Tuesday, May 28, 2013

So, ya, I wrecked my bike...

So crazy story. There is a hill range to the West of Idaho Falls. On top of those hills are GIANT windmills!! Today 5/27 I touched one of them. They are ssssooooo big!!! But as you can see in the first picture I have a blue bike, and now I'm riding a red one. Ya.... I wrecked..... nothing bad but it was pretty intense!! So, ya, my first bad fall on a bike. Love you!!!


The Lord Answered My Prayers

Sawyer keeps sending us pictures of trees in bloom. 
He's so amazed with Spring coming after the snow and cold. 

On May 20, 2013, Mikel and I were driving to the airport and talking about Sawyer.  We pulled over to pray for him, as we knew that this would be an especially hard time for him since it was Madie’s birthday and 6 months since her death.  Just as we were ending our prayer, we received a text from my cousin, Rachel Gillmore, who lives in Idaho Falls, asking for Sawyer’s address.  She had felt prompted that morning as she was grocery shopping to pick up items to make Sawyer a peach cobbler and deliver it tonight.  We were filled with gratitude for our Heavenly Father and for Rachel acting on this prompting. 
This is a text we got from Rachel after she delivered the cobbler: “Sawyer and I visited for 3 hours last night.  I passed on your deep love and support to him.  He had a positive spirit about him despite Madie’s birthday and anniversary.  We talked about the day to day stuff, our family, his investigators, the blessings and the trials of life.  There was laughter as well as some tears.  He testified that he is exactly where he needs to be right now.  He continues to find healing while still focusing on the work.  There is no doubt the Lord is taking care of him.  He is nothing short of amazing!”
...and now for Sawyer's letter...
To Everyone:
This past Monday the Lord answered my prayers. Rachel Gillmore came and knocked on my door with a peach cobbler and a loving heart. I am so grateful for all she did for me. Just being willing to sit and listen was a huge blessing for me.  We talked about everything under the sun but when we started talking about Madie I realized how much I needed to get it out and talk about the things we did. Thank you so much Rachel. You’re amazing.
Investigator update:
Slone Schmitt: 15
We had a new member lesson with him, his mom, and his sister Karlie.  It's kinda cool because he is a member, Sister Schmitt is a less active and Karlie we are hoping to baptize here pretty soon :). We were talking about the fist vision and Elder Stephens turned to Slone to ask "How do you know Joseph Smith was a prophet of God?" But half way through the question he turned and ask Sister Schmitt. After recovering from the shock of being asked, Sister Schmitt explained that she couldn’t, with confidence, say she knows a lot of things are true.  We talked with her about how she can come to find the truth for herself and she accepted the challenge to pray about it!  The Lord has really blessed this family. I can’t wait to be guided by the Spirit like Elder Stephens.
Miller Boys: Ashten and Tristen: 9&11
They are getting baptized this Saturday! June 1st!!! They are the greatest and I love these kids. I can’t wait to see the light fully come into their life. They asked me to give the talk on baptism.  I love working for the Lord.
Lisa Olsen: ~45
She is planning on getting baptized on the 7th!!! She set her own date and is hoping to have her husband baptize her!! He is fighting smoking and needs to have not had a smoke for 2 weeks and have an interview with the bishop.  I hope and pray he will make this goal for himself and for his whole family.
Shayla Pierson: 8
She is so ready for baptism! We just need to work with her mom to set a date and get her on the path to her Father in Heaven. She leaves to California to visit her father for a month and we need to give her the Gift of the Holy Ghost before she goes. We are not sure how her father feels about the church and the month could be really hard for her. 
Please continue to pray for all of our investigators.  These children of God need our help and we have the power to do so. Thank you for your prayers
D&C 88:63 - Plain and simple.  “Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”
2nd Nephi 7:8 - I love this verse because if we read it like we are saying it, it can be so uplifting!  “And the Lord is near, and he justifieth me.  Who will contend with me?  Let us stand together.  Who is mine adversary?  Let him come near me, and I will smite him with the strength of my mouth. (vs 9) For the Lord God will help me.”
I’m still here. I’m still breathing. I’m still fighting the good fight. All glory be unto the Father.
Elder Eldredge

Monday, May 20, 2013

Never Give Up

May 20th. Happy Birthday My Love.


2nd Timothy 4:7

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”


What I learned this week: I must never give up.


These past 6 months have been the hardest of my life. I lost the love of my life and then departed to serve the Lord on a 2 year mission. Although being on a mission is the greatest thing I could be doing right now, it does not take away the pain of losing Madeline. Many times I have given up, threw my hands in the air and wanted to stop existing. Last night was one of the hardest nights for me, but I woke with a determination that I have not felt in a long time. I know my Heavenly Father loves me. I know he is watching over me. Although he has cut me down to nothing "It will be for [my] good."
At the end of my Patriarchal blessing (A blessing given to us for our uplifting and knowledge throughout life) it says, "Never give up." This is the last piece of advice my Lord gave me through this blessing. I always knew I had to keep going but just not giving up is the hardest part. I must serve the Lord with all my heart, might, mind, and strength.  This is my call, my fate; to always serve the Lord and submit to his will. I must submit.
When Christ was in the Garden of Gethsemane he did not want to take upon him all the pain and hell of this world. But he loved us and he loved his father enough to do it. I am forever grateful for his sacrifice. I will be forever in his debt.  He is my Savior, my Redeemer, my Lord, my Master. He loves me and I know it. 


