Monday, August 17, 2015

Dear brothers and sisters,

My time as a missionary has come to a close. It has been quite a memorable experience. There have been ups and downs and highs and lows. In the midst of it all, I have come to know my Savior more, and His love for us. I have felt His arms of mercy, and His love for me. I have repeatedly wondered how He could love one such as I, but I know He does. How can I not love Him? There is no way, after all He has done for me and for my family. 

I give you my final testimony, my witness, as a representative of Jesus Christ. As a representative of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, I solemnly testify that God lives. He sent His Beloved Son to die for us. Our mighty Father in Heaven knows us and our weaknesses, and yet He still perfectly loves us, no matter what. I know that He is tenderly merciful and loving, a giver of gifts, and a patient, dear Father. He loved us from the beginning, and He loves us now. I know that Jesus Christ loves us, for He died for us, and suffered for us. He loves us more than we love ourselves. I know that because of this He has established His church on the earth, to gather those that desire to follow Him, to have Him to be their God. I know that Jesus Christ is the way to salvation, and that because He lives, we too shall live through His name. I know that one day we shall reunite with Him. I know these things are true, and I testify of them in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

This is Justin's reply to a question I asked in a letter:

What is the single most important thing you have learned on your mission?  - After thinking about this question and looking at the possibilities, it has come down to the simple important truths as to WHY I SHOULD LOVE THE FATHER AND SON. That's probably it. I came out on a mission just for duty. I knew it was God's will for me to serve, and having the priesthood, I knew I had the duty to preach the gospel. That's why I came out. I wasn't excited, but wasn't mad or sad about it either. Once I came out I saw that I had a long time before coming home. But as I have served and taught and learned and tried to help other people come unto Christ, I began to understand the tender mercies of the Lord. I now understand the atonement more, his Grace, and why I should want to give my life for the gospel and to serve others and do what I can to invite them to come unto Christ til death and beyond. God truly loves us, and His Son loves us. Last Sunday a sister was giving the Sunday school lesson and told us to look at a picture of Christ atoning, while she read the account of an apostle having a vision of a sort of being at Gethsemane, and the part that touched me was when he said how he saw Christ pray to the Father "Not my will, but thine be done." and then tears started pouring down the Lord's face. A haunting image. And the words that she spoke - "If Christ was asked to do it again for us, He would", touched me as well. Truly as Paul said, we love Him because He first loved us.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Dear beloved brother and sisters,
One thing that was emphasized this past week was that there is no regrets with diligence, only in the lack thereof. And furthermore, with diligence comes the spirit. I experienced that as my companion and I really focused on following our planned schedules. And though lots of things fell through or didn't work out, there was still the great feel of doing the best we could. Yesterday we tried to follow the plans diligently, and though all pretty much didn't work out, at the very end of the day we were able to have the best opportunity we've ever had with an investigator. He's interested and his family not so much, but they left to go somewhere so we were able to share a message with just us and him. The spirit was indeed there, which was fantastic. We focused on the Savior and His atonement, and how we can learn of Him through prayer - such an important tool. We committed him to be baptized and he said yes. Now he's hesitant on a date, but he's moving along. We invted him to start praying daily, to which he said he would. 
So diligence is the key. A beautiful quote from Preach my Gospel, by President Ezra Taft Benson says “I have often said one of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work! If a missionary works, he will get the Spirit; if he gets the Spirit, he will teach by the Spirit; and if he teaches by the Spirit, he will touch the hearts of the people and he will be happy. There will be no homesickness, no worrying about families, for all time and talents and interests are centered on the work of the ministry. Work, work, work—there is no satisfactory substitute, especially in missionary work.”
The same can be applied to our areas of stewardship, and to our studying of the gospel, our sabbath worship especially, and our repentance. Diligence makes all the difference. Love you all, and take care at this time.
Elder J. Cederlof

Monday, June 15, 2015

Dear beloved brothers and sisters,

An awesome scripture that our Mission President stated in his letter was this: "And now, my beloved son, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor,we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God." I thought it was a great scripture to have as my theme for the rest of my mission, and of course the mission of my life that follows this one, because you are never released as a member, only set apart when you are baptized - to declare the gospel to the ends of the earth in the sphere of influence you have, or the sphere of influence God is expecting you to develop. Lots of missionary work in this life! It is good though because of the incomprehensible joy that follows. And the efforts can be forever recorded because of those of God's children that enter the kingdom with the missionary work, they enter for eternity. 

