Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Warsaw Zone Conference (re-post from Sister Nielson's blog)

 The WARSAW ZONE  Top row (L to R)  Elders Boyce, Wilson, Finch, Peacock, Garfield, Manwill, Gibby, Vernon, Pofelski, Roberts, Skolmoski, Z.Smith, J.Smith and Jespersen.  Middle row- Elders Van Bakel, Raines, Tiner, Mikolyski, Sisters Howells, Allen, Young, Lenhart, Elders Register, Walter, Sister and Elder Hutchinson.  Seated- Elder and Sister Jensen, Sister and Elder Schutze, Sister and Elder Lloyd.

 Singing 'Sto Lat' to our birthdays...Sister Young, Sister Schutze (she loved the M&M cookies!), Elders Finch, Walter, Pofelski, Vernon, Wilson, Tiner and Jespersen. It was a little tight, but no one seemed to mind.

 Warsaw I District: Elders Van Bakel and Raines (Zone Leaders); Elder and Sister Jensen; Sisters Howells and Allen; Elders Gibby and Vernon; Elders Manwill (District Leader) and Garfield; Elders Pofelski and Roberts (Bialystok).

After Zone Conference, Elder Schutze held a leadership meeting.  Elders Skolmoski, Vernon, Jespersen, Garfield, Wilson, Manwill, Elder Schutze, Elders Van Bakel, Mikolyski, Raines and Tiner.

Proud to be a Caveman!

