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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Fourth of July--Summer week Seven!

Fourth of July is definitely my favorite part of Summer!  I love the hot weather and all the outside activities!  We spent the morning at the church breakfast and then we played with cousins at Grandma's and Grandpa's house.  The boys NEVER got tired of shooting bottle rockets...seriously. We lit off fireworks and played in the water and ate watermelon.  Such a great day!

Bottle rockets for miles...


"Surfing"





Twin Falls Pioneers!!

I love Pioneer day!  I have a special soft spot in my heart for Nauvoo.  Rustin's parents Darren and LoaLee are currently missionaries in Nauvoo and they are happier than I think I have ever seen them. There is something about the spirits of our ancestors that brings joy.

Our dear friends the Moffitt's turn their farm property into 'Nauvoo' every year at the 24th of July!  This year was awesome and it really touched my heart.  Somehow seeing everyone together turned my heart and memories to our ancestors. I think if we had to cross the plains today we would be an awesome group.  We would share and love and dance and sing!









The Children's Theater








Virginia Reel


Championship fiddlers!

Leeches in the Apothecary

Treats in the bakery!
Iron work in the blacksmith shop!


Just arrived from England!






Newlywed pioneers.  

Laundry done by hand and ironed with solid cast irons.  Yikes!


The finer ladies...



Horse back rides for all...



Britt--the mastermind behind it all!

Story time with handmade dolls.
The story was about Old Ephraim--a giant bear that lived down by Logan and caused all kinds of problems.  Rustin's great...grandfather even met up with that bear once! 






Jackson and Benson came in 'civilian' clothes.  
Jackson wasn't exactly happy so Benson helped him out a little bit...



I am so thankful to remember those who have gone before us but I was also reminded that I  don't have to cross the plains to be a pioneer! Every step that takes me through a trial is part of the pioneer legacy!

Nauvoo for me


Rustin's grandparents (great, great, great...) came to Nauvoo from Vermont.  Captain Jeremiah Hatch  played the fife in the Revolutionary war.  His dad Nathaniel died in the war as part of the Vermont Green Mountain men.  'Captain' was a joking nickname that Jeremiah was given during the war because he was just a little guy.  After the Hatch family joined the church in Vermont, they eventually went west and settled in Nauvoo.  By then Jeremiah was in his sixties.  Their house still stands in Nauvoo today!  Jeremiah's  married son Hezekiah died in Nauvoo and his family was thrown out of their home in the fridgid weather to make the trek west. Eventually they ended up in Winter Quarters where both Jeremiah and his wife died in miserable conditions.  Their grandson Lorenzo (Hezekiah's son) eventually made his way to settle Franklin, Idaho where Rustin's family still lives today!

We have lots of other really amazing stories of sacrifice and love by our ancestors.  Many walked across the plains with handcarts or wagons.  One grandmother was with the ill-fated Martin handcart company.  Some left their friends and family and everything they knew in England to escape persecution after joining the church.  They all gave up their earthly possessions for their faith.  I always think of them when I find myself mourning the loss of the 'dream home' that only exists in the box of magazine clippings that I have kept under my bed since I was a teenager.  Today was the first time in a long time that I felt a wave of understanding fill my mind.  I think my grandmothers were whispering "Kim, don't worry so much about belongings--I sacrificed for your soul not for your decorative couch pillows."

When I ponder my faith and my testimony I often have this thought come to my mind--"either this gospel is all true or it isn't." I have asked myself that question in a million different situations and times in my life.  I am the only one that can determine where my faith will stand but I feel like I have the benefit of a dozen whisperings of encouragement and kindness coming from the other side of the veil.  Every now and then I have a breath of clarity come over me and I feel like I can see things clearly.  Today was one of those days.  I still don't exactly know what to do with the trials of day to day life but I'm sure that the Lord has a plan for me and I am certain that His plan is what I want. But there is always a little voice in the back of my head that is afraid of giving up all the dreams and truly embracing a life of service.  So I just take it a day at a time.  One step forward at a time.  I have been given just enough faith and happiness to get through the days that seem clouded.

