Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Monica Ward Week 1 July 27th, 2015

Alright before I start off with how the week went I want to talk about something way cool. So I'm sure a lot of you have seen Meet the Mormons. Well do you know the humanitarian from Nepal? There is this Elder in our zone who is from Nepal fairly new missionary. The humanitarian baptized this elder 3 years ago. He also served in the branch presidency with the humanitarian. He is so funny. Now to the week. This week went well. We had transfer meeting on Tuesday. We left really early Tuesday morning. It was about a 2 hour drive to Bakersfield. Since 27 missionaries were going home the meeting lasted a while because they all bore there testimonies. Once we completed that we had some zone errands to run. We also had splits that night. A ton of people from the ward show up for it and then after we go get tacos at a taco truck. For the rest of the week we had opportunities for service. We helped one ward member make 720 tamales. It took a while for just the three of us to finish it but they were good. He was making them to raise money to repair a roof at a homeless shelter. We also helped build rooms and a roof inside of this giant shed this member had. We were able to pick up one new investigator and teach a member present. This week was a little slow because we had to go around and meet a bunch of the members. We have so many leadership meetings coming up which should be fun. Hope you all are having a stellar summer. 
Elder Loertscher

​Tamales for days.

Best Week in 2 transfers July 13,2015

Well things are picking up in Palmdale. The district as a whole has been improving and we had one of the best weeks in 3 months. We are all teaching many people. (with members which is a big deal). Elder Johnson and I actually had an investigator come to church and he is on date for August 7th and so set for it. We picked up 3 new investigators this week which was awesome. All of them are so cool. The closest we have towards baptism is the one for august 7th. This week we were able to offer service to a less active lady again. We tore out all the roots of a tree that were in her backyard. They were everywhere so that was fun. We also had a zone conference this week with our mission president. That went really well. We talked a lot about how to get those we are teaching to progress and how we can become those fully consecrated missionaries we all know we can be. He posed the question "do you want to be a good missionary (member for those who aren't missionaries), do you want to be a great missionary (member), or a consecrated missionary (member). In our mission we have some good missionaries, a lot of great missionaries, and a few consecrated missionaries"  I love that. He then went on to talk about what hold some of us back from reaching our true potential in the mission as well as in life. Some of those included fear, disobedience, pride and passions. These were the 3 categories he broke everything into. He really motivated a lot of missionaries which was awesome. All of those apply to us as members as well on our efforts to live the gospel 24/7 not just when being watched or on Sunday. 

Transfers are next week which means calls will be coming in this Saturday. I've been here 7/12 months so you would think I'm leaving but I got a feeling I am staying one more transfer. 

The mission is an amazing thing. In our studies and talking with our bishop (who is the head of institute over like our whole mission area) I have began to learn so much. The church has to be true. Its logical but more importantly the spirit testifies of its truthfulness. Have you ever taken an in depth thought about the holy ghost? I am fascinated with how it can truly help us. 

Lets recal an amazing story. Exodus 19:
 7 ¶And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the Lord commanded him.

 8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord.

 9 And the Lord said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the Lord.

 10 ¶And the Lord said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes,

 11 And be ready against the third day: for the third day the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.

The most important part of this is to recognize is that he gave them 3 days not to wash there clothes that doesn't take that long but to sanctify themselves which is a little harder. There were so many people who came to hear him and that would try to do as the savior said but lets fast forward the story a little to see how many out of the thousands were able to sanctify themselves. 

Exodus 24:

 7 And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.

 8 And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you concerning all these words.

 9 ¶Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel:

 10 And they saw the God of Israel (Jesus Christ): and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.

In verse 9 we read that only 74 people were able to sanctify themselves. Well this applies to us today. The saviors second coming when we will gather and partake of the sacrament with him. Reference is D&C 27

 5 Behold, this is wisdom in me; wherefore, marvel not, for the hour cometh that I will drink of the fruit of the vine with you on the earth, and with Moroni, whom I have sent unto you to reveal the Book of Mormon, containing the fulness of my everlasting gospel, to whom I have committed the keys of the record of the stick of Ephraim;

Read the whole chapter to see who will all be there but man would I like to see all these great men. We are given a long time to "sanctify" ourselves but are anxiously engaged in a good cause and preparing ourselves for the second coming. Ways we can do this are GOING TO THE TEMPLE OFTEN, go to church and partake of the sacrament which renews all our covenants baptism and temple, fill our home with the spirit by praying and reading as a family. When we do these things we are able to sanctify ourselves through the holy ghost. Which is a baptism of fire. Fire burns everything which is why the holy ghost is associated with fire because it is the 3rd member of the godhead and we know no unclean thing can enter into the presence of God. Thats why we know we have been forgiven of our sins if we can feel the holy ghost. 

