It’s been a long time since I’ve written. Sorry about that. We’ve been caught up doing our work that I’ve used a lot of time emailing our mission president.
We’ve got a lot of people that the members want us to go see. These are called referrals and missionaries love getting referrals. It shows us how hard the members are working to help their friends with either physical help or spiritual help. It brings us great joy to see the members working hard and showing the love that our Savior has for all of us.
I’m still in Parowan with Elder Jezek and we will be eating with one family this Thanksgiving. I love the members here. They take really good care of us, so there’s no need to worry about me or my companion. It’s crazy to think that I only have 3.5 months left, but this is the time where I have to do my best and work harder then I’ve ever worked before.
“Don’t worry about the end. It will come. That is why it is called the end. Focus on what is now, not what will come. Focus on becoming the best today, not the best tomorrow.” -Rai Kagami to Kitsune Darkai (Omega’s Game [My Story])
This is the start of a new transfer! I’m staying here in Parowan with my current companion, Elder Jezek, so it’s nothing too special.
We had a baptism this past Saturday! It was the baptism of Layne. We’ve been working with him for six weeks now and it was great to see him get dunked. Elder Jezek baptized him and I confirmed him the next day in sacrament meeting. It was really fun to work with him and to see his life change for the better. He’s a fun kid and his grandparents are super funny too.
We have the family we found a couple weeks ago that we are still trying to work with. They’ve been out of town for the last times we’ve had lessons planned, but they are still excited and willing to meet with us.
Last Thursday, we carved pumpkins in our District Training Meeting after our training. Elder Jezek and I had the best pumpkins there (only because we had a pumpkin carving set that we bought for just such and occasion). Everyone else was impressed with our pumpkins and it was fun. This Thursday, we have to be inside our apartment at 6 pm for Halloween.
“Forced understanding will not last. Change comes only when they see the problem themselves.” Artea (Lufia 2)
I’m emailing on Wednesday because Monday was Columbus Day and our Library was closed and we had Zone Conference yesterday in St. George and we didn’t get back until four o’clock. We had appointments from five to nine yesterday, so we had no time to email.
I’ve been out for a little over 19 months now. That means I can officially count down on one hand of how many months I have left!
Some might call me trunky. Which means that I’m living in my trunk, or suitcase, which means I’m ready to go home any minute. I’m not super trunky, but whenever someone asks me how long I’ve been out, I get a little more trunky.
We had a frustrating week. Our lessons kept cancelling on us and we weren’t able to see all of our investigators. The investigator we did see was Layne. Layne is living with his grandparents and he is on date to be baptized on October 26th. He is awesome. He wants to change, he loves church and he’s super excited to be baptized!
After having a few hard weeks trying to find here in Parowan, we found a family that is interested in learning more about the gospel and maybe even be baptized! It is a mother and three children with two that are baptism age. They’ve been in Parowan for about a year and the mom said that she was led here by our Father in Heaven for a reason she doesn’t really know. She loves the church and what we do. We’re going to start teaching her son as well later this week. The son has said that he thinks he might want to serve a mission and her oldest daughter has shown interest in being baptized, so this is a great thing for everyone!
I love being a missionary. I love the work that I’m doing and the people I’m helping. It will be a sad day when I have to stop doing it full-time. Thank you all for your support.
My current companion, Elder Jackson, is getting transferred to Milford! I am staying in Parowan and I will be getting Elder Jezek from Iowa! I know Elder Jezek a little bit. He was trained in Salina by Elder Lazarus right after I left. I love Elder Jezek and I know this will be a great transfer!
We found a young man named Layne this past week. He is living with his grandparents here in Parowan, but his parents live in Arizona, so we’re going to have to obtain their permission before we can baptize him. Layne wants to be baptized and he loves coming to church and going to young mens and scouts. He has been prepared by the Lord and I know that with prayer and fasting, the Lord will help us to bring him closer to his desire to be baptized.
We had a baptism on the 11th too! Her name is Joyce and she has had two grandsons go on missions and she was only interested at first because of her grandsons. After learning about the gospel, she came to love it and made the decision to be baptized. She was baptized by one of her grandsons and she’ll be confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and receive the Holy Ghost this upcoming Sunday. We were excited and happy to be a part of her conversion and her other grandson will come home in about a year, which is perfect, then he can go through the temple with her.
We have a recent convert who will be receiving his temple recommend in the upcoming weeks to go to the temple to be sealed with his children for time and all eternity. We are very excited for him. He has had some trials in the past and he is still strong in the gospel and he knows where he wants to go. We will be going to the temple with him when he finally sets a date to go and we will get to see the sealing power that has been restored used in a great ordinance.
Elder Jackson and I also had the opportunity to help on of our fellow missionaries stay out on a mission. He was going through some hard times, thinking he’s done his part and that he’s not helping anyone anymore. I relayed to him some of my experiences and that helped calm him down a bit. We spent the rest of yesterday with him to help him in case anything came up. He has been sick with walking pneumonia and he’s been having a bad week. He is staying out and he is going to love this next transfer he told us!
“Don’t give up Val! Don’t throw away your life! Remember who you are! Remember the light! Remember the Crusader! Throw away the darkness! Embrace the light!” -Jem Kadetchy to Valkyrion Seikatsu (Omega’s Game: Time’s Downfall [My Story])
On Saturday, all the missionaries in the mission had the opportunity to meet Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles! He spent three hours with us and helped us become better teachers and know how to help our investigators. Elder Bednar is a very funny man and I think he has become my new favorite apostle. I also was able to meet Elder L. Whitney Clayton on Saturday. He is in the Presidency of the Seventy. He also gave great insights on Saturday. On Sunday, Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Presidency of the Seventy came to our stake conference to dedicate the new chapel they built in Parowan. I got the opportunity to shake all of their hands. So within twenty-four hours, I shook hands with three general authorities.
We are having a baptism on Wednesday and we will be having another one later this month. This meeting with Elder Bednar has gotten my companion and me super excited for missionary work. I am grateful that Elder Bednar took time out of his busy schedule to speak with us and help us.
“Never give up. The moment you do, you will be considered a failure.” -Eric Airheart to Rai Kagami (Omega’s Game: Mirror Memories[My Story])
These past two weeks have been great. On the 24th, we had a baptism of an elderly lady named Barbara. She has been investigating the church by herself for about a year and when she started meeting with the missionaries, she said she new the Book of Mormon was the word of God and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. She readily accepted baptism and is now a member of the Church of Jesus Christ.
We also had the opportunity to go to the Iron County Fair this past weekend. I saw my third demolition derby and my third rodeo since I’ve been out. I have to say this demolition derby wasn’t the greatest, but the rodeo was pretty good. We also went to the carnival with a recent convert and rode some rides with them. It was fun to go on those rides again.
We had a great experience yesterday too. We were on our way to Cedar City to play sports with the other missionaries. Elder Jackson was driving and I was texting a companionship we were going to pick up. Elder Jackson was watching the speedometer while he was slowing down, because he thought he was going a little to fast, when suddenly we both looked up to see a semi swerve out of our lane back into the lane he was originally in. We were sure the Holy Ghost prompted Elder Jackson to slow down so we wouldn’t be run off the road and we were protected from danger. I am grateful that our Father in Heaven is looking out for us and sends his Spirit to help us when we need it.
“There’s nothing left to do than that which makes people happy… Helping them.” -Rai Kagami (Omega’s Game: Mirror Memories[My Story])