and friends! I am still alive and well. I wasn't sure if I would even be able
to email in my area. My P-day is on Mondays and the library here is closed on
Mondays. So I am currently using a store computer that is usually used for a
register...but gotta do what you gotta do! So where to start....The day of
transfers I was in the car for about 5 hours. I am in a small town called
Sheridan, Montana. It's Southwest of Helena and Butte and there is a grand
total of approximately 800 people here! :) Haha super rural and open country. I
was lucky enough to go to a pretty area surrounded by mountains for my first
area. I see deer every day and it snows on and off every other day! I'm lovin
it. Elder Villejo is my first trainer. He was born and raised in the
Phillipines, lived in Hawaii for 2 years and English is his third language! So
I tease him from time to time haha but he teases me back. He is the ONLY
missionary in Montana permitted to have a guitar, so we sing to member and
non-member families. Pretty sweet. There is SO much work to do here. After
going through the ward list there are more in-actives than actives.
68 inactive member families to be exact. It's tough to teach here because there
are 13 different churches JUST in Sheridan that I'm aware
of. Prominently Lutheran and Jehovah Witness. BUT we are both so
pumped and ready to go. Also, the average age here is 70 years old. Lots of
widows. It's tough to teach someone who has been part of another church for 70
years but we're working at it.
see...within my first week I have:
a Book of Mormon within 4 houses of tracting which was sweet.
2. Found 3
Dedicated my first home
4 inactive members
And committed one of them ^ to sacrament meeting again.
has helped us so much! None of that would have happened without the spirit. The
people here are either REALLY kind or REALLY mean haha. Everyone knows
everyone's business and the Mormons dont have a good reputation here. But we
aren't worried about it :) OH! I forgot to mention that our stake is in BUTTE
and our WARD covers 6 towns over 35 miles of land. Oh and we're on FOOT. With
ice. and mud. Pretty awesome. Tell Torie I've worn here beanie quite a few
members here feed us well but I've been staying in shape. I had Elk roast for
sunday dinner and that was AMAZING. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE is a hunter.
Never seen so much taxodermy haha pretty awesome.
story. We were walking back to our awesome apartment and a lady stopped us
named Angel. Probably the freakiest lady I've ever met. HUGE EYES with dilated
pupils. Her brain had to have been cooked by crack. She only had bottom teeth
and they were ready to fall out any second. She wanted me and Elder Villejo to
go to court and defend one of her friends....yeah. Hahah anyways thats all for
this week! I'm loving it and staying warm for the most part! I'll try and
attach a few pictures! Love you and miss you all!
for the next 4 weeks (at least unless I stay through next transfer) is:
boundary street apt #3
mom I NEED my other suit. We are and ALL suit mission and have to wear it ALL
THE TIME with no dry cleaning. Tell her to send it asap if we can afford it.
Sending it to the mission home would be best and it would get here quickest
through the post office...but might be pricier. Love you!
I’ve officially made
it to Montana! I rode on the smallest plane I’ve ever seen … It was Sky West. It’s
about 22 degrees outside. The difference here is it is wide open and cloudless
so it’s super windy. But I love it.
We are at the mission
home and it’s so cool! President and Sister Mecham are awesome. I asked
President Mecham if he was related to Kyle (Mecham, Jake’s uncle)and he said
distantly! Cool stuff. Today we went to the Billings Temple. I think it’s my
new favorite! The celestial room brough me to tears. Such a beautiful
Anyways, I just wanted
to say thank you for everything you have done for me. I already feel the
blessings and I hope you have started to feel them too! I will have lots of
stories to share and I want to hear what goes on at home! I’m not sure what
area I’m in yet, but P-Days are on Mondays! Love you and miss you all!
Lots of crazy stuff that went on this week! It turns out I'm
pretty sick. I've had a cold for four days and it went bad. The
infection spread to my ear filling up my ear canal with pus. How sweet
is that? I woke up at 2:30 in the morning with the WORST pain I have ever
felt in my ear and didn't sleep the rest of the night. So I went to the
doctor and he doped me up pretty good. I'm now in Sudafed, Benadryl,
Hydrocodone, Ibuprofen, and 2 different antibiotics. That was yesterday
and today I already feel better. He told me if I'm not 100% better on
Tuesday, I can't leave or my ear drum will burst on the airplane. I
leave Tuesday the 19th! Our flight leaves at 9:46 so I'll probably be
calling around 8? Not entirely sure when we'll get there.
