December 19, 2016

{Christmas Caption Cheesy CurlyFries}

President and Sister Haynie with a nice looking tree. 

This week was a good one! We had the opportunity to attend our mission's Christmas Devotional. It was awesome to be with half the mission and to share testimony as well as to play and hear missionaries participate in musical numbers. Someone leaked that I play piano and guitar and E Wiedrich and I had our fair share of accompanying a few missionaries. It was super cool and Im grateful for the opportunity to share the Christmas spirit through music!


Sisters who sang while we pretended to play

When the Visitor's Center isn't looking.


The work continues to move forward, both here and around the world! We are helping 3 of our Sweden buddies prepare for baptism at the end of the month! We are very excited for them. :)
International Zone:  Korean, ASL, Farsi

Our good friend Maryam

video

O Come O Come Emmanuel, Elder Hwang on the Cello
(no video, just sound--but it's beautiful)  

Have an awesome week! Merry Christmas! :) 

December 12, 2016

Christmas Miracles

Ohh the Lord has been good to us. :) We have found ourselves saying, "Its a Christmas Miracle!!" very often. Its amazing how the Lords timing is perfect and everything seems to work out one way or another, even if you feel like everything is flying by a million miles an hour.

Via Skype, we had the opportunity to teach our friend Saied سعيد most of the commandments like the Word of Wisdom, Law of Chastity, Tithing, etc. and it was super cool to see him just beam as we talked about how simple they were and that the Lord promises us such big blessing for keeping them. Saide has been one that we have seen the Light of Christ and change in his countenance most evidently, its amazing to see him just smile and smile as we teach him. :) 

Thursday, we had MLC and David Wade, head of the missionary department came down and helped train and teach us how we can be better! It was awesome to get down to the basics and learn a trick or two from him. 
Singing in Watts

Saturday we had the opportunity to go down to Watts (a rougher part of LA) and provide some service to the community with 25 or so missionaries. We helped set up for a huge effort to provide meals, toys and other things for the community/homeless in the area. We then were asked to sing some Christmas songs as the people came into the gym and had breakfast and we ended up singing for almost 3 hours!! Boy, we were so tired (I had forgotten what its like to play a 3 hour gig... dang Im outta shape, and singing too! I dont sing!) but it was so cool to be out and to do something out of the ordinary for the community and especially around the Holidays. We had so many people come up and ask about who we were and where we were from and how long we have been singing as a choir! 😂 

We also got to visit Giti & Kanan گيتى و كنان, who have been friends with the missionaries for a couple years. They recently returned back from a visit to Iran and Giti, the wife underwent a knee surgery and has been in a lot of pain. We were able to go over and give her a priesthood blessing (first time ever offering a blessing in Persian) and it was a beautiful experience. They were so grateful for our concern and help and told us as soon as they feel better they want to start coming back to English Class and learning more about the gospel! 

Saturday evening we had our ward Christmas party and 17 nonmember Persians showed up! It was amazing! :) We were so surprised to see so many familiar and new faces and had a great chance to get to know a lot of them. E Wiedrich and I were able to stand up and bear our testimonies in Farsi and share a message with the Persians who came. Awesome night. :)
video


Sunday, day of unexpected miracles! One of our members, Bro Potter came and told us at the Christmas party that he had met a new friend at the Apple store that day. They ended up talking, and Bro Potter 1. Bought a new phone (haha) and 2. Invited Mehdi مهدى to church! (This is what member missionary is all about, especially when they are Persian :)). Sunday morning, Mehdi shows up to church and absolutely loved it! He has been through some hard times in his life but said he felt so welcomed in and grateful to have received an answer from God about what to do in his life. :)
Farsi Central: Maryam, Sister Mead, Saide, E Ekberg, E Wiedrich, Mahyar, Hanif, Ehsan 

