Monday, December 8, 2014

Oct 6th-Dec 8th 2014

Elder Mackelprang's last Christmas in the field! Let's make it a great one by sending him lots of love :D Please email him or better yet send him a Christmas card or even a letter!

 25 Prominence Ln. Apt #202
   Christiansburg, VA 24073

October 6, 2014
I'm Overwhelmed... In a good way. There is always so much to do in so much little time. I feel like the mother in the new Mormon Message video! (go watch it ;). This past week we had an amazing Mission Leadership Council, and then a Zone Meeting with all of our missionaries. We went over the fundamental principles and doctrine of setting goals and planning. These two things are vital in missionary work and life in general.
I don't have anymore time to email because we watched Meet The Mormons today! You have to see it if you haven't! I thought about Mom a lot towards the end. I love you mom, thanks for all that you have done, and still do, for me! I will write more next week about my thoughts about General Conference and what is happening here.
I share my witness that President Thomas S. Monson is a living Prophet. I know that God speaks through him today. As I come to understand more what it means to sustain a Prophet, I realize how important it is to follow and live by every word that proceeds out of his mouth. he literally speaks in behalf of our Father in Heaven. Jesus Christ is our Savior and King. I pray that we all can become more like him in our journeys here on Earth. He is the only way back home together. Lets do our part and help someone else learn more how Christ can carry us back. He lives.

There is no fear where there is love. Focus on the good in others and love every opportunity to serve! After all, it will help you more than those you serve. Be kind and loving, this is one of the greatest commandments.

Love you all,
Have a great safe week,
Elder Mackelprang

Favorite quote from conference: "I am not my brother's keeper, but I am my brother's brother" -Elder Holland

October 13, 2014
Boy, does the time fly by out here. There seems to be no time at all on a mission. With plans and back up plans for every hour of the day, time fades away and before you know it you are turning into pumpkins. If anything I have learned from my mission, it is how little time we have to do the Lord's work. 30 min is precious time that we do not want to waste. Whether I'm out here or back home I hope to keep this mentality for the rest of my life.
This week has been jam-packed with great things. Monday morning we planned and organized a 4-Way exchange with the Beckley district in our Zone! Pretty sure that has never happened before haha but it was a great success. On Tuesday night we drove 1.5 hrs and arrived at 8:30 PM. Elder hollembeak went to Oakhill, I went with Elder Brenchley in Beaver, and the other two sets of elders switched companions and blitzed Beckley. We did a lot of training and uplifting with the missionaries there. It is so great getting to know and love the missionaries on exchanges. it's a good one on one experience to help them out specifically instead of us trying to help out the whole zone. We go on exchanges at least once a week to different areas. Missionary work is hard and can be very discouraging at times if you let it get you down. With a lot of rejection and trials you are put to the test. It is important to keep the faith. Faith is not only a belief but a principle of action. When we go out everyday we have faith in our Savior and hope to find some child of God seeking for answers to their questions, purpose in life, comfort, assurance in God's love. At the start of this exchange we had a discussion with the missionaries about faith and that no matter what happens, if we are obedient and diligent, the Lord will provide the success in His work of salvation. After the exchange we had 2 new investigators and 1 person on date to be baptized. We have a loving Heavenly Father. I know this to be true because over and over again He has led us to His other children who are looking for/need Him. Through sincere prayer and application of faith, we can be instruments in God's hands to bring others to Salvation. To know God and Jesus Christ is eternal life. It is achieved step by step, personally and in the pursuit of helping others. I pray that you will have opportunities to share the gospel. If you pray for the sensitivity to recognize the spirit, you will see moments to share the gospel. Have courage! Don't be ashamed of the gospel, share it! Your family and friends need it. I love my Savior Jesus Christ. The way we show our love for him is through our actions. I invite you all to read "Pray With Faith" by Elder Bednar. It has helped me become more sincere and honest in doing the Lord's work.
I wish i had more time but know that I love each and every one of you. Please, do your part :)
Take care and keep the faith,
Elder Mackelprang
 
October 27, 2014
"Virginia is for lovers"- state motto/saying. I don't know what it is but I am already a Virginia Lover! This place is incredibly beautiful. Similar to West Virginia except that the hills aren't as tall and they roll through the entire area, making it possible to see out for miles! The leaves are still changing and there the area is brisk and chilly. I am home ;) My new area is the Christiansburg ZL. We cover the south side of Christiansburg and the outskirt towns/hollows. My new zone is very different! Back in Charleston we were very spread out with 13 different areas- some being 1 1/2 - 2 hours away from us. Here in the Christiansburg Zone we have 9 areas and all are within 20 min of us! Hallelujah! Also, 6 out of the 9 areas are training new missionaries. Two of the trainers are previous Assistants to President Salisbury who I worked with a lot down in Charleston. I literally couldn't ask for a better zone! They are all great and dedicated missionaries. This week we are having our Train The Trainers and District Leadership Council meetings to establish what we can do to be the best missionaries for the Lord. Also, this week we on Friday we are all traveling down to Roanoke, Virginia to meet with Elder Renlund of the 1st Quorum of the 70. There we will meet with the South half of the Mission and afterward have a special 30 min set aside for us Zone Leaders to meet with him in private. I am so excited to receive counsel and to be spiritually fed. I already sustain him and I'm ready to apply what he invites us to do. President Salisbury is getting a greater hang of what he is doing (it's a big load to be a Mission President!) and things are going really well. He is a great Christlike leader who I'm grateful to be able to work under. 
As we go into the start of this new transfer (period of 6 weeks) I am humbled to know how much my Savior has done for me. He has lifted me up and has created a much better person inside and out. I owe everything to Jesus Christ. I know that He lives and I know that He is the head of this church and this missionary work. The mission is changing me in a way that I can not explain. I've become truly converted and it continues to deepen. My love for others and myself have increased. My sincere desire is to help other people improve their lives. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the only perfect and everlasting way that provides such change and joy. Reach out in love to someone this week. Show Heavenly Father that you love Him and are grateful for what you have been given by serving and uplifting another person. Be like our Savior Jesus Christ. I love you all. Let me know if I can do anything for you guys. Ask me questions if you want! Stay sweet!
-Elder Mackelprang
 
