Monday, March 26, 2012

A week of miracles

That was a good email mom, thanks.

This week has been a week a miracles. Miracles that are making me tear up as i type. First of all on Thursday we were street contacting and there was this girl, who looked like she had been through a thing or two and had piercings and all kinds of crazy stuff. So we ALMOST didn't go talk to her, but the spirit, prompted me to "go up right now and talk to her". So we did and did a street contacting schpeel and she said "well...I'm a member". (I was like "interesting...your name isn't on our records", but you can't just say that to anyone that is way creepy) So we had a great conversation and we got pretty deep into her life and we were discerning from the spirit what she needed to hear. The Lord had truly prepared her in the weeks prior to Thursday. Two days before she felt like finding her scriptures and reading the Book of Mormon. And she hasn't prayed in years but she prayed after she read. I bore testimony to her that the Holy Ghost which she received at baptism prompted her to do those things, which meant she still had a testimony of the Church. I believe that is exactly what she needed to hear. She started to tear up. I truly felt like i wasn't saying anything, but the Lord was directing my mouth to say things to her. It was a miracle. 

Another one was Friday night we had dinner with this family and the parents asked for blessings because they both in the past two years finished with ugly divorces so they have been struggling from that and with some health issues. So we said yes but we had to go visit someone and we would be back in like twenty minutes. I told Rasmussen as we got out that I'm glad we have time to think about what we are going to say. And we kept walking to the man's house we were going to visit, and I was thinking about that comment really hard, thinking "Did I really just say that? Do I really credit myself for when I give blessings? All that I have to do with it is that I'm the voice. I'm not the dictator of what the blessing consists of, but I just voice it." So for the twenty minutes we had to walk (the man wasn't home.. oh well) around I was just praying for the spirit. Not for things to say. But in aligning my will with the with Lord's. If I just thought of some great things to say that would be my will. And it would be pointless, but as I changed my will to the Lord's will I felt an abudance of the spirit fall into my mind. I received revelation of what she was going through (oh and fyi at this time I had NO idea I would be the one giving her a blessing as opposed to her husband) and what she needed and I knew that when I layed my hands upon her head I would be given everything that I needed to say. So we go back to their house and she sits down and she is says "I don't know who should perform the blessing" and all I say is "What is the spirit telling you?" And of course I had a feeling, but she chose me. And I have never before felt the spirit take over in a blessing more than when I gave voice on Friday night. I learned from the spirit. I ended the blessing and she looks up to me (teary eyed) and says "How did you know all of that?" I was like (teary eyed) "I didn't, that was all the spirit. I had nothing to do with it." That was a miracle because I think that blessing helped her out. 

The next miracle! So our young investigator's parents are letting her be baptized!! April 14th!! And they also are letting us come over to their house to read the BOM!! And these were the parents who were super 'anti' like in January. When i think about how much the Lord has softened their hearts it makes me want to weep. I can't thank the Lord enough. This week has been truly amazing. 

Oh by the way I get to stay another 6 weeks in Roseville. Its weird to think that after this transfer I will be ten days from hitting my year mark. So weird!!! I love life! I love you all!! Have a great week!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Obedience will bring results

Thanks for the email mom! Its been a great week! It has gone by sooo fast!

The meeting with President and the other Leaders in the southern parts of the mission was incredible. President is really trying to push the principle of obedience. I love it. Obedience will bring results. It will bring blessings. The Lord is bound when we do what He asks.

I forgot to talk about meeting with Elder Perry.  It was crazy! I loved it. He talked a lot about what he was going to talk to the bishops about with missionary work and so forth. It was quite a bit shorter then i thought it would be. But thats okay. He taught about the priesthood and how it is necessary for Christ's true church to be on the earth today. He said quite a bit of things i wish i had my notes for you guys to look at.

But anyway this week was great. Didn't set the baptismal dates we wanted to, but we are hoping to do that this week. Maybe we will even get one tonight. I hope so. The seventeen year old (that we are teaching) her parents' hearts are truly being softened. I think we will be able to soon go over and read with her at her house. She just has to finish the Book of Mormon and then she can be baptized!!! We are trying to power through it.

I love the Book of Mormon. It is true. I love that i get a time set a part each day to read from its true pages. I hope i will continue studying from it daily and encourage everyone to do the same.

All of the other investigators are still just plugging along. I love teaching them and sometimes i go away thinking they have taught me more then i have taught them!

Its cold here! Especially on a bike. But when times get tough i think of the Savior laying down His life for me in the Garden of Gethsemane. What an amazing example we have. We are very blessed!

