Thursday, December 10, 2015

Christmas preparations, Mission Bobcat

December 8, 2015

Week
  Boss Hat
  Area Book Finished
  Christmas Decorations
  Monopoly
  Dropping
  end of week
      Just for kicks (and pretty much the only Christmas/birthday present I am giving to myself) I got a California Hat because I felt like I wasn't “repping” My Home!! plus Elder Burilla was getting a snapback too and the second was half off so we split the total cost and we both felt great about it. This was all Monday.....
Snap back with the California Hat and Bobcat 
      We also finished our area book (all the records of missionaries ever teaching someone have now been edited and digitized) so we are having an area book shredding event our next district meeting and we are all thankful that this is all done because its been since April(ish) since we have had the opportunity to finish it.... While we were hunting down a referral from online we found the craziest road possible.... I'm in it too!!!
      Brother Rodgers of the congregation invited us over to help him decorate their Christmas tree and because his house was so far away he came from work to pick us up. it took like 20min for the drive one way (didn't fully realize it was that far in the boonies when looking on the map of our area...) but it was a fun event decorating a tree and trying to untangle lights and other tree things.
      Preparation day…Monopoly... I won... Elder Hansen got mad and quit before he "officially" lost.... Never playing monopoly again.... 'nuff said...

Route 666 and me.... 
      The long time investigator and her 7 kids were “dropped” (not continued at investigators) because none were progressing and kept commitments as good as having a rock to jump rope on its own... Its hard, I've thought about it...
The language here (in Southern Virginia) is quite different then languages you might have thought of speaking and deciphering. Back in a city or the suburbs of life, Southern Country is a league of their own.

You may have noticed your end of week was one that results in another beginning.... Just because it is a Monday you don't have to hate the world, just think, you can look at the sky and see something (hopefully) and think to yourself one of two things
1.           "dang, life sucks because..."
2.           "dang, I am so glad because..."
 ‘Tis always your thoughts that choose one and I pray you choose the latter.
Hope you have a blessed Day and Week of Gloriousness (whether it happens in real life or in yo head!)


      This is me reppin' California with my Hat, Suit, and the Mission Bobcat when suddenly... A Wild Elder Hansen Appeared from the other room!! Missionary Battle begin!

The bobcat is a taxidermy bobcat that was given to the missionaries and put in the Lawrenceville apartment back in 2005 and has been traveling around the apartments since then. Whomever has the bobcat in their apartment
signs it.





Thanksgiving Miracles

November 30, 2015

   Thanksgiving!
   Wait... a Miracle?
   District Meeting

         So Thanksgiving was awesome, for a few reasons. One of the main ones was that our mission president allowed us to stay more then 1 hour for meals that day. We had 2 Thanksgiving meals, one was at the Evans house and they had family come from out of town (North Carolina, 3hrs away) and something I have noticed about the southern part of Virginia (and probably in the south in general, not sure yet...) No one moves too far away.... everyone is like within 4 hours from each other... its really weird, I am unused to it greatly. But lunch at the Evans was great because their 7 grandkids put on a play of the pilgrims and landing in the North American Continent for religious freedom and other things of that nature (and the grandkids were ages 2-9). From that lunch and a show we went to the Mendez house  and had another meal and played games with them as their thanksgiving tradition.
         The Miracle that happened was when we fasted for an investigator to help with some issues he had for being able to be baptized. We fasted for him and for 3 days he kept postponing our visits for some reason or another and finally asked us to come over after our thanksgiving dinner. We did and he was in the greatest mood both of us have seen. The issues we fasted have become less of an issue and he even asked for some help with cleaning (honestly a favorite thing I have developed on the mission) and we are going to do a deep study of the Bible with him for the continuing visits. It may not sound like great things but since he has been taught for a year now... these are leaps and bounds in helping him make covenants with his Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
         District meeting was an interesting one due to the fact that it took us 2 hours to get there... We have rotation of meeting houses so that the other missionaries don't have to spend miles in their allotted for the month. We went to a place called Wakefield. The district meeting was awesome and we discussed what we were thankful for as a main topic. Also from the Wakefield Elders we learned of a place called the Wye (pronounced Wire) which closed down many years ago. The Wakefield Elders were invited to a Southern Baptist funeral and they said that it was one of the most interesting funerals they had and probably will ever attend. They Learned of the Wye at the funeral. The Wye was a place back in the day where, according to the word on the street, was a place where if you weren't allowed to have something and you wanted it, you went to the Wye to get it. According to the missionaries, the Wye was what was talked about most at this particular funeral and we found out that the lady lived in the Wye.

