Wednesday, June 25, 2014

June 23- ONE YEAR DOWN! A lifetime to go!

Well I don't have a lot of time this week. There is never enough time. It is going by so fast. I can't believe that I have been serving for a year now. It is crazy. It definitely doesn't feel like it. It feels like one never ending summer. I love being a missionary. It is absolutely the greatest thing I have ever done. I have learned and grown so much. Spiritually and hopefully physically as well. I have had a blast. It is a lot of hard work, but totally worth it. One of the most asked questions you get on a mission is, why did you decide to serve? It is funny because a lot of missionaries say that they had a spiritual experience, or something told them that they needed to go and do. However I never had any of that. I never had an experience like that. I just always knew that I needed to serve a mission. It was never a doubt in my mind. I knew that it is what the Lord expected of me, and it was one way I could try to repay the Savior. For being able to be cleansed of all the sins and stupid mistakes I have made, making it possible to be with family for eternity. He has change my life immensely. And what better thing can you do than to help him change others? Now I have a year down, and a Lifetime to go being his disciple, and doing as he would do. Missions are only for two years. Sure you will return , but you can never retire, being a missionary lasts forever.

Everything is going well. Elder Me and I are working as hard as week can. We talked to over 226 people this last week. It was insane and we are seeing a lot of miracles come from it. We have picked up a lot of potential investigators, and even a few return appointments. I will let you know next week how it goes.

Elder Paget

June 16- Rum French Toast. Wait......not again!

Well I don't know what to write about this week. There has not been anything that has been new or very exciting happen. We talked to a lot of people this week and made a return appointment. But it is for the spanish sisters. It is tough, all of the investigators that we find are for different wards. All of the investigators that we are teaching, except Autumn, should be taught by other missionaries. However our ward members want us to teach them instead of the missionaries that are supposed to. They recognize that we are really good teachers,and we love that, but it puts us in an awkward position. We can continue to teach them but we can't ever help them progress and be baptized. Elder Metcalfe and I decided that we were going to fix the problem and make everything right. Now the only problem was we didn't want to offend any of the members by suddenly switching missionaries on their friends and family. We decided to bring it up to the bishop at ward council and seek his advice on how we can hand off our investigators smoothly and not get any one mad. He told us that he wants us to continue to teach them and not hand them off. So we are back a square one STILL trying to find people that WE can teach and baptize. 

Actually a funny thing happened a week or so ago. I really don't know what the deal is with my companions and rum. Somehow they just gravitate toward each other. Elder Metcalfe really wanted to make some french toast. So one day he decided to go through our kitchen to see if we had all the ingredients for his special recipe. He found bread, eggs, cinnamon and sugar, the essentials. As he finished his search, he said that they only thing he now needed was rum extract. "Rum Extract?" I responded. Then I went on and told him of my experience of Elder Wilkinson eating the rum cake. He said that it was funny, and he then told me about how his dad put real rum in their french toast. "Of course," he explained, "that when you cook it, the alcohol cooks out." Now fast forward to a few nights later when we are sitting at dinner with some members in our ward and the topic came up again. They members just so happened to have the rum extract that Elder Metcalfe was looking for. The next morning, Elder Metcalfe proudly made his fathers famous french toast. He didn't want any so he just made some for me. There is the first red flag. I took one bit, and all of the sudden I tasted alcohol. I said to my self that is funny, this doesn't have any alcohol in it. Then I asked how much of the rum extract Elder Metcalfe had used. He said that used a few drops, but he had finished the rest of the bottle that was at least 1/3 of  the way full. Not to mention the french toast was not cooked all the way. I ate four slices of french toast and could not eat any more. So Elder Metcalfe decided he would finish off the rest. He said "Wow, this tastes just as good as when my dad had made it with real rum. It is like you can taste the alcohol and everything." To make a long story short I decided I would look at the bottle and to our surprise rum extract is 35% alcohol. I was surprised. The good thing is that nothing happened to either one of us. No one got "drunk" or couldn't ride our bikes, but I just thought it was funny. I didn't think that another rum story would come up. Who knows what will happen next?

Elder Paget

June 9- Murrieta with Metcalfe

A lot has happened in the last week or so. First it was time to say goodbye to Elder R as he came to the end of his faithful 2 year service. It is always hard when you get a new companion, but this was probably the toughest one yet. You end up becoming great friends and know how to work with each other. Then at the end of the transfer you go in your separate directions. It was hard not to get trunky because he was preparing to go home to the place where I call home also. It was especially tough because we both lived in the same area, went to the same high school, know the same people, and the list goes on. It would have been a lot easier if Elder R had lived some where else in the USA or even in a different county in Utah. It probably would not have affected me. It definitely got me to think a lot about home, but more importantly it got me thinking of who I want to be when I come home. Will I be changed? Or will I be the same person with the same problems? Will I make every minute count while I am serving or will slack off? I has been hard, but It has had a great impact on me now that I have been out almost 1 year. I am now striving to be that changed missionary, when I return home, being able to say I gave it my all.

