I hope you all had a wonderful of Christmas as I did and are getting ready for
a great New Year! Apparently the year on our mission when you aren't home at
all is called your Dark Year. Kinda of a sad term so I changed it to my
Light Year! Can't wait to dedicate a whole year to serving the Lord. It
will be great! It was amazing to be able to skype home with my family and see
all their beautiful faces even though they made fun of my fat one:) This
last week was pretty slow since it was Christmas, but was still a lot of
fun. Saturday the Jehovah Witness were on the Highstreet in my area and I
thought I would talk to them since I don't know much about them because all I
do is talk to muslims haha. It was very interesting and informative and
good to see people trying to help others find the right path, but it was sad to
see how not having the Holy Ghost as a companion and prophets and apostles to
help the people know what the scriptures truly say. With talking to
muslims and now JW's I have studied the true character of God a lot more and
because of it I have come to know my Heavenly Father so much more and his plan
for us. For my spiritual thought I want to talk about who are Heavenly
Father is and what he has planned for us.
Joseph Smith said that
"until a man knows the true character of God he cannot have
faith." he has also said that "in order for us to know God we
must know ourselves, and in order for us to know ourselves we must know
So who is God then? God
is the Father of our Spirits. We our his children. He has a body of
flesh and bone that is glorified and perfected. He hears and answers our
prayers and wants to help us because he loves us so much. He finds joy
when we make correct decisions and weeps when we choose to disobey him.
He wants all of us to return to live with him again and have all that he
has. It is amazing and glorious to know that we have a Heavenly Father
that loves us so much that he wants us to have everything that he has. A
lot of people think that God is this all powerful being that hates the human
race and wants to punish or they think that he is loving, but has nobody and is
some kind of spirit. This is wrong and will lead us to nowhere. How
can we know that God has a body of flesh and bone then that is glorfied and
perfected? Well because we have a prophet that he has called to tells of
the true character of God. We also have scripture as well. And
Christ himeself said "I only do the things which I have seen my Father
do." What does that mean then? It means that God was once like us
and was man. In the King Follet discourse Joseph Smith gives he states
that "If the vail was rent today... and we were to see God.. we would see
a man just as ourselves standing in all his glory." It brings such comfort
to my heart to know who God is and that he has a plan for me. Now God has
also said that no unclean thing can enter into the Kingdon of God. So how
can we imperfect beings make it back to live with him? Well with all his
infintire love for us Heavenly Father has given us his only Begotten Son, who
is, Jesus Christ. Mosiah 3:17 tells us that
"There is no other name or way nor means, whereby salvation unto the children
of men, only in and through the name Christ, the Lord Omnipotent."
Because of Christ we will all
be resurrected. Because of Christ we all have the chance to live with our
families and Heavenly Father again. We just have to do as the Savior asks
us to "Come unto Him" and to "Follow him." I know that
Christ lives and that as we allow him to take us by the hand we will find
more happiness in this life and in the life to come.
I hope you all know how much you Heavenly Father loves
you. Just think about how much our parents love us or we love our
children and we are imperfect. Our Father in Heaven is perfect and loves
you and I with a perfect love. He knows you and I better then we know
ourselves and knows what we need. I am so grateful that he has once again
showed his love to us by answering a humble boys prayer in a grove of trees in
the year 1820 allowing the fulness of the gospel to be restored to the earth
and allowing us to know who Heavenly Father is and what his plan is for
us. I bear you my testimony that He lives and that Jesus Christ is his
son and that there is no other way, but through Christ our Saviour and Redeemer
that we can be saved. For has Nephi of old tells us "It is by grace
that we are saved, after all we can do." In the Name of Jesus Christ,
What a wonderful time of year it is to be able to remember
our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. I hope you all have felt of his
love throughout this whole year as well during this special season.
Remember that one way our Loving Heavenly Father shows our love for us is
through our families. Yes the gifts are fun and exciting, but 20 years from now
all you are going to remember is how amazing the turkey (Maybe that's just me
since I'm fat) was and all the good family memories.
Well this week was a great one and a really hard one at the
same time! I was able to go to the temple on Tuesday with my zone and another
one. It was amazing! There were so many missionaries and the Spirit
was so strong the whole time. In my opinion the greatest gift God gave us
after his Son and families are the temples. They bring so much comfort
and joy to the heart. Always strive to make the temple an important part
of your week. Even if you only have time to pull into the parking lot and
sit on the grounds for 5 minutes do it! The Lord will bless you as make
and effort to remember and keep the convents that you have made with him.
The rest of the week was just straight up work and the only reward being
a deeper conversion. It is hard to not see success, but its during these
times that we grow the most. I am excited to skype home and see my
gorgeous family. It will be a tender mercy much needed. Also I am
just flippin excited for the amazing feast I am about to enjoy in a few days.
I love the Slough ward!
Well the spiritual
thought I have for this week is short.
"Choose you this day whom ye will serve... but as for
me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
I choose to serve the Lord and to obey his commandments.
I invite everyone to come and partake of his love. I love everyone
and welcome all who wish to share the wonderful happiness and joy his gospel
brings. I know that Christ lives and that through him we all may be
saved. He is the light and life of the world. I pray that we will
humble ourselves and allow his atonement to take full affect in our life and in
the life to come. In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Have a very Merry Christmas! LOVE YA'LL TO SHREDZZ!!
The London Temple
Looks like he is putting weight on!
Here is a little from the letter he wrote me
(He will call Christmas Eve to let us know what time we can Skype on Christmas Day)
Thank you for setting that up and the members
home I will be at has skype on the computer. I will probably be calling
between 1 and 2. and will probably just call your cell phone so mom
doesn't cry:) The temple was so amazing and much needed. The grounds
at the temple are gorgeous and there were so many missionaries! We had to bring
in about 5 extra chairs to fit everyone in the endowment room. I love
President Millar. He is such a cool guy. Cool side note his mission
president was Bruce R. Mcconkie. And President Millar is a lot like him
haha. Also the senior couple in our ward Elder Boone was once the MTC mission
president at Provo. And I get rides from them all the time so that is
very humbling. Investigator wise we are really slow, but just means more
hard work. I will probably be getting transferred in february most
likely. But transfers are next week so there is always a chance. I
don't want to talk about to much so we can have fun on Wednesday. Also
will I be skyping home and seeing everybody?
