Monday, January 28, 2013

Gooood Morning Brown Family!! (Alex knows)


Alright, so week one with my new companion in this new transfer. It's been great!! Last week on Tuesday and Wednesday Elder XXXXX was sick :/ so we couldn't do much. That was such a bummer for him. His last two days in Stockton and he was sick. Then Thursday we drove down to
the transfer point and dropped off Elder XXXXX (Donald’s companion), said our farewells and picked up Elder XXXXX (new companion).  He has been out just as long as Elder XXXX (14 months) and is a great guy. He's willing to work hard and be obedient. It's been hard the past few days because
obviously he isn't familiar with the area or the investigators or the potential investigators that we are working with yet. So basically all the planning and teaching and finding has to be led by me for a while.  It's a heavy responsibility but I'm willing to work hard and as long as the Lord is on my side I know I'll be fine.

Elder XXXXX (new companion) is from Idaho and is a super funny guy. He loves to play guitar, so whenever we go over to the XXXXX's he plays their guitar. He used to be in a heavy metal band.
He's awesome and I'm honored to be serving with him in this area at this time.

Yesterday was XXXXX's baptism! It was so awesome! It's so awesome seeing someone like her make such a special and sacred covenant with her Father in Heaven. It's been such a blessing in my
life to have to opportunity to teach her. My testimony has grown so much as a result of teaching her. I love this gospel and the happiness it brings to the lives of those that embrace it. It's the only thing
in this life that can bring true happiness.

This week we will hopefully be getting 3 new investigators. One of them is a part member/less active family that I am really excited to teach. They remind me so much of our family.  I can't wait to share the
gospel with this family, and show them how it can bless their lives. We are meeting with them tonight! Pray for them!

Alright, gotta go! Love you all so much! Looking forward to your letters! Have a good week!! :)

Monday, January 21, 2013

A New Transfer Begins!

So on Saturday night we were awaiting transfer calls. And after being here in Stockton for almost 3 months.... I will continue to be here in Stockton. My trainer, my companion, my brother, however, will not. It was a sad day. Elder XXXXX will be serving down in XXXXX Arkansas. He is also becoming a district leader. He is going to be awesome. He is an awesome leader and he will do great in his new area and leadership position. Stockton is now my responsibility while my new companion Elder XXXXX learns the area, the people and the work here in Stockton. Elder XXXXX came out with Elder XXXXX (current companion), so he's been out about a year and a couple months now. Transfers will be on Thursday of this week. We will drive down to the transfer point and drop Elder XXXXX off, and I will return with my new companion.

To be completely dishonest, I feel totally adequate to take over this area haha! Seriously though, this transfer is going to be a challenge. But I'm ready! Bring it on! I am very sad that Elder XXXXX will be leaving however. I love him, and I am so grateful for everything that he has taught me.

XXXXX will be baptized this coming Sunday. I'm so excited for her. It has been such an incredible experience to see her desire to learn and to grow. The amount of faith that she has shown amazes me, and I can't wait to see her enter the waters of Baptism and enter into that wonderful covenant.

I forgot to mention this in my email last week, last Sunday there was a really bad ice storm. An ice storm is a storm where the rain is frozen. It's not hail, it's not sleet, it's not snow, it just ice. So everything gets completely coated in ice and it looks like everything is covered in diamonds. It’s pretty sweet. The roads were so dangerous and icy that church was cancelled and we weren't allowed to drive anywhere. Nobody drove anywhere. So we studied and spent time at the XXXXXs all day. It was driving us crazy that we couldn't go out and work.

Accomplishment: we taught 20 lessons this week. A Stockton area record. And we achieved our Mission Standard of excellence.

It was a great week.

Monday, January 14, 2013


Hello Family!

Taylor: That story is so awesome!  She sounds like such a sweet spirit. Surprisingly I haven't received any opposition quite as dramatic as that yet. That is sad that she doesn't believe that she will be with her husband. Hopefully there’s a missionary opportunity in there somewhere!

