Monday, December 30, 2013

WEEK 12 KALKASKA (WEEK 30 OF MISSION)


Another Great week! not sure why i capitalized that G but oh well. happy new year to everyone!!

this week was very full and very great! the drahers are doing so well. carl received the priesthood yesterday and it was just a great moment. there are few things quite like meeting someone, teaching them the gospel, then seeing them go on to receive the priesthood. it is truly incredible. they are also sharing the gospel with everyone they speak to. dana's mother is really interested in hearing more, because she "isnt sure that her baptism was done by the right authority." wayy cool! and carl has shared the gospel with some of his friends as well. also, deborah is looking forward to her baptism on the 11th. it'll be a great day.

we have had some other miracles this week as well, but my fingers are too tired to type them all. so i will just share a few. but before i do that, kristin and the hildebrands are doing well. its so funny talking to steve about spiritual things, because he just doesnt have a filter. so he will always start saying some really rude stuff before we have really explained whats going on haha. it is a crack up! just like... we tell him the next step for him is to go to the temple and marry his wife for eternity and he is like, "whats the difference between a temple and a church?" and Karla says its more ornate and he says, "oh whoopee! just another thing to waste money on!" hahah soo funny. gotta love correcting false notions. thats all we do. anywayss.... we met kristins mother this week and she was very nice. it was a good meeting! they are all doing so well!

this week as we were out door knocking, a bunch of things all fell together and we ended up being in mancelona in the evening on this specific street to check up on a potential investigator we had door knocked into the other day. it was dark out and freezing, and we are walking down the street toward the house and this guy walks up to us and is like whats up guys?? so we start talking, and i cant make out his face cuz its too dark. but he says his name is aaron and we met an aaron a few days earlier, so i was trying to figure out if it was the same guy... haha it was freezing so we went and sat in the car and i figured out it was not the same guy, just a mega prepared guy who knew we would talk to him about God and the Bible cuz he loves those two things! he was going through a super tough time, so we talked with him for about an hour. it was soo cool! we have had some referrals and things this week as well and we are just continually being blessed!

it is so sad here because every day we meet people with the most difficult lives and they want our help, but they only want it financially or temporally. if they only would accept and live the gospel of jesus christ, EVERYTHING else would fall into place. president thomas said something that i really liked when he was with us yesterday. he talked about how the church in kalkaska was built to be a beacon to the surrounding cities. it is meant to be a place to go if people wanted something better than poverty, broken families, drugs, and broken hearts. thats what we offer people. thats what the church offers people, and thats what the Savior offers each of us.

I encourage each of you to set worthy goals for this upcoming year! become a little more Christlike this year! it wont be easy, but there is nothing more rewarding. our Father wants us all home so badly, so once we are converted, we need to "strengthen our brethren" (luke 22:32). it is our duty to bring our brothers and sisters back home with us. we are here in this life to "chart our course" towards eternal life. we are not here to be perfect or to expect others to be. but set goals that reflect the desires of your heart and your vision of what you can accomplish (PMG page 146). Set your sights high, and help others to do the same. Chart your course to eternal life in the Kingdom of God with our families united eternally, to receive a FULLNESS OF JOY. We will live in NEVER ENDING HAPPINESS. never ending (mosiah 2:47).

love you all! thank you for your examples and love!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

WEEK 11 KALKASKA (WEEK 29 0F MISSION)


Hey everyone! merry christmas!!
Classy Kalkaska Christmas!!!
(Who's he supposed to be Harry Potter?!)
another great week here in kalkaska. all our recent converts are doing wonderful and continue to grow in the gospel!! Steve got the job with President Thomas' company. that is crazy in itself! steve said he wouldnt get baptized till the new year when he had a new job the first time we met him. now he is baptized and has a new job!! so cool!! he and karla will be able to attend church together starting the first week of the new year.

kristin is doing great. she loves learning and reading and has developed friendships and relationships with so many members of the branch. everyone loves her.

the drahers are doing wonderfully as well. deborah is progressing towards a baptismal date in january and is doing great. they also invited us over for lunch on christmas to eat with them and carls sister. they are great.

