Sunday, July 21, 2013

email home & pics 7-15-13

Hello Family!

The barbecue last week was good. Travis has been doing alright. We teach them all the lessons over again after they're baptized. Michael is good. He is doing better with smoking, but hasn't quite. Thank you for that thing at the end about our bodies. I have been struggling with eating way to much. I have been trying to buy healthier food, but I struggled last week with over eating. I talked about you during a lesson last week. It was with a less active family who want to get sealed in the temple. They have some trouble with coffee. I told them how you struggled with that too, but overcame it! Abeal is good. Her daughter went to girls camp! They have some good fellowship. July 9 was the Independence Day for south Sudan. They celebrated it this weekend. They all got together in two different places because they wouldn't all fit in one. Nayakere invited us to go, which means she is starting to like us more. For awhile there I think she was avoiding us. It is outside of our mission though. I wanted to go so bad! They have traditional Sudan food and clothing and music and dancing. I love Sudan people so much. They make me happy. 
Interviews with President went well. I like him. He is really loving. The love/hate relationship with our bikes is better. We got a car last week. We share it with the Spanish elders so we switch every three days. On Thursday we helped build a stage for about five hours in West Jordan. It is for pioneer day.
Thank you for the packages! I appreciated them. Alison emailed me last week and Andrew did this week. And Kristin did both last week and this week. Thank you! I did not see Sister Parkinson at temple square, but I asked the sisters we were with if they knew her and they said yes. 
The temple Tuesday was great. I love it. We went to the Oquirrah Mountain one. 

Here are some pictures. 
1: From Left to Right: Sister Rogers, Sister Martin, Me, Elder Hall, Elder Toborg, Elder Moriera, Elder Smith, Elder Hall

2: Me and Elder Hall

email to Mom 7-8-13

Happy Monday! 

I'm glad your week has been good. Mine was great as well. Jambo means hello in some African language. Meeting the President was good. I like him. They have their son Sam AKA Shmoo with them. He is like 13 maybe. Something President talked about was astonish people with your charity. It will cast out darkness. Travis' baptism was wonderful! I forgot my camera so I don't have pictures to send today. We had the ward mission leader take pictures so I just need him to send them to me. Then I will send them to you. I love baptisms! They make me happy. Earlier on Tuesday we had district meeting. We talked about repentance and making sure the people we teach understand it. I started thinking of Travis and I felt such a fearful feeling. "Did I do everything I could to help him prepare to make this big step in his life?" He is still doing good with abstaining from certain things so I think he is good. We are having a barbecue at his house later today. I had the opportunity to confirm him yesterday. I actually said it right this time too! 
So I am going to go on a bit of tangit about bike tires. After we realized Elder Hall's had a flat then I looked at mine and mine did too! Then we got them fixed. Like two days later we had flats again! I take my bike out of the shed today and guess what. Yes it was flat.. Oh my goodness.. bikes... we have a love/hate relationship. If it's not my bike that is messed up, its Elder Halls like every other day!  Oh but something good came out of it! We were walking and it was super hot. A lady had passed us and went to the gas station, bought us popsicles  and then came and gave them to us! They were really good ones too. It made me so happy.
The 4th of July was good. We had a mission conference. President and Sister Chambers talked with us for a bit and then we had fun! Some dressing standards have changed for guys. We can now have khaki colored pants. We can't have backpacks anymore. We have to have shoulder bags  They are giving us until Christmas to get one. It used to be that we would have to wear our suit jackets from October general conference to april's. No longer so! That one made me happy. It's all on if you want to check it out. After that I watched Toy Story 3 and played some Uno. They had other things like basketball and volleyball going on too.
The other day during scripture study I studied faith, hope charity. I will try to explain it. Hopefully it makes sense. 
Keep in mind Faith=No doubt, Hope =Mindset, Charity=Unity.
D&C 93: 27-28
V.27 (Faith) It is faith that if you keep the commandments, you will receive a fullness of truth. 
V.28 (Charity) "He that keepeth his commandments recieveth truth and light" God said if you love me keep my commandments. We will receive truth and light. In v. 26 it says truth is of God. Light also represents God. We will be more unified with God and His spirit when we keep the commandments. 
V.28 (hope)"he is glorified in truth and knoweth all things" Trusting and having confidence that we can be glorified in truth and know all things by obedience to commandments. 
Teaching was good last week. We are teaching a new Sudan lady, Abeal. She is related to the others. They are all cousins basically. 
Love you all lots. I'm glad you are doing well. 

