Monday, September 30, 2013

WEEK 17 IN BAY CITY


hey everyone!! what a great week!!

this week we had some amazing experiences and met some awesome people! here is one of them: we went to go visit a less active 17 year old who is an awesome kid named ray. we meet with him often. we were talking about getting him a ride to church, and this girl that was with him that we had met before jokingly says that her mom could give him a ride. well, after we left, they went over and asked if she could give him a ride. turns out, she had questions for us and things! so we went over a few days later and taught the restoration and she loved it. we have taught her the plan of salvation as well and she loves it all. she came to church yesterday and it has been such a blessing to meet her! her name is stacy. way awesome experience! im grateful the Lord prepares these amazing people!
Parker and his old Trainer/Comp, Elder Stevenson, 
at a training meeting.
Doesn't he look so happy!!!
we met a few other people this week with very difficult lives, but it has led them to be so ready for the gospel. what a huge blessing! things are going really well out here right now, and our investigators are getting excited for general conference! i am excited as well and just so happy with the way things have gone this past week. but transfer calls are this friday, so we will see where i am after the dust settles! cuz at this point i honestly have no idea what is going to happen.
This is Parker's famous "Stank" face!!! 
We miss him making us laugh.
Where did he get those sunglasses, Dollar Days?

some of the pictures this week deserve an explanation. here in bay city, every year, they have this giant thing called the river of time. basically a ton of war reenactors and things go and set up tents by the river, and tons of other historical groups or people set up tents and little demonstrations as well. well, about 10 years ago, the mormon church got into it as the mormon battalion that was assembled during the mexican american war. so our set-up has some little things where kids can pan for gold and things like that. but we also have a huge game of 3 way tug of war, stick pull, and some other fun games. we spent nearly the whole day there saturday (we are not allowed to proselyte there, but lots of people asked us about why we were in shirts and ties there haha and we got a lot of really solid people out of it) and every time we would line up a game of 3 way tug of war, tons of people would gather around and watch and cheer and stuff. we had more people around our set up than any other group. it was really cool to see, cuz it is a HUGE deal out here! anyways, there’s that.
We aren't sure what Parker is doing in this pic!
Could be dancing or could be doing Spiderman pose :)

"What does the Fox say!" haha 
(if you don't understand this reference ask me about it!)

Yes, Parker and his companion 
actually bought these Beaver Bags!!!
Really? New Scripture Cases?!? 

Those will look great on the bikes.
This was a tent/booth at the River of Time

so things are going well here in bay city. something i was thinking about a lot this week: we meet a lot of atheists. some are very cool, some are very not. i respect some atheists, because they feel they have searched for the truth, and they couldnt find it. or they have had difficult times and havent found the truth yet. but the majority of them (and these are usually the rude ones) are the young adults/kids who read something online about how cool it is to be atheist and they dont want any rules in their life, so they decide to be atheist. well.. i usually try and be patient with these people. but the other day, we were talking to a teenage kid who was just dropping lots of filthy language and i was kinda getting fed up with him. so i asked what he thought about religion and he said he was athiest. i asked why. he said there was no proof god was there. i said really? he said yeah. i believe in science. i said really? he said yeah, if you look at science it proves theres no god. i said oh yeah? and how much do you know about science? he said oh, i dont care about science (expletives removed from his reply). i just thought that was so ridiculous. someone claims to not believe in god because of science, but they never know anything about science. my point is not to say this kid didnt deserve my patience or deserve to hear the truth, regardless of his disrespect, my point is the proof for god is all round us. I am proof. i am a missionary. there are tens of thousands of pieces of evidence just like me throughout the world. the scriptures are evidence. anyone who believes in God is evidence. do not be deceived people. Christ said that in the last days, even the very elect could be deceived by the enemy of truth. dont be one of them! read the book of mormon. ask god if it is true. no matter how hard life gets, dont ever "jump ship". dont leave the church. dont give up on your faith. jeffrey r. holland says that there are definitely questions that we have and doubts we may have, "but first and forever fan the flame of your faith."

last thought: Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words
-st. francis of assisi
be an example! no one cares how much you know, till they know how much you care!

love you all! have a good week!

