Tuesday, April 25, 2017

April 24, 2017

Hi all!!

This week was super good! We had interviews with President and Sister Johnson on Tuesday and they went awesome. It was so weird to realize it's just one more and then a departing interview left with President. But I had really good talks with both of them. And then President basically said I'll either end here in MoVille or go back to DC3rd. But we all know how transfers go so basically anything could happen. 

We also had Zone Conference this week which was pretty good. It was great to see a lot of the friends because we do multi Zone combined since we do Zone Conference every transfer now. It was another weird realization when Elder Florence leaned over and pointed out we only have one more now..

On Friday we got to go to the temple and once again was a kinda last, I only have my departing temple trip left. It was super nice to be in the temple again and feel the spirit there. I'll miss the DC temple a lot, I've had a lot of amazing experiences there through my mission. I'm so grateful to have served in a mission that had a temple that I could attend regularly. I've gained such a testimony of the temple and the blessings we can have in our life from it. It will be hard for this area to have it closed when it's renovations start in March but I can't wait for it to be rededicated in 2 years and have the open houses. It will be a huge missionary boom in this area from that. 

Lastly and defiantly not least we had Latifs baptism! It was such an amazing service. Elder Strubell got to come back and see the baptism which was nice to have him there and get to see him! Latif was crying as soon as the kids gave the talks on baptism and the Holy Ghost. Bishop baptized him and then we came back and they had asked the missionaries to sing Called to Serve...and it was absolutely awful haha. We told them we can't sing and they said they didn't care. Some ward members I guess had some mixed reviews to bishop about our singing but hey we all said in the first place we didn't want to sing and couldn't so we aren't mad hah. Then both Bishop Ure and President Arnold bore testimonies about how amazing it was to see this all happen. They have knows Latif for nearly 10 years and they said they would have never guessed he would have been baptized even 2 months ago. They said it truly is a miracle. We are so excited for Latif and the family, they are amazing. 

Then to top the week off last night was Why I Believe and the speaker was one of the missionaries who was in the Brussels Airport bombing. Super amazing kid and testimony. 

Well it was very busy and full week, I'm glad I was able to be a part of all this that has happened. This truly is Gods work and because of that we can expect miracles to happen. I'm so glad I got to play a small part in this miracle that's going to allow a family to be sealed in the temple. I can't think of a better cap stone to my mission. There's still time to go though so it will be fun to see what else happens. Love and miss you guys!!


Monday, April 17, 2017

April 17, 2017

Hey Everyone!

Like you said the work is always better when you have a great companion. And goes even better when you have a good companion AND a good area! And that's what life has been this past week, Elder Vance and I are still doing awesome and the area is doing even better. We had 5 Investigators at Sacrament on Sunday! Granted it was Easter but it was still great to see so many of them come out to church. We are prepping for Latifs baptism this Saturday and we are super excited for him and his family. We had a really cool experience with the Bahamou's (Latif's family) on Friday night. We went over to finish up some of the last lessons and we taught about the priesthood. During the lesson Amber started to get a migraine and she has fibromyalgia so she was really hurting and asked for a blessing. After the lesson we gave her a blessing that was just powerful, there aren't words to describe it and the spirit that was felt. The priesthood is so real. The next day at church Amber said that the pain was taken away after the blessing as well it was kinda the cap stone of Latifs learning where she feels the switch got flipped and he gets it all now better than before. I know God continues to be a God a miracles today, this whole story of Latifs conversion and the small parts like that night all are a living testimony of that. 

Easter was an amazing Sunday for this ward, there has been a 14 year old girl from the ward who had been in the hospital for about a month who passed away on Saturday night. So it was very emotional for the ward and it was really amazing to see the focus on the true meaning of Easter for all of them. To end the meeting her Dad got up and bore his testimony and it was so powerful.  His daughter has died 12 hours before but offered such an incredible testimony. After we got to go have an Easter dinner with a family in the ward. It was kinda like normal but with a twist because they are from El Salvador. So we had ham like at home but then some dishes that aren't quite what we have on Easter but it was so nice to be with them. They are such a nice family and they are so good to us. She insists we call her Grandma:) Sister Romero (Grandma) said to tell Mom that she had missionaries so she knows what it's like to have them away so she had to make sure we were taken care of. They are incredible people.  

