Monday, October 1, 2012

Sept 24, 2012

 Yep, we got to go to the temple as a mission on thursday. It was awesome of course. I've been studying the Law of sacrifice this week since then. Pretty interesting stuff. The temple pres. talked to us in the chapel session about some stuff that really piqued my interest.
  We had another baptism this weekend of another polygamist back ground girl. She packed the chapel as well. It was a great service.
 You nailed it right on the head with my companion ha It's been difficult going from VERY experienced to no experience. It's been tough to get people to take the necessary steps but the Lord is blessing us. And he's blessing ME with patience. Yep, Ben is about to change a whooooollleeee lot.
 Give melissa a big hug for me and tell her i love her. And everyone else too but especially her. I'll definitely fast and pray for andy and kayla still too.
 I really hope it all works out that we can all go to the temple. That'll be so awesome.

Well sorry this is so short. Life is great and we're tearin it up my last couple weeks. Tell dad i love him and thanks for his email, i printed it out. Love you! 
  Elder spurlin  

Aug 23, 2012

Hey mom, thanks for your email :) 

So at church on sunday this girl stopped us in the hallway and said, "Hey! I saw your sister the other day!" Baha she worked at the "Malt shop" Where Chris & her friend stopped for lunch after the temple. It was so funny. I'm glad i'm not the only one who loves the manti temple so much. That really is my favorite place on earth i think. It just has a different feel than anywhere else i've ever been, including temples. 

Things here are still going great though. We're still finding like crazy. It was hard to meet with people last week cause school started but this week things should settle down. Oh! We did have a baptism this past weekend though, not sure if i mentioned that. I'll have to send you pictures next week though cause i forgot my memory card adapter today. Sorry! We've seen lots of miracles this week as well though. 

I know i've talked about fasting before but ah! I have such a testimony of it! I've been fasting once a week for the past several weeks for Heavenly Fathers help developing some personal things but also to help us be more spiritualy sensitive as a companionship and to help me teach that to Elder Larsen and Oh my goodness! What a difference. countless times this week we diverted from our plans because somewhere else just seemed like the place to be and if not there, then as a result of that we were lead to someone to talk to or a non-member. It's been quite the amazing experience. There's power in fasting.

We're gonna go change out our laundry, Love ya!

 Elder Spurlin 

Sept 3, 2012

Hey mom,
  The past week has been good. We have 8 people with a baptismal date now and several new investigators we should pick up this week. There's still tons of potentials here. All 15 bishops in the stake were asked by our amazing stake president to know and meet every single person in their ward. In effect to have every bed accounted for, and to compile a list of every non-member in each ward. They'll be giving that to us in the next week or two. That is going to help an immeasurable amount. We're really excited about that and it's doable because of the size of the college. Lots to do. We're finally gonna get to go fishing next monday. I really love this area a lot, i'm gonna miss it like crazy. We know everyone and that makes it loads of fun. I'm trying to teach Elder Larsen how to best work with the members cause that's where the true strength and success comes from in our mission and there's always a certain level of fun that comes from that. The biggest challenge for missionaries is knowing when you're engaged in a productive activity verses wasting time. If you're being a disciple or a dude. Like going to ward family home evenings on monday nights. Alot of missionaries would say that's a waste of time or that it's just hanging out but i'm trying to teach elder Larsen that there's a fine line between the two. You can go and build confidence in the members but you have to recognize what activities are appropriate there and how long to stay and such. Anyways, he's picking it up and has alot of common sense and i'm really happy about that :)

