Friday, December 27, 2013

Merriest of Christmas'

To all who have been curious about our mission choir here are some recordings of it! Sorry the quality isn't the greatest. We definitely don't have the greatest equipment but you can at least get a taste of it. We sang on the streets of Nellie Gail in front of the super Christmas Lights house that always ends up on you tube.

We also went with Foothill this Wednesday. It was great to get Elder G into a few investigator lessons because he is a brand new missionary VISA waiting for Brazil. We taught J a powerful lesson with he and Elder M helped out with getting her to commit to a baptismal interview. At the end of the Lesson she asked "Don't you just feel this positive energy! Does everyone here feel that?" in her middle eastern accent. It was hilarious and we pointed out AGAIN that what she was feeling was the holy ghost. Yesterday at Church we got President Lutz to come down after many scheduling conflicts and she passed her interview. The interview was during 2nd hour of church and right when she came out we kinda jumped on her and made her set a date so we could announce the baptism 3rd hour. :) She was happy with it though! SO WE ARE HAVING ANOTHER BAPTISM ON CHRISTMAS EVE!   WOOOoooooo! This one is going to be so cool like the last one!

 We were also able to help a complete stranger pray to God for the first time in their life with us during a first lesson during the exchange. The investigator, had each of us pray a number of times then after talking about if there is a God and what his nature is we had her pray. She at first was ok with it but when she went to do it she said she just felt so wrong and evil because she didn't even believe he was there. We explained straight up that that was Satan trying to stop her. We convinced her to at least try it and see what happened. She tried really hard and finally eeked out a prayer. Afterward she threw up her arms and said "I feel great! It is all gone! Now I just feel good!" Really cool experience.

Well last but not least Reggie got baptized on Saturday! It was an amazing baptism. We had old missionaries drive down from Salt Lake to be there and over 100 people showed up! When everyone showed up 5 minutes before hand and walked in all at once he was just in tears at the support he was getting.  The talks given were amazing, one of which was a member whose life had actually been saved by his wife's advice once and the other speaker the person who introduced their son to the church. The spirit was strong!  
The only downside is I woke up that day with the WORST Sinus Infection I have ever had. Thank goodness Elder Hegland has On Guard Essential Oil stuff that helped. It was gone in 48 hous but it was a hard day for me.

Well Merry Christmas Everyone! Mele Kalikimaka as we say in the Irvine Misison! 

--Elder Gemperline

Monday, December 16, 2013

White Christmas

It was an amazing week here in Santa Margarita and I have to start out by saying it is currently 83 degrees outside and sunny. Nuff Said.

On Tuesday we presented our Zone Training Meeting on extending effective baptismal invitations to the zone. It went great! We had a lot of excitment and zone interaction. With each of these meetings your goal is to have the missionaries leave the meeting excited to go out and do the work. It was awesome because afterward we had a missionary come up and explain that he had been dealing with some serious homesickness. He requested a blessing and then stated that at the moment he had absolutely no homesickness because of our meeting. It was a huge compliment to me though he had no idea I took it as such. We are dealing with a lot of depressed homesick missionaries right now but we try our best. It doesn't help that my companion and I are the ONLY missionaries in the entire zone who have been here for a Christmas. Later that night we had some elders use our training and set a baptismal date.  "ATTA BOY ELDER VQB"!

We continue to meet with our investigator who is scheduled to be baptized this Sat! 

Well this weekend was CRAZY hectic. We had the stakes Follow The Star Live Nativity festival where they had hundreds of creche's from around the world as well as a 15 minute live nativity show with real animals and all. I made sure that everyone in the zone was able to be in the show but didn't have time to get in it myself, sorry Mom! That was all due to the fact that I was singing with the choir in the chapel for most of the night. It was a great success though and  a HUGELY spiritual thing. Last night we had our 5th choir concert of the weekend. It was at the San Clemente Interfaith Christmas Concert. There were about 1000 people there and a few choirs from other faiths. It was the first time President Orgill has made it out to hear the choir. We sang "Far, Far away on Judea's Plains" "Joy to the World" and "Angels we have Heard on High." We added a 4th verse to "Angel's we have heard on High" by playing the lyrics of "Jesus Once of Humble Birth" to the tune of the first. We honestly have never come close to singing as well as we had and it was amazing! We were the only choir with a standing ovation and there were many people honestly crying as we left the room afterward. I don't know why that happens but I'm sure that there is divine help that goes into our little choir. We are doing some great things.

Well Merry Christmas all!  

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Blizzard in Southern Cal

It has been a great but busy week! In fact it has been so busy this month we really need to start cutting some things out. We had Mission Leadership Council again on Thursday which was alright. It was all good stuff and the spirit in the meeting was fantastic and it was edifying but at the same time it was just so basic and dry that it became very hard to stay focused. It also was 8 hours long. That's never helpful. Anyway, we have spent this last few days preparing with the things we learned on how we can help our Zone with Zone Training Meeting tomorrow. It should go good but it is coming up fast.

