Monday, August 14, 2017

Planting Seeds...Bear Fruit in the Future!

Hello Everyone! I hope all is going well with everyone, especially with school coming up on the horizon. I'm still loving the area! It's been a little tricky figuring out what we are going to do, but for the most part we have been going and visiting with the members and we try to set up Family Mission Plans with them. Basically, it's trying to have members do simple things to help further the missionary efforts. So far, it's planting seeds, but we are hoping that by having the members think about what they can do, it will bear fruit in the future.
The Amish are still the Amish! Oh man, do they know how to make good food! I have tried veggies that they grew and they were super good! Elder Kershaw and I have been getting along. The more that I am around him, the more that I’m understanding why he does certain things and how his personality fits into it. So, for the most part, we are doing good. I am also doing better with this whole District Leader thing. It's still a little stressful at times, but it's been really cool to see the District come together on things. Plus, I have been able to get to know the missionaries better than I would as a normal missionary.
This past week we saw a lot of cool people! We taught Dominque and it was such a cool lesson. We went in with the idea of talking to her about baptism, but when we got there it looked like the previous missionaries had already taught her about it. While sitting there, wondering what to talk about, the Spirit totally took over! I asked some really cool and inspired questions on the commitments that she has had, as well as share some really insightful stuff. It was such a cool experience! We also have our investigator, Beth, getting baptized this Saturday. That will be super cool! Lots of fun stuff is coming up this week! That's pretty much it for what's been going on here, but I hope everything is going well for you. Make it a great week!
We found a really weird looking neighborhood.

The Amish! The carriage riding is real!

This is our apartment!

Monday, August 7, 2017

I Love Ephrata! Love It, Love It, Love It!

Hello Everyone!  I hope you have had a good week.  I love Ephrata! Love it, love it, love it! I have never been this excited to serve in an area before. Everyone here is super funny and super missionary minded. Elder Kershaw is my new companion.  He is from Kaysville, Utah and has been out for 5 months tomorrow! Plus, there are tons of Amish! Like, everywhere! I can't even tell you how many horse carriages that I have drove past. I will have to get a picture of one for you. It is a super fun area. The Lord definitely knew where to send me, to cheer me up. I have the spirit so strongly, now.

My new ward had 3 baptisms recently with Luca, Liam, and Deanna. They are really cool! They are super prepared and ready to serve in the church. Our progressing investigator is Beth Sipes, she is also super prepared! She has already been taught most of the lessons, so I’m coming in at the tail end of everything. She is super cool, though!

I have been totally in the midst of some crazy days, since we have been here. I locked us out of the apartment! Whoops!!! That was fun! For Preparation Day, we have been with the other Elders in my district. Plus, Elder Nielsen, my old companion is here! He is going home this next transfer. Super weird!!!!!!!!!!! But it's been a blast!!!!! I hope you have a great week!

My last district. Elder Sawyer went home, so we had a funeral!

Eating lunch with my last district!

Me with the Cejka family!

Elder Harvey with the Cejka family!

Our apartment in McConnellsburg

Really pretty sunset!

My zone this transfer.  Elder Kershaw is the redhead.

Monday, July 31, 2017

I'm Leaving!

Hello Everybody! It was a very slow week, because we ran out of miles to use our car.  The good news is that we were able to go to the temple this week! I love the spirit and peace that I feel there! It was totally needed!
We have transfers this week and I will be leaving! I really love the people here, though the work was difficult, this branch totally welcomed me in. I will miss them. Almost all of them expressed how they didn't want Elder Harvey and I to leave (Elder Harvey is also leaving and he is now a District Leader, too!)
I will be going to Ephrata, Pennsylvania. It's actually one of the areas that my trainer, Elder Gray, served in, so it will be fun! Another cool thing is my new companion, Elder Kershaw, was trained by Elder Nielsen recently.  He is my first companion that has been out less than 6 months. I hope you are having a cool week. Thank you again, for all your love and support!
Temple Photos!!!

The Wilhelm's.  Our branch president and his wife.
It was a blast to be at CafĂ© Rio.  Hit just a little too close to home,
but I love the pork tostadas!

(Mom Note: Here are the missing pictures from last week's blog post!)

Linger Longer at the church.

