Monday, January 4, 2016

January 4, 2016: New Year...New Me!


A little poem I wrote in my studies this week

Each morning arise at 6:23,
Hoping to find the one that might see
The message you have for all men to hear
The one that you share without any fear!

Knock doors all day long walking miles on end,
You look for those that are ready; they'll soon be your friend.
It may take hours, it may even take days
But the smile that you wear- it always stays.

"Why build a boat?!" Said two brothers of old,
"We'll go back to Jerusalem and buy one as sold!
For you've never seen a boat, let alone know the sail
So give up now and we'll just take the trail!"

Did the young prophet shrink, did he fall off the path?
Did he follow his brothers, to avoid their great wrath?
Did he look at his task and think "Oh not for me!
Some other good man could sail this great sea!"

All the rules, guides, and restrictions may seem like a drag
May even give elders good reason to brag!
"My mission was hard, but obedient I was!"
Even though he moved slowly, through the thickest of sludge!

Do we as great elders fall off of the straight path,
Do we follow the devil, to avoid his great wrath?
Do we look at our task and think "Oh, not for me!
Some other good man could sail this great sea!"

How could you do it?! Some may ask through your life
How could you deal with the toils and strife?
The hardships, exhaustion, and even some tears
Filling your life for the whole of two years?!

Two years of your life, one fervent accord
Yes one single purpose 'tween you and the lord.
Remember the courage of Nephi of old,
Who said to his brothers- with a purpose so bold:

"The lord in his power can do mighty things,
Turn water into earth, the sea into rings!
So if he could do mighty things and not trip,
I see no reason why I can't build this ship!"

