Thursday, January 15, 2015

1/13/15 Week 11 I Think - I've lost track

       Thank you every one who has sent me packages and congrats to the Cleggs on their new baby boy! This week was another great one for the mission. Slowly but surely the work is getting better after the lull of the holidays. We changed a members fuel pump and filter for a service project last Saturday.  I am really impressed with myself for not using foul language.  That has occurred before when working with cars - especially because the gas tank just did not want to cooperate with us.
        This week is my last week of training - which isn't even training because the book says I have to do everything I feel ready for - whatever the Lord has to offer me this next transfer. Next week P-day will be on Wednesday and I will be able to let you know how transfers went and if I am staying or not. I really thought it was funny when dad said to me that Lisa Mapel was probably dehydrated from Gavin’s farewell.
        The mission is such an awesome experience and I love being an instrument in the Lord’s hands. We had an exchange miracle were Elder Elliott showed an object lesson for the kids and how to tear a piece of paper once and it makes a cross. It was with a lady we had been trying to meet with for a long time and she finally let us in (thank goodness for us having a member with us that day).  She had over 10 children she was watching and she wanted them to hear the message.  It was like trying to watch someone herd cats. We finally taught them a lesson and taught them about the Book of Mormon and she was really excited to get to reading.

         We started meeting with a Catholic priest.  So, now we are meeting with two big-wigs in churches from around here. He was from Colorado - so we instantly clicked and he enjoyed our message. Our other tough investigator, who was a pastor, is finally praying about what we are teaching him and we are getting somewhere with him! We would have dropped him already but President PĂ©rez told us that eventually he will be baptized.  I am finally starting to see the good from that and he has been investigating for years! I feel like Ammon with King Lamoni. The cool thing is that when the Spirit is there in a lesson, He teaches better than any man ever could. I am so blessed to be able to serve the Lord and to see the blessings that are coming from that power being worked through me! Thank you every one for your support! I love you all and am so happy that I am able to always have the love of my family and friends with me wherever I may go. The Lord has a plan for each of us and it is exciting to see were in the puzzle we all fit –Alma 40:10  “And when the time cometh when all shall rise, then shall they know that God knoweth all the times which are appointed unto man.

1/6/15 Zone Conference

I am really, really, excited for Gavin to be going on his mission this week.  He is going to be a great missionary. Every one support Elder Maple! The good things and letters and packages I have received from my family and ward back home have made all the difference! I am glad the holiday season is over.  I hate to sound like a Grinch but as a missionary it is hard to get work done when everyone is too busy to hear about Jesus on his birthday and New Year.
         I am really excited now that it is a new year and people are ready for change! This past week in zone training our zone leaders talked about our new goals as a mission and I am really excited for them. One is to have a change of attitude - which I think is awesome. “All that a mind can conceive and believe it can achieve.”  That is something the zone leaders quoted us from one of the Quorum of the Twelve. I am excited to have my first full year as a missionary and to be able to serve with all I have. The Lord has people prepared and I can’t wait to find them!
         I was reading this week and Ammon was describing how great his joy was just to be a tool in his Heavenly Father’s hands. "Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble." -Mosiah28:3.  I want to be just like the sons of Mosiah throughout my mission and the time is now!  It breaks my heart to know there are people just drifting through life without the goodness and fullness of the restored gospel.  We have something people are yearning for - it’s our job to share the good things that we have because we know how good it is and will bless others lives. Give this life all that we have - because there is always something to be done.

       We had a little miracle this week.  Some of the Spanish Elders who live just down the street with us, had their battery die.  The store said that the battery cells were completely dead [and I am assuming they did not have or could not afford a new battery]. We said a prayer and told them to put the battery back in -and it worked!  The battery was junk! That was the first time I realized the power of faith.  I fully believed it would start and the Lord blessed us because of it. I love being a disciple of Christ and am excited to see what the Lord needs me to do this year. The biggest thing I have learned is that you have a choice on whether to be happy and have a good attitude. I hope we all strive to be better to ourselves and others this year!  I love you all so much - thank you for your prayers and love!  It really helps to know I have such a big family. Let me know if there is any way I can serve any of you!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

12/30/14 Happy New Year!

     Happy New Year! And Merry Christmas. This time of year is a time to reflect on what we did over the last 365 days and if we gained or lost in that amount of time. I think this is also the best time to set goals. Goals don't always need to be exceeded to make us better. It is a matter of if we have progressed or digressed in achieving our objective.  By setting goals we are forced down the hard road to improvement.  When you look back you are going to see you traveled a lot further than you thought you had come.

     My goal this year as last year is to become the best version of myself (I like the Elder Pedersen version better than before). The great thing about this life is there is unlimited potential for us to learn and grow. President Monson said that he reads the book of Mormon 15 times a year and learns something new every single time. That is the beauty of what Jesus Christ did for us through his Atonement - he gave us the ability to set a new resolution and become better every day. Being idle is not what our bodies are set up to do.  They are meant to move - a body in motion tends to stay at motion/ a body at rest tends to stay at rest. Heavenly Father wants us to be constantly moving.  The adversary tries to get us become complacent and satisfied in our own ways.

      Isaiah 55:8 states how the Lord’s ways are much higher and different than ours. The Devil wants us to make THINGS for ourselves. God makes things work better for others and helps us SEE the good things in life – not to become static - but happy.   An old coach of mine said, “Be happy - never satisfied.”  I think that is important to remember - especially when it comes to our eternal perspective.

      The best Christmas present I received was a book full of pictures with family and friends. Those are the only things that matter in this life - because they are the only things we can bring with us into the next life. I love my family and was so happy to talk to them this week! The week went very well considering a lot of our investigators didn't want to see us during the holidays. But through diligence we were able to help the ones that really were willing. And we received some new people to invite unto Christ. The work is going hard - but is so rewarding I am so thankful to be where I am - with the people I am meant to teach. I love my family and friends and with Heavenly Father they are the driving forces for my joy.