Sunday, November 29, 2015

Happy Thankgiving!

With all the hustle to get ready for Thanksgiving, I didn't have time to post Elder Ruby's letter last week.  Being an AP has it's challenges.  Instead of having to know 20 missionaries in his zone, he now has to know all of the missionaries in his entire mission 170+ missionaries!  I know he's up to the challenge.  Here are a few things he wrote to us last week:

Well, this is a big change from what I am used to up north. There are definitely less YSA-age kids (Young Single Adult) walking around. This means we really have to rely on the members and help them share the gospel with their friends. Elder Young and I have already seen miracles!

My faith has grown in daily earnest prayer and scripture study. I have never seen anyone fall away, or stop investigating the church, who was consistently studying the scriptures and praying. It just doesn't happen. The same goes for missionaries. I believe that we must do these things in order to be converted and I believe that conversion happens naturally when we hold fast to the iron rod by diligently seeking (1 Nephi 10:17-19). It is the Spirit who converts, and the way that I know best to invite the Spirit is by prayer, scripture study, and testimony.

We had an amazing experience with a lady named Nancy. We had finished teaching a less-active member the Restoration lesson. On the way out of his apartment complex we noticed a lady unloading things from her car. We offered help. She accepted. She told us that her favorite movie was "The Other Side of Heaven" and she really liked "17 Miracles." We offered her a Book of Mormon and taught her the Restoration in short. We committed her to read the introduction before next Saturday. We said a prayer with her. By the end of our lesson she was crying and couldn't even say goodbye! Two other elders should be teaching her on Saturday. It all came about through service.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Transfer and New Responsibility

Before I share with all of you where Hyrum is, I wanted to write some of his last letter in the blog.  Then, I will give you the update:)

Our district just finished a session of yoga with Patience.  She is a personal trainer and yoga teacher.  I learned why the yoga people hold their hands out and say ommmm. . . It's called the hummingbird breath or something:)  You focus on the vibration and breathing to tune out the world and focus.  I got a kick out of it.  We will have to push her baptism date back because she has to attend church 3 times before being baptized, and it won't happen before Nov 27. 

Transfers are next week, so we get a call Saturday from the Assistants about who is going where and our new companions.  Then we call everyone in the Zone with those new assignments.  Anyone who is going to be a trainer gets a call from the assistants on Friday evening.  New District Leaders and Zone Leaders get a call on Friday from President Felix and we get a call if we will no longer be Zone Leaders or District Leaders that night.  I would love to stay here, but I think I have been here long enough.  I would love to "white-wash train" again.
A symbol the Calif. Ventura missionaries use for baptsim

We had a MLC this past Tuesday.  They fed us breatkfast beforehand too, which was great.  I love the Felix's.  We discussed the culture of the mission and how we can elevate it.  President wrote the quote "A rising tide lifts all boats" on the board.  As leaders, we are the tide.  In that sense, we all lift the mission culture (not just the Zone Leaders and District Leaders).  BTW, "mission culture" is our personal conversion, how we interact with other missionaries, and how we interact with members and non-members.  We concluded that we, the mission, can improve by keeping the daily schedule more exactly; improving our morning hours through sincere prayer/scripture study and sweating during work-outs; being more accountable; correcting bad behavior and by keeping our living areas clean.  The message from President was "We can all do better."  So, we had to bring those things back from
Sister missionaries at Zone Activity
MLC in a Zone meeting on Friday.  Yep, we called the Zone to repentance (and ourselves).  As we spoke to the zone, thoughts came to me of how I can do better.  I think it was received well. . .

Here are some things we took back to our zone.  One thing that is an incorrect rule the missionaries go by is that workouts end at 7:00am.  No where does the schedule say this, but it's been taught to all the missionaries.  No.  We wake up at 6:30am.  Pray, then exercise for 30 min. If you take ten minutes to get ready/say your prayers, then your workout should end at 7:10.  Also, it's been taught that on Mondays for workouts you can clean instead.  No!  P-day begins at 10:00am.  And another thing, we are supposed to begin proselyting at 10am which means that we should be ready to go before studies so that we can leave at 10am, instead of taking another 10 minutes to put on socks, a tie, shoes, and brush teeth.
Happy Halloween 2015 from CA!

