Called to Serve

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Lots of freinds going home

Hey family!!
I'm writing a little bit early today because I have to go to memphis in an hour to pick up the departing missionaries from over there and bring them back to the mission home in Little rock. We have a huge group leaving this week! Its weird because we are sending home 2 of the companions I have served with- Elder Tate, and Elder Armstrong! There is also a lot of my other good mission buddies in this group so its going to be crazy! We had a pretty awesome week this last week!

It started off on Tuesday when that morning we had a feeling we should go check up on things at the mission office, which was weird because nothing puts a burr under my saddle like going to office but for some reason we felt like we should so we went up there. When we got there everything was running fine and there was nothing for us to do so we decided we were going to leave when a lady walked in the building to get a tithing slip and she asked if we could give her a blessing. That blessing was an amazing experience and one that I needed.

The next day we drove to memphis and went to a zone meeting there and we went on exchanges. I stayed in memphis with Elder Hanover from Logan Utah. He is a good missionary. We had a goal of setting a baptismal date on that exchange and nothing was happening for us that whole day. Everything fell through and it was kinda frustrating. The next morning though we had a couple of hours of proselyting time before we exchanged back so petitioned a miracle from heaven and went out to contact a refferal. The guy we were supposed to contact was not there but his roommate let us in and we taught the restoration to him! The spirit was really strong in that lesson and he excepted a baptismal date for January 3rd! That might not sounds crazy to you but miracles like that are what
make every stress and struggle of a mission worth it! 

This week we got the Christmas zone conferences which should be pretty awesome! Things are going so great here. Mom I will forever be in debt for your great example to me! I am so grateful for all that you did for me before my mission to help me prepare to serve! I love ya!  

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Power of Prayer

I cant believe Kylie is 20!! That is crazy! That poem was so awesome. I printed it out and read it to the office couples.

I already told you most of what happened this last week through my last email. Not much has changed since then but we have been seeing some miracles here in the ghetto paradise of southwest little rock!

First off, Mark is preparing to get the Aaronic priesthood next week! He is fired up about the gospel and its really cool to see. Also yesterday Elder Daley and I fasted to find someone that was ready to accept the message of the restoration. Yesterday evening we were in an apartment complex talking to a couple people when a woman walked up and interrupted us and said "Hey are yall Jesus people?" and we told her we were, and then she asked us if God and Jesus were the same person. Now usually in the south when people ask you that it means they want to bash and so we had our scriptures at the hip ready for a quick draw just in case this became a doctrinal shoot out. But as it turned out she was sincerely wanting to know because 2 different preachers were telling her 2 different things. So we taught her a little bit about the Godhead and then she asked if we could come talk to her and her sister and so we did and shared the message of the restoration and were able to set baptismal dates with both of them. It was awesome to see how they just sincerely wanted to know the truth. One thing I have always taken for granted or never taken seriously before my mission is the power of prayer. God hears the prayers of his children. I know that without a doubt! Anyone can have a sense of security and peace even in the hardest times of their lives if they are constantly praying and seeking out the Lords comfort. I'm grateful that I can be hundreds of miles away from my mom and know she will alright through the power of prayer. I love you mom! Thanks for all that you do for your children!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

92 baptisms!

Hey Fam!
Sorry I didn't write on monday, its transfer week so it gets super busy. This last week was pretty packed with meetings and and long drives and all that stuff! So I have some great news! Remember when I told you about the goal we had in November of 100 baptisms and 100 reactivations? Well we ended the month with 92 baptisms and 234 reactivations! We didn't reach our goal for baptisms but we got 92! Thats a new mission record! The most we ever got in a month before that is 73. Its pretty exciting stuff. 
Tuesday morning we dropped all 21 departing missionaries off at the airport. It was weird because it was all the sisters that came out with me. Everytime we drop off missionaries at the airport it makes me appreciate the time I have left on my mission even more. The best part about transfer week is picking up the new missionaries though! We got an awesome group that just come out! They got the greenie fire in them like no other! The mission is doing great.
We had a few thanksgiving meals with members this last week and it was awesome! The Burrups in the Little Rock ward fed us and instead of dropping the pie this time I decided to eat it. 
I have realized, especially this last week how easy it is to be ungrateful or to take things for granted. I think sometimes all we can see with our natural eyes is all the things we don't have, or haven't gotten yet, or have lost. Something that I am terrible at is recognizing Gods hand in my life and being more grateful for it. When I make the effort to look at my life through spiritual eyes its a really humbling experience because its makes me realize how many tender mercies are in my life that I would be in a lot of trouble without. The longer I have been out on my mission the more I have realized the importance of a mother. Mom I am so grateful for all that you have done for me. I know I say that all the time but I know that I will never be able to repay you for all that you have done for me. And even if I tried too you would take the money and try to buy me something with it. I am just grateful for your selflessness and your faith. I love you mom! Have a good week!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Hey Mom and Dad!
So It has been a week for the ages here in the ALRM. Things are going really well! This last week has been really busy because we had the specialized training meetings in each of the zones. Elder Daley and I taught about the importance of the Book of Mormon and how we can more effectively get our investigators to read it on our own. As far as I can recollect, I have never been dropped by an investigator that was reading the Book of Mormon sincerely. Like PMG says its the springboard to testimony and personal revelation. We have an investigator family right now who  has been reading everyday and you can easily see the difference it makes in their family relationships! That family came to church last Sunday and they are on date for the 6th of December.
The reason I wrote so late today is because we took all the departing missionaries to the temple a week early since it was going to be closed on transfers. All the sisters that came out with me are going home which is pretty insane. Things are going great here! I love putting on the tag everyday and dread the day when I don't get to anymore. 
I hate to hear that Mom has to go through all of that. I don't think there is a lot of people that could with that kind of attitude. I am so grateful for her example. I am grateful to be able to say like the sons of Helaman that I do not doubt my mother knows it. I am grateful for the testimony she shares by her example. I hope y'all know you are in my prayers and I am really grateful for the package you sent! Kate thanks for writing me a letter. I will write you back soon. 

Elder Udall

Monday, November 17, 2014

lots of success!

Whats up Dad,

Sounds like Ryan hasn't changed much. He still has too much pain tolerance and not enough sense! That's pretty sweet what he did in the game though. That's funny that Kate gets into volleyball like that! She is a miniature Kylie. 

Things are going so good over here. Miracles have been happening all over this mission! Its great to see. Yesterday Elder Daley and I baptized Mark Green. He is awesome! We had been working with him for a while and he has come a long way. He had his family at the baptism so now we are working on them. We have been pretty blessed to find some honest and sincere people these last couple of weeks. We taught a couple just last night who were completely ready to accept the message of the restoration. One of the most important things to do as a missionary is answer peoples "question of the soul" through the Book of Mormon to help them gain a testimony of it and in that lesson we had that opportunity a few times!

