Tuesday, May 30, 2017

May 29, 2017

Hey Mom!                                                                                           May 29, 2017

I'm glad you found that picture inspiring. To be honest, there was actually a guy coming right up that road so we had to book it back to the car after it took so we could avoid looking funny. But then again, as you saw, there wasn't life for miles around so I can't say there were too many witnesses to that moment of sentiment.

Hope you and Dad are able to get the deck done well! Sorry to hear that there aren't Elders to help you out, but I'm certain the Sisters would be more than happy too! Correct me if I'm wrong, but there are Sisters in the ward right? Or maybe I was mistaken. Either way, you'll have my service when I get back for those jobs! I've learned to appreciate hard work. Play has it's time after the job's done.

On that note, I actually had a bit of a throwback this past week helping an elderly member in the ward, Bro. Bastian. He was finishing up a wall he was building, and needed to install the last blocks before his time for the trailer he hauled them in expired. So we got there, and sure enough, they were the 50 lbs cinder block type. Fortunately there wasn't 16 pallets of them, only about a dozen or so. Elder Quast wheel-barrowed three at a time while I grabbed two in each hand. Heh heh, brought back memories, all I needed was that auzi wide-brim I used to wear! Got the blocks in place and finished off the wall in a matter of minutes! The Bastians were really appreciative. He got radiated the 2nd time in treatment for his cancer a few days back, so we are keeping him in our prayers.

As you probably received from Sis. Lewis, interviews went incredibly well! I really love Pres. and Sis. Lewis, particularly in the time they take to come way up North to see us individually. Sis. Lewis left us with some forms about tips to being a more likeable person. I would also like to give my personal thanks to you, Mom, for helping me love all of God's children. You have a very wonderful talent for that.

Work wise, Jessie and Austin and still doing incredible! She has an outstanding support system in her family whenever she has questions. We also had a very cool finding experience too! After a brief prayer, we were getting out of our car to try by a potential investigator, a lady named Missy pulled out of her driveway and as she was passing us stopped and asked us if we were Jehovah's Witnesses. After correcting her, she asked us if we could come bay the next day, and so we did. We got to meet wit her and learn her backstory. She's had it rough in life, and consequently wonders now more than ever if there is a God who loves her. We testified to her that God does indeed love her, and Christ suffered personally for her. Mid-conversation she told us that she felt impressed to stop us that previous day, and was actually surprised we came by like we said we would. To her, her attitude didn't seem like something we'd want to come back too. But she told us that she really appreciated us coming to talk to her. That was cool!

Also had one of our investigators, Chris, come to church yesterday. He's a former Bering Sea fisherman, and he's always been wary about churchy things. But you know,  he really enjoyed it! It was the first time Elder quorum had their own separate meeting, and since there's only 5 of us, it made for a very open environment that Chris could ask questions and feel open to speak. In the end, he really liked it, even added onto the closing prayer at the end. Go spirit!

I'll conclude by saying that Summer is gearing up here. Consequently there's a lot more tourists coming and going. A lot more people out on the lake tubing or skiing. It's inviting, no doubt, but the work here is just as refreshing. The Lord's really helping us out here, and every day I feel like there's something fun to do. Some days slower than others, no doubts, but the work effort here is real and divine. Not that we're doing anything with these people, but being worthy windows to the Spirit who teaches them the truth. It's such a wonderful thing teaching people how to receive that revelation in their lives, and then to help them gain testimony that God has restored his Gospel, along with prophets and apostles to guide us today. It's a pretty cool world we live in!

Other than that, I love you much dear Mom! Thanks for all the support that you've sent and I'll be certain to work hard until this is all said and done! Give Tom and Evan my thanks and regards!

Love you,

Monday, May 22, 2017

May 22, 2017

This week:

Magnificence, free ice cream and dang-good bacon!

It's cool to hear that you met Sis. Hopkins at the temple! I can't say that I ever knew her much though. It also sounds like despite you guys being empty nesters, you're finding a lot of opportunities to house folks. I guess you guys are situated pretty well though, given being between Las Vegas and the Northern counties. Hearing about that High School choir and the service melodies did bring back a few memories. But mostly the knowledge that the End-of-year Banquet occurred on Saturday, which is signaling that another school year is coming to an end. Well, that was fast...

In terms of life up here, things went supercalifragilistic! Of course, there were the downer moments at the beginning. But by overcoming, life was pretty good!

It's kind of hard to think of a place to start, but on Tuesday we got to see Bill and his GF Megan. We weren't able to get through the whole Restoration with him, but he super-promised us that he would read the pamphlet before we went back tomorrow. You could tell that what the Spirit was telling him had an impact on his heart, even though he had some questions that still needed answers. Then right after that got together with Bro. Miller and hit the road to Wilbur to meet with Jessie and Austin, the unbaptized daughter and fiancé of the Kershaw family.

