Monday, October 29, 2012

Living in Paradise

Dear Family,

How are all of you doing? Well just to let you know, I'm doing fantastic! As we went to transfer meeting I had a feeling that I was going to be called down to Key West. As they began to announce the areas they started from the north and went south. I wasn't in Stuart, Palm Springs, Coral Springs, Fort Lauderdale, Hialeah... so I thought I'm either going to Miami Zone or the Homestead Zone. Miami... NOPE! By then I was almost positive I was going to be called to Key West... And sure enough. "Elder Fullmer and ELder ****, serving in Key West!" I was super excited!! At the end of transfer meeting Sister Anderson came up to me and said, "Elder Fullmer, I have never seen you so happy before!" Let's just say I'm not too disappointed that I get to finish my mission in the Florida Keys.

The drive from Plantation down to Key marathon was about a 3 hour drive. We've been staying in Key Marathon for the past week because in Key West there's a little festival called, "Fantasy Fest." Don't think too much about it but there's a reason why we're not in Key West right now. Apparantly it ended yesterday but President doesn't want us to go back till at least Thursday. I'm fine with that because not only am I living in Paradise right now, I'm living with Elder and Sister *********... AKA Mission Grandma and Grandpa! It has been very different but very nice staying with them. I have never, NEVER in my mission while weekly planning have a knock on the door with homemade peanut butter cookies fresh from the oven and a class of milk. I've also never come home from a long day of work to homemade ribs with chocolate cake, and on Sunday night have an amazingly cooked Pot Roast with Potatoes. I might never leave this place! They are are so wonderful and I wish there was something we could give them to thank them for letting us stay with them. Don't worry, I've never been better taken of in any other time during my mission! :) My Companion right now is from a small town in Oregon. He's amazing!! He's been out just under a year on his mission and he's a fireball! Not flaming but he's on fire!! You're never too sure down in the keys... He's got such a strong testimony and it's a joy and a blessing to have him as a companion.
This past week we've been working hard trying to help the tiny branch in Marathon. Yesterday there were 11 people there (that's including us 4 missionaries...) I gave a talk and also did a special musical number. I sang "one voice" while Sister McCormick accompanied me. It was a very nice service but tiny! We've found some amazing people that are just ready for this gospel! Both my companion and I carry copies of the Book of Mormon while we harvest (knock doors) and at almost every blessing we give them a copy of the Book of Mormon. We harvested into *********** and he was very receptive to let us in. We walked in his house, his wife, who was on the phone at the time, looked at us and then yelled at him and told him to kick us out. We went outside with him and he apologized for her saying her father had just past away last night. We explained that death is not the end and how families can be together forever. As we were teaching of the Plan of Salvation, the door slowly opened and his wife came out. She didn't say a word but as we testified to her that she would live with her father again, you could see her heart melt and peace envelope her. We left them with a blessing and she was smiling. We invited them to be baptized for the 11th of November and they both accepted. We left a Book of Mormon with them and committed them to read Alma 40 as a family. This really helped me remember how real the Plan of Salvation is. We haven't been able to see them since but hope to soon.

We also have an amazing investigator named ********. He's half Cuban but he's been in the states for most of his life. I have never taught someone who wants to be baptized so badly. However it's really hard for him to be where he says he's going to be for his lessons... He's really busy! He lives in a trailer park and he's been fixing up a trailer for his family to move into. So this past week we scheduled an appointment with him and he wasn't there. He doesn't have a phone either so it makes it very difficult to contact him. As we were about to leave we both felt the impression to just wait for him to show up. We sat down on the stairs and about 15 minutes later he showed up! He was sorry he was late but then we taught him the Restoration! He felt the spirit so strong!! He knew it was true by how he felt! He talked about how he had studied with many other churches and he had never felt like that before. We then taught him the Word of Wisdom right then, which he accepted... even though he's had coffee for almost every day of his 39 year old life, but he gave it up! Then we taught the Law of Chastity right after that. He accepted to live it. He's not married to his "wife" but he said he's going to live in a separate trailer until they can get married. Which he has been doing for the past 4 days. His desires are so high that no matter what the Lord asks him to do he's going to do it! He wasn't able to make it to church yesterday but he'll be coming next week and then get baptized the following Sunday. Pretty Amazing!

