Monday, June 19, 2017

Howdy howdy howdy! This week as been exhausting! I know I say that every week, but this week really was exhausting. It kinda carried over from the previous week. I got so tired I got sick. Then I got more tired. I don't  have a ton of time to write because we have to go pick up new missionaries from the airport this afternoon, but here are the deets (details..).

We had to go to Greensboro twice this week, once for a weekly planning session with some Elders and again the next day for Zone conferences. It was the last conference for the transfer and went pretty well.

I also went on exchange with Elder Christensen from Gastonia. We were in Matthews and it went pretty well. Saw a car crash and taught someone a lesson over the screaming arguments between the two drivers. Elder Christensen gave me a lot of advice about school. He went there for about a year before he came out.

Transfers was this week. I'll be staying, and finishing my mission, in Matthews. Elder Hampshire will be a traveling assistant. I'll get a new companion named Elder Grieve. I know him pretty well and he'll be a great companion to finish with. So things are looking pre fresh!

Love ya!

P.S today we went to top golf😎

Monday, June 12, 2017

Howdy! So Ganesh got baptized on SaturdayπŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰! We couldn't attend because it was outside our mission boundaries, but we were able to Skype in from Charlotte. Probably one of the best baptismal services I've seen on my mission. Apparently the whole Relief Society room was packed with people. His girlfriend and her whole family were there and his brothers and a bunch of nonmember friends of theirs they know from Chick-fil-A. There were also a ton of families from the Ward he attended with his girlfriend there. Our bishop and one of the councilors and our WML and his wife and the Spencers all drove up. Ganesh's girlfriend's dad baptized him and her brother confirmed him. We got special permission to have him confirmed there since all of his friends and family live there. This week he's going on trek with their Stake. That should be a really good experience for him right after his baptism. I'm so happy he got baptized though because he's seriously sooooo solid.

I also found out this week that the Cartrette family got sealed in the temple! We helped reactivate them in Lexington, and I had to get in the baptismal font to help Brother Cartrette baptized his daughter Zianna. She was like 3 days away from turning 9 so it was practically a convert baptism. Brother Cartrette has bad health and has to walk with a cane and was scared he would "trip n' fall in da font n' kill my youngin" so that's why I got in too.

We also had a ton of Zone Conferences this week. Our training was on using all of our finding tools, so we got hard hats and a tool box and did some fun activities learning all about using the tools we've been given for the purpose they've been given to us. (Teach repentance and baptize converts).

So this week has been extremely busy and I'm extremely tired, as usual. We also started transfer planning and went on an exchange and had to plan Ganesh's baptism which was kinda hard. I'm still not entirely sure if our Bishop from Matthews presided over the baptism or their Stake President in Apex did. We've got more Zone conferences this week and another exchange and a bunch of appointments and have to finish transfers still. Then we'll be up till 2 in the morning doing transfer logistics Saturday only to wake up early to go to Ward Council Sunday. Next P-day we'll only have half a p-day because we've got to pick up the new missionaries from the airport and then the next day is transfer day which means the day after that we get up at 4 in the morning and take missionaries to the airport to go home. I think the best skill I've developed on my mission is getting 8 hours worth of sleep in 3 1/2 hours. Glad to hear graduation went well! Hope to hear from y'all soon!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Fire noodles of death

I AM SO TIRED! This mission is going to kill me before I get home. The worst part is, I don't even know why I'm tired. It wasn't even a nutso week. We were supposed to go to a Zone Activity in Concord today, but we chose to take naps instead. Being with someone that's been out the same amount of time with you when you have less than two months left is exhausting for both of us. I hope I end up training next transfer because I need someone with a lot of energy to keep me going.

I went on two exchanges this week and somehow got roped into helping people move on both. The first move was a lot worse than the second. I'm always shocked when I show up at a move and the people haven't even  finished packing. I really shouldn't be shocked, it happens like 97% of the time. The second move was more of the rare 3% where all of his stuff was boxed up and we just had to move the boxes from place to place. Anyways, on the first exchange I had a huge steak dinner with one family and afterwards we went to teach their African investigator, Umo. It was a good lesson, but then afterwards she really wanted to feed us. I was already full but seeing as she was a refugee I figured she would have much for us to eat. Wrong. She had the biggest plate of noodles and ground beef I've ever seen. She plopped it down in front of me and it looked like it was really bland. Wrong again. She'd put two habanero peppers in it. It was the most difficult thing I've had to eat on my mission. It burned, and hurt my stomach and I couldn't just not eat all of it because Africans get offended if you don't clear the plate. Luckily she wasn't sitting at the dinner table with us so I was able to dump some of the fire noodles of death into my satchel and dispose of them later. My tongue is still all tingly..

