Thursday, March 24, 2016

#RopinRascles 🐂- Week 28

Helloooooo family!!

This has definitely been an interesting week. We got a lot done! It was sort of a long week. But was good!

Monday we helped the Parkins a little bit more with their kitchen. That was really good! Tuesday was really good too. We all had interviews with President Vest (#Mission President) it was great! I got to talk to him about the work and my own personal self. It was really great. We also got to talk with Sister Vest as well, it went great but she took Siri off of our iPads. Which I was a little sad about hahaha... but some missionaries had been using that feature not wisely. So, everyone gets to pay for it! :)

Then the next day I got to go on exchanges with Elder Kirkham! It was way super awesome! He was one of my ol MTC companions, so it was really cool to catch up and work together again. We got some pizzas and walked over to sonic. Kimberlyn Parkin gave us some free drinks and it was a great day!!! 

We taught Kylie earlier this week. We were supposed to have a campfire with them but of course it started raining :(. So we had some hot dogs inside and had a little lesson. Her Baptism is coming up this Saturday! And it looks like her husband Robby is going to be able to baptize her! It's so exciting! This will definitely be a super busy

Later this week we went to the Dunlaps to do some service! They are super cool. Bruce is a real interesting guy. His wife Leta is also really cool. She's already a member, we are working on trying to help her get to church more often. She leaves on a cruise this week. But we are going to try to get her to the Visitors Center when she gets back. Anyways, we did some service at their house... their middle level floor was sagging down pretty hardcore. So we spent like 6 hours in the basement putting in new support beams and hitting stuff with heavy hammers. It was pretty fun. My body hurts, but we got it about halfway done! Haha. We also ate egg and Spam sandwiches there ;) .

We also did some service at the Ray County Museum which was also really cool. 

But probably the Most interesting thing that happened to me this week is two things. We ate at a family restaurant with the Conner family. Well, it didn't taste bad, but it didn't taste good either. We got the tenderloin and we survived. Buuuuuttttt. We definitely payed with some severe gastroenteritis the next day 😅. But we Still went to the Dunlaps and did all the things. 

The next thing, is that we met a REALLY interesting couple, we've talked to them a few times on the phone in the last couple months. We have been trying to find his records so that our Branch President can marry them. But I don't think he was actually ever baptized. But that's besides the point, we went and finally met them in person the next day. Well we had a lesson with them. They have some really interesting beliefs to say the least. But they are definitely very nice genuine people. Hopefully potentials to join the gospel some day, but there are some things we will need to clear up first haha. 

Spirit time!:  I read through some of the Book of Helaman this week; and of course came across Chapter 5. Where Nephi and Lehi devote themselves to preaching. They help convert a lot of people, but are eventually cast into prison, and 300 people are overshadowed with a cloud of darkness. I love the verses  40-41 

40 "And it came to pass that the Lamanites said unto him: What shall we do, that this cloud of darkness may be removed from overshadowing us?
41 And Aminadab said unto them: You must repent, and cry unto the voice, even until ye shall have faith in Christ, who was taught unto you by Alma, and Amulek, and Zeezrom; and when ye shall do this, the cloud of darkness shall be removed from overshadowing you."
42 And it came to pass that they all did begin to cry unto the voice of him who had shaken the earth; yea, they did cry even until the cloud of darkness was dispersed."

To find the way back as Aminadab had remembered, one must repent and pray until doubt and darkness disappear. It is possible to return. And to see that Heavenly Father focuses on who we are, and who we are to become, instead of who we once were. Doubt and darkness can be removed from all of our lives. We can always overcome darkness.  The Lord will help us! I know that is true. I know that Heavenly Father truly loves all of us, and that he is willing to help, especially if we just simply ask, and have faith. I love all of you!! Thanks for all that you do! Have a marvelous week! 

~Elder Samuel LaVar Ward

Elder Kirkham and I 
Flying the Millennium Falcon kite!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

This is my super awesome district- "The Ropin Rascals"

Monday, March 14, 2016

#HorsinAround🐴 -Week 27


This was really a great week!! Lots of things happened!!

The last few Mondays we have been teaching a family named the Offields for F.H.E. One of the sons will be getting baptized next month when he turns 8. They are really super awesome!! We sang "Let it Go" from Frozen for the opening song. I am proud to say I remembered most of it!!! So that was really cool, they are an awesome family.

We had another great Lesson with Kylie again!! We talked about the vision of the Tree of Life. I think she really liked it. I have a picture on my iPad I showed her, and we went through all the symbolism. That message is probably one of the most important in the Book of Mormon, because it can talk about many things, but how all of them point to the Love of Christ, and enduring to the end. Which is very important to understand, especially before baptism, baptism is just the gateway...things tend to get a lot harder after. But we know that as we remember Christ always, that all will be well. 
We then had a prayer, and went on to quote back and forth silly things like Spongebob, Mean Girls, and all sorts of different things, it was awesome. On Thursday with her, we read 3 Nephi 11. Which is probably THE most important scripture in the Book of Mormon. When Christ Appears to his people on the American Continent, just after his Resurrection. Everything prior to that in the book speaks of the that event. That is truly the pinnacle part of the whole record of the Nephites and Lamanites. I felt the spirit very strongly while we were reading it together, which I know means that she did too!! We unfortunately were unable to get in another lesson with Ambrose this week. But hopefully next!

