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

Howdy. 

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.





Monday, May 1, 2017

Howdy.

I have officially been on my mission 21 moths! Who knew I'd make it this far.

Yesterday was amazing! We were sitting in sacrament meeting, really sad because none of our investigators came to church, and Elder Hatch spotted someone sitting on the back row he didn't recognize. After the meeting we went back and introduced ourselves. Turns out he's not a member, but his girlfriend is, and he's been going to church for about 2 years. He just moved here from Raleigh and now that he's living on his own he wants to look into being baptized. His name is Ganesh and he's amazing. We've got a lesson with him this week and I'm super pumped. Danny is doing well too. Her son was in the hospital this week so she couldn't come to church but it sounds like we're having dinner this week at a member's home so that's great.

Transfers are next week, which means Elder Hatch goes home and I get a new companion. We haven't started planning yet because this week was crazy busy. Three Zone conferences and two exchanges filled up just about all our time. Sister Alexander gave a pretty neat training in zone conference about the Revolutionary War battles that happened in our mission. There were a lot, one of which, King's Mountain, was the turning point in the war and the another was the last battle fought in the war, Guilford Courthouse. Then she talked about how the people that died are now ministering angles helping us along, which got me thinking about family history. So yesterday I did some looking on family tree and found out I have ancestors that fought in the very battle she trained on! They're from a small village outside our mission, but still in North Carolina. I also found an ancestor that was born in a town, Wilkesboro, that I literally drove through last week. Pretty nuts. All these people are from the 1600 and 1700s. They say one of the determining factors to where you go is your ancestry, which means someone in our family is bound to go to Italy and the others are probably going to serve in the Carolinas or Virginia or the north east. Maybe even Missouri or Kansas, I saw a few of those.

So that got me thinking about temple sealings and families. I've been pondering on how the Aaronic Priesthood  and all of the blessings of it can be fulfilled by yourself. And to fulfill the Melchezidek priesthood blessings you need your spouse.  But the fullness of the priesthood (the patriarchal or all of the keys and ordinances including the ones we don't have like resurrection and creation) need not just your spouse, but a full family to fulfill. You need to be sealed back to Adam. You can't be exalted without your ancestors. Kinda puts a larger importance on family history.

Anyways here's some pictures from our uptown scavenger hunt today. Hope to hear from ya soon!




Monday, April 24, 2017

Sup y'all,

So this week was a little rough. Had a lot of investigators drop off the ol' ship Zion. But at least that means we get to go find new, more elect ones right? So there's that. One of them was pretty solid till he got anti-ed. And the other ones are just not very committable. We went and saw Gary Ny, who we've taught on and off over the past few months. He answered the door wearing a ball cap and holding a banana and his left eye was shut. It looked a  little swollen and he doesn't live in the best part of town so my first instinct was that he got mugged or something. So I asked him what happened to his eye and sure enough he tells us he got punched in the face. Then I asked him when it happened and he was like "about 3 years ago." He says it super casually too and takes big bite out of  his banana as he's sitting down on a chair. I was like "3 years ago!? This is the first day I've seen your eye closed like this and we've been over a lot the past few months." And he goes "yeah they punched me pretty hard"πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚  (looking back on it we think he may have been high) I was like "yeah they punched you pretty hard!" Elder Hatch and I were dying laughing because he was being so casual about it all. So I jokingly say "you know if you run that banana on your eye it'll make it feel better." And Elder Hatch pipes in with "it's the potassium, kinda like how they put cucumbers on people's eyes." So Gary looks at the banana and then starts rubbing into his eye, I was completely taken aback that he actually stuck the banana in his eye. The funniest part was the eye started to open up and he was like "wow this is really working!" And then he starts putting it into the other eye that's not even hurt and there's chunks of banana all over his face and he's giggling like a little girl and Elder Hatch and I are crying on the ground it was so funny. And Gary's all like "wow, that really helped thanks guys!" Then we tell him he's got banana all over his face so he steps back into his apartment to clean it off and I hear this thug guy who's street name is NewYork inside go "Yo Gary! What's all over your face man!" It was one of the funniest things I've seen on my mission.

Danny didn't come to church yesterday, but we have a lesson with her at a member's home this evening. I'm pretty excited for that. I really feel like she and her daughter will get baptized. We also met a stellar part member family yesterday who just needs their 16 year daughter to be baptized and they want to go get sealed in the temple this summer. They'll be really fun to work with. So to answer your question, no we don't get a ton of time in our area but the time we do have we make it work. President expects us to have a model area for the rest of the mission which is kinda stressful seeing as how we've got a lot of other stuff to do, but we just find a way to get everything done. There's always a way with proper planning.

I also saw Liam Galvin this week! He came to Charlotte with his family and took us out to lunch. Sounds like he's coming to Oregon the week of the 14th-18th. He's going to school in Canada so I won't get to see him much, but in excited to take him all around Oregon.

