Monday, December 26, 2011

Miracles literally everyday

Hey mom and dad!
It was so great to talk to you yesterday!  I loved seeing your beautiful shining faces. And im so excited for you to go on that trip! When do you leave and when do you come back? I want pictures ya hear?? 

On to the next year. My baptized and confirmed goal for next year is at least five. I'm hoping to get more. Our upcoming baptism counts for this year. I can't believe i get to baptize him. I'm so excited. I will send you pictures for sure!
Gees i dont even know what to say! We had a great week! I'm sad this is our last week together (Elder Buhler and I) But it has been so great to work with him. we have seen countless miracles. Miracles literally everyday. I have loved serving with him, but I'm glad we are both young on the mission so we will be able to see each other quite a bit later on. Maybe we will serve around each other later on.

Today for p-day we are going to play some basketball i think.  I'm super excited. I need to get out there and just run and run till i drop.
This last week in Gridley is going to be like that. Work until i can't work anymore. I'm pumped. I gotta make this last week count!
I wonder where i will go. I will let you guys know next week. Hopefully i know by then.
I still can't believe i have a baptism this week. It is so unreal. I'm just not used to it i guess. Also we picked up a new investigator two weeks ago and this past Friday we taught the gospel of Jesus Christ and commited him to baptism for January 21st. It was crazy! I'm used to it taking seven months! But the Lord prepares people in different ways and on a entirely different time table. 
I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for every person i teach. I love that i get to help Him fufill His plan. I love being God's instrument. The same God who created our spirits. I love that I'm working side by side with Jesus Christ, the Creator of the world. The only person who could perform that Atonement. With Him all things are possible. Who wouldn't want Jesus Christ on their side? I do. I need him. I can't do anything without His help. Together They give us power to do all things that we must do. I know with surety that we can't access these powers from on high unless we pray and not just simply praying, but fervently and pleading with our Maker. If we want to use the Atonement, we have to prove to our Heavenly Father we deserve its healing powers and to Jesus Christ that we were worth the suffering. I love Them both in ways I can't really describe. They live. They love us. And i love them.
Have a wonderful week.
Remember that just because Christmas is over doesn't mean that Jesus Christ wasn't born :) Still think and ponder about what He has done for us. It still amazes me the circumstances He came down to. What a true testament of His humility.
Love you all!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Man alive, I love my mission

Hi mom!
I cant believe we have a baptism coming up!!! The Lord has blessed us so much for our efforts! I feel so spoiled! I cant wait till the thirty first! It still seems unreal to me though.

I also cant wait till next Sunday. That will be so weird to Skype! So we are going on at one our time, which means..two your time. Hopefully everyone will be there. or whoever can. At our members house that we email at we come and use two computers and i always call him on Skype and say we need to practice for the big day so right now we are practicing what we are going to say while emailing. It is really fun. But i really am excited.
I opened all my presents :) sorry about that i just couldnt wait!! I showed the pictures to like everyone, and Sister Pratt. She liked them. I loved them and the GPS is like amazing!! Its so nice. and everything else is so cool! The pen is really nice Dad, thanks papa!
Anyway i have seen so many miracles this week. We are doing the Stop Smoking Workshop with a couple of people and they truly are doing great. They are putting their 100 % trust in the Lord and they are seeing the blessing from it. I love watching them grow and their testimonies of this restored gospel. I love the gospel so much, it is so interesting and so powerful.
Elder Buhler and I talked and we are going to do everything we can to be exactly obedient. We need all the success we can get and that is only through living the law of obedience. We are getting blessings already by going out of way to be obedient. We are having happier days. The amount of disapointing things isnt decreasing but our attuitude towards them is improving.

Man alive i love my mission. It has been the biggest blessing in my life. Im so lucky to be out here. I will most likely get transferred on Jan. third. I think wherever i go i will be homesick for Gridley. I have come to love every bit of this place. I used to want outta here so bad! Heavenly Father has a bigger plan for us all. I know it. I cant deny that i know it. I will miss the people. Dang its going to be weird!
Anyway we have a half p-day today and we get the rest on Thursday. We go do a Santa run on thursday. That will be in Yuba city. 
I better go, i wish i had more to email about but all we are doing now is just cranking out the less-active lessons. We are getting Bill ready for baptism. Cant wait! make sure you remind me to tell you about his baptism on sunday. Dont forget. I love you guys so much! I love the Lord incredible amounts. I would literally be no where without his Atonement. Let us not take that for granted. Use it daily. Not just in the repenting process but in everything. Have a great week! talk to you soon!!!!
Merry Christmas. Dont forget the real reason of Christmas!
Elder Simons

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The trial of your faith

Such a good week!!
So first i will start off with the training we had down in Citrus Heights. Wow! That's about all i can say. I learned so much about the Atonement, and how we MUST use it in our finding, teaching, and every aspect of missionary life. It the central theme in our church. They really helped us all understand our purpose better. I love what they said about waking up in the morning: "at 6:30 you wake up and show the law of obedience and at 6:31 we show the law of sacrifice and get going to exercise" That is always how it is. Sometimes it makes no sense at all why i have to exercise. I bike a thousand miles a day usually! But i still exercise because Heavenly Father put that in my path to see how much i want it. It takes sacrifice but the blessings from it are far greater than the worth of getting myself out of bed and exercising. I love the sacrifices i get to make on my mission. They ALL result in an abundance of blessings. They also said at the meeting if we truly understand our purpose we will double the amount of people we have in the pool for baptismal dates. So we had zero. But double of zero is one right? :) I was a little down. But i figured if (and these guys are from SLC, that were teaching us) they promised it, we could do it. So the next day we had our "do or die" lesson with the deaf investigator, and we watched the Resoration DVD and let me just tell you the spirit was there. Everyone could feel it. No one, absolutely no one could deny that this Church is the Church that Jesus Christ set up personally and under His direction. And i said "our purpose is to teach and baptize, we have been teaching you for months, i have been personally teaching you for seven months, and missionaries have been teaching you for over twenty years, are you ready to be baptized?" and he said..........he said... ......he said...."yes its time." I about...cried..you know what i think i did. I could not believe it! It truly testified of the truthfulness of the scripture "And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that a
faith is things which are bhoped for and cnot seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no dwitness until after the etrial of your faith" We did not get this baptism until after the trial of our faith. It really took so many tears, and sweat (biking there), and days upon days going hungry pleading with the Lord for this miracle to happen and I'm happy to say he will be baptized on December 31st 2011! I still cant believe it! It is so nuts! AH!!! I love this guy, and I'm so proud of the journey he has been on and where he is now.  He will not regret this decision. AH! So yeah! we had lots of blessings this week! I cant believe it. But everyone pray hard for my investigator so he can make this date. Please.
But it has been a really good week. My leg is basically almost better. I love this work. I love the Lord.
Elder Simons!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Aren't prayers amazing?

Hey mom and dad!
This week has been crazy, so we get to share a car with the Liberty Ward Elders, we get it three days a week and they get it four days. It already has boosted the people we see and the success we are having at finding people home later on at night.