And just for the record I think I could have been a pioneer just for the petticoats!!  
They totally hide curvy hips!!





Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Missionary Monday: week forty-six


July 17, 2017

Dallin:


Hello everyone!  This has been another great week of miracles and much
success.  I am greatly enjoying my time with Elder Fillingim here in
Cleveland.

On Tuesday we went down to Chattanooga for our first Zone Conference
with the new Mission President.  It was a different Zone Conference
than ever before because we have had a lot of change, but it was good.
Each of the Picketts had a chance to introduce themselves to us
including the 16 year old daughter Emma.  President Picket didn't
prepare anything for his training. I later learned that he trusted in
the spirit and prepared him self to give a training.  I thought that
was a bit incredible.  He told us a couple stories from his mission in
Canada including one about running into a gang and arm wrestling one
of them for the opportunity to teach them.  Haha, it was pretty cool.
He also taught us about treating our companions well.  How we treat
our companions now really does prepare us for how we will treat our
eternal companion in the future.

Right after our of Zone Conference I went on an exchange with Elder Morris.
Elder Morris is a pretty cool guy from Pleasant Grove Utah.  We had a
pretty great night that Tuesday night and taught a couple lessons together,
one of which was with Ariana and Princess.  Ariana and Princess are
the little Sisters of a woman in our ward who is just in her late
twenties who about four years ago married a member and got baptized
into the Church.  Her name is Crystal Fink and she is super awesome
and just got her endowments out of the temple last Saturday.  Ariana
and Princess are doing great on their own and (especially Ariana) want
to get baptized. But their mother in Chicagom still has custody of
them and she certainly would not approve of their being baptized so
right now we are really just hoping and praying for a miracle.  The
other lesson I taught with Elder Morris was actually in Spanish with a
man that claimed to be a true Atheist.  He was very much a strong
atheist that really was lost.  He had some good points and I can
easily see how he could be led astray the way his life has gone, but I
laid the Book of Mormon out in front of him and told him that that was
the key and the reason he needed to change.  He accepted the Book of
Mormon and said he would read it.  That night we also went on splits
within the exchange.  It felt a little like inception but it was fun.
I taught Kaytlyn with our awesome second councilor in the Elders
Quorum the plan of Salvation and also specifically about eternal
marriage.  She actually got super excited about it and told us she wanted
to get married like that.  Haha, we told her we were going to do
everything we could to help her get there.

Later in the week we had some hectic things happen which ended up
having us help a woman who was in a very bad situation move all her
things from Ringold, Georgia to Cleveland.  Her name was Vicky and she
was very distraught about certain events that had taken place and
really needed help right then so we got our Ward Mission Leader and we
headed out on an adventure.  She ended up having a LOT of stuff to
move to the point where we filled up the trailer and the van that we
brought to get her things which which were described as "a few books
and some clothes."  But we did it and all is well now I think.

Friday we did some really good studying and Weekly Planning which we
really needed and taught some good lessons.  One family we have been
working with in Spanish is the Valdez Family.  They are from the
Dominican Republic and I will try to send you a video of the mom's
ridiculously fast Spanish.  They have five boys and one on the way
with the oldest being 12.  Haha they are awesome! The oldest boy is
Misael and he showed us how he built a crossbow.  They are cool but we
are having trouble really getting through to them sometimes.  They
came to church last week but not this week.

Yesterday we spent a ton of time with a huge Polynesian family in our
Ward that is not active right now.  They have ten kids with eight
boys,  five of which are still at home. Haha we were running on
"Polynesian time" yesterday so we got there at 4 and got out at around
7:45.  The kids were fun. We taught them the Restoration and the Plan
of Salvation completely before dinner.  Brother Palelei is about 6'4
and 350 pounds and one of his sons is playing for Oklahoma State right
now but will switch to play for Utah State in not too long.  We got
them to commit to come back to church though on the 30th of August.

