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.


Love, Elder Samuel LaVar Ward

There was a REALLY big wasp! 

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

Brother CONNER! 


Tower Hill!

Tower Hill!

Out Ropin Rascals in the Rain!


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!

Far West Wranglers- Week 31

Hello hello!!

This has been a really good and super busy week!!

We had dinner at the Offields again last Monday. We have been teaching their 7 yr. old son Mason the lessons in preparation for his baptism next month. They are a really awesome family. We have gone over every Monday night for F.H.E for the past couple months. He is Super excited for his baptism which is awesome!

I also went on an Exchange with Elder Pope to his area. It was pretty interesting. The Kearny 1st Area hasn't had a teaching pool for a while. They definitely try hard. But it's just that nobody has been interested there!...Luckily, Elder Pope and I found 3 new investigators in 1 day!!! Hahaha it was way super awesome! It was a little rough in the morning time. But we went back to the apartment to get his jacket or something, and I suggested that we have a prayer. So we did. We asked in faith to have people placed in our path, and the Lord Provided!! It was way awesome! So they have return appointments with all those investigators this week, and hopefully all goes well!! 

Later that night, we were invited to judge the youth cake decorating competition at mutual. It was pretty cool!! They had to decorate based on passages from scripture, one had Noah's Ark, there was the Savior's sepulcher, and my personal favorite was the vision of the tree of life!! They all looked cool, but tasted TERRIBLE haha. But it was fun!!

We had an amazing zone training on Friday. Brother Pratt from the Far West Stake high council over missionary work came and gave a training on HandBook 2 Chapter of the most important sections in that church handbook. It's all about the work of salvation, and how the ward council plays one of the most critical roles in that. It was really good. He is going to talk to all the bishops this week at stake conference about it, and we have already implemented some of his training and suggestions at Branch council yesterday. So hooray!

We did some way awesome service at the Dunlaps on Saturday. We built a shoot for his cattle to go through. Post hole digging is fun. But tamping the soil is even more "Fun" haha. I was pretty dang sore. But the day was all worth it when his nephew brought a new 3 day old calf for them. She was so cute and waaaayyy cool!! I got to pet and hug on her. I am going to borrow one of the Zone leaders ropes so I can rope all the cattle sometime this week hopefully. We have been practicing hard on our roping the past few P- days. Not ashamed to say I'm getting pretty good at roping the chair and bail of hay! Time to move on to bigger and better things though...#RealCows. I think they named the calf "little Leta" cause it was Leta, Bruce's wife who ultimately wanted the cow. 

We also had dinner with the Conners a few times this week (got Ruben sandwiches) and then we visited a lot of less active and part member families!! We hopefully have a few new investigators out of them. So that will rock!!

#Spirit:I read in the book of 3rd Nephi this week about the Gadianton robbers and the Nephites. At this point the Nephites haven't really been too good at keeping the commandments and have been threatened by the Gadianton robbers that the robbers are going to come down and destroy their people and take their stuff. I saw the imprint of Satan in Giddianhi's (the Gadianton Robbers governor) epistle to Lachoneus (the Nephite Govenor). He used flattery, feigned concern, and made false promises to accomplish his evil designs. All he had to offer was bondage and a promise to share possessions that were not even his to share. Much Like Satan in the premortal life, and his temptations here on the earth today. The only thing he can offer is bondage and misery, and lie about sharing happiness. Later on, the robbers eventually come down to battle, but the Nephites repent and are strengthened by the Lord, and gained victory. When the Nephites praise the Lord for their victory over the Gadianton Robbers they say: "And their hearts were swollen with joy, unto the gushing out of many tears, because of the great goodness of God in delivering them out of the hands of their enemies; and they knew it was because of their repentance and their humility that they had been delivered from an everlasting destruction." (3rd Nephi 4: 33). I love that set of scripture, it teaches us on what conditions it takes to be delivered from bondage. We must have repentance, and humility. Repentance meaning 'Change' to be cleansed by the blood of Christ and to change our old ways and to become more in line with the gospel of Jesus Christ. And being humble meaning to realize that such blessings can only come from the Lord, and that we must always rely on, and follow him. This is essential for everyone to do. I know that it is possible though. I know that Christ lives, has gone through and paid the price for our heart aches, pains, sorrows, and sins. He is the only way to return back to he Presence of Father in Heaven. And I desire to share this message with everyone Because It is AMAZING!!!!!! 

I love you all soooooo much!! Thanks for being awesome!! Please have a marvelous week! Transfers are the 21st. So beware. Love you!!

~Elder Samuel LaVar Ward

Little Leta and I

Baked a cake for Zone Training

Exchange mutual!

Way super awesome zone!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Wood Heights Warriors- Week 30

Hey family!

This has been a splendid week.  Like I said on Friday, we didn't have P-day on Monday this week because we went to the temple!! That was so amazing!

The missionary work last week was good as usual! We saw a LOT of less active and recent convert members. It was really good! A lot of them we have invited to work towards receiving a temple recommend! And I think a few will!!

We had some pretty good adventures this week. I went on an exchange with Elder Kirkham to the Kearney 1st Ward. We did some good stuff. Their apartment was disgusting though haha. So we spent a little while cleaning it and making it more worthy for the Holy Ghost to be there.

It was really nice, and I think it helped out their companionship a little bit. But while we were there we had an AMAZING dinner appointment with a family in their ward. It was actually really great because the dad of that family actually came to Kylie's Baptism!! It was way awesome!! Their last name is Romero. He works with Robby on the rail yard and they are super cool. We had pizza and had a wonderful lesson with them. The kids were super nice and very smart. We showed them the Mormon Message "Reclaimed" which is probably my most favorite one. They had lots of great comments. We of course asked if there was anyone they had been working with to share the gospel with. And they hadn't, but they said they have a friend who once took the missionary lessons, and even had a baptismal date. But something happened and she kinda stopped with everything. So they said they are going to try to get her back in action and have her and the missionaries over. SO that will be great for them! 

