Monday, November 14, 2016

Wings are a Blessing

November 14, 2016

His has been one busy week! I got to go on exchange with some Spanish
Elders this week, Elder Dalton and Elder Thompson! They are in a trio
so we swapped for a day and I got to experience the trio life again!
Anyways their car is a mess (don't ever buy a Chevy Cruze) so we were
without a car the entire day! No joke we walked all of allentown from
2 to 9 o'clock just talking to everyone and trying to get to our
appointments as fast as we could! It was so fun and we were blessed
for working so hard because when we got to our final appointment they
bought us Buffalo Wild Wings!!!

Pretty exciting because we found a part Member family recently. The
mom moved here from Florida for a fresh start on life and has 3 kids!!
They are 12, 8 and 5! So we are teaching them and the 12 year old and
8 year old should be baptized soon along with a few other people we
are teaching! You'll probably hear more about them next week.

On Thursday we had another mission conference, this time Elder Cordon
from the seventy spoke to us! Fun fact, he currently resides in the
promised land of Centerville, UT! He also gets buckets so he told me
we can play ball at the South Davis Rec Center as he pulled out his
rec center pass haha. He's awesome. It was a great meeting and I wish
I could let you know what happened in this conference, but honestly it
all meshed together because we also had MLC this Friday and he trained
us at MLC! Not only did he train us at MLC, but then he spoke to the
Reading Stake at our Stake conference this Sunday! My 3rd straight
reading stake conference might I add. Anyways I took some awesome
notes so luckily I can look back on it, but one of my favorite stories
was a story he told about President Faust when he got called as a
General Authority. So General Authorities have different temple
recommends than us. Theirs are signed by the first presidency and they
don't expire. President Faust went to the temple one day and handed
the temple worker his recommend. The worker, brand new, looked at it
and said "I'm sorry sir, but you cannot enter the temple today" not
understanding the circumstances. President Faust excused himself from
the temple and went home. On the way home his family asked why he
didn't correct him or get the temple President and he replied "i
didn't want anyone to judge the new temple worker when he was wrong".
What humility right? Loved this story. Thanks for the support
everyone, I love you all!

1) the zone!
2) yazzy!!
3) MLC
4) Elder Cordon!
5) sick!

It's November

November 7, 2016

One month closer to Christmas right? Hopefully I get to spend it in
Christmas City! This week was pretty great! Our whole zone is pretty
brand spanken new so we are excited for the changes!

As far as missionary work goes, we had a lot of great lessons this
week. While we were teaching Tyden, our Ward Mission Leaders grandson,
we asked him what Sunday is for. He told us it's when we celebrate, so
we asked him what we celebrate, his response "we celebrate when church
ends!" I love teaching kids haha! Schapell is also doing great! At
church we had a couple new people there. A lady named Alicia came for
the first time and bore her testimony in sacrament! I almost fell out
of my seat! Then in the YSA a member brought his friend to church. She
also got up and bore her testimony! 2 for 2 on the day, new high

We had our "harvest" festival this week which was essentially a late
Halloween party haha. They cooked my favorite food, chili! #sarcasm We
also got to move a guy from another ward into Lehighton. We stacked
all the stuff right into the bed of an old rusty truck! It's was way

I'm trying to think of some other things to write home about, but I'm
all out of ideas. Love you guys, hope you have a great week!

1) district meeting
2) best move ever

October 31, 2016

October 31, 2016

Transfers are here and I finally get to stay with a companion for two
transfers haha looking forward to keeping up the good work here in
Bethlehem! This week we got to do a couple more exchanges and i've
been listening to Christmas music!!! I went with Elder Beebe to do
some Spanish work and we ended up at a house where the member tries to
make you gain weight by over feeding you! I guess he's bitter because
he gained like 60 lbs on his mission. Luckily I don't speak Spanish
and I probably will never see him again because he just tossed a
second helping in front of me without and asking and I didn't even
touch it. Then me and Elder Beebe made tortillas for dinner!!! I also
had Elder Mpalomby come with me to Bethlehem this week. It was raining
all day and it was like 38 degrees. It was chilly! And almost all our
appointments cancelled so we got pretty wet!

