Monday, March 29, 2010

March 29, 2010 - Week 33 - Dog Week

Hello Everyone,

So today has been crazy with email and stuff. Tomorrow is interviews so our p-day will be on Wednesday. We decided to email today like we usually do but when we went to the library it was closed because the librarian was sick. So we are emailing at the church right now and I literally only have 30 mins which really stinks. So I will have to hurry this week.

So I called this email dog week because dogs have just been crazy. The first thing I will tell you is about Larissa Janovich. She is on date to be baptized on April 17th but the biggest hold up is her job. She works on Sundays and she can't go to church. She and her husband are very young and just had a baby so their financial situation is really hard right now. She spoke to her boss and she told her that because they are staffed so low right now she can't get Sundays off. We really didn't know what to do for her and had been praying about it all week. We decided that she would just have to make the sacrifice and quit her job. We stopped by her house to say hello one night and she goes, "OH I’m so glad to see you guys! Guess what? They just hired a new girl at work and she needs to have Tuesdays off so I switched with her and now I have Sundays off!" It was a miracle! So now she can be baptized on April 17th and she will be able to come to church every week. We were so happy we were laughing. We are walking home and its way dark and then we come around a corner of a street. We are still way excited about Larissa, but then this dog comes out of nowhere. It was a mix between a Rottweiler and pit-bull I swear. It just starts charging at us and snarling. I'm about to take off and then Elder Buchanan grabs me and we just stand there. Then the dog just stops running and sits there. We turn around and slowly walk away. It was crazy! We got home and from the news about Larissa and the dog our adrenaline was pumpin and we could not go to sleep.

Then this whole week it seems like we have been running into so many dogs. We haven’t been chased by any but there have definitely been times where we walked a different way because we saw a dog in the distance. But then the last thing was we have Hank Huxoll. He is 10 years old and is on date to be baptized April 17th too. He needed to come to church on Sunday or he couldn't be baptized then so it was huge. He just got a new dog because his old one got hit by a car so he is really nervous about leaving him alone. We talked him into leaving his dog for one hour and coming to church. So we go to his house on Sunday and we are going to meet him and his ride we arranged for him just before church. We knock on the door and his sister answers, but then his new dog goes darting out the door. E. Buchanan and I start sprinting after the dog and we can’t catch it. Then we see Hank running as fast as he can yelling "Don't run after it! Walk towards him!" So we start walking but the dog is still running and he starts running towards the highway. We are just praying, "Please heavenly father, make sure this dog doesn't get hit today, please" So he runs up to us and in desperation hands us the leash and says, "You have to run as fast as you can." We are like okay, for you Hank, and we start sprinting. Then his ride pulls up and we just jump right in and start yelling "Go go go turn left." The ride is so confused but does it. We finally find the dog and get him home. We were 10 minutes late for church but we got Hank there and all was well after that. So that’s my crazy dog week. It’s definitely been a good one.

In other news, I am proud to say for the first time on my mission I got sick. I went 7 1/2 months without getting sick. And it wasn't even bad. I just had a cold I think but we thought it would be best if I didn't go out so I didn't get other people sick. But I’m doing fine now. I have a little cough and stuffed up nose, but I'm doing pretty good. What’s also cool is we put another person on date to be baptized. He is schizophrenic and has a big problem with smoking so its gonna be a tough one, but with the Lords help we can do it. We have 5 people on date for baptism right now! We are leading our zone! The whole zone collectively has 9 and right now we have 5 of those. The people in this area are just ready for the gospel. It’s amazing. We are working with a few other people who are looking really good and are really progressing. I can't think if anything else happened this week. We are just working our butts off right now. We always say to each other, "We are going to be 100% obedient" and then whenever we don't want to do something really pointless, like backing out the person in the car when its pouring rain, we just say to the other one, "Oh it’s okay I guess we'll be only 99.9%. I'm sure the lord will still bless us." Then we feel bad and go do it. But we really are doing everything we can do be 100% obedient. It’s really hard for missionaries to do. I love it.