So we had another lesson with our Deaf Investigator. Man that was stressful. I wanted to rip my hair out. He keeps pulling up crazy excuses why he shouldn't get baptized right now. So this next week we are going in and doing a "do or die" lesson with him. He needs to be baptized, if he says no we are dropping him until March or something. But i probably will be transferred by then.
We had a lesson with our twenty two year old investigator. (his wife is a member) I want him to be baptized before i leave too. He will be like the perfect member. I think we have dinner with him tonight. He is really cool. I lost my planner and pen this week so that has been more than frustrating. I lost my good pen.
We had a lot of less active lessons this week, i love that work. We were over at one of their houses this week and the wife said the closing prayer (and i have been working with these guys for six months) and her prayer was one of the most beautiful prayers i have ever heard. Her testimonoy has truly re-sparked and i was crying during the prayer, but luckily no one saw me. But the prayer amazed me. Aren't prayers amazing? Sometimes in my moments of weakness i forget to really think about what a prayer really means. Who we are actually talking to. And the true power behind it. A prayer is a simple gesture that can go further then we humans can comprehend. We talk to God. The Creator of our spirits. The Father of all. We as humans can ask Him for anything we want. (we can ask but it must be the will of Him for the prayer to be answered) I love the doctrine behind prayer. It is simply a miracle. Heavenly Father loves us so much. How do we know if the Book of Mormon is true? We pray about it. Prayer is how we know and find out the truth of all things. I don't know if I'm making any sense but i love prayer. I may not understand HOW it works but i know it DOES work. I have seen many miracles only thru and by prayer. Let us all pray more often and always have a constant open communication with our Father who is in heaven.
Elder Buhler has been sick this week but he is doing better. We are still loving each other's company. He is such a cool kid.

My mission gives me so many blessings, i just need to look for them and help those around me find them. I love you all, I love the Lord, i love the eternal and everlasting work.
Love,
Elder Simons

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving week

Hey!
Our week has been so nice! We had such a great miracle this week. So there is this girl in the ward who her dad won't really give her permission to be baptized and he is actually quite anti-mormon. And she asked about a month ago and he said no. And they were like pretty sure he wasn't going to change his mind for a while. And i fasted like three times this week and on Saturday we called like half the ward and asked if they wanted to fast with us (everyone of them said yes). It was the best. It has been a really spiritual week this week. I loved it. But anyway she asked her dad last night and he said that they would talk about it this weekend. That is such an improvment from the past! So hopefully he will sign the permission slip and we can get on board with that and baptize her.

For Thanksgiving we went over to the Bishop's house and had a real good time. We played Apples to Apples and a couple other games. I lost at all of them. I think they chose the games i would be the worst at and played them. Either way i was happy. We played basketball with some people from the ward. It was sweet. I had a lot of fun. We were going to try and make the queso from Chilis but it went horribly wrong. It ruined our house. It stinks like bad cheese but we are used to it, or maybe its gone. (so now our gangster cat has something to eat for a couple days) but we ended up just bringing some salsa and chips. Which was also pretty good.

Elder Buhler and Elder Simons at the Pratt's home on Thanksgiving Eve

We are teaching another 9 year old this week on Tuesday. We are hoping to get her baptized and her family back to church. I love the example she is setting for her family by wanting to be baptized and wanting to come to church. It shows me the importance of becoming like a little child. We must be humble and willing to do whatever is asked at all costs. Otherwise like the scripture says, "We will in nowise inherit the Kingdom of God". I love it.
What else happened this week...okay so the bishop gave us that refferral of the excommunicated member two weeks ago (did i tell you guys that?) and we finally got to sit down with him yesterday finally. He also has a buddy who is his roomate and he is a less active. They are really cool guys. They love us missionaries. They are about twenty three twenty four ish, and they were like "everyone always said we were going to be the best missionaries but we fell off the path". They smoke and drink and they said they don't really have the desire to stop, but having us over, they hope that that desire will spark in them. We told them we are teaching the Sunday School lesson on Sunday and they had to be there. And they are like "oh yeah for sure"! I cant wait. They had like bandanas and tattoos and all sorts of stuff. And they smell like smoke. (cool quote i heard once from somewhere out here... the bishop was talking to someone who smoked and didn't want to come to sacrament meeting because she didn't want anyone to smell her, he said "if everyone's sins stunk like smoking does, the chapel would be the most smelly place on the earth, but luckily we have the atonement that can erase that smell from off our bodies" (or something like that :) ) but hopefully they will be there. They are really cool people.
Lets see..old investigators we met with the deaf investigator this week, and he isn't ready to be baptized, but we shared with him D&C 135. That is a really powerful one. He knows Joesph Smith is a prophet. He is just scared of the commitment that baptism is. He will be humbled one day and be baptized. But I don't think in my time in Gridley, but i have loved teaching him. He is great. He is funny in a really different sort of way. I have learned so much from studying for him. What a blessing. What a blessing.
The less active work is blooming just wonderfully! I love that work. It is just fun! It's fun to see people's testimonies get re-sparked. It is a true blessing to be able to sit back and watch them dig up their old testimonies. I love it! But anyway i better go. My time is running out in Gridley and it is sad. I have something to accomplish though, i know it! I love you guys! I love the Lord!
Love Simons!
P.S. I cant wait to show you Gridley one day!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Treasures of knowledge

We had a great week this week. We picked up two new investigators this week. One of them was an excommunicated member. And another one was a former investigator. I'm excited about the prospect. So we got the transfer calls on Saturday...and i...will...be..staying 6 more weeks! I'm so excited! Maybe i will get to stay longer. Who knows? We had president's interviews this week. Man that was exciting. I had a bit of a cold but not a biggie. But i love President Weston so much, I would do anything he asked me to do. He is such a great leader.
Anyway this week was cool.  Elder Buhler and i set up our beds to be bunk beds so we have more room for activities at our house. Its has been really fun. We are really grateful for this extra six weeks we have together. I totally thought i was getting transferred.
I'm glad you guys are going to enjoy yourself this week. That sounds wonderful. The Pratts (of course) are taking us in on Thanksgving. We told them we would bring something to eat. We are still working on that. That will be interesting with a microwave that doesn't work and an oven that takes 3 hours to make a personal pizza. So that will be sweet. Maybe jello. We have a fridge so that is helpful.
I'm trying to think about things we did this week. We still are working on getting with that lady's grand daughter. She is slippery though.
With our deaf investigator we almost dropped him. We still may, but he really isn't progressing towards baptism. But he came to a different ward's baptism and he liked it so we may not drop him. We will see. We talked a little bit about the Word Of Wisdom, and i was explaining to him, in v. 18-21 we get some key blessings here that are pretty important to our personal salvation. First we will receive health. If anyone has been sick or in pain because of a sickness we know how important being heathly and alert is in our daily lives. Second the Lord will pour out his wisdom, and treasures of knowledge. I'm sure anyone who has read the scriptures and randomly the spirit hits you really hard at a particular verse and you are like "wow...i never noticed that before" and it helps build your testimony, that is what hidden treasures of knowledge is to me. And i want that. I want that to happen every time i open scriptures. Third we get to be able to run around! And for me, if i wasn't able to go do that i would go insane. I'm a jitter bug and i can't sit still so not having that ablility would be like putting me in prison. And in the next verse, this is where we receive the best blessing (in my eyes) I wondered what exactly the destroying angel was. And through study and prayer i have realized that when Jesus comes he will know who is clean and who is not. And he will cleanse the earth.   18 And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, ashall receive bhealth in their navel and marrow to their bones;19 And shall afind bwisdom and great ctreasures of dknowledge, even hidden treasures; 20 And shall arun and not be bweary, and shall walk and not faint. 21 And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the adestroying angel shall bpass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen. And i said to him "either you will receive wisdom or you won't, you will get more knowledge or you won't, the destroying angel will see you clean or he will see you not clean and he won't pass by you. It is up to you." Then we tried to commit him to live the Word of Wisdom. He said he would work on it. So overall i think it helped.
But Anyway i love you guys. I am so grateful for everything in my life. I would not be here if it wasn't for the Lord. I will be eternally in debt to Him. I am so grateful for Him. He lives.
Elder Simons

