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I think an Ozzy Osbourne reference fits here.

“Mama, I’m coming home…” -Ozzy Osbourne

This has been a great transfer! Elder Baros and I had 4 baptisms and we found quite a few investigators as well for the incoming missionaries.I have enjoyed this last transfer and I hope the work continues to move along here in Nephi.

This is the last time I’ll be writing for my missionary service as I go home in 2 days! I just want to say, I’m glad I left to go on a mission. It has helped me greatly in my life as well as others.

About 3 years ago, long before I left on a mission, I decided I didn’t want to serve a mission. I thought that since my dad didn’t serve a mission and he is successful in life, I didn’t need to either. I was asked to pray about a mission and see what my Heavenly Father would tell me. After fighting it for a long time, I decided to pray and ask. I received my answer and I told my family that I was going to go on a mission. I find it funny how just saying a simple prayer can change a mindset from being 100% against something to being 100% for something. I received my testimony of prayer on that night and I have stuck with it ever since.

I have become a better person from going on a mission. I have learned how to teach, how to listen, how to not be shy, how to study, and how to follow the Spirit. I have learned how to live life you could say. I know what I teach is true. I know there is a God and that He is our Father who lives in Heaven. I know His son, Jesus Christ, died for our sins and allowed us the ability to repent and be forgiven for our sins. They love us more than we can imagine. I know Jesus Christ called Joseph Smith to be a prophet and that he was able to translate an ancient record from a ancient language into English so that we may read what those of ancient times wrote.

“I [know] it, and I [know] that God [knows] it, and I [cannot] not deny it, neither [dare] I do it.” -Joseph Smith (Joesph Smith History 1:25)

Elder Billings

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Faith Brings Miracles!

We’ve had a great couple weeks these past weeks. The week before last, the 3rd through the 9th, we had a baptism of a woman named Jennifer. She was taught by Elder Baros and his last couple of companions and he decided to set her aside since she wasn’t progressing. After going to church some more, she went to her bishop and told him that she wanted to be baptized. The bishop told us what she told him and we went over and scheduled her baptism. She was baptized on the 8th. She said she’s seen a difference in her children after going to church and a difference in herself and her family as well. The gospel is there to help us become better people and come closer to our Savior. That is why I love it. That’s why I’m on a mission. To help others come closer to Jesus Christ, which is all our church does, is help others come closer than they already are.

We had another baptism this past Saturday of a 12 year old boy, Jaysen. He moved to Nephi about a year ago and started going to boy scouts with other kids his age. He’s enjoyed scouts and his little brother was baptized in the past and he decided he should be as well. It was a little tough to meet with him since he and his family would randomly leave for shopping or anything else. Thanks to his scout leader, we got to teaching him consistently. He’s a great kid, who has a great heart. His friends really help him with whatever he needs help with.

We only have 2 weeks before we come home. It’s a weird feeling. Afraid to change dramatically again. The transition from high school to the real world wasn’t hard compared to the transition in and out of a full-time mission. I have faith that my Father in Heaven will help me overcome all the challenges that are placed in my way. I’ve gained a firm tesimony on the mission that miracles happen because of one’s faith. In Moroni 7:37, it tells us that. I know that for a fact, for I have seen it in my missionary service. I knew the Lord would lead people to us and would let us see miracles and help us in out travels. He has done so and I am grateful for it.

There’s a man in our ward, the ward mission leader, who I have something in common with him. We share the same last name.

Kirk & Bro Billings

{>Elder Billings<}

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Last Transfer!

Well… Here it is. My last transfer in the mission field. Elder Baros and I are staying here in Nephi where we’ll finish our missions. We will “kill” each other as we say in missionary lingo. We had a lot of miracles this past week and it seems our last transfer will be a great one!

First off; I don’t think I told you all yet, but we live under a vet clinic. One of our bishops is the vet and we get to help him a lot with animals. Last night, he had to do surgery on a dog. The dog had gotten caught in a trap of some kind and his toe had to be cut off. The wound looked pretty messed up, but within 30 minutes, Bishop Meyers, that’s his name, had the wound sewed up and ready to go. It’s very interesting to see how a vet actually operates on animals.

We had a baptism last Saturday of Gavin! We found him my 2nd week in Nephi and he was fun to teach. His mom is a returning member of the church and his brothers are funny as well. Another of our investigators, Bill, is getting baptized this upcoming weekend. Elder Baros has been working with him ever since he got to Nephi and now he’s finally committed to be baptized.

We found 4 new investigators this past week after not finding many for the past 5 weeks. The Lord blesses us when we endure our trials and keep working. Our first person is named Ted and he’s been going to church for about 5 weeks now. Our Bishop in his ward, also our landlord, told us that he thinks Ted is ready for the gospel. Ted has been to many churches and sees that he feels there’s more in our church than the ones he’s gone to in the past. He believes God will give him an answer to his prayers once he’s started reading the Book of Mormon and we know he’ll get an answer too.