Aug 20, 2012

Well things here have been very eventful. All the students got back on saturday. We talked to SO many people. We probly made over a hundred trips up and down stairs with boxes helping people move in, we gave ut over a hundred cards with our phone number on it and we got lots of referrals. But then on sunday, yesterday, that's when all the miracles started happening. We're finally being blessed for all those hours knocking doors when there was nothing else to do. We found people like crazy.
 The entire stake met for the first time in a brand new building here in Ephraim. It's the new YSA stake center. It's a 4 1/2 millon dollar building. HUGE. That sucker has 11 bathrooms, 8 bishops offices, 2 chapels and a massive cultral hall. It's pretty big. There were roughly 1000 students there. We have a really good relationship with the stake President, President Bailey. He pulled us both up to the pulpit at the end of the meeting and asked everyone in the congregatin who was willing to help us in the missionary effort to raise there hand. Of course everyone did. But it was neat to look out and see how many people were there. Then after that meeting the whole rest of the day we went to a few different housing complexes and met tons more people.
  We found a girl who had just finished all the missionary lessons right before she moved here for school and wants to be baptized. That was one where we weren't planning to knock on her door but something said we should so we went out of our way and did and there she was. Then we found another guy who has lived in Salt Lake all his life but never met with missionaries or learned about the church and really wants to be taught, etc.
  He was a neat one. We were riding out of of a different set of apartments and from the top floor of the apartments directly across the streets a room full of people shouted "Missionaries!" so we rode over to the building, found their door and knocked on it and met all of them. They were all members so we shared a message with them, ate a piece of cake and left. (we ate SSOO much junk yesterday.) The neat part though was that the door directly across the hallway from them when we knocked on it had the guy wanting the lessons. He doesn't live in that one, he just happened to be there. So if those people wouldn't have yelled and us not have gone and then knocked on the neighbors door like we've been taught to do, we wouldn't have found him. Neat how those things work!

   We moved into a new house this past week too. We're not living with the other elders anymore. It's an older house but we have the whole thing to ourselves. It's really nice cause we can actually ride our bikes home and eat lunch there instead of living 2 miles outside of town up a massive hill. We basically live on campus.

 We had a training with President Leonard on tuesday. When all the new missionaries come into the mission President is supposed to train them on afew basics but they're usually really overwhelmed so he's started coming a few weeks later and training all the new missionaries and their trainers on those things. I've been quizing Elder Larsen on random things while we ride our bikes around lately and teaching him things and he never complains but i can kinda tell e gets annoyed with me. President though in his training brought up and asked about EVERY single one of the things i've been teaching and quizing him on. It did alot to validate to him the things i've been trying to teach him cause he knew all the answers when alot of the other new missionaries didn't. He thanked me later for teaching him those things and he's alot more eager and patient with me now so i'm really grateful for that. 

Well that's about all that's going on here, I hope everyone has a great week. Enjoy having the youngins there, give them a hug and kiss for me :)
   Elder Spurlin

Aug 13, 2012

 Things are good. It soudns like things are pretty good there. We've actually been getting some rain here too. I enjoy riding our bikes in the rain, it's alot of fun. I'm glad work is getting back to normal. It's nice for me having a normal schedule too. I'm reeeaaaalllyyy enjoying having a normal study schedule. It's nice.
 I'm really excited to be speaking with you in sacrament :) That's gonna be a lot of fun. there's nothing in particular i want you to speak on. I don't even know what i'm gonna speak bout yet. 

  You know i've been thinking aLOT about why guys back home don't get very excited about serving missions or don't plan to. I've thought about it my whole mission actually. It bugs me. I think i've figured a few ideas out though. Maybe somewhere down the line we'll be able to get that changed around.
  I actually don't have any idea about the "gift of Aaron". I don't know exactly what that means. I'de love to hear what you learn though.

I'm happy. Things here are great. The days are long and hot and all we do is knock doors all day till the students get back in a week but we don't care :) It's still fun. Elder Larsen isn't a whiner so we get along just fine. We were able to double the size of our teaching pool and investigators with a baptismal date this week and i think we won the respect of the stakes and a few of the High Councilmen over missionary work and ward mission leaders. Hopefully we can get them rallied up and make some great things happen in the next 2 1/2 months.
  Love ya dad,
    Elder Spurlin

Hey mom,
  Elder Larsen is doing great. He's a trooper. All we've done aaallll week was knocked doors but he hasn't complained or whined one bit. It's really fun being a district leader and trainer again. Yeah i travel inside the district to other elders areas. We go on exchanges where one companion swaps places with a companion from another area for 24 hours. It's fun and it's a great training and learning opportunity. Then i also report all the numbers from my district to the zone leaders of course.

 Thanks for sharing your experiences with prayer you've had lately. Elder Larsen and i are studying revelation through prayer and that's the subject of our district training meetings this month so that's really fitting. I really appreciated your thoughts and experiences.

Nope, we didn't get to go fishing today cause it's raining. We're gonna try to go next week though. I'll definitely send pictures.