This week is going to be crazy busy because we have specialized trainings in each zone, which means a lot of driving and public speaking and neither are really my cup of tea. But I'm pretty excited for this one because we are going to be focusing on The Book of Mormon and how we can use it more effectively. It should be a whale of a time!

I am really grateful for all that yall do for me. I am especially grateful to be born of goodly parents! On a mission you get the chance to do a lot of observing so you can see what makes a successful family. The formula is proven time after time! When families are focusing their lives on the Gospel they are happy even when the rains come down and the floods come up. In fact its through the rains and the floods that spiritual strength is obtained. One of my favorite quotes is from President Monson "Our purpose is to become more spiritually refined as we make our way through sunshine and shadow." The family is the unit that makes that all possible and enjoyable. Thanks for all your support!

I bet you can pull of having no hair way better than dad can! ha ha Mom I seriously love you and am so grateful for you though. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

He will go before our face and be on our right hand and our left

Man that is crazy! I bet it killed Ryan to not be able to play in his game. Do you know how long it will take to heal?

This last week has been pretty crazy. Elder Daley and I have met with President Wakolo to go over the transfer board 3 times over the past week. We usually don't start on this stuff so early but this next transfer is going to be a nasa trip from outer space. We have over 20 missionaries going home on December 2nd and only 10 coming out and then we have about 17 more going home on December 16th, they are going home early for school and all that. So basically we have to close 12 areas next transfer. Its going to be a roller coaster so we are getting all strapped in now.

One thing that I have really tried to become better at lately is recognizing and following the promptings of the spirit. That has been one of the main focus's of my studies and prayers. The inspiration came from reading up on President Monson and all the stories about how he has received and acted on spiritual promptings that ended up being answers to peoples prayer. Anyways the other night Elder Daley and I were going to an appointment with an investigator and they were not home. It was pretty dark outside and the neighborhood we were in was not exactly the nicest part of town but we heard down the street someone sweeping their porch. The most subtle thought came to my mind that we should go talk to that person and so we did. It was actually 2 people, a married couple. The wife was sweeping the porch and so we went up and started talking to them and immediately began teaching. We told them we had a message and asked if we could come in and share it with them and they let us. They let us in and there is a whole batch of kids in the house! The mom told us she just had a baby a week ago! So we taught them the restoration and really focused on families throughout it all and it was awesome. They were an answer to our prayers because we have been praying to be led to a family that's ready for the message. There is no way I can ever deny how much Heavenly father is involved in our lives. He will go before our face and will be on our right hand and
on our left. Its our job though to remain worthy and ask, seek, and knock.

Last night we were at Presidents and we told him about the saltine cracker challenge. He said he could do it easy and so we put his Fijian confidence to the test. Elder Daley and I and the whole Wakolo family tried it, even Sister Wakolo. It was the most hilarious thing. I will send you the video! 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The temporary stumbling blocks of life are easily turned into stepping stones in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Hey Kinfolk!
I cant believe its already playoff time for Ryan! Man that is exciting! It sounds like Kate is tearing it up in volleyball too!
This week went just great. We had our mission leadership council meeting last thursday which is always a whale of a time. Those meetings are some of the most spiritual on the mission. Our mission has a goal of 100 baptisms and reactivations in this month of November and everyone is really excited about it. This last weekend we got 21 baptisms so we are right on track!
Last Tuesday Elder Daley and I went on exchanges with a trainer and a new missionary. I took the new missionary, Elder Heidinger, with me to Little Rock. He is from Canada! Anwyays he just came out 2 weeks ago and hadn't had the opportunity to invite someone to be baptized yet so that I wanted really bad to give him that chance on our exchange. I told him that before he switched back he has to invite someone to be baptized and he seemed pretty nervous about it. I didn't know who he was going to invite but before and after every appointment we would pray and ask for someone to be put in our path that we could invite. That night we went to go see a newly contacted investigator named Robert with a member.  We taught him the Plan of Salvation and towards the end of the lesson Elder Heidinger was able to invite him and he accepted! It was awesome. One thing I will never be able to deny is the Lords love for us and his desire to bless us. If you work for a miracles like it all depends on you and then pray for a miracle like at all depends on the Lord, they will come!
Elder Daley is doing really good! He is awesome to serve with and has taught me a lot.
Everything is going good over here. There has been some disappointments but the temporary stumbling blocks of life are easily turned into stepping stones in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. "The trials that seem for a moment to overcome us with suffering, will be the very experiences in the end that suffer us to overcome." I know that to be true!
Mom I love you and am grateful for your example of Faith! When it comes to having faith you are the most athletic person I know! Thanks for all that you do for your children. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

See People as the can become!!

Hey Fam!

So I just wrote a couple of days ago and not a lot has changed but I did have some good experiences I would like to share! So like I said last letter transfers was this week and it was pretty hectic as always but everything ended up working out great! We have 202 missionaries in our mission right now. Which is a lot! Next transfer we are looking to decrease by 20 though.
Elder Daley and I got some time to spend in our area the last couple days of this week which was great! On Friday evening we went to the Phillips family home. They are some new investigators we found not too long ago. This was really the first time we have got to sit down and teach them though so we taught them the restoration! It was pretty insane how strongly the spirit was there. I really felt like I was given everything I needed to say. At the end of the lesson they were asking really good questions and then one of the older daughters named Carnesha asked the best question of them all, "Do yall do baptisms at your church." Well if that's not music to the ears I don't know what is! We were pretty quick to invite them all to be baptized and they all accepted a baptismal date for the 22nd of November! At the end of the lesson the Mom was just explain how for a long time she was feeling really frustrated and negative towards her life but that when we came into the home we brought with us positive vibes and she wanted to have that in her life. We explained that those positive vibes were the spirit!

I have talked about in the past how when you are teaching a lesson on a mission sometimes you will just feel an extreme anxiety and desire for the people you are teaching to know this is true! You just realize it would change their whole lives and make their lives meaningful. That's how I felt as I was teaching this family. One of the biggest blessing of being a missionary is that the Lord really allows you to see people as they can become. We would treat our family and friends and strangers so differently if we knew who they were destined to become. Heck we would treat ourselves so differently if we really knew our identity and our destiny.
Mom and Dad I just want to let you know how grateful I am for you treating me in this way.
Things are going good here in little Rock. I have been here for about 9 months now......still only 2 areas my whole mission! I like it that way though!
Thanks for all that yall do for me!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Busy Week!

Hey Mom!

It sounds like ryans team is really tearing it up! I bet he is excited for playoff time. 

This week was a  wild one but it was pretty fun. We had specialized training meeting tuesday through friday at all the zones around the mission. Elder Daley and I taught about the principle of sacrifice. At the beginning of out instruction we called all the district leaders to come up and I would explain to them their task which was to get the shoes of all the missionaries in their district and bring them up to me. The catch was they couldn't tell the missionaries why they were getting the shoes, all they could do is ask for them. Whoever got all their shoes and brought them back to me first won a piece of candy for their whole district. After that little game we would identify the principles of sacrifice from it and there was a lot to learn! I like teaching at these meetings because I end up learning a lot more. 

