Sunday, January 25, 2015


Hi Mom! Glad to hear everyone is well and no more sickness! Our baptism for "B" will happen this Saturday! We are meeting with him every day now to prepare him but he is so ready already. It's pretty cool to work with him and see him grow! He is so open and willing to change. He tells us every time we meet how much he is being blessed by living the gospel and we can tell he is a much better person. He knows this church is true and he has given up a lot to become a member. It will be Elder C's 1st baptism and my first confirmation! We are so excited!! 

The ward here is very small but covers a huge area. Which means we have a lot of work to do! Yak 2nd does an ok job at feeding us compared to Duportail but we're just fine :) We have lots of food places (Subway, Taco Bell, etc) and a Fred Meyer close in case we need something and then food at home to eat of course. We are doing fine :) 

That's a great idea to print out all our email correspondence and pictures and compile it! I love it! It will be a great thing to go back through afterwards! That way I don't have to do so also haha! I can just delete all the messages in my account so I don't have to worry about it later! They only keep our accounts open a week after we return home so... THANK YOU!! That will be great to record all that :) 

Look what I found in my notebook the other day!

Elder "C."


Hey Mom! Yeah, I've come to find that first impressions are not good. I am having a great time here now. I'm not sure how long I really want to stay here but we are doing well! Mostly all we do is tract and street contact. We don't have many investigators but we just started teaching a guy named "B" who is scheduled to be baptized on Jan 24th! We're pretty excited! I'll tell you more in a letter. Elder "C" and I get along really well. He and I are really similar. I look forward to your package! Grandma sent me a couple  hand warmers and I should be fine. At least for now. Winters here are cold but pretty dry. My gloves are great and very warm. That's pretty exciting to be able to go to the temple! I will probably go in about a couple months. Here's some pictures!! I have a lot to send... Love you! Letter will be better ;)

I think I'm adjusting thanks to this wonderful service! ;)

Here's me petting a horse!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Transferred to Yakima!

Hey Mom! 

Things are going well! Yakima is crazy but I am just fine :) I'm in the area that has the reputation of being the sketchiest place in the mission but.... despite that I am having a good time. I've already heard gunshots and seen lots of things I don't usually want to. The ward I'm in now is a huge area. We're the only area in this zone without a car. We get to cover it all on foot. LUCKY us! Half of the area is SUPER destitute and scary. We aren't allowed to go past a certain point past dark by order of President Ware. Not sure what to think of this place yet but I'm just along for the ride and I know this is where I need to be! I miss Duportail ward but I know I will try to visit someday. It feels like home there now haha My companion is Elder "C" from Queen Creek, AZ.

Glad you guys enjoyed everything in the package that I sent! And glad that you were able to get the jury duty thing figured out! (Elder B had received a jury summons for the city municipal court). We are e-mailing at the library right now and we only get 1 hour on their computers so hopefully we can go to the FHC next time so I can e-mail longer. I look forward to a reply letter! I love you! Have a great week!

***Hopefully next week he'll send me some pictures!***

December 2014 Letter excerpts

Dear Mom,

Thank you for getting me your new phone number so I'll be sure to have it on Christmas.  Of course, ya'll will probably be at grandma's, so I'll most likely call there if I need to but hopefully a skype will be possible!  I can call and confirm things "day of" if I need to, right? :o)  I'm not too worried if Sterling can get the set up going.  We may visit other families possibly, but we will probably be hanging out with the "H" family most of the day and we will be able to skype from there.

It is crazy that on Jan 2nd I will be 1/4th done with my mission!  Does it seem like I've been gone a long time?  It doesn't feel that long to me.  It feels like I've been out a month!  Then I realize that it is almost January now and it feels so weird.  What a time warp!  I can't believe it.  I'm speculating big changes soon.  It's not typical to be in an area longer than 6 months.  I may get moved soon!  Be sure to send everything to the mission office!  And if anyone else plans on sending anything to me...mission office it is!  Something that can happen sometimes is "emergency transfers" that can happen unexpectedly at any time.  You never know.

Christmas box from home!

I enjoyed the Christmas devo!  We ate dinner at the M's house that night and we were late so we missed the first talk but it was still great!  We watched it at the Stake Center.  We really enjoyed the music the best!  Oh!  Not to mention Pres. Eyring and I were wearing the same tie!  The other missionaries were jealous and Elder G said he wanted my autograph, ha ha!  I had gotten that tie really cheap at Goodwill my first month out.  Oh man!  I spent a little $$ last temple p-day on some very nice ties at various stores.  I am proud of my tie collection now.  I didn't buy TOO much....but my collection is growing.  My favorite one is a blue "Pierre Cardin" brand with a pocket square.

My new companion, Elder L, and I are somehow seeing a lot of success! We are definitely being watched over and guided by the Lord to go and do what He would have us do.  Crazy things happen everyday!  We'll be knocking on doors and all of a sudden we'll find an investigator from another area who is in our area visiting family or some exchanged student girl who is lost will come up to us asking for directions when a member of our Bishopric shows up and is able to help us direct her to her home, which we later find out is close to our church bld, and she's staying with an LDS host family.  Both of those things happened yesterday after church!

