Monday, December 18, 2017

The week here was busy, crazy, and fun. Looking back on the week, it’s hard to remember that transfers were this week. On Wednesday, we helped take the departing missionaries home and bring the new ones back from the airport. It was crazy to see Elder Bills going home! It feels like he just left Newberg. I only had six weeks with Elder Bills, but he was one of my favorite companions. He was one of the most humble people that I have met. I am definitely grateful for the chance to serve with him! Thursday was busy. We had a meeting for the trainees and their new trainers. It was crazy, because it was by far the smallest group for this meeting that we have had the entire time I have been there. But the smallest and littlest things were going wrong! It was frustrating at the time, but everything worked out. After that, we drove out to Bend because we had their zone conference/Christmas talent show on Friday. That was a lot of fun! It was good to be able to see Elder Oswald and be around some of the missionaries out there. We came back on Saturday. On the drive back, we got to a fork in the road where we usually go through the Santiam pass because it is quicker, but the highway was closed and we had to take a 50 minute detour down through Lebanon! It was a beautiful drive. 

We didn't have a ton of time to proselyte this week, but it was cool because yesterday we were able to see some cool miracles while using the time that we actually did have. After one of our lessons, we were walking to the car and I thought I heard a vacuum for a car in a garage, but kind of disregarded it. As we were driving away, we passed that home and saw that there was someone in the garage vacuuming his car, so we turned around and stopped to talk with him. He turned out to be a really cool kid who is graduating high school this year and he said that we could come back on Thursday to talk more! We had a similar situation later that night. We were driving to go visit someone and passed by the home of a potential investigator that we had neither met, but had both tried knocking multiple times. There was a lady outside, so we decided to stop and go try to talk with her. Apparently the person that we were looking for does not live there anymore. But the lady that we met was really nice and she was going through a lot of different things right now. It was definitely inspired that we were able to drive by and see her and talk with her at this point in her life. 

This week should be fun. We have Christmas talent shows for three more zones this week! It should be fun, and then it will be Christmas. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Staying in Newberg

I will be staying another transfer here in Newberg! I am excited to be able to spend Christmas here around President and Sister Tateoka. It will be a lot of fun. The Elders in the 2nd ward (Elder Greenwood, who has been here as long as me - he was trained by Elder Bills and Elder Patterson, and Elder Cluff) will both be staying as well. We are excited to be around each other for Christmas. 

The week here was really good! We had MLC on Wednesday. President felt inspired that we should focus on commitment invitations. As we prepared for the training that we were asked to give, it was really cool to see the revelation come and to know that the things we were preparing were exactly what needed to be talked about. We had an exchange this week with the Elders in Jefferson. Elder Radmall, one of my old District Leaders, is who I was with! It was a lot of fun. We had a cool experience right after we
exchanged. We wanted to go give a Children's Book of Mormon to one of the boys that we are teaching, but we had just recently given away our last one. So we dropped by the mission office really quickly to pick one up. Right as we were leaving, the janitor man of the building was there so we talked with him for a bit. We were able to run right back inside and get him a Restoration pamphlet in Spanish and then refer him to the Hermanas that cover the area.

This week we also had transfers calls! It was a busy week getting things ready for that. But it went really well! We had a meeting with President and Sister Tateoka about transfer week and all of that stuff, and then afterwards we were able to help President for a few minutes to put up his Christmas lights. That was fun! We also had our ward party this week! One of the people that we are teaching was able to come and was welcomed a lot by the members. It was good to see them have a good time and to be able to connect more with the members. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Continue to Light the World!

Everything is going well. The zone conferences went really well this week! President really thought that they went well and was really happy with the way that they went! It is crazy how quickly the transfer has flown by. It is going to be another busy week with transfers coming up. We were able to go on an exchange while we were over the mountains with Bend and Redmond. It felt really good to be in the sunshine again! It has been a lot of fun to participate in Light the World. We have been sure to participate in each day, however we can. It was really cool because on the way back from Redmond we stopped at a place in Salem to eat dinner. For some reason, I was not nearly as hungry as usual. I am usually able to eat most of the plate that I get. But I didn't and took the rest home. As we were leaving, we pulled up to the street to turn on the main street and we saw a homeless guy. Right as Elder Patterson was about to turn, I just yelled, "wait!" I was really thinking about it and he was really confused, but I was able to quickly grab the food and hop out and give it to this man and to give him a Light the World pass along card as well! It was nothing of my doing, but the Spirit was the one that put the thought into my mind really quickly and to make it all happen. It has been cool because this campaign does help us to look outside of ourselves a little bit more. 

After our zone conference on Thursday, we were able to go on a short power exchange with the Elders in the Salem 1st ward because we were going to be doing something in Salem that night. I was able to go over and have a lesson with Jeremy, who we used to teach in Salem 1st! It was cool to be able to see how far he has come. His wife even came to church on Sunday and they are doing well as a family! That was fun to see. 

Yesterday was really good as well. We were able to watch the Christmas Devotional with Camille and her husband Brian. That went really well! Camille took Brian and their kids this week to the temple visitor's center and they really enjoyed it! It is cool to see how she has only been a member for about 3 months and she is such a great missionary to her family and those around her. She is a great example and is extremely converted. I really liked the talks from the Devotional as well. I liked President Uchtdorf's talk a lot. It seems to me that recently the Prophets and Apostles have been talking a lot about the love that Heavenly Father has for us. He wants us to be able to look back to Him and not get so down on ourselves. 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Light the World!

That is really cool that you are able to do Light the World! We went around and pushed it pretty big in our ward as well. We had put an insert in the bulletin with the calendar for the month. Each week we are going to have the upcoming week with the ideas in the bulletin. We also had one of our ward missionaries create a facebook page where he is going to post the video for each day and members will join and share their experiences and invite friends to the page. And hopefully on Christmas, we will have some cookies made that us and the other Elders in the 2nd ward will go and ding dong ditch people with a plate of cookies and leave a light the world pass along card on top. We are pretty excited! 

This past few days have been good. Nothing too crazy has happened. There was a talk by a 12 year old in sacrament that was really good. He talked about gratitude and the importance of being grateful. We all definitely have a lot to be grateful for. We just need to look to Heavenly Father and give Him our thanks. He has given us so much, we need to recognize that and be grateful! One thing that, as a missionary, we need to be grateful for is the opportunities to talk to people and openly look for the Hand of the Lord. If we take a step back and think about the opportunities we are given to talk to people, how it is orchestrated, and the timing of it all, and then put that into perspective of Heavenly Father's Plan, then we really can see how much He is involved in this work. For example, on Saturday we were out in the morning and talking with people and we saw an older gentleman go to grab something in his car. He grabbed it and then started heading back inside. We caught him and talked to him for a while. Apparently he went to the store earlier in the day, but forgot to grab that stuff out of his car. So he went out and grabbed it at the exact time that we were walking by. What are the chances of that? It is pretty cool to see the Lord's hand in the work through His Spirit. 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

The week has been good. It’s always a long one when you have 10 days between p-days, but we were really blessed because we had a Zone Conference on Tuesday and then from there we went on exchanges, which always go by really fast. It didn’t even seem like it was 10 days between p-days. The past week has been pretty good! I am trying really hard to remember exactly what happened... We did have a really cool experience on Monday. So about 2 months ago, Elder Oswald and I met a young boy and his mom at the park. I don’t know if I mention him in emails back then, but he found us at the park and starting talking with us and telling us how he had been visited by missionaries in the past. We tried to work at setting stuff up with them for a while but nothing happened. Then last Saturday I believe, we met a different boy who was standing in front of his aunts house. He said to come back on Monday and we could talk more. So we came back on Monday, but instead of finding him, we found Josiah and his mom who we met two months ago! It was crazy. We had no idea that they lived there. It was really cool to see the way that the Lord led us there to that home. He worked through another young man so that we could meet them again! And now we are going back Sunday! 