After the meeting we finished the transfer board items on Saturday. Monday started the transfer week! We drove to memphis for the departing missionary temple trip. We then picked up the new missionaries tuesday afternoon. Did you talk to Sister Garcias mom? We picked her up too. She is serving in Southaven Mississippi right now.
Anyways, the real doozie of this whole transfer week is that Elder Daley and I made the trip to Memphis and back (3 hour drive) 3 times in 3 days! Once on monday with the temple trip, then we went back to memphis tuesday night and stayed at President Floyds house, then at 6 in the morning we took missionaries getting transferred to Little Rock over there, then we took the missionaries going to Memphis back over there, and then we went back to Little Rock. Long day! Transfer week is always fun though because you get to see mission buddies you haven't seen in a minute.

Things are going really well over here. Its busy but its fulfilling. I am convinced the only way you can truly be happy in this life is when you are not trying to make yourself happy. True joy comes from serving others. On this mission I have never been more tired in my life and at times I have never felt so inadequate but its easy to find joy when your focus is on lifting another.  

Sorry I didn't have time to write on monday mom but I hope ya know I love ya! Thank you for all that you do! 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Happy Birthday Camz!!!

Hey Mom!
Ya so......we have bed bugs. For some reason I kept on forgetting to mention it. I have been sleeping on our couch for the past month and Elder Daley has been sleeping on a spare mattress on the floor. We are waiting for the bed bugs guys to come and steam our apartment. Its pretty lame. I cant remember the last time I've slept tight and didn't let the bed bugs bite!
  Anyways this last week was a good one. All the zones had their zone meetings where we watched the meet the Mormons movies. Its a pretty good little flick! I would recommend it to anyone who wants to know more about members of the church.
   Elder Daley and I got a lot of time to spend in Little Rock this week which was awesome! We have a couple of people we are working with right now that should be getting baptized in the near future. One of them is a guy named Mark Green. He is a way cool guy. We taught him and his sons the plan of salvation with the Duncan famiy (members in our ward) on Friday night and it was awesome. At the end of the lesson Bro. Duncan asked Mark from what has been discussed if he felt inspired to do change anything and Mark said "I just need to hurry up and get baptized so I can be clean and ready for the next life!" ha ha man if only every investigator understood that! He has a baptismal date for the 25th of this month.
This next week we have five specialzed trainings in a row. Monday-satudrday. And then the week after that is transfers. So it is going to be so busy!
Mom thanks for the letters and all that you do for me. I am really grateful for it.
 Happy Birthday CAMZ!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Virtue and Repentance

Elder Zwick, Elder Daley, Elder Udall, Sister Zwick

Hey family whats up!!
It has been another classic week in the ALRM! This week was pretty power packed with learning experiences. So on Tuesday was mission council again for the month of October! After talking with Elder Zwick, President told us that he wants the mission to focus on Virtue and repentance for these next couple months. So at mission council Elder Daley and I gave the spiel on virtue. I'm really grateful that I got to instruct on the topic because I learned how vital it is to become virtuous. Like it says in PMG, "Virtue originates in your innermost thoughts and desires." I think that's a good thing to constantly reflect on, what do I think about throughout the day? Where are my desires? PMG also teaches us the virtue is prerequisite to receiving the spirits guidance. That's why we are focusing on this attribute especially.
Our mission has a goal of 100 baptisms in November. The only way we are going to reach that goal is if we are worthy and constantly seeking out the guidance of the spirit.
Anyways Elder Daley and I went on 2 exchanges this week. The first one was with the ZL's in Searcy. I went to searcy with Elder Chapman who is going home soon. Our goal that day was to set a baptismal date with somebody. So we went hog wild talking to everyone we saw. We found some great people but the real miracle happened at the end of the night. We taught a guy named Curtis the first lesson in the church building. When I first saw Curtis he said "Elder Udall! I know you!" I asked him how and he said he met me a year ago in searcy when I was serving there. He said I gave him a book of Mormon and told him if  he ever wanted to learn more to call the number. He said that he was now finally ready to learn more. He still had the BOM copy I gave him. So we taught him the first lesson with Brother Shirley and the spirit was strong. We invited him to be baptized on the 18th and he accepted! It was sweet! O and guess how he found the missionaries again after a year....Chris Cooksey!! Chris referred him to them. ha ha
We also went on exchanges with the Memphis zone leaders. I brought Elder Henderson to Little Rock with me. We got out of the car for a lesson that night and we heard the tornado sirens. The weather looked fine so I decided to ignore it and the CMAS weather alert text I got that said "Tornado warning, find shelter immediately." Not even 2 minutes later though it started raining really hard and the wind was blowing so hard I thought we were in RV for a second. Then there was a lot of lighting and the power started going our everywhere. So we though it best to start heading home! The weather got bad but I don't think a tornado ever hit ground. It was crazy though. Anyways thanks Mom for the letter you sent! It was a cherry on top to a delicious sunday! I love you Mom and am so grateful for an athletic mother!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

only the gospel will allow a family to enjoy and endure life.

Whats up fam!

Mom you might be doing a procedure right now but I just want to let you know that your in my prayers. I know that this cancer can't as aggressive as you are because you I have seen you run bases. I grateful for your athleticism in everything that you do!

This last week for me has been awesome. I told you about the Elder Zwick experience. That was one of the highlights of my life! The rest of this last week Elder Daley and I have been working in out area a lot which has been great! Members are on fire ever since the member fireside that ELder Zwick put on. We have 5 or 6 members that have told us since then that they have a friend they want taught in their home! That right there is the most effective way to do missionary work. When members invite their friends into their own homes to be taught by their missionaries. Right now we are in the process of weeding out the teaching pool and pausing all those who just are not ready.

Have I told you about our new investigator yet? He is a man we have been teaching for a few weeks now. He is one that President was with when we taught him and Mark was having a bad day and was really mad. So President pretty much grabbed his arm and drug him over to a chair where we gave him a priesthood blessing. After that blessing he has never been the same! He is awesome. We taught him the word of wisdom and the only problem he is facing is coffee. He has been drinking coffee since who knows when and he said he is addicted. So we are working on him with that. Besides that he is good to get baptized and has a date for the 11th.

Elder Daley is the man! I love serving with the guy. This next week we have another mission council and Daley and I are going to be doing a couple of exchanges so it should be fun. Our focus for the mission right now and what we are going to teach at zone conference is repentance and virtue. So I have been studying those 2 topics a lot.

