Monday, November 25, 2013

Mission Letter Week 19 - 25 November 2013

Hello family!!

This week has definitely been a struggle. We haven't really taught anyone except for a few less-active people, which we were happy to... but our investigators have just about all fallen through. There is one family we are teaching and they have a lot of potential, but he is very busy with his privately owned car shop...which is cool ‘cuz that may be something I do when I get home. :D So we talked a lot about that. But it's just hard to meet with them. When we can meet regularly though, I know they will go far. :D

We have started a new proselyting style... raking leaves and other forms of service! Service gets a lot more people opened up than door-knocking. We have found that we really have to be creative due to the fact that in this day and age, door-knocking and other "traditional" forms of proselyting just don't work. People come to the door already set to say no to anyone but a close friend. So the idea of online proselyting has spread (not here yet :( ) and we have to be creative with our contacting now... so that's exciting!

I feel tired, worn out, stressed, and SO BLESSED. I now fully understand what the Brethren mean when they told us that this is the hardest time of my life, but also the time when I am the most blessed and the closest to God. I wouldn't trade this for anything. *Nacho Libre voice*:  I love it, it’s the BEST! :D

A scripture I read this week with Elder S is in Alma 26:27-30 and it talks about what we can do when we are tired, stressed, discouraged, or whatever....WORK!!

“27 Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.

 “28 And now behold, we have come, and been forth amongst them; and we have been patient in our sufferings, and we have suffered every privation; yea, we have traveled from house to house, relying upon the mercies of the world—not upon the mercies of the world alone but upon the mercies of God.

 “29 And we have entered into their houses and taught them, and we have taught them in their streets; yea, and we have taught them upon their hills; and we have also entered into their temples and their synagogues and taught them; and we have been cast out, and mocked, and spit upon, and smote upon our cheeks; and we have been stoned, and taken and bound with strong cords, and cast into prison; and through the power and wisdom of God we have been delivered again.

 “30 And we have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul; and we supposed that our joy would be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some.”

Just like one of the prophets said, the best thing to do for the Work, is to work! Work hard, pray when we can't work any more, and then work even more. We always find that we can go further than ever if we work with the Lord and do HIS will, HIS way.

I would also recommend, if you can find it, to listen to a talk called "Eternal Law". It's back in the days of President Hinckley. The speaker is David Alma Christiansen...not sure if that’s how you spell his last name...but it is the BEST TALK EVER. He's talking to missionaries but you can apply it to anything. :)

I have to say the number one thing that I have found the most important on my mission is RELY ON HEAVENLY FATHER! I am out here with no family, no close friends, and a goofy guy named S ;) from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. As much as I love Elder S, he just doesn't know me. Not like family or a best friend... or like Heavenly Father. As I have been out here in the middle of this forsaken desert, I have finally realized that He really has been there this whole time. I used to say I knew that for myself...but I guess I really didn't. I KNOW NOW. I just KNOW. My Heavenly Father LOVES ME. He is watching out for me. He's the wing-man that always has my back. He knows the plan that needs to be laid out for a successful time. If I rely on Him, and get over myself and my foolish pride and MY agenda, and work with Him on HIS agenda, I will have peace.  I will meet with success. Not always the success I think of, but the kind of success that I need. The kind that the Lord needs on the earth.
Plans for Thanksgiving are at the V's home, a part-member family. Bro V. is not a member and is struggling Obviously. So we have been working with him…slowly. :P

That's pretty much it for this week though. I wish I had cool stories of progressing investigators, but I don't think the trial of our faith is quite over yet. :P We shall see!

TWO SUITS?!?!?!  AHHH!!! I JUST SCREAMED IN THE FAMILY HISTORY CENTER AND SCARED EVERYBODY!! :D Thank you so much. I know now what a sacrifice it is to spend that type of money. As I realized how much money I take just for food and simple things I realized, as much as I can right now, how much a sacrifice it is to take care of someone... So thank you. Really. From the bottom of my heart.

BRAAK that is awesome to hear about work!! :D I hope it really works out for you, and that you find a job that gets the job done but that you love. It makes a difference if you do or do not like your job. :P A smart guy I know told me something like that...not sure who...hmmm.

Deep-fry the turkey in peanut oil!  >:D  I got to do that with Bro D once. I love that man. They are big shoes to fill...but you have big feet…BRAAK. All that stuff about Brother D ... :'( I would hold those ties very dear to my heart.

