Saturday, December 27, 2014

Mission Christmas Devotional

On December 23, President and Sister Felix celebrated Christmas with the missionaries.  They divided the area into north and south regions and had a lunch and music with each group of missionaries.

One activity they did for the missionaries was to have the words "I am a child of God" on the wall.  Underneath the wall was a baby picture of all the missionaries.  They had a great time trying to figure out who each baby picture belonged to.  It looks like everyone had a wonderful time.  Thank you President and Sister Felix for making Christmas special and fun for Elder Ruby and all the other missionaries away from home.

They must have done a little talent show also, as Hermana Hurley tied balloon crowns for both Pres. and Sister Felix.


Just before Christmas Hyrum wrote:

Boy, has this past week been a roller coaster!

This first week of "white-washing" in Santa Maria started out a bit rough.  I was sooooo stressed!  It had nothing to do with my companion.  He is amazing.  I had to totally rely on Heavenly Father to help me.  The notes that were left (by the previous missionaries) didn't give us too much information, so we just had to do our best.  We are getting more familiar with the streets and names now.  The ward is fantastic.  The bishop is missionary minded.  Our ward missionary leader is invested in us.  We are doing well and praying that we find new investigators.

My new companion, Elder Campbell, is amazing.  He is so humble, soooo ambitious, enthusiastic, and so bold.  He wants to work hard.  He is adjusting well.  Elder Campbell is focused and he studies well. He watches what I do.  He told me the other day that he noticed my prayers are really sincere and so he has begun to be more sincere when he prays.  We balance each other out and are accountable to each other.   Elder Campbell loves to talk, so sometimes the lessons/conversations with others get carried away, but I am just pleased with his excitement for being a missionary.  He is AWESOME. :)  I often think that I don't know if I could have done this without him.

Wednesday was a trial for me. I was stressed out of my mind!  I felt so hopeless, helpless, uninformed, and alone.  I felt so much pressure and responsibility as a trainer, and unsure of what to do and where to start.  I didn't want to do the wrong thing.  I felt like I needed to be perfect for Elder Campbell, and that I would be setting a bad example if things didn't go as I expected them to go.  Of course, none of that helplessness, hopelessness, or feelings of worry were coming from God.  As I knelt crying, the words came to me, "I am confident that you will do the right thing!"  That was when I knew all of this was going to be okay.  I didn't feel bad like I did before.  It was like a burden was taken from my back and a wall was taken from my mind.  I know this was the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  I know He lives and knows me!  I know this is His work, not mine.  And I know that He wants to help us and loves us.

We did 3 1/2 hours of service this week.  We helped a less active member do his yard work and also helped another less active lady organize.

Good Bye Paso Robles

Here are some pictures Elder Ruby sent us from his last few days in Paso Robles.
Gale and her husband, "Santa"
Gale's lighted Christmas village

Advent calendar Lily and Mom made Hyrum
Members who Hyrum enjoyed visiting with about the doctrines of the church 
Elder Walker, Brother Vogel (Ward Mission Leader) and Elder Ruby
Elder Ruby stayed in these members' downstairs apartment

Friday, December 19, 2014

Santa Maria Here I Come!

Here is Hyrum's letter after the notification of being transferred:

You will never guess what my new assignment is.  I am white-wash training in Santa Maria!!!  I am sooooo nervous.  So, not only did I just get done being trained, I am leaving Paso and going to Santa Maria for the holidays while training a brand new missionary who hasn't even arrived from the MTC yet!  We are starting from scratch, and I am training!  AHHHHHHH:)  Don't get me wrong, I am really excited, just nervous and stressed.

So, three weeks ago, I felt like I would really like to train.  I felt like I was qualified enough, I felt like I knew what I was doing and felt confident what I would be just what the new missionaries needed.  How proud and selfish that was.  As the last three weeks of the transfer progressed, I considered the two hundred some missionaries and knew that  there were sooooooo many more experienced, "deserving", solid missionaries than me.  I began to honestly consider how silly of me to think that I would train and be qualified for such a thing.  I realized the incredible amount of trust that President Felix and Heavenly Father have in trainers.  By last week I was convinced that training is not something I was ready for.  When I received the call on Friday, and learned my new assignment, I was almost terrified!  I remember a quote that I had thought of earlier in the transfer "Whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies."  That gave a little comfort.  On Saturday I learned that not only will I be training, I am "white-washing" into Santa Maria.  I am soooo nervous.  I prayed hard.  I know that this assignment is something that I need.  I trust that it came from God.  I look forward to fulfilling this assignment, but do so with a humble heart and trust in God.  I don't know what to expect, but I know that Heavenly Father is (and will be) with me as I do my best to train and help in the Vineyard.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Happy19th Birthday, Elder Ruby

Hyrum's 19th birthday was December 7.  Our family went to my mom's that day for a little visit.  We sang "Happy Birthday" to Hyrum in her living room.  I'm pretty sure he didn't hear us, but we wanted to celebrate anyway.

