Colton's ready for his mission

Colton's ready for his mission

Monday, March 18, 2013

March 18, 2013: Elder Camacho's last P-day.

 Elder Camacho, the Peruvian who has been my zone leader since I was born (in the mission), is leaving Spokane and going home to Peru next week. It makes me super sad. He's the best. He would always give me funny looks. He just told me its super impressive that I can type without looking, because he can't. He's great. :) I'm gonna miss him. The crazy thing is that he's got his girlfriend back home, who's got a really good job in the medical field, she has a car (which is really hard in Peru) and she already has their apartment for when they get married. He's so dead. That's what missionaries say about someone who's about to end their mission. :) But that one picture was of Elder Camacho, and the rest are of Sister Collins, Elder Aguilar, Elder Bennet, Elder Hoefelman (he's a visa waiter going to Peru. He's with the zone leaders), and Sister Worlton. We're all doing emails. :)

I'm pretty sure there was a bunch of stuff I was planning on writing, but I'll just say the stuff about my area. Good ol' Mattawa. 

Well, this was a pretty tough week! Dalia, who was our most promising investigator, isn't attending the english classes anymore, her kids aren't going to mutual, she's sleeping in instead of going to church, and she's not very excited to see us. Crispin has told us the reason he doesn't read the Book of Mormon is because he doesn't understand it, and he told us about a lot of problems in his family that have been going on, that have kept him from church. And seemingly none of our less-active members are going to church. And Reynaldo, who seemed to be progressing, forgot about church and didn't go. 

The mission is hard.

I'm growing so much. It's the refiner's fire. I remember one day this week thinking, "Wow. I haven't had a lot of days as tough as this one." And then I read in D&C 122. It's kind of funny. It's a scripture that isn't really all that comforting, but it's kind of saying, "You're going through this for a reason. I never said getting a body, learning about life, and becoming like me would be easy. But remember, the Savior suffered and died for you, so that you would be able to overcome this. You can do it. And I promise that I will never leave you if you do." I don't know. Maybe I'm just crazy. In fact, I know I am. But I know my Savior, and my Father, are with me. I might feel like I've been knocked to the ground sometimes, but Christ always has his hand outstretched to help me up again.

I'm so glad that I'm on this mission. I can't believe how happy I am about myself. About who I am. I know I'm not perfect, but when I think about my faults, I just don't see the point of it. Why think of what's wrong in life, when I can think of what's right, and be happy?

Oh, and you people need to E-mail me. I got nuthin' this week! Much love :)

Elder Grant

March 13, 2013: Temple week!

So, the reason that I am sending this E-mail on Wednesday, is because we went to the temple today, and it changes our Pday. Sorry. I kind of failed to tell you guys that last week. :) The other big thing that we found out rather recently is that there is a big change in the way the E-mails work now.... I can now E-mail ANYONE! :D Crazy huh? If anyone, anyone at all, wants to send an email to me, its not against the rules. The only setback is that I only get another half-hour on emails, so I might have to print out some and hand-write the letters. But It will still make contact MUCH quicker now with people. :) Oh. And if you've been waiting for a letter from me, I got all caught up on letters today! Yay for two two-and-a-half-hour trips to Spokane and back!

So, the work goes on, and once again, it's kind of a more or less week. We had only one investigator at church, but he's progressing so much!! His name is Reynaldo, and I'm pretty sure I've talked about him before, but he's just so interested, and he really cares, and really wants to change his life. It means a lot to see someone repent. It reminds us as missionaries that we're not doing EVERYTHING wrong. :) It was kind of hard Saturday night when our other investigators told us, that they were definitely not going to church the next day. I can usually take it pretty well when they don't show up. When they have good intentions, and fail to go, at least they told us they wanted to. But when they were planning on failing us... that was a tough day. It wasn't an experience I had really had before. I don't think it helped that they could have gone, but it was just their favorite time to go grocery shopping. Ah well. I believe that they will find the light one day. In the mean time, I've done my best to bring them happiness.

Elder Wait and I are doing good. Sometimes I think he worries about things, that he can't change, a little bit too much, but hey, I do too. :) We went to the temple today together, and it was pretty nice. It will be one of his last trips, since he only has two transfers left. Poor guy. He hates when others ask him how much time he has left, but he doesn't really show any signs of trunkiness. ;) It's interesting how much he knows some of the members here. But I guess when you've been here for seven and a half months in the past, you're going to know a lot of people.

At the temple, I felt like... I was back home. A home I don't really remember that well. But even though I've never been to the Spokane Temple before, there was the same spirit, the same sense that you were in God's house. I was back at home with God. I really needed it, I realized. I didn't realize it til I got there though. I just looked at it, and even though it was a small temple, you could feel the grandness of it. Within the session room, as we waited for it to start, I just felt so incredibly happy and at peace. I feel a sense of longing for it now. I can't wait to go back. :) 

Hm... Oh yeah, pictures! One is of Elder Wait, and the other is of me at the temple. Enjoy!

Con amor,

Elder Grant

March 4, 2013: Week 2 in the 5 week transfer.

I came to the startling realization that I am now closer to the age of 20 than I am to 19. I'm so filthy old. Ew. I can't relate with High School students anymore. This is really weird. Lets move on to my main letter.

Well, we have an on-date. The first one I've had in three months. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to find him again, and he has to get married. Hm. I can't lie, this was another hard week. Although, we did get Gabriel to go to church again. He needs to have his baby, and get married to his girlfriend (or move out) but he's shown so much faith, that I know he'll get baptized one day. He reads every time, has noticed how different our church is, how much he feels the spirit, and how right the Book of Mormon feels. He's just very conservative, and needs his time. We have many new investigators this week, although, I'm not sure how many will end up progressing. Although, one investigator, named Reynaldo, asked US if he could take the lessons. He's the "partner" of the sister of a recently returned missionary, and he's really excited to take the discussions. He's asked to have lessons with us twice a week, and when we've come back, he's read everything we asked an more. He's eager to learn, and it's nice because Jorge, the RM, is able to be a third missionary with us and help make sure he understands and knows everything he needs. He needs to get married, but I think he'll be baptized in the future too.

