Monday, March 24, 2014

Mission Letter Week 36B - 24 March 2014 (Handwritten)

Hello Family! :)

Here’s all the stuff I didn’t have my notes for on Monday …..

I don’t remember if I told you or not, but in that pic with the Elder in a blue shirt, that is NOT me, that is Elder H. He came out same time as P and S.  Cool guy. :)

That pic was actually taken in SB… I’ve never served there haha. It was before transfers.  That also means that Elder F is not in the pic either, ‘cuz he was with me in P 5th Ward.

We had a great Ward Conference a couple Sundays ago where Stake Pres. H talked about a couple of things. First, Moral Authority. Whenever we are in a position to influence others, which is ALWAYS, we must have moral authority.  Basically what this entails is “living the Gospel diligently on a daily and HOURLY basis.”  It’s like the opposite of what a hypocrite is. :D  He also expanded a bit on consecrating ourselves. (1) We must make a “free will offering” of our personal agency by giving it to our Almighty Father in Heaven.  (2) It’s about stewardship. We own nothing. Everything and everyone was created by Him. Brings to mind what you said about “offering (me) up for two years.”  Same concept, bigger scale.  (3) Accountability. We must be accountable for our thoughts, words, and deeds, as well as what has been placed in our stewardship.

What is a testimony?  And what is a treu conversion? What is the difference? 

A testimony is what you feel inside when you hear a talk or something and you feel the Spirit testify of truth to you.  You feel it, or sense it… but it should only be a motivator, not what you lean on. True conversion occurs when you ACT on your faith and your testimony, and, as afore mentioned, “live the Gospel diligently.”  To bring hope and light to such a hard task, I think of the part of the verse in Mark 5:36, when Christ says, “Be not afraid, only believe.”  That was our MTC District’s motto…. 
What’s a motto? Nothin’! What’s the motto with you?…..

On another topic, thanks for sending photo evidence of my proposal to Lindsey! She is a legend in the missionary world, and NO ONE, NOBODY, would believe me… now they are SPEECHLESS!!! >:)  TEEHEE!!!!

Can we just talk about how awesome missionary work is?  HOLY COW! SO COOL! And the best part about it is this:  Missionaries are a resource ONLY!  Missionaries are a resource for teaching and are full time teachers.  Every second we spend knocking a door on an empty house at 11AM, is another second of members not doing their job right. Active members are full time finders and fellowshippers.  Says who?  Prophet of God. :D  This Ward has been great with giving referrals, finding people to teach and coming out to lessons.  P is the Promised Land, and P Zone is ZION ZONE!  Woot! Woot!

There are SO MANY PEOPLE just WAITING to hear this glorious message, and everyone in the Church knows at least TWO people who re totally prepared to hear it. JUST TALK!  ALL we have to do is be good friends, and because we love our friends, the Gospel doctrine will be natural and easy to share.  Especially with the resources we have at our disposal now!  So be friends with people. REAL friends!! :)

I’M GOING TO THE TEMPLE!! On the 25th.  We are going with Elders K and C (two of my absolute FAVORITE Elders) at 5am to get to LA and go to the Temple!  This will be my first time seeing the new video as well!  Elder K says out of the two we have now, this session will be playing the “better” of them. :D  I’m SO pumped!

Oh! By the way… if you can, and it isn’t inconvenient… MUSIC.  LOTS of Music! :D  And if it it also not too much to ask, could you try to keep Albums on separate CD’s?  It just makes it easier to pick an choose what to listen to and it stays consistent. THANKS!

I also don’t know if I’ve told you about this, but we hold a “Scripture Study Class” every week for members, less actives, recent converts, and investigators, and discuss scriptures from the Book of Mormon and Bible, tie them together and teach simple, pure truths of Christ and His Gospel… It’s AWESOME! And it’s a great thing to invite investigators or random people to, that is very non-threatening. So that’s been going very nicely. :)

It’s bed time now, so I bid thee adieu!  Ciao, Ciao! Boa Noite! (Bye, Bye! Goodnight! in Portuguese. :) )

P.S. I wrote this a day late - sorry!


Elder Nine…..