So that's about it. This week is Zone conference week so I'll be driving all over the place. Today for p-day it was Elder Caroll's birthday so we went to a trampoline place and played dodgeball. There were some kids there that were probably about 12th grade or so. They had 8 people and we had 7 so we challenged them to dodge ball and had a great time.

Sure love ya!



Monday, April 17, 2017

Howdy y'all!

It's been a good week. Yesterday we had an investigator named Danny and her daughter Kiara come to church for the first time. It was pretty exciting for us - we've been trying really hard to get her there and it seemed like she really enjoyed it. Her brother, Kristyle, got baptized in December so we're hoping he can be the one to baptize her. Maxwell was also there in his all white suit and alligator pointed shoes. It's was real good.

On Saturday Naima, Leticia, and Selena went to the temple for the first time. That was great. It's always fun to see recent converts go within the first 6 months of their baptism. It's a pretty good indicator of lasting conversion. We've got to work on getting Maxwell there now.

We also found this lady named Julie who's read all the standard works and went to church for a long time in a different part of North Carolina. The only thing holding her back from baptism is her husband and her feeling like it's not the right time yet. She said we could come over and visit anytime, so I'm hoping we'll be able to resolve some of her concerns and get her going to church again.

I also got to go on an exchange to Welcome this week. It started off with Elder Hatch and Hampshire driving away back to Charlotte with our car keys and quickly discovering our phone was dead. Once that fiasco was over with things went a lot better. The next day was the ward Easter activity so I got to see a ton of the members. It was nice to be back. We also did exchanges with Greensboro, which ends up being sooooo much driving. I hate driving these days.

For P-Day we went and played a ton of beach volleyball at a member's with some more missionaries. It was pretty fun. My volleyball skills are pretty bad, but other than that it was a jolly good time.

Welp I guess I'll hear from you next week!



Monday, April 10, 2017

Howdy Family!

Yesterday our investigator Ronald showed up to church unexpectedly! It was a huge blessing to us. We've been working super hard trying to find some solid people to teach and it seemed like nothing was working out and then boom! He still attends his other church but he's been reading the Book of Mormon and has some great questions whenever we see him. Also Maxwell came and I got to sit by him - that made me happy. We also had the excommunicated member there, he's been progressing really well. He and his family are really fun to teach.

So like I said we've been working really hard to find solid people and we've been blessed pretty well in our efforts. We found this family from Nigeria and the dad looks exactly like Damian Lillard, it's nuts.  Last night we came in clutch with a young guy from Jordan who's been looking for new religious books to read because he's not the most active Muslim. He was pretty excited about reading the Book of Mormon. Hopefully everything works out.

Last night we had dinner with the Halls. They're a great family in the ward and she makes homemade soap. She gave us some, but we have to wait forever before we can use it. The materials have to settle I guess.

Today we went to the park and played ball with a bunch of skreet ballers. Had a good time. The white missionaries got wrecked for the most part. This week I'm going on exchange to Welcome. I'm pretty excited for that. We've also got a few zone conferences and another exchange. Should be another busy week. Other than that nothin' much new happening here. Looks like y'all had a fun time in Utah. Let me know when more people get their mission calls.

I don't remember if I told you this but one of the senior couples on the office knows the Schultzes. I don't remember if they said Mark or Len. Tell them the Deweys say hi. And the Everys, also in the office, are friends with the Carrs that live at Eagle Crest. Small world.

Pictures say more than a thousand words, so here's some pictures!




Monday, April 3, 2017

Howdy y'all! I hope y'ins are having a grand time in the ol' city of Salt Lake. Conference was amazing wasn't it? I'm pretty jealous Dad got to go to the priesthood session. That was probably one of the best sessions of conference I've ever seen! How'd all the young men like it? I tried looking for you, but I guess the camera man wasn't feeling it.

This has been a little bit of a rough week. It's always an awkward adjustment getting a new companion who doesn't know the area yet. Elder Hatch is the best, though! We're having so much fun. But it's been wild. On Wednesday we got a call from President and he asked us to have an Elder in our companionship for a few days. Turns out he needed to take care of a few things and ended up going home on Saturday. I'm pretty sad he's gone, but I'm happy he had the courage to go and talk to President about it. So having him with us kinda threw our week off a bit. On Friday evening we got a call letting him know his flight was going to be Saturday at 6:30 so we ended up staying up until 1 helping him pack all his stuff and then got up at 5 to take him to the airport. There was another night this week we had a different Elder stay with us that was going home because of depression and earlier in the week we had to get up to take Elder Peterson to the airport. It's been pretty rough on the sleep schedule.

