Monday, September 30, 2013

Fun Week.

Wishes this was the new missionary attire.

Beautiful sunset in Oskaloosa.

Dear Family!!
Well it’s so good to hear from you again.. emailing just seems to come faster and faster as the months go on. When engaged in a good cause, you will always have a great time and when having a great time, your time flies!! I am glad to hear that everyone is safe and sound still! This week has been really fun for us here in Osky, like I said before, we’ve been doing a lot of service work here. I really love it and it feels like you’ve really accomplished something.. It’s not like knocking on doors at all. I am glad that we don’t do much of that here. For the weather report.. it’s sunny and should be for the rest of the week. I hope that this nice weather can hold out for us, till Christmas.. haha I only wish..
For this week.. We met a few members that we haven’t been able to go to yet, since we’ve been here. The S..... family is one of those. We got to their place around 5:30 on Thursday, ate some dinner and did some service for them. We helped load up some wood from there forest behind their house. The bad part about the woods here, is that there are all kinds of itchy weeds, poison oak and you name it.. Luckily we didn’t get into any of that this time. The S..... family has such a cool set up.. right next to a river out of town.. It’s like a dream location for me..
A lot of the work we are still doing is through the members and less-active families. We teach a lot of them right now and hope to find as the weeks go on. We are just setting a good foundation in this branch in which we can build off. Bring back fallen sheep.. is just a great as a baptism. We are really getting to know the branch and I am really gaining a true love for these people here. They all have struggles and trials in their lives, just as we do. It really makes me reflect on the life that I have had so far and how blessed it is! The people out here work hard together, because that is all they have to hold on to. I am grateful for the chance to serve, because I know that I’ve got more out of it than anything else.
We lost our good friend B... for the moment.. he’s decided to get married in February. When we lose one we can always find another soul that is ready to find the truth! We taught D.... this past week, the lesson seemed to go well, given the fact that we don’t know much about this guy yet.. he knows the P....... up in Mason City where I served before.. If I haven’t already told you that.. haha it’s pretty cool I think.. it must be for a reason!
With General Conference coming up really soon! I would encourage everyone to give heed to the words of the apostles and prophet. Elder Gay told us it will be similar to last conference... which means missionary work.. Make sure to take some  really good notes, so you all can prepare for the fiery darts of the adversary! The faster and strong we grow as a people, the harder Satan will try to destroy us. Again watch conference with your spiritual eyes and listen with your spiritual ears. Remember you are love by your Heavenly Father.
1. Be obedient to the commandments                                                                                               
2. Pray often
3. Listen to the promptings of the spirit
4. Be good to your fellow family members and friends
5. Know that God knows you!
those are some of the basic things that I’ve learned through study. Read the Ensign.. its super awesome!
what are some of the things you learn from conference? How’s your Book of Mormon reading going?
Thanks for the letters and pictures you sent as well!
I love you guys!!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Having fun in Osky!

The barn where he is staying.

Hey! hey! hey! family!

September 23, 2013, I woke up today and went to email my family at the good old library, that was the day!

haha this is my journal entry for the day I hope you liked it.. haha.. they’re not all like that though.. anyway it’s been a great week here in Osky! I am grateful for the package that I got, it was totally blue!! I am pretty sure that they lost because I wasn’t there cheering them on.. but o well.. So the package will probably last me till Christmas, there are so many goodies in there.. haha thanks so much! love ya!

We had our Zone training meeting again on Thursday this past week, it went really well! It was the first time that our zone was together, since I’ve been here. It was an hour and a half drive to Osceola and that is central to the zone.. so that kinda gives you a little idea of how far we drive. To answer your question about our area though.. basically we stay in Osky, because that is where most of the members are at. We can drive 30 minutes each way and still be in our area though..

This Saturday we did some service at the old N..... farm just outside of town a few minutes. They have a really big festival every year and I happen to be here for it.. super awesome.. So we got placed in this old general store, that has a bunch of old clothes and items that you would buy.(see pics) We basically had the opportunity to talk to everyone that came in there, which is great being a missionary. There were a few people that wanted to know what the name badges were, so that sparked a conversion really easy. Haha funny story though, this older lady talked to us for 15 minutes about her church and certain things in her life. She was trying to convert us in a way, but the great news is, I am still Mormon.. haha.. The conversations you have as a missionary are really interesting sometimes. Anyway we stayed there for a few hours and helped explain to people what the store is and how old it was. It was a fun experience, maybe someone will be more interested in learning from it.. who knows.. That’s something that I have learned for sure, that you can never anticipate how the Lords going to bring people to you. You just have faith that he will help you fulfill your calling.

So I found out the other day at dinner that K.... P...., who is the one from Draper, knows A... S.... and D..... So that was super cool. They are great missionaries here in this branch.

