camit