Well that about it for the week, can't wait to let you know how the baptism goes this week. The work is going great and time is flying. Love you all so much!


Ice cream this past week to celebrate 
Elder Vances year mark!!

Before & After...
This is one of the Bahamou kids, Alex. (His nick name is Doodle) 
So it was time for the summer buzz cut and he asked if we 
would do it for him when we were over talking to Amber 
and Latif one day this last week!

April 10, 2017

Hey Fam! 

Well the week was another pretty good one. We had transfers like I mentioned last week and last minute we got the call saying there was gonna be a change. So Elder Strubell left and now I'm comps with Elder Vance. I felt pretty bad for Strubbs especially with all the stuff going on with Latif and his baptism coming up. But it's all good, actually it's been awesome! I love Elder Vance. We can just talk and talk and get along so good. He's from Orange County California, little older at 25, and races motorcycles and fought MMA before the mission. So he's a pretty cool guy to say the least. 

Biggest event of the week was the Cherry Blossom Parade. Just like last year it was so much fun!! Plus it felt so good to be back in the city, just getting to ride the metro and walk around DC again. Sure brought back good memories of the near 8 months I got to serve there. Miss it so much. So for the parade we didn't really get a legit job so we just got to walk around and then watch the parade haha, it as a good time. But at least some missionary work was accomplished. I was talking to this other volunteer and she said she's going to come to Why I Believe. Like let's be real she probably won't show but it's gotta count for something! Haha  Plus just getting to see all the missionaries was a blast. After the parade I grabbed lunch with Cowan, McDonald and some other mission buds at one of our favorites, &Pizza. Kinda bummer of the day was when we got back to our car and realized we were absolutely fried from standing in the direct sun most of the day.

As far as things work wise everything is still going super great! Latif came to church which is no surprise considering how he is doing.  But then George surprised us and actually showed up!! It was awesome having both of them at church. Tiara and Jeff are still working on deciding if and when they will get married. But we have good feelings on that one. Bishop is staying in touch with Jeff which is so nice. Such good member support in the ward here. Also we are suppose to see Dipo today so hopefully that holds. Latif is doing so great, he's progressing like no investigator I've ever worked with. He's now on date for April 22nd. It's been a mission highlight, like the best end to my mission I can think of to work with this family. Watching Latif finally decide to join the church along with all the changes we have seen in him have been incredible and now make them an eternal family that's going to prepare to be sealed in a year. I feel so blessed and privileged to have been able to be apart of this whole process, it's amazing to play just a small part in the Lords work here. 

Well that's a wrap, I'm glad you all had a great spring break!! Love you all and miss you too!


On Tuesday we all got up early to play basketball one last time then enjoyed a 
nice McDonalds breakfast before transfers. 

Spanish ward had a Tree of Life ward Activity so the other 
Elders got dressed up by the ward for it.

Monday, April 3, 2017

April 3, 2017

Hi all!

I know it is crazy it's already April. The months just seem to keep clicking by. Sounds like you all had a great week and enjoyed General Conference. That's so great you were able to attend Alyssa's endowment, what a great time to be with the family. I'm glad you were able to enjoy Conference with all the normal traditions. I'll admit it crossed my mind a few times that I'll be home for the next post Priesthood at Goodwood. 

It was a great Conference weekend out here, good one to end on . So for the Saturday sessions we went up to the Stake Center where it was broadcast. Between sessions we went and grabbed some Cafe Rio for lunch:) Any time we are able to be up in that area we have to take advantage of it haha. Then we were at the Stake Center for Priesthood session. Then Sunday morning we went down to the Visitors Center. There was a good handful of missionaries there and the Johnsons as well. They had some family in town so it was fun to see them in Grandma/Grandpa mode with some of their adorable grand kids. Plus Elder Cowan was there that morning so I got to sit next to him and catch up some. To finish it out we went and watched the last session at a members house. It was nice to finally sit on a couch for a session haha. There was a lot of really great talks this Conference, I felt like there was a lot of focus on the Plan of Salvation and recognizing/listening to the Holy Ghost. I'd have to say some of my favorite talks were the three you mentioned as well as Elder Ballards.  Plus his joke at the beginning reminded me a lot of when we was here visiting the mission and just how personable he was with us. 

