Just thought I'd send ya a quick note to let you know I'm not coming home anymore and that I'm just going to stay up here! Haha oh man time goes by so fast. Right now I'm on a plane flying down to Juneau for a few days with President and Sister Robinson for interviews and so that we can go on exchanges with some of the Elders down there. It also so happens to be P-Day and the salmon are running so right when we land we're going to go hit the river and try and catch some salmon! Should be a pretty good start to the week :) Most of this last week was spent with Brother Hemmingway going on exchanges with him, planning for MLC (Missionary Leadership Council), and then traveling around to various Zone Meetings! I can't believe how fast it flew by! Exchanges with Brother Hemmingway was amazing! It was super stressful but I learned so much. He is just like a fountain of knowledge and I was just like a sponge soaking it all up. Teaching with him was a little bit intimidating but it worked out alright! Luckily that day it was 90 degrees and we were in suits so we were able to blame all of our sweat on the heat and not that we were so nervous! He took us out to dinner that night and we had a chance to ask him questions and talk about the mission and all that great stuff. While at dinner he asked me a question and then said something that blew my mind. He asked me how many people I wanted to find that ended up getting baptized before the end of my mission. I told him that if I found a family I would be really happy. He then asked me "Well have you asked the Lord where they live?" That really threw me off for a while. It was so simple but my entire mission I had never even thought about doing it. He talked to us for a while about how this is the Lords work and He'll be involved in it however much we'll allow him to be. That night he came to our apartment to plan with us. In our plans from 3:30-5:30 we decided that we were going to go tracting to find a family. In our prayer he told us to tell the Lord that from 3:30-5:30 we were going to go tracting and that we need him to tell us where a family lives that we can baptize. After we had done so he said " now don't be late" Well the next morning during comp study we pulled out a map and felt prompted that at 3:30 we needed to go tract Bluebell drive and at 4:30 we needed to tract in Bear Valley. So we prayed and told the Lord that was where we were going to be and asked him to place in our path a family to baptized. Well 3:30 came around and we were running late so we didn't actually start tracting till around 3:50. Everyone was nice but no one was interested. We figured since we were late for the first time we had better be on time for the 2nd one. Well we went over to Bear Valley and to make a long story short we ended up finding 3 families to teach! The amazing thing was that we caught two of them right as they were walking out the door and had we been there 30 seconds later we would have completely missed them. It really built my testimony that the Lord will be in charge if we let him and that we need to make our prayers specific and not general and then miracles can happen!
Yesterday was Summer Solstice which is a pretty big deal around here! It didn't get dark till around 1:00AM and then it started getting light around 3:30! Love you guys!
This last Sunday we had THREE returned missionaries from the ward I'm serving in come home and speak. It was a little bit weird. I'm definitely not trunks (I'd seriously give anything to stay!) but I just never really felt that it would ever happen to me. I think I'm just going to come home and cry for a week straight. Well enough talk of that!
This week was a little bit crazy! Our total miles traveled ended up being over 1600! Needless to say I'm getting pretty close to being an MVP Alaska Airmiles member. On Tuesday we went back up to Fairbanks to go on exchanges which was great! I got to see Nick who was someone Elder McCusker and I taught right before his baptism. Friday night we went down to Girdwood which is such a cool place! I'm definitely taking you all there when you come! Later that night we drove down to Kenai for exchanges again. Man are you in for a treat. I promise it will be the most beautiful drive of your life! While down there I was able to see sister McCubbins who knows dad really well and she's excited to meet you on the 17th. Sadly the other one who knew him really well passed away last week... I guess it's been a while since he's been here. . Anyway brother Hemmingway comes on exchanges with us tomorrow... Dun dun dun! We've been working so hard to set up lessons for him to come to us with so now we're just praying that they don't fall through! Pray for us! On Wednesday and Thursday we're going to meet with him to discuss what we can do to help the missionaries and the mission so I'm pretty excited to get to learn from him!
Well it sounds like things are about to get a little bit crazy with all of the kids getting out of school this week! I'm super stoked for you all to go and take Reggie out and get him all warmed up! That's so crazy about Taylor... I'll definitely keep him in my prayers.
Well this week has been another great one! So a couple of weeks ago we found out that Brother Hemmingway, who is the head of proselyting (teaching investigators) for the entire Church if Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is coming up to our mission next week. On one of the days he's going to to spend shadowing and going on exchanges with us in our area... After the exchange he's going to come back to our apartment and watch how we plan. Talk about intimidating!! It's going to be a little nerve racking but at the same time it will be a super unique opportunity to learn from him! Luckily things have been going really well in our area and everything has been picking up a bit. To be honest this has been the hardest area of my mission so far. We have the richest part of anchorage and it's just really hard to get the people to let you in to teach him so all of our work almost has to come from the members. This last week our mission president assigned us another town called Girdwood which is a sweet little skiing village in the mountains that we're going to be able to work with so hopefully that helps! This week I was able to go on exchanges with elders in an area called inlet view and it was so great! They cover all of the down town area of anchorage so the whole day we were on bikes and then we just walked around talking to everyone on the streets and had so much success it was insane! It's just really weird because my whole mission I've spent out in the boonies on the dirt roads where you really have only one or two shots a day to talk to someone walking around and that's if you get lucky. I can't even imagine what it would be like to spend you whole mission in a city... Anyway it was a blast! Oh man mom today was probably the coolest thing (worldly wise) that I've done in my life so far! So for P-Day we signed up to go on a fishing charter up in Talkeetna. It's so beautiful up there! It was $130 and you got a guide, a jet boat, and about 5 hours to fish. I hope it wasn't a once in a lifetime opportunity but for that price it was a screaming deal! The salmon aren't quite running yet so we were fishing for Dolley Varden and Rainbows. To say it was a blast would be an understatement! I'll send a bunch of pics from the trip! It was raining pretty good but it was perfect weather for fishing and we all caught quite a bit!
Anyway that's what's happening in my neck of the woods!
So for the hotel booking I think that anywhere in soldotna would be a great place to stay! Just try and find a cheap one and it'll work! I definitely want to introduce you to some people down in Kenai that knew dad that would be pretty sweet! I'll think some more about it is week and let you know then. So this morning we went on a big Mtn biking trip back in the mountains behind anchorage so I kind of wasted my p-day emailing time... There too many things to do and no time to do it! Anyway I'm doing great! My new comps name is Elder Harris and he's from Burley Idaho. We get along great and so it should be a fun transfer! I promise I'll email more next week!
Hi mom! This week was transfers again so everything has been really crazy so I don't have a ton of time to email but I just wanted to talk about what you said at the end of your last email.
To be honest that's something that I've struggled with for a long long time and it's also a concern that so many people that I run into or talk to or teach have. They've had these terrible and awful trials come into their lives and they want to know why God is punishing them while their whole life all they've tried to do is to be good. Elder Nielson, who spoke in the last General Conference came up to our mission last week to train us on using our iPads. On thing he said really stuck out to me. He said something like this- I don't understand why when members of the church get a trial in their life or a challenge they freak out. Our whole purpose in coming to this earth is to be tried and tested. When trials come your way all that is is a sign that gods plan is working- Joseph Smith in his Lectures on Faith once said "a religion that does not require the sacrifices of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation." In the Temple we also agree that we will live the Law of Consecration meaning that we covenant to sacrifice all things, even our very lives (or the lives of other people) for the Gospel. I even think that means giving someone up for a small amount of time on this earth. I'm sure you've seen it but go watch the Mormon message "Mountains to Climb" on the gospel library app. I don't mean to be all preachy but these are just some things that have helped me! Know that I love ya mom!!!