Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christmas in Marion, Indiana

hey Dad, it has been a crazy but good week. for the first half of the week, we had heard several days ahead of time when we would move, so we did the usual stuff and saw all the 'gators from Noblesville, all while having meetings with the Indy mission APs and their office elders. It was fun. guess what? Elder Hemuli, who graduated with me, the one who'll be playing Stanford football, is an Indy AP, so we got a pic together. that was super cool. we showed them around the area book, talked about the ward and had our ward mission leader involved in those meetings, so the change should go smoothly for them. sad thing is, they are getting rid of the barn we lived in, and won't be staying in it.

we moved here to Marion on Thursday and i don't even know where to begin to describe the area hahaha. it's the country, but it looks like inner city. it was once a booming industry town, that was left to who couldn't move out when the industry went south. the people here are friendly though, and have the famous Hoosier "gift of gab." They can talk your ear off hahahaha. 

we are on bikes full time, but luckily we live close to the church in a small house, a single floor up the street from the church. we don't know too many of the 'gators yet. it was kinda hard to have only one full day on Saturday, and that was Christmas Eve, so we did not get to talk to a whole lot of people. stay tuned to the next emails for info on the teaching pool i guess. i guess a lot of the ward is less active, so we will need to be helping a lot of those, as well as finding as many 'gators as we can get hold of. 

thanks for the advice on goals, i will definitely need a plan for the next few months of my mission, and for home after. i am  not looking forward to the adjustment hahaha. goals help us to achieve what the Lord would have us achieve, and it allows Him to fully reach out and help us get there. 

that is a crazy storm! i am glad you had a white Christmas, but that is too bad you did not get to make it to church, i am sorry.  my meeting wasn't a whole lot better though hahaha. that is good you got to help out the neighbors with their snow, that is a very worthwhile thing to do. i loved doing that when i was home. it sounds like you will  get a good rest of your holiday break, hopefully it is very enjoyable for you. 

so this bowl game between Utah and Indiana should be fun to hear about haha! that is so cool, Hoosiers against my home town team. the Hoosiers are good, too hahaha. should be a good game, but Utah will crush them hahaha! 

that is a very interesting thought about Mary and Joseph, thanks for sharing that. as i read the chapters in the Bible surrounding Christ's birth, it hit me that when Christ was in the temple teaching the old guys, when he was just a boy, and how in D&C 93:13 it talks about how he received grace for grace, to his fullness, or his glory and knowledge--he must have had some exponential growth and had to have really understood his purpose at an early age to be able to do that! that is so amazing. as children of our Heavenly Father we struggle to understand the purpose of life and how we get there, and gaining that knowledge of the plan and everything else, but Christ made it all possible. even though we struggle and we are not perfect, we can always turn to Him and he can help us learn and grow from our experiences to become better. 

i am so thankful to be able to declare the glad tidings of his birth around the Christmas holiday, thank you for teaching me what is right and being patient with me. i love you Dad, have a great day! and week, happy New Year's too i guess hahaha! talk to you later!

-Elder Sedlacek

hi Mom! it has been a crazy week. i wrote about all that happened in Dad's email. i wish i knew more about the area, but that will come in time. in Noblesville we did get to say goodbye the day before we left, and see a few of the members who had helped us a lot, so that was nice. 

the move was crazy cause they kept pushing the time back.  we moved at 5:00pm on Thursday and made it up here about 7:00, so that was a fun day. then we headed off early Friday to the Christmas conference. that was really good. they divided the mission in half and had games during the first part, then the Gilberts catered a lunch for us, and then we had a good devotional as we studied the nativity. that was really good. it was another good Christmas on the mission, and sadly my last. i so wish i had another! 

after we got done Skyping yesterday, we headed up with the ward mission leader from Noblesville to his family who lives in our ward here. we had a good lunch complete with fresh venison! yeah!!!!!!! then we came home and elder Nelson skyped with his family at the church, and then we came back to the house and did our puzzles and stuff. it was fun. 

that is crazy that you got so much snow, i can't even imagine that much snow here. that must have been fun to go to grandma and grandpa Ds, grandma makes good bread hahaha. i don't have any huge miracles to share, but just that we got here to Marion safely in the move, and having a bit of divine help with my diabetes hahaha! Marion is a fun place, that is for sure. it is actually the poorest area i have been in since inner-city Cincinnati, so that is a big change. the poorer areas always test me a bit, they make me kind of anxious, but not because it scares me or anything, it's just taxing, it's hard for me to describe why. 

