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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

God Prepares People to Hear the Word

It's been an exciting week, and an especially busy last few days. Everything is always busy and fun in YSA and as a zone leader. It's hilarious to watch all the drama with YSA members and see the activities they organize. I get a lot of laughs here--it's awesome. Loni Weggel was baptized last Sunday (Aug 22) and then was confirmed two days ago. She also received a calling. She is very happy to be a part of the gospel and to finally be a member. A few weeks was a long time to wait for her because she was so ready.

Well, lately Elder Piiparinen and I have been encountering a lot of people who just want to argue and find fault with the Church. I think we've had so many faith building opportunities with all the baptisms and confirmations and lessons we've been having that we were given opportunities to see if we had really grown. Some people are so willing to argue and put down Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon before they have honestly considered if it could be true. If people would just take the time to read from the Book of Mormon and actually listen to God answering their prayers, our job as missionaries would be a lot easier. But, I know that God does prepare people to hear the word because I've been led to them, and they've been led to me.

Yesterday we had our Specialized Training with the Assistants and Pres. and Sis. Dance. It was a great day. Elder Piiparinen and I trained the missionaries in our zone for 40 minutes about how to focus on our purpose all day. All the training was really good, and my understading always grows immensely when we prepare for training. This week we will have two more meetings with Pres. and Sis. Dance and our zone, and then on Friday we will have another meeting with all the Zone Leaders in the mission. Hopefully we get to fly to Anchorage again for that. Everything is awesome here in AK, andI hope all is well with all of you.

Love Elder Squires

Monday, August 23, 2010

We Are The Chosen Frozen

So it's been gettting colder this past week pretty quickly. Last Sunday it got up to 93 F and then a couple days later it was only in the 50's. I can definitely feel the winter coming on. I have a feeling this winter will be a colder one, but we'll see what happens. It all depends on where I end up. If I'm anywhere in southeast Alaska I'll just have rain and not too cold temps, but If I'm here in Fairbanks or anywhere close to the interior I'll be freezing! We are the chosen frozen.

So we have been teaching Justin and getting him prepared for his confirmation. He is an awesome kid and a good friend. Hopefully he will be confirmed next Sunday. Yesterday Loni Weggel was baptized, and she is awesome! She is always smiling and loves the gospel. A lot of her family came, and they are all nonmembers so it was a good experience for them. Elder Piips and I both spoke, and it was cool to speak to a congregation of so many members and nonmembers. Loni will be confirmed this Sunday, and we're excited for that.

Last night Elder Piiparinen and I watched the Testaments DVD with one of our investigators. He said that he just wanted to study on his own after this week, but wanted us to come over to watch the Testaments with him. I always love that because we don't watch it very often and it's really good. Anyway, it turns out that he is studying filmmaking, and loved the Testaments so much that he went onto lds.org before we left and ordered a copy. We told him we would love to come over more to teach him, but we knew he wanted to study on his own. He thought for a second, and said "give me two weeks". It was cool that he liked the movie enough to allow us to continue teaching him. Hopefully we will be able to help him progress.

Well, Fairbanks is still awesome and we are having a blast up here. Next week we have meetings all week, and then fly to Anchorage on the third for another Zone Leader Council. I'm looking forward to that. A lot of the members of the branch here are going back home or back to school in the lower 48 now since summer is ending. It will be sad to have them leave, but there are great people staying, and I'm sure we'll get some great members coming back home for school. Everything is going great in AK.

Love Elder Squires

Monday, August 16, 2010

Priesthood Power and Modern Revelation

Time has flown by here in Fairbanks, and there has been so much to do. First of all, Justin was baptized on Saturday, and I had the opportunity to baptize him. He was so excited to be baptized, even though it's been a hard past few weeks for him. Justin is such a funny kid, and he will do great in the church. I'll have to send my memory card home soon so you can all see pics. The cool thing was what all happened at the baptism and what was on the program. Chelsey Gott, who was baptized 3 weeks ago said the opening prayer, and bore her testimony. Devin Parker, who was baptized and ordained a priest last week, was a witness for the baptism itself, and said the closing prayer. In the congregation was a girl named Loni, who is getting baptized this Sunday. It was so cool to see all of that! I felt the Spirit so strong as Devin was saying the closing prayer, and felt so much joy for all of them and for everything that has been going on this past transfer and a half.

President Dance called Elder Piiparinen and I up the other night and was so excited about everything that has been going on. He said he could not remember when the last time was that one area had four baptisms in a row like this. Elder P and I have been very excited about everything that has been happening, but we know that if we don't continue to work hard the blessings will dwindle.

