Momma’s Testimony, Samoans, A Saratov Experience, & Super Khakis – Bryson On His Mission – Week 43



 (Catching up on posting emails.  This one is a couple of weeks old, but still great!)

Great week this week. Norman is progressing! He is very solid. Reading the Book of Mormon everyday and he came to another baptism, church and wants to be baptized. On Sunday we had a third hour thing about hastening the work and a bunch of converts told their conversion story. It was weird, because that morning I pulled out the CD with your conversion story on it and watched it for the first time in a while. You rock Momma. At one point in there, you say that when you pray you know he listens and is there talking with you. I know that is true! Your prayers have always intimidated me. I have always felt like you just sit down with God and talk with him. And he tells you everything (I couldn’t get away with anything). 🙂

P -day we played Frisbee in the gym. I haven’t played in forever. I might not be the best at somethings, but I’m sure that I am the best at Frisbee here. It also helps that there is only about 30 people in the whole mission who can throw a Frisbee. Elder Muli and I were the dream team. He and I could beat entire teams by ourselves. He is incredible. I love Elder Muli.

I love running into Samoans because I instantly feel cool because my companion speaks Samoan. Then I realize I’m the only non-Samoan guy there and feel awkward and don’t know what to do. I have definitely gotten more awkward on my mission. A beautiful woman comes to the door and I freeze. I don’t know what to do. I turn and look at Elder Muli with the thought “Uhhhh, am I allowed to even speak to this beautiful daughter of God? What do I say? I can’t talk to her!!!” Then I run away screaming. Not really. I do get really awkward though.

Our ward is great! This week, Elder Muli and I have been trying to contact 10 people each outside of knocking. So we decided to just walk up the busy road. We were blessed! A guy pulled over and says, where are you going, want a ride?? The only thing going through my mind was “SARATOV APPROACH“. So I said, we are just walking around, thanks though. He said, well you can talk to me, get in. I was thinking about the possible places that he could dump our bodies and his method of ensuring ransom.

We get in, and he turns out to be a nice, non-Russian, non-kidnapping guy. He is also a non-member. He told us he grew up with guys who went on missions and knows its hard. He said he would love to have us to dinner, but doesn’t want to go to church at all. We give him our number, and get out at our destination. On Friday, he texted asking if we knew any members that would have a cheap babysitter. Where better to find a cheap young babysitter than the Mormons! We found some for him, and then he invited us to dinner. This is great!!!

I’ve been going to the gym for a while. I loooooove it so much. I finally have some muscle. Those stupid kind of tight shirts I got forever ago are now very constricting and I feel like I am in a straight jacket. yay for me. They play this 80’s music, not the rock stuff. Cindy Lauper type stuff. If I hear “Ice Ice Baby” one more time I might die. Or that one song”You take me by the heart, when you take my by the hand” has been on ever single day. We have only not heard it once.

Joseph came out with us for an entire day on Saturday!  He studied with us and everything. We had his car, and it’s amazing how much you can get done with a car. We taught some good lessons while knocking. He just got ordained a priest and got his Patriarchal Blessing Sunday. He is great.

My notes say that I crashed this week, but I don’t remember it. Hmmmm…..

A land lady felt obligated to walk us off the property, and told us about all these signs about no missionaries and stuff like that that didn’t exist. Since she lied, I decided to preach to her. And so I preached the whole way out. Walking and preaching to this lady. She softened up by the end and kind of listened. It was cool actually. A bit rude, but she lied.

Oh yea, Elder Muli crashed really hard. It was really funny. We were on these dirt mounds going down the hill. I act as if I am pro BMX everywhere I go, so I take these like jumps. He would  never go on these. I finally convinced him, and he went over his handlebars and his helmet flew off because it wasn’t buckled. Funny thing, a member had yelled out the window to buckle his helmet, less than a minute before. I can laugh only because I crash all the time.

We knocked into this guy, who let us in. Elder Muli had talked to him before on the street. He sat us down and asked if we wanted to have a bible study with him and his wife. Bible studies are awesome because people are usually nice when the try to disprove you. His wife was pretty good with her scriptures. We talked about our differences, which were fewer than she thought. I did a horrible job of explaining the Priesthood. It was bad. Then I quoted a verse in Hebrews to show that the names of the two priesthoods actually exist, which she denied. Then she had her husband read the whole chapter, and they had NIV. It confused the poop out of me. When you read that chapter in the NIV without being able to stop and think, it gets very, very confusing. Then she says, “That chapter proves you wrong”. I sat there and said, I have not studied that chapter enough to dispute that. I pretty much admitted defeat. It was hard and killed my pride, but I was sooooo confused and her explanation of the chapter made no sense at all. But the rest of the bible study went very well. Her major problem with the BoM, is that something that is good and the word of God would not be hidden for so long. It was a very good discussion though. She rebuked me in the name of Jesus. Which was a first for me. Still a good study! I would just say, we believe this, and this is why. Show her a few scriptures, and then she would show me why she believed different.

Pants. Oh yes. So my black pants now have a hole in the knee  and a rip in the pocket thing. (Rip in in the pocket thing?!  Ha!) We had an hour and a half to shop at the mall for four guys. that is pretty difficult. Let me tell you, it’s as if every store in Washington expects you either to be feminine or overweight. If you have a small waist, you can only find really tight pants, or if you have a large waist it is really baggy. You may be able to find a normal pair, but it is really hard and expensive. If I wanted to not go broke, and buy them before I left, I was going to have to settle for something that didn’t look good. I got two pairs of khakis, so it looks like that’s all I will be wearing all summer. 🙂 One is a weird brown, but its kind of cool. They are kind of skinny and I feel incredibly stupid. Everyone there told me I looked great and they weren’t even that skinny, but I told them everyone on the west coast dresses differently than I’m used to and that my sister wears baggier jeans than this. But, I’m not out here to look good. They will do fine and I can get normal clothes when I get home! I am just pumped to wear khakis. I feel like we will be unstoppable when we wear them. (Are khakis the new Superman S on the chest?)

Thanks for thinking and praying for me. We usually have three inches of rain in March, and this year we had over nine. I knew it rained a lot. I am not crazy. I am used to going to Florida for Spring Break and this year I am not getting it! I am lacking my tropical vacation.

Thanks for the great letter. Loved it!

(This video shows what it is like to be a missionary and what experiences Bryson is having.)


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