HELLO FROM RENO! Oh it so great to finally be here. It is so great here. Dry and hot. It's supposed to get into the 90's here this week so let's see how it goes. The plane ride here was great. I talked to two people about the gospel. One wasn't interested but was going to tell his brother about family search which is good. The other person took a restoration pamphlet and a Book of Mormon and is down to meet with the missionaries! Ok so update from Portage. Marlene is planning to be baptized on the 25th which is great hopefully that goes through. I won't know until next week though. Sister Judge made me a hockey pillow case which was very nice. I love it. She makes all the missionaries pillow cases.
Now to Reno. So there are mountains galore here. Everywhere you look there is a mountain. After my mission I am coming rock climbing here as much as I can. It's just so beautiful. I even love the desert. It makes me so happy. There are a lot of casinos here it is great. In the airport there was just slot machines everywhere. The prices of everything here is insane. It is so much cheaper down here. For fruit there are so many more options at great prices. I can buy a big bag of cherries for maybe $2 or $2.50. President and Sister Chestnut are the best! So my new trainer Elder McKenna is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He is really good at asking me questions so that I learn what I really need to get out of something. We are in Dayton which is about 20 minutes out of Carson City. We cover both the Dayton and Comstock Wards which is hard. Things are spread out here and Elder McKenna has been here for 3 transfers already. When we street contact he seems to have met everyone already so finding right now is a little hard. We have an ok teaching pool but we are praying for inspiration to know how to find more people to teach. On Friday we went to In and Out Burger and it was really good. The other restaurant in the photo is L&L which is a Hawaiian bbq. The members here are great we have a dinner appointment every day! It is great. I am so excited for July 4th we get to stay up late and watch fire works!!!! Yes. We did have a crazy thing happen to us this week though. On Wednesday during personal study in the morning we randomly got a phone call from a lady. She is a less active member named Sister Lawrence. She said hi, I have been inactive for 38 years and I would like to meet with you. We were just ok can we meet today? Turns out she has been dating a catholic guy who is going to be baptized. Through this she had a crazy experience with a super strong feeling of wanting to go back to church and remembering the song "I am a child of God". The Holy Ghost just testified to her of the truth so now she is reading the Book of Mormon and will be coming to her home ward this coming week. Well I am short on time. I need to organize my emailing time better. Everyone have an amazing week and remember to smile. You are a child of God! Love you!
It has been raining so much here. I think it has rained at least two fifths of my time here. Yes two fifths. So the members here are just great. We have been fed 3 times so far and have that many dinners this week! There has always been great food and especially we have had meat. In Canada on a missionary budget meat is not something that it seems I can buy too often. Oh well. Hashbrowns it is. :D
So many great things to tell you about! I`ll start with 2 involving a member, Sister Rossiter. She is a super solid member and comes every week. She directs the music and is nursery leader. I believe on my second day here in Portage she called us over to the hospital because her mother had just had a heart attack the day before I believe. She called us to give her mother a priesthood blessing and we did. We went and gave it and left. It was only yesterday that we found out completely what happened, we knew her mother had gotten better quickly, but it turns out that she got better within a few days. Her heart rate had been really high but after the blessing it had gone down to what it should be very quickly. She was recovering at a very surprising rate and the doctors and nurses were very surprised. After everything settled down she got to leave the hospital early. They like to keep people who have had heart attacks there in some kind of care for 3 days after a certain point and Sister Rossiter`s mom only stayed for 1. Now their relationship is better than ever after this because they have been able to talk about things and Sister Rossiter has been doing a bunch of service for her mom now and it is just so great to see. That`s just one miracle here.
Soon after this Sister Rossiter had us start teaching her friend Marlene and Marlene`s boyfriend Lyle. Marlene has apparently been wanting to get baptized for a long time now and is just accepting everything we say! She and Lyle read the Book of Mormon together which helps Marlene get more out of it because she has trouble seeing. Lyle is accepting but says he needs some more time to think about it. He will come along.
Ok another amazing story so after we came out of the hospital and were leaving Elder Moore had this prompting to go talk to someone in a red van in the parking lot which he didn`t act on at first. It stayed though while we were driving away and so he flipped around and we went back and talked to the person. When we showed up we found out that her fiance was in the hospital with some pretty serious stuff going on and was going to need a procedure done in Winnipeg. We asked if we could say a prayer with her and she agreed so we prayed to have God give her comfort. As we prayed her fiance Lawrence came into the car and after said we could come by and teach him and Dana (that`s her name). When we came the next day or two (can`t remember) we taught the first lesson and it was accepted really well. We have met with Lawrence lots but not Dana. She hasn`t been around at the hospital as much. Lawrence is so great. He has done a lot of reading in the bible and a lot of deep reading so when we read the Book of Mormon he understands a lot. He apparently has been praying to have God help him improve in his life and make steps to move forward in his life. He sees us showing up as an answer to that prayer and knows how big of a commitment baptism is and so wants to be sure of himself in a legitimate way before he says yes to baptism. So great. Now all he needs to do is actually start reading the Book of Mormon on his own and praying about it. XD
Thanks to all the emails I get from all of you. I love hearing from everyone. Feel free to send me one whenever! Love you all! My challenge this week is to pay attention to the words in the hymns you sing this week. They are so powerful. See ya!
