Monday, December 30, 2013

Week 21

Well this past week was a great week. We didn't get a whole lot done seeing as between p-day and the holidays we only had like 3 days to proselyte. BUT! We were blessed to find a new investigator and we have 2 other people in the same ward that we are hoping to start working with. So my companion and I both feel like they all have potential so we are just going to keep working towards getting appointments set up with the other 2. But the new investigator we found is a 14 year old boy. He is really excited to learn more. So we taught him on Saturday and we have another appointment later this week. Best part though. He has been to church the last 4 Sundays. His mom is less active and his dad is not a member, so he doesn't really know anything about the church at all. Which is what we are for! But we are super excited to have someone that we feel like is going to be super solid. We have been working with so many less actives that I am super excited to be teaching someone who doesn't know anything. I never thought that I would say that I miss teaching, but I do.

But anywho that was our week in a nutshell. The Holidays were amazing though. It is super easy to get in any door when you want to share a Christmas message. Especially when everything we share is centered around Christ in the First place. So really everything is a Christmas message. But anywho. Until next week, I love you all

-Elder Valentine

Monday, December 23, 2013

Week 20

Well MERRY CHRISTMAS to everyone!
I hope this email finds you all doing well! What a great time of the year! I really love being a missionary at this time of the year. There is just something Special about it. 
We share everyday of the year the message of Jesus Christ. What better time of the year for that then the time that everyone takes to remember our saviors birth! Like I said, there is just something so special about it. How great it is we can take time to celebrate His birth and His life.
But I would ask all of you to remember the crowning event of our Saviors entire life!

The Atonement!

I want you to ponder upon that this coming week. That you all might take some time to think about the Atonement. What it is. And especially what it means to you, what it means for you, and what it means for all of us. 

Christmas is about following the example that Christ set. That of giving. Christ gave us the most magnificent gift that anyone could ever give. That of the possibility of eternal life. So at this busy time of the year, I encourage all of you to slow down for a second and ask what we can give at this time of year. And I don't mean worldly things, but those things that Christ admonished us to acquire when he said:  "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:" (matthew 6: 19-20

Christ asked us to store up things that are eternal, without end. So what can we in turn give that is eternal? I invite you all to think upon these things and seek to follow the example of our Savior. Of His love. Of all that He gave us. That we can in turn give as well.

I love you all! I hope you all have a Merry Christmas

-Elder Valentine

Week 19

I am forgetting the week numbers. I am not counting I just go to the previous weeks email and add 1 to that. But anywho another week has come and gone. And here most of the snow from last week has melted. It was pretty at first.... But It isn't too hard to get around in it here. So I can't really complain. It warmed up a lot last week so that was nice. Not having to really deal with sub-zero anymore for now is nice. But we had a really good week last week. We are having some good experiences with most of the last actives we are teaching. So that is awesome. We have had a lot of them out to church consistently. But we are working on finding some non-members also. 

Time out here is just flying by. It is crazy to think that it is almost Christmas. The nice thing about being in such a small town as we are is the fact that here, christmas isn't really commercialized. We don't even have a wal-mart for like 50 miles. But people here focus a lot more on the real reason for Christmas. Which we all know is Jesus Christ. 

And how important it is for us at this time of the year to remember our savior and His Atonement. To look at his life and those things that he did for us. He gave  us everything. Without his Atonement there would be no way we could ever return. He gave that to us. So at this time of year I would like all of us to remember that he freely gave. And as we strive to walk in his footsteps and follow his example I pray that we all might be able to more freely give. Of all those things that we have been blessed with. Our time, talents, physical means, and the gift so freely given to us, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I invite all of you between now and Christmas to accept Elder Ballards challenge that he issued at conference to reach out to 1 person. Just one before christmas and see how you can bless their lives. What you all can give to that person. And I promise that it will bless your life in turn. 

I love you all. I love this Gospel and the testify that it really does bring joy, unlike anything else. 
Until next week!

-Elder Valentine

You don't normally get to see this. It doesn't ever really snow in the desert. So enjoy the picture!

