Monday, May 26, 2014

Elder Gwilliam -My companion

More pictures!

This is Elder Breaux who was in my district in Mountain Shadows -north Las Vegas.  He recently finished his mission.  He lives in Las Vegas and is related to the Jepsons in my ward.  We saw him at lunch today out of no where .  It was really fun talking to him.

On the temple grounds

We teach lessons every once in a while by the temple or in the atrium inside the temple.  The spirit is always so strong there.

Jose!  He was baptized Saturday. He has a super strong testimony!  He is planning on going on a mission.

The Las Vegas Temple

Happy 25th

Happy anniversary Mom & Dad!

Definitely a day to remember - 25 years!!  Happy memorial day too.

Blake that's exciting you got your patriarchal blessing.  Mine has helped so much on my mission.  That's a good idea to memorize it.
Bryce I loved the arrangement of Come Thou Fount.  I played it for the whole district.  They thought it was beautiful.  Elder Rushton says we should all start an a capella group called "Six Years Young." :) You'll have to send over Blake's rap for his school project on The Outliers.  Good luck Bryce at BYU! 
Ben, Braxton, & Brooks, that's good you are enjoying baseball & basketball season. Keep on dunking and hitting home runs. :D

Thanks for the updates you send every week.  Life flies by so slow yet so fast!  In all the years people've lived on this earth, I don't think anyone's fully understood how to master time.  Only Christ.  Neal A. Maxwell says it perfectly:  

"I thank Him for His marvelous management of time, for never misusing moment, including the moments of meditation. Even His seconds showed  His stewardship."

This week went really well.  Doing splits everyday awhile back makes me realize what a blessing it is to have a companion.  And especially one as great as Elder Gwilliam.  By the end of the day we are exhausted.  But it's a good kind of exhausted.  Missionary work is very fulfilling.

Quick funny story:

This week we've been trying to think of creative ways to share the Gospel to get members motivated.  Brother Hardy came up with the idea to fill a bunch of balloons with helium and tie them to a Book of Mormon.  He wrote his testimony of the Book of Mormon about how God loves all His children.  Those in Jerusalem (as testified in the Bible) and those in America (as testified in the Book of Mormon).  And especially that He loves YOU.  (the receiver of the balloonB.o.M.) Then he let it go.  We're kind of excited to see where it goes. He put his phone number in the book to follow up. 

This week I have pondered a lot on the verse in 3 Nephi 12:6 

"And blessed are all they who do hunger and thirst after righteousnessfor they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost."

When we hunger and thirst, it means we don't have something.  In this case, it's righteousness.  God blesses us with the Holy Ghost even when we don't have righteousness but are striving for it.  I think that applies to all Christlike attributes.  When we strive for something with all our heart, God fills us with joy and peace.  Because we are doing all we can.  

It has been hard for each of those learning about the church to keep commitments, but I know they have a sincere desire to.  Step by step, that desire will become action.  Then they'll be able to feel the fruits of that action and in turnknow with certainty. Alma 32.

I know that Christ's church has been restored.  I know Jesus Christ lives!  I can't (yet-not till the Resurrection at least:) describe the joy that comes from seeing others come to that knowledge as well.  

Thanks for all your prayers.  I can feel them - they are answered.  Please continue to pray for Mary, Darion, Rosa, Treasure, and Kamiko.

Love you all!

Elder Young

Elder Young Pictures!!!!

Elder Rushton

Elder Rushton and Elder Young

Elder Young and Elder Wendt

Elder Wendt and Elder Rushton

Vegas City Lights

Elder Hastings!

The font faucet wasn't working very well so we had 30 minutes to use buckets to fill up the font!  We did, it thankfully.

Anthony's baptism!

view from Elder Young's deck

Picking up Elder Gwilliam!  He was serving with Elder Phipps in my last ward.  It was fun to see my old area again.

Happy Birthday Blake!