we went to sue's house (the referral from the robinsons) this week to see how she has been doing since her car wreck. she hadnt been at church because of that and things. we did some service for her and she is the best. she was at church yesterday and just loves learning about the gospel and always has the greatest questions. its only a matter of time for her as well.

we had some crazy experiences this week, one of which i will share here. we had called these former investigators about meeting with them and they invited us over for dinner. five weeks ago. we had to reschedule for the next week. well, we had to keep rescheduling until we finally just said no. but the guy kept telling us come hungry and come with an open mind, cuz he is pagan. anyways, we door knocked into his wife this week and we decided we would come back over this weekend. so we dropped in on saturday and met them. they were very nice. and the husband pagan guy, andrew, loves video games. he took us to his downstairs collection, and OH MY GOODNESS. i took pictures dont worry. but it was incredible!! so we sat down there and talked about religion haha. he had some interesting views, but he was a nice guy and invited us back.



everyone here in michigan is ALL ABOUT being self sufficient. nobody trusts the food that people grow and sell to us so they all talk about it like every time we see them haha maybe that is something the Lord wanted me to learn? that i need to grow all my own food and live in a secluded area to avoid the impending downfall of our nation's food supply? anywayss.... seriously that is all anyone ever wants to talk about. so we always talk to people about how the Church is all about that! haha super weird and funny.

remember! Christ is always looking to gather us together, it is our choice if we will allow Him to heal us and put our lives in order or if we will choose to not repent! 3 Ne 10! this Christmas season, give our Heavenly Father the gift of repentance and a resolution to do better! Doctrine and Covenants 18: 13 "And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth!"
Presents from their Branch Mission Leader, Bro. Hoover! 
love you all!! merry christmas!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

WEEK 10 KALKASKA (WEEK 28 OF MISSION)


Parker titled his email "White Christmas" 
I didn't know this was the kind he meant!
Brought a tear to my eye. 
What a great week!! our hard work over the past few weeks all came together this last Saturday and Sunday! Karla and Steve Hildebrand, Carl and Dana Draher, and Kristin Goddard were all baptized by the Priesthood Authority of God this weekend! it was an awesome couple of days never to be forgotten! 

so half mission training was on friday and that was great as well! we were trained, had lunch, played some games, and then played gospel-related jeopardy, which was a great time as well! i got to see some really close friends of mine and it was a blast! 
Still goofy!
Reunited!!!

this saturday elder norton and i spent our day at the church filling the font haha then we had a potential investigator meet us there for our first lesson. her name is danielle and she is awesome. it was definitely powerful teaching an investigator while the font was filling up. it just served as background noise subliminally telling her the whole time that she needed to be baptized haha but she had the best questions. she said things like, "i feel like Christ came and He set up one way. and now there are so many churches... my question is... what happened to what Christ set up?" im like.. uhh... that is all we talk to people about. haah so it was perfect. she is now on date to be baptized in january. 

after that, we got dressed in our whites and prepared for the baptism. everyone started showing up and we got some great pictures. the service was great. there were quite a few people there. elder norton first baptized karla (who had to be dunked 3 times cuz of incomplete immersion), and then he baptized Steve. after that, i had the pleasure of baptizing Dana Draher, Carl Draher, and Kristin Goddard. it was a great day. They were all so prepared and are the best recent converts. we have seen them each since and they are just alive with the light of the gospel. I also had the pleasure of confirming Kristin, Steve and Karla. P.S. it looks like Steve is going to end up getting the job with president Thomas' place! pretty crazy that all worked out!!

how beautiful it is though that so many people were baptized into the Kingdom of God. This branch is catching fire and they are all getting involved in the missionary work. we have been finding some really prepared and incredible people, who will be taught by us and our recent converts. it is going to be a great next few weeks as well. even though its freezing. and never stops snowing. im not complaining. im just saying. 
 
Branch Mission Leader, Bro. Hoover, who called me a few weeks ago :)

Missionaries and their poses!
next we had the xmas party right after the baptisms. it was a great party and everyone had a good time! all the recent converts fit right in and it was an awesome night. we had more people at the party this year than ever before in this branch, many of which were non-members. things are just great here.

not really sure what else to say.. i always have so many thoughts of what to include at this point in my emails home throughout the week, and then i get here and just lose all of them... haha sorry! President Hess always talks about how there is no reason to be discouraged and no reason to ever be an angry person. what good does that do you? who likes angry people? who likes complainers? so instead of choosing anger or fear or doubt, choose to have faith in Jesus Christ. He never fails us. His promises are real. He never lies. He knows you better than you do.
Parker's stocking we sent him
anyways, there’s my thought! love you all! have a great week! make someone’s burden lighter this week! 


