October 31, 2016

     Good things are happening!  That sounds like lots of fun!  I emailed J today!  I felt super bad for not emailing him in a long time.  Claire emailed me the other week! She is super cute!
     This week was pretty slow.  We gave our car to another set of elders who got theirs in a little fender bender and can’t bike because of health reasons, so we are now on bikes till theirs gets fixed!  We are hoping and praying that it will be either tomorrow or Wed that they get their car back.  It’s been a bit rough being on bikes this last week!  Lots of careful planning, but the ward members are pretty loving and willing to take us out and come with us to lessons.
     So, last Monday we played some ball and it got a little too competitive.  I was really getting into it and I stole the ball from an elder, there was another guy who we were playing with who got caught in the tussle, and well, then a chair decided it also wanted to get in the mix and I got the short end of the bargain.  5 staples in my noggin. It was gushing blood everywhere, but all is well now!  The staples are out and its healing up!
     So I was on an exchange with the YSA (Young Single Adults) elders and there was a companionship who found a ysa guy who wanted to have a hand off lesson at the church.  So we showed up and it was Elder Chugg and Elder Rudd.  Elder Rudd asks me “hey are you from Show Low?” (I had no idea who Elder Rudd was.  He just came out three weeks ago.)  He asked me if I knew the Swantys!!!  He is Tavi’s nephew!  Crazy huh?  We then taught the lesson with them and ended up taking the elders to their next appointment and we just talked about Dustin and the Swantys the whole time.  It was pretty neat!
     Me and my comp are getting along.  We have two totally different teaching styles, and it’s his last transfer so he wants to be the leader, and so for the most part I just step back and let him shine!  We work pretty well together though and the area is awesome!  The ward is nice and the people on the streets are a bit crazy.  We talked to a guy the other day and he was just making us cry laughing!  He just got a tattoo and so my comp asked to see it.  So he takes off his shirt and shows us, but the problem was he was pretty heavy and super hairy and he didn’t even put on his shirt for the next 5 minutes and then just locked eyes with my comp and started purring at him!  It was super weird, but so funny at the same time!  He wasn’t interested in what we had to teach him though…
     Well I have to go, but I am glad that I am able to serve a mission.  There isn’t a better place for anyone other than out in the field serving the Lord.  The pay ain’t great, but the benefits are unmatched.  Have a great week!  I love you!!!!
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October 24, 2016

     So… I’m not going to lie, but this week was the longest I’ve ever had on my mission. The new area is pretty cool, but it is in the city, so that is taking a little getting used to coming from Buckley!  Our apartment is right next to a super busy road and all you hear is cars rushing past, but I decided I’m going to try to learn to love the city!  It was just a super hard week though.  My comp and I get along he is great and a super loving guy!  So coming into a new zone, and I only knew two elders, and so I now know what it feels like to be the new guy.  It is SUPER hard!  Up until Sunday I felt like I didn’t have any friends.  Then Sunday rolls around and the members here are great and the ward is fantastic!  I really like it!  It will be a great ward to serve in during the holidays.  So things are on the up and up!
     Saturday morning we had one of the coolest experiences ever!  The whole mission gathered and we were able to hear from Elder Rasband, Elder Clayton, Bishop Waddell, Elder Call and his wife, and our mission president!  We had 5 key holders present!!!!  Can you believe that!?  The stake president was there too.  But you will never believe this…Friday morning I got a call from the assistants and they asked me if I would say the opening prayer for this huge meeting!!!!  I was scared out of my mind!!!  But it wasn’t all that bad.  When I was walking away, Elder Rasband told me ‘thank you’!!! Super cool, huh!   It was a pretty sweet meeting!  We don’t really know why it happened.  Elder Clayton talked about the Book of Mormon, and Elder Rasband talked about the revelation that is given for us to serve in our respected areas and to never complain.  He also went hard on obedience, and that we have to study the life of Christ and our obedience will go up as we learn of Him.  So we were pretty much committed by an apostle of the Lord to be 100% obedient.  Pretty crazy!  But, way cool.  He said something that really hit me and I would like to share it with you.  He said something like “the 12 apostles have no problem recognizing his voice” referring to the Savior.  When he said that it was like a grenade went off inside my chest and just exploded through my whole body.  Then the blast hit my face and this liquid came from my eyes!  Oh, it was so cool!
     Well sorry for the super late email!  We had to run all over the place.  Being a zone leader is basically being a soccer mom!  It gets a little frustrating at times, but we get by.  The area is great and we have two people committed to baptism for the 12th of November!  A 9 year old girl whose family are all members and she didn’t want to be baptized when she was 8.  Not a good idea… now she is held to a bit higher of a standard, and we have to teach her all the lessons.  The other one is a 28 year old who is changing his life around and wanting to be baptized super bad!  Its pretty cool . He came out with us to a lesson after church and he loved it!  We are working on our teaching pool.  We tracted last night from 6:30 to 7:30 and it was in the heat of the Sea Hawks vs. Cardinals football game… literally everyone was watching the game… I wore my red and white tie just to talk a little smash. Haha just kidding.  No one really wanted to go from watching their team loose to being baptized!  We tried to relate to them super hard and it seemed to work.  We found two new investigators that night!
Well I gotta run!  I’ll talk to you next week!  I love you!!!

