Monday, November 20, 2017

Final Email - Leaving Carlsbad

I can't believe I am here. Two short years have come and gone and I am heading home in the morning. There are a lot of emotions that have come over the last month. I've felt fear, doubt, excitement, joy, anxiety, regret, love, etc... However at this point all I can feel is an overwhelming feeling of gratitude. As we knelt and prayed in our apartment for the last time earlier today I was absolutely overtaken with this feeling of gratitude. That's all I can feel right now is how grateful I am to my Heavenly Father for the uncountable blessings He has given me. I cannot begin to tell you how much I've been blessed with on my mission. I can look back and see all the miracles, the healings, the times we were given the perfect things to say, the times we were guided to exactly the right place, and the times we were able to see lives change. All of these were gifts from God. He gave them to me. 

I know that I could not have made it to this point if it were not for the help of God. There were many times on this mission where the atonement carried me because I was too weak to walk alone. I know Jesus Christ lives. I know he suffered for me. I know that through his atonement I can have everlasting life and peace. I love him so much. I know he wants to help each of us. He is a perfect brother. He is more than willing to help us, heal us, and comfort us if we are willing to come to him. That is always his invitation. Just come. I know that there is no sin, addiction, pain, doubt, or affliction that cannot be completely repaired by the atonement of Jesus Christ. 

I know this is Christ's church. I have learned that there is so much good in every church. They are not evil. However, we have the fullness of the gospel. We have the Holy Priesthood of God and we can do the sacred ordinances necessary for our salvation and exaltation. I know Joseph Smith is truly a prophet of God. I know he saw a vision of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I know he was called by Jesus Christ to restore the priesthood, priesthood keys, and organization of the original church Christ established on the earth. We can know this is true by reading the Book of Mormon. I know it is history of the people who existed in the Americas. I know it is true. I know it was translated by Joseph Smith through the power of God. I have read the Book of Mormon and when I read it every day I am happier. I feel more confident. 

I am so honored to be a missionary. I am so grateful for all the people I've met. I've made some of the best friends of my life here. I know without a doubt that this is God's work. I know that it is not solely the responsibility of those who wear black tags to find, teach, ad baptize. It is a covenant we all made to do when we were baptized. We all must share the gospel. Heavenly Father has prepared a place for every single one of His children in the Celestial Kingdom. He needs our help to bring them back home. In 3 Nephi 17:7, Jesus Christ says, "Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy." We need to bring them to Christ. That's all we need to do! Christ will do the rest. I know that as we do that we will be filled with the greatest blessings we can receive because we are fulfilling God's purpose, which is to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. (Moses 1:39)" 

I love my mission so much. I'm going to miss it. It truly has been the best two years of my life. I am so grateful for the wonderful gift it's been. I love my Heavenly Father. I know He lives. I testify of this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Elder Erik Kapp

Goodbye Pictures
















Monday, November 13, 2017

One More Week...

Hey everyone,


I have one more week... I can't believe I'm here. We had such a great week last week.

I had my exit interview last week. That was really weird. We have a general authority coming next week so we got bumped up a week. That was really great. President Thomas gave some really great advice and I came out feeling a lot more confident about coming home. 

We had our final district meeting. It went really well. We did a little breakfast before. It was a lot of fun! 

At Edson Range we had a return missionary bring 5 nonmembers with him! Elder Eddins and I pulled them all out with us and we had a group lesson. It was so much fun! We were able to commit all of them to read the Book of Mormon and pray if it is true. They also said if they came to know it is true they would be baptized! Later I pulled two of them out for another lesson. I asked them what they thought their purpose in life was and they both at the same time said, "That's why I am here." It was so cool! The spirit was so strong and they were both able to understand and grow their faith in the plan of salvation.

We taught Dylan yesterday! He's doing so well! He's been reading and praying. He wasn't able to come to church yesterday, but we still were able to have a lesson. We talked about receiving answers to our prayers. He committed to pray and ask God if the gospel is true and if he should get baptized! It was awesome! We're excited for our lesson next week!

