So I realize (or mom told me people have complained haha) I haven't
written a family-wide email in the past few weeks so heres one!
Guess what month it is? March! Out here its kind of hard to tell, it
just snowed again last night through today....we were just starting to
see the ground.
So last night it was awesome, we have two investigators (their names
Patricia & Hector) who are really awesome. Patricia's mom is a member
and their little brother is going to get baptized soon. Other
missionaries have not gotten very far with them, but we have her going
to church every sunday. And when he can, Hector will come. They have a
special needs kid therefore he can't always make it. But other than
that, theyre awesome! They need to get married and their hold up is
she doesn't want to be "tied down" but were getting there. So ya,
yesterday we went to the Idaho Falls temple visitors center and they
had a spanish investigators fireside there.
At the visitors center, you can really feel the spirit so strong. Some
of the spanish-speaking Sisters that were there showed them some
videos and talked to them, then we had the fireside - it was about
recognizing the spirit and becoming converted so it went really well.
I'll attach some pictures.
Another crazy thing that happened this week...we had a spanish
conference in Rexburg and spanish branches from Idaho Falls and north
were all there. They had classes about the gospel, and they all went
for temple sessions (in spanish). But during the sessions, the
missionaries and all the investigators / non-members went for a tour
of BYU-Idaho haha. So I have been on campus before / during and will
be after the mission. Crazy.
We have also started teaching english classes. The church has
materials for teaching english and we use those, we are hoping as
people go...they can feel the spirit and ask questions about the
church if they have any. Our last lesson was on how to ask questions
and how to pray. So the homework was to pray, works out pretty good.
Our first english class we had 4 people there (2 non-members) and our
class this last friday was 8 people (the same 4 people and 4 new
people, 6 non-members)...so its going very well here in Driggs. I hope
to stay past April here, but i'm not sure how long i'll stay here.
Oh I also gave a talk last week, and you know how you always have to
break the ice in the beginning? I mentioned how my aunt is
Well, I hear alot of you are sick at home...sounds like you need some
Vitamin C and some rest! Thats how i've gotten better out here.
Hope all is well at home! I get to phone call in almost 2 months!
Love you all!
pictures are of the Idaho Falls temple / visitors center / BYU-I / and
the snow that dumped on our car just this past night
So I've had some cool experiences this week and i've also been able to
see how much i've grown.
On Monday, we were at the local bar & grill because my companion loves
to play pool (especially with drunk people) so while he was playing
pool i was writing letters..While he was playing a guy, named Ivan, he
brought up that with his friends he defends us mormon and commends us
for what we do. Surprised, we talk to him more about why he would
defend us - turns out hes LDS himself. Just really less active. By the
end of talking with him, he was in tears and we had found out hes
drowning himself away with alcohol. It was just a really cool
experience to be able to be anywhere and share the gospel / help
others. We passed his name over to the english Elders and we'll see if
they ever go by to see him but hopefully they can get him back on the
right path. (Hopefully)
Tuesday we had district meeting in Jackson Hole, then got a district
picture before some of the district members left. We went to Mcdonalds
for lunch and saw one of our investigators there. Spent most the day
saying goodbye to members (for my companion whos leaving) and then had
dinner at the Thai restaurant.
Wednesday was transfers so we went down to Rexburg at the transfer
site and I saw alot of Elders/Sisters that I had served with when I
was there. Also saw my trainer so that was cool, haven't seen him in
months. My new companion's name is Elder Carreño, he's from Brooklyn
New York. Needless to say hes got a pretty strong accent. And since he
was from New York he never drove before the mission, and just got his
license a few days before I met him - so I drove our truck back to
Driggs, and the rest of the day. Hes been out for 17 months so hes
been out quite a while, yet when we got back home asked if I was the
senior companion...interesting. Since I know the area I guess i'm kind
of in charge and have to lead everything. Hes also been really
disobedient with rules with his last companions so I have to be an
example of obedience as well (good thing all of my companions have
been really obedient). I've been taught well. Anyways, we had 2 really
good lessons that night with a member who came out with us.
Thursday we had weekly planning (planning for our investigators for
the week) and since I'm the only one who knows all these people, had
to plan for them all by myself. So that was fun. I also got a sweet
package sent to me from the Janis's. It was one of those play-on-words
with candy type things, really awesome. Also Sister Janis mentioned
how Spencer still is distracted wanting to join the Air Force reserve
and wanted me to pray for him. To be honest, i think i've pushed him
enough that the only thing left I can do is pray for him. Also an
Elder here in Driggs from Houston said he knew Spencer so that was
Friday we had an activity with our branch and that was when they first
met my companion, but since Driggs was his first area, alot of them
remembered him when they saw him. We talked to our branch president
for a bit about how we can better help our investigators. Also that
night I walked past their fridge and I saw something that caught my
eye...It was the invitation to the wedding of Tom Muench and Kim
Rodriguez. Sister Rowbury (our branch president's wife) said she had
Kim (Tom's wife) in young women when she was a beehive. Crazy how
small the world is getting. We also tracted an apartment complex thats
full of hispanics and we had a lesson with a guy named Jesus, he was
really stubborn though...as most hispanics are. He told us he wanted
to know what church was true but refused to read the book of mormon
and doesn't believe Joseph Smith was a prophet. Lets just say hes not
Saturday 2 appointments fell through, I shoveled out most of our
walkway at our house (about 3-4 feet of snow with ice underneath), and
Bruce (our landlord) fixed our water heater after our gas line froze
and the heat went out - I think I almost got hypothermia showering for
the 20 seconds I was in there, haha. Another thing i'm grateful for in
a stateside mission.
