Monday, January 26, 2015

Week Jan 26

It will be weird to go home and not to my room and into our back yard,
etc. etc. I will definitely have to ask the new owners for a walk
through tour of the new place, and most certainly the back yard. It is
weird how you get sentimentally attached to things. Just because you
use something over and over or you are repetitively somewhere you
begin to love that thing or place, and that is only quickened when
accompanied by good company and positive atmosphere. The good news is
that we already have that at the Maglebys house. Heck, we even lived
there for a while. But I guess it will be home soon enough.

I feel I have acquired much of the same love for this place and this
time I have had on my mission. I think most importantly and most
deeply I have created an attachment to the Gospel and the enabling
power I feel as I put in effort to come closer to God (Their evil plan
worked!). I will tell you one of the experiences that happened
recently that has helped me develop that deeper connection.

Monday--We are leaving the Gonzalez's house from a dinner and family
home evening. As we are leaving a women says. "Hey, are you on your
missions?" "Yes" we say. She said, "would you like to come in for
something to drink? You'll never convert me but I have some questions.
I have a friend who is a member and is such a good person. I didn't
want to ask her questions because I didn't want her to think I think
she is crazy." Her first question was about our view of Christ as the
very Son of God. She heard we didn't believe that stuff. We explained
that that was wrong and were actually able to help her build her
understanding of his divine sonship and what that really means for all
of us. She was a little surprised but pleased it seemed. She then
started with all sorts of other questions and ideas she has developed
over time swimming in open water Christianity tryiing to find answers
her Childhood pastors could never answer. We were able to share so
many scriptures from the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants
and even Joseph Smith History that were able to either outright answer
her questions or help her come to a conclusion that she has spent
years of thought and study over which is really just in 2nd Nephi. We
ended our lesson asking her if she would convert if she felt that God
wanted her to. She said, "probably." I asked her what would impede her
from being baptized, she said, "well I would have to read a lot more
to find out if it was true!" We said we would love to help her through
that process and she agreed to meet again.

This all happened by the way to an educated white person who from
direct outside appearance people might deem: already religious, not
receptive, not interested, not prepared, too skeptical, not willing
and a whole mountain of other things. What made it more amazing is it
was a members neighbor. I am convinced there are people in every nook
and cranny of the world who with a little love and a little touch of
the spirit will open up and at least be willing to listen. Then, it is
their choice to choose to act or not.

I love my mission. I love my job. I love you and I will see you pretty soon!

Love//

Elder Bigelow

Week of Jan 19

We are driving on the George Washington memorial parkway in great
falls VA. It is beautiful here. We are on our way back from the
temple. It has been a long while since going so it was a great
experience to go back. I will enjoy being able to go often after my
mission. How is progress coming on the Provo city center temple? Do
they have an estimated day of completion?

This past week was a good one, every day offering something new. Being
here again in spring lake has brought back a lot of great memories.

I will focus my feelings of this week into one experience due to lack
of time. Last night, right before heading in, we went and stopped at
the Chiñas house. If I told you before they are part of the Muñoz
clan. There is the grandparents, their four daughters and all of their
families of all sorts and sizes, some married, some not etc etc.
everyone is in a different walk and or phase of life. Regardless of
all of this they have an immense love within their big family unit and
we as missionaries get to feel all of it. We stopped by their house to
see the newest missionary in the ward off. He will be going to Tucson
Arizona, he will be leaving on Tuesday. He is excited, nervous,
animated, sometimes teary and very very ready to go. I am excited for
him and the experiences he is going to have. It was a simple night,
nothing really special, but the love and care was immense. I want to
have that spirit in my family. I am excited to feel that in real time
at home with you guys too.

