Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I'm definitely going to miss Corvallis

So first big news, I got transferred. I was really hoping and expecting to stay in Corvallis, but on Saturday i was told that i was getting transferred to Coos Bay. Coos Bay is on the coast, it is about to two and a half hours away from Eugene. My new companion is Elder Reed and we are the glorified district leaders ( mission lingo for Zone Leaders over a one district Zone) in the Pacific Zone. The pacific Zone has 10 Elders and 2 senior couples. At first i was really bummed. I really wanted to stay in Corvallis cuz some many great things were just around the corner, and i wanted to stay with Elder Kwok. But i do know that this is where i am suppose to be. And i am exited to be in a small Zone, when i was in Corvallis I always envied those in the small zones, cuz know instead of having 5 districts and 36 missionaries we have 1 district and 10 missionaries. So we will be able to focus on each companionship and each area much more, and it will make us more effective and be able to help the zone much better.

Elder Reed is from Layton and he seems like a really cool guy, we came out together but never really knew each other cuz we were in different MTC districts. I think we will get along great, and he told me all about the different people we are teaching hear it sounds like there is a good amount going on and they have seen a lot of miracles lately. My last week in Corvallis was a great one. Sunday was a especially good day. At church was the time i planned on saying goodbye to most of the people i had grown close with. At church was when i said goodbye to Zhenhu, Kimo, Yao, Zhou Zhung and Yang. They all were extremely kind and it really made me happy that i knew them. Right after sacrament meeting Zhenhu asked if he could take a picture with me and him on his phone. I was already planning on getting a picture with each one of them, but it meant a lot to me that Zhenhu would want a picture with me, Zhenhu is the sweetest guy ever he kept saying "Covey I am going to miss you." Yang came to church for the first time since he has been back from China, he has been super busy and we have not really been able to meet since he has been back, but when i told him that i was leaving he agreed on coming. It was great to see him again. Kimo is still doing great. It was hard to say goodbye to him. I gave him one of my ties, he was very grateful, he gave me big huge, told me he was going to miss me and wished me luck. Probably one of the hardest part of going is leaving Justin, but the good thing is, is that he is doing amazing. He comes to all 3 hours of church each weeks, and he goes to all ward events and even institute. As of Sunday he had not told his family about his plan to be baptized at thanksgiving break, and for some reason he was really scared to. I saw him at church, gave him a tie and told him i was leaving, but he said he was planning on coming to break the fast, so we could say goodbye then. We sat bye him at break the fast and he told us that after church he called his family and told them that he was getting baptized during thanksgiving break, his Mom was very glad (I am not quite sure why he had been so hesitant to tell them.) And he asked his uncle to baptize him. And before we left we took some pictures and he gave me a note he typed up after church. The note pretty much made my mission. 

don't remember what i said in past emails about our fist meeting with Justin, but he basically invited us over and told us about some struggles he was having and he tough that maybe we could help. I know that one of the big reasons i was assigned to Corvallis was for Justin. Things really clicked for and we really built a strong friendship. The Lord really blessed me with a strong love and concern for Justin. It was so sweet of him to write me that note, he thanked me for helping me and said a lot of nice things. Reading it was definitely one of those "its so worth it" moments. I got pretty emotional and it reminded me how amazing it is to be a missionary and to get the opportunity to help others come closer to Christ, and you get to see the change in their lives. Later in the night i was able to say goodbye to Xingyu, Chris and Alex. They all could not come to church for various reason but it was great to see them one last time. It was especially great to see Alex, I have not been able to see him much lately cuz he started this crazy schedule where is at work or in school 7 days a week until 8 pm. So it was really great to see him, talked about how exited he is for the crazy scheduled to be over and how much harder life is when he cant go to church on Sundays. He is awesome! I really feel like i gained some life long friends in Corvallis, especially Just, Alex and Kimo. And i told all these people that next fall or winter i will come back up to Corvallis and for a weekend and hang out with them, So i guess i am going to have to back that up! and i definitely look forward to it, they all will be here going to school next year. Elder Kwok is doing amazing, his new companion is great also. It really has been a pleasure being with Elder Kwok, he is amazingly humble and kind, and he has ever necessary skill for being a dynamic missionary. I am going to miss him, and i look forward to seeing him around. Well that's all the time i have for today, I love you guys. Thanks for the prays. The church is true!

