Monday, January 15, 2018

TRANSFERS! Week #75


Hey Mom!

First off... Happy Birthday!! I sent you a letter on Saturday so I’m not sure when it will get there. Hopefully today or tomorrow :) Anyways how was it? I’m sure it was super good considering that it was on a Sunday! 

Yeah Sister Kenney emailed me about her postponing her trip to Mesa, so I will look for your packages :) And I’m glad Jack is balling a lot, I loved having multiple games a day. I could seriously play all day long. 

This week was super crazy as usual, there is seriously never a dull moment here in Mesa surprisingly. I guess to start, we had to turn our car in because it needed to go to the auto body shop. So this whole week we’ve been on foot and I actually really enjoyed it! I mean it got a little hot but it was worth it. It did take a lot longer to get places, planning had to be more precise but that was fine. It gave us a lot of opportunities to talk to people on the streets....and get yelled at😂 Part of our area is in the hood and so it’s kind of dangerous to walk through it. Well one day we didn’t have time to go around it so we had to walk through it. As we were walking a guy in a car pulled up next to us and he says “You Mormons have a lot of guts walking in here”. He stopped the car and looked super mad, I thought he was going to get out and beat us, I thought I was a dead man😂 He goes on to say “I respect you fellas, God Bless and BE CAREFUL”. I was so relieved haha, we then quickly walked out of the area. I guess you could call that a tender mercy.

We were able to go to the temple on Friday, we went with a recent convert in one of our wards. She was getting her Endowments and it was a special experience. She felt the spirit so strong and was in awe. It strengthens my testimony of the temple even more, I love the temple. There is no place on earth closer to God than the Temple of the Lord. 

I have some cool news about our district! We have s senior couple now! I’m so hyped for that. Their names are Elder and Sister Wilkes and they are saints. This was their first week and they had a great time. It’s really nice, Sister Wilkes acts like our mother and takes good care of us. They’ve been helping us out with rides and other things. There are only 3 sets in the whole mission, we are blessed to have one in our district. 

So as you know by the title of my email it’s that time again, transfers! This transfer flew by, not sure what happened. Anyways I was expecting Elder Draper to leave and I would get a new companion, well I was right! Elder Draper is going out east to Apache Junction, he will be in a trio😂 As for me, well it’s not what I expected at all. Two nights before transfer news I received a call from President Townsend and he asked me to be a Trainer! I didn’t expect that at all....I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. But I'm also excited at the same time, these wards are soooo good, a perfect place for a new missionary. There are only 4 new missionaries coming in this transfer so I guess I got lucky! I will be picking him up on Tuesday night, and we will be biking so that will be fun. I’m excited to bike again, except for the fact that it’s warming up in Mesa. Anyways I'm definitely going to have to rely on the Lord and the Spirit for help. I feel super unqualified and unprepared but I know that the Lord qualifies who he calls! That’s been keeping me pumped! I’m officially going to be a Dad😅

The Carrazcos came to church again! They are doing so great, especially Brother Carrazco, he is opening up a lot more. They are really seeing a change in their lives as they continue to come to church and read from the Book of Mormon. We met with them yesterday and had a solid lesson with them. We read about the 2000 stripling warriors and they loved it. Then we got talking and it turns out that Brother Carrazcos Little Brother who is 15 isn’t baptized! He’s expressed interest in being baptized as well! That is a new good lead that we have,  so we want to help Brother Carrazco get the priesthood and then baptize his Brother. That would be a miracle. I’ve seen miraculous things happen and I know that this is possible. 

To answer your question yes there is a nice park across the street from the temple.  It just spent the last 6 months under construction and now it’s finished. They wanted to clean it up because that’s where all the homeless people live.

I will watch for your packages this week:) I love you so much Momma! Have a great week!
Love, Elder Findlay
This is the new park across from the temple

Our last district meeting

I could send a picture of my Sunday lunch sack every week!
 Sister Garner is the best.
 Jakey and Mae Mae colored this one



Here is a video of some p-day business...haha
I've tried to catch an actual dunk on
video but it wears me out!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Miracles 2K18 :) Week #74

Hey Mom!

