Monday, February 22, 2016

"There's a turtle in the road..." - TRANSFERS

ELDER KAPP.......... IS GOING...... TO.................
be staying in Twin Oaks Valley for 6 more weeks with Elder Wilde. 

However, Elder Richards, our zone leader, is getting transferred to Oceanside. Elder Richards has been like an older brother to me and he is my favorite Canadian. Best of luck to him.

This last week was really slow. However, a few fun things happened.

On Friday we fasted. We haven't picked up any new investigators and the work has been crazy slow. So we fasted to find some new people. We found 2 new potentials. Elizabeth was getting her mail with her son and we set up a lesson to teach her Saturday, but she wasn't there. (AHHHHH!) We met Alex while going to a former investigator's house we found in the area book. We knocked on the door and Alex answered. I guess the former moved. So we took advantage of the situation and asked if he would be willing to hear our message. He said yes! He wanted to reschedule for a Saturday, but a girl's voice from the other room says, "Hey! I won't be there! Do Sunday!" But, he cancelled.... So we should teach him Tuesday.

Friday we had dinner with the Brittains. Brad Brittain was a lineman for Arizona State University and is a big guy. He has been less active his whole adult life, but his dad always moved Brad's records wherever he went. Now his dad is really sick and terminal. His last wish is Brad will go back to church, so he has come to some activities and church a few times. His wife and step son aren't members. They are really funny. They don't always understand the missionary rules. Like they invite us to play poker, turn on movies for us (Disney), and stuff. 

Well they were still cooking dinner when we showed up. They live by the old country club in San Marcos, so a lot of people have golf carts... Brad came in and asked if Elder Wilde and I would drive the cart to 7/11 to get some olive oil really fast... so we did. It was funny. It was cool to meet with them. His wife was going to come to church because Sister Prather is leaving, but they ended up not... We will keep working on it!

Here is the story that explains the picture and title...

Saturday we got transfer calls and I was a bit disappointed. I love TOV, but the lack of success has really taken its toll on me. My attitude has been much better, but I really just hit a low on Saturday. I was in a bad mood as we were going to houses and getting a bit rejected. I had my head down and out of the corner of my eye looked across the road and saw something large moving. I started crossing and Elder Wilde says, "Where are you going?"
"There's a turtle in the road...." 
Sure enough, there is a 50 pound tortoise walking in the road!!! Nobody was around. Just 2 missionaries and a tortoise... As we kept it from getting ran over, some neighbors came over, we figured out where it belonged (It escaped a backyard where it had just been dropped off as a pet). But yeah. We rescued a tortoise. 
Then 10 minutes later we helped get a chihuahua out of an intersection. It was crazy.  We called it "Safari Saturday".

Sunday was Stake Conference. It was really good. President and Sister Kendrick spoke. We had dinner with the Grochmals. They are the coolest. He played semi pro hockey before his mission  and is the Elder's Quorum president. That night we saw Benny. He is less active and wants us to come teach him. He is cleaning up his life. 

Today is our last Pday as a zone. We are taking on the Escondido Zone in some games, so that'll be cool.

I know that this work is hard. REALLY HARD. I am not a patient person. I am being forced to be though. I joke and say, "I wish Heavenly Father would just hurry up and teach me to be patient already." But I love being a missionary. This is not my work, but His. The next transfer may be hard, but I know Heavenly Father is keeping me here for a reason. We will turn this ward around!

Love you guys!

Elder Kapp

                                                               My Birthday

              Emerald Heights, San Marcos. (You can see the ocean, but the sun ruined the picture.)

The less active family we had dinner with needed us to go to 7/11 for olive oil real quick,
so they had us take the golf cart.

                                      We rescued a tortoise that was walking in the road.

                                                                    Typical day in TOV.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Transfers this next week!

Hey everyone,

Sorry we are emailing a couple days late. Our P-Day was pushed back because of President's Day and Zone Training Meeting.

Last week we had zone conference. It was really cool to be around the other missionaries and hear from President and Sister Kendrick. They are amazing. I learned so much was able to feel the spirit so strongly. I am really sad President and his wife will be going home this June. They are such great and loving people and I love being one of their missionaries.

On Wednesday we went to the Grow's to pass off everything to Bro Rios, the new Ward Mission Leader. Brother Grow is moving to the Bay Area and we are all really sad.

Thursday we taught Jim Busike. I don't think we are going to go back. He was baptized when he was 13 but never had a testimony. While teaching him, I asked him a few questions that made him contradict his statements and Elder Wilde and I agreed that he wasn't open to the spirit. So we hope he will soften his heart in the future. All of our other usual Thursday appointments cancelled, but we did pick up a new potential couple, Dane and Natalie.