Hey howdy hey family! 
Well, another week has come and gone. It's weird. I feel like we were emailing months ago, yet it's only been a week. Then, when I think I picked up Elder G at the mission home a month ago, I think, where did the time go? Time is such a weird, fleeting notion. To think we humans relate everything around it. We're a bit crazy, aren't we? Then again, all the good people have a streak of crazy in them, so I guess it's a good thing, right? I'll rely on that, because if one thing is for sure, it's that our family has plenty of the crazy gene. And I digress....
Anyway, we had a couple of cool happenings this week, regarding old high school friends. And when I say that I mean Dad's. A guy came into church yesterday with his family, who told us they were from Switzerland, sounded like an American, and had two boys, one with a French name and the other an American one. Well, I, needless to say, was a bit intrigued. I started up a conversation, and they asked me where I was from. I told them AF, and the dad said, "Ah, so you're a caveman?" Being in shock, I asked him where he was from, and he told me he's a bulldog. Well, Provo High does well traveling around the world, huh? Anyway, this guy's name is R B, graduated about three years before Dad, and was really good friends with J C's oldest brother. He recognized the name Vernon, and said his dad even worked at BYU for a long time, in philisophy I think. Anway, we're known worldwide! How cool is that? And there's my natural man coming out with Vernon pride. *Sigh* Well, there's always repentance, right? I don't want to get stuck in that nasty pride cycle in the scriptures. Nobody wants to get destroyed by an army of lamanite warriors.
Anyway, we had some great times this week. Last week for p-day, we went and visited Stalin's tower. It was really cool, and is the tallest building in Warsaw (I think). I'll try to send some pictures if I have time. It was Elder G's idea, and we had a good time with it, even though it was really cold. I tell you what, I'm learning a ton from Elder G. I thought I'd be the one teaching him, but it's vice versa with so much. He's teaching me to slow down and enjoy the moment. He never does anything too fast, and finds something to have fun with no matter what we are doing. I've lived with such a hectic schedule my whole life, that's something I never really learned how to do to the fullest, but I definitely should have. That's just one lesson too. There's so many other things. Elder G is awesome, and we're having a great time together. I got a letter from Kiera this week, and my baby Preach My Gospel! Give Kiera a big thanks for me please, and I'll try to write back to her as soon as I can. Also, big big thank you for the Preach My Gospel. It was so nice to have at zone conference this week with Elder Schutze. Ari's so awesome. Mom, I'm glad you were able to go to her farewell. She'll be a crazy good missionary. If anyone knows how to relate to people, it's her. Tell her I need her address so I can shoot her a letter while she's out in the field.
Anyway, I wanted to talk about Zone Conference a little bit. Elder Schutze was awesome. In all honesty, I felt like he was a German version of Grandpa Leo. He loves to joke around and there were a lot of laughs, but when it came time to discuss the Gospel, he was deadly serious. He looked and sounded a bit like a mad German Scientist, with a deep, loud voice, but that shouldn't fool you. He gets the gospel, brings a powerful spirit, and rocks the ugliest but best looking tie at the same time. Let's just say this, lots of stripes, with a mustard yellow one in the middle. Definitely a Gpa Leo tie that added to the appearance. We learned a ton from him, and he really counseled us about making the most of our missions. He actually mentioned J B too (Dad's 35 year old friend who is going to be the mission president in Mongolia), just not by name. He said we need to be ready to use our language, because chances are, a future Poland mission president was sitting in the room during that Zone Conference. We need to know the language, remember the culture, and even teach our wives the language, so that they can be ready to serve with us in whatever calling we might receive. President Nielson also had some great teaching, as always. He discussed