Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Day Skyping! Yay!

A photo of Bob and Wilson Skyping on Christmas Day! What a great blessing it was to be able to see Wilson and have a great time catching up on his mission life. He is doing great and SO happy doing missionary work! I loved watching his face and seeing how much he loves what he is doing, and how he loves the gospel and the Lord. Definitely one of those "mother moments"!

Wilson and Bob Skyping on Christmas Day

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas phone call and photos

From Bob and Dayna:

As we sat around the table playing a game on Christmas Eve, Bob received this photo on his phone. Wilson and his companion had been invited to go out with a family for their traditional Christmas Eve Chinese food dinner.

Christmas Eve 2012
We were able to Skype with Wilson on Christmas morning. It was amazing and wonderful to have the opportunity to see him and have a conversation with him. It made it seem like he wasn't that far away. He looked great and we could see the happiness just shining from his face. It was great to see him smiling and laughing and not one bit homesick or sad. What a wonderful Christmas present!

Later on in the day, Bob received another photo on his phone from a member. This one is of Wilson and his companion at the member's home. Doesn't he look great!?

Elder Simons and companion on
Christmas Day 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

Quick Christmas Eve message

Hey mom it is good to hear from you. I'm so excited to talk to you all. It will be at ten or eleven tomorrow morning. So be ready. 

I'm going to make this email fairly short but I finished the Book of Mormon. It was so amazing. It really has changed me. I have such a different view and testimony on the Book. I'm so thankful for President Weston and the revelation he received to implement this in our mission. I love the Book of Mormon and I'm so grateful that I get the chance everyday to spread it and teach others of it. And to help others come to true knowledge of their and my Savior. I feel that this will be my favorite calling throughout my life. 

I'm thankful we have this sacred time to celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. Without Him we would all be lost because of the Fall. I know that we cannot return to God's presence except by and through the redeeming blood of the Son. I'm eternally grateful that I have the blessing of being able to share this wonderful saving news. 

Well I better get running. 
I love you!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Snow in Redding

Hey Mom,

So its funny that you talked about opening presents early. And yes I did but this year I won't. I remember when I was kid I would always go and find the presents and very carefully pull the tape back and look at my presents. I did that for a couple years. I got pretty good at it actually. Yeah I was a bad kid I know but I feel like I should confess now as opposed to when I'm home. I think I did that because I wanted to be able to focus on Christmas on the most important things, not presents. [ya, right!....] I was such a bad kid.

So our YSA investigator got baptized on Saturday. Such an amazing experience. After she said to us that should wouldn't have been here if it weren't for us. I thought about that for a bit and replied that no, I think that if any missionaries were there she would have been baptized. Which is so true and so humbling. The Lord needed her in His church so He called her and she responded and then in turn was baptized by the Priesthood of God. It is so wonderful to see God's hand work His mighty miracles. She is truly a miracle. She is such a light to everyone that knows her and I'm excited to see her grow and progress in the Gospel. 

On another note, an investigator from my old area got baptized as well. I heard it took him three times to get under. I wasn't able to go, which was too bad, but that is how life goes. 

Life other than that is amazing. I'm loving life right now. It snowed up here on Saturday. It was so awesome it reminded me of good old Utah. 

snow in Redding

I'm excited for Christmas. It will be a good day to just relax and take it easy. I love Christmas time. It is frustrating though because this time has been given to us to take it easy and reflect and ponder on the blessing that Christ is in our life but yet we still make it the busiest time of the year. Why is that? I don't even think there really is an answer but that's okay. 

I love life though. I have to go but thanks for all the prayers!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I wanted to jump for joy

Thanks for the email mom. 

This week has been a good one indeed. So we had a lesson with our YSA investigator on Saturday and we told her that she needed to decide if she was going to get baptized on the 15th or not (she had said earlier in the week that she thought about that date) because we had to schedule things and do all that good stuff. So the day before we were telling her when we come over she needed to say yay or nay. So we come over and she is like "So I prayed last night and God told me that I need to be baptized on the 15th. I'm not backing down from this one. I'm still nervous but I'm getting baptized on the 15th." I wanted to jump for joy but I restrained myself. I love how we can get answers to our prayers. I have such a strong testimony that God will answer every one of our prayers if we but ask Him in full faith and are willing to act on whatever answer He gives us. I'm thankful she recognized the Spirit prompting her to be baptized. I'm thankful for the ordinance of baptism and the symbolism and sacredness of it. I'm thankful for the priesthood of the Almighty God that is given to worthy men so they can perform this saving ordinance. I love life, and I'm thankful for everything God has given me, and the wonderful people that He has put into my life on my mission. 

Let's see what else happened this mushrooms incidents thankfully.Transfer went smoothly. Well mostly smooth, we had Elder Jackson with us for a couple days. His comp had a baptism on Wednesday  so he stayed down there for a bit till Thursday. Elder Jackson is a good missionary. It was fun to have  him with us. 

Oh also Brother "Jones" [name changed] is getting baptized! This Sunday night. I'm talking to President Weston to see if i can go. If so Elder Rasmussen and myself will be going down there. I really hope he lets us go, its just a really far drive and the baptism is at a weird time. That would be like one of the best baptisms in my mission. He son is baptizing him I think. AHH I hope I can go. Speaking of which I better call President soon. 

So today for p-day we are playing pickle ball with this less active member and his wife who is of another faith. They talk smack like crazy. They told us we need to bring  notebooks because they are taking us to school and they are going to feed us dessert. So I'm kind of nervous actually. I really think they are good. I will let you know if we beat them. But thank  you for everything that everyone does for me. I truly appreciate it!

I love you all
Elder Simons

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Mushrooms the size of California

So this week was a good one. We had some weird things happen but that is okay. So first we got a text from one of our legit investigators in our family ward that was going to be baptized soon. And he said he was going to have suspend his Mormon studies. That was bad. It was really hard for us to hear that and deal with it, because he is so ready and willing to do what the Lord wants. We just boiled it down to the fact that maybe we just are not "his" missionaries. That's okay, just as long as eventually he is baptized into the true church. 

Also the YSA girl is doing good. She wanted to postpone her baptism so we are pushing it back and still working on a date. We will let you know when the date is. But she is still happy and doing good. 

So something crazy happened. we were driving to the church on Wednesday I think it was (it was really windy, 50 mph wind gusts, and it was also pretty rainy) and all of a sudden we hear this motorcycle revving its engine and we look ahead and this genius of a man was doing a wheelie and was doing it for a couple seconds and he starts getting really shaky and eventually falls and crashes and it was just crazy. His shoe was thrown like 80 feet and his motorcycle got beat up pretty bad. He was going like 50 or 60 down this road. So we are like "wow we better go and help him." It was just crazy so i figured I'd tell you. I never have seen someone crash like that. It reminded me how precious life really is and that we are so close to the other side every single day. Just interesting. 

