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Transfers!!

So I got transferred to the Arapahoe zone which covers the arapahoe and aurora south stakes. My new companion is Elder Merkley. I served around him in denver for a couple transfers and it was tons of fun so i'm pretty excited to be with him for a few weeks. He's from washington, Port Orchard area and he is going to be going home at the end of this transfer so i'm his last and best companion.

This week has been tons of fun though. Since they changed how transfers work it makes it a super easy transition because you don't have time to say goodbye to people or anything so you just kind of leave and then you get to your new area and start working. It's crazy seeing all the new missionaries come in and how prepared they already are. I feel like with every group we get they are just more and more prepared and ready to serve the Lord. 
One of my favorite things is seeing the way people change their whole attitude when they see the Light the World video. We talk to so many…

That Was Pretty Fun

I don't have much time but I wanted to tell you about two super cool things we got to do this week. First of all, we got to go to 16th st mall saturday night with our whole zone as well as the youth from our ward (the other wards were lame and didn't come) and we handed out 500 flyers with all the times and addresses of the Christmas eve services in the stake as well as 500 light the world cards, and that's not even counting all of the people we got to talk to who didn't want anything. It was super cool to see the youth in such a missionary mindset and the best part is that they were thriving with it. Once we started talking to random people all of our youth started talking to even more and they were having competitions with each other and coming back to us and telling us how much stuff they had handed out and how many weird people they talked to and it was just so exciting to them as well as us. I couldn't believe how prepared some of these youth were to share the…

What a Great Week

This week had a lot of planning involved for next week. We decided that we are going to go to 16th st mall with all the missionaries in the stake as well as all the youth we can gather on the 2nd and do some caroling and hand out light the world cards, so we decided that we would meet at our building downtown at 5 and go from there... Being young and just out of high school we figured that's all it would take, but then the questions started flooding in: "what about the city, are they okay with that big of a group at 16th street?" "Our ward mission leader wants to hear from the stake presidency that this is approved." "People are upset that this is last minute." and "How are we going to get there from the grant building (our downtown building)?" And these are all wonderful questions. I just didn't know that they were going to pop up so we have had a lot of calls and preparations to make this last week. But its been tons of fun. We've …

It's a Great Day to be Alive

I love being able to serve right now as a missionary and especially under the direction of President Savage and Sister Savage. I feel that they are trying to prepare us for when we get home way more than they are trying to prepare us for right now. I have felt a sincere desire from them to bless our entire lives not just our missions. And right now it is so much fun to serve because God is trying extra hard to sharpen His tools (us) and give them every possible aid to push the work along. Light the World is coming up soon and we will all be able to participate in spreading the light of Christ that way. The biggest goal for us as missionaries is to get people to go watch the video on mormon.org on their own devices so that they know somewhere to go where they can get true and unchanging truths about the Gospel and Church of Jesus Christ.   
       Something cool that happened this week was the young single adult face to face last night. I thought something that they said was really nea…

A Fun Filled Week

So this week we were able to go on some exchanges which were fun and we were able to do some fun service projects as well as we were able to teach a bunch of lessons and meet a lot of people!! It was a grand time. But the best part was that we had a zone conference with Elder Wilford Andersen and his wife. I felt the true inspiration that he brought to our mission and I felt that he had truly searched out to find out what we needed to hear. One of my favorite things that he told us was something like, "Do not soft pedal the truths of the Gospel. You are on solid ground when you teach truth." And for me I know that simple phrase changed my mindset when I teach. I now sense the importance of telling people things as they really are. President Savage says something similar a lot. He says, "We can't do the Lord's work in the Devils way," meaning that we can't coerce people into doing what we want. We cannot use our own charisma to bring to pass salvation in…

Learning to Live After the Manner of Happiness

I feel like the last few months i have been telling myself week to week that the next week will be less busy with less meetings and I will be able to get out and do more stuff in our area, but i have come to realize that the thought of being less busy next week is indeed false. Something President said about 6 weeks ago has started to ring very true in my mind. He talked about how busy things are getting and how we are starting to ask more of the missionaries which means that we will have to start using our time more efficiently. For example, when the previous normal amount of finding hours in a week was around 40 or so, we will now be down around 20 and we will still be finding the same amount of people because we will rely on the spirit more and put more effort into sharpening our skills so that the spirit can use us better. Now I was not writing this to show you how busy we are, but rather to show you that maybe being busy isn't a bad thing. We simply have to use what little ti…

