Nathan - Lake Houston - Edward, Keech, Ericson - 12/8/2015 to 5/31/2016

area: Lake Houston YSA Branch (Humble, Texas)
zone: Summerwood
companions: Elder Edward, Elder Keech, Elder Ericson
dates: 12/8/2015 to 5/31/2016 (Transfer Periods #10-13)
Transfer Period #10
email: 12/8/2015
I am now serving as a Summerwood Zone Leader in the Lake Houston YSA (Young Single Adult) Branch. My new companions are Elder Edward (he's been here for 2 transfers) and Elder Keech (he's a new Zone Leader this transfer too). I'm sooooo excited!!! We cover 3 stakes geographical boundaries! Including Kingwood 2nd Ward, Broadway Ward, Baytown Ward, and Pine Trails Ward!!!!!! I'm so excited! I love being a missionary!

The new address is:
15100 Golden Eagle Drive, Apt # 904
Humble, TX (I don't know the zip code, sorry)

and it's super nice so it's definitely ok to send packages to
email: 12/14/2016
I love my companions! They're so great! Elder Keech doesn't fear anyone. He talks with everybody. He's such a good example to me. And Elder Edward always keeps a joyful spirit around and helps us laugh when we feel down.

Serving in the Young Single Adult branch is awesome! I love the activities and working with the member, but my favorite part is contacting. We search for YSA's and there's been many times when we've parked our car, jumped out, and chased down someone who looked like a young single adult. I love being a missionary!

We saw a bunch of miracles this week. I only have time to share one.

This weekend was Stake Conference and there was an adult session Saturday night. We didn't have any investigators going so we weren't going to go. However, we were in our car in the parking lot deciding where to go find some people to teach and a few members and other missionaries pulled up next to us to talk to us. Then right when we decided where to go a lady pulled up next to us and said some missionaries had invited her but she was scared to go in because she was wearing flip flops. We comforted her and brought her inside and sat next to her. The meeting was great and she loved it. If we had left 20 seconds earlier we would've never seen her.

I love being a missionary!

I love all of you. But I love Jesus Christ more. And this is where He wants me. So this is where I want to be.
email: 12/21/2015
I love this area! The YSA is the best! There's always members available to come to lessons. And our investigators, being YSA's, are nearly always available to meet so we don't have to deal with having to convince them to set aside time to meet with us. It's awesome!

Also, Elder Edward and Elder Keech Are my best friends! I'm sooooo grateful for them!

We went on an exchange this week, Elder Anderson came to our area with Elder Keech and I. It was awesome! The most memorable part was when we went to see a member who struggles with life. Before we got out of the car Elder Keech suggested we say a prayer asking for miracles. I offered the prayer and I asked for miracles, asked that we would recognize them, and asked that they would start as soon as we left the car. We got out of the car, read about Samuel the Lamanite prophesying about the sign of Christ's birth and then about the righteous being saved because the sign came. Then we gave him a blessing. Then he said, "I also have a neighbor who would like a blessing. Can I take you there?" We asked a few questions about his neighbor and found out that he's a son of a less active and the member said, "let's just say he's a golden investigator." So we hurried over, had a member present lesson, gave the neighbor a blessing, and then he gave us a referral of another neighbor. We went over there and that referral wasn't home, but his mom was so we got her info and passed it on to the Woodforest elders. Then as we got ready to leave, the member we were with had a friend over so we got his info and set up a time to watch the Restoration movie with them. Miracles!!!

We saw many other miracles this week too! I can't remember all of them and I left my journal in our apartment but there were many!

I love all of you. But I love Jesus Christ more. And this is where He wants me. So this is where I want to be.
email: 12/28/2015
I absolutely love the YSA Branch! I think it's partially because Elder Edward and Elder Keech are the best of the best. But also the members are so involved in missionary work, coming to lessons, and bringing their friends to church.

Christmas was great! I loved Skyping my family and being able to ask and respond to questions without a week of lag time like emails work. I love my family! I'm so grateful for the Plan of Salvation!

