Monday, November 24, 2014

Renton-November 24, 2014

Dear family,
Have you heard about the church's Christmas campaign, "He is the gift?" In December's Ensign, Elder Nelson is going to include nine pass-along cards for a new Mormon message, "He is the gift." It will be advertised on YouTube and social media, with worldwide promotion. It is estimated that over 220 million people will view it. What an incredible opportunity! It should be taken advantage of. As missionaries, we have been asked to introduce it to members and encourage them to post it on Facebook and hand out the pass-along cards to their friends. I encourage you all to do the same.
I'm glad to hear that Sarah is starting to feel better. I wish her good luck! I'm glad that Jessica is excelling at work and Dad is finding new work. I'm glad Mom is having fun teaching her seventh graders. This week, we found five new investigators. They are all children of a large Samoan family. I'm excited to share the message of the restoration with them. They all have such strong faith in Christ. We found the oldest, Star, as we were knocking on the doors of former investigators. We had one lesson with them and they invited us to come back today.
"E" came to stake conference session on Saturday. It was neat. Elder Pino of the Seventy was there. He spoke in Spanish and had an interpreter. He opened up a discussion panel with new converts and had them tell how they came into contact with missionaries. Their responses were that they had LDS friends that showed them love and friendship.
Remember that you could be the first and only member of the church they meet.
I should be getting your package today or tomorrow at zone meeting. Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness.
Elder Herbert

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Another pleasant surprise!


We love your son! He is a dedicated missionary. I heard him talking about his great great grandfather John Hamilton Morgan in the family history library. That is my husband's great grandfather too! Thought you would enjoy these pictures of a lovely meal we had yesterday. From the Senior sisters Rex & Harrison. PS it's sparkling cider (-:

Renton-November 17, 2014

Dear family,
I'm grateful for your love and righteous examples. Continue doing the Lord's work! I try everyday to do the Lord's will. It has brought me so much strength in my trials. My ward is a good ward, but it's hard to feel the love that comes from a ward with lots of families. But I'm grateful for the opportunity to partake of the sacrament every week. That is what matters most. I'm glad for your experience with Chris's farewell talk. I'm grateful to know how prepared he is. I know that the people of Arkansas will love him. I feel the same love from the people in Washington, especially since coming to know the "M" family. Yesterday, we had a missionary devotional in Graham, which is an hour drive south of here. "E" and "J" both came. It was "E"'s favorite. Every devotional a choir sings, new converts bear their testimonies, and they show Mormon messages. She loved the first song that was performed, "My Heavenly Father Loves Me." The spirit was so strong in that meeting. I couldn't help but shed tears for how much love our Heavenly Father shows us. He gave us His Only Begotten Son to atone for us, He gave us this life on earth, He gave us families, and He gave us the restored gospel. It made me want to share that love with everyone. I'm grateful for the opportunity we have to do this for two years. For me, it won't stop then. I hope we never stop being missionaries. The best way to be a missionary is share your faith by example. We are witnesses of God "at all times, and in all things, and in all places. I will also continue to perform temple work for our ancestors.
I did hand out the family history bulletin at the library last week. They thought it was a great idea! I hope they hang it up on the community events board. Thanks for sending the usb cable and the recipes! I'll let you know when they get to me. I love you all so much.
Elder Herbert