Elder Covey

Fearless via Faith

Monday, October 29, 2012

Corvallis Pictures

I got transfer calls on Saturday, and i am leaving to Coos bay, to be a Zone Leader in the Pacific zone (5 companionships up and down the Oregon Coast) I am sad i am leaving but i am also exited for the new assignment, and i am especially exited that it is a very small zone. I leave corvallis at 10 so i just have a little while to send you these pictures. Hopefully i will be able to send a full email in Coos bay

1. Zhou Zhung (Joe Jung)

2. Zhenhu (Jen-who)
3. Chris

4. Alex Serrano (I promise he does not do drugs, its just a acronym
for a band that is why is shirt say D.R.U.G.S)

5. Kimo

6. Yang

7. Justin

8. Xingyu (Shing-you)

Us, the sisters in the ward, and our ward mission leader

Justin Patterson

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The glorious week of mid terms

So this week has been mid terms, which has been kind of rough because when ever its mid terms or finals all our Chinese investigators shun us, but it looks like this week we will be able to meet with them all. So to start of with some bad news, Chris did not get baptized. He sprung the date on us pretty suddenly and we had not taught him the Word of Wisdom yet, but we kinda assumed he would be living it or at least knew about since all his family are members, and many active. And it turned out he did know about it but not that it was a requirement for baptism. He uses Chewing Tobacco. The interesting thing was when we taught him that he kinda said "I'll work on it, but i can still be baptized while i am using it." So we had very gentle explain and teach the principle of being able to be completely clean after baptism, without any addictions that would cause him to break the commandments. I was a little afraid that he would not take it very well, but the spirit was definitely there and it led our conversation and it ended very positively. We are now working with him on quitting, he has a long way to go, but he really wants it, and i have faith that it will happen.

So now that we have all the disappointing stuff out of the way, lets move to the best news ever! Brother and Sister Trimble got sealed in the Temple on Saturday! It is so crazy to think that a year ago Elder McKenzie and I were teaching them, and he got baptized. They sent me a package telling me about the date they set, and in the package they put the treats that they would always give us right before we left. I asked president if i could go to it, but he said i was too far away. But i am so happy for them, I love the Trimbles so much, some of my favorite missionary experiences was going and teaching those sweet 80 year old's. I cant wait to see them again someday. This morning i was looking at a picture i have of them and then a picture i took of the Medford temple, it got me pretty emotional. It is so amazing to think that they are now sealed together for time and all eternity, and i am so grateful that i got to play a small role in that. This work is best, there is nothing more rewarding.

transfers are a week from today, I am not to sure what is going to happen. It is rare for someone to stay in a area for more that 6 months, but it would also make scene that i would stay and finish training Elder Kwok. I really hope i stay, there are so many people here i really love, and another 6 weeks here would be great. I am out of time for today, I love all of you

Elder Covey

Fearless via Faith

Monday, October 15, 2012

And thus starts the 9 months of rain

It has been an awesome week. I will start by just talking about some investigators and say how they are doing. So i will start out with the disappointing. We have not been able to meet with Blake since our first lesson, and he did not pay his phone bill so its not working. The Sunday of General Conference we went and visited him, we scheduled a appointment for last Tuesday. We went on Tuesday and he was not there so we left a note. We had not heard from him so we went to visit him on Thursday and as we were walking to the house he lives at he was
just leaving, we talked to him for a while and he said that his girlfriend (who's house he lives at) saw the note we left and was mad at him because she is anti religion and she does not want us going to her house. So we scheduled to meet with him the next day at the institute, we told him if he could not come that he had to call us
because we had no way of contacting him. He did not show up, and now we are at a loss of what to do, we cant visit him where he lives and his phone is not working. So for know we are praying he shows up to church or calls us, but besides that we will keep calling and hopefully he will pay his phone bill soon.

]So now for the good stuff. We had a amazing lesson with Zhenhu. He came to conference on Sunday so we scheduled a appointment with him for Tuesday, at first he was kind of hesitant because he is kinda board with us teaching him because we have taught him everything several times, but we promised him that we would teach something new. A few weeks ago i ordered 3 of the Book of Mormon Stories picture books from LDS.org. I ordered them with Zhenhu in mind because he really has a hard time reading from the Book of Mormon and
understanding it. So for our lesson we read with him in the story book about Abinadi and Alma, up to the part will Alma escapes from King Noah into the wilderness. Then we read Mosiah 18 with him. It was awesome, the spirit was super strong and at the end we asked him what he learned from the stories and how he can apply them to his life. He said that he learned that Abinadi cared more about what God thought of him than anyone else. He then said how his priorities have not been right. That he needs to worry more about what God thinks than what his friends or other people think.