~Nephi 17:50-51

Another great preparation day, forgot to email my family again though.
I guess that's what they get for not emailing me right? ;p
Zone games was nothin but pod ball, and it was pretty fun. We played a
bunch of different variations of the game thereof- companionships,
zombies vs. aliens, and all sort of weird named the things that I
doubt I'm going to remember far into the future! Haha
We had dinner with the B family, who is in a very different
situation. All the kids are the mom's by birth, and then the stepdad is
a less active member.... The kids real dad is an atheist, so they have
a hard time trying to raise them in the gospel. They do they best they
can, and from what I saw they were doing great! They are an amazing
family and they all love having missionaries over. Sister B is
the founder of a health and dietary company in Missoula, so she left
us with all sorts of Healthy smoothie mixes, drink mixes, and recipes!
I can't wait to try at least a couple of them out!
After dinner we had a lesson with a less active family in the ward-
the Hs. The house is usually hectic- 13 people running around
usually! Hahah well it was nice to actually be able to get it,
especially because there was only 3 people there! We were able to read
a great chapter out of the Book of Mormon, and discuss a couple of
concerns they had. This new handbook change is making a lot of
contention amongst the members I am coming to find!
Elder Wallgren: Lazarus is a drama queen.
12/29 The morning we got to give some shoveling service.... Some INTENSE service. Haha we went over to a part members family's house and we spent almost 2 hours shovel ice and snow..... off of the roof! That was probably one of the more terrifying things I have ever done. We were definitely blessed by the lord to not slip or fall at all, because there were some spots on that roof that had ice that was probably 3-4 inches thick. Snow is sketchy.... Beyond all reason. My first day in Seeley Lake! Seeley Lake is a little..... Little haha. The town is encompassed by like three lakes, and so all the people that live there either fish or sail. I saw little boats at just about every house in town, but I guess there was only like 6-7 dozen of them! We didn't have too much to get done while we were in Seeley, so we did a lot of shoveling snow and random visits while we were there. The members that I was able to meet are pretty awesome, and I can tell that they want to work hard to build this little branch into a a ward! We were able to meet with our one family of investigators up there, and teaching them is definitely.... Interesting! Haha the family consists of a 16 year old, a 14 year old, and a 12 year old. They are all about as crazy and energetic as they could possibly be! Focusing is hard, but once we did focus the lesson was awesome and we were able to share some great stuff about the plan of salvation!!!! Right before we went back to Clinton, we met with the R family, an older couple in the branch. Everybody calls brother R Papa Smurf, which if you met and talked win him you understand! They are pretty sweet, and they definitely have a strong testimony in the gospel! 12/30 District meeting was pretty sweet. We went over the entire gospel of Jesus Christ, each missionary taking a piece. I got to talk about faith. Haha so much to talk about! I ended up using Moses 7:13-14 and talking about if faith causes earthquakes, floods, and islands to rise up, with small amounts of faith not only could our investigators become converted, but we might be able to show them the things that they need to know!
We had a couple lessons today, but really it was another full day of finding and contacting people we needed to find! The first lesson we had was with the lady last week with all the cars and other animals. I'm not gonna lie, I was a little scared to go into the house. I didn't wanna get marked again!!! Haha But we were able to teach a really great lesson about fasting and bearing our testimonies! 12/31 Thursday was...................... All I can say it crap hit the fan. We had a few lessons with some of our investigators on date for baptism. We were super ready and excited for the lessons! We planned on going in and asking all of the baptismal interview questions to both of them to prepare them for their interviews that were both coming up soon. Were. Let's just say that neither of them are on date anymore. Question 4 was our worst enemy that day. All I'm allowed to say (without names) is that we found out today that we are teaching not only a homosexual (which for us is no issue, but for the church and for baptism it is quite the issue) but also an un-convicted felon. Hmmm..... Well. Shoot. On the upside, the un-convicted felon has repented with God for the things he did, and all he needs to do is pay the fine to be able to be baptized. They are definitely a changed person, and I know that they are prepared to become members of the church! However, the other investigator was on to route to change. They have a very strong belief that God gave them the attractions that they were feeling, and that even though they had not even attempted to find a partner in almost 7 years, they would definitely marry someone if they found their "soulmate". Well.... They still love us and are really loving working with us, but unfortunately they don't understand that with those standards they cannot become a member of the church. Oh well, all I know is that they have a SUPER strong testimony of the Book of Mormon, so even though they have been taught for almost 9 months this was the perfect time for this to come out!
Elder Wallgren: Your face when you lose the 116 pages.
1/1 We met with both of our "problem" investigators again. We let the, know that fortunately they could not be baptized in their current situation, and that unless they were to change they could not really even become a member. They both understood really well and expressed their love and appreciation for the church and their desire to still come to Sunday services even without being a member (yet). I love the church and the comfort and safety if provides for all of the world! Besides that the day was just a really big shock. Our car (in the dirt) had profanity written all over it when we woke up in the morning. It was going to be an issue, but our neighbors came over and confessed that the did it at about 11:45 that night, and they were super drunk. They apologized very sincerely, and we actually got an opportunity to share our beliefs about the Word of Wisdom- anything that allows Satan to have an increased influence over you is very bad! They paid for a car wash and now I feel like we are only closer to our neighbors! 1/2 Saturday was a rest day. Both my companion and I are both feeling kind of sick, and so we spent a lot of the day chillin in the apartment, reading, and making soup for each other lol. We had an interview with the mission presidency, or at least one of the councilors. It was kinda weird because he wasn't in Missoula to do the interviews, so we had to go to the church to face time with him. First interview I have ever had not in person, so it was definitely different, but it was still very cool and very needed! We taught D E today about the 10 commandments, and then we also had another week-breaking incident: we visited a less active who requested his records be taken out of the church. Shoot. Well... He said he didn't hate the church and he loved the doctrine and gospel, but he just adamantly despises many of the members of the congregation. Well.... I guess it's hard to go to church when oh don't like anyone there and not many people there like you! 1/3 Fast Sunday......... Yeah that was pretty much it. A fast Sunday feeling sick. Always no fun. The end of the day we started to get a little loopy, so we went to the church and rested for a bit.... But didn't really rest haha.
When the icicles off of houses are bigger than you When you wanna party after fast Sunday is over When you gotta teach the plan of salvation to thugs in Montana.

Elder Braden R Wallgren
Montana Billings Mission
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Alma 12:14-15
14 For our words will condemn us, yea, all our works will condemn us; we shall not 
be found spotless; and our thoughts will also condemn us; and in this awful state 
we shall not dare to look up to our God; and we would fain be glad if we could 
command the rocks and the mountains to fall upon us to hide us from his presence.

15 But this cannot be; we must come forth and stand before him in his glory, and in 
his power, and in his might, majesty, and dominion, and acknowledge to our everlasting 
shame that all his judgments are just; that he is just in all his works, and that he 
is merciful unto the children of men, and that he has all power to save every man that 
believeth on his name and bringeth forth fruit meet for repentance.

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