Don't worry, I'm alive!! I'm sure that most of you heard about the storm and were pretty worried. There was a ton of hype and people made a really big deal out of the whole thing. As it turned out, the storm missed my area by quite a distance. It ended up coming through to the east of where I am, and we only got probably two or three inches. I'm glad that we were prepared, though, and I'm grateful that we have President Morgan and Sister Morgan to watch after us. If conditions would have gotten too bad we would have been well prepared. The funny thing about it was that they were expecting a foot and a half to two feet in my area. That's a lot of snow, but I feel like we've had snow like that in Utah, and people don't freak out like they did here. New York City kind of shut down from what I've heard. A lot of the subway lines weren't even running. New York schools are kind of ridiculous too. They use any excuse they can to call it a snow day. Days that we wouldn't even question going in Utah they just shut down here. Other than the storm there hasn't been too much exciting news from this past week. We're looking forward to Joe's baptism on Saturday! He is so awesome. It's really cool to be teaching someone that's my age. I think he and I will be good friends for a long time. I secretly hope he ends up moving to Utah somehow. I do have one funny story from the week. I told you before that my area is kind of an interesting one, because we cover all of the Spanish and English work in the ward. The other night we went out to teach a lesson, and we had our ward mission leader with us. He doesn't really speak much English, and the lesson we were teaching was in Spanish. On the drive down I was practicing some of the Spanish phrases that I was memorizing to use in the lesson. Hermano Zhunio noticed that I was trying to learn, and he and Elder Wagner were talking about it a little bit. He started talking to me and told me "Espanol es facil Elder". To which I replied, "Gracias, Hermano." I thought that he was complimenting my Spanish and telling me that I was learning well. Turns out what he said was "Spanish is easy Elder". And I said, "Thanks, Brother". Haha! I'm trying to learn a little bit, but I'm really not very good at Spanish. It was really funny! Anyway, that's pretty much it this week. I hope you're all doing well. I love you!!
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Mom is SO jealous that Ty got to see the Yankees bike and Jorge's jersey
At the gorgeous OCC showroom. One of his top 3 best Pdays ever!
Life is great! The work is going really well here in Poughkeepsie. Our investigators have been progressing pretty well, but we're running into some concerns with some of them that are difficult to meet. One of our investigators told us a few weeks ago that he wants to be baptized, so we've been working with him to get him there. He has some pretty big concerns to work through before he can be baptized, though. We actually had a pretty frustrating lesson with Brother Smith yesterday. I love him with all my heart, but he is a very stubborn man. He has this whole theory about Joseph Smith and the Word of Wisdom. I won't go into the details, but it's super untrue and pretty disturbing. It's been a roller coaster with him, because he's so sincere about knowing that the Book of Mormon is true and that ours is the only church with the fullness of the truth. He even admits that he knows Joseph Smith was a prophet of God but tells us about how he thinks he was a really bad person. It hurts to hear that kind of thing about our beloved prophet, who I respect so much for his leadership and his character. Anyway yesterday was just more of the same disagreement on the Word of Wisdom and whether or not outlawing coffee was revelation from God. I walked away feeling very discouraged and a little angry. I didn't show it while we were with Brother Smith, but I sure did vent my frustrations to Elder Wagner in the car. I couldn't really think straight, and Elder Wagner couldn't either. So we decided that we should just pray. I prayed that we would be able to think clearly. That we would be able to put aside our frustrations with Brother Smith for the time being and just focus on the people we would be contacting and teaching for the rest of the night. I'm so grateful that I did! About an hour later we had a lesson with Joe. I haven't seen Joe for about a month. He's been visiting his family in Washington and his girlfriend, Jordynn's family, in Utah for Christmas break. We tried to set up Skype lessons with him, but it never really worked out. It was great to see him again. He looked really happy. When he and Jordynn walked into the room and sat down, I noticed that he had a brand new quad with his name engraved on it and a new CTR ring. It turns out his visit to Utah was awesome, and he spent the eighty bucks or whatever it costs these days to get himself a nice set of scriptures. He told us that his family still isn't completely on board with his decision to join the Church but he knows that he needs to do it. He told us that he's ready to be baptized! We were able to set a date for his baptism on the 31st of January, next Saturday. I just felt so incredible after the lesson with Joe. He's such a good guy. I know that the way the lesson turned out was an answer to the prayer I described from earlier in the day. If I had still been thinking about Brother Smith and still frustrated, I don't know if the lesson with Joe would have turned out so well. There is no doubt in my mind that the Lord is fully aware of each one of us. Doing the Lord's work is more and more amazing all the time. I'm grateful that I still have a good amount of time to have these kinds of missionary experiences. There is still so much ahead of me in the next seven months! Well that's the big thing from this week. Other than that everything is great! It's pretty cold here, but I think January will be the worst month. It will start warming up before we even know it. Thank you all for everything you do. Remember that God loves you and that He answers your prayers. I love you all so much. Have a wonderful week.!!
