Interview with President Porter

April 28, 2014

Hey Family! 

WHITE CASTLE!! Sack of ten baby!
[How was your interview with President Porter on Wednesday?  What do you talk about?] Interviews were great and I always love seeing my zone! President and I talked about studies and he told me to focus on finding ways to work with stress instead of avoiding it. It is still making me think because I would always try to have fun as a diversion to deal with my stress but is it really dealing with my stress? I must say it has brought to my mind some powerful inspired questions for myself.
Nerf Blowgun activity

He helped me with the type of questions I need to study for in the morning, it opened my eyes. It was a quick change and boy am I grateful for it! Planning lessons isn't near the pain that I used to think it was! 

Elder Cheng
The Anderson ward has a special place in my heart and even though you couldn't pay me enough money to ever live here, I can't wait for the day where I can bring my family back out to meet the people that I have met. Our recent convert Brittany is the most solid recent convert I have ever personally known and even if I didn't receive a million other blessings for serving this mission, just seeing her become a new creature in Christ has made it worth it. She bears powerful testimony of prayer and the Book of Mormon and she is so grateful for her new knowledge. It's just a miracle to see.

Elder Bradshaw
Elder Bradshaw is just an awesome leader and I am so proud of him! We are still not always on the same wavelength but we sure make a good team. Most of the time we have a great time together! 

The real question I ask is, where did The Savior find the balance between enjoying a good thing and the need to improve?

The members and people I teach frequently tell me I look exhausted and to get more sleep. I smile because I know the growth that I am going through.

Bonfire with Brittany
[Has the "Book of Mormon" Musical affected your work in Indiana?] The Book of Mormon was in Cincinnati back when we did the social media split and so we used that to combat everything. From our end everything was successful and we used the play as a good way to get noticed. It never did come to Indianapolis though so we didn't catch too much attention. 

The weather here is very "subject to change" and frequently has us changing what we wear twice a day. I think it will be rainy for half of the week though. 

And somebody gave me this awesome
 buffalo statue when I told them
 I thought it was awesome!
Well here are some pictures for everyone! 

We had an awesome district activity with nerf blow guns!! So much fun!!

Thank you so much for everything you do family! I am so proud of Kelsey getting a job and getting into Pokemon. I always love reading your letters dad and I am still looking to get mom's pictures!

Elder Fivas

Easter 2014

"That pose is totally an Elder Tanner pose"
April 21, 2014

Hey family! 
[We saw that you got our package.  How did you like the ties?] How did you see that I received your Easter package? It was an AWESOME package. I loved that silly little rabbit and all of the snacks were perfect! I forgot to mention that those sour watermelon peeps are heads above the rest of any other peep I have had. The ties you sent me are beautiful! I was complimented frequently on both of them :) 

[How was your Easter? Did you have any investigators go to church with you yesterday for Easter? ] My Easter was a lot of fun! Believe it or not, we average 4-5 investigators at church but yesterday we had a FAT 0 come. Everyone just straight up told us no for church because they all had other plans. I mean seriously? Every other area in our zone had people at church and their leaders were the weakest link! Geez, we'll just be smackin' some heads around this week. 

Elder Fivas and Bryan Porter
[Did you get an Easter dinner invite?] The Fowler family fed us dinner and that was fantastic. There is something magical about King's Hawaiian rolls. We had a surprise, two other families give us food as well and that is always awesome. 

Bryan Porter, the Mission President's son came up with us for a part of his spring break and it was so much fun! It reminded me of the ol' days with Elder Hansen trying to train me and Elder Stoddard. Bryan is going to be such a sharp missionary! I admire his courage to come to a new high school for his last year and leave behind his home. I was honored to work with him for a day because I do hold him in such a high regard. 

I cannot believe it took me this long to realize but the district leaders really do have a lot of sway if they know what they are doing. It is easy to complain and hope for an effective district leader, but where is that on the accountability ladder? Definitely not at the top. Elder Hansen was there to hold my hand and show me the way that he thought so I could be a good leader. Our district leaders don't even have senior companions! These past couple of days Elder Bradshaw and I have been helping Elders Seegmiller, Judd, and Reeves with knowing what their responsibilities are and how they need change patterns in their districts. It's been very effective so far!

"Elder Bradshaw was messin'
 with my camera"
Elder Bradshaw has no problem taking over now. In fact he does it even without prompting. He has a gift from God to never be satisfied with where he is at. It can be bothersome to a companion who doesn't have that gift of the Spirit but how can I complain about that? 

I feel that the Anderson ward is getting quite stretched as of late. We have baptisms at least every other week between us and the Sisters. I can see the members getting kicked out of their comfort zones as they have to stretch and some aren't taking it well, just as has been prophesied. I feel that members like the missionaries who like to come and spend an hour chewing the cud and hanging out and there just isn't time for that. Instead we are giving them more responsibilities because of the harvest and it's not what they are used to. It is just defining the divide more and more I suppose. 
Quit messin' with my camera.