pros and cons of before the fall, after the fall, and what we can achieve because of the Atonement. It was great to break down and discuss. I've also been studying a bit of the last week of Christ's life, and it is incredible all of what He did. I'm excited for easter, and to celebrate his resurrection. Speaking of which, we're singing in church as a choir next week, and I am actually the pianist for the choir. Well, they've picked "All Creatures of Our God and King" to sing, because it was just barely translated into Polish. They're really stretching me, but I think I'll be up to the task with a little bit of help from the Lord. Just means Elder G and I need to be obedient, as alwalys! That's when the blessings come.
So many experiences on my mission have built my testimony that the Lord blesses the extra effort, and we had another one this week. We were tracting and ready to go home, but we decided to tract just one more floor, just a few more doors. As we did so, we tracted into A. She was busy at the moment, but willing to meet, and we set up for this week. To some it may not seem like a lot, but I know the Lord puts these people in our path, and even an appointment for another time means something. It's a commitment, the beginning step to repentance, and hopefully the beginning of a road to Christ.
Last p-day we were tracting, and just feeling a bit discouraged. We decided to say a prayer, and did something unique. Usually we start at the bottom klatka in a building, going from the lower numbers to the upper. This time, however, we started at the other end, and did the upper numbered klatka first, with the plans to continue down to the lower numbered klatkas. Well, we knew we didn't have time to finish the whole building, but we tracted into L and P, two young students who are agnostic and would like to know that God exists. We were able to meet with them, and even went back and visited them last night with a member. They are very hesitant to pray, but have committed to reading the Book of Mormon and we hope to see some progress and faith built because of that.
Lately, we've been having members write their testimony in copies of the Book of Mormon we pass out, and it's helped the members feel as if they are a bigger part of this work. Well, in doing so, we had J, our recent convert, write his testimony in a copy for us. I was reading it after he gave it back to us, and I did not realize just how miraculous his conversion story is. He's told us multiple times that he knows this church is true because he is happier and happier all the time. Now I realize exactly why that means so much to him. This gospel has power. It is the real way to unlock the atonement and all the blessings contained therein. I've seen it in my life, and I can now see it to a greater extent in J's. I feel blessed and so lucky to share that message with all the people of Poland.
I'm glad you guys were able to talk with the Jensens. They are an incredible couple, and I was so lucky to be able to associate with them for the time that I did. Send them my love and a big hello from the Warsaw 1 Branch.
Well, I'm out of time. I love you all and am so very grateful for all you do for me. Really, I do appreciate it. Emms, congrats on the double backflip. Heath, congrats on Secretary. Hannah, congrats for being the doober!
Mom, Dad, you're the best. I wouldn't be who I am today without your guidance and love. For that, I will be forever grateful.
The gospel is true and families are forever!
Elder Vernon

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Re-post from Sister Nielson's blog (District Conference)

 The District Choir.  Not only do they look great, but their singing was powerful and uplifting.  Odys (Bydgoszcz), Elders Boyce, Raines, Gibby, Vernon, Manwill, Garfield, Jensen, Mikolyski, Wilson, Tiner, Godfrey, Hutchinson, Walter, Van Bakel and Register.  Kinga, Sisters Lenhart and Jensen, Krystyna, Agnieszka, Sara and Sisters Young and Hutchinson.

Our missionaries grabbing a quick bite to eat before heading out to lessons and procelying. It was a great day for missionary work with lots of Investigators coming to District Conference. (LtoR): Elders Garfield, Raines, Oskar, Manwill, Vernon, Van Bakel and Gibby with Sisters Howells and Allen.

Monday, March 18, 2013

I forgot to wear green!

