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