my fave thing this week was the funny people in this ward. all the typical Hoosier things going on, with the accent and all haha. i love it! 

that sounds like a good tradition you have started with the Mary and Joseph dinner. i look forward to it. that is such an interesting thought you talked about. Mary and Joseph truly had to have been humble. they were totally willing to follow the commands of Heavenly Father and to do what they could to raise Jesus in the dignity that his life and the gift he gave to us so deserves. 

i know that Christ lives and that He did make everything possible, and He did it for all of us. i think about how much i lack, and what i have done, and what i could do better, and the reassuring knowledge of Christ and how He can help me become better always gives me peace and joy. because of Him i can become a better person. thank you for raising me on the gospel sod, i am so lucky to be your son. {I asked him if he was trying to make me cry?! ;)} thanks Mom for all you do! that's it for the week! haha

well, i got to go now, thanks Mom for all you do! i love you all so much! have a happy New Year's Day! not sure what we will do on that day yet. have a great week and i will talk to you later!

-Elder Sedlacek

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

We are pretty much double agents, working for two missions

He got the bratselies {Swiss cookies} we sent him. A family tradition!

hey Dad, it has been a good, but weird week. we have not moved yet.... although they had the huge meeting to reorganize the boundaries at church yesterday with the whole Indy North stake, so we basically attended the Indy mission's stake conference. their whole zone was there, and of course they all ignored us hahahaha. we even saw their mission president up on the stand, it was crazy cause he wasn't ours hahaha. we are officially out of the mission as of 3:00 pm yesterday, but apparently the Indy office missionaries don't know a thing. they called us to set up a meeting so we can go over the area book, and our APs don't know a thing, they do think we will go on an exchange with the other mission though, and (hahaha) it gets even better, because for possibly two more weeks WE ARE PRETTY MUCH DOUBLE AGENTS working for two missions right now hahahahaha! if they move us soon, we will go to Marion Indiana, but who knows when that will happen. if it does, we will be re-opening an area, but i really don't want to. my comp kinda likes to control everything and he will milk that. 

no gators came to church yesterday, but it was a really noisy meeting. SD is finally reading the Book of Mormon! heck yes! and same with B. we have been reading with them, and apparently it worked at least a little bit. all the other investigators are doing the about the same as before. we did get T, our less active we've been working with, to come to church yesterday. that was nice, because it's been a couple weeks since he last came.

this ward is awesome, they are giving us Christmas gifts all the time. Bro A gave me a little Christus statue, it's so cool. that sounds like you are having an interesting week too! that is so cool you found the family history stuff, everyone always asks me if i'm straight from the Czech Republic. a few thought i was hahaha. 

sounds like the new Star Wars movie is really good, i am excited to see it haha. that sounds like you had some good church meetings. i wish ours weren't so noisy, but it was historic, and we helped carry chairs back at the end of the meeting. i broke a personal record--4 under each arm hahaha. 

i really like that thought, that really helped me feel the Spirit, thanks for sharing that Dad! it's true, no matter how far we wander, or how lost we think we are, the Savior is right there, we just have to choose to see Him, and then reach out for his lifting hand to pull us back to safety. we are never truly lost, ever. it's a pleasure to be able to share that message with the people of Indiana, even though they are the most stubborn people haha! they have a strong faith and it's nice to see that, even in people of other faiths. 

that's awesome about the Colts. i was surprised last week to see the standings, with your Cowgirls in the lead. the other teams must feel pretty sympathetic to them this year, letting them win. 

i have no idea when i will Skype, if i am still here in Noblesville, it will be in the afternoon or around 1:00 perhaps. i will have a member shoot you a text or see if i can still call to set it up. i will do my best to let you know as soon as possible. well thanks for emailing me Dad! you're the best! i love reading your emails. talk to you on Sunday! have a great week!

