Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Newness in Mesa Week #58

Hey Momma! 

Yep transfers went pretty well! It was tough sending Elder Karren home though, he's become one of my best friends. He emailed me and said that all is well in Logan. He said Zane(Elder Nuttall) went to his homecoming talk! Kind of funny that my last two companions are home and hanging out with each other already. They are both doing really good. I love those guys. You seriously make the best of friends on your mission, that's been one of my favorite things about it. 

Our new house is a pretty sweet place. We live in our area with the Brown Family. Elder Brown is actually our mission bike coordinator so I've known him for a while. It's pretty cool that I get to live with them. This is the first time they've housed missionaries. And Sister Brown is a saint, she is already spoiling us. We live in the basement and it's so nice! And it's cool down there which is a blessing in AZ. And here's the plus...we both have queen sized beds😂 It's a really weird feeling, the first night I slept in it I felt like I was home in my own bed. Now I'm used to it though. Sister Brown provided all of the bedding and it's really nice. We have a super nice bathroom too. It's big and easy to keep clean. Our kitchen is nice, we have our own mini-fridge and it works out great. In the mornings for exercise we go outside and shoot hoops, so it feels just like home. 

Elder Bird was here for a transfer before me. He is from Salmon Idaho. Since we cover four wards our Sundays are soooo crazy. We do a lot of splits in order to attend all of our meetings. I went to 3 of the wards and will go to the the 4th next week. The Bishops in each of the wards are awesome! This area is so member dense. The wards are massive. The Stake is super active, to give you an idea 88% of the members are full tithe payers. I feel like I'm in a mini Utah😂 But I really really enjoyed it this week. I was really upset that I was leaving my last area because I love the people so much, but after meeting the amazing people that I did this week, my attitude has changed. One of my Ward Mission Leaders is a returned Mission President and he is such a good person. I felt really loved when I met with him. He knows how to make missionaries feel good and knows what missionary work is all about. I'm really excited to work with him and learn from him. 

Biking has been really stressful because we are both still trying to figure out the area. We have a car with 300 miles a month. That gives us about 10 miles a day. And that goes by really fast. Elder Bird hates biking, so I normally have to drag him into it😅. The area is a good mix economically, but there are a ton of really wealthy neighborhoods. I'm happy to say that there is so much more work happening here than in my last area. We have 3 people on date for baptism, I'm still trying to meet them but I've met almost everyone. We are teaching a man named Chen, he is from China. He is getting baptized in October. Has a very strong testimony of the Gospel and is very excited to be baptized. We are also teaching a gentlemen named Al, yep another Al😂 He is so solid. He comes to church every week, knows the church is true, and has the strongest desire to be baptized. He has come a long way and has changed everything in order to be where he is now. In order for him to be baptized he needs to go back to California where he lived before and take care of some things. So it's just a matter of getting him over there. Other than that we have a few other people we are teaching. This week we taught a young lady named Taz. She was just baptized and now we are teaching her the new member lessons, she's great. 

This coming week will be really exciting! I found out that my district leader is serving in my greenie area and I will be able to go back for exchanges! I have two exchanges this week and both days I will be in that area! I'm super excited. They told me that Sister Venegas, the lady who we taught and was baptized, she is now doing her visiting teaching with an innactive member and is helping her come back to church! I love seeing things like that happen. So if you couldn't tell I'm really excited about going back! 

As far as dinner appointments goes, we actually haven't had too many. But the members I did meet with were awesome. To answer your question about me being picky or not, I'm definitely not as picky anymore that's for sure. I eat whatever people give me and I enjoy it. I still don't like onions though, I still struggle with that one haha. And I'm still warming up to tomatoes😁. By the way that food at grandmas look really good. I still think Grandma Susan's cooking beats all the good food I've had here. 

