Monday, September 19, 2016

Cool Week

Hi everyone! I don't even know where to start. Time flies here and we do so many things. This week was definitely my best and most fun week out in the mission field! I just had a ton of fun with some of the people we teach and they are all so amazing! I can't tell you how many new people I meet everyday!! It's a total overload!! Unfortunately, I am terrible with names, haha so that's one thing that I'm working on. I really just got lost in the work for most of the week, and I noticed a huge difference.  I just was always wanting to help someone which is cool!

Yes I had exchanges with Elder K. haha! (he has the reputation of being strict). But no one can be strict with me though, it doesn't work that way.  Somehow I bring them out of their shell quite a bit haha! I had such a good time and we did a TON of finding. That was one of the first times for me because everyone that me and Elder G. teach are referrals so we don't do much finding at all. I learned soooooo much from Elder K. and we got along really well. Oh and he is from Logan so we have a lot in common. We had an awesome experience! We were getting ready to head back to the apartment when we decided to go walk through one last apartment complex. It was like 8:30 and we came across this younger guy that was smoking and drinking and jamming to some tunes! It was funny because he was covered in tattoos and tall and looked like Paul George ha!! When we started talking to him about what we share as missionaries he stood up and told us that he doesn't want anything to do with us and that it wasn't for him. So we started some small talk and all that and I shared my testimony of the power of the book of Mormon along with Elder K. By the end of our conversation, his name was Aaron, Aaron asked us for a book of Mormon and asked for our number so we can talk about it sometime! I literally saw him change in a matter of minutes right before my own eyes, it was soooooo cool!! Sadly I won't get to teach him because he isn't in my area ahhhhhh!!

2 baptisms in 3 weeks! I'm just baptizing everyone haha;) Jacklyn's baptism was really spiritual! She is such a special person and has the brightest spirit. It was awesome to finally see her baptized! I couldn't have asked for a better baptism for her! We now get to start new member lessons with her and they are so much fun because its like teaching a best friend and having a party while teaching and learning about the gospel! Plus afterwards she took us to this place called Backyard Taco. Best steak tacos I have ever had! I guess it is a super popular place in Mesa.  Oh yeah and we also had Zone Conference. It was 6 hrs long. There was so much information that I don't remember half of it, haha, but it was good.

I don't remember if I told you about one of my investigators but she is someone special. I wish you guys could meet her. She is 48 years old. Her whole life she has been an addict to any hard drug you can name. She has depression,  severe OCD, and has anxiety problems. The missionaries came and taught her a month and a half ago for the first time. After her first lesson she quit everything. Dropped drugs, her bad friends, and wanted to be baptized. It is so crazy and cool that she dropped everything!! She is sooooo strong and struggles everyday with these things but has so much faith! When I first taught her she was super protective and closed off but now she opens up to us about everything and she is great! It just made me realize how many hard things people out there are dealing with and how lucky I am that I have few things to deal with. I am so blessed to have a healthy body, good friends, an unbreakable eternal family, and so much more. I have been humbled so much out here and I want to share the message of the gospel to everyone. It changes lives for the better. 

So you asked about my average day as a missionary haha! No day ever goes as planned I will tell you that much. We wake up at 6:30 every day and workout at our gym for 30 min. Shower, do personal and companionship studies for 2 hrs. Have lunch. We normally have 3 or 4 lessons planned but its super rare that all of them happen. In between lessons we usually have like 30 min of free time so we go contact referrals to set up lessons. Oh yeah and we also have dinner at some members house which is one of my favorite parts of the day! We have to be back at the apartment no later than 9:30. We plan for the next day and go to bed at 10:30. I"m always wiped out by the time I get home!

And THANK YOU!! I love packages!! Yeah we go to the mission office about a couple of times a week. Lately a lot more because of all the baptismal records that we have to turn in.  And I get my ipad tomorrow!!!! I cannot explain how excited I am because our area book is all on the ipad and it is awesome for missionary work!! 

I love you Mom!! I love you Jack!! I love you Dad!! I love you Kaitlyn!! I miss you all mucho but am having more and more fun everyday! I hope everything at home continues to go well for you all. I have a picture of all of you guys in the front of my proselyting Book of Mormon so I am always thinking of you!!! LOVE YOU!!!

Love, Elder Findlay

So the following was written by Elder Findlay's clever companion about some of their experiences in the field, written in scriptural form.  It's long but worth the read. Pretty funny stuff!

The First Book of Elder Grabenstein 
His Training and Ministry 

An account of Elder Grabenstein and his son, being called, Elder Findlay. The Lord calls Elder G to be a trainer and missionary in the land of Mesa, Arizona, in the first area of Alta Mesa, Salt River, and Mountain Park. Because he teacheth concerning the gospel, the people seek to learn and understand. He taketh seven hundred and thirty days journey with his companions to teach the ways of the Church of Jesus Christ. He accounts of his sufferings and afflictions in the land of exceeding heat. 

