Monday, July 28, 2014

I've learned more this week than my whole mission

July 28, 2014

Holy cow where do I even start? I guess the beginning of the week is a good place to start huh? This email might be pretty long, just a heads up.

It was sort of sad leaving Vancouver 7th ward, luckily I was only there for a transfer so I didn't get super close.. But it was weird leaving already. We got to take missionaries out on there first day.
That was pretty cool. It was like a little teaser of what these next 3 months are going to be like. The person I took out wasn't super nervous, but he was at the same time. It is crazy to think that that
was me like 5 months ago. It feels like a month. Maybe... Haha either way. It is crazy how time flies here on a mission. And it's only gonna go faster the longer I am out.

Transfer day! We got to transfers a little bit early and got to hang out with some of my favorite missionaries. Elder Canada being one of them. Me and him will always be super close friends. Anyways. We go into the meeting and hear who all the new missionaries are going with.
First it starts with a musical number sung and played by two brand new missionaries! That was pretty cool. Right before that I said I hope that my "son" can sing and is musical. Well little did I know haha. Elder Brase is who I am training. Who just so happens to be from
Topeka Kansas, and the one singing the musical number in front of everyone. It is amazing that I got to be his companion! There are now 4 missionaries from Kansas in this mission, and two of us are
together! He is such a stud. And an awesome missionary already. So things are going to be great. Heavenly Father knew that I wouldn't be able to handle a goober to train. I am having enough problems with just trying to be the best trainer I can be. Oh well my "son" is
awesome. And we have the coolest and best posterity in the mission. I will send a picture of that sometime soon.

So we got back to our garage, room, where we stay, and unpacked. We
live with the Gage's. Pics have only seen them about 2 times since I have been here. Haha so I don't know much about them yet. Then we started looking through the area book. That was the start of it all.. Haha I had NO CLUE WHAT TO DO! We both are basically starting this
area, and we were left with all these names that we know nothing about, and we have bikes and just have to ride around to figure out the area. Luckily the first day we were able to have dinner with a really cool recent convert, and then teach him. Then we had a meeting
with the COOLEST ward mission leader ever. He is seriously one of the coolest guys I've ever met. He talks just like me. Haha. He calls us all bros, dudes, man, he is just awesome. He told us about the focus for this ward is member trust. So we are trying our best to earn that. I want people to trust us.

So I had my first day of training elder Brase. Luckily I feel like he is a better missionary in some ways. So I feel like we are both going to be learning a lot. Who knows I might even learn more haha. We've been doing a lot of tracting, and finding people to talk to on spathe
streets. While learning the area better haha. We continue to have meetings like every day, so that is pretty frustrating sometimes. Time where we could be out working, but we are stuck in a meeting.
Something happened this week that I really didn't thing was going to happen.

I got strayed with a hose by someone we were talking to! It was totally on purpose too! He was cleaning his trash can then out of nowhere just sprays me with it. Of course I just said it was chill. Then when we left I was like really? I can't believe that happened. And it was totally a good thing for my companion to see on his 2nd day in the field haha...

I have learned the true power of prayer a lot more this week. We continue to have bad days every other day pretty much haha. But when things are getting rough. I pray for something to get me through the night. Almost every time i do that something cool happens.

Portuguese class basically wasted a day for us this week. We had to go
pick up another missionary and it took an extra two hours of travel time.. Pretty lame, and I suck at Portuguese now... So there's that.

There are some awesome families in this ward, so that's good we get to know them better during dinners. So much fun.

So I hadn't really asked anyone to be baptized until the past two months. Now I have done it every week for almost 3 weeks now. It is super crucial to the message that we have to share. I can't think of a better way to come closer to Christ. We had a miracle where I just
straight up asked him. He said yes. But the most frustrating thing is that he is 13 and his dad has basically straight up told us no with him.

Sunday was the best day of the week. We had a bunch of meetings in the morning. I got to know more of the auxiliaries in the ward so that was pretty good. I enjoyed the meetings. We talked about something that is probably going to be the best thing ever! "Evergreen Unplugged" we are going to do a whole concert! With non members performing and less actives, and us missionaries! I am super pumped! It's going to be like
the coolest thing ever. Then church was good.

