Sunday, September 29, 2013

To da Beach       
                                                                                                                                      Sept 23rd  
Mmmmm Now I know why Laguna Beach is the coveted area in the mission. Elder Merrit my Zone Leader took me on an exchange in his area to the city of Laguna Beach. It’s a city built into the mountain right on the coast and I spent the next 24 hours there. We met this super drunk guy who had multiple degrees from Princeton. He gave us 20 copies of his self-published book on mothers that was just awful to read. We gave him a B o fM in return. Just lots of stuff happening. Spent the last hour teaching in a home with the greatest view from the top of the mountain just looking down the coast. Couldn't get the greatest shot but I can send you pictures that give you an idea. They even have their own little 12 x 12 shack to live in which was pretty sweet and quiet in the woods. 

I joined the new Irvine Mission Choir this week.  Pretty crazy. 

We had a great exchange with Elder Heglands last companion Elder Jung and his new companion Elder Stevens. They are both pretty new missionaries co-training Elder Merril.

Last night Elder Richards of the 70 dropped into the mission for just 2 hours. During that time he gave us an on the spot talk and said he felt impressed to tell us something important and then really NAILED us with a talk on being obedient. Oh it was so beautiful and refreshing to be scolded. I'm so glad I can improve there and hope missionaries around me also got that desire. At the meeting I saw Elder VQB and he seemed to look real well. It was nice to see.

Last night we had a really cool miracle happen! We were on our way to an investigators home that we STILL haven't been able to get in contact with since we got here and we then realized we didn't have his house number. We gave up and went to our back up plan that was a less active that has been on my mind. Honestly just a name in a book. Never heard mention of her from anyone. We showed up and B came out and just expressed she was so glad to see us!  She wanted to come back to church greatly because she sees the happiness of the LDS people. She begged us, literally got on her knees and begged us to take the discussions! "Well, I guess if you're going to ask that way we HAVE to submit and let you have the discussions." OF COURSE! We testified of the atonement and got to know her a bit more. It is so sweet to save a soul and help it get rid of that awful guilt. During the meeting you could tell the spirit really buoyed her up and let her know she could do it and it was right.

While walking back to the car I was on the phone with our WML Bro Kubat. I was explaining the miracle until I yelled STOP ELDER BARTELL! Elder Bartell freezes and I run up to him and pull him about 5 ft. backwards and point. Then he sees the spider he almost ran into. It was the size of my hand almost! Just chillin on its web. I continue to give our message to Bro Kubat and divert myself 20 ft around the web while Elder S and B take pictures of the spider.  Suddenly I hit something and hear this awful scream from my companions and I start flailing my arms and hissing because I realized too late a spider that big can make a web the size of a house. Snap! I wish I had a recording of that voice message. 

Love you all! I'm happily staying here for a while. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Three is a magic number and The Flood

Elder Bartell, Elder Gemperline and Elder Swejkoski in Laguna Hills 

Sep 9th 

I am now in the Laguna Hills 3rd Ward with 3some in appartment 3. Making 3 ways 3 is a magic number. I am with Elder Bartell from Idaho Falls and Elder Swejkoski (S'why - cos - ski) from Lansing Michigan. Both of them are new missionaries. Elder Bartell just came out last Tuesday and Elder Swejkoski has been here for 6 weeks.

We live in a Beautiful Condo with nice hardwood floors, a fireplace and windows and a large kitchen. Mirrors everywhere making it so very vain. :P The downside is our dryer exploded and our fridge went out and all our food spoiled... crap. We are going to go shopping today and buy stuff you don't have to freeze. Hopefully we can get it all fixed soon. We got lacrosse sticks from some members. We play in the morning where one of us will be offense and one defense and one the thrower and we try our best to fulfill our roles in a pass. It is super fun! I miss playing lacrosse. Great exercise too! Even if I can't lift anymore. :(

Sept 16th

Well it has been another busy busy week. I honestly don't know where to start... Lets start Monday

