June 5th, 2017
This week was pretty amazing! It was jam packed full of spiritual experiences! I'm sorry I don't have much time so I'll make it up to you next week! So I'll first answer your questions.
I didn't get any ticks yet! 😁 there are tons of bugs here though haha
The work here is going great! As always there's always something that goes wrong in missionary work, but the baptism we should've had last week should be this Saturday! And weve got a couple more lined up! Exciting!
I would probably say, there is no one person that has been a big inspiration, but I would say the members you meet out on the mission are each inspirational! I have been taking things learned from each of them to help in my daily discipleship.
The biggest thing that I'm learning right now is the principle of goals and plans. I have been setting them for the future, not just mission but after too, so I can continue on the right path after the mission as well. And not just stay the same but keep progressing! I have high hopes for the future! And I would love for ya'll to be setting goals and making plans so you can keep getting better and better! I love ya'll and have a great week!
June 12, 2017
That's so great to see all that's happening at home! And congratulations Dean! That had to be an exciting time for Jared! It's also so crazy to see all the graduations happening! I feel so old now haha.
This week was absolutely amazing here in Danville!
It all started on an emergency exchange on Tuesday. Nothing Scary or anything, the District Leader came down to interview Natasha. I was kinda nervous because so many events transpired in the weeks approaching baptism, but she passed! And something crazy that happened, when we were looking for something for her to wear to be baptized in, a member was looking in her closet and she found and random white dress that fit Natasha perfectly and she didn't even know where it came from! It was a pretty great miracle!
I was able to play piano at the baptism, which was great, and my companion got to baptize her! The member turn out was great! A lot more then we expected! She felt really great, and the members loved finally having a baptism! It had been since August since they had one last, and the ward has been slowly dying off, so they were very happy to have a new member come in.
She was confirmed yesterday and that was amazing to be a part of the blessing. There is actually a youth temple trip this Saturday, and she might be going to that! What really made our day, was when we were talking to her after church. Apparently while bishop was interviewing her he said that she was the most knowledgeable convert that she interviewed. Then he told her that we are the best missionaries this area has ever seen. Which was very nice to hear.
Then, yesterday, President Alexander came up to interview Leslie. And she passed as well! So she will be getting baptized this Wednesday! He also said that she was one of the most knowledgeable people he has interviewed for baptism. He was really impressed with how much she knew from the Book of Mormon, and how much she referred to "Nephi as her hero", and she "just needs to get back to the rod." So that'll be exciting to see just a few days after this past baptism.
This past week humbled me a lot. It showed me how much of an instrument in the Lord's hand I am, through these wonderful people were teaching. I feel I did almost nothing, but apparently, they are doing really well! I'm just glad that I can be a part of his army.
One scary thing that happened though, was after Presidents interview with Leslie, he said he wanted to talk to me. I was terrified, I was just wondering what I did wrong. Then he continued to ask me how I'm doing health wise. Which was a big relief, cuz I knew what he was talking about.
So this last Tuesday I found a tick on me, and it was in the bathroom I found it. It was on my no-no's. I got it off but it was scary, cuz I though I was gonna get Lyme disease. I thought that was send me home so my anxiety went up kinda, and it made me feel like a had a fever. And that's a symptom of Lyme disease and so I text President about it. He directed me the the Medical missionary Sister. And apparently, I am ok! So I got to talk with President one on one which was nice after knowing i wasn't in trouble or nothing bad happened.
And we were talking to Sister Alexander and she was talking to us about Transfers. So they are coming up next Tuesday and I'll find out next P-day. but she was telling us that 18 missionaries are coming in this transfer and 27 are coming in next! Its gonna be crazy! But I'm excited to be a seasoned missionary. I hit 9 months this Wednesday!
Another Highlight of this week, is we found out we got in the Newspaper! We do service at a baptist church and we got in the picture for that so that was pretty awesome.
But throughout my time here in the mission, I have really seen the Lord's hand in changing my mind and my heart. I've been able to feel more of his guidance and strength. and i think it comes mostly from consistency in the simple things. I've found the most strength and guidance through regular scripture study and prayer. So the most important thing I can invite you to do is those simple things. Through time you will see the difference it makes. I Love you all and I hope this was a long enough email! Oh, and ask Elder Olson's mom to send you the video he sent her!
