Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tomohawk attack on Greenie!

I have heard a lot about the new curriculum and found that it goes hand in hand with basically very long drawn out missionary discussions. I wish I had the new curriculum in Seminary so that I would be a little better prepared for the mission. I had to find most of that stuff out through personal study and Mission Prep classes but it is now going to be taught everywhere how exciting! 

We got to attend a Chili Cook-off Halloween Party for the Morgan Hill ward on Friday night between the 2 baptisms. It was so so so stressful trying to figure out where we needed to be and talking to who. Our goal was to make sure we introduced ourselves to all the non members who had been invited but it was just a mess of about 350 people everywhere and to make it better they are all in costume. Woo! Well we survived the night. Contacted a few key people. Ate really good chili and in the end had a good night. 

This next week we are trying really hard to figure out where to focus our efforts to get another baptism for this transfer cause new transfers start TODAY! Sadly one of my apartment companions is leaving :( he was my district leader and good friend Elder Goble. It was extremely unexpected cause he is both only half-way through training a greenie like me and he is in a leadership position so it really doesn't make that much sense but it is what President Cook decided so there surely must be a good reason. We are also pretty excited to see who the new Elder will be and have an arsenal of nerf weapons waiting for him back at the apartment. TOMOHAWK THROW! - seemed appropriate because we live 6 miles from the Pechanga Indian Reservation. 

We get to go to the temple next P-day! Super excited to go to the San Diego temple. It's the coolest temple ever except for the Bountiful Temple. 

I have shin splints a pulled calve muscle and athletes foot all on the same leg so I will need to start figuring out how to take care of myself I guess. :) it definitely isn't anything I can't handle though and reminds me of good times playing lacrosse. I do love the fact we have to run every morning though, I know i have said that before. 

I made the mistake of leaving my scriptures on top of our car and driving away. An hour later while walking down the street a car pulled up and we recognized it as the Magee family in our ward. They were holding my scriptures out their car window and I couldn't figure out how in the world they had them. I Suddenly realized what had happen and felt so foolish and embarrased. It was a miracle they happened to see them in the middle of an intersection and snatch them up though. Especially that it was members who did so! The coolest thing is the only damage we found done to them was no damage! What a miracle. I will be more careful in the future for sure. 

Miss the mountains, miss the cold, miss Pink Floyd. Love where I am. :)

Elder Gemperline

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Greatest thing happened this morning as we got into the car to write letters. I turned on the car and the MP3 started playing and it was turned up extremely loud for some reason and instantly it just started blasting HALLEELLLUJAH!!!!! It was pretty funny. Tradition now to listen to the Hallelujah chorus on our way to check emails. 

Well this week was a great week for me. I don't know why cause it didn't result in as much success as we were hoping but for some reason I was just happy all the way through it. I have been running 4-5 miles every morning and am coming down with a horrible case of shin splints. I need to go get a wrap for them but as I walk around and feel the pain in my shins I love the fact that I'm going to be in the end stronger. The same day I was feeling rather sick because I had eaten a 1/2 pound giant hot dog cooked in Ghost Pepper Powder the night before but I was so happy (and it was sooooo delicious. If i can eat 2 + a basket of fries + a soda I get my picture on the wall. I think I might do it.) So as I walked around the streets wanting to throw up and having a horrible headache I was so happy. This happiness hit me about Saturday morning. The week before that I was having a horrible time with homesickness. Then I just started focusing on my work Saturday and something happened. That thing that happened is i just developed a Pure Love for everyone I come in contact with. Those people who we teach I just love to death and hope so very much I can be a good enough missionary for them. For instance here are a few examples.

It was late at night and Elder T and I were out of people to visit. We were walking around looking for people to contact which is usually fairly unsuccessful after dark. We were marveling at some awesome Halloween decorations and as we came to every corner I felt like I really needed to know in which direction the spirit wanted me to go. I would say a little prayer at every corner and eventually we ended up in a col de sac and I figured I was just being silly. We could hear kids screaming up the street. We went up and saw a younger woman with 2 children, trying to get them out of their car seats. I said "Hello, we are missionaries from the church of jesus christ of latter day saints and we are walking around looking for people that we can help as well as that will listen to our message that families can be together forever. Would you like to hear it?" She looked back and without hesitation said yes. I froze. I couldn't comprehend that simple word "yes." I thought that maybe Elder T was playing a trick on me and this was already a member. After stuttering for about 20 seconds I got her name and number and address and she said to call in a few days to set something up since she was busy that weekend. We will call her later today to set that up. 

