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😭

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

0 to 100 Real Quick...Mesa Week #78

Hey Momma!

Yeah so my p-day was today (Tuesday) because we went to the temple this morning. It was a great experience as usual! I love that place. It’s going to be sad when it closes for renovation in May. I hope I can go to the Gilbert temple again before I go home. That would be fun.

Anyways yeah I heard all about the Superbowl! We ate with the Garners (I know... surprise), and it was sooo good. We ate in the backyard with everyone so whoever wanted to watch the game could go in the house and the rest of us hung out in the yard. Brother Garner's mom and siblings are pretty passionate about football, kind of like Kaitlyn😂 But yeah we had a TON of food as well, it was super good. I felt so sick afterwards😂 The Super Bowl is my new favorite holiday(if only it was a holiday)😝

It sounds like you had a good Stake conference with a general authority. And to answer your question,  I’ve had bishops call me up to share my testimony in sacrament meeting but never in Stake Conference....  Thank goodness haha. Speaking of General Authorities, Quentin L. Cook and Juan Uceda are coming to our mission this week and we are having a big mission conference on Saturday. I’m super super excited, it will be cool to have one of the apostles here in Mesa. I’m excited to learn from him.

It’s crazy that the weather is so odd there, it’s already warming up here, it got up to 80 degrees this week. Yikes, I’m not ready for summer yet. And that’s super cool that you guys are going to Nauvoo this summer, I’m a little jealous I must say! You can’t wait just another month for me?😂 That’s super cool, you’ll have to take plenty of pictures for me. I love learning about church history. 

This week was a roller coaster of a week. Our investigators have been very flakey, meaning that they aren’t very good at keeping their commitments. We are trying to find more solid people to teach here in this area. Monday night was a miracle for us, we were visiting one of our investigators when we saw a lady struggling to carry some stuff upstairs to her new apartment. We stopped and asked if we could help out. She graciously accepted and we were even able to teach her a little bit after. Her name is Shannon and she is very open, we had our first lesson with her on Tuesday. We taught her the restoration and she was very intrigued by it, it was a great lesson! She has been reading and praying about the BOM! We have high hopes for her. 

We also finally found our investigator Waldo!😂 Yeah his name is Waldo and we’ve been trying to contact him for weeks, every time we talked about him we would be like “where’s Waldo?”😂 Finally tracked him down. We actually had a super powerful lesson with him this week, he is really looking for his faith at this time. 

Oh and I kind of have a funny experience this week. We wanted to go to a restaurant for lunch called Wings Express, so we decided to bike over there. The street that the restaurant is on is called Main St and it’s been under construction ever since I’ve been here, so it’s a nightmare riding through there. It’s like an obstacle course. Anyways I was cruising through on my bike and I felt like I was racing haha, it was fun.....until I hit a garbage can and tumbled down😂 Elder Burningham was behind me and he said it was the funniest thing to watch haha, I wish I could rewatch it😂 Luckily my bike was okay and I only got some scrapes and bruises...😂 

Yesterday was kind of a rough day, our investigator Bill told us that he wasn’t interested in meeting with us anymore. I guess he watched some anti-mormon videos on the internet which talked about some false things. And we had to drop our other investigator Wanda because she never shows up to our lessons when she says that she will. It was a slap in the face that’s for sure. We were feeling pretty bummed, so to make things better we got ice cream at Dairy Queen. While we were sitting in the church eating our ice cream, we had like an hour before dinner, I said that if we exercised our faith enough we would be able to find someone before dinner. So we did just that and went out. As we were visiting a former investigator we saw this man standing outside for a smoke. He was all tattooed up and looked pretty rough. After some conversing me and Elder Burningham went over and talked to him, we told him what we shared as missionaries and how it could bless his life. I asked if he would be interested and he said yes! He said that he was looking for a church and wanted to come this Sunday! We are also going to meet with him again tomorrow. When he said yes I thought that he was kidding, but he was dead serious. I know that because we were willing to act on an opportunity to share the gospel with someone, God placed someone in our path that would be interested. God is a god of Miracles, and he shows me that every day :)

I love the missionary life, it is so fun. I even love being that goofy missionary that runs into garbage cans on his bike😂 I loved your email Mom, I am so grateful that you have such a strong testimony of the Gospel. Have a great week! Love you!
Love, Elder Findlay

Cool truck sighting #1

Cool truck sighting #2

We all got the same shorts! :)

Temple grounds grapefruit! I eat it everyday :)

I got to go on exchanges with Elder Bland!
First time since the MTC!