Because of all this jazz we weren't able to get much work done. So Sunday comes around and we haven't found any new investigators and we've got like a half an hour left in the day so we say a prayer and hit the skreet and found 3 new investigators! One is the wife of a different investigator and they've got like 9 kids and the other two are a mom and daughter that seem pretty nice. So that was my little miracle for the week. We also taught a family from Syria this week! They've only been here like 5 months so we took a recent convert that speaks Arabic to help, but it turns out their English was solid. Pretty neat experience, but they're not looking to convert, just study the Book of Mormon. We gave them one in Arabic so hopefully they'll read it.

This week we've got MLC and an exchange in Winston. I'm pretty excited to get back to the regular flow of things. It seemed like the last few weeks were a little weird. Probably because Elder Peterson was going home. Our investigator pool has kinda shrunk lately, so I'm hoping to find some solid people in the next few days. Our excommunicated member we're working with has been doing really well. He's come to church the past few weeks and hasn't missed a day of reading scriptures. I'm hoping to see him re-baptized before I leave.

(In response to my question about whether he likes sushi since fish makes him sick.) Yeah, I guess I like sushi? I'm not really one for eating out but if I'm going to eat out sushi would be my first choice. Unlike most food, you don't feel terrible after eating it. Turns out raw fish doesn't bother my stomach at all. We went to this place called Brazilian Cafe this week and I ate a slab of raw tuna. Pretty good stuff. Also we got crepes with Elder Monteleone, the guy in the picture below, and it was soooooo good. Then it totally wrecked our stomachs. Awful!





Monday, March 27, 2017

Wow. I think I know how parents feel on Christmas morning now. We were up until 1 again doing transfer logistics and then yesterday I had to get up and call every zone leader at 6:30 am. Transfers are almost as exciting as Christmas, but when you stay up 'til 1 hurting your brain trying to figure out where everyone needs to go the excitement kinda gets lost. Then in the morning everyone is all pumped for the news and I'm like ugh. Ward council is in 30 mins.' So yeah, sorry for waking you up on December 25th at 5 am the past 18 years of my life.

My new companion is Elder Hatch. He's from California and is super good at water polo. Nine months ago I saw him at a meeting and was like 'Elder Hatch, one day we're going to he companions' and boom, prophetic. It's pretty crazy though because he only has 6 weeks left on his mission which means at the end of this transfer I'll get another companion. At that point I'll only have 2 transfers left so I'll probably end up finishing my mission in Matthews, which I'm pretty happy about. It'd be pretty hard going from the busy busy life of being an Assistant back to the slow work of a district leader. Especially on my last transfer in a new area. I'm pretty sure President will keep me here though. He kinda alluded to it in my interview this week.

So what is our family's schedule for August? Liam Galvin is planning a trip down to Oregon to come visit me and Elder Andersen. We're gonna go hiking and hit up Portland. Hope you don't mind but I told him he could stay with us. I suggested the 2nd or 3rd week of August. He's the one from Canada I got close with in Danville.

Haven't finished recording Maxwell's story. It's a long one so we're taking it a few recordings at a time.

I went and got all-you-can eat sushi again this week! I was on exchanges with Elder Carol. Then, like two days later, this young couple took us out to eat and since it was Elder Peterson's last week they let him choose wherever he wanted to eat. He chose this place called Cowfish that has sushi and burgers and is apparently really good. Well, we got there and the wait was like an hour and a half so we had to find somewhere else so we tried this place called Baku. None of us had been there and it turned out to be the weirdest place I've ever eaten. The waitress kept trying to get us not to order sushi even though she said it's the best in Charlotte and we were sitting on these weird couch things and they kept offering us alcohol and when the food came out it was like a ton of money for barely any food. The member felt really bad and offered to take us to McDonalds instead. It was a pretty fun night.

Well, I'm off to President's to meet the new missionaries!



Monday, March 20, 2017

This week we had Elder Zeballos come our mission. He's in the 1st Quorum of the Seventy and is from Chile. He and his wife were here Thursday and Friday and then went to the Gastonia stake conference. They gave pretty good talks and he had a special MLC with us afterwards. They were super humble people and really care about missionaries. Because of the storms up north they almost couldn't come but ended up driving 11 hours to get here. Even though it's been really fun to have all these General Authorities here, I'm glad it's over for a bit. We've spent a ton of time the last two weeks making sure our sound system works and setting up tables and chairs for all these meetings. Now I'm ready to get out there and baptize some more people.

We also found this really great investigator yesterday. He's from China and his father attended BYU. He's got a lot of Mormon friends and he's coming to church next week. His name is Shane, and I feel like he has a lot of potential. If he joins the church he'll be an Elder's Quorum president for sure. Gary is still doing well. He really fits in well at the YSA Ward. He told us this week he fasted for like 4 meals for God to help him stop smoking. We didn't even invite him to fast or anything. I love Gary so much!

