Tuesday, April 24, 2012

"Where goest thou?"

Thank you so much for the prayers and support, they mean so much to me. I feel the power and influence from them in my daily blessings. This week went by way too fast. I don't really understand how I'm emailing again, it feels like it should be Tuesday of last week and overall it seems like it should be July 2011. I can't believe its April 2012. It just doesn't make sense. Time flies when you are serving the Lord. I cant believe i have been in Roseville for almost four months. AHHH!! 

So i have a cool story, so Elder Rasmussen and I bought sorta cheap baseball gloves today because we needed one for P-day today and also life just seems to require a baseball glove. So we were passing the ball a bit this morning and this guy came up to us and started talking to us and telling us to guess his age. And of course we under-guessed not to hurt his feelings but anyway anyway we had a great conversation about church and God and set up a return appt and are going back on Saturday!! This guy was sweet! I see some potential in him. We have been searching for a new investigator and one just walked up to us. What a blessing and miracle. Other then that though we haven't been able to find any others but the Lord teaches us patience in funny ways. 

Elder Cordova of the Seventy came to the Roseville stake conference. It was awesome. I just want to share some stuff he said. First a scrip in Genesis chapter 3 verse 9 "And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, "Where art thou?" (this is when the Lord comes to the Garden of Eden and is seeking Adam, but he is hiding... we all know the story) So Elder Cordova said "where are we now? Where are we standing? In holy places? Where is our spiritual level at now?" The next scripture is in Moses, 4:15 "And I, the Lord God, called unto Adam, and said unto him: "Where agoest thou?" (same situation as the one in Genesis) But here the Lord is asking us where we are going. What are we going to do to further build up the kingdom of God and build our personal testimonies? What are we going to do because of where we were? Are we moving forward? I thought that that was a great thought -- we need to always be improving, going someplace better. When i think where i have been spiritually, or really in any other aspect, when i started my mission to where i am now, it is a huge difference. I can testify that it was because of the enabling power of the Atonement. The only way to move forward is through and by the Atonement. I know that to be true.

We had dinner with our recent convert's parents and it was awesome!! They made some really good pasta. And after we had a nice talk about relegion with her mom and what she believed in. And how she felt when she read some of the Book of Mormon. I told the daughter that her mom is going to be baptized. I really think she will. It will take some time though. And like all good things, it takes time. And i will take it back to Elder Cordova's message. Her mom is at this point, at point a, and i have no doubt that through Jesus Christ and His Perfect Atonement she can reach point B, C, D, E, and F if she really wants to. There are no limits! How blessed we are to be able to use the Atonement as baptized members of this restored gospel.

Its been hot!! Really hot! I dont think my body is used to it yet. But man i have been sweating like a mad man. But people seem to have more pity on us and give us water here and there so that's nice. Not too much has happened. Our older investigator hasn't set a date yet for his baptism, but we are hoping to do that soon. But I'm loving life!! I love my mission.

Elder Simons!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

April baptism

Hey mom and dad!!

The baptism was so great!!! Both of her parents came and seemed to enjoy it. What a miracle that they came. 

Elder Rasmussen & Elder Simons at baptism

I still can't really believe it. I'm so thankful. And we have dinner with them tomorrow. So that's even more of a miracle. Hopefully we can spark some interest in them so they want to hear more of the Savior's message. It was just a great week overall. It went by really fast. But i really can't explain my feelings concerning her baptism. There are no words adequate. No definitions that would satisfy the pure feelings i have about this baptism and situation. It was a miracle. Her parents have had a complete 180 change of heart. And people think there is no God. 

If anyone says there is no God, I say come follow me for one day and you will see the Lord guide us to who needs to be taught, and watch the Lord put us in the right place so that someone who is looking for us comes and talks to us. If someone says there is no God it makes me speechless. How sad. We tracted into this house this week and we met a scientist. Oh what joy filled my heart. Not. So I have bashed with several scientists on my mission (they like to bash and when the days get long and it gets hot out there and i get frustrated i like to bash too) and basically they believe in nothing. They just pretend with fancy words (like a man in the Book of Mormon named Amalickiah). But yeah my conclusion on them is they believe in nothing because it is easier. But she asked and asked how i could prove God, and i told her many instances where God was evident in my life but she would just toss that fact away and ask for another one. So frustrating, while i walked away i was mad at her. But as i pondered more and listened to the spirit's whisperings i realized that its not her that i should mad at. Its satan. He is the one that has twisted her and her scientist friend club minds so they believe this foolishness and false doctrine. He is the father of lies. He desires to sift us as wheat, he wants us to be miserable like himself (lines from the BOM), but another line i found interesting is "...because they did yield themselves unto the power of Satan" Yeah their brains have been twisted and bent and destroyed to believe that there is no God. But at some point in their lives they let the power and will of Satan go before the Will of the Father. And that crushes me. How grateful i am that these people will have a second chance. But they still will have to accept the doctrine of Christ and i hope they can do that. 

Anyway sorry i just went off on a big tangent. So we haven't set a date with our other investigator but he did say he wants to be baptized before June so that is sweet. I hope he gets baptized before i leave. We did a lot of tracting this week. Met some pretty cool people. Didn't pick up any new investigators but i know that the Lord is preparing people as i type this email. I know that and i can testify of that as well. 

