Friday, November 25, 2016

2nd Week Six - Celebrations

Elder Lovgren celebrated his birthday last week and people in his mission took great care of him! He also had an awesome week serving the Lord and here are some things he said:
  • It was my birthday this week, I'm 23; I don't know how I'm that old all of a sudden! It was celebrated multiple times this week, and on one occasion I thought you all would want to know: I ate a 32 oz. steak, that's two pounds!...I'm not kidding you, I couldn't walk!
  • It's so sick that I can touch people here; we use our talents to glorify God.
  • We met with [investigators/friends] and had Pho with them and it was so sick...they opened up...I've never had investigators want to hang out with us this much. They're not even investigators, they're buds.
  • There's a family in the Ward that [we and our buds] have been over to a couple times. We connect on a level of music and it's so sick. I wake up in the morning and I'm just stoked.
An assortment of Elder Lovgren's birthday celebrations!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

2nd Week Five - The Little Things

This week Elder Lovgren told about little things like his area, his apartment, and what he eats. Here's some of what he said:
  • My area is big - it's one of the bigger areas - but the actual civilization part is really small. (It's about as big as when I served in Irvine.) There's one tiny shopping center with a Smart and Final, which is a grocery store like Price Chopper, and then a couple restaurants and then a CVS, and then there's four gated communities right next to it. Then there's one normal community - where we live - then you drive down this canyon road and you're in the woods and it's a completely different culture and people.
  • With daylight savings time it's brighter in the morning so more light comes through our apartment and, for me, it just helps in the morning to have natural daylight shine in; I don't know what it is but I just feel happy.
  • As far as what I'm eating. To be honest, this week all I bought was a watermelon. That's it. I just bough a big ol' watermelon, chopped that thing up, and have been eating it all week. I usually don't eat lunch - I'll eat a bowl of cereal and drink some ginger tea in the morning but not eat lunch - and I kind of like it because I feel more in tune with the spirit because I don't have food to block it out. And I don't feel hungry, I just feel full from that, then at dinner members like to feed us a lot.
Elder Christensen and Elder Lovgren reppin' KC while doing some service!

Friday, November 11, 2016

2nd Week Four - Good Times

Elder Lovgren had a great week last week! Here are some of the things he said:
  • It's so crazy how some weeks are the slowest and some weeks the fastest! This week was for sure a quicky. Does it feel long that I've been gone now?? Shoot only 3 weeks and it feels like that haha but it's gone quick!
  • Well missionary work is the best, really. It's such an amazing privilege. Everything has come together real nicely this week. I feel very integrated into the ward and I'm starting to be more of me! There's always that kind of weird adjustment time trying to "fit in" sort of... but once that's over, the work really starts.
  • We said a prayer before leaving and during I got this vivid image in my mind of us walking 2 doors down and knocking on a door. So as soon as I got up from the prayer, I knew exactly where we were going and why we were there. I then felt prompted to grab a plan of salvation pamphlet that teaches about Gods plan with pictures and such. So we walk over and knock, boom, a 30 year or so old woman answers and shes super happy to see us! We small talk for a bit then I just said, you know, we just felt prompted to come over here, not sure why but we want to share a short message with you about Heavenly Fathers plan of happiness for all of us. We then shared some things about where we came from, why we're here, where we go after we die, etc. and I shared with her that I absolutely KNOW families can be together forever. She then told us a little bit more about herself and some heavy trials she's had in her life. I asked her who she lived with thinking she was married. She then said, "I live with my parents! Reason being... my moms upstairs in bed dying from pancreatic cancer, and it's bad." When she said this I was just in awe. I couldn't believe how orchestrated these events were, the timing, the message, everything! I then promised her again families can be together forever, you will see your mother again when this time passes. I then gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon with my testimony written inside and promised her the comfort it would bring to her life and she was so thankful!! It was such a miracle to see how easily just by following the still small voice of the spirit, those tiny little promptings, we can truly be effective work tools in the Lords hands! He knows best. He knows what each of his children need and he calls those who are worthy of it to be angels at the right place at the right time. 
  • Another rad thing that happened this week actually totally got me stoked about being in RSM and this area. So on another exchange, it was around 8 pm and we're at this lake sitting on a bench talking and such. I then hear a snap! And I knew from a mile away someone was skating, so way far away I see these two dudes just chilling, both with skateboards. So of course... I ask them to play skate! Every time when I ask that in shirt and tie and dress shoes, people laugh and just know they'll smoke me right? Well I did a few tricks and these kids were dyin hahaha. Thought it was crazy I could actually skate. So they were then pretty interested in what this is all about. So I told em I've skated forever and that I've worked with a lot of people in the industry they know etc. So they're super shocked at this point. Then music came up and one of the kids, 18 years old named AJ pulled out some demos of his band. No joke, fully 80s synth kinda psych poppy stuff. Pretty much exactly DCA. So already we're just nerding out about it all. I then told them they have to hear my synth I brought out since it's THE 80s synth. So the next day, AJ invited us over to his place where all his homies were. Now this whole term of events was pretty hilarious and quirky to me haha! Eliminate the whole music thing and this would've never happened... We walked up to his house, it's me and 3 elders, shirt and tie right and this dude walks out, real hard pressed fully tatted gnarly biker guy. Looks real mean, he says, "you the guys with the music?" We're like uhhh yeah? He's like cool!! I'm AJs dad he's inside!!! His mom then welcomes me in and 2 of his sisters and they're all just happy to see us. Then we go to the basement and 5 of his homies are down there. AJ then introduces me to his buddy Jordan on guitar. He brings over an amp for me, I plug in and start playing some chords and such. And I don't even know how but all of a sudden in like 2 minutes we're just jamming in his basement. Like dream jamming!!! This dude is just ripping on guitar and it all sounded amazing. So we just jammed and made jazz stuff for like an hour and then we had to grab a ride quick so we kinda ran out of the house. But the whole dynamic of just these surf bois and these elders in this small basement making the sickest music! It was so epic. I've now got all of their numbers and we're planning every week to record music and then teach a little bit about the gospel. It's so sick!!!! This whole thing really made me so happy to be here. I hope I get to stay for a while so I can meet with these kids every week since they're not in school or anything, they're just trying to figure out what the futures lookin like. Very blessed for that experience. Makin me happy!!
  • So these were just a couple crazy lil things that go on on the daily out here! Love you all foreal. A lot! Can't wait to hear what this new week brings for you. Please tell me everything!!!

