Super pumped for Thursday, our boy Derek is being baptized then! I am so stoked for the guy, love all of Topeka so much. Derek is so solid, and so is our boy Keith. He has a port in his chest, but they plan on removing it and making it possible for him to be baptized. Pray for him, because his health is deteriorating.
Been a super awesome week, met a bunch of people who are ready for the gospel.
The Whyte family, all of whom are super interested. The grandfather was calling us angels and bros. Kinda weird, because we are probably the furthest from looking like angels but who can judge?
Also met Chichita, who lost her husband from cancer. She has been more and more open to the message of Christ bringing peace to those who accept. If you have any suggestions to share with her, preferably from the Book of Mormon so she can know why we LDS people find solace and comfort in a book, please send them.
Met Annette with her brother Warth. Been setting up another return appointment. She is a sweet old lady.
Then there is Bobby, who also lost his wife to cancer. He says he wakes up and cries because of what he feels when he sees that empty side of that bed. Any suggestions? I want to stress eternal families and the temple, where we can be sealed for time and all eternity.
Finally, Stacy and Thomasena Brown, a married couple. Thomasena has cancer (sorry, but everybody seems to get cancer😫) Stacy is planning on getting his minister license, but I think he should join the true church and be baptized so he can get sealed to his wife for all eternity.
Get to ride bikes this week……… Yay😭
Might go to the zoo, or the thrift store, I don’t know.
Hope everything is good down in Arid Arizona. I miss the non-humidity.
Been reading a lot from the New Testament, because of the fact that if I don’t know what Christ said in 1st ministry in Jerusalem. Why would I even bother to quote his 2nd in the Americas? Anyways, I was reading in John 6:25 all the way through 71, where Christ proclaims and teaches he is the bread of life. I began to wonder about what am I teaching these people. In essence, I wasn’t teaching, but spiritually feeding them the bread of life, for who eats of it, shall find eternal life. May I also add, they may also find eternal joy and peace.
Christ said to one person who asked him where he came from:
26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.
Can I bear my testimony?
As members of a church that is set up and sustained by the holy one of Israel, we must feed these people spiritually. If we hold back the loaves for ourselves, the miracle of feeding 5,000 would never be. Could you imagine Peter saying he would keep all this for himself? He gave it all to the people after he had been filled. SO, if you aren’t filled by the gospel of Christ, do so now. Speak to bishop or whomever has the priesthood keys to help you if you need it. Read and truly study the scriptures, feast upon the words of Christ. Offer all you have to the Lord. As the Apostles gave to the people, the loaves and fishes were multiplied and they were never without.
I so testify that I am not without the bread of life, and shall give it all until the day the Lord of Lords shall come back to earth to claim His people. I love him as I love each and every one of you. I will give and bear this cross. In the sacred name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
So, sorry it’s kinda late, just been super busy and stressed.
Been having a hard week due to the lack of people to teach and support from the ward here. We have been working hard to grow closer to them so we can get their support. Without members, the work would fail. Been meeting with everyone and teaching and showing the importance of missionary work.
Also been on bikes…It is so fetching hot here! I hate humidity, so different from the dry heat of AZ.
Have some exciting news. We have been working with a super solid guy named Derek, who has been awesome. He can drive himself to church.
He shot us a text and said he wanted to talk to us about baptism. I freaked out and thought it was a bad thing. We called him and asked what he wanted to ask us about. He said “When can I do it?”
Catch is, he wants to do it in Garden, on the other side of the state. Prez said that is a no go. Also, he wants to be baptized when his girlfriend can see, who is a member. She can’t come on a normal Saturday, so we have been trying to set up a baptism for either tomorrow or Tuesday. It’s been super stressful.
The good news is, he came to the decision himself, and wants it.
That is the best thing we can give to converts, their agency and let them want to desire it. Been having a super awesome week, and excited to have another one.
Hi grandma Judy, glad you are with the family.
Also, make today the day the Lord works miracles through you, his servant.
Love ya, Mom, Dad, Reese, Maddie, Jane, etc.
Tell grandma hi! The pic of Reese just explains a lot about him in the picture. I love the giant gloves on his hands, it might help him from biting them all the time. All he needs is a giant tool belt and it would describe Reeso perfectly.
Sounds like fun! The scout camp and girls camp. Tell Reese he should hurry and get his eagle so he can start driving. It stinks without it. Tell them to also to stop growing up! Feels weird and old to think of all the stuff happening at home.
Sorry for the bad letter on Memorial Day, was a pretty stressful day. Everybody left. Almost. I feel like some of the move arounds/transfers are a little pointless, but some are a real smart decision. Like having APs in training and training APs to help them out. About 30 missionaries go home and will leave the KWM a ghost town until mid or late summer. Kinda weird.