P.P.S.  I put the first “P.S.” before signing it… HA.

Mission Letter Week 36 - 24 March 2014

“General Conference And The Realization That I Have Been Out A While And That This Is A Stupid Sport And Missionary Should Be A Lifetime Calling”

So yeah. The title. Stupid sport. It has been 8 months as of TODAY. And I'm not even the one who figured it out. I had to be told. Don't even talk to me about the year mark. This is going way too fast and I'm already feeling the speed pick up more!

But anyways, this week has been GREAT! And Elder P and I are doing FAMOUSLY. If we aren't talking or praying...we are singing. XD We were actually teaching a less active sister the other day about the power of prayer and sang "Did You Think To Pray?" and it was AWESOME! She even recorded us on her phone and made it her ringtone. XD Mucho goodness!

HOW AM I TODAY?!?!?!?! FAN-FREAKIN-SWELL!....yep. Just did that. We have seen the V family come SO far! I am convinced that the reason I was not here earlier was so that I wouldn't see them where Elder W started to teach them from, because I would have probably been "satisfied" with that amount of progress......not that I would stop working with them, but wouldn't be as bold...boldness works. People don't even get offended by it! [like we’re afraid so many times they might be] They just think, “Oh, they're serious about this stuff!”

BUT! We ran into a "potential investigator" by the name of C and he is SUPER interested and really wants to hear what we have to say! We've only met with him once, but he seems really solid so we have prayed that we will have another good opportunity to really sit down and talk about things. :D WOOHOO! The hardest thing as a missionary is just finding new people to teach. Everything else will work itself out with help from God, but finding new people is the tough one.

N is doing better and has learned a lot lately. We have started to teach RJ and he is going to start praying every night before bed now! He is 11 years old and pretty hyper so sometimes he gets distracted by little things but we have managed to ‘reel’ him in now. :D Teaching this family is like teaching 6 different families in regard to how far apart they are in their relationships toward and in their understanding of the gospel, and the speed with which they pick up on it... But everyone at their own pace, right? We're all like that.

As for the CD you sent in my package with they are AWESOME! The General Conference and Another Testament CDs I assume is what you are talking about...and they are great!!! Who is Afterglow though?? I have listened to the CD with them on there but don't know which ones they are?? Also, for future reference and if you can please, if you could keep albums on separate CDs it would make it easier to play them and know what is on them haha. If you can. :)

THE POCKET UNICORN IS AWESOME!! I have successfully driven Elder P insane with it! XD I keep it with me most of the time! hahahahahaha! THANK YOU FOR THAT! :D

That was not me in the photo you sent, I think I talked about that in the letter I wrote to you...hopefully you get that soon haha. That is Elder H and it was taken in south B I believe so there is no way it was me. lol. Though I HAVE lost weight and I am trying to hide it in the pics I send so you'll get the full experience when I return at approximately 220lbs....which BTW is very low body fat...I tested my self at the BMI tester at Albertson’s and I have around 208 lbs of LEAN MASS. Muscle, water, bone, that stuff. YUH. haha! So I still have a long ways to go but I have set monthly goals to get to that point and I am well on my way. XD

Yes, I do like the stuff that you send about what A said, it actually helps a lot. :)

It's true, about the leadership positions though. It’s just a title for dealing with people’s crap and levels and amounts of dung that you receive on a day-to-day basis. I am in the BEST spot for a missionary. No leadership position, on a bike, doing MISSIONARY WORK.

That is very sad to hear about C’s father passing...I didn't know the man but I know it is sad and painful when these things happen. I will pray for the family!

PACKAGES!!!! WOOPWOOP!!!! I will follow your instructions! As soon as I get that cable to charge the camera, the picture mayhem will proceed.....mwahahahahaha.....sorry....