So we had transfers this week. I'm staying along with my companion. So we are excited about that and are really expecting to see some good things happen this next transfer. 

I love Christmas. Its so interesting to think about Jesus Christ and how He is the only Begotten of the Father, the Prince of Peace and all these other amazing names that describe Him. He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords and yet He descended below everything. He descended below how I, myself, was born. I just marvel on how he could have born anywhere. He could have been born in an awesome kingdom with all of these amazing amenities but yet he let himself be born in a little barn of sorts. Christ's example is amazing. I fully believe that as we follow His perfect humble example we will be blessed and we will eventually return to live with Him once again. 

Another random story that is kinda funny. So we were over at this cool family's home and we had this good looking salad and I was pretty excited until I looked closely at it. It had mushrooms the size of California in them. They were huge. So I skillfully sifted what I grabbed with the tongs in hopes of not grabbing an extra large and nasty mushroom. So I put the salad on my plate and I sift thru it a bit and find that I have this huge mushroom. I was like "how did that happen?". So the whole time I was stressing on how I could hide this mushroom so the family wouldn't see it. So I continued to eat the rest of my food and the next thing I know the mushroom is gone from off my plate. I'm like "wow did I eat that thing, where did it go...oh no?"...but at the same time I was like "Sweet! I don't have to eat the dang mushroom anymore". So I just kind of shrugged it off and considered it a miracle. So yesterday I was telling my companion about my miracle and how I was so blessed and he just started laughing. I was like" yeah yeah what?" And he continued to tell me how he ate my mushroom while I was not looking. It was pretty funny. No matter how the mushroom left my plate I'm happy and blessed. 

Life is great! I love having these amazing experiences and having a smile on my face at the same time. I love my Savior and I know that He is with me every second of the day. This is His work, not mine. I'm just trying to be a tool and trying to sharpen myself through prayer and study so I can be better prepared to serve His Children. I love you all

Elder Simons

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Letter from missionary couple in Redding

Editor's Note: I received this email yesterday. Its always a nice surprise to get an email or letter from someone in the Roseville Mission. I left out the last name of the missionary couple since I haven't talked to them about putting the letter on the blog. Its nice to know there are so many people watching out for Wilson!

1 December 2012
Hello Missionary Mom:
I am Sister Nancy _______.  My husband, Kent, and I are serving a 23-month CES Mission at the Redding Institute of Religion.  We will be here in Redding until June 2014. 
Elder _______ and I have been asked by President Weston to inspect the apartments of the missionaries living in Redding every six weeks to make sure things are in order.  We also check to see if they need anything that the mission needs to replace.  Several furnace filters, a few batteries and one microwave later, things are looking good.   
We have just completed our November/December inspections and I wanted to let you know your son is healthy and happy; he looks great; he’s enjoying the mission; and he’s doing a great job as a missionary.  And, he’s helping to keep his apartment clean!   
It has been fun to interact with the missionaries in this way and Elder ________ and I look forward to our visits with them. 
I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year. 
Love from the mission field in Redding, CA.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

We even got See's turkeys!

So this week has been a good one as usual. We have a baptism on Saturday with one of the YSA girls! She is truly amazing. So I haven't talked too much about her but I think I will today. So she had sat in on a lesson about two or three months ago when some missionaries were teaching the word of wisdom. And not much happened after that. So for the first two weeks I was here we were trying to contact her and set up something with her and finally like the day after the election we met up with her and had a lesson on life. And how we are supposed to be good people generally. It was a really weird lesson and I wasn't too sure if we should set up a follow up lesson with her but we did anyway. And since like Nov. 7th we have seen her basically every day and set a baptismal date and taught her all the lessons and commandments. She has caught hold of this wonderful gospel and ran with it, not ever looking back. She has been through some tough times in her life but wants a change and what I love most is that we as missionaries get to be there for the whole complete change. She looks different she acts different she has been changed by the Atonement. I love my mission. I'm so dang lucky to be able to do this. 

What else happened this week? So there is this crazy girl that we talk to every once in a while and she is pretty funny but she is trying to quit smoking. So we came over and she was saying she was going to stop after her last three cigs inside. I was like "no no no that ain't happenin' go get those cigs and we are going to step on them". And she is like "no you wouldn't".  But we just stared at her until she went in and got two of them. We threw them on the ground and each stepped on one. We then proceeded to tell her to go get the third one and it was her turn to stomp on it. So she did and she did step on it. It was cool. Since we did that she has smoked just a couple packs but still has a desire to quit. We will keep checking up on her and hopefully get her to quit. 

Our Thanksgiving was awesome. We started the day like normal with our studies and all that good stuff then went and played dunk ball. It was so sweet. Then we went to a member's home and had this huge dinner thingy and it was amazing. We even got See's turkeys. [editor's note: See's chocolate turkeys are a tradition around here... I am so happy that some wonderful family in Redding invited the missionaries for Thanksgiving AND also recognized the yumminess and necessity of giving See's turkeys!] And then after, we went to the stake center and played some more ball. It was so sweet!! I love basketball. 

Anyway life is so good. I'm starting to really love Redding. I wonder if I will finish my mission here. I wouldn't mind it. But thanks so much for everything you do!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Am I still fishing?

Hey mom,
Zone conference was amazing. President Weston is such a man, he is so good about inspiring us and helping us find the desire in our own hearts and working for that. He is very smart. So he gave all of us a challenge. By the time we have zone conference again, sometime is Feb, that we finish the Book of Mormon and we highlight like four different things. And every time we study we have to have a prayer before and after and ask our Heavenly Father if the book is true. He said doing this will change our lives. I love being invited to change my life! 

Life is wonderful. We are being so blessed here its almost unbelievable. I love it. We are teaching these two YSA girls and they both now have dates for Dec 1 and Dec 8th.  They are both doing great things in their lives. I want to talk about one of them in particular. She understands the gospel so much. We taught her the Plan of Salvation (with the wood things Dad gave me) and then I picked up all the pieces and gave it to her and said now you do it and also explain it to us. She gave probably the most beautiful testimony on the Plan of Salvation that I ever had heard. She did all of that while correctly placing the wooden shapes in order and she told us what each of them meant to her. And after she was like "I understand why you guys focus so much on missionary work. This needs to be spread." She has expressed a desire to serve a mission. Man that would be....amazing to say the least. 