Sorry I forgot that this week was our temple week, so we we got to go to the temple today. That’s why I didn’t email you yesterday. Week one of 2018 is gone just like that. Honestly it was a little slow but it still flew by. The days were long but the week was not, that's part of the missionary life. With President Monson’s passing and then running into crazy people all week, it was a roller coaster. But it was one of the most unforgettable weeks I’ve had here. Again I saw the hand of God in this work, and He did what He does best, work miracles. 

There is a couple in our ward, The Montgomery’s, who we have been working with. We’ve been helping them prepare to go to the temple for a while now so that they can be sealed as a family. I’m excited to say that this week they were able to do that! We were allowed to attend and it was such a special experience for them and for me. It was the first sealing that I had ever been to. Sitting in that room I felt the spirit so strongly testify to me that this is why you are out teaching people about the Book of Mormon and the Restored Gospel, so they can eventually partake in the blessings of the Holy Temple. It helped me understand my purpose more deeply than I had before. It makes me that much more eager to share this with people. It also makes me so grateful that my parents chose to be sealed in the House of the Lord. Because of them and their decision, I am sealed with them for all eternity and I want that for my future family as well. 

We finally got to meet with our investigator Bill this week! He got back from his trip and still wanted to meet with us, that was a good sign. We met at the Visitors Center and had a great lesson on the Plan of Salvation. It helped answer a lot of the questions he had been bringing up. Plus he’s already read 40 pages of the Book of Mormon😂 This guy is the man! I’ve never seen someone more excited than him about coming to church. And that’s exactly what he did! He came all dressed up in his white shirt and jeans, he was looking slick. I’m not going to lie, it’s kind of scary having a fairly new investigator come to church for the first time on a fast Sunday. You never know what people might say....one time a guy started talking about Kolob....oh boy....that really took our investigator for a spin😅 Anyways I was nervous the whole time and was praying so hard that Bill would feel the spirit and enjoy it. I don’t even know why I worried about it, he had an amazing experience. He loved church and especially the people there. He says he feels like he has a lot of support here. He already acts like a member haha, he was participating in the classes more than anyone else😂 In Elders Quorum he said that the Book of Mormon was true and how could it not be? Everyone chuckled and agreed with him and it was a good time. In our next lesson with we are going to invite him to be baptized and I hope it goes well:) I’ve never taught someone more open in my life, he is an elect son of God who is ready to hear the Gospel. Bill is the kind of investigators missionaries dream about.

Ready for another one?😂 We have been working with an inactive couple, the Carrazcos. They have been coming to church every week now and today they stayed the whole three hours! They loved it. It was really cool because Sister Carrazco got up in sacrament and shared her testimony. She talked about how she was praying one night because they had been struggling so much that she couldn’t handle it anymore. She prayed that God would help her find her way back. She said after she had finished praying she heard a knock on the door and it was Me and Elder Draper. She knew that this was Heavenly Father showing her that He was still there for her, and and that He would help them get back on the path. On my end of the story, that night I felt prompted to go by there and see how they were doing, we ended up actually teaching them a lesson but we didn’t think too much about it. It was cool to hear that we were an answer to someone’s prayer. I know that God answers prayers through people around us. I have been able to experience that time and time again. 

Another exciting thing that happened this week was that we were in a car accident :( it wasn’t bad at all. We pulled up behind a car at a stop sign. He was turning left and started to go but then changed his mind and backed up without thinking about it and bumped into our car. His car was fine considering that it was a beater, ours got a few cracks in the front bumper. And I was driving uhhhggg, that’s the second wreck I’ve been in on my mission that HASN'T been my fault. The only two wrecks of my life, people in Mesa are crazy drivers. I’m not a bad driver, I’m actually really good😜 I take after my Dad😁 Anyways the guy was super kind and basically said that because he is military that they will pay for all of the damages. It was pretty simple. But man I was so upset for like 3 days. Now I feel better though haha😂 

And yeah thanks,  I really like the new headboard for my bed! Looks super good. I forgot how good my room looks. Yep I would like it to be the same when I get home, especially my sports memorabilia😜 a lot of things have changed while on my mission, but the way I feel about sports has not😂 

Alright I’m done writing my novel again, I’m so happy here. I learn so much everyday and get to see miracles left and right. Thanks for all you do Mom! I love you more than you will ever know, have a good week! 
Love, Elder Findlay
We played this game called "Who's the Dude?"
This was the dude 😆

Yep, I'm definitely spoiled.
(a member's Lamborghini)

Waiting for investigators got me like....

