Thursday, March 27, 2014

March 24, 2014

Hey guys!!! Great to hear from you today!

Transfers - I am being transferred to Columbia! Elder Holt is also being transferred to an area that is in my zone. So we will still see each other a bit. We are being replaced with sister missionaries. I think that will be a huge blessing for this area.  I'm not going to lie, I'm ready to leave here... It's been a tough area because we have had to change things around. Looking back on the area when I first got here and where it is now - It's like a totally different area. I feel like we have done a lot of really good work here in this ward. It's been challenging though because we have been forced to be pretty innovative in how we have made improvments in the area. We have torn it up, just shredded the area. Ah, so many miracles have happened while we have been here to change this area. There are miracles happening here, and when the sisters get here they will be able to capitalize on them way better than we  could have. It would have been tough to stay another transfer. It's tough to continue performing on the edge of your ability, you know? I feel like that's the situation we have been in here. I feel like Elder Holt and I have put in like all we had and the Lord has blessed the people through our efforts. It's cool to look back on the things that happened while we were here. I told Elder Holt yesterday as we were reminiscing - remember the first day you were here and I told you that you were brand new and I wasn't sure what I was doing and that many miracles were going to happen because the Lord uses the weak things of the world to bring about great things? Well, that happened. The entire feel of this area is different. The sisters coming in will have a totally different perception of the work that has previously gone on than I did when came to Annapolis. It is a testimony to me that the Lord will help us as we turn to him. It's just crazy... but anyway... we are excited for this area because miracles are going to continue to abound, let me tell you... 

We had some pretty sweet things happen this week. Monday night was St. Patricks day. We had an appointment to go and visit the Bruneman family that night so we were walking to their house. No bikes due to snow. On the way, Bro Bruneman stopped in front of us in his mini and asked if we would like a ride. Of course, we said yes, and therefore, we got there a little early. Early enough that they hadn't had dinner yet. So, they invited us to join them  for dinner. We had corned beef and cabbage on St. Patricks day! It was magically delicious! haha And we had a great visit with them. Then, he gave us a ride to our next appointment. haha So that was pretty sweet. 

Wednesday was crazy... It was planned to be a great day but everything fell through. Every single appointment or opportunity to do something. It was nuts... We rode past the Weurdeman's place and noticed that their wood pile was slightly diminished. Oh, minor detail... It was pouring rain that entire day before this.... The Weurdeman's burn wood to a lot and the wood stack that they pull from was soaked. So, we went and pulled some wood out from the big wood pile in the back. And we pulled it from the bottom so it was dryer and stacked that on top of their pile that they take into burn... I didn't explain that very well but it was nice of us. haha So last week, Sis Weurdeman told us we had to stop by if we were getting transferred, They invited us in and we had a great visit. They were sad to see  us go and they noticed that we had kept refilling their wood pile and they thanked us for that.... So, they are sad to see us go... From talking with them we learned that we were the first missionaries to come into the house in over eight years.... Now they are feeding us dinner tonight! Boom, miracle!!! They were very insistant that we come over tonight for dinner! They want the missionaries in their home! That's crazy!  Ah! I'm really excited about that miracle! So cool! 

Friday was interesting. It rained a lot that day.  We had a lot of great plans but then when we started to do stuff it looked like it was all going to fall apart but then it all worked out. haha It was a really busy day. We had six set appointments that were scattered all over the place. On bikes thats pretty tough... So we were very blessed to have it all work out the way it did. And we were lucky we followed some promptings from the spirit, otherwise, we would have been in trouble. 

So somehow, we ended up with a tennis ball in our apartment. Obviously, I had to play with it and it was pretty distracting, not going to lie. haha Anyway, I'm pretty focused on mission work... I'm not a huge fan of talking about things from home, especially tennis stuff with other missionaries, because it is a needless distraction...(not to say that tennis doesn't cross my mind every day, That would be impossible. I just don't talk about it much except as a tool to build some trust with people:) haha Anyway, Elder Holt was insistent that we keep the tennis ball. I had to get rid of it. haha So, we went out to visit a less active member and courts just happened to be on the way to her house... As we walked by I was like, "Hey, look at that" pointing the other direction, and as he looked I pulled it out of my coat pocket and threw it onto the courts.... haha  He looked back around trying to figure out what I just did and then he heard the ball hit the court haha and thus ended the tennis balls stay in our apartment. haha It was pretty funny.

