Monday, October 28, 2013

The Lord's Hand has been at Work in My Life

Hey howdy hey family!
So, another week is come and gone, and it's crazy to think how fast time goes. Elder Hardy and I have been enjoying ourselves and working hard, and although we haven't seen any major successes, we're doing what we can. Elder Hardy has been a great companion and I've enjoyed serving with him. We have transfer calls coming up next Sunday, and we're not sure what's going to happen. It's a pretty big toss up. Things look like I'll be staying in Szczecin, but we have no idea if Elder Hardy and I will stay together or what. I haven't been with a companion two transfers in a row my whole mission. I don't know it if will happen or not. Anyway, it's kind of exciting. There's always a bit of stress and anxiety that happens the week before transfers. It's all part of the fun of a mission.
It sounds like you've all had a great week. I'm glad AF got a good win against Wasatch. I would have loved to have played them my senior year, but alas, it wasn't to be. Sleeping on the field sounds like a lot of fun too! I'm glad Trev stuck with football and has enjoyed it. He's a good kid. BYU looked really good, huh? Sounds like it. Beating Boise State is never easy, but it sounds like we put a bit of a whooping on them. Our schedule continues to get better and better as well. Wisconsin and Notre Dame? Plus Texas, Georgia Tech, and Boise State? Add Utah into the mix, and that's a whole lot of solid games. You know, I wasn't totally sure about the independence move when it happened, but as far as the schedule is looking, it looks pretty good now. What's BYU's record anyway? I'm getting carried away. Anyway, I just love BYU Football.
Anyway, let's get on to the week, huh?
Our plans for the week are to continue our member relations. I'm just beginning to realize the importance of these relations in everything we do. I think we can do a lot in heping our members do missionary work. It's something I've just kind of neglected during my mission, preferring to just hit the street and contact. As I've thought about it though, I know it's something that is important and will help these members not only now, but in the future as well as the church continues to grow.
For District Council I want to do something a little bit different. I was reading in the scriptures today, and felt that I should do a District Council for the end of the transfer focused on seeing how the Lord has blessed us this transfer and how His hand has been at work in this work. I don't have the whole idea completely figured out yet, but I feel confident that it is what the Lord wants me to teach and cover tomorrow.
A lesson I've learned this week is how much the Lord's hand has been at work in my life. Elder Hardy and I were talking a little bit after planning this week, and we began talking about how the Lord's hand has been in our lives and how it helped us get on our missions. I came to a deeper appreciation of the things the Lord has done for me and just how much He still does. It was a very instructive experience. I feel that I'm continually learning of the Lord's love for me. I don't quite know how to describe it, but I think it's deeper and stronger than I could ever realize. I think it's going to take me a lifetime, and maybe more, to realize how much the Lord does for me and for all of His children.
A spiritual experience I had this week was when Elder Hardy and I were contacting. The thing I love most about contacting is how quickly and how easily spiritual experiences can be seen almost every day. I looked across the way and saw a rough looking man. I thought to myself that he wasn't ready for the gospel and tried to make an excuse to just keep walking, but the Spirit nudged me to go talk to him. I debated for a second, but in the end, I made my way over there. Well, his name was D, and although he had already had a few beers that night, he gave us his number and told us sincerely that he wants to meet and stop drinking. He was a very honest man and I'm hoping that good things can and will come from our encounter.
Elder Hardy and I are doing well. Elder Hardy is a great, dedicated and diligent missionary. I'm enjoying serving with him. I know the Lord wants us to be together right now as well, for we are learning from one another and helping each other grow. It's a blessing to be his companion.
There have been some other cool and exciting things that have happened as well. First, we went to see a less active member with the Gays this week on Friday. It was a great meeting. I've been serving as translator a lot now since they speak little to no polish. It's been a bit of an adventure, and my vocabulary has been tested a bit, but we've done alright. It's all part of the fun.
We also went and helped the Gays with their legal work this week. That was a bit of an adventure. We had to go back and forth between two different buildings a couple times, ended up walking into an office into which we definitely were not supposed to go (don't worry though, they were nice and redirected us to where we needed to be), and I again had to serve as translator for the whole ordeal, which was much more in depth than I ever expected (not in terms of personal information, but just in terms of making sure everything was filled out correctly). But, the Gays made lunch for us (they're way too nice, but it's hard to say no. Sister Gay is a really good cook. She comes from a small town and had like 12 or 13 kids. She's made a lot of meals in her life) and it's hard for two 20 year old boys to say no to free food. So, it was worth it.
Mom, in terms of musical stuff, I'm currently also teaching one of the members here how to conduct. We haven't had anyone to do that in a long time, so it will be good to have someone doing it. Sister Gay is also helping. She's a good pianist and knows her stuff, so it's been helpful. Thanks for making sure I knew how to lead. It definitely paid off, as have the piano lessons. I love playing the piano now, and it's been a huge blessing here in Poland. I have a strong testimony of the hymns and the Spirit they bring. It's a wonderful thing. I'm still teaching piano lessons as well. They haven't been quite as frequent or intense lately, but hopefully they'll continue to make progress. Those books are very helpful, so thank you for sending them!
I'm learning more and more about what the early church must have been like. I was asked on Thursday by President Edgren to release Elder Mikolyski and call Elder Gay to be the new branch president yesterday. Elder Gay doesn't speak polish, so he's asked me to be his translator for any sort of branch business he's going to have to do.
Dad, have a super great birthday! I can't believe you're going to be 50 in a year. At least that won't be until after I'm home though. Anyway, are you going to go watch Tapestry for your birthday, like usual? I hope so. Thanks for being the greatest Dad in the world and always helping me here in the work, and at home. I couldn't have asked for a better example or a better Dad in my life. I'm the luckiest kid in the world.
Hey, I got all your letters from family home evening this week! Thanks for sending them! It was great to get them all. I have the best family in the whole world.
Anyway, about those letters... Heather, Keep on being awesome and enjoying high school! It's the best time in the world. Good luck with your ACT stuff. As for your other question in the letter, the best thing that helped me with my scripture studying was something that Bro. Perry, one of my seminary teachers did. He told us a quote from his mission, which is as follows: "If you fail to read from the standard works every day, you will lose your spirituality." He then asked us to make a commitment not to miss another day of scripture reading our whole lives. He didn't force us to do it, but encouraged us to do so. I did, and I still have the sticky note in the front of my scriptures. It was Jan. 9, 2011 I think. Somewhere around there. Anyway, to the best of my knowledge, I have not missed a day of scripture reading since then. It hasn't always been the best reading, but I've at least read something every day since that day. As for Hannah Ashby, I knew her older sister Whitney a little bit, but never met Hannah. I'm glad you became good friends with her. From everything that I saw from that family, they were great people.
Emms, do you have Mr. Dibb as your science teacher? He would do the same thing with my class. He's awesome, and super funny. I rememer that class well. Be sure that when March Madness rolls around, the games will be broadcast in his classroom. Yeah, he's that awesome. I'm glad you're enjoying junior high. Yes, I did walk those halls once upon a time. I've got a lot of memories from that.
Hannah bear, good job on dancing! You keep on being awesome, ok? Ok, sounds good.
Dad, thanks for the insights and updates. I enjoy hearing what Pres. Scoresby talks about and what not. He's an incredible man, that's for sure. Have a great birthday and keep being the best Dad in the world!
Mom, you're the best. Thanks for everything. Don't worry, your motherly advice is definitely needed. I'd be lost without it :). You know me, I have no common sense. Anyway, you're the best Mom ever, that's all.
I love you all greatly! Keep up the great work and remember, the gospel is true!
With love,
Elder Vernon

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