Monday, June 30, 2014

Denver Harbor - June 30, 2014

It is super hot but it rains like crazy too! I used to hate the rain because when it rained in the winter you were miserable. Now I like it because it cools you off.

Yeah it's a lot of fun being with Elder Woodruff. There is never a boring moment here. We were talking about it yesterday how usually it takes a week to two weeks to adjust to a new companion but for us it took only a day or two. It's very interesting how some people get along with others. I've gotten along really great with all of my companions and have had a great time. One of the Elders who came out with me didn't get along with his dad but now they are really good friends. Kind of funny how that works. Something that I've really tried to take to heart was what you said to me a couple times before I left, "just have fun with it". When I first came out I was a little bit too worried about things but Elder Ek was so chill and still hardworking that it rubbed off on me. It's really funny how the family line works. A lot of the qualities that the trainers have rub off on their kids. For me I have the chill posterity. Hard working but don't worry about things that are out of our control. I've noticed how much I've changed on the mission and it's really exciting. When I get home I'm going to be so different I won't know what to do with myself.

I know that it is really hard for missionaries to make the transition sometimes when they return home. It's because people get so used to standing out as a missionary that it's hard for you to change into a normal person. I think that I'll be good though but we will see how it goes.

Yeah it's pretty tough in Utah especially in American Fork. Every one is a member! A lot of the work that needs to be done is helping to strengthen those who are members. I don't know how long I'll stay in Utah after my mission. It's a great place but I've gotten used to having only a few members around me.

I really do feel super blessed. Elder Woodruff and I say it all of the time how we are super blessed to have such great families and so many opportunities. I feel Heavenly Father's presence in my life every day and I love being here! I'm still working on being guided by the Holy Ghost. Sometimes it is a little hard to trust that God will guide you. It's just a matter of giving ourselves to him.

This week was crazy! We got all new furniture in our super old house and so we took a lot of time to figure everything out. It was really crazy but now everything looks really nice. I will be meeting my new mission president on Wednesday. His name is president Drake and we are super excited! We'll see how it is because I wonder if he will change a whole lot.

Yep we are riding bikes a lot now and I'm a little bit tired from it. It's too hot for the dogs to come out and chase us most of the time but every once and a while they do.

That's great that you all are working on being member missionaries. Being a missionary really helps you to know what kind of member you want to be after the mission. Kind of funny huh?

Yeah it is really interesting how everything works with less actives. First they stop doing some things like praying or reading scriptures and then that gives Satan the opportunity to go and attack their testimonies.

Guess what?! I have pictures! Some are of the Houston Temple and others are with some other missionaries.

Love you!

Elder Ressler

Monday, June 23, 2014

Denver Harbor - June 23, 2014

Wow, what an incredible week that we had! It's awesome to be with Elder Woodruff again! It's neat to see how much we have both grown and it's a lot of fun to learn from each other. It's different here than everywhere else because Spanish missionaries all stay in the city so I know every Spanish Elder pretty well. I usually see most of the people from the CCM (MTC) regularly. Kind of lucky huh?

So the reason why this was such an incredible week was because we had the opportunity to go and visit the temple on a surprise trip. I guess that it wasn't really a surprise I just didn't realize how fast time has gone by. Anyways so we got to spend a while with the temple president and it was absolutely amazing. He explained some things to me that I had never really noticed. Something that really helped me to understand is to not view it as a history but as something that applies to me. We talked a lot about the roles that we see and how we are some of them. It was also really cool because we got to understand more about the initiatory process and the difference there is between the men's and the women's. I left feeling spiritually recharged. It was the best temple visit I've had yet.

This week was awesome! We had four investigators come to church and one less active was reactivated!
Attributes of Christ? I haven't been able to see the video yet but I will try to see it sometime. The things that it says in Preach My Gospel is awesome stuff. It makes for a really good personal study. There is an activity in there that is to define the attribute and then look for scriptures and make a plan on how to get that attribute.

