Thursday, July 28, 2016

This work really is all about love

Monday, July 18th Emails

hey Dad! so this was another good week. we had P** and another investigator at church yesterday--actually we had five at church--it was awesome!  one of them, T**, we met just a few weeks ago. Elder Erickson taught him when we went on exchanges and it was a huge surprise to walk in to the chapel and see him just sitting there waiting for stuff to start! hahaha P** came with her only son, a 5 year old ball of energy hahaha, he was really riled up the whole meeting, so i was trying so hard to get him to be quiet so P** could listen to the meeting. he is the funniest kid. then a few other 'gators came to church that we have been trying our best to work with; the sisters worked with them a lot. they are Micronesian and it is hard to get a meeting with them, so it was a huge miracle to see them at church. we had A** come to the baptism on Saturday for the Liberty Elders and she loved it, even brought a friend, but sadly he must have anti'd her.  she called us the next day during ward council and said that she just got done being baptized, so she wasn't going to come and her search was over. so that sucked, she was golden, but agency is the king. 

J** quit coffee this week, and so she was super loopy the whole week. she was sick yesterday and did not come to church, so hopefully she feels better soon. that is pretty much the updates for the week with the 'gators. we met with President and Sister Welch this week for our first interviews, that was fun hahaha. i know that i am called to them for sure, President Welch is awesome, and then with my interview with Sister Welch, she shared a scripture with me that for whatever reason hit me like a train, so i was choking up as i read it aloud. then i was so frazzled when we ended the interview i accidently almost hugged her! hahaha i was kicking my self. they are new, but they are awesome. 

yep i write all my experiences down as best as i can, hahaha or try to.  when Dad is bored haha! that is a lot you got done while Mom and the girls were at camp. that is awesome, did you enjoy it haha? that is good you got the time off to be able to help Mom after her surgery. that will be good for her. i completely forgot about Sarah & Libby's birthdays! hahaha all stuff besides the work and mission life are a blur to me. i don't even have the energy to focus on other stuff hahaha. 

well, President Porter is a very nice guy for saying those things about me, i do my very best, sometimes i don't think it is as good as he says, but i guess it is. this work really is all about love, i still remember what you said before i left, that even if the people throw rocks at you or something like that, you can and have to love them back for it. hahaha sometimes it is harder than others, but you really have to focus on how they are all children of our Heavenly Father and no matter what He loves them, so we need to love them too. 

i bet that was fun to see that rodeo. Elder Berret, one of the Liberty Elders, used to be one of my zone leaders. we are good buddies. he is from Oregon and works on a cattle ranch up there, so that is cool you got to see that. i like that quote you shared, and the second part too. it really is hope and faith that are the driving forces to the gospel. when we teach people to increase their faith, it increases their hope for better things to come. in order to have faith in better things to come--that lasts--you must have hope for those things. i haven't really ever put those things together like that, that is very interesting, thanks Dad! so is Mom's surgery happening soon or right now? well i have to go now, thanks for emailing me Dad! have a great week! I love you Dad! i hope you get all caught up with work! talk to you later!

-Elder Sedlacek

hey Mom! so this week's updates with the 'gators i wrote in Dad's email. so you can read them there later after your surgery. hahaha people are still giving me grief back home for how young i look? hahaha oh well, i did look really young haha and i was slim but strong! now i am 10 pounds heavier and  i like to think i am still strong hahaha. you can still see a good portion of my six pack, but it went away for a while. hahaha 

those three questions about my week can all pertain to one day when we had interviews with President and Sister Welch. i wrote about Sister Welch's interview with me in Dad's email. but when i read those scriptures i could feel the love from Heavenly Father like he was hugging me, that sounds really feminine, but it's not. hahaha it was a cool experience. the most challenging thing was losing A**. 

thanks for getting that all sorted out with my pump supplies! i do need more strips, but if you can't send them in time to get here by Friday, you will have to wait. we are moving on Friday to the new apartment, but you can send them to the Liberty Elders' apartment and we will get them for sure. the Liberty Elders' apartment is in West Chester, not far from us, so do either or if you can get them here before Thursday at the latest. 

