Monday, November 28, 2011


Uala! lol

Well, we have been just as busy as ever these last few days! Me and my companion got the privilege of accompanying President Leota at our Stake Conference this last Saturday and Sunday. I felt like an AP, LOL! That's the last thing I want to do! He keeps them so busy! They barely have time to think, and I thought me and my companion were busy! LOL But it was really neat at the same time! He gave a very powerful talk in the Priesthood Session and I know that it touched many people to want to be better individuals not only for themselves but also to start helping more with the Lord's work here in Samoa. My President didn't know Samoan before he came so he is still learning, but you should see how far he has come even from the time I have gotten here! He could understand it before he came but he has had a lot of people look down on him because of his Samoan not being very good. It's amazing to see him though, he doesn't let that get him down and he has very good Samoan now! Not perfect but he can hold a conversation and that talk he gave! Wow, he let the spirit do the talking there! It's funny, every time I am with him I either learn something new or I want to be a better missionary. Sometimes he doesn't even have to say anything, you can feel his spirit. I know that he is what the Lord wants for this mission, my companion says that he has never seen the mission progress this fast before. He wishes he could stay longer just to see how the mission is going to be in the future. I'm so thankful to have him as my Mission President. I remember when Elder Pearson came, he said not only are you sent to the mission to help certain people out in the field, but you were sent there because the Lord knew that you would benefit most from your President if you give him the chance. My mission has taught me so much already. My companion says that is how your mission goes. He says in each phase of your mission you learn something new, that will help you on later in life. Sometimes its patience, sometimes its how to be diligent, sometimes its communication with a comp you don't get along with, etc. It seems like everyone that takes there mission seriously, says that each phase taught them something they needed to learn. I know that this whole e-mail thing is going to be hard. My President even said it isn't a bad thing, hearing from your family is a very good thing. It's just right now the Samoa Apia Mission needs this new change. He says maybe it will change in the future when things start to change or when the Lord wants it to change. President does EVERYTHING BY REVELATION. When I finally figured out that, it made me think to myself, am I doing everything by REVELATION! Elder Pearson told us, keep in constant contact with the spirit. He says not only try to do this as missionaries but also when we get home. The Savior taught that we need to never cease to pray in our hearts, as he taught the Nephites in 3 Nephi. I know the world can keep you really busy, but I learned this in my PST the other day.