Finally Yesterday as we went Harvesting we were having a hard time. No one seemed to be wanting to listen to us nor allow us in. It was about 7:00 last night and as we were knocking one side of the street, there was one apartment that stood out to me. I didn't say anything for a little while but after every door I felt like we need to knock that door. Right before I was going to tell my companion, he said, "Elder Fullmer, I feel like we need to knock that door." I responded, "I was just going to say the exact same thing!" We went over and knocked the door and this amazing woman named ****** came to the door. She's probably in her mid 20's from Cuba and she loved the blessing!! She felt the Spirit super strong. She explained how her parents are Jehovah Witnesses but knows that's not for her! We gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon and she accepted to be baptized! It's so incredible how the Spirit works by small means to lead us to who He knows is ready to receive us.

Sorry that this letter is so long but there's so much going on! I love all of you so much and I'm happier than I've been in a long time! I know that this is where I'm supposed to be and that the Lord is answering my prayers. I pray for all of you daily and I know that the Lord is blessing you. Have a great week and happy Halloween!!
-Elder David B. Fullmer

P.S. The Pictures are on the drive home, the picture of the back yard of the place we are staying and then of a crazy storm we got (we got the outskirts of the Hurricane... LOTS OF WIND AND RAIN!!) Enjoy!

Angel Moroni is placed on the South Florida Temple

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Weekly Update- Leaving Belle Glade

Dear Family,

Well, my life in this area has been relatively short... Don't worry, I didn't get shot, but I am getting transferred... It'll be hard to leave this area since it has been very unique, unlike ALL of my other areas, but I'm excited to see what's to come! This next area will most likely be my last area. I have a feeling I will go with a companion for a transfer and then train a new missionary for my last two. Who knows though... Haha. Gotta love transfer predictions. It the most excitement that we get! Haha.

President Anderson sent some news to us. It says in his weekly email,
"We just got word last week that the Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission is the highest baptizing Mission in the United States and Canada. This hasn’t happened out of the Utah Missions in a long time I am told. What an honor to know that you missionaries are working so hard and reaping such great miracles in finding the elect of God. I wasn’t going to announce this because we shouldn’t compare with others, but General Authorities are telling other leaders and I rather you hear it from me. Remember God’s hand is in this work and he has poured out his Spirit to make us instruments in His hands. You are amazing missionaries and I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of your Mission."
 How cool is that? We're beating Salt Lake!! haha. It's not a competition but it's pretty cool news! This mission has increased dramatically in such a short time. All of the General Authorities are saying how well we're doing and are very impressed with our level of obedience. There is now way that we could do this without being obedient. I love this mission!

Well this week has actually been really good! I've been feeling great, health wise (by the way, I forgot to mention about the byopsis from my scopes... They didn't say what's been causing the ulcer but they think it's stress... I get to take my medications for about 5 more weeks and hopefully it'll get cleared up. They want to see my in 7 weeks from now but depending on where I go I might not come back :) haha. So that's a little update ).

We had stake conference up in Stuart this past Sunday which was really cool! There were over1,000 people at the conference! This stake is HUGE!!! It was really cool to see so many people. One of the talks that was given was given by this man from Mexico. He said that while he grew up in Mexico he never cut the grass because they really didn't have lawns there and if you did cut it, it was all by hand. He then described his first lawn mowing experience when he was about 45 years old. He was so excited!! He wasn't going in any pattern or anything, he had to fill up the tank about three times, and it took him about three hours to do it but when he was finished he was so proud of the work that he did! Every day when they would go outside he's say to his wife and kids, "Wow! Look at that grass! Isn't it beautiful?" He did that for the first few days and then it rained... then the grass grew and guess what? He wasn't as excited to mow it the next week. He realized why people pay so much for their lawn to be mowed. He then compared it to the Church. Our callings can be like mowing the lawn. At first we are really excited and pround of what we are doing, but as the weeks go on we put less and less excitement and meaning into it every time. We need to treat each week as our first and put everything into it. I really liked it! I've definitely had some weeks where my excitement hasn't been as high as others, but now that I'm in the final stretch, practice time is over and it's time to perform! I'm excited for these next three transfers to work harder than I've ever worked before!

