Alma 29:9

Alma 29:9
I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.

Monday, November 25, 2013

I love this experience! See ya in 2...days!

Mon, We had a good P-day. I can't remember what happened right now tho. haha

Tues, We had a good morning out and about. Was dogged once. And then had to leave at 4 to go to an Interfaith Concert we were helping out with. I carried a banner in front of all the singer's at the opening part. It was pretty fun. We then heard about 5 singing groups. It was good but it didn't really bring too much of a good feeling. I don't know how to explain it. It felt like we were just listening to good music. Then the Mormon Choir of Washington stood up and sand "Because I have been given much" and "Redeemer of Israel'. Spirit just seemed to seep in through every wall of the Jewish amphitheater. It was really awesome to feel the difference. Looking around during it, the audience felt it too or so it seemed. Maybe it was just me that noticed such a change in the Spirit. I know understand more of what investigator's feel like coming from other faiths to this one. Much stronger feelings than what they are used too.

Wed, We had Death Temple in the morning. Temple President 1st Counselor taught the departing group and it was really good. There is a lot of hype it seems like when you get to go to that meeting. It was good but didn't get up to what I thought it would be. Just made it trunky haha. Told us just the gospel and how we need to really live it. Told us that out here we have a nametag on and people feel something from seeing it. When we go home, we don't wear the nametag but people should still feel it when they talk with us. The trick is to stay worthy and not get caught up in the world. I know it is going to be hard. It feels like there is a line you have to draw. Also feels like, I should just follow all the mission rules even when I get home and too be totally honest I don't want too. I know why missionary's are so awkward now when they get home. They are going into shock of being able to watch movies, t.v., sports everyday, and the list could continue of things that are not bad but things you don't do on a mission. I wonder how I will cope with it all. Some days I don't feel like I will have a problem with it, I hope that I don't feel weird when I watch my first NBA game. Maybe I will feel like I am just breaking all the rules with every game I watch haha. Temple session was really good. I can't wait to watch someone go through for the first time with this new movie. It just blows my mind how much it enhances the Temple experience. Super good. We then had an appointment fall through but had a good dinner with Ceasar and Joelyn! Really good talk over dinner how getting baptized will help Joelyn. Ceasar has a super strong testimony and I am glad that he is sharing it! He also decked out all the fancy china. Candlelight dinner. life is good haha

Thurs, We had District Meeting in the morning. It went swell. Did testimony's and it went as usual. Someone has to get up and cry. I hope people would someday realize that crying doesn't really invite the Spirit. I know I do it sometimes still but it kinda just turns me off to the Spirit. It was swell tho. Some good testimonies were borne and it was really good. Tried to take Death Pictures afterwards. E. Lott got a good one but I didn't. Going to get one tomorrow to put on facebook for you Mom haha. Gonna change it to my profile pic lol. Afterwards we went to eat and the Porter's bought us lunch! We went to Ben's Chili Bowl! Bill Cosby's favorite restaurant. It was really good. Had the half smoke! Chili was really spicy and good. Too expensive tho. Chili Cheese Fries are the best! Haha Afterwards me and Elder Lott went on exchange. Joelyn also passed her interview! Excited for her! We went to President's House for a dinner and Death Interview with him. Shared D+C 121 with me and told me that is what I should use to find a wife haha. It was really good. I dunno how that aspect in life will work out. Excited to try to find the woman that wants me tho! haha. We then had a good dinner then played some ping pong. Then had a little testimony meeting. It was really good. It felt good to relax and just bond with other missionary's. I think I am going to miss seeing some of these missionary's out here. I wonder how many I could be friends with at home tho. Created alot of really good friendships tho. We ended up catching the last Metro train home haha. Almost missed it. Would've been bad haha. Didn't get home till 11:45 cause I had to bike for about an hour at 10:30. It was a great experience. I was tired tho!

