Saturday, December 31, 2016

Week 20 Merry Christmas

So I messed up on the weeks. Last week was suppose to be week 10, not week 9, but oh well. It's said and done. I'm going to do it a little differently today. So since it's a Thursday, and I didn't get to send an email on Monday, I'm going to send this email and talk about last week. Then this coming Monday, I'll talk about what happened this week. 
so last week

Monday, December 19th, 2016
So we had p-day and did some emailing and shopping, you know, the normal stuff. We also cleaned up the apartment and got it ready for inspections. Then we went and played wallyball with the Spanish elders and had a blast! After p-day, we had dinner and visited some people. We didn't see too many people, but we had a pretty good day.

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016
We went on an exchange with the Spanish elders, and it's crazy how many investigators they have. They have 9, and I thought I was doing good with my 5, but I guess I was wrong. The problem is they don't come at set times. They just go by and see if they can meet with them that day. It is crazy and unheard of, but that's ok. They are getting the work done. We visited a lot of people out there, went to the food bank, had time, and then exchanged back. It was a fun exchange. I got pics from it, but I lost my SD card at the other library :( That's ok. I'll get a new one. 

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016
We were all over the place, like all over the place. We went from one person to the other trying to find people to teach. We met some people, taught some things, left Christmas messages with members, and then had a lesson with the Kurtzers and reviewed the baptismal questions which was good because it was able to help us help them to understand what we needed to teach them and what they still needed to learn. We learned they have a hard time with the word of wisdom with coffee, keeping the Sabbath day holy, tithing, and knowing if Joseph Smith is a true prophet...  That's a lot, but we were able to work a lot of it out to help them to become more converted to it, and they are on date for the 7th of January. We have 5 investigators and the the others, Kelly and Lydia, are on date for the 21st of January which will be good if it all works out. I have no doubts.

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016
We had the half mission conference, and that was so cool. President Wilding talked to us and many other missionaries as well. Several musical numbers were played, and I got to play the violin for one of them. It was a lot of fun. I used one of our member's violins, and it worked out great. I played O Little Town of Bethlehem, and everyone liked it. We also watched 17 Miracles. That was President's Christmas present to us. That was great to see again. I got your presents and the cards from the primary, and thank you so much, guys, for all those gifts and card! It made my day!! After, we went and visited some people and talked about Christmas with them. It was a good day.

Friday, December 23rd, 2016 Christmas Adam
See what I did there?... Eve, Adam, hahaha! Anyway, I got sick with the flu!! But I'm doing better now. I figured out that I'm actually having heart burn, but I'm taking some medication to get rid of it. We tried to have a lesson with the Kurtzers, but they canceled on us, and we had one with them this last Tuesday which I'll talk about it in my next email. That was it for that day. It also snowed that day.

Saturday, December 24th, 2016 Christmas Eve
we shared Chistmas messages with lots of members and then had to by in by 7 but as well we did some caraling with the other elders, it was way fun. then we weekly planned and played games for the rest of the day the snow was still on the ground

Sunday, Christmas Day
We had an hour of church, and then we went to the Simbecks home for the rest of the day. I got to call home and talk with you guys!! Then we did some acts of kindness and had tacos for dinner. We opened the presents at 6:30 in the morning and loved all of them. Later in the day, we had to be in by 7, and we played games and had fun. I got Justin and Eric's present. By the way, thank you. I love Snoopy so much!! 

Today, going to the temple put me really into a spiritual mood, and I'm feeling good for the rest of the day. I wanted to send a spiritual message to every one of you at home. If you haven't been to the temple in a long time, please GO!! If you say, "Oh, I don't have time to," that probably means it's been too long, and you need to go. The temple will open your eyes to some thing new you never knew before. I received revelation and comfort for my area and my family today as I sat in the celestial room today, which was the first time in a while I had felt really close to my Heavenly Father. The temple shows us more then life long questions and answers. It can answer questions of the soul. If you haven't gone in a while, please go. Our spirits need that regaining strength that the temple offers. Don't forget that. I know these things are true, and I say them in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

 Elder Hammond

Monday, December 19, 2016

Week 19 Almost Christmas!

What a week this has been! Honestly, I wasn't expecting any of what happened this week to happen. Let me answer some questions first. Then I will get to the week.

Have you worn your boots? 
No... because I have to get them approved by president, and that's harder then it seems. I'll do it when the snow stays more on the ground then just 2 days so far. Although I could use them for Darrington. We'll see.
Do you have enough warm gear?
Yes, with a capital Y! I am so warm when I walk outside. It's so great!!! I don't need anything else.