Sunday we had a pretty low turnout at church, no idea why. Only had 1
investigator at church when our average is 6. Its pretty bad for the
amount we usually have come. Had a lesson with a guy named Eleazar, we
taught him about the restoration - he wasn't all that receptive but he
listened and asked questions. We had dinner with members who live
almost halfway to Rexburg, and then we came back and had a really good
lesson with a guy named Pablo. We had left him the restoration DVD to
watch on wednesday and he hadn't watched it yet so we watched it with
him. His question after was "Why Joseph Smith?" My companion answered
with "Why Moses, Why Abraham?" and we talked to him about how prophets
were called by God. That night we found a less-active who went AWOL
and the other english missionaries couldn't find him. His parents are
former investigators we just happen to stop by and see him there as
well. Also when we got back to our house, a man had left a note on our
door to call him. Called him up and he said he needed a blessing, so I
was able to give him a blessing which is something I am really
grateful for - the Priesthood and the power it has. I have literally
seen people healed while on my mission.
Well thats about it for whats going on here. Hows the progress on the
pool house? Where are you guys at in the Book of Mormon? Im in 2 Ne.
Love you all,
Pictures: Saw some wild elk out here in Driggs (thought Mom might like
that), one of the neighborhood dogs that comes over for leftovers, The
spanish branch here, our sleigh ride while we do service, and old
pictures from the Dentist when I got my root canal
Hello from Idaho,
So last pday guess where we went? To the coolest vacation spot in the
mission of course! We went to Jackson Hole, Wyoming! We did some
window shopping and I got to say, I'm really wishing I had a really
cool belt buckle (you will understand a little better later). We saw a
bunch of stores with cowboy hats, tshirts and all that souvenir stuff.
We also looked at nice photos people had of like the Tetons and
animals, all ridiculously priced - some for $25,000 and up.
Then later we had the english Elders there take us to the Roney house.
Now the Roney family is infamous for starting NuSkin and I think Kirk
Roney was like the creator of NuSkin, along with his brothers. But
anyway we got a tour of his 30 million dollar home. We saw his
personal gym (about the size of the YMCA weight room), his home
theater room (seating for 16)...It was pretty flippin sweet but
Later that night we taught a girl whos about 13, a less active, about
the importance of the gospel. We tried to help her better see why
everything the church has to offer is good for her - and how it can
benefit her. She was baptized at 8 but really never has gone to
church...and now shes starting to fall off the deep end. After that we
went and taught a guy named Pablo. He's divorced and he doesnt live
with any family and really feels quite alone. We taught him the plan
of salvation, and in our lesson he told us that he knows going to
church is important and wants to go. He also said in his life hes
never really gone to church, though he was raised catholic - he
mentioned that he felt that there was something missing...So were
pretty excited for how that will go.
On tuesday we had district meeting in Jackson, and when we had lunch
we had it at Chinatown. The sweet & sour chicken was actually really
good. I told you guys we ate at Teton Thai too right? Haha look at me,
not so picky anymore I guess?
Had a pretty cool experience on Tuesday as well...we were driving
around and my companion says he felt prompted to pull into the church
parking lot, no idea why. (And at this point in time we have 2 people
were trying to find jobs - an active member who wants to go to church
on sunday but he cant because of work, and an investigator) So while
sitting in the parking lot, someone drives up to us and starts talking
to us, hes a friend of my companion (a less active member). Then he
asks if theres anything he can do for us, and my companion says
"Actually there is - we need a job for someone" And he then tells us
he just fired someone the day before and needed more work at his tire
shop, ironically our investigator was just working at a tire shop so
it fits perfect.
We did get our investigator the job as well - its really good so
hopefully it all works out.
There were some cool ice sculptures in Driggs this week and I got some
pictures - enjoy!
This week we also got to work on our landlord (Bruce Bagley)'s farm
and we helped him feed his cows, got to ride the sled with his horses
on it - and on Thursday we helped clean out the manure from his cow
pen and redo the bedding. I can say I have officially done some real
"farm work". Also today, we were with a member who works with leather
and we went over and made leather belts (i got to print what I wanted
on it - hence the need for a belt buckle)
Anyways, not a whole ton happened this week. I told the english Elders
to stop by Aunt Becky's parents house (Dorlene & Virgil) so we'll see
if they do, if not we can always go say Hi. Oh and its still "pretty
warm" here and not a ton of snow, and by warm its like 20. But the
other day it went down to 6 degrees and my ears were pretty cold. But
since up here is all about the snow (all the skiing and snow sports)
that people can't find work or enough hours...Also people are getting
hurt skiing because there isnt enough snow, also for some people's
work they plow snow so...yeah. It snowed a bit this week and its
snowing today so thats a good sign though.
