Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mon, November 28, 2011

Hey! Nice to hear from you again! I'm glad you had a great Thanksgiving. It sounds like you had a nice time. We ate with a nice family. The one I told you is sortof like our family. I got the latest batch of letters last week. I got one from Dad and Lori, and Crystal and Sarah! I'm so appreciative for Meredith and Kristin who have sent goodies! That stuff made life enjoyable -- Just like all the letters and love from everyone. I'm so grateful for the wonderful words of wisdom and kindness that everyone gives! It's so exciting to get mail and packages! I love you all so very much!

About the Jerky, if you could just send it to the mission office that would be best. We're moving early this week and I don't know the address there and it would be safer, and more likely to reach me via the office. They recommend that. Thanks, feel free to stuff it full of whatever sounds good. :)

I think I'll be here in Marshall for at least 6 more weeks. Usually you stay in an area for two transfers which are 6 weeks. But I have no real clue, I could be there for longer. I guess and pray that it's where the Lord wants me and I know that's true.

Elder Maskell and I have really been working to increase the amount of hope we have for our area and people here. We are working to have the 3 main supports -- Faith, Hope, and Charity. Without these we can't do much. With these we can do great great things.

We have a Branch Christmas Breakfast activity coming up on Dec. 3. It's a talent show kindof event. The Branch Presidency asked if we had any talents that we could share. I told him that I would love to sing in a quartet of sorts or a small choir and he was thinking something along those lines too. I don't think Elder Maskell would sing, but he has an ability to juggle quite well! It's a bit amazing, so he will definately do some of that.

Some of the nicest ladies I've met out here, two in particular remind me a lot of Alison and Lori. The one who reminds me of Lori's name is Lori, and she is Methodist or Lutheran I believe, but when we knocked on her door she was so friendly and was curious about the church. She wasn't anxious to be baptized or learn too much real quick, but I think in the future that visiting back with her would be well. The other woman we visited with just on Saturday was a lady named Lisa. Her husband is an attorney and she has a few young daughters but she reminded me of Alison a bit! She was so nice, and we gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon and explained why it's important and that she can know if it's true by reading it and having Heavenly Father answer her pray. The spirit was definitely with us while meeting with her. We plan to get back with her in Feb. because she said that she has so much going on the timing isn't right, so we hope and pray that she'll read the Book of Mormon and ask if it's true.

I'm going to be writing Dad another letter as soon as I can as well as reply to everyone else. With the bike situation, I'm going to work on it and just see if it's something easy and fixable which I think and hope it is. If it isn't I'll definately contact the office and let them know. It snowed here about two weeks ago but has since melted. I'll definately be singing more because it truly does lift the heart and liven the soul! Thanks!

I know that Christ lives and he is with us today. That we have his constant guidance and companionship through the holy spirit. I also know that when no man or woman is there to turn to you can open the scriptures and feel of God's love, and have instant friends like Elder Scott said in his talk! You are all so wonderful! I love you. I'm grateful to be on a mission! God Bless you all, and keep up the good work. Love you Dad and Mom, Sarah Meredith Darin Cameron Dallin Lori Everyone who reads these!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mon, November 21, 2011

Hey! Sounds like Thanksgiving will be fun!  We're going over to a families that likes to have the Missionaries over for Thanksgiving. They have already had us over twice to feed us and are cool. It's a family that is amazingly like ours. The man of the house is 73, and his son is 13. Does that sound familiar at all?  The son's name is Matthew. haha.  The mother is much younger than the husband too.  They have other children too but the one's we know and see are the two youngest ones. Their daughter is 22ish and married.  It's very interesting. Yesterday after dinner they showed us part of a movie called 'How rare a Possesion'. It's about the Book of Mormon -- particularly of the story of Parley P. Pratt and another young man and their story of how they found the Book of Mormon and what they did about it. We will finish it on Thanksgiving. It was great though, you should check it out if you can. It's online somewhere. I'm excited to finish it. Definately try to find it.  The father of this family is a professor at the college here and an intelligent guy.

