Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Happy Spring! Week #84

Hey Mom!

Time is flying by and I am excited for every minute that I have left here in Mesa! I hate to think that it will have to come to an end:/ Although being a missionary is super hard and stinking frustrating all the time....I LOVE IT. I love the interesting people we meet and the weird experiences that we have each day😂 I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

 Haha... you saw that video😂(A member sent me a funny video of Elder Findlay and Elder Burningham playing Bean Boozled this week at their home) Oh boy...some of those jelly beans were horrid...I ate a barf flavored one and I tasted it for like the next 2 hours😂

This week was super quick. We did a lot of good work in the area and are finding new opportunities to share the gospel every day! We’ve been preparing a lot for the Easter Pageant these next few weeks. There are 9 days of it and we are planning on going to 8 of the 9 performances. I think we are taking over 25 people total so it should be a huge success. They just barely set up all of the chairs and so it’s getting close to show time! I’m seriously the luckiest missionary in the world living right next to the temple during Christmas Lights AND the Easter Pageant. Everyday I’m super grateful for that. 

We had interviews with President this week. It was good as usual, he and I have a pretty tight relationship. He’s helped me through a lot of tough times on my mission. I can’t imagine what it would be like serving a mission without a mission President. Anyways I really really love my area right now and so I asked him if I could stay one more transfer here with Elder Burningham. He said that he would consider doing that. I hope so. By the end of this transfer I will have been here for 6 months but I want to stay longer still😂 Finally the work is going really well and we are staying really busy. That’s when missionary work is most enjoyable. 

I got to go on exchanges with Elder Bland again! It was like we were back to day one of the mission at the MTC. . He came to my area and we had a blast. We were talking about how much we’ve changed since being in the MTC as companions and it’s so nuts. There is no doubt that God has changed us since then. I love seeing progress in myself and in other people. It just confirms to me the truth and the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. 

This week I’ve been studying a lot about being spiritually reborn or experiencing “a change of heart”. It’s easy to change things in your mind and in your outward appearance, but changing your heart is a very sacred and personal experience. I love this quote that I read from a talk given by Bruce R. McConkie, it says: “With most people, conversion [spiritual rebirth and accompanying remission of sins] is a process; and it goes step by step, degree by degree, level by level, from a lower state to a higher, from grace to grace, until the time that the individual is wholly turned to the cause of righteousness. Now, this means that an individual overcomes one sin today and another sin tomorrow. He perfects his life in one field now, and in another field later on. And the conversion process goes on until it is completed, until we become, literally, as the Book of Mormon says, saints of God instead of natural men.”   Taking on our weaknesses one by one, step by step is what Heavenly Father asks of us. He requires us to do the best we can to follow Him and give up any unrighteousness or disobedience that we have. As we do that, we are surrendering ourselves to His will and He will change our hearts and nature. He will give us a strength and a power that cannot be compared to anything here on earth. We become more like Him and we are happy.😁 

Ugh yeah I don’t like to think about school! haha. (It's registration time for fall semester at the university when he comes home) So I have permission to try to get onto the Weber portal today or next p-day if I can’t today. I will definitely want to take my classes in the morning if possible, that way I can work the rest of the day.  

 I went to the eye doctor again this week and my eye is getting better but the infection isn’t gone. My doctor told me that I need to keep using the eye drops and that it should clear it up. I have another appointment next week. 

Anyways I had a really fun week. It’s always great being a missionary. We got to help out with the Easter Pageant a little bit again so that was fun. I love the feeling of being a missionary! I love you Momma and hope you have a good week!
Love, Elder Findlay
Easter Pageant resurrection rock

This is a small portion of the set and kind
 of gives you an idea of how large the stage is

Real "Doritos" covered in chili sauce

Playing Bean Boozled and eating
gross flavors! yuck

And this weeks car pics.....

Monday, March 12, 2018

Quotes...Week #83

Hey howdy hey Momma! 