My favorite part of this last week was Tuesday night. We drove by some basketball courts and there were a bunch of people playing so we went over and asked if we could play a game. They laughed at us and after we got teams situated (the three of us and two guys who were playing against five of the rest of them) one of the guys from the other team came over and said "we're gonna whoop your butts. It's gonna be a blowout, 12-0!" We just smiled at him. Then Elder Keech during the first minute of the game made two lay ups and a three pointer. When we got to 12 one of the other guys on our team said we'd play to 16 to give them a chance. We ended up winning 16-11. Afterwards we said we'd like to share a message and 9 of them sat down on the court and we taught them the restoration and gave them all "Christmas presents" in the form of Book of Mormons.

Christmas Day we went caroling as a zone and that was fantastic! Everyone was so cheerful and everyone we carol led to received it so well. It really lifted the missionaries spirits to be unified in inviting others to come unto Christ.

Also! Sister Rivers got baptized! it was such a great baptismal service! the Spirit was so strong and she was so ready!

I love being a missionary.

I love all of you. But I love Jesus Christ more. And this is where He wants me to be. So this is where I want to be.
email: 1/4/2016
We had a great week this week! I'm so grateful to be in the YSA Branch! We have a member, Kevin, who's been driving us around this whole week because he has work off. The most incredible part is that he's tight on money, but he knows that he'll be blessed for helping share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It also helps that gas is only $1.65 a gallon in Houston!

We worked really hard this week and it was so much fun! It seems like the more tired I am, the more I laugh... well to a point. But I love my companions! Elder Keech and Elder Edward are hard workers and it's so great to serve around them!

I'm sorry it's short this week. I love all of you. But I love Jesus Christ more. And this is where He wants me. So this is where I want to be.
email: 1/11/2016
José was baptized yesterday! It was such an amazing experience being able to teach him all the lessons, be the first missionaries to contact him, and see the change in his life! He was glowing after he was baptized and it was so cool! He's only 19 and we committed him to prepare this next year to be able to serve a mission, whether he decides to actually go or not. There's a lot of members in the branch who were baptized in their late teens and then went on missions so they're going to help encourage him to go. I'm so excited to be a missionary at this time.

We saw a lot of miracles this week! One we saw Saturday when a member who was supposed to drive us around all day was a couple hours late. We hopped on our bikes and started talking to people we saw on the streets. One family was moving so we offered our help and they actually allowed us to help them. Then one of them, a Young Single Adult named AJ, ended up being a former investigator who's been reading the Book of Mormon recently and wants to come to church and start taking the lessons again!

I love being a missionary. I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ and having the opportunity to share it with others!

I love all of you. But I love Jesus Christ more. And this is where He wants me. So this is where I want to be.
email: 1/18/2016
Such a good week! José was confirmed in Sacrament Meeting. We taught our investigator named Ty 6 times and he's going to be baptized on the 31st and we taught Rafael a few times and he's going to be baptized on Sunday, the 24th. We're sooooo excited!

Elder Edward is being transferred. I'm sad about that. Elder Keech and I will be staying together and it'll just be the 2 of us. I'm going to remember this transfer for forever!

We just found out this morning that President Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will be visiting our mission on January 30th and doing a mission conference!!! I'm so excited! I feel like the early saints (as in members of the Church soon after Christ's death) who eagerly approached the chance to hear from Peter, or James, or John.

I absolutely love the YSA Branch! I'm sorry that I made fun of it before I came on my mission...

I love being a missionary! I'm so grateful I chose to listen to a prophet's voice by coming on a mission and for all who support me!

I love all of you. But I love Jesus Christ more. And this is where He wants me. So this is where I want to be.
Transfer Period #11
email: 1/25/2016
This week has been a spiritual feast! starting with planning for Zone Meeting, feeling and watching the Spirit work through the leadership of the zone to prepare to edify the zone members. It was such a great Zone Meeting! The Spirit was strong and each section went so smoothly. Our STL's (Senior Training Leaders) did particularly great at helping all of us increase our desire to baptize. They shared D&C 20:37 but applied to missionary work so it read, "All those who [go on missions for] God, [must] desire to [baptize], and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins, and [take] upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto [the helping of others receive] the remission of their sins, shall be [successful on their missions.]" The Spirit really touched my heart as they shared that.

We also had a baptism this week! His name is Rafael and he was so prepared and the family that introduced him to the church was so influential in helping him and being his friends to answer his questions and support him in his decision.

