- spent a night volunteering at the community cafe with the ward! Lots of fun, and a very humbling experience for me, made a lot of good friends! Waiting tables was fun... But I think I'll stick to videos
when I get home haha. Really hoping for another chance to do service there again! Fortunately this soup kitchen didn't involve a Prius.
- got a picture with Sarge.
- Helped a new family move in. Another awesome young family in Belgrade 1st! The husband's dad actually just got done serving as a mission president.... In Japan... In Tokyo.... He didn't recognize the name 100% at first, but once I added "big curly hair and super friendly and energetic" he instantly remembered Sister Jenny Goldsberry! Pretty cool!
- Had a ton of training videos this week... Doesn't matter if it was The District, we were going all out... (District is so unrealistic, make it look so easy.) Not everyday we have a reason to wheel out the
big tv's soooooo.... We pulled out the comfy chairs, called up Belgrade 2, popped some popcorn and grabbed some G's. Gotta make training fun!
- Horse got loose and was roaming the streets of the neighborhood one day. #WelcomeToMontana
- Bozeman got some snow, Fall has officially arriv.... Wait, nope. Gonna be in the 70s this week, never mind.
- last, loved the Twitter updates. Shared @utecentral's harvesting tweet in district meeting and #MPett3sMissionIsWorking could be my new favorite hashtag... If NCAA Football truly does come back I'll cry tears of joy... Speaking of tears I saw another #AskCoachWhitt campaign was rolling this week... #NeverForget. Have fun at Gameday this week. Nation is watching Utes, show em what the #ULegacy is all about.
Well.... Another week down. Big highlight was watching conference....TELEVISION!!!!! Anyone notice how Uchtdorf talked about weakness becoming strength through Christ??? He must read my blog, and Elder Martino, ya I shook his hand like a month ago when he came for a
mission conference, #AchievementUnlocked... Awesome conference session, simple things back home take on a whole new meaning when you are a missionary... No doubt conference applies to that. It got me a little homesick, thinking back to watching conference while keeping
tally's on "potato pancakes consumed", or playing a game of pig after priesthood session. I was missing the family, but I just reminded myself that they're watching the same thing I am. That's the beauty of this gospel, it draws you closer to your family whether you are sitting there with them or not.
Best part of conference and the only true time my heart strings were plucked, was the "Mothers" talk from Elder Holland. Words can't describe how much I love my mom. She is the most Christ like person I know. I am so lucky to call her my mom, and to call @pettbryan my dad. It's
not easy being away from them, but if these 2 years prepare me to be anywhere near as good as parents as they are then it's worth it. Marriage is still 5+ years away, #SorryMom, but I can only hope I find someone to wife as amazing and loving as my mom, and I can be a father as hard
working and... Outrageously hilarious as @pettbryan.
This work is hard, but I truly wouldn't want it any other way. Freaks me out how much I have grown up in 3 months and none of that would be possible if the Lord made it easy for me. One of my favorite things to do when I get discouraged, is to search the word "go" in gospel library. Lots of results come up so I'll usually pick a couple to read, one time this week I picked 3 Nephi 11:41.
41 Therefore, go forth unto this people, and declare the words which I have spoken, unto the ends of the earth
Go. Go. Go. It's that simple. "We only fail when we fail to take another faithful step". Regardless what they were experiencing, whether it be the people of the Book of Mormon or Latter Day Saints,
the Lord tells his people to "GO". Regardless what they were experiencing, those faithful servants of the lord did "GO". Was it easy? Absolutely not, but they still did "GO".
Leaving on a mission 3 months ago I had the attitude of Phil Knight and that swoosh... "Just do it". Doesn't matter if it sucks. Doesn't matter if it's 2 years. Doesn't matter if you miss home. "Just do it". While that is one way you can look at a mission... I've learned to take on a different approach to these 2 years, an approach inspired by my wardrobe and Nephi...
1 Nephi 3:7 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I WILL GO and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which
he commandeth them.
That's the attitude I know I need as a missionary. Not "just doing it". Not going through the motions and counting down the days. It's committing to this work, that I WILL GO and do the things which the Lord hath commanded me. I WILL GO and serve with all my heart, might, mind, and strength. I WILL GO and press forward in a steadfastness in Christ. I WILL GO and give everything I have to the Lord.