So glad to hear you are doing well from you surgery!
Missionary blessings are the best. I honestly believe that I meant
to be on a mission right now so that you and mom have more blessings and
support in the hard times right now. Don't worry about not telling me
about radiation. I know why you did it and am grateful for it. Just
don't do it again:) My conversion is deeper then you think and the only
way I'm going home is either in a coffin or with honor. I love you so
much and talk to ya tomorrow:) LOVE YA TO SHREDZZ
Well there isn't that much to report on this week. All
our investigators we were suppose to meet this week flogged us and are being
bums trying to get all the Christmas stuff done. It's all good though
because we had an amazing Ward Christmas Party! So many nonmembers showed up
and the food was so good. I talked to loads of people and one girl we
talked to who is a baby sitter is really interested. She wants to come to
church and asked so many good questions. The only bad thing is she lives
in London. But she wants to come to our ward so that is cool. Hopefully
we can teach her hear and then baptize her. Nice thing is she is in our
mission so we could still see her. I swear that every time I say the work
is picking up in Slough to you guys the next week is one of the hardest slowest
weeks. It is really frustrating and makes me just want to sit in our
flatt and be a bum. I know that the only thing that will change Slough is
hard work. I know that we will be blessed so much and soon! Just have to remember
that we can't change our circumstances, but we can change ourselves.
My spiritual thought for the week is the enabling power of
the Atonement. We are all very familiar with the healing power of the
Atonement, but not so much about the enabling. Elder Bednar gives a
fantastic talk about it, if you wish to hear more about it. A lot of us
think that the Atonement is just meant to heal us from our sins and sorrows.
Even though that is important and amazing the enabling power of the
Atonement is what changes us. If you read in the Book of Mormon when the
people are struggling like when the people of Alma are in captivity they never
ever pray for their circumstances to change. They pray for the strength
to endure there bondage and to have burdens made light. Because of their
faith the Lord made their burdens light. He didn't take them away, but
made them light. The people of Alma then went about cheerfully doing
there work and gave thanks. Another example is Nephi when coming back
from Jersulem with Ishmaels family and his brothers tie him up. He does
not ask God to change his circumstances or to chasten his brothers, but he asks
that according to his faith the Lord will give him the strength to burst his
bands. Nephi understood that he was weak, but that through the enabling
power of the Atonement could call upon God to recieve strength to change
himself not his circumstances. I hope we will allow the enabling power of
the Atonement to cleanse of our sins, but then to also let it change us.
I hope and pray that we will all be the ones to act instead of being
I love you all to shredzz and have a fantastic week!
Well this week was amazing or
should I say Sunday was amazing! The other Elders had two investigators at
church and we had our one. One of Maidenheads investigators I found while
on exchange the other day and she is golden! She is so awesome and I am so jealous
or was jealous until later in church:) A lady just walked into church
halfway through and at the end she loved it and said her family wants to
come and she wants to be taught! She has a husband and two teenage kids boy and
girl. So two future missionaries:) I haven't talked to her to much
but we are trying to meet with the family today and set up a baptismal date for
this month. After church we had a meeting with a guy who was suppose to
come to church but got called into work. The teach went well and he
accepted to be baptized!" There is a bit of a language barrier, but he
will probably be baptized next month so I'm super excited for that! GOD IS A
GOD OF MIRACLES!! Remember that miracles don't stop because God doesn't
want to show them, they stop because we lack faith. This message will be
short and that is what my spiritual thought is on.
A lot of us think we can't see miracles because we are
unworthy or Heavenly Father loves us less or something. WRONG!! If we go
forward with faith and are obedient to the things the Lord commands us and do
all we can to do his will we will see more miracles then ever. I want to
challenge all that read this to go to the temple or some sacred place and kneel
down and pray and ask Heavenly Father to give you the strength to do his will
and then promise him that you will do everything the way he wants it for that
week. As you do this you will see more blessing and miracles then
before. Remember that during this Christmas season the only way to truly
get the meaning out of Christmas we must drop the last three letters. I
love you all and have a great week!!!
Well I thought I would type
this up first before any other long letters since from what my Dad tells me you
all want to know whats going on with me apparently;) Well I have been fantastic
the last two weeks! I forget to mention that three weeks ago we had stake
conference and they released the Stake President so that what cool to see that,
but it also meant a member from the Seventy came and also and Area Seventy. Elder Walker was the Seventy and Elder Herbertson was the Area Seventy which is cool because he use to be the bishop of my ward, long
before I ever came here but still pretty cool. We were able to go to the
adult session and priesthood leader session which was amazing. Elder
Walker said that one of things President Monson worries about the most is how
members give talks in sacrament meetings. He says that the way the
General Authorities give their talks in Conference is not the way a talk should
be given in sacrament meeting. They do that in Conference because what
they say has to be translatted so they have to send in their talks early. But
outside of Conference they only make outlines for the talks they will give around
the world. President Monson also said he does not want to go to a
sacrament meeting and hear what Elder Packer or Holland said (Funny because
they were in front of him so he could point at them). He wants to hear how that
principle or doctrine has blessed and helped that person in ther life.
The Holy Ghost will affect people more when things come from the heart.
That means prepare a talk, but only an outline so when you get up to talk you
can allow the Spirit to guide you through your talk and to say the things that
need to be said.
This week we had zone
conference and Elder Teixeira from the Seventy and his wife spoke to us.
It was so amazing and he made us a promise and a challenge so that was pretty
amazing. You can't tell during conference because of the apostles, but
members of the Seventy have such an amazing spirit and power about them its so
cool. Sister Teixeira also spoke and she talked about over coming
fear. She said the 4 things that lead to fear are 1. Lack of Knowledge
2. Lack of Prepration 3. Lack of Faith and 4. Lack of Love. These are all
so true and I hope you can take what I have told you and strip yourself of
pride and fear and become the disciple that Christ needs you to be.
The rest of the week was a lot of hard work. We had a lot of cancelations
and just people not wanting to talk to us. Last week we had a guy walk
into church and so we have been teaching him a lot. He doesn't want to be
baptized because it is not the in thing to do haha. He has a few mental
problems, but he is the best! He loves church and meeting with us so we know
its going to happen. His mom wants to meet us so that is exciting as
well. Elder Stewart is the funniest guy and so humble. He can
remember all the lines from movies and funny comedians. The best is when
he quotes stuff from church movies that are really cheesy. We also quote
kid history a lot haha. We didn't have a Thanksgiving dinner on
Thanksgiving, but did get fed so that was great. We did get our
Thanksgiving dinner though last night which was so amazing. They don't
have pumpkin pie here, but the member made some from scratch and it was
amazing! It was a fun and hard week at the same time as it always seems to be.
