Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Torn Pants

We had another good week here in Murrieta. We made some progress, just another week when no one has been home. However we have seen some miracles none the less. Some things that happend this week, we set a new baptismal date,Shant was out of town but came to church, and we lost the our cell phone.Yes we actually lost it.
First of all we set a new baptismal date with a 16 year old named Brody. We started teaching him about a month ago when Dominic invited him to come to church. Before church we stopped by Dominic's house to wake him up and Brody was there waiting to go to church. So we taught him the restoration, gave him a Book of Mormon, then proceeded to church. He loved it however he disappeared for a while and we were unable to continue to meet with him. This last Friday our ward had a BBQ. We realized about an hour before the BBQ that we had forgot to invite Dominic and his family to come. We decided to make a quick stop by and invite them. When we went over Brody and Dominic were hanging out in the garage. We invited both of them to come eat, and play kick ball with us. They said they would come and then we left to clean off the picnic tables at the pavilion behind the church. Soon the party started and D and B showed up. They both told us how grateful they were that we invited them. Then D told us of the conversation he and Brody had after we left. He said that B mentioned how good he felt at church and while we were around and wondered why. D told him about the spirit and how it confirms truth. Then he went on and told Brody he needed to get baptized. B agreed and they headed off to the BBQ. Elder Rl and I were both in shock. We didn't expect it. Anyway we then asked him when he would like to get baptized he said, " I am available next Saturday." D then said "No you will need another week to learn everything." As much as we wanted to have a one week baptism we agreed and set a baptismal date for April 27.
S is still doing well. He was out of town in Mexico City this last week, but was still able to make it to church. He is still excited to be baptized on April 27. It should be a busy day. Brother B the ward missionary who introduced us to S is working on finding him an apartment in our ward boundaries. Yes he doesn't live in our ward boundaries, or our mission boundaries. Not yet anyway. Brother Bowman doesn't want anyone else to teach his friend. What can we do?
So we lost our phone on Saturday. We spent the morning driving around trying to find people on a list that Bishop Pulispher gave us. We decided to take a break for lunch and we got a call to pick up the Elders in the Cole Canyon ward because they were stranded at the Stake Center. We picked them up and took them to where they live. When we were there we got mail. In the mail Elder Russell got a gift card to go to Little Caesars so we decided to go there for lunch. We went inside to get the pizza, and the gift card didn't work. So Elder R had to pay using his credit card. I told him he should call the number on the back of the giftcard to see if there was anything on it. Thats when we noticed we didn't have our phone. We knew that we had just had it when we had got a call from the Cole Canyon Elders, but it was missing. In that time we had not gotten out of the car at all only to go into Little Caesars. We checked the car and found nothing, so we decided to go back in and check. We looked around and didn't see it. Elder R started to get mad becuase he put all the blame on himself. He said it was all his fault that we lost the phone. He had it in the car and said that he must of lost it in Little Caesars and someone stole it. There was nothing at that point that we could do so we went back to our apartment. The Murrieta Hills Elders live with us in the same apartment complex, so we went by and asked them to call/text our phone, and wait so see if someone would respond. No one did so we went to eat lunch in our apartment. When we got in there Elder R took his pants by the pocket and tore them down the seem. He said it wasn't the first time that he had lost something because to the small pockets his pants had. I was is shock I didn't know what to do. Shortly after Elder R changed into some other pants we got a knock at the door. It was the Murrieta Hills Elders. They said that the Cole Canyon Elders that we gave a ride home took our phone, and that they still had it. I just started to laugh because Elder R had tore his pants over it.
Any way we are going to have a mission conference this Saturday with M. Russell Ballard. We are soo excited and can't wait to hear what he has to say. I will let you know what happens.
Love Elder Paget