Fri, Andrei had a baptismal interview with President Cooke so we Metro'ed with him to the church and he passed! Looking like I will be the one to baptize him. I am really glad to have seen the changes with him. It has been awesome to see all the changes he had to make to get it done! He was crazy when we first met him, but I feel like he is back to what I remember him as. It has been really cool to see how living the gospel can cure the physical mental stuff some people go through. I have been pretty blunt with Andrei and it seemed to help him out! We then Metro'ed back home with him. We then had a dinner with Ceasar and it was fun to talk with him. I have built a really good relationship with him. I will be missing him alot. One of the best guy's I have met on my mission! We then had a good night of trying to check on people!

Sat, Last Ward Correlation! It was good except I had to conduct it. I don't particularly like conducting meetings I am not in charge of, really any meeting tho haha. We then went to help our referral move a couch. Turned out that the van she was supposed to get ended up getting used longer than was supposed too. we then went home and had lunch because Nicole dogged us too! Was gonna help her prepare her talk for the baptism! We then went back to help the lady move and the same thing happened. Kinda frustrating cause it took up our whole day. It was also FREAKING COLD! I think it might have been the coldest day on my mission. It was almost unbearable to have to go through it. We then went had a good visit with Andrei. Just talked about things. It was a nice chat to just get to know him a little better. We then went home! Super cold on the face.

Sun, Church was swell. there is a tradition in the ward to sing God be with you till we meet again. I have never seen it done for a missionary but they did it for me and Elder Lott. It was kinda touching. I have loved serving in the DC 3rd Ward. Glad I was able to do it for 7 months! It was a good meeting. blessed the sacrament with Ceasar. His first time. It was an honor to do it with him. I am not good with a mic tho haha. I like just shouting it out haha. We then had a good baptism. Lot of mess tho. Joelyn was sick and couldn't make it and then one of the speaker's car's battery was dead. I think we did about half of the things that were on the program. It was really frustrating for me but it was a good meeting non the less. It was an honor to baptize Andrei as well! 2nd time doing that. Talking about doing Joelyn on Tuesday. Will see how that works out! It turned out that it was even COLDER THAN YESTERDAY! I really don't like the cold. It was really unbearable. Ceasar fed us again and then we just went home and I packed! No one was out and it was just too cold to be doing anything. I hate moist cold. I know it is gonna be colder in Idaho but at least a coat will keep you warm.

Mon, There was a big group playing football on the Mall. Last P-day so we did it. It was really fun.I was ready to just go home before we started tho. Super cold. After you started to run around it was warm tho. Especially with 5 layers on top and bottom haha. It was nice to be on the Mall for the last time for a while. I am gonna miss just being able to go to the Mall once a week. Truly has been a blessing! Tonight we are going to Aster's to say goodbye. She is the Ethiopian in the North Area. Might try to see Kirk Battle too! See what happens.

Tues, I can tell you what we are doing tomorrow! haha We are doing the Turkey thing in the morning. Then prolly packing and preparing for Joelyn's baptism. We are also teaching the lesson at FHE! Gonna be a good last day. Will see how much packing I have and hopefully save it for later so I can go talk to a few last people! Then on Wed, we head to the V.C. I get to share my testimony in front of the whole mission, then head to the plane. Metroing because they say it is going to be crazy traffic. Gonna be traveling all day to IDAHO! Crazy that it is here already. Can't believe this is my last email home. I would be lying if I didn't say that I am glad tho. I am happy that I was able to stay for the full two years! It is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life! There were lots of times that I was just ready to come home. I mean a lot of times. It happened weekly for about 6 months in the middle of my mission. I remember praying almost daily that I would get the desire to stay. I will always remember the feelings associated with those prayers every night, giving me the strength to just get though the next day. I am happy to say that I have served a full time mission. I have been proud of what I have been able to accomplish. I have a testimony of this gospel! I never plan to waver in that. My mission has taught me that life is hard. But with the gospel, it is alot easier. I am forever grateful for the guidance I have received here. I know that Heavenly Father is a loving, kind God. He is aware of what is going on in our lives. Jesus Christ truly accomplished what He came to earth to do. I know that He is living today guiding this church! Work of Salvation is how we receive our happiness! I love this experience! See ya in 2...days!
Thanks to all who have supported me in this experience. Especially Mom and Dad. My 3 sisters! Without all of you I would never have been able to accomplish what I have!