Love you all and have a happy week!

Elder J. Cederlof

Monday, June 8, 2015

Dear Everyone,

 Another week gone in the town of Cowra with some changes. I have a new companion, fresh from the MTC and from Samoa. He's great and definitely ready to be serving. He's eighteen too, same age when I came out, fair dinkum. The beginning of the past week I was in Sydney with a Spanish elder who was going to be training as well. The new missionaries were going to be arriving in Australia on Wednesday and transfers were on Monday so after losing Elder Smith, I was put with Elder Edmondson, who was currently in the Spanish ward and waiting for his new companion as well. 

 The missionaries did arrive and we had a conference but since it went so late we stayed at the senior couple's place, Elder and Sister Hill, and then on Thursday got to our area. That day was slow because Thursday is also weekly planning day. But I promised that we'd tract, and were so busy so we tracted one house and the person wasn't really interested, but was very nice about it and accepted a pamphlet (really good since it doesn't intimidate the newbie, elder Schwalger). And we visited a member family that night, which was good. We also made sure to visit the Branch President to introduce the new elder. 

The rest of the week involved tracting and street contacting. We're trying to increase our pool of investigators since we've not that many. We have had some success, and one of our members has been great with giving us referrals and doing missionary work. We're going to be seeing a potential who is golden and very keen about growing his faith in Christ. Big miracle there. 

The field is definitely white already to harvest, but we just need to look and try in faith to find it. Definitely true out here and no doubt back at home. The Church is true and ever stands. Love you all and take care.

Elder J. Cederlof

Elder Schwalger


P-Day Soccer

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

I am doing well.  It's transfers, and I am with an Elder named Elder Edmondson from Utah as we wait til our new missionaries get to Australia. We meet them tomorrow. I was indeed able to tell Elder Pearson that I was his relative, but wasn't able to converse because the only opportunity I had was when we got to shake hands with the visitors, including Elder Cook, and there were around four hundred missionaries to shake hands, so we lined up and just said hello. It was good though to finally tell him. 
Yellowstone definitely looks and sounds like such a fun trip. There isn't anything of the sort like that out here in Australia that I know of. Thanks for the pics. Awesome rivers and waterfalls. And scary that you saw a black bear. I haven't ever seen one in the wild. 

There is actually a focus from the Pacific Area Presidency, of which Elder Pearson is the president, about making sacrament meeting better. I definitely have come to learn more on the mission how important the sacrament meeting is and how reverent I should be acting during it. To think that it is a meeting practiced by the saints in America when the resurrected Christ ministered unto them, and then the first one with the apostles just makes it more and more amazing to me. It is a wonderful thing. 
Great hearing that you are seeing miracles, especially with getting help with the float. I have really come to feel the Lord's hand in my life on the mission. He's very kind and loving, and truly understands us. 

Love you so much, Mom, and tell Ashley and her fiance my wishes are with them and that I say hi. I need pics of them, and I love you and take care!
Elder Justin Cederlof

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Dear People,

The week started off excellent - Mother's Day! That meant that I got to Skype my family and see them and talk. That was excellent and it's great to know that I have that support and love at home. Many people out here don't seem to have that, especially those that don't understand the gospel or don't have it. Families are so important and eternal. If there is a family member that is annoying or conflict, fix it, because you'll be getting that relationship for eternity. And the Lord has blessed me with an amazing family of which I am privileged to be a part of, being my immediate family and also the extended family members. What great unity is there and devotion to one another! What loyalty and love! My beloved great grandmother slipped away this past Wednesday into the embrace of family beyond this life, no doubt with joy for the good work she did while here. My mother used a wonderful phrase to describe her  - an "elect lady" - and an elect lady she was. 
Great knowledge of this life is one thing, but knowledge of things which are eternal and never ending is far, infinitely better. Praise God that He gives it to us so abundantly. I can see the influence it has had on my family, and the families of others as I have served out here. What we have stands forever, and we can make covenants and act according to them so that we can stand forever. 

