Monday, September 24, 2012

This week was a little crazy.

Dear Family,
This week was a little crazy. Trainers drive to Fresno to pick up the new missionaries, and that happens on Thursday. Elder Hardy Left on Tuesday so he could fly out on Wednesday, so I was without a companion for Two whole Days. I got bounced around a little bit. On Tuesday I was with the Zone Leaders and on Wednesday I was with another Elder who is training. His name is Elder Wright, and he is serving in the same city as Elder Fisi'ihoi. (*This was his MTC comp*)  It was cool to see him again and to ask him for advice about training. Which he has done twice.
Thank you for those thoughts from Elder Moller. I had been thinking about him a lot... (Only two more!) It really isn't bad to send missionaries home. One simply has to insulate himself from thinking about home too much.
On Thursday, we woke up early and made the trip to Fresno. It was a little nerve- wracking. The Assisstants told us that we would be getting our companions in an hour. Then, they made us wait for another hour and a half beyond that. Eventually, I was assigned to Elder Pace. He is from Bountiful, UT, and he is an amazing missionary. He is great. It was interesting, when I was assigned to him, and before, I felt a love for him that I had not felt before. I have a strong desire to help him become the best he can be. I am working on it.
I love you.
I know that the Gospel of Christ has been restored, and that He Atoned for the Sins of all men. I am thankful for that, and will be for eternity.
Elder Coles
PS- Thank you for the Birthday wishes from the ward. That was great!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sept 17, 2012

Sept 17, 2012
Dear Family,

Thank you for all the Birthday wishes! It is really strange that I am in my 20's now! First off, just a few announcements:

President Gelwix recently changed the music policy, we are now only able to listen to LDS artists.

Also, I am pretty sure I am now only allowed to email my immediate family. I appreciate the emails from everyone else, but Letters are great, too! (If you are out of country, (Elder Bennett) You can email my parents somehow and they will print it and Mail it to me.)

I think that is it. 

We had a Zone conference on 9/11 with Elder Golden of the Seventy. It was really great, some of the things that stood out to me were: 

1) When you are following the Spirit, go with the FIRST THOUGHT you recieve. (That Helped me a lot, usually I dismiss the first thought, not realizing that I am dismissing the Spirit!)
2) You do not need to be ashamed of the Prophet Joseph Smith.
3) God Knows your Thoughts, and Satan doesn't (DC 6), but he can make a pretty good guess.
4) Start with common ground, then move to restored truth and testify.
5) The single most difficult word to say in the Gospel is "Nevertheless." (See Luke 22ish. Think Gethsemane)
6) These people mean EVERYTHING to Christ.
7) "Confident Humility" is probably the best definition of Humility I have ever heard.
8) Use "Sweet Boldness"
9) Getting Investigators to Church is Crossing the Rubicon
10) You do not need to become an expert on "Anti" Material. It is inspired by Satan, and it will only destroy you.

 We were able to sing "Homeward Bound," For Zone Conference. It was wonderful! Sister Gelwix invited us to perform it for a mission reunion in 15 years. (I will be 35! Hopefully with kids by that time)  It will be nice when I don't have a "Smog Frog" in my throat anymore...

This week has been pretty crazy since Elder Hardy leaves on Wednesday for Maryland. It is weird to be sending another one home. I hope I don't have to do it again, but if I do, I will do it joyfully, and Work as hard as ever.

We got transfer calls on Saturday and I am not sure who my companion is yet, but he is still in the MTC. I hope I don't ruin him and that I can be humble enough to accept correction from him. ( It is pretty funny, our entire district, with the exception of the missionaries who are being doubled in and the Zone Leaders, is training.) This experience is going to be great, I was able to study this morning with him in mind. It is great to focus on someone other than myself.

Mom, you will be pleased to learn that on Saturday, I practiced the organ. (I was on exchange with the Zone Leaders and he did not feel well. We were at the church anyway because he was interviewing one of our investigators for baptism.) I did not have the "Hymns made easy" that you gave me, but I wish I had. I was talking to a Sister at the baptism who has a Masters in Music, and she said that Adults learn faster anyway. I am putting that on my list when I get home. (You did not fail.) I was excited about that.

For some reason, I am able to type much faster today. That is why you are getting a novel.

I am going to make my cake today. I really appreciate the recipes; I have been running out of ideas. Everything I am thinking of takes too much time.  I marinated some chicken this week, though. It turned out pretty good. Those talks should be great, and I am sure I will be able to listen to most of the music. What I have listened to so far is fine. I really appreciate it. 

 Funny thing is, I was going to try and make overnight pull aparts, but I couldn't find any Rhodes Rolls.
You did send me the recipe for taco filled pasta shells. I appreciate it.

Members are going to feed us my birthday dinner. That should be great. It is kind of funny, though, I don't think any of the members know it is my birthday. (Elder Hardy has been here for 7.5 Months, so they are all concerned about him leaving.) It is OK, though. It is still going to be an awesome day!

I need to work on setting some goals for myself. I never seem to have the time, but I know that is Satan not wanting me to progress. There is a quote about goals in PMG and our potential that is pretty haunting.

Elder Golden used the same example concerning the Law of Gravity.

Thank you for your testimony.

I know that the Jesus is the Christ! He atoned for our sins, and our sorrows. He is the reason I am here today, both spiritually, and, I believe, physically as well. The circumstances of my birth are nothing short of Miraculous. He is mindful of me, and He wants us to succeed.

I love you!

Elder Brett J. Coles