This past week I had some cereal. Lot’s of cereal.

Hello mom and family and friends!

I have been doing well. This last week was pretty good. Things have been going rather smoothly with the ward. We have a meeting at the VC this week which will be pretty cool. I still don’t know what it is about though.

1. My favorite book is either Band of Brothers or Neptune’s Inferno, if I am going for a non-religious answer, and Our Search For Happiness for a religious one. The first two help me appreciate some of the actions my forebearers took to preserve civil liberties and freedom for our nation and others, and the second helps me understand the Gospel and applying it to my life. All in all, good stuff. (I exempted the Book of Mormon, because that is too obvious)

2. Well, this past week I had some cereal. Lot’s of cereal. It reminded me of the time we had like a hundred boxes in our house. Good times indeed.

3. We’ll, I don’t think there is anything I can do that always makes me happy, as there must be opposition in all things, and too much of a good thing is a bad thing, and so on so forth. BUT,  I really do like skiing! I miss backpacking (dad mentioned he was training for August), and playing guitar. Things I still can do include taking really hot showers followed by really cold showers. Another thing is talking about random things with Elder Cowan ranging from the meaning of damnation (the halt of our spiritual progression FYI) and other gospel topics, what our favorite vacations are, former companions, mission policy, sports, family stories and more. Also included in things I am permitted to do is sing, read scriptures, and drive to appointments at sunset (so romantic). Playing basketball is also fun. I have a killer floater that is unblock-able. Outside of what is listed, most of what I do for enjoyment is blacklisted until I return to the golden state.

4. If I were emperor for a day, my first decree would be that every third Thursday of the month people are required to wear socks with sandals, and striped shorts of a neon variety; a checkered shirt in pastel hues, and a scarf patterned in the finest polka dots possible. The name of this day will be Known as Thursday and people will be given 1 ticket for the town ferris wheel. Those who violate this decree will henceforth be known as tacky until compliance occurs.

Sorry, not much in the way of pictures this week. I hope you are all well and good.

I love you!

Elder Jacob Norris
Trust God, Good Things Will Come 🙂

jacobincereal

From mom’s “Do-it-yourself” picture kit!

A game called Smear.

Hey Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa, and Everyone!

Elder Bias and I will be companions for one more transfer here in Glen Burnie!

I am happy to hear your vacation went well up to Sequoia. It sounded like you both had a lot of fun! I saw how much snow was still there and thought it must have been a welcome break from all the hot weather!

I am glad your poppy trip went well. There was a good amount from what I could see. They looked really pretty.

Things are well with Elder Bias and myself. Our investigator Joel was able to make it to the Priesthood session and both of the Sunday sessions of conference. He loved both of them! We watched it at our Ward Mission Leader’s house and there was also a recent convert who watched it with us. We had a pretty good discussion with Joel, and he hopes to be baptized on April 22nd. Please continue to pray for him. I would say that was probably the most exciting thing this week!

Today we played a game called Smear. It also goes by the names of K.I.L.L and Ultimate. Basically everyone gets in a circle and juggles a volleyball like a soccer ball. After four juggles, the ball becomes live and it turns into dodgeball. So after the fourth juggle you catch and throw. If you get hit, you are out until the person who hit you gets out, at which point you come back into the circle. You win when you get everyone out. We played that for a good 4 hours for our district activity. Lots of fun!

The best meal I had this week was before the Priesthood session of Conference. The Elders Quorum for our ward and the Pasadena Ward brought in a bunch of different pies and pizzas! Not the most original of meals, but tasty nonetheless. The best pie was this really good apple one. (Apple pie is his favorite)

Recently I have been singing just about all the time. It helps me relax and I sing just about everything that I can, from Rock of Ages (hymn) to Rock of Ages (Def Leppard) haha!  Mostly hymns, but sometimes I catch a snippet of a song from a car driving by and if I recognize it, I will usually start singing it. I had an exchange with one of my Zone Leaders, Elder Rowley, and he said he was going to ask Sister Johnson if I could sing in Why I Believe. That would be pretty cool, though it has been a while since I sang for a crowd. It is at the DC Temple Visitor Center’s auditorium, which is pretty sizable, so I may have to get used to that! I will probably practice it at a zone conference/ training before I do the Temple Visitor Center. Elder Bias likes it when I make up medleys that shift from classic rock to bluegrass to jazz to spirituals to show tunes to indie music. It is kind of hard, but he will say a few songs and I will try and make something up. We have kept ourselves occupied at night.

I hope you are all well and safe! I love you all this much <—>. See, it is a line. Never ends! 😉

Elder Jacob Norris
Washington D.C. North Mission
Trust God, Good Things Will Come 🙂

Out in force this week!

