Friday, September 13, 2013

"Hope is Tomorrow's Veneer Over Today's Disappointment"

We had a busy and eventful week.  I don't like sharing negative things in my emails because those are no fun. But, we had a bit of a let down this week.  Mxxxxx, our only investigator, is dating Mxxxxx, a member...I'm pretty sure I've talked about them before.  About a month ago, Monica said she was leaving the church. Well she did that again on Sunday. She said she is leaving the church and that she doesn't want us to come visit her unless she invites us over. This breaks my heart. But, last time she called us back 4 days later and changed her mind so hopefully that happens again this time. 

Enough of that negative stuff... So this week we had MLC  (mission leader counsil) It was really good. We counseled about different aspects of missionary work. Things we are doing well, and things we are going to try and improve. Overall as a mission we are doing really well, we have a lot of missionaries that are trying there best. 

We are working on transfers this week. That's always fun.  President is having us make our own transfer board with what we would do if we were to transfer everyone, so that's pretty cool that he trusts us to do that. Of course he will make all of the changes, but it will be cool to see which suggestions he likes of ours. 

In other news, I asked President Wall if I could extend an extra 2 weeks... Elder Hauata goes home 2 weeks before I do. So basically there will be 2 brand new assistants with no experience when I would go home. So I asked if I could stick around for 2 weeks and help them out. He said that's a great idea. Right now it looks like I will be extending :) Love and miss you tons!

"God's Work Done God's Way Will Never Lack God's Help."

This week felt really long for some reason. But, it was definitely a good week. We had our weekly FHE with Micheal and Monica. It was pretty fun, Micheal made this really good chicken and sausage gumbo and then we talked about family history work, and then Micheal made this really cool trivia game using the bible and the Book of Mormon.  I've really grown to love Micheal and Monica. They are the best. 

I can't remember if I told you or not, but I will be staying in the office until I go home. Not how I wanted to end my mission, but it's what the Lord wants and so I will give it my all until the end. But with that being the case, my comp Elder Hauata was suppose to go home the end of this transfer, but he is from Tahiti and his visa doesnt expire until November, so president extended him 30 days. Which means he will go home 2 weeks before I do. The plan right now is that I will get a new comp when Elder Hauata goes home and then 2 weeks later I leave and the new assistant has to know everything he needs to know.  With it being that way, President is taking some of the duties that we have and are letting the senior couple in the office handle them. One less thing to train the new assistant about. That also allows us to do "normal" missionary work more! Which makes me really happy because there is nothing better than a long hard day of being a missionary. We were able to go on splits with the PEC this week, which was great because I went with our new ward mission leader and we went and saw a less active family that we haven't been able to see in forever. It was a miracle. That's what happens when the ward and the missionaries work together! The new WML and I get  along really well, so hopefully we can start having more success here with the relationship being strengthened.

We finished specialized training this week. We ended with New Orleans, for some reason both the New Orleans zones were not very prepared or planned out. I guess you can learn from the mistakes made as well. But it was a great learning experience all around. We have MLC this week and so we will be following up on that. 

I can't believe that I only have 8 weeks left. They will fly by, and that scares the living daylights out of me. I have truly loved every second of my mission. I will be eternally grateful for the experiences that I have had and the love and kindness the people of Louisiana and the Lord has given me these last two years. I will save my really sappy go home email for when I actually go home. But, I just want everyone to know that I know that the Savior lives and that he his mindful of us and knows what will make us better. The testimonies born yesterday in sacrament meeting were so great. I felt like each of them knew what I was struggling with and they bore sweet powerful testimonies that gave me hope and peace. The spirit is great, it will always teach us something if we are listening, but the thing is, we have to be listening. 