Well you guys had a few questions that I will try and answer right now. There are a few towns that are nearby Dayton and Waitsburg. We drive to a few of them, but a lot of time we don't do much. I guess E. Buchanan and his old comp tracted out a whole town in an hour one day. We don't have a lot of miles on our car because we have a limited amount so we have been driving to Dayton and then parking it and walking the whole day. We are trying to not go over our limit which will be the first time since anyone has ever come to Dayton. Our living place is really nice. We have the whole basement to ourselves and can do our laundry and stuff. We share the kitchen with the members but that’s fine. Thanks for that March Madness thing. That’s so funny. How’s it going anyway? Am I winning? Probably not. I had all the number 1 going to the final 4 and I hear a lot of them got knocked out early on. I just can't have Jesus or Heavenly Father losing. Come on. And I put myself going pretty far too. Did you see that?

K time is short we have a dinner appointment with an investigator. Umm. With the gps just make sure it has a car mount and a car charger. You can send dads cell if you want. That’s a good idea. I’m good with my pants. I will write you guys this week okay. I love you guys so much. Sorry if I can't respond to all of you. I will do my best. But when I’m busy that means time goes by faster, I’m happier, and I’m having success so that’s good. Love you all. Take care.

Monday, March 22, 2010

March 22, 2010 - Week 32

Hello Family!

How is everybody doing? So first I wanted to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!!! And don't think that I forgot. There should be a letter in the mail. Maybe you already got it. I just didn't want you to think that I forgot about you. Thanks for the reminder dad, but I didn't need it haha. That's how good of a son I am. So Mom you had some questions for me. Yes this area is super small. I do feel like I am in Ephraim right now. Its awesome. The people here are so great. They are big time hicks. It's hard for the LDS kids though. They are some of the strongest (spiritually) kids I have ever met. Everyone around here does drugs and drinks and smokes and sleeps around pretty much starting from age 13 or 14. Crazy huh. So the kids really have to be strong in their values and it really makes it hard for them to make friends. Not a big selection for them. I will have to take some pictures of downtown Waitsburg and send them home to you. It is literally a street. It's way small. There is not a Walmart here, but there is one in Walla Walla so we go down there every Monday for district meetings and sometimes for p-day. Sometimes we can't even meet up with the other elders so its just Elder Buchanan and I. We haven't had to do it yet, but may have to tomorrow. We are still fed by members almost every night. We eat with a lot of less active members. It is the best way for us to get in and there are miracles that are starting to happen. One man that hasn't let home teachers in for 10 years and missionaries in for 20 years is now taking the lessons. Pretty cool huh. Things are going great with Elder Buchanan. Its been a little different for me to adjust too, because with Cashin I did most the talking. Now I have to pipe up just to get a word in because Buchanan is a talker. It's fun though. Like I said he reminds me a lot of Elder Olsen. And he actually said that I remind him a lot like his best friend back at home. It's fun. Most nights we go to bed because we are up talking forever. Not too late, don't worry. We're trying to go to bed on time, we just have to shut our mouths.

