Elder Devin Kirk

Elder Devin Kirk
I am blessed to be the messenger that is permitted to bring this joyful message to those who are in great need. I have authorization from our Savior, Jesus Christ, to represent Him in this part of the world. I am given the ability to work miracles in the lives of the people. I am guided by His Spirit in all that I do and say. I am given power to testify boldly to all who will listen that Jesus is the Christ and that He has restored His Gospel in these days and that all can be forgiven and receive the blessings of living this Gospel. I cannot begin to express the gratitude I have to be called to this position and be blessed with this assignment.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Arizona Week 101 - The End

Hello Everyone,

This is my last email on my mission. I have made it to the end. I'm grateful to all of you who support me, and prayed for me. I could not have done it without you.

My mission has been an important part of my life. I'll admit, I left to serve a mission reluctantly. I was not excited. I knew that it was my duty as a priesthood holder to serve a full-time mission yet I wished that it could be otherwise.

That is no longer the case. As it was said in the most recent General Conference, "Twas I, but 'tis not I". I did not want to serve a mission, but I am now grateful that I did. It will always be a cherished part of my life. My patriarchal blessing had stated that it would be, and I suppose I never believed that statement. I believe it now.

I've grown to more appreciate the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Through my study of the scriptures and the words of the prophets; I've gained an understanding I never thought that I could have. I feel that I know who God is and that I have a relationship with our Savior. I have faith in them. I have faith in the Holy Ghost who testifies of truth. He has testified to me many times and testified through me even more. I have seen the effects of the Spirit on countless lives as they have come to know their Savior.

I have a greater appreciation for the commandments of God. I understand their purpose, and I am not afraid to follow His counsel. I know that they have benefited my life and will continue to do so. I'm so grateful for the knowledge of the Restoration of the Gospel that I've been blessed with. Christ's true church is on the Earth. I know it. 

I've had so many people that have influenced me for good. My grandfather, Joseph Hodgson, who spoke to me of the blessings of a mission and helped me to make the final decision to serve.

My uncle, Ken Hodgson, who before my departure told me, "Do not come home early. You have younger cousins and relatives looking to you, and they need your example. You need to finish." I never forgot those words during the entire two years. That exhortation kept me on a mission.

My sweet sister, Amanda Moore, who would be really upset if I didn't include her name in my list. She was one that I could always tell exactly what I was feeling. I didn't always hear back from her, but I knew that she would always listen.

My father, Mike Kirk, who always supported me and kept me going. I'm grateful for the many times that he helped me see things clearly.

And my dear mother, Sheryl Draper. I could not have done anything had it not been for her unending confidence in me and the strength that she exhibited. The man that I am today is evidence of her firm testimony and her Christ like love.

I thank you all for the things that you have done for me, and I hope that one day I can be as good an example to others as you all have been to me.

I love the Lord. I am grateful for the time that I have been able to serve Him. I love the truths that I have learned and the experiences that I have had. I love all of you and I look forward to thanking you in person.

Elder Devin Kirk

Monday, May 11, 2015

Arizona Week 100 - Zone Conference

Hello everyone,

It's been a great week. We had our zone conference with President Sweeney this week. He gave some great instruction about the relationship of doctrine, principles, and rules and the order that they go in. He explained that we must understand "what" we do and "why" we do it or else we risk "missing the mark". It was neat because I studied a similar topic about a year ago and shared my thoughts on the matter in District Meeting a few weeks previous. Glad to know that my thoughts were true doctrine. He also talked about the importance of Sabbath Day observance; its purpose and how that affects us spiritually. It was a great Zone Conference!

We went out with a member to help feed his cows this week and afterward he let us look around a spot on his property for Native American items left by the tribes that lived there previously. There were shards of broken pottery everywhere. Some found arrowheads and even the mouthpiece to some kind of flute. It was pretty cool.

Also this week, we taught one of our investigators who, for the first time, had her husband with her in the lesson. He had previously said that he was not interested at all. That apparently has changed because he was asking all sorts of questions and was trying to understand things, and he's been reading the Book of Mormon. At the end of our lesson he said how much he enjoyed our discussion and that he wants to have another one. It's very exciting to now see the whole family involved in learning the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. Things like that are what missionaries pray for.

