Monday, August 31, 2015

August 31, 2015 Richland, WA

So to start out, shout out to the other Elder Chappell, one year for Riley. That's crazy.

Anyway, we had zone conference last week! President Ware said we aren't allowed to wake up early to have more exercise time anymore, which is sad cause now we can't go play basketball and we can't go hike badger bump anymore. Oh well. Exact obedience brings miracles! He also said on the topic of music, if a song you used to listen to at home but aren't allowed to now comes on at a member or investigator's house and there's nothing you can do about it, don't feel guilty. All that is is a tender mercy. Since then I have had 5 tender mercies of classic rock songs. I loved it! 

Miracle of the week!!!! So there is this guy named Travis. He was under the list of former investigator, but in all honesty (according to Elder Thorn who was there for his previous teaching), he was never really interested. Anyway, he is about 40 years old, and has spent 20 of those years in prison. He made some really bad choices when he was young. But I have never met a nicer person. He always has kids at his house who he is helping out because they are in really bad situations. He lives across the street from some members and he hangs out with them all the time. Anyway, we stopped by recently, and when we did, he let us in and we talked about the Book of Mormon. He had read it in the past, but only to prove it wrong. He asked us, "What is the point of the Book of Mormon? Why do you need it? What does it add that the Bible doesn't have?" There are a lot of different answers to that question. But Elder Thorn followed the Spirit and answered the best possible way. He said, "The old testament prophesies of Christ. The New Testament tells of Christ's life and what He did, and the Atonement. The Book of Mormon shows us how we can use that Atonement and how we can come closer to Christ." Travis sat there for a minute, then he said, "Really? Why didn't you tell me that before?? I'm gonna read this again! This time, with that in mind! That's awesome!!" It was way cool. Then as we were about to try to set up a return appointment, he said, "You guys should come back tomorrow around 2". He is awesome and the Lord has been preparing him.

Miracle number 2! So we live in the basement of an older couple's house. They have a son who is about 50 years old, not a member, always (I mean ALWAYS) drunk, who is living in a trailer on their property. His name is Chuck. He is super nice and super funny and he loves us. I've been wondering since I got here if he has ever been taught by the missionaries. I asked Elder Thorn, He said that they tried but he doesn't want to hear it. That same day, he came to us and said he had skin cancer. He also said, "Hey guys.. my life is pretty rough right now. Maybe I could use a message sometime." That was awesome. So we've been trying to make it happen, he's still super hesitant about it, but it'll happen soon.

We had exchanges on Wednesday! So I went to a different area with Elder Clyde, my district leader, for a day. We had an awesome miracle. Long story short, a member came by in the morning and gave us tons of food. way more than two elders could eat before it rotted. We got a text later in the day from a mystery person saying that a man named Anthony who used to be an investigator is really struggling. They said he had no money for food for his three kids, he can't find a job, and he might be going to jail soon because he can't pay his bills. So we took all of that food over to his house and gave it to him. He was so grateful. Those kids needed it. It feels so good to be an answer to someone’s prayer, and feels even better to know that God is watching out for every single one of us.

One quick note, anyone who wants to be amazed, look up Kyle Thorn! He is Elder Thorn's brother. He is an awesome singer! He'll be on the voice next season. He has one song, "Closer" that's on an EFY album. He is in the process of releasing a single, "Move On", and it is so good! He's awesome.

Love everybody! Too bad y'all have to go to school!! hahahahaha guess who doesn't?? This Guy!!  

Elder Chappell

​Pictures:  Me and Elder Clyde for exchanges, and that's the view from the Dome! yep I'm a pro photographer

Monday, August 24, 2015

August 24, 2015 Richland, WA

Hello Everybody,

So Saturday was my first baptism! Kendyl!

A little more about her and her family: Her mom is technically a member, but she hasn't gone to church since she was a kid and has problems with the church. Her dad is not a member. On her mom's side of the fam, they are all members and most of them live in Utah. On her dad's side, none of them are. They live in Arizona. Her parents (Tom and Brandi) Are super-duper supportive. They think Kendyl and Braydon should be able to make their own choices. The family is so cool. They love us and we love them. Honestly, we get more food from them than from the members! We go over there a lot. 