Well I thought that I would let you all know whats going on right now. Yesterday we had an Invitation Sunday where people invite nonmembers to sacrament and the sacrament is tailored for nonmembers where the speakers talk about our basic beliefs and stuff. It was supposed to be huge, but with only a tiny ward, we only got 2 nonmembers there. That was kind of a bummer. We are doing this intense schedule this week where we are trying to find as many referrals as possible and teach them. We were hoping to get a lot at invitation Sunday and then go get more if we could. Well we haven't gotten too much so that means we are going to be out tracting. It's okay though. I still think that there are a lot of people who are prepared and ready to hear the gospel. So that guy I was talking about earlier (the one who hasn't taken the lessons in 20 years) is doing great. We are actually teaching his less active son and the sons nonmember wife. Their names are the Janovich's. They are all amazing. Larissa Janovich (the nonmember wife) is on date to be baptized and Cole (the husband/son) is trying to get the priesthood so he can baptize his wife and maybe even his dad. John (the dad) is really open to us. He had some really bad experiences with missionaries a long time ago, but he really likes and trusts us. He is really open to everything we say and knows most of it from when he took the discussions 20 years ago. We also have a family on date to be baptized. Their name is the Huxoll family. The Huxolls have a long way to come but we are working with them. We decided to do a church tour for them so they could feel more comfortable coming to church and to actually see the baptismal font. We set and planned everything. They didn't show. We waited and they still didn't show. 45 min and still nothing. So we decided to say a prayer. I ask God that the Huxoll family will find a way to come to the church tour. Right as I say the words, the door swings open. I just say amen as fast as I can and we stand up and they walk right into the doors. Its like in the Best Two Years when they are praying for a phone call. It was pretty funny. So that's pretty much it for this week. Thanks for all of your letters. I feel so bad that I haven't been able to write anyone back. I will do it tomorrow though. I promise. Thanks again. Oh, tell JoAnne thank you for her package and letter. I will write her too. And thank you for the March Madness bracket. I will send mine and E. Buchanans home. That was awesome. Earlier this week I realized that it was march madness and I about died. Man I'm missin that. Ah well. K love ya guys. Talk to ya next week.

Elder Garrick

Monday, March 15, 2010

March 15, 2010 - Week 31

Elder Cashin and I with the Henry's

Hey Everyone!

Hows it going? So as you know I got transferred to a new area. It is a way old town in the middle of nowhere. Our library isn't open on Tuesdays so we have permission to email on Mondays. So I'm emailing today. I guess I didn't get any emails from you guys because you probably thought I would email tomorrow. So my new address is:

210 E. 7th Street
Waitsburg, WA 99361

Yup that's where I'm living now. Waitsburg. The area is called Dayton, but we cover 6 little towns. Its mostly Dayton and Waitsburg that we spend most of our time in. The other towns have houses that are way spread apart and there are only like 12 houses in some haha. Its crazy here! The area has been closed down for 5 years and they have only recently opened it up about 4 months ago. So I am the 3rd missionary in this area since about 2005. Let me tell ya what, Dayton is completely different from Kennewick and Pasco. There are a lot of people who don't come to church so we do a lot of reactivation work. We have a few really good investigators that we are teaching. So I just found out that we only have 30 minutes in the library I am at. Wow that stinks! I think we might try another library where hopefully I have more time because that is ridiculous. Well my comp is Elder Buchanon. He is from Centerville, Utah. The kid is awesome. He has only been out 3 weeks longer than me. I found out that we will probably go home together. We are having a way fun time. Things are going good. Thanks for everyone's emails and letters. I will definitely write you guys this week okay. Sorry its a little late. Okay maybe I have a little more time. Well we live with members again. Their names are the Tolmans. They are pretty cool. Oh we work a lot with the seminary. We actually teach every Monday and then we go and help out on Fridays. So next Monday I am teaching the lesson. Pretty cool huh. I'm a crazy seminary teacher. Next Sunday we are doing this crazy program that we will be working on for the rest of the transfer. We have been promised too that we will have a baptism by April 17th if we do it. So we scheduled the font for April 17th. We have no idea who it will be but we are going to find them. Next Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday we are going to go out on double exchanges and tract from 6-9pm. That will be fun haha. This is gonna be good though. Oh ya we have a car so that's been nice. Hopefully I can get fat while I'm in this area. So ya its fun here. E. Buchanan and I are having a blast. And the people here are just crazy so we come away with a lot of funny stories. Oh I have to tell you about this referral we got. There is this member lady who is in the hospital. We have been visiting with her and she is giving out Books of Mormon to all of her nurses. Well she found out that one of her nurses read the Book of Mormon for 2 days while she was on vacation and then she took an extra day off to just read the Book of Mormon straight. She has read about 250 pages in 3 days. We briefly saw her and she said that she likes it and she would want to learn more. We are going to try and set up an appointment with her. That will be pretty cool. K I guess I better go. Sorry its short again. I love you guys and expect a letter okay.

