Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Presents, Lessons, and Exchanges!

Hellooo family!

This week has been crazy, awesome, and exhausting! The work is moving forward, mistakes have been made, and the Spirit is on a ROLL!

We taught a lot of lessons this last week, and for our efforts, we have 3 new investigators!

Probably the highlight of this week was the exchange me and Elder Wa--- had here in Priest River.

Elder C--- (our district leader) organized the exchange, and Elder W--- ended up going to Newport with Elder C---, and Elder Wa--- came here in Priest River with me. When Elder Wa--- arrived, I told him that the one thing I wanted from this exchange was to "work our butts off". Elder Wa--- liked the motto, and so that's what we did. We ended up teaching 12 lessons that day, and finding 2 new investigators! We went up and down every street in Priest River, and we talked to EVERYONE! We worked hard, and we had amazing results!

Also this week, I had a talk with Elder F--- from the mission office. He and President Mullen both think that I should try to get my driver's license here in Idaho. I have been in Idaho for more than 6 months, so I have residency! :D So, as of right now, that is the plan!

I'll tell you all how that goes.

Oh! And I got my birthday package this week as well! I haven't opened everything yet, but even the gifts that weren't wrapped were GREAT!!! Videos from home, a new CD, an old card game I made back home a long time ago, and some delicious homemade cookies from my sisters!

AH! I'm so excited to open the rest of the gifts tomorrow!

Some of the ward members are throwing me a bit of a birthday party, and one of our investigators says that they have a present to give me too! Man, a birthday in the mission field rocks! :D

I can't believe I'm going to be 19 already! What the heck?!? I just turned 18! A year into adulthood, and I still feel/act/look like a kid. :/ Ohhh well. :(

Anyway, we're going hiking for P-day today, so, gotta go! :D

Thank you all for your letters, emails, and gifts! It means a lot to us missionaries to get stuff like that. No matter how bad our day, when we get something from home, it really brightens our day! Thank you all so much for all you do, and Godbless!

-Elder Keppner

Monday, July 21, 2014

Road Trips Are for the Elders...

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Hallo peeps!

It's been great to hear from you all, and I really appreciate everybody's support back home!

To be perfectly honest, the mission ROCKS! This week wasn't super exciting, but man, God is good! The work moves forward, and MAN does it move fast! Priest River is a GOLDEN area, and I love serving here! I've met so many amazing people here, and I learn so much from them each and every day. The Spirit seems to guide every step, and helps me change, and change again, making me more and more like the man I need to be. The problem is, the more I grow, the more I realize who small I really am. I think having a companion to work with, and lots of time to pray and ponder has really helped me notice just how many flaws I have. And then I think back on who I was back home, and MAN. I was a PUNK! It's sometimes hard not to look back and be ashamed of who I used to be. So many stupid mistakes! So much wasted potential! Man, when I come back, there's a lot of stuff I need to fix.

But you know what, I'll have plenty of time to work on that when I get home. For now, I've got a lot of learning to do. 

Man! People keep telling us that we're here to teach, and I guess we are. But the more I teach, the more I learn, and the more I want to be better. I love this work more than anything I have ever done before, and I'm never happier than when I serve the Lord. This work is truly the Lord's, and I will give this mission thing everything I have in me. THIS IS MY MISSION. THIS IS THE LORD'S MISSION. And I will do my best to go on, and be better every day!

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A sunset shot

Anyway, before I sign off, I just wanted to share our last P-day experience:

It started off great! We got up early, and started making our way to the Spokane Temple. The problem was, on our way there, we got lost in downtown Spokane. We finally made it in time for our Temple session, but just barely.

After an awesome session, we headed out to email, and then went and had Lunch with a member Elder Wa--- knows in Spokane. After that, the plan was to head back to Priest River and play some board games or something. What ended up happening was we ended up on the wrong highway, and were heading to Seattle. We finally figured out what was going on when I grabbed the map after driving for an hour without recognizing our surroundings, and found that we were going in the OPPOSITE direction we were supposed to be heading. I yelled something along the lines of "HOLY FETCH! We're freaking heading to SEATTLE!"

Elder W--- slammed on the breaks, all of us Elders flew forward, and we started back down the highway. After getting onto the right highway, we got stuck in road construction traffic for HOURS, and then FINALLY, made it back at about 7:00pm. An hour after P-day should have been over. Yeah, so that was our P-day roadtrip. :/

I love and miss you all, and I'm so happy to be here! Keep it up!

-Elder Keppner

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Transfer 5, Week 3

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District Temple Trip! :D

Hey everyone!