Ganesh gets baptized next week! We had dinner with him at the Spencer's this week and it was a great time. During the lesson we taught him about church organization and we asked him who was under the prophet. He replied "Henry B. Eyring and Dieter F. Uchtdorf". So elect. We're also working with a wonderful part member family right now named the Watts. Their 16 year old daughter needs to get baptized so they can go get sealed in the temple. They're really nice people and Amy is a good girl. She just needs a little more direction when it comes to getting up on time to come to church.

It sounds like there's a lot of fun stuff going on in Redmond right now! Congrats Mattie & Lauren on graduating!!! Your senior party sounds way more fun than mine was! Jonas, your hair continues to bedazzle my fancy and Quinn: I know you already know this, but by graduating middle school you've overcome the worst three years of your life. It all gets better from here.  So there's only one picture from MLC this week. Sorry. I'll try and do better this week.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Yesterday was a cookout at the Webster's. They lived in the Providence Ward while I was there, so I know them pretty well. Brother Webster is a cop who writes adolescent mystery novels. He's got one being published this summer they're pretty excited about. Funny enough though, today I did have fish but it was nigiri. Not sure why the cooked fish makes me sick and the raw fish doesn't. President and Sister Alexander took us out for lunch. They're such nice people, it's been a real blessing spending so much time with them the last few months. I had interviews with President Alexander this week. He gave me some REALLY helpful advice and council about finishing my mission and preparing for school and selecting a career. I'm going to spend some time today at the office doing career research and planning my classes out more. Have the girls started looking at that yet?

So my study of King Benjamin continues. Here's another interesting thought that came to Elder Hampshire and I: each of the endowment covenants are taught within his sermon. Obviously we don't discus them in detail, but  when Elder Zwick came to our mission he reminded us that they contain Obedience, Consecration, the law of Sacrifice, the law of Chastity, and the Law of the Gospel. As I went back through and studied each covenant we make in the temple along with the things King Benjamin teaches his people, they're very similar. It's kinda funny, I don't have a ton of personal study time, so when I do study I tend to just study the same chapters over again to get a deeper understanding. I've been on Mosiah 2-6 for like 3 weeks now and look at all that I've learned!

We had sushi with Ganesh last week. It was a great time and we got to know him pretty well. He's pretty nervous about telling his parents he's getting baptized. It could be a pretty bad deal if they react badly. Pray for him please, this guy is gonna be a bishop one day! His baptism is going to be on the 10th, but he's doing it in Carry where all his church friends live so sadly we won't be able to attend because it's out of our mission. Luckily our fantastic ward mission leader - have I told you how great brother Jackson is? - will be able to attend for us.

Alright hope you have a great week!

Monday, May 22, 2017

This week was a little bit hard. Danny and Kiara didn't keep their appointments or come to church. She's very indecisive and it's quite hard to work with. I feel like I've lived a fairly structured life and it's very difficult for me to work with people who have no sense of planning ahead or keeping a commitment. We did get to teach Ganesh at President's home which was amazing! He's getting baptized on June 10th, but pray hard for him because he needs to tell his Hindu parents and they're not going to like it at all. (Breaking with culture isn't easy). Oh, and we had dinner with this amazing family named the Wingfields. They're the best people ever! She's like super dry Mormon; has read all of the standard works, watches conference every six months, been to church a ton. The only problem is her husband doesn't really dig the church too much so that's a pretty big road block. But her and her kids are the best! They'll definitely be members one day. 

I shared some thoughts about Mosiah 5 last week and I liked the input. One other thought I had is if you look at the context of the chapter, it's right as Mosiah is about to be made king. Two ideas came to me from that; 1st) Mosiah repeatedly tells his people to humble themselves and then repent. (You can see that a lot Chapter 4), and Alma teaches the same doctrine in Alma 13:13. This is what I feel is meant when Lehi describes the people falling down at the tree of life. The allusion to 'fruit' in Alma 13:13 would suggest that as well. Now with that in mind 2nd thought: a Cherubim and Flaming sword guard the tree of life. King Benjamin's speech is purposed towards helping them partake of the fruit and receive eternal life. The cherubim represent the prophets and priesthood holders that perform the ordinances necessary to obtain the tree and the flaming sword is the cleansing power of the Holy Ghost. Exaltation is sometimes referred to as receiving a crown of immortality, and Benjamin is preparing his people to enter the temple to make further covenants towards exaltation (it even uses the words "let Christ seal you his") or in other words covenant to receive crowns.  When a king is crowned or coronated back in the old days, they had some dude with a sword (flaming sword?) do the thing where they put the sword on one shoulder and the other. The guy who did the coronation was like a king or a duke or priest or something (a cherubim) and he had authority to give the new king rulership. So as we're being cleansed by the sprit through ordinances like the Sacrament, we're in the process of being coronated to receive our crown of eternal life. So much symbolism in the scriptures. 