Week 18

So another Transfer has come and gone! I have been out 3 transfers so far. That is just crazy to think about. So my companion and I received our transfer call yesterday and we are both staying. Which is good. I would have hated to have gotten transferred. I have only been here 6 weeks. That would have been the pits. But last week was quite the adventure. We had some good teaching appointments. And the Zone conference we had was spectacular. So that was an awesome start to our week. The elders that took over my last area also called me to let me know about one of the investigators from back there and it was spectacular news. So that was much appreciated. 

So we saw Don at church again yesterday and had a great appointment with him last night. He is progressing well. He is taking things very seriously. So that is amazing. Every time we meet with him I just have this great joy for him. I think it is a great blessing to be able to experience that small amount of joy (small compared to what our heavenly father feels) for him. But we are going to keep working with him and do anything we can to help him. 

But as far as the adventurous week goes the weekend was a blast. Well an Arctic blast at least. Temperatures got down in the negatives at night, like -5 in Orderville and all the way down to -34 at Duck creek. Luckily we were not at Duck Creek any during that cold spell. And it also snowed. A lot. We got anywhere from 12-14 inches here in Orderville. Glendale had 18-20 and Alton had about the same as far as I heard. The snow was beautiful. But it is kinda a nuisance. It is a really dry powdery snow so it blows around a lot. (The photo is right around 5ish on Saturday night.)
But There was a lot of snow and fog. So much so that the whole valley lost cell phone reception until 6:00 Sunday night. So everyone was without cell phones for about 24 hours. But tonight we are headed up to Alton and then one of the members up there is going to take us to Duck Creek. The roads out here are meticulously maintained though. So driving around really isn't a problem. They are dry and snow free. They have plows that run continuously when it is snowing so it is easy to get around. But that was our week. I hope everyone is staying warm back home. And I love you all. Until next week.

-Elder Valentine


Picture number 1 is thursday night coming home from Alton at 8:04 

Week 17

So it is already week 6 of this transfer. I know I have said it like every week but I just really don't know where time is going. So anyways, This past week was a really good week. We started teaching an investigator the sisters had before we got in the area. So we are going to work with her. We had one less active member come to church that we have been working with the entire time we have been here. It was so amazing to see him there. It was Don Spencer, the man that lost his wife about 3 weeks ago. So he is working towards doing those things that he needs to do to be able to make it to the temple so he can be sealed to his wife. He seems super serious about doing those things that he needs to. But I was filled with so much joy to see him seriously acting upon those things that he knows to be true. Like I have no way to express my happiness I felt for him. I don't think I will ever be able to really understand how I come to love the people here so much. I know it is a blessing though. 

And yes once again today is Tuesday. But today is P-day. We had a very special Zone Conference yesterday. And it had to be on Monday. Elder Arnold of the quorum of the Seventy came and taught us. So we had to drive 2 and half hours to Ivins, which is on the other side of St. George from where we are so it was far, to get there. Then the Conference was from 9:30-2:30 but he took way more time then that. So we got done around 3:30 and didn't get back to our area until 8:00 that night. But we had a great training. He taught with such authority and power. I am still amazed at the authority that he taught with. I felt like it was truly after the manner of the Savior that he taught. But he talked about a lot of different things. But he was very uplifting. He told the Sisters to stop having Guilt trips and talked about planning. But it was super good. 

So for Thanksgiving we headed over to Hurricane and stayed the night Wednesday with our District Leader. We got up Thursday bright and early and went and played football with some of the members. After that we had home made cinnamon rolls at a members home. Then we went and hiked one of the washes in Hurricane, and I failed to take my camera with me so no pictures of that but it was super awesome. Then after that we went and had lunch with some other members in the area, then after that we went to another members home and ate more! :) No complaints there. So after our second lunch we went and hiked the highest peak in Hurricane, And this is the actual name and everyone out here calls it that, but it called Molly's Nipple. It is an old Cinder cone if my earth science memory serves me correctly. But we hiked up to watch the sunset. It was gorgeous. And! I took my camera that time!! So after we hiked back down we went and had dinner at another members home. So it was quite the food filled day. But we were starving after all the hiking. We were all sore the next day. But it was totally worth it. 

So that was my week in a nutshell. I quite enjoyed Thanksgiving. I love you all. 

-Elder Valentine