Oh and I'm happy to hear you guys are going to try and read the Book
of Mormon! As I'm sure you knew, my comprehension/reading skills were
pretty poor but ever since i've been reading and have read through
once and am starting a second time...I can see a huge improvement. I
also have gained a huge desire to read, whatever it may be. That being
said, my vision might be crapping out on me. (Hopefully it doesn't get
bad enough where I need to get glasses or contacts). I study the
scriptures pretty in-depth to get all that I can out of it, so I don't
know if I can keep up with you guys but I'm in 2 Ne right now (about
chapter 5). And I liked getting an email from Dad as well, that was
Oh and my watch is...well...going to need replacement. I'll see if I
can send a picture (somehow dusts keeps getting in it?) I have no idea
but everyone comments on it and asks how I got water in there - I dont
know haha but its getting hard to read the time.
P.S. Happy Belated Birthday to Cameron! And Happy Birthday Lyndsey!
And hope you enjoy the pictures!
-One is of a less active family that were activated and their daughter
just got baptized (The Nettleton family)
-Another is of some deer I saw in Jackson Hole just prancing around
-The Teton Mountains
-Me in Jackson
Well another week gone by - time seems to go by so fast here... Its
weird to say I've been out 7 months.
So this Monday, we did all the p-day jazz (shopping, eating, hair
cuts, etc) in Rexburg so I got to see the Missionaries I know there
and that was pretty cool to see them again after a few weeks. Then
driving back to Driggs, we get a really cool view of the Teton
Mountains. We had dinner at a pizza place in Driggs, and we ordered
the "flamethrower" pizza. Needless to say, it was pretty hot. It had
jalapenos, hot sauce, jalapeno cheese, and sausage. I have learned
through this experience a good way to clean your sinuses though. Spicy
food will clean you right out. After dinner, our appointment wasnt
home so we went to go pick up my ctr ring I left at the member who cut
our hair's house. When we got there, a girl there asked if I knew an
Elder Nelson. Of course, he was my trainer so I told her yeah I do.
Turns out, she knew him really well so it was pretty cool to make that
Tuesday we had our district meeting. After that we went on exchanges
and i'd be going to Jackson Hole, WY and the other Elder there doesn't
have a license so I was given driving privileges. Wow was that crazy
driving the Teton Pass. Good thing it hadn't snowed in a while so it
was pretty clear - we see a bunch of skiiers parked on it though. Oh
this winter has been really weak, its still in the 20's during the day
and just hasn't snowed much so the Teton Valley economy is getting
slammed. Alot of people, our investigators included are out of work or
aren't getting the hours they need.
At night we rode the bus around Jackson (they provide free public
buses there) and tried to contact people on it, and we talked to a guy
who was born and raised in Detroit. Also talked to one of Kirk Roney's
(Hes like the founder of Nuskin with a 13 million dollar home in
Jackson Hole) daughters and for some reason she thought she knew
Mitch...but I think shes confused because when she described him she
said he was tall haha. But anyways, it was pretty cool to be there -
apparently the Missionaries see Harrison Ford there all the time, hes
got a house in Jackson.
Wednesday our truck was freaking out and kept locking itself while we
were driving so we called in and took it in the next day...But we had
2 really good lessons that night. One with a guy named Claudio and
another with a guy named Edgar. With Claudio we came into the lesson
with a plan but followed the spirit and taught what we thought he
needed. We talked about the spirit and after my companion shared
something I asked him "Do you believe you've felt the spirit before?"
His answer was no. Whats interesting is he was almost baptized a while
back but his wife got on his case and wouldnt let him do it. Anyways,
so we tried to better help him understand how to feel the spirit and
we believe he has felt it before, just can't recognize it.
Our other lesson was with a guy named Edgar, hes awesome. We think his
wife is a lot more receptive but to Edgar we are his buddies so he
listens to what we teach. We found out they read what we left them to
read - which is awesome! Doesnt happen very often...We talked about
what he read (3 Ne 11) and then commited him to a baptismal date, for
the 25th of February. Both these lessons went really well and we're
really hopeful for both of these investigators.
Thursday we took our truck in to get fixed in St. Anthony, ID and
while we were there waiting we walked around to people my companion
had taught before and saw how they were doing (my companion served
there before Driggs). Oh and hes also been here in Driggs for 9 months
now, so everyone thinks this is his last transfer here. We didn't have
any lessons that night and had weekly planning so it was a pretty busy
day, even without teaching. We gave a blessing for one of the members
at Night, and also heard from a member that Mitt won the Iowa Straw
Poll i think, pretty sweet.