And let me tell you, that, was an awesome lesson! Jessica already has expressed that she wants to be baptized! Turns out her Mom was actually a convert (something I did not know about Sis. Kershaw), and at her baptism Jessie felt the spirit tell her that this was the path for her. Everything about the Restoration just came too for her, and she totally accepted to work towards June 17 to be baptized, it being a week after she and Austin get married. He is also keenly interested, and while he's not on-board as his fiancé, you could tell that the Spirit was working on him pretty well. And then they, along with Nakai, made it to church yesterday! Jessica even participated in Gospel Principles with enthusiasm. Go humanity!

Mitzi is still doing really well too! We're helping her overcome the time barriers stopping her from reading The Book of Mormon. And she really appreciates that as well! You know it's funny, given her age, we had supposed that Mitzi was the matriarch for the Nanamkin family, a very well-known Native name up here. We actually tracted into her niece, Leslie a few days back. And while our affiliation with Mitzi wasn't the main reason for a great contact-turned Potential Investigator, it was cool to see how us knowing her helped us there.

The rest of the week saw more driving. I think you would really like it up here Mom. Once you ascend to the top of the valley you get a view of rolling grass fields and big sky. Makes for some pretty good sunset pictures! One of our travels took us to Coulee city. On top of killing a bird on the way down (oops), tracting there only ran us into the abrasive and uninterested. Seeing a few of our PI's there helped us feel better, but while heading back North we decided to stop to get gas and ice cream. It hit just the spot! Adrian, the guy who manned the counter, told us his step-Dad was LDS, and he really likes what we do, and the fry cook there also told us that. Then he paid for the ice cream too! Then I'll just make mention of the dinner last night at the Getchers home, who literally live on the river next to the mission boundaries.

I'll tell you this much, hearing those waves crash on the river shore brought back memories of McCall. And then they served us some of the best bacon I think I've ever had. Oooohhh man that was good bacon! They even gave me the recipe too! I'll be certain to save it for the reunion or something. Yeah, life is good here in Coulee Dam. Tomorrow at interviews, for the sake of kicks and giggles, I think I'll ask President if I could go to the Coulee Dam July 4th fireworks show. Just a thought, but we'll see what happens. Until then, know that I love you all. It was so amazing to talk to you guys on Mother's Day! I guess back at Christmas I did say how May was a while away. Well heck, now there's July. Still, the Lord's going to do some pretty incredible things here then and beyond. 

Until then, love you all!


Thought I'd include a more formal pic with a more un-formal one. That's My Plan (post-mission prep training) that came up on my portal as I logged onto emails this morning.

Monday, May 8, 2017

May 1, 2017

Hey Mom!                                                                                           May 1, 2017

This week:

You know, there wasn't too much excitement unlike the last few weeks, sorry.

But still! Life here in Coulee Dam was pretty good to us the past week. Between knocking doors, driving out to places, and enjoying the spring blossoms, life is beautiful! I feel like spring took a long time to get here since last time it came. Probably because a lot of stuff happened in the year that occurred. But, then is then, and now is now. Right now things are great!

I guess you could say the biggest highlight came from when we traveled to Chelan for p-day last week. And you know, that was a much appreciated change of scenery. Mountains, lakes, and hills all make for a very nice view!

The transfer itself proved smooth and hitch-free. Elder Quast got here from Moses on time, and so far we get along outstanding! He hails from Phoenix, AZ, making him my 3rd comp. from the Southwest.  Since both of us served in Moses it gives us a common ground of things. We were able to see Mitzi and read 3 Nephi 11 with her, and she liked it a lot. It's fun testifying about the Book of Mormon, there aren't too many other times in history one could do that. While we were driving around another time we got the impression to go try by a potential investigator named Janet. In Coulee there are a lot of folks who tell us to come by again, but we are never able to see them. But we just so happened to see Janet and she set up a solid return appointment. Cool!

Tracting was tracting. But we met some pretty nice folks there as well. Teaching Nakai is super simple, and it may take a little longer than we thought before we can set a baptismal date. Due to his family situation, it's hard for his great-grandmother alone to bring him to church and be his solid support. Ay, ay ay, but even if it takes a while, we'll roll with it. This is the Lord's timing, not ours!

But he did come to church! And Mitzi too! As a matter of fact she brought her sister, Tina, and another friend, Alex, with her! The ward loved her right off the spot, and you could tell that she really enjoyed it. We were also informed by a member of the ward that they have a child and spouse who are interested in learning more, and they were there too! Got to say hello to them, Jessie and Austin. Hopefully we can start teaching them soon! 

