Dear Family and Friends,
Well, the time has come! This is the last email that I send on my mission. It is so crazy to think that two years have already gone by. I have loved every minute of it. Modesto, California is now my second home. I will always have a sweet spot in my heart for this place. I have learned so much from being here and will be forever grateful to the Lord for sending me here to this wonderful place. I was really nervous coming here because I had no idea what it was going to be like but I have come to love the fresh fruit and nuts that come from here. I have gained such a love for the people that are here. Even though some of them, not all of them, but some of them are really crazy I still love this place and always will.
This week was a great week! It was Christmas! We were able to do a lot of finding yesterday during Christmas, which was pretty interesting. There were a lot of people who opened the door but not very many people were interested. It was really neat to see how many people were grateful for us sharing Christ’s gospel and really reminding everyone of the true meaning of Christmas. I have definitely gained a deeper love for Christmas this past couple of weeks. Celebrating Christmas on a mission is totally different from celebrating it at home. Even though it was my second Christmas on my mission I learned so much. Most people are with their families enjoying family time. It is fun to explain to people when they ask why we aren’t with our families enjoying Christmas. It is a great teaching opportunity to tell them about what we do as missionaries.
We also had a wonderful Christmas Eve with a family in our ward. Their name is the Colao family. We had a great meal and then played board games with them! We played a game called Scotland Yard that was a blast. On Thursday we had our Christmas Mission Party! It was great. It was pretty sad having to say goodbye to some of my closest friends that I have made on my mission. I will be looking forward to the time when they come home so we can hang out!
I know without a doubt that God has a plan for each and every one of us. Only a couple of years ago I would have never thought that I would be in Modesto, California at the end of my mission. It is too surreal to think of. There are so many people here who have touched my life. I know that God places people in your path for a reason. I have gained a deeper relationship with the Savior of the World. Jesus Christ lives and loves each and every one of us. He is the head of this church, He is God’s Only Begotten Son. So many people don’t know the love that He has and the plan that He has for each and every one of us. That is why I am here. I love you all so much and am beyond grateful for all of the love that you have given to me during these past two years. I will see you all in two days!
Also, for those who don’t know – my welcome home will be next Sunday, December 31st at 1pm. It will be held at the Stake Center by the roundabout in Alpine.
Alpine Stake Center
98 East Canyon Crest Road
Alpine, UT 84004
Some of the fam!
Playing Scotland Yard. I was Mr. X!
Merry Christmas to all of you! This is the last email I will be sending out before it is Christmas so I hope you all have a wonderful day next Monday. Our preparation day is going to be next Tuesday! Then two days later I will be coming home to Utah! It is so crazy to think that I only have ten more days here on my mission. I love doing this work so much!
Things are going great in the Almond Grove Ward. Being in a tri companionship is still really weird. Having to stay within sight and hearing of two other missionaries at all times is crazy! This week we had the opportunity to go out with a member on “exchanges.” Elder Gross and Marble went together and I went with Brother Stapley. It was great because we were able to visit some less active Melchizedek Priesthood Holders. In our ward we have so many and we were able to invite them to church this upcoming Sunday for Christmas Eve! It was a lot of fun going with Brother Stapley!
I also was able to go on exchanges with Elder Raymond from Ogden, Utah. He is a cool missionary! He is here waiting for his Visa to arrive. He is going to Taiwan on his mission speaking Mandarin Chinese. It was awesome to be able to talk with him. We were able to teach a lesson to a lady who is actually in our area. We taught her the restoration alongside her boyfriend, who is recently home from his mission. You know what they say about Chapter 14 in Preach My Gospel – “Flirt to Convert!” It was a great lesson and we always joke about flirting to convert with him!
“Because our Father in Heaven loves us, His plan included the role of a Savior.” — Allen D. Haynie. I love this quote. It is so wonderful that we have such a loving Heavenly Father who cares for us each and every day. I know that if it weren’t for a Savior we would have no purpose for being here. It is only through Jesus Christ that we can return to live with our Father in Heaven again!
So we ate dinner with a really cool family this week. They have a wicked pool and house. We walked into their downstairs and saw the movie theater. There are three windows from the pool so you can look into the movie theater. He also told us there are speakers in the pool so you can hear the movie or just listen to music in the pool.
I didn’t take any other pictures this week. Sorry! So I decided to take a picture of the missionaries who are emailing by me. Hope this makes you happy mom!