Zone Conference on Tuesday we talked a lot about how to actually use the online proselyting in their areas and how to apply it. It went really well! We have three Zone Conference next week! But after this Zone Conference, we went on exchanges with the McMinnville Zone Leader and his trainee. I was able to go with the trainee, Elder DeHart. We had a really good exchange! It was really cool because Heavenly Father knew that we talked about online proselyting in Zone Conference, and He gave us an amazing experience to apply it right after during that exchange. On Tuesday evening we met a boy about 13. We talked for a minute and set up a lesson over Facebook chat the next day at noon. We gave him a pamphlet to read. The next day at noon, he had already read the pamphlet and we were able to have an awesome lesson with him over Facebook chat!  It was really cool! And amazing to see the Lord give us that opportunity to do that.

Next week will be crazy. We have Zone Conference in Redmond on Tuesday (I will get to see Elder Oswald!) and then we are going on exchanges with the Bend and Redmond Zone Leaders while we are over there! Then we head back Wednesday and then Thursday and Friday we have Zone Conferences again, the week is going to fly by!  I’m going to maybe see if I can email Brother graham and see if he would want to meet us for dinner as we are driving through, but we will see. 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Wonderful Things Happening

The week here has been really good! On Monday night, we had a meeting with President and Sister Tateoka. We were talking about MLC for the next day and what should be discussed. President felt really strongly that we should focus on breaking down the online proselyting piece by piece. We watched some of the new District 3 training videos and the ideas started to flow very fast. It was definitely inspired and revelatory! Then we had the MLC on Tuesday, which went really really well. What Elder Patterson and I helped with was training on how to use facebook in online proselyting. President thought the MLC went extremely well, so we were really excited about that! 

On Wednesday, we had a really good lesson with Chris. He is a recent convert since July. We talked a lot about obedience. He has really seen since his baptism how obedience has blessed his life. And he is so aware that it is Heavenly Father who is blessing him in his life. It is really cool to watch. That night, we had a lesson with Camille and Brian. Camille was baptized in September, and Brian is her husband who is starting to learn more. We watched the Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration video with them and they loved it! It has been awesome to see the way that Camille has been a light to all of those around her. 

One of the coolest thing that we have been seeing is the softness of the hearts of the young people here in Newberg. We are teaching a family who has a 10 year old son. The 10 year old sat in on our entire lesson last week and was pretty interested and participated. This week, we helped him access the Book of Mormon stories book. We gave it to him on Thursday, and by Saturday he had already read 8 chapters! That was so cool to see. The Spirit has been touching his heart as he reads and it has helped him have a desire to learn more. Another kid that we are teaching, Anthony, is 13. We have taught him for a couple of weeks now. We gave him a Book of Mormon stories book as well and he has been reading it a ton! His parents have been okay with us teaching him, but not really open yet. On Saturday, we planned on calling him around 345 to make sure he would be able to come to church. We totally forgot to, until about 845! So we called him then and asked. He said that he could, so we were kind of scrambling trying to figure out who might be able to take him, but his dad was with him and his dad said that he would take him! So on Sunday, him and his dad both came to church! That was really cool. Anthony stayed the entire 3 hours and was really welcomed by the Deacons Quorum. The Deacons Quorum President has been so helpful in fellowshipping and friend Anthony. I think it is amazing the way that Heavenly Father works. It is definitely cool to see.

Last night, we had another cool meeting with President and Sister Tateoka. One of the coolest things that I have been able to be a part of here in Newberg is being able to see the process of receiving revelation. Yesterday was another testimony builder of receiving revelation, and specifically how inspired President is. It is truly amazing. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Airports, Stake Conference, and Daylight Savings Time

Daylight savings went smoothly. It was really, really nice to be able to have an extra hour of sleep! That was much needed. Daylight savings still doesn't make much sense to me, though. It is dark outside around 530 now. It's pretty crazy! 

This week was really crazy for us. It was sad to say goodbye to Elder Oswald! But the week went really well. It was a super busy week. It was weird to see some of the missionaries who went home. My first Zone Leader, Elder Christensen, went home with this transfer! That was really weird to me. We got another big group of missionaries coming in. There were 22 of them. The Lord continues to put a lot of missionaries in this mission because there is a lot of people who are being prepared to hear the gospel and there are a lot of obedient, diligent missionaries in the mission. It is really cool to see.

We had a really cool experience at the airport. Sister Tateoka met a woman who had the same first name as her, so they started to talk and this lady asked Sister Tateoka about God and why He keeps redirecting her path. Sister Tateoka asked us to come over and start talking with this woman. This woman was supposed to be on an earlier flight, but because of circumstances, her plane was delayed. We told her that it was because He wanted us to talk to her. We were able to help answer her questions through the Spirit and the Book of Mormon. We read Alma 37:35-37 and talked about prayer. This Spirit led us to 2 Nephi 32:3 also about the Holy Ghost. And then we felt prompted to use technology and share a video with her about the current bush and God's will. It was a really cool experience! Just another testimony builder that God is aware of each of His children. It is truly amazing the tool of technology as well. It is here for the purpose of furthering the work of the Lord, and being able to pull out a video on the spot in the airport was really cool. 

Our stake had Stake Conference this week. President and Sister Tateoka spoke and they gave awesome talks. It is amazing to hear President talk. He is a very humble man. But when he talks he speaks "as one having authority". He taught all about the the Spirit and the importance of the Spirit in missionary work and in life in general. It was a great talk! Another talk that I really enjoyed was by the first counselor in the Stake Presidency. He spoke on the enabling power of Jesus Christ that we can access because of the Atonement that He paid for us. He read in Mosiah 3:19 about how the natural man is an enemy to God and that the enabling power of Christ helps us to put off the natural man (go from bad to good) and become a saint (go from good to better) through Jesus Christ. I really enjoyed that talk. I thought it tied in great to what President Tateoka said because the Spirit is the agent that will help us receive that power and become sanctified. President Tateoka mentioned that same scripture during the trainers meeting this week, so I thought that was really cool. 

It is really interesting how much the apostles have been stressing reading the Book of Mormon ever since President Monson talked about it.And it is amazing to think about the faith of people like Nephi and Peter. They were willing to do whatever they needed to because their faith was so strong. We are promised that if we build upon the Rock of our Redeemer, then nothing will be able to push us around with the winds and hails of life. It is a constant battle to grow your faith. It requires going out of the way to set ourselves apart from the world and doing everything that the Savior has asked us to do. But as we do it, we will be blessed. Our faith in Him will grow. And, ultimately, we will be able to find peace in this life and our confidence will wax strong in the presence of God. But it is definitely a long process! 

