Monday, October 26, 2015

I shivered once, its officially fall.

October 26, 2015

Tracey and the fence
On our last lesson we ask her what we could do to help her out. Be
prepared for the person to give you something to do when asking that.
:) she lives out in Morristown, super spread out cowboy country and
needed a fence built for a new horse pen. Elder Cespedes and I now
know how to build a solid fence so in case someone needs one. She
greatly appreciated our help and I think we've broken through the ice.
She knows now that we really do care because our actions backed up our
words. She might even have more projects for us to help out with!

The Wenden Miracle
On Friday we had our long awaited movie night-The Cokeville Miracle-
at the branch building. The two senior couple missionaries set the
event up and together we propaganda-ed for a month trying to get
people to come. Well when it was all said and done, 37 people showed
up! It was simply awesome. The Dominski family all came, of which the
youngest son will be baptized here pretty soon. It was really funny,
when something started to go wrong in the movie, half of the crowd
would loudly say something, "Oh that's a bad man", "I can't believe
it!" "Where are the police?". This happened throughout the entire
movie, either because they were old or others very young or just were
used to speaking to the tv because it's Salome and there isn't many
people around I'm not sure. All I know I had a hard time not laughing.
Also, no clue the Sister Conger was a part of that event. That was
neat! Also also, congrats to Dan Harvey for being the best 'high
schooler praying in a gym' ever!

Going out to Wenden on Friday night was the highlight because a lot of
our plans fell through this week. But there was this cool thing that

Gas Station
After we had many lessons cancel one evening I felt that we needed to
go to the gas station. We filled up on gas and then I felt like we
needed to go inside and see if there was something we needed inside.
I'm sure Elder Cespedes thought I was plain weird because that's how I
felt about myself. We milled around for a bit, and then I felt like it
was time to leave. So not buying anything we walk out and bump into
this rougher crowd going into the station. They looked at us all
startled like and then told us they needed us to help them. Yay! They
took us to their car where an leathery old man was in pain. He asked
if we could give him a blessing which we of course said yes to. One of
the ladies suggested we put him on top of the car right there but
there was a few bars right next door and the atmosphere wasn't
friendly. We decided to take him to the church where we gave the
blessing. The family was traveling from Twin Falls to Tempe and are
working on getting active again. Super cool to have been a part of
their process back. It reminded me that I need to be ready always
because I never know when I'll need to use it.

Red, our favorite crazy, has gone cold turkey and working on getting
his girlfriend down in Surprise to meet us and take the lessons. He
was also at church which was sweet! Many members welcomed him in which
was huge.

Happy Halloween y'all!!!
Elder Bryan

October 20, 2015

Right now it's drizzling, this week it's been on and off which has
been a nice change. This desert needs a few drops every now and then.
When there's an option to wear my rain jacket I have to take advantage
of it. Elder Cespedes got to see some real flash flooding which was a
lot of fun. Driving during a flash flood in a dirt road is quite an

We found out today that Elder Cespedes and I are going to be staying
here together. We're both super excited! This transfer is going to be
straight fun and I'm looking forward to these next 6 weeks.

On Sunday I sat down outside of the bishops office as I waited for
Elder Cespedes to return from Wenden, I looked over and saw a biker
older man with a fedora on, he starred at me all weird, laughed loudly
and then introduced himself as Red. He's a less active who wants to
come back and lives on our street which is awesome.

We decided on Thursday to call up every member in Morristown that we
didn't recognize. It was a long list and everyone who answered were
having bad hair days or something. No luck. Till the very last name,
Tracey. She just had gotten back from Alberta a week earlier on a
friends ranch and was happy we called. We stopped by later that night
as well as yesterday with Brother Busby who you wouldn't even know he
hadn't been in the church for 23 years. Tracey is inactive but wants
to return, the thing that had held her back was a divorce, her fiancée
passing away, and many legal and health problems that followed. She's
the toughest lady I've personally ever met. I wouldn't be surprised if
she ate nails for breakfast....without milk (Arthur reference). We
promised to help her build a horse fence this week and testified of
eternal marriages. She felt the spirit and was glad that someone took
the time to visit her. I think sometimes we all just need someone who
can sit and listen. That sometimes seems very insignificant to me but
I see it help immensely so it must be important.

In other news, Niyierma came to church again and this time brought her
granddaughter. This is twice in a row and shows us that something has
changed between a year ago and now. We're not sure what exactly is
keeping her from being baptized but we're going to figure out where to
go from here. She's keeping every commitment now which is some real
We also had a zone conference on Friday with the mission president.
The focus was on service and what we can do to get our areas from
phase one: the missionaries do all the work to phase two: the
missionaries with some help to phase three: the members do missionary
work and the missionaries help. President griffin let us know that the
key to doing this is by serving the people and letting them know we're
serious about it. In our area we set up a weekly service project out
at Robson's Mining World to help unearth antiques in the barn and
categorizing them- a huge task since the barn alone has more things
then the actual Wickenburg western museum.

