Monday, February 20, 2012

1st 2 weeks back!

OK well I told you guys that I was going to try and keep the whole email every week thing going and I meant it.  Personally I think that it keeps a pretty good journal, in all of the back and forth letters that I have written in the total 15 months of my mission i was able to have 256 pages of back and forth communication, all with weekly events personal experiences and testimony.  If I can get that all organized into a good format, it might even be worth printing out and making into a bound book, but that is still a ways down the line.

Cool well since there were no questions, I guess I should just launch right into it.

I have really enjoyed being home, the transition was definitely easier this time around but by no means easy.  I think there is some kind of minor depression that goes into going from hyper-drive into humdrum speed.  Going forward always having something important to do and say and never having a spare moment to, twiddling my thumbs trying to find things to do and give myself purpose.  There are real valid blessings to being a missionary of having all of that life style even if the trade offs are severe anxiety getting dizzy and passing out every once in a while.   :)  (BTW I think that I express myself better in email/writing than in speaking, maybe its because I can be more open, chew over my words feel if they are honest at the core and then decide I'm good with them, even if they are strong, because they are honest)

Quick update (SINCE BEING HOME)
  1. watched Captain America (AWESOME) * * * *
  2. watched Harry Potter 7 Part two (AWESOME) * * * *
  3. Read Book 4 of Eragon (AWESOME) * * * *
  4. Have applied to work at a bunch of different places no luck yet but i have had a couple of good leads and need to follow up on a few others.
  5. I have scheduled a consultation for my surgery, it will be at the end of the month, and the surgery within two weeks after that.
  6. Met with bishop and he wants to make me a veil worker (I'M SO EXCITED THAT WOULD BE AWESOME!)
  7. and other than that i have just been trying to keep busy, enjoy the time that i have with my family, especially my little brothers and start keeping in contact with people so that i don't loose the connections that I made with people while on my mission.

A couple of good spiritual experiences that I had since I have been home have been, 1 when I reported to the high council, and 2 when I did sealings in the temple with dad.

OK so when I got home I was able to go and see president Ostler that first afternoon and get released.  That was pretty much the same way it went last time other than it wasn't so traumatizing ;) and he informed me that I would be reporting to the High Council on Sunday before church.  Then between when I found out and that morning I think I was reminded by my parents about 5-6 different times, I love you guys but I get the message on the second or third try! but I was an amazing experience because I wasn't the only missionary released I was one of four reporting to the high council that day, the others were Elder Tyler Fletcher, Elder Andrew Nicole, and Elder Blake Decker.  It was made amazing because while reporting we were asked to give our name, where we served, a spiritual experience that we had on our mission, and our testimony.  Well Tyler Fletcher went first and talked about a woman he had been teaching who had broken every commandment in the book, but then met the missionaries and was able to turn it all around, and find true happiness through the gospel. Andrew talked about being able to work with people and help them and serve them, Blake talked about teaching a pastor and helping him realize the truthfulness of the restored gospel.  And I spoke about Dominga and Juan Jose and how the gospel can change out lives and how happy we really can be.  Being able to hear the testimonies and experiences of other returned missionaries was amazing, it was a place where the spirit was able to speak and testify to each of us individually and as a whole.  I never have really doubted that the  church was true, it was one of those things where I was born knowing and the first time I prayed to know, I got an answer more like "you already know that it's true, why do you need to ask?"  and I've been able to see things and have different experiences that have only built that testimony and never taken away from it.  Through all the hard time that we can possibly experience , we have a choice we can either become bitter or better, and i choose to come closer to god.  Being in that room and feeling of those testimonies was a great experience and served to build my testimony of what i know to be right.

And the other spiritual experience that I had in the past two week was that I was able for the first time in my life go and perform sealings.  That was a different experience then i am used to in the temple, it was smaller and seemed to me to be much more personal.  It was just me, dad, and grandpa king, with two other couples and the... sealer(?).  and as we sat down and were able to perform these sacred ordinances it really hit me how great the whole plan of salvation really is.  It reminds me of the temple movie that the church put out to help people understand what temples are "between heaven and earth" and this part where Elder Holland says "...heaven wouldn't be heaven for me if I didn't have my wife, and my family..."  and i would just like to echo that thought. It really wouldn't be all that great of a place if we were doomed to be alone for the rest of our lives in paradise, we would probably all eventually go crazy. and so as i sat and was a witness to the couples being sealed and listening to the blessings being promised I was touched by the spirit again testifying that this is true and that god is behind all of it. (that's why i went on a brief temple walk afterwards just to soak it all up being able to have the blessing of a temple so close at hand."

OK so This is more because Shannon was pestering me to make a list of Goals of all the things that I want from life and things like that, that I decided to put in this section and hey, I did hear that if you tell someone your goals the chances of you actually achieving those goals goes up by like 50% so what the heck I want to be successful so this might become a weekly thing of goals I have short term (this weekly), and some long term ones too. then we might be able to connect the dots.

