Thursday, January 30, 2014


Oh so happy!

FINALLY got a picture of Elder Nine with President and Sister W after 6 months in the field.

He had one taken the night he first arrived into Bakersfield, but somehow the Mission office lost it. I have called a few times to nicely ask if they could find a copy or at least a digital copy. They searched, and eventually all we got was a photo taken of Elder Nine with his second companion, and an "I'm sorry we don't have a digital copy of the picture with the President."  However, they did say that the President would make a point of getting a picture with Elder Nine during one of their conferences about a month ago.  Well, just so happened that the day the Conference took place was the same weekend that Elder Nine got super sick from food poisoning, and so was unable to attend the Conference. :(  


It started to seem like "fate" just didn't want Elder Nine to get a picture with his mission president. 

We were so happily surprised today when we receive this photo in the mail. The photo was taken on 21 January 2014 during transfers. 

So here it is - FINALLY - Elder Nine with his mission president, President and Sister W. :D

Monday, January 27, 2014

Mission Letter Week 28 - 27 January 2014

Hello everybody!

Hope life is just swell for everyone cause it is FANTASTIC right now here in my new area, P 5th ward in the P Stake. :D It’s funny ‘cuz we went all the way to Bakersfield just so I could come back to an area that literally borders my last one.....WOOP! haha! So it was a little anti-climactic but I am not disappointed by any means. The ward is great and we are settling in nicely. I was apparently deemed worthy of OPENING a NEW AREA! wut. Has to be inspired ‘cuz I didn't see that one coming!

Emily, I am so glad you got to go to a youth fireside. I love those! :D And it sounds like you learned a good bit of stuff from it too! And I'm glad you are getting to see what it’s like to have a new kind of fun with your friends as you grow up! I remember thinking very similar things as I grew up and its super cool to see you thinking and feeling the same way. :P Fun story for you, one of my last nights with Elder S, my last companion, we went to somebody's home for dinner and right away the big white lab dog came up, rolled over with joy.....and projectile-peed right into Elder S's face!! XD HAHAHA! It was so funny! Nasty, but funny! Well, I hope you get a lot from these youth firesides and activities you will get to go to from now on. You are going to grow a lot from these experiences and learn a lot from your leaders and even your friends. I would encourage you to make friends with people that you meet at those activities, even if they are outside the ward because WHO KNOWS the difference you can make in someone’s life or that they can make in yours. :)

BRAKY, my favorite shoes are definitely the lace-ups (Doc Martens) that I got. They are sturdy and shine up really nicely. My slip-ons are actually a little big. A 13 would have fit me better because they need to be a bit snugger.

Mama (and whom ever else it may concern) like I said I am now in the P 5th Ward in the P Stake and as I have NOT mentioned yet, my new companion is Elder J (see attached picture). I'm sorry I practically ran the debit card out, I needed a new bike helmet because my original one had a huge crack in it that I didn't see and it would not have added significant value in a real accident. Tried to keep it cheap! :) I am in another bike area so, as of yet, I have not driven a car...and I'm really okay with that because it is SO much easier to contact people as you ride by...imagine doing that with a car.....NO. Hahaha!

LOVE the pics :) sorry I have been slacking...I promise I’ll work on getting more. ;) Really this time though. haha.

Elder J and I are opening a new area and have 5 investigators already! The ward is stupendous with helping us in the work...or rather they are actually working and we are helping it should be. :D The ward is split in half and we have, of course, the half further away from the apartment and we also live 2.5 miles outside our area....yay!!! It’s not too bad. Compared to the RV  area, this place is a joy ride. Minimal hills! :P The other Elders in our ward are actually the Zone Leaders, Elder A and Elder F!!!! WOOP! So it’s cool to work around him again and Elder A is SUPER cool....he's also 26. XD Cool guys.

We've spent this week meeting our investigators and planning and organizing since its a new area and we both are unfamiliar with it. This Wednesday we should be up and rolling though and we're planning to have a blast!! All in all, a good week! :)

You'll see in the attached picture that I have short hair...I just cut it myself about an hour ago! Yeya. Looks pretty good. Plus I cut Elder J’ hair and Elder F’s :) I'm pretty half-way-somewhat-decent too, if I do say so myself! >:D Another cool thing is we got to play basketball again today!! The last two transfers Elders S, P, and S didn't really like basketball so it was tough to do that on a regular basis. But now we'll probably get to play every week plus some practicing at the court near the apartment. :DDDD YEAH!

B T DUBS! Elder S is in Brazil now, preaching and teaching!! And Elder S feels that he is not far behind!! So that is very exciting for them both. :D

Okay, we have to start wrapping up now to get to dinner on time. I'll leave with my testimony. I have a very strong faith in my Savior. He loves us. He knows what we are going through. When we are going through tough times that is not the Lord saying "here you go, have fun!”,  because He is a God of love. Not of pain. He sometimes allows the pains and struggles of the world to leak through but only to teach us and never more than what we can handle. When we rely on our Savior’s love we can over come those struggles. Not always in the way we think, but as we have that "trial of our faith" we will come out on top. Obey. Love. Work hard.

