Saturday, January 21, 2017

January 16, 2017

Hi all!

Wow.. like you guys assumed I was kinda shocked to get transferred. It was rough, I really liked that area and we had a lot going on. We were teaching tons, had lots of investigators, and the area was doing so great! This area... not so much. So I am in Broadneck, MD. It's the peninsula right above Annapolis. We share the building with the Annapolis Ward so we see all the midshipman so I'm gonna see Tanner Munsen (Granny's ward if you don't remember) next week! Also the Niumatalolo's are in my ward now! It's a lot of more wealthy white people. The work here is pretty dang slow, we only have one investigator. And without ZL responsibilities it's a lot of time tracting.. a lot. So when I first got here is was a struggle, it was really rough. But it turned around a lot on Saturday with the Apostle Visit. 

My new companion is Elder Gregson, he's from Pocatello, Idaho. He's just finished being trained so I'm kinda helping him still get in the mission. Plus he got trained by a brand new missionary as well so there are times it feels like I'm training. But he's a really good kid, he's got a really good heart, and wants to work so it's gonna be good. The ward and area kinda remind me of White Plains, slow work but super awesome members! Sister Joyce is the one who texted you and we had dinner the first night with them. She is already my ward Mom. Each ward I've served in you have a favorite family who becomes kinda your second family and the Joyce's kinda became that right off the bat. 

I don't know how I forgot to mention this, but Elder Rasband and Elder Ballard came and did a combined mission visit with us and DC South. Its like the rarest thing ever to have 2 apostles come and visit. But the conference was so amazing! It really helped lift my spirits. They challenged us to raise the vision for missionary work in the Nations Capitol and to grow the church here more than it has ever before. The biggest thing I felt from them was just their love for us. It helped me realize kinda like you guys said, it doesn't matter where I'm serving but how. I just thought hey, even if all I do is knock doors all day and no one wants to listen, I'm still doing exactly what the Lord needs me to do here. That said, I know there are people out there for us to find! I've really felt the thoughts and prayers from home this week. Thank you, I really have the best support system back home! Also after that I got to go over to Anacostia for Valerie's baptism! Ahh it was so awesome! So great to have seen here from the start to now being baptized! She was excited to see the missionaries who have taught her and all be there to support! That's what the mission is all about!

I hope you all have great weeks at home! Love you lots!!


Valerie's baptism!

I feel like I'm on a different planet. Give me back my DC! Haha I love it, it is gorgeous here but just different! 

January 9, 2017

Hi all!!

Sounds like it was a good week at home! Even with all the snow. That's awesome you got to see all the people from the old Lehi Ward! And yes I know the Barlow center, it's a building in DC owned by BYU that their interns live at and they hold institute there too. All the intern couples in the DC 3rd ward come from there! So sounds like when they get here they will come to the DC 3rd ward! 

Well we got hit with snow this week! Came down pretty good on Saturday and it's been bitter cold this week. But luckily we were still able to grind out a good week. We tried to catch up with a lot of people we have been teaching and been trying to contact what seems to be our endless amounts of Festival of Lights and Christmas campaign referrals. It's been going pretty good so far though! 

We also confirmed Tim yesterday and that was awesome! He's such a great guy and we are excited to help him keep going and he has some family members names we are gonna take to the temple for baptisms hopefully next month. 

We also had MLC this week which was great! They always are. Most of all this time cause to start off I got told by the Anacostia ZLs that Valerie is getting baptized!!! And President is letting people go back to areas for baptisms again!! It was suppose to be Saturday but we had the decent snow storm hit so they pushed it back. So this week I will get to go back to see Valerie get baptized. So awesome someone who Elder Zocca and I found a few months back has now been able to have progressed this far! As well as when she was getting Interviewed by President he asked to tell him about her missionaries and her response was "My first ones or these ones?" So it was pretty amazing to know she still remembers us from the beginning and was asking if we would be there for her baptism. I've been thinking a lot about the Alma 29:9 and as a missionary just wanting to become that instrument in the Lords hands. And that was definitely one of those moments when I was able to feel that way!

I've also been thinking a lot about trials and Gods hand in our life over the past few weeks. And now especially as I hit 6 months left this week and watch all the Sisters I came in with go home Wednesday. I've looked back on my near 18 months out here and it's been some of the highest highs and lowest lows I've experienced so far in my life. And it's amazing to say I'm so thankful for all the hard times that I've learned from. It has stuck me so much while reading the BOM lately that people didn't pray away their trials, they prayed for increased faith, patience, and strength to endure the trials they were given. We are given individual trials big and small to become who our Father in Heaven needs us to be. It's amazing to look back and see how much the Lord is in the details of our lives, he truly is mindful of us and it is striking to look back and see the small things we can see Him doing to support us through our hard times. I love Alma 32:8, the Lord is even more mindful of us when we struggle. And like we read in Alma 34:41, I know there will be a time where we all really do get to rest from our afflictions, but for now we have to much to learn.

I look forward to transfer calls tonight, I feel like no matter how certain you felt before when it gets closer and closer you have no clue. I would love to stay here, but I guess I'll wait a few more hours to find out. I hope you all have great weeks this week, sure love and miss you guys everyday!


January 2, 2017

Hi all,

Happy New Year!! It is so crazy that we are now in 2017, officially out of my only full calendar year as a missionary (that we lovingly call our Dark Year hah) but it is so weird to now be in the year that I come home. It was such a weird thing to hit me when I was ironing my shirt yesterday morning. Our New Years was about as eventful as a missionary New Years can be... had to be in by 5pm, got some pizza, and caught up on some much needed sleep. 

This week was a good one, Tuesday we had interviews with President Johnson. I kinda got screwed out of my interview though because some other missionaries were struggling and needed to talk to him for a while, but it's all good. We had a really good quick talk and he said I'll be getting a new companion and stay in the area. It was a really cool experience when he told me it took him 3 days to fully decide to move me to this area and said he knows I'm serving where the Lord needs me. He's the best, I'm so glad I have a good relationship with President. 

Rest of the week was a kinda weird middle of the holidays, no one really wants to meet and you get a ton of "come back after New Years" so we just did what we could, and still had some good lessons and even picked up a new YSA investigator we are really excited about. 

Sorry for the not so exciting email. Hopefully this next week will have some more exciting things to talk about. Sure love and miss you all!!

Finally got a picture with Anwar, thought you guys would like to see him!