After Stake Conference, since we had already driven 1 1/2 hours to get up to Stuart, we decided to go on an exchange with the ZL's (Aka Elder *****.) It was his last Sunday in the mission so I was with him and my current companion was with his companion. It was such a great time! Just like the old days in Miami! I learned something very important from this exchange though, he has not slowed down one bit. He treated his last week as if it was any other week in his mission. I've seen many missionaries "die" on their last transfer and slow down, but like President Uchtdorf said in his talk concerning regret and resolutions,
"Sometimes in life we become so focused on the finish line that we fail to find joy in the journey. I don’t go cycling with my wife because I’m excited about finishing. I go because the experience of being with her is sweet and enjoyable. Doesn’t it seem foolish to spoil sweet and joyful experiences because we are constantly anticipating the moment when they will end? Do we listen to beautiful music waiting for the final note to fade before we allow ourselves to truly enjoy it? No. We listen and connect to the variations of melody, rhythm, and harmony throughout the composition. Do we say our prayers with only the “amen” or the end in mind? Of course not. We pray to be close to our Heavenly Father, to receive His Spirit and feel His love. We shouldn’t wait to be happy until we reach some future point, only to discover that happiness was already available—all the time! Life is not meant to be appreciated only in retrospect. “This is the day which the Lord hath made … ,” the Psalmist wrote. 'Rejoice and be glad in it."
My goal is to not slow down, but rather to speed up! I'm excited to show the Lord the things that I have learned and to make the last few months the best ones yet! I love my mission and I'm so proud of what has happened so far, but I'm not content. I know I can give even more!

Not to start thinking about going home but as I was reading the options of going home I was realizing that there probably wouldn't be a better time for it than if you came to pick me up. I think it would be really cool for Sam to be able to see a mission before he goes. (Especially the best mission in the World!) It would be fun it think! It would also be cool to come home and have the whole missionary airport experience but I think I'd want you to come and pick me up. I'm not really picky though :) Whatever you feel would be best.

Anyways, that's about everything that i've got. The internet at the chapel wasn't working this morning, and surprisingly I couldn't fix it ;) JK I'm not that much of a computer whiz! So we ran to the library and I needed to get a library card, even though i'll be leaving tomorrow! haha. Ohh Well! Well, I love you all so much and I thank you for your many prayers in my behalf. I need them and I thank you for them. I know that the Lord loves us and is increasing his work here! Have a wonderful week!
-Elder David B. Fullmer

P.S. You should all create profiles! It's an amazing website that's perfect for missionary work! You can also check mine profile ;)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Weekly Update. October 15, 2012

Hi Family! 

How is everyone doing? This week has been a very good week! Not much has changed but it's been good. Things are on the up and up! Nothing really crazy happened like getting bashed by a Pastor or anything like that but we're all happy and things are good :)

(He wrote some things about his area that will not be included in his blog) 

Health wise I'm doing well. Not much has changed. A few days I wasn't feel totally up to par but I've been a lot better than I have. This past week at church was really not too exciting. Going into Sunday we felt like we were going to have quite a few people there because they all told us they'd be there, however we had zilch! We did everything we could but we can't act for them... They have their agency and there's only so much that we can do. One of the investigators that we found this past week is named ****...  She's really cool! The day before we found her, My companion was on an exchange with another Elder and they talked with her sister who was kind of interested. However when we went back to follow up with her, her sister came out and said she wasn't home. However I felt prompted to ask if we could say a prayer with her which we did and she felt the Spirit very strongly. I then invited her to be baptized which she accepted! We went over there the next day to visit with her and she really wants to be forgiven of what she's done in the past. She has 3 kids. They're  a really cool family. Too bad they didn't make it to church but hopefully next week!

Another person that we met this week is named *****! She was also found by my companion while he was on an exchange. We went and taught her and her mom while *****was doing her mom's hair. Haha. They're very funny people! .....  Gotta love this area!

We got some good news here as well this past week! Our recent convert who's married to ***** got a job!! We are so happy for him! They're both doing really well! ^^^^^ is definitely the strongest one of them in the faith but they're both doing well! Another investigator is doing alright. We haven't really been able to teach him much since he's been so busy but the other day we were driving by his house and his 4 boys were playing catch with the football so we stopped and played with them for about 30 minutes and then ***** came out and we played some football! It was great! We're planning on going over there later today. 

Well that's about it here! This past week was a great sacrament meeting. It was a really spiritual moment knowing that I renewed my covenants with Heavenly Father. I love being able to contemplate and think of the Savior. Yesterday I read in Mosiah 14 during the sacrament and it was very spiritual. I invite you all to do so :) I love you all so much and I hope you have a great week! 

