Tuesday, May 25, 2010

May 25, 2010 - Week 41

Hello everyone!

K so our p-day has been really crazy today. We usually email at the college in Walla Walla and we go in our p-day clothes because we didn't know if missionaries were allowed to email there. We always just sign on as guests. Last week we were challenged to wear our church clothes to email. We really didn't want to because we didn't know what would happen and also we are there with a bunch of kids our own age. I guess we wanted to blend in. Everyone was pretty nervous about it, but we all did it. It was crazy because we had so many students come up and start talking to us. It shows that you are a missionary all the time, even on your p-day. So this week we go to email in our church clothes and we are all actually excited this time and we are told that we can't email there for a while because finals are going on and the computers are reserved for the students. BUMMER!!!! So we go to the church and see if we can email at the family history center and the internet is down. BUMMER!!! Finally we are now at a different library that opens up at 12 and I don't have any of my stuff so I can't send any pictures or anything. BUMMER!!!!! It’s okay though. At least I was actually able to email this week. I was kinda getting nervous for a while.

Well this past week has been pretty good. To let everyone know, my ankle is completely fine. I rolled it about 1 month ago and it hurt for like 1 day. Don't worry, I’m fine. We find out this Saturday about transfers. I think there is going to be a big change in our district this transfer and President Belnap told E Buchanan and I to expect a change. We are pretty sure that E Buchanan is leaving because he has been in Dayton for 7 1/2 months. Everyone thinks that I will be training because I’m at perfect training age in the mission and now that it is summer, there will be a lot of new missionaries coming into the field. Who knows what will actually happen.

Because transfers are coming up, we asked Trisha and Destiny if we could bump their baptism forward. They are progressing great and we felt it would be okay and so did they. So this Saturday they are going to get baptized! I'm so dang happy for them. I am going to baptize Trisha and Elder Buchanan is going to baptize Destiny. Then on Sunday I am going to confirm Destiny and Elder Buchanan is going to confirm Trisha. It should be pretty cool. They are great. Trisha (the mom) has had a pretty hard life. She has done a lot of things in her past that she is not happy about and hasn't told anyone about except for us. She has lived with the guilt and shame for 20 years now. She said that she has completely changed her life. She moved from California to Dayton, Washington to start her new life, but she said even with all that change she still feels like something is missing. I talked to her about how she recognized that she was doing wrong things and she lined her life up with the commandments even before she knew about them. Now all that she needs to do is forgive herself and be lifted from the burden of her past life and how that is possible by the atonement of Christ. She is so excited for her baptism. I think that this is going to be one of the most special just because she has truly offered a broken heart and a contrite spirit. I know I talked to you all about sending scriptures, so here is mine. I don't know exactly what verse it is because I forgot my notebook where I wrote it down, but it is in Luke 7, the lady who washes Christ feet with her hair. This reminds me so much of Trisha. Destiny is really excited too.

In other news, we probably had the best day at church on Sunday. Sara and Hank Huxoll stayed for all 3 hours of church for the first time. We have been really nervous about Hank going into primary because he is almost 11 and he is pretty mature for his age. We didn't know how he would do with all the singing and stuff. We went in with him and sure enough he was bored out of his mind, but this only lasted for a few minutes. For singing time they played a game where the kids got to spin in a chair and whatever number their feet pointed to they would sing a song. Hank was the first to go and immediately a smirk came across his face. For sharing time we played another game where Elder Buchanan and I were the Holy Ghost and the world and one tried to lead a kid to the plate of cookies while the world tried to lead him to the plate of sticks. Hank really liked that too. We were way happy. John Janovich also received the Aaronic Priesthood and he is now a home teacher. He is doing so great. He is still reading the Book of Mormon for the 2nd time and is now reading the gospel principles book too. We had an investigator and her member husband come to church for the first time and they stayed for all 3 hours. Trisha and Destiny also stayed the whole time. Everyone loved it! The ward was so friendly to everyone and made everyone feel so welcome. Things are going great right now.

You guys also asked about Lynne. Unfortunately we haven't been able to get in with Lynne for a while. She works at the hospital and they are short staffed so she has been working 6 days a week for like 12-14 hours each day. On her day off she just stays home and sleeps for the whole day to rest up for the week. We talked to her and she is still very interested and she always talks to her daughter about it, but she is just busy and we will have to be patient with her right now.

