Monday, August 26, 2013

Work on FIRE!!!!

Time is flying by! I can hardly believe that it is almost September already! We are doing very well in Appleton and we have brought back to life an area that seemed to be dead! As a district we have been extremely blessed the last couple weeks and I'm so excited to have even just a small part of it. While we are still low in the category of baptisms, we recognize that this isn't about numbers. We have some very exciting very good things happening and we realize that with continued diligence and obedience, the Lord will bless us and soften the hearts of those we are teaching. I love being the companion of the district leader. One of the best parts is that I get a full picture of what is happening within the entire district. I love being able to see what is and what isn't working for different companionships, and how it affects the work in its totality. Another awesome thing about being "district monkey" is that I get to go on exchanges with everyone in the district. Usually I am the one who goes to the new area, so it gives me another interesting view on how the work is going in everyone's respective areas. It's basically like having a slumber party as a missionary!!! I get to check up on other people's investigators, try and resolve their concerns, and finally put a face to all of the names that I hear about each week. I also love that I am able to be an aid and advisor to my companion in his work, and I feel extremely blessed to be able to do so.

Unfortunately while the work here is picking up, for some odd reason I have felt like I have just been in an odd funk for the past week or so. I don't know whether it's like a marathoner hitting the wall, or if I need to do something to try and shake up the daily routine, but I can't seem to pinpoint anything that could be wrong! I know that I am being watched over by the lord, and like I said, I have been more abundantly blessed than perhaps at any time in my lifetime, but I don't know what could be causing this fog!! I'm a firm believer in the power of prayer, and I have already experienced many instances on my mission where prayer has been a deciding factor in some decision, so I know that through prayer I will be able to overcome this strange feeling. Every day I look forward to the time when I can kneel at the foot of my bed and offer up to the Lord an accounting of my day. I love the time that I have with my Father in Heaven, and again, I believe that this is just a minor obstacle that I'm going to be able to overcome. I love you all, and until next week... TTFN, ta-ta for now!!

(which I found out ACTUALLY means "a quality of someone who has the natural apperance of superiority or leadership... I DON'T WANT TO BE AN AP!!!!)

Monday, August 19, 2013

August 19th

Last week, getting my new companion set up and ready to live in appleton for at least six weeks took a little bit more time than we expected and I didn't have the time to write a family email... Thankfully I have more time today and I'm excited to give everyone an update on what is going on! First of all, for those who didn't know, this transfer I stayed in Appleton, but my companion of 12 weeks, Elder Vaj, left to train in Green Bay. My new companion's name is Elder Thompson. He has been a great help in improving my Hmong already, and boy did I need it! I'm excited to see how much he can help me grow! He's the district leader, so that means that I get to be the little helper (or the District Monkey as we call it). It hasn't been too bad yet. Anyway... The first lesson he and I taught together was very interesting and unexpected... We were walking home from a bust referral when somebody on a bike stopped us and said he had some things to say. He proceded to tell us what he thought Mormonism was all about, and what he thought was true. We were able to give our testimony multiple times in the conversation, and from starting with no desire to listen to us, by the time we finished, we had given him the number of the English Elders in the area to teach him more. While it was very weird hearing somebody talk to us about the Illuminati, different dimensions, and "the Christ Entity" it was very cool that he accepted our invitation to pray with him. I'm not sure what happened with him, but who knows?! He could be a solid investigator. Unfortunately, not all of our experiences like that have been good ones. Last week as we left the library, there was a gentleman waiting for us outside with a paper with notes he had taken about everything that he thought was wrong about Mormonism. He talked at us for about 30 minutes, and every time either I or my companion tried to say anything, we were pretty rudely interrupted. Eventually, and sadly, we stopped him and told him that we couldn't continue to listen to him talking about our faith that way, and we just left. He stayed behind, and talked to 2 more companionships in our district about the same things. The similarity between the good and bad experience is that by the end of both my faith had been strengthened. I couldn't believe it, but walking away from the second experience I felt proud that I was able to withstand somebody tearing down everything I love. I was able to see myself as a disciple of Christ, one who would be as Christ said "Hated for My sake". I know that I have been blessed immensely for teaching of Christ, and even though not every experience is a good one, I know for myself that it is true, and I am willing to stand up for these things.

Now, here is an update of some of the people that we are working with.

Cher: Cher was a referral from our district leaders. They met him in Kaukauna while tracting and gave us his number and address. We went to visit him and found out that he was interested in learning more because "if God made the earth for us, he must have a plan". We have tried to meet with him a few more times since, but he hasn't been home... We're still very excited about him!

Suzy Lucky and Christy: These kids we met while trying to contact their grandma, a less active. They live with their mom at their grandma's house, and we've met only a handful of times, but the kids seem ready for baptism. They love to ask questions (and even though we do get distracted sometimes) we love to answer all of them. The only problem has been getting them a ride to church. Their mom works Sundays, and we haven't found anybody yet. But things are looking better because now we have the relief society president and the primary president looking out to help us.

Mathinoe: (pronounced Mateeno) He is probably my favorite investigator just because how funny he is!! He loves to mess around with us, and not to mention he likes to feed us. He and his wife are about to have a little baby boy named Nathaniel, and we are so excited for them. He's been having lessons taught to him for quite a while but has been in and out of jail for various things. We are very hopeful for him as well...

These are some of the best people we've met yet, and we're excited to see who else we can talk to. I love you all so much and will talk to you in only about 18 months!! (or something like that?)

Sunday, August 11, 2013


There must be a huge spike in texts between missionaries during transfer weeks because EVERYONE wants to know if anyone has gotten any news. Thankfully, we get the news on monday mornings. It looks like I will be staying in Appleton, but I'm going to have a new companion, Elder Thompson. He will actually be the district leader, so I'll be the junior companion going on all the exchanges. This will be an exciting change, but I can't help but feel sad for elder Vaj. He's leaving just when the work was beginning to pick up, and we had just gotten a new and progressing investigator. We had a talk the other day and I was glad to find out that he doesn't feel bad about being a sower. He knows that this is the Lord's work and his hand is in everything. I too am glad to be a part of the work, and I'm very blessed to be in appleton at this time. Currently we have 6 investigators, all at different points in the process. It is so cool to be able to give them this gift, and to see the conversion taking place right in front of my eyes. Coming out on my mission I knew that it (the gospel) was true, but actually teaching it to people has only worked to strengthen my conviction. I know for a certainty that this is the only good thing that I could be doing now, and I am so glad to have had wonderful parents who raised me well, as well as family and friends as supportive and amazing as you! I know that this gospel blesses families, and I can certainly see that in mine. Be good and know that I love you!!!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

hastening the work of salvation!

  This week has been up and down and all over the place... Just like the weather here too! Last I reported we were having some record highs, but now we've been at an average 55 degrees!! It's chilly and reminds me of fall! For the sake of time, today I'll keep it short. We have been experiencing many changes to missionary work and the way we deliver our message. We will be getting tablets, we are encouraged to text, and eventually we will be allowed on social networking sites. Throughout all of this change however, one thing has remained constant. That is the message that we preach. God is unchanging, he is infinite. The same things that I am telling investigators like Xue, Lucky, Suzie, Kristy, and Amanda are the same things that were being taught to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. I am so blessed to be a part of this revolution, but I realize that while there are new ways God has given us to share his message, the message is unchanging. I love you all and can't wait to see you! Transfers are coming up so if by chance anything does change, I'll let y'all know!