Sunday, November 30, 2014

WEEK 6 LANSING (WEEK 77 OF MISSION)

Bro. John Hoover, Parker's former Branch Mission Leader 
and now 1st Counselor to the Mission President, 
stopped by our house for a visit and to deliver this Michigan 
Helmet for Parker!!!
He is a former School Superintendent, Teacher, and Coach
in Michigan.  He has collected sports memorabilia for 
30 years.  He was visiting his daughters in Orem this week :)
What an amazing man!

Xiang Li (also known as Richard), Elders Rhodes
and Derricott and Parker.
Richard took them to dinner at an awesome Chinese restaurant.
"Sparty," the statue.  Parker says this statue is a big deal!
Beaumont Tower on MSU Campus.
There is a WebCam on this tower that Todd and I
can look at a live feed of campus!
Maybe we will see Parker someday!!!

Downtown Detroit
Reunited with former Comp and Converts
during Zone Conference travels!
Back at Barb's with Elder Williams and
Hannah and her son :)















Looking so smug with Barb's son Andrew!
Hey everybody! Happy Transfer Week! 

This week Elder Derricott, Elder Rhodes and I planned with President Jacobsen where the missionaries would be transferred to and who their new companions would be. wow time flies! feels like I just did this a few days ago, but it has been six weeks already! that means its time to get back on the transfer van Monday and start moving some missionaries! we will be sending some missionaries home whose time has come (Elder Elwood being one of them). That also means we will be getting new missionaries! that is exciting! 

so things are going way too well with our investigators. Richard is doing incredible. he amazes us every time we meet. he took us to dinner last week and we are attending a baptism with him tonight before his baptism next Saturday. 

Mark is doing very well. He will be baptized on the 13th of December. It is incredible how perceptive these people are who have never learned of heavenly things before. 

Derek Martindale is doing great. as we taught him the other day, we asked him how he was feeling about his baptismal date for the 13th and he said, "it works." we all kind of looked around and let the silence hang there, looked back and him and he nodded again and said, "it works," with a smile on his face. he is doing so well! the incredible part of all this is that we deserve none of it. we have hardly had time to work in our area, and these awesome people have all come out of nowhere. 

We had to do some shopping and things today because we will not have pday again next week due to transfers. while we were out and about, i couldnt help but feel extremely on edge and tired the entire time. the world and all of its flash is exhausting. we dont often notice it until we are removed from it for a time. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Give me truths, for I am weary of the surfaces." How correct that statement still is. Compared to the truths of the gospel, the worldly cares and advertisements are wearying and they are simply surface things. 

Joseph Smith taught that the things of God are of great import and that it takes deep, solemn and ponderous thought to find them out. "Thy mind, o man, if thou wilt lead a soul to salvation must stretch as high as the utmost heavens, and contemplate the deepest abyss." I encourage each of you to examine what things you prioritize in your lives and what things you hold of highest import. The truths of the gospel are deep and satisfying, you can feel that. The things of the world are simply not; they are salt water. 

How are we, in the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions, to remain at peace? Follow and stick with the Brethren. Follow the counsel of the Living Apostles and Prophets. Read the words of Christ as they are taught in the Book of Mormon and other standard works of the Church. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the most logical explanation for earth life, and it brings the greatest joys as well. If you have questions, find answers, not in the theories and ever shifting ideals of the world, but in the voices and words of oracles of God on the earth. Spiritual questions deserve spiritual answers from God. 

Each of us is an immortal being. Your family members, friends, and even you yourself have outlived, and yet will outlive stars and galaxies. 

Have a great week,

Elder Green  (Talk of the Week: Neal A. Maxwell, "Pathway of Discipleship")

Monday, November 17, 2014

WEEK 5 LANSING (WEEK 76 OF MISSION)



Even missionaries "Duck Face!" haha 
President Jacobsen with the Zone
Since Parker lives in Student Housing at MSU these are some 
of his fun college neighbors!
That's a lot of pairs of glasses in one picture ;)
poem i wrote this week:

Smooth water ne'er made
a man a great sailor,
but when winds and strong waves
and all things assail Her,

the sailor reacts
and learns as he goes,
and stronger, wiser,
more able he grows.

