Wednesday, December 26, 2012

December 26, 2012

Last Email of 2012 for Elder Chandler!
Hi mom,
I am glad we got to talk yesterday and that I caught you at home and got to see everyone's morning faces!
We talked about everything yesterday, so bye!
Love, Elder Chandler
Just kidding, I always have lots to say, anytime any day!
I think that the reason President Cook is so good and has been so successful is because he holds his missionaries accountable, sometimes he just calls missionaries during the day and asks them what they have done the past 3-4 hours to fulfill their purpose. He also lets missionaries stay in areas for a longer amount of time than usual. Most missionaries stay for 6 months in an area so by the end the ward knows and trusts them and the missionary really knows the area and the people and the social circles so he can become really effective.
President Cook also knows, and I know that the Gospel is simple and when I talked with Harrison yesterday I told him that. Jesus Christ is the source of forgiveness. He wants us to return home to live with Himself and our Father in heaven and be happy. He provided us a way to do so. That is why the last thing I said was "follow the commandments" It was half-silly, but instead of saying something like "be happy" or "don't worry about me" I know that if we just follow the commandments then we will be set. I love sharing this message to the wealthy, yet unhappy people of California!! (That is just a general statement, there are poor people here and there are happy people as well, don't sue me!)
The work is about to pick up here, we have some big plans :)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
-Elder Chandler

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

December 18th, 2012

Surf's up in Oceanside!

How did you know I was transferred? And you aren't supposed to know I am a zone leader! To answer your questions I am serving in the Oceanside 1st ward with Elder Hammar from Rigby, ID and we are the zone leaders in the Carlsbad zone. We have the famous Oceanside pier in our area and we run there often in the mornings. It is a mission rule to run every morning by the way. 

I am glad you got to meet Kevin Clegg and get the camera card from him! He is a stud and a great ward missionary. I have a new card in the camera now, but if you send that other one back that would be great. I didn't have the chance to go through and censor the pictures, so I hope there wasn't any weird ones that people stole my camera and took without me knowing!

Yay, you got the Peace on Earth elf! That is from a lady who gets them every year and they are supposedly really valuable and she said to give them to our mothers. She had lunch with Russel Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio last week and is a really cool lady. i am glad that you got the package. I did get the stockings for me and Elder Hammar, thank you thank you! 

As a clarification that alligator was a conglomeration of pre-historic vittles that should have been buried 100 miles under the Bermuda triangle. We couldn't tell if it was alive, so we basically put on our gloves and big-boy pants and reached in and pulled it out piece by piece. First the heart, then the intestines then the thigh meat. It was just gross stuff.

It is snowing at home?! it is freezing here, I wore my sweater and long-sleeve shirts this week. It is literally 60 degrees in the morning and I can see my breath! It got down to 57 yesterday and it was hard to leave the apartment. it is going to be a real culture shock to come home to Oregon. 

Highlights of the week:

I have to shave every day out of necessity, not solely out of obedience now. 

Ioannies was baptized on Saturday, but I didn't get to go, because it was too far away. We have a baptism here though this Saturday which should be great, I am really excited!

CrazyRadar(This will be my weekly column, similar to the police log, of choice individuals who we meet during the week that brought joy to our lives):

Shadrac- On our way to an appointment we stopped and talked to a mysterious man in a long trechcoat. We asked him what he was doing and he told us it was "beyond our realm of comprehension" but then he started explaining that he needed to go back in time and deflect a solar flare. Something to do with 12/12/2012 he just kept saying 12-12-12-12-12-12-12-20-12. I wish I could explain more clearly about the self-proclaimed Galactic Rescue Ranger, but most of his physics were beyond my realm of comprehension.

Jared- Between appointments we were walking and started talking to a man who was already involved in a conversation. With himself. he told us he was a little busy with his thoughts, but that God is happy with us. We tried to share a card with him, but then he got pretty mad and said he was looking for a place to relieve himself. Elder Hammar notified him of a gas station in the vicinity and he started calling us super mean names and that we don't have any right to tell him where to do his business, in fact "I prefer to [do it] outside gentlemen!!" I hope he made it.