Well that's all I have for this week. You only have to read one more email from me next week so just hang in there.

Take care everyone,

Elder Kirk

Monday, May 4, 2015

Arizona Week 99 - Puppy

Hello Everyone,

It's been a pretty good week. We picked up two new people to teach and they are very ready to be part of the church. One of them already accepted the invitation for baptism.

We've been getting a lot done and helping a lot of people. The weather is warming up (I say that hesitantly because it is raining at this moment). 

Yesterday was my last Fast Sunday on the mission. I bore my testimony and did not mention that I was going home soon or anything like that. But then up went the ward mission leader whose opening line was "Elder Kirk Goes home in 3 weeks". So much for that. I've been enjoying this area a lot and great things are happening here.

This week we saved the life of a puppy. We heard from some other elders that someone had a "pit bull" puppy that they were going to kill if they didn't find someone to take it that night. They didn't want to have a pit bull because of all the negative ideas they had been fed about pit bulls.

Well we found someone that would be willing to take it the next day and tried to find a permanent home for it either with him or someone he knew. So we took the puppy for the night.

The owners came to drop it off that night. It wasn't a pit bull...I would bet money on that. It looked to us to be predominantly Border Collie perhaps mixed with something else. His name was Shanay Nay (or however that awful name would be spelled).

This is Titan (For that was his name at the time)

It's a male dog. Well we kept him that night, renamed him Titan and took him to the guy the next morning. He found a home for him with a lady that had lost her dog a few months previous and needed a new friend.

Now this poor dog is named Bokumbe. Oh well. At least he has a home now. J

I think that was the big event of the week. 

Here's a picture of us in cave that we found hiking 2 weeks ago

 hope you all have a great Mother's Day.

Elder Kirk

Monday, April 27, 2015

Arizona Week 98 - Baptism

Added by Elder Kirk’s Mom:

Elder Kirk has been made a District leader, which he won’t tell you because he is modest. In essence,district leaders have many responsibilities such as supervising, teaching and inspiring the missionaries in his district, planning and conducting weekly meetings, interviewing baptismal candidates and generally looking after the well being of the missionaries of his stewardship.” [http://mormonmission.blogspot.com/2008/12/district-leaders-and-sister-leaders-on.html]

Hello Everyone,

I was able to spend a day with the Elders in Concho this past week. I thought that St. Johns was a small town....Concho definitely is. The Elders there are doing really well. The members of their branch love them and are always excited to see them. That is pleasing for me to see. This week I'll be spending the day with the other elders in St. Johns. They seem to be having some difficulties, so I hope that I can learn more about their situation.

There was a baptism on Saturday in one of our wards. The woman that was baptized was taught by the senior couple serving here. The senior couple was so excited and happy about their first baptism on their mission! The woman that they baptized is a wonderful lady. Her daughter had joined the church some 30 years ago and served a mission for the church. The daughter's husband is in the bishopric, and they have been raising their children in the church. The joy that this sister felt to witness the baptism of her own mother was apparent in her face and in the words that she spoke the following day in Sacrament meeting.

That was pretty much my week. The weeks are getting shorter and shorter. On the 19th they'll be training us on ipads. Just in time for me to go home haha.

Have a great week everyone,

Elder Kirk

Monday, April 20, 2015

Arizona Week 97 - Cows

Hey everyone,

This week went well. We taught some good lessons and there is a lady that is going to be baptized this Saturday.

This week had a lot of service though. It seems that in Saint Johns everyone owns cows, which is great for us because people always need help with their cows.

This week we helped one of our bishops feed his cows. His property is really cool. Some of the rocks had carvings on them from the native tribes that used to inhabit the area.

On another day, we got a call pretty early asking for help to get some calves out of an irrigation ditch. There were 4 of them that had been stuck there for a day or so. The first two we got on either side of and they ran right out. The other two we had to push and lift to get them out. They were smaller and weaker. It was pretty fun.