I kinda reported on the week in dad's email so i'll let you read that. Life is good though.I can't remember a time i've ever been happier. Love ya mom,
   Elder Spurlin

Aug 6, 2012

Hey mom,
Whewy. What a week. I feel like i've spent the week tumbling around in the dryer ha I don't know where to start so i reckon i'll just start from the beginning. We got all our departing missionaries sent of on wed. That was pretty sad. It was really really sad to see elder Brown go especially. I'm gonna miss him like crazy. There wasn't too much time to be sad though cause as soon as they left the new ones arrived. We got them all to the stake center and fed and the office staff debriefed them on a bunch of stuff for a couple hours while president interviewed each of them one by one and while we trained the trainers. It was weird to train the trainers this time knowing that i was really training myself too. But finally the time came when we got to meet our trainees. We all go into the same room and President has the new missionaries stand up one by one and introduce themselves, then he calls the trainer up and he meets his new companion yada yada. Of course i was the very last one ha But i already knew which one i was getting so it was ok. So then we got all loaded up on the transfer van and were taken up to our new areas.
My new comps name is Elder Larsen from Washington state. He's coming straight from the MTC and he's really, really good. I'm very happy with him. I love being in Ephraim. I'm suprised it's only 3 1/2 squar miles too ha it seems alot bigger. But maybe that's cause we are walking. I love being in a walk/biking area :) You can talk to sso many more people and you just feel like a missionary. Our house is 2 miles outside of town up a 1 1/2 mile hill so that's no fun, but usually the elders we live with give us a ride home. Our house right now is only temporary for us until they find us something in town. We're living with elder pedersen and his new trainee. We both were in st. george until we came here and he was one of our zone leaders so i know him really well. I was his zone leader when he came into the mission actually.
Our area right now is really rough. We cover just the college, so both the YSA stakes in town, and there is no one here because it's still summer break. The work is gonna explode in two weeks though when everyone comes back. Someone told us there will be 800 more people when they move in for school, 200-300 of which will be non-members. I like those numbers. My goal is to have atleast 10 baptisms before i go home but we'll see how that goes. Elder Larsen is a good asset already. The only problems he has come from not knowing enoughyet but other than that he's willing to talk to everyone and doesn't get nervous and is just really really good. I'm really grateful for that because the knowledge he'll learn but those instincts are alot harder to teach.
 It is pretty weird not being an assistant anymore but not as weird as i thought it'd be. I have no idea what's going on in the mission and i really miss st. george but i'm happy where i'm at too. The Lord is helping me focuse on what i'm to do to build up snow college and i realize that i've had my time to be an assistant and learn from that calling and now my calling is to train elder larsen the best i can and learn here. So i'm happy. :) very very happy. 
Well, not too much more to report on my end. Lots of fun and exciting things ahead. Ha ok one more thing, last night somehow we ended up in the common room of the dorms where the football players are staying right now and taught a group of about 10 big burly non- member players from all over the east,the restoration. It was so stinkin fun. I don't think i've ever had so much fun teaching. We were able to quell alot of the common things they'd learned about mormons. Typical stuff from the east like we believe in aliens, horns, etc. Sooooo fun.
Love you!
Elder Spurlin
Oh! we also got to go to the castle valley pageant this last week. Kinda random but you should look it up. Elder zwick from the 70 was there and long story short i got to co-teach a non-member with him afterwards. It was AWESOME. If i could bear testimony like that...

July 30, 2012

Hey mom,
  I'm gonna be kinda quick tonight. To answer some of your questions, i'm fairly excited to leave. I'm just kinda mellow about it because i love where i'm at but i will love training a new missionary in Ephraim also. I'm gonna go up there to cover all the YSA work at snow college. It should be really really fun. You're right though, i'm excited to have a set bed time again. My new companion and i are never going to bed late that's for sure ha. 

I'm kinda nervous about the training aspect of training. Last time i trained my problem was that i hated to take time to explain things, i just wanted to get them done and be successful. I've changed alot since then so we'll see how that goes. My goal is to work in such a way that for every transfer after our two together, he'll look back to his first two as the bar that needs to be matched. I've developed some endurance for missionary work being an assistant and i want to help him develop that too.

We had 3 baptisms this weekend. I got to baptize a south carolinian :) Who would have thought in Utah of all places. Totally random. Then another girl elder Hawkins and i actually met when we were together 9 months ago named kenzie was baptized, then kasey from Florida was baptized tonight. It was a great weekend. We are really good friends with all three of them and it's gonna be really sad to leave them all. 

That's about all i can think of to say tonight, we're gonna go home.
 Love ya,
  Elder Spurlin