Wednesday, May 25, 2016

May 23, 2016

Hi all!

It was another great week out here on the East Coast.. Elder Jorgensen and I are so busy it is ridiculous. We try our best to squeeze in time to focus on our area and do missionary work.  But at the end of the day I am always happy to know I helped the missionaries in the zone to do their best work. Like the scripture you shared last week Dad, it's by the small and simple things, that we do everyday that will end up creating the great things.

Sounds like it has been a good week for all back home. It has been super rainy here like back home. I check the weather app in the morning and it's been raining about the same here. We have had about 5-6 days of rain this past week!

It was a pretty good week, we had our regular meetings on Tuesday. Then Wednesday we had to work on moving in more senior couple apartments. We have a big turn over this summer of senior couples so we have been taking about a day a week to start moving them in and get it prepped for them to show up.

Thursday was our last interviews with Pres Cooke! He leaves in about 4ish weeks, it's so crazy!  Since it was his last he took FOREVER with people. The Zone Leaders kinda run the interviews for him so we had to be there the whole time.  So we were at the stake center from 11:30-5:30.  Only like 2 hours over schedule haha. But I am so grateful President puts in that sacrifice to talk to all of us. It was great to sit down with President, he talked a lot about my responsibilities the next year and how he has a group he's selected to really be the group Pres Johnson can lean on and how I'm part of that group. It was super humbling and exciting but also a little nerve wracking. But it's going to be fun!

Then I spent a good portion of the rest of the week plunking away in spreadsheets for a Stake Coordination meeting that was held yesterday.  It's a monthly meeting where we go over the missionary efforts in the stake with the Stake Leaders and display numbers, progress, stuff like that. It's pretty labor intensive for us, but like before. Anything that helps the zone keepin on!

Also getting ready for Zone Conference this upcoming week. We are combining with the Rockville Zone so I'm giving a workshop (lesson) with one of the R-Ville ZLs on the importance of using the Book of Mormon as missionaries when we teach. He's another young guy like me (1 transfer older) so we kinda got hazed into having to do the ZL workshop haha But it's all good. I'll have to send you it next week after we put the finishing touches on it. We will be using just the normal paper back copies we pass out for free as we teach trying to help missionaries see that it is simple for us to teach out of the scriptures. We are super excited of how its pulled together.

Well I hope you have great weeks! It's so crazy how soon you'll be down picking up Garret, he has served a great mission! I'll look forward from your next email coming from Argentina! Tell the littles not to party too hard while you're gone 

I love you guys! 

Only one picture from the week.. There are some benefits to driving a mini van haha. 
We can load it up into the party van! After meetings on Tuesday we loaded 
up the zones elders and went to get papusas (spell check?). It was a great time haha!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

May 16, 2016

Hi Fam!!

It's good to hear from you all!! It's crazy that it's only been a week since we talked. It's been a pretty good week though. Ups and downs but over all really good. Thanks for sharing that scripture, I think it really helps. Sometimes it's tough in the calling because of how much miscellaneous things we do. We have so much less time, but I also
like that fact because it makes the time that we do have a lot more concentrated. Sometimes it might just be a few minutes here and there but we make the most of it.

So this week was a pretty good one, Tuesday we got to go do a big service project for the Salvation Army. It was at their drug and alcohol rehab facility and we planted a huge garden for them and laid mulch. As sad as it is for me to say. It was slightly fun to do yard work. Slightly! But it was super cool to look around and see the entire zone giving this service. We are now the go to people for SA doing service.

Because of the service we bumped meetings to Wednesday that week and they went super good! It's nerve racking to be in change of the meetings but they went well. Then Thursday we thought we would finally get to do missionary work but we got called to go move in a new senior couples apartment. Friday was a huge planning day for Zone Conference.

Saturday was for sure the highlight of the week! So here in DC more than almost any mission I think we have to truly be ambassadors for the church. It was a huge open embassy day where people can tour embassy's and we got permission to go with a member because it would be a good opportunity to get the badge out there and the churches name. It was European Union, so we saw Spain, Poland, Lithuania, Great Britain, and Italy. They were so sweet! And as you will see from my pictures they had some SWEET cars on display at the Great Britain and Italy ones!! It was so cool!!