Friday I went and got my root canal filled and finished so I dont have
to worry about that anymore. We did service for Bruce Bagley (the
family that owns the farm our house is on, and who helped me skype at
their home). We did some good ol' farm work - fed cows, rode a sled
pulled by horses, cleaned all the crap out of the cow pen, broke the
ice on the horse troft...good stuff. Oh and for dinner, we had chicken
+ mushrooms, and yes I did eat it. It wasn't horrible but it was a
weird combination and I guess I'm still not a huge fan of mushrooms.
Later friday night we went to go teach another appointment but she was
on the phone with Mexico so we re-scheduled, and went to meet the
member we were with's friend. His name is Alberto. They had some crazy
ideas about our church, and were pretty negative towards us
Missionaries because we were suits all day, and they never see us
"working". So we helped them better understand that we are volunteers,
have our missions paid for by our families or ourselves, and then we
were able to better help him and his wife understand what our church
believes. Of course they are staunch catholics just like every
hispanic but they listened to what we said.
After, we walked outside and saw a Blue Moon - so thats pretty sweet.
First time i've ever seen a Blue Moon in my life I think.
Saturday we got a phone call during studies, and had 15 minutes notice
to go help some people move some pianos - probably the 3rd time i've
moved a piano in my mission. And only once i've seen one get damaged
(it wasn't me haha). We had dinner at Teton Thai (A thai food
restaurant) and I had some red curry with chicken, it was actually
really good just spicy (even after having all the spicy mexican food
That night we taught a members daughter (shes less active), shes like
16 so hard to teach - anyone at that age wants nothing to do with
religion so its tough. My companion is good at card tricks so he said
if you figure out the trick we wont teach you but if she couldn't we
would teach her all the missionary lessons. Of course she couldnt
figure it out, but she fell right into the trap haha. Shes pretty much
been less active her whole life and shes going downhill so we hope the
lessons can help her get back on her feet.
Sunday we had church, and I had the priviledge of translating this
week. Its pretty tough but i'm getting the hang of it...But when this
lady was talking about her dream during testimony meeting I had no
idea what she was saying. We translate into English for some of the
people there that aren't fluent (wives of hispanics, kids, etc) After
church we had lunch at a members house and they are a really cool
family. One of the Dads there works for the airport in Jackson and
gets free buddy passes to anywhere in the world and they basically
told us we can come back after the mission and fly anywhere we want,
pretty flippin sweet. And the family is really nice, friendly and just
fun to be around. They have a son on a mission as well so they love
having missionaries over.
They also told me the Texans won their playoff game, which as awesome
as it is - I'm kinda bummed the first time the Texans make the
playoffs I'm on a mission, lame.
Also found out at church that since I'm related to Becky Muench (shes
originally a Beard) I'm related to like all of the Teton Valley -
crazy. Everyone here is related as well so that just makes the
Sunday night we set up appointments, talked with this one lady who
works at the gas station (Lori) who my companion helped get to a
baptismal date - but now she got passed on to the English Elders
because thats the way it goes, which kinda stinks.
Anyways, the work here is good and going strong. We might have a
baptism this month, but will definetly have one in February - we're
very hopeful for how this area can grow. I hope all the family is well
at home. If you want some snow, theres plenty here in Driggs to go
Love all of you guys,
(P.S. Sorry the emails long - but thats everything that went on this week!)
Well I guess my welcome to Driggs is accompanied with a swollen lip
and an appointment to get a root canal done.
My last week in Rexburg we had a few lessons but it mostly consisted
of saying goodbye to the members and investigators.
Wednesday was the day we transferred and it was a really long day. Not
to mention that was the first day in a while it started snowing real
bad...When we got to Victor (where we live, its right next to driggs)
I unpacked and we went to work...Oh ya and on the way to Driggs there
was a "schawnns man" (ice cream truck) stuck in the snow so we helped
another truck pull him out - and he gave us ice cream. For the first
part of the day, I just got to meet some of the investigators were
working with. Also tried a "ghost pepper"...it was a little watered
down but its the hottest pepper in the world. That being said, I could
handle it but my nose started draining. Later that night we had a ward
christmas party and my health teacher from BYU-I was there, I dont
know if she recognized me or not but definetly did a double-take when
she looked at me. After we went to an old lady's house and basically
just were here company for a bit, shes a lonely lady and she said she
loved having missionaries stop by and see how shes doing.
Thursday we had two really good lessons, one with a guy named Vicente
and his wife and then with Minerva, both are hopefuls for baptism.
There are like 8-11 people here that are really close to getting
baptized just little things stand in the way (marriage/disagreements
with spouse). We had an awesome branch member going teaching with us
and he took us to Burger King for dinner.
