Monday, September 28, 2015

#AllTheService - Week 4

Helllooo!!! This week has been pretty grand. We have done so much service this week!! Holy cow! We helped 2 people move this week, I hate moving, but somehow, it's a lot easier with 15 missionaries helping! haha. So that was one of them, but another person we helped move was only Elder Kolacz and I, and the Sisters haha, so that was a little slower, but it was still awesome! Then, we went to paint a deck! It was me and Elder Kolacz, and the sisters again... we ended up doing it twice because I guess they didn't like the first color, so they changed it and had us come paint a new color on haha. It was a good time and they were a super nice family! Mainly this week, Elder Kolacz and I have been hunting down these potential investigators that were on our list... turns out they were ALL bum addresses! So lame! But at least we were able to clear up the list for the future missionaries going to serve here, and now we can focus more on finding people. We met one new guy named Jamek! He was a very nice guy and let us in, he was intrigued at the idea of missionaries in general; he let us in, we shared the video "choose this day" with him and talked about the restoration and where the Book of Mormon came from. He was very interested in it, and we have a return apportionment with him on Saturday! So i'll let you know how that goes! We have another appointment with our another investigator Derek, tomorrow. He has some issues with certain members of the ward, so we will try to clear that up. He commited with us last week to read 3 Nephi 11 and pray about it. The reasoning is that he didn't think Christ came to the Americas and ministered here, so that chapter talks about that, and what Christ did here. So we will talk this week about some more concerns he may have, and what his testimony of the Book of Mormon is right now. Elder Kolacz and I are still getting along well. It's been tough not really having any luck finding many people, but hopefully that will turn around this week. Also, what is the deal with people being jerks? So lame! But it's worth it, because every now and then we meet someone who is the nicest person as can be. Even though they may not be interested in the gospel, there is a pleasant conversation, and you can see the plain good in them, it's great. We had pizza 5 days in a row this week. Oooohhh my gosh haha. I thought I liked pizza, but that's beginning to change. It just ends up being the easiest thing people can feed us. But that's okay because we meet their awesome families, and generally walk most of it off. I. GOT. MY. IPAD!!!! It's so beautiful!! It's an Ipad mini 2, space grey, 32GB. I've got a sweet picture of Jesus in the background..on my retina display ;) Things are definitely going pretty swell here in Lenexa. The ward is humongous, but that definitely is a good thing, especially for investigators. Being able to have a few hours in the morning to read the Book of Mormon is definitely one of my FAVORITE THINGS. I'm in 3 Nephi right now. I love that book so much. It talks about Christs ministry here, and what his Character was. I hope someday to have the Character of Christ and to be like him. I love being out here in the Mission field. It's so cool to be meeting new people and finally getting some sort of routine. I love the Lord, and I love you!! Thanks so much for all the letters, emails, packages, etc. I'm not sure if you know how much, but it helps A LOT!! I love it, and am so thankful for it. So thanks again. Be sure to read your Book of Mormon this week, and to pray about it! You'll be glad you did! I know I am! and I know other people here soon will be as well; until next week!! love you all!
~Elder Samuel LaVar Ward

                                                              iPad of life!
                               I saw the Lunar Eclipse last night, so that was pretty cool!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