We did however go to the Visitors Center with a Member named Jamie and his daughter Aaliyah. That was really good. Aaliyah is not a member, she's 11. But we have been teaching her for a little while. The visitors Center was amazing as always, and I think they really enjoyed it as well! 

Another wonderful thing happened. An Apostle of the Lord came to see us!!!! Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the 12 came to our mission. We had an all mission conference with him, Elder Deschler, and Elder Anderson!! It was so spectacular. We all got to shake their hands!! Haha. But it was Soo good!! My favorite talk was probably Elder Stevenson, and here is why!

(#SpiritTime) Elder Stevenson at first said, we are going to open an app in the back of your brain, that has been running in the background, but is not being used at this time, and is strictly under lock and key, we are going to open it for a sec, talk about it. Then put it back right where it came from until another appropriate time. The app, is eternal marriage...OH JEEZ!!! Haha. That definitely caught me off guard. He was mainly just talking about how President and Sister Vest, are good models of Eternal companions to look for, but it was really funny. 

So the actual spirit part is this... Elder Stevenson as an apostle of the Lord is a special witness of him. Meaning that it is his job and obligation to testify of him always and to everyone. Which is the exact same commission that I have as a full time missionary. Take whatever you will from the term 'special witness.' But I know, that when he testified of Jesus Christ to us, that everything he said is true. I KNOW it. Why? Because the spirit told me so. Just as it has told me that the Bible and Book of Mormon are true as well. But I KNOW that Jesus Christ is The son of the Living God. I felt the spirit very very strong as Elder Stevenson was taking about it. I felt that thing that we can all feel called the Holy Ghost. Who comforts, testifies of truth, and many other things. I KNOW that Christ has paid the price to bring Mercy AND satisfy justice. I have learned a lot about Christ while I have been on my mission. I've learned about who he is. Why it was necessary for us that he atoned. And most importantly, how I can implement Him in my life, and how to help others do that as well. I invite all of you to watch the new #Hallelujah video that the church put out yesterday. It talks about everything I know to be true, and that Elder Stevenson helped reaffirm for me. Thanks for all that you do!! I love all of you, have a marvelous week!

~Elder Samuel LaVar Ward

First edition of the Book of Mormon

Add caption

This. Is. Missouri (our burn barrel for the kitchen)

Sister Heitman!

Me and Lindsey Parkin remodeling their kitchen

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Week 26- Modeling at the Monument

Hellooooo!!!! How's it going y'all!!

This was a really good week!!!!!  We had a really good lesson with Kylie!!! She and Robby wanted to give us a really good meal. So we went over on Tuesday and they had basically the greatest food ever!!! Crab legs, crawfish, shrimp, potatoes, etc. HOLY COW IT WAS AMAZING!!! They
are just super awesome and working very hard to make March 26th happen!! We taught her the baptismal interview questions. So she is officially done with the preach my gospel lessons!! And we are really going to start focusing on Book of Mormon stuff. So that's really cool!! 

We also did a lot of finding this week. We got 2 new investigators. 1 from the area book of potentials, and another one from a referral! The area book one is named Ambrose. We went there last night with one of the Young Men. Ambrose is like 80 years old and extremely deaf. He thought we were supposed to come tonight. So last night he didn't have his hearing aids in, and he apparently has to do
some serious prep in order to put them in. I dont really know... but I sat right next to
him. And basically had to scream the Book of Mormon to him 

Him: (smiling) What?

...that went on for about 15 minutes then he started talking about the government and we left. We are gonna go back tomorrow when he has his hearing aids!! Hooray! 

We had a lesson with the refferal Rigo, but he cancelled... :( also.... BAD NEWS.... Cheryl and Steve DROPPED US. So sad! :( I cried a little bit. But we got some new gators so it's ok. It was really sad but it's all part of it!! Hopefully they will turn around soon.  

Also, we did some good service!!! We went to the Ray County Museum and did some cleaning and playing with stuff. So that was fun!! We went to the Dunlaps and did some service. I packed a wheel bearing, (thanks dad and Thor) we helped with some animal stuff, and moved a shed!! So a pretty great week! I love doing service like that!

Spiritual Time: ~ I received some great revelations this week. I read in Alma 46:12-15 about Moroni and the title of Liberty. That has always been one of my favorite events that took place. I love how
courageous he was to defend the amazing gifts he has been given. And even to help other people see the blessings of freedom they have, and to defend it, even if it takes bloodshed. It reminded me of the
amazing country I live in. For the ability and freedom I even have to be a missionary and to believe in God, to have a wonderful family, power to vote, etc. I realized that this land has been and is a land
of promise, even from ancient times until now. A land of freedom. That was another confirming witness for me of the Book of Mormon and the Divinity of this Land. I know it is true. I know that these things actually happened. And that Jesus Christ Lives.