That RM FB Group sounds pretty cool! I shall try to spread the good word. haha :P

YES! I got to help Bro M restore a bike from the late 80s! It's a pretty nice ride too! :D And in really good shape! I guess I kinda have become the mechanic around here as well as the hair-cutter. Elder W left behind his hair clippers and I have successfully taught myself how to cut hair...even with scissors! I can give a mean fade-up.... :D Maybe I'll be a hairdresser when I get home...or, you know, maybe I'll just be straight...who knows... XD haha

OOO! I don't know if a Sister B has sent you any pictures yet but I got to use a chainsaw and trim her trees down a few weeks ago, when Elder J was still here. :D IT WAS AWESOME and very manly...I got up in my jeans and cowboy boots and started monkeyin' 'round, as King Louie puts it, in The Jungle Book. :D MOST glorious. Bro B is less active too, so it totally counts as service and missionary work!! WOOT WOOT! Chainsaws and missionaries...that should be a regular thing...

Brak, I shouldn't need a charging brick, assuming that that is the USB wall adapter, as I brought one of the Griffin/Apple ones with me. :D I brain goodly on dat one.

Great pics!! XD Emily is WAY growing up and it is NOT okay!

I love you guys! Being out here has taught me so many things that I don't even know if there are words for. It has just changed who I am inside. Indescribable. But Glorious!

Well, I gotta run now. This is literally the time of my life right now and it is fantastic! Thank you for helping to get me here! I couldn't have done it without you and wouldn't have wanted to anyways!

Love you! BYE!

~ Elder 9

DAD:  Braaaak


DAD: 208 of lean awesomeness…and the rest is BACON.  CHAINSAW. My boy. Sweetness.

ELDER 9: HECK YEAH ITS BACON!! XD Yep. Got to use a chainsaw… I can’t get away from them…. then again, I guess you can’t get away from anything you go looking for :3

DAD:  The Lord prepared you all the days of your youth to be the Elder you are now. That is what you feel now. The fulfillment of your potential. The approval from on high.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Mission Letter Week 35 - 17 March 2014

Happy Birthday to me!!

Woot Woot! Holy surprise party, too! THAT MADE MY YEAR!! I HAD NO CLUE THAT PARTY WAS GONNA HAPPEN! Sister M is VERY tricky! She asked if we could come over Monday night to talk about AV, whom she knows and the rest of the family, and how she can help out and stuff….so I walk in and BAM! "HAAAPPPYYYY BIRTHDAAAYYYY!!!!"

 YEEEHAAWWW! That was a great night haha. Yes! There were balloons, cake and the whole event was just fantastic! So Mama, WELL PLAYED!! XD AND THANK YOU! (and that goes for Sisters M and H too!)

Emily! You got to play Wink 'em!!! That game is WAY FUN! :D One of my favorites too haha. And it sounds like YW is going really well too! Personal Progress is super awesome! I never got to do it, obviously, but along with the Duty to God for the YM, the youth programs in the church are SO GOOD! I'm glad you are having a good time with it all. :)

WOW. That testimony is awesome, Emily. Amazing. More powerful than what a lot of people feel. Keep that light and that fire burning deep inside and let it help you make the right choices! That's how we get super happy. :) Sorry my reply is so short, I have little time and a whole lot to talk about and am going to try to get it all in the email lol. Love you! <3 Keep being awesome and we'll talk more next week!


I DID get two packages from the L's! It had stuff from Silly String and Bubbles to brownies and Nutella!! WOOP!! I am SURE I gained 10 pounds in the last few days from all that. XD "Thank you!" to the Lewis'!

As for the files for Drop Box, yes I will do that from now on…..but none this week 'cuz my camera is still dead .__. I might need a new cable…. Sorry I can't keep track of it. XP

DID I LIKE THE PARTY!!?!?!?! WAS I EMBARRASSED?!?!?! PSSHHH, you know me better than that!! It takes a WHOLE lot more than something like that to embarrass me. XD It was FANTASTIC! Made my whole year! Thank you  again!!! I knew all the members there, like the Ms, the Ls, the Hs, some of the YSA's from our ward, the V family. So it was GREAT!! :DDD You hope it made it "a little special"? I'm a missionary!! BEST GIFT EVER! It was a blast! :D Really it was! Thanks! <3

Today we did our laundry, went grocery shopping and are now emailing, then we will go play basketball, and then spend birthday monies. :3

Elder P and I are getting along a-okay. He has a good heart and loves to work! haha. In all honesty, I have been spoiled with my comps thus far. They have all been obedient and hard working and mostly easy to get along with…which leads me to the assumption that I will have a terrible comp next transfer and be called as District Leader………better not happen! haha. Leadership is not a glorious thing out here. "District Leader" and "Zone Leader" and "Assistant to the President" are basically titles for "I deal with people's crap", "I deal with a lot of people's crap" and "I deal with every body's crap"…. So not a fun thing… but a real necessity.  It makes missions a possibility.

