Sunday, December 28, 2014

Dear #1 Mom,

Well for starting off the new year, our mission president is issuing an extermination order of old habits and the plateau of types of effort. Elder Bednar said: "If you only do what you've always done, you will get what you've always gotten." - A wonderful truth that President Back put in his letter. So our mission is to develop more faith that they may find more. I have seen how I can improve in finding, especially since I have the gift of finding, and increasing faith means increasing God's hand in your efforts, so our studies are going to focus on us increasing our faith, and I am excited for that and putting forth an extra amount of change in effort and faith. It'll be awesome. Our mission president was definitely inspired to be here and he is amazing.
As for this week, the highlight was definitely taking to you and the family on Skype. Afterwards I gave a prayer of thanks and love for the ability to have that, and to have such a wonderful family that I am privileged to be a part of, and for the covenants that we can make that bring greater happiness than anything else. I am not trunky though. I think it's such a bummer that Elder Z. Cederlof's Mission President thinks it will make the missionaries trunky. I think I would be a bit trunky if I were to only hear your voice and not be able to see you - that's my personal belief, but did the phone call work well? Hopefully much better than last time with the complications.
As for the rest of the week, lots of people weren't home and so we didn't get to teach many lessons, but we were able to see T, and he hadn't been to church for a few weeks, and he said that us stopping by made the difference for him coming to church this week because he probably wasn't going to, but then he did! Also, we stopped by a sister member's home just to say hello, and it turned out that she, just before we arrived, was thinking about not coming to church and was having a hard time reading her scriptures, and she did come to church the next day so that was a miracle. She's a single mother and is struggling a bit, but she's lovely.

Well that pretty much is my week right there. In the flat we are having a chess tournament, and we are getting another board from a member so we'll also be doing team chess, and it's going to be epic. I do have two questions:  When does Utah State start?  When do I need to start choosing the classes?
Love you, Mom, and you are so great, and great to Landon and Melissa, and a great wife to Dad.

Elder Justin Cederlof

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Dear Mommy,

The week wasn't the most productive with lots of cancellations, but we were able to meet with a recently new investigator named Miranda so that was good. I am still with Elder Hixson and the flat is the same. Lots of changes outside the district though, and now it's just my companionship and the other two sister companionships, Elder Gardner and Elder Katoa are no longer in my district which is a bummer. We are still looking for a host for Christmas skyping. Our ward just isn't the greatest when it comes to being involved with the missionaries, but we'd prefer doing the skyping on our boxing day, being your Christmas. Also, big concern, due to this nation being 1st world and lacking the hick look from the crocodile guy, there are no nativities that I've been able to find that show any resemblance of coming from Australia. I was told that if there was any, it would be obtainable from the internet. So do you still want me to get one that looks like a normal one not showing any Aussie touch to it? I did find Christmas ornaments, one for each of the munchkins. I sent out Christmas gifts. The swimmers are for Dad's B day and the rest is the ornaments and then what's left is for the family.

Thanks so much for the Christmas tree cloth and I am quite enjoying the calendar because of each new picture of Christ plus I do the study that is written on there for personal study. I'm definitely keeping that when I come home. Back to skyping. We will shoot for around nine o'clock in the morning here, which should be five in the evening for you.
Time is horridly short, I had this week and last week to view and type about, but love you so much, Mom, and I look forward to skyping. Hopefully you catch an accent in my voice. Will sent lots of pictures next week.


Elder Justin Cederlof

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Dear mom,
Time is very short.  I only have an hour for email due to scheduling and I had to take a missionary survey for about 40 minutes of it so I've got to be quick. As for the baptism, Tim has a few things to get over, so we've moved the baptism to the 4th of January, and he wanted to do it so he could be more prepared - he's wonderful. The 20th is a date that'll definitely be changed since she hasn't been coming to church and she's a few obstacles to get over, but she is also wanting to be baptised so much, it's fantastic. And tell Cynthia that I say "hello!" and that it's great that telling my studies has helped her.  I did get both packages with the great pondering of Christ calendar, the tree on the fabric, and presents.  Both decorations are really nice. The calendar is really good and I will definitely be using that down the road.
This week has been great! We were able to visit a lot of our investigators, re-establish the date for Tim, and able to see Vanessa, the investigator with the 20th baptismal date, since our phones were having trouble. I enjoy being district leader, and next Monday is transfers, so I will be emailing on Tuesday. I will be a little nervous if Elder Hixson, my companion leaves the area, since then it'll all be up to me and I've only been here for a transfer, of which this is one of the fastest transfers I've had for the mission; went by so quick. Besides that I can't think of anything else. For my studies now I am starting from the beginning of the Book of Mormon (I've finished) and marking each verse or part of the verse that testifies of the love and mercy and things about Christ that are why I love Him or how one can come to love Him. After hearing the apostles talk about how they've come so close to the Savior through the Book of Mormon, I've wanted to have that same experience. There is so much in the scriptures, especially in 1st Nephi, that testifies and talks about Christ. The Christmas calendar is awesome too about how it brings you closer to the Savior.
You are an amazing mother, and I cannot forget that, even being far away and having not seen you in person for  15 months. You have been a great example to me and someone I can look back on for help in my roles, whatever they may be.

Take care and love you so much!


Elder Justin Cederlof

Monday, December 1, 2014

This week we were indeed able to celebrate Thanksgiving and it was awesome. No members were celebrating, but missionaries can do great things when given the motivation. This past week wasn't so successful in regards to numbers of lessons, but this upcoming week will be great because of that which we did this past week. I have finished the Book of Mormon and so I am going to read it again with a focus on the Savior, marking all the good verses with Him mentioned. I can't believe how much He is mentioned in just the first several chapters of the Book of Mormon.

I am loving the area and it's great to have three sets of missionaries because there are so many members and the area is quite large. Elder Hixson and I are still waiting on bicycles, but walking is still good. There is definitely potential in the area, and we need to get these non progressing members to get moving along. And to do such, I will really need to do all I can and have the spirit in the lessons. I am continuing to enjoy being a district leader. I went on a trade off with Elder Katoa, a Tongan missionary in my district, and that was awesome because I was able to understand him more and to see how he is doing as a missionary.

I am now on only nine months left, but I am continuing to love the mission more and more, and when I leave it will feel like I am leaving home. The members are great. But I love that here even with the inconveniences and difficulties, you come to know the Savior more and more, and nothing can stop you. The end goal is continually in mind as you are thinking of it for your investigators, and then you see more how you can get closer and then you see the happiness that comes from this gospel and the restoration. I love it. This is the life of fulfillment, so I need to make sure that  I carry on in helping people beyond the mission. Oh how great it is to know the truth, to be able to understand such great things, and to know them. I am so grateful and can't wait to learn and understand and follow more. The mission is amazing and is the opportunity of the eternities.

Love you so much, Mom, and thanks for the pictures of family. Landon and Melissa look like they are doing great, though Landon can pull some evil faces, like in the zoo photos..creepy. Love all of the family and take care til next week.

Elder Justin Cederlof
The chess pieces are at the library. I lost but it was awesome.

Thanksgiving Dinner