Ditches, Duty, and Dropping the Tie – Bryson on His Mission, Weeks 86 & 87


January 12th, 2015

I am kind of an emotional wreck. Elder Rich is too because he is realizing how soon he goes home. Not trunky, but we are like little girls. The move and then Skyping you just threw me over, and now I am emotional. Then always trying really hard to do well because I am nearing the end is just making me go crazy!

One night, we knocked into two people from basketball, they were the only people to talk to us all night. They let us in and we had real good talks with them. We have a really solid goal to knock every day for the full two hours. In the winter in PT, it does absolutely nothing. In two weeks we have had probably three lessons that were the forced doorstep kind. I am kind of sick of knocking. It sucks, and it doesn’t get us anywhere. Oh well. We do it anyway.

I am glad, my mission has taught me a few things, and duty is one of them. Often, you can come up with reasons why something is stupid and useless, and then decide to not do it. We could say that for chores, knocking, even acting a certain way with your family other things. But, if you have a duty to do something, you do it. It’s hard to learn, but you’re not going to get anywhere by finding excuses. I have a better attitude about things that I have a duty to do!

We have one on date! She is this lady who had brain operation.  People have taught her forever, and we told her that she needs to either act, and really find out if this is the truth, or we aren’t coming back. She showed up at church, and this week we put her on date!! And we are getting C**** ready for the temple.

I drove into a ditch! This family had a long gravel driveway, that was very straight, but dipped low into this wetland, where we saw two bald eagles, and then back up to the house. They had just laid down lots of new gravel, at least nine in. thick.  It was a lot. Leaving their house, I got distracted trying to find my cap gun, which are our new favorite toys, and we drifted, while some bushes were hitting our side mirror. We were going really slow, but then, we just slid into the side ditch!! It was crazy, and totally my fault!! You couldn’t tell there was such an edge because the bushes made it look like it was flat on the side of the road, not a three ft drop off. That’s why I stupidly didn’t try to get us away from the side right away. All that fresh laid gravel just gave way and we were sideways in a ditch. GREAT!! Thankfully, we are in PT/Chimucum area, and there are so, so, so many rednecks out here who live for these moments. So we called up the Chimacum Elders and right away they had some awesome redneck come pull us out. It was really tough because we were high centered all along the middle because the drop off was so steep. But our mission vehicle guy gave us permission to do whatever we wanted because it wouldn’t be any better if a towing place did it. We got it out with only branches in every part of the car!! And somehow the gas tank and exhaust was still on. We got out, and went contacting down town and some lady walks out of a bar and up to us and asks if we got out of the ditch alright!! THIS TOWN IS SO SMALL!! She is the Attorney General for Seattle, visiting the family who’s ditch we fell in.

I wish I could give you my dissertation that I have prepared in my head about goals!! This isn’t very spiritual, but it has spiritual applications.  In short, I have come to the conclusion that if you can become a goal driven person, you can literally achieve anything you want to. I have struggled with goals, because half the time, when I set them, I only do it because it’s a good thing to to and don’t really commit. When I do commit, I lose my desire once I mess up. Elder Rich set a few good goals for his last transfer, and it inspired me as I watch him not deviate from them. Some are stupid, some are hard, but a goal is a goal, and you have to keep it. If I can get it in my mind that there is no other option than to keep my goals, I will get so much farther than if I try to reward myself for keeping them. If my will is strong enough to keep a goal I can be unstoppable. I found that writing them down is an amazing help. Goals written down I think are a key to success. That way it is always in front of you, and that way you can keep it in front of your life, and make decisions, plan, and act according to your goals.

 I am at a weird point in my life! Usually, I look at experiences and personality traits and see how I will use them to make my mission better. But now, I am losing time on my mission, and am thinking a bit about how all of this can be applied in the afterlife (post mission). I am making the most of what I have left!  But learning about the move it kind of forcibly put home in my mind, way earlier than I wanted. But it is fine. It’s not really a distraction, but I worry at how inadequate I am.

Your video almost made me cry though!!! All the family, and Alabama in there. That definitely made me very trunky. THANKS! It was really well done though. Good job. I am very excited to see where this all goes. The blog killed me too! The house looks awesome:) Dad, you are so talented!! You to Mom. Y’all are handling a lot and going above and beyond the call of duty.

