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