Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010 - Week 28

Good morning everyone!

So thanks to everyone writing and asking questions I actually have stuff to write about again. I have a few things that went on to so maybe this email will rival the last in length.

Thank you so much for the package that you sent me. The mac n' cheese is amazing! It isn't as big as the box stuff, but it tastes the same and I just have two at a time. I have decided to save the orange sodas for a special occasion. I don't know what that occasion will be but I'm waiting for it. And thank you so much for those cd's. I have started to listen to the Lectures on Faith. That is an amazing thing. I love it. I have really wanted to study faith lately and this has helped me so much. I'm excited to get to the other one too about Joseph Smith. So as usual I wrote down a list of things I want to talk about so I will probably just go straight down the list.

This last week we had interviews with President Belnap. I talked to him about how I felt I was never trained. He says, "Elder Garrick, what your saying is that you would like to be trained is that right?," I said yes, "Elder Garrick you don't want to go back to that. You know what you should be doing and now it is just a matter of doing it." Ah, he is right. I know what I should be doing I just have to do it. Sometimes I still don't feel like I know HOW to do it, but I am learning and I think I much better because I have had to learn on my own rather than someone hold my hand through everything. It made me think of the scripture John 7:17. I love this scripture and try and live by it all the time. That is not my scripture for the week though. I will send it in my letter to you guys. I was just gonna add it to the end of my email, but I guess I will send you a letter....if I have to. I also asked President if he heard anything about my visa. He said that he had. He said that normally if a missionary has not left for his mission by 5 or 6 months they get reassigned to the mission that they are temporarily serving in. He said that the church does not want to do that with us. I guess the Indian Government is just making a fuss over things. The church thinks that if they reassign us then the Indian Government will think that they don't ever have to do anything, that if they continue to put it off, the church will eventually go away. So I guess it’s good news that I won’t be reassigned, but it kinda stinks that it is taking this long and I still have no idea when I will leave. I am not sure if Elder Olsen and I are the only visa waiters here in this mission. I do know that they get a lot, but they usually leave within a couple weeks or a transfer at most.

That's cool you got to hear Elder Wright speak. He is a very good missionary. He is very sincere and he knows his stuff. That's very cool what the ward did. And he has probably been with his companion as long as I have been with Elder Cashin. This is our 3rd transfer together. That is 4 1/2 months together! It has been nice. We have fun. Yes Lynds it will be kinda weird to get a new comp but it might be a good change for me. Who know, I could possibly be a senior companion or a trainer next transfer. Oh boy! Oh and you asked me if I knew I was supposed to burn a tie at my six month mark. I did know that. I wanted to really bad, but Elder Cashin wouldn't let me. Party pooper. Maybe I will have to do it later.

Now I just wanted to update you on some of the cool lessons we had this week. Last Tuesday night we had another lesson with Larry Smith. We watched the Restoration DVD about Joseph Smith. It was really good. Larry is really starting to open up to us. I think he respects how I took his, let’s say yelling at me, very well and how we continue to come. He is a good guy, he is just concerned about his family. Gage has not been sitting in on the lessons lately. He was sick before and then he had a lot of homework to do. Hopefully he will tonight; although, I won’t be there because I am going on exchanges with some other missionaries tonight. We are teaching another lady. She is a single mom with two girls. She has been talking to a guy in Utah about the church and she went to temple square to meet him. She was a media referral and that’s how we found her. She is doing great. The guy she talks to has been giving her stuff to read in the Book of Mormon and she has questions when we go over. We taught her the plan of salvation and she understood everything and thought it was great. The problem is she is very hard to set an appointment with and we can’t do it right after the lesson because she has to check her calendar at work. She loves having us come over, she is just hard to get a hold of. Also we are teaching Orinda, who is 12 years old. Things have been kinda shaky with her, but she is doing her reading. On Sunday we taught her about the gospel of Jesus Christ (faith,repentance, baptism, holy ghost). She understood everything. I just felt like I should ask her if she would want to be baptized if she thought this was true. She said she would. After that the spirit was just booming in the room. I probably would have committed her to being baptized but I didn't want to do it without her moms permission. We have the lessons over at the bishops house. Instead we invited her to church. She said she would ask her mom. The bishops wife was just bawling, it was funny. But then I asked her if she would give the closing prayer. She didn't want to because she felt uncomfortable. I re-explained to her how to pray and she decided she would. She gave a beautiful prayer. I realized that is how you help people. To invite them to do things. When they actually do it, they feel the spirit. It reminds me of the time when I asked Adrian to pray too. That was 2 weeks before he was baptized. The day of his baptism he said he knew he wanted to two weeks ago, when he prayed. It’s amazing.

