Tuesday, May 24, 2016

BBQ and Baptismal Dates- Week 37

Hey family!!!  How's it going?!?!

Elder Parker and I had a fantastic week!!

We started off this week by going to see a Sister Stevens, she is a super awesome lady. We go and see her every other week or so.  She is super cool and she has been coming back to church!!

We hadn't heard from Elizabeth Like all of last week until the end. She apparently did NOT move to Kansas, so that's really cool. She is living in Excelsior right now! So we met her at a park, and Sister Conner came!! It was really awesome! We shared a video called "A Mother's Hope" it was very touching, she really liked it. Sis. Conner
was super awesome! She gave an awesome testimony and offered to pick Elizabeth up for church! So she was commited.. Haha, buuuuttt Sister Conner went to go pick her up, and she didn't answer the phone or door, so that was mega depressing. But church was super awesome! We had really awesome talks, and a great Gospel Principles class. We called Elizabeth after church, and she had already actually called Sis. Conner and apologized, which was good. Apparently she had missed the alarm or something like that. She was super sad and really wanted to go to church, she even got clothes and everything! So we will try again next week!

We also met with some people named Ryan and Renae. They are nice. They were a referral from her mom out in California. They just moved into a new apartment. So they are still trying to get all settled and everything. Sis. Wenig the relief society president went over to meet them. and Renee asked how she could be baptized!!! So that was definitely a huge blessing!! We went over there with a Brother Lauffney, and taught the restoration. Apparently she has had the desire to be baptized before, but couldn't at that time. But she wants to again, and now her husband is also interested! We set a baptismal date with them for June 25th!! So we will be helping them a lot in the next weeks, and we hope that they prepare!! They couldn't make it to church yesterday, but I think they are planning for next week!!

We also met with a part member family the McClures a few times. They are doing well. Haven't been keeping their commitments, so we will need to talk to them about that. But they are really awesome and a super awesome couple!! Talina has been reading and seems to be excited about getting her husband to read!!!

Haven't heard anything from Caleb this week, he has avoided us and Kimberlyn, which is sad, but hopefully this week we will hear something!

#DaSpirit: well as we said, this was a super awesome week for multiple reasons! We found new investigators and got people on date! But my favorite part of this week happened last night! We called up Elizabeth wanting to meet with her cause she didn't come to church. So we decided that we wanted to do a church tour with her, because she has never even set foot in The building and perhaps maybe she was just a little frightened about it. So we met her at the park with Brother and Sister Parkin, picked Elizabeth and her son Braiden up and headed to the church! Started with a prayer and walked up to the sign out front, explained the significance of that, headed inside and walked around the various rooms, explained their purpose and the associated groups or individuals and what happens inside them! It was very very spiritual and touching. We explained a lot of the art on The walls, the symbol of the steeple, and most importantly the Sacrament. We Walked Into the chapel   And the spirit was very very strong. We asked her about her thoughts and feelings and she didn't really open up too well. But I fully know that she did feel the spirit way strong. And we helped her to identify it a bit. I saw her as we started and of course she was happy and everything, but as we progressed through the building, I just saw her smile get so much bigger and bigger, it was so awesome! We ended in front of the baptismal font, she just seemed so. Happy She had a date for baptism this weekend, the 28th, but things just weren't progressing for that day. She still has very much the desire to be baptized, so we set a new date with her for June 25th as well! She is so excited!! We asked her What her thoughts were at that point. And she just said she was very happy and that she likes the church and thinks it's for her! So that was way awesome!!! We are way excited! I know the Lord truly does place those in our path who are prepared!! Will keep you updated!! Love you all!!

~Elder Samuel LaVar Ward



Monday, May 16, 2016

Who You Gonna Call- Week 36

Hello family!

We had a pretty awesome week this week! Pday was of Course great as usual. We were supposed to go to the wonderful Visitors Center with Elizabeth on Tuesday. She has been acting a little obscure to us lately. She didn't come to church last week, and wasn't texting or calling us back. We were trying to get a hold of her to make sure the VC was still on, but no answer. Well we ended up just showing up to the appointment with Pres. Dial anyways, just in case she decided to do it. Well she wasn't home. So we officially thought she hated us haha. We decided to give her a couple days before we tried again. So we dropped by Friday to see what was up, she up front said that she was sorry that she was avoiding us. Apparently she got a new job and stuff, so she has been busy, said she would be there Sunday, and set an appointment, well unfortunately she didn't come to church, and cancelled the appointment. So we are definitely worried about her. We are hoping things turn around for the better again! We shall try to see her again this week!