Time for the spiritual
thought. I just want to talk about praying and scripture study just a
little. These are probably the hardest thing for us to do. I know that it
was for me and thought I was going to struggle with it on my mission.
WRONG! If I don't get personal study in I want to cry because I love it so much
and it helps me with my day so much. And as far as praying, if I'm not on
my knees I have prayers going through my mind and heart constantly. I
want to sorta of aim this towards the youth, but its good for the adults as
well to remind them how important prayer is.
Because of ONE prayer from a
teenage boy I am now serving a mission in England. Because of One prayer
from a teenage boy priesthood authority was restored to the earth and has given
me the chance to give my dad a blessing of comfort and healing. Becasue
of ONE prayer by a teenage boy families can be sealed together forever in Holy
Temples all around the world. And let us not forget that because of ONE
prayer given by our Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ we can all be saved and
return to live with our Heavenly Father again. Never under estimate the
power of one prayer no matter what age you are. We have to remember
though that prayers are answered in the Lords time not ours. Heavenly
Father knows exactly when we need something and sometimes he is testing our
faith to see how much we really desire something. Also most prayers are
answered through other people. So pay attention in church, seminary, to
parents, and to chilrden because they may hold the answer to your prayer.
One of my favorite sayings is "If we want to talk to our Heavenly Fathere
we pray and if we want to hear from him we read our scriptures. So read
your scriptures! John Bytheway said its interesting "when youth go to EFY
or on missions how they say that was the best week or two years of my
life. So you mean being surrounded by people with same desires as you,
reading you scriptures every day, praying everyday, and serving others makes
you happy? Living the gospel makes you happy?" I hope we can all
realize how important prayer and daily study is. Personal study everyday in
the morning will help the Spirit to be with us more and will soften our hearts
and give us courage to follow the promptings it gives us and to help us be the
answer to others prayers. Harold B. Lee said, "I don't worry about
the youth that pray two times a day." I think that applies to adults
as well. I promise you that as you strive to pray morning and night and
study the scriptures everyday your life and the lives of others will be
enriched and blessed. You will find the Spirit to be with you more
abunduntly, you will have the strength to overcome your temptations and
weaknesses, and you will be moer willing to share the gospel. By doing
the simple things we will draw closer to our Saviour Jesus Christ and he will
draw near to us. In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Collin must have been busy this week since he did not write a email to the whole family. This is an insert from part of a letter he wrote to me(Dad)
Life is still going good for me
and I keep loving missionary life more and more. Home honestly feels like
an imagnary world. I feel like it never existed really. Can't
imagine what it will feel like when I have been out for ages. I'm getting
along well with Elder Stewart. He is such a funny guy. He reminds me of
Robbie in how he can remember all the funny lines from movies and youtube so
well. He is always quoting something funny when we're walking around and
its the best! He told me that I'm the first companion he has had that he feels
like he can be himself and not be judged for saying something weird.
Everybody keeps telling me that and its weird. I don't feel like an
example or a nice person, but I guess I am. I don't it was just cool to
hear him say that. Helped me to know this will be a good relationship.
Well this week has been very eventful. I got a new companion on Wednesday and his
name is Elder Stewart. He has been out
for 18 months and a really good guy. I'm
geetting a long with really well and he likes Slough a lot cause people listen
a lot more haha. I also got a new
Distric Leader whose name is Elder La Mazza.
He is INSANE.
He goes home in 3 months and was a zone leader for the
last year and just does work! Haha he is
a good guy and I look forward to serving along side these great missionaries
and laerning from all their experiences.
We are starting to see the work pick up little by
little. We are finally starting to get
some solid appointments and people to teach.
I pray and hope that we will be able to say and do the
things the Lord will wants us to do so that we can help these people enter into
the waters of baptism. I love being a
missionary and all the challenge it brings.
It sounds crazy to think challenges are fun or good but they are! That is how are Heavenly Father tests our
faith and when we succeed we gain and even stronger testimony and a deeper
Alwasy remmeber our Heavenly Father sees us in an Eternal
perspective and knows when and why we need things to happen in our lives. I hope all of you have been doing your part in hastening the work of salvation.
My spiritual thought for this week is on charity. Charity is a really hard topic to speak on
and hopefully I don't just mess it up.
In todays world people just think that charity is love. It is so much more then that and we know that
charity is the pure love of Christ.
Paul and Mormon both say exactly what charity is.
" Charity suffereth long, and is kind, and enveith
not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked,
thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in inquity but rejoiceth in the truth,
bearth all things, believth all things hopeth all things, endureth all
Now the question for many of us today is how can we have
charity become who we are. It first
begins with humbling ourselves as Mormn says in Moroni 7:43. We must
come before God meek and lowley in heart. We then must exersice our faith in Jesus
Christ and always be doing the things that increase our faith. Once we have faith then we will get
hope. If we have hope then we will have
charity. "The meek and lowly in
heart, and confess by the power of of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ,
he must needs have charity." (Moroni 7:44)
As I was doing my personal study today I have been
focussing a lot on light and darkness. It
hit me that charity can also be considered light. As we make decisions and feel our lives with
light we will be filled with the love of God. Just as Christ tells the Nephites
that men do not put a bushel over a lit candle, but that he puts it on a candlestick
to shine light on everyone in the house. I was watching the Joseph Smith movie
the other day and in there Joseph says "A man filled with the love of God
will not only want to share it with his family." As we strive to feel or lives and ourselves
with light and the love of Christ we will become a beacon to others will be
drawn to Christ through the love and light we show them as we strive to follow
Christ. We must remember as Paul
counsels to not just think faith and hope are enough. For as Paul says, "Though I have faith,
so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
Hold up your light and shine the love and light on Christ
with all thoughs you come in contact with.