Monday, November 18, 2013

This week is just full of spiritual stuff!
Mon, P-day was splendid and didn't get much accomplished at night! Tried. We were out and about trying to talk to people. It was perdy cold tho so not much going on.
Tues, We had to go get my companions bike fixed. His front wheel wasn't going straight. He keeps wrecking his bike. haha Isn't used to keeping up with me yet lol. We got dogged this morning by Candace. This is twice now. Not looking good for her. We then met with Andrei and had a decent lesson with him. He is looking at being baptized on the 24th if all goes well. Going to have him meet with the Bishop and interviewed by President Cooke. We shall see. We then went to practice for the Interfaith Concert and that took from 4-8 so not much done. Next week is the real deal so we will be there from 6-10 it will be alot of fun. We are carrying the banners in the concert and then just doing whatever else they ask.

Wed, We had one of the best days of the transfer today! We met with a new less-active! Fred. (new meaning we just found him) He is a little on the crazy side. Wants to come back to church tho. Will be meeting him every Wed from now on. We then went to Joelyn's! We were only there for 20 min but it was super crazy good. I shared with her Luke 9:62 "And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, looking back is fit for the kingdom of God." ( I have been doing this memorizing thing so if it is wrong, I need to review it again haha) I challenged her to give me her lighter so she can stop smoking, and told her to not look back! She then preceded to tell me that when she bought the lighter she told God that it was the last one. If she lost it or had it taken away, she wouldn't smoke anymore. She knew that only God knew that,and that it was merely Him working through me to tell her the time to stop smoking is now. I think Luke 9:62 was just a super fitting scripture and had to share it with her. We all need to remember to "never look back"! We then had dinner at the church and had scripture study with Andrei! It was really good.

Thurs, We had some service in the morning. The Interfaith Council of the Washington D.C. area needed some help sending some letters. Us and the French companionship went with the Porters and helped them package about 3000 letters! It was intense. I never need to mail a letter again. We took Andrei to the V.C. and had a little tour on how the church is organized and then we watched "On the Lord's Errand" Super good movie and helped him realize that President Monson is truly a prophet. It was really good. We then went to a mission meeting with the Ward Council's of our stake with Elder Zwick of the Seventy. It was absolutely amazing! The biggest part I can remember is when he had all the Bishops in the room stand up. He asked them what there purpose is with missionary work. They holding the keys to missionary work for the Ward it was enlightening. He then asked for an experience of someone being taught in their home in the last month. Room went silent. It was silent and Elder Zwick had a little grin on his face because he knew the Spirit was teaching us all. He then said "If you will commit to have someone taught in your home by Christmas you may be seated"! In the words of Sister Matsumori "Boom Roasted". It was really powerful to me. I know that all the missionaries need to be better. We are not perfect. I know I can be alot better than what I am right now. I am still trying to be. It make me realize the power that is coming from the leader's of this church, or ultimately Jesus Christ's message to us today. the Work of Salvation is the most important thing right now. He is Hastening His Work! If you don't believe it, you need to pray about it. It is totally coming from Jesus Christ. E. Zwick said that from when he was a missionary to just at the announcement of the age change the growth of missionaries serving was 35,000. He then said that it has now gone up about 40,000 in the last year. I hope and pray that we can all have a missionary experience by Christmas. And then to continue it.

Fri, From 9-4 today we were taught by Elder Zwick, his good wife, and President and Sister Cooke. It was really really good. I should have brought my notes and just told them to you. He shook our hands at the very beginning and I was wearing my Sunday suit. He looked at my pin I have had on my suit since the beginning of my mission. Said "You know Elder Mickelson" and smiled. I prolly didn't spell his name right, Dad's mission Presidents pin. It was kinda funny and glad I wore that suit today. He talked alot about the goodness of the missionary's in the Phillipeans and how they have reacted to this tragedy that has happened. It is really touching. Ask me about it when I get home. It is truly amazing how the Spirit can teach us. He mentioned alot at how the world is changing. It is not looking pretty I hear. I learned alot today about how I can stay strong when it is my turn to return home. I know that I will because I have been able to build me a pretty good foundation out here that I just hope to add too when I get home. I am just kinda in shock from this week if you can't already tell. I can't really describe in words what I felt today. Omni 1:26 is a scripture he told us that we needed to truly internalize if we want to be successful. It is really really powerful. Check it out.
After, We went to Ceasar's with Andrei and had a really good dinner and lesson with him. Asked him the Baptismal Interview Questions! We will see what happens this next week!

