Friday, April 18, 2014

This wasn't the crappiest week of my life....

Letter dated 4/14/14

What's up?

In my email, I probably made it sound like the crappiest week of my life, but I assure you it wasn't! I'm on a mission, so it can't be that bad, huh? Sometimes it is just harder than others. It really was an okay week.

I told you about a cool thing I had happen. Well, Wednesday of this past week, we were walking down the street and all of a sudden this car pulls up, and a lady gets out of the car. She was crying and said to us, "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, are you guys the Mormon missionaries?! I've been looking everywhere for you!" She then started to tell us who she was and why she was looking for us. She had been kicked out of her home and was really searching hard for God. We haven't been able to sit down with her and have a lesson yet, but we will soon. It is going to be sweet! It was the first time something like that has happened to me. I have had people find us, but not like that. It was awesome, and an answer to prayers that we would find someone that day who needed to talk to us.

We have been doing lots of finding, so we have given away a lot of Books of Mormon, so hopefully some of them work out this week. On Saturday, we were able to go to a thing called Loving Sunnyside Initiative, where we painted houses in Sunnyside with lots of other Christian religions. That was fun, to be able to rub shoulders with religious leaders in the area. People asked us lots of questions so it was fun. I even bought a shirt for it.

I liked Dad's, Mom's and Sarah's letters. Thanks for sending them! You guys are the greatest. To answer your question, Dad, about family history stuff, I can use it as long as it is a church website. It's just harder right now when we don't have iPads or the other tech stuff yet. I hope we get it soon. Family history is cool. Like it says in my blessing, I have been blessed with an understanding of technology so that I can do family history work. When I get home, I will certainly do more than I did before I left. I want the blessings promised by Elder Bednar. They sound awesome.

Well, this is probably the longest letter I have written yet. I love you guys! Thanks for everything.
Elder Sedlacek

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

All of us missionaries work for the same team!

What's up Mama, 
This week has been good, but it was pretty dang hard. We had 10 cancelled lessons in total. It sucked! haha. Our investigators just have the hardest time keeping appointments with us. That is the biggest thing that is holding back the work here. I saw how it can be so that makes it frustrating sometimes. We did have a cool experience though, but I am going to make you wait to read it in a letter haha. Let's just say that the thing that happened is the first time it has happened to me on my mission. That is the only hint you get haha.
The dermatologist was good. She gave me an antibiotic that she thinks will help. Should work out. She wanted me to get some of that retin A but I don't think I am going to get it. The antibiotic seems to be working just fine.
Thanks for all the prayers for the goal and other stuff. You're awesome. We actually changed the goal a little bit this week to 12 baptisms. Hopefully we can hit it. It is going to be a huge miracle if we do. It is going to be sweet! But keep praying for the goal. It will help us to hit it.
Sounds like the family day in Nicole's ward was fun. Nicole seems/looks really happy in that picture so that is great. I guess whatever is making her happy she can have haha.
That was a super good thought Mama. It is really cool to think that because Christ came to earth, we have the connection with him. Christ is super awesome that he was willing to come to earth and suffer the things he did for us. It would have taken so much love. I can't even think about how much charity it would have taken. It just really shows the true character of Christ. I try to be more and more like him every day.
I am sure I will love the package ;) You guys are awesome for all that you do!
I love ya too!
What's up Pops,