Friday we had a zone meeting in Ashton so we used a lot of miles
getting there...had lunch at this train-station restaurant called
Brakeman. Someone paid for all the missionaries meals...Got the
package from Mitch & Kayla - excited to open it up on Christmas. Had
another ward christmas party, then we went out with another member
from the branch and had a lesson with a guy named Claudio, hes really
stubborn even though he knows the church is true. Apparently here in
this area we can be out till 10:30 since most the hispanics work late.
Saturday we had a christmas breakfast in one of the Wards. Then we
went and set up for a community activity that Driggs was having for
the less fortunate. It was basically a christmas party so that the
kids can have fun and get presents. Most of the volunteers werent
members so we had some opportunities getting our face out there, one
lady even asked us if she could ever call us for help and that might
turn into a referral for the english Elders here. One thing about this
area is, the members arent really big fans of the English Elders so
they try to get us to come over instead, they call them the "white
boys". Even though me and my companion, Elder Oler, are white haha.
This is a day when my tooth started really hurting...Also at this
activity there were lots of hispanics so we saw investigators and
members. Oh we also live on a members ranch in one of the houses, so
we see/smell a lot of farm things, but the members are really sweet.
Their name is the Bagley's...they've been getting us gifts for each
day, 12 days before christmas. I've already gotten a chocolate bar,
socks, little gloves, and beef jerky. I had also gotten a phone call
to give a talk this sunday, so I wrote that...
Sunday. Oh what a crazy day, my tooth at this point had really been
hurting, and because of that I didnt get a whole lot of sleep, I also
felt sick. To top it off, we did a whole lot at church. In the morning
we met with the Branch Presidency and the Branch President said he had
a brother from Houston, then he said his brother had lived in Katy and
worked for ConocoPhillips so maybe Dad knows him (Lyle Rowbury). So
that was pretty weird...So in church we set up the sacrament, blessed
the sacrament, translated into English for those that need it (really
nerve-wracking), we gave talks and they also asked me to give the
closing prayer haha. So after being exhausted, our next class, gospel
principles, we gave the lesson on the spot. Lets just say our branch
isnt that very big, we have sacrament in the Relief Society room.
Members commented on how quiet I was but really it was just because I
was in pain/sick. We stopped by some members house before we went to
another sacrament meeting to make sure our investigator went (to an
English ward) and they gave me some decongestants thinking my pain was
because of my sinuses. After sacrament, a Sister told us her mom had
an accident and was in the hospital. So we went to see the lady, shes
a funny one. They said after she fell and hit her head, she was
bleeding but tried to hide it and just go to church...She wasn't a fan
of the hospital either. Shes in like her 90's and still works with the
cattle and is really active. She had to get stitches so we were there
at the hospital with her for a bit. Then the family that was there
invited us over for lunch so we were there for a bit. Then we had our
dinner with a branch member, and they had shrimp (I had some in
Rexburg, not a big fan) So she asked if I liked shrimp and all I did
was tell her the truth haha. Haven't had much of a problem with the
hispanic food otherwise...By then my teeth were hurting so bad I could
barely chew. Anyways we went to our lesson with Janet and Marcos
(sweet investigators we have) and it went good, they just need to get
married before they can get baptized. Their kids are already members.
But ya thats about it for this past week, other than today I woke up
and my top lip was swollen like 4x the normal size. And it was also
pushing one of my teeth out of place (the one thats infected) so we
went to the doctor, then dentist and scheduled my root canal for
friday. Thats about it though, theres tons of snow here and the
temperature is pretty low, usually 10 degrees, its been -3 one
morning. But without the Rexburg killer wind, its not too bad.
Pictures are of me, my companion and the ward mission leader, some
missionaries from Rexburg, me at Big Jud's (famous burger restaurant),
and us with Santa Clause.
Haha so last month I just counted months i've been gone not actually
how many months i've been in the mission - sorry for the confusion, so
December 8th I will have been in the mission for 6 months. Pretty
crazy to think 1/4 of the mission has already passed by, it really
went by fast.
Tuesday we had a lesson with the Gonzalez family, whos been
progressing really well and who are really friendly. The only problem
with being there, is they love to feed us. In fact theyre very
persistent in having us eat, a lot...So I always leave feeling full or
sick. We also had a lesson with another of our progressing
investigators, Jorge. Hes really a good guy - Oh by the way, if you
see the December Ensign...Hes on the front cover. Hes David in the
picture, they added a little facial hair and took his picture - now
hes famous haha. I just cant believe our investigator is on the front
of the Ensign.
This wednesday we helped a family move, and this is probably the 5th
or 6th time i've helped someone move. Were becoming professional
movers...An elder with us used to work with his dad whos a plumber so
he tride to help fix their plumbing problem as well haha. We went over
to the Gonzalez family again and rigged up a portable dvd player so we
could watch Finding Faith in Christ in spanish (they lost their
remote). They really enjoyed it, the wife even called us and asked us
to play the movie. We were also at the eye doctor because my companion
got an eye infection.
