Sunday, December 18, 2016

11 December 2016

Elder Yule and Elder Lewis in Antelope, California

Hello mother!

Yes I'm being transferred! I'm excited. Part of me is really sad but the rest of me is excited. I'm going to the Lincoln 5th Ward with Elder Cobabe. I know him a little bit. He is from Texas.  He's a manly man, all about guns, cars, country music and working out. So it's going to be fun! And he's notorious for helping his companions build a ton
of muscle. So I'm pretty pumped. And I've heard so many great things about the Ward. It's just going to be good.

That time lapse video of you decorating the Christmas tree is so cool! It's so cute with the three of you guys. It
looked like Riley was very helpful! I remember last Christmas I was home we had to have that fence around the tree so he couldn't get things. You can probably send the packages to my Lincoln address. It's just the apartments I'm living in now that are kinda sketchy. I'm sure the new one will be nicer. The man I got the sweaters from wasn't a member. Or an investigator really. You remember CM?  She is the one we baptized at the beginning of November. It was her step dad. We actually set a baptism date for her mother though. I'm a little bit sad I won't be here for that. 

I'm glad granddad is doing well. I love when it rains here. I love when it rains anywhere really, but it's just usually sunny here so I'm happy when it rains especially.

I'm quite jealous that you guys are watching those Christmas movies! I miss those! The house looks great too. It's crazy to see wood in the kitchen floor.  Haha! I'm also very glad Riley's dentist appointment went better than last time. He's a good boy, he is.

This week was good for us here! We passed out a ton of Christmas pass along cards!  Apparently we left one with our phone number on a Pastor's door. His name is Pastor Dan. He put our number in a big group text-thing so we keep getting texts from random people with Bible verses and stuff. It's funny!  

We had our Ward Christmas party. They did a live nativity thing.  The Elder's quorum were supposed to be in charge of the shepherds, but there were no elders there, except us. So we played the shepherds in the live nativity! 
I'm sad to be leaving Antelope. I got to know a few people really well. But I've heard incredible things about Lincoln and I'm excited!   I miss you guys and cannot wait to see you on Christmas. I love you!

Calum's new address:

Elder Calum Yule
174 South O Street, Apt 224
Lincoln, CA 


Sunday, December 11, 2016

4 December 2016

Hey Mum!

Transfers are next week, and I'm feeling 50/50 on whether I'll be transferred at this point. It could go either way. 

I'm so glad you are doing the Light the World thing! It's cool to see others do it. I liked how on the calendar yesterday said "attend a church service, you are always welcome to one of ours." I just thought that was kinda cute.

So I made this vow when I was a greenie that I wouldn't listen to Queen my entire mission. You know like if you go in a store and they have music on, that's fine, but if it's Queen I can't go in the store. I don't want to hear them until I'm home.  I refuse to listen to them out here. They will sound so much better when I'm home!

Will you take a time laps of you guys decorating the tree? Elder Osborne's mom did that with his family, I think that would be fun to see! I'd love some pictures of the house. That's good to hear Granddad is eating better. Do they have people come to their house and help him and Nana out?

I get 140 dollars a month on my mission card. And yeah it's for food and toiletries and stuff like that.  That's all I ever really buy anyway. The real thing is I eat out too much, but I haven't found something that I really want to make at lunch everyday. I just bought some taco/burrito stuff so I hope that keeps me set on lunch for a few weeks. That's  the only thing that I really have a hard time with haha! I will try to do better. 

(From Mum:  Here is my quote for Growth Mindset for this week  “Think of times other people outdid you and you just assumed they were smarter or more talented.  Now consider the idea that they just used better strategies, taught themselves more, practiced harder, and worked their way through obstacles.  You can do that, too, if you want to.”)  
I like that quote though. It's hard to compare to others sometimes. But we know it's better not to. 
This week was great! We has a lesson with C. M's mother.  Her husband just passed away, so we taught her the plan of salvation. She told us that she always had her own beliefs about God and religion but she said she never ever disagreed with the LDS church. So we set a baptism date for her.  We are excited for her. We also had dinner
with our investigator named M. She is awesome and just as social as can be. She always makes us feel welcome and always is interested in hearing about the gospel. We will hopefully help her progress here soon. We are planning on getting all Christmasy this week.  Setting up decorations and a tree and going caroling and what
not. I'm super excited! We will take lots of pictures. It's going to be a good Christmas season. I can't wait to see you on Christmas! Love you guys.