So starting with the biggest and the smallest seems easiest to me.  Biggest I want to become like my heavenly father, and live in the celestial kingdom.  pretty simple and straightforward. and well the goal that is going to take residence over every other goal that I have so this should get he headline vote of what I want to do.  So between here and there there are a couple of things that I need to do
  1. keep covenants
  2. daily study
  3. attend church meetings/activities
  4. weekly temple attendance
  5. constantly repent(become more Christlike)
All the other goals i have are pretty short term, find a job, recover from surgery, start dating, get to 10-15% body fat, go back to school, and see about going back out on a mission.  All good ones and the one everyone is probably most interested in is the last one, and why I would even make that a goal.  Well, its because in spite of the mission being the hardest part of my life so far (I haven't been a parent yet) it is the one that makes me the most happy, it makes me feel like i have purpose and that I am doing what i am supposed to be doing.  now do i know if i will yet.  no there are a lot of hurtles that i still have to jump through to make that one happen and I'm not sure that it is the course of least resistance at all.  am at one of those junctures again in my life where i think god would be good with both choices and everyone else seems to be complacent to do the same thing.  I know go has accepted my sacrifice and that i completed my mission from the experience that I had in the temple, but if there is more that i can do, i want to do it.  and maybe i'm supposed to stay here and fulfill a calling and i would be ok with that but i want to work in the lords kingdom and help move his work along, because nothing brings me greater happiness.

anyways i kinda feel like i went off on a rant there.  but it feels good to get that all out of my system.  Also another good reason why weekly emails would be a good thing!, oh and i think I am changing my P-Days to Sunday as the day that I get ready to face the rest of the week(spiritually) I'm still going to have to shop on other days.  but it also gives me a chance to write an email, which i don;t usually get the chance during the rest of the week, or at least i won't as soon as i get an actual schedule going.

so that pretty much brings you up to speed on everything that has been going on.

My plans for this week are to:  go hiking with Aaron and Tate, see star wars in 3D, get a father's blessing from dad for family home evening, laser tag with singles ward on Tuesday, basketball with singles ward on Thursday, maybe clean house on Wednesday. and get a exercise routine down that i might be able to carry over into other schedules like running/biking in the morning or p90x or something. if i can do that on top of finding a job, and going to the temple on Friday.  I will have had a pretty successful week!

anyways I'm running out of things to say, a lot more has happened that is probably worth writing about but I can share all of that later!



Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Well there were no questions this week so I'm almost at a loss of how to start this letter! I guess getting to talk to me over Skype on Sunday kinda took all the questions away huh. Oh well all is good over here in the Spokane area of the world.

OK not a ton of stories for this week, naturally everyone has been super busy the week leading up to Christmas and we didn't get a lot done in regards to the work, just snip-its here and there and helping people remember the true meaning of Christmas. its absolutely amazing how many people don't get it anymore, how they just try and make it a "family holiday" without remembering the real reasons for why we have this day to begin with.

Oh well people will be people and there is not a ton we can do about it, we can only exhort (strongly encourage/invite) people to come unto Christ and leave the decision up to them.
I guess I really just want to use this time to give my testimony of the Savior. I can only marvel at the amazing impact that he has had in the history of humanity, if looked at as only a man, there has never been another individual like him who has altered the course of human culture so dramatically, and with such influence has been remembered for more than two thousand years. And it's not that he is just remembered, think of all the people you have ever heard about in history, how many of them are remembered with love? how many of them are more than just facts on a page about certain events, to which they have been given credit. The Christ is a man who has been remembered because he lived, and taught. And not because of some sort of prestige or high rank in society, he started his life being born amid the stables in Bethlehem, a small out of the way city, and laid in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn. I think just from looking historically there has never been or ever will be another personage to really compare with Jesus the Christ. I know his teachings, not perfectly I am still just a student in his divine word, but it is remarkable in its simplicity and clarity and through living those precepts and principles we are able to receive more peace and joy than from any other source. I know not just of his magnificence as a teacher though, I know of a truth his divinity and place as the son of god. I know that he literally was and is the son of god, and as such he is our savior. he performed miracles through the power of the priesthood and showed forth many signs and wonders to signal to the people where they might look for peace and hope and salvation. He preformed the atonement, where he sacrificed himself for the sins of the world and gave us the opportunity to go back and live with our father in heaven, i know of a realness that the atonement is not just words on a page or a free ride, but something that we can apply into our lives and come out clean, obtain divine help and feel his support lifting us higher than we imagined possible. I know that there is a God, that he has a plan for us, and that Jesus Christ came down to fulfill that plan and allow us the opportunity to choose for ourselves if we would follow that plan. He loves us dearly, more than we can possible imagine, he understands us, he has felt everything that we feel and knows how to succor us. He exhorts us and says come unto me, but leaves us the choice to accept his helping hand or to struggle through on our own strength. My only desire is that some day I will be able to meet my savior and be welcomed into his warm embrace and feel of the potency of the love that he has for me, and then be able to hear him say, "You did it, you made it." And to be able to show my gratitude to him for everything he has given me is a small price to pay, that's one of the reasons i try so hard on my mission. Because I know this is true, I know that it will bring people to him, and I know that I need to share what I have felt with everyone else.

