(This post is SEVEN weeks worth of emails! With the move we are VERY behind. It is a long read, and we apologize for that, but many of them are shorter emails. And there are some gems in here. As of today, he has two weeks left on his mission. What a blessing it has been for Bryson and for all of us to have him serving the Lord for two years!)
March 9th, 2015
Well. Went to the bunkers today. That was pretty fun. Capture the flag.
KINGDOM OF GOD OR NOTHING!!!!! Thats my new quote. It’s true no matter how you look at it.
Did family home evening with D****, J***, A****, and friends. Played Cranium!!!! Had a really good lesson. We brought a pizza and ice cream! We helped D***** to decide to quit drinking and smoking. She is doing it!! I am so proud of her!! She almost went to church, and she is always talking about religious stuff and we have deep conversations. I love that family.
Saw J***, and had an incredible lesson!! She wants all the lessons, and wants to come to church! Taught part of every lesson, and felt the spirit. She is Definitely ELECT!!!!!! Can’t wait.
Taught Sunday School for youth. I said “I want to know your name, age, grade, and social security number.” Elder Hendricks freaked on me…..
Went to Port Orchard. Shelia took us to Red Lobster on our way back. LOVE YOU SHELIA!!
I heard we need to have classes picked pretty soon? True?
We went to Chimacums because we spent the night there. That was sooooo much fun!! Then next day we all went down to Tacoma to hear Elder Maynes, Nielsen and Bussy. It was really good. If i have time I will talk about some things I learned. One is that God the Father and Jesus are the first missionaries of this dispensation. Joseph was like any other investigator, and they answered him. We follow in their footsteps and have a lot to live up to!!
Thanks so much for the package. It came at a perfect time!!! Saturday Elder Arnesan wanted to do an exchange and I didn’t complain. We saw Jordan again. Knocked. Saw peeps and then our neighbors invited us for Harry Potter Jelly Bean roulettte. So we did that. So much fun. Almost threw up. I had some good conversations about church. They wanted to come to church and would have if they didn’t have to work!!! Darn
Gotta go. Love you so much! I love you. Y’all are seriously so cool. Can’t wait to be with you. I love frisbee.
March 16, 2015
We were at Walmart, and a random guy who said he was a member, talks to us for a second, then goes off on this speech about loving people who are messed up, and love isn’t as important when it is easy, it is supposed to be hard. He said all of these brilliant things that fit exactly with our situation. We looked at each other and asked, did that really just happen? I said, Sir, you are a Prophet. He smiled and walked away. Definitely Nephite #3.
I have learned, that surviving in situations is not too hard. It can be, but mostly its easy. Surviving, and being happy is the hard part. But we aren’t here to just survive, we need to excel in every situation, and be full of joy. A good quote, “I know we can do hard things, that’s not really a question. Will I do hard things is the question.”
D**** is doing so good! She is less active and I have so much joy in seeing her change like this!!! It makes me so happy, just like with a convert. It pretty much is another convert. Her kids are doing better too.
Elder Hendricks, if he hears a name that he saw somewhere on his family tree, he will ask if they are related. If their mailbox has a name, he will leave a note on it. Haha. He found a distant cousin at a funeral. Then, at dinner with the B****, she said her maiden name was B*****. He asked if she is related to Isreal Barlow? She was!!! I remember his name from somewhere in church history. Then she asked “WHAT WIFE ARE YOU THROUGH??” HHAHAHAHHAA! Only in Mormon world will you hear that.
Had Stake Conference. Sis Bean was kind enough to drive us the rest of the way from Sequim. At Stake Conference, they talked all about family councils. The principle applies everywhere, and I love the idea of councils!!! With family history work, a good point was brought up that we will know them as well as they know us. It is said that when we get to the other side, the people whose work we did will run up to us and embrace us and thank us for all we did. But really, we will run to meet them, and greet them like a family member that we know, and thank them for all that they did for us in our life, because they help us as much as we help them. SO COOL!! #oneeternalround #trutheternal #thethoughtmakesreasonstare.
EVERY MEMBER A MISSIONARY!!! We have all heard it a thousand times, and we can tell who took it to heart and who didn’t. I realized, that if PMG is pretty much scripture for us missionaries, then it is for y’all too, because you are missionaries too.