Emi, you can tell A, for me, that the first time I did the Sacrament Prayer, I had to do it about 5 times myself. He's a good guy and I'm really glad he has made the choice to live the gospel. :)

I did NOT know that Liberty plays bass! That is way cool! :D That must have been a fun duet to listen to! Our Ward here doesn't have very many music-y people in it. BLEH.

That is very cold!! It hasn't snowed here but we did have a hail storm and very VERY cold rain!! :D I'll attach some pics of the hail storm at the end of the email! It was AWESOME!! And it came out of nowhere on Thursday in the middle of our weekly planning! We were just sitting there and then BAAANNNGGGHKSWHEDKLHSBDIWYGBEKLSDBKSFR! Big thunder clap and a bunch of hail!! WHAT!!??

Love you too, Emi!! :D

I have not received the letter yet, but that is AWESOME that they got to meet him!!!!!!!!!!! :D  I told Brother M. (big fan of Glenn Beck) and he was like WHAT?!?! It was funny. So I can't wait to read about that!! I will probably go home and get it in the mail today! :D

Those Land’s End shirts sound AWESOME! And "Athletic Fit" makes me sound really good. >:) I like it. Bwahahahaha!!

BAHAHAHA! That quote is hilarious!! :D Thank you for that! Much needed humor! (“It’s not what kind of car you drive that counts, it’s the size of the arm you hang out the window.”)

Okay guys...picture time  >:)

Victory! pose :D  It was painful with all the hail hitting my head! :O
Elder P .... not-so-Victory!-pose. :D
Playing RISK last P-day .... left to right are Elders S, P, S .. happy little trolls, aren't they? :D

That's all I got...thought I had more but oh well. :) I love you guys! LATER!! :D

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Mission Letter Week 18 - 18 November 2013

Hi guys!

So this week has been a little stressful but we've made it through, so all is well and going......sort of smoothly again. :) Thank you for the letter, I LOVE GETTING LETTERS! Especially ones from home! They really bring the Spirit up in my day.

As far as SCONT goes, the reason you guys never went to any of my events is because we didn't really have any. It is a much MUCH more significant deal than it was just a few years ago. So I am very happy for Emily to be a part of it and to learn and grow and gain important skills and knowledge that will help throughout all of life! It really makes a difference when you have good friends and good leaders that teach you how to be a good person. The learning atmosphere in SCONT is absolutely amazing. I got to see some of their meetings and stuff before I left when A. would invite me to a few things they had, and they are doing AWESOME! So, Emily, great job at the event you went to!! Sounded like a TON of fun! Stick with it, cause it is totally worth it!


That is so sad to hear about B! :'( That really, really stinks. Do you think it would be a good idea to email him? If so, just add his email to my contacts...thank you for letting me know. It is so sad to see people that we love and care about and that were strong and good go sooo far south!  >:( Satan is a BUTTMUNCH!!!

OHHH THAT’S where the money went! To my baptism pants! :) OTAY that makes much more sense. Haha. I told the bank that I'm in CA though, so they may not want you to use it from may just have to transfer it out... so yeah!

34/35 sleeves would be too short on the other shirt so just stick with the longer sleeves...IF you can possibly find a cheap, good deal on a slightly more fitted shirt though, that'd be awesome...but if not don't even stress over it. :) Just a mild preference. Haha.

I'm glad that D is having a good attitude towards his Savior even in his condition. It can be so hard to find hope in this life in a situation like that, and he is being just awesome about it. I really do love that man, and I hope that everything goes well for him, where ever his path may take him. :)

I am definitely taking care of my bike! :D It is GORGEOUS!! And I lock that thing up like I'm obsessed with it...possibly because I am. :D If there is nowhere to use the U-lock, I’ll use a chain lock that I recently bought, and use the U-lock to lock the tires on so they be stolen. :) Good boy!

Also, I'll keep an eye on what makes Elder S "tick" for Christmas. Haha.

Fun fact for the week, I am now on a smoothie diet to help cut some more weight and it seems pretty good! We'll see in a couple weeks how it really goes, but with mostly fruits and oats and such. It should work. :) Hopefully…

Other fun fact is that I found I am a fan of shaving with a blade and cream instead of electric. Although I hold onto the electric because it is reliable in case I run out of cream and can’t buy more or something.

