Monday, January 31, 2011

January 31st Email !!

Hey Everyone,
It's been another busy week here. Monday we had P-day and played basketball then had a fun family home evening with the branch at the church. We played this game called the human knot which was a blast but really funny at the same time. Tuesday we were setting up for our Institute BBQ and we received a text from the mission office saying that they received info about a severe weather and tornado warning so we had to go home and stay in for the night. The tornado touched down in a couple places in the mission but not close by which we were hoping it would. Wednesday we had Interviews all day and then Stake Correlation at night. Interviews were great though I love being around and talking with President he is just a really loving and caring guy. After our trainings we played hang man with Sister Summerhays while waiting to be interviewed. Apparently she has won the past couple of years of Fantasy Football in her family and was telling us how her kids where glad that she was gone so they could have a chance to finally win haha. Thursday - Sunday we had to work extra hard cuz we hadn't been able to work for the first 3 days. We committed three people to come to church to come to realize after that it was Stake Conference in Brandon which is about a half hour drive away! Hopefully we can meet up with them again this week and get them to come this coming Sunday. Friday night we were able to go to a member's home, Mikayla. She cooked us her homemade from scratch chicken pot pie! I had never had it before but it was amazing!!! Then she made us chocolate almond cake! Another first for me and it was delicious! :) We were able to talk to her about patriarchal blessing's. It was a great lesson and I love talking about those because it really has blessed my life and guided me as to where I need to be heading in my life. Not only that but in Stake Conference yesterday they talked about patriarchal blessings. If she decides to get it soon or just in this Stake sometime it'll be a great experience because my Great Grandma Salmon's brother Will Redd was just called as the new Stake Patriarch! We are also teaching a guy named Aiyan. He is a friend of a member that is just solid. He has a muslim background but is very open. He loved Stake Conference yesterday and just had a few basic questions that Elder Cook and I were able to answer and is going to read and pray about The Book of Mormon. He lives in Georgia but comes down to visit family almost every weekend so hopefully we will see him again this weekend.
I Love You All!
Elder Salmon

Monday, January 24, 2011

January 24th Email !!

Hey Everyone,
This week was another great week to work. We spent a lot of time on campus and talked with a lot of people. We haven't had the best of luck but that is just how it is some weeks out here. We are continuing to work with Crystal and helping her gain a testimony of The Book of Mormon. We retaught the 1st lesson with her and we are working strictly basics with her. We had a great experience this past week. We were looking for something to do on Friday and I felt the need that I needed to call up Tim. He answered and said he'd love for us to come by. While talking with him he told us the reason he stopped meeting with us is because he had been in an internship that took all the free time that he had outside of school and had recently quit because he felt it wasn't the most important thing for him at this time and wants to come back to church. So he's coming with us to institute on Friday and will be coming to church this upcoming Sunday. I'm so excited! Tim is a great guy and I felt like he is ready for the gospel and it's great to see him realize it for himself. In September, we were promised that if we would listen attentively to the October Conference talks and write down and then act upon the promptings we would receive, we would find a hidden gem that would bless our lives. One of the better ways to go in the commandment-keeping direction is to follow the latter day prophets. One of the ways we do that is by reading and studying the conference talks. In Elder David A. Bednar’s talk, we learn that the Holy Ghost needs to be our constant companion. He explains that we must first sincerely desire and yearn for and seek the Holy Ghost. We often ask for the spirit to be with us when we pray in our meetings, but do we ask for the spirit to be with us when we offer our personal prayers? Do we appropriately invite the companionship of the Holy Ghost? Do we faithfully strive to obey God’s commandments? Knowing it is essential to receiving the Holy Ghost. Answers to these questions are found in Elder Bednar’s talk. It is one of the hidden gems that is found therein. I ask you to read it and to study it out in your mind. Then ponder that which you have read that you might obtain the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. That will help you stay in the commandment – keeping direction. If you are going in that direction you will be happy and it is my deepest desire that you live happy and productive lives.
I Love You All So Much!!
Elder Salmon

Monday, January 17, 2011

January 17th Email !!

Hey Everyone,
This past week we were able to be in a 3 day leaderdship meeting down in Sarasota. We learned a lot about the member work and got to go out in the evening and practice on members that we were assigned to teach. We got to teach a young family the Leavitt's. Such a great family! They had a 6 year old daughter and twins that were 4. We did an object lesson about the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Lesson 3 in PMG) for the kids and afterwards did a short lesson on the importance of daily family prayer and scripture study. The Spirit in the room was incredible! You could tell by the look in the parent's eyes that they knew the importance of it and wanted to start. As Elder Cook and I bore testimony the Spirit filled the room and you could see some water in the parent's eyes. I'm so excited to start member work there is a different Spirit when it comes to teaching members. It's such a great experience! Elder Cook and I got a phone call the day before the meetings from the assistants and were asked to give a training to the missionaries about church attendance. We weren't excited about it but put forth a good effort to prepare and we felt like we did pretty good. Elder Gibbons from the Seventy came and gave trainings on member work as well. He said that one of the latter day miracles was our missionaries -That they could be faithful and worthy in this latter day world that we live in is indeed a miracle. He reiterated to us missionaries, “You are worthy spiritually and morally. You are an elite, elect spectacular group. But, he also told us that we can always do better.
He reminded us that our calls were seriously considered by those having the keys and that each call is a personal call. He also reminded us that we were all set apart-In D & C 36:2 And I will lay my hand upon you by the hand of my servant.. The Lord’s hand has been laid upon your heads. Wow it was so powerful to hear a General Authority of God tell that to us face to face. The trip was pretty fun after meetings as well because they had us stay in Sarasota the whole time and so there was about 70 missionaries total and in our one bathroom apartment there was 12 elders. It was a blast! And I think I'll just leave it at that ;) We started teaching Crystal again and are just helping her gain a testimony of The Book of Mormon.
I Love You All
Elder Salmon

Monday, January 10, 2011

January 10th Email !

