Monday, February 29, 2016

Three muskateers

This week was really cool, I'm super duper excited for this transfer
with Elder Plourde and Elder Benolerao. Elder Benolerao is a really
cool Filipino missionary who was trained in Wickenburg and hails from
The Big Apple. His Spanish is rocking which is nice, it's good to have
three people running around getting things done. We were able to go on
splits every night this week and doing so, covered a lot of ground.

Old man who's been 'enternigating' the church told us this week that
he sent off a letter to Mexico to annul the marriage of his girlfriend
who's been separated from her husband for 32 years. Bout time they
cleared that up! But seriously it shows his sincere desire to get
baptized and hurtle over those tough obstacles. Lessons are a little
difficult since he runs a tienda/store out of his house and everyone
who lives in Oasis West knows it so in ten minutes you can expect to
get interrupted five times for customers.

Along with Efrain our other progressing investigators, Deyanira and
Maria are doing great. Unfortunately they didn't make it to church and
we'll find out tonight why but we had some great lessons where members
came and fellowshipped outside of the lesson! ¡Neat-o!

This Sunday, Elder Cespedes and I gave talks in church just like good
old times in Wickenburg/Wenden. We both talked about the attributes of
Christ but in different ways. He took it in breakdown of the
scriptural events and how Jesus responded while I talked on what it
means to become like a little child (see Mosiah 3:19). I feel like it
helped grow the trust with the ward.

We have been focusing on teaching members how to be missionaries and
the many ways to accomplish that. We set up some family home evenings
with members and in introducing elder Benolerao we played hymns that
helped focus the topic (I love to see the temple o I hope they call me
on a mission) on his Uke and sang all together followed by the
discussion. It's been sweet so far and is helping get the members

Next week is the mission tour with Elder Arnold of the 70. He's asked
us to prepare with a bunch of different documents, scripture passages
and bringing lists of members. I'm stoked for all that's coming.
Easter is on its way!

Elder Bryan

February 23, 2016

Maria Rosales
Of all of our investigators, Maria has emerged as the most progressing
(and still on date for that matter). You can see a difference in her
eyes and it's just awesome I can't explain it. Her only hang up was
not going to church, something always came up. This Sunday after
sacrament meeting, Carmen the recent convert/best missionary ever
motioned for us to come over and talk to her. Behind her was both
Maria and Deyanira who was referred to us by Maria a month ago but
just had surgery so we haven't seen her in forever. Made my week.
Neither of them had shown up since I've been here, éxito!
María is super pumped for her baptismal date on the 19th.

Service Day
Saturday morning was Glendale's 10th annual day of service and our
whole zone participated; each ward was assigned to a project and we
went with our respective wards. Great JustServe find and we
established good relationships with the city as well as the peacocks
that protect the library where Solano was stationed.

English Class
A couple who used to attend the Barrio Solano teach a English class
twice a week and invited us to check it out. Wasn't expecting much but
was surprised to see that ten people were there, most have been coming
for several years-all of them non members. I was praying for an
opportunity like this so elder Plourde and I could better our Spanish
and possibly teach some people, the kind of people who keep
appointments and can travel to a church building. Tonight we have been
asked to present a message for the students and regularly
attend/practice teach with them the English lesson. Super beyond
stoked for that.

People who left for Mexico are still nowhere to be found. There is
rumor that Gloria is coming back Saturday. Who knows, maybe we're
experiencing the winds of change.

Elder Bryan

UPDATE: I just got called by the assistants and it turns out that Elder Plourde and I will be joined by elder Benelero, been out a year who's from New York and is Filipino. I'm so excited. It's going to be crammed but such a fun ride #sleepingonthefloor4life

Elder Bryan

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


I couldn't catch it very well but the blue was so vibrant. Short
sleeve weather now

This week kinda flipped on us. Mikey's mom hasn't been returning our
texts, calls and we haven't had a lesson for a week. Maria didn't come
to church again, which was too bad because we know she wants to its
just hard to make something happen. Gloria is in Mexico right now and
no one seems to know when she'll be back or how to contact her. So in
one swoop, all of our people on date are now up in the air. Good time
to work hard and hang on.
Despite those sad setbacks, good things happened.

A family from the English ward called us to get some help moving. They
wanted us to get to know their neighbors who speak no English and were
planning on helping the move. First, best move I've ever helped with.
Everything was nicely packed into bins and categorized by weight and
fragility. Night and day to some of the evictions we've seen. Second,
the Guatemalan family is really nice and have serious potential. The
mans name is Micho and came from Guatemala about 7 months ago. He's
interested in the English classes going one twice a week and wants us
to come back. We plan on stopping by tonight to give him info on the
English class and hopefully a return appointment.

She's an investigator who's been on the back burner because she needs
to get a divorce before she can get married before she can get
baptized. That's the case with five couples we're working with,
there's just not much we can do about that. However, we decided to
invite her and Elias to go check out the Mesa Temple Visitors Center
with us to help give them motivation to do these hard things. When we
stopped by Saturday night, she told us she had just decided to live
her life in accordance with the baptismal questions. "Just a small
thing but I'm proud" she told us. Haha it was cool. Feeling good about
her specially since she came to church again even though Elias had to
work. If people can work to keep the commitments we give them, it's a
good indicator they'll be good at keeping covenants as well. We see
the people who, when invited to repent and change, see it as a hard
thing and slowly drift away from us.