In the near future we will be helping with branding another person’s cows.

We helped a member clean out his storage units last week. When we found where he kept his bullet proof vests he let us each take one. So now I have a bulletproof vest. 

Also this week, we had the opportunity to give a woman a blessing. She was going down to the valley and checking into a rehab. She's a real sweet lady and the blessing we gave her brought her to tears. She has so much support from her family. It always nice to see that kind of love.

Elder Kirk included a couple of pictures holding horned lizards and a snake...you can tell that he is my son, love it!  J 

I hope you all have a great week.

Elder Kirk

Monday, April 13, 2015

Arizona Week 96 - Exotic Birds

Hey everyone,

This week went really well. We have been doing a lot of service for people.

I would have never thought that I would have been cleaning out cages of exotic birds in a small ranching town like St. Johns. But that's what we did. 

It's been pretty fun meeting everyone and having them kind-of poke fun at how close I am to the end of my mission.

This is going to be a great place to finish though. The people here love the missionaries and the ward has had quite a few missionaries finish their missions here.

 This week, we will be branding cattle for our bishop. That will be fun.

Then later this month or next, we will be helping one of the councilors in the mission presidency with branding his cattle. 

There are a lot of people preparing for baptism. We should have about 5 this month and next. I'm having a great time, and my companion is early enough in his mission that he keeps me pretty focused, and we work hard. 

Here are some pictures from our week.

I ran out of time or I would write more.

Love you all,

Elder Kirk

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Arizona Week 95 - An Unexpected Journey

Hello Everyone,

If you're a fan of The Hobbit then you should understand the title of my email. I wouldn't necessarily say that I'm a fan of The Hobbit, but I thought it was an appropriate title for the email and a fun connection to pop culture. It might not be as funny now that I spent a paragraph explaining it though. Oh well.

Anyway, as the title suggests, I have taken an unexpected journey. I fully expected to finish my mission in Payson but the Lord has different plans. I have been transferred to St. Johns Arizona a little bit farther up the mountain to spend my last transfer. I already love it!

My companion, Elder Peters, has been filling me in on the area and it sounds great.  Elder Peters is from Minnesota. There are a lot of people preparing for baptism and the members here are just wonderful. I think that we will get a lot of work done and have a great time.

Apparently we get to do a ton of service, not the standard moving or yard work, but like things with cattle and ranch stuff. I’m excited to get started.

We live in a house (yes an actual house) with two other elders that serve in town. The next closest missionaries are in the neighboring town of Concho. It is very laid back, which I like, and the members love missionaries. 

I'm hoping to have some fun stories to share over the next few weeks. For now, I send my love and my best wishes to all of you.


Elder Kirk

Monday, March 30, 2015

Arizona Week 94 - Spoken by the Spirit

Hello Everyone,

This week went very well. A lot of less active members came to church again. Many of them have been coming for several consecutive weeks now. It's nice to see them returning.

We helped with the garden again this week. Our assignment was to fill in some holes with dirt. We loaded up the wheelbarrow full of dirt but when we went to lift it, the handle snapped off and dirt spilled everywhere. We decided to make smaller loads after that. It was a little embarrassing, but we got over it.

We had another lesson with Laurie this week. We decided to talk about Baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost. I really enjoy teaching her. She is able to make connections between what we teach her and what she has been raised knowing in the Catholic Church.

As we talked about baptism and a little about the sacrament she would say things such as, "I have never thought of baptism like that. It's much more of a commitment than I ever realized." She said similar things about the sacrament and about not realizing what it meant.

I've heard it said that you can know when the Spirit speaks through you because you will learn something. I always feel like I learn something when I teach her. For this week, I gained a greater appreciation for the sacrament.

We explained to her that someone can take the sacrament as an outward expression but not understand the commitment involved or not be willing to accept that commitment. I realized that then that the Lord, of course, knows our hearts and that when I stand before Him I want to be able to say that I took the sacrament with a sincere heart every week.

I can only imagine the feeling that would come from realizing that I was not sincere and that I was only doing it as, essentially, a show. It means much more than that and we should treat it thus.