Another family I absolutely love is the Gutierrez family. They are a Mexican family from Guadalijara or however you spell it. They are the most devote Roman Catholic family I think I've ever seen. Two of their daughters work full time at a convent down the street. They however have one little black sheep who was converted by  her boyfriend and is now serving an LDS mission in South Houston. We went over to visit the family and they speak a little English but not too much. Enough that we can communicate clearly. and they said they loved us and enjoyed the peace of mind they brought about who their daughter is and what she is doing. They invited us to dinner Saturday night so we accepted. Upon arriving saturday night they told us the Hermanas or Spanish Speaking Sisters were invited as well. As they said this they walked into the room and Elder T and I just laughed. For the next 2 hours the entire dinner was in Spanish and Elder T and I just sat awkwardly filling our faces while the Hermanas did their work with the family since they spoke spanish and related better. I couldn't stop smiling at the awkward situation and the love I had for this family that reminded me constantly of my fathers family. The food was AMAZING and as authentic mexican as you can get. I never have eaten so much in my entire life. They are an awesome family. 
Well The weather has finally cooled down as well. it's now basically always 68 degrees which I think is lovely. Elder T with his Tahitian brown skin is freezing and it makes me laugh. I met a Jehovah's Witness missionary yesterday at the library with a cool shoulder bag I told them I wanted one and they said they would try to get one for me then meet me here right now at the library to buy it off her. She didn't show up and now I am quite put out. haha I wanted a smaller bag that can hold my materials but not so big that its a hastle to carry around. Well love to you all.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Taylor Directs Traffic

How de doo de! It's still smokin hot! .. well kinda. Last week it cooled down to a high of 72 and felt absolutely glorious. I was walking around feeling right at home and my Tahitian companion was shivering in his big Leather Jacket. It was quite the sight. He's tall. If you didn't notice. He really is. But this week it is climbing again and we have been told the forcast is for 100 again tomorrow and we are more than half way through the month of October! This is just a little too hot for poor old lil old mountain and cold loving me, but I assure you I will survive. :D

This last week I had a really cool experience. I have been trying hard to drop by and talk to a Less Active Part Member family in the ward. We talked to them 2 weeks ago and they said to come back cause they were having family issues. The next time I visited I asked why we hadn't seen them coming to church for so many years and the father told me to come back the next week and he would finally sit down and talk with us. Well the next week (being this past week) we went and tried to get a hold of them almost everyday, but each time to no avail. We finally approached the door wednesday and it was already open with just a screen door blocking the front. We called in to see if anyone was home. The mother appeared out of no where and looked pretty ill and panicked. We asked if we could help her with anything and she said no, her husband is just asleep and she doesn't need anything. I was afraid we had just woken up the husband so I said oh no! DId we just wake him up!? and she replied we had not because he was just sick and resting, not actually asleep. I felt bad that he was sick and felt prompted to again ask if we could be of service. She said no but I persistently asked a third time. She said finally giving in that she really really really needed to pick up the kids from work but didn't want to leave her sick husband alone and asked us if we could watch him and help him if he needs it while she takes 10 minutes to pick the kids from school. We gladly accepted and she brought the husband out onto the front porch. 

The husband was not just sick. He had been hospitalized for 3 or 4 days because he had a major seizure. He was drugged beyond belief. He was sitting in his chair in the garage and he was rolling his head around on top of his torso and couldn't keep his eyes open. He was constantly chanting under his breath and it was the closest thing I've ever seen to a possessed being. Before we could tell his wife that it was a bad idea that we watch him because of liability issues she was in the car and gone to get the kids. Elder T and I just stood there like idiots praying in the back of our heads "Please don't let this man die!!!" We tried to make conversation with him but he would not answer any of our questions but instead interrogate us with questions like "Who sent you." and "what do you want from me." He was extremely paranoid. He kept telling us not to surround him. After about 15 minutes of this he suddenly just jumped up and started staggering like a L4D2 zombie across the street. Elder T tried to tell him to stop and he just screamed no! I got in front of him and he shoved me out of the way. It was clear we could do nothing to stop him so we directed traffic around him. Upon reaching the other side of the street he ran up some steps and opened the door and called inside. A terrified owner of the house, a lady in her 50's, was trying to stop him as he burst through and said "These men are trying to follow me!" I explained to her what the situation was and we got him sitting down and his wife showed up and Elder T and I went home swearing to never agree to watch over sick people again. We were definitely protected that day from a horrible fate. 