They was also a family of Persians who came into the Visitor Center after church, and while we were previously committed and couldn't quite meet them, they were so excited to learn more and left their contact info with the sisters. They told us that as Parsa پرسا and his family were leaving they said that they were excited to come back and meet the Persian Elders.
Sunday afternoon we get a call from the Assistants and they tell us they have two Persian woman down at their church building and if we could come down ASAP and speak with them. So, amazingly, we fly down the 405 in record time (God had to have parted the cars for sure) and meet Niloofar نيلوفار and her friend. They were two nice young girls from Iran who have been all over the world and kind of ended up here in LA and wanted to know more about the church and the process of becoming a member. We told them that we were the right people to be in contact with and we are super excited to start working with them! :)

Sunday night, we had heard that their lady Eli has been visiting the VC with her daughter often and we should stop by and see her, so we brought Sister Mead, our senior sister missionary friend who is from Iran, and met Eli and her family. Elham, Babak and Vanya الهام، بابكـ و وانيا were so happy so see us and welcomed us in and what a cool family! Vanya, their little toddler is so cute and just had the best time showing us all her toys. :) We had a good time meeting them and look forward to seeing more of them in the future. :) 

Last miracle, we were fortunate enough to meet this lady Joan from Australia. She has been facing some health concerns and we were able to go to the hospital and give her a priesthood blessing. It was a very sweet experience to be with her and to be able to offer her that service and to noticeably see God work and begin to heal her even during our brief visit with her. We pray for her that everything will go well and she will be able to make the trip back home. :)

Sweater Weather,  Elder Weidrich

December 5, 2016

Elders Unplugged

video

Elder Ekberg and Elder Weidrich at the RS Christmas brunch.

KBBQ-Persians-Jams-BendThoseKnees

Another week! Man its been awesome serving up here around the Persians again. The ward is great, its the Christmas season, Persians are awesome and the work is moving along. 

Went on exchanges with the Korean elders this past week and we hit up our good ol friend Korean BBQ again. So good. Man, its been along time. More importantly, we were able to teach a recent convert about the importance of putting God first and it was so cool to hear her testimony of trying to follow Christ and balance life around. :) 

Zone Conference happened. President Haynie focused a lot about having joy both as we work as missionaries and simply as Children of God. First step, simply choose to serve God, the rest will come. Its that first step that sometimes is hard, but its so worth it. 

We were asked to be the entertainment/background music for a relief society brunch this past week and we came up with a pretty cookin rendo of Silent Night :)

video
We also had fun learning parts of the body in Farsi this week. Enjoy a favorite primary song :) 

Cool experience: we were walking from the VC going to Santa Monica Blvd to contact and a thought popped into our minds, "Go visit Amir, he lives right there." So we turned and went to visit this potential who has never answered his door in the past and it was early in the day, probably wouldn't be home. We walk up the stairs and the door swings open by itself. We peek in, knock and then are greeted by Amir and his wife Honey. They allowed us to come in and we met with them for about an hour and a half! We talked all about their journeys around the world and how they ended up here in California and it naturally flowed into church and the Restoration. We talked about the Visitors Center and the holidays and mentioned there was a musical event that evening and asked if they would join us and they replied, of course! They are awesome and we are so excited to continue to work with them! :))))
Amir and Honey

We also had an awesome week with our investigator Mahyar. He has been meeting with us for awhile now and he has grown so fond of the gospel and learning. He expressed his interest to follow Christ and we are excited for him. Although he cant necessarily progress towards baptism at the moment, we are ecstatic to help him strengthen his faith and live gospel principles. :) 

Our recent convert Mehrnoosh is back from the motherland and got right back into the swing of things with the relief society brunch and being active with fellowshipping at church. She is the best. :) 

Overall, amazing week, Im excited to be a missionary! Wooo! God lives and loves you! 

I came across this from Brigham Young this week.
"...if, when the time for prayer comes, you have not the spirit of prayer upon you, and your knees are unwilling to bow, say to them, “Knees, get down there”; make them bend, and remain there until you obtain the Spirit of the Lord. If the spirit yields to the body, it becomes corrupt; but if the body yields to the spirit it becomes pure and holy."