We can't be idle. If we are idle we are allowing Satan to come an tempt us. Being idle involves being lazy or not doing anything. When we get idle we become bored very quickly and we do stupid things that we know wouldn't please the Lord. We can not allow ourselves to become idle, because idleness is the Devil's Workshop. On the other side. We can't become to busy either. We can't get so busy with the things of the world that we have no time for God. Remember Good, Better, and Best. There are a lot of things that we do that aren't bad, but they keep us away from doing the Best things. When was the last time you attended the temple? When was the last time you and your spouse had a real conversation about gospel principles and helped each other learn the mysteries of God, or the gospel of Jesus Christ. When was the last time you gave service to someone, because you wanted to help them. Are you truly having a gospel study that allows you to learn gospel principles or allowing the scriptures to fill you with the Holy Ghost. Elder Christofferson taught, that sometimes it is good to read straight through the scriptures so we can get a general idea of the history and the topics contained in the scriptures. But most of the time it is better to choose a time limit rather than a set amount of scriptures we should read. If we choose a time limit and take our time reading and FEASTING on the WORD. Then we will gain more insights while reading the scripture! When something doesn't make sense in the scriptures, which often they don't! Read it again, and maybe a third time, read cross references, look up words in the Bible Dictionary. Ask yourself questions! Write those questions down! Ponder what things mean! You probably wont understand everything fully the first time you come across something. But I promise you the more you ponder about your questions and ask yourself why did King Benjamin write that down. Why did Mormon keep this chapter in the Book of Mormon. The more you will be given ideas. You'll get answers! You'll get ideas on how to gainthose answers! Ideas will pop into your brain and most of the time you won't even realize it's Personal Revelation. You'll think it's your conscious! But that doesn't matter! If it's an idea that is related to the gospel, do it! It's a prompting, I promise if you continue to ponder and act on those little ideas of yours, you will be given answers! And it will be fun! Getting personal revelation is the most fun thing ever! I thought that since I was a missionary, things would just come to me! WRONG! I have to do those things too! Even PROPHETS aren't exempt from the things pertaining to the gospel. The reason they have so much power is because they are the ones that follow it! They are the ones that gain faith and Christlike attributes from the gospel and in turn they are given power through the Holy Ghost. The gospel promises us blessings that even little kids can understand! Think about it. All we are asked to do is to live the commandments and we will be given Eternal Life. But there are only a few that will obtain it! WHY! If something like this is so easy to understand, and we are promised something so BIG! Why do only a few people obtain Eternal Life? Because we don't take the time and try to become like little children. We don't take the time and humble ourselves as little children. We don't take the time to become childlike. Not childish. But childlike. Ask yourselves, do I have as much faith as Grace, or Ashlin, or Baylee, or Jimmy. I bet if you really answered yourselves, the answer would be no. I can tell you this, I don't have as much faith as they do. That is something that I am trying to obtain everyday! I need to build my faith! I have come a long way but I have so much more to go. I want to thank you all for what you have done for me, you have all been remarkable examples to me. But I know that we all can improve a little bit each day. The Savior doesn't expect us to be perfect by tomorrow, but he does want us to try our best each and everyday and to become a little bit better each day. When you come to the end of your life, will you be able to say, I tried my best, I gave everything I had and I kept trying to progress each and everyday. It's ok if you had a couple of rough spots here and there, we all do! We're human! That's why repentance is so beautiful! But don't be the person at the end of your life saying, wow, I could have done so much more with my life. That's my biggest fear. With my mission. Is at the end of my mission I hope I don't say, Wow, I could have done so much more with my mission. But by then it will be too late! No one can take back time... But what you can do is, REDEDICATE YOURSELVES TO THE SAVIOR TODAY. That's my motto, everyday before I go preach, I look at that sign! I do want to commend you all for who you are and what you have already become! I read in the December Liahona, and one of the Quorum of the 12, sorry can't remember his name right now! But he said the most meaningful gift we can give to the Savior, is being temple worthy.

Well sorry everyone, I just went off on another preaching moment. I don't know why, you guys should be the one's giving me advice LOL. Ha no, I love when you all give me advice and help me work on things. Believe it or not, it's not easy being a missionary sometimes. Sometimes you get down on yourselves, when you shouldn't! That's the faith thing that I need to work on! Sometimes it isn't easy being exactly obedient! Which I know everyone thinks it's a lot easier for missionaries to be obedient. But there are challenges! We live a strict schedule and life and sometimes Satan tries to get you to sleep in or to distract us. I know it's nothing like the temptations and challenges you face in your everyday life. Satan sure is good at what he does, but I know that you can defeat him if you cling on to the Iron Rod. The Word of God and a prayer in our hearts are simple to understand but hard to actually do. In the Book of Moses, Moses a Prophet, had to ask Satan to leave 5 times(I think 5 LOL) before Satan actually left. When he comes with a temptation, actually TELL him to LEAVE. Do it 4 or 5 times! Just don't let him bring you down. I remember my bishop told me that when temptation comes to him, he has to change the physical environment, which usually means getting up and leaving wherever he is.

I love you all so much and know that your missionary is doing well! I love you all and please write me often through the mail! MOM will you send some stamps, they can't provide as much stamps as missionaries need anymore, and also can you send a lock for my travel suitcase. Sorry, I love you all so much and thank you for your love!

Elder Boren

Monday, November 21, 2011

Was Up Yo‏

What's crackin home slices! LOL Sorry yesterday I read about how I'm not suppose to use slang even when I'm writing to yal back home... LOL Sorry but I couldn't resist!