My District

Collecting eggs at the farm.

Monday, July 24, 2017

It Was Definitely A Tender Mercy!

Hello Everyone! This week has been a slower week, but we had some good days! On Monday, we had a linger longer at the branch building.  Chris, our recent convert, brought her sister and her family to it! It was really cool to see them! We also had exchanges this past week. I led out the area here and was with another Elder. We were street contacting and knocking doors all day.  Finally, towards the end of the day, we were walking up a driveway and a lady pulled into it. It turns out that she was going to go dog sitting, but was interested in hearing our message.  So, we taught her and we are planning on seeing her again tomorrow. It was definitely a tender mercy!
We also saw Melony and Lucille! They have been super busy, with Lucille needing more medical attention, but Melony is still very interested. Other than that, it has been fairly slow.  We are running out of miles to use for the month, but I'm super excited to go to the temple this week! I hope you have a good week!
(Mom Note:  Elder Ainsworth sent a few pictures by email, but when I went to look at them, I wasn't able to access them.  By the time I realized it, Elder Ainsworth had already gone for the day. Bummer! :( But, I will add them to next week's blog post.)

Monday, July 17, 2017

It's Been A Really Slow Week!

Hello Everyone! I hope you had a good week! We have had some really hot days up here, but not as hot as it sounds like back in Utah!  This summer hasn’t been as bad as last summer, so I’m very happy about that. 
Things haven't been going too well with our investigators, with one exception.  We had two investigators drop us last week and we have pretty much fallen out of contact with a lot of them. Our recent convert however, was able to get her sister to church this Sunday, which makes her the first non-member to come to church for over a year! We have been slowly gaining trust with her, so it has been good. We are hoping to start teaching her soon.  Other than that, it's been a really slow week. I hope you have a good week!

Me and Elder Harvey messing around.

I got a goat to stand next to me!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Lord Has Truly Been Blessing Our Efforts

Hello Everybody! Things have been going really well in our area! We had exchanges last week with the Zone Leaders in our area. It was a ton of fun. They are definitely my favorite Zone Leaders so far. While I was in Chambersburg, Elder Harvey was in McConnellsburg and while they were out and about, they found another investigator! Woohoo! I was able to meet her and teach her on Saturday, as well. Her name is Adena (I have no clue how to spell it) and she is an older lady who is Methodist. She is interested in studying the Book of Mormon, so hopefully it all works out!

Melony and Lucille have had lots of medical problems this week, with Lucille needing to be in the hospital multiple times. We weren't able to meet with them, but we are hoping that the issues are resolved, so we can meet with them. They are still super cool! While we were out tracting this week, Elder Harvey and I took our map of the area and stuck it in our car, so that we could better find places to go. We went to the far right corner of our area and while we were tracking in a small town, we ran into Nathan! He is 17 and was interested in our message. We are hoping to see him again this week and hopefully teach his family! Lots of really cool things are happening here! 

I forgot to write last week about how I gave my first baptismal interview to the son of a returning less active mom. It was a cool experience and it reminded me a lot about Tabitha and Nadia. I sure hope they keep to the Gospel! The previous week we saw Melony again and taught her the Plan of Salvation! She took a lot of comfort from it and even offered the closing prayer! She hadn't prayed publicly for a long time! The spirit was strong as she prayed for her family and she was even overcome with emotion. As hard as it has been to stay productive, the Lord has truly been blessing our efforts.

One of my favorite quotes that I have heard recently is from Joseph Smith, "a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation." I have truly felt the refiners fire here on the mission. The Lord truly prepares us in ways that seem hard to us, but are ultimately needed in His plan. I promise you that if you live the gospel and strive to truly know our Savior that He will not forsake you. I have a testimony of this and have felt the power of His redeeming love more fully in my life than ever before. This Church is true, there is no earthly evidence, no knowledge from man that can disprove this church and the rock that it is built upon. I know the Book of Mormon to be the word of God, that Joseph Smith is His prophet, called forth in these Latter Days to restore His church. God speaks today and has not forgotten His people. I hope you have a great week!!!

Out and about

A super funny Star Wars picture I found in the Zone Leader's apartment!

Chopping down weeds with a machete! Pretty fun!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

A Really Slow Week...

