Thursday, February 27, 2014

Week #21 - February 24, 2014 - Change lives, starting with your own!

Hey all!
         First week of the transfer started off pretty great! We are soo busy! I think even more than we can handle. It is so awesome! Our zone has been doing a finding fast & you can really see it working. Just in our are our teaching pool as almost tripled. Yesterday was probably one of the best Sundays that we have had. Of the 15 investigators we have, 10 came to church! It is incredible! Now we are just praying to find a way to teach each of them every week. It is hard to coordinate between investigators and members, but it is always worth it! The difference that it makes in the progress of someone that is investigating the gospel is undeniable. Not to mention how much excitement comes into the homes of the members that are teaching them. It has a huge impact on everyone involved. So a word to everyone back home, don't be afraid to tell the missionaries they can teach in your home anytime they like. Because when they do, that is when work gets done! 

We have several families that are seriously fired up about doing missionary work. We are meeting in their homes 3-4 times a week with different people to teach! The gospel really blesses each of these peoples lives. What I love about all that we have been doing is that the lessons we teach are not just lessons anymore. Every single one was a real discussion with real people who have a real desire to change their lives, and they recognize that this is the way to do it. It is exciting, I really hope I'm around long enough to see each of them through till baptism. 

We have been having a lot of fun too! The ward had a big tubing party at a members home. We put together a 300' run down the back of their mountain. It was way fun. I actually built a good 4' kicker and a new track for the older kids. First time I went off of it, I did a barrel roll on the sled. It was way too fun. We even had 3 investigators come.

This morning before email, I challenged elder Stuver to a chair stacking competition. (pictures included) It was actually way fun. My record is 32 chairs. It was like 14' tall. I'll extend the challenge to all my other brothas who have nothing to do on p-day.  

 "And now, behold, I say unto you, that the thing which will be of the most worth unto you will be to declare repentance unto this people, that you may bring souls unto me, that you may rest with them in the kingdom of my Father. Amen."   - D&C 16:6

We are missionaries! Become more Christlike, don't just do missionary things. Change lives, starting with your own, get out there and do work you tools. 
       - Elder Maynard  

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Week #20 - February 17, 2014 - Different missions are hard for different reasons...

Its crazy how quickly time goes on the mission. Already finished with my 3rd cycle. And I'm ready for the fourth! Again, happy to announce that I'm staying in McCall. It is good because we have so many people up here that I would have been sad to walk away from without seeing them actually get baptized. This way I will be able to stick around and finish up everything I have started!

 It has been a pretty busy week. We have driven so much! Between Zone meeting & District Meeting our entire week kinda got destroyed. We have so many people right now that are just prepared to hear the gospel. Twice we have had members call us and say, "hey, I just talked to my neighbor and they want to be baptized!" Its da best!! I don't think there is any one thing that happened this week that was that unique or special. Just generally a good week up in McCall.

 On Valentines day we went to the bishops house and hung out with all four of his boys. He & his wife were out of town so we just had a Valentines day bachelor party. Ate some pizza then left the boys with a solid lesson on dating haha.  I'm excited for a new transfer, I'm sure I'll see a lot of these people progress. (if they can quit smoking haha) 

So, I've found as talk with people that different missions are hard for different reasons. Example: In 3rd world countries, it is physically demanding to be working and surviving in such a different environment, but the people are humble and want to know about what you have to share. In Idaho, It is spiritually demanding, everyone is happy where they are, no one wants to change, they often have a lot of animosity towards what you have to share, but you get to enjoy the first world amenities. Every mission is different, every missionary struggles with different things, but what I have learned is that we grow from these challenges as we are obedient to the things God asks of us. Keep it up boiz!
- Elder Maynard

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Week #19 - February 10, 2014 - We want to be baptized!

Hey all!
     I'm afraid I don't have too much time today. We have to head down to Wiser pretty soon. 

 This week was pretty good. Our bishop got a phone call last Sunday and the guy on the other end said. "Hi, we just moved in and we want to be baptized!" ha-ha. Those are the phone calls you dream of when you are a missionary. So we went and visited him last Tuesday. He is like this old biker thug/drug dealer, that has totally turned around. We taught such an awesome lesson. On first contact, I committed him to be baptized next week, to start living the word of wisdom, and to come to church. Unfortunately he ended up being really sick. But when he called to tell us how sorry he was he couldn't make it to church he said that "I feel bad I cant make it today, but I absolutely love this book [The Book of Mormon] that you gave me!" haha. Its the kind of situation that only happens in role plays in the MTC. I'm sure he will be baptized in the near future. 

So we are killin it up here. We have 6 People with baptismal dates, only problem is EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM has Word of Wisdom issues that they cant seem to break!  It's sorta frustrating but I know that if they really put all their faith in the Lord, they will overcome it.
Keep it real.
   - Elder Maynard
It would be unusual if someone in church DIDN'T quote John Wayne in church. . .
 #Idaho "I know America is true"

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Week #18 February 3, 2014 BaptizinG the Hell out of People.... AND SKIING!!!