As we increase our faith and hope we will not want to keep it to
ourselves, but share it with everyone and let them benefit from it. Our Heavenly Father will then in turn pour
out the blessings of Heaven upon us. I
promise you that as you do this you will feel the love your Heavenly Father and
Christ has for you. In the Name of Jesus
Well transfer are this week and I am super nervous. I have been told that it is either your
second or third companion that are you hardest ones. It doesnt look like I will be training just
because there are so few new missionaries coming in and much better qualified
people to train them. I am going to miss
Elder Anderson so much and can't wait to hang out with him in Utah!
This week end and such a great note. We found a golden new investigator and will
be teaching her Thursday so I cannot wait for that. She is so nice and amazing and just a lovely
person. She is from Africa which makes me
happy cause then I can say my first baptism was a person from Africa and that I sorta
of kind of was in Africa:) We are still
working with less actives a lot and starting to see the blessings of that
happening. Missionary work is just the
best! It's funny though that when good things start happening Satan starts
working even harder. I have never felt
the power of the adversary so much as I have on my mission. It is real and it is scary. He has such holds on the hearts of the people
that it makes me cringe and want to cry because of the hold he has on
them. When you read in the scriptures
about the prophets being weighed down with sorrow because of the wickedness
they see I know how it feels. It is an
awful feeling and makes sharing the gospel so much more important.
The spiritual thought I have for this week is on being
better Member Missionaries again. The
missionaries this month have had to teach the primary about how they can be
missionaries now. It has been nice to
remember what it was like being so young and just dreaming of serving a
mission. I remember how it felt like it
would never happen and that it was something old people do. I was reading a talk by Robert C.
Oaks and that had a story about sharing the gospel that I
really like so I thought I would share it with you.
Consider that you are invited to a friend's house for
breakfast. On the table you see a large pitcher of freshly squeezed orange
juice from which you host fills his glass.
But he offers you none.
Finally, you ask, "Could I have a glass of orange
He replies, "Oh, I am sorry. I was afraid you might
not like orange juice, and I didn't want to offend you by offering you
something you didn't desire."
The orange juice is the gospel. Now the gospel is much better then orange
juice and yet we as members are afraid to share it because we might ruin a
friendship. I think it would be better
to share it in this world then to pass through the veil and have our friends
come up to us and say why didn't you share this with me!? If you are living the
gospel the best you can your friends and family will see that it means a lot to
you and that it affects your life for the better. They will feel honored that you would want to
share something precious to you with them.
They may not want to join, but don't get discouraged.
You will see that your friendship with them will be
increased and you will find greater love for them. Remember again that even the Christ himself
was rejected by his own people. When we
share the gospel though we don't have to say they will be damned if they aren't
baptized that minute. A simple testimony
or inviting them to meet with the missionaries in your home can be much more
affected. As you strive to do this you
will feel closer to your heavenly father then you ever have before and you will
see blessing coming in truck loads.
You will feel happier and more peace in your life then
ever before even when things around you seem dark. The First Presidency and Quroum of the Twelve
have come out with a new way to for members and missionaries to work
together. It is call THE WORK OF SALVATION. I encourage you in you family home evenings
and personal time to go on to lds.org and learn more about how you can hasten
the work of salvation. There are videos
and topics you can watch and learn more about it. Here are four simple steps we can do to
better further the work of the Lord and be better member missionaries.
1. Identify prayerfully your friends and neighbors who
would be the most receptive to the gospel message.
2. Introduce the identified individuals to the
3. Involve yourself in the teaching of the gospel,
preferably in your home.
4. Integrate your friends and any other new members into
the Church by being attentive and helpful.
I know that as you do these things more and more people
will want to join the church and it will be through you diligence and hard work
that it will come to pass. Remember that
missionary work is hopeless if the members do not do their part in it. We missionaries need your help and want to
help you and see the miracles wrought by you.
I love you and hope you have an amazing week! Remember the Lord is with
those who do his will!
Well this week has been a rough one. We found out as a district that a missionary
we are close to will be going home for some major disobedience. It was really
hard to take in and made me feel and love him so much more for his willingness
to repent and grower closer to Christ through his atonement. Keep him in your prayers that he will have
the strength to keep pressing forward.
We also had to drop all of our investigators which really
put a damper on things. It is hard not
being able to teach anyone, but I know that I just need to work harder with
Elder Anderson and let the Lord do the rest.
It is his work, not mine. We are
putting our time in seeing more less actives which has been a huge blessing. We are meeting with one lady who served a
mission and still has an amazing testimony.
Just a man is getting in the way of her going to church and she needs to
end, but she is close to doing that so I can't wait to see her at church soon.
We have some more less actives we are seeing this week
and I cannot wait to meet them and help them feel the love of the Savior again.
A little bit about Slough I thought I would add. Every place is very compact and a home here is like
an apartment in America. My tiny flatt
cost the same as a monthly payment on a house almost. It is crazy and glad I don't have to pay for
it sorta haha. It is funny when you are
knocking though cause sometimes you only have to shuffle a few feet over for
the next door. England is just a
crazy place with crazy drivers and people.
I LOVE IT!!!
My spiritual thought for this week has to do with
pride. If you read the Book of Mormon
carefully you will realize that every time the Nephites start to fall into
wickedness and eventually are destroyed is because of pride. Pride is one of the main messages of the Book
of Mormon. If we do not rid ourselves of
pride and humble ourselves before God we will only find misery in this life and
the life to come.
meeting this last week we talked about pride and how when we are teaching an
investigator we need them to humble themselves before they can even ready the
Book of Mormon let alone be baptized.
When one is humble he or she realizes that they are
nothing and need Heavenly Father and Christ Atonement more and more to strength
them everyday. In Alma 5:27-28 it says
27. Have ye walked, keeping yourselves blameless before
God? Could ye say, if ye were called to die at this time, within yourselves,
that ye have been sufficiently humble? That your garments have been cleansed
and made white through the blood of Christ, who will come to redeem his people
from their sins?
28. Behold, are ye stripped of pride? I say unto you, if
ye are not ye are not prepared to meet God. Behold ye must prepare quickly; for
the kingdom of heaven is soon at hand, and such an one hath not eternal life.
Pride is one of the hardest things to get out of our
system and is something we must continually everyday rid ourselves so they may
not be natural men and women, but sons and daughters of God. Humility is what leads us to have faith and
to act and rely on that faith we gain.
