Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I know the message is true

Hey mom! Thanks for the email

So we went to the temple this week. I totally would have sent pictures but I forgot my camera. Maybe next week or in two weeks I'll just show you. It was an amazing experience. That is the fourth time I've gone with Bo and Sister Pratt on my mission. There has always been other people but they were always there. They both mean so much to me. Same with the temple. I feel I learn something new each time. Well obviously I do but it just is amazing to be in there and feel the influence of the Savior and Heavenly Father. I love the temple, I can't wait to go when I'm home. But I will go one more time as a missionary. I will be going with my departing group not this Friday but my last Friday. I can't wait to be there with all of my buddies. It will be a great end to an amazing two years. 

My mission has been unreal with how many miracles and spiritual experiences I have had. I couldn't have had those without coming out here to California. I'm going to miss my mission for the rest of my life and think about it everyday. It is really interesting because with the time left it is impossible for me to get any more baptisms. Because investigators have to come to church three times so it has been interesting turning my mindset to realizing that I still can do so much for the great people in California. I hope to find people that will be baptized in the coming weeks and give them everything I can so they can find the peace I have found. I love this work. I love bearing my testimony of the truth. That probably is one of my favorite things about my mission. That when I'm testifying I know the message is true. That is such a good feeling. 

My companion is doing well and is teaching me by example. He is great and we are having fun. I feel like I'm always laughing and having a good time. Our area is still pretty slow, but we picked up a new investigator last night, which was cool. This kid has gone through a lot of tough things in his life. It will be good for him to grab hold of the sure and firm Gospel. It will bless him in his life. I'm excited to teach him a couple more times, then hear from Elder Solomon what his progress is through letters and emails. 

Welp I better go, I love you all and I'm thankful for you! We will talk to you soon!
Elder Simons

Monday, April 29, 2013

15 days

Just saying....

15 days, but who's counting?

Monday, April 22, 2013

It Has Changed My Life

That is pretty exciting about the new stake presidency. That will be great for the great stake of Corner Canyon. I will miss President Beard a lot but luckily he still is in our ward so that will be fun. 

So this week has been good, yes we got sprayed on by a skunk. We were coming out of the members' house that we live at to walk towards our house then as soon as we opened the door it was right there and sprayed us. I knew it got me so I just ran and was screaming. It smelled pretty darn bad. Luckily it only got on my shirt and I won't be bringing that one home so I'm over it. It was a cool story though, I will tell my kids about. 

This week has been good, the work has been slow and the time has gone fast. I really wish it was the opposite, like that the time went slow and the work was going fast. We have been meeting with a guy and last night we taught the restoration and it was just awesome. My companion shared the part about Joseph Smith and where he had the first vision and the spirit just hit me so hard like it always does that Joseph Smith was and is a Prophet of God. I love that story. I will never get tired of it. That story is true, and I will never deny it. 

Elder Solomon is still a trooper, we are having lots of fun. We are trying to find those true seekers. We had some funny experiences this week.  Its been a lot of fun. 

We are going to the temple this Friday with a group of people from Gridley. Bo and the Pratts and some other choice people are coming. I'm so excited! I will be sure and send some pictures! But I think that is about it from my end of the world. As I always say I'm thankful for my mission, It has changed my life in so many ways. It has been such an amazing experience. I want to thank everyone who helped me get out here. which is so many people! I love you all!
Elder Simons

p.s. I'm glad you made it home safely. Can't say I wasn't worried, but I did pray really hard.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Letter from a member in Elder Simons' area

I love getting emails from people who live in Wilson's mission and who have gotten to know him. I have received a few emails from Rosalie, who lives in the ward he is assigned in. In fact, apparently she owns the place that the elders are living in at this time. I thought I'd share part of her emails...

Dear Sister Simons,

My name is Rosalie. I own the "shack" that your son Elder Simons is living in right now. What a great young man! I am so glad to have him next door. Sadly, I just found out a few days ago that this is his last transfer. I got to know him a little when he live in LOP. He and Elder Solomon are so fun to have next door. We have been housing elders for almost two years now. And your son even though he will only be here one transfer will be remembered as one of the best.

I have a story for you. I don't know if it is funny or sad. I will let you decide. Last night was our annual Spaghetti dinner fund raiser for the girls in our ward going to camp.  The girls each get the money they earn by selling tickets but there is also a dessert auction. The ward really supports this auction by bidding very high for a plate of cookies etc. The highest item sold was a basket that contained an instant breakfast including eggs, bacon, biscuits, jam, butter and I don't know what else, but it went for $160.00.  Any way your son made the first 5.00 bid on almost every item. He was really trying to get something for 5.00. Sadly nothing stayed that low, he was always out bid.

We had taken a nonmember couple with us and afterward instead of them going right home and since we didn't win any of the desserts, (they always went out of my price range also), we had them come in for ice cream. The Elders got home the same time we did, so I invited them in to join us and have ice cream and socialize with us for a few minutes.  

