Tuesday, May 25, 2010

P-day and Transfers?

100_1077 Elder Mackelprang, Elder Knowles (Richard’s companion), Elder Manciati, Elder Ogle (Elder Knowles trainer) at a Napa Stake service project at a park in Vallejo.
100_1118 Elder Mackelprang, Elder Knowles, Brian E (newly baptized), Elder Bankhead, Elder Wisniewski
100_1111 The ward members who attended Brian and Andrea E’s baptism.

     I’m moving! I've felt this whole week that I would be going, but I really didn't want to believe it, but I could tell from how I was organizing and cleaning things up that I had something of a premonition that I was out.

     Mom, no I didn't get the package yet, probably because of transfers. I'll probably get it tomorrow. That'll be nice. So yeah, I'm being transferred out of Sonoma and to Fairfield.

New Address
Elder Mackelprang
921 Harlequin Way
Suisun City, CA 94585

     I will be with an elder named Elder Bitner. I've never met nor heard of him. I'll see what he's like. It's been a crazy week this week.

     WOW! This week has been amazing due to an investigator that has progressed so rapidly that I would say that it's almost unprecedented. His name is Fernando Franco. We met him on the street a few weeks ago. He invited us over, and we stopped by talked about the Restoration, what we're about, and how he could find more happiness in his life. He was willing to read from the Book of Mormon and to pray about it. He was excited to do so. He wanted something more in his life that he didn't have at that point. We set another appointment for that Thursday and taught him again. At that appointment he had felt filled with joy and happiness and he'd read about 1/4 of the Book of Mormon on his own. When we talked about how baptism was part of the plan to return to God he asked us, "so when can I be baptized?" We set a date with him for this coming Saturday the 29th. He's been learning so rapidly and growing! It's been a faith building experience to see just how much the Gospel can change someone's life! It also shows me, rather underlines the importance of the Book of Mormon. It is the key to helping everyone come to know their Savior Jesus Christ and the plans that He has for all of us. I'm sad to be leaving Sonoma, but I know that it's for a wise purpose of the Lord, and that He has other people for me to find, teach, and baptize. To help these people find what they've been lacking and longing for all of their lives! I hope that you'll allow me to come back for Fernando's baptism this Saturday. Fernando was wanting me to baptize him, and I would absolutely love to have that opportunity. I love Fernando, and the strength that he has showed. I hope to improve how I share the Gospel with others from what I've learned by teaching him.

     I love you all!

     ran out of time again...

     Elder Mackelprang

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Mid-May Already!?

     Hello family! I'm excited about the theater room it should be great! I do have that SD card from the last package, but just an idea: do you have an SD card converter? it would make it easy send home pictures more often. Just a thought. I saw the article too, and the members were talking about it. We have talked to a few gang members, but they all respect us and what we do. One even gave us his number if we ever needed any help whatsoever. I'm undecided if I'm being transferred out (next week) or not. I hope I'll be able to stay. I have a cool story to share from a less active member but I'm out of time. Next week. I love y'all !

     This week was also pretty slow, but there have been changes to how things have been going. This week Elder Knowles and I have been picking up the pace with our 10 contacts a day. From my exchanges with Elder Wisniewski and from the council we've received from Elders Millet and Abbott, Elder Knowles and I have begun anew with new determination and enthusiasm. We're using soul questions all the time to make people think, and showing them the importance of listening to what we have to say. That we're not just some people out to say come to church and like it. As we've strived to accomplish that we've already seen many blessings poured upon us. We have an almost unprecedented number of lessons for this coming week (at least ever since I've been here). Many of them being lessons to potential new investigators! We're excited for this week, and even though Transfers loom upon us in this coming week, we're not going to let that thought make us lazy, and stop the Lord's work from progressing here in Sonoma. I love it here, and I love the people. I'm learning more of what it means to have that Christ-like love for everyone. I'm still not perfect in that regard by far, but I'm improving.


     Here's our progressing investigators from this week:

     Estela and Socorro-   Socorro has been on board since the first lesson it seems, and her testimony is awesome. She wants to come to church and grow closer to her Savior, and she's a pleasure to teach. Estela is getting on board, and has been reading and is very interested. Estela may get baptized before Socorro, depending on how fast Socorro can divorce from her 1st husband, and get married to Alejandro. They are solid, and they have family in the ward. It'll be amazing to see how getting the less active part of their relatives active again, and baptizing Estela and Socorro will do to their spiritual strength and testimonies.