A Gift From Heaven

I loved Elder Hollands talk in conference where he states that "our only hope for true perfection is in receiving it as a gift from heaven- we cannot earn it." This quote has given me much food for thought and as i have thought about it I have started to reflect on gifts that I got as a child. I started to think about how when I wanted a gift from my parents I would oh so sneakily say something like, "Mom, doesn't that bike look really cool?" because then obviously she would now want to have the bike just as badly, and I'll tell you what, it worked almost every time... as long as I had enough money to pay for it. But that's obviously not what the word "gift" means right? So what about the times where I got a true gift from my parents? These things were always very special to me. That is one definition of my own for the word gift. Looking back though, i feel like I kind of earned those gifts. I mean i was a good kid, i did my chores almost half…

Transfer Week

So first off, I am staying in my area with the same companion which hasn't happened since my first area haha so I'm pretty excited! The biggest goal for this next transfer is really getting on top of all the assignments that have been given to us and then on top of that we have been promised that if we work harder and longer than the rest of the zone then we will find so much fruit that we cannot even handle the teaching load. But as for things that have happened this week, we have had a lot of fun with the zone while getting ready for and organizing transfers. For the most part our zone stayed the same and we are super happy with that. We only have one new missionary here this transfer and his trainer is one of the best missionaries. I love being able to see new missionaries and remember the way I felt when I first got here and know that they are feeling very similar. It has been one of the coolest experiences to see how much greater the faith of new missionaries is than even…

Convert Fireside

Okay so something really cool that happened just yesterday was the "why I believe" fireside put on by the mission in order to let some recent converts share their testimonies and lift our spirits as well as the spirits of members all over the mission. It was such a spirit filled meeting where the whole mission sang as the choir, 4 recent converts shared their story and testimony, and we also got to hear a few musical numbers from other missionaries and a few words from president savage as well. It was amazing the way music when done with the right spirit can bring such a spirit to the room. The entire mission sang a special arrangement of "this is the Christ" as well as a special arrangement of "we'll bring the world his truth."  (not the EFY medley) and during both of these numbers you could sense the testimony and conviction within the voices that sang them (even if it was voices like mine). My favorite was "this is the Christ" because I d…

Covenant Makers are Miracle Chasers

Hey there! Well it has been a fun and busy week as always but I feel that there was a lot of fun and a lot of success this week. We were able to go on exchanges with a companionship in the zone and that was tons of fun and we had some meetings which were pretty fun. But its really weird because i think my sense of fun has changed since i've been on my mission, or at least its been added upon I guess would be a better way of putting it because I still enjoy other things just as much. But the reason I say this is because of a certain experience I had this week while on exchanges with Elder Hartwig. We were getting ready to go and swap back to our normal companions when we saw a lady walking on the sidewalk so we stopped and talked to her and she ended up being pretty interested and said that we could come back. But at this point we are running a little late to meet our companions so we start walking a little bit faster to get back to the car. When we were almost to the car we walked…

A Week of Inspiration... Or Just 2 Days

General Conference was amazing. Gathering to hear the words of the Prophets and Apostles is always special, but this time for me was especially cool because although I was able to have personal questions answered, most of the time I was able to have others (most of which I am teaching) in mind and try to find answers for them and what I could share with them. Sad to say, many of the people who I am most concerned about are those who have already seen the light and Joy of Christ and His Gospel but they simply dont care anymore or they dont think they are good enough to keep partaking of that joy. But I think those are exactly the people I needed to have on my mind because they are the ones that so many of the talks were directed to. We received so much guidance on how we shouldnt beat ourselves up but we should simply press forward with faith and continually strive to become a little bit better every single day. God does not expect us to either be perfect or get out. This is not a pass…

