June 26, 2017


Second Area - Monmouth, OR


Elder Elias

Week 42 - Called to be a District Leader

This past week has been a time of lots of revelation, and figuring things out.

Tuesday we were again in Lincoln City, and I'm glad to say it went about a thousand times better than the last time. We still didn't get to visit a ton of people, but for the majority of the investigators we have over there, we were able to at least knock on their door. Wednesday I was on exchanges with Elder Bowen in the English area here! We had a fun time talking to English people, and sharing the gospel with them as we contacted them. We had a very spiritual experience that night, right after visiting with an older member with some health issues. We were sitting in his apartment, talking with him, when his friend Matt walked by. He shouted out the door "hey Matt, wanna be Mormon?"

Matt said he was Catholic, but said he would be willing to listen to our message after he got back from the store. We ended up talking with him about his troubles with alcohol and smoking, and shared a great Mormon Message about a man who was in a similar experience as him. He started crying as we shared it with him, and he told us he wanted to change his lifestyle so he wouldn't die. We promised him that by meeting with us, and by being willing to change, he would one day be clean from his addictions. It was amazing to see the power and direction we receive as missionaries from the Lord when we ask inspired questions specifically for the people we have stewardship over. It was great to talk with Elder Bowen after that lesson, and realize that we totally saw him as a son of God, beyond his addictions, and that we were able to see him as God sees him, to help him feel loved and that someone was watching out for him.

Thursday morning we had service with a part-member family. We helped them pull weeds in their lawn, mow the back yard, and kill the weeds in the backyard as well. That took a lot longer than what we had planned for, so we then had enough time to plan for Josher's lesson, just before having it. It was super awesome, like always! We finished teaching him the Plan of Salvation, since last week we weren't able to. It was powerful to see how his understanding of his purpose on this earth was unfolded to him by the Spirit as we taught him. He understands now why baptism is so important, and it was interesting how we ended up teaching him about temples and how they relate to the Plan of Salvation, even though we had no plan to do so. The Spirit was so strong in our lesson, and we know he felt it. He told us he is super close to getting an answer of the Book of Mormon being true!

Friday after district meeting we had weekly planning, since we were unable to do it the day before due to service. It was an interesting planning season, since Elder Elias asked me an inspired question, and we spent the planning session talking and planning about it. He asked me "Elder Kehl, do we have a goal for this area? What were we sent here to do?" After some thinking and discussing, we came to the conclusion that we are in this area to specifically start up a Spanish group, then branch. It's awesome because now we have a greater overall focus for our area, and we know where to spend the most time at. Now, we're focusing heavily on less actives, and inviting everyone to church so we can have a Spanish group! We're excited to see where our new vision goes! Friday we spent most of our proselyting time in West Salem, and we talked with some less active members, according to our plan, and we found that even though we weren't able to meet with all of them right then, we were able to schedule appointments with them for the coming week.

Saturday saw us again in West Salem (there's a lot of work going on up there for us!) visiting more (trying to) less actives. We met with a couple, but for the most part we couldn't find them home. We stopped by some investigators houses and tried to find them as well, though I guess since it was 102(!) outside they....weren't inside? The highlight of the day was when we met a group of kids in an apartment complex looking for someone, and we started talking to them. They asked us a lot of cute questions, like "what are you wearing pants for?", "do you have a mom?", and "are you brothers?" We showed them a children's video about Jesus, and it was super sweet!

Saturday also happened to be transfer calls. Usually towards the end of the day is when we get the calls, so it wasn't until after dinner that we started really getting anxious. The way transfers work is the assistants call the zone leaders about their zone, then they call the district leaders, then the district leaders call their districts. And if anyone is getting called to a leadership position, they get a call from President Tateoka so he can extend the call, usually a couple of hours before the other transfer info is filtered down. Well, on the way home from West Salem, I got one of those calls from President Tateoka. He asked me to be the District Leader here in Monmouth. So... that's what about to happen tomorrow. I'll be the new District Leader for the district. I'm really overwhelmed with gratitude that Heavenly Father trusts me enough to give me stewardship of His misssionaries in the area. It's a huge responsibility to shoulder, but I've constantly had 1 Nephi 3:7 going through my mind since that call. I know I'm still supposed to be here in this area, because I have work to do, starting up the Spanish group here.

So, there's a LOT that's happening to our district this next transfer. It's pretty sad, actually. Elder Wang and Elder Bowen are both getting transferred! Elder Bowen is going to Sweethome, and Elder Wang is going to Yamhill! That means we're getting two new Elders (whitewashing), and since the third Elders are both going home, they're sending two Sisters here (pinkwashing) and one is getting trained! Its going to be crazy! It'll be Elder Memmott, Elder Pinkston, Sister Jensen, and Sister Boss!

Love you all! Have an awesome week!


Elder Kehl

Call from the Mission President to be a District Leader

5 July 2017

Dear Elder Jaret Riley Kehl,

Congratulations on your new calling as a District Leader in the Oregon Salem Mission! This honor and responsibility comes to very few missionaries in the entire mission.

Few callings will have more importance while serving the Lord. As a District Leader you will be responsible for the training and welfare of missionaries assigned to you. Your first priority will be to be successful in finding, teaching and baptizing individuals in your own area. You will report directly to your assigned zone leaders on the needs of your missionaries. You will participate in companionship exchanges to help train and motivate other Elders in your district. This will include conducting district meetings, and occasionally presenting in zone training meetings. You will interview baptismal candidates who have been taught by missionaries in your district. Finally, you will be asked to work with local priesthood leaders, including Bishops to ensure a close collaboration between missionaries and members. In many ways you are the heart and soul of this great mission.

Your parents and priesthood leaders will also receive a copy of this message. To them we say how thankful we are for sending this great young man to us. You can be proud of the type of missionary he has become; he is the Lord’s finest.

The call to leadership is best done by example. Those you serve will watch you and will desire to become like you. This will require you to be faithful, diligent and most importantly, loving in all you do. Your calling comes through inspiration and qualification from your Father in Heaven. It is a sacred trust given to you, from Him. Know also of my trust and gratitude for your willingness to accept and fulfill this calling.

With Love,

President Tateoka


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