Well I really don't know what else there is to tell you guys. I wrote down a bunch of things so I’m trying to remember it. If I can't remember then I will find out and write a letter to ya. I have no idea what my pant size is so I will look that up too and tell you in my letter. Oh you asked about the weather. First off, I can't believe that it snowed in Utah. That is so crazy!!! It warmed up here for a while. It actually got pretty hot and then the next day it got cold again and it has been pretty rainy the past few days. We had one day that it was way windy, like 70 mile per hour winds and it was storming like crazy. The rain was coming in sideways, the wind was blowing so hard. It’s a nice day today. I think we are going to play Australian football. It’s pretty cool. It’s like a mix between soccer and rugby. You guys should look it up. It’s called Australian Football League. We obviously don't tackle like they do, but it’s still fun.

K, hope everyone is doing great and I will talk to you next week. I love you all.

Elder Garrick

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

May 18, 2010 - Week 40

How is it going for everyone today? This week has been pretty good for me. It’s been crazy because for some reason we had 3 exchanges this week and I stayed in my area for everyone. It really makes me feel like I could take over the area. It wouldn't be as hard as I thought and I think it would actually be a good thing for me. Who knows what is going to happen at transfers though. It is still a good two weeks away. First I want to just say that I got Jo Ann's package. Tell her thank you and I will be writing her a letter here pretty soon. Have you guys gotten my package yet? It should be there by now.

So yes we have had another miracle in Dayton. John Janovich's son-in-laws cousin was at his baptism. She really liked the baptism and wanted to learn more. The next day she came to John’s confirmation and enjoyed church even more. We talked to her and asked if we could talk to her more about the gospel and if she wanted to learn more. She said yes. Her name is Trisha and she has a 14 yr old daughter named Destiny. So we go over to their house on Friday and they are way excited to see us. They said that they had been looking forward to our lesson all week and had been thinking of questions for us. We taught them the first lesson and it went great. She said that she has always believed in God, but never knew which church to go to. She understood everything. Does this sound familiar to you....? Well we get to the end of the lesson and she asks, "Well, what do we need to do to join the church?" We talked to her about baptism and we set a date for both her and the daughter to be baptized!! Just like Lynne! This is the second time this has happened this transfer. It is so amazing. There are people who truly are ready to hear the gospel and are searching for it. God always provides a way. So we currently have 3 people on date to be baptized right now. We really are being blessed. Unfortunately Lynne was not able to make it to church this week. She is still progressing and interested, but we are going to have to bump her baptismal date back. I hope that I can still be here for it.

We are teaching another person tonight that is doing fantastic too. It was while I was on exchanges and I wasn't able to be there for the first lesson but Elder Buchanan said it went great. I'm excited for it. Other than that not much else has happened. Guess what? I finally learned how to complete a rubix cube. I know I know, not missionary related, but I was pretty excited about it. Our district leader showed me how and now it’s a piece of cake. Now I'm working on the 5x5.

Last night I went on exchanges with our district leader. He is actually from Australia. He is a really cool guy. It’s nice because we were able to get some good things done yesterday. Last night we were able to see a couple of the people who we had been discussing and we had great lessons with them. They are mostly less-active families, but they are now going to start to take the missionary lessons and hopefully we can help them out. It’s been really cool for me to look at the things that have gone on in my mission. I am able to relate a lot of the experiences I have had with my companions, with my areas, and with my visa to the people we are teaching. I guess there was a reason for me to go through all of that haha. Anyway I'm doing great right now. Hopefully I’ll have more to say next week. And don't worry about me. My ankle is fine. It has been for the past 2 weeks now. No biggie. I love you all and I'll talk to ya next week.

Elder Garrick

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

May 12, 2010 - Week 39

How’s it going everybody? It was really good to talk to everyone on Mothers Day. I love calling because it always gives me a good charge. Some missionaries get a little home sick and don't want to do any work, but I just get excited and want to go out and work even harder after I talk to you guys. Since I talked to everyone on the phone I probably won’t have much to say, but I will give an update for those who I didn't get to talk to and the stuff that has gone on since the phone call.

On Saturday John Janovich was baptized. It was my first time actually baptizing someone and it was amazing. I don't know if I have told everyone John’s story before but I'm going to do it anyway. John's wife is a member, but he was not. 20 years ago he started to take the missionary lessons, but he was offended by one of the missionaries. Well John kicked the missionaries out of his house. For 20 years he never had any missionaries or even members of the church come over to his house. About 6 months ago John’s wife was diagnosed with cancer. Her Brother-in-law suggested that she get a priesthood blessing from the missionaries. So Elder Buchanan and Elder Parlogean went over there and gave her a blessing. She decided that she needed to start coming back to church and E. Buchanan and Parlogean started teaching her. When I came here we sat down with John too. John had never participated in the lessons, but he finally liked the missionaries again. My first night in Dayton we talked to him and asked him if he wanted to take the lessons. He said that it couldn't hurt. Ever since then, he has progressed more than anyone I have ever met. He understood everything and committed to live all the commandments. He finished the Book of Mormon before his baptism and now he is reading it again. It was a great privilege to baptize him. It was a great baptism and very spiritual. On Sunday E. Buchanan confirmed him and gave him the gift of the Holy Ghost. John is doing great.