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Letter from the bishop's wife

[Editor's Note:  Throughout this first part of Elder Simons' mission, I have received letters and phone calls from the people in Elder Simons' area, and thought I would share part of the most recent one, which happens to be from the bishop's wife of the ward in which he is serving.  I love knowing that he is loved and taken care of at a time that I can't be right there]

Hi Dayna! 
    Thank you for writing to me!  I'm thinking, "where to I begin to talk about Elder Simons!"  I wish I could express adequately what a sweet privilege it is to have gotten to know your son.  He is a pure joy to be around and has such a great personality; he makes us laugh all the time now that he knows us pretty well.   Doing things for him is small in comparison to what he does for us!   He has this incredible heart for serving and there are many times when I would think..."I wish his mom could see him right now"...washing our dishes without being asked, helping us move stuff in the rain,  entertaining my 5-year old during church which isn't always easy, clearing our old garden stuff before dinner, and just plain being patient with all of my kids who love him so much that they get all crazy when he comes over.  
  And then there are several times when I pass him on the road and He's riding his bike between Gridley and Biggs with all of his might.  He works hard to meet his appointments no matter how far he has to ride.  He is definitely getting plenty of exercise!   He has such a desire to teach, serve and help.  I love his testimony of the Savior which he bore a few weeks ago.
   I have enjoyed doing sewing for him so don't worry about anything that way.    It's really just a blessing to be able to.  
   There's just  one hard thought and that's that  he inevitably will get a transfer and that's going to be really hard for me and all of us because we love him a lot.   I always cry when my kids go off to college or something, and it feels just the same way.  I've never had a missionary feel like one of my own.  I hope you don't mind me saying that.  Elder Simons will always be special to us; I'm glad he started here so we can kind of keep track of him throughout his mission and hopefully be of support also.  He loves you  so much and always talks about his parents and family with great fondness and gratitude. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Now is the time to think about it!

Hey Mom & Dad!
What a week! Okay so on Tuesday we visited a less-active lady and we read some of the beautiful Book of Mormon with her and it went great and her grand- daughter came out and started talking to us (she isn't a member, but I have talked to her up in Biggs on the street like three or four times before). So i was like "your grandma is a Mormon how come you aren't??" and she said "well i don't know i never have really thought about it" then i was like "well now is the time to think about it!" and she is like "well i guess you are right!" then i was like "okay when can we come over and teach you?" and she gave us a return appointment. It was really wild. I loved it though, it was a really, really cool experience.

The lessons for Wednesday all got cancelled except for the deaf investigator. Which was bad but that's okay. There is always good within the bad, we just need to do some looking at the situation from a different angle and see what the good was. Maybe the lessons we planned weren't the ones that would help them in the way they needed help that specific day. I love the Lord. He has taught me so much. There is ALWAYS good. The scriptures have so many stories and examples of that. What a great blessing to have those.
The deaf investigator said "yes" to baptism again and he was like well i may be busy next Saturday (19th) so i was like...okay how about this Saturday (three days later) and we almost got it except there was stake conference so we couldn't do that. But this next week we will get him baptized though. He wants to be baptized. I just really think he is just plain scared of how it is going to take place.
So anyway we were up in Biggs on Wednesday i think and it was really cold and so we decided to go into Buckshot Grill to go the bathroom (the one place to eat in Biggs) and in the back they were giving out flu shots, and i told the nurses that i hated shots and they were trying to convince me to let them stab me with a needle (thats still seems twisted to me). They said "we will even give it to you for free"! And i was like "no!!" Man i hate shots.
We went tracting after that and we went up to a pomegrante tree and we both grabbed one and ate them. Its sweet we can just do that while tracting. I figured Whitney would like that. :)
Anyways other than that i am still plugging along just doing my thing, trying to work as hard as i can. I love missionary work. I love being out here. I want my mission to be longer than two years. Again i love the Lord with all my heart. He is my buddy. We get closer daily.
Love
Elder Simons

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The lessons I have learned

So this week has been a week of total ups and total downs. First with the ups, me and Buhler are getting along so well, maybe too well. Its so awesome how well we fit together. I love that kid, i am so glad he is my son. It has been alot of fun living with the other Elders in Gridley. We have had a good time.
We picked up an investigator this week! I have been trying to visit this former, for about five months now and she has really NEVER been there and we just decided to randomly go over there and she was for once there! And she was like "it is crazy you guys came now because i am usually gone (yes i know that lady!) and today i just had a sick day". I said "well maybe you were sick for a reason and we came and visited you for a reason!" And she laughed and said "maybe", and we talked a little more and set up a time to go back on Wednesday.
I am really excited about Wednesday. We will be meeting with all three of our investigators. Hopefully we will set three baptismal dates!
So that was some of the ups of the week. There were just a couple downs. First of all my bike got destroyed this week. So Elder Buhler has really bad luck when it comes to bikes, so the bike that he was on was being dumb so i decided to try it and try to make it work so i had him riding mine for a day or so, and right before he gave it back it started making this crazy sound and we are like what the heck! So we took it back to the apartment to fix it and i took the bike completely apart. And then put it together again and figured out that the chain got destroyed. So we bought a new chain and we are back in business now. So it wasn't that bad.
The real bad of the week happened on Wednesday though. We had a lesson with our deaf investigator and we went in planning to talk about how Jesus fufilled all righteousness as it talks about it Matthew by being baptized then tying it into 2 Nephi 31 and then inviting him to be baptized. And there was silence... silence... and he is thinking and thinking, and i was praying in my head harder then ever for him to just say yes. Not for my benefit but for his and he says "yes". (when he says yes i squeeze Elder Buhler on the back because i was so excited) and then i get back into my game face and ask him when worked best for him. And he says well i first need to work out a couple problems ("oh no..." i say) and he went off for about twenty minutes about how Halloween is for satan worshipping, and how the church doing trunk or treat was a bad thing and we defiled the church parking lot. I was like "come on, would you let that stop you from getting into the kingdom of god?" And he said that's besides the point. So that was really hard for me. I felt like he was playing around with us. I was wondering why i have been teaching this man for five months and put my sweat and tears into this process to hear that about Halloween.  I had a long conversation with God. And I never got the impression that it will be alright in the form of him being baptized but i got the answer that it will be alright in the form of you learning something Elder Simons. It was really a wonderful experience. This man may never get baptized or progress while I'm here but the lessons i have learned alone from teaching him are incredible. I just love how the Lord works. It amazes me. In my gospel study i have been studying the Plan of Salvation. And I had the thought that i might have the chance to teach him in the spirit world. It just came across my mind. But i would rather teach him here so he can go to the temple and be sealed to his wife.
Overall the week was wonderful. I love my mission. Why me? I always ask myself why i am lucky enough to be able to be out here. The Lord truly blesses each and every one of us. We just need to make sure we have our eyes open and are watching for them.
I love you all, Have a wonderful day.
Bye!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A good deliverer of the truth