That song on the family video was great! I am pretty sure that the band is The Afters. Some of their music was approved my first few transfers and that video, because of the music, also brought me back to the beginning of my mission. So all you have to do is throw Mitt Romney and Alabamas losses on there and you will have me very depressed!! They have a song called Life is Beautiful, and there are some good lines:

A father’s love

A wedding dance

New Year’s dreams

A toast with friends

A soldier coming home from war

The faith the hope of so much more

A brand new life, a mother’s prayer

Shooting stars, ocean air

A lover’s kiss, and hard goodbyes

Fireworks, Christmas lights

These are things that make us feel alive

These are the times that make us realize

Life is beautiful”

Even hard things like goodbyes with family, friends, Alabama, it makes us realize how great life is. That stuff, and leaving areas, it makes me grateful that I had such love with these people  that I am heart broken. That kind of hurt is sad, but I look at how lucky I am to be in a place where I knew and loved these people. Those pictures of the Darby’s saying goodbye to Addy hurt.  😦 This will be rough!!! LOVE YOU!!

I really, really love you. All the Blogs and videos and emails were a treat for me!!! Love you!!!


January 19th, 2015

Hey there.

I finished the Peace Giver this week. It was really good! It helped me look at parts of the Atonement differently. I don’t remember if I told y’all about this. For district meeting, Elder Lupton told us to wear service clothes. He taught us about The Atonement for a bit, and how hard it was to do a lot of what he did. We went to the field behind the church, and there was this bog, old, waterlogged railroad tie. We had to carry it over 100 ft and then back. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I switched shoulders on the other end, and I didn’t get the balance right, and kept dropping it on the way back. But I had to finish it. It helped me look at the Atonement differently. At some point I needed help getting to the end. That one is obvious. Take my yoke upon you……. Whenever I watched anyone drop it, I felt bad because I know how it will take him longer, and its a lot of pain to pick it back up. But I wasn’t worried. I bet Christ looks at us, he hates it when we drop it, but doesn’t get mad or remember how many times we dropped it. When we pick it back up, he is just happy that we are back on track, and doesn’t hold our drops against us. He is just wanting us to end up in the right place.  He loves us when we drop it, and pleads for us to forsake our sins and continue forward.

We had zone meeting up here.  Then, I had something that I thought was clever. We read Alma 38:12, about being bold and not overbearing. And Alma 18:24, and talk about being bold, but as missionaries, we need to think outside the box in everything we do. I had everyone read how Satan beguiled Eve, then go to Alma 18:23, and talk about how, before he used boldness, Ammon used guile to get him to believe. He was harmless, but took a different approach before.

Sunday, us four Elders took over Chimacum Ward Sacrament. Three missionary talks, and I played a piano song. It was cool. That is my second time helping out for a musical number in their ward.

G**** is still on date!! Getting more solid every time. B**** has been in and out of the hospital, and we finally met with her!! We had a great lesson, and in her prayers she always says she knows its true but just needs to tdo it. But she doesn’t!! She didn’t make it to church, though she tried, but we had a lesson that night, and it was really good. We helped her realize all of the miracles that brought her to where she is, and how her life has changed since she has found God. She recognizes that she needs to, and probably will be baptized.   She decided to pray about a date. 🙂

It has been a rough few weeks. Christmas threw everything off. Since then, there has been almost nothing going on. We have worked hard, but nothing really comes of it. We are lucky and have our two people that will be baptized before the end of the transfer, but that is it. (reading back over, what am I thinking. Two baptisms is awesome. Selfish bugger!)

I got really down this week. We knock everyday, no matter what. Which is horrible, because it is the worst way to find people in PT. We do it to be obedient, but if I was really trying to be effective I wouldn’t spent the precious evening hours knocking. I feel like it holds us back. I pray for motivation and that our knocking efforts will be rewarded, but its slow in coming. Oh well, we are trying, and I am lucky to have a good comp, a car, and good family.

This town is so, so, so small. I really love covering an entire town like I did in Kingston. That way, People aren’t always living in other areas just across the street but out of the ward. But here, everyone knows everyone. As we meet more and more people, we realize that they know each other. We know a lot of people who work at Safeway, and we talk to them about who we teach and meet, they know everyone, and they all know each other. So we name off who we teach to anyone and they know them. Then we meet someone new and find out they dated this other guy and is related to this other person who works for this guy who is the mayor and……… it’s Walnut Creek y’all!!

My ward, it’s getting better! We are going out on Tuesdays with Elders Quorum and Thursdays with HP. We also have two dinners this week. I didn’t appreciate a warm, filling meal until I make all my meals by myself. Everyday, all I can think about is a warm, home cooked meal, and not chicken and rice.

Sorry that it is so long. And negative. I love you! I’m praying really hard for you!


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