Monday, October 26, 2015

Back in Saddleback!!

(I asked our missionary where he was and all I got was that he was returning to Saddleback. Well, is that in Frederick? Firestone? Dacano? Heavens...I have no idea!! His new companion sounds amazing and someone he should click with....HOPEFULLY. Please pray for our missionary!)

Mother and Father,

   Well, this is transfer week and I am returning to Saddleback. My companion is going to be Elder Johnson. All I know about him is that he is an excellent violinist, an excellent singer, and he can dunk a basketball. This week we had some more crazy stuff happen. Elder Tiai was transferred to the Severance Ward early, so Elder Stanford, Elder Sommer, and I have been companions since Thursday. Elder Stanford is from Hayward, California, and he loves to surf. He is a direct descendant of Leland Stanford. We haven't really had the chance to do a whole lot because I was sick this week, and we have had so much switching around. I hope for some normalcy starting tomorrow. (He probably got sick from all the drama!!)

   So, the other two wards in the tri-town area are kind of large, but Saddleback is so small. It is about 5 square miles, with three sub-divisions. The church has blown up over the past few years in our area, so we have a new church building in Frederick. It is really nice. They used to travel to Longmont for church. The town is a set of really nice developments that are really new and modern, surrounded by horse farms. The tri-town area has four Subways though, so I approve. Our area has a couple hills, with mostly flat prairie land. It is REALLY dry. There is a fair amount of deciduous trees that have been really pretty in the fall. It has been about the coldest that Lodi gets in the midst of winter. We had the first freeze the other morning. I am eating far too well. The people spoil us out here. Brother M takes us to Cafe Rio every Saturday. We had this rice baked with pig fat at S's house. It was...interesting. (He needs to do some biking....too much good food!)

   I think I could use some new shoes. The second pair is coming to the end. (And the size and brand would be what????) Maybe a new pair of black slacks would be nice! (Usual size??? So much direction this elder is giving me!) I don't know much about the house we are moving into, but I heard that Sister M makes breakfast every morning. (What? Too much good food!!) There is a nice non-member couple next door we did service for a while ago. It's in a gated neighborhood with a lake!. I can throw rocks on it when it freezes. (Hey, that's what I'd do..right??) My zone leaders are going to be Elder Brazell and Elder Buchanan. I am the district leader! The other district leaders are Elder Inouye and Elder Carlson. The mission office is about 25-ish miles away.

  I pet a bearded dragon a few weeks ago. He was a good lizard. He just seemed really intelligent. (That was sort of random!!) I get to go to Saddleback's Halloween party this Saturday!

    S is doing well. We taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I believe she understands it. She just needs to keep her commitments. We are about to carve pumpkins. (Did I get any pictures? NO!! Sadness!!)

   Wish me luck and pray for me!


Elder Andrew Campbell

Monday, October 19, 2015

Llama, Llama, Missionary Drama!!

(Being a Missionary Momma is TOO stressful. They send letters like this home, and I am left wondering about a million different questions. I wish he could just get a companion that he clicked with instead of one that wanted to kill him!!)

Mother and Father,

   Well, this week was one for the books. We can forget the last one, this week gets the, "Llama, Llama, Missionary Drama" Award. I don't even know how to begin to describe what happened this week. For starters, I have a new companion. His name is Elder Sommer. I also have a new area. I am serving in the Rinn Valley and Peak View Wards for the time being. They cover portions of Firestone, Frederick, Dacono, Erie, and Longmont. How fun! I do not want to get into details of how this came to be, but I will say, there was a miscommunication, followed by a misunderstanding, followed by anger, and a lack of safety. For the first time in my life, I wrestled before the Lord, trying incredibly hard to align my will with His, and causing me to change myself. I am grateful, for it is the hardest thing I have ever done. However, I believe the changes will last until the end of the transfer, but I can say I feel like I am in a much better situation.

   We had the Peakview Ward Fall Festival this weekend, where they had a chili and macaroni and cheese cook-off. As I was facing one of the most stressful situations of my life, I entered stress-eating mode and ate a lot. I also got my package which caused me to eat a ton of candy. Elder Sommer and I are going to work it off this week. I don't really know what to say about this week other than it has been a lot of stress. Mostly making phone calls, having meetings, staging interventions, etc. The good that has come from it is that I can honestly say I am in the right. I also haven't felt much in the way of doorstep anxiety, which I have had quite a bit of lately. At a door with Elder Sommer, in the dark, with angry dogs barking, I felt peace, which I have not felt in a while.

   A few things about Elder Sommer: He is from West Jordan. In fact, he went to high school with Elder Nielson. (That doesn't really help me much!) His father is Swiss, and Elder Sommer grew up speaking with his father's accent. So, Elder Sommer has a Swiss accent, which is awesome. He was a professional gamer before his mission. He is the second place chess champion in the state of Utah, and a one point, he was ranked as #98 in the world in the popular online game, "League of Legends". He was scheduled to go to the World Championship with a prize pot in the millions of dollars, but his mission call came earlier than expected, and he had to forgo it. He would average making $500 a week playing video games. After his mission he plans on getting a triple major at BYU-Idaho studying Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, and Computer Science. He is really smart. (I hope so...that makes my head hurt!)

