Thursday, March 31, 2016

"Easter Was Awesome!"

Dear family!,

This week was so great!!  First things first, my new companion is Elder Nelson and he is awesome! He is so hard working and diligent. He has been out for 16 months and is teaching me so much. The best thing that I am learning so far is how to plan super effectively. I thought I knew how to plan before, but my eyes have been opened to better. He is from Washington and is 27 years old! I thought I wouldn't get an older companion than Elder Berry but I guess not.

"Ellllderrrrrr Nelsonnnnnn (I finally don't feel
like a midget)
Easter was awesome! We had some great sacrament meetings. The musical numbers in the Wilford YSA ward were like professional... It was awesome. We got invited to hear Brad Wilcox speak at this branch for women in a Halfway House. It was super humbling to see and he was an amazing speaker. We were trying to get our investigator to come, but sadly he got sick. That after noon we ate with an amazing family in our area! It was their Easter family dinner. Wasn't like a Murnan Easter dinner because there weren't a ton of young little kids running everywhere - everyone was YSA, young couple, or like grandparents. We had an Easter egg hunt after though and it got pretty intense. I got second by like 4 eggs. After that, we went to another dinner at President Hinkley's daughter's house. It was the house that he built and his daughter grew up in! It was funny hearing her husband talk about how it was kind of intimidating being the Prophet’s son-in-law. He told about renovating that house (enclosing the porch) and President Hinkley coming over frequently to make sure he was doing it right.  Our investigator came to that dinner! They invited a few people. After the dinner, we finished up the night with a trip to temple square. We went on the roof of the conference center and it was beautiful. Our investigator loved it! He should be getting baptized on the ninth and he is already talking about wanting to serve a mission.

I got called on the spot to give a talk on the Holy Ghost at a baptism of a sister we were teaching when I was in Murray.  The husband was really less active and she was a non-member.  We worked with the husband and got really close.  He turned his life around and made it to church every Sunday.  I got a call from the Elders still serving there saying that she was getting baptized and that he was baptizing her!  It was so amazing.

Other miracles this week!
March 24, 2016 9:58 PM Thursday
"This is Williamson!  He is from Hati and speaks like five languages.
When he meets people he says, ""I am Williamson. Best black people
ever.""  He taught me some Hatian."
Yesterday we met with this less active girl. We have met with her every week for quite a while and she is making a lot of progress! We had been working with her a lot lately to encourage her to talk to her bishop so that she could take the sacrament and get a temple recommend and stuff. She kept telling us that she felt a sick feeling about it every time she had a text message typed up to the ward clerk. She said there were things she was needing to fix first. We kept encouraging her week after week but nothing was happening. It also didn't help that a bishop that she knew from work told her that "if she does not feel ready, then she is not, and she shouldn't go." (DINGUS) I studied a lot on that in preparation and NO WHERE does a general authority say that. They say things like, "do it now" or "don't wait just do it" or "don't procrastinate the day of your repentance."  We shared some of these things with her during the lesson, which was only about 25 minutes, and closed with a prayer. It was very plain that there was something else that we needed to talk about. She gave the prayer and started almost crying during it. We asked her what was wrong and if she was ok and she finally opened up to us. She had been going through a lot. Work had been awful lately, she had been going through other things as well that were miserable. She was really having a hard time. We testified to her again that Christ had felt her pain and had gone what she is going though. But then I told her that she needed to let him help her. I told her that in a time like this, she needs the blessings of the sacrament, she needs the blessings of the temple. I said Christ paid for those blessings for her and she can have them. I said "don't deny yourself these blessings." We then committed her to text her bishop’s clerk and set up an appointment and she said she would but I asked her to do it right then. I knew that was the only way it was going to happen. When we are alone it is much harder. As soon as she committed to that decision, as soon as she was clicking the button, a call came in. It was a job interview that she had gotten that was calling her in for an interview. She got off the phone and said, "that right there was an answer to a ton of prayers." We talked about it in amazement because as soon as she made that decision to exercise her faith, God blessed her. I know that it is a true principal that God wants us to step towards him. I know that neither our Heavenly Father nor any of his servants will ever tell us to wait, tell us we are not ready or to procrastinate. He wants us to repent and come unto him NOW. I know that after the trial of our faith, God has a bright future for us that is only found through his Only Begotten Son.

