Hope...what a powerful principle. So positive, opimistic and enthusiastic. I love that word so much and have come to love it so much more recently. I love Christ's teaching of becoming like a child. A child is so quick to believe and trust and hope for things. I sometimes wonder what makes us as a society so faithless, negative, hopeless and dreaery!! Life is good and there is so much to hope for because of Jesus Christ. Why wouldn't you hope for it....what else in life is there? :)
That's kinda what I have been learning this week as we have gone through some pretty difficult trials, and not the trials yall face...but just missionary trials. Hakuna Matata :)
This week we had a general authority come to our mission for a mission tour. Elder Cardon and Sister Cardon of the Seventy came and visited us. I was already pretty aqcuainted with them because I had met them a year ago in the Edmond 3rd ward. That is the ward their family goes to. It was good to seem them again and also hear Elder Cardon teach. He teaches with simplicity and power. Something that I notice is how often general authorities teach through their own experiences they have had. It is so important to record our experiences so that we help others learn different principles we have learned through our own experience. They are always the most powerful because they are relevant to life. So that was good!! Its always good seeing the whole mission and those youhave served with. Bretheren in the Lord ;)
It is getting pretty cold around here. Its not the cold that yall think...this wind CUTS right into everything you are wearing no matter what. It is terrible, but I'd take it over the heat anyday...there comes a point where it gets too hot and you just cant cool down but you can always get warm :) Me and Elder Moore went on exchanges with the assistants this week so that was pretty cool. They like to be assistants and so its always a good time :)
Well I gotta get going. I wish I could write more. I wish I could take some time and tell you about the miracles I am seeing out here. God speaks through His Spirit and when we listen to it, we invite miracles into our lives. Stay hopeful and positive. I love you all!!
Elder Dallin Cutler
Elder Salmon to my left. He comes home December 1 and Elder Moore (my current comp) to my right. He goes home in a couple months.
my brother inthe Lord #loveHandles
papa reeseeeeee #StillFordaysss
Elder Trahsdahl...he was in the MTC with me. baller
this is elder chavez.... he is an amazing missionary up in blackwell
Shawnee is a whole new world let me tell you. It has a lot of native american heritage and a lot of poor people. The ward is definitely not as good as Edmond or Stillwater but they all have good hearts and are doing their best with what they have. The Zone I am in is living below their potential and are satisfied with it. Its been a hard transition from going to the Zone with the highest numbers in the mission and the area with some of the highest numbers in the mission to the complete opposite basically. It will be a good test of patience and humility for me. It will definitely be a lot of building slowly but surely :) I keep getting impressions that I am here to learn a BIG lesson, it makes me nervous, but in the end, it's always worth it!! I just hope its not simliar lesson to Mustang hahah just kidding :)
My companion is Elder Moore from Seattle, Washington. I was his Zone Leader while I was with Elder Salmon in Yukon and I think I actually sent a picture of him at one point. One of the most impressive guys I have met. Humble, loving, patient and postive are all attributes that perfectly describe him. He is the complete antithesis of me and so it should be interesting. I am more dominant, prideful, to the point and blunt and he is not. I have much to learn like I said. We get along great and have had an amazing couple of days so far. Slowly finding people to teach. I really am super excited for this area :)
Also, on Saturday we had another baptism in Stillwater that I was able to make it up for. This baptism meant alot to me thats why I am mentioning it to yall. This is a lady we found when I first got to Stillwater and we taught her for 6 months. It was a very long patient process from start to finish to say the least. It was so amazing to watch her enter into the covenant of baptism. We asked Bishop Holyoak to do it. She is native american. Her name is Stpehanie Stiff. I love her to death!!
Well I gotta get going. Sorry its so short and general always...know that I love yall.
annnd....lest we forget. THE BROS. best time ever. love em.
miss this fellow. Clifton legrone!! #inTHEflesh
The Queens!! I love this family so much. I will miss them tons.
this is quentin, mary and viola. Viola will be baptized soon!!
this is a family we found 3 weeks before we left and started etaching them. amazing family!!
can't forget about the Diaz family and kids. i will miss them alot
So this weekend I found out that I am getting transferred out of Stillwater 1st ward. I was so bummed but I am excited for a new area and new companion of course. We have so many good things going on in Stillwater. We have a baptism this weekend, and then a couple of other families that we have been working with recently that are simply amazing families. I don't think there has ever been a time in my life that I have learned so much then here in Stillwater. Elder White and Elder Reese have taught me so much. This ward has taught me so much. All the people I thought I was teaching were in fact teaching me something the whole time. Here are a few things I jotted down in my journal that the Lord has taught me through my experiences in Stillwater.
-Humility is the fertile soil that is absolutely necessary for spiritual growth and development. Faith cannot exceed that of your own personal righteousness. Humility is absolutely requisite to have faith, hope and charity which "bringeth forth the fountain of all righteousness".
