Monday, September 28, 2015

Another Dunkin!

The baptism of Emily Douglas

Hey friends and family it has been an awesome week in the service. We baptized this week!  We entered Emily Douglas into the waters of baptism and I was able to perform this great ordinance.  During the baptism only around 8 times did youngling children run in and out while slamming the door to REALLY invite the spirit.  It was great.  We made sure to practice the technique of baptism so when it was actually happening we didn't have to move around to try and figure out the right position for 5 minutes in the water.  Me & Elder Brown have been having a lot of fun tracting and laughing this week. The ward recruited us to come play volleyball and talk to some less active members in the ward.  Little did we know the intensity of actual volleyball rules.  We were called for carrying about 5 times each.. I used to be a star at valley view elementary.  It was great and the MO TAB really got our juices going while bumping setting and spiking.  A few miracles happened this week.   One of them being a lesson where we taught Pam Forester.  She is new to most of this "God and Jesus stuff" so she says... And we couldn't convince her that miracles still happen today.  I decided to tell her the process of my own conversion and show her a Mormon message by Jeffery R Holland and at the end of it all she just said "wow, that was really cool" all the while the spirit bombarded all who were listening.  It was her time to hear the message after about 60 lessons with other elders.  We finally made some progress! We went shopping at Target earlier and I was stunned at the Star Wars products around every corner.  Also, we had dinner with the Bishop just last night.  What a man he is and truly called of God to serve the people here in the woodlands of Castlerock.  Cool story.  We were tracting in Kelso and the phone started ringing.  Elder Brown delegated the phone to me because he didn't know the number of who was calling.  It was a man who has been inactive for about 10'years and is ready to come back.  We went promptly up to shove some doctrines down his throat and rebuke his behavior.  We actually just taught him a nice lesson from a general conference talk and his wife happens to not be a member.  They both came to church yesterday and she will be baptized shortly.  Also, a kind member of our ward scribed a poem about me and placed a scene of the shire as the backdrop.  Love it!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Good-bye Elder Briggs...Hello Elder Brown

Elder Brown-new companion
Elder Briggs-old companion

My new companion Elder Brown is one of my FAVORITES!  He is funny and is really bold.  He likes giving copies of the Book of Mormon out the window.  He just doesn't really have a fear of man and it is a good example to me.  I have really enjoyed knocking doors with him and laughing at the different things we try to say during door approaches.  We have even been plotting tossing out a BOM to hit someone on the side of the road... but this technique may not prove to be the most fruitful.  Elder Brown even likes Red Lobster because we went there for his FIRST TIME.  YEP.  He had never been to Red Lobster before... & he is from Salt Lake?  I assumed he was from a different planet.  This week we learned a lot from a man in our ward.  Brother Merrell had us over for dinner and rehearsed to us many of his mission stories.  Brother Merrell prayed before every lesson asking "who should teach the lesson?"  "what exactly should we say?"  and before all of his proselyting efforts he would offer a prayer asking where they should tract and they would start driving until they felt the need to stop and knock on a house.  I have tried all my mission to become an effective planner and become better myself at knowing who to talk to and what to do.... when I should have been letting the Lord take over my mission and submitting to his will.  After we learned this MOST important principle we found a new investigator!  We said a prayer right after we left his home and felt that we should go visit Scott (whom we found a couple weeks ago while tracting).  We knocked on the door and a young lady named Nikki answered and we felt prompted to ask her if she was interested in learning about the church... & she said she was looking for a church to raise her daughter up in!  We came back a few days later and figured out she was baptized when she was 13 years old and wanted to come back again.  She came to church the very next day and all of this was because we asked the Lord what he wanted us to do instead of doing what we wanted to do.  I spoke at a funeral this week.  What an interesting thing to do for the first time because I had no idea whom the man was that passed away.  The bishop was conducting and asked that we come and speak (which is usually not what we are allowed to do) but it was approved by the mission president this time.  We walked in the building and the brother of the man who passed away, is a member of our other ward and we have been at his home to teach him before.  When we left they gave us all the leftover grub as well.  So, we shared the gospel and got lots of leftover grub.  Felt a little bad but can't COMPLAIN.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