Hey tell Alex Anderson congrats on the call. Mexico, that will be exciting. The weather here is getting really warm. We still are supposed to wear our jackets but it is getting so dang hot. Oh by the way, I think I might be the only missionary in the whole world who has a tan jacket. Another missionary always jokes around with me and says, "Hey that is not a dark conservative color." I tell him that if he sends me to India I will get rid of the coat. Its a good coat though and it has worked out great for me. So Lynds I thought I would explain what I meant by "Taking it to the Grove" for my slow sister...jk. If someone has a concern or a question with something then what their real concern is that they don't believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that concern they have is because they think it was some man-made idea or commandment. If someone truly believed that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, then they would know that the commandment or truth is of God and that it will bless their life. It requires faith and prayer. So when I mean, "Take it to the Grove," I mean that person really needs to pray and ask God if Joseph Smith was a prophet and if the Book of Mormon is true. It all depends upon that. Hopefully that explained it better.

Well today we are going to a members home again. We have been there before, but their place is awesome. They always cook us food. Last time we had hot dogs and my favorite potatoes and chili and stuff and then we went outside and played basketball and volleyball and sat around a fire they made. It was fun. So we are going to do that again. Unfortunately I forgot my camera! We are going on exchanges right after p day so I have my other bag today and my camera is in my other bag. Blast! Maybe I'll have Elder Cashin take some pictures for me and I can steal them from him. Also the sister missionaries want to scrap book and teach the elders how. We were supposed to bring pictures but I forgot those too WHOOPS! Ah well I can have my seesters show me how later. Or I can have them do it for me right. So I don't think you have to send your email through g mail every week. This email is pretty good. I don't think there will be problems. Thanks for all your letters and support. They really do help me out a lot and brighten up my day. I will try to send some this week, but I'm not making any promises. If I do they might be really short. I try to write most of my stuff in my emails. I think this email might have surpassed the last email in length. New record! Well I hope everyone is having a great day today. Sorry no pictures, but maybe next week. Love you guys and I'll talk to ya later.

Elder Garrick

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010 - Week 27

Lunch at Sister Pierces. She is so wonderful to forward pictures to our family when Jared has been in her home.

Hey everyone,

Sorry I couldn't figure out how to get into my e-mail for the longest time. So I don't have a whole lot of time today. I will be very quick.

To answer you questions:
The first family the bishops wife found for us is only a 12 yr old girl. Her mom was going to take the lessons too but hasn't. She is doing okay. Its very hard to teach kids sometimes because sometimes they really don't care, but then other times they are really receptive and more open to the things we say. It is going along good with her though. The other family we have not yet taught. The girl came to church last fast Sunday and bore her testimony. She is asking for reading assignments from the Book of Mormon from her Sunday School and YW teachers. We will probably be teaching her soon.

I have been back on the bike since about mid January. It's good. We still walk a lot though because we aren't really in a big rush right now. And we are more able to talk to people on the street when we walk. There are 7 people in our district right now because when is a tripanionship. Usually there is from 4-8 in a district. There are 19 in our whole zone. It covers all of Pasco and is split geographically into areas. I have a lot of contact with the district leader and zone leaders. I see them at least twice a week and talk to them on the phone a lot with questions or if we need some info and stuff. We do report our weekly numbers to the district leader. Usually it is how many lessons we taught or referrals we received, new investigators, lessons with members. Our mission goal is to get 20 lessons a week with members, less actives, investigators. Right now we are only getting about 10; most of them not being the missionary lessons but lessons to less actives and members. We really need the help of our ward and we just aren't getting it. We have interviews with President tomorrow and I am going to talk to him about that tomorrow....along with some other things.

