Thursday, February 28, 2013

February 25, 2013

holy crap crackas! this week flew by! I guess before I start there are a few questions that i need to answer.  We get fed almost every night. occasionally we will have to feed ourselves, but our apartment is loaded with noodles and soups from past missionaries so all we have to buy is bread and milk. haha. Elder Wright is a stud! he and i are a lot alike. so we haven't killed each other yet. haha. our district is small. it is four elders me and elder wright included. elder wright is the district leader and then there is elder ballard and elder mosely. they are both weirdos, but they are way funny! haha. they are the elders that are in the upper peninsula. there is also a senior couple up in the sault (upper peninsula). So this week i went to Traverse city with one of the Zone leaders and it was cool working there. out here in northern michigan there really aren't a lot of people in the winter. haha.
We had zone conference which was good. president hess talked to us and i really like something that he pointed out. he was talking about Doctrine and Covenants 6:36. he pointed out that it's a commandment to doubt not and fear not. those are two tools that satan uses to destroy the work and we have the agency and ability to choose what we are thinking. often times we worry about stupid things. well stop worrying about it. worrying is a waste of time and you have the ability to choose what you think about. i loved that becasue it is so true, worrying doesn't change the circumstances of anything. it really is just a waste of time. put your worrys on christ. that's why he atoned for us. he knows how we feel so get on your knees and ask to quit worrying about certain things and WORK for it. think about what your thinking about and change what your thinking about if necessary. you become and you are what you think you are and what you think you'll become. so be confident. like me! ;) haha jk. I just had to throw that in there. so friday we talked to holly (an investigator that we knocked into) about the plan of salvation and invited her to be baptized. she said she will have to think about it but that she would pray about it. and now for telling you guys about saturday. the most tiring day of my mission by far and the weirdest day and just a crazy day that i felt just about every emotion there is. So i'll give some of the highlights. so about mid way through the day we go and see an investigator ( by this point a bunch has already happened and the day has already been nuts) her name is Gina and we knocked into her i think tuesday. but we had an amazing first lesson with her. we had to clear up a lot about the church because anti material is everywhere up here, but by the end of our lesson she felt loads better about the church and was sincerely going to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. then we set a baptismal date with her!!! i was SOO pumped! haha. then we went and talked to the guy that wanted help to quit smoking. we got all the stuff for the quit smoking program and took it to him. we started talking about the necessary steps and i told him to go grab his tobacco. he asked why i wanted him to grab it and i told him cuz he was going to throw it away and get rid of it. then he told me that it was expensive and he didn't want to throw it away so i kinda got blunt with him and asked if he was just blowing smoke when he told us that he wanted to quit smoking. he said he wants to quit smoking and he just can't now. so i asked why he couldn't start now and blah blah blah, moral of the story he isn't doing the stop smoking program with him anymore, but we are visiting with him about personal stuff and we gave him a blessing. Well then later that night we go and talk to a mother that has had the missionaries for a long time cuz she had kinda a bad experience happen with her daughter so we go over and we talk to her and comfort her. this lady is cool though, Elder Wright and I are able to teach her things that other missionaries haven't been able to because she tells them to stop teaching her. but it's cuz we're real with her and we aren't pretending to be someone else. so side note comment, remember the lord called YOU on a mission. you don't have to act like someone you're not. YOU can touch someone that others can't. so then we went to dinner then after dinner we go to the hospital to give a recent convert a blessing. well in the same room as this lady is an old woman who is obviously in her death bed and in loads of pain. her daughter who is in her 50's is right next to her trying to comfort her and she is crying. so we ask if we can do anything for her and we tell her we can give her mother a blessing. this lady was so grateful and you could tell felt the love and sincere care that we felt for her and so she said she would love that. well, i'm about to start when the daughter's husband walks in and the daughter tells him that "these kind young men are going to give mom a blessing." well he looks at us, looks at our badge, and says" no there not." So i looked at the daughter and wished her my best and told her we'd pray for her. then this guy says my mom's a christian! you devil worshiper! then elder wright was like "sir, we believe whole heartedly in christ and we wish you the best." I can tell you, i have never felt so bad for someone in my life and never wanted to punch someone in the throat so bad in my life. that one took a lot to just walk away from and not yell or say anything bad at this guy. cuz we just wanted to help that poor woman and her mom. so then we went on a walk with an investigator and helped a guy that was stuck in his driveway cuz of the snow and told him a little about who we are. so that made us feel a lot better, but we still had to pray hard that night to not harbor those hard feelings against that guy. cuz i really wanted to punch that guy right in the head. but i didn't and we didn't do or say anything to disgrace the name we have on our badge. but ya, that day i felt every emotion in the book. haha. it was nuts. haha. well hope you all have a great week.

