Monday, March 20, 2017

March 20, 2017

Hi all!

Sounds like it's been another great week at home for everyone! That is so crazy it's been so warm back home! Like you said we got hit with some snow this week and supposedly it killed a lot of the cherry blossoms. But the mission got asked to help with the parade again so we are super excited for it still!

So awesome to hear the plans are coming together! So I think most everything has been pulled together on my side of things, I'll hear from the mission office in the coming few weeks where they ask me what airport I'll want to fly into so I can tell them I'm having a Parent Pick Up and then they will contact you to get the plane ticket transferred to you guys. President already knows you are coming and he is super excited to meet all of you! So as far as I know we will meet up Wednesday, July 12 at the mission office or home and then we will do all our DC stuff for the next few days.  Sunday we are going to church, I'm all for the DC 3 ward since we are staying in the city and it would be quite the experience for you guys!  Then go early to Why I Believe where we would have me get released then we would take off after the devotional. Rumor on the street the July Why I Believe speaker is
going to be the 76ers CEO who just got baptized! So it's gonna be a good one!!

Sounds like life is going good for all the siblings. Still so crazy that Lindsey is driving! And I'm sure Hailey did a great job at her dance recital! I had to laugh at Caleb saying he sneaks watching March Madness in class, sounds about right haha. We do our best to stay up, some members will text us scores of games. One of those is President
Arnold, the Stake President! 

That is so crazy you met Elder Haggard! I served around him in DC a little bit and got to know him. He's a really good guy, we found out about the Payne connection a little back so that's fun you guys all got to meet! And that's awesome you got to see Karen again since I'm sure it's probably been since I left that you saw the Payne's.

Well this week was kinda packed with miscellaneous things. Tuesday it snowed and they told us we couldn't drive our cars so that slowed us down a little. Then Thursday we had an all day multi zone zone Conference. Which was of course a great time especially since McDonald, Florence, Cowan, Zocca, Jenks and the whole gang was there.
Then on Friday we had interviews with President and Sister Johnson. They are so awesome!! I love them tons and can't wait for you to get to meet them. They are both so excited to have you guys here and get to meet you, they both mentioned it as we talked. The longer I'm here the more interviews just feel like a nice 15 min me time with my
mission parents. They really are kinds like a second set of parents to me. 

Other than that life is still going good in MoVille. Tiara came to church and it was awesome! She really enjoyed it and said "everyday Sunday I don't have work I'm going to be here". And the ward was really good at reaching out and making her feel welcome. Plus Bishop is helping tons and is going with us this week to meet with her and he
boyfriend to talk about getting them married. So that's all going good. Plus we had Why I Believe last night which is always a good time!!

Well, love you guys tons! Miss you too. Hope you all have good ones!

Car naps....happen to the best of us
March 13, 2017

Hi all! 

Well the week here was another good one! We have a lot of people we are working with, none of them are really progressing as fast as we would have hoped. But it's all good because we are definitely seeing miracles happen in their lives and they are progressing at their rate as fast and they should be. So one of the main people we are working with is a girl named Tiara. She's 23, lives with her boyfriend Jeff and they have a little girl named Brie. So she had been contacted by some previous missionaries but they never got back in touch with her, so when we got to the area we reached out and have met with her about twice a week since we got here. And they are doing awesome! We mentioned to her the need to get married last week and she totally understood and we are going to help out with that. Then we talked to her about Jeff (the boyfriend) starting to take the lessons with her and she said she talked to him this week and he told her that yes he would take the lessons and he wanted to get baptized with her!! All because she retaught the Plan of Salvation to him and he was told they could be a family after this life. Then to add on top of that we were over there last night and were teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ lesson to her and had asked some question about baptism and her reasons was something along the lines of "well yeah I need to get baptized again because my last one wasn't official cause only this church has the priesthood in it". We were blown away and super pumped because she totally understands! Now we just need to get them off of work on Sunday's to church. 

Another solid couple we are working with is George and Susan. Problem is Susan lives a few weeks in Philly then comes back here for a week and goes back and forth for work. So we meet with George mostly, but we got to meet with them both this last week. And as we were reteaching the restoration they asked some awesome questions and they are solid! Then George expressed some concern because he's been investigating another church and before we could say anything, Susan chimes in and says "well just so you know when I get back living here full time in a couple weeks this is the church I'm going to go to. This is Gods church." So awesome. But then.. they didn't come to church either! Ugh.. struggle of the area at the moment is getting people out to 9:00 church. 

Other than that the area was really good too. The director of Visitor Centers around the world was in the mission this week so they called a full MLC including the District Leaders. It was fun to attend MLC again and get to take part in the meeting. Plus of course was getting to see all the friends! Great to see Elder McDonald, Florence, Cowan, Jenks and everyone else! Such a solid group at those meetings!

Well hope it's a great week back home for you guys this week. Time is just continuing to go so fast. Love and miss you guys tons!


March 6, 2017

Hi all!

My back has gotten progressively better, the mission made me go get it checked out this past week, and it's just some muscular strains. So nothing seriously, and by the start of this week I think I'm near 100% again. Sounds like it has been a good week, first off HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Lindsey!! So crazy you are turning 16 and driving! I left and you were in middle school, now I'm coming home and you're going into your junior year. 

I'll send a picture of what our area boundary is. So in our mission you almost always are assigned to just one ward. So we serve the Montgomery Village Ward, so yes our area is called Montgomery Village. Or everyone here just calls it Mo-Vill.... this place is amazing!!

