Buenos días! July 30, 2012
Well this week has been an interesting one. It was good and we were able to accomplish a lot. There aren’t too many crazy stories with our investigators or much this week, but I will give you a run down of this week. At the beginning of the week we still were striving to do the work, but there were community events still going on, so we ended up contacting people. I got signed up to hit in little home run derby. It was an interesting thing to see a pitch after not playing baseball for over 2 years. I only got 5 cuts, but I took 1 lefty and hit a fly ball. Then I hit the other 4 righty. I hit 2 to the fence, a grounder, and a home run. I did have the award for longest hit home run.
We were able to do some service for a guy in one of the wards here. He is remodeling his home, and was taking out an old brick wall to extend his home. It was pretty fun to help destroy some walls. What 21 year old guy wouldn't want to have permission to destroy some walls and cabinets? It was good to get out of the white shirt and tie.
This week I was just thinking about my mission and about how fast time is passing by, and I was really seeing if I have had success. I had this grand epiphany that success doesn't come through the numbers that a mission produces, but it is through who we become and how we act. I know that the real key to success comes through becoming more like the Savior, Jesus Christ and developing that true love, charity, for those that I am serving. I know that I am here to baptize, but I know that my true success of those that I teach and baptize will reflect in my personal growth as well. I am grateful for the lessons that I have been able to learn on my mission. I know that I would never have been able to learn these things anywhere else in the world. The mission is the place where anyone can grow and learn more about themselves. I know that I am just speaking from my own experience, but I know that my life and future would be completely different if I never came on my mission. I know that I will never regret this decision to come here and to serve others. I know that I haven't lost any time by coming here, but I have gained vital experience for my future.
BIRTHDAY WISHES: I just want to say thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes. I am glad to know that I am still in everyone’s minds. I appreciate that support. Mom, just so you know I did receive the birthday package and the cards that you sent. Thank you the ties and the jokes. I have been sharing those with a lot of people.
This week we were blessed with another baptism. The baptism was for a 9 year old boy named Logan. He is quite a funny kid. We have been working with him for about 2 months. We actually started teaching him in Ferron, but he moved to Orangeville, so we were able to start teaching him again. So it was really meant for us to teach him. We are still working on getting his family to be active in the Church again. His dad is definitely going to take some work, but it will happen. Another good thing that happened is with the less active guy we are teaching, Jeff. He is so humble and so willing to leave everything for the Lord. This week we presented him with a program to help him quit smoking and he just went with it. We have done this program before and it isn't the easiest, but it does work. So he just went with it and is going to follow through with it. I have really grown great love for those here in Castle Dale. It is crazy how attached you can become to people in just a few short months. I know my love for these people with continue to grow as I go and find new people who are prepared for this Gospel.
The big thing from this week was transfers. I know that you are waiting to hear my fate for my last 6 weeks.. . .. .. . . . I am staying here in Castle Dale. I will be getting a new companion named Elder Noriega. He is from the Salt Lake area. That makes my fifth companion from Utah on my mission. Pretty crazy to think that i have had more companions from Utah then any other state. I am feeling good about the transfer, and I know that we will have fun and be able to accomplish the work of the Lord. Well I am appreciative of all the support for me, and for my family. Especially for my father in these tough moments he is going through. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers, he will really appreciate them. Thank you for everything. Until next week....
Live it, Love it, Preach hello padres!
p.s. I will write a short one and then my long one. Thank you for the birthday wishes. I did get your package and the cards. Thank you so much! I should get more cards in the coming week just because of transfers they stopped all the mail.
REGARDING HIS FATHER’S TREATMENT AT THE U OF W SEATTLE, THERE IS A WEBSITE AT CARINGBRIDE.ORG/VISIT/DARINDAVIS. I did read the stuff of that website. It is quite surprising and it really is hard to hear of all the things that he is going through and I am so far away. I know there isn’t anything else that I could do if I was there, but I have been praying for him so much already and you as well mom, but I will definitely have to add a lot more emphasis especially now that I know how severe these things really are! I love you both so much and am so proud to call you my parents!
