Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving en Tenedor Español

Dear Family and Friends,

Happy Thanksgiving! I will confess I was a little homesick on Thursday. I miss the cousins and grandparents and siblings that usually surround the dinner table, but instead I was in good company. We had a thanksgiving lunch at the Parker's home. All of their kids were older than us, but Bro. Parker and his son served in Brazil, so it was cool to visit with them.
Also, they live on a hill right next to the golf course here in Spanish Fork, so to work off some of the calories we ate, we drove golf balls off of their back porch. Golf is tough, but for the first time, I was kind of getting the hang of it. It was so relaxing and we had prettiest view up there.

Later we had Thanksgiving "Dinner" at one of our Investigator's homes. He lives in the basement apartment of some members, so together we all ate a very classy thanksgiving dinner and our investigator, Brian Nicely, was sick with a sinus infection, so we gave him a blessing and talked about how far along he is in he Book of Mormon. (Around chapter 12 of 1st Nephi). It's awesome to see him progressing, he was a little homesick too because it was his first Thanksgiving away from his family in Kentucky.

Also, this week Spanish Fork wasted no time and had their Christmas, "Festival of Lights", parade the day after Thanksgiving. I find it interesting that compared to Christmas, Thanksgiving is never over-celebrated. Black Fridaystarts Thursday night here. It's kind of sad how it engulfs thanksgiving and people go from expressing their gratitude to spoiling themselves with a new TV or video game console. A anyways, I was in a parade! All of the missionaries from my district walked together and waved to people along side the street and shook people's hands and wished them merry Christmas. I'm pretty sure that the people alongside the street cheered for us more than the fireworks or the floats. Only in Utah haha...

This weekend we had two baptisms and two confirmations. One was for Janet Davis. A woman who has been investigating the church since 1995 (a year after I was born!) and been through 15 sets of different missionaries, but for some reason, the first time since I had moved to this new area, we knocked on her door and she told us how that she finally quit smoking and drinking coffee and she was ready to be baptized. This was a miracle. She has been smoking for 34 years and the day that I get to meet her, she hasn't smoked for a week. We later learned that she was using the power of the Atonement and Repentance to change and finally quit. She has tried dozens of times to quit, but she never once called upon the power of the Atonement and relied on the Lord's strength to help her overcome her addiction. She said "this time, it was easy".

The other baptism was for Jose Solis, a great man who had trouble committing to be baptized for many years. His wife and kids are active and baptized, but he was afraid of commitment and always put off the blessings that he could be receiving. On my first lesson with him, I challenged him to be baptized and he said "I will". Those are the most exciting words to hear after a baptismal commitment. Since that night, Jose has progressed so much and he even handed off the torch to one of his co-workers and told him that he would be next. That same coworker has a lesson scheduled with the Spanish Elders and he also comes from an active family. Jose wants to be his fellow-shipper.

Okay, this e-mail is crazy long haha. But I haven't been able to be on Facebook this week because the FHC was closed all week and my iPad is experiencing technical difficulties.

Have an awesome week everyone! Happy Holidays! Snow is coming tomorrow!

I love you all.

-Elder Sellers

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Utah Provo Mission

Hey Amigos e Familia, 

There is really no way to explain how a mission flies by so fast. All I know is that the busier you are, more you realize that fact, and this week I felt like I didn't have a moment to stop and breathe, but that's how a mission should be right??

We had a Zone Conference this last week and we heard a lot of cool insight from our Mission President. One thing he stressed is making sure other people know "why". Why we want to teach them. Why they should be baptized, why the gospel is so important. It reminded me that as full-time missionaries and member missionaries, when we invite people to church, mutual, to be baptized, etc. We should always tell them "why". If our friends know that we want them to enjoy the same blessings and happiness as us and if they know that how much you have been blessed, the wouldn't take your invitations so lightly. If that makes sense. 

In this e-mail I included some cool sunset pictures that I was able to witness here in Spanish Fork. I like to think that God paints the skies each night and showcases them where everyone can see them. So in other words, sunsets remind me of him, so I take lots of pictures of them. 

I'll share more experiences next week. I don't even have time to start this week haha.

Take care, have an awesome week! I love you guys! 

-Elder Sellers

Monday, November 11, 2013

Spanish Fark..

Hello everyone, 

We just finished up week 2 here, and I can't believe how fast it went and how busy we were. There is a lot to be done in this area and there's already a lot going on. I have yet to have a single baptism in any of my areas, because by the time someone we taught was close to their baptismal date, I got moved to a new area, but if all goes well, we should have 4 baptisms in the next 3 weeks. 3 of which are scheduled on the30th of Nov. now. Apparently it's a great day to get baptized haha. One of those people on date for the 30th has been investigating the church for 10+ years, has been taught by dozens of sets of missionaries, but has never been able to quit smoking and now for some purpose that I don't know. God has delegated my companion and I to be here at the time when she can finally enter into the waters of baptism and start a new chapter in her life. Pretty cool stuff. 

