Monday, April 30, 2012

Money Mormon May

It has been a great week. Not too much has changed since last week. Mark is doing good and slowly progressing. He did not come to church because he was sick. Scott came to church and he is still doing good. I really think that he will be one who comes to church for a long time and then finally something hits him and he really feels the spirit and then he will be baptized. Its a totally different situation for him because his whole thing is that he does not believe in God, and Jesus Christ. 

He has a desire to believe but he is just not sure. He really just needs a spiritual experience and a confirmation I will do all I can to make it happen soon, but it might not be for a while, but thats okay. Because he like coming to church and plans to continue and he reads from the BOM daily I know as he continues to do those things he is going to get an answer. It has been a great week, but not to much has happened. One things cool thats coming up is our zone is doing something we are calling Money Mormon May were we are all trying to read the whole BOM from cover to cover in the month of May. I herd about it a couple weeks a ago and i really wanted to do it, but i was currently in Helamen so I still had a little ways to go. So i decided I would be giving more time to my BOM study and i wanted to finish before May. I am a pretty slow ready so i could not get it all done it personal studies so i had to do a lot during lunch and at night. 

Just this morning i finish The Book of Mormon, It really just made me think of how grateful I am for it. As i read the finally words I just had a great feeling come over me, just assuring me and confirming my testimony of it. I really know that Book is True as i was reading the epistles from Mormon to Moroni in the book of Moroni, it just really hit me that those are actual letters that Mormon wrote to his son Moroni and that it is a true record. Finishing the BOM this morning reminded me of the time when i feel like i knew that the BOM was true, I have always believed in it, but there is one time where the truth of it really hit me. When i submitted my papers and had my interview with the stake President, he challenge me to read the BOM before i left. That was the first time that i had gone threw the BOM and really felt like i was learning in every book and every chapter. I really was hungry for it, I remember being exited to sleep so I could wake up and study from the BOM. 

I finished the BOM just about a week before i left, and i remember kneeling in prayer right after finishing it and thing to my self 'I really deserve a strong answer, I am going to ask God if its true and I am going to get some overwhelming feeling of its truth.' I remember asking and waiting and being disappointed because I did not get a strong feeling but in the midst of the disappointment a thought came to my mind that i know was put there by the spirit. And i thought to my self 'what about the great feelings that I get every time you read? What about the help that this has been for me? What about the ways that this has strengthened my family? What about the eagerness of reading it and the joy I get from reading it? I have already received my answer.' I remember standing up with a sure knowledge that it is true, that it is of God. My mission has only strengthened my testimony of the BOM I know its a true record, and I know that there is no better way for someone to come closer to God than by reading it. I have seen it bless lives and strengthen testimony of the Savior over and over again. I know its true. 

I am out of time to write but i would I would like to issue the challenge to all of you with Money Mormon May, If you will join me and finish the whole BOM in the month of may I will buy and send you a university of Oregon T-shirt. The challenge is on, and this goes to anyone who reads this, but you need to send me a letter telling me you are going for by mid May. 
I love you all, thanks for the prayers.

Elder Covey  
--Fearless Via Faith

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New Car, New Bike, New Investigators what more could a I ask for

Something i forgot to mention last week is, I finally broke down and bought a good bike. For my whole mission I have been borrowing and i bought a really old cheap one, and I got a little tired of things breaking so I finally got a new good one. Its a Treck "Earl" its last years model so i got price on it. It is a commuter bike which is a ton better for a missionary than a mountain bike like almost all missionaries have, because we are always on roads or bike paths. Its great, I love the new bike. And we are riding bikes a lot now that we have Blue River because we use all our miles driving there, and the branch boundaries are really big. So when we are in Eugene we bike, which is really nice, I wish i would have biked more back home. 

This week we got a new car. We got the most coveted mission car out there, The 2012 Subaru Legacy, its dark grey and is pretty cool looking. Definitely a lot better than the gold Toyota Carola we had in Medford. It had 81 miles on it when we got it! its crazy they give missionaries such nice cars but I am not complaining.
It has been a really good week. I went on exchanges with a companionship in my district on Tuesday, and our zone leaders are in a three sum, so when we did exchanges one of the zone leaders went with Elder McBride in our area, and i went with Elder Perkins and Elder Tonn, in there area. It was my first time ever being in a 3-sum and it was pretty cool. I love getting to know other missionaries better. We had a lesson planed with Mark for the day of exchanges and we had decided previously that's when we were going to challenge him to baptism, so Elder McBride and Elder Jensen (the Zone Leader) had the lesson with him and they set a baptismal date with him.

