Sunday, October 5, 2014

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4505 Noyes Ave
Charleston, WV 25304

SEPTEMBER 10, 2014

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


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