Hey howdy hey family! How are we all?
First off, I'd like to issue an apology to Parker. I totally spaced congratulating him on his mission call last week. Heath, can you give him, and all the other boys receiving calls, my warmest regards and congratulations? I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you for keeping me updated on all of them too. I appreciate it and it sure is fun to see where all these guys are going to be serving for 2 years.
It has been another week of great missionary work and we have seen great things. One of the most exciting things for me I think this week was being able to see Elder G pass out his first Book of Mormon all by himself. We were contacting last P-day, and I received a phone call as we were walking. While I was on the phone, Elder G stopped the next girl that walked by. He was able to testify to her, explain to her the Book of Mormon, and she was willing to take a copy and read. After he had testified, explained the book, and committed her to read, I finished my phone call and was able to help him get her number and set up for a time to call her in the future. I still remember vividly the first copy of the Book of Mormon I placed by myself (to a couple of older teenagers in Kato, whilst I was contacting by myself), and I was very excited for Elder G to have this experience so early on in his mission. I know it was a huge confidence boost for him and helped him to fave faith that he is capable of doing this work. I remember how discouraged I was at times and how I felt like I could never understand Polish, let alone be able to teach people. As I look back now on those first few weeks of my mission, I'm amazed how much I've grown and how much the Lord can help us do what He needs us to, as long as we have faith and trust in Him.
That day was a super productive day for missionary work. We were able to place 3 copies of the Book of Mormon that night. With the other two copies that we placed, we were able to teach street lessons, and have a prayer right there on the street. It was a super cool experience, especially because these two lessons came on subsequent contacts. President has really been stressing getting out and being effective on P-day lately, and I know we were blessed because we tried to follow that counsel and make those hours effective on P-day.
So, we had an awesome lesson with J this week. The zone leaders were in łódź on Wednesday for zone training, so we taught their English class for them. We as a mission teach English for free as a finding tool. These lessons hold themselves (haha, that's a real polish way to say it) on Wednesdays and they're actually quite effective and fun. Anyway, Elder G and I are the only companionship in the mission that doesn't teach them, because there are so many companionships in Warsaw. Thus, teaching English was a little bit out of the ordinary for us, but we played Bingo with the students and had a great time. Anyway, returning from my descriptive tangent to the meat of this story, part of that lesson, the spiritual thought we gave was 2 Ne. 9: 28-29 (we give spiritual thoughts in English because we really are focused on teaching the Gospel--we are missionaries, aren't we?). Little did I know that we would end up using this same scripture the next day in our lesson with J. We were teaching him the Gospel of Christ, when he opened up to us and started relating a story about how he's slowly finding it in his heart to forgive. Thanks to the Book of Mormon reading we have been doing, I thought of Alma 37: 6-7. J could see the relativeness to his life, but was curious about how the Lord confounds the wise. The Spirit brought to my memory 2 Ne. and I was able to relate these two scriptures together in a light that I had never seen before, and helped him relate them to his life and to one another. It strengthened his testimony greatly of the Book of Mormon and how it relates personally to him. I'm so grateful for the Spirit and how He helps us to know how to perform this work. I'm learning, just as it says in PMG, that the Spirit really is the most important element in this work. He should be in everything we do as missionaries.
Another cool story from this week--we were tracting on P-day, after having such great success with those street lessons, and we were let in by an 86 year-old man named H. He wasn't so interested in the Gospel, and was possibly a bit senile, but he told us about some interesting information about Polish history.  He gave us a kiss on the cheek, wished us all the best, and told us to help Poland grow. Anyway, it was super cool to meet him, and to get a wish of success from him!
We also had District Conference this week, which was awesome. It's basically Polish Stake Conference. Elder L, an area authority, was there and spoke to us. He's super awesome, and told some cool stories. See recordings for more details.
As always, there's much more I'd love to say, but time is short.
Hannah Bear, I didn't wear green :( and I did get pinched by Elder W for it, but I'll pinch myself again for you. I totally spaced St. Patrick's day. 
Dad, I absolutely love the chapters from Alma to his sons. Indeed, some great advice for all of us. I'm doing all I can to implement it into my missionary work. I agree, the key to boldness is humility. Now, that is seemingly a paradox (I just thought of Gpa Leo and his jokes and laughed), but with looking at Spencer W. Kimball, we see boldness and humility in perfect sync.
Mom, there has been a lot of talk about the Pope, and thank you for the info. We were tracting when he was chosen, and nobody wanted to listen to us, so that was a fun night ;). Thank you for all the food, packages, and love that you send. I really appreciate it. Yes, a chocolate chip cookie recipe would be great! As for pottery, we're going next week.  Anyway, speak now, or forever hold your peace. Whatever you say goes.
Emms, have fun at AFJH. It is a great school. I loved my time there. Keep being awesome and following the Spirit.
Heath, you got my vote. Good luck with Secretary, and have fun with Grant! That's awesome about Aly.
I love you all. The gospel is true. You guys are the best! Loves you all lots.
Elder Vernon