Cool ball court

Superbowl with Jakey Garner

District pic... Temple day!

Mesa fruit!

workin hard...

Superbowl food in Garner's backyard

Monday, January 29, 2018

Mesa Week #77

Yeah I can't believe January is coming to a close, January normally seems really long but not this year. That’s really cool that President sent you a letter about me becoming a trainer, I didn’t know that he did that. It makes me feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to and that’s a blessing. Where do I even start? This week me and Elder Burningham had a BLAST. We were pretty busy and had some really powerful lessons. The Lords hand is continually in the work here in Mesa, even if it’s frustrating sometimes😂

We had Zone Conference all day Wednesday which was super good. The trainers got to introduce their greenies so I was able to introduce Elder Burningham to everyone. The biggest focus of the conference was the Spirit. It was a good reminder about the “why” behind our obedience to mission rules/preach my gospel/scriptures/etc. Everything we do either invites the spirit or pushes away the spirit. Every time we obey, God blesses us with His spirit. The main focus of the meeting was how we can obey with more exactness so we can have the spirit more with us in our missionary work. It was a super long meeting but full of the spirit :)

Jack looks so much older haha, what a guy. I remember when I got my braces off, I think I was in 7th or 8th grade, I was so happy😂 I was sad to hear about another death in the family, I remember uncle Kevin a little bit. I remember him from our Nielsen Christmas parties. It’s been a hard year or so for the Nielsen clan, luckily we are a strong family and have the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation to comfort us. 

We met with one of our investigators named Wanda this week. We’ve been trying to contact her for a while and were finally able to. We sat down with her and recently some tragic events have occurred in her life and she feels like she is at an all time low right now. She says she is 100 percent committed to this now, so we hope to meet with her this week and start her off. She wants to be baptized, she will need be fully committed in order to prepare for that day. When it does happen, it will be a miracle for her and for her life :)

We also met with the Carrazcos this week again, we’ve really gotten close with them. The goal that Heavenly Father wants for them is to be sealed in the temple as a family. We sat down and talked about the temple and preparing themselves to go there. We had a great discussion of how they can and will prepare to receive the blessings in the temple. They are very excited and we are too. They have changed so much since we first ran into, even the slightest desire of change can bring enormous change into someones heart. 

Saturday night was a treat! We took our investigator Bill to an event that they were doing at the Mesa Arts Center in downtown Mesa. It’s kind of funny, but the event was called BYU Summit Finding Your Strength. It was a big devotional from BYU and it was very cool. President Townsend had 30 tickets to it for those who could bring investigators and we were all over it so we brought Bill! They had several speakers, Cheri Dew(Former general relief society presidency member, CEO of Deseret Book), Robbie Bosco(former quarterback for the Cougars & Packers), and then Mathew O. Richardson(former General Sunday school presidency member). They had some very inspirational words and ideas about courage and strength, something that Bill needs. Oh and not to mention Vocal Point was there😝 They were sooo good, Bill soaked them up haha. He absolutely loved them. The beat boxer dude was way cool, he did like a solo with a bunch of different beats and noises. Crazy stuff. It was a great night and was really one that I wasn’t expecting to have on my mission😂 I felt like I was in Utah surrounded by BYU people, and Cosmo😂

Yeah about the sardines, not my thing😂 I’ve definitely become less picky, but I still can’t handle onions. 
(Sister Garner sent us a funny video of Elder Findlay trying sardines for the first time in his life.  She's working on helping him become less picky about food. I told her good luck with onions ;)

Well I think that’s about it for the week. I love being a missionary, there is no greater joy. I love helping people find their way back to the Savior. Thanks for all of the support Momma! I love you so much, have a great week!
Love, Elder Findlay
Making some grapefruit juice

One of my favorite foods to buy here.
 People sell them everywhere.