Other highlights from this week include exchanges, I went to the Kearny 1st ward with Elder Kirkham which is ALWAYS a joy. He was one of my old MTC companions and has really helped me out a lot and is a great missionary, so that was cool!

Jay Fanning took us on a Ghost tour of the old Elms Hotel here in excelsior springs! It was way super Cool!! He has had some. Amazing Ghost encounters, and also the hotel is just Absolutely beautiful and historical.  President Harry Truman apparently stayed there a few times and so forth, so that was cool!

Not too much else happened, we got A really awesome referral/ New investigator this week. Kimberlyn Parkin, one of the Young women here is a total champion.  She is the one who Pretty much  Introduced Parker to the missionaries a year ago. And he got Baptized,  and now she introduced us to Somebody named Caleb!  Caleb. Is a stud. He is 19 and basically just wants to find something better in life. so he came to church! We taught him the restoration in Elders Quorum, and we have a return appointment! So we definitely owe Kimberlyn cake, and are grateful to the Lord! So we are looking forward to a really awesome week this week!! WWWOOHHOO!!

#Spirit: President Meyer came to church and spoke in sacrament this week. As you know, that man is awesome. He is in the Stake Presidency and definitely called of God, He reminds me of some people very near and dear to me at home, mainly My old boss Dr. Cole. Just the sense of humor, puns, etc. so that's cool. But President Meyer gave an amazing talk in church about the sacrament/ Sabbath Day, Patriarchal Blessings, and Hymns! All three of those things really tied together perfectly for me in its own special way having to do with my own patriarchal Blessing. It was very tender for me. Anyways, He emphasized the hymns quite a bit, something that's always been sacred to me. He said to pay attention to the beautiful music the Lord has blessed us with, and that of course Hymns in Particular have an even greater significance. There is a reason that we sing a sacramental hymn each week in church, this is of course in some degree, preparations spiritually and physically, but more importantly a patten set by the Lord. In Mathew 26 it tells the event of Christ instituting the sacrament, and the apostles finding out who betrays him. Well right after the sacrament and just before he went to the Garden of
Gethsemane to perform the atonement, in verse 30 it says "And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives." I had NEVER picked up on that before!! They had "sung an Hymn" in preparation for what the sacrament was for. They had the spirit brought in more abundantly through a hymn. The great eternal sacrifice that we are remembering each week through the sacrament, started with beautiful music. I just want to testify that the power of the spirit through music is real and mighty. It was the first spark of a testimony of Christ for me through music. I know this to be true. Please pay attention to the hymns and beautiful music of the world.
They are gifts from God. And are so very amazing and powerful/beautiful. Each one has beautiful lyrics and melody all about Christ. I know this to be true. I love you all SSSOOOO much. Have a fantastic week! And share the gospel! Love you!!

~Elder Samuel LaVar Ward







Monday, May 9, 2016

Your Mom Goes to College- Week 35

Hello family! This was a pretty dang awesome week!

The beginning of the week was pretty good. We went and saw a bunch of potential investigators on our list. None of them really panned out. They all took some literature but were not super interested. So we'll see if any call back!

I went on exchanges to Kearney 1st ward with Elder Papworth, he's pretty awesome. We had a good time. They have a pretty rough ward to work with, but it seems like the Lord is starting to open up work there. They have a couple more investigators there now.

We met with a part member family named the McClures. They are doing really well. We taught them the restoration last week and they have even read a little bit! But that day, Elder Parker and Kirkham went to go see Judy on exchanges. They read some scriptures with her and something to really cool happened! And I wasn't even there for it! 
      So they were reading, finished the chapter and we're talking about it. And then her clock chimed. Which the Elders didn't make anything if at the time. But the clock has no batteries in it! She asked them if they heard it and they said yes. Apparently the clocks chimes randomly every now and then, but she knows it means something. She said her deceased mother chimes the clock whenever she is supposed to do something, or the spirit is really strong. She shared some cool experiences with them. She said her mom was there telling her that the message is true!! So hopefully she will take to that!

