Monday, December 12, 2016
Silver City, New Mexico and go to a new area. I'm going to Bonanza Ward in Southeast Tucson; my companion is pretty new; his name is Elder Barr and I'm only going to be his second companion, which makes me senior companion. It's a bike area though, so I won't be driving still, unfortunately. I'll have to miss Shalako's baptism in January, but I might be able to Skype or something like that. It's unusual for me to be in Tucson today. I don't recognize anything and it's so much different from New Mexico; it's almost as if I'm starting my mission all over again. What's cool is Sister Spencer is in the same zone as me now, so we'll be serving around each other for a little while.
I hope you've all had great experiences with the #LighttheWorld
initiative. If you haven't tried doing anything from it yet, keep in
mind the acts of service don't have to be complicated. Today is "Jesus Taught Others and So Can You;" one of the things you can do today is teach a family member what you learned recently from reading the scriptures (tonight's family home evening would be a great time to do so). The things we do can also be for our own benefit as well. For an example, tomorrow is "Jesus Showed Humility and So Can You," and one thing you can do for it is ask your parents (regardless of your age) how you can deal with a current challenge you're facing. Love you and thank you for all the notes you send. Have a fantastic week,
Thanksgiving dinner at the Treagers and the Waters - I'm surprised I didn't throw up. The Treagers also invited the new senior missionaries to dinner as well - Elder and Sister Thomas. They're the new directors of the institute and will be in Silver for two years; they're from California and they decided to sell their house and give away all their stuff to go on missions for the rest of their lives - way to apply Elder Yamashita's talk and be ambitious for Christ. Elder Thomas is a really funny guy; he cracks us up to no end . Hopefully his energy will bring new life to the institute at WMNU and bring more people to the branch.
I hope everyone enjoyed their Turkey Day and had much to be thankful for. If you haven't checked it out yet, the church has come out with their new campaign for this Christmas season - #LighttheWorld. In the past, Christmas videos from the church often focus on introducing non members to the Church and remembering Christ, but this year, the brethren have decided to take an other approach. It would make a great family home evening to go on christmas.mormon.org and watch the new #LighttheWorld video; it depicts Christ rendering acts of service to other people (helping the sick, blind, eta.) and then shows how we can do those same exact things ourselves today. On his Sermon on the Mount, Christ told his followers that "ye are the light of the world. A city set on an hill cannot be hid." (Matthew 5:14) And this new initiative from the Church invites to be just that - the light of the world. In addition to the #LighttheWorld video, there will be short, 30-second videos released everyday from December 1-24 showing various
acts of service performed by Christ and how we can do it today; sort of like Christ-centered advent calendar. I would invite all of you to make this campaign a part of your holiday season, as Christ seems to be pushed into the background at this time of year. Be sure to ask the missionaries for the pass-along cards to give to your friends as well. By the way - it snowed this morning! There's actually snow in the Arizona Tucson Mission!
It's hard to believe that I only have a few more weeks left in Silver.
It's seems like it's been forever and no time at all at the same time.
I love it here, yet I'm ready to experience something new; I'm quite
conflicted in thought.
There was tons of service and not a whole lot of lessons this week
(just enough to hit standards of excellence - which are goals set by
the mission president for each week). Brother Flythe's house is still
a work in progress, but we've accomplished a lot from when I was first there five months ago. The other Silver City elders invited us to help them volunteer at a horse rescue every Tuesday and Thursday morning; lots of dirt digging and manure shoveling, but it beats knocking doors at nine in the morning. We started teaching a part member family named the Peters on Wednesday. Ralph, the husband, is a non member, but he has a firm belief in the Bible and is fine with where he is. Rather than asking him to take the missionary discussions we just gave his family a reading assignment out of the Bible, so we can discuss it when come back next week. So he doesn't know it, but he's a new investigator -Ha!
I hope you all enjoy your holiday and give thanks to Lord for all themarvelous blessings He has so generously bestowed on us.
Monday, November 14, 2016
I'm having a good day because it's not only P day, but I'm turning 19 today! Thank you everyone for your birthday notes; it's very much appreciated.
This week was pretty good. We had zone conference on Wednesday in Thatcher, Arizona and we got to listen to the one and only President Passey and his wife. Also got to have trainings from other missionaries on a whole bunch of different tools we can use to help those we are teaching. A good edifying experience all together. After the conference I got to exchange out of Silver City for the first time ever. I was in a town called Deming in New Mexico with Elder Swain, who is one of my zone leaders. It was nice to experience something new and work with different people for a day.
