Columbus Temple Trip

March 24, 2014

Hey Family!

[I gave a 10-minute update on Brayden's mission in Sacrament meeting yesterday.  Our Bishop has been having us missionary moms (7 of us) take a little time to give updates.  I think everyone likes to hear about the missionaries serving from our ward.] I don't know what you could talk about for 10-minutes up there, mom. I don't even think I tell you enough to update everyone for 10-minutes haha. But I do have my journal that is rapidly filling up. I found it funny that Elder Boekweg mentioned the same thing talking to his parents. We'll just tell it all when we get back. It's justice for not hearing too many stories from dad's mission ;) 

[Do you have any foreign missionaries?] As for foreign missionaries, Elder Carranza who is still one of the Spanish Zone Leaders is from Guatemala and recently Elder Cheng from Hong Kong is in my zone. We actually are going on exchanges with him tomorrow. Him and his companion are hilarious! 

I went to the Columbus temple and on the way I had my first wonderful taste of Waffle House!! Oh sweet strawberry waffles all over mah body!! The temple was amazing and I can't believe how much I learned. Maybe it's because of spiritual growth or maybe it's just the new presentation haha who can say? All of the knowledge comes from the spirit!

[Who are you focusing on now?] Our next baptism coming up is Mike who married into a part member family. It is so cool to see how badly he wants to be sealed to his wife and the things he is doing to quit smoking and drinking coffee. An awesome home teacher is a big part of why he is so open to hear from us.

Transfer week is coming next week and I would very much like to stay here. I have spent three transfers in my other areas though and this is number three here. Will the pattern hold out? It's astonishing to see how fast 6 weeks can go. 

"Waffle House" Waffles
Elder Bradshaw and I have a lot of fun together. We bought Golden Bears to give to our investigators to encourage them to come to church and we sharpied "Church GO GO Juice" onto them. We thought it was pretty funny but it was even more funny when our investigators thought they were produced like that!! Haha one of them asked us if that was Joseph Smith on the can. Oh man it was just a silly idea gone even better than we could have hoped. 

[How are you doing on gift cards?  Are you able to cook for yourselves at all?] I still have gift cards to use and people are feeding us and I make some spaghetti or mac and cheese so I get a balance. I do eat out for the most part though.

Temple Road Trip
So here is what's been on my mind. 

Recently in my manner of riding an exhausting roller coaster of physical, spiritual, and emotional patterns I have learned a couple of things. God expects me to repent more often even when I am not breaking rules. It is expedient that I use the Atonement of Christ to better myself and I have not been very diligent at seeking flaws that I need to fix. Right there is an example of something where I can seek forgiveness. 

I learned that I need not compare myself with others but it is good to learn from their examples. Seeing the Sisters in our area (Sisters Corbridge and Armstrong) have 7 people at church right after they baptized one of their investigators made me very happy. A competitive 18-year old like Elder Bradshaw saw it as us not doing as well as the Sisters. With the help of my awesome companion I saw it as an opportunity to ask myself what was missing in the 22-member presents that we had in comparison to the 7 the Sisters had. The Spirit spoke to me once again and reminded me that I cannot afford to forget the basics, to have more lessons in a member's home, and to not let other peoples' agency affect my happiness. 

Canned Corned Beef
from his St. Patrick's Day Package 
God stretches me more than I could possibly handle by my own strength. I guess only a prideful Elder like me has to be stretched so far to see that I really can't do anything without His help. I have absolute confidence that God puts me through exactly what I need. He truly loves me and the evidence of that is abundant in the people I meet and the things I see and the experiences I have out here. 

I truly believe that the Muncie South Zone is the best zone in the mission. I wouldn't trade a single Elder or Sister in this zone. I love them all very much. Elder Tanner and Elder Murdock are so quick to take advice, Elder Pope and Elder Seegmiller have a  charm like no one else and can make missionary work very fun, Elder Sunderland and Elder Leaupepe work like animals and can carry heavy loads, Sister Porter and Sister Larsen are becoming two of the best Sister missionaries in the mission and apply trainings better than I have ever seen anyone else do, Elder Gunnoe and Elder Reeves keep Elder Bradshaw and me on our toes and use Preach My Gospel more than anyone else in the zone, Elder Judd and Elder Cheng have the desire to be great and are hilarious together and can touch people's hearts with their simple testimonies, and Sister Armstrong and Sister Corbridge have made it heroically through a storm of disappointment into a wonderfully ripe harvest. Finally, Elder Bradshaw has an irrepressible appetite for success and will constantly improve himself. 

Weather's warming up!
Elder McConkie taught me this last week that I can receive personal revelation by keeping the commandments, searching the scriptures, and asking in faith. I just need to seek God's grace in helping me ask the right questions. I am forever grateful for a perfectly patient Heavenly Father to help me ask for even more help.   

Well here are some pictures of things like me eating my canned corned beef!

I love you all! 
Elder Fivas