October 17, 2016

     I was super bummed that the storm didn’t hit… both Elder Knight and I were ready to do some service work and then we didn’t even get anything!  It felt just like a normal winter day here. Haha!  Those stories about Meredith’s kids are great.  They are super cute!
     This week was awesome!  I just got the news I am getting the boot 😦 I am headed to the Manner Wood Ward in Puyallup South stake with an elder who is going home in 6 weeks and so the pressure is on for me to learn the area and also, by then I’ll have to take over the zone as well… I am super worried about that, but I’m sure I’ll get by.  It was a sad time saying goodbye to all of my friends I have made.  The people here in Buckley are wonderful.  I’ve had nothing but great times!  It’s sad to leave so soon, but I feel like it’s kinda like the band aid effect.  If I was to stay longer then it would hurt more when I left, but this way it’s just quick and then the next one goes on!  Missions are hard in that sense…I don’t like saying goodbyes one bit!  All of these people are truly my friends and not just brothers and sisters…it’s pretty cool.
     Bill Fehrs fell off track.  He was going to be baptized on the 29th of October, but he drank coffee.  Heart broken!  He has depended upon coffee his whole life pretty much and now he is 72!  No wonder the council is to abstain from it!  It’s super addictive!!!!  He went two weeks and then just gave in.  He needs to have more of a desire to be baptized, we think, so that is what the elders are going to work on.
     David Youmans is AWESOME!!!  I love him, and he is stoked to be baptized on the 12 of November!  He went up to bishop on Sunday and asked him if he would do the ordinance and it was super cool!  He just wants to learn and soak it all in.  He watched the 20 min Restoration video over 20 times and while that was going he read the pamphlet and Joseph Smith pamphlet!!!  I am excited for him.
     We taught Somer and Kole one last time.  It was a pretty powerful lesson.  We read the first and great commandment and then watched the crucifixion of Christ and focused on the love that God has for us!  It was amazing!  Then we read Mosiah where it talks about all being beggars and depending upon God. They are just super awesome!  They signed a license plate for me and it’s pretty cool.  I’ll have to take a picture of it and send it next week!  Well I have to go!  I love you!
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October 12, 2016