Many times its hard to do the simple things, especially when you feel like God isn't listening or we aren't receiving any apparent blessings. Continue in the right path, don't lose hope. :) Power through to the end, strong finish, it will all be worth it in the end. :) 

Have a great week! 
Sports

November 28, 2016

- شكر گذارى مبارك -‎

Happy Thanksgiving Week! 
Sister Missionaries found English class


We were taking care of here in Santa Monica. We attend the Westwood 1st ward with our little Persian group, which is an English ward, so we got to eat a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with some of our favorite members in the ward :) Plenty of leftovers too, both from members and the Visitor Center sisters. 
Thanksgiving dinner


This week was awesome! We had a great lesson with a guy named Abraham who was born in Sudan here at the Visitor Center. It was an amazing lesson filled with the Spirit. We asked him how he felt after we listened to a clip of Jesus Christ speaking and Abraham had trouble finding words to describe how he felt. We continued talking about Gods love for us and how we have a living day prophet and he was so ready to accept everything we had to share. We ended with Abraham offering a prayer that was simple but so personal, its as if he was just talking with God right there in the room, it was awesome. :)
Persian time at the Visitors Center


Skype calls are continuing to go well. One of the previous Farsi Elders had a friend serving in Sweden and apparently there is a decent population of Persians where he was serving so we started teaching them via Skype and now the whole zone over there in Stockholm is requesting lessons with "American Farsi Elders" haha. Outside Iran, Los Angeles, Toronto, Sweden and Frankfurt Germany are hotspots for Persians to hang out.

For things here in LA, we are teaching a couple tourists who are here on vacation or here to better their English. Its been really exciting to see how accepting they are and to see them diligently read and study. We had a lesson with our friend Mahyar the other day and he just got emotional talking about how after we shared with him about Joseph Smith, he was thinking and it just hit him that God loves his children so much. Super cool. :) 

God loves you! Hope you all have a great week! 
Cheesy Thanksgiving selfie

Classic Cali sunset

When it rains you can actually see things #nosmog

November 21, 2016

Return to Farsiland

Return of Far-Kor

Its good to be back in the good ol FarsiLand. Definitely surreal, but Im grateful to be back. Its unique to be able to return to an area on our mission, it doesnt happen very often but Im glad I was able to "come home" haha. I do miss the people down in PV, but Im excited to continue to kick it uptown in Santa Monica.
Persian Food


We got right back into the swing of things. Right out the gate we had lunch with two Persian investigators, Mahyar and Saide. We had Persian food (its been a while ans was so good) and then sat and talked about the Book of Mormon. We were explaining it to Mahyar and Saide chimed in and wanted to explain all about it (investigator present lesson?). We ended up reading 3N11 and they were fascinated that Christ had come to America. Super cool. 

Visitors Center

Something different in the Persian Program is that we now get to teach via Skype. So about 3-5 times a week we teach people in Stockholm, Sweden. Its been very interesting and good practice for my Farsi. Its been weird having Elder Wiedrich just know everything but a big help for sure. I retained a lot more than I thought I would and itll definitely take a little to get rolling again, but Im excited and have started to pick up on a lot more of whats going on in just the past week. 

Church was good, Mahyar came and brought his friend Danny to church. Super cool that Persians bring their friends to church, you should do that, its easy! They enjoyed it and we are excited to meet up with them again this week. 

There was a lady in church who spoke and she compared life to a community college art class that she took. She related how great it was that all she had to do to get an A, is show up, do the work and try her best. Thats all she had to do and she succeeded! There was no tryouts, no prior knowledge needed or skill set required. She got an A in art class despite the fact that she didn't have any artistic skills in her. I think life is much the same way. As long as we show up to life, do the work necessary and try our best to improve, we will succeed! God will reward us for our efforts. He is not going to say, "Ohh, you're not good enough to get into heaven." 

I was reading in 2N2 this morning and it was talking about how salvation is free.  Its up to us to decide where we end up. It shouldn't be a hopeful surprise when we scoot on up to judgement but rather be able to stand before God and say, "I tried my best." We are good enough and we are going to make it. Keep trying and hang in there. It all starts with the desire and then we gotta commit. :) God loves you. 