In the middle of our Stake Conference, I got a text from Elder Shuler, and he told me that I was getting a shout out from Freddie Del Toro. I think he and his wife were speaking in the Saturday night session of Stake Conference or something. He got the Melchezidic Priesthood yesterday and is getting sealed in five weeks I think!! THAT IS SO COOL! I needed that to lift my spirits up. My first convert. I end my mission with a family being sealed. Best mission ever.
March 23rd, 2015
Port Townsend and Chimacum are like a dream. Now that I am here in Tacoma it’s weird to think I was ever there. Our entire district up there can’t stop talking in CHAKA TALK!!! We love it. I told them about all that and now I sound too much like my father.
Got to go to the temple. It was so cool! Elder Shuler, Elder Slavens, and Sis. Bishop were all with me this year again and that made it fun. Really fun long bus ride. Last year, I had a tough time with the temple. I had been teaching the gospel only, and gaining a huge testimony of just the gospel, that the temple freaked me out and I was thinking, this is not at all what I teach. I didn’t get much out of that trip. This year was a whole different experience. IT WAS SO COOL! I know so much more doctrine and have a much stronger testimony and I just learned so much and received a lot of revelation.
March 30th, 2015
Hey, only on for about 10 min. We had to go to PT today to get my stuff. I love you so much. I am feeling the best I have in a very, very long time. Thanks for the prayers. I am now in Soundview Ward in Tacoma, as an office elder. I spend the week following the AP’s, ZL’s, or OE’s around. I got to pick who I went with. I spent most of my time working with Elder Shuler and Elder Hatch, the Tacoma West ZL’s. There are so many people, and they are really good missionaries, and it got me back into missionary mode. I am with Elder Singleton. I have been around him a lot and know him well. Funny, outgoing guy. We will have fun. We are just going to knock, knock, knock and do lots of good work! I prayed about it, and we are aiming for four baptisms! God loves departing missionaries, and I think we can reach my goals.
I love my life!!! I have been around great missionaries all week. I am going on bike in the mansion. We cover part of university place, which is really nice. Some of the best views I have ever seen. We are also Office Elders (OEs). We are very, very obedient, but its easy when everyone does it. This has been an exhausting week. Going back today I got to say goodbye to a few people, and left some stuff with the Haddenhams.
Since I have been with the ZL’s all week, in mostly my area, we had 14 on date. We put three families on date together. It was fun to just jump into the work.
In Soundview, we have this lady that is the most elect person I have ever seen. She glows with the Spirit. She has a huge, huge desire to learn everything, and sits there and soaks everything up and has lists of questions, and accepts it all. She is a happy, happy person, and I want to be with someone that is like that forever. She reminds me a lot of Mom and what she was probably like. She has two cute daughters. I love it! She was born in Huntsville.
Do you think that we can come up for a few days a week or two after I get home and tour on a weekend and get my stuff and see my areas? 🙂 Love you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!
April 6th, 2015
Hey y’all! Great last week one of my mission! My last time filling in week 1 of my planner. So weird!! I feel really weird about this whole coming home thing. I really don’t think about it that much, but my thought process and attitude is a little different because I know this is my last transfer (in the way that I haven’t learned the area as well) but I am still working hard and really focused. I have to start writing my final report, but I AM NOT READY TO GO!
I honestly am really, really scared of coming home. I am excited for a few things, but other than that, I get scared everytime I think about it. A good group of elders just went home, and I was friends with many of them. They spent the night at the mansion the night before they left. We all stayed up late and told stories from our missions. It still hadn’t hit any of them. I don’t know if I can come home y’all. I try to organize my thoughts about it all, and give up right away because I get scared and confused. I enjoy a simple life of work and feeling the spirit. I want to keep it that way. I love the people around me. I feel like I won’t have a purpose in life, and that I will be lost…..
Thanks for the Easter package. I loved it. I had the best Easter ever!!!!
Do y’all know a Rick Garlock from Oregon? His brother is in my ward.