Pretty crazy story. I saw this face that I had recognized. So I went up to her and said hey I think I know you from the MTC. I had done service for her once while I was in the MTC. It was crazy, now she's
going to be going on a mission as well. It was pretty crazy that I got reassigned somewhere, and now she's actually in my ward now.

Then we had the best Night of tracting. We knocked doors, but we were
persistent. I mean really persistent. They would say they weren't interested, but I would just keep talking. And we would end up teaching them. I have learned so much about being a good missionary
from our district leader elder Kelly. He is an amazing missionary. He calls us every night and we talk about ways to be better missionaries. He knows how to help. Needless to say I have learned quite a bit in these past 5 days here. Then Sunday night we talked to this man named
chaba. He is searching for the truth so hard. He wants a new life. So I told elder Brase to ask him to be baptized. He said yes. It was a crazy spiritual experience. The spirit really does speak through us.
We were both thinking of saying the same things multiple times. So the spirit was going to make sure that one of us was going to say it no matter what. We are going to refer him to the Spanish missionaries though. He is a super solid guy.

I will have to admit this has also been probably one of the hardest weeks of my mission. We don't know anyone! We are just thrown into this big old mess! Haha heck we still don't know half the people we should. I just want to be the best trainer that I can, and I feel like I'm not doing as well as I could because neither of us know who any of these people are. But I know that I will get figured out eventually. It's going to be hard. It's going to take time, and it's going to take
a lot of prayers. I am definitely humbled, I am feeling the love for everyone we talk to. I am becoming more of the missionary that I want to be.

A part of the stake presidency lives in our ward. He told the zone leaders that he was really impressed with us, and that we are some of the best missionaries he has seen. We are going to work our best and hardest to be THE best missionaries he's seen :) we have that desire. Lots of people in the zone introduce us to people as studs of missionaries. Who are great missionaries. I hope that someday I can
live up to those expectations as well as my own.

I love you all. I miss you, but this work is amazing, and I am needed. Heck we are all needed. Look for missionary opportunities! Go out with the missionaries! They need as much help as they can get. When you see them invite them in, give them some people to stop by. They are working hard. Well hopefully. Just know that I love you all.

Elder Hamrick

The Kansas boys ( missing one) 

Me and Elder Brase 

My posterity: Elder Brase (my son), me, elder olschewski (my dad), elder Murdock(my grandpa and zone leader), and elder Burk (my great grandpa). We have the best posterity in the mission! And one of the largest!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Super awesome experience

July 21, 2014

As most of you know we are able to teach through Facebook now, well a
cool experience happened. This random person added me so I added them.
We started talking about the gospel. He is from Uganda. I was able to
teach him a bit. He really wanted missionaries to come by. So I made
sure I got this referral sent in so he could see missionaries. The next day or two he messages me this picture and said "missionaries visited me this evening!"

He wants to meet me sometime. He is awesome and probably will be baptized sometime in the near future.

Something's Gonna Happen

July 21, 2014

Soooo something's gonna happen with me, that I would say is pretty exciting...

I am being transferred from the Vancouver 7th ward to the evergreen
ward... No longer with elder Martin. That's not it though. I'm being
doubled into the area (whitewashed, starting the area) with a brand new missionary! I am training at 5 1/2months! Holy cow! I am pretty dang excited, but also a little nervous since I won't know the area, or anyone in it.. It will be mission changing I think for sure. So I
probably won't be getting my visa for at least 2 more transfers while I'm training this new guy. I have no clue who he is, or anything about him. All I know is that I'm training him and he is a new missionary.
It's weird that I'm leaving and not Elder Martin. He's already been in this area for 2 transfers... The cool thing is, we are both training! So he will be here for another 2 transfers. So exciting things are happening in Vancouver.

Now I'll go into my week. The first day of the week we helped a family move! Like all of their stuff from one house to another house in the same neighborhood. They were so thankful. They aren't members so it was a good experience for them. Then dinner with sister beltcher! She's totally blind and she raised like 6 kids! It's amazing, and she
cooked for us and everything! Super nice lady, and very funny as well haha. Then that night we had a lesson with one of our investigators, and it got super spiritual. An awesome night especially when right after that we got invited to a BBQ to eat some burgers haha. I'm
actually getting sick of burgers and corn on the cob... We have it so much, not too into it now haha.

