Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A couple of Pictures

Elder Dean and Elder Wells. Sanford, Maine.
 Elder Dean's second companion. 

Elder Dean. Working on the service project for the Sanford Ward. "A step back in time" Party.
Check out Elder Dean's t shirt...... True statement!

18 - Sanford, Maine


Mom first off did you see Connor was called to Argentina??!!??!!, Cool huh?!!!!!

So I got a new companion. Sanford also got a new sister missionary. As far as my new companion goes he seems really nice, and he seems like he will be easy to work with. He seems a lot more willing to go out and do work so that would be nice. It has gotten really hot and very humid here the past couple weeks this is NOT suit kinda weather… so I have been kinda miserable I’m sweating SO much, and wearing a collared shirt and long pants that don’t really breathe doesn’t help. However, there’s not really anything I can do to change the situation so I guess it doesn’t really matter. It is better than snow!

Home is always there in the back of my mind, although I also dread the day my mission is over and I have to go home once I’m released. Really I feel like there is no winning with this…. . I worry about my family so much. I can NOT believe that so much flooding has happened in Southern Alberta that’s just unreal. I hope Hunny and Granddads house is ok. I am so glad that everybody in the family is safe.

I am really glad that camp worked out so well. I am glad the girls were good and that they said they loved it. That is cool that Connor went up to help you set up, I wish I could have gone up to help set up and help you get ready.

Lochlan is going to LOVE EFY. I am glad that he is going. I am also glad that Alexander got a job that’s really awesome, what’s he going to do?

The broadcast was really awesome, I am glad that you went. I’m excited to get president stoker he comes in five days and so it will be exciting to see the changes that he brings with him. You know Mom honestly I wish that I had gone to more devotional stuff growing up, so far on my mission I have learned so much by going to those and participating. It was a really good broadcast. I didn’t see Tori during the broadcast either. I did my mission president and his wife during the time when Elder Tom Perry was speaking though.

Random boring things…. so for breakfast this morning I had cereal, I bought honey bunches of oats coconut and mango flavor and had that. I had a lot of money left this week because I did really buy to much the rest of the month I had 60 bucks left for one week so I was able to splurge! We get paid on Friday. We didn’t have any member meals this week, but that’s ok I just ate things like pasta and pb and j, not very healthy but it’s what I had.

This week we did service for the ward. On July 20th they are having a “step back in time party” where they built a village and it will replicate life way back when. We went and helped build that, not much else though.

Thank you for emailing the pictures they are really cool, I was glad to see some of my old friends, Cameron and Grant seem to be doing good I talk to them every week.

Mom I love you and miss you

I miss everyone else too

Thank you for all you do mom, miss you and talk to you next week.

Love Elder Dean

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

16 - Sanford


I got your letter and I will take your advice.

We didn’t tract at all this week we just went to appointments mostly and visited a few less actives, the rest of the time my companion would take naps and sleep. I don’t know if he is sick or what is going on, but last week and this week he has slept almost the whole time. So since I’m not sick and I can’t sleep because I would feel like I would be breaking the rules I sit in the apartment and study and read the scriptures, or Jesus the Christ or watch church videos….. It has been a very long week. 

My companion is a district leader and he had me do his “call ins”. Because he is a district leader he gets calls from all the other missionaries and reports to the zone leaders so since he said he didn’t feel good and wanted to take a nap he had me do it. It was a fun new experience.

We had dinner at my favorite members house the other day! It was SO good they made burgers and a really good cake since it was Sister J’s birthday on Friday.

That is so cool that you saw Katie,  that is really cool that she might live in the King Henry. I am going to move back into king Henry when I get back from my mission. It is the best bang for your buck, and the ward was the BEST.

The weather has started to warm up here! Want to know something strange? No one here uses central air-conditioning. It can get really hot in the apartment during the day. Like up to 90 degrees.

I miss lady, how is she doing?

That is so cool that Grandma Jackson brought rhubarb all the way from Utah. a member gave us some right from her garden and we ate it raw it was really good. Honestly mom not much happened this week. We had interviews with President Wilkey, I am sad, that will probably be the last time I see him. He was a really good mission president.