I've definitely seen Gods hand in my life this last week. He has helped me know the area in such a short period of time. Last night we had a Stake General Priesthood meeting and I felt the spirit really strong. President Bawden, our Stake president, talked about teaching our children the principles of the gospel so that they not only hear it, but understand it. I kept thinking about my family and how well they taught me the gospel. I couldn't have asked for better parents or a better family. I am grateful for them and know that I can be with them for eternity. Thanks for all of the love Mom! I love you so much, have a good week in UT!
Love, Elder Findlay
We had a truck for a week. I was in love with it!

I am so spoiled in my queen sized bed.
My bed is the one made ;)

My works perfect

A glimpse of my area

This is one of my investigators homes 

Everyday I walk down the stairs and get to look at this..JIMMER! I get along really well with the Brown family.  They love basketball like I do ☺

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Adios Amigos! Transfer time in Mesa week #57


Its that time again! Transfer week! This past transfer disappeared into oblivion. Sometimes it was slow but even when it's slow it's super fast. I did find out on Saturday that I will be transferred. I am really bummed about it, I will miss this area a lot. I love the people here and even though the work is slow, I'm going to be jealous of the missionaries who serve in these wards. Actually funny story, Elder Child will be one of the new missionaries in my area! He's excited, I've told him all about it. Sunday was hard saying goodbye to everyone but I will be back to visit. I have had plenty of homes offered for us to stay at when we all come to Mesa after my mission😁 

As far as where I will be going and who my new companion will be, I am going to the Citrus Heights Stake. My new companion is Elder Bird😂 He actually came out with me. He lives to play basketball, that's the first thing he told me when we met. He was Elder Karren's companion at one time. I'm excited!  He's from Idaho. Whooo! First comp from the potato land! It seems like all the missionaries here are from Idaho. Interesting thing about my new area, I will be covering 4 wards now and I'm back on bike! Well, we have a car but we only have 300 miles a month. So I'm basically biking for the next while. I got super lucky that I skipped past summer without having to bike. I mean it's still hot now but everyday I had a car I was super grateful. Anyways my wards are Avalon, Estate Groves, Hermosa Groves, and Valley View wards. From what President Townsend told me this area is tougher than the area that I'm in right now...but he said they are awesome wards and it will be great. So I will work hard and hopefully see miracles happen once again.

Also I will be moving in with members again. I'm pretty excited about that. That means it will be easier to keep our place clean. I'm excited to not have to clean after roommates anymore😂 The cool thing about it is that I will live up the street a few houses from the mission office! The mission office is in the parking lot of our church building, so that will be really nice. 

Elder Karren will be getting dropped off at the mission office today at 4:( I don't like sending missionaries home because then you have to wait until you get home in order to see them again. My other companions who are still in the mission see me all the time, so it's pretty nice. Our mission is so small that we just bump into each other all the time. Anyways Elder Karren has been really good at keeping focus and it's made it easier for me to focus too. I'm going to miss that guy, luckily he lives really close to me so we'll be able to do something fun when we are both home. 

This last week was pretty good. We visited some good families, talked to a crazy guy on the street, and did lots of service. Since we were in a car accident last week we had to take it in so they could fix it. So for a loaner car we got a Nissan truck! Man I was so happy, I hadn't driven a truck in like a year! So I've been driving it all week and it's the best car I've driven on my mission. It puts the Chevy Cruz to shame....Chevy is weak....everything about it goes against my name😝 But hey I like having a car so I can live with it. Speaking of cars I told Elder Karren this week that I thought it was peach days and I was right! I love peach days. I'm glad both of the trucks were in it. You know what I miss a ton? Utah peaches. There was a family we had dinner with this week who bought some peaches and said "these are the best peaches we have ever had!". I took a bite out of it and it was so hard, it was like biting into an apple. I'm my head I was like "what kind of peaches are these?" Haha now I realize how good Utah peaches are😂 I won't take that for granted ever again...