 













 
November 3, 2014
 NEW ADDRESS:                25 Prominence Ln. Apt #202
                                               Christiansburg, VA 24073

This week has been more than I could ask for. First off, getting to know the members in the Christiansburg Ward has been going really well. Our Ward Mission Leader is Bro. Adam Smith and he is a Counseling Psychologist! I've really been thinking about doing that for my career so it has been great being able to ask him questions about the process and family situations (since he has 4 young kids!) The teaching here has been fairly slow but things are starting to pick up. One thing that has been an obstacle has been the sun setting quicker at night. Thankfully we had Daylight Saving Time yesterday but even then it gets dark pretty early. So naturally, tracting at night is very unappealing to many people. But when we don't have any lessons set up at 8 PM, that is pretty much our last option. So instead of knocking every door on a street, we walk around neighborhoods and listen for promptings to knock specific doors. Lately it has been a 50/50 success rate in finding people who are interested, which is way high for late night tracting! We felt prompted to knock on this one door and a man came out. We introduced ourselves briefly and began telling him about the restored gospel of jesus Christ. We asked if we could sit down with him for a minute and we did. As we talked about how the scriptures teach us about our Father in Heaven we asked if there was ever a moment in his life that he knew God was there for him. He paused for a while and told us how his best friend just passed away in an accident. Instantly compassion and charity filled us towards this man and we began to teach him about the plan of salvation. This one minute introduction turned into a 45 min lesson directed by the spirit. We invited him to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized and he accepted. At the end of the lesson he agreed to say the closing prayer and it was one of the best prayers that I have ever heard. I know that we were sent by God to meet him that night. We are meeting with him again this week. No matter how many times we are rejected and cursed at, the one person who listens is worth every bit of it. We are told that to suffer with Christ is a blessing. Rejection is a big part of that. But we are far more blessed to rejoice with Christ when someone else comes unto Christ with us! I share my witness that there is no greater joy! 

Elder Renlund and his wife came and it was amazing. They focused a lot on becoming Preach My Gospel Missionaries and gaining a deeper and more true conversion. Someone that really stuck out to me is how they expounded on having an eye single to the glory of God. He compared it to a dog playing fetch with two different balls. He will chase the one, but once he sees the other he will drop the first and chase the second. This process will be repeated, never bringing the ball back to the owner. He taught us that we must be completely focused and devoted to the Lord's work in order to accomplish what He wants us to. This work isn't about us, it is about others. We must lose ourselves, meaning giving up our desires, thoughts, and hearts to Christ. Once we do so we give him all reign to our life, and he makes something of us. Something far greater than anything we can make on our own. I invite you all to prioritize your desires and actions. Become more devoted to worshiping and loving our Father in Heaven, and in bringing others to Christ. This week we have our Mission Leadership Council and Zone Meeting and our plan in to have each missionary, including ourselves, strive to become consecrated in our service. We are excited to lift the moral and unity of the zone! We have such great missionaries that can do amazing things in the Lord's hands! 

I'm so happy for all of you and pray for you daily. If you are having a down day or just need a boost of happiness, know that Heavenly Father is always there waiting to lift you up. Reach out to Him and you will feel His strength and be filled with His joy. Have a great week everyone! 

Elder Mackelprang
 
November 10, 2014
Pressing Forward
Hey y'all!
This week has been very interesting! We are really getting to know the members here and they are sweet! Starting to teach them and their families the restoration and how to be member missionaries! It has been a lot of fun! We had a great Zone Meeting last week. Elder Stone and I took a few hours preparing it and it was very helpful to everyone. We were thinking of what we could do to help all of the new missionaries. In reality, what we had planned was exactly what we needed too! We had our Sister Training Leaders teach a portion on how to effectively use and become Preach My Gospel. They did a great job and showed how there are promises from the Lord all throughout the manual. Afterwards, Elder Stone and I taught about the role of the Book of Mormon in conversion. Then for the next 50 min we role played to sharpen our teaching skills! Too often as missionaries we are asked questions but give our own response in our own words and understanding. In these role plays we practiced only speaking a little and going directly to the Book of Mormon to answer the questions and concerns. The Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion. When people question why we don't drink alcohol or coffee, or stay away from tobacco. They really are questioning whether or not the Book of Mormon is true and if Joseph Smith was truly called to be a prophet. Everything goes back to the restoration. If the Book of Mormon wasn't true, that would mean that Joseph Smith didn't see God and Jesus Christ. We wouldn't know that God and His son Jesus Christ are two separate beings. This would also mean that Prophets and Apostles weren't around today to guide us. The authority to baptize would still be missing. Our families couldn't be together forever. Can you see how important the Book of Mormon is? It is the evidence that Jesus Christ is leading the church today and all of these things are available. We are all committed to using Preach My Gospel more personally and to answer every question by first tying back to the restoration and reading from the Book of Mormon where it teaches about that specific topic. The word of God is powerful. Those who sincerely read, ponder, and pray will gain a testimony of Jesus Christ and His restored gospel. We lose it's power if we don't read it and apply it. I love the scriptures God has so willingly revealed to us. I know the Book of Mormon is His word. I pray that people here in Virginia and those back home will gain a desire to read it. It will bring you to know Jesus Christ lives.
Have a wonderful week everyone. I love you all and always pray for your welfare!
Your Fellow Servant,
Elder Mackelprang
 


 
November 17, 2014
 Going Around The World, In Virginia..
 Can you feel it?

