Tuesday, June 22, 2010

June 22, 2010 - Week 45

Hello everyone!

How is everybody? This may be a short email this week because it was just pretty uneventful for me. Not a whole lot happened. It has been kinda rainy here lately so it seems like the town has just been shut down. Not a lot of people are outside. We did have Zone Conference this week. That was really good. Since it was President and Sister Belnaps last zone conference we got the going away talk, except it’s not us leaving, it’s our mission president. So we were told what to do when we get home from our missions. I now know why missionaries come home and get married so fast. They drill that into our heads. President Belnaps advice was, "If the shoe fits, there is no point in trying on other shoes." He also said that we should marry a woman who will someday be, "A Bishops Wife." Sister Belnap talked about "Becoming the perfect spouse, before finding the perfect spouse." It was pretty good advice I guess, but it’s a while off for me. It was sure sad to see them go. Everyone was just bawling. I'm not going to say if I cried or not, you can decide for yourselves.....jk I cried. President Belnap has done so much for me since I have been out on my mission. He truly does love all of the missionaries here. One of the Assistants to the President said that besides his dad, he looks up to President Belnap more than anyone he knows. I think that this is the same for me. At the end of the zone conference the Belnaps and their councilors lined up and all the missionaries went up one by one to say goodbye. I gave Sister Belnap a hug and she said that she is so happy that I came to this mission. Then I went to President Belnap and thanked him and gave him a hug. He said, "Elder Garrick, the Lord has many paths that he can take us on. Some take longer than others to get to their final destination. I am so happy that the Lord brought you here." They leave next week and President Greere will come in to meet us on Wednesday. I'm excited to meet him and serve with him. I do not have any info on him except that he is from Arizona and is a lawyer too. So ya that’s about it for me. Not much else has been going on. We are still just working away. I've really been focusing on having the faith to find new investigators. I want to do more to have some members invite people to hear the missionaries too. Hopefully we can get something going this week. I heard a quote from President Hinckley that I love. He said, "Faith is not a feeling, it’s a decision." That is true.

Oh they had a thing in Dayton called, "All Wheels Weekend." It was really cool. It is one of the biggest car shows on this side of the state. There were a ton of really old and remodeled cars just lined up on Main Street. They closed everything up and just had cars parked everywhere. It was awesome. They also had lawn mower drag races. People have actually taken their lawn mowers and put new engines in them and then they race them. It was the coolest thing ever. Stuff like that only happens in good ol Dayton. It was funny because we were just walking around looking at all the cars and all these members from like Walla Walla or the Tri-cities would stop and talk to us. It was fun. I forgot my camera, but I'll have to send some pictures next week. I don't know what we are doing today for p-day. Probably just hang out. There is a bike trail that we might take. Other than that, that’s it. I hope everyone is great. Have a great week and I'll talk to ya later.

Elder Garrick

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

June 15, 2010 - Week 44

Jared and the Walla Walla district before transfer day

Elder Garrick, Elder Olsen, and Elder Buchanan on transfer day.

Jared giving his new companion, Elder Wagner, a haircut. Poor Elder Wagner.

Hey Everyone,

This has been a pretty good week for me. My birthday was fantastic. I am trying to send out some thank you letters so everyone be patient with me. They will come. The backpack is awesome and is working great. I wrote about it in my letter to you guys that I will try to send off tomorrow. You guys can go ahead and keep the warranty. The levi's are great too. Everything was seriously perfect. Thank you all for everything. It was a great birthday. So for my birthday we had lunch and then we went bowling. I am happy to say that I got a new personal record of 160! That’s good for me. It was really fun and I'm pretty sure I beat everyone haha. Later that night we went over to some members home for some birthday cake. It was great. Elder Wagner and I are working great together and we are working hard.

