Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I love the temple!

Hey mom and dad!
Thats crazy that you talked to sister pratt! That is really fun, though. That is exciting stuff. And i could not have done any of those things without the Lord's help. I truly can testify that i received personal revelation for each of those situations and people and many more daily. I feel so blessed to be able to talk and converse with Our Heavenly Father. How lucky we are. How lucky and blessed i am.

This week went alright. The temple was for sure the highpoint. The temple is truly the house of God. You can not walk into that holy place and deny there is a God or that Jesus is His Son. The Sacramento temple is beautiful (well i guess they all are) but i loved being inside with some of the people i have gotten closest to while i have been out. I loved being in the Celestial room. I love how much synbolism is in the temple. I love it all. I can't wait to go back.

Anyway...So we confirmed the date for the baptism for the 18th of Feb.  How exciting, i know! I can't wait. She is so cool i love just talking to her about her life story and she came to church yesterday so that was really nice. We also have started teaching this 16 year old girl who already knows this whole church is true and everything but her parents will not let her get baptized. Her dad is really really anti.  He thinks that the church takes away people's freedom. He wants his daughter to be able to have tried drugs and alcohol and everything that goes along with it so she can build her own morals and values. But she is like "well i already decided against that stuff long before i heard about the church". So we are praying really hard for her and for her parents' hearts to be softened. We must put our trust in Heavenly Father.

Other then that, i went on an exchange this week with Elder Funk. it was really nice to be with him. He is a younger elder and he is a great missionary. I love exchanges because i get to learn about other missionaries' styles of doing work. It is neat.

We are trying to find more investigators. The ward needs it.  Hopefully we can deliver. Roseville is growing on me. My nose has been going insane though because i'm not used to all this pollution. I have been in Gridley where there is like no pollution. But i will get better!

Again i love the Lord and i love serving Him for twenty four hours a day for two years. How lucky am i?

Anyway i love you all and i better go.
Elder Simons

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

He knows

So i had an email and it got deleted. but thats okay.

Some people from the Gridley Ward are going to the temple this Wednesday for their temple endownment and i'm going too. I'm so pumped! I can't believe i get to go to the temple again.  I miss it so much. Being in the temple brings so much peace. I cant wait!!! Also we may go to Cheescake Factory after :)

For this week though we picked up three new investigators. One of them is a dad of a family and he has gone to church faithfully longer then i have had the priesthood. And he pays tithing. He does everything he just isnt baptized yet! So we are working with him. He has some for sure potential.

We got a refferral from the sister up in Yuba City about a woman who they have been teaching and she moved down pretty close to where we live. She is ready to be baptized, we just need to go over a couple things and i think she will be baptized on the 18th. Talk about tender mercies of the Lord. What a blessing this girl is. I can just see in the future, her husband getting baptized and they get sealed in the temple and i get to be there for it. How great would that be? 

The other investigator has been investigating for about three years. I think she is ready now. She wants to understand the role of the prophet more. Which is like a relief. i can teach that doctrine.  I'm glad its not something huge. But with the Lord all things are possible so what am i saying?

This week has been an interesting one. In some ways i feel like i'm failing right now, but when i get down on my knees the Lord reassures me that He is pleased with me. And that He knows i'm doing all i can to build up His kingdom. I know that the more i show the love for the work and people the more i will be blessed. I just want to earn blessings for other people... the people i teach and the people at home who are sacrificing for me to be out there.

I love the Lord and i love that i get the eternal blessings of being able to serve. I will give you more updates next week.
Have a great week!

Monday, January 16, 2012

I love the gospel!

Hey mom and dad,

This week has been very interesting. I love this work, but the problem has been getting to it, unfortunately.

This week has been a week of about 153643 excuses not to go out and work. it has been a challenging week. In some ways i feel like i'm going through the refiners fire. In the Bible dictionary it says refiner means " A man who separates the precious metals from the dross" with which in nature they are usually found mixed. Part of the process consists in the application of great heat, in order to bring the mass into a fluid state, hence the term “refiner’s fire.” Christ is the great "Refiner" I feel like Jesus is trying to put me through a bit of test to see if my faith holds up and i stay obedient to the commandments and covenants i have made. So far im doing alright and i hope to win the battle!

Our only investigator was an eastern indian man and he was sooo promising! He
had a baptismal date for Feb fourth that we set like the second day i was here. But for some reason he called us and said he wasn't interested and didn't want to read out of the Book of Mormon anymore, but just the bible. It is interesting how many different ways the heart can be broken. But we need to remember and me most of all that the Atonement was performed by our Savior not to heal the whole hearts but the broken. I love the Psalm 147:3 "He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds". It just really is quite powerful to me. Jesus the Christ is so powerful. He can do all things and through him we can do all things too if we are faithful and obedient.

In our apartment its just me and my companion. So its okay to send stuff straight to our apt. Interviews with president went great. I love that guy. He is so sharp and he knows what's going on. We set a mission goal of 600 baptisms this year and i think we can get it. We got 484 last year. So pray for that goal for us in CRM, will ya?
And P-day's here are just straight basketball. I love it! Its so nice. But i'm so tired after! But thats okay its so worth it!