Hello Mamma,

Things have been pretty fun today. We played some volleyball at the ward building. I have a bunch of batteries. Also, I am probably moving next week, so hold off on sending any letters/packages.

We are going to be doing the Cherry Blossom Festival again, so I am excited I will get to participate in that this year! It will be over in D.C., and the whole mission gets to go! I will definitely have lots of pictures to send home from that. I guess I get to see some pretty flowers also 😉

Elder Bias and I have been out in force this week. We had interviews, Zone Conference, and an exchange with the ZL’s, so we have been pretty motivated to crank out some lessons! We just got back from a FHE with a family in the ward. They are a mix of a former-now returning member and nonmembers, so it was a pretty good chance to invite the spirit to their home.

I cant wait to go skiing again! When people ask me what I look forward to most about going home my response is almost always our annual trip to ski. Nothing tops it! haha.

In the mean time, suggestions of audio for dad’s hikes, there is a talk from Oct 1975 conference entitled, “But Watchmen, What of the Night?” By Vaughn J. Featherstone. It is a very patriotic one. Gets my blood pumping. The whole conference is centered patriotically,  as it was just prior to the U.S. Bicentennial, and there is much to be learned from some of the talks there.

1. I am grateful for a mission president who is loving and supportive and encourages us to grow. President Johnson is awesome!

2. I have two Book of Mormon heroes, my “Holy cow, that was awesome!” hero would probably be Teancum. He kills not one, but two rebellious kings in crazy manner, teaching a valuable lesson in controlling our anger. My spiritual hero would probably be Captain Moroni, who, like Teancum is a military boss, but is also a spiritual giant as well. See Alma 48 for proof.

3. If my shoes could talk, they would have spent half the time wondering why I had been sitting for so long and the other half wondering why I had been walking so long! Also, they would probably tell me to get between my toes more regularly.

4. I really hope people think of me as kind. Friendly, happy, nice, caring are all also alternate adjectives of how I hope people see me. I am just trying to make other people’s lives easier through kindness.

I am sorry for the brevity of this letter, but I must be getting off now. Know that I love you and hope that you are all well. Stay safe back there! I pray for you all everyday.

Love,

Elder Norris
Washington D.C. North Mission
Trust God, Good Things Will Come 🙂

Changing climates every 5 hours

February 27, 2017

Hello Mom! Things are well in Glen Burnie. Elder Bias is pretty awesome. Things are pretty challenging out here, but I am doing well. We were pretty busy last week saying bye to everyone Elder George knew in the area. Obviously I am stressed, but nothing bad. Keeps me on my toes.

As to my address, just send stuff to the mission office until I get moved. There is nowhere for packages to be placed, so that would be best. I know you got an email about not doing that but it really would be best.

My health stuff is lingering but getting better. Doctor says not to worry about it, so I won’t.

Something to note, I gave President my iPad for the foreseeable future. I was getting distracted and wasting my time watching old seminary videos and gospel movies, so I wanted to try paper for a while, so what that is all about. President says I can get it back whenever I feel up to it.

We currently have 3 people on date here in Glen Burnie and a couple of very solid potential investigators. We got a call last week and someone we never heard of asked what she needed to do to be baptized into he Mormon Church, which caught me off guard. She is well informed of church history, and is pretty smart and enthusiastic.

The weather here has been nuts the last few days. It has been thundering, raining, windy, sunny, hot, cold, humid, and dry all in the last three days. It has been wearing me down a little having to change climates every 5 hours haha. I will send you some pictures next week when I have some to send. My camera battery crapped out and I have to charge it up after it not being used in some time.

We need to head out now, but know that I love you All! I hope you stay safe!

Love,

Elder Jacob Norris
Washington D.C. North Mission
Trust God, Good Things Will Come

An Elder of few words…

Hey mom,

Sorry, busy with transfers. I will be moved to Glen Bernie, Maryland.   I will no longer be a District Leader but, I will be Senior Companion and designated driver.  It is in the Annapolis Zone.

I may be able to send more later this week.  I will ask if I can send something tomorrow. (Nope) 

Sorry for the short reply.

Love you!

Elder Jacob Norris

Spiritual Progression

Hi mom,

Sorry for not emailing yesterday, my mail was down. Here is a quick thought.

A concept that I have been thinking about a lot lately is the idea of spiritual progression. I began my inquiry while listening to the hymn, “If You Could Hie to Kolob”. It talks a lot about the concept of eternal progression. Something that I had a realization was that we can not take time off from seeking further truth. The process in place is such that it will continue for eternity. It is a never ceasing growth that we are privileged to participate in.