This is my sacred testimony.


Elder Eldredge

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day

We had the privilege of skyping with Elder Eldredge on Mother's Day.  It was one of the two times a year the missionaries are allowed to call home.  We had a great time all gathering around the computer and seeing him.  He was happy and excited about serving a mission.  He thanked us, his parents, for providing him with a loving home to grow up in, and brought me to tears as he expressed his gratitude and love for us in great detail.  What a blessing to have a son serving The Lord full time.
 We also received a letter from a sister who attended church where Sawyer spoke on Mother's Day.   
Dear Eldredge family,
I know today you will have the privilege of speaking with your missionary but I wanted to send you an extra gift. My husband asked the elders to speak today on how their mothers prepared them for their missions. I tried to take good notes and thought I would pass along to you what your elder shared with our ward today. Obviously not word for word, but I think you'll get the message just the same.

Your son is a very humble young man with a gift of speaking from his heart and by the spirit. He related the scripture in 1 Nephi 1:1 and changed goodly parents to include a goodly father and a goodly mother. He saluted his mother for raising him to do all of the things necessary to be a good missionary including tying his shoes, riding a bike, cleaning, cooking, choosing the right eggs and milk at the grocery store, and how to say please and thank you.  He told us of how he appreciated many traits in his mother, and that each of these traits helped him prepare spiritually to become a missionary. Things like a gentle reminder each night, "don't forget to say your prayers!" (which, by the way, he said he misses!) He saluted his mother as being a great scriptorian who taught her children the scriptures at their level and helped them to know where to seek the truth. He told us his mother taught him to always attend church and to always fulfill his priesthood responsibilities. He recounted the story of the stripling warriors and reminded us of the scripture in Alma 56:47 where they were taught by their mothers, and how they didn't doubt because their mothers knew it. He bore a strong testimony that because he had been taught by his mother, he too, does not doubt. He concluded with a strong testimony of the truths he is now teaching on his mission. It was a powerful talk.

On a side note, before Elder Stephens took his turn, our musical number today was all of the priesthood singing "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" and both the elders joined in testifying yet again, this time through music. The spirit was strong. It was a great gift to all of the women in our congregation to know that these worthy priesthood holders know that their Redeemer does live.

We are grateful to have these elders in our stake and in our ward. They are awesome. Enjoy your phone call today. Know that we are all doing our best to support their efforts and take good care of them while they are away on the Lord's errand.
Sister Joy Sorensen

Monday, May 6, 2013

My First Baptism!!!!

 May 6, 2013

Dearest Mommy :) 

My first Baptism!!!!! :D It was sssssoooo amazing!!!!  Slone is so amazing!!! The talks were amazing, the spirit was there. His grandfather baptized him and his less-active dad said the closing prayer. When Brother Schmitt (Slone's Dad) got up to the pulpit to say the prayer he stood there for at least a minuet just crying, trying to pull himself together. Then his brother got up there and put his arm around him and then Brother Schmitt found the power to start the prayer. It was so powerful!! I really hope they continue to come to church and become reactivated. Slone also has a little sister, Carly, who is 11 and not baptized. We are planning on teaching Slone the new member lessons (which are the same lessons just a recap) in his home and hopefully with his sister there!!!! I hope she sees how much happiness the Gospel is bringing to her brother’s life and will want to be a part of it.  I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!! THIS IS WHAT IT IS ALL ABOUT!!!!! 

You guys had a baptism this weekend too!!! That is so cool!!! I remember Mike Gore coming and visiting in Elders Quorum and he seemed like a cool guy!!! I’m so glad the work is moving forward :)

A couple of the families we're teaching have fallen on some hard times in their marriages.  Every time I go over to their house I thank my Heavenly Father I was born of goodly parents that love me and taught me in the ways of God. So I’m a Missionary and a Marriage Counselor!  

I love the kids I'm teaching.  The brothers have a baptismal date!!! June 1st!!! The little girl we teach went to church yesterday!!! for the first time in a long time!!!! She is scheduled to be baptized June 15th. The day after Elder Stephens birthday!!! Yes he and Joe share the same birthday.  

We are teaching another little girl.  She is sssssooooo smart!!! She has been going to church with a family in one of our wards and they asked her if she wanted to take the missionary discussions and she said yes!!! She has been going for a while so she knows a lot of the answers. She is 8 but her parents are divorced and not members. So we get to count it as one of our baptisms. She is so fun :)

I’m glad you liked D&C 35:13-14.  President Brinkerhoff showed it to us. I think it applies to everybody. We must all "fight manfully" for the Lord. And whether you want to or not you are doing it!! You are having the missionary discussions in your home and raising children unto the Lord and being an example for all to see!!!! You’re amazing!!!!

Do you know were BB is going on her mission? She is going to be an amazing missionary!!! 

I love you I love you I love you!!!!

Your son,
Elder Eldredge

This was a picture I took of my bike last week!