Elder O has been transferred so I can't get his email…. It was a sad day to see him leave :( He is MUCH loved by EVERYONE! OH! And just a cool tidbit, he is from Tuskegee, Alabama!

I will remember …. the Alamo…..dangitsorry. XD (Mom Note: this was in reply to Mom's request that he remember to let people know when he takes photos that they likely will end up online, and if they don't want that, then let him know.)

I loved the email about dinner and the K's! It was SO good to see them again!

I couldn't see the vids of daddy 'cuz these demo computers don't let me apparently…. stupid sport….

I also forgot to bring my notes today so I don't remember everything I was going to write about but I will write it in a letter and mail it tomorrow morning. :D 

With that, I will bid thee adieu, as Jacob of old (in the Book of Mormon) and send my love your way! Love you guys! Have an EPIC week, make it AWESOME! gotta bounce!


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Mission Letter Week 34B - 11 March 2014

Helloooo Family!

AHHHHHHHHH!! I am writing this letter late at night (late being 9:45pm…) on my 20th birthday after one of the worst and best days of my mission as of yet … opposition in all things, right? OK, worst stuff first. STORY TIME!  (Private BTW, Not for public viewing)


BUT, then comes the best part, and this is not a private note.  For dinner we went to the J’s family.  Sister J has probably already sent a pic to you, over text, of the four of us on their couch, with me holding a DRAGON PISTOL. SO COOL!  And Elder P, Elder F and Elder M, left to right. The entire time we were talking about antique guns and all that jazz, for about an hour!  The Lord knew I needed a break from what had just happened at the (...).  He did well. XD  Brother J is HYSTERICAL, and also a recent convert! He’s good enough of a shot that he can take and M1 Garand and fire at a target, with only iron sights that is a MILE away, and hit AT LEAST three out of twenty rounds on a ten-inch target. YIKES. The man is PRO!! :D So that really helped make me feel happier tonight. GUNS!! :D

Anyways, time for bed, but I just want to say how grateful I am for having been raised with the Gospel and how much of a difference it can make in our lives.  God’s Plan of Redemption really does bring peace, love, and joy into a home.  So, THANK YOU, for doing it right!! :)  Love you guys!

OH!!!!  THANK YOU for the surprise PARTY!!!! WOOT!  I am sure you have seen the pics and vids of it by now. IT MADE MY WEEK!! WOOP! The Ls were there, the Hs, the Ms, some of the V’s and others.  IT WAS EPIC!

AND, Emily!  Thank you for those drawings you sent me.  They are INSANELY AMAZING! I have them on my wall in front of my study desk so I can see them EVERY DAY! I LOVE YOU! Thank you!!!!!! :D :D :D  We really ARE brother and sister FOREVER. In fact, for time and all eternity, you’re stuck with me! :D

Thank you all guys! Mama, I love you soooo MUCH and am in DESPERATE need of you back-scratching skills. Daggummit!  THANK YOU again!

Daddy, I love you too!  Thank you for being a support for me and an example of what it is to be a real man. Few males truly understand what that takes…especially in California…Yikes.

Thank you, all!  Love you guys a ton!  Gotta sleep now!  Night.


Elder 9

Mission Letter Week 34 - 10 March 2014

The title (Oi Familia!) is in Portuguese.


So first off, my new comp is Elder P! He is another visa-waiter for Brazil and he is AWESOME! We have been doing some great work this week together! AV is back on track to get baptized and we'll be setting a date this week with her so she can start getting ready again! :D

To answer your questions about music: YES I LOVE the music you sent me and YES I WOULD LOVE some more! :D I picked up a free CD carry-case for 120 or more CD’s from another missionary who didn't need it any more so I got plenty of room now. XD

YEAH! I’m so glad that DR is doing better! WOOT WOOT! That’s what I'm talkin' ‘bout! He is a champion among heroes! :D I am VERY happy for him and his family!

