Tuesday, January 28, 2014

January 27, 2014

Our week was great! It is freezing cold. Really, really cold. But it has been a good week. The blizzard I was talking about last week was a blessing in disguise. We went out that night and shoveled Mindy's driveway, a less active member, and then we went around her neighborhood asking if we could shovel people's driveways for free. After they got over the shock that people would do something like that they were quite grateful. We got a return appointment with a family this Wednesday night. And on the way home, we found a guy who is interested in learning more about our message. Super cool guy named Eric. We have an appointment to see him this Friday. And he is actually really interested. Hopefully, we can help him. 

Ryan is doing good. We were going to meet with him Tuesday but 'the yard' went on lock down due to the snow. No one went in and no one went out. So we taught him Thursday. He texted us before, saying that he had read through the gospel of Jesus Christ pamphlet and he had no questions...and felt good about it. So we asked him to read Alma 32. In preparation for that lesson, I also read Alma 32 and was thinking about how the lesson would go and how we could help Ryan. I felt like that lesson was going to go really smooth.  It was cool. So, we followed up on what he meant when he said that he felt good about the gospel of Jesus Christ. We asked where he was as being ready to be baptized. He said, "On a scale of one to ten?" We said sure. And he said ten. haha He loved Alma 32 and so he was sharing with us what stood out to him. Well, the spirit guided our preparation so it was just all super smooth. I love when you can see the spirit guiding you and helping the missionaries be more effective. That's when you really feel like God is in control of His work. So, we asked Ryan when he wanted to be baptized and he chose the eighth of February. We are stoked for him. We need to meet with him quite a bit this week and then, Elder Riddle our district leader needs to interview him. Hopefully, all of that goes well. Ryan announced that he was getting baptized on Feb 8th to pretty much all of the mids. haha It was cool. Everyone clapped. haha We are meeting with him tonight and it should be sweet! 

So the day after that, we had the mission conference with Elder Nielson! That was awesome! I could have listened to him speak all day long. It was kinda cool, he told us about how before he came out to speak to us he was in the Bountiful temple praying to know what message he needed to share with us missionaries.  Then, he hopped on the plane and flew out here. He asked us to think about our perfect day. Then, he asked if our perfect day we thought of was our mission. Because, it should be! He talked about how serving a mission is like one on one time with the Lord. It is our time to get to know Him and learn all we can from Him. It is our time to give Him all our heart might mind and strength. It was cool because I went in with the question of how can I give more of myself to the Lord? And, he talked about that a bit. He talked a lot about how the mission is one on one time with the Lord, and it will be the only time in life when we are in that position. It is true and it really is a neat opportunity. I have thought a lot lately about this. Mosiah 2:34 says, render unto God all that you have and are. I read that and it has been on my mind constantly for the longest time. I have really been pondering that a lot lately. Elder Nielson didn't specifically tell me what I needed to do but he did give some great insights on it. And I learned a lot. So yeah.. it was the best day. It was too short.. . He only talked for like two hours... haha which was really sweet. He also shared a lot of what it was like being a general authority. You can tell that he just loves it. He is so excited about being about our Father's business. He is a super neat guy. You guys should read his bio. He has had an awesome life. haha His commentator nickname was "the Gif" haha Fun fact... 

Saturday, we went down to Arlington. It was so cold. It was kinda miserable. We picked up all of the wreaths in the cemetery and froze to death. Then, we went over to see the tomb of the unknown soldier and we got there right before they were about to change the gaurd so we got to see that. It was pretty cool. Being outside that long in the cold got me pretty sick though.... I'm feeling miserable at the moment. But who else can say they did that on their mission? So it was pretty cool. I did take pictures too. Hopefully, I remember to send them. That night, we had dinner with the Dembia family! That is always a blast! They are so fun! And Sister Dembia came to church again this week! We are stoked that she has been coming! And we watched a video about temples with them that night and the nonmembers in the family were asking a bunch of questions and were interested in the answers. So that was cool. Before dinner there, we stopped by a less active guy who is like 84. We knock on the door and he answers. He let us in and then asked who we were. We told him the mormon missionaries and he informerd us that he didn't want to be preached to and we should leave. But he missed his chance, he had already let us in. So I just started talking to him like we would a street contact. We started talking and then his wife came out and we started talking to her. Very persistant, just question after question, making good conversation. Finally, after like five minutes they were just like, "Alright, just go sit in the living room." haha So we got in. Turns out they are super interesting people and we had a great visit. At the end they told us we could stop by anytime! haha It was sweet. So now we have some more people to talk to. We also had great success doing the same thing with another part-member less active family eariler in the week. It was awesome. We had a great week this week.

Oh, huge highlight for the week - in the Book of Mormon, there are six places where it uses the phrase "one by one".  I finally found all six. I'm pretty excited about it. I have also thought a lot about what that phrase means lately as I have looked for those six instances. Most of the time, when this phrase is used, the Savior is doing something. And, it is really cool to think about how our Father in heaven and our Savior know us individually and work with us on a one on one basis. It has been really fun to look for those scriptures and think about what each one teaches. 

Hey, I've gotta run now.. I'll talk to you guys later!! Have a great week!!! 

Love you guys! 
Elder Hinkle

Friday, January 3, 2014

December 30, 2013

Hi Family,

It was great to talk to you guys on Christmas! That was pretty neat. It felt like I was in an appointment with an active member family. Just stopping by, trying to build some trust. haha It was kind of weird, not going to lie. But it was way fun. If you were one of my member families you would be the best! We definitely thanked the Huffman’s a ton for letting us use their computers. It’s funny, it was only Wednesday but enough has happened that it does feel like it was still a while ago. It was great to talk to you guys though, it really was. 