This past week was a tough one. There was some cool stuff that happened, but I will save that for a letter. As far as our teaching pool, we have a couple pretty solid investigators right now. One being E. She is struggling right now though, and I just hope we can get her baptized before she leaves the area, because if she does there is a chance I won't be here to see it. That would really suck. Oh well, I know that all of us missionaries work for the same team haha.
Another one of our investigators who is doing well is M. We met with her last night and had a super good lesson on the plan of salvation. She shared with us some personal experiences she has had with family members who have passed away. They were super cool. Because of her experiences, she knows and feels the plan of salvation is the truth. It was great! She just needs to come to church now. That is the struggle with her and the D family.  They have to come to church before they can be baptized and they are struggling with that. You guys could pray for that too if you want. Can't hurt! haha
Our RC are doing great. Carlos is doing AWESOME! He is going to the temple to do baptisms in a week and he is super excited to do that for his dad. He is super great and is doing great work in missionary work. We use him a lot. D is also doing great. She was just called to be a RS teacher and she will do great at that. She is probably going to the temple on Saturday, too. If only I could go to do baptisms haha. I so wish I could go with them, but unfortunately I can't. I will go when they are being sealed though. I am not going to miss that! The rest of our RC are doing well too. They each have their own struggles but they are doing their best with what they have.
That is awesome that there are so many missionaries going out again. I bet there is just going to be more and more, which is great. The Lord needs every one that he can get. I will see about writing to Elder R. I bet he's going to do great in Berlin. Going to get to speak some German. You will have to get his email for me so I can just email him or just give him my email, whatever works haha.
Well, it sounds like you have had a great week. Thanks for the letter you sent me. I love getting letters. It's great to get them, it's just I can't respond to them very fast. That's the sucky part. It must have been weird for you when you were out--everything you would have gotten would have been a couple weeks ago from when it was written. That is just crazy to me haha. 
Thanks for all that you do for me Dad . You're a great example to me and to all the rest of the kids. Just thanks for all that you do. I really appreciate all of it. I love you guys!
-Elder Sedlacek

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Gospel is Amazing

Email to Dad 4/7/14
What's up Dad,
Hahaha that is super funny that you deleted your whole first email by mistake. Did you try the undo button when you deleted everything? That might have helped you haha. 
Sounds like you guys had a good week. Mine was pretty good. Over conference though the adversary really seemed to not want the D family to watch any of it, and they didn't. I was super, super bummed that they didn't watch conference. Really, all hell broke loose on them over Saturday and Sunday. It was not a coincidence I believe. I really feel like if they had watched it they would have gotten an answer, just like you said. Good news for confence online though! They said they will watch confence online, so they better do it haha. But I know it's just like what they said in conference-- "Righteousness cannot be forced. It must be chosen." E was able to watch it though. She really liked it. 
Both E and J were on date for this week, but fell off to next week, so hopefully they will be baptized next week. I am really trying to stay patient with our teaching pool. I really needed to hear that quote from conference. It was super good. I think President Eyring said it in his Saturday morning talk. That was one of my favorites. I went through and explained all my favorite talks to Mama in my email to her so you can get them from her haha. I don't want to type it all out again. It takes forever haha unless I copy and paste. 
Sounds like conference weekend was fun. It would have been super fun to hang out with all the family. It is crazy to think Grandpa Sed has been gone for a year now. I wish sometimes that I could email back and forth with them too, but I know they are watching over me. I am sure Grandpa comes and helps with the lessons I teach, since he wasn't able to serve when he was my age. I am sure he is helping me out as much as he can. I know he is in a place better than he was at, and you know that too. I really liked when Pres. Uchtdorf said "Death is hard because we aren't made for ends. We are made for eternity. Death sometimes seems like an end but really it's the beginning." You already know that too just as I know that. The gospel is amazing isn't it? The comfort and peace it can bring into our lives is amazing to me. 
That is fun about the March Madness. You will have to let me know how the score ends up in the final. That is funny about the Jazz. They just need to stay at the bottom at this point. That is what is going to help them the most in the future. I hope they can get a really good lottery pick and they don't blow it like they have before.
Well, I want you to know that I am doing well. The goal we have for 14 baptisms is getting close and we only have 2. We are really searching for that magic solution personally so we can achieve the goal we have set. I know we can do it if our investigators follow through with their comitments. That is what we are really having trouble with right now. Just pray for all of our investigators that they will do what they know and feel is right. Keep praying for the goal of 14 as well. April 22nd is the last day of this transfer. 
Good job on fixing Bro. N's machine haha. He called you because he knows you could fix it of coarse. That is funny that it rained over conference just like it always does. Here in Sunnyside it was perfect days. The weather is great up here right now. Not too hot, not too cold during the days and nights. It's great.
I am doing great. It sounds like you guys are, too. I am thankful for all that you guys do for me. Thanks for everything. I love you all! You're an awesome family.
-Elder Sedlacek

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Thanks for allowing me to serve a mission!

Letter dated 3/24/14

What's up family?

How have your past couple days been, even though you can't respond to this immediately haha? Hopefully, they have been good.

