September 11, 2017
This week has been SWEET!! I did get transferred and it was a a pretty big change. I am now serving in the Crooked River Ward in the Far West Stake. This has been a ward for about a year and has a good history in relation to missionary work that has happened in the past. I am serving with Elder Denney from Idaho Falls, Idaho. He has been in the field for 6 weeks and I am his follow up trainer! We are having a blast so far. We live in the boons. Actually we live in the boons of the boons. The closest town is called Lawson. We live about 15 minutes out of town in a members home. The members we live with are Brother Ted Ratliff and Sister Marcie Ratliff. They are somewhere in their 60s I think. All their kids are out of the house and I think they have 4 kids.
At first I was a little nervous to be living with members but it is sweet. Basically everything is the same except we have nice things. For example. water pressure, a good vacuum, clean walls, a nice kitchen, good carpet, a toaster oven, etc.
Elder Kelly and Elder Denney
My last week in Fleming Park was pretty sweet too. We were able to meet with Sam two more times before I left and snagged another picture with him. We also had a night that was awesome. Elder Christensen and I went on splits and were able to teach some good lessons. I went with Brother Tuaui to have our second appointment with Jimmy and Audra Reiker. We were able to talk about the BofM. Jimmy did read the introduction but unfortunately Audra did not. At the end we asked if Audra would pray and she declined but Jimmy was willing. In the prayer he said, "I submit my pride to you Lord, and ask for the truth in relation to the Book if Mormon." Brother Tuaui and I both remarked that it was probably the best prayer we had heard someone say in a long time. I think they are going to get baptized for sure. After the appointment B. Tuaui and I went knocking some doors because E. Christensen and B. Fry were supposed to be back soon. B. Tuaui had never knocked doors before but was willing and we had a good time.
Elder Kelly, Sam, Elder Christensen
Elder Kelly, Jason Huckabee, Pentacostal Preacher,
Elder Kelly, Elder Allen, Elder Gardner, Elder Christensen
Saw Terri in Fleming Park!
Transfers were on Thursday. I went into the chapel with all the other trainers and waited for the new missionaries to come in. After several of them came in I saw walking in was Elder Clay!! I jumped up and gave him a big hug. It was crazy to see him. I think he is the first person I have seen from back home since I left. Well they called all the trainers and trainees one at time until I was eventually left there by myself with a few other trainers. We were all follow up training! We hurried outside and I found the transfer roster and found that I was serving with Elder Denney. I had no idea who that was so I just started walking around yelling, "Elder Denney!! Denney!! Eventually I found him.
Hey look! It's Elder Clay!
(he is waiting for his VISA to come through)
We got the keys to a red RAV4 along with an address to a place neither of us had been! Sweet, we now know we are white washing. Then we found out we are actually opening a new area. The Crooked River Ward has had sisters for the past year and they are now putting in Elders. We had to drive another companionship up to Liberty and after we helped them get some food to make it till pday we headed out. They were also opening a new area. We got up there and the housing coordinator was there with our bed frames and mattresses.
The Ratliff home
Yummy pumpkin and carmel cake
made by Sister Ratliff
It took us about a day and a half to get all the way set up in our room. We put our beds together and tried to unpack as much as we can. That night we had dinner with the Armstrong's. I actually knew their son from Raytown Ward in Independence. After dinner we wouldn't of had much of a direction to go with proselyting other than trying to meet new people via door knocking and street contacting. Neither of us had the area book yet. But thankfully the sisters let us know who we were eating with and gave us a list of people around them that we could go try! Super nice of them. We went and tried a recent convert from a few months back that had recently gone less active. No one had been able to make face to face contact in a while. We knocked and he let us right in. His same is Micheal Dolt. He is a really nice guy. We had a good lesson on scripture study and he committed to read from the BofM. He said he wouldn't come to church this week but would come next week. We were able to meet with him a few days later again. The ward was pretty happy about that.
Adjusting the driving is definitely a struggle. Everything is basically planned around where your dinners are located otherwise you would crank up the miles we drive. That makes it a little harder to visit as many people as I am used to. But that is ok. Also since it is harvest season up here we have a ton of service opportunities. I am probably going to go buy some work boots from Walmart or something so I don't have to wear my tennis shoes every time. We already got to dig a little trench. It was really satisfying to do work like that. I haven't done something like that in a long time. Funny how that works.
Saturday was a really good day. We were able to be taught by D. Todd Christofferson. He met with the whole mission and I learned a lot. Here are some highlights:
- A few members of the 70 came with him and one told a story of a friend who took the missionary lessons for 8 years. He wouldn't let his member wife read the BofM. Eventually he did get baptized. It was on missionary number 23 and 24. He told us at the end of the story that that man was him. He was encouraging us not to give up.
- D. Todd Christofferson talked about the difference of being spotless and guiltless. All of us will one day suffer for our sins if we did not repent. Only those that repented through Christ and his atonement will not have to suffer. But eventually the unrepentant will have suffered for all their sins and justice will be satisfied. Therefore they are guiltless. But they are not spotless and will still be unable to enter into the Celestial Kingdom. Only those who have utilized the atonement of Christ will be both spotless and guiltless. This was extremely eye opening to me.
- He also emphasized that those who endure to the end will never fall off after this life and will all eventually reach exaltation. That is why it is so unnecessary to compare ourselves to others and try to elevate ourselves above them even if it is only in our mind. Some are given 3 talents to watch over and some are given 5 talents to watch over. Loved that.
- D&C 121:43 The word Sharpness can be interpreted as clarity in this scripture. That was in response to a question on how to correct others in a loving way.
- A half-hearted effort brings a half-hearted blessing
Sunday was a good day. We had ward council bright and early. The ward members are pumped for us to have two sets of missionaries. We hope we are able to accomplish much while we are here!
I know that the Lord's hand is in all things. I promise that our Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers. If we take our prayers seriously then so does Heavenly Father. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
First Day in the RAV4
A Missouri Paint Job
Waiting for the train
Saying good bye to the Graff family