Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Oh my what a suprise=(‏

As this last week came to an end and as I thought about all that had happened I was brought to tears. The blessings of the Lord are so easy to see when we pay attention. This week I had almost three days of training focusing on a new program coming out for missionaries which will help us perfect our teaching. It was such a great experience and I learned so many things that I have been able to apply. As part of this training we talked a lot about the doctrine of Christ and how we must use it as missionaries. President Smith asked us to start the Book of Mormon over and mark every time Doctrine of Christ is mentioned. It has been so eye opening, it's no wonder the Book of Mormon combined with the spirit is the most powerful tool we have as missionaries, this book truly is from God and has every single piece of what we need to gain salvation.

Funniest thing happened this week. During all the trainings there were three missionaries that came and stayed at our house. After planning we were all up stairs and some people were playing the guitar when someone asked me "does it smell funny?", I opened the door to downstairs and it sure did...instantly I knew our house was flooding (it had been raining really hard that day). I went down stairs to find our kitchen and bathroom full of sewer water. On further examination I found that the sewers were all so full that the water and every other not so delightful thing that goes down in the sewer came up into our house. When I say everything I mean we had everything floating in our kitchen. The house smelt so bad. We saw there was nothing we could do so I gave up and went to bed. The next morning it had stopped and the water was gone for the most part. Oh the joys=)

I’ve got to tell you about one of our investigators we meet last week. His name is Buri and he's a guard at some business thing. We went inviting one night, our plan was to go to a neighborhood so we biked there but on the way I had a really strong impression so go down this road. I was shocked because of the force of the prompting. We got off our bikes and started talking to everyone we saw in order to find who we were supposed to. After a while we I saw a man off the street a little ways but I knew I was to talk to everyone so I walked up to him and he let us sit down and teach him. To make a long story short we came back a couple days later and he had read over 150 pages in the Book of Mormon. We had an incredible lesson where I asked him a train of questions leading him to say "God is speaking to me, wow..." after that we read a scripture in Mosiah 2:41 (I think). After we read it he said "I want to live with God again, and I’m willing to follow all his commandments". Great experience!! This week we will begin trying his faith by teaching the commandments. God really does prepare people for this message.
I love you all so much

Ps. I had a question about school: of I go to school at Weber state during the summer, is there a chance of transferring to BYU in the fall? Or if I went to Weber state for summer and fall could I transfer down to BYU in the spring? I’m trying to think about what the best options are for school.

The Book of Mormon is true

August 25, 2010
Well, what a week you have been having with engagements, pictures, meeting your future son in laws parents. I only wonder the stress you are all having back home!
So what's going on with Brielle and that hair school stuff? Is she still planning on going to collage this year or will that be next year? Right now where is everybody going to school, will it still be at home or will it all be at other places? How’s the economy back home, and the lawn business stuff????

This week has been the most stressful of my mission because of lots of things but one of the most stressful things for me right now is because of one of our investigators. A while ago we started teaching a girl named Jesse who is about 25 and is dating a return missionary, she’s known about the church for a long time and wants to be baptized so that they can get married in the temple. We met with her the first time and I felt really weird, I thought it was just because we were teaching a girl and that's always awkward. She looked kinda funny but I couldn't put my finger on it. We taught her for a while and preparing her to be baptized. The other day something hit me right before we taught her..."she" is a man. This is something very very common in Thailand. Men will go through surgery and change themselves, and I’m really good at picking them out, mainly because I’ve had trouble with them my whole mission. We went into the lesson and I started looking for the signs: hands, adams apple, jaw... anyway we know it's for sure that it's a man. The really hard part is that she genuinely wants to be baptized and to go through the temple but as a transvestite you are not allowed to go through the temple. I’m really not knowing how to address this but this week end we'll be teaching the law of chastity and it's all going to come out. I’m trying to think of how to deal with the situation in order to address the issue but also to help her know that Her Father in Heaven still wants her to be baptized and loves her very much. Please pray for me, the balance between boldness and love will be really hard in the next lesson.
This week there was a special training for the leaders of the mission on a newish program for missionaries on how to teach more effectively. Yesterday was the first day and President Smith took us on a tour of the scriptures and showed us how we as missionaries must really adapt to meet needs and using the Book of Mormon more effectively in teaching and so many other topics. It really was eye opening to me and makes me so excited to begin teaching again after the training. This last little bit my testimony about the Book of Mormon has grown so much, it's something I really am willing to put all my trust into, I know this book changes lives. I’m in a country where society has been corrupted by the "wicked traditions of their fathers" and the Book of Mormon shakes the foundations of beliefs they have stood on for thousands of years, and opens the door allowing them to walk out into the light. This work is the greatest thing anyone could ever do as a 19 year old boy. It not only changes the individuals around you but it changes you and by the end you understand life in fullness and can begin to see the eternal prospective of just what existence is all about!

