On Tuesday December 17, 2013 Elder Kamilos wrote:
Dear Mom and Dad,
Well, the time has come for my first transfer! I'm sad to be leaving Smithfield, I've really come to love the people and the area. But, I know the Lord needs me in Hooper, so I'm excited to go! My new companion (whom I haven't met yet, I leave tomorrow) is Elder Richie, and I've heard great things about him. He's been in Hooper for about 6 months now, so he'll be very familiar with the area and I'm sure he'll really be able to help me transition into serving there. And also, I've been told that it's pronounced "Hupper" so I need to be sure to do that from the beginning because apparently it's a big deal, haha. I don't want to offend anyone! But I'm excited!
On a more spiritual note, I really had my testimony strengthened this past week when we met a man who's quite literally lost everything. The tragedy he experienced humbled him so deeply that he suddenly turned to activity in the church after decades of inactivity. He was baptized when he was 8, but really never gained a knowledge of the Gospel. He said his eyes were opened in the past few weeks, and when I suggested that it was a miracle, he said that that was the third time he had heard that on that same day, and that he had never looked at it that way, but he really began to recognize it as such. The Spirit was intensely strong, and during the lesson we felt prompted to make a promise, that if he remained humble, repented, and turn himself towards Christ and His Atonement, that the Lord would lift him to a point even higher than he had been before. The words just fell out of my mouth, and that's when I really began to understand how the Spirit gives me the capacity to fulfill my calling. Without the Spirit and the setting apart, I'm just a 19 year old kid! That, in itself, is also a miracle.
I know this is the work of the Lord. I know that I'm serving here in this mission and these areas because it's exactly where I'm meant to be at the time that I'm supposed to be here. I pray that I will be able to touch the hearts of the people I serve as they have touched mine.
I hope everyone is having a great winter break! And congrats again to Mary for graduating!! WOOH!
On Tuesday December 10, 2013 Elder Kamilos wrote:
Dear Mom and Dad,
I think you're getting more winter weather there than we are here! We got about 4 inches a couple of days ago. The only thing about it here is that it's FRIGID! I think it hit -12 degrees last night, and it's almost consistently in the single digits during the day. But it's bearable. At least it's dry here!
The Christmas Party was great! I got the package (THANK YOU!!) and we got to watch Ephraim's Rescue. Great movie!
As for last week's questions, I have not done any driving yet. I'm still in my first area and it's a walking/biking area. Although transfers are next week so you never know if I'll stay or go! I hope I stay though, I love it here in Smithfield. I've made some great relationships with some of the members, and the people we're working with are great! We're hoping to have another baptism in a couple of weeks (pray for us!). And we just go to the City Recreational Center. We got permission from the Zone Leaders. We go at 6 AM most mornings, and we got a huge discount for a one month membership, so it was really cheap. I don't know if I mentioned this in an earlier e-mail, but I think Smithfield is somewhere around 80-85% LDS. So, we're very well taken care of, to say the least.
Anyway, stay warm! Hope everything is going well and that conditions aren't too dangerous! Love you all!
Elder Michael Kamilos