We tract a lot here. We are really focusing and wanting to work with the Branch members here because we know it's much more effective.  I rode my bike one time, and when we got back to the aprt. I noticed that my front tire is totally wobbley and loose!! I don't know if it's broke or just loose, but it needs some work. And now there is snow on the ground so we won't be riding. Plus, before I got here my comp. Elder Maskell's bike got stolen! He borrowed a bike from a member but gave it back just recently, so that's another reason we aren't riding bikes much.

It's been cold, last night it was 10 degrees before we went inside for the night. The snow here is weird. It's really dry, and it blows all over -- at least it did this time.  I hear that's what it's like, and it hasn't melted at all really.

Yesterday was Sunday of course, and it ended up being that all of the piano and organ players were not going to be able to attend church, so we got a call from one of the Branch Presidency asking if one of us could and would play the piano.  It just happened that Saturday morning before he called, we were at the thrift store helping out, and I was able to get an electric keyboard!  It was amazing to me. I was able to practice hymns that night before going to bed and then I practiced in the morning. We have a way cool keyboard now!  So I played in Sacrament meeting.

Another funny thing happened yesterday at church, the 1st Coun. in the Branch Pres. asked me if I knew an person attending Utah State Univ. studying Accounting that was an Ensign. I said 'Yes!'  We discussed that he works for Schwan's in the Accounting dept and they were told to hire new people. He graduated from USU and looked on their database of students or something like that. It was about a week ago he said but he saw Sarah Ensign and wondered if we were related. He said they didn't actually hire anyone because they changed their mind or something but it was cool.  I laughed and thought of how weird it would have been if they would have offered her some sort of a job here. haha.  But Sarah, my advice is apply everywhere then you're likely to get hired :)

That pinkeye business is weird. A member said her kids had it out here too.

We haven't cooked Sesame Chicken but I want to so bad. We're running low on money for food this week so maybe next month.

We have found people to teach and we're trying hard to help. We have 3 perspective people now we're working with. We hope it becomes more serious.

There is nothing I particularly need at this time.  Thanks! I recieved a few packages in the last week or so and that has been awesome!! It means so much! It would be good to have some more Mormon Tabernacle Choir Cd's. I have a few now!  Healthy snacks too. Don't let it be a pain though.

I'm thinking that the stuff I bought has been beneficial and good. I'm actually going to the store to shop for boots today!

The people here in Marshall are so great!

This week should be a fun one for sure. We hope to bless peoples lives and encourage and uplift people! We hope to teach some great lessons and change some lives for the better. We have such a great blessing of being apart of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  God is our father, and Jesus is our Savior. We can do all things through Christ Jesus. I hope to hear from everyone soon! You are all so amazing! Bye!

Love Elder Ensign

Hi: Wed, November 16, 2011

Awesome! Meredith and Darin showed up!? I didn't realize or know they were doing that!  I hope you all have fun together and pray for me. :)  I love the twins and baby Luke, they are awesome kids!  Their whole family is great! 

I wrote some letters the other day! I haven't had a chance very good until last Monday.  I'm always very glad to receive letters and word from friends and home, especially from dad.  Lavell is great and tell him I said hi!  I just sent off a letter to dad so that should be there sometime soon.

I'm sorry to hear the tragic news of Amy. That sounds sad! I hope she gets doing better.
It sounds like you'll have a great Thanksgiving like always! There is always many things to be grateful for! I don't really know how to send pictures from these computers from the Library. I'm not sure they allow you to upload them. But eventually I can figure something out to send some. 
Last night we taught someone a really sweet lesson. We taught about the Apostasy and Christ's church being established on the earth again through Joseph Smith and the First Vision. It was fun. Her name was Elaine, and she is an awesome lady.  We have been getting a small bunch of referrals lately from Church headquarters of people in the area who want to learn about the church and get Book's of Mormon.  That's been exciting.  We have talked to and met some other very nice people through knocking doors and stuff. We hope that we are able to find the people who have been prepared to embrace the gospel and become part of the 'fold'. In that sense we all have to remember that we play a large role in the lives of the members of our wards and our friends. Jesus Christ is the true Good Shepherd but we take upon us his name. And it is a great duty and blessing to fellowship and reach out to others. 

