Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Week 60
It was an intense week. Packing, saying goodbye to people in Rexburg, packing, getting on the transfer caravan, seeing old friends, shopping in Winco for the first time (It's like Sam's Club, but anyone can go), driving to my area, unpacking, meeting people, teaching Mexican Christian Pastors, meeting people. It was nuts. Super fun though! I like it here in the tiny town of American Falls; Where one feels at one with potatoes and Napoleon Dynamite. It's seriously the same. I feel like I should be watching out for old dudes shooting cows in front of school buses. It's great!
With all the changes that have happened recently I haven't really had the chance to think about what I should share today... So I think I'll talk about change. 
Change can be a stressful thing, but every single time it happens it helps us in one way or the other. Change can help us to strengthen our faith, our ability to persevere, our ability to adapt, and it can help us to realize the blessings that we have and have had. Change is good in many circumstances. We shouldn't do random stupid things in order to change things up, but we DO need to strive to change ourselves to improve. We must continue to change ourselves to grow closer to God. We need to always analyze ourselves to make positive changes.
Honoring God
Elder Decker

Week 61
This week was equally exciting! We went to a pumpkin patch last Monday and took a whole bunch of selfies. It's a great Idahoan pass time.
That night we had a car chase in American Falls trying to get away from a guy who just wanted to talk to us. Conflict resolved!
We, as a Mission, have decided to do something called "Purification." It's an individual sacrifice of little things that keep you, even a little, from being better.
My "Purification Sacrifice" is Mormon swears. I have obtained some since the start of my mission like "fetch." I have a rubber band around my wrist, and every time I use a Mormon swear (fetch, crap, dang, freaking, etc.) I snap it. It hurts, and helps me remember to stop. I know that my mom has been waiting for this moment for years.
Last week I talked about change. Christ always said "Follow thou me." He never told anyone to "just do your thing." Following is an action, a change. So I want to invite you ALL to make a change. Pray and thing a lot about what it should be. It could be to read the scriptures daily, it could be to not waste so much time on videogames, it could be a ton of stuff, but I invite you to make a change. I've seen in myself that consciously making a change helps us become more of what God wants us to become.
Elder Ballard said this about goals:
“I am so thoroughly convinced that if we don’t set goals in our life and learn how to master the techniques of living to reach our goals, we can reach a ripe old age and look back on our life only to see that we reached but a small part of our full potential. When one learns to master the principles of setting a goal, he will then be able to make a great difference in the results he attains in this life.”
Set goals that make you change and strive to achieve them! You can do this!
We also are fantastic chefs. The fajitas that my companion and I make are AMAZING! I'm setting a goal to become a good cook! When I get home, for my welcome home, I'm cooking.
Honoring God
Elder Decker

Monday, October 13, 2014

Week 59
We had a good week. We had a baptism!!!  Marcos, a 12 yr. old was baptized! It was so fantastic! I'm pumped!
I will be transferred this coming Wednesday. They're sending me down to American Falls. (in the boonies of Pocatello) I'm sad to leave but PUMPED to go! I've been here for 7 1/2 months and I need a change of scenery. 
The winter is coming. I can feel it in the air. GOOD THING I'M GOING SOUTH FOR THE WINTER! After winter in Jackson Hole last year, they evidently decided to give me a break this go around. I got pictures with a few people that I said bye to.
We had a good week otherwise as well. We had a fantastic lesson with a young lady from Venezuela who was able to go to conference in Salt Lake. She found that experience super eye opening for her and she started to understand how the spirit works better. The spirit testifies powerfully of the words of the Prophet and the Apostles. They don't guide the church, Christ himself does, and the spirit testifies of that. 
Yesterday at church I felt something very real. I felt the spirit testify to me that Christ really did suffer for me and that he loves me. That came to me plain as day. It really is how the Book of Mormon testifies:
Mosiah 3: 8-11

8 And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and his mother shall be called Mary.

 9 And lo, he cometh unto his own, that salvation might come unto the children of men even through faith on his name; and even after all this they shall consider him a man, and say that he hath a devil, and shall scourge him, and shall crucify him.

 10 And he shall rise the third day from the dead; and behold, he standeth to judge the world; and behold, all these things are done that a righteous judgment might come upon the children of men.

 11 For behold, and also his blood atoneth for the sins of those who have fallen by the transgression of Adam, who have died not knowing the will of God concerning them, or who have ignorantly sinned.

