Rob’s Homecoming

This Sunday (Father’s Day), Elder Emery will be giving his “homecoming talk” in his parents’ ward.

Sunday, June 17, 2012 at 9:00 AM
At the Chapel at 465 N 300 E, Providence, UT

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June 11, 2012

Dear Family-

Well, my mission is finally done. It’s been an absolutely incredible
experience, and I’m extremely grateful for it. I’ll be able to tell
you more about it in person though. I’ll see you Wednesday. I love
you!

-Elder Emery

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June 4, 2012

Dear Family-

We had another really good week! This is a really good area to be in.
The only problem is that everything’s blurring together so much that I
can’t remember what happened this week and what happened earlier. I
think we did a few service projects, but I can only remember one for
sure. We helped a guy load up a truck with some stuff from a shipping
container on his property. I’ve helped more people move and pack on my
mission than probably the first 19 years of my life. I like it though
because it’s very mentally easy, as opposed to almost everything else
we do. All you have to do is pick something up, walk, and set it down.

We also met with a few less-actives this week. It’s always interesting
and sad to me when I meet people who have been members for decades,
but don’t come to church. I try to be understanding and patient, but
sometimes I want to shake them and tell them all of the blessings
they’re missing. They’re giving up eternal salvation for something as
insignificant as “somebody offended me 30 years ago.” Most people
don’t respond well to being told what to do though, so we have to be
kind and loving and inviting. Also, for all I know, they truly don’t
understand the blessings that they are missing. Some members never
really gain a testimony, so if they leave, they don’t have nearly as
strong of a motivation to come back. I think that’s why we focus so
much on teaching in the Church. We could do all sorts of things to
encourage people to come to church, keep the commandments, etc. The
most powerful motivation though, is an understanding and testimony of
a doctrine. If every member truly understood the importance of the
Sacrament and had a spiritual witness of that understanding, every
church would be packed.

Anyway, sorry for the ramble. Thanks for all you do. I love you!

-Elder Emery

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May 28, 2012

Dear Family-

This has been an incredible week. We’ve really had a lot of support
from the ward in finding people to teach. I’m almost out of time for
emails though, so I hope all is well for you. I love you!

-Elder Emery

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May 21, 2012

Dear Family-

We’ve been able to do a lot of service in this area. I really like it.
We’re in a large zone (24 missionaries), and whenever any of the areas
have service, they usually invite us since we have a truck, so we get
to help out a lot. It’s strange because as much as I love teaching and
visiting people, I still really enjoy the break that doing service
provides.

One of the things we did this week was help set up for a fair. One of
the elementary schools in the area was having a fair, so we helped set
up tents, tables, chairs, etc.

We also were able to go up to Lancaster for a baptism of somebody
Elder Lasky taught. She asked him to baptize her, so we were able to
go. I saw about six people that I knew from previous areas, which was
fun.

This week, I had one of those experiences where you understand a
doctrine much more clearly and deeply. I was reading about the Holy
Ghost and His power in conversion. This is one of those things that is
pretty basic at a glance, but I started really thinking about what it
means to convert, and I started thinking about Cross Country. When I
started running as a Freshman, I was pretty typical in some ways. I
loved junk food. I loved just sitting on a couch and being lazy. I
enjoyed running to an extent, but it was also very uncomfortable and
difficult. I wanted to become a runner though, so I kept running and
eating a little bit better. I made these changes because I looked
forward to an end result: being in shape.

The more I ran throughout the season and over the years though, the
more my desires changed. I quickly enjoyed running more and more.
Soon, I actually looked forward to the run, not simply because of the
end result, but because of the run itself. Junk food didn’t sound good
anymore. Greasy food smelled terrible. I transitioned from watching
what I ate because I felt I should, to eating healthy because that’s
what I truly wanted. In a nutshell, I started doing good things out of
a mixture of duty and looking forward to blessings. I ended up doing
good things because I wanted to and the alternative was no longer
appealing.

The parallels between my physical “conversion” and a true spiritual
conversion made the doctrine of the Holy Ghost make much more sense.
We might start keeping God’s commandments for a variety of reasons. We
want blessings. We feel obligated, or duty-bound. We fear the
consequences of disobedience. The more we live the Gospel though, the
more the Holy Ghost changes us. We don’t just change in the sense that
we start doing different things. We change who we truly are. Our
desires are sincerely changed through the Holy Ghost.

Now I never became completely “physically converted”. I still wanted
unhealthy food once in a while and I still complained about running
sometimes. But I certainly became better. The same is true on a
spiritual level. We may never completely overcome all desire for sin
in this life, but we certainly become better.

I’m glad that we continually have opportunities to change and learn.
Keep studying and make sure that pondering is a major part of your
study. I love you!

-Elder Emery

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May 14, 2012

Dear Family-

I don’t really know what to say, since I talked to you yesterday. I do
have one quick story that I didn’t mention though. On Friday we did
some service for a member in one of the other wards, and when I got
there, I knew her. She used to go to institute back when I was in the
first singles’ ward I served in. It’s funny how you run into people
like that.

Anyway, I’m glad I got to talk to you yesterday. I love you!

-Elder Emery

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May 7, 2012

Dear Family-

This has been an awesome week! I really like serving with Elder Lasky
in Agua Dulce. Elder Lasky is a really cool kid. He’s from Highland,
UT and was a firefighter before his mission. He’s a very
non-judgmental guy and a really good missionary. I’m glad I get to
serve with him.

Agua Dulce is pretty fun. It’s very spread out, with lots of hills and
not very many people. Most of it is dirt roads, so we get a truck,
which is always fun. I don’t know what it is about it, but I
absolutely love spending almost all of my time being in the hills and
actually seeing nature. I love it!

I met a guy this week who was really cool. He didn’t go
into much detail, but he said that he’s been through a lot, and he
wants to make God part of his life. I’m not sure how long the
missionaries have been working with him. We told him that our eventual
goal to bring people closer to Christ through baptism, and he said
that he definitely wants to be baptized eventually, but he thinks it
will take a long time to get there. It’s great that he’s willing and
open to baptism, but now we have to help him overcome whatever
obstacles are holding him back.

I hope you’re all doing well. I’ll talk to you on Sunday. I love you!

-Elder Emery

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