Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Week 74

It was awesome to talk to all of you yesterday and hear all of your voices. I totally forgot about Carter and it hasn't really sunken in that I have nephew so that will be cool to finally meet him. This past week was great with getting new investigators and setting dates for baptism. I forgot to mention that Tina, the girl I was teaching that moved back to LA is getting baptized on the 12th of January and she is easily the most solid person I've ever taught on my mission so I'm really happy for her and she is planning on going to BYU-I so she will do well there. We also have two more baptisms next week that are solid too so the work is really good right now. Christmas was fun and we got treated well by the ward but nothing beats Christmas at home, next Christmas I will be able to join in on the fun. Sounds like it was a good Christmas on your side of things though. This upcoming week were just going to do the regular finding and teaching so should be a good week.  Well that is pretty much it for this week, it was great talking to you yesterday and look forward to your emails next week. Love you and miss you all.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Week 73

Thanks for the emails, sounds like everything is going well for home and by now I think everyone is in Baltimore and hopefully in the Christmas spirit. This has been a great past week, we have five people with a baptismal date and they are all super solid, we have one on the 29th so that is the perfect birthday present. The new investigators are coming out of the woodworks and members have so many people for us to teach and they are all super prepared. We also went to Temple on Tuesday and it was great. My new companion is Elder Wilson and he is from Provo, Utah and he is a lot different than my previous companion but I have realized that my happiness depends not on what my companion does but whether I want to be happy or not and it really makes me look inward before I look outward. We have seen so many miracles recently and I feel so blessed to be in this area right now and I'm glad that I'm here for Christmas. I Tomorrow is our Christmas Zone Conference so that's where we will get most of our packages. The Christmas Zone Conference is always the best one so I'm excited about that. So last Wednesday, we had a wedding for two of our investigators and it was crazy because we find out the day before and then we had to put the whole wedding together that night but it all worked out and the ward helped out so much. We even were able to get a member who does wedding cakes to make a cake that night so that was awesome because it turned out so well. So I'm excited to talk to all of you on Christmas, so I will call you on Christmas Day and I have 40 minutes to talk just to let you know. On Monday we get our one movie and we are going to watch Brave, I've heard mixed reviews so we will see if its any good. That's great that Kirk got the Priesthood, that makes me so happy, I hope that he enjoys school up at Idaho. Well I better be going and sorry for the couple day delay of writing but better late than never. I am loving missionary life so much right now, I am finding so much joy despite how hard things are and the challenges. I love you so much and miss you all.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Week 72

So it has been a great past week. We taught Tina three times this past week before she left for L.A. on Saturday and in our last lesson we watched Prophet of the Restoration and she said that she has never felt the spirit so strong in her life so we our glad that we watched that with her. She is getting baptized so that's super exciting, just wish it was here. We had ten investigators at church which is the most for over two years in this area so that was really amazing, the ward members really took notice as they kept saying how many investigators were at church and this month alone we should have twenty different people at church which I've never had before so I'm really excited about the work right now. We got transfer calls and I'm staying in Exeter again which I wanted as I want to finish here but Elder Leavitt is leaving and my new companion is Elder Wilson who is from Provo, UT so two straight Utah companions. He is new in the mission. The work is going really well and we are finding prepared people. This week we have transfers on Wednesday and next week I'll let you know about my companion. For the Christmas call I have 40 minutes, just so you know and that will be on Christmas Day but we can figure out the details later. We are also going to the temple next Tuesday so that will be when I email next week just so your not expecting anything on Monday. We are also going bowling today as it is $10 for unlimited bowling so should be awesome!

So I got my first Christmas package of the year from Becky your sister and it was sent from California so I'm guessing that she's in the area. I opened the package and it's in wrapping paper so I put it under the Christmas tree. Tell her thanks and I'll send a email to her also if I have time. That's great that everyone is coming into town for Christmas again this year, I'm looking forward to talking to all of you. Crazy how Christmas is only in two weeks! That's cool that Doug confirmed Kirk, I'm so excited for Kirk and I know that by him going to BYU Idaho he will get that much stronger and learn so much more about the gospel. Well that is all I have for this week but I love you all and look forward to talking to you in two weeks!

Monday, 3 December 2012

Week 71

Thanks for all the emails, I am so happy that Kirk got baptized. Tell him that I love him and am excited and proud of him. So this past week was great. Played basketball on Tuesday night and didn't get hurt so that was a success. We taught Christina four times in the past week and last night she said she wants to be baptized and now she is just trying to figure out a date that everyone in her family can be there. Had a really spiritual experience and I would say it but I wrote it in my journal so will save it to share later.. Christina is defiantly one of those people that was prepared to receive the gospel as we have only known her a week and she is ready to be baptized and is super solid, she is actually planning on going to BYU-Idaho with her cousin, it feels good to baptize these people that you know are going to be in a good spiritual place and stick with the gospel and not leaving the church because some people I see getting baptized, stick with it a couple months but if they have the fellowship they stick with it. We had an excellent day at church yesterday as we had five investigators there and a couple new ones for the first time. We are doing really well on getting people to church right now but I'm scared of what is going to be said in sacrament meeting and yesterday was no different. We had a lady get up and she lives by herself and has no kids and never been married and she started talking about how her pets have strengthened her testimony and went on for 10 minutes about pets so that was interesting, normally it would just be funny but with investigators there you are worrying about what they think about it. I went on exchange on Saturday and it was the first exchange in a couple months so it felt weird to be with a different companion. This week we are meeting with Christina to finish the lessons and hopefully getting the rest of them with a solid baptismal date. This week is transfer calls and I'm hoping that I stay here in Exeter with Elder Leavitt another transfer but I think that he's leaving and I will stay so good that I'm staying. I am really hoping that I will stay here for the rest of my mission as I really am doing well here and love the members. Well that's about it for this week.
I'm excited for the new pool table, I miss playing pool and ping pong but will have people to play when I get home as Don and Dad will be there.  Well I better get going but I love you all so very much and thankful for all your love and prayers and support. I am so happy right now, this is easily the best part of my mission so far, just happy all the time. Love you all so much.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Week 70

This has been a great past couple days. Thanksgiving was a lot of fun but I'm still feeling the affects of the Turkey Bowl. I am very sore but it was worth it. After we played football we went to Visalia and went to this members house that was huge and we watched the movie 17 Miracles in their theater and they provided a bunch of food so we had it good. We then came back to Exeter and had Thanksgiving dinner with our ward mission leader and his family and it was all really good. On Friday my companions brother who is less active came to visit and he got permission for us to go out to eat with them. We went to this fancy restaurant and they paid for it so that was nice of them but it was super awkward as his brother is like twenty years older than him and  they were struggling to make conversation so a lot of weird silences. The work is good here in Exeter, we have been really busy the past couple days and going from appointment to appointment, if only it was like this all the time! So we started teaching the best person I've met on my mission so far. Her name is Christina and she is 18 years old, and she is from the LA area but we are teaching her because she is staying with her Aunt and Uncle who are members here in Exeter and the reason she came up here was so that she could have the missionary lessons because the environment was not good back home. Her parents came up for Thanksgiving and she was thinking of going back with them but she said that she prayed what to do and she received a strong answer that she needed to stay to have the lessons. Shes been coming the past three weeks to church but we taught her for the first time this past Sunday and she is a true searcher, she knows the scriptures really well and already is a very spiritual person. She wants to meet every other day so that she can get all the lessons before she has to go back to LA in a couple weeks. We have a few other really cool investigators but she is the most promising of the bunch. Can't believe how fast time is going and each week flies by so fast, the days are long, but the weeks are short! Tonight, I'm going to play basketball at the church so that we can get a better relationship with the members and find some new investigators. In Kingsburg we did volleyball every Thursday and we got quite a bit of investigators from it so hopefully can do the same thing here. I know when I was back home I would bring non members to basketball each week and sometimes 15 or so at once and would of been a good for the missionaries but I wasn't too missionary minded back then, I was just thinking of playing basketball! The rest of the week, we just are going to try and find some new people and really work with the members and start teaching their friends and family.