But should the sailor fail
to endure the rough seas,
should his heart and his mind
long to sail with more ease,

he never could learn 
what can only be taught
when the sky is pitch black
and the waters distraught.  

Hey everyone! having to email today (sunday) due to zone conferences this week! 

speaking of zone conferences... Elder Nash was unexpectedly reassigned this week and will not be able to attend our zone conferences! so Elder Derricott and i will be doing a lot of teaching haha we are working hard to prepare for this surprise opportunity!

This past week was great. our investigators are doing wonderful. Derek Martindale is hunting and was not able to attend church, but he has been coming to all the institute activities and is doing very well! we were blessed to find a few new investigators this week, which is always great. a few of them have a ton of potential (well, every human life has a ton of potential) but these people could be baptized soon. we will see how they pan out this next week, then i will let you know! 

mark (chinese guy wanting to go to BYU) came to church for the first time today. he is doing well! he needs to keep reading and praying to know if this is God's church and he needs to make it out to some of the many social activities the YSA ward has here. 

Richard is doing so well. He is signing up to feed all the missionaries like once a week haha he is great. he loves learning. a few times, we have taught him new commandments and he has issues with them. but he agrees to pray about it and try it out. he came back last week reporting on how he has been living the Word of Wisdom. He says that he used to have problems with insomnia, but not since he has been living the WoW. He feels much healthier and loves the way his life is going right now. He enjoyed church again today, is making lots of friends, and is really excited to be baptized. 

Saturday we blitzed the North Muskegon area and it was really fun. it has been snowing here like crazy, so we got all decked out in our winter stuff and went out and door knocked forever. it was great. the first door Elder Bagley and i knocked on was classic: it was a group of like 7 middle aged black guys having band practice so we went in and listened to them and one of them had a son that was Mormon haah he lives in SLC his name is Michael Williams. Look for him! haha it was awesome. 

Even though Alma had seen angels, he still felt it necessary to seek a testimony for himself. Alma 5:45 -46. read those verses. they are powerful. we each ought to do whatever it takes to obtain for ourselves that knowledge which is of most value: a testimony that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true and that God the Father lives, that Jesus is the Christ, and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. We must make the effort. we must read the Book of Mormon, ponder it in our hearts, and seek after truth. We must pray fervently and sincerely. We must endure the test of time. We must fast in conjunction with our prayers. please follow this pattern. please seek a witness from the Holy Ghost that these things are true. 

the more i learn, the more i see that God is so willing to forgive our sins if we will but repent. in essence, the difference between the people in the telestial kingdom and the celestial kingdom is the ones in the Celestial Kingdom repented. they repented all the time. review elder klebingats talk from general conference and implement those principles into your lives. 

just another thought:
always be where you are supposed to be! if you are somewhere you ought not to be, get out! don't think you are strong enough to be amid great temptation and come out unscathed.

i love you all! 

have a great week.    
Trying to get a picture jumping

hahahahaha!

Why so Serious?

Monday, November 10, 2014

WEEK 4 LANSING (WEEK 75 OF MISSION)

hey everyone! not a ton of time! some quick updates! 

richard is doing incredible. he loves learning and reading the BoM. he says things every lesson that blow me away. this guy is going to be the first Chinese Apostle. He is like... committing himself to live the WoW, turning down tailgating because he doesn't want to drink. he tells us that praying is good because he feels like for the first time in his life he is himself. he doesnt have to "wear a mask when he talks to God." he just says stuff like that all the time. he is awesome. we had two visa waiters in our misison who are heading to taiwan soon, so we picked them up and brought them to work campus for a few days and teach all our chinese investigators and it went soo well! it was awesome! fe chung hao! 