Elder Garrick

So ya a computer opened up and now I have more time to email. Things feel so weird to me right now. I feel like I am just barely starting my mission now. I don't know how to describe it but things are just completely different for me. I know I'm not going to India anymore. Where before I was thinking, "Wow I have only been out for 7 months" now I feel like "Wow I have 17 more months to go." It just feels weird. I finally realize that I have a while before I come home. I'm not homesick though and I'm sure that time will go fast still. So with this area Elder Buchanan and his old companion just won the trust of a lot of people. They really made it so these people who have been closed off forever are starting to warm up. We are gonna do this area some good. There are hardly any members here too. Last Sunday I was shocked. Literally there were probably 30 people at church. It is so small. And they all knew about me before I knew anything. Everyone is super old too. We have one young family in the ward and that is about it. They are dying for some younger friends in the ward. Whats really nice about this area is that they haven't had missionaries here for a long time so I think people will be more accepting of us. A lot of people think that we are cops, but I haven't run into one anti person since I've been here. Really thank you for your emails and letters. Those helped me out a lot. Its funny because whenever I go through a hard time I can't wait to receive comfort. You all know how impatient I am. So I pray and I have always received that comfort through the scriptures and through the holy ghost. But your emails and letters give me that extra boost that I need. It still feels crazy to me that I am actually a Washington Kennewick Missionary. Elder Olsen and I were talking about how we have been thinking about India for about a year now. It has been our whole thinking and life, and now it is just gone. But its not the end of the world for me. Its different, but I can get through it. I hope you guys are doing fine. I'll respond to your letter in my letters okay.

love ya. elder garrick

Oh p.s. I probably need a bike. One of the missionaries in Pasco said his trainer is going home and was going to give him his bike. He said that I could have it, but he has no idea what his trainer did with it. He thinks it's at the mission office. I'm having the AP's look into it for me, but I don't know if they have it, so I might have to buy one. Bummer huh. Oh well. Also my missionary credit card got taken away in the atm. I was dumb and typed in the wrong pin too many times. Ya, I don't wanna talk about it. I'm an idiot. But the office is getting me a new card, but I might need to use my own credit card until then so if you could make sure that I have plenty of money on it. Thanks.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tuesday, March 9, 2010 - Week 30

Dear Family,

I know that you have all heard the news, but for those of you that have not, I have now been permanently reassigned to the Kennewick Washington Mission. President Belnap called me yesterday morning and told me. I am very disappointed. But I am going to serve the people of Washington to the best of my ability. As I am now staying in this mission I decided that I would probably need some more things. Yesterday I went out and bought another suit. It's just a one pant suit. I also got another coat. It looks about the same as dads, but it is a dark color and is warmer inside. Hopefully that should do me. I might try and get a backpack. I have used the one Mark and them gave me. Its great, but it it's difficult to ride a bike with. I only had a bag like that because I thought thats all you could have in India. I might try and get a backpack and then send this one home, because I'd like to use it when I return. Also I may eventually need a bike, but for right now I am okay. Mom and Dad if you could check the balance on my card and make sure I have enough money on it. I bought my suit and jacket with the cash I had for my plane ride to India. I want you all to know that as this is very hard for me, I am not going to let it affect me. I will go serve and do the very best that I can. I will be fine.

On other news I am being transferred from Pasco. My new area is Dayton in the Walla Walla zone. Yes it is called Walla Walla. I am going to be in farm country! I guess the town is really really small and the area has only been open for a short time. My new companion is Elder Bucannon and Elder Olsen knew him and said that he is awesome. I guess the town is really poor and like half the people live on welfare. And the best news.....I WILL BE IN A CAR!!! Man I'm so excited for that. That is why i don't think I need to worry about a bike right now. When that comes up i will worry about that but for now I'm fine. So I leave tomorrow morning. I have gone around and said good bye to people. Man it is so sad. I said goodbye to Adrian and his family last night. I said bye to Larry and Gage Smith. And I said bye to many members. the Henry's (the members we live with) are taking us out to Red Robin tonight. That should be fun. I'm really sad to leave. Even though this area has been hard i have met a lot of amazing people. Well this week we also started to teach this less-active guy named Neal Middleton. He has just recently started to come to church, but he literally knows nothing about the church. the bishop challenged him to take the missionary lessons. We taught him twice this week. The first time we had a really good discussion. He has had a big problem with drugs and alcohol. We talked about it and I committed him to start living the word of wisdom. I had never done that in a first lesson before, but it felt right. This guy is great. The next lesson we had with him (only a couple days later) he shows us and there is just a brighter countenance about him. He seemed so happy and cheerful. Usually he is the old grumpy guy at church. I said goodbye to him on Sunday and thanked him for the opportunity to teach him. He goes, "Oh man, Your awesome!" I just started to laugh. Its amazing to see how the gospel really can change lives. No matter how hard your life may be it can change. Well I will send you my new address when I get there. Love you all and thank you again.

