Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Quick to Forget


I am not gonna lie, I am pretty jealous that you guys got to spend a weekend in St. George. I would kill for some nice dry heat! I'm getting a little tired of being wet and cold;) But things are looking up here the sun has been out occasionally and the spring flowers are starting to bloom. I absolutely cannot wait to see Wales in the Spring. It's gonna be good.

Well this week has been fairly uneventful. It is Easter Break at the university so all of our investigators packed up and went home for 3 weeks. The town that once had a population of 20,000 has now gone down to 10,000 and it feels like a ghost town. Needless to say I miss the students! But we did get to take a trip down to Swansea for interviews with President Rasmussen. My love for that man continues to grow everyday and it was really nice to get to talk to him. He is the greatest.

Along with a trip to Swansea we also power washed one of our investigators decks. That was good fun! Her name is Shirley and she is super cool. She is a great cook and whenever we go over she has always made some delicious dessert for us! My favourite is her coconut cookies Mmmmm they are probably the best coconut cookies I've tasted. Dad would love them:)

But other than endless hours of finding in the rain not much has happened. Besides me learning a lot of patience along with many other things. But I think what I've learned the most this week is that people are very quick to forget the spirit and the blessings that God gives to them. I've been reading the Book of Mormon cover to cover with our investigator Tom, we are both gonna finish by April 10th the day that Tom gets back from break. So during my spare time (Lunch and Dinner) you can find me reading my 13 pages a day until the 10th of April when we finish. I love the Book of Mormon. It is honestly the best book ever, and this time through I've really been noticing how often the Nephites or the Lamanites fall away or forget about the Spiritual expereinces that they have had. I've been thinking a lot about my own life and about my investigators and how often and how quick we are to forget. And I have blown my own mind. Honestly looking back on my spiritual experiences and looking back and seeing how blessed I am, I am appalled at how quick I have been to forget the Lord in my life. I've realized that when I have kept a journal or have made sure that I read my scriptures everyday that I'm a lot less likely to be so forgetful and I see now why they are so important. I wish I would have learned this earlier because I am sure that I have missed out on some really amazing experiences and blessings simply because I am so quick to forget where it all comes from.Why do we have the Book of Mormon? So we don't forget and so that we don't make the same mistakes that they did. Look at the Jaredites and how those records were translated and passed out to all the people so that they would not be so quick to forget. We need to learn from these things, we mostly just need to stop having memory loss and start remembering the Lord. So guys don't be quick to forget where it all comes from. Don't forget those spiritual experiences that you have, and when times get tough and doubts start entering into your mind remember the council of President Uchtdorf, "Doubt your Doubts before you Doubt your Faith." I would add to that, cling to your spiritual experiences, hold on to them with all of your might and when that doubt comes think back and remember how you felt. Don't be quick to forget.

Well enough of my ranting. Sometimes I just go off... But hey at least I'm learning something from it if nothing else. I hope you all are having a fantastic spring break and if you are not on spring break well that's too bad!

Love you all,

Elder Kmetzsch

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Educated confusion with Intelligent People


You guys have way more exciting lives than I do! I just walk around and talk to people all day! But I'm glad Emma is keeping Dad busy, he needs a little excitement in his life;)

Those pictures of James are about the cutest things I've ever seen! And little baby clara is so, so cute. Those cheeks are the cheeks of a champion:) I'm glad all went well with the trip and that everyone is safe.

I love that quote from James E Faust. It is so true. We never know how much one person can really do. Ever single person plays a part in Heavenly Fathers plan and without them it just wouldn't work. It is a beautiful thing.