As I was reflecting on these last four and a half months I was pondering the question "what is the biggest thing I've learned here?". Instantly the scripture from 1 Nephi 3:7 came to my mind. The Lord promises that he will prepare a way for us to accomplish the things that he commands us to do. When I first got into the area I was super discouraged and was thinking to myself how in the world am I going to be able to find success here? There are no people outside, everything is gated, we aren't allowed to knock doors, and people aren't looking for anything else in their lives because they feel that they have it all. This last transfer I realized that the Lord DOES prepare a way for us succeed in all we do. Even if it seems impossible, I have no doubt in my mind that we will find success though hard work and patience. I know that because I saw it, I've seen so many miracles come way out of left field where I never expected them to come from. The Lords plan is bigger than mine. He knows the way for each of us and will help us in all things that we do.

Well I hope you all have a great week! I love you! Thanks for all of the love and support from home! 

Love, Elder Findlay

This is the #1 largest Elk in the world.
Bro Miller shot it a while back, point to point it's 502😱

Arizona sunsets!!!! 😄😄😄

accidental smolder shot

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Happy Labor Day! Mesa Week #56

Hey Momma!

Happy Labor Day to you too! The lake looks like a lot of fun! Will this be your last trip up there? Just seeing the water makes me want to swim haha its so hot here, I could go for some Bear Lake water. And that's a real bummer to hear about Kaitlyn. That's no fun at all. I hope she gets feeling well soon. I'm sure Brett is a fantastic nurse😂

Where do I even start...this week was so great! (For the most part). Remember I talked a bit about TJ last week? Well he's so awesome! We met with him four times this last week and I have never seen so much change in someone before. One lesson we read the Book of Mormon with him, just the first chapter of 1 Nephi. We basically taught again points of the restoration from it and also helped TJ learn how to read and apply scripture. He had never prayed before, never read scriptures, and he came to church a few times but that was about it. He's a really smart kid, he read with us and had some good questions. We committed him to read from the Book of Mormon and pray about it. He said he would and he did! He prayed 3 times and read 4 chapters. He even took notes on what he learned and how he felt! He told us that he feels really good inside when he prays. We then taught him the Plan of Salvation and he was very touched by it. We really focused on the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how He can heal us spiritually. It was cool because right after we had finished teaching about that, TJ said that he had been looking for this very point. He wanted to fix the mistakes he had made in the past and feel forgiveness. He just never knew how to do that. The spirit was really strong and that was when I invited him to be baptized and he said yes! He will be baptized on October 7th and it will be special. When we left the lesson and got to our car we celebrated quite a bit haha, finally things are turning around! I am super excited for him! Unfortunately we wont be able to teach him anymore because he is YSA age. So we handed him off to the other missionaries and away we went! I am kind of bummed that I don't get to teach him anymore but when WE succeed we ALL succeed. It's all the same work. I will be back for his baptism!😁 

We had another miracle this week. We received a referral of someone who was chatting online with other missionaries. We texted her and started asking why she wanted to talk with them. She told us that she wanted to join our church and didn't know how! You could probably imagine what I felt like when I read it haha, I was dumbfounded. I looked over at Elder Karren and asked "Is this for real?". Ha we both just started laughing and soaked up the blessing the Lord had given us! We are hoping to meet with this person this week and guide her to the waters of Baptism. 

Yeah Transfers are next Tuesday so that's pretty exciting, also kind of scary. Change is always scary, but that's how we grow. We actually had interviews with President Townsend and I asked about transfers and what possibilities there could be. He said that he might only have 2 sets of missionaries in our stake instead of 3. So that would mean either I would stay and pick up a 4th ward, or I will be transferred to somewhere else. I'm not sure what will happen but I'm excited to see what does. I really love this area, the people are so amazing and I've made so many friendships here. I will find out on Saturday where I will be!