Monday's hike
So our investigator (we'll call him Don) kinda dropped us and so we stopped going by and seeing him often a few weeks ago. He said that he felt really good about his parents church and was going to start going to church with them down in Ogden and that he didn't want to get baptized. I was happy to see all of his improvement over the past months, going from not believing in God to praying for everything and wanting to go to a church.  Also, I was pretty sad because I was so sure that he was gonna make it all the way and get baptized and even maybe serve a mission! When Elder Pau'u found out he was leaving, he posted a picture and a status on Facebook telling everyone that he was leaving. After not hearing from him for a while, Don called us to say goodbye. He ended up having some time that night and we just had an appointment fall through so we decided to go down to temple square. When we were there he shared with us that he hasn't been praying and reading and said that he felt a huge difference the past few weeks with us not coming. He felt this peace while we were there at Temple Square and while we were standing in front of the statue of Christ he said he wanted to be baptized. We planned on seeing him the next day at the Monday FHE activity. He came and we were making stuff out of play dough. That was the activity... But anyway! It was fun and we left a little early to go to a lesson. Don texted us later that night and said "I am getting baptized April 3." A kid in the ward that has gotten to know Don pretty well gave him a ride home and they had talked about it and he made a decision. He told us on the phone that it just hit him like a train - that this is were he belongs. He said that he got the answer to his prayers and he wants to be baptized. We are going to have the baptism April 9 because General Conference is the third. We have been going to Temple Square a lot lately with him and he has been talking about wanting to serve a mission!  He is only 19 and a mission would be AWESOME for him. I know that if we wouldn't have made the difficult decision to stop going by to see him, he wouldn't have been able to feel that difference. I know that the Lord prepares a way for all of his children to make it back to him if they honestly seek truth and come to him. I know that there is always hope when it seems like there is none.

We had this awesome kid staying with us for a few days this week living the missionary life and serving a mini mission. He was with us last night when we went by someone's house that her mother had just passed away like a few days ago. We sat and talked to her and he had an opportunity to testify! He did an awesome job and shared that God loves us so much and that he knows that it is hard when we loose someone we love, but we know we will see them again. After we left her house, we were driving to the next person that we wanted to visit and I said something to him and looked in the backseat and he had his face in his hands and said that he didn't want to talk. Once we got home we had a prayer and asked him what was going on and he shared a story of a huge trial of his friend passing away when he was ten and he and his other friend being blamed by kids at school and rumors being spread for what happened. He said that they had changed schools to get away from all that, but eventually it got there too and at the end of their junior year they had had enough and from his suggestion, they both did a foreign exchange. He came here and his friend went to England to get away from all that and start fresh. He found out a few months ago that his other friend in England died in a car crash. In the lesson, he said that the spirit was so strong and that he knew that God loved him. He said that the spirit testified that he would see his friends again. He got a letter from this friend after he had died that the friend had sent before the car wreck. It had said that he was meeting with missionaries and wanting to get baptized. I know that God is in charge of our lives and that He puts us in the right place and the right time when we are trying to do His will. I know that He loves us and the sting of death can be swallowed up in the atonement of Jesus Christ.

Tell Josh Bird that I love him so much and that his letter made my week and I will email him back next week.  I have read his email like a hundred times and I am so stoked for him!  Pray he gets called to this mission!!!

"Javi likes selfies."

                   "Elder Schafers in the trashcan"

                             "Monday's hike"

                        "On top of a mountain"

Monday, March 21, 2016

"Steel I Beam of Support Under Your Testimony"

Elders Moe, Bailey and Manning
Dear Family,

Sup dudes. Today is crazy. So is tomorrow. Transfers are today and tomorrow and I am stoked to see who my new companion is. 

Dad, I gave the shirts to sister Eberhardt and she loved them and loved that it said “obedience” on the back because that is all she has been training on lately. We are going to go on a short hike today at that same place as last Monday and I will take some sweet pictures. 

I’m going to watch the videos of Preston's wisdom teeth recovery like a thousand times. Preston you must be a ninny goat if the drugs lasted that long! You were loopy forever! But for real, even though you were on drugs when you said it, I love and miss you a ton as well.

This letter is all over the place. Hopefully by the time I am 23 months out I will have it figured out and can send 4 quality letters for my last month. 