Elder Yule
Big Christmas Tree in Roseville.

We taught Zone Meeting today.  Both of these sweaters were given to me by a man who passed away last week.

27 November 2016

That sounds like an awesome weekend! I miss all the family. I miss fun trips to Saint George! I was pretty home sick this week. But it was still a fun week. There really wasn't anything notable that happened. Thanksgiving was good. Elder Lewis left his iPad on the roof of the car and of course it fell off. So it broke. We tried to find a place
that would fix it, but there we couldn't find anywhere. Finally Lewis said a prayer. We were driving to go see someone and there was a big poster outside this little place that said iPad repair. We went in and there was a middle eastern man who was just awesome. He did everything he could to get the price down for him and it ended up doing everything for 85 dollars. And it's perfectly fine now. He was a blessing haha. I've heard a lot about "terrorists" and stuff like that and I absolutely hate it. It really bugs me that people automatically think people from the Middle East hate Americans and they want to kill us. We had Thanksgiving dinner at a member in the Antelope 4th ward, the Castro family. They are really awesome.  It was so fun. I'm glad you guys had so much fun down in St. George! I'd love more pictures and videos and everything! Everyone looked so good! I can't wait for next
Thanksgiving haha! 
I'm sure you've seen the new Light the World video! It's awesome! It really helps us out a lot! It gives us something to focus on rather than just trying to make something up on the spot. I'm really excited for the 25 days of service thing. Are you guys going to do it? We really aren't working with anyone lately. It's kind of boring. And finding people to teach is quite hard, haha. But we are just trying to go hard on teaching less actives, they say that's the
place to find new investigators. So that's pretty much the basics of our missionary work lately. I have a feeling I'm going to be transferred at this next transfer. Which is on the 13th. I think that'll be good. I've been pretty depressed lately. Over nothing in particular. I can't stand it. I hope the holiday seasons cheers me up, and kind of changes my mindset. 
I miss you guys so much, I can't wait to see you guys on Christmas. Let's hope this week is more exciting here, so I have something to write home about. haha. I love and miss you.

Elder Yule

Thanksgiving 2016

So here is my first Thanksgiving meal.  It was a family from the Philippines so it wasn't very traditional.  They did have squid and clam which was kinda cool.

Then we went to the church after and a Polynesian family was having a big old dinner so they said "Elders!  Come get food!:

20 November 2016

Hi Mum,

This week was good. I came down with a bit of a cold on Thursday morning so zone conferences on Friday got the bad part of the cold. So it was kinda tough sitting through it. But it was good. They showed the Christmas initiative, it's a really cool video. They have a preview one out now, but the official one comes out on Friday I think. I'm excited for it. So you saw that we had to write talks about how the Book of Mormon has strengthened our testimony of Jesus Christ. So what happens is we all write a talk and while we are singing the opening hymn president writes some names on a piece of paper and gives it to whoever is conducting the meeting, then they just say the names. So we don't know who is going to give a talk. Well I got called on and gave my talk and what not, it was good. I was a little bit nervous with my sore throat. But I got through it and I thought I did alright. A. is doing great. She is coming to church and going to activities, she's gotten pretty close to some of the girls in the Ward. It's good. So no one in our Ward signed up to feed us on Thanksgiving. So a member in the Antelope 4th Ward offered to feed us.  I love the missionaries in my zone and I love my companion right now.  

That's probably best for granddad not to travel to St. George for Thanksgiving. That will be a fun trip. I was just thinking the other day how fun road trips down to Saint George and up to Seattle were. I miss those a lot. I've gotten a little less scared of driving since I've been out here, Elder Lewis doesn't really like driving so I've been doing most of it here. So when I come home I will help out driving more! 

 I'm glad youre not giving in to what people want just to be happy.  In our first Missionary Leadership Conference meeting, the new zone leaders are asked to stand and say what they want to accomplish while they are a zone leader. One Elder stood up and said "I just want to make everyone happy." And President kind of shut him down for that.  Leaders are not supposed to make everyone happy.  They are supposed to do what is right, and help others do the same. So it's cool to here that you already do everything that we are taught to do out here. I really miss listening to Queen sometimes haha! But I feel like I will appreciate them so much more when I get home.

