Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Mission Letter Week 49 - 23 June 2014

Hello all!

I'm going to abbreviate some of my answers to the questions so I can get down to the nitty-gritty, as Nacho puts it. :)

1.) First aid kit is good to go, no needs :)

2.) Elder Love and I are doing quite well and seeing much success and will see more as the days and weeks go by. It is crazy to think it is week 5 of this transfer already. CRAZY.  Elder Bennett is actually going home after this so things have been a little crazy altogether. :P His Grandpa dropped by to pick up his bike too. Cool guy.

3.) I did get your letter from, and I will reply to that in a second. :D

4.) Sis Warkentin gave us good chalk and little chalk holders, like mechanical pencils for chalk so we don't get all powdery during scripture study class. (Every Wednesday, something I "brought" with me from Palmdale 5th ward!) It's SUPER nice to have actually! :D

5.) Yes to the picture with Oryang, left to right, Elder Gehoski, Elder McKennon and Elder Oryang. McKennon finished his mission that's why they took the picture. :P

6.) I’ll talk about the learning moment later...

7.) What I like about Ridgecrest……it....has.....err.....dirt. :) Taco Bell! :D

But really, what I like most about Ridgecrest is the fact that there is so much work to do...everywhere. It is by no means a goldmine for investigators or less actives, but there is WORK. The kind of work that drives you nuts with people's stubbornness, the kind of work that makes you exhausted at night, and the kind of work that makes you feel like you are a two man team in the middle of the land desolation....and I am PUMPED. Because we are getting this Ward pumped. And the Bishop is going to get PUMPED. And work will EXPLODE. There is a lot of "long term" efforts that have to be put into this Ward and we are starting that now. I may very well never see any results from my time in this Ward. I might, and I hold to that hope, and I'll never let go...but there is a chance both ways. Either way, that's what I love about this ward.

8.) Wow. You asked some pretty intense questions... (Mom's note:  heehee! that's my intention!)

D&C 4 is the perfect scripture for missionary work. One thing I noticed a while back is how important it is to recognize that there are very serious QUALIFICATIONS to do the work of salvation. We MUST have charity in our hearts, we must have a desire to serve and work hard and do the Lord's work on HIS time frame.

I have been doing the very best I can to meet those qualifications that are found in D&C 4, and as hard as I try, I fall short… Enter the Atonement. I love teaching about the Atonement, and learning more about it. It is literally the only way to make it.

9.) As far as learning about the Spirit and how He talks to me, it is still something I find difficult to explain. It is more clear to me now when I feel the promptings and testimony of the Holy Spirit, but I'm still practicing how to explain it. All I can say at this moment, is that I have grown a close relationship with the Spirit and have learned to rely on those promptings, in situations I didn't even think mattered all the way, to times where they may have saved my life. The Gift of the Holy Ghost is the greatest gift we can ever receive in this life.

Sorry I haven’t gotten many snail mail letters out…It's pretty tough because in all honesty even on Preparation Day, we only barely have time to get all the necessary stuff done, including things in the area book, and making all other preparations for the week...I found out early on that Mondays are not a "day off" because the work doesn't leave time for "time off" like that. So we have decided to cut back on email time, and focus on doing more effective work, even on Mondays. So most of the time I will only get a letter off to you guys...and maybe one or two other people. :) But you guys first!

Good reminder about the music! :) (Mom's note: Share that even the beat and rhythm can interfere with being sensitive to the whispers of the Spirit, so choose music wisely when he listen to music others give him.)

And that’s actually hilarious with those Elders' names. (Mom's note: I shared with him a "Fun Fact" regarding 2 other companionships. Two of the Elders were named the same as a Bible prophet and his younger brother, and two other Elders were named the same as a Book of Mormon prophet and his young brother. Cool coincidence!)  Elders Bennett, Page, Love and I found that QUITE amusing. XD

I love you guys a bunch! Keep going strong. Now and always. I will try to write a letter later this evening if I can with some other details. Love you all! BYE!

~ Elder 9

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Mission Letter Week 48 - 16 June 2014

HELLOOOOOOOO FAMILY! I have many much things to says!

I may not have time for everything so if I miss out on details at the end, I'll let you know and then snail mail you!

BTW Elder Block says HI!

I THINK The DearElder letter came first...but I didn’t really pay attention until I actually got the letter and read that part...oops...

