Monday, July 6, 2015

Last Email, Mixed Emotions and The Family That Has Made Me Not Want to Leave

Sup guys?

This is the last email I'm sending to y'all on my mission! Yeah, it's kinda weird. I do have mixed emotions on it. Pretty much every area I've served in since the beginning of my mission there's been at least one person or family there that's made me not want to leave. {} and his family are the most that feeling's ever been. They're awesome. {We had the most amazing experience with him last week and the Spirit of the Lord was so strong!}
This work is amazing. This church is true and God loves all of us.

Love you guys. 

Elder Jake Lusk

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Motley Crue, Cancer, Three Sides to Every Story and We Gotta Forgive

What's up guys?

This week was decent. We met and started teaching a guy named {}. We've been hearing about him for a long time but this past week was the first time we've actually met him. This guy was a roadie back in the day for a lot of bands. In addition he had been a guitar tech for Mötley Crüe and was friends with Nikki Sixx (their bass guitarist) and had been a guitar tech for Kiss and hopped onstage and played a set one night when Paul Stanley got sick. This guy knows a lot of people and he's been around and seen a lot and done a lot. Unfortunately, he has a lot of physical and mental health issues (brought on in part by seizures and a stroke, which were probably withdrawal symptoms from all the dope he was doing back in the day, and partly from sustaining several massive concussions from high school football). He can't play the guitar anymore, and so he went from touring with rock stars to living in a trailer park in Layton, Utah with nothing to do and no one to visit him much. He's pretty bitter about that. He's a cool guy, but reactivating him will most likely be a long process. 

We met another guy this week whose name is {} and he's a lot closer to being reactivated. He's got an interesting story as well, in a different way. The story that he told was this. He used to live in {} with his wife and kids and the whole family was active in the church. He got cancer and then his wife divorced him. He moved out here shortly after. His cancer was in remission, but there's a high chance it's coming back. He wants to come back to church but he has some struggles. { In summary}, there are three sides to every story. Your side, the other person's side, and God's side, aka what really happened. What it boils down to is he's gotta forgive her and move on. The good thing, once again, though, is that he has a desire to come back to church and be active again, so that's good.

That was my week. Any questions about anything? Love you guys. So does God. The church is true.

Elder Jake Lusk

Good things and bad things, Jail Time, and Living Under a Tree

Hey guys!
This week's been kinda crazy. Good things and bad things. Transfer news is that Elder D and I are staying here another six weeks together! This is my favorite comp/area combo, so I'm happy about it. Hopefully all the people we're working with can continue making good progress and get baptized. {} probably will. He's doing great. He still doesn't have a solid date, but he's praying about it. We've had some really good lessons with him, and he's shared a lot with us. He's at a point where he's pretty in tune with the spirit, and good at recognizing what thoughts come from the devil, and he's working hard to put God first in his life.
On some not as good news, {} is in jail. We don't know what happened yet. We found out late last night. So, even if he gets out, he'll probably be on parole, and it's a really long, difficult, and complicated process to get baptized while on parole. He was one day away from getting married, and a week away from baptism. It blows hard. We're just praying for him. He's a great dude, and he'll probably get baptized but it won't be next week.
 Brighter note, though, let me tell you about a recent convert in this area. His name is {} and he was baptized back in December. He's 26, and when he got baptized, he was a homeless guy living under the trees across the street from the stake center. One day he was going to walk over to his buddy's apartment to go smoke spice with him, but got a prompting to not do that, and walk into the church instead, and it happened to be right when sacrament meeting was getting out. The high councilor over missionary work pounced on him and introduced himself, and he ended up getting baptized a short time later. Now he's got his own apartment and a solid job. He's doing good and keeping the word of wisdom, and he's a genuinely happy dude. He needed some help from the bishop in terms of getting a food order a couple weeks ago, and he decided to sell his XBOX so he could prove to the bishop he was willing to do his part to help himself out. We need more people like him. He also called us up and asked if he could go out teaching with us, so he's come to a couple appointments with George and he's rocked it. He's an awesome dude, and I love working with him.

Love you  guys! This work is amazing. God loves us, and this is His church. 

Elder Jake Lusk

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Sunday, May 31, 2015

New Mission President

Our new mission president comes in in about three weeks. His name is President Spendlove. He's something really high up in the Tesoro gas company, and he's serving out of San Antonio, TX. This is his first time in a mission presidency. President Hansen will be sticking around for about a month to make sure the transition happens smoothly. That's about all we know
From Deseret News:
George Scott Spendlove, 51, and Kariane Christiansen Spendlove, five children, San Antonio Texas North Stake: Utah Salt Lake City Mission, succeeding President Stephen W. Hansen and Sister Carol V. Hansen. Brother Spendlove serves as a stake president and is a former stake presidency counselor, bishop, stake Young Men president, ward Young Men president and missionary in the Italy Catania Mission. Retired chief financial officer, Tesoro Corp. Born in Salt Lake City to George Paul Spendlove and Louise Prestwich Spendlove.
Sister Spendlove is a former stake Young Women presidency counselor, ward Primary president, ward Relief Society, Young Women and Primary presidencies counselor and ward nursery leader. Born in Portland, Oregon, to David Glen Christiansen and Julianne Prude Christiansen.