It's always fun to hear from you each week.  Young family emails never get old.  Thanks for the videos Bryce.  Especially the one where you all shared what you love about Mom.  I agree in a heartbeat with all said.  

Happy Birthday Blake!  Hope you had a sweet 17th on the 19th.  Ben you'll have to post the penguin happy birthday song on his wall for me. Congrats too at the "tri-state area" meet.  Throwing in the junior olympics?  That's awesome.  By 2016 maybe you'll be in the Brazil Olympics.  Then you can just go from there to your mission and I'll hand off the baton.  I'm looking forward to watching the shot put and Kronk impersonation videos next week.

That makes me happy you did Thank a Brother in family home evening.  The moments I remember most are those we spent together on Monday (or rather Sunday) nights.  I love that Bryce taught family home evening.  That was probably a break from training at zone conference. :)

This week was great.  Elder Gwilliam is awesome.  He is such a good teacher.  I have learned a lot from him already.  

The night he arrived we visited the Dutsons.  We were trying to inspire them to share the Gospel with their neighbors.  Then two salesmen knocked on their door.  They already knew them personally, so they invited them in & just said "Hey would you be willing to hear a brief message about Christ from some missionaries?"  They came in and we shared the Restoration with them.  It turns out Charles' wife had already started reading the Book of Mormon and he noticed a change in her.  Charles' companion, Brody, was our age, and we shared a lot of similar experiences from high school.  Brody has a lot of good strong Christian friends as I.  It was neat to relate with him about the power of good friendships.  They decided to be baptized on June 14th.  Elder Yockey and Casagranda are now teaching them.  Miracles like that have been happening every day.  I know that God's hand is in this work.  I can feel Him with us all the time guiding us.

"And whoso receiveth you, there will be also, for will go before your face. will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit   shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up."

~Doctrine & Covenants 84:88

I love you all.  Blake have a good birthday week!

Elder Young

p.s. O~ O~ O~

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Elder Young

The wonderful Stanley family

The Temple

We found this lizard and named him squishy


A member in our ward owns a zombie apocalypse store

The Roses -also ward missionaries

Sister Pew -she was baptized a year ago.  The young single adult missionaries are now teaching her daughter

Elder Jacobs and brother Jacks -he gave us rides a couple of times a week when our bikes break down.

The Roses  -ward Missionaries

Elder Young and Elder Jacobs

Brandyn taught about praying and the restoration and at the end of the lesson they talked about how to receive an answer  and they teasingly mentioned that maybe he would see a big sign telling him :) and then they walked outside and saw this truck!!!! What an answer!

Elder Rushton and Elder Young

Before the Why I Believe Fireside -the chapel looks like a Taco Bell 

Elder Larkin and Elder Young

Another Beautiful Las Vegas Sunset

Elder Young's Books

Elder Young and Darion -the room is exactly like the room from Harry Potter when Ron came to rescue him 

The Rosenburgs

Las Vegas Cacti

I ordered a new name tag!

I wore this one out

Awesome week

Bryce!!! & family.

Welcome home!!  Loved seeing the pictures.  That must be so weird to see everyone after so long!  Brooks and Braxton you look so tall!  & Blake and Ben.  Mom & Dad are the only ones that stayed the same height. :) That makes me happy you left me a spot in the picture.  If I jumped in though, I would probably have stood next to Braxton!  And not only because I like his socks.

This week has been awesome.  I have been with Elder Wendt & Rushton covering three wards.  Elder Rushton is one of the funniest elders I know.  We started tallying his daily puns with our key indicators :) - he had 11 by the end of yesterday.  One example is when he told me about going to the midnight premiere of Harry Potter 7p2.  People were dressed up like Dumbledore, Dobby, and there were costumes everywhere.  The best one though was a guy dressed as a missionary with a name tag that said "Elder Wand." 

