Month: May 2016

Happy Memorial Day

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LTP:
This last week was tiring, but near the end I was getting better and on Sunday I felt better than I had all week. It seems to be a seasonal thing but why this bout of insomnia was so bad is unknown to me because it wasn’t this bad last year. But anyway, I have been looking forward to MLT and can’t wait to see what it is like. This transfer is an eventful one, mission conference, MLT, zon conference, and new mission president at the end. Lots of preparation and prayers went into mission conference and are going into MLT and Zone conference. We all appreciate that. It will be sad to see you go, but it will be fun to see President Blair.
Have a good week and see you at MLT!

What an interesting week. We (as leaders) will be going to Mission Leadership Training (MLT) tomorrow what will happen nobody knows. But it’s exciting because we will sit in council as to what direction the mission will go in.
This last week was one filled with service, mostly in the morning. First we help at a horse farm unloading a bald of hay off a truck
Then we helped Bishop Crouse with some yard work, and then helped a recent convert with some window panels

And some partitions

So that was our service work this week. We took an impromptu district picture,

Opened birthday presents, found out that we had the same tie

And did other things for which I don’t have pictures.
But it was an eventful week, next will be like that too with exchanges and zone conference.

Have fun this week, and Remember.

Elder R Seely
Sent from my Mission-Issued iPad

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From a Letter…

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I forgot something in the blog post…. The ward also had an activity that we were not able to attend because we had to travel. The ward put together an activity that was titled “The Crouseville Redneck Taco Shack and Square dance”. We heard it was a lot of fun and we can’t wait to try out the “redneck taco” recipe we got afterwards.

Here are some pictures of the setup:

Waterville ward party 1

Waterville ward party 2

Here is the Bishop in his costume:

And Brother Wagner (who came up with the idea of the activity)

Again we heard it was a lot of fun.

Mission CONFERENCE WITH AN APOSTLE!!

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LTP
What a wonderful weekend! Having an apostle of the Lord come and give encouragement and instruction to the entire mission! It was a wonderful experience to be present and to feel of his presence and spirit. His apostolic blessing left me in tears, and it sounded like it did the same for everyone as well. I have taken lots of notes, both on paper and in my head. I will never forget this once in a lifetime experience. I can now stand a little taller and know that my effort will bring about a great harvest in the future.

Now, we all are applying Elder Holland’s talk from this last conference in some form. It was great seeing everyone at mission conference and will be nice see everyone again at MLT and at Zone Conference. This transfer is turning to be one full of conferences, but it will all be worth it.

I don’t really know how else to say it but Elder Rasband is awesome. I need to say no more, I might as well end the letter right here.

But, there’s more… But first, let’s start with Friday afternoon.

Friday afternoon: We are waiting for the missionaries who we are taking to Bedford (where the mission home is) and our Zone leaders arrive. We talk for a little bit and then the Brewer van and the Ellsworth ride arrive. Our apartment now has 5 sets of missionaries nearby. We get our group and off we go for 1 hour to the Portland mall. When we arrive, we find that the van made it before us somehow, and have lunch in the food court of the mall. The Portland missionaries (and a couple other missionaries) soon arrive, now there are 10 sets of missionaries in the mall. We are a big group of missionaries and we are at a mall, we stick out. It is now time to travel for another hour and a half to the mission home. We arrive at 8:45 tired and ready to go to bed. Because we have so many missionaries the front area can’t be used for the shoes, so we created a shoe “parking lot” in the living room.

We (the elders) talk with President Stoker about the events of tomorrow and we all adjourn to bed for some rest.

Saturday: We wake up at 6:00am in order to have time for showering. We have breakfast and talk some more about our excitement, leaving around 8:00am to get to the Concord chapel. We get there and half the mission is already there (I should have taken pictures of all the cars present) but there are now well over 200 missionaries at the chapel. We gather together for some hugs and handshakes, memories, and laughs.

We are soon getting in place for a mission picture. We take at least 20 mins to get in a place where the photographer is comfortable with everything and with out missing a beat, Elder Rasband’s vehicle arrives and out steps Elder Rasband of the Quorum of the 12 and Elder Bragg of the Seventy. The photographer makes a comment about waiting for the Apostle and promptly turns around to find him standing there. The pictures are taken and we reverently walk into the church and take our seats.

