Monday, September 29, 2014

Hair Down Below His Knees

Another day in paradise here in Camarillo. Alyssa got baptized on Saturday and it was a great baptism. She and her mom showed up nice and early, so we could relax when we picked out a suit for her and set up all of the chairs. Everything was going perfectly, the young women were all there early to practice their song, the font was full, Alyssa brought a towel it was great. A lot more people came than we initially thought which was great, and 3:00 rolled around and we realized that bishop Smith from where Alyssa used to live wasn't there. He was the one performing the baptism, so all of our relaxed feelings went right out the window. We waited patiently and after a few phone calls and guidance Bishop Smith found his way to the baptism. It was a great baptism and the young women did a really good job at the end when they sang I am a child of God. It was great for Alyssa to see all of the support from her peers. The confirmation on Sunday was great, and since it was fast Sunday it was a testimony meeting. Now I have been in a lot of Testimony meetings and that was probably one of the best. A lot of the testimonies were about missionary work and Jennifer (Alyssa's mom) basically told all of the members that they need to be doing missionary work, because there are other families like hers waiting to be blessed by the restored gospel. It was a very powerful and spiritually exhausting two days.
As far as the rest of the work we found a new investigator this week and his name is J.B. He is black and has Dreadlocks (can't spell) down to his ankles. A word that describes him as a whole is "chill". He speaks nice and slow and he loves music. We taught him about the Book of Mormon and how Jesus Christ has restored his church again today. He was interested at the idea, but was leaving for out of town for a couple weeks. We will see him again on Oct 15 and hopefully he will have read for himself and prayed. I love being in the same apartment as Elder McKinley and Elder Watts being in a 4 man is always a blast. And I get to play some sports with my district today since we are all Elders now. So everything is going great here. Thank you all for your support

Elder Hamson

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Ministry Machine

Good news Elder Hull and I are both staying. Although my whole district is leaving me. All four sisters are getting transfered and 4 Elders are coming in. I will definitely miss the sisters, but am excited at the new opportunity to serve other missionaries.This week has been a great week. We are preparing for Alyssa (13) to get baptized this Saturday and that is all going really well. We taught her the word of wisdom this week and she had no idea about coffee and tea. Fortunately she is already living it, and hasn't had either for 2 months. So that won't be hard for her to give up. She is moving right along and it's cool to see her little budding testimony grow as she keeps the committments we leave with her. Marcia is doing great we had a lesson with her on Wednesday of this last week and it was all about missionary work and why it's so important. Marcia is going to/already has been a great missionary. Investigators and Recent cnverts can be a gold mine, because they have a lot of friends outside of the church. It is great to see the whole ward get more excited about missionary work, because of Marcia's example. On Thursday there was a big long meeting with Elder Malm of the seventy and that was simply incredible. I absolutley loved it and learned so much. I am still swallowing everything he said. He gave me a new perspective on all of the people we talk to. He said they are all "yes" sayers, and that is really the only option. We have a standing "no" from them, and when they reject us they are just confirming that "no" that we already had. They all said "yes" they would come here to this life and so everyone we meet are all "yes" sayers. Then we met with Terri on Friday and we had a great lesson about baptism and concerns she has and we set her with a baptismal date for November 29. Terri has been investigating for a year, and this is a really big step for her to set a goal for baptism. She has a few things to overcome and she wanted her daughter to be there so that is the soonest she felt confortable doing it. This week has just been a fantastic week full of miracles. I am glad to have another transfer here and I olny expect more miracles to come. Thank you all and have a fantastic day.

Elder Hamson

Monday, September 15, 2014

A Baptism

This was a fantastic week I have to say. It started off with us doing Marcia's baptismal interview Monday night at the church. Elder McKinley did the interview, and Elder Watts and I practiced singing for the musical number we will be a part of when Elder Malm of the seventy visits. There are about 8 of us singing and I will sing the bass part with Elder Robinson. The interview went great and Marcia was more than ready to be baptized in the words of Elder McKinley. We then walked outside with Marcia to say goodbye. After she left we walked back to the building to get out things and I realized that I left the keys inside the building. I am the only one with keys to that building. Ya. . . seems like something I would do. We needed to be back to our apartment soon, so we were all stressing out as I called the ward mission leader. He didn't answer, but right then Elder McKinley blurted "The Window!" He had opened the window during the interview to let a breeze in. So we ran around the building to see if we could climb in. On the way we saw a Possom climbing up the tree, but thats besides the point. The window is probably 8 feet off the ground from the outside and less than that on the inside. It was plenty big for someone to climb through so I boosted Elder McKinley up to climb through the window and luckily he had left the table close enough to the window, so he didn't have to fall he just stepped on the table. We managed to get back to our stuff and I made sure I had my keys with me as we left. It was a very memorable baptismal interview. Inbetween we taught a few lessons to our investigators and set up even more appointments for next week. The ones I am most excited about I would say is Alyssa who has a baptismal date for Sept. 27 and Terri who has come to church the last 2 sundays and is actively reading through the Book of Mormon. It is always a struggle getting an appointment with Terri, but of course as soon as one of the members tried so set one up she gladly made time. I think we will recruit Sister Northrup more often to set up appointments. The work is going great and is at full speed here in Camarillo. On Saturday was the baptism.
It went well and there were a lot of people who attended. Marcia is a very outgoing person and had a lot of friends and family who came. We were able to meet her husband at the baptism for the first time. He has been very cold in general when it comes to the church. It was difficult for Marcia to get permission from her husband to get baptized. He seemed to be a lot more comfortable at the end of the baptism and we were able to talk with him for a little bit and officially introduce ourselves. All of the talks and music were in the chapel because of the amount of people who came. Then they all crammed into the room with the baptismal font to watch as I performed the baptism. There were a lot of different of emotions that I was feeling all at the same time, but after the baptism an overwhelming sense of peace came. Unforgettable. Overall a great baptism. She was confirmed the next day and she will be officially a member once we get her records sent in. The spirit was so strong at the baptism and I have no doubt that everyone there could feel it. I can only hope that they recognize that feeling as coming from the Holy Ghost. It is great to be able to see the blessings that come from the restored gospel. I talk and meet with a lot of people, and it is night and day. You can't find the joy and peace that comes from Jesus Christ and His restored gospel anywhere else. I am grateful that I get to be a part of sharing those blessings.
This next week is transfers so we wil see if I get transferred or not, at this point it's anyones guess. Elder Hull and I get along fine, we are very different so it takes work but I have learned to love him and I am learning probably just as much as he is. I love you all and thank you for all of the support and prayers.
Elder Hamson

