Wednesday, February 22, 2017

February 20, 2017

 Hello Fam. 

Well I can match your uneventful week.. until we had interviews, but I will get to that later. Well most of the week was spent like we normally do, knocking on doors! But we did finally get to run into a referral from the neighboring wards Elders. So we taught him.. only to find out that he's not too interested in the church cause he's gay. Dang it.. so close. 

But I'll get to interviews now cause that's the good stuff. First off President and Sister Johnson are the best. Both of them expressed how much they missed me, since now they don't see me as often as they use to. Made me feel good haha. And Sister Johnson just wanted to chat so I swear our "interview" aka talk with Mission Mom was like 30 minutes when they are suppose to be under 15. She just wanted to talk and talk and I had no problems with it. It was great! Plus it's so weird, I'm now at the point where it's okay for them to ask me what my plans are after the mission haha. So I guess I really am getting closer and closer to this summer. 

Anyways.. so I sit down with President and after some small talk he just says "I'm thinking about shutting your area down" and I was so shocked, it was crazy. Basically he sees that the reason things aren't working out here is the ward isn't engaged at all, so he thinks pulling missionaries out for a little bit and making them share a set of elders with another ward will wake them up and get them going with the work. So looks like I'm leaving.. he described what my new assignment would be, but I don't know where it is yet. So we get called mid day today so I'll email when I find out where I'm heading!

Also we had Why I Believe last night and as always it was the best. Getting to see all the mission friends always makes for a good pick me up!!

Even though this transfer has been one of the toughest for me, just no work and knocking on doors all day everyday, I truly feel like I've grown and learned a lot. I feel like I've learned to live and rely on the atonement daily now. How to use it in my life on a daily basis. I truly can say our Heavenly Father is mindful of us when we struggle, if not more when we struggle. So we will see where the mission takes me next, not too much time left so gotta make the most of it. 

Love you all so much!!

I am heading to Montgomery Village Ward which is around Gaithersburg MD. I got re-called as a District Leader and I'm with Elder Strubell (think back to the old football days with Coach Rice. It's that Strubell. He then went to Westlake. So I've served around him and he seems like a pretty good guy!). From what I've heard it's a pretty good ward and stuff is going on there so we will see!  I've heard it's a slower area, but nothing like this. So it will be good! I'm excited to be a District leader again, I only got 1 transfer before I got called as a Zone Leader so it's cool get a chance to serve as one again. 

February 13, 2017

Hi Momma! (and rest of the family)

Well this week we were able to see some progression in the area. Small! But still progress. It's been a lot of work but we are seeing little bits of pay off. So there is an 11 year old girl who hasn't been baptized that we finally have got on a regular meeting schedule. Her Dad was baptized a few years ago and sadly it's her lifelong member mom who's been holding off on her being baptized. She's such a sharp little girl, it's fun to teach her and hopefully we can get her family more active in church and get her baptized. 

Also we tracted into a family this week!! It was incredible. Like tracting actually works (sometimes).. as most of us know it is like the lowest yielding form of missionary work. But it worked this time! So we met Jess who's mid 20s and has 2 little kids and one on the way. We asked if she had a few minutes for us to share a message about Jesus Christ and she said yes! So I asked her what role religion has played in her life and her response was she was trying to get closer to Christ and that she was spiritual not really religious because they were looking for a church. But wait! It gets better!!! So after what turns into a full on 20 min lesson on her porch she asks us "can you come back and teach my husband too?" Uhhh.. yeah. Yes. We can do that. Then on top of that says "probably Monday nights are best, we decide those nights he will make sure he's home for dinner with the family". REALLY?? They are Mormons and don't even know it! So we are really excited to get back with them hopefully this week!

Transfers are next week so we will see what happens, we have interviews this week so maybe President will let some things slip and give me some idea of what will happen. I got the package this week! It was great!! And I even hung up the banner before you asked. Hope you all have a great week, love and miss to all!


P.S. Well.. just kidding. Jess just texted us and said she talked to her husband and they aren't interested in having us come by. So I dunno if they googled the church and got anti-ed or what. But that was a huge bummer, I was so frustrated cause I felt like it was finally our break.. but nope. That's the tough thing about educated people is I feel like we leave them with stuff and before we come back they have googled and tried to do research which doesn't lead them down good paths. , so I guess back to work to try to find someone again.

February 6, 2017

Hey Fam,

Yes I'll make sure to say thanks to Sister Joyce for ya! She has a missionary out right now so I think it's some sort of motherly guilt that has her taking such good care of us haha. I saw the Morgans at church yesterday since they were up visiting the YSA group of midshipmen and we had a good time chatting about the new Ward boundaries and the changes in the Stake back home. 

Freaking Tom Brady, I hate that guy. Gotta respect how good he is though, that's an amazing come back. The evil empire continues to reign. And isn't that the first Super Bowl to go to OT? Oh well, back for the next one! Was there any good commercials this year? 

