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


August 29, 2016

This week was super crazy. We went on 4 exchanges this week yet we
still saw tons of miracles! Monday night we doubled into Easton so
Elder Winstanley could go with the senior couple and I went with
Elders Libberton and Chapell for a bit! Pretty fun to be in another
trio for a short time! On Tuesday I headed to Allentown with Elder
Warr, who has been out in the field oh 3 weeks? We had him take over
his area which he did a great job of! I was no help though because
he's a Spanish missionary! It was crazy to be on exchange with him and
think back to my first zone leader exchange a year ago as a golden and
what impact it had on me! Then I brought Elder Chapell to my area on
Thursday where we taught a couple hood homies that want to play ball
with us! We got their info and one of them gave me his Instagram name
to hit him up hahaha. Friday I took Elder Bebee to my area and had a
pretty boss day of teaching and whatnot! All of them are studs and it
was super fun!

Probably the best part of the week was that we taught at least 10 new
people! Hopefully we will get to see some of them in the next week,
but even better than that was that we had 9 investigators at church
and a few less actives too! The chapel was looking fuller than ever!
We just keep getting blessed over here. Paola and Kelly are doing
great, they had us and some members over for a BBQ this week and it
was absolutely awesome! Super fun and way good food! They are doing so
well in the gospel and I'm excited to see them progress. I also got to
have the opportunity to ordain Trey into the priesthood this week!
I've never met someone who is so converted to the gospel this quick!
He's the best.

Some nice food miracles happened this week too! Before I left on my
mission a place called Potbellys popped up in Utah. My brother in law
Tyson eats there all the time in Cali so we went on opening day and
then we probably ate it 5 more times in the last month before I left.
Anyways I heard it was on the east coast so when I got to Lehighton I
googled it and found out there's some in Philly and one in Bethlehem.
Well look who got to Bethlehem a year later!!! Potbelly's is just as
good as I remembered it! Then I've been on a quest for the past 6 or
so months to get a frozen hot chocolate from Dunkin Donuts. Let me
tell you how hard it's been! Either I'm broke or don't have time or
the other missionary doesn't want it so I hadn't been able to get one
yet which makes me sad because I'd snag those at home from Kneaders
all the time. Anyways this week I made it a goal and Elder Winstanley
thought it was hilarious because first time I tried the missionary I
was on exchange with didn't want to stop while going home, the second
try a few days later the machine was down, third try the missionary I
was with doesn't like sweets. So Saturday rolls around, I'm back with
Elder Winstanley and we are headed home and the idea pops in my head
so we head straight to the nearest Dunkin Donuts and they were
cleaning up and closing so the machine was down. I "acted" really
bummed out (although I sincerely was bummed out) and she gave us free
donuts! So out here on the east coast the Dunkin Donuts are abundant
like LDS chapels in Utah, so we headed a few blocks to the next Dunkin
Donuts where they finally had frozen hot chocolate AND they gave us
more free donuts! #foodtendermercies

While you may not be interested in hearing about my consumption of
food it's these small tender mercies that really make missionary work
so fun and interesting. I love being out here on a mission and helping
the people in the Philadelphia area grow closer to Jesus Christ and I
love having fun! Love you all have a wonderful week!

1) Potbellys!!!
2) grillin!

A Whole Year to Get a Real Cheesesteak

August 22, 2016

God Bless America! I've been out a whole year now which is crazy
ridiculous haha I love it! I decided to buy a new suit to celebrate
last week but my card got declined and the banks thought it was
fraud😣 It's all good though because i got it figured out and the lady
gave me a 15% off discount!

We got to go down to the temple on Friday with some of our
investigators, Paola and Kelly! Perfect way to spend my year mark. The
temple is still just as beautiful as ever and Paola and Kelly loved
it! Our members that came with us did an awesome job of fellowshipping
them which was so cool! Afterwards we headed to the Reading Terminal
Market in Philly which in itself is amazing. We snagged some of the
best cheesesteaks I've ever had and headed home to meet up with some
members who took us to our ward's campout for dinner and we skipped
rocks all night, it was way fun! Then of course I had to get wings on
the way home so I could start off another year right!

Trey got confirmed this week which was awesome! It's incredible how
solid and excited he is about everything. We will probably be playing
ball with him today! We picked up a few new people to teach this week.
One we met playing ball on some city courts. We didn't even have to
beat him to teach him, although afterwards Elder Winstanley smoked him
anyways! Another crazy sweet miracle came last night when we stopped
by an investigator who wasn't there. As we were walking back to our
car we saw a lady talking on her phone. We said hi to her not
expecting much, but all the sudden she just started chatting with us!
I guess she was having a rough night so she prayed for guidance then
went on a walk! Pretty cool eh? But get this, we talked to her about
the Book of Mormon and she said "oh I was baptized when I was 12!"
Then started singing "I am a Child of God". We'll see this week if her
and her family pan out!