Letter from President - February 16, 2013

Dear Brother and Sister Foust,
One of the great experiences for Sister Hess and I is welcoming new missionaries as they arrive.  They are anxious to accept their new life in the mission field.  New missionaries bring with them a special spirit from the Missionary Training Center and are excited about exercising their newly found gospel teaching skills.
 Sister Hess and I met your son, Elder Landon David Foust, at the airport.  We then took him and the other new missionaries to the Mission Home for dinner, so we could become better acquainted and start our missionary orientation.  Elder Foust's first assignment is in the Petoskey area with his trainer, Elder Wright.
 Your letters are to be sent to:  Elder Landon Foust
                                                  2075 Woods Lane, Unit 10
                                                  Petoskey, MI 49770
May the Lord bless you and your family for supporting your son in his missionary work.  Your love and encouragement are vital to his success.  A weekly letter from home is so appreciated and should be positive and uplifting.  On the other hand, too frequent communication, phone calls, or personal visits are distracting, and cause the missionary to lose his focus.  We ask that phone calls be limited to Christmas and Mother's Day.  We discourage personal visits from family and friends.  We know that you will find a special spirit in your home and in your heart as you share this mission together.
We are pleased to serve with your son and know he will be a great blessing to the work of our Heavenly Father.  Thank you for sending him.  We will look after, take care of, and love him in every way possible while he serves the Lord.  Should you have questions or concerns about your son, please call me.
Stephen H. Hess, President
Michigan Lansing Mission

Monday, February 25, 2013

February 18, 2013 - President's Day

What's up family and friends!? it's been a great week, my companion and i hit 5 of the 8 standards of excellence which president hess considers a commendable week. we worked our butts off. it really doesn't feel like it should be P-day today. well my comp and i have had to do a bunch of finding this week.  but we've found a ton of people to teach!! we found 5 solid potentials to teach and we already taught one. her name is holly, she is a member of the Odawa tribe here in petoskey. she has had a hard life, but started praying to jesus ( without being instructed or told how to do so) and just thought it was the right thing. we taught her the restoration and it was really amazing how prepared she is to hear the message! I've experienced some weird stuff. haha. naked people answering the doors, weird athiest guy that wanted to talk and proceeded to tell us how he broke his foot fighting with foam swords, and just a whole bunch of weird. haha. gotta love petoskey, cheboygan, and charlavoix. I'll be headed down to traverse city on tuesday through thursday because i'll be doing exchanges with the zone leaders. it's been a great week. we are going to start the quit smoking program with a guy, so that should be good. i'm excited to help someone with that. so guess what. i'll be eating the worlds second hottest pepper on the sixth of march. haha. if i do it i become an honorary uper! (upper peninsula person) like i said it's been a great week. I love how much our stake prepared us. i really felt prepared and i feel like i'm hitting the ground running.  aerating prepared me too, cuz now i don't take it personal when someone says no at the door. It's awesome how much god helps us out with the work.  my comp and i are trying to get members involved with helping us, but it's kinda difficult cuz they all are busy and live far away (or so they say) but we'll get them involved with the investigators. don't worry. haha. :) so i did have a chat with the branch council. there goal was to give us two referrals a month and i basically told them that that was the worst/ laziest goal i had ever heard  and that we should easily get two a week. haha. my branch likes me though so they took it well. haha. well i hope you all have a fantastic week and i'll write again next week!
Invited to a Members House for Abraham Lincoln's Birthday. 
 His favorite meal was served as well! 

