Monday, May 30, 2016

more baptisms, YSA, and the ZL life

Holy crap...this week has been, by far....THE BUSIEST, CRAZIEST WEEK OF MY LIFE....
and I absolutely love it :):) 

To start off, we had a baptism on Saturday, which was SICK!  Eric is awesome, he's had a crazy conversion story, and I was super lucky to be able to get to know him and see him baptized last week! 

To summarize the past week....man what to even say...I think I ate dinner a total of 2 times last week...and maybe 5 lunches...life is just SO busy now, it's nuts!  We've gotta go to everyone's district meetings, plus all these other meetings, report everyone's numbers, and still meet with all the SICK YSA peeps!  speaking of which, I freaking love YSA...it's so sick!!  It's crazy, Hamilton has around 600,000 people in it, so it's like HUGE and there's like 3 universities either in or around it, so it's chuck full of YSA.  So we basically just walk around downtown Hamilton and talk with all the college students and teach them about the restored truths Jesus Christ revealed to Joseph Smith :) It's pretty sweet :):):)  I love it!!! 

We basically cover from Hamilton to Burlington down to Niagara Falls...so I get to go down there sometimes, which warms my heart :)  That was my first area, and I loved it, so I'll be able to go on exchanges with the elders down there, and visit all the recent converts down there :) 

What can I say?? :)  Life's good :):) 

I want to share my testimony of the Love of the Savior Jesus Christ for us all.  He loves us so deeply...and completely.  His knowledge of our character and weaknesses is perfect.  He knows everything...yet in His divine love and compassion, He extends His hand towards us unfailing.  His love has the power to overcome ALL hurts, all broken hearts, all wounds and all scars.  He has already overcome it.  He knows it, He LIVED it....on His knees, in the garden...for me.  And for you.  His ability to heal our hearts is perfect.  Whether or not that happens is dependent upon our choices.  The Savior states "Draw near unto me, and I will draw near unto you."  His request is humble and simple.  Turn to Him, come unto Him, draw near unto Him.  And He will encircle us with His loving arms.  I have felt that in a very real way in my own personal life.  And I have had the blessing and pleasure to see that happen for those people I've taught on my mission.  He has the power to overcome ANY and ALL tragedy, sin, or mistake.  He has promised us that "I will not forsake thee".  He is always near.  As we turn to Him, as we follow Him, and strive to draw closer to Him, He will heal, and forgive, and lift up, and overcome anything we are struggling with.  He loves me.  This I know.  He loves each of you, and all His children.  I know this to be true.  The Holy Ghost can reveal these truths to you in your heart, as you prayerfully seek to understand and feel the Saviors love for each of you.  Study the scriptures, they will teach you of the fullness of His love.  Read from the talks of the prophets and apostles.  They will expound that scripture, and speak peace to your heart.  Pray for understanding, and it will come.  I testify that the Savior lives.  I know Him, and love Him.  He is coming. 
I love each and every one of you :)  God bless :)

 
Elder Bybee

"The best is yet to come"

Saturday, May 21, 2016

ummm...transferred...again...

Well folks...umm...after unpacking literally ALLLLL my stuff...I now get to pack up...again...3 days later...

Buttt...I'm heading back to Niagara Falls to work in YSA!!!!  Super stoked, not gonna lie, cuz I LOVED the St. Davids ward.  I'll be working about an hour away, but I'll get to go down there and visit for exchanges and things with the elders down there!  All in all, it was a super humbling transfer call for me, definitely feeling pretty overwhelmed with everything, but just trying to put my trust in the Lord!  With that being said, we were blessed to see Liz and Dave baptized this week!!!  Ahh the spirit was so strong, it was just awesome.  I know this work is divinely inspired.  Without a doubt.  this church is true, and Jesus Christ leads it today through a modern day prophet.  You can gain a witness that President Thomas S. Monson is the prophet on the earth today called by God to speak the words He needs him to say.  As you prayerfully study his words, pray about his calling, and prayerfully and sincerely ask God if he is God's mouthpiece on the earth today, the Holy Ghost will testify that he is indeed called of God.  The Savior Jesus Christ lives.  We are his representatives on earth, not just missionaries, but all members of this divine church.  We can join with the prophet Mormon, in saying,

"Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
I have been called of Him
to declare His word
among His people,
that they might have everlasting life."

I know that this gospel is true.  Life is short, so read the Book of Mormon.  It'll teach you everything you need to know about life, and what comes after.  The most important thing anyone could ever do is preach the gospel.  I challenge each of you to seek out someone today, who needs this message.  If you don't know anyone, Make a new friend!  We have been given this glorious gospel in it's restored form.  What we don't share, we lose.  Find someone who could use a message, and then pray for inspiration to know how to share it.  I promise you, inspiration will come.  I testify this is true.  I know that the Savior lives.  He loves you.  He loves all of us.  He is risen, and He will come again.  

I love you all:)


--
Elder Bybee

"The best is yet to come"
(Cale was called as Zone leader Friday night. That is what he was referring to in the beginning of his letter. I know he doesn't like attention for stuff like that and so he chooses not to come out and boldly say it, but rather serves humbly and quietly in the positions he has been called to. He inspires me every week.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Goodbye St. Thomas

So.......I have an announcement to make....as of Tuesday, May 17th....I will be leaving St. Thomas...