#Blessed - Week 3

HOOOLLLLYY CCOOOWWW, Missouri is awesome. We woke up at 3:45 am on Wednesday and flew out to good ole Missouri at about 9. The airplane was SO COOL!! I can't wait to ride one again. President Vest is super nice, not what I expected, but very nice. The first thing we did was go to the temple and take pictures, we didnt go inside :( But it was cool to be there anyway. We then went to Historic Liberty Jail. Yeah, the Joseph Smith one. They have a wonderful visitors center there, and the presentation was amazing. After that, we went to the Independence visitors center...directly across the street from the Community of Christ Temple hahaha, I thought that was funny. What an interesting building! The visitors center was amazing though! You could definitely feel the spirit, and know that the things there were true. After that, we went to the Mission Home and had further instruction about missionary stuff. We spent the night there, I got really sick of all the weird and annoying Elders that came out with me. There's only like 3 normal people in that group. So I was definitely glad to wake up and meet my new companion. Speaking of which. He is TOTALLY AWESOME!!  His name is Elder Kolacz, (Pronounced "Kolaz" th c is silent) he is an awesome trainer, and has helped me a lot with homesickness. I think he really cares about me and has given me tons of great counsel for that. Also, pretty much all of my favorite things from home are in my mission. We have a full time car in our area... A 2015 VW JETTA BABY!!! Although I dont get to drive it yet, it's still stellar. Also.......IPADS!! IPADS!! IPADS!!! #APPLE AAHH!!l Literally the best thing ever. They had a shipment come out last week... but they weren't church configured... so they had to send them back :( But I think I should get mine either today or tomorrow!! SO THAT WILL BE SUPER AWESOME!! Also, we get to keep them when we go home!! AAHH!!!! so pumped!! Elder Kolacz and I were assigned to open up a brand new area to Elders. We are actually in a place called Lenexa Kansas, in the Chapel Hill ward. Its a great ward, but its HUGE!! Luckily we have a full time car for this area, there is a ton of work to do here...LOTS of less actives that need reactivating. We went tracting and have 2 potential investigators, and a few referrals, so we will see how that goes, nothing solid yet though. We did some service! I got to use some of my farming and treeing skills! We chopped down a tree! I was going to ask for a hunk of wood to send to Doc, but i figured shipping may be a little hard. We met a lot of really nice people...we have dinner scheduled every night of the week for two months, so thats good! We haven't even had to eat spaghetti yet!  The ward Mission leader, Brother Reynolds is super involved, and I really like that about him. The sisters in our area have helped us out a ton, and have given lots of names. We will be sure to go see them all this week. I'm really good at not being homesick when i'm seeing and meeting people, but the last couple hours before sleep, and the first few after I wake up are excruciatingly hard. But I LOVE the scripture study, being able to read and study whatever I want at my own pace has been really helpful and relaxing. UUUMMM the music thing is a BUST. Only hymns and EFY music is allowed...BUT after thanksgiving, we can listen to ANY Christmas we want, including T Swift! So be ready to send some CD's!! Also! if y'all want to send different arrangements of hymns, that would be super awesome as well! Anything a Capella is great or even like upbeat funky hymns are swell too! I do miss SOME things about the MTC, but compared to the field, I really don't miss it at all. and thats ok! It definitely trained me well!! We get to go to the temple once a quarter, so i'll go in January sometime...i'm excited for that! I can see the Lord's blessings already, I know it will definitely get harder in the area and people wise over the mission though, so i'll appreciate what I have now. I'm kind of in the rich part of the mission, so that's a plus haha. We live at a members house right now with the last name of Lee, they are really nice, we do our studies on a screened in porch, which I LOVE! MOM if you could see this place, I have no doubt you'd move here in a heartbeat, the homes are beautiful, and all the green is amazing, but I do personally miss the mountains. but I have really cool hills!! Thats about all I have for this week, i'll try and load some pics. Thanks so much for the Emails!!!! They help a lot!! I'll be able to read them whenever I want once I have my ipad, but will only be able to reply on Pday. I hope everthing and everyone is doing well!! The temp here is not hot, and the humidity is low, so it feels good. :) I can't wait to get some investigators and be able to make people happy! This week alone has greatly improved my testimony of Joseph Smith and Jesus Christ. I love that. I've read a lot of the Samuel the Lamanite story this week, and I hope I can be like him. Thanks for all that y'all do! I'll give the address, but beware, I may have to move in this next week or two because the Lees may move to Arizona, but for now, the address is 5702 Alden ct. Shawnee Kansas 66216 Also, if you send a package, make sure you send it priority! Because it will only go to my house directly that way, others it will just go to the mission office and it may be weeks before I get it. I don't know why though haha. Anyways, I love all of you! I Love the gospel, and I love the mission! Keep in touch! #Blessed #LDS #Mission #Ipad #VW #Missouri/Kansas #Zion
~Elder Samuel LaVar Ward

                                                  On my flight over here!
                                                       Historic Liberty Jail
                                                      The Community of Christ Temple.
                                                    We found Bronco fans!
                                  The only picture Elder Kolacz and I have taken so far.
                                                          I found Boise!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