At the end of our lesson, we invited her to be baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority, to make that commitment and to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Although she decided to not commit to this at this time, she expressed that we had given her a lot to think about and that had given her the best lesson she had ever received. We look forward to meeting with her again this week.

I hope you all will have a great week.

Elder Kirk

Added by Elder Kirk's Mom:
received a text during the week that included pictures of Elder Kirk and his companion and some KFC.

He looks happy and healthy...what more could a mom ask for? :-D

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Arizona Week 93 - Slow Week

Hello everyone,

I've probably had too many emails about slow weeks, but they are bound to happen from time to time I suppose.

This week we helped with a nonprofit thrift store moving to a new location. It was actually a good deal of fun. We were working with two older guys that have obviously been best friends for quite a while. They were an absolute hoot! It was fun to watch them mess with each other. We had a good time.

On Sunday a member that has been fellowshipping Laurie,  came to us and said that she called the night before and said that she was coming to church. Recall that Laurie is the one with the really strong catholic background who is terrified of how her family will react to her activities with the LDS church. She ended up not making it to church but the fact that she had made the decision to do so is a huge step for her. Even though she wasn't there, we are both very excited about the progress she is making.

Tomorrow will be our interviews and inspections, so we'll be getting our car cleaned up today in preparation. 

Not much else to talk about that I can remember. We have quite a bit set for this week though, so we are hoping to have some good lessons.

Have a great week.

Elder Kirk

Monday, March 16, 2015

Arizona Week 92 - Getting Familiar

Hello Everyone,

We had a good week. I'm starting to know the area better, and I'm remembering names. We had some good lessons this week and quite a bit has happened.

On Tuesday, we went to the temple as a zone. As these trips happen once every quarter I realized that this particular temple trip will be the last one of my mission. Afterward, we had a zone meeting that started much later than planned and went much longer than planned and threw everyone's schedules for the remainder of the evening. But that happens most of the time. 

We had a really nice lesson with Laurie. This was the first time I had met her. She grew up very active in the Catholic Church and has deep family roots in Catholicism. She's been reading the Book of Mormon and is really enjoying it but she is afraid of joining because of how her family would react; which is understandable. We've been taking members and recent converts that had Catholic backgrounds with us to our lessons with her. They have been a great help. This week we took Sister Romero. She answered many questions for Laurie about what it was like to convert and how her family reacted. At the end, Sister Romero gave her a copy of Our Search for Happiness by M. Russell Ballard. She shared that the book answered many of her questions and ultimately helped her make the decision to be baptized. It was really nice of her to do that, and we hope that this will help in Laurie's decision.

We had an exchange on Saturday so Elder Cox was with us. It was a pretty good day. We helped out at the garden again. I got sun burnt again, but we met a lot of great people and are really making a name for ourselves. People know us and know of our kindness. It's a lot of fun. And President Sweeney is really pleased with the results that we are already seeing and encourages us to continue. 

I'm really enjoying Payson. It's a neat little town.

I remembered my camera today so I'll attach some pictures.

Hope you all have a great week.

Elder Kirk

Monday, March 9, 2015

Arizona Week 91 - Service for Days

Hello Everyone,

This week was pretty busy, not so much with teaching, but with serving. At the end of the week we had spent a total of 18 hours in service. We helped with getting a load of firewood, cleaning out someone's home, and assisting at the community garden. Now we have burnt necks, which are really quite painful when they rub against a shirt collar.

So, we helped a man named Steve and his wife, Mardean, clean out the home that they are moving into. It was her mother’s home, and she passed away. There was a good amount of clutter that needed to be organized or thrown away. We went over a couple times this week to help out. They are a great couple, very kind. They actually gave us a couch that they didn't need so that we could have one in our apartment.

Well, the last time that we were over there we invited them to church. They were happy for the invitation. They said that they had talked about going but weren't sure if that was allowed. They told us that they would be going this upcoming Sunday, so we are going to visit them this week to tell them about what to expect. 

We've been working with a couple other families as well (I'm still trying to learn everyone's name). So far I love this area, and I'm really excited to be serving here. 

