13 PaGeS LoNg

WhErE tHe PaGeS oF tHiS bOoK nEvEr EnD

Monday, April 25, 2016

End of the line...

So, as anticipated my time here in Woodruff is up. I will be leaving tomorrow morning, headed to the Long Beach 1st ward, so... back to the stake that I just came from. They meet in the same building as the LB 4th ward, so I'll be seeing a lot of familiar faces. I am Truly A Long Beach Missionary. My new area will cover most of Downtown Long Beach, 1/2 Ghetto half High rises. So I'll get a little bit of everything. My new companion is Elder Piorrier (Spelling?) (PuaHea) <--- Pronunciation. He is from Canada, speaks french and has been out for about 2 months. I'm really excited to get to know him better, to learn from him and to work together.

I am Sad to say the least, about leaving the Woodruff ward. This area and ward has become home to me. The members truly have just taken us in and treated us like their own. We have served them and they have served us. Its been good. I have had spiritual experiences here that I wouldn't trade for anything. The memories I've made with investigators, members and companions have been priceless! I have come to know the Lord better here And myself and how I can better help those that I've been asked to help and love.

Elder Phunsaeng is pretty sad I'm leaving but his new companion is Elder Brown (who came out with me) They will get along great! I'm really excited for things to come. A little nervous. Its funny how now matter how long you've been out, transfers are always hard, I guess in this case 9 months makes things even harder. The Lord Loves me enough to send me elsewhere to further learn and grow and stretch myself.

Tonight We'll be having dinner with Daleen, and a couple of other families from the ward. Saving the best for last. I'll finish up by saying this, I bore my testimony the other week basically thanking the ward and saying bye to everyone. I said that this area has become a sacred place for me because its where I have sacrificed time and energy for the Lord, and so I will be sure to come back one day. I told them I loved them and sat down. It hasn't really hit me yet that I'm leaving, even after all the goodbyes, maybe tomorrow morning it will set in.

I Love You guys! I've got to head out, but I cant wait to update y'all next week on more good news. Until Then, Live, Laugh, and all that good stuff. Goodbye!

Love, Elder page

P.S. Elder Phunsaeng and I stumbled across a buddhist prayer group this past week and so we said, hey what the heck lets join em. So we did. They gladly excepted us and we took part in some really good discussion about faith and how to serve others. My knowledge of their beliefs grew and testimony of my own beliefs strengthened. It was a cool experience. They tried to get us to chant with them, but we politely declined. haha, it took Elder Phunsaeng back to his old ways, he just laughed the whole meeting. After we had refreshments and people came up to us and asked a lot of good questions and we even were able to help a woman get excited about doing family history. We took pictures with them so I'll send them next week :)

Monday, April 18, 2016

Roundin up those lost sheep...

So this past week has been super busy. It went by so fast Sunday came around and I actually woke up thinking it was Friday. I can't believe we're already on the last week of the transfer.

This week was just really well rounded as far as how we spent our time. We were able to take part in a lot of Just service projects, we were able to help a few members and an investigator with some things, we taught non members, a lot of less active members, and we even had time to meet with a few of the active members of the ward and get to know them better.

I mentioned last week that we have really been reaching out to the less actives in the area, so that was still a huge focus this week. We've been meeting with about ten families or individuals a week, and a few of these families and or individuals have started to return regularly to church and it has been the sweetest thing to see. Because these people they have tasted the fruit once before if not many times and they knew how good it was and now that they have returned to the tree you can just see how happy they are and how pleased they are with their own choices. I bore my testimony last week in fast and testimony meeting because I figured if this is my last transfer here than it would be my last chance to share my testimony with the ward, so I did. And I just told them how this area and this ward and many of the members homes have become sacred places for me, because its here I've sacrificed time and energy for them and for the Lord and it has become so special to me. Its basically become home here. I don't know whats going to happen in the coming transfer but whatever happens, I Love The Woodruff ward, I Love these people that I've been able to uplift and strengthen, because in doing so they have also done the same if not more for me. I guess to share a specific experience We went by one of our investigators Abayha and as he answered the door we could immediately tell he was tired, overwhelmed and needing something anything to cheer him up and get him going. I thought of my favorite scripture in Ether 12:27 we shared it with him and he was able to get more out of it than I even thought he would. His whole demeanor changed. We offered not only spiritual relief but also help with what he was going through and although there wasn't much we could do right then and there, the spirit of love and of genuine service touched him and we could all feel it. It was just a really spiritual experience and although I cant really put it into words its experiences like this I really cherish as a missionary. Simply going around and making peoples days better, helping people feel the spirit and the Love of the Savior and Heavenly Father. And then to give them the tools to go and be able to have this spirit whenever they need it. And something in Moms email stood out to me this week. She said that I need to do everything I can to take this special spirit home with me and then to keep it. These experiences and these feelings I realize I don't have to lose when I come home, I will just be able to take the things I've learned and apply them to different things. And I'm grateful for that. Well, Its about time to close up shop so I've gotta get off, I hope y'all enjoyed this email, and know that I'm doing well. I'm excited to see all of y'all on Mothers day, but until then. Talk to you next week! Love You!!!