The first ordinance that takes place in this progression is that of Baptism. In 2 Nephi chapter 31:17 it states that baptism and repentance is “…the gate by which ye should enter.” Some of the people I talk to here believe that baptism is all we need to be saved and achieve our full potential. The truth is that it is only the beginning! We need to continue our journey and progress through the other ordinances available to us and by striving to maintain every covenant we make.

I hope you all stay safe. Happy Belated Birthday Grandpa! 🎉🎊🎉🎊🎉🎊🎉🎊🎉

I love you!

Elder Norris

 

Transfer Report 1.o

Hey mom!

Happy spring to you as well! It probably feels more like spring there than it does here. It was just cold and windy today. I have been seeing lots of cool people, doing a solid amount of service but sadly, I was unable to make it to the Mall. The picture of the four of us at the pizza place was taken by a random stranger who said our parents would love it. He was from Provo and works as a professor at BYU. He was In DC for a seminar.

It is fantastic the fundraiser went well. I would have bought your cupcakes too! haha. I love Lono’s cooking, and always enjoyed working with the rest of the young men.

It is awesome to hear that Steve was at church again! I hope he enjoys the fireside.

It is excellent to hear that Spencer did a good job on his farewell talk. I remember mine like it was 3 1/2 months ago! Haha 😀  I know that as he serves, he will make great things happen! If you could tell him that I love him, and if he ever has any problems or struggles I am always going to be there to give him support, at least on a weekly basis! haha. Also, smack him upside the head for not emailing me more!

It is good to hear that Neil Devore thinks so highly of Kyle and I. Even with how knuckleheaded some of the things we have done, I have always tried to be a good example to my peers. Just like everyone else, I have my faults. I know you know this, but I work everyday to show my appreciation for the love and support you both have given me. I would not be the man I am today if not for you. I realize that I have squandered a lot of my talents for far too long doing things that are non beneficial to me or those around me, and I am sorry for that. I will work the rest of my life to show how much I appreciate all that you have taught me and done for me. 😀

So, now to answer your weekly questions!

1. The interesting career someone who we teach has is a Marine who is part of the Presidential security detail. He is also our most solid Investigator. He started meeting with missionaries while he was in Boot Camp and has a lot of LDS friends. He says he knows it is true but wants to first have a full understanding of the commitments he will be making. It is hard to meet with him because he works pretty crazy shifts, but we are going to make it work out for him.

2. Yes I have gotten letters from people other than my immediate family, and I am assuming you never got the big thing of letters I sent, so I will write some more. I should have done that already anyways.

3. I think there are around 10 missionaries in our district, which is the Anacostia District. Although that may change Wednesday!

4. My Zone Leaders are Elder Crandall and Elder Liang. Though, again, that is going to change on Wednesday. We have Zone Conference once a transfer, or every six weeks, and Zone-District Meeting is every Thursday.

5. The most spiritual moment I had this week was with the Marine Investigator. We had given him a call and he didn’t answer, so we were going to go knock on his door to see if he was home. We didn’t know at the time that he was a Marine living in the Barracks so we got to the address and were like “oh, shoot”. Right after we got there we got a call from him, we will call him J, saying he wanted to meet. So we set a time and after we hung up he called us right back and asked if we were in front of the barracks. Then he came jogging up from down the road and said he could see us from a block away. We just met with him on Saturday and he said that that morning he had said a prayer asking if the Book of Mormon was true and if he should get baptized. He said he wants to prepare himself, and we will be setting the date for April 24. He has already read the first 3 books of the Book of Mormon and is really desirous to learn more, but due to his job he’s almost impossible to meet with. We send him texts with reading assignments, and also gave him all the pamphlets to study and he has already read them all and loves it. Dad, I wish I could just go on a hike with you and talk to you, but this will do. We also brought an investigator to a baptism last week and he absolutely loved it! It was a pretty good week.  😀

And, now the moment you have all been waiting for… TRANSFER REPORT!!!

The verdict for whether I, Elder Norris, will be staying or going is… I am staying! However, this transfer will bring about some changes for me. Elder McDonald is leaving. Yeah, I am excited, but I will miss Elder McDonald. We had just clicked, but oh well, the Lord knows what’s up!  My new companion’s name is Elder Hamblin and he is a pretty solid teacher at least. I may have a tough time this transfer. This will be his last transfer,  and I will work for amicability in our companionship.  Dad, thanks for being a good example to me.

Oh, one more interesting thing is we get to be ushers at the National Cherry Blossom Parade on April 16th!

I have yet to get the Easter box. I get mail at Zone District Meetings, so I thank you for the spoiler haha. I love you too!

Elder Norris

Haha jk,

Jacob