Michael: I feel like I prepared good. I did. I did read all the Book of Mormon, but now I am rereading it. I am on first Nephi. My preparation... I have read the Preach my Gospel from I think chapter three to like page 150.
Michael: I think I got all the basics down, and then hanging out with all the missionaries, and going out there and getting your feet wet.
Me: Have you had any profound experience when you went out with the missionaries?
Michael: Define Profound.
Me: Something that inspire you or something that you know that you will apply on your mission.
Michael: Just to you know teach at their pace at the other people that you are teaching the lessons to because you don’t want to hurry anyone. You want to take their time. You want to take your time, and just do everything based on their schedule. That is what I have learned and just to be really patient. I think is another key thing to do. Especially because I can be pretty impatient sometimes. I know that will be a key field that I am going to have to work to be patient with other people. What I learned from Elder Fultz is. You can to about an hour of study before you go out. an hour or two before you go out. I know that is required when you go on your mission, but I thought it was really helpful because I did it once with them. It helped me have better knowledge, so I can teach others of what I read. I know that I am going to do that every morning, when I am out there in the field. I will do it as much as possible. I mean I willl do as much reading as I can; plus, I am always the type of person that always wants to have the answer, when anyone asks a question.
Me: Why do you feel reading a lot is important as a missionary?
Michael: Because you get closer to Heavenly Father. and we’re struggles in life or question in life that you have can be answered in the scriptures. and especially when you are missionary you can be answering the questions for investigators who asked you that question that you did not know. and you just pray about it and then you find your answers in the scriptures because I know when I have found answers. It is mostly in the scriptures where I find them. and It is not out there in living.
Me: So when you studied with the missionaries, did you learn how to study for investigators?
Michael: Not really.
Me: yeah its really hard
Michael: yeah I guess you just start from the beginning. I think the restoration is the first lesson. You just kind of teach them the background a little bit about the church, and if they are interested they will call you again. if they are not interested. That is their fault. That is what I learned from being with the missionaries. I can’t remember if I read it in the Preach my Gospel, but I am pretty sure I have. I just forgot. I would just go off of what the investigator needs and answers too about their situation or troubles they are having in their life, if they want.
Me: So are you nervous about anything afraid of anything?
Michael: I am pretty nervous, but not during mission, but missing my family. I just want them not to feel sad that I am gone and just to be happy and just to you know live life how they normally would everyday and not change their schedule or anything. I just want the spirit to be here even though the priesthood is not in the house. I just want my family to be strong while I am gone because we got a pretty tight bond in the family and it would take something very dramatic to brake us apart, so the nerves would probably be from leave my family for the first time. That is want I am kind of nervous about. I don’t want to be cause I hear stories of missionaries going home early because they miss home and their home sick. I don’t want that to happen to me.
Me: Elder Faiese is having a really hard time because he is really home sick right now.
Michael: He is? Elder Fultz is going to do a good job, and make him feel like you know at home there. Its his second home. Thats the way I am going to think its just my second home. My home away from home.
Me: yeah...So what have you learned about the people in Canada?
Michael: I haven’t really learned much.
Me: What have you learned about Canada?
Michael: I have learned. I know it is cold, but I didn’t think it was that cold I looked up on line, and it was negative 49 degrees. haha I heard in my area Calgary is the biggest city in my mission town, and then the next biggest one is a population of five thousand. so that's like half the size of Capitola. What is there to learn about my area?
Me: How big is Calgary? What is the population like?
Michael: I heard it was about the size I have been told of San Jose, so almost a million people.
Me: So there is probably going to be a lot of missionaries in Calgary.
Me: and not that many in other areas at all.
Michael: Yeah I just learn about the Calgary mission from reading different blogs about my mission. That missionaries say it is the best mission. that there is. haha I am sure every missionary says that about their field.
Me: haha cool. Did you learn anything about the people in the blogs?
Michael: Not really. They just had different usernames. I just read it. I couldn’t tell if it was a boy or a girl.
Me: Did you learn anything from the blogs?
Michael: I just learn that it goes back to being home sick. That they have a strong support group there. You are going to feel very welcome.
Me: Cool that is good.
Michael: Yeah about my mission president. I know that he served a mission in Oregon. He is from Utah, and the wife is from Los Angeles. I think they meet in Utah. Got married and he was called to be a mission president in Calgary, and a former mission president is our current prophet today. Thomas S Monson, which is very cool.