One more little thing that I thought was nice and I forgot to mention...Every week on Thursday we do weekly planning and we use 'Preach My Gospel' to guide us through it. So the day before Elder N left he stuck a note in there so I'd see it on that Thursday. Just a note that says some nice things and says goodbye and stuff... it made me cry. He was a great trainer, and I only hope that what he taught me will rub off on Elder S as well. :')

Once again.... MUSIC!! :D The more the merrier! Haha.  (With keeping with mission "music rules", of course.)

OK, soooo, I love you guys a ton! This week has been a little slow but we feel we were productive in at least getting out and talking to people, but no one except for one family is actually progressing or anything. It is really frustrating. But we aren't discouraged...just annoyed at people. Haha. So that is pretty much this week. We dropped a lot of people that weren't really committed, so we have a lot of finding time…YAY!

Kay gotta run. Sorry it’s short this time...I can't seem to get everything out quick enough. :( I'll try to type a little faster next time. I love you guys a ton! OH!!! And work with the missionaries! That is my testimony. Members working with the missionaries is SO important! There are just not enough missionaries in the world to do all this work!! Even with the 80,000 we have right now. Members NEED to do their part! DON'T BE LAZY! DON'T BE SCARED! Just share what you love the most with the people you care about. That isn't scary at all. :)

Okay really gotta go now, love you guys! Take care!!
Here are a couple pics of Elders S and P. P is our DL (District Leader) and S is his companion, and is new like S  and also a visa-waiter to Brazil. :D They are awesome. :)

kay bye!

~ Elder 9 

This is Elder S

This is Elder P with my scarf, looking like a painting of Joseph Smith that we got for free from some Sisters! :)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Mission Letter Week 17 - 11 November 2013


Sounds like this week has been a lot of fun for you guys and has gone well! I'm glad all is swelltastic back home. :)

I am soooo silly-happy right now it is crazy. I'll let you know that I am not the least bit depressed, discouraged or sad, but rather the happiest I have ever been in my life. This is SUPER hard work, but I can focus all my energy on it and I didn't know I had this much energy to put into it! When you only have one thing in your life to worry about, you can do some great work in that area. Lots of work. Cray Cray. So I am doing FANTASTIC!!! Two weeks ago was a little bumpy and rough to start out but as we progressed into the next week it just got better and better. :D

We are teaching a family now, M. and D., their 7 yr old son K., 16 yr old daughter M., and hopefully soon, their 21 yr old daughter as well. :) We taught them the Plan of Salvation just this last week and are going over on Wednesday to teach the restoration. We went out of order because D.'s concern started with the degrees of glory and when we explained that to her she was totally cool with it all. :) They have a friend in the LV Ward, and a bunch of missionaries a while back helped to move them from LV to RV :) So, yay for us! hahaha.

As for singing, I have not sung in Sacrament Meeting or Zone Meetings, but I did a little in District Meeting and I sang for B. because he wanted to know how well I could sing... he was happy. :D

G., we found out, has dementia and other "forgetty" type things going on in her head (she's a little old) so we are going to be working more with the rest of her family before we move forward with her, but our hopes for their progression are still there.

We didn't get to see C. and A. this week but we talked over the phone and hope to see them this next week. They are doing great, BUT we totally do need to actually meet with them. :P

We haven’t heard about the Family History work amongst the members yet but we should soon. We are hoping to get the members involved this way and if they don't...we shall force them! >:) Hahaha juuust kidding!!

(Mother’s note - this next paragraph was in response to my question if he was serving in an affluent area, which I had heard he was, and I asked if it was more difficult or easier to teach the gospel to these affluent people):

RICH PEOPLE SUCK (could of said that nicer). Everyone that we knock doors on (in that neighborhood) is a "jerk", no matter what we say and no matter the time of day or what they are doing... but we do it. We do it because it has to be done (in the Lord's eyes). There is always someone who is ready to listen to us. Just gotta find ‘em!

I'll work on getting more pics to you guys. :) We have been really busy so I haven’t been taking a ton of pics. Haha.

Okay, soooo we actually DON'T get 2 hr (to email), still just an hour and a half, and I have to email a couple other people so I gotta run soon buuut….

SUIT! So first of all, I have to tailor my pants...they are getting reeeaaallly baggy on me. They fall off even with a belt. ISSUE. Haha! So I'll be getting them tailored today somewhere. As for a suit, I found a REALLY Nice darkish lightish gray with pinstripes at Men’s Wearhouse, buuut it might be $x plus $x for taking in the bottoms of the slacks...I'll keep looking around for other deals. Let me know what you thing about that one though. Write it in the letter you send me. :D It is a beautiful one and it’s a Michael Kors, which is pretty nice...let me know what you think. :)

Gotta run guys! I love you all! Take care!

