Monday, January 31, 2011

Elder Gaverrett of the 70

It was an amazing meeting. He talked about so many things and shared so much with us that we are trying to learn and follow. It is always so great to meet with one of the general authorities. I look forward to the future and applying what he spoke about to us. There was a lot. One of the things that really hit us all hard was what he said about the baptisms in this area. Our mission goal for 2011 is to have 600 people come to the waters of baptism and start their journey in the church. Elder Gaverrett said " Your goal for baptisms is 600 for this year. Why not 1,200? You can do it. There are many here that want the gospel and will accept it." It made us all think about how much the work is going forward and become more determined to work even harder.

It was a great meeting and I had a great experience. After he introduced himself we sung a hymn and then the assistants got up and read off a list of people to give a 3 minute talk. They read off about 5 people and then I knew that I was going to be next. I just felt it. And I was. In hindsight you would think that I would be scared to death to give a talk on the spot in front of a 70. But the Lord calmed my fears and helped me not to freeze up. It was a great experience. I am so happy to be able to be on a mission. I would not trade it for anything. It is so great. I love feeling the spirit and having it guide me. I hunger for it when I don't feel it. I am scared a little to not have those feelings as much when I get home from my mission. But I know that the Holy Ghost will still be there. Also I will be able to go to the temple and feel the spirit there. I miss the temple. Hopefully I will get to go here in a month and a half though. And before I leave. I wish I could go every week. There is limitless knowledge there.

Normally I talk about the weather first but I will talk about that now. It has been rainy and really warm lately. This morning it was foggy and humid. It would be rainy and look really cold outside but you would go out and it would be 75-80. So it has been warming up. Supposedly it is going to be cooling off this next week though.

Transfers are coming up. I will know if I am being transferred next week. I don't want to be. I love this area and the people in it. I also love Elder Walker. My time with him has been a lot different than the time with most of my companions but we love being in the work together. This ward and area has so much potential that I just never want to leave. It is a great place with a lot of great people.

So we are working with a ton of people right now. It is hard to keep track of everyone. Keeps us busy. I don't think I have ever been this busy. There is always something effective to be doing and we have so many scheduled appointments. I love it. It isn't easy here but it is a lot different than say Bay City or Angleton. A totally different type of area. The way you go about the work and plan is so different. I love it though. Keeps you busy.

I have been reading the Book of Mormon lately as part of my challenge. I love it. I feel so good when I read it. My day doesn't go as well unless I read from the Book of Mormon. It teaches me so much and helps me to feel the spirit. Even if I have a hard time understanding it it does help me to have the Holy Ghost more in my life. If anyone wants to feel the spirit and feel comforted just read the scriptures. They help so much. I can't go a day without reading them anymore. My day will be terrible if I don't read.

I know this email is a little scatter brained and short paragraphs but I had a great week. I love these people. I love this ward. I love this area and the way it is at times. I love the stage I am at in my mission. I love the things which I have learned about the gospel. Priceless gifts it seems I have received from coming on a mission. I don't know how you could call it a sacrifice. Definitely an investment.

I love you all and have a great week whether you are going to school, working, looking for work, or on a cruise I love you all and have a great week.



Monday, January 24, 2011

I really have been having a hard time coming up with good titles for my blog entrys