Sorry about the emails being on different days, we sometimes email on Mondays and then sometimes on Tuesday but next week it will be first thing Monday so about 10 my time or else I won't get your email. Thanks for all the emails this week, I was able to read all of them but sorry I don't have time to reply this week.  I wish I could respond to everything but I don't have time and I'm going to try and attach a picture real quick. Love ya guys and miss you.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Week 69

So that's crazy that your getting married Laura!! It was inevitable but still I'm excited. I was excited when I heard cuz I thought the wedding would be in the summer...but it's next month and your stealing my thunder by doing it on my birthday! Although I won't be there I'm super excited for you guys and you will have to send me pictures and all that good stuff. So I'm guessing that you'll be getting married in the Washington D.C. temple?
So I'll give you a quick update on my week, we had four investigators at church and two new ones that have never come before so that was awesome but it wasn't the best Sunday...the first was a youth speaker and I didn't understand a single word because he mumbled the whole time and then the high councilmen speaker talked about scouting for the next thirty minutes and then to make it worse, our lesson in gospel principles was the law of chastity and that was interesting and then the other class was about tithing so not ideal for investigators. I don't know if Christ was mentioned once in all three hours besides in the sacrament prayers which needs to change because that happens all too often. We are having a lesson with them later this week so we will see if she wants to come back, hopefully the spirit touched her in some way. On Monday we had president interviews and that took up our whole day practically but it was good to have a 10 or so minute sit down with President and then Sister Gelwix after that. They are so awesome, I feel really lucky to have them. Yesterday we had Zone Conference and it was amazing, it was all about finding and new methods to find people and they aren't your usual tactics. I found it interesting that the Bishop and the ward are the ones responsible for doing the missionary work in the ward and that the missionaries are only there to assist in finding and teaching but its up to them to accomplish their ward mission plan and goal and not many people know that, they think its the opposite that we are the ones who are supposed to be doing it all and that they help us but that's not true. This is something that the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are going to have all the seventies teach in the next coming months to the Stake Presidents and bishops, because the Bishop is the one who holds the keys for finding in the ward area. I've noticed on my mission that members have the wrong perspective of missionary work and they think it is all us doing the work but this is something that we are going to teach the members in our ward. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving so we are going to the Turkey Bowl tomorrow morning and then going to watch a movie at a members who has a super nice house and movie room and then we have a couple meals to go to so it's going to be a great day. This time of year is so much fun and were always busy with something to do. Our investigators right now are still coming to church but they don't want to make that next step so we are going to have to really concentrate on finding these next two weeks so we can set up for December and see some baptisms. That's great news about Kirk, that makes me so happy that he is getting baptized, you'll have to send me a picture of when he gets baptized.  Well I got to get going but I love you and miss you all. I'm so happy for you Laura! That's really exciting news.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Week 68

I forgot to let you know that I was emailing today so sorry about that and next week I will be emailing on Wednesday just so ya know. This has been a different week as I got the flu last Monday and I dealt with it on Tuesday but Wednesday I was plastered to my bed and it was the first day on my mission that I couldn't go out and work so that was disappointing. I still am feeling the effects of it still but I'm pretty much over it now. It was also a little frustrating because we committed six people to baptism but we don't have any right now so we need to find some new people to teach. We were able to get a bunch of people to church again but none want to be baptized yet, they all want to wait a year but were trying to help them realize the blessings that they are withholding from themselves because they want to wait. Yesterday for preparation day we spent it all playing Risk. We started at 11 and didn't end til after 5 so it was awesome, I won so it was all worth the six hours, just don't think we will be playing that for a while. Today we had district meeting and gave some training on being unified through understanding one another and it went well. My companion is great, he is very easy going and a nice person, he just is not sure of himself and can't take charge so that is something I am going to try and help him with. We don't have too much happening this week, just trying to find people to teach and baptize. Next week I will be emailing on Wednesday because next Monday we have President Interviews and then on Tuesday we have Zone Conference so Preparation day will be Wednesday and then on Thursday we have Thanksgiving and we get to watch the movie 17 miracles, I saw it last year but it was good so that will be fun, have you seen that movie? I can't think of too much else that has happened. Well, thats about it, thanks for all the emails and your love and support.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Week 67

It was good to get your emails and hear that Sandy didn't do too much damage in Baltimore and you weren't flooded and still have power. I'm really excited about Kirk getting baptized, Ethan told me that he is planning on getting baptized on November 25 and that the first lesson went well despite kirk being a little nervous and intimidated. There was no news better than to hear that. That's great that he is going to go to BYU I, it makes me want to go there now but I'm still going to submit the application for BYU so that I know if that's an option or not. Thats a good idea to have people over and have them invite their friends, too bad no one except Kirk showed up. So Exeter is awesome, it reminds me exactly of Reedley as we are out in the country by ourselves and its a small town of about 10,000 which I really like. Visalia is just 15 minutes away and thats a big city and has everything that I need like a Costco and Olive Garden and all the good shops. The weather is amazing right now as it's perfect to go out without a jacket and you won't sweat. The ward is a good size, everyone is related and three families make up like 75% of the ward so its a tight ward. We had seven investigators at church which was amazing and were teaching like four couples but all of them need to get married so we need to get them married and then baptized so a few hoops to jump through. The marriage license is only $100 and the high councilmen over missionary work who is in our ward is willing to pay for them and have the weddings at his house so that will help out. There is a lot of potential here and we should have a lot of success. My companion is Elder Leavitt and he is from Alpine, Ut, my first companion from Utah! Took a year and a half but I finally got one. I'm his second companion and he's already a good missionary, he is unsure of himself and is not very confident but we have got along so far and I think were going to work well together. I wanted Taco Bell for lunch today so we went through the Drive thru and it was the first time in his life ordering in a drive thru so that was funny. This ward is really friendly with the missionaries and we have team ups and our dinner calendar for this month is already completely full so thats awesome, I don't know if there's going to be a day on my mission where I don't get fed, crazy! Well were going to Visalia now and about to play some glow in the dark dodgeball. We have a lot of appointments this week so were going to be busy which is the best. Not much else is happening this week that I know of so will be a lot of time to find and teach. Well thanks for everything, I love you all and miss you guys. Couple weeks and will be able to talk to you over the phone!

Monday, 29 October 2012

Week 66

So I'm excited right now! We got transfer calls on Saturday night and I'm going down to Exeter which is right below where I was trained. It's about two and half hours away so it's way south. I've been asking president to go down south because there is a whole different feel down there and I prefer it. Exeter is a Spanish area so I'm back in Spanish again which is what I wanted. I know quite a bit about the area and I know that it's a super awesome area. It's out in the country, very similar to Reedley so I will have a car which will be nice because I'm physically tired right now. My new companion is Elder Leavitt who is just coming off being trained, I will be his second companion so he is still pretty new in the mission which is nice because they are normally pretty humble and willing to learn. So this past Wednesday we had the Halloween party and we got thirteen people there, I just wish we could get that many to church. It was a great activity and it was even super fun for me. On Thursday we went and did service for 3 hours and they are always amazed how much we get done and they really appreciate us coming and helping. This past week we have had pretty much every meal dropped off because everyone is so busy so we have had a lot of pizzas. On Saturday we did a church tour with a guy named mark and he then came to church yesterday and we had our primary presentation so he didn't quite understand it's normally not like that so hopefully it was a good experience for him and that he will come again. Looking back on the past three months in Turlock I have really have learned that I am the only one who decides how happy I am and what attitude I have. If I didn't learn this I would not have had a good time and be able to work and see progress in the area. I haven't had the best companions which has made me really learn this lesson in not so ideal lessons but it makes me appreciate what I have at the present and enjoy it. I don't know Elder Leavitt yet but I know that there is little that he can do that will bother me, I have been desensitized to getting mad or frustrated which is a trait that I need to have. It really is just a matter of self control and biting my tongue and knowing the times when it is better to just say nothing. I will miss this area because I do love it but I'm just so excited to be going to Exeter.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Week 65

