Monday, June 25, 2012

Recent Letter and Picture

Dear Madre!

Things went really, really well this week.  I can't believe how fast it went too... I was on exchange with my favorite Elder in the mission for the first half of the week.   Twas nice!

The baptism was on Saturday!  I had the chance to baptize and confirm the Holy Ghost to a less-active family that is starting to come back to church.  I really wanted the father to be the one who baptized him, but he didn't feel ready to.  But I was completely humbled when they asked me to do it though!!   I completely forgot my camera at the apartment, so I will be sure to come back today and send some pictures via email.  I have a handful of printed copies, so I will be sure to send those in a letter today as well.  The baptism went really well.  Not going to lie, it was something special to be able to get into the waters of baptism and have the privilege of doing that for some other individual.  I didn't know it at the time, but they also wanted me to confirm Elijah.  That was also pretty neat. 

So this week we reaped a benefit from Mitt Romney (and the Book of Mormon musical) this week.  We got a referral from a 19 year old kid who wanted to know more about Mormons.  He had seen a lot in the news about Mormons and he figured he would like to learn more.  He hopped on and asked for a Book of Mormon.  We went over to his house on Friday and had a good answer question session.  All of his questions of course were: "Do Mormons practice polygamy?  You believe that God lives on a planet called Kolob? Etc..."  Basically every stereotype that you can imagine for a Mormon we had to answer.  Lucky for us the spirit is pretty good at answering those questions.  We answered them for him, and then spoke of our true purpose and how those silly things really don't account for much.  It was a great lesson.  We have a fourth of July pancake breakfast next week and he will be coming to that.  I can't imagine a more comfortable setting for him to experience the ward and the church. 

Things are going well with my companion.  Though, I have noticed a HUGE growth in charity and patience since I have started to really own the situation.  After I received that answer to my question, I really have noticed an influence that is not of my own.  It's pretty cool. 

IT WAS SO HOT THIS WEEK!  We experienced the same weather, and let me tell you that walking all day in a white shirt and slacks sucks!!!!!  I am always sweating like a beast, its gross.  In the picture you will notice how tan I am.  I am becoming MEGA TAN!!  It's funny how much I contrast with the white shirt and white slacks at the baptism! 

New York sounded like a blast!  I was pretty darn jealous this week.  Every time anyone would ask how my family was, I would just say "There in New York... I think they are doing just fine." 

I will be looking forward to the package!  I will be sure to let you know if I got it next week in my email!  Thank you for the letter and have an awesome day!  I love you! 


Elder Darren

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Burwick, ME

View of Elder Novakovich's appartment - right on the border between Maine and New Hampshire.


Elder Novakovich's new address (he didn't go to Portsmouth as he thought):

Elder Darren Novakovich
10c Cedar Lane
Burwick, ME 03901

Apparently this assignment covers the Somersworth, NH area where he served prior to going to Gardiner. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


We don't have his new address yet, but Elder Novakovich is being transferred this week to Portsmouth, NH.  He is busy saying his good-byes.  The Esterline's, who have all but adopted Darren in Maine, sent us this picture from the farewell on Monday.  They have fed him and cared for him more than we could have ever hoped - "And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

Monday, December 19, 2011

12-19 Update from Elder Novakovich

So today I am sending my Christmas package to the family!  I am hoping that it arrives by Saturday, which I imagine it should.  If not, be expecting some package some time after Christmas.  There isn't much in it, but it is a descent taste of what New England is like!  I figure the only real thing I have to offer is something that you don't get out in Utah.

I don't really know how things are going to work out on Christmas, but I do know that after church, which is only sacrament as well, we will be heading to Donna's (Bill and Betty's daughter) house to eat lunch and spend time together.  Of course Bill and Betty will be there as well.  From what I know, we will probably spend a good chunk of the day over there.  As for the morning to open presents, we have had a less active lady offer for us to come over and open presents at her house.  That should be a cool experience. 

So Bill heard that we didn't have a Christmas tree in our apartment last week when we were at his house for dinner... The next day he had a little tree with ornaments sitting inside our front door for us..  Bill truly is my favorite person I have met out here in the mission field.  I love that guy.  I have pictures that I will be sending in the package that will have our cute little tree with presents underneath! 

Our investigators are doing great.  The only bad thing that really happened this week was one dropped us.  He gave us a call last Wednesday and said that he talked it over with his girlfriend and Mom, and the Church wasn't for him.  What can you do?  But the following day, we were given two new investigators by our Bishop.  He visited a less active lady and asked if the missionaries could come teach her two un-baptized children.  She consented, and now we are planning on teaching them this week.  Cool!  One falls from the tree and two more replace the empty slot.  We didn't have the chance to teach ------ this week: her fellow shipper went to ER for kidney pain (hopefully not kidney stones) and so was unable to help us teach her.  We have tried calling her to see if she was ok, but haven't had any success.  We plan on trying to call her tonight to make sure everything was going well. 