Monday, March 11, 2013

I learned the Polish word for skate board

Hey family! Wow, part of me feels like this week has been ages long, the other part feels like I was emailing yesterday. It's been a crazy week, and I can definitely say that so much has changed about how I do missionary work this week. In all honesty, my whole perspective on missionary work changed. It all started on Tuesday during district meeting. Elder J (he and his wife serve as a senior couple here in Warsaw and he's a spiritual powerhouse. Literally. He was a stake president before he came out here and when he speaks, the spirit floods the room) was given a few minutes to share some thoughts and he went over the dedicatory prayer by Pres. Kimball and the prayer of supplication by Pres. Monson (prayers given to open up Poland for missionary work). He talked all about hope and the things we need to make the promises in these prayers come to light. I don't remember an incredible amount of what he said, but I do remember that my perspective was lifted up to a higher level and I now see missionary work in a new light. It's as if my comprehension of the fact that God is at the helm of this work and that this really is His work has been lifted to a new plane. I wish I could describe it better, but it was a humbling experience and a change of heart that has changed everything I do in this work. Planning has new meaning, teaching has a new view of true conversion and not just comprehension of subject, and contacting is led more and more by the Spirit. I'm so grateful that the Lord has given me a greater view into His work, and is helping me to take a step back and view all the parts of missionary work in an eternal perspective, rather than in a "let's get through this hour of contacting" way. It's making all the difference.
I've really taken a focus this week to listen for the Spirit while finding. There are plentiful examples on where we have followed a little thought, taken a second to think about where to go, and trusted in promptings this week, and because of it, have found people. One I would like to share happened last Monday night. Elder G and I were tracting, and we were just finishing knocking all of the doors in a klatka (literally translated, means cage [ugly, right? but very fitting. that's polish for you], but it's what they call the sections of a building with apartments), when I had a feeling we needed to go back up to the top floor. We were all the way at the bottom, and I couldn't make heads or tails of why we needed to go back to the top, but we did. While we were up there, we discovered a hallway that led to another half of the building, where we were able to knock all of those doors and have a greater chance of finding someone who was prepared. As it turns out, on the very first door we knocked on this second half of the building, we met a man named M. M has a family and his children were sleeping and he didn't have time for us that night, but we set up to come back on Wednesday. When we came back, he wasn't there, but we now know about him, he knows about us, and we have his address for a future chance to share the gospel. Without going back up to the top of that klatka, such an experience may never have happened.
Something else I've learned this week is that the Lord is so willing to help us in everything we do. He puts little "helpers" in our way all the time. Such an experience happened one night on a tramwaj. A man had a California shirt on. As it turns out, Elder G is from California, and started up a conversation with this man, asking about his shirt. Well, he was nice and willing to hear our message. We were able to share with him our testimonies about the Book of Mormon, get his number, and give him a Book of Mormon. Some people might call such an experience a t-shirt coincidence, but I believe that God knows us well enough and wants this work to go forward, and as such, gives us little ways to start conversations with people that can lead to sharing the gospel. The thing is, these can happen all the time. I'm beginning to take notice of them more and more, and I'm wondering how many I've missed. For example, last Monday, I was on a tramwaj and an older teenager kid got on and had a skateboard. Well, I wanted to know how to say skate board in Polish (which I did learn how!) and started up a conversation with him. Turns out, he's a really religious person and we were able to exchange contact info and we're hopefully going to get in touch with him soon. Sometimes, these connections don't happen until we're actually talking to someone, so we have to take a step of faith and jump out onto the water (think Peter, new testament) and find that there is something (someone) there to help us, even when we fall. For example, I started a conversation with a college age guy this week on a tramwaj by asking him for help with a word I didn't understand in Polish (I might sometimes use a word over again with a different person later, but it helps to get multiple explanations, understand what it's verb governance is [oh yikes, I don't know how to explain that. Basically it's a polish thing that has to do with casing. Let's just say polish is a rough language at times, sound good? cool.] and so forth. Plus, it's a nice easy way to get a conversation started) and ended up teaching him a whole lesson on that ride, giving him a Book of Mormon, then talking to him about photography for a minute, which is what he is studying. Luckily, I've got friends who are quite skilled and love photography, so it was super cool to relate and have a full conversation in Polish.
I don't know when daylight savings time is here in Poland. The days are, however, getting longer, and the weather was warmer for a while, but it got cold again real fast. We've still got snow, so we'll see how long that lasts.
I  was able to play Gpa leo's music for a baptism on Saturday, which was super awesome. A sister in the district actually sang to it as well, which was cool! 
I wanted to ask, the church has come out with mini PMG's... is there any way you guys could send me one? It would be greatly appreciated ;).
I'm sorry, I would write little personal notes to all of you as usual, but I'm hurting on time. I love you all, I love your letters. Keep writing long ones, please! It's so great to know what's going on at home. Keep it up with the Book of Mormon reading. You can do it! I know I'm loving it and learning tons daily. This is the Lord's work. He is at the helm. He loves us all very much and because of that love, has given us a sure plan to overcome the natural man (I'm a poet!). The invitation to repent is an expression of love, and through Christ all our sins can be washed away. God is merciful and just, and only through Christ can that mercy be used, as well as justice fully met. The gospel is so great, isn't it? I love it. It's totally true too, which is the best part.
Keep the faith!
Until next time, I love you all so very much!
Elder Vernon

