Countdown

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December 15, 2009 Week 18

Hello Everyone!

How is everyone doing this week? Well its pretty good here. It has finally snowed and we only have a few inches here, but people have no idea how to drive in the snow. They drive like crazy still! But it's been a pretty good week.

I am currently on the 2nd day of the 12 days of Christmas you guys did for me. Thanks for that. Its awesome. I love the 1st day too. A bunch of stuff I don't need haha. I actually could use some of the stuff though. I have read your letter Whit, and Markie and his families letters. They are great. Hey by the way, Happy Birthday Big A. How was it? I think that's awesome you are starting to play the guitar now. I was close to your age when I started too. You're gonna be a pro when I come home and I'm going to be horrible. You'll have to reteach me. And Cassi you will have to write me a letter in cursive some time. You guys sound real busy. Oh hey I will still send you a picture of my investigators I just have to get the baptism first.

Speaking of that, yesterday we started to teach one of our investigators sons. He was taught by other missionaries in the past, but then they changed the boundaries for missionaries to cover and he kinda got lost and forgotten. Well we taught him yesterday and he is awesome. He is about 15 or 16, but he goes to church every Sunday with his friends and he goes to seminary too. He pretty much knows and believes everything already. So I kinda put him on date to get baptized for January 2nd. He said that he would want to. The problem is when his dad got home he was pretty mad and stormed upstairs. We are hoping it wasn't because of us. We are actually teaching the dad today and I hope all goes well with him. But the son is going to talk to his parents about baptism and if they approve then he is good to go.

Also we had another great lesson with Adrian Sandavol. Our exchange was one of his best friends and it went really well. Adrian was really happy and last night he said, "I'm actually learning guys!" We committed him to read the Book of Mormon everyday. I hope he does it. That's the only thing holding him back right now. If he can gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon everything else will fall into place. But he is so close to being baptized. If all goes well we might try and set a date for him to be baptized too.

So we missed the Christmas Devotional this week. Our members recorded it and we were going to watch it with them but one of their grandkids was playing with the tv and it didn't record. I think it replays and they rerecorded it, but we have no time to watch it now. I heard it was really good. We did have a dinner with the Stake Presidency this week because we exceeded the Stake goal of 70 baptisms. We got 73. So they had all the missionaries in Pasco over for dinner. It was really good and a lot of fun. I think next week the Stake President is going to have all the missionaries over for Christmas on P day. That should be great too.

Not much else has gone on this week. Unfortunately many of the appointments we had set from last week canceled on us. It just goes to show the up and downs of missionary work. One week can be the best week of your life and the next week it can all go shooting down. But this week hasn't been that bad and we are still teaching. Another big downer is Vien kinda dropped us again for the second time. Her family is just giving her the hardest time about things and I think that's the reason she doesn't want to meet with us. She is still friendly and hopefully her neighbors can keep in close contact with her.

We have also done some tracting this week, as usual, but this week we have run into a lot of Anti-Mormons. They answer the door and we introduce ourselves, but then they all almost say, "Oh we know who you are." and then they slam the door on us. We also tracted into a guy and we said we are sharing a message about Christ. He then said, "Ya well I believe in Christ, but not the same one you do." We then asked him who he believed in and he didn't know what to say so he just slammed the door. Hopefully you guys don't feel bad. I think its funny. I am actually starting to enjoy tracting. We have some funny experiences with people. We can also have some great conversations with people right there on the door step. But referrals are still better than tracting.

Hey Lynds I did hear about that new church geneology program the church has. I heard its great. I want to get into that when I come home. Just a side note I guess. Ya that's pretty much it for me. I didn't get transferred and neither did Elder Cashin so we are here for another transfer. Still no news on my visa. Any news from you? Oh and I got a letter from Mavis Wright and the Hylands. I will be writing them today. Tell them thanks for me too.

Well that's it. I love you all and have a great week.

Love,

Elder Garrick

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

December 9, 2009 Week 17

Hey everyone!

How is everybody doing this week? I hope all is well with everyone. So let me start with the usual of the letter then I'll get into the good stuff. I have not yet gotten my swine flu shot haha. Seriously it is just really hard to get it. We don't have any stores in our area and no way to get there. And I have been asking everyone and they are all telling me that the shot made them get the swine flu and I'd be better off not getting it. I pretty dang healthy right now. I don't even have a cold.

Hey Congratulations Nick and Bonnie! A little boy thats awesome. And his name is Grant? Is that right? Well I like the name. You'll have to send me a picture of him. And thats so good that Pete got into Washburn. It seems like everything is falling into place for you guys. Those are the blessings you get for staying faithful you guys. I'm sure the fam will be sad to see you leave, but at least its the best program for ya.

So it is so so so cold here. It has been in the single digits all week and the high sometimes gets up to 20 degrees. A member in the ward gave me a coat that I wear underneath the coat dad gave me. So that keeps me pretty warm. That scarf is a life saver and the ear muffs I got. Ya I wear ear muffs and a scarf. Never thought I would until I came out on my mission. But I am going to get some thermals today at wal mart because my legs are freezing. Unless that's one of the presents you sent me :)

Speaking of presents, thanks so much for the packages you all sent me. I got all 3 packages and I also got JoAnn's Christmas package and I got her chip package last week. You guys are awesome. That tree idea was great. We hung it up and put all the ornaments up too. Thanks for all the great notes everyone made in them too. We took a picture and we will send them off to you sometime this week. I do have some questions/comments on the presents though. First off thanks for the CD player and Josh Groban CD. It's so good. We have listened to it everyday since. So I guess I have to wait to open all the presents until Christmas huh. Except for the 12 days of Christmas ones. I already listened to that tape. That was great, thanks guys. I didn't know if I should listen to it now or on Christmas but I figured I'll talk to you on Christmas so I might as well listen to it now. The kids are talking so well now. Thanks for that picture you guys sent me too. The twins have changed so much. They look exactly like Makai. Its like you have triplets, just one is bigger and a boy, but they look exactly like Mak. That pictures great though. I hung it up in my room.

Okay so yesterday was zone conference. It was a lot of fun. We had a little talk from President Belnap and then we did a Christmas program. The assistant president of the mission and his wife did the Christmas story and there were a few missionaries who sang and played instruments and stuff. Then we had a slide show that a missionary put together. then we had a great lunch of ham and potatoes and other good stuff. And then we got to watch Forever Strong. It was a really good movie. I had never seen it before. And ya I saw a couple people that I knew, especially Dave Cole. He's in like every scene. But it was a ton of fun. We got a letter from the 1st presidency, a copy of the slide show on CD, and a picture of the mission with Elder Holland (although you can't see anyone in the picture because we are all so small). It was great. I also got to see a lot of the elders from my old district and zone and I saw Elder Olsen and Elder Smith. Elder Olsen is doing pretty good.

Alright so onto the best part of this email. 2 Sundays ago Elder Cashin and I decided to do a fast for our investigators and just for our missionary work. And the blessings just poured out to us after that. I will name off everything that happened. First was the Storms who we tracted into and then he came back and apologized and told us to come in. We taught him again and he is really interested. We also met a former investigators family and they want to learn more too but after the holidays. We had an awesome lesson with another investigator and the spirit was way strong it was amazing. He doesn't believe that Joseph Smith saw God and Christ face to face. We talked about Moses and how he did too. He got really emotional and said he will pray about it. Huge progress for him. Then we went to see a potential investigator. When we showed up he was really excited and we taught him for 3 hours! We have another appointment with him this week. Vien wants to take the lessons still and she came to the Christmas party. She is also going through a really hard time and we had a fantastic lesson with her too. She was just bawling during our lesson, but we were able to help her through the Book of Mormon. She doesn't get the concept of prayer so we taught her that and she is going to do it. We called the people who went to Elder Holland and two of the members are working with the people. We found out there is a part member family and the wife who is a non member wants to take the lessons. I got a coat on the coldest day of the year so far. At church a lady called us up and said she wants to take the lessons again. We have no idea who she is. Ya this week has been way good. I didn't even think about it until recently but I know its because we fasted. Anyway I hope everyone is good and that they are having a fun and happy holiday season. I love you all.

Love,

Elder Garrick

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December 1, 2009 Week 16


This is me at the Columbia River


Me and Brother Raul Diaz. He is a member and is awesome. We visited him regularly. He is great.