I don't know if I've mentioned him before, but we have someone new who's on date for baptism. His name is Bob Sroka; he was a referral we got from some Elders in the Albuquerque mission - one of their investigators knew him. He is definitely ready. He came to church for all three hours yesterday. Elder Stephenson and I were teaching Gospel Principles, and he participated and fit right in the class. We were talking about the signs of the Second Coming, which is a pretty difficult subject for someone new to the church. The lesson manual mentioned the new Jerusalem that was to be built in Jackson County, Missouri; I was just praying he wasn't going to think we were nutjobs and stop meeting with us, but he had no issue with it. He lightheartedly commented "It's quite ironic, from Missouri [misery] comes Jesus." He's going to be a great member, and it's an other baptism I'll have to miss. Oh well.
I get to speak in Gila Ward next week during sacrament meeting. The bishop asked me to use one of the talks from last Conference to work off of. Tell me what your favorite talk from the October conference was and I'll consider using it for my talk next week.
I hope you enjoy your week,
Monday, November 7, 2016
I hope everyone is enjoying their Monday as much as I am. Sometimes I feel I enjoy non proselyting days too much; but I can't help but to feel satisfied when resting after a very good week. Our teaching pool
grew by three this week and they practically fell onto our laps; whenever we went into one of our normal lessons, someone new would be there, wanting to learn more about our beliefs. We went to go follow up on a referral we helped move last week and a friend of hers, Buck,
accepted a Book of Mormon from us. Buck is a Seventh Day Advent (they
worship on Saturday like the Hebrews and make a big deal of it), and he had a lot to talk about of his beliefs when we met him. Nevertheless, he was open to reading the Book of Mormon, but he also
wanted us to take some religious literature of his (which I accepted -
it's only fair if I read it - he expects me to read it just as I expect him to read the BOM). He wants us to find prophecies of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon in the Bible the next time we see him as
well (I like a good challenge).
Brother Jones grandson, Coltan, moved into town from Utah and sat in our lesson with Joseph on Thursday as well. He recently began to study the Bible and wants to learn more about our church and the Book of Mormon. Of course we'd be happy to assist him in that. In our lesson with Marie and Carrye (the first one we had in a while), Marie had a friend of hers over named Anthony. Anthony was in and out of our lesson but up an immediate interest in the blue book we were
reading out of - the Book of Mormon. As we were teaching, he took out a Bible and started to look for the verses and books from the BOM in the Bible. With a confused look on his face, he asked us why he couldn't find them. We explained that the BOM is an entirely different
volume of scripture and so forth, which made him want to learn more, too.
There's great power in the Book of Mormon, and people seem to be more
interested in learning about it when they have an idea of what it is. My only admonition is to share it and testify of it whenever the opportunity comes. All you have to do is explain and invite to learn
more. I doubt any friendships have ever ended from a simple invitation to learn more of something that's important to you, and if one ever did, that friend was probably no good in the first place.
Have a good week and know that you're loved and missed
Monday, October 31, 2016
Andersen; he was a good companion and the ward really enjoyed his stay here as well. Elder Kapele of first ward is also leaving for Gila Valley, so everyone that was here when I first came here will be gone; it's pretty weird. Tomorrow I get to go to Safford to meet my new companion, Elder Stephenson. This will probably be my last transfer here, but I really wish it wasn't; Shalako Bradberry should be getting baptized in late December, and it'd really be too bad if I missed it. I finally got to drive this week! For the first time in four and a half months; it was so strange. I was on exchanges with Elder Bangerter. We just found out Saturday that he will be training a new missionary right after he's done being trained - crazy.
We went to see the Gila Cliff Dwellings, which is a settlement made out of the side of a mountain by the Mogellon people about 700 years ago. And City of Rocks is a group of rock formations caused by the cooling of lava from a volcanic explosion about 34 million years ago.
