Monday, December 28, 2015

Mastery of Thought

(It was wonderful talking to our missionary on Christmas. I'll attach the picture we took off of Skype for those who haven't seen it on Facebook.)

Mother and Father,

   This week was about as slow as molasses. Shortly after talking to you, we had Christmas dinner, and midway through I got very nauseous and almost threw up in the middle of the Newton's home. (Thank goodness he didn't do that!) So, I went and laid down for the rest of Christmas. The members of the ward were very kind. We received a variety of gifts. (Which shall remain nameless, I guess. I want to know what they gave them!!)

   On Saturday we had our stake president's breakfast. This one was different in that we had a dodgeball tournament. President Richards doesn't like that we aren't allowed to do stuff together so he used his executive power to make it happen. Anywho, it was a lot of fun, and we had the challenge of senior companions versus junior companions, we tied six games to six. I was still feeling sick but I knew Elder Johnson wanted to go so we made it work. (I'm glad he "manned up" and did it. Sounds fun!)

    Brother Jacobs and I discussed mastery of thought this week at my counseling session. His challenge to me has been to create a journal of my negative thoughts and my reactions to them. He guarantees me that I will see a pattern to them. Those are the negative and incorrect thought patterns that cause the psychological side of anxiety. As we identify them, we will work on modifying and correcting them. (Sounds like something we should all do!)

   I will comment again on how slow this week was. The missionary handbook tells us that holidays are the best times for finding people, but the neighborhoods get so quiet and sleepy that it is hard to get motivated to go out and find anyone who is left. We did have one incredible miracle, however. We were driving to deliver an ornament to a relief society sister who is unknown, (whatever that means??!!) when I saw a guy putting stuff in some big trash bins. I told Elder Johnson we should stop and see if he needed help. I went up and asked him what he was doing and he said something like, "I'm remodeling my basement, do you guys want to see it?" What followed was an awesome experience of us working on installing doors while discussing our faith. His pastor was there helping, and he was the nicest guy. We're supposed to meet up with his pastor for burgers in Longmont pretty soon. His family even made us Papa Murphy's pizza, which we ate with them for lunch. He works for Google, and he told me to ask BJ if he had ever worked using the "trigger" for developing third-party apps for Google, and that he was the one who invented it. He said that Lucid is a big deal at Google and they like it a lot. (Any comment, BJ??)

    I got the Mito2Max package. Thank you! Taking these should turn me into  superhuman or something. One I am excited about is one that Sister Hendrix gave me. It's a multivitamin made for people with anxiety. (Sure hope it helps! If so, I better get a bottle!) I will send a picture of the specs.

  It was great seeing you on Christmas!


Elder Andrew Campbell

Monday, December 21, 2015

Tillamook Ice Cream!!

(So excited to Skype on Friday!! We got an audio recording of Elder Campbell and his companion singing in Sacrament Meeting. His companion also played the violin. That was a fun surprise!)

Mother and Father,

   (WE GET TO SKYPE!!!) The 11 am time slot should work out great. The big event of the week was our Christmas Devotional in Boulder. A big theme of the event was how proud President Brown is of the mission and the spiritual improvement he has seen since he became the mission president. I actually kind of feel like I'm in a mission, serving with other missionaries. I have been really impressed with the newer missionaries I have met. I remember my first devotional was last year's Christmas Devotional in Greely. Everyone is calling me a seasoned veteran now. What is up with that? (He's been out 13 months now!)

   I got another box with granola bars, but this one had no invoice. It contained three boxes, and the last one contained one. How many did Brother Mariana send? (I don't, Bro. Mariana, if you read many granola bars did you send???)

   We did do a musical number for Sacrament meeting yesterday. Elder Johnson's mother's comment on the video was "I heard someone singing, but it wasn't you because some of the notes were off." Haha! Elder Johnson has perfect pitch, so it's not even fair. 

   We found an awesome investigator named Tabitha this week. We were doing a scripture study with a less-active member, when Tabitha, who is renting a room in his house came in and started asking us questions. She said she doesn't understand Jesus Christ's sacrifice for her, so we promised to come back and share more. (Awesome!)

   We had a powerful lesson with Sierra last night. I just want to comment on how elect she is. Talk about prepared for the last days. She has more faith than I do, I will say that much. I challenged her to be baptized on her eighteenth birthday, and she agreed. So, as of now, we have investigator on date to be baptized in 2017. I personally believe it will happen much earlier. We pray for a softening of hearts. (I will pray that that happens!)