Love, Elder Page

P.S. One more thought, one thing serving a mission has done for me is helped me see the importance of change and progression! Ive never been so focused on becoming and improving. Now Im still not perfect and I still often fall short, but I never give up. And thanks to the Lord I can keep going. Thats it.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Taking care of each other...

So this week was a wild one, up and down it went. The first few days were on point but from somewhere outta the blue I got sick. From Thursday to Saturday we were in sick, quarantined within the walls of our living quarters. I was sick all Thursday, then Elder Phunsaeng caught whatever it was that I had so Friday we were both bedridden, then Saturday came around and I was feeling better but Elder Phunsaeng was feeling off. Luckily by Sunday morning we both felt well enough to go to church and the rest of our Sabbath went well! I Love that even amongst all of this sickness and affliction though I can honestly look back on the week and say it was a good one. Let me expound on that.

So earlier this week, we were able to meet with Michael the non member husband of the less active member we met with a couple of weeks ago, and it was only him and their two daughter home, but he gladly welcomed us in. It ended up being perfect that it was only him there because it really gave us a chance to get to know him better and get a better feel for his spiritual location. We had left Alma 32 with them to read together last time, he didn't get a chance to read it but he said his wife did. So, we opened up our scriptures and read with him from the chapter. After reading a section from the chapter we asked him what seemed to stand out to him the most. And he thought for a minute then said, "the part where it talked about having a desire to believe and letting this desire work within you." He said, "I feel like I have a desire to know more and to be closer to God, I just need help doing more to get there." And so it was the perfect time to help him see that's why we were there, is to help him and his family grow closer to Heavenly Father and each other. So he was down with it so we invited him to when his wife got back home to read over the chapter again with her and share insights he received while reading and to have a family prayer. He seemed on board with it all and excited to do it, so we are looking forward to seeing how it went next time we meet.

Also, another highlight of the week was when I was feeling sick as a dog I asked Elder Phunsaeng for a blessing and so he gave one to me in thai. It was a very powerful spiritual experience. Although I understood nothing of what he said, I felt that he truly had the authority to give such a blessing and that as long as I had faith to get better I would. We went to bed, and the next morning, I woke up not feeling anything I had felt the night before, I had literally been healed of my sickness overnight. It was pretty cool. I haven't always been the best at asking for blessings when I need them, but I'm glad for times like this where my faith is strengthened because of a blessing I did receive.

Its been a great week everyone! Its been fun taking care of my sick companion and being taken care of. Times are good. Until next week, Be Safe, Smile, and Always thank the Lord!

Love, Elder Page

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Press forward Saints...

So where do I even begin.

There's a lot that I could say about the tender mercies and the spiritual experiences that we experienced this week while out doing missionary work, but Id have to say the most spiritual experiences I personally had were while watching conference Saturday and Sunday. I just want to share a few thoughts I had while listening to the messages that were shared. Now I'm not gonna say everything, because I'd be here all day, but just a few things that really stuck with we were first from Elder Hallstrom's Talk. He said, "Our hardships have eternal purposes, whether we realize it or not." And quoting Elder Holland he said, "You can have what you want, or you can have something better." His whole talk surrounding these two truths really hit me and the spirit just seemed to let me know that my future will always be hopeful as long as my eyes are set on the Lord and his will for me. I also really liked Elder Renlund's Talk where he spoke all about being close to The Savior. He said "The closer we are to Jesus Christ, the more we appreciate his Innocent Suffering and Grace." I really loved the story of the woman who had the sacrament passed specifically to her and how she said to herself in relationship to the Atonement, "Oh, he did this for Me." These were a couple of things that really stuck out to me during this talk. Elder Ballard's Talk on Family Councils really caught my attention. The whole thing was just eye opening to how blessed I was to be apart of a family growing up who had family councils often and it makes me want to make this a regular part of my family one day. Elder Christofferson speaking on Fathers also got me excited for my future. Not just being a father though, but being the best one I can be. Elder Christofferson is the man! He always gives the best talks on being Good men and good husbands and fathers. He said something interesting in his talk, he said, "If a man can show his family what complete fidelity to God looks like, he has done Good."

Sorry if this is jumbled and all over the place, I'm just copying and pasting notes I have here in my journal. So many Good things were learned during conference. The Spirit was unreal, especially during the hymns. I don't think I've ever loved listening to the hymns as much as I did this weekend. One last thing! At the very end of Elder Holland's talk he quoted scripture that hit me like I sack of bricks, he said "Fear Not, I will Help Thee." Anytime the Lord says Fear Not, All of my fear literally goes away, because I trust that he means what he says. I know he's there. And I am so grateful to be here on a mission where feeling that is easier than other times and in other places of life. I am learning here how to be close with the Lord and to the spirit and to My Heavenly Father, so that when mission life is no longer 24/7 I can still be supported and help others in their efforts to do the same.

I can't wait to talk to y'all on mothers day and maybe hear some of the things that you liked about what was said at conference. Just another Month or so! See y'all soon, until then, I Love You!

Elder Page

P.S. That Belem Brasil Temple Though. I know you were happy to hear that one, right dad? Maybe we can take a family trip down there for the dedication!

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