Sunday we got to go check on people and I've never been so happy to just go check on random people. I would not recommend white washing ZLs.. Not a great combo. Oh and then last night was Why I Believe and that's where I ran into Alysha (cousin). So no one even told me that she had an internship out here!! But I guess she started meeting YSA missionaries and asking if they knew me. So most the YSA come to Why I Believe, so she came with some people and we ran into each other.

Have a great week!! I love and miss you!!
We have a sweet grilling patio at our new apartment

Embassy Cars!!

Friday, May 13, 2016

May 9, 2016

Hi everyone!

My new assignment is I've been called as a Zone Leader and will stay in the DC 3rd Ward.  I just bumped up to the North Area. I will be serving with Elder Jorgerson who is going home in 2 transfers. I'm excited but also really nervous. But all is going to be great.

Like you all said, it was so awesome to talk to all of you!! I love now normal it feels to talk to you! We don't miss a beat.. It was awesome to hear from everyone and all the littles individually. You all sound like things are going good and life is plugging along.

It was a good week for you guys. Really I was kinda selfish with Mother's Day. All I was thinking about was talking to you guys and finding my wallet. I didn't think about Grandma until sacrament meeting when a lady was talking about how Mother's Day can be tough for some people. So I thought lots about Grandma during church but I'm
so glad that we have the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation. As a missionary I love being able to teach people about where all of their loved ones are. As hard as it is being away from Grandma and all of our other loved ones we will be with them again, it's one of our most beautiful gospel doctrines.

I'm glad it was a great week for all of you!! It was amazing to talk to you guys yesterday. Like I said yesterday if time goes as fast as it has been I will talk to you guys really soon! 

I love you all!!  (Jacob 4:7-8, I read it this past week and it's a good one!)
Have great week!


Austin told us about his wallet experience in his mothers day call.  He had lost his wallet on Saturday.  He woke up Sunday to an email from a young male that had found his wallet and searched on social media to locate Austin. This is quite remarkable because it is well known in his mission that if you loose your wallet in downtown DC the odds of getting it back are near impossible. This young man wasn't going to be home Sunday to meet up with Austin so he left it out on his porch under a flower pot. Austin was relieved to get it back with all the money and credit cards included.  Austin left him a note and a Book of Mormon in return.  

Mine and Cowans comp ties and hat.

Me & Elder Jorgerson (Jorgy) at the Visitors Center

May 2, 2016

Hello Familia!

It's been an eventful week! It started with Elder Cowan getting the call to train on Wednesday and then Saturday the call saying I'm leaving the area. It has been the fastest transfer of my mission here in DC.. But it's was tons of fun. Sad to go but excited to see what the next transfer holds.

So with leaving I don't know my schedule. But let's plan on that call schedule unless I really can't make that work I will email you mid week! So unless I tell you otherwise that will work.

I'll run through the week pretty quick.. Wednesday we were able to go to the temple. I sat next to Elder McDonald of course to extend the streak!  I love the temple. It was so great to be in there again. As we go into the Celestial room President and Sister Cooke are always there to great us. When I walked in President grabbed me into a hug and then said "Be ready. Get prepared, you'll be great". So I've kinda been flipping out trying to figure out what that means. Elder Coombs knows the transfer board since he is serving as a traveling AP, and said I will love my new area and comp so we will find out tonight!

We had some other pretty cool experiences this week, example we had a surprise baptism. It's a long story... I will talk about that in our call home! But I wanna share this experience Elder Jenks and I had on Saturday. So Elder Cowan (comp) and Elder Chapman (other roommate) are both training so Elder Jenks and I got to go on exchange together!! We were so pumped. So we thought we would be so busy but all our appointments in both areas fell through. So what did we decide to do?? We walked the mall! We both have been super stressed about getting transferred (again) and just needed to talk. Plus we are the only missionaries in the world who can be the churches public representation on the National Mall. So we started at Union Station, walked to the Washington past the Smithsonaisn, up to the White House, and then back up to Union on the other side of the Smithsonian's. Long
walk. But It was so cool, plus we talked to some members and then a few contacts as well.

