Monday, January 6, 2014

1-6-14 Happy New Year

Happy New Year!!!!!

Where did 2013 go?! It was a great year, lots of great things happened, the only thing that stinks about it is it went by waaaaay too fast. As of now I'm still in Murrieta, it is the farthest north our mission goes and borders the Riverside Mission. I’m half way through my 3rd transfer here, and a transfer cycle is 6 weeks, so I’ve almost been here for 4 months now. I’m thinking I’m leaving the area after this transfer. I've been here for a little bit. Thanks for all the Christmas gifts you guys!! It was so great to see all of yall!! You guys are growing up way too stink'n fast!! 

Things are starting to pick up here a little bit since the holidays are winding down. We actually picked up a new investigator this week while we were on exchanges, her name is Mindy and she seems super solid. I've been thinking a lot about the work here. I’ve felt like my entire mission I’ve been working so hard teaching people and helping them to progress towards baptism only to be transferred out of my area or we've had no one to teach and have been working super hard with members or through talking to people on the street and not have any results from our efforts of finding people. And It is been a little discouraging, but then I remembered what you told me about your visiting teacher in New Jersey who helped you find your way back to the church. I realized that if it wasn't for her, I probably wouldn't have grown up in the church, I probably wouldn't have met all the amazing people in my life that I have, I probably wouldn’t have learned all the things I know now, I definitely wouldn't have been an eagle scout, I probably wouldn't be the person I am today and I probably wouldn’t be serving a mission right now writing you this email from southern California. I remembered some very specific revelation I received while I was at the MTC. I was praying very hard to know why I had made this decision in my life and why I was there, I didn’t know what I had gotten myself into. I received a very clear impression that I was here to bless the lives of others, to help them, to bring them back, to help them find their Savior, to ease them of their pain. No matter how unprepared or inadequate I felt. I realized it is not all about baptizing people, but it is about helping others come back to their Savior, whether that be through helping investigators, recent converts, less actives, or whoever it may be. I have the amazing opportunity to influence future generations, just like your visiting teacher in New Jersey did for us. 

I hope everything back home is going smoothly. Jeffery said it was getting pretty nippy down there, heard you guys are having weather in the single digits. Stay warm ya hear!!

Alright, Well I love all you guys, stay strong, stay true, and look out for each other while I’m gone okay?

-Elder Daniel

Page 11 in the white handbook says elders need to shave everyday...)


Hello Everybody!!

 Thank you guys for the presents, the ties, the music, the CTR rings, the flag, the watch, the money AND the date filled cookies. I only need about one of those a week or I'll go into a sugar coma, haha. It was great to see all you guys! I still can’t get over how deep Walter's voice is. He might be able to beat me up by the time I get back. Looked and sounded like everyone was doing great! I can’t wait for Mother’s Day now, it is right around the corner, haha.

 This week has still been very slow due to the Holidays, especially this week because of Christmas. We managed to get a lesson in with one of our former investigators, Mike. We taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I don’t know if I already told you about him before, but he has been taught by the missionaries for a while and he still has some issues with things. We are still working with him trying to find out how we can help him feel the spirit and provide him with what he needs. The best things for him right now that were working on with him is building his faith in Jesus Christ and helping him understand that God is his loving Heavenly Father. 

            I went on exchanges with one of my zone leaders at the beginning of the week, Elder Roundy. He's quite the character, haha. He knows how to make missionary work fun and still get things done. I went to his area and the work was pretty slow there as well, but we got some awesome contacts and potentials from talking to people on the street. We also had to make a mail run before Christmas so everyone in the zone got their presents on time, so we took a road trip all the way to Vista, picked up the mail, went to lunch at a burger place called The Habit, then dropped off everyone's mail in the zone.

            Yesterday at church the topic for sacrament meeting was Patriarchal Blessings. It was a good refresher about what they are and how much of a blessing and personal guide they are in our lives. Every worthy member is entitled to one, so get worthy and get it if you haven't already! I wish I would've gotten mine way sooner than I did. You don’t really have to be a certain age either, one of the speakers said that her dad, who was the Patriarch of the Irvine Stake, gave a Patriarchal blessing to an 8 year old before, it really just depends on when you feel ready. Another cool thing is our Stake, the Murrieta Stake, was chosen out of 14 stakes in the entire world to pilot a family history program and using it in missionary work, helping others feel the spirit of Elijah and getting them interested in the church. That’s another thing that you guys can do as well, start getting involved in family history work, genealogy, and feel'n the spirit of Elijah.

Well I gotta go. Like I always say, be strong, stay true, and look out for each other while I'm gone, alright?

I love you guys,

-Elder Daniel
(One night we went exploring and found this sign at the edge of our area.)

(Oh ya know, just doing some weekly planning..  Feliz Navidad!!)