So originally to start this transfer, we had four elders living in our apartment again. Elder Greenwood stayed in Newberg, but he and his new companion moved to a different apartment. Elder Ludwig and Smith came in to live with us. But because of things happening, on Saturday they were transferred to Amity where they would be taking over that area. It was fun to have them with us for the couple of days. But now the apartment is just Elder Patterson and I. It is a huge apartment and is really quiet now! But it will be fun. 

We had a funny/weird/tender mercy yesterday. A few days ago, we met a guy named Jake and we set up a lesson with him for yesterday at 2pm. Well, because of Stake Conference and other lessons that we had planned, we didn't end getting to Jake's until about 3. The tender mercy is that he was just walking up as we pulled up! We hopped out and asked if he remembered that we were coming. He said no... but then he immediately started to look around frantically for a way to leave. He told us that it was a coincidence that he actually needed to meet a friend on the other side of town. He looked around and saw a bike in his front yard, squeezed the tires to make sure they were pumped up (they were 100% flat... ), and grabbed the bike. We asked if he had a phone that we could call him at and he pulled out his iPhone and then quickly put it back in his jacket and said no.. then he hopped on his flat-tired bike and started to peddle away.. It was crazy. We decided to follow him for a minute to see if he actually went to go see a friend, but he drove in a big circle back to his house... Crazy times! 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Yes I am staying. I am not sure how long I will stay. This transfer and then maybe one more. Recently, Assistants have been staying for 3 transfers. But we will see. Elder Oswald is being transferred over the mountains to Smith Rock in Redmond. Elder Patterson and I will join back together, and Elder Greenwood will stay in the 2nd ward. He will move into the apartments next to ours though. There will be two other missionaries coming to live with us in our apartment. So Newberg will have 6 missionaries in total! 

It seems like just yesterday that we talked! We have only had four days since my last email, but it has been a pretty busy four days. Friday and Saturday were busy with doing transfer things to prepare for the upcoming transfer tomorrow. Saturday was a late night of making transfer calls, but it went well and everyone knows where they are going! There is a lot of movement happening in the mission this transfer. We are continuing to increase in numbers with missionaries coming in. I really believe that the Lord continues to send more and more missionaries here in part because there is a lot of work to be done, but also because of how well of a job President and Sister Tateoka are doing. They are really teaching obedience and focus on our purpose, and it is really amazing to see how much the missionaries are all growing here in the mission.  
The highlight of the weekend was on Saturday. Brock and Karly were baptized! It was a really special experience for all involved. Their dad has been waiting for this day for a while, as has some of their extended family. It was really cool to be a part of and witness him baptize them. The confirmation on Sunday was really special as well. The Spirit was very evident as we listened to the blessing that was given. I am grateful to have been able to help in this situation. Elder Oswald and I really didn't do anything. They were prepared and ready the entire time, we were simply blessed with the opportunity to help them take the necessary steps to be fully ready. It was cool to be a part of! 

I am grateful for the Book of Mormon. I recently started over with the focus of looking for faith unto repentance. It is amazing to see the examples of faith that are demonstrated so often in the Book of Mormon. I am grateful for all that we can learn from these inspired teachings and writings. It always amazes me to look and see the way that Nephi and Lehi respond to adversity, versus Laman and Lemuel. Right after Lehi and his family have been traveling for days in the wilderness, shortly after leaving all that they owned behind, the first thing that he does as they make their camp is he prays to give thanks to God. At the same time, Laman and Lemuel are murmuring. We can choose to be happy and choose to look to God! We can choose to be grateful for our trials or we can choose to let them drag us down to misery. 

Here are a bunch of pictures! Some of us from the baptism, some from playing ping-pong today, and one from yesterday with who used to be Elder Mounteer! Chase now. He went home a couple of transfers ago. He was an assistant here in the mission for a long time. He did a lot for the mission and I'm really grateful for his example! He was the one who actually picked me up from the airport and then I helped to take him to the airport back in August. 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Seek Until You Find It

The week here went really well. I don't really know where it went. Our zone Conferences went well! They come and go so quickly. But it is fun to be a part of. On our drive over the mountains to Redmond, we got a ton of snow up at the top of the pass! We were not expecting it. It had been raining pretty bad all drive, and then as we continued to climb in elevation, it suddenly just turned to snow! It was sticking and non-stop. There was definitely a lot of prayer going on. But we made it through and had a good Zone Conference the next day. 

On Sunday, we had a good experience. We had a meeting down in Monmouth where the area general authority, Elder Hansen, was training the bishops and their counselors and the stake presidency. It was a really cool meeting to be a part of. There was definitely a special Spirit there.  One thing that stood out to me was when he talked about the parable of the lost sheep. It talks about how the shepherd seeks "until he find it". He doesn't just give it an effort and then go back, but he doesn't stop until the sheep is found. In our responsibilities within the church there are too many times where we stop before we find it. We give it an effort and can say we tried, but we didn't go to the end of the road searching. It definitely made me want to do better at that. 

Yesterday we had a training for all of the District Leaders. It went really well. There was a great Spirit in the mission home during the training. That is what the picture is from. 

We had a cool experience this week. We had about an hour left on Saturday night before we had to go in. It was raining and pouring like crazy. It was really dark as well. We didn't have anything
planned, so we started driving and felt prompted to go park at a park in Newberg. As we pulled into the parking lot, it looked so dreary outside because of the weather and the lack of light. After we got out, we were walking through the park and a young woman pulled up to us on her bike. She was in tears and really scared. She had taken the bus about 13 miles from McMinnville into Newberg earlier that day around 3 and was supposed to meet a friend. That friend never showed up, so she was riding around in the rain for hours. She didn't have a phone and doesn't really have a place to live. She normally would sleep outside of a church in McMinnville that allows her to sleep there when she gets there before 9. So there wasn't much time. We were able to make a few calls and one of the counselors in the bishopric, and his wife, came and picked her up and took her back to McMinnville. We found out later that they also bought her a meal and some warm clothes, etc. It was a really cool experience to be a part of. It made us appreciate how aware Heavenly Father is of each of our lives. He cares and is always there. And it also made me think of how much charity and love these members of our ward showed. They saw this girl as one of their sisters and as a daughter of God and were willing to serve her without hesitation. Truly amazing.

The temple was great today! It was really great to be there and to feel of that Spirit. I've only got a few more days with Elder Oswald! I'm sad about that. He is going to do great though. I'm excited for him! 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Eye Single to His Glory

The week here was a good one. Zone Conferences started on Wednesday! It is crazy that it is already that time of the transfer again. This transfer has flown by. There is so much being talked about at zone conference. Not only are smartphones and online proselyting being rolled out, but also the way that we plan is being changed. We have a new goal setting and planning process that we use to plan for the people in our areas on a daily and weekly basis. It is a ton of information, but it is good! One of my favorite scriptures that has been talked about at Zone Conference is D&C 88:67. It says, "And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things." That principle amazes me. Keeping ourselves focused on the Lord and His work is not an easy thing to do. Life gets busy, hectic, stressful, hard, and crazy, but as we do our best to keep our eye single to His glory, He will fill us with light. And as we are filled with light, we will come to know His love, grace, mercy and the mysteries of His ways. And He won't hold back. We are the ones who hold ourselves back. I have seen that a lot on my mission and feel like I am finally coming to understand that He is truly always there. We have to take the extra effort to keep ourselves focused on Him. Nephi, in the Book of Mormon, is one of the best examples of that. He glories in the commandments of the Lord. He is always focused on pleasing the Lord and doing all he can to do His will. Because of that, he prospers, handles every challenge with patience and hope, and is ultimately filled with the joy that the Savior brings. It isn't always easy to stay focused on the Lord and His glory, but He will help us to do so as we try. 