Other events that happened, Elder Taylor and I drove out to a less actives house past Richmond, way in the middle of nowhere, #AllTheDirtRoads.  Well we wanted to invite him to stake conference. He hasn't been to church for years! So we get there, he's peeking from his front door, and I initially actually thought he had a shotgun haha. But luckily he didn't. We went and talked to him, he was very nice, and even asked for a Book of Mormon! So we gave him one. It was a great chat and we will probably go back this week!

On the way back we stopped by a place called "Taylor roadside park" Elder Taylor wanted a pic by the sign, it was pretty cool. Kind of a gross little place, but the idea is nice!! I even attempted to skip a rock in the muddy crick. Haha. 

Well, the highlight of the week was of course the Temple as well as General Conference. We went to the temple early Friday morning. The Kansas City Missouri Temple is such a beautiful House of the Lord. I love the architecture and all the beautiful symbolism. We went there and did a session. The rooms inside are SO beautiful. For those who may not know, there is a room inside every temple called the Celestial Room, this room is meant to symbolize eternal life, in the presence of God. It is truly the closest place on Earth to Heaven and there is so much peace and revelation there. My favorite thing about the temple is that it's quiet. People talk in a whisper, and nobody bothers you haha. I Truly did feel so much peace there as always, and have gained so much insight about how God cares and loves all of us, and that he has a plan of happiness for us all.

General Conference was also a very big testimony builder to me. The Prophets and Servants of God always shed a new light on Gods Plan for us. I loved that the theme for this conference was mostly focused on the Lord Jesus Christ, and Eternal Families. I know that Families can be eternal, because of Christ and the Holy Priesthood. I know that the Holy Temples are the place where we can obtain such blessings of eternity. I am so grateful for this knowledge, that Christ lives, He is the Savior of the World, and that my family can be united forever, for time and Eternity. Heavenly Father truly Loves each of us, and as we seek And live the restored gospel, many many more blessings of eternity follow. I witness that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is Gods true and living church on the Earth today, it is organized the way He intends, and is more importantly run by the
Savior himself.

I love you all. Thanks so much for all you do! Have a wonderful week!!!!!

~Elder Samuel LaVar Ward

We didn't have time to take sweet pics at the temple because someone offered to take us out to lunch, so this is the only picture I got. I promise I will get better ones next time!

This is the guy that took us to lunch! He is the uncle of Ashley Smith-
the Chapel Hill Ward Snowball fight and Nerf War family ;) 

We baked Sister Peterson a cake for her birthday!
Taylor Road Side Park

This is Stacy. He is super blind and couldn't read with us until the state provided him with this new gadget! 
Merry Easter!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Baptismal Blessings ...#BornAgain­čî×­čîÖ✨-Week 29

HEELLLOOO!!! Peeps!!!

Sorry I didn't get to email last Monday. We decided that we are going to go to the temple today!!! So last week was pretty awesome!!  Most of it was actually planning for Kylie's baptism and going around visiting some people in the branch that we don't know. It was pretty sweet. I can't really remember a lot that happened to be honest. It was an entire week ago! But one thing that happened that was way awesome was after the baptism. A recent convert named Parker took us out to a sweet restaurant near gallatin Adam-Ondi-Ahman. It was like an hour away from our area, but still in our zone haha.  It was way awesome! It was his birthday. This place makes only Dutch oven food!! It was so good! You just get there, sit down, and they tell you what you are eating. It's really good, and then there are some really cool little shops and log cabins around. So we looked around, then had the long drive home.

Baptism/spirit time: Kylie's baptism was awesome! We had to get there at 5 in the morning to fill up the font and have it heated in time. Her husband got to baptize her!! The program went really
well!! Her father and mother in law gave talks on baptism and the Holy Ghost! Then Elder Taylor and I got to be the witnesses! (Everything went well) then we went back into the relief society room and shared the #Hallelujah Video while they were changing!! We bore our testimonies and the spirit was so strong!! I LOVED it! Kylie was Baptized in a dress (my suggestion) their family looked so beautiful! It was so amazing to see him and her dressed in white! I can't wait to see them again in white clothes next year, with their Children. To be in the temple clothed in white, to be sealed for all of time and eternity!! They are so so excited, and they are going to be such a huge help and blessing to the Branch. One thing  I have learned this week is that the gospel truly does bless families. That is the second principle we teach EVERYONE, right after "God is our loving Heavenly
Father"  I asked Kylie after we taught her the restoration for her new member lessons, "how the Gospel has blessed her family? " and she gave an amazing answer. There has been so much more peace in her family relationship. She said her eyes have been opened to God more, and that
she is ultimately just a happier person. Of course there are still trials and troubles but they are better equipped for them, and put their shoulder to the wheel with a happier heart.

I love the gospel. I know it has blessed my family so much. And the opportunity that we have to be a family, sealed together for all of time and eternity is just absolutely amazing. The words "until death do you part" do not exist in the Kingdom of God, that alone really is a huge testimony builder. I hope to bring as many people as possible to the knowledge of this truth. Missionary work is truly the most fulfilling thing for me.

I love all of you so so much. Temple deets to come on Monday, (and if you know me you know I LOVE the temple) have a wonderful general conference weekend. Heed the messages of the Prophets of the Lord and all the other speakers as well. I promise you that you will find exactly what you need to hear as you listen sincerely and intently.


~Elder Samuel LaVar Ward

                                                                   Dutch Ovening
                                                           Kylie's baptism!