I love you, talk to you next week.

love elder dean

"Catching The Wave"

Catching the Wave

Good morning brothers and sisters, before I begin just a little about me. I am from Suwanee, GA. I have four siblings, one brother, one step brother and 2 step sisters, all of whom I love so much. I played Rugby and football in high school and before leaving for my mission I was attending Brigham Young University. I have been on my mission for 3 months and this is my first area so far.

When I was attending BYU Provo, I had a roommate who was from California. He LOVED to surf. Generally, that was all he ever talked about, he was huge into it. He would always tell me stories and experiences that he had from surfing and how he wished that he could just do that for his entire life. Now on top of it being his favorite pass time he would also tell me that it was an extremely hard sport and a very hard thing to try and do. He said that more often than not he would fall as he tried to catch these waves. He also told me that whenever he went surfing he wouldn’t try to catch any of the waves that were above 20 feet. He said that whenever he went surfing he would only surf the waves that were 10 to 15 feet high. The bigger waves would scare him and he avoided them.

So what does this story have to do with anything? Well there is a wave that is coming at us now, but what is it and how do we as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints catch this wave? The wave that is coming towards each of us right now is a surge of missionaries caused by President Thomas S. Monson’s historic announcement of the lowering of the required age to serve a mission. It is a flood of new nineteen year old sisters and eighteen year old elders, who have responded to the Lords call to serve. The numbers easily speak for themselves over ten thousand new missionaries have joined the Lords army in just six short months!! Fifty-eight new missions had to be created in order to accommodate this new flood… or the wave of missionaries.

How incredible it is to see the youth of this church so valiantly responding to that call to serve. Elder Nelson said that this is a wave of truth and righteousness. And Elder Ballard said, “This surge of new missionaries has the potential to change the church” How profound that statement is? Of all the things that Elder Ballard could have chosen the thing that he said can change the church the most is missionary work.

So back to the question of how do we catch this wave? The answer is rather quite simple. We will catch this wave as we just live our lives faithfully. Leaders and teachers you will catch this wave as you teach and prepare the youth to serve full-time missions. For me my leaders and teachers I had were a huge and very important factor in me serving a mission. I loved my leaders and because they were good examples and people I wanted to be like, I want to live up to what I thought their expectations for me were. And so I always tried to live my life to that standard (Share Brother Wernli and how he loved me).

Parents you can catch this wave as you raise your children in the gospel. As you nurture them and teach them the gospel you will prepare them to serve the Lord with all of their heart, might, mind, and strength. Growing up for me the people who helped me the most were my parents, especially my mom, having supportive parents who pushed me to be better and showed me how to trust in the Lord with all my heart really helped me to make the decision to serve a mission, even my dad who is inactive, has always been supportive me in this gospel, and in all that I’ve done.

Now youth, you will be the driving force of this wave as you prepare yourselves to go forth and serve. As you attend seminary, study your scriptures, and dive into the new curriculum the Lord will mold you into the tool that he needs you to be.

Now back to my roommate from BYU and how he was always afraid to ride the larger waves, Elder Ballard said that this wave coming at us is a tsunami, it is not merely a small ten or fifteen foot wave. This wave is forty feet or more and it is rushing forth to fill the whole earth. It will be as it says in Doctrine and Covenants section 65 “Helping to roll that stone, which was cut out of the mountain without hands.”

Now just like the bigger waves scared my roommate, in a lot of ways missionary work is the same. At times it can seem very scary or daunting to try and open our mouths and share the gospel, even though we all know that it call bless others lives so much. That was how I felt prior to coming on my mission. I didn’t like talking to strangers at all, and the thought of having to knock on some random person’s door or ask somebody in the street if they would like to hear about the gospel scared me to death. But in only a short space of time the Lord has helped me to over come that fear in so many ways. I am not even close to perfect but through fasting and praying Heavenly Father can help us with anything. Something that I didn’t realize prior to my mission was that I didn’t have to answer all of the questions my friends asked me alone. That is what missionaries are for! Just as Elder Nelson said “be ready to give a reason for the hope and joy that they see in you. When such questions come you might respond by saying “let’s ask the missionaries! They can help us! And if you desire, I will be at your side as the missionaries respond and teach you.”

