Tuesday, September 25, 2012

September 25, 2012

Dear Mom,
I am emailing from temperate Laguna beach! Yes, just like the reality show. I have a fantastic companion named Elder Barton and he is from Provo Utah and played lacrosse with Elder Omori, who was one of my MTC companions! There have already been so many little things like that that have outlined the Lord's omniscient hand in my journey.
We found 3(!) new investigators this week, and I am so excited to continue to teach them, but we are just getting started. There is a lot of wonderful, busy and wholesome work to do here in the Marina Hills ward! I am very happy here. We work hard all the day long every day.
I have learned about 250 names so far of the members in the ward, but the tricky part is matching up those names that I have stored away with the faces attached to the hand I am shaking. Usually I get the names wrong, but that is the best way to learn, especially while I have the "only-been-here-for-3-days" excuse. My biggest challenge is geographically understanding the ward boundaries and the various landmarks and people we visit therein.
I am glad you got my package already! It was heavy, but sent for pretty cheap. I was sad to send those materials and clothes home. If you wear the clothes then you have to study the Mongolian books too! Then you will understand my testimony when I get home and share it in Mongolian!
To answer your questions; I am just regular English speaking, but I have used quite a bit of Spanish so far, but I have a handicap: when I want to say something in Spanish, I think it in English, then translate to Mongolian before I can reverse the sentence structure back again to normal and then try to get it into Spanish. It is so frustrating! For example I tried to ask if John was home:
English: Is John home?
English to Mongolian structure: John, at home is yes/no?
Mongolian words: Eon gert bain oo?
Spanish words: John casa en la aqui esta?
Spanish structure: John esta aqui en la casa?
I usually don't make it all the way to that last step, so I am stuck fumbling for some incoherent mix of Mongolian grammar, Spanish words and awkward eye contact. My companion loves to watch!
Even though at times I struggle with my many flaws and natural temptations I know that I have a message of great value and importance that has, is and will change the lives of those that accept it. I love my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and I pray every day for the strength to continue to follow His example and serve Him with faith unto works, charitable consecration, uncompromised honesty and willing happiness! I am a happy Carlsbad missionary! Thank you for the letters from people in the ward this week, they have really brightened my spirit and helped me focus on my purpose and remember the One who knows and directs all things.
Have a great week! -Elder Chandler

Friday, September 21, 2012

September 18, 2012

OH yeah! highlights of the week!
Went to the temple and got to see a family get sealed that Elder Lake taught!
Elder Lake tore his meniscus and will need surgery when he gets home...
I don't know which pictures they are, so I don't know how to describe them.

Friday, September 14, 2012

September 11, 2012

Dear mom,
This week was great! I am having a fabulous time here and the people we are meeting with have needs and concerns that can ALL be addressed through the gospel of Jesus Christ. We had a district meeting yesterday and some of the mission leadership was there and I gave a training about contacting every single person we meet. I spent hours and hours studying the why, what and how of contacting and learned a lot about the sacred call that I have received to be a missionary and represent Jesus Christ. I am also almost done with the big book "Jesus the Christ" and am just scratching the surface of the depth of understanding that I want to have and that will transform me.
Every morning I have about an hour after running to do everything I need to before personal study starts at 8, so I have been memorizing a scripture every morning the past two weeks and I love it! Elder Scott said that scriptures are "packets of light" and I know that I have been having less and less un-missionary like thoughts as I keep the words of God treasured up throughout the day.
I set some goals and wrote myself a personal mission statement to aid me in fulfilling my purpose as a missionary. I am really excited to be a Carlsbad missionary! Elder Scott Hicks is home isn't he?!!? Wow, that came fast. I will send pictures next week. A transfer is every 6 weeks and what that means is that the mission president and his assistants pray about and think about which elders and sisters would serve where, then they make those changes. Not for sure yet, but President Cook told me I would probably be moved to a different location next week and I am excited to see where that is, or if I actually stay here. I have come to love this ward that I have been in and I think of it as my first "real" area as a Carlsbad missionary.
As I said in the first sentence of this email, the restored gospel of Jesus Christ can provide for each and every person's greatest desires and most pressing needs. Whether it be a longing for a sense of belonging or peace in this life and the hereafter or a search for purpose to their life or providing for a family or just a set of morals in a world of changing values, I know that my duty is to take this message to all the world because it will change lives. I am blessed to see the miracles that happen around me everyday and the changes people make and the brightness that enters their life and their eyes as the accept and embrace the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I cannot express enough how much I love this work. Even days that never end or when we get forgotten about at dinner time (That is my LEAST favorite!) it helps me realize that I am about my heavenly Father's work. I know that God is real and loves each of us.
Have a great week! Love, Elder Chandler