Christmas is around the corner! We have had our first sightings of Christmas lights and now hear Christmas music in the stores. With winter here I think of the scripture in 2 Nephi 2:11- there must be an opposition in all things. The other day it was 18 degrees and it started to snow! haha as I sing there is sunshine in my soul to forget about my numb face, real warmth settles in as I think about finding someone to bring unto Christ. I will take frozen fingers any day for a heart full of joy. When constantly fixed on my purpose to being others to exercise faith and repent, the opposition is under my feet.

A couple days ago I went on an exchange with one of our district leaders down in Floyd. It has been a while since I've been out in the sticks! They even live in a trailer! It took me through so many memories of living in the trailer in Kentucky :) I love being able to serve with such great missionaries all around us. This week we are exchanging with the Radford University YSA missionaries and also the Assistants to President Salisbury. 

These past two weeks have been full of new experiences. As we walked towards an investigators home we came across a man. We asked him how he was doing and he quickly said good and walked away. Instantly we recognized an accent. Without knowing what to say in order to get that man to turn around so we could invite him to learn, I opened my mouth.... "Hey sir, are you from Chili?" He turned around with an "are you serious?" look on his face haha and he said "no, I am from Egypt." I wasn't even close! haha but now we were able to converse and we started to ask him questions about his life in Egypt. We then invited him to learn about the Book of Mormon and Jesus Christ. He explained to us how he was Muslim and began to tell us that we needed to learn more about other religions. One thing led to another and we ended up in the local Muslim Mosque with him that next day. We were able to sit down with the head man there and have a very respectful discussion about religion. As we asked each other about our beliefs, to our surprise, there were more similarities than differences! We sat down with them and many others and read a chapter from the Qur'an. We have made an agreement with Ahmed Mustafa (Ah-Haaa-Med Mooo-stoff-uhh) that we will come over and read a chapter in the Qur'an and than a chapter from the Book of Mormon. They believe that Jesus Christ was a Prophet of God and a very good man. They even believe in His second coming. The piece that is missing is that they don't believe Christ was the Son of God or the Savior of all mankind. This experience has strengthened my testimony tremendously. For this very reason, we have the Book of Mormon. To come to know that Jesus Christ is the savior and that through Him we can gain eternal life. I have studied, pondered, and prayed about what the Book of Mormon says. I know that it is true and that anyone can gain the same witness. Heavenly Father is no respecter of persons, He will tell anyone who has a sincere desire to know and to follow His guidance. God loves all of His children. He loves Mr. Mustafa. 

The second experience was on splits with our Ward Mission Leader, Bro. Smith. We had planned to go see a hispanic part member family in our area. Turns out that they sold their place and a different family was living there now. They don't speak much english, but Brother Smith speaks spanish! He served in Argentina and translated for us as we introduced them to the gospel. As Elder Stone and I taught in spanglish, Bro Smith would translate what they didn't understand. I have bore my testimony in English everyday and in other occasions in Pohnpeian.. but I have yet to do it in Spanish. We are going back this week to teach them again with Bro. Smith. We have Spanish scriptures and materials that we will give to them. No matter what country you are from or the language you speak, this gospel is for you. I pray that the missionaries and members all over the world will follow the spirit and bring the truth to those seeking for it. Question is, are you ready and willing to build up Zion where you stand? Reach out in love and share the gospel with someone this week. Here are some easy suggestions: share a church video with them, maybe a favorite talk, invite them to a ward activity, to church, to meet with missionaries to learn how their families can be together forever. There are so many different ways to share God's love, smile and have fun with it! :)

Jesus Christ lives. The Book of Mormon is true. My hands are cold. My heart is filled. I am truly happy because of my Savior Jesus Christ. I now live to make others happy. What do you live for? I testify that God knows who you are and if you come to know Him more, you will be happy.

I love you guys! Stay safe and serve others!
Your fellow servant,
Elder Levi Mackelprang
 