Second, I got a new companion his name is Elder Me he is from Middleburg, Florida. It was actually quite funny. I totally called that he would be my companion. He was serving here in Murrieta in a different ward, when we got our transfer calls. Him and his companion were being both taken out of the area, so sisters could serve in their ward. When I heard this I immediately told Elder Russell that he was going to be in zone transferred and become my companion. When we were at the transfer meeting, President Kendrick called my name and said, " Elder Paget your new companion is going to be Elder Me." I immediatley yelled, "Called it!" Anyway he is a great missionary, who is not afraid to work hard and give it all that he has got.

We picked up a new investigator this week. Her name is C. She is related to a member in our ward that was recently baptized. She doesn't live in our ward boundaries but her relative wants us to teach her. We have taught her the Plan of Salvation, and Gospel of Jesus Christ. Right now she is interested in learning more, and is not ready to become a member..... just yet. The member said we could teach her on the conditions that we would not invite her to be baptized. It is super hard not to especially when that is what all the lessons are about, and our purpose is to FIND, TEACH, and BAPTIZE. So what did we do? Well lets just say we that we softly invited her to be baptized. We asked her, "When you know these things are true will you be baptized?" She said she would definitely think about it. She is making a lot of progress and look forward to meeting with her on Wednesday. 

A is still making progress. Her Mom has not given her permission yet to be baptized. But we know she will do it soon. Please keep praying for her.

Elder Paget

June 2- Service, Service, Service

This last week has been pretty good. We just keep going forward. It has gone by super fast. There is so much that we have had to do in Elder R's last week as a missionary. We have worked super hard and got the most contacts our area has had in over a year! I have been trying to help Elder R go out with a bang and end his mission off right.It is sad that he is ending his mission and not going to be my companion any more, but I am excited that I will be staying here in Murrieta for another 6 more weeks. We are making a lot of slow progress that needs to keep going.

We didn't have a lot of lessons this week but we did a lot of service and built friendships and relationships with members and non members. We helped a lady load up a truck with her stuff to move to Longmont, Colorado on Friday. It was really hard to fit all of her stuff in. It was really hot and humid, and did I mention her house totally smelled like pot? I guess now I know why she is moving to Colorado. Anyway, on Saturday we helped a less active family clear off there hill side of weeds and debris. They said that what would have taken them 3 weeks took us a little under 3 hours. Need less to say that they absolutely love us. Their son, who is also a less active member, builds all the cars for Rockstar energy drink that are at the car shows. So on Saturday they took us to Outback steak house for lunch then gave us the tour of his shop. It was awesome. They hooked us up with some Rockstar t-shirts and a pair of Dragon Sun glasses that are probably worth $100. We are going back this Saturday to help them out some more, and possibly helping them build one of their next cars. Should be fun.

A is doing great. We were unable to teach her but we did some service for her Mom. I had to use my handyman skills that I picked up from working with my Grandpa Salmon. To fix some curtains that were way to high. We had to lower them about a foot so that the curtains would completely block out all the sun. Also the Robinson, our ward misson leaders, family bought A a new quad and had all the Laurels, and us sign it. She loves it and now can't wait to start reading the Doctrine and Covenants.

Other than that we are still teaching M and her family. They are making progress and we will see them tomorrow night. 

Elder Paget

May 27- Busy Week

We have been pretty busy over the last week. We have been trying to prepare for a baptism, zone conference, and went by a bunch of people on a list that our bishop wanted us to visit. Unfortunately we didn't have our baptism, however we had a great time at zone conference and talked to a lot of people.

This last Sunday Autumn was supposed to be baptized. However her Mom would not give her permission. It was very sad to see someone so happy, and so excited because she was going to be baptized, then become disappointed because she was unable to. Even though her Mom will not let her get baptized she is very involved with the church and all of our activities. She has been going to mutual, and is planing on going to girls camp and Mormon Prom.

Shant is scheduled to be baptized this next Sunday but after his trip to Mexico he has dropped off the radar and we have been unable to get a hold of him. We are planning on handing him off to another set of Elders.

The next week after that Marley is supposed to be baptized but that also has been put on hold. Her and her family are trying to find out a better date for her baptism, so everyone can be there. 

So all three baptismal dates that we had have now dropped. We are now trying to find new investigators and set some new baptismal dates. Wish us luck.

Elder Paget

The Fire is 100% contained!

Thanks again for all your prayers and concern.

Tuesday Fire Update- May 20

It appears the last remaining fire is proving to be somewhat difficult to fully contain. Reports as of mid-day today were that it is 93% contained
We will keep you posted until its 100%. Thanks again for your concern and prayers.

Monday Fire Update- May 19

The last remaining large fire in our mission is 89% contained. The authorities suspected it would be 100% contained yesterday but its proving to be a little more difficult. However all our missionaries are back in their apartments and have returned to their normal routines.
Thanks again for your prayers on our behalf.

May 19- Fire

This last week has been pretty crazy. From fires close by raining ashes on us, to the spiritual wild fires burning inside our investigators.