My bike is fixed and the guy at the shop is super cool. I made a good working relationship with him and now he will love ALL missionaries that come through...which will be a lot as that’s the only shop in town practically. :D He actually hooked me up with a discounted price on the service AND brand new Redline pedals (because the ones my bike came with were busted because they were plastic so I had some ghetto ones on there.) So it’s running like a champ again! I thought about it and I might get into road biking and trail riding when I get home as a hobby and form of exercise. :D

We are working with Susan, and her daughters Gabby and E'moni,  Cory, Cameron and Rian, and Kathy... oh and Isabelle ... they are all non-members. We are also working with less-actives... apparently... but we've not met almost any of them yet because they’ve been on vacation... oi.

OH. MY. GOSH. I very seriously cried tears of complete joy when I read the comments Stephanie and Hannah made!! I am SO happy that things seem to be going well now :'D

I don’t think you ever sent me Emily's response to that you should. :D

(Daddy) Another year of summer camp, gone by. :) I hope it was another good one for the books. I bet Girls’ Camp will be VERY different! But you'll take care of ‘em! And Emily, have FUUUNN!! And learn as much as you can! :)

And I guess to expound a little.. I find it interesting that people these days will find the silliest excuse to not go to church and to justify a way of life contrary to the gospel...and then they believe that that will quell any guilt or sorrow...but it only makes it worse. The best thing to do is trust the Lord and push through it, otherwise you get stuck. It's like when you're four-wheeling and you're taking a big sandy hill in a nice big ol' Jeep, but at the top when you start to lose momentum you give up and just press the brakes...even though all you had to do was drop it into low and push a bit harder! Kinda like when we were biking uphill against the 25-28 mph winds..."almost there"..."Stay on target!" ( I am totally convinced that Star Wars is doctrinal....if you look at the story in it, it tells the restoration!!)

The two most important things to remember in the Church is that you MUST be obedient (after finding out for yourself, of course, through the Spirit, that who/what you are following is truly of God), and what other people in the Church do or say doesn't change a dadgum thing.

BTW great to hear about Elder Yan! I emailed him today too. Read his emails as well. :)

It's funny you say that I sound like Elder Peterson in the video because I’m pretty sure, as I said, that that is part of the reason we got transferred...we were becoming the same person. XD

Okay two last things.

First of all, I was shocked at the experience I had when I got to meet Elder Nelson...It blew my mind the moment I realized that talking to an Apostle was hardly different at all than just talking to another was a far cooler experience than if I was like "OH MY GOSH IT’S AN APOSTLE!!!”, and treated him like a celebrity. We have similar callings...he just has more Priesthood keys and responsibility… though I certainly do not put myself on that level at all...I just felt a brotherhood with him...

The other thing is, YES, I LOVE the Wilsons. They are FANTASTIC! You asked what caused me to bring that up...recently I have just gotten to know them more due to talking to them at conferences and emails with President...and there is also the fact that lately missionaries and members have been complaining a lot about rules that President has set up for us so we can work more effectively and finally I'd had enough.  So I just dug in those stubborn feet of mine and said THAT’S IT! President Wilson is a man both called and inspired of God the Almighty! And anything and everything that he commands, will be taken as a direct command from God! I will support his rules and commands 110% and will not sit idle while I hear others bad mouth him.

I’ve had to say almost those exact words to some missionaries and even members. It is sad, but some people truly do not LIVE their testimony when they sustain these men and "claim" that they know it’s true...otherwise there would be ZERO complaining. And we do NOT have to be perfect to accept that fact. I know that because I've done this I'm NOT perfect in the LEAST.

And with that I bear my testimony. Not to add more words, but to let you know these words I have spoken are true. Obedience. Good Attitude. LIVE IT. I Exhort all within the reach of voice to LIVE THE GOSPEL and the testimony you claim to have!!

I love you guys and I will talk to you next week :)

Elder 9

(Sodas make me sick now… it’s been 8 months…BLEH!)

Photos that were sent to me by a member of the Church who lives in Ridgecrest - a wonderful surprise!