I know that Jesus is the Christ and that he loves each of us. He wants to help us; he's knocking. Let him in.
Honoring God
Elder Decker

Monday, October 6, 2014

Week 58
This week was, yet again, another roller-coaster. 
 My nausea has started to act up again. I've been put on Zofran (The most powerful anti-nausea medication that exists.) It hasn't been fun. We believe that I now must avoid eggs and dairy, which is just fantastic. I've started to feel a bit better though. I'm on the mend with help from some members in the area.
We had some awesome experiences this week. General Conference was amazing. I love our opportunity to listen to the men called by God in these days to lead His church! I was very instructed, and I hope you were as well. If you did not have the chance to watch it, go on LDS.org and click on the big thing that says "if you missed conference." It's direction from God in our day to help us overcome the challenges that nobody in history has ever faced.
I particularly enjoyed President Monson's talk in Priesthood session about the Bismark (not the city in North Dakota, a really awesome ship in WW2.) It really was pretty much unsinkable if its rudder hadn't been damaged. 
We all have great potential, we all are unsinkable if we keep direction. If we focus on God every day, we will not falter. As long as we don't get our rudder broken, and sail in circles getting bombarded for 3 days, we're good. I hope that all will remember that a very small thing, like a rudder is very important. It can be the difference between returning to live with God, and to not. Keep direction. Focus on God and the truth, then you will be saved.

Helaman 5:12
12 And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.
Build on Christ. Focus on Christ. Don't fall.
There's an amazing movie coming out called "Meet the Mormons." We had the chance to see it before it comes out. It's pretty much about 6 different members of the church and how the church and God have influences in their lives. They're super cool people. There's a Costa Rican MMA fighter girl who only chooses to not go pro because her family is more important. There's a humanitarian guy from Nepal, The Navy's head football coach, a missionary's mom, and some other cool people. It really explains well what we believe and how it helps us in our lives.
I'd like to invite everyone to go see it on October 10th when it comes out in theaters! The net proceeds (which means every cent that they get from the production) goes to the American Red Cross. Go see it! It's awesome!
I know that Christ lives and that he loves us. He has given us people to guide us here on earth so that we can know for sure what he wants for us in these days. Moses never had to deal with Pornography, Peter never had to worry about addictions to the internet, and Paul didn't have to worry about responding to natural disasters. There are things that we face, as a world, that are new. There is certainly council for these things in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, but there are things that we need specific direction on. God has provided that through modern prophets.

Honoring God
Elder Decker
Week 57.
Last week's was really long... I'll keep it short.
A year and 2 days ago I made a commitment to God. I would consecrate my time as a missionary, give my all to him, by not writing to my friends. I need to better keep this commitment. I've made some excuses on this matter, but I shouldn't and now I won't.
If anyone would like to send a card, or a letter of support, or you just need to get something off your chest, or you just feel like mailing something, or you have too many pictures laying around, I'm here. ;) I love hearing from you, but I will not respond for all around blessings. :) thanks for understanding. 
So, if you write a letter to me and you don't receive a response, It doesn't mean that I love you any less, that I'm holding a grudge, or that I don't appreciate what you sent. In fact, quite the opposite. I've learned that as I follow God's guidance, EVERYONE is happier. I've had experiences when I haven't followed what he clearly asked me to do, and it led to heartache for everyone. I prefer to abstain, although it can be REALLY hard to not respond. I miss you all so much. I love you all so much, and I can't wait to catch up with all of you in 11 months, because you're the best. 
I received a letter from a good friend that I haven't heard from in a long time, this past week. I wanted to respond SO BAD, but, through reading what happened this week last year, I received power to do Heavenly Father's will that I probably wouldn't have had otherwise. I know that all parties will be blessed.
I'm at a point now on my mission that I can, every day, write what happened and the spiritual impressions I had, then, read what happened that day last year. It's been incredible, and incredibly uplifting and empowering.  
I challenge you all to keep a journal every day. It can bless you and help your life. It can help you stay committed to what you've previously decided to do, and it can help you remember spiritual experiences you've had. The blessings are exponential and it only takes 5 minutes a day. just do it. :)
The Spirit is real and it really does guide us. A journal can be your personal scriptures (written by you), to help you in future days. There's nothing to lose. ;)
Thank you all for your love, support, help, and prayers. They are sincerely appreciated, though I'll have to wait to tell you exactly how much. 
We've seen a ton of blessings in our area this week. Heavenly Father is in this work. It is his. 
Honoring God
Elder Decker