So as we walked past the Capitol I got a call from some Spanish Sisters saying they had a referral that wanted to be contacted that day. But it ended up being in Elder Jenks area. But since we were on exchange we were good! So we ran back to the apartment to eat dinner and laid down to take a quick nap. We ended up over sleeping by 20 min and got over to the address. Then we ran into a few catch up that all worked out. Then we finally met Samuel. And he is one of the most prepared investigators for the gospel I've ever taught on my mission. It was one of the most spiritual lessons I've taught, and Elder Jenks and I teach really good together. He ended up going to church with the Capitol Hill guys yesterday and is really set.

This experience was so amazing as all the little details that needed to line up. Samuel calls the Spanish Sisters and they don't know exactly how he had their number, our schedule was open to meet, we over sleep which if we had left on time he wouldn't have been home yet, and even other details that had to line up. I know us meeting
with him was designed by our Heavenly Father to happen exactly how and when it did. It was an answer to a lot of prayers, his seeking the gospel, mine and Jenks finding our purpose of why we did just 6 weeks and then leaving in our areas, and even the Sister who got the call. When I called her after the lesson to tell her how it went, She told
me how this was an experience she has been praying for since she got in the mission as a Visitor Center Sister. There are other details about this that I can elaborate more on when we talk on Sunday!!

Overall it's been a great transfer here in DC 3rd South. I'm glad for the people I've serve and got to serve with. I can't wait to talk to you guys on Sunday!!

I love and miss you guys!!

Elder Jenks and I on our National Mall proselyting walk.. Right before this picture we talked to a 
Secret Service officer who is a member in Virginia.

Our baptism of John! Like I said it's a long story so I will fill you in on our call home

Ceasar!! He is a mission legend.. He loves the Elders and has us over for lunch tons. One 
of my favorite people I met in DC 3rd!

Monday, May 9, 2016

April 25, 2016

Hey Familia!!

Sounds like it was a great week for all of you! This transfer is flying! We are going into the last full week of this transfer, transfer call outs are this Saturday and we go to the temple on Wednesday! Like it is so insane how fast it has flown. I guess it really is true that time flies when you are having fun haha.

Not much to say from this week.. It was really just a run of the mill missionary week. I think it's probably how all missions go, but we had so many appointments that dropped. For example we had five appointments scheduled yesterday and one held. So it's really frustrating but we keep plugging along.

I had another exchange on Wednesday with another Elder in my District. He is from Tanzania and is like the nicest guy ever. He went to the U of U and that's where he was converted to the church. He's 25,so he's a little older than most of us, but he's awesome. We had a great time getting to know each other a little more. I think that's one of my favorite parts of being a District Leader is the ability to get to know more missionaries really well.

It's been another good week and I think we will have another good one for our last full week of the transfer!

Love you all! Have a great week and talk to you soon!


We had DC Zone Activity today! Little known secret is there are sand
volleyball court by the Lincoln memorial.. So we a BBQ and played
volleyball all day! Tons of fun!! 

So story behind the trophy... it is a long passed down thing in the
mission that is just the joke when you win in Zone Activities. The
plaque said "Summer Coed Christian Singles Tournament Champions"


More Cherry Blossom Parade Pictures


April 18, 2016

Hi Everyone!

Well it has been a busy but great week! Honestly I haven't been more exhausted in my mission, which is saying something because I am always tired out here! 