 November 24, 2014
Gratitude For Thanksgiving!
 Hurrah For Israel! 
Over the span of these last five weeks I have grown closer to my Savior Jesus Christ. There isn't a time in our lives, where if we are humble and sincere, Heavenly Father won't refine and help us. I have gained a testimony of God's love because of the trials we have embraced. Last week- Through hours of tracting, following up with potential investigators, and helping members apply Preach My Gospel in their missionary efforts, we only taught one lesson. As a missionary who has been called, set apart, and sent forth to teach, it can be very difficult when you don't have any teaching opportunities. In result, Elder Stone and I have really dug deep into the Atonement of Jesus Christ for strength, encouragement, and happiness. A lesson that I feel we all can learn more is this- The Lord will hasten His work in His time. Naturally we have the "I want it now" mentality. This mentality most certainly creeps into our gospel and spiritual lives as we go through trials and tribulation. Of course we want to find, teach, and baptize now, but it does not happen every week. What I have learned is that whether or not the work and success is being hastened in the area you are in, you can not slow down your pace. As the lessons have gone down to almost none, Elder Stone and I have persevered and have been giving our all. In this, we are successful and happy. We know that God's children here will come to have faith, repent, and be baptized. What we don't know is who and when. We must be faithful all our days. Whether a miracle will happen today or in a month, it will happen. The Atonement of Jesus Christ has brought much comfort and joy to my soul. I know that Christ lives. I know that as we follow the teachings of Christ, invite others to learn, testify of God's love, and as we look to Him in all that we do; we gain a deep and abiding sense of joy and peace. I am grateful for all my trials. They put me to the test and help me become more like my Savior!
Alma 7:23 - "And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive."
I am eternally grateful for Heavenly Father's love. He sent His son so that we, His children, might become like Him and have eternal joy. Jesus Christ is the ultimate gift from our Father In Heaven. There is none greater. I share my witness that Christ knows you. He understands you and knows how to bring happiness into your life. I testify that through Faith and Repentance we can overcome the weakness and pain of mortality. He is the Son of God. He is our Redeemer and Savior. He is my brother and friend. He lives and loves us. If you open up your heart and accept Him as your Savior you will begin to recognize and feel His grace lift you from your burdens. You will not only be saved by grace, but through His grace you will be changed. I know that this is the church of Jesus Christ. He is the head of it and continues to hasten His work around the world. I rejoice in those everywhere who have faith and repent of their sins. I am always doing so myself. Take time this Thanksgiving week to truly give thanks to God for all that you have. He will listen and feel your love and gratitude for Him. I love you all and am grateful for your good influence in my life. 
This week is jam packed! Tomorrow driving to Charleston for MLC and then afterwards planning our Zone Meeting, Thanksgiving, Zone Meeting, exchange, and then giving talks on Sunday! Oh and we get transfer details this Saturday! This transfer has flown by!
It would be awesome if y'all could send me an email of things you are grateful for! I would love to hear from all of you! 
Have fun gaining weight everyone! haha we sure will with the two meal appointments we have on Thanksgiving. Have a Happy Thanksgiving! Love you guys!

Your friend,
Elder Levi Mackelprang
 
December 3, 2014 
Grateful For "He Is The Gift"
 
 I don't have much time today since transfers are tomorrow and we have to prep for a few things. I'll write as much as i can. Elder Stone and I are both staying here in Christiansburg. A few crazy changes are happening within our zone. Because of the age change for missionaries, our numbers went from 200- 250 missionaries in less than a year. Now that the number of missionaries coming in has decreased substantially, our mission is beginning to go back down to about 200 missionaries. With less missionaries, some areas are closing down. One of those areas are the Christiansburg sisters in our ward. This means Elder Stone and I will be taking over their area and will have the entire ward to ourselves. We have been doing a lot of preparation to make this transition as smooth as possible. It's sad to see the sisters go, but i'm sure everything will work out well. We have been meeting with our Ward Mission Leader, Bishop, and Stake President to get the missionary work rolling in this ward. Half of the sisters that came out the same time as me are flying home on Friday. It is weird to see them go, having served with and around them for 17 months! We started together at the MTC and now they start going home. The friendships you make on your mission will last much longer than this lifetime. In one month I will finish my "Sister Mission". I'm in the last quarter of my mission. Can you believe it?! I promise that I am giving my all. There is no greater work or calling than to represent the one and only true Son of God. I love my Savior!

Thanksgiving is the perfect intro to Christmas! The gratitude list goes on forever~ One thing on my list is that we planned a Volleyball game instead of a football game with the Greene family. Their three daughters all play volleyball and they brought friends over! You can bet I was grateful for that morning after not playing for what seemed like eternity! Afterwards we spent some time planning our Zone Meeting, and went to TWO Thanksgiving dinners. I am grateful for being able to serve the Christiansburg Ward. The members are all incredibly faithful and loving. 

He Is The Gift: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has begun a new initiative this Christmas season. To bring in the true meaning of Christmas, there is a new short video put out to remind us of the sacred birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. 

Go Watch It Now On:  christmas.mormon.org   or   Youtube!

They have given us missionaries special pass-a-long cards to hand out to as many people as we can. In the video we are encouraged to 1. Discover The Gift 2. Embrace The Gift 3. Share The Gift. I have made a personal goal to "Discover the gift" by reading the Book of Mormon from the beginning through to 3 Nephi when Jesus Christ is born before Christmas. What will you do to discover Christ more deeply? To get creative with the "He Is The Gift" Initiative, we have signed up to wrap gifts at the local mall at least once a week. As we wrap gifts for people they donate to a charity that helps families for Christmas. We have talked to the people in charge and have been approved to make our own "He Is The Gift" booth at the mall! As people come by and we wrap there gifts, we will be able to #sharethegift with them and invite them to learn more about the restored gospel. I am excited to make this public! Jesus Christ is the first and greatest gift of Christmas. He is Christmas. The Lord is providing so many ways for us to share His life and blessings with others. Take His invitation: Learn of Him, Embrace Him, and Share Him with God's other children. Ponder how Christ has been a gift to you. I bear witness that He was born of Mary, that He lived and died for us, and that He lives this very day! As you share this with others, you receive more of His blessings and gifts. I love you guys. Have a great week! Enjoy the warm weather for me ;P
Your missionary,
Elder Levi Mackelprang
 









