Thursday, April 17, 2014

Baptism coming up, conference recap and helping out with Special Olympics

Weekly Email - April 14, 2014

Love that Elder!!

Hope you guys are doing well! Looks like the trip was Vogel was a lot of fun. Those were some fun trips there playing in the river. Glad you guys were able to bring Solo, I'm sure he was happy as ever fishing. Too bad you couldn't catch anything. Thanks for the video you sent Ali, I sure loved playing baseball with him. This week was great. C--- is good to go for Saturday for his baptism, he will have his interview on Wednesday. He is really strong and committed and the ward's youth have really been great supporting him. He is really excited to be baptized. We attended the new Highland Ward on Sunday. Trying our best to get to know as much of the new members as we can. We got a new Elders Quorum President, new YM President, YW President, Sunday School President, and going to have new ward missionaries. So it's kept us really busy meeting them and helping them out however we can. We missed Monterey Ward's Sacrament because they now both start at 10am. I heard from bishop Sunday evening that E--- came to the ward and bore his testimony, sad I missed that. On transfers they should fix that. On Saturday the mission helped out at the Special Olympics which was really cool.
Special Olympics
Most of the mission was there so I got to see Elder Macfarlane and Elder Davis, which was nice. It was their track and field competition so there was no softball like I helped Albert out with but we got the athletes water and set up and took down equipment and cheered them on, it was pretty neat. We had some good lessons this week. Met with C-----, hopefully will be going to the Easter Pageant this week with him and his wife. Found two new investigators, P--- and B-----. They are close neighbors of Brother Gaytan. We met them a couple weeks ago doing service for them and we gave them a Book of Mormon, then we caught them outside again and they invited us in for a lesson. They are older (75 maybe) B----- has read quite a bit of the Book of Mormon a while ago and P--- has started to read it. We are pretty excited for them. Brother Gaytan took us out to lunch on Friday
 to a sushi place, man it was good, didn't know I was a fan of sushi but it was pretty tasty. He is really busy with his work as a police officer but he is a great ward mission leader, always goes out with us when he can and does what he can to get the ward missionary minded. Went on exchanges twice this week, both times with Elder Ramon, one time in our area and one time in his area. He is a great missionary, really good teacher. I learned a lot from him. Going to get a voice recorder/mp3 player (that's popular with missionaries) today with some money I saved, will make keeping track of what happens a lot easier. Anyways, I'll get the letters in the mail to you guys today, it's hard to remember everything emailing.
Love you guys!!!!
Christ lives! I know it.

Elder Mountain

Elder Mountain & Jewkes enjoying a delicious meal thanks to Brother Gaytan!

Weekly Email - April 7, 2014

Hey guys! Hope you guys are doing well. Vogel is sure going to be fun, that will be a blast with Solo. This week was great. Conference was amazing, it was all great there are some talks that really stuck out. Priesthood session was my favorite, it was really neat all of the first presidency spoke. I really liked Elder Ballard's talk on Sunday about following up and about missionary work, he is all of the missionaries favorite because you can count on him talking about sharing the gospel. It was really neat to hear from Elder Aidukaitis. He actually spoke to the Tempe Mission not too long before the mission split. His son served here in the Tempe Mission and about a month ago while we were knocking doors a guy came up to us who was painting a house and told us he was a convert and Elder Aidukaitis' son taught and baptized him. He told his story about how he struggled keeping employment and had a bad drinking problem and now that he has the gospel he has started a business and can provide for his family, it was really neat. Pres Utchdorf's story about him about to take off in the air force one jet in priesthood session was really funny. It seemed they talked a lot about service this conference, and building your foundation on Christ. Helaman 5:12 was quoted or referenced 3 or 4 times, which I thought was interesting. ( "And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall" Helaman 5:12) Our foundations have to be sure, small things like prayer and scripture study build it, we cannot neglect those small choices or something hard will pop up and it will be too late. We watched all the sessions but one at the Stake Center. Because of Highland boundaries changing we gained an investigator who was being taught by the sisters in the area that became part of Highland. His name is C---, 17 years old, and is scheduled to be baptized on the 19th. He has a really neat story, he has been taking the lessons since January, when his friend from school invited him to take the lessons. He knows all of the youth in the area really well because they play basketball together all of the time. So he started taking the lessons and his parents weren't happy about it at all. He told them he wanted to be baptized and they said he had to investigate 2 other churches before he can be baptized. So he went to a non denominational church and some other one for a bit and he said it strengthened his testimony even more to see the difference. We are just getting to know him, we saw him a couple times this week. We watched the 2nd session on Sunday with him at a members home. The new part of the ward has been really awesome to us already. They haven't had elders in a long time so they are excited about that. We met the man who portrays/plays Jesus and the apostle Paul in the Mesa Easter Pageant (a pageant put on by the church each Easter, approx. 150,000 people watch it each year!), they are actually next door neighbors in that new part of the ward. This evening we are going with the Highland Relief Society President and some other members in the old part of Highland and going to deliver cookies to all of the new members, so it will be a great chance to meet everyone. Got the chance to see E--- between sessions at the Murphy's. It was great to see him, it had been a while. He is going super strong, he teaches the Gospel Essentials class and is a ward missionary. He has had some trials, namely going through a divorce since he was baptized, but man he is strong. T---- is doing good wasn't able to make it to conference though. T--- is also doing good, super busy with work and school. He got a new truck that I like this week a '92 F150. He sold his little Toyota he had within 2 hours of putting it up on craigslist. Anyways, his 18 year old step daughter who isn't a member was in town from Utah this week with her boyfriend. They were pretty nice, we were able to have a pretty good lesson with them. Thanks so much for the letter Rae sent and the package, that always makes the day to get mail. The garden looks great. It's getting hot here already, supposed to be 97 by Wednesday. Oh, it was also neat to hear from Elder Walker at conference., he is the seventy over Arizona, I'm pretty sure and was here for the temple dedication. 
Hope you guys have fun on your trip send some pictures! Love you guys!!!