Now for the week.

We had a good p-day. We went shopping, emailed, and played wallyball at the sac. It was a lot of fun! Then we had dinner and visited some people. Not to much that happened.

Tuesday was really sad. I went on an exchange with Elder Jensen, Elder Butler's companion, who is the ZL. I woke up at 2:00 in the morning and found him throwing up in the bathroom. I had to call Sister Grizeny who is the health missionary for the mission and had to stay up with him until everyone else was awake. It was so bad!! Once everyone else was awake, the other missionaries ran over, and we exchanged back for the rest of the day while Elder Jensen had the flu!! It flu me off guard!! Hahah... See  what I did there!!? ;) Anyway, I went back with Elder Stoddard, and we went to Darrington for the day. We had a good time with that, and we went and shoveled a lot of drive ways, bought some gifts for Tyler, and then went home to see how Elder Jensen was doing. When we got back, he was still way sick and had been sick all day... not fun. Then we had dinner and visited some people in Arlington. Then we came home to plan.

We had zone meeting, which was weird because we aren't suppose to have them any more, but since the snow canceled interviews last week, we had to have it. It was great! Elder Butler talked about obedience and being dignified. It was a great meeting, and it really opened my eyes to some things, so much that I actually needed to go on an emergency exchange with Elder Butler because I was felling really stressed about something that I was struggling with and some things that were bugging me about Elder Stoddard. During this exchange, Elder Butler taught me a lot about confidence and how I can gain more of it. He gave me some things to study and gave me a blessing of comfort. After that, Elder Stoddard and I got back together and planned for the next day.

Thursday we went to the other side of our area, not Darrington, but close by...Standwood. We visited a lot of people. It was a pretty good day. Not too much happened. Oh, oops! We had 5 lessons this week with our investigators, and they are getting ready for baptism. We have a baptism coming up on New Year's Day. I hope it works out!!!

We helped at the food bank, weekly planned, and then visited some people and did some service for a family. It was a pretty good day.

Saturday was exchange part 2 with Elder Jensen. I got to work in a YSA ward again!!! Oh my gosh, I love YSA wards! They are so much fun!!! Anyway, we had 3 lessons with investigators there, had interviews with president, and then later in the day, I put one of their investigators on date for the 21st of January. It was great, if I do say so myself. Then I exchanged back with Elder Stoddard, and we had a lesson with the kurtzer family and talked about tithing!!

Sunday it snowed all day until like the end of the day. Church went for 2 hours, and then Elder Stoddard and I went home and did what felt like a whole lot of nothing. Then we had dinner... haha jk. We had personal study, comp study, and weekly planning. Then we slid on ice in the jeep, almost died... That's ok. My defensive driving class taught me how to work with that. So we were good. No one died. 

So my spiritual thought today comes from Mosiah 16:9, and it says: 
"He is the light and the life of the world; yea a light that is endless that can never be darkened; yea and also a life which is endless that there can be no more death." 
This year, Christmas is really focused on how He is the light of the world. As we continue to follow Him, I want you to really notice how He is that light in this world. He stands supreme with glory. Love you all and see you soon.

  1. 1. I believe in Christ; he is my King!
    With all my heart to him I'll sing;
    I'll raise my voice in praise and joy,
    In grand amens my tongue employ.
    I believe in Christ; he is God's Son.
    On earth to dwell his soul did come.
    He healed the sick; the dead he raised.
    Good works were his; his name be praised.
  2. 2. I believe in Christ; oh blessed name!
    As Mary's Son he came to reign
    'Mid mortal men, his earthly kin,
    To save them from the woes of sin.
    I believe in Christ, who marked the path,
    Who did gain all his Father hath,
    Who said to men: "Come, follow me,
    That ye, my friends, with God may be."
  3. 3. I believe in Christ--my Lord, my God!
    My feet he plants on gospel sod.
    I'll worship him with all my might;
    He is the source of truth and light.
    I believe in Christ; he ransoms me.
    From Satan's grasp he sets me free,
    And I shall live with joy and love
    In his eternal courts above.
  4. 4. I believe in Christ; he stands supreme!
    From him I'll gain my fondest dream;
    And while I strive through grief and pain,
    His voice is heard: "Ye shall obtain."
    I believe in Christ; so come what may,
    With him I'll stand in that great day
    When on this earth he comes again
    To rule among the sons of men.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Week 18 Family Search, Mini MTC, and Elder Mason

Hello, everyone!!! It has been a crazy week, so let's get right to it!!