We met with Ricky earlier in the week and I guess in church they
mentioned D&C and he got all pumped up over that so we brought him a
copy and dropped the word of wisdom on him. He took it really well! We
also visited Schapell a few times this week. Alright so she hasn't had
a phone for a few weeks, so we just contact her through Facebook
messenger, great huh? So I always figured she had a tablet or computer
or something to message us back on. Nope. She does it on her Wii. How
outrageous is that? She said that's why it takes so long for her to
respond it because she has to point and click on every letter! I was
dying when she told us that. In the same lesson she told us all about
her legendary 21st birthday where she definitely did not keep the word
of wisdom at all! It was hilarious! She's the best.

We got a new move in record in the ward this week and the bishop asked
us to go stop by. When we knocked on John's door he opened it and said
"it's the elders! Emily come here!" Needless to say they were stoked
that we came by. He's trying to come back to church and his wife or
fiancé or whatever they like to call it wants to get baptized! No
joke. She's been taught everything and is pretty much ready. The
missionaries down in Florida, where they moved from prepared her well.
Now get this, one of the missionaries that taught them for many months
went to high school with me and played basketball against Elder
Fowers! His name is Elder Walton (Big Jim Walton) and they were so
excited to tell us stories about it! It's incredible how small of a
world it is!

I really don't have much else to say this week, I feel that as time
goes on these get shorter and shorter because all this missionary work
is just becoming habit and I have no idea what anyone ever wants to
hear about. But I do know people like a good message right? This week
we've been asking members at dinner appointments who their favorite
Book of Mormon character is. I decided mines Amulek. He wasn't a
professional missionary like Alma, heck he more so just an average
guy, but what I love about Amulek is that being a regular guy didn't
stop him. He backed up Alma right when he needed it. He was the
perfect wingman. We can all be like Amulek if we pray for
opportunities to serve! Anyways my goal is to be a great wingman just
like Amulek! Take care everyone, have a great week!

Stacks of Steel

October 24, 2016

Before we ended our last p-day, we were lying around not knowing what
to do (sounds just like home) then we decided to just go explore
Bethlehem! Bethlehem used to have the largest steel company around,
but it shut down years ago and now the steel stacks are just sitting
there. It's a sweet landmark and they use it as a concert venue, they
even light it up at night! Anyways it's way cool and I'll make sure to
post some pictures from it!

This week we picked up a couple new investigators and one of them is
named Ricky! Ricky has this massive beard and a huge afro. Whenever we
meet with him he has this tarp covered couch outside on some
cinderblocks and we just kick it out there! He's pretty learnt in the
scriptures, so he was pumped when we gave him a Book of Mormon! He's
such a funny guy and he made it to church this week, we were pumped!

I got to go on a couple of exchanges this week with some Spanish
missionaries and we got to stay in my area both times, which is the
best! Last week my dad pointed out that I wrote in my email "I don't
speak speak a lick of English". Luckily I speak it, just not well.
Anyways I got to bring Spanish missionaries to an English area which
is funny because they habitually start thinking in Spanish and Spanish
words randomly fly into their sentences. Elder McAllister and I got to
do some service for a refugee resettlement agency, then I got to be
with Elder Davenport, one of my favorite missionaries of all times!
He's just a big ole Canadian, and we had such a fun exchange, sadly he
goes home in a week. Fun fact though, when he goes home he'll meet one
of my good friends Sister Leishman because she's serving in his home
ward! Small world eh?

On Sunday we got to confirm Schapell as a member of the church. During
the week we met with her while I was with Elder Davenport. He went to
one of her very first lessons and he couldn't believe the change in
her. The gospel does work miracles in people's lives. It's no lie, if
you truly want to come to know that the Book of Mormon is true and you
act on the prompting of the spirit, your life will improve. I love
that about the gospel, it's not go to church on Sundays and you'll be
fine, it's literally a way to feel a fraction of the happiness we will
feel when we return to live with our father in Heaven. Thanks for all
the support you guys give me, means a lot. Love yous all and have a
great week!

