Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Blessings on Blessings on Blessings Week #66

Hey Mom!

Man I have a lot to talk about this week, we'll sort of. It seems like we do a ton and then when it's time to recap in your weekly letter you kind of forget what you did throughout the week a little bit haha. I would be lost without my journal! I'm happy to say that we are finding more success day by day. It's slower but it is success. I've really seen Heavenly Father's hand in my life this week. There have been a lot of learning experiences that I've been able to have and grow from. Basically we've trying really hard to contact all of our investigators in our area book. There are still a handful of people that I haven't been able to meet but this week I was able to meet with more. 

I've been really trying to figure out what is going to work best in this area. I talked to President about it and said that our focus in this area especially should be on part member families and so that's what we are beginning to do. So far there are a couple families that we are working with. The Sanchez Family and Torres family. Super good families that just need some spiritual help and I'm really excited to help them. Plus their kids are soooo funny, man I love Hispanics! They are the kindest people. I went on exchanges with Elder Orse a few days ago and there was a huge fiesta going in an apartment complex. We were walking through and they all just invited us in haha. They didn't speak English and we didn't speak Spanish but we had a good time! I managed to communicate just a little bit though thanks to jr high Spanish, which I was terrible at by the way, and also with the Lord's help of course. They even fed us😂 I got this nice looking fish head and it wasn't bad actually...I just couldn't look at the face while eating😂 good stuff 

Since we live right by the temple sometimes before we go in for the night we sit on the benches on the temple grounds and message people. There is just a really special feeling there. Anyways they are putting up all of the Christmas lights and decorations! It's looking super good, man I cannot wait for Christmas. Still my favorite holiday by far. It's going to be such a great missionary tool especially because I'm literally right next to it so we will most likely receive a lot of referrals. We are super lucky to have the Visitors center in our mission because it brings in soooooo many referrals. Blessings on blessings on blessings. Plus we've been handing out Christmas light cards like candy and people love it. Another reason why I love my mission!😂

So I've been trying really hard to meet each member of the bishopric in each ward and I was finally able to do that this week......but then they re-organized the bishopric in Pioneer ward😐So I guess I will get to do it again, lucky me! 

Yes I would like to receive Hailey's and Greyson's emails haha, if it's not too much of a hassle. They are both crack ups so I'm good with that. And lucky for me I get regular food, mostly. Poor Greyson (a friend serving in Guatemala that has had several bad cases of food poisoning), my stomach is weak and so I'm glad I'm serving in America. Actually where I'm at right now all the local people call it Mesaco😂 I'm trying to learn as much Spanish as I can...

So school is the big question for me right now. (He needs to register for fall semester soon).  I'm torn between Utah state and BYU Idaho right now. I'm not sure where I want to go. Most of my friends from home are going to Utah state as well as a bunch of friends from my mission. I also kind of want to stay in Utah but I don't know. BUT I also feel like BYU I would be a great place for me....what do you think? But ultimately I know it's up to me. I will definitely need the Lords help with this one.

Well it's been an awesome week. Sorry nothing too exciting to report but, hopefully next week there will be more excitement! I love reading your emails and seeing everything at home go well! Have a good week Momma! Love you!

Our new district

Cool graffiti wall

Pueblo Zone

My fish head dinner.
 See mom, I'm not such a picky eater anymore!

Elder Orse and I with Roberto the fish dude

The kids are the BEST! :)

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Happy Mesa Week #65

Happy Monday!! I am currently enjoying myself on my p-day. We are just playing some ball at the church with a bunch of other Elders. I needed it this week. Lots has happened in the area and it's been all good things! Elder Draper has a bad back and he hurt it on Monday playing ball so we get a car for the rest of the transfer. It's sad that he got hurt but hey I'll take a car again😂 Everyone in our district is super jealous of us haha. Good stuff. We did get to go to the temple on
Halloween night which was sweet. It was a lot of fun. We were able to do a session and some initiatory work. It was fun because I was with Elder Eaton the whole time. He goes home in January😭 We talked about all the good times we had as companions. I'm gonna miss that guy.

I'm definitely getting the hang of things here and it's been a huge blessing. I love this area soooo much. This is the first time in months where I've been fairly busy and have plenty of people to visit! I love it so much. We are teaching a few people right now. Britain is one of our investigators. She has been meeting with missionaries for a long while. She's definitely converted to the gospel but is just waiting for some marriage paper work to go through so she can be baptized. She's awesome. We are also teaching a handful of
less-actives. It's been really good. Most of the work in this area is with less-actives and recent converts.