Have a great week!
Elder Knudsen and Elder McCracken--completing their missions

Just walking by the temple

Palos Verdes

November 14, 2016

R.I.P. JIP

Salam!

Twas a good week! :) Big news is that transfers happened, and I will be returning back to Farsiland. Im pumped to go back and serve with the Persians but Im sad to leave this area. Ive grown real close to a lot of the members and people here and its hard to leave. Good thing I only live 6 hours from LA! :) I will be back. 

Sunday, we were able to attend the baptism of the Spanish Sisters' investigator Jessica! Cool story, E Williamson and I were walking out trying to find a potential investigator and we ran into Jessica and started talking and she was super willing to invite us back. We remember thinking that it was super easy to "get her info" to recontact her. Then we referred her to the sisters and boom she has taken the step of baptism! It was awesome :) 

Quote of the week: - “Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he has been robbed. Most putts don’t drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. … Life is like an old-time rail journey--delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.” - Jenkins Lloyd Jones

Count your blessings :) The Lord loves you, despite all the imperfections, mistakes and uhh-ohhs we make. Keep trying your best, it will work out in the end. :) 

Have a great week! :) 
insert cheesy selfie caption

Service--only one paintbrush :(

Look at that shiny Toyota Corolla

When you run out of paper to draw on...

Catalina Island

November 7, 2016

November

It was a great week! Im so glad to be a missionary. Quick notes, the Farsi elders had a baptism, in Sweden! There is also a woman from Iceland, who was living here with her friend in Santa Monica, that I was privileged to meet and do service for, who has decided to be baptized over in Iceland! Its awesome to the work moving forward all over the world! :) 

A lot happened this week, its hard to remember it all. Basically, the work is moving along. We went to go find a referral and ended up talking to this guy, Carlos. He was very open and ran over to us when we called out to him. We posed the question, "Ever thought about why there are so many churches?" And he was very intrigued. We taught him about the Restoration of the Gospel and he accepted the invitation to be baptized as he comes to know that these things are true. He is awesome and very enthused about meeting up again to talk about his findings in the Book of Mormon. 
Elder Knudsen and Elder Jung, Korean Elders who make it happen  #FarKor


We also came into contact with Linda, who was miraculously saved by "some young guys in white shirts and ties" last Christmas eve. She is the mother of 4 and has been through a lot, anywhere from deaths in the family to ER trips that keep her from church (dang it Satan.). She is very sincere though and was so thrilled to hear that we have a youth program for teenagers at our church. We are also excited to see her tonight at Family Home Evening at a members house. :) 

Halloween was good. Yes, we still have candy. Yes, I have a hard time having self-control.

Here is the zone after Zone Training Meeting. They are stellar. Super grateful to be serving here. 


I read this talk by Richard G Scott the other day, Finding Forgiveness, and thought Id share a bit. He talks about how we can overcome challenges, sometimes the effect of sins and mistakes we have made. He relates "The process [to being happy and clean] is called repentance; the destination is forgiveness." 

“To every forgiveness there is a condition. The plaster must be as wide as the sore. The fasting, the prayers, the humility must be equal to or greater than the sin.” “It is unthinkable that God absolves serious sins upon a few requests. He is likely to wait until there has been long, sustained repentance.” (SWKimball)

At times, most times, I have felt that forgiveness and the pain of my own mistakes should be swept away when I want them to. I feel as if I have a change of heart and demand that the consequences are removed at once. Thats not how it works. We dont set the conditions of forgiveness. We should feel so blessed to have the gift of repentance. Imagine a world without any mention of 'Im sorry'. 

“Certain forms of suffering, endured well, can actually be ennobling.. “Part of enduring well consists of being meek enough, amid our suffering, to learn from our relevant experiences. Rather than simply passing through these things, they must pass through us … in ways which sanctify [us].” (NAMaxwell)

D&C 121:7-8 -> My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.

