Monday, April 5, 2010

This Week, Happy Easter!

     Hello Friends and Family!

     HAPPY EASTER! I don't know how to say that better than what we have heard from the many inspired speakers at General Conference, but I want to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior that made the Plan of Salvation and Happiness possible for us all. It's been slow teaching wise, with many of our appointments cancelling again, but it has been brightened with a baptismal date with Sara Perez, and with the many amazing words of General Conference.

     We have been working a lot with some part member families: Rosy and Matrin Lopez, and RIgoberto and Maria Turcios. We met with the Lopez family last Monday and shared with them about the purpose and eternal nature of families, but something seems to be holding Martin back... we're praying to be able to discern how we can help him overcome whatever is holding him back, because he understands that he needs to be baptized, but he doesn't seem willing to discuss why he wont. He brushes that question off, and changes the subject. We'll be meeting with him again today, and we hope to make more progress with him. The Turcios family had to reschedule our appointment for this week... so when we meet with them this coming week I'll let you know how they're progressing.

     Sara Perez was taught by Elder Knowles and Bro Marshall, and Sis Villalobos while I was on splits with Bro Petersen. Neither of the brethren spoke Spanish, but it allowed us to teach 2 lessons at once. Unfortunately, my lesson didn't show up, and I went contacting with Bro. Petersen. It was a good set of splits. We're excited for her to get baptized on the 1st of May! We were also hoping to extend the baptismal invitation to Mike Guzman as well, but he had to run out of town before our appointment on Friday... the same with many our appointments this week, people were busy, and ended up cancelling. We will continue undaunted, and make sure that we commit them a little more firmly to stick to the time that they meet with us and ask them if they would like a reminder call so that we can make a better use of our time.

     Regarding questions:

  • Yes, there are tailors here, and a few members that are very handy with sewing machines, I'm sure that I'll manage to get a good fit if you guys send me some pants.
  • I don't have an SD card since the one I had was lost with the other camera, but when I find it I'll send it home. I can take more pictures when I get the new SD card though.
  • I'm still doing great with shirts, especially with the new one Mom sent me, thanks Mom.
  • About the earthquake -- I didn't feel anything, I'm always surprised when someone says that there was an earthquake. I did wake up last night, but I didn't feel anything.

     April Fool's Day was fun. As expected I have a story for you guys. We pulled pranks on each other (the English vs. Spanish elders) I'll only mention one here: On each of our sinks we have one of those little hand sprinkler things. However, neither of the sets of us realized that we each had one. So we ended up pulling it on each other with great results very wet missionaries :P. 

     I learned a lot from conference, and I enjoyed it immensely from all of the council it gave to the family, to the youth, and especially to parents. It gave me many thoughts to ponder about the responsibilities I will have as a teacher and father after the mission to children and the raising generation. I also was amazed at how simple, and direct the talks were, and how powerful they were because of it. The speakers spoke with great power and authority that comes from the keys they hold, and from the spirit of revelation that they received. I know that each of those talks were inspired, and that it shows us just how much the family is under attack if all of the talks talked of how we must strengthen our homes. We are in the last days, and we must remain valiant and vigilant from all the many dangers that lurk in the clouds of darkness that surround us. One of my favorites was Boyd K Packer, he hit it home really good with his talk speaking to fathers. That was powerful. I look forward again and comparing the notes that I took listening to him during conference and comparing to what I think when I re-read his talk come May. I also enjoyed seeing and hearing Bro Rasband, I heard him a few times at the MTC and he always had some great remarks concerning missionary work. I know it to be very close to his heart. 

     I loved reading the spiritual thought about "Be Still My Soul" it is also one of my favorite songs; it really does apply to us whenever we are in grief and pain, we must always remember that God is on our side, and that He has conquered all, and He is always there with his hand extended in love towards us, and we must only reach out with our own hands and take His, and we will be lifted out of the clouds of gloom and sorrow that may burden our souls.

     I love my mission! I love the people here in Sonoma, and I love what I'm learning here everyday! Everything gets clearer as I study more and more the many things that we have from the mission library in addition to the scriptures. It makes me understand the story of the recent convert from Germany and what she said, that we truly don't understand, or comprehend what we have. If we did then we would shout it out from the rooftops! We have God's love here on the Earth today! We have evidence of it through the Book of Mormon, a living prophet, and through personal revelation through prayer and the Holy Ghost. We have answers to questions that the entire world is still in the shadow of doubt, but we have the light! Like Christ said unto His disciples, "Hold up your light, that it may shine unto the world, and that people may see it and glory God who is in Heaven." (Matthew 5:17?) I know that this is the Lord's work and that I've been called here to share my testimony to my brothers and sisters here.

     Your missionary,

     Elder Mackelprang

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