Elder Micah Wise

Elder Micah Wise
Arizona Tucson Mission

Monday, October 6, 2014

LOVIN' CONFERENCE! - Monday, Oct 6th, 2014

Hello everyone!
Conference was truly inspiring this weekend! General Conference is always the most exciting time as a missionary, because it's our semi annual news! All the missionaries thought that there was going to be some HUGE announcement like pack up and move to Missouri type of announcement at the end of Conference, because most of the talks were centered around sustaining the Prophet and the Twelve. But I guess not. Haha! But I truly do sustain those 15 men of God as Prophets, Seers, and Revelators. I liked how Elder Ballard shared that they are some of the most "out of the bubble" people in the world. They are all truly inspiring. I read a study that a Member gave me that was researching the most politically and worldly aware people in the world were. It was no surprise to me that the leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints were the most aware. I am so thankful to be lead and guided by the leadership of this Church. They cannot lead us astray. Many other talks were amazing in General Conference. Another talk that I liked was by  Elder Quintin L. Cook who said that our worldly goals MUST be consistent with the ultimate goal of Eternal Life. All of the talks shared something that I needed to here.
Well serving in the Fort Huachuca Ward is quite the adventure! We spend most of our time on the base working with Members and Less Active Members and the few Investigators we have. We are not allowed to proselyte on Base, but we are allowed to Evangelize. Which means, if some one contacts us, we can then share and teach. But, the Base is only a small part of our area. My area is HUUUGE! it takes us an hour and a half to drive from one side of our area to the other. Part of our area is on the border so that is pretty cool..but I've never been there yet, because in order to get there we have to go passed this huge mountain range, which takes us about 2 hours to get there. Outside the Base, I feel like Tom Cruise in the Movie "Oblivion"; roaming the desert wasteland in a 2014 Jeep Compass searching for any signs if life-form. There's not much out here, but I like it. Especially coming from Down Town Tucson, this is a nice break. We still work hard. But I'm not having to bend over backwards trying to take care of everything.
I'm excited to be here! Elder Siglin is my companion from Rochester, New York. (I get all the East Coast boys as companions.) I really like Elder Siglin. He's funny, and we get along really well. I called Elder Talbot this week to make sure all is well, and it sounds like he is doing great. He's an awesome missionary.

Well there is a little update on the area and where I'm serving. I love all of you, and hope you have a great week! 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Teaching in a Halfway House - Tuesday, Sept 30th, 2014

Hello everyone!

What an adventure it was serving in the North area of the Central Tucson Ward. I have learned so much there as a missionary. Serving with Elder Talbot was a great privilege. We worked hard together, and learned lots from one another!
Today was Transfers, and Elder Talbot stayed in the Central Ward, and is going to serve with Elder Hearn. Elder Talbot will have a big opportunity to show leadership in this situation. I have full confidence that he will work hard, and be obedient. Elder Talbot so far I believe on my mission has been the most diligent of all my companions in serving the Lord. I was transferred today to Sierra Vista on the Fort Huachuca Army Base. I am really excited for this! I went from a large down town city to rolling hills of desert. It is quite different, but I know there is a reason why I am here. My new companion is Elder Sigland. I haven't met him yet, but I hear great things about him.
It was pretty sad to leave Central Ward. The goodbyes were pretty hard. Especially with the Investigators that Elder Talbot and I have been teaching. But I know it's just a see ya later. I'll definitely come back to visit the Tucson mission.
Things are getting pretty exciting here in the mission! They are about ready to announce the ground breaking date of the Tucson Temple. It will spur lots of Church curiosity and activity! There are lots of great things happening in the mission. I'm excited to be here and to witness them!
Yesterday, in my last day in Central Ward and 8:00 PM we went to see a referral in a half way house which was really sketchy, and the promise of someone genuinely interested wasn't very likely. But we went there anyway and we had to sign in because of security reasons. We met with the referral, Chris. A security guard had to go bring him out of the house and escort him over to us, and on the way over to us we saw that this guy was HUGE! He had a beard, pony tale, only 3 teeth left. Elder Talbot and I overheard the Security Guard telling him firmly that we were not allowed to go inside, and that we need to remain outside, and he is not allowed to touch us at all for our safety and for his... so this had me kind of worried. On the way into the complex, two cops walked up and asked "Are you missionaries?" and we replied, "Yep!" And he asked "Are you brave missionaries?" So all these events weren't making me too comfortable. Long story short, we sat down and talked with Chris, and he is a great man. Really genuine. He has a sincere desire to change. He has been investigating the Church in Prison for about 7 years now. He was sent to prison for a mistake he made when he was 16 years old. We had planned on teaching him the message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but he ended up teaching us the lesson and sharing his powerful testimony, wanting to be baptized.
I testify that repentance is real, and it is for every single person who ever has been, is, and will ever be on the face of the Earth. It is so important to view all of God's Children with an eye of charity, which is the pure love of Christ. In the Central Ward it has been hard to do that, due to the mass variety of people and characters, but I soon came to realize that everyone has a path and is being guided, and has a divine potential. I have learned to see people not as who they are, but as what they can become. Then I as a missionary am better able to understand how they need to be converted. I know that this Church is true, and that we have living Prophets today, who we will have the privilege of hearing this coming weekend. I implore EVERYONE to listen to their counsel, their advice, teaching and direction, because it is from our Savior, Jesus Christ.
I love all of you, and hope that you have a great week!

Monday, September 22, 2014

"Savior Redeemer of My Soul" - Monday, Sept 22nd, 2014

Hey family, 

Sorry, I was having a blast reading all of your emails, so this will be really short! Elder Talbot and I have set a record in this area for # of Investigators and # of lessons on a week! We are working hard! This week, we had the opportunity to go to the Gila Valley Temple. It was awesome, because I got to be baptized for some of Sister Jones Ancestors. (First time in a year I have been fully submerged in water haha) (Sister Jones is a former student of mine who is a convert and now serving in Micah's mission. She got to take some names from her family to the temple...and Elder Wise got to go assist!) It was a real cool experience.

Singing in sacrament went really well I thought. I sang "Savior Redeemer of My Soul" from Joseph Smith the Prophet. You can look it up on Youtube. (not of me, but the arrangement) It's beautiful. It has a violin in it. Sister Corbit played the violin. She majored in violin performance in college, and SHE SOUNDS SOOOO GOOD!!! The Piano player was Sister Walker, Stake President Walker's wife. I LOVE THE WALKERS! President Walker and I are pretty tight. I brought my bike over to his house this week, cuz it was being stupid and we worked on it for an hour or so.
But not to toot my own horn (well yah, I'm gonna toot my own horn) haha but Eder Talbot said that by the end of the song almost everyone was crying in the congregation. Some people told my that I'm "gonna go places with that voice". At dinner last night with Sister Price, she said I would be sooooo good in movies, because my emotion is "so perfect and precise with the music and what is being said" idk... They are all really nice compliments I receive. (Elder Wise really does have a beautiful voice and I'm so happy to see he is using his gift in his mission. Makes me happy!)
This week has been really great! We were able to find 2 new Investigators this week from other Investigators we have! They introduced us to their friends and they are pretty interested in the Gospel! This Saturday, our Ward had a talent show. It was SUPER fun! We all have talents, and we need to let them shine! And magnify and practice them! I love you all, and sorry for the short email! Have a wonderful week! 

Monday, September 15, 2014

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MICAH!!!! - Monday, Sept 15th, 2014

Hey family! 

I had a great birthday! People in the Central Ward really take care of you! Haha! It was fun! Thank you for all of your birthday wishes. 

Man, the work in the Central Ward is crazy! Right now we have 4 baptism scheduled for the 27th of September and many more to follow. By the end of this month, Elder Talbot and I are hoping to have 10 baptism dates set. We really are raising our vision for this ward. 

We had a long week of finding and finding and finding! We only found 1 new Investigator this week. It's interesting how there are so many who have been prepared, but you are just looking in the wrong place! But our Investigators, Jim and Joe are continuing to progress. One of them has invited 3 people to listen to the missionaries and come to church! So we are meeting with them this week! I'm pretty excited! 

