Here is a document of my Homecoming talk for all to read forevermore. At this time, this story, and this blog finally comes to an end. It's been a wonderful Mission, and experience. Farewell. - Tyler White
Dear family and everyone else,
I have been thinking recently of what to share in my last letter while still on my mission in California. I was thinking about what Paul said to his son Timothy before he departed from this life through beheading by the Romans due to unrighteous judgement by Nero and the Christian persecution. 2 Timothy 4:6-8 reads, "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight , I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." I feel and also continue to pray in my heart that none of my work will go in vain that some of the people of whom I have changed their course in life for the better, will stay on the course that have been shown unto them.
I think often about Marcia Baker, Sally Molinari, Maria Cursay, Athena, Jasmine, Marcus, and his mom, Sister Rutherford. I worry for them if they have truly stuck to the path to make it back to our Father in Heaven's love and ultimately, exaltation. Not only will we be in His presence, but we will be like Him in every way. Some I heard have strayed and did not endure to the end. Others continue to strive for greater kindness, better help from others to be lifted up to a higher plane of action and thought. For those out there who struggle in their testimonies in Jesus Christ and the resurrection, I give this advice at this time. Doubt comes when we do not obey the simple commandments the Lord has given us. We also doubt because we are not strengthening our seed of faith, and it will shrivel and die. How we can nurture is by reading the scriptures, inquiring for personal revelation, and continuing to be strengthened by coming to church to take the sacrament, and renewing our friendships so we can uplift one another. Faith is also a substance of our action.
Hebrews 11 talks much on the events that faith has done through the prophets of ancient days. I felt only to quote verses 1-13 for this is most suiting for the situation. "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. By faith Abraham... sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:... Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. THESE ALL DIED IN FAITH, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth."
I think that is enough spiritual advice and strength I can leave for all forever on my mission blog. The last thing that may go up is my homecoming talk that I will be sharing this next Sunday. As for my week, last night we were able to hear about the transfer news. Elder Ashcraft will be training for the first time. I guess I was the final companion to help him be all prepared for such a task. I showed him how we should be organized in our area book and how we can consult together about what is the next best move. It will be an amazing experience for him. There is still so much to do in this area--finish the potential investigator sheets, visit the prospective elders and part-members. Finally when that's done, they can track new houses that probably haven't been tracked in years since that has not been the case. We have been trained by many to use the area book as much as we can. Trackting was usually the last resort, but lately I have been seeing much success in finding new people. I feel confident that Elder Ashcraft will do great as a new trainer starting tomorrow.
Last night, we were able to teach the Hernandez family one last time before I head to Modesto tomorrow and then fly home on Wednesday. So far, we have done lessons 1 through 4. We talked about temples, family history, and in depth-the priesthood, and promised them that they too will be able to receive the gift and power of God after they are baptized. It is sad that I won't be able to see them be baptized, but it's not about me, it's most of all about them--to be sure that they are spiritually converted first before they make that final step toward baptism, but they said that they will be baptized. They just want to be sure first.
Also last night, my last supper in this area was with the Van-Lehn's. I'm sorry, but I forgot my camera again that night, so I was not able to get a picture with them or the meal they prepared. It was a good continental breakfast for dinner though-- sausage patties, pancakes, eggs, and oranges. It was all really good. The real last supper will actually be with the Palmer's house in Ripon. I'm excited to know what it is. I got my bike all packed up by the way. I just need to order the price tag online on bikeflights which is the cheapest way to send it through FedEx. I just need to pack my trunks/bags today. Surprisingly, I haven't been too 'Trunky' as they say, where you are always thinking about home, but now I should be thinking about it. Utah here I come.
May the Lord sucker you in your afflictions
The dictionary tradition--to be given to Elder Beus who I trained.
The greatly worn dictionary that Elder Boyes gave me.
Dear family and everyone else,
Breaking news! A random bird just flew into the Family History Center window just now. We aren't sure if it broke it's neck, leg, or if it just has whiplash. The poor thing is just panting like crazy, so we just put it under a tree. It reminded me one time of a bird that did the same thing back at home. I was sitting on the couch one day in the greeting room and then bang! I told my mom, "A bird just flew into the window."
Anyways, we had a good week sharing the gospel. I was also told that there is like 25 feet of snow in the Sierra Mountains. Someone showed us a huge wall of snow next to a road or something with a little person standing next to it being dwarfed by the white wall. All the reservoirs have also filled to the brim from all the rain, snow, and the mix that melted a lot of the snow as well. The Lord has indeed poured out a blessing after 4 long years of praying for rain. The blessing was so much, that there is not enough room to receive it, yet there are still water restrictions until the drought is under control. We could always use a good year like this every year so we don't have to worry about water for the crops. Now we just need to maintain our righteousness and we will continue to be blessed.
Last night, we had another good lesson with the Hernandez family. We reviewed the gospel of Jesus Christ and focused on repentance. They didn't know what the word was or how to use it, so we were able to teach and clarify how they can repent and how we can change to be more like Christ. Then, we quickly went over all the commandments once they understood the basic principles and ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They had a few minor issues that were resolved quickly with the word of wisdom. Mainly coffee, and for the father, an occasional beer once a week or so. They all committed to live the word of wisdom and other commandments, so they may or may not be on date after all for next week on the 12th. It will be a mighty miracle if they get baptized this next week, so I'm pretty sure I won't be seeing baptisms at the end of my mission after all. Oh well. I guess I can live with the fact that I got potential priesthood holders onto the right track to baptism and the Kingdom of Heaven. I can wait for the news from my current companion when I get home whether they got baptized or not. It will be an exciting day for them.
I guess this week I will have my farewell interview with President Palmer, get my bike box, and pack my bags this next Monday. Today, is my last real Monday to have fun. This will be a fun last full week of my mission. I love you all.
After serving the Lord for two years, Elder Tyler White will be returning from his mission. We are excited to welcome him home and would like to invite anyone who wants to meet him at the airport upon his arrival. He will be arriving home February 15 at 2:26 pm on Delta flight DL2395 from Oakland.
Elder White will be speaking in church on February 19 at 1:00 pm.
The address to the church is: 12998 S 1300 W
We will have lunch at Tyler's house directly following the meeting for anyone who would like to come. The address for the lunch is: 12893 S. Cancun Way, Riverton, UT
Dear family and everyone else,
I forgot to mention last week that we had our stake conference (my last one too on my mission). It was really good. One of the stake presidency really knows how to conduct a spiritual meeting. It was probably the best one I have ever attended. We also had our first ward party. It was the getting to know you games since a lot of people don't really know each other. They quickly put this together so everyone can get to know each other. The question's (categories) to sort through to get to different parts of the room went a little quickly, but it was still fun. We invited our investigator family, the Hernandez's, but they couldn't make it. What happened was they got there 45 minutes early and no one was there. We also misheard and thought that the party was in the ward building, but when we got there, we found of that is was the north building where the stake center is--probably because that gym is a lot bigger. Either way, the 2 buildings reside right next to each other.