We had a huge miracle! Kayla is one of our new investigators and she's practically already a member, just not baptized. She's very prepared as well. At the close of our first lesson we knelt in prayer and when we taught her to pray we told her to ask specific questions, one being "is what Elder Keech and Elder Combrink taught me true?" But during the prayer she said "I know that what Elder Keech and Elder Combrink taught me is true and I'm grateful that I get to learn from them." My jaw dropped.


I love all of you. But I love Jesus Christ more. And this is where He wants me. So this is where I want to be.
email: 2/1/2016
I love being a missionary! But sometimes it's hard. I have a few things to talk about:

1) We had a Tri-Mission Conference on Saturday with President Russell M. Nelson and Elder Corbridge. It was a wonderful conference about specific things that we can do to become better disciples of Jesus Christ. At the beginning, each of the nearly 700 missionaries got to go forward and shake his hand, that was an awesome experience! It answered a lot of questions. However, my favorite part of the whole thing did not come from what was said, but from what the Spirit taught me. Towards the end of the meeting as President Nelson was speaking his voice had so clear of a determination and confidence and the Spirit whispered to me that he KNOWS that this is true. Now, I have a testimony, and I've felt the Spirit from praying about the Book of Mormon. But I've always thought that Apostles either know it's true, or they know it's not, but either way they know. And it was so reassuring to my testimony to receive that witness that President Nelson knows this is true.

2) A returning less active named Evelyn passed away on Friday. We didn't find out until Saturday. After the conference we went by to see how she was doing and her mom answered the door and started crying. She was 19 years old and just recently decided to prepare for a mission. She was also dating José, our recent convert, and introduced him to the church. He's taking it pretty rough. Trying to comfort the mom and the younger brother was one of the hardest things I've ever done. After church they all seemed to be doing a little better.

3) Kayla is awesome! On Wednesday we received a text from her saying, "I can't wait to be baptized!" Then a couple hours later we received another text, "I didn't go to work because I'm sick, and I was lonely so I prayed asking what I should do, and I had this overwhelming desire to be at the temple. So I looked it up and I'm driving there right now! I'm so excited!" Then a couple hours after that, "I'm sitting in the temple parking lot! I'm too nervous and cold to get out and walk around but I'm listening to a YSA Devotional on Gospel Library and it's answering a lot of questions and concerns I have!" She's so awesome! After she's baptized I'm going to have her write her conversion story and I'll send a copy home.

Again, I love being a missionary. Sometimes it's just hard. But it's the best! I love all of you. But I love Jesus Christ more. And this is where He wants me. So this is where I want to be.
email: 2/8/2016
I don't have a lot of time, but we had a great week!

Kayla was baptized and it was so spiritual! The Holy Ghost was tangible in the chapel! The talks were amazing too! She was so excited! She's actually going to record her testimony/conversion story and send it to you! Be so excited!

We also got to go on a couple exchanges this week and I was with Elder Sadler for one and Elder Bond for the other. They are great missionaries!

I love all of you! But I love Jesus Christ more. And this is where He wants me. So this is where I want to be!
email: 2/16/2016
We had a great week! We were able to talk to so many people and invite so many of them to Come Unto Christ! I can't really think of any specific things that happened but it was a good week.

I love all of you. But I love Jesus Christ more. And this is where He wants me. So this is where I want to be!
email: 2/22/2016
We had a great week this week!

Starting with Zone Conference on Tuesday. We learned so much and were reminded of so much. I loved learning about planning and goal setting, as well as different ways to teach people on contact. We appreciated the opportunity to teach about the role of the Book of Mormon. We were both a little nervous about teaching a segment, but through fasting and prayer we received some awesome revelation from the Spirit and it ended up being a great segment! It was also really great to have Kayla (our recent convert) bear her testimony to all the missionaries!

We saw success over the next couple days as we applied the things learned from Zone Conference. Friday night we got a mini missionary, ended up being President Rascon's son (President Rascon is the 2nd counselor in the mission presidency and he's Art Rascon - like famous ABC news cast guy). We were heavily rejected on Saturday by people we talked to on the street. We were joking that it must have been national Be Rude Day. It discouraged our mini missionary a bit, but on Sunday morning we had him do the last personal study at the end of chapter 4 in Preach My Gospel and we talked about it afterward. He said he learned that being rejected doesn't really matter because the Lord is pleased with us when we open our mouths and approach people. It was awesome to see that change!