Helping put up chairs after a special conference they had. His companion won the Best Joke contest, earning him the rubber chicken! :D

I guess Elder Nine wanted it pretty badly though! LOL! ;D

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Mission Letter Week 47 - 09 June 2014

“The Record of the Stripling Warrior as he travels from the promised land to the Land Desolation…”

So I made a song...I might film it sometime and send it to you...if I can get a guitar to borrow for a couple minutes from someone...we will see. :)

HI FAMILY!! Hope everybody is doing swell :)

Yes, I DID get to meet Elder Nelson of the 12 Apostles this weekend, along with Elder Nash (1st Quorum of 70), Elder Martinez (2nd Quorum of 70) and Elder Garns (Area 70, 5th Quorum), and it was AMAZING! I also sang in the quartet that President Wilson asked for, with Elder Johnson (Lead), Elder Kimball (alto) Me (tenor) and Elder Marrott (bass) and Elder Sawyer on the piano, and we sang “Ye Elders of Israel”. It was FABULOUS. May have also made President Wilson cry...while he was speaking...The whole meeting was great and we learned a lot about how to be better people and better missionaries as we strive to become effective instruments in the hands of the Lord by obeying Him, living the gospel, living through the Atonement and so forth. It was very good. And Elder Nelson also counseled us to get a good wife (or a husband in the case of the Sisters) was a little awkward but still nice... :) and then He said "But don't think about that too much right now!" hahaha!, Elder Nelson is HILARIOUS! It was a lot of fun as well as uplifting.

Also, at the conference, I got to see Elder Peterson again!! We embraced like family when we saw each other! :D It was a most glorious reunion...he's ALWAYS smiling and when I was up on the stand in the quartet he was smiling and listening and for some reason it was hysterical so it took all I had to not bust up laughing! XD I REALLY LOVE Elder Peterson. He is my mostest favorite! :)

I also got to see Elders Johnson and Flint again (Elder Flint got transferred though so they are no longer a companionship), Elder Marrott of course, and his companion, "the other" Elder Peterson, Elder Jones ("docta jones!!"), Elder Bird ( beautiful man right there), Elder Patterson who was my District Leader when I was with Elder Snyder, and lots of others. :D I love every single one of these Elders I've mentioned SO MUCH. OH! And I saw Sister Peatross and Hermana Dodge again as well!! And Sister Melton is in my District once again. :) Those are three of my absolute favorite Sister missionaries. They are ROCKIN' it.

I just want to take a moment now and talk about President and Sister Wilson. They are my favorite missionaries in this entire mission...and the world. I love them SO MUCH. Anytime I talk with President or Sister Wilson or have an interview with them, all I feel coming from them is complete LOVE. Sometimes frustrated love or tired love, or over-excited love, but always a Christlike love. It's SO nice to know that I have them to rely on, aside from the Savior of course, as He is my first source in ALL cases. To know that there is someone ALWAYS ready to help out and give advice...again, aside from the Savior. It is great! :) I really can feel their testimonies as they speak. Not just in meetings, but even in one-on-one conversations when they happen, and through emails with President Wilson. I am so thankful that my Heavenly Father saw fit to put me here with these two incredible people to be my leaders.

So, times are good and the work is improving...there is a lot of progress still to be made with the ward but that will come. We are starting a scripture study class, like we had in Palmdale 5th, and it’s going to be great...once we let the Relief Society know about this social thing... XD and we are getting a lot of other things started too, to get the members involved and get them out inviting people to go, do, see, hear, and live! It's an exciting time...or soon will be in the Ridgecrest 1st Ward!! We are going to rock this transfer and many more hereafter and are expecting LOTS of miracles as we work our backsides to the bone in faith and diligence. GLORIOUS WARFARE.....(as a YSA in Palmdale put it...)

And with that I'd like to close by saying thank you for that quote by my good friend, E Taft BOSS (Ezra Taft Benson), about obedience… (Mom’s note, the quote was: "When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes our quest, then God will endow us with power from on high.”) I saw that on our fridge (at home) and always thought it was a ploy or just another quote to get me to do whatever my parents said.............Good one. Good one. I can pull pretty dumb ones you know....I now know far better and see that it’s not about getting me to do anything other than that which will make me happy for the eternities to come. Other than being obedient to see blessings and miracles. Thank you for the inspiration! (Mom's note: YES!!!! He gets it!!! ;) )

:D BTW, the purpose for the title of the email is simply due to the fact that Ridgecrest defines the appearance explained in the Book of Mormon of the "Land Desolation”! :D