mark went to a baptism of a chinese girl named echo on saturday and loved it. he wants to be baptized too. 

we underestimate what it means that God will tell us the truth and will reveal the truth to us. were it not for that fact, we would be left to float aimlessly on a sea of information on the raft we have constructed out of our own shifting biases. (Pres Uchtdorf) there is absolute truth. we can know it if we but seek it. do not take that promise lightly. 

i have more to say.... but no time! maybe i have a second... haha brother robison had 2 athiest friends over for dinner. they were both prof at msu. he asked them a few questions. where did we come from? what is the purpose of life? they had no answers. if there was no purpose in our creation, there is no purpose in life. why do we love? no answer for that either. i invite everyone to watch the video on lds.org called, "all things denote that there is a god." 


i love you all!! sorry this was so scattered!

Monday, November 3, 2014

WEEK 3 LANSING (WEEK 74 OF MISSION)

Transfer Day looks like a lot of fun!
And crazy!
Reunited with Elder Williams, a former Companion.
That's the 15-passenger van behind them ;)
Thanks to Barb for all the pictures!!!
She's the Best
what an awesome week! we have had so many miracles! i am very thankful for all these blessings! this week was so busy as we moved some missionaries and taught a lot. we went on trade offs, i spent the day here with E. Schmutz from Western Michigan University and then was with Elder Tuttle (who i came out with) at Central Michigan University. we had a great time. 

meanwhile, back at the farm, we have some incredible investigators. I told you about that guy a few weeks ago i think who said that China is not as happy as America because they dont believe in God and things. well, we started teaching him. his chinese name is xiang li but his american name is richard. we taught him twice this week and he LOVED it. These amazing chinese people are so thirsty for the Gospel. I wish you could hear them pray for the first time. they are so sincere and love learning about their Heavenly Father. i could talk about him forever. but he attended church this week, and fast and testimony meeting was wonderful. in sunday school he stood up to introduce himself and said, "what just happened in sacrament meeting was awesome" then in priesthood he introduced himself and said that he wants to come to church every week because he loves it so much and that he is willing to be baptized. he has recognized answers to his prayers and the chinese members of the ward have been great to him.

we are teaching so many cool people. one more miracle. yesterday bishop solomon (our bishop in the east lansing university ward) called us around 5 and asked if we could come to the stake center so we did. we walked in and found him talking with an 18 year old chinese male. his name is mark. he told us he wanted to transfer to byu. he had heard byu was a good school from his high school teachers in china. he went online, found where the nearest bishop was, biked clear from his dorms and walked in and knocked on bishops door in the stake center for an interview. we taught him the restoration and gave him a Chinese bom. he loved learning about God too and wants to continue meeting and reading the bom! we are being so blessed right now for no apparent reason.

everybody please go and read mormon 5:17-18. it is so true. one thing i have been thinking about this week is how the world tries to satisfy our spiritual needs for peace and joy. lets say peace and joy are fresh water. we need that to survive. if somebody is stranded with only salt water around them and they cannot find fresh water, their mind will tell them to drink salt water even if they have been taught never to do that. as they drink the salt water, it feels good. it soothes and curbs their thirst, albeit momentarily. what follows next is a vicious cycle. the salt from the water dries on their tongue. it makes them more thirsty than before. they become more desperate. they drink more salt water to satisfy that thirst, and more salt stays in their mouth. they continue drinking salt water until it eventually causes their death. if someone cannot find peace and joy, they may revert to satan's enticings and the, "vain things of the world," so called because they are vain, they do not satisfy. as they find transient happiness in this "salt water" they are enticed to drink more and more, never fully quenching their spiritual thirst. viewed in this context, it is easy to see why the Savior says that He will give us living water, which if we drink we shall never thirst. Only His teachings and His Gospel can satisfy our needs for peace and joy. It will last. it is the real thing. there is substance to it. i encourage each of you to seek this Living Water from the scriptures. pray, read and obey. 

i love you all!