I love you all

Monday, August 16, 2010

Another Brother, But the Book of Mormon is true!!!

August 16, 2010
I’m found at a loss for words... weird I know, Tyrel not talking! I really didn't know how I would handle the news when it came but it's not as hard as I thought it would be. I really am so excited for Tara and for the adventures that lay ahead. I’ve always been the protective brother that beat up all the little twerps that messed with my sisters, I always knew one day they would start getting married but I always hoped I would be home for it. I can't describe my feelings but I really am excited.

This week has been a bundle of emotions. I really don't know how I’m taking it. I’m so happy for Tara but it's weird to think about how different things will be. There’s the familiar saying "nothing is as constant as change" with it is the purpose of life, we change we adapt and we become what it is that God would have us become, and Tara wouldn't be able to do that without Weston. I’ve always been the only brother and son and now I’m not, before the mission I was (along with the studly father I have) the protector and now Tara's got another man. so first dad, then grandpa...guess who he still hasn't gotten permission from...take a minute and think...he's far far away...rides a bike every day...he's getting fatter every day...yeah that's right ME! I want to hear from my (almost) new brother!!!

About Elder McKonkie: he's doing great. He’s out working like normal and is a greater missionary every day. I’m so impressed by that kid, and his desire to serve. He’s one of the greatest missionaries I’ve ever seen.

Londyn I’m so sorry that life is a bit rough right now and that you can't do a whole lot because of your arm. I pray for you every day. Hey you could try and write me a letter with your left hand...eh eh!

This week started with a Zone Conference on the Book of Mormon. President Smith took us on a tour of the scriptures pointing out the doctrine of the Book of Mormon, it was so eye opening. After that we watched Elder Holland’s talk on the Book of Mormon. By the end we were all so pumped with the spirit and excited to share. It really is something I have grown to love so much. I’ve just started the Book of Mormon over and discovered in just the first chapter the doctrine we learn is incredible: we learn of prophets, prayer, scriptures, authority, visions, God and so much more. When the prophet Joseph Smith says on the title page of the book of Mormon "a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other book" it's so evident. I've come to realize there are a couple ways Investigators read the Book of Mormon as well as members of the church: there is just reading, and there is discovering the personal guidance from a Father in Heaven for the eternal progression of his children. I go out every day with only a book in my hand and I do everything I can to become a "disturber and annoyer of Satan’s kingdom". In this life people trust in a lot of different things: we see money, popularity, knowledge, looks... but I go out my door every day with a very tight budget, sometimes only my companion as a friend, I haven't been to college, and I’m nothing to look at but there is something I have that provides more comfort, and power then that all..It’s the gospel which is all contained in a single 531page book.
I love you all

Monday, August 9, 2010

Focus on Family

Well as you all know (maybe) it's the hurricane season over here and we've been having the typical hard rains but this week we had the hardest one I’ve ever seen. We were out inviting and I saw a storm coming in, it looked like a heavy one but it we were still going to invite through it. We started talking to a couple people and after a few minutes I looked at the sky and noticed the clouds coming in really fast and very low. My good sense kicked in and we headed for home. We were pretty far away from our bikes so we started walking back. The rain started to fall so hard that it was hard to see and by the time we were back to our bikes the wind was really hard to bike against. We got home as branches started falling of trees. To this day I don't really know what it was but the storm was really strong. It wasn't terribly dangerous but it was a way cool experience.