Last night, we had a follow up visit with the Hernandez family. We brought one of Bishop Wooley's sons and Brother Falke with us down to Hilmar to see them. We practiced the plan of salvation lesson with them, or at least an overview of what we will teach and for them to testify of what they know to be true. Isaac and his brothers had a great time getting to know Brother Wooley. He also told them what they were doing for Wednesday activities. They were going to watch wrestling since that's what a lot of the boy's like doing for a sport. That sparked the kid's interest along with camping in the snow, so we are getting a lot of fellowship really fast. This is getting good.
Tuesday was a big surprise for all the missionaries around the world. A year ago there was a world wide missionary training from the missionary council. After a year, they wanted to follow up and focus on a few key factors that affect missionary work greatly. They also announced a change in the missionary schedule, so instead of having studies from 8:00-10:00, they are now pushed back a half an hour, and they moved planning to the morning instead of the evening. Also, they cut lunch to 1/2 an hour instead of an hour. I'm not sure how to think about that, but I guess we can work around that, so instead of cooking food in the day, we just fix it at night and it's ready to reheat the next day fixing the timing problem. I guess headquarters has been really concerned about missionaries effectively planning. Most people are not evening people to plan. We are usually tired, and tiredness affects how we feel the spirit in planning, so in the morning, we start out fresh, and we are ready to plan out our day so we are ready to study or at least know what to study for our investigators or potential one's. Also, for Preparation Day, they cut out 3/4 of studies to make only 1/2 of personal study so we can have more time to get things done on Monday's. That caused a great roar throughout all the missions, so today is a happy day.
Wednesday, we were able to help out the sister missionaries with a service opportunity that was presented to them. It was moving stuff from a tiny storage unit to a bigger one so they can more easily access all the files that they needed. The filing cabinets were super heavy, so we pulled out the drawers one by one so we could more easily move them down the row of units. At the end, we were able to share a piece of information with one of the wonderful ladies that works for the refugee assistance company. We were able to talk about the name of Elder which means teacher and how the priesthood organization works. She thought it was cool but she quickly needed to get to her next destination, so we left her with a "Light The world" card. Maybe one day, that seed we planted will blossom and other missionaries will to come teach her and harvest by baptism.
As for the pictures that I sent, the cake was shared after District meeting with the 2 districts that were at the church building. It was a sister's b-day on Saturday, and Elder Elegre's b-day on Tuesday, so we celebrated with lots of cake, pudding cake, lunch, and happiness with many missionaries. I even celebrated my 2 year mark. Not every missionary gets to pass their 2 year mark while still on their mission. That's about it for this week. Love you all.
Tyler's 2 year anniversary cake!
Dear family and everyone else,
It happened! It finally happened. A teaching appointment, and an awesome one too. We went to contact a few potential investigators down in Hilmar, and we set a follow up appointment for Sunday with the Sanchez family. they have 4 sons and one dad in the household. Starting with Isaac, Jacob, Enok, and the dad, Brother Sanchez. I couldn't pronounce his name so I will just leave it as Brother Sanchez. We brought Brother Eggleston with us, and we were able to see where the sisters left off. Mainly, they talked about the Savior, and how prayer has affected them. We asked them if the Sister Missionaries taught them about the restoration yet. They said they haven't, somy companion and I did a brief overview of all 5 lessons that we were going to share with them. 1. The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 2. The Plan of Happiness/Salvation 3. The Gospel of Jesus Christ 4. The Commandments 5. Laws and Ordinances such as service in the church, the temple, and family history work. We started with lesson 1. With much simpleness and discussion, they were able to understand perfectly after reviewing about twice through. The member shared his expertise about reading as a family from the scriptures. He too had many teenagers like this middle aged family and how it can be to sit down together between school, homework, sports, and dinner. We committed them to read and especially pray about the Book of Mormon. I invited the oldest son to pray to Heavenly Father. He probably has never prayed before and before he did, we showed how we should pray. It was so heartfelt and sincere. The spirit was so strong in that meeting. What he said in that prayer caught me and my companion off guard. He felt sorry that the Savior went through what he did, but more importantly, he said that he knows what we taught was true. We were very happy when we left. I hope that they do have the desire to be baptized soon. We invited them to that too, and the father said yes to baptism. We may have found "The One" family that is ready for baptism.
I heard recently that we will be having another worldwide mission training from some of the apostles and other church leaders. This will be exciting and for sure my last. We might still have a Zone Conference after that too. We will see about that soon enough. It was also my 1/2 birthday yesterday--not that it matters too much. I'm now 20 1/2 years old. Another thing is my missionary certificate expires on Wednesday, the day I was supposed to go home. But that certificate doesn't matter too much around here. No one has ever asked to see it for the validity of my sharing the gospel. I know that I am still set apart for this mission by the hand of the priesthood. That is what really matters, not a small, simple piece of paper with black ink. That's about it for the excitement this week. Love you all.
Dear family and everyone else,
It's the final countdown--the last month. Only 30 days to go before I fly home. I haven't thought of home much this week, which is good. I'm still staying busy trying to find people to teach without any luck. I feel joyous for some reason. It was probably the sunshine we received after the great deluge of rain we had on Friday. It was so thick Friday afternoon that you could almost swim in the rain. It rained 4 inches. It was a ton. The mountains got even more--15 ft. of snow within 10 days. The ski resorts are now up and running once again after a long 6 years of drought. Last year was so bad that there was no snow pack. Well, 6 years of water withheld just came down all at once. The people rejoice and thank the Lord continually. As it rained, my companion and I took shelter in Denair until the storm let up. We were so soaked that even our shoes had a pool in them, so we drained our shoes and wrung out some of our stuff as we waited. It was really cold. Then, we hurried over to dinner and had some hot soup. The member felt sorry for us and offered a ride back to our apartment. After 2 hours, we were able to dry all of our clothes, though our shoe soles were still really wet, so we leaned them against our box heater to dry overnight.
In the morning, they were really warm and very crisp dry. Now we are back to business, and it's overcast again. We finally have been receiving a little bit of fog in the morning within the last 2 days, but nothing too thick like in the past in California.
We were really close to getting an investigator to church yesterday, but her little boy was late returning from his dad's house, so they weren't able to come. It's been hard getting in contact with her. I still haven't met her. The relative who lives in Idaho assures us that she is still interested. She just forgets a lot of our appointments. We will keep trying this week.