I love my savior, and I love my family.

Well I am looking forward to the New Year, for the chance to make some resolutions and revamp myself and start with a new determination to become better. Not sure what my resolutions will be quite yet, but I will probably have them by next week. And I will try and let off at least 1 balloon, who knows maybe I can get more people started on the tradition! I remember you guys in all my prayers and hope all is going well. I will try and write letters by hand as well, I think my big hold up is the fact that I don't have very many interesting stories to share but I will try and do better.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Love your Neighbor!!

Mom's Questions

Do you get to do that from a members home? We are we will be doing it from the Simpson's home, at least that is what i have heard.
Do you have any idea what time you will be skyping? well our church block is from 9-9:55 so probably around noonish is when i will finally get around to calling ;)
Did you get your package at your apartment last week on Wednesday? I did, thank you so very very much, and i only cheated 1 time. i thought the 11 was a 1, sorry. but I'm loving them all! and I will get around to writing Marlee a special note, i need to make it out to the post office soon
Dads Questions
Howdy, how did Washington treat you this past week? Well not amazing we were sick 4 of the seven days I ended up going stir crazy jut sitting around the apartment all day long but we were able to have a few very powerful lessons and put 3 more people on date bringing the total number of people that i have put on date in the US to 10! just goes to show you that the US has just as much potential as PERU. :)
Do any of them have any children yet? yes actually a lot of them have children but most under the age of 5 but they are so cool and its great to help these new families find direction in their lives and I hope to be able to be there when they get sealed in the temple.... oh yeah they are totally going to make it all the way there ;) i can see it.
Are they older or younger? most of them are younger, mostly in their 20s - 30s, but that's a great age group and one that seems to be able to relate to me pretty darn well so I'm okay with it, they are all children of god and I will lift where I stand.

Wow, not very many questions this week, that's OK i guess, i didn't really write that great of a letter last week so i guess i cant complain. i just always love question and i hope your posting them in my blog, because you never know what kinds of things i may want to try and remember the details of how things actually were and what other people may be interested in knowing (some people may have the same questions as you guys)
Anyways if i get a say in how it all goes together, it would be copy and paste it all into a word document, spell check it and then copy and paste it into the blog. there is nothing that i write that i would mind if someone found so just make it easy on yourselves. :)

cool well it's story time and do i have a story this week, we were having way too much fun being sick all this week, (btw its a real measure of how much someone loves you when they clean up your vomit) but it was all normal gringo things to me so i spent most of the time between throwing up cleaning up my companions barf. but we did get better by Sunday morning and were able to make it to church and to a couple of appointments in the evening one such person is an 18 year old girl named Samantha (no i don't know her last name) oops i need to back up a little, about a week and a half ago we were riding our bikes and i felt impressed to stop and talk with a larger man with two little girls on the street corner and started talking with him. Well his name was Brian and we found out that he was a member and he had with him his two nieces and they are not members well we found out that there mother was but wasn't coming very often and so we took note of their address and of their uncle Brian and set up an appointment and were able to go visit him but the girls weren't there.

anyways so back to this Sunday well we were meeting with Samantha and she is living with some friends (for the last two weeks) and we were able to have a dinner appointment at a members home (so she and the adoptive mother and one of her daughters came to the dinner appointment) and have a lesson afterwards and we really got know her (she is amazing and really funny and is just about as busy and involved in everything as a person possibly can be, just a great all around person) and her family and have an amazing lesson about the book of Mormon and by the end of it the spirit was so very very strong and we were able to invite her to be baptized this next month and she accepted so we set up another appointment for tonight and we are going to see how it goes. also there may be a lot of potential in helping the family she is staying with because only the mother is a member so we may have potentially found a gold mine of good people.

but it hit me later on in the lesson that the daughter looked very familiar and then as we were getting ready to leave i realized that it was Brian's niece and that's when it hit me. the impression to go and talk with Brian on the corner was pretty much telling me that there was someone ready in his immediate circle that was ready to listen to the gospel. and it is true she is so ready to let the savior and his teaching come in to her life and allow his power to heal her of some of the burdens that she has put up with for a long time

I know that our father in heaven loves each and every one of his children and that he is involved in their lives that he wants for what is best for them and is guiding us to be his hands in helping them receive this restored gospel and be alleviated from their sorrows and trials. I love this work and know that it is god that moves it forward.

as put recently "i know the church is true, if it weren't the missionaries would have destroyed it long ago" we are imperfect people called to a perfect cause and we do our best and the lord takes care of the rest.