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!