Monday, December 27, 2010

What A Way To Celebrate Christmas!

     It was so great to talk to you and the fam on Christmas!

Brock standing in a December rain storm.
 It most definitely was the best gift I could ask for, even though I could not be there with you!

The Vaughn family at an earlier baptism when three
of the children were baptized.  The rest of the familly
was baptized Christmas Eve!
     The Vaughns' baptism was really cool!

I woke up Christmas Eve knowing I was finally going to help bring an entire family of 8 into the Kingdom of God!

     It was a very spiritual experience because I am so close to the family. They are very nice, kind, and loving, and as we have looked out for them they too have looked out for us! :) We didn't have a dinner on Christmas so they fed us! :) We are really close to that family and it was really cool to give them the most important and special gift of all for Christmas! :) The start of the new fresh road to eternal life! :)

     Dad, thanks for all you do! It means the world to me and I am so grateful for you. I wish you a happy new year and an amazing week! Enjoy the snow and all the blessings you have.:) I love you so much and can't wait to see you guys again!
Love you dad!
Elder Big Bird! :)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

White Christmas In Oregon!

The Vaughn family a few weeks ago.  Four members of
the family were baptized on Christmas Eve.  Three of the
the children were baptized earlier.
     It turned out to be a white Christmas in Oregon afterall!  There wasn't any snow on the ground, but there were four members of the Vaughn family dressed in white who entered the waters of baptism on Christmas Eve.

 What a great blessing to get that news from Brock when he called us on Christmas day.

On the phone with
Brock Christmas morning.
     We were able to talk with Brock for nearly 2 1/2 hours.  It was great to catch up on the people he's teaching, the missionaries in his zone and district, and the fact that he still doesn't have a heated apartment for going on a month now.  It was hard to hang up the phone knowing we have to wait until Mother's Day before we can talk again.  We are so grateful for the work Brock is doing and how he has touched so many lives in Oregon!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I'm Dreaming Of A Rainless Christmas!

Elder Bird and Elder Logan take a break from their bike ride in the rain to wish us all a Merry Christmas!

Let It Rain, Let It Rain...Merry Christmas! from Ron Bird on Vimeo.

Led By The Spirit. Right Place. Right Time!

Elder Kirkham on the split.  Notice, as usual,
the rain on the car's windows.
     Tuesday night to Wednesday night we went on exchanges.  It was Elder Kirkham and me. It was fun!  We taught some sick lessons and met some way tight people.

     We met one guy named Jerry Hansen!  So sad.  He got ex-communicated from the church a long time ago.  He told us, "I hated the church!" We had happened to stop by and this is how he greeted us:  "Oh my gosh!  I have been praying for you guys to come over!"  Here we are at his doorstep. He lets us in and tells us the most depressing stories ever.  One was about his wife.  She died a year and a half ago. He was crying the whole time he told his story. "Literally a part of me died that day!"  By that time time I just wanted to stand up and give this guy a hug!  I was like bawling my eyes out. I felt so bad and he just lives all alone!  
     He told us how he found his faith in Christ which became evident to him as he took his wife's ashes to the beach and spread them early in one morning.  He looked up and saw this really bright star.  It touched hims so deeply and he had never seen a star so bright.  So he went home and started to read the Bible! He told us how much he had hated the church and hated religion.  But he was reading the last chapter in Revelations that makes reference to the Lord who will become a bright morning star to the north.  He said Jesus was looking out for him that night! He gave me comfort!
     Jerry told us he started looking around at other churches and did a lot of searching and praying and he said all of them were cool.  But they were missing something!  The only church in town he hadn't been to was the LDS Church because he didn't want to go back.  But then all these little answers and signs started to pop up from the LDS Church and he was prompted that he needed to go back.  We, he says, are one of those signs! He did come to church yesterday and came up to us afterwards and told us, "This is the true church. I have no doubt in my mind! What do I need to do to get baptized?" I was like, WOW!  What a testimony builder. I enjoyed it, plus he took us out for pizza on Saturday.  He is such a nice guy! :)

     Friday night was our Christmas party.  It was fun! Nice to not have to work and just sit and enjoy some things for awhile!

Elder Bird and Elder Johnson stop by the Vaughns
on P-Day.  Elder Johnson has since been transferred
and unfortunately will miss the baptisms.
     This weekend we have 6 baptisms scheduled.
  The rest of the Vaughns! Yes, It's happening finally! They have had their interviews and everything has been cleared and the date and time is set! 6 pm! Yeah!  Saturday! Along with Caley! It's gonna be sick!

Can't wait! 12 days till I can call you guys! :)
Love, Brock!

'Tis The Season In Oregon!

Elder Bird in the holiday spirit in Albany, Oregon.
  It is weird that Christmas is right around the corner! :)

Brock next to his tree and presents from home.

     As for what's going on here? We set two dates! One with Devin, and one with Areilla! They are African American and way sick! We hope to get them baptized on the 18th.  As for other investigators, the Vaughns should get baptized this weekend or the next.  I am not holding my breath, but we are really working hard! So it's all good. 
The Vaughn family.  Elders Bird and Johnson have already
baptized three of the children: Angel, Venessa and Ricky.

     Caley is super excited to get baptized! I don't think I have met someone so primed for the commitment. It's been a spiritual week, even though no good stories.  No funny things!

     We have started playing basketball every Tuesday and Thursday with investigators at the stake center. And it works!  So many referrals and new people come who want to be taught.  I am happy I found something that brings the crowd to us to get some work going, instead of walking around in the rain having people shut the door in our face or say bad stuff to us on the street! Hahaha!

Football Talk!  (Oregon and Oregon State played in Corvallis with the Ducks ranked number 1)
     Oh yes,  I knew about that! The whole town was going crazy and the rivalry game was huge here.  The entire state shut down! It was funny because we went tracting during some of the game and every house had the game on.  It was like we didn't even miss any of the game except for when we had appoinments! :) Haha!
Another bit of Oregon scenery.  A nice billboard for the missionaries!
     Tomorrow we meet with president for interviews!  I look forward to his advice to help make me a better, more spiritual missionary! Can't wait to talk to you on Christmas! :)

    Your big boy! :)