Church was great yesterday, I love fast and testimony meeting. We met with some awesome families that night as well. We were driving home for the night when some lady blew through a red light and smashed into the front of our car when we were turning on a green arrow. I was the one driving, and I saw her coming and slowed down as much as I could but it was too late and we ran into each other. It wasn't too bad, her car was hurt more than ours was. No one was injured, it just made us late coming home haha. But all is well. A little sore but that's okay, I'll take it. It was definitely a blessing that it wasn't worse.

I think thats it for this week! I love seeing people change their lives so that they can follow the Savior. When people do that, they are blessed with so many blessings. More than they can count and I've seen that in my life. I love this Gospel and know its true! I love you Mom! You are such an amazing person!  Have a great week!

Love, Elder Findlay


A picture of Elder Findlay and Elder Karren
that someone texted me (mom) this week :)

Sky River Squad

Monday, August 28, 2017

A Ride out to the Reservation. Mesa Week #55


Things are going pretty good here! Right now we are driving up to San Carlos, the Indian reservation, with Bro Kuboshige. He wanted to go up there with us and meet some other missionaries and have lunch! I'm pretty excited, I've been to Globe but not to the reservation. I hear it's a different world out there. It's about a 2 hour drive east from here. Plus Elder Karren served there and so he wanted to go back and
visit some people, it was his dying wish😂 I'll take some pictures and hopefully send them to you.

 I talked to Brother Miller this week and he said he really loved talking to you and Dad! He said that I have amazing parents, which I most definitely do! It makes me really happy when our two worlds connect!

I'm going to be honest this week was really grueling. We did a TON of finding and had only a few lessons with some members in our wards. Plus it was super hot, people keep saying that summer just decided to come late this year. I'm ready for it to be over. But like I said before,  I have learned so much about patience and diligence. There were times this week when me and Elder Karren were just beat. But we kept
working because we know there are people out there waiting for us to reach out to them. I'm glad to say yesterday was the miracle we've been working for! We had dinner with the Bunker family and they are AWESOME! They have two kids on missions, definitely a missionary mom haha. Anyways they invited a non-member friend over. His name is TJ. He is 20 years old. I connected with him right off the bat. He was
wearing a bunch of Air Jordan stuff and he loves basketball. We are going to play ball next week. We taught him the first lesson and he committed to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it! We are meeting up with him tomorrow to see how it's going. It is a miracle in and of itself. I know that when we work hard and do our best, the Lord will bring miracles into our lives. And that goes with anything in our lives. No matter what you are struggling with, no matter how hard it
is, if you push through with all faith, diligence, and patience,
miracles will happen. That is something I've experienced and I know it's true. That is an eternal truth that will never change.

I am so grateful that I am serving a mission! I learn so much every day and I am continuing to find out who I am. I love this gospel and I know it's true. It's not always easy but it's all worth it. I hope you have a great week Momma! I love you sooo much! Your such an inspiration to me. Have a great week!

Love Elder Findlay

Out on the reservation

They call this "Mormon Hill" on the reservation

Sometimes I feel like I'm doing everyone's laundry!

Here is a video of our ride around the reservation:

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Summer is ending... but not here in Mesa! Week #54

Sorry I didn't email you yesterday, I didn't realize that this week is our temple week and it falls on a Tuesday. So today is my p-day. 

I don't know about you but I am super excited for summer to be over! Haha I am ready for a break from the heat, but still that won't be until October-ish. I remember last October it was still really warm. I'm praying that winter will come early this year! I'm super glad Dad was able to meet Brother Miller! He is such a good person, I love them soooo much! They take care of us really well. They are definitely a family I want to come back and visit. 

Where do I even start. We were very busy this week. On Tuesday I went on exchanges with Elder Child to his area. It's always fun being his companion again haha, we just pick up right where we left off. We made a video and messaged it to Theresa, she was the one we baptized in our last area! She is doing good! There are actually sisters in that area now, so she is in good hands.

