Monday, May 25, 2015

The priesthood is real.

Momma bear! 
I do get to email because it is a commandment that missionaries email or write their families (mommas) weekly. :) 
We have great members, and we are emailing at our Branch Presidents home.
We taught a lady named R. the other day about the Restoration. We were out on her front porch and momma, it was so cool to watch, WATCH, the spirit touching her. She kept saying that she could feel something and every time I could feel the spirit so powerfully I could see her getting "goose-bumps" Isn't that so cool? I love this so much!

Poor Timbre :( I will be praying for her. Has she received a Priesthood blessing yet? If not, she really should get one. We gave a blessing to an investigator that we have because he was going in for a surgery later that day. We don't know what it was for or what was wrong, but we gave him the blessing, gave his mother a blessing of comfort and counsel, and then we left. Later on that day we get a call from his momma, and she tells us that when they went in and had him checked, they didn't need to do the surgery, because things were already healing. :) 
The priesthood is real. 
Elder Browne is being transferred on Wednesday, and..get this, I'm training! 
I will miss Elder Browne. I love being his companion.
I'm gonna be a dad! 
Sorry to to be so quick today, we have a member taking us down to Cowpens SC to meet up with the rest of our zone and go fishing with them for p-day. 
Love y'all!
Your happy missionary son.

In Columbia for iPad training.

Our house

Our little tomato garden

Monday, May 18, 2015

...Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. Matt 4:19

Hello Family! 
Well, I am sorry about the poopy weather in Fremont! We have been praying for some rain here, the last couple of days have been in the upper 90's with high humidity! It has been so hot! We are wet as soon as we go outside. It is nice to be missed, but I am having so much fun in the field! Returning to the SCCM was hard, and I have grown a lot from making the choice. I needed to come back, and I know that it was the right thing for me to do. There are a lot of things that I miss, and a lot of things that could have happened had I stayed home, but I know that this is the path I am supposed to be on. 

Momma, I loved the package, Thank you so much for sending it! That tie you sent me, was absolutely gorgeous! I wore it to stake conference yesterday. Send as many ties like that as you want, I promise I will never complain ha-ha.
Elder Browne enjoyed the goodies and his tie very much as well. I had no idea that he even wrote you. Either he must have done it in secret, or he did it right in front of me, and asked for my address and I just didn't pay attention. That doesn't sound like me though. ;)
I am so happy that you got the job! To be honest, I didn't even know that you were looking for a new job until you told me you had an interview, so I am glad that you got it. You seem to get the jobs that you seek after. They are lucky to have my Momma as an employee! What all will you be doing at your new job? I can't wait to hear all about it. 

J's momma is on date to be baptized on the 13th of June, and his sister and their friend B are on date for the 30th!
We have been working on finding through service this week, and we have been able to do a lot so far! We have been painting for people, and doing a lot of yard work. I love it! God knows that I love to get my hands dirty, so he gives me many opportunities to work. I am thoroughly enjoying myself. :) 

We went and helped out at a fishing event on Saturday morning with the S family. They have this thing at the lake near our house called "Jake's cat-fishing event". They stock the pond with like 10,000 pounds of catfish, and then the kids (16 and under) get to go catch them. So, I did a lot of setting hooks and not letting the rods get sucked into the pond.

 I planted the Carolina Reaper  (world's hottest pepper) plant in a pot, but I haven't had a second to get the tomatoes in the ground. 
I am going to go borrow a rake and shovel and get them in the ground tonight. :)

Monday, May 11, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

It was nice to see/talk to y'all yesterday.
So this week has been good, full of adventures. 
Elder Browne and I have been really working with our recent convert who was baptized just 2 weeks ago. Because of our presence in their home, the whole family has started being more and more interested in what our message about Christ has to offer them. We have since started working with J's step-father and getting him back to church, his mother who never has a whole lot of time at home, but we are starting the lessons with her this week, J's little sister A, who is ten, and takes care of her 2 little sisters all day every day and is going to be a spectacular mother someday. We are also working with their family-friend, who lives there with her daughter. We were able to, last week, sit down and read 2 chapters out of the Book of Mormon with the entire family. After reading, Elder Browne and I both bore testimony on the truthfulness of it. The spirit was so strong, and by the end, we were able to extend the invitation for them to be baptized on the 30th of May, to which they accepted. :) It was so great, and we are both so excited for them. 