Pictures: steel stacks with an album cover

Back to My Old Stomping Grounds

October 17, 2016

Sometimes I wonder how we pack so much in one week. Three back to back
exchanges is week plus a zone conference? I work myself too hard haha.
Zone conference was great though. Since Elder Winstanley is the AP I
feel like he always picks on me, so in zone conference Elder Fowers
and I did a example of how we should nightly plan which prepares us
for personal study then prepares us for companion study. Examples of
nightly planning and companionship study weren't difficult because we
actually talk in those things, but you may ask how do we do an example
of personal study? Well folks, just imagine me sitting at a desk in
the middle of 40 missionaries talking to myself, reading everything
out loud, and saying ridiculous things. It was awesome! President also
invited Trey to come do a Q&A for the missionaries. That's how you
know your convert is a stud!

The three exchanges this week were pretty exciting! First one I had
Elder Bjerregaard come with me after zone conference and we got some
cheesesteaks! He goes home in like two weeks so it was fun to see how
he does missionary work. The next one I went with Elder Warr and
enjoyed not being able to communicate with anyone because I don't
speak a lick of English. Elder Warr is great though, he's still a
golden, and it's so fun to see these young missionaries grow so
quickly! Brings a tear to my eye. The highlight of all the exchanges
came when I went with Elder Wilko to his area. Where's his area you
may ask? It's none other than Lehighton, my first area! It was crazy
weird to be back. Not much has changed in the apartment or really the
entire area because these small towns all move in slow motion! I even
recognized the same people I met on the street a year ago. I got to
see a bunch of my favorite families, like Tom & Melanie, the Kennedy's
and the Baker's! It was great to be back, but it's funny how it no
longer feels like my area. Yes I knew all the backroads, and yes I
know the best restaurants around, but when you are called to an area
you receive revelation for it and that's something I can only do for
my current area. We are called to specific places for a reason. Still
loved being back there though!

So can anything beat an exchange back to Lehighton? YES! We had the
baptism of Schapell this week! She was so excited all week. She told
us she had a dream about her baptism and all of her family came and
just brought all their negative energy, but the next night had another
dream about her baptism and said that before she got baptized they
were playing all her favorite rap music and then before she finished
telling us her dream she said "BUT I FORGOT MY TOWEL!!!" And we all
fell on the floor laughing! Haha she's the best. I got to baptize her
and right after she came up she was so happy and she just kept telling
us how clean she felt! She bore her testimony right after and it's
incredible to see the changes she's made in her life over these past
couple months. We are so excited for her!

Thanks for reading this far ladies and gents. I appreciate the support
I get from you all. I hope you enjoy reading these letters as much as
I enjoy looking back on my last week and reflecting on the good times
and the bad times! Have a great week everyone!

1) the vanderbecks!
2) zone conference
3) Schapell!

October 10, 2016

October 10, 2016

I mean this was a super good week, but for once I don't feel like anything crazy happened hahaha seems like a lifetime since I could say that! I got to go on an exchange with Elder Weston this week! He came out to the mission with me and I haven't seen him in forever so it was awesome to be with him. I also got to go on an exchange with one of my favorite Elders, Elder Maiava! He's from Samoa so you already know we get along! He told me at the end of the exchange that I should have been an islander hahaha. I had an awesome time with him. He loves Chinese buffet, so we definitely hit that up and taught some awesome lessons. They've been struggling up until now so we are excited for them. We got to teach on of their investigators with a date and get this, it's a part member family from Samoa! And parts of the family only speak Samoan too! Crazy cool how the lord puts us in specific places. We were out with their bishop and he took us to get "the best cheesesteaks" and wow we're they good! People claim that they are better than any you can get in Philly and I see their point! Anyways the cool thing about it is that it's literally a storefront built into Home Depot so while you go get your man on in Home Depot you can have a cheesesteak made and head home with some tools in one hand and a big steak sandwich in the other. Even cooler than that was that the kid making the cheesesteaks asked who were were and after chatting with him awhile about missionary work, Utah and Samoa we found out he's interested in meeting with us! Cheesesteaks produce miracles.

We had some awesome lessons with Schapell and Janet this week. With Schapell we taught one strictly on eternal marriage. I've never based an entire lesson around that subject before and now I know why! I walked out of that lesson feeling quite trunky hahaha but it just affirmed to me the power of the priesthood in temples and that I need to be married in the temple. We also had an awesome lesson with Janet! Her and her mom made us a real good southern dinner and had a fun time talking about the ten Commandments. We all agreed she will be baptized before our wards temple trip!