     Holy smokes this week was amazing!  We had some miracles happen to us.  Friday night we were on an exchange and I was in my area with another elder and we had stuff set up and it was going to be a great night and then we started getting texts from the people canceling…. we were bummed.  So we decided to print out this talk and give it to a former investigator who’s heart is hard.  So we go over there to see her and she ends up letting us in.  She is 60ish and lives with her daughter, and her daughters husband.  We go in and then she has us go into her room, which was normal, cause when we would usually teach her there was another male there we brought, but this time it was just us, but we could still see her daughters boyfriend sitting on the couch so we didn’t think anything of it.  Then, she closes the door…..so we told her that we can’t do that and she blows up on us and says that we are stupid and that the church is dumb with all the rules and blah blah blah…she ends up kicking us out!  On our way out her daughter comes in and starts talking to us while she goes back into her room and closes the door.  We ended up teaching Dana, her daughter, for an hour just standing there talking all about the restoration and she prays about it right then and feels the spirit!  We now have a return appointment to go teach the Plan of Salvation tomorrow at 8!  How cool is that!?  Apparently God works though mean ol’ ladies to get His message out!  I’m okay with that!
     David Y- we taught him Saturday with a member, technically we didn’t end up teaching him; he talked the whole time and we only got through the first bullet point of the Restoration.  God is our loving Heavenly Father and then he just went on and on… but he wanted to come to church and sure enough he was there!  30 minutes early!!!  Just to prepare!  He’s a better Mormon than most active church goers!  He loved church and told us he was going to bring his granddaughter and great granddaughter next week!  Sweet huh!  We did service for him and it softened his heart right up!  We then read from the Restoration pamphlet and he loved it.  He said it filled a hole in his heart that he has been trying to fill his whole life!  We invited him to be baptized on the 12th of November and he is super excited!  He also has stopped drinking coffee as of Saturday and says he wants to be a good Mormon, so he can receive all the blessings!  We haven’t even taught him all about the Word of Wisdom yet, but he is ready to go!
     Kole got confirmed and is loving life!  We are now working with Somer his mom to get her to stop drinking coffee and smoking, that way when her boyfriend mans up to marry her she can get baptized sooner!  It’s going to be sweet!
     We are truly so blessed to be able to serve here.  The Lord is just blessing us like no ones business!  We have been working hard and its paying off.  Life is good!  Today we are getting taught how to weld by one of our investigators!  It should be pretty sweet!  Well until next time, have a great week!  I love you!

October 3, 2016

     Uncle Bucket and Aunt Cinderbell, huh? (Neice Claire’s nicknames for Kyle and Stephanie- she is a hoot!) Hahaha I was dying laughing!  That sounds like so much fun being able to all be together and spend time listening to conference!  Yeah, that was a pretty great conference.  I loved it!  Lots of notes taken!  Chris came to every single session and sat with us for all of them besides the Saturday evening one because we were at the Gunns with Somer and Kole.  After the priesthood session Chris was talking to us about coming out with us sometime and we told him “hey we are going tracting now so you are welcome to come if you would like!” and he said “yes”,  so we picked him up at like 7 and then decided that it probably wasn’t a great idea to have him tracting in the rain and dark for his first time, especially since we are trying to convince him to serve a mission!  So we just went out and visited some people and crashed a party.  It’s one of our investigators, and her mom was having a party and there were people there drinking and all that so we decided we better go.  But it was pretty funny cause when we walked in it was like an old western movie where the new guy comes walking into the saloon and the music stops and everyone turns in their seat to stare at us!  Good times, good times! 😉
     KOLE GOT BAPTIZED!!!  It was so great!  There were like 15 nonmembers there and I think it was great for them too!  I was super nervous because my muscles are not in shape but there were some heavenly hosts helping me out 😉 He got up after and bore his testimony and it was pretty cool.  Somer (Kole’s mom, also investigating) even said the closing prayer!  It was just a great experience and place to feel the spirit super strong.  I love that family!
     We had another miracle happen too! We were tracting the other day and met a guy named David Youmens who is in his 60s and we gave him a Book of Mormon and then we told him about conference and he was pumped!  He said “I just want to hear the word of God and none of this fancy stuff!”  So we had Chris pick him up and when we pulled up to his house he was outside wearing a blue suit and dressed all nice!  He brought his Book of Mormon and a journal to take notes with and the whole time he was writing down things.  Then afterwards he was asking all about church and what time we meet and I asked him if he was going to keep coming to church and he told us “yes!”   So we just picked up an new solid investigator!  An awesome one at that!
     That is pretty much it for this week!  Lots more happened, but I can’t remember… these darn missionary brains.   I hope all goes well in Utah and you have a great week! I love you!
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Book of Mormon cake served after the baptism