Hey everyone,

Wasn't sure what to title this one so I just did Dec 1st. Clever, eh? Well I thought I would just go down my list of things I wanted to talk about and answer for ya. Thanksgiving was a lot of fun. We couldn't do anything the whole day so we had a 3 hour personal study time. That was nice because I feel like one hour is never enough. Then we went over to the church and sat in the library and watched church videos. We got invited to a Thanksgiving dinner with one of our part member families we are teaching, the Sandavols. They are an awesome family. They have a little boy who is 1 and a little girl who is 3. We had it with their whole family and it was over at the church. The food was great and then after we all played volleyball. Then we went with another member family and they took us to the buffet. Holy Cow! By then I was so stuffed. I felt so sick. I felt like I was going to burst. But that was about it. We have leftover’s from the Sandavols so I have been eating that. How was everyone else’s Thanksgiving? How about Lynd’s b-day and JoAnn's surprise b-day?

So hows the snow? It hasn't snowed yet in Washington. It is getting really cold though and it is always foggy. Plus the sun goes down at like 3 o clock and it gets colder after that. I'm not yet sure when we will call on Christmas. Our zone conference is on Dec 8th and I'm assuming we will find out then. I heard the U lost to BYU. Bummer! Guess it was a really good game though. Over time right?

There is a kid in my ward right now who just got his call to Salt Lake City South. So you may see him. His name is Venou. He is a convert of about 1 year and his parents kicked him out because he got baptized and is going on a mission. Pretty amazing huh? So this week at church I had to pass the sacrament and then speak. I guess it was kinda crazy with the holidays because a lot of people were out of town. So they didn't have enough people to pass the sacrament so they asked me. When we got done passing the bishop gets up and says, "Well I guess one of our speakers isn't here. Elder Garrick will you come up and speak to us." So I ran up and spoke. It actually went pretty well. I talked about Alma and learning from our experiences. I always think of a few things I could speak on if I ever get called on like this. Another thing that was pretty cool was yesterday in District Meeting. Our Zone Leaders came and sat in with us. We practiced doing role plays and listening to the spirit to try and resolve people’s concerns. One person had a concern and the person teaching just had to ask questions and listen to what they should talk to them about. The zone leaders went and it was amazing. Then it was my turn. I won't go into detail with everything but everyone answered the other person’s questions and concerns without even knowing what they were. Crazy huh? So I was on some spiritual high after that. We went back to our house and prepared to go out. I gave a prayer and asked the Lord if he would help us find someone new to teach who is searching for the truth. I kept a prayer in my heart the whole day and I was searching for this person too. We contacted a few people who had previously taken the lessons. No success. Then we decided to just tract. We knocked on this guys door and talked to him a while. He didn't seem too interested so we left him with a card a moved on. We do about 2 more houses and then I drives up behind us and says, "I'm sorry that was very rude of me. I should have invited you in. I'm in a program that was founded by Glenn Beck and I remembered that he is Mormon too. Would you like to come in?" Pretty cool huh? So we talked to him and his wife. This program thing Glenn Beck made is about keeping God in our constitution because people are trying to take Him out. The Storms, this guy and his wife, have the exact same beliefs as we do. Like seriously, exact same. So we are going back tomorrow to teach them a little more. What an answer to our prayer. Just goes to show that if you ask with a sincere heart, God will answer.

So you guys had a few more questions I will answer. My teaching is pretty good I think. My personal teaching goes pretty well. There are 3 main lessons we teach: The Restoration, The Plan of Salvation, and The Gospel of Jesus Christ. There is a lesson 4 on Commandments and we try to combine that in our first 3 lessons. Sometimes we teach it separately. Then lesson 5 is for after people are baptized. It’s actually supposed to be the ward who teaching lesson 5 but people don't really know what to do so we end up doing it too. I have given another blessing. Only one though. It went good. And our service has been slim lately because there is not much to do for anyone anymore. We always ask people but they have nothing for us. I have 2 more weeks until the end of this transfer. It ends Dec 13th I believe. But I'm thinking I will stay here for another transfer. Rarely do you stay in an area for only one transfer, that only if you are having major problems with your comp. Hey I thought I'd wish Cassie and Sue and Beckey a Happy Birthday. Also thanks for the card Spence and Beck. Yup I guess that is it for me this week. I hope everyone is good and I love you all. Until next week.

Love,
Elder Garrick

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

November 24, 2009 Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey everyone!

Hows everybody doing this week? So I wrote a letter to the fam and I just sent it off today. Mom I answered many of your questions that you wanted me to answer but there were a few that I thought you might want right away so I'll answer them now. Q3 It does get pretty cold here. There is no snow yet, but I think they expect some soon. The biggest killer is the wind. There is such a cold wind chill here. And it blows way hard against you. I have been wearing that scarf that you sent me and I pretty much wear those sweaters everyday. Q4 ya my razor is still working. My facial hair is coming in nice haha. I decided I'm not gonna shave when I come home so I can be a grizzly man. Q6 my shower sponge is still good and if I need another I can get one at Walmart Q7 things that I might need....well if I could get some thermals that would be nice. My pants are really thin and don't really keep the cold out. Ummm...I have been using the Perfect Pushups that Elder Cashin has when I work out. They are awesome. But maybe if you wanna send me those for my Christmas gift. Maybe some shoes too because my nice Sunday shoes are getting torn up. And if there is any way you could send talks on cd by like John Bytheway and maybe even a cd player. You could just send one of the old ones that are in my room. But music is also pretty lax here. As long as its uplifting its approved. So we can have lyrics and all. Some missionaries stretch it to normal music, but I might want to stick to church music still. But if its uplifting, send it on over. Ya the Josh Groban cd would probably be good. Also chips are always a plus. So I think that answers the questions that I didn't answer in my letter. And you don't have to send me all that stuff its just ideas. But the thermals are probably the most needed.

Well for Thanksgiving we are going with some members to a buffet. So we are going to pig out there. We got asked by one of our part member families if we want to come over for dinner too. So we might go eat with them before the buffet. I think we will be okay. Don't worry.

Hey tell Glenna Bird I got her letter and I sent her a letter back. Also tell JoAnne I got her letter and she mentioned something about a package. I haven't gotten anything from her yet so I don't know if I just haven't received it yet or if she hasn't sent it out yet. I'm gonna write her today.

How was dinner with Elder Wright? Is he doing okay? I wonder how it would be to serve in slc. I guess he is in a companionship instead of a tripanionship now huh. That's good. Well this week was a little taste of ethnicity for me. I went on exchanges with the zone leaders and they are Spanish speaking. I went with elder Godinez in his area. It was way fun. He's a cool kid and he is actually the only one going home this transfer. But we went around to a lot of his investigators and I just sat and watched because I had no idea what they were saying. At the end I would bear my testimony and he would translate. But it was cool. He is a great missionary. We went and saw one of his investigators who is going to be baptized soon. He had to leave, but we talked to his parents who are both members but haven't come to church in a while. The mother was distraught. I guess her dad lives out of the country and he is dying and she doesn't know if she will be able to see him. But E. Godinez talked to her and she was just bawling the whole time. I asked what happened when we left and he said that she needed to come back to church because when things like this happen you need a reservoir of faith and right now she is dry. Pretty bold huh. Well she agreed and said that she would come back to church and she and her husband are going to take the temple prep classes so they can go to the temple. It was crazy because I could feel the spirit the whole time we were there and I had no idea what was going on. It goes to show that you can feel the Holy Ghost even if you don't know what's happening. But we went to some Mexican store that some members own. They gave us Etoli, I think that's how you spell it. I bet Daniels had it. I thought it was hot chocolate. It tastes like you have tortilla's, beans, and corn all blended into liquid form. It was okay, not the best thing to drink but it warmed us up. So ya that was exchanges.