One thing really interesting about serving in Utah is that people all over the country, all over the world, come here on a whim or just for some kind of change in their life and they find the church. When I was in Mapleton, during my last week there, we taught a guy named Jason who knew absolutely nothing about the church except the stereotype that we have a lot of wives. When he came to stay with friends in Mapleton (98% LDS) he knew that this is why he came. He knew that the church is what he was looking for when he came out here. We had one lesson with him and then we put him on date to be batized. God prepares people. In his own way he brought Jason to Utah and in his own way, he will change his life forever. 

I love being a missionary, I love this gospel. I love the happiness it brings to everyone who chooses to follow Jesus Christ. 

I challenge each of you to reach out to your friends and family that have been prepared and are ready to have the happiness of the gospel in their lives as well. 

I love you all! Take care! Happy Veterans Day! Pray for the Phillipines!

-Elder Sellers

Monday, November 4, 2013

Winter Wonderland

 Familia e amigos,

These week I made the transition to my new area and I am loving it. There's so much potential here and we're going to build this area up, but more importantly, we're going to help people on their personal journey to coming closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. That's what it's all about. 

Last night Elder Bilodeau and I went to teach a guy named Jose (he speaks great english haha). We taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ and at the end committed him to be baptized. Apparently he had been asked before and his answer was the same this time. He said he didn't feel ready. Afterward we were able to find out what is holding him back and testify to him that he really is ready and that he has been prepared for years to accept this invitation. I told him that he might not feel ready and that's because it takes faith to make a commitment like baptism. The spirit testified to him as well and I asked him if he would be baptized and he said "I will". Those are the best words to hear in a lesson!! Anyways, he still isn't sure when, but he's going to pray with his wife (who is a member) about the 30th of November. I just read today in Hermana Rawlings e-mail that she has a baptism set for the same day. Pretty cool! :D

We have a lot of investigators in this area that are close to baptism, some of which just need that invitation and testimony like Jose. 

This week, I met my English counterpart. He was a VISA waiter in England and this is his first transfer here. His accent is thick haha. I'm working on making mine better around him. People have confused us a bunch already because we look really similar. His hair is brown though, and he's a little shorter. I'll show you a pic in this e-mail. Elder Malster, cool guy.

Elder Bilodeau and I can relate on so many levels, partly because he's from Modesto, and partly because we just have the same attitude about the work. Now that  I'm done with "training", I feel like I'm pulling a lot more weight in this area which I really like because it gives me confidence that I can be a good Missionary in a sense that I know what I'm doing. 

Anyways, new things are happening every day here. It's so exciting to be a part of this work. I'll post pictures of the snow and anything else I can find. Até logo todo o mundo! Tenha uma grande semana!

-Elder Sellers

Monday, October 28, 2013

Transfer Day

So friends and fam, 

My mission president called me and said that I'm going to the Spanish Fork Canyon Area with ElderBilodeau. I'm really excited because I already know him. He's from Modesto, California. Plus, he's a hard worker and I know we'll work hard. 

My companion Elder Bradford was moved up to be a zone leader in the Mapleton area. 

This last week I got to speak to 3 fluent Portuguese speakers, not bad haha. Also, Heavenly Father sent us a lot more investigators 3 of which are on date now. I'm excited for them and that I'm not going too far, so I can go to their baptisms if I still haven't gotten my VISA. It's tough getting transferred because you have to say goodbye to all of those that you taught and worked with, but luckily, this is Utah county and I will be back after my mission. Also, Spanish Fork is really just 15 minutes away. 

I knew I was going to be transferred and I feel like I'm ready for it. I put in a lot of hard work here, and now President McCune wants me to build up another area in Spanish Fork.

There's this guy named Jason from Nebraska who showed up to church last week. He's staying with some members and this is the first time he has heard anything about the gospel. After going to church he told us that he wanted to know more and he'd like to have the discussions. After teaching the restoration and about Joseph Smith's first vision, he told us that he knew it was true. I then committed him to be baptized and he said yes. (in the first lesson!) Okay, I sort of saw it coming..but still. I know that the spirit is really working through him. He's been to all 3 hours of church 2 weeks in a row and his baptismal date is in late november. The cool part is that my companion and I had nothing to do with it. All we did was invite him to meet with us and then to be baptized. The Lord did the rest. He prepared Jason for the incredible transformation that is about to happen in his life. I have seen the hand of the Lord through this week with each and every teaching appointment. I'm definitely leaving Mapleton on a high note. 