With faith also
comes hope and charity that everyone needs in order to do the will of God. Let us be like Ammon and say everyday "I
know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therfore I will not boast
of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all
things." (Alma 26:12) We an ask
everyday for the strength to overcome our weaknesses and to become men and
women of God. It will call for us to be
humble at all times even when facing adversity.
Salvation is not meant to be easy to obtain and we must
walk a few steps in Christ shoes. I
encourage you to read and share with your familes "The Inconvient Christ"
by Elder Holland. It will change your
perspective on what it means to be a true Christian. Remember Christ himself wanted to know if
there was another way to go through the atonement, but because he was humble
and submitted himself to God's will he drank of the bitter cup. Because of what Christ willingness to submit
to the Father's will we can be forgiven of our sins and return to live with our
Heavenly Father again. It is my hope
that we will strive to humble ourselves everyday and align our will with God's
will. I know and promise that as you
will strive to be humble you will be blessed and find more happinness and joy
then you have ever felt in your life, even when the world around you seems to
be falling apart. I love all of you and
hope you have an amazing week and grow closer to the Lord!
name is Elder Smith and I serve along side your son in the Slough ward and also
serve as his District Leader. I wanted to email you and thank you for raising
your son the way you did and for making the necessary sacrifices needed to send
him on his mission. I have spent a great amount of time with your son and do
each week. We have a great friendship and I look up to your son. I have grown
to love him deeply and I learn from him each week. I have seen him change,
indeed I have seen his life change. Through tears and heartfelt admonition, I
have felt and heard the love he has for his parents and his siblings. His love
for you is inspiring. His heart is being softened and touched and he is becoming
a great man. I couldn't ask for a better example to the other missionaries in
our district. He has taken them all under his wing. He uplifts them, encourages
them, has fun with them, and sets the example for them. You should be proud! I
talk to the Mission President often and make sure to tell him that your son is
becoming an incredible missionary and will be a great leader in this mission.
Elder Wilson is happy, and loving the work, and blessing so many people,
including myself. In fact, as I am writing this I am getting emotional. He has
his head on straight, knows why he is here and what he is supposed to be doing
and I know I can rely on him and turn to him for anything. He is becoming a
spiritual giant and is changing into an incredible person! You will be
I am adding a post from the email Collin sent me. I used a friends tactics to get him to to actually answer the questions I keep asking. I told him until these are answered we will not send him Elk Jerky!
>1) Have you
found out if you get to Skype on Christmas or just call?
A) I will be skyping home on Christmas as I have
told you before I thought.
> 2) How
long did it take you to do the long walk?
A) The long walk took 45 minutes one way and we
stayed by the statue for about half hour.
> 3) Have
you picked up a British accent yet?
A) I don't have a British accent yet, but I
certain words a little different sometimes and I also use British words like
rubbish, cheers, and mate a lot.Also
hell and damn aren't swear words here and sometimes I find myself saying them
and its really weird haha.
> 4) How
many investigators do you have?
A) Are investigator pool as gone to nothing basically, but
we have a lot of good new investigators that are promising. I don't we will see what happens.
> 5) When do
you think you will get a new companion?
A) .I will
be getting a new companion in two weeks and depending on if I train or not I
will be in Slough till Christmas or at my six month mark.Sounds like I will be training though so I
will be Slough till February.
> 6) What is
the best thing you ate?
A) My favorite food is when a member named Robin
feeds us and he throws in all this different meet and been along with good
yogurt with fruit on the side.It is
usually pretty spicy as well and so good!He told me that he has never seen an Elder eat so much food before.haha oh well I am hungry all the time:)Oh and I like spicy food now so that is
cool:)It really does put hairs on your
chest cause I have chest hair as well haha.
> 7) What is
the worse thing you ate?
haven't had anything gross yet, but Fu Fu was the most interesting things I
have ate, but was good.
> 8) Have
you gained anymore weight?
A) I have not gained any more weight, but have a
> 9) Are you
still cleaning the apartment?
A) Did not answer
> 10) What do
you cook for food when you are at your flatt?
A) Elder Anderson makes amazing food while we are
at the flatt and its anything for pasta to some kind of fancy cake.Its the reason I'm fat:)
Well he answered 9 out of 10 questions so I guess that is passing so will send the jerky to him!
Well I don't have much time to write this email since I
saved it for last again.... Got to be better at writing this first. Well this week was super great and super
long. Had my first zone conference and
it was super amazing! Learned so much and gained so much more perspective on
how to be a better missionary. Our
investigator pool has gone to zero which sucks, but we have some solid new
investigators we are meeting this week and we are praying and fasting that we
can start seeing some success. I know
though that this is the Lords work and not mine and he will do things his
way. Its going to have to be a short
letter this week so here comes the spiritual thought.
I want to share a simple thought on faith. Without faith we have no hope, charity,
humility, diligence, patience, and much more.
Faith is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is what changes and propels us
to be better and want to be better. I
have found this out for myself and do everyday.
We can only strengthen our faith though by earnestly studying the
scriptures, praying morning and night, and keeping God's commandments. I got to watch the last session of General
Conference this last Sunday and two quotes stick out in my mind. The first one is " The most important
part of you day is your personal spiritual time." This is when we learn how to better ourselves
and when we can receive revelation for that day to better ourselves and the
peoples lives around us. The second
quote is "Permanent change comes through the atonement." I hope you all know that once we have faith
in Christ and his infinite atonement and go forward acting on that faith that
is when we learn and grow the most.
Christ is waiting to help us. He has his arm stretched to us and all we
have to do is hold on in his love and atonement and do everything to not let
go. I know that Christ lives. Because I
have learned what the atonement truly is and can do for me my life has become
so much and better and my burdens lifted.
I KNOW THAT MY REDEEMER LIVES.
I love all of you so much and hope you have a great week!
Well this week has been great! Had an awesome exchange
with a Elder Smith's companion who has just started his mission. It was really fun to go and see him grow from
the morning to later in the day. I
really loved being able to lead by example and help him over come some of his
fears. It really pushed me as well to be
better and overcome some of my fears and doubts. I hope so bad that I will be training this
next transfer because just like with an investigator this truly no better joy
then helping someone feel loved and change for the better.
Nothing to excitng has really happened this weekend
besides the fact that it is starting to rain every day and get super cold! The rain is different compared to utah and is
just non stop and gets super wet.
