Monday, July 25, 2016

Lessons I learned as a Hamilton Missionary

Alright folks, life lessons learned this week, that's for sure.  Life is Hamilton does that to ya I guess. 
Overall, things are decent though!  The Weeks just don't stop flying by, it's getting crazy...not down.  but anyway. 
This week has taught me a lot about my own personal weaknesses and challenges.  I mean, I knew I had a lot of them...what I didn't know was just HOW many, and how weak I really was in those areas.  I've learned a lot about responsibility, and stepping up to the plate.  Back home I had a habit of dodging things like that, and so it's been a great life lesson for me personally.  I do know now, that whom the Lord calls, He qualifies.  There just seems to be a whole lot of qualifying that needs to be done in my case;)  Hahaha, nah it hasn't all been bad!  We've really been able to help a lot of people out, and just serve those around us, including the missionaries.  I've learned a lot about charity and Christlike service.  I've come to understand that weaknesses are indeed blessings from the Lord.  We are blessed to recognize and understand that God calls the weak to do mighty works among His children.  Each recognized weakness humbles us, and allows the Lord to make something good out of something bad.  He is talented that way;) 
We all have opportunities to humble ourselves, rather than to be compelled to be humble.  I can testify from personal experience, that choosing Door #1 is better, trust me;)  These opportunities bring us closer to Him, as we put our lives in His hands, asking Him to make us into something better.  The most beautiful part of the Atonement in my opinion, is the striking fact that,

Because of Him,
we don't have to be who we've always been. 
I know this spiritual truth to be real and eternal.  Christ works in such a way, that the weak and humble become something more, through His grace and mercy.  He lifts us up, and builds us stronger.  We need not suppose that we will always be weak.  We are only truly weak when we abandon our God, in pursuit of something we deem to be better.  God in His love for us, has given us agency.  With that agency, He has given us a promise that He will grant unto us, according to our desires.  If we desire Him, we will find Him.  If we desire worldly pursuits and temporary pleasures, we can have those too.  This life, ultimately, is a time for us to decide what we desire most.  If we desire God, truly and completely, we will find Him.  That is the promise.  God is bound to keep His promises.  I know these things to be true. 
So, to relate these two truths together.  If we desire to try to correct our weaknesses on our own, that's exactly what we'll get.  If we think we can figure things out on our own, God will not impose His help upon us.  When we come to Him in humility, and ask Him to take something bad, something terrible, something broken...and make it better, He will!  Absolutely, irrevocably.  Every single time.  He is bound.  I know these things to be true. 
It is not bad to be weak.  We are never truly weak when we stand with God.
In the name of Jesus Christ amen.
Loves!

--
Elder Bybee

"The best is yet to come"
 
The buzzed head
 
  

 pizza night
 
 
service with a smile
 
 
 trying to juice up our watermelon.  didn't work...
 
 
The following are photos that an awesome YSA member sent me of Cale last week. She stated that him and his companion like to take selfies with her phone whenever they are visiting her and proceeded to send me 17 photos!!!! They are awesome! Enjoy! Thank you Emily Slatter!!!!











 











 

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Cleanse

Well, this week's been packed!  We had 3 exchanges this week, back to back.  I went to St. David's for the day and saw some more of my converts from the beginning of my mission.  Love that place.  Elder Cruz is a brand new missionary in our zone, and he's just awesome:) 
The next day we went up to Brampton for exchanges with the assistants.  Those are always such a learning experience for me personally.  The Spirit really is with those elders so much in helping President run the mission and guide it in the direction it needs to go.  I always learn a lot:):) 
After that, I took Elder Crye back to Hamilton for an exchange!  He's an awesome missionary as well, he knows sign language and is super smart!  He's a good guy. 
We've seen some miracles this week in the Lord supporting us in our righteous endeavors.  We have an apartment inspection tomorrow, and our apartment apparently hadn't been cleaned in a LONG time...so we cleaned it top to bottom.  Which was quite the experience.  7 black trash bags full of garbage...and we still have some stuff to go through, it's just ridiculous.  As the lord says...
"My house is a house of order."  Hahaha but we made sure to have fun doing it anyway:) 
We met some awesome people this week, people who really need the gospel, and are in a position to accept the message.  It's been so fulfilling to work with the YSA, I've really found that I see a lot of myself in these people as we meet them. 
Probably the most exciting thing this week has been in talking with our Recent Convert of about 3 weeks, Keevin, about a mission!!!:):)  Man I am seriously not worthy to have taught this guy, he is seriously like celestial.  2 days after he was baptized, he's asking us about how to go on a mission.  the gospel has literally changed him, it has been so humbling to watch.  The spirit is just always with that guy, it's SO awesome!!!  He started studying Preach My Gospel without us even telling him what it was or how to find it, he just found it somehow!!  The guy's just so awesome, and it's been so spiritually rewarding for me to be able to work with him.  That scripture in Alma that talks about "how great will be your joy" really has come to mean a lot to me.   We have 2 other recent converts working towards their papers as well, one will finish hers in 2 weeks here pretty soon, so I'm praying I get to stay to see it opened!!  Ahh, I love mission calls.  It makes me sad that I'll only ever have that experience once..
Overall, things are great:)  I love the Lord and love the mission:)  Wouldn't be anywhere else:):) 
I love you all!!
--
Elder Bybee

"The best is yet to come"
 
Elder Cruz and I
 

me sleeping during P-day
 
 
axe bombing the downtown elders...
 