We taught Lynne again on Monday. We found out that she struggles with some word of wisdom issues. We taught her about the gospel of Jesus Christ and then we taught her about the word of wisdom. She is so great. She is the female version of John Janovich. After we talked about baptism she asked us, "What do I need to do to be baptized?" This led perfectly into the word of wisdom. Lynne understood it all and she said it makes sense to her why god would give us this commandment. She committed to live it and she is still progressing towards her baptismal date of May 29.

Yesterday we had our last interviews with President and Sister Belnap. I guess they are actually going home June 27 or 28. It was really sad. I love President and Sister Belnap. They have helped me out so much on my mission. In my interview with President Belnap he talked about my whole mission so far. He said that I struggled with some in the beginning and that I really felt like I didn't know what to do. But then he said that it has all come together for me now. I was amazed that he remembered all those things about me. That is exactly what has happened on my mission so far. President told me how happy he is that I was able to come to the Kennewick mission. He asked me if I would do one thing for him. I asked him what and he said, "Missionaries like to be led Elder Garrick. They may not think so, but deep down inside they do. Will you always be the example to the other missionaries and be a leader." I told him that I would be. It was pretty cool. I talked to him about psychology and law school too. He got really excited when I told him I was thinking about doing what he did. He gave me a lot of good advice and he said that law would be a good thing for me to do. He said I have the determination, the discipline, and the right attitude to go into law. I still have a while before I have to decide, but law sounds pretty good to me. President said that he is really proud of the work we are doing in Dayton right now. He said that he wants to clone us and spread us across the mission haha. I guess he told Elder Buchanan to expect a change at transfers. I'm pretty sure that Buchanan will be leaving. He has been here for such a long time. It will be good for him and the area, but I sure will miss him. It’s okay. I still have 3 weeks with him and we are going to enjoy it. And who knows, President could change his mind. I was talking to Elder Parlogean (Buchanan's old companion) and he said that he thinks I am going to train next transfer. He said that this is the time of year when a lot of new missionaries come into the mission and I am at perfect training age. We will have to see.

Last night I went on exchanges with Elder Sabe. He actually went to Cottonwood High School and was in the grade above me. It’s really weird because we both didn't know each other, but we know all the same people. It has been a lot of fun to talk about everyone from high school and all the teachers and stuff. He is actually dating a girl I went to junior high with. It was really good. Today is our Zone P-Day and I think we are going to have a sports tournament between each district in our zone. Should be fun too. Well I'm happy everyone is doing good. Sorry but I forgot my cord to hook my camera up to the computer, but I sent home some pictures in my package so you should be getting that soon. Hope you like it. I will try and send some next week. Love you all and have a great week.

Elder Garrick

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

May 4, 2010 - Week 38

Subject: BEST WEEK EVER!!!!!!!!

Hello Hello Everyone,

So this definitely was the best week I have ever had on my mission. I have so much to tell you all this week it is crazy. First I will start with the cool stuff that just happened around town. On Saturday we went and helped out a member in our ward because he was doing a project for some lady and he was fixing her pool. Turns out that the house is where Adam West grew up when he was younger. Yes, the Adam West. The mayor on family guy and the original Batman. How cool is that. There ended up not much happening there because the pool was something minor, but we got pictures in front of Adam West's house. No I’m not in California, I am in Waitsburg, Washington haha. So that was pretty cool. Later that day they had this crazy medieval thing going on at the park by our house. It was a bunch of people who would dress up in medieval dresses and clothes and set up tents and they all just pretended to be medieval knights and stuff. We had to check it out so we went over and everyone was calling us "Mi Lords." It was pretty cool. The knights actually dress up in armor and have swords that they fight with. They are of course dull and they stick a thing on the end so they can stab each other. It was pretty intense. It was kinda weird though because everyone talked like they were born 800 years ago. "Mi Lord and Mi Lady," Everyone told us to take "Honor and Chivalry." But I got some good pictures of this too. Later that night we went to the feast they had. Guess what, like half of the people were already LDS haha. Everyone was really nice to us and the King and Queen were LDS so they talked to us a lot. I think it made everyone else mad haha. It was cool though. They gave us a bead of their Kingdom and I put it on my keychain.