Thanksgiving was good.  We ate a late lunch with a recent convert, single sister outside her home on the porch.  She talked our ears off, but she is pretty lonely and our visit meant a lot to her.  She fed us some Spanish rice, chicken, stuffing and a marshmallow/sour cream/pineapple/whipped cream salad.

Then we walked to our next appointment, which was dinner at the Tongan family's home.  They are the grandparents of the little boy who roasted the pig for his birthday.   We weren't sure what to expect for them to feed us because they are Tongan, but they fed us a traditional turkey feast.  The stuffing was a bit more sweet than usual, and they also had some sweet potatoes (not yams) and pumpkin pie after.  I'm not a fan of pumpkin pie, but I ate it anyway:)  They are a less-active family and asked if they could take the missionary lessons again.  We are happy to do that:)

Thank you for the package!  I loved it.  I am always amazed with how God works.  I had been wanting cranberries and had been running out of food in my cupboards.  I didn't ask for a package or anything.  God new my desires and prompted you to send the package.  I already made those pudding pies.  Yum!  Thank you for that idea.  I sent Hyrum a" Thanksgiving Feast package".  I don't remember exactly what I put in it, but there was instant mashed potatoes, gravy package, mini graham cracker pie crusts, chocolate pudding, can of cranberry jelly, and homemade jerky.  Lily made Hyrum and "Elder Ruby out of a toilet paper roll, felt, and a bouncy ball and sent it to him also.

Hyrum loved it!

The day after Thanksgiving half the town had their Christmas lights up! Yep.  Christmas is a big deal out here too.  No snow, but still Christmas cheer.  One family started decorating shortly after Halloween!

Elder Walker is AWESOME.  He always has something new he wants to share with me/teach me.  He strives to serve the Lord through his obedience.  He is very good at complimenting others and having good things to say.  He and I balance each other out very well.  When I am feeling a bit impatient with someone or a situation, he is usually very patient, and vice versa.

One way I am trying to become a better missionary is by reading a column in the Book of Mormon for every time I make a sarcastic comment or pick my fingernails.  Boy has this helped!  The first ay I counted 20 "mess-ups"!  Yes there went 20 columns.  The next day I cut it down to 9.  Now I am at 3! Amazing.  The Book of Mormon has more converting/consecrating power than I thought.

I love you guys.  Keep shining the light and coming unto Christ.

Service is so fun!  Take a close look.  He is caught in mid-air!

Hyrum has a necklace of candy made for all the missionaries that had a birthday from September - December from President and Sister Felix

First Transfer!

Before I write from Hyrum's last letter, I need to let everyone know that he was transferred this past Tues.  So he has a new address.  Please email/call me for his new address (  He is now in Santa Maria.  He will be a "trainer" and his new companion is brand new out of the MTC this week.  When they take out the old missionaries and put in two new ones that have never been there before, the missionaries call that "white-wash".  

I'm sorry for not writing much lately.  I blame it on the Christmas season.  I'm having a hard time "keeping my head above water".  I know lots of people feel the same way, but the blog hasn't gotten the attention it deserves lately.  I'll try to make up for it today:)

Here is Hyrum's letter before he knew he was getting transferred:

Elder Walker has been talking me up in his letters to President Felix.  At first, I really thought training sounded like something I wanted and felt qualified for.  Slowly, that pride has wore off and I feel inadequate about training.  I don't know all the rules really well yet.  There are just little rules that Elder Walker reminds me of.  Being assigned to train is a great expression of trust from President Felix and God.  However, whenever I start to think of my inadequacies in training, the thought comes to me "Whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies" (President Thomas S. Monson).  I do admit that I need a bit of a change to grow more, but we will soon see what God thinks.

One of the assistants to the President (a missionary) came to spend Tuesday night and Wednesday with Elder Walker and I.  His name is Elder Lee ("Elderly" haha).  Elder Lee is awesome!  He was so humble and taught by example.  When people would say they had talked with missionaries before, or they knew what Mormons were all about, Elder Lee would invite them to pray to know if what they (the missionaries) had taught was true.  He would invite people to come to church off the street!  I don't know why I hadn't thought of that before.