Elder Nine


From Daddy:

Your letters are ALWAYS worth the wait.

Remember Alma and Amulek who taught and had doors slammed on them. It was the “poor among them” that were open to hearing the word. But, you are right. YOU have to knock. You have to give them that OPPORTUNITY. Everyone will have the opportunity. Then it is up to them. Be happy and rejoice that you are His servant doing His will, knocking on the doors of His children. You are successful regardless of their choice to listen, and regardless of their attitude.


SUIT. That is a lot of suit. If your Mama had her way, she would get it for you tomorrow. Please tell me the size of the suit. I will see about negotiating from our end.

From Elder Nine:

I remember the cartoon from Living Scriptures of Alma and Amulek...remember that? “Hello, we are missionaries, and we-“ SLAM! … “Hello we are mission-“ SLAM! … “Hello, we-“ SLAM! … “He-“ SLAM! …… That’s pretty much what’s going on here. :D But it’s all good. :) You are right. They have to have that chance. Sometimes they need a hundred of them. But I have a new way of thinking. I do the work. I’m in the trenches and I shovel, I shoot, I work, whatever you wanna call it, and Heavenly Father puts everything else in place. I just have to keep going, doing my part. It’s really pretty easy when you just get in the right attitude. You gain a love for the work. I love it. :)

My size is 50L (long, not regular) with a 44W. Slim fit suit.  >:) Believe me. I thought it was crazy when he recommended it, but I put on the suit and it fit BEAUTIFULLY!!!! The best a suit has ever fit me. I was soooo happy when I put it on! Haha! So if we can get one that fits like that, that would be AWESOMENESS. 50L 44W slim. :D

When you say ‘negotiate on your end’, what does that mean?? :P

From Daddy:

Don’t know.

I know we don’t have $X today. But, I do have a Men’s Warehouse nearby. I have learned the ancient art of negotiation from my 5 year-old son. The boy who never, ever took NO for an answer. Let’s see what I can do. However, I may have a problem locating something both darkish and lightish in the gray department.

From Elder Nine:

I have 9 min till I get kicked off sooo………

From Daddy:

That means, 8 more replies

From Elder Nine:

Haha, so the color was just a nice gray. Lighter than charcoal but darker than a super light gray. :P With some nice pinstripes, fairly close together. So yeah. Yes, my Padawan, go negotiate. Make me proud. ;) Let me know in the letter Mama sends in the mail. :D I'm going now. Love you Brak. Take care.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Mission Letter Week 16 - 04 November 2013

This is going to be very short, but next week I'll have more time!

Yes, I will take a pic of my new coat and sweater. :)

Yes my new companion is Elder S. :P He is AWESOME!! We are both learning from each other and working pretty hard. It’s all going very nicely. We really like working with each other and have already had some great times. I do miss Elder N but we have email so no biggy. :P

Oh, and being trainer is a ton of fun!!

I did get the pics in the mail, N looks EXACTLY like his mom!!! :O

I sing so much here that I almost get in trouble. I am almost always singing or humming something. It’s a great way to stay happy even when times are hard and chips are down, he knows just what to do,..... wait a second........ that was Michael Martin Murphy.... oopsie. ;D

This week almost nothing has happened. G. flaked out on us and we now have to reset her baptismal date because she didn't go to church on Sunday.   >:(

C. and A. are doing OK, we didn't meet this week though. They will be a slower work than most. They want to take it slow, so we take it slow. They should be making some nice progress soon though. :D

R. is AWESOME! He now has a calling as second counselor in the Sunday School Presidency!!! HE's gonna be awesome. :))

We did hear from J., not B. though,... same diff… and I sent that to you. :)

We also introduced a new thing in Ward Council this last Sunday, involving the members as they invite people to go to the Family History Center and do genealogy and then as they ask questions.... they get directed to the missionaries (when applicable). :D BRILLIANT!!

Sorry this is so short guys, next week I'll have a lot more time. :D I'll attach some pics but I gotta go now. :) BYE!


Elder Nine

Elder S and me

A friendship that will last forever!

SILLY FACES!!  Elder Nine, B., and Elder N