Yes it’s been sunny and pretty close to paradise! It’s been real in Mesa this week. We have had a lot of good things happen, particularly people’s hearts being softened. Heavenly Father definitely helped us out and he allowed us to see miracles happen.

My eye is doing good. I mean I can’t feel anything, I’m just putting in the drops and hoping that they will do the job. I don’t want to have to go to daily contacts...that wouldn’t be fun. And yeah I’m making sure I’m using my medicine like I should :) 

On another subject I can’t believe Nate is finally getting to go  on his mission. That’s so crazy to me, it makes me feel old for some reason😂 He’s a really good friend and he will be a stellar missionary. See you in 2 buddy!✌️ I pray for my friends every chance I get, I know that they need the prayers. I love them all so much. I know that some of my friends have struggled with the decision to serve a mission.  Honestly if they can’t decide whether or not they want to go, they just need to do it.  Sometimes you just need to act in faith and trust that God will do miracles for you. Forget about whether or not you want to go, the only thing that matters is that God wants you to go. This quote by President Hinckley changed the way I look at missions, he said “Young [men], I hope all of you are pointed in the direction of missionary service. I cannot promise you fun. I cannot promise you ease and comfort. I cannot promise you freedom from discouragement, from fear, from downright misery at times. But I can promise you that you will grow as you have never grown in a similar period during your entire lives. I can promise you a happiness that will be unique and wonderful and lasting. I can promise you that you will reevaluate your lives, that you will establish new priorities, that you will live closer to the Lord, that prayer will become a real and wonderful experience, that you will walk with faith in the outcome of the good things you do.”   When I think back to before my mission, I'm not sure I was entirely ready to be a missionary.  I was scared. Honestly I would have never been totally ready, I don't think you are ever fully ready for a mission. The mission changes you; but you won’t change if you don’t give it a chance. I've changed. And I'm so glad I decided to go on a mission. 

First I’ll just talk about our zone Conference that we had on Wednesday. It was fun because it was in my greenie area and it’s always a treat to go back there. Plus the stake relief society presidency prepared lunch for us and I know most of them, so it was fun to see them again. Zone Conferences are the hype for missionaries😂 It’s a big rally, well except that it’s reverent😂 You either go out of the meeting feeling like you were just called to repentance or you go out with a renewed excitement for missionary work! It’s always a fun time being with all your friends. It’s crazy to think but I’ve known a bunch of these guys for a year and a half now. They are some of my closest friends. You make the best of friends on your mission!

There were a few miracles that happened this week. We found a part member family whose son Corvin is not a member. He is only 10 and so it’s been fun talking with him. He’s seriously a genius, one of the smartest 10 year olds I’ve met. He started asking us questions about God and Jesus Christ and we helped answer some of those. We needed up sitting down with him and his Mom(who is innactive) and taught part of the first lesson. It was very cool. That’s a huge breakthrough for us. And their family is funny, their house is like a star wars museum. It’s insane, they all know everything about Star Wars. Sister H. has tons of Star Wars tattoos and she is a hardcore fan😂 When she talks about it I feel pretty lost, so I just smile and nod my head😂 I told her she couldn’t spoil the new movie for me haha

We had to go to the doctor this week, Elder Burninghams wrist has been giving him some trouble. Turns out he has tendinitis in his wrist. So we’ve been walking for the last few days. If the pain doesn’t go away in a week or two, then they will have to give him some type of shot. Hopefully it heals up as well as my eye. We’ve suddenly become really good friends with Sister Parker, our mission nurse, over the last few weeks😅😑

I was able to go on exchanges with Elder Blands companion on Saturday. His name is Elder Crandall and he’s from Colorado. Also he’s a 6’8” giant haha. His bike seat is soooo high, I tried riding it and I wrecked😂 We had a fun exchange, it rained a little bit so we were enjoying that too. Pioneer ward had a 20 year anniversary party so we got to see all of the ward plus some old ward members. Some people have been in this area for 40 plus years. It’s super crazy, our wards keep getting smaller because half of the ward is really old and they keep dying off. It’s sad but some of them are sooo ready to go, we hear all about it😅 Anyways we had a good exchange and I got a pair of Wheaties socks out of it😁

