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.