Monday, December 9, 2013

WEEK 9 KALKASKA (WEEK 27 OF MISSION)


hey everyone! another great week! D and C 121 34: many are cold, but few are frozen (Kalkaska) haha im lame. anyways....

so this week was awesome! Elder Stolp (from traverse) and i went in to teach Kristin the Plan of Salvation on tuesday. and she is holding her coffee (she drinks 4 pots a day) and she starts telling us how she told her doctor she had been meeting with missionaries. her doctor tells her that missionaries will make her stop drinking coffee cuz they dont believe in caffeine. she laughs hysterically as she tells us this and says, "thank goodness you guys arent that church!" umm... haha i replied actually.... we dont believe in drinking coffee. haha needless to say, a word of wisdom lesson ensued. she dumped out all her coffee right then! and she hasnt had any since!! she is doing great!! 

Karla has been sick for a week so we havent been able to see her... thats been stressful but im sure she is doing alright spiritually. Steve is still going to church in Gaylord and is getting closer and closer to getting a job with President Thomas' company! soo cool!! 

the Draher's are still doing great. we taught Deborah (the daughter) separately this week to help her along her own path and it went really well!! she will want to be baptized soon, its just a matter of time! carl and dana are both so excited about their baptism and cant wait to be able to be sealed together for time and all eternity! that’ll be soo awesome!! 

this saturday should be an awesome day!! this week will be mega busy with 2 trade offs, baptismal interviews, and half mission training/christmas party on friday!! itll be great! 

yesterday we had a meeting to plan out our branch mission plan. brother hoover is a total boss, so it was the coolest meeting ever! we talked a lot about the parable of the talents, and this is what i want to include in this email. at the end of the parable, the master takes the slothful servants one talent and gives it to the one who had 10. why not the guy who had 5? why not try to make them even? well, because the guy who had 10 had been faithful with more, so the master trusted him with more. we need to be those kind of people. the kind of people the Lord can depend on. when he has someone who needs a helping hand, are we the kind of people that the Lord feels comfortable pointing that struggling person to us? can the Lord depend on us when others fail to do their duty? we are all given jobs in life (being parents, home teachers, etc.) those are like the talents the master gave. are we burying our talents (responsibilities) or are we making the most of them and then taking on more. if we are the type of people that are dependable, we should never complain about the Lord giving us more to do, because that is a token of His trust. 

love you all! have a great week! 

Monday, December 2, 2013

WEEK 8 KALKASKA (WEEK 26 OF MISSION)

Bro. and Sis. Hoover.  Oh how I love the people
who look after Parker!!!

what an awesome week!! we have been so extremely blessed here in Kalkaska!! thanksgiving was great!! i ate so much im still full haha. no jk, im full cuz i ate 6 pieces of pizza for lunch just barely. anyways...

as i said this week was incredible. it started off with us going over to sue's for dinner. sue is a single woman in her late 40's who came to church two weeks ago with some members of the branch. we went to dinner with bro hoover and her friends who brought her to church (the robinsons). dinner was great. she had this cat, it was a Maine Coon and it was HUGE. soo cool. anyways, we talked to her about the Restoration and she enjoyed it. We found out later in the week she would be at church sunday. then yesterday at church, she was loving gospel principles class. after it was over she turned to bro robinson and said i love this church! ive learned more here in two weeks than i had the rest of my life before now! she is awesome. we are going to dinner with her again tomorrow. hopefully we will be able to begin meeting with her more frequently and get her baptized.

speaking of baptisms, we have quite a few of them coming up which is sooo incredible! kristin (the catholic lady who was ultra prepared by the Lord for us coming by) is doing amazing. she came to church for the first time yesterday and loved it. she reads  a ton so she has already read tons of the bom and 50 pages in the teachings of lorenzo snow book since yesterday haha then she came to dinner at a members with us last night and is having us over for dinner tonight. she took the sacrament as well (which as a catholic is heresy to take anyone elses sacrament) so it was a point of no return for her! she said she was ready to accept the truth though. she just is such a boss! she loves everything we are teaching her and is soo prepared. what an amazing blessing to have been able to meet her! she was inviting everyone to her baptism yesterday at church (including sue). 