I’ve been pondering and studying a lot about the gift of forgiveness. It amazes me just how much God will forgive us. He will always forgive us if we try our best to fix what we’ve done wrong. I recently read a talk by Elder Holland and he says:

 “surely the thing God enjoys most about being God is the thrill of being merciful, especially to those who don’t expect it and often feel they don’t deserve it.
I do not know who in this vast audience today may need to hear the message of forgiveness inherent in this parable, but however late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made or talents you think you don’t have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines.
Whether you are not yet of our faith or were with us once and have not remained, there is nothing in either case that you have done that cannot be undone. There is no problem which you cannot overcome. There is no dream that in the unfolding of time and eternity cannot yet be realized. Even if you feel you are the lost and last laborer of the eleventh hour, the Lord of the vineyard still stands beckoning. “Come boldly [to] the throne of grace,” and fall at the feet of the Holy One of Israel. Come and feast “without money and without price” at the table of the Lord.”

I know that no matter how much we have sinned, how far we have fallen, and how unworthy we feel, God will forgive us. There had been a lot of times growing up where I felt unforgivable because I made the same mistakes over and over again. Now being on my mission I’ve gained a new understanding of Heavenly Fathers mercy and forgiveness for me. I know He lives and gave His son so I can be freed from sin. I love being a missionary! 

I love you Momma! Sorry for the huge email😂 I hope you have a great week!

Monson Zone! 

Trying out Elder Crandalls bike,
look how high his seat is😂

My new socks!

And some cool car pics from the week...

Monday, March 5, 2018

Service for Days...Week #82

Hey Mom!

Yes, my eye is doing fine.(He was diagnosed with Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis this week)  I don’t feel anything at all, unless I’m wearing my contact lenses. So I’ve been wearing glasses all week and they are working great! They make me look smarter so that’s a plus haha😂 I will be wearing them for the next few weeks. And I’m pretty much covered for sunglasses, I mean I don’t wear them that much and I can live without them for a few weeks. I won’t need any prescription sunglasses, I’ll be okay. I actually served in my Opthamologists ward, Brother Woolf. He super funny! He was in Stonebridge Ward up in Las Sendas. He said that if the insurance doesn’t cover the expenses for the appointments, he wouldn't charge anything. Super nice guy. #BlessingsofbeingamissionaryinMesa. 

Yep, this week was transfer week. Elder Burningham and I are still together😎 He is probably one of my more favorite companions, our personalities are pretty similar. Plus he’s a super hard worker, he’s going to be a good leader in the mission. And I’m glad you got my boxes, I’m slowly sending stuff home so I won't have too much to bring home in August. There will probably be more coming when Sister Kenney comes to Mesa, I actually think she’s here this week. Yeah don’t worry about sending me anything. I’ve been trying to save up for a new pair of proselyting shoes. It's surprising how fast I wear them out!  I’ve been through like 4 or 5 pairs on my mission. My feet have been giving me some problems lately, so I’ve been wearing my Nike insoles in my shoes to make them more comfortable😂 

In response to your question, yes things have been better this week. I guess something that I’ve been pondering a lot about this week is the circumstances that some people live with. It’s difficult to see how fallen apart people’s lives are. That is one of the things that wears me down. There is a lady that we are working with right now who is struggling so much with life. She had a good family, a home, a job, a good life. Now because of some mental issues she has lost everything. She has been stuck in this spiral for years and years and can’t seem to get out. She breaks down in hopelessness every time we talk with her and it’s hard to see. I mean I’m only 19 years old, I haven’t experienced anything close to that. Sometimes I just feel helpless, like I don’t know what I could possibly say to help this person. I want to help her, but how? I’m just a kid from Utah. It's hard to see people in shambles, but I know that the message of the Gospel can pull lives back together. Bearing testimony of the reality of the Atonement of Jesus Christ can give people the hope and push that they need to get things going. Bearing testimony doesn’t always have to be done verbally, but by example. When we apply the Atonement, we change. When we change, people around us see it and start to wonder how or why? What is behind this change? People notice that we have a power and strength that can’t be found anywhere else. The Atonement is real, I invite everyone to use it daily and share your testimony of it by your personal growth and change. 