Hey all!
      So, this was probably one of the funnest weeks I've had up here in McCall. Monday our entire district drove up to McCall and we just played all day. We had an awesome breakfast & looked at all of the ice sculptures. (which were incredible!) It was so nice to do something on p-day rather than just sit at our place & do laundry haha. It hard because we are so far away from other missionaries. Down in the valley, there are basketball tournaments, board games, etc etc.  . Its pretty rare to see other missionaries up here. That started the week off great!  During the rest of the week we were working pretty dang hard. We have actually set a baptism date for 6 people. All for the last day of this cycle. I really hope to see each of them in the water. Every single one of them are spiritually prepared and committed, only problem is each and every one of them has w.o.w. issues, but I'm confident that each of them will be able to overcome their vices .  . . and after that, we'll be baptizing the hell out of this area! "literally." Saturday morning we had breakfast in Wiser with the stake president. (Our stake led the mission in baptisms. . .almost 1/3 of the total) That was lots of fun! We were just discussing and brainstorming ways to get the members even more excited about missionary work. The lord is truly hastening his work!    Yesterday we had an awesome sacrament meeting. We had a record amount of investigators show up, which is monumental in my opinion, it really shows their commitment level. Dan, the less active that we just re-activated. He actually got up and bore testimony that he knows this is the true church and expressed a ton of gratitude for the whole ward. Then, as I was sitting in the other ward I got this prompting to go and tell Savannah (12) to get up there and share her testimony. After I told her she gave me a really worried look.  . . I gave her a "you can do it" face. A moment later, I looked back over and she was praying. After she finished she looked straight up at me and said. "okay, lets do it" She walked right up there and gave a little bit of her history, (which is pretty rough) then talked about how much her life has changed since she started to learn about the church. She closed by sharing her experience of praying about everything we have talked about, and how she knows without a doubt that this is the true church! I was sooo pumped! 12 years old and giving the most sincere and spiritual testimony of the whole meeting. I really hope that one day soon her dad will give her permission to be baptized. It was really an awesome day. Sometimes Sundays are hard, but more often than not it is really when we see the fruits of our labors.  

Well, this weeks p-day probably made out to be one of the best days of my mission thus far. (excluding all the spiritual stuff) WE WENT SKIING!!!!!!!!!  yeah, at the last mission conference I got special permission from president! I haven't ever been happier.  We woke up to 2' of fresh snow with blue skies above our heads! Travis Lennord & Nate Hess,  (probably some of my favorite guys in McCall) picked us up and we spent the entire day at Brundage mountain ski resort!! We spent some time with some less actives too.  It was such a gorgeous day! Travis knows the mountain pretty well, so he and I got first tracks on a lot of the trails! It was my comps first time skiing, but he did pretty dang good. Nate and him were more novice and enjoyed their time on the mountain. Travis and I hit every trail. I think I was beaming the entire day. I only did a couple back flips, and neither of us broke any bones!  It couldn't have gone better. (ignoring the fact i spent all of my support card on the day haha) I am soooo happy! I love the snow! I love skiing! haha.
Until next week!
  - Elder Maynard


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Week #17 January 27, 2014 Winter Carnival

Hello Friends!
     Its winter carnival! Its been a pretty crazy week! The population of McCall  quadrupled in size! (at least) There were so many people there for a town with a normal population of about 2,000. It has been a lot of fun though! All of the ice sculptures have just been so impressive! So all the missionaries in our district are coming up today to check all of them out and to go to the "Activity Barn" which is a groomed tubing hill! I have heard that you can reach up to 40 mph on it! I'm so excited! We have a really good day coming! I'll send pictures of them all next week! Because of all the festivities and such, the whole town is involved in one way or another, and because of that EVERY SINGLE  appointment we had canceled! So we had to work extra hard to find people to teach! Somehow our work payed off and we were able to meet our goals for the week! Friday there was a huge firework show out on the lake! Live music and tons of vendors set up! Saturday morning there was a massive parade! There were floats from McCall, Boise & everywhere in between! Everyone is in a really great mood! (but no one wants to talk to us haha.) So we met a guy last week at the grocery store that started the conversation by saying "how does it feel to know that you will be a god one day?" . . . super interesting guy, anyways, we set up an appointment to teach him and he ended up canceling but we didn't know why. Then during the parade we saw him! He was on the corner of the street soap-boxing to the crowds with a sign that said "Sodomites are an abomination to god!" I was like "man, that guy is bold! . . I can't wait to teach him!" After the parade we went to "Sharlie's plunge!" (sharlie is the lake monster) It is a fundraiser, you have to raise $100 to jump into a pool of frozen water! It was hilarious! We had a lot of fun this weekend! McCall is a great place to be serving! Hopefully this week we will have more chances to actually teach! haha.

            - Elder Maynard