Friday, July 11, 2014

Hot Mission Movie

Well it has been one of the hottest weeks of my life being here in the summer without air conditioning in our apartment. Every night the lowest it gets is 80 and I'm sick of sitting in my sweat. Oh well though, what are you going to do about it.

We had a great 4th of July/ mission birthday party! We all got together and had dinner at the mission office. Then President Or gill shuffled us all into a room. We watched a video with all the people baptized in the Irvine Mission and afterward we heard the all familiar, dun dun... dun dun... dunnnnnnnn dundun,  that begins so many movies. We were all so confused and then started playing the movie "Son of God." We watched it as a mission and needless to say... It was WEIRD! They didn't even quote the Bible and Jesus was all sexy and it was a whole movie. I guess everyone else enjoyed it though and it did give a great viewpoint of why the Pharisees and Pilot acted the way they did.

Well we had a great lesson Monday night with some young peeps who don't want to go to the YSA ward so they meet with us. We even had C come along from Coto! He recently returned from his own mission. We ended up teaching the first discussion to 4 people in a garage with Guacamole, Pomegranate juice and a disco ball. It was fun! Ha-ha my generation is crazy.

Well I am off and will see you all again very soon. Make plans and we will make it happen somehow!
--Elder Gemperline

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The River

This was a strange week for us SBYSA missionaries. We had most of our ward go up to Blithe for a boating trip on the Colorado River so for 3-4 days we had pretty much nothing to do except reach out to people on lists we have never heard of. Despite all the difficulties we managed to get our 23 lessons in and saw some miracles with Less-Actives on the list we dropped by. 

This week I got to go to Newport Beach as part of a mission wide exchange. Our dinner cancelled half-way through the exchange so I convinced the missionary I was with to let me go to Ruby's Diner for dinner. I got to check one more thing off the bucket list. Pretty good meal! Pretty bad punch to the missionary budget XD. Oh well, I had to do it! As well on the exchange we were able to teach this surfer guy who was restoring a 150 yr old paddle board in his garage that he is going to surf in a competition that Saturday. He was like 50 yrs old and still going at it. Pretty hilarious guy. His entire house was full of antiques and cool old things. I walked away with a little piece of Disney land history myself. It was especially fun to find out his nephew is the NCAA downhill ski champion at the U of U and so he showed me all of his U of U stuff. Never too far away from home am I! and it gets closer every day.. snap. 

Well as a result of this exchange we also got a new investigator who we are pretty certain is going to be baptized in July. Her name is D and some Spanish speaking Elders picked her up during their exchange. She just started going to a non denom. church in the area and when she heard these Elders message she was touched by the spirit and is pretty committed at this point which is amazing. We had the pass of lesson and she really is golden. 
Elder G and Elder Epperson at Dana Point,  CA

Fun Stuff

Now the fun stuff:

So we met this crazy girl down campus who called herself a unicorn because she is Vegan. She invited us "Stallions" to come to dinner sometime. So we set up a time for this last Friday and invited a member who is a cop to come with us. We showed up to the home which was actually a shack labeled "Unicorn Palace" in Laguna Beach Canyon. Laguna Beach Canyon is known for having the world’s most interesting people so just pulling up Elder Epperson and I became very scared. We were invited in and we said we would just take a look around outside first and then called the member to find out where he was at. I will never forget Elder Epperson's face as he was told that the member was no longer coming. Sweet, a candle lit dinner with smooth jazz and a unicorn all by ourselves in the world's craziest place. We stayed out of the house and kept all the rules mind you! But, we sure had fun with it to and made it out safe.

The other story is simple, We had dinner on a boat in Dana Point Harbor with a super cool member. Really fun. End story.

Just got back from Big Air Trampoline park with the zone. Jammed my finger and feeling sore. Gooood Stuff though. I found a guy named Brother Grace earlier this week and he was selling Christian Apparel to feed the homeless. Elder Epperson and I couldn't resist and bought these hilarious shirts that say "I love to worship" and have some black Christians dancing in the background. We wore them to zone activity today. Super funny. 
--Elder Gemperline