Karate Kid- Tender mercy. We were just driving down Pacific Coast Highway and happened upon a young painter who stood up and ran behind this van and then started doing something which looked like dancing until he threw a few kicks in. He did a beautiful martial art demonstration for us and then got in the van and drove away before I could get my camera out. This all happened in about 8 seconds.

Guy- Really, his name is Guy. he was walking around one night with a big coat on and carrying some dark object, but we stopped and talked to him and he was super nice so we gave him a card and the next day he called in and requested a DVD so we took one to him, but he said he had sever bipolar, so it wasn't a good time to talk to him. He was a little crazy, but Guy is actually pretty cool.

Merry Christmas to all and I am looking forward to talking with you in 7 days! Good luck in the treacherous weather of the Northwest!

-Elder Chandler

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

December 11th, 2012

My salutation today is a smile, because I am happy! 
I am impressed that even though you wrote me this email last night, you thought ahead and said good morning to me, because you knew I would be getting it this morning! 

Thank you for the email and good news from home. My news, as you know, is that I am headed to a new area this very day. The ward here has been so fun and people said they have spare rooms if I ever want to visit! I just might when it is 75 degrees in December!

My personal favorite experience of the week is hard to put a finger on. Elder Barton and I mentally and physically sprinted all week and were raring for more, but his new companion will just have to catch on quick.Any how, here are a few of my highlights(in no particular order):

-Ward Christmas party: Elder Barton and I cooked the hashbrowns and spilled a little oil. We did not think it was a big deal until Carter van der Linde, who is 6 jumped by us, landed in the oil, got some on his shoes and proceeded to run into the slick wood floor of the gym, make a sharp 90 degree cut to the left while his feet continued ahead and he landed on his rump. A little more wax on the floor please...

-Sunday: I accompanied the ward choir singing "Jesus Once of Humble Birth". It was nice to feel the spirit through music like that. I love teaching and testifying, but music really gets to me. 

Christmas caroling: A few times this week we went out with members of the ward or other missionaries to visit investigators, single people or just people who needed a cheering up to sing a few Christmas carols and read from Luke 2. That was really nice, and people liked it. 

Oh yeah, also during the Christmas party the young men and young women did a little act and I played the piano for them as they sang some fun songs. 

THE BIG ONE: We have a sweet, little, old sister who was baptized about 5 years ago. She loves missionaries! Now, that is all well and good, however, she is tight financially and is looking for a roommate. Well, what is the problem with that Elder Chandler? Her house was neck high in rubbish!!! Ward council has been discussing this problem for years: she needs help. Well That is what missionaries are for, so I told Elder Barton we need to do something about this. This sister has the most wobbly voice I have ever heard. I will call her after my mission just to listen to her voice, because it tickles me. 

We usually have a tough time getting elderly women to do what we want, but this time we had no mercy. We talked about bringing the spirit into her home, about getting money so she could experience the blessings of tithing, and being happy! She agreed to leave her home for a season while we went in to do some work. She warned us about the "alligator in the fridge" and I thought it was a rumor. Until I opened the fridge; there it was. 

We filled up the dumpster behind her house with newspapers from 1987 and canned food older than me. Once that was full we filled up the next dumpster with deteriorated pillows and warm meat juice. Elder Barton just about vomited a few times (haha)

She is still looking for a roommate, but she is very happy. As a goodbye gift I took her out to lunch yesterday and made her let me pay. She is truly a wonderful woman. 

I have to head down to Vista for transfer meeting and to practice a song that President Cook wants me to play for the meeting. 

That is not what is really important though, what IS really important is that we have God's church on the earth and the simple Gospel, which is the way for us to be happy. I know that it is true and real. A thought I have been pondering on this week is about vision. Well, vision and perspective. If I want to drive across the country I believe I could. However, all I can see at one time is the road ahead of me. If I crash in the middle, I will be stuck, and you never know what might be around the next corner that would deter you from forward progression. As we make decisions and goals in our life we must remember that ultimate goal that Father in heaven wants for us: to return to live with Him.

What I have been thinking about is that life is not all about what is happening right now. I was guilty in high school of being narrow-minded and absorbed in activities that were part of my vision, but I did not recognize the big picture. Only God really sees the big picture, but I have a strong testimony that if we just live the simple Gospel then we will be happy. As we do the right things and live the right way then there is nothing that can stop us from achieving our purpose in life. I love my Savior Jesus Christ. He is my elder brother and my friend. Please, please, please think about Him every day. 

