Saturday, November 13, 2010

August 3 - November 2, 2010 Letters

August 3, 2010

Dear family,

This week was a pretty good one. Three people we were teaching got baptized. The baptisms were a little stressful, though. How it worked out is the only times they could do them was 4:30 and 5. so we plannd on going to T[...] and V[...]'s baptism at 4:30 and leaving right after they got baptized to go to D[...]'s baptism. We got to the 4:30 baptism and the Spanish elders were supposed to get clothes, but got ones that were too small. We ran around everywhere trying to find clothes, but ended up just leaving and going to D[...]'s baptism. Everything eventually worked out and everyone got baptized. I like doing things myself and not relying on others, that way I never get disappointed because we weren't able to be there to see T[...] and V[...] get baptized. All of the confirmations went really good. All three of them cried, even D[...] who's a fitness trainer in the Air Force teared up.

We won some points with the sister missionaries on Saturday. The 4 sisters in the zone for some reason decided they didn't like us so they would criticize everything we did and not pay attention. So we set up a time to just talk it over with them. I was wary going into it because 1. I didn't want to come down really hard on them and make them feel worthless and 2. I didn't want to in any way grovel for their support. So we had to go somewhere in the middle of all of that. We told them the things we were doing in the zone and got them to agree that what we are doing will help, then we got them to tell us they support us. It went a whole lot better than expected. I hope this is the last of our sister problems.

Love, E[...] M[...]

August 10, 2010

Dear family,

Hey mom you sent me the Men's Wearhouse receipt for the suit I got in 2007. The suit I would like tailored is the one I got right before my mission. It's the average joe brand bought late in 2008. If you would sent that receipt it would be much appreciated.

That's great that K[...]'s home. Don't expect a 40 minute talk from me though. I've figured out that 15 to 20 minutes is ideal for keeping everyone interested and not rambling on. Not that I want to talk about going home, but have you thought about how I'm going to go home? The mission office will probably ask me some time if I'll need a plane ticket or whatever. I don't care if I fly or drive, my only stipulation is I don't want to stay in Utah, I would like to leave the mission home and go home.

The sisters in the zone like us now. It's working out good now. It's not that the Spirit wasn't in our trainings. They were just looking for things wrong with it and with that attitude you are stiffnecked and in Jarom 1:4 you can't be guided by the spirit that way. Just like a dumb horse can't be led by the reins if it has a stiff neck.

I went to the hospital yesterday and interviewed this old feeble man for baptism. He took the missionary lessons before and he said he always knew the church was true, just kept procrastinating himself getting baptized. Now the doctor told him he only has a week to live because of his cancer. It was a wake up call and so he decided he wants to go through with it. Afterwards I asked him how old he was. 55. I thought he was in his 80s. I'm glad Dad takes care of himself. I wrestled him right before I came on the mission, and this guy would've literally died if I tried that.

Love, E[...] M[...]

September 7, 2010

Dear family,

That's good to hear about the trip. Elder S[...], my Swedish companion, always said that American bread and cheese are terrible. He said the European stuff is way better. I hope you're taking bunches of pictures cause its not everyday that you get to go to Germany.,

We had an amazing baptism last Saturday. C[...] E[...], a mildly autistic 9 year old, got baptized by his dad. His dad got worthy and active so he could baptize his son. C[...] is deathly afraid of water and his mom told us that he'd probably fight rather than go in the baptismal font. When it came time for C[...] to get baptized he got in the water and whined a little bit then got baptized. When he came out of the water he said, "Can I do that again?" The baptism went really good and I think it was almost more for the family than for C[...]. He isn't very accountable, but this brought the family way closer together. His dad whose a prison guard even teared up during the confirmation.

I survived another transfer. I'm still with Elder S[...] so this will end up being 4 1/2 months together. I'm good with that because we work good together.

Love, E[...] M[...]

September 22, 2010

Dear family,

Yesterday, I got to go to a leadership meeting with Elder Robins from the Quorum of the 70. It was pretty cool. He talked to us about gospel pairs. Like how the Atonement and the Fall go hand in hand--one cannot be there or explained without the other. He focused on two different ones: Be and Do like Christ, and agency and responsibility. A major portion was on not making excuses because when we do that we lose control of the situation. We try to extinguish our responsibility by blaming or any other excuse. When we were in the premortal life, we fought to have that responsibility just as much as we fought for agency, so why waste it? I think all of us need to keep this mindset because at judgement every excuse we use will sound stupid when we say it in front of Christ. Instead we can take responsibility and do all we can, we have more control than we think. It was a good meeting.

Everything is going all right here. Since it's my last conference in the mission I'll get to go down to Salt Lake next week for it. We're trying to bargain with stake presidents for tickets for some of our investigators. We'll see if we can get them.

Satan's working hard against us. A family with four kids was supposed to get baptized this Saturday. The grandma got offended for no reason and called it off. The week before a baptism is always crazy. We hope it works out in the future.