E Cashin and I realized from our exchange that we need to shorten our visit times with people and make them more frequent throughout the week. That way we can help people keep the commitments they say they will keep. Well the other experience we had was on Sunday. There is this Vietnamese lady who speaks very little English. She has been taught in the past, but she just doesn't understand everything. But a kid in the ward just got back from his mission in Texas speaking Vietnamese. He got all excited when he heard there was a Vietnamese lady in our boundaries. So we went and taught her. Again he pretty much talked to her and elder cashin and I just sat in confusion. But it went really well and she understands things a lot better with him there. So those are the two things that happened this week. Our work here is kinda getting tough. The investigators we have don't really want to do anything to find out the truth. I don't know if they really care. Many have been investigating for years, so we have to approach things a different way so they have a desire to learn and also a desire to do things. Oh hey E Cashin does have good family support so you don't have to worry about him. I guess you could send something small, but I think he'll be good for Christmas. Also I don't think your pictures went through on your email Lynds. It was all weird when I opened it up. Guess I better go. Love you guys and have a great thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

November 17, 2009 - Week 14

Hey everyone,

Well we had breakfast with President and Sister Belnap today because our zone is doing really well and we are having a lot of baptisms. So that's why I am emailing so early today. It usually wouldn't be this early. I haven't gotten any emails from you guys yet but that's okay. Again time is short but I am going to try and write a lot. I'm a fast typer. I got all your mail and it all came at once so Thursday was like Christmas to me. It sounds like Halloween was really fun. I want to see that pumpkin Daniel carved. Did it turn out okay. It also sounds like the AutoRx party was fun too. Remember when I got second place haha. And then everyone thought my shoes were part of my costume. Nope they were just my regular shoes. Crazy that was only a year ago. Can you believe that Thanksgiving is next week? I'm still talking about Halloween. Hey dad your costume sounds great. I hope you guys took a picture of that too. I'm sure Lyndsie did.

That's kinda sad that Christmas will be changing this year. But I guess it has to happen some time and a good time to do it is while I'm gone because it's going to be different for me. Mom you sound real busy. Hows your feet doing? The kids sound like they're changing so much. Just from the letters you write me I can tell that they are talking a lot more. Weird. Alright the U is tearin it up too. The TCU game will be pretty big. If they can beat them then the U will probably rise pretty high. Thanks for the updates. How are the Jazz doing this year?

Well this week has been pretty awesome. On Saturday Elder Holland came to the mission and spoke to us. It was so cool. We got a mission picture with him and they are going to print it off for all the missionaries. Sister Belnap said she might just send it home for Elder Olsen and I if we are gone. Then we walked into the Gage building (my old area) and we all got to shake his hand. It was awesome. Also Elder perry of the 70 came and Elder Neilson, President of the 1st Quorum of the 70 came as well. They were all great talks and they really hit hard on teaching with the spirit and then living up to the covenants you have made even after your mission. Elder Holland said that we should not even think about going back to "Real Life" after our missions. We need to take everything we get from our missions and take it home with us. He said a mission is as close to real life as you are ever going to get. It really made me think about life in terms of eternity. Our life here on earth is such a short time compared to the overall picture. And once we pass away from this life we have so much more to do and learn. And it will all be centered around the things I teach and learn on my mission. So the mission really is the closest thing to real life, in terms of my eternal life. He also came and spoke at the Pasco's Stake Conference so we got to hear him twice. They blocked off the whole chapel area for investigators. There were over 100 investigators who came to hear Elder Holland speak. What a miracle. E. Holland said three things about the church. He talked about in Acts where Peter heals a lame man. The man stands up and rejoices and starts leaping and jumping for joy. Then he also talked about when Christ healed a blind man with the clay. And when people came to talk to the blind man he said in my own words, Once I was blind but now I see. From these two examples he said 1. you can't deny the truth, the man simply said, "Once I was blind but now I see." You can't get anymore truthful than that 2. the blessings keep coming. Those who are faithful in the church, the blessings just keep coming, just like the lame or blind man. 3. then he said that this is God's truth and it will never go away. People thought if they could get rid of Jesus it would all go away. Others thought if they could just get rid of Joseph Smith it would all go away. But Christs church is still on the earth and it will never go away. So those are 3 powerful things Elder Holland talked about to over 100 investigators. The spirit was so strong and we are going to capitalize on this event because those 100 investigators had to of felt the spirit.

Well also during this week we had some great lessons with two of our investigator families. One is the Raddy's. Actually since I last emailed we have taught them twice. The last time was last night. We have had two fantastic lessons with them. We read about the tree of life last night and asked them if they want this love for their whole family. The dad said that with work he can't make it on Sundays. Elder Cashin for the first time listened to the spirit and read 1 Nephi 3:7 and promised him that God gave us a commandment to go to church and He will provide a way for it to happen. He said he would pray about what he should do. They are a great family. They have 4 daughters and they all want to be baptized, its just the parents holding them back. The oldest daughter bore testimony in sacrament and she also expressed that she wants to go to the temple and do baptisms for the dead. She is 14. Our other lesson has been with this lady named Vien and her son Michael. Vien was previously Buddhist and has just converted to Christianity. She currently goes to a baptist church, but knows very very little about Christ. We have had to take things really slow. But we talked about a lot with her and she said that she has never felt the spirit. So I shared Moroni's Promise with her and I asked her to look for what Moroni has promised us. When she read it her eyes got real big and she said, "OH!" She said that she would pray to know if the things we taught her are true. She is doing really well. Her Son is incredible. He is only 7 but he sits with us and participates and asks us questions. He said he would pray too and he asked his mom to read the scriptures and to pray and then he told his mom he wants to come to church with us. She was kinda of hesitant so we are doing a church tour with them this week. I think it will go very good. So those are my big things for the week. The work here is great. Like I said, last night was the first night Elder Cashin has taught with the spirit. He told me last night that he has been so worried about being senior companion that he hasn't really focused on the spirit. Hes a real good kid. He is really shy and he said that I'm a really good teacher and he wants my help. So like I have said in past emails I know we can learn a lot from each other this transfer. And my high hopes for the area are actually getting higher.

I hope everyone at home is doing well. I'll try to write some letters today. Its been hard because planning has taken so long I haven't had any free time. Today we are going to play basketball and soccer too. It should be good. Well I have like 10 minutes left and I want to email some pictures home so I guess I'll send this off. Love you all and have a great week.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

November 10, 2009 - Week 13

Hello hello everyone,

My time is short now. We only have an hour to email now and I have actually spent a lot of time writing other emails to people. So I will have to be really fast and brief. I guess I better write more letters now. So the mission office sent all the mail you sent me to Benton City. My old district leader calls me up and says, "Do you know an Aeiko Nakamura? Do you know a Whitney Klc?" So I really have no idea if I am ever going to get those letters you sent me. I think Roy Bird sent me a letter too. And Lyla sent me a letter that I got. Tell them thanks, but tell Bro Bird that I haven't gotten his yet.

So I have no idea whats been going on at home. How is everyone? I actually do not have the address of the house I'm staying at right now sorry. I will get it and I'll try to send out a letter to you tomorrow so you can have it. But for now send it to the office. They straightened everything out so it should come to me now, but I'm a little worried about the other letters if I will ever get them. So Pasco is great. Everyone is really nice and more open to listen to us than in my other area. This is E. Cashins first time as a senior comp and I think he was having a lot of problems with his old comp and they didn't do much work. So we are just going around trying to meet everyone and determine what we can do for them and where they are at in their progression, if there is any at all. E. Cashin seems to be very shy so I am going to try and help him with that. It's good because this transfer I want to be super bold. I've come to realize that I don't have to be scared of anyone. Who cares if they turn me down. Who cares if someone thinks I'm wrong. I've been reading a few talks about being bold and I'm going to apply it to my work. Oh that book Danny Bird suggested about becoming a bold missionary, our members have it so I'm reading it and it is so good. Our members are awesome too. The house is really nice. We have the basement to ourselves and everything is really nice. And the wife does our laundry haha. She is really nice. Ya I really like this new area. E. Cashin and I just have to work at being bold together. We don't have much of the same interests, but he is a nice kid and he wants to work hard so he is fine with me. I think we can both improve and grow a lot this transfer and hopefully work some miracles.

Oh by the way, I'll tell you a little about E. Cashin. He is from Platcity, Missouri, but he lived in St. George Utah for 14 years. So he is pretty much a Utah boy like most missionaries. He did not do any school before he came out because he was working to save up for his mission. I really admire that. He made some big sacrifices to come out. He is the oldest of his siblings and is the only boy. We are kinda opposites. I'm the only boy but the youngest. But ya he stresses out about a lot of stuff and I just have to calm him down. I'm a little more laid back than he is haha. But ya we are teaching a few people. I haven't really taught any yet. Most of our appointments are for this week so we are going to be really busy. We did teach a lady who used to be Buddhist and is really unfamiliar with Jesus Christ. We taught about the plan of salvation, but we only had 30 min and rushed it. We probably shouldn't have, but we set up another appointment and we are going to take it a lot slower and answer her questions and focus more and more on Christ. We should do that all the time anyway.