I have such a strong testimony of this work. I know God lives and He loves us.

Lesson with Dylan and McKayla

                            The sky was pretty cool all week.


Saying goodbye to Zac Wilson and Ivan Moreno


Playing some pool this morning!



Monday, November 6, 2017

Getting Gators @ Sacrament

This has been another wonderful week. I am so grateful for the miracles and success we've been able to see all the way up to the end. 

Dylan Coopman is doing well! He came to church with us yesterday! We were bummed he didn't stay all 3 hours, but we found out he and his girlfriend went to the temple grounds. So we are cool with it! We'll be meeting with him during the week. 

Eric came to church too! Man, that was so cool! He and his girlfriend stayed all 3 hours and we had a lesson after with the Valley Center sisters, his girlfriend, and Jake Linville from our ward. It was super good! We talked about how God answers our prayers. He has had a pretty tough life and said he prayed a lot as a kid but never got answers. However, he committed to pray every say and read the Book of Mormon. He said the closing prayer, which was awesome! It was very real. It was as if he was talking to God face to face. He said in his prayer, "It's been a while... Last time I did this I didn't hear from you, so if you could answer me this time that'd be great. If you could show me a sign in... You know... The next few days or so that'd be cool... Then I can get baptized by the Sisters, and Kapp, and Halstead.... And Jake can come too if he's not busy!" It was awesome! I feel like he'll for sure get baptized. He participated all throughout church. He's just super busy, so it will probably happen when I'm home.

Yesterday was my last fast Sunday and I bore my last testimony in sacrament meeting. I wanted to share a bit of it. So over 2 years ago I was preparing for my mission. The original plan was to leave straight out of high school. When the time came, I didn't feel ready. I wanted to prepare more. Another tough variable was the fact my brother was coming home from his mission that December. Around September I felt like I needed to put my papers in. I was super nervous. I felt like I should just wait for Jake to get home. I prayed about it and felt that I needed to put them in. I felt a confirmation that I'd never regret leaving when I did. I ended up leaving 3 weeks before my brother got home. Though I've missed my brother my whole mission, I've always had a distinct peace about the timing of everything. The way it all worked out was perfect. I met a priest who was struggling to decide to serve a mission because of financial and family circumstances within my first couple weeks in the field. My trainer asked him to start coming out with us each week. He came out with us at least once every other week the 4.5 months I was there. The day after I left the area he reported to the MTC. He told me and my companion that he felt like we got called there specifically for him. Throughout my whole mission I have questioned God's timing. In every single one of my area's I've asked to stay before getting transferred. EVERY TIME!!! I am so grateful I got to move around so much on my mission. I know that I have accomplished all Heavenly Father had for me to do in each of my areas. I have asked and felt Him accept my service. I just want to encourage everyone to trust the Spirit and trust God's timing. All the best things in life take time. They take work. I know that as we follow the Spirit and continue to keep the commandments we have no reason to fear. We can live with a constant confidence and joy because we are doing the will of God. 

I love this mission. 

Elder Kapp









Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween!

All I can say is it's been another week in paradise! I am having so much fun! Elder Halstead and I are seeing miracles like crazy! We were able to see so much happen!

Dylan is doing so great! We had a lesson with him on Sunday. He's been reading the Book of Mormon and praying. One of the blessings we promised him if he read the Book of Mormon is he would see an increase in learning and he would do better in school. His girlfriend was telling us the day after our lesson that he was sitting in his EMT class and his teacher just kept firing questions to the class and Dylan just kept answering them. He just knew all the answers! She told him, "I told you it works!" He committed to come to church with us for sure this Sunday!

We also picked up a guy names Eric. He is dating a girl in the Valley Center Ward and went to a baptism. He said he wanted to get baptized and learn more. We taught him with the Valley Center sisters. It was an awesome lesson. We brought Tyrone Grantham with us and he killed it! He's an RM from Peru. They really hit it off and Eric wants to come to the YSA. He's fun to teach! He is very intelligent and "real" with us. We're hoping to see him this next week.

