Monday, August 31, 2015

Transfers and more exchanges!

Family and Friends,

This week has been amazing!

It all started out with a super solid preparation day! We went up to Gillette and met up with a bunch of the Elders from our zone. We did some shopping at Walmart there because the biggest store in Newcastle is a small Shopko. All of us then went to a nearby park and proceeded to play ulitmate frisbee and football for 3 hours. It was definitely some good cardio haha! I then left Gillette with a new companion, I was on exchanges once again but now with Elder Perez! He's definitely one of my favorite missionaries that I've ever met. He lived in Mexico city until he was 15 or 16 and then moved to Texas. He is hilarious and also a complete genius!

Studies today were fantastic! Elder Perez really knows how to study and to keep track of information. He loves learning and reading and he knows the Book of Mormon and Bible very well. Before I felt like I wasn't getting as much out of my studying as I could but I talked to him about it and he was able to give me a lot of pointers and help me understand more. Ever since then I've done a lot better at reading and studying! He also introduced me to a lot of different devotionals and talks that he transferred over to my USB drive so that I can listen to them in our truck. My favorite one that I've listened to so far is "Israel, Israel, God is Calling" by Elder Holland. It's a CES devotional from 2012 and if you want to get fired up I suggest you go watch it or listen to it or read it, or all three! It is so powerful!

We had a really awesome district meeting. Elder Burnham has been serving in the Gillette 1st ward and he just went home on Saturday. He was a great example to me and it was a very special last district meeting for him. We read in Alma about the title of liberty and then we tore up someone's old white shirts and all made our own title of liberty! It was a really cool activity! We made a big one that all of us added to for Elder Burnham to take home with him. Later that night we had another lesson with Mikey. He's really progressing and has lots of good questions and wants to continue learning more! We found out that he is on a special olympics team! He competes on a bowling team and is a power lifter as well! He showed us all of the medals and trophies that he's earned, and let me tell you there were a lot haha!

We went to an appointment that ended up falling through, it was with someone that Elder Perez and I tracted into. When we were there before he had a little puppy with him, when we went again I saw a different puppy in the yard and walked on in thinking nothing about it. I got in and turned around to see Elder Hatton shutting me in the yard with the gate. I pointed out the 'very vicious' dog and told Elder Hatton to come on. Then I turn around and there are two considerably larger dogs running at me from behind the house. I froze. I don't think I've ever feared physically more than I did right then. Luckily these dogs were friendly and in their case the loud parking and gnashing of teeth really did mean they just wanted to play. They kept bringing branches over to us to throw for them so we stayed for a bit with them because no one was home. We had a good laugh later to say the least haha!

We had dinner with Dallas and his family. All 8 of his grandkids were there and they are crazy! They were running in and out of the rooms and house having half conversations with us and then leaving again before we could finish answer haha! But we did have a really good dinner and Dallas told us about how much he loves the temple. Dallas is the one that was baptized just under 2 years ago and washed our feet my first week here. He got to go through the temple and receive his endowments last Saturday!

This morning was really hot. We went to a less active member's house and helped him and his wife and daughter and grandson stain the entire outside of his house. Needless to say it was quite a bit of work and we were at it for nearly 4 hours. But it was all worth it because in the end they bought us Pizza Hut! Just kidding, Pizza Hut isn't the best blessing that comes from service haha! We had a big ward dutch oven dinner Saturday night! The food was really good and then after we had a missionary presentation. Elder Hatton and I led a Q&A session about ourselves and missionary work. We're working on getting to know the members even better so we can work with them more! Then we passed out restoration pamphlets and did a big roleplay to help the members see that what we teach isn't big and complex, but that in most cases they already know it!

Sunday is once again one of my favorite days of the week. Sacrament meeting was on Sabbath Day observance again! It's a hot topic right now and I'd encourage you to all pray and ask God how you can do better in your observance of the Sabbath. This week we also talked about fasting with the Sabbath. All of you should look up and study President Eyring's talk "Is Not This the Fast That I Have Chosen?" from this last conference. There are so many great blessings to be had if we actually fast. One of the speakers talked about your average noon to 3 fast. God still recognizes it but you don't get anywhere near the blessing you would if you properly fast for 2 meals with accompanied prayer! I also invite you all to do a self assessment and ask yourself and God how you are doing at observing the law of the fast. If you find a way to improve, do it! If you don't, keep looking and asking! I promise there are always ways for us to improve and the get better if you earnestly look and really intend to change!

Last thing. Transfer calls came in! And the verdict is..........Elder Hatton and I will be staying in Newcastle for now! I can't believe that I've finished my first transfer! I can't wait to continue serving here in Newcastle, I love it here so much.

I love you all! I'll write next week! :)

Elder Tippetts

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