Oh Elder Holland is coming on Saturday. He is speaking to the Pasco stake too so I get to see him twice. I am really excited for that. It sounds like there is no new news with my visa huh. That is good news that the 12 wouldn't permanently reassign that other elder. I really want to get there. I saw Elder Olsen at transfers and we had a good talk. His comp just went home and now he is getting a new one. I hear that his new comp is kinda hard to work with. He wants to get to India too. He sent me an email that his mom sent him. I guess they are trying to work with the Indian govt as best as they can but it didn't say much else.

Well I love you all. My time is running out soon. I hope everyone is doing good and hopefully your letters get sent to my right address from now on. Sorry if I haven't replied to some of your letters, but I want to get them before I write back. Maybe I can when we go see Elder Holland. But that's on Saturday....OH boy. I guess I'll have to wait for those too.

Hey those Halloween pictures were really cute. All the fat babies were really cute. I can't believe you let Mak and Isabelle paint pumpkins. That's a big risk haha. How'd that go? Well gotta go. My time is really low now. I'll send this out and make sure it gets to you. If I have time I'll try to send some pics. Love you all and until next week

Elder Garrick

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

November 3, 2009 - Week 12

Well ldsmail did it again. I had a huge emailed typed out and ready to send and something happened and it got lost. So now I'll have to be fast. Sorry about that.

So the story on transfers. I have been transferred. On Saturday President left a message and said I would be going to Benton City with my current District leader Elder Bart. I was super excited because he is a great missionary and Benton City is total farm country and I'd stay in the same district so I'd have unlimited time to email. Then yesterday (Monday) president calls again and tells me my transfer has changed. I'm going to Pasco with Elder Cashin who has been out 6 months. I guess E. Cashin has been having problems with his current comp so prez decided to make a change. Elder Smith is really happy these days and excited about working. Maybe that is why I was assigned to serve with him. He just needed that fire brought back into him. Hopefully he stays that way.

Well Halloween was okay. We did nothing really. Tracting was forbidden and we ended up going to the Halloween party and then over to a members house for dinner.

Have you had dinner with E. Wright? I wonder how he is doing? I guess E. Olsen has had a great trainer, but he is going home now so Olsen is getting a new comp. He is really anxious to leave too. Any news on my visa? If the first ones haven't gone through yet, I doubt I'll leave in January. This visa thing is killing me.

That's cool about your new Bishopbric. You can tell the ward that I approve. All those guys are amazing and our old one was great too. Sounds like the U is still tearing it up. How about the Jazz? Mom I haven't gotten my swine flu shot, but I have gotten my seasonal. I guess they're all out of the swine flu shot. I think I'll be okay. Havent gotten sick yet.

Well today I'm getting a haircut and then we are going to play a little basketball and then go bowling. So it should be a pretty fun day. Well seriously my last email was so much better, but I have to go now. I don't know how the email will be in Pasco so this might be my last time I get to email the whole day. I hope everything is good though and I love you all.

Love,

Elder Garrick

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tuesday, October 27 - Week 11

Hey everyone. I guess I'll jump right into things. Thanks for the sweaters and scarf and candy mom. They are great and they fit perfectly. I don't think I'll be needing any more, just the two you sent are great. I don't need any levis. I brought some with me when I came out. They are getting a little hammered, but that's how they should be.

Dad that's hilarious that you slept out. Always trying to prove a point and then you can't ever seem to follow through with the sleep out. It got pretty cold then? I can't believe its snowing already. The weather here was pretty warm for a while, but it has been raining like crazy! And the wind is way strong. When we were biking yesterday it was like I was constantly biking up hill because we were against the wind. Man I was so tired by the end of the day. My legs are killin me today.

So dad you asked if I do any service. I have done a lot of service here. I have painted a house, stained multiple fences, raked leaves, helped people move, moved a piano, and I laid sod one day. So even though I don't do yard work at home, I'm still getting my yard work in for the year. That's awesome that the U is doing so good this year. I didn't think they would with a lot of their seniors leaving. I hear TCU is doing awesome too. Well it looks like you had a fun Halloween. All the kids looked so cute. Mak looked like he was hating his costume haha. Isabelle looked like she loved hers, and the twins costume was funny. Holy Cow Burton's big. Ya he looks like a Klc to me. Oh I like Maks haircut. Its sweet, real stylin Mak.

So I gotta tell you my story this week. We were at the AP's house still and President Belnap calls us at like 7 in the morning. I answer it and he says he wants to talk to me about my visa and he's at our house right now. I explain to him that we aren't there and we are living with the AP's. So he says he'll be right over. So I'm freakin out. I throw on my clothes and put in my contacts. I'm just thinking, "oh my gosh I have been reassigned, they're not going to approve my visa." Then I thought, "maybe some miracle happened and I got my visa. No its way too early, I got reassigned." So my hearts pumping and President finally arrives. I go and sit in the car with him and he goes, "Elder Garrick I'm not so concerned about your visa as I am about your companion." So he asked me how Elder Smith is doing and I let him know and then he says, "Okay well thanks for the update, see ya later." And he leaves. So it was nothing about my visa, it was just a way to get me out without Elder Smith thinking of anything. What a dirty trick huh?

So I'll update you guys on E. Smith. We have been working hard which is good. He seems happier. Yesterday we had a pretty heated discussion because I want us to work with the ward more and he just wants to knock on doors. Ya nothing came of it.

I know that whatever is in my way I can emerge victorious (I liked that letter you sent me Whit, and I read the talk, did you read the one I suggested to you?). But I know there is a great work out here for us and I want to do every thing I can to share this gospel with everyone. I've been reading in the Book of Mormon about Ammon and Aaron. Wow I want to be like them. Well this email has turned into something I'd write in my journal haha.

Oh some other good news. The Elder Jeffrey R. Holland is coming to speak to our mission on November 14th. How cool is that? I'm so excited for that. He is one of my favorites. Hey Lynds don't worry I get all of your letters and I love them all. Sorry if I don't respond to them all, but I at least try to in my emails. Well I love you guys and have a Happy Halloween. Oh I'll find out on Saturday if I'm being transferred so if you send me anything this week you better send it to the mission office. I'll let ya know by next p day if I'm being transferred or not.

Love you guys,

Elder Garrick.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tuesday, October 20 - Week 10

I can't remember if i ever sent this one of us mini golfing. that was a few weeks ago. Like my second week here I think. And then that's the street I live on Sherman Ave. Sweet huh.




Hello everyone

Well I really don't have much to say this week. Things are still really slow and we haven't found anyone to teach. We got dropped by another investigator. I actually have never taught her, but since I've been here we have been trying to set up an appointment. I thought we should have dropped her a long time ago, but Elder Smith wanted to keep trying. So on Sunday we went to visit her and she wouldn't answer the door and then her boyfriend walked by and we asked him if we could speak to her. He came back and said she really doesn't want to meet with us. So I was fine with it. I figured that was the case anyway, but Elder Smith was crushed. He fell into super depressed mode.

Our visits with people are going better and I'm able to listen and teach by the spirit more easily. I had an awesome experience the other day. We went out on exchanges with a member (exchanges are pretty much where a member drives us around at night) last Friday. We stopped by another members house the bishop just wanted us to check on. They were sick so our exchange suggested we go across the street and see a lady he home teaches. She is less active and hardly ever goes to church. So we visited with her. Her mom was there too so she thought she had called the missionaries over. We explained we just thought we would drop by and no one called. Well we found out that her son committed suicide about a year ago and she has been really down ever since. We thought we would share a little message just about hope to cheer her up. So we went to the great chapter in Moroni 7 about Hope. As Elder Smith was talking I had the strongest impression to go to Alma 28. We talked about this chapter in our comp study that morning. At the end it talks about how the people mourned because of the loss of their people in war, but rejoice because they are made a live through Christ. So I flipped to this scripture and shared it with her. I told her that I knew this scripture was meant for her. Tears filled up in her eyes and all she said was, "What time does church start again." I guess he was recently baptized for the dead last week so it was perfect timing. And she came to church the next Sunday. It was so cool. Its funny how the Lord works. That scripture really was meant for her, but we never would have shared it with her if we had never talked about it in comp study and if our first appointment didn't fall through and if our exchange had been someone different. So ya that's my cool story for this week.