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Renton-November 12, 2014

Dear family,
I hope all is well. I'm glad that you have been praying for "E". We have been struggling to help her see the importance of putting God first in our lives. It seems like she puts her work above everything else and has just enough time to squeeze God into her schedule. She is still on date for baptism on December 6. Elder Tibbitts and I have been working really hard to find new investigators. Recently, we went to our new area in Rainier Beach to visit former investigators. We met an elderly Samoan man that was really happy to see us. He had taken missionary lessons before, but got really busy and hasn't had lessons for over a year. We have an appointment with him later this week. Then while we were at his duplex, we stopped a young lady walking by, and she told us her aunts were Mormon and she's been to church with them before. We set up a lesson with her later tonight. One of the contacts we made at the bus transit last week set up a lesson with us on Friday and she is inviting a friend to come with her! I know that the Lord is preparing people to receive us, and I'm grateful to be a part of this great work. No matter what happens, the work will go forth.
Lately, we've had one of the librarians here ask us about We told her our chapel is a family history library and we have genealogy specialists. Then we gave her our number and the chapel address, which is just around the corner from here.  I've been thinking about putting a bulletin on the community events board to get a feel for how many people would be interested. They said we'd have to bring in a flyer, it has to be non-profit, and the library committee has to approve it. I'm not sure if anybody has used the family history library, but I hope that if so, they will be touched by the spirit of Elijah.
On a side note, could you send me the recipes for soft pretzels and tasty kakes? I would also like a USB cable because I could only see an auxiliary cable with the camera. Also, most places don't carry 1 GB memory cards anymore, and I would like to have more room for pictures. Thank you very much.
Elder Herbert 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Renton-November 3, 2014

Dear family,

I am doing well. This is the wet and cold season up here, but I am doing alright. The sky is always covered in gray clouds and it rains every other day or more. It hardly pours, but it gets really wet. I may need to buy another coat when December rolls around. Seattle is a very interesting place. It is very different. I have met so many kinds of people. There are several ethnicities and religious groups within a single block. I have met Filipino, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Laotian, Cambodian, Korean, Samoan, Tongan, Marshallese, Indian, Russian, Ukrainian, Scandinavian, Turkish, Arabic, Somali, Ethiopian, Kenyan, Sudanese, Jewish, and Native American people! Even the neighborhoods are diverse. One block can be urban, with apartments, condos, multifamily homes, and shopping centers. The next block can be a suburban neighborhood with single family homes.  

I love the work. We are down to one investigator that is progressing ("E"). One of our new investigators committed to baptism unfortunately moved to Little Rock Arkansas a couple days ago to live with her mom. She was bummed out about it, but it's life. Her name is "B". I told her that Chris A is going to serve his mission there. She wants to contact the missionaries when she arrives!

"E" is really close to quitting tobacco. She has very strong faith, but she still struggles to recognize the spirit. Yesterday, she showed up late to fast and testimony meeting, but she stayed for the next two blocks. She also brought her niece, "E", who is a less active member. Her uncle "J J" told us he's been sharing the gospel with a woman at the bus stop, and told us we might be able to meet with her soon. His brother is in town from Alaska and he's met with the missionaries before. He said he's "not in a hurry to get baptized." It was nice to meet him. He's staying with "J" until the 26th, when he leaves to go on a vacation to the Philippines. Afterward, he's flying back to Alaska. I hope that he'll be interested when he sees his brother's example in living the gospel.

We already had transfers, but Elder Tibbitts and I stayed put. After this transfer, he's going home. I was told that it is better to send letters and packages to the mission office instead of to my apartment. The zone leaders pick it up and send it to our address. Continue sending letters to the mission office, so they don't get lost when I'm transferred. Our zone conference is coming up this week, and Elder Hamula of the Seventy will be coming. I'm excited to meet him. He gave a magnificent talk about the Sacrament in General Conference.

I love the many examples of discipleship that our members show. Of course, they struggle, and the ward is very unstable. It always has been. The socioeconomics of Renton are such that there is very little economy, infrastructure, and the place is in shambles. There is very little workforce. A lot of the members rely on the church and government to survive. Many live in government housing. But there are many members that strive to emulate the Savior, study daily from the scriptures, and attend the temple, no matter their circumstances.

I read an article in the Ensign by Jeffrey R. Holland called "The Call to be Christ-like." In the article he emphasized building Zion where you live. There is no more exodus for the saints, no hiding place, no wilderness to roam in. We have to stand in whatever community we live and fight for our morals and liberty. It is quite the challenge. The majority of people here are liberal, with widely varying opinions. Crime plagues the streets, and people are starting to become more afraid. Without hope as our anchor, we would drift into the seas and drown.

Much love,

Elder Herbert