Learned how to play quidditch on Monday, a version of pool that is super fun. This week as been pretty nice. Our mission is really for working through the members instead of tracting. It’s a lot more effective than anything else. Also, we had the car last week. Not this week, which sucks, but, what can you do? Maybe I call up my AP dad and see if he can get us a full time car. It’s kinda nice to be the son of an AP. (Just FYI, when I say son, my trainer is my father and I am his son.)
Had some really cool lessons with our new investigator, Derek. He is way prepared. He has a lot of questions, and we are helping him partake of God’s many blessings.
About to go shopping soon. Also, mom, I don’t know if you saw my email from 2 weeks ago, but I asked if it was possible for me to get a Bluetooth keyboard for my iPad. Since Elder Limb left, I can’t use his, and it’s hard for me to write emails now. My comp wants to get a USB for mission music and we are going to BestBuy. If it’s not a hassle, can I get a little bit of money for one? I don’t want you to think I’m not budgeting, but I don’t want to use my MSF for it. I want to save that for food and for emergencies.
Also, apparently many missionaries play the RPGs like the Star Wars game we got on our trip, Pathfinder, or D&D. We played a little bit with Elder Murdock, who out nerds me by a couple years, but he’s been transferred far away. I was wondering, I still have the PDFs for the Star Wars RPG and the Pathfinder RPG; can you email it to me? It’s on one of them hard drives, and in a folder called roleplaying stuff, I think.
Hey dad, it’s almost Father’s Day…too bad we don’t skype then. The Sivert’s sent me a letter this week. If you see them, tell them I loved it and the picture they sent is on our fridge. We should be having baptismos this week. I’ll have to let you know how it goes.
Also, they had a lesson in elders quorum up here that was super funny.
I took a pic of the beginning of it.
Been having a great Memorial Day. Went to the Brown vs Board museum. About to eat dinner. Sorry it’s late, but it’s been crazy. Everyone but me and my comp are leaving. It sucks. My dad, Elder Limb, is going to be AP for another month then dying.
Not much happening this week, just trying to find people to teach. Met Derek, a super solid homie who came to church without any invitations and is now on date and is reading the Book of Mormon.
Been kinda struggling, but prayer helps. Not much to report, sorry for that. It rained a lot this week, a couple of tornado sirens. The atonement doesn’t work without work. Been trying hard not to voluntarily bind my own tongue. It stinks when someone walks by and you say NOTHING! That’s not what God asks of me, it’s part of my purpose.
Love you so much for the iPod shuffle. It is super awesome. I was going to use it today, but Elder Limb got everyone else to go to the church to play basketball…I am over it, and I love my 2nd dad, but I was so excited for it.
So, dad asked me a serious question about me typing emails. Today was better because I am borrowing Elder Limb’s Bluetooth keyboard. It helps a ton, so, if it’s not too much, I would like to get one. I am not sure how much they are, but I don’t think they are that expensive. It would be easier for emails, since I don’t have to constantly have to redo my typing. There is a Walmart and a Best Buy close by. If you want to check prices, let me know. If it is expensive, then never mind. If not, I can run to Best Buy and get one. If you think it wise you can add money to my card, if not, I understand I wasn’t wise in the past, thus the reason why I use Jacob 6:12:
12 O be wise; what can I say more?
I hope everyone is doing well. Was Reese not doing well over at the other ALA? If there is, I’d love to write to him private emails of encouragement. Some of my trials and ways I overcame them. Send me his email address and I will start emailing him ASAP. I love the little handsome devil, so any way I can help, I’ll do it.
Tell grandma thank you for the cards and Maddie for the letter and poem. Also, I want you to know that I am thankful for all the things you do. Thankful is such an amazing word. I give thanks, but with full at the end, that means there is no reserves for the feelings of love to you.
I am full, and am happy, and I can truly give thanks to my mother.
His name is Fetcher the bird.
I will write some more, with a video blog here and there. This week has been so stressful.
Chris Burk, one of our investigators on date, was baptized by yours truly. I goofed up, though. Don’t baptize with your left hand instead of the right. We told him we needed to redo it, and he said, “No, it must be a sign that God doesn’t want me to be baptized.” Guilt weighed heavily on my soul, feeling like I was to be condemned for this poor man’s soul. I’d prefer it that way, to have my salvation become his, and let me suffer. My whole being writhed in torment at the thought of this great man missing out on the blessings of the gospel.
Ever been so sick to your stomach that you wanted to puke your guts out and die? That’s how I felt. All day and all night.
At about 10:30 pm, I screamed with the forcefulness of a man going through the depths of hell, crying into God to spare this man, and forgive me of my trespasses.
At about 6:20am, my comp, elder Hawkes got a call from Chris and said he wanted to be baptized right so he could be confirmed a member. He asked me to do it again, telling me the trial of faith was over for us. I baptized him in all my wet baptismal clothes, about 40 minutes before church started.