Then we had another super awesome day. To be honest this week was a
way good week to end my service here in this ward. We has a bunch of lessons this day. 5 lessons total with two of them being with members present. We walked up to this trumpet street performer guy and he said he is just hitch hiking along with this random German guy... What a
life hahaha. As we were going up to one of our lessons our investigators grandson said "hey church people wait until I get back!" He was so cute he is 4 and he was coming back the next day, sadly we
could not wait for Haha. This day went by super quick along with the 5 lessons we gave two priesthood blessings... Amazing day. I found out that a member In our ward roomed with Sam sloop at byu idaho it's a pretty small world huh? Crazy.

An interesting story we came up to an investigator and we were talking
to her for a bit. As we were leaving she asked to fill our water bottles. It's been super hot here recently. Well she took quite a bit of time filling them. Well she came back with a completely different
water bottle that someone else had used. Needless to say I was appreciative of her generosity, but I did not drink that water haha. Then we stopped by a member of our ward, we had like 15 minutes left
of our day so he told us to play basketball with these kids. We did.
This member is super awesome, and he said he played a scrimmage game against Michael Jordan himself! Pretty cool huh?

We probably rode our bikes more than 12 miles in this one day. We tried our hand at some more garage sale oyming. Not much came of it this time, after that we had a lesson with a member and he made us lunch. So I don't know if anyone knows this but in Vancouver there is
this huge festival called "cruising the gut" holy cow it was sweet. We went there because we heard there was going to be a lot of people. PERFECT MISSIONARY OPPORTUNITY. Well they under exaggerated the amount of people actually there.. There were probably around 75,000-100,000 people there. Basically what it is is a huge car show. People bring their nice super amazing cars and drive them down the strip of
downtown. It was super cool. I got some awesome pictures of some of the cars and in some of the cars. 

We also had some cool experiences with talking to people. We talked to an inactive member who had been in active for 2 years and got her friend interested to talk with missionaries. It was super cool. Then this random drummer from Portland came up to us and started talking with us. Turns out he's a member and he just got back from a vacation to Utah. It's funny he moved to Portland and now vacations in Utah. It was such a fun weekend to be honest.

I am so glad that I was able to serve in this ward. I don't know if I really touched anyone's lives or made an impact on them, but the experiences here have made me become such a better missionary. My concept of missionary work has completely changed and I truly enjoy it a lot. I have such a  better understanding of how to teach, and what
to teach, and how to talk to people. I love people, I care about my brothers and sisters. When I say that I mean everyone. When I talk to people I feel for them, and I really want them to receive this gospel
that will completely change and bless their life. I didn't realize it before my mission, like at all. And I tell that to everyone I teach, I'm nowhere near the perfect Mormon kid and I wasn't at all back home either, but I know this will bless your life if you embrace it. And
that's not just for investigators, that's for anyone including members. Sometimes we get so used to having something so amazing that we don't even realize it anymore. Take a minute to ponder about how much this gospel has blessed you, and what it could to do more for
you. I promise you will find something there.


Elder Hamrick

Fruit valley road looks pretty sketchy huh? Haha!

Pretty great farmers tan! 

Work, work, work

July 14, 2014

So this week was full! There was so much that we did. It felt like we
were just going non stop, which was a great thing. Last p day was super boring though. We just sat around the stake center, and I played guitar. I don't think people like going there too much either. I don't blame them, there isn't anything fun to do!

Tuesday was a pretty awesome day. We set our goal to have a lot of member presents this week! We achieved our goal! No thanks to really awesome members and well planned out days. Tuesday we were doing service and helping someone move out, then we had an appointment in the same apartments. Well as we are about to go up we hear "hey elders" and we get confused so we go talk to who said it. It was a new
member to our ward who had just moved in! So we get talking then say we gotta go to our lesson. As we are waiting for our lesson to start the husband comes out and says if you guys ever need help with lessons or anything let me know ok? So we said, how about right now? He went in to ask his wife. It was perfect he came to the lesson and really
made that lesson flow, especially since he was neighbors to the person we are teaching. God has a plan just as much as we plan for our days :)