Elder Garrick

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tuesday, March 2, 2010 - Week 29

Hello everyone,

So just to let you know, I did send a letter to you. It took me forever to write, but I just sent it out yesterday. Sorry it took so long. I did talk about a lot of things in it though and I did talk about transfers. I will just tell you now. We will find out this Saturday if we will be transferred or not and then a week from tomorrow we will actually be transferred. I have no idea what is going to happen with Elder Cashin and I. There have been a few instances of a 4 transfer companionship, but it is rare. I doubt that would happen. We have been thinking about it and Elder Cashin has been here the longest, so he might go. But then if he goes and I get a new companion and then I leave to India, it will pretty much be like having 2 missionaries in an area where they have no idea whats going on, so I might leave. We really have no idea. I guess you will find out next week huh. Its okay you sent your letters to my house, but for next week you better send it to the mission home or until I tell you whats going on with transfers.

There is not a whole lot that went on this past week. I got Lyndsie's letter so I will answer a few of her questions. We have not met with the lady with her two daughters lately. Her name is Angela. She is so hard to get a hold of. We finally got an appointment with her and will teach her tomorrow. I never thought it would be so hard just to get appointments with people. That's like the hardest part about missionary work. Many people are just so busy and it's hard to follow up with them or even teach them because they are so busy. When we teach Angela we just need another Priesthood holder or sister in the ward to come out with us so we are not alone with her. To answer your question Lynds, Orinda is the girl the Bishops family has been working with. She is doing great. She came to church this Sunday! She got permission from her mom and Orinda really enjoyed church and wants to come again next week. She is doing great right now.

Our P-day last week was a lot of fun. We had steak and my favorite potatoes. It was so dang good. We just played basketball and then went inside and played a few games like signs and other ones. And I will work on taking more pictures. I stole one from Elder Cashin and got it on my camera so I will try and send that today. And I will try and take more pictures, there just isn't a whole lot of cool stuff to see in Washington. Everyone says its like southern Utah, without the red rock.

After P-day I went on exchanges with another companionship. It was with the Distict Leader and his companions (they are in a tripanionship) The district leader came into our area with Elder Cashin and I got to go to the other with the other two missionaries. It was a blast. That night they had an appointment with a 13 year old boy. He is so smart and had a lot of great questions. It was so easy to teach him. I didn't want to over step my bounds, but he just seemed so ready, so I committed him to baptism. He said he would! It was great. They are continuing to work with him. The next day we played basketball for our daily exercise and then did service and stuff. It was good. Our District Leader was with Elder Cashin all day.

Also this week we met with a lady in our ward and she showed us how to do genealogy work. Its pretty cool. Ya you guys are right, Dads side is pretty much done and there is absolutely nothing done on moms side. It was fun to see though. Right now we are trying our hardest to work with our wards. We are going to meet with both of our bishops this week and tell them of our concerns and ask how we can help. There just is not much going on in one ward, . The other ward is doing a ton better, they have the fire, but are lacking in how to put that fire into action. Hopefully we can help both wards. Well there's not much else going on. I go on exchanges with the zone leaders again this week, but I think I'm staying in my area. So no etoli for me again. no bueno. Well I guess I'll talk to you all next week. I hope you all enjoy having Whit back home for a few weeks. That will be fun for ya.

Love you guys,
Elder Garrick