Monday, July 17, 2017

Goodbye Murrieta...

Hello everyone!

Man, this last week was absolutely insanely crazy! But it was great. I'm getting transferred this week. I am being released as a zone leader and I get to train!! I am so pumped! I am going to be serving in Escondido in the Palomar YSA ward. (Yes... Another YSA ward. 5th one in a row). I've always wanted to serve there. President told me this is where I will probably finish my mission. I also get to go back and teach at Edson Range, boot camp on Camp Pendleton! I'm super excited for that. I am actually moving into the same apartment I started my mission in!

On Tuesday we spent a lot of time preparing our training for zone conference and stopping by people in both of our wards. Stephanie came back home the day before, so we met with her and got her ready for the baptism

Wednesday we went down to Carlsbad and did car inspections for zone conference. We finished up our training.

Thursday we were at Zone Conference. Our training went super well. They split everyone into 5 groups and the ZL's and STL's each trained on a commandment. We had the Sabbath day. We had to give the training 5 times, so by the last one we almost had it down!  It was a really awesome meeting and I learned a lot. 

Friday we picked up mail in Vista, did some weekly planning, Stephanie had her baptism interview, and we finished planning the baptism.

Saturday we went to the Demke's. It was sad to be at the ranch for the last time and to say goodbye, but it was good. 

Sunday we had meetings almost every hour from 6:30AM til 3:30PM. But most importantly.... STEPHANIE GOT BAPTIZED! It was a beautiful service. She had a ton of support. Her parents and her boyfriend were able to come as well!

I'm very sad to be leaving Murrieta. It's such a blessed place. I love the people here so much, but I can't wait to go to Escondido. I have prayed about it and I know that there are a few more people Heavenly Father has prepared for me in Palomar and I have a lot more to learn. I love my mission and I can't wait for the next chapter!

Elder Kapp

Pictures:
Zone Conference Training

The Demke Family on the ranch!

Pictures from the Baptism

Saying goodbye to the Youngs (WML and Fam)

Saying goodbye to Ryan Stricklin and Cole Huntley















Monday, July 10, 2017

Hey everyone!

We got a ton done this last week. We had exchanges, district meeting, and went on splits almost every day! It's sometimes frustrating, but the ball is beginning to roll my friends. We are anticipating a lot of work coming in the next few weeks. Transfers are next week, so I hope I am staying.

We are excited for Stephanie's baptism this next week! She gets home today and her baptism will be this Sunday! We are so pumped! 

We didn't pick up any new investigators this last week, but we made a ton of progress. We picked up quite a few potentials and started working with a couple part member families. 

This next week we are training at zone conference on Thursday. We will also be going to the other zone conference for car inspections on Wednesday. 

Spiritual part...
I was thinking quite a bit about trusting our Heavenly Father, testimony, and not needing to worry. I have been pretty uptight and nervous for the next few months. A lot of change is going to happen and I want it to work out right. But then it hit me. Heavenly Father already knows what I need, what I want, and what's going to happen. So why worry? I don't need to ask "What if...?". I read this quote this last week that said that 10% of our life is what happens to us and 90% is how we react to it. We have a lot more control than we'd like to admit sometimes. We can't make excuses. We can't ignore our problems. We can't be afraid. Life is supposed to be happy. I love the scripture in D&C 6:36, "Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not." Until this week, I always thought the Lord was giving us 3 things we should do in that verse. 1) look unto him in every thought. 2) Doubt not. 3) Fear not. However, I feel like it's more than that. I feel like it's a promise with two blessings. If we look unto Christ in every thought, we will not doubt and we will not fear. When we make Christ not only a part of our life, but the focus and foundation we will have no room to fear or doubt. Because we will know our Saviour. We will have a relationship with Him. We will trust that when we ask for help, He will help us. I feel like any doubt, problem, or question could be answered by focusing more on Jesus Christ. I know that if you have any questions or struggles and you begin to focus time every day specifically to Jesus Christ, you will find answers and comfort and peace.

I love this gospel. It's true and it's real.

Elder Kapp

4th of July Party

Zone hike this morning.

Elder Gull, Elder Eddins, and myself are #Merica festive.



Monday, July 3, 2017

Temples, Trainings, Luaus, and Trips to the Emergency Room

This week must have been the top craziest week of my mission... (the exciting part starts on Friday)

Tuesday we had interviews with President Thomas. I just love talking to that man. I'm grateful to have him as my mission president. We also taught Mike Molina. He read Ether 12 like we asked him and had a great talk about it. He's been investigating for 7 years, so I thought it would be hard to tell him something he hasn't already heard. But we realized that we don't need to focus on what we want him to hear. But more, what he needs to feel. He felt the spirit very strong and I think we are making progress with him!