 When they told me, I was absolutely on top of the world, I have come so close to Mark, probably closer than any other investigator on my mission. But the next night we got a call from one of his fellowshipers who called him to congratulate him on his date. and when he called him Mark told him that he had felt very pushed the night before and that he was not happy with the whole situation, and he was not ready for any of this. When i heard this my heart dropped i was so scared of it happening and the fellowshiper made it sound like he did not want to meeting with us anymore, but we had a appointment with him for the next day, so we knew that was going to be make or break. After we got the call i could not stop thinking about it, I felt like i so much pain, i really love Mark and I know that he needs the gospel, so much, and that it has already blessed his life in a tremendous way and that it has the potential to completely change it for the better. 

That night i said one of the most sincere prayers of my life for Mark just pleading that it would be okay and he would be able to feel our love and let us keep meeting with him. I continued to pray for him for the whole next day, and the night came and we went to see him and i was really nervous, but we went up and talked to him and we were able to have great conversation. He told us if we were to come the night before, he would have told us to never come back. He expressed how the lesson before he really felt pushed and that he really did not like it. He said that he did not like the other missionary very much, but he that really trust Elder McBride and I, and that he still wanted to investigate and progress. He even said that he does want to get baptized in the future but he is not ready to put a date on it. I know that God heard my prayers and answered it, 

I am confident that everything will work out with Mark. It also was a big testimony builder on how missionaries i called to certain areas because there are people there that only they can touch. Mark has very unique needs and I know that Elder McBride and I are suppose to be here for him. The other missionary that came to the lesson before, is a former Assistant to the President, probably the best missionary in the mission, much better than i will ever be, but for Mark he was not the right one. Mark was definitely not very fond of him. I know i was sent here to Santa Clara to bring Mark close to Christ, and i am very humbled that i have such a responsibility.
Blue river was great, we have some cool investigators and some awesome less actives that we are working with, hopefully next week i will have time to tell you about them. I love you all

Elder Covey
-Fearless Via Faith

Monday, April 16, 2012

Rock'in the BRB (blue river branch)

Hello friends and family, I hope you are all doing very good. As for myself I am doing great, it has been a fantastic week. We decided to stay up in blue river for the start of our P day and go hiking up in Blue River. It was raining pretty good but that did not stop us.

We hiked this really cool trail that goes right next to the McKenzie river. It is so amazing green up here, during that hike it felt like we were in the rain forest. It was super fun hike we left the beaten path explored the wilderness, we also recorded a episode of missionary vs wild, we were just messing around and recorded some stuff with the camera while doing are best Bear Grills voice AKA just talking in any accent that pops into our head cuz we really cant remember how Bear Grills sounds (the videos will be on the memory i card i send to you Mom.) but it was great fun and we got completely soaked in the rain. After that we went back to our cabin cleaned up and left and now we are back in Eugene.

The time spent in blue river went really great this week. We had this awesome lesson taught right on the river bank with one of our investigators named Brad, in the lesson we challenged him to be baptized and he accepted. He will be baptized on May 6th as long as he can quite smoking before then, he told us that "with the Holy spirit helping me out, I will be able to quit." He is supper awesome. He is kind of a crazy guy, but i will explain more about him in another email. We also have some awesome less actives we are working with in Blue River, its pretty cool because lots of these people have not talked to missionaries before. Blue River is so awesome it is almost like serving in a different country, because everyone is different and also because the branch is so small. The Building in Tiny and there are only about 15 people that come each week.

The Primary is just one family and there is not a young mens or young womens. Another thing that seemed foreign country like was we went in the building for the first time on Friday to use the bathroom, and when we went in there were tons of ants, probably thousands, they were all over the place, so we found some bug killer and killed them all and cleaned it all up ( I sent pictures of the experience.) On Sunday Elder McBride and I, blessed the sacrament, gave talks during sacrament meeting, and gave the opening and closing prayers for Sunday school. The talk went okay it was kinda frustrating because i skipped over a ton of it and did not include a lot of the stuff i wanted to, but its all good. I just needed to prepare for it better, now i know for next time.
Things are going good in Eugene also, it was kinda weird not to be here on Sunday, but we were told that Mark did come. It was his first time coming which is a big step for people, we are seeing him tomorrow so it will be interesting to see how he liked it.

Elder McBride is doing great, he gave a amazing talk on Sunday, it totally made up for mind and even took up some extra time cuz mine was short and i was first. He is a great kid, he is having a really hard time but he is a spectacular example of just pushing threw, I am confident that he will be okay and he will be so glad he stayed. Everything is going great up here, I am as happy as can be, I hope the best for all of you and wish you all the best.

Fearless via Faith

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Another good and busy week

So I am writing my email considerable later than usual today, because this morning at 10 (when P day starts) we went and played football at the High School, and usual we do email first thing so it kinda changed the schedule. Football was a ton of fun. We had 18 Elders there from the two zones here in Eugene and we played on the High School field. My emails might be coming later from now on because we are probably going to be playing football every P day.
It has been a really awesome week. We were here in Eugene for the start of the week, but Thursday after district meeting we went up to Blue River.