The next day was zone meeting... Haha the funniest thing happened. We were doing an object lesson thing and we were supposed to go through a maze once with our eyes open, then the next time with our eyes blindfolded. Well elder Morris our district leader decided he was
going to run through the maze. He didn't make it 5 feet before he ran straight into the stage with his leg. Quite possibly one of the funniest things I've seen so far. He hit that thing hard... It was hilarious. We learned a lot from that. "You can't run through life" and expect it to go as planned, or well at all... Haha we have things I n our life that help us along to get us to the end of the maze. If we
don't use them, we will end up with big old bruises on our legs. Things will happen that could have been prevented.

The next day was pretty amazing. We went to get my bik fixed. This bike has become a huge pain in the butt. It always has something wrong with it. I don't plan on spending anymore money on it. Anyways while we are doing that we went over to a thrift shoo right next to the bike shop to look for ties. You wouldn't believe what I found.... A $5 pair
of brown eccos... In pretty amazing shape. They are such a beautiful shoe. So I felt pretty good about finding that. Not every day that happens. I felt super blessed.

So you know how last week I told you about all the wild blackberries that grow everywhere here? Well I decided to try one out. It was on the side of the road so I just picked it. I waited to wash it off to
get anything nasty off of it. Well I went to bed then woke up the next day pretty dang sick. I'm pretty sure I ate a blackberry that had weed killer on it. My body didn't like that. I was pretty dang sick until about dinner. So I will not be eating them off the side of the road
any longer. Hahaha

Something funny. I always gotta have something funny. I continue to get compared to James and dean Franco. So I just tell them we are cousins. If you don't know who they are, they are actors. It's pretty funny though. They will be like oh wow you look like someone. So I automatically say that, and they freak out and say ya! That's who!
It's pretty funny. Maybe I will just be actor when I get home :)

Something I miss more and more each day is music. It is so weird not being able to listen to all the stuff that I would normally listen to. I mean efy music and Christian bands are good and stuff, but it's not the same haha.

A couple of days ago we went through a park on the way home, this strain is absolutely amazing.. Hha like awesome trees, it is just a great feeling to be in nature. I am amazed by Gods creations every single day I look outside. It is beautiful here. I am glad to be here.

Fridays here are pretty much uneventful. We have Portuguese class from 1-3 and then weekly planning pretty much. We take a lot of time to do weekly planning, we are getting so much netter at it! Haha, but that is pretty much what our Fridays consist of every week.

The next day was super fun! We had the opportunity to paint for one of our members! We painted a whole room. It reminded me of doing all that apartment maintenance. I am thankful for that every day. I learned a lot from doing that. It brought back some good memories, so it was pretty fun doing that. After that we had a great plan to so garage sale talking to people. It was like national garage sale day here on Vancouver on Saturday for some reason. Everyone had sales going on! That is the best place to talk to people. Elder Martin and I really do
not enjoy knocking on doors, so we find other ways to talk to people that doesn't involve bothering the crap out of them by knocking on their doors. Anyways we got to do that. We talked to so many people!
It is amazing. They all pretty much listened to us too. They may have felt bad for us because it was like 90 something degrees out, but we got like three potential investigators out of it. And some other goodies. You wouldn't guess what I found. I found another pair of
super awesome shoes! For $2 this time! Holy cow I am blessed! Then I found a volleyball and got it for 12 cents. I should be getting better at volleyball now :) and we had a lesson with one of our investigators who will be getting baptized in August. It is amazing to see how much
the gospel has made a difference in her life. When we got there she was sad and not really feeling up to much, by the time we left she was smiling and animated. It is amazing to see the influence of the gospel in people's lives while I'm on a mission. It really does make a difference, and bring happiness to other peoples lives. This gospel is happiness.

Overall it was a great week! Even though it may have been like 90 degrees the whole time. I loved it, and I love this work :) I hope you all have a great week. Look for those tender mercies that are out
there. You will find more joy with your life.


Elder Hamrick

I had a photo shoot with my shoes that I had recently polished haha.
The top ones are the eccos. The bottom ones are super nice but I have
no clue on the brand or type of shoes

Monday, July 7, 2014

4th of July Week!