I love my companion. He is really funny. We laugh a lot!! He is a computer genius and is really good at stuff in the office. Since everyone knows I won’t be here next transfer they don’t teach me anything. I kinda sit there. We knock a lot. Good ole Tacoma!! See lots of crazy people. Lots and lots of lessons and “NEW” investigators. We get great numbers, but I feel like they are hallow numbers. People we teach are not solid. But I guess it is the way of Tacoma! Every once in a while you find a solid person, and that’s who we look for!! We do good work together!!
S*****! She is the most Elect and Golden person ever.. She reminds me so much of my mother!!! She was taking notes and saying oh that is so cool everytime she found out somthing. And she had so many questions!! We taught her twice at the Carpenters, and once at the Blatters home. Sister Blatter was there and we went over 1 Ne. 8. The next day we gave her a church tour and she got interviewed! I wish I had more time to tell you all of our wonderful lessons. Her daughters are so cute! Her husband came up from Oregon and watched conference with us! He isn’t a member. General Conference was so good!!! Easter Sunday at seven, we baptized her! I got to do the confirmation. She showed up 2 hrs early to cook Philipino food. There was sooo much food. SOOOO many of her friends and family showed up. We had to move to a different room.
We were in the Blatters home watching conference sunday afternoon, and Elder Pearson got up and he used to be the mission president here!!!! I was in the very room he watched conference in years ago while I watched him speak!!! And even cooler. GET THIS EVERYONE!!!!! Elder Anderson gave a great talk, and mentioned the Kaiwanwatanas, a family in Thialand. I don’t think you could have made our mission scream any louder. That is Sister K’s family!!! Remember her? We were born into the Lincoln Ward together, and she and I became really good friends. We would both play piano together at firesides. I have seen pictures of her dad, who is in the wheel chair. We got 2 shout outs in conference!!
I am typing really fast so sorry for the bad everything.
Love you so much!!!!
April 13th, 2015
Hey y’all! I don’t remember if I told you, but we went to the Jehovah Witness Sacrament! It has been a mission long dream of mine to go to this. They only do it once a year, and only those who of the 144,000 that are going to Heaven can partake. They passed it around and nobody partook. I almost did. Might have if it hadn’t been wine. They were the best member missionaries ever!! It probably helps that they all knock doors weekly, but they all were mobbing us with literature and getting to know us, even though we are the last people that would join their church, the Mormon missionaries. Tons of people offered us rides, and even when we were walking down the street like a mile away, two people who we hadn’t met but knew we were there pulled over and offered us a ride. They were really nice, loving, and you could tell that they knew their purpose as witnesses of Christ. It’s an easy place to be a missionary. Great experience.
My companion is kinda funny guy, and we all joke on each other a lot in the mansion. We call Singleton “Captain Springville” because he is from there and ran for Mister Springville and lost. hahahaha:)
I confirmed S**** She is an incredible person. I look up to her a lot and really love being around her. Her kids are like my own little sisters. She is always reading and coming up with more questions. I wish I could talk more about her. Short on time!!
For some reason, my scripture study has been enhanced. I am finding new things all the time. I am reading in the Gospels, and have always loved them. But now I decided they are pretty much my favorite part of all Scripture. Especially Luke and John. And Matthew. And Mark. Ha. Our religion is all about Christ, and this is all we know about his life, and this is what it is all about. I feel like I get to know him and how he thought so much!!
Had a miracle!! Huge one. We were in a random Ward Council meeting on a Thursday night, which usually never happens but since its been so long we had to do it. At the end, we hear someone knock on the door outside the church. I don’t know why, but I got up to check. We let this guy in, and he is some guy that was drawn to the church!!!!!!! There is usually never anyone, let alone missionaries there at this time!! He just wants to change. Become part of a loving group/family.
We take him on a tour. He runs to the Joseph Smith painting, the one of the first vision. He wanted to know what it was!! We teach him the restoration, and he loved it. We continue the tour, and we put him on date for the 19th!! He pretty much put himself on date. Members on their way out of the meeting all met him, and we all prayed together. Later we were talking about praying to know stuff is true. I show him the plaques for all the missionaries, and he looks at them. There were probably 8 or 9. He chooses one and starts reading the scripture. WOuldn’t you know, it is Moroni 10:4-5!!!! I look at Elder Singleton and his jaw is on the ground. I almost want to start laughing because it seems like a joke. We took him back into the chapel. and the AP’s were doing a church tour also. They got to the part where they would have him go into the chapel and pray about the church and Jesus and see what they felt. They said we can stay in there if we are quiet. They come in and were all praying.