Wednesday morning Elder Lewis and I were doing our studies when the smoke detector went off.  Well we had a candle lit so I blew it out quickly, then fanned the smoke out. The detector stopped beeping so we think it's all good.  Well a few seconds later our carbon monoxide alarm goes off...... so we are kind of freaking out, we left our apartment and just stayed away from it for the day, when we got back for the evening we remembered stories of missionaries sleeping with a carbon monoxide leak and dying in the night. So we called President a few times and he just didn't answer, so finally it was about 10:15 and we don't know what to do. We don't want to go to sleep and not wake up, but we don't want to do something President would not approve of. But we figured getting scolded would be better than dying.... so we shove 2 mattresses into our little Corolla... yes, 2 twin sized mattresses into our Corolla.  We folded them in half, one in the trunk and one in the backseat, and we drove to the 4th ward elders place and we spent the night there. We called President in the morning and told him what happened and he said we made the right choice. He also told us that these kinds of monitors get dust in them really easily so to clean it out then see what happens... so we cleaned it out and it never went off again. So it was just a false alarm but it was quite scary, haha! 

I love and miss you guys. I love those videos of little Riley. Anytime any of the guys in the district I'm in get frustrated they now say it like Riley in that video haha! They think he's so cute! And so do I! I love you and miss you. I hope you have a good week.

Elder Yule

California Dreamin'

13 November 2016

Hello Mum,

We have having zone conferences. They are always fun. The Christmas initiative is going to be introduced. Isn't that crazy? This is my second Christmas initiative.... they are always fun and missionary work is always good this time of year. (From Mum:  My favourite scriptures that have strengthened my testimony of Jesus Christ are 3 Nephi 17.  This is when Jesus blesses the children.  He shows such compassion for them.  That always touched my heart.)  I really like that chapter too, I might use that one. 

(I asked Calum:  Next week I am teaching in relief society about 'how to teach the gospel'.  One part talks about helping childen - thinking of young men or young women or primary age - to have their testimony and faith be in the gospel and the teachings and not in the the teacher.  I know that was a big deal as a missionary.  We did our part, but sometimes the converts had their attachment to the missionaries and when the missionary left the convert didn't always stay.  So we really tried to help the ward members friendship the converts to help avoid that.  What have you done to help the converts not have the attachment be to you as missionaries?  How are you sure their testimony is in the church and not just a love of you missionaries?)   That's a tough one sometimes. Sometimes people just like the person more than the gospel. That's a good way to do it, helping them have friends in the Ward. Really I think that's what the baptismal interview is for. All the interview is is bearing your testimony on what they've been taught. And you can tell if they actually have a testimony.

Sorry this email has been so short. I don't know why but I just am not in a super talkative mood right now. A few days ago we gave a man a blessing.  He was on hospice and wasn't doing very well.  When I gave the blessing I felt prompted to say that he would pass soon, and to release him into the next life. I felt scared to say it and I was shaking a little bit, but I said it. The family said that he had been cranky and mad and just not doing well, but after I gave the blessing they said he made his transition into the next stage of the process of passing away. I felt bad. But the family was happy to see him finally progress and be more peaceful. 

I miss you guys. Send me pictures of all of you guys. How is everyone doing? Are you still walking every day? Are the girls dating anyone? I love and miss you.

6 November 2016

Hi Calum,

I'm going to start with the growth mindset quote that I put in my weekly note to my teachers this week.  

“Mia Hamm tells us, “After every game or practice, if you walk off the field knowing that you gave everything you had, you will always be a winner.”  For those with the fixed mindset, success is about establishing their superiority, pure and simple.  Being that somebody who is worthier than the nobodies…Remember, in the fixed mindset, effort is not a cause for pride.  It is something that casts doubt on your talent.” 

I think that's how you felt as a soccer player.  You gave everything you had, win or lose, while in the game.  And in the end, that made you a winner, even if your team lost the game.  That is the growth mindset.  The fixed mindset says that if you have to work hard for something, then you don't have natural talent, and in that mindset, that is not a good thing.  That's why 'effort is not a cause for pride'.  The fixed mindset says you should be ashamed if you have to put forth effort.  It should come naturally.  I think you can apply this to your mission as well.  If you are giving your all, every day, then you are a winner as a missionary.  You can feel good about about what you are doing each day.  It's not about being superior to the other missionaries.  I believe that you are giving your all every day.  You can keep it up throughout the remainder of your mission.
Hello mum,

That's a super cool quote. President Marston talks about that all the time. If we don't get any lesson in a day if no one answers the door, if we never baptize anyone, if we can go to bed knowing we did our best, then we were a successful missionary.