I have learned here in Australia that people are important, very important. I continue to wonder why, and I doubt I will ever truly see until I can understand as the Father understands, but I know that people are precious, in such a true, undeniable way. Not all things last forever, but to bring one soul unto God does.
Now back to the week: We had the opportunity to have splits with the assistants to the President, Elder Pederson and Elder Shelton, who are fantastic elders. We then traded to other elders, our district leader and his companion - Elder Johnson and Elder Bell. That was great. At the weekend we had a recent convert named Michael do a mini mission with us, and that was awesome. He's too old to serve a mission, and so this was a great opportunity for him, and he loved it. 
Sunday we had church and Chloe, a recent convert who moved down to Canberra and was up here in Cowra for a little bit, brought her sister, Meg to church who isn't a member. That was great and she liked it and would go again. We then had lunch with them and the Paki family at a park so we could talk to Meg a little bit more. 
I know this church is true and the efforts we give to the Lord are ever worth it no matter what. God loves us His children and the way is straight, leading to eternal life. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.


Mother's Day

Dear Mom, I write this in between our skyping periods. Happy Mothers Day!! I am wearing your purple tie in remembrance of you this day. I also wore it yesterday because it was Mother's Day here. Our investigator pool is still small, so we are working on finding people to teach. We had a wonderful opportunity, like I said, with Heidi, a mother of four. Now, she is only a potential investigator at the moment, but I have high hopes for her and her family. We will be going over there on Tuesday in the afternoon.
As for the basketball, we are still doing that on the Wednesdays and also on Saturday we do it at a court place near us. One of the kids from the Wednesday basketball was there named Damon, and now we want to invite him and the other players on Wednesday. 
This past week, which for some reason it is getting harder and harder to remember my past weeks, we had some bike issues, which took forever for us to fix but now they are good...for now. Lots of stickers and all of our tires have been punctured in multiple places. We ended up getting goo to put in the tires and put twice the prescribed amount at least, and now they are good, though this morning we came outside to go to Skype our families, and Elder Smith's bike had a complete flat. It's good now that we filled it up and got the goo to spin around the tire. I was late to Skype you because of delay with Elder Smith and his family getting on and such, but now we were able to do a split so it's like we Skyped twice!!!

I am doing well out here. There are definitely different challenges with the work depending on the area that you are in. For this area the issue will be being effective and efficient because we are in a big area with bikes. I am enjoying it so far and have no reason to complain. One of my favorite parts about the area is the members. There aren't that many and some are a bit weird, but they are nice. I enjoy them and I love working with them to build up the branch. 
One awesome miracle that happened this week would be finding Heidi, and prayerfully we will be able to help her and her family come unto Christ. 
Love you and Happy Mother's Day once again!

Elder Justin Cederlof
p.s. Totally planning on sending pics because the wifi is good at Michael's house, but alas I did not put my camera in my bag! Sorry. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Dear Mom,

I am doing quite well. It's great to hear that Melissa is having these deep concerns when other kids probably wouldn't ever think of such and would just focus on the entertainment part of life at that stage. That's a beautiful experience. How's Landon doing in regards to those things? I never hear of any cool experiences he has. 
As for Cowra, which is a wonderful area and I am glad to be here, we are working with some youth, which Elder Smith could relate to because he and they love basketball, so basketball is being used for finding, and we want to set up appointments and invite kids that play at this indoor court on wednesdays, which we attend. Currently we are teaching a 16 year old kid named Brandon, and he isn't per say progressing, but we are continually meeting up with him and he's doing well. 

As for my focus that I will be doing for the week, I'll be doing the forty-day fast, of which you fast for a day and while doing so you make a list of things you do that quench the spirit, and then you fast from those for forty days. I've just read an amazing experience and change that an elder had from trying it out and doing his best in it. 

A mission is definitely a growth zone where you are expanding and things make such great sense. You feel the stress of the work, but you realize that it is good; stress zone is the growth zone. 

While Melissa may not be fully sure, though I think now she is pretty close, I know that God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, live. They love us so deeply and want us home. We can have peace in this life and eternal life in the world to come. Families can be forever. Comfort comes to those that seek it in Christ. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 
Love you, Mom, and I am in good hands, and ever desire to please the Lord and to serve him ever more. 
Elder Justin Cederlof

Monday, April 20, 2015

Final Transfer to.....Cowra!

