Elder Masulonis

Elder Masulonis

Sunday, December 30, 2012

December 23, 2012

Dear Mom,

ya i dint even know there was a name for us talking and sharing stories on christmas eve. but i cant deny that we do it every year. and i love it. i got the package yesterday and i loved all that stuf inside it. i really like the tie that you sent me too. i have a name for it that is an inside joke between elder fogle and i. (elder fogle is the one thta lives in sugar city. he also took my spot as district leader in Raleigh. he is one of my favorite elders. you will probably never meet him though) i loved the video that you put together. and where on earth was that i jump place? that looked like a blast! i thought it was way funny when dad jumped in the foam pit and had to try and swim out. that was hillarious. it was crazy seeing everyone from home and i could practically feel like i was at gramdmas house when i was just watching everyone talk. it looks like taybree has really gotten into the hair cutting thing. something that i thought was wierd was that it looks like all the boy cousins are going through puberty. because it seems like everyones voices has dropped. what the world? i've gotten over the trunkieness factor of the mission for the most part. but now i have a different struggle. i told dad about it, and im calling it my "Funk." i think its just me subconsciously missing Raleigh. i think that while im in an area, i don't see how good things are. i kinda miss Raleigh and the District that i was in there. even if i had to correct missionaries there, i still miss it. i think though, i will end up missiong this place a lot too. mainly because its already seemed like an amazing place. right now we re teaching 2 good sized families and they are both on the way towards baptism. they are amazing. the ward here is great too. i don't think that elder mortensen and i have actually eaten at our own house for dinner since i have been here. which is ironic because the members here are really charitable and they give us so many left overs. which is great because then we don't have to go shopping for nearly as much stuff. elder mortensen is a fantastic missionary. he is such an example to me of how a charitable person looks like. which is such a huge blessing for me because i have been striving to me more and more loving towards other people. and when i saw love i mean, really love them. that is something i've decided i want to come home with. the thing for me is though, love is so hard for me to feel for others. i can do things that are nice for others, but its kinda difficult for me to be able to sincerely say to myself that i genuinely feel a tender and real love for anyone i see at any time. it may seem like an impossible feet, but if i have learned something one my mission, its that the atonement changes people. i have learned that from experiences in myself that you are well aware of, but it is the focus of missionary work. i love how i have gained such a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. even if i don't live it 100% all the time, i love how it is something that i can always fall back on and get the help and love i need from him how loves me and wants to help me.
 i want to make sure that i tell you that i love you. you are the greatest mom in the whole wide world. i cant think of anyone that could do a better job at being a mom than you. since ive been striving to become more loving, ive often thought of you as my example. i can hardly think of anyone that has loved me more than you. i love you.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

December 10, 1012

This week was a busy and very eventfull week. i have been really tired and really happy. this week we had 3 baptisms. on for a guy named jim pommerenke, one for sister jennifer ross, and one for dylan ross. that story is amazing. and brother ross was a less active that we helped get active again and he baptized his wife and his son. wow. along with this, i found out about someone that i taught that lives in morehead. his name is ashton maynor. im not sure if i ever told you about him while i was in morehead, but he just sent me and email this morning that told me that he got baptized on nov 11. so within this week, i have been able to see some of the fruits of my labors. it makes me feel really good.

December 10, 2012

December 2, 2012

Dear Mom

Alright, time for my rambling. i cant help myself. so right now, is an exciting time for me. i am figuring a few things out and we are having a few baptisms this week. i think i have mentioned these people in my past letters but if i have time i will tell you more about them and their conversions. but here is something that i learned that i absolutely loved. we have a leadership meeting recently and there was this meesage that has stuck with me. and its all about the doctrine of christ. when i say the doctrine of christ, this is what i mean. these principals are the way back to heavenly fathers presence. the atonement of jesus christ is at the center of these principals. so the principals are, faith in the lord jesus christ, repentance, baptism/ordinances, receiving the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. now that i have told you things that you aready know, this is what i learned about them and what effect they have in our lives. here are 3 of the effectls that the dotrine of christ that really stood our to me. so the more attatched we are to the doctrine of christ, the more focus, enthusiastic, and effective we will be. there are so many more things that the doctrine of christ does, but these are some of the things that it does for me. now, im not sure on how much sense this all makes, but here is another principal that i am learning all the time. the gospel of jesus christ is what makes people happy. so i have often asked myself, what can i do to more fully live the gospel and be more happy? the answer to this question could be different for just about every person. some people will need to repent for serious transgressions, while some need to trust god more. whatever the next thing that we need to do to come closer to chrsit is, whenever we do that thing, we will be more happy. the thing that i have found that i need to do better is to rely upon the holy Ghost more. these kinds of thoughts have been rattling around in my mind and it is wonderful, wonderfull to me. i dont have much time left, and im not sure on how much of what i said makes sense, but i love you. i hope you know that.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

November 25, 2012

Dear Mom,
Before i get into things too much let me give you an update on whats happening out here. right now we are teaching a good amount of people and 2 of them are lined up to be baptized on december 8th. (which is coming up pretty fast. but i am confident that they will be ready by that time.)

im way excited to hear that you have been making the video for a while. i was thinking abot what the video would be like and i could only imagine everyone just saying hi and acting all awkward because they were on camera. but hey, either way, its a great gift!

I had a dream that you and Randy were in it and we were all at gary's office. it was kinda crazy because it was like i was hiding from everyone.

I found out recently that there is a chance that i will be with Elder Gillespie for the longest time i have been with a companion. this is because with president cotterell, it was very rare to be with the same companion for 3 transfers. but now with president bernhisel, its become more and more of a common thing. does it seem like im getting new companions all the time or what?

oh i got my very first piece of chick mail recently. chick mail is mail from a girl that isnt related to you and is old enough that i could date when i get back. it was from someone that knows jessi. and it was kinda interesting to hear from her because she was just a friend of one of jessi's friends.  anyway, regaurdless of who it was from or what it said, i felt pretty neat getting my first piece of chick mail :)

Today i am getting my hair cut and usually on preparation day, we just play basketball. but the gym at the church is being used so we are going to use this day to do some christmas shopping. i hope i can remember everyone i need to get stuff for.

what is ijump? i guess i will find out when i get the video for christmas. oh which reminds me. im not sure if you remember last christmas and how everything that worked and stuff, but for this christmas, our mission president wanted all of us to give everyone back at home our personal addresses. so i will give you my address, but just remember that it may or may not change on the 18th. but my address right now is 4900 Edgerton street # 311 Raleigh North Carolina 27616

Love Elder Masulonis

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Nov 11, 2012

Dear Mom,
i got the pictures of you crazies all dressed up. those are some good costumes! elder Gillespie and i were having a hard time thinking of what we could do for halloween the would be missionary appropriateso we switched our name tags... pretty crazy right? at least we got bro henderson to let us wear those blow up suits for a picture home. im starting to think that since the age for a mission has gone down, im gonna get back and every one is going to be gone. thank goodness randy is much younger than me. that way, we can actually do stuff together. i hope that when i get back i wont be too boring for him. i bet im gonna be much more different than when i left. which is a good thing. im not sure if i mentioned this in last weeks letter, but i had a few dreams that i was a home and when i would go to talk to someone, it would be so awkward because im not trying to convert them or anything. its like home is the land of unlimited preperation days. which was another thing.yesterday was preparation day and we decided to play basketball. it was really fun, but i realized that if you dont work out very often, your body gets out of shape. i played way hard, and then got super exuasted from it. right now im getting over this dumb head cold/cough.
oh hey, i wanted to challenge you to something. our mission is doing this book of mormon thing where we read the book of mormon at a rapid rate and highlight a select few things. like how many times it references christ or when a prophet is speaking and stuff. and i will be starting tomorrow.and i was kinda hoping that you or dad or randy or someone would race me in reading the book of mormon. if anyone wants to race, then let me know and tell them to go ahead and start when ever they would like. i will try to let you know when i finish.
thats really neat that randy is into power tools.
its good to hear about the contacts, i hope the y come soon.
 i wonder what life is ggoing to be like. because i have always had the subconcious thought of once i go on my mission, life is over, thats the end of the story. when in reality, its only the begining. sounds like im going to be getting alot of mail soon:) that makes me really happy. i got grandmas letter the other day and she sounds like she is really busy. im glad that she cam fill her time with meaningfull activites. mom, im 13 months into this thing... thats carzy!!! its real wierd to think about it. i have to go soon, but i wanted to ask you this. and you dont have to respond in the way that people usually do, but i just was curious about this. so, other than an example, have you seen anything good happen in result to me going on a mission family wise? ive always wondered about that. anyway, i love you very much and am super excited to hear from you and everyone soon.:)


Oct 28, 2012

Well the disrtict in which i am serving in has finally started to blossom. i have a disrtict leader binder that has been in the raleigh 1st area for a year or two and the disrtict leaders in the past have written all of the disricts numbers for a while now. and it made me so happy that this week we broke the record for baptismal dates as a district. things are kinda looking like they were when i was with elder stauffer. things started really rough but now they are looking forward. now the trick is to get those people that have a baptismal date to progress and get excited about missionary work.

man, i really miss every one back there. tell everyone hi for me.