Elder Lovgren and Elder Christensen

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

2nd Week Three - Life's Assortment

Elder Lovgren's area is very diverse. On one hand there are people who live in gated communities, and on the other hand there are people who live in the canyon. Here are some things he said this week:

  • At one point I had a story that I wanted to share which was about a scripture that really stuck out to me in the Book of Mormon that was how I gained my testimony but instead I felt totally prompted to share the reason why I wanted to come on a mission, which was three years ago when I needed to...Mom, I was with you and we were driving in the car and I told you I wanted to go on a mission. The day before, the missionaries came over and totally brought the spirit in our house and it felt super good. I was struggling, didn't really know where I was going, and had decided I wasn't going on a mission. But then I told you I wanted to go because I had watched a wedding film about the temple and about how families really can be together forever. I had that experience where I was telling you about it and the sun was shining super bright in my eyes and I just knew "Okay, this is definitely the right thing to do" but I had lost sight of that decision. I told him the reason the gospel means so much to me is because it blesses my family-brings me closer to them, brings me closer to my heavenly family; to my brothers and sisters-to all of you. And he just started smiling and I was just like man this feels so good! 
  • Ive been trying to stay focused. I've been praying a lot trying to understand how I can change my life because I feel like I'm in this transition period right now where I feel like I need to get back on track. Feeling the spirit is something I want every day.
  • There's this guy who has a guard goat in his front yard! You have to be nice to him and pet the top of his head or else he'll ram into you and push you over. The guy is super nice, but I thought it was so funny that they had a guard goat! That's the kind of stuff that goes down in the canyon. The other day I caught myself saying "Howdy" and I thought what am I doing?! Who am I now?! It was funny.
  • I'll find myself being really quiet and bummed about the fact that everyone's in their houses during the day and there's really nothing to do. (The people in the canyon aren't very nice, sometimes you get the door slammed in your face, and you get in a rut. It's a mental game, you know?) I find that when I'm quiet it's because I'm thinking about myself-I turn inward-I think why me? This is totally affecting me. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah... When I look over at my companion and think about the issues he's going through a lot of that goes away. I just have to constantly remind myself to care about others all the time, to really try to stay busy in the work but be interested in other people-be concerned, and care, and sincerely try to help them. 
  • I shared my favorite scripture that starts with "Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost." I read that in the Missionary Training Center a year and a half ago at a time when I wasn't sure if I could keep going. I read that scripture "Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do." My initials are ANGL and I felt like that scripture really spoke to me that "Andrew, you'll speak by the power of the Holy Ghost. Read the scriptures-feast on them-and you'll know what to do in your life." That totally comforted me so much when I didn't know if I could keep going. I was looking at them and I could see that they were smiling and they could feel the spirit so much and I was like this has been a week that I've been thinking about family a lot-the kind of father I want to be, raising my kids, providing a home for them. (I think it's inevitable on a mission-you're always teaching those things.) It was really amazing to teach in such a simple way and see the impact it had on them. Maybe it will be something that inspires them in time to come, and it makes missionary work so sweet.
Elder Christensen, a friend, Elder Lovgren