I know Elder H (S’s new comp), M (a real in basketball), H ( one of the district leaders in our zone),  and B…  he is with Elder J now…


We haven't had much opportunity for service lately but if we do I'll take pics! My camera died though and I can't find my cable. Again, stupid sport. But I have a few pics today to upload to Drop Box!

The members here are EPIC!! They feed us all the time and even come up to US and ask to do missionary stuff! WUDDUP! So yeah. Members are great here. :D

The V family is doing great and the father, R, is still having his heart softened so that is very good! And like I mentioned, A is back on track to getting baptized! We decided to work with one family member at a time, so we can focus on each individual need, as it’s like teaching a million different people otherwise. lol!

The R family is good but we haven't been in contact with them in a while. I think it’s because he hasn't read his scriptures that he was supposed to and he doesn't want to say that.....oi.

I'll send the [Christmas] stocking either today or next Monday, I promise. haha

I can’t tell you how much I would love a cake right now...but I'm going to have to turn it down. We have very little time PLUS I’m trying eat as little sweets and such as possible these has been paying off too! Punched another hole in belt this morning! XD

(Elder 9 had no idea that a surprise celebration for his 20th birthday this same night was already planned by his mom and to wonderful ladies that live in P. heehee!)

Going back to talking about what happened with Elder A, or rather, what I have learned from it is, deep doctrine is not stuff about Kolob and things like that, but rather items like Faith, Repentance, etc.. If we were to truly study these things out in our minds and hearts we would find there is no end to learning about them. When we start going into pointless topics that do not pertain to our eternal salvation, or that are about the history of the church or other things like that, I like to call that shallow, or fringe doctrine.

Another thing that popped into my mind is something I thought of when I was reading about how you guys really like to experience my mission through letters and pictures and stuff. I think it is awesome that you guys are getting involved with missionary work more and working with the Elders in the ward and getting into it. My only encouragement is that you let that excitement from experiencing my mission evolve into making your own mission as well and let the spirit of the work take over so that when I get home, you are still all over it! That's a lesson I, too, am learning so when I get home I won't just drop the ball.  My mission is a good training group but the real work begins when I get home. With my family that I'll have, the friends I will make, the people I will build relationships with, and there is a continual growth, that MUST keep going in my heart, of the gospel.

When we let the gospel of Jesus Christ, namely Faith in Christ, Repentance, and a reliance on our Savior, effect our lives and change our hearts we will have a natural desire to share if we are doing it right, all we have to do is be friends with people and love them and it'll work itself in there!
Okay I am going to put those pics on Drop Box now! Love you guys! Hope your week is EPIC! BYE!

~ Elder 9


Okay the pics of the little girl are pics of KV. :D SUPER CUTE! The other pic is of the RAIN STORM we had :D, which only happens every few years ...... The video I put on is Elder O getting tickled. XDDDD GOOOD TIIMMEESS!

Gotta run guys! Love you!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Happy 20th Birthday Elder 9!!

Can it be that our baby boy turned 20 today!?  T-W-E-N-T-Y???  Wow. I've heard all my life that it goes by fast. I had no idea how VERY ULTRA FAST it actually does go by!

So I belong to an email group and then also a Facebook group (which I started and run admin for) where missionary moms and "resident moms" that have been members for a long time, gather and support each other, share ideas, and from time to time run a little Q&A with whatever questions we may be having at the time.

On the Facebook group, I met a resident mom. This woman has been an angel. She just happens to have a friend that lives in the same ward that our son attends at the moment. One conversation led to another and we all began planning a surprise birthday celebration for Elder Nine.  We tried to have it on the day of his birthday (today) but it turned out they couldn't do that. So we planned it for Monday, March 10th.   I spoke with my friend, and discussed the cake, the balloons, etc. She picked them all up at the local stores, and after her day at work she headed over to the house.

She said when Elder Nine arrived with his companion, they entered the house and the three families and people that were there and hiding, waited till he entered the family room, then came out singing "Happy Birthday To You!" and he got the biggest grin on his face (even blushed a bit) and was SO surprised and shocked!  