I love all of you! I survived transfers! And awesome things happened!! Elder Kirkham, my MTC companion is in my district! And he's district leader so I'll get to go on exchanges with him! Also, elder Timmreck my other. MTC comp is in my zone!! Crazy!! I love all of you!!  Have a
wonderful week!! Sorry for the super short email.
~Elder Samuel LaVar Ward

Last District!

Seafood Medley

Face Swap! #mrsdoubtfire

Ray County Museum

Model shots! At the 3 Witness Monument

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Week 25- Headless Hens!

Familllyyyyy. This week Was Pretty awesome!

We had a really great Lesson with Kylie and Robby this Week. We taught them the principals of "eternal Marriage" and "temples and family history." Eternal marriage has been the foremost motivating factor for them to join the church. So we wanted to teach them more about the covenant of it. That it's a promise between the two of them and God. They seemed to really enjoy it. 

Because Elder Taylor and I don't really have any experience on the topic quite yet, we held it at the
Heitman's home. It was really awesome! They gave such great testimonies, they have had lots of experiences with their kids being sealed to them, and have embraced the reassurance of being a family through time and eternity. It was really super touching and I shed a tear or two.

So we did that, Cheryl and Steve unfortunately had to cancel their appointment with us. So we rescheduled for tomorrow night! Hopefully they have still been reading, and at the rate they were going last week, they should just about be done with the book!

I had to give a training at district meeting this week. It was actually pretty fun. It was only the second one I've ever gave. It only had to be 5 minutes, but I'm pretty sure it went for 20. Haha. It was on "The Importance of the Spirit in Missionary Work." So hooray!

So some interesting things happened this week. President Dial (the branch president) lives in Richmond (Yes, THE Richmond). Which is kind of the central point of our area. So we do a lot of service in Richmond or the farms around it. President Dial has a key for us and we can go in and change or eat or whatever if he's not home. So we did that a few days ago, and he's an Apple Product family. So he has all sorts of cool little phone attachments. On the counter was a container holding a box. It is called a Canary, which is basically a smart camera that you just set in your house and it detects unusual movement and sends it to the persons phone who can see video and sound an alarm. Ok.
Well it wasn't set up yet, I was just reading the box, thought it was cool, then set it back down. The next day we come, and the container is still there... But we were in a huge hurry, so we just
decided to change in the hallway real quick...right as we just finish changing, I notice a mysterious little box in the corner. A little red light flips on, and an EXTREMELY loud alarm starts sounding! I screamed like a little girl and cried a little.  We waved to the camera and fled the scene haha. Then President Dial called us, asks where we were, and just starts laughing his head off... only in the life of a missionary! :)

The next day we go to the Dunlap's farm to help put up a fence for his cows. Sister Dunlap calls me into the coop and asks me to catch a few chickens for her...That went well, I eventually catch 5, and she is standing outside the coop with... AN AXE! I may have squealed a little but it was the poor girls' time. So she takes them, holds them down on a block and brother Dunlap played executioner. Turns out that the so called myth of headless chickens is REAL...blood flying everywhere as
well as the chicken...headless. I even got attacked by one.

I never thought I would experience plucking and gutting chickens on my mission, but...only in the life of a missionary! It was pretty gross. She even saved the gizzards hearts and livers. (Which gizzards are actually pretty good I've discovered.) She said we shall be having fried chicken next time we come over!! So that definitely makes for a very interesting week in Missouri!

Spirit time: I learned and reflected a lot on the atonement of Christ this week. I had some questions about it, prayed, and the next thing I know is I am reading Alma 42:23 Which says "But God ceaseth not to be God, and mercy claimeth the penitent, and mercy cometh because of the atonement; and the atonement bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead; and the resurrection of the dead bringeth back men into the presence of God; and thus they are restored into his presence, to be judged according to their works, according to the law and justice." 

I did learn that the Savior's performance of the atonement, the unimaginable pain and anguish he experienced for each of us, sweat as it were drops of blood,  and Him dying for us on the cross truly is the most magnificent act of love that has ever happened. His mission truly was "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. " Such an act of grace that we could never repay, but still satisfies the demands of justice. I understand more in depth that not only did he grant the blessings for EVERYONE to be resurrected, but also opened the way to eternal life for all who would follow Him,
repent and have faith in the atonement, and observe and keep the commandments and ordinances of His gospel. And it makes me so happy to share that with others. I KNOW it is true, I KNOW that Jesus is the Christ, and He is the only way for us to return.

I love all of you!! Thanks so much for being awesome! Crazy that my 6 month mark is this week. Transfers are this Thursday, so send stuff at your own risk :) ! I appreciate all the support, have a marvelous

~Elder Samuel LaVar Ward.

Parker and I