Dear People,
I have been transferred. It is  sad that I'll be leaving the ward that I've come to love along with the investigators we were working with, but I am looking forward to this new area. It's called Cowra and it's in the country, far as from Sydney. It took hours to get there so say goodbye to city people. I've loved it so far and my new companion is from Saratoga Springs, Utah, and his name is Elder Smith. 
I was actually able to meet some members and a non member family and a couple recent converts the evening I arrived which was fantastic. I love the area and the branch and the people already. The place has heaps of potential and I'll be excited to work here for the next four months. I should be dying here, mission-wise of course. It's getting cold so it's time to take out the coat. I hear that it snows in a place about an hour from here, not here though, thank goodness. It'll be great though. 
You are all awesome. One great thing I've learned from the mission so far is how amazing and how important, priceless, people are. People last forever. Families last forever. They are the true treasures. No wonder God cares so much about us, and I can't comprehend how much He truly loves us. It makes me wonder how much do I underestimate the importance of what I do here, how I reach out to others, how I use my time, for all things have their influence, and time is so short compared to infinite and eternal effects from what happens in that small, pathetically small,  amount of time on this earth. Church is true, and ever true. Change is fantastic because it reveals those things that don't change, such as God, His Son, and the gospel, which will always reach out to the individual, priceless, soul. In the name of Jesus Christ amen. 
Love you all! And happy April ending. 
Elder J. Cederlof

Japanese gardens in Cowra

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

S is doing well, though there have been some challenges with him this past week with his partner, but it's getting better. We had an awesome meet up with a potential named M, who we met at S's a while back and had given him reading material. He was at N's place when we showed up this past Sunday, and he wanted to meet up with us. He had been reading the pamphlets and we'll be seeing him tomorrow. We are continually teaching N, and we have him a blessing to help him overcome his addictions.
At ward council we brought up our concerns with the ward and asked of their concerns with us and that helped the ward council and missionaries get more unified, so now we understand more our role with them and they understand what we are seeing with the ward.

T hasn't been answering his phone as of lately, but we are still trying to get in contact with him.
I WON'T BE ON FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK SO HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOTHER, WHEN THAT DAY COMES. I have your happy face on the calendar. I won't ask how old you are turning ha, but I'm thinking I've got a pretty sure idea. Love you so much!
The ward is alright, we are starting those home teaching and rescue night tradeoffs so that will help us get involved with the ward more. I am just bummed that things are rolling better, yet in two weeks is transfers, and I'll probably leave, so that will be a bummer for me. I'd gladly stay in this ward for another transfer, but whatever the Lord wills.

How is the scripture reading coming along?
Love you so much, Mom, happy birthday, glad you enjoyed Arizona - did you see Hannah and her husband? - And take care!!
Elder Justin Cederlof

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Dear People,
This week had some pretty amazing instances where the hand of the Lord was present. Sonny, who hadn't been to church for twenty or so years, came to church yesterday. It was brilliant. It was the privilege of mine to see the spirit touch his heart during the sacrament meeting. He had tender weeping moments as he felt the spirit. I almost was teary, seeing the tender mercy of the Lord, and hearing us sing in praise "The Spirit of God". Never before had I felt such a witness of that hallowed song. That truly increased my testimony. That was the best sacrament meeting I've ever been to. It was a miracle. Never before have I felt such a witness of the spirit in a sacrament meeting, testifying of the glory of God, the angelic hosts of heaven, and of the love of God towards His children. I felt just a piece of an awaiting joy that can come if we but endure.
President Back, a remarkable mission president, sent us this poem:

Pain stayed so long I said to him today,
"I will not have you with me any more."
I stamped my foot and said, "Be on your way,"
And paused there, startled at the look he wore.
"I, who have been your friend," he said to me,
"I, who have been your teacher - all you know
Of understanding love, of sympathy,
And patience, I have taught you. Shall I go?"
He spoke the truth, this strange unwelcome guest;
I watched him leave, and knew that he was wise.
He left a heart grown tender in my breast,
He left a far, clear vision in my eyes.
I dried my tears, and lifted up a song
Even for one who'd tortured me so long.    
                   -Author Unknown
I testify that this is true: pain is a dear friend, a teacher. It's hard to feel that way toward it, but in the end once pain must be on its way, we will understand how much we needed him. No wonder the mission is hard, and no wonder life demands trials, afflictions, and pain. The most loving father I can think of is one who will stand by and let his child endure hardships and pain, for the sake of the beautiful happily ever after that will come because of it. Blessed is our mighty Father in Heaven, who in mercy stays His hand.
I love you all and take care, and endure - trusting in the Lord, with hearts turned toward Him, praying always without ceasing.