Well this week as been a stressful one. We have some very smart investigators and some very well versed ones as well. For some reason all of them decided to have problems with the Official 

Declaration #2 (blacks and the priesthood) in the Doctrine and Covenants. This is a problem I haven't had to deal with yet on my mission and to be honest somethings that I didn't want to have to deal with. But we tried our best and through it all, if nothing else, I have found a greater understanding of Gods timing and more of an eternal perspective on things. I have learned that God will make all of his blessings available to everyone, not when we think they should come, but in his time. Besides learning a lot I also became very stressed and missed my punching bag a lot! Like I just wanted to hit things... but I refrained from it and Elder Ruttan was very grateful.

One of our investigators has read the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, and the gospel principles manual. We have only been meeting with him for 2 weeks. Just to give you an idea of the intelligence level. Oh yeah and he also makes his own cross references. To my simple mind his questions just don't make sense and it has been extremely humbling to try and teach him. I honestly have never tried to rely on the spirit more. Mostly I just end up bringing it back to faith and prayer because honestly that is all it takes. People just don't get it! Faith and prayer can solve most problems. But it definitely has been a week of educated confusion with some very intelligent people. 

We stumbled upon a church in the middle of the woods.
It was pretty cool! You gotta love Wales!

This last Sunday I had the opportunity to bless the sacrament. It had been awhile since I've been able to do that and it was definitely one of the most meaningful times that I have ever experienced. It was really cool a couple of weeks ago when a missionary got home in our branch he and his dad blessed the sacrament together. I just think that would be the coolest! I love how much more involved you are in the small branches! I got to give another sacrament talk last sunday as well. It is just great to serve.
Brig is a temple worker? Thats pretty cool! That is a calling right? I'm gonna spend so much time in the temple when I get home. It is definitely something I miss like crazy. I wish we could go so bad. Our branch just did a temple trip and I was tempted to sneak on to the coach.

I'm so excited for conference you have no idea. I'm telling everybody I meet to come and listen to our dear prophet speak, don't you worry dad:) Absolutely no one could deny the spirit at conference! I'm really excited for our investigators to watch it. It's gonna be big!

Happy St. Patricks day from your boy in Aberystwyth! 
Well I hope you all have a great week! Keep up the hard work Ems. I Prayer for you guys every day.


Elder K 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy Mother Day!

First off to Mom. Happy Mothers Day! In the UK Mothers Day is apparently in March? But we had the classic Mothers day sacrament meeting with the primary (all 6 of them) singing to there Mums and then passing out flowers. They even included the high councilmen that talks so slow that you could fall asleep, ha ha! But it being Mothers Day my thoughts turned to my Wonderful mother.
For all of you reading this blog who think that you Mum is the best, I submit that you are wrong. My mother is the mother of all mothers! I love her dearly and want her to know how much I appreciate ever push, pull, and smack that she had to give me. Mom you're the best, and I miss you more than I let on. It was in my thoughts of Mom that i realized that I had to do laundry and clean up some dishes. So thank you for reminding me about my chores even when your not around! I don't know how you do it!:)
Shout out to my lil darling for being the coolest and most talented 15 year old in Centerville! Or is she 12 I can't remember.... But good job at the concert I'm sure that you did just amazing! Cecily is wise and you should listen to her, and practice! Practice more than I did, It is most definitely worth it. Practice, Practice, Practice. Also you got a job??  I don't know if Lagoon-a- beach was the best choice for you considering how easy you burn!!!;) 
Well the pictures I am sending do not do this country justice. Honestly It is the most beautiful place in the world. If you do end up coming to pick me up I will drive you through Wales personally. I love this place. The branch here is also just the best. I can't say it enough, but they just rock. They get it, they just get it.