that is crazy that Libby is 12! holy cow!  that must have been fun to go to girls' camp with all the girls hahaha. i am glad you were okay when you fell, that is good. i like those scriptures, those are really good. there is a surprising amount of deep doctrine in the Book of Mormon, a lot of people don't see it that way, but there is some really cool stuff in there. i love the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine & Covenants, i study them both every day along with Preach My Gospel and the Bible for teaching. 

that is really cool with your blessing, the Lord definitely needs you to have a healthy knee for a purpose. look up DC 138:55-56 it is talking about the prophets specifically, but all of God's children as well. that is a cool verse about our purposes in this life, i will have to teach y'all the Doctrine of Christ lessons we teach when i get home. well, i hope your surgery goes well, I love you Mom! recover well, have fun resting and I will talk to you later, have a great week! love ya!

-Elder Sedlacek

Monday, July 11, 2016

We all have our own struggles; mine happens to be diabetes.

hey Dad, so this was a great week! this area is really starting to turn around. we found yet another super solid person this week, A**. we tried to contact her several weeks ago, and have tried multiple times since, but there was never any answer. we both felt inspired to see A**, but we were each thinking of different A**s. we went to both, and this A** answered the door, and then commited to come to church right then and there. she came and the talks were meant for her. it was perfect! she even wants us to come back tomorrow. 

J came to church this week as well, but P** was not able to make it so hopefully she will come next week. our teaching pool is really starting to grow; we are finding people on both sides of the ward and really gaining some traction. we hit 9 member-present lessons this week and also met leadership standards again! it has been a great week. 

i am so glad you got to go hear President & Sister Porter talk and meet them, they are so awesome! i will have to listen to their talks today! thanks so much for recording them! 

that is cool that RB and NR got to speak together, i bet that was fun. sounds like you had two awesome sacrament meetings, that is sweet! i am so glad to be serving right now too! 

that is fun you got to go camping with Brig, i bet that was really fun. did you go fishing with the kayaks? i will have to get one when i get home. hahaha i bet you catch a mess of fish with those things. that would be so cool to help clean the temple, i will have to do that when i get home as well, that would be a way cool experience.  i heard about that ark in Ohio, i will have to see where that is so maybe i can go to see it, that is cool. 

it is true, we all have our own struggles; mine happens to be diabetes. the Lord will bless those who serve him with a willing heart and mind with health and strength, i know that i have definitely been blessed as i have been serving my mission, to have lots of help controlling my diabetes. the Savior is truly there to help the whole way, He will never leave our side. 

thanks so much for all you do for me Dad, thanks for being such an awesome Dad! i love you so much, i hope you have a great week! i will talk to you later! 

-Elder Sedlacek

hey Mom! this was a really good week, i wrote about the investigators in Dad's email as usual, but i did not tell him that we had an awesome chapel tour with J on Saturday, and she was an emotional wreck because of losing her birth certificate. we did the tour anyway, and when we got to the baptism font, the Spirit was super strong, and she decided to put herself on date before we could ask her.  she chose Aug 20th! heck yeah! also, she is going to the church's version of AA for help to stop smoking, so that will be awesome to see her be baptized. i figured i would save that story for your email. :) 

so yeah, we had a really good week. we worked really hard and accomplished a lot. yesterday i had a tender mercy. we got a ride from another member to Sister H's last night (she fed us dinner) and the member's wife was sitting in the front seat. we had given them a Doctrine of Christ lesson a week and a half earlier, and she complimented my approach to teaching, she said it was spiritual and very motivating, because she feels rebuked most of the time when missionaries teach hahaha, so that was part of my blessing being fulfilled right there. for the first time in a while, i really knew that the Lord is very pleased with my service. i may not always be the most eloquent missionary, or the one who baptizes like crazy, but i am not sent here to be that kind of missionary.  the Lord qualifies who he calls and as long as i am being myself and following the Spirit, the Lord will be able to make me an instrument in His hands. 

i have not gotten my pump supplies yet, but i did get the insulin, thanks mom!  so the Porters said i look 17 now huh? hahaha good! i am so glad you got to meet the Porters, they are so awesome! and that is cool you got to meet Elder Holman's parents. he always tells me how much he misses me hahaha. i learned a lot from him. 