Funny tracting experience: We were knocking doors in this apartment complex, and we came to this one door, and this old hippie guy came out, and he stared for like 10 seconds at my name tag and SLAMMED his screen door shut. He then said that we are the servants of the DEVIL! And that he was athiest (Hmmmm believe in the Devil and not God....), that he believes in freedom from religion, and that we have been brain washed since we were born, yada-yada=yada... Anyways, we just walked away, and he said if he sees us again he is calling the cops! So we knocked on the next door and he's like "THAT'S IT! I'M calling the cops right in front of your face! And I'm taking a picture to prove it!!!" And so he comes up like 3 inches away from my face and starts taking pictures. By this point Elder Talbot just walked away. Haha! Probably the smartest thing to do.. I just walked away then too. BOY HE WAS CRAZY! I think all we said was "Hi, how are you doing today?" And he calls us the servants of the Devil... Stock don't let this make you afraid from coming on a mission. Tracting is where you get the best stories! Anyways, just thought I would share that.. .It was strange...lol 

Next week, I am singing in Sacrament meeting "Savior Redeemer of My Soul" from the Joseph Smith the Prophet. I have a piano player and an AMAZING violinist accompanying me. It'll be fun! Well I'm winding down on my time in the Central Ward of the Tucson Stake. It's been quite the adventure. I love the people here. The people of Tucson are so unique from any one else in the world. It truly is it's own culture. Maybe I will get transferred out of Tucson this time! haha! 

I forgot last week to wish Grandpa Roy a HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! What is he like 30 now?? ;) 

Anyways, love all of you and hope you have a great week! 

Monday, September 8, 2014

"Stay Away from the FUMES and the PERFUMES" - Monday, Sept 8th, 2014

Hello Family!

Right now outside there is a crazy Monsoon happening. Roads are literally turning into rivers. They even have HUGE ripples in them, like white water rafting! We saw 3 cars stuck and dragged down the road. A tow truck had to help them get it out. Crazy weather down here. I welcome the season of Fall with open arms! (yep, he is a true Northwesterner lol)

This last week we had 4 baptism dates set up. Now we only have one. :( Robert felt a little too pressured, Juan couldn't attend church yesterday due to family matters, and John smoked a cigarette right when he left church yesterday! But all of them are continuing to progress. We just have to reestablish a date that they feel comfortable with. We gave John a Priesthood blessing last night to help him overcome his addiction. 

There is a family who has a 9 year old girl who's b-day is on SEPT. 10! So they are going to take me out to dinner on Wednesday. So that's nice of them. Man, it's weird to think that Elder Talbot is 3 months old. I remember being there, and it felt like I had been out forever! I can't believe he has been out that long! Time flew by! I can't believe it. It is still strange when I find myself talking with two other people from Camas. Talking about the teachers we had in High School, memories and places of the Milltown. We all usually have dinner together at members houses, and when they find out that we are from the same small town in Washington they freak out! haha! It's always fun to see! 

Not much happened this week. But we are trying to keep up with all the new investigators we have! When Elder Talbot came in, this area has been in the best shape it's ever been! He's a hard working missionary! We taught a lot this week about the Plan of Salvation. It used to be my least favorite discussion to share with people. But now it is turning into one of my favorites! I feel the Spirit so strongly each time we share it with people. And to see the look and glow on their faces when they learn the Plan of Happiness strengthens my testimony so much! It is great to know that everyone will receive some degree of Salvation. I believe very strongly that we have a loving Heavenly Father, who is going to reward us for even making the decision to come down to Earth and to face these mortal experiences. But we have a divine potential to achieve so much. If we live faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I know that we will receive a fullness of joy living in the presence of Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and our families. The Plan of Salvation is my favorite gospel topic, because you don't have to do anything to know that it is true. It makes too much sense to deny. 

I love you all! And hope school is going well! Stock, stay away from the fumes and the perfumes! ;) Have a great week! 

Monday, September 1, 2014

ELDER WISE IS ONE YEAR OLD!!! - Monday, Sept 1, 2014

Hello family! 

This week was great! We were able to get 4 Investigators to church! 3 of them have baptismal dates in September! One of them was there for the first time and he LOVED IT! He was taking intense notes in his study journal in all three blocks! Right now we have baptisms lined up for 3 weeks in a row. I'm excited to see them progress! Someone from my last area in the Tucson North Stake called me the other day, and said she was getting baptized and she wants me to baptize her! It's so exciting to hear that she is progressing. She has such a strong testimony now. The things she said that she believed, she was bible bashing with when I was there. 

Well we all know that when there is spiritual progress, there is always opposition. And that opposition is the U of A. School started last week, and I'm sure you all have heard that the U of A is a pretty big party school. Our small apartment complex is right next to campus. haha! This week there was a sorority party right outside our window. It was terrible. It was like Sodom and Gomorrah. DON'T LOOK BACK! But now our area and down town is terrible with traffic and TONS of people. Being in the college atmosphere is pretty exciting, but we can't get distracted. On Friday there was a U of A game and we are right next to the stadium so we heard the game go on all night. 

Our first Investigator is Robert, who is the fiance of a member who has been interested in the church. Then we have John, who is really big into alcohol and drugs, but he has committed to live the Work of Wisdom and ever since then every time we see him we can see him getting cleaner and cleaner and stronger and stronger both physically and spiritually. Then Juan, who is amazing. He is someone who has truly been prepared by the Lord. We have taught him twice so far and Saturday night he called us and said, you know what guys, I've been thinking a lot about what you guys have told me and I've come to a conclusion... I though he was going to drop us right there, but then we said that this is where he belongs and this is where he is going to stay. He already believes that the Book of Mormon is the Word of God, and that Joseph Smith is a prophet. He is amazing. He shared with us what he has gone through, and truly he has been prepared. 

This week, we had a member of the Second quorum of the Seventy come and address our mission. His name was Elder Malm, from Sweden. He told us that the purpose of missionary work is to gather Israel, the elect of God, and the elect are people who have been prepared to receive the restored gospel. But how do we know who the elect is?? They don't hold a sign on the side of the road that says I'm the elect, so how do we tell? We need to talk to as many people as possible. That's our job as full time missionaries, and that is your job as member missionaries. To talk with and invite as many people as possible. As we do so, we will hasten the work of gathering Israel and preparing the world for the return of Jesus Christ. I love you all, and have a great week! 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Life Is Hard, The Gospel Is Easy - Monday, Aug 25, 2014

Hey family!

This week has been awesome! We were able to find lots of new investigators and extend two baptismal dates. The beginning of this week was pretty slow and all of our appointments fell through, but we kept working hard and diligently and we were able to see the fruits of our labors! We have been converting this whole apartment complex!

We gave this guy a book of Mormon, who says that him and his wife are reading it every night, but aren't ready to have missionaries come over yet. We have two less active families who live there, who we are working on reactivating, and we found an investigator there who has a baptismal date for September 20th. We also found a man named John Shepard, who was in the navy. He is a major drug addict, but we brought him over to the church to have a lesson and to share the message of the Restoration. My testimony has been strengthened in that missionaries NEED to have a member at every lesson possible. We went all the way up to Jesus Christ, and we asked him about who Jesus Christ is, and he says he wasn't the son of God, that he was just one of us. Maybe just a prophet. Or a teacher. And we tried explaining it to him, but he just wasn't getting it, until the member bore the most powerful testimony of Jesus Christ as our savior and redeemer that I have ever heard. One second, John was denying Jesus Christ as the Messiah, and thirty seconds later, he was in tears, wanting to know how he can be a better disciple of Jesus Christ. We shared the rest of the lesson, and extended a baptismal date to him, which he accepted. That lesson was one of the most powerful lessons I've been in in a long time.

Today, I went and got a haircut at a members house in my first ward on the mission, the Binghampton ward! Sister Canada gave me a haircut. I was really close to the Canada family. Sister Canada has two granddaughters that live with her, who both just graduated high school. One of them is preparing to go on a mission. The other one was planning on going to BYU Idaho. I remember when she applied last year, and she was so excited that that she got in! These two girls both had awesome testimonies of the restored gospel. They would have us over EVERY Sunday night for dinner, and we would go around and share our testimonies. The power and conviction that were in these two girls voices were incredible. It was amazing to see at their age, them being so converted to the Gospel. However today, Sister Canada gave me some pretty sad news. The one that was planning on going to BYU Idaho had just recently in the past few months made choices that have brought her into inactivity in the Church. This was hard to hear. The same young woman who had just a deep understanding and testimony of the Gospel was now breaking the commandments, un-enrolled in going to BYU, and is hanging out with a bad crowd. This is breaking Sister Canada's heart. I assured her that she will come back one day. I told her to have faith and hope. And related to her the story of Alma the younger, and how his father prayed day and night for him to come to the truth, which he eventually did after a visitation from the Lord.

It is so easy to fall into inactivity in the church. I would say that it is mostly due to the trial of our faith. I'm convinced that the trial of our faith is usually not one big event that deters us from our conversion, but the trial is continually and consistently doing the things every day that bring us joy and peace, and closer to our Heavenly Father. The Church is all about small and simple things. Life is hard. The gospel is easy. Do the things we need to do every day, and we will be built upon the Rock of Christ, and will be able to stand still when the rains come down and the floods come up. I love you all! And have an awesome week! 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Meeting a Muslim - Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Hey Family!