With the Easter season brings Easter Chocolate.
This egg was as big as my face!!
 It was also hollow and when filled with milk brought me great joy!;)
Well this week has been a week of rebuilding. When people get baptized missionary work doesn't stop it just starts over! So we have been focusing a lot of our efforts on finding new people to teach, and have had some great success. We have quite a few new investigators and are getting a great rep with the students as, "The Mormons". Our investigators Zach and Max have introduced us to most of the students that live in there building! It is awesome. We will just walk by them and Zach will be like, "hey Jill these are the Mormons," "Mormons this is Jill." They are funny guys. But nothing spectacular has happened this week. Just another week of humbling Elder Kmetzsch. But on the other side I'm getting pretty good at getting peoples numbers and can't wait to get home and start applying the things I am learning to my dating life!;) I have no fear anymore! And trust me I have talked to some pretty intimidating rugby players. You just can't back down or they will never respect you.
I realize that this email doesn't have a whole lot of spiritual in it. So I just simply wanted to say that I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. I can't tell you how many times I have said that but I don't know how much I ever meant it until now. Being in a country where Mormons are not liked you hear a lot of bad about the church, the majority about Joseph Smith. But none of the things that they could ever say about that great man will ever shake my testimony of what he did. Did he make mistakes? Of course he did. But that does not make him any less of a prophet of God, Chosen to restore Jesus Christ's church on this earth. If you are ever doubting your testimony of Joseph just think about the Book of Mormon. Think about all the good that it has done for the world and for your own life. Think about that and tell me that he isn't a Prophet. Joseph Smith has done more for this world save Jesus himself. I know that to be true and that testimony gets stronger and stronger ever time that I share it.
I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Elder K

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

"And My Soul Hungered"


Well it is the last week of the transfer and man has it flown by. I honestly can't believe it has been six weeks since I got to Aberystwyth. It blows my mind!

I bet Momma is very happy to go and be with the grandkids for a week. Sorry Grandpa but you have to work! I'll make sure to wave at Craig when he flies by. If you think that Elder Beckstrand is close to me think again. Elder Jolley (Blake) is serving in Wales with me! He is about a 2-3 hour drive from me. I actually think that he is closure to me than I am to my mission home.

Emma you look angry in the pictures. Lighten up, ha ha! But that is so awesome that your team did so well! Go you. I'm proud of you you little punk:) I also love the pictures of solo and ensemble. I'm glad to know that it hasn't change a bit since I was there and you got a 1! Woot, woot! I expected nothing less from you. Know that I am please to call you my little sister. You earned it!;)

Dad, I actually remembered you telling me that story. I am sure to tell a few of the members how my dad baptized someone in a frozen river! I'm really glad we had the branch there in support and to throw towels around the girls. It was so cold my feet went numb for like 15 minutes. But it is definitely an experience that I won't soon forget. Tania and Dominique are the coolest. Yes Dominique's dad was able to come! He drove all the way from London to be there. He definitely felt the spirit hard core and even left with a Book of Mormon. It was really exciting to see how touched he was.

We had a lot of support and a lot of Towels and Blankets.

The title this week is "And my soul Hungered," who can guess where that is in the Book of Mormon??? If you said Enos 1:4 you would be correct. I've been studying Enos a lot lately and even though it is just one chapter I've learned a great deal from it. And so has one of our investigators. His name is Tom. Tom is really cool. Tom is from the Isle of Man. Tom plays the trumpet, piano, and probably anything you throw at him. He even has this really cool instrument called a meladica it's a mixture of a harmonica, bagpipes, and an accordion. Also a mini keyboard that only works when you blow into it. Super cool and fun to play. But Tom has been meeting with us for awhile and loves the church. One morning while reading Enos I felt that I needed to give that to Tom to read. I thought nothing of it because it is a really good chapter on praying. So later that day we saw Tom and at the end I challenged him to read Enos. The next day I went on exchange with the Zone leaders so I was down in Swansea. Yah for driving. But I didn't get to go to the next lesson with Tom. Turns out Tom had learned something from Enos that I didn't pick up on. Tom learned that by simply wanting to know something we automatically have faith. It was a breakthrough for him. He thought that you had to do much more to show faith, what he didn't realize was that he was showing faith the whole time. Constantly he was telling us that  his faith wasn't strong enough, when really, it was. It really clicked for him when in one of the talks at church the next day the speakers quote President Uchtdorf, "Doubt your Doubts before you Doubt your faith." Tom realized it was his doubts that he has been doubting the whole time, not his faith! My eye's were filled with tears as he explained to us after how now he knew that this was the true church, and with tears in his eyes explained that he knew that heavenly father loved him.

