Friday, June 26, 2015

Yippee... First Letter from Elder Northrup (Unedited) 6-26-2015

Well hello everyone it is kind of weird to be doing this now. Writing all of you in old fashion, I mean. 

My frist two days has been amazing. We have met my companions. Yep I have two companions, Elder Steiner and Elder Kidwell.  Elder Kidwell is so funny, he is from Show low, Arizona. Everything that could possibly happen to him has happen. For Example someone chucked his stress ball into a pit where no door leads to it. He has bad reading eye sight so he mixs up words and things like that. Elder Steiner is awesome to he is from Kaysville, Utah. I am getting along with my companions really well. I have also seen some of my friends from Lehi that are in the MTC right now. I have been doing what Dad did in the MTC and bringing back a bunch of drinks to our room, and I love the food except for breakfast because there are only three options: Donuts and Bagels and cereal. 

Our teachers are amazing and have been really good at teaching with the spirit, and how inviting the spirit really helps the discussions flow. We had an experience where Elder Kidwell was being an investigator while Elder Steiner and I, taught him. We were practicing inviting him to baptism, he came up with a concern about why he shouldn't get baptised. Elder Kidwell's concern was that he didn't want to settle with a church if none of them felt correct to be in. Elder Steiner and I where directed to scriptures by the holy ghost and we read the Joseph Smith history 1:11, I believe and we told him that one of the reasons that our church was founded was because someone called Joseph Smith had his exact same question. Later, we had him pray like an investigator would. He did, right after we made him a promise that if he would follow the spirit, pray, and read the scriptures then he would be ready for baptism.

In our dorm/residence we have 5 Elders in our room. Elder Steiner, Elder Kidwell, Elder Rippstein who is from Richfield, Utah, Elder Knight is from Mesa, Arizona, and me. All of us are going to the Washington Federal Way Mission, how flippin' ironic. There is one other guy named Elder Covington who is in our District that is going to our mission as well. Our District leaders are Elder Covington and Elder Long, and our Zone Leaders are Elder Rippstein and Elder Knight. Our whole district is super awesome! I have no extra responsibilities, which I am totally fine with. 

Oh and before I forget. While we are here we are having to eat in the Gym area instead of the original Cafeteria because there are new mission presidents being trained right now. We also have a bunch of General Authorities (including Elder Holland, Elder Ballard, and Elder Bednar) on the MTC grounds right now and on tuesday we might get hear one of them speak.

I don't have very much to right because I have only been here two days.

Elder Reggie K. Northrup

P.S. I was able to meet Brother Clarke, he said he would stop by the office some time soon.

(Pictures will be attached, but we can't figure out how to do that yet) 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Best Worst Day Ever!

After packing half the day, it was time to get ready for President Bangerter to come over and set Reggie apart as a Full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  It was the perfect evening.  The temperature was just right and the sunset was beautiful.  Grandpa Don and Grandma Maria came as well as Bishop Daines.  Before he was set apart, we were all asked to share something from our hearts.  It was emotional to think of this boy who was now nearly a man.  It was a tribute to him how sad we were that he was leaving, but how happy we were for what he will gain from it...  all at the same time.  Then President Bangerter gave him a great blessing.  If he does his best, living in Exact Obedience and following the spirit, he will be a wonderful, successful missionary.

Then today, June 24th, it was time for him to go.  We got up and ready to head over a little after 8am. Tim Pierson came with us to take pictures and video.  Village Inn was our stop for breakfast.  It was quite interesting how most of the people there were taking a missionary to Provo MTC and not one of them was going foreign.  Reggie ate a huge breakfast and on the way out we found out that missionaries eat for free!  How great is that?

We actually had a lot more time that we thought we would when he headed over to Provo temple. We took some photos and then rested on the grass for a while, awaited that 11:00 hour.  The day really couldn't be more beautiful.  It was finally time and we loaded up and headed over to the MTC.  There awaiting us curbside was a young returned missionary ready to be Elder Northrup's personal guide for the day.  We took his luggage out of the van, gave hugs, shed tears... he waved and was off down the side walk for 2 years!  How could this time have come so quickly?   It really just doesn't seem real. After packing yesterday, we put away all of his personal items that he didn't want bothered while he is gone.  Tonight, I went and finished cleaning up his room and washing his bedding.  I discovered that he left with a few necessary things... He will be getting his first package Friday!  He left his extra contact lenses, his watch and a pair of garments that he had on before his shower this morning. Gretchen has already written a letter and a letter arrived in the mail from Grandpa and Grandma Thayne that I need to send along as well.  Here we go!