Family, thanks for your prayers. Thanks for all that you do. Its so easy to take for granted the blessing of a close family until you witness so many broken ones. I would dare say that every temptation you can find out in the world today is in someway linked to destroying the family. ONLY the gospel will allow a family to endure and enjoy life. That is one thing I have seen clearly on my mission. You never have to ask an investigator family if they have read or prayed together when you go over for an appointment because you can FEEL it when you walk in. Its s distinct difference when those kind of things are done. I love you Mom. Thanks for being the Mom that made us get up in the morning for scripture study and dragging us to family home evening. Or singing annoying gospel songs when we would fight with each other. Things like that make all the difference! Good luck.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Vist from Elder Zwick of the seventy!

Hey Mom!

Sorry i didn't write a couple of days ago. This last week was one of the busiest on my mission. We were getting prepared for Elder Zwicks mission tour and he sent a pretty thick list of things he wanted set up. That list was detailed right down to the color of markers he wants on the white board. Me and Elder Daley wanted to make sure everything was set up perfect for him so it was pretty crazy!

Monday was our missionary council meeting with Elder Zwick and all the ZL's and STL's of the mission. I was asked to conduct so I got to sit right next to him up front. The whole meeting that he wasn't up talking he would just lean over and teach me something! It was crazy! Its not everyday you get a general authority whispering the gospel knowledge in your ear so I took good notes of everything he said!

Tuesday we had zone conference in Little Rock and wedensday was zone conference in Memphis! So basically the past 3 days Elder Daley and I have got to hang out with probably the most awesome member of the seventy ever! He taught me so much these past few days! It has been one of the highlights of my mission. Last night when Elder Daley and I were leaving memphis to head back to little rock we went to say good bye to him and he gave us his card and told us to keep in touch and that he was going to keep track of us. He is awesome!
Anyways, everything is going great! Little Rock is doing really good! We are teaching some great people. Elder Daley is so awesome. He is a hard working missionary and is a lot of fun to serve with. He is a dang good basketball player too.

On sunday we got a list of people that just moved in the ward from our bishop. So that night we tried to contact as many as possible. It was about 8:30 so we decided to do one more that we felt prompted to go to. We went and it was a young couple who answered the door. After some reluctance they invited us in and so we got to chattin'. We found out they were from gilbert, AZ! They husband is a returned missionary and the wife is not a member. They thought for the longest time that the husbands mom called us and told us to go over there. Apparently the husband fell away a little while ago and the mom had been trying to get them back active. Anyways it was a great visit and the spirit was strong. The husband said that he needs to get back into church. We are going to start teaching the wife now and get them coming to church! I know we were prompted to go there because of the prayers of a righteous mother. Speaking of the priesthood of the church Pres. Packer said "They don't come near the power thats given to a righteous mother." I know thats true. Thanks for your prayers family. Please pray for Stephanie and her family. We haven't been able to teach them in a while and they mean a lot to me. Thanks for everything yall do!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

New Companion! Elder Daley

Mother dear!

Whats up? These last 2 mondays i haven't had time to take a p-day and next  monday i won't either because we are having a meeting with Elder Zwick of the 70! I am excited for that. I can't even began to tell you what happened these last 2 weeks because of all the craziness of transfers but it has been great! Elder Armstrong got released last week as an assistant an he is serving again as a zl in memphis.  I am going to miss serving with him!  Elder Daley just got called to be the new assistant with me. I can already tell he is going to be one of my favorite companions. He is a dang good missionary, he just got done serving in searcy (the sacred home land), and he is a dang good basketball player. Things are going great. I dont have time to share all the experiences but i do want to share my testimony. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. All my life "the gospel" has just been something i heard but i never really tried to deeply understand it. On my mission though i have realized that "living the gospel" is a whole lot more than just a testimony meeting line or a bumper sticker quote. Its having the faith in Christ to change, or repent, and to make promises with God, and seek out the guidance of the Holy Spirit. As these things become more than just a checklist and are made the central purpose of our lives, our vision gets clearer and we began to live more abundant lives. No matter of its through sunshine or shadow, when we are walking the path of discipleship, we can feel peace and joy. Not just happiness, JOY. A scripture that has been in my mind a lot lately in D&C 112:13 "And after their temptation and much tribulation, behold I the Lord will feel after them, and if they harden not their hearts and stiffen not their necks they shall be converted, and I will heal them." This is the central purpose of our lives and it can always be a joyful journey. I love you Mom. Thanks for your example of discipleship.

Monday, September 1, 2014

See people not as they are right now, but as they can become

Hey Fam!

Thanks for all the birthday letters and pictures and packages! It was great! This last week was awesome. We didn't have very many meetings so we were able to go on a couple exchanges with zl's and it went great. Our first exchange was in downtown Memphis and that where my homegurl Latrice lives. She is Elder Boyers recent convert. Mom she said she is friends with you on facebook. ha ha thats awesome. Our next exchange was in Pine Bluff with the elders there. We also went to some Sketchy areas on my mission this last week. So you know thats a good week!

We also went to the Branch on Mountain view on sunday with President for sacrament meeting on sunday. He is doing this thing where he wants to go with us to all the outlying wards and branches on the mission on sundays so they dont feel out of sight and out of mind. The branch president at mountain view and his wife went to EA for school so it was cool to talk to them.

Basically, I don't have a lot of cool things to say this week but i do have 1 "call to repentance" experience I would like to share. Me and Armstrong were in a apartment complex saturday night teaching one of our investigators and this girl walked up. She was drinking a beer and was a little drunk, but she was just saying the crudest things and not exactly inviting the spirit into the lesson. So at the end of it all, we were about to leave and then she said "yall to good to  pray with me." I thought she was just trying to be all contentious and what not but we told her we would pray with her. Armstrong started to say it and all of the sudden she interrupted and said "Hold on, I know yall are Jesus people, so could you pray for me that I will be able to get a job. Because my 3 kids are in foster care and the only way I can get them back is if i get a job, and all I want is my family back again." That took us off guard. So we prayed for that and at the end she was crying and she said "thanks I needed that." Man I felt like the lowest piece of dirt there. I thought this lady was just all about herself but I realized the reason she was doing things like drinking was just to numb the pain of what she has to deal with everyday. President Monson said "We must develop the capacity to see people not as they are right now, but as they can become." President Petersen always told us "Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is, but treat a man as he should be and ought to be and he will become what he should be and ought to be." I feel like thats a lesson I have been learning over and over again on my mission. Its amazing to see how people and the world look as we try to see with our spiritual eyes. Thanks for everything yall do for me!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Increasing ones ability to recieve and follow spiritual promptings

