Friday, July 9, 2010

Elder Cameron Summers:

Cameron will be home Tuesday, July 20, at 10:30 pm. Friends are welcome to come to the airport to welcome him home.

Cameron's "mission report" will be held on Sunday, July 25th, at 11:00 am at the Burton LDS chapel, corner of 4000 West and 2000 South.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Elder Cade Casper:

July 6, 2010
It has been a good week, I feel way blessed and am excited for what's ahead. I can't believe that I hit a year in two days.... crazy.

So my new area is Carnegie, which is the Zone Leaders of the Pittsburgh Zone, which is the zone Greenfield is in, so I didn't move too far, just across the rivers. It's also the ward the McKinley's and the Hannah's are in, ha pretty funny huh? My comp is Elder Bylund and I love him to death. He was up in Erie for a transfer when I was there and I am stoked to be with him. We are around a lot of awesome missionaries who I love. He is from Orem, UT, and is 25 years old, he is an awesome missionary and person who loves the people he serves. The Lord has blessed me a lot to be here. The missionary I replaced went home, and I grew close to him too, his name is David Smith, and he knew Emlen Birch really well when they went to UVU together, everybody loved Elder Smith.

There is an awesome family in our area named the Espesito's. They are SO great, and I love them so much already. They all came to the transfer meeting when I got assigned to here, and they love and take care of the missionaries. They aren't members, but the mom (Dianne) reads the Book of Mormon everyday, and she and her husband (Jim) have 6 kids: Alena(17), Rocco(16), Sophia(14), Cecilia (12), Amalia(10), and Rosina (8). They are awesome. Dianne is going through a very difficult time right now so we see them pretty often. The ward is great, and I have the privilege of speaking next Sunday on love and service. This area is awesome and it's a great place to hit my year mark. Being a Zone Leader isn't much different, but there are some things that I am learning and that I am trying to learn from Elder Bylund.

Sounds like a very fun weekend. We didn't do much on the 4th/5th besides take a nap on the fourth and go to the Espesito's yesterday. P day was good, we had some good basketball. I have thought a couple of times of "what was I doing this time last year" and that's when I remember the fourth was the big slap in the face that "this was the last shabang." It's going quick though.

Well, I better try to get to everyone else. I love ya Mom and Dad and hope you have another good week. Things are going well, thank you for you prayers. My new address is:

737 Washington Ave. Apt. #2
Carnegie, PA 15106

Love yinz!


Monday, June 21, 2010

Elder Adam Walker is HOME:

I just wanted to tell everyone that Adam got home last Thursday and reports next Sunday the 27th at 1:30 pm at the Burton Church. We will be having a dinner after sacrament at the house and would love YA'ALL to come if you would like to come. We are so excited he is home safe and are enjoying him being home. Hope to see you there. Carla

Friday, June 18, 2010

Can it be? Weddings already . . .

Congratulations to Joe and Trish Gannaway - Grant is getting married this weekend (June 19) in Portland OR.

Wedding Bells will sound again August 7th as Cody Mitchell will be getting married. Congrats to Dave and Jackie!

September will bring two more weddings!! Congratulations to Greg and Colleen Snell! Scott will be getting married September 4th. And to Ron & Kathy Peña and to Cherie Peña Dennis as Andrew will be tying the knot on September 24th.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Elder Cade Casper:

April 5, 2010
Hey, so it was a good week. I can't believe this transfer is over already. I'm staying, and training.... again haha. It will be good. Elder Lee is going to a more Spanish area so I am really excited for him.

The baptism didn't happen. I really am not sure if Ryan is prepared or qualifies for baptism. I read or recite D&C 20:37 and I really don't know if he is humble. He is the one that postponed it, and he postponed it for next weekend. It was good/bad. They haven't called us back or anything for a while, so we are meeting with them tonight so Elder Lee can say goodbye. I have prayed a lot to know if we should continue with the baptism. He was humbled on Thursday night when he told us that he didn't feel worthy for baptism, that he felt overwhelmed. The craziest thing happened though. We were teaching about the 10 Command. So I went to Exodus 20 to teach them, a sticky note from seminary popped out from another scripture in the O.T. It was a quote from Richard G. Scott talking about the things Satan puts into our minds when we want to repent or do something the Lord wants us to do. Things like: "You can't do it, you're not worthy, it's too late now" etc. He read it and it really hit him home. He said that was exactly how he was feeling. It was cool to see that little miracle. So I am writing President to see what he has to say of course.