#AllTheSpirit - Week 2

What an amazing week Here at the MTC!! Not too shabby at all! Last Tuesday night we had a devotional, the speaker was Bishop Causse of the First Bishopric and his wife. It was so good!! A lot of his points and quotes were so good and inspiring.. one of my favorites was "We need to be the Missionaries people think we are." That truly hit home. People think missionaries are the kindest and most generous people in the world, we HAVE to live up to that! He then ended the meeting instead of singing a closing hymn, he played an absolutely BEAUTIFUL arrangement of Come, Come Ye Saints on the piano. I had no Idea that he could play so well, and it was definitely one of the most spiritual moments I've had here at the MTC. That has personally been one of the hardest things for me being on a mission, there is no time for beautiful music! But in the field I'll probably have more time and that will go better! We then had a pretty normal week teaching investigators and such. I'll admit, I got a little teary saying goodbye to Catherine and Sydney on Saturday. They are both just wonderful and happy ladies and have helped me and my companions come so far in teaching the restored gospel of Jesus Christ! I can only imagine how hard it will be saying goodbye to people out in the field that I have known for weeks and even months!! Elder Timmreck has been quite sick this week! He missed a couple days of class, luckily for me, Elder Nay was sick as well, so they stayed together while I went to class. Until today he had been getting better; he kept us up coughing last night. He started coughing up blood so we had to take him to the BYU doctor this morning. We spent like 4 hours there this morning, from like 7:30-11:00. So unfortunately we had to miss the temple. :( But I'm  glad we could get some antibiotics in him for the mission field. Homesickness has been going away surely but slowly. I asked brother Nielsen (our Teacher) for a blessing last Thursday. It was a beautiful blessing and it said everything that I needed. It made me feel tons better. Elder Timmreck asked me to give HIM a blessing when he started getting sick. I was a little hesitant at first because I had never actually given one before. But I said a little prayer asking to have help saying the right things, and it went pretty well. I blessed that he would feel better as well as receiving comfort for some personal issues he may have. When it was over he stood up and his exact words were, "You have no idea nor can I tell you how inspired that truly was!" So that was cool! The spirit was definitely SO STRONG!! That was truly a blessing for me as well as him. I love being a missionary! It's pretty dang awesome, and the time starts to fly by! I can't believe that I'm already headed to Missouri tomorrow morning! I've seen so many blessings from God just being here in the MTC. I knew my friend Elder Colby Larson was here and I kept looking around for him the first day I got here! I got really sad when I couldn't find him. But then when we got back to our residence hall that night and I found out that HE WAS STAYING IN THE ROOM RIGHT NEXT TO ME!! Out of all the hundreds and hundreds of rooms here at the MTC he was right next door! Or the fact  that Sydney was so into Scottish history and bagpipes! It was awesome I could even have someone to talk to that knows about SFU or even just how bagpipes work in general! I also met a cousin of a dear friend\elder of mine that was serving in Boise, it was Elder Stapely's cousin! Elder Stapely was one elder that helped me realize that I truly did want to go on a mission and was very supportive of me! Those are just SOME of the blessings that I've seen! #CountYourBlessings is totally true! I love this gospel so much! I love Christ and am so excited to bring people unto him! Thank for everything! I know this is where I need to be and I love it! Until next week! -Elder Samuel LaVar Ward 

Just a normal day in class! 
                                     Last lesson with our investigator, Catherine!
This is my awesome teacher Brother Nielsen! 
                                         Our district in front of the Provo Temple!
                                              Elder Kirkham and Elder Timmreck.
                                             My last lesson with Sister Luft. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