The Light of Christ

Alrighty, so I wanted to share a couple insights from my studies this last week. First thing that i found super interesting is the relationship between Power and the Holy Ghost. I was reading in the section of preach my gospel about "my purpose" and one of the things it was talking about was having power in my work and i had no idea what it was talking about other than simply strengthening my ability to teach by practicing the required skills in preach my gospel. But as I studied the Scriptures that were referenced i started to see that in almost all of them it says something about how they had been given their knowledge or their power through the spirit. This ignited a deep desire within me to have more power, which seems like a dirty thing that only warlords want. But through reading those scriptures that preach my gospel referenced i realized that true power, or true spiritual power i should say, comes through the spirit. Whenever we have the spirit with us we have spirit…

Transfer Week

Holy Smokes!
So let me run you through a couple things, first off I stayed in my area and I got a new companion Elder LaPerle from the Seattle area. Now heres what this week looked like at a glance.
     Monday: It was P-day but it was more like "get elder Layton ready to leave day" because I had zero time to even do anything i needed to since Elder Layton told so many people he would do things for them before her left and so i ended up just being the runner for him. And then Monday night we had to make the rounds so that he could say goodbye to people.       Tuesday: we had to drop Elder Layton off at the mission home and then for the rest of the day i was in a trio with the elders in the next ward over, that was a blast but we were super busy, we had to help ,ove some sisters from an apartment to a house and then we had to make sure one of the elders i was with had everything packed and ready to go for wednesday and then we had to figure out how to get his bike to transfer…

Power in Prayer

This week I learned a lesson that will not easily be forgotten. I'm not sure if I already told all of you that Bryan Borst got baptized on saturday by Elder Layton and then yesterday I had the special opportunity to confirm him. Now, whenever I have given blessings or anything of the sort in the past I have always prayed to be given the words to speak during the blessing and I feel like the spirit has always been there to help my thoughts and words run together beautifully. But saturday night my stomach was bothering me pretty bad and that was all I was able to focus on before I went to bed, so when it came time to say a prayer before I went to bed I made it rather quick and forgot to mention the help I would need the next day to give that blessing to Bryan. The same thing happened the next morning as my stomach was still hurting and I was too selfish to really think about what would be going on later that day. I'm sad to say that I didn't truly realize what I was going to…

Sushi and Sin

So, this week was pretty great! Just don't ask me why because i can never remember which stuff i did this week and which stuff i did last week... But one thing i know happened this week was we had a dinner yesterday with the relief society president in our ward and we met her at a restaurant which turned out to be a sushi restaurant!! Well I've only had sushi like twice in my life and it was just a taste i didn't think i liked; so when we got there last night and i saw that it was sushi i figured maybe its not as bad when its made the "right way" (whatever that means), and so i told sister Clancy that i hadn't really had much sushi but i was willing to go for it. She then proceeded to order a massive amount for the 3 of us and i knew after the first bite it was going to be a rough meal to force down. Now here is where the biggest problem came in--she is a super nice lady so she asked me after like two pieces if i was okay with the spice that was on it and if …

A Week of Miracles

So, let me give you a little rundown of some of what happened this week and then I'll talk about a few of the things.

Monday: Mission wide P-day and watching the Eclipse. Wednesday: Zone Conference Friday: Went to a youth conference to bare testimony. Saturday: Had a lesson at the temple with the Savages and the Borsts.  Sunday: Some random guy standing outside the church building came in with us to sacrament meeting when we invited him. 

Okay, so the first one I wanted to talk about is Zone Conference. one of the things that stood out to me the most was a quote that was shared which was, "are you just trying to fill your day with activities? Or are you trying to fulfill your day with activities?" I thought this was so neat mostly because I feel like we so often try to just get our day packed enough that we look busy and no one will tell us how to do better. I have definitely done that a lot on my mission, but this quote struck me in the fact that if we are not planning out …

Give Me This Mountain

Hey, so this last week has been fun!! Let me give you a rundown of some of the miracles within my area this week. 