Frankie Roberts, a 19-year-old young man, was also baptized. A mega miracle. He was set up to be baptized in April, but he chickened out from being baptized. We tried to work with him, but he wouldn’t commit. We took him to a mission prez devo, and right afterwards, elder Hawkes asked how he was feeling. He said he felt good and he wants to be baptized on the 21st. He was baptized 2 days ago, and we are super happy for him. He was Catholic, and his family is super against him joining the church, but he snuck out and got baptized anyway. We are all going laser tagging today for FHE and he is super excited to be welcomed into the family. He is like a little bro to me.
The Sherwood ward is great, so much help, and the whole meal calendar is filled until next month. It’s a lot easier to budget when someone feeds you.
A lot of RMs who love to go out with us and teach, so that helps, but it’s cool to help strengthen all the less active members, all the recent converts, everyone. They are so vital, but easily looked over by a majority of the church. How to find success in baptizing and teaching is to focus on members and get them to help with the work. Once we leave, the last thing anybody wants is for them is for them to go inactive. They need fellowship, make their baptism a ward baptism. It means so much when someone that is in the ward is asked to baptize and to confirm this convert. Make it count. These people have a bunch of non-member friends, and they are on this spiritual high, so feed their flame and take them out and visit their friends with them.
Also, been working hard humble myself. Probably one of the reasons why I am so stressed out. Prez told me to chill during our interview. President Bell has interviews with every single missionary in the mission, making time to find out their struggles. He’s helped out everyone so much. He is one of the finest examples of the atonement. Though, he isn’t afraid to rip you a new one if you need it. He knows exactly what I need. I feel relief to completely tell him everything that has been bothering me for the past couple of months, and he tells me why some happen, why I should rely on the atonement and my purpose. It is to bring others to come unto Christ. Not about this selfish idiot. It’s about everyone I serve, the people I will meet in the years to come and the people I left home to serve my king.
One of the things we do as missionaries is constantly challenging and testifying in all places. The reason is, if there isn’t anything challenging, there is no change.
As it is said in Preach My Gospel:
“Commitment is an essential part of repentance. It is the act of obligating oneself to a course of action and then diligently following through on that decision. When people are genuinely committed, they have real intent, meaning that they fully intend to do what they have committed to do. They make an unwavering and earnest decision to change. They become devoted to Christ and dedicate themselves to His gospel. Keeping their commitment is how they “truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins” (D&C 20:37). When you ask for commitments as part of your teaching, you are inviting the investigator to repent.” PMF, pg. 195
Commitments grow faith, but testimony gives them this assurance that this is something that will change their lives. I wouldn’t want to do anything if the person challenging me has never done it, or something close to it.
“A testimony is a spiritual witness and assurance given by the Holy Ghost. To bear testimony is to give a simple, direct declaration of belief–a feeling, an assurance, a conviction of gospel truth. Sharing your testimony often is one of the most powerful ways of inviting the Spirit and helping others feel the Spirit.” PMF, pg. 198
Also, learn that not everybody will accept. As a missionary, I’m here to do the Lord’s will, during the easy times and the bad.
Going to play laser tag today for YSA FHE. I kinda can’t wait to get home and be these solid homies… Except that I’ll be back home and not on my mission. That’s bad. I love Kansas. Like, a lot. Like milkshake a lot.
Mom, I got the iPod shuffle, and it rocks. Love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hope none of y’all have gone crazy because school is out, and please don’t kill mom. Even if it’s boring, don’t bug mom. If you do, I’ll come home and we’ll all have a problem.
My companion, Elder Hawkes is really cool. He’s only been out a transfer longer than I, so we literally have no clue how to do things, so God is really working overtime to make the miracles happen. He’s from Brentwood, Cali, my 1st comp not from Utah!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!! He’s also really in shape, so I am getting in more shape. My arms are getting bigger, so I want them to look like I stuffed a watermelon in each arm. The ward is super awesome; we have a meal every day for the rest of this month. We have to bike to them, but it means I can save money. They also take us out on team ups a lot, like superheroes. I am the sidekick. I can make water bottles appear to make sure they don’t get parched.
The district is awesome, they are family. We went on a hike today. I was kinda grumpy, because P-days are my only days to nap. But I prayed for some patience, and it was pretty fun.
Topeka is so different, so big. I teach a lot of African Americans, Mexicans, white people, rich people, poor people, sick people, healthy people, overly obese people, ripped people, skinny people, tall, short, old, young, everyone. It truly is something.
So, we are at a total of 8 baptisms. My vision is to reach 50 on my whole mission. Seems hard, but the Lord wants me to be stretched into a being who can do the impossible for and in the service of his almighty work. Go on a mission with a clear cut vision, make it yours, and make every day a miracle. I see miracles every day, and keep a notebook with all my miracles I have seen each day that have happened. A clear cut vision is a vision that has been prayed over and thought considerably deep into. Think of goals, habits, personality changes, standard raising or stabilizing and dreams that will help you grow. I’ll send a copy of mine. I think I’ll make one when I get home and post it everywhere in my future house, along with “Who I am in [insert year here] ”
Hope this is a Monsoon of miracles in Monsoon May.