I love you all!! I really mean it! Send me a short e-mail this week, I'd love to hear from you.

-Elder Sellers

Monday, October 21, 2013

Last Week of the Transfer

Hello friends and family! 

This week flew by as they all do, but one of the highlights is that we now have 4 investigators which we are working with on top of all of the Less Actives we're teaching, so our hands are pretty full, plus any opportunity that I get to teach is something I look forward to. 

I am excited to see growth in the missionary work in our area and to know that I am able to be a part of it. 

This week I've been teaching a lot more on Facebook which brings me to my miracle of the week. So, a month ago I got a friend request from a girl named An Drei. I had never spoken to her, or met her, and we had no mutual friends on Facebook. On top of all that she was from the Phillipines, so I really did not see why she added me. For about a week I put it past me, but I did notice that she liked to post scriptures and spiritual thoughts on Facebook. Basically, all the time. Like us. So I decided to ask her why she added me, because it couldn't hurt. She then apologized to me because she thought I was an "Elder Seller" that she met in the Phillipines 2 years ago. Again, I put it in the back of my mind, but then I felt impressed to know the whole story, so I asked her. This is what she told me. (her english isn't perfect.)

"It was just one fine day, that we have met on the bus on the way to city. I think they we're on the mission. And we talk a little about religion and he shared to me the book of mormon. I like the concept of what he say "that someday our family will be united in da kingdom of God forever." "

After reading that I pieced the whole puzzle together and realized that this was a miracle staring me in the face. She added me because she met an Elder with a similar name to mine, she told me that he shared a Book of Mormon with her, and she likes the idea that someday we can be with our families forever!

I asked her if she wanted to learn more about the Book of Mormon and how she can be with her family forever.

She said of course. Since then I've taught her two lessons on Facebook and Invited her to read the Book of Mormon and Pray about it. This missionary experience was an answer to my prayers and strengthened my testimony that "the field is white already to harvest". God is preparing people in our lives right now and all we have to do is open our mouths share what we know to be true. If we pray for missionary opportunities and earnestly look for them. We will find them.

I love you all. Have a great week!

-Elder Sellers

Monday, October 14, 2013

Things Are Looking Up!

So I don't want to make this too long, but yesterday was a sweet day, we spoke in one of the primaries in Mapleton about missionary work because that is their theme for the month. Also, we went to a sacrament meeting at 1 pm hoping to see our 1 progressing investigator (Mapleton is 98% LDS, so that's not too bad haha)...Anyways, we chose to go to that sacrament meeting even though there were a lot of other options we had. Just after we sat down, a woman came and introduced us to her 88 year old father who has been investigating the church in another state, but he just recently moved to live with them in Mapleton. We met him and we're setting up a lesson with him soon. that's another investigator!

Then last night we stopped by Brian's house. Brian is the only non-member in his family and we've tried to contact him for over a month now, when we had dinner with his family, but we didn't feel that it was the right time to talk to him about hearing the discussions. I've been praying about him for weeks now and all day I fasted for him that "his heart would be softened and that we'd be able to contact him soon". Before we pull up to his house, we decided to say a prayer, afterwards we saw that all of the lights in his house were on and so things were looking up. We knock on the door and Brian answers. He invites us in and we started visiting with him. We found out that their family had just gotten back from their 4 day trip to Disneyland an hour before. Also, his whole family was busy unpacking or resting, so the setting was perfect to ask him about teaching him, but we didn't get to........because he basically asked us to teach him! At some point in the conversation he told us about how he isn't a member and is still learning about what he believes, he also told us that he came from an anti-mormon family, but he took everything negative that they heard about the church with a grain of salt, (A big grain of salt!). I asked him if he wanted to hear the discussions so he could learn more. He said yeah! We scheduled to teach him this Saturday, but not after having a discussion about the atonement. He already believes in a large part of the Plan of Salvation. Anyways, Brian is the first new investigator we have had since I got here 4 weeks ago. That's big news! I'm so grateful that my prayers were answered and I my testimony of fasting has never been stronger. If we really need something from our Heavenly Father, fast and for it. The timing, the setting, the words that were put in our mouths couldn't have been our own. We weren't even planning on stopping by that night because we we called him twice that day. It was all one big miracle for us and a huge testimony builder that God is really involved in His work.

This wasn't short haha, but I was too excited about it to not write all about it. I love this work. I love this mission. I love being a missionary! 

Also.... I love you all! and would love to hear from you!

You're e-mails always pick me up. 

Have a great week!

Love, Elder Sellers

PS: I may be going to the BYU...Boise State game...