I'm ok with it though because when we are knocking people
feel bad and are more willing to talk and that gives us the chance to bring the
spirit in and baptize them! hahah I just want a baptism so bad, but I know that
as long as I keep working hard and being obedient the Lord is happy with me. In district meetin our zone leaders said
something very intersting. When we wake
up the things we read in the scriptures are no different then things we can
bring about during the day. And when we
go to bed and write in our journals that night the things we write can be no
different then the things we read in the scriptures.
We can see mircales everyday we just have to realize its
We probably aren't going to be struct dumb by an Angel
like Alma, but maybe we can make some happy and smile or lighten someones
burden that day. It may not be a miracle
to you, but it is for that person and you will be blessed for it as you do it.
Now time for the real spiritual thought. I have really been thinking about what to say
and for some reason I just really want to talk about hope. We hear so much that we need faith in Christ
and in no means am I trying to say that isn't important because it is the most
important step. But so many of us think that as long as we have that faith we
are good for the rest of our lives or thats all that is required of us. It is not we also need to have hope. Now the hope I'm talking about isn't just
saying oh I hope mom doesn't ground me or I hope its a good day. No the hope I am talking about is the Hope
that Heavenly Father will and is going to keep all his promises. If you imagine you have a boat and that boat
is you. You are out sailing enjoying
yourself when all of a sudden a nasty storm hits. You have all this rope, but then you realize
you have no anchor and that you are doomed and will eventually be lost and
swallowed up in the darkness of the storm.
Now the rope is faith in Jesus christ. You need that rope, but you can't
do anyting with it unless you have an anchor.
That anchor is hope. Once you tie
the rope into the anchor and throw it into the see and you are secure you know
that you can ride the storm out and be safe.
So in our lives when the adversary is hitting us with everything he as
we can be swallowed up in darkness and be lost without hope. We must rely on our faith that we can hope
for better things to come. We know that
God has a plan for us and that he wants us to make it back to him. Moroni tells us in Ether 12:4 that "Hope
is the anchor to our souls." When
all seems lost and we feel like we are going to be lost at sea forever let us
throw our anchor in with hope tied to our faith in Christ and wait with
patience for the things to come. I know
we at times feel like we are nothing and that nobody wants us around anymore or
that we can do no good. Don't let doubts
and fears consume who you really are. We
are all beautiful and wonderful Sons and Daughters of God. He loves every single one of us with a
perfect love and he has plan and purpose for each one of us.
He knows our strengths and weaknesses and what we can
handle. Have faith and hope that
Heavenly Father knows who you are and what he wants you to do and be. It is not easy in todays world to secure or
anchor of hope, but through Jesus Christ I know that we can make it through
anything. I just want to bear my
testimony to you that I know Christ lives and that he knows and loves all of
us. I feel is love more and more for me
everyday as I go out and serve his children.
We are imperfect but Christ is perfect and has a perfect love for us.
Hold on in that love.
I love you all to pieces and keep being the amazing
people you are and continue to grow in faith and hope in Christ!
Well I forgot to mention somethings I did last week
because I got to excited to talk about conference haha:) I tried a dish from Ghana and it is called Fu
Fu. It is so good and I loved it. They put weird things in it that I don't know
what it was, but it was good:) Elder
Anderson didn't like it to much. Last
week for P-day we went on the long walk which is a LONG WALK. It is so beautiful though and I loved
it. It goes up onto this little hill
with a huge horse on it and you can see the castle from it and all of
slough. It was a blast and we even saw
some deer while we were there. I got about 50 yards from a buck which was
wicked. I gave my first talk in my ward
yesterday on "Feeding my Sheep" in John 21:15-17. It went well and one member came up to me
and said I truly inspired everyone. I
don't mean to brag, it was just a good feeling that I had prepared and gave my
talk the way the Lord wanted me to. I am
sending it home to my parents so they can read my sloppy hand writing and can
share more of it with the
family:) There is
a feeling in the air that is telling me the work is about to really start
hastening in my area. Our district
leader feels especially with our new plan for this transfer and I am getting so
excited to go to work everyday! Good
things are coming!
My spiritual thought for this day is about asking and
receiving answers for our prayers. So
many of us forget that all we need to do is ask our Heavenly Father for the things
we need. He knows what we need, but
wants us to recognize that we need him to help us accomplish the things we
desire. It will take us humbling
ourselves if we truly want his help. If
you read in D&C 6:5-8 we read that if we ask and knock it shall be opened
up unto us and we can receive it. It
says in verse 8 "As you desire of me so it shall be unto you." A lot of us have a hard time knowing the
difference between a want and a desire.
A desire starts with a want, but then leads into an
action and showing our Heavenly Father how bad we truly do desire it. For example if you see a nice and car and say
I want that, and then go to Heavenly Father and say you desire it, then don't
put in any effort in trying earn the money for it and expect it to show up on
your drive way then Heavenly Father won't give it to you because you don't
really desire it. When we truly desire
something we are willing to do all to achieve it. For me when I first came out on my mission I
felt so like I new nothing and really wanted to have great knowledge with the
scriptures. I asked in pray to have my
mind opened when I studied and that I would learn something new every time I
did. I also asked that what I learned I
may be able to use for the good of those around me and that I would forget my
selfish desires. It took me and still
takes me spending an hour everyday when I am tired to open and read, ponder,
and ask about the things I learn through the scriptures. At first I didn't really feel like I was
learning or remembering anything, but as I kept praying and doing my part I
started remembering scriptures and using them in my lessons and when teaching
others. Heavenly Father wants us to ask
him in faith and then he will see if we truly desire it. Once he feels we have done all we can then he
gives a helping hand. In verse 7 it says
"not to seek for riches, but wisdom... and then you shall be made rich.
Behold, he that hath eternal life is rich." If we can change our thinking in a eternal
perspective instead of a right now and what happened yesterday perspective we
will be so much happier. We will have
increased faith and know that with the Lord's help we can overcome
anything. As it says in D&C 50:35
"The kingdom is given you of the Father, and the power to overcome all
things which are not ordained of him."
As we pray and ask in faith let us not get discourged or down because we
have not receive what we desire when we want it. Push forward in faith and rely on him to help
you overcome your challenges and then he will give it unto you. Don't ever forget that we are all sons and
daughters of our Heavenly Father and that he loves us so much and wants nothing
more then to help us. We just have to open the door.
Hope you have a great week and I love you all so much!
