Friday, December 11, 2015

Family Christmas Party

We missed Calum at the Brady Family Christmas party. 

7 December 2015

This week was interesting. It was good, but I just haven't been feeling confident. I'm a bit depressed and I am a bit timid to answer questions because I keep doubting myself.  I felt like I should share my feelings and thoughts with a sister we were visiting, but every time I did I kind of prefaced it by saying "this is kind of just my opinion.." After a while of that she finally said "Elder Yule stop doubting yourself! Your opinion matters to me and other people. People need to hear the things you have to say."  But that's just showing that I need to have confidence. The spirit will guide my words if I am bold.

A fellow we are teaching wants to be baptized so badly, but he's waiting for approval. He said "I just feel bad that maybe I'm 'not good enough' to be in your church".  That really made me feel bad. I told him, "don't feel like you're not good enough for our church, there is an Elder Uchtdorf quote that goes something like 'the church isn't an automobile show room for people to show off their spirituality or their prosperity, it's more like an automobile service shop, where we go when in need of repair, or rehabilitation'.  I shared that with him and he liked that example, but he was still sad. It's hard to make someone not depressed. It just is.  You can bring them some joy, but if their overall emotion is depression, it is extremely hard to get them out of there.

During one conversation Elder Bates said we could give a sister a blessing. She said that would be great!  Elder
Bates said "I feel the impression that Elder Yule should say it".  I love giving blessings. It's such an honor to administer to someone in that way. It's amazing to me that Heavenly Father trusts me with such a sacred power. 

There was a huge parade in downtown Redding for Christmas. There were so many people we took it as an opportunity to talk to people and hand out cards.  We almost joined the parade - haha - we walked along the side and handed out cards and everyone took them!  It was awesome!  

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Thanksgiving at home and in the mission field

Sacrament Talk from 22 November 2015

Calum's sacrament talk from a couple of weeks ago:

"Good morning brothers and sisters. I did a little introduction a few weeks ago but I'll give you another brief rundown, My name is Elder Yule I'm from Midvale, Utah. I have 2 older sisters, the oldest has a 2 year old boy and they are living at home with my mom. The other sister is in her junior year at BYU-Idaho. I have I've been out on my mission for about 6 weeks. I'm still a greenie, and Elder Bates is training me up to be a true proper missionary. And he's done a great job so far. I love Elder Bates.

Today I'm going to speak on gratitude. So what is gratitude? Pretty simple, being thankful for something. True to the faith describes gratitude as "an uplifting, exalting attitude."  So it's more than
just being thankful for something. It's a whole attitude. It's not being thankful for something just once. It's having a mindset of being grateful for every little blessing that comes your way. How do we have a "gratitude attitude"?

I think it might be a little bit harder than we first imagine. Often times it's hard to see our many blessings. Just the past couple weeks I've kind of been complaining about how I don't like the taste of
California water. There's just something about Utah water that makes it taste so good! Utah water is just so good! I've started to realize how ridiculously nitpicky that really is.  There are so many people
all over the world that don't have any clean water to drink at all. "Alma 34: 38 in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and
blessings which he doth bestow upon you." Just think of how truly blessed we are to have drinkable water. When we start to be thankful for all that we have, even the little things, that's when our
gratitude attitude will start to grow.

Being on a mission you start to realize that you are blessed in just about every aspect. We visit people with houses the size of a bedroom.  We visit people with barely enough money to feed their own families. But an interesting fact is that most of the time, those families living in those circumstances are often times the ones who are so willing to feed us as missionaries, and welcome us into their home. "3 Nephi 10: 10 And the earth did cleave together again, that it stood; and the mourning, and the weeping, and the wailing of the people who were spared alive did cease; and their mourning was turned into joy, and their lamentations into the praise and thanksgiving unto the Lord Jesus Christ, their Redeemer." The people who, from most of our perspectives, have very little to be thankful for always seem to have a more developed attitude for gratitude. Their mourning was turned into joy. I have found that the reason for this is because they do not see world possessions as things to be extremely grateful for, rather they are always more thankful for the blessings of this church. They certainly see their little house as a blessing, but more so than their house being a blessing they realize how much of a blessing it is to know that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and that through him we can
feel love and peace and hope.

