Monday, April 28, 2014

Working on my personal relationship with the Savior

What's up Mama,
That was a big email haha. Sounds like you had a GOOD week. Sounds like lots of stuff happened, too. 
That is cool about the regional meeting. Sounds like a cool meeting. I bet Mr. Smith liked leading the choir haha.
This week was pretty good for me too. S.W. is finally committed to baptism, so we have three on date now for the 10th of May. Should be a great day! The rest of the week was pretty good too. We did lots of service, and that was fun to be able to get dressed in regular clothes for a while. I even got to help set up for the prom at the high school here. That was interesting, but pretty fun too.
This morning I went shopping with out knowing how much money I had on my mission card and the stuff I bought was $3 over the amount I had, so I just used my home card. It was $28 so I hope that was okay. I hate using my home card but I had no clue how much I had on my mission card. That is probably why they want us to keep track haha. I used to be really good at it, but I got lazy. I will be better at it now so it doesn't happen again!
You will have to wish Grandma and Grandpa D a happy birthday for me when you guys go there. I will email them a happy b day and you guys could tell them too.
Thanks for all that you do for me too. Emailing is pretty fun haha!

Yo Dad,
Sounds like you had a good week. I did too. We had a lesson with SW and she finally committed to be baptized. It was sweet. We were kinda at a loss for what to do with her since she has been taught everything multiple times. She just needed a fire lit underneath her, and it turns out that a cousin's wedding in the temple was it--now she wants to be baptized so she can go in a year. I was super happy! 
The D Family are still doing good. They came to church yesterday, and so that was a much needed commitment for them to keep and they did it. They are still on date as well so that is now three on date for May 10th. That day is going to be awesome! M is doing good. She is getting close to committing to a date for baptism. Hopefully, she is on date by the end of this week. Merc is doing okay too. We just have a really hard time meeting up with her. We are still working on finding new investigators. We have some potentials but we haven't been able to get in and teach them a lesson yet. Just keep praying for us to have success in that goal. We also set a new baptism goal for this new transfer for the district of 15 baptisms by May 31st. Pray for that one too haha. That is a brief look at our teaching pool at the moment.

Sounds like those meetings you guys had were really good. Both you and mom had some good insights from it, so it had to be good. I really liked all the thoughts you both shared from it.
This week I have been focusing on building up my personal relationship with the Savior. I have been praying a lot and it's really been helping. The reason that I want to make it better is because as I grow closer to the Savior, I grow closer to Elder A as well. Companionships are like a triangle with the Savior and me and my comp are at the bottom. It doesn't matter how long the distance between me and Elder A is, as long as we both move closer to the Savior. As we get further up the triangle, we are growing closer to Christ but also to each other. It also works with marriage, too. That is something President has taught the mission that I have really liked. So that is why I'm doing it.
That is too bad that Lib didn't win the Pinewood Derby haha. I guess you can make the cars look cool but not fast haha. I always really liked building the cars though, so it was still fun. I am sure Libby really liked it as well. 
Sorry for not writing you guys a letter this week either haha. I have been bad at that the past couple weeks. Thank you for all that you do for me Dadio. You da best Papa! Thanks so much for everything!
-Elder Sedlacek

Monday, April 21, 2014

"My testimony is stronger because of my mission and the hard times I have had."

Elder Sed and his comp on Easter Sunday.

What's up Mama,
It sounds like your week was really good.  Mine was too. After all, it was Easter and we had a baptism for Eva! The baptism went really well. She is already doing missionary work with her family so we will see if we get some new investigators from her. We need all of those we can get right now! That is the problem with baptizing haha. I guess its a good problem to have.
Funny that you mention transfers. I think I am going to be stuck in "the Sunnyside hole" haha ( the joke is that's what Sunnyside is for missionaries. You come to Sunnyside, you don't leave for a long time haha) It's alright though because I really like it here. 
Looks like coloring eggs was fun. It sucks Dad had a kidney stone! He needs to drink more cranberry juice and water haha. Hopefully he gets feeling better from those "rocks of hell" (that is what the members up here refer to them as sometimes haha)
I did get the package on Friday. I like the tie. It is a very bright blue haha. People commented on it so I guess it looks good on me. Thanks for the tie. I really like the socks too. They are good ones. They should last a long time. You also put all my favorite easter candy it too. You know me too well haha. There wasn't one piece of Easter candy that I don't like so that's good. Good choices Mama!

That's cool Sarah is doing well in track. Hopefully she keeps it up. 
I want a pic of Jared at prom. I want to see this haha. This is one of those things you have to see to believe.
For the goal we have 3 baptisms so we didn't hit the goal but I think we didn't hit it because HF wanted us to learn some other things. I am still trying to figure out exactly what that is but I will figure it out haha.
You guys are awesome! Love you family!
-Elder Sedlacek
What's up Dad,
That sucks super bad that you had a kidney stone! Those are super painful I have heard. Drink some cranberry juice everyday and more water and you won't get them again. That is the trick that I have been told. Hopefully it goes away! Sounds like the blessing really helped you. That is super cool. Power of the priesthood is awesome.
This week for me was pretty cool. We had a really good lesson with the D family, with one of the members up here and she was the key in the lesson. Because of her the D family are on date for baptism! Both of them too. They didn't come to church yesterday, but they are doing much better. I think they both know the church is true now it's just a matter of time before they are baptized. We taught them about the priesthood and it really helped them. B really liked Elder Oaks' talk from the priesthood session of conference. It helped her a ton with some of the concerns she had.
Like I said in my email to mom Eva got baptized. It was great! She is working on her family to get them into the gospel as well. She is going to do great things as a missionary if she keeps it up.
M is doing well too. She is going to come to a FHE with a member tonight and hopefully come to church on Sunday. She really has opened up huge to the gospel and I know she's going to accept it. She really liked the plan of salvation so I am sure she will like the family history idea you gave me as well. 
Carlos went to the temple to do baptisms on Saturday and he really enjoyed it. He also had a super cool experience. He is just doing awesome. He is also working on his family as well. I think that is how we are going to find new investigators is thru our RCs. We are kinda struggling with that right now so we are going to see if it works better through our RCs. I believe it will.
Sounds like you have had an eventful week though. Life is never boring for you it seems with work and callings haha. Now that you are released though maybe that will change. We will have to see what calling they have for you up their sleeves haha. 
That sucks that that Jazz didn't get last place. I was really hoping they would haha. Hopefully they get a good lottery pick and are able to do something with it and not blow it. That is super cool thought that there are that many Utes going in to the draft. I hope they can do really good next year. They need a really good QB is what I think they are missing. They can get one and I think they should do fairly well.
I am doing great on my journal. I write in it every night and I try to include those experiences. I don't need a new one quite yet but I am getting close haha. I will let you guys know when I am almost done with it. 
As we hold strong to the rod and the gospel we can stand strong through any trial that comes our way. That is just the way the gospel works. We act in faith, even when it's hard, and we will be blessed and protected. I love the gospel. My testimony of it is so much stronger because of my mission and the hard times that I have had. That is why missions are great though. They help so much with life.
Thanks for everything you guys do for me! You guys sacrifice a lot for me to be out here, and I am so grateful for that! I love you guys!
-Elder Sedlacek

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