We had a really cool experience on Thursday. We got a referral from the Vista sisters for a guy who wanted to meet with us that night and wanted a blessing. His name is Anthony. It turns out he is actually a member. He stopped going to church out of high school and joined the marines. He just got off deployment and came home to a lot of problems with his recently married wife. He is looking towards divorce and wanted some guidance from God. He asked me to give the blessing and said he felt the Spirit for the first time in a while. He came to game night on Sunday and wants to start coming back to church and activities! 

I am also grateful for Stephen, Bear Valley's recent convert. Turns out I've had a rib out of place for a while and he's giving me free chiropractic care. He's making my life so much better. Very grateful for that man!

I love this mission so much! It's a bummer that as soon as I start somewhat knowing what I'm doing and stop stressing so much I have to start preparing to go home! I know so strongly this is God's work! I love it so much! I love the gospel and know it is the answer to any problem! Have a good week everyone! 

Elder Kapp

Pictures:
-Elder Wilson and Elder Halstead, the Elders I trained! (Elder Wilson is going to the MTC today so we wish him luck!)

-Bathroom selfie at dinner. We went straight from service  and decided it would be a good time to take a picture. 

- The rest are just service and other random pictures.






Monday, October 23, 2017

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

Hey everyone! This week has been so great. It was so hard, but absolutely packed with blessings! All I can say is I love being a missionary! We were able to get a lot done with our investigators. We had a guy named Elroy show up to church. We were able to teach him and set up a return appointment. It was awesome!

This last week my back was killing me! HOLY CHICKEN! It was so sore! On Saturday we contacted a recent convert from another ward who is a chiropractor. He readjusted me and said I had a rib out of place just inside my shoulder. Sunday it was hurting so bad. All the muscles in my shoulder, back, and neck hurt. I had a terrible migraine and I thought I would have to stay in. We got done with church and were planning for our lesson with Dylan. I decided to go to our bedroom closet and just pray it out with God. I just begged for help and I might have gotten a bit emotional (no witnesses have firm confirmation, but it's a strong possibility) but I just felt a strong peace. We left to dinner and then the lesson. After the lesson I realized I couldn't feel my shoulder hurting. I didn't even think about it in the lesson. 

It was an incredible lesson. We focused on the Book of Mormon. We gave him a hard cover copy and highlighted our favorite scriptures, his girlfriend's favorite scripture, and a few that would help him. We asked him if he would get baptized when he comes to know it's true and he agreed! What a blessing! 

I love this work. I love this gospel. I love my Savior! 

Elder Kapp

Pictures:

Went Caving this morning

Zone training meeting

Went to a pumpkin patch too!








Monday, October 16, 2017

Obedience Brings Blessings

Man, was this a fun week or what?! We got so much done and had a blast!

Alright, so here's the week broken down. I'll try to do Reader's Digest version so it's not too long. 

Wednesday we had our zone greet. Our zone is so awesome! We had a ton of solid missionaries transfer in. For the get to know you game we had to draw a picture to describe our companion and I drew a picture of Russell from "Up" because E. Halstead looks just like him. 

Friday was insane! We did MyPlan in the morning and weekly planned. We had a lesson with a guy named Craig. He was found by some Hermanas and they sent him to us. We met up with him at a park and he was super open! He took everything really well and has been reading the Book of Mormon. We have a lesson set up with him this next week!

We also did something super fun with a kid named Elijah who hasn't been coming to the ward. He does jujitsu and we asked him if he would show us some stuff. It was so much fun! We got all rug burned up and he said he would be down to come to FHE tonight! 

Saturday I got to meet up with Stephanie Lippman, my recent convert from Murrieta. She came down with Cole Huntley, her boyfriend from the Murrieta YSA! He was the Sunday School President and they started dating shortly after she was baptized. It was so great! She talked about how I need to come back when she goes through the temple. That right there is why I came on my mission. That made it all worth it.