-Charity/Love never faileth. The most powerful, motivating, inspiring and ennobling force is love. God is love. The atonement is love. Christ is the embodiment of love. Ours is the duty to be a vessel in which Christ's pure love can be reflected.
-We can lead a horse to water but you can't force it to drink. That's God's part. We can aid in that part by using the Spirit to help others feel the underlying love of the Atonement but ultimately we can only control ourselves.
- Patience is the Heavenly virtue....(and i want it now)...and is so necessary in becoming like Christ.
-Fasting and prayer are two of the most powerful things we can do. Miracles are born from sincere fasting and prayer.
-Remembrance is key in all we do. In recieving revelation, staying focused, driven, and happy. When we forget God...we "perish"...when we remember Him, to keep His commandments, we may always have His spirit to be with us. We must do something everyday to "remember" God.
These 6 things have been emphasized this past 6 months. I have come to know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is becoming like Him and developing His attributes. I have loved every painfully humbling experience I have encountered in Stillwater. It will always be a sacred place for me. I have met some people that I know I will never lose contact with. For that I am grateful.
I will be heading off to Shawnee, OK on wednesday. Elder Moore will be my new companion and Elder Lowe will be in my Zone so I am stoked!! :) It is a "poorer" area than what I have been used to my whole mission but I am really excited. When I got the call, I knew it was an answer to prayer in a way. All I want to do is develop greater love, and I know this is Heavenly Fathers way of answering it because I have served with Elder Moore before and he is one of the most loving and humble missionary's I have ever met. I am really excited.
Well, I gotta get going. I love you all!! Hope you're happy, cause aint nobody got time for sadness ;)
p.s this is the buchanan family. legit family. Can't wait til crystal gets baptized. shes ready :) i hope she reads this :)
the nelson family. dopeee
This is Brother and Sister Hansen. He is such a spiritual guy, he was our ward mission leader. Love him alot. His dad is the temple president.
Stephanie gets baptized this saturday after 6 months of teaching her. One of the first people we found my first week here.
hands in the air, nobody even care. #CRESCENT (only a few will know the hashtag. Secret combos)
this is my desk and my "stickie wall". I know...pretty awesome :)
What's up with yall?! We had one fantastic week this past week. Stillwater is being way to good to us. Its one of those areas that you would be find to stay in the rest of the mission. The ward is so awesome and everyone is so willing to help us. They are all missionary minded and just easy to have a good time with. I love them all. I was talking to Elder Reese about it and I am just amazed at how much there is still left to do in Stillwater. We are finding so many amazing families that want to learn more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ every single week. There is never an hour that has gone by the past 6 months that we have not had something to do. I miss tracting to be honest, so sometimes we set sometime aside to tract the really wealthy areas...reminds me of Edmond :)
I have been thinking ALOT about love lately. I am beginning to recognize more and more the importance of having love for others and allowing ourselves to become more like Christ every day. The formula is simple. We must have faith in His atonement and trust Him and His promises to us and we must be humble enough to repent and change and do better. Humility is happiness. When we are humble, we allow ourselves to be shaped into a "being" that has a greater capacity to feel Gods love and then reflect that love to others...which will ultimately result in more happiness. Simple. I heard a great poem in a talk I read this week by President Monson....
A bell isn't a bell until its rung
A song isn't a song until its sung
The love in our heart wasn't meant to stay
Love isn't love until we give it away
The sure sign of becoming Christlike is love. That is the crowning characteristic of God. God is love (1 John 4). True love is a reflection of Christ's love. We cannot have this love unless we are humble and meek and lowly in heart. (Moroni 7) The reason I have been thinking about this is because of missionary work. 90% of what we teach will never be remembered again the next day. We are terrible teachers...we can teach correct doctrine, but it is only God who can change hearts and help others make commitments to change and bring their will in alignment with His. All we can do is testify of correct principles, invite and then help them feel Gods love by our reflection of Christ's attributes...most importantly humility, patience and gentleness. I look back at my life and all the times I have had a desire to change was not something that someone taught, it was simply because someone made me feel wanted, appreciated or loved and helped me see my potential as a Child of a perfectly loving/forgiving Heavenly Father. Ours is the responsibility to just love like He loves us.
I feel like I just recited a Beatles song, but its truth. All we need is love. :)
So transfers are coming up again. I am hoping that I get another transfer here with Elder Reese. That would put me at 7.5 months in Stillwater...my longest area. Wouldn't mind that at all. This week we have alot of traveling to do. There are some problems in our Zone so we will be in a threesome almost all week with another missionary. Should be a good time. Then we have some interviews in Enid and then we have Mission Leadership Council in the city. Can't wait to be in the car all week ;) siiike!! Sorry, I should get rid of my sarcasm...im working at it.
Well, hope yall are happy. I love all of you mucho. :)