Glad to hear you had a great time at Powell! I miss that place, but me and 2 elders discussed how we're gonna go when I get back ha. Missionaries are the coolest friends!
The work here is pretty darn good! I had such a good week while you guys were enjoying yourselves as well. We saw miracles left and right!
Here's a story for you:
Before the new missionaries are assigned a companion, President Hobbs interviews them to help them be with a companion they'll get along with.
Elder Boltz requested someone who is loving, yet bold, and likes to follow the rules. President replied "I think I have the perfect companion for you" so I am very flattered that that's how president views my ethic. We are being super obedient and the miracles that happened this last week were incredible! We always write down when we see the Lord's hand in our work.
We started teaching a guy named Ricky who is 18 and is in a band, he plays the drums and he's a really cool kid! His aunt was baptized two years ago and he sees a large change in her and he wants the same thing, so he said if he finds the book of mormon to be true, he will be baptized! We're aiming for August 30th.
Stake conference here is August 23rd and 24th. Guess who's visiting the Rancho Cucamonga mission? Elder Russell M. Nelson! Aww yeah. That'll be my second time meeting an apostle (:
Ever since I hit my 6 month mark, I feel so much less homesick. Like, for the first time I feel like I feel this is my home, if that makes sense. It's a huge feeling of relief because I had such an emotional tie to the family, but the rate that the work is going here makes it so rewarding and I love it. I feel much happier since I started training Elder Boltz. We're trying our hardest, that's for sure.
I appreciate the email. Glad you had a blast at Powell. I sure miss it, but I know where people need me and i'm more than happy to devote my time to God's children. I love you so much and hope that you continue to have a great week!
Gosh, I miss those kids (: Brighton is getting so so big! And Bristol too, her hair looks very light. Oh dear, the nostalgia ha.
I'm excited for you to go to Powell! I'm excited to go with Brighton when I get back. He's so much fun to hang around. I know you are going to miss seeing him all day long. I miss seeing him grow up, but that's okay! We'll be re-united someday.
It's so hard to get to people to church and I don't know why! Jessica didn't come for some unknown reason, but maybe next week. After 9 weeks of not going to our ward, I missed it, for some people, it will take longer, but i'm glad she had a better experience. Church is such a great place to be!
I'm sorry this is such a lame email. I've been a little stressed because of the whole training situation, because I feel such an obligation to make Elder Boltz's mission a great experience. He's from Ogden (He told my Mom he is from South Willard) and is lactose intolerant and nearly passed out yesterday because he had something with whey in it. It freaked me out! So we gotta be smart about paying attention to ingredients. I'll try sending a picture next week (: I didn't receive a package yet ): but i'll call the mission office. Thank you so much for whatever it is!
Next week, I'll have much more interesting things to say, promise! until then, have a great time at powell! very jealous. But then again, you ought to be jealous of me as well, because California rules! Be safe, I love you!!!
The email My Mom got was my informative so here is what has been going on :)
Email to Mom
Glad to hear you enjoyed my letter, there was a lot of information in there that i'm glad I finally got to report on!
On Saturday I received the call that I am going to be training a new missionary. My first initial reaction was neutral, but as the days continue on, the more nervous I get. I've felt so off since Saturday. I'm going to be so sad without Elder Merrell! He was a great friend. I was crying this morning when he was in the shower. When I see people packed up it makes me sad. We did some good work in Alta Loma. No baptisms show for it, but President Hobbs really appreciated what we did there. I'm gonna miss elder Merrell so much! We're definitely gonna hang out when I get back.
This week was wack. But there's a lot to look forward to. Sister Moore in the ward said training is a good thing because you get to train them the way you want, so i've highlighted all the ways I need to improve according to the missionary handbook. An obedient missionary feels the spirit more which results in a happier Elder, so I hope I can change the small things that i've needed to work on and be a good example to this new Elder. It's weird to be senior companion. You know what's even weirder? I haven't driven in 6 months and today's my first day behind the wheel again. It's seriously a different world, I need to stop being so frantic about all these new changes. It's inspired from the Lord.
I'm so ready for a baptism though you have no idea! That's probably the biggest goal I have right now. I shall keep you posted. Did I tell you about Jessica? She is super committed and enjoys the book of Mormon and we've taught her 3 times now, but she isn't currently living the law of chastity. If she wants to get baptized, she either has to get married or move out of her house for now. Yikes, but I really think she can pull through. She's had such a positive experience with the church so far!
I received 2 letters today from you, i'm excited to read them. Can you believe that starting tomorrow I will have been out for 6 months?! Time makes no sense on a mission. Thanks for all your constant support out here. I need all I can get. Please pray for me to be at ease with this new position in the mission. I'm nervous to train because I just finished being trained 3 months ago!