It was a big shock to pull up Facebook this week and see the news of
Sadie Wells' passing. Life truly is unpredictable and has its
highlows. I thought to myself as I was feeling sad, "Isn't this the
good news that we bring though? To lift up the discouraged and
helpless and enlarge the understanding we have of the plan of
salvation. Think about how you feel right now Elder Bryan, now think
about how you would feel if you didn't have this. That's why you have
to be diligent in sharing the gospel with everyone you meet and pass
by. It's about 'helping Everyone come unto Christ' now go out there
and share it."

I love how I feel when I have spiritual experiences. I've noticed that
I have them more often and strong when it's helping others and seeing
the light come into people's eyes as they accept what is being taught
to their hearts by the Holy Spirit.

Elder Bryan

February 7 2016

On Date
Gloria and Mikey are progressing really well. Gloria 
walks to church
and is positive despite getting some flax from her extended family
that she lives with. Mikey and his family are solid, even though it
takes a while to get started for our lesson waiting for all the boys
to put on shirts. David helped Mikey say a pray at the end of our
lesson and told him to say something about thanking Jesus for being
selfless. Mikey couldn't hear and asked, "What?" With which David gave
him a two minute explanation about how Jesus was selfless and
everything he did was for us. He got exhausted and said, "ok never
mind, just end the prayer, I'll explain it later." Super cool to see
the boys teaching each other, even if it stalls the prayer.

Ward Council Presentation
President Juchau from the mission presidency came to ward council and
taught them the flowchart from the Apostles. It felt like things got
across and everything was sweet until they went around the room to
give their updates and then argued about the same things they've been
doing forever. *facepalm*. But that was just some of the leaders, we
have some key people that were going to focus on until the others can
catch the vision and get on board. The new focus is this: don't work
on lists of 100s of people. Instead take that list and pray to know
one to three people who would be ready to come back/get baptized and
then focus on them until it works because if God said it, then it'll
work. Repeat process.
Elder Plourde and I are going to focus on the Bishop and elders Quorum
president who himself was found by the old Elders Quorum President by
the same pattern a decade ago.

Maria Rosales
When I first got here the missionaries were teaching a lady who lives
in Oasis West (surprise surprise) but then stopped keeping
appointments. Just lately we picked her back up and had one of the
best lessons of my mission. The Spanish was on point and it was just
like having a normal lesson. Didn't feel forced o nothin. At the end I
felt impressed to ask her how she felt about our church. Tears came to
her eyes as she unloaded everything that's been weighing her down.
Seeing how Carmen has changed since joining the church has made her
want to change too. Elder Plourde didn't need any hint to ask her to
be baptized and now she's on date for the 13 of March.

Enjoying this 80 weather right now. Pretty soon it'll be back in the
100s. On Sunday, Elder Plourde called a kid named Jose, Olé which made
everyone around laugh pretty hard. The ward has really taken Elder
Plourde to heart and helping him learn Spanish. I have a great
companion y'all.

Elder Bryan

Monday, February 1, 2016

Golden Plates

We met with Gloria outside her house Friday morning and had a great
lesson. It was a little weird starting out, "so we want to help you
achieve your goal of getting baptized... how does the 20th sound?" One
thing that threw us off was when she told us that she quit her job so
she could keep going to church and went to another who was offering a
position. However they told her she needed to learn English first. She
told us she was going to be frequently traveling to Mexico to help her 
family sell things so she can stay afloat. We let her know about the 
English classes and told her that the Lord will help her as she does 
all she can to make this work. Promising that made me reflect. Do I 
believe that? If someone told me that would I follow? It's incredible 
to see how believing these humble people are. It strengthens my faith.

La familia Soto
Teaching their family is awesome. The kids ask great questions and
read every night together out of the children Book of Mormon. The best
part was seeing them walk into church. The light we're always looking
for in progressing investigators is found in the Soto family. When
Mikey asked us when he was going to be baptized, it was the icing on
the cake. Now we have Gloria one week and Mikey the following. Getting
people to these lessons so they can see the Atonement at work is our
big focus right now. When members see these guys, they'll only want

Zone Conference
Best zone conference I've had. We focused on the training given from
last week. At one point President called three random people to lead
discussions for each speaker. No better way to keep people focused and
participating then the fear of potentially having to teach the
missionaries in zone conference at a moments notice. I loved it! One
of the take-aways was if we are honest, we can change. Our vision and
culture we want can happen if we start at the individual level. Much
With vehicle inspections, our car got #1 in the zone. Normally this
wouldn't be super cool but they brought back the license plate
holders. "#1 car in zone; the Golden Plates" for the next few
transfers, I get to roll around with that.

Remember in the "Other Side of Heaven", when elder Johnson(?) is
reading the bible in both languages for several days to learn the
language? Well, there's a promise that if you read the Book of Mormon
in your mission language out loud, you'll be fluent. Right now I'm at
good old Jacob 5 chapter and I've seen an immense improvement. It
doesn't take the place of my language study rather an add-on. I think
it's working because I'm showing more effort and the Lord is helping
me retain what I study.

On a random note, I walked out of the shower one morning to find a
refrigerator blocking my view. Since I couldn't get out, it migrated
to the living room and there it has stayed. The breaker in the kitchen
went out or something because everything has been switching on and off
for hours at a time. Until the apartment office can help us
troubleshoot we get the pleasure of having our kitchen scattered
throughout our rooms. We have the toaster in ours :)

It's cloudy but warm, all you need is a light jacket. The work is
incredible. The people are the best.

I love you guys,

Elder Bryan