Monday, May 24, 2010

Sicky Ky Ky

Well, this week has been a roller coaster.
I have been sicker than a dog. Wednesday we went to Albany to work with the Elders there. It was so cool to see some of the poeple that i taught over a year ago. But Thursday night i got another fever, so i couldn't really do much, i just went straight to sleep, i woke up in the morning and felt a lot better. Saturday i ate way too much because we had two meal appointments back to back. Then at about 3 in the morning Sunday i couldn't sleep because my stomach was going crazy, and then i emptied everything out of my system. We had a baptism Sunday morning so i was literally fighting to stay awake and coherent. I had to play the piano... haha i seriously probably looked like i was on drugs... i don't even know how i managed to play anything. After church we went home and i slept for 7 hours. Then i threw up a few more times. In the mean time, i have been working on a training that i'll be presenting at the zone conferences.... and on top of that i'm learning the area and getting to know our investigators.
A few days ago, i got a call from John Chapman in Potsdam. He has decided to get baptized and asked if i would play a musical number at his baptism. I was a little overwhelmed because i worked really hard with John, and i am so happy that he has decided to follow the Savior. The miracle of the whole thing is that we will be in Potsdam for a zone conference the day of his baptism!
Through all of this, i have grown a lot. I guess i'm being refined. I really feel like i'm being stretched, and i'm only getting started.
sorry i don't have much time, but i love you all.
Elder Warr

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Office

Hello Hello!
So, here i sit, in the mission office. My morning has been packed with filling out reports from the last week's statistics, counseling with President Bulloch about some zone conference ideas, figuring out if we're driving down to Binghamton tomorrow, and whatever else. It has surprised me a couple times when we get a call from President Bulloch with a problem or issue and then he tells us to come up with a solution and then report back to him with the answer. I'm starting to realize how much of an influence i have on this mission. These missionaries watch everything we do. I have spent a lot of time in prayer to the Lord to ask for inspiration and support.
Elder Fullmer is my companion. He's from Sandy UT. He's such a great humble guy. He's probably the most tempered person i have ever met. He also has a really funny sense of humor so we get along really well.... and there's an integrity in him that i am trying to absorb. I am really looking forward to serving with him and i am so grateful to be working and counseling by his side. I guess one thing that i don't have to worry about in being in Utica is if I'm going to have strong companions. haha.
I met the ward yesterday, it's a lot bigger than Potsdam was. We had meetings in the morning and then we peeked into the chapel for a second and the ward choir was practicing for a musical number that day. there were only about 8 people.... they begged us to help them out. Take note that i had just come from Potsdam which has an AMAZING choir. We helped them out. The song was "I Believe in Christ". We were basically just singing all four verses with the piano. I made a few suggestions of ways to alter the song and add some dynamics.... they were all really skeptical at first because they didn't think they could do it. We tried it out, practiced it, and they sounded great! Everyone was excited to sing it. I think that really opened my eyes for a second about music in my life. I noticed that i might have a future in something similar to that. But we'll see how it goes. The Utica ward is really diverse, and i don't know everyone yet, but i have noticed that they arent very personable with the missionaries... they see us as "the elders". Elder Fullmer and I are going to work on that and start to build some friendships with these members.
i love and pray for all of you.
Elder Warr

