Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Memorial Day, Last Zone Conference & Death Testimony, Mariachi Baptism, & BYU Football Coaches Fireside!!! - 05/30/2016

What up what up! Hope you are all doing fantastic! Happy Memorial Day!
I hope you all had a wonderful day!

This past week has been pretty great, if I do say so my self. Monday we had a pretty chill day. We went down to a pretty nice mall. We mostly windowed shop cuz we ain't got money for dat. We did how ever get comp shirts for Memorial Day.

After our P-Day we were able to meet with the Gress's. They are a super awesome couple in the Kentland's ward. We were fortunate enough to sit down and get to know a little bit about them. Sister Gress has been an active member her whole life. Brother Gress is a convert to the church and he has a pretty cool convention story. Brother Gress is really into nature and this involves fishing. This led to us talking about Alaska for a good chunk of time haha.
Tuesday was a very long and bland day.  We spent a big hunk of our time running back and forth from the police station and our apartment trying to get all the things we needed to be able to file a police report for my wallet, that I lost a two weeks ago.

 Wednesday we had our Zone Conference which was awesome! All the training's that were given were really well done! It definitely has given me some new ideas on how to better my area. The conference was also very weird because this was mine and the Cooke's last one. At the end of the meeting they usually have the departing missionaries give their death testimony. And since I don't go home this transfer I thought I was safe... Wrong! They decided that all the people that are going home in July have to bare their testimonies as well. It was the weirdest feeling ever! Going to be honest, it doesn't really feel like my mission is coming to a close, but when I got up there, crap got real haha. After the zone conference we rushed back home to get to our area for our meal appointment. After the meal appointment we attended the baptism of someone the sister missionaries were teaching, it was pretty great.
Thursday was a service day! We were going to go out to the farm, but I sounded like they had nothing for us to do, so we helped Mary Ellen in her yard. While we were helping out we were able to talk with her non member daughter, who is visiting for the summer. It was great, being able to meet and talk with her. We are hoping that she will continue to have positive experiences with members of the church and hopefully she will start to become more interested. Crazy thing is, she will be going to school at UVU next fall so she will be surrounded by members.
Friday was a blast! Elder Crandall had his death dinner with the Cooke's, so I was able to go on an exchange with Elder Combs and Elder Porter. Us three came out on to the mission at the same time and I have been able to serve around both of them and they are some, best guys! We had a lot of fun while we were working.

Saturday I was able to attend another baptism of someone in the Gaithersburg ward! It was great to see a lot of the ward members who I use to be close with. For the baptismal program we were located in the chapel. At the same time as the program was going, the Spanish ward was having a full out fiesta! So right when the first speaker was baring her testimony, Mariachi music blasted from the cultural hall. It was pretty funny! We had to run and tell them to turn down the music till we finished. After the baptism we were able to the Landrith family for some fondue.

Sunday we had our normal services which are always great. After church we went to dinner at the Turley's home. The Turley's are an awesome family in the Kentland's ward! Sister Turley is a pretty accomplished singer. She played Cossette on Broadway for a number of years and since then she goes and speaks to large groups of women for Dessert Book. Brother Turley is an awesome guy! He was the first ward mission leader I had on my mission! Later that night we were able to attend a fireside put on by a bunch of BYU football coaching staff and players. It was pretty awesome! Afterwards they had a meet and great with all of them and a member from our ward gave me a football for all of them to sign it was pretty sweet! Thank you all again! Have a wonderful week!

Taysom Hill

Ty Detmer

Kalani Sitake

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Rain Rain Go Away, Junkyard Dog's, Interviews with President Cooke, Baptismal Interviews, District Meetings, Working on the Farm, and Blessings for a Family in Gaithersburg - 05/26/2016

Hey everyone how are you all doing?  This week has been kind of long as it has rained the entire time and it seems like we haven't seen the sun for the past month. Anyways some of the highlights from this week start on Monday. We went to a junkyard. There were a bunch of old cars we took time to scavenge through and we were looking for old seat belt's  that we could make belts out of. That was really fun! After that we went to lunch, and after lunch we went to a family's house and we had a birthday party for Elder Crandall because he was turning 20. 