This week also was super good in our area. First off on Saturday morning we went to Tiaras with Bishop. And Jeff (the boyfriend) finally sat in on a lesson!! Then Bishop talked about them getting married and it was so awesome! He's one of my favorite Bishops I've worked with out here. So we are excited to see them this week and see where they are at. Dipo and George are doing good too, just need to help them keep their commitments better. 

Here was our favorite of the week though, so we got a call from a member that we have known pretty good since we got here and she told us her non member husband had agreed to take the lessons. Little did we know that earlier this week they were on edge of getting divorced. So we meet with Latif (he's from Morocco) and had an amazing lesson. He's been basically watching the church for 8 years and it's just now is finally his time. He asked some really good questions and he's now on a baptismal date for May 6th, which might get moved sooner! When we asked if he would give the closing prayer he agreed and then asked for help. Which almost no one does cause of how the humility you have to show to do that. Plus he came to priesthood session! They have already started talking to us about getting sealed and everything in a year, so looks like I might be needing to take a flight out to DC next spring! (Temple will be closed so it will actually be Philly). But we are super excited to work with the them and see them come together to be an eternal family. 

Well that's a wrap, another great week out here. Hope you guys enjoy Spring Break! Love and miss you guys!!


Here's some pictures we took down at the temple Sunday morning. It was super bright so that's why we are squinting so hard! 

Reunion with Elder Cowan 

March 27, 2017

Hey Fam-

Yeah the weather here has been pretty weird too.  One day it's 80 then the next it's 40. So we are hoping it will even out and just start to become spring soon. The Cherry Blossom Parade is April 8th, so coming up soon! We are all super stoked for it because it's a day of getting to hang out with the whole mission on the National Mall and you get to help with/be in a parade. Pretty sweet:) 

Sounds like the week was a good one. Happy Birthday Dad!! Glad you got to have some good times with the family enjoying that and celebrating. I'm glad Leby got to speak! I actually spoke in Sacrament yesterday too! But yes you did have to work with my to slow down speaking.  I still have to haha. Sometimes in lessons out here there is just so much to try to fit in and I have to catch my self and slow down haha. 

Well to answer all your questions about the area then I'll get to the week. So in our mission all of our areas/zones are based off the units we are serving. So since we are serving the Montgomery Village Ward our area is called Montgomery Village. And then all our zones are based off Stake boundaries, so our zone is the Seneca Zone which is just all the missionaries in the units of the Seneca Stake. Same goes for all the previous zones, so when I was in Silver Spring Zone it was all the missionaries in the Silver Spring Stake. 

This week was a pretty good one. The people we are working with are great except for one thing. We can't get them to church to save our life! I don't know if it's because it's at 9:00 am or what, but it's been super rough to get them to church in this area. But Tiara is doing good, she texted us Sunday morning and wasn't going to make it because her baby daughter was sick. But we still were able to have a lesson with her last night. Right now it's just the challenge of getting her and her boyfriend married. As well as trying to get Jeff (the boyfriend) engaged with the lessons. He always has an excuse and then says next time when we invite him for the lessons. But I guess he has told Tiara he wants to be baptized with her. As far as other people, Dipo had fallen off the face of the earth until like 2 days ago when he finally picked up his phone. So we are gonna go see him tonight and see how things are going. 

Like you said transfers are next week, so crazy! This one has gone by so fast!  It really is crazy how fast this is all going, like this week is my last General Conference. I am so excited to be able to hear from our church leaders. Each of the last conferences I've been out here for have been so amazing and I know this one will be too. 

Enjoy Conference weekend as a family! Sure love you guys!


Hey! Yeah I was gonna send what our weights look like! We just got a bar and some new weights. So now we are set. Still a little bugged we can't use the apartment gym.  Our apartment kinda sucks, one of the worst I've lived in out here. For PDay it was District Activity so we had lunch at Cafe Rio and then played volleyball at the church. 
It's kinda crazy!! 100 days left on Conference 

When you let the kids at the lesson take pictures with your iPad...