Thursday we had a really cool experience, there was a new lady, Merna,
moved into trailers that we tract all the time. My companion felt
inspired to teach about prayer, and it turned out really well. At the
end of the lesson we invited her to pray, and she said yes quite
easily, without putting up resistance...one of the more easier times
we've had. As soon as she started to pray, she was balling. She was
really emotional during the prayer and she prayed for help for her
mom. Her mom apparently has been going through health problems so it
was really good, I felt like we were there at the right time. She was
also receptive to our message, so we hope good things can happen with
Oh and you'll never guess who I saw while we were getting gas...Uncle
Jeff! Haha at first I wasn't sure if it was him, so we went up and
asked if we could help with anything..hoping he would recognize me -
and he did! Haha it was funny to run into him, he said now that i'm in
Rexburg he'd like to have us over for dinner.
Friday - Had a lesson in the morning with an investigator, Martin,
who's uncle is an active member of our branch so we already have
someone who can fellowship him. We also talked about prayer with him,
and invited him to pray and he also prayed, really well too. Then we
had a baptismal interview, my companion is the district leader, for
one of the BYU-I's sisters golden investigators...shes from Japan.
During the interview I got a phone call and we received a referral for
someone who wants to go to the spanish branch, a non-member, so
hopefully we can work with him. Had a lesson with Jorge again, and now
that we have a baptismal date with him were trying to help him receive
a testimony so he can be baptized.
Saturday we had a BYU-I student go out with us in the morning but no
one was home so it didn't go the very best, then we had the baptism
for the girl from Japan, Hisami, and it was really good - I felt like
I was back in Asia though, about 50 students came and probably 90% of
them were japanese. Later we had a lesson with Jeime, a guy we met
while tracting trailers, and he has been really busy and never had
much time for us but he let us come in for a bit...So we talked to him
and he seems like a normal catholic-and-dont-want-to-change
investigator but he listened and answered our questions. One thing
that stuck out to me was how he had a sign in his house about his
family being together forever...I always thought that was a mormon
principle, and it really is. But the thing is, he does believe his
family will be together forever. So thats something we are going to
better help him understand how that can happen. I've learned in
spanish work, that most hispanic food is fantastic and that soccer is
actually fun to watch but only if 1. your watching it with hispanics
or 2. its soccer in mexico. On saturday or sunday, its hard to stop
by an investigators house and futbol isnt on. We had a member from our
branch come out with us, but no one was home - seems to always happen
when we have a member with us. Earlier Saturday we also had a lesson
with a more or less...less active family who has a son getting ready
to go on a mission - so were trying to help them.
Sunday, we scrambled for a bit trying to get Jorge to come to the
spanish branch but he thought church was at 12, and its at 11 so he
didnt want to be late so we just went to the english ward. Hes been
going to the english ward with his boss's kids and it just kind of
stinks because I know in a big english ward he can hide in the back
un-noticed and really not be that involved and also not understand
everything because (he does know english) but he doesnt know how to
speak english very well. Fast and Testimony is always good at church,
I love hearing the testimonies of our branch members. Went to the
Gonzalez family after church and of course they fed us a ton - and 30
minutes later we had a dinner. So I tried to not eat TOO much...Either
way I was super full. Then after dinner we watched the Christmas
Devotional at our stake center, and it was really good. I liked seeing
the new footage of the Jesus Christ film theyre making in Utah.
Christmas is a great time of the year to remember Jesus and his birth
and life. After the devotional we had a lesson with a referral we've
been teaching, her name is Luz (Light in english). The person who
referred her said she had questions about the temple, and our 3rd time
meeting with her - I feel she really opened up because she asked us
questions and we tried to help her understand that Temples arent
secret places, but sacred ones. I told her that when they build a new
temple that everyone is allowed to go see the inside, and we have
pictures of it - and that what goes on in there isnt a secret either,
Well thats about it for this week - It hasn't been too cold up until
this week, by that I mean only in the 30's...and the snow hasn't
stayed. Its been melting on and off for a while now...But this week it
hit 20, 19 and today it was 10 degrees when we left...Yeesh, so i've
been wearing thermals and brought my coat to keep warm. Hope
everything is good at home! Enjoy the Holiday Season!
Not a whole lot has gone on in our last week - just preparations for the field. And we had in-field training here where they talked alot about working with ward missionaries and ward mission leaders which I already knew somewhat about since I had been a ward missionary before the MTC. I got pictures with my friends from the dorms at BYU-Idaho, its really cool there was probably like 6 of us. 2 are going to the philippines, another to Russia, one to El Salvador and the other to Panama. Im the only state-side in the group but I will still be able to talk to the ones going to South America, spanish is sweet. It was really cool to get letters from Paul and Amy and the kids! I understood almost all of Paul's letter in spanish too. Haha its funny who you meet here - I met an Elder, Elder Robinson, who lived in Singapore after we left...so he knew the Bywaters and Nelsons and such. He was also a friend of the McCarvel kid I knew, which I think i already told you about. But a while ago I also met an Elder from one of my EFY groups in San Antonio. Then this week I met an Elder that plays football at University of Utah. Oh ya a few weeks ago, I was in the bookstore and met an Elder from spokane who said he knew an Elder Davies, which was probably Mitch haha. Mitch, do you ever remember anyone with the last name Ward? His name was Elder Ward he said he was from like Spokane Valley. Oh and Kayla sent me amazing Cinnamon Rolls that i shared with the Elders in my room, they were so awesome - thanks so much Kayla.