I needed to share a miracle that happened a little bit ago: 
Elder Pau'u and I were at a family's house teaching a lesson. They are active members, but the father was worried about his second oldest son who wasn't sure he wanted to serve a mission. Elder Fanfa and Pau'u taught a lesson before I came to the area, so this was the second lesson we were going to share. We asked the father what he wanted us to teach and he texted us and said to teach whatever we thought would be good. So we taught about faith, shared a video and committed them to read Alma 32. After the lesson, the Dad was tearing up and then proceeded to tell us this - When he had texted us back on what he wanted us to teach, he typed up "what about a lesson on faith and then commit us to read Alma 32 because we need to get back into scripture reading as a family." He then deleted all of that and sent, "whatever you guys think will be good." That was one of those moments that puts a steel I beam of support under your testimony. 

I have been studying three really good talks lately that you especially should read Dad for your calling if you haven't already. But I think they are great talks for anyone who wants to be a missionary. 
1) The Fourth Missionary
2) Becoming A Consecrated Missionary
3) The Divine Companionship
I don't know how to find any of them. They were included in my new missionary stuff.

We have had a few cool miracles this week! The first one was our new ward mission leader in the Holladay ward. He is a STUD! You can tell he was a “fourth missionary” (read the talk it will make sense) because he was truly changed by the work. He has been home for quite a while. He graduated collage, is working and he still has that missionary fire! It is super inspiring and I hope I can be like him when I am where he is. His dad is a mission president in Australia right now. He said something really awesome to hear. He said that everyone talks about “finishing” the mission, and that you don't really finish. For him, he said when he finished his mission, it was like finishing a marathon and God just slapped him on the butt and said keep going. I agree wholeheartedly because you can tell when missionaries treat the end of their mission as an end. They loose all those things they learned and all that growth. This is just setting the stage for a lifetime and beyond of progression. It might sound super hard, but I know it is the best way. I am super exited to work with him and I know that we are going to see miracles in the Holladay YSA.

Another super sweet thing that happened was one of the guys we were working with a bit ago called us to say goodbye to Elder Pau'u. After they talked on the phone, someone cancelled on us and we decided to see if he wanted to go to Temple Square. He did, and we went and it was awesome! We took him down to the Prophets in the North Visitor Center and pretty much taught the restoration to him again. We watched the new Easter Mormon Message in the small theater and went up to the huge statue of Jesus Christ. He told us that he hasn't been reading and praying at all. We weren't stopping by too much either and he said he really felt the difference when he could feel the spirit like he did there. He told us that he wants to be baptized and recommitted himself this time. He has quit his e-cig since the last time we saw him and he is ready. We are stoked for him and will take him back to Temple Square on Tuesday. 

I love you guys a ton! 
Elder Moe

"We had dinner with this awesome family and found out they were
related to Elder Pau'u.  The guy next to me has been working
with Elder Biorn in the Tongan branch and his little brother
(not in the picture) knows Jake Herman!  He went to football
camps with Jake and said he was like the only nice one there.
We ate a huge Tongan meal- Luisipi and a bunch of other
Tongan food!"

March and it's still snowing.

Hiking the Bench

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

"Jam Packed With Good Stuff"

Elder Moe, Sisters McKendrick, Alcala, Elder Bailey
This week has been jam packed with good stuff and I am sorry if It doesn’t all get included here!  We had the awesome opportunity to go to the Salt Lake City Temple this week and have zone conference.  The temple was awesome as always and zone conference was the bomb! We sang first as a zone and I am super glad because we weren't the best. Hahaha! It was just cool to be able to do it all together as a zone. Luckily no one recorded it (sorry mom). 

We had a late birthday lunch at the Peterson's and we ate a bunch of amazing grilled meat kabobs and some fancy stake that has a French name that I cannot spell.  I will send pictures next week because she took them and I didn't get them... (Again sorry mom). They have slides that connect the floors to their house it's pretty sweet. 

We have been going through lists of ward members we want to meet and knocking a ton of doors and contacting a ton of referrals. We have gotten a ton done, but haven't found anyone new that we are working with. We have been teaching a bunch of active member lessons as well.