Well, that's enough of that!  Don't be afraid to defend the family!

So now for Hyrum's new area and assignment. . .

I am leaving. . .to Ventura. . . to be an assistant to President Felix. . .!  I got a call from President Felix on Friday night telling me that my assignment has changed and that I will be serving with him and the office staff as an assistant! The assistants do sooooo much. In addition to setting a strong example in their proselyting area, they do district leader training, MLC, trainers/new missionary training, and this transfer will be two Christmas devotionals (north mission and south mission) plus 8 exchanges. Wow. I look forward to talking to you all in a few weeks.

Please email me if you would like Hyrum's new address.  He didn't actually give me his apartment address, but he said for now we can send letters/packages to the Mission Home address, since he will spend a lot of time there.   We are excited for all he will learn by being an assistant to President Felix.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Morro Bay and Halloween and Chickens

We have had a really great week, but it was also sometimes slow.  On Tuesday we had five appointments which all went through (those people met with us).  That day was just full of teaching and it was awesome. 

On Wednesday I went to Morro Bay on an exchange with Elder Peart. He's from Sandy, UT and has been out a transfer and a half.  Morro Bay and Cayucas and Cambria are beautiful, quiet, ocean-view towns.  There were big waves crashing on the shore as we drove up the highway.  No one was surfing.  Apparently, those waters have a lot of sharks.  About a month ago there was a shark attack, but no one died.

On the exchange we taught a young girl named Ruby!  Her baptism is scheduled for November 14th.  Elder Peart and I taught the Law of Chastity and the Word of Wisdom to her and her 9 yr old brother and her 7 yr old sister.  Yeah . . . it was a bit awkward.  We didn't go into real depth, just enough that they knew to treat their bodies and other people's bodies as temples.

Oh, on Monday we carved pumpkins as a Zone.  It wasn't as fun as I thought it would be.  Maybe because we are all 19-20 year olds?  On Halloween some people asked us if we were the real deal (they thought we might be dressed-up for Halloween.  Seriously?  Who would fake being a missionary at 2pm on a HOT Friday/Saturday by walking around trying to share the gospel?  It was funny at first, but no one would talk with us). We had to be in early on Halloween (7pm) and do Weekly Planning then. 

The last part of the week was incredibly slow.  I was really stressed.  We could fill the day with names from our ward list of people who we have never met, but it isn't effective and we felt like chickens running around with their heads cut off.  (There were actually some sisters a few transfers back who went to a member's home on P-day to do that to chickens . . .)  So we tried to listen to the spirit and pray, but I just got more upset as the days went on.  I know that Heavenly Father was/is still aware of us - we were supposed to learn something. I think we were supposed to learn to use the members.  On Sunday we set aside the evening to visit members and we found out that they are working with a lot of their friends.

So here's something funny that happened to me.  On one of our days, we were walking by a park. There were three people (a man, a woman, and their collage-age kid) and their four chickens (two white and two red/orange).  I started talking to them.  The lady said I could hold one of the chickens, so I did.  I knelt down and took a red chicken from her hands.  The chicken was less than pleased to be held by me, so I let her go.  As we were preparing to leave, they warned us that the chickens had pooped and to watch out.  I got up from my knee and spotted a big you-know-what on my pant leg.  Ewwww!   I'd been kneeling in that for probably 5-10 minutes.  Thankfully, it came out in the wash.

My faith has grown.  Recently I have been studying faith as a principle and an attribute.  In conjunction with this study I have also focused on the Atonement of Jesus Christ because it is Christ who we must put our faith/trust in.  I have come to understand that one reason why I was so hard on myself is because I didn't understand the Atonement.  I relied on my own strength and then blamed myself when I failed.  Having faith in Christ means that I trust Him and know that I must rely on Him for strength.  After all, this is His work.  Not only will I be given more grace to accomplish the work I am sent to do, I will be fortified spiritually for greater tasks and against later temptations.