   Yesterday we only had 15 minutes to tract, so we called it 15 minutes to find a new investigator. We found a potential investigator and a referral for the Spanish sisters, so that is fun. I have been feeling really great this week. For some reason I feel really depressed on Saturdays, though. Maybe you could send me a Saturday uplifting thought. (I can certainly try!)  Elder Johnson says he feels it too, and doesn't understand why, but Saturday's are our least effective day, and I don't like it! Could you send me more of the mito2max supplements and the Energy Vitamin B12 supplements? I just started taking them faithfully again when Elder Johnson described to me how good they are for my metabolism. (Thank you, Amazon Prime!)

  Oh gosh, I almost forgot. We moved this week to the Schmitz family. You would like Sister Schmitz very much, Mom. They found out that we liked Tillamook ice cream and suddenly five containers of Tillamook ice cream in our favorite flavors appeared in our freezer. Hence my need for a metabolism boost. (The people of Colorado have been SOOOO kind!!) Here is our new address: Saddleback Ave.
Firestone, Colorado 80504

Oh yeah! They also announced our new Mission President. He will be President McMurray from Virginia. (I didn't realize he was getting a new one. That will be exciting.)

Elder Andrew Campbell

Monday, December 14, 2015

"Three Buckets" Technique

Mother and Father,

   (I received some pictures and videos from a Brother John in Firestone, CO! It made me SOOO happy!) You are correct, Brother John is a very kind man. He has two sons o missions, one in one of the Buenos Aires missions and one in
Nagoya, Japan.  For work he and his father do some sort of oil and gas business. In his words it is really boring. They have five kids, altogether. His wife is a stay-at-home Mom, and they live in...Firestone? I don't know how else to describe it.
   My psychologist is Brother Jacobs, and he is awesome! (It's always good to think your psychologist is AWESOME!! HA!) He says I have textbook anxiety, and the only abnormality is that I sleep well. In fact, I am exhausted every night, and sleep the whole night through. He says that is very rare, but it is a sign that I am working hard enough to out-exhaust my anxiety. (Wish I could sleep all the way through the night!!)
   This week, Brother Ashby, our ward mission leader, challenged us to teach everyone we meet, especially the ones who don't want to be taught, and to set goals on how many people we WILL teach. Which, of course, is what we are supposed to do, but don't always do well. So, tracting has become a fun experience of how many people will be taught by us, not how many people will accept our invitation to teach. We've gained several potential investigators, and have taught more lessons. The people of Firestone are being taught for as long as they keep their doors open. This too, is what Preach My Gospel tells us to do, but we have always shied away from doing it.
  Our mission has had a focus on the "Three Buckets" technique, which is the three different forms of finding. They are finding through working with less-active's and part-member families, finding through referrals, and finding through personal contacting (tracting, etc.). Right now I am on a personal contacting drive, and need to humble myself and rely on all three buckets to find success. You have to be an excellent missionary in order to utilize all three. Saddleback has about a 70% activity rate, which means you have to work even harder to
get in with less-actives. (Wow, that's a high rate!) Anyway, Brother Ashby has been trying to get me to invite ALL to come unto Christ, not just the ones I want to. I am grateful for repentance.
   You are right about Sierra, she is a minor and her parents are not fans of religion. It is situations like these where I would choose to sit back and let things play out. Brother Ashby wants us to be aware 100% of the time of what we can do RIGHT NOW to bring people closer to Christ. This is not a gospel of sitting back. We taught a lesson last night about trusting Jesus Christ. Not jus believing in him, but really trusting that he is at the helm. It is a lesson that I need to
learn, just as well as teach.
   President Brown announced a rule change this week. He says we are now allowed to listen to any music where we can feel the spirit while listening to it. This is just me speaking, but there wasn't any music I would listen to before my mission that I felt would not be inviting to the spirit. I am still unsure how I would like to go about changing my listening habits. (He always listened to uplifting music. He was an easy teenager to have around!)
    I just downloaded the Skype app on my iPad. My username is________.  I think the morning will be good. Just tell me when and where. I will let you know next week if your time works out, and if there is a better one. (Now that's specific....NOT! I am so excited about our Skype visit. YEAH!!) Oh yeah, last week's picture was a zone picture. We are on a new transfer now. It is weird that most of the missionaries in the zone have been out less time than I. I'm getting old! (Ancient!) I am really grateful for your support of my mission experience and helping me significantly in being out here. (Couldn't be any more proud!!)