My hopes for Reggie (Elder Northrup) is that he will know he is deeply loved by his family, his Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ.  I hope that he will know that though things will be hard, HE CAN DO HARD THINGS!  I hope he isn't scared and if he is, the spirit will comfort him.  I hope that he knows that to those the Lord calls, he Qualifies for the work and that this IS the Lord's work!  I love him and will miss him like crazy, but How Great Will be my joy as I watch him grow and develop into the man Heavenly Father knows he can become.

See you in 2!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

It's the FINAL countdown!

The final 2 weeks consisted of going to the temple with family and friends.  Reggie had the opportunity to baptize Karter, Gabi, Afton and Grayson for some of our ancestors.  It was such a special day to witness that and allow family members who have gone before to accept the gospel on the other side.  For three days the following week, Reggie went with his besties to a few other temples in the area.  Temple hopping from Payson, Draper, Oquirrh Mountain, Logan, Ogden, Brigham City, and Bountiful, baptizing and confirming many along the way.  What a great experience.   So glad he has such great RIGHTEOUS friends!

Sunday, June 21st (Father's Day) was Reggie's farewell.  He did a wonderful job on his talk and then filled out house with friends and family wishing him well and having a nice lunch. We had plenty of food and even enjoyed the leftovers.  He has a lot of friends and people who love him.   (Below is a copy of his talk.)

The Impact of Fathers on Families and the Church

As I thought about the topic the bishopric gave me to speak on, which is… “The Impact of Fathers on Families and the Church”… it reminded me of the great men in my life as well as those in the scriptures who have impacted me in my decision to live righteously and to serve a mission.  These men have been examples of Christ-like attributes of which I would like to develop.

I have been blessed to have kind and good YM leaders, Bishop’s, Home teachers and Uncles who have taken time to teach, lead and strengthen me.  The scripture that came to mind when I thought about these righteous men is in Alma 53:20.  It says, “And they were all young men, and they were exceedingly valiant for courage and also for strength and activity; but behold, this was not all—they were men who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted.”

Just as the Stripling Warriors, these leaders have been an example of courage and have taken their callings with a sense of responsibility and a desire to serve.  These men are all fathers of their own children.  They have all sacrificed time with them to lift and strengthen me.  I am so thankful and hope to have that same sense of courage and responsibility as I serve my mission and throughout my life.

Another righteous father that came to mind is Alma from the Book of Mormon.  Alma the father prayed with much faith that his son would come to the knowledge of the truth.  His prayer was answered in a special way.
“There are two words in golf more dreaded to hear than any, and even worse to witness.  Yips and Shanks.  I have definitely experienced the Shanks.  Almost any golfer would admit that nothing scares them more in golf than the Shanks.  Let me explain.  The Shank is the result of a miscue of the swing, but only by 1/2 inch or less, in which the golfer hits the ball with the part of the club where the face of the club meets the shaft.  The result of a Shank is usually a 45 degree shot, or worse, to the right for a right handed golfer.  Not a wanted shot.  It is terribly ugly to feel and even more horrific to see, almost dangerous.  The problem with the Shank is that it not only produces such an errant and abismal result, one usually has no idea how it happened.  The swing feels correct.  It just comes out of nowhere.  The fear that comes next is the paralyzing aspect of the Shank and why it is considered the scariest event in a golf round, or golf life!!! Once a Shank happens, it is now firmly implanted in your mind.  First you wonder how it happened, then you wonder if it will happen again.  This throws off the entire game, the mental, the physical, and quite literally the enjoyment.  It plagues a golfers mind and game.  Remember though, it is such a small miscue.  One famous golfer, whose name I can't remember, stated that a Shank is the closest thing to a perfect shot WITHOUT hitting a perfect shot.  For a golfer, that's little comfort. 
One golf season, a few years back, I suffered drastically from the Shanks.  I suffered on each hole from worrying about if or when or what will cause me to Shank it.  It became frustrating.  My mind and game were completely distracted on the error of the Shank and how to correct it. The more I tried to correct it on the course during play, the worse it got.  It seemed like I went months with this curse.  But it never caused me to want to quit, only to fix it.  The problem was, after a time I began to fulfill my own prophecy. I thought about the Shank.  I told myself not to Shank it.  I couldn't get my mind off the worry of Shanking into the woods, the next hole over, or even into the clubhouse.  I almost took off the head of a promoter during a tournament on the tee of the 16th hole.  After that the guy sat about 20 yards right of the tee for every golfer that followed.  
So, you may ask yourself, how did I get rid of the Shanks, IF I did indeed get rid of them?  Well, the answer is that I did get rid of the Shanks.  It took time on the range, recommitting to my swing and instilling confidence in the same swing I had before, but believing I was going to hit the ball how I intended to hit it, not how I may miss hit it.  This is important.  While living in Wisconsin, from a good friend of mine, I learned a lifelong lesson that will never get lost from my mind. That is to make yourself DO something.  One day while working with me on my swing, he told me to always tell myself to DO.   DO NOT doesn't work.  DO hit the ball with a high draw.  Works!!!!  DO NOT hit into the water on the right.....DOESN'T WORK!!!!  It actually does work in part; one actually hits it the way you intend NOT TO if you dwell on that thought.  So it's much better to instill in your mental game of golf, TO DO!!
What does this have to do with life?  Plenty.  We all have numerous Shanks, or mistakes, in life.  Some more than others.  Myself, more than I can count.  But we also have the opportunity to tell ourselves to move forward.  DO.  We have the choice to let go, try again, start over.  We all can determine what our circumstances may turn out to be by DOING.  DO NOT, will not work.  For some, I think the toughest thing we can encounter in our own life's circumstances may be to forgive ourselves from the Shanks.  This Shank, in and of itself, stays in our minds and may consume our thoughts.  It is a process, not a singular event that will cure this Shank.  It takes time and diligence and perseverance to correct such a Shank, and that's okay.  It just needs to be corrected by DOING.   This doesn't mean we will not make future Shanks, but we will be progressing, moving forward and we will know how to overcome any new Shanks that may plague us.

