Thursday, May 26, 2016

Transferred to Thousand Oaks

Boy, these last two weeks have gone by so fast.  That always happens when I am busy.  This time is was Haven's graduation.  Two weeks ago Hyrum was transferred to Thousand Oaks, CA to be a District Leader there.  Here is a little from him on his most recent assignment as a District Leader and some pictures too.

Our ward mission leader brought me to tears, good tears, the second day in the area. After dinner at his home, he shared the ward's vision and mission plan. Brother Whitman had, and has, so much faith. I couldn't help but feel the confidence that God had in this ward and in us as missionaries. I learned that nothing is impossible with Christ. We haven't yet set anyone with a date, but I am confident that we can do miracles if we believe.

We helped out a recent convert family the other day on their yard. As we did, we asked about their conversion story. They told us that their daughter had a member friend who invited them to church. The first time they went to church, they didn't really like it. However, after many invitations and her children wanting to go back, the parents eventually opened their hearts and felt the truth.  We shared this story with many members this week to encourage them to continue inviting.

Being a district leader has been very new to me. I feel inadequate sometimes.  I heard good feedback from the district about district meeting, so I guess I didn't do too bad. :)

I feel like I have been serving in this ward for a long time already. They just feel like family. Of course, they could never replace you, but they make me feel at home.

Today we are going to Mountain bike with a non-member whose wife is a member. Hopefully that will soften his heart a bit. This will be my first time. Don't worry, I will go slow.

It was a tough week. We have four investigators all of whom would not meet this week. We did have wonderful splits with the ward on Thursday. We discovered a few neat connections with the members and investigators/less-actives. #miracles. This week we have done a lot of street contacting, but we haven't found many who would receive us. It has helped me understand that I can't do this all on my own.

I am learning to be even more of myself. I am learning to speak my mind more and trust that the Lord will give me what I need to say.

This past week we had the missionaries over for dinner.  Right after they left, I got a text from a wonderful member in Thousand Oaks who had Hyrum over for dinner that same night.  She sent me two pictures of him.  It was so cool!

Elder Ruby and Elder Hunter

Elder Ruby with smoked pizza

Monday, May 2, 2016

I apologize.  We have been having tons of problems with our internet, so I haven't been able to post anything for Elder Ruby lately.  He has been doing really well, as you all know.  This is his last week as an Assistant to the President.  He will receive a new assignment that will start Tuesday May 10.  I will find out the new assignment when we talk to him on Mother's Day.  I am so excited to talk to him!!  Hyrum asked us to prepare to visit with him about our favorite scripture and why we chose it.  He said he can talk for 30-40 minutes.  I know it won't be near long enough.  I will treasure every minute.  

Here's a little from his email today:

Guess what! Mark (a young man he baptized a while ago) just submitted his mission paperwork to SLC. He put his availability date August 9th, the day of his confirmation! This means that he attend the temple while I am still on a mission. If that is the case, then I will be able to go with him if it's at the LA or Fresno Temple. I am just jumping for joy right now! This is why he said he is going:

"1. I've discovered an overwhelming love for Jesus Christ, and I think that it would be selfish of me not to spread that love to other people.
2. Since I've been a member of the Church, I have received so many unexpected blessings, it's impossible to count them all. I've always been really blessed, but my experience at school with the Church—the people that I've met, the support I've received from them, the opportunities that I've had to grow as an individual, etc.—has been something that I can't take advantage of without giving something back
3. Four of my best friends here are going to serve a mission after this year, and I think that by serving along side them, in all corners of the globe, we have an opportunity to grow closer as friends than we ever could have been without the experience.
4. For the last 14 years of my life, I've been focused entirely on school. It's a noble, but entirely inward focus. I think that by serving a mission will aid me in an effort to become outward focused. and more conscious of the people around me."

I am so happy for him.

We almost achieved all our goals last week! It feels so good to accomplish what we hope for. And achieving those goals gives us more hope. I love it. We really enjoy working in our area. Contacting people on campus has shown to be the most successful. We are also involving the members in missionary work and encouraging them to invite their friends/acquaintances to church or activities. The members love it. We took members contacting on campus and they seemed to know everyone. It was great!

I am learning to trust in God more. For my entire mission I have prayed to be led to those who have been prepared to receive the restored gospel. Despite my prayers, I don't feel like I have been led to as many as I thought I would be. Recently, I my mindset has changed a bit. I have chosen to give everyone a chance to receive the gospel, but if they do not accept it at this time, I just move on to the next. I have learned to clearly state our purpose and invite them to learn more. This has brought more peace to my heart and I expect to find someone eager for the truth sometime soon. Sadly, many people have hardened their hearts against the truth and the Spirit. I often feel like Jeremiah, Lehi, Alma, and many, if not all, the prophets did as they went out preaching to everyone that would hear them.

I tried to copy a few pictures from the California Ventura Mission blog, but the pictures wouldn't copy for me.  So, I will refer you to the blog's post of the Mission Tour to see 4 pictures of Hyrum.  He is in 3 at the beginning of the post and also the group photo of the Ventura Zone. 

Here are some statistics of his mission right now:

Where did they arrive from?

After the two missionaries who will be arriving (mid transfer) on Monday, April 18, we will have 146 single missionaries and 5 senior couple missionaries. This breaks down to:
Spanish Hermanas  22
English Sisters  28
Spanish Elders  21
English Elders  75

Below are the areas the single missionaries are from and how many came from that state or country:

Arizona 3
Brazil 1
California 1
Canada  6
Colorado 5
Georgia 1
Hondorus 1
Florida 2
Iowa 1
Idaho 19
Indiana 3
Kansas 2
Kentucky 1
Mexico 1
Maryland 1
Missouri 1
Montana 2
North Carolina 1
North Dakota 1
New Jersey 1
New Mexico 1
Nevada 3
Ohio 2
Oklahoma 3
Oregon 2
Pennsylvania 1
Tennesee 1
Texas 8
Utah 62
Virginia 3
Washington 3
Wyoming 3

All of the Senior Couples are from Utah.