     Armando and Velia-   Velia actually isn't progressing, Armando is. Velia would actually be at the point of being dropped, because she doesn't seem to listening to us with an open heart. Armando however truly wants to know. Armando wants to believe, even though he has his doubts. He wants more faith, he wants to come to church and gain that testimony that we told them that they can achieve. We're going to focus our lessons all on Armando now, until Velia sees the changes in Armando's life and decides that that is what she wants as well. We'll see how it goes with her, but we're excited to help Armando.

     Sara Perez- (not progressing) she's not technically progressing, but she's going to get baptized. She recognizes the spirit when we come over, and knows that that is what she has been searching for. She wants to see a baptism before getting baptized, but we'll see how she goes with setting a date this week.

     Our new people from this week:

     Ruben and Nina-   Ruben is an old investigator, but he wants to find his niche in religion and in the truth. He also wants to be united in his decision with his girlfriend (hopefully soon to be wife), Nina. Nina is also searching, and she is VERY sincere and kind. I love it when we find people who are just truly seeking that truth. She doesn't have much of a religious base, and so she doesn't have too many false ideas about us. We hope to see them progress well too.

     Love your missionary,

     Elder Mackelprang

Friday, May 14, 2010

Happy Belated Mother's Day!

Hello everyone!

     This week has also been interesting, but also has been a little slow. We had a great time this weekend with the Mormon Helping Hands service in Vallejo and being able to talk to the family on Mother's Day. The family is doing great, and they are very blessed. It's weird to see, or rather hear, how much and fast my siblings are growing up. :P I can already feel that it'll be a different world when I come home, and I've only been out a little over 7 months now... It's weird to think about how utterly different it'll be when it's time to come home. I was hoping that I might receive a packet with small letters from all of my buddies from the Priest Quorum, like I know that we sent some of the other missionaries when I was in the Youth Program, but I know they're probably busy. It'd be cool to hear from them and how they're doing. So here's what has been going on with some of my investigators here in Sonoma:  

     Sara Perez - She's still going strong. She's adjusting to her new work schedule, and she's working on keeping her commitments of reading and coming to church. We hope to extend a baptismal date to her on our next visit. She really is a strong spiritual person.

     Soccorro, Estella, and Alejandro - we actually didn't get to meet with them yesterday because they were out somewhere doing something for Mother's Day, but we have another appointment with them during the week, and we'll most likely see them on Sunday too. Soccorro has a really strong testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, and wants to come to church with her family. We just need to help her move forward and get her married to Alejandro or to throw him out so that she can be baptized. She will be a great strength to her family.

     Martin Alavarez - We met with him on Tuesday before we did exchanges this week. We talked for a good long time, and we have a whole lot more of an understand of what's holding him back. He doesn't understand about why he needs to be baptized again, and why he needs to be apart of our church to have that blessings of which we speak of. We talked about receiving understand and a testimony from God about PRAYING SPECIFICALLY about what he wants to know. That seems to be a key that people we teach seem to miss... praying specifically to know the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith being a prophet.

     We had exchanges this week for Cinco de Mayo. I was with Elder Bankhead. And we accomplished a great work. I saw many wonderful things happen on that exchange with new investigators and people who we had the chance to talk to. It was a pleasure to go with him, and I learned how I can improve in talking to everyone, even English people, even though I'm called to speak Spanish as a missionary. I hope that he learned something from me as well.

     I'm happy to be here serving in the Lord's vineyard and I look forward with great hope, faith, and expectation of the wonderful blessings that the Lord has in store for His people here in Sonoma.

     Your missionary,

     Elder Mackelprang

     PS regarding your questions Mom...

     Yes your council about cookies was spot on, and I don't know about the guarantees... pictures soon.

Monday, May 3, 2010

May 3 2010

Here’s a picture Sister Bunker took of Richard this week at missionary interviews…




     Hello Family!

     I hear things are pretty crazy at the house. It wont be the home I left by the time I return. I wont even have much time to enjoy either... I'll make the most of it though.

