Monday, August 29, 2016


My lineage (my trainer, me and all those we have trained).

It's been one of the best weeks of my entire life.  Probably not just  my mission,  but my life.  Elder Iler is the greatest companion & we are in the greatest area.  You may ask why the greatest area? Why the greatest companion?  Let me relate to you the events that unfolded this past week.  1st miracle:  Kinda scary but cool.  We sent the missionaries off going home this transfer and welcomed 25 new missionaries to the mission in their stead.  On the departing day we went with 4 missionaries to the airport for a 10:30am flight.  For some reason, this meant we must get up at 5:45 am. Who's that early anyway? We got up at 5:45 and met up at the mission home to carpool down together & I took a separate car than my companion.  He rode with another missionary to the airport and our mission president took the two sister missionaries down to the airport.  Did I know how to get to the airport? No.  Did I have a phone? No.  Did I have prayer? Yes.  This driving arrangement was the only way we could have sufficient cars for the incoming missionaries, so they sent me off in the Nissan Rogue with a GPS and not much else.  Everyone took a different route than me...because I was just following a GPS.  At this point I am lost... Not knowing which route to take to avoid traffic and when I get to the airport I have no phone.  HOWEVER I did say a prayer.  I was prompted to take a different route and I actually arrived just in time.  Next problem... No idea where everyone would be in the airport.   Prayer comes in the clutch AGAIN.  I felt that I should just follow the sign that says "terminal" and after wandering aimlessly in the airport,  President McAteer was waving me down and giving me a big hug. Honestly, what a cool miracle. Some divine intervention to avoid traffic skirmishes and successfully navigate through the Portland airport.  2nd miracle:  I am almost sure that only 10 people didn't want to talk to us this week.  YES everyone else held a full conversation with us.  It felt like a dream.  We were able to talk to some of the very elect.  For instance, we had three appointments fall through on Saturday afternoon & so we went to town as a backup plan.  None of the souls we were looking for were actually home, but at 4:00 pm we saw a door that was open and inside was someone writing in a classic Walmart composition notebook.  He looked ripened for the gospel.  We approached him and he said, "Let's talk". He brought out a couple of chairs for us to sit on and talk in the parking lot about the gospel.  He went from saying, "I'm Irish Catholic". To saying, "I'm open to the message you shared.  I will read some of the BOM right after you leave".  Elder Iler and I found a new investigator at 3 doors that we found already opened as we walked and talked this week.  ROUND THREE TRES LECHES:  In our new apartment we have two full size bathrooms.  I have been getting ready in my own bathroom since I arrived here last week.  That ITSELF IS THE GREATEST MIRACLE.  Each shave has been excellent.  Spiritually speaking, we taught Shar this week.  Shar is an incredible lady who knows her religious theology.  She knows the bible QUITE WELL.  We taught her a little more about the BOM and she said she would like to get baptized ASAP.  She said she has been studying  the commandments and knows what she needs to do.  We handed her the dvd movie of the restoration and she felt the spirit just holding that great film.  As we told her about the persecution Joseph Smith went through, she felt in her heart it must be true.  She accepted a baptismal date and we now have 5 investigators working towards baptism here in the McLoughlin Ward.  Life is good.  The church is true and as my companion says "let the chips fall where they may". Things will always work out. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Family Reunion

The newest A.P. in the WVM.  (Better take it easy with the ladies!)

Let's just get right to it, this week was killer.  I got transferred!  I am already in my new area and will be serving in central Vancouver as an A.P.  Yesterday night I was picked up to come to my new area.  My new companion is Elder Iler and he is tall, likes sun glasses and knows Lord of the Rings.  Things will be alright.  The new ward I am in is the McLoughlin Ward. 3 sets of missionaries serve in the ward.  I am excited, and very overwhelmed with the responsibility.  Another week of miracles.  MIRACLE  1: This is the greatest of all time.  We met a woman walking around some apartments and she said, "you could be my grandson".  I began asking her if she had grandchildren the same age and she said, "No, I mean you are my actual grandson.  How old are you & were you adopted?"  This was odd to say the least. I told her I was not adopted and then she said, "You have gotten a lot older since I last saw you."  I have  definitely never seen her before.  Okay, after this she stared at my companion for a good 5 seconds and then embraced him.  We're talking a good 5 second hug (which I probably shouldn't have allowed), but this scene was too bizarre for us to grasp.  She then told us early in her life the doctor stole her own baby and my companion was identified as her actual son.  At this point I wasn't sure what to say, so I started teaching her about the Holy Ghost, and she quickly avoided that conversation and shook our hands in delight because she finally found her long- lost family.  I am 100% positive we are not actual family nonetheless we went with it and decided to just agree that we are all children of God and enjoy the moment.  Honestly, couldn't stop laughing for days after.  MIRACLE 2:  We took a priest out with us this week and had two appointments set up to teach with the priest.  Both cancelled and it was 99 degrees outside.  Not the best weather for door knocking with a 16 year old kid, especially when his Dad is the bishop.  We brainstormed to decide whom we wanted to visit and we both came up with the same person.  We went to visit this less active priest in the ward and after we knocked we realized the whole family was gone.  Currently staying at the house as a house sitter.  We invited ourselves in and taught him the restoration.  This elect child of God had read the whole BOM prior to us showing up.  He was delighted to hear the kingdom of God could be back on the earth.  What are the chances? This guy originally lives in Portland and usually works all day.  He said he would begin reading again and praying to know if he should be baptized.  Wow.  What luck!  Miracle 3:  We were walking around the apartments and saw a young fella throwing some trash from his garage into his car.  We began talking to him about his upbringing and his negative views on God.  This was no problem because the spirit was rather strong as we talked to him and we both knew it.  After 5 minutes or so he told us his mom is a member of our church and she happens to be someone we have been trying  to contact for the last 6 months or so, maybe even longer.   No answers.  However, this young man felt bad for us in the heat, and went to purchase us some hydrating beverages at the local gas station and said “ be back here in ten minutes.”  We came back, taught him about prophets and set up a return appointment to be in the home of this wonderful family that needs to come back to church.  SIMPLY walking around the apartments and something this cool happened & we even got some cool beverages.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Return of the King