I have been out long enough that I could actually be assigned to be a senior comp or trainer. Elder Olsen emailed the other missionaries going to India who are in SLC right now. One is a district leader, and one is training, and one wants to go home. I'm not sure about Elder Wright, the one you guys met. Elder Olsen called me on our 6 month mark and we had a nice chat. He said we are like the red-headed stepchildren of this mission. Its kinda true. Both Elder Olsen and I have kinda got the areas that need fixing. I'm hoping that our visas come in soon. That's cool about the new mission president for India. President Funk. That's awesome. Well I guess they are planning on him going in July. Maybe I will too. I would hope it would be sooner though. Elder Olsen said he went into the office one day and overheard president Belnap talking to one of the office elders and he said to the office elder, "I was expecting the visa waiters to leave this week and you could take their place, but they haven't so you'll have to stick around the office for a while." So maybe he was talking about us. I'm not sure.

In other news, this week has been okay. Like I said we only taught 10 lessons this week and we should be teaching 20. But the good things that happened are that we actually made some headway with Larry (this is the guy who is questioning everything and his son wants to get baptized). We had a good talk about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. For the first time he wasn't asking weird questions and trying to think it out. He was really listening to us and pondering over things. He applied it to himself too which is great. So we teach him again tonight and hopefully it goes well. Then yesterday we were out tracting. We knock on this door and this guy steps out who is probably in his late 20's. He has tattoos all over his arms and stuff. We talk to him for a whil and he invites us in. We talked a lot about the restoration and the Book of Mormon. It was awesome. This guy is ready for the gospel. He told us of his past. He was addicted to crystal meth and ran over a guy in his car one day. He spent a lot of time in jail, but he found comfort in the Bible. We are going to teach him again. Hopefully it works out.

Okay time is almost gone. I love you guys. Have a nice week.

Elder Garrick

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tuesday, February 9, 2010 - Week 26 - 6 Months

Hello everyone,

So thanks for everyone’s letters and questions. I actually have some things to write about this week. Thanks for the package you guys. Between that and the one Jo sent I have a ton of junk food again. I still haven't gotten all the way through with the stuff from like Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas. But I was low on the stuff you sent me so it was great. Thanks.

So I wrote a list of stuff I wanna talk about so I'll just go through that so my email may be all scattered. Oh well. First off, what the heck! You guys got palm phones with internet! Dad refused to get any when I was home. I have a brick of a phone that I share with Elder Cashin. I usually have him use it though. He never had a phone back at home so he likes it. Did you guys get the virus on the computer fixed? That’s pretty cool that the Saints won the super bowl, eh. Even though you say they are jerks dad, that’s pretty cool. Pretty crazy that Toshio is finally on his mission. He is probably enjoying his time in the MTC haha. I miss that place. Sounds like his farewell was great.

Good luck at physical therapy mom. Hopefully your foot will start getting better and you can get out of the boot. So Gran, you talked about Preach My Gospel. Yes that is what I use every day. I would pretty much be lost without it. If you want to get a feel for what I actually do every day, just read Preach My Gospel. I live by that book. I have also learned so much from it. Especially about basic doctrine that I think a lot of members just over look because they want to go into the deep stuff.

I'm glad everything is working out at Topeka for Whit and Pete. I can't believe there are so many LDS people going to law school there. That’s fun. Whit said I might be close to being a senior comp soon. Unfortunately she is probably right. I could possibly be one next transfer. I don't know though. I have pretty much been the senior companion since I started my mission. I tell you what, I have learned a lot from all of my mistakes. I'm starting to figure things out. And I cannot believe that Benton is a District leader. Man that’s cool. That’s pretty early to become a district leader, he must be doing real good.