On Saturday, we felt that we needed to go see a few members in Hilmar and a couple other people. On the way there, I felt happy and excited for whatever reason. Maybe because I was experiencing something new. There seems to be a ton of ready people in the smaller towns than in the major cities that we do work in. I felt energized going down there for a few hours. I was also able to think more clearly without any distractions to ponder the words of life. I was thinking about grace a lot and how divine help can change us. One talk I heard from somewhere said, "Grace has saved you, but has grace changed you?" I felt a new light of intelligence come upon me on that sunny day. I feel that God's grace, love, and teachings have helped me, and benefited me greatly. We then had a good discussion about the subject with an active couple for dinner later that night. They had so many wonderful stories about grace, including fixing a back porch that often flooded whenever it rained. That's about it for this week. Love you all.
Dear family and everyone else,
This week we met our new district and District Leader, Elder Bonola. Of the whole district there is, Hermana Ribison, Hermana Carrillo, Hermana Martinez, Hermana Spilsbury, Elder Penrose, Elder Bonola, Elder Barlow, Elder Ashcraft, and me. Most I have seen before, others, I am just able to meet for this short time here in the Turlock Stake/ Zone. We had a good district meeting and talked about John 14. President Palmer even randomly showed up in the middle. He was happy to take the picture for us so we didn't have to try setting up our cameras to do a timed out selfie I guess. To add on top of things, SISTER ANDERSON is back, with a new missionary she is training again named Sister Beckett. She' been called to serve in the Brazil mission speaking Portuguese. There seems to be a lot of those in Hilmar is what I heard, so she has been placed in the right area so she can practice as she learns the language and waits for her visa, so she can get to where she has been called to serve. President Palmer loves and welcomes all transitory missionaries that pass through this mission. We have a good mix of a lot of languages. At least Sister Anderson gets to see me one last time before I fly home.
I decided that my last planner for my last transfer will be decorated with pictures on the front and back. On the front, is a picture from one of the recent Ensigns about a woman that appears to be learning how to walk again. Her hand is stretched out to a metal bar with another hand guiding her. The quote says, "Humility made me strong, as I was converted to humbly relying on the Lord's strength to be able to 'do all things.'" How important it is to rely on the Lord in all things, and council with him in all your doings. The rod is like the word of God. If we hold true to it, with our callings, and endure to the end, how great will be our joy when we finish. The other picture is of the 1 Samaritan leper out of the 10 that came back to the Lord and bowed down to him in incomprehensible gratitude for such a miracle and a full restoration of life in which otherwise was pronounced good as dead because the disease was incurable and was living death. Your body decays as you live until the final moment when pain is unbearable. These two picture are starting to mean so much to me. One, endure to the end, and two, thank the Lord with all energy of heart, and we will be made whole (be forgiven of our sins). I am in deep gratitude that I have been able to serve a mission and help others repent just as much as I strive to repent. That's about it for this week. I hope you all love my spiritual messages.
Dear family and everyone else,
In case I have forgotten to tell you who all gave me Christmas presents, the Egleston's who are our ward mission leaders, gave us a bunch of presents and another stocking full of toiletries, candy, and funny things such as silly putty, and nerd glasses. I still have yet to make a thank you letter to them, but I will do that before the end of this new transfer.
So for this week, we have not taught one lesson to any investigator or less active. We did go see a family we thought might have been less active in Denair, and then when they invited us in, we learned that they were active. I didn't recognize the son, so we were able to meet them more personally and also received some health tips like good exercises that the son does and good things that come from eating spinach, bananas, and other things. He told us that he has been developing high blood pressure, and the blood pressure meds do worse things, so the natural thing to do is eat things high in potassium, and also eat meat sparingly. The meats that we eat cause mind diseases and dysfunctions that are prevalent in our old lives such as Alzheimer's, memory loss, and other things. It counteracts the sodium within your blood by breaking it down and flushing it out of the system. I had no idea that potassium had so many health benefits besides stopping something from twitching I guess. Then we rushed all the way from Denair to the bottom of Turlock in about half an hour to get to our New Year's dinner with the Fortado's of the former 2nd ward now 1st ward. They had smoked honey ham, potatoes, and carrots. It was pretty good.
For transfer calls, I will be staying with Elder Ahscraft for this last transfer here in Turlock 1st ward. We haven't heard anything about other missionaries coming back in to take back the bigger part of the area, so it's not what we were hoping for, but I guess we will just have to deal with it and work in all areas so everyone benefits with our spirit in each of the towns. Hopefully, while I serve here, my companion and I will be able to baptize one of our good investigators, Bryan. He swings in and out of progressing often, but overall, I think he will be the next to get baptized into this ward.
The ward here has been saying how wonderful it is that we can gather together as a ward family to start the year out right with the sacrament so that we can renew our covenant-- not only the covenants we make at baptism as we take upon us the name of Christ, but also in the temple. We are again promised to have the spirit always to warn us, guide us, or just to comfort us so that we can never go in life comfortless, or helpless. What an amazing blessing, and an amazing gift we are given in this life. Continue to 'Press Forward Saints'. Love you all.
Happy selfie. Happy New Year! Last Transfer!
Dear family and everyone else,
Christmas has come, and now it has gone again until next year; however, next year will be extra special, because this time, I will be able to celebrate it with all my family. It was fun skyping, and having dinner with the Renshaw's last night. I want to apologize now! We had to leave early this morning to go E-mail at 10:00 so I forgot the camera again. There are a ton of pictures this week. Maybe I can bring my camera again later on today after we shop and clean our apartment, along with playing games at the church. I guess I will have to see soon. I got a ton of presents this year. I did get a suit this year. A really nice and fancy inside too. I want to thank you, and all my family that have supported me on my mission. Soon, I will be able to hug, shake hands, and catch up with you all again. When I got on the computer, I noticed on my portal that "My Plan" is already available for me to use and start doing. I have been very excited to do this. Most missionaries, maybe 90%, don't like doing it for some reason. Yes, it's long. Believe me. I sent home 2 missionaries, besides my trainer, since he left before this launched. It takes a long time for sure to complete. I noticed in myself that I like the word plan more than goal. Goals sound hard, but plans sound fun. I just have to trick my mind in thinking plan so it sounds like a fun activity to do. No work should ever be drudgery. That is why I stay enthused about the work I do even though I am coming to a close on my mission.