Sat, We had a Family History Meeting today that lasted from 10-3 then we went and had dinner and went to Stake Conference. During, our Mission Presidents talk he told us all to stand up and you know what to do. They had given us all a bunch of M+M's and we passed them out till they ran out haha. It was interesting. Then asked for people to stand and share what they think it means. Lots of good one liners. Member's and Missionary's is really what it goes for. One I liked was, It will melt in your hands but it is only sweet when it is in your mouth. So open your mouth to missionary work! Yeah! There were just many good talks. It felt like a General Conference. E. Zwick is just an amazing guy. After the meeting we took Joelyn our investigator to meet him. He shook her hand and then Sister Porter told him that she was an investigator. He then had a light bulb moment it looked like and said. "I didn't know what I was going to speak about tomorrow, but after meeting you Joelyn I do. I am going to talk about how you can draw closer to Christ, using your Bible. not the Book of Mormon but your Bible. I will be speaking basically to you Joelyn, Pay close attention". I dunno if the look on her face or my face was more flustered. I was just in shock. You don't normally get a General Authority to speak just to you.

Sun, Stake Conference. 4 steps on coming closer to Christ. I can't remember the last couple but he first couple hit me hard. 1st seek the companionship of the Holy Ghost, 2nd Diligence is daily scripture study and prayer, 3rd Keep the Commandments - including the Thou shalt and the Thou shalt not, 4th Follow the Living Prophet. Pretty good. We then Had a Why I Believe that night that was simply amazing! Jenny Oaks Baker! She has a solid testimony. Pres. Lorenzana who always conducts that meeting, said that this was the best one he has ever conducted. Happens on a monthly basis and he has been doing it for 7 years. It was really good. Music with Testimony is super powerful. It just capped our week.

Mon, We went in the Basilica next to our house. Huge catholic church. Will be taking a tour a little later on today.
Words can't truly capture the spirit that was in these meeting this week. I hope I did it justice. I think we all need to examine our lives and figure out what we need to do to participate in the Work of Salvation!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Mon, We were able to teach a family today! Frankie and his wife and two kids! We taught the Restoration and it was super good. Spirit was strong. During the First Vision, his phone rang tho haha. He answered it right before my companion said "This is my Beloved Son, Hear Him". Things always seem to happen during the first vision. It turned out to be the "member" who had introduced him to the gospel...turns out she is a sister missionary. Yep a Sister from our mission interrupted our lesson haha. Think she would have been a little more in tune but oh well. We then talked about baptism and they were excited. Said yes to being baptized on Dec. 15th! I am super happy that I am able to teach a family. Kids are 13 and 14 so it is just great ;)

Tues, We had Zone Training in the middle of the day. It just sucked up our whole day. It was super good tho. E. Bledsoe gave an amazing workshop reminding us of our Purpose. It is amazing how simple yet complex the Gospel is. I think we always forget the purpose to why we are doing what we are doing. It is really to Baptize by building faith by repenting and helping others to be able to have the Holy Ghost with them so they can return to live with Heavenly Father again by Enduring to the End. It is amazing how many times you can hear a workshop about the gospel and you just feel the Spirit and pretty much find out you are doing everything all wrong and need to change. We then had dinner and it was time to go to the church for FHE! It was a really good lesson on Forgiveness. It was good to be reminded of it. We watched the Mormon Message on it as well. The one with the drunk driver an all...Just really a touching video. I love how it says that We are merely a vessel the Christ can work thru.

