Monday, November 30, 2015

Fried Turkey in Jalapeno Oil!

Mother and Father,

   (Got a screaming deal on Rockport's from an online store called 6pm. Thank you BJ!!) First of all, the new shoes are great. I especially appreciate the water-proofing, because we shoveled a lot of snow this week, and my other shoes have too many holes. They also look great. I am a fan.

    Thanksgiving is a hard time for a missionary. I give props to Elder
Moala for taking me in just as Thanksgiving was beginning. I now realize how hard he worked to get people for us to visit last Thanksgiving because this week was brutal. We didn't make very many contacts this week. The Bundy family was so kind to us on Thanksgiving. They fried a turkey in jalapeƱo oil and it was pretty good. I will try to get a hold of some pictures of the event. There
were a lot of people there. (I would LOVE a picture or two!)

    Yesterday marked the beginning of the church's "A Savior is Born" campaign. I was very surprised by the video they released. They took an entirely different approach from the normal feel-good message they usually put out. This one doesn't really give you any message at all. It invites you to go discover it. It has a different kind of power than the other recent videos. I...just don't know what to say. I already know it will drum up interest, I am just excited to see how. (I've already shared it on FB!)

    Elder Johnson says that if your kindergarteners are rambunctious and adorable, then they must be a double threat. (He ain't kidding!)

   Transfers are December the 8th! Who knows what will happen. I like being with Elder Johnson, so there's that. We did sing in Sacrament meeting last week, and it went well. Everyone started crying; though I don't feel like my voice has that much emotional impact.(Maybe they were crying for a different reason...just sayin'!)  I also got to hear Elder Johnson play the violin. He is incredible. He could be a professional if he so desired.

    I wish I had more to tell you about. We had a good lesson with Matt, but we just need to figure out what is holding him back. He issuch a good man. Anywho, I hope you all have an excellent week. I want to see a picture of moustachioed Peter. (Peter participated in Movember...growing facial hair--no-shave November--to raise awareness of men's cancers like testicular and prostate. He said he'll shave it off today or tomorrow.)


Elder Andrew Campbell

Monday, November 23, 2015

Aerial Silk Artist for a Companion!!