We did a ton of service this week which was a huge blessing. There is an area in Mesa called Lehi (you know it’s very Mormon here when they have a city called Lehi😂). Lehi is like a farm/cowboy community, it’s actually pretty funny, everyone wears cowboy boots and hats😂 Anyways they have an event called “Lehi days”, it’s basically a huge rodeo. It’s run by the Lehi stake and so they allowed us to put up a missionary Booth. We had Book of Mormons and Easter Pageant invites. I’m pretty sure we invited everyone there to the Easter Pageant. Anyways we talked to a lot of people and shared the wonderful message of the Gospel with them. Plus we were able to see some of the rodeo. It was a pretty sweet deal for a service project. They also had the BEST barbecue...

The other big service project that we did this week was set up all of the Easter Pageant props. It was seriously the funnest service project I’ve ever done! We basically prepared everything for the show because they are starting rehearsals soon. Elder Thompson was with us so we had a party. It took a good 8 hours, but afterward they bought us pizza and we ate on top of the stage. Looking over the temple grounds and all over Mesa was beautiful. I look at nature and without a doubt I know that God created it all. One of my favorite scriptures is found in the Book of Mormon, Alma 30:44 and it says “all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things upon the face of it, yea, and it’s motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a supreme creator.” I know that God created everything for our happiness. I’m so grateful that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us so much.

I love what my mission has taught me. I’ve been able to learn so many things that have changed my outlook on life. It’s been a huge blessing. I love God, and I love His work. I hope that I can continue to find my path and greater purpose in this life:) I love you Momma, I love you so much. Your amazing, I hope that you have a good week!

Setting up for the pageant....

Lehi Days.... weekly car pic :)

Monday, February 26, 2018

Faith: Week #81

Hey Mom!

I can’t believe that my friend Kaitlyn (Heaton) is going on a mission already, it seems crazy to me. (She's going to Brazil next week) It’s weird when the friends you grow up with go their separate ways to serve the Lord. It’s hard because you can’t see them for a long period of time, but it's so good because you know that they are doing the same work you are doing. The harvesting of souls :) 

We had some good things happen this week for the missionary work in the area. Some part member families are starting to open up to us missionaries AND we are finding MORE part member families to teach! We are also going out with members more and they are introducing us to their less-active families that they home teach. There are so many in these wards unfortunately. These are the lost sheep that sometimes just need a kind hand to reach out and pull them back into the fold. 

Saturday morning we helped out with the Phoenix-Mesa Marathon. Our job was to hand out cups of water and Gatorade. There were a lot of missionaries and only so many of them could do that, so the rest of us cheered everyone on coming through our area. We were at the 9 mile marker and it was really fun😂 There was a funny dude in a huge dinosaur costume that was running the race...I’ll attach a video of it😝

We had a few cool experiences with finding, one in particular I would like to share. We were biking through an apartment building one evening when one of the apartments caught our eye. There wasn’t anything special about it, we just had the impression to knock. We knocked on the door and a younger woman opened. Her name was Lauren. She had previously gone to church with her Mormon friends when she was a kid. She never had the opportunity to sit down with the missionaries and talk, but now she wants too! We are meeting with her this week! It was a small yet powerful experience of following the promptings of the Spirit. It’s really easy to miss promptings of the Spirit because they are so subtle sometimes. 9 times out of 10, the Spirit comes to me in thoughts. Do this, do that, say this, go there, talk to that guy. Really it could be anything. But what I’ve learned is that by acting on every good thought that comes to me, something good has happened. Sometimes that’s how the spirit works, it's different for everyone, but that’s how it works for me😊

This week was actually very trying for me. Mentally, physically, emotionally, the whole package. I think we all have our hard days though. It’s miraculous that we have someone who knows exactly how we feel. Jesus Christ has been there. He has felt it all, every bit of pain that we all have felt. Not sure how He did it, but He did, and He did it for everyone. He even did it for those who won’t accept it. He paid the price for them as well. That’s the unconditional love He has for all of us. Knowing that strengthens me in my trials. 