This past week has been great. There were some good meetings, like Zone Meeting, but we also had Stake Conference. It was cool because Elder Pieper of the Seventy came and spoke at all the meetings. The Saturday meeting was cool. They had a couple 3 panels of people come up and answer questions that Elder Pieper would ask about missionary work. So in the middle of the meeting, President got up and announced that they wanted to have a missionary panel. They hadn't planned on doing it until the last minute, so the missionaries weren't warned ahead of time. Of course, I got called up haha! It was interesting because I was the only missionary called up who is not in leadership. So I got to go up in front of the whole stake and answer questions from Elder Pieper. Kind of nerve-wracking, but kind of fun too! haha

As far as cool stories go, this week I have a good one. The ward was able to get back in touch with one of our recent converts. He is going to start coming back. He's been struggling lately, but he decided that he needs to come back. That was a miracle!

We have also been trying to do some finding. We want to rebuild our teaching pool to where it was before we baptized 8 of them haha. I've also been able to give lots of priesthood blessings, so I'm much more comfortable giving them now than I was before.

My mission is helping me so much! Thanks for allowing me to go, family. You're all the best!

Elder Sedlacek

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Praying for charity and patience

What's up Mama,
I am doing pretty great. This week has been good. We taught lots of lessons to our investigators. My comp is difficult at times. There are times we don't get along that great but we do try our best. We are just so opposite. Guess what President said during interviews? He said he was nervous putting us together because we are so opposite, but he felt directed to do it so here we are haha. I just hope I can become a better missionary because of our companionship. Yep, I guess I am going all Warshington on ya haha. I think I meant to put "couple 3" in that letter, but I am not sure at the moment haha. Maybe it was an accident, who knows haha.
Sounds like St. George is pretty fun for all you guys. You will have to keep track of everywhere cool so I can see it too haha. That sounds like lots of fun after the mission. It would be super cool to see all those  church history sites, even though it's not Palmyra or something like that--but it would still be awesome. You took Duke and Mollie to the boarders? I bet they do like it there haha. They will have lots of friends to play with.
How long have you been in St. George?
I am so excited for General Conference this weekend. I bet the Women's Meeting was awesome if it made you cry the whole time haha. I hope all of conference is that awesome. It usually is, so I am happy it's this week. It's going to be sweet for our investigators too. I am sure they will really like it.
I hope the email works while you are having fun on vacation. I don't know why it wouldn't though. I love to hear from you guys too.
Like the pictures too. That looks like an awesome hike!

What's up Dad,
Sounds like you have had a fun week. I hope you guys have had lots of fun, it sounds like you have. We will have to go visit St. George when I get back huh. Sounds like it would be fun to do that.
We had our fast and testimony meeting yesterday too. It was hard to hear everyone because the speaker system went out and they were just using some portable speaker that didn't work very well. It was a good meeting though. We had E and her sister come to church along with J! We had not seen him in almost two transfers, but he finally decided to start coming again. He brought along with him pretty much all his extended family. It was great. There was lots of non member attendance. E is doing great! She is on date for the week after conference. She is thinking about moving, which would suck, so pray that she will stay in Sunnyside. She is doing missionary work to all her family though. She has taught all the lessons to her family while we are gone. She really wants everyone to feel what she has felt, which is awesome. The D family are still doing good. We have been reading the Book of Mormon with them and it seems to be working really well. They weren't able to make it to church, but J is on date for April 12th.  B is still working on getting that specific answer that she needs to be baptized a Mormon to make it to heaven since she has been baptized twice in her life already. We need to teach her about priesthood authority. That will really help her. We have just had some of her concerns we needed to resolve first, so that is what we have done so far. The rest of our investigators are doing pretty good. We have had trouble meeting with a lot of them, which kinda is sucky but just pray that we will be able to get in contact with them. That is really the thing that is holding us back right now. It's just hard to get hold of people. The goal is coming along pretty slowly, but there is progress. We are at 2 out of 14 baptisms so far, so there is progress being made haha. I am expecting some big miracles in the future! We have been praying for them, that's for sure. Keep praying for the goal also. Dang, I have given you lots of stuff to pray for haha. Don't forget to do it.
I like that story from the guy that you work with. That is something that I can probably work on this week. It was fun to have interviews with President Ware this week. He said that I am one of the best teachers in the mission in his opinion. It was a really nice compliment from him. He said that as long as I am praying for that charity and patience towards my comp and the people I serve with, I will be able to become better at that. I think that is one thing I struggle with and the thing I can learn from my comp. To be more charitable and patient towards people who are different than myself. It's hard, but that is something that I am working on.
From what I have heard from members, my bracket is ruined haha. I guess the mission did not help me at all to pick better haha. You will still have to let me know how I did.
Thanks for all that you do for me dad and family. It's fun to be able to serve and watch you guys be blessed for it. I love being a missionary, even when it gets tough. Believe me it did this week, but I got through it with prayer. I hope you guys have a great time down in St. George chilling in the warmth. Remember to pray for the goal and my investigators. It will help them a ton. You guys are awesome! Love you! Thank you for all that you do!
-Elder Sedlacek