Yep, God's been pretty good to us here. And I have to say the highlight of every week is when I get to hear from you guys. Thanks for all the support in the letters and notes. Feels like all the stops are being pulled out for the last part of this crazy mission, and I feel like the Lord's really helping us out here right now. And I can't wait for Mother's day too! Holy smokes, it's already May. Feels like December was yesterday. Stay safe out there!

Love you,


May 8, 2017

May 8, 2017

I guess I could also give you the update on the week like I normally do. So...

This week:

Hospital scrubs, "the closest to swimming...," breaking 80, meeting the people, and the torturous-two!

Kind of like last week, the previous one saw it's fair share of action and in-action. Which is good as far as the work perspective goes, so I guess I can't really complain!

During those action parts we had a couple of fun experiences. One of which required us and Bro. Reese, our member split, to drive to the hospital to visit a Less-Active member of the ward who had been admitted. We were just about to walk into her room when a nurse told us we had to dress up in disposable clothing used to block contagious diseases. So we each had to dress up in these paper-like scrubs along with gloves and a small breathing mask. Linda, the gal who we were visiting, admitted the get-up seemed unnecessary, but safety first, I guess. I suppose it was foreshadowing my future career or something. 

In our weekly service, we found ourselves helping Bro. Foster out again by rolling the tarp back on his pool. Now I've never worked in pool maintenance, and I always assumed that every pool is drained and re-filled every spring. I was wrong, it was still quite full. And don't worry I didn't accidentally jump in thinking it was an empty skate-rink. Even then, while the water was clearer than I thought it would be, it was less than inviting. It had become a burial-at-sea for hundreds of worms, on top of (or rather, underneath) the floating shrubbery that had fallen in from rolling the tarp back. We got a couple of nets and started fishing out all the floaties. And at one point mine disconnected at the middle and I had to plunge my arm into the water to grab the sinking end! 'Bout the closest to swimming I've come too do out here. Still, not as trunked out for swimming as much as Elder Vejnar is probably getting at this point.

After hooking a hose up to Bro. Foster's shop-vac, we started siphoning the pool at a snail's pace. Which didn't bother us, it's not like we were staying there for the whole day. But we did notice that the temperature had broken 80 degrees that day. Not as hot as it could be, but a prelude to the impending Summer. A lot of the Spring blossoms are starting to disappear and be replaced by green leaves. Which is a lovely sight. And it seemed like everyone else was feeling it too!

Despite that, tracting efforts have seen some great success! But as tracting goes it came after a lot of trying. We met a lot of different people with even more different backgrounds, attitudes, and mindsets. Heh heh, at one point we were raking leaves and started hearing this guy in a truck ranting up a storm at our car we had parked on the side of the road. Due to some hedge in-between us the fellow didn't see us. But by his language it was clear he knew who we were. So to avoid confrontation, we decided to preemptively confront him. And he drove away as soon as we came around the corner. There was a native veteran who had listened to this guy standing there. He told us kindly that some guys get upset whenever we park there because it causes them to slow down to fit their rig and whatever-they're-towing to fit the gap.

I'm not certain why I just told that story. But oh well.

Anyhoo, we also got to teach a new guy named Collin, and he's super cool! He has a lot of faith in God, and he related really well with Joseph Smith because they're both New Yorkers who had questions about which religion was right! During another instance we had tried by a potential investigator, only to find that he wasn't home but his neighbor had just pulled up. I think the Spirit whispered to us to go talk to him, and you know, he was really cool! Alex was his name, and we shared the Prince of Peace video with him. Set up a time to meet again!  Right place, right time.

Yep, we crashed a few parties as well. Catching a LA family named the Boyers during a social get-together. I think Daniel, the dad, was a little tipsy, because he took us on a tour of his lawn and asked us where we were from 3 times. But he wanted us to come by for Wednesday for dinner, so we'll see how that goes! And to cap it all off, we had the Barry's for dinner yesterday, and they had 6 of their kids home for a baptism, and consequently about another 20 cousins there between the ages of 4 and 6. It was hectic, but their parents made a pretty awesome family of siblings. Kind of reminded me of Daniel, Brooke, and Paul. Give my love to them!

And other than that, we had a good week. May not have been groundbreaking, but I can say that we did out best out there. I hit 22 months yesterday so that brings us in for the final 2 months left. Weird. But life is awesome in Coulee Dam right now, so I'm certain it's going to be a blast! Thanks again for all you guys do to help out. And you know, I guess I'll be talking to you on Sunday! Love you all though! Keep up the outstanding work!


on June 10 they're having a mission conference for all missionaries in the Yakima and Kennewick mission in Tri-cities next to the temple. There will be a member of the Twelve and Seventy addressing us! I'm so excited for it! But I'm just as excited every week to hear from you guys too. I love this Gospel, and I know that this is Christ's true and living church on the Earth today. Otherwise, I don't know where I’d be in life. It wouldn't be as great as it is now, and as it always will be with you guys!  Love you!