Here are some pictures from our P-day last week on the
Also have a couple pictures of our Dinner appointment at
a members house yesterday. I forgot to add in my letter that the two new Elder
we got or named Elder Wilson (He has the glasses) and Elder Larsen who has his
head on me in the picture at the dinner. Hope you enjoy!
Well overall this week has been rough since nothing
went our way and we didn't get much of anything done. It was very hard and very humbling to know we
need to rely on the Heavenly Father more in helping us do the right things through
the day. But on the bright side conference
was this weekend and that made me feel so much better!
I wish I could
talk about every talk in this email because they were all so amazing and
pertained to missionary work so much.
Just share a few of the ones I really liked then I chose one to talk
about as my spiritual thought. I really
liked Elder Bednar's talk on tithing and it made me want to pay tithing, but
then I realized I have no money haha.
But I like how he put into perspective the blessing we get from paying
tithing. Sometimes we get huge blessing
we see right away, but most the time our blessing are through "small and
simple means." Like when we want to
have a new job, instead of Heavenly Father giving us a new job he gives us a desire
to get off our butts and go to work in trying to get a job. That's a huge blessing for me cause most the
time the hardest step is the first one.
Another talk I loved was the one Richard J. Maynes in the Sunday morning
session. How we need to have Spiritual
endurance. Once we make and receive our
ordinances and covenants we must endure to the end in righteousness. My favorite quote from that talk is "We
must be the rock the river cannot sway."
The last talk I loved was President Monson's on
Sunday. WOW. I don't ever remember seeing him tear up in a
talk or pour his love in such abundance like that before. From the moment he started talking I felt the
spirit so strongly and the love he has for his wife and all of us.
I didn't write
much down from his talk because the main message I gained from it was that we
are loved by our Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ. Once we know that for ourselves life changes
so much. It doesn't get easier, but
becomes more enjoyable. My favorite
quote from conference came when he said "Good Trees do not grow with
Alright now the talk I really wanted to talk about comes
from President Packer. I thought so hard
about which one to talk about and felt like this one was a good one to
expounded on. "Gospel centered home
is a safe place." How true is that? I hear parents all the time on my mission,
and from my own parents say how dangerous the world is and they worry about
what their kids see everyday. Well
President Packer gave us our solution and that solution is the GOSPEL. I know the times in my own life when I have
felt the most safe is at Young mens, church, when being at a family party, and
especially when being in my home saying prayers or reading scriptures as a
President Packer say that "Youth who study the
scriputes daily and our active in the church have less of a chance of falling
away from the path." (He had some
percent, but I can't rember it.) I love
that so much and can see how true it is.
I never studied the scriptures that well before I came out on a mission
and I regret it. Since I have to study
every morning it has become my favorite part of the day and it makes a huge
difference in my mission if I study or not.
For those of you at home it is hard to make time for scripture study
cause you are so busy and tired at night to study. Well I have your solution.
Instead of watching tv right when you come home or before
you go to bed turn it off gather the family sit down at the table and have
scripture study for an hour. You should
have personnel study but good to get the family involved. I listened to a talk by John Bytheway last
night and he said he gave up his channel surfing at from 10 to 12 and went to
bed at 10 so he could wake up at 5 to get to work and have an extra 2 hours
from 6 to 8 to write a book he always wanted to write. He said after finshing the book he looked at
the four months it took him to write and all the things he learned in those two
hours in the morning. Then he tried to
think of all the things he would have learned from two hours of watching tv and
he couldn't think of one. So with
scripture study think of all the things you could learn if you spent an hour
with your family studying and becoming closer to your Heavenly Father. Think of all the knowledge you would gain in
a year with at least 365 hours of scripture study. Think of how much closer you would be to your
Heavenly Father and how much more the Love of Christ would be in your life and
in your home. Pretty crazy how much one
hour of no tv and just scripture study could change your life. I know we all have busy lives, but I promise
you that as you take time to study the scriptures your life will be blessed
just like President Packer said. I don't
know if I heard it in conference or another Elder told me, but I love this
quote. "To talk to your Heavenly
Father you must pray. For your Heavenly Father to talk to you, you must study
the scriptures." With that I
challenge you to have daily scripture study in you families and maybe take time
each week to study a certain talk from conference each week and better apply
its teachings in your life. As we study
the scriptures we gain Christlike Attributes which better our lives and the
lives of others.
Hope all is well at home and you enjoy your week! LOVE YOU ALL TO SHREDZZ!!
First off I'm not being apostate by sending this email
since it is not my P-day, but it is the only email I'm sending so don't feel like
your missing something haha. Alright so in the photo when we aren't all going
crazy I will go left to right. First is
me, then Elder Probst who transfers to a new area today. Next is his companion Elder Hammond who is
the only English guy in the group. Next
is Elder Clark who is a cat lover and so dang funny and is leaving us to go
train someone in a brand new area. Poor guy has only been out three months and
just finished training himself. He is
also engaged haha. Next is his companion
and our district leader Elder Smith.
Coolest guy I've ever met and I can relate to him a lot. Next is my beautiful companion Elder Anderson:) Everyone is from Utah except Elder Hammond
who gets made fun of a lot haha. Just to
explain the funny photo I was suppose to just be facing backwards, but we are
on a hill so I slipped into Elder Probst who just started hugging me so you get
what you see. The other two photos are
with Elder Smith who has the funny smile and Elder Hammond the English
man. Hope you enjoy the photos!
Well this week just went by super fast and I really
Nothing super amazing happened besides a lot of knocking
and driving around on buses to get to places.
I had an exchange with the District leader this Friday and is name is
Elder Smith. He lives in Utah and will
be coming home in May. Basically he is
the coolest guy ever and I had a blast serving with him for a day. All of the lessons I had planned for the day
fell through so we did a lot of knocking and street contacting which is what I
need to work on anyway. I learned so
much from him and how he gets people to talk and be interested in the
gospel. The first door we knocked wanted
to shut the door right away but he asked a question and they answered and we
actually got a lesson out of it which was so cool to see! I started applying what I had learned Sunday
evening and we only had 40 minutes to knock and we got 4 lessons out of it! It was amazing the difference there was and
actually makes me excited for tracking a little bit haha. We have boxing gloves in our flatt so Elder
Smith and I were goof off with them and he hit me then I hit him a little hader
then he hit me harder and pretty soon we just had to stop before we got into an
actual fight haha. It was way funny and
I had a blast. Transfers are this
Wednesday and its so hard to believe I am half way through my training! Only on Elder is getting moved out of our
district and its Elder Smith's companion who he was training. Elder Clark will be opening up a new area and
training at the same time. Its funny
cauuse he has only been out 3 months and sucks with directions so it will be
good for him.