Ready for some Transfer news???? -drum role-......................nothing! Elder Talbot and I get to stay together for another transfer in the Central ward! However, after this one I think I'm out of here. I kinda want to serve down in New Mexico next transfer. Getting out of Tucson for a bit would be nice. Haha! But wherever I'm called, it will be fun. Also, this transfer one of the Sisters in the Central ward got transferred to Sierra Vista, so another sister got transferred in. Looks like there will be 3 missionaries in the Central Ward from Camas, Washington. That's right, mom, Sister Jones got transferred into the central ward. haha! Crazy. So half of the missionaries in this ward will be from the same place. haha! 

The work has been really great in this area lately. Elder Talbot and I were talking about some goals that we wanted for this area. We want to hit SOE every week. I think if we have enough faith and work hard, we can achieve it!

This week we found 2 new Investigators. One is named Alex, who when she saw us on her porch knew that God had sent us. She is solid and is really progressing. The other one was willing to talk to us. He is Muslim. And really what it turned into was a Koran and Bible bash which is unfortunate. But we left him with a Book of Mormon and a Restoration pamphlet and we are going to stop buy sometime this week, and awe are praying that that sparked some interest in him.

Elder Wise and Elder Ta'Ofi at the hospital giving a blessing. 
One concern that was brought up in that conversation was the lack of a need for Christ. his theory was that when he sins, he can simply ask forgiveness from Heavenly Father, and he will forgive him, which is true. When we commit sin, we draw ourselves away from Heavenly Fathers presence, and the only way we can come back into HIs presence is through repentance and forgiveness of sins,He was spot on. HOWEVER: There has been and is and always will be a penalty and price to pay for each sin we commit. And since everyday we all fall short of the Glory of God, we have a huge price to pay. And incredible debt. Much like the U.S. debt. And to think and say that God is perfect, and glorious and everlasting, and the same yesterday, today and forever, and ALSO will just magically erase the huge price we have to pay, contradicts itself. There MUST be justice and a price to pay for every sin we commit. If there is not, then God is not perfect and will cease to be God. But He has come up with a way where he can exercise justice and mercy both together. And that is that our price has been paid for. The huge pile of debt that we would never be able to pay off has been taken care of. We will forever be indebted to Jesus Christ. He is our redeemer. The way that we show our thanks to Him is through serving him. And when we are serving Him, he really is serving us by blessing us with peace and comfort and unbreakable spiritual strength, and exaltation and eternal Glory for eternity. How can God not love His Children? He loves them perfectly. Remember Jesus Christ and what he has done for you. I try to each day as I am serving him. I love you all. I hope you have a great week.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Choices and Consequences - Monday, Aug 11, 2014


This week has been a little slow, teaching wise. A lot of our appointments fell through unfortunately. We had to drop an investigator because he was not willing to progress after 4 months of being visited by the missionaries. However, this week was very productive in that we were able to mobilize our Ward Missionaries.

We assigned them Recent Converts that they will be teaching the New Member Lessons. We will attend those lessons with them as much as possible. Every week, we will have a training, where we will show the Ward Missionaries how to use Preach My Gospel, and how and what to teach in those lessons. They are really excited for this opportunity to teach. We were also able to sit down with our Ward Mission Leader, our Bishop, and Stake President Walker and discuss the Ward Mission Process, and how we can have more effective Ward Councils. It was very successful. President Walker took notes and said he will train on it in his upcoming Bishopric training. We specifically focused on the 15 names list. Right now, the Ward auxiliaries are just throwing names on there and telling us to go find out if they exist or not, and if so, visit them! THIS IS NOT THE PURPOSE OF THE 15 NAMES LIST! These people have to be invited by auxiliary leaders and WILLING to prepare to participate in an Ordinance. And THEN the missionaries will prepare them for that. It is the members responsibility to visit and to fellowship. The purpose of missionaries is to teach doctrine and to prepare others to participate in an ordinance such as baptism, partaking the Sacrament, or entering the Temple, and not to merely visit them and hope they come to church someday. Please make sure that your ward council is doing this. The Lord said to FIRST seek to obtain my word, and THEN seek to declare my word. We need to FIRST have effective ward councils the way the Savior wants them to be run, and THEN invite people to come unto Christ. 

Elder Talbot and I are having so much fun teaching people in the heart of Tucson! In a couple weeks, we have a member of the 70 coming to visit and tour out mission. It's Elder Malm, who is from Sweeden! 

Something Elder Talbot and I were talking about this week is that serving in Tucson makes me NEVER want to do drugs or alcohol. You see people all the time making horrible decisions under the influence of theses terrible things! It's awful. We are meeting with a less active lady who lives in a very dumpy house, has 4 kids, and she has a lot of pain and sorrow in her life. She turns to drugs, and alcohol for comfort. It's terrible to see, that with another child on the way, her continually going out every night and getting high and drunk off her mind. Her actions have led her to consequences that she can't bear. She asked us "Why me? Why does God hate me? Why does he punish me like this?" God NEVER purposely punishes His Children for no reason. He allows consequences to take effect when WE make choices that detour us away from our Heavenly Father. This lady has had challenges arrive in her life, as we all will. But instead of turning to the Savior, she turned to worldly vices, which have brought even more challenges and heartache into her life. Instead of catching a hint of the pattern she puts herself through, she continues to choose to be damned.

In the scriptures, the prophets say that we break the commandments, we are damned. This does not mean hellfire and lakes of brimstone. To be damned means to have our spiritual progress impeded by our own agency. God never chooses to punish us. We punish ourselves with the choices we make. God blesses us with his love when we turn to Him and His Son. Heavenly Father does everything in his power to keep us safe. There is a reason why the Word of Wisdom is a modern day commandment. He knows better than us. I love you all and hope you have a great week! 

Monday, August 4, 2014

PRIDE v. Humility - Monday, August 4, 2014

Hey family!
This week we had a baptism for Merisa Nunez! She was so excited to be baptized, and it was awesome to see her just glow afterwards.

We had lots of fun his week running into and meeting new people. I'm sure as Elder Talbot will attest, that the people of Tucson are much different than anyone in the world. Which is why we love them! Everyday is an adventure.

There was another crazy monsoon this week, and we got drenched! The roads turned into rivers, and people wouldn't slow down when they saw us on the side of the road, so they just drive right passed us and drowned us in huge waves of desert water! The rain and the lightening are crazy!

We have been teaching this lady, Carrie, who lives in our apartment complex! We met her through a member referral! (which is why she is so solid!) She is the sweetest old lady I have ever met. It's so much fun to teach her, because you can just see her absorb everything. She's gone to church for the passed 4 weeks without us even knowing it! We taught her about Jesus Christ and his gospel, and this week we will share with her the Restoration.

Elder Talbot and I are doing great! It's so awesome and strange to have all these memories from  home come back to my mind! Elder Talbot is doing great! He is learning a lot and is turning into a phenomenal teacher.

This week I had my first interview with President Passey. He's a pretty funny guy. He's a huge comedian. He gave me some advice on how to handle this ward, because it's such a high maintenance ward. But we stay busy, which is good!

This week I studied pride. It's interesting how ride leads to all sin. When we are prideful, we reject the advice and teaching of our leaders and ultimately God. Pride occurs when we care more about our social status, and what our peers think of us, rather than our relationship to God.  In the scriptures we see so many examples of pride leading people to destruction. Mormon said that the pride of the Nephites is what led them to be completely wiped off the face of the Earth. Pride is what caused King Noah, after almost releasing Abinidi, to listen to his peers, his corrupt priests, and to slay Abinidi. Pride is what caused Lamen and Lemuel to harden their hearts against their father and their little brother. Pride is what brought our Savior to be condemned, as the Pharisees were afraid, as their social status was threatened. Pride leads to destruction. It is the natural to have pride. But we are taught to put off the natural man, and be submissive, meek and humble. I think it is important to note that making sure we have no pride, does not mean that we should have a lack of confidence. We must be confident in ourselves, but above all, confident in Jesus Christ, and our Heavenly Father. As we do so we wont care as much as to say "What will people think of me?' rather, we must have the question continually in our mind "What will God think of me?" And as we do so, we become effective instrument sin the Lord's hands. Iove  yall and have an awesome week! 

Monday, July 21, 2014

STANDARD OF TRUTH - Monday, July 21, 2014

Hey Family!

Well, I just skimmed over the headings of the emails I have received and CONGRATULATIONS TEAG AND TISH AND TRY! That's so exciting! MAN! I'm gonna have TWO nephews when I get home! CRAZY ! haha! Wow, that's awesome! And Trysen is going to be and OLDER BROTHER! What a champ! haha!