Love, E[...] M[...]

September 28, 2010

Dear family,

This weekend should be pretty good. I get to go to Saturday afternoon and the priesthood session of conference. One of the people I'm teaching is going to come with us on the Saturday afternoon session. We called all the bishops in the three stakes and tracked down some tickets so we could get the investigator and the fellowshipper to come with us.

That stinks that C[...] has asthma. Maybe he'll get over it like I did. It's a good thing we got the medical care we do for it.

I hope the permission paper I wrote works out. I couldn't do it that fancy because we can't really access computers except to do email. I just went to the church and used the copy machine to make it.

I met a guy last week that served his mission in Scotland. He said he knew J[...] G[...] and he said he lost a bunch of weight on his mission. Said his clothes didn't fit good by the end. It's a small world.

Love, E[...] M[...]

October 5, 2010

Dear family,

General conference was really good. We got to go to more sessions of it than I thought we would. On Saturday we took some investigators to the afternoon session and then showed them around Temple Square. We attended the Priesthood session with the other missionaries and on Sunday we went to the afternoon session with A[...]--she got baptized last month, and one of her friends.

I think this conference had some of the most direct talks I've ever heard in conference. President Monson laid down the law about young men and senior couples needing to serve missions, Boyd K Packer's and M Russell Ballard's talks were amazing in that respective too. I really enjoyed being there. My companion hated the crowds, but I thought it was cool being around that many people all gathered to hear the prophet. We talked to an athiest from New York, and he said the Mormons are like the Israelites following Joshua.

Well, transfers come up next week so I guess we'll see what happens. My companion and I have been together for 4 1/2 months so its time for a change.

Love, E[...] M[...]

October 12, 2010

Dear family,

Yeah, I am getting transferred tomorrow. I'm going to serve in Layton. I'll probably be there for the rest of my mission because the elder I am serving with goes home at the end of this transfer so I'll probably stay there till the end.

We baptized a kid named J[...] on Saturday. We've been teaching his less active mom for a while, and he just stepped in to one of the lessons and he wanted to be baptized. That was the first baptism in a while that I haven't played the piano for. I should have though because the old lady they asked to play could only handle the right hand of the hymns.

There are protests up here against Pres. Packers talk. ... I think it goes well with the scripture that says people will call evil good and good evil. We are definitely in the right, but people think we are evil and judgmental for it. ... A man that has a whole lot of anger kills someone. Just because he's an angry person doesn't mean he can kill someone. It's still wrong...

Well i'll write next week.

Love, E[...] M[...]

October 19, 2010

Dear family,

Layton is good. My companion is Elder N[...] from Duncan, Arizona. We are teaching a bunch of people up here. This area has exploded with work recently. We are teaching a guy named W[...]. He was a truck driver and decided to do something new. So now he ended up in Layton with no home and no money. He is very sincere and is getting baptized on the 30th of October. He said once he started meeting with the missionaries he's been in higher spirits than he ever thought possible with the situation he's in. He's been offered one job so far and he denied it because it would require him to work on Sunday. Even before we taught him the law of the Sabbath, he rejected the job because he wants to do the religion with his whole heart and not hold anything back.

Love, E[...] M[...]

October 26, 2010

Dear family,

W[...] is doing good. he got baptized this last weekend. We moved it up because stake conference is this week, so we wanted him to be confirmed in sacrament meeting so we did it this last weekend. He just got a job working at a hobby store and the bishop's in-laws are letting him live with them. It's amazing how living the gospel you get blessed so much for it. He says the gospel is his "happy pill" because he's been so much happier since he started meeting with us even though his life was rougher than it had ever been. I'll send his baptism picture.

Yeah the winter has come. The snow hasn't stuck on the ground yet, but I expect it will pretty soon. It's nice to still have a car, especially one with a heater that works. Last winter the car I was driving the heater went out and the car guy at the mission office said I'd have to wait till the next month to get it fixed because there were too many cars in the shop right then. That was a cold winter.

Love, E[...] M[...]

November 2, 2010

Dear family,

That is good to hear about the C[...] family accepting the invitation to have the missionary lessons. I hope it all goes well and they feel the spirit.

To answer your question, Mom, nope, the Ogden temple isn't under construction yet, and they have not set a firm date of when they are going to start it. I can pretty much guarantee that I will be home before they start it. I still get to go to the Ogden temple every week except for transfer week.

Yesterday we had a lesson with this black guy named T[...]. We had talked with him a little bit before and finally were able to have a lesson with him. He had read a chapter we left with him and he was already convinced that the Book of Mormon is God's word. He felt the spirit again in the lesson and his biggest worry about joining the church is that he will revert back to bad habits. Its always amazing when we find people that prepared. It shows that tracting does work sometimes.

Love, E[...] M[...]