 
December 8, 2014
 This month I am able to celebrate the births of two of the most important people in my life- My Savior and my angel mother. Thank you for being exactly what Heavenly Father sent you to be. I wouldn't be where i am today if it weren't for you who you have been and who you are constantly becoming. I love you and always will! Have a Happy Birthday Mom :)
As we have been sharing "He Is The Gift" with everyone I have been pondering deeper and deeper how Christ has been a gift to me. A few ways is that simply He knows me. At any moment He not only knows but understands me as well. I find comfort in knowing this because that means he knows you too. He knows the people that we talk to everyday. Knowing He is perfect in every way, and I imperfect in all things, keeps me facing towards Him. It is humbling everyday to represent the living Christ. I love Him. In the past 7 days every door was shut or slammed as we invited, taught, and testified... except for one person! One person let us into his home. One person let us teach and testify of this restored gospel. I think of Joseph and Mary who traveled by donkey looking for a place to rest. After being turned away and denied from every inn and home, one person let them into their stable. One person provided a birthplace of the Son of God. One person let Him in. I know the work of salvation is hastening around the entire world. Wise men and women are seeking and finding the truth. We are looking for the one who will let us in. For the one who will have faith and repent joyfully. For the one who will enter into covenant through baptism. The one who will live a righteous life leading toward the temple and eternal life. I bear witness of Christ's divinity as the Savior of the world! He is the only begotten of our Father in Heaven. There is the "one" in each and every one of our lives. If we are faithful and act, Heavenly Father will use us to bring this happiness to them. If we don't share what we have, we lose it. 
SO SHARE IT! :D  I hope you all have a great week!
My favorite quote from the Christmas Devotional: 
President Thomas S. Monson-
"As the Christmas season envelops us with all its glory, may we, as
did the Wise Men, seek a bright, particular star to guide us to our
Christmas opportunity in service to our fellowman. May we all make the
journey to Bethlehem in spirit, taking with us a tender, caring heart
as our gift to the Savior. And may one and all have a joy-filled
Christmas. In the sacred and blessed name of Jesus Christ, amen."

With hope and love,
Elder Mackelprang

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Missionaries LOVE receiving emails/letters! Write to our Elder!!

4505 Noyes Ave
Charleston, WV 25304

levi.mackelprang@myldsmail.net

SEPTEMBER 10, 2014
"STRAIGHT IS THE GATE"

Brother Derrick Soram was baptized Sunday September 7th. I have been blessed through this experience as a missionary in Derrick's conversion. Being able to seek revelation from God, and receive that inspiration to know how to help him progress has been amazing. We seek guidance from Heavenly Father in all things because He knows all things. These are His children. We are His children. He knows exactly what each person needs to have faith and then exercise that faith by repenting of their sins. My friend Derrick is a child of God. He knows what that means now and is living up to his true identity. The baptismal service was filled with the spirit. Brother Brown, a member that has taught Derrick with us, performed the baptism. I am grateful that Heavenly Father has restored the Priesthood to the Earth so that all of us, men and women, can participate in saving ordinances for ourselves and for others. Brother Soram has now walked through the straight and narrow gate which is repentance and baptism. This Sunday he will be confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and he will receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. This is only the start of his journey back to Heavenly Father. I love Derrick and I am excited to help him continue in this gospel. We will be teaching him the new member lessons these next few weeks and working on preparing him to receive the Priesthood! Praise be to God for this family receiving the truth!
Transfers are tomorrow and I am staying in Charleston, WV. I have loved being able to serve with Elder Livingston! He is literally a soldier in God's army. We call him "The General"! I haven't met many people as strong and firm in the faith as he is. He is being transferred to Lexington, Virginia where he will train a new missionary... and then fall to his death haha (he goes home in December). Going to miss him! I will be serving with Elder Hollembeak who I will train as a new Zone Leader. I am excited for the decisions and changes we will prayerfully make together in helping the Charleston Zone. 
I pray for you all day and night! 
Tamataman-(Remember) how great our God is! Have you thought about Him today? Too often do we look at the very fine and minute details that we miss the clear large picture. God lives. Have faith and hope will be constant in your life. Continue to love and serve others. After all, love is spelled T-I-M-E... make time for the things that matter most, your family and the gospel of Jesus Christ :) Prepare for General Conference coming up by reading throughout this month past Conference talks!
I love you all! Have a wonderful week!
I'll send pics of the baptism
-Elder Mackelprang

SEPTEMBER 15, 2014
"Encircled Eternally In The Arms of His Love"