What a crazy ride this is. Ok so a little background on how I have been doing. In the MTC the first week was just insane. Everyday was a super big challenge with something really hard I had to learn. It just was so hard to be ok with everything. I felt so imperfect and beat myself up over every little thing. The schedule was so intense and just "gogogo" that I felt like I had no time to think or catch up and I was just all over the place. We were already teaching from day one and I didn't really know how and my companions had a different style of teaching and I just couldn't even. Fortunately however, Heavenly Father put something or someone in my path everyday to help me power through it. Then Thursday evening after a lesson I was just feeling so inadequate and wondering how I was going to do this ever when a teacher that had come to help in class that day helped me learn a very important lesson. I wrote this in my study journal. "God loves me. He loves where I am at. Where I am at is great. He wants me to be where I am, and where I am at. He needs me to accept the power of Jesus Christ. This power is truly sufficient AT ALL TIMES, IN ALL PLACES, AND IN ALL THINGS. My mistakes are not... surprises. God already sees me beyond my mistakes. ...[Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ] have joy in our growth as we make mistakes. We are here to be righteous, not perfect." From that day on after realizing this the MTC was an amazing and wonderful experience. I was able to feel comfortable with not being perfect. I was fine making my mistakes because it was all for a reason and I knew with my entire soul that God does not want me to fail, but will instead set me up for success even as I make many mistakes. The next 2 weeks at the MTC were just great. Not perfect, but I was so much more peaceful and happy. I could let things come as they may and let it all just happen.
Now here out in the mission field has been very similar. The first week was really a struggle. So many new trials and struggles just appeared and it seemed like I was back to square one. The confidence and knowledge I had coming out of the MTC seemed to amount to nothing. My expectations or ideas of how life would be out here was different. Not having gone to Reno was difficult. Again feeling like I know nothing and that I am very inadequate were big feelings. It has felt like so much more than a week and a half out here. However God put people in my path to give me help and support, especially my companion Elder Moore. He has given me some key advice that has really gotten me to where I am now. I still don't really know what I am doing. I still don't know how to teach everything, but that is all ok. God sent me here at this time because what I can do now and how I do things are able to help someone here. I don't have to know everything. I can't really. I haven't even been out in the real world for 2 weeks. However, my life is very happy. We have so much to do. We are teaching so many people and there is so many miracles happening everyday. I will figure it out. For now, as the hymn "Come, Come ye Saints" says "no toil no labor fear, but with joy wend your way." This work is great, and also very tiring. I am tired. haha. That is good though. Means we are working hard.
Alrighty to the days. Today Brother Moss took us golfing. It was so great. I scored a 137! I'm so good. Elder Moore only got a 109 I believe. My score is way higher so obviously I won. That's how golf works right? Brother Moss works at the golf course so that's how we got to go. Ok amazing stories. Yesterday at church I had to give a talk. I was supposed to give one the week before but when we got to church we found out a high councilor was speaking and had brought someone else with him to talk so I didn't end up giving it. Saturday though a member who had offered to drive people to a baptism in Winnipeg had to cancel that ride due to the work he was doing taking longer than expected. He said that he needed to give a talk too so he needed time to write it unless one of us could give it. I asked if it would help him out and he said that it would take a lot of stress off of him so I said sure. The topic was the priesthood. I tried that night for a while writing something as well as in the morning and I could not focus for the life of me. The week before I was having such an easy time knowing what to write on the topic before but this time nada. I kept praying asking for help for focus and help on knowing what to write like the week before but it didn't happen. During one prayer I had a small impression that I would know what to say when I got up to the pulpit, but it left quickly. I knew it had been there and after all I felt was that I needed to have faith. I kept trying to find things to talk about which worked and have some plan but that wasn't working. When I got to church I did feel some peace keeping me from freaking out. We even had a high councilor attending which surprisingly didn't add much stress. When I got up I began to talk and just kept talking. Things I had studied the last 12 hour, suggestions on what to talk about from Elder Moore, and just other things to say did come to me. Nothing that ever felt insanely inspiring came to my mind but I always had something more to say. It was really neat. The scripture D&C 85:84 "Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man" is so true. Anyway running out of time but next week I will have many more amazing experiences for you. There isn't enough time to say it all which is meh but I will make a list of things I hope to get to next week. I love you my family and friends. What I will challenge you to all do this week is think of some way you can help and support the missionaries. We love the members. They are all so great. Love! Elder Kynan Sorochan