The really great miracle this week was with a couple that randomly showed up
at church last week.  Brian is a member and Ashley is not.  We went
and taught them on Wednesday and she accepted and when we returned on
Friday she said she prayed and felt that God told her to trust and she
wants to get baptized.  We told them they would need to get married
first and so they set date to head to the courthouse as well.  It just
shows how easy it really is once you make up your mind to do something
on a prompting of the Holy Ghost.

I love you all and pray for you.  I know the work I am doing is good
and that it is making me into the man God wants me to be.

Elder Hatch

Landon:


Sealy Texas is doing great!!  I feel like this area gets better every
week I'm here.  We definitely have our problems but the people out
here are easily some of the best I've met on my mission.  I title this
email El Campo because it means The Field because that is basically
where we are all the time which is pretty awesome. This area is 10
times more beautiful than my past areas which by the way did include 
Down Town with all the city lights. ;)








Alvaro continues to be a miracle. He reads and studies what we ask him to
study, and he understands which is the most important part.
Understanding of the gospel is what brings people to change. In PMG it
states that "true doctrine understood changes behaviors" and that is
absolutely true. When it comes right down to it, true doctrines answer
questions, they tell us why, and with that beautiful knowledge of the
why the how will come.  We see examples of this all throughout the
scriptures and early history of the church.  When Pioneers understood
the why it became priceless to them and no hardship could could get
between them and the Truth that they had come to know.  This true
understanding of which I write can only be brought about by the power
of the Holy Ghost and it requires first faith.  The Scriptures found
in Alma chapter 32 explain far better than I could ever approach. 

The question is then asked how is it some people don't understand? If God
truly loves us and gave us all the capacity to know right from wrong
why don't all come to this level of understanding as soon as the
missionaries find and teach them?  The answer sadly and ironically is
knowledge.  By that I do not mean to say learning, I mean the Pride and
contentment that is felt by some people who think they have nothing
more to gain or learn.  It is a very interesting state that is a lot
more common than you would think and it is found in people both high
and low in the worlds' standings.  This is why Jesus Christ taught us to come 
with a broken heart and contrite spirit,
because only in such humility can one be open to the teachings of the
spirit.  This is why Alvaro succeeds, he is a professor of engineering
in Mexico yet he is humble and open enough to learn.  He will be
interviewed for baptism tonight and the baptismal service will be this
Saturday.

We have continued to visit the far corners of our areas and had many
"only in Sealy moments." On Tuesday we went and visited a less active
member named Jahn Schmidt and his sobrinos Ethan and Devon.  Ethan and
Devon are not members but we are currently working on that ;) They
live out in the middle of a forest town called Cat springs in a little
trailer.  We asked them if they had had any guns and they were happy
to shows the extent of their armory. And even let us take some
pictures.





We had an awesome lesson with Sofia and Sergio about the why of church.  
They were found through our English class here in the church
which is really strong and gets a pretty high attendance usually.
SofĂ­a told us in the lesson that she doesn't know why but when she
goes to English class she feels like she learns more than just English
and she always really calm and good when she goes home from it. It was
really great because they set up and scheduled the lesson with us
without us even contacting them and then at the end the lesson they
asked us if we can come back and today to visit them so we are exited
to see them progress more.

Saturday was a pretty crazy day! In the morning we went and built a
house for homeless family.  It was pretty good we did a lot of
painting this week.  Then later we went out to Eagle Lake (one of the
little towns we spend a lot of time in).  We visited a bunch of less
actives, some investigators and recent converts that live down there. 
Later we traveled across our entire area to go to a dinner
appointment with one of our awesomest families in the branch, la familia
Garcia.  They are from El Salvador and they have a bunch of kids
preparing to go on missions.  It's funny because to get there you
drive out into the back roads and then go to the back roads off the
back roads and the go on the dirt road and then you literally just
have to go off road into the woods to get to their house.  They made
some really good food and told us some stories about growing up in El
Salvador during the Civil War down there in the 80's.  They will eat
and hunt anything and their son and daughter preparing for a mission
are both really good at shooting.  Also we took some super cool
pictures of the sunset.





Being a district leader is going pretty well!! We led the zone in
people at church this week!

This is how you know a Latino family lives in the house!