We do need to be thankful for all that we have, and they are blessings, but the way to get a gratitude attitude is by having genuine gratitude for your testimony of Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ's love for you. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and through him my sins, though they be as scarlet, they can be as white as snow. I am so grateful for this knowledge I have about my Savior."

Saturday, November 21, 2015


I got the helmet you sent, but I picked this bad boy up from the cancer society thrift shop where we volunteer several times a week!  It says Dave on the front! 

(Yes it was free. Yes I cleaned it.) 

16 November 2015

We went to an Indian place for lunch one day. They had a lunch buffet as most Indian places do. It was great food!
And this was Elder Bates first time having Indian food! What!?  A man working there, from India, had the accent and everything, asked what church we were from, I said the Mormon church. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He said "oh! Latter Day Saints!  I went to some of your services back in India! I have one of your
Bibles!"  Meaning the Book of Mormon. He asked when our service were and asked if we had an office where he could talk to someone. We explained that it's all volunteer, like the bishop and stake president, but we explained that we are full time missionaries. We gave him our number and he said he will definitely call us! Then his boss was coming so he had to stop talking about the church, haha!  He was awesome!! 

Pretty much all these pictures are from last P day. We went up a little past Mount Shasta and Weed to Pluto's Cave. It went back almost a mile. It's apparently a cave from lava or something. We went all the way to the back (we later found out that only about a fourth of the way in is the "safe point"  #whoops) but at the back I suggested
we say a prayer, just because it's kind of special and close back there. We turned all our lights off, which made it pitch black, like you can't see your hand in front of your face. They made me say it because I thought of the idea, haha, but it was really good to connect to Heavenly Father and each other in the back of a cave.  Where there
seems to be no light, we could feel a light from Heavenly Father.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Letter from 9 November 2015

We visit a lot of members, less active or part member families. Thursday we went to Brother and Sister V's house (he's a member but has only been active for a couple years and she's not a member).  We had a little lesson with them. I asked if they had any questions.  Brother V says "well yeah but I'm not sure you can answer them.." We said try us. He asked "well, every time I see a homeless person I feel like I want to help them but I don't want to be the supply for their addiction.  How can I tell if it's the spirit telling me to give them something or if it's just myself?" We talked about if you really feel like you should, then it's probably the spirit. If you have to ask, then it probably isn't.  It was cool.  I told Elder Bates in the middle of the lesson "there's a David A Bednar talk on this."... I had never heard the talk, that was just the apostle's name who came to me.  Sure enough, there was even a Mormon message about it. I don't know why I said Bednar. I really have no clue. I didn't know he gave a talk about that. The spirit told me exactly what to say.  Elder Bednar's talk was just perfect for Brother V.  That was awesome.

Monday, November 2, 2015

2 November 2015

We were not allowed to hand out candy but we were allowed to set out a bowl. This is what I did. Haha!
Don't take this the wrong way, but I'm not as homesick as I thought I would be! Haha I'm still homesick of course, but I thought it would be torture.  I'm always out and about doing things.  No time to be homesick!  My companion and I do our best to work hard and teach people! That's the important thing!  Also for service we helped a member fill a shed with wood. It was about 8 cord.  Whatever that means in wood terms. All I know was it was a lot of wood.  Like A LOT!!  It took literally  2 days from 11 am to 6 pm.  A lot of bloomin' wood.  

Thursday, October 29, 2015

New address, same city

Calum and his companion just had to move apartments.  They were given 12 hours to pack and be out.  It was a lot of work, but they have moved and are settling in.  Here is his new address....

1381 Serrano Pl. Apartment A
Redding, CA 96003

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

26 October 2015

This week was great for the most part. Lots of stuff happened. Last P-Day we spent pretty much the whole day in the church playing basketball and dodge ball and soccer and a bunch of crazy stuff! It was super fun!  Last Friday my
permanent retainer came unglued on 2 teeth, so on Tuesday I went to a dentist 
who did it free because I was an LDS Missionary! That was great. 

