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 lds.org.

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

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