This is a really cool old church we went into. 
They had an awesome organ.

Many of you may read that and think cool, but nothing big happened. I testify that the Lord doesn't work through Big and complicated means. It is by small and simple things that great things are brought to pass, small and simple. Such as 6 weeks of praying every night searching for an answer and then realizing that it had been building up that whole time. That the answer was there he just didn't see it. Faith brings about miracles, but miracles are normally a lot smaller than we think. Sometimes we just have to go through our check list of doubts before we see that our faith was there the whole time. Most of the time we stand in our own way of seeing the miracles in our lives. So don't doubt your faith. Don't even doubt your doubts. Just take doubt out of your life and look to see the miracles around you. As the Lord so greatly councils, "Look to me in every thought; doubt not, fear not."

Classic Welsh picture
Thank you for all your love and support. I hope you weren't expecting a story about food from my title. Because there is no story. I am just hungary right now. I am always hungary..... Anyway, I  hope you have a wonderful week.


Elder Kmetzsch

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Master the Tempest is Raging


You will never guess what I did this weekend!!!

I went swimming in the ocean, ha ha! Well maybe not swimming, but I did get to go into the water, and don't worry there was a good reason!

Well this week was one of the most amazing/stressful/fulfilling/longest/shortest weeks of my mission! Things here are amazing! We are working with loads of students and I just love them all. My two favourites at the moment are Dominique and Tania. Domi and Tania got baptized! It was so amazing. They are the greatest. But the best part about it was that they both wanted to get baptized in the ocean, ha ha! Since we don't have a baptismal font here in Aberystwyth we got permission to do it in the sea. It was So-o-o-o sick. But it gets better. The day arrived and we went down to the place that we had previously designed to go having looked around us and finding that everyone was there we decided to go ahead and get in the ocean. So if you don't know anything about the North Atlantic Ocean in the winter you should at least know that people don't actually go in it on purpose!! Man oh man it was cold! On top of that there were crazy winds! They were so strong that it was picking up rocks and throwing them at us. Any normal person would have cancelled, but we aren't normal we are missionaries! But oh no it gets better again. As soon as we got into the water the waves decided to go all huge on us, so yeah they were like six feet high. I don't think Satan wanted us to baptize them that day, but we went ahead and did it anyway. After stumbling around from awhile and getting knocked over by a few waves we did get them both baptized and it was an experience none of us are soon to forget. To give you an idea of how hard it was at one point the water would be at my ankles and the next it would be over my head! I had to say the prayer close to shore and then walk out a ways to get deep enough. We stood there sideways and when a wave came I dunked her down and it rolled over her. It was awesome! It was So-o-o-o cold, I couldn't feel my feet for like 20 minutes after we were back in the car! But I wouldn't have done it any other way. But maybe next time we will drive to the nearest baptismal font about an hour away!

Me, Elder Ruttan, Tania, Dominique and her Father
Baptisms on the beach
Ocean, Cold, Cold, Ocean
Besides the baptism we had a fairly uneventful week. Now that are two most solid investigators are baptized, we have to start the process over again with new people! There is a constant cycle and a constant flow to missionary work that is really amazing! Getting to know and teach so many different people has been so fun!

I will remember Kate in my prayers and hope all continues to go well with her recovery. Also it's weird that you guys keep having Birthday parties without me! Not cool guys, not cool. I thought when you went on a mission it was supposed to be like in the Chronicles of Narnia. How time stops when you leave and continues on when you get back! But, alas time goes on and you guys just keep getting older! As for me I am still 17, ha ha!

Love and miss you all,

Elder Kmetzsch