Thursday, July 31, 2014

July 28

Don't have a lot of time.
Elder Mitchel got transferred to Jacson MI, and guess what, I got called to Owossow! They're replacing us with Sister Missionaries! I did not expect that.
So far Owossow's great. My new companion is Elder Kofed. This will be his last transfer in the mission, so I will be killing him off out in MI. He's a good missionary. Wants to do the right thing, & be obedient. I'm excited to keep working with him.
I think that's about all I got to say for now. But it's so crazy that Adam's being married!
I'll pray for aunt Amy, hope everything goes well with her.
Love you, talk to you later.

-Elder Candland

July 21

Nothin much happened this week.

The other set of Elders here got sick. One has Pneumonia and the other has bronchitis. Their week was spent in the apartment, napping & staring at the ceiling. Not fun, fortunately no one else got sick.

We got to go visit Frankfort this week again! we talked to people on the streets there. We met some high-school graduates out on the main road that has all the shops. One of them took a picture with us, then was started talking with them. They were nice, we had a good talk with them. The one kid we talked to the most told us he's pretty much living on the streets, so next time we're around we can talk.

We also knocked on some apartments up there too. We knocked on one apt. door & some lady said "Come in." So we said, "It's Missionaries from the church." She again said to come in, so we opened the door. The lady is lying on a couch while feeding her newborn. We both moved our eyes up at the ceiling and told her who we were. Then she sat up and adjusted her strap. While we were talking with her we noticed she had like 6 kids, who couldn't have been more than 4 years old running around her. It was just weird.

Speaking of unusual tracting experiences, yesterday we were about to walk towards a house, when some guy walked outside and asked us, "Do you guys drink beer?" We said "No." Then he gestured and said, "Keep moving then." He had a beer can in his hand, so that's probably why our conversation was short.
We did teach someone on the doorstep that evening, and got to set a return appointment, so that made our day better.

We visited an inactive member this week. He's in his 20's and is a member of a band. Despite the fact that he dresses like a punk, we have some good conversations with him. His house is what you'd expect from any rock loving hippy. The furniture he got off the streets, the walls were stained, his place was cluttered, and the sink is out of function. They are moving, so that's good for them.

I did take a few more pictures in Frankfort. The 3rd one you can see the lake stretch over the sail of that white boat. I thought it was a giant wave at first. It's pretty incredible.

Hope you're next week wont be so hectic. Sounds like your trip to DC was good though.

I keep you in my prayers, and it sounds like you're all doing well.


Elder Candland

Thursday, July 17, 2014

July 14

Friday we got to meet our new mission President. He told us he isn't here to replace President Hess. I miss him, but from meeting President Jacobsen seems like a good leader in this mission. Also he told us that the First presidency really wants us to use shoulder bags as soon as we can.There's not a lot of good places out here to shop for one of those, but I'll keep my eyes out.

After that we were fed an awesome meal that one of the senior couples made for us. We had sandwiches on home-made buns, with truffle brownies for desert.

On the way back one of the major roads was going under serious construction. It kinda screwed up some of our plans to see one of the less actives that week. The whole road was gone at one point. Here's a picture of one of the buses here in Cadillac.

We did a lot of service this week.
We help cut up a tree that had been taken down in a less active members yard. That was fun, in the process I ripped a pair of my shorts, so I bought a pair from TJ max with my home card. They're a nice, durable pair.

We also helped two families move into the area. One of them had a few hundred banana boxes full of stuff, and probably like another 50 bins full of more stuff. We fit everything into the trailer home. It was crazy.

This sunday I gave a talk on missionary work. I'm getting more comfortable talking in front of people. (Maybe because the congregation is small here :) I pretty much talked about how members have a responsibility to share the gospel too. The concluding speaker was a returned missionary (Not from the Cadillac Branch). He talked about how the work is hastening. It worked out well, he talked about pretty much everything I didn't talk about.

We're going to be playing Frisbee golf with a recent convert today. It's something we've been doing every Pday.

Sounds like you had a great week. I'll talk to you again later.

Elder Candlnad

1. Cadilac Bus

July 7

I now have more time that I've been out on my mission, than I have time left. That feels pretty weird. I feel kinda like a Junior in High-school.

This past weekend was a great opportunity for us to talk to people. We talk to a few people here in Cadillac as we roamed around where people had tents set up.

On the 5th we went to Frankfort, and we got to talk to a lot more people there. Frankfort is a bit of a drive, because it's up by Lake Michigan, so we spent the whole day up there, talking to people on the streets & visiting less-active members.

Oh, yeah. We saw Lake Michigan, it was AWESOME! I send some pictures of that.

One of the members up there is an 80 year old retired man, he let us know who to visit, and drove us around the area. He's a great guy, he's our mission leader.

