Called to Serve

Friday, February 27, 2015

February 23, 2015

Hey Fam!

Its been pretty crazy weather over here in Memphis too! It has been sleeting really bad and they don't really have snow plows or anything so the roads get terrible! It makes for a good time! It has been such an awesome week though. I think every time I have written an email I say that, even when the week wasn't tough. But when I sit down and think about what has happened all I can throughout the week I always end up realizing all these tender mercies that happened.

We had a baptism for Jessica Maiava! She is awesome. One of the most prepared people I have taught. Her husband is already a member and they got married last week and she got baptized this week. I can't wait until they can got to the temple in a year.

I would say the number one ranked tender mercy happened on friday though. I might have told you a couple of letters ago about a woman named Ms. Lacy but I can't remember. Anyways we found her 24 year old son Boo at a recent converts house and we have been going over to teach him now, or so we thought. The first time we went over there his mom, Ms. Lacy, came to the door and said "O we are fine over here, we are church people. I am a prophetess and am highly favored of the Lord so we are good where we are at." (you would be surprised how many people we meet who claim to be prophets and prophetesses.) Anwyays she just didn't want to listen to us at all but she let us speak to her son and acted like she was going to the back but I know she just stood right outside the room and listened. Boo has some major word of wisdom issues and we were teaching him about the atonement. At the end of the lesson we said a prayer and she followed us outside and talked to us and started crying about her kids doing all this bad stuff and she didn't know what to do. But right when we started teaching her she shut off her ears and wouldn't listen. Anyways We went over to see Boo like every other day acting like we were just teaching him but we prepared out lesson like we were teaching her. She has listened from around the corner every time. Last week we went over there and she just broke down crying about everything she is going through and we offered to give her a blessing. She was pretty reluctant but she let us and her she was a different person afterwards. On thursday night when I was praying I got the most clear prompting ever to go see her tomorrow so I jumped up and wrote it in my planner.

On friday we went over and Boo wasn't there and so I said "since he isn't here would you mind reading the chapter we were going to read with him so you can catch him up to speed. It was a risky card we played there but I she folded and sat down and read with us. We read 1 nephi chapter 2 which might seem really random but its all about Lehi teaching his kids and wanting Laman and Lemeul to be obedient. She loved it and at the end we asked her how she felt and she said that everytime we have gone over there it has been "right on time" and everytime we share something she feels like it is exactly what she needs to hear. She committed to reading the Book of Mormon and she is coming to church next sunday! I know this is a long story and I didn't describe all the details but it was awesome. And its the most humbling experience ever to be an instrument in the Lords hands. It truly is His work and its crazy and a blessing that he allows imperfect people to be apart of it. I love it! Nothing is more fulfilling and nothing can make someone happier than helping someone else int he conversion process. I know this is a long letter but I have been so blessed lately. There is nothing better than being a missionary! Family thanks for all that you do for me! I love ya mom good luck with everything! 


February 16, 2015

Hey Fam!!

It is pretty crazy over here right now! On Friday it was 70 degrees and on Saturday it was 23! It snowed last night so everything is pretty iced over today which is terrible for missionary work. When its weather like this the people lock the doors and hibernate! But anyways we had an awesome week this week.

I went on exchanges to Southaven Mississippi and it was pretty good. It seemed like everyone we taught just wanted to bash though. Serving around so much religious excitement can be a good thing but it can also make for a lot of opposition. We did find 3 new people to teach though with my favorite finding technique, ghetto ball. This time they challenged us so we went over and played some 2 on 2 in our pros clothes they were pretty good but we ended up beating them. Then we taught them a 5 minute version of the restoration and set up a return appointment! It was good stuff!

On friday we had a part-member family we've been teaching get married! The non members name is Jessica and she is getting baptized this saturday! We are excited about it. Also we had stake conference this week and it was awesome. Elder Anderson from the 70 came and spoke. In his talk he mentioned how he was from mesa and had a ranch in the white mountains so afterwards I went and talked to him for a while and he said he knew all the Udall from Eagar so that was cool. Things are going great here! I'm loving Memphis! Thanks for the package mom! It was awesome!