Love you! Thanks for the Birthday wishes!
April 20th, 2015
We had a week full of miracles. Seriously. They are pouring in. God loves his departing missionaries. Thursday night, we are told by the senior missionaries at the office that a guy called wanting to know more, and because we were all in zone conference nobody was there for him to contact. So he came into the office, and the senior couple taught him a ton! He lives in our area, and isn’t YSA because he is married!! We got his number, and went over the next day. His name is N****** from Cali. His wife is crazy, like truly does satanic things, and he is in the middle of a divorce. He is in the army, but his knee was busted from training exercise in California. He is huge! Swam in college. His biceps are as bug as my legs. He got in contact with his highschool sweetheart, who converted a few years ago, and wants to marry her in the temple. So he is getting baptized! We went over, put him on date!!!! We met with him Saturday, and then he came to church! Can’t wait. Such a miracle! He is pretty solid but on crutches so he can’t run. He was training to be a ranger though.
S****** husband came to church, and he has been not interested at all, but he was way happy and friendly. Elder Singleton was prompted to ask him about baptism, and he said, yeah I talked to missionaries in Oregon about it (where he works and stays during the week). He was planning on it, and we got him to decide to get baptized up here with his family and all his church friends. He is on date too!!!!!!!
Then there is this guy who has been on date forever but can’t get baptized until the transfer after I leave because he needs to be divorced. 😦
We put two people on date, and now we have four on date!! And three came to church. That is really good. What is the best is that they are all solid. We have been soooooo blessed!
Crazy Crazy week! One of the most busy and exausting weeks of my life! We got to go to all the Zone Conferences and set up, take down, be tech support. We didn’t have to sit through the trainings and chilled with the AP’s most of the time. It was exhausting, I was sore from setting up so many tables and chairs. Since my companion is a genius with computers and anything techy, he did all that, and I was the slave. Even President and Sister Blatter knew it. Elder Singleton would do his important stuff while I would set up all the tables and chairs, sweep the gym, carry stuff to cars……. But we came to realize that we were all really good at our jobs, so I accepted it and liked it. If they needed any job done, they knew who to get to do it.
They put in these black boxes called TIWI into the cars to track and yell at you if you drive stupidly or speed or whatever. Someone left a car in Olympia and I drove it up to Lacey. As soon as I got in, I look over and the AP’s are just waiting to see if I will do it. So I pin it and drive crazy all over the parking lot to see what the limits where. It was fun. 🙂 We were pretty much mini AP’s all week.
Sis. Blatter gave a quick training because she is the mission nurse, and talked about constipation and how lots of people who are just eating protein are having problems. She would show everyone this stuff called psyllium, which helps it along and makes you regular. For my birthday she gave me a thing of it.
After, we were talking about marriage with Pres. and Sis. Blatter and the AP’s in the kitchen. I tried the Psyllium and apparently took way too much. Next morning, I was a mess. It hurt because everything that could possibly come out did. I WAS REGULAR EVERY 5 MINUTES. The next day, during her training, Elder Singleton and I were making her laugh so hard because we all knew about my morning, and she had to turn around because she couldn’t stop laughing. Finally, I told the whole central conference how my morning was.
Sis Blatter is one of my favorite people on earth. I really, really enjoy her. I had to play a musical number, and made it up the day before. It wasn’t anything that good. I had to play it on a piano from the primary room. It wasn’t very good. 🙂 I took the piano from Mormon Message Mountians to Climb, and put it in with a Savoir Redeemer of my Soul/Come Thou Fount medley thing. I got roped into a musical number and sang tenor. We practiced once, and it still ended up being a really, really good song.
Birthday. I was at Zone Conference, and busy allll day. But Elder Brink woke up at six to make me breakfast. He was so nice. 🙂 Love that guy. And my cereal was great!