July 7, 2014

So last p day was the best p day ever! We had a whole mission wide party because the missions 1 year anniversary was on the 1st or something like that. Anyways it was awesome because I got to see all the elders and sisters in the whole mission. This is truly a great mission. I love the people in it. So everyone was out playing sports..
And you can guess what I was doing. Walking around talking to people
and playing guitar with some buddies. I got to hang out with elder Canada. From the MTC. It was such an enjoyable day. Looking back at it it seems like a month ago. Time flies out here when you are so hyped up on the constant work we have to be doing.

All of us are over 6'2. I almost look short in this picture. 

Here is where we had the party

Interviews with president went as smoothly as they possibly could. He
asked me how I was doing and I said great, and ready to work hard. Then we talked about Brazil for a bit. He said that I would be here longer than I thought I would be. You know what? I don't even care! I am here! That is where I am at. It doesn't matter if I want to be somewhere else. Wishing to be there isn't going to help me out any. It's alright I know I need to be here. There is a lot of work to be
done here. I am more than willing to do it. 

So Tuesday was a record hot for Washington. It was at least 90 degrees
or a little more. Which is crazy hot for Washington. It is so weird how your body gets acclimated to the temperatures where you are. In Kansas I would have been fine with it... But now that I am out here it is super hot! That day we actually helped someone move in our shirts
and ties! We finished unloading a whole u haul in 30 minutes! Thanks to an awesome member in our ward who knew what he was doing.

After that we were going to stop by an investigator to ask her a time to meet and the member driving us decided that he needed to go a different way than usual to get to her house. Turns out if he didn't
do that we wouldn't have talked to this one guy. He stopped us and asked us to pray for him. We taught him a bit and should be meeting with him again. Gods hand is there for us all.

We have someone we are teaching who just has the most perfect textbook
lessons. We plan something and the spirit always takes it the way that
we need to go. Super spiritual lessons and she is going to be baptized
in August.

I love teaching people who are smart! It is probably my favorite thing to do. They know so much, and I learn so much. Most of the time I can even answer their questions. We met someone like that last week and will be going back this week. I am pretty dang excited to learn and to
have the spirit there.

I now know how to solve a Rubik's cube! Random fact of the day!

I gave a "training" on knowledge. It basically means that I taught the
whole district at district meeting. Well the whole district and bother
the zone leaders and assistants to the president? It was a pretty stacked room.  But surprisingly I wasn't nervous at all. "The key to knowledge is prayer. One progresses only as fast as he gains
knowledge. That's why it is important that we focus on teaching people
for understanding." That is a little bit of my training, but you get the point. I asked the AP's afterwards if it was good one said I came with questions, and left with answers.

So there is  a Portuguese family from Brazil who aren't members moving
into our ward boundaries... So it will be interesting. I will have to teach in Portuguese, and my Portuguese sucks a lot right now.

This week we have been going through  a lot of "archives" you could say. Basically we are going through the area book to look at any potentials or investigators that maybe fell through the cracks with a
transfer. It is pretty cool. We have set up at least 4 appointments this week because of it. Also we mapped our our area into zones and I think that will really help us out quite a bit.

I Asked someone to be baptized this week? You know how lots of times
people talk about how spiritual and scary it was, but it was worth it? Well that's not how it worked this time. It was definitely spiritual and scary, but she basically slapped me in the face with her response. She started to laugh and say I don't think our ideas of authority line
up. It really bothered me that she totally just denied the spirit... Oh well we aren't going to stop there.

Random funny thing: A girl took a snapchat of me at dinner haha.. So
who knows who she sent that to or where it went. 