The week here in Newberg was good. We had some good lessons this week. We have a couple of kids in a part member family that we are teaching that are preparing to be baptized on the 28th. They are doing really good! We also found a couple that we started teaching. They have really been prepared we feel. They used to live in a different part of Oregon, closer to the temple. The street that they lived on were all members of the church and they really liked them! We had a good lesson with them on Thursday about the Restoration, and we are going back this week to have another lesson. We are pretty excited about that. 

By the way, our pday next week won't be until Wednesday. Elder Oswald and I are going to the temple on Wednesday, so that will be our p-day. It should be good! 

Monday, October 9, 2017

This is the Lord's Work

The week here went really well! We had a lot of good lesson. To be honest, I don't really remember what we did  this week. We went on an exchange on Thursday down to Salem 1st. I was back in that area for the day. The exchange went well and we were able to see some tender mercies. I was actually able to spend a good amount of time with Elder Oswald this week. That was a lot of fun. We have been trying to figure out how to use Facebook effectively. It has gone well. The missionary department also came out with a new app for our area book planner, to replace the old one. So it has been a lot of new things coming at one time and trying to figure them out. On exchanges, Elder Oswald and Elder Sellaro found a young man from Zimbabwe. He took a Book of Mormon and read Helaman chapter 5. Yesterday, we met with him at the church and taught him the Restoration. He understood it all and committed to work towards baptism in November. We are going to send him to the YSA sisters, but it is really cool to see how the Lord will put prepared people in our path. We see little things like that every day. For example, on Saturday, Elder Oswald felt prompted that we should stop by a former investigators home. When we pulled up, we saw we had a couple of texts that we needed to respond to, so we took a couple of minutes to do so. As soon as we did, and opened up the door, we saw the guy that we were looking for walking out of his house and we were able to talk to him for a few minutes! That was really cool. This is the Lord's work with His Spirit guiding the work. We are blessed to witness those miracles every day. But we all see miracles every day, regardless of whether or not we are serving as full-time missionaries. We just have to look and see them. 

This week will be good. We have a really big lesson tonight after p-day, so that will be good. We also have Zone Conferences starting up this week, so it will be busy with that. It will be good though!

Monday, October 2, 2017

General Conference

 I thought Conference was really good. There were a lot of really good talks that I would like to listen to and read over. There were a lot of talks about being positive and looking towards the light and how the light would illuminate when you do so. I thought it was really cool that President Nelson and President Eyring both talked about the Book of Mormon. In their own ways, they both stood up there and sustained President Monson by talking about how they, too, took the challenge that the prophet extended and how it blessed both of their lives. I thought that was really cool. It amazes me that President Nelson is 93. It was definitely pretty cool that Elder Ardern talked. The story he told is one that he told us when he was out here, so that was pretty cool. I went in with a question  and it seemed like it was answered in a lot of different talks. I don't know if I have a favorite. I really liked Elder Hollands talk though, that was really good. 

On Sunday we watched the second session of conference with our Ward Mission Leader and his wife, along with 2 of our investigators and 2 of the more recent converts in the ward. That was really good! 

The week here in general was really good. On Wednesday, we went to the temple. Starting in October, we aren't going to be taking Investigators to the visitors center anymore, because we will now be allowed to go to the temple once every six months. So we took one last trip to the visitors center with a couple of our Investigators and it went really well! We watched the new "Days of Harmony" video about Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery translating the Book of Mormon. It went really well! The rest of the week was pretty good. Things are really busy here. We had a couple of meetings with President, which is always fun and productive. President announced to the mission that we are going to be an online proselyting and smartphone mission. That is what these Zone conferences will be about. So Elder Patterson and I have been able to start using Facebook in our proselyting and it has helped out a lot, we are excited to get more experienced with it. We also now have smartphones! It is crazy how the work moves forward. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Meeting Goals

Things here are really busy, but it has been a really good week. It was sad to say goodbye to Elder Bills. He was great. He will be finishing his mission down in Salem, because he goes home in December. It is fun to have Elder Patterson up here with us though! Neither of us were expecting that to happen, so it was a pleasant surprise. This week it seemed like I didn't get to see Elder Oswald at all. It was transfer week, so there was a lot of stuff happening with new missionaries coming in, having the trainers meeting, and having a couple of other meetings. There is a lot of stuff that is going on in our mission right now and a lot of cool things happening soon. The Lord is really hastening His work out here. It is fun to be a part of it all. 

We did have some really cool miracles happen. Yesterday, we were able to teach the children of a part-member family. It was cool to see how the father of this family found his way back to activity because he wanted the best for his kids. He wanted them to be able to enjoy the companionship of the Holy Ghost and have clear direction in their life. So the kids have been coming to church with him for a few years, and finally the mother gave permission for the kids to be baptized! We had our first lesson with them this week and look forward to helping them progress towards baptism in October. 

We had another cool lesson yesterday. We met with a guy who, at first, didn't seem very interested. He has sort of been avoiding us for the past couple of weeks. We finally saw him yesterday and had a really good lesson. He had read from the Book of Mormon and the pamphlet that we gave him! He had a lot of really good questions and seems to be honestly seeking for the truth. He just wants what is best for his family. We spent a lot of time trying to stress how the Gospel of Jesus Christ blesses his family. We talked about the importance of having a modern-day prophet who receives revelation to guide us and keep us on the straight and narrow path. We are excited for him. 

We also saw the importance of goal-setting and how the Lord can help us with our righteous desires. At the beginning of the month, we set some pretty lofty goals that we truly felt would make us stretch. At the beginning of last week, it looked like some of those goals were not going to be able to happen. But throughout the week, the Lord really blessed us and last night we looked at our goals and we hit each one on the dot! That was really cool and was definitely a testimony builder to me. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Another Great Week in Newberg!

The week here went really well. It flew by. I don't know what happened to it. On Monday, we went on a temple trip to the Portland Visitor's Center with Yana and our Ward Mission Leader and his wife. Yana really enjoyed the temple and learning more about the Book of Mormon. She committed to start reading it in English, even though that is harder for her. We sent her records over to the missionaries in the Netherlands, so they should be there waiting for her with a Bulgarian Book of Mormon when she gets back over there! It is pretty cool to see how the Gospel is truly being spread to all of the world. We are excited to keep in touch with Yana and see her progress from afar. 
Tuesday was Sister Francis' Baptism! That was really good! She is going to help a lot of people come into the Gospel. She has a light about her and she really treasures what she has been learning. The adversary was attacking her a lot this week with a bunch of stuff between her baptism and her confirmation on Sunday. But the confirmation yesterday was awesome! I am really grateful to have the opportunity to help in the small ways that we did. Elder Oswald and I feel like we didn't do anything to teach her, she was just prepared. 