We spoke in Sacrament Meeting on Sunday. Two of our recent converts bore testimony as well. Kayla was one of them and she's only been a member for a week! She gave the best talk! It was a little embarrassing and awesome that our recent convert gave a better talk than we did.

I love all of you. But I love Jesus Christ more. And this is where He wants me. So this is where I want to be!
Email: 2/29/2016
I love being a missionary! We had so much happen this week!

Wednesday - We woke up early to go to the temple. It was so peaceful and good to get to go. This was the first time since April I've been able to go through. Sitting in there, I just didn't want to leave, I wanted to stay for hours and hours and hours. But life moves on... The 2nd Counselor in the YSA Branch drove us and he works at a place called Top Golf. He took us there for lunch after the temple and we played a game while we ate. It was so much fun! They're building one in Salt Lake City right now so hopefully sometime when we visit Utah, we can play.

Thursday - We served at a food fair through the Houston Food Bank at the church. Barely anyone showed up though so they sent all the leftover food with the missionaries to give to people who need it. One companionship made a stand with a sign saying, "Free Produce with Free Bibles." They handed it all out within a couple hours. (Elder Keech and I still have quite a bit... we live in a nicer area and we aren't currently teaching any impoverished Young Single Adults.) Late that night we got a call from President Rascon saying he wanted to interview us for a news story they're doing about Mormon missionaries!

Saturday - We got to the church early to be interviewed by President Rascon. Elder Keech was interviewed with a missionary from Mexico and there wasn't time in the story for me, but they got a few video shots of us walking around so I might still be in the story. Then we had a family history conference. Thanks to mom, I already knew most of the stuff from the classes, but that's ok, we got to talk to a few people about setting up classes at college campuses.

Transfers is today. Elder Keech and I are staying one more!!! We're soooo happy! I love being a missionary!

I love all of you. But I love Jesus Christ more. And this is where He wants me. So this is where I want to be!
Transfer Period #12
email: 3/7/2016
I love being a missionary!

So... On Monday we had to drive another companionship to transfer meeting. We were collecting our zone's mail and talking with some other missionaries when a couple missionaries walked out and told us our new companion was in the chapel looking/waiting for us. What?! We thought it was a joke but we poked our heads into the chapel and looked around and there was Elder Ericson smiling back at us. He ran over and gave us hugs and we left. Nobody told us! We wouldn't even have been at transfer meeting except that we had to give that companionship a ride. We're so excited we are in a trio again!!! Elder Ericson is from Idaho and he's been out just under a year.

We did work this week! The first time in my mission my companionship has gotten over 20 lessons taught in a week! We had so much fun while we did it!

Again, and I can't say it enough, I love being a missionary!

I love all of you! But I love Jesus Christ more. And this is where He wants me. So this is where I want to be.
email: 3/14/2016
Hello! This last week was a great one! We've continued to work hard. I love this area and I love being a missionary.

From going on a mission, we learn so much about the Plan of Salvation. We found out this morning about a few missionaries in our zone going home early. Elder Keech will be taking the place of one of them, so it'll be just Elder Ericson and I starting tomorrow morning. It's so sad!

When missionaries go home at the end of their 2 years or 18 months, it's bitter sweet, and you're happy they filled a full mission and they get to go home to their families - just like in life when someone has lived a full life and dies.

But when they go home early, it's just sad. A good thing about the mission though is that they can come back out if they choose to.

Anyway, draw out the plan of salvation, and then draw out a person’s life with a section "pre-mission" then "mission" then "post mission single life" then "married life," and look at the similarities.

Our investigator, Lawrence, won't be baptized yet this week, but soon. He's making a lot of progress! The person giving him a ride to church yesterday had some miscommunication and ended up missing him. Lawrence was sitting at home, thinking, "I didn't go to church, but it's Sunday, so I need to do something to serve the Lord. I remembered in the Bible it told me to love my enemies. So, I walked to the house of the man I fought with before I went to prison, who hit me on the head with the board, to say sorry and ask for forgiveness." He told us that when we went to see him last night. He's nervous about being baptized again though. He doesn't understand yet that people who baptize need the authority to do so.

Again, I love being a missionary. It's sad sometimes but you can't know the happy without the sad.