We had an awesome invest. come to both sessions of Saturday Conference. His name is Matt and he loved it. He is in a wheel chair and we talked to him on the street, he is a nice kid. Some less active members came and it was awesome to see. A man named Bro. Witgen came and that was a shock, he enjoyed it. The Clark's are starting to come back. It is so cool to see them come and they also have the goal of getting to the temple. I am so happy for them.

It was a really good weekend, and things are really picking up here in Millcreek. Since I'm training, I may be here another 3 months but no guarantees. The city is really changing now that it's warming up. People are coming out of obscurity on the streets haha. I guess the violence downtown gets bad in the summer, but don't worry, our area doesn't have any of downtown in it. Oh, and everyone but me (& the Lindblom's) are going this transfer. The Zone Leaders in the district are getting doubled out, so everyone will be new.

Anyway, I love ya and I will hear from you next week!

April 12, 2010
Hola Madre.

So this week was good. It was nice to go to Pittsburgh, it was way warm, like low 80's. Even when we got back it was like 75 in Erie. But, it's pretty much like Rexburg, it snowed this week as well.

My new companion, my "son" as we call them, is Elder Davis. He is from Taylorsville, UT. He is a good kid. Soft spoken, and quite a bit different than I am, but he is hard working and very willing to talk to people. He is kinda scared about it all, and struggles to speak of course, but he is very willing and it's awesome to make progress each time he opens his mouth.

So the new missionaries in the district are Elder Tranter (my trainer) and Elder Zaleski (my MTC comp). I was way pumped to hear they were coming to Erie, I will be learning a lot from them.

So the Kasbee's didn't get baptized. They have really thrown me for a loop. We taught them on Wednesday with Bro. Bittner and it went ok, the Kasbee's brought out the concern that they didn't want Blake to be baptized because he has a mother who isn't setting the example and isn't willing to change, she is pretty hard hearted. So we lost contact with them after that, and they still haven't returned phone calls or anything at all. I don't know what else to do.

Matt, the one to come to conference, can't come to church for a while as far as we know now. Since he is in a wheelchair, he got some bad pressure sores that make him have to sit outside his wheelchair, keeping him from leaving his house. It's a sad thing, because we set him with a baptismal date of May 1, but if he can't come to church we aren't sure if he can come. We are praying for a miracle that they heal so he can be baptized. Outside of that there isn't a whole lot going on. It was sort of a slow week. New transfers are bittersweet, because I like the change but it's almost overwhelming.

There was a good lesson in Elder's quorum. First off the brother teaching talked about how Elder Scott (I think) was down in Mexico in a lesson and could tell that the brother teaching was really struggling to find his words and teach the class, but he kept trying, and taught what he knew to be true. Then he attended his home ward back in Utah and a brother who was very knowledgeable was teaching, and saw teaching as an opportunity to sort of rise above and impress a few people, and Elder Scott immediately noticed the difference in the two lessons, the first was more heartfelt and sincere, bringing in the Spirit, the latter, not so much. It doesn't matter how much we know, just how much we know what he teach to be true and if we have been converted to the gospel.

Not much to really say besides the new companion, the new district, and the Kasbee's and others. Things are going well and I am enjoying each day, some more than others. There is never a reason to hang our heads. Oh, Elder Lee is in Harrisburg.

I love ya and am thankful for the prayers you offer. Love Cade

April 19, 2010
Hello Madre.

It was a good week, but wow am I glad it's finally p-day....

We had quite the week. It was really cold and rainy, but it was ok. We had a good week with working with the ward, I am starting to really love them and get close to them, and I have had many say that they wouldn't mind me dating their little sisters when I get home, so I guess that's a good thing right? The ward is good, and we are hoping to find some new solid members for the ward here, Erie needs it.

So yes, Elder Tranter and Elder Zaleski are our Zone Leaders, it's great to have them in the district too. We learn a lot from them, and it's fun because we all know each other, today we are going to the beach to mess around and go swimming (wink wink). Speaking of the lake: Last night it was about 8:35 and we didn't have much to do, and I was so ready for p-day. We were down by the lake and I thought, well, let's just go sit out at the lake for 15 or so minutes. So we parked and were walking out on the docks when I was taking pictures with my camera (which I will send this week I promise) and I wasn't really watching where I was walking. As I was walking along, I heard this loud hiss, it about made me jump in the water. Ha, it was mother goose sitting on some chicks that I thought she was going to come snapping at us! Ha I know how mean they can get. Anyway, that was some fun from yesterday.

