Monday, November 28, 2016

Week 56 - Beware of Complacency

Monday 11/21/2016 
It was still a little wet from all the rain on Sunday which must have continued till the morning. We had a morning game of ruby probably the last. We stopped by the mission office, then got lunch at alohas. We stopped at Joe's ice and they had pumpkin flavor for thanksgiving. We dropped off Elder Russel/Luu then headed back to Placentia. P Day activity was pretty boring, some people played some volleyball. Our dinner was with the Tuimalo family at the Dennys. We finished the night with finding since our lessons cancelled. 

After studies we picked up Elder Sparacino/Lee for a service. We went and helped a single sister in the ward put up her Christmas decorations with her son. We were there for most of the day. She wants us to help with her son who is struggling, we are making plans on teaching him the lessons. It was dinner time by the time we got back to the apartment. We then went out for the night finding we were not able to get in contact with the people we wanted to see. 

We had district meeting in the morning after our studies. It was pretty good, we discussed putting off the natural man. We came up with some processes that will reap continued improvement. The zone did pictures since it was the last district meeting of the transfer. We had zone lunch, where we said what we are thankful for. We stopped by the Fischer's to pick up dinner for later. We went out and did our continued finding effort since our service canceled on us. We haven't had any good success with our finding lately so time to change it up. 

Thanksgiving 🦃 Thursday
In the morning we had a small missionary turkey bowl. We finished up and dropped off Elder Russell/Luu. We had a lunch with the Thompsons and some of their family at the institute building. We played some pool and taught the kids how to play. We then stopped by the Remington's home. We got to meet a lot of their family and had a dinner with them. We went and picked up Elder Sparacino/Lee. Then we went to Tamara's one of my previous converts. She was probably home, but we couldn't get her to answer the door. So we left a note and a gift from Trouble (Elder Sparacino) and Bailey. The night ended at the Padilla families where we ate some turkey and we talked with them. 

After studies Elder Sparacino/Lee made us an early lunch before weekly planning. Then we went back and did our weekly planning up till dinner. We panned for the unknown of what will happen with transfer calls. We picked our dinner from Sister Ayllon, she wasn't able to get another male. The Christmas initiative went live so it is time to start sharing in our finding efforts. We tried to visit some of our investigators, but everyone must have been shopping or something. 

After our studies we went out to try and see Nyle but he had some family over. The rain started to come down. We stopped by to give some food to Elder Lee since he was sick. We then brought them to yogurt land and then we went to picked up dinner from Sister Fisher. There was a Christ in the Americas presentation so we went to that and it was a good one. We went back to the apartment for transfer calls. We found out that they are closing the Elder side of the ward. Elder Rubio will be going to the ASL (American Sign Language) program. I will be going to Santiago Creek with Elder Wright who I have served around a few times. So that will be interesting. 

We had church in the morning. We had a pretty solid time the ward was kind of shocked with the Elder side being closed. We said our goodbyes to the majority. After church we did packing till dinner. Our dinner was with the Bunker family. Then we went and visited some of our favorite members. We started with the Thompson's, Sister Thompson was teary to see us go. We then stopped by the Remington's and signed their missionary book then took some pictures. We saw one of the best Christmas light displays we have ever seen. The display was synced with music that they broadcasted through the radio and they had a big screen with video. There was a Santa that came up to the car so we talked with him. The whole display loops every 20 minutes. We finished with the Padilla family. We went back to commence the packing. I do enjoy packing for some reason. 

Beware of Complacency 
Becoming complacent or stuck
I have seen it many times on my mission, I have been guilty of it myself. We often get comfortable with falling into a pattern. So we fall into a pattern and what happens is it stops all progress. Yeah I guess it is great to be comfortable, but at what cost. This reminds me of a parable I heard a while ago. I don't know where it came from. 

So there is two gardens. The gardens are divided with a wall. On one side of the wall is a wild garden with weeds and it is out of control basically. The other side has a beautifully cared for and tamed garden. So there is a gardener in both the gardens. The wild gardener is like come join me it is care free, he gives a convincing case. The gardener with the cared for garden says come join me and work in the garden with me. So we are standing on the wall unsure of what garden to go to. So we decide to be complacent and just stay on the wall. It is comfortable to stay on the wall and not make a decision. Well guess what the wall is owned by the gardener with the wild garden. Well we know who the wild gardener is. He would rather us stay on the wall and not make a decision, that stops us from progressing. 

