Monday, November 28, 2016

Carlsbad YSA Week 15 - Thanksgiving!

Hey everyone! This last week was a bit slower. We are kind of struggling to find stuff to do. It's been rainy the last few days and Californians don't like the rain so it's hard to find people to talk to. But it's okay because it rarely rains here. We have been working with Delshawn a lot! He was ordained a priest yesterday! That was awesome! We have been doing family history with him and he is really excited to do temple work. 
We have been trying to focus a lot of time on Camp Pendleton. There are a lot of members there and Elder Hadfield and I love base! It's so cool! We were visiting one of our members and we could just hear guns going off close by. Elder Hadfield and I were like, "THIS IS AWESOME!" 

Thanksgiving was a blast! We had dinner with our Bishop and it was awesome! After dinner we went to the Corless', our senior couple for Military Relations. They had a lot of the Marines over and tried to feed us, but we would have exploded! They are two of my favorite people in the world! It was great. After that we took left overs from dinner and the Corless' to take to some marines that didn't get Thanksgiving because they were on duty. Altogether, it was a great day! 
Last, Edson Range is rolling again! I got to teach Recruit Vega-Salazar. He is from Logan Utah. It went really well! We set a goal for him to get baptized in 2 weeks, but if he feels ready he might next week. I am really excited for him! I love being there!
I love you! Have a good week!
Elder Kapp

1. An awesome picture of Elder Hadfield and I walking down the street that I am sure his mother will love :)
2. Car ride to Edson Range

Monday, November 21, 2016

Carlsbad YSA Week 14 - One Year

This last week has been one of the best weeks of my mission. It started as one of the hardest. I know that sometimes we have hard times just so we can be more humble. Sometimes we fall into ruts in life/ on missions and we feel like nothing is working. We start losing motivation and lose sight of what's really important. What I learned from the visit from Dallin H. Oaks this last week is that if we come to learn and love the Savior more everything else becomes easy. It makes sense.

I also learned that this is a gospel of love. The last couple months have been especially crazy because of the election. The areas I've been in have been a mixture of conservatives and liberals. Seeing the election as a missionary was sad. Sometimes it seemed like less than a debate and more of a war! There was so much hatred and attacking another person's beliefs and morals. On Saturday, Dallin H. Oaks talked about how we must love the people around us. People can believe what the want religiously, politically, etc... That doesn't change the way they should be treated. I realized as members of Christ's church we have an obligation to represent what we want people to think of Christ. (I mean, we did promise to take his name upon us when we were baptized.) This is something I need to work on. It's sometimes hard not to judge people. We see all kinds of crazy stuff and are rejected. Turning the other cheek is SO MUCH easier said than done. But I'm setting a goal to do it regardless.

This last week we taught Delshawn. He is excited to receive the priesthood and go to the temple! WE ARE SO FLIPPIN HAPPY FOR HIM!

On Thursday they turned off the power in our complex at night. That was a lot of fun and was super scary. Thank you to whoever sent glow sticks in my package. You saved the day!

Friday I hit my year mark. I am one year old as a missionary! That was a blast! We got to burn a shirt with Elder Gull that night. The next morning we had a mission conference and were visited by Dallin H. Oaks and some other authorities. It was super cool that it was Elder Oaks. He visited the MTC a year ago when I was there starting my mission and it was ironic he visited as I began the last year. That was an incredible experience.

At church on Sunday a guy named Steven Miller came. He has come 3 times now. He a marine and a roommate with a member. He is elect! We gave him a Book of Mormon last week and he already has a testimony that it is true. (That was easy). We haven't even taught him yet! We probably will start teaching him this week.

I want you all to know that I have testimony of the reality of the atonement of Jesus Christ. He was born... He lived... He suffered... He died... All for us. There is no greater gift that we could ask for. You are a child of our Heavenly Father and He knows exactly what you are going through and what you are struggling with right now. He loves you and wants you to be happy. He has given us prophets, the Bible and Book of Mormon, prayer, and the priesthood to help us come closer to him and be happy. I know this is true. He does care. I know this is Christ church on the earth. I am sad my experience of sharing the gospel is already half way over and I cannot wait for the opportunities I have in the year to come. I love each of you and say all this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Elder Erik Kapp  

Monday, November 14, 2016

Carlsbad YSA Week 13 - Delshawn's baptism

This last week was a very special week! Delshawn was baptized! It was such a blessing for us to see him take that step in his life. Some elders before us taught him and then Elder Richards and I taught him. At that time he wasn't ready to progress and we dropped him my second week being there. About 6 weeks later I was with Elder Hadfield. Delshawn just kept coming to my mind and I felt like we needed to stop by him, though I didn't remember where he lived and we never wrote it down. We went into his complex and we prayed before to be guided by the spirit. It was incredible. There were no profound signs or feelings. Where we went just made sense. We knocked and Delshawn came to the door. It was a small confirmation to me that this was where we needed to be. As we taught him again he was ready. It took time for him to progress, but when the invitation to be baptized came he was ready. 