Oh yeah, my birthday is coming up and I don't really need too much stuff out here. I wouldn't mind if I had stuff waiting for me when i get home though. I'll need new toothbrush heads for my electric toothbrush (oral b vitality), garments (50\50 cotton poly med. tall tops crew cut, 32 bottoms), a digital picture frame would be sweet so I could have all my mission pictures on it, temple clothes (all I have is a tie and white socks), and when I get home i'll pick out my own regular clothes, so money for that wouldn't be a bad thing. That's all i can think of right now.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

July 2010 Letters

July 6, 2010

Dear family,

My holidays were ok. I think most holidays are pretty lame in the
mission. Not many people want to talk to us or set up lessons on those days.

We ran into a girl that got baptized in cali a few years back. We tracted into her and I was surprised how easily we were able to get her back to church. She said she got baptized because her husband was LDS and then they got divorced. She moved up to Utah and when everything was going on she just stopped going to church. We asked her and she said the reason why she doesn't go to church is she doesn't have a ride. So we talked to the Relief Society president and she took her to church. The Lord really is doing all the legwork for us up here.

It was nice spending last Friday with Grandma and Grandpa. We went up to Logan to see a family I taught get sealed. It was way spiritual especially when they had their 7 week old baby sealed to them. I think that moment was one of the real paydays for missionary work.

Love, E[...] M[...]

P.S. I guess you can look into Pima for me. I think I'll hang out in
Tucson for at least a little bit.

July 13, 2010

To answer your questions. I like my new area. We've got it pretty much
figured out. There are 14 total elders and sisters in the South Ogden zone,
and I've been a zone leader for 5 months.

This week we found out we are going to be in this thing called the youth
spectacular. It is going to have 3000 youth from 30 stakes in it and it is
supposively going to be like what the Chinese did at the beginning of the
Summer Olympics. We are going to come out in the finale and sing Called To
. Rumor has it that the prophet and some apostles are going to show
up. We are excited about that and we have 3 investigators that are coming
to it.

We baptized two guys last Saturday. K[...] B[...] is a black guy who plays
football for Weber State [University] and and 13 year old named B[...].
Their baptisms went really well. I played the piano for them.

Good luck on battling cybersitter.

Love, E[...] M[...]

July 20, 2010

Dear family,

Well, the youth spectacular is over. It went pretty good. We had 3 investigators go to it and it turned out really good. [...], but it still turned out to be nice.

This weekend we are having a baptism for 2 of our investigators. their names are T[...] and V[...]. T[...] is Navajo and only speaks English and V[...] is Mexican and only speaks Spanish. I'm not sure how their marriage really works out because Victor can only do the superficial conversations like Hi and How are you and that sort of thing. They're making it work though. We taught them for a while and they just weren't progressing so we got the Spanish elders to start team teaching with us and its been working out better for that. We could never get them to go to church and so we decided to give them a church tour. It went really well and they started going to church. I think it made them a whole lot more comfortable with it because they are shy. They are getting baptized into the Spanish branch. This is because T[...] told us she is uncomfortable around white people so even though she doesn't understand it, she likes it better. I think she also likes the fact that nobody can come up and talk to her. Some of the members of the branch have been translating for her.

Congratulations on the baptisms in the ward. That's great the parts that the family were able to take in the program. I'm always doing something, whether its playing the piano, bearing my testimony, giving a talk, or giving a message while the person baptized is changing. It's the best.

Love, E[...] M[...]

July 27, 2010

Dear family,

This week was a pretty good one. Three people we were teaching got baptized. The baptisms were a little stressful though. How it worked out is the only times they could do them was 4:30 and 5. so we planned on going to T[...] and V[...] baptism at 4:30 and leaving right after they got baptized to go to D[...]'s baptism. We got to the 4:30 baptism and the [...] were supposed to get clothes, but got ones that were too small. We ran around everywhere trying to find clothes, but ended up just leaving and going to D[...]'s baptism. Everything eventuallly worked out and everyone got baptized. I like doing things myself and not relying on others. That way I never get disappointed because we weren't able to be there to see T[...] and V[...] get baptized. All of the confirmations went really good. All three of them cried, even D[...] who's a fitness trainer in the Air Force teared up.

We won some points with the sister missionaries on Saturday. The 4 sisters in the zone for some reason decided they didn't like us us they would criticize everything we did and not pay attention. So we set up a time to just talk it over with them. I was wary going into it because: 1) I didn't want to come down really hard on them and make them feel worthless; and 2) I didn't want to in any way grovel for their support. So we had to go somewhere in the middle of all of that. We told them the things we were doing in the zone and got them to agree that what we are doing will help, then we got them to tell us they support us. It went a whole lot better than expected. I hope this is the last of our sister problems.

Love, E[...] M[...]

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Apr 13, 2010 - Jun 22, 2010

April 13, 2010

Dear family,

Today we went to the Logan Temple and we finished the names Dad gave us so you guys can expect them in the mail sometime in the future, when I get around to mailing them. It's been nice doing the work for people I am related to somehow.