Rely on God and what He has to give. Its a lot easier when we understand that everything we go through has purpose. There must be a reason why I am going through this. Understand that God is not out to get you, but wants you to return and become clean and sanctified. Have patience, and accept the peace He offers through His Son Jesus Christ. It will all work out in the end. :)

Have a great week! 

October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!


This week was good! The mission is a never ending cycle of finding and teaching. Now is the time for members and missionaries to work together! Its awesome when the members here help find people for us to teach, so you should all share the gospel! It could be as simple as inviting someone to the next ward function or sharing a church video on social media. You never know the impact of a simple testimony or invitation. :)


This past week I finished the Book of Mormon! For the past 4 months or so, Ive been reading, looking for references to Christ and His Atonement. Its been really cool to see how different prophets, and different time periods refer to the Savior. Another cool thing is that the Book of Mormon explains and shares accounts of the Atonement working in these peoples lives. While the Bible contains the account of Christ in the Garden, the purpose and intent of the Atonement is pretty scarce. However, coupled with the Book of Mormon, they work together to help us understand. :) 


Had the opportunity to go on exchanges with the assistants this past week. It was awesome and I learned a lot about simply having faith and recognizing where your desire/heart is at. We were working ina pretty rough area and prayed to have the Lord guide us to where He would have us be. We knocked quite a few doors, with faith in mind from President Uchtdorfs talk, "Four floor, Last Door". One of the assistants felt like we needed to get into a particular complex but the door was locked. After a few minutes and walking down the street, and miraculously being led through a series of gates and doors, we made it into the complex and were able to again say a prayer of gratitude and ask where we should go. We quickly felt which doors we should knock on and we met this lady Kristel. She at first didnt seem too interested, but all of sudden she said, "Yall can come back, I have questions. Ill make some coffee and we can talk." :) 
Palos Verde


The Lord loves you. Keep doing what you need to be doing. As we seek to share what makes us happy with others, the Lord will continue to bless us with additional happiness. As we make Christ the center of our lives, our joy will increase. :) Have a great week! Happy Halloween!
When you kill the pig in the backyard to feed the missionaries

October 24, 2016

Don't sell yourself short

Hello World!

This past week was a rough one. We faced a lot of rejection, BUT the work goes on! :) 

Im grateful for the opportunity to serve. Also for the chance to grow so close to the people that we are serving and with whom we are serving. Its been unreal to be placed in a situation where I can develop unique relationships, with other missionaries, members, investigators, etc. With that opportunity, I have grown to love the people here in Los Angeles, despite all the differences. I have found myself caring about these people, and this week I realized that more than I ever have. Its hard when these people tell you they are too busy, life is too hard and they don't want it. Its hard when you know they know it, yet they still choose not to. :) 

Im rounding out on 2/3 of the way through my service and Im so grateful for this short time I have. This is a little bit of what Ive been thinking about this week. 

We must give others the opportunity to repent and change just as much as the Savior gives us the opportunity to do so. Imagine if there was only one chance to get it right, or even a limited number of 'chances'. We would have blown it along time ago! There is nothing we can ever do to be 'too far gone' from the reach of the Atonement. There is always the opportunity for a second chance, for a clean slate and a positive future.

I also wonder if sometimes we see others by their mistakes and things done wrong rather than by their potential and capacity to do good. Isn't that how our Father in Heaven looks at us? He always sees us as who we can become, full of potential and future, not by our shortcomings and the mistakes we have made. After all, we all have an equal opportunity to repent and become clean, I don't have a 'more deserved' opportunity than you do. 

I am going to work on looking at others with Heavenly Fathers eyes. Seeing them, not for their mistakes, but with their potential to repent, change and be sanctified through the Lord. After all, people can change. It is our purpose here on earth to change and become more like Him. Don't sell others short, and don't sell yourself short by thinking others aren't trying to be their best selves either. The Atonement is there for everyone. Allow others to use it and be a friend, we all need help along the way. :)

I hope you all have a great week! :) thanks so much for everything!!
Elder Park 

October 10, 2016

Mini Missionary


Start of the new transfer and we started off with a little surprise, change of companions! Im now serving with E Williamson! He has been out for about 20months and has served in Spanish until now. He is from Auburn, Maine, little different than sunny Los Angeles. He is a good guy and Im excited for the new transfer. 