Last thought.
It would be more important for us to get a witness from the holy ghost that Jesus is the Christ rather than seeing him ourselves. Think about this. Some will doubt if he is the Savior but if the Holy Ghost confirms to us that he is then how could we doubt we have just received a witness from God that it is his son. 

Well enough of my rant thought i would share all of that with you because im sure your all aware that the world is becoming a very crazy and wicked place and we need all to prepare ourselves spiritually. 

I love you all and im sure you are all doing great. Have a great week.

Elder Loertscher 

P.S read the scriptures often. It is one of the most important things we can do. 

Getting Transferred July 20th

Buckle you seat belts because we had another great week. We ended this transfer strong. Before we get to our week im sure your all dying to know where I am getting transferred to. Its kinda funny because I am going right back to where i just came from. So I am getting transferred back to East Bakersfield. I will be in a different ward though. I will be in the Monica ward. I also got a call to be a zone leader. I am way stoked to go back to those people but even more sad to leave the Ana Verde ward. Being in an area for 7 1/2 months you get to grow some awesome relationships. We have had people offering to take us out to lunch today like crazy. They are so awesome. It will definitely be an area that I come back to after the mission. I guess lets tell you about the week.

We were able to have 4 lessons. We had 7 planned but a few fell through. We got one of our investigators to come to church. He is so set for baptism on the 7th. I am so sad that we wont be here for that but hopefully East Bakersfield has some baptisms coming up. Church yesterday was good. Elder Johnson and I taught the young men. We talked about how we can take upon ourselves the name of Christ. 

​It has been raining like crazy the past two days. We wanted to go out and play in the rain during dinner last night with this family. 

​This is the famous Spencer & Henderson family. The coolest family in the mission. 

Elder Loertscher

Friday, July 10, 2015

Fourth of July July 6, 2015

This week was awesome and very successful. Well I'll just get right into it. 

Monday- We played a lot of basketball. Our Bishop was supposed to feed us but his daughter was having a baby this week so he went down to Arizona. 
Tuesday- We did a ton of service for this less active lady in the ward. We cleaned up her backyard. 
Wednesday we taught this awesome lesson. We picked up a new investigator. He had some incredible concerns. We were able to resolve them and he is way interested.
Thursday- We had weekly planning and another awesome lesson with another investigator in the morning. We taught the gospel of Jesus christ and had a good lesson. 
Friday- We had zone training meeting which went really well. The mission is hitting hard right now progressing people towards baptism. After ZTM we went on an exchange with some elders in our district. That went really well. The elder I was with we were able to find some new investigators. 2 families. I want to teach families so bad haha. 
Saturday- We had a 4th of July breakfast with the ward which was awesome. Then we had an late lunch with some members. We had to be inside today at 6:30 due to all the crazies in the world. Elder J and I watched Meet the Mormons. 
Sunday- We went to church. Church went well. I taught gospel principles and the lesson went pretty well. After church we had a lesson with an investigator. 

Hope you all have a great week. 

Elder Loertscher

For The Temple Is a House of God June 29,2015

​We were able to go to the temple this week on Tuesday. We fit in some lessons this week and are still finding new people to teach so things are still well in Palmdale. This weekend we had stake conference and we were fed spiritually so well. Our mission president and his wife spoke. The temple president 1st counselor and his wife spoke as well as the stake president. The talks were all so good. Sorry for another short email. I promise next week will be longer.  

Love, Elder Loertscher

Miracles June 22, 2015

Last week the district was really struggling with finding new investigators so obviously this was something we needed to fix. I prayed and came to the solution we need to each day have a miracle report. So each night each members of the district texts us a miracle and then we send a text out to the district. We have seen some amazing things this week. Its amazing how Heavenly Father can help us. I mean it is HIS work so he knows whats best for his children. This week Elder J and I were able to find 4 new investigators. We taught one member present lesson. We are working on still filtering through those that are prepared. one of the new investigators we found this week accepted a baptismal date. We also set up a ton of return appointments so hopefully all will continue to progress. 