We need to make sure we just aren't standing on the wall. So let us try to recognize when we are stopping ourselves and get out of the comfort zone. This is when we will see the most growth in our lives no matter what aspect we apply it to. 

Quite the amount of pictures from this week they will continue next week. We looking for a place to get some pictures one night. So where do you get lighting while it is dark outside? a lamp store. So we stopped by one for the great lighting. The employees asked no questions. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Week 55 - Lasting Gratitude

Monday 11/14/2016 
In the morning we played a game of rugby. It was pretty entertaining since there was a guy tripping on something. The guy was doing all kinds of weird stuff that might be seen as workouts. We hit up Joe's with everyone that was at rugby. Elder Rubio had a family friend visit and bring us to lunch at P.F. Chang's. We went to pday activity pretty boring, we eventually got some people to play a few games of pivot. The Gibbons family made us dinner. Dinner was to go since Brother Gibbons was sick in bed. We saw the Castro family and were able to see where they are since they last saw missionaries, which was a while ago. 
After our studies we went out did a little finding no one of great promise. Chick-fil-A for lunch. We went out to continue our finding efforts, no one interested. We stopped by a car wash before dinner to get ready for zone conference. Brother Remington brought us to some Asian noodle place, pretty good. After dinner we went to see Daniel, but he wanted us to come back the next night. We stopped by the church and a guy was just walking with an owl. So we went and saw what was up with him, just walking around with an owl. The guy actually lives around the church and takes care of injured birds. He walks all the time with his various birds, an eagle and other types of owls. We went and had family home evening with the Padilla family. We talked about love at home. We had all the kids compliment each other, which was a good application. That ended our night.
We had to head over to the church in the morning for zone conference. There was a really good part on, faith in finding. That is an important part of finding, having the faith to find. We got to see the new Christmas initiative #LighttheWorld. The whole month of December is focused on serving as the Savior would. We also talked about finding through family history. Which is a underused method of finding. We did some planning before we went out. We saw Daniel and he asked for a blessing. He said he wants to fully surrender himself to the Lord, but that is going to take some action on his part. We ended the night by getting some haircuts. 

After our studies and lunch we went out finding. We didn't get any solid contacts most of the day. We were able to meet Edison a Chinese guy that is interesting. We have trouble understanding most of what he says. Our dinner was with the Bremer family. We are trying to get all of the members up to date on the Christmas initiative. After dinner we tried to see some of our investigators no one seemed to be available. 

We long boarded over to the church for our Friday morning exercise. Brother Trumbo the seminary teacher made breakfast for the students and was still there so we got a nice breakfast. We were stuck in the apartment for a while due to weekly planning. When we got out we stopped by the mission office to have some car stuff done. We headed back to Placentia and there was heavy traffic. It was dinner time by the time we got back. Dinner was with Bishop Poulson and his family. We saw Daniel and taught him about baptism and confirmation. He has a great understanding of the gospel. The weather has started to drop below 65 degrees. So being acclimated to the weather it is sweater weather again.  
In the early morning Elder Rubio had a chiropractic appointment. We got back and had abbreviated studies then some lunch. We went and saw Brother Pepper. We were also able to catch the Trasports and talk with them a little. Our dinner was with the DiMaggio family. More finding till the end of the night. 
Ward council in the morning. We had a good sacrament meeting. In gospel principles we discussed gratitude. After church we had some lunch. We tried some people before dinner. The Crosby family had us over for some steaks. We stopped by a baptism before the end of the night. 

Lasting Gratitude 

Thanksgiving is a great reminder to be grateful for the things we are blessed with. When we show our gratitude to the Lord and others it brings happiness. When we show simple thankfulness it is often contagious. Everyone appreciates to hear someone give a thank you it often brings a smile and can brighten a day. We often forget to give thanks to the Lord for the things we are blessed with. He is always willing to bless us. The least we can do is show our thanks for the blessings we receive. Let us always to show our gratitude to the Lord and others. Also we must remember that when we pray it is what the Lord wants for us, not what we think is better.