Dear everyone,
    I am writing to you from Sandstone Park in Longmont, Colorado. Elder Johnson is an aerial silk artist, and he has found a tree here to his liking. (What doesn't Elder Johnson know how to do?? I didn't know what an aerial silk artist was...but I've attached two pictures that will explain.) He will be twirling and swirling here shortly. This week was characterized by sickness. Unlike the sickness I had last month, which was brought on by stress, this was a plain old cold. I had chills so bad that Elder Johnson wrapped me into a burrito with huge blankets. Needless to say, it was not fun. (I attached a picture of him as a burrito!). We had our second snowfall this week. I had to drive during the storm this time. I still remember how to drive in snow from last winter, at least kind of, haha. I know I made Elder Johnson a little uncomfortable.
    I just got an email from President Brown saying no football on Thanksgiving! Aww, man! Oh well, when these things come up I just remind myself I didn't go on a mission to play football, etc.  This week we did find a new investigator while tracting. When we came for a return appointment, she was not there, but she actually left a sticky note on the door, apologizing for forgetting an appointment she had already set. Her name is Jessica and please pray for her. Also, please pray for Bob, Sierra, and Matt. Our ward mission leader is awesome and he set up an appointment for us to teach Matt at his house all by himself. We have had the hardest time making appointments with him. All three of those people have been coming to church for years, but have not yet been baptized. We are just at a loss for how to help them! It sure helps our key indicators to have 3 investigators at church every week though! It's funny, because a lot of members of the ward think that missionary work is booming here because of that, but in reality our teaching pool is tiny to non-existent. Oh well!      
   Thanks for the package last week. I went on exchanges with Elder Buchanan, and he ate all my Oreos. Considering my diet, I appreciated it. I've taken to eating small whole grain snacks before dinner. It fills me up so fast that one serving of dinner makes me feel like I just got out of Chuck-o-Rama. We have been going to a discount grocer called Esh's for our food. They sell a bunch of health foods, etc. for really cheap. I got boxes of Kashi cereal for 99 cents each. Kashi is not an inexpensive cereal. I also got a body wash made out of lavender, which is amazing. I'm hoping it will have long-term benefits for my anxiety. It certainly makes for relaxing showers.
   (BJ and Michele are here for Thanksgiving, so I had everyone write this week. BJ told him about a time he'd been asked to say the closing prayer in Sacrament Meeting, but he forgot to get up to pray.) BJ, your story reminds me of a time when I was in Fort Collins and the ward choir director invited me to come to ward choir and I agreed. This was just before sacrament meeting. I fell, asleep and as it turns out, the ward choir was performing. When they got up, my companions shook me awake and said, "Elder Campbell, you said you would sing with them!" I dazedly got up and walked to the stand. Gratefully, the Lord aids us in our weakness because it was the best sight-reading I have ever done. My companions said it was just a joke, but I am glad it happened. I have gotten over falling asleep in Sacrament Meeting as well.
   (Grandma told him about her war against the gophers in her yard. She recently dropped pieces of Double Bubble bubble gum in the holes hoping it would kill them.) Grandma, I remember you being rather skeptical of that technique, but Grandpa tried it and it worked. Let me know how it goes. And Grandpa, I will be sure to sing you a hundred songs when I get back. In an answer to Dad's question, I use that instant shoe shine sponge stuff. When you sent me one last year, it rocked my world. I also got some shoe protect-all. It is a water-proofing agent. Shoveling snow this weekend got my feet all wet, so I now have an impetus to get some. Esh's sells those shoe care products for a dollar or less, which I love as well.
   Last night, I realized a lesson I learned on forgiveness. The Lowry family asked me to tell them a powerful experience I have had on my mission. I told them that most of my mission experiences have not been with investigators, but in working with companions. I related to them that I have had a number of companions who have done or said hurtful things to me, and forgiving them has been the hardest part. I prayed for hours over it once, and had the realization that a refusal to forgive is like asking Jesus Christ to suspend the Atonement for that individual. Who does that?! We cannot do that. It is evil by nature. Anywho, dinner with the Lowry's was very emotional and several tears were shed. I too, realized that there is so much I have learned from this past year of my life, and it took a lot of pain to do so.
   Brother Buhler in the ward asked us to come teach the Plan of Salvation for his Mission Preparation class. After we taught it to an "investigator couple" the whole class said things like, "It was perfect!" or "So much better than us." Brother Buhler, who is an experienced missionary and couple missionary said we did pretty good, but it really needs work. I realized that even though I thought everything went right, there is so much to do better. Even though I am a pretty good teacher, my calling as an elder asks me to be a master teacher. I guess I just need more teaching opportunities. With our awesome mission leader we are trying to fix that. Well, I have got to go. It was great to hear from BJ and Michele, I love those two and never hear from them.


Elder Andrew Campbell


Monday, November 16, 2015

"My Shepherd Will Supply My Need"

(He later wrote that he received his Thanksgiving I guess Longmont worked even though he told me Firestone!)

Mother and Father,

   Mail labeled as both Firestone and Longmont have arrived here, so I think the mail will arrive here. (And it did!!)

   The Bundy family (of no relation to Ted) (thank goodness!) has signed up to feed us for Thanksgiving. The ward has a Turkey Bowl, but we will see if President Brown allows us to participate. (My guess is...NO!)