Hey Family!
Its crazy that Ryans senior year of football is already starting! Time is flying by!
We had a really good week this last week. Elder Armstrong and I had about 4 nights in a row that we went to sleep after 1 in the morning but we were able to have some awesome experiences. We had zone conference on Wednesday in little rock and Thursday in Memphis and they went really well. Armstrong and I focused our topic on Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement. I love and hate speaking at these conferences. I hate is because I get so dang nervous every time! I don't think I will ever break my pacing-around habit. But I love it because the spirit always brings things to your remembrance that you can say and teaches you new truth while your up there speaking!
In this mission the focus that President Wakolo brought is "increasing spiritual capacity." In other words increasing ones ability to receive and follow spiritual promptings. I am not very good at this yet but it is amazing to see what miracles can happen in someones life when they seek to follow the promptings of the spirit.
Yesterday we were able to go to our ward in the first time on forever! It was way good. Last night we went to our investigator Stephanies house and had an amazing lesson with her. She gets anti'd out the wazoo by her family, friends, and co-workers. Last night we had a lesson about eternal families and at the end of the lesson we asked her to pray and ask if what we have taught and if the church we represent is true. So she did and then we sat in silence for a long time. We asked how she felt and she said that normally, if she heard so many things about someone, she wouldn't let them in her home like she lets us in all the time. She said that she always feels like she needs to let us in though. She also said that when we are in the home, it feels really peaceful and she feels loved and when we leave it leaves with us. After some questions we helped her recognize that it is the spirit! She is coming along! She has an awesome family and its so easy to see the difference the Gospel would make in their life. Please pray for them! I am grateful for the family I have back home. Thanks for all your Prayers!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Ran out of Gas!

Hey Whats up!
Its been quite the week! Its been the first week in a while that we didn't have anything big going on so we were able to go on exchanges. We went to a district meeting in Memphis on Tuesday and then I drove one of the ZL's, Elder Derrick, back to little rock for an exchange. We had a good time! Found a couple of great people and set a baptismal date with our investigator Mark. The next day we were driving back to Memphis and the truck had about a quarter of a tank of a gas left in it. So we were planning on filling up but we just got to talking and completely forgot. I know yall are shaking your heads reading this right now, but its worse than you think. So we were driving and we just entered on to the bridge over the Mississippi river bridge when I felt the truck slowing down. Before I knew it we were at a complete stop on a 2 lane bridge over the Mississippi river. Luckily, these types of situations have come to be all too familiar to me throughout my life. So we decided the only thing to do at this point was to push the truck across the bridge, because there was no shoulder to push off too. So although there was a line of semi's waiting behind us we pushed our little chevy Colorado all the way across the bridge into this coned off area. Shortly after that a highway emergency response team came and brought us gas. It was pretty wild, but now I can atleast say I have pushed a vehicle from Arkansas to Tennessee.

Yesterday me, Armstrong and President drove to Hope for the sunday service. It is the smallest branch in the mish. Only 3 members were there last sunday but it was good! The people there are awesome. During sunday school I was teaching about obedience and comparing it to breaking a horse and the branch president came up to me afterwards and asked if I could get permission to come down on p-days and ride his Tennessee walker that's green broke right now. ha ha He even asked President if I could. Its a pretty tempting offer. But anyways Hope was the branch that Uncle Kelly served in. Apparently it used to be on fire back in his day. They still remember him too! After like 50 years!
Its been a good week. We taught Stephanie and her family again. They are doing really good. This is one of those families that I will never forget. They are working towards baptism but have lots of challenges. Please pray for them.

O and Elder Soelberg went home today! Its too bad. He was one of my favorite companions and one of the best missionaries out here!

Tell Ryan Happy Birthday!  What are you doing for his birthday?  And also tell Kendall I am proud of her and Happy Birthday!

When is Chantz going to back to school?  Is he married yet?
 Thanks for all the support fam!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy!

Whats up fam!

Let me tell ya right now.......this week has been one of the craziest weeks of the mish! A lot has happened so I will tell you what I remember.

We had mission council last Tuesday and then the rest of the week we drove around to each zone in the mission and did a little instruction in the meetings. On Saturday we went to Searcy with President for their stake meetings. At the evening session they were calling recent converts of the stake up to bear their testimonies and one of the ones that was called up was Jessica Cooksey. Some of the greatest joy you experience on your mission is when you hear people you taught bear their testimonies! It was way good. After they were all done President Berkheimer called me up to bear my testimony of missionary work. It was weird because I am not even serving in that stake but it was good!

The next day we went to the sunday session of that stake conference and it was way awesome. They called Grandpa John Sherwood up to bear his testimony. They were going to bring the microphone to him but he refused and walked up to the microphone himself. He is exactly like Grandpa Larry. That evening we drove to Jackson Tennesee which is the far east corner of the mission to do a question/answer fireside with non-members. It was an awesome experience. Jackson is about 4 and a half hours away from Little Rock ad we didn't get done until 8 so we made the drive home but when we were about an hour away we were almost empty on fuel and it was 10:45 pm. So we pulled into a one gas station town in the middle of no where called Carlisle and decided to wait an hour and 15 minutes until it wasn't sunday anymore so we could buy gas. There is a Kodak moment for ya......A Fijian,  a black guy, and a red-head sitting in a parking lot in the middle of no where Arkansas. Really weird but it was awesome. We got home at about 1 in the morning! Crazy week but it was awesome!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Missing the Van keys on Transfer Day

Hey Family!
So there is a lot to catch up on from these last 2 weeks! They have been crazy. I have now almost seen the whole mission with Elder Armstrong and President Wakolo. We have driven so much these past 2 weeks. From Jackson Tennesse to Danville Arkansas down to Camden and everywhere in between. But it has dang fun!
So I am assuming you heard the transfer van key story? I knew once it hit the mom blog there was no hopes of keeping it from spreading. But ya it was crazy! The morning we were supposed to get all the departing missionaries from Presidents home to the airport. First off we set our alarm for 5:15 and it didn;t go off so we woke up and 5:30. So we were rushing to leave for Presidents and halfway there I realized I had forgotten the van key. So we had to go all the way back to the apartment and I ran in there and grabbed the key and ran out then we made the 20 minute drive to Presidents. By this time it was 6:20 and there flight leaves at 7:10 and the airport is 25 minutes away. So when we got to the mission home i rushed to the van and where all the missionaries were waiting and I went to put in the key wouldn't fit. That was the worst feeling ever. I grabbed the wrong key! I grabbed the truck key instead of the van. They are both chevy's so they are identical. Anyways, we unloaded the trailer full of luggage and put it all in Presidents mini-van and SUV. There was 7 departing missionaries so you could imagine the amount of luggage. obviously it didnt all fit in the back so everyone had suitcases on their laps. Elder Armstrong jumped in the mini-van and I hopped in the SUV and we headed to the airport. By the time we left the home it was 6:30. So lets just say both of our mph was rarely under triple digits the whole way to the airport. We were hauling. So we got there and the workers said they probably wouldnt make the flight. But then an angel of a lady stopped everything and made everyone move out of their way in the lines so they could make. It came down to the final call for the flight but every missionary made it on time. It was intense.  
Anyways, everything else has been going good. Yesterday we drove all around southern arkansas with President doing baptismal interviews and at the end of the day we broke our fast at the mission home. Sister Wakolo made us rotti, tapioca, talapia, and octopus! Yes I ate octopus. Sister Wakolo made it special for me last night just because I told her I would never eat that. Last week we had transfers and transfers is always crazy. Things are getting busy in the ALRM but I am learning a lot and having a good time. Thanks for the letters family and for all of your support.
The long road trips with President have been awesome. Armstrong and I just ask him question after question about every topic ever. Its crazy the amount of wisdom he has. He knows a lot but more importantly he lives everything he knows. Presidents influence has already changed my life. Thanks again family for everything.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hey Fam! 
So this week has was crazy and it went by fast but here is the highlight reel!