I have been pondering a lot on a couple things. First testimony and conversion and also the talk which Elder Holland gave which talked about Peter and why he was still fishing. I have come to realize that when someone has been converted they change. They have a complete 180 on what they say, think, and do. They have no more desire to do evil, yes they still fall but they have a drive to follow and keep the commandments. They are focused on Christ and His Atonement. I have been looking a lot for things like that in myself and others around me and it is really interesting. 

Now to my other subject which goes hand and hand... I have been thinking a lot about my own conversion and what I used to do before my mission. There were a lot of interesting things that I did but I will just say fishing because that works well. But I was thinking more deeply about my conversion and a couple questions came to my mind. First of all where am I and where am I going? Am I ever still fishing? Am I making decisions and choices that lead me to the Savior or to satan? Whenever I think about fishing I say to myself and sometimes out loud "Stop fishing Elder Simons". (I have got my companion into the habit too) It really helps us focus on where we are on missions and to focus on our conversions. A true conversion would be where someone has no desire to re-do the evils and maybe not just the evils but also the things I was doing well enough. A true conversion is when someone has turned their back on that promising and striving to never go back. So are we  converted? I hope so. 

This is such a wonderful time of the year. I hope we all can focus on Christ and what He has so willingly done for us. It is easier for me because I teach of Christ and I testify of Christ all day long so He is always in my head. I'm lucky I do not have to deal with all of the many distractions we as humans have put in our own lives. I love my Savior and I'm grateful for the many things He personally has blessed me with. I love my family. I would do anything for any one of them and I hope they know that. I love how much they support me and bless me. I love anyone who is reading this email. I'm thankful for the support you give me in any way. I love you all!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Familiar faces from Draper

Some friends from our ward here in Draper were in California and "bumped" into Wilson in Antelope just before his transfer to Redding. He SO loved seeing familiar faces from the old home ward.... and we SO love seeing him in photos with those familiar faces! Makes it seem like he's closer, somehow.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Faith and Testimony

This week has been good. We had our zone training meeting this week (zone conference is tomorrow), but our meeting this week was on how our faith and testimony should effect our obedience level, work ethic, attitude, gospel knowledge. And if we are struggling in any of these categories we are struggling with our faith and testimony. It was pretty intense. I loved it. So the Redding zone has been averaging about 9.5 lessons a week and according to Elder Maynes the  missionaries and the ward should work together so that the missionaries teach at least 20 lessons each week. We were getting about 16 or 17 in Antelope and I really wanted to improve it but I didn't know how. Because I can't go into every ward council in the stake and ask them to give the missionaries more teaching opportunities. So I thought a lot about it and what Elder Leithead and I could do about it. I felt strongly that we should commit each companionship to reach 20 lessons per week whether or not the ward is giving us names of people to teach. Everyone was pumped about it when we issued the challenge. And so later on this week when we recorded numbers (Sunday night) we pretty much doubled in every key indicator! It was so awesome!! Also our average went up to 15.5 lessons per week. I can't wait for the growth that is going to come from this. It was so legit! I love this work. 

We picked up these two YSA aged girls and one of them committed to baptism for the 8th of December. Its so exciting. I was so pumped. The other one is really great as well and will probably have a date this week. The work is truly picking up here in Redding. I can't wait to see some of the great results but I'm not forgetting to enjoy the moment. 

Anyway, life is great. I love it up here in Redding. It is getting really cold up here. I'm always freezing!! 

Elder Simons

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Photo from Redding

Editor's Note: Every now and then I receive texts or emails from someone in Wilson's mission area who has had him and his companion over for dinner. They are always so kind and full of wonderful things to say. I love when they include a photo or two. It almost makes it seem like he is closer to home. I LOVE how technology makes things just a little easier to bear for us missionary parents!

Here's the photo that popped up on my cell phone last night... from the family that fed them all last night.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Extension please.

Life is good. I am getting more used to Redding. It is still very different from the fast paced south and I miss that, but that's okay. 

Country road in Ono, California
(in the Redding Zone)

We had such a good ZLC this past week. We discussed how we are going to prepare for the new influx of missionaries coming in and how we are going to accommodate them. It was really exciting. I can't wait. (Although when they are expecting our numbers to reach the highest will be about a month or two before I go home). Which doesn't seem right. Extension please. I wish. 

We have zone conference next Tuesday. I can't wait. Elder Buhler and Rasmussen will be there. Its the top three zones of the mission. Anderson, Chico and Redding. It will be great. 

What new has happened....we met with this new guy named. He is really great. He hasn't been taught in a couple months and he comes to church about every week. We have a lesson with him tomorrow that I'm really excited for. We asked him if he has considered baptism before and he said he would if he knew it was true. That excited me. This ward has only had 2 baptisms this year. That is no good at all. I hope we can get two maybe three before the year wraps up. 

Oh we also had stake correlation up here on Sunday. President Weston came which was so great. It was weird being in a different correlation than Antelope. I felt outta place for the first little bit but then I warmed up and jumped right in.

I have seen amazing miracles while I have been up here in Redding. I can't wait to further the work up here in the Lord's vineyard. I'm just excited about the work. I love this work and know that the Lord has all power in it. I love Him so much. I love you all as well!
Elder Simons

Wilson's pumpkin carving of Moses

Monday, October 29, 2012

Redding is very different

Redding is very different. I like it a lot up here. It reminds me of a mixture of downtown Salt Lake with a little bit of Park City in there and just a touch of Draper. Its nice. Some of the roads are like "wow this could totally be a street in Utah". The only main difference is pretty much all day we smell weed being smoked or harvested. It stinks way bad, oh well.

So my companion is Elder Leithead he has been out for almost one year (he hits it this Saturday). He is from Lovell, Wyoming. The zone has 14 missionaries in it. All elders -- so its been a while since I have been in just an all-elders zone. We live in a four elder apartment. We live in the ghetto of Redding. Its kind of funny. We drive a 2012 Corolla, which is sweet but I miss my truck! Oh well!

There is zero work in the ward which stinks but that is okay we will turn this area around real quick. I had to be on exchanges this week in my own area because there was a Halloween party in our ward and I wanted to meet all my members. It was funny because no one in the ward knew me or my companion from a different ward so they probably thought we were just bums stealing food. Which I guess we kinda were.

Oh there was a scorpion in one of the showers in our apartment. I had no idea they would be all the way up here in  Northern California. That was crazy.

The members are great. Its a pretty young ward so it reminds me a lot of Roseville 9th Ward.