Elder Wait is pretty diligent. He tries to get everything done, and is focused on keeping everything in order. He has the blessing of a strong desire to keep our house clean, which at times other missionaries don't have. The only thing I worry about him is that sometimes I think he forgets to slow down and enjoy life. But other than that, he's a pretty good companion, and I'm lucky to have him.

This week I had our investigator for our ward (our only english investigator) ask me rather fiercely, how I could know. How I know all of this is true. How could I possibly declare such a thing, when millions profess the same thing about other churches, and other religions? I thought about it, and answered him, that I would be lying if I said that I have never doubted. That my testimony is perfect. That I had seen God the Father, and Jesus Christ, as Joseph Smith had. 
But I knew that God has made himself known to me. I've felt it. I know I've felt it, and whether I like it or not, it's true. Luckily, I do like it. :) Because it has brought me hope. So much hope. No matter what happens in life, I know I have a purpose, I know why I'm here, and I know I can overcome anything. I know, I will be happy.

I've been pretty slow on writing letters, so sorry to those waiting for me! I'm trying to write more after emails. I promise to get back to you in less than a month! Man... I'm terrible. Oh well.


Elder Grant

Saturday, March 2, 2013

First week gone by without Elder Kelly (AKA Dad) and first week gone by in a five week transfer.

Yeah, so, my mission got cut by one week. We're being put on to a different track, transfer-wise, and so this transfer is five weeks instead of six. Kinda crazy! Also, two new missions will be made in Washington, and we have been assured that the boundaries for the western part of the mission (the spanish side) WILL change. Kinda crazy.... We'll see what will happen. We will receive news of the exact changes in about 7 weeks I believe. On to talk about the area.
We weren't able to see Dalia much this week, and we never taught her. Many cancelled member lessons, unfortunately. But we're going to work on that with the Bishop and the Branch President. We had one investigator, Crispin, go to the adult session of Stake Conference... and the leader's session.... But not Stake Conference itself. I'm not quite sure why. Silly investigators. Yeah, Stake Conference made it so we didn't really have anyone at church... Except less-actives! We did help less-active members get to it. Other than that, it was a pretty slow week I guess.

Elder Wait is very different from Elder Kelly. He's a good guy though. He's got a lot of experience, and he's also rather quiet. It's kind of crazy that he came back here to Mattawa, when he was here for 7 and a half months before! I don't really need to show him around much. That's pretty handy. Plus he already knows a lot of the people here. We're trying some formers that he knew about. Hopefully we will be able to find some people that are prepared!

I went out with a member, the bishop's son, who is going on his mission in one week. He got his call, for the Nevada Las Vegas Mission, (we're switching places!) and his report time was a month later! Super soon. I was teaching with him for several hours, when Elder Wait was at a meeting for leaders in Ephrata. We taught a couple of people, and saw many others. I think it gave him a taste of what the mission is like. He's twenty two years old, and has worked very hard to go on a mission, and he's really excited to go. I think one of the best things members and missionaries can do, is get a taste of each other's lives by teaching together. It lets each of us understand more about what the other's experiences are, and know who they are. It's odd. As a missionary, it gets harder and harder to remember what it's like to be on the other side. But it's one of the most important things to remember I think. When we know how other's feel, we can make better decisions on pretty much everything!
So, the pictures. One is of Brother and Sister Ruiz, who are super cool members, both are practicing their english, and have given us some of our best investigators. The second is of Dalia, our most ready investigator, and her two kids Manny and Jacky. or Emmanuel and Jaqueline. They're the best!
That's all this week. Con amor,
Elder Grant


The end of training, and the beginning of my third transfer.

We finally got Dalia and her kids to come to church again! That made Elder Kelly super happy (on the inside. He doesn't always show his outside happiness. heehee) and I made sure to let them know it was good they were there. We weren't able to get Crispin and his family, or Gabriel to church, but I guess you can't have everything. We found a lot of new investigators in the past week, which makes Elder Kelly happy that he's leaving with a bigger number of people to teach. The days are getting warmer, and we've started to wear just our suits, no coats. It's kind of nice that Mattawa is warmer than most of the mission. Overall, we had one of our best weeks this past one, and we've got a good few hours scheduled after P-day today, with two family home evenings with non-members scheduled. We're excited for that. So, another week in the Royal City District goes by.
Elder Kelly is sad to go leave Mattawa, but he's pretty good at dealing with it. He's also very scared to become Zone Leader. :) Okay, not very scared. Just the usual feelings of apprehension that someone would feel when they're about to become a Zone Leader. I'm glad he was my trainer; he's a good missionary. I would try and claim that he's perfect, but we all have a lot to learn! So much to learn. Anyway, I'm interested to see what Elder Wait is going to be like. I've heard he's actually been in Mattawa for a long time in the past, so I won't have to worry as much about teaching him about the area. We're going to have to see what happens. :)
I was reading in the Joseph Smith History yesterday, and I got to a part that has, I think, my favorite quote by Joseph Smith in it. It is in the twenty-fifith verse, and it says, "I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it," I think it's my favorite, because I can relate to it so much. I know that I have received countless answers from God, and I know that the signs of His presence are all around me. I know, and I know that He knows it, and I cannot deny it. And that is another thing that builds my testimony. Just remembering, "I know".
That's all I got this week. Hope you all have a good week!
Con amor, Elder Grant