Wednesday, November 25, 2015

November letters and a big change!

So as mentioned last week, Eder Cespedes and I closed Wickenburg and
got moved Friday to Glendale. It's pretty crazy cool here. I feel a
little out of place like the country mouse visiting his city mouse
cousin. What happened to the horses? What's a gang?  There are so many
people walking in the streets. How do they cram all of these bodies in
such small spaces? Coming from a ginormous supposedly 5,000sq mile
area to 10 square miles is challenging and we might end up on half
car/half bike but I don't care, it's awesome. The place we cover is
actually a corner of Phoenix, something I'd never thought would happen
since it's the only part our mission covers (and we are the Arizona
Phoenix mission, I know). The area is very poor and noisy. I love it.
It's really nice having people up and about at 8pm instead of asleep
by 6:45.  I hope this is a long position for me, the ward is great and
I want to be here for a while. Hermano Urbieta who has 6young girls
the which he embarrases with his loud off pitch singing, is already a
good friend. He had the four of us (Elder Clough, Elder Cespedes,
Rodriguez, y me) over for dinner when we first arrived and he's the
biggest clown. We need his type of spirit to pump up the ward. There's
so much work here it's awesome.

Elder Clough-pronounced cluf
When we were at zone conferences on Thursday to get the new 'Tiwis' in
our cars (gadgets designed to monitor how well we are driving and if
we break rules. Idea is bad drivers stop driving bad and we become
safer drivers in general) I talked to President Griffin during lunch.
I found out that we were supposed to call our new zone leaders to get
the updated transfer information but somewhere along the line it
didn't reach us. He had to leave me right then for a call and I felt
like panicking. Elder Cespedes called the other elders to find out we
were being split up and going to different apartments.
The companionship who covered the ward Solano split the area and I
have elder Clough now who came out the same time as elder Cespedes.
He's from Michigan, plays the guitar and has an impressive work ethic.
With transfers the 2nd of December it's been different because we only
have 2 weeks together till a possible change. It doesn't look like
that will happen but you never know. I'll send a picture of him soon.

Thanks family for praying for me to have Spanish experiences. This mid
transfer change feels like the answer to that. It's a little strange
covering only aSpanish area and having so many lessons. Some people
are super hard to understand and being the one who has more time in
the field and with the language, it hangs on me understanding what
they're slinging at us through gritted teeth. Definitely outside of my
comfort zone but it's good because there's no comfort in a growing
zone and no growth in a comfort zone. I feel the power of God helping
bring to my memory words and sentence structure I've studied yet never
had to use. I feel like I'm fulfilling my purpose better too. All
around good.

I can't believe this week is Thanksgiving, time goes by too fast. Good
luck feeding the hungry clan!

Elder Bryan

November 16, 2015

This Thursday we had interviews with our Mission President. President
Griffin told Elder Cespedes and I that we were getting transferred out
of Wickenburg and into a Spanish ward in a week (tomorrow) and to
prepare the area to close. This is due to the lack of work/support
here and he needs as many Spanish missionaries in Spanish assignments.
So we spent some time packing up supplies and getting everything ready
to move tomorrow. What threw us a second curveball was when president
calls us Sunday night to let us know we won't be leaving till the
weekend. Now we have the whole week in this area, which is a little
awkward, kind of like breaking up with someone and then having to ride
right next to them in a long distance airplane ride. I'm not sure what
we are going to do for a week but the Lord does. We just need to
figure out what that is exactly.

Vulture Peak
This morning we decided to get up early to hike Vulture Peak. The
night before I checked the weather and it looked like everything was
going to be clear. We got up to the base and very quickly got lost in
the dark on some four wheeling trail despite having a flashlight. We
then made the smart decision to bushwhack it back to a high point
since we traveled in a big half circle. When we got to the top of the
ridge it was light enough for us to see a serious thunderstorm moving
in fast. We saw where our car should be and hightailed it just as it
started hailing and getting really nasty. We didn't die but it felt
like we could have easily made it onto "I shouldn't be alive" with
that 2 hour ordeal. The one day out of the whole year it hails/snows,
we go hiking. It was quite an experience and I think I'll plan ahead
better from now on.

Because President asked us to focus on Wenden and leave Wickenburg,
we've gone out there 3 times this week. We had our lesson with Salley
which was awesome and found out that Sister Peck moved to Colorado.

A little about Salley, she's a less active who's lives in Wenden by
the golf course for 4 years. We bumped into her at family dollar (did
I mention this one?) and she felt like we were placed there just for
her. I felt like I was placed there because we had no lunch or dinner
appointments that day and needed to eat. When we visited her at her
trailer we could tell that our stomachs weren't the real reason. She's
seen the church (I don't know how someone could live in that small
town and not see the church) yet hasn't had the courage to go inside.
Some people just don't feel worthy enough to come back. I'm glad we
gave her the needed little nudge because she's awesome and the branch
took her in really well. The recently returned members need someone
they can help.