Elder J. Cederlof

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

My week was good because we were able to visit a lot of people and plus we were able to go on splits with the elder's quorum president and another member. Our elder’s quorum president is awesome!
I also learned a lot this week spiritually. I have come to understand one of the reasons perhaps that I have come on a mission. I am not sure exactly why Australia, but the fact that it is Australia leads to the idea that this is a harder mission than others, plus there's some disobedience in our mission compared to others. But at that time those disobedient missionaries get baptisms and such while I have not baptized anyone. While I used to think sadly of that, and it is indeed a deep desire for me to baptize someone, I have come to better understand what really matters in the mission, and that is coming to know that what you are doing is pleasing to the Lord and that you are doing all you can to follow His will, accepting obvious imperfections that we all have, yet patiently enduring and going forward with firm hope. My outlook on missionary work has changed recently and I have come to trust in the Lord and Heavenly Father far more, and am coming to understand how I can trust Them more. I feel far more content with the missionary work that I am doing, while at the same time trying to push myself.

With transfers Elder Gardner left which is a big bummer, but at the same time now I am quite okay with whatever the Lord sees fit to do, so I am one hundred percent okay with staying with Elder Thomas. I am one hundred percent okay with the Lord moving Elder Gardner, and now I am coming to feel far more content with whatever the Lord does. I have come to understand more that we are not in control. The Godhead is in control. They are at work, and They are the key to people's conversion. I just need to show the Lord my availability and dependability with whatever I can give. That's me for the week.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Dear Everyone,

Many things have been learned this past week. One experience that I'll mention is when Elder Samuela and I were teaching a new investigator about the Book of Mormon. The spirit was there and ever sweet. Both Elder Samuea, who is a zone leader and we were on trade-offs, and I felt that spirit and we know that the man, Dave, felt it too. He was very excited to receive the Book of Mormon. That day with the zone leader testified to me how if we work hard and give our all, we have the spirit with us. With that spirit comes joy and guidance. Who doesn't want that?

We also had the privilege of going to a conference for hearing from Elder Bednar. In advance, he had us study talks he'd given on a few occasions. The talks focused on putting action with our prayers and action with our faith. True prayer should be exercising faith in Him, and exercising our faith in Him through action. That same thing occurs with learning by faith. We must act in accordance to correct principles and must show the Lord that we are acting on the gospel and the things we know and desire to know. Then he'll bless us with knowledge. The best way to gain a testimony is to share that which we have. When we give that which we have, we receive it back and more. I also learned that we are agents, and so our learning and growth must be based upon that. We must act on our faith, and experiment with the word of God. Missionary work is an example.

It was remarkable to have Elder Bednar come to our area, and I will most assuredly act upon those things we learned. He didn't even speak the whole time of his portion given. He had the congregation of missionaries get involved. The answers came as he gave us agency with our learning, by letting us participate and act in accordance to our desires to learn. At the end it was open question for Him and the four other quorum of the seventy in attendance. A great opportunity and lots of inspired questions with inspired answers. The spirit was there. I gained a greater testimony that we have living apostles today, and that they are inspired in their duties and also that we can receive great revelation if we act - for we act in faith, and then are empowered. The mission has been wonderful thus far and I'll be enjoying the final quarter I have left. Love you all!


Elder J. Cederlof

P.S. By the way, an Elder asked Elder Bednar how he could know what questions to ask God in prayer. The invitation by Elder Bednar to the missionary was to go through all of the standard works and mark the questions asked by the Godhead and those of God, including prophets and angels. Study the circumstance and why they asked the question, and then you'll gain understanding of asking the right questions in prayer.

Justin & Elder Gardner stuck in an elevator for an hour!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Hey Everybody,