So Monday was great! We had a fun time emailing, shopping, and playing basketball because the SAC was closed. Then after that, we had dinner, and Elder Stoddard and I tried to go see some people before the donut party that the Arlington Ward puts on. Then we went on splits with the Arlington elders and did some street contacting. It was a good day. Not a whole lot happened, but we had a good day.

Tuesday we visited a lot of people and went to Brother Brown's for breakfast. We talked a lot about family search. The best part about that is now I know how to do it a little more. Before, I knew Aunt Alisha did a lot of it, and I didn't know where to start, but thanks to Brother Brown, one of the family history consultants, I was able to understand how to work it. It's really cool what you can do with family search. We also did some service for a sister in our ward, which was the first time I had ever done service in regular clothes. It felt so weird, but we did it. 

We had district meeting, and Elder Stoddard instructed us on diligence and being dignified in our calling to God. It's always a good pep talk from a district leader, right!? Then after that, we did some service and had some dinner. Then Elder Stoddard and I went on splits, and I went and was in charge of the mini MTC night we had with the youth. It went really well. I will have to tell you about it later because I'm running out of time. Elder Stoddard had lessons with investigators, and he did a good job with that.

We went to Darrington and visited a lot of people, got two return appointments for Tuesday, and went to seminary. We had a good time there.

Friday we got snowed in, so we got grounded from our cars. We had to walk around and do weekly planning all day. It made me so mad because we live 5 miles out of the area, but that's ok. Later that night we were able to drive the car again and I went on exchanges with Arlington.

I was on an exchange with Elder Poulsen. He's been out almost as long as Elder Stoddard. We drove to Comano Island for a breakfast with President Flake, one of the stake president's counselors. We had a good time. Then we went back to Arlington and visited a lot of people, had a lesson fall through, did some service at the old folks place, tried to get some lessons in before dinner, had dinner, and then visited some more people. It was a pretty good day.

When I was at church, I saw Elder Mason, a missionary that served in my home mission in West Jordan a couple of years ago!!! He lives in Marysville. He's so cool, and he's in the YSA ward, so it's even better!! Then we had lunch with our new ward mission leader, did our studies, had dinner, and then went to the nativity festival the stake put on. It was so cool. There was a Jesus picture room, lots of nativities and a choir singing for us. It was great!

the former Elder Mason and Elder Hammond

Well, that's it for this week. I'll see you next week.

Elder Hammond

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Week 17 Remember God Loves You

Hey everyone. I am just so full with the spirit today. So much that my soul delighted to tell you everything!! This week has been a really good week, and Washington is getting ready for Christmas. There are so many lights, and it's snowing today!!! That's like the first time in so long. I'm so excited!! So let's get right to it!!! 
We had a good p-day. We emailed, went shopping, and then worked out at the SAC. It's a place where you go to work out, and it's free for Mormon missionaries. That's the one thing I love about Washington. There are so many members that own places, and so we get cool discounts and stuff like that. It's awesome!! Then for the rest of the day we played board games and visited some people, as well had a ward FHE. It was a good day!!

I went on an exchange with Elder Wake, our new roomy, and we had a good time. We got a lot of work done and used a lot of miles. Sadly, as missionaries we don't get a lot of miles to use. We almost went over this week for the month, but thanks to members giving us rides, we were able to  keep it under!! We had a good exchange, and I learned a lot from Elder Wake.

Wednesday we had a good day. It started off with district meeting, and Elder Stoddard instructed us on how the Book of Mormon answers questions of the soul, and I learned so much from that instruction. Then we helped a sister in the ward that is not a member with putting up some Christmas lights, and then we had a lesson with Lydia, which was interesting. We asked her to pray about the Book of Mormon, and she said, "No." It shocked me and my companion. We asked why, and she told us, "I don't think the Lord loves me enough to give me an answer to my prayers. I've done some things in my life that aren't  good in this life so how could God love me if I've done all these things?" That response broke my heart! πŸ’”πŸ’”πŸ’” At the time, I knew how to answer that question. She didn't like the answer we gave her, but I know as we continue to teach her, she will be able to soften her heart. We also had lessons with Kelly and Barbra, Mike, and Chris, and they went well. 

We visited a lot of people. That's it.

We went to the food bank and helped them there. Then we did some weekly planning, had a lesson with Kelly, and went to the ward Christmas dinner. Then we exchanged with the Spanish elders.