This week was really motivating for me in many ways. The first being that I was sick AGAIN. I was actually sick Monday and Tuesday, then on Wednesday I was fine. Sadly earlier today I felt really sick again but now I'm better. It's weird, anyways it's made me want to get out and work hard while I'm healthy haha. Another reason why I was motivated
was zone Conference this week. It was super awesome. The focus was really on conversion by the spirit. Everyone was asked to come prepared to give a five minute talk on conversion and then President would pick 4 missionaries to share with everyone. Of course I was one of the four😂 I had it coming, I accidentally made eye contact with
President Townsend before the meeting started....I was like ohhhhh nooooo😂. It was good, but I still do not enjoy speaking in front of people. Anyways I just really felt the spirit a lot and it reminded me of how exciting my time as a missionary is and how I should be enjoying every minute as much as I can. It's made a big difference and it's been exciting! I've grown a lot this week with all my different

One cool experience that I had happened last night. We were driving home from a visit and we saw a bunch of police lights and stuff on this one street. So we stopped and got out and like a ton of people were outside. There was a huge house fire and so everyone was waiting around. Given that 3/4 of them were Hispanic, I was prompted to talk to this family on the side. They were super friendly and we ended up having a good 30 min conversation with them about Christ.  They didn't end up wanting to meet with us but they were really surprised about us and what we believed. They did accept an invitation to the temple Christmas lights though!😁

So the  IPhone we found in the river has some issues and
doesn't work like at all. Sadly there isn't a way to find the owner. Speaking of smartphones our mission is getting them at the end of the month! Its crazy. I'm not sure how I feel about it all.  I also don't know how they are going to do it
with the missionaries who have tablets. I think they are just going to give out a bunch of loaner smartphones for the missionaries who already bought their tablets. That's just my guess, we'll see how it goes. It's exciting because the church is also coming out with a referral system for members on the lds tools app where members can refer anyone at anytime. We as missionaries will have smartphones with data on them which means we can receive the referrals instantly to our
Areabook app and they want us to contact them within the next 15 minutes. It's so cool! The church does such a good job at using technology. I love it! Totally the hand of God in all of this.

Hearing how happy you are makes me super happy too! I know the reason behind our happiness is because we
have the Gospel of Jesus Christ at the center of our lives. To me it just makes sense to live the Gospel always, there is no other way to live that will bring you this much happiness in your life.  Thank you for all of your prayers and support back home. I love you so much and hope you have an awesome week!

Love, Elder Findlay
This blue bench is rad

I updated my facebook profile pic

This grocery cart is right by our house so I
decided to try it out...ha!

mom note: This was texted to me from someone in Mesa. They said they love Elder Findlay and that he is an amazing missionary.  Warms a momma's heart :)

Love, Elder Findlay

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Mesa Week #64

Hey Mom!

I had a great time this week in my new area! I'm slowly getting the hang of things and getting to know the neighborhood.  It is super different from my last few areas. The people are a lot more humble and willing to hear the gospel. The wards that I serve in are so different. They are both about half the size of my last wards. There are TONS of less-actives here and that is most of our work. We are teaching a few investigators on the side but we've had a hard time contacting them. This area is good for finding but a good portion of the people we find are kinda flakey. But I really do love it. The missionaries in our district are fun! Sister Kenny is in my district, she goes home in a transfer. She's the one from Pleasant View. One thing that I love about this area is that 80% of the people are Hispanic and they are soooo kind. Every morning when I'm biking I wave at everyone out walking. Most of them are Hispanic and they have the friendliest hellos! It makes me want to smile more😊

My new companion, Elder Draper is hilarious. He's from a small town in Wyoming. I love being his companion. He has a lot of back problems and stuff so it's kind of difficult to get around quickly but we make it work. We get along really well and just laugh all of the time. We are going to do big things here! We live right across from the temple, so we can even see it from our front window. Every day I get to bike past the beautiful House of the Lord and be reminded of my promises with God. Speaking of the temple, tomorrow is Halloween and we have the wonderful opportunity to go to the temple all night long! The whole mission is going and it's going to be a special experience. I love being a missionary!

On Saturday we participated in the Salt River cleanup project again like last year. It was a lot of fun. I got to see all of my mission homies again. It was a super good turnout. Me and Elder Draper were out for like 5 minutes and we found in the river an iPhone 6 and $60 in a waterproof case😂 We definitely found a jackpot. There were some other people that found GoPro's and stuff like that. Plus we cleaned 7 miles of river and had thousands of pounds of trash cleaned up. I Love Service! 