-Elder Sedlacek

hi Madre, so it has been a good week. i wrote all about the craziness of the meeting to announce the new boundaries yesterday, and about the investigators. so yep, we are pretty much waiting for the Indy mission to make their move. we don't know any more than our APs, or their office elders apparently, and it's kind of annoying. i like to know when we will be gone or if we stay for Christmas. i would love to leave after Christmas, not before. if we do move this week, we will go to Marion and re-open the area, together, which i really don't want to do, especially the week before Christmas. it's frustrating not to know what's going on sometimes, but i would feel bad if i just sat back and let it happen, cause it would feel like i am not doing anything. 

Brother Gilbert is awesome! he is a really good guy in the Connersville branch. that is awesome you were able to find that way to #LighttheWorld. that is a really good service, good job on making all that bread, i bet it was really good. that must be fun to have everyone home for Christmas haha.

the weather here has sucked haha, we had some freezing rain the other day, which makes biking impossible. it has been in the teens for the high most of the week. this morning biking over to the library, my boogers froze in my nose hahahaha! it's about 7 degrees and a bit of wind chill to spice it up. makes for a nice balmy, Indiana day. IT'S SO COLD! hahahahaha humidity really sucks hahahaha. i say Utah weather has a sting, but the Midwest cold has a bite from a rabid bull dog. it cuts right through hahaha. that is crazy weather you have had though, i am excited to have lots of snow, it won't snow more than two inches here.  but yes, i am staying warm most of the time. i have plenty of clothing to stay warm. 

my testimony grew through a song that was playing in the car the other day before we gave it up hahaha, i was kind of reflecting on how things are going and the tune of the song we had playing helped me to feel the peace and comfort of knowing that Heavenly Father is still in control, and these changes are for my benefit and the peoples' benefit. it really made me feel the spirit, it was cool. my favorite thing was probably the dinner appointment we had yesterday. we went to a family of all boys--three boys and they were crazy fun. they had us help them feed all their animals. the boys had us help them and their parents were mad when they found out they had us helped, but we told them we did it by choice hahahaha, so that was fun. i think that tender mercy was the song as well, it was at exactly the perfect time that day and your packages really cheered me up on Thursday, things weren't going well on Thursday morning, thank you so much by the way! the peanut brittle is really good! and same with the bratselies. oh, we sang that song (Baby, What You Goin' to Be?) in Batesville, when we were in the ward choir.  that's a really good song. thank you for sharing that! the Savior really does make everything okay. thanks for emailing Mom!

well got to go now Mom, thanks for emailing! i love you guys so much! i am excited to see you on Christmas! talk to you Sunday! love ya!

Elder Sedlacek

We are refugees

Emails from December 12, 2016

hey Dad! it has been a good week. i am glad you got the cards and stuff, and yes, there will be a boundary change for this stake. all i know right now is that i am leaving this area very soon. it turned out the Assistants were wrong about leaving last week so we did not leave yet, but sometime near the end of the week.  so you could possibly send the package this week, cause if you send it to the mission home, it might take a long time to get it. 

as  for how the week went, it went pretty well. we did a lot of less-active hunting and it was successful. we found a few new ones to stop by, so that is good. they were all friendly and hadn't seen missionaries around in a while so they enjoyed the visits. SD did not make it to church this week, and we don't know why yet, but we will hopefully see him tonight. B has been meeting us at the library lately. he finally revealed to us need, so now we can teach him more effectively. we have been reading the Book of Mormon with everyone so they can get motivated to get into it themselves. K is still doing about the same, same as the W family, except the cold temps keep them from coming to church for health reasons. she may have been healed, but still struggles in the cold air. pretty much everyone is doing about the same. it is kinda tough, i just wish they would read the Book of Mormon and be able to feel its influence. it is such an amazing book of scripture.

that is super awesome all that stuff happened and went well. and even better you are going to the gym! hahaha, are you gonna bulk up and be a buff Grandpa and squish me? hahaha i can't wait to go back to the gym hahaha. sounds like work is kinda  hectic, that is good though you get to stay busy, that keeps you from being bored, right?  

that must have been a good meeting at stake conference, here stake conference is like a whole zone meeting hahaha, so it's fun to see members i know and all my mission buddies. i saw Elder Hurst at the stake conference, one of the guys from the MTC. 