That’s really all I have to say this week. I love serving in Mesa and I love the Gospel. Have a good week! Love you!
Love, Elder Findlay

It was so cold this week! So we
 turned old socks into gloves :)

Random pic of me in front of our house

 This weeks car pic #1

Car pic #2

And here is a funny video of
 the marathon running dinosaur:

Monday, February 19, 2018

Preaching in the Rain Week #80

Hey Momma!

It’s ya boi Elder Findlay live from Mesa😂 I’m glad you had a good week! We had a pretty crazy week ourselves. It rained this week! Yeah that never ever happens. It made me realize how much I love the sun. I like biking in the rain for a few hours, but any more than that I’m not a fan of. Anyways it was a good change of climate :) 

I’m glad Jacks B-day was a success! And that jacket is SICK! What the...what is that? I want one, my two favorite things - Basketball and Utah!😂 I’m sorry that Jack hurt his ankle. That’s THE WORST. I remember when I did that in the MTC, it was the worst pain ever. It still sometimes hurts and that was a year and a half ago, I probably should have gone to the doctor...oh well😂 Hopefully his recovery is quick so he can ball out

Here is an update on Portia and Jose: We are no longer teaching either of them :/ Portia’s Brother is a Buddhist Monk who lives in the Buddhist temple here. He told her to not meet with us and to drop everything that we have taught her :( So we are no longer teaching her. But she remembers what we’ve taught her and she definitely felt the spirit. Hopefully that will stick with her for a long time :) As for José, he just stopped responding to us and so we dropped him. It’s sad but we don’t let it discourage us! I know that there are still people out there who are prepared to receive the gospel, it’s just a matter of finding them! 

We currently have only a couple of investigators that we are working with. We have been trying really hard to find people to teach, and we even fasted on Tuesday to find someone. Sadly this week we weren’t able to find anyone new but we still have the faith to! Obviously missionary work can be discouraging sometimes. But other times you are having so much fun that you don’t even care about the discouragement, you don't let it get to ya! When you get into those moods, that’s when missionary work is the best!

This week I had the opportunity to witness the baptism of an investigator that I taught in Citrus Heights Stake! It was such a cool baptism. The gentlemen’s name is Al, and he is such an inspiration to so many people. When I was teaching him he couldn’t be baptized because he had to take care of some things in California before he could be baptized. That would require him to leave his home and family for about 2 months. That was definitely a sacrifice that he would have to make. At the time I was teaching him, he didn’t have the faith to go just yet and so we just kept encouraging! It finally paid off! He went to Cali, got done what he needed to, and was finally baptized a member of the church. I have never seen anyone so happy! The Gospel can literally flip you around and change your life. No matter what you have done. It’s glorious!😊

Although we aren’t teaching many investigators, we are working with a lot of less actives. I think this week we met with 5 different less active families and had great visits with them all! They have various reasons of why they aren’t coming to church, but they all have a desire to change. One visit in particular was with Brother L. and his son. Our excuse to get over there was to play basketball with him and his son. So we did exactly that! We played a few games of horse and 21 with them. 😂 It was so fun, we played for a good few hours. It was good because we really built a connection and he invited us to come back next week! Not only that but another miracle happened! I’ve been working with Brother L. for a good 4 months, playing pool with him every week, trying to get him to ward activities, and so on. On Friday Brother L. said something that was a miracle. He has a habit of smoking and LOVES IT. He loves his beer and smoking. But after basketball he said “ I’m going to quit smoking, I’m not doing it for Gage(his son), I’m not doing it for you guys, but I’m doing it for Him(that’s when he pointed up).” That is a huge sign of change! Hopefully we can keep supporting him down this path and get him active again! 