(Hate to kick a guy when he's down but pretty much also saying UA>Nike. #QuackQuack #HackettsStillRunning)
This work is truly something special. I'm witnessing first hand the gospel of Jesus Christ impact Nora and Oscar. We taught Oscar how to pray and those are some of the most sincere prayers I will ever hear (up there next to @pettbryan). Also started reading the Book of Mormon with them. He's so excited to be baptized, he radiates happiness when you bring up the word "baptism". Only struggle is having to explain to Nora we aren't allowed to hug her, at the end of each lesson she wraps you up and I just can't bring myself to tell her she can't do that haha. She's already told us she wants us to come back to see her and Oscar when we get home. I love this family with all my heart, I'm
not teaching them, they are teaching me. Last night we had another pretty good experience... I guess... There is a family who randomly started attending church a while back. They
were showing up to the other ward so those missionaries referred them to us. Got in contact and went out for dinner at their house. NEVER have I met a family so prepared for this gospel. Already had a Proclamation to the Family framed and hung up, Book of Mormons out, pictures of
Christ, AND THEY HAVE 5 KIDS.... THEY'RE PRACTICALLY ALREADY MORMON!
Dinner was good, they are big Disney nerds and it was pretty cool that we all had Mickey Mouse watches on. Talked some solid mouse talk and turns out they were in Disneyland the same time as us a few months back and they recall space mountain being shut down.... #NeverForget.
After dinner the dad takes us out back to show us the AMAZING VIEW (live 20 minutes out from Belgrade) and we go back in for the lesson...
A 4 year old, 5 year old, 7 year old, 10 year old, 12 year old. All sitting on the couch with notebooks and pens and their Book of Mormon on their lap. I was speechless. We started talking about conference... assuming they didn't watch let alone know what it was... No no. They
each show me the pages of notes they took! They watched ALL SESSIONS. So we talked about our favorite talks.... They already picked a scripture to "ponderize" as a family (once again, speechless) ... This eventually led to a brief discussion on prayer, which led to the husband bringing up baptism.
The kids hands shoot up in the air. Unfortunately only 2 are over 8,but those 2 and the mother want to be baptized... You know how I talked about the district being too easy???? This is what it felt
like. We extend the invitation to the mom... "Yes." 11 year old girl... "Yes." .... And before we can ask the 12 year old, she raises her hand (VERY polite kids) and tells us how the first time she went
to sacrament meeting, it was testimony meeting, and the whole time she felt the urge to share her testimony, she'd never felt that feeling before. She starts crying which led to everyone crying. We eventually pull it together and extend the invitation.... "Yes."
The father had expressed to us earlier he wanted to learn more before committing, but he was beaming. Telling his kids and wife how proud he was. Now was the perfect time, we didn't want him only baptized, we wanted him to baptize his family. So we extended the invitation but for one week earlier. It got quiet, and oh man the spirit was working on him.
"I feel like someone is holding my heart right now."
We testified that that is the Holy Ghost, and that through baptism he and his family can receive that constant feeling of peace, love, safety, and comfort at all times.... "Yes."
*spiritual fist pumps
It was an emotional night, but oh my goodness it was amazing. I always said that I WILL serve because I want other families as happy as mine, I'm starting to finally see that. The 4 year old came running up and gave me a hug before we left, couldn't help but imagine that's what'll
be like with Z next time I see him.
This gospel is true, no doubt in my mind it is 100% true. Look at Nora and Oscar, listen to Oscar pray to God, see how their lives have changed. Feel the spirit in a home as we commit a family to baptism,
and try telling me this gospel isn't true. Look me in the eye and tell me this gospel isn't true. One of my favorite parts of conference was hearing hymn number 2 during the Sunday session, "the Spirit of God like a Fire is Burning". Always been my favorite hymn (neck and neck with Praise to the Man), and last night I felt that fire.
I love this work. Sooooo much. Don't be stubborn people, if you want to feel that fire or feel the Holy Ghost hold your heart, get on your knees and pray. Read the Book of Mormon. Serve others. It's that easy.
I love it out here, I really do. Belgrade hasn't had a baptism in 3 years and we got 5 people being baptized this month! Wouldn't be possible with out our outstanding bishop, WML, ward, and Heavenly Father guiding us to those who have been prepared. Transfer calls are on Sunday and several members of the ward council have already expressed to us they will call the mission home if we leave, not bad for an elder who has been out 1 transfer and an elder in his first transfer. They tell us they are worried we are going to be zone leaders already so we should probably slow it down so they don't send us somewhere else haha. Love Belgrade, and especially love this ward, but I'll go wherever the Lord needs me, just hoping he still needs me in Belgrade. Transfer calls are always a little nerve racking though haha.
What matters is that Oscar and a whole other family are wanting to be baptized, regardless if I'm in Belgrade or not that is amazing and a true testament to the power of this gospel.
Commit now if you want to live this gospel and experience that power, experience the blessings it brings. Don't just do it, commit to it. I WILL. The future is only as bright as your faith.
I love and miss you all so much. You have no idea how excited I am that GameDay is coming to our city... I seriously dream about that! As great as it'd be to see Corso put on the swoop head or to ask Sam Steele to take my hand in eternal marriage, I know this is where I need to be.... However I don't think the white handbook mentions anything about being a guest picker on College Gameday....
Love you guys!
- Elder K