   All I know about this new area is that we have an investigator who is an alpaca farmer, and a few others who are part-member families. In Rinn Valley there is a guy who recently got home from his mission to Oaxaca, Mexico. His name is Andrew Williams, and Grant was his companion in the MTC. We took a picture and he sent it to him. (Did you get it Grant?)

  My ponderize scripture this week is: Doctrine and Covenants 123: 12 "For there are many yet on the earth among all sects,partiesand denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceiveand who are only kept from the truth becausthey know not where tfind it."

I love you all so much, and pray for me as I continue on in this trial. (What is causing this trial to continue??? I want it to END!) I will pray that your return to school will be smooth.


Elder Andrew Campbell

Monday, October 12, 2015

Area Book Planner App up and running!

Mother and Father,

   I am trying my best to think of what we did this week. Okay, we went tracting this past week and decided to do one more door. A woman answered and said !"Elders, please come in!" We had accidentally tracked into an active member. It turned out that they have an woman living in that works doing housework that is interested in the church. We set up a dinner appointment and taught a lesson and it was great. Her name is Saki. (I wonder if she's Japanese and Elder Campbell can speak Japanese to her...if he remembers any.) We also set up some appointments with some old potential investigators, so we pray this week goes well.

    On Saturday night we stopped by a less active's house who we had heard had some potential. We talked to him for a little bit and said he was probably going to be leaving his job. We asked what his plans were, and he said that he was thinking of going on a mission. We invited him to church, which he happily accepted, and came for the first time in a long time. The ward is excited for him, and I pray that we can keep moving forward.

    This week we got the Area Book Planner App, which means we had to spend hours transferring the data from our physical area books into the app. Our mission will be going entirely paperless soon. The document transfer has been tiring. I do like the scheduling and lesson reporting. Elder Tiai doesn't like it though.

    I am curious, what is, "Once I Was a Beehive" about? (I went to St. George for a few days and watched this "Mormon" movie. I loved it. Here's a synopsis: Lane Speer is a 16 year old girl who spends her family vacations camping in the mountains. She takes the memories for granted until she loses her father to an unexpected bout with cancer. Only a year later, as Lane is still reeling from her father's death, he mother remarries a guy that Lane hardly knows. Worst of all, he is a Mormon. To top it off, while they are on their honeymoon, they arrange to have her stay with her Mormon step-aunt who takes her away to a bible-themed girls camp with a bunch of young Mormon girls. Confronted with memories of camping with her family, she tries to find peace with her new surroundings and deal with the death of her father.)

  I hope you enjoy your last week of break.


Elder Andrew Campbell

Monday, October 5, 2015

3 Apostles Tied to the Fort Collins Mission

(Not much shared about his week, but he definitely loved General Conference.)

Mother and Father,

   Here is what President Brown said about our new apostles:

We enjoyed participating in the historical opportunity of sustaining three new apostles in conference. It was reported that the last time the Church had that opportunity was in 1906. Each of the new apostles have a tie to and interest in the Colorado Fort Collins Mission.

Elder Ronald Rasband presided over the ground breaking of the Fort Collins Colorado Temple in August of 2013. He also instructed Sister Brown and me at a mission president's seminar for the North America Central Area last October, 2014. He is a seasoned, capable and humble servant of the Lord.

Bishop Gary Stevenson presided over a stake conference in Laramie in October of 2013. There he encouraged the members to share a name with the missionaries to teach, describing the tenacity of elders serving in his ward in Utah who followed up regularly with his family until they did.

Elder Dale Renlund has assisted President Craig Christensen the last year in working with the North America Central Area, our area. He instructed us at our mission president seminar in April of this year. He emphasized the need to better prepare people for baptism and confirmation by beginning with the end in mind, helping them make and keep commitments, more fully repent and meet the qualifications listed in D&C 20:37.

   Each of them has a loose connection to my mission. I walked into conference with one main question: How can the gospel of Jesus Christ help me live a more abundant life? President Uchtdorf answered that question handily in the first talk of conference and I was left wishing I had asked more questions. I also had an epiphany this week about the Sabbath day. I was pondering on how I used to consider the Sabbath to be a burden more than anything else, and I came to the
realization of what the Sabbath is for. If the Celestial Kingdom requires us to be sanctified beyond belief, then an incredible amount of sanctification needs to take place before then. Our regular day-to-day actions make it very difficult to become sanctified individuals, and thy is why, once a week, God tells us to drop
everything and go get sanctified! I used to take 6 hour naps on the Sabbath, but I now realize that I was not keeping it holy. I used to think that sitting alone in a dark room eating saltines was an appropriate activity for the Sabbath. I now realize that the sin is not in the sin of commission, but in omission. We fail to keep it a holy day by failing to fill it with sanctifying activity! Who knew?!

   We are getting the area book planner app this week. That means no
more paper planners or area books! I pray it goes well.


Elder Andrew Campbell