Friday, November 29, 2013

November 25

When I pictured Saginaw being a city I imagined there being skyscrapers, and tons of office buildings. But I guess city in Michigan just means tons of housing. There is plenty of places to shop and eat. And today for Pday we're going to visit a mall here.

It's interesting, I haven't had the traditional companionship yet. I do have 1 companion (Elder Palmer), but this ward has 2 sets of missionaries. So we share a vehicle, and usually we go to dinner/lunch appointments together. We're also spending Pday together, which should be fun. (The Saginaw2 Elders are Elder Bell & Elder White)

Since we share a car, we have to swap it with the bikes each week. So this week Elder Palmer & I rode bikes. The weather here is getting colder & colder. I'm warm if I wear enough layers. My face gets really cold though. It feels like I'm riding with an ice pack on my face. Pretty soon they're going to tell us to stop riding bikes so we can still talk to people. And so we don't slip on ice.

Elder Palmer has been out 3 months. He's gained 25 lbs from all the meals missionaries are fed, and from biking and getting built legs.

At about 4:00 each morning I hear Elder Palmer talk in his sleep. The stuff he says is mostly prayers or lessons. This morning I decided to talk back. We had a bit of a conversation :)

Yesterday we ate lunch at 3:00. We had Spaghetti, garlic bread, salad, and Ice cream for desert. Our next appointment was at 5:00. We had Spaghetti, garlic bread, salad, and Ice cream for desert. Oh, and cake. We were all so full by the time we left.

We're actually getting fed 2 Thanksgiving dinners. Both families from what I hear are okay chefs, and one of them makes mexican food, so that'll be interesting.

We have a huge ward. Well compared to the Branch I came from. Meals I'm sure you can tell aren't a problem here. We get plenty of leftovers, so I don't really have to worry about buying food.

I hope you guys enjoy thanksgiving together. I would be jealous of Adam, but he's not getting smoked turkey this year.

I lost the charger for my camera. I thought maybe I'd find it after packing everything in Alma. But I guess I'm going to need to buy one. Once I get a charger I'll start sending you pictures.

Love you guys,
Elder Candland

November 18

Susan is really nice. The missionaries have taught her since before my trainer got here, and for an investigator to be visiting that long is pretty rare. She's took the things we've taught seriously, and if she gets an answer to her prayers I have no doubt she'll be baptized.
But yeah I'm going to Saginaw. If you look up the town, it's one of the bigger citys in Michigan, which means it's also one of the many dangerous citys in Michigan. It's pretty ghetto from what I hear, but it's OK. The missionaries there are known as "The Jesus People." Also I hear the ward has some amazing members. So I'm not worried, so long as we get back to our apartment before it gets dark.

I told my companion, "Yeah, my dad got a PS4 from work, no big deal or anything."
It seems like  I came to a new world out here, and my world back home is moving along without me. There's this new Disney movie I've never heard about I saw a picture of at Wal-Mart. I guess that's part of a missionaries life. It's kinda weird.

We learned a lot from Elder Christoffel Golden Jr. at half mission training. We had a few other talks given by our mission leaders, but the majority of the meeting was given by him. There was a lot of inspired things he said, I filled about 3 papers front & back with notes. Nearly everything pertained to me. We had a while where the missionaries could ask him questions, and he had some amazing answers to each of them.

One thing he told us was to "Take care of today, and tomorrow will take care of itself." He counseled us a lot on how to deal with the stress of being a missionary. He also said as a missionary he didn't know if he was depressed because he worked all day & crashed in bed as soon as it was time, so there was no time to think about his feelings. I'm going to look over my notes again in the future, It was a great meeting.

We planned a service project at Susan's, where we invited members to come and rake her yard. To our surprise we collected many loads weighing a couple 100 lbs each. Members brought leaf blowers, and we hauled the leafs on a tarp to front of her yard. (The town owns a truck that comes by and gathers the piles of leaves on the edge of peoples yards.) The leaves piled to 2-3 ft and stretched all the way across her yard. There were a lot of leaves.
After the activity she invited us to have lunch with her, and she ordered pizza for us. She's great.

