Haha yep! It has been a very wet soggy week. Thunderstorms just about everyday. Its been fun though. We have been super busy. The branch has a steadily declining number of active members and for some reason I have been entrusted with the job to bring them home. I have no idea how to do this but hopefully the Lord and my companion will give me some ideas. Most of the investigators that we have are spanish speakers so just as said last week Language studies have been very intense and I usually need a nap to get rid of my headache afterwards. I am going through it all and just in over my head most of the time. But “I can do all things through the Lord who strengthens me” or something like that. Elder Esquerra and I have a blast though. We have been getting into quite a few interesting situations where we end up just talking nerdy about Magic or Doctor who or Harry Potter and it is definitely interesting. We got a new investigator from it though. The lord works in very mysterious ways. (if you want email me and I’ll tell you about the Triforce doctrine). Well that’s basically all I have for reporting. Now the moment you have waiting for… the thoughts and possible ranting of a mad missionary! This week I have been thinking about how Paul relates the church to a body of which we are all members. And the thought came to me, and this applies to families or workplaces or anywhere, that if one member of a body isn’t working as it should the body is considered crippled. It isn’t able to perform to its full potential. This is exactly what I have noticed where the average attendance each week to church is around 15 members. Is the branch still performing yes but not to the full potential. For everyone to obtain the full blessings of membership in any group of party everyone has to be doing there part. So I encourage all of yall to do just that participate and work to the best of your abilities. Become a pig. (If you don’t get that reference see earlier emails at elderroundysokadventures.wordpress.com) Anyway love y’all have a happy memorial day and remember that you are loved! Te Quero!
Greeting this week from Alva Oklahoma. A beautiful small town populated with mainly oilfield workers and centered around the Alva High School. Its been a fun few days! Saying goodbye to Mustang was terrible but I am here now and now its time to go to work! Just like my last area its time to build member relationships with and get the sheep here fed before going out and getting more. The lord seems to be trusting me with building his people and I am not sure why. lol. But its time we have 9 active households which means its time to get going on 39 more. We have a lot of ground to cover though. We work in about eight small surrounding towns as well as in Alva itself. So we have a lot of travel time. I think it would be easier if we were aloud to cam out at the towns and just blitz it instead of having to travel back and forth every time. My companion Elder Esquerra is from Albuquerque NM. Is about twenty three month out on his mission and we are ready to tear this place up! I am in a district where I am the only english elder. This I am thinking is a hint from president that he wants me to do something but I am not sure what yet. So in the meantime instead of napping during my companions language study I have started to learn (or try to learn) spanish. We’ll see how it goes. But I tell you what it keeps going the way it is I will be fluent in about ten years! Other than that this week was saying both goodbye and new beginnings. I am excited! This weeks spiritual thought. I have been coming a cross the scripture lately in Alma 5:26. And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?” This has been a scriptyure that has caused some deep thought on my part. When have I felt that change of heart and am I feeling it now. This is one of my favorite scriptures to read with less active members. It hits them and kinda brings a spark of the spirit testifying to them of what they need to do to feel that again. It also reminds me of talk by Elder Anderson this last General Conference entitled The Music of the Gospel. My favorite quote out of the entire conference is in this talk he says ” I can teach you to dance but you have to hear the music.” My job out here is to teach people how to live in a way pleasing to our heavenly father they have to find out for themselves the beauty and the reason to dance. I don’t know but that was what was on my mind this week. Hope you can take something from it. Oh and please send comments suggestions and all other forms of written communication to 914 Flynn St. #2 Alva OK 73717. I pray for y’all and hope that you are doing spectacular! PLEASE WRITE! Letters are the holy grail! Everyone wants them but no one knows how to get them. I find that asking is a ok way! Love Y’all have a blessed week!