Not much fun today, just followed Elder Hampshire around the mall and realized how terrible modern society and culture is. Elder Hampshire and I are getting along great! 

Monday, May 15, 2017

It was sure fun talking to y'all yesterday (Mother's Day)! I always feel a little awkward on those calls though, like I'm not really sure what I'm supposed to talk about. But it was fun!

Today we played pioneer paintball football at a park. It was pretty fun even though my team lost a ton. No one really came to church yesterday because it was Mother's Day so that was too bad. But Ganesh is coming to President's house tomorrow for us to teach him so that's pretty exciting! Danny is sick so her baptism will have to be pushed back a week or two.

We went to a baptism in Welcome this week. On the way home I took a ton of photos, as you can see below. It's always fun to visit that ward. Lots of good members. Oh, and I have a question for y'all to ponder. In Mosiah Chapter 6 the people make a covenant with God and in that covenant they take Christ's name upon them. If you read the previous chapters it seems pretty obvious these people were already covenant people (they were offering sacrifices at the temple and King Benjamin says I know you already know these things). So the covenant in chapter 6 isn't baptism. If I remember right in baptism we only promise we're willing to take Christ's name upon us, but we don't actually do it. At what point do we actually take Christ's name upon us, not just say we're willing to? Any thoughts?

I also started looking at classes last night. It's pretty nice the way they have it all set up for me to plan out my college career. I'm thinking of taking Newtonian Physics (or maybe audio acoustics physics instead), Econ, Foundations of the Restoration, Writing, Scandinavian Cinema, and an Animation block class that only lasts half a semester my first semester and then doing American Heritage, Environmental Bio, the rest of my Animation pre requisites, and Intro to Film in the winter. It looks like I'd do 15.5 credit hours first semester and 15 the second which, from what I understand, is a pretty full schedule. What classes are Mattie and Lauren taking? It would be fun to take the same Religion course together. If I do the Animation program I apply at the end of my freshman year, which is good because if I decide that's not what I'm doing I'll still have plenty of time to switch my major up. Everything I scheduled in so far is a general class I need to graduate or a pre-animation course. So that's what I'm looking at, but it's another month or so till I officially register. And thank goodness for Mr. Irby (high school AP Calc teacher)! No math classes required for me!!!

This week is going to be a great week! Can't wait to tell you all about it next week!

Monday, May 8, 2017


This week was pretty wild. Transfers takes a lot of time and we had a bunch of people to teach. On Tuesday we had a fantastic lesson with Danny and Kiara at the Baker's home. Taught them the restoration and put them on date for the 27th of May. I'm really exited. Then later in the week we had another lesson and she's already in Jacob in the Book of Mormon. She couldn't come to church yesterday because her son Kyon, who's 8 months old, was pretty sick. He has epilepsy, and it's pretty stressful on Danny. But she's pretty committed to it, so I feel pretty confident they'll get baptized. Ganesh brought his girlfriend and a bunch of other friends to church yesterday. Super solid guy. He'll probably be baptized in June. We also found this Brazilian family I'm pretty pumped about. They just moved here a few months ago and said they'd come to church this week. We kinda went through a rough slump, but things are looking pretty bright now. 

So my new companion. This is kinda strange, but it's Elder Hampshire. Third time's the charm, I guess? Timing among the Zone Leaders just worked out so that he was best available choice. President likes him a lot and I guess just felt like it was what the Lord wanted. I'm pretty shocked and Elder Hampshire said he almost fell out of his chair when President called him and asked him to come to the office. He called us up and said "you're kidding me right?". Now that I'm past the shock and disbelief I'm actually really excited and happy to be with him again. He's definitely one of my favorite companions I've had and we teach really well together. Should be a blast. 

This week I'm going to plan with a ton of people. We did a training in all the Zone Conferences about weekly and daily planning and now a bunch of companionships want us to come plan with them. I'm excited, but it'll be pretty tiring. And, oh my goodness, speaking of being tired, transfer logistics was quite the fiasco. We showed up at Hilliard for final transfer planning at 1, finished at 3, and then proceed to sit figuring out who would go where to meet their new companion till about 9 that night. It was ridiculous. There were a few areas that got shut down and whitewashed which made things difficult because some people had to get cars to other people and there were a lot of people moving around. Pretty fun though because everything had to fit together perfectly and I felt really accomplished when it was all done. Felt like I got my degree in supply chain management by the time it was all over.   

Alright now I'm off to see all our new missionaries! Wish me luck.