Sunday comes around - 4 days later- and we are in Ward Council. The bishop expresses that he talked to the wife of this family the night after our experience for a very long time about what could be done for her husband and so forth. They got acquainted and the missionary opportunity is now golden because she is indeed not a member. He also told us that after his visit he called the wife's mother who is a member and the mother of the wife told the bishop that the wife had told her that we were an answer to a prayer. The wife had had enough. She couldn't do it anymore. So she knelt down for one of the first times in her life and prayed that there would be a way that she could get her kids and her husband would also be alright. When she had said amen there was a shout from the other room and she got up walked to the door and saw 2 elders, A tall brown one and a short one with glasses, standing there at the door. Elder T and I had no idea of what had occurred in that moment. It is amazing! Prayer Totally Works.

Peace Love and Joy. Just like all the tacky wall decorations say.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

No girls to Date?

Well this week was good. I'm starting to get significantly more tired. I feel like I am sleeping well despite the lumpy bed and snoring companion. It gets especially hard when we get up at 530 to shop at Walmart on P-day like today. Conference of course was amazing! All the Elders (20) who were in the stake center were freaking out at the new announcement. We all think it is super cool and super scary and mixed feelings just everywhere. Many are afraid that because girls can go out sooner there will be no girls to date when they get back from their missions. Quite a silly proposition but so it goes for men of this age.

The lord watches out for his missionaries! He really does, due to their faith, their purpose here or the prayers of those around the world I know not what to credit it to but I've seen it. Just a small thing that happened this week was that I was stopped having dinner with an elderly couple in our ward at Chipotle by a rough looking man in his upper 20's. Looked a lot like shaggy but with a full beard instead of just a goatee. He had some very strange questions for us about Pre-destination and other really deep doctrinal bible things that we believed that matter not that much. We got his address and he invited us to breakfast to discuss our answers since we were currently more or less indisposed. While this was happening I was not with big ol' Elder T' but I was with Elder Foster and it was our first time out without a senior missionary. In other words, he got to the mission field the day that I did and both of us were kinda lost. haha him more than me since he didn't know the area so I basically was flying solo for the 24 hour period. Well we both felt horrible about the situation and when we went to bed we prayed that no harm would come to us when we went to this man's house. 5 minutes after our prayer we got a text saying that this man was very ill and going to the hospital so he would not be meeting with us. After relaying the story back over to our senior companions at the end of our exchange Elder T looked at the address and instantly said "OH, Elder! That's the bad house on the corner!" I guess his last companion had been attacked by these same people earlier that year and they were very hostile to the church. 

The weather is finally cooling down! Woooo! It might even rain this week which is surprising cause I hardly ever see a cloud in the sky. I hope you all are doing well and hope school is going well for those of you at the University of Utah! Hit me up with that collab! You know who you are. Same with you people at Smith's who may be reading? Lets just include everyone shall we!

Well I am happier than I have ever been I do believe. I know I am where I need to be and I'm with some of the worlds greatest people here as well. In fact, Elder Nelson of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles recently visited my mission and told us all that we were the best looking group of missionaries he had ever seen. We wear it proud here in Carlsbad California.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Hey Everyone! 

Week 2 here in Temecula was a success. Elder Tetuanui and I really got down to working on our street contacting. It is a lot of fun to meet all sorts of different people. Some of them super nice offering you water and beer cause it's so hot and getting in return an awkward look with a reply that water would be awesome. Some of them not so polite and lets just leave it at that for the sake of mom's sanity. (Just kidding Mom). Not much special actually happened last week. There are a few highlights of course though.

I did get to go on exchanges yesterday with our district lead Elder Goble. He is a 1 eyed skater from New Mexico and American Fork. He was less active all his life till he decided to prepare for a mission. We taught a scripture reading group in the Pauba ward with the youth Sunday night which was super cool. The youth here are exceptional and I respect them deeply for what they deal with. We read 2 Nephi 2 and talked a lot about the fall of Adam and answered lots of hard questions about the conflicting commandments given to Adam and such. Because it was the beginning of October we decided to give them a little proof that big foot exists using the scriptures as well. We had them all pretty spooked but then assured them that it was by no means church doctrine and we were just having a little fun. The next day we asked some parents we stopped by if their kids had asked questions about big foot and they said they surely had ;P

If you would like more accounts of what I teach and people I meet then send an email to saying you want my more detailed emails. 

The lord keeps sending people our way as long as we keep working and trying our hardest. On the toughest of days there is always at least 1 experience that makes it all worth it. Always someone you meet that benefits from me being there. I love it. I was kinda concerned that I was not going to get into missionary work as much people say you do but I'm sure starting to realize how it all works and it is pretty awesome. I hope all of you are safe at home. I had the best sushi I've ever had the other day here because Elder Tetunanui really needed his monthly quota of raw fish. 

Take care all! 

Elder Gemperline