I love all of you. But I love Jesus Christ more. And this is where He wants me. So this is where I want to be.
email: 3/21/2016
Hello! We had a good week! A little craziness with some of the other companionships in the zone, but that's settled down now. We're having a lot of improvement in the zone among the missionaries and everyone is really excited about it!

This week was a little bit of a struggle because recently we've been spending a lot of time on college campuses contacting and teaching people, but this week was spring break so we just rode around neighborhoods, contacting YSA's who were outside and trying to find members who are YSA age but don't come to the branch. Next week is going to be awesome though!

We've been reading in Alma recently and I've gained a new appreciation for chapters 26 and 29. They are so good for missionaries to read!

Lawrence is progressing towards being baptized this next Sunday! We're super excited about that and seeing his faith strengthened so much since the first time we met. I don't remember exactly what day it was - and I don't want to tell this because it may sound like boasting, but I'm not boasting, like Ammon said, "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever." - Anyway, we were having a lesson with Lawrence and he had been saying that if God wanted him to be baptized then God would have to give him a job, but if he didn't get a job, then he won't get baptized. Now having a job is a righteous desire and we're working with our ward members to find a job for him, but seeking signs always leads to trouble in the scriptures, and still does today. But this past week Lawrence said, "I don't need a job, I will get baptized." Our jaws dropped. We asked what changed his mind and he replied, "Ever since he (pointing at me) came here, I see he have great faith, his faith is strong. I want to have my faith strong like that. I will get baptized." Our jaws fell off at after that comment. I felt so humbled and we taught him that we should always look to Christ as our example and seek faith like He had.

I love being a missionary!

I love all of you. But I love Jesus Christ more. And this is where He wants me. So this is where I want to be.
email: 3/28/2016
Happy Easter!

This was a good week! Lawrence was baptized yesterday! It was a very simple and brief service because he doesn't really understand English so the talks and everything had to be brief and simple. But it was great! He was so happy afterwards! Definitely the highlight of the week!

I learned a lot about planning and goal setting. Chapter 8 of Preach My Gospel is the best source for such knowledge.

I'm not exactly sure why but there's a lot of peace and sincere joy in my heart right now. I love being a missionary!

We have a lot of stuff to get done today, sorry it's short.

I love y'all. But I love Jesus Christ more. And this is where He wants me. So this is where I want to be.
email: 4/4/2016
Dear... everyone!

This week has been crazy! Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were fairly normal. Except on Wednesday President Drake came and did a companionship study with us. We talked a lot about planning and he told us exactly how he wants it done.

Then on Thursday we had weekly planning and it took 7 hours to get it done! That's a long time! Normally it takes 2 or 3 hours but we've been doing it wrong the whole time. We made a list of all the people we want to visit next week and it turned out to be 150 names! Then we made plans for what we are going to teach them when we see them. Then we inserted them into a slot of time for next week. We are so excited for next week!

Friday we went on exchanges in Liberty.

Several days ago there were major floods along the river that separates Texas and Louisiana. The water level raised 35 feet! On Saturday we went out there with some members of our branch, 1,000 members of the church from the Houston area showed up and we helped clean up 140 homes in several small towns. Our group moved sand bags at one house, about 400 of them. Lawrence, our recent convert came with us and he loved getting to serve with the Church.

Sunday was conference and our Branch President had all the local missionaries over for breakfast and both sessions of Conference, and fed us lunch between. Then they fed us dinner after.

I love y'all. But I love Jesus Christ more. And this is where He wants me. So this is where I want to be.
email: 4/11/2016
This week was a good one. Rene, a YSA member, brought his friend Brittany to Family Home Evening on Monday. We were able to reach her afterwards and she received it very well! Rene gave her a Book of Mormon about a month ago and has been sharing things about the Gospel since. She finally was able to get off work and come to the church so we're really excited to get to teach her.

Tuesday we had Mission Leadership Council. That took 6 hours, then we were up in Kingwood but one of the other companionships needed help so we hurried back down here for the rest of the day.

Then Wednesday we were on exchanges, I was with Elder Rasband in their area and Elder Keech came went with Elder Ericson in ours. We were able to teach a young part-member Samoan couple. They're super humble and willing to receive the fullness of the Gospel in their lives! We taught them about repentance and they were excited to apply it. Thursday we spent planning for Zone Meeting. We did have a couple hours of proselyting though.

