Monday, November 30, 2015

Last week of the Transfer :)

Man this week has been SOOO busy!!!  Preparing our area and getting everything in order has been a struggle, but we've done it!  We're ready for the Christmas season!:)  

Along with that is the new Christmas video that's out!  A Savior is Born is the name, and I'm OBSESSED with it!!  It's sooooo awesome and I'm so excited to be able to share that with everyone we come into contact with.  Christmas is the best time for missionary work, we're starting to see a lot of success!  The Christmas season is such a blessed time to be a missionary, and we're so excited to start sharing the message of Christmas!  I encourage you all to share that new christmas video on social media, it's really such a powerful missionary tool, so get out there and share it!!  Use the video in family home evenings, this video is inspired by President Nelson himself, and we've already seen the spirit working in the lives of those we've shared it with!!  Get out there and be missionaries yourselves!

This week we were supposed to see Devin enter the waters of baptism, but there were some set backs that we had to resolve...basically the outcome is because he's really turned his life around he just needs to continue to go to church, read, pray and keep his commitments for another 3 months and then the First Presidency will approve him being baptized!!  So a bit of a setback, but nothing major!  It will really build his faith and help him to improve his understanding of the gospel!  We're so excited!!  

This week I had my first run in with an investigator getting into Anti-Mormon material.  It was really difficult to see the focus shift so quickly from the spirit to "the facts".  However, we continued to just testify of the spirit, and what this is all really about.  We helped him to realize that no matter what the "facts" may say, or what people say, it's really between him and God if this is true.  He has literally a Million questions and has a machine gun kelly mouth, so he just fires them at us one after another.  It's really been difficult to keep focused on the lesson we felt inspired to share.  However, when we simply teach, and focus on the spirit, we've had more success!  It's been hard, but good!  I've really grown from it.  

Thing's are good here, I'm staying in St. Thomas another transfer, which is sweet!  I'm excited, big things are coming to St. Thomas!:)  

So yeah, that's been cool!  I love you all!  Have a great week!!:)  

Elder Bybee
Toronto Canada
Ofa Atu

Brother Knight...nuff said;)



Brother knight's dead finger that's getting chopped off..it's been there for 3 months...




Bagged milk..yep that's how milk comes here in Ontario;)



Ugly Christmas Sweater for the ward Christmas party:)
 
Canadian Money..no 1 dollar bills.  the 1 dollar coins are called Looney's and the 2 dollar coins are called Tooney's.  The bills are also plastic, and smell like maple syrup:)





Our Christmas decorations:):):)







We got into an accident...courtesy of Elder Carullo;)





Elder Olson and me looking G

 Elder Carullo bout to drop a fire album


 just too much swagger

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Life and Time's of Elder Bybee

Well hello there, it has been the CRAZIEST WEEK!  But I love it:):)  

So officially never been more busy in my entire life.  Being a companion to a district leader is like trying to keep up with Usain Bolt...you're always behind.  But I love it, being busy is a blessing if you look at it the right way haha;)

This week we were blessed to see Angel get baptized!!!  It was such an honor to have the opportunity to baptize her.  The spirit was so strong, and it was such a blessing to feel that confirmation that the work we are doing here matters, and what we do changes people's lives.  I know, however, that it is the Lord working through us, and in her personal life that got her to this spot.  She is our golden investigator!  She's got plans to serve a mission, and shares the gospel with EVERYONE.  It's just crazy, and we feel so blessed to be able to be a part of her walk with Christ.  It's very fulfilling to see the difference that we make.  Needless to say, it's been a good week!  

We also have a baptism next week on the 28th!!!  We're so pumped to see Devin enter the waters of baptism as well, he has had a long road in coming to Christ, but the blessings are very visibly seen in his life.  He has a great testimony, andddddddddd
He's Marrying a member this February!!  They have plans to get married in the temple as soon as they can, because he'll be a convert.  It's so amazing to see his personal testimony coming forth, and to see that he's really doing this for himself.  This week has just been full of miracles:)  

I've also recently discovered something that has quite literally changed my life.  You all ready?;)

Apple Pie with cheese...has seriously become the most heavenly dessert I think the Lord has ever blessed humanity with.  It's a canadian thing, and man may I just say,
It is Celestial material.  
Needless to say, many much apple pie making, with slabs of cheese to go with it when I get home hahaha:)  Good stuff.  