Elder Erickson is a great companion, he teaches well, and loves to talk to people and we get along really well, he helps me a lot with things that i am not necessarily good at, and i help him with things he struggles with, so we mesh pretty well. i am most grateful for my loving Heavenly Father who really does listen to me and who really does care when i pray. that is when i feel the Spirit the most and the strongest, and i know that when we pray we truly are having a conversation with our Heavenly Father. i know that He will be watching out for you as you go through your knee surgery. He loves you enough to help you with your stuff and to bless you with a million kids and a little grand baby. i know the surgery will go well, Heavenly Father blessed you with that surgeon and the time to do it, He will surely help it go well. 

that is crazy that Libby is in young women's now and that the twins are 16, the time is flying by! crazy! 

what you said about faith is true, you have to step out on the edge where miracles happen. you can call down miracles with faith. faith is the substance of it all. as we increase our faith, our capacity increases to do good and to work miracles. faith is so important in the lives of God's children, it is the first step to changing our selves and in following the Savior. i know that with faith in the Savior we can accomplish everything we set our minds to. rely on your faith to help the surgery and your healing go well, and you will be blessed from doing so, i promise you that.

well, that is all for my week, how are you?!

Mom: I am great! I am really happy that you had such a great week!

oh, and our music ban has been lifted. we can now listen to anything that invites the Spirit rather than just stuff, so feel free to send me some Josh Groban, and if you could send me the Nashville Tribute Band song, "i was born," that would be great!

Mom: So President Welch is making some changes huh? What else has he changed?

he has not really changed anything else yet, so we will have to see. Elder E and i have our first interview with him on Friday, and i am excited.

well, i have to go now Mom. thanks so much for all you do for me! i love you so much! you're the best! have a great week, i will keep you in my prayers! good luck with the surgery and i hope the recovery goes well! i will talk to you later! 
love you!

-Elder Sedlacek

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Wimpy Utah rain

hey Dad, it has been a  good week, but tiring! hahaha it seems everyday now i wake up like i have not even slept five minutes. the badge of a missionary! hahahaha that is pretty cool about those fireworks, i bet that was fun. they were going off like crazy last night in our complex, it made it hard to sleep. 

we did find just a couple of people this week, not too many though. we are really progressing with J**. she wants to be baptized in September. i was like, "not so quick hahaha" we are trying to get her to accept July. she just wants to be sure that she has quit smoking fully before she is baptized. she is so awesome! we are going to get her into the AA program the church does. she is super excited to learn and loves to have us over. P** is doing well, we had an appointment she had to cancel last night, but we are working on getting through the first few lessons with her. she has read the whole plan of salvation pamphlet that we committed her to do, so she is working at it! other than that, we are still building up the teaching pool. we are giving Miss J a break for a while. 

President Welch is the perfect combo of Pres Stuart and Murdock. the seriousness of Pres Stuart, and the down-to-earth attitude of  Pres Murdock. he hugged us at our first meeting and was grabbing our fists and giving us bro hugs like "whuts's up brutha!" it was super weird to have that funny thing happen compared to Pres Porter, but he is awesome. it is different having a brand new president, you definitely see the difference in how they mature as well. 

you're right Dad, that is important to remember that the Lord needs even the "smallest" calling to do their best to help build up the kingdom. that sounds like you are a little swamped at work! hahaha well, i hope you can get all that inventory sorted out. it is crazy that the football is getting so close to starting up.  i am glad you got a lot of cherries off the tree this year, that must taste a lot better than my walmart fruit hahaha. so Mia is cutting the lawn now? good good! hahah Brother F, the guy in our ward that i love, he told me he is going to talk to President to get me to stay here so i can keep cutting his lawn. hahah he loves the way i cut it. 