There is a family here that absolutely loves us haha, they spoil us so much. They are the Garner Family and they are a younger couple with two kids. They basically feed us every night and they make us lunch on Sundays! Since I've been in this area we've had 3 different Halloween parties and it's been fun! I've actually met a ton of people in the ward already because of the many parties. Elder Bland (my MTC comp) served in this area and he tells me all about it, and we are back in the same zone which is a miracle😂 I really really like my Zone, but like 3/4 of them are Spanish missionaries so it's different. This morning we played k-ball (basically ultimate frisbee using a volleyball, and you play on a basketball court and try to score on the hoops) and there were a ton of people there. We made like 3 teams and we dominated. Elder Gull is also in my zone, remember him? He was Elder Parra's companion. I love that guy. Anyways there is this new Elder in the mission who is super tall and he was going up for a dunk and I came out of no where and stuffed him so hard! Everyone went crazy and started freaking out😂 Man if I would have gotten that on video. That's one I'm going to re-watch in heaven😂

I'm glad Grandpa's funeral was a success. I wish I could have been there but I'm sure it was special. It looks like the Nielsen family members are doing good! I did get all of the pictures and the song. Super cool, your right about the song being perfect for Grandpa. It definitely suits him well. Yes it is a bummer that I got transferred out of the Truitt's Ward, but I can still have Thanksgiving dinner with them. We don't have a dinner set up for thanksgiving. I'm like 3 miles away still and so I'm sure it wouldn't be a problem getting a ride there😂 I also got your package! It is the bomb! I love the tie and man those pretzels are amazing, where did you buy those? You know how I like snacky stuff. I know Christmas is coming up again, I don't know of anything else I need. I definitely don't need any random stuff, I have too much😂 One thing that would be nice are more blue slacks. Mine are turning white. The sun just takes out the color in my slacks. But that's the only thing I can think of. I'll let you know if I think of anything else. Your the best Mom, I love you so much😊

I think that's about it for this week! I'm happy that I'm serving my God in this wonderful work. I love you Mom! You are AMAZING. Have a good week! 

Love, Elder Findlay

My new room

This is the Browns..They owned the home that I lived in last transfer.  It was sad to leave them, they have taken great care of me.

Me and Elder Draper and the iphone we found in the river.

I like this little brick nook by my bed. It's good for shoe displays...haha!

My desk and closet

Our view of the temple from the front window of our house :)
I got your package! Thanks MOM!!! :):):)

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Transfers! Mesa Week #63

Hi Mom!

I got your email about Grandpa Nielsen this week. Although it is hard to see him pass away, I also know that he is happier in his Heavenly home with Grandma Nielsen and his Heavenly Father. I am going to miss him and his many stories and adventures! I'm so grateful I know that God has a plan, and that it's a perfect plan. I don't have to worry about it because I know he is in good hands. Grandma Barbara told me a special story today. She said that the only time she had ever seen Grandpa Nielsen cry was when he gave me a Priesthood blessing when I broke my leg as a baby. I had never heard that before, it really touched me. I am grateful that he was a worthy Priesthood holder of God who set the example for our family. Grandma sent me a few pictures
of me with him when I was little. Super cool to see those. I'll attach some of them.

So last week I told you about those two investigators, Hannah and Cole, who randomly showed up to church. We were able to meet with them this week and they are solid! They are a younger couple and they are hilarious! We taught them the Restoration and they understood it and accepted it very well. They accepted to read and pray about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon! They both committed to prepare themselves to be baptized on the 18th of November! I know that the Lord is preparing the hearts of the people around us. I know He blesses those who seek to share the gospel with others.

So this week is transfers again. And I am getting a new companion! Elder Draper, he also was in the MTC with me and was Elder Birds MTC companion. I was his roommate for two transfers while I was in Las Sendas. He's from Wyoming. He's a funny guy. I am Senior companion again which is cool. Not like it means anything special but it motivates me to work harder. Turns out that I am also being transferred. Definitely my shortest stay in an area. But I'm excited to move on and experience new things! I will be going to the Mesa Stake serving in the Pioneer and Poinsettia wards. I'm kind of happy that I will have two wards! Its been a year since I last had that. My area is right next to the temple which is sweet considering that the Christmas lights will be coming up here soon. So I will probably be at the temple lights every night in December! This area is one of the best areas for finding people which is a huge change for me, I've been in really wealthy areas for the last 8 months. It is definitely opposite of where I'm at now, it is by the temple so it's super ghetto there and there are a ton of homeless people. It will take some getting used to but it will be a great growing experience for me. I will be on bike! Heavenly Father was sooo kind to me by putting me in car for the hot months of
the year! Now I'm on bike right when things are cooling down, I love it. BUT,  I will need to buy a bigger bike lock😅

