Saturday, August 23, 2014

Mission Letter Week 57 - 18 Aug 2014

Okay, so, I want to comment on everything but there is zero time. Sorry! Since tomorrow is transfers (me and Elder Ray are staying, so is Harper but Hjorth is leaving.) So a bunch of other missionaries are emailing here today so this will be a short one today :P  I’ll try to do make-up work either in snail mail or next Monday. I haven’t checked mail in a few days so I didn’t get the letter till today either. :P


WOW. I want to swim in a lake SO BAD right now...can we go when I get back? :D hahaha. Man, looks like a lot of fun there.


That’s a funny story about the fun song you guys chose and Bro. B. XD Boys are just like that. :P Sad to hear that Elder Hudson is leaving though. I know what it’s like to see good missionaries leave. It’s no fun, but it’s a good thing!

Mama, E's baptism was great! Got it right on the first dunk and everything! :D He has been confirmed and is now the newest member of our ward! He is very happy and very excited! His family doesn’t seem to have any interest but we will keep being nice to them. haha :P It was my first time to baptize but not to confirm. I confirmed R and S as well. :P

L and T cannot set a date for baptism right now due to a few other things ... so it’ll be a while but they are going to keep coming to church! :D J is on track to set a baptismal date soon and is taking the lessons solidly...she just “doesn't feel ready" for a date yet she says… so we will keep working with her and encouraging/teaching her along the way. :)

The E family we taught this week and gave the parents blessings after the lesson of the Plan of Salvation...We have high hopes for them and just need to keep meeting with them.

Heard about Robin Williams...sad to see such a funny man go. :(

Snail mail stuff:

I think I’m a 43 or 42 waist and I’m a 32 length… I think. Light colors are a good thing. Light gray, just about as light as you can find, and khaki-colored slacks (note the emphasis on them not being just "khakis".) Although I think more urgently, I need a pair of jeans...the pair I brought with me I can literally fold 3.5 inches of fabric over on the waist... :D

I'm good on belts. :)

Yes, I would love some replacements if you can mange it…I’m thinking no more than two short sleeve, and all the rest would be long. (18.5 neck, 36/37 sleeve)

The oils I have, have been absolute life savers!

I will definitely pray about those things you mentioned about college.

Gotta go! Everybody is showing up! Love you bye!

~ Elder 9

Again, thanks to very thoughtful friends in the Mission who took these photos of Elder Nine and sent them to us! Feels like Christmas morning each time we get 'em! ;)

 Our friends were at Chick-Fil-A and guess who all came walking in! :D

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Mission Letter Week 56 - 11 August 2014

Emily, I like the glasses! It's funny because I was talking with my fellow missionaries here and we were talking about whether we should all get glasses like that. XD We probably won’t just because it costs money, but oh well. :P

You wanna go on a mission?! AWESOME! Missions are great because of those exact things you mentioned. It changes us for the better and we can help others have the same change :) It’s one of the greatest and hardest things someone can do. At least hardest at the time when you go. :P

HAHAHA! I love the story about Sunday School!! I do not laugh at the hardship of course, but just at the fact that I was one of rowdy kids that wouldn’t be quiet a lot of the time! XD But, I did learn. I learned a lot! Sunday School is awesome!

I DO HAVE SOME PICTURES!! but Elder Ray forgot to bring his camera where the pics are not today. :'(

Braky, I ask myself that same question of you :p - and the answer.... probably. We'll find out.

That sounds like an awesome day at the temple.....then again aren't they always?? Sister H went through the temple!! WOOO!! I remember being there for some of their first lessons and helping them out and stuff! They are a good family. Good to hear.

Hahaha! Better keep those buttons on! They run out fast I hear. XD Cool to hear about the temple presidency!

Sad to hear to about A., though. Hope she does okay! Tell ‘em I'm praying for them!

N.!!!!! GET GOING (on a mission)!!!!!! (You can tell him I said that, with all the love in my heart. :D )

And, yes, that is exactly what Scouts is for! That’s why the church has embraced it so much for the YM in the church. It teaches leadership, being honest, the whole scout law! And it is invaluable in this world now, more than ever before. And the more the Young Men participate, and the young women in the Young Women's program, the better-off this world is going to be for the great leaders, parents and examples we will have.

Mama, Emily is 5 foot 11!?!?!??!?! whatatatsakldgflkahsbrglkhhbasfglbsargtklp!!!!!!!??!?!?!?!?!??!??!?! NO.

