Where do I start this week? It was a pretty crazy week with a lot of excitement!
A couple weeks ago I wrote about a kid named Jose, who we met, but he was YSA age. Well, he was just baptized on Saturday! It is so amazing to see someone who is just 18 years old have such a strong desire to come to know his Savior Jesus Christ. He has such an amazing story! Someone not knowing anything of God to now, two months later, knowing so much and coming unto the waters of baptism. I just love this gospel and the joy it brings into my life and the lives of so many others around the world.
Something else that was super exciting was Jordi receiving the Aaronic Priesthood on Sunday! So now we can help him progress towards getting a temple recommend and hopefully get him to the temple to do baptisms for deceased ancestors. Jordi has been doing so great and we are so excited for him to be able to perform ordinances with the Priesthood now.
Yesterday our ward had the primary program and it was super awesome. There are so many awesome kids in this ward. I have to write about what one girl said in her little “talk.” She talked about a time when the missionaries came over. We immediately paid more attention to what she was saying. She talked about a time when Elder Wray and I came over and talked with their family about building ourselves on Jesus Christ. He is the rock. It really made me think of how sharing just a little message can go so far. We didn’t think much about a message we shared with an active family and here is this little nine year old girl who still remembers the message we shared almost six months ago. It was pretty crazy!
We also had the opportunity to do service at President and Sister Palmer’s house! It was so great to be able to do service at their house. I love doing service! We helped them remove a fence with a couple other missionaries. There are pictures below.
I am all out of time for today. We are up in Sonora hanging out with the missionaries there. I am about to show Elder Miller how to play some basketball! It is so awesome having a friend in your mission! I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Service at President Palmer’s house!
This is the coolest guy on the block. His name is Paul and he is super awesome!
We went on exchanges with the Sylvan elders this week and had dinner with the Prasad family. He is the Indian guy in our ward who makes killer curry. Well, we ate a little too much so he told us to lay on his floor for a little while. It was super funny but hey, it was awesome!
We helped paint an older couple’s trailer in our ward.
How is everyone doing? Man, it is so crazy that it is already past the middle of September. Time is flying by like crazy out here in Modesto, California! I love being here in the Riverbank Ward. It feels like I am at home in this ward. The bishop here is super awesome and the whole ward council is amazing. I think I have had the most fun serving in this ward and getting to know everyone a little bit better. The members here are amazing. The bishop here calls me the Utah boy – Haha! I am proud to be from Utah, what can I say! The Riverbank Ward is awesome! I have also really come to love President and Sister Marshall. He is the stake president here in the Modesto North Stake. We get to have dinner with them every Tuesday night and they are amazing people!
We had a pretty funny lesson this week. We knocked on the door of a less active member and he came and opened the door naked. He was holding this tiny towel but it was super awkward. He told us to come back another day. So we decided to try stopping by his neighbor’s house, who is a less active member as well. When we were leaving his neighbor’s house, the naked guy, now clothed, came out and started talking with us. It was amazing. He was a little drunk but we were able to talk about the plan of salvation. He has been struggling with some things but we are going to start visiting him more often. The spirit was so strong as we were talking about repenting and becoming better. It brought him to tears and it was awesome!
I wanted to write about a great experience we had this week. Recently, within the last couple of months, we have been invited by the prophet to be out from ten o’clock until twelve in the afternoon each and every day trying to find God’s lost children. Well, we haven’t been finding much success while doing it but this week we had a special experience because of it. We had been out from 10 until about 11:50. Only three people had opened the door and we were just ready to go home and get some lunch. Well, we were deciding on whether or not to keep going or to just stop and go home. We were right by the car at that point or we could finish knocking the doors on the road. We decided to keep knocking. Sure enough, we were able to meet a lady! We gave her a Book of Mormon and were able to testify of its truthfulness and how it has blessed our lives. We left her to read 3 Nephi 11 when Christ appears to the people in the Americas. We are going to meet with her again this week, so we will see how it goes! We were super excited and by this time it is after 12 but we still wanted to keep knocking and finish the doors on the block. The next door we knocked on another lady answered the door. We asked how Christ has played a role in her life and she said He hasn’t lately. I guess within the past couple of months she has lost her dad and two brothers. We hurried and pulled out the plan of salvation pamphlet and handed it to her. She had to go but told us we could come back next Friday, so we are hoping things will go great with her as well! It is so amazing to look at the different ways that God blesses us. We really were trying to work as hard as we could in the mornings to find people but when no one wants to talk with you it gets tough. Too many times in my life I know I have thought to myself that because I am doing this or that, that I would receive blessings right away. I have gained a strong testimony that God has so many blessings in store for each and every one of us. I have also gained a stronger testimony of how He will bless us in His timing. It is just not when we want it but when He knows we need it.
The quote for today is from L. Whitney Clayton of the Seventy. “Burdens provide opportunities to practice virtues that contribute to eventual perfection.” This is the truth. I love the gospel and I love having burdens to be able to practice my virtues and to eventually be perfected in Christ. I know this is Christ’s true church and that if we will be a great example to others we will be blessed.
We went bowling as a district with a member last Monday. We had to end the transfer on a great note! Three of the missionaries in our district went home so we had some fun!
Elder Wade and I on exchanges last week!
Here is a picture of our district this transfer!