Elders Moe, Pau'u, Bailey, Sis. Parker, Elder Manning
The other day we met this super awesome lady that was 91 years old. Her name was Elsie and she was so funny. Her house had a bunch of dog training mats like all over the floor and it reeked of dog pee. Elder Pau'u was dying. We were there for her son who was just out of the age range for YSA and was super stubborn. He was offended when he was younger. We talked to him for a good 30 minutes with her in the living room with us. We prayed with them at the end, and Elder Pau'u said amen and we look over and she still had her head down. I said amen super loud and then she looked up and said amen! After we were done she asked us "Who are you here with?" And I said very loud, "THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS." She was like, "Ohhhh Elders!" And her face just lit up and she gave us some Smarties. It was sweet!

I love you guys so much and loved the videos and pictures this week. Thank you so much again for the package! I am still enjoying stuff from it!  I flipping loved the shirts! I have worn mine twice already this week!!! Forgive me for my forgetfulness. They are AWSOME and I am not just saying that.  I loved getting them especially because I wasn't expecting them. I seriously wish I could go back or at least tell you how much I really do appreciate it... It is one of my favorite birthday presents I've gotten and it actually means something. Thank you so much!  I still feel like a piece of poop for not thanking dad for the shirts last week. 
Zone Conference

Elder Moe
Elders Moe, Bailey, Carling, Taylor, Sis. McKendrik
Elders Pau'u, Bailey, Gill, Moe, Sisters Parker, McKendrick,
Uelese, Alcala
Elders Manning, Bailey, Gill, Moe, Sis. McKendrick, Uelese
Elders Gill, Carling, Bailey, Moe, Sister Uelese
"These Sisters cover the other half of the YSA Stake.  Sister Antunes is
from Brazil and Sister Lange is from Ohio."
More animal selfies
New Glasses 
More Zone Conference pictures

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

"Another Year Older and Still A Believer in Jesus Christ"

Elders Pau'u & Moe, Sisters Parker & Hathcoat and new member!
Dear Family,
I had a great birthday! It was super fun just knowing that I was nineteen. It reminded me of something this super funny older guy said every time we saw him in Murray. "I'm another day older and still a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ." He said it with so much enthusiasm it was awesome. But how true is that. I am another year older and still a believer in Jesus Christ. It's way sweet. I feel like I have grown so much this year.
We didn't do anything too crazy for my birthday. It was just another great Sunday out on the mission! I bore my testimony in all the wards we went to but that's normal. I made it my goal to bear my testimony in every fast and testimony meeting possible. I got a ton of super cool insights from all the testimonies that were borne.

One girl said "sometimes we think of the enabling power of the atonement like when we are running a marathon and we get tired Jesus comes and carries us but I think it's more like running a marathon on water. I need him every second."  How true is that. I do need him every second and I am glad he has provided the miracles that have carried me through another year of my life.
Sisters Parker, Hathcoat, newly baptized sister, Elders Moe, Pau'u,
Conn and Wolhfahrt

Here are a few of my journal entries for the week!
March 6, 2016 Sunday 2:43 PM 
So apparently Brandon Covey is a super good wide receiver and he bore his testimony in our ward today. Kinda cool. I don't really know who he is.

6:48 PM
So a recent convert from before I came into the area, from Elder Tanner and Elder Otuafi, told everyone over the stand that he was moving to California tonight. He is gonna be alright though because apparently he biked here from Nashville. Like bicycle.

10:08 PM
So this is my birthday. I just read my letter from my parents and family and I love them a ton. They are the bomb.  We finished off the day with dinner at a bunch of girls’ house. (They invited a guy so we could be there.) Then we had a lesson with Ian and he taught me another scale and how they work together. I kinda understand scales now, which is pretty neat. Ian is less active and thinks he is an atheist but he is pretty cool! He has taught himself music theory. After our lesson, we went to the ward prayer at a member of the bishoprics and he came with Skylar (his good friend that is active). We had pie after we were done.

March 3, 2016 10:04 PM Thursday
So I am on this awesome exchange with Elder Conn. He is a great missionary from Michigan! We started the exchange by going and contacting this less active guy that is returning to activity and there was a DO NOT ENTER sign on the door and the house has been condemned. We called the number on the piece of paper and they said there was meth there so that sucks. We had a good day though! It was awesome to get out on my feet and walk again. I am like physically drained which is super good to feel. 
Council Meeting - Elder Moe gets to see Elder Prestera from home!