Friday was Zone Meeting and it went well. A little long but it was needed. I was able to lead a discussion about the importance to pray to develop a relationship with Heavenly Father. The Spirit was really strong as we learned about that. We also found this awesome new investigator, Regina. We had this awesome lesson but she has a child so she needs to go to the family Ward.

Saturday we went up to a summer camp and did service there as a Stake.we got to put in a new flag pole. That was fun. Then we went to a BBQ for lunch at one of the YSA's house. Lawrence took a video of us sitting  around there. He put it on YouTube under Oneop Mormon (he's from the island of Oneop). We spent the rest of the day down in Pasadena and Broadway.

And on Sunday we had great church meetings, then we took a priest with us for the rest of the evening and we weren't able to really teach anyone but we were able to contact quite a few people.

I love being a missionary! I love this area! Elder Ericson is a great companion!

I love y'all! But I love Jesus Christ more. And this is where He wants me. So this is where I want to be.

Your favorite missionary, Elder Combrink
email: 4/18/2016
Hi everyone! This week we tried a new finding technique and it flopped. We feel bad about it but we've repented and we think we know how to improve it. We went to a few other missionaries, took their iPads and went into the Area Book on them and referred every 18-30 year old over to our area, and then we spent the rest of the week trying to contact them.

We've had a lot of revelatory conversations this week. We feel good about this upcoming transfer. Oh yeah, I'm staying!!! I'll get to spend 6 months here! I'm so grateful for that.

I love y'all. But I love Jesus Christ more. And this is where He wants me. So this is where I want to be.

Your favorite missionary, Elder Combrink
One of Mom’s emails to Nathan during the flooding:
Hi Nathan,

I'm still going with the, "no news must be good news." I haven't heard anything from your Mission President, so you must be okay.

I often check your weather, and on Sunday I noticed that you'd have a lot of rainy days ahead, but that seems normal for your weather reports, so I didn't think anything of it, until I'd heard that radio news report Monday afternoon! Since then, I've been stalking your flooding conditions.

Hopefully, you are safe, in an upstairs apartment, possibly bored, hopefully not hungry. I thought these snippets of articles from LDS Living Magazine site would be okay to send you. Maybe you can share them with your Zone.

Stay safe!
I love you!

Photos: Temple Grounds Flood After Major Storms in Texas, Temple Remains Miraculously Untouched
by LDS Living     April 19, 2016

...In the midst of these violent storms, the Houston Texas Temple has miraculously remained untouched by the flooding, though water is lapping around the temple grounds.

In a post on Facebook, Friends of Houston Texas South Stake reported that the temple is "high and dry." In fact, it said this storm might not even be the most severe the temple has weathered. In the past, flood waters have reached the front doors to the ancillary building, according to the post.
Despite the temple being safe, it has been closed on Tuesday, April 19 due to flooding on the roads to keep temple patrons and workers safe.

In addition, they posted a letter from the temple presidency, saying the temple is safely 8 feet above the water line.
Here are more photos along with the presidency's message:
The temple will continue to be closed - see letter from temple presidency below.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We extend our deepest love and gratitude to you all for your faithful and devoted service in this special and holy place, the Houston Temple. We know that many of you and your co-workers have expressed concern and interest in the status of the temple in light of the serious flooding that has occurred along the Cypress Creek water shed. Access to the temple from virtually every direction is impassible; all of the parking areas on the grounds are at least partially flooded; and we have continued concern about the ancillary building.
The temple itself stands safe and secure at least 8 feet above the water line. It is a wonderful sight to behold! We think it is a strikingly beautiful image and reflection as captured in the special photo attached, produced by one of our wonderful ordinance workers, Bob Boyd. Thank you Brother Boyd!
According to our best projections, it appears highly unlikely that we will be able to re-open the temple before Friday. Water levels will remain high through mid-day tomorrow. We do not anticipate access to the temple before Thursday at the earliest; and even then, will require clean-up and preparation efforts.
We would ask that you share this information with the temple workers on your respective shifts that the temple will not be open either Wednesday or Thursday of this week.
Attached are a couple of photos taken earlier today of the temple. We hope that the "creek doesn't rise" any further!
In deepest gratitude for your patience, service, understanding and leadership. You are in our prayers. We know there are some of you who are suffering from losses associated with this devastating flood event. In addition to help and service through your Priesthood leaders, please let us know of opportunities to reach out to any who have been affected.
Houston Temple Presidency,
Marshal W. Hayes
Albert E. Haines
Harry D. Eulitt

(When I showed the kids this picture, Jessica oohed and awed over the pretty reflection, but said she didn't remember there being a lake in front of the temple. I told them it's not a lake - it's the flood waters.)

