Hey y'all. Yeah, it's weird. I have been saying y'all lately. So much faster to text and type or say then "you guys." How is everybodyyy? Ps. Here is the correct updated version of my new address:
8220 Sweetbrier Ln SE Apt A201
Lacey, WA 98513
Laceytown is awesome. So BIGGG. We cover 2 pretty decently sized wards so there is a lot to know and learn and remember. And i am pretty sure that I got to get this down in the remaining 5 weeks because Holman has been here going on 6 months at the end of this transfer. Hopefully, President sends me someone good to help me take over this area. It kind of reminds me of all my past areas combined. Spread out and woody in some parts like Silverdale. Ghetto trailers and stuff like Btown. And crackheads and normal people that make for lots of success like Lakewood. The people here are pretty friendly. they worship the sisters. Makes for somewhat of an easier transition.
We went to this stake Memorial breakfast the other day and this 20something guy walks in with these two cute little girls and sporting a blue SD hat. He ended up sitting right behind us and I asked him if he was from San Diego. Turns out he was in the Vista 4th ward and then moved to Ramona at some point in his life but he knows tons of people that I know. His name is Jesse Price. He knows Rob Harmon and his wife from BYUH and consequently knows Brian Poppleton and Blakey Baxter. He knew Karch Rondo haha from meeting him through Cameron. He knew a bunch of kids from Vista. Small world, eh? I always love meeting or running into people from home. Makes it seem less far away.
How was your bday Scott? I'm glad you loved the WA-TAC socks. I love the mission pride that there is here in the WA-TAC. I never got into school pride, even in college. Prob cause I never really felt that proud or connected to my schools. But I love it here so much. I love WA pride too. We went and explored downtown Olympia yesterrday. So RAD. I love that place. So artsy. Haha.
Mom, I got the package. We had to go up to Lakewood on Saturday because I got permission to go see three of my investigators get baptized. It was a MIRACLE. Kids 8, 9, 10 all entered the waters of baptism. I never thought the day would come for two of them. Leann, 9, and Derrick, 10 are brother and sister and are the most painfully shy little Viatnamese kids you would ever meet. On the surface you would think they were progressing as fast as molasses but they really did comprehend everything that we were teaching. They just wouldn't really volcalize it all too often.
The past couple weeks have been mission changing for me. I sent off a few of my closest friends out here in the mission as they completed their time serving here in the WA-TAC. Such bittersweet emotions seeing them go and leaving Steilacoom all at the same time. I have come to find my mission to be sacred and special. This is where I have come to know Christ as my personal Savior and Redeemer. I have self-discovered. I have stretched. Grown. Been tested and Tried. I have triumphed. I have accomplished. I have suffered. I have walked through fire. But I have done so with the Lord. We are going to the temple tomorrow. This will be the first time in nearly a year. I cannot wait for the time that I will have to be instructed and taught and also the time I have to reflect on the past year of my service. To then look forward to the remaining 6 months and magnify every minute left of it.
Miracles are to be found. They are conditional only according to our faith. "To get something you've never had, you must do something you've never done."
TGI-Pday.. man another week of trials and testing times. Pday always seems to come in the clutch for us. We did insanity this morning. It's been a really fun way to strengthen our district as well as our quads. hahah. Getting up early to do it is more than half the battle. But I think the effort is paying off. I feel a lot stronger and healthier during the work and I think we all look a little better too. Today we are going out to hike to a sunken battle ship. How rad is that? At low tide you can actually hike out to a sunken battle ship that has sunk to the bottom of the Sound. Washington is so cool.
We had a mission conference this past week and Elder Gavarett from the Seventy came to visit the mission. I could talk about a lot of things, but for the sake of time and not re-hashing old wounds I will just say that he lovingly but sternly told the mission that we need to pick it up. Things we could improve and things we can be better on to rise even higher than we already have. He set a goal for 170 baptisms in the month of May. It's been done before, we reached almost 200 in October but lately baptisms have been slowing down. But he did say that in his meeting on Thursday in the SLC temply with the apostles and President Monson he will tell them that the Washington Tacoma mission is willing and does heed the counsel of the Prophet. So COOL.
Finding MIRACLE. We had nothing planned at 1pm this past week on a Friday. yikes. That is the twilight hour if you have nothing planned. No one is usually home so its hard to knock doors. Most people are working. Makes for hard times to teach lessons if you don't have one already planned. We were so exhausted and just did not feel like working. Sis Chronister suggested that we go street contact down by the ferry dock in downtown Steilacoom. That has proved to be a successful spot for us in the past. Except when we got there on Friday it was dead as a doornail. No one out. It was easy to give in to the temptation to complain or feel like we were wasting time. But after we walked around a few blocks we ran into a miracle. We came to the top of a hill at this really pretty lookout point. There was the cutest Korean man sitting on a bench looking out at the Sound. I told Sister Chronister that she was going to be the one to initiate the conversation. Finding is not her strongsuit and I wanted to challenge her to stretch. She refused the challenge and so I relented and started talking to him. Within minutes he covered his eyes and let out soft but deep sobs. He told us that he was visiting his family in WA and had come from Anaheim, CA. He told us of his family problems and that he just is so depressed with no peace in his life. He told us that he was contemplating suicide and that his heart is so hurt. We taught him about God's love for us through the Book of Mormon. When we were at the mission office this past week I felt impressed to grab a Korean Book of Mormon as we were heading out the door. Good thing! But it was back in the car and we were 3 blocks from it. He got a phone call and said his family was coming to pick him up at the park. We told him to wait there if he could and we would get the book.
I don't think I have ever ran so fast in my life! Let alone in a skirt. There was a cop parked at an intersection and if he were to clock us we would have been breaking the law we were jammin. haha. We made it to the car and sped up to the hill. He was still there! I gave him the BOM and a copy of Finding Faith in Christ DVD and told him he could watch it in Korean. Then I felt impressed by the spirit to give him a hug. So I just reached over and gave him a hug. He hugged me back and cried for a few seconds. I could feel the relief that he must have felt as he physically let himself relax. He told us that he visited Provo, UT once and that Mormons are the nicest people he has ever met. He said when he goes back to CA he is going to look up the missionaries there and if he ever joins a church he is joining the Mormon church because they live the way that Christ would want his people to live.
I testify that He LIVES. And that the gospel is true. The power and miracle of the Atonement is real.
"We need to be constantly reminded of the eternal reasons behind the things we are commanded to do. The basic gospel principles need to be part of our life's fabric, even if it means learning them over and over again. That doesn't mean that this process should be rote or boring. Rather, when we teach the foundational principles in our homes or in church, let the flame of enthusiasm for the gospel and the fire of testimony bring light, warmth, and joy to the hearts of those we teach."