I hope everyone enjoys their pagan holiday and has a good rest of the week,
Sorry I'm so lazy on P day and hardly get to writing these. Silver has been treating me well and Elder Andersen and I had a pretty good week. We're teaching someone fairly new names Shalako Bradberry who's husband is a recently re activated member. She is very much ready for baptism and has been going to church for a while now. In our last lesson with her, we taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ; she shared with us that she feels she's definitely in the repentance process right now and has started to make lifestyle changes by her own accord. Her coffee pot broke the other day and she has made a resolve not to replace it (we haven't even taught the Word of Wisdom, yet). It's too bad I might not be able to see her baptism, since it will be in December so her husband can baptize her, but I'm excited for them, nonetheless.
On Sunday, we had five investigators come to church, which is one of the best weeks I've had so far. We even had someone in Gila Ward come, and it's hard to find new people there. Luckily, a new couple moved there and haven't had their door knocked on like everyone else there. The husband came and he got a warm welcome from the Ward, since they haven't seen a new face in a while. They say their not "joiners" and aren't considering joining a church, but as long as I'm here, I'm going to do what I can to change that.
Hope you all had good General and stake Conferences this past few
weeks. I especially enjoyed Elder Yamashita's talk about being
"ambitious for Christ." Those of you from Huntington might rememberhim talking to us at the Palmyra Visitors Center when we went therefor youth conference a few years ago.
Elder Andersen and I are now teaching a couple we helped moved up in Gila Ward (the other unit we cover). When we introduced the Book of Mormon to them they were so fascinated it all. They thought it was amazing how Christ came to the Americas and how Jospeh Smith receive his call to be the prophet to translate it. I give away plenty of Book of Mormons, but rarely do you come across someone who actually WANTS you to give it away. It's moments like these where I'd like to be the people I'm teaching and be able the restored gospel for the first time - just to know what I'd be like. I just hope their great curiosity grows into something they will act on.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
In relation to the upcoming general conference, I encourage you to
study the story of Naaman the Syrian in 2 Kings 5. Elijah commanded Naaman to simply bathe in the river Jordan seven times to be healed. Naaman was upset because he was not commanded to do something great, nor did he have something great shown to him. But his servant reminded him that if he would have done some great thing, then why not do this small thing as well. Often times we may hear a talked in conference and be like Naaman: "This is all things I've heard before; it's the simple things I've always known. Although we might not be getting a new mind-blowing revelation or a new section to D&C anytime soon, we need to keep in mind the prophets are given us instruction specific to our time,a no heeding to it will bring us safety from the adversary and great blessings.
Apologize for not sending anything last week - time got away from me. This weeks marks the beginning of my three transfer and I'm no longer a trainee. I'm getting a new companion tomorrow who's name is Elder Anderson. Because this will be the last transfer of his mission, I'm probably going to be in Silver until the middle of December. Which is fine by me, the ward and the people in this area are great; the weather's not too bad either. It's going to be interesting taking over an area for the first time; I'll be depending a lot on the Lord to let me know who and where I should be going to day by day.
On Saturday, Hendrix was baptized. I got to speak on baptism for the service, and Elder Coyne performed the ordinance. It was so great to witness the baptism of someone I helped teach myself. I do - of course - have pictures of us with Hendrix and his whole family before the baptism, and I'll definitely be sure to get them out to all of you before the end of the day. I absolutely love that family; before we took the picture, I was practicing the songs I need to play for the service when Hendrix's little half-sister came up to me and said "we're taking family pictures and you're part of the family, so come on!" I never thought I'd be able to connect with people very well when I first came out, but I'm so glad now to see how well I'm being accepted by the people that I teach.
Love all of you and hope you all have a good week,
Thursday, September 8, 2016
Had to travel to Pima, Arizona on Tuesday for my first zone
conference. We got to hear from President and Sister Passey about
working with members and acting on faith and such. We have a temple trip this coming Wednesday, so everyone in the mission was challenged to find a family name to do endowments for. Everyone in my district and I found a name, but they all need to have other ordinances done first before we could do the endowment. So after zone conference we all went to the Gila Valley Temple to get those done. This is was the first time I'd done work for a name I found myself. I also got to baptize someone in the temple for the first time. I baptized Elder Bangerter for his name and he baptized me do mine. I'm surprised I was able to baptize him since he has about five inches on me. It was probably the best experience in the temple I've had so far. I think I appreciate the temple a lot more now than I did as a youth.
We haven't found anyone now to teach this week, but we could be
getting one this week. The family that's feeding us on Friday invited a non member they know who said they would come. I hope something comes of it. We are also getting our investigator Hendricks ready for his baptism in two weeks. I can't wait to be a baptism for someone I taught. His grandparents have also decided to get married, so we'll be able to help his grandma progress to baptism as well soon.
