Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The spirit won't heat the water...

Hello Everyone! 

Our water heater broke aboutInline image 1 10 days ago. I am getting so good at lighting the pilot light in the morning and taking a 1 minute still pretty cold shower. They said they would order the part but because of the holiday things have not come through as they said. Patience is a christ like attribute. Plus it gives me an excuse to sing Foreigner in the shower. It's as cold as Ice! I'm willing to sacrifice! 

I hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving Holiday! It is now time to pull out all the Christmas music! My thanksgiving wasn't  too different from what I had imagined it would be. I spent it with the Perey family which is a Philippine family that was baptized back in August and whose oldest son I baptized in October. They had lots of family and friends over and there was more food than I've actually ever seen in one place I think. While eating and talking to cousins and uncles and all sorts of people I realized I was the only white person in the room of 35 people for Thanksgiving in California and was hit with a little truth bomb. It was pretty cool though.

Thanksgiving was also awesome because everyone was home! Though no one wanted to schedule us for appointments and lessons we got a hold of some people who have been avoiding us since before I even got here. We built a lot of relationships and gave out a lot of invites and even talked to many many people who were out on the lawn playing some Turkey Bowl Football. We were challenged as a district by our District leader to Tract for a good solid 30 minutes that thanksgiving day. It is NO FUN AT ALL TO TRACT. I hate it cause it usually accomplishes nothing and is extremely awkward. We accepted the challenge though and crashed into families homes having thanksgiving dinner who we had no idea who they were. No amazing stories came out of it other than just some yells of disapproval but we did at least find a potential.

I had also the opportunity this week to go on exchanges with Elder Holmes my Zone Leader. He has been out for just 9 months and is already in such a high leadership position. He is a very kind and thankful Elder and never ever leaves a bad impression with anyone we meet on the street. I learned a lot from him like how it is important that we don't think that there are lessons at all in PMG but just truths people need to understand. We created great lesson plans for people and had an amazing spirit driven study session. We made some good contacts and I am really looking to improve myself especially since I'll most likely loose Elder T in 2 weeks. Elder Holmes had a camera bag that fit his Scriptures perfectly. This morning I went out and bought the same one and am just so happy with it. I now have a small convenient way to carry around things. 

I've had some amazing sushi this week with Elder Tetuanui - King of sushi of course being from Tahiti. I will probably miss good sea food like we have here when I go back to Utah. 

I'm thankful for the opportunity I have to serve these people in Temecula California. I'm thankful for the great many people who help us in small ways each day. I'm thankful for a loving supporting family at home whom send me letters every week and a patient building companion. I am thankful for a body which is capable of doing so much and a mind that though I think is degrading in spelling, grammar and understanding the world around me is growing continuously in regards to spiritual things. I am thankful for my Heavenly Father's love. For Christ's infinite atonement that allows us to grow and become better people. For his love that I feel every day as I strive to feed his sheep. I am thankful today for the guidance of a living prophet, for the Book of Mormon and for the spirit of truth and promise. It is a marvelous miracle to be on this Earth with so many strong and valiant people who are trying to better themselves and each other and I say so in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior, Amen. 

It's Christmas Time. I'm going tree hunting. 

--Elder Gemperline

p.s. put whatever pictures you want on the blog. I'm just sending back whatever the heck i take. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Death by Hot Dog


It sounds like a fun Thanksgiving party occurred without me in my family. I'm sorry to hear that I missed it but I'm sure things were just as happy without me. I've had enough food in the last week anyway to have me covered for 3 thanksgivings. Maybe you caught the Subject of this email? Well after writing last weeks letter I was approached by 6 other Elders in the library and they told me I needed to do the Triple Dare Fire Dog Challenge. There is a restraunt here called the Hot Dog Shoppe. It has the most delicious over priced hot dogs. Well they have a challenge where if you can eat 2 1/2 lbs hot dogs and a basket of fries plus a coke in 45 minutes the meal is free and your picture goes on the wall. Did I mention these hot dogs are cooked in Ghost Pepper powder and smothered in Javenerio (I don't know how to spell it) peppers? It was one of the hottest things I have ever eaten and I got about 3/4 done before time was up. I lost 20 bucks and don't know how I will eat for the rest of the month but it was definitely delicious and worth it. Elder Kempton who is the other Elder who did it with me was actually trying to finish and came so close to throwing up and was crying for most of the 45 minutes. It was a great bad Idea. 