But life is good and I'm having fun. I was asked to speak to our singles branch on Thursday. So I did that. I was nervous but the Lord sent the comforter and I was able to do it. I spoke on Enoch and how he was this amazing man that understood his weaknesses and knew what to do when he needed these things to become strengths. He is legit. But I better go! I love you all!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Photos from Antelope

I received a text and then an email from one of the families in Antelope. (Elder Simons just left the Antelope area to go up to Redding, the northernmost part of the mission). The family emailed these photos to us tonight... nice to see he's still having some fun!  I know its hard for him to leave Antelope, just like it was hard to leave each of the other areas. But I also know his personality and ability to adapt and warm up to people. He will be fine, and he will love his new area after no time at all!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Transfer to Redding!

So I got the package from the Rossettis. But I couldn't answer their call or text because we really aren't allowed to answer area code 801 numbers. So they just met me at the church and that was awesome! Thank you so much for the package!! I truly am going to get a belly. Luckily its almost time for my six month slim down!

Soo big news! I'm getting transferred. All the stinking way up to Redding!! Up there we cover a family ward and YSA branch. I'm really excited and also pretty nervous as well. I don't do too well with transfers and leaving areas. I just fall in love with wherever I serve and don't want to leave. I will miss the wonderful people down here. This place is amazing!

So hopefully I get that other package before i leave tomorrow!

So Redding is on the complete opposite side of the mission. It will be a long drive to get up there but that is where the Lord wants me so i will go!

Our investigator's baptism didn't happen. She hasn't yet been converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It will happen with time and through keeping God's commandments. I hope I get to come down and go to her baptism. I can't wait. It will happen though i know it.

This week has been a week where we have had a lot of time to do some finding. We only found 1 new investigator but she is amazing. I can for sure see her getting baptized in a couple months. She is someone who truly feels the Holy Ghost and someone who will truly act on that. She is great!

I love this work! The Gospel is hopefully still true in Redding!! I will tell you next week!

P.S. I'm sorry to hear I'm still causing terror in the house mom! :) [editor's note: that "P.S." is in response to me telling him about being all alone in the house one night, and going downstairs to the basement to put something away. I turned the light on in the guest room, and just about jumped out of my skin when I saw the  full-size cardboard stand-up of Wilson. My heart is still not back to its normal rate yet]

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Letter from Gridley member

[This is an email I received just a couple of days ago... it brought a smile to my face as she described the Wilson we know! Also, as a reminder, I try to remove names of recent converts or investigators from the emails...]

Hello Dayna!

It was great getting an email from you!  We did have a great time going to the temple.  I'm so glad that Elder Simons stiil asks for a ride to the temple!! It is such a fun thing to gather some Gridley friends and do that and see him from time to time.  Did he tell you about Sister [...]?  She was so happy to have him there; it really made her first time to the temple more special.  He spent so much time with that couple.  Did he tell you about our picnic dinner on the temple grounds?  We all sat around reminiscing about the fun times and laughing...Elder Simons especially can make us laugh!  After the dinner he took her wheelchair back up to the temple by riding in it.  Yep! That is him!  Fun, fun. 

I hope he will continue to be in areas where he can go to the temple, but chances are, he'll get sent up north somewhere.  The Lake Shasta area would be a new twist, or Paradise (up the road from Chico in the mountains).  I guess we'll see here in a few weeks. 

Elder Simons has a way with people that I don't see in very many missionaries.  You have a great son and we miss him here in Gridley!  I know he's doing great things wherever he goes!

Take care, and thank you for keeping in touch!  I'm sure we'll meet soon!

Seeing God's hand work in people's lives

Thank you for the email yet again mom. It means a lot to have the support of an awesome mother. I feel as the 2,000 strippling warriors felt about their mothers. They did not doubt that their mothers knew the gospel. I'm sure they had this knowledge because their moms lived and taught the gospel in the home. I am eternally grateful for the amazing example you and Dad have set for me in the home. Even when I wasn't always what I was supposed to be you stayed strong and did what the Lord always asks us to do: keep the commandments. So thank you for always doing that. I feel like I'm reaping the blessings from you being obedient. So thank you.

Anyway,[our investigator] is doing good. She is struggling just a little bit. She doesn't know if Joesph Smith was a Prophet. Actually she feels like he was for half of his life. So we are working with that. We are going to be meeting with her everyday till Saturday in hopes of helping her receive her answer for herself. I know that she could receive her answer at any moment. I really hope and pray that she will be baptized this week. I will let you know how it goes and I will send you pictures next week. 

What else happened this week...our truck was acting up so we had to go get it fixed, and when the mechanic guy sat in the car with me while I was driving of course it didn't make the sound. I hate it when that happens. But eventually is made the thumping noise. He then got in the car to take it for a spin and he I was really scared. I casually grabbed onto the handle and slowly slipped
my seat belt on, hopefully he didn't notice. I guess I should have been wearing my seat belt in the first place. 

We are teaching this part-member family and they are coming along slowly but surely. The guy is a less-active member and his girlfriend is the non-member. She has such a great desire to do the things she has to, to get aligned with God's will. It has been a huge testimony strengthener (maybe not a word?) to see herand her progress. I love teaching them and watching them grow. I love seeing God's hand work in peoples' lives. It really is such a blessing to be able to just sit and watch him work. I love it! I love seeing miracles. It strengthens my testimony so much!! 

Thank you for all you do!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Conference was amazing!

Its always good to get home after a long time being home Mom.  I feel like I have turned into someone who really enjoys to just be home just hanging out. We will see if that changes when I go home. 
Anyway conference was amazing! I have learned sooo much. The main message that I feel that I got was to prayer harder, listen better, and act quicker. I'm excited to be able to utilize these truths more in my personal life and teaching God's children. I also realized that I need to stop being so judgmental!!  I need to give everyone a chance to have this glorious message of the Gospel. Sometimes I pick and choose who I think will accept the message, but I wasn't called to do that. I was called to preach the gospel to all. That was a big kick in my side on something that I need to improve. 

I loved Jeffrey R Hollands talk on Peter and the other apostles. It was life changing. I always feel like I need to repent after his talks but still I'm drawn to him and how he speaks. I think you hit it on the head Mom, when you said  "He is a powerful, spiritual speaker, and his talks find their way right into my heart and soul. I always go away from it knowing I need to be, and can be a better person".  I feel the same way. The whole time during conference I was just pondering about how anyone who watched conference with a sincere humble heart had to know of a surety that Thomas S Monson was and is a prophet of God. And that everyone else who spoke has been called of God and are His appointed servants. I loved conference so much. Its sad that the next one will be in six months. I don't know if i can wait that long!! I cant wait till we get the Ensign so we can read and read again the plain and simple truths that were spoken of. Elder Bednar's talk really made me think about my personal testimony and conversion. Also the people I'm teaching. It made me think about what is my next step to furthering my personal conversion? What am I doing to get myself closer to God. Ah, I just feel so uplifted. 