The Mission Devotional was fun. We were able to take a mission picture to send to the brethren in Salt Lake City. Soon I will get a copy and send it all to you. I'm excited to see that picture. I bet it looks just as good, if not better than last year's picture. The food was also good. We had huge cinnamon rolls, and colored popcorn that Elder Guernsey made and brought. Christmas morning, I also ate the Trifle that I decided to make at the Zone Leaders apartment. It was overall really good and fun to layer and make. I have a ton of left overs, so I will be eating this stuff throughout this week and New Year's. The Palmer's also gave us a little booklet of pictures that the mission went through this year. I wasn't in it though, but it was short and condensed, and incomplete.
We taught James for the last time this week. He wasn't ready to change and repent either. He created the analogy that he's too old and has already found his "Highway 99" to heaven. We must remember that we should not be stagnant in our progress in the Lord. Even on a highway. we have choices to make. We can change lanes, get ahead of someone, stay behind, or take exits to other freeways or to different roads. The Lord's road is small, not widely known as an interstate that we all often know. We must study our spiritual road maps, course corrections, and pray that we know the best route to take to get home in Heaven. We have spiritual Liahona's/G.P.S.'s at our ready, known as scriptures, that give us our road map. Our road should also be solid instead of broken, weak, and fragmented. As Helaman 5:12 states: "And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall." I know that if we are rooted deep within the rock of Christ, church wide revelation, and personal revelation, we will know what to do in the long run to make the trip to the end. That's about it. Love you all.
Christmas breakfast with Elder Sitani and Elder Booth
Christmas dinner with the Renshaws
Dear family and everyone else,
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL AND TO ALL!!! It's been an interesting week for me for sure. Elder Ashcraft and I decided to drop Guillermo and our other investigator whom we have never met. Guillermo just wasn't in the right heart with the right desire to accept the fulness of the gospel and apply the principles that were taught to him. Twice he was drunk while we went over to a teaching appointment with him. One cannot feel the influence of the Holy Ghost under such conditions. It was a scary experience. We will never go back to him while I'm here-- that's for sure, but he did say that he wanted to be baptized. Now is just not a good time for him. The other investigator picked up a 2nd job, and it became impossible to meet with her, so we turned her over to the Lord for further preparation.
The good news is that we have picked up a guy named James. He is an Assyrian. General to Jordan, Israel, and Iraq area. Most Assyrians in Turlock are Christians. Some are refugees, but not James. He's lived here for many years. We read from Mosiah 2 with him to answer one of his questions as to why we have to fight in general. We answered by saying that we must listen to the Holy Spirit to tell us things that we must do right and not listen to the devil's temptations. We wanted to stay longer for our appointment, but we had to meet up with the sisters later that night.
We also came to find out that Sister Pietz was leaving to go somewhere else in the mission. Emergency transfer. Sister Miller heard the next day that she will be leaving for Oakdale again, so we no longer have the sisters in our ward. Elder Ashcraft and I will be alone in the mighty work here in the newly formed Turlock 1st ward. Nothing seems to want to be alright around here. There is something changing, something in commotion. As of right now, there are 5 English Wards, and 3 Spanish Branch's in the Turlock Stake. This stake is getting spread thin. I hope they and we missionaries can help build up the church again. Let us all spiritually convert others to the gospel and help our spiritual brothers and sisters become members of the restored church through baptism and confirmation.
Thursday, we will be having a Mission Christmas Devotional and sharing our talents or just sing together. Hopefully I will see my Christmas package then. They will also be hosting Christmas breakfast for all of us at the Mission Office. We will also be having a new mission picture, so hopefully I will get that email, and then send it to you for my final time with the whole mission before I come home. It's been such a wonderful experience serving here in the Central Valley of California. There are so many things that I want to share when I get home during my homecoming talk and report how well I have been in serving the Lord. May the lord bless you all back at home, and me as we are in the service of our fellow beings this Christmas season.
Sincerely with love to all and to all,
New Turlock 1st Ward
Dear family and everyone else,
We will be having Christmas dinner with the Renshaw's, so we should be able to skype over there that evening. Details of when will come later as the week approaches, next Monday hopefully. Also, they have been able to put together most of the ward council now. We haven't had a single meeting with a ward council yet for the last 3 weeks we have been here. Not much is going on in missionary work anyway to report anything to ward council, except for a few members that need the sacrament regularly but have nobody to bring it to them. It also looks like church for this ward will be permanently at 9:00 just like Crows Landing, which stinks because it's hard for non-members to come that early because it takes time to get up early to get ready. Also, it's hard to get to ward council at 7:15 in the morning when you can't get up before 6:30. That's no time to shower, and have breakfast in time, but such is life. It was never easy for Christ in anything he did, but he did it because he loved his Father in Heaven.
Tuesday night, we were able to go on an exchange with the Crows Landing Spanish Elders. I went with Elder Rivera to Crows Landing, and I was able to drive the car again. It felt good to drive and listen to my personal music on my flash drive. Elder Rivera loved it. It's weird going on a Spanish exchange though. I don't know Spanish at all. Luckily, I wasn't called to Spanish work, or else I would have suffered for a long time for sure. We on Wednesday were able to cook with the Catholics again and hand out food to the homeless. That has always been a fun experience. I got to say hi to Nancy again. She still looks like how I left her over a year ago.
Last night, we were also able to watch the Stake musical called, "A Savior is Born". There was a children't choir, Stake choir, and even a screen to watch the Christmas Initiative as the orchestra played their music. It was probably the best production I have seen a stake do to honor and worship our lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It made my heart burn within me each time a very powerful song came on. I even got hot flares from all the excitement. As Luke 24:32 states, "And they said one to another, did not our hearts burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the Scriptures?" This week's daily initiative states, "Jesus taught others, and so can you. Jesus showed humility, and so can you. Jesus taught us to cloth the naked. Jesus worshiped through song, and so can you. He showed us compassion. Jesus cared for his mother, and so can you. Lastly, Jesus honored the Sabbath, and so can you. I hope you are all keeping up with the daily videos and doing your best to show how much you love Jesus Christ by doing what he did this Christmas season/month.
That's about it for this week. Sorry I don't have much to say about missionary work. Things are just slow. Love you all.
Elder Rivera and Elder White
Santa even worships Jesus Christ
Dear family and everyone else,
Sorry for not telling you where my companion is from. I thought I did. Elder Ashcraft is from Rexburg, Idaho. He's been out for exactly 1 year now on December 2nd. I also had Thanksgiving dinner with the John's. It was a good dinner. Right after we left, the Spanish Sisters came, because they didn't have a place, so the John's reheated the food for them when they got there. They made tons of food for a bunch of missionaries. The poor Spanish missionaries just didn't have a place because all of the Spanish people went back to Mexico or other places to visit their families.
