Tuesday, January 29, 2013

It has changed my heart

This week has been great once again! And little Wyatt was born! That is amazing. I can't wait to hold that little mister. So you say he has a mouth like mine? That serves Whitney right for making fun of my ghetto lips. Just kidding Whitney! That is amazing though. What a special time in all of our lives to welcome a new born baby into the world. So fresh from our Heavenly Parents'  presence. I'm sure there was a special spirit that was about him when he was born and first held. I hope and fully expect to feel that little boy's spirit when I get to hold him soon. What a blessing our family has received! 

But anyway to report on my week, it has been alright. I have had a lot on my mind but things are great nonetheless. The work has been a bit slower. I credit that to having four exchanges this week. I was out of the area quite a bit so Elder McMurray had to take the area over, which he isn't too familiar with so it was hard for him. Oh well. I was able to perform a baptismal interview in Hayfork. A man I interviewed in November that wasn't ready at the time, but when I interviewed him this time he was ready to go and ready to fully accept the Gospel of Christ and live accordingly. He is a great guy and will be a great addition to that little branch up there. 

The week has been good though, we have to push back our date for [one of our investigators] because he wasn't able to make it to church and he still has to work on some things. I really hope we can help him be baptized and enter into covenants with God. It will bless his and his wife's life.

Our ward council in our family ward is doing some amazing things. Everyone is putting forth their best effort and miracles are happening. I bet this ward will have 10 baptisms this year. Which is really good in our mission and extremely good for Redding. So I told you about the short transfer right? It ends in three weeks which is so crazy. And then we get a bunch of 18 year old missionaries. That will be so crazy. I really want to train one so bad! We will see what happens come transfer time. 

What else is new? Not much actually. The work has been slower but that is okay. It has been refining me and has put me in the position where the Lord can humble me and teach me new things that will help me for the rest of my life. I'm grateful to be in this position up here in Redding. I love it up here so much, the people are amazing. I love working with the members and they are doing great things. I love being able to work 24/7 for the Lord Jesus Christ. What an honor. This is something that I never will forget. It has changed my heart and built my faith. I know where my life is headed and that is because I have put my trust in the one and only true God. He will continue to guide me as long as I heed the spiritual promptings that He gives me. I love that we have the spirit to lead and guide us. We are so blessed to be a part of this wonderful church. I invite you all to thank God everyday of your life that you are a part of this church. I have been trying that and everyday I do with a sincere heart my appreciation and love of this church grows. I love you all and  I'm thankful for the service and great example you provide for me. Have a great week!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Busy and Loving Life!

Hey Mom!

Elder McMurray and I are doing great! He is from Cardston Alberta which is sweet. They have a temple there so that is really exciting. We were able to find a YSA investigator and start teaching her so that is great and we are excited for the potential there! 

We have to do like 4 exchanges this week which will be soooo crazy but that is okay. One of which I'm going up to Mt Shasta. So I'm pumped about that. 

We were able to set a date with another of our investigators. This guy is the man. I'm pumped for him. We still need to teach him some major commandments so that will be good. 

I'm loving life and having a good time. I'm super busy which is good and bad. It makes the time fly by so quick that I can't keep up but at the same time I'd rather be busy than a lazy missionary. 

So anyway our ward is doing great, they are so missionary minded. And it all really stems from our bishop. He is excited about it and that makes others excited for it as well. It is amazing. 

I'm sorry this is so short but I have so much to do today! And today is supposed to be my p-day! Ha! I love you all so much and have a great week. 

p.s Maybe Junior is waiting for me to come home?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A furious wind upon the face of the waters

Mom that email was amazing. It brought happiness to me so thank you so much. And yes you are right about Jr. He will come when he comes. That is really exciting. 

So we got transfers this week and Elder Leithead is going down to Roseville and I'm getting Elder McMurray from Canada. It will be good to get some new blood in the area. It will be good. Not much changed in the zone. Another missionary is training so that will be good for him and the whole zone. Add some greenie fire here. 

Life is amazing right now. We are still struggling to find new investigators but we know they (like Jr.) will come when they are supposed to. It is a trial of my faith. It reminds me of Gridley... well the work does. Kinda slow but with some good work, great things will come to pass. 

