Monday, May 23, 2016

week #18 - Butt dialing to share a copy of the Book of Mormon!

I'm kind of at a loss as to what I should talk about this week! So,
sorry if it's a disappointment!

Not much has really changed or happened this week! Elder Hougland and
I experienced some wonderful rain and mud for a couple of days while
biking (as you'll notice in some pictures). So that was pretty
exciting! People have been extremely nice to us this week as well,
which has been a blessing.

Yesterday, while coming home from church, there was a pretty sweet
looking Lamborghini that Elder Hougland, Izro, and I took pictures of
while we were stopped. "One day...", I told myself. Also, there is a
picture of some geese and their adorable children. :)

There was a lady that called us at 11:30pm Monday night, and we didn't
answer our phone. It was too late, and we were mad that it woke us up
haha. Called her back the next day, and she was wondering why we were
calling her, and how we got her phone number. After we told her who we
were, she pretty much hung up haha. On Tuesday, while we were biking,
I accidentally butt dialed her. We stopped when she called us back.
She asked why we called again, and explained the situation. She then
asked us what made our religion so different from others, and we were
able to teach her about the Book of Mormon over the phone! She asked
for a copy too! We sent her information to the missionaries in her
area, so I hope she likes what she reads!

We were blessed to be trained by Elder Zepallos, a member of The
Seventy, and his wife this Thursday. They are wonderful spirits, and
truly love those that they are able to serve. Their stories for
conversion were amazing as well. The one story I liked the most
though, was one Elder Zepallos told. He explained that his son, who as
about ten at the time, had been bugging his father to go hiking up a
hill near their home for a few Saturday's in a row. Elder Zepallos is
from Northern Chile (Antefogasta was where he presided just a few
years ago!), and the sun was brutal during the day. He told his son,
after his persistence and pleading, that he would go only if they
awoke at 6:00am to begin the hike. He was sure his son would forget to
go after a week had gone by, so he hadn't mentioned it at all, and set
no alarms. His son woke him up at 6:15am to get ready for the day
ahead. He said they had a fun time, and the hike was a memory he
wouldn't forget. When they reached the top of the hill, to his remorse
and his son's excitement, there was an even taller hill just behind
the one they had just climbed. His son begged for them to arise even
earlier the next Saturday to climb the second hill. The story goes on,
but a principle, and a very profound statement came from a little boy
who answered a fairly simple question from his father. "Son, what did
you learn from the hike?" "It was fun dad! If we had never climbed the
first hill, we would have never known there was a bigger, taller one
behind it."

Again, I love you all and am grateful for the love and support! Please
have a good week!

Monday, May 16, 2016

week #17 week 2 in Polaris

Week two in Polaris! It hasn't gone the way I've expected it to by any
means. Was definitely sick during the middle of the week. Elder
Henderson (our District Leader's, Elder Gardner, companion) and I were
sick together for a couple of days. Elder Hougland and Elder Gardner
went out and tracked and taught a few lessons during those days. On
the bright side of everything, I got my bike! It's so much better than
the "too good to be true," freed bike.

The biggest takeaway I feel that I was able to gain from Zone
Conference, or what hit me the most, was something that Elder Dildine
said: "The Atonement is more than a blanket of grace. It is a one on
one guide and tutor that allows us to fully rely on Jesus Christ." As
was mentioned during Stake Conference, we sometimes lose the value and
the sight on Jesus Christ and how important He really is in all of
this. The closer we are to Christ, the less people are able to affect
us and how we worship. When I was younger, I felt as though I couldn't
go to church at times because there were people that I just could not
get along with. As I grew older, I recognized that it is my belief, my
faith, and my choice. Sometimes I'm not able to put into words how I
feel, or explain what I say, but this weekend I was able to find a way
to describe my progression from a time when I was about sixteen years

On Saturday I had the opportunity to go on exchanges with Elder
Gardner. Such a blast! He is a convert to the church, which you would
never be able to guess, and his story is even more incredible in my
mind. We are two peas in a pod! He's from Idaho Falls and we are
similar in a lot of ways. We met a guy named Jim who invited us in his
home to spend about fifteen minutes trying to tear down everything we
believe. He loves his Bible and referred to us as a counterfeit
religion, false doctrine, cult, and told us we were going to hell
about four or five times. I love opportunities like those to simply
bear testimony of the truth we know, and leave an invitation. I'm very
sad for the nearly 90 year old man, but I'm sure he will accept the
gospel eventually. We left though being able to laugh at the
situation. We went later that night to stop by a less active member a
little later, and the member slammed the door in our face. We were
walking away when he came back out and told us to never come back and
that we were harassing him. Apparently he would have called the cops
on us if he hadn't been in a "good mood." He was pretty ticked though.
We had a long conversation with him where he continued to get upset.
He threatened us and future missionaries and members who may stop by.
We explained that if he doesn't want to be bothered to have his
records removed so they are taken off our contact list. He told us to
do it and wouldn't want to write a four sentence letter to the bishop.
We gave him bishop's contact information regardless, and told bishop
about it that night. He decided he would stop by the next day, and
Elder Gardner told me that it wasn't the member that had been yelling
at us, it was his husband. The husband got told off by The member to
be more kind to missionaries when they stop by. Sadly, he still had
his records removed.