A Happy Reunion with Brother Heinige.
One of the great weeks of a missionary has been this week.  Much reminiscing in an old area and much success in the current area.  Was challenged by a recent convert to slack off on the caffeine consumption & I couldn't resist his unquenchable spirit.  I have been committed to only two drinks a week.  To make matters worse... A member of the ward went out of town, left the key to his house with us and filled his fridge with two 12 packs of diet Mountain Dew?  How rude?!  Okay so how about some god stuff that happened this week.  I traveled back to an old area for an exchange this past week.  It was my second area where I trained a new Elder upon the ways of getting rich & famous spiritually / physically.  Some of the most elect souls of God were found in the Parker's Landing area.  Three of which I was able to visit!  One of the greatest of all time is brother Heinige.  When I arrived in Parker's Landing he was a recent convert of a little under a year and was working towards getting the priesthood.  Honestly, he didn't really have the desire to receive it at the time.  When my companion &  I knocked on the door he said, "Lord, thank you these Elders look like they can catch a football". Ever since that opening line we have been great pals.  I called him first thing when I arrived in the area for the exchange and we had dinner together that evening. Since my leaving he has received the Melchizedek priesthood to give blessings and help others.  However, he had not yet given a blessing!  THE STARS ALIGNED!  A recent convert in the ward (who happens to be great friends with Bro Heinige) texted him asking for a blessing.  We went and gave his first priesthood blessing to heal the sick together. A very spiritual moment for me and I know for him too.  The last lesson I had with brother Heinige before I left was to invite he and his wife to work towards being sealed in the temple.  On that same day, the elder that baptized him a year before happened to be visiting him :). The stars continue to align with this elect soul.  Alright, how about a late night Sunday night before the week ends miracle?  After the church meetings in the Fisher's Landing Ward, we embarked for the day.  It was hot, but as President Hinckley says, “Every day is a great day in my life. I hope every day is a great day in your lives--every one of you. I hope you can get ready to go in the morning and shake the hand of your companion and say, ‘Brother (Sister), life is good. Let’s go out and have a good day.’ And when you come in at night, I hope you can say to one another, ‘It’s been a good day.  We’ve had a good time. We’ve helped somebody along the way.… We’ll follow up with them and pray and hope that they will come into the Church.’ Every day ought to be a good day in the mission field.”  It is always a good day in the WVM.  We found the elect yesterday!  We tried all we could think of until we saw a man unlocking his door and we sorta ran over to him yelling at him.  He stopped and talked to us for about 20 minutes to tell us his cousin was on a mission.  We knew why we ran over to talk to him at that moment, and he decided to meet with us on Tuesday.  Later in the evening, at 8:55 p.m., we knocked on a door and someone came out just a little too friendly.  We thought she was luring us in to bash our religion and our freedom!  We were ready to stand as stripling warriors on guard with bashing scriptures (actually we probably just would have left) but she was sincere.  She had no desire to lure us away but she said, and I quote, "I am always looking for truth.  I love hearing about new things to search for truth".  She definitely heard some truth and doctrine after that sentence.  She texted us later that very night after we left.  (That never happens, so it's exciting ok?!)  The work is great.  The only thing that ever gets stopped or frustrated at times is me.  Not the work!  Friday we prayed that by Sunday we could double our lessons and new investigators... and by Sunday it happened!  We simply asked for a little help in achieving a goal and by Sunday we had a delivery request to reach some of the elect of God.  Life is good.  Went on exchanges with another blonde kid and we were accused of being blood - line brothers all day.  This young man has only been on his mission 4 weeks and seems like a 50 year minister of the word.  Maybe it's the hair?  He did ask me at least 3 different times for tips on hair - care.  I delivered.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Poolside Preaching

Elders teaching & eating poolside.