We then are instructed to stand in our rows and walk and shake everyone’s hand who is on the stand, starting with President Stoker, Elder Rasband, Elder Bragg, and President Anderson (Stake President of Concord Stake). It was a wonderful experience to be in the immediate presence of an Apostle, an honor which I will remember as long as I live. (This is turning into the longest letter I have ever written, bear with me). After hearing from President Stoker, Elder Bragg addressed us and talked a lot about a new initiative (Teaching in the Savior’s Way) that the church has started and related it directly to missionary work. Then Elder Rasband addressed us.

It felt like I was in the conference center during General Conference. Yet I was within talking distance with him. We asked him questions about his talk “A Divine call of a Missionary”, we talked about his experience as a mission president, and we were instructed as to many things. The most important of which is you never know all the seeds you plant. It’s a spin on the quote “You can count the seeds in an apple, only God can count the apples in the seeds”. He emphasized the point by telling of a missionary who served in New York. This missionary had been serving in The Bronx where a lot of work had been going on. During this last missionary’s transfer, he was transferred to a branch in Connecticut, where “all he thought he did was pass out Book Of Mormons.” In his farewell testimony he said “I enjoyed my entire mission, except when you transferred me to Connecticut, I did nothing but pass out Book Of Mormons.” He then went home, a returned missionary. A year later another set of missionaries serving in that same branch in Connecticut had a miraculous experience. In an interview with one of these missionaries, they said “We had gotten home from an unproductive day when heard the telephone ringing, we answered it and on the other side was a single mother of 4 asking for a certain set of missionaries to see if they could explain a book that was given to her by these missionaries. After explaining to her that they were gone, we said that we could explain the book, and we set an appointment. When the appointment arrived, we came to the house and taught this mother more about the Book Of Mormon, and then taught her the first discussion. After teaching her all the discussions, she and her family were baptized.” The missionary then expressed appreciation to these missionaries who passed out this Book Of Mormon to this mother. The mother was looking for the missionary who didn’t like his last transfer in Connecticut. He then talked about how mission presidents would like to stay in contact with their missionaries and how he has found 400 of the ~700 missionaries that served in the New York New York North mission, and that one missionary is one he hasn’t found yet.

We will never know all the seeds we plant and what the fruits will be. I have left some areas not knowing what seeds I planted. I have left areas thinking “I was the worst missionary for that area”. I have never complained about how I much I hate one area because of the success of another. But I know that I have planted seeds and they will eventually be of great harvest to some future missionary.

Now onto a more miraculous part of this mission conference. It wasn’t on Elder Rasband’s itinerary to do a mission conference. He was originally assigned to visit the Concord Stake Conference and preside there. It was an Elder (Elder Rasband’s grandson) in our mission who suggested the idea to both President Stoker and Elder Rasband. What story lies there, is not known to me. But we as a mission were edified because of it.

I’m now realizing my oversight in my lack of picture taking. I wish there was more pictures, but it’s all over and now too late. It was awesome and in the end you can imagine what it was like.

Have a wonderful week.

Elder R Seely
Sent from my Mission-Issued iPad

We have.. Oh look it’s windy

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LTP
I’m doing ok, still not getting up on time, mainly because I’m not sleeping as well as I would like. I have no idea what motivates me to get up when we are on exchanges or when we have an early morning thing we need to do. I also know that if I get up that I will feel better, but it’s become a game of mind over mattress, and unfortunately mattress is winning. I have called Sister Simpson about what is going on and she has suggested that the last 30 mins of the day, that I make no important decisions and try to relax. I continue to work at it, I need some sleep though, because I think that is where this stress is coming from is lack of sleep, one of those negative feedback cycles.

Other than that, it is wonderful to be a district leader, being able to see the progression of the district and see the instruction we give being applied to the areas. It’s awesome to see the miracles that come from the teaching that we as district leaders do and what missionaries teach us. I am a firm believer in 2-way teaching, where leaders teach the district and vice-versa.

We will have many times to talk during this transfer, at mission conference, at MLT, at Zone Conference. Many exciting things are happening this transfer.

. . . . .

This is President Stoker’s last transfer in this mission so a lot of work is being done so that the mission can operate semi-autonomously while President Blair gets his bearings. It will continue to be a whirlwind of activity right after he comes in but will soon die down by September, which is when the mission will lose half its leadership, but we will cross that bridge when it comes.