Our Branch President is on a cruise right now and won't be back till December and we're really needing and trying to get some serious help from him. We missionaries can't succeed in this unless the ward members and presidency are as committed and willing to help as we are.  At least collectively. I think it comes down to really being a friend.  I love this Church and the people I've met as I've been apart of it. We can do it when we all do it together!
I love you all. I hope that you will be blessed greatly in all you do and may you do it right! 
I love you family. Bye

Love, Elder Ensign.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Mon, Nov 7, 2011 - Sunday News

It's sounding chilly out there.  It's definately getting colder out here.  We had Stake Conference yesterday and Saturday which were great. Sat. night we learned about Temples, then yesterday we learned a lot and heard many testimonies of the Book of Mormon. It was sure great.  The Book of Mormon is like food for our souls - Nourishment for us and our spirituality.  When we stop reading the Book of Mormon it seems like we are less full of the spirit and hungry for something missing.  Well Elder Maskell is a bigger man. He is fuller and taller than me. He is like Brent, just not as tall. We had some good opportunites last night to talk to some people. This past week has been a bit hard because we had a Zone Conference on Friday, and we did a companion exchange on Thursday. We ended up driving about an hour away to Brookings and staying the night there Tues. Wed. there was a leadership meeting in Fargo, N.D. which is like 3 hours away that we went to. I didn't attend the training but Elder Maskell did, I went tracting with some other elders that time.

I've recieved a bunch of mail over the past weeks, and I'm having trouble writing back to everyone but I'll be working on that today for a little while. I recieved an Email from cousin Leigh Heward who got my address from facebook, and I'm not allowed to send email to anyone but direct family.  I can recieve it just not send through it. So my replies will be through the postal service. So maybe you can forward this email to her and have her write me another Email with her home address. That would be great! Then also on Facebook tell all people who want to send me an email to write their mailing address included so I can reply to them! I would love to!

One of the things we do here is service at the thrift store, like the D.I. It's pretty fun. We have begun working out and eating healthier.  We hope to do some running each morning and some strength exercises. It helps out a lot.  One of the best things though is reading the Book of Mormon. It just brings with it peace, assurance, and strength. It promises so much and the power about and within it is so real.
I love you all. It's so great to hear from you from day to day. Letters are always appreciated and packages too!

Take care -- Elder Ensign

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tue, 1 Nov 2011 - Howdy

Hey, it's me! How are you folks!?  I'm happy that I can write to you!  I'm really sad about the kitties. (*Aunt Sandie and Uncle Tom took the 3 kittens and Grandma Kitty to go live on their farm.*) 

So what exactly was this conference you're talking about? I don't remember hearing about it. 

My companion is Elder Maskell, and he's from California. He is a really nice fellow, even tempered and easy going. We're becoming a better companionship continuously. We're both focused on serving the Lord. This area actually has a bunch of small towns in it, but we live in Marshal. It's the home of Schwann's! There are about 13,000 people here in Marshal.  Many of the people here are Lutheran's or Catholic. Most of the people are Christians. It's a nice area.  That's so cool that you were able to hear the Prophet speak! Did Dallas go?!  I haven't been working out too much. But I think we'll be doing more of that soon. My toe is doing pretty well.

We went to church here this past Sunday. It was nice. It's a branch here of about 70 members.

This is a great area and I'm getting to love it more. The weather is getting cold. My friends have been two gloves, a scarf, and sometimes a headband.
Tonight we're leaving town and staying in another town called Brookings I believe for the night. We have Zone Conference tomorrow and after Zone Conference we'll do exchanges with the Zone Leaders for training. I'll be back in Marshall on Friday. It's exciting to be able to learn some more things from another Missionary. I love you all.  That's great on reading the Book of Mormon.  It's the keystone of our religion.  I'm also reading it. I love the Gospel. I hope and pray I can help others embrace this gospel here in Marshall.

Thanks and much love,  Elder Ensign.

Tue, Nov 1, 2011 - My Address

The address to the Mission Office is:   
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
2525 West Main #311
Rapid City, SD 57702
I believe that is the best way to send anything here. Thanks Love you.