    Elder Johnson and I will be performing an arrangement of "My Shepherd Will Supply My Need". It's a hymn we found in the Ensign. Elder Johnson made his own arrangement. It's really good. He has an incredibly deep understanding of music. He also has perfect pitch. We have Sister Parker in the ward playing the piano, and we will sing. (Wish I could hear it)

    This past week we had a very powerful DLC (District Leader Council). Do you remember the days before my mission, when I found the emails home of an elder in this mission. Well, that was Elder Buchanan, and he is a zone leader here for his last transfer. He wants to make this transfer a special one. We have set some lofty goals, and we committed to do a lot more tracting. We are doing it as an exercise of our faith, and praying for an increase in finding in all categories
of the work. Tracting is not my favorite thing, but we are laying our natural desires down as a sacrifice. We have a new ward mission leader and he is incredibly dedicated to the work. He is trying hard to get the members of this ward invested in their duty to do missionary work. Our ward has been family mission planned out of their minds, and none of it has worked, so we are going to simplify things considerably. We plan on going to families and giving them specific commitments. We have no idea what we are doing, but whatever it is, it is going to happen. (I really like the part about not having an idea of what they are doing...that always works for me!)

   We had our first snow this week. It melted off the roads rather quickly. I know last year it had snowed just before I arrived, and didn't snow again until Christmas. I would like that to happen again, personally. It has been cold on occasion, but I feel that this, as my third year in ridiculous cold, is the year where I have gotten acclimated. It hasn't bothered me as much as it should have. (Glad to hear that!).

   Could I get Elder Hampton's email? (Anyone out there have it?)  I am glad to hear about Colin Anderson as well.


Elder Andrew Campbell

PS: I got your package. The pants fit great! Thank you so much!

PS: I woke up with a strong desire to get a new coat today for the coming
 winter. We went to Ross and I fell in love with one. It is quite dressy. The zone leaders and Elder Johnson have been on my case about how I keep too much money on my person, so I used a bit of it.(I wonder how much??? If it was at Ross, it's not that much!)  I am also wearing my new pants!

(I'll attach his Campbell Clan picture which I want to use for our Christmas card and the picture of his dressy new coat. Sure doesn't look very warm to me. I love this picture. The tree in the back of his head makes his hair look kind of funny!)                                                                             


Monday, November 9, 2015

Anxiety vs Faith...Which One Will Win??!!

(Still wondering if our missionary is living in Longmont, CO or Firestone, CO. Google Maps tells us Longmont. Do I believe them? I need to mail things and I want him to get them.)

Mother and Father,

  Google maps seems to list our address in Longmont as well. I believe it is in Firestone city limits, but the borders are ridiculous here as a result of an old land grab. No one is entirely sure where Frederick ends, or Firestone begins, or which part consists of unincorporated Longmont. I've not yet received a letter, however.(Bummer....I asked a lady in Boulder to mail him something to Longmont. I guess she hadn't done it yet OR she did, and it was undeliverable. AHHHHH!!!)

   Elder Johnson and I will be performing in Sacrament Meeting in a few weeks. It will be an arrangement of "My Shepherd Will Supply My Need". (Wish I could be there to hear it!)

   Oh man, that letter from Fiona's mom was so nice. It's so touching that someone would think of a missionary like that. How does she know I am on a mission? (One of my Kindergarteners wanted to get me something for Christmas. Instead, the mom decided they should get something for our missionary. How cool is that????!!!!)

   I wish I could think of a more exciting way to describe my week to you. It really was quite boring though. In the words of Elder Johnson, "This week was really mundane". We knocked on a lot of doors without any real grandeur. We met the little brother of some former investigators, a nice guy who wants to feed us dinner some time, and taught a woman named Rosa about the Book of Mormon. We are coming back to her place tomorrow with a ton of fellowship!

   Elder Johnson and I have been studying faith recently. I have come to the realization that nearly every missionary goes about getting work like it all depends on them. The result? Some are really good at it and some are bad at it. When faced with the question of, "How do I get in this door?" Some are silver-tongued, and others are not. However, this leaves faith out of the equation. If we are truly going to be instruments of the Lord, we need to leave our abilities at home, and work by the spirit. Worry, doubt, and fear drive the spirit away immediately. And for someone like me, as you know, it is hard to find a time when I do not have a mix of all three of those. I have been blessed with anxiety; a challenge to inspire me to have the spirit, even when my body wants to suppress me in the woes of that anxiety. Elder Johnson says I worry all the time, and it is true, but I do believe my desires are righteous, and it can be overcome. (My poor, poor Andrew. He's a worrier like his mom. I thought I did enough worrying for everyone!)