So, I’d also like to say thank you for sending me that letter/message you got from J. She and B are SO COOL! I love them to death. Literally. And beyond. And yes I have heard that story before but it is very nice to see it again and to keep a copy of it. It is so powerful to hear another’s conversion by the power of the Spirit as they rely on their Savior above all else! :) They really get it. They know and live it. And it makes me cry with happiness knowing that they are preparing to enter into that great and everlasting covenant of marriage, which is ordained of God, the Almighty. Nothing is more important than making and keeping those covenants we make in the temple and now they get to do that!! WOOOO!!! Talk about wanting to scream from the roof tops and shout it out loud!! Rascal Flatts puts it well "I wanna stand on the roof tops, climb up the mountain tops, baby, scream and shout!!" (Okay, maybe the song is a little out of context...but anything involving love can be turned to the gospel! :D )

I have taken a liking to making cover versions of Disney songs using my own lyrics as they pertain to missionary work BTW...again I might film some of those and send ‘em your way. :D

Business: I have been doing the best I can to baby my bike and tune it up myself, but I have to say it is well past it’s due date for a pro-level tune up and it needs it quite anytime you guys are ready for that, let me know and we can do that...there is a less active brother here who is willing to help missionaries for free or maybe discounted prices, pending on the work and he might be able to help out a little, but I'm thinking I'll still need money as it is going to be quite an ordeal… Last estimate I got, a while back, was around $60 but by now for a full body tune up it MIGHT be closer to $80..........I will get an estimate this week.  (after emailing back real quick and telling him I put money in his account to cover this and to please make sure he locks his bike still, he replied: “I lock it every time :) THANK YOU!!!!”)

Music: As my dearest mother has so well pointed out in the past in previous emails, my taste in music has perhaps improved in some manner...and I greatly desire to haz da classicalz moosekick! :D So I know it may be a hassle, but if you just happen to be sending a package sometime, please feel free to throw in some Chopin or Mozart or Bach, Rockmononov (yes I spelled that wrong) or any other classical composers you can dream up... you can get creative too. :D The more the merrier.....okay I’m done with demands now hahaha... <3

Okay, I’m going to Drop Box now to put up vids and pics! :)

I love you guys! Anyone within the "sound of my voice" As it were...

~ Elder 9

All of the following pictures were taking this last Transfer Day. The Elders are all life friends now, they have all served together in one capacity or another and share the good, the bad, and the spiritual and have overcome much together. They are growing and maturing together and bonds people. Also some families/friends they said goodbye to that had become special to Elder Nine and his companion. Goodbyes are hard. Even if you are a good looking goofball! ;)

Goodbye, Palmdale. You've been good to Elder Nine and his companions.

On the road to the next assignment. Ridgecrest.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Mission Letter Week 46B - 03 June 2014 (Handwritten)

Hello Family!

Sorry this week’s emails were a bit short! The time we had in the morning was less than an hour and then later my time got usurped with praying about how to reply to someone's email…. I am so sad when I see people make wrong choices. They truly break my heart....I pray for them. 

On another topic, I am super pumped to be in this area! It’s not been “perfected” by missionaries, but angels go before us at all times preparing the people…but organization is also nice.

There are a lot of good members here, even though a bunch are moving or dying… awkward.  And there’s lots of potential for this area to totally blossom with work, but there’s a lot of prep work involved, which hasn’t even begun yet. I can testify to the world right now that if the members of the Church of the Lamb are not FULLY involved with the work of Salvation, progress will hardly occur, if at all. WE must do our part. Missionaries don’t stop being members… and members should never stop being missionaries. They are one and the same calling… I just get a name tag and ties, and paid travels to California…… :D

Can I please just take a moment to BEG everyone that reads these words, if you have even a “Particle of Faith” in your Savior, act on it, don’t procrastinate, and dedicate yourself. You will NEVER lose anything worth keeping for doing that.

In John 17:3 we are told that the whole purpose of our living here and now is to come to know of our Heavenly Father, to KNOW Him, and the same with Jesus Christ.

In Alma 34:15-16 we are shown the power given us through the Atonement to achieve this glorious feat, and in verse 17 Amulek exhorts us to pray for that love and mercy to completely overwhelm us and our ridiculous sense of “justice”.
Love your Savior enough to obey. Love yourself enough, too.  TRUST, OBEY, WORK. My personal self-made motto… for the mission, and life. The gospel of Christ is applicable in all circumstances.  USE IT.  LIVE IT. Live THROUGH it.
Kay, I have to sleep now. I already broke the rule of staying up too late… :(  Love you guys!

