Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dear Zion
I've come to realize that a good week for a missionary can come down to five minutes of success out of the 10,080 minutes we live each week. A few of those minutes of which I speak were on Friday. We had a lesson with our investigator Steve. As I have done many times before we had Steve open his Book of Mormon to 2 Nephi 31, the chapter on baptism. We read the chapter with him until we reached versus 9 and 10, where we come across the famous line "Follow Thou Me." Elder DeVaney then invited him to be baptized. After only a moment, he replied "Absolutely!" I have been on my mission long enough to know how important that moment is. I have also been on my mission long enough to know that this was the easy part. :) Steve will have many hurdles yet to face before we can make baptism a reality. The difference now is that we know that he is willing to take that hard road. Another couple of minutes that made this week successful were the ones we spent with Suzane Cuaz. After discussing the details of the restoration I committed her to baptism for the 23rd of June. We hope and pray that her kids Taylor and Riley who are of baptismal age can join her as well, but without there father's consent it will not happen. I have a feeling that baptismal permission has been the bane of many missionaries trying to baptize many of the broken families here in California. Well I hope there are a few minutes next week that will make it another success for the ward here in Big Bear, and ultimately for the Lord.
Until next week

Monday, May 21, 2012

Dear Family and Friends
Big Bear has been a blast so far. We have met a lot of great people, and I can see why it is a coveted area in the mission. I was pretty certain that Running Springs was the most beautiful area in the mission. Big Bear has proven me wrong. The work is going better than I could have anticipated.  The Lord has provided new teaching opportunities that we desperately needed. Meeting the Cuaz family has been one of the most exciting developments since we arrived here. Suzane Cuaz is a single mother with four kids. She wanted to join the church when she was very young but her mother wouldn't allow it. She has prayerfully asked what church she should attend and the answer she received is "you already know." Suzane and her kids have been to church twice so far and we will be teaching them later this week. I look forward to seeing progress with that family. On Thursday I went on exchanges with another missionary in our district. The reason for the exchange was so that I could do a baptismal interview for a Larry Crawford, who was just baptized into the Lucerne Valley Ward. This is the first time I have interviewed anyone for church purposes. When the interview was finished I knew that he was more than ready to be baptized. It is great to see someone so willing to follow the example of Jesus Christ. On a side note Lucerne Vally is a vast desert. It reminds me of "Tatooine" off of Star Wars, or more specifically "Mos Eisley" (you'll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy... I know I am a nerd:). So in short Lucerne valley is Spirit Prison and Big Bear is Spirit Paradise. :) While we were on Exchanges Elder DeVaney Contacted a media referral we got on our phone. Steve Close called the number on the back of a pass along card that he got from some missionaries years ago. (yes, a little thing like giving someone a card does matter.) Yesterday we taught him the Restoration and he is pretty excited about it. It is nice to not only get new investigators, but solid ones as well. Another neat experience started as we got a phone call from our Ward Mission Leader, brother Nielson. He informed us that there was a less active member who needed a blessing. It just so happened that this less active member was none other than Aaron Brinks who is a famous MMA Fighter. We met him at the church and it was clear to see why he would succeed in such a sport.  The blessing went well. He came to us in a lot of distress and left feeling at peace. It is amazing what the spirit can do. Maybe Aaron can teach me a few moves. :) Anyway! I hope all of you are doing well. I will try to get better at writing letters. I'm having fun out here.

Monday, May 14, 2012

I have been transferred to.... 'drum roll'...
BIG BEAR LAKE CALIFORNIA! After spending six months in an amazing mountain area, I have the chance to be in the mountain area next door! Though we are building the work here from the ground up, I am happy to stay in the mountains. Especially when it will be one of the coolest(temperature) places in the mission come summer time. Though it is going to take some time to get work going, I know this will be great place to train. Speaking of which, my greeny's name is Elder Travis DeVaney from West Jordan UT. He spent eight years playing football back home and he has a fetish for studying and drawing dinosaurs. He is very well rounded. :) We have been getting along very well. In other news I GOT TO TALK TO THE FAM YESTERDAY! It is funny how long you look forward to that and it is over in a flash. It was a needed boost for me at this point in my mission. Like I said the work here is slow, but we do have a couple of things I am excited about. A young man in the foster program named Mario Barr has started taking the lessons from us and has committed to be baptized! Due to the complications of his family situation we don't know how long it will take to get the permission to do so, but fear not we will do our best. Tonight we are teaching him the Plan of Salvation. We are striving to be as obedient as we can be. We need all the spiritual power we can get right now to get this area going. Well I'm nine months out on my mish and things are going well for us in the great San B mission.

Monday, May 7, 2012

It is official, I am being transferred. I feel my stay here in Running Springs has been very well spent. Sunday was one of my last chances to see all of the people I have grown so close to in these last six months. It has been hard saying goodbye, but the spirit has called me another way. :) To add to the anxiety to going to a new area I found out that I am going to be training a new missionary! This is both exciting and scary. My greeny and I will be whitewashing into an area, which means it will be new to both of us. This puts a lot of pressure on me to get the work going as well as getting this new missionary up to speed. To add to that I was also asked by President Godwin to be a District Leader! So I will be a "White-washing-Trainer-District Leader". This will be a different missionary experience than what I am used to. It is one that will require all of the diligence to be obedient that I can muster. So I may need extra prayers this month with the added pressures I will have. God always gives us opportunities to stretch. I been stretched quite a bit as a missionary. I hope in this new challenge I won't have to many "growing pains." :) Lisa is still on track to be baptised! That will give me a chance to come to Running Springs in a month or so! Not much more to say than thanks for all of the support, and I will have a chance to talk to my mommy in a week. :)