A really awesome experience we had this week was taking Melo out teaching with us. He's a less active from the YSA. He was making awesome strides in coming back, but switched jobs and now works on Sundays. He's pretty active in the heart. Anyways, he cruised around with us most of Saturday and most lessons cancelled, so we did some finding and we could tell he was just having the time of his life. We also took Trey out with us too and he made a firm decision that he's going to serve a mission next August when he hits his year mark! So proud of him. Another great experience was seeing our recent convert Garet get the priesthood this week. He's such a humble guy.

Anyways before this gets too long we ate pop pop burgers at the finch's again this week. For those who don't remember what it is, it's a 1lb burger with ham, bacon, Swiss cheese and BBQ sauce. I improved and ate one pop pop no problem, but Elder Fowers is an animal, tossed down two pop pop's to tie the all time record. Thanks for the support you all give me!

1) the zone after zone training
2) probably the most creative "funny" picture I've ever taken on my mission
3) found this while contacting a referral
4) our new album cover
5) pop pop burgers!

Sweater Weather

October 3, 2016

Fall conference is over so it's time to put the sweaters back on! It was wonderful during conference weekend because it was extremely rainy and wet and cooled off, but now it's high 60s and sunny and I'm sweating:/ anyways Conference was great wasn't it? I'm obviously biased to Elder Anderson and Elder Oaks talks on missionary work. It just makes me so excited that my missionary work won't end when I go home, I can literally help others come closer to the savior the rest of my life. I really enjoyed Elder Holland's talk on home teaching as well, ties right in to the other two talks I've mentioned. I'm looking forward to studying some of these talks a lot more because I may have dozed off in a session haha I don't get enough sleep. Luckily we watching it in a member's home and they gave us conference bingo to play! That keeps your attention!

This week was pretty grand! I got to go on exchanges with the AP's again. I went to Broomall with Elder Oldroyd and had a wonderful time! We also had MLC again this week. It's always so great to be around the other leaders in the mission and get to learn from each of them. I think one of the big highlights of the week was interviews with President Randall. He decided to do a short personal interview for me and Elder Fowers, then took us to lunch to talk about the zone! He's such a good guy, I respect him a lot.

Our investigators are doing great! Each are progressing really well and the members are helping out so much. One of them, Schapell is just amazing. She fasted to quit smoking and that night she tried to smoke and got sick, doesn't even have the urge to smoke anymore. I love it here and I'm so happy to be a missionary. Thanks for your support! I'm looking forward to wearing sweaters and teaching people about the gospel.

1) Priesthood session Potbellys!
2) Yazzy colored a picture of a missionary and said it was me! Me in a coloring book? I feel like I'm famous

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Davis County Squad!

September 26, 2016

So when you last heard from me I was essentially companionless, but things have changed and my new companion is Elder Fowers! He's from Bountiful and we have a bunch of mutual friends and he's a boss too! It was a busy week and I had Elder Fowers in awe because we taught more lessons in a day than he taught in a week in his last area! Bethlehem is really the best and I love it so much here!

We had some great lessons with some awesome people this week. Janet, my favorite classy investigator, told us she will get baptized before I leave! That's always hard because I never know when they will ship me out of here. We also had some great lessons with Schapell. Oh man she is so solid! She's making so many changes in her life and will even stay up till early hours in the morning reading the scriptures! We are so excited for her! We also got back in contact with Taiwan and Ashley this week which was a miracle because they live in an apartment complex and we played ball with him later in the week and I'm pretty proud of myself because a couple white boys in ties beat a couple hood homies! #hoopdreams

I went on an exchange with Elder Roberts to my area this week. He's from Bear Lake Idaho and goes home this transfer. He was actually the missionary who replaced me when I left Lehighton so it was way fun to talk about people there! He's also served with 3 of my past companions so when he got in the car he said "I'm excited to see how you really compare to what your companions have told about me!" We had a great exchange and got MOD pizza with a less active kid Wes. MOD pizza is boss, but Wes is an even bigger boss. He had some rough experiences at church when he was younger, but he told us that because us missionaries have been so real he finally understands that he can repent and change and come back to church! Man I look up to the kid a lot.