The exchange was so much fun. I haven't been in a Spanish area for like 8 weeks, and it was so much fun!! I can't wait for the next one. We visited a lot of investigators and had lessons with two. Of course, Elder Torp did all the talking. I sat there nodding my head in agreement. It was so much fun.

We had church and had a good time. We got a new ward mission leader and had dinner with him last night. We also got to watch the devotional at their house. I loved it so much! Oh, and P.S., I saw MRich (Mrs. Richardson) three times in the choir. I hadn't seen her ever since she quit from Copper Hills, so it was good to see she is still doing good. But ya, after that, we finished weekly planning and then that was the end of the week.

Brothers and Sisters, my spiritual thought this week is remember that God loves each and every one of us. Remember, he has a plan for all of us, and you can't forget it. If you are planning on serving a mission, I'm telling you with everything I know, please do it!! It is the best experience anyone could ever have! I am a living witness of Jesus Christ and his miracles on this earth. I have seen what He can do for many that just come unto Him, and we all can come unto Him! Remember, He loves us all, and you can stand with Mormon when he says, "Behold I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the son of God. I have been called of Him to declare His word among His people that they may have everlasting life." I know that this is true, and I know that He lives. I know that we can achieve that in our lives, and I say that in the name of Jesus Christ, amen!

Elder Hammond

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Week 16 An Instrument In God's Hands

Hey guys. This week consists of a lot, like a lot, and I didn't do any of it. The Lord did it for me. I was just His instrument playing the right cords and looking for those people He wanted me to find. Our mission has something they call standards of excellency, as every mission should. Thanks to the Lord, Elder Stoddard and I hit those standards. This was the first time in 8 months, almost a year, that the Stillaguamish Ward has hit those standards. This week, we had  5 lessons with investigators, 3 investigators attend sacrament meeting, 4 investigators with a baptism date, so many referrals, and 4 progressing investigators! We also picked up 3 new investigators this week, which is amazing, and it's all thanks to the Lord. 

Before I talk about how my week went, let me answer some questions that have been asked. I have time to do this.
How was your Thanksgiving? 
Thanksgiving was crazy!! Since Monday wasn't p-day, Thursday was our p-day. That's what most holidays consist of, and yes, that's what Christmas will be like too. We had dinner with two families....😰 Man, I feel so fat just saying that. We had two turkeys, two bowls of stuffing, two of everything pretty much, and one of our families sent more of the dinner with us to go home!!! We got so much food this week, I don't need to go shopping!! That's the crazy part!!πŸ“πŸ“πŸ“πŸ“πŸ“πŸ“πŸ“πŸ“ Thanks to it, I've beenπŸ‹ (exercising)!! A lot!

Are your clothes holding up ok?
Yes, but the funny part is the bottom part of my sleeves are starting to look like Justin's mission shirt collars! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜… It's pretty funny, but other than that, they look fine.

So Monday was interesting. We had two hours to email, and then the rest of the day we had to go visit people. No p-day since it was on Thursday, so we visited a lot of people and tried to find people to teach with no luck really, but that's ok.

Darrington day. Funny story. So we get there, and we realized that we left the area book in Arlington.....πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜‘ So we went to the people we knew down there and then went to seminary and listened to Sister Mauldin teach us about the birth of Christ. Then we went back home and did some area book work and visited some other members.

Oh my! So Elder Stoddard is the District Leader, so we had a district meeting, and it was great! He taught us the importance of keeping and making good goals. Then we had lunch, and that's when a miracle happened. We got a referral from the mission office that someone requested a bible. So after we did some service for a member in the ward, we went over and gave this girl, named Lydea, a bible and also a pamphlet for the restoration. Soon after, we got a return appointment for Saturday to teach her more about the Book of Mormon. It was amazing, and it made me happy that we were able to help her when she needed it. She said before that she was an alcoholic and had a hard life, but now she is reading the bible for comfort and to push away the temptations to drink again. In my whole 4 months of my mission, I had never ever heard someone say that. It brought me joy to hear someone say that. After that, we went and visited some people and then had a lesson with Barbra and her family at 7. We taught them the plan of salvation, and that took 2 hours to explain because they get off topic so much, and they believe in reincarnation.... funny huh? So we taught them the plan, and it seemed to us that they understood it.

You already know about Thursday.

