Monday, July 18, 2016

May 2, 2016 Good Morning America

Well. Mostly just Utah and Hampton Bays. You get the idea.

It's been another fabulous week (like all the weeks as a missionary) and things are going as well as ever in Montauk.

Alicia and Javier are getting married!!!! So excited!! That's kind of the big news so I guess that warrants a story. The first day Elder Peña came here to the Hamptons, we got a call from the St George visitors center, saying that they were chatting live with a lady who wanted a Book of Mormon brought to her by the name of Alicia. We called her right away and scheduled an appointment for the following day. We went over and discovered hat she's actually a member that's been inactive for many years. She was baptized In Mexico, and now has a family with Javier, who is Catholic. The first visit he did not sit down with us, but as he was about the house you could tell he was listening. Sunderland then , we've visited them six or seven times and they have come to church every single week despite being forty minutes away from the church! Yesterday in church Alicia gave the sweetest testimony and talked about how Javier was called into work on Sunday and he asked her if she wanted to go to church by herself and she said that it was his decision and he ended up coming to church! He is the humblest and sweetest father I've seen on the mission and has such good desires. At first when we talked with marriage he didn't want to because he had been in a previous relationship for years that suddenly broke off. But now they want to get married and we are planning the details! His baptism will soon follow.

That's the highlight family for today, although right now we have four investigators that are super solid.

I love being a missionary so much! I know that this work is true. I become more converted to this gospel every day. I know that obedience brings blessings. Disregarding commandments and creating our own gospel is easy - anyone can do it. But obedience, even when we don't understand why, to God's commandments is a continuous pattern both requiring and giving spiritual strength that changes people and saves people. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. I love him more than

anything in this world. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Sirrine

Doing a personality test as a district. Very enlightening....

This is Me

April 25, 2016 Our Beautiful Zone

An inside joke in the mission.  "Looking through the eyeglass of our missionary purpose" - President Reynolds
From photo of Journal page:

April 25
We just had a great Zone Training Meeting.  We personally asked President Reynolds to come, and got along with him, his wife and the mission nurse for free!

Our zone had an epic week and we had some good exchanges.  Elder Johnson is starving his trainee. Madre mia tenemos que hacer que coma.

Yesterday in church I was asked to lead the Priesthood lesson and the Sister’s investigator tried arguing doctrine.  It was truly a miracle that turned out well. Carmelo, our top investigator, has completely rejected such a bright light and strong witness and is now running around with women and stuff.  On the bright side, Liliana Tuba is doing super well and our new family in East Hampton is doing great.

Our beautiful zone.  Except Bermuda

Thursday, July 14, 2016

April 19, 2016 A Marvelous Work and a Wonder (& wrestling videos)

The Holgates are going home. That was sad
Elder Mckonckie

With a name like that you're just starting off on a good foot. Elder Mckonckie is one of the new missionaries in the district. Elder Johnson, my last companion, is his trainer and still in the district!
Kind of fun. Anyways he arrived here pretrained and one of he finest missionaries I know... They have just hit the ground running! I can't tell you how excited I am for this area, the Lord is stacking it with very mature and dedicated missionaries.

From photos of Journal pages...

April 9
Well it’s a few days into the new transfer.  Elder Johnson is still in the area but got moved to a different part to open a new pool.  So now we have an English companionship and a Spanish one.  And the sisters are still mixed.  My new companion is Elder Pena and he is awesome.  We get along and teach well!  He is very focused, and cares a lot about lifting the zone.

The Lord is expecting something that has never happened in this zone before.  Hampton Bays has 9 missionaries now.  3 of our district leaders are former zone leader, and President is stacking this zone.  I’ve never before been in such awe at the statement of D&C 4…truly as if the Lord is saying to us, “Behold! A marvelous work and a wonder is about to come forth…”

April 17
Its been a marvelous transfer so far.  Elder Pena and I are doing super well.  I love teaching with him because I don’t (get?) in trouble by my companion for being bold…
Went on Exchanges with the Terryville elders this week.  Elder Morris is incredible.  Elder Williams is big.  6’6” 360 pounds with a scholarship to play football at a division one university.  Elder Morris said his Texas pride needed a little humbling, so we had to roll around a bit after nightly planning.  He had wrestled in high school so was pretty confident.  Submitting him was fun.


April 11, 2016 Picture of the Week!

I can't tell you how much joy this picture brings my soul.

Monday, July 11, 2016

April 4, 2016 March journal pages and a letter

from photos of Journal pages

March 20

Today we had Stake Conference way in Plainview:  an hour and a half away.  Carmelo came and loved it!  It’s awesome how much he loves church.

Saw Elder Holgate there, and he pulled me aside in an unusual manner.  It was a tender mercy from the Lord that I must never forget.  “ I don’t know you, “ he said, “But whoever taught you did it right”.  What he said at continuation stunned me.  I don’t know him any better than he knows me.  (we met at Zone Training Meeting), but from what I hear from other missionaries and what I feel from his Spirit, I revere him and his wife.  They were certainly some of the noble and great ones.  The words he spoke to me were overwhelming and such a tender mercy to me right now.