Ethan did tell me that they had dinner with you guys that is good. I am glad they are both working. tell Verna that I am still the same, just going to need some time to adjust back to "regular life". I did hear that you got a new dog, is this true? What happened to sage? What kind of dog is it?
love, Elder D
Good Morning Vietnam! (or where ever you are reading this) July 23, 2012
It has been a pretty good week here in the great state of Utah. It is pretty crazy that the have a state holiday to celebrate the 24th of July, or Pioneer Day. There has been quite a few festivities going on for that.
We continue forward and to see the blessings of the Lord in our area. Our investigator Arturo continues to progress so well. We had some really powerful lessons with him this week. We were able to start teaching him about the Plan of Salvation, and he just received everything with gusto. As we were teaching him, he just kept shaking his head in agreement. We asked him if he had in questions, and he just said, "No, everything you have taught me has helped fill in a lot of holes. Everything just makes sense to me." It was such a great feeling to know that everything we were teaching him is just clicking for him. We also talked to him about how he can set the example for his kids and family. He is the head of the home, so everyone looks towards him, and by him choosing to put these things first in his life, they will follow in his footsteps. It is just so great to see the changes that the Gospel brings into everyone’s lives.
We also started teaching another guy named Jeff this week. He is actually a member of the Church, but has wandered away in "forbidden paths"(See 1 Nephi 8). He actually came to us with one of his friends in church and asked if he could meet with us. It was pretty shocking and humbling at the same time. He truly knows that he needs to make changes in his life, and rather then trying to grin and bear it himself, he is going to include the Lord to help him. We are just the ones that will help guide him on the path back to righteousness. He knows this is the path that will lead him to true happiness (See Mosiah 2:41). We were also able to do some service for our investigator Jason and his wife, Nola. They were the ones in a bad car accident about a month or two ago, so it is hard for them to do these simple things. It was just basic yard work stuff in the beginning. I mowed their front lawn, and Elder Linville just picked up some garbage and pulled some weeds. The backyard was a completely different story. The weeds around here have really taken off. (Mom, I am sure you can relate to how fast weeds grow if you don't take care of them.) Basically their whole back yard was full of 3 to 5 foot tall weeds. So we went to work. Elder Linville resorted to using his hands to pull them, Jason chose to use a tree lopper, and I used a machete. It was pretty crazy to use a machete. I felt like I was in the jungle chopping down a bunch of vegetation. It was pretty fun though, and it was a good work out. The next day my right arm and back was pretty sore.
We had a really good lesson with an investigator named Chance. His wife is actually a less active member of the Church, so we are really teaching them both. But it was a very intense lesson, and it was completely focused on them and what they wanted to get out of meeting with us. Everything kind of lead us back to the Book of Mormon, and how if they really wanted to feel peace and joy in their life, and to know if these things are true, that they needed to read and pray about the Book of Mormon everyday. It was a commitment that they were happy to accept. I know how much the Book of Mormon helped change my life, so we have been focusing a lot on helping more of the people that we teach to understand how important the Book of Mormon is to finding out the truthfulness of the Restoration. I know that it truly is an inspired book and that it came from God. I have seen it change my life and the lives of others. I would invite any and all to find a copy of it and to read it. I know that if they will do that, that they too can know that it is true!
This week was a huge growing week for Elder Linville. I had to do a lot of things to help other areas and so he had to step up to the plate. I had to go to Price to do a baptismal interview for another companionship, so I left Elder Linville here with a member to go and teach. When I came back Elder Linville was so excited. He told me about all the wonderful experiences that he had while I was gone. I can say that he truly is ready to take over this area, or to go to another one. He has grown a lot in these last 11 weeks, and I am sure he will continue to grow the rest of his mission.