Have an awesome week!

Elder R Seely
Sent from my Mission-Issued iPad

Skype calls, transfers, and conferences, OH MY!!

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LTP:
I have just barely finished reading the letter you sent out yesterday, and you are right, this is a rare and blessed opportunity to meet and interact with Apostles, especially the Quorum of the 12. The only thing that would beat this experience is to have a member of the First Presidency come and tour the mission. I feel frankly overwhelmed that they would of pick us out of the 418 missions that are in the world. That’s amazing to think.

Otherwise I had a wonderful Skype call despite problems with the wireless at the member’s home, it was a fulfilling experience. At the end what I did to bring a spiritual note to the call was ask what everyone learned at church. The answers were varied as much as they could. Gathering from these experiences (and as directed by the Spirit) I bore testimony of the work that I do as a missionary and as a leader.

Earlier in the day, I was prompted to pack my study notebook. I followed it without completely knowing why. During the last few minutes, I was prompted to show them my district meeting outline notes for keeping the Sabbath day holy/making the Sabbath day a delight. I bore testimony about my study of this topic, and I couldn’t help but commit each of my siblings individually to read the scriptures. I promised blessings to the commitments, and then hanged my call as His representative on these blessings. When the words came out of my mouth, I remember thinking “Where on earth did that come from?” The answer that came was “It didn’t. It came from a heavenly place.” So now, I know of a fact that He watches over us and knows the needs of His people. What effect this will have on my siblings, I don’t know. But I’m confident that my part at this time is finished, and there is more to come.

…..

Yep, you heard right. We have an Apostle of the Lord coming to our mission. On May 21st, Elder Ronald A. Rasband will speak to the entire NHMM, which as I state, is quite something to have happen. We will also be hearing from Elder Bragg who was sustained at the most recent General Conference. It will be a wonderful experience, akin to when Elder Nelson toured the mission when he was recently assigned as director of the Mission Department. I will take many notes, and maybe get some pictures.

In other news, we did our skype calls on Sunday. We had some interesting things happen…
We got the member’s home and began our calls, about 10 minutes in both calls were dropped, after spending a minute figuring out what happened, we resumed and all was fine until they dropped after another 10 mins. We figured out that we need to stagger the calls so that we will not have to do this 4 more times. My companion told me that I could go first. So I finished my call completely and then the events at the end of my LTP happened. It was a lot of fun to talk face to face with my family. It is a great blessing to be able to do that.

Now that I have addressed two parts of my title, let me address the third: I will remain in Waterville, continuing to serve as a co-district leader with my companion. So neither of us are being transferred.

Have a wonderful week.
Elder R Seely
Sent from my Mission-Issued iPad

Ps the Mission Presidency is changing. My new mission president and his wife are featured here: https://www.lds.org/church/news/16-new-mission-presidents-to-begin-serving-in-july-2016?lang=eng

I’m going to be in good hands 😀

Annnndd week 6. Wow that was fast!

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LTP:
Transfers are around the corner yet again. It seems like this transfer has gone by so fast, but little by little they signal closer to the end. I have always thought that a mission was too long of a commitment, now I’m beginning to realize that 2 years may not be enough time to serve the way I wish to. Being a district leader has opened up new ways of thinking and care for others, not only do I have a stewardship over their spiritual well-being, I have a responsibility to keep those in my care safe, not just for other missionaries but for the members as well.

…..

Kinda short because most of the LTP this week is talking about exchanges last week, and most of it is things that President should only see. However, exchanges were with Elders Hall and Butler. I went with Elder Hall, and we had an absolute blast, going around knocking on doors, and having none slammed in our faces (granted, none of these door opened at all, because nobody was home). We went on a street contacting run and met no one. So we had a lot of time to talk about the various things that happened in the past 4 months that I wasn’t around him. I have served around him when I was in Windham. But we had an awesome night and we found a strange object that has named “Elder Amino Acid”.


We have found it in the oddest places: in the back room of the apartment. Its story is unknown and its future is also unknown. But it keeps turning up…
Anyway, the transfer has gone by super fast, I’m beginning to fear blinking and it coming all to an end, but I will continue to serve.