What I learned from Conference- April 7th

 This last week was great. We finally picked up a solid new investigator, set a baptismal date, and watched conference. You can't really get better than that in one week. We have been very blessed over the last week.
So last I told you of the crazy miracle we had on Sunday. Another person show up at church. It is the 3rd time this year it has happened. It is pretty incredible how new investigators have just showed up to church, right when we need them. His name is S, he is Armenian. Brother B a ward missionary invited him to come to church after meeting him at Denny's. He is awesome. We got the chance to meet with him a few times this week. We had our first lesson with him on Wednesday when we taught him the Restoration and invited him to be baptized. He accepted and will be preparing himself to be baptized on April 27. We then taught him again on Friday the first part of the Plan of Salvation, he loved every second of it. At the end of the lesson we invited him to watch the Sunday morning session of conference with us at the Stake Center. He asked us if it was a coincidence that they were speaking right as he started to investigate the church. Before we could answer his question. He responded, "I think not." He was so excited to hear from the prophet. On Sunday he watched the first session with us. He thought it was amazing and very inspiring. He stuck around and ate lunch with us at the Stake Center that some members had provided. As we ate we taught him the last half of the Plan of Salvation. S decided to stay and watch the afternoon session with us as well. He only made it through about the first hour when he had to leave. It was probably a little to much for him. It takes a lot of patience and conditioning to be able to watch conference. However it was incredible that he has wanted to learn so much and to participate as much as he can. He is going to be heading of vacation to Mexico City to see his brother this next week, but says he will do everything in his power to make it to church on Sunday. He is incredible.
General Conference was amazing. I have truly gained a testimony, and appreciation for it. I love to learn and be inspired by our modern day Prophet and Apostles. I have learned so much over the last weekend. I learned so much that it would be impossible to write it all down however, I wanted to share in a brief summary what I have learned from this last Conference.I have taken bits and pieces from talks that have stood out to me and put them together.
I have come to know, that we learned and trained in the premortal life, to deal with the opposition that comes in proportion to the spread and strength of the Gospel. We now need to develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to replace our fears that we have. We learn that we can not fear man more than God. We gain our knowledge of Eternal value through prayer, pondering, and scripture study. Obedience becomes an emblem of our faith. As we gratefully, Rely and pull together with our Master, we are able to stand up courageously for what we believe in. We become Heroes to those around us, as we share the message of the Restoration with others and lift each others burdens. Ensuring that we don't sleep through the Restoration. We fulfill our duties and keep our covenants. Knowing that we are a "choice" generation. We choose to have technology empower us and not enslave us. When using technology we use the best filter, our personal testimony, to stay away from the filth of the world. We make the choice to allow the Atonement and Gospel of Jesus Christ to change us permanently. Our desires become God's desires. What we desire will become what we are, and what you receive in the eternities. We seek to lay up treasures in heaven, rather than the things of the world. We do all we can in our power to find truth. As we do, we learn that Jesus Christ was not mearly a carpenters son, but the Savior and Redeemer of the World. We better understand the priesthood, or the power and authority to act in his name. When we pray we prepare to talk with Heavenly Father. We act as he would have done and don't wait for a second chance to be kind. We research our family history, and learn about our ancestors conversion stories. We study Preach My Gospel to better understand Heavenly Fathers Plan for us. Ultimately we become True to the Faith.
Love Elder Paget

End of the First Quarter- April 1st

We had a pretty good week. It is then end of the first quarter of the year. As a mission we had a goal of 85 baptisms by March 31. I am pleased to announce that we exceeded our goal and ended up with 110 Baptisms! :) It is awesome. We have a goal of 100 baptisms for the next quarter that we are now working towards. We are still continuing to try to find new investigators. It has been really hard this last week because it has been spring break here. Which means no one has been home. But we will keep pressing on and keep moving forward. We will see if things pick up soon. There is still one more week of spring break that we have to endure.

We had crazy miracle on Sunday. Another person show up at church. It is the 3rd time this year it has happened. It is pretty incredible how new investigators have just showed up to church, right when we need them. His name is S and Brother B a ward missionary invited him to come to church after meeting him at Denny's. He is awesome and we have an appointment to teaching on tomorrow.

We finally dropped M after teaching him for 6 months. It is sad because he knows the church is true but he is unwilling to make the changes necessary to be baptized. To be able to join Christ's true church. So we won't be teaching him from now on, but will still stop by to teach is younger siblings who were recently baptized. So I am sorry we probably won't have very more interesting stories from the F home or have my companions continue to get drunk off of rum cake.

Elder Paget

The Power to Choose- March 24

Things are going well here in Murrieta. We have really been focused on finding new people to teach. All the people we have been teaching recently have stopped progressing and are not keeping our commitments. It is really sad to see someone to stop when they are so close to realizing for themselves the Truth of our message.
As a missionary we will not force anyone to make the right decisions or turn their life around for the better. Everyone we teach has their own God given free agency, and we can't take that from them. Over the last week I have felt just a small portion of what God must feel like when we and those around us make the decision to turn away from him. However sad it may seem, we know that their choice or agency is one of the most important gifts God has given to us and to them. It is pretty remarkable to know of the love and confidence that our Heavenly Father has in us, to make the right decisions so we can return once agian to him. Even though God knows that by giving us this power to choose not all of his children would make it back to live in his presence.
We have always had the power to choose. In the premortal life we had to choose between God's plan and Lucifer's plan. As a result 1/3 of the hosts of heaven revolted and were cast out of heaven. It must have been devastating for Heavenly Father. However, knowing that 2/3 of his children still had the chance to become like him, he was willing to make the sacrifice of 1/3 of his children, so that we could have this opportunity to progress and choose for ourselves, right from wrong. He wants what is best for us, and will not force us to come back to him. We have to make that choice for ourselves. He has provided a wonderful opportunity to learn and to grow here on Earth. We must take advantage of it and make the right decisions in the here and now, so that the happily ever after in the future is a reality.
Over this last week I went of exchanges with Elder J in his area. We had a great time and took me tracting for the first time on my mission. Well he kind off forced me into it. I told Elder W that I had never gone tracting before and that I never planned on ever going. He told our district leader Elder J about it before he was transferred. Elder J then took advantage of the exchange and took me tracting for thirty minutes. Just to make sure I would get the opportunity to do it.
M has not been progressing and has been watching anti-mormon videos on youtube lately, so he probably will not be getting baptized on April 13.
C J is still going strong and her husband A is slowly progressing.
We picked up a part member family that we have been teaching, named the S. Hopefully they continue to learn and to have future lessons with us.
Love Elder Paget