Got to go---

Love//

Elder Bigelow

Here is Hazi, future Elder Chiñas

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

week of Jan 12

Today is a good day! And also a very sad one. I am, as we speak, packing
to move to a new area. We got a call late last night that due to an
emergency there needed to be a change and we are at the receiving end
of that change. So, I will be going back to springlake, my very first
Ward! But instead of being in Herndon I will be in Sterling, it is
like 15 minutes north of where I was previously.

Obviously there are a lot of mixed emotions when you get moved,
especially when it was totally unexpected and effective immediately. I
have seen people get really mad or sad or distraught in situations
like this before so when president called I was waiting for some sort
of extreme reaction from myself, but nothin happened.. So, I guess I
am still a relaxed kind of guy!

In speaking with some members and investigators and letting them I
won't be coming back it was interesting to see their different
reactions. I was most impressed with Sonia. She is a relatively new
investigator and us coming into her live has totally changed her
universe. since the first time we met with her she has felt the spirit
strongly and she says that "she feels" that she needs to follow
everything we share with her. She also has in a few weeks made an
enormous connection with us. She actually cried when I told her I was
leaving (I was a little surprised...) but then she said something
profound. She said then it is all okay because she knows there are
other souls God has prepared for me to touch. She made me promise to
go back for her baptism which I gladly did, and so I guess you'll get
a picture of that in a little while.

Anyway, I love you all, I am out of time due to the move, but I love you!

Always be grateful for what you have, it could be taken away from you
quicker than you think!

Love//

Elder Bigelow 

Week of Jan 5

A great week again full of all sorts of wonderful things. I'll give
you some highlights

Last night we had a great experience with our "new/returning member
fireside." We get together all of the recent converts in the mission
over the past month together and any returning from inactivity members
as well, and they share their testimonies and their stories. It is
always a wonderful experience but this one seemed even better. All
those who shared their testimonies were so strong and powerful. They
were all so genuine and excited to be a part of the gospel. Being
there helped me reflect and the wonderful blessing that it is to have
a personal testimony. The personal convictions that I have bring me
more happiness and peace when I act on them than anything else in the
world, especially God stuff. I have been studying again a lot about
the ways the spirit communicates with us, and trying to specifically
find more ways that it communicates with me. Last night I think I
finally specifically identified another experience where I was
elevated by the spirit. I did not however have any "burning in the
bosom" moments or any other feeling I personally relate to the spirit
but I was really happy, and I felt I could express my love and
appreciation to all the people there in a way I usually by myself find
hard to do. I feel like that complied with the implications of a
scripture I have been lovin' on recently. Romans 15:13 says --Now the
God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may
abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. In context, I
think the verses before this give the requirement of something along
the lines of, "Gentiles need to glorify God." When that happens verse
13 happens. So, in short: I am a gentile, I glorified God and
appreciated all the things that he has revealed to me and so I felt
great. Woo hoo! It worked

On that same vein of thought we had a lesson with our awesome Puerto
Rican friend Alex. He is a funny guy who pretends to be too cool for
us but always invites us to come back and is trying to read all the
scriptures that we give him... So we think he likes us deep inside. He
is awesome and we are excited to help him keep going.

I hope you all love life and love when you feel great!

Love//

Elder Bigelow
PS I cut my hair again, but this time it is a little different. That
is my best friend. Elder miles. He is from alpine


Monday, January 5, 2015

Week of Dec 29

This week was great! It was great to talk to you and it was great to
have another Christmas on the mission.

The most interesting thing to me about my time as a missionary is that
all the days bleed together. I am hardly aware of what day it is and
what that means. Every day is Sunday, but one Sunday a week we go to
church to make it an "extra Sunday-ey sunday." That is kind of cool but
super weird at the same time.

Saturday was great. One of the coolest people I have met on my mission
was baptized. Ever was so nervous to even think about this step a
month and a half ago, but Saturday he killed it. He had some
butterflies but put confidence in himself and kicked butt! He even
bore his testimony after he was baptized. That was extra special
because he told us he had never before stood up in front of a crowd of
people to speak even when he had to. He bore his simple powerful
testimony of the reality of God and his willingness to guide a
searching soul. That felt great.

