Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Loving every second of it

Last week I emailed so late in the week, so not a lot has happened since then but i thought it would be good to try to get closer to the Monday email schedule. But there was something that i forgot to put in my last letter. A week ago from last Monday, we had a group of departing missionaries go home, which is normal. The not normal part was they were all missionaries who came out with me. Because the OSM is on a different transfer schedule any missionary that came from the OEM either goes home 3 weeks early or 3 weeks late. We did not go to the airport with them cuz we had so much other stuff to do but we were there for the whole morning before they left. It was a little weird thinking that there going and i am staying, but in all honesty i did not envy them at all. It made me so grateful for the opportunity I have to stay longer. It still doesn't feel like i am ever going home, but slowly its becoming more and more realistic, and it makes me sad. I love being a missionary so much I love having so much purpose, but i guess that just means that i am going to have to make my life equally as purposeful when i get home. I know there will be opportunities to still and help others.

So know for last week. On Friday we went out to Redmond (by Bend) with President Samuelian. Each year the Bend and Redmond stake do a combined Aaronic Priesthood "encampment." And its all about preparing for a mission. Its tradition that on the last night the mission president and the assistants come and speak to Young Men. It was a incredible experience. It was in the complete middle of no where (90 minutes east of Redmond.) We spoke to the young men and answered questions. I decided that i would speak to them about how meaningful a mission is and the purpose a missionary has. I told them that if they experienced what i had experienced and seen what i had seen there is no way they would consider not going on a mission. I truly believe that. If every young man really understood how much they would help others and how much they would learn and grow there is nothing that could stop them from serving a mission. It was a amazing experience to be up there, we were like rock stars to them. Many of them came up to us after, thanked us for coming and told us how exited they were to serve a mission. We stayed with the Bend ZL's that night. President Samuelian strongly insisted that we do some sort of P-day activity on Saturday because we had not had a break in a long time. So Elder Buhler and I drove out to Smith Rock national park in Redmond. We did about a two hour hike, it was a lot of fun.

We have still had a lot of logistical we have been working out with the new mission its not my favorite but i really feel like I am learning a lot of things that will help me with a future job. This week have had more time to work in our are. we taught two lessons on Monday and two Yesterday. Dan (Member) and Marsha (Investigator) are a part member family we are teaching. They are in the process of making some great changes in thier life, and its incredible to see that as they have taken the gospel seriously it has empowered them to make those changes. 
I love you all, thank you for the prayers. I love this gospel.

Elder Covey
-- Fearless Via Faith

Friday, July 26, 2013

Transfers, made easy

Today was transfers, it is crazy how much smaller the OSM is than the OEM. Today we did not have to start transfers till 10am, opposed to 6 am in the OEM. And we got done at about 5, opposed to 10pm.  Things went very smoothly which is always a relief. I drove the van all day. Elder Buhler got in a accident at the start of his mission and has not been able to drive ever since. i am getting pretty good at driving a 12 passenger van with a big trailer, and i even had to back it up about 40 feet today, and usually i am terrible at backing the trailer but i actually did alright. Today was the first real meshing missionaries between the two missions. There are now many companionships with one missionary from each mission, I am very exited to see how it goes. 

So now that i got the transfer day out of the way, i will  talk about the crazy week that lead up to it. In the OEM we would start working on transfers about two weeks before transfers. We started working on this transfer on Thursday. On Monday and Wednesday President Samuelian had his last two zones of interviews to do. We were planning on working on transfers for most of Tuesday but when we met with President we had so many other things to plan and talk about for the first week of the transfer, that we had no time to work on transfers.

 So Thursday and Friday were jam packed with the three of us in Presidents office working on transfers. We actually stayed the night at the mission home on Thursday and Friday cuz we would be working on it till around 11. On Friday  at about 5pm we were all so exhausted from it President thought that it would be a good idea to take a break so he took us to the golf course that is right next to the mission home and we hit a bucket of balls at the driving range. And then we came back and had great stake dinner. The Samuelians are wonderful cookers and we benefit from that quite a bit. Saturday morning we finished up and then made the calls to all the Zone Leaders. We spend the rest of the day figuring out the logistics of how to get each missionary from point A to point B. It was different because we have never done it with this geography, so it took some time but we got it done. 