   When I feel anxious doing missionary work, I tell myself that it all depends on me, and I am not good enough, therefore I will fail. That is a self-fulfilling prophecy. The Heavens and the Earth were made by faith, and so is everything else that is worthwhile. The replacement for anxiety is faith. I have been given the gift of a choice between one or the other. It is the hardest thing I have ever done, but I am trying to choose faith. Hebrews 11:3, "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear."


Elder Andrew Campbell

Monday, November 2, 2015

Longmont vs Firestone, CO!

(So relieved to get a GOOD letter. He's finally with a companion that he can relate to....YEAH!!)

Mother and Father,

   You got that right, I am back in the Saddleback Ward. We are now living with the M family. Brother M was called to be the first counselor of the bishopric on Sunday. He works as a manager for Discount Tire. He is a big deal there because he has a case full of awards the company has given him. Sister M is a realtor and she makes us breakfast in the morning. (I want to live with them!) She was worried about housing the missionaries but says the past week has been a delight. (Awwww!!)

    Sister T was right, Elder Johnson and I are birds of a feather. (Can I hear....HALLELUJIAH!!!) Elder Johnson is from Perry, Utah, but he says Brigham City because everyone knows where that is. He has been serving for two transfers longer than me. He began his mission in Rapid City, South Dakota, was transferred to Casper, Wyoming, got absorbed into our mission, and went to Loveland, and is now here. He is a concert violinist who has played since he was three, and spent his free-time producing electronic music.(And Elder Campbell creates electronic music...YAHOO!)  His current plan is to study electrical engineering at Utah State, but he is proficient in more than a dozen instruments and is tempted to be a music major, even though he doesn't want to. Stick with electrical engineering, Elder Johnson!!) He has a older sister, an older brother, and two younger brothers.

    Our new address is Pelican Shores Drive
Firestone, Colorado 80504-5264 (Except I looked it up and it said it was Longmont, CO. I don't know what to do about packages. I think I'll send them to Longmont, CO). I know you are going to look it up, but it is a nice house. (Yup, I looked it up and it's a VERY nice house and it says Longmont, CO and not Firestone, CO).

  My proselyting shoes are size 12, but my running shoes are size 13. I guess closer to twelve would be fine. (I am very nervous about sending shoes by mail. I'm going to use Zappos since they have an easy return policy and free shipping.)  I fell off of my exercise boat but I'd like to think I'm back on it. I am doing jump rope now. You Are Your Own Gym helped me build a lot of muscle, but I need to get smaller so I can stay in my clothes. (Yes, since I just bought some new dress pants.)

   I enjoyed my extra hour of sleep on Saturday night, and it got me
ready for a busy day. We have been so busy, but it's the kind of busy that has left me looking back and wondering what I was so busy doing. It is still rewarding at the end of the day.

   We were the judges for the Halloween Party's chili cook-off. Chili is not my favorite kind of food, but it was good. A delicious kind of white chili won it all. So
many people came that we filled the entire cultural hall and it was still standing room only.

   Elder Johnson and I are fighting the fight of trying to find those who have been prepared in such a small area. It sounds like a paradox, for a small area should be easier, but it also means slim pickings. The pumpkin carving was unexpected, so I didn't bring one, and couldn't carve my own.

   I don't know how this preparation day will turn out, but Elder Johnson and I play a lot of music together, so that will probably happen. (I wonder how that goes since Elder Campbell has only self-taught himself music and not been trained.)

    I have a picture of Elder Moala and I when I saw him on transfer day, and Elder Johnson and I. (Now that made me HAPPY!!)

   I keep you in my prayers.


Elder Andrew Campbell