I am very excited for interviews coming on Wednesday. I always love getting some time to talk to President Porter. I will never again take for granted time talking to you, mom and dad. 

We have a district fun day today and we will be playing nerf wars in the church with PVC pipe blow guns haha. This week is looking good!
"The scooter picture made me
think of dad. hahaha"

I can't wait to see the pictures mom, I love seeing what you all look like nowadays :P Send the Thomas family my love too!

Here are some pictures to sign off with. I love you!

"Questions of the Soul"

April 14, 2014

Buenos Familia!

I just talked to a Spanish Man in the Walmart parking lot. He was extremely frustrating to talk to but hey, I can still speak well :P

Add caption
We'd heard that President Porter had asked the missionaries to do an assignment.  They're to come up with three "questions of the soul" that they have seen investigators struggle with.  Then write an essay/answer using the Book of Mormon to answer them. Basically write out what they would teach the investigator. 

So, for the three "questions of the soul" this is what I sent to President Porter so far, but he wants the answers to be about a page each... blech. 
1. How are prayers answered?

God will direct us into good as we ask him for help (Alma 37:37). Jesus Christ himself instructed the Apostles in Ancient America to teach us to pray on our knees to the Father in the name of Christ (3 Nephi 19:6). As we do this, our prayers will be answered by the Almighty. God answers us through the Holy Ghost which shows us all things that we should do (2 Nephi 32:5). It maybe hard to recognize the answer from God because it may not come all at once (2 Nephi 28:30) and the Holy Ghost comes in a quiet piercing voice that we can miss if we are not looking for the answer (Helaman 5:30), but the answer will come.

2. How can I relieve my emotional pain?

In order to understand why we even have pain, we must understand that God has sent us to this earth to learn and to repent (2 Nephi 2:21). God gives us an alarm system in our spirits to know when we must repent, and that repentance process leads to feeling clean and being joyful (Mosiah 4:10-12). God commands us to be baptized once we repent, in order to stand spotless in His sight (3 Nephi 27:20). 

3. How can I be truly happy?

Simply, we must do what God wants us to do and we will be blessed and receive the lasting happiness that only God can give (Mosiah 2:41).

We had a baptism this week! We were asked not to post names on blogs so I don't know if that means just last names or what but his first name is Mike and his handicapped son is Shawn. He got baptized too because he wanted to. When he [Shawn] got into the font it was way funny because he said, "Wait! I need a floatie...) hahaha such a funny kid! 

Lately I have been looking at myself inwardly and I realize that I have changed quite a bit since I came out here to the Greater OCM [Ohio Cincinnati Mission]. The things that I used to care about most like Call of Duty, Adventure Time, and just sitting on the couch don't appeal to me near as much. Now I look forward to being with my family for dinner and talking about what they are up to. I look forward to having the gospel library app where I have all the manuals and scriptures I could ever want! And if I could only listen to music from for the rest of my life I would be ok with that. Dad will probably chuckle at the fact that I listen to more Hugh Nibley lectures than I do music lately :P Talks over music is an old man thing! 

I really wonder how much my mission was for other people when I look at how much I have learned from it. I am sure it's all about them but I have a personal witness that you find yourself when you lose yourself in the work of the Lord. I might come back even more studly than when I left if you can even believe that ;P Someday I will catch Uncle Danny in coolness! Which reminds me how much I am going to miss watching the world cup... Oh well! The Book Of Mormon is what really entertains me now!

Pretty random thoughts I know. Easter should be great, I am planning on going to chruch with the rest of America and getting higher numbers of investigators at sacrament meeting, however I will never catch the 50 that Elder Barney had down in the Philippines*

Waffle House and Elder Sunderland!! My favorites! has a super awesome new video!! Watch it and share it with everyone! Share all of the memes that the Church has for this sweet video! #becuaseofhim

I sure love you family!

Here are some pictures.

Elder Fivas

* "We had over 50
investigators at church! One of our members is a teacher at a college and he invited all of his students to come to church and they all came!" Elder Tyrel Barney

General Conference Spring 2014

April 7, 2014

This week was great! I got a new 2014 Corolla to drive! The zone did great at getting people to Conference! General Conference is seriously wonderful! We have another baptism this week!

I miss disc golf really bad right now! The closest course is in Noblesville which is 30 minutes away.

[What did you do for Conference weekend?]  
I watched Conference for conference weekend ;) 
Here is an awesome member's tire shop!

[What talks stood out for you?] My favorite talk was the one about heroes in Priesthood session by Pres Eyring. He speaks to my soul. Every talk was very revelatory though. Be sure to take Elder Ballard's challenge and email me what you're learning in Preach My Gospel ;) I love you mom and I can't wait to go to lunch with you again some time. I might even buy ;) When you're 80 or something that is hahahaha til then thanks for treating me!! [what a punk :)]
There was a mini lake on
the street at night, it was cool.

I love you family! Sorry to Tyler Gonzo for not writing back yet and to Telisha!

Elder Fivas
p.s. Mothers' Day is coming up! [That means a phone call home!]