 Love you guys a ton! :) Talk to you next week!

P.S. I couldn't figure out this stupid computer so I couldn't attach the picture. >:( I'll try to get it next week!!


Monday, January 20, 2014

Mission Letter Week 27 - 20 January 2014


Today is going to be shorter than normal, sorry.

I AM GETTING TRANSFERRED!!!!!! WOOHOO!! I am really going to miss this ward but this is SO EXCITING!!! This morning Elders S and P and I went to go play racquetball with President C and our YM President, Bro. P.  IT WAS AWESOME!!!! We played from about 530-830am. DA BEST!!!!

Unfortunately, I don’t have an address for my new area yet because I don’t even know WHERE I am going. I also apologize for my poor typing today.  I’m in a bit of a rush to get it done. (that's alright son, I can edit it all for you. ;))  Love you still. I’ll type better next time, I promise.

Thankfully, I did not feel the earthquake... or maybe unfortunately. IDK. Maybe it’d be cool! :P

Yes, I do email President W every week. Why??

Yeah, I can take pics of service projects and stuff that we do. :) I'll try to get better with the pics. I honestly just don’t think about it these days. It just feels like same old business everyday, so I’ll try to keep pics in mind as my days keep FLYING by! :) Also, because your son is a complete fool, he did not get pics of his first baptism. I know. I KNOW. Don’t gimme too hard a time on that. Sowwy. :(

The core of my wand is definitely a chicken-heart-string. Most assuredly. (here's the pic that Elder Nine sent home, showing us his hand-carved "Harry-Potteresque" wand, which they then promptly might have used to play duels. Just maybe.):

I did not bring the pitch pipe  with me so you should be able to find it in my stuff I packed away for ‘laterses’ (in Gulom's voice). More than welcome to it. BRAAK. Have fun and good luck with the Dallas MCO auditions.

Hahaha! I LOVE the beard!!! Very impressive.

Emily, That’s awesome that you got to babysit!! Sounds like you might have found a job now! :P I'm glad that it was a good thing for you! Sorry to be so short but I gotta get packed up for transfers!!

Love you guys! Hope all is well! I’ll send some pics right now and then I gotta bounce! More details next week!

~ Elder 9

Mom's note:
S’s father posted on the Bakersfield Missionary group site the following:

“Elder S is sad to say good bye to Elder Nine and others that are getting transferred from his district, (pictured below). Here are a few words about his feelings about Elder Nine, his only companion since entering the Bakersfield mission about two months ago. "Elder Nine has been a great friend to me and we have suffered, triumphed and grown together. I think there is a special bond between companions that perhaps you couldn't create in any other relationship. I've learned things from him that I couldn't have learned from anyone else. He really is an awesome guy.” “

That brought tears to this Mama’s eyes. Tears of great joy, great pride, great thanksgiving, great love, and  great “MISSING MY BOY”! What a great and appreciated compliment to Elder Nine!

(1) Elder A & Elder Nine at their “Out 6 months and not a greenie any more” traditional tie-burning ceremony.

(2) burning Elder Nine’s tie.

(3) Elder Nine savoring the last Christmas cookie sent by dear friends, the K’s.

(4) Elder D making a goofy face.

(5) Elder S in his Christmas PJ’s making breakfast for dinner.

(6) “The District”, Back: Elders S, S, S, Nine, Front: P, A, celebrating the last night night together as Elder S finally received his Visa to Brazil, having been temporarily assigned to the Bakersfield Mission until the Visa arrived. Elder S is also waiting for his Visa to Brazil.  The first one is just kinda cool. The second one is the real deal.

7.) Sister D said "Tell Bob I said 'hi'." So, Sister D says "hi"

Monday, January 13, 2014

Mission Letter Week 26 - 13 January 2014


Apparently nobody but Texans say that around here. YAY! No accent but at least I still have the lingo, haha.

It's okay, Mama, I was sick too on Friday and Saturday. Food poisoning. :P It felt GREAT...NOT.

B T DUBS transfers are a week from Tuesday and there is a fair to decent chance that I will be transferred because I've been here so long. I know this place like the back of my hand now and probably know most of the non-members here too. I feel like I've talked to every person in the area now haha. Good stuff.

Yeah, I'll try to get the (Christmas) stocking back to you guys sometime.

SOOO, This week has been kinda...slow. Again. BUT! We got to work a LOT with the Brethren in the ward this week, including knocking doors with the Elder’s Quorum presidency. :D

Other fun fact for the day: I might have the best looking legs out of all the missionaries in the whole mission. Bikes do wonders for legs! >:) AND NEXT.…

Well, because I was sick over the weekend I didn't get a pic with the President ‘cuz I was busy blowing chunks...and it was yummy. I was actually going double dragon. I'll let you do the math on that one. Have fun.