Elder Alpin :)

email to Dad 7-8-13

Hey Dad! I can't believe I've been almost out for 5 months. It makes me realize that two years will go by in no time. This week was good. Elder Hall and I get a long good. The heat is killer! I sweat so bad. It has cooled off though. I realized I just make stupid mistakes all the time. It is frustrating. We will plan to go by somebody and I forget to write down their address. So when we are out and about and we're like oh lets go to so and so. Oh wait I don't know where they live! 
Bishop Andrews seems like a cool guy. I met a lady that lives in Michigan near the Detroit Temple. 
Something President Chambers told us:
If you ever feel feelings of inadequacy or lack of confidence, then do the following:
-Be Worthy: If you hold a current temple recommend, then you are worthy.
-Prepare Yourself: Effective studies
-Be prayerful
-Go out, face the world, and go to work.

Love you!

On Sun, Jul 7, 2013 at 10:34 PM, Tom Alpin wrote:

Hello Son,

I have been thinking alot about what you are up to everyday, trying to picture what you might be doing at any particular moment as I pause.  As you enter your 5th month it seems like you might be past the newness of a mission and working hard.  Many have said that the first 3 months are the hardest and by the time you make it to your 6 month point it seems like things are moving fast.  So, how has it been for you?  I am sure with each transfer everything seems to change, but surely there must be things that are so much the same.  With each new companionship, the dynamics must certainly change.  If you have not yet found yourself in the leader role, don't worry you will soon enough.  Being the one who is the starter, getting things going and keeping them on track is what you do, now add the spirit of God with you and there is no end to what can happen. 

Wow, with the heat you have had how have you been holding up?  I know you are drinking lots of water and keeping cool, but what about the sweating?  I cannot even keep in under control in the near 90 degree weather we have had and the very high humidy.  Your heat has been so much hotter, but the humidity is very low for you, so I really hope you are doing well in the heat!

Not much going on around here, the Old Testament is so much harder to listen to and read than any of the other scriptures so far.  Up to chapter 13 in
Deuteronomy and there has been so much interesting and unusual things in Leviticus, Numbers and now in Deuteronomy, it is hard to stay with it, but so interesting at the same time.
We had the 3 grandkids from Friday to Saturday, it was a blast...went to the show, the mall, played, first trip to the pool, which is not heated...cold! We took them home and spent about 2.5 hours a the Martinez's, there were alot of people that we did not know, but I spent most of the time talking with Bishop Andrews, he is such a sweat heart of a man struggling with an aging body...I have such a love for hime because he was the one who brought through my repentance process when I returned to church at age 28 and he guided my progress of receiving the ordination of the Priesthood and my guide as we went to the temple and received my personal endowments, he was also the one who married your Mom and I in Bay City in 1989.  He is a great example to me and his wife is such a wonderful person too, she is his rock for sure!  It was a true highlight for me for I have such a strong love for him, a love like that of a son to a father and a brother to a brother, a love of respect that is always rekindled when we was a happy day for me!
Back to work on Monday with a meeting on Wednesday and several of our work teams are gathering at the Comcast suite in Comerica Park for a Tigers game, it will be a blast for sure!

Love Dad

Monday, July 1, 2013

7/1/13 email to Dad

Hey! I'm glad you got to see Owen and everybody! I wish I could see them. Good luck with fireworks in Bay City you probably won’t be home till later than 2am! Thank you for your support and you’re awesome.  Love you!
Elder Alpin

Hey Son,

Long night and out of time this morning, did not forget...just not prepared very good.  Hope I did not miss you this week...I love you so much and think about you all the time, I pray for you and admire the role you are in now during this time of your life...doing the work of the Lord, Jesus Christ...Wow!  That is awesome...not much to say, long work week, slipped on my scriptures for the week, but refocused for the new week.  Looks like we will end up in Bay City for the will be great.  Saturday, Mom came home for work and was eating the great meal I prepared for her, when she said (with tears in her ears) I want to see my grandkids, I want to see Owen...let's go I said...really?  she quizzed...yep, let's call and go we went...a good visit and a long ride!  on the way home she said, it was fun but next time tell me how late it is and talk me out of going...we got home at 2am.

Happy day and week to again...enjoy!