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

first day as AP

Hey guys,
Well, i made it to Utica...i got here about 5 hours ago and now I'm here in the office with Elder Fullmer, and we have had a crazy day already. The life of an assistant to the president is yet to be defined.... i will let you know when i find a good way to articulate what i'm feeling. We were scheduled to pick up the new missionaries from the Syracuse airport at 2:00. We got to the airport to find out that their flight has been cancelled due to technical difficulties. Then President Bulloch was in contact with Salt Lake for about an hour trying to figure out when they could possibly arrive. Turns out they are going to stay the night in Detroit and will fly and arrive here at 9am tomorrow.... So we came straight back to Utica. In the car to and from Syracuse we have been talking about so much that has to happen in the next couple weeks. It's so different being in such a close proximity with President Bulloch... it's only been a few hours and i feel like i have already learned so much. I cannot believe how much trust he puts in me as one of his assistants. He will talk plainly and straight-forward about missionaries and problems in the mission. President Bulloch literally looks to us for answers and solutions. I am just trying to take this all in.... but it gets more and more exciting as the time goes by. I am really anxious to see what will happen within the next few months of my life.
I love you guys, i enjoyed talking to all of you!
Here is the email that President Bulloch wrote to us this week, i really liked it and i thought you guys would enjoy it because it doesnt only apply to missionaries. enjoy!
May 10, 2010
Dear Elders and Sisters,
       I hope there is a sense of optimism about the new transfer.  The Oxford English Dictionary defines optimism as having "hopefulness and confidence about the future or successful outcome of something; a tendency to take a favorable or hopeful view." The word is originally derived from the Latin optimum, meaning "best." Being optimistic, in the typical sense of the world, ultimately means one expects the best possible outcome from any given situation.  To me optimism is captured best in the gospel principle of hope. Hope gives an assurance that “the desired blessing will be fulfilled in the future…” (PMG, 117)  On the other hand, pessimism is the tendency to see, anticipate, or emphasize only bad or undesirable outcomes, results, conditions, or problems (see Wikipedia Encyclopedia).  The most common metaphor to illustrate the difference between the optimism and pessimism is the one that asks if we view a glass of water as half full or half empty.  I hope you have learned that how we view things has a dramatic effect on our attitude.  And our attitude has a dramatic effect on our happiness. 
       One of the great lessons of this life is that happiness is not the absence of difficulty, but the ability to see difficulty in the context of the gospel plan, and deal with it in a positive way.  “For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things.  If not so… righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither… happiness” (2 Nephi 2:11).  Opposition and difficulty are necessary elements of truly understanding and enjoying happiness.  If my happiness is totally dictated by the circumstances and conditions around me, my happiness will in large measure be out of my control.  When I understand that lasting joy and happiness are fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22), I will find happiness in doing things that invite the Spirit.  Have you noticed that it is very difficult to be pessimistic and happy at the same time?  It is like trying to be happy and angry at the same time.  It just doesn’t work.  On the other hand, have you noticed how things change when we have an optimistic view?  When we look at the bright side it invites light into our lives.  As we learn to “submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord” (Mosiah 24:15) we will learn to find peace and hope, even in difficult situations.  Hope and peace create an optimistic view that invites greater happiness.  I invite each of you to look for the good in your life.  No matter how difficult things may seem, I guarantee you it would not take me five seconds to find someone you would not want to trade places with.  Life is good—enjoy it!
       May Lord bless and guide you always,
       President Bulloch

Monday, May 3, 2010

District Conference

Hey guys,
All is well in Potsdam. We had District Conference (like Stake Conference) yesterday. President Bulloch came and spoke about murmuring. There were about 8 speakers... and one of the speakers was Sister Crump! It was really rewarding to see her speak because all the flashbacks of teaching her the gospel came into my brain... when i first met her she was questioning everything, and it was such an awesome thing to see her speaking with confidence. Right after District Conference we got to witness Brother Crump recieve the Melchizedek priesthood! That was rewarding as well. I really love the Crumps, they are planning a trip out west within the next year or so to see Salt Lake and visit Elder Fredericksen and me. Elder Killpack and I sang in the choir, so we were sitting on the stand the whole time. We sang three songs. One of them was "Cast Your Burden On The Lord" by Sally Deford, the words are beautiful, maybe i'll paste them in here.
Cast your burden on the Lord and he will make it light Come unto him, ye heavy laden, Find your rest in Christ. Bring him your sorrows, all your grief. Lay every weakness at his feet. He will sustain you, give you peace. And lead you into life

Cast your burden on the Lord and he will heal your soul. Place on his altar all your sin and he will bear its toll. Bring him your blindness born of pride. Give him your broken heart to bind. It was for this he bled and died: That he might make you whole.

Cast your burden on the Lord and he will carry you home. He will attend you and defend through perils yet unknown. Put your unwavering trust in him. Christ, your constant heavenly friend Hath graven you in the palms of his hands And ne'er forsakes his own.
Just so everyone knows.. I will be calling you guys on Sunday because it's Mother's Day. I'll start calling at 3pm my time... so you all should be expecting a phone call around 1 or 2 your time. I know you're all excited to talk to me, so maybe you all should make notes about things you want to tell me and how much you love me. :) I had an interview with President Bulloch, and it's looking like i am going to finish my mission in Potsdam, we find out for sure on Saturday. Yesterday a non-member came up to us and said that he wants to take the discussions and get baptized, so that's something to look forward to. we have 3 baptismal candidates, so there are definitely some things rolling here.
I love you guys.  Talk to you Sunday!
Elder Warr