Now for my funny story. We were out on another exchange with a member and we thought we would stop by this family and see if we could get a referral. Its a young family and they have a four year old son who is sitting in the dads lazy boy. He was happy and nice and was talking with us. So we start to give our little lesson and we are at the end. Elder Smith bears his testimony and then I bear mine. As I'm bearing my testimony the kid just starts to breath really hard and groan, but I just keep talking. I get to the end and I'm about to ask for the referral when the kid just pukes all over the chair. I stop talking and just say, "Oh, Oh, Oh man." Then the kid threw up two more times in the chair and we just sat and watched the whole thing. Our exchange held their baby as the mom and dad cleaned up the kid and the couch and Elder Smith and I just sat and watched. Oh man it was so awkward, but I thought it was so funny. I was laughing about it the rest of the night. Needless to say we ended up not asking for the referral, we didn't feel it was the right time. So ya those are two stories from this week.

Hey that's awesome the U beat Colorado St. I told E. Smith about it and tried to rub it in but I guess he likes the University of Colorado or something. Hey mom sorry I may have been unclear but I still have my meds I was just wondering in the distant future if I need to refill them. I'm fine now and I'm sorry if you got some more already. Hopefully you haven't but I guess it wouldn't hurt to have more. Dad that's cool you went and saw your great grandma and grandpas graves. It really is amazing that they are pioneers and they are only your great grandparents. Lynds and Whit I sent you both a letter yesterday. Sorry I wrote them on like Friday, but forgot to mail them until yesterday. And Gran I'm working on one for you right now. Thanks for all the news on my visa. I have just dealt with the fact that I'm going to be here until January. I hope I'll at least be able to go by then, but I pushed away the idea of a miracle happening and my visa comes in tomorrow. Oh I forgot to tell you, the members we live with redid their wood floor so the fumes from the stain and finish are way strong so we had to move out for a couple of days. I'm staying with the AP's and office elders so that's been fun. So maybe the office elders can just bring my package home when it comes in. Ya mom thanks for going ahead and just sending me the sweaters we are pretty busy. The two should do me. Oh ya and today is zone p day so our whole zone is getting together and I think we are playing walker (its soccer but you can only speed walk, supposedly its really fun. Sounds kinda weird to me) Well I hope everyone is doing good and I love you all. Oh and I think its your turn for the scripture right. If not let me know and I'll send a good one to you. Oh ya and if there is anyway you could send me the March 2008 Ensign I would love it. It is amazing! Thanks. Mom you said Whit was going to email me today but I haven't gotten one yet. Maybe I'll check back later.

Love you guys,

Elder Garrick

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 13 - Week 9

So this is a golf course that a member made. There are like 4 houses with the golf course surrounding it and going in between the houses. There are 5 holes, but 9 different places to tea off at.

In this picture I chipped it in from probably like 40 yards out. It was pretty sweet. The other picture is one of Elder Smith. I had to add it because he was SO BAD at golfing. Man it was hilarious. I'm going to start carrying around my camera so maybe I'll take more pictures. We'll see.



Well Hello Everyone!

So I can not believe that Whit already had Burton. I'm so glad everything went well and that both she and Burton are healthy and safe. I have just been assuming that he would be here in the next two weeks. What a shocker that was for me to hear that he had already been born. He's a cute little guy. Thanks for the pics. And it happened on the day the twins got blessed. What a crazy but fun day. The twins looked so cute in their dresses. And seriously I am always amazed at how big they get with every new picture I see of them. Even Mak and Isabelle are looking bigger. Well it sounds like you all had a big eventful day on Sunday. I was just sitting in meetings thinking, "I wonder how the blessing is going."

Well on to the things I wanted to talk about. You guys asked about April, our one investigator. Ya she was SOOO CLOSE to being baptized. We were late to one of our appointments with her and when we got there no one was there, so we thought it was our fault. But we spoke with a member who was going to be there and she said that she too never saw April show up. So we are trying to call her and can't get a hold of her. She is in the singles ward, but lives in the apartments that the other elders in our district covers. So they are going to see if they can look her up because a member owns the apartments. We want to drop by and see her. I really don't know what is going to happen now. We also can't get a hold of Raymond, the guy we tracted into and met on his front steps. So we are probably gonna drop him and move on. Dad, you wanted to know what a typical day is like for me. Well at 6:20 I wake up and start to work out. I do that push up and stomach routine I got before I left. Then at 7-8 I shower and eat breakfast, from 8-9 I have personal study and then from 9-10 I have companionship study with my comp. I have suggested that we take 30 min everyday to read Preach My Gospel and then take the other 30 min to prepare lessons for the people we are going to teach. That has been working out really well. Then at 10 we are supposed to go out and proselyte. We actually haven't done it too much because things have been crazy with service, meetings, bike problems and stuff. Then lunch at 12 which is usually a sandwich and chips. Then the rest of our day consists of going to the appointments we have and dropping by some of our referrals or less active homes. At about 5 we usually have dinner with a member and then we share a spiritual thought. Then at 7 we try and get an exchange to take us around for the rest of the night. Then 9 we plan for the day and 10:30 I pass out.

Wow, I can't believe what happened to Spence. Tell him that I love him and hope he is okay and that I pray for him every night. I'm glad you went to the BYU game, dad. That sounds like a lot of fun. Ya the BYU fans are annoying. Everyone here complains about the bad calls they had during the game too haha.

So I really have no idea what you can put into the ward news letter. That I got reassigned and am working my butt off. I guess that's what you can put. Oh and its fun, that too. That's awesome about Toshio and Max. Man they are going to be great missionaries. Tell them to good luck for me and to enjoy everything. Hey mom thanks for your letter this week. I will be sending you another one this week and probably send along with it one to Jake. So could you give it to him for me? I want his home address and email.

Okay so the BIG news about me this week was we had interviews with President Belnap. We had some great training and while that was going on Prez would take missionaries in one by one and interview them. I was the last one to get interviewed. I pretty much told him everything and did not hold back. He said he felt impressed to tell me that this experience will shape my the rest of my mission and my life. His advice was to just be positive about everything. So at 6:30 I wake up Elder Smith and we work out together. And like I said we now study from PMG everyday and we are praying together more. I told E. Smith that I believe we can turn things around we just need to have faith and obey the mission rules with exactness. He agreed with me. So we have only done this a couple days, but it seems to be working. Yesterday I went on exchanges with the Zone leaders. I went with a different Elder Smith. He is a great missionary. I really enjoyed last night and it was a lot of fun. So during my interviews I talked to President about my visa and he said the same thing to me that you guys said. I will probably be here until January. With the new news you guys gave me it is sounding highly likely that it will be January with how busy the ambassador is and everything. But at least we know I will be going to India and not have to worry about being reassigned to a different mission. I'm so thankful for that.

So it is getting BUTT FREEZING COLD HERE! Sorry for the non-missionary language but really it is. Dad your jacket is great. I went out and got some gloves and today I got some ear muffs. If possible could you send me some sweaters to go over my white shirts? Most of all my shirts are short sleeves and the cold air rushes up my suit coat. Or should I just buy them here? Oh and a scarf would be nice. I decided that for Christmas I want another pair of walking eco shoes. I wear my nice church shoes every other day because that's all I have. It would be great if I could keep those nice for interviews, meetings, and church and then have 2 pairs of walking shoes for the rest of the week. Oh hey mom I have not gotten the flu shots yet. I will for sure get the regular flu shot, but should I really get the swine flu shot too? I heard its been more harmful than just getting the flu. Let me know what you think. Eh from your email I'll just plan on getting both. Well I love you all. Give lil Burton a kiss for me and I hope to hear from you guys soon. I'll try to send out some letters this week if I get time okay. Oh and my scripture for this week is 2 Nephi 4: 33-35 this is where Nephi puts all of his trust in the Lord. Its such an amazing thing. Hey I'll send some pics of us golfing last week too. That was way fun. Okay love you guys. bye.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Tuesday, October 6 - Week 8

Oh wow so from reading all the new emails I guess I got my answer to my first question today. Any news on my visa? I can't believe I'll have to wait that long. I really had some hope I'd be leaving by the end of this transfer, but I guess not. So ya Elder Wright was in my district in the MTC. He was a good guy. He really wants to be a good missionary like all the elders in my MTC group. He was a nice kid and he definitely is out for the right reasons.