My ponderizing scripture for the week is Mathew 11:28-30. What's yours?
Elder Bryan

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Happy Fall

Brandon's funeral was Saturday. The service was a very positive and
uplifting service. His older sister had returned from a mission in
Nauvoo and a brother was married just a few weeks ago. People could
have focused on the negatives but instead saw it as a blessing to have
the whole family and enjoy the time together. The bishop gave a good
talk on how Brandon IS and how the plan of Salvation fits into our own
lives. He also let us know his personal opinion that he felt it was
only a tragic accident and nothing more. Brandon was to be called as a
ward missionary this Sunday, I look up to his young example, he really
is an astounding missionary. I'm grateful for these opportunities to
work with people like Brandon.

The man who works at the car dealership, and we ran into at Brandon's
family's place, spoke at Brandon's funeral. He didn't know Brandon very
well but said that because of him he wants to join the church. David
goes to mission prep class down in Surprise where he acts as an
investigator (which he is) to help the people preparing for their
mission teach the lessons. It's cool to have someone so pumped about
what we do. He told us in a text, "if I didn't have a wife and kids,
I'd move in with you guys and you could teach me every night." I feel
really good because we have been pressured to confront him and start
teaching him but I wanted it to be natural and not odd like how I've
seen some people go about the whole thing. Our prayers were answered
and David doesn't think we're fruitcakes. Trying to go at the speed
that is needed and not just my way is a challenge but when I listen to
the spirit and obey, it feels so good. You'd think I'd be perfect at
following those promptings but I'm still working on that.

Church attendance
This was a good week for people going to church. Niyierma surprised me
as I was setting up the translating equipment. This was something
we've had a hard time helping her do so we're stoked. Kissy, wife of
Rogelio, showed up to church out in Wenden. She told us she'd have
every other Sunday off but decided to try to make it every week and
wants us to teach her and help answer some of her doubts. It's awesome
to see Rogelio being a good example (new convert of a year) and coming
again as well. Heather was there, nice and early, super excited to be
there. It's really cool to see new converts feel the joy of keeping
the commandments. Makes me rethink how I view the Gospel. Is the
gospel still wonderful to you?

Overall this week has been insane. Fast and fun and exhausting. I
never want to drive again, at least without some Efy music or
conference talks. But I love this area too much to want to do anything

Enjoy fall,
Elder Bryan

Monday, October 5, 2015

Three weeks worth of emails!

October 4, 2015

Elder Cespedes
This guy! I've been super impressed by how fast Elder C is taking in
all of missionary life. I've let him take the lead in all aspects in
the work and man, he's risen up to the challenge. There was a time
this week when we ran into some drunk bum who tried arguing with us. I
didn't even have to look at Elder Cespedes and he took charge and
kindly yet firmly let the wild man know we had places to go and
weren't interested in combating-verbally or physically. He's ready to
go and be the leader which is excellent because transfers are coming
up. It's easy to train when the person you're working with is humble.
These next few weeks will be so sweet!

General Conference
We watched general Conference at the ward building with some of the
members who couldn't watch it any other way as well as some who wanted
to eliminate some distractions. It was very peaceful to be able to
just sit and listen to the inspired speakers. I don't have a favorite
talk yet but very much enjoyed the ideas of asking 'what is stopping
me from progressing?' as well as 'Ponderizing'. I chose this morning
Helaman. 5:12 to start this week. I'm anxious to see how this adds to
my studies and general mood. It's so true how we need to not only stay
away from the many evils in this world but actively combat it.
Thoughts turn into actions and this is a great way to make our minds
an uplifting place.

On a sad note, we learned this morning from Brother Shumway that
Brandon, the young man who came with us on an all day split out in
Wenden, just passed away. He had graduated early and was always
available to go with us to lessons. It saddens me that we lost such a
bright and energetically positive guy. I'm grateful for the eternal
perspective that I have thanks to this gospel. The scriptures are like
old friends who are always there, this morning I read several verses
that are so important and encouraging.
Mormon 9:11-13
 But behold, I will show unto you a God of miracles, even the God of
Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and it is that
same God who created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in
them are.
12 Behold, he created Adam, and by Adam came the fall of man. And
because of the fall of man came Jesus Christ, even the Father and the
Son; and because of Jesus Christ came the redemption of man.
13 And because of the redemption of man, which came by Jesus Christ,
they are brought back into the presence of the Lord; yea, this is
wherein all men are redeemed, because the death of Christ bringeth to
pass the resurrection, which bringeth to pass a redemption from an
endless sleep, from which sleep all men shall be awakened by the power
of God when the trump shall sound; and they shall come forth, both
small and great, and all shall stand before his bar, being redeemed
and loosed from this eternal band of death, which death is a temporal

It's comforting to know that Brandon is still alive, doing missionary
work on the other side. One day I'll see him and Warren and others who
have moved on.