Good to hear from all of you and glad that your getting better mum but now you've passed it on to dad with his thumb. I still can't believe that Ethan is home, I just have it stuck in my mind that were both in the mission field but he's back and it's weird to think about. That's funny about "the knock" I remember that one haha. That's cool that Kevin Hadlock was able to be there and that Ethans talk was good. Sounds like he's got a good plan for the next little while, let him know that I'm 85% going to Provo in the fall and that I won't be doing the summer semester. I can't decide where I need to go school, I'm defiantly going to apply for BYU and probably go there but I know I have a semester still paid for at BYU Idaho. I will wait and see I guess. This past week has been a little weird as we were moving the other elders out and then moving them into our apartment across town. We thought it would be a quick thing but it took us two and half days to do it all and I think I'm still high from all the chemicals we were using as we had to get it spotless. Our apartment is a mess now as all their stuff is here so it's not my ideal situation because its not that clean but it's so much fun having them here. I am doing better with my companion, I realize that I'm probably not his first choice of companion and I need to be patient with him. He is a challenging missionary and I don't think that President will leave him with someone for more than one transfer because its mentally taxing. Transfer calls are this upcoming Saturday and I think that I'll be leaving Turlock which I am ready for as I want to be in a Spanish area and I'm ready for a change of scenery. We have a lot of investigators right now and our teaching pool is getting quite big and we are looking forward to having twenty people in our teaching pool. Today, we are doing a quadzone activity and were doing the Olympics so it will be a bunch of fun games and food. This upcoming week were busy every day as we have meetings and then the ward Halloween party that were expecting 10 investigators to come to, it's funny because they will come to the fun activities but not to church. They don't realize that this is something that can bless their lives and it's our job to help them come to that realization. I feel like these past couple transfers have been super tough but now that I look back at them they have been times of real growth and developing the attributes that I need to develop. Despite all that I do want a companion that I'm friends with this next transfer because I need a break. The weather has really gotten cold, today its like 60 which it hasnt got to for like 8 months so its nice to go out and work in. This is my favorite time of year and I love the holiday season, this year has gone by so fast, I remember last Halloween like it was yesterday and now here we are again.  
 I'm super jealous that you could play Risk, I've missed staying up late and playing that. Well, thats about all I have this week. I love you all and hope that your all doing well. Miss you guys.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Week 64

Preparation day got switched to today instead of Monday as you probably know by now. I've been doing pretty good the past couple weeks, the work is doing very well and we have more investigators than we ever have before but my companion is a struggle every day. I am trying to be positive and upbeat but it's tough to do that every day, I'm drained from the past couple months and am very tired and exhausted. I am trying to see the good in him and not focus on the negative and that is helping but this is a seriously troubled missionary, I feel bad for him as I don't know that he will last his whole mission but he defiantly doesn't make it easy on me. We have a couple of people that are progressing right now and the lady who has breast cancer is starting chemo this week so hopefully we will still be able to teach her as she is going to be very busy from now on. They are such an awesome family and it's rare that we teach someone that makes good money but this trial has brought them to take the lessons so I guess it could be considered a good thing. I can't really remember what has happened the past week or so but tomorrow the other elders are moving in for the last two weeks of the transfer until their apartment is ready so that will help me a lot as I get along with them really well and one is from Mesa and are very good friends. This transfer has easily been the hardest transfer on me but it has taught me to look at myself before I look at others faults and weaknesses. Transfer boards are this week and I'm hoping that I can go back to a Spanish area, I would be fine staying here but I only have six months left and I would like to improve my Spanish. I heard the Orioles lost which is too bad but they did a lot better than every other year. My studies have been so good, I am trying to memorize every chapter in the four gospels so it is time consuming but has been very rewarding. Well I better get going but I will talk to you in a few days on Monday. Love ya, bii!!

Monday, 8 October 2012

Week 63

It was good to get everyones emails, a lot of exciting things happening right now. I just got back from Olive Garden and I tried to break my breadstick record of 12 but I only got 9 down and I had to tap out. So I am really tired now and I wish that I didn't do that many. This past week has been really good. We've found three really good new investigators and they seem to have promise. They are all member referrals so it's good to see the ward doing missionary work. One of the referrals is a lady who just got diagnosed with breast cancer stage 4 and she really thinks that she is going to die, she's still pretty young and has a three year old boy so she is super scared and fearful. She was a nanny a long time ago for a lds family and was really impressed with them and she knew a lady in our ward and now were meeting with her. She wants to know her purpose in life, crazy how this lady is like 35 and doesn't know what her purpose is and how scared of dying she is, sometimes we don't realize how we take our knowledge for granted. We did our service at United Samaritan again and we also had two people while we were working there want the missionaries over so we sent those referrals to other elders where they live. Sharing the gospel is so easy to do, it's just talking to people wherever you are about the church in some way. I think half of the investigators I've found on my mission has come from doing "non missionary stuff" such as going out to eat and doing service, it's all about inviting them. Talking about the gospel is easy, but the inviting part is what most of us aren't good at. Conference was awesome, I was really touched by President Uchtdorf when he said that we need to find joy in the now and not look at the finish line, I find myself saying, "next transfer will be easier" and I don't enjoy that transfer as much as I could have but I need to find joy no matter what the circumstances are. I'm doing pretty well with my companion for the past week and were doing better, it's still very hard but its fun. I've been having great studies the past couple weeks, I keep finding ways to better study the scriptures and am finding things that aren't at the surface level. I've been really trying to internalize the scriptures and its time consuming but I've been learning so much and am a better teacher because of it. The weather is cooling down and it's so nice, its 80 and 70's every day so it's so enjoyable.

It's so crazy that the age to serve a mission has gone down, I'm jealous, I would of loved to go when I was 18. That's good news for girls that they can go at 19, thats the big change. This week I'm going on exchanges so that will be nice to be with Elder Fisihoi. Well, I gotta go but I love you all and will respond to your emails next week, don't think I'm ignoring you. love y

Monday, 1 October 2012

Week 62

Thanks for all the emails! So was a busy week last week with everything that happened. My companion has a hurt hand so he's been going to Fresno to get his hand checked out so I've just been doing splits with the members and teaching. We went and did service at a community place on Thursday called United Samaritans and we just helped out for four hours with preparing the food that goes out to the homeless and less fortunate. They were really grateful for our help so it's worked out so far and we will be doing that every Thursday from now on. Josie is doing well, she came to church again but doesn't feel ready for the 5th of October and I don't think she's ready either so were going to push her date back a little more. We've found a couple new investigators this week, English areas are not as good number wise. In past areas getting 8-10 new investigators a week was good, but here it's like 1 or 2 so I just need to remind myself not to compare and know that I'm doing the best I can. I've added unnecessary stress from trying to get numbers that I can't get in this area yet. I've had some tough companions recently, all three have expressed that they were thinking about going home so it's been tough in different ways but I'm really starting to learn how to have success and have fun despite not being that similar to my companion. I'm really trying to be more patient with my companions and understanding I'm not their first choice of companion either. Some of the greatest accomplishments on my mission have been when I want to say something negative to my companion but instead keeping it in and saying something positive to them. So yea we go running every morning, we have a nice apartment complex so we have treadmills and I do that for 20 minutes and then I started doing abs and lifting weights so I'm in a lot better shape than I have been in. I cut out soda from my diet so nothing but water from now on. I'm looking forward to General Conference this weekend, can't believe that was already 6 months ago. Dad, do you have any good training things that you could send me? Theres something about how its not the words you say but how you say it and your body language. Could you send me some of that stuff? Well, thats pretty much it for this week. Love you and miss you.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Week 61