For some reason this week, I couldn't imagine why, my thoughts have been really extra focused around the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I was reading in Moroni chapter 8 (v. 25-26) where it talks about the first-fruits of faith in Christ and such. Basically the fruits of faith is baptism because our desire is to follow Christ and to do that we have to in order to get baptized, but then it says that when we do that, we fulfill the commandment, and THAT is what remits our sins. I've known this my whole life but it popped out at me that there was such a clarification on that topic. That it is our obedience and humility to the commandments of God that cleanses us. One of those commandments is, of course, baptism. We were reading that scripture with R., whom Elder N  and I baptized and confirmed, in his "new member lesson" last night and we talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ with him and the members whose home we were in. It was a wonderful lesson and the Spirit was really testifying strongly to all of us. Especially for R. as he has the GIFT and COMPANIONSHIP of the Holy Ghost now. It was a very special experience.

I got your letter in the mail and I LOVED it! :D I love hearing from you guys and all the fun things that are going on. :) BUT OHMYGOSH. That part about L.… :( That is so sad. I'll right another email in a second that I'd like you to send over Facebook message to A.. Thank you.

I gotta go now, so I'll leave with my testimony: that when we lean on the arm of the Lord and on HIS understanding not our own, and as we trust in Him, He will carry us when we can't go anymore. Think of Footprints, the poem, and the little statue I got before my mission (from Sister V. of Christ carrying that worn-out man). Our Savior and our Heavenly Father love us and want us to be happy. Just like any parent would say, let’s help Them help us. Obey. Be humble. Love. Serve.

As for doing missionary work, for some reason I decided to think-out a talk last night as I crawled into bed… I know. Weird. But what came to mind as a little catch-phrase was “Pray, Seek, Grasp, Invite”. We need to *PRAY* for the DESIRE to do missionary work and THEN to have those opportunities, *SEEK* them out ACTIVELY, *GRASP* them when they are in your reach and don't let them slip by. There is no "point of no return". You can't say "I already walked past that person I can't talk to them now" or "I didn't talk to my friend about it this time I will". TAKE THEM. GRASP THE OPPORTUNITY. DO IT. And *INVITE* people. To church, to activities, to ANYTHING. But invite. No one will do anything until they are invited by YOU. So invite people :)

Kay gotta run now. Love you guys! BYE!

Elder 9

Monday, January 6, 2014

Mission Letter Week 25 - 06 January 2014

Dear Family,

And now to email... :)   I like the change in the living room! looks nice :)

Sounds like you guys had a BLAST at the Koz Pad :D and I love the pics! THAT TUTTLE IS HUGE! :D Yes, I misspelled that on purples. I am loving the supreme goofiness! :D It's good to see friendly faces and people I love bunches! Including that very slobbery niece of mine. :D

So this week has been pretty great. Elder S’s parents sent him an iPod (mission approved one) with a bunch of BYU devotionals and talks from the Brethren on it. BEST COMP STUDY EVER! :D Haha. We have been listening to a lot of those (and some John Bytheway talks!!!), and I don't remember if I have told you guys this yet or not but I have a reaffirmation of a personal revelation of sorts I had a few weeks back. I feel that I know why I am here right now, on a mission, besides teaching and preaching, expounding, exhorting and inviting...and that is, the people I will be working with. Companions, missionary leaders, investigators, members, etc. I, very clearly, have a lot to learn from everyone, and I need a fair amount of humbling to do along the way. At least at this point in my mission THAT is my purpose, alongside the standard missionary purpose to "invite others to come unto Christ". So that was a nice relief. I felt like, for a while, there was something that I had to figure out that I hadn't yet. I had that understanding come to me during personal study and the weirdest thing is that what I was studying had nothing to do with anything like that. Funny how the Spirit works.

OH as a side note, I got some sturdy training shoes today at "BIG 5", a local sports and outdoors store. If you need me to return those for any reason just let me know. I got them because we go on hikes sometimes and when we do service projects it usually involves a lot of the deserty sand .____. LAME SAND. And the mesh on my Nikes just vacuum that stuff in. The ones I got are New Balance...but like I said, if you need me to return them, no big deal. (As his mother it gives me great pleasure to insert here that I counseled him to buy New Balance before his mission, which I’m sure he no longer remembers. So this last sentences brought a smile to my face! ;) )

I didn't write notes down for the letter you sent, mostly because I'm a mub (bum, backwards) so I apologize AGAIN. :D I'll make sure to do that this week as well. A lot of things seem to slip my mind these days when it isn't directly related to the work...maybe that's good...but not for emails. Ha!

I gotta go now, I love you guys! Thanks for being awesome and cool and awesome!! Tell everyone back home I love them and tell yourselves I love you guys more than anyone or anything on the entire planet Earth!


Elder 9

oh B T DUBS…….IT'S 2014!!!!!!! New Year’s Eve was super lame but I didn't expect much.......actually not true. We did have a 3 hr Nerf gun fight!   >:)  We had to be in by 6pm, so we started at like 630pm-ish - hahaha! It was glorious….kthxbai!