We had a good Christmas party that night. It was fun, but they kept us there forever. We were there for around five hours... that’s a long time. haha Crazy people. So when we visited the Huffman’s on Christmas day they were all sick... stomach virus. So it was really nice of them to let us come over anyway. So we went to the party that night. And now a ton of people in the ward got sick. Sister Huffman posted a picture of the missionaries on facebook shortly after a comment about the family being sick... the other sisters in the ward noticed and so now everyone knows that the Huffman’s got everyone sick. The ward can’t blame the missionaries... 

We got really sick too. We were doing service at a less active/part member family. We were raking leaves and I might have thrown up a lot in one of the leaf piles.... We laughed about it. I’m pretty sure they weren’t offended; they still love me. They took us to get some dinner for Elder Plumb and he got this huge burger. So later that night he got sick too and it all came up... We were out of commission for all of Friday and all of Saturday. Longest days ever!!! I hate being bed-ridden. But, we are doing better now. I lost a bunch of weight... so lame... I’m still not quite all the way better. I haven’t really started to eat normal yet, but I can work... working is so much better than sitting around. 

Transfers are this week. Wednesday. We found out last night that I stay and he goes, as predicted. But the news that no one saw coming is that I am going to be training a new elder. So you may want to include him in your prayers for the next few days... It's weird to think that I will be training in a few days. Training is for the old elders... the ones who know what they are doing.... haha Some one goofed here… No, just playin’. I’m sure that it will go well. We have Ryan’s baptism to look forward to. It will be sweet to let the new guy be part of that. He will get some solid teaching visits fairly often. That’s huge. 

I’m not sure that I feel super ready to train someone new, but at the same time I think this is a great opportunity to go through all of the training material again! haha I can be retrained! Hopefully, the greenie is pretty cool and we can learn to work well together.  I’m stoked that the Lord and President Richards think I am ready to train but I am well aware of how under-developed my fundamentals are and so I feel like I have a lot of work to do. I’ve gotta’ step it up. haha So next week you get the update on the new companion and how that goes.

Oh! So, we did have the opportunity to go to the temple on the twenty- sixth! It was pretty cool. The DC temple is awesome! I’m going there some day. We, as parking staff, were not really needed but we were really there to answer questions and make people feel welcome and stuff like that. It was freezing. We stood outside for like four and a half hours. But they did give us the traffic light-saber things to play with. Kids kept asking if they could hold it... haha Oh, and I saw one of my friends from the Frederick ward there! Kelsey Canizales. He was the bishop’s son back in Frederick. He leaves on his mission this Wednesday. I was kinda’ bummed that I stayed so long in Frederick and then I missed his farewell. But, he was there with his little sister that night. So I was working the crosswalk and greeting people and whatever. So as he was walking out I just casually said like "have a great night Kelsey" haha He was pretty shocked to see me... the temple is out of mission boundaries. hahaha So it was cool. Oh and get this... he went to BYU for a semester. His roommate was Jihoon, the super good tennis player from Highland. It was pretty crazy. Last I heard, Jihoon was trying out for the BYU team and it looked good. You should check the roster and see if he made it... Kelsey leaves for Australia in two days... He came out and worked with us a bunch. He will be a really good missionary. 

As promised, I did take a picture of the DC temple. It’s not a great picture but I’ll still send it. haha We didn’t have a ton of time so I just snapped one really fast before we left. 

New Year’s Eve day and New Years day are no proselyting. All day… We aren’t quite sure what we are going to do... no parties this time… Well none that we know of right now... Hopefully, someone invites us to something. haha It will be nice for the new elder to take some time to get settled in though. And we won't have to take away from proselyting time to shop for him and stuff like that. I just hope he has a bike... it is possible that he doesn’t... I didn’t have mine immediately.. if he doesn’t, then we are going to be walking a lot. haha 

Elder Hilliard will be back in town in time for transfers which is nice because he has a big car. Since I am training, I have to be at a meeting in Colombia that starts at eight-thirty that morning... Columbia is about an hour away... So, we will get an early start that morning... haha Still weird to think that I am going to the trainer meeting. 

Well, I hope that you are having a great vacation. I am sure you are. I would love to hear all of your goals next week. I will share mine with you as well. If you have any goals that you would like to suggest that I make feel free to send those as well. haha 

Oh hey! One of my favorite parts about this Christmas season was that I took some time to read that book you sent me, “Believing Christ”. It is a really good book. Have you read it? It was cool for me because I read it on Christmas Eve. I read it straight through. I had read parts before that but not the entire thing. (not a ton of free time). But it is a great book on the atonement and all about what Christ has done for us all. It broke down the subject of the atonement very simply and it makes a whole lot more sense now. I think that before I read it I believed a lot of the things he talks about. I just didn’t have words for it. Now, I can put words to it I am finding that many scriptures have a new spin that make them way cool. It was perfect to read at Christmas time because Christmas is all about how much God loves us. He loves us immensely. He loves us so much, he provided a way for us to return to him even at the cost of sending his Only Begotten son, Jesus Christ to suffer and die for us. That is amazing. God's love is truly something to celebrate during the Christmas season. I thought back to the times in my own life when I have felt God’s love personally and those are time’s to celebrate! I think it is also appropriate to look to Christ at new years when we are setting goals. With His help we can do more than we could alone. That should be taken into consideration and give us much more hope. When you guys take the time to set goals or if you are looking for something to talk about on new years there is a great new mormon message called "don’t look back." (I think) haha 

Anyway, I’ve gotta’ go. I will talk to you guys next week. Happy new years!


Elder Hinkle