 Elder B and Elder L!

I'll tell you about Elder L.  He is from Utah.  Everyone calls him "Lurch"! ha ha.  He came out with me on the same plane but we only briefly met because our travel group was so large.  He is about 1/2 a year younger than I am.  He's a very good missionary with a strong spiritual side and a large testimony.  I love being in lessons  with him.  He is very good at teaching and testifying and he always brings the spirit into people's homes.  At times he is "life of the party" crazy, and other times he's super serious.  Elder L is a good friend and we are having a good time.

I think it's pretty crazy that my mission will be split!  I wonder if I'll be in the WKM still or in the Yakima mission?  That would be interesting....I guess there will be a public announcement on Wednesday the 17th.  Watch for it!  Oh! a new rule in our mission is that we aren't allowed to help anyone move if they are members of the church.  If there is an investigator that needs help then we have to call the ZL's  to have them get in contact with the Senior couple Missionaries who are over service so that they can "okay" the move for Elders to help.  If things are too heavy, or if it seems too dangerous then we are not supposed to help.

Our investigator, "C", is on date for December 27th and it will be solid. :o)  We also have another man and his wife on date for Jan 3rd.  They are doing awesome.

Wow, we had a great day yesterday!  We had a very spiritual sacrament meeting.  It was all about Christmas and the ward choir sang songs.  There were some great musical numbers.  One that was spectacular was by Sister "D" and Sister "C".  Then Sister "H" and Sister "C" read from the scriptures.  We also had "C" be interviewed for baptism last night by Elder G and she passed!  So, Saturday it is!
 "Baptism anticipation" during "C's" interview! ha ha

I will tell you more on Thursday when we get to talk!  See ya then!

I love you!  Merry Christmas!

November pictures

Lots of Halloween Candy!

Elder J's candy:

Elder B. pointing out his mission on the big map (he was supposed to do this at the MTC, but didn't.  A ward member has this big map in their home, so he took advantage of the photo op he missed at the MTC! 

Birthday box (except, he opened it early....they were bored on Halloween!)

Sticky ball from Sarah!

I mustache you a question! --Mustache's from Nathan 

20 years old!

Elder J celebrating 2 years of mission life!

P-day hike on Badger Bump!

Church building

Last picture with Elder J before he went home

Box from home, and a box from the Lake Mary Ward YM/YW

Pet Monkey (that's a ROOT beer bottle!).  He sings "I Wanna Hold Your hand"

Saturday, January 3, 2015

November 2014 letter excerpts

***Things have been busy and I kinda got behind.  Trying to play catch-up***

Dear Mom,
     I am officially done with 1/6th of my mission! ha ha.  Lots of things have happened/are happening to us, so I'm sorry if it's been a while since I sent a letter.  We are losing people to teach left and right for various reasons. (For Investigator Privacy reasons, I will leave out the details since this is a public blog).  We have various other less-active members we are working with, but we have 4 "official" investigators that we are super excited for!  I don't know if I've told you about the "B" family yet...we were looking for a part-member family at a particular address that was being rented to them by members of the church.  Turns out that they moved, though.  The Landlord was there cleaning and fixing the place (this was my first "official" day out here in Richland).  We were a little disappointed that they left, but later we were out walking and we saw that someone new had moved in!  Turns out to be our most "golden" investigators with a baptism date of December 6th!  The family is a single mother ("C") with 4 children...."A" (13 years old), "L" (9 years old), "A" (7 years old) and "K" (3 years old). She has the kids most of the time, but they go with their dad on weekends.  We began teaching them and we were surprised at how receptive they all are to learning about the gospel.  They have spiritual beliefs because they've been to churches in the past (that didn't treat them very well, though).  They were a little hesitant to come to our services, but since the kids were going to be with their mom on the last weekend of the month, they decided to give it a try.   They loved it so much that "C" said she would come the next week by herself if her kids couldn't!  They all knew so many people there already, and our ward did such a perfect job of introducing and fellowshipping!  The kids are so sharp, and so good.  I've never seen kids like this.  Elder J and I are blown away at how mature they all are.  "L" is a spiritual giant and the things that come out of her mouth sometimes are super startling.  It's like she's known everything all along!  We love them so much and we are so excited for them. :o)  Before they came to church, we prayed that their dad would let them go to church because "C" didn't feel comfortable trying it out without her kids.  We asked them to pray also, and for a while it didn't seem like it would work.  Lo and behold though, we get a text from "C" on November 2nd saying that they were all coming...he let them go!

Thank you for the "Mormon Messages" DVD!  We've already been able to use it in lessons!  The "B" family really liked the ones we showed.  We showed them "Lessons I learned as a boy" from Gordon B. Hinckley, and they really resonated with it.  They were like, "Can we watch another one please?"  That is one that has always helped me to be able to feel the spirit very strongly (and Elder J also).  It made us so happy to share it with them and help them feel the spirit.  If you can, I'd really like the 2nd Mormon Messages DVD if possible.  I think it has even more on it and there's a broader range of topics and better videos to choose from.  It can't be too expensive.  I love being able to show videos to people!  It makes me super jealous of the missionaries with online proselyting.  It would help our mission so much if we had ipads.