That's all I have for this week. Take care.

Elder Kirk

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Arizona Week 90 - Fairwell

Hello Everyone,

This was a pretty eventful week.

On Saturday, Cole Krawczyk got baptized! It was a really nice service. His mother, who is returning to the church after years of inactivity, spoke on baptism and did a wonderful job. The decorations were very nice and there were refreshments that were all color coordinated. She went all out with this baptism. It was a great way to finish our service in that ward.

Then on Sunday night, we took Elder Jacobson to the mission office. When and elder is leaving the mission, they have a dinner which includes all the missionaries that are finishing their missions. Following dinner, they have a family home evening of sorts. Typically, I would have just dropped Elder Jacobson off and leave but the mission president's wife likes to make up little reasons to give me perks. This time, her reason was for me to help out the mission secretary with pictures that were to be given to the departing missionaries. After a few minutes it was easy to see that she didn't really need my help at all, and I was then told to go to the dinner and the family home evening. It was nice of them to let me go to the special evening and be able to say goodbye to Elder Jacobson. 

On Tuesday, we had our transfer meeting. I have been transferred to Payson to be companions with Elder Watts. He is from Salt Lake. It seems to me that we will get along nicely. We have a nice apartment for the two of us, and we have a car. I'm excited to serve here. I truly prefer the more rural mountain areas rather than the busy cities in the valley. So today I'll just be settling in and getting to know the area. My camera is still packed, but I'll send pictures next week.

Elder Kirk

Monday, February 23, 2015

Arizona Week 89 - Big Brother

Hello Everyone,

This was another slow week. People have been busy, so we have been trying to find some new people. Not a lot of success in that realm.

The baptism of Cole will be this Saturday. It should be really good. We're excited that we were able to teach his family. We almost didn't get too.

They were on a referral printout and no one had contacted them, so we called and set an appointment. The weekend got busy, and we had to cancel that first appointment.

We think that Cole's mother was a little upset about it because we texted and called many times after that and even went to the house. We saw her peek through the door and then walk away. It was pretty obvious that she was upset with us, but we tried one more time later, and she answered the door. It was a little bit of a cold welcome at first, but we kept going by, and back in December we helped them move. This helped them to open up and now they go to church every week and their son is being baptized. I'm glad that we decided to try just one more time.

Everyone else is doing pretty well also, didn't get to see most of them but we talked and they are doing well.

This coming week will be transfers. We'll see where I end up.

Have a great week.

Elder Kirk

Here are the pictures from last week’s baptism:

Monday, February 16, 2015

Arizona Week 88 - A Pleasant Surprise

Hello Everyone,

This week went well. I only really have one experience to share but it was likely the best experience I have had on my mission. 

On Friday, I received word that a family that I had taught in Mesa would be baptized the following day. This was very exciting, but short notice. Fortunately, we were able to find a ride.

The parents were married that very afternoon by the Bishop and then they and two of their 5 children were baptized (the other 3 aren't 8 yet).

When I arrived, I walked up to the Elders that are currently serving in that ward and asked who was baptizing them. They looked at me in a panic and said, "You are! Didn’t you get our message?!" I had not gotten the message but fortunately had come with a change of clothes.

I was able to baptize the father and mother and another Elder baptized the kids. It was really nice to talk to the husband in the changing room afterward and see how much he has grown in the past 6 months. One of the things he talked about was how he couldn't understand why everyone was trying to get them married. It didn't hit him until he heard about eternal marriage. Then, he noticed the happiness that sealed families had; he could see the difference, and he wanted it for his family. That was the turning point. He then saw marriage and baptism as steps toward an eternal family.

I was a little in shock hearing him bear his testimony to me. I have grown to love this family. I am so glad that they made the decision to be baptized. It fills me with joy that they see the purpose behind it and that they have their eyes set on being sealed in the temple.