Thanksgiving with members
(Note from mom) Just when Paul and I were wondering where Jordan was spending Thanksgiving, a sweet member from Arlington sent me these pictures. What a great surprise!
So Friday we went to an alpaca farm and helped clean the stalls. It was pretty gross, but that's ok. I lived through it. After that, we had lunch and did some weekly planning. Then we did some service for some members in the ward and had dinner with them. They wanted me to play guitar, so I played for them, and they seemed to enjoy it. I hope they did... Then we left dinner after an hour and had a lesson with Barbra and her family again. We got all of them on date for baptism Wednesday and taught them the gospel of Jesus Christ. The funny part is that Mike, the father, brought up reincarnation, and Barbra, his wife, shut him up about it. It was pretty funny. He was about to say something to do with it, and Barbra was like "Mike, shh. The elders need to teach us this lesson." It made me happy that they are starting to understand that reincarnation is false doctrine and is made up by history shows and the apostasy.

Saturday and Sunday
Saturday was a hassle! So Elder Stoddard and I went to some members' houses and started to show the new Christmas video the church has put up on It's a cool video, and I will use it as my spiritual thought today. After we went to the old folks place and served there while Elder Stoddard took Elder Poulsen's new companion, Elder Wake, to our lesson with Lydea. They put her on date, invited her to church, and invited her to the come see for yourself fireside for investigators that was happening the next day. It was great, and all I did was bowl with the old folks, play bingo with the old folks, and then went home for lunch and heard all the news from the elders. It was great!! Then around 4, another miracle happened. We got a text from someone who wanted to come to church this week. Long story short, her name is Kelly, and she has an 8 year old son and a 5 year old girl. We gave them a church tour that night, and they came to church yesterday which was awesome! We are planning on teaching her on Wednesday. She told us that her first day at church was amazing, and everything she was taught applied to her in her life. She wants to learn more. Lydea got a ride from the Mauldins and came to church. She said she really liked it and wants to keep coming. She also says she feels at peace when she comes, and she can put the world aside when she comes. I can't tell you how grateful I am to hear all of these things coming from investigators mouths! Its like, DANG!! What do I say to that?

So that was my week. It was amazing, and I can't wait to have another week like that. Here is my message: 

That is the new Christmas video, and brothers and sisters, the message that it shares with us this year is simply "Light the World", serve others, help them to become better, and show some Christmas joy in your community. But this message is more then gifts and presents. It's about Christ, our Savior, and the love he shows for us. We may be celebrating his birth, but we shouldn't focus on just that. We should focus on what He did for us and how we can show others what He did to help others. I know He can help you when you need Him. I've seen it in my life. Please don't think you're alone in this world because you're not! He is here for you. I know that to be true, and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

--Elder Hammond

Elder Hammond and his roommates.
His companion, Elder Stoddard, is on the far right.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Week 15 Staying in Stillaguamish

I am just speechless... I really don't know what to say, but I want to say thank you to everyone who has sent me emails in the last week and the people that reached out to me over Facebook. My mom sent me your comments. I have felt a love today that I haven't felt in 3 years. Before, I felt the love of my parents and brothers, but today, I felt something I haven't felt in a long time. Please keep praying for me because believe it or not, it does work. It truly does. Thank you Mom, Dad, Justin, Tyler, and Eric for always being there for me and sending your love to me when I needed you to. Thank you, Bishop Shaw, Emilee Berthelson, the Wards, the Andersons, Kenny, the Kempels, the Fosters, Aunt Kris, Sister Kearl, Sister Brough, Sister Nofsinger, Dawn-Marie, Sister Baisch,Yvonne, Brother Selin, Lisa, Sister Hotton, Sister Miller and everyone in my family and all my friends. Thank you for your prayers and your love. Because of you and OUR faith in God, I get to say here in Stillaguamish and keep doing the work the Lord wants me to do with Elder Stoddard, and because of your prayers and love you sent, a miracle happened this week! I'm going to tell you about it with how my week went.

We had a good p-day. We got hair cuts, went shopping, and had some fun playing basket ball. While the other elders played, I had an interview with the district leader about how i was feeling on Monday because it was not good. He told me so many thing that a lot of you have been telling me, and I'm grateful for Elder Qubalio's support too. I'll miss him. He's going to Lakewood, Spanish Branch, but we'll see each other again soon. He told me that even though we weren't seeing a lot of progression, that didn't matter because the Lord was blessing us in this area by helping us lay down a strong foundation for elders to come. Now going through this last week, I can see really what he meant. After p-day, we visited some people and then went home and to bed

Darrington day!! So we went and visited tons of people and had a good time up there. We visited some potentials and found some that we'll go meet tomorrow since I'm not getting transferred. We had a good day. After Darrington, we came home and had dinner and a lesson with a RC (recent convert) named Cameron. It was a good lesson. Other than that, that was it for that day...a little work and a good amount of progress.