So to answer your question about my weight. I have no idea how much I weigh these days. I'm thinking I'm about the same. I don't see a drastic change in the way I look or anything. But I don't have a scale to actually see. I'm at a healthy weight though so don't worry. And yes Cashin does seem to be rubbing off on me as you could tell from those pictures. The weather here is really warm for it being winter. We had those couple weeks were it was just bitter cold, then we had snow and ice, but lately it has warmed up. It still gets cold, but I don't wear my sweaters as much and I don't have to double up on my coats. I still wear gloves and earmuffs or a hat though.

So Whit, Belle is such a little copy cat. Just from the things you tell me she says, she sounds exactly like you. And I can just picture her saying it too. And I don't know if it was just that picture, but she looks so different. She is changing so much. And Burton, talk about roly-poly. He's a chunk, but he sure is cute. Thanks for your letter and pictures too, Lynds. I will answer your questions later. But those were cute pictures. That’s a sweet hat Mak had too. I want one. And the twins are skinny? They look chunky to me, but I guess they can always get chunkier. Oh and as for a cd, when I get home I will probably have forgotten how to play guitar and I will probably listen to my old cd I made and hate it and make everyone throw it away haha. But we will see.

So you asked about Adrian and if I ever see him or teach him. Normally we would teach the new member lessons to new converts, but it’s just a review of the lessons. We taught him some of the new stuff for converts, but now we are done. We still see him a lot though and they have had us over for dinner twice in the past two weeks. He is doing great. You also asked about how my other lessons and investigators are doing. Well...not so well. Man we are teaching Larry and Gage Smith. Gage wants to be baptized (he's the son) but Larry is just not progressing and we are pretty sure he is looking at anti-Mormon stuff. So a couple weeks ago in desperation we tried to get Larry’s permission to baptize Gage. He pretty much chewed me out and yes it was only me because Elder Cashin was too scared to say anything. He said Gage needs to talk to him. But I don't think he has yet because Gage is afraid to talk to his dad about it. We talked to Gage yesterday about it. I feel so bad for the kid. We have a lesson tonight with them, but I'm not sure how it is going to go. I just hope and pray that Larry’s heart will be softened.

Not much else is going on with investigators. This past week we didn't teach a lot of lessons because everyone was busy with stuff. It’s hard sometimes. But this week we are pretty slammed so it should be good. Oh I have to tell you the funniest story. So last week we visited this family that was potential investigators. We had the best talk with them. They aren't really willing to change, but they are actually Christians. They are good people and active in their church and actually doing good things. Most people we see who claim to be Christians tell us they already believe in Christ and then they yell at us and slam the door (not very Christian like). But our lesson with this family was really good and they said they respect us they just don't believe in the same things. They said they could really see that we love them and care about them and are only talking to them because they can see we think this is so important. It really makes me think about what you said mom, that there are a lot of really great people out there they are just missing the truth. If only they could look past things and see it. So we are about to leave and shake everyone’s hands. They have a pretty cute 17 year old daughter. Elder Cashin goes to shake her hand and she goes, "come on I need a hug after that." Elder Cashin goes, "uh, umm, uh, I, uh I can't sorry." Then he says, "I promise if I weren’t a missionary I totally would." Haha when we left I was laughing so hard. I told him that completely defeated the purpose when he said he would. It was funny though. I've been going around telling everyone that Elder Cashin hugged a cute girl. He is pretty proud about it.