Hey family!
What a week! What a week!
So first we went to our investigator's house and we talked to him a little bit about baptism, then i was like "Hey man, we know that you want to get sealed to your wife and son, and the first step is baptism, so how about it?" And he said that not right now, but he gave us a couple things he wasn't sure on about the church and told us he wants more information. So we plan to teach him tomorrow and get that date set. See we can look at this as like "Oh shoot we didn't get a baptismal date set, lets let this ruin our week shall we?" or we can say "What a blessing, i have been teaching this guy for five months and this is the first time he has opened up and voiced his concerns so we could be happy because of that" so i made the decision that we would chose the last option. So we are still happy and learning not only patience, but the worth of souls. That may be hard to understand, but what i have learned is some investigators are going to be hard to get them progressing but it helps me (Heavenly Father is reminding me) realize that the ordinance of a baptism isn't a small ordeal. It is monumental! It is the first step into the kingdom of God. And these people that i have the blessing of teaching are real people with real concerns. And its my job to be a good deliverer of the truth.

I have learned alot and the Lord is teaching me so much. I love it. I love my mission. I NEVER have been happier anywhere else or at any other time in my life. Gridley/Biggs must just be heaven or something. Or maybe the Lord is just letting me know but helping me be happy, that this is the place where i need to be. Anyway! The next day we had a visit with our deaf investigator, long story short we didn't get a baptismal date with him either. He is coming along though. He has made some progress. Bro Brock keeps saying he has never been closer then he is now. So that was nice of him.
We did a lot of biking this week. It was really nice. I love biking now. Isn't that crazy? I used to hate it. I used to wake up in the mornings and be like "I do not want to ride anywhere today" but now i wake up and I'm like "Get me on a bike!". Its a lot better too because we can talk to more people on the street as opposed to the car.
Its also funny to me to think about how much i didn't love Gridley at first. I wanted out! But the Lord chastened me i think and is making me love it here. Now i dont want to ever be transferred. The people here are so great! Member and non- members. Everyone is really nice. The rice and walnut harvest is going strong. Maybe i will send home some Gridley grown walnuts one of these days.
I love you guys! We are going to big bad Oroville today to get some shopping done, then we are playing sports here in Gridley after!
I love you guys!
Elder Simons!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I am honored to be a missionary

Hey mom!!
So Elder Buhler and i get along so well its crazy! I love this kid!  He is doing great, his wrist is feeling a lot better so that is good. We can ride bikes again! I missed bikes a lot!

This week was crazy! We had a lesson with our deaf investigator and i had this lesson plan that i thought was great and was fit to convince everyone in the world to be baptized. But as soon as we got in there i was inspired to ask him if he had any intentions of being baptized and what was holding him back from taking that step and that leap of faith. And he said he wanted to at some point and he just had a couple things he needed to find out. Then Brother Brock (his fellowshipper) was inspired to have me ask him the Baptismal Interview questions, so i asked them to him and we figured out the problems that he had and we were able to resolve them and help his progress which was being hindered by unknown things to us, but known things to the Lord. I know that Heavenly Father was there with us and he wanted us to follow that spirit that he was giving us and we did, and we were able to get a soft commitment to baptism. Which is such a change from how it normally goes in there. He has been investigating the church for (his wife said 50 years) a while. The Lord is totally blessing us here! We hope to get a baptismal date with him for November 19th. Ah i can't wait!
We also are planning on getting another date for our other investigator. He has been investigating for a long while too. I have a feeling that baptisms are coming soon!
So we had to do some service (mow a lawn) and so I decided to do it in my church clothes so here is a picture of that:


then Buhlers bike got a flat so i fixed that too. It was a good week.


So we have totally tracted all of Gridley and Biggs so we are on to the smaller cities in our area (Richvale, Nelson, Butte City) Tiny, tiny places. In Richvale they teach anti-mormon doctrine at their church, so it is pretty fun going tracting there and everyone wants to bash with you. Man i just wish people had the truth and weren't blinded by what their pastor taught. I'm so glad we have the same church everywhere. We teach the same truths. We are so blessed for that. I love the Church and I'm honored to be able to be a missionary! But anyway we never get to go out to the small towns because they are super far away so we usually get a member to take us. We got Romney, the bishop's son. He is way cool and we are like the best of friends. Here is a picture of all three of us and a way cool sign:


Elder Buhler finally did get his new bike. It is pretty nice and really lightweight. Yes both of my brake pads got stolen. It happened in Biggs though. Crazy, weird stuff happens in Biggs. Like it doesn't surprise me that my brake pads got stolen. Next it will be like my handle grips or something. I will replace the pads as soon as i can find a place that sells them. We have nothing in Gridley so there aren't many places to shop. Oh well, i love it here and the Lord wants me to be here for a reason. 
I love you guys!
Have a great week!

Monday, October 17, 2011

100% Committed to the Work

Training has been a humbling experience. My companion is named Elder Buhler and he is really great. He is from Highland, Utah and he already is such a great missionary! I feel like he has been a missionary for quite a long time. I have already learned so much from him, mainly how to be teachable. He does a great job at that, and that is something that i want to work on. He is great. We (Bo and I) picked him up at Yuba City. It seems like i was just in that same building when i was meeting Elder Osejo. 
Seems like you guys had a great week! I did too. It was pretty tiring though, but that is always good. We tracted a lot on Elder Buhler's second day and we met this lady and she had some questions about the Plan of Salvation so we answered and taught a little about the Book Of Mormon. We are going back Wednesday night, so i am super excited about that one. We really need to pick up some solid investigators. We are going to visit some former investigators this week for about the third time over. It's pretty funny because they all know me and pretty much are my friends now, so maybe this time around they will let us in and start teaching again!
We had such a good Trainer/Trainee meeting on Friday. President Weston taught some of the doctrine of Christ and our missionary purpose. Man i love that man. He is awesome.

President Weston, Elder Buhler, and Elder Simons
Still doing some good work with the less-active people. We have fully activated one woman in our ward. She is so awesome. I love going over and teaching her. We have been working with her for basically my whole mission and she is totally coming every week. Heavenly Father is showering down blessings upon us. I feel so lucky to be on my mission. It has been hard. It is hard not having too much success in the baptism area but i feel so successful as a missionary, because my success is based on my commitment. And i am 100% committed to this work. I love this work so much, this is the Lords work!
So this week when i got Elder Buhler they totally forgot to bring his bike down from the mission office. So we had to use a member's bike that is from the sixties with some newer parts put on it. I let Elder Buhler take my bike and i used the other one. Man that bike needs to be retired! It is so insane to ride.