Interestingly enough I was filled the same way that Saturday afternoon
as well. That happened while knocking on doors and not being given a
single return appointment or let in. People were more or less polite
but no one really wanted us there to begin. There was one father and
son duo who were from Spain and particularly catholic. Just
traditionally though, so very stubborn and closed but not so sure
about the doctrine... Funny how that works. Anyway, they were nice
enough to listen to us for a moment. After much persistence, a few
scriptures, testifying and offering to re-roof their house for free we
left each other in good spirits with warm hand shakes.
The reason that particular experience and all of our other contacts
that afternoon were so great was I think because we helped everyone we
talked to truly come a little closer to the truth. Some perceptions
were changed, some people were invited to pray, some people were
invited to read and all were given testimony of the restored of Jesus
Christ. That made me feel just as good as helping someone to baptism.
It is all the same work, some are just ready, some aren't.

I will strive to give everyone a fair chance at it.

I love you and and hope you have a WONDERFUL week. I know I will have one

Love//

Elder Bigelow

Ps. Did you ever get more info about the possibility of me getting
some insoles from dr. Brady's offic?
Pps. THANK YOU FOR ALL THE GIFTS--I wore my socks last night-I wore my
robe this morning-I plan on eating my salsa this afternoon-I have my
present looking into the light-and I am itching to use my cute little
journals. I think I will start in them with my dope new Tetris
crayons. Aaaaand I am excited to see what Julia made! Did you by
chance get my little envelope yet?

These are some live reactions!

video

Week of Dec 22

I am really grateful today. I have so many resources at my disposal
for learning, just concerning the gospel. There are so many words in
books and talks and gathered teachings that so far, as far as I want
to go in nearly all of my questions and curiosities, I can find
answers. As I investigate for myself and for others, I receive clarity
of understanding. That is not to say it comes immediately or that it
is extremely easy. It takes of my time, effort, thought and faith. i
am grateful to have learned that here in Virginia. I am sure that I
will find many more questions along the way and if I soldier it out
with time, effort, thought and faith, I'll be able to make it through.

My experience that brought this all about was just simple curiosities
and questions per usual and realizing the amazing resource of
knowledge and wisdom that books are. It helped that today we went to
the capital building as well as the library of congress again. It was
another good realization for me about the power of knowledge. With
that being said, I don't think I will study for 16 years of my life in
university like you did mom but I will be a lifetime reader and
learner. Hooray for books! There is so much power in words.  That was
one of the things that was impactful to me recently while reading in
Ether. All the hullabaloo at the beginning is so they don't become
"confounded." There is power in confusion, and there is power in
clarity of thought. I intend to try and maintain myself well-informed
through the rest of my life.

Cool experiences in trying to bring "entendimiento" to people this week.

Best one. We had a cool lesson with Oscar who has been trying to
receive an answer about everything we have been teaching him. He has
been reading and praying for a few weeks a lot but still doesn't feel
like he has ever felt the spirit reading the Book of Mormon. We taught
him about fasting and did one together this past Sunday, his first
time at church. He was only able to stay for sacrament and we haven't
been able to get in contact with him since. But he left with a big
smile on his face. We hope that is a good sign.

Anyway. I am out of time due to going to the Capitol today. It was
amazing. The more I re-learn since high school about American history
and government/politics the more I think I wouldn't mind being
involved in some way, shape, or form.

So, moral of the story, go read a book I am not allowed to read right now.

I love you all! Have a wonderful day and Happy Holidays!

Love//

Elder Bigelow

Ps. I sent something for Christmas. You may or may not get before the
big day. I hope you do!
Pps. About the call on Christmas Day. I think we will be doing it
around ten o'clock our time, but I will call or text on Christmas Eve
to confirm. Sound good?

They have a big ole' Christmas tree in the library of congress now.