(Here's a picture from Elder Hobb's blog)
Transfer Period #13
email: 4/25/2016
This week was good. We started off without many people, so we went finding and we found! We found an awesome lady named Onjanea at Lone Star College and she's really interested! We also met a young man, Raul, who's grandma is a member and he believes everything, the Book of Mormon, God calling Joseph Smith as a prophet, all of it. He just needs to come to church and that's a bit of a struggle for him. We're going to work with him though!

Transfers came and went. The new members of the Summerwood Zone are awesome! We prayed for hard working missionaries who have good attitudes and our prayers were answered.

I love being a missionary!

Thanks to all those who sent letters recently! It really does mean a lot. I'm trying to write some today and send them off.

I love y'all. But I love our Savior more. And this is where He wants me. So this is where I want to be.
email: 5/2/2016
It was a great week! We had a lot of successes and fun!

First, we've recently been struggling on making sure people are really progressing and missionaries are really doing what they're supposed to, while still focusing on the individual people we have stewardship of. Essentially, focusing on the people instead of the numbers, while still understanding that we need to work hard to become better. So Elder Ericson made a phrase. "Who many?" Jesus Chirst loved and loves the people, each and everyone one, but He also wants to bring as many people as He can to heaven. So now instead of asking "How many lessons did you teach?" or "How many investigators did you have at church?" or "Who are you working with?" We ask "Who many lessons did you teach this week?" and instead of giving us a number they list the names of the people they taught! We love it!

We got to go to the temple on Wednesday. It was a beautiful day, but all the flowers were pulled up and they were in the process of planting new ones because the grounds got flooded last week. Actually, cool miracle about that, the flood water got 8 feet from the temple door and when they built it one of the engineers said that they need to raise the ground level 8 feet and they didn't want to do it but he said they need to raise it to unbelievable flood heights. The Lord takes care of His house.

I love y'all. But I love Jesus Christ more. And this is where He wants me. So this is where I want to be.

Your favorite missionary, Elder Combrink
email: 5/9/2016
It was a good week. I think right before the times I get to call home, I start thinking I miss my family, but by the time the phone call is done I think, "I love being a missionary!"

We have an investigator named David, he's decided he wants to be baptized on June 11! We're so excited for him. The person who introduced him into the church got his mission call to Barcelona, Spain. So it's really cool how he will get to baptize his best friend a month before he leaves on his mission.

Sorry it's short.

I love y'all. But I love Jesus Christ more. And this is where He wants me. So this is where I want to be.
email: 5/16/2016
This has been a good, and very busy week! Monday we got to go on exchanges with one of the AP’s (Assistants to the President), Elder Bond. On the exchange, we talked a lot about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. One of my favorite things mentioned that the Atonement is the WHY behind everything we do, but that so many people don't know about it or don't understand it, and that the greatest blessing we get as missionaries is to see people learn and apply the Atonement in their life.

Then on Wednesday we went on another exchange with another companionship in our zone. I went with an Elder who had been in Louisiana the same time I was. He’s been struggling a bit. We had a good exchange though. He's a great teacher, and being a little older than the rest of us, he has so much life experience with great stories. At the end of that day, the Spirit reminded me of something this Elder had told me on the first exchange we went on back in Jennings. So I said, "Elder, I remember on our first exchange you said, 'I'm not the best teacher and I don't know a lot about doctrine and such things, but I grew up on a farm and played rugby in college so I know how to work hard. I'm definitely not the most skilled missionary, but I've come here to work hard, so I'll work hard.'"
And he replied, "You still remember that?"
"Yes, it impressed me a lot. And Elder Keech (his current companion), is just about the best missionary in the mission to be companions with if you want to work hard." The Spirit is such a good teacher, edifier, comforter, and reminder-er.

Then Friday we had another exchange. I went with the Spanish Elders in Liberty. Something that really stuck out to me was how much their investigators respected and loved them. I don't know if that's just Hispanic culture, but I think it comes from how those Elders treat their investigators. They are so respectful and loving while still being bold and having a sense of urgency about the work. I learned more on that one than they could ever teach me.