This week was on fire! We had some awesome experiences. We had the opportunity to have a YM from Redondo come out with us for 2 days (Fri night -> Sun night). His name is Tyler, he is a Senior in HS and wants to serve a mission next year! Woooo! It was so cool to have him with us and the Lord really blessed us with some awesome lessons and people while he was with us. 

We were able to help out a lady with her ceramic business, cataloging, moving and storing. She has had a fair amount of contact with the missionaries and was so excited to have us stop by. She gave us root beer and ice cream for our hard work and then surprised us by giving her little puppy an ice cream float of his own. Here is a video of this poor dog getting a brain freeze, haha.
video


Alexa is doing well. She expressed some concern with family pressure and is unsure if this is what God wants her to do. We taught her about specific prayer and having real intent and invited her to pray and ask God if this is true and something He wants her to do and if so, when He would like her to take the step of baptism. She gladly accepted and we are excited to hear back from her about her answer. 

Missionaries in this area have been working with Christina and Eugene for a while and we got to meet with them his week. They have been through a lot and are bouncing from place to place, trying to find somewhere to settle down, not that easy anywhere, let alone LA.. Christina has the desire to be baptized and start getting back to church and Eugene he thinks that them two getting married will escalate things and help them be more unified. However, they don't necessarily share each others desires. So we are trying to help them see that BOTH are great desires and they should work together to achieve both! :)

Thomas & Victoria. Ahh man they are awesome. They had us over for dinner this weekend and we had some awesome homemade Nicaraguan food with them. We also read the Book of Mormon and talked about the family with them. It was cool to discuss how we can protect our families from the world and the influences that are in it. We talked about how sometimes, despite our best efforts, loved ones still fall away, but the things we do, our examples still make lasting impressions upon them. 

We were trying to visit this potential Brian who lives with his grandma who is a member of the Spanish ward here in Pedro, no answer at the door. We wait for a little try again, nothing. Then the whole family of peeps come walking in and see that we are standing at their door, you could tell they were like, what the? We introduced ourselves and asked if they had a few minutes. At first, they were a little hesitate but they invited us in and told us, ok, you only have 5 minutes. Pretty soon we had all the kids laughing, mom was smiling and the grandma was so happy. Turns out, when the grandma was investigating the church back in 94', they had gone to the Visitor Center and when we were talking the mom, Anna all of a sudden remembered the giant Jesus statue and was just ecstatic. We shared a little about eternal families and then watched a video on the Plan of Salvation that put Anna in tears. It was so cool to see the Spirit work through everyone, especially the mom and we are so excited to continue to work with them. Yes, we stayed longer than 5 minutes ;) 


All in all, great week! I love the mission! Its awesome. Church is true, Book is blue and God is a Mormon. 

October 3, 2016

Conference - Seafood - Transfers

What a great week. Its been an awesome last week of the transfer and Im grateful to have spent it with E Griffin and E Solano. E Solano heads home to Chicago tomorrow and E Griffin will be serving in West LA, the Wilshire area. Ill be kicking it for 6 more weeks here in San Pedro/Palos Verdes, where there is awesome picture opps with E Bennett. Im excited! 

Here in Pedro we are working with some awesome families! One is Thomas and Victoria Ingle. They have been investigating the church for years! And it is finally winding down to where they can be baptized. Due to some legal complexities, they haven't been able to get married yet, but we are hoping this month they can finalize everything, get married and then baptized! We ate dinner with Thomas this past week (best enchiladas Ive ever had) and he said, "Just have the font ready and I'll dive in!". They are awesome, so excited for them.