Time is definitely speeding up. I am coming on my six months left mark, and it really makes the missionary work more urgent. Time has gone by so fast, and there is just so much to do with finding people, teaching, and working with members, and helping the ward, and strengthening the members. Sometimes I feel like there needs to be more of me than just one, but that just means that the work needs to be done in line with the Lord's will and the goals set with the area presidency and ward. We had an area presidency broadcast which talked about the goals for the Pacific area, and the goals that they had for the wards and stakes. It was great because the focus was on the temple and family history work. One of those things was the "Family History: 15 in 15" which is having four generations on family history with all of their temple work done by the end of 2015. Family history is a great work, and it is missionary work, and the greatest of joy comes with missionary work. That is for certain. Missionary work is evidence of love, which the Lord is eager to change into charity. A great quote that our mission president told us on his weekly letter is: “the measuring stick of your love of the Savior and our Heavenly Father is the same measurement of your love of your fellow men". Not completely quoted right but the idea is there - how much you love your fellow men is how much you truly love God. And charity never fails, so we are ever empowered when we have charity. Charity is the motive of God, and so when we develop Charity, we can begin to see more of God's will, for we can understand the why more. "For God so loves the world that he gave his Only Begotten Son.” and there are far more examples of His love for us, being why He does what He does. The more love we have, the greater we can understand Him. Love is so important. When we focus on other people we accomplish greater things than we thought we could and we are empowered. When one reaches out to others, not thinking of one's self, they overcome fears and worries because they aren't focused on such emotions, for that would be focusing on the self. Selflessness is self-empowerment. Charity is power, and pure.
This past week was great because we had a baptism on Saturday, an investigator of our wonderful sister missionaries in our ward. It was wonderful to see him take on the covenant of baptism, especially since I got to know him from church since he's been coming so many times. There was a sense of joy in the meeting, especially after he was baptized, and that was a witness to me of the greatness of missionary work and a motivator for me to keep ploughing on and doing all I can to serve the Lord fully.  
Well, you all are wonderful, and it will be an amazing day when we come to realize who we really are and just how precious we truly are. Love you all, and take care.
Elder J. Cederlof

Friday, February 13, 2015

It has been good this week in Campbelltown. Though we are now on foot and using the bus, we were able to see quite a few people and were able to talk to Miranda and Tim. Tim we called when we got to his house and he wasn't there. He has had people from work tell him things about our religion and so he's been shaken a bit from it. When he called it was a drop call where he said he wanted to find out on his own. But we were able to talk to him and testify to him that he will find out if he prays. By the end of the conversation we were able to commit him to pray and ask God if it is true. It's a funny thing how the other religions don't tell you to do that. But when he gets his answer that will be great. We are going to follow up on him with that this week.
As for Miranda we are working with her. Her health is now in the way of her getting to church, so we'll be talking to our mission president and asking what we should do. She still reads and prays and wants to be baptized so we aren't giving up.
Another person we saw this week was a less active named Darryl. He hasn't been to church for over a year. He suffers from anxiety. We have talked to him and have committed him to come to church this upcoming Sunday and he is still for it. He's nervous and all, especially with the anxiety, but we assured him that nothing bad will happen and at the end of it he will not regret it, but will be happy that he did it. I really liked that because I related it to missionary work. We shouldn't let any fears drive us in missionary work because we know that during it nothing bad will happen, for we are on the Lord's errand. And secondly, at the end we will be grateful and happy that we did it. There is no sad or bad ending to doing missionary work or any efforts. That was something I learned while teaching him.
The rest of the week was good. We are focusing on getting members on the missionary-work bandwagon and if they all are then they will become a united ward.
Love you so much, Mom, and I hope you have a lovely week!
Elder Justin Cederlof

Monday, February 2, 2015

Dear Mom,
I am doing good. That sounds like out of getting a dog, you've been given the perfect one, and great to hear that Landon and Melissa love her. T is struggling but we are still seeing him. It's hard for him to give up some things, but we are working on helping him to see that what the gospel has to offer is infinitely worth more than those things he would give up in becoming a disciple of Christ. Elder Thomas is a great missionary and we've been able to get to work and Miranda has a baptismal date which is the 21st but will probably move to the 28th since we've stake conference and a conference with Elder Pearson and Elder David A. Bednar around that time. She came to church yesterday and that was awesome. As for Samah we didn't see him last week - wasn't feeling up for it the day we had scheduled - but we'll be stopping by this week and will talk about his reading of the Book of Mormon. As for those heaps of lessons we had visited lots of members and less actives which we didn't get to last week with getting Elder Thomas and then us cleaning the flat for an inspection on it, but we are going to work hard this week, though sad news is that Elder Thomas's bike got stolen from our flat. T'was not in the garage, but under a covered part of the drive way. It was a planned occurrence because they knew our schedule and where the bikes were, so for now we'll be on foot or bus. That'll make things harder, but we'll work with what we've got. Besides that the weeks have been really good. How's your time been besides all of the different things you've been doing?
Love you Mom, and hopefully I'll be able to send you pics.
Elder Justin Cederlof 