So how'd everyone like General Conference. I would say my favorite talks were Elder Scott on the Saturday morning about the spirit, Elder Uchtdorf about the Love of Christ, and Elder Holland with his amazing testimony on Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. I want to see someone deny the Book of Mormon after that talk.

So dad how's your diabete's? Any results from the Dr. I'm glad you and mom are really putting forth the effort to eat well. How about your back? I heard its been pretty bad lately. Take it easy man. Your not super man.

How was Whits shower? You had it already right? Oh so I think there is some confusion on my food. I eat at members house every night so don't worry about me and food. I have been losing weight because we have been walking so much, but I'm getting used to it and I was actually starting to gain weight.

We are actually on bikes now and let me tell you, I HATE BIKES! I can not do it. There are these way steep hills everywhere we go here. I never thought it was that bad when we walked, but biking up the hills is horrible. And of course we live at the bottom of all the hills so everyday we have to bike up. And the hills go up and then down a little and then back up. So now I know what people mean when they say they had to walk in the snow, uphill, both ways.

It has gotten really cold here and it hit in like one day. We are now in suits full time which is a bummer. The first night it rained I didn't have my jacket and my suit just got drenched. I guess the Lord wants me to experience rain even though I'm not in India. Ya I did not hear about all the floods there. That's crazy. I wonder if that will delay my visa too. I'm never going to leave Washington!

Hey has Pete gotten any results on the LSAT? It sounds like both Belle and Makee are getting to be some real goofs. Your guys stories always make me laugh. Whit your getting close. How's everything going? You about to pop yet? Hey Lynds the twins seriously get chunkier and chunkier every week. They're gonna be little fat balls by next week. And heck ya their uncle kicks butt. I like that shirt. Dan how's your shoulder doing? Is physical therapy helping any? Its good to know that almost all missionaries have a rough time with their companions. I'm trying my best with him. I have found that the more I stay busy, the happier I am. When we actually work I feel as though I'm doing my duty and even though we have no success, we are at least trying our best.

Well today we are going to go golfing. I guess a member owns the course and we get to go for free. So I'm pretty excited about that. Hey tell Gran about it and tell her I'm working on a letter for her right now. Ya so things are really slow right now. We only have one investigator, April, and we haven't met with her in a while and can't get a hold of her. I really hope we can sometime. She was so close to baptism. We don't have anyone else to teach so we have been working with some less actives and meeting with members to try and get some referrals. We have interviews with President Belnap this week. I'm going to see how things go with biking and with Elder Smith this week and if both don't improve then I'm going to talk to President about it. Biking is seriously ridiculous and Elder Smith is slowly improving, but I should not be the one to tell him what to do. I'll try and get everything resolved this week. Well it sounds like everyone else is doing pretty good. Stay happy, stay healthy. I love you all and I'll talk to ya next week.

Love,

Elder Garrick
P.S. sorry no pictures this week. I'll try and get some golfing today (and I'll be in some okay Lynds)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wednesday, September 30 - Week 7



Hello Everyone!

So this week was zone conference and we had it yesterday which was our P day. So we moved our P day up to today. I was wondering if everyone was freaking out. Don't worry, I haven't forgot about my family...yet. Just kidding. Well like always I'll try and answer some questions I got in my letters. Thank you everyone for all the letters and the 2 packages you sent me and the 1 huge one that Jo sent. I had stuff coming to me all the time this week. Don't worry about my weight. It was only a couple pounds that I lost and its because I walk so much. But I'm pretty much maintaining my weight now and I try and stuff my face at dinner so I think my weight might be on the rise...just a little. The junk food is great though. I eat it at night if i have time. It all should last me to the end of this transfer.

Thanks for the pictures. I hung a few up in front of my desk of Mak and Isabelle and the Bailee and Rylin. I did the one of Belle and her birthday cake and I did the one with Mak kissing the twins. HOLY COW! The twins are so stinkin fat now. They have gotten to be little chunks since I saw them last. And I've only been out a month. I can't image what they will look like after two years.

Oh that Book of Mormon timeline is probably the best thing I have ever seen. I'm reading the BoM right now and I'm trying to get all the history and stories in order and I write it down in a notebook but that takes forever and that too is becoming confusing. So that timeline was the best. I haven't really checked out the bible one in the bible dictionary just because I haven't had much time. I'm good with books and highlighters, etc. I can just go buy some here if I need them too.

Hey mom you don't have to clean up my room. I did that before I left. Just shut the door and never go in there for another 23 months. Ah that's bad news about Toshio. I hope everything goes well for him. He would be a great missionary. He has always known more about the gospel than me ever since primary. Tell him he's in my prayers because that all I can do for him here. Its pretty tough for me being temporarily assigned and I think one of my greatest fears right now is that my visa will never go through. But everything that happens is the Lords will and he has a plan. That's what we need to remember.

So we have had no more success knocking on doors. I had this brilliant idea that we should make a lesson to go around to members houses and give a missionary lesson and show people how important it is to share the gospel with their friends, family, neighbors etc. We got two referrals from it so far. I visited one referral and we are going to do some service for her tomorrow. I think she is ready, she just doesn't know it yet.

No I have not had to speak or bear my testimony in sacrament yet. Dad you asked about studying. It is the best parts of my day. I love learning more and I feel more confident when I'm teaching. If I ever run into something I don't feel confident in, then the next day I study up on that. And ya there is a significant difference from the spirit in the mtc and the spirit in the real world. It was just there all the time in the mtc and then you get out here and you see all the crazy stuff that is going on and you know its not there. I'm trying to always keep it with me.

Glad you're working hard on Whits and Lynds houses dad. From everything you've done their houses are going to look totally different when I get home. So that's a bummer the U lost. K everyone here loves BYU. Its like if your Mormon you automatically like BYU. I think its weird and I tell everyone that's not the case in Utah. That's crazy Jano is coming home. He is probably home already. Tell him to give me his visa haha. Good work on the temple. That's 2 for 2 right. We got to go to the temple today. We can go once every quarter, or 2 transfers, or about 3 months. Its all the same. But ya I loved it today. There are 3 places I can relax. My sleep, the shower, and the temple.

So the weather here is getting a little colder. It still gets hot sometimes, but just in the past couple of days it has gotten colder in the mornings and at night. I think we'll have to wear suits full time soon. Wow it sounds like fun stuff is going on, on the Garrick side of the family. Tara and Kevin moving in to their house and Bonnie's shower. It all sound really fun and exciting. Hey hows lil scooter doing? If he is sad that there is no one to play with him then get a new dog to play with him. Or you play with him. We had a dinner with this family, the Rose's, and they had a little puppy Shizue (or however you spell it). It was brown and fat just like scooter.

Ya Lynds you asked about referrals for you guys. I can't think of anyone right now, but they are so much better. I heard that 1/1000 doors we knock a person gets baptized, but 600/1000 people get baptized when a friend gives the missionaries a referral and fellowships them. So ya its just a little difference. Jeff Nielson said that in the Band of Brothers. That's what we are really trying to do. Something you can do Lynds is get a piece of paper and write down some names, and then look over the list and pray about it. That's what we are having the members here do. I don't know if they have actually done it, but I know if you do it you will find someone. Haha

I'm glad you all like my living conditions. Ya I thought they were pretty bad at first but I'm used to it now. And our members are out of town so we have reign of the upstairs for about another week. Its good stuff. But ya i drink that water, Its clean unlike Indian water. I'm fine mom. So Burty is coming up soon. Hows Whit doing? Is she pretty big now? I am way excited for conference. It is like a missionary holiday. We don't have to go out for 2 days and we can just sit, relax, and hear from our great leaders of the church. I have been reading a few of the last conference talks from the Ensign you sent me. Uchtdorf is still the man. I love every talk he gives. That's crazy Bry quit. I have no reason to go back to AutoRx now, except that I need the money.