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Ocean

Everything is going great here in Camarillo. This week has been a crazy week. On Tuesday we moved apartments and this new one is right smack dab in the middle of our area which is awesome. They are spoiling us with a very nice apartment. We have two showers now between the 4 of us and a washer and dryer. We only just finished unpacking this morning. Elder Hull and I didn't end up moving hardly any of the stuff, because we were teaching Marcia and Alyssa that night. Marcia is still doing great and I will be baptizing her this Saturday which is crazy! Alyssa we set with a baptismal date for September 27 and She is a lot younger, so she is learning slower than Marcia, but then again Marcia is just a special case of hyperspeed learning. Then on Friday I got to go to a mission leadership training in Santa Barbara. That was such a beautiful drive, and I got to see the ocean for the first time in a year. The meeting was like a waterfall of knowledge I couldn't possibly soak in all at once. It's a good thing I took copious notes and I'll soak it all in over time. I got to see Elder Atkin there and we talked the whole time at lunch. If you remember from Thousand Oaks the old lady investigator, Sandy, we would read with every week. I found out that she is getting baptized this Saturday as well! I wish I could go, but it just great to hear the she finally made it to baptism. Its better late than never. Then on Saturday I went on my 4th exchange with Elder Watts. We had a great time, and we mostly compiled information and added up numbers for the stake report the whole time (zone leader stuff), but overall a good exchange. Anyways it was a great week and I am really excited for what the future holds. Thank you all for being awesome especially you Timothy.

Elder Hamson

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Labor Day

Today is a little more interesting than most because it is Labor day and we can't go to the local library. We are in the family history center though, and it has been interesting coordinating everything so all the missionaries can come and email. Earlier in the week on Tuesday night we got to teach Marcia in the eveining and that went well. We taught about obedience, prayer and scripture study.She is still on track for her baptism on Sept. 13. It was a good lesson, and Elder Hull and I are teaching better together. He is coming along and has improved a lot. Now that I have gotten to know him better I feel like I can help him a lot more. I have really enjoye that part about training, that fact that it has been difficult for both of us, and we both are growing a lot. We are also moving this week the owners of the house we live in moved so we are getting a new appartment. This one is right in the middle of our area and isn't at the top of a big hill. I am going to miss riding up that hill everyday, so I guess I'll just have to pray for a different mountain to climb. On Wednesday we found a new investigator and that was great! We were going through a nieghborhood and talking to people along the way, and we decided to knock on one last door before moving to the next place. And by we I mean I convinced my companion to knock on the door. A young man answered who is in highschool, and we talked with him for a little bit. While we were talking his mom yelled from the backround "Is that the missionaries?" She sounded excited to see us. Now from past experience this usually means that they are excited to tell us that all of our beliefs are wrong and we should go home. She, however, was curious about what we do because she always sees missionaries around. Her name is Laila and we taught her the Restoration and she had a bunch of great questions like: "can I come to one of your church meetings?" That is the point where I just about fell out of my chair in suprise. We told her all about it and she plans on coming out to next week, beause she is out of town for labor day weekend. Anyways she is a very open person, who has some great potential. We will see her again on Wednesday. We also had a zone conference on Friday. We went to the building we thought it was at, and it turns out that our zone leader (Elder Watts) lead us to the wrong building. So our whole zone was late to zone conference, which consists of 3 zones. We gave Elder Watts a hard time about that, but only because he is one of my good friends in the mission. Anyways zone conference was great, I learned a bunch of great things and it is always good to see other missionaries. I also get to go up to Santa Barbara this week on Friday, they invited me to come to a mission leadership meeting. There are a lot of great things coming up so I am really excited. I love you all, thank you all for the support and be sure to keep your priorities straight.

Elder Hamson