Life is good though. I'm having a ton of fun and life is just going by so fast. I don't know how I feel about the changed age for missionaries. I can't decide. It obviously is right though. I do'nt know if I will even notice a difference since I'm out here already. Who knows. 

I love you all though

Here are some pictures for you!

Life-changing feeling

[Editor's note: this is Elder Simons' email from last week... we were out of town, so I wasn't able to post it]

This week was amazing. The highlight was definitely going to the temple with [a re-activated sister from my Gridley days]. I wish I could express the feeling I had while in the temple seeing her go through for her own endowment. Let's just say if the only feeling I had on my mission was that feeling for the whole 2 years it would be all worth it. Seriously that was a life changing feeling and experience. I remember when I first met her, she was kind of like [her husband]. Not really wanting to commit to anything right away. But the Lord worked with her. It was so interesting seeing the spirit work in her and soften her heart, where eventually she had a desire in her heart to come to church and re-find that testimony that was deep within her soul. She is amazing. She had so much joy. On the way to the temple she was getting car sick and she was thinking she couldn't make it, but when she was going through the session she felt great and energetic. It was one of the coolest things I have seen in my life. I truly feel the spirit sustained her and helped her have the energy required to going through the temple session. Now I just have to wait for [her husband] to be ready to go and do his work. Hopefully I stay down south for transfers so I can go to it. 

We had 3 investigators come to church yesterday. That was a miracle. One of our YSA investigators actually bore his testimony. It was so legit. He talked about the scripture where Christ says if they hate you for my sake they hated me first. I don't remember the full thing but he bore the sweetest simplest testimony on that. It was good. 

I'm so excited for General Conference. It will be a revelatory experience for all who listen and watch. If we think about it, the same thing that will be happening this weekend is like Moses being at the Energy Solutions Arena and teaching the Gospel. I'm excited to be able to talk to people this week about that and say something to the effect of if Moses was talking wouldn't you want to listen to him? It is such a blessing we have a prophet, seer and revelator in our day. How blessed are we! I think I often overlook the magnitude of that blessing. He holds the keys of the priesthood of God. He speaks with God and then in turn teaches us God's words. I can't wait. 

I love you all. I love the temple. I love our Prophet. I love God.
I love you!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I love life

Thanks for that wonderful email Mom. I appreciate it so much.

This week has been so fast, it was scary. This week I'm fully expecting to go by fast as well. Its good though.

What to talk about, so many things happen in my week its so hard to express all that happens. We had a wonderful meeting on Friday with Elder Trythall from the 5th Quorum of the Seventy. And he talked to all the district and zone leaders on the ward council. The ward council has become a subject that I have deep feelings for. Its something that I have spent much time trying to figure out how I can help the most being just a boy in a suit and tie. I have had many frustrating experiences and I have had many wonderful things happen. So I was very excited for this meeting to truly figure out what my purpose was in the ward council. The meeting was truly edifying and uplifting. It gave me so much information that I know will bless my life for the rest of my life with regards to how ward councils are supposed to work. And I received much direction on what I can do. It was just a great meeting. It truly inspired me to go and do great things. 

What else new has happened? Oh I'm going to the temple on Friday with [a recent convert's wife from Gridley]. They both are 100% active and she wants to go because she is getting weak and older so we are going through for the first time with her. Such an amazing experience to see where she has come from to where she is now. I know [her husband] is preparing to get to the temple as well. I can't wait till that day comes. 

So some of our baptismal dates have dropped but we still have one on the 20th of October. This lady is amazing. I can't wait for that beautiful day. 

I love life. I don't want to be anywhere else. I love my mission and it is sad and frustrating that I'm coming to the close of it. I feel like I still have so much to accomplish and so much of myself to change. Thank you for the prayers everyone! I love you all!
Elder Simons

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A miracle right before our eyes

Thank you for the email mom, it was great to hear from you.

You asked a little bit about how transfers work and this is what goes on. On Monday night the departing missionaries and the assistants to the president stay with us (Elder Frank stayed the night, it was sad to see him go)  and then the next night the new missionaries stay the night with us. There were 15 elders staying the night, it was crazy. (and yes Elder Heniger was one of the new ones. I forgot to take a picture with him) so that is how it works on transfer week, which is so crazy to still do missionary work and have to clean the house and everything.

So Friday night we had a lesson with [the lady who was going to baptized the next day] and we taught about enduring to the end and why that is so important. It went great and we went over her baptism for the following day and we all were really excited. We left basically praising our Heavenly Father for the blessing that she has been in our lives and everything was going great. So we wake up on Saturday and I see a call and a voicemail from her on my phone. And getting calls from her was never good. We have had the same Tuesday and Friday at 7:00 lessons for months and nothing has changed so we really never had to call her or she call us. And when something has changed or something has gone wrong she calls us. So I was super scared. We listened to the voicemail and she said she got food poisoning and didn't sleep at all and wasn't going to be able to make it to the baptism. My heart dropped into my stomach. I was so sad. We called her and her husband said she was asleep and wasn't going to be able to make it today. We called back about 2 hours later, aka 9 o clock and her baptism is at noon, and we asked her husband to wake her up and he did. So I talked to her and asked if we could go give her a blessing. She said yes so we went over at about 10:30 AM. This is an hour and a half before her baptism. So it was crunch time really. We walk in and we were talking to her and she was explaining how she was too sick to go and then we were explaining exactly what a blessing is, and we performed the blessing. And after we ended the blessing, she said "When is my baptism again? I better get ready quick then"...It was one of the most amazing moments on my mission. The Lord performed a miracle right before our eyes, to help His daughter come to the waters of baptism. Thinking about it makes me get kinda emotional. Man I'm a baby. She made it to her baptism on time (and this is a lady who is older and it takes her some time to walk around because she gets tired easily) and it was a wonderful baptism. I felt so honored to be able to enter the waters of baptism with her. I'm so excited for the step she has made in her life to get closer to the Savior Jesus Christ. I love this lady so much. I'm excited to see her progress in the church. 

This week was really great. We have some great potential! I love this work. It is so awesome. Thank you for the support you give me.

Elder Simons

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Plugging up a hole in my heart

Well we now have 4 baptisms scheduled. One this weekend, which will be one of the best moments on my mission. This is a woman who is truly amazing, and she is so willing to follow the example of Jesus Christ no matter what the cost is. She has taught me so much. I have loved teaching her. 