Yesterday, our ward got the news that we will be combining with Turlock 2nd Ward to make the Turlock 1st Ward, so now our boundary is huge having 2 areas made into one. It covers East Turlock, Delhi, Denair, and Hilmar, but I think we will still be maintaining our missionary areas just to keep things simple. We will just share the members now. Just when things were getting normal again for me, and chaos strikes again. The congregation was pretty big, but each individual ward is really small. I felt like I was at home again with huge wards. No more small stuff. We need big again. It was approved by the First Presidency. The bishopric is also already set up by the First Presidency. They have been in deep council of who will be in the new ward council now. We are doing our best to not get in over our heads.
This week, we have been able to continue teaching Guillermo. We read Enos together about prayer, and a little bit about faith. He liked the story a lot and tried his best to apply it to himself as he thinks about himself praying to God. He has a thing against me though. I don't know what it is. He likes to tease and have fun. I slide with it. Whatever. It's better to laugh with him then feel offended. It's just not worth it, but he's cool. I learn more about Mexican culture as Elder Ashcraft and I continue to work with him and help him progress to his desired baptism. It's interesting to note that those people like to get to know the missionaries/people in general before you talk more or share a message about the gospel with them.
On Saturday, we were able to witness a Christmas parade in downtown Turlock. This was a missionaries contacting dream. I haven't seen a huge crowd like that since Memorial Day back in Manteca, but this time was even more people. We street contacted and gave a bunch of the "Light The World" cards to everyone as they celebrate Christmas. Not sure how many people try to view the video. Today, I found one of our cards on the street all folded and torn apart. I said to myself, what a waste. It didn't even make it to that person's home who received it. We mustn't be too quick to judge. We should at least experiment upon any good word someone would want to share with us. That's about it for this week. Love you all.
Tyler at the downtown Turlock parade
By the way, I just heard on lds.org that the church will start making Book of Mormon videos starting in 2018 now that the Bible videos have been completed. Also, the Martyrdom of Stephen was also released. Maybe not best for kids, but no blood.
Dear family and everyone else,
I am alive an well here in Turlock, and Turlock I am here to stay perhaps till the day I die as a missionary (end my mission). My companion's name is Elder Ashcraft. He came down from Sonora 2nd ward. He has 2 older brothers, and both are married. He is an uncle at this time, which is pretty cool. Interesting enough, he may look like he's 16, but he is actually 21 right now. He gets that a lot. He takes medication for anxiety, so whenever he is not on it, he goes on panic mode because he simply can't keep up with his own mind in wanting to get stuff done. The condition also has the person overthink different social situations including street contacting. He is very patient with himself, and I have shown him how much I care about him and his happy well being. He was very grateful for me opening up to him just as much as he has opened up to me. He's also very spiritually minded. He has the greatest desire to do the right thing. We seem to work in great unity so far together. We also know how to council about different topics like where to go at what time, and many important things like that. He loves playing sports, and loves all kinds of music. All in all, we are going to have a blast together here in the Turlock 1st ward.
For a side note, my last dinner in Northland Ward was with the Gass's one last time. I love that family. I will definitely miss that ward for sure. Okay back to the current area. We have been orienting ourselves with the area and seeing what the boundaries are, how long it takes to bike from south to north, and to Denair and back. We had a rough first day trying to find stuff. We still struggle to find streets without a GPS in hand. I think I will be buying a wall charger for mine. I have one for a car, but not a wall charger. That will have to change pretty quick or else we will stay lost for sure. We have been busy meeting many members of the ward while sharing the new Christmas Initiative Video called #Light the World. Here is the link to the video. Share it with everyone. Let all members and non-members do what the Savior did and not just think about him and his birth alone. This message has been brought to you by the apostles, first presidency, and missionary board. The best way to build our testimonies of our Savior is to do the things that he would do himself. Enjoy. https://www.mormon.org/christmas/light-the-world?play=hero
We do have an investigator on date for January, from what we have been told by the members. We also have Spanish Elders right next to us in our complex, so that's pretty fun. This is the area where Elder Andreasen ran it for a year straight. The poor Elder. He still loved it even though he was here for the last half of his mission. We met one on his baptized converts that's been a member for a year now. She wants to take the lessons again to refresh but is also very sick due to trying to shrink her stomach. Her advice was to never go through that kind of operation. It's caused more problems than the benefits could bring for her. That's about all that I have for now with news. We plan on finding a lot of new investigators that we can pick up from our former investigators book. There are a ton here. This comes to show how much previous work has been done around here. Thank goodness for area books and all the spiritual touch points that we leave with people. Have a great week.
Elder White and Elder Ashcraft
Tyler says to flood him with letters!
Yes, transfers came!
Yeah, not yet. Ha ha.
Dear family and everyone else,
TRANSFER CALLS ARE HERE!!! I will be going to Turlock 1st ward tomorrow with Elder Ashcraft. We are both being doubled in, so it looks like the beginning of my mission is going to repeat itself with the end of my mission by being doubled in. I never thought it would end that way. I requested that I get transferred out of this ward and that Elder Beus receive a new companion so he can gain new experiences with other companions and receive a new friend too. I did promise Elder Beus this dictionary that I received from my trainer and to keep it safe, and then maintain the pattern and give it to a sister at the end of his mission. I won't be giving it to him yet, but I will at the end of my mission through the mission office. Elder Beus' companion will be Elder Pope. I don't know him, so this will be interesting for him. Elder Beus is also staying in Northland ward and there will still be 2 companionship's serving here.
This week, I was able to meet a supposedly LA member in the ward. We tried getting her record moved in, but we couldn't find anything on her with 2 different names, so we may need to get her baptized again so we can recreate those records for her if she so chooses. She kind of looks like my good Aunt Cherie White. That was pretty cool. They are a cool/ crazy family who loves football. Their kids play it for sports. Her husband, Manuel, is interested in learning more about the gospel. He's talked to missionaries before in the distant past, and their family has been taken care of by the church whenever their financial trouble arises. So far, they are really blessed at this time. We won't be able to see them again until next month because of the Thanksgiving holidays and getting set up for Christmas.
I was able to go on 2 exchanges this week. The first one was with Elder Ahau again. That was so fun. I love Elder Ahau. It was really cloudy that day, but it at least did not rain on us. The next day, we had our final District Meeting together. I will no longer be a District Leader. I am a normal missionary again. Thank goodness. Stress is killer ya know. The next day, I went on an exchange with Elder Schultz. It was good. He dived right into DoTerra (Essential Oils) after meeting the Rice's. He loves his peppermint. I don't like the smell of peppermint, and it kept me up most of that night. I was happy that exchange was over. It's more of an exciter than a soother like what lavender does. I love the lavender oil. Another missionary gave me some grapefruit oil and that was pretty powerful. It tastes just like grapefruit. It's special property is to help with food addictions, it detoxifies the body, cleaner, and it does some other stuff too. Oils can help with almost anything. I may look into it more when I get home. Someone let me know who sells DoTerra in Utah. There's got to be someone I know that sells it. That would be cool. It's meaning in Greek is "Gift of the Earth". It's quite suiting.