-Elder David B. Fullmer

Monday, October 8, 2012

When you have to be Bold, Do it with Love- October 8, 2012

Dear Fullmer Family,
General Conference was amazing!! I absolutely loved it! It was a huge shock to all of us when we heard about the change in ages for the missionaries. It's really cool to realize how the work of the Lord is increasing so rapidly. When I started my mission, there were about 52,000 missionaries in the field and in the press conference, Elder Holland said there are about 58,000. It's growing very fast and I can't wait to see what happens now. I doubt I'll be here when 18 year olds start coming in but it'll be interesting to see what happens. General Conference was amazing though. So many wonderful talks and messages that really were exactly what I needed. I love being able to listen to the words of the prophets. Sometimes I wish I had one of them as my companion so I could always be uplifted like that on a daily basis. Haha. It was a really great weekend.

Plan B to watch Conference. His last minute computer rig job.
We watched conference at the chapel. For most of the sessions it was only us in the chapel. We hooked up the satellite to a projector and watched it. For some reason though there was a loud hum that we couldn't get rid of. The Branch President thought it was our fault but we did all we could do. I felt like Stephen this weekend too because no one else really knew how to hook things up... I REALLY felt like Stephen though on Sunday when the Morning Session's closing song was finishing, the Satellite went out and we heard a loud "BOOM" along with the lights flickering... Turns out the Satellite got struck by lightning. We were hoping it would come back on but to no avail. I really wanted to watch the last session of conference. I said a prayer that we'd be able to get the things working (this was just after President Monson's talk about the JumboTron so I had faith.) So I got to work... I took a computer out of the Family History Center and ran the internet cord into the chapel. I hooked the computer up to the projector and then the sound up to the speakers in the chapel. I got everything working 30 seconds before the last session of conference started... And there was no annoying hum :) It all worked out and I'm grateful I was able to hear the last session of conference and hear the words I needed to hear! Thanks Stephen for inspiring me. I just thought of our basement with computers all over the place on the carpet. Good times! My favorite talk from this past conference was either President Eyring's Priesthood Session talk about finding our gifts or Elder Hales' about becoming more Christian Christians. It really was filled with things I personally needed to hear. 

This past week another elder and I had an interesting experience. Last Monday, we went and visited a man to teach both he and his wife the Plan of Salvation. We had been trying for weeks to meet with his wife who works a lot and we were able to meet her! We sat down and began the lesson when the door opened and his cousin walked in who happens to be a minister for another church. Right when he walked in I knew we were going to have an interesting night. He saw us and said, "Mormons huh?" He walked over, sat right in front of me and asked, "Who is Joseph Smith?" I went on and explained the Restoration and all that and he tried over and over to disprove the Book of Mormon. We told him multiple times how we aren't here to contend but to teach but he didn't want that. He said, "you need to be able to back up what you teach!" So I let him have it! However, the main focus I had throughout the whole night was to love him. I knew that if I didn't, the Spirit wouldn't be there and he wouldn't learn anything. He worked so hard to try and "prove" we were teaching another gospel to that which Christ taught but couldn't do it. At one point of the night he raised up his hands and said, "alright, I'm a sinner! Teach me how to come to Christ!" I took this moment and ran with it. I just opened my mouth and began to testify of what I know to be true. I testified of the Atonement of Jesus Christ which is available to everyone who will repent. I testified how much I value and strive to become like Christ and what it means for me. I was saying things that I had never realized I knew to be true and the Spirit was stronger than I had felt in a very long time. He broke down into tears and tried to deny the feelings which he felt and still tried to deny that we teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ in it's fullness. I know he felt the Spirit and I know this work is true! As we were leaving he left the closing prayer, which was more like a closing shout, it was weird, and you could noticeably recognize the difference in the Spirit between him and us. That's what I hoped the man we were teaching was able to feel. The other elder went back two days later while I was on an exchange with another elder and he told mim, "Man, my cousin has been trying to convert me for years... I don't feel anything in his church. I want to learn from you! I feel something different!" They gave him a Book of Mormon and the man committed to read it. It was a great learning experience for me to always follow the Spirit and when you need to be bold, you have to do it with love. 

Our other investigators are doing alright. They both said they would come to General Conference but neither of them came... It's hard in this area to get people to act. They don't have much in their lives but getting them to act is hard... We'll still keep working with them though.