We have had such a spirit -filled week here in Charleston, West Virginia. Derrick Soram was confirmed a member and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. As we stood in a circle around him and placed our hands upon his head, a special feeling of warmth and joy filled my heart. Through God's authority, the gift was given. 2 Nephi 1:15 "Encircled Eternally In The Arms of His Love". The Holy Ghost delivers revelation and love from our Heavenly Father. Through our faith and obedience we can eternally be surrounded with God's love by having the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. Afterward I had the sacred opportunity to renew my baptism as I partook of the sacrament. Derrick is happy and I know Heavenly Father is as well. We are now going to be preparing him to receive the priesthood and to go to the temple to do baptisms for the dead for his Father. This gospel really contains the fulness of God's ordinances and truth. I love it!
 Transfer Meeting went great and everyone got to where they were going safely. My new companion is Elder Hollembeak. He is from Farmington, New Mexico. He is incredibly intelligent when it comes to the scriptures. I love that he has a different style of teaching that brings many to search deep within their soul for answers. We are already teaching in unity and loving every chance to bear testimony to others. I am training him in the administering part of our calling as Zone Leaders, but wow i feel like he is training me in the ministering side of things. He has great form and essence! Excited for this transfer. As old missionaries get transferred out and new missionaries get transferred in, there is a special "washing of an area" that occurs. I have decided to wash some of the things that Elder Livingston and I did with our zone. As Leadership we are given a lot of freedom to do what we want. So we are striving to figure out what this zone specifically needs this transfer. We have some high goals! Now it's just prayerfully figuring out a course of action to help us achieve them. We are gathering our District Leaders this week to council on ways we can help each missionary and area. We sustain and trust our District Leaders which gives them more confidence that they can do great things within their districts. 
We had a great faith building experience yesterday. We were searching for a member in our records that the Bishop wanted us to find to see how they were doing. We went down this creek road and into a dark hillside at 8:15. (by the way it is dark by 7:30 now) We knocked a few doors trying to find this house. One of the neighbors finally new who she was and somewhat pointed in the direction we should go...... He pointed towards this pitch black small dirt road leading up further into the hill. Well in West Virginia you are often warned to not take a wrong turn or go too deep into hollows at night. Sorry mom, but we went anyway ;) We felt like we should. As we walked a couple hundred feet up this skinny dirt road our confidence began to get smaller and smaller and naturally fear began to seep into our hearts. Thoughts of mountain lion sightings and turning back started popping up. We ran into a dead end and had to turn back somewhat lower on faith. We then, through the small light from Elder Hallembeak's flashlight, saw a side road that went deeper into the hill. We remembered the good feeling we had at the start of the road when we decided to go into the darkness. So we went up the road we found and about a hundred feet later saw a light! We turned the corner and saw a humble small trailer with its door opened. Suddenly two dogs ran out barking and we expected someone to pop out with a gun so we quickly shouted, "We're the missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ!" We found the less active lady, and to our excitement two nonmembers in the home as well! I have a firm testimony in the Holy Ghost. At the start we were prompted that we should go up the dark dirt road not knowing what was to be found. As we walked further and further trials of faith poured in. Fear is the opposite of faith. We cast out our fear and pressed on. I feel like this happens in many cases in our lives. We receive guidance from Heavenly Father and take a step in that direction but then we can second guess or lose faith in His direction. This is a test to our faith. Will we endure through and follow the prompting God gives us? I know that Heavenly Father will never lead us astray or into danger. We are teaching this family this week! Jesus Christ is light. If we are following Him we will have guidance and an increase of faith. I pray that you all seek guidance daily and have faith in the promptings God sends through the Holy Ghost. Seek guidance, have faith, and then obey. He will provide the way. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Get well soon Des and Mom! Love you guys!
-Elder Mackelprang
 
SEPTEMBER 22, 2014
"Faith + Action= MIRACLES"
 
In the New Testament Christ taught that "faith without works is dead. In the book of James Chapters 1-2 we learn of how Christ expects us to use our faith. First, we are told to ask God, with faith, to give us wisdom. Prayer is faith put to action. Then we learn that the action is so crucial to see any positive result come from our faith. "Faith without works is dead". When faith in Jesus Christ is exercised correctly, the powers of Heaven begin to come down. Elder Hollembeak and I were wondering what we could do to increase unity and faith within our zone. An opportunity popped up! An investigator in our zone who is being taught by the Sisters in Flatwoods (small branch up north) was rushed to the hospital after having a seizure. He was rushed down here to Charleston and sent into the ER. Elder Hollembeak received a call from our Mission President to go and administer a blessing to this man. At 10:20 PM we immediately left our house, luckily still dressed in proselyting clothes, and headed towards the hospital. We sent a message to the entire Charleston Zone (26 missionaries) informing them of the situation and calling them to exercise their faith that God would heal this man. We arrived and he was completely unresponsive and was slightly shaking. We anointed him with oil and sealed it with a blessing from Heavenly Father. Not knowing what would happen, we all prayed with faith that all would be well. Two days later we went to check on him and to our shock he was completely recovered and bouncing with joy! We told him that God had saved him and he felt the same way. Looking back, I can see how the scriptures tied into what had happened. Faith is the first principle of the gospel. If we weren't faithful or worthy we could not have been instruments in God's hands. Then we took our faith that we already had and exercised it with our entire Zone. Together we acted and prayed that the Almighty God would send down a blessing over His child in the hospital. Then the miracle happened. The next evening we got a call about two 3 yr old twin boys and rushed in and did the exact same thing. All of them are at home in good health. My faith has been strengthened in our heavenly Father. he truly cares for us. As we exercise our faith miracles really do happen. Moroni 10:7 "And ye may know that he is, by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore I would exhort you that ye deny not the power of God; for he worketh by power, according to the faith of the children of men, the same today and tomorrow, and forever" I testify that works are required for our faith to count. How do you exercise your faith? Are the things you are doing out of routine/motions? or are they being done out of faith in Jesus Christ and love for God? I promise blessings do come as we show God our faith. We are meeting with our District Leaders and Sister Trainer Leaders tomorrow and immediately implementing this within the Charleston Zone. We will pick a different area or missionary throughout the week that we as a whole can pray for with faith. We feel the spirit building unity and faith. We must be firm in the faith to do the Lord's work!
Our recent convert, Brother Derrick Soram, is doing great! We took him to a lesson with us yesterday and he bore a powerful testimony to a man who is struggling with a son caught in addiction. He shared how Jesus Christ allowed him to put aside the addictions he had and then live a life of righteousness. Derrick is continuing to show his faith and is loving it!
I wish I had more time, but know that I love you all and always pray for you.
Have a wonderful week!
Elder Mackelprang
 
SEPTEMBER 29, 2014
"The Charleston Zone is on FIRE!"
 