So I think I will probably call right after we finish dinner with the Esterline's.  My guess is that will be around 2:00 PM Eastern time (noon Mountain time), which will work out perfectly for you and the family.  I would assume by that point that all the presents will have been opened and omelets consumed.  That will give us something to talk about: what presents everyone got.  I wish we could use skype... That would make things sooo nice! 

Our church this week is only sacrament as well!  We are having a Christmas program, which both Elder Peterson and I will be a part of.  We will be singing in the choir.  I don't know if I told you this before, but Elder Gaykowski and I sang in the stake choir during Stake Conference in August... Anyways, that should be a fun experience.  I am looking forward to calling!!  I can't believe that time is here at last.  It seems like forever since we talked in May. 

And so you know, transfer calls will be this Saturday.  I talked with President Wilkey during our interviews this week, and he mentioned that he wants to be stay in Gardiner for another transfer.  He can't promise anything, because 13 new missionaries are coming and that alone will cause a lot of movement of missionaries throughout the mission.  I pray that things work out and I can stay here for my 5th transfer, but you never know.  My fingers are crossed. 


Elder Novakovich

Monday, December 12, 2011

Excerpts from Some Recent Letters

We've had several people ask how Darren is doing.  The short answer is that he is doing great.  Posted below are some excerpts from his two most recent letters:

December 12, 2011

Holy cow!  I read Grandma's email before I read this and she mentioned how Tyson was in a sling and experiencing some pain.... At first I thought, "What the crap happened?"... That's a bummer he broke it at Classic Skating.  See why I tell Tyson to stop growing?  He is much to tall for his poor 13 year old equilibrium.  I hope he now understands the wisdom in why I tell him to stop growing... haha.  Anyways, that sucks for him!  I imagine that will deter his video game playing for the next little while.  I bet that's why he is crying the most I imagine: that's why I would be.  4 to 8 weeks without video games... I hope he can survive! 

So nothing that exciting happened to me this week... We did get two new investigators.  They are the children of the lady we got last week.  They came to church yesterday and we had the chance to escort them from sacrament to primary.  They are good kids.  They sat next to us in Sacrament, and I couldn't believe at how well behaved they were: attentive, reverent, and listening to the speakers!  Both the 10 year old boy and the 9 year old girl seemed to love their primary classes.  After we dropped them off, we talked with their mother.  She expressed a strong desire to be baptized.. Woah.  This week we are teaching her and will be extending a baptismal date.  Can you believe it?  We show up to church two weeks in a row and expressed her desire to be baptized.  I imagine her two younger kids will follow suit.  She does have a husband and 16 year old kid, but I haven't met them yet.  Hopefully they want to hope along for the ride! 

Our investigating pool is getting pretty large.  We did weekly planning on Friday and had to plan for 13 investigators!!!  Of course, 4 or so of them are dead beats who like us coming over.  When we first started the transfer, all we really had were those four investigators.  Now we have 6 or 7 solid investigators who have potential.  It's nice to have solid people to teach!

Elder Peterson and I are getting along great.  We both have our routines down and things are meshing quite nicely.  Elder Peterson knows a lot for only being out 4 months.  He must of prepared quite well before he left his mission, something I wished I would of done a bit better!  Oh well, you live and learn. 

So we eat at the Esterlines yet again this Thursday.  I am sure excited for that.  They rock! 

So I am putting on my winter cushion quite nicely.  I have been trying my hardest to avoid it, but it seems unavoidable.  I can't really control it to much, so I have given up trying to put on that sixpack, haha.

I sure do love you Mom!  Thank you for everything you do for me.  I love you more than anything!

December 5, 2011

So our teaching pool had a HUGE spike this week.  I will copy and paste what I sent to the mission President:

I guess I will begin with the recap of miracles we experienced this week.  We had a guy last week flag us down while we were walking to an appointment.  We talked with him, scheduled a time to start teaching him, and went our merry way.  Well we taught him two days later and he seemed to enjoy it.  He said he would read the introduction to the Book of Mormon and come to church the upcoming Sunday.  Well the miracle is that he did.  He also expressed that he truly loved it and wanted to come back.  He was talking with a member during Priesthood and mentioned that he had met with 8 or so pairs of Elders before and that these two (Elder Peterson and I) were the first that he felt answered his questions and concerns.  What a miracle.  And if having a investigator show up as he said, we had a member pull us out of gospel principles and told us that she brought a friend who has 3 kids, ages 16 through 10, who was interested in joining.  We talked with her friend and scheduled an appointment this Wednesday at the members home for a lesson.  Wow.  We were completely speechless.  The Lord truly is involved in the work, I have a sure testimony of that!  I wanted to call you as soon as church was over due to my overwhelming feelings of joy, but I talked myself out of it.  So that was what Elder Peterson and I call our "Miracle Sunday."

We have a busy time ahead of us for teaching, which couldn't be better timing with the winter months ahead of us.  Our investigators we do have now seem to be maintaining the same progress.  We did however get the chance to meet up with a fellow who we haven't seen in awhile.  We set up a firm time of this Tuesday to meet with him. 

Pretty friggin awesome....  I can't believe how this week went.  It was truly a miracle to see all this happen.