Sorry for the short email but time is a little low today. Tomorrow will be fun the west half of the mission is going on a temple trip.  

That should be fun. 

Hope you all have a great week

Elder Loertscher

Prayer Is An Appointed Means for Obtaining the Highest of All Blessings June 15, 2015

This week I was humbled with how powerful and important prayer is. Something we are working on as missionaries in our zone is praying specifically(as specific as possible) to find people. Example: help us find a family of 5 that is prepared to be baptized that is father led and has a dog) (yes even saying has a dog). Well Heavenly Father has a sense of humor. This week the missionaries in our ward found a family that has a dog and is a family of 5 who is ready to be baptized. Elder J and myself are eager to start being even more specific. In my studies this week I re read the section on prayer and came across this great definition in the bible dictionary. 

Prayer- "as soon as we learn the true relationship in which we stand toward God, then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part. Many of the so-called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting this relationship. Prayer is the act by which the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others the blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings" 

I just love that. Since being out on a mission my perspective of prayer has completely changed. I love the scripture in D&C 19:28. We need to be vocal. god is our loving Father and wants to hear from us. 

Alright I am sure i just bored you with stuff you already knew. Before I go onto our week how about something you may have not known. This week in my studies i blew my mind a little to much with awesome doctrine. Look up " Divine Investiture" when you can. I wont talk about it but boy is it awesome and makes so much sense. 

Alright so to missionary work.

This week went pretty slow because we dropped almost everyone we were teaching because no one was progressing towards baptism which stinks but since we let go of the ones who are not prepared we will now find the ones who are. We only had one lesson this week with an investigator. We actually taught prayer and had a super spiritual lesson which made me want to study more on it. We met with two less active members and had some good lessons with them. We offered some service to members of the ward this week. It was a slow week nothing to exciting. 

but....... the church is still true. I love the mission and the experiences that we are able to have. This is definitely a life changer. 

Alright in closing something our mission president said this week in his weekly email to the mission was something I loved and wanted to share with you all.  
"We do ask a lot of you. Some of you get mad at us if we have to correct you but the reason we do is because this is a once in a life time opportunity to serve the Lord as a young missionary. We not only want you to change your behavior but we want you to change your heart. Just changing your behavior won't last, but changing your heart will have an impact on your life forever. We ask you to change because we love you. 20-30 years from now, we want you to look back at your mission as a defining moment in your life that put you on the path of being a servant of the Lord until the day you leave this mortal life. If we send you home with that desire, then your mission will have been a success. We don't want you to say, why didn't President and Sister Wilson warn me not to waste time."

So I ask you a similar question but in a little different way. The knowledge and opportunity to have the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a great thing to have. Do you take it for granted? 

Are you letting the Gospel of Jesus Christ change your "heart"

Alright time to sign off. 

Until next week

Elder Loertscher 

​We went on a hike at 5:30 one morning for our workouts. 

​ our attempt to spell out palm . We needed more for dale. Palmdale. 

Expect Miracles June 8, 2015

Well the 40 (49) day fast came to an end this week. Yesterday we came together as a ward and did a break the fast. It was so good. So the fast was a 49 day fast. We averaged out to a new investigator a day. All 4 of us Elders pushed ourselves pretty hard and got 49 new investigators in 6 1/2 weeks. A few months ago our area was struggling to find at least 3 new investigators a transfer but this past transfer in our area we found around 23. The work is definitely thriving right now in Ana Verde. While speaking about the ward I am here for another 6 weeks. After this transfer it will be 7 1/2 months here. I love it though. The ward members are awesome.So for the update on the week.

This week was a little rough we had 4 appointments cancel, but i guess that's okay because you cant have a good week every week. On the up side we found a FAMILY of 7 this week. 5 are of age to be baptized this week. They are so awesome. Elder J and myself have been wanting to teach a family for a while and we finally got one. Also this week we had two less active lessons. 

Yesterday during Fast and Testimony meeting there wasn't a lot of people who bore testimony so i got up and did it.  After i did it there was the longest pause of no one getting up. It was probably a solid 5 minutes. It was super funny. 