We had 3 different zone conferences in 3 states! It was busy and crazy but it was fun. Elder Armstrong and I instructed on being obedient to the white handbook and to spiritual promptings. 

When we were in Memphis we took the Wakolos to eat their first Mexican food! It was hilarious hearing them try to pronounce the words! They couldn't believe that you get all you can eat chips and salsa before the meal. ha ha It was wild. 

We got to spend Friday and Saturday working Little Rock and it was sweet! We taught Stephanie and her family again and we had a break through lesson with her! She really opened up and started crying and a lot went on but we ended up teaching her about eternal families. At the end of the lesson she told us she knows she needs to get sealed to her family! That is music to a missionaries ears! I have really grown to love Stephanie and her family. 

On Sunday we made the morning rounds to get people to church. We went over to our investigator Angels house and She looked depressed and she told us she was not going to church. So we talked to her a little bit and I invited her to pray and ask Heavenly Father if she needs to go. So she did and halfway through her prayer she stopped for a really long time and before she even said Amen she looked up and said "He told me I needed to go." and she just got up and got ready and left! It was sweet!  

On Sunday night we went to Searcy where Pres. Berkheimer was having a welcome thing at his house for the Wakolos. It was good to see all my searcyites again! Man I miss them! I got to see Chris and Jess and Brandon and the whole ward! It was such a good week! This week we have 2 more zone conferences in Little Rock and Conway and next week is transfers! Time is flying!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


I hope you had a good one! Thats awesome/dangerous that you talk to all these moms of missionaries! I know how moms love to talk about embarrassing stories and share baby pictures and what not. 

This past week was good im sure. I dont remember any of it! We did go to memphis a couple of times though. One was for another Book of Mormon fireside and the other time was to do a baptismal interview! Elder Armstrong and I got to spend a little bit more time in our area teaching and it felt great! O so I got one story for ya: Last monday night we found out we had to drive to Jonesboro to pick up a car. I dont know what the deal was but the city was overrun with mosquitoes. We left the 2 car doors open for like 2 minutes and they were filled with mosquitoes! Really it was bad. So we killed as much as we could but we had to drive all the way back with those little demons flying everywhere in our car, and we didn't get back until 1 that morning.

It was a good week though and we have an investigator who is making good progress. She just gets anti really bad from co-workers. They just tell her she will get brainwashed if she keeps meeting with us.

This week we have specialized training meeting in Searcy Arkansas, Memphis Tennessee, and Southaven Mississippi. 3 states in 3 days! Crazy stuff. The good part about this is that we get to spend a lot of time with President Wakolo and his family. President Petersen and President Wakolo could not be more different! But they have both made a huge impact in my life!

Thanks for everything family!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Well happy 4th family!

Thanks for the pics of cash that you sent. It was funny because when I was opening the package an elder asked if ya'll sent me some cash and I said yes. Alright well now that I have already started this email with a lame joke I guess I will just tell ya'll about the week.

It started of last p-day playing some 2 step dodge ball and I accidentally gave a sister a black eye. ha ha It was bad.

So we had mission council this week and Armstrong and I decided to focus on teaching by the spirit. It was a good meeting! Pres. Wakolo really knows how to bring the spirit in.
So after council every zone always has their zone meetings. Pres. Wakolo wanted to go to all of them. He also is not a fan of driving because in Fiji you drive on the other side of the road and the other side of the car. So this week we have pretty much drove all around the mission with the Wakolo family. Its been pretty fun though.

They love fruit in Fiji so Sister Wakolo makes sure we get our helpings of it. On Friday we went to 2 zone meetings but after that we were invited to a ward party for the 4th! There was bbq, fried catfish, and a bunch of homemade ice cream! We had a sweet firework show too!
On Saturday there was some dudes playing basketball on a court under an overpass so we stopped and played some ball with them! We met some cool guys that we are going to start teaching and....Armstrong and I have an undefeated street record. 
Despite all the driving and the lack of doing real missionary work it was a great week! The Wakolo family is so awesome.
Thanks for the package and the letters and all the support! 

i cant wait to meet cash!! Man I can tell he is a stud. I love the picture of kate shooting ol' betsy. makes me proud!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Best Week Ever!

I AM AN UNCLE!! That is crazy! I can already tell little Cash is going to be a stud at everything he does. I can already tell he has his oldest uncles good looks and charm. On Wednesday right before a teaching appointment with President Petersen he texted me and said "congratulations you are an uncle!" I was pretty dang excited. I can't wait to meet him! 

So as if my newly found title as uncle Rulon didn't make this week the best week ever, it was followed by a load of other crazy experiences. I will be really brief with each one.

1. We taught the last lesson of President Petersens mission with him, Sister Petersen, and President Beheshti (our stake president) in his home. It was a great experience! The spirit was their really strong and she told us she recognized what she felt. We are teaching her again tomorrow.

2. We picked up President Wakolo from the airport!! Thursday afternoon we went and picked the family up, Pres. and Sister Wakolo, Glen (17), and Jasmin (10). Let me just tell you our first experience with our new Fijian President. We walked past some people in the airport parking lot and said hi to them. Then when we were on the other side of the lot, President Wakolo grabbed a book of Mormon and literally ran across the whole lot to give these people a book of Mormon. I have to admit it was my first experience watching a 47 year old Polynesian man run down a person in a parking lot to give them a blue copy, so I was pretty excited. We spent the whole day with the family getting to know the mission a little bit.

3. On Friday President Wakolo came out teaching with us. Right before we went to pick him up our appointment we were pumped for fell through. But on your mission, when things fall through, its because something better is about to happen. And it did! We went to an investigators house right after that. It was a couple we are trying to get married so they can get baptized. The man is a big black dude. In our lesson with him, President walked up to him, grabbed his arm and said "look me in my eyes," in his broken English. The man was shocked and looked up and President said "If you were a man, you would marry this woman." It was really bold, and I was nervous, but the man almost broke down in tears and he said he knew what he needed to do. They are getting married in 2 weeks. We had a lot of insane experiences in those couple hours of teaching with him. I will tell you the rest in a year or so.