Elders Pau'u & Moe with Javi - "Javi is teaching me
We have been doing great here. We are starting to get close with some of the families in the area and have been setting up lunch appointments and stopping by just on a whim to grab clementines. We will take a picture with them when we go over to lunch this week. We found out that our zone has to sing at zone conference and it will probably end up being only three of us because this isn't the most musical zone. WE GET TO GO TO THE TEMPLE THIS WEEK!  I am pretty stoked!

Something super interesting and different is ward ball. It's the real deal. Especially in the YSA. It gets super intense. They have official teams they get together and refs and jerseys and everything. Preston would love it. The best is watching the girls play. It is super scary. Apparently there was almost a fight at one of the games a few weeks ago. The girls at dinner were telling us about it. For some reason they have three refs at the guys game but only one at the girls game and the refs typically aren't very good. We watched a video from one of the games last week and bodies were hitting the floor left and right. 

I met another like real islander this week and he called me Elder Moé. He informed me it meant to sleep. Sweet...
I love all you guys hope this letter was good.

P.S. shout out to Dain for teaching my dad the whip and nae nae.

"Continuation of selfies with animals"

"Elder Wolhfahrt is from Germany and he is
a punk."
Video: Dinner appointment in a YSA Stake

Preston... How could I forget about the off key all stars...
Thanks for reminding me though! 😂 Feel free to email me back in
school. I approve. Just don't get in trouble. What class do you have
this hour? You think it's weird for you that I am 19... It's flipping
weird for me! Your 16, that's weirder. You've been shooting with your
left hand 😳. Baller. It really sounds like dad loves coaching your
team! Remember when he coached my team for YMCA we were the real all
stars. Ha ha Bro they have a band you have a band it's perfect. You
guys need to preform at one of the dances. Just join together and make
one band. I am gonna be so super bad at guitar when I get back. It
won't be funny. You should learn this song! I will send it in another

Spend as much time with great grandpa as you possibly can. Go
chill with him even if it's just you two. I am serious Preston. You
will never regret it. Take Becca as well. You are a
stud! Remember God gave you everything. Your talents your mane your
social skills. Thank him every day for the little things, because trust
me, they are HUGE. I love you and cant wait to hang out when I am back.
Elder Moe

Friday, March 4, 2016

"Insane Amount of Love for the Scriptures"

"This is Williamson.  He is in one of the YSA wards and is the
happiest coolest kid you could meet."
Dear Family,

I had a good week this week. I am really starting to appreciate the thirty minutes we have in the morning to exercise and I have been running every morning! I actually am starting to enjoy going on a run at 6:30 in the morning. Sounds super weird right. I really do notice that I feel a ton better throughout the day. I have also gotten a little ahead in the 100 days Book of Mormon reading challenge schedule; I just finished it today. I, over the last month, have changed/grown a ton and I have an insane amount of love for the scriptures. It's not just studying, because I am studying, but because I actually want to really bad! I get frustrated when that hour flies by and have occasionally been getting up at 5:30 to read. (Don't worry mom I don't do it too often)

We stopped by the Gelwix's!  At first Sis. Gelwix didn't recognize us and then she was like "OHHH I CAN'T HUG YOU!!" and put out her hand.  She talked to us for like 30 minutes!  Hahaha!  She said if we needed an Elders Quorum that needed to be whipped into shape, Bro. Gelwix could come and do some motivational speaking.

One of our investigators has been making a ton of progress and actually gave up his e-cig to us this week. He is so sincere and has been seeing a ton of blessings in his life. Sometimes I wonder why that doesn’t happen with all of our investigators. Why can’t all of our investigators pray and feel the love of God all around them? I have realized that it’s because of faith. When Don prays, he truly trusts in God and that he will answer his prayers. He trusts us and he trusts God. 

Moroni 7
36 Or have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved?

37 Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain.

I truly know if we trust in God enough then we can be like the brother of Jared.  We can literally move mountains like he did. We can see Christ. I have always wondered what made him have so much faith? Can you guys study some about the brother of Jared? What made him have such powerful faith?


Elder Moe
"Plastic didn't want the corned beef you sent,
so Sister Uelese literally screamed and took it from me."
"This was our Assistants baptism.  I got to interview a few of them!"
"This is Sister Johnson and James.  Sister Johnson is from Claremore!
She's a convert."