To help alleviate the loss of much to do in the afternoons, our mission began using the "Just" program.  I don't know if your ward has had a third hour meeting about that yet, but we had a zone meeting about it and then a third hour Sunday meeting about it a month later.  It basically lays out a bunch of community service opportunities in your local area.  That's what we've been doing up on "Badger Bump" (Mountain).  There's a man named "J" who is spearheading a massive project to create a nature walking path up there and it's all volunteer work.  We do lots of different things up there.  We go once a week for about 3 hours and then we go eat lunch somewhere.  We got picked up by Elder "G" and Elder "R" and then there's usually a set of the Sister missionaries that go as well on our assigned day.  It's a lot of work, but he brings us cookies every time at least! ha ha.  They want us doing 10 hours of service a week to fully utilize "Just Serve" but we're not seeing 10 hours of service a week quite yet.
Badger "Bump"

It stinks because after you sent me that music, our DVD player started to refuse to play any CD's or DVD's.  We have a memory card/USB port on it that is fine so we can't ask for a new one yet, but it's not like we have a lot to watch anyway!  You wouldn't believe how many times the missionaries here play "Let it Go"! ha ha.  It's pretty much the top song right now.  I'll have to send you some videos I have recorded sometime.  I'm like the only Missionary who has seen "Frozen" out here and everyone is excited to see it.

Oh man....we are on fire this week!  We committed the "B" family to baptism, we found a new investigator named "A", and just hopefully committed a less active named "K" to come to Stake Conference this weekend!  Our prayers are working!  My first Zone leaders on my mission told me that when I get to the point where I come home EVERY night passed out and ready for bed that I'm no longer "green" and that my mission is really starting.  Well, I think I'm to that point! ha ha

Elder Daniel L. Johnson will be coming to our Stake Conference this weekend (11/8 & 9).  We will also have Elder Arnold of the seventy come to our mission later this month for a Zone Conference.  It'll be after transfers.  I will have a new companion because Elder J goes home right before Thanksgiving.  We're trying to stay as focused as possible so he doesn't get trunky, but next week will be a struggle.  Could be interesting! ha ha.  After he is gone, I could even train a new missionary should they give me that responsibility.  I'm a little nervous to see what happens.  I hope my new companion is great!

Well, Stake Conference was great!  We had a Zone meeting (these occur monthly) on Saturday and Elder Daniel Johnson came in while we were eating lunch at the Stake Center.  President Powell (Richland Stake President) was showing him around.  He talked to us for a minute and shook our hands and asked us all where we were from.  Always cool to meet a General Authority!  Most of Stake  Conference was about the "My Family" family history booklet.  It was something Flagstaff Stake has gone over many times already, but it was still good.  "K" didn't come to Stake Conference, but "R" (another less-active member) came to church on Sunday.

Well, our DVD player works now!  Our appliances are weird.  Our microwave has been doing weird things.  Luckily we have a very nice toaster oven, too.  As far as stuff for Christmas goes, YES--Institute manuals would be cool!  I don't really need a whole lot honestly.  Just continued support--ha ha!  But any books written by General Authorities on doctrinal topics would be helpful.  Also, any DVD with the official church logo on it would make me happy.  I don't need a lot, but hopefully there's some ideas for ya!  I have to bring all the junk I accumulate on my mission home at some point as well, so definitely keep that in mind! ha ha.  Yes, I had a good Birthday.  It was definitely a different birthday being on  a mission, but I only have to endure one more. :o)  The ward had a huge "Goodbye to Elder J" party yesterday (11/16) which was super fun!  Close to the whole ward came to talk to him and wish him luck going home.  I will send some pictures next week to you of the gathering.

Tell me about the Phoenix Temple dedication!  Who presided over it?  That would've been cool to attend.  Who are you teaching piano to?  Darn--I just saw the Wares!  I would've told Sister Ware "Hi" for Sister Lakey but we had interviews with them before your letter came.  The Ware's are amazing!  Thank you for your spiritual thought!  I really like that poem.  Wow.  Elder J and Elder M (my Zone leader) just left for the mission home.  We got one last picture and now I am officially "greenie-busted"!  Now Elder "L" and I will have to figure things out....pray for us! ha ha!

Well, Elder L and I had our first day together yesterday and he is a spiritual giant.  He is great and I am super excited for our time here!  We have lots of goals and hopes for this area and we work well as a team so far!

I was with Elder M and Elder M at the Ostler Mansion on Monday afternoon until Wednesday morning transfers.  Tuesday was super full with 5 teaching appointments all in a row and 2 dinner appointments! ha ha.  That was a great day and it helped me grow a lot too!!  We even had free Dominoes Pizza because a random member of the church came and paid for us!  There's so many cool things that happen on a mission and I feel like there will be so many more great things to come!  I love you, mom!  Until next time!

~Elder B.