First and foremost! THANK YOU MOTHER! I got 3 packages last week and they were all Christmas! LOL! I wasn't going to open them but my comp said that it was pretty much all food and decorations! So we opened them, sorry I guess I got Christmas really really early this year! Ha but thanks so much mom! And my comp decorated a little part of our house that's got all Christmas, and Jake is the star lol. So if you send a extra camera SD card then I'll send this one I have to you... We have made a couple videos for you that I think you will enjoy lol. Also thanks everyone for the letters! I got one from Shauni, two from Lindsey, one from the Millecam's. It was a pretty good haul! LOL Mom can you send me some teeth whitening things. I guess missionaries have a hard time keeping there teeth white here because we drink cocoa samoa every visit and it's full of sugar. I brush twice a day but I can tell they are starting to lose there whiteness LOL. but don't worry they aren't too bad! So dad a couple of questions for you: Why don't you think the gospel will be preached in the middle east, what do all the scriptures mean that say the gospel will be preached in every nation, kindred, tongue. Does the word nation have a different meaning? And where is the revelation that the US will be hanging by a thread and the priesthood will save it. And where can I learn more about the 12 tribes of Israel. Like how they started and ended up being called that? Ha sorry I'm giving you some hard questions but I always asked you hard questions sometimes. People ask hard questions sometimes, but the main thing that I have learned is that I need to help investigators realize that the main question is, 'Is the Book of Mormon true.' Because if the BOM is true then that means that the Prophet Joseph Smith was a true prophet and that the Church is the Lord's Kingdom here on earth. Usually it's pretty easy to help people realize that that is the most important question. But sometimes they just want you to answer some of there bible questions that they don't understand. It's like they are testing your abilities in the bible. LOL, anyways!

I have some good news! I get one more week to write, so YA! President said if it doesn't work out then we can always change it, but I doubt it will be changed anytime soon. We might get to do an e-mail once a month kind of deal, because I bet the ZL's will be sick of buying everyone's groceries at the first of the month. LOL

So I called Elder Walker this last week. It was good just to talk to him and see how the work is doing over where he is. He is in Savaii so he is in the more less developed part of Samoa. It's more traditional then where I am and I guess he has lost a lot of weight! He is 160 pounds now, he lost like 20 pounds being over there lol. Hopefully we get to be at least in the same zone sometime before he leaves. He only has 9 months left! Holy cow! LOL. But the mission is seeing a lot of changes right now and it's making some people really mad. It's kind of sad that some of the elders aren't supporting President. So are AP's are going to change because they are going home. President called one new one about 3 weeks ago so he would get some experience before the other two left. And transfers are coming up on Dec. 4th and so I might get a new companion. LOL everyone always gets nervous when transfers come up and I can definitely see why now. You are always with your companion and you feel like he is glued to your hip. LOL This whole mission thing teaches you a lot. Because you have to be able to get along with your companion in order to go out and proselyte. It teaches you how to have patience with each other. There are times when we get a little annoyed with another, but all in all we get along great! We have a lot of fun together!

This week we had a baptism! His name was Lualua which means 22. Ha dang Samoan names. He is actually my companions cousin. Pretty cool right! He was one of my favorite investigators because we have been working him since I got here. My last lesson, my companion turned the whole thing over to me. He wouldn't talk, the jerk! LOL, I had to teach the principle and then my companion would double testify. My companion would also answer his questions because I still have a hard time understanding everything. Hopefully that will come soon. But it was by far the most Samoan I have ever spoken. I felt good afterwards and then I realized that it wasn't me. Because right after I couldn't speak again lol... It gets frustrating at times but i've gotten used to it. My companion gave me a compliment, he's like you have handled this situation really well. Most new missionaries stress out a lot, but you seem like you are never stressed. I was like really! It's been stressful but I guess he says I either don't show it or I handle it well. It's probably a little of both.