Another is the Robinson family. They are returning less-actives who have been through a ton but are so cool! We have been working with Dennis and the primary president to get him ready for baptism! Also, the two teenagers Michael and Denae are going to do proxy baptisms this week and its been cool to see how they have been accepted into the YM and YW programs here in the ward.

We also reconnected with Alexa, who has been super busy and she is doing well! She has a lot going on right now but is starting to see the effect of good friends in her life. She works a ton and we hope to sit down this week and establish some expectations so we can meet and help her in her faith. 

We also found awesome people this week. We had just come out of an appt and were really thirsty and sweaty and Joshua yells from across the street, "Hey! You guys need some water? Its really hot out!" We gladly accepted and end up talking for about 20-25 minutes and taught the gospel of Jesus Christ and talked about what we need to do to be saved and access Christ's grace. It was awesome! 

We also had a cool lesson with George and Marta. They were a random potential we had met earlier in the week and wondered if they would be interested or even home with the return appt. We popped in and they warmly invited us in and we had one of the best "How to Begin Teaching" get-to-know you lessons Ive ever had! We talked about our paths and experiences with Christ in our lives and taught about the importance of prayer. It was so cool and before we knew it, it was time to go. Without explaining in detail how we pray, we invited George to offer the closing prayer. He began, "Dear Heavenly Father..." Without us even telling him that! Woooo! It was awesome and we are thrilled to go back this week! :) 

I love the mission! And conference! Grateful for the opportunity to listen and receive revelation this past weekend. Here are some of my favorite things that I learned and heard:
* God is not a referee trying to throw us out of the game. He loves us and wants us to keep trying.
* While we may be content in or satisfied of where we are at, God wants us to become more. We have the potential to be as He is. Abide in His love and become better. 
* Great indicator of our conversion is our desire and willingness to share it with others.
* Joy we receive is not dependent on our outward circumstances but rather the focus of our lives. As we focus on the joy received from righteous living, we will be gifted with additional power and strength to overcome our circumstances.
* God wants you to be like Him, so you NEED to repent.
* If we truly love God, we wont hate or disregard His children. 
* Steady and consistent progress in the covenant pathway is most pleasing unto the Father.
* There is a reason, lesson and purpose behind seemingly unanswered prayers and unaided trials. Righteous living does not make us exempt from life's trials and troubles. However, righteous conduct, faithfulness and covenant keeping give us the necessary lenses to see through the trials to the eternal consequences, rewards and blessings. 
* We must "endure it well", a conscious effort to exercise our faith. 

We also went to a park between sessions of Conference on Sunday and found about 30 Persians playing soccer in PV! What?!?! It was SO COOL! We talked to them and they were really nice! 

Pics:
1. Pano/Selfie of the Big Blue


2. Greenwoods


3. SanPedro Fish Market Feast #CrabLobsterShrimp&Potates


Have an awesome week! :)

September 26, 2016

Canes

This week has been awesome! We have found 4 new part-member families, two are Polys with huge families! :) I love the mission its great! 

A member in church shared this analogy that I really liked. He talked about a rail from a railroad that had a big rut or dent in it. The rut was made by an intense amount of heat, pressure and weight by the train on the track. This specific rut was caused when the right set of wheels on the locomotive were spinning wildly while the left side was stuck. He then compared each set of wheels to our spiritual wheels and our worldly wheels. If our spiritual wheels are stuck and we let the worldly wheels spin out, we are caught in a rut. Similarly, we have to be aware of the dangers of the world and roll with it, not shut out things around us to keep the worldly wheels rolling with the spiritual wheels causing us to move swiftly through life. This way, there is no extra friction and we are able to avoid ruts in life. 

The gospel brings happiness. Its so cool to be how the Lord works with us step by step. Sometimes the changes are so small we dont realize it day to day, but looking back we see what a vast change or difference has happened. Keeping doing the little things! They bring spiritual power! :)

Members View of the Pacific.

Dinner with the Ward Mission Leader, Bro Rose.

Zone Leader Summit with President.

Selfie with the Trio.

Raising Canes opened a location in the mission. We had to do it. 

Have a great week!