We also met with our investigator Elizabeth! She is doing awesome! We read 3rd Nephi 11 with her! Bro. Parkin came with us and we had a super duper awesome lesson! 3rd Nephi 11 talks about, (which we weren't even really planning to talk about, but we sorta did)  then all the sudden Elder Parker asks her if she wants to be baptized, and she said yes! She committed to coming to church and stuff! She seemed really super excited! Her date is for May 28th. So hopefully that all works out! Buuutttt. We got a text from her at like 6:50 am Sunday morning saying that she had been invited to the first baptist church in Richmond and wanted to check that out also, so darn, we are going to the visitors center with her tomorrow though, so hopefully that will change stuff around. We are super excited though! I think she is good to go, just still figuring stuff out.

Sppiiirrriiiittttt: Well Mother's Day was AMAZING!!!! I Cried wwwaayyyy too much haha but it was SSOO. Good! Love my mother and my family.  The Spirit bore witness to me that my family sure can be together forever. I love that knowledge and I know it's true. I love the gospel and am so thankful to be a missionary!! Thanks for all that all of you do!! I love you all!


~Elder Samuel LaVar Ward












Monday, May 2, 2016

Templeton, Templeton, TEMPLE.TON! 🐖 #CharlottesWeb- Week 34

What up family!

This week was a pretty awesome week!!

We had dinner at the Offields again last Monday which was super awesome as always.... they are just a super awesome family! We have been teaching their son Mason the lessons, and he got Baptized yesterday! He is way cool, his dad baptized him,  and it was actually a very spiritual program.

Well I think I my have mentioned someone named Elizabeth last week? She is a self referral. She googled "Free Christian Books" and WHAM BAM! We show up on her doorstep the next day!! Haha. Well we have taught her the 1st two lessons now and she is doing awesome. She is pretty shy and doesn't talk much, but I can tell she is really liking what we are teaching her. She was definitely going to come to church this week but said she was going to have to move to Oklahoma with her grandparents for a month until she can get on her feet. Again. So that was sad,  so we were going to see if we could get permission to give her Skype Lessons online until she gets back. BUT we LITERALLY JUST GOT A TEXT that she thinks she's not going to move anymore, so hooray!!!! So hopefully we can get over there today or tomorrow and see what's up!

We also had an appointment with our new investigator Judy. We showed up, and she had a ton of intravenous Lines in. It was a little creepy. But she let us in. We didn't feel like it was a good setting to teach the restoration in because of all the meds going through her, and there was a ton going on, so we showed a Mormon Message to her and had a prayer. Well, we got a text the next day, basically a really nice way of dropping us. It goes "blah blah blah...The Prayer was nice...See you in Paradise" so at least she doesn't think we are evil! But we will call her again in the next couple days and have a little chat.

So, besides all that. This week was super hectic, with Elizabeth moving to Oklahoma..then not, and Judy. Then Karrin forgot about our lesson with her so that didn't happen, etc. BUT!! Elder Parker and I had a ton of miles left over so we decided to go out way to the middle of nowhere (in our middle of nowhere area) to a place called Hardin...Pop. 159. There are a couple members that live there that we have never met. We decided to knock on their doors. and the Members don't live there anymore so we got them off the Ward roster. Then we went tracting in the Farm land! All the houses are like 2 miles apart. So we drove forever and just knocked on random farm houses. We got 3 new investigators!! They are pretty nice! One is like 75 yrs. Old. Has some Mormon cousins and wants to learn more! The other one is a younger guy living with a friend, knows nothing about Jesus, and wants to learn more!! SO YAY!!! We are totally pumped!!

Not much else happened. Training is going way super awesome. I absolutely love it and am so honored to be trusted to do it! Elder Parker is super cool and a great missionary!!