Nose strips for comp unity
 
Curry...LOVE curry
 

homies
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Breaking news, Niagara Falls now resides in Elder Bybee's nose

Yep, so basically this week....hasn't been the greatest.  Only because I've spent 6 out of the 7 days blowing my nose...is it possible to blow your nose so hard it falls off?  Or to drown in snot?  These questions have been weighing on my soul this past week, so if someone could please provide me some insights, my eternal salvation would greatly appreciate it.  To illustrate, here is a picture of my current condition.
 
 

Yep...life's good in Hamilton.  

Now, despite being extremely sick and having watery eyes that make it look like your crying 24/7, this week's been pretty good!  Life's good, and things are going well!  We were able to set another baptismal date this week.  My new comp is a stud, he's super chill but really hard working, so that's been pretty cool to see!  We had a meeting with President Shields on Thursday that was just awesome, so much revelation!  It was so cool to see how quickly the mantle of leadership fell on his shoulders.  He just took it and ran with it.  He's got so much fire and it's just exciting to see where the mission will be a year from now!  

This week I saw small miracles, mostly in being sustained despite the constant flow of snot running out of my nose.   The Lord helps us out in the small ways, and I know He was helping me out this week, that's for sure.  Things have been super busy lately, but in a good way, so if I don't respond to all of your emails, I apologize..:/

Life's just been crazy...this week we'll have exchanges with the assistants again, and Zone Council tomorrow, so I'm praying I can control this snot problem long enough to get through it without embarrassing myself in front of the zone.  But hey, these things happen.  

It's been an opportunity this week, the Lord has stretched me in a lot of ways, I've been pretty humbled this week, and really come to understand what the Lord means when He says "I give unto men weakness, that they may be humble."  It's been a good lesson for me to learn, and to recognize that each opportunity to grow comes directly from the Lord as a gift.  Each experience we have in life is a gift from God, giving us chances to develop the qualities and Christ-like attributes we pray for.  I've come to learn that if you pray for Charity, the Lord is going to give you opportunities and situations to exercise charity.  We learn through experience.  That was the objective in coming to earth.  I know that humility is a strength, and will be a defining characteristic in our return to Heavenly Father one day.

I love you all!  Pray for my nose.

Elder Bybee

Monday, July 4, 2016

Staying and Slaying

Hey there everyone!!!  

Well, to start, transfer calls were yesterday, andddd I'm staying!!!!  Elder Ellis is going to be transferred, and I'll be getting Elder Bowler, and will be training him in his new assignment!!  I'm excited to see what the transfer brings, I know the Lord will continue to provide us with many miracles, according to our faith and obedience!!  

This week was filled with exchanges!  Tuesday was with the Burlington and Oakville North Elders, Thursday was with Stoney Creek, and Friday was with the Chinese elders!  taught my first lesson in Mandarin...which basically means I sit there and try to follow the Spirit while my companion teaches in mandarin, and translates for me.  It was pretty cool though honestly!  The Spirit is there in every lesson, no matter the language.  So that was pretty sweet!!!  

We had some unique opportunities to make an impact on a couple of Elders who were struggling lately.  It was interesting as we met with them, how the Spirit bore such powerful witness of the Saviors love.  It seems as if the Savior's love comes through even more powerfully when people need it most.  It was humbling to feel and be able to testify that indeed, The Savior loved them, no matter what, and they had people He needed them to baptize.  I know it's true.  

While doing personal study a couple days ago I came across this scripture in Moroni 8:16

Behold,
I speak with boldness, 
having authority from God;

and I fear not what man can do;
for perfect love casteth out all fear. 

This scripture spoke so strongly to me, because it was exactly what I needed to hear.  The scriptures allow Heavenly Father to talk to us, if we'll just listen to the holy ghost.  

I know that the Savior loves us.  One of my favorite hymns has been "Be Still, My Soul".  This hymn just speaks so strongly to me...The Lord is our Friend.  We each have crosses we have to bear.  Ones the Lord won't take from us.  These crosses are intended to refine us, to help us become more like Him.  He promises us that He will guide us, that He will remain with us, and will not forsake us.  He always keeps His promises.  I testify from personal experience of the change feeling the Savior's love can bring.  He is real.  He is here with us.  We can feel of His presence through the power of the Holy Ghost.  Because of Him, all can be made up.  There is always hope.  He lives today, so we too can live again.  We can be healed, we can be forgiven, we can be changed, and we can become like Him.  He will know us at the last day, because we've served Him.  I know these things to be true.  And testify in the name of our Redeemer and Friend, Jesus Christ, Amen.  

Loves!

-- 
Elder Bybee

"The best is yet to come"

an old friend:)  (pete)
 
 
Professor Bybee leading comp study
 
 
America...god bless it. 


making some donuts:)
 
 
Monday morning hikes:)
 

 
 
breakfast with Tallar and the boys!


what happens when the elders sleep overnight...
 
 
 a rolls Royce...cool stuff.


Dying missionaries