This Sunday was the Montreal Temple Rededication!  It was an amazing experience, especially because we got special permission to confirm Angel the same day of her baptism so she could attend the temple rededication broadcasted at our chapel.  The Spirit was so undeniably strong, and the speakers said things that I really needed to hear.  I went there with some questions, and things I've been struggling to accept and let go of, and they answered my questions almost right out of the gate.  As President Eyring, my FAVORITE apostle, gave a talk, he talked of ancestors.  As he talked, choking up like he usually does in some parts, he said a phrase that provoked a lot of tears and emotion for me personally.  

He said, "Those who are faithful to their temple covenants feel the support of ancestors long past, strengthening them through their personal trials."  

Right as he said that, the Spirit grew very strong, and I had the undeniable feeling come to my heart that my Great-Grandma Bybee was in that chapel, an extension of the temple, sitting beside me.  And that she understood what I was going through.  I felt the undeniable love of the Savior through her presence, as President Eyring testified of the power and healing that temples bring. It was such a touching and spiritual experience for me, and one that answered my prayer that I was not alone, that angels do minister unto me, and the love and Understanding that My Savior has for me, and the things I go through.  He is mindful of me, He knows me, and He walks these streets with me.  

Never before have I had such a connection to my ancestors as I did yesterday.  I am so grateful for them, for the times they've stood beside me and helped me to feel of my Savior's love.  I know they minister unto me, comfort and help me to feel the peace that comes from the Savior's love.  I know Heavenly Father answers my prayers.  He cares for me, and listens to my prayers said in dingy apartments, on the streets of Canada, and in the hours I most need him to be there.  He is there.  Jesus Christ lives, I know this is true.  I love you all.  Thank you for all the prayers on my behalf, I feel them daily.  I love you:)
Elder Bybee
Toronto Canada
Ofa Atu
 
 This is basically...a massive lifesize elephant that died in St. Thomas...don't ask why, I have no clue...





Angel's baptism pictures:)







Exchange days...some elders are a bit less dignified than others..exhibit A hahaha:)  (that's some strange Philipino drink, courtesy of my companion...no it's not alcoholic;)




The first snow fall:)


Da Boys;)
nuff said.



 Elder Olsen...nuff said;)


The death song of Elder Mangakahia(when someone dies in mission terms it means they go home.  So elder Mangakahia is now, officially...dead.)


More Elder Carullo, as Al Capone


 From Father to Son, the dopeness lives on;)  (another mission term, your trainer is your father.  I know...weird..)


 More Elder Carullo..doing..something..


 Pose for the camera


video

Elder Longson and Elder Landes, exchanges...


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Work's coming together

Man, this week has been so awesome!!!  I have honestly never been SO busy..like this week broke my threshold for tiredness.  We had 3 exchanges this week, and constantly running around, with just like the busiest schedule this week, things have been tough.  But so good:):)  It is so awesome being just so busy!!  I love it!!  I feel just like I'm really being productive in the Lord's kingdom, and that I'm doing my part in this part of the vineyard.  Me and Elder Carullo have just been running from appointment to appointment, doing our best and just giving our all to the Lord.  We have seen miracle after miracle, and it's really just been so awesome!!!  I have seriously found so much joy in the work here.  

There's a saying here in the mission.  A tired and obedient missionary is the happiest missionary.  I can definitely testify that that is true!!  I have never been happier than I am when I'm being obedient.  The joy you find in serving and helping others is multiplied by the Savior as we strive to help His children.  I know that it is when we are in the service of our fellow man, that we are only in the service of our God.  He has given us our gifts and abilities, as well as our weaknesses, so that we can help others.  The Lord, as 2 Nephi 2:2 states, will consecrate our afflictions for our gain.  He will take our trials, and build them into strengths.  So that in turn, we can help others.  It is comforting to know that I am striving and dedicating my life for these 2 years to a worthy cause.  Bishop told me that there is nothing like going to bed at night just dead tired, but knowing that your tired because you've been saving souls, and exercising all the abilities and skills you have to bring souls unto Christ.  