Hey Everyone!
I'm so excited for this semester to start today! We finally get to do some missionary work in our area! Yesterday we got to watch the CES Fireside and listen to Elder D. Todd Christoffersen speak and it was exactly the talk I needed to hear. I need to focus on what I'm doing here DAY BY DAY. I got my super trunky papers last transfer and I'm gonna be completely honest it trunked me out a little :). But my focus and motivation is going to be DAY BY DAY. At the beginning of the year 2011, I want to echo the words of our beloved Prophet, Thomas S. Monson. “Decisions are constantly before us. To make them wisely, courage is needed--------The courage to say no, the courage to say yes. Decisions do determine destiny. I plead with you to make a determination, right now, not to deviate from the path which will lead to our goal: Eternal life with our Father in Heaven.” I make that same plea for you.
So all of you, what choices shall we make this year? Have you determined your course? As you partook of the sacrament yesterday, did you make a conscious decision to choose to be better? Did you say, “Ye shall observe to do as the Lord your God has commanded you. You shall not turn aside to the right hand or the left. Ye shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God hath commanded you.” Deuteronomy 5:32-33
Have you chosen to truly accept that you are a child of God—that He loves you—that He has power to help you?
Have you chosen to put everything---literally everything---on the altar before Him?
Have you chosen to put yourself in a position to have experiences with the Spirit of God through prayer and in scripture study?
And have you chosen to believe in and use the Atonement of Jesus Christ? And accept the Savior’s forgiveness and then forgive yourself? Because of His sacrifice for you, He has the power to Remember your sins no more. You must do likewise.
And finally another quote from President Monson, ”We are engaged in the work of the Lord, Jesus Christ. We, like those of olden times, have answered His call. We are on His errand to do what it is necessary to return to Him. We shall succeed in the solemn charge: ‘Be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord’”
Thank you for all that you do and for all that you are. Thank you for your faithful support. Thank you for the love that you express in your emails and letters.
I Love You All So Much!
Elder Salmon

Monday, January 3, 2011

JANUARY 3RD EMAIL ....HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hey Everyone,
Happy New Year! Well this past saturday was transfer calls and I will be staying here in Tampa 3 but it's sad for me to say that my companion Elder Alber will be leaving and going to be a zone leader down in Bonita Springs. I will be getting Elder Cook and I'm really excited. He was my zone leader in the St. Pete Zone and is from Idaho. He's a fun missionary and a hard worker. He and I have gone through similar things in the pre-mission life and have gotten close and are excited to be serving together. We are going to tear it up! School starts a week from today and I'm excited! Students will start moving back at the end of this week. Elder Spencer Robinson from Timpview will be arriving today around 4 and I will be visiting him at the mission home tonight. I'm so excited for him to be here, he's going to be great! This whole week Elder Alber and I have been bed ridden this WHOLE week with sinus infections. It's been rough but we are finally on the healthy side of the recovery. Yesterday at fast and testimony meeting it seemed that the focus was The Book of Mormon and I reflected back on Elder Holland's talk in the October 2009 Conference and the testimony he bore was the strongest about The Book of Mormon that I have ever heard and I would like to end with his spirit filled testimony.
"As one of a thousand elements of my own testimony of the divinity of the Book of Mormon, I submit this as yet one more evidence of its truthfulness. In this their greatest—and last—hour of need, I ask you: would these men blaspheme before God by continuing to fix their lives, their honor, and their own search for eternal salvation on a book (and by implication a church and a ministry) they had fictitiously created out of whole cloth?

Never mind that their wives are about to be widows and their children fatherless. Never mind that their little band of followers will yet be “houseless, friendless and homeless” and that their children will leave footprints of blood across frozen rivers and an untamed prairie floor. Never mind that legions will die and other legions live declaring in the four quarters of this earth that they know the Book of Mormon and the Church which espouses it to be true. Disregard all of that, and tell me whether in this hour of death these two men would enter the presence of their Eternal Judge quoting from and finding solace in a book which, if not the very word of God, would brand them as imposters and charlatans until the end of time? They would not do that! They were willing to die rather than deny the divine origin and the eternal truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.

For 179 years this book has been examined and attacked, denied and deconstructed, targeted and torn apart like perhaps no other book in modern religious history—perhaps like no other book in any religious history. And still it stands. Failed theories about its origins have been born and parroted and have died—from Ethan Smith to Solomon Spaulding to deranged paranoid to cunning genius. None of these frankly pathetic answers for this book has ever withstood examination because there is no other answer than the one Joseph gave as its young unlearned translator. In this I stand with my own great-grandfather, who said simply enough, “No wicked man could write such a book as this; and no good man would write it, unless it were true and he were commanded of God to do so.”

I Love You All

Elder Salmon