i really like that thought you shared, it's interesting Elder Causse said Christ's birth was secondary to his atonement. that was his whole purpose for this life, to save us all. he had one thing on his mind, serve the Father's children. we had a lesson surrounding this topic with Kristy this week, about always seeking after Christ. if we are not intent on coming closer to Him, all the harder our lives will become. we need the gift that enables us to become better--the atonement--as we utilize it more fully in our lives our happiness and joy will increase, as well as our knowledge and relationship with Christ and Heavenly Father. i know that Jesus is the Christ and that Joseph Smith is his prophet and revelator called to these latter days to usher in the restoration of the gospel and to bring us the Book of Mormon. as i have read the Book of Mormon to finish by Christmas, starting from Nov 8th, it truly has increased my testimony of its divinity of the book and my love for Christ and Joseph Smith. i am so grateful for this gospel and that we can live for eternity as a family. thank you Dad for the example you put forth, for serving a mission, pushing through college and for every day that you get up to go to work for us. it makes it possible for me to serve a mission and to gain a testimony of the gospel. i love you Dad! have a great week! you're the best!

-Elder Sedlacek

hey Mom, so you heard about the changes. sorry to scare you a bit hahaha! i am glad you enjoyed the cards, thanks for distributing them for me!  so i guess just send my packages hahaha. we will see where i go. we almost thought it was a joke, since we were supposedly moving this week and nothing happened. we finally texted the APs and they were like, "it should be announced today and the changes will me made this Sunday" and so they said we will probably leave near the end of the week. we are refugees! haha we need to jump ship. can you send me a pic of the new mission logo? we have not got it yet. 

the best thing that happened this week was when we got a super sweet member refferal from a guy in the Indy mission for a person in our boundaries, so  she should be taught soon by whoever is in this ward. the ward will probably change its boundaries too, because they are reorganizing a new stake. i definitely saw small miracles throughout each day, but not any big ones to mention, just another week with an awesome ward. 

one tender mercy, a lady in our ward heard i have eczema and left a bottle of Ceravie lotion on the stairs in front of our apartment the other day, with some candy haha, that was super nice. she says it's the best for dry skin, and so far it's worked great. the Indiana weather has been in the 20s all week and snowing, but since it's Indiana it's gone within 24 hours regardless of how cold it is, and you don't get more than two inches hahaha, so that was nice. 

sister Murdock sounds like sister Welch. sister Welch used to walk a bit in the mornings and she set up a few appointments for us when i was in West Chester hahaha, they are both great missionaries. 

well, i know that this gospel is true. self change is a neccesary part of Christ's true church. we believe in continuing revelation, so God will always reach out to his children--that's a fact of life. i know that the Lord is at the helm of the Old Ship Zion and always will be. all things are done in wisdom and order, of God, who knows what needs to happen. as we approach this Christmas season we must always retain in remembrance the gift that Christ has given to us. i love this gospel so much, i am so grateful for the power of the priesthood and the temple in our lives. i love you all so much! 

well, got to go now Mom, thanks so much for all you do! i love you all so much! i hope you have a great day! talk to you later. you're the best!

-elder Sedlacek

Friday, December 9, 2016

You don't have to be the sharpest pencil in the drawer....

hey Dad, it has been a good week. our numbers and stuff don't indicate it so much, but that is not the important thing to remember, because we had a lot of good things going on this week. sadly, SD's son, who has health challenges, had a rough go of it on Saturday so SD did not make it to stake conference in Muncie, so he is no longer on date for December 17th. that's okay though, i think it was kinda tight for him anyway. there is not really anyone on our list who is super progressing other than him. we taught him the Word of Wisdom yesterday, and he has no problems with it, so that should go well. we will see how his church attendance plays out. he is still struggling with reading, but i think it's because of his reading skills, so we tried to get him on the app so he could listen instead. B is doing well, and he still wants to meet with us. he even wants to meet at the library now that it's getting cold cause he lives with someone else. the W family are doing alright. pretty much everyone struggles with reading though, which sucks, it's like "just read it, it will help you!" K is doing about the same as everyone else. it is frustrating when people don't want to progress. 

stake conference was super awesome, they changed the stake presidency and some really good thoughts were shared. afterwards, Bro. A., a super awesome member who helps us a lot, had us give him a blessing. he had me be the voice, that was an honor,  because he is a such an awesome guy. we also got to help out C, who is blind, he is very inspiring as well. 