District Meeting went well, I feel I am improving at teaching District Meeting. We had a lot of change in our district with transfers and some of the new Elders in the district are much more open to share and comment during district meeting which makes everything a lot easier for me, and just better for the district. So we drove up to blue river after district meeting, and we went directly to the place we were staying. We thought it would be a nice place because it is a members summer home, but it was even nicer that we expected. It is a little cabin and it is right on the blue river. It is definitely too nice for missionaries (I will send pictures next week) and we will only
be there one more week because the members who own it are coming back for the summer. It was crazy for Elder McBride and i to have our own cabin, for exercise in the morning we went and explored the property and we down to the river (not in the river of corse.) The whole time we were saying how we did not want Pres. Young to see it because he would say it was too nice and because there was a TV and Wii (of which we obviously did not use.) and lo and behold on Saturday we get a call from Pres. Young telling us he was driving threw blue river on his way to another area and he wanted to see where we were staying. Elder McBride and I were freeking out, we were afraid we was going to be mad at us because we did not find somewhere else to say, but he was actually okay with it. It nice to see that he trusts us, he asked us if we had used the TV and when we told him no, he did not doubt us. Pres. Young is amazing, i really love him.

Blue River was awesome. Its a super small branch and they have a tiny church building by far the smallest I have ever seen. They say they have about 15-20 people come every week. The ward mission leaders name is Bro Francios (Fran-swa) he is in his mid 30's and his kids are pretty much the only kids in primary. For the two days we were up there we were with Bro F about 80% of the time. He took us around to all the less active's he visits and there are even a couple investigators that he found. We had a lesson with one his name is Brad Kro. It was pretty crazy, his house is totally a pot farm, he had tons of Marijuana growing in his two back rooms.

He claims its all legal and i actually believe him because everyone is so crazy about Medical Marijuana here i Oregon. He is actually a really cool guy, very down to earth and he has a lot of potential. Bro F took us to a lot of other people, it was really great, I am really exited to be there. We were asked to speak for next Sunday. It will be interesting speaking to 20 people but I am looking forward to it. Elder McBride and I did not have a lot of time to tract but we were able to do it for a hour on Saturday, it was pretty cool. Lots of these people have never talked to missionaries before so they are much more inclined to actually talk to us. I am really exited to go back up there this week, now that we have met a lot of the people it will really be time to start getting things going. I have big expectations for Blue River and i am very exited to see them threw. We came back on Saturday, because there was a baptism of a 8 year old from a part member family who we have been working with. Yesterday was Easter and it was great. It was pretty much like any other day, but i tried to make a special effort to think about Christ and the Atonement. I studies about it for personal study and for companionship study we watch the "Lamb of God" DVD.

It was magnificent, I truly do 'Stand all Amazed' I know i will never be able to fully understand the Atonement but i will always be grateful for it. I Trully know that God sent his Son, and I am so grateful for it. The Atonement of Jesus Christ changes life, I have seen it change others lives and it has changed mine. I am here to help people use that atonement in there lives. I really cant put in words my feelings, but all i can say is that I will do all I can to help bring others closer to Christ and help them let the atonement play a role in there life. I know there is no more worthwhile thing i could be doing.

Mark is still doing good, he would not agree to go to Church for yesterday but he committed to go this next Sunday, we have the ride figured out and everything. We will be up in Blue River but it will be okay because he has great fellowshipers in the ward. Elder McBride is doing really good, he seems very normal and he is having to call Pres. and home less and less. I know that he is going to be amazing missionary, he already is. Thanks for the prayers on his behalf i know they have helped. I wish the best for all of you. I love you!

Elder Covey
--Fearless Via Faith

So much to write about

So lots has happened and there are a ton of things i want to write about, so just a quick warning, this letter might be all over the place. First off, something i forgot to write in last weeks letter, but a week ago from Wednesday, it snowed 8 in. which is unheard of in Eugene, especially in late March. Pres. Young has given permission for Elder McBride and I to go to a church and play basketball in the mornings to help him out, so we were on are way out of the apartment, and when we went out the door we saw all the snow, it was definitely not expected. Then about 15 min later we get a knock on our door, and there is Pres. Young.

