Monday, January 26, 2015

Catholic Mass and Squirrels!

 Good Morning!

We have had an exciting week here. We have had a couple of days where there has been a few inches of snow. More like 2. People here freak out when they have any snow at all. They will cancel school if they feel like it will be bad. Since i am the driver you guys know that i have a little bit of fun. I will pull the emergency brake around some corners and slide my back end. I love it. You have to live a little right?

On Saturday we had a very interesting experience. We went to CATHOLIC MASS!!!!  I have wanted to go for the longest time just to see what it is like. A lot of standing kneeling and sitting. We just had to follow along. They say a lot of prayers. Not formal prayers like we are accustomed to, more recited prayers. The only one that i could really say was the Our Father. 

There is really a lot of symbolism that they have. Sometimes i wonder if they grasp the full meaning of it rather than just doing it. I have become really interested in different religions and what they believe. I was really excited when our investigators invited us. Afterwards we went out to a Chinese restaurant. We talked for about 90 minutes about religion. We were able to share about the great apostasy that we believe happened instead of the Church and the Priesthood descending through Peter. 

They have been meeting with missionaries for a while and they haven't been taught anything. They didn't even know what the Book of Mormon was so we decided we need to start from the very beginning. We had stake conference this weekend so we skipped the Saturday night session for Catholic Church :) 

On Sunday we had 2 hour church with no extra meetings so that we really nice. After we got home we were eating lunch and we had a squirrel that chillin on our porch so I threw a couple of almonds and he took those then came back looking for more. We were able to hand feed him. He would come and take it from my hand. He somehow ended up coming into our apartment...we may have lured him in :)  We then had the brilliant idea to shut the sliding door and trap him inside. 

We ended up keeping him inside for about an hour. He would just climb on our desks and run around on the floor. I got some good pictures. That kept us entertained for a while. I got some cool videos too. 

We are out of miles on our car so we are driving as little as possible so we rode bikes last night. I had to do a little bit of maintenance on my bike. Teak the breaks, switch the rubber on the tires. The back tire was pretty much bald so I had too. We ended up riding 10 miles, and I am feeling it this morning. My last companion had some bike stuff that he gave me and one of them was one of those electronic bike computer things. Our top speed was 30.5 mph. It was good to ride again.

Now you guys know not to trust free things. I hope he gets feeling better. Luckily I haven't had any major sickness yet. I am going to keep it that way. 

I have learned a lot over the last while, and I continue to learn more. I learned yesterday about an apocrypha. Extra books not in the bible. Anyways random stuff.
Love you guys!

Click for Options

Click for Options

Monday, January 12, 2015

Slinky in the garbage disposal

Hey its great to hear from you guys! Glad that your email came through
today. The first time that it updated it said i didn't have any mail.
But turns out i did!

I'm happy that your talk went well. Of course its easy to talk about
me, I'm fantastic :) No i didn't get any pictures from dad. Maybe
today he will send them sometime. We had a pretty interesting week
with transfers. We sent elder Thomas home on Thursday. It was weird to
go to a transfer meeting and not be getting a new companion. Elder
Johnson and i stayed together. I guess that the only really exciting
thing that happened Thursday is that i became the designated driver.

We did have a fun week though. Monday night we had an appointment
every 30 minutes so we stayed super busy. Wednesday was a lot of fun.
Last day of the transfer so that night we had 9 elders in our
apartment. We had a little party. Its was a late night. So that next
morning when we were getting ready my companion turned on our garbage
disposal and the entire counter started to shake. So we realized that
a metal slinky had somehow ended up down the drain...

After transfers we went to harbor freight and i picked up some wire
cutters and was able to get it out. You never know what will happen
when you put 9 dudes in a single apartment.

I'm excited to stay with Elder Johnson. Its going to be a lot of fun.
We have already had a really good time so far and are going to
continue to work hard. I guess there isn't much to report on. Still
trying to find new investigators. We do have a couple of 9 year olds
that we are teaching so hopefully that will lead somewhere.