Friday we helped the Grows pack up and we said goodbye to them. It was sad. They were extremely involved in the ward. After we said goodbye, we had exchanges. I got to go with Elder Haskell in Twin Oaks Valley. It was awesome. We went to the Birch's and, sure enough, we got root beer floats.

Saturday we did some service for a new move in, the Butlers. The wife is Thai and really hard to understand. We ended up just helping them fix their sprinklers. Elder Haskell and I got to put our "Farmer" and "Landscaping" experience together to help them out. It was fun. Sister Butler fed us SO MUCH pasta. It was so much food. We went by a bunch of solid potentials, but all of them fell through...

Sunday we had regional conference. Elder Renlund gave a great talk that really made an impact on me. We went to Al's for lunch and then dinner.

Monday was a tough day. We didn't have much luck at all. After dinner we went with the Grochmals, Elders Quorum President and his wife, to Dane and Natalie's for a lesson, but they weren't there. We were so frustrated. However, we did pick up a new potential, Alex, who we are teaching tomorrow.

Yesterday was a fun day. We went to In-N-Out with Brother Birch and a less active in the Sister's area, Benny. They passed him off to us. He is trying to clean up his life and has tattoos all over his body. He was super nice and is coming to Stake Conference with us this week. After dinner, Brother Birch drove us to a bunch of potentials, such as Dane and Natalie, Jim Nelson, and he just clicked with all of them. Bro Birch has a gift with people and missionary work. I don't know if we will teach Dane and Natalie, but Brother Birch befriended them and is going back later... :)

Today we played soccer at the park and ate at Costco. It's been a fun week. Transfer calls are coming on Saturday. We will see if I am going or staying!

What I really learned this week is how hard it can be to be happy when you are looking down. You can't feel the spirit if you are constantly feeling stressed and contention. Celebrating all of the little successes and being the best companion I could be has helped a little bit. It's also nice to have members realize that we are working really hard even though the numbers haven't been there.

Also, we found old progress records (records of each of the people they teach per week and all their numbers. i.e. # of contacts, lessons, and investigators) from TOV from over 5 years ago. They baptized over 10 people a year 3 years in a row! What I realized is this:
-First.  Holy cow. They were teaching a TON of people. Some progress records.
-Second. They were contacting between 30-60 people A WEEK! Currently we are contacting over 190-250 a week.
-Third.  Referrals. They were getting referrals, most of them families, every week. They were being contacted, taught, and fellowshipped.
- Fourth.   Baptismal dates. Most of the investigators had a set date to be baptized.

This is what I decided. Missionaries NEED members to help them find people to teach. We contact over 5 times more people on our own efforts, but we aren't seeing the results. When people are fellowshipped by members, not only do they learn better but they stay!! A lot of those names we saw on that list are now active members such as Al Stroes (Assistant ward mission leader) , Byron Lawson (High Priest & Ward Missionary) , and Brother Weber (Stake Secretary). We are going to try to get more referrals now.

I love all of you. I am excited to email you on Monday. I am grateful for all of your prayers.

Elder Kapp

Monday, February 8, 2016

Pushing through the pain = Better Results

Week 4 is put away!

It has been a good week full of many challenges, opportunities, and general fun stuff.

The week started pretty slow. Our bishop gave us a list of new move ins and people who we need to try to get the addresses for. On Tuesday we had dinner with the Grows. Brother Grow has been out ward mission leader and he has been awesome! He has helped us so much, but he is moving this week. We are going to miss them.

Wednesday is when the fun started. IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY! And we had our home inspection... So we spent the night before and the morning of cleaning the apartment. But after I opened my presents, we went to the church and the sisters baked the cake the family sent me. That was cool. After, we felt like going to Kevin's. Which is weird, because we had decided to drop him... But we went there and his little brother, Cesar, was locked out of the house. He is 11 years old and we ended up playing soccer with him for over a half hour and talking to him about scouts and being taught. When he got a hold of his mom (on our phone), he asked her if he could do scouts. We are working it out and meeting them tomorrow!

Also, we got free girl scout cookies from a member!

Thursday, I had my quarterly interview with President Kendrick... It went really well. I am really sad he is going to be leaving in June. While I was waiting for my turn to interview, we were just talking to Sister Kendrick. They are two of the funnest and loving people I've met. I really enjoyed it. President gave me some really great pointers and encouragement.