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Dear Mom,
I am doing well. That sounds like out of getting a dog, you've been given the perfect one, and great to hear that Landon and Melissa love her. As for the camera, I am going to send you some pics which I have printed out, or I will send you the storage chip. I cannot find that white cord that you gave me and my companion forgot his card reader but I'll be using another missionary's camera to do it. Hopefully it will work. T is struggling but we are still seeing him. It's hard for him to give up some things, but we are working on helping him to see that what the gospel has to offer is infinitely worth more than those things he would give up in becoming a disciple of Christ. Elder Thomas is a great missionary and we've been able to get to work and Miranda has a baptismal date which is the 21st but will probably move to the 28th since we've stake conference and a conference with Elder Pearson and Elder David A. Bednar around that time. She came to church yesterday and that was awesome. As for Samah we didn't see him last week - wasn't feeling up for it the day we had scheduled - but we'll be stopping by this week and will talk about his reading of the Book of Mormon. As for those heaps of lessons we had visited lots of members and less actives which we didn't get to last week with getting Elder Thomas and then us cleaning the flat for an inspection on it, but we are going to work hard this week, though sad news is that Elder Thomas's bike got stolen from our flat. T'was not in the garage, but under a covered part of the drive way. It was a planned occurrence because they knew our schedule and where the bikes were, so for now we'll be on foot or bus. That'll make things harder, but we'll work with what we've got. Besides that the weeks have been really good. How's your time been besides all of the different things you've been doing?
Love you Mom, and hopefully I'll be able to send you pics.

Elder Justin Cederlof 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Dear Mom,
I am doing quite well today, and I enjoy my new companion. He's 27, from New Zealand, and has a desire to make an impact in this area.  We were able to get in touch with T, and he said he's come to church this upcoming Sunday so we are going to hold him to that. We need to see him this week though or else I feel that will fall through as well.  We gave a Book of Mormon to S and committed him to read it. He's willing to learn and wants truth so we testified that he could know that this church has great truth and that he could know from reading the Book of Mormon. For M, we see her regularly, but she needs help getting the desire to come to church. We'll be teaching her about it in our next visit.
I am really enjoying riding the bikes around because now we can do much more and go greater distances. And it does get far easier the more you do it. And I love how now we look like the iconic image of missionaries:  young men in shirts and ties on bikes. But the work is going well. We really want to do more finding because Elder Pearson of the Area Presidency said there were many to find. And so that's our goal for this transfer.
And this past week was really good because we were able to teach a lot of lessons, around 13, when the week before was 3. We were just really focusing on getting lessons, and it worked quite well.
I am loving the mission and boy are there a lot of things to learn but it is coming along and I am feeling ever so privileged to be here. You are an amazing mother and I love being your son. I will continue to work and to even work harder to make you proud and the Lord. Love you always.

Elder Justin Cederlof


Sunday, January 18, 2015

I Love to See the Temple!

Dear Mom,
The temple was an awesome experience. It's located on a hill but with a road and shops and the mall before it and to the sides. You can't see it until you're pretty close. It was great though. I saw the film that I saw when I was endowed. That was a surprise, but it was good to see it again.
I did not mention that I am Elder Pearson's cousin. I had the thought that I might be related, but didn't mention anything to him, bummer! He is an awesome leader.
M has read and we need to do another follow up. She did say she read at the beginning about Nephi, though she didn't get far. We'll probably read with her next time we see her. As for T we are trying to get in contact. We've stopped by the house a couple of times and have called, but to no avail. We aren't giving up on him though. He was so happy when we were teaching and when he was learning. We'll get him though. And as for that couple watering their lawn, we've stopped by twice and didn't catch them home. We'll try again this week and hopefully will catch them.
I do have the pictures and would be delighted to send them, but the computer is not allowing them, they are failing at attaching, so I'm not sure if I can by the end of my emailing time, but here's a hoping.
This past week wasn't the best of weeks, but at the same time, there was a lot of things we were able to accomplish. We wrote up a list of all the members in our ward on a windows excel sheet so that we could make sure that out of the three companionships in our ward, all the members would know one of them. Plus that way we can write down and mark those we've extended invitations to, and then we can make sure that we are giving all the members the opportunity.
We also met the husband of a member, who's name is S. He's wanting to find out the truth, so we will be working with him. We also hope to help the relationship so that he's going to see the change when the family is coming closer to Christ.
Also we saw a less active family that weren't being met with by missionaries. They want to come to church and that was good and we also invited them to read the Book of Mormon as a family.