First the actual fire. It is sad to hear about and see so many wild fires going on at the same time. First the Mission was on fire spiritually by all the baptisms that everyone was having, now the Mission is literally on fire. It is crazy that all the fires that are burning in Southern California are in our mission boundaries. I think there was 10 or more different wild fires started in the last week. Most of them reported have been caused by an arson. Even though the closest fire to us was about 20 minutes away, we still got tons of smoke and ashes falling from the sky. On Friday night, while we were out and about there was lots of people telling us that we needed to get inside to stay away from the smoke and debris. We had work to do, souls to save, a car, and only a few hours left. So we decided that we would stay out for the rest of the night, but that if it was as bad as it was on Saturday that we would stay inside. Because we would not have the car anymore and would have to bike in the polluted air. Luckily it was pretty much cleared up by the next morning and we continued on.

Now the wild fires burning with our investigators. A is still doing great. She has finished the Book of Mormon for the second time. WOW! She is preparing herself to be baptized this next Sunday. However her Mom is not supporting her. Yesterday she text us that she would be a little late for church and asked if we could save her a seat. We told her that her friend B would save her a seat. She showed up and told us that she had been taking her stripes, and then quickly sat down because Sacrament was starting. I didn't realize what she was saying. It didn't make sense to me. Then in the middle of sacrament she ran out, crying. We didn't know what was happening. Sister Robinson one of her Young Women leaders and her friend B went out to see what was the matter. About 10 minutes later they all came back in and sat down. Sister Robinson passed a note to us explaining what was wrong. She said that A had been yelled at by her Mother all morning. Telling her that she is ruining the family and that she wouldn't let her get baptized. A was really disappointed and started to break down from all of it at church. She really wants to get baptized and is worried that her Mom won't let her do it. So we are going over tonight to smooth things over and get her Moms approval. So please pray for her that she will still be baptized.

S is taking the lessons again. Now he is set to be baptized on June 1.

We picked up a new investigator this last week named M. She is 9 years old and is in a part member family. She has not been baptized yet. We started teaching her and the rest of her less active family this last week. She is set to be baptized on June 8.

Elder Paget

Sunday Fire Update- May 18

All evacuations have been lifted. All missionaries are now allowed back in their apartments.

The last major remaining fire was reported to be 85% contained as of this morning. Likely its 100% now, but we won't know officially until tomorrow.
Thanks again for your concern and prayers,
The Carlsbad Mission

Fire Update- May 17

The last major fire in our mission is now 70% contained. Although not all evacuation orders have been lifted. All our missionaries are back in their apartments except for one companionship and we think its likely they will be able to return later this evening.
We will keep you updated until the last major fire is deemed 100% contained by local authorities.
Thanks for your support and faithfulness.
The California Carlsbad Mission

Update on California Carlsbad Mission Safety Friday Afternoon 5/16/2014

Dear Parents,
All missionaries are safe. On Wednesday night we had 13 companionships stay at member homes as their apartment complexes were in evacuation zones. Thursday night only 2 companionships stayed at member homes.  We may not be at an end for evacuations, but we will keep the missionaries safe.  Heavenly Father is aware of each of them.
None of our missionaries were ever in danger nor were their apartment complexes in imminent danger. All evacuated missionaries, except one companionship, were able to retrieve their personal belongings before being evacuated. Evacuation orders for the missionary apartments in some areas were lifted as of this morning, but other areas may still be evacuated. 
Most of the fires in our mission are beginning to be contained.  Twenty fire chiefs are working together with officials from Cal Fire and other agencies to coordinate the firefighting effort. Eleven helicopters, two air tankers and some bulldozers have come in to help, along with experienced crews of firefighters from various areas in California and other states.  This is a highly coordinated fire-fighting effort, with massive support.
We began sending out mass emails to you all on Wednesday but soon learned that some were not receiving them. We now think our technical issues have been resolved and we will continue to keep you updated via email.
If you have question please respond to this email or call the mission office at  (this number contains an option to contact us for emergencies 24/7)
Thanks for the tremendous support you offer your children as they faithfully serve.
President Kendrick

May 16- California Carlsbad Missionaries are Safe

Your missionaries are safe.  The 9 fires burning in the area of the mission boundaries are being vigorously attacked by fire crews both local and pouring in from other areas.  We join with others in the community offering prayers for the safety of those prosecuting the fires.
Thirteen companionships spent the night in member homes to avoid the heavy smoke that is in some areas.  None of the missionaries were harmed and all were able to collect what they needed for their overnight stay.  They may or may not spend more than one night away from their apartments.  The Mission President is watching over the missionaries carefully.
Best regards,
Sister Michaele Burris
President’s Secretary

May 15, 2014 Update on the Fires in Carlsbad

President Kendrick is carefully monitoring the progress of the fire crews.  He has determined that two companionships still need to remain housed with members tonight as a precautionary measure.  All the missionaries are safe. 
Evacuations in San Diego are by ZIP codes; if one corner of a ZIP code is evacuated, the entire ZIP code is evacuated. The missionaries that were evacuated were never in danger and their apartment buildings are secure.  Many evacuations are due to a closure of a portion of the access road to the apartment.