the drahers are still doing well. we are going over there twice this week and they are very excited for their baptism as well. they are great people. so humble and so awesome. they were obviously another miracle to find! 

karla and steve are doing great. steve quit coffee, alcohol, and smoking and has now attened church for 2 weeks in Gaylord. another miracle? our branch pres, president thomas, has been swamped at work cuz they cant find anyone to fill this spot. it has a ton of special requirements that the person has to be certified to do. well guess what. steve fit the mold perfectly and was looking for a new job. so he had an interview last week and hopefully all will go well there so he no longer has to work on sunday. the Lord works in wonderful ways! 

the church is way true! 

also this week, this sweet old lady we had met with a few times invited us to catholic mass! (after i hinted very strongly that i wanted to go!! haha) so we went and it was awesome! it was soo different. very interesting! the most interesting part was that their reading for the day was isaiah chapter 2. that is the chapter where isaiah prophesies that in the last days, the Lord's temples shall be built in the mountains (utah) and all nations shall flow unto it. but they just thought it was a cool thought, not as a prophesy that had been fulfilled. so grateful for this church, for the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Dovenants and the Pearl of Great Price. they make it all soo clear. 

love you all! have a great week! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

WEEK 7 KALASKA (WEEK 25 OF MISSION)



what a great week!! working on MSU campus while waiting to pick up my boy was great! elder adams and elder elwood were my temporary companions. they were both from the salt lake valley, so we were calling ourselves "pure-breads" haha. the stuff you joke about as a missionary... anyways... we met some really cool people on campus. it is weird cuz you just kinda ambush people haha. we started talking to this one girl, and she kinda freaked out. the conversation went something like this.

me "hey hows it going!"
her "who are you?! 
me "we're missionaries!"
her "why are you stopping me?!" 
me "we wanted to talk to you and get to know you!"
her "why? who am i?!"
elder adams "yeah, we are missionaries and we-"
her "gotta go! goodbye!!"

haha it was super strange. anyways. got some nice pictures from that.
 
Ice cream shop on Campus
MSU Stadium
my new boy is elder norton. he is from kearns, UT! he graduated the same year i did and is gonna be great. we are doing some awesome stuff and are just being so blessed up here! 


it hasnt stopped snowing in pert-near ('Gander for "just about") 3 days! they had to cancel church on sunday cuz it had snowed so much! haha its crazy. and its freezing.


Parker said this is his new album cover straight outta Lansing!


we had a boss lesson with the drahers the second day elder norton was here. the Spirit was palpable in there and they definitely felt it. But they were still hesitant about baptism. after we left, i KNEW they would talk about what just happened and that they would commit to baptism. we called them 2 days later to tell them church was cancelled, and they told us they had talked and decided they wanted to be baptized! so they are now on date for dec 14. they are amazing and the Lord has blessed us soo much in this work! 

I dont have much time, sorry! but i am so grateful to be out here and sharing the most important message these people will ever hear. let’s all be grateful for what we have, but patiently seek that which will make us better and draw us closer to our Heavenly Father and Savior. "only the gospel will bring peace and happiness in this life, and eternal life in the world to come." that is from elder maxwell i think? 

i am so thankful for the influence you all have had on my life!!

happy thanksgiving!

elder green

Thought this was another Sunset but it's actually a Sunrise!
Elders Adams and Elwood

 

Monday, November 18, 2013

WEEK 6 KALKASKA (WEEK 24 OF MISSION)


A baptism in Traverse City. Parker had helped teach her and so he and Elder Boswell took some investigators and went to her baptism. The other Elders are Parker's Zone Leaders.
what an awesome week! we had half-mission training this week and elder Golden from the 70 was there to train us. it was INCREDIBLE. he was amazing and i feel like it changed my life! haha it was soo cool!!! i wish i could write everything he said!! but just a few things that he said that i really liked that i feel i should share now:


he talked about how we should never worry in life. "Today is the first day of your life. Don't worry about yesterday or tomorrow." that was something he spoke a lot about. 