This 40 day fast was a huge testimony builder on faith and the things that it can produce. 
Here is something in the bible dictionary that i love about faith 

Faith is a principle of action and of power, and by it one can command the elements, heal the sick, and influence any number of circumstances when occasion warrants. Even more important, by faith one obtains a remission of sins and eventually can stand in the presence of God. 

All true faith must be based upon correct knowledge or it cannot produce the desired results. Faith in Jesus Christ is the the first principle of the gospel and id more than belief, since true faith always moves it possessor to some kind of physical or mental action. It carries an assurance of the fulfillment of the things hoped for. A lack of faith leads one to despair, which comes because of iniquity.

Just love that so much. Faith is awesome. Hope you all have a great week

With much love,
Elder Loertscher

​There were no more seats at the table so i attempted to fit in the high chair

Entering into the Waters of Baptism June 1,2015

This week went really well. The missionary work in the Ana Verde ward is thriving. The ward is still in the work of our 40 day fast which will end next week. As a ward us 4 missionaries have found 36 new investigators this month. Our goal is by the end of next week to find someone for each day a member of our ward fasted. We know we will achieve this goal. So here our week.

Monday- we had pday and were able to get in a lesson at the end of the night with one of our investigators.
Tuesday- we had one RCLA (recent convert less active) lesson and at night I had the wonderful opportunity to Interview someone to be baptized. It was someone the zone leaders were teaching. 
Wednesday- Our investigator fed us dinner and after we taught them today  found some potentials, 
Thursday- we had weekly planning and a RCLA lesson
Friday- we had a bomb district meeting and after we had an exchange with some elders in our district. We were able to find some more people to teach and we set up a lot of return appointments for next week
Saturday- the people the zone leaders were teaching got baptized so we attended that because the little girl who got baptized wanted elder Johnson to baptize her which was a good experience for him. Also Saturday night we taught one of our investigators. 
Sunday- we had an awesome 5th Sunday lesson from our bishop on trials. It was funny during sacrament like half of the congregation fell asleep during the talks. It was the funniest thing ever.

The baptism this past saturday

​This week it was Elder F(far right) birthday so Elder J and I surprised him with 300 balloons in their apartment. 

hope you all had a great week. This upcoming week will be exciting. We are getting transfer calls this saturday. I have been here for 6 months so i think i might be leaving i hope not though. 

Elder Loertscher

Memorial Weekend

Happy Memorial Day everyone. Hope you enjoy you day off of school and some with work. We had another good week. Still continuing to stress finding new people to teach. This month as a zone we have found 43 new investigators. Just in the Ana Verde ward so the Zone Leaders and Elder Johnson and myself have found 32 of those. We are killing it with finding new people now we are trying to help the others under our stewardship find as well. So here is the update for the week

Monday- we already covered it but we had zone conference with Bruce A. CarlsoM
Tuesday-  It was pday we had a district activity. We went to devils punch bowl again. It was super fun. We did some crazy things. We will save that for the end though.
Wednesday- We had this super funny experience. So we just got to an area to tract and we were saying a prayer. This girl walked by us and was walking towards a house. We didn't think to much of it we grabbed our bags and went to the house that had a potential living their. Well we basically followed this girl all the way to a house. She lived at the house we wanted to try. She closed the door and then we like walked up the walkway. Anyways she answered the door and we asked if who we were looking for was home and he wasn't. the mom came to the door though and she basically asked us to teach her. It was awesome we taught her and her daughter the restoration and set them as new investigators. Also while we were tracting we saw this house with a Maserati and a Bentley. So sweet. Other than that it was a good day. We had 2 recent convert less active lessons. 
Thursday- we had weekly planning and after we had a lesson with one of our investigators. We taught the law of chastity. It has been a while since i have taught that but it was a good lesson. He had a lot of good questions as any 22 year old male would. 
Friday- we had exchanges with some elders in the district. They came to our area and we hit our area hard. We found a bunch of potentials. Which was nice having double the missionary work in our area. We also had a lesson with a less active member and after dinner we met with another investigator we have. then we had ward council at night. 
Saturday- we finished the exchange and then we went to a members house to help them paint. That was so much fun. 
Sunday- we had church today. Elder J and I got to bless the sacrament which was cool because it has been a while since i have done that. 