Monday, September 23, 2013

WEEK 16 IN BAY CITY PART ONE

hey everybody!! sorry my emails have been so lame (or nonexistant) the past few weeks! things have been busy!


last p day we went fishing in this members backyard. the guy has a river the size of the mississip' back there! its crazy! i caught 11 fish! it was way cool! and i got sunburnt on my face pretty bad haha but its all good!

stephanie started the "stop smoking program" last week. she really struggled and only made it like a day and a half. we will start it again soon, but that was really tough to see. gabe is still doing really well. they are the best people ever. stephanie is working on making her divorce official so her and gabe can talk about marriage more seriously. they both want to be baptized, but they recognize it will be a while. they are always asking questions about baptism and about the temple and stuff, and last weeek they were saying that they will fly to utah and have me baptize them in a few years haha. they are the best.

so huge update that didnt get out last week cuz i was too busy reeling in some small mouth bass: jackie dropped us. again. she left a letter on the door of the church sunday morning and bishop got it cuz he was the first one there. it was addressed to "the mormon church members." she explained in the letter how grateful she was for everyone there and for elder bass and i, but that she couldnt be baptized because her ex husband is trying to take the kids and grandkids away from her by saying she is joining a cult and things. which he cant do in a court of law. but she is just really scared and asked that we stop visiting her. so that wasnt any fun, but she will be baptized some day! she knows its true.

so we have been looking for some new investigators this week and had some funny experiences door knocking. i will only tell of one here. but elder derricott was here on a trade off, and this guy yelled to us and asked if we were religious people. we said yes we were. he said that he proved to president bush there was a god, but president bush wouldnt believe him. upon my asking him how he did that, he replied, " you see, evolution all makes sense. except where they say you get nothing from something. 0 + 0 doesnt equal 1. ever. but we know it makes sense according to infinitism, because numbers can also be negative. you see? god is -1, jesus is 0, and the holy ghost is 1." he then told us goodbye and walked over to get in someones car for a ride. as he was leaving he said, "have a good day! pray for wisdom!" it was soo crazy haha.

we met some sweet new investigators this week. one of them is named suzette. she had her favorite son pass away which was very sad to hear about. she is a very nice older lady, but she is sorta crazy herself, but i dont blame her. my message for the week? stay away from drugs. at least 3 times a week we meet or hear about someone who's life is ruined by drugs. her other son, who is like... 32 now has been on drugs since he was 12. he was over there the other day when we were there and he is crazy. she has to treat him like he is 10, but he just talks about the bible a ton and is literally out of his mind. its terrible to see. suzette came to church this week and really liked it though! so that was good. we have been consistently having lots of new people at church. its soo cool to see! oh and suzette had us sign her copy of the book of mormon. so she now knows our first, middle, and last names. and we walk in yesterday for our appointment with her and she says "hey kyle! (elder bass' first name) hey todd! or parker!" haha so i asked her why she called me todd and she said she liked that name. and now she only will call me todd haha. at the end of our meeting she said that todd is a "good-boy" name. elder bass asked if parker was a "bad-boy" name and she said no, its just more of a last name haha. so thanks mom and dad, for giving me a goodie-good boy middle name haha. except for she doesnt pronounce it like todd. she of course says tad. the accent out here is killer sometimes.

last night we met some really cool people, and got some really great referrals. we have had dinner with this girl in the wards friend 2 times now, and he was not interested in religion at all. but then last night he told her that he has some questions for us and so she arranged an appointment with him. its been really cool to see. becky olgac also has been bringing one of her sons friends to church every week and she wants to meet with us too now! its been a really good week for finding some new people to teach! hopefully they will pan out. we have been struggling to get people to be baptized this transfer, but we also have some really great investigators and we are gonna keep finding more.

i also got sick this week. i got a pretty gnarly cold. but i am getting over it today luckily. today we will probably be going to brother cobb's (a great member of the ward) to play some board games with him. its always a good time there.

oh one last funny thing. this member of the ward invited us to his wedding reception. he is the only member in his family, and his wife isnt a member. so everyone there was nuts and drunk haha. except for the little table with some mormon people on it. and this old guy comes up to us and says, "i dont mean to be sarcastic or anything. but i didnt vote for mitt romney." he is dead straight faced. elder bass and i kinda laugh and say its fine! he is still just looking at us, serious as ever. then he says "he is a great guy. and his family is great." he walks away dead serious. it was so weird haha.

we had half-mission training this week too. where half the mission meets in mt pleasant and is trained by president and sister hess, and the AP's. there were some really cool things said, but one that i specifically liked, and thought i should share here, is when president hess quoted one of the stake presidents here in the area. the stake president always says, "its very easy to live the gospel of Jesus Christ, unless you want to do something else." and it is soo true!! God doesnt ask too much of us. the things He asks us to do are not always large and monumental, nearing impossible. it isnt hard to read your scriptures every morning, unless you would rather sleep in. it isnt hard to keep the sabbath day holy, unless you would rather go swimming. it isnt hard to love other people, unless you would rather be judgemental. those are just some thoughts i had as i thought about that quote. we should all make the gospel first priority. then everything else will fall into place.


last thing about MI that i forgot. there are also soo many religions here, so i get to learn about all of them and things!! it is awesome. totally a dream of mine.