Matt came to church again, and the ward did awesome with fellow shipping him. He doesn't question anything we teach. He is still working with his pressure sores, but he was able to come so that was good. He can't come to Stake Conference next week because he will be down in Pittsburgh, so we may push his baptism back a few weeks. He is doing well. We are teaching a young couple named Samantha and Chris. They are really cool. Samantha questions everything and is very skeptical about Joseph Smith, and especially that there are living prophets and apostles. They are looking for the truth and want a church to take their family to. They get a lot of flack from fam and friends about meeting with us but they are pretty good about asking us about it.

The Clark's are coming back to church and they are doing awesome. They fed us on Saturday and we just sat down and talked with them. The Bittner's are doing well, Bro. Bittner is going to be ordained a High Priest next weekend. There will be a member of the 70 at stake conf. so that will be cool, and I think President will be there too.

My comp is a pretty weird kid, but way nice and humble. Ha we aren't way good friends or anything, but we get a long. He has struggled a couple of times and it's taking him a while to get used to missionary work, but I assure him that I'm still getting used to it. And I play the piano at every district meeting but not much besides that.

I can't believe Andrew gets home this week, he was such a good missionary, take notes at his report and let me know how he did. I have gotten some letters from Adam and still haven't responded, but I will do that today. He is doing well and I love hearing from him. He is in a branch where about 8 people came one Sunday haha.

Well even though it's been a little cold, it's getting a little more green. Things are going well and I am still trying to stay motivated and keep pushing. The Lord is on my side, even when I don't do what I should or am as diligent as He expects me to be. I am thankful for his patience and mercy that He has for me. It's been hard to get through to people that this isn't just another religion or another church, but THE way, THE truth, THE only way to salvation. I love ya Mom and Dad and Dad I enjoy your letters each week.

Oh and I am trying to fight off baseball fever, I think I ask about it with the ward members too much, dang it. Love CADE

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Elder Adam Walker:

Here is a before and after picture, its pretty neat.
The one picture is at Jessica's baptism, Aaron wasn't reading or praying at that point and wasn't going to get baptized. The second picture is the day before I left, both of them had been baptized and are now solid members. The light of Christ definately is real, you can see it in their eyes.

Me and Elder Schatt. He goes back to Rexburg in 3 weeks, our time is dwindling down!

This is what it is like to be an old missionary haha, you have 5 of your companions at a zone conference with you. It was pretty neat.

Our week here has been pretty good. We have found some pretty good investigators. We set one man with a baptismal date, his name is Wayne Willis. He is in his 50's and he knew the Book of Mormon was true and he said he didn't need to pray about it, that he would be okay. I stressed to him that he had to pray to gain a testimony in his heart. We got that through to him and he prayed. He knows its true. He is getting baptized May 15th. We also have a part member family that we are working with, one of the daughters is really interested. Her mom is a member and she has been surprised at how receptive she has been to us. Usually she just shrugs off the missionaries and that is that, but we have had some great lessons with her.

On Sunday there was a kid who came to church, he is 19 and is a member but hasn't been too active over the last while and hasn't been living the greatest life style. But he has had some pretty neat experiences lately and he knows that going on a mission is the best thing to do in his life right now so he is preparing now. Well, he has a girl friend that is not a member, I talked to him about her and said lets get her ready so you can baptize her before you go on your mission. He liked the idea, I guess he has already talked to her a little bit about it. He said she really liked the part to where she could be sealed to her husband and children for eternity. Her parents are fine with her coming and everything so I guess the hardest part is behind us. Now we just have to start working with her. Great things are happening here. haha! All I have heard about this area is negative things but I don't know why, I think its great, you just have to be patient and do things a little different. There is so much more to missionary work than tracting. Sure that is a good chunk of your time and people are defiantly found in that manner, Wayne was found tracting, but there are more effective AND efficient ways. I think that's one of the things that most missionaries struggle with most, including me sometimes. You have to work hard and work smart. This is the Lords work but he expects you to do everything on your end as well.

Oh yeah! I almost forgot again! I was going to tell Dad last week but I was at conference and there was a Philippine woman there. Kind of a neat story, she came to the Saturday session and she made us a Philippine dish, they were like these clear noodle sort of things with chicken in them, it was really good I thought, it had a different texture to it but I thought they were good. But while I was eating I asked her what part of the Philippines that she was from, I said my dad went on his mission to the Philippines, I think he was in the Davau mission. She got a huge smile come over her face and said REALLY! what year!? I said I think around 80 she said that was about the same time she was there. She said her mission president's name was President Sperry. This lady's name was Sister Tolentino (that was her maiden name) she married a guy from Salt Lake City and now they live here in West Virginia. She said she remembers an Elder Walker but doesn't remember exactly who he was she would have to look at some pictures. So there were no guarantees but does that name sound familiar to you? Its a small world out here, I have made all kinds of weird connections. When you're a member of the church the world becomes very small. There is a member here in the branch that I am in who has a daughter who dated Zach Lindstrom, I played baseball with him. haha small small world. Its been a great week though. Time just cruises right on by. I'm loving it all though. Everything is great! Love you, Elder Walker

