Alma 29:9

I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving in Jacksonville

It is almost Thanksgiving time!  Here in Jacksonville the military gets a longer a leave for Thanksgiving than for Christmas, which means this town is really going to die.  We are planning on having a Thanksgiving meal with the Ashes, the family we baptized back in August.

My new companion is Elder Roberts, he is Canadian and went to college there, but he grew up in Utah. He is also 5 years older than me!  Elder Roberts is great we are very similar, and we get a long very well.  He is also a lot like me, he is very interested in international affairs.  He is very knowledgeable and we talk to each other about things about the church, that even most missionaries don't know much about.  And also like me, he is very messy.  His previous areas either didn't have a good ward working with him or the branch was very small, so he hasn't been as busy as he has seen us here. 

Both sets of elders and both sets of senior missionaries live in the same apartment complex. We do things together a lot especially on preparation day.  The work is going great here.  Our investigators are doing well, they are slowly, but surely progressing towards baptism.  If our investigators keep their commitments we should have multiple baptisms in December.  We mostly find through our own efforts, but sometimes we get referrals, and when we do get referrals we are usually referred to less active members.

I really do not need anything for Christmas, bike works fine, clothes are holding up and everything else is working well.  I did receive the cookies you sent me they are very delicious, thank you! I am happy for any Christmas goodies that you will send me.

I have not had to dry clean my suits yet, but I want to do that soon. The weather has been good, for the most part it has been in the 70s.  But a big cold front hit us so it is now in the 30s for the last 2 days.  Kiley did email and it would be great to hear from Eve or Hayden. It sounds like it will be a small Thanksgiving this year, but it should still be good. 

That is a great spiritual thought from Elder Hale. (Stand Strong in Holy Places)  We either immerse ourselves in the gospel or we will become captive to the devil and there is no 3rd option. Many people try to find a 3rd option and those are the ones that are carefully led down to Hell, by the Devil.

Thanks for all that you do and I will email you again next week.

Love, Elder Lakey

Monday, November 18, 2013

New Companion

Tomorrow I will be getting a new companion and his name is Elder Roberts, he is from Canada and he will be the district leader and that is all I know about him.   I am rather excited to have a new companion.   I will stay in Jacksonville with the other set of Elders on Tuesday until my new companion gets to Jacksonville.

This week has had a lot of ups and downs. Many of our investigators have started reading the Book of Mormon now, but things from a car breaking down to sickness prevented any of our investigators from coming to church. 

The Jacksonville wards have a reputation of being a missionary focused ward.  But the reason why they are like that is because missionaries in the past spent a lot of effort building trust.  Many future zone leaders have served in Jacksonville.  Good missionaries create excited wards, bad missionaries make the ward ignore or even dislike missionaries.  There are some parts of my mission where the congregation will refuse to let missionaries serve there.

You can send packages and mail straight to my address now, but it causes mass confusion during transfers if everyone does it that way.  I would recommend that you keep sending packages the way you are now.

Golfing was fun there was a really nice golf course on base that we went to.  The ward mission leader provided  left handed clubs for me.  I love Golf because of the idea of self-improvement and for me there is a lot to improve.  Who knows I might end up serving in Pinehurst and maybe I will get to golf on the famous Pinehurst No.2.  

I do not know if I need warm clothes the weather is been very fickle.  On Wednesday I woke up to snow and it NEVER snows here especially in November!!  It was only a little bit of snow though. And today I woke up and it was already 70 degrees outside. Right now though I am fine.

Other than Rascal being a rascal it sounds like everything is going well back home.  How has William been? Has Kiley made up her mind on a degree yet?  Is Hayden or Josh planning on going on a mission?

That is an excellent thought!  (“Small and Simple Things”)  Too often we judge people because they are not coming to church, instead of helping them come to church. In the Jacksonville 3rd ward there are about 750 names on the ward roster! Rescuing is a big part of missionary work here and it often leads to part-member families to teach. There is always work to be done and we can all do something.

I love you and I will email you again next week.
Love, Elder Lakey

Monday, November 11, 2013

All a part of his plan

Thanks for the email and I am glad to hear that the lesson went well.  It is good that you liked that story I do not have many like it. Many of our investigators progress quietly. The person who got baptized, Sister Lord, was gone for many weeks at a time and she would just read The Book of Mormon and study and pray about it by herself with her husband. Her conversion story was simple but probably the best kind there is, because we did very little for her. Many converts are converted to the missionaries (rather than the gospel) and they will fall away when the missionaries are transferred.  Sister Lord is already helping make invitations for the Christmas party.

I do not have many other stories to tell but I can think of a miracle I can tell you about briefly. There is a member named Brother Case who just got out of the Marines last week and he is moving to Idaho soon.  We took him out with us to try to go find some new investigators. We knocked on the door of a man we talked to briefly before. When he open the door the man gave Bro. Case  a weird look. It turns out this man and his roommate worked with Bro.Case in the military and were in the same workshop.  However the CO of the workshop constantly made fun of our church and made it impossible to have a spiritually uplifting environment for Bro.Case to talk about the church. Now Bro.Case can share the gospel with the his two former coworkers in a spiritual environment.

Today is veterans day and most of the military has been given a 4 day weekend. We do not have any plans connected with the veterans day, but we are going golfing with our Ward Mission Leader who loves golfing.  As far as transfers go, I am staying, but Elder McHan is being transferred so I will have a new companion. So you can still send stuff to me.  I am good for any kind of cookie really.  I am just grateful for you sending more.  For Christmas, nothing really sticks out for things I need or want. As far as a CD player goes it is alright if it has radio, but the CD player must be able to be listened to without headphones.  

That is great that Derek is excited to serve. I do not know what I am doing for thanksgiving, this town turns into a ghost town during holidays. Last Thanksgiving Elder McHan was fed 4 meals by members, all that same day! 

That is a great spiritual message, I often ponder why I am in Jacksonville. I know that I was sent by the Lord here, I just do not why. It it also interesting that many of my friends seem to be having a lot of challenges and are struggling with them. I have my own challenges, but sometimes I feel like other missionaries have to deal with a lot worse I do.  But no matter what happens it is all a part of his plan.

I love you so very much and all that you do for me and I will email you again next week.

Love, Elder Lakey

Monday, November 4, 2013

Missionary Work in the Digital Age

Hey Dad, I do write in my journal, but it is spotty, however I do write the big spiritual things in it, I just struggle on days that nothing seemingly important happens.  Right now we have about 15 investigators (that number has been changing a lot lately).  We should have at least 2 baptisms this month including one this Saturday!  She is a newlywed who married a member.  He has been field training a lot and we have had some of our lessons with her on Facebook. We actually set a baptismal date with her on Facebook.  She is definitely ready to be baptized.  I'll try to send home some baptism pictures of her next week.

This week has been a pretty good week.  For Halloween night we had dinner with the senior couple but afterwards we went to our apartment.  The weather here is weird the last week there has been days it has reached 80 degrees and other days like today there has been frost on the ground in the morning!

I have been doing pretty good I am staying really healthy there seems to be an unspoken blessing when it come to missionaries, Elder McHan has been on his mission 15 months and has yet to get sick and I haven't either, despite the fact many of our investigators and the members are sick right now.

It sounds like a bad sports year but that almost a good thing. It is hard to miss sports if all your favorite teams are not doing good.  With that being said I heard that Alex Smith is doing really well right now with Kansas City.

This email is going to be rather short because I spent a lot of my time sending you the story. I hope it will help you and I will email you again next week.
Love, Elder Lakey