Elder Browne and I don't always have too many activities to do in Union, because of how small the place is. We usually go fishing at this little pond/lake (Bigger than Camp Tomahawk's puddle) near our house, but we went there to fish, and it was closed. We were bummed out, but we looked on my gps, found the nearest body of water we could, clicked it and hit "Go", We drove about 2 miles on this tiny, very windy road that lead us through thick trees and some of the prettiest wooded areas. We got to this little lake with a big log cabin house nearby. We knocked on the door and asked if it was a private lake and if we could fish there. The lady was very nice and told us that would be fine. Elder Browne (who bought a fly rod last week and was eager to try it out) and I got set up and started fishing. 
We immediately started to catch some brim (Bream? However you say it) glorified perch. There. haha But these ones put up quite a fight. When they took that fly off the surface, they meant it, and they pulled and pulled while we were reeling them in. They ended up being 2 or 3 times the size of what we are used to catching, so we were very happy. 
Well, after catching a couple more fish, I got a bite and from how hard it was fighting, I could tell it was smaller. It was sticking pretty close to the surface, and splashing just a little bit. While I was getting it closer to shore, I saw a much bigger splash right where my fish was, and there were bigger waves and ripples than anything my fish could have made. So, I kept reeling in and when I got my brim/bream/perch to the shore, probably 3 or 4 feet out, but close enough that I could see it was only about half the size of my hand, I saw another huge splash and wave and then I saw a fish with a mouth big enough that I could probably have fit my foot in, take my fish and my fly and swim away, I let some line out in excitement because I wanted to catch that fish so bad! 
Well, it pulled very very hard, and then my line went dead....I pulled, and nothing...I brought my line in, and there was my tapered leader, tippet and fly, but no fish. :( I tried so hard to catch another, and I was just going to let it stay in the water a little longer, but whatever that other fish was (probably a large mouth bass) scared all the other fish away, and we didn't really have any more luck for the rest of that fishing trip. We did make off with 4 decent sized fish, and I can already tell that they will be tasty. :)

Thank you for sending my fly rod!
We are getting ready to go play ultimate frisbee with the zone now, I'll be praying for y'all!  

Love y'all!  
Tell the family I love them too!

While we were on Skype, the wonderful family that hosted Elder Barker found a baby bunny in their yard. So, typical Joel, he hauled us all outside with him to catch a bunny!

Safety first!
Sounds like Joel, right?!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Faith in God's timing ~J's Baptism.

 Luckily the color came out!
(Except on the white clothing ;) ) 

 Hello Family! 
This week has been very very good. :) 
The pictures I sent are from a couple different events throughout the week. We are covered in colored Chalk from helping a member in our Branch at their Fire Departments Color Run fundraiser! I loved it. 
Our color was Sunshine Yellow, so the very first thing I did was dip my head in it  :)

We were able to go to a far corner of our area to have a lesson with a lady that our branch President met at Walmart. We went with him to her home, and were able to go in and sit down with her, then we had one of the best 1st discussions I have had. The spirit was so overwhelming throughout the entire lesson, and none of us could stop smiling. She accepted the invitation to be baptized at the end of the month. She would then bring her 16 year old son and his best friend to J's Baptism on Saturday. 
J has done awesome. This week was a little rocky for their family, and we had warned him that Satan would be working hard on him the closer he got to his baptism, but everything ended up going just fine. :) We had a lot of investigators at his baptism to come watch and see what it was like, and feel the spirit that was there. IT was so good. :) We had a great lesson with his family last night as well, sat down and read a chapter out of the Book of Mormon with them, and had a great lesson. We were able to extend the commitment of baptism to his mother and sister and they accepted. :) That whole family will be at church very soon! 

We are working with and really focusing on finding a lot of new people everywhere we go. :) We have had our trials though. We met a sweet lady while on exchanges.We shared the doctrine that families can be together forever, and asked if she would like to learn about that. Almost in tears, she said, "yes" and asked us to come back the next day. We left her with a Book of Mormon and went back the next day, but she wasn't there, so we tried back right before J's baptism and she and her husband were on the front porch. We went and talked with them for a couple of minutes, and all was going just fine until he snapped and told us to get off his property. It was unexpected and came out of nowhere, but we bore testimony and we left. Now it's in God's hands what he will do with them and all we can do is pray. It breaks my heart when people are too hard to accept the Gospel and let the spirit into their lives, but I know that we have to have faith in God's timing, and when they are ready, missionaries will be led back to their home.
Love Y'all!

Elder Loos and Elder Barker

It is a brim...bream...perch...something. 
I think it's a perch in Utah, and a Bream here. Ask bro. Cipriano, he will know. :) 

No one in the South has real is all like...a yard of green weeds, or crabgrass.
So, I found real grass one day, and was soo happy :)

This is our Branch Presidents Jeep.
We get to ride in it all the time and it is so much fun. :) 
Umpa-Lumpa Elders!