Oct 22, 2012

I got the package you sent me. and when i opened it up, it was kinda crazy. and let me tell ou, i am very excited to see the family when i get abck home. being a trainer has been an interesting experience. the person im trainings name is elder gillespie. so now there is elder masulonis, and gillespie serving under president berhisell. how much more crazy could it get with names?:) elder gillespie is a little unorthodox, but in a good way. he isnt like most elders. he is about 6"1 and alot bigger than me. he is a big fella. but thats not what makes him different. he has a way different out look on missionary work. he measures his success in a good way. and that way is by how happy he feels. there have been some experiences in his life that have molded him to be the person he is right now. the biggest one that he has told me about is some struggles with depression. he doesnt have those struggles now, but it has been interesting to see the end result of what he has gone though. before my mission, i admittedly measured success by baptisms related to how difficult the area is. its kinda silly, but that how i measured it. i thought that all those people that didnt get alot of baptisms were just people that werent very good missionaries. but i have found that that isnt the case. i have found that baptisms or any of the other numbers that we report on are gifts from our heavenly father. now there is a connection between diligence and obediance and faithfullness and the other principals of the gospel, but it is not a direct connection. meaning that even if you are the most diligent missionary, you might not even get 1 baptism. its hard to think about for me. something else that i have been thinking about, is what to focus on. my focus changes all the time. my focus is always besed on the doctrine of christ, but it often times switches around.

Oct. 1, 2012

Dear mom
Things are changing all around me. today is the day before transfers and elder balckwell is leaving. and a few days ago, i found out that i will be training a new missionary. so i will be a district leader and a trainer at the same time. this makes me nervous. i hope that my experience training will be different from the experience i had being trained. i just wrote a letter to my mission pres. and expressed to him that same thing and then i realized that all god wants me to do is my best. which can be something that is difficult, but its do-able.
someone else that was in my district was also called to be a zone leader and another is going home( because his 2 years is up) so the district is changing all over the place.

on another note, this week i went to a baptism in knightdale for one of the people elder stuffer and i taught. her name is lynn barker. we knocked on her door and began to help her change her life. she has a son that i really hope gets baptized. he is about 12 or 13 years old and is a really sharp kid. the problem is, the mom and dad are divorced and the dad isnt too into having his son be mormon or religious. ive noticed that when people turn to religion and things dont work out and things become hard, they give up and claim there isnt a god. thats the case with johnathan. i really want to just be bold with him and help him see what blessings come from living the gospel. it comes up in our companion studies alot because elder blackwell is from indiana and he has alot of non-member or less active family members. and let me tell you, being a missionary with less active or non-member family drives you crazy.

so to answer your question about inviting people to be baptized, we are really encouraged to invite them to be baptized during the very first lesson we have with them. when we do that, it does alot of things. it shows the people that we teach, we are not messing around and neither is god. he and we want them to be happy. so why would we wait? infact, i just got out of a meeting the other day that 2 members of the missionary department of the church talked to us. and the thing that stood out the most to me, was the doctrine of christ. namely, the atonement, faith in jesus christ, repentance, baptism and other covenants, recieving the holy ghost and enduring to the end. these things are what all of the rest of the gospel point to. everything points to jesus christ. even the name of the church. i have seen that my motivation and happiness as a missionary ( and probably a member of the church) comes from how grounded i am to the gospel of jesus christ.

Things are improving here in raleigh 1st. we actually have some people that we are working with. i would tell you all about them, but you would probably forget it all by the end anyway. hey, so this is going to make you kinda trunkie, but just as a reminder, i am going to be able to talk to you soon over the phone. christmas is coming up. has alex left on his mission yet? i feel like ive kinda blipped out of exsistance for a little while. as a missionary you have to wonder sometimes, "i wonder who actually remembers and thinks about me." thats pretty self centered though. and it doesnt really matter.

Sept 23, 2012

So this week, we FINALLY found someone to teach. ive learned that missionary work is different in different areas of the world. and the work in Raleigh 1st in particular has been a challenge. im going to be honest, there have been times of discouragement here, but i have also seen alot of growth in myself here too. which is great because usually you cant really see growth in yourself. but when you are able to see it in yourself you know that things are really going well. the lady we found seems to been really prepared to recieve the gospel. we have only me with her once, and everything has gone great! she has accepted to be baptized on october 27th. she has made me and Elder Blackwell very very happy. things are really looking up here. we have been finding new investigators, and other things are really going well too.
You asked, "what is the difference between a district and zone leader". So lets imagine the NCRM. it takes up most of the estern half of NC and within those boundries, you have zones. zones are pretty much the work for stakes. and within those zones are about 8-15 areas which usually compose of one or two wards. now a district is a group of about 3-5 areas. and the disrtict leader leads the missionaries in that district and relays messages from the zone leaders and mission pres. so i tell the missionaries what the zone leaders and mission pres. are saying, keep them accountable for what they are doing, and i conduct a district meeting once every week which composes a lesson, an accounting session for what the missionaries have done to help the work and other stuff like that. now a zone leader acts as a district leader for all of the district leaders in the zone or stake. so they will keep us accountable for what is happening in our districts, they will conduct a zone meeting once or twice a transfer, or month. and they will relay information from the mission president to the district leaders and sometimes, all of the missionaries. so you break down a mission into zones, then disrticts, then areas. i hope that all made sense.

Sept. 16, 2012

Well the bednars are a wonderfull young family that is blending really well with the ward. john and mandy bednar are their names. they have two little kids named amelia and peyton. their kids are still too young to be baptized, so they just watched. it was a really neat experience.

So today we went to the temple again. this time it will be my 2nd time ive gone to the raleigh temple on my mission. it was a really neat experience. when we go to the temple, we are often encouraged to come with a question. whether that question is personal, or general, or about the area you serve in, it doesnt really matter. the point of coming to the temple is revelation. thought out honest questions invite revelation. in the endwoment i noticed that god asks a question frequently before speaking. the question i went with was a personal question, and in response to that question i learned from the spirit a good amount of things. i first and foremost learned and felt that heavenly father actually does care about our cares. he loves us and wants us to have joy and be happy. i loved that. my prayer was answered in a way that allowed me to ask god another specific question. and i am confident that he will answer me in a clear and powerful way. the thing about my question is, it was something that could seem silly in someone elses eyes. but because its important to me, he is willing to help me with it and direct me. as ive served, my will has slowly become closer to what the lords has been. and that slowness i can tell you can be hard. but the great thing is that i am always lead back to jesus christ and his love. its kinda funny that you mentioned my future wife, because that is what my question was kinda based from. i dont want to share too much about it, but i am excited to see what happens next.
im really grateful that you are my mom, mom. you have so much confidence in my even when i dont have confidence in myself. right now, the work has been a struggle for me. and to my supprise, being a district leader was harder than i thought. i always thought that you were just trying to be nice when you told me that i was a good leader, but before pres. cotterell left he siad the same thing. i dont know what people see in me that shows that, but hey, maybe i can refine those things while im a district leader. i love you mom.