#Spirit: well this week was good! We had a zone action plan to find new investigators by improving our faith. We were all asked to come up with our own plans as a companionship to do it. Well, Elder Parker and I decided that since faith is 'Hope for things which are not seen,' we decided that we are going to hope that the people that we can't see behind their doors will become new investigators! We prayed for the gift of discernment and increased hope and positivity. And it definitely worked! We got some more really awesome investigators such as Bernita and Marcus. They want to learn more and seem prepared! I know that the Lord definitely provides. Everything is founded on
faith. That's how Christ healed people and how we repent, etc. Faith allows us to draw closer to God and perform his Miracles. I Know this work is true and is HIS work. Miracles happen!

I love you all so much! Thanks for everything you do!


~Elder Samuel LaVar Ward

Us and the Offields. Devon is eating the cake I baked!

We climb on piles of gravel for fun! 


Me and Wilbur.... she will probably be breakfast soon

This is Marissa and her nerd glasses. She's cool. 



Monday, April 25, 2016

My first born son in the wilderness! -Week 33


Hello family! Another great week down in the books!

We had dinner at the Offields last Monday! We finished all of the lessons with Mason and he will be getting baptized this Sunday! Woohooo!!! So maybe we can bring some investigators to it!!

The next day we met a super interesting guy named Lanney. Elder Taylor and I were knocking a few doors. He didn't answer, but then right when we were heading back to our car he comes running out after us. I had a mix of fright cause I thought he was going to kill us, but also joy due to the possibility of a solid gator!! Well when we went inside, he takes us to the basement. There was only like one chair and a radio and it was basically pitch black almost. Elder Taylor and I grabbed some chairs from upstairs where all the furniture is, and we sit down to have a discussion. He told us
his whole life story of high blood pressure, and then talked about the bible for like 3 hours, and how he is pretty much the only one going to be saved haha. Luckily I had a Snickers bar in the car waiting for me after that. It was a little rough haha.

We found out that Elder Taylor was going to be transferred and that I am training a new missionary. So Wednesday we mainly were going around saying goodbye to people. We also went to Liberty Jail with Jay and Aaliyah Fanning, which of course was amazing as always.

So, on Thursday we drove to the center place of Zion (Independence) to drop off Elder Taylor and pick up Elder Nakatsu!! Haha. He is going to go by Elder Parker though. His new tag just hasn't come in yet. So Elder Parker is fresh off the plane from the MTC! He is from #Hawaii, and is way super cool!! He is super laid back, but a very dedicated missionary! He and I had an AWESOME rest of the week! We found 3 new investigators!! 2 of which are actually pretty darn solid!!

A lady named Elizabeth self referred herself. She is a very very nice lady. Late 20's with a kid! She had been searching for something new and really wants to get back to Christ! Which is so awesome! She ordered a Book of Mormon recently, and then BAM, the missionaries show up! She has now had
the first lesson, and it was sure great! We are meeting again on Tuesday to teach the Plan of Salvation!!

Elder Parker and I went tracting on his first full day and ran into a lady named Judy!! Judy rocks!! She loved learning about the Book of Mormon, and what we told her about the Plan of Slavation. She said she WANTED to read it, and now we are going back Wednesday to teach her!

Also that day, Elder Parker, myself, and Pres. Dial went to go teach Karrin the First lesson. Which doubled as being Elder Parkers first lesson as well! And WHOA! Holy cow it was awesome! Elder Parker did fantastic! And Karrin definitely felt the spirit!  We are meeting with her again this week! And are definitely going to see how she is feeling about joining the church!

#Spirit: With all this talk about the good ol' Book of Mormon. I wanted to share what I learned this week!  My reading took me to 3rd Nephi 9-12. Which contains the crowning event of the Entire record. The appearance of Jesus Christ to the Nephite and Lamanite nations! This event is what the WHOLE record points to and prepares for. This is my most favorite part of the Book of Mormon for a few reasons: 
1. God the father speaks to those people. And 
2. Jesus Christ sets forth his gospel among those people and allows EVERYONE of them to feel the marks in His hands, feet, and sides. This is what we as missionaries testify of. That Jesus Christ went through what He did. And that these events of the Book of Mormon are REAL and actually happened! I realized that his mortal wounds are tokens of his sacrifice. Elder Holland taught that "He retained for the benefit of his disciples the wounds in His hands and feet as signs, if you will, signs, that painful things happen even to the pure and perfect (The ONLY perfect person being Christ),...that pain in this world is NOT evidence that God doesn't love you, but rather signs; if you will, that problems pass, and happiness can be ours through our Savior Jesus Christ. I KNOW that this is True, and that the Book of Mormon is true. I KNOW that everyone can know that. It has truly blessed my life.