February 11, 2013 - Welcome to Michigan

 Last sight of the mountains for two years!
Well, i'm in Michigan! We got up at 3 in the morning on wednesday and headed to the airport. i only got an hour of sleep that night because i played bang until like 2 in the morning with the others that i wouldn't be seeing again.  but we got delayed a few times and stuck a few times so I got to the mission home at around 5 o'clock michigan time.  but it was cool, at the airport we had a long break, and i kept thinking in my head that there was no such thing as coincidence, so i started walking around with another elder.  We were in line for wendys and i started talking to a guy and he was telling me all about his life and i started telling him about the book of mormon and how it gives us direction and really helps us. so i gave him a pass along card and told him he could get a free book of mormon from it and showed him the number to call and stuff. it was cool cuz he said, "i'm really open to this stuff cuz i'm looking for direction in my life." it was cool, cuz i saw how there really isn't such thing as coincidence.  So i'm doing good out here.  it's really easy for me to talk to everyone.  i've done slash heard of so much stuff that i can relate to almost anyone, which is really useful when first talking to them. so my companion's name is Elder Wright. he is from California.  he's a good guy, he's a hard worker and he and i think very similarly. so we've been working hard every day and getting work done! we've found at least 7 people to teach in the two days we were able to work this last week. which is a huge blessing.  the branch here is very small but the area is huge.  there hasn't been a baptism in about six months, but that is about to change!! I'm excited to finally be here and be working.  My area is Petosky. it is huge. it covers macinac city, charlevoix, and cheboigan and a bunch of other places.  I'll be able to go on exchanges to the upper peninsulla and my first exchange to there will probably be in a week or two.  it's not too cold here.  i would dare say it was colder in utah. My companion thinks i'm a weird greenie, cuz whenever he asks if i want him to do stuff first i say no and i do it.  so like doorknocking i said that i would do it right off. but it's been a good experience, lots of doors in the face, but a few really prepared people that we are going to visit this week. i'm excited to see what comes of it.  my apartment was freakishly disgusting, so i've been cleaning it like crazy.
  my companion has probably realized that i'm ocd and expect cleanliness, so he's started to clean his stuff up too. but it's really good, i'm enjoying it here.  the bay of lake michigan is frozen! i thought it was a field with snow on it, but it was the lake! the makes really do freeze into wave position and it's nuts! haha.
so ya, it's been a good week. my area is a full time car mission, so that's really nice. it's kinda funny, this is gonna be a boasting in my god, but not me moment.  i've been told my whole life that this would be a huge tough experience, (which i'm sure it will be, and it has been) but it's nuts how much i've been blessed with strength.  but moral of the story, i've been able to keep on pushin on. i don't really know how to explain my feelings right now, but i have a huge confidence in the lord right now, and have since i got dropped off at the mtc.  i've had some hard times, but it's always in my mind that i can't be stopped. which sounds way prideful, but it's true.  i honestly can't be stopped cuz i have god on my side. i probably sound like a mega greenie. but it's true.  i'm excited to work hard and get the work moving again here in this area. I love you all and hope all is going well. 
 Upon arriving at the mission home, there was a moment to take this picture with Monson Welch who is Brian Bentley's cousin serving in the same mission.