Lastly, we were able to get James Cunningham to church again. Apparently, the Methodist Church that he goes to is combining with our ward choir and their hand bells in playing Christmas music at our church building in December. That will be a great activity in getting people to see the inside of our church building. That will be exciting, even though I won't be around for it. That's about it this week. Love you all.
Exchange with Elder Ahau
Elder Beus and Elder White for the last time.
Tyler's district for the last time.
Turlock 1st Ward
Look! Fall colors!
My second belt broke, so I bought a new one
It's another cat. I'm going cat crazy!
Dear family and everyone else,
I shall report that I am alive still here in Central Valley, California. I heard about the riots that have been occurring throughout the country. President Palmer just in the nick of time, coincidentally has released the emergency preparedness plan for our mission including storm types of weather, flooding, earthquake, and what this country is facing right now-- political turmoil. What it boils down to is report to our apartments or ward building if anything bad happens. Sounds simple enough, then we call either mission or ward emergency leaders. We got this under control. I doubt that the riots in Oakland will reach here in the suburban towns in the Central Valley. It would be unfortunate if it lasts long enough that it leaks into Stockton too. I pray the people will find humility, just as I do in times of disapproval of whatever it might be. As it says in Galatians 5:22-23 we should have: "Love, joy, peace, long suffering,gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. Against such, there is no law."
We did have 4 non-members attend church again yesterday. It's been tough trying to get Sally's family to stay the full 3 hours. It's hard when there are family issues and other projects that make it hard. Even James Cunningham came with us this time. We had our ward primary program yesterday. He liked it. I just wished that Monica, one of our other new investigators, came to that. Kael Myer's got baptized. Though he is not a convert, he still wanted all 4 of us there anyway. We were able to bring a couple of investigators to see the baptism. We already explained to Monica and Jason that we do it by the authority that has been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith.
We have a new Christmas Initiative coming up that will launch on the 25th. It's called, "Light the World". President told us, as we watched it at our Zone Conference, to listen to the words that it will say. Well, it was a trick. There were no spoken words. We are to at least listen to the word's of the spirit that will speak to us. It's really good. I can't wait to show it to you all. May the holidays begin. Love you all.
Kael Myer's Baptism
Dear family and everyone else,
Halloween was pretty good. We were able to have dinner with Sister Weeden, and then we went home. There really weren't a whole lot of trick or treator's around here, or at least in that neighborhood. Everyone started really early while the sun was still glowing in the setting distance, then by about 8 or 8:30, everyone was done and back home. I guess people really don't like the dark or like to stay up late around here. Then we studied whatever for the rest of the evening and planned our next days activities.
Tuesday, we had our last Trainer-New Missionary Meeting. We had another good discussion how we, as trainer's, are doing, and the new missionary's councilled and asked general questions for President Palmer to address. We also talked about different scriptures, and about teaching effectively. I brought up Acts 17:19-34 about "The Unknown God." From the context of the story, Paul traveled to Athens--a very logical and deep thinking people. He studied their culture, their famous poets, and historical people. By knowing the people's background, he was able to relate to them more in his teaching style; however, they did reject him because they could not believe in a resurrection of the dead, so although we can do our absolute best, people will still have the gift of agency to choose to accept or reject the gospel.
We picked up a couple of new investigators. James Cunningham was the first. He was a former investigator about 2 years ago. Due to a stroke that he had, the missionaries dropped him until he recovered. We taught him the restoration from the pamphlet, and he remembered a lot of different things. He may or may not accept a baptismal invite, but I feel he might. He seems ready to receive the gospel. Brother Cortez warned about him about wasting our time. I think he's changed to the point where he will be baptized. We will see. The other new investigators we picked up were Monica and her husband Jason. We were really happy when we could finally teach them. We did a lot of good service and much more to help them out around their house as they get it ready to sell. Monica was a Baptist, and Jason isn't too religious. We addressed a lot the importance of the family in the gospel, and how the gospel of Jesus Christ helps with family relationships. We then asked them to read the Books of Mormon that we gave them, and pray to know if it's true, and that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, and that he restored the priesthood on the earth. The baptism invite was a little shaky, but Brother Stokes went with us and made the situation much smoother. We helped her understand that to be baptized, it must be done by the authority given, so she will definetly study up on that. She's been so grateful for all that we have done thus far for her.
Daylight savings was glorious. I was able to finally sleep in for an extra hour. I have been so tired lately. I guess serving after 21 months without a break or sleep in day can really do a number on you. When I get home, it's going to suck because spring forward will happen shortly after I get home, along with the time change between the time zones of California and Utah. That's about it for this week. Love you all.
Dear family and everyone else,
This last weekend was pretty fun. We had our ward Fall Festival. For dinner, we had pulled pork sandwiches, potato salad, and nacho's. It was all pretty good. After dinner, we helped be a part of door-a-treating instead of trunk-or-treating since it was raining that day. I bet it's going to be a wet winter this year here in California. I took a bunch of pictures for the whole event and all the doors that were decorated. We even had a non-member family show up--none other than Monica herself who we helped paint her house. Her husband, and 2+ of her kids showed up. We even took home some of the candy that they gave us to pass out. I was surprised that Monica was going to help us out with the candy to pass out since we are always poor.
Monday, we had dinner with Sister Cassetta again. This time, we had a non-member at dinner and we were able to do a member home lesson. We mentioned the whole plan of aalvation but didn't go in depth. He thought it was interesting but he wasn't interested yet. He said that he will really think about talking to us more and taking up our discussions.
Thursday, we accidentally called a member from Ripon ward who we thought was the member that was in our ward. They both have the same last name: Brother Roberts. We had him help us go out into the countryside again to contact some potentials. He was super nice, bald, and had an interesting mission back in his youth. He was called to the French islands of the South Pacific. He was the mission president's main man in keeping the missionaries on task since a lot of them were very lazy and very apostate. He traveled the mission doing some of the President's tasks such as reorganizing branch's, doing missionary/baptism interviews, keeping missionaries in line, and giving council to him of what he thought was the next best thing for the mission to do and become. Overall, he loved his mission. I don't remember the whole story since he talked for the straight 2 hours. It sure kept us entertained. It's hard finding addresses in the dark in the countryside for sure.