Going through high school I was one of only ten Mormon students in my graduating class of over five hundred. Everyone knew who the Mormons in school were and because of that I often received questions, things like “Why don’t you swear, or drink, or smoke?” Among other things. Because people knew me and my standards I was always being watched because I was so different. Often times I would get into discussions about the doctrine and scriptures and they could last all class sometimes.

Now this is not the case all the time, but people will watch you, some to see you fail or catch you in some trap and other to admire or even follow your example. When they do ask question do just as Elder Nelson directs and show them to us the missionaries. We would love to teach or even just talk to your friends. We spend countless hours studying or preparing just for people like your friends. Even if you don’t think they are ready to accept what we have to offer we would still love to give them the chance. Honestly going to the door with a name is a lot easier then knocking on random doors.

Brothers and Sisters you can also catch this wave by allowing us to teach investigators in your homes or even to come with us teaching. We understand that you have lives and jobs but one of the greatest things about the Sanford ward is how willing you all are to help us whenever you are free to do so. Some of the most powerful lessons that I have had thus far have been when a member is involved in the lesson. It is just amazing to hear and feel the spirit when a member bears their testimony. Investigators can also feel that intense and powerful spirit .

So finally back to my roommate, whenever he shared his experiences from surfing you could look in his eyes and see such a joy and love for surfing. Even though he didn’t always make it to the top of these waves and would fall and crash sometimes, he loved surfing and the happiness and joy he received from succeeding and making it to the top made all the unsuccessful attempts worth it. In Preach My Gospel it says, “Members who share the gospel experience joy and have the spirit of the Lord more abundantly. As we share the gospel, we appreciate how precious and meaningful it is to us and feel a greater love for God and others.”

I can testify to you Brothers and Sisters, that I know that statement is true beyond a shadow of a doubt I know it is true. I have seen and felt that happiness and joy that have come more fully into my life. I have recognized the sprit directing me more in my life, and I have also seen the light that comes into a members eyes as they feel that same joy and happiness and they share and bear their testimony to investigators.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

15 - Sanford, Maine


Hey mom, I am glad to hear that all is going good out in Savannah and that you are enjoying it. Lochlan is so funny – I love Georgia. I don’t think that the mosquitoes are that bad.

Sounds like girls camp is coming together. I think that girl’s camp has a ton of amenities…. personally I think that you should have them do the type of camping that I like to do – have them hike out into in to the middle of nowhere with only the stuff they can carry…. I bet they won’t worry about not having cots then!

Yes mom, I did know you could eat whole crabs. In fact I do it all the time when I get sushi, its good. The low country boil you made sounds really good.

I got the package on Saturday! Thank you although I won’t be able to wear the American Eagle tie – it is too extreme.

Yes because my companion does not like to bike we walk…..we walk a ton! Mostly all we do is walk. I am glad the missionaries in your ward call you to drive them or to feed them dinner. I try not to call the members in our ward for anything other than for them to teach with us. I only call them if I absolutely have to, even when dinner appointments fall through we just figure out something to eat in the apartment. There is no one serving a mission from the Sanford ward right now.

So far I have been to Exter Maine and Somersworth New Hampshire. All of the other elders that I served with on splits were really good. No, I’m not worried of the new mission president – I think that it will be cool.

Did you hear Cameron got to Czech? He said it was absolutely stunning and beautiful so that’s really cool for him, I am glad he made it there safely.

There is not much from my end, we didn’t really leave the apartment that much this week. My companion is sick or something… I don’t really know. But he generally doesn’t even wake up till like10 and I am up every morning by 6:30. We don’t do much other then go to scheduled appointments and dinners so honestly mom I think that sucks, I just sit in the apartment and read or stare at walls; this is not why I am out here. I have watched the all the church videos that we have in the apartment over and over. This transfer is really dragging on and on Mom.

We did get to go and do service on the horse farm. It was really hard sweaty work so I had fun. We just helped move a ton of sawdust from a big trailer to a stall in the barn. They use the sawdust in the stalls for the horses. It was fun.

I really love you mom. I miss you a ton.

I Love you hope all is well and having fun miss you tell everyone hi

Love Elder Dean