One of the other members was very generous & bought us dinner at a fancy restaurant. Their food was phenomenal! 

Best of all, that day we met a couple of sisters who were originally from Ukraine, they both speak Russian, one of them also spoke English. But as it turns out, when one of the sisters came to America it was to escape the civil war there, & she's also a member of the Church! It wasn't any coincidence that we went up and talked with them at that time. Pretty amazing. We're going to arrange a ride for them to come to church this coming Sunday. 

This week we got to teach a man who's been looking for the church. When we first told him about the book of Mormon on the doorstep he told us he was very interested. When we visited him this week he had already read through the restoration pamphlet & asked us for more to read! He really understood the lesson and accepted all of it. He is a Golden Investigator!

One other cool story. one of our investigators met with another investigator (who came up from Indianapolis) at a members home, who's friends with both of them. Now the 2 are dating! It's great, they say they want to get married & baptized together!

That's what's been going on here. It's been a awesome week, but don't expect it'll be the same next week.

Good to here everyone had a good 4th, I hope you all have another good week & get to enjoy the warm weather.

Elder Candland

One other thing. Elder Wheelwrite & I celibrated our 1 year mark with orange creamcicle cake. 

June 30

First thing I'll mention is that our apartment is a little small, so the missionaries in the past have stored all the canned food in the bathroom closet. I was kinda scratching my head when I first saw it.

I'm getting to know my companion more. He's kinda socially awkward so I'm going to work with him on that. One thing we've planned on is practicing our door approaches during companion study. He's a good missionary, him & I are getting along. Elder Mitchel is 5''2, he's the shortest missionary in the mission.

We had trade offs this week, so I got to spend some time with Elder Wheelwright. Always good to catch up on how things have been since we last saw each other.

The area here is very spread out. The branch itself stretches about 100 miles length-wise. (you can see how broad it is on LDS maps.)
It took us 1-2 hours to get to our zone meeting. Good to see more Missionaries & more familiar faces.

One of the recent converts had us over for lunch. He's the only convert in his family, and was found by the missionaries. He's about my age & he's a really nice guy. He made us pretzel chicken sandwiches.

We're teaching a guy who just got out of high school. He's lived a poor lifestyle, and lately he's told us he's been thinking about if there is a God. We prayed over what streets to find on, and that one he lives on stood out to Elder Mitchell & I. At first he wasn't a bit interested in talking to us, but as we talked to him he opened up. It seems like some of the stuff I said caught his attention.
This week, when we were able to see him again we taught him the restoration. I can tell that he's opening up more to the idea that there is a God.

One afternoon I was hot & sweaty, then we heard thunder clouds, and it just started dumping outside. The weather here is so bi-polar!

We got to attend a baptism for an 8 year old. Elder Mitchell & I filled the font that morning. There was a big spider in there, so we killed it. Then we made the mistake of cranking the hot water valve all the way. Fortunately we got that taken care of before the baptism.

While we were out we saw this giant lake. It was awesome, we took some pictures of it.

I enjoy hearing from all of you, I hope you enjoy this next week, & I look forward to writing to you again.

Elder Candland

June 23

The first week here has just flown by, it's crazy. I'm still working on unpacking my stuff still, but there hasn't been much time for that.

So far no one's been able to tell  me where the town Cadillac got its name; it has nothing to do with the car.
This place reminds me of Washington more than anywhere else I've been in Michigan. It actually has hills! & it's pretty foresty too. There's a few lakes here too.
[My new address is: 105 Hobart St. apt.#6 Cadillac MI]
So first thing I did when I got here was I was taken by a member to a diner called "Big Boy's" (There's no question why they call it that. The burgers fall apart they're so greasy) Fortunately it was still breakfast time there.
There's a few weirdos in this area. We saw a guy walking down the street dressed in all pink, including this hair and carrying bags.
We've done a lot of tracting in this past week, for some reason that's what seems to happen when you get transferred to a new area. We do have a lot of people that we're teaching that are doing great, we also have plenty of others we're going to stop by that could be awesome too.
One guy we visited this week we talked to him about coming to church. He has some good excuses not to come, but I'm sure It'll do him good to come. We also did his dishes after the lesson, which helped him not feel so overwhelmed with everything.

A lady threatened to call the cops on us. We had pass through a gate to get to her door, which isn't the first time I've done that. She didn't like that. She started yelling at us, she told us we were trespassing. Then she said, "Anyone with brains would know not to come up on my porch." Really the only thing we can do in those situations is say Have a nice day, so that's what we ended up doing as we were leaving.