We had another dinner with Brother Cortez, and sister Cervantes. He gave the pineapple surprise again to all of us, especially to the new elders. Later that night, we taught Sally another one of her new member lessons of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We had a great discussion on faith, hope, repentance, baptism, and enduring to the end within the temple and gaining all the ordinances. That's about it for this week Love you all.
The missionaries room at the door a treating
Dear family and everyone else,
Saturday night was absolutely wonderful. It was a Broadway Musical By Popular Demand. They took the best scenes of some of the favored plays and gave a bunch of shorts. My favorite of all was "Adolpho" on "The Drowsy Chaperone." In this scene, Adolpho was the man who appeared to be avoiding a lady in the house. They sang about his fame in the name. Fast, slow, high, and low -Adolpho. I think I would love to watch that play when I get home. Next was "Music of the Night" on "The Phantom of the Opera." Another interesting one I got to learn a little more about was the play called, "Wicked." The scene: "What is this feeling." I didn't know much about it, except that it was closely related to Oz the Great and Powerful. Apparently, there is a song called, "Shy" on "Once upon a Mattress." That was somewhat interesting. A song about being shy is slightly weird, but whatever. The grand finale that we had to leave at, because the night was getting late, and we were about to 'turn into pumpkins', was "THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA" on the church organ!!! I thought it was unheard of to play anything that was not a hymn, but it was loud, and the crowd cheered! It certainly got me excited. We tried inviting a bunch of people to go, but none of our investigators or potentials showed up. Oh well, the show must go on.
We also served at the cemetery again to prepare it for the winter/rainy season. We cut out a lot of grass around different headstones and put in new dirt to fill in the holes. Then we swept them off clean from the dirt. Today, we browsed the Bass Pro Shop as we went shopping. It was tall, and it was huge. They had some cool looking fish and overgrown trout just swimming in big tanks, then there were the artificial rocks, and a giant Sequoia tree in the main entrance. It was just unbelievably breathtaking. That's about it that happened this week. Things are extremely slow right now in teaching people. Love you all.
Dear family and everyone else,
Here is the news about the new transfer. Elder Orgill is training Elder Little. Orgill has only been out for a transfer, so he's still learning himself how to be a missionary and learning Spanish too. The Spanish have 6 pairs of missionaries now. Sister Maya is back! She's with Sister Williams. I was playing Monopoly a little bit with Sister Maya. She is still her crazy, perky self, just as I remember her. Elder Silva just got done being trained, so now, he is training Elder Manley. Sister Anderson has been in the area for a transfer after finishing Sister Talbot's training. She is now training Sister Shaffer--new to the mission as well. Finally, Spanish Elder Nielsen is training Elder Gifford for his last transfer. They look like a totally awesome nerdy companionship. I totally love Elder Nielsen. It's going to be sad when he goes home at the end of this transfer. He's been a great friend too, so all together, lot's of people training (including me).
This week, we welcomed Elders Schultz and Perry into the Northland Ward as our 2nd pair of Elders in the ward. We counseled a lot this week about the area. They got a new area book, and to first jump start their area, we gave them a potential investigators list to work on, along with some ward lists. We also coordinated our dinner calendar to see who can and can't feed a pair of 4. We got that figured out with Sister White pretty quick.
My first District Meeting I conducted went pretty well for my first try. I panicked a lot on how I would keep the conversation going during preparations. The day came, and after we all got to introduce each other to one another, we went into the training. It stretched far enough that I had extra stuff that I didn't get to by the end, so that was a plus. This week I will have to see what I have up my sleeve. Then again, all good inspiration comes from the Spirit according to District Meeting wise. That's about it this week people.
Elder White and Elder Beus at Texas Roadhouse!
The new district Tyler is in charge of.
Pumpkin pancakes from a member!
Dear family and everyone else,
You all know that movie "A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Dy"? Well, I'm going to tell you all the adventure from last night of this transfer. So...President Palmer called me again. This time he said that I will be staying with Elder Beus to finish training him. That's good and all. I was happy about that. Then came "The News". He told me, "The Lord has called you to be a District Leader. Will you do it"? This time, I said that I didn't think that I would be able to do this one. Then his usual reply, "How about you go pray about it and come back?" So I did, and you know the answer I got from ALL Knowing Heavenly Father...He Told me to read Proverbs 3, and some of D&C 121 about Joseph's experience in Liberty Jail. After reading these, and knowing that this will be a small moment, I knew that the Lord's will was for me to truly discover myself as I help serve others by becoming a District Leader, for no master is better than his servant. The Lord served and atoned for us; therefore, I asked myself, why wouldn't I be able to do this small thing? The Lord did so much more beyond our own comprehension. I ask you all back at home, do you accept the calls that your Bishop's assign to you? Truly, these calls are from the Lord. We are all "Called to Serve. Deny not the revelations of God, and have faith in Christ's Atonement. If we all have that solid testimony, all things are possible unto us. Be not faithless, but believe. Also, our area is being shared with another pair of Elders-Elder Perry and Hayden, so this is going to be really hard to find stuff to do and coordinate our efforts together. I will also need to split our area book and ward list in half so we both have an equal amount of work to do--even though there is no work to do since we have no real active investigators right now, just potentials and back burner people until they get unbusy. I heard that they are getting a nicer apartment than us. I thought ours was the best. They are getting a new apartment over on Button Avenue, so they will be somewhat far from us--about a 20 minute bike ride from our apartment.
Well, now that I have spelled out my sob story, I will now tell you the excellent opportunities we had to serve this week. Some time this week, we were biking down Powers when we spotted a couple clearing rocks from their front yard. We offered our help. They accepted, so as we lifted and moved the stepping stones and old river rocks, we talked about religion in general. We then mentioned King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon and what he said about service, "When ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God." The wife loved that quick message, and they wanted to know more, so we set up a follow up visit for this next week as they went on vacation and were finishing up putting in turf/fake grass in the front lawn. They won it at a raffle thing. The city is paying them to convert to desert landscape. It's quite nice having desert landscapes or turf here in dry California. It helps save on water for sure. I can't wait to talk to them again about the full restoration of the gospel. The other opportunity we had was continuing to paint a ladies house again up in Ramus Village. She was referred by Sister Meyer's. Her name is Monica. We gave her a copy of a Book of Mormon, and her 20 year old daughter caught her eye on it on the counter and started reading it. Well, she couldn't put it down since it was so good, so we gave Monica another copy for herself to read along with her daughter. So we may actually teach a whole family for once instead of one person at a time.