6/24/13 email to Mom & Pictures

This week went by super fast. We are going to be teaching a lot this week. We kind of struggled having lessons last week. I don't know why. I need to get my bike fixed today because I have a flat tire. I don't like walking everywhere because you hardly get anything done. I love you and miss you too! 

This is a picture from Matt's baptism! Such a happy day.
And Elder Bennett and I

Hey do you guys save/print off the pictures I send home because that would be wonderful if you could get printed off copies like from Walgreens. 

6/24/13 Email to Dad

Good Morning! 

I have been struggling with my studies the past couple of mornings. Sometimes it is hard to keep your eyes open! I can do so much better. The whole mission met with President and Sister Miller yesterday. It was kind of like their goodbye. Sister Miller really stressed about after the mission to not let the following stop: prayer and scripture study. And when we have a family to ALWAYS have family scripture study, family prayer, family home evening, family dinner, and family vacation. She talked about how they never missed doing these things and it was not easy, but they are blessed because of it. She also told us a story that goes as follows: Her son had went to medical school and was applying for his residency at a place in Pennsylvania that is really hard to get into. He flew there the night before and his interview wasn't until the next afternoon. So he decided to go to a museum in the morning before he went to his interview, but it ended up being closed. He walked a little ways and there was a man begging for money or food. Her son took him to get some food and talked with this man. Afterwards, he met with a panel of people to interview for the residency. The last question they asked him was "How did you spend your time this morning?" He was able to explain to them what happened and he ended up getting the residency. So the point to this story was to spend our time wisely and we will be blessed by it. 
Love you lots. I hope you have a wonderful day!
Elder Alpin

On Mon, Jun 24, 2013 at 8:22 AM, Tom Alpin <> wrote:
Good day to you fine sir!  Hope this email finds you of good cheer as it is P-day and you get a little rest from the work.  What is it like to be so focused on one primary purpose each and every day of the week?  To not have to worry about your food, clothing or shelter or how you are going to pay the bills?  You really get to put all of your energy into studying, preparing and preaching the gospel…right?  Sure you have a schedule to keep and things that must get done, but striving to have the Spirit of the Lord with you all the time and making yourself ready to receive His instructions…WOW!  I can hardly imagine this because I have never been in your situation, but I sure it is not as easy as one might think…right?  Well, I was just trying to visualize your life right now and mentally put myself in your spot, but find this hard to do.  This much I know without a doubt that what you are doing will have a profound effect on the rest of you and everything you do with your life, your education and your family, not to mention your service to the church and your community.  This is such a great process for you at this time in your life when so many young people are trying to discover who they are and what they want to do with their life, yet wandering aimlessly in the world, lost in a way…this was me when I was your age.  I worked hard in high school to get good grades, worked hard with 2 jobs to save money for college only to find myself lost with no direction or understanding and worse yet…no support system to help me.  I struggled in college and left for employment, so alone as I moved a few times trying to connect with my purpose, but lost for sure.  My workaholic ways helped me with success in my job but not in marriage and fatherhood.  It was not until I was at the brink of losing everything that I had worked so hard for that I knew there was something important missing and I had to find it.  Success in the world caused failure in my home, I was selfish and had to change and the Lord’s way is to humble us…I was humbled for sure.  As a single parent I had to find what I needed and what was truly most important in life for my young son.  It was the gospel and the love of a church family that gave me friendship and comfort that I needed, but the road to repentance, attendance and activity were not easy with daily and weekly trials as we held to the iron rod.   Of course life has become easier in some ways but the trials of life have never gone away and for this I am thankful…the trials of life are what keeps us on our toes and humble.  As we progress the trials are different for today it is not necessary a trial to develop a testimony like is was back then for there have been so many spiritual experiences that have helped forge a faith and belief in many areas, but it is the most simple things of the day that can sneak up on you if you are not constantly doing the most basic things of the gospel, like praying and reading and doing service.  This is the foundation that I know you are creating, a foundation that will continue to give you strength everyday of your life.  Stay strong my young son, live to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost with you always, that you may feel the Spirit often.  Have you felt God’s love today?  Have you felt the influence of the atoning sacrifice lately?  Have you felt the companionship of the Holy Ghost today?  If not, then why?  If so, then do you obey its promptings?  May you always have the love and comfort you need as you strive to obey the Spirit of God!
 Be of good cheer in all that you do and the Lord will be with you, I love you so much!