Man, time is speeding by! We're already half way through another transfer! We're just teaching, preaching, and praying our guts out. There is so much work to do, and I'm busy out of my mind!

We got a two new investigators this week, a mom and her 18 year old daughter, and it's been awesome to teach them! They're both strong Evangelical Christians, but they are willing to learn more about our savior Jesus Christ.

M--, the daughter, has a lot of questions, and it's been really cool to have all of the answers. MAN I love the Spirit! 

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A dinner we went to with M--, her mom, and several ward members.

M-- was having a rough spot in her life, and she said: "Out of nowhere, you two came along, and helped me out. You two must have been sent by God."

It was really cool, and both me and Elder W-- agree that this is a Godsend.

Man, Priest River rocks! Our ward members are great, our investigators are great, and I LOVE working! 

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A sign we came across...

Man, I hate standing still. I'm kinda the "Go go go!" guy in our district, and you know what? I'm okay with that now. Our District is really close. One of the Elders is having a really hard time right now-- he stood tall though, and we are all working together to get through life's challenges!

So, last night, we went over to a ward family's house for dinner. It's a big family, and they are AWESOME! We watched The Testaments with them, and LAUGHED all night!

We had a good laugh with the family, and then had a really cool lesson! My goal right now is to buy a good guitar with my tax returns. This family is trying to help me find one to buy, but it's kinda difficult. I will go on though! :D

Oh, and today, our district went to the Temple together. It was so awesome! :D

Anyway, I love and miss you all! Keep writing, keep emailing, and I'll keep writing you all back!

Ah! I love you guys!

-Elder Keppner

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Priest RIVER!!!

Hey everybody!

This week has been a bit slow, but we are SO PUMPED for this next week. As a district, our goal is to teach 100 lessons! Me, Elder W---, Elder C---, and Elder W--- are READY FOR THIS!

We all see each other every day, and we all ride to P-Day and meetings together, so we are all aware of what everyone else is doing. 

Our firework show with a member... :D

All of that aside, this week was good too! We saw some CRAZY firework shows, some crazy wildlife sightings, and lots and lots of lessons learned. Also as general news, one of the Sisters I was in the MTC with went home this month. The announcement said Medical Release, but me and the Elders that came out with me are kinda worried about her. She was kinda the big sister of the group, and so we're all praying for her.

One of the 500+ eagles I've seen while on my mission.

Me and Elder W--- have done a lot of talking recently. Elder W--- and I are both dominant personalities, but I tend to back down rather than let it come to an argument. (Don't act so shocked mom. I really don't like to argue. ;P) President Mullen, our Zone Leader, and our District leader all gave us some advice and suggestions on how I can take the lead more, and how Elder W--- can submit more, and we are both working hard to follow their direction. Elder W--- and I are close friends, and so we talk about everything openly, and we help each other out. Man, I love this guy. :D

Priest River beauty! :D

I LOVE THIS WORK! I love being here, and seeing all of these miracles! I love the people I meet, and I'm so glad that I came out here! This is the BEST DECISION I've EVER MADE! This Church is true, and I would die defending that truth. I would also live my life to show my faith, hope and knowledge. IT'S ALL FOR REAL!!! I promise! With everything I am, I KNOW that this is true! And I'll praise God every day of my life! :D

More of this amazing area!

Nothing else big has happened, but I've got a bunch of pictures to send home now!

I love and miss you all,

-Elder Keppner

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Six Months, and I'm stayin' here with my bro!

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My man, Elder W---

Hey ya'll!

Transfer calls are in, and I'm staying in Priest River with Elder W---! Actually, our whole district is staying! We're excited to have another transfer together, and we are going to ROCK our District!

We've had an awesome transfer, and we've learned SO MUCH! For the last week of the Transfer, Elder W--- and I made a goal to teach 70 lessons. We only made it to 50, but that was still a HUGE success, and we are seeing SO MANY blessing from it! 

We have several new investigators, and a couple of new children of God preparing for Baptism! Ah! How could I ever hope to describe missionary work? How could I EVER explain the feeling you get when someone changes their entire life around to follow Christ? It can't be done!

I can honestly say that this has been the best six months of my life, and I fully expect that the rest of my mission will only get better! Every day has new challenges, but the good ALWAYS outweighs the bad.

I am so happy, I can't even put it to words! I know that what I'm doing has meaning, purpose, and importance. God truly guides and directs our lives, and I get to see it first hand EVERY SINGLE DAY! I am in awe of how much he loves us, and how willing he is to help us in every step of our journey through this life.

I know this church is true, and I am so happy to be a part of this work!

I love and miss you all!