Well our week was just like the past ones.. lots of door knocking and lots of walking. I've taken up singing "Pioneer children sang as they walked, and walked, aaaand waaaaaalked..." Well more like muttering it under my breath when we get to a good sized hill haha. I found a quote in the BOM institute manual while I was studying last week that I've tried to really focus on. It says, "most people are about as happy as they make their minds up to be" -Abraham Lincoln. So I've tried to do that, even though the work is really hard here, just be happy and decide to be. But I think I might hint at President that I wanna go back to DC to end my mission. I just really wanna feel like I sprinted through the finish of my mission and at the moment it feels like I'm running in sand. But we will see what happens.. 

I've really tried to focus on the fact we all serve in our own ways to help in the Lord work. No one will serve in the same way, I've thought back a lot on the things I've been blessed to be able to do so far. I talked to Ismael on the phone last night for a few minutes and that was a huge reminder of the good things that have happened out here. Most of all I've seen myself grow a TON since I first got here and and was being trained by good old Elder Coombs and I've thought a lot about a line in my patriarchal blessing that says I would be led and guided by righteous examples before and during my mission. I'm sure grateful for guys like Coombs, McDonald, Jenks, Cowan, Florence, and all the other friends I've made out here who help me through the hard times. I'm excited for what these last few months hold in store. I know just like life the mission has its ups and downs, but like the quote from Abe, we can decide to just be happy though it all!

Well not much more to say for the week, I finally took a picture with Elder Gregson I'll attach. I sure love and miss you guys!

Yup. See that, Yacht club. That's the type of people who we get to try to talk to. Know how many of them are interested in the gospel..? Not many. 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

January 30, 2017

Hello Hello!

Yes the birthday was a good one! Elder Gregsons birthday was actually the 26th so we had back to back bdays! Pretty cool! We had a full mission Conference on it! (Changes they made with the schedule just give us more flexibility with getting out the door sooner if needed. Basically just give us more agency haha. Only bummer is now only 30 min lunches) But it was great to see everyone! I of course sat with Elder Florence and McDonald. Plus a ton of other guys! After the broadcast we went and got lunch, so that was great! And that evening we went over to the Joyce's. Like you said they took real good care of me. She really did make the apricot cake! Her boys were pretty hesitant until they tried it and they really liked it haha. It was so great it was a big reminder of home! And yes I got the packages, thank you so much!! The Navy zip-up is awesome!! And thanks Mom for ruining my diet I had tried to start last week.. 

Rest of the week was kinda busy for once, mostly with meetings. Tuesday we helped a family in the ward move into a new home within the ward boundaries. It is always nice to get a break from knocking doors but picking up heavy things haha. Then on Thursday was had Zone Conference, if was so weird to not be in charge of it and running around making sure everything was set up and all. But kinda nice to sit back and relax a little.

Other then that, it was another week of just hitting the pavement. We are still just trying to find people to teach, so we just gotta keep putting in the work to find them. Hope it's a good week back home and Dad has safe travels back. Sure love and miss you guys tons!


Elder Shirley and I share a birthday 

Birthday lunch with Elders McDonald, Florence, and Cowan. 
(McDonald and Cowan are companions right now!)

JS, what a guy! He came to the broadcast with a box of chocolates and wished me a happy birthday. He's such an amazing man, he's the best!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

January 23, 2017

Hi all!

This email is gonna be really sparse because that is this area .. sparse. Literally all we do is tract all day, everyday. So not much to write about it. It's so slow and no one wants to listen, they are all rich white people who are either Catholic, nondenominational, or don't want church. Plus the area gets tracted out every 6 months so they know who the missionaries are. I feel my mission going by so fast and I feel an urgency to do everything I can and it's tough when I feel like not much is going on here.  So it's been a really rough week, its been hard. But the Mission has been promised by Elder Ballard that if we talk to 20 people a day we will see our teaching pool increase. So we just work hard, be obedient and rely on the promised blessings. 

Okay enough pity party- I'm actually super excited for my birthday, we have a worldwide mission broadcast that day and the mission is watching it at the Visitor Center! So it's like a whole mission party! So I'm gonna go get lunch with all the buds after it! Then the Joyce's are having us for dinner that night! I'm pretty stoked. The Joyce's are great, and the ward really is full of awesome members, so we get taken good care of. The Joyce's have two sons age 17 & 15 and I just hit it off with them! The 17 year old had been in a kinda grumpy teen phase and we clicked and she was just amazed how much he talks with me. I told her I'd get him out in a split with us before I leave the area. Plus this week we have Zone Conference which is combined with SS Zone, so I'll get to see some old friends from there!

Thanks for the birthday stuff in advance and thanks for the thoughts and prayers. Things are hard, but that's how we learn. I was frustrated early this week that I haven't had a "fun" transfer for a while, but I realized that's not how I'll learn plus not really what the mission is all about. So we will hit the pavement this week and hope to see some miracles.

Love you all so much!


 So Daisy is 19 and graduated the same year as me. She was dating a member who left on his mission. She's basically known the church is true for like 2 years and get this... she went to BYU Idaho last year! She's taking online classes through there right now. She's trying to get it all on good terms with her parents cause they don't want her to get baptized. But we have seen progress and I think she will get baptized really soon. 
Me and Elder Gregson