I love you guys so much. I hope you are all doing so well. Not much has happened.  Is there anything i can do for you guys? Let me know.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Photos from Roseville

We received these photos with this week's email. I'm pretty sure they're from zone conference. Elder Bowerman was Elder Simons' companion in the MTC, and Elder Buhler was Elder Simons' companion in Gridley.  Doesn't he look great!?
Elder Simons and Elder Bowerman

Elder Buhler and Elder Simons

Amazingly blessed

OH my gosh oh my gosh. What a great week. We have been amazingly blessed this week. We are at like seven investigators right now!!! I feel i have had nothing to do with it really. It seems like the Lord is just placing these amazing prepared people in my lap. The only thing i have done really is prayed for this and sought guidance for these people that they will be led to us and worked the hardest i ever have on my mission. The Lord is blessing us so much. I can't believe it.
The referral we got last week, we had a lesson with her and she is amazing. She loved it. She knows a bit about the church and as she calls it "the rules" but she was like "okay well i will have to give up coffee and other than that i will be good". So she has a desire to be baptized. That makes it soooo much easier. When the person we teach knows that one of the goals of us is to take them and get them baptized and confirmed it makes teaching have a focus. Its nice. But of course baptism is not the end goal. After baptism and confirmation we work as hard as we can to get them to the temple. So they remain active and one day can live with their Father again.
We also have had some luck on setting up appointments for next week with an 11 year old kid who is pretty shy and comes to church with his step mom and now finally after a bunch of stuff he has accepted the invitation to meet with us. I heard about him the day i got into this area and i think i have prayed for him since day one. The work in this ward is amazing! And a man at church came up to us and said "hey my son has been fellowshiping his friend and now he wants to be baptized do you want to teach him?" hmmm let me think about that one....YES!!! See what i mean about not doing anything?? yeah im working hard tracting and stuff but these awesome people in the Roseville Ninth Ward are doing their missionary work. I love it!! Baptisms will come. My personal goal is to have 4 baptisms before May 1st.
So our 17 year old investigator is still so awesome. She is reading and understanding everything. We asked her to pray about the date April 14th to be baptized and then if she got her answer she would straight up ask her dad very specifically if she could be baptized then. We asked her to do that Friday and said we would talk about it Sunday. So yesterday she said she had prayed and hadn't gotten her answer yet but she will continue. In all my prayers after that i was praying that she would get her answer. And this morning at like 7 she texted us and said "i think i got my answer"!! I was like "Really??"  And she was like "yeah i will call you after school"!! with a smiley face. So hopefully its a yes (which i know it will be) but i keep looking down at my phone waiting for her to call haha.
With our other investigator who's family is all members except him and he has been going to church and paying his tithing longer then i have had the priesthood, we talked about the life of Christ out of chapter 11 in Gospel Principles and when we got to Jesus Christ was Baptized we discussed it and invited him as servants of the Lord to follow Jesus Christ and be baptized. He first said still not ready but we pressed it a bit more. I was bold but i knew the spirit was in accord so i continued and we told him we prayed and fasted about him to be baptized also on April 14th. He felt the spirit. I can testify of that. I know he did. But he said he will still have to do some thinking on it. But that is progress.
So last week i was fasting that God would grant us to have more success in the area. I will let you be the judge if God answers prayers. I am here to testify though that he does. This work is far more important than anyone out here can imagine. Crazily more important than i can even begin to comprehend. But as we do our best to realize what we have, our desire to spread this gospel will increase. I have a testimony of this work. I do. My mission is too short. I am hitting ten months in six days. I do not want to go into the double digits in months. It scares me. We are going to give out 15 Book of Mormons this week. We are flooding the earth with this book.
I love you all. Oh one last story!! So we went over to one of my favorite members this week and they had this really good pasta stuff. But it also had some veggies that weren't so delicious if you know what i mean (cough cough onions cough peppers) so my plan was to get a lot of the greens from my salad and cover up the veggies i didnt eat and we will all be good and life would be dandy. But their daughter was like hey!! And im like shhhh! so i switched plates with her while her mom was up serving up dessert. So the mom sat down and was like.... (her name is madison) madison why didn't you have your veggies!! And just kinda goes off on this whole deal about it. And madison is laughing and she is like what!! so the mom figured it wasnt her plate so she looks at my comp's plate which is like sparkling clean because he ate everything. And so she started saying "you traded plates with my daughter??"" I was like oh shoot this is getting weird. But oh well i have my dessert im good. But it ended up that i confessed and i felt so i bad i crunched through my big pile of veggies. They are were laughing. That sure took the sweetness of the dessert out of my mouth.  But good story right? I love you all! Have a good week.