My 3rd Son

I suppose you're wondering why this email is titled "my 3rd son" well let me tell you why.  Transfers are Wednesday and I am staying here in Kelso and training yet another missionary.  The Lord is giving me offspring as numerous as the stars out here (apparently you refer to the missionaries you train as your son)  We have quite the posterity out here in the field.  We have 6 generations of trainees out here. Elder Briggs is also training next transfer.  SO GOOD THINGS HAPPENING HERE.  What a week we truly had some cool things happen.  First off we were hazardously low on fuel this past Sunday and we had to ration our gas in an attempt to keep the sabbath day holy.  We knew the Lord would help us keep all the commandments some way.  We ended up getting a referral to end the night that was right next to our apartment. During this lesson our member present tried to convince our investigator that she was worshipping a false idol by wearing the cross... (Don't ever do that)  As we attempted to wrangle the lesson back to earth we ended up having a very spiritual lesson and she invited us to play pickle ball with her this morning.  BUT WE HIKED MT ST HELENS INSTEAD.  NOT really hiked but we drove up to this cool observatory and hiked around a loop.  I want to share a cool experience today.  We had to fuel up early in the morning due to our lack of planning yesterday and low level of fuel... and I let Elder Briggs take care of the fuel this time.  The good fella filled it all up and hopped back in the car.  We left the
station and embarked towards the stake center and I heard a little clinking on the side of the car... next thing I know a few people drive by and give me a look like I am a tourist from the north pole though the window... and Briggs goes bright red.  He most certainly forgot to shut the gas chamber on the side and we were making quite a mockery of the Missionary program at this point.  Okay, time for an actually cool experience.  We had a lesson planned with Dave and as Elder Briggs offered the "pre-lesson" prayer I couldn’t get the thought of this other investigator out of my head... I knew we had to go visit her.  SO WE DID.  & as we showed up and talked she explained we showed up at the perfect time of day on the perfect day and she had been thinking about us lately.  She told us her life story and showed us pictures of her family.  Then, she asked us "Does your religion offer anything about change and about starting over again?"  The spirit blew up my heart like mt st helens at that moment.  She was practically asking for the gospel.  We left her with some verses and I learned an important lesson about yielding to the spirit even if we have to change our own plans.  We moved into a new apartment this past week and we are finally getting settled in. No more living out of a suitcase.  I have also found some really soothing post shave balm and I have been styling my hair in a way that has revolutionized my missionary work.  Life is good.  The church is true.  I even gave another sacrament talk on Sunday.  & I am getting a pair of Elders in my district :):):):):)  NO MORE RELIEF SOCIETY PRESIDENT!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Quick Review of the Week

Selfie in the church bathroom!

Okay here are a few happenings from this past week:

1- Dinner with a kind family where we ate tomatoes, drank milk and listened to Brother Harris ruin the bathroom about mid dinner.

2- Heard about the upcoming BYU/Nebraska football game all week from everyone.  Yesterday, heard about the amazing Hail Mary finish from everyone at church!  Dad sent me a video of the catch today!  Love it!

3- Have been tracting around the town of Kelso every night until about 8:30 pm.  We found an incredible investigator at 8:29 pm,  moseying around town and he wants to be baptized now.  We committed to talking to ten new people a day and after we did that the Lord blessed us richly.  Committing always brings blessings :)

4- We were forced to move from our happy trailer dwelling to a new abode that  looks like a penthouse  and our new neighbor is concerned that two teens moving in means we are going to have late night parties.  Yep.

5- Elder Briggs gave me a hand carved wallet from his Dad's own leather working business, "lone tree" leather works.  Go to and see the MERCH.

More to come next week.  Watch out for false prophets and peeping wizards