I got a call on Friday, and have been asked to work in the Tillsonburg branch outside of St. Thomas with Elder Allred, as his companion is returning home this week.  I was super heartbroken to be leaving St. Thomas to be honest....but excited for the prospective success we will see in Tillsonburg!  The branch desperately needs baptisms, and so it's an honour to be able to go serve there, and give the Lord my all in helping those people in Tillsonburg come unto Christ, and receive the blessings of baptism.  I have absolute faith that we will continue to see the results of obedience and faith in Tillsonburg as we strive to be exactly obedient and chose to believe the Lord will put people in our path who are willing to follow the example of Jesus Christ.  I know that He is with us, and will provide us with the success that He has promised us through His servant, President Clayton.  

That being said, this week has been awesome!!!  We continue to see so many people keeping commitments and attending church, it is such a blessing to be a part of these people's progression towards the eternal gift of baptism into His church.  I testify that this church is His church, and that it is only through the church He was re-established on the earth that we can receive the blessings of true and complete forgiveness that Jesus Christ offers us.  He is the way, the truth and the light.  Those who come unto Him, and follow His example, will be blessed with eternal life, the greatest gift our Father in Heaven can ever give us.  

It has been a blessing to work with the people here.  I feel so blessed and humbled, as I've shared my life experiences with others, and helped them along the path of eternal life.  This work is truly inspired by God.  He leads this work today, through His son, Jesus Christ.  He speaks to today's Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson.  I testify the Savior lives.  He loves us and knows us.  He has been through everything for us and with us, so He can know how to succor us and give us comfort.  He is with us.  The Savior has promised that "where 2 or 3 are gathered in my name, there will I be also."  I have felt the fulfillment of that promise in the lessons we have taught this week.  His promises to us in the scriptures are true, and He keeps them still today.  His love is unfailing.  I testify those of our dear friends and family on the other side are closer and nearer to us than we think.  

The Savior promises us "Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you."  As we strive to draw closer to our beloved Savior, even Jesus Christ, He will be near us, even with us always.  While He cannot be everywhere at once, we can feel His Presence through the Holy Ghost.  I testify all that is unfair and unjust about this life will be made up.  He has not forgotten us, even those who may no longer be with us on the straight and narrow path.  The Lord knows His sheep.  He is searching after each and every one of His sheep who are lost.  He is with them, and He will bring them safely home, if they choose to let Him.  His hand is stretched out still.  I know these things to be true, and testify as a witness and representative of Jesus Christ, that they are true and factual spiritual truths.  

I love you all:):)  

--
Elder Bybee

"The best is yet to come"
 
just casual pics of the boys
 




 
 
yo, check out this Maclaren stroller...not quite as nice as the car, but hey...it's pretty dang close







diggin a 6 foot hole...don't ask why..;)




yep..that's a dodge viper.  I think I drooled on the steering wheel.  oh well
 
 
 
the viper engine...think I drooled on the pistons too..




more hole digging.


posting up.


having a hot chocolate and donut break
 
 
guns
 




 
 


 
 

 
Pictures by Elder Johnson...he does photography
 


 
Waiting for my prince... ;)
 

Monday, May 9, 2016

WE HAVE A SON!:)

Man, so big news!!  Tuesday we got a call, and what do you know??!  We're having a son!!  Elder Johnson got here from Calgary, Alberta on Thursday, and so President asked us to train him until he gets to the MTC.  Yep...that's right...hasn't even been to the MTC!  He's a stud though, the guy's an animal!  I remember how I was in the MTC, and this guy is KILLING IT!!!  He's gonna be a great missionary.  He was actually called to the Czech Slovak mission, but due to his passport and visa issues, he'll be serving here in St. Thomas until he gets things figured out!  Which should be in like July!  So it's been sick serving in a tripanionship!  Life's good :) :)

This week we were blessed with SOOO many miracles.  Chief among them would be an experience we had with 2 of our investigators getting baptized next week!  So we were planning on getting them married so things could progress with baptism.  however, complications arose that would prevent them from getting married before their baptismal date.  So we encouraged them to talk to the bishop and that night i knelt down and prayed for another miracle...

Sunday morning comes, and they come up to me and tell me that they're going to stop living together so they can get baptized next week, because it's more important for them to be baptized..

It was just soooo humbling to see the changes they've made in their lives, and the depth of the Spirit that they're feeling as they've grown closer to the Lord.  They truly have come to understand what it means to trust in the Lord and to put Him first, and they're seeing an outpouring of the Spirit that is changing their lives so much for the better.  Truly I love this work, and I love St. Thomas.  These people are so prepared...and willing to come unto Christ!  I love it and I love being a missionary :) :) :)  

I can honestly testify this work is divinely inspired...there is NO way the Church would see as much success in missionary work as it does unless this work was instituted by Divine Authority.  I testify that it was, and that it continues to be led by our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ.  He is all that He was sent to be, and more.  He lives, Brothers and Sisters.  I am a living witness that He does live, and I, as have many others, have been called to declare those unalterable truths here in the blessed land of Canada.  It is truly a beautiful land...one filled with many people humbly seeking the truth. 
I testify that Joseph Smith was a prophet called of God.  His divine mission was commissioned by Jesus Christ Himself.  He appeared to the boy prophet, and revealed through him the simple and sweet truths of the restored gospel; that families are forever, that baptism is essential and possible for all willing to humble themselves before the Savior, that the priesthood was and is restored through that young Joseph Smith, and that because of Christ...all can make it back to the presence of the Father.  I testify these things to be true!