I don't have to much say this week, but remembered a few
things I have been wanting to say for the last 6 weeks haha. So one of the APs is going home this week and
his first area was Slough were mine is and he told us that tons of APs, Zone
and District leaders have come out of Slough.
He called it the "Holy Land".
Its funny cause Slough is a dirty and full of muslims and seeks, which
isn't a bad thing, but makes it harder to get investigators. So apparently
anyone who comes out of Slough will be a leader. (I hope I'm the exception). Also were they held the rowing for the
Olympics was here in Windsor and we can actually go see the the huge resovior
for it which is pretty cool.
It was crazy to
think that a year ago I was watching the rowing and now I'm serving there!
For my spiritual thought I want to share a promise our
Heavenly Father has made that you can find in D&C 98:3 and also D&C
100:15. In verse
3 it says "Therefore, he giveth this promise unto
you, with an immutable covenant that they shall be fulfilled; and all things
wherewith you have been afflicted shall work together for your good, and to my
name's glory, saith the Lord." You
can read the two versus before that to get a little more info. But I want to
call your attention to the immutable convenant.
Immutable is basically the most sacred and powerful convenant you can
make. And as far as I have search I can
find no other promise or covenant where it says it is Immutable. So our Heavenly Father is making the powerful
promise and he promises us that all of our afflictions will work together for
our good and glorify God. If you go to
D&C 100:15 it basically says the same thing and that our hearts should be
comforted. Life is hard and that is how
it is suppose to be, but Heavenly Father has made an "immutable
convanent" with us that if we remain faithful and strive to be the best we
can be all our trials will be for our good.
So whether it is getting a bad grade on a test, or getting cut from the
team, an injury, cancer, or death as long as we our living righteously it will
be for our good. I know this to be true
because of my Dad's cancer.
It is a terrible thing and has been such a challenge for
my dad and our family. But from
listening to my Mom and looking back I can't imagine where we would be without
him going through this challenge. It has brought us closer to God which has
brought us closer as a family.
My Dad told us when his cancer came back that we have two
choices " Blame God for our problems, or turn to God to help us with our
That has affected me for the last 4 years of my life in
every challenge I have had. I know
Heavenly Father loves each and everyone of us and wants the best for us. We grow more when things are tough then when
things are easy. Yes life is hard, but
know that with the Help of Christ and our Heavenly Father we can overcome
anything. I love you all and hope you
have a great week!
Just thought I would through a little note in. Collin has gained 15 lbs so far on his mission. This coming from a kid who couldn't gain weight by eating all day and lifting. I guess the food in England is pretty good. He said his favorite dish is Eat-in-Mess. It is basically fruit and sugar and he says it is amazing!
Well this week wasn't really filled with anything to
exciting or really worth sharing. Last Tuesday we went and did service for one of the members in the ward whose name
is Robin and he is always feeding us and helping us with teaches and basically
awesome. He is fixing up his home and he
gave us the job of cleaning his radiators and then hooking them back up and
putting in new piping. Let me tell you
those radiators were disgusting and were so heavy especially with water in
them. It took us two hours to clean two
of them and it rained on us the whole time so that was fun. Putting in the new piping was fun though and
I learned a few plumbing trades which was awesome.
Wednesday I had my first zone training and had to give a
presentation with Elder Anderson! It
kind of sucked, but was good for us as well.
It went great and the zone leaders were happy with they
two new missionaries talked about being bold and extending commitments!
Interesting topic for us huh. Saturday Elder Anderson and I had the
privilege of going on splits with the zone leaders since we struggling with our
finding efforts a little bit. I went
with Elder Aragones who has been out just over a year and is from Barcelona,
Spain. He was converted only two years
ago and has the coolest conversion story!
Well anyway we went and did finding for three or so hours
and it was the fastest three hours of my mission! He is incredible at talking to people and
getting them to talk as well. He is a
little bold and does some weird things for example showing people a picture of
Christ and asking them if he knows his friend Jesus. It works well and he does some many other
crazy things. We had good success and
got 4 new investigators! One even said
she got the chills when we were talking to her about the first vision. Pretty cool if you ask me.
I realized throughout the week that I haven't really said
much about my area besides that it is full of Muslims haha. Slough itself is a dirty small city, but
amazing anyway, but once you get out of slough and get on the back roads it is
all country. And the roads are super
tiny with huge trees and bushes on both sides that make the roads feel smaller
and people just fly around like its nothing.
It is so beautiful in country and reminds me of Oregon especially where
Pacific University is located. I live by a park
which is really nice so its quiet and peaceful. The park is also very beautiful. The
people are great and if you give them the chance are quite nice and friendly
even though they look like they want to kill you.
My spiritual thought is short this week, but it was
really powerful to me. Its from
President Snow and you can find it in Chapter 18 out of the book President
Snows teachings. Anyway there is a quote in there by him that says, "Don't
be to great till grown." How simple
and yet powerful that was to me. In the
mission field you are surrounded by Elders who have been out for over a year
and are just amazing and even some younger missionaries that are amazing. You want to so bad to be like that but you
haven't even been out a two months. I
basically summed it up as trying to be a 15 month missionary in 1 month. In life we do the same, we start at a new
job, sport, and in church and see someone who has been there longer and want to
be like that.
Something the Elder Quorum president pointed out to me is
that if you were a 15 month missionary in one month think of all the blessing
and experiences you missed out on to grow to become a 15 month missionary.
So in life
Heavenly Father prepares us to be the missionaries, husbands, wives, sons,
daughters, grandparents, employees, and church leaders we need to be at the
time he wants us to be it and how to be it.
Everyone wants to be great right now, but don't want to put the effort
in to be great they just want it. Remember
Heavenly Father has a plan for all of us and knows what we can become. When times become hard or easy never lose
focus on Christ and always turn to him as much as possible. We see ourselves as in the past and now,
Heavenly Father sees us in an eternal perspective.
I love you all and am always praying for you! Continue to endure to the end and stay on the
straight and narrow path!