I know that I have said it before but I want to again say that this is the reason that I am here as a missionary. It's not only to teach and to serve and to baptize and to activate. The goal that we have for everyone is to be sealed in the temple as a family: husband and wife, parents and children. That is what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is for. To help individuals and families live worthy of being sealed eternally in the temple. This is all possible because of the restoration of the Gospel and the Priesthood. I know that it is true. I have seen it change the lives of the people that I have taught and that, in turn, has changed my life.

I know that the priesthood is restored to the Earth and that through it we are able to be sealed to our families for eternity and receive the ordinances necessary to live with our Father in Heaven again. I know that the Savior lives. I know that the atonement that he made for each of us has power to cleanse us as we repent, and we can always repent. He loves us. I love Him. And I look forward to the day when I can see Him. I know that these things are true. This knowledge has blessed my life and the lives of countless others. Although I am far from perfection, I know that the Lord loves me as He loves all of His children. And He loves you.

Elder Kirk

Arizona Week 87 - Ward Conference

Hello Everyone,

This week went really well. Except that Thomas ditched on his baptismal interview. And the appointment we had later that week. And didn't go to the baptism of another person that he said he would go to, and didn't come to church. So Thomas is slipping backwards a bit.

But Cole Krawczyk had his baptismal interview on Sunday and passed! We are making plans for his baptism on the 28th of this month. They are an awesome family and the ward is really excited that we are working with them.

Sunday was Ward Conference. The Bishop and the Stake President spoke in Sacrament Meeting. The best part is...Anthony came to church! And he loved it. People were very nice to him, he fit right in. It took awhile to convince him to come to church, but he said to us that he would definitely come again next week. He is a great guy. 

When we visited with him earlier this week he gave us each a painting by numbers thing. It has been a lot of fun.

That's pretty much all for this week. Take care.

Elder Kirk

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Arizona Week 86 - Not Much

Hey Everyone,

It’s been another one of those uneventful weeks. A lot of people cancelled appointments and skipped out on us and rescheduled. 

We do have a baptismal interview set up for Thomas on Tuesday this week. We'll see how it turns out. We have to keep an eye on him because during the past 12 years or so he has run away on the night before his baptism about 3 times. We hope that we can help him feel comfortable and confident about his baptism.

This coming week when we meet with the Krawczyk family we will be setting a baptismal date for Cole.

Everything seems to moving forward with the people we teach. Anthony is coming along well. We taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ lesson this past week, and he really enjoyed it. He thought long and hard about whether he had ever received guidance from the Holy Ghost. He seemed pretty concerned at the possibility that he might not have. Recognizing the presence of the Holy Ghost at times in his life will help move him along.

Well that's it. Have a great week.

Elder Kirk

There is a picture of Elder Kirk and Elder Jacobson on the mission blog page. They sang at Christmas.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Arizona Week 85 - Bishop

Hey everyone,

I don't have much to say this week. It's been a good week though. A lot of people came to church. 

Earlier this week we had a conversation with our Bishop and he complimented us on being mature enough to teach the families that we are teaching. He said that we were a good a companionship for these people and that we are good for them. He said that there have been several missionaries that have come through the ward that haven’t been as capable. It was nice to receive a compliment like that from him. We don't get much positive attention because we share a ward with another set of missionaries. At least the Bishop knows that we are trying to do a good job.

Well, I'm back into the tech scene of the mission. I'm working on the mission's Facebook page with another missionary (he is in the mountains). It's fun to be able to be involved in all these things. We're trying to come up with some neat ideas for the page so keep looking to see if we put anything new up.

That's all I have this week. Take care!

Elder Kirk

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Arizona Week 84 - Temple

Hey everyone,

This week was just the usual for most of it. The people we are teaching are making great progress. The Krawczyck family came to church for the second week in a row.

We set a baptismal date with another man we are teaching for the 28th of February.

Our investigator, Anthony, is still reading the Book of Mormon and is almost into 2 Nephi. He's is a really special guy that has a good heart. I hope that he will be baptized while we are here.