We went to Texas Roadhouse again with the Weeden's. This time, I brought my free appetizer deal for all to enjoy, and we got the cheesy fries option. That was good. We were celebrating Brother Weeden's accident returns. He got loaded and is sitting pretty happy now. We also had dinner at the Stake Center for the birthday's of anyone who is 75 and up. It was a good meal with lots of Chocolate Cake. It's been a relatively good week of service. This weekend, we will be helping out at the Stockton Dental Fair for all low income people that can't afford dental care. We will be assisting people back to their cars. We will pretty much be standing the whole time from 1:00 to about 7:00.
That's about it folks. I love you all.
Dear family and everyone else,
The first thing I have to say is that I passed my 20th month mark on Tuesday. Now I just have 4 1/2 months left. This is crazy. Time has flown by so fast. Never take time for granted or else it's thrown away like any other old used thing. Then again, time can also be like an hourglass. It can be repeated over and over, but no particle is ever quite the same than when it first went through the glass. New experiences will always await us. We have a lifetime and beyond in the next life to learn until the perfect day. Next week, is transfer calls, so the next experiences will either be shared still with Elder Beus in Northland Ward, or somewhere, or with someone else, butI think I will stay here with Elder Beus and finish training him. After that, who knows, but President and the Lord.
Tomorrow, we will be having team ups with President Brown, one of the councilors for President Palmer. He knows Elder Beus' family back in Mesa, Arizona. He lives in Tracy right now, so this team up will be very interesting. We plan on teaching Marcia Baker's son, Michael, the discussions. We already shared the restoration with him. I think our next plan will be the plan of salvation. He seems to slowly be changing already. He at least wants to learn from us. Sally's been sick again and been in bed a lot. I bet it has something to do with kidney failure or else diabetes, or both. I feel sorry for her. She has great desires to do the right thing. One day she will be able to go into the temple and do baptisms for the dead, and later other ordinances as well.
Well, Marianne's back from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was a long month for her, but she's back. She found out what her real condition is. I can't remember the name, but it has something to do with her genetics, and it causes irritable digestive problems. It's not curable since it is genetic, so she has to deal with it the rest of her life. All she can do is treat a few symptoms, so we will be seeing her again soon as well.
General Conference was pretty good. I liked the Saturday afternoon since it was so bold with it's messages. I don't have much else to say. I still need to review all my notes from Conference to remember it all. Oh yeah one more thing. It's slightly raining right now finally. It's never rained once throughout this summer here in California. Now the air will be clean for at least a day now that there is no more dust. It's been so dry. The soil is like sand here, so it feels like I'm on the beach but no ocean in the Central Valley. It's also quite cool. It gets cold in the evening each time these cold fronts move in. Then it warms back up. By the end of this month, it will never be hot again while I'm in California. This is my last Conference and last winter before I come home. So prepare ye, ye ends of Utah, for your White is drawing nigh. Mu-ah-ah-ha-hah!!!
Dear family and everyone else,
We were able to help 2 families move this week. One family was the Judd's. They moved from Payson, Utah. We met them just briefly and showed Sister Judd how to get to the church. She said that was pretty far. It's clear on the other side of town. She's been used to just walking to church down a street in Utah; however, we're not in Utah anymore--or as Dorothy would say, "Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore." I think to myself sometimes that we all could use a wake up call every now and again that everything isn't always fine and dandy as they seem, and that we can do something about the situation and help others come unto Christ.
The other family we were able to help a little bit were non-members. We were biking up Powers when we saw a bunch of people loading a moving trailer. We asked if we could help, and they were happy that we stopped to help. It was late in the evening after about
8:00 when everyone is going to bed, so we can't really knock on any door without an appointment. By the end of it, we were able to leave a good impression on them and maybe we even planted a seed of faith that they will investigate the church one day wherever they might be moving to.
I hope you were all able to enjoy what I call Book of Mormon Day. On September 21-22nd, Joseph Smith met the Angel Moroni and then discovered and later received the gold plates on these days. Just to let you all know, nothing too interesting happened this week. We talked to Derwin again finally and introduced Brother Hokanson who is the Young Men's president. Maybe then we can get him to the youth activities, and later to church again. We have been riding bikes all day seeing which members still reside in the ward.
Our Prospective Elders list is a lot shorter than what I thought, so that narrows down our search to find those who will receive more of the gospel and receive more of God's Priesthood Authority on the earth. As far as finding new investigators, we will continue to try the Prospective Elders. That's about it folks. Love you all, and be safe in that rain or whatever it be.
Chillin at our apartment--Elder White
Dear family and everyone else,
On Monday, we went to see the Darby's after dinner, and we found out that their rent is going up about 100 dollars and that the place is getting renovated. They are getting evicted because they can't afford the new price. They don't have anywhere to go though.
They are searching hard, maybe even out of state. I feel bad for them because his back is really bad and can't do much. His wife has something too, so it's very hard for either of them to get a job when their health is poor, so they just live off of disability with their kids. We are hoping that their daughter Nicole will remain active in the ward that they will move to. Speaking of moves, we are getting a new family into the ward later tonight. We will try to help our elders quorum with getting this new family all moved in.
Tuesday, we had a short lesson with a less active named Timothy. He's interesting. He says that he wants to quit smoking but is a slave to it, so maybe we can help him with that so he can improve his health a little bit. We also gave him 3 Nephi 27 to read since he, for some reason, thinks that we are a cult (or someone who worships the devil). We wanted to show him from that chapter that the name of the church shows that we believe in Christ, and that the prophets and apostles then and now are led by the Lord himself, whether by revelation, or personal manifestation. Hopefully he will soften his heart to his own church.
Wednesday, we had dinner as usual with a member. This time, we went to Hill-Billie BBQ restaurant. It's a small, quiet place with really interesting food combinations and BBQ sauces. We even had fry sauce made especially for us. The server usually doesn't make it, but when she does, she gets excited to do it. At least she grew up around Utah so she knows what it is, soI am definitely not missing out on fry sauce from Utah. "Bah-bah-bah-bah-bah I'm Lovin' it!" Oh wait, that's McDonald's. I love Arctic Circle: "Where the Good stuff is!"
We also had another Zone Conference in Stockton. I have attached a picture of President and Sister Palmer so you all don't miss out on what they look like. The main messages was 1. Continue to be one with the Savior by being kind, loving, obedient, and diligent. 2. Divine revelation is seldom convenient to receive, follow, and do. Sometimes, we have a prompting to knock on a house, and nobody is there and you wonder why? The lord gives us inspiration to test us to see whether we would follow it or not. If we do, then we will be given more to act upon.
One other thing worth mentioning is that we taught Sally Molinari 2 of the new member lessons--the restoration, and the plan of salvation. She knows the first discussion so thoroughly that she pretty much knows it all, which is pretty good for a convert. She did investigate for 4 years after all. That's about it for this week. Love you all.
I am ready to serve the lord. I invite others to come unto Christ.