February 9, 2015

Hey Fam!

We had another great week this week in the Memphis Jungle! Its crazy how fast weeks go by out here. I feel like I was just emailing yesterday!

But anyways last wednesday we had a zone meeting where we talked about our purpose and having effective studies. It was a good meeting and the spirit was strong! We had a high council men come and share the vision of the stake for missionary work and he also told his conversion story! It was great stuff. Afterwards we went on exchanges and I brought Elder Bennet over to memphis with me! I know I say this all the time but miracles always happen on exchanges! We just had a great day full of tender mercies. We were really excited for sunday because we had 10 people with baptismal dates that were all set and ready to come to church. But as the clock struck 9 sunday morning no one was there. We left the meeting and started making some calls and all that but no one was answering. Sunday is the most important day of the week and for members of the church it can be relaxing and recharging but for a missionary sunday is almost never a day of rest, its a day of stress. I have really gained some empathy for parents of teenage kids everytime my companion and I pray saturday night that our investigators will not stay out to late and will get rest so they can wake up for church sunday morning. The tables really turn on ya once you become a missionary! Anyways we did finally have 2 people show up which was a huge blessing and both of them are progressing well. One of our investigators named Jessica is getting married this friday and baptized next saturday so we are excited! The work is going great but its going to fast! Thanks family for all that you do for me!


February 2nd, 2015

Hey Fam!

My week has been pretty awesome. Life is pretty dang good right now! I got a great area and a great companion! This was one of the hardest working weeks of my mission. We didn't stop for lunch or dinner almost at all. It was just crazy.

We had a lot of miracles happen and we have been blessed to increase our teaching pool by a lot. My highlight of the week though was when we went to contact a referral and it was a family: a mom, a dad and 3 kids. The mom was not there yet so we taught the dad and the kids the restoration. Towards the end of the lesson when we were teaching about the Book of Mormon, the mom walked in. So we kind of had to recap everything but it was alright because they were ready to here a message like this. They were telling us their past experience with churches, the dad imparticular had an uncle that was a preacher and he just noticed a lot of things in the church that didn't match up with what the bible taught. They had already witnessed the evidence of the apostasy so the message of the restoration was exactly what they needed. Anyways, i'm just really excited about this family so please keep the Burnett family in your prayers.

Our zone, unlike the other zones I have served in, is pretty compact. We all serve pretty close together so it makes it easy to go out and gets your hands dirty with some of the other missionaries in their areas. We went on 2 blitzs this week in southaven and in orangemound. I just love the way it feels to be able to go minister. It sounds crazy but when you are out just serving and trying to help other people all the time the Lord just really opens your heart. I meet some people out here on the skreets of Memphis that I never met before and when i start talking to them i just feel such a strong desire and almost anxiety for them to accept the message of the Gospel. I never thought I could love people I never met before but Missionary work is exciting and fulfilling when you try to see people as they can become. I know I have been talking about that a lot but its been a big deal for me lately. We don't realize how much people can change when they accept and live the Gospel. But if we tried to see and treat them that way it would be a lot easier for them to change. Anyways, I am just grateful for this area. We got some sweet people we are working with. Also pray for Tomika! My companion Elder Brown is a stud too! Mom and dad I love ya! And I really want to thank you and dad  for being those examples! Thanks family!!

January 26, 2015

Hey fam whats up!

Its been another one of those really great weeks out here in the mish. I am loving Memphis! The ward, the people, the barbecue, its all top of the line! There has been more tender mercies then we deserve in this area. We have found a few really cool families this week who where the mom and dad are married, they have jobs, and they have a car. Now that might not sound like a miracle to all of you but in this area, families like that are needles in the huge memphis haystack. It has just been crazy to see the hand of the Lord lately in this work.