Well it was good to get your letters and to hear how your doing. So this past week was the best number week I've had since I got here and we got a lot done but my new companion is making it hard on me. Every transfer, I think it will be easier and not as challenging but it just keeps getting harder on me with the companions I'm getting. I had the thought that's it me but all the other elders feel bad for me because I tell them my last couple companions and they just tell me how sorry they feel for me. My new companion is Elder White and he's from Colorado and he's just been out like 4 months now. He has ADHD and OCD and is a very interesting person, I'll leave it at that. I'm really happy that I stayed though because we are getting member referrals every week and the ward takes care of us. My companion is over bearing and has already offended a couple people so I need to do some damage control. Josie came to church again this week and she has a baptismal date for Oct. 5 so were getting her ready for that date., I just can't let my companions prevent me from being happy like I have with some of my other companions and it's going well so far. I'm trying to be patient with him. I think that in a couple weeks we will have got used to how we work and hopefully things will be better. This week we are going to do service in the community at a place that gives out food and clothing to the less well off and I've been organizing it the past couple weeks because I wanted to do some service once every week and get known in the community so this was something that worked out. I got some other elders in on it too so they are super happy to have us because they don't have many volunteers so it worked out perfect. We also are doing Mormon helping hands this Saturday in our ward so plenty of service to do this week. This ward is on top of their dinner calendar as we have October and November already filled so we eat good here. I was thinking about it the other day and there hasn't been one day on my mission where I haven't had dinner and I've yet to cook on my mission so I have been blessed in all my areas because a lot of areas don't get fed that much. That's about it for this upcoming week, just pray that I can be patient with my companion because that is going to be a big struggle for me this transfer.  Thanks for everything. Love you and miss you!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Week 60

It was transfers and I'm staying here in Turlock again but I'm getting a new companion, his name is Elder White but I know nothing about him so will update you next week on him. I'm glad to be staying because all the elders in the district are awesome and were all best friends so its exciting. The only downfall is that I'm not in a Spanish area but I'm happy here. The work is picking up, the ward is beginning to wake up and do missionary work. The biggest change I've made the last couple months is how I work with the ward and I will send some things to you dad so you can look over them and see if you want to use it. We are teaching a girl named Josie and she's progressing so fast, she will be baptized in the next couple weeks, we only found her a week ago but shes ready. It's been a tough transfer with my companion but I'm proud of myself for not getting in any fights with him or even raising my voice with him even though I had valid reasons to. I think that this is going to be a really good transfer and we will see success. We had Elder Golden visit us and it was amazing, no joke, he was better than the three apostles. He gave us some really good advice and things that we can actually apply to our areas and see results and measure them. I don't know if I told you that I signed up for a Costco membership so that's where I do all my shopping now. Well, I love you guys and look forward to getting your emails and see how your doing.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Week 59

 This past week has been great, we're found new investigators and we got eight referrals so things are looking up.  Were getting more busy which helps the days more enjoyable.  I've been feeling real good this past week, I've had real good personal studies and having fun while working hard.  The ward is starting to wake up, they weren't doing anything and now they are actively looking for people for us to teach.  I love this area so much, the ward has so much potential, the city has everything, even a Panera Bread so life is good!  We went to Costco today and I bought a membership, all the elders pitched in so it only cost me $15 and now I can save a bunch of money, by shopping there.  The only bad thing is that they don't have the cookie dough I like, I was so disappointed.

We have Elder Golden tomorrow at zone conference so will let you know how that goes.  Also transfer calls are this Saturday so will find out what happens.  Hoping that I stay.  Words can't describe how much I'm enjoying mission life, if only it could always be like this.

Look forward to reading your letters. 

Monday, 3 September 2012

Week 58

Not sure if I mentioned it in previous letter but went to the temple on Tuesday and saw a lot of people from Reedley ward because they all work a the temple so it was nice to see them.  On Saturday we had president interviews and had about 20 minutes to talk so that was nice. I feel like he just keeps making it harder on me with all these companions I keep getting, its exhausting.  So the work is very slow right now, for the first time on my mission, I've had zero people at church two weeks in a row so it's been tough to stay busy and staying positive.  I'm having good experiences though.  We're going to have a trizone acidity today and it’s a talent show so should be funny.  Hopefully we have a better week this week. 
Well I don’t have much time left to respond to your letter, but I love reading them and would respond if I had more time today.  Well, time keeps flying by and despite the bad, everything is good overall, I just need to take the long view when I have a tough companion, I feel like I'm going to be with him forever but when I look at the big picture, a couple weeks is nothing and I might as well make the most of it.  Thanks for the letters and all the support that I get.  I love you.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Week 57

So just got back from the Temple and it took about all day because it's so far away,  but it was a good time.  Today is Tuesday.  Things have been decent over here, still super hot and sweaty, but it's my last summer here so l'll endure the last couple weeks of the heat.  We've been keeping busy so the weeks have gone by fast.  My companion is a struggle, not too sure he wants to be doing this because he'll find any excuse to do the easy thing instead of doing what we need to.  I've lost track of all the days last week, but we did find new investigators and are doing a lot of member lessons to build the faith of the members and change their view of missionary work.  I've changed pretty much everything since I got here, especially how we work with the Bishop and Ward Council.  All is doing well though,  were seeing signs of success and time keeps flying.  This upcoming week, we have President Interviews on Saturday so will be good to talk to him. 

Monday, 20 August 2012

Week 56

So it's been a good week, it has been so hot!  They say it's been over 100 degrees for the past two weeks and it doesn’t help I'm in an all bike area.  So needless to say I've been sweating like crazy and getting a lot darker.  I like not having a car the days go by quicker and I'm in better shape.  On Friday we had a zone conference, it was really long, from 8-6, and President is a good speaker.  Our area is in bad shape, everyone is asleep, they need to wake-up in terms of missionary work.  The missionaries before didn’t work with members so we have a lot of potential.  My companion is struggling; he wants to go home but he's hanging in there. In lessons he won't say a word so I have to teach the whole thing which isn’t ideal.  He won't take any suggestions to be better so I won't give him anymore because he's flipped out a couple times now so it's not worth it.  We get along so it's good for the most part.  Were struggling to teach, our goal this week is to teach 2x as many people as last week.  The ward is good, we get fed everyday and have a team-up so that nice.  I just don’t want to get attached to this area if I'm leaving after this transfer because it was hard to leave Merced.  I want to be in an area for a long time, but I'm not sure if I want to stay here because it's not Spanish.  I'm doing well and so life is good.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Week 55