Wed, We got dogged in the morning...then had a good lunch at & Pizza. It is a super good place. Fresh pizza, kinda like a subway for pizza. It was really good pizza. A member paid for us. He then went to fill his drink and another member came up to us and told us not to pay that he would get us haha. I love experiences like that. We then taught Ceasar a  lesson about the Priesthood and our duty. It was actually a super good lesson for me. We watched the "Power of God" Mormon Message and then walked through what his job is. He is really nervous but my last Sunday on the mission we are going to bless the sacrament together! I am looking forward to it. We then had a dinner at the church. Always good to have those! Then went and talked to 10 people while checking on formers! Twas a good day!

Thurs, This day I planned on the wrong page so my planner is super messed up. I do know we got dogged by the same person twice today! It was great. We woke her up the first time then the next she just asked for a pamphlet and she would call us. Wish people would just let us know that they aren't interested from the very start sometimes. It then looked like to be a torrential downpour so we went to Ceasar's to stay out of the rain. We helped him with some tech stuff again and cleaned his place! We then went and checked on our referrals and got to contact two of them! It was a good night out and about on the streets of D.C.

Fri, A day of no appointments...those days turn out to be long. It was fun try to find some people tho! I talked to 12 today. We were going to do a chalk talk but it was just super cold. Will be doing one this next week tho so I am excited to try it out. I never have done it but I bought some chalk so I have to try it once. We had a lesson with Andrei today as well. It was a quick one. He had put some stuff on Facebook I didn't like and I let him know it and told him if he doesn't come to church he can't progress and just told him he needed to be there no matter what. Said he would...It was my kind of lesson. Short and directly to the point to fix the problem. I hope that he will become normal one of these days.

Sat, We had Ward Correlation and it was good except I had to conduct! I don't like conducting! We then had a family history g-q down at the Archives in D.C., we went down there and talked to people at the Navy Memorial about Family History. It was pretty fun. I got me a cool lookin research card while we were there! We then went to the V.C. with Andrei! We taught him the Gospel of Jesus ChristGave some good answers that seemed heartfelt and so we put him on date. Nov. 24th. He has to make it to church every Sunday so we shall see. After that we drove home to get in another car to drive back to the V.C. for a Concert for "We Serve" it was exceptional! We had Ceasar there and it was just great! Super good experience to honor the military. President Cooke was a Major General so it was his kinda night. He gave the opening prayer and I have come to realize that I don't know if I ever heard Pres. Matsumori pray...prolly did but I know it was the first time to hear President Cooke pray. Random thought. The flag ceremony was done by people in George Washington time uniforms. Twas super awesome. Don't know if I have seen it done quiet like that! Just a super good night to be an American to say the least.

Sun, Andrei came to Church! It was good to see him there. He seems to maybe have the right attitude now. Joelyn was there as well. It was fun! We then had a super good steak lunch at Ceasar's! I love steak haha. Then went to the V.C. again! I love the V.C.! Ceasar and Joelyn came with us to the Night of Music and Inspiration and it was just great. I love those. My last one...everything seems to be my last but it was super good. I am grateful for music! Today was just a good day! One of those days...

Mon, Zone activity and I figured I would email when I can...going back up to Quince Orchard for a little lazer tag! I hope to see Scott Shaffer today as well! Will let you know how it goes. I am planning on getting back on later so Hopefully see some e-mails. Love you all! Hopefully will get to talk to ya too :)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Mon, We went to Ceasar's tonight for dinner! It was super good as usual! We  then went and tried to see some peeps but they weren't home!

Tues, Was on an exchange in the West today! We had a good breakfast at Ceasar's! He wanted us to come so I just can't turn down two meals in a row! We then had some service at a member's house! Bro Procter is a good guy. He is just an old baptist preacher, who is a classic old man. I think he has asked my name for the past 6 weeks at church and tells me every time that he will remember it haha. We then met with another solid member. Kevin Tenor. He has some crazy ideas that run thru his head. He has a solid testimony but just gets a little messed up on some doctrine sometimes haha. He is struggling tho about finding a job. It is super hard to live without a job. He has been searching for a year and had a lot of interviews but it didn't happen. It was a grand day back with Elder Parlogean tho. We then had a good FHE lesson and had a little game as usual. Great times. At Family home evening we had this family of 4 come and it turns out they live in our area! Going to see them tonight and are super excited for it! I really hope they are as golden as they sounded at FHE!