At church the stake president gave us special permission to have a long testimony meeting for everyone to bear their testimony about the temple. The spirit was so strong! I don't think I've ever felt the spirit that strong for that long (2 hours of sacrament)! Plus the YSA sacrament which was close to the same amount of time. I hope my parents are amazed that I go to church from 9-5:30 and I don't fall asleep or anything! I love church so much now. I think the highlight of Sunday, other than everyone bringing food after YSA, was getting to bless the sacrament with Trey for the first time. He was dang nervous, but I told him it's cool, I even messed up the first time! He's such an awesome kid, probably one of my closest friends now.

I feel like I'm leaving out some things, but that's okay because logistical things don't matter, what matters is that I love my savior and I've never felt such a closeness to him. I think I finally understand a fraction of what the atonement does for us and I'm looking forward to continuing to learn more, especially as we work on getting those we teach to the Philadelphia temple. Thanks for all the support, love you all! Hope you have a great week!

1) just a nice district pic

The Philly Temple!

September 19, 2016

It's finally dedicated! After so long we finally have a temple! Can't wait to get down there and feel the blessings from it. Anywho that took up the majority of my Sunday because we watched all three sessions! I may have fallen asleep in the second but it's okay because Sunday naps are the best. President Eyring and Elder Christofferson came to dedicate the temple and both their talks throughout were so powerful. They are definitely the Lord's apostles. It was great to see our recent converts Paola and Kelly there as well as another convert Garet! Pretty sick because he was supposed to be out trucking all week and was going to miss it, so I kept praying he'd be able to come and on Saturday we texted him to see if we could have a Facebook lesson while he was on the road and he was like "just come on over, I'm home" God is good!

So I spent this week with Elder Chapman who hops on the plane to fly home tomorrow. It was an awesome week and we had a ton of fun! We taught one of our really progressing investigators Schapell a couple times this week and after we taught her the word of wisdom she stopped smoking cold turkey! She's the best. We also have a less active kid that's coming back to church and wants to go on a mission then be sealed in the temple! When telling the bishop that, Bishop asked why? And he said that the missionaries have been a good influence on him and have been real with him. Elder Winstanley and I were pumped when we heard that!

I had to go down to Broomall to take Elder Chapman to his departure interview and while I was there I got to see Elder Mackay which was awesome! He sadly goes home tomorrow, then last night Elder Troxell and Elder Fernandes came over so Elder Troxell and Elder Chapman could drive down to Broomall together since they are both on their way home. A big bummer having three companions finish their missions but I'm pumped to see them in the future and I'm just chilling with my favorite old zone leader Elder Fernandes today so it's all good. Tomorrow I'll get a new companion and we will go from there! Thanks for all the support, I love hearing from you guys. Have a great week.

1) Elder Chapman!
2) Elder Fernandes
3) saw Tom and Melanie from Lehighton at a Chinese buffet!!! Oh how I missed them!

The Lone Misionero

September 12. 2016

I swear each week you look at and think "this should be a normal
average week" and by the end it's not. I had some awesome
opportunities to go on some exchanges with some awesome missionaries
this week. I brought Elder Hribar to my area and we were running all
day just teaching and doing work! We got to teach Taiwan and Ashley on
the exchange, who are a family we started working with. They read 7
chapters of the Book of Mormon and told us the story better than I
could have! On an exchange with Elder Davenport (shoutout to his
homeland of Toronto) I got to do a baptismal interview for a guy who
only spoke Spanish! Sadly I didn't have an awesome gift of youngest
experience, but we had a translator and the spirit was so strong! He
was so excited to be baptized!

Elder Winstanley and I had the opportunity to give zone training this
week. We have such an awesome zone and we just wanted to make them
feel uplifted and ready to go out and work. There were 6 baptisms in
the zone this week! I'd say that was probably the best zone training
me and Elder Winstanley will ever give because he got transferred mid
week:( he got a call from President to be the new Assistant so just
like that I'm without a companion haha. I had the opportunity to be in
a trio with a set of Spanish elders, Elder Beebe and Mcallister, but
even on my area book app it says I'm the only missionary serving in
Bethlehem. It was pretty gnarly being with Spanish elders for most my
week because I have no idea what anyone was saying to me but it's all
good! I set up a split for me to go with our recent convert Trey
Saturday night, which was way fun! He joked that they should let him
be my companion and let "extremely converted" new members like him go
on missions early. He's he best