It was a pretty solid week out here. I love Bethlehem and I love
serving in the Lehigh Valley Zone. We have some killer missionaries
out here and we are seeing miracles on miracles! Thanks for the
support over the past year, it's meant a lot and I look forward to
working hard for the next year! It'll go quicker than the last, which
is so weird... So I'll see you all soon! Love you!

O Big City of Bethlehem!

August 15, 2016

Hello folks! Man has a bunch of stuff happened this week since I last
wrote home. So I got transferred to Bethlehem this week and my new
companion is Elder Winstanley! He's the biggest stud and we've already
had so much fun this week, I love it here! A cool change is that while
we cover the Bethlehem Ward, we also cover the Young Single Adult
Branch! Definitely something I'm looking forward too!

So pretty much right after I sent my email last week I was playing a
mean game of basketball and man was I getting buckets, until I took a
fall away 3 and crushed my ankle. It's okay though because I still
drained the shot! Anywho I once again had to drive myself to
UrgentCare and they all thought it was broken, but X-rays came back
negative so it's just a ridiculously bad sprain! They tossed a splint
on my leg and gave me some crutches and I went on my way!

This week has been so fun in Bethlehem though, and so much work goes
on here so I'm gonna toss down a few names each week of the people we
are working with so I don't make these too long. Right of the bat when
we got here we taught a lady named Paola and her 9 year old daughter,
Kelly, who is incredibly smart and they've come to church the past few
weeks and have been reading a ton in the scriptures! We also have
Melo, who is a YSA less active from the Dominican Republic! He's
working back from a rough life in New York and we had an awesome
lesson and we all felt the spirit so strong! He also dresses super
fresh! Then there's Trey! So Trey is a pretty cool story. About a
month ago I was cleaning out my area book in Reading and there was a
name that kept catching my eye the whole time I served there, so I
finally went to look for him and realized that the student housing was
empty, so we gave him a call and set up a return appointment! Sadly he
moved out of Reading so we sent his records to another area. Turns out
that record got sent to the YSA and I was here to see Trey get
baptized this week! The Lord works in mysterious ways!

I'm super pumped to be serving here, especially with Elder Winstanley!
By the way he's from Colorado and has been out about 15 months. We are
looking forward to leading this zone to success, all the missionaries
killed it this week! I love you all and please if you can help it
never drive yourself to urgentcare!

New Address:

4314 Cheryl Dr. Bethlehem, PA!! 18017

1) post ankle sprain
2) drinkin Crystal Pepsi with elder Harris!
3) pop pop burgers! Made by our awesome Ward mission leader (contains
ham, bacon, bbq sauce, cheese and 1 lb of burger!)
4) Trey's baptism!

Merge, Everybody Merge, I'm Only Imploding!

August 8, 2016

Hey fellas! It was pretty great to be back in my area for the week. We
saw some good things happen, some new investigators picked up and
taught some good lessons. Overall it was a pretty gnarly week. The
highlight was being in a trio with Elder Troxell and Elder Margetts!
It was the most legendary trio I've ever been apart of and it will
forever live as a legend. It was so fun being with two of the oldest
Elders in the mission and doin work and having fun! During the middle
of the week we got all the missionaries back to their areas and Elder
Troxell and I finally got to have like one normal day of missionary
work, but that ended shortly because I had to get a CT scan later this
week, then during our zone training I thought my insides were going to
explode so I was down and out a bunch this week resting up! No worries
though, I'll hopefully get it all figured out next week! And yes I had
to drive myself while in pain once again.

We helped out one of my favorite members, Sister Soto, and her
landlord this week for some service. I guess the peeps living in the
house hadn't paid rent in 2 months then just dipped and left the house
a mess! We were in charge of throwing out a bunch of stuff out of this
filthy place. I went to grab a curtain to throw away and a bunch of
cockroaches ran out of it😬

The biggest news this week is that I'm getting transferred out of
Reading. This was a wonderful place and I had a whole bunch of fun
here! I'll miss a bunch of missionaries here because I most likely
won't get to see a lot of them for a long time. I'm pretty pumped
because my mission president told me where I'll be going, which
usually we wouldn't know, but because of doctors and whatnot he told
me and wanted me to keep it on the down low. So you'll all find out
next week! It's been a blessing to serve here as a district leader and
I'm excited for the new opportunity to be a zone leader in my next
area. I love you guys, and don't send me any packages or mail until
you get my new address next week!

1) zone training
2) me and the Troxell!
3) the homie Elder Margetts
4) crusin