Wednesday was district meeting, and it was a great meeting! Elder Qubalio taught a lesson on keeping commitments and why we follow up with people. It helped me to understand a little more why we do it. Then we had lunch and training and visited a lot of people. Then we had dinner, and we had a lesson with an investigator, but not just one, not just two, but three investigators. A couple of week ago, Granite Falls Ward sent us a referral, and they finally came through and we were able to teach this family that has been attending their ward for weeks because of the husband's mother who they knew in the ward and was a recent convert in the Granite Falls Ward. The elders were teaching her and then her son's family, who are the investigators, wanted to be baptized too. Since they live in our ward, they sent the referral to us which makes me so happy!! We got to teach them the restoration on Wednesday, and it felt so good. After our lesson with Barbara, Mike, and Christoper, who is the 11 year old son, we traveled back home feeling good, planned, and went to bed. That was the miracle for the week.

Thursday I had been feeling down again, but as the day went on, I continued to feel better and worked towards happiness. We just visited a lot of people at night time, but we didn't do a lot of work during the day because Elder Stoddard got sick, and we had to make sure he got enough rest.

We helped at the food bank. Elder Stoddard and Elder Poulsen had to go to the mission office for leadership training, and Elder Linsey and I stayed and did some work here. It was a pretty good day. Sorry I'm rushing. I'm running out of time.

We helped move someone from Darrington to somewhere else in the ward. Then we helped at the old folks place and visited some others. We had a good day.

Sunday was great, and we had a good day, but I only have time to share a message and leave.

Something that helped me this week was the scripture that is in D&C 121 "and now my son know that all these things shall give thee experience and shall be for thine own good, therefore hold on!!" This week I have learned to "fear no man" and to continue to grow with the love my Savior has given me. One more thing I want to share, and this is really powerful. Remember how Justin would always say "God doesn't do random?" He is so right, but I want to add to that statement-- God doesn't do random, but He does things for our own benefit. I love you all, and I hope you can see this statement work in your life. Love you all and miss you a ton. Bye!

Elder Hammond

Monday, November 14, 2016

Week 14 Keepin' It Real

Hello, everyone. I've been asked several times, "How are you?" I'll be honest with you guys. I'm not doing so well. I'm not myself anymore. The work up here has not progressed in the last 5 weeks, and we don't have investigators anymore. 3 have been dropped in this transfer, and finding has not been the best. I haven't taught the restoration ever since I was in Bellingham. We are working our butts off trying to find people to teach, but we CAN'T find anyone. No one wants to hear us or be taught. I've asked God to show me change, and I've asked him to prepare hearts, but He hasn't yet. It makes me mad because I'm dedicating my life to this work and nothing is happening. Elder Stoddard and I are both disappointed in how the work goes in the weeks while we do weekly planning, and we feel like we are lost chickens running around with our heads cut off. It makes me sick to my stomach every time I think about how the work could go better, but it's not. We had no teaching appointments this week. We visit people, but we get nothing from them, and people just don't want to be taught. I feel like I'm not even doing missionary work. This week was disappointing, and I just don't know what to do any more. All I can say is pray for me because I need all the help I can get.

I've also been asked if I think I'm going to get transferred again. At this point, I'm not sure. I feel like I won't because there is too much work to be done in this ward, and I can't leave it now. I wish I could tell you of my week, but all that happened this week was just us going house to house trying to meet with people trying to find people. When it comes to Sunday, I look over what I've done in that week, and I feel like the worst missionary ever. Even though this Sunday we are finally getting help from the high council. I don't know if we'll ever get out of this deep hole we're in. We don't even have a ward mission leader that can be here for us and work with us. That's why the high council had to step in because we are the only ones doing the work, and yet we are getting nothing with what is happening.

I hope you all know I love you all greatly. I just don't feel the same as I used to 5 weeks ago. Please pray for me. I want to see miracles, and I have the faith for it. It's just not happening. Keep me in your prayers. Pray for miracles to happen because my prayers have not been answered yet. I love you all, and I hope everything is going well with all of you in Utah and anywhere you may be reading this. You have been in my prayers, and I will continue to pray for you. You're the best home I could ever have, but life is becoming hard for me right now, and I don't mean to blow up on you all. I just don't have that confidence like I used to anymore. I wish the best for you all, and I'll see you soon. I'm going to try to make this last week of the transfer the best, and I know I can do it. I just need some help. Thanks.