Hope everyone has a great thanksgiving and best wishes to your families. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Week 54 - More Powerful Prayer

Monday 11/6/2016 
In the morning we played a game of rugby with the Poly program and some other missionaries. That was nice it has been quite a while since I have played a game of rugby. After we finished we went back changed and got some lunch. We met back up at a bowling alley. We got there and a Spanish zone just happened to be there too. When we finished bowling we stopped by pday activity. Our dinner was with the Tuimalo family at Marie Calendars. We went to go see the Castro family, but they were walking out the door as we were walking up to the door. We finished the night helping setup for a relief society thing at the Remington's home. 

We weren't able to get out for a little while since we were a little under the weather most of the day. We went out and tried to visit some people before we stopped by the Remington's to get some dinner. We went and saw Daniel, but he was resting some we didn't have too long with him. We went back to the Remington's home to help take down some of the stuff from the relief society thing that they had. We went back in and finished the night. 

In the morning after studies we gave Elder Sparacino/Lee a ride to the store to get some bike parts. We had some lunch before we went back out to do some finding. We were able to see the Sanders family and talk to their son. We have been given the task of going and visiting all of the priest aged boys in the ward. We have been talking about missions with them. After we had a lesson with Daniel and discussed the Law of Chastity. He is planning on getting married to his girlfriend in the next month. The bishop will possibly be preforming the marriage. We went and helped brother Remington take things back to the church building. He got us some dinner before we had to head back in for the night. 

In the morning we had district meeting. We talked about the sacrament and making a more Holy experience. We focused on some of the points from the talk The Sacrament Can Help Us Become Holy by Elder Peter F. Meurs. It reminded me of always trying to focus on the Savior during the administration of the sacrament. After our meeting we grabbed some Chick-fil-A for the grab then gather. We went to the mission office to pick up a perishable package for Elder Rubio. We stopped by Joe's on the way back to Placentia. I made some fettuccine Alfredo for dinner. We then went out to visit people we didn't get anyone before the end of the night.

In the morning after our studies we did some cleaning and made some lunch before apartment inspections. The zone leaders came around after a long while. We then went out to begin finding people. We got a call from Sylvia to help her install a new microwave. We had a quick dinner before we had to go and see Daniel. Brother Larson was able to make it to our lesson with Daniel where we discussed prayer and scripture study. We stressed the importance of him coming to church. He is hoping to come to church if his girlfriends daughter isn't having her baby. We tried to go see some more priests in the ward. We knocked on a door looking for a Carson, it turned out to be the wrong house. The people then proceed to look for Carson even though no one lived there by that name. People still seem to surprise me I don't understand why you would check for someone in your house if they don't live there. 

After our studies we went and picked up Elder Sparacino/Lee for a service. We went to the Gibbon's house to help put a supporting beam in their house. The thing was around 500 lbs. only a few people showed at first which had us a little nervous. Eventually more people started to show up. Then we lifted the beam above our heads and put it into place with limited trouble. We dropped Elder Sparacino/Lee off and had a quick lunch. We had a service at Sylvia's place cleaning up her yard of the leaves. After we finished we got ready for dinner. We had dinner with the Thompsons at Kyoto a Chinese, Japanese, BBQ buffet. We decided that Kyoto wasn't the best choice for dinning. So after many rounds of sushi and other food we were left with aching stomachs. The rice expands. We were hardly able to move for the rest of the night. 

We didn't have ward council in the morning. There was quite the turnout since there was a Trumbo boy giving a return talk and one giving a farewell talk. They gave good talks on personal revelation. We didn't have anyone come to gospel principles so we went to gospel doctrine. After church we stopped by the Trumbo's home for the party that they were throwing. We were able to talk to a friend of the Trumbo boys. He had investigated previously so we talked about him getting an answer on if it is true. We left and tried to see a few people. Elder Sparacino/Lee made Elder Rubio a cookie for his birthday so we stopped by their apartment. We then headed in for the night.