So this week was a good one. I always say something like that. We had our zone activity. We had a huge nerf war and it was a lot of fun. We have the largest zone in the mission so there were a lot of people. It was one of the funnest activities I have done on my mission for a P-day. I got to see a lot of missionaries that I love too. This zone has a lot of missionaries that are very close to my heart. I am going to stay in contact with many of them. All missionaries say that but I really do want to stay in contact with a lot of the people here.
So we had ward conference this past Sunday. It was wonderful. The stake presidency called us out in sacrament meeting and had us recite D&C 4. With no warning as always with stake leaders. Luckily I could still remember it pretty well. The other three did very well also. The stake president spoke about the missionary work and retention in the League City stake. There have been a lot of converts this past year that the stake has been around our area has two companionships for one ward and might be getting another companionship in the future. It is an amazing ward.
The ward conference was very good. I love great meetings were the things shared are so interesting and you want to learn about what they have to say. The focus of the meetings was on a deepened conversion. The church recently did a study of institute in particular. And 96% of those who graduate institute get their endowment. 98% of those marry in the temple. So they focused on the youth as well on us and how we can strengthen our testimonies and our conversions to the Lord. I feel like a mission has helped my testimony so much and i have felt so close to the Lord many times. But I look forward to  going to institute when I get back. When I go to school and stuff at least.
Also during their meetings with the ward they talked about a single scripture in D&C for an hour. It was about our duty as priesthood holders. It was a wonderful lesson that helped me reflect a lot on my duties in my calling.
On another note the rain here has been awesome. It started to warm up but it has been raining all day just like Washington rain. People here seem to shut down when it rains but it just makes me want to be outside and work. I don't know what the future of weather holds but we will see.
So this week in two days Elder Gaverett of the 70 and his wife will be coming to our mission for a special zone conference. I don't know if I said that in my last email but I am extremely excited for this meeting. One of the greatest experiences of my mission was when Elder Zwick came here and taught us and spoke to us. I have only felt the spirit that strong a few times. I am looking forward to feeling a similar way when I here his teachings. 70's are wonderful servants of the Lord and you can just tell that somethings is different about them. Especially when you see them in person. It is that way with all of the general authorities.
This is a cool story. Elder Walker's sister and brother in law are inactive. He works at a hotel in Utah and I am not sure what he does. Elder Walkers sister is inactive and his brother in law I believe is not a member or has not being active since a very very young age. Anyways, he was behind the counter one day talking with the people coming in to get a room and in walks a man that he feels looks familiar but he can't put his finger on where he has seen him before. He sees the man walking and seems to be looking for something or someone. This man stops and talks with one of the employees telling them that he is looking for a particular person who always shines his shoes. He just loves this shoe shiner. They tell him that they don't know where the certain person is and the man leaves. This whole time Elder Walker's brother in law is watching. As he watches he feels something is different about this man and that he is almost different from anyone that he had ever been around. That just being around him made him feel peaceful and calm. After this man left he realized that it was Thomas S. Monson. He then went home after work and told of his experience. He is now reading from the Book of Mormon and is almost done reading for the first time. He just knew that there was something about this man that he wanted in him.
That is how it feels at times to be in the presence of these holy men. It gives me a 1% taste of what it must feel like to be in the presence of the Lord.
I love you all and have a great week. Keep reading your Book of Mormon all of those who accepted the challenge.
For those who it may concern I got new shoes :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I have never been this cold. The beginning of last week was ridiculously cold. We we told that we needed to have members take us out after the sun went down if we were in a bike area. I was in Clear Lake for two days with Elder Cortez. It was an interesting exchange. Three companionship's switched around for the two days. I took Elder Cayas' spot in Clear Lake while Elder Lidich came here with Elder Walker. Clear Lake is a lot like Friendswood. It is a lot different than this area but there are still a lot of great people. Those two days were busy. We also had interviews this past week. That was great as well. President Saylin and I talked about some good stuff. There are a few tings that he wants to experiment with in our area and I think that it will yield good results.
We have been working with a lot of new people. As well as some of the people that were here when I got in the area. We have been running from teaching appointment to teaching appointment. We have no time to breath. It is great. There are so many people who want to meet with us and so little time. We have been teaching like crazy and trying to get a lot of members out with us. This past week was a great one.
Just to let yall know this weeks email is going to shorter than the normal emails. There isn't much time. We are trying to get all of our stuff taken care of quickly for a zone activity today. When you are in a district with other missionaries who rely on you for a ride you have to go fast. At the library where we do our emails there is a sign up section and you have to wait forever until you get a computer. By the time you get one it is about an hour after another missionary started. So you could be at the library for 2 hours.
Anyways, this week was great. There were a few really powerful spiritual experiences that we have had. We are trying to help a member in the ward to stay active and change. She is a great person and the spirit was so strong in our lesson yesterday that a lot of tears were shed by several of us. The Lord cares so much about every single person and doesn't want any of them to fall away and be lost. I have had some of the most powerful teaching experiences when they are to investigators who are going to drop you or members who are choosing to go inactive or to fall off the map, so to speak. The Lord has brought the spirit so strongly so many times when I am privileged to be teaching one of His children. The Lord doesn't want them to leave and he sends the spirit to try to soften their hearts. It always makes me feel like nothing. I cannot teach well. I have no real ability to change people. But I know that the Lord does. And I learn more and more each day of how to invite the spirit in teaching those I meet with. He does the teaching. I cannot soften someones heart. I love my mission. I love the people. I love the Lord. I know that this gospel is true and that He cares about all of us. Even if there are times that we do no feel that he does. He does. He wants us to just be happy and follow him. It really is so simple. But like I said in a previous email. We just have to do it. And that is hard.
I love you all and have a great week,