So, I'm here in Turlock now after a short stay in Merced which is sad, but Turlock is awesome so I'm happy. Every letter says that Carter is a pretty chill baby so I'm taking it that he's very well behaved.  My new companion is Elder Tateoli who is Tongan, but from Las Vegas. We get along, but he's struggling pretty bad, I'm not sure if he'll be able to last two years.  He has potential to be good, but he doesn’t really care.  He won't talk in the lessons, he says he doesn't know them, so I have to teach the whole thing, I like teaching but it doesn’t feel good.  I wanted to help him and make him a good teacher, but he told me that he wasn't a little kid and didn't want help.  It will be a new challenge this transfer, but I'm up to it, so it's good.  Promising news is that we did a church tour with a girl called Kristy, who is 19 and the spirit was super strong and she committed to be baptized on August 25th.  She came to church on Sunday also she's solid and progressing well.  Oh Cinthia, the 16 year old girl we were teaching in Merced got baptized on Saturday so that was exciting.
My new area is Turlock 4th ward and this area has been struggling and is in pretty bad shape.  They have only baptized two people this year and none in the past four months.  It is an all bike area and we have no car so that is awesome because I've been driving most of my mission.  The only bad thing was that is was over 105 for the past six days so it has been super hot.  The apartment is the nicest one I've had yet and we have a washer and dryer in our apartment so I'm going to save about $30-$40 with not having to pay for laundry and washing the car.  The ward is missionary minded, we get fed dinner every night and quite a few lunches and team-ups, that’s the benefit of being in an English area, but I use my Spanish quite a bit.  I didn't think I could train Chad because I was in a Spanish branch, but now that I'm English area the possibility is still there.  That would be pretty funny if that happened so we will see.
I'm not sure if you remember Elder Bonner who served in our ward like two years ago,  but his family lives in my ward so everywhere I go find someone I know.  Elder Bonner came to our house a few times and I was in a class with him up at school. 
So this upcoming week we have a zone conference on Friday,  haven't had a big meeting  in two months so I'm excited for it.  I played basketball for the first time yesterday and I was didn’t do too bad for not playing for over two months.  I also thought my jump would have decreased, but I got way above the rim, so that was crazy.  Everyone asks why and how I jump so high and my secret is not working out and it’s the truth. 
That’s good to hear that your enjoying the Olympics, its sad to not see it, but Im glad that I wont miss the world cup.  Thanks for all the letters, always excited to get them.  Well better get going, but I love you and miss you. 

Monday, 6 August 2012

Week 54

I'll give you a quick rundown of my week l've been going to Physical Therapy this past week (not for me but another missionary) and a lot of hours has been waiting for him.  On Saturday afternoon, I got a call from President Gelwix and he told me that I'm going on special assignment and also step training.  This missionary is pretty much brand new, but he's trouble apparently  and not very obedient.  He's from the south pacific somewhere because he's got a crazy name, but I'm excited.  The bad news is that I'm leaving Merced after only being here one transfer.  I'm going up to Turlock to be in an English ward, but I'm ok with that.  I thought I would be here for a while,  but I guess not.  I was disappointed after he called because I love it here and I thought I was staying.  Also Cinthia is getting baptized this Saturday and she asked me to baptize her, but I won't be here so that was really upsetting.  She was upset I was leaving, but at least she's getting baptized this week. 

Monday, 30 July 2012

Week 53

Last Monday was a little different as I went with an elder when he had his surgery so I spent all day at the hospital with him and then back at the apartment while he recovered from the drugs.  So our preparation day was on Tuesday so we lost two days last week,  but it was our best week for this area in months.  Cinthia came to church again and is back on board for getting baptized.  She was supposed to be baptized while ago , but the week before she went to a church dance and her skirt was too short so one of the leaders told her that she couldn't go and was quite rude so she was turned off by that,  but she's going to girls camp this week and the following week,  August 11, she'll be baptized.  She's been reading the book of Mormon and is in Jacob so she is doing well.  Transfers are coming up – the call is this weekend so I'll let you know next week what's happening, I think I'll be staying here in Merced,  but transfers are unpredictable.  So a couple nights ago we were teaching an investigator and her friend was there who was not fully there in the head,  and as we were walking away after the lesson, she squeezed my butt and gave me a tooshie squeeze.  It was so embarrassing because our team-up was a girl who just back from BYU-I and getting ready to put in her papers and she saw it so I got embarrassed and probably red in the face, She was so surprised,  we had to explain later that normally doesn't happened in the mission field.  That was the first time that happened and hopefully the last.  My Spanish is improving a lot now everything is in Spanish and am forced to learn it as my other areas was mostly English.  I hit my 14 month mark and also this week, my year mark of being in the mission field.  Time is flying and the weeks are super quick, because were busy.  The branch is great they love us and have dinner every night.  We got a mission leader this Sunday because we don’t have one, and he just moved here and his is awesome so the work will defiantly improve.  My companion is defiantly not my first choice but I've survived and I told President I could do another 6 weeks with him.  My foot is good, I can walk, but can't play sports until September so it will have been 4 months without playing sports.  Thanks for all writing me, love you and miss you.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Week 52

I am happy and working hard.  I heard that Chad is coming to this mission, that's so crazy.  I told President on Saturday about Jess and Chad use to date and he told me that I would train him,  but then I told him he was English and he was disappointed so that won't be happening.  That's awesome about Aaron and Jeff, you'll have to let me know where they get called.
Last Monday, I bought a new watch, it’s a Nixon so its super nice.  Drove down to Fresno again because my companion had a check-up for this heart.  Not much else exciting happened this week.  I see President so much now that I'm in Merced, on Saturday President came by and talked with him for a little.  It sounds like I'll be getting a new companion next transfer.  I do not want to say anything negative about him.  I found out from President that he's depressed and struggling and he doesn't know what to do with him.  On Sunday we had two investigators at church, one for our YSA and one for Spanish.  Don't have anything this week that is big, only two weeks till transfers so looking forward to that. 

Monday, 16 July 2012

Week 51

On Monday we went to the mall, first time I've been in a mall since I left home, but I forgot my money so were going back today and we'll see what kind of damage I do.  On Thursday I went down to Fresno to check out my ankle and I was told I can't play sports for at least another 6 weeks and could take a year to fully heal.  On Friday, we had a branch party at a park and we just had dinner and talked.  There were about 40 people there but we only get 20-30 for sacrament, funny how that works.  On Sunday, we didn't have any investigators at church which we were disappointed about, that rarely happens, but it's got to change. I gave a talk in sacrament so glad I got that over with. Well I love you all and exited to see how your doing.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Week 50

So it was a bad week, our two baptismal dates got anti'd and want to wait a couple months to be baptized so we lost a solid baptism.  The area is not doing too good and my companion doesn't want to find so we knock the same people's doors and don't get anywhere. I've said something to him, but he's the senior companion so he makes the final call.  We had two people at sacrament though so we'll see where that goes.  I'm trying to focus on the good things my companion does, and not the negative but it's hard. 
So on July 4th, we went to another wards party because our branch didn't celebrate, not too many Americans in our branch!  It was a cookout so it was fun and good food.  Then in the night we went to their Bishops house to hang out and watch fireworks.  Their family reminded me of the Nichols, so we had a good time there.  On Saturday we went to a city in our area that missionaries have never gone to so it was the first time those people had ever seen missionaries.  We found a tone of people,  everyone was nice and wanted us to go back,  it's just way out there so we can only go once a week.  It was a good day and it was a historic day for that city.
This upcoming week, I'm going to Fresno with another hurt elder to make sure my ankle is healing right.  We then are having a branch party at the park on Friday night.  Merced is great the branch is good, we get feed every day and the city is awesome. 

Monday, 2 July 2012

Week 49

The area is awesome, its Spanish branch that covers all of Merced and yesterday we had about 40 people to sacrament so it's small, but its great and they take care of us really well. We also cover the YSA branch, here in Merced but there was only like 10-15 people there so it's small.  After church we had a break the fast with the YSA and ate burgers but it was funny because all the girls were at one table and all the boys at another, so no wonder their all still single and in YSA.  We have quite a few investigators right now so were staying busy which is good.  We have two 16 year olds girls that are getting baptized in two weeks, their solid so that’s exciting.  I can play sports and the pain is pretty much gone.  So this week is July 4 so happy anniversary.  Were going to the ward lunch and the fireworks at night since we can be out until 10.30pm. 