Monday, March 4, 2013

Week 2 of training

Hey hey hey everybody!
How we all doing? It sounds like you've all had a great week. Mine's been full of ups, downs, and all arounds. I tell you what, training is a roller coaster of emotion--even more so than normal missionary work. I feel like I'm a trainee all over again. Time has slowed down to a crawl. It feels like a month has passed since the last time I sent an email to all of you. It's crazy. I won't lie, I've had days where homesickness has set in, days where it feels like I'm just running into a brick wall time and time again, and yet, as I look back, miracles have been plentiful and time has been well-spent. This work is like nothing else on earth. It's so rewarding, but so hard at the same time. It's like I never really learned how to do missionary work until now, because I have to teach someone to do it. I really do feel like a trainee all over again, but then I think about all that I know, all that the Lord has helped me to accomplish, and I realize He's helping me to do everything He needs me to. I think that's how He wants it. Feelings of overwhelment (real word? don't know, moving on) are okay, because they force us to turn to Him and trust in Him. Just like it says in Ether, those who will come unto the Lord with their weakness, He will make them strong. The scriptures are beginning to take on such a personal meaning to me--much more than ever before. How blessed we truly are to have them in our lives. I hope you are all keeping up on the Book of Mormon reading! Alma 29 really spoke to me this morning. We all may have reason to complain about something in our lives. Our situation could always be better (see President Uchtdorf's talk from last conference, priesthood session), but the Lord gives us these experiences to bless us, to help us grow, and to help us be the people He needs us to be. As Alma so wisely states, we should be content with what we have, but strive to do our best to fulfill what the Lord has asked of us.
Well, before I get on to what happened this week, let me get a few logistics out of the way. First off, I received a package from Grandma Honey this week, which was wonderful! She's the best. Give her a big thank you for me, can you? Secondly, Dad, that tie cost $9. Bargain, right? And they're the best ties I've found so far. Everyone here raves about Adam's ties. We'll definitely both wear them next fast Sunday. Plan on it. Hopefully it wasn't too long for you. I know mine always tie too long unless I tie a full-windsor, but I'm sure you'll get it all figured out. I also sent one of those to Jared in Japan, and one to Matt in Bulgaria (although not of the same pattern). I'm looking to try to send one to Grandpa Ted soon as well, so keep an eye out for that in the mail! Mom, Poland still gets dark by 6, so we do out last three hours of contacting/tracting in the dark. Mornings are beginning to get light though. They do follow daylight savings here as well, so that will be helpful. Also, I didn't know that the Church had updated the Scriptures. That's exciting to hear! I would definitely love a new set once they come out. I'll be looking forward to that. Last thing. So the new senior couple here in Warsaw are named the Jensen's. They have a blog that I thought Mom might want to check out. Happy blog surfing! Hannah Bear, Elder G is 6'3", so not quite as tall as Elder S, but close.
Ok, now to the week. It's been a hard week, but rewarding, as I said. We have had some hard times with our investigators G, B, and D. Unfortunately, we have lost contact with them. We don't know where they have gone or what has happened to them. We had been making daily contact with them and G had been progressing beautifully. He had begun to recognize the Holy Ghost in his life and was feeling the influence of the Lord as he prayed daily and read from the scriptures. We're not sure what has happened to them and I am sad to have to drop them. What hurts even more is that G could see the difference this was making in his life. I rest assured though, knowing that even though I'm not perfect, I feel confident I did what the Lord asked of me in teaching them. What I mean to say is I am not ashamed at my own efforts in helping them to receive the restored Gospel. I did what was asked, and it was their choice to accept it or not. Now, just because we can't get a hold of them doesn't mean they don't accept it, it just might not be the right time. I'm not sure, because only the Lord knows, but I have faith that if they are really supposed to accept the gospel, they will do it. It may not be now, but maybe in the future.
Another story from the week. We were tracting late last Monday. We felt discouraged and that our efforts weren't going forth. Nobody was answering, and we just felt we needed to be somewhere else. We started contacting and forged a path to home. On our way, we had a choice between three paths. We chose one, then another, but neither of them felt right, so we traveled by the third path, heading back the way we came. As we did, at 8:55, we ran into U. She was willing to listen to us, and we were able to teach her an entire street lesson, exchange numbers, and give her a Book of Mormon. It was a blessing from the Lord to be led by Him to those who are ready to hear what we have. Another time where we found someone this week, we were hunting down potential investigators that had been tracted into over the first two transfers. We were in a Klatka after having knocked on some potential's doors and we were about to leave, when I felt a little nudge to stop, go back to the top floor, and see a potential that we had dropped forever ago named M. Well, I almost shrugged it off, but then thought, while we're here, we may as well go do so. We did, and he answered the door. Turns out, he had read the entire Book of Mormon and we were able to set up to meet with him for later in the week, which was awesome! Miracles have been plentiful this week, even when I have felt discouraged and down. I think it's all Elder G's trainee faith ;).
Elder G is also helping me to realize how blessed we are and the success we have had. During comp. inventory this week, he told me that I am in tune with the Spirit and I follow the promptings I receive. Because of that, we find people. I hadn't realized this, but when I thought back on the two stories I just mentioned, I realized that I have been getting better at following the Spirit, even when I don't realize He's speaking to me. I'm still not perfect and I've got a lot to still learn, but I feel I'm making progress.
Well, yesterday was a great day. We had been discouraged for a long time. Friday and Saturday, we had a total of 6 lessons set up, and every single one of them flaked us. It was a hard couple of days. Sunday, however, we were invited by the branch president and his wife over for dinner. We had pancakes with apple sauce. They're an american family, so they know how to do american food ;). It was a welcome relief and a nice touch of home to brighten our spirits. After that, we went and had a meeting with a couple of investigators, W and G. Turns out, they're both hard core pentecostal. They mostly just argued with us about how our three degrees of glory doesn't match up to the definition of hell and endless torment. I tried to avoid bible bashing with them, but if you want some good definitions, go look in the Bible Dictionary under "Hell." It all depends on the perspective you have on the definition of Hell, and a few other things. Anyway, seeing that not a whole lot was going to come of our lesson, Elder G and I bore testimony, and called it. They asked us about the gift of tongues and praying in tongues, to which I replied that my ability to speak polish as well as I can already, is what I deem the gift of tongues. It was awesome to feel the Spirit testify through me that I was speaking the truth. That's something that still impresses me every time I testify. Anyway, after that meeting, we decided to do just 15 more minutes of contacting before we called it a night and headed home, making sure we stayed out until it was time to go in. In those last minutes, we found a man named M, who doesn't believe in God. He wants to know if He exists, and we gave him a Book of Mormon and testified to him that he can know that God exists by reading, praying, and pondering about the Book of Mormon. Mini miracles happen all the time!
Well, I love you all very much. Time is short, but the gospel is true and I hope you know how much I appreciate everything you do for me. I really do think about you guys all the time, pray for you daily, and strive to be the missionary that I know the Lord expects me to be, and that you expect  me to be as well. I'm so luckily to have all of you as my family and love you very much, once again.
With love,
Elder Vernon