PS. First off, if I could get another flashdrive with some mo-tab and any other good music you could find that'll be great!
and second, So some of the screws on the extensions broke. When another missionary was trying to get it on he cross threaded a couple bolts, and when we went to home Depot to get them off, they used a drill and they broke off. So I'll send you a pic of the pieces I need and if you could get them that'll be great! Love You!
June 19, 2017
This past week has been amazing! Last Wednesday was just about the best day you could get on a mission. It started with an amazing Zone Conference in the morning. The trainings we got were very applicable which those are the best, and I got to be a part of it! The assistants had me be "List man." They were giving a training on how to use all the tools of missionary work. And one of the best tools are the part-member, less-active, unbaptized children of record, and prospective Elders lists. So right before the conference they asked me to be list man.
They had me wear a mask and a cape with a bunch of lists stapled to it. Once it was time, the mission president’s wife started playing some batman theme song music on the piano. Then I ran in throwing punches and kicks. I ran out, then came back in on the stage, emerging from the curtains, I rebuked the two zones for not having the lists. and told them we needed it to fight the enemy!
That was the exciting part of Zone conference, everything else was great, but ya'll probably don’t wanna hear about that ha-ha. But once we got back, we started preparing for Leslie's baptism! It was an amazing experience to be a part of, and she even brought some of her family who really seemed to love it! Wanna hear something amazing?
So Leslie is a grandma, and has 3 of her own kids. Two of them were talking one night for a few hours, marveling at the change they have seen in their mother. We've seen a big change in her, but apparently, they’ve seen an even bigger change. And hopefully we'll be getting her children and grandchildren on Date soon!
Yeah, she was the hardest to say goodbye to. But when I was saying goodbye, I had the strongest feeling i was going to see her again in the Spirit World. And I knew that in the pre-existence I promised her i would find her and bring her into the gospel. It gave me a huge sense of peace knowing that i kept my promise to her. I've heard about these things before, and I didn’t doubt it was true. But yesterday i truly understood. It was amazing!
So through reading this last paragraph, you’re probably like, why is he saying goodbye? But it is true, that I’m getting transferred. It's bittersweet. But i'm leaving the area better than i found it, and that's all i can hope for in an area. I've seen many miracles in these last two transfers and it's really humbled me, and shown me how this is all the Lords work, and i really am just an instrument in his hands.
The place I’m going to is Albemarle, the biggest area in the mission! I've only heard good things about it so I’m excited! My new companion is Elder Stewart. This is gonna be his last transfer on the mission! He's a really funny guy, and cool story, he was List man for one of the other Zone conferences! So were gonna probably have too much fun together ha-ha. And get this, I’m gonna put this is blue because of how exciting this is!!!!!
The District I’m going to, Elder Montandon is in!!!! He's been there 3 transfers already, so he's probably going after this one, but we'll be serving together! It's so crazy!
Y'all have a great week! I'll keep you posted on how this next transfer goes!
Disclaimer: don't have much time, next week I have much more time
But I will talk about the highlight of the week. I got to go on exchange with Elder Montandon! I know y'all got pictures but I sent a few more.
But it was so weird to be with him again! It was awesome though. He has in a way changed a lot, but he's also the same. We had tons of fun and stayed up until 3 in the morning. And I got to know a lot about him that I didn't know before. And while we were out, we were followed by a goat, it was pretty hilarious. But I'm so sorry that I can't get a lot out. I'm actually a little over the time when I was supposed to end. But I just wanted to let you know how much I love y'all. I pray for you every day and think of you as I go out to work. I'll get this better next week! Don't worry!
The new address is 1002 Foxrun Dr Apt D Albemarle NC 28001-3053
From Elder Greg Montandon’s letter: Friday was when the true party happened we had district meeting and then we had exchanges and I went on exchange with the one the only Elder Jacob Beaulieu which was probably the greatest thing that I have ever done we went and visited my recent convert Mylinh Boltwoods house and they had so much going on so we calmed her down and everything and retaught her the restoration and she felt good and it was pretty funny because Mylinh gives everyone nicknames so she called Elder Beaulieu "Boo Boo" put it was a very powerful lesson.
Elder Olson’s letter: (his last companion)
There is a picture of me and Elder Beaulieu I found that pretty much sums up our whole companionship.