Monday, 25 June 2012

Week 48

So this past week has been good. Had a two day exchange with an elder up in Auberry and we got a lot done and found some new investigators so it was a success as finding is a challenge up here. On Saturday we went to go see a community play, it was "1776" and it was pretty bad but I was laughing the whole time so it was entertaining, I normally love plays but this was a let down. We got transfer calls on Saturday night and I'm going back to the city! I'm going to Merced, which is an hour north of Fresno, and is one of the biggest cities in the mission so I'm super excited. I'll be in Merced 4th which is a Spanish branch so I'm going to be teaching nothing but Spanish so I feel so lucky to be going there as a lot of Spanish elders want that. My companion will be Elder Snyder. I also have been going for physical therapy but that is near here so I'm going to have to change who I go to because its too far away. I had an ultrasound on my ankle so Emily isn't the only one in the family getting an ultrasound. They want to take another xray because the doctor thinks there might be a break so I'm looking forward for this whole foot thing to end. So tomorrow is my last day in Auberry as I leave for Merced on Wednesday morning and thats about all I know that is happening this upcoming week. 
So thanks for the emails, it sounds like your doing well. My Spanish I thought was good, but haven't spoken any for over a month since I've been up in Auberry so if its not good now it will be in a few weeks. Love you all and miss you.

Monday, 18 June 2012

week 47

Thanks for all the emails, sounds like your all doing good that your now officially empty nesters! So, this week flew by as we were hardly in our area but it was still good. On Monday to Wednesday I was with the Hmong elders which is a impossible language to understand so I just ate the food (mostly rice) and got a headache from listening to all the noises coming out of their mouths. It was fun though and glad that I'm learning Spanish and not Hmong. So on Saturday we had an all mission conference up in Modesto which is 2 1/2 hours away so it was a lot of driving but well worth it. M. Russell Ballard was the best of the three apostles that we've had as he was well prepared and a good teacher. He talked about knowing the doctrine better and being better teachers. He said we could find more people if we were better teachers because we will be more confident if we know what were saying. He then opened it up to questions so have a lot of good notes from him. I also went to get my foot checked out and I tore the ligaments on both sides of my ankle so I will be in a boot for about a month and can't play sports. I also am going to Physical therapy this Thursday and hopefully won't have to go much as it's a long drive there. We have two investigators that are pretty solid right now, Shirley is super close to baptism, she hasn't missed a church since October but she is just waiting for God to tell her when to be baptized so were going to push her super hard this week. We also started teaching a 90 year old man who is a yoga master but I wouldn't think he would be receptive as he's 90 but he is open minded and wants to learn and he actually showed up to church on Sunday so that would be awesome. Have transfer calls this Saturday so I'm excited to see what happens, but to be honest I don't mind what happens as I would be happy staying here in the mountains or moving to a new area so not too nervous about this transfer call. 
I've never heard of those church meetings with all the churches, that is something I would like to go to but its good about going to those and getting the church out there and getting a good name. Thats too bad about the Eberts leaving, a lot of people are leaving, the ward won't be the same by the time I get home. So Well, I better get going, but I love you all and have a great week.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

week 46

Sorry I didn't get to email yesterday as it wouldn't let me login. This was one of the longer weeks of my mission as the work is really slow up in the mountains as everyone lives so far away and spread out. We spend most of the day in the truck and its hard to feel like missionaries as we don't teach much. Everything I know how to do as a missionary doesn't work out here as it's very different. The ward is good though and excited to do missionary work so hopefully we will get referrals from them. I don't think that I'll be here long   but I will make the best of it while I'm here. My companion doesn't like to talk so that makes it a lot harder as we are together in the car all day and I have no one to talk to so that makes it a lot harder. I just want to work and be busy. I'm going to the doctor this afternoon to have my foot checked out, the swelling is done finally and I'm wearing a shoe but I still have some pain in the ankle so will let you know next week if anything is wrong. This week were not in our area much as I'm in Fresno for these two days and then this Saturday we have a mission conference and M. Russell Ballard is coming to that so that will be fun. I'm doing well though and really enjoying myself and trying to make the best of every day. Oh, I also went golfing yesterday and got burnt alive, I bought this lotion the other week and I forgot it so I got roasted yesterday but I played really well so its worth it. So I've been doing good at writing in my journal recently. I haven't been biking much. Well I would like to write more but I'm out of time. I love you all and miss you.

Monday, 4 June 2012

week 45

I'm now in Auberry which is up in the mountains and it's an all car area and its out in the boondocks so its a lot different. It was hard the first couple days but I'm getting used to it, the members are good so that will help. It's an English area. I am with another elder who has been out a year, his name is Elder Furness and hes from New Jersey, hes alright, just a little prideful but I can deal with it. We live in a trailer that is super nasty and theres a frog every morning in the shower so I make him get them as I won't touch them. I'm not sure how long I'm going to be up here, but to be honest I hope its not long as I want to be in the city and contacting people instead of driving around all day.

Monday, 28 May 2012

week 44

So got a bit of bad news, its kind of old news as it happened last Monday but had to wait til today to talk to you. Right after I emailed you last week, I hurt myself playing basketball. I jumped up to get a rebound and when I came down I landed awkwardly on someones shoe and I heard a pop and since then I haven't been able to walk on it. I thought it was just a sprain but its a week later and am in more pain than when it happened. I went to the doctors on Thursday as I couldn't handle the pain and was getting a little worried because my toes are black. I took an xray but I got a call the next day saying that my foot was too swollen so they need to do another xray and maybe an MRI. So needless to say, this week has been very different as I've been on crutches all week but we still had a lot of success. We found 7 new investigators and 5 of them are member referrals so were excited about them and they said they will be at church so thats awesome. I think I should probably take it a little slower this week as I think I'm not helping myself recover from the injury by working all day and then just icing it and elevating it at night. So all Thursday was spent at the hospital as they don't know whats wrong, and then all friday was a zone conference so that was really good. Saturday we went to a baptism from the other elders in our wards baptism so that was awesome to have two weeks with a baptism in the ward, hopefully it will get the ward excited to do more missionary work. This upcoming week, I have a district meeting tomorrow and then I'm going back to the doctors either Tuesday or Wednesday to see whats up with my foot as I'm in a lot of pain and not taking any medication. Was planning on doing a couple exchanges this week but not sure how good they will be as I'm kinda slow right now.

Well I would like to keep going but my time is up so got to get crutching away, I sent some pictures of some random stuff so hopefully you enjoy them, especially the one of the fat foot!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Week 43

 Don't have much time as I went golfing this morning and about to go play basketball now so keeping busy, got to do as much fun stuff as possible on Mondays! We went to a really nice golf course this morning with one of the members and it was really fun, I played really well which is surprising because the last time I played was with Granddad this time last year! I miss golfing so much, this could become a every Monday thing. Well we had James's Baptism this Saturday and it went really well, there was a meal after so that was good too. It was a great spiritual experience and then he was confirmed at church yesterday. He is going to be such a good member.  Yesterday, there was another baptism in the district so went to go interview them and we also have a baptism with another companionship so everyone will have baptized at least 1 person this month, besides the senior couple. I've been on the phone a lot since being District Leader and it mostly takes up your nights after planning so I don't have any time at night for myself but thats alright because I like doing this kind of stuff. This upcoming week, we have a zone conference which will be good as haven't had one in a while.

Monday, 14 May 2012

week 42

It was great to talk to you yesterday, although wasn't able to talk to Emily, but I did get her voicemail so got to hear her voice! Sounds like things are going great back home and things are going great on this side. I'm very pleased to be staying in Kingsburg because I'm very comfortable here and love the members in this ward, it's going to be hard when I leave this area. I'm on track for 4 areas on my mission! Although I think Laura had less than that! I'm really excited for this upcoming transfer and it's really going to push me to become better than I am now. It's been interesting being in a trio this past week but I know why we work in twos. The other elder is in the bathroom about 2 hours a day pooping so will be glad to have more time when he leaves on Wednesday, he blames it on the Mexican food, but that much pooping is crazy, he has a problem. This upcoming week we have James baptism on Saturday so am looking forward to that as we have been working really hard, but not seeing the success that we would like to see. I hope this jumpstarts us and the district to baptize more.