I was so stoked to hear about Jack's call! Argentina! I'm so pumped
for him, he'll do awesome there. He needs to learn what "manana" means
ha-ha (what's manana?). Mom, your story is crazy! I'm glad you got out of
the whole teenage shooting thing safely! That's pretty scary, who
thought Scottsdale would be like the hood? ha-ha just kidding. Thanks for
the package! I got it 2 days before valentines day and had already
opened it when I got the letter saying not too. Tell Jesse I sent his
letter in the mail yesterday and he should get it soon! How is Torie
doing? Band? School? Saxophone? I also got 2 other packages on
Valentines day! Rick sent me donut holes from that really good donut
shop in Kaysville! What is his address so I can send a letter to him?
All it had was the post office address on it. AND Jacks GRANDMA sent me a
dozen krispy kreme donuts! It's like I'm destined to get fat.
One of our Elders went home this week :( It was pretty sad but he
knows he's coming back and we're all praying for him. We're going to the
temple today (the Provo temple is amazing by the way), and we'll put
his name in.
I've been taking pictures and tried out the recorder a bit. Can you
ask the Barrets if they know how to upload the recorder? There isn't a
cord and there isn't an SD card of any kind. Also, I might need my other
suit and some clothes hangers. Don't send them till I know for sure, but
my other suit is going to get worn down fast since I wear it every day. I
tried to upload some pictures but this particular computer won't let
me. I'll try a little later. Anywho, how is surp city (surprise)?! Dad
how's work, staying pretty busty? Mom how's Jesse's school? I wanna hear it all! The latest I would send a dear elder
would be like Monday morning because I'll be gone Tuesday!
To all reading this, send letters to my Montana Address from here on out! Thanks for the support!
Here's a few spiritual thoughts for the day:
"The road to Salvation, goes through Gethsemane" - Elder Holland
"If we work hard and are exactly obedient, the Spirit is at the crossroads." -President Stice (Branch President) "God
picks the people who do the little things, to do the big things. After
Ammon smote off the arms of the Lamanites, he put away the Horses."
"You can't stop to rest, and expect to be in the same position" "You radiate the commandments you keep." "Commandments are the schoolmaster of Salvation." Luke 22:31-32 = Jesus Prays for us individually by name.
Love and miss you all! Talk to you Tuesday! I WILL BE CALLING DAD'S
CELL UNLESS OTHERWISE TOLD TO CALL A DIFFERENT NUMBER. I can only call
once with the pre-paid card, so let me know asap! Wish me luck!
I arrived safely in
the MTC! Alex was waiting for me all day and I got to hang out with him a bit
today! So my P-Days is actually on Saturday … however, we won’t be able to
email till the 16th. This was the most missionaries the MTC has ever had come
in at one time. Also, they’re shipping us out a week early! I’m only in here
till the 19th! We are the first set of English missionaries to leave
a week early. Pretty sweet.
Hmmm. So my first day
was overwhelming! I got all my materials, go t checked in, and started a
typical day. We had instruction, orientation, sang “Called to Serve” twice
already, and got to observe different teaching scenarios where the group of missionaries
were “the missionaries”. I lost my room key within an hour. Haha. Luckily it
was in “lost and found” by 8:00PM. So I got it back.
I’m still getting used
to having a companion with me ALL THE TIME. Luckily he is cool and I get a long
with him. His name is Elder Chelson and he is from Tennessee! He comes from a
family of 12 and was singing “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” earlier! Haha awesome.
He looks like Tom Hardy if anyone is interested! Not as big, but his face looks
just like him. He’s a pretty cool guy and knows his scriptures really well.
Well time is almost up
so I should go! Feel free to type this and blog it because I won’t be able to
email till next Saturday! Dear Elder me, cause I can still get those! How are
things at home? Is Jesse still sick? Talk to everyone soon! Love you!