We had some other miracles happen this week. We were able to find a ton of new investigators. It felt like the Lord was just putting them in our lap, even when we were having a rough day or things just seemed to be off. We also had an awesome lesson with Brandi and Jennifer. We talked about the Plan of Salvation and really focused on Our Life on Earth. We talked a lot about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how that is the plan for us to find success in this life and eternal life. We focused on the importance of being baptized by proper authority. Brandi was hesitant because she doesn't want to give her mistakes to Christ and make Him suffer for it. So we tried to help her understand that He already did suffer for us. We just have to have faith, repent, and be baptized to allow Him to take it from us. At the end of the lesson we invited them both to be baptized and they both said yes! We were really excited about that! One of the things that the mission is trying to work on is inviting people to make commitments by teaching the doctrine and promised blessings from the scriptures. So it has been really cool to see the progression of those that we are teaching as we apply that principle. There are so many good scriptures in the Book of Mormon and Bible that teach the doctrine and promised blessings of the commandments that Heavenly Father has asked us to keep. 

After that lesson with Brandi and Jennifer, Elder Bills and I got together to make transfer calls! It was my first time doing that. It was fun. For transfer news, Elder Bills is leaving.. He has 2 more transfers left, so he is being transferred to the Creekside ward in Salem. I am going to miss him a lot! He is one of the most humble people I have ever met. He is a really good example. And he taught me everything that goes with this assignment! The new Assistant that will be up here with me is Elder Patterson from Salem 1st! It is pretty cool to be able to be back with him! He is going to finish training Elder Greenwood and I am going to finish training Elder Oswald, but it will be fun to be living with him again and be his part-time companion for this transfer. This next week will be really busy. There aren't any departing missionaries since they all left a month ago, so that will take some of the craziness out of the week. I am definitely a little nervous with Elder Bills leaving though. I am trying to make sure I know everything that I am supposed to do so that everything goes smoothly. It will be fun though. 

I had an opportunity to talk yesterday in Sacrament. I talked about conversion. It went well I think. I was pretty nervous for it, but after I got up there the Spirit really just guided what I said, so that was awesome. I am grateful for the gift of the Spirit to help us out. By the way, you can tell Gramps that I have shared his basketball story in a lot of the talks I have given in Sacrament out here and it is always appreciated..

Monday, September 11, 2017

Many Tender Mercies

Things out here have been going pretty well! There have been a couple of really smokey days because all of the fires, but the past couple of days haven't been too bad. A couple of weeks ago when we were coming back from the zone conference in Bend, Elder Bills and I got stuck on the highway for 45 minutes because of the fires. It is pretty crazy the way things have been out here. Zone Conferences were really good. We are officially done with them for the transfer. Elder Bills and I talked about "How to Begin Teaching" from Preach My Gospel chapter 10. It went well. 

Overall things are going well with our area. The people that we have been finding are starting to progress and keep commitments, which is awesome. The week was full of tender mercies. Our Saturday was pretty good. I will try to explain the story of our crazy Saturday. Firstly, we had a lesson with a lady that we met at 840 at night earlier in the week. It was really dark and kind of an awkward encounter, but she said that she would meet us at the church on Saturday for a lesson. Unfortunately a lot of times in missionary work people don't show up for their lessons. Because of the weirdness of the way we met her, we weren't totally sure if she'd be there. 1130 rolled around and she was there! That was the first tender mercy of the day. We did a church tour and then had a quick lesson. She committed herself to read the Book of Mormon before we even could. She was telling herself that she wasn't interested, but I think she was more than she realized. That lesson was over at noon. Here is where the dilemma started to kick in. At 1230, we had a planned lesson with Camille. We had to finish teaching Camille all of the principles before her baptism, which is tomorrow, so it was a really big lesson to have. We also had a lesson planned with Brother Chuck, a man we met a few weeks ago who doesn't currently have a stable living condition so sometimes it is hard to meet him. After our lesson with Angela, we saw that we missed a call from Brother Chuck, so we called him. He answered the phone and said "I'm on my bike on my way, can't talk, see you soon" and hung up. It was 12 so we were really confused because our lesson was for 130. We decided that we would call Camille and see if we could push the lesson up to 1215, but it didn't work out because she wanted to go pick us up lunch, so she wanted to see if we could do 1 oclock. So, we felt like we should go wait for Brother Chuck by the tree we meet him at. We got there and waited for a few minutes. He didn't show up. We felt prompted to go and try and contact a lady a few streets away named Teresa. Our thought was we would go contact her, then on the way driving to Camille's drive by the tree to see if Brother Chuck showed up early. When we went to Teresa's, rather than parking in the trailer park, Jaden (the member who was driving us) parked on the street. Once we parked, we saw a bike in front of a car and a man in the car. We walked over to go talk to him and... it was Brother Chuck! It was crazy to see how Heavenly Father knew we were kind of in a mess and had a lot to get done, so He took us straight to Chuck. It was amazing. We shared a Mormon Message "Our True Identity" with him and he started to cry. He was definitely feeling the Spirit. It was really cool. After talking to Brother Chuck, we still had a few minutes before Camille's and we were able to find a new investigator in that time. 

Later on Saturday, we were walking in the evening in the rain (First time it had rained in a while). And a white car pulls up and a girl hops out and runs over to us and starts asking us a bunch of questions about the church. She is from Bulgaria and was in Oregon for the summer for an internship. We talked to her for a while about the church and the Book of Mormon and stuff. We found out that she goes back to the Netherlands on Wednesday. We also found out that she had seen the Oregon Temple but had never visited it. So we set up a Visitor's Center trip for tonight! 

This week will be really good. Another busy one too. We have Camille's baptism tomorrow night. We also have transfers this week, so we are going to have to do some stuff for that. It should be another busy one. 

Monday, September 4, 2017

Loving Newberg

The week was really good. It was insanely busy, but it was really fun. It's crazy to me that we were in Bend a week ago. It felt like so much longer than that. It was really good to be able to go over there for Zone Conference. On the drive over, Elder Bills and I were trying to prepare a role play that we had to do as part of the meeting. We were role playing how to extend the invitation of inviting someone to church using scriptures to teach the doctrine and promised blessings of church attendance. We were really struggling with how we wanted to do it. For some reason it just didn't feel right. We eventually felt like we needed to change the invitation to baptism. After we made that determination, the role play came much quicker. We were able to find doctrine in the scriptures and promised blessings in the scriptures that supported exactly what we wanted to do. The next day, as we were in the meeting, we realized that we were assigned to role play the invitation to be baptized! It was a pretty huge tender mercy that the Spirit helped guide us to the correct invitation as we were practicing on the car ride over. 

Bend was really smokey! There are a lot of fires over there right now, so the air was thick with smoke. It was fun to be on that side of the mountains again though. It reminds me so much of Northern Arizona! After Zone Conference, we went on an exchange until the next morning. I stayed in Bend with Elder Donaldson (he went to Mountain View) and his trainee Elder Rasmussen. It was a lot of fun. They are great missionaries. It is really cool to see how prepared the missionaries that are coming out into the field are. 