So my friend approached him and just let him know that she, the other sister, and his Mom had been planning this for a couple of weeks.  I don't think it really hit him fully that his mom was the one that got this all going.  Then he went to blow out the candles on the cake and read the top of the cake: "Happy Burpday Elder 9!"  and he about lost it from laughter!  "Burpday" is a family thing, and we usually say it at least once on everyone's birthday.  He knew for sure then that this wasn't just some nice people in his ward throwing him a party, but that his family really did have something to do with this. :)

They all ate cake, he opened the card they gave him and just chatted and laughed.  He couldn't stop smiling. And he was so surprised that I, his mother, had kept this secret from him. He told them I have a hard time keeping things secret from him. Yep, I do. But since he wasn't here to give me "that look" and flash that dimple, it was much easier this time!  They asked him to open the birthday package we sent him, but he said he rather save it and open it today, on his actual birthday. Meanwhile my friend was taking photos and mental notes, as we had planned on her calling me afterward to tell me all about how the celebration went. 

She did call me and we talked for about an hour. We laughed so much and it was so FUN to hear all her descriptions of him and what all he did, and how much he smiled and how toward the end he told her this "made his week"!  Aw! That made MY week!

I am so thankful for these resident ladies that helped me out and acted in my place when I was unable to!  God's tender mercies, done through the hands of another!

Thank you, my sisters, my friends!  And I thank Thee, Heavenly Father, for  not only my wonderful son but for the blessing he's been in our lives all these years! It is never an easy thing to raise a child from birth to adulthood, and the process itself invites troubles and trials, but it is also filled with great memories, laughter, joy, and tremendous love as all those "good" and "bad" things knit our hearts together in love as a FAMILY.

Photos are a bit fuzzy, but that's alright. At least we got to see him and the people that loved us enough to do this for our family!




 The "Burpday" is a family thing....  He KNEW who ordered this!

 Most of what was in his small birthday package. He got some extra spending money, a pair of new New Balance shoes he half-way need (which he bought back in January) and some new shirts, socks, and belt that are in process of being sent - He has lost a lot of weight and has had to punch FOUR holes into his belt, and cut the end of the belt off, so that it fit properly! His shirts are way too big on him and his slacks had to be taken in.

(A family favorite: the talking unicorn! (card) candy, more music CD's, handmade drawings by Emily, more letter-writing supplies, and "Heart Attack" hearts with nice things written on them to or about Elder Nine)

I MISS my son!!

But he is happy, healthy, and is serving the Lord with all his heart, might, mind, and strength. We could not be more proud of him (in a humble way) nor more happy! Wouldn't want him anywhere else on Earth right now!  

But I still MISS HIM! ;)

Mission Letter Week 33B - 07 March 2014 (Handwritten)

Mission Letter Week 33B_2014-03-07 (Handwritten)

Hello Family!

Mama, GREAT IDEA!  I am going to start writing snail-mail more often! I my or may not send 2 or 3 in a week depending on how long and detailed they are. I will date them the day I start them at the beginning and if the date I finish is different I will write that at the end. :D

So sad news, AV will not be getting baptized YET. She, or rather we, realized an unforeseen issue and we need to help her with that first.  But S, the mother, is still going strong.  I am sitting in the foyer in our church building right  now while S is in a second interview with Pres. A, Second Counselor to  President W and then she is good to go! :D

My back is doing great, I haven’t had any real issues with it. My knee is doing a LOT better since I’ve been going to see Bro/Dr P. :D  I love CHIROPRACTORS! Woot, Woot, Yeah!

But overall, physically, I am doing dandy. :D  I’m fairly mentally, emotionally, and spiritually wiped out, just from the work. I understand now a little better what Joseph Smith went through when he was physically exhausted due to spiritual exertion. Not quite on the same level though…

Funny story! Elders F, J, and I, in the car (Ford Fusion, since Elder F and Elder A had it…) we were joking around on the way back to the pad (apartment) and we were talking about how a brother in the ward would make a great fellowshipper for an inactive member and got talking about bromances and Elder F says: “Hey, he could just bromance flirt-to-convert!”…. needless to say, we lost it! XD  Yay for bromances! Haha!