This week was a pretty good week filled with good lessons to our investigators and lots of tracting. That’s awesome that the missionaries in your ward want to use the survey idea! I hope it works our well for them! I'd like to know what their approach is to using a survey. Could you get some info on what they have been doing and let me know? Thanks!

I have been studying this week from Matthew. Specifically learning about the parables and miracles Christ taught and performed. My favorite one is Matthew 14:22-33, because of it's application to our lives. I would be curious to see what you all think about this story and how it applies to our lives.

Dad told me about how the missionaries went to his softball game one time and he really liked that. So on Wednesday we went to this poetry competition at the High School, where our investigator XXXXX was competing! It was pretty sweet, a lot of talented kids. XXXXX did great!

On Friday we had Zone Training Meeting. A meeting where we meet with our whole Zone and different companionships give instruction in certain areas of missionary work. We also get some instruction from our Zone Leaders, Elder XXXXX and Elder XXXXX. Elder XXXXX is awesome, he served (where I am serving)  for 9 months! So at the end of the meeting the Zone Leaders were talking about faith. They asked us if we had faith and if we believed that God was preparing people to receive our message. We all said yes of course, so Elder XXXXX said, do you have faith that if we went out looking for them right now you could find someone?! We were all like ya probably. Then he said ok then lets do it! So our whole Zone went tracting in this one neighborhood. So sweet. Eldre XXXXX and I knocked on 3 doors with no luck. But the 4th door a man answered. We did our normal door approach and asked him if we could do the survey with him. He politely declined, and we walked away. As we stepped off the sidewalk we heard the door open behind us, I turned around and saw the man motioning for us to come back inside. We walked back to the house and entered the screen door. We gave him the survey and after conversing for a little bit, the man said "the only reason I let you guys back in my house is because the Holy Spirit told me to". We continued to teach him about the Book of Mormon and how it could bless his life, he accepted the invitation to read and pray about it and accepted another visit from the missionaries in his area.

God is preparing souls to receive YOUR message. All you have to do is have faith, and open your mouth. I promise He won't let you down.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Hola! Happy New Year!

Well so far 2013 has been a great year. We had 14 lessons this week along with one Baptism and Confirmation. It was so sweet. On Saturday, XXXXX was baptized! I was so happy to see him enter the waters of baptism and to make such a sacred covenant with his Heavenly Father, who I know is so pleased with him. XXXXX doesn't realize how much he has blessed my life. It has built my faith so much seeing him go through this process. And the hope I have for every generation that comes after XXXXX is immense. I pray that his influence will bless the life of his posterity in generations to come, as I know it has already blessed mine.

On Wednesday we had exchanges again. This time I was here in XXXXX with Elder XXXXX. My first time being in my area without Elder XXXXX (my companion). When you are in your area on an exchange you have to lead everything because the other missionary you are with doesn't know your investigators or the plans you've made. So every exchange I've been on up until now, I was just following the other missionary's lead. But this time I had to call all the shots and lead everything. It was awesome! On top of all that, I had to drive a car for the first time in 3 month. No bueno. But it was all good. We taught 6 lessons that day, 5 while going door to door and 1 lesson with XXXXX. It was a great day.

Needless to say I was in shock when I got the call from the mission office saying that she had just spoken with my dad! and that my aunt and uncle where in XXXXX! Telling me I should go visit them! And my aunt's dad had just had a heart attack! It was so cool seeing Uncle XXXXX and Aunt XXXXX! and XXXXX! We went over there and visited with them for a while. It was sooooooo awesome to see them. So nice to see some family!  Aunt XXXXX's family is so awesome. They told us to come by and visit them whenever, so we will definitely be doing that.

Being a missionary continues to be choice, choice above all other jobs. I love it.

(This is an e-mail we received from Elder Sherwood’s uncle…
One thing I forgot to mention.  Donald was greeted by XXXXX's two dogs, a
black lab named Libby and a great Dane named Maggie.  They are very friendly and wanted to make sure Donald felt welcome.  The down side was that both dogs had had a run in with a skunk a couple nights before and were not smelling their best.  Rest assured Donald is getting a full sense of what
life is like in a rural town.)