So the baptism was amazing. Her two aunts who are members gave the talks and they were super spiritual. Everyone was crying, even Tom and Brandi. Well, Braydon wasn't crying, but that’s just cause he's a fifteen year old boy so he was trying his hardest not to.  So then her uncle performed the baptism, Elder Thorn and I were witnesses. We also got to stand in on the confirmation. It was amazing. The entire family was there. Like her non-member family came from Arizona for this! Then they had a big barbeque afterwards. I know that whole family will be baptized at some point. Braydon is already so close to baptism. They will be amazing members when they decide to. They will bless so many lives.
The man formerly known as Elder Wilcox came back up for the baptism! He got three days at home then came back, haha. Now we have to call him Brantz... how weird is that. But it was awesome to see him. He was an awesome example to me. Weird to see him in a hat and shorts though!

So I don't know if I mentioned before but a couple weeks back there was a guy who pulled over and talked to us on the side of the road and gave us his info to meet with him. We finally worked out a day and time and met with him last night! His name is John. He is so cool. He is searching for the truth and he really really wants it and he's willing to do anything to follow Jesus Christ. He is willing to be baptized as soon as he knows the truth. He is reading and praying. So I know without a doubt that he is going to get that answer that he's looking for. Someone with real intent and willingness to do his part like that is exactly the kind of person God talks to. He is going to be baptized for sure. I just met him and I already love him!

I got a letter from my family with pictures. One of the pictures was of Tyler and I wrestling. Not gonna lie... that was the first time I have cried on my mission... miss you so much Ty! 

Riley's year mark is in 3 days... that's crazy. It doesn't seem like it's been that long to me. 

Early shout out to Spencer! Happy birthday on the 30th! You thought I'd forget didn't you? ;) Silly goose. An elephant never forgets. 

Well I love you all! Keep on keepin’ on. 

Peace and love mi bredren. Oh wait, is that my line? ;) 


Elder Chappell
Pictures:Me, Kendyl, Elder Thorn, and (formerly)Elder Wilcox

 This is the picture of Tyler and Calvin that he was talking about.

Monday, August 17, 2015

August 17, 2015 Richland, WA

Hey everyone!

So One month is gone! crazy right? I'm 1/24th done already... I think it's going by too fast. 
Anyway, Elder Wilcox goes home on Tuesday, into the mission home today, so by tonight, it'll just be me and Elder Thorn. Elder Wilcox has been an awesome example to me and he stayed focused and hardworking to the end. I am blessed to have served with him.

So, miracle of the week goes to...(drumroll)... George and Nancy! 
They are a couple we are teaching. They are so funny. George is a former convict and drug addict, but has been turning his life around for the last ten years. They have two children, George III and Oliah. But they call them Bam-Bam and Pie. (They are black so they can pull that off) It's so hilarious. We really love them and connect with them, and George totally loves us too. Anyway, they haven't been reading out of the Book of Mormon at all which is disappointing, so yesterday we went over with the intent to read with them. We read 3 Nephi 11. I love that chapter. The Spirit was very strong. They had a few questions, but we were able to answer with the Spirit and they totally accepted it. Then Elder Wilcox said to them that this was his very last lesson of his mission. Then he bore his testimony. It was simple but POWERFUL. The Spirit was so strong. Then Nancy opened up (which is rare). She said that since we've been coming she has felt a difference in their home. She said George is never ever open to churches at all. She was shocked when she came home and saw George talking with missionaries one day (a couple few days before I got here.). Then George said that there was just something about them, and Elder Wilcox specifically that made him feel comfortable and willing to talk with them. I told him that was no coincidence. God had His hand in that. God is leading George and Nancy to Him. I have no doubt. Then George surprised me and agreed. He said he believed that was true. It was so cool. I love to see how in one moment, God can be pouring blessings on so many at once, in one action. He is blessing George and Nancy by leading them closer to Him, blessing Elder Wilcox by letting him know that he had a positive impact in their lives and blessing me and Elder Thorn by letting us feel of that Spirit. I love it when I can see parts of God's plans for each of us in hindsight.