I only really have a few things to share and they happened yesterday. Unfortunately, this has been an other slow week with a lot of lessons falling through, so we've mostly been visiting less actives and recent converts.
In sacrament meeting yesterday, I got to speak for the first time on
my mission. Elder Coyne and I were asked to speak on how the gospel blesses families. I spoke somewhere around eight minutes, and I had to write out every last thing I a had to say since I couldn't practice it that much. But everyone complemented me nonetheless on how well prepared I was, even though I was just reading off of a paper the whole time.
We had a former investigator return to church yesterday as well but
let me explain. The second day I was here in Silver, we went with our ward mission leader to visit an investigator named Pauline, who the Elders before us tracted into a few months ago. The night I saw her she was about to go into rehab (voluntarily) in Las Cruses. She looked like a mess and she was a mess. When I saw her yesterday, she looked like a whole new person, and now Elder Coyne and I are going to begin preparing her and her kids for baptism! The change the gospel has brought to her life is quite evident and incredible.
Wish I had more to share, but that's about it for this week. Love you all,
few weeks. Marie and Carrye are still having Word of Wisdom problems, and we've moved their baptismal date to Oct. 1. We also set a date with an investigator a member found for us, Joseph. He told us the other day at a church activity that he has really enjoyed the lessons and what he's been hearing, which was really encouraging to me. We're hoping that everything will go fine so we can baptize on Oct. 15. We taught Hendricks - who is also getting ready for baptism - and his grandma, Betsy, in Friday. Our ward mission leader knows Betsy pretty well, and in the lesson he asked her for her candid opinion of the church. She said she was disappointed by how some people act so irreverent while the speakers give heartfelt talks during sacrament meeting, which was a bit upsetting to hear. I would just recommend that we as members watch ourselves and put in good preparation for the sabbath. People are watching us, and we need to make sure we're representing Christ's church the way He'd want us to. A member in Silver City ward - who is a temple sealer - said the other day that there is no reason why sacrament meeting can't be every bit as spiritually edifying as a trip to the temple. I believe that; do we not realize we are participating in an essential, holy ordinance every Sunday within the wall of our meetinghouse? Let our actions and thoughts reflect that every Sabbath and it will be so much more refreshing and uplifting for all of us.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
appointments with new investigators falling through these past few
weeks; this week we were able to finally meet with some of them and we now have two new people we're meeting with regularly now.
The first person is Hendricks Jackson who was actually taking the
lessons before he went to live with his dad for the summer. He lives
with his grandparents in Silver during the school year, so we were
able to start giving the discussions again this week. In our lesson I
asked him if he'd like to be baptized; it was the first time I had
done so. It was very abrupt and weird when I did it and it made
Hendricks very hesitant. Luckily Elder Coyne and his grandparents were able to coax him into it afterward and he agreed to set a date for September 17. Hopefully I'll figure out a smooth transition to use before asking people to be baptized.
Brother Jones, one of our ward missionaries, has been letting someone live in their camper on his property, and has asked to take the missionary discussions as well. His name is Joseph; he's been having a difficult time both emotionally and financially as his wife died from cancer a few months ago and he spent a lot of money trying to keep her alive. We had a great discussion on the restoration and families. We invited him to read the introduction of the BOM and he seemed very interested in doing so. He seems like a solid investigator.
Lately we've doing service for a member in our ward who needs his
house cleaned up before his wife comes home from the hospital. His name is Brother Roger Flythe; he hasn't actually occupied his house in years since he's had to care for a lot of sick relatives in his
family, so his dogs have pretty much had free reign in it for a while.
He's a very smart guy and used to be a very successful artist, making over a hundred grand a year doing it. I'll have to figure out a way to send pictures of some his paints to all of you; he is very good and prolific.
Be safe and have a good week,
I survived my first six weeks, and am now halfway trained. My trio has
ended and Elder Kapele is in his way to Tucson to pick up his new
companion. He will be training, so that means I won't be the new guy
in Silver City anymore.