It's kind of funny because being a missionary helps me to realize what kind of member that I want to be. There are those members who are just along for the ride. Then there are those who are doing everything they can to be involved. In Utah it's kind of different because we feel that everyone is a member. There are actually a good amount of people who aren't and who have maybe fallen away. I think that the best thing that we can do is to be a real friend to our neighbors and those we meet. That's real missionary work. Right now we are teaching an amazing family. We tracked into them and at first the mom said they weren't interested but then we let her know that we were new and wanted to meet our neighbors. They invited us back and now they are progressing really well. At first they seemed skeptical but then they opened up and told us that they had recently had a son pass away. They are great people and I'll let you know what happens.

It's true how God sees us differently than others do. Here in the world we are all about comparison. I think that that is one of the greatest tools that Satan uses. It's true that we don't even know the potential that each person has.

I had to speak in church about 3 weeks ago and it was really crazy. I was a little bit nervous but I was able to speak for 15 minutes or so and it went great.

I just learned how to make papooses! I'll have to practice it. There is a family here who are crazy about cooking and Hermana lets us help sometimes. I'm super excited to learn more. I've got to talk to some more people about cooking but I'll get on it.


Elder Ressler

Monday, June 16, 2014

Denver Harbor - June 16, 2014

Wow that's awesome that you guys had a lot of fun for Father's Day! I was sad that I couldn't call you guys up or anything but it's all right. Here we had a really crazy time at a ward party and it was really weird because it started about an hour late. We were talking with the bishop later during the party and he said that it was because they are all "Late-inos" he's actually a really funny guy.

Sounds like yall have gotten the garden going again! That's awesome! I really liked getting all of the fresh food but weeding never was my favorite chore. It taught me a lot though.

So this week I did get my new companion. And his name is............Elder Woodruff! Yep we are back together again. Kind of crazy huh? It's a lot of fun and we are getting along really well. It's a little crazy taking over the area but it's been a lot of fun. Elder Long had his appointment with the doctor and they said that he strained his ACL and bruised his knee pretty bad but he is going to be all right. He'll be staying with the ZLs as a trio then he'll probably get a new companion next transfer. We were super worried because everything was set up that he'd go home.

You guys definitely should go on bike rides! I really want to get in to biking when I get home from my mission.

I figure that the mission prepares you for the rest of your life which includes becoming a father. You learn how to teach people and it's all really interesting.

Me and my new/old companion Elder Woodruff were talking a lot about how it's cool that we're able to understand a lot of the things that people say. We can listen and most of the time it just comes. Kind of cool and it's even hard to explain. Learning a language is super interesting. The Book of Mormon really is the best tool to learn Spanish. There is a counselor in the stake presidency who actually learned Spanish just by reading it. It's really good because there are a lot of people who don't speak English here. It's kind of interesting the different kinds of Spanish too. There is a Peruvian elder here and the way he talks is a little different from the Mexicans. Mexicans are usually pretty sloppy and people from El Salvador slur everything. For the most part though it is all Spanish. It's kind of cool here because we get it all and we use words from all kinds of places. There is even one elder here who served with another missionary from Spain and so now he talks like a Spaniard/Honduran. It's pretty crazy.

The mission goes by SO FAST it's ridiculous. For example, I feel like I was just barely with Elder Woodruff and now I'm with him again! I feel brand new almost but now I'm getting close to my year mark and I've heard after that it's even faster!

That really is true that none of us are safe until we are safely dead. Kind of crazy to think about but it is true. It's interesting because here we see a lot of weird things. First they go back to some old habits and then their spirituality falls and their life goes downhill. Elder Woodruff and I had a conversation last night about how we've really seen how Satan works on everyone. I think the mission helps you realize that so you can stay strong the rest of your life.

I love you guys so much and I really love being out here. It is a lot of fun and we are having a ton of new experiences and I'm doing all right.


Elder Ressler

Monday, June 9, 2014

Denver Harbor - June 9, 2014

I'm doing awesome! This week was great and I had a lot of fun with Elder Long this week! We taught a lot of lessons and I found out that I'll be taking over the area. Pretty cool huh?

Experiences this week? Well it was pretty average but we had some really great times. We are teaching this new guy. He ran up to us a week ago or so saying that he wants a Bible and he needs a church. He's awesome we are just trying to get him to church because he works all of the time. As far as transfers go, I'm staying here and Elder Jensen got called as a district leader and Elder Ek a zone leader. We're just waiting to see what happens with Elder Long.