I have never had this much work on my mission before. It seems like everything is just falling into place. It truly is such an amazing and humbling thing to be a part of. Because when I back up and look at it, i feel like i have nothing to do with it, I'm just kind of there watching God's hand influence a person's life to do good. Its awesome. I love this work with all my heart. 

So the lady that will gladly get married still wants to, but her [less-active] boyfriend is holding back a bit. She is so willing to follow Christ. God and Jesus Christ come first for her in her life, and I think that is starting to bug him. It is amazing to watch her growth though. When we first came over i had to like force her to say hi to me while we were teaching him. Now she is growing and she wants this gospel and is willing to give her life for it. What dedication! When we first starting actually teaching her she always said "there is a God-shaped hole in my heart" and on Saturday as we were teaching her she almost randomly said "i feel like the things you elders are teaching are plugging up that hole in my heart" That was one of the best things anyone has ever said to me. 

I love having this privilege to be able to preach this everlasting gospel. I can't tell you how many times i have broken down and cried because of how humbling of an experience this for me. I am so grateful for the blessing of being able to meet these wonderful people that i find, that i have an immediate love for. 

Another story for you is about another lady with a baptismal date who is really smart and knowledgeable about the New Testament. We had a lesson with her on the Plan of Salvation and she had so many deep doctrine questions about Adam and Eve and was really troubled by some of the stuff we were teaching aka God giving Adam and Eve a commandment he knew they would have to break. She just could not get over that. So we left feeling very discouraged. But the next time we went over (we expected her to still have trouble with all of it) she was amazing and had no questions or concerns about the Plan of Salvation. All of her concerns were met because i feel like she got her witness from God that the Book of Mormon was true. Such a neat experience. Another one where we did nothing, but God did everything. Like I have said before, I'm just here watching God's hand. And I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. 

I love you all.
Elder Simons

Thursday, September 6, 2012

We barely have time to breath


This week has been amazing! We were blessed to be able to set another baptismal date. We were worried because the lady we set the date with, (her boyfriend is LDS) lives with her boyfriend. They have a kid together. But we went over again on Saturday (we set the date on Tuesday) and she said "something has to change about the living arrangement here huh?" and she said "well we don't have enough money to be married." And then we told her they could get married for free by the bishop. They were like "okay, want to get married tomorrow?" Such an amazing experience. I can't wait! 

Life is great. Dorothy our investigator getting baptized on the 15th, is doing great. She asked me to baptize her. Which is such a humbling request. She couldn't decide if she wanted Elder Ellsworth or me to baptize her so she just asked if Elder Ellsworth could go in the back of the font and hold her back as she goes down. What a awesome experience that will be. 

I love how the Lord is building me with these wonderful situations. I feel so blessed I have been able to serve Him for 15 months of my life full-time. Let's see what else happened this week...Elder Coburn and I are doing great. We are working hard and we are seeing so many blessings. We had 13 member-present lessons last week. Which is the best I have ever had on my mission. We are teaching some less-actives as well. We barely have time to breath, we are so busy with teaching. Which is a good thing. Well I love you all, and continue praying for missionary experiences. They will come. They always do.

Elder Simons

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Christlike love

I have had a really good week. We worked hard and we also had our half mission [conference], with Elder Cardon. Man that guy knows how to pack in a powerful punch with the spirit. 

This week has been really life changing for me. I have learned what true love really is. Now before I start, I'm not talking about like...girl to boy love, I'm talking about love for each other as sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. Our investigator Dorothy is amazing. I have truly been thinking about her and her situation this week. I have taught her since week 1 in Antelope. She is an older lady in her 70's. When I first came to this ward all I wanted for her is baptism. Which is a worthy and righteous desire, no doubt. But over time and many spiritual lessons with her, the same desire for her baptism is still there but with so much added to it. I have really just been imagining her with her Heavenly Father. I can't really describe the feelings I have for her. But true love is wanting what is best for someone else (for Dorothy I want her to receive Salvation) It has hit me really hard this week that I knew nothing about true Christlike love before my mission and for a part of my mission. Christlike love is wanting the very best for someone else and doing everything in our powerful to acheive and sacrifice for that person so they can get it. I'm not explaining myself as I wish but the love that I had for the people I have served in California and for my family when I started my mission has changed, it has grown. It has grown because I can love them deeper and with more sincerity now. And what makes my mind marvel even more is to realize the love our Father in Heaven and His Son have for us. I can't comprehend. I won't ever  be able to. It is amazing. So..hopefully that made sense. But I love you all. That basically what I'm trying to say.

Elder Cardon taught me so much about personal revelation. It's crazy. It is really just want I needed. I love that guy. It was good to see a lot of my buddies at the conference as well. I'm so strengthened by their testimonies and experiences. They are great. I love you all!!

Elder Simons

I want to be diligent in every calling

[Editor's Note: We have been out of town, so a little behind in posting, but I wanted to share the following from a letter Elder Simons wrote to us. He hasn't skipped a week in both emailing and handwriting a letter to us! I never would have taken him to be much of a letter-writer before his mission! :)]

Hey parents,

So hopefully I didn't hurt any one's feelings on my email. I do feel though that we are kinda lazy! We have the truth! I want to be diligent in every calling I have. Dad, I need a calling the week I get back. Give me someone to go home teach starting the month of May. I need to be serving. 

Right now I'm in Alma 45. So really close to you! I'm really trying to get the most out of the war chapters. I'm trying to take it slow. 

Anyway, my companion and I are doing great! We are working so hard! Its sweet. We have some great investigators with some awesome potential. This work is great. I can't believe I've been with Elder Coburn for two months. Time really flies. Am I really about at my 15 month mark? Holy cow. I can't believe that! 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Work with all diligence

How are you all doing? Hopefully good.

This week was a good one. It was hotter then ever though. I can't believe how hot it was. We pressed forward through it though. We were able to pick up a new investigator last night. So that was really good. Dorothy came to stake conference yesterday, that was so sweet! She loved it. Actually we haven't talked to her but who couldn't love stake conference? Stake conference was good Elder Choy was there and he taught so well.  I was jealous of how well he was able to convey his message to all of us. He taught about making correct choices and also on how we must respect priesthood leaders and understand that we don't receive revelation for them, they receive it for us. Once we do that we can fully get all the blessings in store for us. 