This week was pretty slow, sadly. No new investigators. We tried to
reschedule with the news we had lined up last week, but those meetings fell through again. Hopefully we'll have better luck this week. On Friday went looking for a referral who lived in the middle of nowhere and two miles away from the mission boundaries. We took a wrong turn and had to ask a farmer for directions. We finally got there and...he wasn't home, so we had to turn around and go home and our day was pretty much over by then. Thus is the life of a missionary I guess.
On Thursday we had our regular meeting with Marie and Carrye. We had finally made it to the dreaded Word of Wisdom lesson as they are both smokers. They actually took the lesson surprisingly well and understood the doctrine of it clearly. They understood perfectly why they needed to kick their habit before baptism and expressed a willingness to try. It will be interesting to see how this goes for them. One thing I'll say for sure is that their baptismal dates will need to be pushed back as it was originally set for the 13th of this month.
Sundays have been a bit lengthy since we have to go to both first and second ward's sacrament meetings; which comes out to about six hours of church. I've become the de facto priesthood pianist for second Ward which is all right with me; it gives a good excuse to hit the keys on my P days.
Have a good week. Love you all; miss you all,
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Coyne have both been fun to work with. Elde Coyne and I were expecting three new investigators this week and had all the appointments set up.
time to two separate wards, I think we have a valid excuse for our low
numbers this week. We did commit someone to be baptized in Elder
Kapele's area, so we're still getting a lot done.
Because of the failed appointments, we've spent a lot of time visiting
with recent converts and less actives. On less active we've been
focusing on - Sister Whelan - is a very interesting person. She took
an IQ test in college and it was high enough to where she could have
joined Mensa, but her mother asked her not to. She learned how to do
Indian healing and has done and taught it professionally. She told us
many stories of instances where she has restored people's sight and
things of that nature. How much of it is actually true is hard to say,
but cool stories nonetheless. She said she also went on a vision
quest, and when she finally got her patriarchal blessing some of the
things in it matched what she had learned doing the vision quest. It's
interesting to see all he different walks of life that the gospel has
touched and effected each day.
still continuing to learn about the gospel. Marie's grandkids came
over in the middle of our last lesson and they even sat down and
listened in for some of it. We were showing a video about the first
vision and they were asking questions and wanting to learn more as
anytime during the week (I just won't respond till Monday)
Monday, July 25, 2016
According to Elder Coyne she is a lot more open to learning about the gospel than she was before, so that sounds pretty hopeful.
has been having having an extremely hard time with her son lately
though, so it's been hard to get them both out there. Do pray for them if you can remember.
The picture above (and the two below) was taken at Apache National Park. Elder Miller and his companion were able to stop and visit on their way to Arizona this morning with another set of Elders.
I'm actually not in New Mexico right now; today and tomorrow Elder Coyne and I are staying with another set of Elders in the thriving metropolis of Clifton, Arizona (it's not big at all). There library is so much better than Huntington's; I just drove in from another state and I was able to sign up for card no questions asked. In Huntington, they'd charge you a million dollars before you could have access to anything! We'll be in Arizona because Tuesday we have to go to Safford for a trainer trainee follow up meeting.
Saturday, July 9, 2016
Last night we went to an amazing fireside. It was held by Devon Shelly who is the Director of Distribution of media for the entire church; turns out he's a native of Silver City. He played an active role in the production of the Meet the Mormons movie, and that was what he was talking to us about. He also made an announcement that the two stories that were cut from the film will be shown in all the church visitors centers in the US starting this month. So if you're traveling this summer you can check that out.
Love you all, have a good week,
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
From the airport they all went to the Mormon Battalion Monument in downtown Tucson, where they talked about commitment and leaving behind all the cares of the world to focus on the work of the Lord. They then stopped at the mission office to meet the staff then to the mission home, where the missionaries received instruction and training from the Assistants to the President, Sister Passey and President Passey.
Hugh has been assigned to the New Mexico Zone, with Elder Coyne as his companion. We will be updating his mailing address as soon as we receive it.
Thursday, June 23, 2016
Thursday, June 16, 2016
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Friday, June 10, 2016
Sorry for the late email; I didn't get a chance yesterday to send one. I'm at the MTC now and I'm safe. I've learned a lot already and have an even busier day ahead of me today. My P-Days are on Thursdays while I'm in Provo. I got my very first companion yesterday; his name is Elder Sherwood and he's from Dayton, Ohio. We're both going to Tucson, and we'll be teaching a lesson together for the first time later today. Know that you're all loved and missed.