We had specialized training meeting last week where we got to hear from President and the assistants and it was really good. After that Elder Brown and I instructed on our purpose as missionaries. Now in all my instructions I always include a cheesy demonstration to illustrate the point. In this one I had 2 elders play some 1-on-1 basketball.One of the elders when he had the ball would just dribble at the top of the key and do all these streetball moves but ended up taking a horrible shot. The other elder made on move and got straight to the basket and scored. After observing the short game we had everyone evaluate. It was clear to see who was more effective, who was more focused on the end goal, and who actually in the end put the ball in the hoop. We related that to missionary work but I think it related pretty well to anyones life. Just like the elder just dribbling at the top of the key, there is a lot of things we can do that may look cool or look like we are doing something with our lives but are they really getting us anywhere? Do we the main goal or the purpose in mind? And are we always doing the things necessary to get there like the other Elder who just made one move and got to the hoop? Hugh Nibley said in one of his talks that we must all decide or who or what we want to be and then sacrifice anything that stands in the way of getting there. Thats one things I love about my mission is it had given me a greater vision of who I want to be and even more importantly, who others can become. Life would be a lot more enjoyable if we saw and treated others ad they can become. I am not very good at it yet but thats the kick I am on so I thought I would share.

I went on exchanges down in hernando, Mississippi this last week and it was awesome. Miracles always happen on exchanges! I dont have time to share but it will be a story for another time. I am just grateful for what I get to do right now. I am so happy. I got a great companion in Elder Brown. I love serving with the guy.

I am grateful for the 2 mission presidents I have had. Their examples have changed my life forever. I am grateful for the family I have. Seriously I have never been more grateful for my family than on my mission. And I am grateful for a Father in Heaven and His son Jesus Christ who see and treat us as we can become. Have a good week everyone! Love ya Mom!

January 19, 2015

Hey whats up Mom?!

So I just finished my first week in Memphis and it was pretty dang awesome! I'm serving with Elder Brown as zone leaders in the Memphis zone. We're serving  in the Memphis 2nd east area! This area is sweet! Its covers a lot of the "hood" in Memphis so of course, me being a red head, I fit right in.

We got some pretty awesome people we are working with right now. We just had a baptism a couple of days ago for a lady named Monica Wilkins! She is fired up about the Gospel. These last couple of days we have had people coming up out of the wood works too for us. It feels so good to be back in the grind of things again! I thought it would be hard to get used to a new area after being in one for a year but the new scene and the new challenge is pretty exciting and it feels like all the pieces are coming together for us right now!

Elder Brown is awesome. He has been out for just under a year. He is from grangeville, Idaho. He is tall, a good basketball player, and a really hard working missionary. He is new to being a zone leader so I get the opportunity of training him up which i'm pretty stoked for. Memphis is the place to be!

(Grandma Wellman just so you know, Graceland is right outside our area and its a big deal out here.)

I just love being out here and doing what we do everyday. The only thing I hate about it is how fast it goes. Its just a good feeling to fill your day with things that brings you closer to the spirit. As of late, my favorite scripture has been John 8:29. "And he that sent me is with me, the Father hath not left me alone, for I do always those things which please Him." I have definitely learned the secret to peace in this life, and its doing always the things that please Heavenly Father. I'm not very good at it yet but I know when I try my best to do that life is a lot more rewarding. Serving the mission has been the most challenging and rewarding thing I have ever done. Thanks family for all your support!

January 13, 2015


Guess getting transferred! Can you believe it? After 11 months of dwelling in the oasis of southwest little rock! Yup i'm gettin' released as an assistant and being sent out to pasture for my last 4 months in.....Memphis!

And not just any part of memphis, in the infamous skreets of orangemound! Which is aparrently the most dangerous and "hood" part of Memphis! I am so dang excited! I am going to go be a zone leader there with Elder Brown. It has been hard this last week saying good bye to all my family here in Little Rock.

Last sunday brother Warner, one of the members of the bishopric, called me up to bear my testimony and to start it off he said "well everyone to start off sacrament meeting today, are losing one of our ward members Elder udall so we are going to call him up." ha ha thats how long I have been there. Member status! But ya I am excited to try out Memphis and I am also pretty dang excited to be back out in the field full time! Well this letter is short because we have to go get ready to pick up the new missionaries at the airport but I just wanted to give you the update!!