Elder Simons, on p-day, riding the old borrowed bike from the 60's
But then we got Elder Buhlers bike and on Friday night we were riding around and he used his front brakes (he was used to mine, where both of my front brake pads have been stolen) and totally fell over the top of his handlebars and sprained  his wrists. So now we have to walk around. We are on direct orders to stay off bikes. So the Lord is truly trying to humble me. I loved the car so much, then i started loving bikes incredibly a ton, and now i get to start loving walking! Haha i love the Lord. I have to go but i hope all of you are doing wonderful! I love you very  much.
Elder Simons

Monday, October 10, 2011

All these things shall give thee experience

So we were supposed to get transfer calls on Saturday night but that didn't happen. So then we were going to get them Sunday night but no, and we just barely got them and this is the verdict:  Elder Peterson will be going to Colfax and I will be staying and training a new missionary from the MTC!!!  I am super excited, but a little nervous. I feel so young! Maybe because I am only four and half months out! But don't worry, I am going to train a warrior! He is going to be such a good missionary! AH! Hopefully I don't mess him up though. I am sure i won't because the Lord is on my side and He will help us figure this thing out.
This week has been a good long one. We have done a lot of service for people, which is always fun because you get to meet new people.  We helped clean up Biggs the other day. I love Biggs alot, its a great little town of about 1700. There are some really nice people and really hard-core gangsters there. Well not really but "wanna be" gangsters. The other day a little girl made fun of my helmet as i rode past and I frankly agreed with what she said but i am wearing the helmet for you, mom,' and thats the only reason.
Haha funny story so on Friday for lunch i called Elder Osejo and was telling him goodbye (he is going home tomorrow) and i saw a craw-dad in the canal across the street from our house so i run inside and grab a pan and i catch two of them. And i am looking for more and then a cat (not gangster) came and started messing with my lunch and ripped one of the claws off. So i just decided to go in and start cooking them. So i threw them in a pot and boiled them up real nice. And then cracked them open and ate the meat. Two good sized pieces of meat. One was the size of a quarter and the other the size of a dime. Haha good eating in Gridley!
This week we still have been doing some good work with our less-actives. We met some nice people tracting too. It was cool. Nothing much has changed. I love my mission so much though. I love Gridley and Biggs so much. One of our investigators came to all three hours of church yesterday! It was such a miracle! Also we had six less-actives come to church this week. What a great week!! The Lord is truly blessing our efforts!
That is really wonderful about Lindsay and Ryan getting married in the SLC temple. I so wish i could be there but i understand why they are going ahead with it. A temple marriage is what we should all strive for. I don't understand how people could turn away a church that binds husband and wife for eternity. I guess alot of people don't really understand it, but oh well, i am working to find those people that are looking for the truth!
I want to share a sweet scripture with you. It's in D&C 122:7:

"And if thou shouldst be cast into the apit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the bdeep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to chedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of dhell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee eexperience, and shall be for thy good." 
Holy cow! When i was reading this i was like "oh sweet, this is going to end with something like 'you will be saved and you won't have to endure this if you are faithful' ".  But no. It just ends with "it shall be for thy good"! Wow. This is just a testament to me that life is hard. It isn't meant to be a breeze. We are meant to get tested and prepare to meet God. And if all this stuff happens to us we need to realize and have the faith to be able to accept that it is for our good. We go through trials to learn from them and grow. I have found that to be true in my mission. The hardest days are the ones where i grow closer to the Lord and learn the most stuff. Also, on those hardest days, that's when i find new helpful insight on the scriptures. I know the Book of Mormon is the Word of God. We must read it daily. We must know that book cover to cover. READ IT DAILY! I love the Lord, I love my mission, I love my family.
You guys have a great week! I will send you a picture of my new comp next week!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Loving Gridley

Elder Simons & Elder Peterson


Elder Simons taking a bike for a spin

Hey mom!
I'm sorry for the delay on the email! We had to move a member into our ward and it was...insane. There was so much stuff to move. It was..ah crazy. But i am here. I feel a lot better which is good. I am excited for this next week to finish out this transfer strong. So this past week was kind of slower which isn't great but that's okay.

So conference was so amazing!! It was so much different now that i am on a mission. I felt the spirit so much stronger this time around. It was because i actually paid attention.
But anyway I hope you guys had so much fun at the cabin, i thought about you a lot but i didn't have trunky thoughts. How much did dad sleep during the sessions? Just kidding dad!
But yeah i hope i don't leave Gridley. It's so awesome. I went to Oroville today for groceries and there were so many cars i was like getting aniexty! I was like wow i am too crowded here. I want to go back to Gridley. So that made me realize that i want to stay. But we get transfer calls next Saturday so we will see what happens. I know though wherever i am sent that's where the Lord needs me.
But hmm what to tell you. Still mostly less active work right now. I love to see people bear their testimony who thought they had lost it. It's a miracle. I want an investigator way bad though. A solid one that is. I know the harder i work the closer i come to him or her. I love the Lord. His hand is in all things. 
anyway i love you guys. Have a wonderful fhe!
Elder Simons!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Under the weather

Hey mom!
Its funny cause i am really really sick today. Oh well. I have had some stomach issues but hopefully they will go away. But this letter will be short cause i want to go and lie down. So i am sorry about that.
I love everyone in the ward. I love this work. I love the lord. I love everything, except me being very sick. So i will tell you a quick story then probably head out so i am sorry about that.
So about two months ago a less active family lost their dad while he was traveling to work. And it hit them pretty hard. And everyone has been trying to be able to reach her and get a visit with her. So randomly i thought i would call her on Wednesday night and see if we could come over Thursday and she said sure! (Thursday night we go on exchanges with one guy from the Elders and one from the High Priest group) so it worked perfectly. So studying in the morning was very interesting.  i was like super stressing on what to teach them and got the feeling to quit studying...i was like...wait...what?? nah i have to study, but i stopped studying for her. But anyway later on in the day we go over and we are talking about life with them and then the guy is like okay do you have a message for them? I was like uh yes (that is a new kind of scary, when you have to deal with a family who just lost a father)...and the spirit took over. I can't even remember everything that was said. But i talked a little about the Plan of Salvation and testified that they would see their dad and husband again and also one of the sons does not believe in God so i had that to deal with. I was pretty nervous. But it went great. Everyone was crying at the end.  I hope i helped them remember what they are missing out on, by not going to church and doing the things they are supposed to. I hope i made a tiny difference on their lives. Anyway i better go lie down. I love you guys.
Elder Simons!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