Wed, District Meeting went well. We had a good talk about talking to people and also about putting people on date. We are really struggling with both of those aspects of missionary work now. It feels like all these new people just won't talk to people. My last two companions just do not want anything to do with g-qing which makes it hard for me cause that means I have to do all the work. I am starting to get a little angry about it tho so I hope he changes. If not, big words might have to erupt out of my mouth haha. For Role Plays we just switched companions and went and talked to people. It was really effective I thought! Everyone thought it was good so I hope it was. We then got dogged by first our member Ceasar to come to a lesson and then Candace the lesson wasn't there either. It was another one of those days...yep our next appointment fell through too. Got to talk to 28 people today tho so that was really good.

Thurs, we had a meeting with Andrei in the morning and it was really good! Taught him the Plan of Salvation really fast and just wanted to see how it was going to go. He remembered alot from just being taught before and we are trying to teach him so he doesn't have time to say his crazy things to see if he will snap out of that. He has come a long ways in the last two weeks  We then had to be home at 5 because it is freaking Halloween! Weekly Planned and got two letter's sent away. Yes Mara you should be getting one that I wrote on Oct 2. then it sat on my desk lol. I don't think my lazy side will ever go away haha

Fri, We had another lesson with Andrei at the Library where we got to watch a couple of video's! It was really good. It seemed like he was actually going to pull through. Said he is done with coffee and was totally sane. Said he was going to come to church too! Says all the right things haha. We then had to cancel a v.c. trip with Joelyn and so we had the rest of the night. We met a lady named Elizabeth who is a member of the church (for now) because she gave us the coveted I don't want to be a mormon anymore letter. One of her concern's was that, young men are called deacon, teacher, and priest. while young women are called beehive, mimaid and laurel. haha. I dunno if I got it right on the young women haha. And then the whole gay marriage thing. God's laws never will change. I could kinda see her point on the young men young women thing tho. I never would have thought that would have been an issue for anyone tho, until I moved here. Deacon, Teacher, and Priest are super huge in other faiths. So if you come from that it is a big deal. I have learned to see things through other people's perspectives alot on my mission.

Sat, We had a good meeting in the morning. Ward Correlation. My comp ran off to his old area to see a baptism so that was pretty good. I couldn't go so got to stay and then pretty much wait for him to come back. Then got to have a steak lunch at Ceasar's! That guy is great. I then worked on his technology stuff, trying to figure out his sound system for him. It was fun to work with it all but I have learned lately with all this facebook stuff that I have forgotten how to use all this technology. maybe I will learn again someday!

Sun, Church was just dandy! I love fast and testimony meeting in this ward. Especially when Sis Mack gets up there to sing her song! "You got to stand your test and got to stand it for yourself...Ain't nobody stand if for got to stand it for yourself!" Everyone sings along and it is just super spiritual. She says a little something else and then sits down. Prolly isn't up there for longer than a minute but the Spirit is just so strong when she gets up there! We then got dogged to go to the v.c. today by Andrei and dogged for church. He put some inappropriate things on facebook too  Guess I get to talk to him about it tho first. We shall see what happens.

Mon, Got to go to Arlington today! It was super good. Got to go inside the barracks of the unknown soldier! Super fun! Saw the change of the guards...Kennedy grave, the house that is there from George Washington I think. Look for pictures from other people cause I went and forgot my camera haha. I got my friend Elder Lott to take some pics for me tho momma with me in them just for you...they may all have an airplane tho LOL. I am excited to see you guys! Three short weeks. It has been a good ride. tho. I am grateful for what this has taught me! I was thinking to myself today what and where I would be without this experience. I can't imagine trying to be a husband and father without first being an Elder. It has definitely built me a good foundation for the rest of my life!