One more thing. This week we met a lady door knocking, who invited us in because of the cold. (1st time that's happened to me) She explained that our timing was great, because she left the Catholic church and is looking for another one. We set a time we could meet with her, and she has her phone out & is putting it in her calendar. I'm excited for Elder Louis to teach her, it'll be great I'm sure.

Rylee must be on the other end of the gene-pool with soccer, because I played goalie with my companions & I suck. It's good to hear that from her coach, I'm interested to see what she does when she goes on to high school.

I hope everything's  going great. I'm keeping you in my prayers. and I'll talk to you next week & let you know how I'm liking the new area.

Elder Candland

November 4

Sorry to hear about Grandpa. Elder Louis got news a little while ago that a couple of  his relatives passed away. He said if he was home it would be difficult, but being out here where we constantly learn of the spirit world, he took comfort in knowing that they are in a better place. I can say the same for Grampa. It is sad to not have him here with us, but I'm glad to know he's enjoying missionary service, and being where the Lord would have him. It will be great to see him again when the time comes.

We had one member, who recently moved in and is a recent convert, come to church with her husband. He sounds very interested, and didn't hesitate to accept the invitation to be baptized. We're excited to work with him.

We had interviews with President Hess, which we all enjoyed. I love talking with him. From what I hear his President when he was a missionary was Boyd K. Packer. I think it's a great blessing to have him as a mission leader.
The interview went awesome. He helped me with every problem I had, and it was a very spiritual interview.  It gave me a boost of energy to do missionary work. I'll miss him when he's released.

The Branch had their Halloween activity this Saturday, and we were encouraged to come. Unfortunately we didn't have any nonmembers there, but it was a success for our tiny branch. We had plenty of people show up. Elder Louis took a cooking class and one of the requirements was to know how to boil hot dogs exactly, so of course he did that.
Our ward Halloween parties were some of my favorite activities we had. It wouldn't be fair to compare them to the Branch's party.

We had a return appointment with some guy who grew up in Flint Michigan, which is known for how ghetto it is. He told us a little about his rough life, but he would talk & talk. We didn't have much time to finish the lesson so we asked if we could come back later. Sounds like he has some questions and is interested in hearing more from us. One of his friends was there and we're pretty sure he has Sleep Apnea. We was out, and he had some intense snoring. His head would bob every time he took a breath.

It was a pretty average week, not much else happened.
We are excepting one of us to get called to another area, by the end of this transfer, which is next Saturday. We're excepted Elder Oler to leave, although something tells me I'm leaving.

I'm glad to hear Shaini finally had her endowments! I'm sure you guys had a good time, especially since you got to go with a friend. It's cool that girl was there too. The other day we were just talking about how the church makes the world so small.

I would highly encourage Shaini to become familiar with the mission schedule, and to come to the MTC ready to take notes. There's a lot they want you to know the first day, and it can be overwhelming when you haven't adjusted to the schedule.

Oh, one more thing. I don't know how I forgot to mention this, but we got word that by the beginning of next year, missionaries in this mission will EACH have their own iPad mini! It's going to have Pretty much anything on, our planners, our area books, the gospel library, morman messages, anything else on, and anything else a missionary would need.

I hope everyone's doing well, and enjoying the shorter days. It felt pretty good to get that extra hour of sleep last morning.

We went to a restaurant with a family. We all took pictures with the giant chicken they had out front

Cops & Doughnuts (this is a picture of me in front of Michigan's original Cop's & Doughnuts. There's a reason why they're famous out here. their doughnuts are heavenly)

Gettn' cold (here's us 3 getting ready to head out into the cold)

Have a good week!

Elder Candland

October 28

Thanks for the package, we enjoyed the candy, and we actually wrapped some in Pillsbury biscuit dough, & deep fried it. I'm also liking the granola, I had no idea it was homemade, it's good. And thanks for sending those shirts & the pocket watch. I remembered I had one, I just didn't say anything because I was so worried I left that at one of the hotels.

I don't think I mentioned, but one of our best investigators who's a divorced mom in her early 50's I made a plate of cookies for, she said that in the 8 years she's lived in the neighborhood no one has brought her treats. She thanked me, and said that was really sweet and gave me a hug. Which isn't a big deal, but she hugged me again before sacrament meeting when I gave my talk. Elder Oler thinks she has a soft spot for me. We've made a good relationship with her, in a way she's kinda like our aunt.