All Slicked Up

Wow! What a blessing us four kids have to look at you guys and see basically a perfect marriage. (I know it’s not perfect, but I still haven’t seen you fight or anything). It’s funny cause when elders talk about marriage they are like "of course there will be lots of fighting in marriage cause we have seen our parents".  I just sorta laugh, because i have never seen my father mis-treat my mom or any harsh words thrown around. I am so grateful for that and know that, that will and has left the standard of what i want my marriage to be like!
This week there was a lot of less active work. I think the key to this work is being yourself with them. They know what missionaries are and they know what we do. But the first few times you visit them you gotta let them know that you are there to get to know them and stuff. You want to have them know that you love them and care for them.  We have been working with a lady and she is about 60 or 65 ish and she is pretty cool and has a really strong testimony. But we usually go to her house every Friday or so and we read the Book of Mormon with her and she usually shares some insight that she gets from it which is awesome. So i think i was blessed with being very bold. Not too bold but bold enough. So i straight up ask her every time why she isn’t coming to church and tell her how blessed she will be if she comes. i told her i wanted her to see me in my suit all slicked up and i wanted to see her in her nice Sunday dress. And she loved that.  But anyway she was there Sunday and i seriously almost did a little dance during sacrament. It was the best. Man i have seriously grown to love the people. It is so amazing. I love being on a mission where i get to come in contact with people who are just a little lost or need a little push in the right direction. Ah i hope my mission never ends! Its so amazing.
Funny story. so one of our investigators is very very deaf. like insane deaf. but he sorta does not want to progress to baptism because that would mean he has to give up smoking and coffee. So i said to him if Jesus Christ was right here with us and asked you to give up drinking coffee would you? (hoping that he would say yes, then i would say well i am a missionary who represents Jesus Christ, what i say is what He would have me say. That brings a real strong bold spirit that is amazing) but he said "thats a stupid question, you are stupid for asking that" Well thank you! I love you too man. After that the lesson sorta got unraveled but that’s okay. It also didn’t help that i was on exchanges with an elder who doesn’t really care too much for his mission so he didn’t say really anything. But oh well! Next week i am going to commit this man to be baptized and he will not think i am stupid but he will consider me a representative of Jesus. That was funny though just cause this old man just called me stupid so i was like wait wait wait...what?
But i fell on my bike trying to get air of a curb. Didn’t work. I will try my hardest to remember to strap the good old helmet on.
I may have already talked a little bit about Ether 12:27 but it totally reminds me of Enoch in Moses 6, i believe (sorry i forgot my scriptures back at lil Macedo). But i love how the Lord comes to Enoch and says that he needs to prohecy to these people who are really evil, who have a hell prepared for them, and instead of running away or doing any of that he humbles himself and asks the Lord why he was chosen. And he says he is but a lad and all the people hate him and he is slow of speech. I can’t remember the verse perfectly but the Lord comes to him and says basically I got you covered man go out and do as I commanded and nothing will stand in your way. This always reminds me of Nephi when he says "i will go and do the things the Lord commands". We need to realize that what the Lord says and asks are commandments and we aren’t only supposed to do them, the Lord expects us to do them. So i see if i am not confident in myself as a missionary or i don’t understand this rule or that rule i can get on my knees and pray and i know Heavenly Father will let me know what i need to do. He has done it before with Enoch and countless others in the scriptures, and in this church we believe that God still talks to people and we believe that we can receive personal revelation so why don’t we get on our knees more and ask God? He promises us numerous times that if we simply ask He will answer. I love the Lord, He is my Savior. I love Our Literal Heavenly Father, who gave us His Son. How blessed are we. I say these things in Jesus Christ name.
I hope you all have a great day. I am constantly praying for each and every one of you.
Love Elder Simons
Sorry so many typos, but i have to rush mom sorry!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A couple of photos

Elder Simons studying

Keeping up on the driving skills

"Sweet" Bike Crash

Hey mom, First of all i got the package...all i can say is do i deserve all of that? Thank YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!
So half misson conf was so good! We had Elder and Sister Kearon there from the seventy. They were such great people. It was good to see them there and have them teach us. We need to remember how important it is to Learn by the Spirt. General Conference is coming up and we need to write down the feelings we get while we listen. That is the spirit just lightly putting thoughts and words in our mind. So take heed and write some notes.
Well we went back to [our investigator] and he wasn't there. Sorta stinky but its way okay because even if i am not the one that gets to help him come to the waters of baptism i am still the one who found him and i still find joy in that. But i have a feeling he was just a little busy with four kids and walnut season coming in. Its so funny cause i know like every crop harvest and plant time now. I am such a little Gridlite. Its super fun being here.  I hope i don't get transferred. Alot of missionaries go crazy in Gridley and get really apostate but i like it here. Maybe cause i am orginally very crazy and...well i am not apostate that's for sure. I am doing my best to be exactly obedient. It really isn't hard. Unless you want to make it hard for yourself. I feel so much happier following every rule i can. I feel blessed as well.
So they grow Asian pears here too, so eating those have been like...a piece of home. They aren't as sweet but that's okay. People here all have gardens so its great when people come to church and just hand us missionaries three bags full of every kind of veggie you can think of. It is really funny. But i don't mind it.
But yes mom i do like working hard. It is relaxing in a way. No one here can understand that exactly but i can. I love work.
This letter will be short cause i have to hurry but yeah
I had a nice little crash on my bike this week. That was really interesting. I was wearing my helmet but it wasn't strapped (way too cool for that).  I landed on my head and elbow but my helmet was still on for impact. It was sweet. My elbow got scraped up semi-bad. It was fun though. I still made some visits bleeding and half dazed. But bikes aren't too bad. I have only biked 25 miles since Saturday i think. Not bad. We will see what happens.
I will write a better letter next week but i hope you are all having a wonderful day.
Remember no miracle will happen without faith, so get some faith!
Love Elder Simons

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New companion!

Hey mom whats up?
Crazy week, So first on Tuesday, waiting for my companion I got a call from the Spanish elders and they said they get our car. So they came later in the day and took that from us, which will be weird cause from one end of our area to the other in a car is about 40 minutes. So biking in 105 degree weather is how it will go for us. I have not the best attuitude about it but i am really trying my hardest.
So last week i promised a investigator and i am sad to say we didn't pick one up...just kidding! We totally did get a investigator! His name is Matt and we found him from tracting. He told us to come back on Saturday so we did and taught a really powerful first lesson and went over what the Book of Mormon is. It was so cool! The spirit was there so strongly. It was so cool!!!  He wants us to come back this next Saturday! I want to baptize this guy!
But only if it be Heavenly Father's will!
So i am sorry to say this but i love being senior comp. It is really nice. We can now work as hard as we can. We got 17 lessons, which is great for a normal week but like awesome for a transfer week. We were super blessed with people to see and teach.  I was introducing Elder Peterson to the ward members and i felt like i needed to bear my testimony about how much i loved the ward, and told them how i am huge dork and love to look over the dinner calender and see who's house i get to go in. They all laughed at that but its true, i love this ward. I heard of an elder right now who has been in his greenie area for a year. I would love to be here for a year!

But Elder Peterson is a great guy. He is six feet seven inches and has been on his mission for 19 months. He is from Idaho Falls and in a family of ten. He is the oldest kid. I did not think there could be any two more different people in the world then Osejo and me until i met Peterson. We are so so different but its okay. We can actually get along while being different! I have fun though.
I really appreciate the support you are giving me, its really nice to be able to know that first the Lord will never change on me and also my parents won't change on me. They will always be awesome and supportive. So thanks!
For my spiritual thought i want to talk a little bit about forgiveness and love. (something that i am extremely not good at but i am trying my hardest) I want to talk about our Savior, our brother, our wonderful who carried our sins on his back. In Luke 23 around verses 20 and up Jesus is on his way to be crucified and while walking there, there were women who were crying for him but Jesus being so loving, so faithful says to them "weep not for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children" Holy cow...wait wait wait wait wait what? Jesus Christ our Savior, while willingly walking to be wrongly crucified (and i have no doubt in my mind that Jesus knew the pains involved with that) He told the women to not worry about Him, but worry about them. He is so loving! Ah i can't comprehend! If it were me walking to be crucified i would try to run away and tell the people to rescue me. Just another reason why Christ is who he is and why i am Little Elder Simons. He is so amazing. He is so loving, let us all try to have that love. When we are in our worst situations or our worst pains lets not look at ourselves and how bad of a place we are in but lets look out for the other people and then our problems will go away. We need to forget ourselves in this world. The closer we are to doing that the more Christlike we become. In verse 34 Jesus says one of the most humble, loving, caring prayers ever recorded in the history of the world.  He simply says "Father, forgive them, for they know now what they do." Holy cow. I don't need to say anything about that except wow. Jesus is Our Savior. There is a reason it is Him and not us. He is perfect, He is the only one that could do it. I know He lives, and i bear this testimony in the name of our Lord our Savior our Brother, even Jesus Christ, Amen.