MY P-days are on Saturday, I'm not sure why we were told
that we wouldn't get to email this week. Anyways, the MTC is great!
However, it is getting a bit claustrophobic. There are SO many
missionaries here and hardly enough room to acomodate all of us. The
cafeteria is especially crowded and the food is EXACTLY the same as the
cannon center at BYU haha. I sent home a letter on Thursday talking
about my first day a bit. But if it's not posted yet, it went a little
like this...Jack, Olivia, and Meagan Roll picked me up, we went to brick
oven and Dylan and Rachel came! MIssionaries ate free...let's just say I
took advantage of that :) I arrived at the MTC and had someone show me
where to go, got my name tags and then Alex found me! It was so cool to
see a familiar face I've seen a lot of people I know! I sate Natalie
Bothwell, Jeremy, Issac and Steven Champayne, Kevin Hale from EFY, and a
Kind of a cool few side notes, this group of missionaries is the
biggest group the MTC has ever recieved at one time before, and us
English speaking missionaries are the first to leave within two weeks! I
leave 10 days from now and will already be in Montana. Crazy stuff.
It's snowing here today and I'm so pumped to see even more of it in
Montana! The spirit is so strong here. The days feel extremely long but
it's all good stuff. I guess they only feel long because I used to wake
up at noon and get to bed at midnight. Here I'm up by 6:30 and in bed by
10;30! I've actually adapted to it better than I thought i would.
My companion is pretty cool I suppose. He can be alittle odd at
times by I guess I am too haha. He knows every musical known to man and
will sing a line of a song to EVERYTHING I say i feels like. Gets kind
of annoying. also, he has an alarm clock with a dog that barks and
wimpers to wake us up....yeah. OH! The other companionship in our dorm
is pretty sweeet too! Elder Rodriguez is our District leader and his
family was on "The District" missionary videos! How cool is that?! Our
Branch President is a drill Sargeant who has a lot of rules. BUT, he
knows what he's doing and is actually a very spiritual guy. We have 12
ELders in our District and no sisters. Which doesnt happen to often.
Tell DOM that Elder Packham (Jake Packham) from BYU-I is in our
District! We spend like 6 hours in a classroom so I see him all the
time, he's a funny guy. We've all gotten to be pretty good friends since
we spend 15 hours a day together haha,
I taught my first investigator yesterday! HIS name is Lindsay, from
Austrailia. He's 52 and is quite the online dater. Haha claims to know
everything about God and the Bible and was just curious about what we
believe. We totally butchered our first discussion...lol it was
horrible. We were expecting to Bible bash or for him to have at least a
knowlege about God. Turns out he was someone who really had never read
the Bible, wasn't familiar with it's teachings and only says he knew
everything about God to avoid embarressment. So our lesson was pretty
much planned completely wrong. But we have another lesson on Monday to
teach and we'll start simple.
I haven't gained any weight yet...that I'm aware of. I got to work
out yesterday, they have an enormous gym here. The courts are on the
first floor and the track is actually on the third floor with different
weight machines at each corner, almost like stations. It was pretty
sweet. We get gym once a day and I'm determined to stay in shape!
Thanks for all the dear elder's and letters! I felt very loved. We
get our mail at lunch every day but I didn't get to open any till
yesterday afternoon. Keep em comin! I promise to write back to everyone,
it just might take a week or so because we dont have much free time.
I'm grateful to be here. We were promised right at the beginning by our
branch president that our testimonies will double in the time that we
are here if we are dedicated and exactly obedient. I've never read or
prayed as many times in a day than I have here at the MTC it's great.
How are things at home? Is Jesse feeling better? How is school
torie? Anything exciting happen at home? How has Jesse been?
Mom how are you holding up? I think
about you all daily and am doing my best here! Thanks dad for the line
of authority record! That's always neat to see. Im so excited to go out
and am learning something new everyday! I love you all and you are in my
prayers! I'll write back in a week!
P.S. JACK AND DYLAN. If you have your mission calls you better let me know now haha. If not, dear elder me anyway :)