Last week I was going to email, but I ran out of time. You can ask S[...] about that:)

We had a good Fast Sunday experience. This girl we are teaching we talked to her and she confided in us that the only real reason why she won't get baptized is because she isn't 100% sure that the Book of Mormon is true. So we fasted for her and invited her to earnestly pray if it is true. Fasting works.

We met with her on Monday and asked her and she said the Book of Mormon's true and she's cool with getting baptized. It looks like it will happen the 20 or the 4th so we are excited about that.

Life in idaho is good. If you remember that movie Napoleon Dynamite, it was filmed up here and we are teaching someone in one of the character's house. That movie is probably the only exciting thing that has ever happened in this town.

Well, that's all that's going on here.

Love, E[...] M[...]

April 20, 2010

Dear family,

Mom, do you remember a dude named B[...] W[...]s from high school? He said he went to Weber and graduated in 78 and remembers H[...]'s curly hair. its funny how small of a world it is. I also ran into A[...](C[...]'s wife)'s sister a month ago up in Logan.

Yeah, K[...] is getting baptized tonight. It should be good, I was asked to speak at it, but that's not the first time. This transfer, we have spoken in church 13 times already and have 15 or so in the next 2 months. It's crazy speaking this much. It's kind of bad that I don't get nervous anymore because its getting so repetitive. It's like at the beginning of the mission I was nervous going into every lesson and then it got easy because we do it so much. It's become the same with sacrament talks.

Today during our shopping one investigator came up to us and asked if he could be baptized May 4. We said sure. This guy, A[...], has been meeting with the missionaries forever and just last week we were reading the Book of Mormon, and he said he feels it's true and he wants to get baptized. Now we have a firm date and it should work out good. The Book of Mormon changes people.

Love, E[...] M[...]

April 27, 2010

I hope all is going well in Houston. I don't know why you would need snow tires because even up here you don't need them. It's warming up a little bit. We got transfer calls this morning and I'm staying with Elder S[...] up in Preston. It isn't a surprise that this happened.

We've been doing some service lately. Yesterday we pruned and grafted trees in somebody's yard. Now maybe Jacob 5 will be more relevant when I read it. I think it's crazy that everybody owns their own tractor up here. It's a different place.

Today I'm getting a haircut and that will probably be the most eventful part of the day. Next week we are going to try to find somebody who will let us weld so that's something I'm looking forward to.

On Thursday and Friday we are teaching seminary again. Our strategy for missionary work right now is we are trying to make everyone aware of us and know that we are here to work hard. We have planned to teach all the seminary classes at the two high schools, speak in all the wards (we only have 10 of the 31 left to schedule with) and be in the Preston newspaper. Everything is working out good so far. J[...], one of our investigators, told us last week that he decided to meet with missionaries when we taught his seminary class and he decided he thought we were cool so we're teaching him now. Great things are happening.

Love, E[...] M[...]

May 4, 2010

That's good that the wedding went all right.

I guess I'm calling home this Sunday and I think I'll call sometime between 2 and 4. If that doesn't work for you guys, then I can call in the evening.
Everything's good up here. A[...] is getting baptized tonight and H[...] is this Saturday. The work is progressing pretty well.

Love, E[...] M[...]

May 18, 2010

Dear family,

It finally warmed up here. Last week it snowed but now its warming up a little bit. Not amazing Tucson temperatures, though.

The work is about to pick up again. We baptized a bunch of people without finding anyone new to replace them. Not from lack of trying though. This week we have seven new investigator lessons set up and one investigator got out of jail yesterday so we can teach him again. We are excited about this because teaching lessons is a lot better than talking to people and persuading them to invite their friends to meet with us.

Not much new happened this last week. We had the black guy from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir speak to us at Zone conference. He is pretty cool.

Have a good week

Love, E[...] M[...]

June 1, 2010

T[...]'s a white girl. People just have way weird names up here. A couple days ago I ran into a dude named Stacy and a girl named Tyler. You never know up here. With her we are trying to set up a time where we can teach T[...]'s mom to explain to her why its important to do it now and especially by the proper priesthood authority. The uncle who wants to baptize her is [another Church]. So that's what we're working with right now.

Where in Europe are S[...] and S[...] going to go? It should be fun for them. My companion always talks about how great Europe and Sweden are.

Love, E[...] M[...]

June 8, 2010

Dear family,

I got a call today that surprised me. I'm getting transferred to South Ogden tomorrow. This will be the first time I leave an area before I really felt ready. At interviews with the mission president, President told me if anyone changed it would probably be Elder S[...], but I guess God had other ideas.

Last Saturday we baptized a girl named C[...]. Everything was looking good for the baptism until Friday night. We got out of a lesson and there was a message on the phone saying C[...]'s parents split and the baptism wasn't going to happen because she was going to move with her mom down into Utah. We started praying and the fellowshippers stopped by and convinced them to stay together at least 'till the daughter was baptized. They did and now everything's working out and the parents are still together. Miracles still happen.