Tuesdays we usually spend with the Chico Elders because they speak Spanish and Hmong and there are a lot of Spanish and Hmong speaking people up here in Redding. I love the Chico Elders! They're so fun! We passed the Redding City Hall building so we thought we would stop and take a few pictures. 

We had dinner with LJ (the LDS tattoo fella), then Elder Bates and I had a lesson with the S... family! They're awesome! We're kind of teaching the son mostly because he's about to get baptized. We finished the lesson at about 8:30 so it was dark and what not, and the mom offered to give us a ride home. But because the father wasn't there and we're not allowed to be driven around or be alone with just a women, she would have had to take her 5 kids. I felt bad. I didn't want her to do that!  So I said no we can walk!  

Bad decision. The walk home would take about an hour, which I didn't know when I answered for my companion and I at the offer for the ride home. This neighborhood  is a bit freaky. We got out of the neighborhood alright. We were on a road and we were walking past a park, a big sketchy park.  So we're walking by the park and this big white truck pulls up... He says "what church are you guys with" we said the LDS church or the Mormons. I was kinda freaking out. He offered to give us a ride, and my companion said "no we're ok but thank you".  Then another car pulled up behind him, and another one across the street..... It was so freaky! But it turned out those other 2 cars were doing something else and the white truck left. But then every time a car passed it freaked us out. So then a little while down the road, (and this road was a lot scarier. No lights at all.)  I was scared, he was scared......a hymn was going through my mind, I couldn't think of the words though. Then they came to me. It was Did you Think To Pray. So I took that as a little hint. I said "Elder Bates I'm going to say a prayer."  And being too scared to stop and close our eyes and stand for a minute I said one out loud while we walked. In the prayer I said "help us make the right decisions." Not even a minute and a half went by when another white truck pulled up and said "are you guys the Elders?! My best friend is LDS, do you guys want a ride?"  And without hesitation my companion said "yeah sure!" I didn't even think twice either. He took us right home. There was just something different about this guy. We knew he was a good man as soon as he pulled up. We could just tell. So that was awesome! 

Friday was rough for me. Really homesick and just frustrated with everyone.  But then I said "let's just go for a walk around the neighborhood and talk to people."  We found a family who was just moving in.  We helped them move
couches and boxes and everything! They were awesome and that made my day go from bad to great! 

Saturday was a good one. Man oh man it was a good one! There was a zone blitz, which is where our whole zone goes and works in one ward for the day.  But Elder Bates and I had a baptism to go to!  So we didn't go to the blitz at first. But the zone leaders were mad! They texted us and said stuff like "did we not make it clear that this is absolutely mandatory?"  But it was a baptism.  It was important.  Then we had committed to going in to volunteer at the cancer shop, which made the zone leaders even more mad, but we couldn't just not go. We had already committed to that. We know we were guided by the spirit in that decision.  

So then I said to my companion, "we should just go to the blitz to show them we're obedient and willing and really want to go and help out." He seemed reluctant. I couldn't tell why, but then he showed me the route to the other church building.... It was a 50 minute bike ride! And Redding is just covered in hills! I was fine with it but he still didn't seem too excited. But we went, to be obedient.  Got downtown, and downtown Redding is a kinda nasty place.  Lots of homeless people, lots of drug use. When I say lots I mean LOTS!  So we're riding our bikes, and this homeless man stops us and says "are you guys missionaries?"  I said yes, and he asked "the Mormons?" I again said yes. I was scared. He was kinda freaky. But really he was a great guy.  He asked us to pray for him and said we had his daddy's smile (talking about Heavenly Father's smile) and he said we should keep smiling. He called himself "Duke of Christ", haha.  But he was obviously addicted to some kind of drugs. So we talked with him for a good 20 minutes then we road our bikes a bit further.  And we were at an intersection when a man on a walker (one that you can sit on) was kind of rolling into the intersection.  I got off my bike and pushed him across. He was very grateful and I could just tell that people saw me do that and knew that the Mormon Missionaries represent Christ. And not to give the credit to me but to Christ. 