 We've been learning as a zone about the importance of the Book of Mormon, and I am coming closer to seeing how truly important it is, and the witness of Christ that is found therein. Right now as a mission we are marking every verse that talks about Christ or contains His words. It's been going great so far and I am amazed at how many times his name and words and teachings are mentioned. It's truly a witness of Him. So that's one thing you could do. I'd do that with a cheap blue one, and not your standard one since there's a lot of marking.
Also, from zone conference, we talked about distractions and how those can make it harder to focus and to get out of reading the Book of Mormon what you were wanting. Also, imagine that you were the person it was talking about, being it Nephi of his conversion to the Lord, yet his sadness and frustration at his brethren missing out on such an opportunity, or you can put yourself in the shoes of the prophet writing about the wickedness of the people, and what he is feeling as he sees the destruction of a people who have forgotten the truths and have forsaken their God. I am working on improving my studies as well. So I'd do all I could to put myself in their shoes, then their writing seems to have more depth and feeling into it. Plus you then remember the scriptures in a more personal way.
If I can get the pictures to send I will send them on a different email. Love you so much, Mom, and it's great getting your emails. Continue to study the words of life and I pray you grow in understanding and desire with that which you are to do.

Elder Justin Cederlof

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Dear Mom,
Boy am I a bit tired, but for great reason. Today we went to the temple, the first time in my mission! It was lovely and I have many pictures to send but I came to the library, looked in my bag, and realized that I must have left my white cord at the flat for some reason. Super bummer. I've pictures of me at the temple. It's pretty small, but lovely and I enjoyed every minute of it. It was great to finally go. We did a session at around nine o'clock, and had to leave our flat at six, so I woke up at five and I am feeling it at the moment but worth it all the way. It was a great experience.

This past week we also had Elder Pearson of the Quorum of the Seventy come and visit our mission. Our zone of missionaries and two others came together near the mission home to hear him speak. He spoke of many great things, especially with how we need to extinguish doubts, to starve them, and to go forward with faith in Christ.
This past week was good, for M is doing well and has been praying both in the morning and at night everyday. We gave her a Book of Mormon and invited her to read everyday as well. We are seeing her this week. The potential couple we knocked this week but they weren't home. We'll hopefully stop by again this week. That was a great find. We received a referral from an investigator's wife and that was good. Wasn't home when we knocked, but we'll be trying again, perhaps tonight.

T is having a hard time and didn't come to church this week. Keep him in your prayers: T M. We want to teach him that God is our loving Heavenly Father, and recommitting him to read and pray everyday.
We'll that makes the week, the highlight being the temple today. The mission is great. Even on the harder days it's still great.

Love you, Mom, take care, and you are a wonderful example to me.
Love,  Elder Justin Cederlof

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Dear Mom,

I am doing great, and tell the little ones that I won't be able to respond back to them today because email time was cut in half since there's a lot of stuff going on today, but tell them that I love them and they are great and that it was awesome to see how much they've grown up. As for our investigators, T is working on preparing himself, just some challenges to get over. We are thinking of what to do with V, she's a bit weird and she doesn't respond to our texts or picks up our calls; we might just swing by. Our investigators are doing okay, just need to get in contact again. This past week was busy with going through the ward list to figure out who is there and who's not, and figuring out those who don't want contact with the church and want their names removed. So it was good because we found some more members, being less actives, to visit.

My companion and I are doing well. I feel like I have grown while being with him, so that's a good thing. I enjoy being district leader because it helps me to bear testimony and teach other missionaries. I enjoy it. Developing faith to find has been good since we found a potential investigator a couple days ago, and she was trying to find out which church is true. We're going to stop by again in this week or perhaps the next one, but that was a miracle since I prayed that day to have someone needing to be approached to be watering their garden. Sure enough I saw a man watering, so I stopped the bike (we've bikes now) and talked, then his wife came out, and gave us water, and she's the one that wants to know which church is true. She had to go inside so we couldn't talk, but we'll be stopping by again.
Gotta go but love you Mom and happy 2015!

Elder Justin Cederlof