Church was crazy being the only one in both the wards we serve in.
Since I can go on splits wherever there is a male member over 18, I
went to ward council and sacrament all by myself haha it was crazy
trying to talk to all the people I needed to talk to after sacrament.
The highlight of this week was that we had the baptism for Paola and
Kelly! Of course it didn't come without any difficulties! We had a
child of record baptism with our two convert baptisms so we needed 6
jumpsuits for the baptism and we had he hardest time getting it all
situated, but after running around and fitting everyone to a jumpsuit
or white pants, we finally got the baptism started. A perk to this
baptism was that Paola and Kelly had a member who couldn't go on a
mission due to medical issues and a newly reactivated member of the
baptisms. The reactivated member was scared to death but gave Paola
the most heartfelt blessing after he confirmed her. There was so much
support and I'm so happy for them!

This week will be another crazy one, first of all the Philadelphia
temple will be dedicated this Sunday, which is so exciting! On top of
that I picked up a new companion today, Elder Chapman, but he finishes
his mission in a week so once again I'll be in some sort of a trio
soon and I'll get another new companion. Although I've been a lone
misionero out in the Spanish world this week, I never have to feel
alone. I always remember if you love yourself just know you'll never
be alone and if you love the savior you'll be even better off. Hope
you all have a great week!

1) the Lehigh valley!
2) Paola and Kelly's baptism!


September 5, 2016

I feel like every time I sit down to write this email I look back on
the past week and it was just a whirlwind of craziness! I feel like we
were hardly in the area this week, but we still saw a bunch of
miracles! We found a few new less actives to teach this week, ones who
just let us right in! It's always a miracle to find those. A big
highlight was that we got to teach a guy named Taiwan and his wife
Ashley this week. Elder Winstanley met him on exchanges the week prior
and he came to church! We had a powerful lesson with him and his wife
and their whole family came to church. They loved it! Then I finally
got to teach one of our new investigators Schapell. Everytime I go off
on exchanges we have an appointment set up with her, so this was my
first week for me to have a lesson with her! Anyways she had a cousin
who converted and went on a mission and when the cousin came home she
suggested Schapell should meet with us and that's in a nutshell how we
got here! We invited her to be baptized this week and she is so

I also got to go on exchanges with one of the assistants Elder Oldroyd
this week. It was super fun because we met up here in Bethlehem and
drove straight down to the temple to drop off public transit passes to
the missionaries working the open house, then headed over to the
mission home to pickup a couple missionaries going home mid transfer,
so exactly a year since I got to the mission, I got to go back to the
mission home for a departure dinner! Luckily I still have a year left!
Then we had to take them to the airport at like 4 in the morning the
next day. The airport isn't as intimidating as I remembered it.
Afterwards we drove back up to Bethlehem for a special zone training
where we discussed Facebook and our new planning guidelines. Sounds
like enough driving and waking up early? Wrong. Next day we had to
wake up at 5 to drive back down to the mission office for MLC. Man am
I tired!

I had the privilege to bring one of our district leaders, Elder
Mpalomby (pronounced PA-LUM-BEE) to Bethlehem on exchanges. He's been
out oh 7 months now? He's from the Republic of Congo and moved to New
York 8 or 9 years ago and converted a few years later. One of the most
humble missionaries I've met and we had a crazy fun exchange teaching
God's children and eating Potbelly's. In other crazy news with our
zone, a companionship of elders got doubled out mid week so our senior
couple, The Harrison's took on the bulk of the work and we found out
last night we have sisters coming into our zone within a few days, but
not without some outrageous difficulties of course! About a week ago
there was a sewage pipe backup in the Easton apartment complex and our
elders lived on the ground floor so they dug up a trench right in he
middle of the kitchen and we have to wait for them to fill it and redo
all the flooring and walls before our sisters can move in. It was fun
trying to clean out he kitchen with a massive hole underneath us!

Anyways I just want to say I love this mission. I love serving here
and I love Jesus Christ. Thank you for all your support, you are all
in my prayers.

1&2) cleaning up the Easton apartment lolz
4) elders huber, wilde and tuttle! Came out to the field with these
hooligans a little over a year ago
5) video of a one on one game with Trey and Elder Winstanley. ball is life