Well I don't think that we will be moving out of Waitsburg. There just isn't any place in Dayton that we could go to. It’s good at the Tolmans too. They are great people. I have absolutely no idea who this lady is who is always at the transfer site. I was at transfers, but I guess since she doesn't know me and I don't know her, there are no pictures. I'll look for her next time. Well not much else is going on. We are talking to everyone on the street and having really good success with that. People are so friendly here that they don't freak out when missionaries come to talk to them. In the past week we have gotten 5 new investigators which is really good. The average is about 2 a week and the goal for the mission is 4 a week. We have a few appointments with people that we are hoping will turn out good so that we have more people to teach. Everyone is doing great. We are meeting with our recent converts. The Razzolini's are doing great and Trisha (the mom) is already wondering when she can go to the temple to be sealed to her daughter. We met with John the other day. We asked him about his feelings on the Book of Mormon. With sincerity in his voice he said, "I can't describe how I feel about it. It’s hard for me to describe my feelings, but I just know that it is true." That is one of the greatest testimonies I have ever heard from anyone. We met with Laurel Bloomfield last night. For those who can't remember her story, her husband is a member who hasn't been to church since he was probably 19. They are both in their early 30's now. Laurel felt it was important that they pay their tithing to some church and they decided they would do it to Jim's church (the member husband). That same week our elders quorum president called everyone in the ward to see if they wanted home teachers. He called Laurel and she told him that she was not a member. He then asked her if she would want the missionaries to come over. She accepted and we have been meeting with her ever since. She is awesome. She believes in everything that we do. She said that she know it’s true, she just doesn't want to rush into things and fall away if her parents say anything to her about joining the church. She is so close! She is actually fasting today to help her make a decision on what she wants to do.

Well that’s about it for me. I hope everyone is doing great. To all you Fathers out there, have a Happy Fathers Day! I bet everyone is happy that Whit is home and will everyone please give Brit a big hug for me and tell her that I love her and congrats. Take care everyone and I will talk to you next week.

Elder Garrick

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

June 8, 2010 - Week 43

Subject: ITS MY BIRTHDAY!!!!

Hello Hello Everyone!

How is everybody doing? I am having a fantastic day today. I woke up and Elder Wagner cooked me pancakes that were awesome and then I went downstairs and opened up all my birthday presents. Thank you all so much for everything. Everything fits and everything is perfect and I love it all. You guys are right, I bet it is hard to buy stuff for a missionary, but you all did a fantastic job haha. It was all great. Ya it seems really weird to me that I am not home to celebrate my birthday with the family. For some reason it seems even more weird than Christmas or something else. Being 20 is cool I guess. I just feel like the same ol person. It’s weird though because I can remember when Nick and Lyndsie turned 20 and I thought that they were so old. That’s probably what Aaron and Cassi think of me now haha. Well the rest of today is going to be pretty good. We picked up some other missionaries in our district and they gave me a birthday present. It was some left over candy and an old dirty tie that they got from one of their investigators. Oh and they gave me a reused birthday card haha. They are awesome guys though, but I would have to say your presents were much better. I think today is just going to be a normal p-day. We are probably going to go to lunch and then I think bowling. Later tonight we are having dinner with one of my favorite families in the ward. It’s going to be a lot of fun.

Well I guess a lot has gone on since I last emailed. I am now with Elder Wagner. He is an alright guy! Definitely different from serving with Buchanan, but he is a good missionary. He has been out for 21 months and Dayton will most likely be his last area. It is a good area to go out on. He is from downtown SLC, but his family moved to some place called Bennington, Idaho. He is a really sincere kid. I will have to send you guys a picture sometime. Sorry I don't have one of him yet. Well Buchanan left this area straight out dry. We really only have 2 investigators right now and really only one of them is progressing. I still feel like this area is prepared to receive the gospel. We have been doing a ton of street contacting, well as much as we can in our little town. It’s crazy because I know a lot of the people in the area. We will just be walking and I'll see somebody I have already met so we go talk to them. I have realized that I can talk to anyone now. It’s really not that hard at all. I like to just talk to them and get them to feel comfortable around me and then our conversations always turn into a gospel conversation somehow. It’s awesome. We are meeting with a couple good people this week that hopefully we can start teaching. As a district we are doing a thing called 10 x 10. This is where we go 10 hours of tracting a week and we talk to 10 people a day on the street. I don't know how that’s going to go here, because if we really do this I will have talked to probably the whole town in 2 weeks haha. I'm really excited for it though and I know we are going to get some new investigators.

Not much else is going on. We are teaching Laurel Bloomfield still. She has come to church 3 weeks in a row for all 3 hours and she really likes it. We just introduced them to another young couple in our ward and they hit it off great. Laurel said that she just keeps on expecting to find something completely crazy with the church, but she just can't find it. She is doing great and she is currently praying about setting a date for June 26th. I have a lot of faith in her. We have been meeting with a former investigator of ours. Bobby Jo Strickland! He is the black guy from Mississippi. We have been helping him cook some food for a BBQ one of the members was doing. We helped him marinate his ribs and chicken, and oh boy were they good. Probably some of the best ribs I have ever had. He is a great guy, he is just comfortable with the church he is in now. Right now we just want to show him that we are his friends and help him out in any way that we can. We are surprisingly staying very, very busy. We are finding new ways to find people to teach. Missionary work is definitely not just tracting and teaching. I'm loving it right now. It’s great to just be able to talk to people about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Well thank you all for the wonderful birthday. I hope everyone is doing as good as I am. Have a great week.