Just another cool sunset from Riverbank, California!
So, as most of you know, this week is transfers. My companion, Elder Ramsay, will be heading back home to Kentucky and I will be receiving a new companion. Elder Silva is my new companion! We were companions in Manteca for two transfers and will be together again! Elder Silva is super awesome and I am super excited to be with him again! But, let’s take a step back. So yesterday morning we had a stake meeting with the stake presidency, President Palmer, and us. It was awesome talking about the work in the stake/zone and how we can further it. President Palmer was there a little early so right before the meeting we sat and talked with him. The first thing he asked me was, “Are you ready for a challenge?” When your mission president asks if you are ready for a challenge, I did not know what to think. Come to find out he was just messing with me. All day yesterday during church and until we received our phone call I was freaking out. I love President Palmer and how he has such a great sense of humor. He was just messing with me! So that is my story from yesterday and how President Palmer is such a great mission president. He knew that Elder Silva and I had been together before. I am excited to continue to serve in the Riverbank Ward!
We had the opportunity to go on exchanges with the Sylvan elders this week. I went with Elder Wade and Elder Ramsay went with Elder Jarvis. Elder Wade is a super awesome missionary. We had a lot of fun and were able to teach a few lessons that went great. For exercise we rode our bikes to the doughnut shop down the road and got doughnuts. Ha! The doughnut shop is called Mr. T’s Donuts. It is a famous doughnut shop!
We had a less active member come to church this week! I have talked about the Dancy family a little bit but they are a great family! We got Sister Dancy’s son, Ryan, to church on Sunday and it seemed like he loved it. They are a family that we have been working with for a little while now and it is so amazing the progress that they have made. I love being able to see how much people change with the gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives and fully accepting it. The Dancy family is a miracle! They are great and we will continue to help and to learn and to grow together!
On Saturday morning we had the opportunity to go and do service. We helped at a End Alzheimer’s walk. It was awesome! They gave us Home Depot aprons with wristbands in it and paper that people could fill out if they wanted to learn more about AIM! AIM is Alzheimer’s Impact Movement. It was awesome to learn about Alzheimer’s. It was amazing to be at the walk!
The quote for today is a quote from President Monson. It says, “It is in the doing – not just the dreaming – that lives are blessed, others are guided, and souls are saved.” I love this quote. We need to be doers and not dreamers. I really feel like this applies to missionary work. Sometimes we are too scared to let people know what religion we are. Sometimes we aren’t sure how they would accept it. I know that if we will just open our mouths and stop dreaming about how amazing it would be if someone would join the church, that doing something about it will bless lives. We need to be good examples to others and let them know who we are and what we stand for! I love this gospel and am so grateful for the opportunity I have each and every day to serve. I wouldn’t change this amazing experience for anything else. Sometimes we just need to do hard things! Have an awesome week!
Elder Ramsay and I helped a potential investigator with some service. It was great!
At the Alzheimer’s walk. Sorry for the weird face. The sun was pretty bright!
This is my homie, Elder Black! He was friends with Elder Wray before his mission.
We get some pretty cool sunsets out here!
What is up family and friends? Things are going great out here in Modesto, California! This past week we had a massive heat wave and the past couple of days it has been between 108 to 110 with a decent amount of humidity. It is so crazy because when you walk outside you just start dripping with sweat because it is so hot and humid. We did a lot of finding/tracting this past week. Well, at least it felt like it was a lot because it was so hot outside. Between 10 and 12 we usually are out and about knocking doors and trying to find people to teach. Before my mission I thought knocking doors was going to be super hard and not fun at all but come to find out it is great! It is so awesome to be able to talk with a bunch of people – no matter how hot it is.
This week I had the opportunity to go on exchanges with Elder Miller and Elder Spencer! We were in a trio for the day and it was so awesome. It was especially funny to be with Elder Miller. He is a character. We did a lot of finding while we were on exchanges and were able to only talk with a couple of people. It was just so awesome being with him! Elder Spencer is also super awesome. He races dirt bikes and lives in Payson. I told him we will have to go riding when we get home. It is so awesome serving a mission because you get to meet so many new people and make so many new friends!
We had mission leadership council this week and it was fantastic! We talked about why it is so important that we teach doctrine from the scriptures and then promise blessings using the scriptures. The scriptures are truly the word of God. It is amazing what we can read about in the scriptures on how we can become better and the blessings that will come from obeying what we read. It is just so amazing to have such a wonderful mission president and his wife. They both always have such amazing comments that really touch your heart.
We also had the opportunity to have presidents interviews this week! It was so awesome to be able to sit down with President Palmer and talk about life. He is such a fun and loving mission president! We got to be there for most of the day so it was pretty great. We had two days this last week that we hardly did any proselyting. It was a great week all around!
The quote for today is, “A useful way to think of the commandments is they are loving counsel from a wise, all-knowing Heavenly Father.” – L. Tom Perry. The commandments are here to help us so that we can return to live with God again. I know that sometimes they might seem like burdens but they are truly here for our benefit and our growth. I love the gospel and am grateful for the commandments!
P.S. I forgot to wish my brother in law a happy birthday this week. Happy Birthday, Chad! Thanks for being so great and I hope you enjoyed moving on your birthday!
Exchanges with Elder Miller and Elder Spencer!
Elder Wade and I got new glasses!