The Best Way to Find Yourself is to Lose Yourself in the Service of Others

Another good week here in South Louisiana! Elder Parker went home this week. I am glad I had the pleasure of serving with him. I learned a lot from him and I'm grateful for his friendship. Elder Hauata and I are now getting settled into the swing of things. We had more Specialized Training this week, we are still doing the days of service with each zone. One zone we helped out this humanitarian project, by helping finish a home, and then we did highway pick up in one of the cities. So that was really fun. Then on Thursday and Friday, we were here in Baton Rouge and we scraped down and painted some parking rails at an astronomy observatory, it was really fun, but man that paint was hard to get off. I really learn a lot from doing service and I feel like the rest of the missionaries feel the same way. I just love serving! 

We also got to go to the temple this week with our ward. The new film was so sweet! I love the temple, it helps me out so much. Something that I learned this time is about how God has created everything, and he expects everything to grow, progress and contribute to His great plan. I love how they say, that so everything will fill the measure of their creation.  We all have this great potential, but it's up to us to seek what our potential is and how we can meet it. We aren't left alone, we have the spirit here to help us and reveal to us our part in this great plan of happiness. It really hit me hard this week, that maybe the things I have to go through are part of something bigger than myself and I have to endure it so I can take a step closer to filling the measure of my creation. Gosh, isnt the gospel so cool?

Zone Community Service Projects

This week was super sweet. We are doing specialized training. It's kind of like zone conference, but President has a lot more freedom to do whatever type of training he wants. So he decided that we were going to have a day of service for all of the zones. This week we went to two different zones and did these big service projects. They were sweet. One was painting trailers and building decks. The other one was Elder Bawden's zone, and we did yard work in this old overgrown cemetary. It was crazy, in some places the grass was chest high and then there was this bamboo looking stuff that was probably 10 to 15 feet high. I have pictures. It was a great way to get out into the community and serve them and just promote unity there and in the zone. Service is a big part of our mission and we just wanted to have an example of how it should be done. 

A cool experience that I've had recently is that I've been able to go to the temple a lot more since being in Baton Rouge ( I heard they have a new video, can't wait to see it!) But I've started doing something different as I pray in the Celestial room.  As I ponder and pray, I thank Heavenly Father for the opportunity I had to do an act of service for the person I was going through for. I also ask Heavenly Father to please tell whose ever work I'm doing, thank you for letting me serve them and that I hope they except it. I know that doesn't sound very powerful, but every time I do that the Spirit just hits me like a ton of bricks. And I know at that moment that they are there, and they are thankful for their work being done and that they have excepted it. 

Well family, thank you for all the love and support. I can feel it all the time. I know that the Lord is blessing y'all.

Love and miss yall!


We are now in a tri panionship. This is the third one I've been in on my mission. And so far this is the best one. I still don't like tri panionships. But Elder Hauata really helps make things better. He will probably be one of my favorite companions. 

Well, it was another eventful week here in the mission field. This was probably the craziest transfer so far. The AC upstairs in the mission home went out right as the new missionaries were getting there. So for about 2 hours President, Elder Parker and myself were running around the mission home trying to install 3 window units to try and cool down the upstairs. It was like 90 degrees up there.  Poor Elders--they were the ones that had to sleep up there. But only one of the units actually fit in the window. The other two were too big and so we had to ghetto rig it. One of them we put on a dresser right in front of the window and then duct-taped the open space so bugs didn't come in. Then the other one we put on a music stand and duct-taped the middle of it so it didn't slide down.  Yes is was super ghetto, but really funny. Turns out there is a reason why the units have to hang out the window... because they drain water out of them.  So we had some puddles in one bathroom and in the bedroom. It was a mess for sure! 

We are going down to New Orleans today for P'day. Elder Parker's sister is down there so we are going to lunch with her and her husband. It should be fun because we are also going to go to the shops and stuff. I've already been, but now I'm at a point in my mission where I want to buy stuff to take home. 

Sorry that I don't really have any spiritual experiences. I hope to have more of them this week. For Specialized training this month we are going around to each Zone and we are having a Zone service project. So that will be really fun, I'll be sure to take a lot of pictures.