On Tuesday we had our interviews with the mission president which went quite well. President Cooke is winding down here as the mission president in the Washington DC North mission. He will be done around the first of July. After he is released he and his family are taking a vacation to California for a month then they're coming back to their house which they bought in the same ward that they were serving in. It seems because of his short time he was making the interviews a little bit longer than usual which was quite nice. It was really cool just to be able to talk to him and be able to get to know him a little bit better. 

On Wednesday I was able to interview someone for baptism which was a pretty cool experience that I'm very glad that I was able to have the spirit was very strong. 

Thursday we had our district zone meetings.  

On Friday we spent the day at the farm working on various tasks that they needed to finish up. We spent a lot of time finishing the staining which took place last week, we also took time to take the ponies from the field that they were in and bring them up to the barn and then we brought them back when they were done. After we were finished at the farm we went to dinner at the Blewett's home. Another family from the ward was also there which made it a really fun time.
We were able to meet the Blewett's daughter who is a nonmember.  She is about 23 and she plans on attending college at UVU in the fall. She has been hanging out with lots of missionaries as of late and it really seems like the Lord is working on her. As of right now she is out in Maryland for the summer working at the summer camp that some members own. We are hoping this summer, that she will create some solid connections with some other members and hopefully she will start becoming more and more interested in the church. 

On Saturday I was able to perform two more baptismal interviews and just like the first, they were a great experience full of the spirit. Later that night I was able to go to Lacsamana family who are in the Gaithersburg ward. I called them up a few nights before and told them that I need to see them before I leave. It turned out that it was an answer to their prayers. I know they're going through some hard times and none of the missionaries in their ward right now don't really understand what is going through their lives right now. Personally I don't completely understand what is going on, but I was in the ward when a lot of the things that they're dealing with right now were developing.

During the night we had dinner and I was able to give sister Lacsamana and her mom a blessing. Those blessings were one of the most spiritual moments on my mission. That night helped me see that God really does care about everybody and their circumstances. That something that we say a lot and sometimes I feel like it's kind of deluded because of the repetition, but when you seeGod's work in someone's lives it really does bring a much greater meaning. 

On Sunday we had a meeting with all the missionaries for mission leaders in the stake at 7 o'clock in the morning we talked a lot about what was going on with the efforts of missionary work in the stake after that meeting we went to church and enjoy the services it was for conference we had opportunity to hear from the stake president and a bunch of the stake leaders. Another great highlight of Sunday, we are able to meet in new family in the ward and have dinner with them. On my mission I have appreciated the opportunity to get to know people a lot more than I did at home. I love talking and listening and hearing people's differences and their different points of view. As you listen it really does broadens your perspective and you have the opportunity to learn from them and their lives.

Thank you so much for all the emails and all the love and support. I am so sorry for the late email once again. 

I hope all of you have a wonderful week thank you so much much love!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

New Suit and the Tie is Almost Done, Bible Study, Continued Work With Marie, and Service on the Farm - 05/16/2016

Hello everyone! This week has been pretty good! It has been filled with similar things that we have been doing for the past few weeks. We have been helping out with a bunch of service. We helped up at the farm, we spent an entire day organizing the mission sheds with a bunch of other elders. We also helped on of out members with cleaning out one of his storage rooms, so that was kinda fun.
Investigator wise, Marie is still crawling forward. She has been reading the Book of Mormon which is still a huge step with her. She still has not come to church in quite a while, so we will be focusing on that in the up coming visits. A really cool experience we had this week was that we were able to attend a bible study hosted by one of our members. All the other people (about 5 or 6) who attend are non LDS. Usually the bible study is just one guy talking about the reading that everyone should have read before coming. This time at the end of the bible study, the main guy started asking us questions about what we do as missionaries and what we believe in. We were able to give him a brief rundown before we had to end. We will be heading back over this week hopefully to be able to continue to share what we believe in an open environment.
On Sunday we had the Why I Believe fireside. It was awesome! The keynote speakers were the Turley family, who are from our ward. Sister Turley is pretty well known. She played Cossette in Les Miserables and now she goes to different parts of the country speaking and singing for something called Timeout for Women. She bore her testimony primarily through song. The awesome part of this Why I Believe is that her whole family was involved. So she had her 4 kids who range in age from 2 to 10 sing which was pretty funny, then they had brother Turley bear his testimony at the end! It was a great fireside.
In other news I got a new suit and my tie is almost done Yay!