he also talked a lot about not beating yourself up. he kept calling it a "futile exercise" in his awesome south african accent haha. but its so true. he was talking about how those feelings all come from Satan. he said it is normal to feel inadequate. if you feel adequate all the time, something's wrong with you haha. he spoke about having "divine discontent." it means you are discontent in the way that God would be, like wanting to improve, but also having patience with yourself. to me it means you can be pleased with the work you have done and the improvements you have made, but you should never be satisfied. always striving for something better. 

anyways, his training was incredible and life-changing. the rest of the week was great. its been snowing like CRAZY here and dumping buckets of rain as well. yesterday there were some tornado warnings and we were getting drenched just walking from the car to our appointments haha. but church yesterday was the primary program and i got to speak in it too. there are like 6 primary kids here haha so it was kind of different, but i loved it anyways. we had a lot of investigators there and also a few non-members who were brought by members of the branch that we will hopefully begin teaching this week! it was awesome! we also had our thanksgiving themed potluck after church and that was delicious! but i tell ya what, that tryptophan will kill you haha. 

Parker said this is straight up how they dress when they door knock in the winter, haha. He said he looks like he is from Rainbow Six!
Serious Snow Storm

we got our transfer calls on friday as well. elder boswell will be going to ludington and i will be training a new missionary. so tomorrow at 5 AM we head for Lansing. I will be working on MSU campus for 2 days until i pick up my new boy on thursday. usually there are like 20 plus new missionaries coming in, but since we have reached our max capacity, there are only like 2! so its usually this giant party there but not this time! haha itll be interesting to see what its like! i am sad i wont be in kalkaska for a few days though and the work will just totally stop here for a few days... 

we had to push karla's baptism date back, because her husband steve (who we met originally) wants to be baptized on the same day she is! so he quit drinking this weekend, they both quit smoking a week ago, and now they just gotta keep coming to church! we have seen so many miracles. if we can keep working hard here, we can continue to be blessed and see amazing things happen in Kalkaska!

A lake in someone's backyard. Lakes like this are everywhere!

Parker loves his Michigan scenery!!!

i feel like i always have so much to say before i come to the computer then i forget it all. haha i guess my thought for the week is, are we the kind of people that change a situation, or are we the kind of people that are changed by our situations? because that is really what life is as a whole. it is how we respond to the situations we are put in. whenever something negative happens, do you respond by being bitter, or by getting better? just something to think about!

ps this week the deer hunt started here. its bigger than christmas haha deer are running everywhere and you see like 10 deer dead on the highway every day. it is nuts!! they have big ole buck poles in every town and it is crazy!! haha totally in gander country!!  


love you all! 


elder green 

Monday, November 11, 2013

WEEK 5 KALKASKA (WEEK 23 OF MISSION)

another great week here in kalkaska!! and they werent joking about the snow haha.


we woke up this morning, no snow on the ground. now there is like 2 inches. it is nuts. luckily all my winter gear is legit and we have a jeep! haha 
It Begins!!!
things were awesome this week. we taught Karla the Stop Smoking Program with the Shafers (the people who made us the halloween lunch). they were both smokers before in their lives. karla and her husband steve were excited and it was an awesome lesson. but then karla got sick and couldnt come to church. she has been doing great things and we will hopefully be able to get her baptized in the next few weeks.

the draher's were at church again this week. we taught them the restoration last week and they loved it. they wanted to know more about joseph smith, so we gave them a prophet of the restoration dvd to borrow. they watched the whole thing and loved it haha. they wanna discuss the movie over lunch tomorrow, which will be awesome. i have seen that movie so many times that if they have any questions i can probably re-enact the scene for them and quote every line haha. missionary life gets pretty weird sometimes with the stuff you memorize cuz you have nothing else haha.

bob has been reading a lot in the BoM and is doing great as well. He had the flu the other day, so elder boswell and i went over with branch president thomas and gave him a blessing. he was fine the next day! soo amazing how the priesthood works. 

the more i learn, the more it amazes me that everyone isnt already members of this church. if you believe in God, and you believe in Jesus Christ, then this is the ONLY answer that makes sense. not to say other religions dont have great people, in many cases better than some Latter Day Saints, but it is the only true and living church on the face of the earth. the BoM is SO necessary in today's world. 

i saw a couple cool quotes out here that i liked this week. one of them comes from a sign for the People's Church ( a big non-denominational church in town). it said, "every setback is a set up for a comeback." really liked that. so true. you can either let set backs get you down, or use it as motivation to make your story even greater when you succeed. 