Menga- Menga is someone we found not too long ago and he is on fire! Let me give you an example of how great this guy is. One of our last lessons we had was about the plan of salvation and we talked about how important church is as well. Immediately after the lesson as we were walking back to the bus stop with him, he told Elder Layton and I that he needs to get Sundays off at work so that he can go to church with us. We did not need to ask him to stop working at that workplace or talk to his boss, he simply felt the spirit testify to him that the importance of church is real and it will bless his life. As Missionaries we are the vessel which carries the message but if the spirit is not able to testify because our attitudes don't let him then our message will simply be lost in the cracks of life and forgotten, as missionaries AND latter-day saints we must do all that …

Hello

Hey hows it goin? 
Well let me tell you about my week! I don't think I have ever worked so hard on my mission physically. We have been trying to use our time wisely and so whenever we don't have anything going on we just park the car and walk where we need to go and usually we do that from about 12:30 till dinner at 6. It definitely feels good to know that we aren't wasting time in the car, but the coolest part is that often times when we take that step to show the Lord that we are ready to work He starts placing people in our path (literally) that have been prepared to at least hear a few words concerning their spiritual well being. I have loved talking to random people about whatever and then seeing it start to tie into the gospel as we testify and then pretty soon we are teaching the first lesson. God truly qualifies who He calls but we have to still be willing to go to the training camp so that He can qualify us. Our position as saints in the latter-days is not one of …

What A Week

Well, this week was very eventful. I didn't realize how much running around helping other missionaries we would have to do as Zone Leaders. There's gas receipts to collect, GPS's to take to new Elders and Sisters, meetings to attend, luggage to move around. It was just all sorts of fun that first couple days. But the up side is that when there's so much stuff like that to do it makes me that much more anxious to get out and get to work finding God's children who need us and Him in their lives. It has been a great few days with Elder Layton though. We get along super well and we both have a desire to get out and work super hard! Elder Layton is from Vancouver Canada and he is wrapping up his mission with this transfer. He is one of the strongest missionaries I have met. He lost his Dad very early on in his mission and he has watched many other trials and tribulations come upon his family as he has been out here serving the Lord and he will still bear witness that se…

Full Time Missionary = Full Time Service

So this week was pretty great not gonna lie. We got to talk to some super cool people and we were able to do lots of service on saturday which is mainly what i wanted to talk about. So we were out knocking on a few doors the other day after an appointment fell through and one guy answered, Luke, and said he wasn't interested so we asked him if we could help them with any physical service or anything and he said no, so we wished him a good day and moved on. But 4 or 5 doors down we found someone who was very interested and then as we were walking away from her door we heard someone shout out at us so we turned around and it was Luke, so we asked him what he needed and he said he just didn't want to swallow his pride and ask for help at first but he really does need it. He then continued to ask us if we had any knowledge in construction and if we could help him replace some boards on his deck. I told him i knew enough to replace some boards and we told him we could come back sat…

A Mighty Change of Heart

So yesterday I decided that I wanted to study a mighty change of heart because I have felt in the last couple weeks that the missionaries in this area (myself included) may not have their hearts in quite the right place right now and with transfers coming up next week I wanted to find a way to make a difference here with these missionaries before they leave. but then I realized that I don’t even really know what the word "heart" means or refers to in the scriptures, and I can’t give a training on something that I don’t know like the back of my hand. So i decided to go to the index and ask the Book of Mormon what the word means. Once i started to see different prophets using the word in different contexts I began to see a little bit of what my heart truly is and what I need to go through to change it. In the very first scripture that the index ties to the word heart, which is 1 nephi 17:44 it tells us (in my own words) that what’s in our hearts matters a whole lot more than …

Hey There!

Well, this last week has been a great time for learning and growth. Now don't start thinking i'm going through a hard time just because i said growth, its actually been a super fun week. We have been having a little bit of a hard time finding more people to teach and at first i was kind of complaining to myself, but then i started to think about all those in the book of mormon who were unable to find willing souls to teach for many years. Then i decided that it's not up to me when i come across those whom the Lord has prepared, but it is up to me to prepare myself so that the Lord can then use me when the time does arise. And this is also what a lot of our zone conference was about this last week. Sister Savage gave a very bold teaching on how our mission's barrier is not found in how hard we work and needing to work harder, but that our barrier is found rather in how hard we are trying to have the spirit with us at all times to truly lead and guide us in our every ste…