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
The New $13 Suit:)
I LOVE Poughkeepsie! Everything about this place is just awesome. The work is going super well. The Ward is incredible. Super supportive. I was really impressed and grateful on Sunday morning in Ward Council. The Ward leadership is just so willing and capable of helping us in our missionary efforts. We definitely have the trust of the members here, which is always a hug blessing. Our investigators are amazing, and a few of them are really close to baptism. Also, Elder Wagner and I are getting along super well. We flew out in the same group, so we've both had quite a bit of mission experience. He's in the Spanish speaking program, which means he spent six weeks in the MTC compared to my two weeks. So he'll go home a cycle before I do. We're on the same page on everything that we are doing here, and I am just loving it. We have been really focusing on just being diligent and obedient. It's incredible the way the Lord blesses you if you will just do things His way. He knows a lot better than we do. I can't believe that I've already been here for almost two months. Time is already flying, and it kind of scares me. I can tell that my time in Poughkeepsie will just feel like a dream. I'll just enjoy every minute of it while it lasts. Random news. I found out what the new mission president's name will be. President Smith! He's currently a Bishop in Texas, and I'm sure he and his wife are nervously preparing for their calling to serve here. President Morgan goes home in June, so I'll serve under President Smith for my last six weeks. That time is fast approaching. Crazy! Another random thing. I have two suits, and both of them wore out on me this week. Just old and both got holes in the pants this week. I tried to save them, but my efforts were fruitless. So this morning I went to Goodwill to see if they might have one for me. I walked out with a perfectly fitted suit for 13 dollars. Pants and jacket. Perfect condition. I call that a tender mercy of the Lord! I also feel like I may need to repent, because I almost feel like I stole it haha. Anyway, we're on our way down to the temple right now. The Ward mission leader from the other Poughkeepsie Ward offered to drive us down to the city. I haven't been for a few months, so it will be nice to be back to the temple. We're so blessed to have a temple so close in our mission. There are missionaries who go to the temple before they leave home and don't see a temple until they come back. Overall, I just feel very blessed and very lucky to be serving in the place that I am serving. Wouldn't trade this for the world! Have a great week everyone. I love you!!
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Hello family! A lot of change this week! Elder Romo went home on Friday, which was pretty sad. He was a really good companion. I felt like our five weeks together was way too short. I learned a lot from him though, and I'm grateful for the time that we had to serve together. For the past few days I have been working in a trio with Elder Burton and Elder L'Esperance, the other elders that are assigned to the Poughkeepsie 2nd Ward. I think I might have told you all of that last week, but I couldn't remember. Anyway, here's something new. My new companion will be Elder Wagner! He actually came out in the same cycle that I did. I saw him in the mission home the first night, and I don't remember seeing him much ever since then. We haven't served around each other at all. I may have seen him at the Christmas Devotionals or something, but that's pretty much the only time we would have been in the same place at the same time. Anyway, the point is I don't really know him. I'm excited to get to know him and work with him! I've heard really good things about him. He got called to the Spanish speaking program, which is good. We really need it here. Since Elder Romo left we haven't been able to visit any of our Spanish people. So it will be good to be able to go visit them again. Elder Romo also had a big responsibility in the ward. None of the members know Spanish and English well enough to translate for the Spanish members. All of the meetings are in English, and there is a small handful of members who don't speak English at all. So Elder Romo has been the translator for the ward. Not having him there on Sunday made it kind of tough. So it will be really good to have Elder Wagner here! Anyway, transfer day is always crazy! So I will send you a longer email next week to update you on how our investigators are doing and everything. I"m doing well! Loving Poughkeepsie! I hope that I stay here for a while. I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week!
Thursday, January 1, 2015
Happy New Year!
It's officially 2015, the year I come home! I can't even believe it. I have no clue where the time has gone. When I think about the end of my mission, my emotions are all over the place. I'm so excited to be home with all of you again. But it makes me sad to think that this amazing experience will come to an end. So I try my hardest just to not think about it! Not the easiest thing to do haha. So much happened in 2014. It was an amazing year. I don't know how I'll top it this year. I'm off to a good start though. I am absolutely loving my area and the people we're teaching. Quick update on our investigators. Joe Starnes is doing really well. He's home in DC for the Christmas break, and we were able to have a Skype lesson with him the other day. He told us that he knows he wants to be baptized. He's having a tough time right now though, because his family isn't very supportive. They think that he's just getting baptized for his girlfriend. He's really genuine though. He told us the other day that he wants to do this for himself and that even if they didn't stay together he knows he would still want to keep coming to church. He's always really good to read his scriptures and to pray, and he really wants to do the right thing. Super cool guy. I'm excited about him. Duff Smith is doing well. He told us this week that he wants to be baptized too. He hasn't set a date yet, because he wants to tell his family first. I really like Duff. Most of our visits begin with me and him and talking about football for about 15 minutes. I love being able to connect with people that way. He said that he's going to be rebuilding some of his barns in the spring. I'm hoping I will still be here so that I can help him. I miss working with my hands. Our other main investigators are Gloria and Erica. Erica just moved down to Queens this last week. So we're Skyping with her right now and trying to set her up with the missionaries down there. Gloria is also moving soon but she'll probably stay here in Poughkeepsie. So we'll be able to continue working with her. The work is going really well. And we're blessed with a lot of great people to work with.The big news from this week is that Elder Romo is leaving today. We'll be dropping him off at the mission home this afternoon, and he will fly back to Utah tomorrow morning. Our time together was super short. I'm grateful that he was my companion. I learned a lot from him in just a few weeks, and I'm sad that he's leaving. He's a good dude, and I will miss him. I'm excited for him, though. He starts school at BYU on Monday. Pretty crazy! I won't get a new companion yet. So I will spend the next few days with the other missionaries in the ward, Elder Burton and Elder L'Esperance. I will find out on Saturday who my new companion will be. Then transfers are on Wednesday and he will come to Poughkeepsie. I can't believe the cycle is already almost over. I think I say it every time, but this was the fastest cycle yet. Only five more to go after this one. They will go by way too fast I think. Things are going really well. I love it here. I hope that I get to stay for a while. It was good to see all of you on Christmas for Skype. Looking forward to Mothers' Day! I hope you all have a happy new year and that this year is even better than the last. I love you. I miss you. I hope you have an awesome week. Thanks for all that you do to support me!