I just love being out here!!!  I love being a missionary, and I love the people here.  I love them.  They are here, and they are my people.  My family.  I want just the best for them, and my deepest desires are to help them to have what I have.  I know this is true.  I know this church is true, and by testifying each day of my Savior Jesus Christ, I make a difference.  Sometimes those differences aren't seen.  More often than not our actions are never fully understood by us.  But that's okay!  The most important conversion people experience is not when we are there talking.  It is when they humbly kneel and converse with their Father in Heaven, that the Spirit enters the room, and testifies of truth.  It's the Spirit that changes people, not us.  I have nothing to do with people's conversion.  I do not matter in the grand scheme of things.  I know that, and that's okay!  It's the Spirit, and the Savior Jesus Christ that changes people.  We are just the means by which He can work through us from time to time.  I am so grateful to be an instrument in the Lord's hands.  It's blessed me in so many ways.  I love being a missionary.  I love my Savior Jesus Christ.  I know He's there for me.  I love you all!!  Have a good week!!

Elder Bybee
Toronto Canada
Ofa Atu
Exchanges
looking fresh to death
on exchanges with Elder Blanscett

 with Angel!
Being Goofy!

Add caption

Monday, November 9, 2015

Tattoo's, Prophecy, and A great week :)

So this week has been super interesting for me!  We have two baptisms we're preparing for, so life's been pretty busy.  But I had an experience this week that was such a testimony builder to me.  

So, as most of you may know, I was dead set on getting a tattoo a while before I left on my mission.  However, I had some experiences that strengthened my testimony of keeping my body like a temple, and so I made the decision not to get a tattoo.  Around that same time, Jason (Anderson) had a dream that I was out on my mission, and I had made the decision to get a tattoo.  I was teaching an investigator who had a specific concern about tattoo's that was a make it or break it to get baptized.  Because I had made that decision, they chose not to accept the gospel at that time, and we lost that person as an investigator.  

One of our investigators getting baptized in the next couple weeks, has that exact concern.  I was so grateful to be able to share with her my testimony of what it means to keep our bodies sacred, and treat them like temples.  She has a tattoo, blue and purple hair, and a bunch of piercings.  So tattoo's and piercing's were a big concern for her, because they mean a lot to her, and hold a lot of meaning for her family and loved ones.  However, after we taught her that principle, she went home and prayed about it, and decided not to get any more tattoo's or piercings right now.  In fact, she took out a lot of her piercings, and has come to gain an even greater testimony of this gospel principle.  It was such a blessing to know a small reason for why God has asked us to obey his commandments.  Many times it's not about us, but about the greater picture and destiny our Father in Heaven has for us.  
Many times we will be tempted to ask why do we have to obey this commandment, or why does the Lord ask so much of us?  We can take heart and strength in the knowledge that it's not about us.  It's about how through us, the Lord can touch the lives of those around us, and help them to come unto Christ.  We each have our small guilty pleasures we indulge in from time to time.  Take a look at those, and even do an experiment for a day or two in trying to be perfectly obedient to the Lord's commandments.  I promise you, as a servant of the Lord, that you will see the blessings that will come, and the Lord will place someone in your path who you will be able to help bring unto Christ.  It may be in a small way, through a kind word or deed.  It may be in a big way, such as sharing your testimony, and referring to the missionaries.  I know the Lord will bless each of us with those opportunities to help souls receive healing and comfort.  We are here for a purpose, each of us.  When we come to understand that it is not about us, but how THROUGH us, Christ can bring others unto Him.  As we do this, we will come to find ourselves..questions we have about ourselves.  We will through rendering service unto others, receive healing and comfort for our personal lives.
 Matthew 16:25 states "Whosoever will lose his life for my sake, shall find it."  I know this is true.  As I have forgotten myself and went to work in the Lord's vineyard, I have found myself.  I have found out more about myself, learned how to be a better man, and received strengthened character.  I find that my views are risen to more important things, I seek to study the scriptures more, I cherish the words that are taught.  I still have so very long ways to go in becoming the missionary The Lord wants me to be, and a lifetime to become the man He intends me to be, but I take comfort in the small progression that comes each day from striving to lose ourselves in the work.  

I love you all!!  I feel your prayers daily, and count myself lucky to be a servant of the Lord, and to have friends and family like yourselves.  I love you all.  Have a good week!!



--
Elder Bybee
Toronto Canada
Ofa Atu
Cute babies, Elder Carullo, My new coat, darts as the pastime, etc;)