It was great to go to the temple with Alfonso and Irma on Friday
night. They loved it and I know they are excited to go back. We are
hoping to be meeting with Amber again this week to get her moving
towards baptism, but her work schedule is pretty crazy. Don, who came
to church yesterday, is another investigator we are going to be
focusing on. He's been meeting with missionaries for a while, but
hasn't really progressed much. We will be starting over with him and
getting him going with more commitments and invitations. He's a great
guy, and very Christlike. He has a lot of potential and we are excited
to work with him!

We went to the zoo today! I guess it's on of the biggest/best zoos
around. It was pretty fun! It was our district activity, so all the
elders and sisters in our district came with us. I'll send more
pictures of it next week.

I'm so grateful for the wonderful experiences that I've been able to
have this week. I hit four months on Wednesday, and it's surreal to
think that the time has flown by. The missionaries that I'm able to
work with just add to the adventures that I'm having out here.

I love and miss you all! Until next week.

Monday, May 9, 2016

week #16 New area - Polaris - Riding a bike now!

Happy Mother's Day! Again at least.

My new area is Polaris. It's a ward that has only existed for about a
year and a half now. It's right around the Lewis Center area, for
those of you who are dying to look it up. It's an all biking area, so
that's kind of new to me! I'm not used to it, and am a little slow,
but I'm doing way better than I was Thursday, so I'm improving! I'm
told (and finding out by experience) that we will bike anywhere from
10-20 miles on a typical day.

We are working with some wonderful recent converts here in Polaris.
Alfonso and Irma are going to be doing baptisms for the dead for the
first time this Friday, and we have the opportunity to go and support
them. That will make for an exciting day for sure. We had a few
investigators come to church this week, which was great. The Ward here
is amazing. The people are so welcoming and truly are looking for ways
to be more missionary minded. The Fackrell's fed us last night, and
allowed us to call home after dinner. They're a great family. It's
weird having kids in sacrament meeting now! It's definitely not as
quiet as it once was.

This weeks email will be shorter, as I don't have as much to talk
about. It was great being able to call home yesterday. Great to see
that everyone is doing well!

We had a very cool experience on Saturday night. The last potential we
were going to see we saw in our notes that it just told us that she
lived on a corner house on a certain street. There were a total of
eight corner houses on that street. We only had like ten minutes
before we needed to start heading home, so we decided to try one of
the ones on our way out of the neighborhood. The first house we came
up to, the screen door was closed, but the main door was open, and we
saw this woman inside. We asked if she knew who were looking for, and
it ended being this lady. The very first house we checked, the first
person we talked to (looking for this potential investigator), was who
we were looking for. Her mother had just recently (VERY recently from
what we could tell) passed away, and she was struggling very hard with
that. We had a wonderful conversation about having faith in Christ to
help us through difficult times. We bore testimony that our Savior
could uphold her through anything and everything that she I struggling
through, and that He knows us personally.

I'm grateful for all of you. Thank you for your love, your support,
your letters and emails, and everything. Til next time!

My new address is:
8326 Finch Shelter Dr. Apt. C Columbus, Ohio 43235

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

week #15 -- New record for Sloopy's and a new transfer this week as well.

Man, this week has been pretty eventful! It's also been the longest
week ever. This transfer has flown by and I can't believe it's over
tomorrow. I want you all to know how much the Lord has blessed me and
my companion. Elder Yeates is a great worker, a great companion, and
an even better friend. We have encountered so many tender mercies from
running into a less active that hasn't come to church in forever at
the institute building because he felt like coming and playing the
piano to being able to (yesterday) get called to go to the hospital to
give a priesthood blessing. The Lord's timing is remarkable.

Yesterday, Elder Yeates, Elder Ames, and I decided to attempt the
Sloopy's challenge again. Elder Ames and Elder Yeates were looking to
finish for the first time so they don't (potentially) leave campus
without completing it. I, however, was determined. Sister Horvath had
tried it the day previous, and did it in 11:13 and had an order of
fries afterwards. She held this over all the elders pretty much all
that day. Elder Yeates redeemed himself, and conquered it without
puking. I wanted to beat her time and eat some fries. I'm truly
ashamed to say I finished it in 8:43 and also had the order of fries.
It was fun, but now I have to go running in the mornings to burn it
off. Sister Horvath wasn't too happy when she found out either...

I had mentioned the priesthood blessing that we gave yesterday. The
man we went to visit was a less active member fro, Mansfield, but was
at the OSU hospital because he needed to get a stint in his heart.
Danny Rhea (Ray) is one of the funniest guys I know. We walk in and he
says, "Oh my heck! You got here so fast! You two are soooo good." He
was pretty drugged up and was giving us a good laugh. We were able to
give him his blessing, and the spirit was super strong. It was

So I am being transferred! I have been at OSU for three great months.
I will miss it so much, but I'm so grateful for the amazing people
I've been able to meet here. I don't know where I'm transferring to
yet, but I know it'll be great. I don't expect it to be easy, but it
will be a good time.

Don't send any letters or packages until I get my new address!!

I got to say goodbye to Adam Stout yesterday, and Bobby Barr (1st Ward
Ward Mission Leader) today. I'm sad to have to say goodbye, but I'm
excited to see where I'll be next. We had to say goodbye to the
Springers last week, and we welcomed the new senior couple, the
Dabb's. They're a very sweet couple, and I'm sure they will love
serving here at OSU.

I feel so blessed to have felt the spirit so strongly this week. I
just want you all to know how much I love you and am grateful for the