The past couple weeks we've had to drop all of our investigators which
makes for some dull weekly letters, my apologies. You might remember
Brenda, the famous yard sale lady. We stopped by to donate some old
clothes and found that she was still interested, very unlike the signs
we were getting over the phone. She even committed to baptism if she
got an answer. This Tuesday we are going over to get some things down
from up high in her shed to set up for her Christmas season and set up
a lesson with some members who also live in Congress. We feel super
excited for what's in store, both the members and Brenda want to get
the ball rolling. Nothing's better for me than coordinating a lesson
and then having members who can be a friend to these people, help us
teach them. Teaching is the best!

Elder Bryan

September 28, 2015

We've enjoyed this week seeing members start doing missionary work,
informing us on where their friends and contacts are progressing.
Nothing better than having normal people invite people they know to
learn more about the Gospel. Sometimes we need to think about how they
must feel when we go to invite them. We can look strange but we want
everyone to know we're just regular people who want to share what we

Heather who was baptized in July moved out of our area and out of
activity in the church. We were super sad and not understanding what
happened. We reconnected the other day when a member told us she moved
back into town. It's like she never left. Elder Chase Bryan is still
confused but happy she wants to get back into the swing of things.

General Conference
General Conference is this weekend!!!
As a missionary, general conference is the best. Everyone we meet,
"you know anything bout prophets? Haha well (flip hair in the wind)
would you like to hear on this Saturday?" Obviously it goes nothing
like that but you get the gist.

Sunday attendance
For a couple weeks we've been going on full day exchanges in Wenden
with little results but we all felt like we were changing things.
These past two weeks we first doubled the attendance from 5 to 12
members to this week of 20 people. The coolest part was everyone there
was from the branch and not on an assignment from the stake to talk or
even the branch presidents family. Wahoo! Elder Nistler came down to
go to a sealing in Verrado and drove me to the branch on Sunday. It
was really cool to chat with him, especially since he served in this
area. It's really cool to see how close of friends we've become.

Didn't have much time today to write, I've been driving these elders
all around Surprise. Love you all though!

Elder Bryan

September 14, 2015

District 4
Whenever we could, we have tried this week to find people in the
elders quorum home-teaching list who aren't easy to find, district
four. When someone moves and doesn't let anyone know where they are,
it creates a 'black hole' which many missionaries fall into, going
time and time again to visit members because they're new to the area
and getting nowhere. In the process we've found a less active guy who
feels nature is his church. We'll work slowly with him and with the
wards help, invite him to come back.

Dan Han
This myth of a guy has been giving me grief for quite some time. We
would set up a lesson and then we go to an old address, or never
responds but tells all the members that he wants to get baptized and
doesn't know what our problem is. We finally finally got to meet him
face to face at a dinner with some members and turns out, he just
moved to circle city- community on the very border outside  our area.
This makes it the 4 person who's moved right outside our area. Never
thought I'd have to explain Ward boundaries so many times and why we
can't teach them. Slipped right through our fingers. Move back Dan!

Wenden Split
On Wednesday we went on a 3 team finding activity-brother Erekson,
president Bohlen, brother lamb, Brandon (youth from Wickenburg), and
us. It was extremely successful. We found in those hours, around a
dozen or more households who were interested in visits, going to
church, and/or the movie we will be playing at the branch building in
October. The most promising is Ken and Katrina who live right next to
sister Stewart- a teacher in Blythe who we helped move on Saturday.
They just moved in from Utah, like the church and invited us back for
another visit. While we were moving furniture from sister Stewart's,
ken came over to help out. Even though I still can't figure out why
everyone decides to move at the hottest time of year at the hottest
hours of the day, I've come to realize that if someone can willingly
and actively search for opportunities to serve someone else-they will
more readily accept the gospel.
Brother Lamb who's a service missionary with his wife for the branch
is on fire with missionary work. We agree that there are five families
in Salome/Wenden who are waiting to hear the message of the gospel.
Stoked for more splits in the coming weeks.

We had several lessons with Niyierma this week, a dropped investigator
who showed up as a referral in our area book from who knows where.
We're thinking the change from last time is that we have sister
Mueller coming with us to the lessons. Last time she didn't have
friends to be with and so she stopped going to church because she felt
like an outsider and the missionaries dropped her. She's on the ball
with the reading assignments and writes down questions she has about
the doctrine that she reads about. Sister mueller is a convert and one
of the best people to have at lessons. Someone could say, "I just need
more time" and she can shot that down with her personal experience of
waiting many years and how she wishes she didn't postpone. Things that
wouldn't have the same weight if we said them. She's also going to
invite her friend who we haven't been lucky enough  to contact, Mari,
into her home for a family home evening.

The cool thing is that anybody can be a superstar like sister Mueller,
just actually have to put forth a little effort.

Elder Bryan