Sept. 10, 2012

Dear mom,
this week has been pretty great. the first thing that was fantastic, was that i was able to see the bednar family get baptized. that was amazing. the second thing was that i have been able to meet with johnathan again. he still doesnt want to learn about the gospel, but i feel like we are becoming more and more comfortable with eachother. the first time that i met with him, i was super nervous. this time, i was able to be a little more relaxed and i was even joking around with him a little bit.

its kinda crazy out here right now. or at least for me. its weird because im starting to forget stuff about home. it seems like the only thing that i can think of is the work and how to improve the work. the work seems to be my only focus. which is good, but i miss the simple interaction from people. the closest thing to family to me right now is Elder Blackwell. i guess this is what its like when they say forget yourself and go to work. we are working really hard in Raleigh 1st. ive heard that stress+rest =growth. well, i am going through alot of growth. the reason i know that is because i have actually been able to see small changes in myself. and its usually pretty difficult for me to see change in myself.

in 2 more days i am 11 months old. almost half way. wow. its interesting to think about because i only have 13 months left, but on the other hand, i only have 13 months left. i hope you understand.

this week Elder Blackwell got in a bike accident. its sad, but i cant help but laugh inside. so we were bikeing down this road and as we were going across a road that came from a parking lot we found out that there was a 4-6 inch median in the middle that kinda directed traffic. it was no problem for me because i just bunny hopped on and off it. but elder blackwell hit it right on which caused him to loose control and when it was time to get back onto the curb, it was too late for him. so if you could imagine, im riding in front and i hear him yell, "OH NOO!" then i hear his bike hit the curb. i turn my head to look back and see him flying over his handle bars. he biffed it pretty hard but he's alright, he's a big boy. he ruined one of his pants, and got a bad case of road rash, but the funniest thing that happened was what happened after that, after i go and help him back up and see what happened, this lady pulls her car by us and asks if elder blackwell is alright. he says that he is fine but she cant hear him because of other cars that are pssing by so he decides to go up to her and talk to her. he told her that he was fine but she was even got even more shocked because after he told her that he was fine elder blackwell says, "can we give you a card?" he contacts her. her face was so funny. what a dedicated servant right? well, thats my companion. :)

Sept. 2, 2012

You have probably already figured this out, but nearly every time i get an email from you i i just have to think wow. life actually does happen while your gone haha. i i got a letter from taybree a few days ago and she mentioned tomato picking also. i guess thats the sign that the tomato season for our family is over. maybe im wrong though because gary always a trick up his sleeve so he is probably doing something like making some kind of super healthy tomato, pepper, exotic spice milk shake haha. im glad though that you have been able to stay busy. that might sound like its a rude comment, but i think that when we are busy especially with our goals, good things happen. take for instance ben and Jeff. they are impressive young men. im sure that they are role models for many people.
when you mentioned the things about bro. hills son moving in next door, i thought, i bet randy is excited about that. are they still friends? thats amazing that their family has recieved those blessings in their lives. i also couldnt help but think about my experience in knightdale. i remember that i talked about the bednars progressing and being fellowshipped like crazy. i think that a lot of the conversion they have experienced has actually come because of others helping them. the last thing that happened with them when i left knightdale was that they refussed to pay tithing. that day was a devastating day. because they were progressing so much and they were already practicaly members of the church and they had already recieved so many blessings in their lives. when i left that night we taught them about tithing i felt like dirt. i wished so badly that they would have greater faith so that they could have more blessings. this week however, i got a call and elder stauffer said that out of the blue they decided that their desire to be baptized was greater than the price of faith. mom, i am so happy for them. i am so happy that they are getting baptized! they are getting baptized this weekend. going back to the fellowshipping idea though, the reason why they had such a change of heart was that they were exposed to pure testimony of many ward members about the truthfullness of the restored gospel. our testimonies really can have a great influence on others.
oh wonderfull! you got the pictures. the member said that the first time he tried to send them you didnt get them. but im glad you got them. its still hot here, but i do think i am adapting to the heat. because even when i go to bed i get cold from the vent blowing into the room. the reason why we were wearing suit jackets though was that we just got out from a baptism and we need to wear suits when ever we go to any kind of meetings. getting back home will be somewhat of a stuggle i think because i will be used to north carolina weather and then i will be going into the bitter cold of idaho. yikes! oh well. home is home.

August 26, 2012

Dear mom,
man, new stuff is happening all over isnt it? things are changing with me, and at home. randy just got a very nice looking bike, the bathroom just got done ( and looks amazing.) and you even got your new computer. wow. so this week has deffinately been a crazy week. it has been really interesting. when i came into the area i found out that i will be rebuilding the work here. right now we have no investigators, referrals, and many of our less actives will be going into the sisters hands. so, we are really building from the ground up. we are meeting with members alot and trying to help them with missionary work. like i said earlier, it has been a really interesting week. but not for the reasons you might be thinking. so far on my mission, it has been difficult for me to make real connections with ward members. which is a little unusual because that is somehting that seems comes natural in missionary work. but within my few days here i am starting to really love the members on a new level. there is on member in particular that i am really coming to love. his name is bro. henderson. (kind of ironic i know since back at home bro henderson was some one i wasnt too fond of.) one of the characteristics that i like the most about him is his boldness. he is VERY bold. and it has been fun and interesting to be bold back. he likes it and i like it. there are also 2 other things that have been of significance. one of the first days here, elder blackwell and i had a talk tht was filled with the spirit. let me just first say that even though elder Blackwell has a mild mental disorder, he is one of the most spiritualy intune people i know. he is directed by the spirit so much. it has been a faith trying experience that has brought much fruit being with him. he taught me about the atonement in a very personal way that was filled with the spirit. he has helped me so much. he later gave me a blessing and the blessing he gave me was one of the strongest times i have ever felt the spirit on my mission. i felt like i was walking into a warm bright room from a cold dark one. it was incredible! then, either one or two days later we met with this less active family and for one reason or another it was VERY awkward. and he felt the spirit strongly tell him that after our visit, we needed to come back. i didnt have the same impression, and i didnt want to make things anymore awkward, but i trusted him and we eventually went back. when we went back, we found out that there was a strong spiritual need that needed to be met. and the situation that we came back into, was perfect! with both of these experiences, i have been awe struck. going back to the blessing he gave me, elder blackwell said things that made me question if he could actually read my mind. there was no way he would know to say the things that he did unless he was completely inspired of god. from that experience my testimony of priesthood power was significantly increased. in both instances that ive talked about, the only reaction that i have initially had is " WHAT!?!?!?!" "HOW COULD THIS HAVE ACTUALLY HAPPENED!?!?!?" it was amazing! i feel like god is truely trying to humble me. that is something that i am confident about. i know that god lives. he knows us. he loves us. we are his children. he wants the best for us. this is my testimony.

August , 2012

Well, i will first tell you about what is really on my mind the most. transfers. ringht now i am with elder stauffer who is a super missionary. he is my favorite next to elder johnson. if you even remember me talking about him. but anyway, transfers. so elder stuffer and i got a call a few nights ago that brought new experiences for both of us. he is going to be training in knightdale.(hopefully with elder bagley. i went to highschool with him and he is a really neat kid. his dad was also my acutain doctor.) and i will be serving in the raleigh 1st area in the raleigh 1st district as district leader. this is big news for me even though im just being transfered less than 100 miles away and into an area that i have gone to during exchanges. so basically im taking my district leaders spot. there are some things that im slightly worried about but i think i can do well with the lords help. this morning i had to really look at myself and prioritize my goals and desires and put it onto paper. i kinda made a debt-elimination chart thing for my priorities. but some of the things that i see as potential challenges are; sister missionaries are coming into the district for the first time, disobediant missionaries, district meetings, my next companion will have a very slight mental disability, i represent a district and my area instead of just my area, and just being a missionary in general. it might sound like alot, but im not sure on how things will go. hopfully well. but, that is just a little about what is happening in the life of elder masulonis. but to be honest, im more concerned about you right now. one of the members this sunday told me to tell you about a website and some other web stuff she thought you might like. so there is a web site called something like, "missionarymoms.net" and it is a site where all the missionary moms can go on and post pictures, stories they have heard and all sorts of great stuff. she thought you might like that. she also said that there is a facebook group for the families of north carolina missionaries. just a thought you might like to check. i bet you will be pretty busy though. it sounds like there is alot going on at home. the bathroom is being tricked out, my moms head is exploding with knowledge, my dad is a singer, my brother is still my little bro... which is saying alot. ;) and, he is growing up to be even more epic he already is, anyway, i hope there is room enough for me when i get back. ;) i hope to hear from you soon andi love you.