Monday, March 24, 2014

Miracles come as we pray specifically for them

Elder Sedlacek and Elder J saying goodbye on transfer day
What's up Mama,
Sounds like you had a fun week. Mine was pretty fun also, although kinda slow. It was good though. We had zone meeting on Wednesday, and that was fun to go to. They just talked about the importance of the Book of Mormon. It is really amazing how the Book of Mormon changes lives. It is a inspired book of scripture, and it changes lives. That is the most amazing part. I love the Book of Mormon! 
I hope Mia and Libby did good on their play. It sounds like it was fun to watch. That is funny that Libby stopped to wave haha. I could picture her doing that haha
That's exciting that you sang in church. I bet you did good. Is that the first time doing a duet in church for you?
That is a cool story that Sister H told. It's like Christ and the loaves of bread and the fishes. That would be super sweet to have an experience like that. Although big experiences don't build testimony it would be super sweet to have one like that.
Thanks for you all that you do Mama. You're the best.

What's up Dad,
I will start with the last question you asked about the investigators. Right now we have a couple investigators that are doing really well. E is doing really great. This week we taught the gospel of Jesus Christ and she really loved it. She wants to share the gospel with all her family it seems. I will be super surprised if she doesn't get baptized this transfer. She basically opened up to us for the first time, and I mean really opened up, which means she trusts us. It's been along time waiting for it but it finally came. She is doing great! Keep praying for her to be able to find a job and a place to stay in Sunnyside so we don't lose a golden investigator. The D family is doing pretty good. I liked your thought of teaching them the priesthood. Right now we are teaching lessons about how we are not just another christian church. Last night we watched the testaments with them and they both really liked it. They even told us that they are going to come to church on Sunday so that is progress. I really hope they keep progressing. They need the gospel! All of our other investigators I will write about in a letter so I have something to write about haha. Those are some of our best progressing at the moment. Keep praying for the goal of 14 baptisms by April 22nd, 2014 at 9 pm! Its so important to be specific in our prayers. I have a huge testimony of that! Miracles come as we pray specifically for them and have the faith that they will come.
My comp and I are still doing okay. I am trying super hard to learn from him and make my self better as a missionary. I know I am supposed to be with him for a reason. I am just figuring that reason out still haha. We teach pretty good together, which helps, but it could always be improved. Anyway, it's still going slow but it is okay.
That is funny that you almost got put into another job at the caucus haha. That would have been super funny if you had gotten it without wanting it haha. People just like you I guess haha. You mean you don't want to be the next president of the US? What do you mean haha!
That is super funny on my bracket. I guess the mission does not help me make better predictions haha. That is cool that Warren Buffet is going to give 1 million to who ever can pick a perfect bracket. Too bad it probably won't happen. It like never does. It would be cool though if someone was able to do it. Imagine being that guy! That would be crazy to pick a perfect one.
I had seen that Brother B had been called as a mission president. That is super cool. He is going to be a super good president.
Well, things are going good Dad. I hope you're doing good too. Keep up the good work. Thanks for all that you do for me and the letters! I love hearing from you in the week. You're a great example for me Dad. Just want you to know that. I love you guys! 
-Elder Sedlacek

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Praying for miracles

This week I've had two calls from people in Sunnyside, both so grateful for Elder Sedlacek and all he has done for their area. One was from the Bishop's wife and the other was the President of the Columbia River Temple. Both expressed their love of Elder Sedlacek. I am so grateful they took the time! In other news, Elder Sedlacek is struggling some right now with his new companion and could use all the prayers he can get. Please pray for his companion too! 