Well, I now have my new companions. The first is Elder Gross. I think I talked about him last week. He is from Springfield, Missouri and has been on his mission for just over 12 weeks now. My second companion, since we are in a trio, is Elder Marble. He is from a little town called Tullahoma, Tennessee. He just finished his first week in the mission. Let me just start off by saying that it is pretty weird being in a trio. Not only having one person that you always have to be in sight and hearing of but now two. Please… We have a lot of fun together. I forgot how much fun training really is. It is really hard but it is also really fun! I have scared both of them countless times already so that is pretty funny.
We were able to pick up a new investigator this week. His name is Sebastian. We actually went by to visit his dad who is a potential investigator but he wasn’t home and the son wanted to talk with us. It truly was amazing. He is a junior in high school who is really polite. He asked us different questions about our missions because he has a couple of friends who are serving missions right now. He told us that he doesn’t understand why so many people are so mean to us because we are spreading the word of God. We have another appointment with him soon so we are excited for that!
The quote for today is “Not only did our Savior love all, he served all.” – Mary N. Cook. I love this quote. It is a perfect quote especially for this time of the year. We need to serve all of our brothers and sisters that are around. I love my Savior and the service that He has given to me. He has given me so many different opportunities from His service towards me.
Sorry, I don’t have much time today. We have been having too much fun talking with one another. Love you all and hope you have a wonderful week! Only 17 more days!
Here is the new district!
Here are my two new companions. Left is Elder Marble and next to me is Elder Gross.
We were biking and ran into this nice McClaren. So, new car?
Here is the man himself – Elder Marble.
Hey, Hey, Hey! What is going on everybody?
Things out here in Modesto are going great! We just got our transfer calls last night and I will be headed off to the Almond Grove Ward. Since I only have three weeks left on my mission I am going to be in a trio! My new companion’s name is Elder Gross. He has been on his mission for 12 weeks now and just got done being trained. We will be training a new missionary that is coming in today so it will be fun! Round two of training! I am sad to leave one of my favorite areas that I have served in to go to a new area for only three weeks. It will be a great three weeks though! I have so many great memories in the Riverbank Ward as well as with my companion Elder Silva. We have been together for 6 months now all together and it was great!
I am going to miss all of the wonderful members and friends that I have made in the Riverbank Ward! I am looking forward to coming back and visiting everybody! I am so grateful to have met so many people in that ward who are so kind and always willing to lend a hand. I think the Riverbank Ward is the Celestial Ward, right behind the Alpine 11th Ward! Haha! It is a joke that has been going on throughout the ward. I tell them all Zion is in Utah and they say it is here – just to fill everybody in on the joke!
There were so many different miracles that happened this week and every week! Sometimes you just don’t know where to start. I will share one miracle that happened this week. We were out biking around visiting people. We got a list of people that the ward would like us to go see. We don’t hardly know any of them. All of our plans fell through and we weren’t exactly sure what to do. We went down the list of people and felt prompted that we needed to go and visit this particular sister. She lived fairly close so we stopped by. She opened the door and said hello but said she was super sick so she couldn’t shake our hands. Well, our first instinct was to ask if she would like a blessing. She thought about it then said, “Yes.” We walked in and met her two little daughters who were both super cute. She has a four year old daughter who has down syndrome and a little two year old. They are super cute kids! Before we gave her the blessing she said she had to tell us something. I guess earlier that day she had just lost a child. She was pregnant and had a miscarriage and found out a couple hours before we knocked at her door. We gave her a blessing and after she said she felt so good. Her parents are active up in Sonora but she hasn’t been active in “the longest time.” It truly was amazing. I am grateful for God guiding us and directing us to where we needed to go. I have truly been able to see the Lord’s hand in my life as I have been here on my mission.
The quote for today is from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “Hope is never lost!” I know I have talked a lot about hope but that truly is what gets us through things. Having hope and having faith. I know I have had to have a lot of hope and faith throughout my mission. It has paid off. I hope that I can make it to the celestial kingdom! Hope is such a big word. Alma 32:21 is the best way to describe it. Have a wonderful week! We are off to play some pickleball with members in our ward!
We ate at a pretty good all-you-can-eat sushi buffet last week! It was pretty good!
So after district meeting we had the great idea to see how many people Elder Schultz could hold. Elder Silva jumped on then I jumped on top of Elder Silva. They couldn’t catch the picture fast enough so there is a before and after!
This is how we #LightTheWorld! Haha!