July 29, 2012

This week there was one of the days that elder stauffer worked especially hard. we went out on our bikes and worked hard all day. after the day was over, i felt exausted. i might keep on saying this about other days, but im not sure if i have ever sweated as much as i did that day than any other day. my clothes were drentched with sweat. infact, we were so wet, that i had to completely change and get dry before our dinner appointment came to pick us up. but even though we were working super hard, i found something that i really enjoy as a missionary. one of the feelings that i love the most is the feeling of going out the door and and to contact everybody i see and testify my brains out... even if they dont accept the message we share. the spirit is so strong and it motivates me a ton. it reminds me of a scripture that i am memorizing right now lets see if i can get it right. "for the natural man is an enemy to god and has been from the fall of adam and will be forever and ever unless he yields to the holy spirit and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of christ and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father." how did i do? the reason why i felt like that this week is, doing missionary work is hard. when your body aches for rest, and when you only want to be passive, when you are tired and you see the difficulties ahead of you, its hard to press on in the work of the lord. But... " and moreover i would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of god, for they are blessed in all things, both temporally and spiritually, and if they hold faithful they are recived into heaven that thereby they may dwell with god in a state of never ending happiness. oh remember remember that these things are true, for the lord god hath spoken it." (im not sure if that is word for word, but its according to my memory. i would type it right if i had my scriptures on me, but i usually dont bring my scriptures to the library for emailing.) anyway, its hard, but so was the road that jesus walked. and it was for the best and for the greatest joy.

Things are still gong great for the lamont and his family, and for the bednar family. although ,we had to push back the baptismal date for lamont and his sister because of an unexpected family trp to his dads.but we will hope to see him this week and get him and her to their baptismal interviews. while im talkng about them, we finally got to meet their mom. and it was actually really interesting. she said that if she wasnt seeing the changes in lamont and the rest of the kids' lives, she would have booted us out pretty early, so she has seen the changes for the better in their lives and also is excited for them to be baptized even though she doesnt know what that all entitles. we will also be meeting with her this week for her first lesson. that family makes me really happy. and i really hope that things will continue to go well.
I know that God has heard me on more occasions than one. it is a miracle that God HEARS AND, ANSWERS prayers. especially those which have broken and sincere hearts for collateral.

July16, 2012

Yea! the cake was amazing! Elder Stauffer is gaining some weight, so he let me eat just about the whole thing the. The balloons are still sitting in the apartment. By the way, I'm not sure if I mentioned this last email, but it is pretty relieving that I have gotten to stay in Knightdale. I think it is an answer to one of my prayers. Actuallly several prayers if I think what is going to happen happens. Right now we are teaching a handfull of pretty solid people. 4 of them have solid dates to be baptized. Their names are Lamont, Lance, Jasmine, and Michael. They are all african american and younger than me. But if you looked at Michael, you would think he was much older than me because he looks like an ex-wwf wrestler. He is pretty big. The other two oddly enough have the last name of bednar. ( no relation known yet) the prayer that i think will be answered is, i have prayed often that i would be able to witness somebody be found taught and baptized. things seem to be going in that direction which is making me pretty happy.

again, thank you for sending that birthday present! i loved it so much.

that makes me smile to hear that the bathroom is getting redone. it needed it pretty badly. it seems like though, you are makeing the preperations needed to move. is the family moving?

man, the church is pretty weird when it comes to boundries and church buildings. i mean that is pretty weird that you will be going all the way out to the stonebridge ward when the stake center is right there. its kinda like my friends jacob and taylor bryner. they live right next to a church building, but the have to go to one that is a few blocks away from them. its the same here in knightdale though. the individual boundries dont really make sense. take for instance the ward i am in. there is a ward that takes a random chunk out of our area and on top of that, out area is long and skinny. it almost takes an hour to get from the top of our area to the bottom. if we wanted to make a trip from our house to the top to the bottom and back, it would probably take 2 hours.

as for the Book of Mormon, i totally agree. infact, i was just recently reading about the alligory of the olive tree and i found so much personal relivence to my life. it was really amazing how much i was able to learn from it.

it feels weird to think that i will be one of those weird guys when i get back home, but its awesome to think that i will be one of those awesome guys when i get home.

i love you very much and hope to hear more about home and what is going on soon.


July 22,2012

The lord says to increase our talents. Something that i have discovered on my own from a mission is this. When we put God first, he blesses us in our talents and abilities  even the ones that arent gospel centered. For instance, I have been playing basketball at least once a week since I was a youth and I got alot better from that. But now I feel even more confident in my basketball skills even though I play less. I am sure that this is because of the service I give in the lords work. My friend Taylor told me a little bit about this before my mission too. We were actually playing video games when he told me this. he said the same concept I just told you and then said that he was better at video games after his mission than before. The increase of abillities and talents is increased through the lord. Even the ones that would seem that the Lord doesnt really care about. Its a very interesting concept to me. Speaking of which, we hope to be playing basketball with Lamont and his younger brother Lance. ( these are some of the people that are close to being baptized.) we have seen icredible changes in Lamonts life. he told us that right before we met him, he wasnt doing good things. we later found out that those not so good things involved gang involvement. to show how recent their activity in gangs has been, lance cannot be baptized untill he is off probation. They also have an older brother that is in jail right now and they dont have alot of contact with him. Their dad is in Arkansas and they dont have very much contact with him either. there mom works two medical jobs to take care of the kids and we have only seen her once. Lamont has been looking for a job for two years and things around the house are not great. Lamont has said that the day that we started meeting with him, his life and home and family started to change. he has been offered a lanscaping job by his uncle. his brother has made dramatic improvements to get off on probation and into the water. They have humbled themselves before the Lord and have seen his miracles. Lamonts younger sister Jasmine first laughed at us when in the first lesson we told them that the book of mormon was an ancient record of the ancestors of the native americans but now she reads the book of mormon nearly everyday and has identified the spirit in her heart change her. lamont and lance have also done and felt the same things. lamont has a strong desire to just follow god and choose the right. He has identified by himself that when we keep the commandment and choose the right, we are blessed temporally and spirituall just like king Benjamin says in mosiah 2 44... i think. that family is truely a miracle and a miracle in progress.

In your email, you said your glad that im not melting into a pile of tiger butter. what on earth is tiger butter???

Monday, September 24, 2012

July 8, 2012

Thanks for emailing me mom. 
As for the heat... it is really hot. Our appartment is fairly cool though so at least I can sleep well during the night. We have been trying to set appointments with everyone during the hottest parts of the day, but even so, we sometimes have to go out in the heat. But with that being said, I think the Lord has really been blessing me. I remember back at home thinking that 85 was super hot and too uncomfortable to really do anything outside, but now I am in 90-105 temperatures. But the interesting thing is that it is bearable. I am definately sweating a ton, and the heat zaps your energy pretty quick, but its something that the lord has blessed me to be able to handle. Thank goodness right? I usually just have to think about having water with me more than if we are going to go out that day or not. Oh and by the way, transfers will be this weekend tomorrow, but I will be staying with Elder Stauffer in Knightdale for at least one more transfer. which is great because we are teaching some pretty awesome people right now and we hope to see at least a few of them get baptized. We will see how things work out though. I am super excited. It feels wierd though being 20. I mean, I feel like a missionary and an adult now. I still feel like im a teen ager. But, oh well. Again thank you for sending that package. This week I met my new mission pres. He is a baby doctor. He is alot different from pres. Cotterell. Pres. Cotterell was a head hunter and a business man so he ran the mission in a business style, so i dont know how things are going to work out with president Bernhisel. I love you very much, and hope to hear from you soon.