One of the funnest things that we get every day is people talking behind our backs assuming that we don't know what their saying. A couple days ago we were traveling to the office for interviews when we stopped to eat this scone thing. The man was making our stuff when this other Thai guy came up and started talking about us to the other guy about how the guy should make us wait for our food and stuff. He kept going until it was all I could do not to laugh, I noticed that his zipper was down so I interrupted them while they were talking and told him that his zipper was down. His face was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. He found out we spoke his language and embarrassed him in front of tons of people. Everyone busted up laughing. I wish I had it on video.

As far as a report on the work here; President Smith has changed a lot of how we work here. We are teaching only families now. It’s really great and I love it but it's changed a lot of how we work. We’ve been dropping lots and lots of people but we do have a couple of families that are amazing and are progressing really well. I’ve really began so see even more how much this work focuses on families and how the family environment is so perfect for applying gospel principles.

Well I’m about out of time so I’d better go; I love you all so much


Monday, August 2, 2010

This week was a week of weeks. On Tuesday night at our English class we got a call from Elder McKonkie's greenie companion saying that Elder McKonkie had just gotten into a huge accident and was bleeding really bad. The zone leaders took off and we took over teaching that night. A long story made short: he was riding his bike and hit a hole covered with water. While falling his handlebars twisted and stabbed into his upper leg cutting some really big veins. After a long process he was able to get to the hospital and received a blessing. After trying to make his body stable for a while they began surgery and through miracle after miracle they stopped the blood and he was ok. They said in the body there are 9 pints of blood and before he got to the hospital he had lost 5. I can't even begin to tell about how the hand of God was guiding the whole thing. I was able to stay in the hospital with him for about two days while he was recovering, and now he's back home. I still can't even believe the positive attitude of Elder McKonkie through the whole thing, that kid is such a stud.

Well this week another "out of the ordinary" thing happened. I got a call from one of our investigators, with a depressed voice he asked "elder can you talk for a minute" of course I said yes. I was expecting him to say he wasn’t interested or something but instead he said "I just broke up with my girlfriend" then he started to cry. uhhhhh...I didn't know how to start I hadn't been in this situation sense I was back home. I did what I could to help him but it's hard to do anything as a missionary to help him. We didn't give advice on stuff like that so it was kinda hard...after I hung up me and elder Shipley just laughed forever. The whole situation was hilarious (except for the fact that he broke up =)

Right now we are teaching this family of five and there so sweet. The father’s name is "tea" and the mothers name is "muy". We’ve been able to teach them twice and they are planning on coming to church next week. We were able to teach them about the restoration this past week. It was Elder Shipleys second lesson, and he was way excited. Before the lesson we talked about what we would teach and we decided we wanted to save the last part of the lesson to just testify and explain how this has helped up individually. The lesson went really well and the spirit was very strong. Toward the end I began to testify and then turned and looked at Elder Shipley (indicating that it was his turn) for a second he stuttered and didn't know what to say buy then he merely said "I know..." and the room filled with the spirit. He testified with such power and the family just loved it. It’s such a testimony to me that it is the spirit that teaches and not the Elder. I’ve come to realize it doesn't matter how good we speak or what we do, if we are pressing forward trusting in the Lord for guidance we have no fears, the purposed of the Lord will be fulfilled.

I love you all, sorry this is short I just got back from taking another Elder to the hospital for some shots and now I don't have time