Elder Andrew Campbell

(I'm attaching his gingerbread house creating pictures from the sweet John Family!)


Monday, December 7, 2015

Benign Does NOT Mean You Have Cancer!!

(I had a rough abscess on my neck, and I told my missionary about it. Maybe I shouldn't have. In this letter he proceeds to tell ALL about his struggles physically and mentally and emotionally. He's way stronger than he gives himself credit for! I have to confess this letter gave me a bit of the giggles. He's just so dramatic. Poor soul. Gotta love him!)

Mother and Father,

   This week was quite a week. By quite a week, it really was quite a week! First of all, I have discovered that I am staying with Elder Johnson. That makes me very happy. (And me SUPER happy!!) He seems quite happy as well. That, however, was not the excitement of the week. That all started with my doctor's appointment on Wednesday. My prescription was running out and I needed it renewed. He gave me an anxiety survey where he discovered, and helped me realize, that my anxiety has been getting progressively worse. I have seen a large spike in the past week. He recommended a prescription re-evaluation, and counseling from a psychologist. I talked with Sister Brown, and I have an appointment with a counselor from LDS Family Services on Tuesday. (Bless President Brown and Sis. Brown!!) A lot of missionaries go to see him, so I am not worried. (Poor counselor!) They have also determined that my medication may no longer be the best option for me, so we will see how that goes. I am excited to get some help, because I don't want anxiety to be getting in the way of me fulfilling my calling. (I'm very proud of him realizing he has a weakness and he needs to take care of it. Too many people hide mental health issues instead of doing something about it. The next paragraph is the paragraph that gave me the giggles.)

   That, however, is not all! Remember when I was at BYU and I was worried about a mole that had gotten infected and fell off? Well, I had it happen again, and this time I showed it to the doctor early. I had a biopsy, and while they were not so clear on details, they said they found the growth to benign (Whew...what a relief...except read on!) I asked Elder Johnson what it meant, and he said it means it was cancerous but the biopsy removed it all. So, Peter beats me by a long shot, but I can say I got cancer on my mission too. (So, how do I break it to him that he NEVER had cancer and that benign is what you want to hear. ARGHH!!!) I didn't want to tell you all this, as I know you will worry, but you have me worried about your health, so I figured I would tell all. (I am no longer telling ANYTHING!!)

   This experience helped me to learn quite a bit. It all happened while I had a heavy nagging cough resurface, my back went out, and I was having nausea and diarrhea. I feel much better now, but for a few days I was scared they would send me home. (Bless Elder Johnson for being so understanding. Bless Pres. Brown for NOT sending him home. Power through...Andrew!) I was reminded of how fragile human life can be, and I am grateful that these trials are evidence of Heavenly Father's love. I determined that even if I got sent home, completing my mission service would be my top priority. I have learned so much about the gospel in this past year, and I love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ far too much to stop halfway. (Hang in there, Andrew. Only 11 more months!)

    So, I love Dad's idea for finding. (Brian suggested that he and his musical companion who doesn't know anything about cancer, should sing Christmas carols on street corners to meet people.) The only problem is that we don't have populated street corners in my area. My area is known as a "bedroom community". Everyone here commutes to Denver, Boulder, or Fort Collins, comes home late, eats, and goes to bed. It's really kind of sad. A lot of people don't even know their neighbors. It makes things hard, but I have faith in Jesus Christ, and He can open doors I could not open on my own.

    Our ward does not have a Christmas party this year. That makes me a little sad. The Christmas devotional was excellent. I loved the music. Elder Johnson has me signed up to sing, "In the Bleak Mid-Winter" for the Christmas Sacrament meeting. Matt is still trucking along. He was at church on Sunday and helped in the nursery. (Matt, you've got to join the church. You are truly golden. I can't even get many members to go and help in the nursery!!!) I liked his tie. Sierra bore her testimony and challenged all the youth to do the same. We found out that her parents will NOT allow her to be baptized. So sad. (I wonder how old she is.) With all that has been going on, we completely forgot that yesterday was fast Sunday. We will find a day to fast this week though! We will fast for all these people. I love them so much! Okay, I really want to do things right this transfer. I want to meet the mission's standards of excellence for the rest of my mission. It is a lofty goal, so I pray my faith is sufficient.


Elder Andrew Campbell

I'm guessing the attached picture is his zone???