-Elder Masulonis

July 1, 2012

Dear Mon,
Wow, my birthday really is coming up, that was weird, i forgot all about that. thats crazy about the fires. Elder Stauffer said that his mom also said that there were alot of fires in utah. Well, let me tell you one reason why I probably forgot my own birthday. The work in knightdale has really grown. We had an investigator at church for the first time in a while yesterday and just about the whole ward introduced themselves to him and befriended him. It was awesome. Oh, let me tell you about him. His name is Michael, he is a black 18 yr old and has a scholarship in football for college. He is about as tall as I am, but about 3-4 times as muscly, not exaggerating. He could squish me like a grape, or probably eat two of me. Ware playing basketball with him today. He says that he isnt all that great at basketball, but we will see. I will probably have to go up against him because I am the next tallest guy. Wish me luck. We are working with him and 5 other pretty darn solid people. I'm really excited but at the same time pretty nervous. Not that I will or will not be able to teach how I need to, but wether or not I will actualy be there in Knightdale to see them be taught and baptized. Transfers are next week and I really dont want to leave Knighdale. The whole time I have been here, Knightdale has struggled. But now that it is booming, I may be leaving. I really hope it doesn't.  So this week has probably been the hottest weeks of my whole life. I have thought things were hot before, but this week, there were several days that were 104 degrees. I took a pretty funny video. I will have to send it to you in a thunbdrive or cd or something. I will see what I can do because I can't send videos over email, they are too big. As for the whole politics thing, I was thinking about saying that I was planning on voting Obama, to mess with you, but I think that would put you over the edge and make you disown me, and since my birthday is coming up that wouldnt be to good for me. So as for now I will say that i m voting Eomney ;)  So, to wrap up, things are going great for the work, I feel like i'm in an oven, I'm voting Obama... I mean Romney, fires are crazy along with Jason, I hope you can find my future wife so that i dont have to waste time like him;) I need to send you some videos, and i love you :)

-Love Elder Masulonis.

Friday, September 21, 2012

July 2, 2012

Dear Dad,
things are going great here. things are just now flipping around. we have 4 people with baptismal dates and 2 more on the way.:) i told mom about one of the individuals who came to church yesterday( which was such an accomplishment for this area.) he is about as tall as i am and about 3-4 times more buff. seriously. he is super solid and things are going well with him. it might stink though pretty soon because transfers are next week and i dont want to miss all that is happening here in knightdale. but its not my will that must be met, but rather fathers.and as for my faith growing, i am pretty sure that it is growing. but i feel like since im so focused on other things most of the time i dont recognize the growth as much. i am however noticing that i am able to follow the spirit more, i feel the spirit more, i am talking to more people and striving harder and harder to find teach and baptize which is central to our purpose.

what you said about your high priest group leader, is amazing. thats crazy infact! i have really desired to baptize a minister. mostly because when you get a leader, he has influence over alot more people. i saw this in an area called lumberton in NC. a asian refugee camp just moved into lumberton and got in contact with the missionaries and especailly with the leader of the group. and since then, they have been having about 40 investigators at church a week. it is so amazing. they just opened up a new branch there because of the growth. and just a fun fact, the branch president that covers that area just so happens to be loyd ricks' brother. they look alot alike. anyway, that is some of the things that are going on here. i might be playing basketball with 4-5 black kids today so wish me luck. i hope they dont own me to badly. i love you dad! thank you for writting me so much!

-Love Elder Masulonis

June 24, 2012

Dear mom.
Sounds like there isn't a lot going on at home. That reminds me of something that i learned concerning missionary work. If I am not busy as a missionary, its my fault. My business level completely depends on me. Its kinda funny, as a missionary, we are supposed to be super busy, but in the life back home, we are counseled by the prophets not to be too busy.

At the end of your letter you seemed to ask a question in comment form, and the answer to your question of how I am doing is great! We are still continuing to find new people to teach and help them progress. This Sunday was especially neat. We were talking to this guy who was washing his porch and he really didn't want to hear what we had to say. He said, "I'm baptist and you are barking up the wrong tree." We kept on talking to him in a spirit of persistence. As we were talking with him, the spirit must have really been working on him because within a few minutes he let us in and we had a great lesson about the restoration of the gospel. It seemed like he was trying to hide that he was being blown away from our message. We gave him a book of Mormon and he committed to a baptismal date. We had a prayer and left. But as we were leaving and as he was walking us out the door, he said, (talking about the book of Mormon.) I feel compelled to really read this book and I have some down time so I'm going to read it. I can only assume that he started reading it and the spirit continued to work with him. It was a super amazing experience. It has still blows me away a little now. I'm so grateful for a companion that really helps me to work a lot harder and be better. This past week in my studies I have found myself writing down pages of inspiration so much that by the time study time is over, I have to stop. I then think to myself that I will finish it that night or the next day. But the thing is, that the next time I have time to write anything down, god blesses me with more pages and thoughts of inspiration. I guess that might be one of the forms of the scripture that says that we will receive so many blessings that we wont have room enough to receive them. Its really amazing. I hope I can stay in knightdale with Elder Stauffer for one more transfer.

LOVE Elder Masulonis

June 18, 2012

Doing missionary work in North Carolina is fairly difficult and is really pushing me to strive to obey the spirit and truely seek revelation. Without revelation, this work would be near to impossible. In one of the talks I have recently read and studied, the speaker who is a member of the seventy says that when we have true desires to recive specific revelation and act on those desires, the blessings of heaven are poured on us and the holy spirit is more able to influence our lives.  

Within the last week, Elder Stauffer and I have found more people to teach in a single week than ever before. A lucky week for finding new investgators would be about 2 or 3, but this week we have really been blessed because we were able to find 5 new people to teach in this week alone. I know that doesnt sound like much but in the south where seemingly no one wants to listen to you, its pretty good. I have been studying and learning alot about revelation, diligence and the spirit. Once on Thursday, we got told by and older couple that we were going to hell and that they knew that the book of mormon wasnt true and they didnt need to read it because they aready knew it wasnt true. After the conversation that we had with them, we felt pretty down, but then we went and read from the book of mormon and we found peace. I have learned that the book of mormon brings peace into a storm raged life, and thats exactly what happened. We read and we became more motivated than we had in our whole missions. It was amazing. As we went back out to serve god, this kid stopped us while he was driving and started to talk to us. He was baptist and his desire was to convert us. Good luck! We asked him if he knew about the book of mormon. He said that it wasnt true. Did you read it? No. The only way to know if the book of mormon is true or if anything we are saying is true is to try it out for yourself, to study it out and ask god. Moroni's promise is true for every single person in the entire world. If someone reads the book of mormon and prays about it and doesnt recieve a whitness that it is true it is because they didnt not ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, and with faith in christ that he will reveal the truth of it unto you.
Sorry if that was sounding like it was preaching to you. That is some of the message we share with others.
 i love you so much dad.

June 11-2012

Dear mom. 
For your information, because of the mail that I have been recieving lately, I am actually winning the contest in our district. I know that I havent told you of how the mail baseball works, but just to let you know, I am at about 7 points and I dont think that anyone else in my district has more than 5. So thanks.
Jeffery R Holland came and spoke to us. There were alot of things that I can remember about that visit, but the two things that stood out to me the most were that his #1 message to us was that he and the other apostles loved us so much. They are very christ like. and in order to be like christ-like, their level of love must be incredibly high. have randy read this part, it jsut came to mind, he might like it. ( what does the scanner say about his charity level?!?! its over 9000!!!!) anyway, ya, im still a goof ball:) which reminds me of the second thing that stood out to me, and this has to be taken in context otherwise it might not turn out right. He was over the pulpit and he passionately yelled into the mic and pointed strongly at us as he said, "DONT YOU EVER, EVER, GO BACK TO THE WAY YOU WERE BEFORE YOUR MISSION!!!" I think I will remember that for a long time. That's how much he wants our missions to change us. He also said that he had a personal interview with each of us just by shaking our hands and looking into our eyes. Yup, I shook his hand and got interviewed by an apostle.
Thats really interesting that you were studying the talk about how to recieve revelation from Richard G Scott. (by the way, his brother is our temple president.) I have been reading and studying that talk a lot. This morning I especially was studying Revelation. along with studying that talk I also read in 1 Nephi 15, its about when Nephi wakes up from having the dream of his father explained to him through another dream. ( by the way, the reason why I have been studying this subject is because my district leader challegened my companion and I to study and strive to recieve revelation on the question, "what do I need to do to find those who will progress.") and in it, nephi says his brothers say something that my soul has said more than once after he asks them "have ye inquired of the lord?" "we have not for the lord maketh no such thing known unto us." Nephi then rebukes them for not being humble. He then says later , "if ye will not harden your hearts, and ask me in faith, believing that ye shall recieve, with diligence in keeping my commandments, surely these things shall be made known unto you." As I read and reread over these passages along with some others, I thought, if I do recive an answer on what I need to do to find those that will progress, will I obey? So right now I feel like I need to truely humble myself and get rid of my hard heart. So, that's what I am working on right now. Humility. The reason being, I really want to see the miracles of God more frequently in my life and I want to see success.