Monday, August 29, 2011

I know without a doubt that He lives

So we got transfer calls on Saturday night. Which is weird, but it was really cool. I am staying in good old Gridley and i am getting an 18 month old Elder Peterson! He is six inches taller than me so that will be interesting!  I will be the one driving and stuff. I need to get some Mo Tab.  
Ah! Alot of my elder friends in the zone are leaving which kinda stinks but Elder Barron is staying so it will be okay. Same with Leone. Osejo is going to Forest Hill in the Auburn zone so I'm sure he will enjoy that. I am trying my hardest to get him to be excited about his last six weeks.  I think he will do fine.
The temple policy is if you are south of Yuba zone you can go every three months and if you are in the Yuba City zone you can go every six months. Everyone north can't go at all. Which stinks but one day I will get my turn!

I did get my package that was so cool! Mom thank you so much!!! I can't thank you enough! Those ties are so nice! AHHH! Thank you again!! I love you.
Sounds like you guys are having a very busy time. Just know that you have a temple five minutes away from you where you can get away from everything. Go there for me! I miss it! I think about the temple alot. Alot alot.
The cold is gone! It was a hard diet thing to stick too but i am good now which is wonderful. Counting my blessings. So we still are working on finding people. I am sorry i don't have anyone really to talk about! Next week i know i will have a new investigator to talk about. Just wait and see. (don't forget to pray though :))
Scripture thought for today:
2 Nephi 9. What a beautiful chapter. Read it. It is Jacob testifying of Christ.
I am just going to go over some good things that stood out to me but i want everyone to read it and really take time and think about it.
It talks about satan in v. 9 and then in v. 10, i love it cause it says "escape from the grasp of this awful monster" because of God's plan. How great that we can escape satan and go to God! God wants us, every one of us to be with Him and away from the devil. How lucky we are to have a Heavenly Father that wants ONLY the best for us. Let us not take this for granted. ever.
Also in v. 21 it talks about our brother Jesus Christ and how He suffered for our pains. I love that because we forget that Jesus died for us and all of our feelings and pains. Not only physical or pains for sin but pain for not so great stuff in life. Life is never easy. And sometimes things just hurt or situations are tough but through the infinite Atonement we can have peace in a world which breeds unpeaceful ideas, actions, and people. How great and how blessed are we?
Verses 31-37 i think are powerful because it is just saying the 'do nots', basically. I love v. 38. it gives me the chills. How many of us want to return to God and look Him in His face and have Him see our sins? None of us hopefully. The verse makes me want to be better, so i can make Jesus Christ and God proud. So the day that i get to physically meet them i can stand blameless before Him and i can say that i did my best. If we got to meet Jesus and God right now would we be ready? I know i am not. I would say my life is very far from being in total harmony with a Christlike life. But through that Atonement and through the scriptures and studying i know that one day i will be perfect as He is. I know that Jesus Christ died on the cross for me. For my everyday feelings. For my happiness, for my sadness, for my sins, for my accomplishments, for every pain, sickness or affliction, for salvation. He died for me. I know that Christ lives. I know that we will see him again. We will get to converse with Jesus and God. We will be perfected as they are. How great shall be our joy! I need everyone in the world to know that i know without a doubt in my head that He lives.
I will let you guys finish that chapter on your own. It is wonderful. It really is.
Have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Amonds or Almonds?

Hey Mom!,
We have a lesson at eleven thirty so we studied earlier so we could get our laundry done quicker. So what's up? how are you guys? hopefully good! Had some very interesting things happen this week. I will write them in the letter.

So everyone here says warsh for wash or Warshington. There isn't an r in wash people! And i thought i left Dad's amonds (with no L) there. But people here eat amonds too. But for me and my house we will eat aLmonds.
So one day last week with our mini missionary we tracted into this old woman named Helen. She was from Great Britain and she was hard of hearing. But i am talking to her and i literally have to yell in her ear for her to even hear me. I kept trying to say stuff and she was like Huh? huh? But i was laughing so hard and she saw me lauging and she was just so happy and she laughed too. we really were just laughing up on her doorstep for like ten minutes about how deaf she was. we were both laughing so hard. It was the best. She was probably the happiest person i have met out here. And she lives in a tiny home and lives by no family, which is hard but she is happy. She has lots of Mormon friends but isn't interested right now, but we still talked for a good twenty minutes. It was nice.
ANYWAY...So i am pretty happy. I am just super sick. I have a really really bad cold which stinks. But the bishop's wife has me on this special weird diet thing and its supposed to help it. we will see what happens. We picked up an investigator this week! Her name is Lori. She is way pumped to read the Book of Mormon. we will see her again in two weeks. I can't wait.

We had such a good zone conference this past Friday. It was great. we talked about effective companionship study. It's cool cause if we do it right the spirit can be there. And it can be a great source of Revelation for our investigators and those we teach.
Anyway..Heavenly Father answers prayers. Saturday night i was really worried about a couple of things and i was stressing and not having a good time over it. so i kneeled down and said a prayer for help. And during the prayer i had a feeling to read Ether 12. So i did. And it was great. I love how it talks about faith. So let me just give a quick background. So in verses 23-25 Moroni is sort of but not really complaining about having to write and how the writing that he does isn't great and people will make fun of his writing. and then the Lord comes to him and says that all will be okay and he is watching over his writings and stuff. the Lord excuses his writings and weaknesses. But i got to verse 40..yeah 40 where Moroni says again his "weakness in writing" And i sort of got mad at Moroni. i was like "here the Lord came to you and told you all is well and you are still complaining? come on!" But then i was like wait...this thing that i have been thinking about i have gotten an answer too...and i am still inquiring of the Lord.. the scriptures slapped me in the face big time. It was really interesting and humbling to see that. We may have already had our prayers answered we just choose not to see it. we need to start having that different prespective on life. It will bless our lives.
Mom I am so sorry. I am pretty out of it. i am pretty darn sick. I love you guys. thanks for the packages this week. So great!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

We can be at peace

Editor's note: Elder Simons continues to write wonderful hand-written letters in between emails.  They are treasures -- like having a conversation with him!  Here is a thought from his most recent letter...

Mom, the talk you sent me from Jeffrey R. Holland has such a good quote in it: "God doesn't care nearly as much about where you have been as he does about where you are and with his help, where you are willing to go".  So beautiful.  Life is hard, times are tough, people mess up daily.  But God knew all this.  He knew.  So the wonderful Father that He is, gave us a way so when we mess up we can make it right.  When times are tough, we can be at peace.

So happy!