This week was great! Elder Talbot had his eyes pop open a little bit as we have tracted and street contacted a lot down town and the surrounding area. On Tuesday, HOLY COW! There was this huge lightening and thunder storm, and for a little bit, it was right above our apartment, and it cut out our power, and shook our whole apartment. It was LEGIT! Haha! SO COOL! And the rain just POURED! Tucson does NOT know how to make roads. The roads just turned into rivers. That didn't stop us from going out and getting to work though. But no joke, the water on some roads was up to our knees. And had a pretty strong current. It was crazy! The underpasses had to be shut down, cuz they were COMPLETELY flooded! It was a lot of fun to bike in that whether!

Also on Tuesday, this guy pulls his car in front of us, and says "HEY! I wanna talk to ya!" He pulls his car to the side of the road, and gets out and introduces himself as the "anti-Christ and the jack Mormon mafia leader." He just started bashing on stupid stuff how Jesus Christ was actually Alexander the Great, and all this weird stuff. Sometimes - especially in Down Town Tucson - people just say things that are just so stupid I just laugh. I accidentally laughed at this guy, and he got SOOO MAD! He started cussing hard core at us. I've never had the middle finger waved so close to my face before. He told us to leave this town and never come back....lol I wanted to recite the Standard of Truth to him, but I just said k, seeya! We then biked away. He was so mad, he was still screaming and yelling at us. I was afraid he was going to chase us with his car, so we booked it and took the side streets. I didn't really think about how Elder Talbot took that, until I looked at him, and he was pretty shocked. Haha! But for some reason we ran into that stuff alot this week, and he's starting to get used to it.

Elder Talbot is an awesome teacher! He's extended a couple of baptismal dates, and found quite a bit of potential investigators for us! He says like the last two weeks have felt like two months. haha! I remember being there. It's a crazy time.
This area is starting to pick up again! We just swept the area book this last week, and tracted a TON! We now have a couple new investigators! This area is different from any area in the mission, because the people in down town Tucson are just insane sometimes. It's pretty entertaining! haha!

I found during that after talking with that guy, that my testimony has grown so much stronger. We faced a lot of opposition this week. Probably more than I ever have on my mission. I remember at the beginning of my mission, sometimes it tore me down, or discouraged me. Now, it builds me up. I know that the work will move forward no matter what. Even through opposition. At the beginning of each Zone meeting or district or transfer meeting, we recite a couple things. We recite our purpose as missionaries, and D&C 4. As well as "The Standard of Truth" that Joseph Smith proclaimed. I want to share it with you. All together, the missionaries say:

"Our Missionaries are going forth to different Nations. The Standard of Truth has been erected. No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing. Persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, and Calamity made defame. But the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly and independent. 'Till it has penetrated every continent, visited every climb, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, until the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say 'The Work is done'" -The Prophet Joseph Smith.

I know that even through opposition, nothing and no one can stop the work from progressing. Remember that! I love you all, and have a great week!  

Monday, July 14, 2014

Desert Storms! - Monday, July 14, 2014


This week Elder Talbot and I got in a big fight..... LOL JK :) We're having the time of our lives! I am so happy he's my companion! He's awesome! Man, memories of home have just been flooding back. But I'm not trunky! Haha! He's really a hard worker and is anxiously engaged in the work and the progress of our area! It's awesome! He's off on a great start!

We did lots of studying this week. The first presidency came out with a program that lasts 12 weeks for new missionaries, so that even with less time in the MTC, we don't lose our effectiveness in the field. So that consists of an extra hour of studying. So 3 hours of studying every day. Haha! My brain is fried. We really worked hard this week! This area has been in the dumps the last couple of transfers, and we are starting to pick it up! We found lots of potential investigators! Elder Talbot extended his FIRST baptismal date! It was awesome! They accepted! :)

We went through our area book and just blasted through it, reorganizing everything, getting in contact with everyone. Things are looking pretty promising! Elder Talbot doesn't like the bike too much! Haha! I was that way when I first came into this area, but you get used to it. MAN there's been some crazy lightening storms lately! It's awesome! On Tuesday night, I couldn't go to sleep cuz it was just huge flashes every 2 seconds! Never seen anything like it! It also monsooned pretty dang hard yesterday. It was awesome! The streets were like rivers, it was crazy! It got up almost knee deep on the roads! The underpasses on the freeway were completely flooded and they had to block it off it was crazy!

Anyway, things are awesome down in Tucson! This week I was studying in 2 Nephi 5, and it's talking about the people of Nephi and the things they did that made them live after the manner of happiness.Iif you look into chapter 5, they were an industrious people, meaning they had to work hard. They had faith, and hoped for things which were prophesied, and they qualified themselves for the spirit. They followed the commandments, and this is what caused them to live after the manner of happiness. The world likes to have you think that happiness comes when you don't have to work anymore, and you can do whatever you want. That is a lie. That is how you live after the manner of sadness. True happiness comes when we are industrious, when we work hard, follow the commandments through obedience, and qualify ourselves through the spirit. I think our family is really good at living in the manner of happiness. I love you all, and I hope summer is going great! Have a great week! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Fern Prairie Connection YET AGAIN!!! - Tuesday, July 8, 2014


This transfer I am training a new missionary! He is sitting right next to me. And his name is..... -Drumrole-...... ELDER TALBOT!!!!!!! :D:D:D:D! That's right, I get to train Tanner! Hahaha! It was so good to see him this morning. I went up to him and gave him a big ole' hug! It's soooo weird to see someone from Camas! Gosh, I'm so excited for these next two transfers!! They are going to be awesome! It'll be fun! I'm so excited! Right now he's exhausted, cuz he's been running on like 5 hours of sleep in the last two days. Haha been there. I'm so stoked! This is going to be so much fun!! 

Anyways, this last week we had our first meeting with President and Sister Passey. They are waaay different from the Killpacks, but seem pretty awesome! Can't wait to get to know them more throughout the next 14 months. They are both really knowledgeable in the scriptures, and spiritual power houses!

This week I had an experience that with justice and mercy. It's so interesting how quick we are to execute justice and judgement on other people, and how slow we are to extend mercy. Christ is our advocate with the father through repentance. If it weren't for him, we would all be destroyed by justice. However, our Heavenly Father provided Christ as the plan of mercy, because they have an infinite love for us. So my goal is to look at people no matter how they treat me, with mercy, instead of judgement and a longing for justice. I know that I need mercy just as much as the next person. I love you all, and hope you have a great week! 

Monday, June 30, 2014

President Passey - Monday, June 30, 2014

Hey family!

This week has been pretty different! This morning President and Sister Passey arrived in the mission, and in an hour or so President and Sister Killpack will be headed home to Delta, Utah! I'm excited to see the different changes that come with having a new mission president. We have a whole bunch of meetings this next week with him and the following week, I have my first interview with him. 

Things in the Central Ward are going great! We are working hard and finding lots of new potential investigators. I'm fairly certain I will take over the area next week, which I think will be good. Haha! One of our investigators, Perseus got his leg amputated this week and we went and saw him a lot in the hospital. Makes me grateful for all that I have and the body Heavenly Father has given me.

This Saturday was insane. So my area covers all of down town Tucson and surrounds the U of A campus. So it's a huge college town. The college kids are always crazy drunk on the weekends. It's pretty funny and makes for good stories for street contacting. This whole crowd was like shouting at us and cussing and yelling at us as we were walking by on Saturday. It was scary! It's crazy how much the adversary is working. We need to work harder! This morning we went and toured a HUGE Catholic Cathedral. It was pretty cool. There was lots of gold and silver and fine twined linen.

I'm sending some stuff home today including PICTURES! I know mom will be excited about that! haha! I learned this week a little bit about grace and about the Atonement. There are some pretty good articles in this months Ensign! There is one by the 2nd counselor in the presiding bishopric. Once he was asked if God will ever give us challenges that stop our progress and his response was NO! Absolutely NOT! He would NEVER EVER do anything to stop our progress in life. However, he does present us with opportunities to grow. Look up 2 Nephi 2:1-2. There Lehi talks about the Lord consecrating our afflictions for our gain. What does consecrate mean? It means to make holy or sacred, or it's used as a big purpose. So we go through experiences in life that are very personal and very sacred and if they are not endured by OUR choice, they can destroy us, but when endured well with the Atonement of Jesus Christ, they are used for our spiritual gain. In order for ANYTHING to get better, it must first get worst. In order for us to experience the blessings of the Atonement, Christ had to suffer and be crucified. Three days later, he rose again fulfilling the Atonement!