You are right, I have been out for about 8 months, and it has been a great building experience. Sometimes I am able to recognize that I have grown a ton, and then sometimes it seems like I havent really changed since before my mission. I love you. You are an inspired woman and a precious daughter of god. He loves you dearly. More than what I and I would imagine you can comprehend fully. I love him. He wants us to be happy. He is the way. I love you.

-Elder Masulonis

Saturday, August 25, 2012

June 19, 2012

Dear mom, 
This week has been pretty crazy. Dont worry, I'm fine. All is well, all is well. I love you mom. An older couple told us as we were speaking with them that we were going to hell and that they knew that the Book of Mormon wasnt true and they didn't need to read it to know it wasnt... interesting. That ended up to be a huge motivation for me to work and testify even harder. We were confronted by a kid who stopped his van right in the middle of the street and he tried to convert us. We asked him if he knew anything about the Book of Mormon, and he said that he knew it wasn't true. We then found out that he hadn't read nor prayed to know if it was true,.. typical. We tried to help him out, but we will see what happens. I met with johnathan. I'll let dad tell you more about that and my feelings towards what happened. I have seen alot of growth in this area. We usually only find 2-3 new investigators on a really good week, but this week we found 5. so we have been very blessed. It just goes to show that were much is required, much is given. and the other way around, where much is given, much is required. I have eaten all of the pink butter you have sent me, it is so stinking good. I think im addicted to it. Its good to hear that Randy got a new email. I am super excited to hear from him. Although, that means that that might be not as good for you because that just makes one more person I need to write to and less time to write you. I love you mom. Is there anything you want me to send to you?

-love Elder Masulonis.

June 4, 21012

Dear mom,
It is always so awesome to hear from you! I love you so much! I dont know about being a great leader or not, but thank you. I look back on the companionship that I had with Elder Johnson and thank the Lord for being able to be around the influence of such an amazing person. So to am I forever grateful that God blessed me with such a great set of parents and a wonderful family. And by the way, that is so neat that you are making the quilt. I bet you have alot of jeans. hahaha. How did you hide them all? I never really saw them I dont think. It sounds like a real feat to accomplish. I'm excited to see it though:) As for the story of the Jaredites crossing the waters, that too is one of my favorites. I love that one becasue the whole story is so relevent to my life. It relates very well. I also really like the story of how they got the light. Im not going to lie, this last week has really pushed and streched me. We worked really hard and i felt the spirit often. Its interesting to me that our spirits are really like our bodies, because when we do more physical work, we then become more hungry, but now that I had been in the possition of working really spiritually hard I have had the need of spiritual food more and more, and it is such a blessing. because who so shall hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be filled. I love you mom. So you know how I said that I often have the spirit give me themes of things to learn? Well it seems that the spirit is trying to reteach me something. (must be really important.) I say that because of the strong feelings I have had about this subject. That subject being love and charity. I was thinking this morning of how thats one of the main things I want to look for in a wife. Before I got to NC an apostle (maybe you can guess who) told us to decide now what you want in a spouse. So when you get home and are confused about everything you can still have some direction in such an important decision. So I have done so. I have made a couple of pages of what i hope for that special daughter of god. But one of the most vital things I will look for in her is the amount of charity she has and how loving she is. It seems like this is a common trait in women but it is such a requirement for me to have a companion to be ultra loving. Its really interesting. When I think of the savior and the charateristics he has, the first one that comes to mind is his love for the father and us, and the more we become like him, the more love we will have rooted in our hearts. When I talk about love, I dont mean, fake passion or meerly wanting to have a desire to love, but an actual deep compassion and devotion from the inner heart for God and others. When we become like Jesus Christ, we will gain this love. It is a difficult trait to recieve, but it is worth it. Our level of love and compassion for others is directly connected to our level of happiness. God has great joy, and as we feel the spirit and are changed to become more like him, we too will undoubtedly become more happy. We will smile. Other people will truely desire to be with us because of how they feel when they are around us, especially if they feel the spirit when we are near. The gospel is all about joy. Being really happy. Through the atonement, and in eternities, its all roses. I wish I cold say how my heart feels about this right now, and I wish that I can obtain more of this love from God. I hope the same for you and those within your circle of influence. I love you so much mom. God loves you and I. He loves us and all the people that we will ever meet. I plead to seek this love and cling to the spirit. I hope this makes your day.

Man I just get into the gospel and then I realize I have to transfer my thought from being spiritual to things that are not as eternal and more temporal. Like for instance, how is Randy doing? When on earth is he going to get an email address? I WANT TO EMAIL HIM! Im way excited for that. I hope he writes often and I hope its not like he must write because its an assignment. But from the sounds of things that wouldnt be so bad because he is getting good grades. Also, man, I really want to get the rest of dads conversion story. also, that pink butter was super amazing if you know what i mean. wow, someone, reading this would probably think, (what a needy guy! all you needs!) I also have an underlying purpose to get mail. we are doing baseball with mail. different forms of mail count for different kinds of hits. and the person who has the most points by the end of the transfer wins. Right now I am at 3 points. and I hope to beat someone that is writing a girl that writes him every week. so... hope to hear from you soon hahahaha.

love Kent
This is a picture of a family of the ward. I thought it was a good picture and thought that someone back at home would like it.

May 29, 2012

Dear mom,
Today is the beginning of a new transfer and am still in Knightdale, but i have a new companion. I feel like this transfer will be a great one. Dont get me wrong, I sincerely love elder Edwards, but now with my new companion, Elder Stauffer, I have already seen many of the difficulties I had with Elder Edwards vanish. I feel like we are very similar. I have only spent a few hours with him and we have seemed to click together well. We have very similar back grounds. Before his mission he worked at Ticanos ( kinda like Gringos but better) he loves Julian Smith and transformers, he likes sports but isnt crazy passionate about them. Oh one more thing about him, so he has only been out for a few months so I am kinda in the follow-up trainer position. This made me a little nervous because in the mission there is a saying that is very often true which is you either struggle with your trainer or follow-up trainer. And as we were talking in the car I got to have an idea of how his past companion was, and from the sounds of it, it was a struggle, so that is somewhat of a sign to me that this will be a great transfer/companionship. I am going to try and love my heart out to him and this area. So, that's the most eventfull thing that has happened in a while. Something else that is happening right now is that we are currently teaching a guy named Alphonso. I dont know if I have ever told you this before, but it is very nice to recieve the blessing from God of solid people to teach. The first time we met with him, he already was looking for a change in his life. He has many challenges to face like, co-habbitation ( living with someone you arent married to.) smoking, and a few other things. In our second visit, we asked if he thought that Joseph Smith was a true prophet, and he said, ya know, I've prayed about it after I read some in the book of mormon, and yeah I really think that this is real. He said several times later that he really believes that Joseph Smith is a true prophet. I really really really hope that things will comtinue how they are going. So right now, things are looking great in knightdale.

By the way, HAPPY BIRTHDAY RANDY!!!! well, I guess this wont get to you untill later, but I hope you still feel special. I bet you are way excited for summer. I'm way excited for you to get an email that way we can talk all the time. I love you.

Things are warming up here. We are often times jumping in between 85 and 90. I'm nervous for the summer we the heat really comes.

I love you and hope to hear from you soon.

-Love Elder Masulonis

Sunday, July 1, 2012

May 6 2012 GPS

We sent Kent a GPS unit. He discovered the unique road layout used in the East when he was transfered to Knightdale. He said whoever thought up the road system had never heard of the "straight and narrow way". He had also noticed "Everything is so green here. Even on the sides of the road. The funny thing is that only a few people have sprinklers. Its starting to get a little more humid though...