Part of our area. It was a perfect day


Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy 2018 from Mesa! Week #73

Happy New Year Mom! :) 
The year is over already and I can’t wrap my head around how that happened. Time goes fast when you are doing the Lord's work. Reflecting back on 2017 makes me so grateful. I’ve never changed more than I have in the last year of my life. I have reason to be grateful for so many experiences that I’ve had. I know that Heavenly Father knows me because looking back on the different areas, companions, investigators, and leaders that I’ve been involved with, I have grown more than ever before. I will admit that it was the hardest year of my life, there were times when I flat out hated it. I struggle just as anyone does and being a missionary doesn’t change that. But what it does change is how you deal with those struggles and overcome them. I have come to love the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and through that I can become better than I was before. I am still very innocent in the Gospel but I’ve received so much knowledge and understanding, I wouldn’t change it for the world. Missions are a HUGE life changing experience. If you EVER have the opportunity to go, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GO! 

I’m super glad you guys had a good Christmas. I know I did! I will always remember the Christmas experiences I had on my mission. I just can’t believe it’s gone already, I don’t want to stop listening to Christmas music yet😂 And I didn’t know they don’t sell eggnog anymore after Christmas!!!😱 I’ve avoided it for 19 years and now that I like it they stop selling it! What the.....not cool.

Way to go on the new church calling Mom! That’s so cool. I’ve learned a lot more about the church and how it works and I LOVE the relief society! Man they help out in missionary work soooo much. They really know how to make people feel welcome in the ward. Your going to love it, and your going to be an amazing teacher. I know you will :)

That’s cool that Brother Clark spoke at church. I can’t really picture his face, but I actually have heard about the 50% assigned to a mission, and the other to a mission President. Honestly I know for a FACT that I was supposed to come to Mesa. There couldn’t have been a more perfect place for me to go. There are certain people that I’ve met here that I know I was supposed to befriend them and help them come unto Christ. As far as how I feel about President Townsend. I honestly feel like a huge part of my assignment as a missionary was geared toward being specifically with President Townsend. If it weren’t for him I probably wouldn’t still be in Mesa. He has helped me so much. He really understands how the Atonement works and he’s helped me apply it more fully in my life. So to answer your question, I feel like a huge part of my assignment was to President Townsend. But I also know that it needed to be Mesa.

I loved talking to you guys on Christmas too! It was really exciting to see everyone. I’m glad things haven’t changed too much, except my little bro getting bigger than me!

We met a young women this week named Nikki. We’ve been trying to meet her for WEEKS. I received a prompting to visit her one afternoon and she was finally there! She is 17 years old and she was baptized when she was 12, but hasn’t been to church since. She invited us in and we had a good 2 hour question and answer lesson with her. She had sooo many good questions about the Plan of Salvation and the commandments, all sorts of things. She is looking for more in life and wants to understand it more. We taught as best as we could to her needs and then committed her to come to church and she came! Woot woot! It was so good because the YW president and some young women basically just pulled her into the ward. That’s exactly what people need when they come into the church for the first time, or they are returning. Anyways it was a great experience, we are meeting with her again tomorrow night! 😁

We also found a new investigator this week, he’s name is Eli! He’s 17 years old and he’s such a homie. Me and him connected pretty well, he’s actually living alone in an apartment and wanted us to come by and teach him. So we taught him the restoration and he had never heard about any of it before. We gave him a Book of Mormon and committed him to read and pray about it. Lately I’ve been noticing the love that I feel towards people that I am teaching, it’s growing. And I attribute every bit of that to my study of the Atonement.  