Thursdays are crazy for us. Every Thursday we teach 2 less actives and 1 part member family. 
At 1:00 we taught Jim. He was baptized when he was 13 but hasn't been active for over 25 years. He likes hearing what we really believe rather than what he has heard before. 
At 7:00 we met with the Alsnaurs. Saralyn is great, but her husband still won't take the lessons... Even though he comes to church every week... He is a super nice guy.
At 8:00 we teach the Hollmans. They are older and work on Sundays and can't come to church. The ward was surprised we even got in, but we have a good relationship with them.

Friday was a little rough at first. I woke up feeling really sick. We had weekly planning and it took FOREVER!!! We went to dinner with the Wongs. They are less active and haven't been for 20 years, but are super strong spiritually. They say they are taking a break from church. They fed us filet mignon. It was amazing. I got to give the dinner message and I invited them to come to church with us. They said probably not this week, but soon. 
After dinner we had miracle after miracle. We have struggled to find new people, but in 30 minutes we set 3 lessons with new potentials for this week. WOW! Just like that our area came to life.

Saturday we pounded the pavement. We stopped by over 10 potentials and set times to come back with most of them. IT'S FINALLY PICKING UP! We have the potential to pick up over 6 investigators and 2 families this week.  If we had bad attitudes and gave up it wouldn't have happened. Heavenly Father always blesses us when we take those last few, difficult steps. Just like working out, when it starts hurting and getting hard that's when we see the most results. The harder we push through the difficult parts, the better the results will be. 

Tonight we have a lesson and have a lot of work to do. Tomorrow we have zone conference, which I am very excited for.

Also, we went to Nordstrom Rack today to buy ties and a member saw us and bought us all ties :)

Thank you for all the birthday wishes and cards! It means a lot! Love you all!!

Elder Kapp

Monday, February 1, 2016

"I'm going to cook up this chicken for kids in Mexico"

Yup. Weird title for an email, right?

This last week has been very up and down, but ended on an 'up'. 

Monday was a tough day for me. I was feeling really homesick and was not in a good mood. My companion and I hadn't been getting along the best and it had added a lot of stress and pressure. By Monday, it had added up quite a bit. However, I was able to calm down and feel better before we went out to work. 

Alright, so here is the story from the title. Our investigator is Kevin. He is an interesting guy... He is a 22 year old Mexican kid who has a 3 year old daughter that doesn't live with him. Monday night, we were on our way to Kevin's house after dinner and we saw this guy pushing a shopping cart and we thought, "Let's go talk to him." Guess who? It was Kevin and he had a shopping cart full of over 100 pounds of raw, frozen chicken. We asked him if we could help him push it home. So there we are. 2 missionaries and a Mexican kid. Pushing a shopping cart full of bags of chicken. Mom, you would have been so proud. So we are pushing this, and it wasn't until like 10 minutes that I asked:
"Kevin, what the heck are you doing with a hundred pounds of chicken?!"
"My friend in Mexico gave me a crazy good deal. I'm going to cook it up and give it to kids in Mexico who juggle for money and food."
Elder Wilde then volunteered us to help him cook this chicken the next day. He accepts and we FINALLY got to his house. (We pushed it for a long time and it was uphill!)

Tuesday, we had district meeting and when we showed up to help Kevin cook his chicken, he wasn't there. I really wasn't too disappointed because it was all just a sketchy situation, but it would have been a heck of a story to tell my kids about.
Later that night, we taught our potential investigator, Kevin. (We are only allowed to teach people named Kevin... Just kidding...) He was super receptive. He was raised Catholic, but never chose it for himself. He accepted a Book of Mormon and said he would pray if it was true and if he should be baptized. However, he is in his 20's so we passed him off to YSA. They taught him later that week and it went really well!

That night our next door neighbor, who we thought might have died, stopped us on our way to our apartment. She said she had a seizure and she asked if we could teach her how to pray again. NOTE: She HATED us when we first moved in. Like, makes her son come inside if we were walking by. Now we might teach her... MIRACLES HAPPEN!

Wednesday, we went on exchanges. I went to Discovery Hills ward. Elder Waite took me to the 'crime filled' road in San Marcos... I'm so grateful I live in Utah. That place was SCARY. The exchange went well.

We got our haircut on Thursday by a nonmember wife. Her husband is less active. It went really well! Maybe we will teach her when she is ready.
That night we went to Killer Pizza From Mars for dinner. The name and pizza was awesome!

On my exchange, I asked Elder Waite what I could do to be a better missionary. He told me I needed to focus more on charity and love towards my companion. I have been doing that and it has made a big difference. I don't agree with Elder Wilde a lot. But I have decided to be more humble and love the kid. I have been happier. I need to get back to the happy me I was before my mission. We are working on that this week. We will see how that goes.

Love you all! Thanks for the support!

Elder Kapp

                                            This is the kind of truck Mormon families need