It is the same with us. In order to grow and learn, we have to "take up our cross" and bear our trials with Christ. And if we do that, we will come out stronger than ever. A lot of times we ask in life "why me? Why did this have to happen to me?" When really we should ask the question "What can I learn from this experience? What is Heavenly Father trying to teach me?" I know I have a hard time doing that, but when I do, I find that I am better able to endure trials and challenges with an eye of hope! I love you all! And next week is transfers, so I will talk to you on Tuesday! 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Testimony v. Conversion - Monday, June 23, 2014


This week was an emotional roller coaster. This last Friday, we had our farewell conference for President and Sister Killpack. Holy cow was that the saddest thing I have ever had to go through. The spirit was so strong as I listened to their final testimonies. I couldn't even sing the last Hymn "Till We Meet Again" because of the emotions and the spirit I was feeling. When I feel the spirit I'm a huge cry baby, it's awful! After the Conference I went up to President Killpack, and I tried so hard to hold back my tears, but I couldn't, it sucked! But I was able to mumble out how thankful I was for him and how he helped me change my life. He gave me a huge hug. It was pretty scary. He's a pretty big guy. He told me to keep going, that I was on the right track, and that he was proud of me. President Killpack is the most Christ like person I have ever met. He is a spiritual giant, but is hilarious, and outgoing. I'm going to miss the Killpacks so much. I can't tell you how much they have affected me and how much they have helped me change my life. Missions are full of goodbyes, but I know I'll see the Killpacks again. We have a reunion every October. So right after I get home next year, there will be a reunion in Delta I think. I can't wait. I got a picture of Sister Killpack cutting my tie. She's awesome!

President and Sister Passey are coming in next Monday. It's going to be very different. I feel like a huge chapter of my mission has come to a close and I'm ready to embrace the new one. Next Friday we have our first Zone Conference with him, and then we have our one on one interviews. I'm looking forward to it. 

Yesterday in church I learned the difference between a testimony and conversion. A testimony are things that we know to be true, but conversion is when we actually live it and see the blessings then. For example, we know we should eat healthily and excercise. It's a universal truth, but do we all do it? Nope. It takes dedication, and hard work. The same is true for the Gospel. I have had a testimony my whole life. I have never doubted that the Gospel is true, but have never truly been converted. I believe it has taken me getting on my mission to start the conversion process. Conversion is a life long journey, and there are inevitable ups and downs. For example, on Friday at the Zone Conference I felt the spirit probably more than I have ever felt before. That day I had a true and sincere desire to do the Lord's work - and love it. Then on Saturday, we talked to four people in a row who were completely set out on convincing us that there was now way there is a God. They used every logic and every reason they could to denounce the existance of a God. They were preaching at us!!! All of them! I couldn't believe what I was hearing. They mocked and spat on our testimonies and tried to stop my conversion. I felt hopeless., but while they were blaspheming, I just prayed and prayed, and held on to my faith. At the last person, I was able to stop them and bear my testimony. I don't think I have ever speken so boldly and with conviction as I did then. It didn't change their mind, and I walked away in total bewilderment, but I knew that I had become stronger. I felt like Satan and his armies were targeting me. I felt the spirit so strongly the day before, and the next day, Satan tried to destroy it. However, because I held on and stood true to the faith, I feel much stronger.

I feel like that is the process of conversion. We will face terrible challenges in this life, but we CAN overcome them! It's incredible! When we do, we are stronger for it! I thought I should share that experience with you! I hope all is going well at home! I love you all! Have a great week! 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Happy FATHER'S Day - Monday, June 16, 2014

Hey Fam! 

Things are going great in Tucson! Just one thing before my email...... 


Sorry I didn't get to skype home for Sunday! But Dad is the best dad in town! Hope you know how much I appreciate you dad! I look to you for an example on most everything! I hope I am as a good a father as you are! Love ya dad!

Anyways, back tot he email... This week was pretty slow, cuz most all of our appointments fell through. It sucks biking 45 minutes to find nobody home! Oh well, it's good cardio! It also gives us more time to find more investigators. One day this week we went into a park where a lot of hobos live, and we got threatened to be shot cuz they thought we were cops!!! That freaked us out! So we got out of there pretty quick! This week we also blitzed our area! The Zone Leaders came and we went on a mini exchange to do that. I went with Elder Gosper, and we knocked on a few houses, and then this lady came out and was like "OH COME IN! PLEASE! Come in!" She was so happy to see us! She told us to sit down and make ourselves comfortable! We were a bit shocked, and didn't know if we should go in or not because this was pretty rare.. We went in anyways, and it turns out she and her husband are just really nice people and like to talk to everyone! We shared the message of the Restoration, and the spirit was really strong. It was an awesome lesson! Sometimes in missionary work, you will either find the elect, or the elect will find you. So that was great! Now we just need to stay on top of them.

I feel like all o our investigators are falling through our fingers. Central ward is a very unique ward. It's the highest baptizing ward in the mission, but has the lowest retention rate. So the area needs some tender loving, especially the members. Anyways, this Sunday, a returned missionary gave his homecoming talk. He served in Ecuador. One of his friends told us that she didn't think he changed at all from before his mission. So I was anxious to see how his talk went. He had a very simple testimony. Shared some experiences from his mission, and closed. A very generic talk. However, he Spirit was so incredibly strong in that talk. It has always been my worst fear to return from my mission and be the same person, and have the same personality. But the truth is, I don't think our personalities change a whole lot when we return, but what changes is our hearts and our desires. We are still the same person, but our desire to do good and to serve God increase substantially. I have focused a lot on changing myself and my personality. Yeah, there are things you learn on the mission that make you choose better choices, but our main focus in rooting our testimonies in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We cannot change who we are, but we can recognize who we are. We are each children of God with unique talents and attributes, strengths and weaknesses. Once we have a true understanding of this, who we want to become falls into place. Our mission motto is "choose to become". I hope we all do that as Children of God! Love all of you have a great week! 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Prayer's Answered - Monday, June 9, 2014

Hey family!

This week was pretty crazy! Riding on bikes in 100 degree weather is tough, but it's not too bad!

We found a new family this week! The Crosby's! They were a referral from church headquarters. We went and taught them the first lesson. I swear it was almost scripted. The Dad, Bryan, said he has been going to all these churches, and he felt like some of what they say are true and other stuff not. It keeps him up at night as he studies the Bible and can't come to a conclusion on which church was right! CRAZY! So he just went to a whole bunch of church websites and asked all of their church representatives to visit him. So far we are the only ones who showed up. It was really awesome hearing his story. He was just so frustrated that he was on the verge of giving up on God. When we shared with them the message of the restoration, it strengthened my testimony, to see him feel the spirit, and to say that he knows his search has come to and end, and that God does truly answer prayers. It also strengthened my testimony when we gave him his own copy of the Book of Mormon. You should have seen the way is eyes just glowed as he opened and just felt the pages inside. They happily accepted a baptism date on the 5th of July. We have lots of other Investigators who we are trying to get to progress.

One is coming along. His name is Victor. He was part of the Hell's Angels. That is a biker group I guess way back when. He only has one leg, and is an older fellow. Totally looks like a biker guy. Haha! I love being in down town Tucson and just hanging out and talking with all the hobos. They are pretty cool, and some have awesome stories. I met a guy who is from Vancouver Washington!! He said in a year and a half he's gonna come visit me in Vancouver! haha! We'll see if he remembers. Anyways ,the work is progressing! I love you all and have a great week! 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Wokin' in the City - Monday, June 2, 2014


It's interesting working in a city. It's so much different. My last area was a lot like Camas, and it's like working in downtown Portland now. It's hard to find new investigators, because they are all hobos, and everybody else is mean and rude! It's tough... But I'll keep working hard! 

It's also hard being on a bike. My legs are killing me. I'm so out of shape... This week wasn't very productive either. Elder Malcarne doesn't like calling people before appointments, so we bike 20 or 25 minutes to an appointment, and they aren't there!!! Now I'm being negative.

We have lots of investigators, but none of them are progressing. I like the ward though. The members are awesome. There are some characters in it, but for the most part, they're sweet. I need to be more careful on the bike. Last night on our way home, these guys stopped and backed up suddenly, and there was a car behind them, so I couldn't see it, and it was backing up into it's driveway and he almost hit me. I looked back pretty traumatized and then looked in front of me, and WACK! I ran right into a parked car at a stop sign. There was not damage, and I'm ok, but GEEZ! It's hard to be alert and pay attention when you're dead tired. But I need to be more careful. Isn't much to report on this week, so I love you all and hope you have a good week! 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

AREA 51!! - Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Hey everyone!

Welp I'm back in Tucson Zone! I left the Countryside and Tortolita ward and am now am serving in the Central Ward! It's all of down town Tucson. It's pretty cool. It's kinda like down town Portland - but HOTTER!

Boy, it's getting hot here... Aaaaaaaaaaaaand I'm on a bike :'( All my luck being in a car finally caught up to me. My companion is Elder Malcarne. He's been out about 3 months. I'm his third companion. His trainer and the person finishing his training both were visa waiters to South Africa! So I'm his first companion who isn't a visa waiter. Haha! Well it was completely surprising that I left the North Zone. I thought for sure Elder Jones was going to leave. It was hard leaving the Blanco family and all the cool people in the North. Now I'm back to talkin' to hobos. It'll be fun! 