March 22

Yesterday we went to the studio to record.  I felt an awful lot like Nephi marching into Jerusalem at night “not knowing beforehand the things which I should do.”  Generally that’s not how you produce albums you want to distribute all over America, but there was no other option.  Luanne and I had practiced a total of about four hours, enough for us to run through twenty different songs and see what style she was looking for.  Being adamant about not letting the project take away from the work, that’s all the time I could scrape up.  Walking into a recording studio with absolutely nothing composed is not a comfortable feeling, let me tell you.  Luanne is rich, but that’s still a lot of money on the line.  But we prayed and pressed forward, absolutely believing that this project was commanded of the Lord.

Luanne is a very inspired and led woman who spends a good portion of her life fasting (sometimes I wonder if she ever eats).  She says she’s felt inspired to record this album for a long time, but wanted the accompaniment to be piano and none of her music students were piano experts.  When I played a piano solo in sacrament meeting a few weeks ago, she said she felt a strong impression that I was supposed to be the pianist.  Since then we’ve had some pretty remarkable spiritual experiences confirming that this is inspired.  Many of the “less common” songs on the album are product of Luanne waking up in the night dreaming that song should be there.  One of them (“Each Life That Touches Ours For Good”), I felt impressed to add.  As I made the suggestion, Luanne said that title had been in her head the whole day, but she had never before heard the song.

Anyways, with a lot of faith we went in and I layed down the piano.  Right up front I told Nick (the studio recorder) we had to scrap the click-vocals Luanne had layed because the nature of the songs we were doing had way to much tempo variance when I play them.  So I was left then composing an arrangement for vocals that didn’t exist yet.  Luanne was right behind me singing in my ear, it was super ghetto.

All I can say is that the album isn’t going to be the best, but that everything on there is inspiration.  God blessed us with a miracle and abilities far beyond what I actually possess.  Therefore, despite its weakness, I know without a doubt that this project will touch some soul out there.

Elder Sirrine

Answers to parent questions:

Who is Elder Holgate?
Elder Holgate is a senior missionary in the Riverhead branch

Elder Martino said that the Hampton area is seeing some miracles right now.  Tell us about the work and what is happening there?
The work here is doing awesome. In the last transfer sacrament attendance has gone up 30-40%. Tomorrow is transfers. Elder Johnson is leaving. That was very kind of Elder Martino to write, he is an incredible man. He was a mission president in the next mission over from Danai.

 I read your journal entries.  I am a little lost on the Album.  It sounds cool... tell us more.  What is the album?  What is it for?  You say it is to distribute all over America?  Is this Luanne's personal project.  Tell me more. Is this "project" sanctioned by your leaders?
Yeah sorry didn't quite get to wifi for a while to explain. So the album.... Luanne is a music professional who wanted to record a hymn album. She's a singer and asked me to compose the music for it and play the piano. So yeah forgot to mention that but I will send you a CD when they come out. Just finished laying the piano tracks. She wants to sell the album but also provide it in this mission as a free tool. And yes the mission president is on board and excited to hear the music!

The Carcamo family. 7 weeks ago were inactive. Now they are the most solid members in the branch. They are here to stay.
Letter sent April 4th

Well I've been loving it here in Hamptons during this seven week transfer! The work has been transforming here. The Martinos (senior couple) are finally getting traction. They've been here since the start of the year and are incredible!! All senior couples: go on a mission for crying out loud. You have so much more power than we do. Seriously. Missionaries are important, but members are the key, and a senior couple plays the role of both.

Our zone is rocky. Very much a fixer upper but we are getting there. It's a large and wild thing but there's nothing wrong with a little challenge eh?

Elder Johnson is leaving tomorrow. He's spent a year in this area. A year! So with his knowledge and relationship with the people, things have really payed off this transfer! Church attendance is up, investigators are progressing (we might have some baptisms here soon) and the members are excited. Seven weeks ago the average attendance was 40-45. Now we are more like 55-60. One week we hit 80 with 17 investigators! So the greater part of church attendance has been less actives and investigators which is crazy.

I wish I could tell you all about the people and the miracles but that would just take all day and then some.  But to me the most important thing I want everyone to know is this: I know that this gospel is
true. I love the Lord. I love being a missionary. I love the scriptures. I know that the commandments are so loving. I love being a member of this church. I know it's lead by Jesus Christ and by true
and living prophets. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Sirrine

Because coconuts.

had to  change a bulb

March 28, 2016 Hullo! and a note from Martinos

Hey sorry for not writing at all, hopefully next week! But the work is going well and the church is true!

Elder Sirrine

March 29, 2016 note from Elder Martino

Dear Brother and Sister Sirrine,

Sister Martino and I are serving in the Hampton Bays Branch with your son, Elder Sirrine.  We are witnessing many miracles in this part of the vineyard.  He is a fantastic missionary exemplifying many Christ-like attributes.  He was very concerned that he had not written to you the last couple of weeks and asked if I would write to you this evening.  He did not want you to have to wait until next Monday to hear from him.  He has promised to write you next p-day.

It is an honor to be able to send you this short note.  Your son is well and enthusiastically doing the Lord's work.  You can be proud of him as he has totally consecrated all he has in building the kingdom of God.  In our previous mission, my wife and I had 630 missionaries during our three-year tenure and we would have enjoyed having all of our missionaries to be just like your son.

It is amazing to us to watch these young adults, both male and female, consecrate 18 months to two years of their lives in serving other people.  Your son is one of the Lord's army as these missionaries help prepare the world for the second coming of Christ.  Rest assured that your son is truly an instrument in the Lord's hands.

Elder and Sister Martino

March 17, 2016 No letter this week

Mar 10, 2016 no letter this week