Love, E[...] M[...]

June 15, 2010

Dear Family,

Utah's all right. I'm in the rich part of Ogden covering Uintah and South Weber, so the people are different here than my last spot in Ogden. Right now we have a lot of investigators and not much teaching going on. The lessons don't go through as often as in Idaho. I'm not covering the campus, they changed it up so there are YSA stakes with wards meeting in buildings wherever, and so we cover a few YSA wards but that's about it and the other 3 family stakes.

Mom you were right about people thinking they know a lot. We knocked on a door of a house and the K[...] couple invited us in. It turns out the husband has a doctorate in divinity and the wife has a masters in christian studies. She told us she had to do that to become an "ordained minister." We had a civil conversation with them just discussing some of our and their beliefs. We didn't get too far with them, but now they believe Mormons are Christians too. It's amazing that people can study everything so much and understand the history so well without getting the correct grasp of the doctrines. I guess that's why the Holy Ghost is so necessary.

Love, E[...] M[...]

June 22, 2010

Dear Family,

In this area I have about 30 wards so it's about the same as my last area. We still speak pretty often in the wards, but not like the area before because in Preston the recent elders hated speaking so they didn't ever do it. We have 1 or 2 speaking assignments every week here.

We've lost some of our investigators. They don't like us as much as the old missionaries. I think its because we ask them to do stuff when the other missionaries just wanted to hang out and be friends. It's nice getting rid of people that don't want to do anything. We've found a couple new families to teach, not complete families but ones with unbaptized children. We should have 3 baptisms this weekend of a family that the parents were baptized when they were eight and never went to church after that. They have three kids that got involved in cub and boy scouts and want to be baptized. The father, if worthy, is going to be ordained a priest next Sunday and he is going to baptize the kids Sunday night. I'm really excited for this.

My companion is Elder S[...] from Salmon Arm, BC, Canada. Some way small town with 200 people. Him and I get along good, He's as chill as I am so we are doing all right. He's been out a month less than me.

Love, E[...] M[...]

P.S. Happy Fathers Day, Dad. Also thanks for answering my question. For the record, I was right and my companion wrong. It's always great listening to your answers because you give the complete answer and not just a yes or no.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Feb 23, 2010 through March 31, 2010

February 23, 2010

Yeah, regionals was lame. Way too much singing. I don't have the patience for all that stuff.

I had a real missionary experience this last week. It was raining and I was out tracting and found out my shoes are worn out. Water was coming up through the bottom where the soles are cracked and run to the ground. Now I'm onto my second pair of shoes, when its raining because I think I can get 1 more month out of these.

So the family I was teaching in Farr West finally got baptized. One of the sons wanted me to baptize him so I got to go back to my old area to do it. That was my first complete family that got baptized.

Last Thursday at district leader training meeting, the zone leaders told us Pres. O[...] is getting evaluated by the MTC, and the head guys there are going to go out with missionaries and see how we do. I had a bad feeling about it. My feelings were confirmed yesterday when I got a call saying that one of the guys is going to spend Wednesday night with me and my companion. It will be fun stuff. I'm not worried because I'm just going to do what I always do and he'll see how we really do it. I always think it's lame when missionaries I go out with put on an act for me because then I don't always get a good idea of what they're doing right and what they're doing wrong.

I got some carmel corn from Grandma the other day. I guess they found out where I live. That's most of the news.

Love, E[...] M[...]

March 2, 2010

Well, this week pday is Monday because there is interviews with the mission president for my zone on Tuesday so you get the letter a day early. I'm planning on sending a thumb drive home with all of my pictures and such I've taken on my mission. I thought a 4gb would be large enough but I decided to get an 8gb one because it looks like 4 won't be enough. You don't need to worry about sending it back because I got another one to back my pictures up on. Anyone in the family who wants to use it for 10 months can.

Something about the quote you sent me. Last time I read through those visions there were two types of people on the rod: some held fast; some were clinging to it. I wondered what the difference between the two were because the clingers didn't stay strong--they got ashamed and left. I decided clingers use the gospel as a crutch pulling them down the right path. It could be the people who depend on the church for friends or welfare or whatever. The people who held fast to me are actively pressing forward and supporting the church. It's just like when you do service you get stuff out of it for yourself. They make it and hold to it. I think there are too many people up here especially in the poorer areas that are dependent on the church. Ogden gives out the most welfare of any place in the church. I just hope the people we teach get their lives on track and then go from being supported to being supportive.

The exchange with MTC man was good. He was over all the foreign MTCs finances. The night went normal, but I think that's best so he can see how it's really done.

Tonight i got invited to take one of our investigators to FHE at our stake presidents house. He is having 3 of the 70's over, so it will be intense. I hope this really helps our investigators testimony. S[...] is supposed to be baptized this Saturday, but her mom yelled at her about the whole church thing she's doing and it really shook her testimony. Family problems are the worst.