April 29 2012

I have been praying that my friends and family will have their faith strengthened and stronger testimonies. I have learned that one of the most common and effective ways to grow is by adversity. One of my mission presidents favorite quotes is, "Theres no growth without discomfort." By going through adversity we learn by experience and the things we experience become a part of us. That is so neat to me. By experience, the gospel becomes a large part of our very natures. When this happens, we are natrually inclined to share the gospel. We want to share our testimonies more. We want to be more obediant, we look to Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father for their enabling power, "grace" and as we look toward them for that changing power of the atonement, we are changed. Even the things that we sometimes think could never change. I read a talk on that a while back. its so wonderful that our Heavenly Father provides such amazing help. Help enough for any burden and more. He can comfort us more than enough. The things that matter to us matter to him. He understands our thoughts. He sees where we need change. He sees what we can do, and by his stripes we are healed. The reason why it sounds like my prayers are being answered is because it sounds like each of my family members are struggling. From each of the letters or emails I have recieved that i hear people are struggling, I also hear something about the gospel and how they are applying it into their lives. Joseph Smith said that "God calls us in our weakness" and this that we may be humble, and God's grace is sufficient for all who humble themselves before him. He can even make the weakest things about us become strong. This is something that i am working on right now. There are struggles that I have too. They are very hard, and I look forward to the time when I can look back and see what I have over come because of my savior. My life will then be a testimony for all to see that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God, our mediator, our friend our councilor, our brother. In a hymn i sang on sunday the song said that he loves us with a love that cannot end. Wow, he must love us so much. He loves everyone. His mecry is so wonderful. He has all knowledge and power. He even suffered for us. he suffered according to the flesh that he may know how to succor his people acording to their infirmities. Oh sweet the joy this sentence gives, I know that my redeemer lives. We may or may not see drastic changes in our lives all at once when we come unto him, but everything we think or do makes us who we are. Or in other words, we are the sum total of all of our thoughts and actions so far in our lives. And no matter how hard things become, he will not forsaken us. Our challenges will be for our experience and good. God is able to take the bad things and turn them into good things. I know its true.

Elder Kent Masulonis

Thursday, May 3, 2012

North Carolina Temple
April 8, 2012

April 8, 2012

Dear mom.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures I'm sending. This week was the first time I have been to the temple out in North Carolina. As for how I"m enjoying knightdale, things are deffinately looking up. We have schedualed several appointments with people that have some pretty good potential. One of the people I met was one of the examples of how hard life can be so I hope that we can help her. This last Saturday I had a special opportunity to spend some extra time with president Cotterell, but, its something that doesn't really happen very often so he told me to keep it on the DL. I'm not sure if he meant just within the mission, or in general so im going to keep my mouth shut about what happened just to be safe. But I can tell you this, it was really neat and I learned alot from it. It was a very unique experience.

I was on an exchange this week with my district leader (Elder Brewer) and we thought we would do something that we thought would be fun. We had heard that missionaries in the past had done this before, but niether of us had actually done it before. So we decided that night that we were going to drink some water that had epsom salt in it. I'm not sure what made us think that was a good idea, but we did it anyways. For your information, epsom salt is a laxative. So we filled up our cups and drank away, and let me tell you, if alcohol tastes anything close to what that did, I will NEVER have any. It may have possibly been the most disgusting things I have ever tasted in my life. If not in the top 10. So after our struggle of forcing down the rancid drink, we waited and talked for about an hour and a half. After that, we gained a personal testimony that drinking epsom salt water will surely clean out your system. I remember that one of us put it, "it brang the power of a raging bull to our intestines". Anyway, I wont go into much detail. What can i say mom? teen-aged boys can be pretty dumb sometimes.

April 2, 2012

In his letter to us this week Kent refers to conference:

In the talk, Pres. Eyring talked about "mountains" he says even though the climb is hard, the prize won is worth so much more than the price paid. It is well over worth it. I related that scripture to myself. Recently I have strongly desired for the gospel to go through me so that I can have a stronger testimony of Jesus Christ and of his atonement and over all just become more converted. I want to become more converted! I want it so bad. I want my weaknesses to become strengths. I want to have a deep love for all of gods children to be a large part of my very nature and personality. I know this is possible, but only through the atonement of Jesus Christ and through his mercy. Right now I wouldn't say that I am going through the hardest time of my life by any means, so I dont think that im climbing a mountain yet, but i am struggling. It's kinda weird actually. For one reason or another, all of our appointments have been canceled within the last two weeks. I havent counted all of them, but my companion has said that we have had 12 lessons canceled in a row. Believe it or not though, it has brought me closer to Christ. In my situation I have felt like I can either give up and not really try, or I can put my trust in God and put my shoulder to the wheel. I, WILL, NOT, GIVE UP. I KNOW that god knows my situation. I know that he loves me. I know that these things have strengthened me and my faith and testimony. I know that he lives.

I have also learned that one of the greatest expressions of pure love is sharing the gospel with others... especially those we love. heavenly father loves each and everyone of his children as you know, and like you (dad) told me before in a tender situation when i was at home, god has a way of making things, good and bad, work out for the eternal welfare of man. Or in other words, for good. Sometimes it makes me nervous to share the gospel with the ones i love.
Downed Branch !!
March 25, 2012

March 25. 2012

I'm not sure on how well you can see whats going on in the picture but its basically a picture of a big branch. The reason why I took a picture of this is because one day Elder Edwards and I were walking in an area around us, and all of the sudden we heard this loud noise. We looked over to where it was coming from and we saw this big ol branch fall right off the tree. I was so confused. It wasn't windy, lightning didn't strike it, Elder Edwards and I thought that since it rained the previous night the branch must have soaked up so much water that it became too heavy to stay on the tree. Looking back on it, that could have happened with any of the branches on the trees. I hope I dont get squashed. It kinda reminds me about temptation. More often then not, we do not give into temptation when it is boldly getting our attention, but rather the devil works by small and simple means, and others will he pacify and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: all is well in zion; yea zion prospereth, all is well---and thus the devil cheateth their souls , and leadeth them away CAREFULLY down to hell. When the branch broke, it was not because of a lightning strike or because of a strong wind, but because water had seeped into the branch slowly and CAREFULLY, until the branch had no choice but to give way and fall from the tree. Now often times it seems like because of the craftiness of the devil, that we are being beat upon by strong winds, yea by his shafts in the wirlwinds. But we are promised that if we build our foundation upon the rock of our redeemer who is Jesus Christ, we cannot fall. I remember one time when I was really young when i was afraid of the dark, that satan could only bite at our heels. But because he doesn't have a body, thats about all he can do. And especially when we have the lords help and when we repent and rely on him, we are able to crush any temptation or hardship. Again this power is only found when we access the atonement of Christ and convert ourselves and be healed by his great mercy and power. All things are possible between two people as long as one of them is god. "fear not i am with thee oh be not dismayed for I am thy god and will still give thee aid. I'll strengthen thee, help the and cause thee to STAND, upheld by my righteous omnipotent hand."

Thursday, March 15, 2012

March 12, 2012

Well, there has been a couple of new things that are happening, like transfers and such, so lets start there. mM new companions name is Elder Edwards. He is from Draper Utah. He is the oldest of 4 children. He has 4 younger sisters. He has been out for about 15 months, and feels like he is about to die. (die in missionary terms is going home.) He isnt trunkie yet, but he is deffinately a different compaion thats for sure. If anything, I'm just glad that we dont have any real tension between each other. I will just have to send some video clips or something to show what he is like. He isnt bad or anything, he is just much more different than Elder Johnson. It's difficult for me to describe. I suppose that all my companions will be realatively different, but Elder Edwards is very unique. alright, so, now my area. I am serving in the Knightdale area. Being here is tripping me out. Knightdale is right next to Raleigh, infact, some of our area goes into Raleigh. The reason why Knightdale is tripping me out is because our district meets at the Raleigh stake center, and I have found out that Johnathan lives just a few blocks away from the stake center. I want to ask President Cotterell about what I am allowed to do and what I should do. Johnathan lives just outside of the borders of my area!!! I will let you know on how things go concerning meeting with Johnathan.

As for getting slammed by day light saving, I know how you feel. The church that I am attending is also at 9am. However, our bishop wanted us to be there early for some meetings, so we had to be there around 7am. In order to get to the church at 7 we have to get up and travel which takes about an hour. So that puts us waking up at 6. Take daylight saving in, and we are really waking up at 5. Yikes. But I made it through the day without complaining or sleeping.