Thursday was MLC! It was a busy day, but a lot of fun. Friday was another Zone Conference. This was for our zone and the neighboring zone. It went really well too! Toward the end of the meeting, President started talking a bunch about goals. It was totally by the Spirit and it was really cool to be able to hear and listen to. The Zone Conferences have been mainly about teaching skills. President and Sister Tateoka are training about using the scriptures to teach the doctrine and promised blessings of the invitations that we extend to people. Elder Packer said that true doctrine, understood correctly, will change behavior quicker than a study of behavior can change behavior. I think it is really cool and it has been awesome to learn about. Elder Bills and I have been training on how to begin teaching. It has gone well too. We have two more zone conferences this week. It should be fun. 

The weekend was really good. Elder Oswald and I have been seeing a lot of miracles. On Saturday, we had a couple lessons planned that evening. We prepared a really solid lesson plan for this group of teenagers. It was mainly about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how He can strengthen us through our trials. As we were walking to that lesson at the park, we saw a girl on her phone. We felt prompted to give her a picture of Christ and ask, "when can we come back to talk?" She said, surprisingly, in an hour! So we proceeded to the park. The kids that we prepared that lesson for were not there. But as we went back and had that lesson with that girl, we realized that the lesson that we prepared for the other kids, was in reality made for River! It had exactly everything she needed to hear. She saw us showing up to see her as a sign that God was reaching out to her. We are going back tonight to teach the Restoration.

We also met a guy, Brother Chuck, who is an interesting fellow. He is a funny guy but seems like he wants to change. He said that he would prepare to be baptized in August, so we are excited to try and work toward that with him. The work is going well here. We are finding a lot of people. Heavenly Father is blessing us with people to teach. It has been a struggle to help these people actually progress. But we found a bunch of new investigators this week and are excited about all of them. Things are starting to pick up! One thing that has been helping us is we are making a really concerted effort to treasure up the word throughout the day. We are picking one principle from the lessons, such as God is Our Loving Heavenly Father, and keeping all of our conversation focused on that throughout the day and trying to practice teaching the principle very simply. It has helped both of us a lot. I am having a blast here in Newberg! I am hoping that Elder Oswald and I will stay together to finish his training next transfer! 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Really Good Busy Week!

The week here was really good. Really busy. Tuesday was busy with the departing missionaries going to the temple. Then we had to plan for the next few weeks worth of things to come. It is going to be an extremely busy 3 weeks. Wednesday we were able to take the missionaries to the airport! We also had two missionaries coming in, so we picked them up and took them back to the mission home. That afternoon was a new missionary training for these two missionaries and their trainers. It went well. Then on Thursday we went on exchanges with the Elders in Forest Grove. It has been crazy how busy things have been. But Heavenly Father has truly helped us out in getting done all that we have needed to get done. The craziest part of all of this is that Elder Oswald and Elder Greenwood are with each other just as much, if not more, than with us! So they are pretty much training themselves with the help of the Spirit. They are awesome though! They are doing great and are doing better every day. It is fun to see. 

We had an cool experience this week. Last week, we were in a mobile home park and were leaving it. A lady was at her mailbox in her car. Elder Oswald gave her a picture of Christ through the two inches that were open on her window, and then we all left. This week, when we were on exchange, Elder Smith and I were back in the same complex area to see someone else. As we left the guys house, I saw the same lady! At first the natural man said, "we already tried talking to her, no need to try again." But the Spirit impressed that we needed to talk to her again. So we did. She turned out to be really accepting! We gave her a Book of Mormon and then yesterday we texted her to see if she has had a chance to read it and she read what we invited her to read! She was really cool and we are going to go back and meet with her again on Thursday. 

This upcoming week is going to be a busy one. Elder Bills and I take off for Bend this evening around 6. It will be cool to make that drive over the mountains, just like the days in Madras. And I will be able to drive through Stayton on the way which is cool! So we have Zone Conference in Bend tomorrow, MLC on Thursday, and then a Zone Conference in Forest Grove on Friday. It will be fun. I am truly amazed at President and Sister Tateoka. I don't understand how they have the strength, time, sanity to do what they do! Their calling is so crazy! I'm grateful for the chance to be around them. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Solar Eclipse in Newberg

The eclipse was pretty crazy. We watched it with President. It was fun! Newberg wasn't in full totality. It was at about 99%. But it was still really cool! It got dark for a minute. Here in Newberg it wasn't crazy. Places like Madras and Salem were pretty crazy I'm sure. 

The week was good. It was really fun having all 6 of us here. It was fun spending time with Elder Price! He is fun. It was good being with Elder Woody and Price this week before they go! They were both really focused, so that was good. It's going to start getting extremely busy here this week. Tomorrow we are taking the departing missionaries to the temple. Then on Wednesday we are taking them to the airport and picking up a couple of missionaries coming in. So it'll be a full week and then we are going to start having Zone conferences and stuff here coming up soon. 

We have been doing a lot of finding. A lot of talking to people. We have seen some success. Elder Woody is great at street contacting people and so we have learned a lot from him. Elder Oswald is awesome too. He is very willing to learn for a new missionary. He is so humble! We had a returned missionary speak at church yesterday, so that was good. The Spirit taught me that I need to really focus on learning of the Savior and that's what will bring peace. I know that that is true for all of us. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Busy Week in Newberg

The past week has been insanely busy. But has been really fun. It was great to be able to see the departing missionaries and how far they have all come. To see the contrast between the departing missionaries we take to the airport and the new ones we pick up is pretty funny. It is cool to see how much they have learned and grown. We picked up a ton of new missionaries too. There were 31 of them. Next week, because of school, the September transfer is getting pushed up to go home on the 23rd, so we will have the opportunity to take them home as well. There are 17 of them, and then in September, 28 will come out.

The week has been super busy with a lot of stuff to get done and take care of, but it has also been extremely fun. Currently, There are five of us in the apartment. We have two trainees, elder Oswald and Elder Greenwood. And then Elder Bills and I. And then Elder Woody, who has been an assistant for a few transfers and is going home with the transfer next week! Elder Woody, Oswald, and I are companions and then Elder Bills is with Elder Greenwood. Whenever we have to do stuff for President, Elder Bills and I go off and do it and the rest stay together. It has been a blast though in our little tricompanionship. Elder Woody is awesome. I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve with him, even for just these two weeks. I have learned a ton from him already and will be really sad to see him leave. We are having a really good time talking to everyone and enjoying each other's presence! And Elder Oswald is awesome! He's already a really good missionary and will continue to grow.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Getting Transferred

Hey! So we did get transfer calls on Saturday evening. Elder Patterson is going to be staying here in Salem 1st and I am going to be going over to Newberg. This transfer is going to be pretty crazy. We have 31 missionaries coming in on Wednesday and 28 going home. And then the September transfer, because of schooling reasons, is going home on August 22nd, so we have 16 more missionaries leaving that date. But then in September, we have 28 more coming out. So there is a lot of stuff going on. There are a lot of trainers. Elder Patterson and his new zone leader companion will both be getting trainees, so there will be four missionaries in this ward and all living together. For me, I will be going up to be with Elder Woody and Bills. Elder Woody goes home on the 22nd though. Elder Bills and Woody will both be training and then I will take over training when 
Elder Woody goes home. There is a lot of stuff going on. It is going to be an extremely busy time. This week was super busy. But it was good. We had MLC on Wednesday. That was really good. We learned about the importance of helping the people we are teaching understand the doctrine that will help them have a desire to act. We also talked about the importance of using the scriptures to show the promised blessings that the Lord has given us. It was a good MLC! We also had exchanges with Jan Ree on Tuesday. That was fun. I was with Elder McElreath. He is a new missionary from Georgia. He is a really good missionary! He has been out for six weeks now, but he is awesome. It was fun being with him. (His new companion will actually be Elder Lambert from AZ). Other than that, we had a lot of stuff happen, but today is going to be super busy so I don't have a ton of time to write. Gotta get ready for the move. There is a lot of stuff being talked about with this big eclipse happening on the 21st. People are going to be coming into the state from all over, so we are having to prepare for that as well. Crazyness.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Baptisms went great!