Hey Guys so there isn’t too much to report on this week. We had a tornado come through our area on Wednesday and we have been chopping and hauling trees ever since. You know those memes that are being passed around about tornado’s and tigers. Yep that was bridge creek Oklahoma where the tornado tore up a tiger safari place and let the animals free! Pretty legit right. Its been super fun but i am so stinking tired right now its not funny! Then last night I Found out that I will be moving to a little Podunk town up by the Kansas border called Alva. Population about 5,000. Small little college town with a branch and a lot of ground to cover! I’m excited to see what fun the Lord has in store for me! I am being placed with and Elder Esqara. He is a spanish elder who is finishing his mission this coming transfer. So no matter what happens the next six weeks are going to be legit! So the spiritual thought is this. I don’t know if I have already shared it but I have a feeling that it needed to be said again. Most of the time when we think about the atonement we thing of oh he suffered and died for me so I can be resurrected A and B I can be forgiven of my sins. These are wonderful aspects of the atonement but it isn’t the entirety of it. A lot of times we forget the healing and the comforting part of the Atonement. The part where when on the path of life we get hurt or depressed or discouraged or whatever Christ suffered those pains too and we learn in the scriptures that he suffered so that he can succor his people. He went through it so he knows EXACTLY how we feel every moment in our lives and now because of that he knows exactly how to comfort us in times of need. Then there is the healing aspect. When we sin we its kinda like we break a bone that connects us to the spirit. If we do nothing we keep trying to work it its going to get worse. But the atonement allows the bone to heal and not only that become stronger, Provided we do what we are supposed to. Get a cast by surrounding yourself with people who can help you keep on the straight and narrow, such as going to church every week and partaking of the sacrament. Drinking in your spiritual calcium by reading your scriptures everyday. But one of the most important that will help lead you to that is always going to see the physician. Through prayer we always can have our doctor there to help us through the pain, the itching, and the discomfort. He also has the nurses who are your bishops youth leaders and anyone you can trust to help you through. I can testify of the reality and the power in taking and applying all parts of the atonement in our lives. It is only through that power that we can truly come to Christ and be perfect. I love you all and can’t wait to tell y’all about my adventures in the boonies! Have a great week!
Wow it has been a short time since i last saw anyone of you guys. it has gone by fast though and i couldn’t be happier. The lord is definitely in this work and he loves us all. this week has been one huge spiritual high. it started out smooth and easy i loved seeing all my friends and family again! My companion Elder Wilcox is from Fresno California and we made fast friends and are the perfect team it seems like. with the investigators we are working with we are having huge success in helping them to feel the spirit. At the start of the week i was called to district leader. this is something that i was not at all prepared for and my district is continually putting up with my mistakes and just take it in stride. I love them so much and its sad because besides me and Elder Wilcox they are all going to Vancouver Washington. Its amazing how much we have grown together in a week though. I have had some questions and i have gained a little weight here. i went from 145 to 150. i was kinda shocked as this happened in the first three days. but since then ive been holding steady. Its crazy how fast this time is going. it was last week that we were new and our other district was welcoming us, now they are gone and we just welcomed another round of Newbies. next tuesday i fly out to where i’ll be the next two years and i am so excited. but it means a week without a Pday after today. Anyway for the spiritual experience of the week. Me and my comp. have this investigator that is extremely receptive to the message and we just love her to death. the problem is that she lost her trust in god and is scared to pray and fut her faith back in him. We went there the other day and me and elder wilcox it had been a long day and we had some tension between us we didn’t even know why. but as soon as we walked into her place she noticed it and began to just sit and talk about the love of christ and of god and how it is necessary in the relationships where you have to be so close. I dont remember half of what was said but the spirit was there and it was fantastic. Because of her lecturing and working things out in her own mind she committed to maybe try and give a simple prayer and work up from there. ME and my companion were at a loss for words. we had gone in not even knowing what we were going to teach her but as we went in asking for ways to help her the spirit took over and did the work. this is an amazing testament to me that God is in everything even the bad stuff and as we strive to recognise his hand we will be blessed. I love you all and hope The Lord blesses you so that you don’t have room to receive it. Everything is ok
Wow! what a week! its been a tornado of information and people! I am loving it here in Mustang Oklahoma. The people here are so nice and the country is beautiful. It’s been pretty clear weather wise until this morning when it snowed about an inch. Right now its just freezing butt cold! the wind is what really cuts deep it almost never stops. I am really glad that I have a car. My first companion and my trainer (“dad”) is a amazing guy from Portland Oregon named Elder Balch. I love him to pieces and the coolest thing is that he roomed at BYU-I with Grant Perry and Luke Champion so he knows about the peeps at home! He is a convert of three years now and one of the most solid guys I have ever met. Like said there has been a lot of people that I’ve met and they are just some of the most loving, kindest God fearing people I have ever met. Even if they don’t want to hear our message they help us out in anyway they can. Most of the members are either converts or transplants that came here to work either in the oil industry or the military. The first night I got here I went to a Nashville Tribute Band concert and had a blast. It was exactly what I needed just sit back detox and feel the spirit. Their music is fantastic Y’all should look them up. especially their Redeemer CD. Then the Saturday I got to go to the Temple. Elder Balch had a baptism of his going top the temple for the first time so I got to go with him. There wasn’t room in the session but i got to help do Sealing sessions for most of the morning and just loved the people. Sunday was uneventful just more meeting the ward members and introductions. Then we went to an I Believe fireside and had an amazing time there. there is so much more to cover and not very much time to cover it. I have a Vlog that i tried and my Mommy will hopefully put it out if i can get it to send. but really its just me babbling. I just want to leave you with a thought. Every time my district parted ways in the MTC I would tell them this and now I’ll tell it to you. JESUS LOVES YOU! I LOVE YOU! remember that as you go through this week. May the Lord bless you so that you will not have room to receive it. Everything is OK!