Well thats all

Love, E[...] M[...]

March 9, 2010

Yeah, temple names would be great. we'd do them.

That's funny to hear about D[...]. You have more snow than we do up here, but I bet if I went to the mountains we'd have more.

We are struggling with hard problems in this area. 3 investigators are getting evicted, 2 couples need to get married or move out, and other funny things are going on that we are going to have to change. It seems like areas go through spurts where we have easy people to teach, then we get the ones with every concern possible.

Family home evening went good with the three 70's. I think two of them are area seventies. I'll send a picture of them, but I don't know their names. We brought an investigator with us and it went really well. S[...], the brown haired one, is our only solid investigator, but her mom says she can't get baptized until she graduates high school so she has a few more months.

Today I'm going bowling for pday with two investigators. It should be fun. It's a young couple that needs to get married before they can be baptized. Well that's all that's going on.

Love, E[...] M[...]

March 16, 2010

Dear Family,

Well transfers are tomorrow. Surprising to me and [my companion] he is staying and me leaving. I'm replacing my trainer as zone leader up in Preston, Idaho. The biggest problem is because I'm in Idaho I might not be able to go to the temple to do the names you sent me. I'll ask my new companion and if i can't do them I'll send them home.

My new companion is from Sweden and is named elder S[...]. I don't know him.

S[...] told us she is going to get baptized right when her mom let's her. I think one of the reasons why I got put in Rockcliff was to teach her. She had some other missionaries meeting with her in a different are that she really didn't connect with because she is way shy. I'm going far enough away to not be able to go to her baptism when it happens which is lame.

Last Sunday we sang Brightly Beams in sacrament meeting. We did a quartet [...]. It went really good considering S[...] is tone deaf. One of the youth decided to record us doing it so when you get my next memory card you can watch it. I'll send a picture of us right now.

Well, that's all that's new.

Love, E[...] M[...]

March 24, 2010

Dear Family,

This has been a pretty good week. I got up to Idaho to the way small town of Preston. My area is all of Franklin county so I drive a ton up here.

One of the ward mission leaders is named E[...] A[...]. He says he was in a elders quorum presidency with dad. He said he really liked dad's sense of humor. I guess its a small world.

Preston is by far the smallest town I've been in. it only has 5009 people in it. There are some wards that have less than 10 non-members in them so it will be a little different interacting with those wards.

Sunday was insane. We gave 5 talks. At the beginning of my mission I really prepared for the talks and planned out kind of what I wanted to say. But now I just stand up there and preach. So I didn't prepare for any of those talks. With the 31 ward we have I get to do a lot of speaking assignments.

Love, E[...] M[...]

March 31, 2010

Dear family,

Idaho is nice. It's way different from Ogden, but in a good way. Up here we work mainly through leadership. That's the only way we can deal with all 32 wards. It means we just go where the work is. The turnover rate up here is low so most of the people have already been contacted. It's ok because peoples hearts change and become open to the gospel.

For the last 2 weeks we've been able to go to the Logan temple. it's nice, but is also the smallest temple I've been in. Because of this, we've been able to do the work for four of the names dad gave us.

Up here we are speaking in every ward. I guess the last missionaries up here didn't do to much or like to speak so we offer and we always get taken up on it. I gave 5 talks last week and 3 on Sunday a couple days ago. It's strange that I'm not nervous anymore about speaking. I never had trouble doing it, but now I don't even think about what I'm going to say before I go up there. weird stuff.

Love, E[...] M[...]

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

29 Dec 2009 Letter

Well, since Christmas nothing too special has happened. The work is still the same up here. I am trying to revitalize this area because we've already got done all the easy work. I am trying to set up teaching youth lessons up here because I did that back in [Washington] Terrace, and we got a lot of good teaching opportunities out of that. We'd just get all the youth we could: member, nonmember and less active and teach them. They were always fun.

Love, E[...] M[...]

5 Jan 2010 Letter

Dear family,

Well, I got your letter today, and, Mom, you hit the struggle right on the head. It's ok though. I'm working through it, and I think things are going to turn up really soon.

So new year didn't feel like new years, but I guess that is how it is when you get older. The excitement really isn't there anymore. We went to sleep at 1030 because we had to get up early the next morning.

I'm going to send the check Grandma gave me for Christmas home, so be watching for it in the mail.

I hope everything went well with everybody over for the holidays. I bet life is getting a little less hectic now.

Love, E[...] M[...]

19 Jan 2010 Letter

Ok, I'll answer the questions you had. Yes, exchanges are normally 24 hours so I get to teach, study, plan, and whatever else goes on with the missionaries. Yeah, I've been a district leader for the last six months. Ja[...] is 13 and he was baptized and received the Aaronic Priesthood last week. His grandparents are ward missionaries. We tracted into them and found out they had an unbaptized grandson.

Next questions. I drive good in the snow. We have an 07 Malibu that we just got the heater fixed on so its warm now. We live in a guest house of the stake patriarch. It's fun stuff.

