Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I feel like I live on a farm

Hey Mom!

This week has been a good one again. I love my comp. He is amazing! He has so much charity and patience and he is so Christlike. He learned English in the MTC so we are still working on that and having language training each day to help him learn it better. Hey I may pick up some Tongan while I'm at it. Who knows? He is so funny too. I love just hearing him talk. It is the best. I hope I can bless his life as much as he already has blessed mine. 

So our area is Lake of the Pines. It is a huge gated community that surrounds a lake. It is pretty cool. We live with members. I have a queen-sized bed. I love living with them. I wake up in the morning and go and put wood in their fireplace and get the fire going. Then I go and feed the chickens and let them out. Ah I feel like I live on a farm. It has been nice. 

So I'm not a zone leader anymore. ZL's drop for their last couple transfers so they can finish just like normal missionaries. Which I have been looking forward to for a bit of time. I love just having to worry about my area and my comp. It makes things a lot less stressful. It is a great humbling experience to be able to sustain and support a district leader that actually has stewardship over me. Before (as a zl) I would pray for my district leaders that they could lead and guide their district and help all the members they are over. But it is a whole different thing praying for one to lead and guide and help me with everything that I go through. I love how perfect the organization of the church is. I love it! 

The work here is not so great though. We don't have anyone that we are teaching. Like no less actives or investigators. My comp doesn't really know the members too well or how to get around very well. This should be interesting. I'm loving life. It is great. Thank you for everything you do for me! I love you all

Elder Simons

Friday, February 22, 2013

Photo from Grass Valley (Auburn)

This is a photo we received a couple of nights ago from a member in Elder Simons' new area. This particular family had fed these two cute missionaries that night. I love when the families think to snap a photo and send it to us. It feels like we aren't that far away when we are able to "see" him as he's living his life as a missionary. I am soooooo grateful for the members in the Roseville Mission who take such amazing care of our boy, and every missionary!

Elder Simons and new companion

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Transfer to Auburn - Lake of the Pines

So we got transfers yesterday. I'm getting transferred!! I'm going to the Auburn Zone. My new ward is called Lake of the Pines. I'm so pumped. I only have 12 weeks left so I'm going to crank it and do some serious work. 

My new comp is Elder Vaitai. I was there when he came into the mission down in Antelope. He is from Tonga and is probably the most chill missionary here. He loves everyone! Ah i can't wait! I will miss Redding like crazy, but it is time to leave. It has been a great time up here doing the work of the Lord. I feel like the Lord has let me witness a lot of success up here. I will miss the people so much, they have grown so close to my heart. 

I wish I had more to say. This week has been pretty good. We had zone conference, and President Weston taught the importance of the Holy Ghost in Conversion. I loved it because he didn't just focus on us teaching our investigators but also in our personal conversions. 

So each time at zone conference all the departing missionaries (missionaries going home in the next few months) bear their testimonies. I thought I was too far out to do mine. I figured I would do it next time. But nope they called me up. I got up there and so many emotions and memories ran through my brain. The first one was [one of our older investigators]  getting baptized because I saw Elder Buhler down in the audience. Also because I was in the same building he was baptized in. I looked at Elder Rasmussen and remembered the fasting and praying we did in behalf of [the YSA] we were teaching from Roseville and then I glanced at Elder Coburn and thought of the miracles we witnessed down in Antelope getting [our investigator] to her baptism. I couldn't contain myself for a bit, but then bore my testimony. I was grateful I had the opportunity to do so. It was actually really sad. In my head I was like "This can't be possible. How is it almost over? NO!" It is just heartbreaking, most of all. I will miss all of this so much. But I still have a while to go. I want to make this the best two transfers of my mission. I'm determined to make it so. I will let you know how it goes, deal? 

But I love you! I have to go play some basketball then pack!
Elder Simons

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Road to Damascus

The week has been good, not too much to report. Haven't been able to meet with our investigator for about two weeks. I want to teach him again so bad. He is close to baptism, I know it. They went out of town for a bit.