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bye Elder Hegland

Tuesday night I attended the funeral of my good friend no longer Elder Ian Hegland. HE GONNNEEEE!!!! It wasn't that sad though cause I'll see him again soon. It was a really fun meeting to talk about all the funny times he had. To which he replied at the end "President, I've had a really weird mission." I would say so being reassigned twice. He is really missed though by many in the mission. I've never seen as strong a testimony as I have seen with him. Every time he would share it there was no denying he knew it and I knew it. I wish I could bear testimony like him.
Well it was honestly a pretty rough week. We had cancellation after cancellation but that's fine we had fun along the way. Went to MLC and received some pretty basic trainings on dress and grooming and simple teaching skills regarding Ch.10 in PMG.
Nothing special. It's been pretty hot as of late. Getting up into the mid 90's the other day.
Got in a bash earlier this week down campus that was actually effective and good. Those are rare few and far between.
OH! So Thursday night we had an institute activity where it was a super hero themed BBQ and Dance. It was sweet because B brought his swords from Medieval times that spark when you hit them together. We got some cool vids and pictures!
  Our investigator from Hollywood is really making progress. We were able to hear him bear his testimony that Joseph Smith is the Prophet Called by Jesus Christ in priesthood meeting yesterday. It was really cool cause he used to really question that and argue against it. It's cool to know our visits and efforts are actually making a difference.
I'm buying a bunch of Salmon patties and Quinoa from Costco today so I can be healthy when I return home! YAY HEALTHY! But first I need more free Golden Spoon... mmmmmmmm BYE! 
--Elder Gemperline

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Turkey Shoot

             April 7, 2014   

We had numbers wise probably the best week of my entire mission this week! We really just pounded the pavement going down Saddleback Campus. We opened a number of windows down there and were able to find 3 new investigators in a 1 hour window! It was insane! Elder F and Elder B taught 2 of them while a Member and I taught the other. We ended up picking up 5 new investigators this week and 3 more for other companionships in the mission. We are tempted to just go down there all day every day and see what happens.

Elder Freeman, my youngest son has graduated and gone off into the world.  We yelled at him the other day while driving by him and his new companion riding their bikes up in the Mission Lake area which is still in our YSA area :D!  I’m such a proud daddy.

It was a really hard transfer meeting for me though. :/ Elder Hegland and Chandler, the two Mongolian Elders are leaving this transfer so they sang an awesome duet starting in English and ending in Mongolian. They bore their testimonies and I was dying inside. Elder Hegland's last day in the mission is tomorrow. He will be home on Wednesday. It won't be much longer before I see him again but it was just really sad to see this day actually came.

Last Monday, just after emailing, we left the library only to be contacted by a young man walking out at the same time. He's a less active member who has found himself at life's lowest points that day. When he saw us he knew from somewhere deep inside him that he needed to stop us and have us come visit him soon. We were able to get in with him this week and have a GREAT lesson and help him set up a time to meet with Bishop. It was a really cool moment to know we were here specifically for him.

I got to ride in another sweet BMW this week ;). It was a SUPER TRICKED OUT M3 convertible. It was pretty exciting.

I really enjoyed general conference. What more can I say. 
--Elder Gemperline
p.s. missionary pot-luck ---> success!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Stressed Factor

I've been pretty stressed this last week but I've also been super happy. Just a lot on my plate but I'm sure it will slow down. HA! Keep telling yourself that. =).

 Speaking of stress... Well we'll get to that.
Elders Gemperline, Belnap and Freeman

I'm with my Step-Brother Elder Belnap!  Because a trainer and trainee are father and son, a 2nd trainer is step-father step-son. Well Elder Tetuanui finished training Elder Belnap making him my step-brother. :) We have a lot in common to some degrees. Both of us played lacrosse and have similar personalities. We probably have the most positive companionship in the mission. When we walked into District Meeting to meet the zone on Thursday we walked in with Sun Glasses on and Mission Impossible music then wrote Mission "possible" Viejo on the board. It’s a pretty good example of our gooberness but hey, at least the zone likes us now!