We did a "power hour" with Elder Lee.  We all pointed to one house at the very beginning.  The person who answered the door was probably 17 and he stepped out of his house and closed the door behind him.  His name is DJ, but he reminds me of Matt S.  DJ plays all the "popular sports", but he really likes art.  He took a Restoration pamphlet and said he would read and pray about it.  He thought he would do that by that evening!  We have an appointment with him tomorrow (Tues), so I hope it goes well.  At the end of the "power hour", we said "one more door".  The girl who opened it is a freshman.  Her name was Hanna.  We gave her a Book of Mormon and she said she'd read it.  We have an appointment with her on Thursday.  Hmmmm. What do you know?  Two new investigators in one "power hour" and one of them looks like my best friend, Matt, and the other is named Hanna!  Coincidence??

Elder Lee told Elder Walker and I who he had imagined us to be as he had spent the day with us.  He told me that I would have a "deep and wide" impact on the missionaries in the mission.  "Deep", he said, "as in a lasting, loving impression on each individual missionary", and "wide", he said, "as in many missionaries throughout the mission."  That meant a lot to me.  He said that I have a quiet confidence that is really genuine, kind and loving.

I am sure learning a lot.  This mission has been one of the best things that has ever happened to me.  I am learning/ experiencing the Atonement.  I am learning more about myself and I am learning how much I don't know!

Thank you for all your prayers.  You know, missionaries are the most prayed for group in the entire world.  We are bound to receive so many blessings, as we do.

Charity - The Pure Love of Christ

On Thanksgiving evening, Elder Walker and I saw a man walking on his way to his parent's home.  He said they had kicked him out.  His name was Ronnie and he was probably in his 50's.  His parents didn't want him to come back, but he had nowhere to sleep and it was a chilly night.  He had no job, no nothing.  He asked if we knew anyone that would take him in for the night.  We told him no.  We didn't know what to do, but we couldn't leave him.  We walked with him towards his parent's home at his pace, which was extremely slow and unstable.  After a few near falls, I gave Elder Walker my shoulder bag and gave Ronnie a piggy-back ride to his home.  The whole time I was thinking of the song "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief" and I thought about how Christ ministered unto the homeless and the lowly.  We prayed so hard as we approached the door so that his parents would let him in.  A southern Baptist preacher's wife answered and asked if we were Christians.  We said "yes" and she let him in only because "the Lord keeps bringing him back to her".  That night I learned a lot of what charity feels like.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Power Hour!

Wow! We are already almost through the transfer.   We get calls on the 13th of December. Transfers happen about every 6 weeks.  Not every missionary gets transferred that often, but every missionary wonders whether or not he/she will get that transfer phone call.  I'm ready to start singing Christmas songs,  but my companion refuses until after Thanksgiving.  Some people already have lights put up!  This time of year isn't quite the same without the snow, but I am okay without all the bad weather you have been getting.

So, I have to tell you about the "power hour" thing.  They are so cool!  We first did one Saturday with an active family in our ward.  They have two sons on missions right now.  We explained the "procedure" and said a prayer with the father who couldn't gather all the kids at the moment, but said he would explain it to them (they have 9? kids).  After leaving their home, we said a prayer of our own for miracles that we could report so that the members could see their prayers answered and so that their faith could grow.  The first door we knocked answered and we talked to a girl (15-17 years old) about what she believed.  She said she believed in God, but that was all.  I asked her what she knew about God, if she knew she was a daughter of God.  She didn't know anything.  Her name was Cassie and we have a return appointment for Saturday at 11am!  New investigator!  All but three doors on the family's street answered.  We gave out a bunch of Joy to the World cards.  Joy to the World is a video from our church about the Savior's birth.  It is really good.  Let me know if you want one.  There was one door that told us not to come back (no, the people who answered the door -haha) and never set foot on their property again!  We needed some bitter to appreciate the sweet!  We came back and reported to the family.  They loved it!

After lunch we did the "power hour" again with another family.  They have 7? kids - all boys and one 2 yr old daughter.  (No, not all of the families in the ward are like that.  We just chose the two biggest to do "power hour" with.)  Similar results came from this second "power hour".  This family said they wanted to do it again.

Last Sunday Elder Walker and I were asked to teach the 13-14 year old class durning Sunday School about setting goals and planning because we do it every day.  So we did and had a good discussion with them.

Whew!  This week really has been fantastic!  We taught 17 "other" lessons!  (Our usual "other" lessons is close to 8!  "Other" lessons are lessons that are not with a member present or with a less-active member.  This type of lesson basically means that we said a prayer with those people.  They can be on the doorstep, on the street, any where and can be 10 minutes or less.)

I love you.  Remember, all you can do is all you can do.  Do your best and God will do the rest!