And I move on… :D

That is AWESOME to hear about the temple work that has been done for our family! That is something we have been using to help people gain an interest in the church and I always talk about how nice it is to have our families sealed together. It’s nice to feel that myself, too. :) Indexing is super fun and easy! I was doing a little bit before I left, because President H asked me to. haha. Good man. And Indexing is good too.

Yay for tech-friendly missionary work!!! Soon I'll be doing that. haha. When we get those stinkin' iPads!! It'll happen...patience....sorry talking to myself again...

I LOVE THE LAMB OF GOD CD’s!!!!!! :D One of my favorite choral...shows.... arrangements....whatevs :P and I love the Daniel Beck CD too; if there is more of him...I wouldn’t cry.... XD Speaking of singing, Brother W and I are singing a duet of Abide With Me ’Tis Eventide this Sunday!! And Sister W will be playing the piano :D IT’S GONNA BE AWESOME!!! He’s a champion singer, and Sister W is flawless on the piano! :)

Brak, I hope all goes well with work btw. I'll be praying for you and the family. Good luck! And of course, follow the Spirit...but you already know that. You guys taught me that!

So, as far as investigators go, we are working with L, T and J (L and T are engaged and J is her brother.) E, who is getting BAPTIZED this Thursday!!! :DDDDDDDDD has asked that I do the baptism and the confirmation for him! So we are really excited for him this week! It’s only BEEN a week or two since even meeting the guy! Talk about prepared!

We are also teaching a young woman, J who is the daughter of a less active mother in our ward who is trying to reactivate and we are teaching both of them right now. :) They are super cool, and J already has a bunch of friends from Young Women!

And that’s pretty much it as far as "progressing" peeps goes. Still trying to work with some others but we may have to drop them if they don’t meet with us soon. Then there is the E family! They are awesome, have been taught in the past and already have a testimony of it all so we just have to recap and baptize them, if they are ever free to meet with us... >.< seems to be a theme here! :P

I LOVE the ward here! And yes, I, or we, are really trying to involve the youth here. There are quite a few that are getting ready for missions so we just want to encourage them. :) And take them on lessons whenever possible too!

A little response to the snail mail letters:

The X-Long tie you sent, the lavender one, is PERFECT length for me! Thanks again for that btw. And I also really like the camel poem you sent with the box. :) It was cool to see the similarities between camels and missionaries! And my bag and bike are both doing great! Especially since getting my bike tuned in Ridgecrest. :)

College: Well, I knew this day would come but holy cow is it sooner than I thought....Ew.  First off, when would classes start for fall 2015? I may need to study before starting classes to warm up so it depends on how long that gives me... I would imagine I would need a few weeks, maybe even a month...but IDK for sure.

I was thinking of going to Provo. I like the idea of the cheap deal with Pathway, but I seems to do better when I have a class to attend. It helps me focus and internalize. Plus being roommates with Peterson, or Flint or something like that or being down the hall from them would be RADICAL!! (Yes. Radical. Don’t judge.)  Sadly though, Hjorth is going to Utah State not Provo...but it’s close by. :P haha.

Answers to questions in snail mail:

I’m in area #1

I’m doing okay on clothes and shoes and the like, but my short sleeves are SUPER baggy and my slacks are starting to be baggy again and can’t be tailored any smaller. You can only take so much off a pair of pants! haha. So just a thought for the future. :P

I'll be good without copies of the newsletter. One way or another, I'll hear about the important things. :)

I think the most valuable thing I have learned in the last month or so has been to just work hard and trust God. It doesn't matter what’s going on, just tuck it in and run through (to use a football reference). The Lord will guide us if we are doing our the thing I’ve learned is, DO MY PART. Kinda silly and simple...but more truthful than anything else too.

I have been a witness to too many miracles to NOT believe that there is a Divine work going these days. Across the world. I am but a small part of that work, but every bit of it is a small part. That’s why everybody has to do their part, so it all HAPPENS. Everybody adds only so much, but if 16-plus million people are adding a little here and a little there...BOOM. The world changes. In a flash. Time is short and we are running out. There's no time to waste. I love you all and I love my God. I will not, I cannot, I'll never forsake!


~ Elder 9 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Mission Letter Week 55 - 04 Aug 2014

HOWDY! So first note is that I sent a snail mail!!.....on Saturday..... :P Sorry it took so long, but it will get there!!