Every Thursday we run a booth up here at the college for a few hours. We can't actively proselyte on campus, so we have materials set out and a movie playing (usually the Restoration) and we wait for people to come and talk to us, and usually see people we are teaching, or members. It's been pretty successful in staying in contact with people we are teaching. This week, 3 Baptist girls came up and tried to bash with us, and they came up trying to poke fun at our beliefs. I get really fired up when people try to bash with me, but I tried really hard to keep it under control. Elder P and I addressed their concerns, and they were trying to convince us of their doctrine. I don't need to get into what we talked about, but what I thought about all of this is how amazing it is how confused people can become without the power of the priesthood and modern revelation. I want to help people so much, but some refuse to accept the invitation. It just amazes me how people can have a lot of truth, but still be lost about so many things. That's exactly how Joseph Smith must have felt about his search for the truth--confused and lost. I know that God has called a prophet to the earth today so that we won't be confused. Just as God has always blessed his children with a prophet to lead and guide them, he has blessed us with that today. God hasn't changed and doesn't change. It's men that have changed things, but God continues to work the same way he always has. I'm thankful for that knowledge. Hope you all have a great week!

Love Elder Squires

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Week One of Transfer 11

It's been busy and and stressful and awesome this week. There was so much that happened so it was great. We got to golf again on PDay with our investigator, and we all had fun. I didn't play too bad either so that helped. This week we had Zone Leader Council in Anchorage on Friday. Elder Piiparinen and I flew to Anchorage Thursday night and stayed with the assistants. ZLC was great, and we were trained on the new curriculum from the mission department. The First Presidency instituted it for all missions in the United States and Canada. I learned a lot, and I love chillaxin with the other zone leaders and with the mission president. And best of all we always have a great lunch in the mission home. We tell a conversion story in ZLC that happened in our zone, and I told the story of a man I interviewed for baptism named Rich. His wife was baptized a few months back, and the weekend she was baptized Elder D Todd Christofferson was in Fairbanks, so she took that as her witness that this was true. Her husband took the discussions and believed that it was all true, but was worried about receiving a witness for himself. I promised him that if he was patient and took the leap of faith he would receive an answer. He had a injured ankle (or knee) and it was hindernace at his job loading trucks, and he was worried about being able to keep his job and get his knee fixed. He was baptized a couple weeks ago in the Chena River, and when he walked out of the water, the pain left his knee, and never came back. It's an awesome story, and it witnessed to him that the church is true. Miracles happen!

Devin Parker was baptized on Saturday, and confirmed on Sunday. He asked me to confer upon him the priesthood, so yesterday I was able to confer upon him the Aaronic Priesthood and ordain him as a priest. He will do great things in the gospel. Cool story at his baptism too. He had a fever all week, and was going through periods of hot and cold. When he came to the baptism, you could see him sweating because of the fever, but he was well enough to make it through the baptism, and didn't show the fact that he wasn't feeling good. When we started filling the font, the water was warm, but when Elder P and Devin went into the water it was freezing cold. When Devin got out he said it was refreshing. He was hot with the fever and the water helped cool him down. So cool!

Great things are happening in Fairbanks, and serving in the Young Single Adult branch is so cool! This Saturday Justin will be baptized, and we are excited for him. We have been blessed with so much success. We are working hard and the Lord is providing us with people to teach. Missionary work is the bomb!

I hope all is well with you all. Have a great week!

Love Elder Squires

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Another Baptism

Well it's been another great week as usual, and the end of my first transfer in Fairbanks. I can't believe how fast it was. We've been so busy all the time that I've had no time to think about that. Fairbanks is awesome, and it's been pretty warm here this past week. I'll enjoy it as much as I can before the winter rolls in. Fairbanks is one of the coldest spots for the winter because it's in the interior.

Anyway, Chelsey was confirmed on Sunday, and it was great to see her as an official and brand new member. She is so solid, and I am confident that she will remain that way. This weekend Devin will be baptized and confirmed. We are looking forward to that. He has a studio at his house with a drumset, so I got to play it the other day. It was fun. I just carry a pair of drum sticks around with me everywhere in my backpack because I never know when I'll need them. I'm always prepared to jam on the spot. You never know when it'll come in handy.

We're also teaching this guy named Justin. He is a way cool guy, and he's enjoyed coming to church. He got grounded the other day (he just graduated high school) and his mom stole his Book of Mormon, but he said he got it back. We thought that was pretty funny. At a lesson with him yesterday he said that his mom had come home and saw his Book of Mormon and pamphlets out, and asked what all of it was. He said it was his stuff, and she told him that Mormons think black people are of the devil (Justin's black). We just laughed and I told him I love black people and he thought that was pretty funny. He said he told his mom that he's pretty sure we don't because he came to church and everyone was really nice and didn't treat him any different. We cleared that up for him, and told him we don't think black people are the devil and then laughed it off.

Well, I'll be staying here for another transfer with Elder Piiparinen. We fly to Anchorage on Thursday for another Zone Leader Council. It was great last time so I'm looking forward to it. Hope everyone is doing great!

Love Elder Squires