Hey dads raincoat is great. I'm going to use it. Hey Lynds thanks for all the pictures. I really do like them. I'm getting a whole stash of Makai, Bailee, and Rylin pictures. I can't believe Makai is so tall and skinny. Hey he's just like me. Welcome to the wonderful world of lurps Mak. That would be way funny too if he was buzz and the twins were the little aliens.

So ya I'll tell a little about my week. First crazy thing that happened was some guy came up and started yelling at us and saying all this false doctrine about our church. My comp snapped and he stood up and started yelling back and they were just going back and forth with things. So I tried to pull my comp away but he wouldn't leave. So I went around him, I told the crazy guy to have a good day and I shoved my comp towards the bus. Then we saw the crazy guy on the bus again the next day and he said, "Worship God not Joseph Smith" and he ran away. I told him that's exactly what we do as he was scurrying off. So ya that was fun. Like I said yesterday was zone conference. I learned a ton and I'm really going to try and apply the things I learned. It was mostly about following the spirit and pausing after someone says something to you, to really listen to what the spirit is telling you. Elder Smith (the AP, not my comp) said that I should try and get it down before I leave to India, because that would help me out a ton especially since non-Christians need to feel the spirit more than hear the doctrine. So that's my Washington Goal. There are many other things I'm trying to do right now to help my teaching skills and really help the people I teach. so ya that's pretty much it. I think we are going shopping for food pretty soon and then we might play some basketball. I love you all and I hope everyone is happy, healthy, and....good.

Love,
Elder Garrick

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, Week 6

Me, Elder Olson and Samuel Smith

Well this week has been a pretty tough week. Most of the appointments we had canceled on us and we did a lot of tracting and no success at all. So its been rough. We are going to call and set appointments this week and then call and remind people and we are also making a goal to get some referrals from people. So this week is gonna be good...hopefully.

The fair also sounded fun. Pete and Dan I hear you two had more fun on the kiddie rides than Belle and Mak. I can't believe they didn't ride the ponies. Thats the best part of the fair.

Oh my comp is from Boulder, CO and he has been out for 1 year.

Well like I said we went fishing a couple weeks ago. I didn't catch anything Lynds. I did catch a lot of seaweed.

I haven't gotten the package from you are JoAnne yet. I'm sure I'll get it sometime this week. Maybe today.

Well like I said this week has been pretty rough. We have had no success. Last Sunday was our big Invitation Sunday where members are supposed to invite non members and the whole sacrament is directed to teaching the basic doctrine of our religion. No one invited anyone. So that was a huge bummer because we were hoping we could get a lot of new investigators. We had a bbq on sat for the young single adults and we gave a short talk about the restoration. We had to walk so dang far and it wasn't even in our area. When we got there, nobody was there. Only the leaders. So that was a bummer too. Not even the member single adults showed up. But we are really going to step it up this week. We have to make some changes because obviously what we are doing is not working.

Today for P-day I think we are just going to go shopping for some clothes for me. Nothing too exciting. I think everyone else might play basketball, but we can't because I have no clothes.

Well I love you all and I'll talk to ya next week. Oh and I sent a letter to mom and dad and then one to Whit today.

This picture is the home where the other elders in our districts live. Ya, they have a pond upstairs inside the house. Its pretty sweet. Oh and that guy is Elder Smith.


This picture is of our fridge/microwave/toaster. This is all we have for space.


My drawers where I put my clothes and above is our food storage.


This is a picture of my kitchen sink. Notice how the washer is draining into it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Best Letter Ever

Well I guess it was just our lucky week because we were the only ones that got a letter from Jared this week! And it was the best letter ever. He sounded so great. He said he was taking some advice that Dan gave him, which was to live in the moment, be his companion's friend and don't lose the fire. He also said he was really starting to look at Washington like it was his real mission, whereas before he was thinking his real mission wasn't going to start until he made it to India. I am so proud of him!

He said they haven't had a chance yet to go to the temple, but he was hoping to maybe go this week. He also let us know that he and his comp got bus passes, which must help them out a lot considering the large area they are covering. They are covering three wards right now. I told him about how Dan made a paddle to go with his longboard, and Fatty commented that he thought that would be very useful for a missionary who has to walk all day long. He mentioned that every time he takes a picture he thinks, "Lyndsie would be so proud." I sure am! I'm glad I don't need to be there to nag him about taking pictures.

Jared told us that he actually misses the MTC because the spirit was so strong there and he learned so much. He said it was kind of a shocker to go out into the field and the real world. Some days are really hard for him, but he pushes through and always tries to stay focused and determined. And he said he is definitely having fun! He said the good days definitely outweigh the bad.

He ended the letter with "I think this is the longest letter I have ever written. Your Welcome."

I didn't write everything he wrote, but it was so good to get such an upbeat and funny letter from Jared. It sounds like he is doing fantastic. He is having a great attitude, working hard and doing a wonderful job. Dad said when we get a good letter from Fatty it makes his whole day and his whole week. I feel the same way. Transfers are this week, so hopefully we'll know soon whether or not he will be getting transferred within Washington. We do know he won't be going to India yet, but I think he's okay with that. More updates to come!

Tuesday, September 15 - Week 5

Well we got another email from Jare. It was such a good one! His spirits seemed to be up, and he sounded really good. Here is most of his email:

Oh boy what a week it has been. Well thank you guys so much for the letters and the package. We actually bought some chips, but i went through that in like 5 days so I was dying for a while until the package came. Really you guys have no idea how much letters mean to me. They are so much better than emails because I can read them over and over again and then they come during the middle of the week too so its a nice surprise.

Well I made a list of things I wanna talk about and try to answer your questions so here i go. Yes I have been out a month now. CRAZY! It has gone by pretty fast. Only 23 more months to go haha. That really doesn't seem like a long time, but then at the same time it does. Oh whit thanks for your letter you sent to me in the MTC and wanted me to read when i got to Washington. I totally forgot about it until like 3 days after I flew in. That was nice to have.

Alright Elder Smith is much better now. Really I had been praying for strength and that he would understand me. Then later that night he said, "I had this idea that we should start preparing lessons for investigators." That was pretty cool. So we actually do prepare lessons for investigators now. We don't have a lot of investigators right now so we tract a lot. We haven't had much success, but then on Saturday we walked up to this guy who was sitting on his front steps. We gave our shpil and asked if we could come back to teach him more. He said, "Sure how about now." We just sat there like uh right now. Really? So we taught him about the Restoration right there on his front steps. He wondered why there are so many churches and he has asked a lot of people and no one can give him an answer. NICE! I have the answer to that question and our church is the only one with that answer. So he said, "Well i guess that answers it then." We gave him a Book of Mormon and asked him to pray and he seemed interested. Bad news is that we couldn't get a return appointment because he has a busy work schedule so we just gave him our phone number. Hopefully he calls, but if not we will probably just stop by. So that was pretty cool.

Sunday was stake conference and it was a broadcast from SLC so we got to hear from the President Monson. that was great. K we had dinner with this family called the Curnutt family and their grandaughter is exactly like Isabelle. Looks, personality and all. Its so funny, but she is super cute just like belle. Sounds like Bear lake was fun. I can just see Belle and Mak playing in the yard and having a Blast. Dad I'm glad everyone took pity on you and slept out with ya. Thats funny about the turkey and the coyotes. Dad whats worse the turkeys or the coyotes? I really missed not going this year. I always love it.

So ya it is only elder smith and i living with our family. I totally scrubbed my collars with a toothbrush last night and now they are perfectly white. AWESOME. And ya we email at the stake center so i have unlimited time. Thats why this email is so long and i probably wont send letters.

Ya so I hope Burton is doing okay. It sounds like he is. Keep me updated with any info you get from the Doctor. thanks for your scripture mom. That really helped me out oh and thanks for the scripture you shared with me too whit. that is one of my favorites too and it means even more to me knowing i can share it with you. it sounds like Mak had an awesome birthday. Thats fun you got to go out with just him. Oh and the invitation was HILARIOUS! I was laughing so hard. You guys did a good job with both belle and maks invitations this year. They were funny. Ya the elder going to san diego said they weren't jealous about us going to India because they don't have to deal with the dirtiness and disease. They're just lying. Have you heard from Elder Killpack? I don't even know if he'll call you because mission life is so busy.