Chapter 1 
Elder G begins the record of his dealings-he becomes a trainer and foretells the coming of the faith in the land of Mesa-he teaches the Gentiles (about 8/29/16 to 9/10/16) 

  I, Elder Grabenstein, having been born of awesomely parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my trainer; and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the gospel and missionary lessons, therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my mission. 
  2 Yea, I make a record in the language of my father, which consists of the learning of the British and the language of the Americans. 
  3 And I know that the record which I make is true; and I make it with mine own iPad; and I make it according to my knowledge, which is great. 
  4 For it came to pass in the commencement of the first year of mine mission, in the land of Mesa, there came many missionaries into the land saying, repent, and come unto Christ, and be baptized. 
  5 Wherefore it came to pass that my trainer, Elder Knudsen did say, yea, even as I have trained you, ye shall train another in my ways. 
  6 And it came to pass that I prayed unto the lord, and did tremble and quake exceedingly, and told my trainer, nah probably not. 
  7 And it came to pass that he returned unto me with transfer news, and when I beheld it, I did cast myself upon my bed, being overcome with stress.
  8 And thus being overcome with stress, I was carried away in the news which he had brought me, which was this: ye shall be a trainer. 
  9 And it came to pass that on transfer day, I became to the chapel to receive my trainee unto me, and I saw one descending out of the midst of the MTC, and beheld that he was to become my trainee, even my mission son. 
  10 And I beheld his name tag, which did read: Elder Findlay.
  11 And we went down upon the face of the land of much heat, and I became his father, and he my son, that I might train him in all my dealings. 
  12 And it came to pass that as Elder Findlay went about our area's dealings, he was filled with the spirit of the Lord
  13 And he said: I'm going to call you Elder G, because I can't pronounce that right. 
  14 And it came to pass that he and I went on, pressing foreword with faith, that we might baptize the nations, and praise God. 
  15 And after this manner did we teach our investigators, there names being: Alicia Norzagary, Jaclyn Garvin, John Miller, Angie Wilkins, Saundra Pennington, Teri Gerard, and Lexi Ashdown. 
  16 And now I, Elder G, do not make a full account of the things which I have written upon my journal, for I hath written many things which did happen amongst our area; and I also hath written many things which we did concerning P-Day, of which I shall not make a full account. 
  17 But I shall make an account of my proceedings in my mission. For Behold, I make an abridgment of the record upon my journal, upon the tablet which Apple computers has made with their own machines; wherefore, after I have abridged this record of mine journal, I will then send it in emails to those who would read of it. 
  18 Therefore, I would that ye should know, that after so many marvelous things did happen in the land of Mesa, I did write them down each night according to how tired I was that night 
  19 And it came to pass that as myself and Elder Findlay did proclaim the words of the gospel unto Alicia, she prepared herself for baptism by water, to join the church of Jesus Christ. 
  20 And when Elder Findlay heard these things, he was filled with exceeding Joy, as was I, and we did help her plan her baptism 
  21 And when the date of her baptism did come, the date being September 10th, we did rejoice with much cookies and lemon bars at the event of the ordinance. 
  22 and Alicia did become baptized by her father, and was an member of the church, and there was much rejoicing for her sake, for we were filled with the spirit of joy. 

Chapter 2
Elder G takes his son into the land of much heat to meet the members and investigators of the land. They leave their apartment daily to teach the commandments. (About 9/11/16 to 9/19/16) 

For behold, it came to pass that Elder G spake unto Elder Findlay and said unto him: Blessed art thou Elder, for thou hast walked up upon a rich land of inheritance, for even as we have baptized one, we shall baptize another. 
   2 And it came to pass that Elder G commanded Elder Findlay that he should take himself up and prepare to teach an investigator set to be baptized.  
   3 And it came to Pass that he was obedient unto the commandments of his father, for he hath said, Ya Boiiii
   4 And it came to pass that they departed into the lake view apartments to meet with one Jaclyn Garvin, who should be baptized. 
   5 And he did meet Jaclyn, and she was prepared for baptism by water, and both Elders did rejoice in her readiness. 
   6 And it came to pass that when they did speak unto their bishop, he spake unto them saying, there shall be two more investigators which ye shall teach this day 
   7 And it came to pass that the Elders did meet with Saundra and Angie, and did teach them of all the ways of the true church of Jesus Christ. 
   8 And it came to pass that we did call this week bountiful, for we had found many new souls to teach, and we had much good tidings of great joy to be caught up in. 
   9 And when I did see the waters of the font flowing again, we did rejoice in our good fortune, for Jaclyn was nigh unto baptism. 
   10 And she was baptized, and there were many that rejoiced in her decision to be baptized, and much gladness did fill our days. 
   11 And it came to pass that after the baptism did take place, we did go down unto the visitors center of the temple, and did partake in watching the Joseph Smith movie. 
   12 And thus Jaclyn did grow strong in her faith, and would continue to do so throughout her days. 
   13 And it came to pass that also in the midst of the baptism, a man came a special needs brother, in need of our assistance unto the understanding of the gospel, and life. 
   14 And the name of the one was Ed
   15 And it came to pass that Ed spake unto us, saying: because of a friend on the internet, we hath prepared a plan by which I shall venture off to the land of China, wherein I shall be healed. 
   16 And inasmuch as we heard this plan, we rebelled in our minds, for the plan by which he spake, was exceedingly sketchy. 
   17 And Inasmuch as we heard his "plan", we did cause the bishop of his ward to come speedily, wherefore, he hath aided Ed said, thou shalt not travel to the land of China, for it be a scam, and thou shalt rather be made here a member of the assisted living community 
   18 And we did rejoice, for Ed probably would have been robbed blind by the internetan robbers.

The sky is beautiful here!

This is Jackie and us on her baptism day! Elder Knudson baptized her, he was Elder G's trainer. He goes home in 2 transfers. Funny guy haha!

Best Day!

End of our day pic!

And this is a picture of the moon. It was crazy big!

This coyote wanted to go to sacrament meeting with us 

An example of some of the houses around here

Elder G's birthday!