It’s been a ride this week. We have been seeing blessings and we have had the adversary completely take and send us to regroup and muster our strength again. Then mortality gets in the way all the time. We have been having fun and been seeing the lords hand. All forms of the work whether building Zion or finding the elect. We have been kept on our toes these past couple sunday nights where we have been invited and have been participating in some gospel studies with some church of Christ people. They are absolutely fantastic people and they are truly wanting to know the will of the lord in all things and to follow it. the problem is when they look at portions and not the big picture. And thats kinda what my spiritual thought is going to be. How often are we trapped somewhere looking at a tree instead of the forest? when we are faced with a trial or a choice, are we looking at just the immediate implications that will result from it or are we looking at the grand picture of will this lead me closer to my Heavenly Father? Then this is the most amazing part of the entire thing. We are allowed to make mistakes. Because of what Christ did in the garden and on the cross we can make mistakes and still be able to repent and continue along growing and learning from those mistakes how to be better in the future. How sweet is that! Even if we fail the test we have just about an infinite number of retakes available to us. Why because the Lord wants us to succeed. He has put in place the best no child left behind program in the entire universe! His happiness and his entire purpose is to bring to mass the immortality and eternal life of man. He wants us to be happy! Mind boggling right. When we look at that how can we not want a piece of this cake? I love all of y’all! I continue to look for your letters and emails in my mail box. Let me know if these thinks are worth a penny or two. Have a great week!
This week has been legit! We have had so much fun and met some really just amazing people! There is just to much and I want to save some stuff for stories when I come home so I won’t tell you about all of it! The best story though is a miracle and the amazing testament to the power of prayer. So Sunday I get super discouraged. We have no one to teach no one who wants to learn and it seems like I’m putting a lot of work into nothing. So I am on my knees for what seems like forever just seeing what I am doing wrong. I ask for someone to teach this week who need the plan of salvation. The next morning we get a media referral and those usually turn out to be a bus no one ever refers themselves but some how we always get their numbers and addresses requesting a visit. So we expect this guy to be the same. But we go to visit him he invites us in and we talk for a little while. We learn that he went to Boise State and had an LDS roommate. Later in his life, so now, his life is in the pits and he wants to be happy like his roommate always was. Also he wants to know how his family can be closer together and happier as a whole. Bam! The Church is true the Lord answers prayers and we are his children! Which leads me to my spiritual thought. There is a story of some prophet ( I can’t remember who) is on an airplane and a guy asks how he knows that the church is true. He replies the spirit testified to him of it. The guy asks the question well how can you tell that it is the spirit and not just you. After going back and forth with scripture for awhile he replies. Have you ever tasted salt? The man replies of course I have. Can you tell salt from pepper or cinnamon? Why of course! Can you tell me what salt tastes like? The man fumbles for a bit and says no I cant. He is told. Neither can I tell you what the spirit feels like and how it testifies of truth. Unless you experience it you can not know. That is everything that we tell people to do. Try it for yourselves and you will find that it is good! We can talk and go around in circles until we are blue in the face and the sun burns out of light and unless you try it for yourself you will not be able to know. I have tested it and I know without a shadow of a doubt that this is Gods true church on the earth today. The Lord has given us a prophet to lead and guide us back to him. Please find that answer for yourself! Get on your knees and ask! I promise that you will get your answer. I love you all so much and can’t wait to hear from you guys on how everything is going! Have an amazing week!