Being a missionary is the bomb! Lovin' out loud is what it's all about :)

-Elder Chandler :):):):):):):):):)

December 4th, 2012

Thank you for the email Mom!

I am glad you like the photos, there is a ward missionary who is going up to Portland in 2 weeks and said he wanted to stop by you, so I asked him to take you up the camera memory card. I have another one, so don't worry, I will still capture pieces of my adventure for you. 

I am glad that you had a good week and that life is good. Life is good here too! Ioannies passed his baptismal interview and is really set on his date of December 17. Ever since we told him to read and pray every day and his doubts will dissappear he has and the doubts have disappeared. We are happy about that.

So Eddie Shin who was baptized last month goes to Humbolt State University. Sarah Martin also goes there and she was baptized this year too and they know each other and go to the same ward! When Eddie comes home for Christmas I am sure he will be excited to talk about that connection! 

Today is laundry day and I am going to wash my shirts because they are really dirty, but I was able to procure 3 additional shirts. They are nice and cleaner. An Elder had them before me for 2 years and they are cleaner then the ones I have had for 6 months. The only problem is that they are a little wider fit, so I call them my "fat man shirts" and I wear them with my "skinny jeans". They are still all missionary appropriate  my clothes just don't quite fit like they should so I think it is funny. I suppose I should be more politically correct because I understand you aren't the only one who may read this email, but it is too late now! 

Yesterday was superb! We are working on a family mission plan for all the families in the ward and one of the families we taught last night. They are the Brunelle's. We had a fun lesson on family prayer and they will now pray every night together. Towards the end of the lesson, however, brother Brunelle started just asking questions about Cain and Able, so we talk them that story and then he asked super random questions and I made the mistake of giving my opinion, instead of the doctrine behind it and said that "well, I don't know this, but I think maybe Cain is still here, I heard that one time, this is not to say for sure, but just my thoughts is he could be like Bigfoot  Not exactly Bigfoot  but just some thing that no one can find." And he just told me about how when I have my name tag on I really need to be careful about what I say! I was really trying to just suggest that I have no idea, but I have a funny thought! He is right though that people look up to missionaries and listen to what they say, so I need to be careful. They are a super fun family and no harm was done, but I learned a good lesson. 

Mom, for your "Arise and Shine Forth" kick-off I think that that sounds awesome! Looking back, now at the youth here in the Marina Hills ward they truly are an example and others look to them. We talked to a kid on the street and he said he knows some Mormon kids and they are only good, nice and loving people. That was a great testimony to me that living right is the best thing to do. 

I have been thinking this week that I want to share more of the things I am doing, and less of just random stuff. So today I am going to write a short list of people we teach and how they are doing. Nothing personal or details, and probably not even their names, but just some incredible changes that are happening. Sorry that my letter is jumbled today, my mind is on the things we have coming up this week. 

A. This person has stopped with her hard core drugs and got married and her and her non-member husband are coming to activities and church and we teach them regularly. 

B. He just got the Melchizedek priesthood on Sunday and used to drink and smoke, but now even though his family are all not members he comes to church. We are helping him get through the loss of his sister.

C. (Andy Nelson :) Andy is doing great and we visit him every Monday at 1. He has started listening to the scriptures after 8 months of not doing anything. We teach and read with him and he gets to talk to someone. he is much happier.

D. She meets with us once a week and is a new member and felt really bad for herself for a long time, but now she reads the scriptures, comes to church and is looking for a job.

E. Their daughter died about a year ago and we help in their garden once a week. They are active, but just need visits. 

F. This family has a son called to leave on his mission in March, and he comes out with us. The family is not really active, so we teach them with the son. The son just gave his first blessing to his mom and the whole family felt better. 

There are so so many, but I will share some more next week. 

The Gospel is a wonderful blessing in the lives of all those who live it. I hope that at this Christmas time of year that we can show our Christ like love in word and deed. As President David O. McKay said "True happiness comes from making others happy." May we serve others and bring light and joy to all those and find peace and happiness in our own lives. I am grateful to be a missionary and I wouldn't trade it for anything!

California! -Elder Chandler