Me: Was he the mission president of your mission?
Michael: Yeah I don’t know how long ago. I should probably look it up. I am pretty sure that it is double digit years.
me: yeah haha...So do you already have your email address for you mission?
Michael: Yeah it is Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Me: They have it really simple.
Michael: Yeah its on my facebook I posted my email address and my mission address. on my information on my profile on facebook... All this just feels surreal like back when I got my call it was sixty days it was July second sixty days to the day until I go to the MTC, and it just feels like it was yesterday. It was sixty days, back then I felt you know I felt good. I was just relieved I got my call. I just finally came. and now it like its just like the past three or four weeks my mind has totally been in a different place. It has been missionary mode missionary mode. I haven’t gone out and done anything fun with any members of the branch. I have been so focus on my mission that its just something that I take very serious and I don’t think its anything... you know joke around about and not work hard at just studying and working hard change peoples lives and they are going to need your knowledge need you as a person so I take it pretty serious.
Me: How long did you focus on your mission? Just the past month? or just the whole time since you got your call.
Michael: When I got my call it just was more like a relief. I didn’t really do any studying. not as serious as it was the past three or four weeks. I was maybe taking advantage of it and not studying and hanging out with friends, but the past three or four week I have been in that different mode like I said.
Me: How do you feel your endowment has helped you?
Michael: It has helped me tremendously. I got a strong feeling of the spirit because when I got out of the temple that day, and me and my mom were driving home. I just felt like the man.
Me: I felt like I can do anything. Like I was telling people the next day in Elder’s quorum, I didn’t expect what happen. I was expecting totally different. I was expecting that it will last twenty thirty minutes. I did not expect it to last one and a half to two hours. The spiritual feeling that I had in there...It felt really cool. When I went into the Celestial room, I felt famous with a big huge chandelier nice couches nice floors. I felt like I was like Jay Z.
Michael: One thing that helped me was just the experience that I can teach you now missionaries that are coming up and want to serve in the mission field that I am serving in and Elder Fultz is said it is an incredible feeling in his influence and it has really been a key thing to me. and I am just going to us his influence to teach people too, but from my own knowledge. so teach up and coming missionaries about how strong your endowment session is and it is good to get endowed for your family and for your family that you want to create with your wife. It just spiritualness I don’t know like the closeness would be very important for the family and all starts with the priesthood and having that authority.
Me: How do you feel about your testimony and how it has grown in the past while?
Michael: When I first came to the church honestly speaking I had no idea what a testimony was, so on fast and testimony Sundays I would kind of be confused for the first couple months. and then I asked I think it was Miller. it was Miller or Sione what exactly is a testimony? and they just said oh its how you know the church is true. and ever since that getting experience it just going out with the missionaries and studying, studying Preach my Gospel, the Patriarchal blessing prayer continuing to pray, keeping the commandments. not sinning. I don’t know if I said but my patriarchal blessing and Being out with the missionary and seeing them in the field, seeing them work it makes it more realistic to how to you know be a good missionary and use the knowledge that I gained, when I was out there with the missionaries. it really has increased my testimony that much stronger. I mean I know the church is true. I lived with it, and I lived without it, so I know what influence it has. It has I mean Just picture yourself. Where would you be if you not in the church for about eleven or twelve years? What would your life be like? and then if you when you have that picture in your head, that is how my life was like. It was like that. You start sinning. start disobeying the commandments. You do thing that you know you regret and then you come to the church and then like I said pray, reading scriptures, taking the sacrament, elder’s quorum, sunday school It just makes everything better. Heavenly father is with you. and baptism is a big part. I was baptised when I was eight, but I wasn’t too strong into the church. I kind of found it boring at that age.
Me: How have you seen you participation serving with the missionaries become better?
Michael: I am able to get involved more with the investigators.
Me: Any experiences?
Michael: You know Katie the new girl that got baptized into the Santa Cruz ward? I am pretty sure that you heard about her. I was getting pretty involved in the lessons before she was getting baptized. I know there is another dude way before that that was getting baptized I didn’t say anything because I did not know, and now I do. Just learning and praying and reading the scriptures and I kind of figured like asking questions about the church. If you don’t know it, it is not stupid. I’ve kind of always thought what if they make fun of me if I ask this question, and I would just learn that and It will increase your testimony with those questions. Just kind of insecure about asking a stupid question like what if they make fun of me.
Me: How do you feel about how you taught Katie?