I did get the parcel! I was so excited! Elder Osborne and I were just talking about how much we loved the Reeses that were in different shapes and then you sent those! We were super excited!
And Riley looked adorable in his little costume! And I got the video of him singing All My Loving! That was the cutest one ever! Elder Osborne loves the Beatles too, so I showed him and he said it was the cutest thing he's ever seen!

Tell him I said I miss him and I love him! And tell him to keep going to school and keep singing!

30 October 2016

Hello mum,

Happy Halloween! Make sure you take pictures of you guys in your costumes! And videos too! Hes a cute little Captain America. 
One thing I've learned is you can't make anyone do anything. They will do their thing and that's that.  You can encourage and try to persuade, but they make the decision for themselves. But it's always comforting to know that whatever they do its what Heavenly Father needed them to do, and He knew they were going to do it, and it has a purpose. Thats a pretty deep subject for a little boy who just got shy, but it just got me thinking haha.
That's so cute about him snuggling before bed. I miss his little snuggles. You'll have to take some videos of him when he says all this cute stuff. I'm sure you dont have your phone on him every second but try to get some cute videos.
I did get the three letters. It is always nice getting something in the mail.  We felt like Elder Stoddard is leaving. And we were right. Elder Stoddard is being transferred and I am getting Elder Lewis who I was in the MTC with! We weren't companions but we were in the same room, I love that guy so I'm excited! I'm staying next to the mission office for at least one more transfer. Also something else kinda cool is I hit my 13 month mark yesterday. October went by quick didn't it?
Update on my week, C. is still on track for baptism.  It's going down this Saturday at 10 am. I had to give a talk in sacrament meeting. It was a ten minute talk. Maybe I'll send it to you. I dont know how I feel about it. It was on the Book of Mormon. I don't think I've ever asked you what your favorite scripture is? What is your favorite from the Book of Mormon and the Bible? I miss you guys. I love you guys. I only have 11 months left! Haha thats crazy! Talk to you later mum. Love you.

Elder Yule

23 October 2016

We decided to do something different for p day today.  All the elders in our zone went out to this big park thing and just rode our bikes around and just hung out. We also tried catching some squirrels haha! My companion Elder Stoddard loves hunting and fishing so he's all about that kind of stuff. But of course we didnt have wifi. This week was good, we had a zone blitz in the Antelope 4th ward. Each missionary in the zone pretty much just went on splits with a Ward missionary in the 4th Ward and contacted some less active members. There were some miracles, not really on the route Brother Gurtz and I had, but some of them got in and even had some lessons with these people. That was really the only notable thing from this week. C. came to church again.  She is on track for her baptism. We are PUMPED! She is solid as a rock.  I love you! 

16 October 2016

Hi mum,

This week was alright. S., the one we had to be bold with about coming to church pretty much dropped us. Our
relief society president called her and asked if she could give her a ride to church and S. basically told her she was done going to church and to leave her alone. When we talked to her she made it sound like
she was going to try harder this week, but apparently that's not whatshe meant. So we will just have to see how things pan out.  We are still going to visit once in a while. The other women we have on date for baptism is C.  She is totally solid. She came to church yesterday and wasall dressed up and what not.  It was awesome. We have a really cool investigator in the YSA.  I might have told you about her already but her name is A. She is this really cool girl. She is really cool and funny. Things are good here. The transfer ends in 2 weeks I'm looking forward to it. I think the changes will be good.

I've grown to appreciate your patience in meetings. There are a few extra meetings for zl's and it is brutal. I don't know how you do it.

I think your relief society lesson on charity is a very cool subject. One scripture says that having charity is putting away childish things, and how I took that was a child does things for themselves most of the time.  They see playing soccer as more important than helping someone out.  And to put childish things away means to put someone else's needs in front of your wants.  Which is really cool. I'm sure you taught a great lesson.
I love and miss you guys.

Elder Yule