Us with  BYU's Cosmo!

It was such a beautiful night!

Getting ready for the BYU Summit to start

Sister Garner drew my car on my Sunday lunch sack!

Zone Conference lunch

Monday, January 22, 2018

Training Week #76

Hey Momma!

This week has been super enjoyable for me and my new comp, it was really busy with all of the meetings that we were required to go to. Thankfully they were all pretty good! And not to mention all of the miracles we had! Transfers were on Tuesday at 3 but the new missionaries didn’t get to Mesa until 7:30 so me and Elder Orse(who is also training) went on splits until then. We had two dinners just before we got our new companions and that wasn’t a good idea😂 I almost lost my stomach but kept it down haha. That night President announced who our companions would be and my new companion is Elder Burningham! When we met each other he said that he knew I would be his trainer because when he searched Mesa Arizona Mission in google my blog came up😂 He had read some of it. Literally we connected instantly and we are good friends now. He is from Kaysville Utah, and is my second companion from Utah! He went to Davis High School so we are pretty aware of each other. He is actually a reassignment missionary from Brazil. He served in Brazil for almost two months but needed to come home for medical reasons. He was home for 9 months and then came straight out to Mesa. He’s fresh from the real world! He loves Mesa though, compared to Brazil this is paradise. He loves rugby and football and Hammocking!😱 So you could say we are bros!😂

We had a bunch of training meetings that took up a big chunk of time during the week. Our first day together we basically got him settled in, introduced to the area, got him a bike, and attempted to go shopping although his card wasn’t working. After some trial and error we got that working too. Elder Burningham’s group are the first missionaries to come out with smartphones, so we are figuring out the bugs in that as well. It’s pretty nice already. 

The first couple of nights I was nervous to be training 😂 But now I’m fine, it’s still the same missionary work. If anything having a trainee has motivated me to work harder and longer. It’s been really good for me. We do a 12 week training program for new missionaries and doing it has actually helped me a lot as well. It’s helped me refocus on my missionary purpose and why we do what we do. It’s kind of hard to keep up with because there is never enough time haha, but it will be solid in the end. It’s fun having a son😂

We had a few miracles this week, we found a new investigator named Melanie! She is super open and came to church this week! We actually had a lot of people come to church this week, mostly less actives. It’s been good to see them at church, a big portion of our work is with these less actives. Another miracle this week was that we had good contact with all of our investigators throughout the whole week! That’s really a miracle because a lot of people here are kind of flakey on keeping contact.

Being on bike again has actually been super fun, I love it. But it got really cold😂 We hiked to the church this morning and it was 40 degrees, I felt like I was in Utah again. I’ve been double layering when we bike at night, it gets kind of nippy. It even rained for a while. Sure it never rains while I’m in a car for 7 months, the minute I go back to bike it rains....soaking wet😂 

I can’t really thing of much else that happen except this one last experience. We were biking home and it was windy and cold when I saw two homeless guys working on some bikes. We stopped and talked to them, one guy had chained his bike up against a post earlier that day so he could walk to the walmart up the street. When he came back his tires were slashed and the seat was stolen. You could see that this bike was all this guy had, and someone had basically destroyed it. The other homeless gentlemen saw what happened and actually walked to the walmart, bough new tires, found a new bike seat, and brought them back to this poor mans bike. When we arrived they were about finished fixing up and putting it back in order. I could tell that the man who bought the new stuff didn’t have much either, he was just as helpless as the other guy. I was so touched by this experience, I saw the Savior in that man who helped another struggling man even when he didn’t have enough to provide for himself. There are still good people in this world. There are Good Samaritans all around us. We can all contribute to helping others a little more willingly, if that man could help, we can all help. We take upon ourselves the name of Christ and follow his example, I know that this is the way to share the light of Christ in the world today. 

I love my mission, I love the people, I love the Gospel, and I love Jesus Christ. His light is real and will always be shining on us if we let it. Have a great week Momma! I love you soooo much! You're amazing!

Sorry I didn’t take too many pictures, I will get more this week. 

love, Elder Findlay
My "son" Elder Burningham and I

Actual clouds.  Rarely seen in Mesa ;)

Monday, January 15, 2018


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!