Thanks for sending the pictures. All the projects look really good, I think that the office looks really good and is in a good location.  Same thing with the kitchen! It looks a lot more modern. Appreciated the fat faces too! I did one the other day so thats funny you just sent those. Was that one of Jess's senior pictures?  I don't have much time today as were about to go to Home Depot and get a giant whiteboard so I can stay organized this transfer with everything. I will send pictures next week as I have a few that I haven't sent yet. Well, it was great talking to you yesterday and am glad that everything is going well with everyone. I miss you all and love you.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Week 41

Had a great week this past week. Wasn't in my area much as I was doing exchanges with the Zone Leaders and then with the District Leader so it was a lot of fun and learned a lot on how to become better. We also have a solid baptism on May 19, James committed to that date so its awesome news but transfers are the 16th so might miss it but hopefully I'm still here. I think I'm leaving but I think that every transfer because I've been in my areas so long but I'm hoping that I stay. We've been doing a lot of finding but no one too solid has come from it yet, a lot of people will let us come over and teach but the part that involves them doing something is the hard part. So this upcoming week, Elder Cruz is leaving after he extended his mission a month this Thursday so his companion will be with us for the week until transfers. His companion is a little strange so it should be interesting doing everything with 3 people instead of two. I've served with Elder Cruz since my second transfer so we've served with each other for the past 9 months so it's sad to see him go. We have transfer calls on Saturday night so will let you know in the phone call if I'm leaving or staying. With the phone call,  It will probably be more 2ish because we have dinner at the bishops at 4. It feels not too long ago that it was Christmas! We also found out some great news this week, were having another apostle coming...Elder Ballard is coming on June 16 so thats crazy to have 3 apostles in 4 months, I'm not sure theres many that get more than 1 so its defiantly exciting to be here at this time! I also started not eating fast food and I'm on week 3 of not eating fast food (In n' Out doesn't count) and I've felt a lot healthier since and lost 5 pounds so I'm going to keep going with that. Now I just need to start working out good each morning.

Well I better get going, but I love you and look forward to talking to you all this Sunday!!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Week 40

So we had a great past week, keeping really busy but nothing too eventful. On Wednesday we met with the Father at the local catholic church and he was really really nice, a little creppy though. We had a good discussion and he was interested in the Apostasy and wants to know exactly where we believe the authority was lost so we need to do a little more studying. His last question was "Where and what is kolob?" so that question does come up sometimes. On Thursday, we had volleyball which we do every Thursday night, we started it like 2 months ago and we always have pretty good attendance with members and investigators. On Friday the ward put on a date night and we were the servers and then they just played couples games so wasn't too friendly for us, but we had 3 investigators come with their spouses so we were pleased with that. On Saturday we had Helping Hands, we went to the pioneer village and redid the landscaping and painting and doing the floors so it was a good project. On Sunday, we had 5 investigators at church and one of them was James who is very close to baptism. He is already living everything, he just wants to come to church more, he is already paying his tithing so he's ahead of the game. We then had a linger longer after church and then we went to James' for dinner and he said he will baptized before May 16 because thats when transfers are. I am hoping that I don't get transferred but it might happen so got to make the most of these next couple weeks. 

Well thanks for all the emails and your support, get to talk to you all in less than two weeks, I will get the details for you next week. I can't think of anything else that I need or want right now. Everything is good. Love and miss you all.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Week 39

Thanks for all your letters. This past week has been good, we've been doing a lot of tracting and seeing pretty good success with it, about 1 in every 8 or so doors gives us a return appointment so we've been doing that as thats the best use of time as not many people walk as they all have cars. Something that I've noticed recently with doing all this tracting is that most people are not interested in religious or spiritual things as we will be talking to people casually and then we eventually bring up the gospel and then they aren't interested and say that they are busy or got to get going. It just is something that I've noticed this week, people are more interested into the things of the world than in the gospel...I think that I need to work on making the gospel sound more appealing and make these people see how it can benefit them because most people are only going to do something that will better them. We had a good week as we had 5 investigators at church, were just struggling to get a baptism. It's hard because I'm being the best missionary I've been on my mission and yet I'm seeing less success than ever so it's hard so see the results go down when I'm putting in the most work. Yesterday morning we were asked to go to a funeral and dedicate the grave so we go there yesterday morning and it was just a small family thing so there was only 20 people there but when we got there she asked if we could give the eulogy too so my companion did the dedication of the grave and then I gave a 10 minute eulogy. It was hard as I've never met the guy who died but just talked about the plan of salvation so it was good, It was a good experience. We then went to go do service at a members and we had to take out three tree stumps and took like 4 hours and I forgot to wear sunscreen so needless to say I got burnt pretty good, I will add the picture on the email. We got to go to the temple today so that was awesome as we only go every 4 1/2 months, I wish we could go more but were doing the work for the living, not the dead. So tomorrow we have an appointment with the catholic priest in town so that should be a good experience, it took a while to meet with him so I'm excited we finally get to talk to him. I'll let you know how that goes. Also this week we have Mormon helping hands on Saturday and the night before we have a date night ward activity and were going to be the servers so no date for me!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Week 38

So had a great week. We've changed it up this week and doing a lot of tracting to find new investigators. We did pretty well and got some new investigators and a lot of people we need to follow up on. We had a great lesson with James this past week at the members house and committed him to baptism for the 29th of April so hopefully he is able to make his date. We also have a few other investigators that have some good potential. On Saturday morning we had an all mission conference in Fresno again and Elder Christofferson and Elder Bassett came to speak to us. Elder Bassett is a newly called seventy but he was amazing, he gave a great discourse and he knows the scriptures back and front, makes me want to get in the scriptures more. Elder Christofferson just opened it up to questions and it was really good also. We then went to the adult session and they both spoke again and it was really good, they both had a glow about them, it was incredible. Sunday morning, President Gelwix spoke and then the temple president and then those two spoke again. Elder Christofferson stressed on going to the temple and doing whatever it takes to get to the temple, he then said that nothing builds faith faster than paying tithing because it requires sacrifice. All the conferences were great and glad that I've had the opportunity to hear from two apostles in the last month. This week there is nothing too exciting happening, just having an exchange and going back to Reedley so that should be fun.

Hey, Im not sure if i sent you this website last month but we took another picture of the whole mission so the website Could you download the pictures to my laptop so I have them when I get home? Oh yes I got your Easter money and card, thanks!!!

Well, I'm about to go play some basketball but I love you all and miss you.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Week 37

So we had a good week this past week. We had a great lesson this past Wednesday at a members home and there was a great spirit there. His wife has been inactive for 6 years and she wants to get back to church and he doesn't know much about the church but the anti stuff that he has been told but he wants to be baptized and he came to church this past Sunday. We also had 4 other investigators there so were starting to get some people to church. It's starting to warm up, its in the 80's already and I'm getting flash backs of last summer. Easter was a lot of fun, we went to the Bishops and ate dinner and then went to another family's for another dinner so it was a successful day. We are doing better with finding but still hard in the towns we are serving in, a lot of wealthy people so it's tough. This upcoming week we have a lot of appointments set so we should have a lot of good teaching appointments this week. Also, we have an All mission conference this week with Elder Christofferson and a newly called 70 so should be fun. I know it's rare to get two apostles your whole mission and were getting two in a month so its exciting. My companion is doing better and seems to be enjoying himself more so makes it better for me too.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Week 36

Thanks for the emails. Had a great week this past week and keeping busy. Were still struggling to find people that are prepared to receive the gospel so its been discouraging recently. We've been teaching a lot but these people aren't keeping their commitments so it's frustrating and sad because we want to keep coming over but we can't because they aren't progressing. We did find a couple other investigators this week so hopefully they will be promising. Was able to watch conference this weekend so that was great. One of the sessions, we went over to Diegos in Reedley and had a huge lunch which was amazing and then watched conference, he started to cry when he was watching Elder Hollands talk so hopefully he decides to get baptized soon. We had transfer calls and were getting two new elders in the district so it will be cool to get to know some new people. Hope that the rest of your Easter break goes well. Were going over to a awesome family in the ward this Sunday so it will be a great Easter for me.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Week 35

