Friday, October 24, 2014

Blogger is psycho.....

Sorry again...I just saw that another old post got emailed out.  I'm not sure what's going on!!!!?!!!!!  Weird.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Latest letter

****Sorry to those of you who receive email updates...I don't know why, but I think one of my old posts from 2012 (about gophers) got emailed out recently.  Weird!****

Dear Mom,
     Hey, how has your week been?  We've had a great one!  We had members present at all of our lessons!  We only had 6, but it's better than none.  We've had to drop a couple of investigators unfortunately because they just aren't progressing.

     To answer your question about what a typical day for us is like:  Our week goes Monday to Sunday.  Monday is P-day (preparation day) of course.  We are up at 6:30 every morning and our morning schedule is usually the same with breakfast and showers from 7 to 8am.  Personal study from 8 to 9 and companion study from 9 to 10.  We are in walking distance to the family History Center, so we usually head over at about 9:30 to get computers before all the other missionaries get there! ha ha  We're there from about then to whatever time it is when our hour and a half is up.  Then we go to lunch either at Costa Vida or Subway.  Then we shop at Walmart or goodwill or wherever we want to go (there is not much to choose from).  Then we sit around watching people play basketball at the Stake Center until dinner time.  Members usually bring food to us at 5 or 5:30.  We have an hour for lunch and dinner.  We're supposed to be back out proselyting at about 6pm.  Then we have to be home at 9pm or else 9:30 if we're still in a lesson.  Then we plan for the next day and go to bed at 10:30.  Other days we proselyte most of the day, but when I was in training we would take an hour for that from 10 to 11am.  We have a 12 week training booklet for that.  Now we just have lunch at 10 to 11 and get out to our proselying area. It takes about half an hour to walk to the area.  In the afternoon, we usually don't have anything to do so we walk around trying to talk to people or we knock on doors.  Both are basically useless, though.  Elder Johnson has tracted out the area twice and I'm on my second time.  Literally no one wants to talk to us.  Most of the people are older and set in their ways.  Not too many people moving in or out.  ALSO, we have the rule of not being able to go into a home without a male over 16 present, so we can't even see most members because all the men are at work or teenagers are at school.  We really struggle during the afternoon times but we usually have somewhere to go/something to do in the evenings.  We have dinners with members at 5 or 6 and then a lesson with investigators later.  We just got a new program started up though called "Just Served" where we will have planned community service times.

10/15/14--Tomorrow is Thursday and we are going to do some of that service tomorrow as a zone up on Badger Mountain (affectionately nicknamed "Badger Bump").  I'll tell you about that later after it happens.....

     Friday is our weekly planning day.  We do normal studies and then start our 7-hour weekly planning!  Woo hoo! (If you look at PMG pg 147, that is the outline for it).  We just had a specialized training on that to be more in-depth and take a LOT LONGER......ha ha.  Sundays, we have Ward Council at 8am and church at 11am.  our Stake changes church times with the school year, so we were at 9am (with Ward Council at 7am) for a while but luckily we're at 11am now!  The reasoning behind the whole "Just Served" thing was to help us find stuff to do in the slow afternoon times when not a whole lot is going on.  I don't know why there's no one suggesting online proselyting but I made sure to mention that to President Ware in my weekly email on Monday :o).  Realistically, there isn't going to be service opportunity EVERY DAY, but they want it to be so that we serve for 2 hours a day (10 hours a week).

     Oh man, the members here are GREAT!!!!  Sister Morningstar just gave us some pumpkin pie tonight after our lessons!!!! :o)

      Glad to hear Dad's truck is running smooth and thank you for the Temple book, CD, and funeral info! It was great to get it all.

     Yah, it's really easy for people to get marijuana here.  There's so many drug infested homes here.  Not always pleasant to knock on those doors....we are definitely protected though!

     As far as my birthday goes, you should definitely send Reeses pumpkins!!!  It would be cool to get a letter/hear from via email from anyone possible (family especially)!  And, I don't know if there's something, anything you can send that will help me with missionary work, by all means, send it!  I will be happy.  I'm focused on the work and trying to do my best.  If there are books to help me learn the scriptures or the gospel in general, or some music I could listen to, or...OH!!!  The Mormon messages dvd's would be super handy for dinner thoughts and things!  I don't know, surprise me!

     Scary to hear about your near death experiences!  Stay constantly in tune with the spirit to help you watch out!  (Not that you have a hard time doing that....) but everyone can do better!  I know I can...chapter 4 of Preach My Gospel is all about learning to recognize the spirit.  It's one of my favorite chapters!

    A theme Elder J. and I have noticed lately is the concept of faith vs. fear.  It seems like so many people have no faith and live off of fear. I feel like fear is something the adversary tries to get me with.  If he can get you to be afraid of doing missionary work, then he's won.  For awhile I was in kind of a silent panic, like "What have I gotten myself into?" or "How do I do this?" but lately I've learned to trust in Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father that they are our companions in this work and we aren't alone ever.  It's been much easier and more enjoyable to be on a mission when you get into that mindset.

    I will write letters to the kids this week.  Sorry, this last p-day was super busy, and there were new missionaries in our zone who wanted to talk to me.

I love you!  Can't wait to hear back! :o)

Elder B.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

"Domesticated Elder"

I just received this short email and picture from Br. W. this evening (a member of the ward that Elder B. serves in).  This family is wonderful....they feed my son and Elder J. on a regular basis.  During the hot summer months, they keep a small fridge stocked with cold drinks for the Elders so they can stop in and get a drink when they need to (this is a walking car or bikes).  Br. W. also sends me pictures from time to time.  I'm so grateful for this family!!!!
Br. W. titled this picture "Domesticated Elder"! ha ha
"He insisted on helping with dishes after dinner!  What an Elder!  :)
He's awesome."