Oh ya Mom that news article you sent me with the football player - sadly, I knew him pretty well. When i took summer school, he was in my speech class. So on the football team I would say hey if I ever saw him, and he played on the JV team with me. He was really good at football and a really nice / cool kid so its sad he has ruined his life. Thats 2 kids from football / high school I knew that are going to be in prison for a long time and have probably ruined their lives. It means alot to me to hear that, because I definetly know I am in the best place I can be right now and I am not messing my life but setting it off right by serving the Lord for 2 years. I just wish everyone had this same gospel giving them direction in their lives because they wouldnt end up in these messes. Oh i also dont know if you heard but they announced the first temple in France! Pretty cool to hear, the gospel is still spreading in the world. Paul and Amy, hopefully I can write back today if not you'll get a letter next week from the field. I'll send you guys my address when I get there too..
my new address will be:
Elder Joshua Lee Davies
Idaho Pocatello Mission
1246 Yellowstone Ave Ste F3
Pocatello, ID 83201-4374
Well...almost done with the MTC - Only a week left. I can really feel the anticipation of teaching real people and the responsibility that comes with that. I'm not too worried about the spanish but of saying what I need to say and letting the Lord take care of the rest. Lately we've been focusing on teaching with the spirit instead of just saying words. Hopefully I can do that in the field better. I was able to sing in the MTC choir at the last devotional it was a pretty cool experience, it was after pioneer day so we sung "Come, Come Ye Saints". And I helped Host new missionaries so I showed them where their class/residence were and got them their books. The coolest part was one of my good friends, Elder Myers, was in the very first group so just by luck I was able to host him. And then this sunday at the choir practice, i saw Elder Thomas Oettli so that was cool - I dont think he remembers me very well but I definetly remember him from Katy and seeing him at BYU-Idaho. So, I got my travel plans and i'm just getting myself mentally prepared for the mission field. I probably will end up sending some stuff home since baggage charges are so high and I really feel I need less than I have, plus I picked up probably 8 pounds in books with my espanol scriptures and preach my gospel. So sweet to see pictures of the pool and car, they both look sweet - cant wait to see them and enjoy them in 2 years, or 22 months. It was kinda funny I met an Elder in the laundry room who was going to Pocatello, ID and hes a native spanish speaker so hes only here for 3 weeks. Oh and I got a haircut at the MTC barbershop today, apparently a #4 with the buzzer is the highest they go haha, at least on the sides. Got the cards you sent Mom, thanks. Oh and hopefully you guys get the letter I sent soon, with the picture of me and Elder Johnson. I hope everythings going good at home, I pray for you guys often. I think i'll be calling home in the airport, depending on if we have time or not - the MTC doesnt have a policy on it, whatever that means. Well..be sure to keep me updated! And I want to hear how Mitch's job search goes...Thanks for the news Grandma.
So on wednesday I will have officially been here 7 weeks!! Isnt that crazy? It sure hasnt felt that long but sometimes it does feel like it goes on for a while. Lately my scripture studying has been so intense that the time for studying isnt long enough...But we are in a classroom for 8-9 hours a day so ya, you can get pretty uncomfortable. Our zone leaders and the oldest district left today so we are the oldest district, but none of us were made zone leaders. So our zone leaders have only been here for like 3-4 weeks. Things are sweet here though, I am just so excited to teach actual people instead of just our teachers as "invesigators". Even though, it is a good feeling to commit someone to baptism. So the other day I was giving a lesson and I realized I wasnt thinking about spanish at all, just about giving the lesson - which gets me really excited for when I am fluent. I've gotten to know an Elder in our zone a little better and his name is Elder Sampson, he plays football at BYU. He told me about his scholarship and how hard their practices were..he said every day he wanted to quit and give up his full ride scholarship. Thats so sweet that you guys got a new car, i'm just excited to see the pictures of it - too bad it got rearended by that guy...and also I wish I could have been able to speak with him, even if it is a little. Oh havent gotten the pants yet, I dont know whats taking them so long. Apparently July 24th is a holiday here in Utah haha I had no idea, but our mail service/haircutting place closed for the holiday, even though today is the 25th. My shoes are holding up good, dont do much walking, I also put the insert things in them but ya we really dont walk much. I think its hilarious our car is only worth $200-400. So how many cars are in our driveway now, 5? sheesh haha. Foods not really getting all that better but you just get used to it, or stick with cereal. So I was thinking the other day how everything I've done in my life has prepared me for my mission and its really cool to think about. Even something as small as morning classes in school so its not so crazy to be up at 6:30, or having morning seminary at 6. Ive gotten two or three letters from some friends but not really, its always good to get letters so yeah it would be sweet if more of my friends wrote me. Oh cool story, I told my companion how to say a simple mandarin phrase in the bathroom and