I have learned many lessons this week, one being that I can't live in Sacramento. It's too hot. I will live in Utah. Second, that diligence is what we need to get to where we want to be. If we aren't diligent (in missionary work) we get nowhere. Really why are we even here? We chose to be here so why aren't we working our hardest for the Lord?. But we must also be diligent so we can enter into the rest of the Celestial Kingdom. It isn't going to take shirking and laziness to get there. It is going to take getting up and doing something for the Lord and His Children. I feel strongly that we need to have a better and stronger determination to act. Sometimes we are lazy! I'm sorry but we are. I look back at my life right before I came on my mission and I put forth pretty much zero effort to go to the temple and worship my God. When really I should have been putting forth all the effort to get there and enjoy it. But life gets in the way. That is really no excuse for holding back salvation for the dead. I guess I have really strong feelings about this today because the spirit has really been prompting me to set goals for when I get back for getting to the temple. I hope that I can put off my natural man and become more spiritually minded. We must be diligent so that when we are there on judgement day we can be guiltless and blameless (two words i hope so badly i can be that day) before God and we can answered to him "I was diligent in all my callings and in reading the scriptures, in my temple worship, in my service to other children of God". I hope we all can say that on that day. I love this missionary work. Please pray for me so I can work with all diligence. I love you all!

I forgot to talk about my investigators! They are all doing great. We are excited about the progress they are making!! I will tell you more next week!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

An honor to teach him

Well this week has been another good one. I can not believe its the 7th of August. Time runs through my hands like sand. It is crazy. Elder Coburn and I are having such a good time. We joke around a lot and just have fun. We are trying to teach everyone we see and we will see success from it, I know that. The investigator that is having trouble with coming to church didn't come on Sunday. It was really heart breaking. I called her and she took a spill and was really sore. I felt really bad and was down on life but it was okay. Everything happens for a reason. We didn't have any other investigators come to church. It was a bit frustrating, but again everything does happen for a reason. I hope and know that as we involve the Lord more in our life we will see an abundance of blessings.

We had ZLC on Friday. It was a good one. I learned so much. Something that the spirit really was whispering to me was that we need to be more grateful for the commandments we have been blessed with. Often we look at commandments as just something we are supposed to do, but as we do it with a willing heart and with a grateful attitude we will receive so many more blessings from our loving Heavenly Father.

So "Mike's" [name change] story is a really interesting one. I love this guy so much. We were actually supposed to meet with him this morning but he wasn't home. His wife was baptized about five years ago and he wasn't interested in joining until about three months ago. And he has very little Christian background so it has been really interesting helping him build his faith in Jesus Christ. Most of the people I have taught have had that solid testimony that Jesus Christ is their Savior and Redeemer but "Mike" knew very little about it. It has been such an honor to teach him. I love that man.

I have been pondering the 3 disciples out of the 12 in the Book Of Mormon that decided to stay on the earth and help build up the Kingdom of God. What a decision that must have been. They probably had a good knowledge of what heaven would be like and how it would feel but they decided to forego that and stay on the earth and help bring others to Christ. What a sacrifice. I feel humbled to see their example and it often makes me ask, "Do I have that dedication to the Gospel and building God's Kingdom?" I hope I have that faith and determination to serve and follow Christ.

We have half mission conference on the 23rd with Elder Cardon from the Quorum of the Seventy. I can't wait to see all my buddies and a servant of the Lord. It will be such a revelatory experience. I will make sure to let you know how it goes.

So I love you all very much. Thank you for you prayers and everything you do for me.
Elder Simons
This is a little message from Sister Jackson ( the one who gives your son candy when he visits the office)  Your son is great!  He is a hard working missionary who is loved by all.  Thank you for sharing him with the California Roseville Mission.  We are extremely proud of our fine missionaries and your son is one of the best.  Sister Jackson

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Baptisms and a new companion

[Editor's note: You may notice that I try to omit the names of the investigators and new baptisms... Those of us who are doing missionary blogs have been told that there are some crazy, mean people out there who read these types of blogs, and then try to find those who are investigating the gospel or newly baptized and harass them with anti-Mormon garbage. Whether that really does happen, I'm not sure, but I think I will try to keep things on the safe side! :)]

What a week, what a week. It was such a blur. One of the most rewarding weeks of my mission though. I truly have been humbled by the Lord. We were able to have the 2 baptisms we hoped for. They were amazing. I did get to see Sister Farr from the Sacramento Mission. That was really awesome!! She is doing great. 

So first we had the baptism of the [girl from the young adult ward] and I was super nervous for that one, let me tell ya. But it was fine and I didn't hit her head on the font. So that was good. 

Then we had Mike's [name changed] baptism. Man I love that guy. He is so cool!! He is truly humble and a wonderful man. We have seen huge changes in him.


I love this gospel. It truly changes people for the better. I have seen it many times on my mission, in my life and in others. Elder Ellsworth is getting transferred. Well technically as of right now he is gone. He got transferred across the freeway so he is just like 15 minutes away. I will miss him. We had a lot of fun while working hard together. I'm excited for my new companion too. Elder Coburn is such a good missionary. I love that kid. He is from Murray Utah. He has been out for 1 transfer less then me. We are going to work our hardest and I have no doubt that the Lord will truly bless us. He has before and He will again. We have an investigator that is amazing. She knows this church is true. She is just afraid to come to church. Every time we bring it up she says she will come when she is ready. I'm confused with her. She did come to a chapel tour we were having and loved it and totally felt the spirit!! How can we get this wonderful daughter of God to church?? We are meeting with her tonight. I'm not sure what we are going to share, but I will find out soon. Every companionship in the zone was changed except one of them. It was crazy, I'm excited for the change. We are going to have a wonderful transfer.

Being in Antelope, I am like 2 minutes from the mission office and I get to go there like every other day. I have gotten so close the office couples! They are amazing, they are so nice to us elders and without them our mission would fall apart. They do so much.

This has been the fastest six weeks of my life. I can't believe I only have 7 transfers left. Is that a scary thought to me? Yes. It terrifies me. But all I can do now, is put my head down and press onward! I love you all so much. I hope you have a wonderful day. Continue to read your scriptures. This is where we find true happiness. Again i love you and think and pray about all of you a lot!

A letter from Sacramento

[Editor's note: I got this note in the mail on Monday...]

Hi Sister Simons!
I am in one of the wards your son is currently serving in here in California. I would just like to say you have raised an amazing missionary. He has such a bright spirit and sweet personality, but I think the best thing about him is his love for this gospel. I've had the chance to work with him in our ward missionary effort and every lesson he has definitely touched and enlightened the people. Especially my best friend who he will be baptizing this weekend! What I am most grateful for though is the effect he has had on my parents. My parents are not members, and are currently investigating the church. Elder Simons has only truly taught one lesson with my parents, but he has found his way into my parents' hearts. His presence in our house has changed the whole atmosphere. My parents are now very interested in being baptized and scripture study. They always volunteer to let Elder Simons and Elder Ellsworth teach lessons here. He truly has an amazing testimony and I feel so blessed to be able to be around such a great missionary. Thank you for sacrificing time with your son so he could change as many lives as he has thus far. You should be truly proud to be his mother.