What's up Dad,
This week was awesome and pretty tough at the same time. We had the baptism for Steve on Tuesday right before Elder J left. The baptism was super good, and the most attended baptism I have seen on the mission thus far. It was a super good service, too. Transfer day was super fun. I got to spend some time with other missionaries that I hadn't seen in a while. I took some pictures so that was fun. My new companion though is going to be tough, I can tell you that right now. I am going to have to look for the best in him.
Like I said in the letter, our teaching pool is getting smaller each time we baptize somebody haha. It's a good problem to have. I am just trying to keep up the teaching pool with new investigators so we can keep up the same success. That is another reason why I am stressed out. I want to have the same success and it doesn't look like we can right now. I am just praying for miracles. I am working my hardest to go out everyday and find those people who are ready to hear the gospel. 

Sounds like you did really good on your talk on Sunday, both you and mom. I like the quotes you used so the talk was probably even better. Good job Papa!
I will let you know how a couple of our investigators are doing right now since I don't want to write about them all in the letter. The D family is kinda struggling right now. B has been having back problems and so they didn't come to church. That is the biggest problem with them. They just need to come to church. A lot of our investigators are in the same boat. It was cool though because yesterday E came to church for the first time and she really liked it. I hope she starts progressing super good now that she has come to church. We hope to put her on date this week. Well, that is some of our main investigators at the moment. I will write about the others in a letter hopefully haha. I really enjoyed getting your letter this week also. Thanks for sending me one.
Well, it sounds like you have a pretty busy week this next week so good luck on all that. Enjoy the caucus meeting haha. I bet those are no fun. Thanks for all that you do for me Dad. You're the best! I just want you to know that I look up to you and your example even more when times get tough. I know if you did it, so can I. You're the best! I love ya!
I will try to sit down and write a letter to you guys again today. You should get one this week.
I love you guys! Make sure to pray for our goal of 14 baptisms for my district by April 22nd at 9:00 pm. We need all the prayers we can get to help us out.
-Elder Sedlacek

What's up Mom,
Happy St. Patrick's Day haha! I didn't even realize it was St. Patrick's Day, so I am not wearing any green haha. Hopefully I don't get pinched.
 It was a pretty good week. Transfers was super fun, getting to see some missionaries that I hadn't seen in a while. Getting a new companion was, sadly, a different story. I'm afraid he is going to be a test of my patience. But I am going to learn to love him.
Tuesday we had a baptism for S. It was amazing. Probably the biggest miracle that happened this week. We also had four investigators at church so that was a pretty big miracle too, since we had all the baptisms we haven't had many investigators at church. Hopefully, the number stays up.
Sounds like you had a pretty busy week. The house looks super nice by the way. I like the gray paint even with the carpet. It looks really good. You are right though, this week went by kinda slow for me too. It has just been tough. I am stressed because I want to keep up the success that we have been having, and we are trying to find new investigators to teach because of all the baptisms we have had lately. The district set a goal for 14 baptisms as a district before April 22nd at 9:00pm so be sure to pray for that. Pray for us to have success in that goal. That is one thing we are focusing on--praying specifically for blessings we want to come. It really works too. So when you pray for it, make sure to say 14 baptisms by April 22nd at 9:00pm.
That is a super cool story about Grandpa V. I really like it  every time I hear it. Thanks for sharing it with me again Mama. I think that would have been so cool to be Grandpa in that situation. It would have been amazing.
That is funny about Nicole going and kissing a fish. Was it a hint? haha. I am proud of her haha! I wonder what made her go fishing like that though. Did she just go by herself? Mid life crisis haha.
I am glad that you liked my letter. I really do enjoy seeing the changes that happen. I know I have a much stronger testimony of the gospel now because of my mission. That is one of the biggest changes that have happened, and it's awesome that I still have time left to grow even more. That is why I love the mission.
Thanks for all that you do support me Mama and family. You're awesome. I love you guys!