Yeah the talent show was really great! We've been having a pretty good turnout as far as church attendance goes so we're pretty happy! We've still got a lot of work to do though. I really love this area and I'm so happy that I get to be here for another transfer! Turns out that Elder Long is leaving but we're kind of freaking out a lot because the ZLs told him that he'll stay with them for a little while which is weird because everything is set up for him to leave. His doctor's appointment is on Wednesday. Could yall pray for him?

Man that's awesome that Jacob's able to find all of the people that he knows. I bet it's really cool to be with all of them after their missions. I don't know if I told you but Zac got his call. He's going to St Louis Missouri mission. I was really excited when he emailed me. This mission has been the greatest experience of my life. I really wish that everyone could have this chance to serve. I bet meeting up with everyone after they've served is going to be cool.

Oh hey I almost forgot Dad..... Happy Father's Day!!!!!! I hope you know what a difference you've made in my life. You are the best dad ever and probably my best friend too. I really hope you know how awesome you are.

I love you!

Elder Ressler

Monday, June 2, 2014

Denver Harbor - June 2, 2014

I'm doing great! We had a really great week this week! Our investigators are doing pretty good and the family we just baptized is doing great! We had a lot more people come to church this week. And we feel very optimistic about what's going on. I'm super excited about serving here! I'm just a little worried that I'll end up getting transferred but I will let you know what happens by next week. It's been awesome serving here and I feel like I've grown a lot.

It's super hard to see a missionary get sick. Both times when Elder Long hurt himself the first thing that he told me was that he doesn't want to go home. We'll see what happens but I think that he'll be able to stay. We'll probably end up going to the doctor again this week to get an MRI and then we'll know for sure. I'll keep you posted. By the way Elder Strong officially got here on Wednesday. I haven't been able to see him or talk with him but I know he's in West Lake Houston which is about an hour or two away from me.

Padre me encanta hablando Espanol! Aqui dicen que Espanol es el idioma celestial! Estoy emocionado a placticar contigo despues mi mission. Yo puedo ver en tus correos electronicos que todavia hablas bien Espanol. Algo que me ayuda a hablar mejor es escuchando un capitulo en El Libro De Mormon en Espanol y despues leyendo lo en voz alto. Algo bien chido de aprendiendo espanol otra vez es que El Espiritu Santo va a ayudarte. El va a traer todos de estas cosas a ti otra vez.

I have a fishing analogy for missionary work if you want to hear it. "Missionary work is like fishing. When you find out that something isn't working then you try something new. If knocking doors seems repetitive, then try a different kind of bait. If the fish aren't biting in one area, then try a different part of the pond". I told that to Elder Jensen and Elder Long and they both thought it was ridiculous but it is so true! :)

Wow that's awesome that Harry is at Timberline! He's going to have so much fun. I really loved doing Timberline and I know he will have a great year. What's really cool is that the things they talk about really do work. We use a lot of it in the mission and it really helps us to deal with people.

I really do know that this church is true. It just makes sense. Serving out here has been one of the best experiences of my life. It hasn't all been fun and games but I'm learning to have fun even when times get rough. During the party on Saturday we were really worried that not a whole lot of people would show up. It was already time to start and we had about two tables with people on it. My companion and I were really worried and then I felt the Holy Ghost tell me, "don't look at the tables that are empty look at the ones that are full". Then right after I changed my attitude and right before we were about to start we had tons of people show up. It was a really cool lesson for me to learn to be more optimistic about situations that may look bleak.

What tradition do I miss the most? I think just playing games with everyone on Sunday. Either that or my afternoon naps :)

How has geneology been going lately. We've been being pushed by President Crawford to use geneology more on our finding and he wants us all to have our pedigree charts with us.

As promised here are some pictures! I was able to take a lot because the missionaries got put in charge of a ward party and we did a culture night/talent show. I did the haka by myself in front of tons of people.

It's kind of cool how God guides us in life through the spirit. He's able to help us to know what to do when we don't have a clue what's going on. Out here on the mission, you really learn to be guided to know where to go and what to say. One of my favorite scriptures is 1 Nephi 4:6. Elder Ek would always say that we were going 1 Nephi 4:6 when we weren't sure what was going to happen. Sometimes we just do our best and leave the rest to him.

Love you so much!

Elder Ressler