I am sad that I have to leave this area though. Even though I've only been here for 6 weeks I've never loved so many people so fast in just one transfer! There are many good people here. And I won't have a queen size bed anymore😂 It was nice while it lasted haha, I'm okay moving away from luxury for a little while. Time to be a normal missionary again😂

Today was a fun p-day. We kind of did our last hurrah with our district and did a bunch of fun stuff. We went to Venezias Pizza and went to a place called "Tough Tie". They are based out of Mesa and they make super tough, water repellent ties and they are sick! It is two returned missionaries that run it. They are cool guys. So we all got a tough tie. It's awesome because you can put ketchup on it and it slides right off and so does any other liquid or food. Nothing sticks. Its not like I'm a messy easter or anything like that haha but
Elder Anderson and Mosel have one and they taught about baptism with it by putting ketchup on it and washing it clean. Pretty cool. So I couldn't resist😂 Oh and we also went mtn biking in Las Sendas with Elder Thompson and Helton. That was fun but man am I out of shape😂

Well I have plenty of pictures for you this week haha, I love you so much Mom. Your the best! Have a fantastic week!
Love, Elder Findlay
At a members house, in their dream garage!

Me and Grandpa Mckinney and Grandpa Nielsen.
 I will miss Grandpa Nielsen.

One last ride with the boys

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Temple Tuesday- Mesa Week #62

Heyo Momma!

My p-day is today (Tuesday) because we are going to the temple! Sorry I meant to tell you last week but I forgot to. Thank goodness For Sister Brown haha (she is basically our Mom here. She makes us dinner and stuff sometimes) We live with them and she said "Did you tell your Mother that your p-day was on Tuesday?" And I was like no I forgot to. She said "well you can't do that to her so I'm going to message her"😂 I'm really well taken care of here. I hope I don't move places.Thank you... I did get my pants! And they work like a gem. I love them, they look sooooo much nicer than all of my pants now😂 The sun really wears on slacks here.

Your right this month is going by super fast and transfers is a week from today! I'm super excited for it. I'm not sure if I'll stay or leave but it's always exciting! I can't believe it's transfers again though. Time flies by. There are a bunch of missionaries that I'm super close with who are going home next week:/ I'm bummed about it, they were like all of the missionaries that I hung out with in my first few transfers. Now we are some of the older missionaries in the mission, but I feel super new still😂 

The last few days I've really felt a lot of love for my mission and what it's done for me. There have been a lot of homecomings for returned missionaries in our wards. Every time I talk to them they say how much they miss their mission and how badly they want to be back serving. You can obviously tell how much it has changed their lives and how it has become a part of who they are. Just seeing and hearing that makes me love my mission that much more. Even though it is difficult and discouraging sometimes, I LOVE IT! I recommend everyone who has the opportunity to serve a mission to do it. Even if you're scared out of your mind and don't know if you should go, just go. Put your trust in God and let it happen, let him mold and shape you into the person you need to become. 

Jack got some Kyrie 3's?! Man I love shoes so much still😂 You can never have too many right? And he wears 11's now? What the, when did that happen? How tall is he now? What a stud, I miss him a lot. Its going to be weird seeing him all grown up😅You should come up to AZ for UEA! Just not Mesa😝 You can go to Gilbert or something and be next door and still enjoy the weather. It is super nice here. In the mornings we go out and shoot hoops, it's like 65-70 degrees and perfect. Could ask for better weather, I'm going to be soaking it up for the next few months😎 

We had a pretty successful week full of miracles. Lots of great contacts! Sadly we had a bunch of doors slammed in our faces which isn't too normal because we don't usually tract at all. Most of the door slammers were former investigators and less active members.  But yesterday at church we had a non-member couple randomly show up to church and they came up to us and said they want to meet with us! They are from Washington and just moved here. They had been meeting with missionaries there and one of them was almost baptized but then had to move. So we will be meeting with them this week!

Everyday I am more and more grateful for having the knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm so blessed to have it in my life and especially to learn more about it and share it with others. I so wish that I would have taken it more seriously before my mission. I'm a little late but now I know the joy that comes from it all. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know that Christ heals all those who are willing to be healed. It's such a joy!

I love my mission! Its awesome. I hope you have a good week! I love you soooo much! 
Love, Elder Findlay

Temple day with my zone

new tie selfie

This guy is 90 years old!