We had a big mission conference this week also. It was really good. We had two general authorities come, Elder Wilson of the seventy and his wife came as well as Elder Wakolo and his wife. The Wakolo's are from Fiji and they are new to this calling. He recently finished being mission president in the Little Rock Arkansas mission. Our meeting was from 8:30-4:30 and every minute of it was awesome! I think that the main focus of it was using the Book of Mormon to help people become truly converted. They said 1/20 people who are baptized have a meaningful experience with the Book of Mormon. He urged us to teach from it as much as we can. One thing that really stuck out to me is how similar Joseph Smiths vision/experience was compared to Lehi's vision/experience in 1 Nephi 1. There are so many similarities between the two. Its another testimony to me that God really is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He works the same way he has from the beginning. He is the same loving God that has been with us from the beginning, always watching out for us. We can ALWAYS turn to Heavenly Father for help. He is eager to stretch forth his helping hand to us. I love him and I know he is real.

I'm sure you were wondering if we had the chance to see the eclipse.....and we did! We were going to make some cereal box thing to look at it but didn't end up having time to make it😂 So we just gave up. As we were walking out of the church building there were some people who had some solar eclipse glasses outside and they called us over to check it out. It was pretty sweet. It was funny to watch everyone looking up at the sun! They all looked pretty mesmerized. I was actually on exchanges with Elder Draper that day. It was rough, their car was spazzing out and so we had to take it into the dealership and they took it right in for repairs. So we were without a car for half a day. It was a struggle because we ended up walking the rest of the was like 6 miles. I was super dead. But it was a great day, we talked to a lot of people and sweat a lot!😂

Something funny that happened this week was during a service we were giving. We helped clean out a back patio, it was so dirty. Just years and years of dust and dirt. Anyways after we were done she asked if I wore size 11 shoe and I said yeah I do. She brought out a pair of Jordan Retro's and she gave them to me haha!!! I was super hyped about it😂 You know how much I like shoes......

Thanks for the email and all the support back home! Love serving and I love being a missionary! I know this work is true! I love you all!  Have a great week! 

Love Elder Findlay

Dream Team! Me and Elder Child

Temple Trip :)

My new "J's" (Jordans)

We think the sisters did this to our car....
(we actually drove him with them
still on and they actually stayed😂)

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Mesa Week #53

(Hey sorry for the delay in getting this issues...ugh!)
Hey Momma!

Was it raspberry days this weekend?? I forgot about raspberry days.
One thing that I've noticed recently is that I've forgotten a lot of things... it's weird😂 Little things really. Like last week I was at a members house and I noticed their ukulele was the same exact one as mine! I was like man I had totally forgotten I had a ukulele. It's a interesting feeling. 

I had a really good week too! It flew by. I can't believe how fast it went by. We were really busy which was a huge blessing. We were able to do a lot with Al this week. He called us Monday night talking about how he just basically had a perspective change on his journey towards baptism. He said he hasn't been baptized yet because he felt like he needed to be perfect. He came to the realization that he can't be and that baptism is the gate and next step for him. We decided that we needed to help him have a more solid foundation on the restoration, mainly the BOM and Joseph Smith. So we had a lesson on that and now he sees the importance of having that testimony about those things as well as how to receive it. His new date for baptism is September 2nd!
Right before Elder Karren goes home! We are super excited for Al!

That's crazy to hear about Uncle Jim going to the temple!! That makes me super super happy for him. What a guy! I'm sure it will be a really special experience in the temple for everyone there. And you are absolutely right about temples being available to all who are willing to work hard to get there. It is such a beautiful and sacred place. This week was a really special week as far as temples go in Arizona. Yesterday morning we were able to be apart of the Tucson Arizona temple dedication. It was super cool. I remember when Ogden had its re-dedication and we all did the cultural celebration! I loved it. President Uchtdorf presided over this one and it was great. If you haven't seen what the temple looks like already, then you should look it up! It's a cool temple I have to say😁

We also had zone conference this week which was great as usual. We watched a talk that President Bednar gave at the MTC a few weeks ago talking about "The Word" meaning Jesus Christ. When we place the word in our hearts and nourish it, then it can sprout into a tree. Into a strong tree, a good tree, a tree of life. President Bednar is a genius and explained it way better than me but he basically dissected a bunch of scriptures. As I was listening to him speak I kept thinking to myself, how could you possibly listen to this man teach and not say he is called of God?! I am so grateful that we have the leaders that we do, because they ARE called of God and I know it.