Thanks for all the emails have a great week! And sorry for the late email once again! Byeee

Monday, May 9, 2016

Mother's Day Facials and Call, Kentlands Days, and Knitting a Tie??? - 05/09/2016

Happy Mother's Day! Hope you all had a great week and you all spoiled your moms. This past week we have had lots of fun! I'll let the pictures do all the talking! Hope you all have a great week!

Mother's Day facials.... We spent Mother's Day with a family off all boys. All the mom wanted for mother's day was do girly stuff with her boys, so we were a part of that experience... More pictures to come of that:

(Saturday) Great day at the Kentlands day. ( kinda like steel days but much smaller) our church had a booth set up where we talked to people about the different things that our church offers like the relief society for the women, and scouts for the young men. While we were there we realized that we scare people away, so we kinda stayed away from our booth for a while and went to talk to people at the other booths. This picture is of Elder Crandall and I checking out some of the cars they had at the event.

Mother's Day call:

Knitting a tie:

Some other highlights that I don't have a picture of is being able to meet with Marie! She wasn't at church because she wasn't feeling good so we dropped off some flowers to her. It was a really nice brief visit. I feel like she is coming closer and closer to being able to commit her to baptism. We also have been meeting with lost of the members trying to help strengthen their faith. Anyway thank you all so much for the emails! Keep them coming! 

Elder Tyler Johnson  

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Zone Activity, Electric Long Boards, Temple Trip, District/Zone Meetings, Service, and Last Transfer Next Week - 05/02/2016

Hey everyone! This week has been pretty great! 

Monday we headed down to a zone activity in silver spring. We had a chalk fight and then we played a bunch of sports. It was pretty fun. After the activity, Elder Lee came on exchanges with us up to our area. We had dinner and family home evening with some awesome family's.

Tuesday we did a bunch of service for members. We helped this older lady with some yard work. We then helped another member with his garden. While we were doing this we started talking about things that we liked to do at home. Long boarding came and one thing led to another, he let Elder Crandall and use his boosted boards. They are self propelling longboards that are controlled by a blue tooth controller that you hold on to. It is way sweet and they go pretty fast. They told us one of these P-Days we can take them down into DC! We will for sure be taking them up on that offer. After we had finished with them we had a great dinner with some other awesome members.

Wednesday was our temple trip and that is always great!  After we had finished we came back into our area and visited a few members then we had to drive back to the temple for a lesson with Marie. We watched Joseph Smith, Prophet of the Restoration with her. We then had a really good conversation with her, talking about what she needs to do to build her faith.
Thursday we had our last district meeting of the transfers. Everyone in the district gad the opportunity to bare their testimonies. After the meeting we walked across end the street to the temple to take our District and Zone pictures. 

Later that day we had dinner with a family. One of their son's is getting back from his mission very soon and another son is getting married only a couple of weeks after the other one gets home. On top of all that this family is getting ready to move down to South Carolina, so they are very busy. It was really nice of them to take time out of their crazy schedule to feed us.
Friday Elder Crandall and I went on an exchange to the farm that we work at weekly. That day we spent pretty much the whole day pouring cement for a horse barn they are putting in. We then spent the night with a bunch of other missionaries. It was pretty exciting haha.
Saturday we we worked on the farm for a couple of hours then we headed back to our area. We went to the Blewett family for, you guest it, more service. We spent pretty much the entire day shoveling dirt and spreading it all over the lawn. It was actually really fun. The Blewett's are one of my favorite family's that I have met on my mission. Mary Ellen and Rick have been members for almost two years now. They were baptized on Mother's Day in 2014 so just a few months before I came to the Kentland's Ward for the first time. They are the only two members in their family. They have two kids who are in their early 20's that we are trying to work with. We are hoping that over time their hearts will soften and they will be willing to listen.
Sunday we had our regular church meetings. It was a really great fast and testimony meeting, with awesome lessons the cap it all off. After church we had our study's then we went to dinner with another solid family in the ward. Once we had finished, we spent the rest of the day checking on less actives and we were able to actually have a really great visit with one of them. All in all it has been an excellent week!
This Wednesday will be transfers and Elder Crandall and I will be staying together in the Kentland's Ward.

Thank you so much for all the support you guys give me. Hope you all have a fantastic week! Byeeee!