​Guess what we found this week. I never thought i would ever hold one of these in my life but it wasn't that bad. 

​Painting day on Saturday

Have a great week yall

Elder Loertscher  

May 19 Expect Great Things

Wow what an incredible week. I don't remember all that happened this week because yesterday was so awesome. We had an incredible privilege to have Bruce A. Carlson of the Seventy come and speak with us. We had half of the mission there. We had that yesterday which is why our pday is today. Anyways this past week we had a few lesson with investigators and a few cancel. We have a few investigators with a baptism date. We found two new investigators this week. We are finding people like crazy. The mission is good. So now to the highlight of the week.

The focus of the zone conference was "Becoming A More Consecrated Missionary"
We received training from our mission president, his wife, and Elder Carlson. The conference was from 9-5 with and hour break for lunch. He gave an awesome analogy with a pickle jar and flees. If you put 200 ish flees in a pickle jar and leave the top off they will all jump out of the jar within two hours. If you do the same thing again but this time you put plastic wrap over the top the flees will try to jump out but cant. Eventually they will "GIVE UP" and not try to jump out. If you then take the plastic wrap off and give them the opportunity to jump out they wont because they don't expect to be able to. They will all multiply and they will teach their children to not jump out. Now we have two generations of flees who don't want to jump out. They are living beneath their potential but something incredible happens when you put 4 new flees into the jar. The 4 new flees expect to jump out so they will. All of the other flees will realize that they are able to do the same thing and within two hours all the flees will be out of the jar.

An amazing principle is taught here even if it is just flees haha. The way he used this analogy to missionary work is we are expecting to baptize 30-40 people each month. We have been trained by old missionaries who have always had 30 to 40 baptisms a month. Its what we expect. The push in the mission right now is to get to 60-70 baptisms a month. The missionaries that came into the mission two years ago when it was created are leaving. We need to teach these new missionaries we can baptize way more than what we are now and it is what they will expect and then it will become a trend with the missionaries to come. Now this example applies to you in your lives out of the mission field. It can apply in many ways. Think about how it can apply to you and how you can reach you full potential and also help others get to theirs. He gave so many other great teachings that are so inspiring. General Authorities have a crazy awesome spirit to them.

I hope you all have a great week. 
Elder Loertscher

​We ate at a members house this week and their kids decided to have a food fight which ended up on our white shirts. Which is why we are wearing different clothes. We then proceeded to just wash their whole back yard with soap and the hose. So much fun haha 

​Last Saturday we helped set up this giant festival. One of the members of the ward is on the PTA board and the HOA board so she always asks for our help to set up things. We were here from like 9-3:30 it was so much fun. Great opportunity to meet so many people. There was a bunch of games and stuff. This was the boy scouts booth to raise money for camps.

Mothers Day Week

Monday- We played basketball and a lot of it. Then we went to dinner at our bishops house.
Tuesday- In the morning we helped moved 100 bags of mulch into a guys backyard. Then we spent some time tracting. We had a member present lesson right after dinner and contacted some referrals that we got.
Wednesday- We went to this members house at 8 am and helped them moved mulch into the flower bed we made the previous Saturday where we dug all those holes. We finished at 12:30. It was just Elder J and I and the member. The member took us out to eat after so that was awesome. Then we had an appointment at the chiropractor for Elder J. We had another member present lessons after dinner.  
Thursday- We had a busy day today to the point where we were not even able to do weekly planning. We had 2 more lessons with members today with our investigators and then we had 2 less active lessons
Friday- We had Zone Training Meeting this morning. After we ate lunch and went contacting a little. didn't find anyone new. We had an early dinner because we had to go help set up for our wards movie night. We played Meet the Mormons for the ward and invited a bunch of investigators and less actives. it was awesome. Such a good movie. If you haven't seen it highly recommend it. That was my second time and i still would watch it over and over. After we had coordination with the ward mission leader
Saturday- We helped a lady in our ward move a bunch of boxes from her house to her garage. We also had another less active lesson. 
Sunday- We sang in church for the moms. that went well. We were able to skype with the family and that was super awesome. It was great to see them. 

Too much mulch

​ We hit our 9 months together and its missionary tradition to take a "pregnancy" picture

have a great week. 

Elder Loertscher