Well last week we had zone conference and that was really cool too. It’s really weird because President and Sister Belnap will be leaving in the first part of July. I will miss them a ton. I have no idea what is going to happen with the new mission president. Everything could change or everything could stay the same. Who knows. It was a really good zone conference and we got great training that Elder Buchanan and I have been incorporating into our lessons and it has made our lessons so much more spiritual and everything just flows better.

Alright so the coolest thing that happened this week and possibly in my mission was a lesson we had. There is a member here who is in the hospital. She is doing a ton of missionary work. We have like 5 potential investigators from her. She gave a Book of Mormon to one of her nurses and I guess the nurse came back and said that she has read all the way to 2 Nephi. We have been trying to get in with this lady since I got to Dayton, but she has been kinda scared to meet with us. Her name is Lynne. Finally Sister Austin, the member in the hospital, talked to her again and Lynne said that she would meet with us. We drive out to her place, and she lives completely out of town in the mountains, and we sit down with her. We get to know her a little bit and then jump into teaching her. As we finish saying the opening prayer she goes, "Let me tell you where I'm coming from. I am recently divorced. I have always believed in God, but I have never known how to know which church is the right one, so I just never went to any. I have known who the Mormons are my whole life but never really talked to any. I have noticed that Mormons are just really happy. Family is really important to me and I have tried to raise my children with a little God in their life. My daughter lives in California and she is also recently divorced. She has lost her job and is really struggling right now in her life. I finally decided that I needed some God in my life and that’s when you two came into my life." The day sister Austin gave Lynne the book of Mormon Lynne went home and read it. The next day she got a phone call from her daughter telling her that she found a job. Lynne was so surprised and she thought it had to be from reading the Book of Mormon, so she kept reading. In what Lynne first told us it all just fell perfectly into teaching her. We talked about how the gospel blesses families and how many people, such as Joseph Smith, wondered which church is right too. It was the best lesson I have ever had. Our questions were perfect, her questions were perfect and the spirit was so strong. We asked her if she would pray to know if the Book of Mormon was true. She told us that she already knew that it was true and she just has a feeling inside of her, like she is closer to God. Everything was perfect, so we briefly taught her about baptism and then we asked her if she would be baptized on May 22nd. She accepted! It was amazing. After that she said, "I have a question, my daughter is really struggling right now. She needs this in her life. Can missionaries come to her house too?" We told her yes and that we could contact them right away. It was so great! That is the type of thing we practice in the mtc and in our zone conferences, but they never actually happen that way. It never goes that perfect. Elder Buchanan and I drove down the Mountain screaming we were so excited.

We also met with a part member family last night. They are really cool too. The guy is a member and he is a straight out cowboy. His wife said that she has been thinking about investigating the church. We had a good conversation and we will be teaching her soon. We got 2 new investigators yesterday and it’s funny because we stopped teaching 2 other investigators. It’s amazing how the lord can bless us. We have been praying to find some more people to teach.

John Janovich is doing great! His baptism is still on schedule for Saturday and I will be baptizing him. My first time in the font. We went over last night and we read our favorite scriptures to him. Then he took us by surprise and he read his favorite scripture to us. It is in 3 Nephi when Christ comes to America and says, "I am Jesus Christ, I am the light and the life of the world." I'm not sure exactly where it’s at but I know it’s either in 3 Nephi 11 or 10. He said that the scripture just stood out to him so much. Lynds thanks for sharing that scripture with me. I hope you are continuing to read everyday. I was actually thinking about how if anyone truly desires and seeks for the truth, they will find it. That’s exactly what 1 Nephi 10:19 says. I marked it in my scriptures and put your name by it. Isn't it awesome how simply reading can change your whole day? Dad thank you for that list of scriptures Dee gave out in Sunday School. I wanted to share with you my favorite of those. It is the "Why is life so hard" question. Mosiah 23: 21 -22 the lord truly does try our patience and our faith. And if we put our trust in him we can be delivered and then it leads straight into Mosiah 24, Whitney's favorite scripture. Pretty cool eh.

Well thank you guys so much for that package. I can't believe you sent me so much stuff. That was like a birthday package. The gps is awesome and the towel is great. I'm going to give Sarah and Hank the tie and book tonight. I think they will love it. Everything you sent me was just awesome. From the keychain to the rice crispies and York pieces. Thank you so much. I don't even need anything now for my birthday. Well I guess I better get going. Have a great week and I will talk to you on Sunday!!!

Elder Garrick