Another great week here in the Charleston Zone of the WVCM! Ever since Elder Hollembeak got here I knew it would open up many new opportunities to help the zone. Because he is a new Zone Leader there was a complete blank slate of how to do things. I didn't tell him about how we have done anything. Haha It was a struggle at first because making goals and plans from scratch are hard, but with the companionship of the Holy Ghost it has been possible. We have sought inspiration on what to do and the Lord has sustained what has been implemented. We have helped create a more correct way to work with each missionary. We focus on the District Leaders and make sure they are doing well. There is a huge difference between leaders who always try to jump out in front and lead, and leaders who get behind the other missionaries and help push them forward. We are training the District Leaders to be great leaders by giving them room to make their own decisions. It is great to follow orders... but much greater to learn how to make things happen on your own with the Lord. Ever since we have been sustaining our missionaries and getting behind them to help them do things correctly in their own way, the zone has been finding much more success. We are hitting our high goals of God's children on date for baptism and at sacrament meeting. We are finding more sincere people who are looking for the truth. I have trust in the Lord that He will qualify and lead us in our callings as long as we seek his guidance and will.
This week will be busy! Mission Leadership Council, District Leader Meeting, Zone Meeting, General Conference! haha So much revelation and inspiration packed into 7 days! I am excited to here the prophets and apostles speak to us this weekend! I truly believe that Jesus Christ is the head of this church, and that he leads us through revelation given to his chosen servants. In preparation for divine guidance, watch/listen to Conference with a question in mind. I promise that an answer will be given. It may not be what you expect but once it comes, you will know it is from God because it will stick in your mind and fill your soul. Jesus Christ lives. President Thomas S. Monson is the living Prophet of God. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is God's Kingdom once again restored to the Earth. Upon this foundation- which is Jesus Christ, the prophets, and apostles- we will never fall. I love you all and I hope you have a great week!
A Servant of The Lord,
Elder Mackelprang
 








 
 

Monday, September 8, 2014

AUGUST 18, 2014
Miracles "Chuck City" West Virginia

This week has been miraculous! We have been meeting with the Soram (Micronesian) family and things are going wonderful! Millie (11 yr old) will be baptized this week! :D She is excited and totally ready! We are tag teaming still with the sister missionaries to give the girls some good female fellowship ;P We had an awesome lesson with Derrick (Rose Soram's Brother) about commandments and faith. We read 1 Nephi 3:7 and 1 Nephi 4 with him. These scriptures show us how God will never give us a commandment that we are not able to keep. In Chapter 4 it really reveals how much effort and faith is required from us to accomplish the things which Heavenly Father want us to to do. We compared Nephi's hard task of getting the record from the evil King Laban to Derrick getting his boss to let him go to church. The spirit was strong and confirmed with him that he would be helped. The next morning Derrick took a huge step of faith and asked his boss again for the day off! This time he explained more about how he wants to follow Jesus Christ. As proof that God cares and will help us obey His commandments, Derrick got the day off and was at church yesterday! :) He loved it! His very first lesson at church was on the Law of Chastity! hahaha It was great! We gave him some of our church clothes to wear and this week we are teaching him how to tie his tie. It was the greatest feeling to have all but 1 of the family at church! :)
          Another miracle we found today is a man named MOMODU! We were about to get in our car but had an impression to go talk to this man across the street walking with his headphones on. So we crossed the street and began talking to him. Momodu (pronounced- Momma Dew) is from Liberia! So we got his information after we invited him to learn and set up a time to meet with him. Yesterday we had our first lesson with him and it went wonderful! For half of it we just talked and connected with him. Momodu has had a crazy life. Growing up in Liberia during the rebellions and fighting, he was forced to be a child soldier from the ages 11-15. At age 15 he and his family fled from Liberia and are refugees here in the United States. He lived in Los Angeles from age 15 till 36. He just barely moved here from California. I am so honored to talk to this humble giant! He is an amazing person. What he told us is that he knew we were sent to him to help him find God. He is incredibly spiritual. He meditates for at least 2 hours a day to clear his mind from all the world and evil. He often does this to combat the flashbacks he gets from what he has seen in Liberia. Ebola is really bad over there now so he prays for them constantly. We left him to read a specific chapter to read in the Book of Mormon and to pray to know if it is true. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that anyone in this world who is sincerely looking for truth and guidance can come to know this as well. All it takes is the will to find and follow Heavenly Father's path for us.

           Momodu has already taught me how much more I need to be grateful. He expressed how sad it is to him that Americans fight and argue over the smallest things. He understands how gerat freedom is because he was once in bondage forced to fight as a child. Even with all of the bad things happening today, we are blessed to live here. We are even more blessed to have the Gospel of Jesus Christ which takes freedom into eternity. Christ's atonement opens the door for eternal happiness and progression. This week I am going to have a more grateful and optimistic view on all things. I challenge all of you to do the same! Count your many blessings and you will see what God has done in your life!

            Congrats on your new calling as the ward chorister, Kaylee! hahaha good luck learning those "hand signal stuff" XD Love you all! Keep striving to become who you are destined to be. Find out what God expects from you, and than do your very best to live up to it! He will help you :) Have a great week everyone!
             
             -Elder Mackelprang

AUGUST 25, 2014
Righteousness!

