Tuesday, December 30, 2014

WEEK 10 LANSING (WEEK 81 OF MISSION)

Parker didn't do a group email this week.  I think he is trying to write everyone that sent him Christmas cards and presents.  Thank you so much for all the support you give him.  He was so appreciative.  We had such a good time talking to him on Christmas morning.  He loves his mission and the people so much and hasn't allowed us to talk about him coming home, but he did tell us his release date is May 20 -- but who's counting?!? haha

Goofy Games at the Half-Mission Christmas Party
That's whip cream in the top of his hat and someone had to
throw cheeseballs into it!
The Saran Wrap is to protect his shirt and tie.
Having some fun on a busy Tansfers Day
The Transfers Moving Trailer that Parker pulls around with
his awesome Van!
A Very Sunny Day in Michigan  ;)


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

WEEK 9 LANSING (WEEK 80 OF MISSION)

hey everybody! how are you? hope things are going well! 

Merry Christmas everybody! thank you all so much for sending me letters and presents and things! i am attempting to write everybody back a hand written card so be patient with me! 

Things have been great at MSU. we have our half-mission Christmas Party tomorrow in Grand Rapids and Wednesday in Mt Pleasant. it will be great! there will be some short trainings from Elder Rhodes and me, many musical talents from the missionaries, and lots of mini games and jeopardy. it will be sweet. pictures to follow. 

Everyone here is doing well. Richard is attending church in DC and doing great. Mark is doing well too. Derek is home for the holidays as well haha. its basically us and like 5 people who are still here. but we still managed to invite lots of people to learn this week and find many new investigators so God is still blessing us! We have had some wonderful lessons with new investigators lately. 

Some thoughts I have had recently... I love this quote from a Neal A. Maxwell talk where he quotes another guy:

Becoming a true believer, however, means trusting not only in the Lord's plan for all of mankind but especially trusting in His unfolding and particularized plan for each of us. This means much more than merely acknowledging that God is in charge. Alma's warning that living without God in the world is "contrary to the nature of happiness" (Alma 41:11) was not just for agnostics but also for passive believers. Putting first things first is vital, as these eloquent words of Malcolm Muggeridge attest:
When I look back on my life nowadays, which I sometimes do, what strikes me most forcibly about it is that what seemed at the time most significant and seductive, seems now futile and absurd. For instance, success in all of its various guises; being known and being praised, ostensible pleasures, like acquiring money or seducing women, or traveling, going to and fro in the world and up and down in it like Satan, exploring and experiencing whatever Vanity Fair has to offer. In retrospect all these exercises in self-gratification seem pure fantasy, what Pascal called "licking the earth." They are diversions designed to distract in this world, which is, quite simply, to look for God, and, in looking, to find Him, and, having found Him, to love Him, thereby establishing a harmonious relationship with His purposes for His creation.[Thomas Nelson, A Twentieth Century Testimony (New York, 1978)]
Isn't that true? As i review my life, the saddest points are the times when i spent the most time for that which ended up being of little or no value to me. when my priorities were out of line. Serve others this Christmas season and throughout the year. It will bring you joy. Gain a spiritual witness from the Holy Ghost that God our Father lives and that He loves each of us. Find out for yourself if the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true. These things are worth the time. Family is worth the time. Developing  a Christlike character is worth the time. 
Why does God command that we judge not? Is it because people's feelings get hurt? Possibly in part. Is it because we ourselves are not perfect? that definitely is true also. I think it is mostly because we would just get it so wrong. we know so little about a person. all we know is what they put off. we know nothing of their thoughts, very little of their past, and not much about who they truly are. God sees and knows all. This is why we must leave judging up to Him. He says, unequivocally, "of you it is required to forgive all men." (section 64: 9-11). no exceptions are made. we do not have to trust everyone, but we must forgive. "but they did this!" He lovingly responds that He will set it all straight. He can heal you. He will, in the end, make all things right. Forgive and forget. Ask God to heal you of the wrongs that have been done to you. Celebrate the birth and life of our Savior this Christmas by forgiving as He so patiently forgives us. 
Elder Green

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

WEEK 8 LANSING (WEEK 79 OF MISSION)

No group letter yet this week but i guess the pictures tell what he's been up to!  He said the "Angry Assistants" pics are a tradition.  Missionaries and their pictures!!!

These two cute elders are Taiwanese Visa-Waiters that
taught on MSU campus with Parker last week.
And here begins the series of "Angry" pictures!







Richard's (Xlang Li) Baptism, December 6

Mark's (Chenyu Wang) Baptism, December 6

Derek Martindell's Baptism, December 13

Parker, Elder Rhodes, and Elder Derricott
on Transfer Day

MLC
Parker said some people missed the memo that they
weren't supposed to smile in this pic! haha


Monday, December 8, 2014

WEEK 7 LANSING (WEEK 78 OF MISSION)

hey everybody! not a ton of time! 

life has been great! this week richard li and mark wang were baptized! it went so well. pictures to come in the near future. they are both incredible. they were confirmed that sunday and richard bore his testimony! he shared his conversion with everybody and about how at first he thought we were "fake monks" trying to get money from him. but after our first lesson he knew that we were sincere and that what we shared was good. 

he also told me, a few days before, that he never felt guilty for the things he had done until he met with us. i didnt expect anything more than that because he wasn't accountable for the sins he previously committed. I asked him that if all meeting with us did was make him feel guilty, then why would he want to be baptized? he told us that his life has improved immensely since he started living what we taught him. he said that since he comes from china and from a non-religious background that it would be very hard to convince him that God was real or that anything we taught him was true, unless he could see it change his life. he said that even though he was hard to convince and had no religious beliefs previously that he has felt such a change and a righteous desire that he knows it must be real. what an incredible experience to be able to teach  him.

derek martindell will be baptized this week. he is incredible too! 

gotta go! love you all! hopefully we can learn something from Richard's testimony! read and pray about the Book of Mormon! 

love you all! 


Elder Green