Michael: I felt great I mean. It was Elder Fultz and Skeet I was with. Just going by the spirit, and having her feel it too. Even though the spirit is not with her. I know the light of Christ, but not the Holy Ghost. Just helping her feeling our influence with the spirit it will increase her testimony. It will make her feel like she wants to get baptized that much more, so the more the priesthood the stronger the spirit will be to fill the soul.
Me: You did not feel awkward about your remarks?
Michael: not at all
Me: You know that you are teaching by the spirit when you do that. Often times missionaries are picky about the lessons, and it is good to feel confident about what you do.
Michael: Katie is a cool girl. She is very outgoing. I am proud of her. I am proud of any one that wants to get baptised no matter what age, height, ethnicity. I know we are all God’s children. He wants us all to get baptised. He wants to live a good life and not do the things that Satan would want us to do. Katie has chosen that path to obey God’s commandments and have the Holy Ghost to help us through the good and the bad. I am pretty sure that she will be guided to plenty of good. She will know what is right from wrong. Its a good feeling, and I want to have that influence on people on my mission. I just want to have that influence on people on my mission. I want to show how important baptism is and how important it is to go to church, read the scriptures and yeah...My biggest worry, going back to a few questions, is the inactives that are baptized how am I going to get them to come back to church. The inactives I think are harder than those that are not members of the church because they don’t have the Holy Ghost.
Me: The inactives?
Michael: Yeah the stronger inactives that have been away for a while.
Me: I wanted to ask another question...How was like to feel to have your knowledge grow about the gospel like from nothing to being ready to go on a mission?
Michael: I feel it is important. Iit changes the way you look at life, and it changes you as a person like being away from it for eleven to twelve years and seeing where I am at now. It has totally changed my look at life. It totally changed who I am, and I am so grateful for this church to be on this earth and I am so thankful that Joseph Smith restored the Gospel for us. and I know that he was the first prophet, and I know that Thomas Monson is our current prophet. He received revelation from Heavenly Father. What else. I think I forgot the question. Can you repeat that question? I think Iwas kind of babbling on. haha
Me: How do you feel about learning the knowledge of the gospel from the beginning over the past year or so?
Michael: I didn’t know anything about the Gospel in the beginning. I feel like that I know 25 to 30 percent of the Gospel, but that is better than nothing. I feel like...
Me: You don’t feel like you know a lot?
Michael: Yeah I was doing an interview with President Walch, and what he said gave me more motivation, and it made me feel more safe to know that me did not know much about the Book of Mormon before he went on his mission. He went to Korea.
Me: Yeah you don’t know anything, but when you are on the mission you learn a lot, and you feel confident about your knowledge about the Gospel and everything.
Michael: Yeah especially cause I only know a quarter of the Gospel, but I am hoping that it goes dramatically up on my mission.
Me: Yeah you will. You feel confident about everything. Not everything but like a lot. I remember learning like all the prophecies that will come, and I was able to write a big essay of like all the prophecies that will come, and summarize that these.
Michael: Right now I feel like I can teach the lessons in Preach my Gospel: the restoration, the plan of Salvation, the word of wisdom, the commandments, and the laws and ordinances. I feel I know so much about those. I don’t know much about the Book of Mormon. Like I said a quarter of it, which it is better than not having any knowledge.
Me: Is there anything that you want to say to the Ocean Branch?
Michael: I love you so much. Thanks for all your love and support. Its been a fun ride, and I am just taking a hiatus right now, a two year hiatus, and once I come back I will come back a new man. Hopefully I won’t look any different, but hopefully I will look more manly. I will come back for toned. and I will be able to grow a full beard because I am shaving so much. All the missionaries that are serving in the ocean branch. I hope you keep it growing because we need all the young adults to come and just keep the branch growing. We have had it has been a tremendous ride. There have been times where I secretly struggled, but you guys have secretly helped me without me saying it without me saying I was in a struggle. I have never been around a cooler group of young single adults in my life than you guys. I am very thankful for President Burgon for all their love. I don’t know how many children that you have but I feel like one of them because I feel like Brad has been there every step of the way for me to get my mission papers done and all the love and support there and Michael: one of their sons their child. I feel like the Ocean Branch baby. and now I am going out serving.
Me: A little brother :)
Michael: I feel like you guys little brother. and I am going to serve the Ocean Branch probably on my mission. I will tell tremendous stories about you guys.