     YES!! I've been waiting for that theater room to get established, Go family! I was wondering how long Dad could hold off before setting up a project like that! ^^

     Congratulations Josh! You're a Deacon! I hoped you liked passing the sacrament. You'll do great. I'm sure you'll enjoy all of the craziness and fun that comes with camping and Boy Scouts. There are a few things that'll seem boring in the beginning, but it really is something that you'll like.

     Dad was right that I have been enjoying my new Polyester pants. They work like a charm. Sturdy and Machine-washable. I love them! I didn't get your package, but Mom told me that was because she didn't send it until last Fri. So I'll probably get it today or tomorrow. (If you sent it UPS)

     I'm sad to hear that the tire swing broke... I hope that it'll be there when I get back. I should be able to use it too, since I'll be 275 by the time I come home. I'm shooting for 250, but that's going to take a lot more effort on my part here, especially if I'm staying here in Sonoma. I feel like I get spoiled by the generosity of the members.

     I'm glad that Leah is going to be able to stick to her plans to go to BYU-I.

     I still don't have an SD card. The one I had is lost. I'm still looking for it. I'll take lots of pictures with this SD card to make up for the lost time. I can't think of any other stories at the moment, but I'll find some to share for  this coming week.

     This week in Sonoma Cali:

     This week has been pretty interesting. We haven't had a lot of lessons, but we've made a lot of short visits to people that we haven't seen in a long time, including some less actives that hardly get contacted. It's felt like a good week, in preparation from many great things to come.

     I had some interesting experiences while out walking with Elder Knowles this week. We had some people come up to us and ask us what we do and what we're about because they see us running around all the time. We actually met Fernando yesterday in such an experience. We're going over today to see him. I'm excited, and happy that the Lord is blessing us for being out and working hard.
Some of our investigators who are doing well this week:

     Sara Perez- She's still getting her schedule adjusted with her new work, but her new work is scheduled so it should be better than her erratic cleaning job. She understands everything that we teach her clearly, which is refreshing with lots of people who need things said a few times in different ways. She's just about ready, the only thing that we're focusing on right now is that she gains that spiritual witness for herself that it is true, so that she will be dedicated to her decision to be baptized. We hope things will move along soon.

     Estella, Succorro, Alejandro- Succorro is amazing, she met with the missionaries a long time ago and learned that these things were true, but she's reading it again and gaining that witness once again. She says that she's busy a lot, but I told her to read just 5 minutes a day and that she would accomplish the reading. She really liked that idea, and her testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon was really, really strong! She told us that when we saw her yesterday! I know that it helped Alejandro and Estela to try to take the reading a little more seriously. The only thing that is holding back Succorro from being baptized is that she's married to another guy, but she's living with Alejandro... so we're going to tell her that if she wants to do what's right then she'll have to initiate a divorce and get married to Alejandro, or to kick Alejandro out of the house. We'll see which road she takes.

     Velia and Armando- They have been struggling a long time with the Joseph Smith being a prophet, and/or important things that pertain to the Restoration. We had a lesson with them this week with the Moreno's and they were an amazing help. The spirit was really strong and Bro Moreno made a promise to them that if they prayed together in unity and love to know that these things are true tonight (that night) then that God would know what they were doing and would for sure give them a witness of the truth. It was a strong and powerful lesson, and we're excited to see how they are doing this Wednesday.  

     Some new investigators from this week:

     Reina   - We met her while searching for a person who wanted an English class, but gave us an incomprehensible address. She
is simple and direct, and is willing to do what we ask to see for herself if this is the truth that we bring. She is different than many of the Latino people that I have met so far, but she seems very promising.

     Norma and (her son)     - We met them while tracting and they said to come by another day, so late last Monday evening we passed by and shared the Restoration with them on their door step. Norma seems a little reluctant, but she took the Book of Mormon and said that she would read it, and invited us to come back today as well. We hope that as they read the Book of Mormon that they will begin to feel the truthfulness of it.

     I love you all! Have a wonderful week,

     Your Missionary in California,

     Elder Mackelprang

Note that this is a moderated blog - Elder Mackelprang neither reads or (directly) writes to this blog. This is done by his father.