The best way to help anyone who doesn’t like to read is to.. Listen to conference talks or just listen to cd's.. that’s funny that you asked that question, because B.... has that same problem. We’ve been trying to help him read for that last few weeks, but he never ends up reading a whole lot, that’s just because he doesn’t like to, but if he doesn’t read than he won’t get an answer to the Book of Mormon. We got him some cd's to listen to, so I’ll have to let you know how it goes. He’s doing really good at others things, like coming to church, he’s been for the last 3 weeks. Church is usually the hardest thing to get people to do around here..

We get fed most days here in Osky, but not as much as Waukee. We are doing really well though, we have plenty of food.. don’t worry mom, I know that you’re thinking about it.. haha. We’ve got a Walmart out here, even though you might not think we do. haha I would say that I’ve gotten pretty good at cooking something.. not in a prideful way. The best thing is to make some biscuits and gravey... it’s really good!

The book of Alma! has been my favorite as a missionary! There is just so much in there, that has to do with missionary work and basically a bunch of great principles for life. My favorite scriptures are Alma 42: 21-25. Basic chapters that I turn to in the book of Mormon are, 2 Nephi 31 and Alma 32. There is so much in the scriptures, it’s really hard to pinpoint anything specific. As you read and listen to the spirit, you can be taught so many things!

I love you all! Remember that keeping the commandments is the best thing in the world and will keep you really happy, but most importantly safe! LOVE YA!!


Monday, September 16, 2013

Picking Grapes


Dear Family, who is o so far away in the promise land!
Haha this week has been such a blast! I really don’t know where to start with all of the new information and excited insight that I received throughout this week.. I am glad that you’ve had a safe week there in Draper, that’s always the best news that I could ever ask for. So to give you an update on the weather, that you probably already know about, it’s been really cold these last few days.. like 40 to 50 in the mornings.. It’s been really crazy! I would never have thought that it would drop so fast, hopefully that doesn’t mean an early winter.. only time will tell!
So to give you a little bit more of an insight about the area in which I am serving.. The people here that I’ve been able to meet so far are amazing and others just need a little motivation to do missionary work. Remember to do your missionary work this week!!! we’ve been able to meet a few more families throughout the week, with the little time that we did have in our area. I'll tell you the reason why..
We had the wonderful opportunity to receive some inspiration from Elder Robert C. Gay of the seventy! He came to Waukee on Wednesday.. my old stomping grounds.. It’s about an hour and a half drive for us. I learned so much from him and learned a lot about missionary work of course. I can say that I really felt the power that he brought to the meeting, through his talk and stories. It really gives me a greater desire  to do missionary work forever! The cool thing is too, that he’s a business partner with Mitt Romney.. pretty sweet huh.? One thing that I’ve learned from his talk was that the Lord really can open any door that he wants. We just have to be willing to open it up!
The next day we spent in Osceola on exchanges.. I went with Elder Blauer in a town called Lamoni. So a little bit about this town is.. well there’s a lot of members from the Community of Christ there.. aka RLDS.. so missionary work there is a little bit different. Great people none the less.. They also have a lot of Amish people there that ride there horse and buggies around town. I thought that was interesting.. It was a great time!
Then Friday! I had another opportunity to see and receive council from Elder Gay.. For our mission leadership meeting.. It was a lot more personal this time, because there’s not a lot of missionaries that attend it.. only about 40. Anyway I've had a great week, learning a lot from men that are truly called of God!
Saturday! We helped the L..... pick a lot of grapes right out by our apartment. see pictures.. Service is something that I’ve really come to love! I have had a great time so far in Osky, with all of the service that’s been done here and the chance that we get to do it. Remember to get out and serve someone this week!!
So B.... is doing great! He cooked us some dinner yesterday! fried chicken, mashed potatoes and corn! We taught another family this week too.. the N...... family! We’ve invited all of them to be baptized on Oct.26th so we will see what happens here in the next couple of weeks! The work has just begun here!
What’s school like for everyone? did you get a deer yet? Thanks for the letters and pictures that you sent this past week! You are the best family in the world!! I love you all! Have such a great week!


Monday, September 9, 2013

Awesome News!


The first whole week in osky.. was super great! We’ve had a lot of little miracles in the area and have been able to connect with a lot of people. We’ve been working really hard to get to know a lot of the members here, since we don’t know anyone at all, but the branch here is so awesome and willing to do anything for missionary work!! This area is going to push me really hard for the next few months and I know that theLlord is going to help me grow a lot here. O ya osky... is the nick name that everyone here uses for Oskaloosa.. haha I will just go with the flow on that one as well.