While we were shopping I found this watch for $1.06, so I thought heck yeah I'm getting that! I like it.
To my surprise there's actually quite a few places to shop here. I also got a golf-clicker to count how many people we invite. (That'll be really helpful)

Everything's going well here, things have been pretty busy which is good.
I hope you all have a great week.
Elder Candland

June 16

Big news, I'm being transferred to Cadillac MI, bright & early tomorrow. That is the last area where Elder Davis served, so he told me a thing or two.
Elder Rhodes is being transferred too, he's going to Ithaca. So I told him a thing or two about the area.
I'm not sure if I'll ever love an area as much as I loved this one. Saginaw's great, I love the people here including the Missionaries.

So, here's a story about someone we visit; I'll call Penny. Penny has a cousin that just broke up with someone he was living with, so she helped her cousin pack up his stuff so he could move out. While Penny was packing and cleaning the place, her cousin was talking on the phone, & texting & not getting any work done. Then Penny says, "Will you do something? I don't have to be here, I'm just packing your stuff cuz I'm a nice person." That lead into an argument, and pretty soon she left his place. After she refused to help him anymore, Penny's cousin threw a welcome sign at her. Then Penny pushed her cousin off the porch, and then they started fighting. The cops happened to be driving by when they were fighting, and arrested Penny since there were more cuts & bruises on her cousin. So she spent 3 days in jail that weekend. It was the first time she went there, & she said she's never going back. They hardly fed anyone there, and it was overall a very unclean place. Fortunately her cousin dropped the charges, and her mother picked her up. We're just glad Penny learned her lesson.

We visited some less actives this week. One of the families is great. After we visited the Bishop came & picked us up. The mom was happy to see Bishop, she said "I miss you, I wish I got see you more often." Bishop quickly responded & with a smile he said, "Well, you can."

He was also with us in one of our lessons this week. It was one of the best lessons I've had. Bishop answered her questions of what happens when someones child  dies before they finish raising them, and he also shared a parable in a talk by Jeffery R. Holland (I have the link at the bottom) That answered one of her other questions. It was just a great lesson.

Wednesday we had a tornado warning. It was heading east from Saginaw. Nothing bad happened to us. It was just pouring down rain. We actually got a warning text on our phone telling everyone to seek shelter until 6:45. We got the text at 6:45 so we just kept working.

Last thing, Elder Davis has been waking up at 4:00 so he can go to the other Elders apartment & work out with Elder Rhodes at 4:30. When I get there I go into the Elders bedroom & sleep with Elder Marley (In Elder Rhodes' bed.) A couple times I made us all crepes when I got up.

It's been a good week for me, I'm looking forward to working with new people.

Hope you all had a good week too. TTYL


Elder Candland

1. Goofy Comps

2. Davis finds frog

3. The Grace family

June 9

Half mission p-day was this week. We had a blast. There was plenty of snacks & we played a lot of ultimate Frisbee. I got to meet familiar faces, & get to see President & Sister Hess one last time before they leave. I'm going to miss them so much. Also my trainer Elder Oler goes home this transfer.

One evening Elder Davis had an idea to get a card for our investigators daughter who just had a baby. So we bought a card, wrote a few things, and went over. While we were talking to them at her door a lady who was driving by pulled over to the curb, and walked up to us. She asked if we were from the church, then she asked if we save people. So we explained to her who we are & what we do. She told us where she lives & told us to come by.

When we got over there we talked to her on the doorstep, she told us that a lot of her family is going through some tough stuff, and that she was having struggles of her own. We briefly went over the plan of salvation & gave her a pamphlet, I got the impression she wasn't expecting us to be there long, but now that I think about it we probably could have gone over the plan of salvation with her. We gave her a blessing and invited her to church. She wanted to come but we didn't see here there, which isn't a shocker. But we could tell that she had been prepared, and that it wasn't just by chance that we crossed paths at that moment she came & talked to us.

This week we had dinner at a young couples home, and it went great. After I gave a blessing on the food the Bro. Austrigard said, "That's differnt, that's the first time someone's referred to us by the Austrigard's. That's cool." They're both awesome. They also did us another favor by stopping by, and introducing themselves to investigators of ours, who are another young couple. That went well, they got a chance to talk to them. So when we get the chance we'll talk to the Austigards more about that.

Other than that, not a whole lot happened. I taught gospel principles & bore my testimony sunday.

Well, it was good to hear from you, sounds like you all had a good/busy week.
And if you do get married Adam, remember to send me tons of pictures.

Alright, Talk to you next week.


Elder Candland

June 2

This week we've had some trouble on our bikes. On our trade off, Elder Rhodes rode one of our bikes, which already had a busted frame. Suddenly I hear him say "Ohh, no!" I turn around & see him with the back tire completely loose from the bike. We both started laughing, then we chained our bikes & got a member to pick them up. 