I had the opportunity to meet with an Elder who had previously been in my area of Morgan HIll and Red Hawk. He asked about a family who Elder T and I are working on and when I told him that the wife had passed away and the Husband was coming to church he started crying. He was distraught to know that she had passed away but even more so he was crying tears of joy because this was the first area he served in as well and he had been offering prayers from the beginning of his mission that this gentleman would come to church and have his heart softened. He is now progressing with the lessons Elder T and I have with him, slowly, but it was an answer to this Elders' sincere prayers and it was touching to see this first hand. 

It's been a rough transfer. All our appointments are always falling through almost no matter what we do. We attribute it to the time of the year but there has to be more. We continue to try our best to work with the members to get friends and people we know of to church and to take the discussions. We have a lot of people standing on the almost there cliff, it is just a matter of seeing who will fall first. We got a call earlier this week that we will be receiving 80 more missionaries in the next few months and my area will be split in 2. This will definitely give each ward the individual focus it needs. Elder T and I always make the joke no man can serve to masters and no missionary can serve 2 wards. As a result of this influx of missionaries however, we are desperately looking for housing. The lord will provide a way. 

The other day we walked into a scheduled Recent Convert lesson with a family and we walked into a house with 30 people shooting each other constantly with nerf guns, literally screaming around corners and jumping off the balconies of the giant 3 story home trying to get each other out and hit each other with nerf swords and axes and everything imaginable. It was clear we weren't going to get a lesson in so I played on their extremely nice hand made Ukulele for 30 minutes. It was really the only relaxing part of the entire week. It is very disappointing to not be teaching as much though. We are trying our best and still helping some people have better lives in the small things we do though so I feel good at the end of the day. 

I love you all and hope you continue to find joy in what you love. 

Elder Gemperline

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I will Go I will Do

I have this thing with having too many things in my pockets, especially when wearing slacks. The keys to the car have this giant clicker button to lock and unlock the car and I always hate having to carry around a large set of keys. Well I decided early in the week to take the clicker off and keep it in the apartment and just carry around the key. It was a great Idea until we locked our keys in the car. We got a ride to the apartment 6 miles away from the people who we had just eaten dinner with which was very kind of them and broke in through the windows of our apartment. Fast forward 2 days and Elder Tetuanui and I find ourselves looking through a locked window at keys sitting on the floor of the car yet again. Boy I think I need to pick up my marbles. Twice in one week. Never again.

On a more serious note. We have had a pretty good week in that we got in and have really managed to rally the wards to do missionary work. We spent the week visiting a lot of key members of both wards just asking them to invite friends to special events or visiting with quorum presidencies about what we can do to help them achieve their goals while at the same time what they can do for us to achieve our goals. We got a lot of referrals out of it and needless to say we have a ton of potential in the wards now. We have 6 or 7 people that are just on the verge of really taking the lessons and really making some progress. We pray and try to live worthy that we will have the blessing of each of these people who are so close to the most important thing in this life coming and finding it. It really has been a few weeks of just planting seeds. On paper it looks like we've not done much but in reality its been a pretty successful week.

For instance we were told simply by a member that they had a neighbor who had lost his wife a month ago. We stopped by the house called the man by name and told him we were representatives of Jesus Christ who would just like to share the message that Families can be together forever even after death. He said he would love to hear it and we set up an appointment on Monday. He seemed genuinely excited and like he was almost surprised to see us there. What a promising seed.

We had an awesome Primary Program on Sunday. This one little boy would throw both arms in the air and scream " I will GOOOOO i will DOOOOOOO!" everytime it came to that line of the song. The whole ward was on their faces laughing so hard, some even crying at how cute and commanding he was. After it was over the bishop went up and said "Surely as a bishop I will always go and do as the lord wants, but even as the savior needed the apostles in the Garden of Gethsemane I need people to help me, and a certain young man up here on the stand is first on my list cause he will surely go and do and get things done." It was an awesome joke and like the highlight of my week. One of my favorite sunbeams in the ward also faceplanted it off the stage which, though bad, was totally awesome too. :)

Hope you all are enjoying that lovely fluffy stuff. I have to endure this awful 70 degree weather. Boy do people think I am weird around here.

Love you all, Elder Gemperline
Taylor Gemperline
12:10 PM (1 hour ago)