I LOVE YOU ALL!! HAVE  A WONDERFUL WEEK!!


Love, Elder Samuel LaVar Ward



There was a REALLY big wasp! 
video


video

My SON and I!

We helped some people move!


Reilly McPherson!




Monday, April 18, 2016

Ropin' the Nations! -Week 32


Hello family!! This has been a crazy week!!

We had some really great things happen!! Earlier this week we went on team ups with Bro. Parkin our Branch Mission leader. It was super great! We went to go try some less active members and invite them to stake conference.  We went to try somebody we had never met before to give them an invitation. Turns out that they don't live there anymore. But we met a new guy named Santiago, and we got a return appointment for him tomorrow!!! We mainly just went around teaching some of the regulars and finding new people.

We had weekly planning on Thursday and were discussing a person named Karrin, Elder Taylor and one of the assistants found last December. We have tried her a whole bunch cause she lives just outside of Richmond. But every time her house helper just says she's sleeping. So we said we would knock on the door one last time and if it doesn't work we would finally drop her. Well, we were on team ups with the High Priest Group leader and we decided to her place with him.  Well..... holy cow, BEST LESSON EVER!! We finally met with her and talked on the porch!! We only got to meet with her for like 10 minutes. But we talked all about the first principle of "God is our loving Heavenly Father" She cried like 3 times. She has some pretty intense medical conditions, and she has never looked at the trials in her life from the angle we do. It was super powerful.  And.  We have.  A RETURN. APPOINTMENT with her!!!!!!

Alsoooooo.. I GOT A TRAINING CALL!! So that is way cool! So it is definite that I will have a new companion this week. Odds are that I will stay here with my son. But you never know. I opened my first area with my trainer, so it's been done before. But I'm sooo excited! And am so grateful that the Lord has trusted me with this call.

Also, we had a marvelous stake conference this weekend!! It was way up in Gallatin about an hour away. We were even invited to the priesthood leadership session on Saturday which was way awesome!!! The Saturday evening session Pres. and Sis. Vest Spoke. As well as a previously released Mission president that now lives in the Gallatin ward. It was so awesome!! All about preparing missionaries!! So spiritual. I definitely cried.

Spirit: Well, the next day. We rode up to stake conference with the Conners. It was super great!! There were sooooo many people there! The chapel was completely full. The rooms televising it were completely full as well. There was only standing room. People had to set up chairs in the foyers and the hallways. It was waaaayyy cool!!

But best part of the week....ADAM-ONDI-AHMAN!!! The Conners took us there for a picnic!! It is so beautiful!!! A consecrated and Holy choice land indeed. I could feel the spirit SO STRONG!! The events that have taken place there and will take place there are just incredible. I love this land so much and am so grateful to be serving here!! I love this gospel and know it's true!!!

Also, we went roping today at the Dunlaps!!! It was Soo sick!!!! Elder Crawford bought me a rope haha. So I gotta bake him a cake or something. But it was super fun!! I was pretty bad a it. But the cow finally decided to stand still so I got her!! Hahahaa Fun Days!

Anyways, love you all!!!
- Elder Samuel LaVar Ward

Stake Conference

Selfie-ception
Brother CONNER! 
Picnic!

Adam-ondi-ahman

Tower Hill!

Tower Hill!


Out Ropin Rascals in the Rain!

GOT HER!

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Monday, April 11, 2016

Week 31- Part 2

Had the wonderful opportunity to visit the Far West Temple site this morning! It's such a blessing to have consecrated and holy land nearby. The Spirit definitely resides there.. A place of promise, history, and future! MISSOURI ROCKS!!!!



This corner stone was laid as a representation of the higher priesthood



Here's your sign!

We also got to take some epic model pics- enjoy!









We also stopped by the Far West General Store and got to see the man Joseph Smith!