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Mission update

Jefferson has been permanently reassigned to the Carlsbad, CA Mission.  Unfortunately, the Mongolian government is now requiring at least a Bachelor's degree in order to come into Mongolia and teach English.  You may continue to write him at the Vista, CA address.  That will be his address for the remainder of his mission.

September 4, 2012

Mother dear,
The Lord does indeed work in mysterious ways! The work has been getting better every week and I am really loving life and thriving here in Temecula. Which is a good thing, because as you know I will be serving the duration of my mission here. There is no place that I would rather be than here at this time. I really believe that. I do not think that the Lord doesn't need me in Mongolia, but He needs me here more. Would you be able to send me a guide on "How to throat-sing"? I still really want to learn! I have 5 minutes in the shower everyday.
The other three elders besides Elder Hegland and I have been re-assigned to the Oakland, Sacramento mission. Elder Hegland and I will both be staying here! I will be sending home some of the books and sweaters that I would have needed in Mongolia, but no longer require. After I figure out where I stand and how empty my suitcases are, I will let you know what I can't get here and ask for help, thanks.
Elder Lake and I have been working hard this week and having a great time! It is hard to believe that it is September already! I do have a great love for the people of southern California already and want to do all I can to help them all find happiness to the fullest of my abilities. I love this missionary work and I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ provides a way for us to obtain lasting happiness. Joy that will continue beyond the grave. I want to do all that is required of me and more. I have a personal goal to exhaust myself to the point that when I come home I will sit down somewhere and not be a missionary and sleep for 72 hours. Then I got sick this week and had to slow down a little and pace myself. Working hard without working smart is not pleasing unto God. Working too hard, even if it is smart, to the point where it is not sustainable also, is not good, because the Lord requires effective servants that are always at the top of their games.
As I tried to express last week before the time ran out, this work is a literal battle that we missionaries are waging against the unembodied hosts of the adversary. The fight is over the bodies of each of God's children living on this earth. Satan's legions want us to be miserable like unto themselves, and Christ is working through us to defend truth and liberty. As Moroni experienced of old, the conflict can seem overwhelming, but the war is one that we know we will win. We have been promised by God and through latter-day prophets that God is on our side and will come out the conqueror. I have tried to be more bold and fearless this week in proclaiming the Word to the hearts of the children of men, whose hearts have been prepared by angels. Alma taught that in order to receive exaltation, we must humble ourselves before God and bring forth fruit meet for repentance. Often we need to pray for guidance and listen, we may need to let go of our pride, we may need to forgive and move on, or perhaps, we need to just lose ourselves in a relentless push to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The difficulties arise when our enemies (those spirits who chose to follow Satan) try to lead us away from the straight and narrow path to eternal life. I have no greater conviction in this life than my knowledge that this church is true. I will not allow myself to falter in the march towards victory, nor will I pass up the chance to extend the invitation to all to join the ranks of our Father. Every singe person living on this earth has a body and that alone provides power of the bodiless forces that seek to oppress us and enslave us with the yoke of bondage. I, more than ever, know that this fight is not easy. Even missionaries have our struggles and challenges, but faith and submission to the will of God have given me hope and power to endure each trial. May each of us this week stand a little taller and know that we are on the path that God wants us to be on. I am grateful for the peace that this knowledge brings. I love being a missionary.
Love, Elder Chandler