Monday, July 30, 2012

An "Elder Simons sighting" in Sacramento

[Editor's note: We received an email from a sister in our ward who is serving in the Sacramento Mission. She  wrote the following in her blog about seeing Elder Simons at a baptism...]

Sister Farr and Elder Simons

"I was invited to a baptism today of a young woman who had began investigating the Church with a friend in the Roseville mission.  She decided to be baptized and to attend in her own Young Singles branch in our mission, so she finished her lessons with our office elders.

When I arrived at the baptism I discovered, to my delight, that she was being baptized by Elder Wilson Simons, of the Roseville Mission, and formerly of Corner Canyon 5th Ward!  I can report firsthand that he looks great, performed without a hitch, and is thoroughly enjoying his mission.

His companion is from Orem, Utah, and the Bishop of the Young Singles Ward is related to the Smiths in Draper.  I tell you, the Church is a close-knit family."

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Someone somewhere whispers a prayer for me

I appreciate that email mom. Thank you for your love and your prayers. I feel them strengthen me when I feel like I have no energy to endure. I feel sometimes that when I have no power or motivation to get up and do the Lord's work that someone somewhere whispers a prayer for me and our Heavenly Father gives me the desire needed and I get up and can go do my work. I would not be able to serve this mission without the people back home standing behind me. I love you all and thank you.

This week has humbled me to the depths of my heart. We had to "pass off" the young adult girl on Saturday and that was one of the hardest moments on my mission. But the Lord never leaves us feeling like we didn't get the best out of a situation, and she asked if I would baptize her. I felt so honored. I'm so excited. 

We found another golden investigator on Sunday. I really feel like it was the Lord blessing us for giving up our other one willingly. I'm excited about this new investigator and the potential he has. 

We taught these two foreign Exchanges students from China and I had the chance to teach them about Jesus Christ whom they had heard of before. We gave them Book Of Mormons. Man it made me really sad that there are people in the world who don't know Christ. And who probably never will. But I ponder on the Plan Of Salvation and I realize they will have a chance to hear and accept this Gospel. I love that Plan and know its true.

So we have Zone Leader Council the very first Friday of the month. And then we train our individual zones the Tuesday after. We have stake coorelation the third Sunday of every month. I love these meetings because I feel the spirit teaching me new things about how I can become a better missionary and maginify my calling better. I love this work. Its not my work though, its the Lord's. I feel honored to be able to help him in such a wonderful way. So many blessings I have received where I felt undeserving. I love the Lord. I love my mission. Again thank you for your prayers. I love you all!

OH and a mini missionary stays with us for about 3 days and lives with us and sleeps in our home. We had a lot of fun with this one this time. When he came he wasn't sure if he was going to go, but the last thing he said to me was that he was going to go. What a neat experience! I love you!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

This church is pure and real

Hey mom!!

Well this week has been interesting!! So first ZLC last week. We have all the zone leaders in the mission and the assistants there. And we talk about policies and then we hear from President and Sister Weston. We got an email from Salt Lake (well President did) that says after every ZLC the zone leaders have to give a three hour training meeting, on what we have learned at ZLC. So I might have mentioned this last week but we were so underprepared!! But the Lord made all the difference and totally took control of our meeting and taught very well through us. I hope all the missionaries in the Zone got edified and enlightened. There are 8 elders 4 sisters and 1 senior couple. I love this zone so much. They are all such great examples to me.

Life is so much like a blur its crazy. I feel like it was yesterday that I hit my year mark, and I feel like it was like a week ago that I left the MTC to fly out here. Its crazy.

So this week we had stake correlation. That is where Elder Ellsworth, Me, the stake presidency, President Weston all come together and talk about the work in the stake. I have learned so much about priesthood leadership from this meeting. I love that I get this wonderful humbling opportunity to work so close with these leaders. They are teaching me so much just from their good examples. We are really trying our hardest to train the ward councils to just focus on the ward mission process and help them be more missionary minded. I got to sit next to President, and I just know that he is called of God. Everything that he says I feel the spirit confirm to me that it is true. I love that man. I look up to him so much. He is such a man!!

So I don't know if I told you much about Alicia (YSA girl). She accepted a baptismal date the first real lesson we had with her. She is so sharp and totally picks up the doctrine and runs with it. But she doesn't live in our mission :( So we have to pass her on. But I think we still can go to it. But we were asking President if we could teach her and baptize her but he totally explained and taught us about stewardship and how we can't receive revelation for her and the bishop can't either because she isn't under our stewardship and all this cool stuff. He doesn't miss a chance to teach us. He is amazing.

The Lord is real. He lives. He is amazing. I know that this church is pure and real and has the priesthood which is essential for anyone's salvation. I love you all!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I love this work

This week felt really long and short at the same time. It was weird. It was good not to have as much drama in the zone as last week. We had a ton of lessons fall through though. It was extremely frustrating. But I know that we are working our hardest, and I know we will be blessed for that. Some of our investigators are progressing very well and some are not. I wish I could do the commitments we leave with them, for them. But I can't. That is in complete opposition to God's plan. They need to do it for themselves. As I learn more about God's plan for His other children I realize more about my own. When I get frustrated with my investigators for not doing the things they commited to do, I think more about how my Heavenly Father feels when I don't do what I know I should be doing. It is interesting how God works. 

We were going to have a baptism this Satruday, but he is not ready. which is so sad. I hope we can baptize him before I get transferred. We are teaching so many great people. 

We had ZLC on Friday. It was great to see all my buddies. We learned so much from President. I love that man, and I know that he is called of God. I truly have a testimony that he receives revelation for us and the mission. I love it. 

Speaking of revelation, I was asked to give a talk on Revelation, on Saturday for a talk like 12 hours later in the YSA ward. It went well I thought. I kept telling the girl before me to talk for like 18 minutes so I could just bear my testimony for like three minutes and leave, but she ended up taking 9 minutes and I also remembered that the YSA beginning part including the sacrament takes 10 minutes. So I was left with...25 minutes. I was not too excited because I only prepared a talk for 15 minutes. But somehow it worked out. Hopefully it sounded not too scatterbrained. But I learned a lot from preparing. 

Anyway I love this work. I'm so thankful I'm on a misson!! I love it!!