July 26 2013
So i was not able to finish this on Monday, I ran out of time, and right now is the first free moment i have had since, but there has been many exiting times since. On Tuesday we had trainers trainers training at the mission home. As i was sitting there during the portion while President Samuelian was teaching i was trying to think about/planing what Elder Buhler and i were going to teach once he was done (we did not really have anytime to prepare.) While i was sitting there i it hit me that i will never have  another opportunity to train a new missionary. I have taught at the last five trainers training's and i guess each time i have hoped inside that i would be able to train one last time. Training Elder Jorgensen and Elder Kwok were the most meaningful things i did on my mission. It was kinda sad to realize that it would not be happening again but i would like to think that i have been able to help trainers and new missionaries in these last 6 months. Elder Buhler and i trained on planning and companionship study withe the trainers, President always chooses the best missionaries to train i really love being a part of those meetings. After the meeting we had to drive to the Porland missions, mission home because we needed to borrow there transfer van to pick up the new missionaries the next day. Its been pretty interesting being able to see so much of the Portland mission, and interacting with the Portland mission president so much (President Morby.)

 It was a pretty late night On Wednesday the new missionaries flew in. It was my first time at the Portland airport, it is way bigger than the Eugene airport. We were running a little behind but luckily we got there right before the new missionaries got threw the gate. I love being at the airport with the new missionaries, i always give the Elders big huge and welcome them to the greatest mission on earth! each time it makes me think of my first day and how exited i was to be a missionary. We went strait from the airport to the Portland temple, the missionaries all took a picture with President and Sister Samuelian. We spent some time on the ground and we also went threw the visitors center. It was only my second time at the Portland temple. It is a incredible temple. I think it really made a impact on the new missionaries it was Elder Buhlers idea to take them there and it was definitive worth it. After the temple we took them to the mission home and had lunch, and then right after lunch we went out to pacific city on the coast and took them to "the rock" that we went to for MLC and that is in our logo. We had a powerful meeting out there. After that we went to the chapel in Newburg and had dinner. The trainers spend most the day Wednesday proselyting in their own areas and then came back for the dinner. After dinner we had a small meeting and then the trainers and new missionaries stayed the night in Newberg at members homes. 

We met with President late Wednesday night to finalize plans for the next day. our plan was to announce companionships at about noon and have office training from 9-11. In the middle we had a hour for the three of us to train, but it was already so late that he sent us home before we could really plan what we were going to train on. we planned on meeting the next morning at 6:30 at the mission home. I showered that night and got to bed at around 11:30 I was about to set the alarm for 6:10 so i would have just enough time to get up get ready and go, but then i got the prompting to set the alarm for 5:45 so i would have time to study and ponder for the training the next day. My first thought was "I have slept so little this past week. Extra sleep will help me much more than a little preparation time. I am only going to have a few minutes to train anyways and i have already done this same thing four times." The prompting did not go away so i set the alarm for 5:45. When the alarm went of was not very tired i jumped right out of bed, said my prayers and went to my desk. I pulled out a "history of the church in Salem Oregon" book that i borrowed from the Salem ZL's apartment cuz i thought it might come in handy with the new mission. there was a story marked about  the first missionaries to ever come to Oregon and also the story of Salem's first convert. 

I immediately  knew that i needed to share the stories with the new missionaries. When the time came for me to teach i was not quite sure how i was going to present it but the spirit was helped a lot and i was able to read the stories of the first four missionaries to ever be called to preach the gospel in Oregon. I compared those four to the new missionaries. The new missionaries are first to ever get their mission call to the Salem Oregon mission. It was a really neat experience and i am very glad i followed the promptings of the spirit. After that we announced the companionships, and we hoped in the transfer van again and took them to their areas. I am so grateful for all the opportunities i have had. I love so much interacting with new missionaries, i really wish i could switch places with them. At the start of my mission when i heard missionaries who have been out a long time say "I wish i could could be at the start." 