As with sister Peck-I'm not sure I talked about her before-we met her
and her boyfriend 'Chief' when we helped return stolen furniture back
in July. It's taken from then to a week ago for them to return to
Salome from all of their vacations. Retired life seems ridiculously
cool. Anyways when they came back we taught Chief the first lesson
because he's not a member. Elder Cespedes called it the "Hardest
lesson ever with the person who seemed super interested". This was
true. It dashed my hopes, I had waited 5 months for his guy and he
shot us down. However Sister Peck, as I was relating the first vision,
felt the spirit and decided she wanted that in her life. So we get a
call a few days later from Brother Erekson letting us know Sis. Peck
kicked out Chief and moved to Colorado to live with her daughter and
help her return to activity as well. Wahoo! It's funny though because
for 5 months I've been thinking the person we would touch and help the
most was Chief. Sister Peck was flighty, but I'm glad the spirit is
the real teacher and focused on her. Who knows, Chief still has a Book
of Mormon and might read it like he promised.

Hope you're enjoy this week!
Elder Bryan

November 9, 2015

Despite having every single one of our lessons fall through, this week
was pretty swell.

We helped Elia with her house on Saturday after some unqualified man
made a poor addition to her place. Brother Hancock has been
fellowshipping them and helping them redo the add on as well as fixing
the roof. We spent a good amount of time prepping for brother Hancock
to rebuild. Our investigators need to know we're not trying to get
numbers, just there to help.

Zone Meeting and Regional Conference
My district and zone is full of incredible missionaries. At our zone
meeting last Friday, the theme was 'Create It', it being our area,
zone, companionship into the best version of it. We received training
about truth, failure, hope, and growth. It blew me away. In every
successful part of my life, I've been surrounded by great people who
showed me the standard, let me know that I/we aren't there yet gave
hope that one day we could and then we or I grew. I'm grateful for all
of the leaders I've had in my life. I've been blessed to have such a
wonderful family who are examples to me. I was even more blown away
with the Regional Conference Broadcast. Elders Robbins, Corbridge,
Oaks and Sister Reeves gave amazing talks. These are the last days and
we need to simplify our lives, focus on the primary answers and help
lead others to the correct path.

The other day we were out in Wenden and after a really good Spanish
lesson with all five of the students we decided we weren't going to
leave until we had Tristan on date. This has been a problem because we
need the fathers permission, who is always working. We've tried for
almost a month but haven't been able to corner the man. We had a
stroke of genius and called Brother Erekson up. We explained our
predicament and he said he'd call us right back. We waited maybe 2
minutes before he called back letting us know we had an attentive
audience that would be waiting for us at Tristens house. I don't know
how he does it but somehow he not only managed to convince Tristens
father, Mark to show up but marks boss to let him leave all within
that small time.
Needless to say, we have a baptismal interview tonight at 7 and the
service scheduled for the 29th. Just needed a little push.

Que tengan una buena semana!
Elder Bryan

November 2, 2015

Not allowed to drive this but got a good pose with Rowdy the best
behaved cattle dog you'll ever see. @Traceys

Dear Everyone,

I had a very good week this week, I hope you did too!

Stake conference
Elder Gay of the Seventy came to our stake conference this weekend and
it was sweet! Everything he and President Griffin taught was so deep
and yet extremely simple and made sense. Of all the sessions if I had
to sum it all down, it'd be that we have the ability and the duty to
receive revelation and remember that the whole point of this life is
to return to our Father in Heaven. Haven't the answers always been
simple? The best part was Saturday night when we as a zone, were
invited to have dinner with Elder Gay. I keep feeling extremely
blessed and I'm not sure what I even did.
After dinner he shared with us all story after story of pure
missionary miracles. It was inspiring. I couldn't believe how normal
he was, sitting on the table, kicking his feet backing and forth. Yet
his mental and spiritual strength was impressive. I can get to that
point, and so can all of us. We just need to live our lives the Lords
way. I'll never forget the Halloween night I was stuffed with
spiritual candy.

We cleaned horse pens, cut Saguaro cactus for another fence which we
built, and contacted her renter who stopped by and asked us about
missionaries. Tracey is really appreciative of what we do to help her
out. We're sure that, like Ammon and the Lamanites, if we serve first
we will have success. She knows we care and only want to help. I hope
we can help her come back to church.

At our lesson on Wednesday night, we were having no success with
Niyierma. Our member who came with came through though. He asked her
what she was doing and she told him everything needed to be baptized.
He said, "you're doing everything needed to get baptized, you are so
close right now." This startled Niyierma and after a long pause she
let us know that she is heavily considering being baptized. The B word
(baptism) has been such a bad topic for her and she'd avoid letting us
talk about it ever that it took us by surprise that she brought it up
herself. We are excited for where she's going with all of the lessons.

Great job on all you're up to, Mom that's an awesome experience!
Have a blessed week,

Elder Bryan

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