Richard G Scott: if you want to reach goals never before achieved, you need to do things you have never done. 

how cool is that! and how often do we forget that! if we want to change our lives, then dont do the same things over and over and hope something different will happen!! 

not really sure what else to say... i feel like soo much happens every week but that i can never remember it when i sit down to type it out haha sorry. 

God answers our prayers. It may be in His way, and on His timetable, but He knows what we want. More importantly, however, He knows what we NEED. 3 Nephi 14: 9-11. In the eternal scheme of things, we will see that each of our prayers was answered, and that all that happened truly was meant for our best benefit. but it will be what we make of what happened in life that determines where we stay for eternity. 

love you all!! have a great week!

Monday, November 4, 2013

WEEK 4 KALKASKA (WEEK 22 OF MISSION)


hey everyone!! wow what a great week! soo many miracles!! where to begin...

well This week we got a call from President Hess while we were in a lesson. We called him back and he had a referral for us. (WAY RARE). but he said there was a family in our area that wanted to be baptized. so we called them up and left a message. they called back and were so excited to hear from us. we set up and appointment and went over saturday night. Carl and Dana just got married 5 years ago. they are probably in their 60's. Dana has a 19 year old daughter named deborah who is somewhat interested as well. Carl has had contact with members of the church his whole life, and they recently went on a Salt Lake Temple tour and everything. they really love utah and mormons. they ran in to missionaries in Salinas California (where justin sanders was serving at the time) and they wanted to meet with them in michigan. so we ended up with the referral. they had some great questions, we answered them, and they came to church the next day!! and dana and deborah bore testimonies in sacrament meeting!! what?? haha it was NUTS!! 

Carla is also doing very well. she found her own ride to church this weekend and seemed to thoroughly enjoy it. she is so bright and so knowledgeable and is just an awesome lady. we are teaching her the word of wisdom this week, and going to ask her to quit smoking. but i think her testimony is deep enough that she will be fine! 

Bob Smith also came to church this week for the 2nd time in a row. he has been taught by missionaries for over a year now, and this was his 2nd time ever coming to church! he loves it as well and things are just going amazing here. this branch is full of wonderful people who want to help us and move the missionary work along in this area. 

This is an annual bike ride called,
"Iceman Cometh Challenge"
that starts just outside their apartment and
goes to Traverse City (30 miles or so)
It is a HUGE deal but Parker said he didn't know
why anyone would want to do it!
That's my boy, haha
as for the ipads and things. each missionary is supposed to be getting their own ipad mini by mid january or earlier. no more planners. no more area books. it is going to be AMAZING. i cannot even begin to describe how cool they are haha they will have everything the church has ever published on them. missionary work is about to go viral. haha get it? i thought it was a decent joke... anyways...

we also had a halloween lunch provided by the shafers. it was delicious and wayy cool!! pictures will be included. ps halloween is a terrible day to be a missionary haha you cant do much cuz everyone else in the world is door knocking for that day haha.

Can you believe how cool all this is?!?


we were lucky enough to pick up some new investigators this week as well. things are going so well here in kalkaska. but i will be in cadillac on trade offs most of the week... still excited for it though. 

knowing what we know in the church, being a part of the Lord's Kingdom once established on the earth, and knowing that we can live together eternally as families, i feel this scripture is very applicable: 

Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a merciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name.

we have been so blessed to know what we know. when people ask how your weekend was, tell them about it, and dont forget to mention church!! tell them how great it was and invite them to go with you next week! (Now no one's gonna ask me how my weekend went! haha)

president packer has said before (definitely paraphrasing here) "if all you know is what you have learned through your natural senses, you dont know very much." the things we know through the Spirit, the pure intelligence God can give us if we but ask can grant us knowledge so much grander than what we gain by seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, or touching. 

love you all! have a great week!