Monday, June 27, 2016

Torrey Pines YSA Week 12 - Temple Trip and Trespassing Lizards

Hey everyone! I don't have a ton of time to email, so this week might be a little short.

This last week was kind of crazy. We had stuff going on every day. On Tuesday we volunteered at the Community Resource Center. We helped poor people get groceries. It was fun. Wednesday we had to go to Temecula for a doctors appointment and to Carlsbad to get our tires changed. We were in the car a lot! We went to every zone in the mission besides Murrieta. Thursday we got to go to the temple! It is the most beautiful place. I love it there. I realized how much I wish I could go there more. It is such a sacred place and I really needed that experience.

Friday Elder Spencer's mom sent us pizza while we were weekly planning. That was awesome! I really appreciated that.

This next week we get a new mission president. That will be interesting! But it will be good! I am going to miss President and Sister Kendrick so much! I am so excited to meet President Thomas! I know he has been called to this mission at this time for a reason.

We don't really have investigators anymore... Austen kind of fell off the edge of the earth and disappeared. He won't answer his phone or anything... But we still have our heads up! We have a bunch of solid potentials we are going to try this week! That will be good.

I love you all a lot! I hope you have a good week.

Elder Erik Kapp

PS Next Pday is on next Tuesday, so we won't email on Monday.

1. Ran into this Elder at the Temple... I miss Elder Phillips and the good ol' MTC days!
2. This little guy was trying to get into our apartment.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Torrey Pines YSA Week 10 - Bye Bye President...

Hey Everyone!

This last week went by really fast. We got to play whiffle ball for FHE which was a lot of fun. On Wednesday we had exchanges. I went to Del Mar with Elder Wilde. It was great to work around him again! He is such an awesome elder! It only was a bummer because I had to bike a lot!

Thursday we said goodbye to President and Sister Kendrick at District Meeting. That was really sad. I am really going to miss them. After district meeting we decided to make history. Elder Spencer, Elder Bundy, Elder Yancey, and I decided to go to Burger King and eat 120 chicken nuggets between the 4 of us. (That was a stupid thing to do. I felt really sick and ate lots of fruits and veggies the following days to help make up for it) Just 3 hours later we had dinner with a member and he bought 4 pizzas for just 5 of us. I ate a lot of pizza. And to make it better, we also had a lesson with a member who lives on base at Chipotles... then I ate a burrito. I probably put on 10 pounds in one day. It was crazy.

Friday we had weekly planning. That's about it.
Saturday we had the adult session of Stake Conference. That was really good.
Sunday was also Stake conference. President and Sister Kendrick spoke. That was a bit awkward because I was like, "Ahh... I already said goodbye to you guys!" But they did great! We had some great visits on Sunday. And yes... Golden State loss...

This should be a good week. We are going to try to teach a lot of member lessons and try to get to know a lot of the members we don't know yet. Our investigators haven't made any progress. It's a bummer when they don't show up to lessons. Why don't investigators understand it's important to show up to those lesson things?! But we will keep working with them.

I am still hopeful for next week! it will happen!

Happy Fathers Day dads!

Love you guys! Have a good week!

Elder Erik Kapp

                                             Sweet car in church parking lot

                                              Bye to President and Sister Kendrick

                                                            Chicken Nuggets for Days!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Torrey Pines YSA Week 9 - What matters most?

Hey everybody. How's it going? This last week has been really crazy and up and down.

The last transfer and a half we have been fighting to find people to teach. My first area wasn't exactly blooming with investigators until right before I left. Elder Spencer has been here 5 1/2 months and hasn't had an investigator in all that time. We have tracted. We have contacted. We've asked for referrals. But over time I just became frustrated, self critical, and discouraged. I was convinced once I saw success I will start feeling better and being happier.

This last week we officially picked up 2 new investigators. Surprisingly, it didn't change how I felt.. We met and taught Mike on Wednesday and it was a solid lesson! The sisters contacted him on the street and he works in Encinitas 7 days a week. He accepted a Book of Mormon and committed to read and pray.

Saturday we officially taught Austen, a recent high school graduate who is a former investigator from the Del Mar ward. That lesson also went well.

As we were walking into the church Mike texted us saying he wouldn't be at church. He didn't like what he's been reading and wants to give the Book of Mormon back. I let it ruin my day. How could we struggle for so long, see some hope, only to fail?

I then remembered a scripture I read and studied this last week. It is the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. King Nebuchadnezzar had made this golden statue and commanded all to worship or they would be cast into a fiery furnace. These 3 young men still refused. When the king called for them and told them to worship or be killed, they said, "... our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O King."

They had so much faith that they knew they would be saved! But the next verse is the one that hits me.
"But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up."