I always thought  that they were just saying that because its the noble thing to say, but as i near the end i understand why they felt that way. I love being a missionary so much I have learned and grown so much and the thought that it will end its very sad, don't get me wrong i do very much look forward to moving on to the next stages of life and all the adventures and experiences that come, but its hard to imagine it being better than this, but i am sure it will be. I love you all

Elder Covey
--Fearless Via Faith

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Transfers are here all ready

It has been a really good week. From last Monday to today President Samuelian has been going district by district and doing interviews. We have not been going with him so we could get down all the many things we have to do here and also so we can work in our area. There were a lot of logistical little things that are still needing to be done, but we were able to knock most of those out, and we also were able to spend quite a bit of time in our area. This is a really great ward with a lot of potential. It seems like every every time we just show up at a Part member family's, or former investigator's door they are very receptive and willing to set up time for a lesson, I turely believe that Lord is giving making it work out so well because he knows how little time we have to visit these people. 

Transfers are next Monday and since President Samuelian has been doing interviews for the past 8 days we have hardly started, but i am sure it will work out fine. Its really interesting because I am the only one that has done it before since this is President Samuelian's and Elder Buhler's first time doing a transfer, the good thing is that logistically its very simple process, the time consuming part is president spiritually know who should be with who, and that is definitely not going to be an issue because President Samuelian is very in-tune with the spirit.  The actual transferring people next Monday is going to way easier because our mission is less than half the size of the Eugene mission, but i will miss driving from Eugene to Medford in the transfer Van with the trailer, I must of done that 15 times and those were some good times.
Well I have got to go. I love you all

Elder Covey

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

OSM week 2

I am sad to say that i have almost no time to write this email, but i will do my best to include as much as possible. It has been a crazy/ incredible week. We have been meeting a lot with president Samuelian in getting everything running for them and the office and getting things going. On Friday we had mission leadership council. We had 18 Elders and 6 Sisters at the mission home. President as Sister Samuelian have been planning this MLC for the past two months. President Samuelian is big on focusing in Vision and strategy and letting the tactics fall in place from the vision. Friday was a all day meeting and all we talked about was culture and vision. For culture they compared combining two missions to marriage.

That we both come from different cultures and we need to figure out what they were and take the good from both and eliminate the bad from both. we separated the former OEM and OSM missionaries and talked about the cultures (good and bad) of our past mission, and then we looked broke of in companionships and found good examples of great cultures in the scriptures. Elder Buhler and i focused on the Culture of Alma and his followers starting at the waters of Mormon threw when they made it to Zarahemla. They were a incredible people, much like the pioneers they left everything for what they believed, an went threw many hardships and threw it all remained humble and always kept the commandments and eventually (not immediately) they were delivered. We Also talked about Vision. President Samuelian has a incredible vision for the mission. The spirit has shown him what the Lord wants of this mission.

He is determined to make it happen and he has many good strategies to make it happen. Everyone stayed at the mission home Friday night and then on Saturday we went on a little field trip out to pacific city Oregon. There President and Sister Samuelian reviled the new mission logo and motto (included below.) This haystack rock is the 4th largest in the world. the motto is "build upon the rock" meaning the savior. It was really cool experience being there and we talked about it and had a testimony meeting. I am dead out of time, but i will end by saying how grateful i am to have a chance to be apart of the start of this great mission, i am giving absolutely every thing I've got. I am glad i will have the opportunity to extend be a part of it a little longer. I love this work and i know it is God's work.

Elder Covey
--Fearless Via Faith

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Oh how i love the OSM!

