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.


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.


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.

Elder Garrick