It didn't matter if they were going to die. Their faith was unshaken. Even if God let them die in the furnace they knew their God was still there and they still would not worship the idols. The reality of their possible death did not change a thing. The furnace had nothing to do with their faith! They had been faithful long before and knew God what was true and right, regardless of what bad happens. They knew what mattered most. Life wasn't what mattered.  I realized I needed to apply this "But if not" principle to myself.

I know Heavenly Father will help me find people to teach. I know He will help me seek out those who are ready to hear the gospel. He will strengthen me. But if not, I still have a undeniable testimony of this work. I know God is there and I know Jesus Christ is the son of God. I am heartbroken when people reject our word because I know how much it will change their lives. Even if they reject our words it doesn't make them any less true! We, as missionaries, fail only when we fail to open our mouths. What matters most is how hard I try and how diligently I work, not the number of people I have in the "baptized" column. I need to be nicer to myself and be patient with my struggles.

To give a quick highlight on this upcoming week, tonight we are playing Whiffle Ball for FHE. I am SO STOKED! We have District Meeting and President and Sister Kendrick will be there. It will be our last goodbyes with them before they go home. (And I have to give a discussion.... No pressure, right?)

The thing I am MOST excited for... I had lunch with Franky (investigator from Twin Oaks Valley) last week and have been texting him a lot since. He is planning on being baptized this Friday!!!! This will be the highlight of my mission. I am so excited and so proud he chose to make that decision. I've become very close with him and cannot wait! If not this week he said it will be soon, but I am praying!

I love you all and hope you have a super good week!

Elder Erik Kapp

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Torrey Pines YSA Week 8 - The Power and Importance of the Atonement

Hey everyone! First, I want to congratulate everyone who finished school this last week. Especially those who graduated. YOU DID IT! Now you have to be grown ups now :)

This last week was good! Elder Spencer and I have refocused and recommitted to baptize this last week. This area hasn't had a solid investigator for over 6 months. But we want to baptize SO BAD and we are going to make it happen.

We got Austen, our investigator to volleyball on Tuesday. That was really good! We have a ton of potentials and we are working on them. It's tough because you have to filter them out as "elect" or "not elect". So even though you may have 15 potentials, there is a chance none of them are quite ready to accept the gospel. So we continue filtering, but things are looking up! We have a lesson with Austen this week.

This last week I got to go on exchanges to the Del Mar Ward. That ward also covers the Farsi group in southern California. I guess there are only like 10 farsi groups in the world. We did language studies in the morning for an hour. I learned 7 of the 32 letters of the alphabet. Farsi is super hard and if you are asked to learn a foreign language I would not recommend it.
The exchange was fun though! I got to (had to) bike. The hills in that area are gnarly! Jake would love it here because he does well on hills. It is constantly uphill or downhill. I also held that spider again, because we went to that house on exchanges. Not so scary the second time.

We have FHE tonight and we are doing a photo scavenger hunt. After ward FHE we are going to the Toolson's for FHE with their family and Ty's non member friend (who we will be teaching and baptizing). We are SO EXCITED!

Also, yesterday was Elder Wilde's birthday so we are going to this Mexican restaurant and eating these massive burritos. The best part is Franky (our investigator from Twin Oaks Valley) is coming too! That will be great.

Yesterday was fast Sunday. I felt the spirit so strong during testimony meeting. I want to share my testimony of Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for his sacrifice for me. It is so wonderful that He would care for us enough to die for us. He suffered everything. When we cry in prayer because we are struggling, Jesus Christ can say, "I remember feeling that." He can help us because He has been through it already. We can be forgiven for anything! This gospel truth is the most important principle that we could ever know. It is the reason I am here and why we do what we do. We get to suffer just a little as missionaries to get a taste of what Christ went through. Even Christ, the Savior, was rejected. He was denied, beaten, spit upon, and then nailed to a cross. Even when He returned His apostles were rejected and killed. Joseph Smith was rejected. Why do they reject us if it is true? As Elder Holland says, "Salvation is no cheap experience." But as we invite and accept it for ourselves we can experience peace. True peace and happiness come only through the atonement of Jesus Christ. I know this is true. I challenge each of you to find just 1 opportunity to invite or help someone this week. It isn't hard. Invite to church or an activity or to Family Home Evening. Or even just give someone who is struggling a call. As we strive to be more Christlike people are drawn to us and eventually the church we know to be true. I love this gospel and I know with everything I am that it is true. I love you all!

Have a good week!

Elder Erik Kapp

                                          Biking around Del Mar with Elder Yancey

                                            Elder Yancey and I found platform 9 and 3/4
                                         (Harry Potter reference, for those who don't get it)