Wednesday we went to the temple! Wonderful experience. Brother and Sister Welch from Alta Murrieta took us down. It was what I needed.

Thursday I actually gave the training in district meeting. It was on using the Book of Mormon to answer questions and concerns. I took it a different way than normal. Rather than the typical investigator questions like "Why should I be baptized?" or "Why is the word of wisdom important?", I wanted to focus on the deep questions of the soul, like "How can I strengthen my relationship with my family?" and "How can I balance my family life and my career?". Those are a little harder to find scriptures for! At the beginning I had each of the missionaries write down questions they have or have had before on a sticky note. We talked about how we should use the Book of Mormon and apply it. Then I had them use their questions in the role plays and practices. It made it a little more real.
We also stopped by Sadie Taylor and Maria, an elderly member and her investigator friend. They were so much fun!


Friday was absolutely packed! We had MLC in Vista from 9:00AM-3:30PM. It was such a great meeting! Temecula and Murrieta are doing so well! We were able to brainstorm with Temecula ZL's and come up with some ideas to keep our zones pumped. We went straight from there to our YSA Luau. We have been planning it for weeks! It was a regional activity, so all of Riverside and San Diego county were invited. Our YSA bishop, Bishop Beck, is Polynesian and puts on luaus for his job. It was so cool! Elder Gull and Elder Eddins were able to come and help us with the ticket booth.

Late night at the ER:
I learned a lot from this experience... So Elder Gull's leg started swelling really bad and causing extremely bad pains on Wednesday after they played basketball. He doesn't remember any injury that would cause it to hurt, but he was hurting so bad he couldn't go do a temple session on Wednesday. Thursday it was still bothering him, but not too bad. Friday he was fine for MLC, but it started swelling super bad during the luau. By the end of the luau he was hurting really bad. We gave him a blessing and we then determined he needed medical attention. He was in a ton of pain. We followed them over to an urgent care. It was crazy how fast his condition escalated. When we left the church, he didn't want help walking. When he got out of the car at the urgent care we were dragging him on our shoulders. The urgent care said they couldn't do anything for him because of the amount of pain he was in and said we needed to go to the ER. We were just praying and praying as we followed them to the hospital in Temecula. We ended up spending the next 4 hours there. 
As we got there we carried him behind the front desk to this chair. I told the doctor over and over that he needed pain medicine NOW! Elder Gull is one tough kid, and he said he was a 9.5 out of 10. The nurse said, "No you don't need pain meds yet. You need to calm down. You need to slow down your breathing." I didn't like that... I was getting so frustrated. I about lost my mind when he handed me a breathing mask and told me to hold it on Gull's face. I thought, "Oh brilliant! A breathing mask! Yeah, Doc! That will make the swelling and pain in his leg go away..." I was very humbled when Elder Gull stopped hyperventilating, his pain declined. That taught me a lesson I will elaborate on in a minute. After we finished paperwork and waited for what felt like forever, he was taken back and they did some test. They couldn't find anything, so he was diagnosed with a severe muscle strain. They gave him pain killers (he wasn't responding to them. That's why we were there til 1:30.) and he walked himself out on crutches.

So here's what I learned... A lot of the time we think we know what we need. But more often than not, we don't. If I was in control I would have injected the most powerful pain killer in Gull's arm the minute we got there thinking that would solve the problem. But it wouldn't. The nurse knew that Elder Gull needed to settle down and do his part in order to solve the problem. I feel like we are the same way with Heavenly Father a lot of the time. We have a problem and we ask for them to go away. However, that's usually contrary to the will of Heavenly Father. He didn't give us trials and problems to simply take them away when we ask Him to. That would be absolutely counterproductive. However, that doesn't mean He is leaving us on our own to figure out and suffer with no help from Him. Just like the nurse, His full purpose is to help. The best thing we can do is 1) listen to what He wants to do, 2) be humble enough to accept that we don't know everything and He knows best, and 3) give our full hearts to doing God's will. Too often do people turn their backs on God because they don't like the answer they got. They felt abandoned and cheated. God doesn't abandon or cheat. It's not in his nature. He is unable to do that. We abandon God and cheat ourselves of opportunities to grow and develop. I know that Jesus Christ felt the pains and frustrations of our trials, so as we trust God and rely on the atonement of Jesus Christ we can accomplish all things! I love this gospel and am grateful for the chance I have to share it with others.