PS hardly anyone out here knows what they believe, even when they are religious. they dont know why they are members of a certain church, what the church they are a part of believes, or where their church comes from. be grateful we know those things! if you dont know those things, find them out!!

love you all very much!! have a good week!!

elder green

WEEK 16 IN BAY CITY PART TWO



hi everyone again!


just wanted to say that the MLM (michigan lansing mission) truly is the greatest mission in the world! you get the best of everything. you get just enough success, and just enough struggle. you get people who are super prepared for the gospel, and people who need some work. you get people who believe everything you say, and people who ask some really difficult questions. you get ghetto cities, and big ole' countryside. i just love it here and am so grateful to be in the MLM!!

love you all,
elder green

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

WEEK 15 IN BAY CITY!


so parker just keeps getting busier and busier and his letters have gotten shorter and shorter! i'm glad he is keeping so busy and i'm so glad he got to go fishing but mama needs more info, haha! his letters to us had a little more in them but just personal to what's going on with each of us so this is it for this week:


sorry about the late email and the fact that i have no time, we went fishing today!! sadly i didnt get any pics. we went with gabe and stephanie it was a great time. i caught like 11 fish! we fished in this huuuge river behind a members house.


we have a full time car now since my comp is the district leader.


things are great!
love you all,

parker


Monday, September 9, 2013

WEEK 14 IN BAY CITY

Hey everyone!! hope everything is going well back home!! 
this week was a great week! jackie and cori are doing great! jackie read the entire gospel principles book in one day haha and she has read 151 pages in the BoM in like 3 days! she is nuts! haha but they didnt make it to church this week cuz cori sprained her ankle and jackie couldnt find a sitter on such short notice. We will keep working with them though and helping them progress to their baptismal date! 
other investigators are doing well! we set a date with dennis last night and are hoping he and tena (member of the church... not sure if i have talked about them before) will get married soon. tena really wants all this to happen, so i think it will move pretty quickly! 
gabe and stephanie are doing well. they have been busy so we havent been able to see them as often as we would like, but they fed us again last week and we will hopefully be able to get over there tonight. 
elder bass and i are doing well! we have been teaching a lot of lessons, and doing a lot of service. people have some terribly tough lives out here.. its really hard to see sometimes. watch the mormon message, "good things to come." i used it as the basis for my gospel principles lesson yesterday and i love that video. thats what we need to keep in mind when we are going through tough times. we need to know that Heavenly Father's plan for each of us is better than our own plan we have for ourselves. Mormon 8:22
We had this crazy guy approach us the other day and tell us he loves men of God and that he was a student of ancient scripture and things. so i got excited, thinking he had read the BoM maybe or something, but he just started talking about crazy stuff and how he doesnt believe in most religion because they lie to you. "they never told us about the giants in church! Genesis 6:6!” (it is actually genesis 6:4, i looked it up later)  but he was going off citing scriptures about giants, and about how "triangles are everything." wayyy weird haha soo hard to keep a straight face as he was telling us about aliens and how they live and have lived here, but we dont recognize them because they are a different form of energy. this story was going somewhere, but i forgot where it was going... so.......
anyways, check out this scripture! one of my favorites. definitely underrated and underused: Mormon 9:27-28
(I, Emily, thought I would just look up the scripture for you and include in the letter. You’re welcome, haha!!!)
27-“O then despise not, and wonder not, but hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things soever  ye shall stand in need. Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and come unto the Lord with all your heart, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before him.      
28-Be wise in the days of your probation; strip yourselves of all uncleanness; ask not, that ye may consume it on your lusts, but ask with a firmness unshaken, that ye will yield to no temptation, but that ye will serve the true and living God.”
love you all!
ps go cougars!!

pss brother schindler  (He was their awesome Ward Mission Leader that came to our home to visit us) accepted a job teaching in idaho and left a few days ago. that was very sad and it will be very difficult to make up for the giant hole this will leave in the ward and in our efforts!! 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

WEEK 13 IN BAY CITY

great week!! jackie is back and has a baptismal date with her daughter on that same day as well!! super great week. things are going well here! love you all!

elder green



Parker and his new companion, Elder Bass.
In their new apartment that they had to switch
with the Sister Missionaries. Parker likes it
 so much better because it has air conditioning!!!
Who cares if it's more dangerous. You can run
home from being chased and go into an air-conditioned
apartment to cool off! haha