We had a really cool miracle on Friday. We went to an investigator appointment and it got cancelled again!!!  Just answer your door! ... we digress. So anyway, we were walking back up the street to get to our car and we have to pass by the entrance to Saddleback College and we came across a young woman. Elder Belnap and I nudged Elder Freeman assuring him "you got this one! Oh buddy! Dooooo it!!!!! Make that contact!" So we finally convinced him to speak up. He asked if she would be interested in our message and she said "I've already talked to you. I remember your red hair." (Tee hee) He replied with a little laugh and just asked her with a so do you want to hear us or not kind of thing. She responded with a quiet yes as he shy personality kind of played off. Elder Freeman just stood  there silent, ... awkwardly.... forever in silence completely lost as to what to do when someone actually says yes. I Remember that when I was a greenie! =) good times. Anyway, we got her to join us on our walk and we went up to the institute building. Inside we introduced her to the institute teachers.  They welcomed her in and opened a room for us to teach in. Then a member of the ward just randomly showed up and we were able to teach her the first discussion. We came to understand that she was on her way to the hospital when we bumped into her because her Dad was terminally ill. She had been praying for a miracle to strengthen her faith the night before and "this is where it has led me." Well we taught her quickly the Restoration and had her say a prayer at the end. It went very simple and well. :) She prayed out loud for us and it was beautiful! She specifically told our heavenly father in her prayer that she was so glad she could have her prayer from the day before answered and that she now knew he was there. We set up a time to meet with her again and sent her off with a promise that we would prayer for her father in his time of need. The next day we were coming back from Frisbee and we texted to find out how her father was doing to find that he had passed away the night before. We rushed home and prayed for help in knowing what we could respond to this girl in such need of our message. In the end we had to cancel our appointment for later that day but we hope to be able to get in and teach her the plan of salvation sometime this week.  It was a tender moment for our companionship though.

Speaking of Tender... We'll get to that.

Elders Gemperline and Risk
This last weekend I had to say goodbye to a good friend and loved missionary. Elder Risk, who has never been in the same zone as me but  has been a good friend from the beginning of the mission. In fact he was the one who left a picture of my little pony in my first apartment that made me laugh so hard. He has also been the choir’s conductor and president. We had a giant concert Saturday night and sang in an Episcopalian church in Laguna Beach Sunday morning. One particular lady in the front row at both concerts was extra emotional and I noticed Elder Risk avoiding eye contact with her. I came to find out that this was his mother! President Orgill had invited her out to see the last choir performance with him here. (don't be getting ideas mom not happening.) Last night I was invited to the Orgill's home for a farewell dinner. It was fun to recount the stories and experiences he had had. Love that kid. I'll include a picture of him and I. My entire mission people have told me I'm exactly like him.

It was fun to go to an Episcopal church though and half- take their communion and read creeds and prayers and stuff. Super different. I had a few of them memorized surprisingly, like the Lord's Prayer and  a few others I have no idea how I know them. Fun purple priestly robes too!

Speaking of purple..... we'll get to that.

Alright fine. I'll just get to it. I broke my toe Saturday playing Frisbee =) LOVE YOU MOM! :D

I just wrapped it with some medical tape and it will be fine. No big deal, just a little pain and less running. The biggest problem is I have been so SO.. SO busy this week I haven't had a chance to get a blessing yet. But I will. Don't even worry about it. It’s Just a stupid appendage that I've never been able to move anyway!

Happy Days !
--Elder Gemperline

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Slump Day

We had a hard week work wise in our ward but I still felt pretty accomplished at the end of it. We had Mission Leadership Council again and this one went really well. People were lively. They were excited. They were open and prepared for what was to be given. We discussed and counseled how we could better implement the new teaching method. We discussed how we could be better leaders in the mission. All of it was good and applicable especially to me today in the transfer I am in. The real sad part was hearing Elder Risk Bear his testimony. He leaves in a little less than 2 weeks and has been a good friend my entire mission. The choir is also going to really miss him as he has been its lead conductor throughout its existence.

            Well, I woke up this week on a particular day and realized it was my Slump day. Freak! How can it be slump day!

            I went on another exchange with the Assistants as well. For some reason every time we do an assistant exchange I end up in their area and never mine. That's alright though. It's a whole different world up there in Santa Anna. I got a lot of good ideas from Elder Wall as to how I could improve my relationship with my companions and my zone and I have set the goals I need to help us all out. :)

            I finally bought some new slacks last week. Actually,   I'm completely broke for this month :). I borrowed a Costco card from Mama Webber and we went and spent all our money at Costco on Rice, Protein, Chicken, SALMON PATTIES!  and then at Burlington Coat Factory for slacks. Now I have 20 bucks to survive the rest of the month. :) I should make it though. I am super happy to have the new slacks. Did you know Nordstrom is REALLY REALLY REALLY EXPENSIVE!?!?!      I didn't believe Elder McGary but he was right. :P


            Last, but not least, this last week Elder Mackey and I came up with the idea to set a goal as a zone to get 165 lessons total. This would be record breaker if we accomplished it and would really help our zone members realize their potential to teach. As incentive we set up with the stake presidency to get us into a trampoline park for free if we get the goal. Wish us luck! We are setting up as many appointments as we possibly can.

Well love you all! Keep up all the good work and stories of successful missionary moments.
I really enjoyed getting the letter from you Beau and will play StarCraft with you when I get home.
--Elder Gemperline