Then we were going to stop at Taco Bell, but I had a funky feeling about that.  There were a lot of drug addicts sitting outside, so I saw a Weinerschnitzel down the road. I told Bates we should go there instead.  He was ok with it. So we got there and locked up our bikes, and a homeless woman asked if we had any change. I had 3 dollars in my wallet, so I just thought "well I can just buy lunch with my card." So I gave her the 3 dollars. When we walked in, there just happened to be an LDS man sitting in there who saw me do that. He said, "I saw you give that woman money, let me buy you guys lunch." And he gave us a 20 dollar bill. What a blessing that was. So we're
sitting and eating and this very pretty young single mother walks in. She looked tired and stuff so I asked how her day was going? And she said it was good and she asked if we were Mormons and she said, "I have a strong testimony of Christ", and she was very impressed that we came out for 2 years when we're 18.  She was just awesome.  She had been clean from drugs for 3 years and she shared her testimony with us. She wasn't LDS but I thanked her for sharing. It was unexpectedly spiritual. And her daughter was so cute. 

That night we went to sister E....and carved pumpkins. That was one of the best nights of my mission so far! It was so fun! Then Sunday we went to church, had lunch, visited a few families, went to dinner with a super fun family where the dad isn't a member but has a strong testimony of Christ.  We shared a couple of scriptures and experiences and I could tell he was feeling the spirit.  It was a good night. And today we went to a fun center opened by a member and played laser tag and go carts and mini golf for free!  Good week. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Week  One.  So even though the mission president said I wouldn't need a bike, I'm on a bike, and actually it's really fun! Just riding around going down hills and jumping off curbs!  

On Tuesday, October 13th I got up about 3:30 a.m. to go to the Salt Lake airport. I landed at about 10:00 a.m. and got to the mission home at about 11:00.  It felt like it was midnight!  I was exhausted. The Mission Home is just a church building that doesn't get used anymore in Antelope, California. We had an orientation and some lessons about the Roseville Mission (which I nearly fell asleep in, actually I probably did) One of the president's counselors said, "ok you're all tired, I get it" then he walked us down to the chapel, opened the door and said "grab a pew".  We all kind of looked at each other and had no idea what was going on, then he turned the lights off and said "sleep for about 30 minutes then we'll get back to it". It was awesome! We each had our own pew to lie in and take a nap! I don't think I have ever slept that well in my entire life. Then we had a lunch in the gym and it was all homemade food and stuff so that was good.  Then we went back to the lesson bit.  After that we had little meetings with the medical sisters who we kind of just call if we feel sick or if we need a prescription refilled. They will find us a good place to go. Then it was time for meetings with the President. I LOVE President Marston!  He is seriously the greatest guy! Then he sent the new elders and sisters to a hotel to spend the first night.  We got to pack a dinner and take it to the hotel.  I was out by like 6:00 in the hotel bed!  It was great! 

The next day we got to meet our training companion and figured out where our area was. I was assigned to Elder Bates. He's awesome too!  He's fun but is very spiritual and mature too. I'm in the Redding 3rd Ward.  Redding is super far north! The edge of my zone is the top of my mission. I love being up a bit more northern.  There's a ton of trees and the weather is nice. But because it is so far north and because we left the mission home late,  we decided to stay the night in Chico with the Chico 1st Ward Elders, who are the coolest guys! They would take us the rest of the way to Redding the next day. The Chico fellas are called "zebra" because one of them speaks Spanish and the other one speaks Hmong. It's crazy to see this skinny, kinda ginger, white elder speaking such a complex Asian language. When we got to their apartment I had no idea what to do.. I just stood there by the door with my bags... it was kinda weird, but then Elder Adams (the elder speaking Spanish) said "I know that feeling exactly, first night in the field, you just don't know what to do. Not like you're sad. You just don't know what to do."  And that was exactly it. So Elder Adams and Elder Johnson made me feel right at home. They're such cool guys!  So the next day the Chico fellas drove us up and spent the day in Redding with us. 