Elder Kapp



Temple Trip

Luau



We had to do our "tiki faces" in front of everyone there. 

Kevin Johnston (He's Dax's twin)

The big poly guy with is our bishop!

                                      ER with Elder Gull



Monday, June 26, 2017

Back to Carlsbad and Spiritual stuff....

So this week I am going to highlight a few key things that happened, then I want to talk about some more spiritual things. If you don't care much for that the pictures are located at the bottom of the page. 
(Most of you have already opened this and scrolled down there already anyways)

- Stephanie Lippman is on date for 16 July 2017! She is in Utah right now visiting her boyfriend for 2 weeks, but will get baptized the following Sunday! I'm super excited because she's letting me do the baptism! That will be so awesome!
- We started teaching a man named Mike Molina. He has been taught for 7 years by missionaries. He loves the gospel. He loves the missionaries. He is just afraid to be baptized for some reason. We are meeting with him tomorrow!
- I got a call from E. Wilde this last week. There was a family, the Wongs, we worked with and got close to in my Twin Oaks Vally. They'd been less active for 10+ years, but were so spiritual and great people. They just didn't come to church! Shortly after I left they stopped letting the missionaries in. Well, Elder Wilde was told by a member of TOV that they are active now! They just showed up. Moral of the story... You can't give up on people. You just need to keep loving them and don't lose hope!
-  We went on exchanges with the AP's on Friday. I got to go to Carlsbad YSA and worked with Elder Hadfield! For those who don't know, we served in Carlsbad YSA together 9 months ago. We visited our convert and it was just a dream come true!


For whatever reason I have felt like I should share my thoughts and feeling on hope and understanding our eternal identity. The world is in a state of unrest and confusion. It has been this way since the Great Apostasy following the death of the apostles. The world is full of millions of opinions about what is true, what is real, and what is right. This makes it hard to be confident in your beliefs because they are constantly questioned.
You need to realize what's most important. The gospel is broken down into basic fundamentals called principles. We know the first principles of the gospel are faith and repentance. Both faith and repentance are rooted in Jesus Christ. We must have faith in Him to repent. Prayer, reading the scriptures, going to church, and being baptized are all simple acts of faith. When we do these small things our faith grows. As it says in Ether 12:4 "...hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men...". If you want to have hope, you need to increase faith. If hope is our anchor, then faith is our chain that connects on us to our hope. If we don't have enough chain, our anchor will not ground us and we will find ourselves hopeless and lost. But if we exercise our faith daily and put links into our chain every day we can be "sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God. (Ether 12:4)" 
I understand that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is not an easy church to be a part of. I know there are many enemies to the gospel. I know many people fall away whether it be from not agreeing with doctrines or policies, being offended, lack of fellowship, or doubting the truth of the Restoration and Book of Mormon through Joseph Smith. All of those things are important and essential. However, I just plead with all of you to remember the one most important thing... 
You are a child of our Heavenly Father and He loves you. There is nothing you can do to change that. It doesn't matter how bad you've sinned, what you've been through, or how long it's been since you uttered His name in prayer. He is there waiting eagerly for you to hear from you again. There could be times you might think you are too far off the path. You might think you've tried enough already. You might think it's too late. You might think that you've reached your breaking point and you can't go on. But you could never be more wrong. You are His child and He wouldn't send you here to battle this dark world alone. Because He loves you so much He sent our older brother, Jesus Christ, to walk to path to where you are, where you have been, and where you will go, and all the way back to Him again so that you could make it home! 
If anything please PLEASE never abandon your relationship with God. Life will be hard. It was meant to be hard so we could learn and grow. You can't lie to yourself and say "it's not for me" because it's part of your identity! YOU ARE HIS CHILD! Whether you know it or not now, it's true. If you have a strong understanding of your identity and your worth to Heavenly Father you will be able to withstand the opposition of the world. This gospel is true. Don't get too caught up in the opinions of the world. This church is all about Jesus Christ. So just focus on that. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet and that Christ's church is on the earth again. I now this is true because the Book of Mormon is true. I know the Book of Mormon is true because I have felt the Holy Spirit testify to me it was true and when I live the truths found in the Book of Mormon I find more peace, clarity, and joy in my life. Jesus Christ is our Savior. You can be healed of your past. He will help you forgive others and yourself. You can withstand all that is put in front of you because Christ knows what it feels like. Trust God. Be humble.