I love helping and learning from my district. We have some of the best elders in the mission. The interesting thing about being in some form of leadership is you have to be perfect. Especially in this young district. Their eyes are always on you so you have to be doing everything right, which has overall been a blessing to me because it makes me better. The lord truly does bless us in interesting ways!

Thats wonderful that you got a letter from Bill and Joann. They mean so much to me. I hope you one day get to meet them. They were so funny!

Anyway! I better go. If there is anything i can do for anyone let me know. Oh also! I'm in Shawn Goff's cousin's ward. I didn't get a chance to ask him his name but its such a small world! But it was neat to talk to him. He went to Alta in 92 so that was sweet.

Its so weird that i will hit eight months on Wednesday. I feel like i have been out for a week. I still have so much to do in such a little amount of time!
Tell Grandma i love her and i will just start praying harder for her. She is often in my prayers. I love her so much. And that is so cool about Dad and Ron going and using their priesthood. What a blessing it is to have that restored priesthood. I love the gospel!
Love Elder Simons!

New area: Roseville 9th Ward!

[Editor's Note: We have been out of town, so this is last week's letter, posted a week late!]

Hey mom!
This week has been crazy. I really like Roseville. But it is very different from Gridley. I miss Gridley a ton but what do you do?

My companion is Elder Shock.  My new apartment is really nice.  Its a lot better than the one in Gridley, but it was really, really messy when i got here so i got it all cleaned up nice and good looking. So we are back on the road.

My comp is from Cushing Oklahoma.  So thats crazy. I have only had one comp from Utah. How weird is that?  I know. Very weird. He has been out for 17 months. We get a long great. He makes me laugh because he is really sarcastic to everything in the world. Its a really interesting sense of humor.

Elder Simons & new companion, Elder Shock
Bill's baptism went great. That was such a much needed blessing for their home and also for me. I wish i could be there to help teach the new member lessons to him, but oh well.
Elder Leone is really such a great friend. We got so close serving 4 transfers together. He is now a ZL in Rocklin. So that is cool. I'm excited for him. We had some great times.

The Lord has called me to something that i wasn't ready for. Being a district leader. I have five other elders in my districts that are amazing missionaries. The best in the mission if you will and i have been called to be their leader. I feel under qualified. But i know as i give my 100% and my best the Lord will help me out tremendously. He already has for district meeting this week.

I love the Lord and the many blessings He pours down upon me. When i am having a hard time with life i just recall all the blessings and i am filled with joy.

The ward i'm serving in is the Roseville Ninth ward. Its a great ward.  Very young ward. We picked up an investigator this week and set a baptismal date with him the first lesson for Feb fourth. He came to church this week and loved it. I can't wait to see more of his progression in the gospel. i feel he is a "golden investigator" so that is really exciting. He knows he needs to quit smoking to become a Mormon so he bought all these patches and stuff so hopefully they work :)

Well have a great week wherever the heck you are! (you didnt really tell me!) Pray always!

Love Elder Simons

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Baptism and changing lives

Hey mom and dad,
What a week, what a week! So we had a lesson with Bill on Wednesday to get him all prepped. That went great, then i went on exchanges with Elder Leone and we went in his ward. So that was sweet. Then on Saturday we baptized Bill! It was so great!!! It went so well! I love that guy. He was so happy, i was too. I never have felt so much happiness in my life. That is so weird. My happiness has totally changed in seven months. I used to get my happiness on completely other stuff, now its other peoples' salvation. I love this work. It has truly changed my life. I love that i get to help people change their lives! Its been such a blessing.

Elder Simons, Bill, Elder Buhler
 We then confirmed Bill a member of the church on sSunday. What a neat experience. Again i love this man. I'm so proud of him and everything he has done to change his life. I am glad i had the chance to watch him change his life. What a  blessing.
So we were supposed to get the transfer calls on Saturday night but instead we got them on Sunday night. And the call was....Elder Buhler........is staying! and I'm.......going to Roseville ninth ward!!! As a district leader! Holy cow, right? I'm really nervous. But one of my buddies is a zone leader there so that will be sweet! My new companion is Elder Shock. I'm excited to be with him. I hope i can help and serve him in any way he needs me. I guess the apartment is really nice, so I'm excited to get out of ours but i will for sure miss Gridley. I don't know what I'm going to do without the ward members here. I will miss them so much. But i know change is good.
I decided I'm going to make a couple goals because I'm being transferred and there are many things I need to diligently work on. But the one i want to work on most is loving the people i serve with. The other missionaries. I love all of them but that isn't really enough. I need to show Christ-like love, maybe not washing their feet but serving them as much as i can. So you can check on me in a couple months to see how I'm doing. This Christ-like attribute is really important for so many reasons. Christ showed the ultimate example of love by atoning for us. To save us. He loves us so much. Seek out in the scrips and the words of prophets to find out about this love. It will change lives. Christ changes lives. He changed mine.
Love you!