The week here was good. The baptisms went great! Jeff and Audrey were both extremely excited to be able to take that step and be baptized. I was blessed to have the opportunity to baptize Audrey, and confirm Jeff on Sunday. It is amazing to think of how far they came in just a couple of short months. Their example is a great one to me of how the Lord is preparing people to hear the Gospel and how He will guide them to the truth. For Jeff, it all started with a simple prayer and it led to him and his wife both being baptized. The Baptismal service was great! President and Sister Tateoka were both there and our Ward Mission Leader asked  

President if he would like to bear his testimony at the conclusion of the service. That was really cool. It was a really powerful testimony. The Spirit definitely testified to me, as I know it did to everyone in that room, that this is Christ's restored church once again on the earth.

After the baptism on Sunday, we took some pictures with Jeff. He has had this idea in his mind of taking these pictures next to his motorcycle with us in cowboy hats. It was pretty funny! But they turned out awesome. So that was fun! The confirmations on Sunday were very cool as well. Both Jeff and Audrey were feeling the Spirit a ton. They were extremely happy and at total peace with everything, which was really cool to see. 

The rest of the week was good. We met up with a girl named Chantelle that we originally met a couple of weeks ago. It was cool because the Lord's hand was really in the opportunity that we had to talk to her. We originally planned to go over about 3 oclock, but because of some things that happened throughout the day, we decided to go over around 2. It was a blessing because when we got there she told us that she had somewhere to be around 3, so we were able to talk with her for a little bit. She invited us to come back the next couple of days as well, so that was awesome! Overall, it was a good week. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Roller Coaster Week

The week here was another roller coaster. We had some really good moments and some challenging ones as well. We talked to some really hard-hearted people this week, which was a bummer. On Wednesday, we had Zone Conference. That was good, as usual. I really felt renewed by the Spirit there. The biggest takeaway that came to me through the Spirit was that we need to have patience through our afflictions. We talked a lot about finding and about developing the faith to find, so it was good. I think that a lot of missionaries are going to begin to find more people because of the theme of the conference!

Jeff and Audrey are getting closer to their baptism, so we are really excited about that! It was Jeff's birthday on Saturday, so we were able to go over and talk with them. A couple in our ward who was baptized just over a year ago, and who have been great fellowshippers for Jeff and Audrey, got sealed in the temple that day! It has been cool to see them and how far they have progressed in the gospel and it gives us a look at what Jeff and Audrey will be going through in a year! 

We also talked to a man who we met last week. When we talked to him last week he didn't necessarily seem too interested, but when we dropped by his home this week he let us in and we talked for a bit. We are hoping that he will act on the invitation that we left him with so that he can begin to gain a testimony for himself! 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Witnessing the Spirit Working

The week here was good. It went by really quickly. I honestly can't remember a lot that happened! We went on exchanges with the Spanish Elders in Woodburn, so I was up there for the day. That was fun. Jeff and Audrey are doing great and are all set for their baptism on the 29th! We are really excited for that. Just like Nicole in Stayton, they have been being prepared for a while by Heavenly Father. We were just blessed to be able to be the ones that could help them find the Gospel. The day that we met Jeff, my first day in the area about 2 months ago, he was outside working on his motorcycle. He told us this week of the experience that he had in buying the motorcycle. Basically the previous owner had recently passed. Jeff didn't plan on buying another bike, but as he was on the phone with the representative, he had the overwhelming thought and feeling that the previous owner wanted him to have the bike. So he bought it. Three days later he was outside working on it when we met him! We have no doubt that it was the Spirit impressing on his mind to buy the motorcycle so that he would have that opportunity to meet us! That was really cool to hear! 

We talked to a lot people this week. We are working on trying to contact 10 additional people outside of the plans we make each day. It is helping us a lot. We had a cool experience with a man named Doug. He lives in a van on the property of a friend. We knocked on the van and thought we heard something, but nothing happened. Then we knocked again. It didn't look too promising so we started walking to the gate, but the Spirit gave me the thought to look on the other side. It was a little weird, but decided to do it and we were able to find him. Just another small thing, but definitely another witness of the Spirit working! 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Miracles and Tender Mercies

The week here was pretty good. Overall I think a lot of progression was made. Fourth of July was good. We had a ward breakfast combined with the other ward that meets in the building, so that was fun. We had to be in by 6 that night so we didn't see too many fireworks. We saw some outside of our window that some people near our complex were lighting off so that was fun. Wednesday was really good. We had MLC up in Newberg and that went really well. We talked about a lot of different things that we want to implement as a mission. President and Sister Tateoka have been out for just over a year and it is awesome to see how much the mission has changed since their arrival. And how much it continues to change. There is a really clear focus and purpose and everything they do continues to build on itself. The mission as a whole is definitely being set up to see a lot of miracles. 

One of the things that President is encouraging us to do is to make contact with 10 extra people who are not on our plans each day. Making real contact and talking about the gospel with them. It was cool because right after MLC we exchanged with the Silverton elders and Elder Hunziker came to be with me in our ward. One of the things that we focused on that next day was trying to make these 10 additional contacts. It was really cool to see all of the miracles that happened as we went out of our way to try and make that happen. We found a few people that we are going to return and see. And the day was full of a lot more energy too, which was cool. 

We were able to have interviews with President Saturday, which was awesome. He shared a scripture with me and it was really good. It really set the tone for the rest of my day and my weekend. I think the advice he gave me will really help moving forward. We saw a lot of cool tender mercies today as well. We had an awesome lesson with Jeff and Audrey. They are doing so well! They are totally in line to be baptized at the end of the month, which we are extremely excited about. They are going to be a huge addition to the ward. A year from now when they are going through the temple will be so cool. After our lesson with them, we had someone in the area that we wanted to go contact. We felt prompted to walk instead of drive. On our way to their house, we saw a lady behind her trash can watering some flowers. We went up and started talking to her. She wasn't interested at all at first. Her husband peeked his head around the corner and then came up to talk to us. He was much more willing to talk. We had a great conversation with him. Eventually she came back out and was much more willing to listen. They are both part of a very unique religion, so their beliefs weren't totally in line with ours. But it was cool because the Spirit led the conversation to talk about the after-life. Elder Patterson felt prompted to share a scripture in Alma 40:11-12 about what happens after this life. As she read it, she started to cry! It was really cool to see the Spirit testify to her in the moment! That was an awesome experience and it really shows the Hand of the Lord in the work. He prompted us to walk. We were able to see her at the perfect time as she was outside. The husband came out at the perfect time when the wife was sort of done in the first place. The Spirit prompted Elder Patterson to share that scripture. It is just so cool to see all of the intricacies that the Lord helps to direct in His work. 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Another Great Trip to the Temple

Things here this week were good! The week was kind of a blur though. I don't really know where it went. We had a few cool experiences this week. On Friday, we were able to go up to the Visitor's Center at the temple again. This time it was with Kyle and Aerial. We have been teaching them and they are doing good. They really enjoyed the temple trip and felt the Spirit there. The temple is an awesome place to be able to put life into perspective and help us regain an idea of what really matters most. It helped me a lot on Friday for sure! One of the coolest takeaways that I had from that trip though was the Christlike service of Brother Garrett, who drove us. He is great. He took the time to go out of his way to drive us the 45 minutes up there, spend and hour there and then drive us back. We hit a ton of traffic on the way back and it took about an hour and a half, but he never complained or murmured. It is cool to see people who are dedicated to the gospel and are willing to help others receive the gospel into their lives.