April 10, 2010

So this has been a pretty neat week. Our best investigator Wayne Willis, we have him set for Baptism May 15th. He came to church on Sunday. He enjoyed it a lot and so that was great. He wants to keep coming and he hasn't had any coffee since last Friday so we are making good headway with him. We tried to go and teach a lady that had been taught in the past by some other missionaries in this area, and when we were there she told us if we didn't get off her porch she was going to shoot us, haha, it was pretty funny. I'm pretty sure that is a threat. There was a cop right across the road, we were just laughing cause we could turn her in for a hate crime, that seems to be what people are all about now, its ridiculous. We just laughed though.

Yesterday was kind of different, We were in our apartment and all the sudden someone comes and pounds on our door. We answer it and they tell us to get out, there is smoke coming from out of the building! So I loaded my journals in my backpack and we got out, (that's about the only thing that I have that is important to me at this point, everything else can be replaced). The fire department came and everything, the whole building was filled with smoke, it was a mess. When someone opened the door of the building, smoke would come billowing out! The whole building was evacuated and the "experienced" volunteer fire departments from the 3 surrounding towns came to fight the fire! Come to find out a dryer, that is used to dry towels at the physical therapists office which is below our apartment, burned up and caused a little fire or something that caused a ton of smoke. It didn't damage our apartment at all but the building that we live in reeks like a burned up snow machine belt! haha its great. So that was pretty exiting. That's something that doesn't happen everyday so it was fun. Its been a great week though. I love it out here, I hope things are going well there.
Love you all, Elder Walker

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Elder Andrew Peña:

April 19, 2001...Last update!

Thank you everyone for your emails! I loved them and they are helping! This last week was great! My last full week on my mission we were able to teach a lot of people and to see Quincey Williams be baptized, so I guess you could say we ended with a BANG!! That was awesome! And it was a miracle! The members here are amazing! I have been able to grow a friendship with them and it's going to be hard to leave! Everyone says, how do you feel about going home?!..haha I have no idea. To everyone that asks me that question my response is I don't know, I have mixed feelings. Now let me explain..... families are the greatest thing that we have and I feel I have been able to grow a special appreciation of my family since I have been gone and that I am very grateful. However there have been so many amazing experiences that I have seen and witnessed on my mission! I can't believe that things I never knew before have been the things that I have grown to love and even through this service have seen so many lives blessed because of the teachings from the gospel of Jesus Christ and I am a witness to it and will ever be grateful! But I know it is not an end but a new chapter of life which is exciting! I can't believe it has been two years! It goes by fast! On April 16th this week I went to Chile's with me and my companion and Elder Cook and his companion and with Sister Alexandrina Borges who is one of the recent converts that was baptized that we found and taught. This week we also were able to finish with 3 non member church tours! That was great! I am running out of things to say so I will end with my testimony....... I know that God lives, I know that he has prepared for us something that is bigger than we can now understand and we are all apart of it and he has prepared a way for us to be happy and successful. I know that we will be successful through obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ and by remaining faithful to the covenants we have made! Through our faith we will see changes in our lives and others and we will only want more of that happiness in our lives. I know because he loves us he called a prophet in these latter days and as we heed to the warnings that come from him! We will find guidance, direction, peace, comfort and answers to our problems in our day and for our time as families and individuals! I love our Savior, He has willingly laid down his life for us and because he did he understands perfectly our heartaches, our trials, our pains, our afflictions, our burdens and if we come unto him, through his teaching by obedience and diligently seeking him we will find that peace and answers which we search for daily! I know he atoned for our sins and loves us all! I especially know that He, Jesus Christ lives today and He can and will be a part of our lives if we will allow him to come in! We do not have to be anyone special. He has given us all the gift of the Holy Ghost for more guidance. We will all feel imperfect, that is because we all are! But it is through the decisions that we make that will give us more happiness and peace! We will choose our own salvation, we will choose our own happiness, we will choose liberty and eternal life through Jesus Christ, or we will choose captivity through the devil. My prayer for myself and us all is that we may be faithful to those promises we have made and learn to better understand them so that we may choose the better decisions in our lives! I love all of you and thank all of you for you support and for your love! I will see you in a couple of days!:) Love, Elder Peña