We got a new car!!! Brand new!
So much better than the Cruz..

This is my good friend Kaleb's old companion. 
He just got home from the Houston Texas east mission, where he served with Kaleb, and lives in one of my wards.  Small world!  

This is the picture Sister Brown texted to let us know that Elder Findlay's p-day was on Tuesday this week.  We really love and appreciate all of the members in Mesa who take such good care of our missionary son. :)

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Service=True Happiness! Mesa Week #61

Hey Momma!

It's interesting to hear about all that's happened in the last year or so! Things are always changing, there and here.  All I can say is that the Lord is blessing you at home and me on my mission and that brings me a lot of happiness.  And I know that peace comes because we live the gospel of Jesus Christ. What more could you ask for!

Aw man I'm glad you ran into Christian! I miss him a ton. I can't wait to hang out with him again. He is a super good kid. 

 Brother Senior(my WML) told me that he saw Lucy and Finny in Utah at a mission reunion. It was cool to make the connection. Brother Seniors awesome, he travels up to Provo every week for 4 days because he teaches at BYU. Super smart guy. My other Ward Mission Leader Brother Passy is super cool too! We had a Correlation meeting last night with all of the ward missionaries and it was soooo good! I think he's one of the most motivated and best WML's I've had on my mission. Things are going to pick up quick in that ward😁

We didn't have too much success this week with finding people to teach. It's still pretty difficult to find people to talk to. People are like vampires here, they don't come out of their house for anything....ever. If they do they are always in their car😂 We did meet with one of our recent converts Taz. She's solid, has a super strong testimony of the Book of Mormon and she is preparing to go to the temple soon! Her Brother gets back from his mission this week so that's exciting too! 

Although the teaching aspect of the week was slow, we were able to do a ton of service! It was sooo much fun! I've never had so much fun on my mission! Seriously! Especially after watching General Conference and how much of the focus was on serving others as the Savior did. I was able to help a less active family clean up their home and help them move out. They were so grateful, you could see it in their smile and that's priceless. We also helped the Zone Leaders serve one of their investigators. He is a professional skateboarder and so we cleaned up his skate park in his backyard and cleared up some weeds. Again he was so grateful he couldn't express it. Now I know why the Savior served so often! Everyone wins!

The biggest service opportunity we had this week was at a Triathlon in Mesa. It was called the "Mesa Sprint Triathlon". It consisted of a 400 meter swim, 10 mile bike ride, and then running a 5k. We were able to help out for basically all of Saturday morning. There were a TON of people there, it was awesome! What I did was help at the transition station, where people went from swimming to biking. It was nuts but good! People are die-hards. I had to keep people off of their bike until a specific point on the course, and then once they reached that point then they could mount their bikes. It was good haha, I don't have a super loud voice so I was yelling pretty loud directing contestants. Elders Mosel and Anderson were with us the whole time as well. One of them is my district leader so we had a fun time. I actually bumped into a ton of people from Las Sendas area which was cool, everyone was on their bikes. If you live in Mesa and you bike a lot, you go to Las Sendas. Anyways once everyone was done with the transition from swimming to biking, we were able to go to the finish line and hand out metals and cheer people on. It was cool because everyone recognized us as missionaries and thanked us for serving. We were all wearing bright orange shirts so it was hard to miss us. It just made me realize the joy that comes from service. I was super happy having a good time as well as the contestants and other people helping out. It was a testimony builder for me that service is a huge blessing for everyone. I love service😊

This week I also had the privilege of giving a training about the BOM. I shared this quote from Tad A. Callister's talk last week. These are his inactive friends words “Initially, I wanted the Book of Mormon to be proven to me historically, geographically, linguistically, and culturally. But when I changed my focus to what it teaches about the gospel of Jesus Christ and His saving mission, I began to gain a testimony of its truthfulness." I talked about the importance of helping people have the right focus when reading the BOM. That focus needs to be on Jesus Christ and his teachings and gospel. That will help all people gain a solid testimony of their Savior and will have more spiritual experiences with the BOM. I know that this has blessed my life so much and that's why I continue to share it with everyone. 

Well that's about it for this week!  I know this work is true and that it will continue to go forth no matter what. Thanks for all of the love and support from home! I love you Mom, you are such a huge blessing in my life. I hope you have an exciting week! LOVE YOU!😁

Love Elder Findlay

Back to Saguaro Zone!

Remember Elder Parra😂 from Chile?
sadly he isn't in our district, just on exchanges for the day.
Love that dude

Service day at the Mesa Triathlon