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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Specialized Training, a Baptism, and Clothing the Naked

Zone Conference was this week, and Pres. and Sis. Dance and the Assistants flew in from Anchorage for it. Well, it actually wasn't Zone Conference, it was "Specialized Training" for this new program that is being instituted. The Assistants stayed with us Wednesday night after we did some exchanges with them, and then we had Specialized Training on Thursday. It was great. The Spirit was very strong and I learned a ton. Elder Piiparinen and I gave some training for about an hour to the zone. It was really fun, and it went a lot better than I thought it would. It's different being on the training end of things at our zone meetings, but I've learned a lot studying and preparing for everything.

It was a really busy week with all of that going on, and on top of that we had a baptism yesterday for Chelsey! It was a great baptism. Her fellowshipper's dad baptized her, and Chelsey was really happy. She was almost crying the whole time because she was so happy. Her parents were there, and there was a lot of support from the branch. There was a problem with the font, so we barely got it filled in time, but everything worked out in the end. We almost had to go down to the Chena River to baptize her. That would have been an experience. She's going to be confirmed next Sunday on the 1st of August.

The work is going great, and it's always fun! We have been knocking on a lot of doors and having a great time doing it. I was tracting some apartments the other day with one of the assistants, and this old naked guy answered the door. He was hiding himelf with the door, but it was still really awkward and pretty funny. He said he wasn't interested and closed the door, and Elder Hall said as the door closed that we clothe the naked haha. The old guy said something behind the door, but we couldn't hear him. Why some people answer the door naked, I don't know. It's Alaska. You find your extremes here that's for sure. It's great.

Hope everyone's having a great week.

Love Elder Squires

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Science, Religion and Rain

It's been another great week as usual. Last Preparation Day Elder Piiparinen and I were extremely tired from everything so after we wrote our emails we went to the store, and then just slept at the apartment. It was so nice to finally get a nap. It's the first nap I've taken in a very long time. So Elder Piiparinen and I decided to go through the entire hymn book during our comp studies, and we sing one hymn a day, but like half of the hymns we've never even heard before, so he plays some chords on the ukelele while I do drum beats on my knees and we rap out the ones we don't know. I'm not sure if that's the best thing to do with hymns, but it sounds awesome. We do what we can. Anyway, we've had so much success this week. We do a lot of tracting and contacting, and have been finding a lot of people for others in our Zone to teach. (When they are over 30 or under 18 other missionaries teach them). We've also been helping our investigators prepare for baptism. Chelsey is getting baptized on the 25th, and she is so solid. Devin is getting baptized in early September, and he is a stud.

On Friday there was a guest speaker at UAF that was on a tour giving this speech about the relation between evolution/science and religion. Two of our investigators said that they were going, so we went to see what it was about. The speaker was making a joke out of religion and worhipping God the entire time (he's an atheist), and it was pretty obvious he was trying to disprove religion. The cool part about all of this is when he finished his speech and was open to questions (this was in an auditorium of about 500 or more people), one of our investigators, James, got up to ask a question. Elder Piiparinen and I really wanted to ask him questions, and it would have totally made him look ridiculous, but obviously we can't do that. But James got up and asked a question along the lines of this: "I believe in the string theory, and parallel universes, that we can't count how many billions of universes there are, so how can you prove that there isn't a god in one of those universes?" A lot of people in the auditorium started clapping and cheering at his question because it was pro-religion. The speaker said that he does believe that there is at least one universe with a god--which totally disproved everything he was trying to prove before. Why couldn't that universe be this one? It was really awesome because it seemed to me like it strengthened James's faith, and he even went into a grove of trees to pray about what we're teaching like Joseph Smith. He's still waiting for an answer, but we know he will receive that answer like Moroni said, "after the trial of (his) faith."