#LuftLevel- Week 1

The MTC is pretty legit, I'm not going to lie I've been rather homesick- but it gets easier everyday! My companions are pretty awesome, we are the only ones in the MTC to have a trio! Their names are Elder Timmreck, and Elder Kirkham. We get along really well, and teach well together as well. The spirit is always in our lessons with our investigators, and they always seem to be interested in what the spirit is saying. So that's awesome!! The spirit here in the MTC is so strong! (especially in our district meetings and lessons.) Speaking of which, I am called to be District Leader, which I am not really sure why, haha. Its definitely been a learning experience, a lot of hard work, but definitely rewarding. The Elders in my district are us three, another companionship Elder Fisher, and Elder Nay, and a sister companionship, Sister Clark, and Sister Baadsgaard. The sisters are so awesome and so funny! They definitely bring that extra level of spirit and spunk to our class. The first day was hard,  they threw a new group of us elders into a discussion with an investigator. It definitely humbled me, and the skills I might had in teaching the gospel, haha... but it was a good experience to see what we were up against. The spirit at this place is so strong, and I love it! It sometimes is even too much to handle... which is good! I really miss the family and have had a few hard times, but it always gets turned around one way or another. The Branch Presidency, President Hodges, Brother Litster, and Brother Weiser,  are all really really good to me. A really cool thing we did in class this week were demonstrations. Our teachers, Brother Nielsen, and Sister Luft are absolutely incredible. Sister Luft kind of has me more interested. We did a demo where she was the missionary, and Elder Nay was the investigator. He pretended to be someone he knew that doesn't have the Gospel. She started out by not really teaching, and getting to know him, which I loved. Then she started talking about the BOM, and doing super awesome. I couldn't help but think that this is how I want to be as a missionary. She tailored the lesson to the investigator. She was going along about the BOM and then went in talking about the First Vision/ Restoration. Then the Holy Ghost hit me like a bus, she recited the First Vision word to word as Joseph Smith said it, from memory. Everyone started crying, and I knew that someday, hopefully soon, I HAVE to reach #LuftLevel. She is such an awesome lady!! And Brother Nielsen gave a similar experience as well, I just don't have time to talk about it. This week has felt sort of long, but has also FLOWN BY! Don't ask me how to explain it. haha. We got to watch a talk by Elder Bednar given on Christmas Day at the MTC in 2007, called the "Character of Christ." It was sooooo good and so powerful! I've learned here at the MTC that we are not here to teach lessons, but to teach people. And really, it has NOTHING to do with the church, like at all. It's about being CONVERTED unto CHRIST. And I don't mean just having a testimony, it's being CONVERTED. I was finally able to grasp that the Gospel isn't just about the church, it's about Christ, the modern day prophets, and the scriptures. Of course the church plays a HUGE role because it's the only one with power and authority to perform the necessary saving ordinances. Its really a glorious and beautiful thing. I can't wait to help others learn about the Gospel, and to help them be converted unto Christ. All I hope is that along the way, I can also become even more converted unto Christ. Today we got to go to the Provo Temple, which I have to admit, is not a very pretty temple. But the inside is a lot better than the outside! What's important is the ordinances that take place, which was great as always!  I have had to use my counseling authority as District Leader, Elder Nay and Elder Fisher got into an argument with yelling and so forth. I immediately felt the spirit zip right out of the room, and that's when I got involved. I counseled that we are here for the Lord, and we shouldn't worry about the petty little problems. This is two years we have to be serving others. I prayed with them and asked a blessing to help them solve their differences, and they are working on it. Unfortunately, we all had investigators to teach after that incident. I was worried that the Spirit would not be there during our lesson, but I felt the spirit as strong as ever, and I know Sydney, (our investigator) did as well. I knew the other Elders wouldn't have the same spirit in their lesson, and they didn't. But they saw what happened, and are working on it. Sydney is on the board for the Payson Utah Games, and she says she thinks she has seen me with the Snake River Band! She talked about Scottish history a lot, and bagpipes which really comforted me! I know that was right from the Lord, and I was so grateful for that!! I love this Gospel! I love Christ, and I am so grateful that I am able to do this! The food is really goo and four square is awesome!! I love and miss you all so much! I can't wait to see you all again, but that's not for a few days/years! NBD!! I'll try and send pictures, but I don't have a chord to upload them, so I'll see if someone else's fits! Sorry about that!! But thanks for all the emails, Dear Elders, and mail! It keeps me going!! Keep them coming! Keep up the awesomeness everyone! Until next week! <3 P.S. 143

Contact Information

Hey hey!

Samuel would sure love to hear from all of his friends and family as much as possible. He is now in  Missouri!  Here is his contact info:

send letters to: 
Elder Samuel Ward 
209 Fine Street. Apartment #3 
Excelsior Springs, Missouri, 64024