right now it's getting cold to be on bikes as you can imagine hahaha! Saturday was a nice day, but man, i froze to death coming through an Indiana-sized canyon (haha--it's actually a valley between two knolls). so the "new" snowblower is getting tired huh? that is too bad, it has served well though, or allowed us to serve well. that is crazy that the Utes are going to play Indiana while i am here, what are the odds? the Utes will whoop them! they better! haha! 

sounds like you had a good church meeting. good news with the family history then, that's good you are finding things that need to be done. that lesson topic must have been inspired, that is awesome. thank you for sharing that. one of the thoughts given by the past 2nd counselor in the stake presidency talked about how you don't have to be the sharpest pencil in the drawer to serve the Lord, you just have to be in the drawer so He can take you out and sharpen you. i thought that was so cool, the Lord will do any means necessary to help us become an instrument in His hands. maybe that is why i have had some more interesting comps to work with, so he can sharpen me, cause man, i must have been a flat head hahaha! I know that selfless service is what allows us to become who God wants us to be. by doing so we come to know Christ and His infinite goodness and His plan for us, and we find eternal joy. thank you for founding me on the foundation of the gospel, so i too can use the framework therein to become like the Savior. thank you for all you do Dad! you're the best! love you Dad! have a great week!

-Elder Sedlacek

hey Mom! it has been a good week, i wrote about all the 'gators as usual in Dad's part. it was a good week, we had some good things happen. we got to give a few blessings, so that was awesome. we helped move a non-member lady, and that was good. she really needed help, she could not have done it herself. she is not interested right now, but she may be interested in the future, so that was some good fellowship too, because we had a member helping. 

we had to bike this week, so that was tough with it being really cold hahaha, but we made it through. one tender mercy was just feeling an increase of the Spirit, because my prayers have been much more sincere lately, and that always helps us. the hardest thing that happened was trying to improve our companion unity. i guess we both like to be in control, but we made some big progress this week. my favorite person was Brother A, and getting to help him with the blessing yesterday, that was so cool. 

now for a funny story: we met a super funny guy yesterday as we were coming out of the nursing home where C lives. this guy came out while we were waiting for our ride, and he was smoking a joint. he asked us about our name tags, and then he started telling us how he used to be the sun in the sky before he was born, and God told him to come here. not too weird yet, right? then he says he took all his rays and shot himself into what makes up a human body. then he was said, "hey do you guys smoke marijauna or tobacco?" and we were like "no," and he continued on, telling us how God told him to indulge in it. it was a crazy story and that was not even all of it! hahaha i almost lost it!

that must have been fun to have Briggy around for the weekend for sure, he is a cute one. it also sounds like you had some good service this week, with helping others, that is so awesome. i love getting to do service, it makes for such an increase in the Spirit. that is super cool about those golfers coming back, i remember them, it seems like yesterday! that must have been fun to hear from them again, it sounds like a good meeting.  we too had a great meeting with our stake conference in Muncie. there was such a great spirit there as they called a new presidency. that was fun to be part of. 

some mission news: we used to have 2 zones per stake, now they combined them, so there is one per stake. the zones are huge now. i will just testify of key holders--you know i don't like change (you even warned me remember? hahaha) but i know that President Welch is the key holder for this mission. i am so grateful for priesthood keys, and the ability to hold the priesthood. it's such a blessing in our lives. i know the power that lies within devoted service to the Lord, and i am so grateful for my opportunity to serve him. thanks for helping me to serve! 

alright, that's about it for the week. got to go now. thanks, Mom, for all you do! i love you guys so much! have a great week! talk to you later! 20 days 'til Christmas!

-Elder Sedlacek

Friday, December 2, 2016

An attitude of gratitude is imperative to our level of happiness

Elder Sed goes to church in the Indianapolis mission.

Elders Sedlacek and Nelson with their Trump ties.

hey Dad! its been a good week, a little better than last, so that's good. i had an awesome Thanksgiving, we got to play in the ward turkey bowl--Elders/a few high priests against the young men. we were actually winning up until the second half, then it turned sour, the old guys got tired haha and so i was blocking for some super strong youth leaders. the guy was huge! hahaha we lost by a TD. it was so fun though and i actually woke up sore the next day hahaha! i am getting out of shape! then we had a really good meal at the S family's home, and that was fun. his wife is Phillipino and was constantly saying, "Guys, really, eat a lot, eat as much as you can" so we got absolutely stuffed hahaha. we also had SD show up to church yesterday, and me and my DL had an exchange Friday night so we did a chapel tour with him (SD) and put him on date for Dec 17th! he is going to work towards it, so we will see how it goes. he really enjoyed church and the ward jumped all over it--they fellowship so well, they pretty much took over before and after sacrament, which was exactly how it should be done. we were left to set up chairs haha.