Monday, January 10, 2011


To start I am going to talk about weather. Like always Texas throws the people for a loop by giving us weather in the low 80's for a day then 3 days later it is in the mid to high 40's. Thanks Texas!!! It is pretty cool. I enjoy colder weather. When it is hot it is more difficult to think and you can't focus as well as you can when it is cooler. the hot weather this time of year made me feel so weird. It didn't feel like winter for a few days. It is supposed to get colder this week. There has been a big storm and winds coming in that have been cooling things off. I haven't seen the sun for a few days which is odd in Houston.
We are working with some wonderful people. I love everyone I teach but the people we are teaching now are keeping commitments and doing so many great things without us even asking them. We have an investigator preparing for her baptism and she has made so many changes. She took out her piercings and gave up her word of wisdom issues and started sharing the gospel and praying every day without ever having to be asked. Once the spirit told her that this was true she made the change. She is so strong and has made me feel to repent in my heart for those things that i think bring me happiness that actually do not and i am asked of the Lord to give these things and myself up to Him. Like she has. I feel to repent of so much. There are people out here that have helped me when I have tried to help them. And they didn't even know it. There is so much that i have learning and that I am still learning about who i want to be and what i want my priorities to be. If this week has taught me anything it is that people don't have to stay the same. I already know that but seeing people make drastic changes in their lives and then seeing how they are so much happier when they are living the commandments brings so much happiness to my heart. It is so awesome.
Whenever something is going great there are some things that get thrown at you. This week was rough in some aspects. We had a lesson with a recent convert who had been offended and had some doubts about the gospel. After talking with her about them we found that the real problem lied with not being willing to forgive somebody and not being willing to live a certain commandment. That is usually why people stop coming to this church. Because it is too hard or because they choose to take offense. Or they are scared that it will be socially awkward for them to return to church after being gone for a while. Of course there are many reasons why people say they aren't going to church anymore or why they just aren't going to church. But coming to church is going to help them and when they really think about what they could have if they came to church they come. When they remember how they have felt while living the gospel and the spiritual experiences they have had, why they are members of this church, and what the Lord has to offer them and what blessings he is willing to give them then they will start to come back. With this certain convert we talked to her about why she chose to join the church and tried to bring back those memories of her spiritual experiences. She said that she would talk with the bishop and would try to come back to church.
We cannot force people to do anything. All we can do is bear our testimonies and let them know how we feel and the experiences we have had. There is so much that I have been blessed with and at times I feel inadequate and that I cannot be what the Lord expects me to be. But he would not let me know these things or put me where I am unless he knew that I could become what he wants me to become.
I am sorry that this is short. I love you all and I know that this church is true. I know that the Lord welcomes all of His children to come to him and to follow him. No matter who we are or what we are doing in life we can change and today can be the day that we choose to be happy by following Him. I love you all and I hope that this week goes well for you.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Wow!!! 2010 went by fast. Now we just have another year until the end of the world. We hear that a lot from people on the street we talk to. You may not know it but a lot of people really do think that the world is going to end in 2012. It's not. But people think it is with all of these shows and stuff like that. But it is making people think about their lives and if they should be living the way that they are. Which is a good thing. But they are getting scared and stuff. Some people at least. We get asked all the time lately. I always just try to tell people that if he were to come tomorrow would you be ready? Then we talk about how we can be ready and should live our lives as if he was coming tomorrow.
This week.......not normal. Well no week is normal. Not a normally weird week. Elder Schaat took the spot of Elder Breeze in the north area. He is now with Elder Hoggard. They had a baptism this past weekend. Right after the baptism Elder Hoggard went to the hospital because of his headaches. He just got out yesterday. He has been having a rough time with his physical well being. He is a good missionary and looks for the good and doesn't complain much. They aren't able to find what is wrong with him and cant figure out how to help him. He has had some bad headaches before and cured them but now it is because of something else. Keep him in your prayers. He is a great man and very new on the mission. He has only been out a month and a half and is having medical problems. He is back to work as for right now and is bearing with the pain. I hope the doctors will be able to find out what is wrong with him to be able to cure it all.
I am not a good writer. Letters or emails. I am not able to express myself adequately in writing. I feel like Moroni who talks about how he wishes that he could write better and be "mighty in writing." But I am not and I don't have the help of writing scriptures so you all will have to deal with what I can type and how I communicate.
This week and for the rest of the year church will be starting at 2:30. It is the latest time I have ever heard of and attended. It is different but it is good. It made fast Sunday really good. I look forward to this time and I think it will be a good change. There are 4 congregations that meet in the ward building. Two Spanish and two English. We, this year, have the latest time.
What also to talk about. there are a lot of people who want us to teach them. There have been many who we have talked to riding around that really want us to come by and who are sincere in their interest about the gospel. I am really excited for this next transfer. There is a lot of promise in the future. I look forward to what this ward will be able to accomplish and what we as missionaries can do and accomplish with he help of the Lord.
Oh. I thought that my scriptures were done for this week. They got quite wet and I thought that my markings would bleed through the pages and they would be terribly warped. I got a paper towel and was able to dry the pages in a weird way and my scriptures have very minimal warping and only in sections of less importance like the beginning of the Bible and the index tot he Book of Mormon. (Although they are both still important) The scriptures that I have i would never give up. If they were destroyed I would rather have my bike stolen and all of my stuff taken away than have my scriptures destroyed or lost. I love my scriptures. The notes in them are important to me. I love those scriptures. Hopefully they can make it till i get home. i am sure that they will.
I love you all and I thank you for your help with me and for your letters. I know I owe a lot of you letters and more. If I had the time I would write all of you. I love you all and I hope that this week goes well for you. Keep up the reading of the Book of Mormon. I am trying my best to find extra time to read and stay up with y'all. Stay strong and work hard.