I love being a missionary!

I love y'all. But I love Jesus Christ more. And this is where He wants me. So this is where I want to be!

Your favorite missionary, Elder Combrink
email: 5/23/2016
Somehow we had an awesome week! Colleges are closed, so we don't really have a way to go personal contacting (and find YSA's) but we still were able to teach a lot. We now have 4 people who are preparing to be baptized and each one has a date for each of the 4 weekends in June.

June 5 is David. He was a referral from the Humble Sister Missionaries. They had been teaching him for about 5 months but he wasn't really progressing, so they handed him over to us and the YSA branch. And now he stopped smoking, came to church, and is on date to be baptized! We love miracles!

June 11 is another David. He is the friend of Jacob, a member in the YSA. David is awesome! He's been prepared throughout life experiences and having Jacob as a friend. Jacob has a mission call to go to Barcelona Spain and he'll get to baptize David about a month before he leaves.

June 19 is Chris. He's a referral from missionaries a little south of us. They found him as he was walking down the street and just stopped and talked to him. He reminds us of Michael Oher from Blindside. He's very humble and so ready and willing to come unto Christ.

June 26 is Giovanni. He's the referral of a member who recently got home from BYU. Giovanni is very open and willing to listen too. We had a lesson last night and at the end we asked if he had any more questions or comments or concerns and he said, "no, but I just want to sit and talk with you. I love being around the missionaries." Also very humble and it's awesome because he chooses to be humble, it's not forced upon him because of life circumstances.

I love being a missionary and I love this area!

I love y'all. But I love Jesus Christ more. And this is where He wants me. So this is where I want to be.

Your favorite missionary, Elder Combrink
email: 5/30/2016
I loved my time in the Lake Houston YSA Branch! I love the leaders, the members, the investigators, the recent converts, and my companions! We had a lot of success! This is the first area where I really feel and see that it is better than when I got here.

I'll miss Elder Ericson! He's a great missionary and a great leader!

We had a surprise baptism this week. David was on date for next week but he was prepared so we baptized him this week. So many people came to the baptism! The Sprit was so strong and we had two other investigators attend. One was David's sister who graduated high school on Saturday so she's eligible to come to the YSA now! Miracles on miracles on miracles on miracles!

I am getting transferred today. I'll let you know where I go as soon as possible. But until then just send stuff to the mission office.

I love being a missionary!

I love y'all! But I love our Savior more. And this is where He wants me. So this is where I want to be.

Your favorite missionary, Elder Combrink
pictures: 12/8/2015 to 5/31/2016 (4 Transfer Periods)
entering THE Mission 12/7/2015

leaving THE Mission 12/9/2015

Elder Keech and Elder Edward

Elder Keech, Elder Edward, and Elder Combrink

THE Mission Christmas Conference 12/16/2015
standing: Elder Noall, Elder Edward, Elder Keech, Elder Hobbs #2, Elder Hobbs #1, Elder Combrink, Elder Kohler
kneeling: Elder Leftwich
sitting: Elder Lee

Elder Combrink, Elder Edward, Elder Keech

Elder Keech

Elder Edward

Elder Combrink

Elder, Sister Rivers, Elder Lee, Elder Combrink

Elder Edward, Jose, Elder Combrink, Elder Keech

entering THE Mission 1/18/2016

leaving THE Mission 1/20/2016

Elder Combrink, , Raphael, Elder Keech, Elder Edward

Elder Combrink, , Kayla, Elder Keech

Summerwood Zone Conference 2/16/2016

Kingwood Zone Conference

Beaumont Zone Conference

Orange Zone Conference





entering THE Mission 3/1/2016

leaving THE Mission 3/3/2016

Elder Combrink, Elder Keech, Elder Ericson 3/14/2016
(These were taken by a mom of one of the young men in their YSA Branch - thank you Sister Fugle!)

Elder Combrink, Lawrence, Elder Ericson, Elder Keech 3/27/2016


Elder Ericson and Elder Combrink 4/2/2016

removing things damaged from flooding

entering THE Mission 4/18/2016

leaving THE Mission 4/20/2016

Summerwood Zone Conference

entering THE Mission 5/30/2016

leaving THE Mission 6/1/2016