Last night for New Years Eve we spent it with the Garners and their family. It was a party as usual, we had a ton of good food and played a bunch of fun games😂 We played the game where you have a card on your head and you have to guess what it is, haha it got pretty real. I forgot how much fun playing games can be. Then at 8:45 we had a toast for the new year because we have to be home by 9:00😂

Today we had a big mission game day at Cooley park. It was a lot of fun. We played football for a few hours and then some street ball on the outside court. It was awesome. It’s always a party to see everyone. Then afterward we had a big BBQ lunch together and it was a good time. It made me realize how many friends I have made on my mission and how close I am to a bunch of them. I just wish some of them didn’t live so far away😂

I’m super excited for the new year ahead! I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for me and that it’s my job to follow that plan. That is one of my goals this year, to follow the will of God more closely so I can become who he needs me to become :) I love you so much Momma, and I miss you but am always praying for you and everyone else. Have a happy new year!😁❤️❤️
Love, Elder Findlay

December in Mesa ☼

Sister Garner drew this on my Sunday
lunch and I think she nailed it!
She's so nice😂

Mesa Missionary sports p-day.
Elder Findlay is just right of center in a blue
Arizona sweatshirt.

Good ole Elder Draper :)


Thursday, December 28, 2017

Hello Again :) From Merry Mesa! Week #72

Hey Mom! Long time no talk! I hope the rest of your Christmas was good! After talking with you guys I remembered how much I miss you😂 I really enjoyed talking with everyone, you all seem super happy so that’s a good thing. I have the BEST family ever for the record.

 We went over to the Tahiliani’s house after talking with you guys and hung out there for a while. Sister T made a HUGE buffet for us and it was amazing. She is a saint. We played some pool there and hung out with the “Baller” missionaries😂 After that we went back to the Garners and played games with their family, it was a lot of fun. And then they fed us dinner, which was super super good. We would be a wreck without the Garners😜 

Singing at the Temple Christmas Lights was super cool. Literally I was freezing😐 No it was a really fun experience, you could feel the spirit so strong. I think we sounded good for the most part, did you guys watch it on Facebook? (Mom note: It's on the Mesa Temple Christmas Lights and Concerts page on Facebook if you want to see it)  I haven’t looked at the videos yet, not sure if you can see me. They were using an Ipad to film it. We sang for about 30 minutes and then kind of hung out at the Christmas lights afterwards. Sad to think it will be my last time singing in that choir:( That’s okay, I’m not that good of singer anyways😂

I went on a few exchanges this week, I went to a different area twice. It was a lot of fun minus biking in the cold. I didn’t enjoy that very much but I survived it. I’m more of a whimp than I thought. We biked actually a ton and I kind of missed it! I’m sort of looking forward to biking again. Anyways when I went with Elder Orse we went to a Christmas Adam Party. They had a plethora of food and deserts. I about passed out from how much I ate. They also convinced us to sing carols with them while riding on a trailer through the neighborhood. That was pretty fun, I really felt the spirit of Christ as we sang to people and they gratefully waved back at us. Cool experience.  We also had interviews with President Townsend. It was a good time. 

Coming up on 2018 it blows my mind that it’s already here. The year went by too fast. I hope you cherish every moment of life like I try to do haha. It’s seriously such a blessing to be living in a time like we do where we have the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth. We are some of the luckiest of Gods children. We should be engulfing ourselves in the Book of Mormon and serving others. That’s where the true joy comes from. Thanks for being the BEST! I love you sooo much and it was so good to talk to your face. I hope you have an awesome week! HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Love, Elder Findlay

Siblings!

We loved talking to our favorite missionary on Christmas.
 He is very happy in Mesa!

Caroling

Christmas Eve! A gift from the Garners

This was Sister T's dessert table!
Super fancy and there was SOOOO much food!

My boy Elder Parsons! He goes home in January :( 


Thursday, December 21, 2017

7 Days Until My 2nd Christmas in Mesa! Week #71

Hey Mom!

I know 1 week! Super excited to talk to you guys. We will be at the Garners house for Christmas too. We will call you sometime in the morning like around 11:30. I will message Dad on messenger to get everything set up. I will most likely be doing from my iPad again. 

We had a really good week LAST week. THIS WEEK wasn’t as successful. It was actually pretty rough. Sometimes it's hard to keep things going during the holidays.  We had like 8 lessons fall through in a row. Melissa ended up dropping us because she is just too busy to make time to meet with us for now. And another one of our investigators had to be dropped because of the lack of commitment. It’s been hard but Heavenly Father blessed us with a miracle this weekend! We received a referral of a gentlemen named Bill. He is about 50 years old and just decided to check out the Visitors Center on Saturday. He said he wasn't looking for anything specific but he just felt like he needed to go in. The sisters ended up talking with him and then referred him to us. We met with him at the Visitors Center yesterday after church and it was soooo good. He is super sincere and really wants to change his life and follow God more closely. When I taught him about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, he was speechless and the spirit definitely testified to him of the truth of these things. It’s been a while since I’ve taught someone that sincere, I really hope he can be baptized! Well I mean I hope that for everyone but seriously it would be a miracle. 