Anyway, I love teaching people. We have been blessed with lots of investigators. I don't remember if I mentioned, but we are having a baptism this Saturday, Kendyl!  She is 10 years old, and I swear, she is just like Amy. She and Amy would be best friends if they knew each other. I love her and her family! Braden is 15 and he's hilarious. We love him. Bro and Sis Hogg are so awesome too. She is inactive and he's not a member. They aren't open to the church at all, but totally supportive of their children joining if that's what they want. They want us to come over all the time and she makes us brownies and stuff. We all get along super well and laugh a lot. They have shown me that you don't have to be a family in the church to have the Spirit in your home. But I know that if they were all active members, they would have the Spirit as their constant companion, and it would just be magnified so much. So we will continue to work on them. 

Thanks Mom for the greenie package!  I won't be eating much of the candy because I'm trying to be healthy, but I loved the avengers coloring book ;) we are working on putting Books of Mormon into each picture. When they are finished we'll send pictures of them! Loved the socks too. Willy is jealous. 

We are working with the members in both wards a lot. It's awesome. There are a few families that are totally involved in the missionary work and we appreciate them so much. Sister Allen, who sent a picture of us to Mom is so awesome. She brings lunches for us on Sundays and puts them in the fridge because we are out from 8 till dinner on Sundays.

We have $138 to live off each month. We do have a mile limit, but because we have a HUGE area, we go over every month. But it's not a problem, they understand. We have mission goals, zone goals, district goals, and Companionship goals for the week and month. We mostly just focus on our comp goals and everything falls into place.

Something that made me smile this week was seeing the picture you gave me of me as a baby just smiling away like I'm the happiest kid in the world!  Wilcox put it up on the wall for everyone to see! Oh also there’s this little girl in the ward that looks like a mixture of Boo from Monsters Inc. and Matilda. She is so cute, and she comes up to us in church and shakes our hands and says "how's you week?" We shake her hand back and say "our week was great! How was yours?" she responds, "ok I guess" (she can't say her "c" or "g" sounds, so it sounds like, ok I dess.)  Then she says "bye bye missionawies!"  She was adorable.

Picture explanations:
Me and the comps in what they call "the cave" 
The sunrise from the Dome. Yep we are right on the river. Yep I took that Picture. Yep I'm a professional photographer. Yep I'm still saying yep. 
Us with Kendyl!!! She's gonna be my first baptism on the mission! 

Anyway, Love you all. Keep praying for Katie, and also pray for George and Nancy to continue to feel that Spirit to grow their testimonies, and pray for Beau and Sarah to gain an understanding.

Elder Calvin Chappell

Saturday, August 15, 2015

August 12, 2015 Richland, WA

Hey Everyone! Another week down in the WKM! I'm almost one month in. I'll hit the month mark on the 15th. Then that's one down, 23 to go! crazy right? That's not even that long! Anyway, let me tell you about some of the many many many many miracles of this past week.

First, we have 2 investigators being baptized on the 22nd of August! That's two of God's children drawing closer to Him and receiving the most important ordinances. I am so blessed to be able to see it. So their names are Kendyl and Gerald. Kendyl is a ten year old girl and she is so funny. I have no doubt that she and Amy would be best friends if they knew each other! She has an older brother named Braden who is 15 and he's also investigating the church. I think he will be baptized, but he's not quite ready yet. He just wants to know more. He's awesome. 

Gerald is 16 and he's super quiet, but so cool. He listens intently to everything we say and everything the Spirit says. It's a gift to be quiet. I'm still learning that skill! He has been an investigator for about a year! But now he's ready to be baptized. Both of them were at church on Sunday, and I'm so excited for both of them.

