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.


Elder Garrick