an Elder corrected the phrase and when I mentioned I used to live in Singapore turns out he lived there too, he moved in after we left so he knew the Brinleys and stuff but I remember seeing his name on facebook once or twice, he was also friends with the McCarvels I knew in singapore. One of the companionships in our district has been sick continually for about 4 weeks now, one gets better and the other picks up what they had and then returns the favor. And first one of them threw up in class, and then the other Elder threw up on Sunday. Funny thing is how our Branch Presidency chews them out for staying in their room to keep the rest of the district from getting sick and to get better. Another Elder was playing a game with the older district and in the game they smack the tops of glass bottles with water in them and the bottom bursts out (dont try this at home). So ya the bottle crushed in his hand and cut his finger up, so he needed surgery and just had it done this week. So hes recovering from that. Anyway things are good here. Send the wellness vitamins and multi-vitamins
Thanks so much, Love you all
Mitch - Thanks so much for the letter
Kayla- The word for potato is "papa" haha thanks so much for the blog
How is everything? How are Mitch and Kayla in the house? How is the car problem? Its funny - days go by fast here, and they blend together. I cant say a whole lot of crazy new things happen, its mostly class after class and studying the scriptures. I have learned a lot and continue to learn so much. Earlier in the week, we were teaching in the TRC (Training Resource Center) and me and my companion asked the "investigator" where they were from. As soon as the word "Washington" came out, i asked where in washington "Donde en Washington?" She said Spokane so I got pretty excited and said my brother lives near there and my other brother served his mission there. Then i asked where in Spokane and it was crazy! She's from Royal City! So I dont know if Paul knows maybe he does but shes from the Piercey family, i never got her first name though. But it was really cool to teach someone from there - heck, thats probably why she speaks spanish is because shes from there. So yeah the 2 new missionaries in our room are really cool, theyre going to Argentina. Its funny because one is from down the street here in Provo and his dad is a branch president here so he sees him sometimes. I've seen Elder Zach Johnson twice now, once when i was at church...Gonna try and get a picture with him so you guys can see - we'll see. So its crazy to think that i've already been here for 6 weeks on wednesday! Already 2/3 of the way done - and next week I get travel plans. If we fly, then i will definetly be sending stuff home. Sent Mitch a letter today. Well just be sure to let me know how the pools going and really everything else. Enjoy the real world, real food, and taco bell haha...Oh boy, first day on the mission i will go eat some fast food. Well I hope everything is good at home
Happy Fathers Day / Pauls birthday! MTC has been awesome, I sent a letter yesterday it probably will get there soon. So Mitch going back to Texas tomorrow- crazy! Good luck with that. Thats lame that vancouver lost the NHL finals...How is everything at home? Letters help get missionaries from day to day so to get them is sweet. I've gotten all the letters you guys have sent, but a few got mixed up with the other Elder Josh Davies - but ya he left for Oklahoma recently so it wont be a problem but im really excited for him in Oklahoma, in my case I have a bit of time left - 7 weeks! haha its gonna be pretty long but ill be speaking like fluent espanol. Dad going to Paris is crazy! My district gets along really well but half of them, district leader included are leaving for Guatemala in like a week so itll be way quiet without them. Plus we'll need a new district leader. Oh this weekend we have a new mission president meeting at the MTC and the prophet, some apostles and those mission presidents will be here. Its gonna be crazy because one whole building we wont be allowed to go in. But we may be like walking down the hall and see an apostle haha. We havent had anyone crazy for a devotional yet, our last devotional was the primary president. I kind of expect better things out of missionaries so it was dissapointing when an Elder two rooms down from ours had $140 stolen from his room, so were careful to lock up alot-just hope we dont get locked out being too careful haha. Im not sure about my missionary plaque Mom, i think you may want to talk to the Ward secretary about it. They wont need a picture taken and I couldnt send one anyway haha. So i kind of wish there was an Elder MTC and a Sister MTC because some Elders are really distracted by some of the sisters. And some Sisters are just ridiculous when they are flirting with Elders. Good to hear about the car grandma! hope it works out well, it served me really well. And we had it fixed up so it should be really good for a while. So they give us gym time 5 times a week and its really fun but some Elders get hurt in basketball because it gets so rough. So i try to just stay on the upstairs part where the track is and run and do some working out. Ive seen probably 8 or 9 Elders i knew at BYU-Idaho and it almost feels more at home here when it comes to friends because at home they were all at college. That being said I miss you guys so much!! Sometimes its even hard to think about because it distracts me a bit...Well times almost up sending emails, Good luck in the real world and know that I am always missing you guys, Stay in touch. Oh ya if you send emails to dearelder.com its free and it comes to me as mail so i can read them any day of the week, but letters are still awesome!