I have been pondering lately trials in my own life and why we have them, and I may have mentioned this before but let me take you back to Ether and the ships they make and in some of the verses it says that the Lord is going to send waves and winds and storms against them. And I just sat pondering. Why in the world would God do that? Why couldn't he make it 80 degrees for them and give them a nice breeze to the promised land. It would have been so easy! They would have been able to make it no doubt with no hiccups right? And I prayed about it and pondered some more for a couple days and I couldn't figure it out until a couple chapters later where it says "And it came to pass that the Lord God caused that there should be a afurious wind blow upon the face of the waters, btowards the promised land; and thus they were tossed upon the waves of the sea before the wind." That is when the Spirit and the answer came flowing to me. The Lord sends forth these trials to push us closer to the promised land or in other words eventually heaven. It almost never seems like our trials can benefit us,  but they do. They send us and teach us what we need to know and do to return to live with God once again. If the Jaredites didn't go through these trials they would have done the same thing they did while on the beach. They would have forgotten to call upon their God for help. But while they were buried it gave them a chance to rely upon God. I love the Lord and I love how He works. He is there for us and He cares more than we know. Let us call upon our God daily for every thing that we and our loved ones stand in need of. I love you all so much!

Elder Simons

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Lord is hastening His work

Thanks for the email mom, it was so great to hear from you. 

This week was great...well except for the fact that my companion had strep throat since Tuesday morning. So he was in bed from Tuesday till like Saturday night. So I had to do so much paper work by myself! It was okay though, we had ZLC on Friday and also stake correlation on Sunday so that was fun. We discussed how we are getting 31 new missionaries on Feb 19th. We normally get like 7-12 each transfer so this one is a huge! I'm pretty excited and really, really want to train another missionary before I finish my mission. We will see. 

So we had [name removed] baptism on Saturday, and that was amazing. Such a special spirit that is at baptisms that you won't find anywhere else. It is really cool because when we are baptized we physically follow our Savior. He stood in water waiting to be baptized by John and we can do that same thing. I think that is amazing and really humbling.

We do need to find more people to teach. We haven't found someone new in a while and it has been hard because our teaching pool is quite small right now. We are teaching quite a few less-active members and that is going great but we want to focus on both sides of missionary work. 

Life is great though. We actually had this big meeting with all the Bishops, Ward missionary leaders, high councilors, stake presidencies in the Redding and Anderson stakes and with President Weston and Elder Trythall the area seventy so that was amazing. Only the zone leaders were able to attend but it was still sweet. The message I got is the Lord is hastening His work and we need to be ready and be willing to do whatever He asks and whenever. It was a very enlightening meeting. I loved it. It is really cold in this FHC so my fingers are cold so I will end this email now but I love you all!

Elder Simons 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I will cherish this challenge

Hey mom,

It's good to hear from you. It was amazing seeing the whole family on Skype. I feel so blessed the Lord gives us amazing tools to interact and share memories together through this amazing technology. We truly are blessed people. 

I finished my Book of Mormon last week. Man that book is more than amazing. It has changed my life once again. Before I took President's challenge I felt the spirit so strong when I testified to [people I was teaching] that it was and is the word of God. But now I can feel it in my fingers and toes when I testify. The spirit illuminates my body and I feel the spirit literally pushing my words into their soul. It has been an amazing experience to watch. I have been humbled to dust and I will cherish this challenge as something so spiritual I can barely describe it. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. People ask "Is the Book of Mormon needed to be saved?". And I'm here to tell everyone who asks that it is. It gives us the knowledge of our Savior that we can't find anywhere else. There are people out there who are in a famine of the word of God. They are missing the piece of the puzzle. The Book of Mormon is convincing evidence that God loves us so much that He sends prophets on the earth to teach us how to be "saved". I'm grateful for this divine book. And I will read it everyday for the rest of my life. I need the pure flow of spirit that comes from it. I need that so I can withstand the adversary.

We are so blessed to have a baptism this week on Saturday. [Our investigator] is going into the waters of baptism to receive an essential remission of her sins. She has come to find out that without the Savior and His priesthood authority she cannot be saved in the Kingdom of God. A bit of useful information wouldn't you say? I also have a testimony of that. We cannot come unto the Father or enter into Celestial glory except we fall on our knees and proclaim and confess that Christ is our Savior and our Redeemer. There is no other way to receive eternal life with God. I can testify to that and will till the day I die. I love this perfect and only true Church. I will pledge my allegiance to it forever. The church and gospel work hand and hand. I love them both. We should thank our God every single day that we belong to this true church. That we are somehow and in some way blessed by it. Member or non-member, I'm sure we all have been touched by how this church runs and how it is perfect. I can testify it does because God himself is at the head of it. No one else. I love that fact. I'm sorry for babbling on and on. The spirit constrained me to do so. I love you all and I appreciate the prayers that you send my way but more then that I appreciate the prayers you send to the wonderful Children of God that I am humbled to teach. Send more prayers their way will ya? Thank you so much.

Elder Simons