Hey Everyone!  Crazy to think that another week has flown by! It's been pretty warm up here. Not as terrible as last year yet, so I'm super grateful for that.  I have given two District meetings now! Both of which were really cool! The spirit was there and there was a lot of revelation received. The District is also super funny, so it's going pretty good. My knee has been doing better since I have been exercising it, so that's been good. This week was a really slow week with not too much happening. We ran out of miles with our car and got stuck in McConnellsburg for the week. Oh man. It was super hard trying to stay productive. For the 4th of July, we are planning on going to a recent converts family and being with them for some of the day, other than that not too much is really happening. Sorry that the email isn't very long this week. I just don't really know what to write about.  I hope you have a great week!
It's not much this week!  Nothing too crazy was happening!
Just some more farm pictures.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Just Another Usual Week In McConnellsburg

Hello Everybody! I hope you have had a great week! The big birthday was as exciting as one on a mission can get! We went to church yesterday and had a branch council, so that was fun. I went home and opened cards and presents, then took a nap. Afterwards, we went and knocked on doors.  Later that night, I had a cupcake birthday candle thing. So, nothing super exciting. It was cool to see all that my family did for me!
My knee is doing better. I finally know what's going on with it. It's this patella pain or irritation under the knee cap that is causing my knee cap to rub against my leg wrong. The physical therapy is helping a lot.  Funny enough, the cure for it is to strengthen some leg muscles or in other words, exercise! I have to be more diligent in my exercises now. Ha! Ha! 
I helped on the farm this week. We worked on Elder Harvey's family history for a little bit and then we fed the animals and herded chickens. Trying to pick up a chicken while it's running away from you is really hard. I found a baby kitten out there too, so that was pretty cool. All in all, just another usual week in McConnellsburg.
Melony and Lucille had some more medical problems that came up this week, so we weren't able to see them.  They were unable to make it to church, but Melony said that she would read and pray! Hopefully, she did it when we try to stop by later this week! It's very crazy to think of everything that has happened to me in such a short time and how much time has already passed by. I have learned so much from the mission.  I know that I will continue to learn and grow, as I rely upon the Lord, not only for the duration of my time serving Him, but also when I return home. Thank you for all that you do! I'm very grateful for the love and support! I hope you have a great week!

Farm pictures with the baby kitten.

Me and Elder Harvey

Pictures of our district from this last transfer.

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Lord Qualifies Whom He Calls!

Hello Everybody! I hope you had a good week! I guess the biggest news for me is with transfers.  Elder Harvey and I are staying! So, that's pretty cool! We are getting along, so it's been nice. The biggest change happening, however, is that I was called to be a District Leader. This means that every Tuesday, when we have District Meeting, I will now be in charge of it.  I will also have to report different stuff and assign different topics to instruct the District on every week.  It’s responsibility. Yeah!!!! (sarcasm) I feel fairly inadequate for it, but I know the Lord qualifies whom He calls, so hopefully I will be ok at it.
Melony and Lucille are doing great! They are such awesome investigators! They have had a lot of medical stuff come up, so they haven't been able to make it church, but they really want to come. I'm hoping that they make it next week!
Here is the update on my knee:  I mixed up the times for my appointment on Thursday, so they rescheduled it for this morning. They are going to have me start doing physical therapy and see if I need anything else after 6 weeks. That's going to be fun to start.
We also had some more experience on the farm! We helped Sister Cejka build chicken fences and I held a baby goat. It was pretty cool! They are very appreciative of the help that we give them.
On Friday, I saw all of my companions, except for the ones that have went home.  I also heard from Elder Brent H. Nielsen and his wife. He is the director over missionary work, along with Elder Oaks and Elder Bednar. He shared some really cool experiences about the apostles and also how the work is hastening with the advancement of technology. It was a very cool meeting! I definitely needed it. I hope you have a good week! Stay cool out there!
We found this turtle while we were out tracting. Super cool!

Me with all of my companions, except for Elder Coumbs and Elder Gray.
Super weird to think I saw all of them again!

Baby goat pictures!

Of course, for my birthday week,
I had to buy a 2 pound bag of Sour Patch Kids!
I have been meaning to try to tackle this for some time now!