The highlight of the week was going to the temple with Harry Cruegar for his endowment. It was an interesting experience. It's been almost 2 years since I served in that area. Most everyone there had not the slightest idea of who I was. Most of them had forgotten and the ones that did remember me took a little time and some hints to recall. But that didn't matter because as I walked into the Celestial Room, I saw my friend, Harry, with tears in his eyes and the biggest smile I've ever seen on him. As I gave him a hug I was filled with joy. That is what it is all about: Gathering to the temple and receiving the ordinances and covenants that the Lord has for those who are worthy. I'm very excited to attend his sealing to his wife in the near future. For me, there isn't anything better than seeing someone that I helped bring into the gospel standing there in the temple of God.

That's all I have to share this week. I hope you all are doing well.

Elder Kirk

Monday, January 12, 2015

Arizona Week 83 - Rats

Hey Everyone,

This was a fairly slow week, but we still had some good things happen.

This week we had a Zone Training Meeting. Elder Jacobson and I performed a vocal/guitar/ukulele duet of A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief. It went pretty well.

Also this week, I was able to attend a baptism from my last area for a man that I taught. There were a lot of missionaries there (he had been taught for a long time) but it went very well.

The Krawczyck family came to church this week. It was good to have them there and people were friendly to them.

A funny experience we had: So we were riding along on our bikes and we saw a little end table chilling on someone's lawn with a sign that said, "free." Now the dilemma begins: "How do we get this thing home?" Well we locked up the bikes (it's starting to rain by the way) and picked it up and walked about 2 blocks to the church and stashed it there so that we can pick it up later with the zone leaders. Pretty smart I thought. We must have looked pretty silly though. Anyway, we got there and the Spanish elders' car was there (not the Spanish elders we live with but other ones). Well, we decided to scare them, because that's what we do. So, we snuck over to the part of the church that they were at and slammed a door and flickered some lights and dropped a hymn book and scratched and banged on the walls near the chapel. Then we went and sat on one of the pews that (for some reason) was right behind a little wall that completely blocked the view of the pulpit. Dumb. Well now the elders were walking around with a flashlight whispering to each other. We waited for them to get close and then we screamed. I just wish that I could have seen their faces.  But we all laughed and went back to work.

Then this morning while we were shopping at Walmart, a drunk Native American man came and talked to us. He had peed himself. He was wearing sweats so you could see very definitive urine mark on the crotch area. Yuck. We gave him a pamphlet on the Word of Wisdom.

Not much else happened. We've been trying to contact our referrals like crazy but we keep getting more. We can't keep up with it.

Anyway, have a great week everyone!

Elder Kirk

Monday, January 5, 2015

Arizona Week 82 - New Year

Hey Everyone,

Happy New Year!

It is such a relief to be done with all the holidays. The people we teach are coming back into town and everything is going back to normal.

The holidays were great though. We had a good New Years Eve. Our neighbor down stairs that had moved out said that we could break into her vacant apartment and take the couches that she had left.

Allow me to explain. About a month ago a member moved away, and they were going to throw away some couches. We said that we could give them to our downstairs neighbor who didn’t have couches. So they gave the couches to us to give to our downstairs neighbor. Now that the downstairs neighbor had moved out, she said that we could have the couches. It was pretty fun for me to pick the lock on the apartment because I got to use my lock picks on something other than a detached lock in my room. I got the lock open in less than 10 seconds. I know that when I have a place of my own that I will be buying much safer locks than you see on most homes.

New Years day we got together with another zone and played a ton of sports. It was pretty fun.

So last week we taught a guy that lives in a pretty rough neighborhood. He also looked like a pretty rough guy. Add to this that it was a drunk guy that told us to go see him. Not much for to go on for instilling confidence in the outcome of our visits. Well, last week we told him to read the beginning of The Book of Mormon up to 1 Nephi, Chapter 4. When we came by this past Saturday, he had read up to 1 Nephi, Chapter 8, and he knew what was going on. He had marked a few verses that he wanted to understand better. He told us that he "couldn't put it down." He said he reads it every night before going to bed, and he plans to read the whole book. To be honest, I was pretty surprised but also very happy. I expect that he will be joining the church through baptism in a month or so. Giving up smoking will probably be the hardest thing for him.

Well I hope you all have a great week.

Elder Kirk