Thursday, January 23, 2014

I'm in the Mission field!

Elder Keppner with his trainer, Elder M.

Hey everyone!

Well, it's official; I'm in the mission field!

I'm sorry I haven't written in so long, but my P-days will be on Monday from now on.

The last few days in the MTC were crazy! We had meeting after meeting, and we had spiritual experience after spiritual experience. I got to go through the Provo Temple with the other missionaries in my district (which was amazing by the way), and we had a lot of lessons with investigators.

So you know that investigator A--- I mentioned before? Well, it turns out he is the Ambassador from Haiti. He was in Salt Lake and kept hearing about the "Mormons" so he went to find out what they believe. He showed up at Church headquarters and asked them what they believe, so Church headquarters sent him to the MTC to find out from the training missionaries there.

Right before we left, the other two missionaries who had been teaching him got him to commit to baptism! It was amazing, and all of us were pumped. (Pumped is a word used by missionaries A LOT, so, you can expect me to use it from here on )

Anyway, we got up at 4:00am on Monday morning and took a bus to the airport. We waited around for a bit and called home, and then we all flew together to Spokane. After meeting with President Mullen (He's awesome by the way) and going through some training, we were sent to different homes to sleep for the night.

On Tuesday, we got our new companions, and were assigned to our new areas. Being separated from my district was almost harder than leaving home. I'm really going to miss all of them, and I hope I can serve in the same district as them somewhere down the road.

SO! The big news!

My new area is: St. Maries Idaho!

Look it up on Google maps! It's a small hick town, and it's in some of the most beautiful country I've ever seen.

My first day's impression was this:

-80% of the people here are over 60.

-80% of the younger people have some form of mental disability

-100% of the people that aren't LDS smoke like a chimney

But at the end of that first day, I was feeling like this was the place I was meant to serve.

Oh! My companion! His name is Elder M_, and he is an AWESOME trainer. He also has nearly photographic memory, which helps when you're trying to find the houses 50 miles away from town which are still in our ward boundaries.

After the first day though, a really grew to love this area. I love the people here. Most everyone is so humble, and EVERYONE knows who the missionaries are, and when there's a new one. We've taught a LOT of lessons to investigators, but most of our work is helping inactive members back onto the path.

You see, there are 250 people in our ward, but less than 60 show up to church on a regular basis.

Oh! I've got my first baptism on February 8th! His name is Shane, and he is AWESOME! When I asked him to be baptized, it came so natural and easy, I was worried that maybe I had done something wrong. When he said yes, me and Elder M___ calmly finished the lesson, and then we did and interesting dance once we were outside.

I LOVE missionary work. I feel like I was born to do this, and I've never been so completely happy in my life. This is God's work, and I'm so blessed to be a part of it.

Love you all,



So, cool story #1. Elder Lohan (He refuses to tell us if he's related to Lindsey Lohan) was going to play Ron in Harry Potter! No joke! He is from England, and he made auditioned to be Ron back when he was eleven. He made the part, but then something happened out of the blue that made it so he couldn't take the part. He told us about how it had been one of God's mercies that he didn't make the part, because if he had, he never would have joined the Church, and he never would have been able to serve a mission. Talk about cool!

Cool story number two. In the MTC, we were assigned to clean the Bathrooms in one of the buildings. The brother in charge split us into two groups and called us Team Rocket and Team Squirtle Squad (ask Lliam, he'll be able to explain it all). Anyway, I was in Team Rocket, along with Elder F___ and Elder H___. While scrubbing, me and Elder H___ recited the Team Rocket theme over and over and over again, and then we would passionately break out into the Pokemon theme song. So, awesome times.

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