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

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