Emily! That’s great that you got to go to the temple! :D And it sounds like you had  blast at the Bishopric Bash too! I still remember going to mutual and all the fun I had and the things I learned. I definitely have a testimony of the youth program in the church and of how much good it can do for the youth if they let it...sounds like you are letting it. :) It’s good to hear that you are making good friendships too! Some of them will last a very long time. Picking good friends is really really important. We are teaching a guy named L, and he picked a bad friend and when his friend sold him something, he didn’t tell L that he had stolen it and it got L in BIG trouble. Not saying that that will happen to you but it makes a huge difference in your life if you have friends that help you be better instead of worse. :D Keep being awesome! <3

Braky, glad you had a good time at the temple! When I get back that’s one thing I want to do more. It feels good and it helps a lot of people that want the gospel. Yes, I am nuts, but only in pictures. I don’t like taking normal pictures. Very boring. :) Just keepin’ it real! I get it from you ya know! ;)

Mama, I'll start by saying Elder Harper is most certainly not just putting up with us… often he instigates the silliness! XD But Elder Ray is a trying to survive the tide a little bit. XD We LOVE the W's. When I found out Sister W served in Plano I FLIPPED! :D We've talked a lot about her mission, and his mission too, and all sorts of other crazy things haha. They are great and are helping to teach L, T and J... L and T, I think, I mentioned last week and how they showed up to church, as well as E, the grandson of one of our members. There is also J, T’s brother, that we are teaching.

GO ANSON!!! That is fantastic! :D I’m so excited for him! He's gonna be a great missionary and do swell. :)

So the questions.

I’ve listened to most of the music. I LOVE the classical!! (Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Essential Chopin, In A Classical Mood: Nights in Vienna, & The Reflections: Classical Music for Reading). I might listen to it so much the CDs will wear out! XD hahaha. I also love the EFY CDs, and the Timeless Hymns of Faith (by Amazing Grace) and Hymns of Worship (by by Fernando Ortega) CDs (I think that's what they are called) and EVERYTHING!! I can’t remember all the CD names off the top of my head but they are much awesomeness! :D THANK YOU!!!!!

The work here is phenomenal! ( I spelled that right the first time! :D) This ward has some of the greatest potential I’ve ever seen before! The members are pumped already, the Bishop is all about missionary work and actually GETS THE JOB DONE. Seriously, I have not seen a member this involved in missionary work. Personally involved, and as a leader! He is a champ. We go on splits every Tuesday, our number of lessons has been going up, we are having investigators thrown at us practically and absolutely NONE of it is even our doing! L, T and J are good examples of this, as well as E. :D We are very excited for these next couple of weeks.

I have learned in the last couple of months more than ever that attitude really is everything as far our levels of productivity go. If we want to be ABLE to have faith and see success we have to believe it, by having hope and happiness. Without that there is no hope, and without hope you can’t have faith because hope is an integral part of faith. SO BE HAPPY!! That's always kind of been my motto in life. "Be Happy". I didn't realize how vital it is to do so until recently. :) It’s actually necessary for eternal HAPPINESS... Derp. Whodda thunk? :D I guess I finally got it haha.

Through this happiness and understanding of how important it is in our lives, I have also come to realize that building our relationship with our Savior is vital to that positive attitude in life. There are many different kinds of "faith".  Faith in my own abilities. Faith in money. Faith in family. Many others... but the most important is Faith in JESUS CHRIST. When we faith in Jesus Christ, the greatest of all, we can have the greatest HAPPINESS of all too. So that's what I am working towards and that's what I invite people to do.  How? Faith in Christ. Repentance and a "mighty change of heart". Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, by someone holding the Priesthood authority of God.  Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, also by someone with that same authority, for the guidance and SANCTIFICATION of the Spirit. And then keep living through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Repent, Obey, Repent, Obey. Its easy to understand. It can be hard to do though many times. I have found it very difficult to simply get over my own pride at times. But I can do it.

I am glad to be here to learn of these things and to share them with others. I love you all! have a great week :)

~ Elder 9

PHOTOS shared by awesome, thoughtful members in the Bakersfield Mission (Thank you!):

Elder Nine with Elders Harper, Ray, and Hjorth
(do you see the two peas in a pod?) ;) lol!

On the way to a discussion Friday night.
SO thankful for local folks who care for our Missionaries!
Like a family away from home!

Sunday night dinner!

That was yummy!