What a good week it's been.  Fisher’s Landing has everything and more when it comes to missionary work.  I'll see if I can justly relay the events of the week without dumbing down the celestiality of the nature thereof.  We taught a lesson at a pool this week.  We invited someone to baptism and we are now going on a hike.  All-the-while Elder Reinwand & I attempted to push each other’s buttons to the point of frustration.  I'll admit, he got me a few times but the church is still true.  Cool event # 1:  We have been meeting with a wonderful family that we met walking around some apartments.  The father of this family was baptized as a young lad and drifted away from the church shortly after.  We found him in the middle of our favorite apartment complex walking his dog.  After a short conversation we got his address to stop by sometime later in the week.  HOWEVER, WE FORGOT THE APARTMENT NUMBER BY THE TIME WE GOT HOME THAT EVENING.  We stink, I know.  Some fervent prayers followed for the next month until "randomly" his records were sent into the ward by an unknown source :). Before you know it we were at his door and set up some lessons.  He came to church within two weeks and we began teaching his daughter who "wanted to be baptized ever since she saw someone be baptized". She is now on date to enter the waters on September 10th.  Both of them came to church yesterday.  LIFE IS pretty good as a missionary.  Cool event #2:  A really special family near and dear to my heart fed us this week prior to our lesson.  We have been teaching this wonderful family because of an inspired priest in our ward.  While we were on splits with this young man about a month ago, he felt that we should drop by this special family whom my companion & I had never met before.  We soon realized they have a young man out on a mission & he is serving with one of my childhood friends.  They fed us this week and we forgot to mention we cannot have dinner with only two women in the home.... We showed up, smelt the salmon & were NOT going to pass up this dinner. We brainstormed and decided to bring all the food down to the pool where we are out in the public.  We faced the opposite direction while the other two looked at the pool & we dined on salmon in the cool evening.  This family is MAKING HUGE strides & I feel like they remind me of my folks back home.  Cool event #3:   We go to bed at 10:30, or at least try the hardest we can to.  Yesterday at exactly 10:30, we got a text from someone in our ward asking us if we could teach her friend the following day at 4. Do you REALIZE THE SIGNIFICANCE?!  We work all day for two years and then someone in the ward just texts us with someone to teach?  Living with a member is hard because we yell aloud when things like this happen.  I'm sure he doesn't mind.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Sabbath Day Scrumptious

Elders cruising for investigators.

It's been a good week in Fisher’s Landing!  Tons of people came to church! The lord blessed us with some scrumptious sabbath day blessings. I'm talking literally too scrumptious as well we both had far too many meatballs last night and we are feeling the backlash of this grievous mistake. Lessons learned. Let me tell you of some cool miracles and I hope this helps someone.  At least 6 or 7 of our most promising investigators dropped us this week.  Including a family on date for baptism during August!  If someone has ever felt the feeling of their heart being ripped out from THE SOUL I'll bet it felt similar to all these investigators dropping us.   Elder Reinwand & I honestly felt quite exhausted!  No diet dew could console the wounded soul.  Only Christ could.  Never have I prayed harder.  Never have I used more mental power to figure out what needs to be done more in my life (I'm sure my parents could attest).  We worked our butts off!  No one seemed to have any interest... Until one evening at about 8:40 we found some elect.  Two ladies yelled "hey you two come over here!"  Kinda scary but exciting right?  They then exclaimed "I just wanna say I LOVE what you guys do, but I'm a part of another faith". They weren't getting off the hook that easily!  We were so happy to talk to someone we used all the time given to us to figure out one of the ladies is a inactive member of the church and the other is going through big life changes currently!  The woman that initially yelled for us explained all the anti Mormon literature her father taught her growing up and she sincerely asked us about all of it.  As we told her the truth, she seemed a little excited.  She seemed excited to hear we do NOT worship Joseph Smith and we do believe in Jesus Christ.  They both exchanged numbers with us followed by a little FIST pumping from us.  The trials come & the persecution comes & the problems come to show us something better.  He. Never. Leaves. I really learned that first hand this week.  Even if you can't see him immediately he never leaves.  Okay next miracle would be showing up at church after having the most exhausting day of all my mission.  Showing up and walking in put a smile on my heart to see a man we have been working with for a few weeks now trying to get him back at church.  We found him simply by walking around an apartment complex and forgot his address :(:(:(:( but after considerable prayer his records were randomly moved into the ward :). He SHOWED UP TO CHURCH CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!  I couldn't. Then the deacons asked us to pass the sacrament & while passing I looked back to see another family we are working with on the very back row.  I couldn't stop getting the GRINS the rest of the meeting. Ether 12:6.  Okay now I think I could share a few thoughts about one of my favorite families as well. The GLOVKA family that I love dearly was baptized a couple months ago.  We have been racking our brains to get these teenagers to read the BOM everyday.  Well, well, well, I sorta... Kinda... Promised them I would buy them pizza & M&Ms if they finished the whole BOM.  It GOT ME TO READ THE BOOK IN 9th grade.  It worked like a charm. They got really excited and said they would read a chapter every night. We have been trying for two months to get them to read but you know sometimes you just have to know your crowd :).