Sunday, December 21, 2014


It actually snowed yesterday. We've been lucky enough to experience 60 degree weather since probably mid-November so I guess it was bound to snow eventually. The typical conversation-starter for me:
Person: Man, this snow is crazy.
Me: Yeah, I don't like it.
Person: Aw, where are you from?
Me: Connecticut.
Person: Oh, so you're used to this weather!
Me: Nope.

During the winter, I typically don't spend my time walking around outside trying to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. So, yes, maybe I'm used to it, but I still don't enjoy it.

Last Friday was our ward's Christmas party. We invited all of the investigators and some less-active members. We'd arranged for someone to pick up the investigator who's blind (not the 95 year-old one....I guess we're just hitting up all the blind people). She wasn't home when her ride came. Then she called us a little after 7 and asked if she could still make it. That night was when I realized the sacrifices made in this Christmas season.

1) Sister J, who went to go pick up SL for the party, drove there to find no one home. She went to the party, but just as the nativity skit by the little children was going up, SL called to be picked up for the party. You could tell that Sister J was sad to miss the nativity skit, but she was optimistic anyway and picked up Selena. She sat and talked with SL while she ate.

2) SL. She's been blind since she was 24, and she's 48 now. She's taking care of her 15 year-old daughter at home who has friends who need a place to live. So SL's housing those kids, too. Not only that, but she's also housing her brother and his wife under her care. I'm telling you, super powers.

3) Sister CS, the Relief Society President. Just like any unselfish, charitable, Relief Society president, she spent the entire time during the party, warming up and serving all the food for the party. Not only that, but she prepared the food at her house starting the day before to feed about 100 people.

4) Sister H, the Ward Mission Leader's wife and a ward missionary herself as well. She was in charge of the event. She was racing back and forth trying to make sure the event was a good experience for everybody. She didn't even have time to visit with anyone.

It's the most wonderful hour of the day!

Sent December 13

People are a lot nicer during the Christmas season. Unless it's 8 o'clock at night and it looks like the sun's never going to rise again outside.

Here's a new parody (to the tune of "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year") to kind of :
It's the most wonderful hour of the day!
When the people are sleeping
And we are still knocking
On all of their dooooooors!
It's the most wonderful hour of the day!

But, of course, it doesn't stop us. No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing #truth

There's an older couple in this ward that always invites the missionaries over. We call them Grandma and Grandpa, because they're all the missionaries' adopted grandparents. I'd actually met them before when my previous companion needed to come up here for doctors' appointments. We stopped by Grandma and Grandpa's house for food. The minute I walked into their home, I was showered with love from Grandma and Grandpa. Talk about unconditional love. They have it for everyone!

Because they are so close with the sister missionaries, they invited us to come with them to get their patriarchal blessing. Getting a patriarchal blessing is a guaranteed spiritual experience. Patriarchal blessings date waaaaaay back to Adam, the first mortal ever on earth. He gave a patriarchal, or father's, blessing to his sons and then they gave them to their sons...and so on. Eventually, Abraham, with whom God made the Abrahamic covenant as described in the Bible, gave his patriarchal blessing to his son, Isaac, then Isaac to his son, Jacob, whose name was later changed to Israel. Israel gave his patriarchal blessing to all 12 of his sons, who are known as the 12 Tribes of Israel. One of those sons, Joseph, begat two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, and gave the former the patriarchal blessing. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Spirit Tracting


Life is suuuuuuuuuuuper good in the Webster Lake ward. I've never come across such humble people before on my mission. I know I said that when I was in Arvada, but just north of Denver is even more.

Friday night, Sister Kreissl asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I told her: 70 degree weather. Little did I know that she'd actually pray and ask Heavenly Father for 70 degree weather. And lo, and behold, Saturday, November 29, we enjoyed 70 degree weather. It was practically spring-time. And it was amazing.

That morning, we began in our car looking at a map of our area. We'd decided to do something called "spirit tracting". We looked at the map and narrowed it down to two areas that we could knock doors in so that we could choose a street. We took a moment to pray together on those two specific areas. Afterwards, we waited for revelation through our thoughts, feelings, impressions, instinct...anything! I waited and waited and waited for something, but I just came to a stupor of thought. I wasn't getting anything from those two areas. After a long minute, we asked each other if we got anything. Neither of us got anything. So we thought, maybe we chose the wrong areas. Then she pointed to one area just west of one of the areas we were looking at. She asked me if I'd ever seen Hey, Arnold! and, obviously, said yes, of course I have; it is only one of the greatest shows of all time. She said, "Well, the houses here kind of look like the houses in Hey, Arnold!. I said, done. Let's go there. I wasn't sure if that was revelation, but we know from Moroni 7:13 that every good thought that invites and entices to do good continually is inspired of God.

We parked our car in the area and chose a street to knock doors on. We shared with everyone the story of Christmas and keeping Christ in Christmas through new pass-along cards we have of a short 2 1/2 minute video of the real gift of Christmas. The video is called "He is the Gift", for He, Jesus Christ, is the Gift that our Father in Heaven has sent to us here on Earth. We got to watch it before we began telling everyone about it and it's suuuuuuuuuuper cool.

Towards the end of the street, we bumped into a woman who was interested in watching the video. She invited us back to follow-up with her on how she enjoyed the video. Then we knocked on her neighbor's door. A woman opened the door. She said she was raised Roman Catholic, but she began to question some things in the church and was chastised for doing so. Now she does not practice but is still an avid Bible reader and she teaches her children about God. She said she was raised thinking that she should shut the door immediately when she sees people with black tags at her door. But she thinks if she gave every other religion a chance, why not the Mormons? She's wondered why there are hundreds of different Christian denominations out there. Well, Joseph Smith wondered the same exact thing. She invited us back to hear the good news.