I love Zhenhu so much. He is kindest happiest person in the world. He talked about how his friends were surprised that he still goes to church, they thought that he would quite going after a while but he told them, that he believes in God now and he will always keep going to church. We are going to be meeting with him once a week and we will keep teaching from the book of Mormon stories and reading a chapter with him.

Justin is doing awesome. We have a very strong bond and friendship with him. He is a great kid and one i could definitely imagine keeping in touch with for a long time. He is still planning on getting baptized in his home town at thanksgiving break. So now i will talk about Chris. He came to a session of General Conference and we scheduled to meet with him on Tuesday. We went by at  the scheduled time and he was not there so we left a note. We did not hear anything from him so we called and left a message on Thursday, and come Saturday we had heard no response. Elder Kwok and I prayed and decided that we were not going to call or visit for at least a
week, to see if he would reach out to us, to see if it actually meant anything to him. So we were fully expecting not to hear from him, but lo and behold last night during dinner we missed his call and we had a message from him saying that he talked to his uncle and picked a day to be baptized, We were not able to call back last night because by the time we looked at the phone is was to late to call (its a home
phone and he lives with his grandma.) So we are going to call him today once he gets back from School. We were very glad to hear that he had actually called his uncle scheduled a day and then called us to let us know. We still have a long ways to go to make sure that he will keep going to church each week, without having to have someone drag him there, but i really think he can change.

Xingyu, Yuki and Ryne are all pretty much in the same situation as last week. But we picked up a new investigator who came to church Yesterday. Her name is Noa Sui, She is Chinese, she is the next door naighbor to Zhou Zhung. On Wednesday we just decided to knock that door, and then we ended up having a lesson at Zhou Zhung's apartment and she came to church. Hopefully things continue to go well with her. Kimo is doing good, He coming to church and it seems like he is more and more feeling a part of the ward. We went out to the coast for a baptismal interview on Friday, so we decided to do a exchange with the missionaries out there. So after the interview we exchanged and i headed back to Corvallis with Elder Hill who is just came out this transfer. It was a short exchange but it was good. It was the first rainy day of the season (and it has rained
everyday since.) And we were on bike (we share the car now.) The whole experiences reminded me about how much i loving riding bikes in the rain, and i am not kidding. Its the best thing ever, I dont really know why but it makes me so happy. We got completely drenched and it just reminded me of good memories with Elder Jorgensen last winter. So i am actually very glad and exited for the rain. I will probably get sick of it after a few month, but for now i am loving it!

I love you all so much! and just a reminder if any reads this who is newly eligible for a mission, and is wondering if they should go or have decided they will go. Please write me, i would love to hear about it. 

Thanks for your prayers

Love Elder Covey

Fearless via Faith

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

General Conference Ya!

So first off, 18 year old Elders and 19 year old sisters! I did not see that one coming, but that is super exiting. It will be interesting to see if there is a huge flood of new missionaries come January and February, and maybe will have groups of more sisters than Elders come in. It will be very interesting to see what happens, I think its great and i am very exited. So to anyone who is reading this who is part of the group who just became eligible to go now, I would highly recommend it, a mission will bless yours and others lives more than you can imagine. Pray about it and if you decide to go or have any questions, write me, I'd love to hear about it. Conference was awesome! as always, we had five investigators that made it to at least one session. And Justin came to all 5! he is awesome, he was of those investigators that it is really easy to create a strong bond with, I am very exited for him. 

Not to much new has happened with our investigators this week, most are same as last week. And i am a little short on time today so i cant go threw them all, but they are all doing good. We were able to see them all except Yuki and we are meeting with her on Saturday. They are all doing good. Elder Kwok is still doing great, I am learning tons from him I learned a ton from conference, its amazing what the answers you can receive when you go in with questions. Probably the thing that hit me the most was from President Monson's talk in Priesthood session, and it actually was not what he was talking about, although that was stuff i needed to, but the thing that hit me most was from his example in one of his stories. He talked about going to a small branch where a missionary was branch president, he had a strong spiritual prompting that the branch needed a member to be the branch president. He looked at all the men there and prayed to know which one could be the branch president. 

One stuck out to him, and he interviewed him and called him as branch president all within a matter on minutes. More than anything i want to be that confident that the spirit guides me, that is true fearlessness, and it takes complete trust in the Lord. i know i am far from that, but that is my goal. I think the biggest thing for me is just trusting myself, trusting that the promptings i get are real, and having the courage to act on them. That's all for this week, I love you all.

