Monday, April 25, 2016

The Church is true, the Book is blue, and Moroni's still on the ball!

Spring is wonderful. The weather in Tri-Cities is great during this time of year. It's so nice to have four seasons. :) Utah just can't seem to have Spring for more than a week or two.
The work is going well, we had three investigators at church: two part-member families, the Plumb family and the Morfin family. The Plumbs are doing great! Sister Plumb is now on day nine of no coffee, and we're going to be setting a baptismal date with her tonight, now that she's a little farther along and is committed. Their 16 year old daughter is also really interested and has been asking all sorts of awesome questions about missionaries, the Book of Mormon, and church. She really wants to be a missionary. Which is awesome, except for the fact that she needs to be baptized first. :)
The Morfins are doing great too! Erica, the 10 year old now has a baptismal date set for May 14th . It was going to be May 6th, but not everyone from the family was going to be there, including, her 16 year old brother, who was just sustained to be ordained a priest, and who is going to be able to baptize her!
I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that it has the power to change and fix broken lives, broken hearts, and broken souls. I know that because it has changed me. I have heard a lot of people say that their mission has changed their life, and I would say the same, but even more importantly than that, the Gospel of Jesus Christ has changed my life, and I am eternally grateful for that.
Love, Elder Plehn

Monday, April 18, 2016

Hello from Pasco! (for the 3rd time)

Hello from Pasco! (for the 3rd time)

Elder Torgersen and I have had a great week. It's only been five or six days into the transfer, and we have had a lot of great things happen already. Five investigators came to church! The Plumbs, the Morfins, and Frank and Jasmine! The Plumb family has been investigating for a few weeks. Brother Plumb is a less-active member, and he and his non-member wife both want to come to church. We've been working with Sister Plumb to quit coffee, but other than that, they are doing so well! The Morfins are another part-member family who have a nine-year old, Erica, who is ready to be baptized. Frank and Jasmine, a young couple who are living with Jasmine's grandma, who is a member, came as well. 

There are so many good things happening in the Pasco 9th ward! This ward has had a great history of being on fire with missionary work, and they are still on fire. We have been able to involve members in a lot of what we have been doing, especially in bringing investigators to church. The wards here in Pasco North have so much potential to help people progress and to find new investigators. 

Elder Torgersen is a great missionary. He talks to everyone, is obedient, and is so willing to serve and help anyone out. We have been able to do a lot of on-the-spot service and we have a lot planned for this coming week because Elder Torgersen just keeps asking people and is sincere when he asks. I've learned a lot from him already about loving people, and really desiring their salvation. 

I have spend much more time this past week in chapter 3 of PMG, which has been incredible. There is so much to find there. Since transfer day on Wednesday, I have spent at least 30-45 minutes in chapter three everyday except one. And I have probably learned more in my personal study this past week than many other weeks where I haven't been as diligent in studying the doctrine. Over the course of my mission, I have truly come to love Preach My Gospel and the scriptures. They are wonderful. This morning, I spent about 15 minutes answering the question "what do I love about my mission?" in my study journal. I felt the Spirit very powerfully as I completed my list with "I love my Savior" and "I love my Father." As I wrote those down, I thought of a line in PMG on page 151 that says "your attitude toward your mission experience is a reflection of your love for your Heavenly Father and His Son, and your respect for the priesthood." It was an amazing reminder about how much this gospel and my experience as a missionary means to me. 

Overall, I'm doing well, Elder Torgersen in doing well, our area has some amazing things happening, our investigators are progressing and coming to church, and the Church is true!

Love, Elder Plehn

Monday, April 11, 2016

"Through the Atonement comes permanence of purity!"

We got our transfer calls earlier today. I'm going to be transferred back to the Pasco North Zone, which I just left two transfers ago. This will make three transfers in a row where I have been transferred after serving for only one transfer in an area. This will also be my 12th companion and 9th area. As disappointed as I am to leave Richland, and all the investigators we have been finding over the last few weeks, I am excited to be back in Pasco (for the 3rd time). My new companion's name is Elder Torgersen. He's been out for about seven or eight months. I'm really excited to work with him. I've never really interacted with him much, but I've heard a ton of good things about him. 

We had an absolutely fantastic week! One investigator accepted a baptismal date of the 28th of April, and three more committed to be baptized on the 30th. The first one, Jacob, is nine years old. He's number 4 of a 6-kid, single parent, semi-active family. We've been working with the whole family, trying to get them to come back to church, for about a month now. We had Stake Conference yesterday, and all of them came! One cool moment with them was a few weeks ago, we taught them a lesson on family prayer and scripture study, and committed them to read and pray as a family every day. Since that lesson, the only times they have missed are when the 16 daughter was in the ER with kidney stones. We're super excited for them. 

One of the other investigators we have, Tanner, is another 9 year old in a semi-active family. His mom and brother both came to Stake Conference as well. He's the funniest 9 year old ever. He's pretends to be super stubborn and difficult, but really he's just waiting to be baptized and to feel the Spirit more in his life. 

The other two investigators are a mother and a 10 year old son, Elena and Angel. Elena's parents are on date for this Saturday in Omak, WA (used to be in our mission, it's up near Canada). Their missionaries sent us the referral. We contacted them on Wednesday night with our High Priest Group Leader out with us. We had an absolutely perfect lesson with them. We taught simply that God loves them and that the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ will bless their families more than anything else, then extended an invitation to make that Gospel a permanent part of their lives by being baptized by someone who had the proper authority from God. They were so excited! As we were leaving, Angel said to his mom "can they come over every day?" It was one of the most spiritual lessons I've had on my mission. Brother Rose, the member we had with us, was absolutely incredible. He helped a ton by providing his testimony and inviting Elena to church. 

We also have been in a tri-panionship since Friday. One of the elders in our zone went home before the actual transfer date, so we have had Elder Meteer with us, covering both the Crestview and Duportail wards. It's been fun to be with another elder. When I got to my second area, I was put in a tri-pan for four weeks, so it's been a lot of fun to do it again. 

All-in-all, it's been an absolutely incredible week, filled with all sorts of changes and miracles and little experiences that have deepened my testimony of a loving Savior, who invites us every day to repent and to "yield to the enticings of the Holy Spirit." I studied Mosiah 3:19 this morning, and learned more about how the atonement can change us from fallen man, into the glorious beings we are capable of becoming. In companionship study, the three of us came up with this quote: "Through our own efforts comes temporary improvement, but through the Atonement comes a permanence of purity." 

I know that this Gospel is true, and that Jesus Christ is our Savior, the only one who can give us the personal peace that we need day to day to make it to our Heavenly home.

Love, Elder Plehn