Mission Letter Week 54 - 28 July 2014

Well, this week ended really well! A random gentleman walked into church and sat down for church! His name is L and we are going to be teaching him tonight! It’s pretty amazing the way the Lord blesses His servants when they work off. :D So we are excited...and another cool thing about that situation is that a member in the ward, Brother L, a champion, made friends with him right away and did all the hard work!! WOO!! MEMBER MISSIONARY WORK!

Soooooo, yes I forgot the letters again...foolish me...and I have no email from you soooo I’mma just wing this. :)

One of the greatest things I have learned with Elder Ray this transfer so far has been that we need to be ourselves. Still be obedient and work hard, but use our personalities to bolster the work! We are called for our time AND talents! So we need to use them. :) I have always considered myself a very outgoing guy, but when you live in a constant state of "awkward" it can get really easy to just want to keep to yourself after a while. :P So, for my year-mark goal, I have promised myself I'm going to work more on being bold and outgoing and having a REALLY good attitude, better than I have the last year. :) It'll be fun, haha.

Speaking of year-mark….IT’S HUMP DAYYYYY!!!! Well...sort of. THANK YOU for the package!! We DESTROYED those cookies...they didn’t last 24 hours! XD And the purple tie, and the hump day tie, and the cool snacks that are AMAZING, and the TONS OF AWESOME MUSIC! I love the classical you sent!! :D :D :D And all the other stuff too! I haven’t had a chance to go through all of it yet but I will. >:) So that was a huge highlight, too! AND, EMILY, THANK YOU for the amazingly incredible pictures you drew! I love them soooo much! :))) Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Well that’s about it I guess...Love you guys bunches! I'll put some pics on Dropbox for ya!

~ Elder 9

(Mom’s note: When Bob read Elder Nine hadn’t gotten our email, he forwarded the family email to him, which had accidentally been sent to his home email by the auto-fill. So once Elder Nine read that, he relied again):

The adults? Getting hushed? I would say something snarky like "How does it feel to be hushed" but that would be far too rude. ;) Sounds like a lot of fun though! Good to hear about J too. As crazy as he can be, he is great young man and comes from a spectacular family. :) He'll get there, and when he does, it’ll be AWESOME.

Emi, you goin to da temple! :D I love temple trips. They are fun, exciting, and also very calming and help to remind us of what is truly the most important in this life. :) I’m glad you get to go!

Mama, yes I got the package and everything came through very nicely! :D I LOVED wearing the hump day tie it was quite the deal at District Meeting that Friday. XD And the purple tie is BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!! And microfiber >:) I loved everything. The drawings, the journals, EVERYTHING! :D Thank you so much for that!!!

My thoughts on my purpose in Ridgecrest are that, quite simply, I feel I have a particular purpose in every area to help certain people and as soon as that is done, I’m out of there...because that is what has been happening my whole mission. :P It’s cool and moving to know that God is that aware of what goes on.

As for how "cleanliness, organization and book-keeping" are going here, it is a slow but sure process, that gets better day by day...with that I move on so I don’t get upset....

Yes, I have always been Jr companion, except with Elder Snyder. :)

And, yes, that was Elder Campbell!! Good to see him again!

It’s a nice enough part of town here. It’s middle-class, but there are always sketchy people walking around...the other Elders, Hjorth and Harper, have the ghetto part of the ward...dang it...hahaha I wanna serve in a ghetto one of these days! But yeah, it’s a nice place. We live next to a Hindu Temple, too. :D

Yes, we have our own washer and dryer.......??

President Wilson seems to like how I’ve been doing.

SISTER REBER IS GOING TO ROME. I FLIPPED. That is soooo cool for her! Tell her congrats a million times over for me! :DDDD And Sister B did tell me about actually seemed like she was getting kind of nervous or concerned about serving so I wrote her a letter a while back...I hope it helped out in some way :) Sis B said it did so I trust that! (They are both superheroes btw! :) )

Our investigators....have actually kind of been slacking lately...we are trying to get a fire under them but they don’t seem to have a we may drop some if that doesn’t change :(  But L, who I told you about, seems FANTASTIC! We are so excited to start teaching him! It’s going to be great :)

I am getting more and more out of my rut these days and it feels good. There is new energy to be found and many miracles awaiting!

Elder Ray:
-sexy (by his request)
-kind of humble :P
-mean, and a jerk (haha)

Okay gotta run, hope that did a good job. :) I'll write a letter today or tomorrow! BYE

~ Elder 9

PHOTOS:  I get the impression I begged for photos so much that right before running out the door to go email, Elder Nine remembered he promised to send photos, so he quickly snapped these before leaving! lol!  I'll take what I can get! haha!