An update on the work! I thought the Mount Vernon Ward was big. Zanesville is one of the biggest Ward boundaries in the mission! It takes us 53 minutes to get to a "neighboring" town called
McConnelsville and that's not even the Boundary line! But I'm excited for this change! We have a full time car again and this time, I am the designated driver! I get to drive through ghettos, country, and
downtown Zanesville! Woohoo!
My current address is:
1201 Colony Dr Apt 42
Zanesville, Ohio 43701
Oh and I'm SENIOR COMPANION! Woot woot! Haha oh man. I'm too optimistic sometimes. After a year, I get to live and breath the senior companion life. My new companions name is Elder Hatch! He is Ukrainian and just got done being trained by his Canadian companion that just went home. So that's also another first for me; I'll be follow up training him! He's a great guy with an awesome accent!
Things are changing quite a bit right now. All of the friends I've created over these past several months are going home in these next couple transfers if they haven't gone home already. There are a lot of new faces around here and in 6 months, the sisters I came out with are going home. That's absolutely crazy. The missionary life is never dull because of the continuous change.
And leaving Mt. Vernon was very hard. I created a lot of friendships with those wonderful people and had quite a bit of success there.
To go along with all the other changes, I got a new companion, new responsibilities which include being designated driver, senior companion, and follow up training my new comp.
To be honest with you when I found out all of this was taking place, I was very nervous. And I kept getting frustrated. Elder Hatch, since he's learning English and he is only a 3 month old missionary, it can be hard to communicate with him at times and it's lead to several arguments. I was putting all this depression and all this anger on myself, and I ended up emailing president saying that I'm just having
a really hard time right now. He called me up actually last night and we had a pretty long one on one discussion about everything that's going on. He then talked to Elder Hatch privately and hung up. I was then able to discuss with Hatch how I felt so frustrated at that time and we both walked away with better understanding of each other. I'm grateful for an caring mission President who's willing to listen to my struggles and give me thoughtful advice. I've also come to lean on the Lord more and more and He's been helping me out so much.
It's totally true that we learn the most when we go through our toughest trials. Though I'm still nervous to be senior companion, I'm excited for the future opportunities that lie in wait for me.
I arrived here on Thursday and Elder Hatch told me they had a few investigators but had to drop a lot of their previous ones. We're teaching a recent convert he baptized but other than that we are kinda
starting from square one. I'm excited for these next 5 weeks!
A cool scripture I've been implementing in my own life is John 9:4-5
4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the
night cometh, when no man can work.
5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
It gives me that motivation to continuously be that light that people need to make changes in their lives so they can accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I think about the many attributes I've cultivated out here in the field. I've gained such a great testimony that if you are willing to dedicate your time and your life to Christlike things, then the blessings will infinitely flow to you. So do it! Bring yourself closer to Christ.
I'm going to leave you with a story that left a permanent impression on me and I hope to do as Harold B Lee did at the end.
“As I awoke that Christmas morning, I said in my heart, ‘God grant
that I will never let another year pass but that I, as a leader, will
truly know my people. I will know their needs. I will be conscious of
those who need my leadership most.'"
“The first Christmas after I became stake president, our little girls
got some dolls and other nice things on Christmas morning, and they
immediately dressed and went over to their little friend’s home to
show her what Santa Claus had brought them. In a few moments they came
back, crying. ‘What in the world is the matter?’ we asked. ‘Donna Mae
didn’t have any Christmas. Santa Claus didn’t come.’ And then
belatedly we realized that the father had been out of work, and there
was no money for Christmas. So we brought the little ones of that
family in and divided our Christmas with them, but it was too late. We
sat down to Christmas dinner with heavy hearts.
“I resolved then that before another Christmas came, we
would be certain that every family in our stake had the same kind of
Christmas and the same kind of Christmas dinner that we would have.
“The bishops of our stake, under the direction of the
stake presidency, made a survey of the stake membership, and we were
startled to discover that 4,800 of our members were either wholly or
partially dependent--the heads of families did not have steady
employment. There were no government make-work projects in those days.
We had only ourselves to whom we could look. We were also told that we
couldn’t expect much help from the general funds of the Church.
“We knew that we had about one thousand children under
ten years of age for whom, without someone to help them, there would
be no Christmas, so we started to prepare. We found a second floor
over an old store on Pierpont Street. We gathered toys, some of which
were broken, and for a month or two before Christmas parents came to
help us. Many arrived early or stayed late to make something special
for their own little ones. That was the spirit of Christmas
giving--one had only to step inside the door of that workshop to see
and feel it. Our goal was to see that none of the children would be
without a Christmas. We would see that there was Christmas dinner in
all the homes of the 4,800 who, without help, would otherwise not have
“At that time I was one of the city commissioners. The
night before Christmas Eve, we had had a heavy snowstorm, and I had
been out all night with the crews getting the streets cleared, knowing
that I would be blamed if any of my men fell down on the job. I had
then gone home to change my clothes to go to the office.
“As I started back to town, I saw a little boy on the
roadside, hitchhiking. He stood in the biting cold with no coat, no
gloves, no overshoes. I stopped and asked where he was going.
“‘I’m going uptown to a free picture show,’ he said.
“I told him I was also going uptown and that he could
ride with me.
“‘Son,’ I said, ‘are you ready for Christmas?’
“‘Oh, golly, mister,’ he replied, ‘we aren’t going to
have any Christmas at our home. Daddy died three months ago and left
Mama and me and a little brother and sister.
“Three children, all under twelve!
“I turned up the heat in my car and said, ‘Now, son,
give me your name and address. Somebody will come to your home--you
won’t be forgotten. And you have a good time; it’s Christmas Eve!’
“That night I asked each bishop to go with his delivery
men and see that each family was cared for, and to report back to me.
While waiting for the last bishop to report, I suddenly, painfully,
remembered something. In my haste to see that all my duties at work
and my responsibilities in the Church had been taken care of, I had
forgotten the little boy and the promise I had made.
“When the last bishop reported, I asked, ‘Bishop, have
you enough left to visit one more family?’
“‘Yes, we have,’ he replied.
“I told him the story about the little boy and gave him
the address. Later he called to say that that family too had received
some well-filled baskets. Christmas Eve was over at last, and I went
“As I awoke that Christmas morning, I said in my heart,
‘God grant that I will never let another year pass but that I, as a
leader, will truly know my people. I will know their needs. I will be
conscious of those who need my leadership most.'" -Harold B Lee
Love you all! Haven't gotten any Zanesville Pics, but I have some more Mt. Vernon pictures I wanted to share. They are always going to be family to me.
Your year old servant,
The Pioneer activity at the Hansen Farm.
Me, Brother Troyer, and R.T. Troyer
Mt. Vernon/Knox County Fair
Me and the awesome Troyer family
Saying goodbye to Don at transfers! oh and Elder Rasmussen tried photo bombing.
Brian Gaumer and I. The most reliable member missionary anyone can ask for!