That was definitely a cool part of this week. On Saturday we were at the stake center here, and it started raining out of nowhere, as it does a lot here in Alaska. It rained harder than I've ever seen it rain in my entire life. It was so hard and so thick that when we opened the door of the church rain was coming in the entry, and you couldn't see very far. Then it started hailing, and the parking lot was like a lake. When it finally stopped and we could leave, we had to drive through some small ponds to get out. There was a car that had backed away from a road because the water was too deep for it, but we had a Silverado so we busted through it like nothing. It was a crazy rain storm.

Well, I hope everyone is doing great because I know I am!

Love Elder Squires

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Elder Squires and Elder Piiparinen

Thank you from the Squires Family

Thank you to all the wonderful members of the branch in Whitehorse for taking great care of our son, Elder Squires, while he served with you for 7 1/2 months. He loved his time there and he loves you. We love you too!

Monday, July 12, 2010

We've Been Teaching So Much It's Awesome!

Hey Mom,

I'm glad that Eric's parents went to his farewell! That's a huge step for them. I'm sure that they can feel that this gospel is true. He'll be a good missionary. A mission will help him be grounded in the gospel.

We didn't get a chance to email long last week so I'll have to cover a couple week's worth of experiences. We are soo busy and it's kind of stressful, but we're having a blast! Serving in YSA is awesome. Last week was a pretty cool week because Elder Piiparinen and I got to catch a plane to Anchorage for our Zone Leader Council. We stayed with a missionary I'm tight with that I served around for the first year of my mission. The ZLC meeting was great and it was so cool to see some missionaries again, and meet ones I hadn't seen before. It's so weird to be around missionaries again after being away for so long in Whitehorse. The Spirit was so strong in our meeting, and it was a fun trip. Elder Piiparinen served in Anchorage awhile ago so we ate dinner with a family there that he knows. All in all it was a good time.

We've been teaching so much it's awesome! We are teaching a girl named Chelsey, who is so solid and loves the gospel. She is going to get baptized on July 25. We are also teaching this guy Devin. He's a way cool kid, and he's gonig to get baptized the first week in September. There's so much to do here. We teach a lot here, but we also tract a lot more than I have in the past. Because it's YSA the way we contact isn't the same as if we were contacting families, so we spend a lot of time tracting in apartment complexes and walking around the streets. Whenever we find someone who isn't within the age range for YSA, we give them as a referral to the ward in whose area they live in. Last week we were knocking on some apartment doors, and at the first door the lady told us she was getting ready for surgery and didn't want to hear it. At the second door was a really strange lady that shook my hand really hard for like 10 seconds and wasn't interested. Then at the third door, a guy answered whose name was Gary, and he invited us in to teach him, so we taught him and he accepted the invitation to be baptized! He wasn't in the YSA age range, so we gave him to some other elders, but it was a cool experience. Me and Piips relate it to the story of Nephi getting the plates from Laban and they had to try three times before they were succesful. Oh and just a few days ago, we tried contacting someone, but they weren't home, so we decided to knock on some doors, and the first one we knocked the guy said he would love to hear our message and be taught, but he was married so we gave him to the sister missionaries that serve in his area. It's actually fun to find investigators not just for your own area, but for other missionaries too.

We cover all of Fairbanks and North Pole and surrounding areas so we find people to teach wherever we feel prompted to go. Anyway, it's been a great week. We got to do some exchanges last week and spend some time working with other missionaries. We'll do that again for the next couple of weeks for a couple days at a time. Well, Fairbanks is great! See ya!

Love Mat

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Short Note

Hey Mom,

Well, I just have basically like one minute to write. We couldn't write today because the library was closed for the holiday weekend, but a recent convert had a special card to get into the study area at UAF (University of Alaska Fairbanks) so we have a couple minutes before we head in. Well, it's been a GREAT week, but I'll have to tell you guys all about it next week. Sounds like things are busy and fun in your side of the country. Eric leaves in about a week that's crazy. Well, gotta run, but I'll talk to you next week! Love you!