~The 'W' family

Monday, October 13, 2014

This week's pictures:

Here's a great meal provided by Sister "A" in our ward after 7 hours of weekly planning this last Friday. She spoiled us good with Zips burgers/fish 'n' chips, halloween candy, soda and ice cream!!

Here's where I am every Monday!
 This is the Family History Center where we e-mail. This was from last week.

Here's p-day at the stake center!   
(meWere you studying instead of playing b-ball?!!!! ;o) // Elder B.: Yyyyyyyep!)

Here's some background on what Duportail is! 
All the street names in this area are named after generals.


I Love you mom!!!!!!! :) <3 have a great week!
Meet the Mormons

Listen to this! Elder J. and I had this happen. Yesterday we were feeling kinda discouraged after tracting a bit and all of a sudden this car drives by real quick and we hear the word "Mormons" as it drives by. We just assume someone is yelling hate at us again, but then it turns around and comes back. There's this guy in it that yells "Hey! Are you guys mormons?" Elder Johnson and I are like, "Yep! We sure are!" and he says "I just got back from that Meet the Mormons movie! Have you guys seen it? It was great! I had you guys pegged all wrong! I have the utmost respect for you now! You missionaries keep up the great work and Praise Jesus! God bless!" Then he drove off real quick and we were like almost running after him like "Thank you! Hey wait! What's your name? Where do you live? Do you wanna get baptized????? hahaha lol It was pretty cool. We don't know who he was but the movie has touched someone already! How cool is that?

Meet the Mormons preview on the sidebar>>>>>>>>>>>

Monday, October 6, 2014

Yay, it's Monday!

"Hey! Can't wait to get my book and letter! :) Yep! We just got the transfer call on Sunday morning that we're both staying.  I'm very glad that I am staying.  I'm no longer in training now and we are excited for our next transfer together. Is that a song from 'Meet the Mormons'? (I sent him a copy of the song from the movie) Is MTM going to play in Flagstaff?

"Thanks for the pictures! We had a great time watching conference this weekend! We watched them all at the stake center except for the Sun Morning one with the 'W' family and 'C'. This conference was powerful! Did you see all of it?

"Here's another picture of Elder R. and I on our exchange this week. He came to my area and Elder J. went to theirs."

(This was a short email...he writes more in snail mail! We also send little emails back and forth (one liners mostly), but nothing that would really qualify as blog fodder! ha ha)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sunday morning session of Conference with the "W" family

We enjoyed having the Elders over for Breakfast and to watch the morning session of conference today.  Biscuits and gravy, conference then playing a skittle game with the kids.

We love having them in our home.  We were also able to hear, with them, that they both will be staying in our ward through this transfer so Elder J. will finish his mission here.  We are excited for that blessing to have them both another six weeks.

Thank you for sharing your sons with us,

Love the "W" family.

Now that I'm feeling less lazy about typing, here are some excerpts from Elder B's  September 1st letter:

"Every other transfer we have a zone conference and in-between we have a temple trip.  We will hopefully get to go pretty soon!

"Yes, we are close to some baptisms hopefully.  "D" is someone I've told you about who is just about there.  We've taught him all the lessons almost, so once everything is done he will be baptized!  We are also waiting for "M's" baptism.  She is a 9 year old foster daughter who just needs a baptism date and will be baptized by a boy in their family who is 16 years old.  It will count for our key indicators though because we were the ones who taught her the lessons.  We also just had a breakthrough with "L" last night.  She expressed many interesting things to us.  She's been to church and we've been giving her reading to do each week.  She expressed to us that she was glad we come visit her and talk to her.  She is grateful for someone that seems to care and for people from a church that are very Christlike and aren't afraid to answer hard questions.  She really is a seeker of truth and that is who we are on the hunt for.  She comes from a Lutheran church that told her not to ask questions and seek deeper truth, so she appreciates that we aren't afraid to answer her questions and have things make sense.  She has told us many times that things are making sense as she's reading the Book of Mormon and she used to be someone who thought that it was evil because it "added to the Bible".  We really have seen the light of Christ in her life.  She needed help with her lawn once and we were there for her to mow down her weeds so she didn't have to pay a huge fine.  She lives in an HOA.  She was very impressed with that, and that I think was the start of things.  We expressed to her that we were always there for her and she trusts us now.  She has always had family problems, and also visits from dark spirits.  She is divorced and has a few grown up children.  A member of the church blessed her home to protect her from dark influences and she has had no problem since.  I can tell she's on the right track.  Last night she expressed that she's always had a sort of sense of spiritual discernment, but she's excited to see what comes to her after receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost if she decides to be baptized!!!!!  Elder J and I nearly jaw-dropped!!! ha ha.

"Our area is super small and Elder J has already knocked on every door now, but that just means it's time to start again!  Tracting is basically useless and I can't wait until we get online proselyting!  I think it would help our work a lot.... It would hopefully give us an hour on facebook anyways! ha ha.  There isn't a whole lot to do in our area, but we have great members who feed us every night. There are some very awesome families here. A strange thing about this area though, is some of the "men" here.  I've noticed that many of them are pretty immature, obnoxious and rude.  Some are very kind, but rough and tough.  Men who are rude to their wives and argue with them in our presence at dinner, or who go a little too far in their teasing of their children (or us, even).  Sometimes even having crazy expectations of missionaries.  It's reinforced to me how important being a mature, kind family man is.  I will never treat a wife or kids that way.  On a brighter note, I bought a Disney tie at goodwill today! ha ha.  I can't wear it right now, but I'll have it for after my mission.  I love you and can't wait to hear from you!"