That’s sweet that Brooke is putting in her papers! Crazy crazy. Life goes by too fast sometimes. Once this year is over time is going to even go faster😭

Sorry for the short email. We had a really long choir practice today for the Temple Christmas lights concert. If you want you can even watch it live on this Facebook page:

Mesa Temple Christmas lights and concerts

That’s if you want to see me sing terribly😂 it should be pretty good. I did get the Christmas package with the 12 days of Christmas. We’ve been doing it every night and it’s been fun😂 Thanks Momma, I will look for my package tomorrow. I have to go to the mission office tomorrow anyways. Sorry again for the super lame email. I just had hardly any time to email today. Tell Dad I loved his email and that I can’t wait to see him next week! I love you Mom. You are the best. Talk to ya next week!
Love, Elder Findlay
The Garners spoil us every Sunday
 with a PRIME lunch😂


We had zone Conference this week and
each missionary got a gift bag. Guess
who it was from? Yeah Citrus Heights Stake,
my last area. They are very generous😂

Part of our area, it’s sketchy at night haha😂

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

It's Merry in Mesa! Week#70

Hi Momma!

Yeah last week was a little crazy, and this week was just about as crazy in some ways. I again saw so many blessings and miracles happen! We had a lot of success with our investigators and the work is moving along really well 😊 

As far as the trio is going, well it’s kind of not now😂 I emailed President Townsend on Monday and told him that I had never been in a tripanionship before so I was excited to see what happens, I then asked what advice he could give me. The morning of transfers, which was on Tuesday, I got a response from him saying that I wouldn’t be in a tripanionship anymore because an Elder from our mission was going home early😭 He was in our district and had only been out for six weeks. So Elder Landbeck will now be be Elder Orse’s new companion. I was super sad, I love that missionary that went home. Funniest missionary I’ve ever met😂  So me and Elder Draper are still going at it together. But now we have 3 beds in our room. They basically told us to keep it for the transfer. There’s literally nowhere to put it so it just takes up space. I’ve tried pushing it up to my bed and make it a king size😂 Yeah that doesn’t work...oh well.

We had first lessons with a few of our investigators this week. Our first one was with Melissa, she went to the Christmas Lights and asked for missionaries to come by and teach her. So we finally met with her and she is AMAZING. She knows hardly anything about religion, even anything about Jesus Christ. Why He is important, what He can do for us, what He has done for us. It was cool to teach about Christ in such a simple way that even a child could understand it, and that’s how we taught Melissa. She really enjoyed it and since then has been reading and praying about the Book of Mormon everyday! We have really high hopes for her😊

We also found a new part-member Family, the Karazcos, in the area that no one knew about! They are a younger couple who have been inactive for most of their lives. Well this week they came to church! And to the ward Christmas party! On top of that her brother, Newton, is like 20 years old. We started teaching him and he wants to be baptized so bad. So we scheduled a baptism for him on January 13th! Hopefully we can help him meet that date. He really wants it and I know God does too😁

I played pool with that inactive member again, it was the most drunk I’d ever seen him. He was falling all over the place and singing as loud as he could. We try to get some spiritual stuff in but he is never in the right mindset to hear. But we almost got him to come to the Christmas party! We are making progress little by little! At the end of our visit he comes up to me and gives the biggest hug and says I love you😂 If you knew him and how he sounds when he talks you would die of laughter, he’s a funny dude! I would be sooo happy to see him become active again. We're going to keep working on him.

I saw that Sister Kenny went to our house haha, she sent me a picture with you guys! It’s weird thinking that she’s back in Pleasant View. Yeah she was in my district her last transfer, so the last six weeks. I served by her in my first area and then never saw her until this last transfer. But it was a super fun transfer haha, good memories. 