There is a Christus statue at the Portland Visitors Center and one of my favorite parts is when He says, "Walk in the meekness of my Spirit." When we do that, we allow His peace to enter our lives. His power comes as we are obedient and acknowledging it. It is definitely always important to do your best to act like Him and try and follow in His ways. One way is by being joyful. Sometimes I get so caught up in myself that I forget to just take a moment to pause and think about how we are here to have joy and if we are doing our best then that is all that matters. It is really amazing to me to see the different challenges that you face in different areas. Some are with missionary stuff, some are with ward stuff, and some are just within yourself. The adversary really will try and attack us in whatever way he can to try and get us down, so we need to remember to be happy and choose Christ. I came across a cool scripture this week about that. It is in Doctrine and Covenants 93:37 and is very simple. It says, "Light and truth forsake that evil one." I really like that! Christ is the light of the world, He is truth. When we are down, we need to look to Him and remember to put light into our lives because it will forsake that evil one. 
We also had a cool experience this week with Jeff and Audrey. Their family was in town, so we dropped by to meet them and talk with them, so that was fun. As we were heading out, Jeff basically started bearing his testimony to his son about everything that he has felt since he started looking into the gospel. It was really powerful and an awesome thing to see! Oh,  and Audrey made us Jalapeno jam. It isn't hot, just sweet, but definitely has the jalapeno flavor. It's good! 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Awesome Trip to the Portland Temple

The week here was good. It was extremely busy! We had two exchanges. On Tuesday we went with Elder Christensen and Elder Evans. I was with Elder Christensen for the first time since our exchanges in Madras when he was my Zone leader out there! It was a fun day. We had some crazy experiences. But overall it was a really good day. I got to do a baptismal Interview that day as well for a 19 year old guy named Remington and that was really cool! He had a really strong testimony so that was awesome to be able to see. The other exchange that we went on was with the Assistants on Friday. I went up to Newberg to be with Elder Woody. It was a really good time. He is a really good missionary and I definitely learned a lot from him. It was a day I won't forget! Definitely helped me out in a lot of ways, so I was super appreciative to be able to go on that exchange.

Saturday was a really busy day as well. We had a temple visit with Jeff and Audrey! Brother and Sister Angell, who were baptized just over a year ago, took us up there. It was a very good temple trip. The Spirit was extremely strong there. I was grateful to be able to be on temple grounds for a couple of hours. It was an awesome experience for Jeff and Audrey as well. They really really enjoyed it and are steadily progressing towards baptism sometime next month. Saturday evening we got transfer calls. Elder Patterson and I are both staying here, which we expected. We think we are going to be here a while. There are about 15 missionaries going home this transfer, and then another 40+ in August, so next transfer is going to be a crazy one! There are a lot of missionaries coming in as well. Like 30. We are hoping that we might be able to train next transfer and split the area, but we will see! 

Today I was studying about the Book of Mormon and what happens when we prayerfully study it.
Here's my notes of the 
Promised blessings that come from prayerful study of the Book of Mormon:
  1. The Spirit of the Lord will come into your hearts - Pres. Hinckley
  2. Strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to God's commandments - Pres. Hinckley
  3. Stronger testimony of the Living Reality of the Son of God - Pres. Hinckley
  4. Be in a position to hear the voice of the Spirit - Pres. Monson
  5. Be in a position to resist temptation - Pres. Monson
  6. Be in a position to overcome doubt and fear - Pres. Monson
  7. Be in a position to receive heavens help in our lives - Pres. Monson

Monday, June 19, 2017

Motivated to Proclaim the Truth

Dr. Bean, he is the one I saw Friday and is a member, said that I actually did have shingles. He was really surprised that the doctor didn't originally prescribe me medicine and was surprised that the dosage they gave me was the way it was. So he upped my dosage and said I should be all better soon. I have definitely been blessed because the shingles really hasn't hampered me at all besides that one day. I am definitely doing better. I have really been supported in this trial, it is really cool to think about when I take a step back and think about how the Lord has blessed me with strength and an ability to press forward during the sickness that I have faced. I am definitely blessed. 

Things are going well over here. It is always hard on Monday to remember what happened throughout the week. I need to start bringing my journal or something to give me a reminder. We were on exchanges on Tuesday and I was serving in the Spanish ward for the day, so that was fun. It was good to be able to eat some good Mexican food because there is not a lot of that stuff up here! It is a rare commodity. 

On Thursday we had interviews with President. Those are always good. It has been really cool to watch the way that President is finding his groove per se. He has a vision for the mission and that vision has started to filter it's way down to all the missionaries and it has been cool to see the miracles that are ensuing and the way that the mission is changing in a great way. From talking with him, it sort of sounded like I will be here for a while. We have transfer calls Saturday, so we will find out if anything happens. We don't think anything will. 

We also had a really good lesson with Jeff and Audrey. They are both doing really good! It is amazing how prepared they were to receive the Gospel. Every time we talk to them we get excited because of how excited they are. It is something that I want to try and capture and take with me every day because it is pretty motivating. They are still on track to be baptized and this weekend we are actually going to go up to the Visitor's Center with them, so we are excited for that!

The biggest lesson that I learned this week came yesterday. We were talking to Kyle, one of our friends that we are teaching, at the gas station that he works at. He is a gas attendant and fills the cars with gas. He had some really cool questions about the Plan of Salvation, specifically the adversary and his followers. It was very interesting, because every time we started to get a good conversation going, another car would pull up to stop it. We knew that that was the opposition trying to stop him from being able to learn. Then once we finally had a few minutes free and had a really good conversation going, one of his supervisors pulled up and told us that we had to leave and couldn't hang out by the pumps anymore because Kyle had to work. We have been teaching and talking with Kyle at the pumps for over a month and nothing had been said until that point. And there were no cars around either so we weren't keeping him from doing anything! But we know that that was inspired of the adversary to keep Kyle from learning and growing closer to Christ. That was probably the most blatant I have seen the adversary work to try and stop someone from learning on my entire mission. It was really annoying! But motivating at the same time to realize that the adversary doesn't want anyone to find happiness, but we have the opportunity to proclaim the truth and help others find it. 

Other than that, things are going well. This week should be interesting. It is going to fly. We have exchanges tomorrow with the Jan Ree elders. It'll be fun, I will be on exchange with Elder Christensen for the first time since Madras so that'll be sweet. Then on Friday we have exchanges with the Assistants. On Saturday we have the temple trip with Jeff and Audrey and also have transfer calls. Crazy busy week.