More Powerful Prayer 

Prayer is an act of faith. Prayer is communication with our father in Heaven. What we may not realize or sometimes forget is that he is always ready to listen to and answer our prayers. We need to make sure that our prayers always have power. We should always try to make our prayers meaningful which holds great power. When we do this it helps us not fall in to vainly repeating. One way to keep it meaningful is praying with real intent. I'm reminded of Moroni 10, we are left with the promise of finding out if the Book of Mormon is true, but one thing it hinges on is if we have a real intent and desire to know. I have seen investigators that have said they had prayed. The thing that they lacked was wanting to really know if it is true which left them without an answer. If we are praying without intent there is purpose lacking. We must always make sure that we are not just falling into the same pattern with our prayers, make them have more power as they are more meaningful. 

Not a lot of pictures this week. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Week 53 - Repentance a Change of Mind

Monday 10/31/2016 Halloween 🎃
So early in the morning we went on a hike with Elder Sparacino/Lee. There were some issues with people being unreasonable to get it approved. So we had to resort to getting it approved by President. Sometimes we need to move past people when they lack reasoning. After our hike we had lunch at Cali tacos, then went shopping at Costco. The P Day schedule was revised do to Halloween resulting in no activity. We brought Elder Sparacino/Lee to the church so they could email then we dropped them off. We did some shopping before we brought Elder Sparacino/Lee to finish their shopping. We got back to the apartment complex by 6:00 to be in early. We hit up the zone leaders apartment and finished the night. 

Our day after lunch consisted of mainly finding. We helped the Olsen's move a couch and a love seat into their home. We didn't have any great contacts before dinner with the Olsen's. After dinner we went and saw Daniel, we discussed the Ten Commandments with him. He has been able to cut his smoking and coffee consumption in half in a week already. We had to cut his lesson short so he could prepare for a test. We went back and prepared for an exchange with Elder Henderson/Durant. I stayed with Elder Durrant in the area. 

After studies we did some walking and finding we got a couple return appointments for later in the week. After lunch we continued the finding. We met a inactive member that talked to us for a while about some interesting things like magical demon elves. We came to the conclusion that his mental state was not in the best condition. We had a lesson with Brother Manning later in the day. We are trying to help him build his faith since he is really struggling. We did more finding until dinner with the Green family. Then the finding continued till we exchanged back 

We had zone training in the morning. We focused on repentance and our focus as missionaries. One point that we were able to highlight during our practice was the opportunity for us to always strive to be better. We will always fall short because we are never perfect, but striving is putting your best effort in. After lunch we did finding till dinner at Bishop Poulson's. After dinner we went to see Daniel, but he is gone till Sunday night in the hospital. We were able to talk to Maria his mother and she was interested in hearing from us. We met a Hindu woman after, but she wasn't interested in learning more. 

After studies we headed over to Brother Larson's house for a correlation meeting. After the meeting we did finding until lunch. We headed over and picked up Elder Dodd/Barnett for the temple grounds walk. We got there and found out that the two people we had going decided to not come at the the last minute. When we were finished we went back to the mission and stopped by Joe's. After dinner we did finding and stopped by Al's house before the end of the night. We were lucky and caught him home. We invited him to church and talked about testimonies with him. If he is able to make it he will not be able to stay long. Then we went back in for the night. 

Morning ward council meeting before church. The Wingers had a neighbor come to church with them. We were able to answer a lot of their questions and concerns. After church they seemed to have had a great experience. We tried some people we had scheduled to see but no answers. Our dinner was with the Werner family. After dinner we tried a few people then headed in. 

Repentance a Change of Mind 
The topic of repentance has been discussed a lot lately in our mission. 

When I think of repentance I always think of the Greek translation of the word which means a change of mind or something along those lines. Which is a great way to put it. A great thing is as we continue to exercise our faith in Jesus Christ and stay on the path it will bring a desire for us to repent. I have seen many times where when people begin to follow commandments they just begin to have that desire to change their mind towards God. So if we don't have that desire to continue to follow the commandments and change we might want to check ourselves. Ask What have I not been doing to exercise my faith? Have I been doing my scripture study, prayers and etc. ? Find what is stopping that change of mind. 

I'm also reminded of something that I resonated with recently. When your life is coming to an end. Do you want to say to yourself I wish I spent more time studying the scriptures, praying, spending time with my family and etc.. You probably will not say I wish I spent less time doing those things. 

Pictures from the Monday hike and some pajamas at a target I decided to put on.