It has been a incredible week! I hope i will be able to include all that happened in this email. I spend Monday threw Thursday in Eugene. On Tuesday and Thursday i went with Elder Migliori to each zones good bye President Young meeting. Elder Richards and Elder Jennings (Migliori's comp) stayed and worked in their area and in the office. It was really great to spend some final time with Elder Migilori and President & Sister Young.   
Friday Mourning I went up the mission home had a final interview with President and said goodbye to them. Around Christmas time i gave President a Tie, and i bought the same one for myself so we could have companionship ties, we both wore them, and he gave me one of his ties, which was pretty neat cuz i have never heard of his giving a missionary a tie. It was hard to say good bye and leave the mission home. It was weird to think that the next time I would go to the mission home i would not be a full time missionary. Directly after that i drove up the Newburg with the office staff. I got to Newburg around Noon and started setting up the transfer board in the office. The Portland mission was having a Zone conference in the Newburg that day and i was invited to come to it, so i could have lunch, meet my companion, and make some announcements about the coming weeks. I walked in during lunch. It was really weird to walk into the gym with 40 missionaries that you have never met before. I have been so use to knowing all the missionaries in the meeting i go to, it made me feel like i was a brand new missionary. 
I quickly found my companion. His name is Elder Buhler. He is also from Orem and he is 27 years old. He is a incredible missionary i have loved being with him. He has one more transfer than i do. He did not know he was going to be the Salem assistant until two weeks ago (the Portland transfer.) He has not been a assistant before, but he spent two weeks with the Portland assistants, and he is a really mature and smart guy. So back to the Zone conference, at first it was weird but i got to know a few of the missionaries, and ended up being really fun to get to know some people. After the Zone conference Elder Buhler and I went to the mission home to set up the transfer board in President Samuelian's office. We got done and then waiting for their arrival. They ended up getting here at about 10 pm. We probably were with them for 30 minutes that night and it was incredible. They are wonderful people, and they have great vision and plans for the OSM.
On Saturday they took us out to lunch and we met with him for a little while, and then we got some time to spend in our area, and then at night we went to a meeting that all the Stake Presidents, Bishops and their wives in these 8 stakes were invited to. 
The area authority (Elder Hansen) was also their. Most of the meeting was just a social thing and a chance for President Samuelian to get acquainted with the stake Presidents and bishops. While he was doing that we got the opportunity to talk to and get to know many of them. It was really a unique experience to be there with such amazing men and women. They were all very humble and Christ like, it felt very natural just to start up and conversation with them and talk with them about their ward or stake. The meeting went very well, President & Sister Samuelian are both incredible speakers and they gave wonderful talks about the vision they had for the OSM. Sunday was a pretty normal day. We had church and then a less active lesson, and then a ton of office stuff to do. Monday was pretty busy, we correlated with all the Zone Leaders, and met with President, and we did get a chance to go grocerie shopping which is really good cuz we did not have much food, at night we had a dinner and lesson with a Part Member family(Curtis and Janell)  that has been coming to church. hopefully next week i will have more time to tell you about them but Curtis is the non member and he has been taught for a month or so and he has a lot of potential. 
Today (Tuesday) has been a incredible day. We had two meetings that each had 3 zones each. The meetings were so President Samuelian could meet the missionaries and they could get to know him. Once was in McMinvile (30 minutes away from here) and the other one was in Albany. The meeting were great. they were about two hours long, and then we spend a hour of President meeting each missionary and taking a picture with them. Last night President told Elder Buhler and I that he would like us to take 5 to 10 minutes each during the meeting on whatever we felt we needed to. We did not have anytime to prepare until the car ride over. I decided to talk about always striving to becoming a Christ like missionary. It is very easy to get caught up in doing missionary things. 
We tend to justify our shortcomings by thinking 'all that really matters is i am working hard and being obedient.' Obviously those things are incredible important be we need to always being striving to be more like Christ and Developing Christ like attributes. In the talk shared some scriptures from Alma 7 and how Alma commands the people of Gideon to repent even though he says that he is glad they are in righteous paths. I talked about we all have things to repent or change in our lives, and that threw the Atonement we can have the power to make those changes and become more like him. I decided to also talk about the Christ like attribute of humility and how important it is to be humble threw this time, there are going to have to be a lot of changes made. There were many differences in how the OEM did it and how the OPM did it, and some decisions are going to be made that initially some missionaries will disagree with. I bore my testimony that President Samuelian was called of God and all he has us do will be the will of the Lord so we need to be humble and fully support every decision. Elder Buhler gave a great talk on change, and how important it is make changes for the better. President Samuelian spoke over a hour and just shared his vision with everyone, he talked a lot about culture and the type of culture we are going to have in the OSM. I am very grateful to be serving with President Samuelian, i have already learned so much from him and i know i will learn much more. I love you all. The gospel is true! 
Elder Covey
--Fearless Via Faith