Elder Jared Garrick, the 20 year old missionary!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

June 1, 2010 - Week 42

Hello Everyone,

Wow! There has been so much that has happened in this past week. It was probably one of the busiest and most stressful of my entire mission. First we had President Belnap come down from Dayton to interview Trisha and Destiny. Everything went great. It was good to be able to talk to President afterwards. He took us out to lunch. He said that what we have done with this area is amazing. He said that we need to always remember that there have been miracles in this town and we should never forget them. I got a picture with him. He now only has about 4 weeks left in the mission. It is so weird to me that he is finally leaving. It seems like he has been such a large part of my mission, but I will actually have President Greere for longer than I had President Belnap. I will miss him a lot though.

On Saturday Dayton had their annual Dayton Days Parade. The police officer who was leading out the parade is in our ward so we got to ride in the cop car with him and we threw out toy badges to everyone and bracelets. It was way fun. We saw so many people that we know. I think everyone was confused to look into the cop car and see two missionaries. Later that night we had Trisha and Destiny's baptism. It was decided that I would baptize Trisha (the mom) and confirm Destiny (the daughter). Elder Buchanan baptized Destiny and confirmed Trisha. So the whole night goes great and the spirit is really strong. We go to baptize both of them and Destiny goes first with Elder Buchanan. It goes great. Then it is my turn to baptize Trisha. She was really, really nervous. She steps down into the font with me and I go to baptize. Just as I’m dunking her in the water, an arm shoots out and grabs my shoulder. I bring her back up and she struggles to get up. Elder Buchanan jumps down and helps me support her. We talk to her and we do it again. Her arm shoots out of the water again! This next time, the 3rd time baptizing her, I have her put her arm right by my hand. Elder Buchanan gets on the other side. As I am bringing her down into the water, Buchanan grabs her wrist and shoves it into the water. Other than that it was a great night. Trisha and Destiny are doing fantastic.

Also this week we found out on Wednesday that the speakers for sacrament meeting cancelled and we got a call asking us if we would speak in sacrament this Sunday. We asked who was speaking with us and they said no one. So we had to speak for 20 minutes again. We worked hard on it though and the talk actually went really well. I will send it to you. That same Sunday we had a member fireside called, "Be the Investigator." It was so members can understand how investigators feel as they are going through the process and how they can help them and fellowship them. It went really well. We had a good discussion and it actually helped us more than it helped the ward. It worked out great. So that is why this was one of the most stressful weeks of my mission. President Belnap visit, 20 minute talk, baptism, fireside. Oh and to top it off, it we got our transfer calls this week.

I am sad to say that Elder Buchanan is finally leaving Dayton. He has been in this area for 7 1/2 months! We all pretty much knew that this was going to happen but nobody wanted it to. I am getting Elder Wagner. I have met Elder Wagner before at a zone conference. He has been out for 21 months so he is really close to being done with his mission. Everyone thinks that he will end his mission in Dayton now. I have no idea what is going to happen with me. By next transfer we will have a new Mission President. If I stay with Wagner another transfer after this one then he would go home and I could possibly stay another transfer to train someone to the area. That would be 7 1/2 months in Dayton for me too! Ah well, I don't know what is going to happen. I will miss Buchanan. He is going clear over to the other side of the mission in Longview. I'm sure that we will see each other again. We were a great team. We had 5 baptisms together. Pretty cool huh. He will do good where ever he goes.

Well I think that’s about it for me. Grandma, I got your package and I haven't opened anything yet since you wrapped them. I figured that I'm supposed to wait. Mom my pant size is 32x34 just to let you know. I tried to send a letter to you guys, but I waited too long. Sorry it will go out today and it is completely outdated because I just updated you on everything in this email haha. I told Pete Happy Birthday in my letter, but obviously it didn't go out. So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY PETE! Hope you had a good one. I will talk to you all next week and let you know how everything is going. Take care and I love you all.

Elder Garrick