Oh, by the way, part of the reason we have not had much time to email is because the Best Buy we email @, or rather the network there, has determined to be a “phishing” website, which it’s not. But it’s California, the state of “you can’t” sooo, DUMB SPORT. So this Monday, March 3rd, we are going to try to figure out where to email… I hope this letter gets to you by Monday… but it probably won’t…

So I met the CUTEST girl EVER… little 2 yr old KV! :D  SO flippin’ adorable!!  She loves the missionaries too!  We love going over, even just to see K. :)

I think Alma 34 might be the coolest chapter in the Book of Mormon.  Amulek goes crazy testifying of the Atonement. SUPER powerful!  I read it this morning and I think it’s probably one of the most important chapters in the scriptures. Personal opinion of course.

This last week or two have taught me a lot about patience.  Reading scriptures about faith, endurance, and strength have helped a lot. Reading Holy Scriptures and Praying with great faith gives me very literal physical strength. It’s a blessing of the Spirit, I’m convinced.
...... (paused)

There have been countless times when I have felt “done” for the day, and I’ll read some scritpures, and I’m up and rarin’ to go!  It works.  Really and truly! :)

BTDubs.  S passed her second interview and is GOOD!!  WOOP!  AANNDD, her husband, R, has had some kind of softening of his heart because apparently he told her last night that he wants to be at her baptism to support her!  So we moved the time so he can attend.  By the time you get this letter she will be both baptized AND confirmed!! :D

EMILY!  I loved the card that you made for me! :)  I saved it special, in my “transfer journal”. Thank you!  How has Young Women’s been going?  I can NOT believe, STILL, that you are a “Beehive”! Di you know that AV, is also 12 yr old and is even doing Personal Progress? (the Church’s program for young women ages 12-18)  She’s not even a member yet! :P  She’s a little on the crazy side…but so are you! ;)  I think you two would get along FAMOUSLY.  Have you done Personal Progress at all?  If so, what have you done and how is it going?

Guys!  It RAINED TODAY!  REAL RAIN!  WOOHOO!!!!!!!  We haven’t had rain since I’ve been out on my mission. I MISSED the rain.  We hardy ever get any and then it’s only sprinkles.  Today it POURED and flash flooded everywhere. It was MOST glorious! :D

So just a fun note for the day, I’m a huge fan of long sleeved shirts over short.  Why? Classy.  And in the summer they are actually nicer too. Keeps me cooler… and classy. :)  Just sayin’…

I love what I am doing here in P. What Elder Y, my good friend, said is very true. We are working with people. Our brothers and sisters. It is vital that they feel our love. We all have important roles to play. I’m loving the role I have now.  We get to share the greatest message of hope, peace, and love that has ever been. As the Missionary Handbook says, “how great is [my] calling!”  The Atonement is for and because of EVERYONE.  It’s only right that they get a chance to know that, in the absolute fullest.  It takes a step of faith to believe it all, but if one is to truly understand it all, one would realize there truly is NOTHING to lose, and only the eternities to gain by studying it out and praying in faith to know “by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost [we] may know the truth of all things.”  Sounds good to me.

On a simpler but different topic, something I noticed the other day is, we sometimes do the same thing as those of other faiths when they try to share their testimony and faith with us.  We tend to turn them away and say “I am okay, I am strong in my faith.” NO! Don’t be STUPID! When someone does this, LISTEN, care about what they have to say, and even, if appropriate at the time, pray with them to ask God if what they say is good and just.  Don’t brush people off.  Listen. Absorb, observe, and then even share back your own testimony.  Show that we desire to live as Christ did. That we strive to love as He did. Don’t be jerks. :)  Make sense?  Awesome… now do it!  And this goes for everybody reading this letter!

On yet another note, apparently Airsoft guns are OK, as long as they are not owned by the missionary, ‘cuz President said we can go airsofting with ML. (in pics I sent.)  So hopefully this Monday we’ll get to! Woop!  Speaking of next week, Tuesday, March 4th is Transfer Day… but I’m thinking I’m going to stay… We’ll see!  I hope I stay because there is good work going on here.