Elder Hammond

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Week 13 Another Week in Stillaguamish

This week has been super crazy, but before I get into it I need to answer some more questions that have been asked. I feel like I've answered these questions through all my emails, but that's okay. I'm happy to answer them.

"Grandma Hammond wants to know if you are getting their cards and candy money? Do they forward those to you or do you have to wait until you go to the mission office to get all your regular mail?"
They don't forward packages to us. We have to get those every time we go to the office or if someone in the zone goes to get them during the transfer like for MLC or if there's new mission training or any other reason. To answer this question, I have gotten every package, ever since Halloween, and that's it for the moment. Mail gets forwarded to the apartments, and I've gotten every one of the letters that have been sent to me.

"Do you have any investigators that you are working with right now?" 
Yes and no. Like I said in my last email, the work here has been really hard with getting investigators because no one really wants to be taught. We have two half investigators. Half investigators means that we have taught them lessons, but we haven't had a lesson with them in the last two weeks because they fall off the face of the earth when we go visit them, and they never respond to our texts. We have been given some referrals, but haven't contacted all of them yet. We are hoping to do that tomorrow as we go to Darrington, and yes I do drive. The companionship that is assigned the car are the only ones allowed to drive the car. So yes, I did have to drive to Darrington on my exchange, but that's because I am the missionary over this area. That's how it's suppose to work. Jr. companion or not, I still drive, and it doesn't matter who you are in the companionship. You'er both missionaries of the Lord.

"Have you had any weird new foods you have to eat? Do people feed you a lot of seafood? How are you doing with that?"
Haha! I hate sea food with a passion. It makes me sick every time I eat it. Funny though, ever since I've been out on my mission, I haven't had one bite of sea food because the members haven't fed me any. We get fed pretty well, but this month will be a lot harder because the members didn't really sign up, so we will have to make sure that we are getting fed by members again. If you tell them what you like and dislike, they will make it so that you're happy and that you're getting fed well and the way you want to be fed.

"Are you able to lead discussions on your own now?"
Yes and no, but it's really a companionship effort. As long as we are both working in unity to share the message, it doesn't matter who leads the discussions.

"What have you found to be the greatest challenge?"
The greatest challenge has been finding investigators. Tracting and referrals work out well, but we don't get a lot of referrals. Our area is too big to tract, so we have to rely on the members and our ward to help us. We are really trying though.

"Do you find yourself appreciating different personalities?" 
Ya, everyone is different, and that's the best part that I get to meet so many new people. They are all really cool, and I get to understand so much from them.

I think that's it for questions. I would stop answering them, but I don't get to tell you everything that's going on out here because I don't have enough time. You can send as many as you want to, but I may not be able to answer all of them with the time I get at the library on my session. 

Monday was a super p-day, and we had a great time. We did some shopping, played wally-ball, and had a good dinner. We also played chess with the ZL's for the rest of the night because we had to be in by 6. It was really fun, and I had a good time.

I studied and did some family search, and I really am learning how to use that and how to do the work there. I have to do some research for my family, though. Some people are ready for ordinances, but things like permission and data problems are holding them back. I'm going to need some help from our family search dude. After that, we went to Darrington and did some work down there and then came back around dinner time and did some work in Arlington.

Wednesday we had district meeting, and we talked about having confidence in ourselves as missionaries. It was a good meeting. We did a lot of service for some members and some other people as well, and that was good. We organized the mini MTC day for our ward, and I can't wait!! I'm so excited for it because it's going to be like ours at home but a lot shorter!!!

Thursday we did a lot of work and tried to see as many people as we could so that we can have investigators, but no luck....

Friday we helped at the food bank and then we did weekly planing. We did some service for another member who is less active, and we got to help her in her horse stall while learning about horses. It was pretty cool.

We helped at the old folks place for 2 hours, and then we did a lot of visits. It was a good day.

Sunday I fasted the whole day. I fasted for the help to find ways to increase our finding progress in the mission and many other things. I learned so much yesterday that I will have to tell you about later because I don't have the time.

Oh to answer one more question. Mom, almost all the members have been sending you the pics, but the one that has sent them the most is a family called the Anglens. They're a great family, and yes, they are the family that has the drums, grand piano, and guitar. We spend a lot of time with them because they really like feeding us dinner. They also have a son out in Long Beach, California so they like the company of missionaries. They love it when I play their stuff. I love it too, if you can't tell.