Second day in the field was great too!  I rode my bike around, met some of the ward, signed up for some service at a cancer society thrift shop thing, where I bought this weird ugly amazing blanket.  We visited Brother J.... who has a funny/awesome tattoo and reminds me of dad. He's so cool!  We shared a little message with him and he was great. Then later that night he asked me to give him a blessing. I was truly guided by the spirit in the blessing.  He's my favorite. 

Can't remember what days the next events happened on but I'll go through the ones I remember.  A women told us we believe in the wrong Jesus. Which was weird and made me frustrated, but my companion bore his testimony and told her to have a good day and we left. We taught a fella named G... and you can just see the things we are teaching him are clicking.  He asked us genuine questions and I gave really good answers and I know that the spirit was helping me know what to say.  You can tell he's getting it. He actually told us (and remember he's not a member, he's a real investigator) that what we are doing is important work and he wants every one to hear it. 

Oh, my first night we had a dinner set up with the A... family, they are wonderful people and at the end of a meal we give a little spiritual thought and sister A.... asked if she could share something. She said she had prayed and asked Heavenly Father if she could share this with us, and she said He said yes. She had a dream a month ago (before I was even in the MTC, before I knew I was going to the Redding 3rd Ward) where she was dropping her daughter off at the train station during the day time, about noon, bright day. Then when she was leaving it was pitch black outside so she thought "I'll be ok. The spirit will guide me home."  So she started walking home and she heard a noise, getting closer and closer.  She was scared but didn't turn around because she didn't want to see. Then Elder Bates rode up on his bike next to her and held her arm, and another missionary on her other side on his bike held her arm and took her home, away from the scary noise.  And she said the other missionary looked exactly like me..... whoa..... Missions are awesome!  

I love and miss you and I hope you're all doing well. 
-Elder Yule

Sunday, October 18, 2015

I got these pictures today in a text message from a family in Calum's mission.   He is in Redding, CA. They had Calum and his companion over for dinner today.  We don't know his companion's name yet.  I assume we will get an email tomorrow on his P-Day giving us more information.  The family said "Great young man!  Thanks for lending him to the Lord for a couple of years.  He's doing great, bishop had him bear his testimony in sacrament meeting today...We'll take good care of him here."  It turns out the husband in this family grew up and was best friends with the dad (Doug Johnson) of one of Calum's former soccer teammates (Alex Johnson).   What a small world.  Apparently, Doug was told that "Elder Yule is doing great for being so new."

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

We had a lovely phone call this morning from Calum.  He was at the Salt Lake airport waiting for his 8:30 a.m. flight to Sacramento.  A nice woman asked if he would like to use her phone to make the call.  Apparently her husband was a mission president in Australia and they "love the missionaries". We talked for about 20 minutes.  He sounded really good.  He thought he would be allowed to phone once he arrived, but he wasn't able to.  Instead, I got the following text message and photo from his mission president, President Marston... "Your son is here and I love him.  More joy and happiness to come.
PS:  Elder Yule loves you and his family so much.  Use this phone anytime you need."
We have not heard anything about his first assignment yet.  

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Calum will leave the MTC on Tuesday to fly to the California Roseville mission.  He's allowed to call home from the airport.  Can't wait!
Here is the first installment of Elder Calum Yule's blog.  This is an excerpt from his first email home...

Hi Mum and fam! I have been writing you and I hope you have been getting my letters. I'm doing ok today. All the other elders who had been there longer told me "Just make it to Sunday!" which turned out to be very true. It's already Thursday.  I did get the birthday cake.  It was so funny!  All the elders were excited about it and were laughing and they all sang to me. It was a good birthday.  I love you.
-Elder Yule
P.S. The new elders came in yesterday, and we convinced all of them I'm from New Zealand, and I do my accent! It's so funny.