4th of July for a missionary in Vancouver is totally different. Vancouver has the biggest fireworks and shows west of the
Mississippi... It was a crazy day! We started by going to a ward pancake breakfast that was pretty fun. We spent time with the kids of the group, one little girl kept grabbing my hand and leading me places. I love kids. I miss my nieces and nephews so much. After that it was time to do our weekly planning. That usually takes a long time because we have a lot we need to plan for. Then we had like an hour left until dinner. We went on a bike ride. Everyone was already lighting off fireworks and stuff so we couldn't talk to anyone. We went up into a mountain and did like 15 minutes of mountain bike riding to get to a sweet view. Turns out the sweet view wasn't
much at all.. But the ride was pretty fun. Then it was time for dinner! We got invited to go to a Fourth of July BBQ with a family from our ward to one of their friends. So we loaded up into their big
car because they have 7 kids. It was such a fun night though. We played lots of games talked for hours and all that. It was funny those little kids were obsessed with me and elder Martin. They would always want to be partners with us for all of the games. One kid who is about
to be a deacon was really looking up to me. Anything I said he would listen to and do it. He was a good kid, it's kind of a bummer that he isn't In our ward though. Then time for the fireworks! Holy cow it is crazy here! Maybe I can try to send some videos of what it looked
like. We were just in a neighborhood and it looked like we were right by a professional show. We got permission to stay out late that night, so we stayed out until like 11:30! It was a great night full of fun.

The next day we went and did some garage sale talking. That is a super
effective way to talk to people in my opinion. They will usually talk to you about whatever you have to say. Except for this day. The first one basically just said. Nope if you gave me a card I would just leave it with all the books I'm selling. Then the other one actually bothered me. We bought something from the sale for more than it was going for. We were talking to this older guy and he was super awesome. I wanted to talk to him again so I gave him our number. Then the guy at the garage sale doing the sale. Came up to us and said "what do you
think you're doing? You can't come up here into someone else's garage sale and preach your crap" I was like I wasn't preaching. We bought something and I'm simply talking to this man. He said well ya but just leave. Anyways we didn't really leave because we were still talking to
that guy. You know what's funny? Even guys call me handsome. The old guy we were talking to said "dang (not really dang) they make em handsome now, gosh are you an actor? I'm gonna be your manager you're gonna be an actor!" It was super funny, I hope he calls us back.

That night was super interesting for talking to people. As we were
walking downtown talking to people we stopped in ash store to get some
water... And I saw a 1980's fender acoustic... So I just had to play I t. Old guitars play so dang well! It was beautiful and only $150. If I wasn't on my mission I would probably have Bought that thing. Then there was a banjolele that looked like my grandpas that I was considering buying, but that was like $400. It looked just like it though.

The most interesting "OYM" happened that night. It looked like Sheldon
from the Big Bang theory. Like almost identical and he talked like himand he shared with us the most interesting and intriguing theories about Jesus. He said that he was a time traveler. That basically sums it up and how time travel will be something that messes up history and
we can change it. And how everyone believes the bible because everyone
believes it... Haha he then said he wouldn't read the rest of the Book
of Mormon because he doesn't know what things would be brought to
pass. As we were leaving we talked to a group of homeless people and he was in there with them. He asked for a copy. He said you may never know the consequence, but I will read it, I will read it. He was crazy haha.

Then on the way home the same day some guy yelled "lucifer says hello"
it is really funny how people yell so many random things at us as if we are going to be offended and go and cry about it. So this happens all the time. The special thing about this time was that he stopped his car about a half of a mile up. Got out and apologized to us saying
that he thought it was funny, but in reality it was really wrong. He was a nice guy, he was touched by something that day.

Since giving people my address didn't work, tell people to send me their address on Facebook or email! I will just have to write them! :)

I'm going to end on a spiritual note about fasting. As some know it was fast Sunday yesterday. I have never really experienced much from fasting. So it was kind of just another day, but I put all my faith Into this time that something great would happen. As we are waiting
for our missionary coordination meeting to start our ward mission leader is in a meeting with the bishop. Come to find out that while he was in there one of the members we helped into reactivity called and said something super interesting. My whole family wants to be baptized. What do they have to do. I knew at that exact moment that fasting really does work. It is an amazing blessing that we have the
opportunity to do that. He lives with his girlfriend and his girlfriends parents. They are all going to be taught this week. It is
amazing. I don't know what made them switch to that. All I know is that my testimony of fasting has been increased 10 fold. It is amazing how aware our Heavenly Father is to each one of us. I know that this gospel is true, I am trying my hardest to be the best instrument in
Gods hands to do this work. I have opened up my faith completely to
this, and I cannot wait where it takes me. This is true.

Love you all, tell everyone hello for me,

Elder Hamrick