February 1, 2013

Whats up!? well it's almost time for me to hit the mission field.  i'll be leaving early wednesday morning.  I'm pumped. the MTC has been great, but i'm to the point that i just want to go do, and not learn how to do. but it's been an awesome experience.  I had in field orientation yesterday, so i'm now ready for Lansing.  or as ready as i can be. My companion and i have done really well teaching our investigators here in the MTC. I've gotten pretty good at teaching the lessons.  I really do feel like i'm going to hit the ground running because of all the work i did on my own and with the stake's mission prep classes.  I'm hoping i get an awesome trainer that is excited to be there or else i'm gonna punch him in the head and force him to work hard! ;) ok maybe not i'll be patient. you guys would be proud I got stuck with the laziest kid in the district as my companion and i haven't punched him yet! I've just done what i'm supposed to do and led by example.  This kid sleeps like 90% of the day.  it's honestly amazing.  i thought i was good at falling asleep until i met this kid.  but like i said i've been patient with him. I just mess with him when he sleeps in class. haha. it's pretty funny. but everybody is getting used to being away from their families so there aren't that many depressed people anymore! haha. I really like my district.
 we got some funny kids in here ( me being the funniest) that really get along and are all striving to fulfill our purposes as missionaries.  the thing i love the most about the gospel is that it's complete.  I used to think it was hard to teach the gospel to someone that already had a really good relationship with god but wasn't mormon.  now i've found that it's not that hard at all! it's so cool because the Book of Mormon just builds on what the bible teaches.  it has the potential to answer the questions people have about the bible and make the bible more clear.  it is so cool how happy you can be when you apply the principles from the bible AND the book of mormon.  you just need to help people see that the book of mormon is here so that we can live with our family forever with god and that it can make us sooo happy! Well, i don't have too much more time and i really don't know what else to say.  the food here is amazing. but it's dumb, i've literally eaten 3 times the amount i did at home and i haven't gained a pound! i was hoping to be the size of big buddah by the end of my MTC experience. i'm the strongest in my zone by the way. we get gym time every day and i've shown up all the boys in my zone.  I'm truly a man among boys! ;) haha! Well, you guys stay classy!
Love Elder "The Studliest/ biggest man/ funniest man" Foust! ;)
 The night before leaving the MTC with his good friend Elder Austen George

Thursday, February 7, 2013

January 25, 2013

For Landon's Birthday on January 18th, his mom had sent him a pumpkin pie via MTC Delivery.  Landon isn't a huge cake fan, so she knew this would be fun.  His sister, Shanna, had made oatmeal cookies to include, along with his favorite candies, LICORICE being at the top.

Landon was the last group of English speaking missionaries to spend three weeks in the MTC.  From now on it will only be two.  He wrote a brief note to let us know that his first P-day was not until a week from Friday which was January 25th.

Highlights from his first letter to Aysia. He can't stop talking about how much he loves the MTC. "First day was surprisingly good. It all felt right. It's a feeling that is kind of weird. You would think you'd be super sad, but you're kept busy." "My testimony has grown so much, when you get here you won't know much, but when you leave you'll know a ton and the lord will have you prepared. Honestly, the windows of heaven have been opened. I've received so much personal revelation and it is just amazing."

Highlights from first email:  
MTC is now at full capacity at about 3000 missionaries - June there will be about 7-8000. 
MTC is a lot of study and a lot of class, but it is really neat. I feel like I've learned a ton, but on the other hand I'm surprised at how ahead i was from all of my mission prep classes and personal study.
My companion is cool, he was really depressed the first three days but he got cool.  I ended up telling him that his mission was going to be hell if he kept acting that way. He was mad at me for like an hour but ever since he's been way cool. he played football for Lehi high school. 
All the missionaries at first were like, "has it hit you yet?" personally i think that is the dumbest question i have ever heard in my life.  Of course it has hit me.  I knew what i was signing up for. 
I'm a district leader. The only down side is dealing with the depressed people, but I'm staying patient (except with my comp) but like i said we're cool now. 
it's terrible to say, but i really don't miss you guys. i really don't mind it here and i know it's where I'm supposed to be.  Well, i don't really know what else to say. I'm the best looking, most athletic biggest stud here at the MTC, but that's not a surprise. ;)
 District study group.  Landon is District Leader so he's taking the picture.
Temple Day

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Finally, to the MTC

January, 16, 2013 finally arrived and it was time to enter the MTC.  We were not assigned to be there until 12:45pm.  Landon was up early, had his room vacuumed, his luggage by the door and totally dressed by 9:00am.  We finally left after a game of Five Crowns at 11:00am.
 The whole drop off at the MTC experience lasted about 4 minutes.  It was pull in the driveway, pull up to the assigned curb, unload, take a picture and give mom and dad a hug.
The adventure begins!!  Unbeknownst to Landon, when he walked in the front door, there stood Derek Ford (our neighbor) to give him a hug and greet him.  What a tender mercy and immediate comfort to settle an anxious soul.