We are still having great success in the less-active lesson area. I enjoy teaching them so much. In my first area I felt bad because I didn't think I was truly fulfilling my purpose by just teaching so many less-actives but something that our president said really hit me hard: "I don't think the Lord sees someone getting baptized and someone returning into full activity really any different". It is the work of the Lord. We are building up His Kingdom. I'm amazed I have been called to this mighty work. In such an amazing time as well. The Lord truly is hastening His work. I have never seen so much focus on missionary work ever. Seems like a lot of the general conference stuff and Ensign things are discussing missionary work. Must be important I guess!

This week has been a humbling week for sure. I have been pondering some more things that I would like to put on here so again hopefully you are okay with another random tangent. I have been reading in Acts for the past couple weeks. Really trying to picture all of these events that happened in my head. And I came to Saul. He was a part of the killing of Stephen. He was a bad dude, he received permission to put Christians in prison for believing in Christ. Then of course on the road to Damascus he was visited by the Savior himself. An evil vessel was visited by the Lord and his life was changed forever. He was a completely changed person. That was because of Jesus Christ. He had a completely different view on the world and then, from then on preached the word of God. I also think of Alma the younger and his conversion and other people as well that have had a change of heart. I know that this gospel has the power to change everyone in the world's life. It is through the Atonement that we receive this change. We must accept it and apply it in our life. God will never force us to use His Son's sacrifice because He respects our agency so much. But when we follow the words of the Savior we come unto Him and accept His life and Atonement. This gospel and changed my heart and my desires to wanting more of what God wants for me. I'm not perfect yet and I still need to do some major work in changing my complete will to His. 

We are teaching this less-active lady and it has been one of the most inspiring experiences on my missions. When we first were teaching her she was pretty so-so about things but after she started to exercise faith everything started working for her. She slowly had that change of heart. She now is repenting and doing things to build her testimony everyday. Just by talking to her you can tell that she gave her heart to the Savior so He could change it. And He did as He always will. This lady's change of heart wasn't like Saul/Pauls, she never went blind but I still consider it a miracle. Because it is nothing short of one. I just love talking to her and listening to her talk about her road to the Savior. She is now doing her own missionary work and doing great things. It is just so exciting. 

Well I better go! I love you all

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Scatter Sunshine

We went up to Mount Shasta, caving! Don't worry, Mom it wasn't like crawling around and stuff. It was a huge cave like 20 feet tall the whole way to the end, but you need flash lights because it is pitch black. I for sure want to do that in the summer when we come back! It was really fun. 

But anyway our week hasn't been the best, but things will always look up. There has been a hymn on my mind lately and a few things that I want to share today. Hopefully that is okay. So the song Scatter Sunshine in the hymn book is like never played. I haven't heard it really ever until I got here in Redding. It is one of those hymns that is like "oh that is a weird one", but I was reading the lyrics and it is amazing. It says that we need to cheer, bless and brighten to every one we meet. It talks about how our care can help eliminate the world's sorrow. What an amazing message. It is such a blessing to us and to others to be able to scatter sunshine and help someone out by offering them help or even a simple smile. I imagine Christ walking around with a great big smile on, not a frown. He was looking for people to help and uplift. I have been thinking a lot lately that this world we live in is really sad and down. Especially in Redding, this town is just down. Everyone is always mad or just sad because life just isn't great. One of my favorite feelings is to bring joy to someone by just talking to them and asking them about their life. And I pray each time I do that, that they can feel even a tenth of the love God has for them. I have such a testimony of scattering sunshine. it may sound dorky or kind of weird but I'm dorky and weird so that is okay. But really we can help God's children by just being happy and offering service. If we have a true love of God we will have love for His children. I'm thankful for this song that isn't played too often that I got to hear it and have the spirit touch me and teach me that scattering sunshine is what we can do to do missionary work. We are to lift people up. 

Sorry that was my little rant for the week. I don't know why I always do those. But anyway the baptismal date we had dropped but that is okay. We will reset another date with him hopefully soon. He is a great guy but is struggling with some things right now. We are working with some great less actives that I love to death! I will tell you more about them soon hopefully! But I love you all and I'm thankful for your faithfulness and diligence in following Christ our Savior! Have a great day!