Time and time again I have seen Gods hand in this work. It’s real and He’s real. I cannot imagine what it would be like to not know or believe that you have a Heavenly Father who loves you and watches over you, a Brother Jesus Christ who gave his life for you, and a messenger from your Father who guides and protects you. This is the greatest knowledge we can obtain :) Glorious blessings are in the Gospel! PLEASE make it apart of your everyday life! I love you all! Have a great week! 
Love, Elder Findlay

This was a gift to me from an investigator.
It's not a symbol we use much as members
 of the church but I was honored that they shared
this special gift with me.

Bishop C.'s Mustang. Me likey!

Valentine from the Garners 😊

Biking on a rainy day

add this to my collection of cool car pics in Mesa 😉

I love this Temple.
 It will be closing soon for extensive renovations.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Love... Week #79

I’m glad you saw the picture of our mission conference! (It was posted on the Arizona Mesa Mission facebook page) It was a super cool experience that’s for sure. It’s always fun to be with the whole mission, I’ve been out long enough that I know everyone. Ha! It’s made me realized how many friends I’ve made on the mission😂 When Elder Cook was sitting behind me I could feel him searching my soul😜 Just kidding, but when he was speaking at the pulpit he said “When I shake your hands and look you eye to eye, I interview each of you individually...and you all passed!”. Ha it was pretty cool. 

Elder Uceda and Elder Cook had a lot of great things to say at our conference. Elder Juan Uceda taught about the importance of prayer in the conversion process. He basically dissected the word “exhort” which is found in Moroni 10:3-5. It brought a new meaning to the scripture itself, that way we can teach it to our investigators more powerfully. Exhort is basically a COMMAND to us and how we need to read and pray about the Book of Mormon in order to become converted to Jesus Christ. 

Elder Cook talked about having an urgency in the mission. Not only in the mission but in life. We are living in the restoration of the fullness of times and we need to be urgent in doing the Lords work. His talk was very inspiring and you can absolutely tell and feel that he is an apostle of the Lord. I know that he is. He also gave an amazing apostolic blessing on the Mesa Mission. He basically said that we will all find joy in our missions as we serve with our all in an urgent manner. I will always remember his words to us.

I got your package today! Thanks so much! I’m so grateful for the easiness of sending stuff to Mesa😊 

I can’t believe Jack is turning 15, he’ll be driving so soon😅 It will be super weird to see that. 

We had a bunch of Good lessons this week with new investigators! We are teaching a lady from Sri Lanka, an island south of India. Her name is Portia and she has been in the US for only a week. She is VERY smart and has already started to read and pray about the Book of Mormon! She is super open too so hopefully she continues to want to learn about the gospel :) 

We also taught some of our other investigators, one of which is José. He is super awesome. He just got out of prison after 12 years. We have been teaching him and he is very open and humble. He is working a night job and so it’s been difficult trying to meet during the day because he is sleeping a lot but we’ve been able to work it out though.

Other than that there was a lot of time spent trying to find the elect of God's children, people who are prepared to receive the gospel. Me and Elder Burningham are going to work really hard this week and find them. We are also going to fast and I know that it will help us in our search.  I have complete confidence that we can with the Lords help. I love being able to have such confidence in God, He always delivers. 

I am greatful to be an Arizona Mesa Missionary! It’s the funnest thing in the world, I can’t wait to serve the next 6 months with a smile on my face😊 I love you so much Mom! Your such an amazing person, have a good week!
Love, Elder Findlay

Arizona Mesa Mission special conference with
 Quentin L. Cook and Juan A. Uceda.
 Elder Findlay is FRONT and CENTER,
right in front of Elder Cook and his wife.

Zone lunch pic #1

Zone lunch pic #2

We got to go out of the mission this week
because Elder B had to see an orthodontist.
 So we went to Tempe and Chandler,
and it was sooooo fun! I love going
 outside the mission while still being obedient😂
We went to this place called Caine’s Chicken
which was the best chicken I’ve ever had.
oo bad we don’t have one in our mission😭