It was funny how Elder Simons said that even if he had won one of the bids he would have had to borrow the 5.00, because he didn't even have that. (HaHa) Any way we had a good visit, but they soon decided they needed to get home. Right after they went out the door we heard them scream and they were soon knocking on our door.  As soon as a answered the door, I could smell skunk.

Apparently there was a skunk eating our cat food by the front door.  The Elders thought it was a raccoon and they made a motion to it.  It sprayed them! Good! I told them to go over take those clothes off and bring them right over to wash them.  So I don't know if this is a funny story or a sad one. We decided it was definitely one for the journal. Their clothes did come clean and the smell was gone. But our yard smelled like skunk for a few hours.

I'll keep you up on anymore fun stories if they come up.
Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I can't put it into words...

Ye take the high road and i'll take the low road and i'll be in Scotland before ye! That is awesome that you are chilling in Scotland. I can't believe you are way over there. Enjoy yourselves because next time you are taking me :) just kidding. 

Another good week! I feel like i was just emailing yesterday. It went by fast. We have been getting these wards revived slowly and surely.

We are still working with that kid that his dad won't let him be baptized. He has such a strong testimony of this Gospel. I'm just afriad that his testimony will diminish over time without going to church or receiving the Holy Ghost. I have hope for him though. 

I'm loving my mission, i'm trying to take advantage of every minute out here. I know my time is limited here but i want to make a difference in this ward. My companion and I are doing great! We have a lot of fun, we laugh a lot. 

I don't really know what else is going on that might be interesting to everyone. I think i'm going to miss how close i have been on my mission to the Spirit. It is amazing how easily revelation comes if we are ready and the Lord needs His work done. It has been such a humbling experience. Hopefully i can be worthy and open to the revelations from God when i come home. I don't want to think about that though. I'm starting to want my mission to slow down. I don't know if i'm really wanting to go home. I love you all but my mission is...i can't put it into words. My mission has just been a blessing. Thank you for you continued prayers towards me!  I love you!  

p.s.s.s. mom i love ya. Dad sent a picture of you on like a green field. You still are just a shortie! That is okay though, i still will call you on mothers day! :) I miss ya big time.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Simple and Divine

It was great to hear from you Mom. Make sure you let me know if you are safe or not. 

Wasn't conference a treat? I can't stop thinking about it and the wonderful messages we heard from God's servants. I can't wait to get the Ensign and read all the talks again, although that will probably be when I'm back home, which is a daunting and scary thought. I love how simple and divine the messages were, they were on deep deep doctrine but on the simple and pure truths that we all need to work and improve on. I love President Monson's Message on obedience. It was amazing! How simple but yet how powerful was his message. We all must be obedient or we can't be successful. I just loved it. I can't wait to study that talk more in depth. 

This week has been a lot of coordinating between our areas that we cover. Elder Solomon is great, we are working hard and we are obedient. I want to finish strong and he wants to work hard no matter what so i'm happy i'm with him. We are struggling to find people to teach still. That is and may be the universal struggle throughout the world, but it is hard because our areas are sooo big that it is almost impossible to get out of the car and tract because there is like a big distance between most homes. That won't get us down though. 

I'm hoping to go to the temple with Bill soon, I talked to him earlier this week and it almost brought me to tears to hear his and his wife's sweet voices. I love those people with a love that I can't really describe. ANyway I will keep you updated on that.

 I love you all and pray for you always!
Elder Simons

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Make every minute count

Hey mom!

So first about transfers! Elder Vaitai is getting transferred to actually be with Elder Bowerman. So that is kinda sweet. I will be getting Elder Solomon from Idaho. I went street contacting with him on his first day on the mission when I was a ZL down in Antelope. Good stuff. I'm excited for it. We are going to work our tails off but I will miss my crazy Tongan companion. He will have a good time up north though. 

So I have 6 more weeks. That is just unreal to me, it is just scary but makes me realize the time I have left is so precious. I need to make every minute count. I do not want any regrets! None at all. Last week I was defining the word "regret" to Elder Vaitai because his English isn't perfect yet so he still doesn't know a couple words. It is always fun explaining stuff to him. Like last night I explained "red neck" to him. Good times. But anyway I was defining regret to him and while I was defining and thinking about it I was like "wow I do not want to have any regrets from my mission". If I do I will think about them for the rest of my life. I don't want that! 

Anyway another slow week but things are going to be changing around here, I can smell it in the wind. Can't you? It is just so hard to find the people to teach. We got a little more area to cover though, we are taking some of the Alta Sierra ward and half covering it with sisters which will be...weird. They are so many sisters that they double cover wards now. Luckily we get all of Lake Of the Pines to ourselves. 

Wasn't Easter nice? What a special time we have to reflect on the Savior and His life. It was amazing to partake of the Sacrament and realize that our Savior has done so much for us and through His resurrection we can be saved in the Kingdom of God. We are so blessed! 

This week is going to be crazy. It will probably fly by but oh well! Our new district has 12 missionaries in it. That is crazy. It will be good though. Thank you for everything you do! I have to go but remember the Church is true and don't forget to listen to conference. It can change your life, only if you let it though. I love you!
Elder Simons