Love you!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Heavenly Father is proud of you!

** Note: I asked Elder Laing to send me some things that he had learned on his mission and also his testimony for a talk that I was giving in church.....This is what he sent! He is a wonderful missionary and we are so proud of the young man he has become.

-Heavenly Father is proud of you!
-There is a reason for everything!
-Love your companion!
-This is a devine work!
-Be yourself, become your best self!
-Mission life is real life!
-A mission is a life changing experience, let it change you!
-Your attitude will define your mission!
-Apply the atonement!
-Participation is key!
-As you move closer to God, you will see more of your weaknesses,
don't get discouraged!
-Everybody is different, your mission will be different from everybody else's.
-Don't let anything come between you and God!
-Don't be afraid of the atonement.
-Fear leads to decreased effectiveness!
-We are here to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone!
-A mission is the greatest thing that you will be a part of.
-It is a privilege to wear the name of the savior every day.

This advice came from 20 departing missionaries, with a combined 36
years of service so it better be good.

I know that Jesus Christ is my personal savior, as well as the savior
of the world. He died for our sins and it's through the atonement of
Jesus Christ that we are all able to return to live with God. I know
that we have a prophet on the earth today. I now know what it means to
sustain a leader, and I sustain Thomas S. Monson as a prophet seer and
revelatory in our day. I know the Book of Mormon to be the word of
God. And combined with the Bible, Doctrine and Covenants, and The
Pearl of Great Price, we are able to learn of gods will for us. I know
that the work I m doing is for a greater purpose, and will continue
till Christ comes again.

Hope this helps out! Love you!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Donating Blood!

Good morning! So i wish that i could help more but honestly you can
probably say it better than i can. Just tell them that the work is the
same no matter where you go. I feel like Virginia is just a mini Utah,
especially in northern Virginia. We are working hard and having fun.
Some days are harder than others, and some days i never want to leave.
Umm..anything else?? Don't be afraid to send me another email with
questions if you want because it is transfer week so there wont be a
whole lot going on!

This has been one of the most interesting weeks of my mission so far.
So last Monday you learned that we went mini golfing. A lot of fun.

On Tuesday morning we had training for family history. We are trying
to implement family history more into our proselyting efforts, but we
don't know exactly how to do that. Afterwards we had our district
meetings. This district has a lot of awesome people. We have a ton of
fun. After district meetings we went as a district to cafe rio. So
usually we aren't aloud to do that because we have sisters in our
district but we got special permission because after we donated blood!

Weirdest thing I have done on my mission. I'm sure you saw the picture
on facebook. It went on one of those missionary pages and people loved
it. So we did that for all of the afternoon. We all got 5 dollar
Walmart gift cards except for elder Thomas who got a 50 dollars Visa
card. He just got lucky. Our district leader Elder Bateman actually
passed out so that was pretty funny. My other companion has a major
bruise around where he had his needle. It's yellow and weird looking.
That afternoon I went home and took a nap. I was so tired, and I could
tell I was getting irritable so I just had to.

Wednesday was also a very weird day. So that morning we drove to Burke
where the mission office is because Elder Thomas had his departing
temple trip that day. We arrived at 7:30 and it was really cold. The
assistants told everybody to be there at 7:30 when it was actually
8:30. So at about 8:00 we figured that out so a bunch of us went over
to McDonald's and got some breakfast. We spent the next 7 hours in
Alexandria with Spanish. Not a whole lot got done that day.

So we went and picked him up and went to Walmart and got some drinks
for our New Year's Eve party with our zone. We went directly there
instead of going home fist just to save some miles. We watched Over
the hedge, and How to train your dragon 2. They were both really
funny, but I figured out that I don't like watching movies on the
mission. But I won't get to watch any more till I get home.

I mentioned this in my last email but we nicknamed our district the
Sandlot district. We all got t shirts too. I will try to send a
picture of it. We had a ton of fun this transfer. I don't know what
will happen. We find out tomorrow night what is happening with
transfers so I will let you know.

Love you!