Monday I went on an exchange bringing Elder Merril who is just brand new out over to my area to see how he is doing. We saw SO MANY miracles throughout the exchange I have to say I was actually really surprised which usually... I'm not! One of these miracles is that we were going about trying our best to get into some houses we had on a list and we were also making an extra effort to contact everyone. We contacted into these 2 ladies who were sitting in their backyard (which in this part of the world is just a fenced off section of their front yard) and they told us to come on in. We sat down on their rock path up to the house and began to teach them the restoration. As we were going through the lesson everything made sense to them. They were some interesting people. One of them had been crushed by a bus and was on house arrest. Just the most approachable people on the planet. SARCASM PUNCH! Anyway, I was loving them because for some reason I have gained the capacity to do away with judgment... or so I thought. We got to talking about Prophets and I asked "How does God answer our prayers and questions?" One of them answered, "Well through others oftentimes." I asked for an example and she pointed to the other lady and explained she believed God had introduced them. 
"Great! So God gives us the greatest of friends to help support us in times of need sometimes" 
"Actually, we're married"
*Awkward Silence
I may have judged a little teeny tiny bit in that moment but I overcame it best I could!!! Don't judge me. 
Anyway, I love them all the same and I legitimately in all seriousness want to help them. We finished off the lesson without going down that dangerous path and they really liked the message of the restoration. They said to come back so we will go back tonight to see if we can build their faith a little more in the savior before..... frankly, all hell breaks loose and we have to call them to repentance. I don't know how else to say it. That's exactly what we do as missionaries. Truth will always be truth and no matter how terrifying it will be we must call repentance and look upon sin with no degree of allowance. We will do so in love, it will just be interesting. 

Planning on Friday night we began to hear a weird dripping sound. We checked to see what it was only to find the light fixture in the restroom was dripping. Great. *puff*  another apartment living problem. I undid the light and emptied it out as all this water drained from our ceiling for the next few hours. The people upstairs say they don't know anything about it but they also had  a son in the bathtub at that same time. I've been calling plumbers and the housing people and trying to make decisions. When the next morning it had all stopped I told the plumber to just not come out since it seemed fine. Then the housing people yelled at me, not because they were angry but to get the point across that I need to get the plumber out so I called the plumber and he said he would have to charge me now, but i needed to coordinate the people upstairs to be home at the same time so I talked to them and they gave us their renters number so I called housing to figure out what to do with the situation and it is just way way way too much extra stress I don't need at this busy time! I need the time to figure out what I'm going to be teaching in meetings and studies and lessons. Ah well. Ain't no rest for the wicked like me. Pah. I wish our apartment would just be ok. :P Thanks for letting me vent. 

So that is the basic scenario for this week. The ward seems to be very receptive to us now. We are expecting baptisms soon and the work carries on. 

-Elder Gemperline

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Leaving Las Flores

District of Las Flores  

So I found something this week that I didn't realize I didn't learn all that great as a child or teenager and that is how to take flattery and lots and lots of compliments. I'm being transfered out of Las Flores and I arrived to church rather early Sunday morning. Many people quickly caught on that I was leaving because I had previously announced I would signify it by wearing a green tie. The Perkins, a couple from Hawaii brought me a Cocona Shell Lay from Hawaii. They said it is always given to a departing guest of honor and that I must hang it over a picture of my "ohanna" - family to bring them luck through our lives. Not necessarily approved to wear but I wore them proudly. The meeting was wonderful and I was touched by so many testimonies. Rob got up who we have worked with very closely in keeping him active since he had been baptized in April. He explained how his love has grown for the Book of Mormon Exponentially with our meetings and meals together over the past months. I love him. One member of the ward, Bro. Keawakane got up and bore testimony that recent converts truly are the life blood of the church. They are so powerful in their testimonies and their activity. Everything they do takes such leaps of faith but they always tend to follow through. He ended with stating that it was because of faithful and persistent missionaries. He then said the blasphemy that "If I was in the Irvine mission and had the opportunity to pick one companion as a trainer from amongst them all I would pick Elder Gemperline. He is one sharp young man and I have had the greatest experience with him in my home." Yet again I still have no idea how to react to that... 

Anyway, the point is I am really going to miss this ward. The Webber family got to give us a fantastic goodbye dinner with delicious ribs on Saturday. We  enjoyed the fantastic dinner together. 

This week was also the HOTTEST WEEK OF MY LIFE. It has been 100+ degrees with 90% humidity for 8 days straight now and I am SOOOO SICK OF IT>. Some random people we tracted into were super kind to give us really well working thermos' to keep Ice water in so we can have cold water all day long. It isn't even that I don't like the heat as much as just the fact that I am always wet and sweat drips down my back and face way too much and then we smell awful and feel awful. But I'm in SoCal... So I should probably stop complaining. :D 

I have been really reminiscent this week as I have been travelling about with Elder VQB . Him taking over the area will be a fantastic thing and It will give himgrowing opportunities. I will miss him but I am also looking forward to my new companion and son. Elder VQB is going to have a brother again. 

This transfer is weird because I could be White Wash Training, or even becoming a Zone Leader and Tri-panionship training though the later is much less likely. It will be exciting to see. Well I love you all and will tell you all about it next week! Goodbye Las Flores! <3

Webber Family
Geis Family

Bike Squad