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.