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.

Monday, May 1, 2017


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!