Elder Covey
Fearless via Faith

Monday, October 1, 2012

The School year has begun

It has been another amazing week, we have had some incredible stuff happen this week. On Tuesday we went out finding in the morning, we planned to go out finding for two hours. an hour and a half threw it, we had not had any luck, we had finished knocking the apartment complex we had planned to knock and then we just started walking around talking to people. I really wanted to find a new investigator that morning and i was praying and asking the Lord for help, and then i thought to go to a small apartment complex that i tracted one of the first weeks i came here. We went over there and knocked all the doors, and only one opened but as we walked down the stairs to leave a guy was walking up some other stares and we went over and talked to him, he was open and we were able to teach him a little and set up a return appointment.

After that it was time for us to go to back for lunch, so we walked to our bikes and as we were walking back there was a guy sitting in his car working on something. We said Hi to him and he immediately asked if we were Mormons, and where the church was, at first we assumed he was a less active member, but then he told us how he was not yet baptized, but he went to a LDS church in San Diego and he loved it, he said that he had gone to some churches here in Corvallis and did not feel that any of them were right for him. He was definitely golden. We set a appointment with him and taught him the next day, we taught him the restoration, he already knew it and he said he has already prayed about it, and he believes it! We set a baptismal date with him for Oct. 20th. The only not golden thing about him is that he lives with his girl friend, but he seems to have enough desire to be baptized to give that up. His name is Blake, he is a great guy. 

So that was pretty crazy cuz that never happens, and he is the 2nd person to pretty much tell us they want to get baptized  since Elder Kwok has been here, He is just full of faith and we have seen miracles because of it. So as for the other person who told us to be baptized (Justin) he is doing great, He wants to be baptized in his home town Kiezer (one hour north of Corvallis.) He grew up and that ward and was pretty much active for several years. The plan is for him to go up there for thanksgiving break and be baptized. So he is doing awesome.  We had a awesome lesson with Chris this week, he said he just needed to figure out when his uncle can come down and then he can choose a baptismal date. But he did not come to church cuz he was "sick" we hope he really was but we get the feeling he just didn't feel like going. We are really struggling to know what to do with Chris, we teach him and he is great, he believes it all, and he makes commitments, but he is super flaky. He has come to church twice so he can by the rules be baptized, but we are really afraid of baptizing him and then him just flaking out on church each week. So we are going to prepare some lessons about the importance of Church each week, and making the Gospel a big part of our lives. Hopefully it will give him a new sense of commitment. Things have really been going great. For the past two weeks we have found 5 new investigators, which is the standard of excellence. It has been really nice to have more people to teach. We are finding some more Chinese also. The way we teach the Chinese, is we teach them in English, but Elder Kwok will explain somethings in Chinese, and usually before and after the lesson they will talk in Chinese a lot. Its awesome! i love just sitting there watching them talk, it makes me really wish i could speak it. 

On Thursday we had a lesson with three new Chinese investigators at their home, and we brought a Chinese member with us. so in total there were 5 Chinese people and 1 American, it toally felt like i was serving in China. They even gave us hot water to drink (Chinese Thing.)  We had a really great lesson with A Chinese investigator named Yuki last night. She came to church last week, and we met with her right after church (8 days ago.) We
were really exited for the lesson and we planned on teaching her the plan of salvation. We started by asking her how she liked church, and from her responses one thing led to another, and we ended up not teaching about the plan of Salvation at all, we more taught about the Atonement, baptism and authority, and we read 3 Nephi 11 with her. It was exactly what she needed and we gave her a soft baptismal commitment (Commitment, but no date) and i am pretty sure that next time we will be able to set a solid date. It was amazing to see the spirit take over the lesson. I am so grateful for the Holy Ghost, on my mission i definitely have learned a lot about relying on the Holy Ghost, it has helped me so much, i have no doubt that it is real. 

So one last story. Yesterday we were hoping for a lot of investigators at church, we thought we would probably have 5. And as the meeting started and  it looked like we just had 2 (Xingyu and Zhenhu) and i thought that Kimo did not come. It made me really sad and i immediately started getting down on my self for not doing more to help get them to church, but then i felt a very strong peaceful feeling and it felt like i did not have a trouble in the world, it was very strong and kinda weird, and then the distinct thought came to my mind "do not
be frustrated with the agency of man." it was as clear as i have ever received revelation before. I also got strong feelings that i don't need to get so down on my self, its good to realize that things i need to improve on, and then to work on them, but i should not always be focusing on my shortcomings. I really felt the Lord telling me that he was happy the work i have done, that i should try to improve, but there is no need to focus on the negative. I really needed to hear that, It has been hard for me to find the happy medium of staying positive, but not being complacent, and i think i ma getting there.

Well i am far out of time, I love you all! Enjoy Conference! I am stoked!

Elder Covey
Fearless via Faith