Guess what? So when i am really happy, like super super happy i get like super...smiley, not because someting is funny but because i am so happy. That has been this week. Like i have had the biggest smile on. I am happy. My mission makes me happy. I am so blessed to give just a tiny bit of my earthly life to him. I am so blessed i can walk around and i am not "deaf".  I know that's random but in the MTC i would see these kids who were "deaf" or had these crazy crutches and i am like...really Wilson? come on forget yourself.  I am so blessed to be able to walk around and hear people! what a miracle. It is funny cause we take so much for granted! Our houses! Our cars! Our everythings! Let us all try to be more thankful for the things we have! Pray for a different perspective on our lives. and we will see the blessings we already have in life!
Anyway yes i am happy! And guess how many investigators we picked up? Zero? Technically we actually picked up negative zero cause we have to drop Bill our investigator. He isn't progressing and he isn't willing to take the steps, and leave his old self to get a new self. I am happy because i am working my hardest. Well i am trying my hardest to work my hardest i guess. And i feel like the Lord is blessing me on belief. I see other missionaries get mad at Heavenly Father for no success and i say to myself..."i got up today i got to study out of the Book of Mormon today, i live in the USA, i get to do the Lord's work today, i get to make Heavenly Father happy for my effort in missionary work. Today was a great day!" I want to help people realize that just because we didn't get a baptism this week doesn't mean we aren't good missionaries or we aren't doing the right thing or that Heavenly Father isn't there, but quite the opposite... we are good missionaries and we are doing the right thing and Heavenly Father is right next to us helping us push on! Maybe i am just weird and happy? who knows! But i am happy! Gridley California is where i am going to get my first baptism. But first i have to go find that person. He is hiding but i know that Heavenly Father is preparing him for me. I feel that the more effort i put in the more prepared he will be.  And the effort comes from how obedient i am and how long i want to be out and working. The Lord is blessing me! I don't deserve it, but i will take those blessings with no complaint!
Mom!!! Isn't life great? This is what life is all about...happiness!
Scripture for the day Alma 37:40. the whole verse is great but i want to focus on the last couple of lines. First of all they are talking about the Liahona which we all know worked by faith (which was a straight up miracle) and it says "..also many other miracles wrought by the power of God day by day" So do we know where i am going with this? Miracles happen everyday. I promise and i can testify that miracles happen every single day. I have had too many beautiful things happen to me to doubt miracles happening daily. Like i said earlier lets look around us and see how blessed we are. Lets look for at least one miracle a day. Mine today is me. I am a miracle first because of where i am. I am in Gridley California. i never thought i would be on a mission but now i am and i feel happy and i know this is where i am supposed to be. So my miracle actually is me being on a mission. if anyone doesn't think that is a miracle you should have known me like a year and a half ago, huh mom? So today go look in the mirror and look at the miracle looking back at yourself. That counts for today but tomorrow you have to think of your own. but i promise that once you do this you will be blessed on belief because you will reconigize Heavenly Father's hand in your life more fully. And your prespective on life will change. That is a promised blessing.
Mom i am working hard and i may not reap what i sow but i know that what i sow someone will reap (John 4:37) and that is okay with me. Its about the people not me. I love the people.
I love my family and i know that i will be with them in to the enternies and that thought is beautiful. I love the Lord and what He has done for me.
-Elder Simons

Monday, August 8, 2011

Blessed Art Thou

The letter was so so so great. Thank you so much. First thank you for sending some more books out for me. You really are the best! Ah im so happy today.
In answer to some of your questions:
So if you look at a map of Gridley you will see Live Oak and Biggs right by it. so we have Biggs in our ward and third ward has like some of Gridley too and then Liberty ward has also some of Biggs and Live Oak. So six elders in towns of like 1,400(Biggs) 5,000 (Gridley) 6,000 (Live Oak). The Liberty elders actually live in our area but they have a car too. Leone is our district leader and i just called him and told him about the missionary mom thing. we are pretty good friends. so it goes without saying that our moms need to be friends. I love him so much he is like so nice. There really should only be two elders in Gridley. 

Any color of ties works! (the ones you sent me i will for sure wear i like old ties a ton)  and things that i need, well here are a couple things i can always use a fresh supply of anytime; white shirts, clear page protectors or whatever for my talks and cool things, books, ties, and talks. so yeah thanks mom!
That is really cool about Grandmas ice cream thing. i bet she loves that! i hope you had a good time at the reunion.

And what a blessing for Dad, that he gets to be able to have Fast Sundays like that. how much more will he be able to gain understanding and blessings from his Fast Sundays and fast subjects. At least thats how i feel, i thought it would be a chore to have Fast Sundays while we are doing work but it really brings the spirit in, in a way that you can't get it other wise.
I can't wait for the weather to get cooler. It will be sweet! there is always sweat on you no matter what. you will see in like two years mom when we come back. :) but it will be nice to get some new white shirts!
And dinner mom? what did you make? Just let me imagine it. there are a ton of onions and mushrooms here. i swear people just throw them in there just because i don't like them, just kidding but things would be so good without onions!
Scripture time, i want to just give a little thought i had that can help anyone Helaman 10:3-5  First this is about Nephi and he is preaching to some not so great people.  In v. 3 he was super down cause of their wickedness and in life sometimes we are super low.  There are so many things that get us down. and what i have realized is that sometimes we are meant to have 'down time' so (like in the end at v. 3) a voice comes unto us (to me a voice can be anything that helps us do good, we all know this is the Lord but sometimes the scriptures are the voice that helps us or the prophets or church... Heavenly Father wants us to realize this so sometimes he humbles us so we see need for all those things). The Lord then says "blessed art thou Nephi". blessed art thou! everyone how blessed art thou. We need to remember this always, we are so blessed, yes times are tough and stuff happens but how blessed art thou. its so sweet. in v. 4 it says thou..hast sought my will. how can we seek His will? we all know the answers reading the scriptures, praying, going to church, how simple those answers are but how powerful the results are. verse 5 may be my favorite, it says because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness behold i will bless thee forever. wait wait wait wait wait wait what? He will bless us forever? are you kidding me? if all i have to do is face my trials with my chin up and try to seek the will of the Lord i will be blessed forever? umm deal! you can't say no to being blessed forever. i think we don't really see or understand as much as we should about our trials. we need to see that they are short, and we need to understand that God puts us through the trials for a reason. He knows. I have had too many realizations that he put me in places for a reason to not know that God has a plan for us. Its literally so amazing. But it goes on and says that we will be made mighty in, word, deed, faith, and in works. We are so blessed to be part of this gospel at this time. I hope we all can see and thank Heavenly Father for our trials. Try it. Sorry i just like to talk about the scriptures even though i have such a little view. Right now we don't have an investigator to study for but right now i will study so i can bring a thought in every p-day. Dont expect much but expect something.
So in the area our investigator Bill basically said he doesn't believe all of the Book of Mormon and not all of the church.  He has been an investigator for years so we dropped him cause he is unteachable. Which is sad but i have faith that its the right thing to do. Our investigator named Matt who said he wanted to get baptized, we talked to him Wednesday and he said yes in a few months after i get questions answered.  I was like "you could ask us", and he was like..."no not yet". So we have no idea where he is or what he wants but he will come unto Christ i know it. I told the zone leaders i want to stay here this next transfer. The area is harder but the fact that there are so many people here that are hiding from us that need this gospel that are not getting it is harder on me. I feel like the blessings of my efforts are about to shine upon this Gridley first ward. Next email be expecting 30 new investigators!
-much better week eh?
Love you mom! and dad!!

Have a great monday and remember how blessed art thou
Elder Simons