“An now it came to pass that while he was going about to destroy the church of God, … the angel of the Lord appeared unto them; and he descended as it were in a cloud; and he spake as it were with a voice of thunder… 

“And so great was their astonishment, that they fell to the earth, and understood not the words which he spake unto them. 

“Nevertheless he cried again, saying:  Alma, arise and stand forth, for why persecutest thou the church of God?  For the Lord hath said:  This is my church, and I will establish it; and nothing shall overthrow it, save it is the transgression of my people. 

“And again, the angel said: Behold, the Lord hath heard the prayers of his people, and also the prayers of his servant, Alma, who is thy father; for he has prayed with much faith concerning thee that thou mightest be brought to the knowledge of the truth; therefore, for this purpose have I come to convince thee of the power and authority of God, that the prayers of his servants might be answered according to their faith.” 

Because of Alma’s PRAYERS OF FAITH, many generations were blessed through the service of his son.  I hope to gain this type of faith as I pray for opportunities to teach His gospel to people in Washington.

I have two wonderful grandpas who have taught me by example.  My Grandpa Northrup is an example of quiet humility.  I know by the way he lives that he loves the Savior and that he will go about doing his work without the need to be noticed by others.  In Mosiah 4:11, “And again I say unto you…”

I had the opportunity to work with my Grandpa Thayne for a couple weeks on his ranch, working on wheel lines.  He is a righteous example of self-reliance and hard work.  He does not idly waste his time, but always anxiously engaged in hard work and in serving others.  The scripture I found that reminds me of my Grandpa Thayne is in D&C 88:124-126, “Cease to be idle… cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early that ye may not be weary; arise early that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated.  And above all things, clothe yourselves with the bond of charity, as with a mantle, which is the bond of perfectness and peace.  Pray always, that ye may not faint, until I come.  Behold, and lo, I will come quickly, and receive you unto myself.  Amen.”

From these two great men, I hope to learn to work hard, serve others and humbly recognize the Lord’s hand in all things.

One of the greatest examples of Fatherhood is the relationship between Heavenly Father and his own Son, Jesus Christ.  In the New Testament, one of the most vivid examples is in the garden just before His betrayal:  It says,

“Jesus kneeled down, and prayed, “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. 

“And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.”

Father in Heaven is just as aware of our needs and lives as he was of our Savior.  I know He will strengthen and guide me as I pray for his help and direction.

As it is Father’s Day, I would like to share with you something I have learned from my own dad.  As most of you know, he is a guy who loves everything about golf.  He takes as much time as he is able to enjoy this sport.  Because he has done this, he has been able to find life lessons and analogies that go along with his favorite game.  Recently he shared one that I would like to share with you… 
So, here is some golf wisdom from my dad…

This is such a great lesson to me about the atonement and forgiveness.  What I learn from this is DO forgive yourself when you make a mistake and DO Choose the Right.  I love my dad and am grateful he is such an important part of my life.

In a talk given by Elder L. Tom Perry titled Fatherhood, an Eternal Calling he states, “Satan, in his carefully devised plan to destroy the family, seeks to diminish the role of fathers.”

However the power of Satan is insignificant next to the power of Heavenly Father.  Yes, Satan has power, but his power can be beaten back if we follow the guidance of our Heavenly Father and look to the example of Fathers and fatherly figures.

Last haircut before finding a new beautician!  Good luck with that!

Monday, June 22nd was Liam's 10th birthday.  We spent the day doing activities like shopping, eating, movie watching (Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers! Cokeville Miracle.) and later playing tennis and having snow cones.  Only one full day left before he is ordained a missionary!

 Gretchen is going to miss her biggest bro!

 How sweet it is!