This last week in my last area, we didn't really have anything to do, so Elder Jones and I were driving on a whole bunch of dirt roads. And one night we were doing that, and we went on these windy, twisty, skinny dirt roads in the middle of nowhere. I was asleep in the passenger seat, but Elder Jones had apparently drove past a whole bunch of "no trespassing" and "private property" signs, until he stopped, and yelled "Elder Wise! Elder Wise Look! ALIENS!!!!!" So that woke me up. lol. I looked out the front windshield. And we were parked in front of this gate. It had a sign on it that said "WARNING: Area 51" and it said a whole bunch of other stuff including "Do not enter. Use of Deadly force authorized" So we got out of there. I just thought it was fake, but I asked someone in the ward, and they said there was a nonoperational missile sight that was I guess a branch base or something of Area 51. So that was SICK! Got pictures!

Man, it was hard to leave the North zone. I loved that zone. It's weird being back in Tucson. Haha! Well that's all that happened really this week! Love you all! The Book is Blue and the gospel's true! Have a great week!  

Monday, May 19, 2014

The 4th Missionary - Monday, May 19, 2014

This week was productive for the most part. Transfers are next week by the way. I want to share with you something I learned in my personal study. I read an article called "The 4th missionary" where is described 4 kinds of missionaries. The 1st missionary is disobedient, is lazy, and refuses to work in the Lord's service. The consequences are that he almost always goes home early from his mission, he finds it hard to fit in back home, where only awaits him shame and guilt and regret. The good that he would have done, goes undone (at least by him), and most likely goes inactive in the Church itself. The 2nd missionary is also disobedient, does some work, but without his heart, usually serves a full mission, but doesn't labor diligently in the Lord's service. The consequences are that he doesn't grow from his mission. He wastes two years of his life that he will never get back. The good that he would have done goes undone (at least by him), and when he returns home, he faces guilt and regret all his life. People at home will applaud him for his full time service, but he knows the shame that he brought home with him. The 3rd missionary is successful, changes lots of lives, and brings lots of people close to Christ. Labors hard on his mission and usually meets exceptional standards or numbers on his Key Indicators. The consequences are that he enjoys the success that he has on his mission. enjoys the company of the spirit that came with working hard, and returns home honorably. The 4th missionary contains the exact attributes as the 3rd with the addition of one more, which drastically and definitely changes his consequences. His attitude. His heart. Himself. The 3rd missionary SACRIFICED himself and his time to work in the Lord's service, whereas the 4th missionary GAVE all that he had as himself and all that he possessed. He gave the Lord all of his talents, hopes, desires, dreams, weaknesses, strengths, triumphs, defeats, disappointments, and expectations. This is called lining our will with Christ's, and ultimately, our Heavenly Fathers. This is what the 3rd missionary lacked. Christ teaches us that if we are going to work in his service, we need to labor with ALL of our heart, might, mind, and strength. The 3rd missionary labored with his might and strength. The 4th missionary labored with that with the addition of his heart and his mind. He gave himself. The consequences of the 4th missionary are that he brought others, including himself unto Christ. He grew incredibly from the spirit, and enjoys the constant companionship of the spirit. He actually enjoys and is edified in his testimony every time he looks back on his mission. He grows immense charity. He has the literal light of Christ. He experiences the same heartaches, and disappointments that come with being a missionary, but because he gave his whole self to Christ, he experiences eternal as well as very immediate blessings. Blessings of contentment and peace in the Lord's service. Blessings of happiness, and true joy, both of which are qualities of the Kingdom of God, which Christ teaches is really found within ourselves. The 4th missionary is a disciple of Christ and is redeemed from the natural man or missionary, who may work diligently, but fails to give his whole self to Christ with his heart and his mind. This can apply not only to missionaries but to members with a calling. May we give and loose all ourselves, and work with not only our might and strength, but with our heart and mind. Only then will we be not followers of Christ, but true disciples of Christ, making us like him. I love you all. Have a wonderful week! 

Monday, May 12, 2014

FAMILY ROCKS!!!!!! - Monday, May 12, 2014

Hey family!

I'll keep it short, cuz we talked a lot last night, which was awesome!! Thank you all for taking time to come to ma and pas house to come and see me! It was great seeing you all again! Stock and Trysen have grown up a lot! Haha! I've been telling everyone how you guys brought me outside to shoot a printer! Haha! Everyone thinks you guys are hilarious!

I have an interview with President Killpack. His last one. :'( I'll make sure I get a picture with him and Sister Killpack! Again, I want to reemphasize the importance of Family! Our family is so awesome! We have so much fun and love all of each other! It's because of the gospel! Which is the glue that holds us together and bonds us spiritually! We have a purpose as a family, and that makes us 1000 times happier than most families out in the world. You guys rock! Can't wait to see you guys again on Christmas! But for now, have an amazing week! Love you all! 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Indiana Jones - May 5, 2014

Hey Family!

It's starting to get really HOT down here. Haha! But it's pretty windy at the same time. It's like a HOT blow dryer 24/7.
This morning we went to Romero Pools again. And we found this rope that was tied pretty firmly into a rock. And all of us were climbing this cliff up and down to the water with this rope. I felt pretty courageous and went down to a cliff next to it and asked someone to throw me the rope. I was going to pull an Indiana Jones move and get a running start, kick off a rock and swing with the rope to the main cliff and climb up. It didn't work out that way. I got a running start, and jumped off the rock, but the Rope jerked a little bit and I fell face first into the water. I FELT SO APOSTATE!!! Haha! I quickly grabbed the rope and pulled myself out of the water. Haha! Everyone thought it was HILARIOUS, but I thought it sucked.....Until I saw the video on my camera, and yeah it's pretty embarrassing hahaha! So I had to hike back in soaking wet clothes. Not fun. Haha! 

So this week, we had a lesson with Suzette Blanco. She is the kind of person who is sassy and stubborn just for the sake of being sassy and stubborn. So the last couple of weeks, I have been praying for something to humble her. This week we she called us absolutely devastated, and told us that the guy she's been dating for the past 4 years, who is anti-Mormon, just dumped her. Boy, that really brought her into the depths of humility. We had an awesome lesson with her after that, and we told her that as representatives of Jesus Christ, we told her that he has allowed you to lose and forget about that relationship so she can focus on the relationship with her Savior. The spirit was really strong, and we could tell she knew the truth and knew what she had to do. We were planning on baptizing her next week, but she wants more time to read the Book of Mormon, so we are going push her date back a week or so. This last weekend, we baptized Josh Guillen. He is so incredibly quiet. I ask him "How does that make you feel about Heavenly Father?" "....Good." "Well, that's good. Can you expound on that?" "......Really good." GAAH! Furstrating. I honestly didn't think he was ready, but he says he believes in the church and the Book of Mormon, and wants to get baptized, so I wasn't going to stop him.

I have a picture of him on my camera in his white jump suit right before he is about to get baptized, and he has the most blank look on his face. That pretty much describes his whole personality. Haha! It was rough working with him, but I know he will experience the blessings of baptism. The Priests are going to teach him the new member lessons to keep him active and going to mutual and such. Tonight, I get to see my Zone leader that went home last transfer. Elder Zach Smith is back in town. Haha! It's going to be so weird seeing him again. Alright, well I hope you all have a great week! I love yall! 

Monday, April 28, 2014

LIFE DOES NOT END HERE - Monday, April 28th, 2014

Hey family! 

This week has been great! We went tracting this week, and within the first 10 doors, we got into 3 and were able to teach a lesson, and set up another lesson! I know that doesn't happen a lot while tracting, so that was pretty cool. lol BUT, while we were doing that, someone put shaving cream and sardines ALL OVER our car. We had to take it to the car wash and pay 40 bucks to get it cleaned and waxed, otherwise it would ruin the paint. Our car still smells NASTY!! I have never smelled sardines before this, but they are DISGUSTING!!! We even sprayed our whole car with pine scent, but the smell is still there.

 I CAN"T WAIT TO SKYPE NEXT WEEK! (for Mother's Day, we get to skype...it's so fun to SEE his perfect face and hear his beautiful voice!) Let me know what time you can do it, cuz I know we gots lots of missionaries that need skyping in the parsons family!  