Keep up the awesome!…. and stop any dumb!

- Elder “Nee-Nay”  (nickname courtesy of Elder Johnson)

Monday, June 2, 2014

Mission Letter Week 46 - 02 June 2014

Hey Guys! Ridgecrest is pretty sweet....if very brown and dead....but then again most of the mission is. XD

Sunday was great and good to see all the members. I feel like I don't quite have my feet on the ground in a new area until I get to church. :P

My new address is:
(If you’d like his new address, please email me (Teri) at as I no longer post it on here.)

Send me many much letters and gifts! Hahaha JK...but really...but JK..... :D

I will definitely be writing letters by hand....just gotta make time...but I will!

Is Elder H the one that knows Elder E?? Because I have a selfie with Elder E at Transfer Meeting (don’t have my camera but we will be back later to send pics :D, around 130-ish here.)

"Believing Christ" is AWESOME. There is very little reading time so mostly I’ll read it at night before bed, after my journal, but it’s great!

I hang my Texas Flag ALL over the apartment!! It’s awesome! :D

Speaking of apartments, I apparently have a reputation throughout the mission now, along with Elder P, Elder M and Elder T. P., M’s comp, of having the CLEANEST and most ORGANIZED apartments in the MISSION. Elder and Sister B helped a lot with that in teaching us what it means to have a clean apartment and so forth. So, as frustrating as it is (for you), I have NOW learned to be clean and organized...sorry it took me so long...but now I'm on an OCD level. XD

EMILY YOU’RE A BEEHIVE COUNSELOR!!! WOOO! You are already rockin’ it! :D I hope it goes well. Teach ‘em how to be as awesome as you OK? Because people need help with their "awesome levels". Most seem to be lacking these days. :P

Mama, yes, I iz quite sure aboot the long sleeves. :P It keeps the sun off and looks classy. :D

We will try to get a picture with our ties. :D

Good to hear about V and L! (2 missionaries who are recuperating from surgery)

Yeah, Elder K is a ZONIIEEEEE!!! (Zone Leader) :D He's gonna be great! Those Texas boys...they sure know how to work. Man....

The four of us definitely have each others emails! Also, speaking of staying in touch, Elder J contacted me through our ZLs and said that he and I, along with Elder M and Elder K are going to sing in a quartet on Saturday for the Conference with Elder Russel M. Nelson!!! :D IT’S GONNA BE SICK!! ( mom's note: "sick" = awesome )

So anyways, there’s all the info stuff. I will email again later with pictures and spiritual stuff. :D I like this new set up haha. LOVE YOU BYE! I'll get on around 130 or so.

~ Elder 9

Second Email later in the day:

Okay. So, unlike other averagely intelligent people, I forgot my camera again...but I do have pictures! So I'll send those next week. :D

Is Jessica in NY now, btw, with the family? I have a letter for her but don’t know where to send it.....

I will write a letter for you this week too. :)

So once again, I have noticed how absolutely vital it is to center our lives on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. If we do nothing else in our lives but focus on living through that sacrifice and obeying the commandments we will still be incredibly happy and it will give us everything that matters.
I am incredibly tired right now and so I am sorry about my short email and lack of pictures… tired spiritually and physically.

We have spent the last week fixing up the apartment, cleaning up the area book, meeting investigators, less actives, and actives, doing weekly planning and getting the area ready...IDK if I told you but Elder P and I left behind our last area COMPLETELY perfect and prepared. EVERYTHING. From clean apartment to perfected area book to totally prepared investigators. So, we have been doing that and are still working on it and plan to see many miracles here. If there is anything I learned outside of the Power of the Atonement the last two transfers with Elder P it is that a clean apartment and having EVERYTHING well organized and then working your butt off is the best way to show the Lord He can trust me. Showing Him that I can keep people in mind and care for them and watch over them. It’s about gaining trust with the Lord, and the members too, to get referrals. haha. ‘Kay, I gotta go soon....

I love you guys!

~ Elder 9

This photo was sent to us by Brother W. in Ridgecrest on Sunday evening, after Elder Nine and Elder L. had dinner at their place. Yippee for wonderful people who think to send us photos!! :D  SO THANKFUL!