I love you mom, take the best of care, I will let you know next week about how things are with my new companion! (: Miss you oodles!
Email to Ben and KorIAnn You know who else was sick this week? Elder Merrell! We took half the day off on Wednesday cause he had sinusitis. He did not look good. He was still such a trooper that day. We had a service project and had to meet with one of our investigators. There's a weird virus going around, and I really really really hope I can avoid it. Being sick is the worst! Especially out here when you want to be working. I used my time wisely though to write mom a giant letter. You may enjoy reading that as it explains further thoughts on my mission and it has a better way to get to know me I suppose you could say.
There's an RM here in the ward and his mom said that since he's been back, all he wants to do is be with his mom haha! I'm sure i'm going to be that same way when I get back. At this point I would easily take my family over my friends ha, I like our family a lot. Like, a lot, a lot (: It is a neat idea to go on vacations instead of gifts, I remember you saying you remember those more than the gifts you receive, which is so true! Plus, you get multiple days of quality time, more than just one morning of receiving a present. Hmm, good call. I'm excited for you guys to come to California. I realize it is such a blessing for the same purpose Brad understands. I had no idea he served here! Which mission did he serve in?
I hear that the 4th was a huge event due to the extremities dad went to make it fun for everyone. He told me he was exhausted ha, i'm sure he won't volunteer for next year unless no one steps up. He's a champ. I'm sure it was a great setup. Did you guys have a good 4th? Man, mine was too good. We got to pass out hot dogs and that was great. Plus I love our zone. They've grown on me quite much. I like making friends with other missionaries. They're the greatest people I know! (excluding our family of course)
I do in fact feel like the work is good here. President Hobbs said Elder Merrell and I doing very good work here, and that makes me happy. We have a girl named Jessica who accepted a baptismal date and then we found out she isn't married and is living with her boyfriend, so i'm not sure what'll happen there.
Courtney is in Hesperia all week so we have to move her date to August probably.
Brian and Heather are on hold till Heather passes her giant Bar test to be a lawyer. We find out in August if she passed, and I fasted that she would study hard to pass because then they will finally make time for the church.
We did however start teaching a girl named Jenny and she was a referral from someone in the ward (which is a good sign) and we've taught her twice. I'm 99% sure she will baptized. She cries every time we talk about Christ, she has such a sweet heart.
We are trying our hardest to stay busy and are trying to get people to make covenants with their Father. Baptism really is a huge commitment and people aren't used to that, but I know that as people read the Book of Mormon and feel the spirit, they won't want to step away from how good it feels, but embrace it even stronger. I have confidence in that with all my heart.
Thanks for the update, support, and prayers. I love you sooo much! And miss you just as much. Good luck with the Clark's (: Remember, patience and charity!
The email to Mom was much more descriptive about who they are teaching so I will just add this email from Shawn.
I brought my journal with me so that you can get a better idea of my feelings toward my mission and who we're working with.
Martha Fitisemanu's husband is a member, but she is not. We've been teaching her since I got here and I absolutely adore her. We're meeting with her tonight and are going to invite her to be baptized. I truly think she will say yes because she has made immense progress and has even joined the ward choir. She's a fantastic lady.
Courtney Smith is 15, and a member's friend. We meet with her twice a week and she is in love with Dylan King in the ward. He leaves on a mission real soon and he won't be able to baptize her because unfortunately she will not be ready. i'm not sure when she'll be baptized, it keeps getting postponed.
Jessica Rodriguez is in her 20's and we've only met with her twice, she's been reading the BOM and we're going to extend a baptismal invitation to her this Thursday.
Brian and Heather have been put on hold.
And we received 3 referrals this week, which I think 2/3 will accept a baptismal date this week! Sally and Jen (:
I had such a good week last week. I felt like I was living the missionary dream. We were busy and I just felt so good the entire weekend. This weekend is going to be great as well with what we already have planned. I feel like i'm contributing to the Lord's work finally and it feels good. Things are so good. We're doing service for a lady named Silka on Saturdays and I love her so much. I feel as though I can legitimately say that I love the people I serve, her being one of the biggest reasons. I'm not sure what it is, she's just a great lady and my charity has grown since I met her somehow. Did you feel that way towards certain people on your mission? I just meet the greatest people here and it makes me so happy. I'm so excited for this week!!!!! I've never felt this ambitious towards the work, and boy i'm just ecstatic.
I LOVE my mission. I have some pictures I want to show you, i'll try my hardest to send them. I love you SOOO much and miss you like crazy! Have a great week mom (: