Monday, October 24, 2011

hello everybody,
So i was sitting at dinner one night with the Taylor's, an older couple in the ward.  Brother Rulon Taylor was on the subject of his ancestors and he brought up being related to Emer Harris, Martin Harris' brother.  I've always been told that i had some kind of family tie like that to Martin Harris as well (this has been my excuse for misplacing my scriptures through my many years of seminary :), and my grandma's maiden name and my middle name is Taylor!  Still sceptical about really having some distant relatives randomly in this ward, I turned to the four generation family chart that i was instructed to bring to the MTC (it turned out that it had no use:).  It turns out that my great grandpa's middle name is Emer! So if my conclusions are correct The taylors and there grand kids, that are also in the ward, are related to me!  Now this may seem like something that is not worthy to announce, but as a missionary even something little like being barely related to someone in the ward can be exciting. :) anyway, I have not come down with any diseases known only to southern California yet, so .. that's good, though there is a sign in our group of apartments that says: Warning some chemicals in the air are known to the state of California to cause birth defects.  So if your pregnant you probably shouldn't be breathing anywhere near where i have been living for the last couple of months. :) Besides family quandaries and toxic air things have been great.:) Despite Elder McKay's wish to move on after this transfer to a car area, Our Bishop and Ward Mission Leader are trying to keep us in the ward. It is a very good thing to be loved by the ward.  The baptism on Saturday went better than i could have imagined.  The spirit of the event seemed to come in waves, from the talks to the moment that Kathryn went into the water.  It's something that even the most eloquent writer couldn't describe. missionary work is like a bag of lays potato chips, you get a little bit and you can't stop.:) (let's hope it stays that way). This week I have been well supported this week with letters. Thank you to all who take the time, it means so much to me. well until next week. :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

I've come to the conclusion that as missionaries we bring either the best or the worst out of people.  We get some who listen and want to know what we say is true and then we get those who seem to turn on us as we walk around the corner.  It reminds me of the movie Inception when the dreamer's sub-conscience notices an invader. :) Or on The Matrix when the people stuck in the matrix do whatever they can to protect the status-quo of their existence, but i haven't seen that one .. cause that's ... uh rated R........ :) It was a slower week for us here in Hesperia and this next week we are really going to push ourselves in the work.  This Saturday the twenty second there is a baptism for our investigator Kat! I am very excited for that.  She is well prepared and so willing to keep every commandment (Golden).  So if on Saturday your wondering what I'm doing at around 3:00 I'll be watching someone be cleansed of all sin and making sacred covenants.  It is such a blessing, and it is just a taste of what I'll hopefully get to experience more of in these next twenty two months.  Today it is P-day and we are playing a basketball tournament with the two other zones here in the high desert.  If any of you who are reading this knows of my basketball skills you should also know that those other zones are going into this tournament with a significant advantage. :) If only we could play water polo or somethin. :)  I will now reiterate what I've heard many times from my fellow missionaries: This is going so fast.  I'm sure some transfers will go slower depending on my comp and area, but for now I'm trying to take in the moments.  I'm trying to remember the specific moments that i feel the spirit strongly or I am riding on my bike at nigh through the cool desert air.  I have a bad tendency to get a little poetic so i guess it's time to sign off.  My last bit of wisdom is this: Investigators are like artichokes it takes a lot of work to get to their hearts. :) 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

So i have come to the conclusion that here in Hesperia there are a lot more dogs than people, and they are more apt to talk to us as well! :) The work is going great.  In our Zone Conference this last week we heard from Alan F. Packer a member of the Seventy, who is also The Apostle Elder Packer's son. He gave us many words of wisdom straight from the first presidency.  I am still working on applying all of it. At that Zone conference i found out our zone has more baptisms that all of the surrounding zones! I feel like as a zone we can keep it up as well!  But of course it's not all sunshine and flowers in the mission Field. We experienced some extreme winds here in the High Desert! Apparently this coming season winds get up to 100 mph! Maybe i can harness this energy and put some kind of sail on my bike! :) At least that's what my Grandpa Harmon would do! I have been thinking lately about the pioneers and what extremes they went to for the building up of Zion.  If i could even muster a fraction of the stoic nature they had i would be an amazing missionary. I'll make that a goal as i push forward one day at a time. Thank you so much for the letters I have received, they mean so much to me. Funny story of the week: apparently, a missionary  told a couple of investigators to read a few verses in the book of Mormon before they returned to visit. The problem was he assigned 3rd Nephi 3:7-9, instead of 1st Nephi 3:7-9. So instead of the classic scripture master saying i will go and do, the message verses in 3rd Nephi stated: 

 7 Or in other words, yield yourselves up unto us, and unite with us and become acquainted with our asecret works, and become our brethren that ye may be like unto us—not our slaves, but our brethren and partners of all our substance. 8 And behold, I aswear unto you, if ye will do this, with an oath, ye shall not be destroyed; but if ye will not do this, I swear unto you with an oath, that on the morrow month I will command that my armies shall come down against you, and they shall not stay their hand and shall spare not, but shall slay you, and shall let fall the sword upon you even until ye shall become extinct. 9 And behold, I am aGiddianhi; and I am the governor of this the bsecret society of Gadianton; which society and the works thereof I know to be cgood; and they are of dancient date and they have been handed down unto us.

Let's just say the Investigators were a little afraid for the next appointment. :) Luckily i haven't done anything that dumb yet, but I'm sure my day will come. :) I love you all and thank you for the support.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Though i grew a foot or two before i left on my mission, now it seems i will continue growing more feet spiritually. Getting people to quit smoking and drinking is an experience that is requiring a lot of faith and prayers.  The end goal however, will make all of that worth it.  If things work out, we will have four baptisms this next transfer.  This last week we set dates with three and we will be setting another within the week.  Though I'm sure we're not by any means the best missionaries, God has provided those people for us and we are doing our best.  Anyway! I'm learning to play Jack Johnson on the Ukulele :) (that's not apostate is it? :).  I loved Conference. I want Elder Holland to be my companion so he can just throw it down with one of our investigators who is dragging their feet. :) President Monson's first talk when he enthusiastically said "HELLO!" was the best. :) A Starvalley Wyoming Temple! That is exciting.(My Dad grew up there!). I'm sure that he called everybody the second he heard that. :) Thank you to everyone who is sending me letters.  After a long day even the simplest of message lifts my spirits. One thing i love about the church is that is is hospital for sinners, and not a museum for saints.  We are all doing our best, and as long as we keep "getting up when we fall" we will make it.  Not much else to report except that i am alive :), I miss you,I pray for you, and 'Harah For Isreal'. :)