So I will be talking to you guys on Christmas which I believe is on a Monday. Not sure what time we will do it yet, it’s too far to tell right now. We are going to be with the Garners on Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Years so we are taken care of pretty well this year😇 

I will look for your 12 Days package this week, thanks mom! :) Thanks for everything you do for me Mom! You are such a saint! I hope everyone has a good week. I love this season, I love my mission, and I love my Savior Jesus Christ! #LightTheWorld

Love, Elder Findlay
Some Nativities at the Temple Lights

Our Christmas set up.



My boy Salem (Elder Karren...a previous comp)
was back in Mesa for a few days!

This is TJ. It was cool because Salem came back and
 we were all reunited. Hopefully he gets baptized soon. 

My boy Elder Thompson and Jake on the left

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Light the World... Week #69

Hey Mom!

It’s finally December!! And it’s going by fast already! I had a super successful last week of the transfer. I saw so many miracles take place and I can’t thank Heavenly Father enough for bringing about those miracles. For the last five weeks we’ve been struggling to find people to teach and I’ve really just tried figuring out which families in the area to focus on. This week we received 8 referrals, I’m serious 8! It was so crazy! We picked up 3 new investigators and now we are staying super busy and are having a lot of success! Two of the investigators we picked up want to be baptized and we will be working with them. The rest are referrals from the Temple Christmas Lights, that means they requested a missionary visit to their home. Super awesome, the VC has been getting over 60 referrals a night. Huge blessing to missionary work!👍 Now our area is pretty poppin, luckily me and Elder Draper are staying.......but there’s a catch😅

We received transfer news on Saturday this week and found out that we are both staying thank goodness, but we are getting another companion....so we will be in a tripanionship. I’m not sure how I feel about that, honestly because we can hardly fit two people in our place and now three...oh boy. I hope he’s clean😂 His name is Elder Landbeck, he’s from Maryland.  It will be good though, he and Elder Draper will get along really well, they both like the same sort of stuff. Now I get to be Senior Companion of two missionaries😂 I’m sure it will be fun, we will make it work. 

So this week was a big change with missionary work, we got our Smartphone!! It’s super crazy I know. We share one as a companionship, except the new missionaries that come out they will already have their own phones. So now I cruise around with my iPad and smartphone haha, such spoiled missionaries. It’s nice because we have data on it which means we don’t have to go to the church every 5 minutes to sync our areabook.  It has a hotspot which is handy dandy. I feel super weird with it sometimes, it’s a Samsung galaxy - similar to my phone before I left. The one Jack has😂 Anyways it’s just weird. But I like it a lot. Contacting people is a lot easier and now we can finally use group texting! Good stuff.

I got to play pool with a crazy dude😂 It was nuts. He’s a member but very inactive, I almost won but still lost because I stink at pool😂 I told him if I beat him he has to come to church, he agreed. Rematch next week. 

The week started off a little hectic I have to say. On Tuesday morning I was doing my personal study in our room when I smelt some weird smelling smoke. I thought it was coming from outside because our windows were open but then I realized that it was coming from the laundry room. So I went in and it was all smokey and I couldn’t figure out what it was. Nothing was on in there so I had no idea where the smoke was coming from. No one was home but me and Elder Draper, so I called 911 and the fire department came and checked it out. Turns out it was an electrical fire that was caused from the water heater somehow. Luckily the fire fizzled out by itself! Jk it wasn’t luck at all, I know God put it out for us. He’s watching out for us😁 I’m glad our house didn’t burn down😂 So basically we didn’t have a water heater all week so we had cold showers everyday....that has been a good waker uper😂 But seriously now I have a testimony of hot water

Salt Lake is looking the same! Except the light the world vending machines, aren’t those the best! We don’t have any here but they look sweet. I bet the wait to donate was worth it. That’s basically what I share with everyone I meet, Light The World. Everyone needs to hear a good message and feel the true spirit of Christmas.

Man Jack looks like a straight up G😂 When I left he was just a little guy. That’s cool that he played some ball with Christian. 

Well I think that’s about it for this week. I’m super excited for this next transfer and I see a lot of success happening! I love you so much Mom! Have a good week!


Love Elder Findlay

Old Ford suits me well :)


I love Elder Sharp

Last district lunch