We finally got to help Matt again with his bus. We painted it some more and cleaned up some things around it. Compared to when I first got there it is sooo much better. He said that he's going to try to get out of there today or tomorrow. He's been there for almost four months, in the blazing desert with no AC. He's crazy but he's still alive! I'm actually going to miss him a lot, I really hope that he remembers what we've taught him and eventually meet with the missionaries again. He says he will and I believe him, he'd make an awesome Mormon😂

This morning we played some football finally. Elder Cox and Higham were there so we had a good time. We dominated haha, but I realized how out of shape I am😂. As far as the rest of the day goes, we are going to relax and take it easy. That's all for this week! Oh and we're you able to get in contact with Brother Miller, or I guess did he contact you? I haven't seen or heard from him yet. Anyways thanks
for everything Momma. I love you so much. I really appreciate everything you and Dad do for allowing me to be out here. Have a great

Love, Elder Findlay

We found this bird chillin at the church with us. 
I think it's a golden eagle.......I could be wrong though. 

The green machine

Saturday nights ;)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Hump Day! Week 52

Hey Mom! I can't believe I've been out a year either, time really does fly by. They say after a year it just takes off and goes by super fast. I can already see it happening! I did get your package by the way and it was awesome! I love love love ties, I can never have too many ties😂 They are sweet, thanks! I'm actually wearing one right now! 

Although the work is going slow we are seeing the fruits of our long hardworking labor! Its been great this week. I was definitely able to see the Lords hand everyday in all things! 

We finally got a hold of Al. He actually called us on Monday and asked for a blessing. I was able to give the blessing and it was really spiritual, I think it was the first time I've given an investigator a blessing. It was cool, he was really appreciative about it. He's got a really good heart. We are moving his baptismal date a few weeks out so that will be determined in the coming week probably. 

We taught the priests for mutual on Wednesday night on how to share the gospel over social media and it was cool. We also taught about the spirit and how important it is in missionary work We know the priests pretty well because they come to dinners with us and we go to mutual with them sometimes. It gives them a little taste of the mission life. Anyways we had them message their friends a video or even just a simple testimony about what they believe. Whatever the spirit directed them to do. One of the priests has a friend who has read the Book of Mormon twice and now wants to meet with missionaries! Sadly he isn't in our area but he's in good hands! We were really excited to see the success that comes from using technology to share the gospel! It works! 

Last night we stopped by a part member family whose son got baptized earlier this yea. We found out he wasn't taught all of the new member lessons so we are going to start teaching him. Anyways we stopped by and they had a non-member friend there. He is an older gentlemen and he's really nice. He's a good friend of the member we were with and we got to talk about the gospel with him. We shared a very simple message about the restoration with him and he accepted a Book of Mormon! That is the first Book of Mormon I've given out in this area!😁👍 He really enjoys the Mormon church and wants to learn more about it! Another great blessing!

Seattle sounded like a lot of fun! It also sounded like you missed us( Me, Landon, and Mason)! I love going up there. I have a lot of good memories there. We went golfing for p-day at a different course and there were a bunch of big pine trees everywhere, it totally reminded me of Lake Tapps golf course. 

Thanks so much for the support and words of encouragement! I love you all and I hope you have a great week!

Love Elder Findlay
My boy Elder Klaus, he's from Brazil.
He was in my district when I was with Elder Eaton. 

Some weird beetle we found

 Also when it was raining there was
 a ton of baby frogs everywhere! Here is a video.
 Pretty cool!