Transfers are coming up the first week in February and I've been in Farr West for six months so I'm probably gone. That's what Pres O[...] told me, and I figure he doesn't lie too much.

Love, E[...] M[...]

26 Jan 2010 Letter

Dear Family,

Our week has been good. This one guy we have taught for the last 4 months is finally getting baptized. His name is N[...] and he never wanted to commit to baptism. I told him that I was more than likely getting transferred the first of February and asked if he would set the 30 of Jan as a goal so I could be there for his baptism. He said he'd pray about it and when we talked to him yesterday, he said he still feels good about it. Fun stuff.

Other than that the work is going normal and everything is good. Next week I'm getting transferred, so we will see where.

Love, E[...] M[...]

2 Feb 2010 Letter

Well, I'm sticking close. I'm going to the Rockcliff Stake in Ogden, which is, I guess Washington to the mountain and between about 9th and 2nd street. That's just what I've been told because even though its close, it's a zone away, so I'm not too familiar with it.

We had a cool baptism on Saturday. The spirit was really strong and then the next day, N[...] was confirmed and received the Aaronic Priesthood. The bishop when he asked for the sustaining vote told the congregation that he interviewed N[...] and found out that he had studied the duties and things about the Aaronic priesthood before the interview. Not many people prepare like they should for church calling. Nate is C[...] F[...]'s next door neighbor if you remember him. I'll send a picture of their family.

Love, E[...] M[...]

9 Feb 2010 Letter

Dear mom

I'm having a good time in my new area. Since I got here we've started teaching five new people and now have 10 people preparing for baptism. Fun stuff.

We are walking now, but just until our car gets fixed because on exchanges one of the zone leaders crashed it. Our mission is doing a big consistency push wanting us to baptize every week instead of four one week and nothing for the rest of the month. If people keep their commitments, we should be good to go up through the 6 of march baptizing every week.

My new companion is from Washington (#3 from there) and his name is Elder H[...]. He is Samoan and a fun missionary.

Love, E[...] M[...]

16 Feb 2010 Letter

Everything's going all right this week. Our investigators here in Rockcliff aren't as dedicated as the ones in Farr West. Out of our 12 investigators with baptismal dates, only two of them made it to church. Too bad we can't take away their agency.

We are finding a lot of new people and having great lessons with them. There is this old man named L[...] that I think really has the childlike qualities. He has Alzhiemer's and totally loves Jesus. He doesn't know too much, but it's fun to teach him. We had a blind magician teach us how to do a magic trick where we make something disappear and so we did it with L[...]. We likened it to our sins, and when we asked where the sins were, he said, "Well, I don't care where they are, I'm just happy they're gone."

Love, E[...] M[...]

Oh, yeah, I got the package with the pictures and such thanks

Saturday, December 19, 2009

October 20 - Dec 15 2009 Letters

October 27, 2009

It sounds like C[...] is getting old, being able to read and such. That is good that the elders are having you fellowship a family. That isn't good that they blew you off though. The hardest thing about the work is being on time for stuff. We depend so much on other people and we are constantly telling people we gotta go so we aren't late.

G[...] got the priesthood last night so he can baptize his wife A[...] on Halloween. That is a cool situation because G[...] had to give up chewing tobacco to do it.

I will get the picture for you sometime soon.

E[...] M[...]

November 24, 2009

Thanks for the birthday stuff. The camera is way nice to have. Thanks and also for the salsa. I was excited to eat some real salsa and not the fake stuff up here. We were double booked on my birthday with lessons and so I made it over to the H[...] five minutes before curfew. It was nice of them to pick up and give me the presents for you guys.

President O[...] approved me going to Thanksgiving with the C[...]s. Thanks for getting my phone number to them so we can make this work.

Well everything is going great. I'm having fun and the members are really pulling their weight out here. We received a couple calls lately from members saying they invited friends to be taught. Maybe they are doing this because we keep giving talks and seeing us reminds them of what they gotta do. It's like in Alma 46 when Moroni puts the Title of Liberty on every tower in the Nephite lands to remind the people of the covenant they made.

Love, E[...] M[...]

December 1, 2009

Nope no snow. It's good though because snow isn't the best thing in the world. Thanksgiving went pretty good. I got to see J[...] and the grandparents and a whole bunch of relatives I don't know.

C[...] was baptized last week which was pretty nice. After he was baptized, he was smiling for the rest of the meeting. It was pretty nice.

We have another one this weekend. Her name is D[...] T[...]. She asked that I baptize her, so that will be cool. Her parents are coming back into being active in the church and are working towards going to the temple to be sealed. They are a really good family. The father just needs to give up his smoking habit. Since we invited him to church he made sure he went and brought the whole family each time, kicking and screaming. (like our family home evenings). That's all the stuff going on here.

Love, W[...]