I LOVE YOU ALL!! :)


--
Elder Bybee

Straight Outta' St. Thomasss
just chilling like villains ;)  


at the "mansion" with the AP's and Zone Leaders!  it's madness in there...

Monday, May 2, 2016

Blessed Life in the Blessed Land

You ever felt pure joy?  I'm not taking about getting married having children kind of joy...I'm talking about pure joy ;)  

The joy of SEEING PEOPLE WALK INTO CHURCH!!!!  AHH man it's the best!!!  I just freaking love being a missionary, people!  We saw 6 people we're teaching come out to church this week, which was just phenomenal!  There was one person in particular who we weren't sure if she was gonna make it, but we prayed super hard, and things fell into place!  She's doing SO well, and it's been a blessing to work with her, she is growing and learning so much, and especially given her current situation, has such faith in the gospel and the Book of Mormon.  Ahh I just love these people :) :)  There is no greater joy to be found than helping others unite with their families for eternity, through following the example of Jesus Christ and being baptized.  Life is just beautiful when you spend it focused on others :)  Things just fall into place, and you stop worrying about yourself, and suddenly it doesn't matter if your tired, or if you don't feel good, cuz you're feeling the Spirit and you feel impressed to invite someone to be baptized and BOOM!!!! June 23rd, it's happening, and it doesn't matter that 2 seconds ago you felt like you were gonna fall over, cuz bang bang, people getting baptized, and you can't really complain ;)

This week we saw a very touching and special miracle.  We had a couple investigators who had fallen on hard times...and unfortunately, due to living conditions, would have had to move out west before they could get baptized.  So Elder Fillmore and I got together, and said a mighty prayer, and asked the Lord that if it be His will, He would provide a way for them to stay here in St. Thomas until they could get baptized.  That night we had dinner with a member and she asked about how our investigators were doing.  We mentioned that we were pretty bummed that those two investigators would be moving out of town the next day...she stopped, and looked at us and said "Well why don't they just stay here until they figure things out."

*Jaws instantly hit floor and refuse to function normally*

IT WAS INSANE MAN!!!  Like I have never seen that quick of an answer to prayer, and in such a miraculous way.  We weren't even aware that she was willing to do that, we were just bummed that things hadn't worked out, and then BOOM!  The Lord comes in and Slam Dunks a miracle right on our plate!  It was just SOOO sick!!  

I love St. Thomas :)

So now, we're getting them married, and they're getting baptized this month :)  
"Ask and ye shall receive."

I testify that scripture is true...

Lately I've really just been trying to go out and give each day my all...I'm feeling more and more how limited my time is here in St. Thomas...really like I get super stoked and everything...but these people...I just love them...I've read and reread the story of Ammon, desiring to remain with the people of King Lamoni...I feel very much like him in that regard...because I truly do love these people so much.  They are so special and so full of light.  There are people here who SO desperately need the gospel, and so many people who are ready to accept it!  

I hope that somehow, Heavenly Father will let me stay here...but if not...there will ALWAYS be a special place in my heart here...these are good people...and I love them.  

I testify that our Savior, Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Redeemer of the world lives.  He died for me..and for each person on this earth.  He suffered the pains and afflictions of us all..He was wounded for our transgressions...He was bruised for our iniquities.  
Yet with His stripes, We are healed.  
 
I testify this to be true.  I have felt His divine hand in my life, and have experienced the matchless and indescribable healing power of the Atonement.  Jesus Christ is not just my Savior, and King.  He is my Friend.  I love Him.  I serve here in St. Thomas because I love Him.  And through Him, and seeing through His eyes, I have come to love in a small way, as He did.  He is my Master, and I choose to follow Him, because I love Him...and because He took the time to find me...and bring me back to Heavenly Father.  

I love you all.  Never forgot your Divine Nature...you each have individual worth.  To those who may have wandered astray of the path, 

remember.

You are worth saving, simply because you are loved.  By Him, and many others.  

I LOVE YOU!!
--
Elder Bybee

Straight Outta' St. Thomasss
 
 
bout to drop a fire mixtap rn

oh ya know, just posting up for some service opportunities




Elder Fillmore in action;)


just some casual pics
 


 
golfing day (aka Monday)  nuff said.  
 


the wall of shame...sports gets violent sometimes..
 
 
bill, bill, and more bill

 
posting up on Wellington, handing out those Books of Mormon
 
 
more service;)
 

posting up with a quite beautiful tie.
 
 
ps, don't hate on the hair...i'm getting it fixed this week...the lady forgot to cut the top and so it's super long...it's getting fixed today..