4. The book of Mormon play was in Memphis this week. Me and Armstrong went down on Tuesday night for it. Basically what we did is got a lot of missionaries and stood in front of the orpeum theatre (President called it the great and spacious building) and invited people to our open house and gave them pass along cards. It was a neat experience. We went down on Saturday and sunday with Pres. Wakolo and his family to it too. It was pretty neat. Being on beal street in downtown Memphis late at night is a crazy experience! For the most part the play ended up being a great finding opportunity. I got called a polygamist a time or two but other than that we had positive reactions. 

Thanks family for all you do. It would take me all day to tell of the experiences I had in just this week. Just know that I am grateful for the prayers! 

Monday, June 23, 2014

   I cant believe Christie is having her baby!! Man I am excited for that little guy!!
Sorry I am writing so late. I didn't have a whole lot of time to write today but Sister Petersen told me that if I didn't write my mom she was going to beat me up. This last week was great! It was transfers so that's always a doozie! It was a big transfer to but everything worked out just peachie. We had a baptism a couple of days ago which was nice! Very spiritual. Elder Armstrong and I got a total of 2 days to work in our area this past week, Saturday and Sunday. But we still had some great experiences! One of my favorite people we are teaching right now is a girl and her 4 kids. She has the same personality as you mom so you can only imagine how wild our lessons get! Last night we re-taught her the restoration. She had a lot of questions because she has been receiving some pretty thick anti from her friends. The spirit was there though and it  helped us know what to teach. I want her to get her answer of the Book of Mormon so bad. She told us how she wants to change and she wants something better for her family. She loves how this gospel is centered around family. Family, please pray for this woman to receive an answer!! I feel like something is going to happen soon. We have another appointment with her on Friday and guess who is coming with us......PRESIDENT WAKOLO! He emailed us a few days ago and asked if he could come out teaching with us on Friday! It will be sweet. I am really going to miss President Petersen. We are going to teach with him at our Stake presidents house on Wednesday. We are teaching a girl named Rita! It should be a wild time.
   Today President and Armstrong and I had one last 3 point shooting competition before he left. He killed us. For an old man he is a baller!
   A couple of weeks ago I prayed and asked Heavenly Father what I needed to learn or understand in order to grow and progress more and boy was I taught a lesson. These past 2 weeks were hard. I felt frustrated, inadequate, and ineffective the whole time. I didn't know what was going on. I felt like I have been on a hamster wheel. Running and working hard and getting absolutely no where. Both in proselyting and in my calling in leadership I just felt like nothing I was doing was helping anyone. I constantly made goals with myself on what I was going to do the next day to be better and nothing was getting any better. right before the baptism I had these same feelings again and I finally just prayed and told Heavenly Father I would do whatever he wanted and however he wanted. I just wanted to know what to do! Rarely has this ever happened to me but almost immediately I felt the spirit and I knew exactly what I needed to learn. That it wasn't my work and I shouldn't try to do it my way. I know this sounds stupid and obvious but I don't think it ever seeped in until that moment. The savior promises us that if we let him, he will  " go before our face, he will be on our right hand and on our left, and he will send angels round about us to bare us up." D&C 84:88   This promise is real. Everyone who knows me know I am a stressor and that I get nervous. But fear is opposite of faith. We should always trust him to keep his promise.
   Tomorrow we go to Memphis where the book of Mormon play is. Armstrong and I and a few other missionaries will be standing in front of the theatre talking to as many people as possible. Thursday we pick up President Wokolo! Should be a good week!
GOOD LUCK TRUSE! See y'all later. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Hey Family!
So sorry I wasn't able to send an email yesterday. We were so busy! We didn't even have a p-day because it was so busy. It was a good week though! I will start off with the sketchy story of the week: Elder Armstrong and I were in a pretty sketchy apartment complex a few days ago contacting one of our potentials. So I started teaching Chris about the restoration while elder Armstrong was talking to a couple of other guys close by. This man that I was teaching,  was a super humble guy that had been through a lot and wanted to change. So there we were, me and him, just unfolding the scriptures and having a good lesson, paying no attention to the outside world. Elder Armstrong came up to me after a little bit and said we needed to go. He said that the guys he was talking to were part of this gang and a rival gang pulled up while he was talking to them and they almost got in a shoot out over it. I was just oblivious to this whole thing! Anyways, fast forward to sunday night we went over there to see why Chris didn't come to church like he said he would and when we got there there was 9 cop cars in the complex! So we snooped around to see what happened and apparently there was a big shooting and a lot of guys got injured. Chris was all good though. We may shy away from that complex for a while.

         Sunday was stake conference and Carsha brought her 13 year old nephew Lamaje with her to church. The whole time during the meeting Carsha was teaching her nephew out of the gospel principles manual about the church. She talked to him about serving a mission a lot too and how he needs to make sure he gets baptized so he can be a missionary. It makes every struggle of a mission worth it when you hear your recent converts teaching other people about the church! Carsha just loves learning the gospel. She has a notebook that she brings to every church meeting and every missionary lessons and she is a diligent note taker! Anyways, she is just awesome.

       Yesterday President organized a temple trip for all the leadership of our mission! It was sweet! I love going to the temple. Lately I have been focusing on revelation and how I can give myself more opportunities to receive it. The revelation I received at the temple yesterday was so clear and distinct. It's amazing how involved Heavenly Father is in our lives when we allow him to be. 

      This last week has been crazy. Between the zone conferences we had around the mission this past week and transfers, we had almost no time to work in our area. I am busy but I am happy. I love working around President Petersen. Every time I'm around him he raises my vision. I don't know how he does it but every time I'm around him I just have an overwhelming desire to improve and to help others improve. He has made a lasting impact on my life.

HAPPY FATHERS DAY DAD! Since I have been out on my mission I have realized 3 things about you: 1. You were right about all the things I always thought you were not right about. 2. You are very prone to injury. 3. You love children, even Ryan. I know that sounds obvious but I was just thinking about the sacrifices you have made for us and the ones you make every day. Thank you for being a great dad. Thanks for everything everybody! 

TELL BAKERS HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I cannot believe she is 12. Transfers are tomorrow. It's going to be nuts.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Heeding small promptings makes a huge difference!