We had an investigator at church and our week is still going very slow..... but there is one thing I thought was amazing I read a few weeks ago that might be good to hear.
"Jesus says that I’m to Die for" so no matter what, you are worth it. Keep having the Grace of Christ help Change to be more Christ like.

Elder Day

One year mark, Thankful rules

November 23, 2015
Week
-Has it really Been A Year?
-What were you doing today last year?
-Exchangin' it up!
-How 'bout them cars!
-Invitation of a forgotten gift (and Holiday for that matter)
For my Year Mark (on my mission) I decided to do two things.
1. Jump in a big pile of leaves for the first time in my life (that I can remember)
2. Help a member hollow out the inside of a tree trunk by burning it. He asked for some service so.... why not?

Yes, it has been (by the time you get this) more then a year since I have left on my Mission for Christ as a servant of His Will spreading the Truth. He has called a prophet to the earth in these latter days. Why is this so important? well, I truly didn't know until I asked God for myself and read the Bible to see why we needed a prophet or prophets for the people, then I read the Book of Mormon and understood further how modern revelation helps us be safe no matter what is going on. There are many people that I fell are praying for those in Paris and their families, we as a mission have been praying for them too. What has me keep hope in troubling times like these is that every one of us has the opportunity to be with our family again. Death is never the end of anything.
Amos 3:7
Surely The Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
What is that one secret God reveals to all those called of him? Ask him to figure it out.
What were you doing on this day last year? This time last year? last Week? Last Month? (if you can answer all of these questions then you are doing well so far, if not, start a journal because your memory is failing).
This past week we had an Exchange after our district meeting and I went to the Appomattox ward and switched with Elder Wolfersberger (try saying that 5 times fast) and went with Elder Walsh to visit and teach the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. Elder Walsh had received aa referral to visit a lady that we decided to go see, except we didn't realize that  it took 45 minutes to get to her house until halfway and when we realized we had a tire that was low on air. Oh, The glories of prayers, they really do work when we plead to God. It turned out the lady was in dire need of someone to give her a message of peace and what is more peaceful then the message of Jesus Christ and God Loving and wanting to care for us no matter what you may ask or do? Nothing.
Our Exchange (with other elders) was an enjoyable breather of learning new things and new ways to teach and find out more truths of God. plus it didn't hurt that Elder Walsh and I liked the same TV shows and video games and bands so we were able to nerd out there a bit with our conversation.
We had some car troubles for a few days again... Our car needed an inspection so we took it in to a local mechanic and when we got it back 5 more lights popped on that weren't there before so we thought "hmm.... this doesn't seem right...." so we took it back and it said "See Manual" and we found that it was because the new devices in our car had been messing with the car systems. The mission had installed a driver safety module in our car so when we unplugged it then plugged it back in, we had some prongs that were bent in the module...... we bent 'em back into place then the issue was fixed. Oh and the mechanic did a wonderful inspection and helped us out a bit with info and we were able to teach him a bit about our message as we were bending the prongs back. Good man he is.
This upcoming week is the time of Black Friday.... wait a minute, that’s not right, its Thanksgiving!!! The Forgotten Holiday!! Always consumed by consumerism and the winter festivities (The ones that I am thinking of are Hanukkah, Christmas, and possibly Kwanza)
I can tell you one thing from personal experience, unless you strive to seek things you are thankful for regularly, you will forget about them.
My mom challenged me many moons ago to keep a journal of one thing that you are grateful for every day. I took it to be something new and no repeats, which is really helpful and I have an invitation for you who reads this to share something new you are thankful for about every member of your immediate family from this point (11/23/2015) until the new year (1/1/2016) and share it with them every day before the night is out (you can choose who else to add on this if you feel so inclined, but Minimum is your immediate family and see rules and regulations below).
I will do the same, but due to my limited communications with my family on my mission, I am going to write them down and send a picture every week (ask them and keep me accountable!)
Rules and regulations for your/my  thankful  account…
1. No Repeats! under any reason, there is always more then one something good about someone from their voice, to their personality, to their big left toe.
2. Think Before You Speak. It must be specific. It Must be Genuine. None of this "I am thankful for you being a good person" none of this Generic I can Say to anyone stuff, if you are thankful for them being a "good person" or "nice" or for "their smile" tell them why with a legitimate non-vague reason. Brings more meaning and personalize it so the genuine kindness is better felt.
3. Try by all means to be able to say them vocally so the individual can hear and understand what is being said. None of this muttering under your breath bologna or having a written one be the excuse for not saying it vocally because you forgot or don't feel like it or some other reason.
4. Let them know that you will be complimenting them and, if necessary, set aside a time to have it done by and if you forget, well then, say two the next day. Good way to remember is write down what you said so you won't repeat it and you know you said it. Plus if you forget, its a double dose of kindness!
5. Take the compliment with thanks and don't deflect it.
6. Don't get mad if they don't take the compliment the way you hoped. When the comment of praise and gratitude is genuine, it should not be deflected or thought of in any other way and if it is, you have done your part so no worries.
7. Why Stop? You Got This, If you think you have run out of things to say just take 4 words of advice "Look Back and Think"
8. Do not Do This Because You Have To. The last thing that I or anyone in existence wants is a begrudging compliment said to "check it off". we as people should never be treated as a checklist item on any accounts of the word when coming to something as personal as something as this.
9. I do recognize that some individuals may have strenuous or broken relations with individuals of their family, if you can, try to follow the rules above, but if doing so will strain even greater the relations you may have, use the judgement God has given you and decide what to do from there. Again, I am not requesting you to do this, this is of your own choice and as such rules can be adjusted as need be.