Thank you for you prayers. I feel the power of them everyday out here. I appreciate them and always will. I pray for you as well. I love this work. I feel lost in it. In a good way. I have lost myself in the work and I'm happier than ever and i feel like i know my purpose more than ever. I'm so thankful for that. Interviews with  President are this week!

Elder Simons
I love you!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What shall we eat?

Hey mom and dad!

What a beautiful day we had yesterday! I love that we have holidays that are solely dedicated to our Lord and Savior. I love Easter and the meaning behind it. 

So we didn't have dinners this whole week which kinda stinked but oh well and my credit card that the mission gives us somehow got hacked on to and we got that cancelled and I'm waiting on another one. So basically what I'm trying to say is I ran out of food this week. Which was interesting. I feel like i lost some weight. Then i got my package. Full of nothing but candy. So all the weight i might have lost was gained back by Peep-mania. So thank you for the package!! It was perfect timing. I wonder how I'm going to get groceries today but I'm really going to take the Savior's request literally: "Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father aknoweth that ye have need of all these things.33 aBut bseek ye first the ckingdom of God, and his drighteousness; and all these ethings shall be fadded unto you."  So we will see how that goes.

So our baptism for this weekend got cancelled on Friday night. Her dad said no. So that put a major damper on things. But I knew that the Lord was just testing our faith. I prayed harder than I have ever prayed. I pleaded my case with the Lord and i listened and i felt through the feelings of the spirit that everything was going to be okay. Saturday night before going to bed we got a call from the investigator, and she said her dad said yes. (and remember this guy is like...anti-mormon to the extreme) I was so humbled. In a way that i never thought was possible. I felt joy that i had only felt a few times before on my mission when an investigator says something that is an answer to a prayer. Like "yes" to a baptism or in this case "yes my dad is letting me be baptized". I was so happy. I could barely sleep. So the baptism is happening this Saturday. I can't wait. I feel like i don't deserve these blessings. But i won't complain that I'm getting them. 

We weren't able to pick up any new investigators. Which kinda stinks. But thats okay. Its interesting because everything can be going wrong and one right thing can be going on (the baptism) and its totally fine. I love my mission. I wish i could press the pause button though. Its going too fast. Like unfairly fast. 

So some pictures for you. One with me and Rasmussen:

and another with me and Elder Frank:

And the one with the kids is from Easter yesterday:

They are my favorite kids in the world. I love their family. They were awesome to take us in on Easter. This ward is amazing. But i feel I'm being transferred in May. I hope not.

I'm glad everything back home is all good and fine. I love you all. Have a good week. I can't believe its April!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Conference was amazing!

Hey Mom and Dad!

Conference was amazing!!! I loved Jeffrey R Holland's talk! If that doesn't make you stop and think then I don't know what will! I love the fire and brimstone talks, with a bit of love intertwined! What a spirit that was there! Conference super charges me to want to go and baptize everyone in Roseville. I also loved Richard G. Scott, the master of Personal Revelation talks. It was great, unfortunately i can't quote anything for you but i do want to share (and i feel prompted to do so) a quote from a previous talk of his: "I witness that as you gain experience and success in being guided by the Spirit, your confidence in the impressions you feel can become more certain than your dependence on what you see or hear". How amazing!! What a statement given to us from an apostle of the Lord. When we master for ourselves the principle of Personal Revelation (which is essential to getting into the Celestial Kingdom), we will hear and feel and know what the spirit is wanting us to know stronger and more powerful than what we see with our eyes, or our ears. How amazing. How simple. I noticed that in a few of the prayers people mentioned how they were grateful for what they felt. Not what they saw. I'm not saying its not wonderful to see the prophet and the beautiful choir, but what did we feel? What was the spirit whispering to us? There are a million and one lessons we could have learned from conference but the most important lesson learned is the one learned through and by the Holy Ghost. Conference was wonderful. Mom that talk from Neil L. Andersen was brilliant. How about that child singing "I'm a Child of God"? Man I was tearing up like a baby! Just re-testifies to me the power of becoming as a little child. What trust that child had! I can't believe it. 

This week went by so fast! I can't believe it. Oh funny story, we were tracting and we accidentally knocked into a member's house (they just moved in) and they invited us in and gave us See's Chocolate. It was like a little taste of home. Then that night another one of our members made the exact same recipe of Texas Cake that mom makes. I was like "what the heck?" It was great though. We did a lot of tracting this week, not the most successful week in that way but the Lord came through for us, as He always does and put in our path 2 new investigators. They are sweet and we are meeting with one of them tonight and another one of them next week. I'm excited for both of them. 

Our seventeen year investigator is still doing awesome. We are going over to her house tomorrow. I don't know if i have told you of how much of a miracle that is but its a huge one! Her parents are truly having their hearts softened. It is amazing how the Lord works. Everything is still going good for the 14th for her baptism. We went over the baptismal interview questions and she hit them all out of the park. What a testimony this one has. She is so prepared! She liked conference and she is in Mosiah right now. She is loving the Book of Mormon.
This next week should be a good one. I have a exchange on Thursday and district meeting tomorrow. District meeting is on Effective Study, which will be good. I have seen the Best, the Good, and the Ugly when it comes to study, and in turn i have seen missionaries with the spirit and some with not. And i think a large part of that comes from having study in the morning. I think it will be a good meeting. Other than that not too much has happened new.

My heart is feeling better now mom. So we are good. Probably just stressing over something. You know me :) I was hoping that would go away on my mission but...still working on that Ether 12:27 scrip i guess! i love you all!! have a great week!!