We have had tons of success the last couple of weeks, it's been awesome! Last night, we went and gave a blessing to a 98 year old woman who was on her death bed. She couldn't speak, but was conscious. They haven't fed her any food or water for days, cuz she would just choke on it, so now all they can do is wet the outside of her lips with a cloth. It was really sad looking at her. I have been around death more on my mission than my entire life. It really is humbling. But at the same time, it's a beautiful experience because I have the knowledge of Heavenly Father's plan. I know that life does not begin at birth and that it most certainly does not end at death. It was great to give her a blessing. It was sad, because tears were coming out of her eyes during the blessing, but she couldn't open her eyelids or speak. In just a few hours, she will be with her husband in the spirit world and enter into a state of rest and peace, where she can help her family even more than what she could do while on Earth. I have a testimony of that. Our ancestors are on the other side helping us and encouraging us along the way. I love you all and can't wait to see you next week! 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Stay on the PATH! - Monday, April 21, 2014

Hey Family! 

I got my first bad Arizona sunburn. This morning, some Elders and Sisters, and us went on a pretty intense hike. We hiked from 7 in the morning to 12. We reached one of the highest peaks in Tucson! It was awesome. But... I forgot to wear sunscreen. It's not too bad, but I'm pretty red. It was weird, this week there was a lot of overcast and rain, and it weirdly kinda made me home sick! Haha! One of the Sisters I serve with in my ward, Sister Fuller, is from Portland, and she said she felt kinda homesick too. Haha! 

Man, what a week! Elder Jones and I worked sooo hard. It was exhausting. I probably worked harder this week than any other week on my mission. Which, fortunately, we were able to see the fruit of our labors, cuz we hit double standards - which is cool, but seriously, we worked reeeeeeeally hard this week. It was just tiring. haha! idk If I can do that every week! Haha! Elder Jones is a funny kid. He is just like one of the old guys on Duck Dynasty. The one that doesn't have a wife! Haha! He talks just like him, and sounds just like him and thinks like him. He even has the southern red neck drawl. Haha! It's really fun to listen to. He calls everything "Big ol' this and big ol' that" And says "get up on in there" when he gives investigators a verse to read. Haha! He's such a good kid.

Thank you so much for the Easter package! It was awesome! I've been using the double sided coin a lot. Haha! SO cool! 

Anyways, I was thinking of a spiritual thought I could share with y'all. (Jones's southern draw is rubbing off on me haha). So today, we were on a really intense hike. We had to rock climb a little, the paths were extremely steep, and we had to make our way around thorns and cactus. And on the hike it looked like at the top there were three levels. And being missionaries we were all like "hmm kinda like the three degrees of glory!" Haha! And of course, we wanted to make it to the higher level, to enjoy the beauty of Tucson! It was going to be harder than getting to the other levels, and steeper, with more thorns and cactus, but we KNEW it would be worth it. So as we were going along the path, we sometimes pick out with our own eye another path other than the one that was created, that seems to us to be a better choice, that would lead us away from all the rocks and thorns and cactus. But as we went through those other paths that we thought would be safer and easier, led us to more thorns and cactus and rock. And the further we went, the more dense and dangerous the terrain got, and eventually it looked like it was leading us to one of the other two levels, which wasn't our goal. One missionary, Elder Butterfield went so far off the beaten path, that he went to a completely different opposite side of the peak we were shooting for. He went to "outer darkness" haha! So after exploring the dangers of not going on the path, we decided it would be best if we continued to go on the path prepared for us, which yes, it was steep and hard with thorns and cactus and rocks on the way, but we knew it would lead us where we wanted to go. The Celestial peak. Once we got there, the view was unbelievable! I got some pictures, but pictures can't really describe the wonder and awesomeness of the top peak. It was incredible. I knew the hard path was going to be worth it. It's the same in life.

We think we know a way to find happiness other than the gospel of Jesus Christ that was prepared for us to go to the Celestial Kingdom with Him and Heavenly Father, but in reality, what we find on those unbeaten trails are heartache, sorrow, and regret. It is much better to GO BACK to the beaten trail, which undoubtedly leads us to our eternal goal, which is a fullness of joy and happiness. There is always a chance to go back. It is a better choice then to keep going on the unbeaten path which leads to dense thorns, cactus and rocks, and eventually so dense, it is nearly  impossible to escape. I love you all and have a great week! 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Lose Yourself In the Work - Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hey family, 

Sorry I haven't emailed you until today! This week was transfers, and yesterday I got assigned to be a personal cheuffer for an Elder Smith from Washington who was going home today! He served a full 2 years. He was my zone leader the pass two transfers, and it sucks to see him go. For Transfers, Elder McMurtrey left and went to West Zone, and Elder Jones and I are staying together another transfer....except I am taking Countryside AND Tortalita ward over. I have never covered two wards before. We will be busy, which is good!

Not much happened this past week except Marlon got baptized on Saturday. He is such an awesome guy. So a couple weeks ago, we started teaching him, and we did the first lesson, and then he had to go out of for work for a bit, but he always came back for church on Sundays,. One time, he went to BOTH sessions. A whole 6 hours! YIKES! But now, I have to do that. haha! So last Tuesday, we met back up with him and said "Ok, we haven't met with you for a while, did you still want to get baptized on Saturday?" And he said "Yes! Absolutely!" He then told us that he did what we asked him to at the last lesson we had a couple weeks prior, and he read the whole Book of Mormon, and knelt down and prayed about it. He said he received the calmest, warmest feeling he had ever felt, and HE told US that he knew it was the Holly Ghost telling him that the book was true. So that was cool....haha! WAY COOL! So we taught him the gospel of Jesus Christ that night, and we asked if he had any questions, and he said no. However, I wish we could talk more. SO we taught him ALSO the Plan of Salvation, The Law of Chastity, the Word of Wisdom, and the law of Tithing and Fast Offerings. ALL of which he said he is more than willing to live by. We taught that ALL in one sitting and HE even had scripture references in the Book of Mormon for almost every principle - it was insane! So he got Baptized and confirmed this weekend and yesterday, he called me and told us that his parents are kicking him out of the house and are firing him. (he was employed by his parents). He explained to me that they are die hard Catholics, and don't support him in joining the church. However, he said that he has the missionaries, the members of the ward, and the church. "What more do I need??" He is such a good guy. I'm going to have him listen to the Catholic Conversion. Marlon is the top horse polo player in Arizona. He's sick! So that's the highlight of what happened this week.

We have 5 dates on the calender and hopefully this week we are gonna set a 6th or 7th. Elder Jones and I will do great! He cracks me up. He is the most hill billy red neck kid I have ever met! haha! It's crazy! This transfer, our zone got torn apart. I didn't even know half the people at sports yesterday. Which makes me a little sad.because all of us these last two transfers got really close with each other.  That is the great thing about a mission! I come out here with other missionaries, and the work that we do together, and the testimonies that we grow and share to other people are what bind us all together forever! Those Elders and Sisters will be my best friends for life! I love all of them, it is sad to see half of them go, but there is still work to do! I have made it a goal for me this transfer to loose myself in the work. I am going to put 100% of my focus on inviting everyone to come unto Christ. I think it will be hard and stretch me, but I know I can do it! Only a couple more weeks until we get to skype! I'm really excited!! Love all of you! have a great week! 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Small Flakes of GOLD! - Monday, April 7, 2014

Hey family,

The work is going great! This week we were able to get 3 more baptismal dates for the Countryside ward. Two with the Fairchild Family, who was a referral from one of our APs. YESS! LOVE FAMILIES! They make the best investigators. Also, one with another member of the Blancos, Nadine, who is 12 years old, the daughter of Jessica, who we baptized a couple months ago. 

So this last week the sisters are waiting for their car to be fixed. They got permission for all of us to transport each other in the same car as long as they drive and all three of us sit in the back. Haha! It's awk. Dang sisters. They be everywhere now days.

What an awesome opportunity for us to listen to Genearal Conference. I LOVED IT! I hope we were all able to get small and simple things from it that we needed to hear. Sometimes we are like the young merchant who got caught up in the California Gold Rush. He went and looked for huge chunks of gold in the California rivers, and couldn't find any leaving him poor. Meanwhile another merchant was able to secure small flakes of gold found on river rocks, that were able to accumulate into a huge pile of gold, bringing him much wealth. We need to realize that by small and simple things, great things are brought to pass. As we do the little things in life, or pile up the small flakes of gold, over time we are able to do great things in the gospel, instead of looking to worldly happiness or instant satisfaction, because there is none to be found. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is simple. Read your scriptures. Pray. Be a member missionary. When you fall, get back up and dust yourself off. By doing these things we will be able to accumulate a large amount of eternal happiness and worth in the sight of Heavenly Father. That story was told by Elder Ballard by the way. I love you all and hope you have a great week! 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Bear Your Testimony! - Monday, March 31st, 2014

Hey family!

This week has been pretty hectic, to say the truth. Had to take two missionaries to the airport on Monday, to send them home. That was crazy. So now I am in a trio with Elder Mcmurchry and Elder Jones. Elder McMurchry reminds me of Max Whittle and we get along super-duper well! Elder Jones is really tall.