Ha Lindsey! You want to keep the blog going then. Ok sounds good I guess I'll start sending my big long blog letter to you then! Ha i'll try to write legibly so everyone can read it! Ha thanks so much for doing that too! I know that you are so busy! Thanks everyone for you e-mails and letters! They mean a lot! They always make the work that much easier. Sorry if I sound like a preacher sometimes, I should probably cut that out huh... Bet it gets annoying sometimes... It's just I'm learning so much and just want to share with all of you. Even though all of you spiritual giants have already learned that by now! Ha Samoan's are funny. Like the members, if you share a spiritual thought with them, they call you 'e ke fie agelu!' Which literally means 'you want to be an angel! But it's like the equivalent to our 'he's a peter priesthood or molly mormon.' They think that since they are already members they don't need them... It's kind of funny, but our president said in our mission conference on friday that if someone calls you fia agelu tell them yes, I do want to be an angel. And he turned to Alma 29:1. It was great, but most people are ok with it if we tell them it's something our president asked us to do.

All in all, I have been so blessed to experience this mission. I thought the Lord was sending me to Samoa because Samoa needed me, little did I know that Elder Boren needed Samoa. I wouldn't trade this experience for the world! It has given me so much already! It's hard being away from my family, but I know that you will always be here for me and that means so much! This experience has been incredible and I know that as long as I serve faithfully the Lord will bless me. I have obtained such a stronger relationship with my Heavenly Father and Christ. I know that my redeemer lives and he is the only way back to our Father in Heaven.

Elder Boren

Monday, November 14, 2011


A lot has happened! LOL‏

Malo Soifua tou Susuga, faapena foi le mamalu i tou faletua, aemaise lava le nofoalo!
Congratulations on living your Honors, the same honor goes to your prestigious wives, and especially to your heavenly children.

How is everyone doing! Well not too many complaints on this side of the vineyard. Everything is going a lot better! Sorry for my last letter, I felt like I was just a 'CRYBABY'! It's about time I suck it up huh, lol... But seriously thanks for all the supportive e-mails and letters! They help a lot! Happy Bday Mother! I hope it went really well! I wish I could do more. But, MOM seriously thank you for everything you have done. You mean so much to me and you have and always will be here for me! You have always put up with my nonsense and done so much for me that I will never be able to repay you back! You are part of my motivation that helps me to keep going each and everyday! I want to be the elder that you think I am mom! I'm trying everyday to make sure that I'm not just here to do my two years and then I'm done. I wan't to make the most out of them. You and dad have always taught me to work and you have given me so much. But the thing that I am so grateful, that you both gave to me, was this GOSPEL. Without it, I don't know where I would be! This gospel has helped me realize and see that the things of the world are not what make you happy. Thanks so much mom! I love you! Thanks for you determination to become faithful members in the church and you passed that on to me! That alone, has helped my life in ways that I can't even begin to explain. 

More than ever, I have learned that Heavenly Father is all-knowing! I have always looked as commandments as 'can't do's' or 'forbidden things.' Now I have learned that we need to have the mindset that if God knows all, then He knows the things that will make us happy. If we do those things, they will keep us away from falling into the temptations of Satan. Not only are they guidelines that help us stay away from getting into trouble, but He promises to bless us, for being obedient! And if you don't know what the things He has promised you, start searching for them in the scriptures!  

So this week, we had a meeting with President Leota. It was the train the trainers meeting for all the newbys lol. About an hour before the meeting started, my companion got a call and he told me that I was doing the spiritual thought at it. I was so scared! Ha especially since I have horrible Samoan. I found a scripture and practiced explaining it and then bearing my testimony after, and knew that I would be giving a very simple Spiritual Thought. When I got to the meeting I said a completely different thing than what I had practiced and right afterwards I had no idea what I had even said. About half way through the meeting, President pointed me out and said, you're a miracle Elder Boren. You have only been here for two months and you used all Samoan in your spiritual thought. I commend you for your work and he said some other really cool stuff, for about a whole minute. Right after the meeting he came up to me and said, Elder Boren, you are right on track, you're a good missionary! Wow, it was a really neat experience. I know that that wasn't my Samoan at that moment. It was perfect by anymeans and it still needed work, but everyone could understand and knew what my point was. It was such a confidence booster, to have President come and say that. I still have a long ways to go with the language, but to be honest, I know that I will be blessed with it in the time of the Lord. This experience has helped me realize how cocky I was before the mission. I know the Lord sent me here to help teach me some things too.

