Monday, July 30, 2012

Well have I got some news for you,
So much has happened this last week! We went to the Redlands Temple on Wednesday and went to Cafe Rio afterwards. The Temple is always the boost I need. There is a spirit there that I don't feel anywhere else, and the spirit is in no short supply as a missionary. Cafe Rio also is also a well needed support. :) (pork burrito, black beans, mild, enchilada style, with a side of house ranch :) This last week we also said goodbye to our two-weeker Ami Latu. As we went our separate ways we yelled "Harrah for Israel" once more across the crouded church parking lot in Rancho Cucamonga. The biggest bit of news I have share this week is that I AM BEING TRANSFERRED! We found that out on Saturday night. Elder DeVaney will be staying to take over the area. It seems every time I leave an area we finally get a good teaching pool going. :( That makes it even harder to leave. Another thing that will make these next few months interesting is that I was called to be a Zone Leader! This came as a shock to me. If I were President Godwin I probably wouldn't have picked me to fill one of the two zone leader positions open. Let us hope for my next zone's sake that the statemet " who The Lord calls he qualifies" is a true statement. After my nine month stay in the mountains It will feel strange leaving. I love it here in the mountains so much. Driving through thick pine trees on curving mountain roads off to my next appointment has quite literally been the majority of my mission so far. There are two things that I will love about being a zone leader: I am guaranteed a car and I am guaranteed a hard working comp. The thing I am not looking forward to is dealing with disobedient missionaries that require reproving. It is amazing that so much has happened on my mission and I still have a year to go. I am happy that I had my three month stay in Big Bear. The people are wonderful and I had so many great experiences here. I love my mission. I hope that continues despite a drastic change of circumstance.
I love ya guys

Monday, July 16, 2012

Well on Wednesday night we got a call from the APs. They asked if we would take on another two weeker! He is also Tongan! In fact he is our last two weeker's cousin! his name is Elder Latu, and he is big. :) I tried to wrestle him, and it did not turn out so well. :) We have a couple of fun weeks ahead of us. I hope he gets something out of his missionary experience. I know I get something out of every two weeks I am out here. In other news we picked up a new investigator yesterday! His name is Jason and he is friends with a young man in the ward. It just so happened that we were planning to teach the restoration to there eight year old nephew Joseph and Jason was able to come to the lesson too! He has agreed to read and pray about The Book of Mormon and we will teach him again this Sunday! He is a well needed addition to our teaching pool. We are definitely in the building stage at the moment. I hope that our building will lead to additional baptisms here in the Big Bear Ward. It is our last two weeks for Elder DeVaney and I. We are not sure who is leaving yet, but we know that one of us will probably go. It has been an eventful three months for us, I hope it continues for both of us no matter what happens. You know missionary work isn't easy. (big surprise huh) I heard a talk from Jeffrey R. Holland this week that changed my perspective on why missionary work is as hard as it is, and that is what I will close with.
"Anyone who does any kind of missionary work will have occasion to ask, Why is this so hard? Why doesn’t it go better? Why can’t our success be more rapid? Why aren’t there more people joining the Church? It is the truth. We believe in angels. We trust in miracles. Why don’t people just flock to the font? Why isn’t the only risk in missionary work that of pneumonia from being soaking wet all day and all night in the baptismal font?
You will have occasion to ask those questions. I have thought about this a great deal. I offer this as my personal feeling. I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and mission leaders have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary.
Now, please don’t misunderstand. I’m not talking about anything anywhere near what Christ experienced. That would be presumptuous and sacrilegious. But I believe that missionaries and investigators, to come to the truth, to come to salvation, to know something of this price that has been paid, will have to pay a token of that same price.
For that reason I don’t believe missionary work has ever been easy, nor that conversion is, nor that retention is, nor that continued faithfulness is. I believe it is supposed to require some effort, something from the depths of our soul."
Elder Roos

Monday, July 9, 2012

Ello Chaps!

This week just flew by! As they seem to always do. On Tuesday I received six letters from family and friends! So I felt very loved this week. Elder Brown now has less days than I do months left being a missionary. :) I hope I get a good next Comp. I'll let you know how he is when I do. :) We have had some good teaching opportunities lately. We are preparing a Jason Rogerson to be baptized on the 18th of February. He has progressed so fast in a short amount of time. When I first met him I thought "yea.. we won't have much luck with him," and now he is more active than many members in the branch. :) There are things to be happy about here in Running Springs. On Saturday we had Interviews with President Godwin. I always look forward to meeting with him. He can be a little long winded :), but he always has great advice. This morning I went to a members house for a voice lesson! This has been in the plans for a couple of weeks now, and It will continue every p-day at ten. Sister Brady teaches singing a lot different than what I am used to. I wanted to do it so I can keep this voice of mine exercised, and hey maybe I'll learn a few things. :) I wonder what my average ":)" count is for these weekly messages. I'll have to count them up at the end of my mission. :) Oh, and there I go again. Well I'm still alive, I miss y'all, and I love y'all

Dear you,
Lehi Taught us that there is oposition in all things. this week I have seen some great times, and I have also seen a few things that haven't been so great. Lets get the not so great stuff out of the way now. Our investigator Kaylee who is 14 informed us that her dad won't allow her to be baptized until she is eighteen years old. that makes four people attending this ward who want to be baptized but cannot due to court or parental restrictions. Frustrating, to say the least. I hate it when there are factors, which are out of my control. Now that we have that out of the way we can talk about my birthday! I AM 20! Isn't crazy how time flies right on by. My birthday was a great day. I had presents to open and I had friends in this ward to celebrate with. I also received a pretty nice gift from God on the night of the fourth. We were getting ice cream and we got a call from Mathew, a priest in the ward. just down the road there were two of his friend who were asking questions about the church. We walked down the street and had an hour long discussion focused on The Restoration of the Gospel. When we all of the questions were answered one of the girls said "we need to talk again!" So this week we are setting up a return appointment! Two new investigators was the best present that I got on my birthday. :) Another event that was significant this week was saying goodbye to our two week missionary David Kaufussi. We had all grown close over these last two weeks. I am glad he was there for my birthday. We dropped him off at the stake center in Rancho Cucamonga. At the meeting held by president Godwin Brother Kaufussi gave a short talk on his experience with us. when It was time for him to leave he yelled "harrah for Isreal" across the parking lot, and Elder DeVaney and I echoed the same. It is goodbye for now to my Tongan friend. I wanted to thank all of you to who sent me a package or a letter for my birthday. It meant so much to me. I will work on getting replies out to all of you. As far as birthdays go this one was probably the best one that I could have had away from my family, though I do miss them terribly. I hope you all had an amazing week.

Friday, July 6, 2012

This week was a lot of fun. We fed Lamas, we went bowling with the Elders Chorum, and we played with the endangered desert tortoises that a member owns. :)But more important than all of that, we set a date for Kaylee to be baptized! Kaylee is Suzanne's daughter. She is fourteen years old and has made the decision to follow the example of Jesus Christ. I really hope we can keep her on track to make that happen. In contrast to that news we found out that the court won't allow our investigator Mario to be baptized until he is eighteen.(He is fifteen now) This was very unwelcome news. He is a ward of the court so they make the decision if he can be or not. They do not understand what there decision actually means for Mario. He bore his testimony on Sunday expressing that he knew that this church is true but that he could not do anything about that knowledge. We will continue to teach him and read the Book of Mormon with him despite this news. This work is full of ups and downs. It is a good thing that the ups stick with me for a lot longer than the downs. In other news It is my birthday this week! I never thought I would live until twenty but here I am. :) I hope all of you have a great fourth. I'm going to go and get some food now. :)