God Needed Sister Hansen, Farewell to President Hansen, Going Back to Layton and Stromboli


So yeah, this week was a little different. Sister Hansen's passing was pretty unexpected. I guess God needed her. President's doing really well, though. I saw him briefly at the funeral today. I don't think he's been formally released, but for all intents and purposes, he's finished. A member of the mission presidency is acting mission president right now. It's still up in the air as to when we'll get a permanent replacement. If there's any other questions I can answer, let me know.

Did you get an email about iPad's yet? They announced this week that our mission's getting 'em, and they said they're sending an email home about it. I'm pretty indifferent about it. It'll make afternoon's more effective, but it's also 400 bucks that I don't have that I gotta dish out for it for only six month of using it. 

Transfer info! I'm going back to Layton.  Layton's the second biggest city in the mission, and the second most diverse. My companion's name is Elder Devantier, and he's from Denmark, but is serving out of St. George. 

So, tonight we're having dinner with one of our ward mission leader's family. He's probably the coolest ward mission leader we have. His name is Brother Glance and it's his family we spent Christmas at. It was his ward that had dinners for us last week, and we ended up over at his place for two of those nights. I forget how it came up, but we ended up volunteering to cook dinner for them tonight. I love to cook. There's something satisfying about eating something really good knowing you made it. It's even better when you cook for someone else and they enjoy it. My comp and I talked about it, and we're cooking Stromboli for them. I'm positive I know how to make it. Don't you just roll out the pillsbury dough, put a bunch of cheese on it, and some pepperonis, then roll it up, cut slits on top and cook it until it's not doughy and the cheese is melted? If I'm missing something, let me know.. I'm just gonna guess on the amounts, unless following the official recipe really matters. 
Love you guys. This work is absolutely amazing, and is totally inspired. God is love. 

Elder Jake Lusk

Wife of President Hansen Passes Away

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SALT LAKE CITY — The wife of the president of the LDS Church's Utah Salt Lake City Mission died unexpectedly Wednesday after she collapsed at the mission home.
Carol Vaughn Curran Hansen, wife of President Stephen W. Hansen, was 69. She was in excellent health and actively serving as she fulfilled a lifelong dream of serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
"It's surreal," said her oldest child, Ken Hansen of Cedar Hills, Utah. "This was completely sudden."
"She loved her mission," he added. "She loved the missionaries. She loved serving here, so close to the heart of the church. She had not served a mission as a young woman and she had always wanted to serve and was thrilled to be doing so alongside my dad."
A statement released by the church described her passing as quiet, and Ken Hansen confirmed that it was peaceful and without trauma.
The church expressed condolences.
"President and Sister Hansen have served together as he has presided over the Salt Lake City Mission since July of 2013," church spokesman Eric Hawkins said. "They are deeply loved by their family, church leaders and their missionaries. We pray for each of them at this difficult time and extend our love to President Hansen and his family.”
The mother of eight raised her family of four boys and four girls in Minneapolis, Minn. The Hansens retired to St. George, Utah, where they enjoyed golfing together and where she served as a Sunday School teacher and temple ordinance worker when the call came to serve in Salt Lake City.
The wife of an LDS Church mission president plays a major role in the mission. The average mission has about 200 missionaries, most between the ages of 18 and 22.
Carol Hansen worked closely with the sister missionaries and managed the health and physical well-being of all the missionaries, said Ken Hansen, who described part of his parents' role as being like the mother and father of a very large group of young adult children.
Carol Hansen also trained the missionaries in conferences, standing in front of mission leadership meetings and providing spiritual instruction.
"She was a wonderful and powerful teacher," Ken Hansen said.
She also was a creative force. Musical by nature, her son remembers her as always involved in a production when he was growing up.
For the past 19 months, her creativity centered chiefly on missionary work, her son said.
"She was always busy creating graphics, posters, bookmarks and handouts for the missionaries to use and to see and understand their goals."
Previously, she served in many church callings, such as stake music chairman and director, ward Relief Society teacher, ward Young Women adviser and seminary teacher.
Hansen was born in Washington, D.C., to Philip Douglas and Frances Adelaide Metcalf Curran.
The LDS Church has more than 84,000 missionaries serving in 406 missions worldwide. The church recently announced another 11 missions will be open in July.
Each mission is led by a mission president whose wife, depending on individual and family circumstances, has responsibilities for training and caring for sister missionaries.

Sup Guys?, Rock Solid, and We're Rolling With It

Sup guys. 

Things are going really well here. This week has probably had the most lessons I've taught since being in Glendale. We met with our investigator, {}, who was put on date for baptism before we got here. He's rock solid. He referred himself on He's been reading the Book of Mormon on his own and coming to church. He's also been reading the Gospel Principles lesson manual on his own without being invited to. He's been taught everything by now except for tithes and offerings, which we're teaching him this week. At this point we're just keeping in close contact and making sure he stays on date. His baptismal date is March 6 and normally we would try and push that forward so he doesn't fall off date, but that's the date that came to him while he was praying about it, so it's what we're rolling with.

Love you guys. God is real, and this work is true. 

Elder Jake Lusk