Miracle number 2: We have gotten more new investigators during the short time I've been here than Elder Wilcox and Elder Thorn have had at any other time during their missions. The Lord is pouring out blessings on this area. He has prepared a lot of people for us, and because we are working hard and living worthily, He is leading us to them! It's amazing every time. Example: yesterday was soooooo slow. We had like 5 appointments and they all backed out on us. We stopped at the church for a bathroom break, then before we left, we decided to go into a classroom and kneel and pray just to ask where to go and what to do. We had no idea. So we prayed. As we left, we decided to go stop by this guy named Kyle who they found months ago and has never really been super interested. He is also never ever home. Well we got there and, guess who was home? You guessed it! Kyle! He and his wife had just had a baby 8 days ago. That's their fourth child. We talked to him for a while then he invited us in and we gave a lesson on the restoration! He had tons of questions and at the end he said it really made sense, and he loves how we teach about eternal families and he loves that we believe everybody can be saved, not just Mormons. He wasn't prepared in the past months, but he must be now, because God led us to him! Prayer is real guys. Example 2: we were walking down the street and a car pulled over and the guy in it yelled to us. We went over to him and he said he has been taught by missionaries before and has been hoping to find us for a while! We got his number and will be meeting with him in a couple days! What a miracle right?? I'm so excited to teach him! There are so many investigators I could talk about but I won't bore you. Just know that Al & Lacy are a couple we are teaching that I love a ton and Richard is another guy who's like the most prepared man in the world. 

Shout out to Riley for his birthday! 20 years old... He's such a geezer. I bet he's driving around with his blinker on and going to bed at 4:30 in the afternoon by now. Not as young as he used to be.

So Elder Wilcox has a theme for every transfer. This transfer his theme is "right place right time". As you can see from the miracles I told you about, that's happening like every day. Miracle after miracle of us just being in the right place at the right time.

We got chased by a dog! That was my first time of the mission! Maybe I should write that in my "important dates" section of my journal. Haha but I've never seen Elder Wilcox move so fast!

The Members here are awesome. They really help out with the missionary work. We have a lot of member present lessons. I love this place! Honestly if I stay for a few transfers, I'd be cool with that. 
 Miracle number 3: we just got back from the temple. It is the Columbia River Temple. It's in my area. It is really small but super beautiful. The missionaries get to go once every two transfers. So that was awesome. I love going to the temple. The church that it shares a parking lot with is one of the churches we attend. We also wake up early to go play basketball there sometimes! I love playing basketball and I hope I get to do that throughout my mission.

Oh I don't know if I have mentioned yet, we have a car. Because we cover two wards, we have a big area. But we still walk a lot. We call our car "Ol' Reliable". I really don't know why we call her that. She's only like 2 years old. But It's fun to use the "Warshington accent" and say that. Yes, people really do say Warshington. Where do they get that R from? Who knows? They also say "a couple three". "We saw a couple three dogs" They are such hicks.

So the main differences between Utah and Washington, are that here, everybody has dogs. I swear every house has at least 2 dogs. And there are a lot more churches that aren't LDS. There is one called Bethel that is huge and literally teaches classes about how Mormons worship the devil. So that frustrates me. We have to straighten that out all the time. Anyway, yeah, we call Bethel "the great and abominable church" or "the great whore of all the Earth".

Ok so a little more about my companions, Elder Thorn is actually very similar to me in personality. He's pretty calm, but super funny and loves to laugh. He was inactive most of his life, then he really gained a testimony and changed everything around. His conversion story is awesome when he tells it. He tells it too investigators sometimes and it really connects with them and brings the Spirit so strong. 
Elder Wilcox is also really funny. He always has a good attitude, even when things are really frustrating. He keeps going no matter what! We always have some place to be because Elder Wilcox is always thinking of the next person to talk to. They're both pretty clean.

hmm advice to Brent.. number one, Email me you bum! number two, choose good friends. I had awesome friends, and I can tell you without a doubt, if I had other friends who were making poor decisions, I would have made those same decisions. I didn't realize it at the time, but my friends had a lot of influence on me. 

Nope no weird food. I have had a lot of normal stuff. Hey I have been forcing myself to eat salads! you should be proud ;) honestly, my least favorite part of most salads is the dressing. I must be weird.
Hey get in contact with Elder Wilcox when he goes home ok? He'll be home on the 18th. I can get you all his contact info next week.

Oh man I missed the grandma party.. that's weird. Ive had one every summer since I was what, 4? 5? I can't believe that. Anyway, Tell grandma she is awesome and I love her!

Well anyway, See ya! Love you! Please keep Lacy, Jacob, and Richard in your prayers. Pray for the Spirit to touch them.

Elder Calvin  Chappell

Monday, August 3, 2015

August 3, 2015 Richland (Washington)

Hey everyone!