To cover lessons, I usually split from them in the evening to teach.  Usually I go with whomever dinner is with.  It has been odd going to dinners without a companion.  (I'm technically with the priesthood holder at dinner).  Sometimes I feel like their grandkid coming over to visit.  :D

Friday, Darion came with me in the evening - he turns 19 Wednesday and is getting super close to being baptized.  He wore a white shirt and tie just like a normal missionary and helped me teach.  We went to Sister Monson's house and taught about the purpose of missionary work.  Often we incorporate Mormon messages while we teach, so we watched "A Work in Progress" The Spirit was so strong.  At the beginning of the evening when I asked Darion about if he wanted to serve, he said, "Maybe, but probably not, I'm planning to get a head start on college."  By the end of the night he'd say "So, when I go on a mission, will I____?"  It was awesome.  I'm grateful for the Holy Ghost and circumstances God places us in.  He always has a reason.  

Although it has been a bit challenging being the only full-timer over Beverly Glen, I've seen miracles in only a week.  In a week or so I should have a new companion.  

One other cool thing that happened was a Why I Believe Fireside organized locally for people being taught in our zone.  We brought Mary to it and it was amazing.  Mary knew two of the speakers!  One of them was actually on a senior couple mission from Arkansas (Nevha & Don Larsen).  We found out we were at Fayetteville 1st Ward at the same time a year and a half a go.  Pequeno mundo!  After the devotional we gave Mary a blessing.  She should be baptized on the 24th.
Thanks for the many kind emails.  Love you all!

Doctrine & Covenants 58:27,

Elder Young

Welcome Home Bryce


I am so excited for Elder Young. & also can imagine how he might feel leaving Brasil after two years.  That would be hard.  I hope the weather clears up in Arkansas before he gets back!  It's going to look so foreign to him.  Elder Jacobs leaves for Londrina tonight.  I will stay with Elder Wendt and Rushton for the next two weeks until I get a new companion.  

This week was great.  The work in Beverly Glen is growing a lot.  We've been trying a lot of new things.  This Saturday we had a emergency preparedness fair.  A lot of people came and it was a big success.  After visiting the church, Renae decided she wanted to get baptized. :) This Saturday is Brandon's baptism.  Elder Jenke, who was here a month ago, is already married and will be here this weekend to have his reception and baptize him.  He is the coolest little kid.  He's very smart and tries to make up more object lessons for us.  He is really fun to teach.  

Sister Monson, in our ward, and I found out the other day we may be related.  Are we related to Phineas Young?  This week I plan to share with her some stories from Esters' Children (I have a couple stories in my closet).  How are we related to Ester?  She said she'd really enjoy reading those.  

It has been fun this week to do a lot of service.  There are four or five members in our ward that speak Portuguese.  We've enjoyed practicing with them.  

Something that's kind of random, but interesting is that we've seen like three or four people have big statues of bears in their houses.  In the fall, it's a big thing up here to go bear hunting I suppose. :) It's heating up a little bit, but it's bear-able for now.  Good preparation for Teresina.  We drink a lot of water though; no worries.  

Another odd thing that happened this week occurred Tuesday.  We were riding to an appointment when we saw an old lady walking down the middle of the road chasing a dog.  We called to the lady but she didn't hear us.  Then we went chasing after the dog from the sidewalk, on our bikes.  I've never seen a Yorkshire Terrier run so fast.  It reminded me of the Lemmons' dog, Bacon.  After 5 minutes trying to catch it, a member pulled up with his truck and helped us go after the dog.  We jumped in & with a bike & truck chased down the poor dog.  It probably ran two to three miles.  After about 20 minutes it ran into the bushes and we caught it.  The lady was very grateful.  She said we could come by to visit this week.   

A quote I enjoyed from a talk by Elder Uchtdorf this week is this:

"Keep the commandments; trust in God, our Heavenly Father; serve Him with meekness   and Christlike love; exercise faith and hope in the Savior; and never give up. [God] will   cultivate our character, lift our lives, and heighten our happiness.  [He] will help us to become worthy priesthood bearers and faithful disciples of our Master,  Jesus Christ."

Love you all!

Elder Young the younger (soon to be just Elder Young!)