Tuesday, May 12, 2015

May 11, 2015

Hey guys! It was good to talk to you yesterday! That was fun! I am glad that you were able to meet B and N! They are awesome! For Jordan and Jenna and Jack - remember this is why we serve missions! To help people like B and N be as happy as we are. B touched on how his mom passed away when he was young. As he has learned about the restored gospel, he has expressed to us his joy in learning that he will see his mom again. One of the big things that resonated with him is that he would see her again after this life. It was a special event this Saturday, as N was baptized in behalf of B's mom. N has never met his mom, but she felt honored to stand in her place and be baptized. They were thrilled as they did the work that B's mom needs to enter the celestial kingdom. The gospel has given this family the hope that they will be together forever, and has also provided the power and the direction they needed to do so. Again this is why we do what we do as missionaries. I wish I could show a before and after spiritual picture of B and N. Then, perhaps you would see even more of the value there is in in the work of salvation. It is the greatest work on the earth. It is a honor and a privilege to be involved in it. 

I give you another reason why we serve as full-time missionaries. One word - D. The baptism was amazing.  We asked her if she had a favorite scripture that she would like to include. She did indeed: 2 Ne 4:28-30. "Awake my soul! No longer droop in sin! Rejoice o my heart and give place no more for the enemy of my soul! Do not anger because of mine enemies. Do not slacken my strength because of my afflictions. Rejoice o my heart and cry unto the Lord and say:O Lord, I will praise thee forever  Yea my soul will rejoice in thee my God and the rock of my salvation." There could not have been a more fitting set of verses.  D was just full of joy that day. Smiling from ear to ear. It was so good to see.  The baptism was well attended. The ward showed great support.  Everything was awesome. The next day, D came to church and was confirmed a member and given the gift of the Holy Ghost. It was awesome. It doesn't get better than that. To see the gospel effect a change like this in someone's life, especially in the life of someone I have grown to love is a miracle. This is why we serve as missionaries. To be the vessel, to take the Lord's message to his sons and daughters who are perishing in unbelief because they know not where to find the one thing that will help them. They wander in darkness while we are blessed to walk in the light. It is our duty to take that light with us wherever we go. It is our duty to answer the call of the Lord to serve as his missionaries. To be his servants and share the light of Christ with others. 

The Lord has blessed me richly as I have been in His service. Initially, I chose to serve a mission because I wanted to follow the Lord, to do what He wanted me to do. I felt indebted to Him. As my mission draws to an end, I am devastated because I do not want to leave the people behind. It will be hard to come home. I think I will miss my mission every day for the rest of my life. I am grateful that I chose to follow the Lord and do what he would have me do. I am grateful that as I have done so, he has changed me and used me to help other great people. I now feel even more indebted to him. 

Gotta go. 

I love you guys!
elder Hinkle

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

May 4, 2015

Hey guys! 
Good to hear from you guys again today! Sounds like you are having lots of fun back there. That's good. Good things just keep happening out here! It's been so so good! ah!! It's been the best! Everything is working out just fine. The Lord truly prepares a way that all things He requires may be accomplished as we work hard and follow His counsel. I have learned that over and over again this transfer. It has been a big load to manage and coordinate all the work going on here but it sure is great to be working hard and seeing miracles happen! 

Brother P! We went to the family history center this Wednesday and we printed off ordinance cards for both of his parents! Then Thursday, we went down to perform the baptisms. Sister N and sister M came with us. Sis N was baptized first for brother P's mother. And bro P was watching. It was a sweet moment. Then, he was baptized for his father.  Elder Smith and I were able to perform the confirmations. It was an emotional day for bro P. It hasn't been too often that he has been emotional in our visits but as his parents were baptized and confirmed, he was so happy and he was crying there in the temple. We had the whole baptistry to ourselves. It was so sweet. Elder Smith and I were the witnesses for the baptisms. Then, we went to the visitors center with him for a moment afterwards. It was such a good experience for him! He loved it and he assured the friendly temple workers that he would be back again.  There was this one temple worker who started talking to bro P and I, and he learned that Joe was recently baptized. We were like how was your day so far? He said "oh, glorious! Every day is glorious in the temple!" And we told him that bro P was just baptized for his parents. He says, "Oh! That's great! Great, grand, and glorious!" haha So glorious is our new word. haha It was so funny. Priceless. Bro P has received a calling as a stake day of service committee member. He received home teacher. The guy who will home teach him is an ordained seventy from back when they had stake seventy. He is awesome!. We are going to coordinate with him and begin the new member lessons with bro P, shortly. He also received a home-teaching assignment. All things are a go. And he is going to be one of the witnesses at D's baptism this coming Saturday! All things are going well for him now.

B and N were baptized on Saturday! Fantastic service! Bro P offered the opening prayer! haha It was so sweet! And in his prayer, he said glorious. haha There was a huge turn out. There were like upwards of fifty or more people there! I think he was a little nervous to offer the invocation but he did a great job! All the missionaries that taught them came back to the service! Elder Burgess and elder Vandergraff were both there. It was a sweet day for both of them as well! And it was fun for us to see each other! It was a powerful service and the spirit was really strong. B and N were so happy. Their testimonies at the end were very inspiring.  The ward loves them so much. It is awesome! The next day, at church was great as well. They were both confirmed and B was ordained a priest. They both have their temple recommends and we are going to do family history with them on Wednesday. That will be awesome! Miracles in the B ward! 