The week was full, on Tuesday we did a service project as a district for the Salvation Army where we did some painting. It was tons of fun being all together with the district! Plus we all grabbed lunch together at a super good pizza place here in DC. It's only a DC thing, think subway make your own pizza. On Wednesday I went on my first exchange as a district leader, it was pretty fun. It's always interesting to see how other missionaries do work. The Elder I went with is a great guy but is trying too hard to be the missionary and not being himself as a missionary. So there's some tension between him and his companion as there is like 0 fun and he won't talk about anything outside the gospel or missionary work. Thursday I gave a workshop in district meeting and it was on Comp Study/Comp unity and I played this game as a part of it where it was a how well do you know your companion and I hope that companionship realized almost all the questions were non gospel related. 

So speaking about exchanges.. So my responsibilities as a District Leader aren't tons. The difference between DL and another missionaries isn't as big as the difference between DL and ZL. So yes I do the baptismal interviews for anyone who is taught by my district (still have yet to do one). Then I am responsible for or weekly meeting. At the beginning of each transfer there is a big leadership meeting day where President and the leadership of the mission determine what needs to be trained on. Then each week is given a specific topic for a workshop and training to be given. Also like I mentioned I go on splits with all the elders in my district at some point during the transfer. The last thing I can think of that I do is call ins on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday nights. Tuesday and Friday I collect information on things like baptismal dates and Less Actives they are working with. Then on Sunday's I collect their numbers for the week then call the Zone Leaders to discuss my district and talk about the numbers. Plus doing numbers with the iPad is so easy, we just have a big spreadsheet template intake the numbers then email that to the ZLs..

Oh also on Thursday we had a surprise birthday party for Shawn (guy who just got baptized)!

Friday we had a Visitor Center lesson with a guy in our Ward and a referral of his. It was awesome, the temple grounds are all decorated for spring with tons of flowers (pictures coming). We then taught 3 more lessons that day and got home to try and get to bed early because we had to get up at 4 the next morning.. Why? Because on Saturday we got to Volunteer at the Cherry Blossom Parade!! It was so much fun! We were balloon carriers, so like those huge balloons in the Maceys Thanksgiving Day Parade? Yeah we carried those. Ours was a huge cherry blossom. It was so much fun just having most of the day off to enjoy the parade with the whole mission! So cool to be a part of it. 

The weather has been amazing this week.. But we all got fried at the parade. Like the whole mission is sunburnt haha. But I made it out pretty good. Then we had another Visitor Center lesson with one of our investigators named Josie. She wanted to watch the whole JS Restoration video, which was amazing! How great of a man Joseph Smith was, I know he is the prophet of the restoration. My testimony of him grows daily as I testify of him and the Book of Mormon. We then made it back late and had to metro to another missionaries apartment to sleep over because we had an early Stake Coordination meeting at 7. So we were up about 5:30 on Sunday so back to back Saturday and Sunday were killer. 

Sunday turned out pretty good though. Shawn got confirmed and I was able to be in the circle. It's so amazing to see people change and come closer to the Savior! And then Lucie came to church again, so that's tons of fun to see her. Plus she is going to bring Ismael next time!

Last night was Why I Believe which was amazing as always.. But guess who was there!? So I saw Brother Heath (WP2 Ward Mission Leader) and made my way over to say hi, then he pointed and a few feet away was.... Brian and Josephine CHAMBERLAIN!!! WHAT?!? After months and months I guess Brian has agreed to take the lessons and he is slowly progressing. Emphasis on the slowly. Like really slow. Like we can barely say progressing... But he agreed to come to the fireside! Josephine grabbed me into the biggest hug and was so happy to see me and Coombs again! I was so happy after seeing them and sat with them for the fireside. They are honestly amazing. I know there are still people for me to meet and teach here, but the Chamberlains will always be near and dear to me. I will always keep up with them and visit them. Honestly I was just so happy yesterday to see Brian and Josephine at the VC!! I just hope Brian will keep letting the missionaries teach him. 

It was a busy busy week here in DC! 3 straight days up at the VC and tons of other things. But it was amazing, I can't believe how fast this transfer is flying! The mission goes so fast when you are with a comp and surrounded with roommates that it just feels like you are living with friends. It's the best. 

Hope you all have great weeks! Love and miss you all tons!!