Hi, Mom! Look what I got to play?

I have time for a spiritual message so I'm going to share one. Today my spiritual message comes from 1 Nephi 18: 10-25. Now I'm not going to write it all so ill just copy it all from

10 And I, Nephi, began to fear exceedingly lest the Lord should be angry with us, and smite us because of our iniquity, that we should be swallowed up in the depths of the sea; wherefore, I, Nephi, began to speak to them with much soberness; but behold they were angry with me, saying: We will not that our younger brother shall be a ruler over us. 

11 And it came to pass that Laman and Lemuel did take me and bind me with cords, and they did treat me with much harshness; nevertheless, the Lord did suffer it that he might show forth his power, unto the fulfilling of his word which he had spoken concerning the wicked. 

12 And it came to pass that after they had bound me insomuch that I could not move, the compass, which had been prepared of the Lord, did cease to work. 

13 Wherefore, they knew not whither they should steer the ship, insomuch that there arose a great storm, yea, a great and terrible tempest, and we were driven back upon the waters for the space of three days; and they began to be frightened exceedingly lest they should be drowned in the sea; nevertheless they did not loose me. 

14 And on the fourth day, which we had been driven back, the tempest began to be exceedingly sore. 

15 And it came to pass that we were about to be swallowed up in the depths of the sea. And after we had been driven back upon the waters for the space of four days, my brethren began to see that the judgments of God were upon them, and that they must perish save that they should repent of their iniquities; wherefore, they came unto me, and loosed the bands which were upon my wrists, and behold they had swollen exceedingly; and also mine ankles were much swollen, and great was the soreness thereof. 

16 Nevertheless, I did look unto my God, and I did praise him all the day long; and I did not murmur against the Lord because of mine afflictions. 

17 Now my father, Lehi, had said many things unto them, and also unto the sons of Ishmael; but, behold, they did breathe out much threatenings against anyone that should speak for me; and my parents being stricken in years, and having suffered much grief because of their children, they were brought down, yea, even upon their sick-beds. 

18 Because of their grief and much sorrow, and the iniquity of my brethren, they were brought near even to be carried out of this time to meet their God; yea, their grey hairs were about to be brought down to lie low in the dust; yea, even they were near to be cast with sorrow into a watery grave. 

19 And Jacob and Joseph also, being young, having need of much nourishment, were grieved because of the afflictions of their mother; and also my wife with her tears and prayers, and also my children, did not soften the hearts of my brethren that they would loose me. 

20 And there was nothing save it were the power of God, which threatened them with destruction, could soften their hearts; wherefore, when they saw that they were about to be swallowed up in the depths of the sea they repented of the thing which they had done, insomuch that they loosed me. 

21 And it came to pass after they had loosed me, behold, I took the compass, and it did work whither I desired it. And it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord; and after I had prayed the winds did cease, and the storm did cease, and there was a great calm. 

22 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did guide the ship, that we sailed again towards the promised land. 

23 And it came to pass that after we had sailed for the space of many days we did arrive at the promised land; and we went forth upon the land, and did pitch our tents; and we did call it the promised land. 

24 And it came to pass that we did begin to till the earth, and we began to plant seeds; yea, we did put all our seeds into the earth, which we had brought from the land of Jerusalem. And it came to pass that they did grow exceedingly; wherefore, we were blessed in abundance. 

25 And it came to pass that we did find upon the land of promise, as we journeyed in the wilderness, that there were beasts in the forests of every kind, both the cow and the ox, and the ass and the horse, and the goat and the wild goat, and all manner of wild animals, which were for the use of men. And we did find all manner of ore, both of gold, and of silver, and of copper.

Now there is a lot of reading, but there is a really good principle in this story. That principle is God loves each and everyone of us, but when we choose to sin, then shall our consequence be great and exceedingly terrifying. As true as this principal can be, the second part of it is also true. If we hasten to repent and ask God for forgiveness, He will bless each of us. Brothers and sisters, I know that this is true. I have seen this work in my life, and I know it can work in your life too. You just have to let Jesus in your life and let Him take away the pain and sufferings that you are going through. As I have been on a mission, I have gained a further understanding of the atonement, and I know if we repent of our sins and ask for forgiveness, God will lead us to our "promised land." He loves each and every one of us. I know this is true, and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

--Elder Hammond