Sunday, May 22, 2011

This week wasn't quit as exciting as last week, but lots of good things still happed. I went on exchanges at the beginning of the week down to the Rockland area. Get this. I was teaching in the town of St. George. Ironic right? The family we taught thought it was pretty funny. They told me that St. George, UT got its name because some of the settlers there were from St. George, ME. I don't know if I believed it, but it was a pretty good story. While on exchange, I also got to see another lighthouse- the Owls Head Light. We went and saw it one night.  I've been taking lots of pictures lately. Now that spring is here, it's gorgeous. I seriously can't get over it. I've never seen anything as beautiful as Maine right now. I couldn't get over it yesterday. But I'll send some pics to give you an idea what I'm talking about.

 Something else cool- I had my first Maine lobster this week! A member took us out to eat and treated us to lobster. Man, the process of eating a lobster is brutal. It gets boiled alive, then has its claws ripped off and cracked open, followed by being snapped in half so the tail can be eaten, then the legs get ripped off and sucked was delicious though. I've never eaten anything like it before. I look forward to doing it again. I just had to remind myself that all creatures are given to us for our use. And lobsters are put to good use in Maine, that's for sure.

The work went well. We're doing really good with an investigator named Edward. He just lost his job, so we ding-dong ditched a box of food on his porch. He got really mad and told us he called the cops about it. We went back the next week and told him it was us. Luckily, he wasn't too mad at us. We're trying to teach him to trust in God, because he says he can't trust anything or anybody anymore. He has lived a really tough life. He's living in a literal shack alone. But, I know the gospel "takes the slums out of a man so he can take himself out of the slums." That's what we're going for.

 Serena is still looking good for her baptism next Saturday. I can't wait- It'll be my first! We have two others getting close plus a family ready to talk about it. We've been doing really good with less actives and members this week. We taught an awesome lesson on Hope to a member family last night. The "Christlike Attribute" section of Preach My Gospel is amazing. I'd recommend everyone to read through it and dilligently study it. . Great things come from it.

Anyways, those are some of the highlights. Lots is going on! Missionaries never have a dull moment. But I want to leave a quote I got from a member on Sunday in his talk. I thought about it and put it into a context. The thought is this: "When frustrated, ask youself "Is this what I want, or what God wants?" When we align ourself with God, we'll want what he wants, and thusly, he'll want what we want, causing us to see his hand and his blessing constantly, giving us peace and happiness. Think about that a bit. It's a pretty intense concept.

Pictures of Belfast Maine

Mission President

Friday, May 6, 2011

Hello Everyone!

Good to hear from you all! Sounds like it's been a pretty intense week. It's weird hearing all this news. I love being up to date though. That's so crazy about Bin Laden! I'll have to see if I can get a member to tell me more about that. And that's so awesome about Derek Baker too!!! Tell him congrats from me, and tell him I'd love to hear from him. That's crazy about Vern and the Thompson though. Seems like life is crazy!

That's a huge bummer about the pigs!! What did you end up doing with them? I'm not terribly surprised about my room being moved. I'm surprised it took this long. ha. Just don't throw anything valuable away.

Happy Mothers day in advance! And yes, I will be calling home! I think the time we worked out will be 5 PM your time. Hopefully you'll be available for that. I'll just be calling you from our cell phone, so expect a call around then! Umm...yeah! That's about it! Whoever wants to be there can be there. I guess Kirk might not be able to. But if Grandma and Grandpa or Berkley or whoever else says something, I'm cool with it. But I'm very excited to talk with everyone. It'll be awesome!

Hey Dad, I have a favor to ask of you. Could you send me my priesthood line of authority? You could do it over email or in a letter. Whatever works. But I think that'd be cool to have when teaching about the priesthood. I'd really appreciate it!

So spring FINALLY came over here! It's gorgeous. I've never seen so much green before- and the trees haven't even bloomed yet. There is wild grass everywhere. Tons of wild flowers too. I'll start sending random flowers in my letters (hint hint girls. Write me). It's super nice weather too. It's typically in the upper 60's or 70's. We've started wearing the whites tracting. The humidity pokes through some days, but I'm avoiding that right now. The bugs are starting to come out though. Mosquitoes and black flies are supposedly awful during the summer. I'm not terribly excited to find out about that. But I'm in a gorgeous town right on the coast with perfect weather right now. It doesn't get any better than that!

The beginning of this week was kinda rough. One of our super solid investigators told us he couldn't read the BOM or come to church anymore. He had a dream warning him of investigating the church. He says he's up for discussion still though, so we're still going over. But when he called to say that, I was super bummed. At the time, I was also on exchanges, so I was in charge of my area with a greenie for 3 days. It was fine, but it was hard. But, I'm learning that every trial we go through can happen for a reason IF we let it. So, I set my mind on turning it into something to help me grow. One night, as my companion was writing in his journal, I felt I needed to pray. So, I went into the bathroom, shut the door, got on my hands and knees and began to vocally pray. I prayed for quite a while, but during the prayer, I felt the Savior's love. All my problems went away. I've been doing great ever since. The love of Jesus Christ is the light that no darkness can overpower. I'm definitely learning that. Other things that helped before that though was scripture study. The scriptures are seriously so awesome. But it's also super conditional on the IF you let it part. I found answers in those pages. The other thing that I found surprisingly helped a lot was a few letters I've received from friends. There were a few that after I read them, I felt a new wave of entusiasm and hope. So thank you to those who have written me. It's helped out a lot, and I hope my letters back do some good for you too.

But after that little speed bump early in the week, the rest of the week went great. We've been teaching like crazy. We've had back to back appointments almost every day. We have TONS of investigators just getting off the ground. Some of them have great potential. We have about 20 reading the BOM right now. I'm excited to reap the fruit that it grows. We have several close to baptism too. We have a girl committed to be baptized at the end of this month. I'm SUPER excited! It will probably be my first baptism. Stay tuned for that. We had a great lesson with the family we found several weeks ago, the ones with all the health problems. We taught them the restoration and the value it has for families. It was a great lesson, and she downloaded BOM podcasts onto her ipod before we left. She's awesome. I can't wait to see how she progresses too. Overall, the work is going great. This next week will be the first week Elder Brown and I will put in a straight week of work together. He's had to go to conferences every other week so far. We work great together. I don't know if I already told you about this, but he's a singer. He sung in a band before his mission. So, we've taken up singing in most of our lessons. It's going great. Investigators and members both say they love it. We sung after helping out in the soup kitchen last Thursday and we ended up drawing in quite the crowd. It's a lot of fun, and a great way to invite the Spirit. I'm also playing the piano for the ward choir for a song in a week or two. Looks like my music really is paying off! Speaking of that, did I tell you I hunted down a saxophone? One of the members had one lying around in their garage. I don't play it tons because I don't have time, but it's good for a break every once and a while!

In other news, I've learned to be even more grateful for the temples we have back home. Up here, the closest temple is the Boston temple 4 hours away. Members have to plan weekend trips to get there. I can't wait to live somewhere where I'll have the temple close by. I miss it so much. But we really are blessed to have a temple so close back home. I never realized what a blessing it was until now.

Also, I've taken up running. Weird, I know. But, me and my Elder Brown have been going most morning. It's pretty awesome.

But yeah. That's about all I got. This week is going to be great! Love you all, and I look forward to talking to you on Sunday at 5!