I am glad that you got your package, I know that it isn’t much, but I hope you get a lot of use out of it.. Thank you as well for the package of sunshine.. I’ve been snacking on a lot of it already! as well as the other packages too:) The zone that we are in is very big and spread out, so it makes the drives great when I am able to snack on something.. :) So I sent it home because I haven’t used it since the mtc.. most places have pants that you can use anyway, so I figured I could save some room.. haha So where is that place that Conner and Bret are at? Looks like they are having fun, hopefully you guys can get something.. The weather here is very odd for Iowa right now.. as it is for most places it sounds like. Today is supposed to be very hot, but then it will start dropping towards the end of the week. Everyone here says that it doesn’t get really cold till after December.. I am excited about that.. the longer the summer the better I would like to say.. Everything is good here though, I have plenty of cloths for the winter and the rest of the summer, so I should be able to finish off with what I have left.:)

The B..... called you.. Awesome! So the story behind that is.. We drove to Des Moines for stake coordination, that we do with the mission president and the stake president here. We do it every month, which means all be down in Des Moines at least once a month.. it’s about an hour and a half drive! As we were waiting for the others to show up, he was in the hall way and I talked to him for a minute. Which ended up leading to where I was from, when he said he was from Draper I thought that was super sweet!.. Small world huh? .. I am glad that they were able to call you though.. I guess they are in Ryan and Tod’s ward..

The BYU game sounded awesome!! That’s great that the boys loved the game and that they won! ya!!

For the missionary work side of things.. We had an investigator come to church that we found and taught last week. His name is B...., he’s a great kid that wants to change his life and has been through a lot. Its been a miracle to get the chance to teach him and get him to church.. We’ve also been working with some people that the other missionaries were teaching before they left. Q...... is basically ready to be baptized, he just has a few more things to change and he will be ready! He knows that the church is true, the step of faith.. baptism.. is always the final and sometimes the hardest thing to help others do. It’s also the most rewarding and greatest experience ever!

This week we went on exchanges with the Elders in Knoxville! .. fun fact.. Knoxville has a huge sprint track there! for those that like love their racecars.. :) anyway.. Elder Firth my old companion from Mason City is serving there, I didn’t go out with him this time, but next time I will.. I went with a great elder by the name of Elder Underwood, he was born in Germany and lived there for a little while. He’s got such a great story! also he speaks like 4 languages.. wish I could to that.. I had a great time down there!

We’ve been doing a lot of service here in osky which is great! Since I didn’t get a lot of opportunities in Waukee.. We helped a member pull down a barn that got burned up, man I came out of that place with black ash all of the place, we had a great time with it though.. J... is such a funny and great guy!. that’s who we did service for.. The other service we did was right out in the back yard.. do you remember the grapevines that I took pictures of? well that’s where we were.. The L... are the ones that own the farm and the house that we stay at. We went and helped them pick a bunch of grapes and dumped them into a big smashers! It’s been a fun week and a hard one! Next week is going to be crazy, but you will have to tune in next Monday for the story!


LOVE ELDER KIRTON!!                                                                                                              

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Transfer to Oskaloosa


Service work!

The Nelson Family
This is the home they were staying in.

New Home in a barn by a grape vineyard.

Notice how he poses the same.
HEllO From OSKALOOSA IOWA!!! Happy Birthday MOM!!
Thursday was transfers! We left Waukee around 830 and got to Iowa City around 1020. During transfers we usually have a few talks and stuff like that before we get to  where we will be getting transferred. Anyway.. I got called to serve with Elder Cutler in Oskaloosa! We’re going to have a great time, he’s been out for 17 months, basically one transfer behind me. So we’ve both been out for a little while, which is really nice. So the crazy news about the whole thing is.. we are both getting transferred from different areas, so we both don’t know the area were we are called to .. we call this a white wash( when both missionaries are transferred out) Elder cutler and I are going into an area, not knowing a single person there.. ya I didn’t even expect it at all. I know that the Lord needs us there for a good reason though...
The past few days have been super crazy, we’ve both never opened an area like this before, so were just figuring it out right now. A lot of our time right now is spent planning and calling people to figure out where we need to go. The branch here is really awesome though.. so it’s not going to be that hard to find out what we need to do. This Sunday was great, but way different than Waukee... the ward life and the branch life are pretty different.. I love it here already though! I know that it’s going to be a great transfer and many more depending on how long the Lord needs me here.. I was able to get up and bare my testimony to the branch on Sunday too.. things are going great!
I will miss the great people of Waukee! and all of the investigators that I had the chance to teach and get to know. You can find great things in any area that you go, no matter the people or the circumstances. Remember that.. NICOLE... :)
So our apartment is a little bit different than the good old mansion... we live in a barn by a grape vineyard.. It’s super awesome! see pictures... You really get the chance to go to some neat places out in the missionary field.. All I know is that it’s going to be a fun time here, getting to know all the people. Haha funny story.. so one of the members here is from Draper Utah.. she went to Alta high school too.. I could have sworn that I’ve seen her before.. small world right.. anyway that is some of the cool stuff that’s going on in my life!
The weather is crazy here.. last week it was in the 100's.. now it’s dropped to the 70's and 80's.. it will be winter before I know it.. hopefully later than sooner..
I sent you a package Mom.. so it should get to you at the end of the week.. it also has a few things I don’t need any more out here in the mission field.. I hope you have a great week! And HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!!!