One of my favorite quotes from conference was when Elder Hales said, "faithful servants of Christ are blessed with challenges and opposition." I never realized it's because of our faithfulness that we are blessed with challenges. If you look at all of the Prophets and Apostles in history, they all were/are "blessed" with challenges and opposition. I know that it's never easy and it never was intended to be easy but that's why the Savior came. It wasn't easy for Him either. But as we trust in Him, it doesn't become easier. However, it becomes possible. That's something I'm beginning to understand. We are going to have trials and problems and we are faced with two options: Go with Him, or go without Him. Satan tries to confuse that option but it's always the same. As we act and move forward WITH Christ, all of our trials and challenges come with understanding and He helps us learn and gain the perspective necessary to move past them. I'm so grateful for my testimony and hopefully I will continue to grow in my testimony until I can truly become converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in all that I do. I love you all and I'm so thankful for my wonderful family. You truly are a blessing from my Heavenly Father and I really cannot (nor want to) imagine how life would be without you. Thank you for everything that you are and do for me. I love you! Have a wonderful week!

-Elder David B. Fullmer

Here are some pictures of a crazy storm that they had

Monday, October 1, 2012

The docs found an ulcer in my stomach! Weekly update 10-1-2012

Dear Fullmer Family,

Well this week was an interesting one! Like I said last week I would be going in to have my EGD last Tuesday. So I went in, they put me out again and put a camera down my throat to take a litte looksie on my insides. Well, they found a stomach down there! Haha. But also they found an Ulcer in my stomach. They think this might be the cause of the problems, at least most of them. They're still not sure if it's the cause of all the problems but at least it's something that they can work with. They also aren't really sure of the cause of the ulcer since there are so many different ones but hopefully it will go away and I'll start feeling better :) I've already started to feel a bit better which is nice! Enough with my problems... Time to move on!

Mendoza Argentina huh? That's pretty legit Christian! I've heard it's an awesome mission! My last bishop served there and loved it! You get to speak that an Argentinian will all the sha's and when you get back i'll let you listen to Cuban spanish and you'll have no idea what they're saying! Haha. Can't wait! That's great to hear, too bad I'll just barely miss you but I might accidentally pretend to be a missionary and visit the MTC? :) JK!

This week has been a pretty good one! I was privelidged on Wednesday to go to a Specialized Training in Boynton Beach where President talked about cycles in the Book of Mormon, like the pride cycle and compared it to missionary work. It was pretty interesting. It basically said that we need to be balanced in all phases of the work and continually be humble and grateful for what the Lord has blessed us with. It was a great training where I was able to see some missionaries that I hadn't seen in quite some time!

Our investigators are doing pretty good as well. The biggest problem is getting them to church! But I feel like this week it will be better! We haven't been able to see ******* in probably like 5-6 days... He's been busy but he's still doing well! We had an amazing lesson with another invetigator last Monday where she expressed how she's been having dreams about water and being cleansed with water... It took about three seconds before we invited her to be baptized! She readily accepted and is very excited for it! Also, the day of the appointment, one of her good friends also passed away. We talked about the Plan of Salvation and the Spirit was so strong! Unfortunatley we haven't been able to see her since then but we're planning on going over there tonight to try and see her. She's amazing and I hope everything is going well!

Yesterday was the birthday of the grandson one of our families that we are teaching. I love them so much! There was a pinata with tamales and it was so delicious! We finished it off with some tres leches cake! Delicious!! This family invited me to go to Mexico with them next year!! They feel like part of my family. They're pretty involved in their Catholic church but really enjoy the Spirit that we bring to their house. They will get baptized but I'm just not quite sure as to when. However, we had a great time last night at a mexican fiesta!

Yesterday in church I had a really strong spiritual moment! It was disappointing because none of our investigators came to church but again I felt the spirit tell me that I did my very best and I should be proud. Then as the sacrament prayers were being blessed, the Priest blessing the bread is a member with special needs and he kept messing up over and over again. It took about six times to read it. I kept making the connection to us how to be able to enter into the Lord's Kingdom we need to be perfect, however we make mistakes over and over and over again, but the Lord always gives us another shot! I love the Sacrament and how it is a perfect example of Christ and His atonement. Just how no matter where we are, or how many times we fall, there's still another chance, and another and another. I love the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how with Christ I can do all things! Thank you for all of your love and prayers. I couldn't keep going without them. You're all so special to me and I love you deeply! Have a wonderful week!

Con mucho amor,
-Elder David B. Fullmer