Monday, March 5, 2012

This is exactly what the Lord wants of me

Hey mom,

What a great week! A pretty dang fast one at that! First of all the weather here is golden. Just golden. We caught the storm last week as well. Which was hard but i love going out there and working hard and having the rain beat upon you and just being like "the Lord is pleased with me" and having that knowledge that this is exactly what the Lord wants of me. Nothing else. I love it. But it was still really cold. 

But right now it is about sixty eight degrees and it will probably get up to seventy five today. AKA perfect. The weather right now is supreme. Perfect to go out after dinner and go street contacting and walk around. It is great. Street contacting is fun. A lot of missionaries don't do it, get to meet a lot of cool people. Sure a lot of peeps don't want anything to do with you. But every once in a while you will get a great conversation going and you will hand out a Book of Mormon. I never have given out more Book of Mormons on my mission then i am now. We have given like 16 away in three weeks. Its crazy. So many seeds planted. I love it. But yes the weather is getting great haha.

In Roseville it is a complete bike stake or zone. Except the Zone Leaders who cover the YSA ward and a family ward so they get a car. But down south in the mission most of the missionaries are on bikes. As you go north then more cars come about.

So I forgot to tell you about another investigator! He was taught in another ward and he moved and we just had to finish up his teaching and get him ready for an interview. But man alive what a story. So his son (who is in our ward Roseville 9th) he and his wife joined the church back in the seventies and our investigator wanted nothing to do with it. He was living with his girlfriend and he was until a couple weeks ago. And they were living together for 30 years. And he is 94!!! He totally wanted to marry his girlfriend, but she didn't want to lose her social security so he moved out in an act of faith. What a man. He was pretty hurt but nothing the Lord can't fix. He truly has a testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ. He feels bad he ignored Him for so long. But now he isn't ignoring Him, but praising and worshiping Him. He is such a nice guy. He is hard of hearing. Almost as bad as Bill. But luckily i got some experience in Gridley! Here is a picture. (He loves missionaries so he told all of the missionaries there to join in the pic)

So the young woman who asked her parents ya know? She asked and her dad won't let her be baptized in March. So now we try for April. She amazingly prepared. She went to Young Womens yesterday and for our lesson after church with her she was like the lesson really hit me (the lesson was on honoring father and mothers) and she is like so i called a family council tonight and I'm going to organize a family home evening each Monday night. I was speechless. I was like "wow...when i was seventeen i tried everything i could to avoid FHE". Such a humbling experience to hear her say that. She is awesome though. I hope I'm here to see her baptism or at least can drive from whatever area I'm in next. We got a solid referral from the 2nd ward yesterday and we are hoping to capitalize on that. Hopefully a few baptisms come our way!!

What else? Oh so here is story for you. SO the third ward elders were having some troubles and they were fighting so we went to the stake center because they needed a third party to talk with and stuff so we talked and i realized (through the spirit) that their problem stemmed from not having perfect mornings. So i discussed this with them and they agreed and commited to me that they would have a week of perfect mornings and we would talk again and see how things are going. I know the Lord will bless them for having that perfect morning. I know it. But afterwards we were riding back home and i felt like we should stop by the first ward apartment (and there is an elder who is serving there who is a bit older then normal and i have grown to love this guy like a brother. In fact he reminds me exactly of Robbie. He has such a strong testimony and is mature and they laugh the same way and they have the same facial expressions, its kinda weird actually. OH and weirdly enough they both have the same birthday and year and everything) but i felt like i should leave him a note on his desk so i did. And when i called him last night for numbers, he was like (in a very serious voice) "What led you to writing that note a couple days ago?" I was like "i just felt like i should why?" And he said "that is exactly what i needed. I have been struggling the past couple weeks with some things and that is exactly what i needed. So thank you for listening to the Spirit."  I was speechless. Luckily i wear sunglasses when i take numbers because i was tearing up. I felt so humbled to know that i had helped someone have a better day. I was led by the Lord not really knowing that i was or why and i acted. It was a testimony builder for me. I know God is there watching over us and He knows us more than we know ourselves. This i have a testimony of.

Elder Simons and Elder Rasmussen with Sela

I love you all. Have a great week. I get to see L. Tom Perry. Cant wait.

Love Simons