He was going to come to the church and play basketball with us but realized that we probably would not go out so he just came to our apartment. He was at our place for a while, and him and Elder McBride talked for quite sometime, this was right in the middle of when Elder McBride was not doing so great. While President was at our apartment he made some calls and shut down all the missionaries in Eugene. He told us that we could come and spend the day at the mission home if we would like, so we went with him. The drive the mission home was kinda crazy. Eugene has no snow plows so all the roads were crazy.
Mission Home

We literally saw 5 different buses that were stuck. The mission home is up hill from where are apartment is so we were not sure if we were going to be able to make it, but Pres. Young is a very good snow driver, so after some close calls we made it to the street of the mission home and right as we pull in the street we see that there is a big tree that fell right across the road, so we had to walk from there. We were at the mission home until about 2 pm. It was great to spend time with Pres. and Sister Young. They are such amazing people I love them so much. Eventually the snow turned into rain and before long we were able to drive again, but it was quite the adventurous day. I think it was really good for Elder McBride it helped get his mind off things.
So that is something i should have included in last weeks later, so there you go. Now we are all caught up. We got our transfer calls on Saturday, and Elder McBride is staying with me, which a week ago we did not think was going to happen, the plan was to send Elder McBride where the weather is not as depressing, but the day President was working on transfers he invited us to the mission home and him and Elder McBride decided what would be best for Elder McBride, and it was kinda crazy because Pres. was talking about transferring us both to somewhere where the weather is better together, that would have been really interesting to keep companions but change areas, but they decided that the best thing was for both of us to stay.

Elder McBride is doing better and better everyday. He is such a amazing kid, I might even venture to say he is my favorite companion (but it would be a close call with Elder Jorgensen.) It is awesome to have a companion that you can really connect with. We have a bunch of phrases, funny saying and inside jokes. He has really progressed a ton, last night he was even talking about how we will be out here for the next two summers. I was so glad to hear him say that because for the first while he was talking like he would be home in a week or so. If Elder McBride stays I know he will be one of the best missionaries in the mission. Please keep praying for him.

So with transfers are area is changing, we were covering the Santa Clara 4th and 1st ward but 1st ward is getting new missionaries and we will not be taking over a small branch in Blue River (a town about 1 hour away.) I will talk more about the blue river branch later, but the split is a very good thing. The only real investigator we have in 1st ward is Dale and that will be really hard to say goodbye to him, but at least i will still be around, and if (and when) he gets baptised i will be able to go to it.

Conference was fantastic, we watched it at the Church. Our investigator Scott came to priesthood session and were not able to talk about it to much but it seemed like he really enjoyed it, we are meeting with him on Wednesday so it will be interesting to see what he thought. Last week in the letter I talked about Mark (guy with flag in the window.) Mark is doing awesome! He loves the Book of Mormon and he says that ever since we have started coming over and he has been reading from the Book of Mormon that he has been a lot happier, more peaceful, and has had a longer fuse. We taught him how that is the spirit working in him, confirming the truth of it all, and he totally knows it true. We left him with a copy of the Joseph Smith movie, it is like the one they play in salt lake but it is only 20 min long and it is made for non-members so it is all about young Joseph and that first vision. He loved it! so much so that he told us " I copied it on my hard drive, so i can watch it over and over again." He is just doing great, he even talked about how we has defending he church online the other day. The only thing holding him back from being ready to be baptised is the word of wisdom, he struggles with a few things, but we will start working on that with him.

So as i mentioned earlier, we are now going to be covering a small branch in a small town about a hour away. The reason why we are is because i talked to Pres. about this idea that I had of sending Elders to branch that has never had missionaries before, and just having them there for 12 weeks. The reasons behind this idea is because i think that members would be more motivate if they had a ultimatum, and tracting places that have never been tracted before would be very effective.

I told Pres. the idea and he like it, so he is giving us the Blue River Branch as kinda a test. We will be up there for two or three days a week, we will be staying at a members summer home, which will be awesome! This not exactly what my idea was because this branch has been covered by missionaries forever, but it is pretty close because the only time missionaries use to go up there is when a member had someone for them to teach. I have been thinking a ton about it and i am really exited. Our plan is to go in there with a unreal amount of enthusiasm and excitement. I have seen the vision of what could happen in this small branch if all the members are on board and ready to share the gospel with their friend, now the challenge will be to get them to catch that same vision, I know if they realize there potential and the potential of the branch, that nothing can stop them. We are spending our first two days up there on Thursday and Friday. I am very exited! Elder McBride and I are determined to do big things up there.

I wish i had time to write more but i am out of time. Other Elders are waiting for us to go grocery shopping, which is always fun at the start of the month because we actually have money! especially compared to last month. My allotment ran out fast, it must have been because Elder Charelson really liked fast food, and cuz we bought a custom stamp and staples that said LDS Missionaries and had our phone number on it, so we can stamp stuff we give out, but know i have a full allotment and we will see how long it last! I love you all, thanks you so much for the prayers, i know they make a difference. Please pray for Elder McBride, our investigators and all the people in blue river. I love you and hope you have a fantastic Easter! The Church is True!
Elder Covey
Fearless via Faith