Wow so I gotta hurry time is running out. To answer your questions:
I usually have a bologna or pb sandwich, Ramon, chili, chicken sandwich, or nachos for lunch. We go out to eat on district meetings and p-days. The weirdest or worst food I had was fish that was not cooked and had a ton of seasoning on it. That’s pretty much it though. On p-days we still go out at night and teach and see people. And we still make calls and stuff. If we don't know an answer to someone’s question we "take it to the grove." Really people’s real question is if Joseph smith was a prophet. If he was then that usually resolves their question though. I have been writing down the questions and studying them on my own time though. With tracting, we still do it, but we are running out of areas to tract. That’s why we are trying to do so much member work. But we still do it. We bike and walk half and half. Since it’s warmed up we are able to do so. Oh and yes I would love to have that Lectures on Faith talk. I keep on hearing amazing things from that. Could you send that please? :) Lynds I can't believe you are less active haha. I understand though. As long as you can make it to sacrament. That is the most important thing. And your family home evening sounded like so much fun. FHE really is so important. It must be if the apostles council us to do it so much. Oh and I am hitting my 6 month mark. Crazy huh. Time sure is going by fast. I'm 1/4 of the way done already!

Last but not least, HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDMA!!! I hope you have a great birthday and I love and miss you very much. Sounds like you have a great day in store today and later when the family gets together.

I love you guys and I will talk to you later. Oh I might get a new e-mail address because ldsmail is updating. I will let you know. Bu-bye.

Elder Garrick

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wednesday, February 3, 2010 - Week 25

If you notice my pants are tucked into my socks. See how nerdy I am?

The Columbia Temple at night. Well hope you enjoy the pictures. Hopefully I make Lyndsie proud. I'll try and take more.

Bonjour Everyone,

So it is another week that I am emailing on a Wednesday. This week we had zone conference so that is why I’m emailing today. Was everyone nervous about it? Zone conference was really good though. I saw a lot of missionaries from Kennewick. Oh guess where Elder Olsen is serving now. In the Kennewick park and Meadow Springs area in Kennewick. That is my old area! I knew that President Belnap wouldn't send us far from home base haha. So Elder Olsen was companions with Elder Smith for a transfer. Also President talked to us about our visas. He said, "The visa process has been a long journey, and it is going to continue to be a long journey." Eh I figured it would be. I kinda thought I might be leaving either this transfer or next, but it doesn't seem to be looking that way. Ah well. I was thinking about how much I’m learning here and I'm just figuring out how to do stuff the way I should so I actually don't mind serving here. I'll actually be pretty sad when I do leave to India.

So thanks for your letters and stuff. Jo, I got your package. Thanks, that shirt is awesome. I'm wearing it today. It appears that our area is looking somewhat better. We have been contacting some former investigators and we actually got a referral from the MTC. This lady has been talking to a return missionary who went to Russia. I think they are like online dating. He lives in Utah so she recently went to Temple Square to meet him and she has a lot of questions. We met with her last week and she actually seems like she is searching for something. She is really soul searching and I hope we can help her find what’s missing in her life. We also have some promising members who are going to invite their friends to take the lessons. Things are looking good, they're just not all the way there yet. But I'm pretty excited for it. Hey Dan, thanks for your advice too. You’re completely right.

I've really been focusing on the spirit again. It is just so important to everything. When everything feels overwhelming to me, I just realized that if I rely on the spirit, it will work out. Now I'm focusing on inviting the spirit and helping our investigators recognize and feel it.

So it sounds like Dad had a good Birthday. I bet you guys had a lot of fun. I was thinking how I was missing the weeklong celebration. It’s probably still going isn't it. I think that’s awesome that Belle and Mak are just like their uncle Gee. Belle with the hotdogs and Mak with power rangers and stuff. And welcome to the world of facebook mom, haha. Just don't get hooked on it like the rest of the world.

That’s crazy that Toshio is leaving tomorrow. And Maximus is already out in the mission field. Crazy. Tell Tosh good luck. It’s probably too late for that, he's gone. He'll do good though.

Well that’s pretty much it for me today. I will try and send some pictures. Also they are doing a new myldsmail. Hopefully it’s better than this one so we won’t have so many problems. So I gotta do that real fast too. I don't have much to say these days. Tell me if you wanna know more, I just don't know what to talk about haha. Well love you guys and I will talk to you all next week.

Elder Garrick