i like that thought from Pres Monson, is that from a recent conference? i need to read that one. the Savior really is the way, the truth and the light, it is He who has shown us the way, all we have to do is to follow Him and do the things that He has done. i find it amazing that we are able to stand in His place and do the things that He would do. i love being out on a mission with the Savior by my side, helping others to gain a stronger testimony of Him and the restored gospel. they may not know it yet, but they will be so thankful for the prophet Joseph Smith and all that he has done for us and for restoring the true gospel back on to the earth, so that we can be truly happy and true disciples of Jesus Christ. i am so grateful for the pioneers and for all they did, settling Utah. Utah is the greatest place on earth. thanks for all you do for me to make my mission possible. i know that without you, i would not be here today. thanks for being a fetchin' awesome Dad! I love you Dad! have a great week, keep working hard and doing what's right! i will talk with you later!

-Elder Sedlacek

hey Mom, so it has been a good week. i wrote to Dad all about the teaching pool, so you will have to read that one. yesterday, we had a finding day, and as you know, it was tough. it rained all day, but it was only the wimpy Utah rain, so that was good haha. (Utah rain is not real rain to us here in Ohio hahaha just kidding!) we had a wet day, but we had to be out finding so we were out personal-contacting most of the day. almost everyone we met was being kinda snotty to us though, so no one was really wanting to listen. it was still a fun day though. we had to be in at 6 pm, unless we had a specific appointment to go to and a member to go with us, so we had dinner at a member's and played some games before we went home, it was fun. 

Pres Welch is awesome. he is very successful and loves sports and stuff. i like him hahaha. we had a meeting with him on Wednesday. i was able to get to a JC Penney on Monday and i got a sweet deal on a NICE blue suit. it looks really great, and it is slim fit, so it fits me super good. so i was able to have a nice "meetings only" suit to wear to meet President.  that is too bad about the truck tire, but i am glad that you were able to get it fixed. that is what's nice, i actually already knew the truck had a full size spare. it makes it nice to have it. that is good Nicole & Jeff were able to move in smoothly, did dad truck down that piano again? hahaha. and Brig sounds so cute! i can't wait to meet that little stud. 

Elder Butters! that is cool that he is home. that will be fun to hear them speak if you can, just remember to record President Porter's talk. i am guessing you will want to anyway. there is no wonder that he upstaged a visiting Seventy while he was mission president. he comes up with every single one of his talks on the fly. that is something you won't want to miss. he is great at speaking! 

i like what you said about covenants. they are what prepare us for the celestial kingdom. commitments lead to covenants, which eventually lead to living celestial laws. they not only allow us to receive blessings and the companionship of the Spirit, but they allow us to come closer to the Savior and to fully apply the Doctrine of Christ and the atonement in our lives to invoke change and growth. the gospel is a beautiful thing! we just have to do our best to do what we have been asked, and we will be changing and growing more like the Savior. i am going to prepare a sweet talk for when i get home hahahaha. well, that is pretty much all for the week, how are you? oh, by the way, i need more insulin now--this week--i am on the last vial.

we found out that Elder Erickson and i are moving to the apartment that used to house the sisters at the end of the month, so now we have to purge a three-year-old missionary apartment. ask Jake about how much work that is! hahaha

i have to go now Mom, thanks for emailing me! thanks for all you do. i love you so much! i will talk to you later! talk to you later!

-Elder Sedlacek

Friday, July 1, 2016

Hope, discouragement, and the changing of the guard

hey Dad! this was a good week, we had a lot of grace and we got to go to the Louisville, KY temple! it was awesome! we went with the Porters as a one last hurrah i guess. they met us in the celestial room after the session, and gave each of us a hug. it was funny because Sister Porter gave us hugs too (which never happened normally), so she reached out to give me a hug and my immediate reaction was internal screaming hahaha! my mission brain took over for a second haha. 

President Porter will be speaking the 10th of July, but he did not say what building it is. i am sure you can find out though. i really hope you can record it for me!!

this week, we were able to reach the leadership standards of the mission! we found a bunch of people and we were able to get a member's referral for her sister, J**, who has had some health struggles that caused her to move in with her member sister. J** had been meeting with the missionaries already, in Arkansas, and she says she already knows the church is true. she is not quite ready to be baptized, but it was a huge miracle! she was able to make it to church on Sunday. we had the mini missionary with us a majority of the week, and it was super fun, he is a funny kid. 