( Rules 1 and 2 Can not be changed, neither can rule #5 or 6)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Paint and cars don't mix

November 16, 2015 

Weekly Email

-Tough Week
-Paint Problem
-General Authority

This week was rough for the second item listed... We had a paint container in the backseat of our car and didn't notice it had a leak in it for (our guess would be) the entire day, because we saw it that night at like 7:50pm... for the next few days we took a few hours per day getting the wet paint out of our backseat of the car that we are using it was so fun it was like watching paint dry! 

Also we have been received by little for all those we have been contacting and all those whom we have been asking about the message of Jesus Christ. well other then that we have been doing well. 

A kid in the congregation drew this and gave it to us- Elder Hansen and Elder Day 
A General Authority of the church came to our congregation and talked about the importance of everyone being an example and following the example of inviting and following what Jesus Christ has taught us about Faith and Hope. 

One of the kids of the congregation drew me and my companion and gave the picture to us afterward.
Here is a road outside Lawrenceville on the "Tobacco Heritage Trail" with wooden bridges. (Stock photo) 

New area, healing


November 9, 2015

-New Area
-New Companion?
-Recovering
-Touch of Christ

My new area is called Lawrenceville, We are bordering North Carolina,
and my new companion is..... not so new? He has been my companion
before. His name is Elder Hansen! I was his companion in Staunton.
When our mission president announced it and I was already sitting next
to him, we both jumped up and I bulldozed him by accident because i
gave him a hug and he was caught off balance.

My "new" companion Elder Hansen 
The reason I say recovering was because we were recovering from Elder Hansen's last companion. We have no dishwasher and to give you a idea about the mess he didn't care about cleaning, Every single dish in our apartment was
dirty except 2 forks, a bowl, a spoon, and 2 plates (Elder Hansen's
dishes). There was week old cake in the sink smashed in between 3
plates.... and that’s what I shall explain as recovering = cleaning.......

New address for Christmas cards..

1587 Lawrenceville Plank Rd.
Lawrenceville VA  23868

Friends on missions- My Uncle Merrill sent this picture of my great friend, Brian Fairbanks on his mission in New Jersey.  Merrill, who lives in New Jersey took it from the car and sent it to my mom.  Brian is in the middle.  

We have a family of 10 people and the mom had an arthritic attack on her arm and her arm was in severe pain and it was paralyzed from the shoulder down to the fingers... we went over and talked with her about how coming to church would help her situation and I felt prompted that she needed a blessing.   Elder Hansen had that same prompting during the lesson but he didn't know when exactly and said that we should give one tomorrow but I insisted it be then before church tomorrow. We gave her a blessing and I don't know what words were really said but we left and she thanked us, She wasn't able to come to church the next day because of the pain (or so she thought) but what happened was right after the blessing she "felt Christ's hands wipe away the pain" and her arthritis pain in her arm  vanished completely.



Elder Day