Monday, August 24, 2015

Roads to Eternal Families, hospitals and bike races

August 24, 2015

We went to the hospital many times this week. We gave a blessing to
a Spanish member who ended up there and  went on  Monday
after getting a call from the Relief Society president that Warren had
passed away. I had immensely enjoyed teaching him and helping him out.
In what world is a 19 year old supposed to be the comforter to an
elderly lady who's husband went to the other side just 30 minutes
earlier? Even though I felt incredibly inadequate and myself grieving,
I received the words to say that calmed both of us. This gospel is
true. Warren was so excited to join the church, he had called all of
his family to let them know the date. I'm going to miss that guy. But
death isn't the end.

Bike race
In Aguila we were walking one night and this big group of kids came up
to us on their bikes. Lately we've had no one out there, everyone
thinks I'm the Feds. So when these kids challenged the only white guy
in 70 square, I had to accept. Out of a plethora of youth, yours truly
took third. Now even though I was twice the height of most of them, I
consider it a feat not to be in dead last. The desired result was
achieved, Elder Bryan is NOT the Feds, everyone is safe, and we've been
invited to play street soccer with the community. Success!

We were playing basketball today with other elders in Surprise. Here's
a picture of me and the smallest elder in the mission.

Elder Bryan

August 17, 2015

This week was a lot of driving on the road, next won't be as much
which I'm looking forward to. 2hour drives aren't my favorite any


Kasi and her son were baptized Saturday which was super neat. Kasi had
been attending for a long time before calling us up letting us know
she wanted to be baptized. A few elders who taught her got to be there
for the ceremony which was cool, got to see Elder Nistler a few days
before he goes home-this afternoon. I've had really good companions.
The cool thing is, when the O'Briens get sealed next year, elder
nistler, Cespedes, and I will be there. Looking forward to these
future events!

He promised to come to the baptism but when he never showed up but
instead getting many missed calls from him, we decided to check up on
him. Turns out he spent the day in the hospital. His wife suggested a
blessing which we were more than glad to give. Afterwards we suggested
that if the doctors tell him to do something he should do it instead
of going home. He's a funny guy who really loves when we come over.

Book of Mormon Challenge
When I first came here to Wickenburg back in June I found out that the
youth was doing a Book of Mormon challenge to read it during the
summer. I decided to join in so I could push myself while keeping to a
schedule. I finished Saturday morning and man, such a powerful book.
It makes our task easy to do when the proof is in the pudding. It's
true, but don't take my word for it.

Elder Bryan

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Transfers/sleeping in barns--the work moves forward

August 10

Brenda (the yard sale lady)
After helping her move donatables on and off she sat us down last week and told us how she's worried for her dying husband. She likes the members she knows, the ward acts like a family and she wants that. We had the first lesson Sunday with Sister Kurtz. It has been awesome how prepared the people we get to teach are. She, like Warren, wants to do everything God asks of us and recognizes the authority and validity of this church. Sister Kurtz offered to come over every morning to read the book of Mormon with her which was really cool.

We decided together to take a break while Stephen reads, prays and goes to church. We'll see where things go in a few. Good young guy who needs some time to think about everything.

Friday night after having a family home evening with the Bohlen family who run the motel, President Bohlen gave us a few names to visit. Since he's a sheriff, he knows everyone who lives in the branch boundaries, and then some. Desert dwellers and all that fun stuff. It's interesting to see who lives here and why. Some enjoy the intense sun, while others have had a run of bad luck. We gave a blessing to a member who moved from Parker to work in the fields and for some members here. He's trying to work his way out of his circumstances and in a place like the wild west, it's hard to just survive. He's a strong man who loves his kids, we're looking forward to getting to know him.

The Landeros
Coolest family ever. The mom has installed a attitude of hard work in her three kids which is evident by the fact that they we're the last people to leave the church Sunday after a "linger longer". They're not even members but they know how important service is. We stopped by to drop off a white shirt and tie for the shy boy, Luis. Luckily it fit him perfectly. Now if we could just schedule lessons around their busy schedule. We're determined and we have members who are here working together with us. I know everything will work out. 

Elder Cespedes is a funny dude. He has a hint of east coast skater vibe still on him but he's worlds ahead of where I was when I first came out. He's really teachable and willing to put in the hours. We're getting past the awe of cacti, the dryness (I don't know what he's talking about this place is green), and the lightning, which to be honest still holds my attention as well. Its almost every other night now and since we live in a bowl-ish valley you can see them from miles and miles away.

Arizona is good. The mission is good. Happy birthday Zach, I love you all!

Elder Bryan

August 3

At the transfer meeting where we find out where everyone is going and
who they'll be with, I received my new companion. His name is Elder
Cespedes from Virginia and in his first week here in the mission we
saw many miracles.

We were notified that a less active lady who's coming back has a
husband who had interest in our church. We found it after half an hour
roaming the hill and brush of Morristown, 15 minutes southeast of
Wickenburg. He came out in Lamanite war attire which kinda scared us.
We delivered the large print Book of Mormon and then being prompted,
taught the restoration and invited him to be baptized at the end of
this month. Never had such good success with someone in their
skivvies. We also invited him to try a more clothy fashion.

Mystery lesson (follow up)
The less active man who we had a lesson with that no one still knows
who planned came to church and asked us to give him the missionary
lessons so he can pick up what he lost in 20 years. He still has the
most humble sincere prayers I've heard from anyone besides my mission

The branch presidents motel in Salome this week was packed due to a
hunting season starting so Brother Erekson offered us a place in his
barn. It was awesome even if we were in an RV inside of that barn. We
had a good family home evening with the Ereksons (which I have a
better appreciation for) about magnifying our callings. I liked one of
the quotes said, "callings are seldom convenient". I am grateful for
all the hard work and time members put in to help others by service.
It's cool to see it from a wider perspective.

Also this week we were able to reach standards of excellence, a goal
for our key indicators based on lessons, new investigators, people at
church and people with a baptismal date. Not to shabby for elder
Cespedes' first round. He has a strong desire and we really prepared
ourselves this fast Sunday. We're going to rock it this transfer.

Until next time,
Elder Bryan