Great to email you and this time I have plenty of time and not in a rush so thats nice. So not much to report on between when I emailed last Thursday and till now. We've been very busy every hour of the day and doing a lot of teaching, but no one is making steps to baptism right now so its a little frustrating. It seems as if every investigator we are teaching has a problem or issue with at least one thing, for one person it might be prophets, for another it might be law of chastity, but all our investigators have a problem right now that we need to work through. The weather is quickly turning to summer here and its getting me excited for when it gets real hot. I got my first signs of a tan so will do a lot more biking. We got a few member referrals this week that we have appointments at members homes so hopefully those go well, will let you know what happens with those next week. The priesthood meeting was great, we had tri-tip which is a type of meat, its really popular here in California but I had never heard of it before I came here. It's a lot better than the sloppy joes! The ward treats us so well, we get fed more than once a day here and they always are inviting us over and are very involved with the missionary work and the missionaries so I'm lucky to be in this area. I'm not sure if I told you but we have D. Todd Christofferson coming for stake conference on April 15th but we also found out this week that were having another all mission conference on the 14th with him so the mission is very excited about that. This week we are free of meetings so hopefully we will have a good week of finding and teaching. Also, looking forward to conference this upcoming weekend, feels like conference was just a month ago but that was 6 months ago already! We also have transfer calls this upcoming Saturday but with the new training program, it doesn't matter because I know that I'm staying here with Elder Villa Quevedo at least another transfer so don't have to worry about leaving for a while.

Well, I better get going but I love you all and miss you. Have a great week, and talk to you next week!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Week 34

Sorry its taken me so long to reply. I went to email on Monday and the libraries were closed and then the internet at the family history center was broken and then couldn't do it the past two days because I was in Fresno at a Leadership training for the past two days. So it took me til today to email so I will keep it short. Last week I had trainer trainee meeting in Fresno so that was fun, it's just that I've be going to a lot of meetings so it's a lot more sitting and a lot less missionary work. So that's pretty much what has been happening, the work has slowed down a lot because we haven't been able to work here for a while so we don't have many investigators so its slow right now. Tonight were going to the stake priesthood meeting and there is a dinner before so that should be fun. My companion is struggling right now, he doesn't really connect with anyone, none of the missionaries in the district really like him because he's kind of different and has nothing in common. I'm trying to help him but he won't open up and doesn't give me much to work with. He seems miserable a lot of the time and never smiles so that is something that I'm going to try and do...make him smile! So we've been working with sergio the past couple months and he has been going to church every week and he goes to mutual and all the other church activities but we asked his mom if he could be baptized but she said no so that was unfortunate. Were working with a few people but none of them are coming to church so we got to find those people that are actually looking for the truth. Well today is Thursday and I get to email you this Monday so won't be long til I email next.

Well I better get going but hope that everything is good and let you know that I love you all and miss you! Get to speak to you in less than two months, time is really flying!

Monday, 12 March 2012

Week 33

Thanks for the emails. So we had a great week this past week, we are extremely busy and the weeks are really starting to fly by. We had a lot of meetings this past week as we had L. Tom Perry and Elder Maynes. He talked about Mitt Romney surprisingly and how it gives us a great opportunity to share the gospel because so many people are wondering about the church. He talked about the priesthood and how the church is the only church that is organized. It was a long meeting, but it was good and the whole mission was together so it was fun to see everyone. Were struggling right now with people with a solid baptismal date so we need to find people who are actually interested. We are working with Sergio to get him baptized this weekend so pray for him to get permission from his parents. Besides from Sergio we don't have anyone who is really solid. This upcoming week we have trainer trainee meeting which is all day so that should be fun. Were just going to try new people to find this week. So last week we went to the Ramate, which is just a flea market, its like china town where there is a lot of cheap clothes and glasses.

Thats good that so many youth went to the youth trip, it sounds like the youth is really growing in the ward, more than just the 3 priests that we had when I was there. Sorry my emails are getting shorter it just seems the preparation days are getting shorter and shorter because were so busy on them but one of these days I will send some pictures. Well I gotta go but I love you and will talk to you next week.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Week 32

So today we went to the Remate and we just got back so don't have any time to email, but everything is good with me. We had an excellent week as we had 28 lessons taught and we normally only get about 20 and we were able to find 6 new investigators so we are doing really well. Alma was confirmed this Sunday and that was really special. This upcoming week we have L. Tom Perry coming to the all mission conference so looking forward to that.

Sorry my email is so small, next week won't be so crazy and will have more time to update you on life, but I'm loving everything right now so don't need to worry about me.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Week 31

My new companion is Elder Villa Quevedo and he is from Glendale, AZbut moved there when he was 10 from Mexico, so he speaks both Spanishand English so that is good. He is a lot different than my lastcompanion and he is pretty quiet, but I don't mind that. We get alonggreat, so nothing to complain about that. He is a good missionaryalready and really wants to learn and be better. I'm going to takeadvantage of being with a fluent Spanish companion more than when Iwas with Elder Malo. We are going to have a lot of success togetherthese 3 months I think. We only had 1 investigator at church this weekso that was disappointing, but we did all we could to get peoplethere. We went to go see President Gelwix speak at a youth firesidelast night as we had an investigator go and it was a really good talk,he is fantastic public speaker, I need to ask him how he does it! Sothis week, nothing too big is happening, just going to bike all dayand find new people to teach as our teaching pool is down right now,as we dropping faster than we can find. Can't think of much elsehappening this week. We have L. Tom Perry coming on the 9th so lookingforward to that. So the new training program is really good, I'mlearning just as much I think from it, the extra hour of study isdefiantly worth it.

Thats great news about the baby, its a boy!! Well, thanks for all the emails, sorry I can'treply to them all, but I do read them all, and I will try and reply nextweek or write a letter. Thanks for everything, love you and miss youall.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Week 30

Well it has been another great week and very exciting. We had a baptism yesterday (Alma Mata) who has been taught by missionaries over a year and finally decided to be baptized. It was a great service as we had a lot of people there and it was only 30 minutes so it was quick and people like those better than the hour long ones! There is no better feeling than leaving a baptism, if only all the time we could feel that way. We also had a couple other investigators there and we are working towards getting sergio baptized, he wants to and he has been to church for 3 weeks now, but his parents haven't given him permission so we will work on that. This week we really need to focus on finding new investigators, that is the most important thing, so that is what we will be doing this week. This past Wednesday, we had president interviews so was able to talk to him for about 5 minutes, don't get to see him or talk to him much because of how big the mission is and how many missionaries there are so it was good to talk with him 1 on 1. After the interviews, had an exchange back in Reedley with Elder Covey, who replaced me in Reedley and was with me in the MTC so that was a lot of fun. So we had transfer calls on Saturday, and I got a call from President Gelwix on Saturday afternoon asking if I would be a trainer, and I said yes so the next 3 months I will be training in Kingsburg. So I don't know who my new companion is until Thursday, but I am really excited for it, but at the same time I'm nervous because I still feel like I'm learning. Also we have L. Tom Perry coming next Friday for an all mission conference in Fresno, haven't had one of those yet, but everyone from the mission is going to be there so it will be fun. Then a month later we have Christofferson coming to our stake conference so we will have our fair share of apostles coming to visit. So this upcoming week I will be in Fresno staying at some other missionaries apartment on Wednesday and then on Thursday we have a meeting and then go back out and work. The new training program is a little different as you have 2 hours of companionship studies every day so will have 4 hours of study instead of 3 and then you stay with your trainee for 3 months so I know that I will be here in Kingsburg for at least another 3 months which is awesome because I love this ward and we have such a big potential in the work right now.

Thats great news about Don Jr. giving his first kick, is everything good with them? But, I gotta get going now, I love you all and look forward to hearing from you next week and talking to you in May!