On Thursday, we got a call from a member in the Tortalita ward (another ward I am covering along with the Tortalita ward), and the member said that these J-Dubs (Jehovah Wittness missionaries) keep coming to her house and she is too nice to say go away, so she was wondering if we could come over. So we did. We went to her house a couple minutes before they were supposed to show up. They rang the door bell, and they seemed really nice, until they walked in the house and saw three boys on the couch waving, and wearing white shirts and ties with name-tags. I know this is bad, but it was really fun "bashing" with them. We had all these scriptures prepared, and we bore our testimonies. However, the most powerful thing was when the member shared her testimony. That was crazy. That's when the spirit really kicked in. It really is the members who can truly invite the spirit in discussions as they share what they know to be true! So that's my challenge to all of you this week, is to look for opportunities to bear your testimony to those around you. You are more powerful than you think!

Well this week we reestablished a lot of baptismal dates. We are baptizing almost weekly now. We got Marlon on April 12, Josh on April 19th,  Nadine on the 26th, and Suzette on May 10th! She is the most stubborn Blanco out of all of them, so I think I got her on a hook when I said that that's my brothers birthday, and I'm gonna miss it....so will you be baptized on my brother's birthday?? She agreed!! AND went to church for the first time last week! So everything's is going great in our area! I Love this area! Hopefully I will stay next transfer, which is comin' up here!

 Love you all and have a great week! 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Rough Week, The Atonement is REAL - Monday, March 24, 2014

Hey family, 

Well this has really been a hard, interesting week. Where do I start...

So do you remember near the beginning of this transfer there was an Emergency Transfer and another Elder came to my are? When I got put with him, President Killpack told me to keep him updated on his obedience level. So no sooner than that, I discovered him sneaking out at night. So, I talked to him about it, and he said he was just going for runs to the church and back. I tried to get him to stay or have me go with him on his runs, but he refused to let me. No sooner than that, had I discovered he has an iPod touch with internet on it. Since he was gone for 4 hours at a time most nights, my assumption was that he was going to the church to do not very good things on his iPod. So, I talked to him about that, and he kinda just blew me off again. So one day, I was trying to get to know him better, and asked if he had a girl waiting for him back home, and he said nope, he dumped her on his mission. So I was like, okay good for you! But...what was weird was that one day one of the other Elders asked him if he had a girlfriend, and he said yep! So I thought that was weird...and on Sunday, he told me that "tomorrow he had a member from his last area coming over. A very "specific" member". So I was like Uuuh...ok. Then on Monday, we were hiking to Romero pools, and Elder Faustini, (my best friend on the mission) was walking with this Elder and he told him he had a girlfriend and is coming over tonight to our apartment. So I was like Oh...Heeck Nooooo! So, I had no choice to to tell prez. So I texted him later that night, and he came over to our apartment and cheeeewed him out, and she came and he cheeeewed her out. Apparently, he had developed a very strong, physical relationship to a girl in his last area. So prez took his iPod, and discovered that at the church every night he was texting her and hooking up with her and all sorts of bad stuff. He bashed on me in the texts and bashed on president. So to make a long story short, I was at the airport this morning walking my companion to airport security. He's going home. I'm gonna be put in a trio again. BUT..... I have a car! I'm staying in my area, but am covering another area as well.

So this week was very, very, very rough. I didn't want to snitch on him, and I wish he would have made better choices, but there are consequences to our actions. So this week was rough. I killed off a missionary, and it wasn't fun. To top that off, another Elder who I became good friends with is going home today and he asked president to have me drop him off at the airport and walk him in. So today I will have gone to drop a missionary off to be sent home twice. Not fun... And the second Elder was my best friend. He made some poor choices too, but for different reasons. He's a great guy, but just wasn't up for serving another year. He was with me in my first area, in Binghampton, and now in North, is still in my district. He has been a huge part of my whole mission, and it's going to be so weird and different when he leaves.

I am so glad for the Atonement that gives us unlimited chances and opportunities to change and to become better and to erase but not forget our mistakes. I love the Atonement. My testimony has grown so strong of it on my mission. I testify that it really does have power to heal, and to change. It is unbelievably incredible. I don't know how it works, but it does.

I love you all, and I hope you have a wonder-filled week! 

Monday, March 17, 2014

From 98% Humidity to None - Monday, March 17th, 2014

Hey family!

How are all of y'all doin? So they sent me to the doctors to figure our why I've been sick for like 7 weeks lol and they said that since I'm from WA, I'm so used to the humidity. Then I came down here, and the dry weather just irritates the schnikees out of my sinuses. So they put me on more antibiotics and gave me a humidifier. I feel much better now, but I still have a dry throat and cough all the time.

But this week we got a lot of referrals. One was a media referral from Salt Lake for this guy named Marlon. He's been taking lessons for a while now with some missionaries in Texas. He just moved here and told us he's ready to get baptized! OK! :) Haha! So that was easy. lol Another one from a YSA (young single adults) ward. A girl invited her friend who has three kids - one baptismal age - to the ward. She apparently loved it and said she couldn't wait to go  to her "real ward" the next week, which is our ward, Countryside! So we just got lined up with some super-duper solid investigators. Haha! Well, I guess, one just a Dry Mormon". lol

Can you guys make sure you thank the Buzans for me? I really really loved their package they sent me - especially the "Camas Stuff" package. That was really cool. Really appreciated it.

We went on a hike to Romero Pools again today. When we got there, we realized it was spring break for all the college kids. So that wasn't good...especially at the pools... So we quickly turned back. Haha!

Susan got confirmed yesterday, and we met with her husband for the first time a couple days ago. Not too sure how he received it, but at least we met with him! It's been so cool watching an entire family, not only that, a devout CATHOLIC family come into the Gospel. It's been awesome. Now they are super solid members. Love it!

I hope everyone's week goes swell! Love you all! 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Keep Praying, Keep Being Awesome - Monday, March 10th, 2014

Hey Family!

Last night we had the baptism of Susan  It was a huge turn out. It was so special seeing all of her family there. Some have been baptized the last couple of weeks and some we are still working with, but it was awesome to see the whole family there supporting her.

Susan is the Mother and Grandmother of the family and I could tell what an impact she had on her family and on her husband when she got baptized and bore her powerful testimony. I love the Blanco family! They are one of the best parts of my mission. Just seeing all of them get baptized one by one and come to church is so cool, I can't even describe it. 

Yesterday, I taught Gospel Principles for the first time! I taught about prophets. It went ok I thought.

So this week has been CRAAAZYYY with referrals! We got a media referral - meaning that someone puts in a online submission to meet with the missionaries and then Salt Lake sends that info the whatever missionaries that are in his area. So we got one of those this week, and we called him and he seemed really excited to hear from us and wants to take us out to dinner on Thursday. So we'll see how that goes. THEN...one of our AP texted us and said "Hey guys, we met with somebody today who is ready to get baptized into the Countryside ward" haha! So apparently someone's friend just took a friend to church and she thought it was so awesome and so exciting, she wanted to be baptized and meet everyone in her "real" ward - Countryside. So we are gonna meet with her this week aswell. Hopefully it goes well! It's amazing what can happen when we just simply invite someone. If they say no, who cares?? At least you did your part!

So yesterday, I feel like God slapped me upside the face. I haven't really been too good on praying lately and if I do, it's never really sincere. BUT Thursday, a companionship got into a fight, so we had to do exchanges. The missionary I got likes to break the rules a lot and has a really bad problem with disobedience and president warned me of that. Every night he would just dissappear until seriously 1:00am or 200am :in the morning. I would go to the bathroom, and I would come out around 10:30 and he's just gone!! Apparently, he just goes running and goes and works out at the gym for a really long time but I don't care, you're not supposed to leave your companion for any reason. So last night he left again around 10:30pm. So I just decided to say a prayer. I asked heavenly father just to touch this Elder's heart and have him realize the importance of being obedient so we can have the spirit to be with us when we teach tomorrow. I closed my prayer and seriously like no joke it was insane, like 30 seconds later, he walks through the door. it's like 10:40pm. I asked if he was done already? He said - no joke - Well let's just say the spirit spoke to me. (WHAAAAAAAT!?!?) I asked what do you mean? He said "Well I was running around and the spirit stopped me and said to go back. So I decided to be obey and go back." WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAH!!!!!!! That was a crazy experience. I couldn't even go to bed because I was just thinking about what happened! After that he kneeled down to pray seriously for like an hour. I really think he is now trying to make a change for the better. Heavenly Father DOES answer prayers! I was so shocked last night it was insane! It may not be like the timing was last night, cuz it's in his timing, but he DOES answer them! Keep praying! Keep being awesome! I love you all! And have a great week!