I’m staying!!  Got transfer calls today (Mar 1st.)  Elder J is leaving and we’ll know on Tuesday where he’s going.

I’m gonna finish this letter now and get it in the mail.

Love you guys!  I’ll be sending another letter soon!  If I can email on Monday, I’ll write some more but I’ll probably just do what you suggested, Mama, and just put pics and vids on Drop Box and any last minute thoughts I have. So from now on, letters are the way I’m going now! :D

Love you guys! Talk to ya later!

Elder 9  (3/1/2014)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Mission Letter Week 33 - 03 March 2014

Well, the computers that are up and running here right now either do not have SD card slots for my pics or they are broken. Gotta love it. So sadly, no pics. BUUUTTT, Sister V. got baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday!! WOOT WOOT! Not only that but her husband even went to the baptism and then, after telling everyone, even us, that he had to work on Sunday and so he wouldn't be there for her confirmation....and then clocked out early and showed up at Sacrament Meeting!! YEAH! IT WAS AWESOME! WE WERE SO HAPPY TO SEE HIM THERE! He was in such a happy mood too. He has come SO FAR and has already felt the good changes that have come from the gospel being in that home! :D It was spectacular.

FYI, I will doing snail-mail on regular basis now and will only use email time to put pics and vids on Drop Box and any info that has to get to you asap or that I left out by accident in a letter or that happens between my last letter and when I yeah. :D

This week has been good but still really bumpy. We had a TORRENTIAL DOWNPOUR here and it flooded a lot of the roads so a lot of appointments fell through and things have been going really slow because we are covering two areas with one tripanionship...yep. Good times. :D We are sad to split up the three amigos though (yes, we do the dance thing that they do in the movie XD) we have a GREAT TIME and it’s been a blast...but all good things must come to an end unfortunately. :(

I am sorry there are no pictures this time. I actually have some too! :( I'll make sure they get to you next Monday!

So the purpose of the title of this email (A Rainy Day In P Town (titled inspired by Michael Bublé)) is two fold. It rained cats and dogs this week, and Elder J is leaving. :( It is a sad end to a transfer indeed. When we got our calls for transfers, it started to rain and we all got super sad...but then we got out in the rain and screamed and danced.....bitter sweet situation. :P

Anyways the rest is in that letter so I hope you get it soon. :D

I love doing this crazy stuff. Being a missionary is the coolest, full time job on the PLANET. Our mission has a goal of 50 or more baptisms in March and we are going to BLOW IT OUT OF THE WATER! It will be much God! :) Bearing testimony all the time is the best, most important, and most beneficial thing we can ever do. For us, and for others. Bear testimony of the simple, pure doctrine of Christ. You'll be happy you did....for all eternity! WOOT!

Love you guys! I'll be here for a little bit so if you wanna ask any questions or talk I’m here...see ya!


On another topic, it’s funny to look back and realize how STUPID I was with my time and actions. There is so much we can do, just in a day, a week, or a month and many people, me having been one of them, just threw that gift of time out the window. DUMB. I wish I could go back and fill in all the huge gaps of time I wasted with productive things. BLARGH…

That time realization warms my heart. You may have felt my anxiety over you regarding that in the past (hopefully not too bad though).

But, as long as you learn the lesson, I am happy. I would have sold half my farm to help you learn such a lesson. As you have learned that on your own, how great has been my joy.

Well played, good Sir, well played...and taught. And exemplified...if that's how you use that word. DERP. I love you Braky, and you mama, and you Emily. Thank you for being my family :D

Man-lump...and allergies (not tears).

No tears. still good to go. Love you guys! Sorry this was a short one but I did send a letter in the mail too! :D

Oh, and....I am doing GREAT! My knee and back are doing very well and Bro. P has been doing wonders for my knee. I got a knee brace today and still have to get an ankle weight for my exercises. I am staying this transfer but Elder J is leaving. F is staying too and getting a new comp. I have to stop there and run now. SORRY!! I really do love you! :D Send me a long letter this week and I'll reply in kind!  LOVE YOU BYE!