as for everyone else in our teaching pool, they are doing about the same. we got to help the W family set up thier christmas tree, that was fun. as for the new church initiative, that was super awesome. we had a special powerpoint given to us to introduce it, it's amazing. we have already been showing it to members and we had a super powerful lesson with the M family yesterday, the ones whose lawn mower blew up, over lunch, and it actually almost made me tear up hahaha. the Savior truly spent his whole life serving others, why can't we do the same? think of the gravity of that, he spent his whole life,  his whole 30+ years, serving other people than himself. the love that comes from that kind of service is unimagineable. i am super excited to have this new program, i challenge each of you to participate, it's on and there is a Christmas advent calendar for every day, with a short video clip. i know it will change your Christmas ideals.

it sounds like you had a good Thankgiving too, i bet it was super good. do you like Planet Fitness? have you heard of the lunk alarm? hahahaha. that will be super nice to have, that's awesome, are you getting some weights in?

that is super awesome about Mia's talk. i like that notion of the Fullers soap, it applies so well to me right now. we are both staying another transfer, and so i was like, "man...what else is there to do around here?" and the answer is to rely more on God. i may have exhausted some of our lists, but there are still people out there to contact. every time we struggle through a planning session it's so i can learn to be more depentent on God, and become a better person. i know that God can direct our every path, but it's harder said than done. you have to have so much faith, which is what's going to give me the blessings in my patriarchal blessing. thank you for teaching me right Dad, i love you Dad! have a great week!

-Elder Sedlacek

hi Mom! its been a good week, i had a great Thanksgiving and a lot of fun. we did have SD finally make it to church this week, and on exchanges my DL and I put him on date! i wrote about that experience to Dad. chapel tours are so effective haha. the best part of the week was probably having SD show up to church, and the most challenging was having no one accept a return appointment, but that's okay, it's not the right time for them apparently.

yesterday at the M home, they showed us the missionary parody of that Adele song i know nothing about, and that was so funny, but it made total sense for me and my situation right now. they had no "success" up until the end, but they still remained positive and happy about doing the work, then when they got into the house (that part is hilarious) they are so grateful for someone to teach. this work takes work and nothing's gonna work until you have joy in the work! hahaha. even though those people won't let us back, we have to look for the blessings anyway, that is something i have gotten a little loose on doing, thank you for the extra reminder Mom!​

i am most grateful for the scriptures and an awesome family (especially parents haha) and the spiritual growth that has occurred in me because of the Savior sculpting me into what he wants me to become. that is crazy about Mia being 15 now! holy cow! it sounds like you had a good holiday too, that is awesome.

how did i know Libby would get a phone before I get back! that is funny. is my old one still around? i still want those pics on it.  oh that sucks that Sarah was sick, at least you had a good time at home though. that sounds like Mia did a great job on her talk, wow Mia has really grown up a lot it sounds like, that is awesome, and crazy!

that thought you had, for me, is very similar to a quote on the white board in my Batesville apartment, that has literally shaped my mission, no doubt in my mind it was there for a reason. it says "don't spoil what you have now, by desiring what you do not" and it's so true, the attitude of gratitude is something that is imperative to our level of happiness. i am so grateful for all of you guys and being able to serve a mission, it's hard and not the most fun at times, but it will be ever worth it for the amount of blessings you and i receive! thank you for standing firm and teaching me what is right, thank you for all you do Mom! love you Mom!

as for Christmas gifts, i cannot think of anything specifically except for maybe some Old Spice body spray, the Fiji scent, it smells so good, and a bunch of jerky hahaha.

a funny story for the week: we got locked out of our apartment and the windows are high up, so Elder Nelson had me climb up and stand on his shoulders and i wedged open a window to break in hahaha, it was funny.

well, i have to go now Mom, thanks for all that you do for me! i hope you have a good day at work! i love you! talk to yah next week! 
i am staying in Noblesville with Elder Nelson!  
-Elder Sedlacek