President Welch takes over today--it is crazy. it is weird to think that almost a year ago i arrived here. it is super weird to think about! i am excited to meet President Welch. in answer to your question, one family that really touched my mission so far is the Scott family who own that huge bull mastiff dog, they are so awesome! then another guy from Englewood who would come out with us a lot, and don't forget Frank & Sue and Jeff P! 

that is super cool that Asher and Sam got to speak on Sunday. i am glad Brother A is doing well, i am glad he liked the chopper from the Dayton air museum. holy cow, 600k people at the air show! that is cazy, i bet that would have been super fun to see, although you were actually doing what i did, moving people. hahaha 

we did get some of the new pamphlets, but it sounds like they ran out, so we didn't get a whole lot of them. our commissary will come soon though, so we will see how many we get this time. they are really neat looking. i loved that talk from Elder Holland, it was super good. we have to keep trying and keep believing to make things happen, we cannot afford to get discouraged. if i got easily discouraged, i would not be the missionary i am today! hahaha that correlates with one of my fave scriptures, 1 Timothy 4:7. i have definitely felt your prayers, and i know it helped us this week. we could not have had such a good week without it! thanks for all the support you give to me Dad! i love you so much Dad! have a great week! talk to you later!

-Elder Sedlacek

hey Mom, so we had a great week! i did get my package! thanks so much Mom! we will for sure enjoy those Slushees! thanks for mailing me some supplies! my insulin is good, i still have a few more vials i think. 

well, your prayers are being answered, we found a lady from a member referral the other day, and i wrote about her in Dad's email. then we met another lady named P** who seems pretty solid, we have an appointment with her on Tuesday. nope, we definitely don't judge success the way Heavenly Father does. i am too hard on myself, because i see lots of missionaries baptize a lot, and then i haven't had one in a long time. but i have to remind myself that people do have their agencies to act for themselves, and that as long as i work my hardest and try my best that i am successful. me and Elder Erickson are in the same boat, he has only had two baptisms as well, but he also works his hardest and tries his best, it was an awesome tender mercy to be able to share the same experience. 

my fave person this week was probably P**, she is just a cool person.  the most fun i had was with the mini missionary, we all three had a blast together. then on Wednesday we rode past a lady's house on our bikes, and i had a distinct impression that was not ignorable--hahaha--to stop by. so we stopped in and found that she had been struggling with some health issues, and we both had another impression to offer a her a blessing. the spirit was so strong! it was amazing. 

we had a great time at the temple--i wrote a little about it in Dad's email, so you will have to read about it there haha. i try my best! 

President Welch takes over today. we had a special conference call last night as a mission, and President Porter gave us a blessing as a whole mission. it was super cool! i heard about Finding Dory, i heard it was pretty good, i will look forward to it. that is so funny about Dukie learning not to bark so much, i love that story! 

that is super sad about the Romanian people not having any hope. people need to have hope, but i guess in some other areas of the world, the people don't think they need hope, they already have everything. so it makes it tough to teach them about the gospel before they can tell you they are already Catholic or Baptist or Protestant or whatever. 

i love being able to feel the spirit working through me and being able to be an instrument in the Lord's hands as well. with him, He can help me do anything so long as i let Him. that is cool you had a good experience studying, President emphasizes having spiritual experiences during your own studies that are even stronger than at meetings, and meetings are pretty dang cool! i am getting to that point. the Doctrine & Covenants are so awesome! 

well, that is about it for this week, President speaks on July 10th and so you will have to figure out what time it is so you can RECORD it for me, please! i would love to have a copy of it so i can listen to it. maybe i could sell it for $2 bucks a pop to all the other missionaries and earn a killing! hahahahaha no way, i would not do that for real hahaha.

thanks for all you do Mom, i have to go now. i love you so much! have a great week! i will talk to you later! love yah! good luck with my email hahaha

-Elder Sedlacek