Our second new investigator was Mauricio. He was taught by missionaries 2 years ago, but stopped after Mauricio moved to a different house in Nephi. His uncle moved into his old home and told the missionaries that he moved out of the country and that’s the reason why the missionaries stopped going by. His wife is a member and wants to start coming back to church. Mauricio was scheduled to be baptized 2 years ago and we’re helping him get back to that point. He’s receptive and listens very well.

Next on our list of new investigators is Jade. She is 10 years old and her parents have given their consent for her to be baptized. She’s been going to church for 2 years and she wants to be baptized. Her mom is a less-active member and her dad isn’t a member of the church.

Our last new investigator we found was Jennifer. Elder Baros taught Jennifer when he first came to Nephi about 6 months ago and she wasn’t very interested then. She talked to our bishop in her ward and told him that she wanted to be baptized. We scheduled a date for her and are very excited for her.

We are very excited for the upcoming weeks as we finish up the time we have as full-time missionaries.

“Just remember; the fruit on the other side of the swamp will always taste sweeter.” -Brad Hikari to Chris Mekkaniku (Omega’s Game: Demon of Time [My Story])

{>Elder Billings<}

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Not much time left . . .

Can you believe I only have 7 weeks left as a full-time missionary!? It’s hard to believe that myself. It doesn’t feel like it’s been almost two years ago since I was with Elder Ware, my trainer.

A lot of great things are happening in this area. The 9 year boy we’re teaching, Gavin, is working towards his baptism on the 18th of this month and it’s looking solid. Gavin’s a really good kid with a big desire to learn and understand. He’s smart and he loves church.

Our other investigator, Bill, who is preparing for baptism on the 25th of this month, is hard to meet with. He just needs one more lesson and he can be ready to be baptized. He works on cars and whenever someone calls him to fix their car, he takes the job and that usually is what causes us to not meet with him often.

There are many other people that we have seen at church who are non-members and are interested in meeting with us. We have the potential to find 4 new people this week to teach and that’s amazing! Although I only have a few weeks left, I’m working hard to not get too trunky.

{>Elder Billings<}

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Happy New Year!

Had a great time talking to my family on Christ-mas. It’s hard to believe that I only have about 10 weeks until I come home! That’s no time at all!

A couple weeks ago, we went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders (ZLs), Elders (Kirk) Basset and Berven. I went to Mt. Pleasant and Elder (Kirk) Basset went to Nephi with Elder Baros. Elder Baros is the District Leader (DL), so that’s why we went on exchanges with the ZLs. It was great to go back and see Mt. Pleasant again. I covered the north quarter of Mt. Pleasant when I was in Fairview about 6 months ago.

Last week we went on exchanges with the Nephi North Elders, Elders Lazarus and Christensen. I went to their area with Elder Lazarus. We had a great time! I served with Elder Lazarus in Salina in October and November of 2012. It was a great chance to catch up on the mission and how we’ve improved since our transfer together.

For Christ-mas and Christ-mas Eve, we spent the day with one of Elder Baros’s recent converts, Chaz. We played Settlers of Catan and Apples to Apples. We had a great time with Chaz and the family he’s staying with.

It’s been a great transfer so far! We’ve found a new investigator yesterday. His name is Gavin and he’s 9 years old and he’s super smart! He remembers everything we taught him and what he was taught in church. We have another investigator, Bill, that is scheduled to be baptized on the 4th of January.

There are many things that will be happening soon after the holidays are over, so look forward to hearing about those!

{>Elder Billings<}

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New Transfer!

I am very excited for this transfer. Elder Baros and I were in the MTC together and we had a great time together there and I know we’re going to have a great time here in Nephi. We’re getting along great and it’s been a blast so far!

We had a little trouble getting lessons this week with a change in how we count lessons, but we’re sure we’ll be able to bring those numbers back up soon. We learned from our cordination with the Ward Mission Leaders last night that there are an additional 3 new potentials that we could potentially find. We also have 3 other potentials in one family that we are trying to contact, and we have 2 more potentials that we found through personal contacting, so that makes 8 potential new investigators! This area is full of work and it keeps coming.

{>Elder Billings<}

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I’m Leaving . . .

I am going to Nephi! I’m going to be with Elder Baros from Oregon. He was in my MTC district so I feel that this transfer will be a good one. Most likely I will finish my mission in Nephi since I only have two transfers left right now. I will most likely finish my mission with Elder Baros as well since we go home at the same time.

I’m super excited for this upcoming transfer. I am sad to be leaving Parowan, but I guess if the Lord wants me to leave, then I will leave. There are a lot of things happening here. We found 2 new investigators this past week and we will be picking up another one tomorrow! This is a great thing to be happening this close to Christmas.

{>Elder Billings<}