So I also have some bad news. This week at our Zone Meeting the ZL announced to us that we only have this week and one more week of e-mailing. The president has felt that missionaries are starting to view P-day as playday rather than preperation day. He says I wish I didn't have to cut the e-mail, because you need that contact with your family, but Samoa is a third world country and the only places we can do e-mail is downtown Apia. So that allows all the missionaries to get together and there has been so activity that missionaries are forgetting who they are on Pday. He said if Samoa was more advanced, we would still be able to do e-mail. He also said that it's hard because I have to take away a good thing to take care of a bad thing. It's hard knowing that I'm a missionary that doesn't break any rules and I still have to get my e-mail time taken away. Especially since I just barely started my mission. But I know that my needs don't outweigh the needs of the mission. So I guess the blog is going to die lol. But it lasted for a good 4 months right! Dang I've been out 4 months! Can you believe! The problem with missions is that just when you start to enjoy them most you have to go! I can tell that it's going to be the same way for me! Ha, It's going to be hard not to hear from all you every week! To be honest, the e-mail is a nice refresher and helps me focus on the work. Because I have the best brothers and sisters and parents in the whole world! I also love your letters Grandma, Kim and Annette, Angela, and Andrea. Thanks for helping me get through this rough spot in the mission. Know that I pray for you all almost everyday! 

So, Lindsey, mom and dad, told me how they were doing with lesson 3 of PMG. How are the rest of you all doing? I know that you don't need anything else to drag you down with your lives. But I really think that if you take the time to read and ponder the message. It will help you gain knowledge that you have never gained before. If you think about it. The lessons are what the Quorum of the 12 and the First Presidency want to share with the world about our beliefs, and what makes our church so special. If you think it's only applicable to investigators, you are wrong. These inspired men teach you something through these lessons and they explain it so well that you can not understand. Read the extra scriptures too and you will gain new insights on the gospel. Sorry to burden you all, but I really do think that it will help you all. Because they help me. Every time I open up PMG, I learn something new, and usually it's lots of new things! And I have read through it twice now! Sometimes I read through it, and sometimes I will study a certain topic. But this book is scripture! It has material that only applies to missionaries yes, but every member is a missionary. And by you learning what the missionary duties are, helps you help the elders stay on task and find new people to share this wonderful message! 

So I have finally seen the light of keeping a study journal! It has taken me 19 years and a lot of prompting from prophets and apostles and close friends and family. But I have finally seen the light in keeping a study journal! I'm like obsessed with my study journal now! Ask my companion, I won't put the thing down! LOL I read a quote by Elder Scott talking about personal revelation gained can be gained but unless there is someway to bring it back to remembrance, it will be forgotten. This quote made me feel about two inches big, but I have now started to keep the journal. Every time I read the scriptures or read PMG, I have my study journal right next to me. It's amazing how much more revelation comes to you!   It's almost like, Lord I'm doing my part and I'm ready to receive whatever you want to give me. And the things you write down, are going to stay on that paper, so they will last and help you in the future too! I have finally seen the light on keeping a study journal and invite you all to do the same. I wont be mad at you if you don't, because I too took forever to finally come to my senses in starting to keep one. If anyone else keeps one and would like to share with me any other ideas they have, please do! 

I love you all so much and please write me through the mail if you want to stay in touch. I think next week is my last week so everyone e-mail me! ha I might get one after that! But thanks everyone for your love and your encouragement! 

Elder Boren

Monday, November 7, 2011

Talofa Lava‏

Malo Lava

How is everyone doing! Just finished reading all of the e-mails everyone gave me! The letters and e-mails really do help! I think if you haven't been on a mission you won't know what I mean by. They help a lot because they come from people you love. You're e-mails and letters are wonderful! And they don't make me miss home anymore! I view them as encouragement to help me stay on this path. Wow I can honestly say I have the best family and friends in the whole world! My Lord has blessed me with so many good examples in my life. Just now my two sisters, my brother Brett, and my Parents wrote beautiful e-mails of comfort and encouragement. Thank you so much for you experiences that have been similar to mine. They help a lot! Brett, thanks for finally e-mailing! LOL JK but your e-mail really helped! I wasn't laughing in those parts, but I'm in that boat right now! Like you, with athletics, whether it was two-a-days in football or basketball conditioning, weights. I had pushed myself beyond what I even though was possible, physically that is.  But when I look back on it, if I hadn't put myself through all those very challenging times and the whole time I wanted to just give up, I wouldn't have had near the success. Thanks for taking me through your mission. It really did help, as well as your experiences Shauni and Lindsey. 