            We got a new High Counselor over Missionary work here in Santa Margarita. Bro Hobbins is so awesome! He helped us figure out how we can get these Christmas activities a little more productive with finding those who want us to teach. We are working close with him and it is going to really be great. We have set a goal and committed to doubling baptisms in the zone next year with him.

            We had many more choir performances this week. We were able to perform in Los Alisos Sacrament meeting where there wasn't a dry tear in the chapel and it was really remarkable to see how strong the spirit was present with us. Brother Huntington the world renowned bass was even in tears and impressed! We also got to sing in Laguna Beach and Christmas Carol there which was fun cause people there are crazy indeed!

Elders Gemperline and Hegland touring Blizzard
            NOW FOR THE EXCITING PART OF MY EMAIL. WE WENT TO BLIZZARD TODAY! It was so fun! Like a dream come true. I couldn't believe it was actually happening. We showed up and they had to do a background check on both of us at the gate with armed guards. Then they finally let us in and valet-ed our car. We got up the the  head desk and they made us sign all these confidentiality forms and finally let us in to see Jayson. He gave us a VIP tour of the campus. So cool! We got to go through the museum and see the library which are included on the usual tour. Then he called the Team 1 manager and got the permission to take us into the "Top Secret" section of the campus and I got to walk around the Team 1 stomping grounds. Team 1 being the StarCraft  team. I was introduced to the head Audio Director of Blizzard. The guys who balance the units, a few graphic artists at work who were amazing, and the team manager in the end. I was telling the team manager how much I loved StarCraft II and how I hadn't been able to play Heart of the Swarm yet because I was on a mission. He told me he would give me one of his copies and sign it. Jaw Drops.  One of the coolest parts though was when Jayson who is the Lead Composer for Blizzard took us to his office and showed us the 100's of thousands of dollars worth of equipment and took us into the actual recording studio and mixer room. He showed us how he writes the music and comes up with the ideas and then records them. He honestly has probably one of the coolest jobs in the world. One of his co-workers then offered us an internship after our missions. Pretty silly but really cool! Elder Hegland keeps making fun of me for being so geeky and yes it is true. one of the 6 pillars for Blizzard is "Embrace your inner geek." It's written in their sidewalk. What a silly place.

 Merry Christmas all! 
--Elder Gemperline

Friday, December 6, 2013

BFF x3

Well transfers were exciting! I had some spiritual manifestations just before the meeting and everyone went where I thought they would! Elder Donohue went to my old Laguna Hills ward and Elder Shiu to Newport Beach again. Then the final and last thing! I got the companion I thought I might, but it was also just wishful thinking! Guess you'll just have to find out through the pictures I send. 3rd times a charm eh? :D super happy.

Thanksgiving was good. We had a fantastic dinner at the Thomas home in Coto de Caza. They invited over our entire district so it was a little district party of 10 missionaries. We played badmiton and shuffle board and all sorts of games. 

My  companion and I also got to go to Starbucks this week to see Jayson Hayes. Yup... Two missionaries at Starbucks with a crazy awesome Blizzard gamer guy... HEY! Dont' judge me. Their Apple Cider is amazing K? Anyway, we tried our best to get him to start asking questions while we also asked him questions. He has worked for Valve and Blizzard. He wrote all the music for the Protoss Campaign in Brood War. His wife is the narrator voice, the voice of medic, vocie of the wraith and "Nuclear Launch Detected." He is the voice of the "corossair, the overlord, the firebat and much more. He offered us a tour of Blizzard and President gave us the ok to go so I might be going next week! Yippie!

Well I'm loving life. Everything is looking mighty fine for this Christmas season. I might even get to go back to Temecula for a night! We shall see. Love you all! 

--Elder Gemperline

Fantasy Zone   November 21, 2013  Taylor Gemperline

            Missionaries don't play fantasy football. They play fantasy zone. We have spent so much time this week trying to gather information on what might happen tomorrow at transfers. Before we got transfer calls we already knew Elder Donohue and Elder Shiu would be leaving, who the AP would be and ... We still don't know who my next companion is going to be but it is a good chance it will be ELDER HEGLAND OR ELDER GREMILLION! You should be acquainted to E. Hegland and E. Gremillion is from my home stake in Farmington! It could be neither though. You never know.    Well we are out of time because of transfer day but here is a cool story.

 I'm doing well.  I’m having to say bye to my comps.

OH! We sang as a choir at a Methodist church in Laguna Beach yesterday. It was fantastic! There were a few other pastors of other churches that showed up just to see what the fuss was about with this mission choir and before the end of the night we had 8 pastors asking us to come to their congregations. We are booked out every Sunday until March now. HOLY COW! It has been a great success. One particular pastor from the Unitarian Universalist Church said "They are not real people" Referring to us because of the way we acted and conducted ourselves.  Quite a compliment right? 

--Elder Gemperline