We taught Dylan Coopman again this last week. He read a little bit of the Book of Mormon, but not much. We taught him the plan of salvation and promised him that if he read the Book of Mormon every day he would find more time to do what he wants and feel happier. He mentioned how he's really busy and has a hard time finding time to do things. I thought about myself and how I use that a ton. I learned, and then shared with him, that there is no time like the present. Be obedient and put God first NOW. He will cover the rest.

Edson Range was such a blessing. Recruit Lal, the guy we baptized a few weeks ago is doing so well. He headed back to MCRD this last week for his last 4 weeks. I'm going to miss him. A couple recruits brought like 6 nonmember recruits from their platoon. I got to teach 2 of them. The spirit is awesome. They both accepted to be baptized if they learn the Book of Mormon is true.

I just have to tell you all what I've learned about obedience. Just like God has set in play physical laws, like gravity and acceleration, he has also set in place Spiritual Laws. One is obedience. God promises us if we obey He will bless us. His hands are tied. He has to keep his end of the deal. The more obedient we are the more God will bless us. We have tried so hard to be exactly obedient. We try to wake up every morning at 6:00 and read the Book of Mormon. Yes, the miracles in the work has been incredible, but I cannot put words to the difference it has made in me. I feel so peaceful and confident in the gospel. I know I am where I need to be. I know Jesus Christ is there and He is my friend. He is my Savior. I love Him so much. The Book of Mormon is true. It just is. This is Christ's church. We have a prophet on the earth. The world can try all they want to disprove and criticize this church, but it cannot be destroyed. They can only destroy their own testimonies, because the priesthood exist here and Jesus Christ stands head of this church. 

I love you all!

Elder Erik Kapp

                                           Us in a tree house

Us knocking a door

Jujitsu training!
                  




Monday, October 9, 2017

Clear eyes. Full hearts. CAN'T LOSE.

Hey everyone,

We saw a lot of awesome miracles this last week. We've been continuing our "cleanse". We've been keeping our apartment clean, being super strict on music and other rules, and just praying for miracles. We have seen so much happen. Unfortunately we were unable to teach Dylan Coopman again, but we were able to pick up some solid PI's. We were told about a young woman in the Twin Oaks Valley ward who has a YSA aged boyfriend who wants to meet with us. We are looking forward to that in the upcoming weeks.

We also got to meet up with Franky Hunt. He's the kid I taught when I was a greenie. He's doing super well! It was awesome to see him. He's going to the fire academy right now so he's super busy, but he said we could come by again next week. I read in my journal the other day from 18 months ago and I said, "My mission goal is to baptize Franky Hunt. No matter what happens after that, my mission is a success." I feel like one day he will join the church and I will be there, but I'm just grateful I've gotten to know him so well!

Friday was kind of a gnarly day because of weekly planning and service. We were inside and not proselyting all day!!!! Ahh man, we were so depressed. So we finally get out and we were seeing nothing happen! There were no people to talk to, nobody was home... Nothing! At 8:30 we decided to head back to our apartment complex and try to contact people there. We walked around until 8:50 and were walking back to the apartment when we saw this guy walking in the parking lot. Elder Halstead says, "Hey! Do you think you'd be willing to hear the message we are sharing?" The guy says, "Yeah I would." It caught Elder Halstead and I so off guard he said, ".... What?" and the guy says, "Yeah I would!" We were still shocked, but it turned out wonderfully. His name is Orlando and hasn't been to church since he was a kid. It was a miracle!

We also had a trainer meeting. That was good! 

Oh, and the subject is mine and Elder Halstead's motto for the rest of the transfer. I remember my cousin used that for a youth conference theme, so we adopted it. We set a goal to baptize 3 people before I go home, and we are so dedicated. We got a clear vision, our hearts are full, so we can't lose.

Love you all! 

District pictures
(Elder Lebaron dies this week, that's why he's laying on the table...)