Hey Fam! 
This week has been busy but good! Last Tuesday seems like a month ago! But anyways last tuesday we had our mission leadership council. It was my first one conducting. It was crazy! Those meetings are always really spiritual because President Petersen is awesome.
On wednesday Elder Armstrong and I went to Conway for their zone meeting. After that We went on exchanges and I stayed and worked in Conway with Elder Durham! It was sweet. I love going into other areas and working with missionaries. A couple of days later we drove to Southaven, Mississippi to go on exchanges with those elders. About five minutes before we got to the apartment we get a text from one of them that said "be prepared to give a blessing." Those texts make you nervous sometimes. When we walk in the apartment there is an elder who is sitting on his bed and in a lot of pain. Apparently right before we got there he bent down to pick up his suit case and his back went out. He was shaking because it hurt so bad. So we gave him a blessing and took him to an urgent care. After almost 2 hours of waiting (not so urgent care), he finally got checked out. They told him that one of his back discs almost popped out and it could have been a lot more sever than it was. She said it was a miracle that it did not pop out all the way. Power of the priesthood. So by that time in the day it was to late and to stormy to drive all the way back to Little Rock for an exchange so we stayed the night there and worked their area with them.
At the end of the night we met at Zaxby's for dinner. I  love Zaxby's. Anyways while we were in line I had a strong feeling to talk to the guy behind me. I ignored it for a while because he was talking with his family. Finally they started talking about the NBA finals and thats when I maneuvered my way into the conversations. After some small talk about stats and scores I was able to talk about what I did as a missionary. We talked about how when Christ was on earth he established one church. We talked about how there was churches on every street corner now, all teaching different and conflicting doctrines. I asked him why there was so many churches and what happened to the one founded by Christ himself. We were having such a good conversations that we let people cut in front of us. I testified of the restoration of the Gospel and the guy asked if we could come tell him more. So we set up an appointment with him.  
I have found on my mission that heeding small promptings makes a huge difference. I love being able to just talk to people all day long and to teach them about the message. It has changes my life. Everyone deserves it and everyone needs it. Thanks everyone for your support. Thanks Grandma and Grandpa for the letters!

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Gospel fills gaps...

Hey Family!

Sorry I am emailing late, we played ball with President today. We decided we would get some elders together and play one more time with him before he left. I am still standing by my statement that he is the coolest mission president of all time. He played with us forever. Me and him were guarding each other and it got pretty intense! He is dang good for an old man! Afterwards he bought all the missionaries little caesars. It was a P-day for the ages. 

Anyways this week was pretty awesome. We went on exchanges with the frayser elders on Tuesday.   Frayser is in Memphis and its the sketchiest, most dangerous, most ghetto place in our mission.  It was an eye opener for me. We taught a lot of people though and it was way fun! 

Kate will appreciate this story: While I was in Memphis we were at a dinner and we were talking to a guy that said he knew Michael Oher. (Blindside) The neighborhood he grew up in was in the area I was working in that day. We asked the guy if he could set up an appointment with his family for us to teach them and he called them right there! So I am pretty sure those Memphis elders are going to start teaching Michael Ohers Mom and brother. Crazy eh? 

On the way home from Memphis that day Elder Armstrong and I were stuck in traffic right after we crossed the Mississippi for 3 hours on the I-40.

Yesterday was fast sunday and Carsha bore her testimony! It was so awesome! She loves the church and got a calling to be the sunday school vice president. Ishia came to church again too. We are still teaching her and her family. Her kids are good to get baptized now and so is she but she wants to wait to get baptized with her husband. So its kind of a sticky situation but it will all work out.

I have been so busy but I have found that the busier I am, the happier I am. On Saturday we went and helped with a ward out reach with the searcy ward. It was nice to see all of my hometown people again. Things are going well over here. I love missionary work and I love testifying. I know that this Gospel "fills gaps," in the words of Rocky Balboa. Anything unfair or painful or missing about life can be made up, made better, and found through this Gospel. 

Thanks family!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Carsha was baptized!!


Man....sorry I haven't had a lot of time to email. This last week was awesome though. Here is the run down! So last Tuesday was Carsha's baptism. It was really good! We had really good ward support! I baptized her and she was so funny because right after I pulled her up out of the water she was like "Man I feel great!" And then she turned to the crowd and waved and said "God bless yall!" ha ha At the end of the baptism she bore her testimony and it was awesome. The ward really loves her because she is so outgoing. On sunday when they announced that she had got baptized she stood up and waved at everyone and was like "Hey i'm Carsha yall, God bless!" ha ha It was awesome. One thing about Carsha is she is a diligent note taker. From the first time we taught her she would just write down everything we said and go over it. Yesterday during sacrament meeting we were sitting in the bench behind her and she was sitting by a returning member. Her and the member were taking notes the whole time and asking questions. It was so cool. She is getting a calling as an assistant sunday school president. Things are going great here. I love Little Rock. I love beeing able to work so close with President Petersen. I am going to miss him so much. I am really grateful for all of you!! Have a good memorial day!
Also one last story: we are teaching the coolest family right now. I sent you a picture with them a couple of weeks ago. They are getting baptized pretty soon. Yesterday we were having a lesson at their house and their dad called from prison. So he was talking to the mom for a minute and then he asked if he could talk to us.He told us he appreciated what we were doing for his family while he was locked up, he said that he had heard a lot about us and was looking forward to meeting us. It was awesome. Elder Armstrong and I wrote our testimonies in a book of mormon and are sending it to him.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Carsha gets baptized tomorrow!

Hey Family!

So my time is short to email today but our week was awesome! We had some scraight miracles happen in the Little Rock area. We are working with a couple families right now that are just so dang cool. Families are the way to go in missionary work. I love the spirit that is felt as you are teaching a family the gospel! 

Carsha was supposed to get baptized this last Saturday but the ward was super busy with all sorts of stuff so she is getting baptized tomorrow right before the relief society party. She is doing great. Her family is really anti against the gospel but Carsha has a lot of faith. She has quit smoking and she is reading and praying everyday. 

Last Friday was one of the highlights of my mission! Elder Kopischke of the 70 and Elder Meredith, an area authority, came to our mission. They held 2 meetings, 1 in Memphis for that side of the mission and one in little rock for this side of the mission. Elder Armstrong and I got to go to both! It was so cool! They are hilarious and they gave some of the most spiritual instruction ever. It was an amazing day.
I gotta go but I just want to let yall know that I am thankful for your prayers and support. I am grateful for all families that have family home evenings and daily scripture study. I know by those small and simple things, great blessings come immediately and eternally.

Monday, May 12, 2014

New Companion and lots of pics!!!

Hey everyone

I dont have a lot of time today but I just wanted to let ya'll know that things are going awesome! It was fun skyping and seeing all of you again! Things are getting crazy over here in Arkansas!

The tornado clean up was a good time and Chris's baptism was awesome. That night I got called to be an assistant. Its been a lot of fun so far. My first official day as an assistant me and Elder Armstrong were helping people take their luggage home and we ran out of gas in the middle of nowhere between little rock and conway! It was pretty crazy.

Elder Armstrong is awesome. He is such a funny dude! He served in Little Rock already before so I am excited to see whats in store for this next transfer!   Elder Kopischke of the 70 is coming this friday! It is going to be sweet! He is doing a conference in memphis and in little rock and me and Elder Armstrong get to go to both and be with him the whole day! I am nervous but excited. Things are going great out here and I am loving every second of it!