Wednesday, October 28, 2015

2 Months until a phone call!

Blaine informed me this past Sunday that it is 2 months until we get to talk to Elder Ruby again!!  I'm so excited!  The 5 months between Christmas and Mother's Day go by much faster than the 7 months between Mother's Day and Christmas.  Go figure:)

Elder Ruby hasn't said much in his letters lately.  They have been very short and he apologized for not writing us this past week.  I know he is busy and doing well.  That is what matters.  He did tell us that a girl they have been working with, named Patience, has set a date for baptism.  That's exciting!  This past Monday they had a Zone Activity.  All the missionaries in his zone were getting together to carve pumpkins.  That sounds like fun.  He will send us pictures.  

Here is his testimony from this past letter:

The words of the prophets have sunk and are continuing to sink deep into my heart. I am coming to more fully accept Christ into my life. I do my best to do as Elder McConkie suggests and accept the scriptures as the mind and will of God. My studies have focused greatly on the doctrines of grace, mercy, justice, and love. My testimony in the reality of Christ and a loving, just, merciful, gracious God has grown; and my awe, gratitude, and wonder in the Atonement of Christ are expanding.

I'm sorry this is so short and not very informative.  We will try again next week:)

October 2015 Zone Conference

 In a different area than Hyrum, the church building the mission president usually uses for interviews was being fumagated.  This is what it looks like in California.  Wow!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

"Food Fast"

Elder Ruby is enjoying his new companion, Elder Haines.

So, for the first week of the transfer we couldn't accept any food from members, nor could we go restaurants! Apparently, we needed to be more grateful for and feel less entitled to all the help that the members give us. That meant that we had to plan, prepare, and budget the meals for the week. The members thought it was hilarious and they would make comments about us not being able to eat with them. I really enjoyed the "food fast". I found that having to plan, prepare, and budget for our weekly meals together unified our companionship.  Elder Haines and I have really enjoyed making meals together. We even sacrificed some of our food by feeding the District leaders the night that they were coming home from a training in Oxnard earlier this week. This unified the leadership in the zone as we talked and served each other.

I have learned that God answers prayers through the scriptures. Yesterday evening we didn't know who to visit or what to do. Elder Haines had me flip open the Book of Mormon in the dark, point, and read. I read from 2 Nephi 32:8-9 about the words of Christ and the Spirit telling us all things what we should do. Then Nephi exhorts us to pray. We had prayed several times earlier with little success, but we chose to pray again. After a fervent prayer, Elder Haines thought to call an investigator, Cassie, who was also struggling with prayer. We were able to teach her on the phone and discern more of her concerns.

Elder Ruby and Elder Haines

Elder Campbell, Elder Ruby and Elder Campbell's new companion at transfers. 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Staying in SLO and Ponderize!

Yep, who knew? Elder King will be leaving to follow-up train and be a district leader.  My new companion is Elder Haines. I don't know much about him. I know what he looks like, but that is about it.  I look forward working with him and the Lord this next transfer.

After hearing Elder Devin G. Durrant, 1st Counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency, speak about a new concept (at least it was new to me), we decided to do this as a family.  He suggested we "Ponderize" the scriptures.  It is a combination of pondering (80%) and memorizing (20%).  The idea is to post a scripture every week and think about its words and key phrases several times during the week.  Here is a link to Elder Durrant's talk from Sunday afternoon.  He explains it the best:) We are ponderizing Moses 6:60.  

I am so happy that you are Ponderizing! I am too. My scripture is 3 Nephi 27:19 "And no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end."

I have to tell you about something embarrassing that happened to me this morning. I was driving our truck. (I told you that we drive a truck right? Yeah, it's a red Nissan Frontier. It's as close to driving a truck back home as I can get.) We parked at the church to email. I glanced down and out of my window to check my parking job, however, I had my finger on the window switch and was simultaneously rolling up the window. Yes, you can probably guess what happened next. Elder King laughed as he watched preoccupied Elder Ruby roll the window into his tooth and jerk back in surprise. :)

This week we focused on our less actives and recent converts.  Many of the recent converts are freshman and are having difficulty adjusting to life as a Mormon and in college and away from home for the first time.  We are doing our best to help them make Christ and the Book of Mormon their foundation.  We invited everyone to watch conference, but no one showed up.  We have a lot of work to do up here.  
I gained a testimony of the Prophet and Apostles this past conference and the Christlike love that they emulate. For some reason, I was overwhelmed as I watched the remaining nine Apostles greet/hug the three new.  I feel like this was a witness to me of the validity of their calling and an example of how I should treat others. This was an experience with conference that I will remember. Also, I came to conference with questions and President Uchtdorf (the very first speaker) blew my questions out of the water! It was awesome.

Miracle from using the Book of Mormon: After a doorstep Restoration lesson with a room mate of a less active member, we challenged her to read the Book of Mormon every day. She didn't want to take it and said she didn't have time because she was busy studying. We then challenged her to take the Book of Mormon and open the Book of Mormon with a question in her heart just before she studied for her classes and then read for her answer.  We tried this tactic with her. Her question was "why are people bad?" She flipped open to Mosiah 3:19! After explaining the verse, we again extended the invitation. She took the Book of Mormon.

Here are the last pictures of Elder Ruby and Elder King.  Elder King made party hats for the two of them to celebrate their "one year" mark in the mission.

We had a flyer placed on our door that described the fines for drinking, DUI, disturbing the peace, and other fines associated with parties.  We had this answer. . .

Monday, October 5, 2015

Joy of the Gospel

I'm sorry I haven't update the blog for over a week.  Elder Ruby's letters have been brief.  He is so busy and writes what and when he can on Monday's, but the time just goes by so fast.  He did share a story about a recent convert to the church:

One of the greatest successes as a missionary has been teaching and watching a recent convert named Olivia, come back to full activity in the church and be super excited and active.  Three months ago, she was just a normal 22 year old and she was looking for happiness in worldly things.  As we taught her the lessons again, we began to see her desires change.  She started asking questions like "Why is the Atonement important?" and "How do you repent?"  This turn began when we had her share her conversion story with Mark (a recent convert).  Sharing her testimony helped her see that she really did believe.  Later, a member, Emma, who just lost her brother, befriended Olivia and took her to the Los Angeles Temple.  From that moment on,  Olivia has set her sights on the temple.  She came to church and has been coming for weeks now!  She, too, noticed a change within herself.  She said that she tries to be nice to people even when it's hard.  She has no desire to watch gossipy/crude shows and she is fascinated with forgiveness and charity.  Olivia now spends hours looking up talks and reading the scriptures!  She is so happy.  She has a temple recommend now and is going to General Conference!  I am so happy for her.  There is just as much joy in watching Olivia come back into the fold of God as there is in bringing someone to the waters of baptism!

This past week we had a Zone Activity down in SLO.  Brother Abbott, the institute director was teaching a class called the Foundations of the Restoration.  He is a phenomenal teacher.  This class focused on the doctrines of the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ.  So, the zone came to the class and then we had a birthday party for a sister in the zone who has never had a birthday celebration.  We (Elder King and I) made her a big Funfetti cookie on a cookie sheet.  Then we frosted it with chocolate and wrote in white frosting her name and the church, so it was like a missionary tag!  She loved it.  Then we played sports.  Elder King and I had to leave for dinner in Los Osos.  The member we ate dinner with made bacon wrapped burgers stuffed with pepper jack or cheddar cheese! Yum!!