D!  All is well with D as well! She is set to be baptized on Saturday! She is very excited. With each baptism she attends, she feels better and better about it. She is in a good place right now. We are working hard to help her this week. She is a miracle! I will send you some more pictures next week! 

The work of the Lord is rolling here! It's incredible! It has been such a good transfer. It is hard to believe it is almost over. It's sad.. it makes me focus though. Every night when I lie down, I feel like I can see a big calendar hanging over my head. Like one of the calendars that is a thick stack of paper and each page has one day on it. And each day one more page falls down. And the pages are big metal pages. Pages and days that cannot be put back up... it drives me to do everything I can in the last two weeks. Each night, I review the day's activities and I am happy to say that at the end of each night, I have felt that I have done all I could that day. That is a peaceful feeling. It is hard to leave though.... after having stayed on top of things and been so involved with these people for so long it is a very anxious feeling I get when I think of not being here and directly involved anymore. I look forward to connecting with them as soon as I get home. And with brother K. But I trust the Lord and I know he will take care of them. 

I have my exit interview on Tuesday... that's unreal... pray for me. I don't even know what to expect. I feel like a dead man. Sister K bore her testimony on Sunday. She told her story of how she found the church and fell away and then came back. She first met missionaries only shortly before I met her last year. And that is when she started coming back. I told her that before I leave again, we should have another oreo party! Just like last time! She agrees! haha She also suggested that we do bring some ice cream. haha She did not know that I was leaving so soon. haha This ward is just too cool. This has been the best place to serve my last transfer! It's awesome!

C is also doing great! We met with him this week and we talked very specifically about baptism and what it will take. We gave an overview of all of the commandments. He agreed to live all of them. 

Well, I have gotta go now. It has been fun to talk to you guys today. I will see you Sunday. That will be lots of fun; I am looking forward to it. Oh shoot! I just realized that my exit interview is tomorrow!!! Flip! Man, that just got real... 

I love you guys,
elder Hinkle

Monday, May 4, 2015

April 27, 2015

Hey guys! It was good to hear from all of you this week! Thank you for more birthday wishes. haha Just rub it in... I'm getting old. haha 

Interview with president went well this week. It was pretty quick. We talked about the good things happening in the ward and just followed up about a few things we had talked about before. Then we had the temple recommend interview. It was a privilege to be interviewed again to receive a temple recommend. 

B and N are officially brother and sister G! The wedding was fantastic. We went for the ceremony and stayed briefly to meet the family. It was awesome.  Everything is moving along perfectly for them. We will go over tomorrow night and then see them every night after that leading up to their baptism on Saturday. I will send you another picture next week! It's going to be awesome! We have the interview this Wednesday. They are doing so great. We met their family too. They are all pretty cool. They loved the wedding. It was awesome to see how much the ward has come together to help them out. So, so cool. The baptism will be even better. It's all planned and good to go. Nothing but good things to say about these guys.

D has been going strong as well. She is only two weeks away from her scheduled date. What a miracle that is. The L family has been out of town for the week. They got back last night. While they were gone, they had Debbie stay in their house and asked her to paint their shutters white. They told her we could help her. Brilliant. So we did. We went over a few days this week and helped her paint and spent some time with her. She is in Jacob seven last we talked to her! What a great example for all of us of daily scripture study. 

J- Still the man. While I was with D that night elder Smith was with bro P and the high priest group leader searching out family names for bro P. Then, we are aiming to go to the temple this Thursday.  Bro N cannot come. But sister N can and is willing to do some of his family names, like his mom. That will be awesome! We are still working out the final details of the trip. We tried to wait for bro N but the wait would have been too long. So that will be a blast this week. We cannot do baptisms but we will be there for support. 

C came to conference! That was sweet! He loved it! Elder Hales talked a lot about what we teach our children and how we teach them. C said that part really hit home. Perfect. We are going to see him Wednesday again. And he has read another book of mormon chapter! He is doing great! It is good to see him keeping commitments! When you keep commitments, you receive blessings! So that was good! We have great hopes with him and we are going to set a date with him this week! Unfortunately, it will most likely be after the end of this transfer. He has some lifestyle changes that he must make before he can be baptized. But I think he will do it. 

After church, president M called us and invited us over for lunch! It was a blast! They are an awesome family! We had a great time there! And we talked about their family mission plan. After brother P's baptism, a discussion sparked in their home about how this man had not been invited to learn more in 27 years of living in such close proximity to strong members of the church. And the M's resolved that there was more that they could do. It was cool too see how missionary-minded they were.

I am loving being here. It will be hard to leave. I am glad we have so much to do before then. I feel like I have been able to finish out my mission in the best way possible. It's been sweet.  I wish I had more time. I'll be sure to make these last three weeks count. My time in full time missionary service means more to me than I can express. 

I will talk to you guys next week! 

I love you guys!
elder Hinkle