My talk by the way went pretty well. I talked about scripture study. I had a lot of great quotes from apostles & scriptures. One of them was from a message on by D Todd Christofferson titled Daily Bread. I did get a little stage fright, like always, and so with me and the other speakers, we fell short 10 minutes which turned out fine, because the branch canceller was prepared to add a Few comments.

This week we went on trade offs with the zone leaders. They're both awesome missionaries. Elder Louis & I had a chance to go Proselyte on CMU campus. There are so many students just walking around from place to place. For a little while I struggled to talk to people. It was similar to how Adam was walking down the streets in Brazil. Except we were in a trio, and we could talk to other people as long as we were in sight. Eventually I convinced myself to go out and talk to the first person I see. I told myself I got nothing to loose if I make a mistake, or if they aren't interested, I could talk to the next person I see.

Yesterday, as we were finding in an apartment complex, we saw one guy who looked pretty drunk struggling to walk straight. A few seconds later I hear a something and I see the man fall face first in a rock bed right above the curb. Elder Louis inspected him and gave him a couple of band aids. He fell a second time, this time on a car. Elder Louis then helped him walk to his girlfriend's. And after a little bit he said "I don't need help walking." I can't think of anyone I met more out of it than he was.
That day of finding went well, we found 3 people who said we could come back.

Since it's starting to get darker earlier we've decided to ask members if we could visit when It got to the point where everyone's not interested in hearing us because they were getting to bed. So this Sunday we went to one of the family's in the branch. They're one of the 3 family's in the ward, and all the kids love having us over.

One more thing, Preston met a Tre Candland in Mesa. He wanted me to ask you if you guys knew her, or of any relatives down there.

Love you guys,
Elder Candland

October 21

It's crazy how rapidly the weather here changes. They say it has snowed on Halloween in the past.

One of the members took us to get the giant banana split again, this time we had the family & a German foreran exchange student help out. While we were there one of the kids played 'What Does The Fox Say' on her iPhone. The 3 of us couldn't get that song out of our heads since then.

This week we were going to meet with one of our top investigators at 'Tim Horton's' where she works, but she wasn't there. I did get some amazing pumkin white hot chocolate though.
The Investigator has been receiving a lot of anti from her friends, and her husband doesn't like us either. But she doesn't accept what they have to say, she just comes to us if she has any concerns. She also wants her sons to be just like us when they grow up, so she has them part of the discussion.

We went on trade offs this week and door knocked for 3-4 hours in the rain. When it was dark, It was really nice to come to a warm apartment and have little Caesars, I hadn't ate much that day so it was amazing. Also we all stepped on the scale, I ended up weighing 178 lbs! That motivated me to be cautious of what I eat.

I got my stiches out! Now I have to be more careful, since there isn't much holding the cut together. It has been doing a lot better though, and it's not a pain to walk around with. I got the cut right above the tendon of my big tow in the middle of my left foot.

The three of us kinda decided jimmy johns is the best place for fast food. There's an old lady we visit each week and she almost always orders that for us. She's a hoot. The first time I met her I thought she was just an old cranky lady, but now I know that she's not crabby at all, and she loves the missionaries.

We met Darnel, the big black guy, he told us about his conversion. He grew up in a shady neighborhood where he had an abusive father, that actually killed his older brother. And from he told us, his mother protected him from a lot of the things that went on in Chicago. When he grew up, he met a member, and had no interest in the church. He was going through a tough time, he didn't know which direction to take in life, and he prayed for an answer and he saw a book open to the word Shepherd. Since then he saw the word several times. then he saw the missionaries at the member's house, and one of the missionaries' names was Elder Shepherd. They offered Darnel a blessing. During the blessing it seemed that Elder Shepherd knew his thoughts, and he felt the spirit completely overwhelm him, like someone poured a bucket of warm water over him. Since then, he met with the missionaries and got baptized, and later received his endowments. Now he's a ward missionaries, and he gives us rides to church & to meet with a family that lives far out.

Love you guys,
Elder Candland