Elder Mountain

Friday, April 4, 2014

Ward split, investigator on date, typewriter and VISA cray-cray!

Weekly Update - March 31, 2014

A cool picture of a favorite scripture!

Man what a crazy week. Good to hear from you guys and glad you all are well. So yesterday when we came to church the Stake Presidency was in our Highland Ward Sacrament meeting and the ward was expecting our Bishop to be released. He has been in there about 6 years and since I have gotten here everyone says his time has to be about up, haha. The Stake President gets up to conduct 'stake business', releases our Bishop which wasn't too much of a surprise, and then announces that the ward is going to be split! No one expected it at all. He announced their would be a "re-alignment" meeting later in the evening and that they would call the new Bishop there. So for a couple of hours we had no Bishop, haha. The split involved 4 wards that turned into 5, there was a whole lot of re-aligning. And 4 of those 5 wards have new Bishops. The Highland Ward basically got cut in half and we found out we will only be covering the southern half. They also included a small section of a neighborhood across the street so we will have quite a few new members to get to know. Our new Bishop actually lives in that part so when he was called we weren't sure who he was. Every member in the ward got released from their callings, so the leadership is going to change quite a bit I can imagine. Out of the ward council our half of the ward only has our Relief Society President and High-priest leader. It means that we loose our investigators F---- and J---, which is hard but it's all because of growth, which is good to see. This week was a great week for us teaching wise. We finally got an investigator on date. Our investigator T---, who we found not too long ago from tracting, is progressing really well. He has read a ton of the Book of Mormon and really likes it. He graduated this year and had a ton of free time now because he isn't in school and I don't think he has a job either. We were able to see him three times this week. He committed to be baptized on April 26th. We had a cool experience this week when a member who lives down in Florence called us up and said he is giving his nonmember friend a blessing, who lives in our area, and asked if we would like to help with the blessing. When we showed up I remembered that we tracted that door and they they were an older couple who said they were baptist and politely said no thanks. So I was super interested how they would react to seeing us again. We found out they were going through quite a hard time because some of their kids/grandkids have made some wrong choices. The member explained what a blessing is and we explained just a little about the priesthood and we gave both of them a blessing and we ended up talking to them for a good while and getting to know them and they invited us back later. We should see them in the next day or so again. It's amazing what a member friend can do. Blessings have been some of the neatest experiences on my mission. They are always very powerful and it's crazy to see how the spirit works. Found out we are going to be able to go to the Gilbert Temple which was exciting. Can't wait to do a session there. I'm sure I'm forgetting stuff but I'll mail those letters to you today. Love you guys!!!! Have a great week.

Elder Mountain

VISA cray-cray!!! Yes, Elder Mountain was actually called to the Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Mission. I check the Brazil consulate website every day to see if there is a change in his VISA application status. Last Friday was what I have entitled, "VISA cray-cray Day" ;) There are actually 3 application with corresponding numbers under his name, due to having to renew the application every so often. For 8 months there has been 1 red dot for each application, meaning 'received' or 'sent'. On Friday I checked and 1 application had 2 red dots, meaning they were beginning to process the VISA!!!! Yay!!!! Next check an hour later and ALL 4 dots were red!!!! Which means ready for delivery!!! (note above picture) Then, before my eyes, the entire application and dots disappeared!! It now shows only 2 applications under his name and they each have :( I called Salt Lake to try and get some answers, they had none, but they said we can know for sure someone is actually working on his VISA but the website is not reliable :/ So, we shall see but it made for an exciting day for me! Thankfully he LOVES Gilbert and is completely content there <3

Back in December, Nate was given a typewriter by another missionary that had completed his mission and was going home. When Nate was 4-5 years old he wanted a typewriter so bad! We finally found him one but it didn't work so he just pretended with it and eventually took it apart (he loved taking electronics apart at that age too). So to say the least, he is thoroughly enjoying the typewriter!! He types his journal entries on it every night and mails them to us weekly, which is super fun to read!!! I'm sure he'll be known as "Elder Typewriter" to his companions and roommates ;)