Sometimes during this mission I have wondered why have I been called to a foreign country. Why didn't I just get called to an English speaking mission with a similar culture. I'm getting sick of getting laughed at everyday, everytime I sit down my legs feel like they are going to explode! Samoan's don't beat around the bush either, they tell you what they are thinking and it hurts your feelings sometimes. You might all think I'm sounding like a baby but there is some rude things sometimes. Usually they are nice, but... Anyways... Washing my clothes in a bucket is getting old and taking ice cold showers every night isn't so pleasant. The food gets bland a lot and I feel like a worthless missionary. Ha I remember crying to my companion my second day out. There was literally tears flowing through my eyes. I have never in my life encountered something so mentally and spiritually demanding! And it's even worse when everyone is the KNOW IT ALL and can just throw out advice to you like it's nothing and they been in a situation like this at all... Not you guys, other Samoans... It's been a rough experience and sometimes I would think to myself.... Why has God let me go through this... 

But to be honest! Everything is starting to become a lot better. I read Chapter 4 PMG with all the scriptures and extra activities last night. It was raining and so we couldn't go out and proselyte. Such a comfort. The Lord promises us if we are worthy of the Holy Ghost, He will comfort us. Wow it was a neat experience. I put everything I had into it and so many thoughts popped into my head, I was learning so much. I was writing everything that came to my head and when thoughts ceased to come, I would continue with the reading. Everything is starting to get a lot better. Although I can't speak the language and I can barely understand. I'm getting more adapted to the culture. I got really lucky with a companion that doesn't sleep in until 10 like Brett's did. By the way, there is a lot of Samoan's who do that. My companion said that most people here don't like the Samoan Companions because they don't take it seriously and they just mess around all day. But then they don't like new white people either because they can't speak the language, lol. It's been good. I don't know if the people and the culture is helping me that much. But this experience is really challenging me. I'm starting to relax more and I'm starting to see the light. How can I expect to have it all fun and games, when the Savior Himself didn't. He was Perfect and he had to go through everything just to save me and you. I have learned to not care as much what other people say about me or when others laugh at me. I can't even imagine how bad the Jews and Romans treated him during the end of his life. Like Brett, Lindsey, Shauni said... This by far the most challenging thing I have ever encountered. Right when something seems to start to get a little bit better, or I have a reason to rejoice. I get to have another humbling experience. I thought to myself when I left the MTC that I would be such a good missionary right off the bat, if I would have went English speaking. I felt like I had prepared so much for my mission. With Seminary, BYU, and I felt like I had read my scriptures a lot. During my time that I worked with Aaron, he would ask the most outrageous and difficult questions, and it would cause me to ponder. Think about his questions that I had never even thought about. It had not only taught me some doctrine I had never known before, but it also taught me how to search for answers. I had the BIGGEST HEAD and thought that I would be the BEST Missionary. Well, Heavenly Father had just the thing for me. I thought I was going on my mission to help save others. I thought I was going to try and help them find the light of this gospel. Boy I was sure wrong. I found out very soon that I wasn't going to be doing that until I SAVE MYSELF. This mission has pushed me to the limits. And anyone that hasn't been on one or in a similar situation like Shauni's or Lindsey's can try to understand what I'm saying, but you really don't what this experience is like until you really DO IT for yourself. I know that If I endure it well Like Joseph in Carthage, I will be blessed to start finally seeing some success...

By the way we had two baptisms this last week and we are suppose to have another one in two weeks! The work is going so much better and thanks for all the encouragement! I love you all and sorry for no pictures but the computer was being dumb!

Elder Boren