December 8, 2009

Well, that's some good news for the family. Yeah, I do know E[...] M[...]. He is one of the zone leaders.

So this week has been pretty cold. It's snowed a little bit, but the baptism of fire is still happening. We had one more this last Saturday, a girl named D[...]. It went nice. The water in the font was emptied by another ward's bishop so we were filling during the baptism. When the ordinance happened, I got in the water to baptize her and the water didn't even go up to my knees. I still got her first try. Afterward I didn't even have to change my garments because they didn't get wet. Good times.

Love, E[...] M[...]

P.S. Tell S[...] I ran into JD M[...]. He served in the same mission as him and knew him while they were out.

December 15, 2009

Dear Mom

So life is good up here. It was really cold last week and there is snow everywhere, but no worries. This week nothing too exciting happened.

We did start teaching a young man named J[...]. He is 13 but he is still pretty cool. When we shared Joseph's first vision with him he said he felt "amazing". So we committed him to be baptized on the 2 of Jan.

Maybe I will still be in the same area then, but transfers are 2 days before Christmas. Next week I might not send a letter because I'm talking on the phone to you a couple days later. We will see though. I'll send a picture of Thanksgiving attached to this.

Oh for Dad. The Perry plan works really well, but the problem is actually getting the ward leaders responsible to do their job, i.e. the Relief Society president to actually invite, etc. The best way I've found for this to work is to have the bishop start out the ward correlation meetings by having the people focused on in the plan discussed first, and to keep everyone accountable. good luck. I've seen it work a lot. One man we are teaching right now is because the ward leaders worked with him, offered the bishop to marry him and his wife, and invited him to meet with us. Cool stuff.

Love, E[...] M[...]

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

October 20 - Nov 20 2009 Letters

October 20, 2009 Letter

This week has been pretty good. We found 3 new investigators who are really solid for baptism. That is always nice because the other ones we have right now weren't very close to it.

If D[...] has swine flu, it's not really that bad. A bunch of missionaries have it up here. They just get quarantined for a week then they are over it.

One guy we are teaching is named R[...]. He wants to "fellowship" in this church to lead his kids on the right path. He has a lot to give up like chewing tobacco and coffee. He is prepared for all of it except coffee. He told us he was going to pray to find out if it's right. He is way ahead of the game.

Happy birthday Mom

Love, E[...] M[...]

October 27, 2009 Letter

It sounds like C[...]b is getting old, being able to read and such.

That is good that the elders are having you fellowship a family. That isn't good that they blew you off though. The hardest thing about the work is being on time for stuff. We depend so much on other people and we are constantly telling people we gotta go so we aren't late.

G[...] got the priesthood last night so he can baptize his wife A[...] on Halloween. That is a cool situation because G[...] had to give up chewing tobacco to do it.

I will get the picture for you sometime soon.

November 3, 2009 Letter

Dear Mom,

So you asked the right question [P[...] asked what he wanted for his birthday]. For this winter I could really use a pair or two of wool socks so I won't get frostbite on my feet this winter. I'll send home the family's Christmas present with Grandma and Grandpa C[...]. I will send some pictures of me home today so you can see if any of them are good.

Last week we had 2 baptisms and this week we should have 4 more. November is going to be a great month. Most of the work is completing in this month. I was able to confirm A[...] C[...] last Sunday and that is always a great experience.

For Halloween we weren't allowed to go proselyte so we planned to go home and sleep. We ended up staying at the house we ate dinner at and we played Phase Ten and some other dice game. It was pretty fun.

Love, E[...] M[...]

November 10, 2009 Letter

Dear mom,

Ok, I have another couple of ideas for my birthday. First if there is a way to get Casa Del Rio salsa to me that would be amazing. They don't know how to make salsa up here. And second my digital camera broke and so I can't take pictures now. A new one would be great so I can keep sending pictures home. Just make sure the memory card is a SD because then I wouldn't have to buy new memory cards.

Other news--transfers are tomorrow and I found out I am staying in the area and they want me to train again. So I meet my new companion tomorrow. Also that means the 2 talks I set up on the 22 nov I'll have to speak. Lame birthday present.

The baptisms all went well. One of them was an autistic kid who was deathly afraid of the water. To baptise him, we had his mom throw on a white jumpsuit and go in with him. It took three tries but we got him baptized.

Love, E[...] M[...]

November 18, 2009 Letter

Dear Mom,

Yeah it did snow on Saturday. It was cold. Right after it snowed a few inches, the senior couple in my district called and needed us to come to their house over in east Ogden. So I got my experience driving on the snow by driving down highway 89 and Washington. It went good. It's the Utahns that don't know how to drive. Someone ran into our mailbox because they slid off the road.

My new companion is from St. David, Az and his name is Elder C[...].

We have been teaching a young man named C[...]. He is 17 and really wants to be baptized. He had a dream where everyone important to him was there in a room and he was baptized and he took that as a sign that this is something God wants him to do.

Love, E[...] M[...]