The gathering of Israel from all four corners of the Earth is taking place here in Charleston, West Virginia! Maymerlynn (11 yr old- "Millie") was baptized yesterday after church! It was a beautiful service with many people in attendance. Millie's family were able to be there as well! I filled with so much gratitude to my Heavenly Father! He truly loves each and every one of us. There is no greater feeling than being filled with His love. Words can not explain how happy I am for them and how much I love them! We are still teaching the whole family and seeing a lot of progression in Millie's uncle, Derrick. He has come to church twice now and was there for the baptism. Derrick has been fighting an addiction to alcohol and during our last lesson with him he explained how there is beginning to be a change within his heart. We instantly read Mosiah 5:2 which says "and they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no disposition (desire) to do evil, but to do good continually". Because Derrick has so much faith and he is striving to live the commandments of God, this change is happening within him. He is losing the desire to sin and in turn gaining strength to overcome the temptation to drink. He is happier every time we go over to see him. We went over last night after the baptism to talk about Millie's baptism and to teach more in depth how with Restoration of Christ's church came also the Restoration of the Priesthood. Without the Priesthood salvation could not be administered to all of God's children. They have a deeper understanding of how important and powerful it is. We also had Sister Soram, Derrick's sister who has been baptized, to share her testimony of the Priesthood. She received blessings as she prepared to be baptized. Through her faith and reliance on God's power, she overcame many obstacles. We were then privileged to give Derrick a Priesthood blessing to help him withstand the temptation to drink. Derrick is on date to be baptized on September 7th. He understands that this isn't just a be clean for a couple weeks and then go back into his old ways kind of deal. This is a sacred covenant which is is able to make with his Father in Heaven. He is committed to live the Word of Wisdom for the rest of his life. I have been praying and searching for a family like this to teach. It's humbling to know that everything that is good is coming from God. It still amazes me how I can be of such great assistance to help Him carry out His will. I know with all my heart that God lives. He sent His son Jesus Christ, our brother, as a sacrifice in our behalf. I am eternally grateful for my Savior. Through him I am made clean. I am brought back to my Father in Heaven. I know this to be true because the Holy Ghost has witnessed to me in my heart that it is. I encourage you all to pray specifically for the love of God to fill you and then ask for an opportunity to share that love with someone in need. If you sincerely want this, you will receive it :)

Honestly, I am super jealous that Jamie came down! haha I love the kids! Looks like ya'll had fun out there! Have fun at Seminary Kaylee! I'm so proud of all of you! Take some time today to step back and count your blessings. I'm happy that you guys are happy! Take Care!


Going iceskating with part of our zone again for Sister Frehner's 20th Birthday!

Oh and go to:    http://meetthemormons.com/   to see the new movie coming out about Mormons!!! haha It will bring so much light to the world about what we actually believe and how we live our lives as Christians! :)

Love Y'ins!
Elder Mackelprang

SEPTEMBER 2, 2014

We just got out of our Mission Leadership Council and I only have a few minutes so I will share just a few words.

I love this work that I have been called to do. There is nothing greater than our Savior Jesus Christ. I know that He lives and loves each and every one of us. I feel His love. I will follow Him my whole life because I know that he knows me more than I do myself. Missionary work isn't the missionaries work... it isn't the members work... It is the Lord's work. But we are blessed with countless opportunities to be a part of it.

Derrick Soram is getting baptized this Sunday. All credit goes to the Lord for Derrick's growth. I've been incredibly blessed to be able to help this family come unto Christ. I can see a new light and brightness about Derrick. He has continued to stay away from drinking alcohol and he is ready to live God's commandments for the rest of his life. He has been praying to know if President Monson is a true living Prophet of God. Last week we had a lesson with Derrick inside a members home and the spirit was strong. He has received his answer and is more ready than ever to make this step. We don't want anyone to get baptized unless they know that this is the restored Church of Jesus Christ. He knows, and he's ready. He is about to join God's Kingdom on Earth. I love my family back home and out here. I feel the connection with others the more and more I grow closer to my Father in Heaven. The worth of every soul is great in the eyes of God.

Have a great week everyone! Hope all is well back home. Reach out to someone who is struggling. I promise you that you can change lives for the better. 


Be strong and of good courage!
-Elder Mackelprang










Sunday, August 17, 2014

400 Cookies and a Smile!

August 11, 2014

This week in the Charleston Zone "War in Almost Heaven" we had a challenge to see who could deliver the most plates of cookies and thank you cards to members. As a zone we delivered OVER 400 COOKIES! It brought many smiles and supplied many parties in the tummies of our members! We love the members here. They do so much to help us out. We are hoping that throughout this fun zone wide competition we can all increase the relationships with the members in our individual areas and begin working together to bring about the salvation of their family and friends. This is the way the Lord has organized His work! :) over 50% of the baptisms in our mission are involved with members in some way. If the members could see how awesome they are, they would be a great tool in the Lord's hands! People can already see how different and special families are in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They can see that Christ and Family are the two centers of our lives. All it takes for many to obtain that as well is a simple invitation from a member to learn and do what makes their life so happy.
The Soram Family (from Micronesia) is doing awesome! Rose Soram's daughter, Millie (age 11), will be getting baptized next week! :) We are also teaching Rose's brothers, Derrick and Jason still. They are still trying to get a Sunday off of work so they can come to church but until then, we are continuing to teach. We brought a convert member who I love so much, Brother Lemuel Foote (who gave me the hat I gave dad by the way), to the lesson with us. We taught the Word of Wisdom and during the lesson Bro. Foote pointed to us and said to Derrick, "these guys don't know a thing". hahaha I loved it! He than bore testimony about how hard it will be but that it is possible through Jesus Christ. He shared his own conversion and experience with overcoming alcohol and tobacco and the spirit was incredibly strong! This is how missionary work should happen, Members and Missionaries testifying together to help others come to the truth. Looking forward to see what this week brings.
Small thought,
1 Samuel 15:22 "Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice". Obey the simple basics of daily scripture study, prayer, church attendance, and choosing the right. Obedience is the first law in heaven. Don't worry about giving everything you possess. Just be obedient. At times sacrifices will have to be made but if you are already being obedient, you will have the strength to make them!

I love you all,
Elder Mackelprang