Monday, October 7, 2013

Thanks a ton for the referrals!

Hey hey hey family!
So, guess who is the most spiritually content, happy missionary in the world today? That's right, it's me! Haha, maybe not, but I am feeling so awesome. Conference was so good! I can't even describe how awesome it was. I loved every minute of it. We actually got to watch all of it too, so I feel super lucky. That's the first time on my mission I've been able to do that. Since Elder Mikolyski has branch president privileges, we got to have a conference party and watch it with all the Elders in the district by ourselves. I'll try to send a picture if I have time. Don't worry, we also watched it with the members in polish. Conference has been notoriously bad here in the past. All they did was watch it on the Branch President's computer in a little cramped room with a baby speaker on the computer. Well, we gave them a treat. We put up trash bags on the window in the chapel so it was all dark, got a projector, a great set of speakers, and had it transmitted live for all watching purposes. Everybody enjoyed it. Plus, we had food, including ice cream sundaes, which is always a plus to any sort of ward/branch activity.
Some of my favorite moments from conference were definitely Elder Dube's talk, as well as Elder Ochoa's. And who can forget Elder S. Gifford Nielson's? Shout out to an old BYU quarterback and to LaVell Edwards in conference! (Exclamation Point). I talked about this one on my voice recording a bit, but I can just see how excited Dad got about the enthusiasm and fire shown by Elder Nielson, and about how the girls just went, oh come on Dad, not again. At least, that's how it played out in my mind. If you could, would you send me some of the audio files from conference? I can just upload them onto my flashdrive and then we can listen to them at night. I do appreciate it greatly. Some favorites and requests include Elder Holland's, Elder Dube's, Elder Gifford Nielson's, Elder Hales', Elder Scott's, Pres. Uchtdorf's from both sessions, as well as Pres. Eyring's from both sessions, and of course Pres. Monson's from both sessions. Many more as well, but we'll just start with that I guess.
Thanks a ton for the referrals! Way to go family for being missionaries! I'm so proud of all of you and for everything you do. When we do all we can, the Lord steps in and helps us. I know it! (Exclamation point). Miracles happen even today in missionary work, and in all we do. It's just another testament that the Lord is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Heath, HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I'm excited for you. You're going to be old. Welcome to the ranks of adulthood!
Emms, I'm glad you enjoyed your birthday. It sounded like a good one for sure.
District council was a success this week. We had a very spiritual experience. Together, we did a "feeling the Spirit" activity I had been taught by previous young men leaders before my mission. It's a simple exercise of saying a prayer, singing a hymn, sharing testimony and scriptures, and love for others that greatly invites the Spirit. I feel that each member of the district was moved by what happened, and it was a perfect segue into Elder Mikolyski's portion on asking questions. It was a fantastic district council and I'm pleased with what happened and the progress of the district so far.
Side note here: Dad, can you pass on my thanks to Bro. Cuilliard for this activity? I still remember doing it for the first time. He took the time to do it with my group up at Helaman's camp. I still draw back on that experience to this day. It's a foundation stone in my testimony. Also, can you pass some on to Bro. Thacker as well? I still carry the little card he made for us priests on how to do this acitivity in my scriptures. It's beacuse of these two great men I was able to do this activity here and able to help others have a meaningful experience that will help them in their future lives. If you can, I think I already have Bro. Cuillard's email, but could you get me Bro. Thacker's? I would like to send them both a personal thanks as well. I've had some of the best leaders. I'm such a lucky and blessed kid. Like the 105 year old man to whom President Monson gave a blessing, the Lord has been so good to me.
A lesson I've learned this week came from teaching piano. As I have been teaching, I have been emphasizing playing correct keys with correct fingers. Trying to cross fingers and play with any which one is a bad habit into which many beginning piano players seem to fall. As I've been teaching, a big part of me has wanted to be loving and not have to correct them unless totally necessary, rather emphasizing good effort, but I know I cannot let them play with wrong fingers, for it forms bad habits that will be hard to break later. As I was thinking about this, I thought about God's relationship to us. He is the master teacher, and we often make little mistakes or do things wrong without even knowing about it, simply due to our human nature. Such is the case with beginning piano players. As we strive to play the keys of life, sometimes unintentionally with wrong fingers, God has to gently correct us and show us how to do it correctly. It gave me a new perspective as to why God must chasten those He loves. We cannot allow little wrongdoings now, however innocent, to form into bad habits later. Though some commandments may seem pointless, and breaking them harmless, the bad habits and consequences from them will have great influences later.
Elder Hardy and I had a great spiritual experience in contacting this week. We came across a man named G, who was a business man whom we had encountered about a week and a half ago. In that instance, we merely gave him a pass-along card, talked for a minute, and gave him the address to the chapel in Warsaw. When we met him again, we talked and he began to open up. He's struggling and having a hard time. We were able to testify to him of the peace found in the Book of Mormon, especially in times such as these. Though skeptical, he took the Book of Mormon with a commitment to see what it was about and read it. We were not able to obtain his number, but I have faith that he will read and is serious in his endeavor to find peace. As Elder Hardy and I discussed the contact after, we both felt that we had been guided by the Spirit to say specific things and testify of certain principles. The whole conversation seemed to just flow with an influence that was definitely from the Spirit. We felt confident that the Lord wanted us to meet G, testify to him, and introduce him, at least in part, to the gospel that can provide him solutions to any problem he may face in life.
Elder Hardy and I are getting along well. He's a great missionary. His desire to work hard, be obedient, and be diligent continually inspires me and helps me to be my best.
My testimony has been strengthened this week that God truly loves every single one of His children, regardless of circumstance, troubles, or anything in between. I don't have time to share the whole story, but I will say this, I ended up giving a blessing to a man who has almost nothing in terms of worldly possessions. There was a powerful spirit during the blessing. The feeling of love, care, and compassion was so powerful. Priesthood blessings are always powerful, but this one was especially so. Even though he has fallen on some hard times, he is a beloved son of Father in Heaven. God knows him, personally, and cares deeply for him. I know it.
I'm sorry, but time is running short. I love you all. Listen to the words of the prophets. Conference is the best thing in the world! 
Hannah, we placed two copies of the Book of Mormon. Kind of a slow week, but things are looking up. Thanks for the poem!
Emms, the future is as bright as your faith!
Heath, enjoy the week and lucky you! I'm jealous you went to conference.
Dad, you're the best. I got your letter, and it was just what I needed. Thanks for all you do and your great faith.
Mom, I've got the best missionary for a mom in the whole wide world! Keep up the great work, and I'm glad you found the radio interview recording. 

Well, I love you all. The gospel is true! This is the Lord's work!

Elder Vernon

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