He was nice and gave us a loaner, which was a 25 year-old cruiser.

A day later that bike broke down too. It was on the way to a dinner appointment. It so happened at that moment that the member saw us tinkering with the bike & pulled over to the side of the road, and the other Elder's happened to be driving by & they pulled over too. The member loaded the bike into her car, & Elder Davis & I rode with the other Elder's in their car. That was pretty convenient to say the least. And the family we had dinner with let us borrow one of their bikes! We have an awesome ward here.

One more thing about my trade off with Elder Rhodes. That morning I put sunscreen on before we left the front door. While we were out it started sprinkling rain. 

Pretty soon Elder Rhodes & I were out in the middle of a rain storm. It was dumping rain & we're biking back to our apartment as fast as we can. We were both smiling & laughing, I thought it was sorta fun. By the time we got back we were thoroughly soaked. We poured water out of our shoes, & got inside & changed our clothes. (Well, I did. Elder Rhodes had to put his in the dryer.)

That night when I pulled my scriptures out they felt really heavy. It was as if there was a rock in the bottom of my scriptures. It was hard & inflexible. I realized they were partially soaked. The other Elders looked over & saw what happened & wanted to feel them. I'm still waiting for my scripture set to dry completely, I have it in rice right now.

Oh, on a side note, there was a lady on her front porch that wanted Elder Davis to call her when he got back home to Utah. I'm pretty sure she's like 35. She was pretty excited to get our number. Luckily we haven't heard from her since then.

Saturday we got to help a family move out of there house. That turned out well. And that night we got to help a member put up a fence in their back yard. It's A Lot Of Work! We moved fence portions, posts, and concrete bags. We dug holes, and nailed the fence to the posts. It's a lot more work than I thought, we were there for a while. It was almost done by the time we left. I enjoy doing service for others. I enjoy it more than when I was in young mens.

One last thing that I thought was a little funny. Today Elder Davis & I parked our bikes out in front of Kroger so we could do our shopping. By the time we were done we realized there no way we would bike back to the apartment with all of our groceries. I put as much food as I could in my backpack, with a can of pasta sauce in each side pocket, and I carried a bag in one hand & the toilet paper in the other. Elder Davis had to carry everything he bought. Fortunately our apartment wasn't too far from the store.

Sounds like everything's going well. Good to hear from everyone. Half mission P-day is this week I'll let you know more about that next week.
Love ya!

-Elder Candland

May 26

We just got back from the ward Memorial day picnic. A lot of people showed up, it was fun. We played some games & had fun. Our investigators showed up, & we got to play some ball with them. It was pretty fun, & I think I'm getting better at paying.

 Our ward mission leader played with us. He's not bad for his age.

Tuesday, I finished polishing my shoes & got on my freshly dry-cleaned suit. We car pooled with other Elders, and drove to Lansing. On the way we listened to an awesome talk about the story of a convert while we ate muffins I made that morning.

All the missionaries from Detroit & Lansing were anxiously (& a little nervous) waiting for Elder Holland's arrival. When he got there we all lined up to shake his & Elder Hallstrom's hand. He told us we were unaware, but he had a brief interview with each of us, while we shook his hand.

Here's some of the things he talked to us about; we can't go back home & be the person we were before we left for our missions. He told an Elder "If you go back home & become inactive I will shoot myself! And everyone will know about it, it'll be on Deseret news, 'Elder Holland shoots himself because Elder goes Less-active." 

He's a pretty funny guy. He also asked "why isn't missionary work easy? Why can't we have people crowded outside our apartment every morning in white jumpsuits, & then we say 'aghh, these people again?" He answered that by saying, "Because salvation is not a cheap experience." He told us that we seldom think of the Gift of the Holy Ghost as having the companionship of a member of the Godhead. He's equally as qualified as God or Christ. One of the other big things he mentioned is that it is not possible for a person to block another's salvation. We might bump & bruise each other on our course, but no one can block another's salvation.

We had dinner this week with Bro. Usi. He's from south Africa, he speaks 5 languages, and he and his wife are Awesome! They fed us an African themed dinner with sweet potatoes cooked in cinnamon sauce. He loves science, we had a good little talk about physics.

We had a good talk with a long lost investigator this week too. He loves to tell us stories. This week he told us about how when he was in high school, a fight broke out during lunch. Two football players had a fight over a girl. Pretty soon there family's came & got involved in the fight. Teachers tried stopping it, and ended up getting injured. One football payer almost got killed. Then the police came. Both of the boys got suspended for the rest of the year, and 24 other students got suspended for a few months. We're trying to "Re-activate" him, and have him at church and all that.

That's pretty much my week.
I'll talk to you later.


Elder Candland