Oh and I can't believe you found someone to set me up with already. thats impressive. At this rate, I'll have 24 dates to go on when I get home. Well at least she is almost done with highschool instead of starting jr high like some of the other girls you want to set me up with. Well I am still losing weight. Its only a couple of pounds but still. I really don't know what i'm doing. I think its because we walk so much and I only eat pb and J's and cereal. Last week we went fishing for p day and today we are going mini golfing. Well the bad news today is I found out I'll be here through the next transfer. Which means the earliest I could leave would be November 2nd and I'm guessing it will be longer than that. Well I love you all and hope to hear from ya sometime this week. Hope all is going good for everyone.

Love,

Elder Garrick

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Day 6--Washington

Jared has now been in Washington for 6 days. We got a letter from him on Saturday basically just telling us that he is there safe and sound. It is so good to know he made it! He said his mission president was cool. He had just barely met his companion, and he knew he was going to be staying with members. We didn't know much more than that, so we were anxious for his email today. His P-Days are now on Tuesdays. Here is a little of his email:

"Well here I am in Washington. I got assigned to the Tri-Cities Area. I actually cover three wards, the Kennewick Park, Maple Springs, and Young Single Adults (Who by the way are just as weird here as they are in Utah). My companion is Elder Smith."

He let us know how things are going. Jared is moving forward and making the best of the situation. He is following all the rules, working hard, and setting a good example. I know if he keeps a positive attitude and works hard the Lord will bless him and bring him to the people that need to hear his message. Until next time, here are some cute pictures he sent from the Provo MTC:

Oh, our Fatty is a little Missionary!Jared and his District in the MTC
Jared and his good friend Nate Watkins in front of the Provo Temple
This is Jared and Elder Powell doing the Matrix in their dorm. Elder Powell is going to San Diego, but he is in his District. Don't ask me how they took this picture!
Elder Garrick and his companion Elder Olsen
I love this picture. It is so cute! It's with all his buddies that he got to be in the MTC with. They're all holding their badges up to the place they are going: Nathan going to Singapore, Taylor going to Russia, Bryce going to Brazil, and Jared going to India.
Elder Garrick and Elder Kevern
Here are all the missionaries that will be going to India
India--HERE WE COME! (Hopefully soon)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Phone Call

We got to talk to Fatty today! He was able to call us from the airport before he left for Kennewick, Washington. My mom and dad took the day off of work in case he called, so my parents, Whit, and I all got to talk to him. It was so good to hear his voice. He sounded like the same old Fatty. We were able to talk to him for about an hour. Me, Whit, Mom, and Dad were pretty much all on a phone the entire time. He's doing so well. One of the funniest stories he told us is how many of the missionaries at the MTC start singing hymns on their way to and from class. He and his district made a pact that they would never do that. He said by the end, some guys in his district started singing, and they had to be like, "Dude, what are you doing?" to bring them back to non-nerdy reality. He is so funny. I mostly just loved listening to him tell us what is going on. Makee and Belly even got to talk to their Uncle YoYo. It was hard to say good-bye again, but everyone got to talk to him, so we all felt good. We haven't heard yet if he made it, but we're assuming no news is good news. Can't wait to hear from him!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Feeling Better About Things

We got an email from Jare today. We all felt much better knowing his spirits are back up and he knows Washington is where he needs to be. Here is what he wrote about it:

" Well as you probably know by now, I have been temporarily reassigned to the Kennewick Washington mission. I found out yesterday and was devastated. Its okay though I trust that the lord has some need for me there. And we are really hoping that the visas come in soon. the lady at the travel office said that they are getting really close and she doesn't think we will be there for 2 months like the last elders. I really don't know anything except im going there on wednesday. if there is anything you find out about it i would love it because i'm just dying wondering what in the heck its going to be like. I have been preparing for India and now I have to redirect my thinking towards Americans. Well its the same message right."

I knew Jared wouldn't be down for too long. That' s just not him. He will do great in Washington. Here's some other stuff he wrote:

"Umm..things i might need... potatoe chips. that would be great. Everyone loves the food you guys send. I have so much that like people from all over come over to the box of food...All day we just have class and eat and class and gym and class and plan and journal and sleep. that is my life every day. I'm getting used to it though. I'm always exhausted though. 10:30-6:30 is not enough sleep for a working missionary. I bet it will be even harder when i get out into the field. I have lesson 1 down perfectly. I can pretty much adapt to anyone i teach and still get the main points of the lesson through. My teacher said me and my comp really taught towards his needs which was good. Lesson 2 is coming along pretty good. Its much easier to teach and now we are learning about the word of wisdom.

So i did choir once and then we decided that we were too busy so we stopped. I do sing a lot though. Like once before and after each class and in between. its a lot and i'm learning songs i have never even heard of. I'm not yet like the nerdy missionaries who sing on the sidewalk with their whole district. We made a district rule that we would never do that."

All in all, it sounds like he is doing great. One of the cutest things he wrote in a letter to Mom and Dad was, "Thanks for the letters. They really brighten my day--even when my day's already bright." Gotta love this missionary!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Little Detour

Well, my parents got a call from Jared yesterday. It turns out that his Visa didn't come in time, so he is being reassigned to Kennewick, Washington until it gets here. He was pretty devastated when he talked to my parents. But this is where he needs to be for the time being. There is a reason for everything. Their entire district is actually waiting for their Visas, but the rest of them are not from Utah, so they are being sent to Sandy. The good news is that his companion is from Bountiful, so he and Jared are being sent to Washington together. The last batch of missionaries that were waiting for their Visas before they could go to India were waiting for over two months, but they don't think it will take that long this time. Pray that these boys will make it to India soon!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Letters All Around!

Well, it's been a great week for us. We FINALLY got an email from Jared yesterday, and then on Friday my parents got a letter. My mom called me to see if we got one, but I was disappointed to find no letter in the mail. But Saturday a letter came for Whit and guess what was also enclosed in her envelope...A letter for us! Everyone was so excited to hear from him. He sounds like he is doing so well. Everyone read everyone else's letters, which was great because each one had a little bit of different information.
He did tell us that the MTC food is not sitting with him too well. He's already lost a couple pounds. That kid can't afford to lose weight! And he also said that the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like months. I feel bad for the guys that actually are there for months! Here' something funny he told us...When they first got to the MTC, they got to watch this show called "The District." It's kinda like the LDS missionary version of MTV's The Real World. He said it got pretty intense! I would love to see that. But he has truly caught the spirit. It seems like he is already learning so much and really making the best out of his time in the MTC. He's so sweet to ask how the kids are doing and how everyone is doing back at home. He thanked us for our words of encouragement, and he told us he writes them down in his journal. He said he feels the spirit 24/7, and that it's a great feeling.
We're so glad he is doing so well! It makes us happy when he is happy, and he sounds truly happy. We'll keep the updates coming!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The First Email!

We got our first email from Jared on Thursday! It was a very long day for my mom. We were thinking the email would come sometime in the morning, but it did not come until like 4:30 in the afternoon! It was so good to hear from him. Here's a couple excerpts from his email:

"My comp is Elder Olsen from Bountiful Utah. He is a really funny guy. My district is way cool and we always have a good time. Probably too good of a time. They are always jealous because I get the most letters and packages.

We have gym for 45 min and pretty much class the rest. My p-days are Thursday and we got to go to the temple today. That was awesome and so relaxing. Plus the food is like 10 times better there than here. I see Taylor all the time and talk to him at lunch and dinner. I see Bryce T and Nate every so often.

We have had Jeffrey R. Holland, Bednar, Uchtdorf, Eyring, oh and Prez Monson come to us for devotional...hahah jk. But we have had some pretty good talks and one guy from the 70. The spirit is so strong here its amazing. I feel it all the time."

So, it sounds like he's the same old Fatty. He has still got his great sense of humor. It was so good to hear that he is doing so well and even having fun while feeling the spirit every moment. Hopefully we'll have more news coming soon!

Monday, August 17, 2009

The First Letter

Well, we got our first letter from Jared on Friday! We were so excited to hear from him. It was a short letter, but he wrote his first night there that the MTC was not as bad as he thought it would be. That's a good sign. His companion's name is Elder John Taylor Olson from Bountiful. He said he seemed like a cool guy. He said he missed and loved us, but he was keeping very busy. That's about all the letter said. But we will keep the updates coming as soon as we hear from him!