When I first came into the area, there was only 1 person who we were teaching, and even then, he isn't that solid. It has been difficult to find new people to teach, but I have truely seen that our witness (or our finding) comes after the trail of our faith. For instance: 2 days ago, we were trying to see a few people that were in the area book who were formers and potential investigators. In the past, this has been the main source of our finding. We would usually use the principal of proximity which our mission president has counciled us to use. The principal of proximity (or POP) means that we will try to meet some people that we feel we should visit, and then we knock on some of the doors around (usually not more than 5-6) But anyway, we were doing what we normally did, and we saw that we accidentally didnt plan as well as we could have. We were left on our bikes with nothing left to do. This has never happened to me before, and my senior companion didnt seem to know what to do either, or really be motivated to do anything. But this was what I think was the trail of my faith. I didnt know what else to do to fufill my purpose as a missionary at the time and we were being rejected left and right. Nothing seemed to be working right. Even though I didnt have any direction really, we started to go more on the tracting side of finding others rather than POP side. In my heart I sincerly pleaded with my father in heaven saying, " I dont know what else to do, I'm trying my best, plaese help me." and within the next few doors, someone accepted us in and listened to our message and we had a great discussion. We have another appointment with him later on. It's so interesting to me how the lords work goes along. It's really a testimony to me that it really is the lords work, he is just letting me be a part of it.

Love Elder Masulonis

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Feb 29, 2012

This a humorous thing Kent wrote about in one of his letters.

One night I was especially tired and fell right to sleep once I got to bed.  Evidently I was snoring because I remember that at one moment I was asleep and then the very next I was awake.  I was confused at why I was awake, and just like how dad talks half asleep half worried, I unknowingly asked Elder Johnson what was happening.  After asking him several times and after coming to my senses he said, "I'll tell you one last time, but you have to listen!" I woke up to my senses, he told me that he hit me with a pillow so I would stop snoring.  He laughed at my reaction.  After both of us realized what happened and how things happend, we both laughed uncontrollably. (Missionary giggles?)  I'm not sure on how much sense this makes but we were in the sage where everything was way funny because we were so tired.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Feb 20, 2012

The following are excerpts from a letter we received in the mail from Kent. There are personal things he writes to individuals in our family, and answers to questions that we have asked him, so I don't post his entire letters word for word.  We are so proud of him and love to see him happily serving and growing.

Something that I have learned is that because the Lord Loves us so much, the things that are important to us, are important to him.  Now this doesn't mean that all our desires will come true, but again, all things are possible with God on our side.  Something that has stood out to me recently on this subject is that the Lord will help us but not do everything for us. 
Right now we are teaching a few people.  But one of them I'm thinking might get baptized.  I'm kinda nervous though.  He baptism date is in April and transfer meeting is coming up.  And I'm not sure if I will be able to baptize him or even see him get baptized.  This is particularly distressing to me because I have bee the only missionary who has consistently taught him.  I feel connected to him because I found him and have taught him and seen him grow.  We will see what happens.  His name is Otto.
Kent also wrote other things but adds: "sorry if this letter seems jumbled, I'm as the beach right now.  Don't worry I'm not swimming or anything.  It's just easy to get distracted by the sound of the waves and the warm weather and all the beauty:)"

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Feb 5, 2012

Mom, I love how it doesnt really matter what is going on around you in life you are able to think of things in an eternal perspective. You are able to look forward with optomism. You are a great example to me. I love you. And about being lectured, I dont care, in fact I kinda like it. I know that you are much smarter than me and have much more experience than me, and when you tell me the things that I need to do, you are fullfilling your responsability as a parent, and also in a way, showing your love for me. Which reminds me of something that stood out to me yesterday in fast and testimony meeting. One of the young women got up and shared her experiance of getting her patriarchal blessing. She said it was one of the more powerfull spiritual experiances in her life time. After the blessing was given, her dad recognized that she was feeling the spirit strongly and said to her, "now do you understand why I'm so hard on you? Because I want the best for you?" It touched me. Not her experiance, but the words that her dad said. I know that my heavenly father loves me, but this was an expression of love to me through the holy spirit. It was really easy for this to be applied to me and my heavenly father. I could see him saying the same thing when I meet him again. "now do you understand that I'm so hard on you, because I want the best for you?"

I'm not sure if I have told you about my new companion yet, but he is great, and a great example to me. He has expresed his love to me, he has been teaching me many things. Not by actually sitting down with me and directly telling me, but by what he does and how he does it. He is my best companion. I'm not sure if he knows it or not, but he has taught me that unfortunately, it becomes easier to not show your love from day to day for someone you know well and love deeply. And I have seen the importance of continued expressions of love. Without them, we single ourselves and become self centered and difficulties arise. I have learned the importance of unique, planned, acts of thoughtfull love and service. He has taught me a pricipal form preach my gospel very well that when we are focused on others more than ourselves, we benefit more than if we focused on ourselves. Well, I only have a little bit of time left, but I want you to know that I love you and I pray for you often. I hope that the things that I do will be pleasing to my father in heaven.

Love Elder Masulonis.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

January 30, 2012

Dear Mom,
I have new companion. I love him so much. His name is Elder Johnson. He has been out for 20 months and is about to go home. He is amazing. Im not sure if i wrote this in last weeks letter or not, it was one of the more eventful things that happened to me. Last preparation day we were playing basketball and something happened that made it easy for my to react instead of think and act. I said a sarcastic thing to Elder Loftin, and mind you that Elder Loftin is much stronger than I am. Elder Loftin kinda flipped. He grabbed me by the shirt with his fists and pushed me close to the wall and he started forcibly talking at me with a loud hard voice. I didnt really take offense, because I thought about what was happening and stopped my reacting. It wasn't a very good experience because some of the members and an investigator was there and they were a little shocked that a missionary would do something like that. At that point we weren't representing the Lord. afterward we talked about it and forgave each other. Elder Johnson my followup trainer is my best companion so far. He is loving and filled with the spirit. He is helping me be the best I can be. I am loving him. We are friends. And not only that, we are doing allot better in the missionary work also. He is teaching me allot in his example. He is an answer to a prayer. I know that God hears my prayers, no matter how significant they are. I am very grateful for the experiences I am getting. I am nourishing a seed of being less self centered and more focused on others, especially our investigators. And that mind set has seemed to be helping me more than focusing on what I think is best. No matter what we think, God knows more and knows best. He has an eternal perspective. His is infinitely loving and compassionate. I love him. When we rely more on him and focus on others more than ourselves, God is pleased and we are then blessed for our efforts which are then magnified by him.

Love Elder Masulonis

Thursday, January 19, 2012

January 16, 2012

I haven't gotten home sick my entire mission and I'm not sure if I will, but I'll tell you if I do. We played tennis this morning and I aced a few serves.

So Daniel Becks baptism was great! President Crenshaw actually spoke at the baptism. With Daniel its kinda funny/ironic. He has overcame so much to get baptized. Everything from smoking and drinking ice tea, to just reading his scriptures and coming to church. But the funny/ ironic thing is, now that he has been taught and baptized, he wants to move to knoxville tennessee some time soon.

While I've been out here, I have seen something really neat with president Crenshaw. (I call him president because he just became the new elders quorum president last week.) One day, he was coming back home on a motorcycle and by and by he ended up crashing. He wasn't killed or anything, but he was beat up pretty bad. He had road rash pretty bad. Within the next day or two he got a blessing so that he could heal quickly and well. It was important that he got better soon because he basically flips / re-does houses, and in the condition he was in, he couldn't really do a lot of the work he usually did very well. Through his endurance and faith, he was healed and he was able to do his job. Within the past week or two, I've been reminded and learned more that sometimes the reason why we go through really hard things is so we will rely on Christ more. Hard times are learning opportunities. I saw a little girl crying because her feelings were hurt by someone and i thought, " grow up." This is not how our father thinks of us when we go through difficulties and struggles. He loves us. He knows us. He sent his son to live and die for us. He suffered pains and sicknesses of every kind. Surely he was a man aquatinted with grief. He suffered for us so that he would be able to know how to succor his people the best. He doesn't look at us and say " grow up." He KNOWS. He understands. He wants to help us grow. The things that we find of importance are also important to him and the good news is that he provides us with help. If we choose to humble ourselves before him and having faith in him, by reading our scriptures, by praying, by fasting, by going to church, by having faith, by having hope, by living like his son,and by helping others on their way, I know that he will help us. We are in every way, imperfect. This world and life is a time given so that we can become perfectED. So that we can then someday live with our heavenly father. To be able to have him say to us... well done my child. We will know that we messed up alot, but that we also ended up following the path he has provided for us, and thats what really matters.

I really hope that you guys know back at home that I love you and I hope the best for you. I hope that through life we can all rely more upon Jesus Christ who is the only way in order to get to God and happiness and relief. I know that he is the way and the light. I love him and I'm trying my best.

- LOVE Elder Masulonis