Hopefully somebody needed to hear that! I love you!

Elder Kapp

Delshawn and Elder Hadfield!

Elder Horton lightsaber battling with Elder Barbour

Oh, and it was HOT!



Monday, June 19, 2017

Happy Fathers Day!... and it's hot.

Hey everyone! This last week was super good!
First, Stephanie came to FHE! That was awesome! She really loved it. 

We were able to teach Stephanie a couple times, went to a couple district meetings, had exchanges with the Spanish elders. I got to go with Elder McDonald. I have been wanting to go on exchanges with him for so long! He's such a cool guy and we had a blast! We got a lot done! We stopped by a ton of formers, tracted a bit, and worked hard. 

We got locked out of our apartment on Wednesday. We have these stupid electronic keys and the doors lock automatically. We left the keys in the apartment so we had to break in... 

It was baking hot this last weekend! It was in the low 100's on Saturday! We were at the ranch so we were dying! It's okay. It's good for my tan. 

Saturday we had a "Mission-Wide Miracle Day" where the whole mission prayed, found, and texted each other about miracles they saw. It was cool to see how everyone was able to find miracles and inspire each other about them!

Sunday was SWEET! We had 2 non-members in the Murrieta Ward. Then we had Stephanie and a random guy at the YSA. His name is Diego and he is from Mexico. His English isn't the best, but he's coming to FHE tonight and we are going to try to start teaching him. 

Stephanie is going to Utah this weekend to visit her boyfriend for 2 weeks. We are praying that goes well and that she has a good time!

It's cool how easy it is to receive miracles and blessings when we seek them. I definitely saw that this last week. There were some cool things that happened when we tried to find miracles. 

Love you!

Elder Kapp

Correlation meeting with Henry Lee, YSA Ward missionary

Thermostat in our car... IT'S HOT!

Stephanie at FHE (she's the one in the stripes)

Exchanges with McDonald



Monday, June 12, 2017

Murrieta Ward/YSA - White wash miracles!

Hey everyone! This last week was probably one of the craziest weeks of my mission. We got transferred to the Murrieta ward and it took forever to get moved in! It's super nice though. The ward is awesome but it has been hard getting used to things. We had a bunch of trainings and meetings, but now that's all done we can hit the ground running.

We saw lots of great miracles. At church in the Murrieta ward a guy named Ryan showed up. He's a recent convert in the YSA ward, but disappeared about 3 months ago. We sat by him and said he is trying to clean up his life. We got him to stay for the YSA ward and he stayed all 3 hours! 

Stephanie is doing so great! The lessons are going awesome and we just need to get her in the font already! She is ready. We are just waiting for her boyfriend in Utah to come visit so he can do the baptism. She came to the YSA ward and she is coming to FHE tonight. The ward really took her in and fellowshipped her wonderfully!

There was also an investigator in the Menifee stake at the YSA ward as well. Technically he's our investigator, but their mission president doesn't us in their mission, so they teach them and then baptize them in our ward. His name is Jeremy and he was a cool guy! He should be going to FHE tonight as well.

Another miracle is there is a member from my greenie ward whose wife and kids aren't members. We didn't teach them in TOV because they were living with his wife's family and they were super anti. With the ward boundary changes they are in the Murrieta ward now. I feel like we might be able to start teaching them.

I love you guys! Have a great week!

Elder Kapp


                   
                        The ranch and golfing this morning!



Monday, June 5, 2017

TRANSFERS

Hey everybody. How's it going? This last week was just crazy. I am very glad it is over to be honest! Transfers are this week and I'm getting transferred... Kind of... We are getting moved out of the Alta Murrieta Ward and moving to the Murrieta Ward. We will still continue to cover the YSA ward as well. The next few days are just going to be packed. But there are some cool things happening!

This last week we were able to meet up with Stephanie twice! She got back from Utah and she loved it! Her boyfriend was supposed to come to California at the end of the month and then Stephanie would be getting baptized, but instead she is going back to Utah at the end of the month for 2 weeks! She is ready to get baptized, but we're just waiting so her boyfriend can be there. Our lessons went great. She is so solid! We've been going over the commandments and she is taking them all very well! We are meeting with her as soon as we get moved in. 

All the wards in the stake got their boundaries changed, so we've been super busy with all that stuff. 

We will have more to talk about next week! Hopefully the move and everything goes well! 

Love you all!

Elder Kapp

Stephanie