First week in Washington completed and successful! Woot! I absolutely love it here already. So I am in a Tri-panionship! My trainer is Elder Thorn. He is super cool, easy to get along with, funny, and a hard worker. He is like a pro skateboarder, honestly, look up JT Thorn on you-tube! The other elder in the tripan is Elder Wilcox. He goes home on the 18th, which is in the middle of a transfer, so that's why we're in a tripan. He is a hard worker, and super fun. We all get along well and I love them both! We are staying at a member’s house that is actually a dome house! It's so sweet. Brother and Sister Daines own it and live upstairs while we live downstairs. It seriously has a coy pond in the living room. It's amazing! And the yard is totally a forest! I love the dome sweet dome. So we are serving in Richland, which is one of the tri cities. Richland, Pasco, and Kennewick.  We're serving in Richland, over the Hillview and Cottonwood wards. I do get to teach about as much as I want! Elder Wilcox talks more than me or Elder Thorn but he doesn't dominate the conversation. Just a little more outgoing. We all teach plenty though!  Our companionship is known as the Utah Tri Cities because I'm from PG, Willy is from AF, and Thorn is from Lehi! Haha crazy, right? 

Oh my gosh, the work here is so good! On the first day we drive to a house and go knock on the door, nobody answers. I ask them if we knock doors a lot, Elder Wilcox tells me that we never go knocking, never. We go visit any potentials, any ‘gators (investigators), or any recent converts/less actives. And along the way, we talk to EVERYBODY that we see, literally everybody. And so far we have gotten 5 new investigators! I am so pumped for them!

So there’s this girl named Katie that everybody needs to pray for K? She is about 17 years old and she is super interested in the church, meaning that she totally knows it's true and wants to be baptized, but her parents are totally anti and they don't even know she is meeting with us. She can't tell them or they'll disown her. She can't go to church or else someone will see her and tell her parents. She can't get baptized without parental permission. We fasted for her and have been praying every day for her but the more prayers the better! Pray for her to have the courage to tell her parents, and pray for her parents to have their hearts softened. 

Another 'gator I'm super stoked for is Gerald. He's sixteen and on date for baptism! He's awesome. Then there's also Kendelle (10) and her brother Braden (15) who are wanting to be baptized, well Kendelle is anyway. Braden's not quite ready, but he'll be there. 

Miracle time!! There have been tons of miracles, but the one I'm thinking of was last night. Elder Thorn has been talking all week about this guy named Richard, and we've stopped by a few times to see him, but he hasn't been there. Yesterday we stopped by again, and he answered the door, and guess what?? He asked us for a Book of Mormon! He said a friend gave him the book Jesus the Christ (which I am reading and it's super awesome), and he is reading it but thinks that a BOM will help him for reference! He is so prepared. I felt the spirit tell me right then, this man is special. He is gonna be an amazing member as soon as he is baptized. 
My mission Prez is President Ware. He is so awesome. Just about the most Christ-like and understanding person I've ever met. I love him.

So... I miss mountains. The horizon is flat. How am I supposed to know directions??? Actually there is Badger "Mountain". We call it Badger Bump. That ain't no mountain. We hiked it on Saturday morning. It's all right I guess. 

There are tons of members here! We cover two wards. One of them is totally the size of a Utah ward! We get dinner from members most days of the week. And one time we went to Dickies for lunch, and the owner was a member and he fed us for free and said to come anytime for free! yessssssssssssssssssss. 

So some of the people here are totally cowboy/hick. I guess it's rubbing off on Elder Thorn cause he accidentally said "fellershippers". Hahaha. We say that all the time now just to make fun of him. Oh btw Elder Wilcox used to be a model for Hollister! He would be so mad if he knew I was telling you this. hehe ;) 

Anyway, That's all folks!
Love you!
Elder Chappell

Next week we go to the temple on P-day so it will actually be Wednesday. I repeat, MY P DAY WILL BE WEDNESDAY NEXT WEEK, BUT MONDAY EVERY OTHER WEEK. Tell everybody that ok? Don't be expecting emails on Monday. 
Picture explainations:

Us in front of the Dome, and the flat horizon. And the coy pond in the house.