We had a great visit with the Huffman's last night. Their daughter Alexis had her baptismal interview yesterday as well. We are so excited for that family. They are working hard to be ready to go to the temple and be sealed as a family! That is an amazing miracle. The progress that the Huffman family has made is just amazing. Bro Huffman has been working hard to be a better ward mission leader and he is improving a ton! It's just awesome! It was kinda sad though... We found out about transfers early Sunday morning. After her interview with the bishop, Alexis runs out and says, "I want you to come to my baptism! Are you coming?" haha We were like "Um.. we want too..." haha She is sad that we won't be there for it. But she wants to be a missionary and so we talked up the sisters a lot. They will be good for her. 

We had a cool visit with Sister Dembia the other night too... We stopped by and just knocked. She was the only one home so we just talked with her on the doorstep. She told us about how she wanted her family to respect her beliefs more and get on board. She talked a lot about how she wanted to live her religion better. It was cool and we were there to build her up, give some ways to start doing that and so forth... We hadn't planned on stopping by at all. This all just kinda happened. Then, at the end, we found ourselves inviting her to ask her boss to let he off work on Sunday morning so she can go to church. She says she will ask too. So that was pretty cool. Plus, we had just intended to stop by and set up an appt., as we were on our way to another set appt. We had a great visit with Sister Dembia that went pretty long. So we missed our set appointment but they called and left a voice mail saying they  couldn't make it either. So, when we heard that after we left the Dembia's, we felt better. It's nice to know that the Lord can fix our plans if they aren't what he wants to happen. haha

I rolled my ankle again this week... which is really not cool... I'm back in the brace again, just limping around.. so stupid. We were at a member's house yesterday and one of the kids wanted us to come outside and play around for a minute. So we go out and I just kinda slipped and rolled it.  So anyway... lots of ice baths... And, I'm back in the brace 24/7 for the next two weeks, I guess. Maybe my next area will be a car area and I will be able to give it a little more rest. We will see. 

A theme of my studies, as of late, has been studying the theme of "inasmuch as ye keep my commandments, ye shall prosper in the land" in the Book of Mormon. I have found a number of references to this phrase. My count is either 18 or nineteen of the phrase and a few more of the same idea in different words which puts it closer to 22 times in the Book of Mormon. I can't remember.. I have it written down somewhere... I've really gone nuts with this looking for different themes in the Book of Mormon. But, it has made for very profitable studies. I love it. But I wish I could apply what I learn more quickly. haha Like when the lord commands - do it. When we are prompted by the spirit - do it! Then, we will prosper in the land! It shouldn't be so hard... I hope I learn sooner rather than later. ugh... But I do love that theme of the Book of Mormon. It should be our top priority to keep the commandments of God, simply because we should all want to prosper in the land. haha Success is in the details..  It's all about the little things that we do. We just need to do what the Lord asks of us so that he can bless us. So simple. Like tithing. I love how the Lord says "prove me now herewith" and see if I will not bless you. I think it is like that with all of his commandments. He says "I'll tell you what. Just try me. Do what I say and just see if I will bless you. Just try me. Go for it. Any time. Just try it and see if I do not pour out a blessing upon you that there shall not be room enough to receive it." ....Early on in the Book of Mormon, when this is brought up, Lehi says, "I have obtained the promise of the Lord that if ye will keep his commandments, ye shall prosper in the land." We have the promise of the Lord. He has promised us. What a blessing. What an opportunity. It's like a standing offer. So simple. I love that about our Father in Heaven. He has promised us that is the way it works. That's pretty cool. 

It is crazy how fast time has gone... Mom pointed out the fun fact that I'm almost twenty.... That's messed up. I don't want to be twenty. I feel like a kid. I feel like there is no way I could possibly be turning twenty in a month. Anyway... I should be going now.  I will talk to you next week! Until then, have a great week! 

ps. Two more week til general conference!!! 

Love you guys,
elder hinkle

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