First off the Stake President is in our ward and he is super missionary minded. His goal before he is released is that through missionary work and reactivation, that we add 2 wards to our stake. So he is super awesome and wants to work with us.  He called us on our first day to welcome us to the ward! Like who does that?! I've never had that happen before. As well Bishop was talking to us and talked about how they had just cleaned out the membership records and because of that felt like they were doing the work to show they Lord he can trust more members to this ward. And guess what? He has!! Since getting to this area it has been miracle after miracle. Elder Strubell and I just get in the car sometimes and look at each other like "what just happened??". Last week I talked about all the referrals that feel into our lap, and it kept happening this week. We showed up day one with a few okay Investigators. In a week and a half we now have 1 baptismal date, 2 progressing Investigators, and 3 others we are working with. Plus the 4 people who have gotten baptized in the last couple months. Keep in mind that this is the smallest ward boundaries in the Stake. Plus we had 2 more super solid Headquarters referrals this week. The work is just falling into our lap at the moment, I'll share one experience from this week to show that.

So yesterday we were sitting in sacrament meeting and we get a text from Pres Arnold (Stake President) asking if some people who had just walked in were our Investigators. We told him we have never seen them before and he texts back to tell us we need to go talk to them after because him and bishop both don't recognize them. So after the meeting we wait like 15 minutes to talk to them because SO many ward members are going up and asking who they are and introducing themselves. (Go Mo-Vill ward!) Then we talk to the Mom and come to find out they are looking for a church and a member in the ward had mentioned ours so they came to come check it out. Now we have an appointment with a family of 4 tonight. It has been amazing here. We have dinners this week with both Pres Arnold and Bishop so I'm sure we will plan out even more how to keep getting the work going here. It is amazing to see what happens when the ward is engaged and cares about missionary work. Also don't forget that even though you live in Utah there is still missionary opportunities to be found. We all can play our part in the work.

Well that's a wrap, I'm glad the plans are getting more in place for this summer.  I love you all so much, and miss you guys! 


Remember Dipo? This is him and he's doing great so far? Two lessons in and he already
says he takes his BOM with him everywhere so he can read it as much as he can!

This is Matilda's (recent convert) super cute nephew.  He's glued to the 
missionaries when we come to read the BOM with her.  

Sunday, March 5, 2017

February 27, 2017

Hi all!!

Well it has been quite the week! The mission had a huge transfer with a lot of people getting moved. But so far I have really loved Montgomery Village. The area it self is pretty small, but there is quite a bit going on here! It is also super diverse here, we have an investigator from Nigeria, recent converts from Sierra Leone, I met a member from Sri Lanka and countless other places. It is amazing! I'll get to all of that later..

Sounds like it was an awesome week back home! I am so glad that the approval came through and you finally got to tell the kids about the trip to pick me up! I'm glad everyone is so excited, I know I am! The Johnsons are super excited to get to meet everyone. Also I saw the Morgan's yesterday, they attend the YSA branch in our building up here. I just can't get away from them haha. But they said they want to do at least lunch with the family when we are here. I said we would for sure do something with them! Awesome to hear about Alyssa's call! Sounds like she is really excited for it and sounds like it will be a great mission. Kinda sad I'll miss her with getting home after she goes to the MTC but she will do great! 

Okay so more for this week. So first and foremost I'll get this out of the I threw my back out really bad this week. I feel like such an old man! So I went to put some clothes in my dresser on Friday and it just felt like someone stabbed me in my left lower back. So I collapsed and it took a couple hours to the point I could get back up. It was terrible! So we got slowed down pretty bad. I shuffle like an old man at the moment and Sister Johnson has told me we have to limit our walking so we can't go tract or do much besides walk from the car to appointments and go to set meetings. Other then that I have to lay on the floor of the apartment with a heating pad on it and do these back stretches. So it's been frustrating, especially with white washing the area here. It felt like we were really going to finally get things going. But the Lord has looked out for us. He knows we want to work so despite not getting to go find people ourselves he's done it for us.  Since getting to the area we have got 6 Church Headquarters referrals, 3 investigators who have moved from other areas to ours, and a guy who stopped us when we walked out of our apartment and told us he use to meet with the missionaries and he wants to start meeting with us again. Incredible! Truly the Lords work, and he will make sure it keeps going even if I currently have the back of an 87 year old!

Sister Johnsons says she thinks I've had a subluxation.. she explained it but it kinda went over my head. Basically all I know is my back hurts haha. But we might be going in this week to get it checked out, so I'll keep you in the loop of what we decide and what happens. 

Sunday we had a Stake Missionary meeting and this Stake is awesome! One of the better missionary Stakes in the mission I would say. After the meeting I asked President for a blessing for my back, and that was an amazing experience. Highly recommend getting a blessing from your mission president. Just so many things I needed to hear besides things about my back. It was kinda frustrating though when he said "take care to listen to the medical help you will receive and do not push yourself too fast too soon" So now I've been told by both my mission president and mission mom I need to take it easy for a little bit... So we will see how it goes. 

This area is going pretty good! They have had 3 baptisms already this year, but sadly that was most of their investigators, but we have been having a lot of success so far. Last night we taught a new investigator who was an online Bible referral who came here from Nigeria only 3 weeks ago! His name is Oladipupo, have fun pronouncing that haha. But we call him Dee-Poh for short. He is super solid and said he knows he will get an answer when he prays about the Book of Mormon.  We are going back this week to see him. It was a great way to end a frustrating week of not getting to work the area as much as I would have liked.  But I 'm really seeing that everything will work out and we will still meet the needs of the people in this area. 

Sure love you guys!! Hope you had a good weeks and I'll talk to you soon! Love and miss you!

Two of our recent Converts nephews

Goodbye Annapolis District..