There were a lot of things that happened this last week, but most important thing I can share is the importance of the spirit. On the mission you go through periods of ups and downs. The last couple weeks have been a struggle, but I am learning the importance of the spirit. We need that spirit. It is one of the most precious gifts Heavenly Father gives us. When we are confirmed, the specific words "receive the Holy Ghost" are said. It's not a gift we are given without any effort on our part. It must be desired and received. So it's important that we are living good and worthy to have it with us always. 

This next week will be a fun one! We have zone training meeting and on Friday Elder Gull and I hit our year mark! HUMP DAY! To follow that, we are being visited by Dallin H. Oaks on Saturday! (I think he is coming to personally congratulate us, but who knows.)

I love you all so much! Have a great week!

Elder Erik Kapp

Monday, November 7, 2016

Carlsbad YSA Week 12 - Transfers and Gratitude

This last week was super busy! It felt like we barely had time to do our regular "knock doors and contact" work. Halloween was a blast! We weren't allowed to be out after 6PM so we had a Halloween party at the church building. It was a lot of fun! We ate some snacks, watched a movie, and played a fun game of baseball inside the gym with plastic bats and balls. (The teams were the "She Bears" and the "Lamanites" in honor of the World Series) 
Wednesday we taught Delshawn. He is getting baptized this Saturday!!! He has opened up a ton and we are excited for him! He is ready! 
Thursday I went to MLC at the mission office and Elder Hadfield spent the day with other missionaries. The head and assistant of proselyting for the missionary department were there and ran most of it. WOW! It was a very eye opening experience. I learned a lot and was shocked how much I could improve on! 
Friday we had district meeting, weekly planning, a lesson with Delshawn, building cleanup, and a lesson with Nathaniel. All were good!
Saturday was a blast. Our ward was assigned to help put up the Christmas lights at the San Diego Temple. We had some non-members going, so we got permission to go help. It was super cool! We left really early in the morning and worked until about 11:00. It's crazy how much work they put into the lights there! Right when we got back we had lunch and cleaned up. Before we finished lunch the zone leaders called and said a member was moving in next door and asked if we could help. So we put back on our service clothes and helped her move in. We got back into our proselyting clothes and went to correlation. It was a really busy day.
Saturday night we got transfer calls. We are staying together for one more! I am really happy about that. I love the ward. I love the missionaries here. I love Elder Hadfield. So I am pretty grateful. The only bummer is my district is getting switched. They are adding another Spanish area in our zone so the Spanish missionaries will be their own district and I will have the Zone Leaders and the STLs that we ward share with. That'll be cool.
I have learned the last transfer the importance of being happy during affliction. Elder Hadfield gave a great dinner message this last week about this and it really added to what I've been working on. We are here to learn and grow. We learn and grow when we have trials and afflictions. However, the Book of Mormon says... "Men are that they might have joy." So obviously Heavenly Father expects us to be happy when life is hard. Murmuring and complaining is exactly what we do to show Heavenly Father how ungrateful we are to have opportunities to learn and grow. I am very guilty of this, but I am working on it. Everything we go through is a learning experience. When you die all you get is your knowledge and experience. Without pain we know no joy. We need the hard times and the bad days. Stop praying for God to take away your trials because He never will! Instead, what I've learned, is pray to have strength to do HIS will. I promise that will bring you joy. If you can't be happy during trials you will never be satisfied when you don't. Money, popularity, prestige, and power will never bring joy. Only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can truly do that. 
So my challenge is to start showing gratitude every day. It is November and it's a great time to show thanks for all we are given. Every day pray and show gratitude to your Heavenly Father for something each day. Try to make it unique. I promise you will see yourself a happier person.
I love you all!
Elder Erik Kapp

                                       Lunch with Princess, a member of our ward.

                                                             The District

                           We stopped and took this pictures on the way to Edson Range
                     (because our clock didn't reset and we showed up at 6AM instead of 7AM)