Yesterday Maxwell received the priesthood! He would have gotten it way sooner but he was sick one week and then we had the conference with Elder Cook. Maxwell is such a solid convert.

So I'm pretty tired. I don't think I've ever been so tired in my life. Transfers are this week which means I'll be even more tired in a few days. So much work and on top of all that I need to find people to baptize next week. I'm getting a new companion next week because Peterson goes home. I'll be sad to see him go. He's been really fun to work with, and we've gotten along swell. Crazy he only came out 4 months before I did. I'm starting to get anxious about choosing a career and a lifestyle and everything. Good thing I've had 4 General Authorities here over the past few weeks to show me how it's done. It's been really interesting hearing their life stories and how they got to the point they're at now.  

Sure love ya!



Monday, March 13, 2017



Howdy.

It was a good week. I'm pretty tired. On Sunday morning it snowed which was really strange.

Elder Cook came with his wife and Elder McArthur and his wife and Elder Klebingat and his wife. On Saturday we had a meeting with them and the whole mission at the Charlotte Central stake center. It was amazing. The Cooks and the Klebingat's both spoke. Honestly, if I could choose between sitting down and having a conversation with Elder Cook and Elder Klebingat I'd choose Elder Klebingat. Elder Cook really blew it out of the water, but Elder Klebingat said some really insightful things. That guy knows the scriptures really well. He talked about why missionaries go inactive when they get home, and what you can do on your mission to avoid that. Then yesterday at the big conference he talked about the pre-mortal life and the war in heaven and he dropped some serious deep doctrine bombs. Apparently he's a convert and he's only like 45. He's the youngest 70 in the 1st quorum. Elder Cook's testimony on Saturday was fantastic as well. Gave us a few things to focus on to be better missionaries and said the church needs more outgoing and personable missionaries.

On Saturday I saw a ton of members from my past areas which was really neat. The Clays from Danville and Dusty, one of the recent converts Elder Everette and I taught together was there as well. I saw a few people from Welcome and a ton of people from Providence.

Most of my week was just spent preparing for that conference. One day we had to go to Best Buy and get some audio equipment and another day we had to spend a ton of time making sure all the audio equipment worked, which it didn't, and we had to figure out why it didn't work, that was a headache.

My birthday was wonderful! We went out to lunch at Sabor and in the evening Kevin had us over and made this Columbian dish that was super, super good. It had a ton of rice and beans and avocados and eggs and sausage. The Jacksons, our ward mission leader, got me a cake and we ate it at ward coordination. Don't feel bad at all the package came late. I was totally fine, just worried about my voice recorder. The Lexington Elders said the package was slightly open when they got it so hopefully nothing was taken. When I got it it had a bunch of snacks, a piΓ±ata and my voice recorder in it. Thank you again for it!!!!

This week we've got another 70 coming, Elder Zabollos. He'll be here for a few days. Tomorrow we start transfer planning, which is always fun. Should be a big week.

Okay I love you!





Monday, March 6, 2017



Hola family,

This week we had 6 elders living in one apartment. The Charlotte Central Zone Leader's dishwasher pipe exploded and when they got home one night it was completely flooded. Like an inch of water all around. So they had to come live us. Then the Reedy Creek Elders apartment need to be carpet cleaned, but the people took like 5 days to get over there so they had to live with us too. It's been an interesting experience. I'm realizing now this is what my college life will be like. Speaking of that, when will I find out who my other room mates are? After hearing of Luke's roommates I'ma bit worried.

On Saturday we went down to the local market and this member that runs it got us a bunch of food. It's kind of a maxi market, but the food there was sooooo good. She got us tortas, sliced paprika mangos, corn on a stick, and funnel cakes. It was the best!

I also went up to Hickory this week and on the way back we had to stop in High Point so I stopped at the Crouse's to say hello. I really like them a lot, they're so nice and humble.

Right now we're at this really high end Hilton hotel up town. There's a member that works at this little barber shop in the gigantic lobby that cuts missionaries hair for free. We've got to be looking fresh for when Elder Cook comes. This barber is like a world class guy. Everyone that comes in is like super high up CEOs and he's totally pals with them. He said his business has really taken off lately and I could tell because we had to wait like an hour because every time it was about to be our turn someone new walked in and asked if he could
cut their hair.

Yesterday we re-contacted a former investigator named Darwon. We were teaching him for a bit and then he fell of the grid for a month or so. Turns out he was in Sweden visiting his girlfriend who's a member and while he was there he went to church and met with the missionaries. Now he's pretty interested in being baptized. He and his girlfriend are both from Liberia so I'm not sure how one ended up in Charlotte and one ended up in Sweden but if they get married in the temple like they want to it doesn't really matter.

I'll thank you in advance for what's in my birthday package. One of the recent converts that got baptized my first week here is feeding us that night. He's from Columbia so he's making us some really good Columbian food. I'm pretty excited.

Love y'all