Monday, October 31, 2016

Hot Halloween... Week #12

Hello Everyone... Happy Halloween!

Well, it is beautiful down here in Mesa. This last week was really hot though. It was at least 90 degrees everyday this week. People say it cools down here but I haven't seen any cooling down ha. I've decided it's just a myth or something. 

One of our investigators named Alex is doing really well. We have taught him the first three lessons and then some. He loves learning about the gospel and is saying that he has recently been knowing things, not believing them but knowing them. He will get baptized, there is no doubt in my mind:) He is definitely our most progressing investigator right now! 

This week was awesome!! On Tuesday we had breakfast at our stake presidents house. President Porters house is sooo nice and massive, just fyi haha. We had some super good waffles and buttermilk syrup, best breakfast that I have had on my mission. Our whole district was there and we talked about things we could do to find more people to teach. It was really cool, I think I forgot to mention this but the AP's Elder Renel and Elder Nuttle are in my district and they are such awesome missionaries. That being said they asked me to give a training on becoming a consecrated missionary during district meeting. It went really well and I learned a lot more about being the best missionary I could possibly be. 

Wednesday night was crazy fun! We had a huge ward Halloween party for Salt River. Everyone brought chili and hot dogs and their awesome families of course. It was one of the few times on my mission when I have felt like I was home. We had a few investigators come and it was really great to see the ward welcome them into the family!  I'm to the point where I know most everyone and it makes me feel like I can talk to anyone. We played football with a lot of the kids and it got pretty intense haha but we won of course. All of the kids had pretty awesome costumes. It was really nice because it gave us a little break from everything.

I went on exchanges with Elder Harris on Thursday. He came to my area and Elder Grabenstein went with Elder Karren. It was a crazy day haha, because when we were making the exchange Elders Parra and Gull drove us and some crazy lady backed up into our car! We were parked on the side of Elder Karrens apartment and the lady was backing up while she was on her phone and ran into the back of us. I was actually standing by the trunk when she hit us, I saw her coming and I started slapping on her back window hoping she would stop but she didn't. It only really cracked the back bumper and that was it. Not too bad! After lunch our zone had interviews with President Townsend. I was literally the last one on the list to be interviewed. Save the best for last right?! Anyways it was a really good interview. 

Saturday was beyond fun! Cherri and Carlos got married at the church!!! We helped set up everything and made sure it was welcoming for everyone because none of their family that came are members. Cherri was the one that wanted it in the church which is awesome because she isn't a member either! Bishop Coombs married them in the chapel and it was one of the happiest times of my mission! I just felt so happy for them and proud of them. They had such good things to say about each other and I can already picture them in white going through the temple someday. There was such diversity in their extended family and it was really cool to see how well we all got along and connected with one another. Everyone just had lots of fun together. A lot of people in the world think that just because someone is a different religion than they are, that they are to be avoided or treated differently. We are all still people we just have different beliefs. After the wedding we got to have dinner with the Dunns again! If you haven't noticed they like sending pictures of me haha. We had create your own burger night and it was bomb. I stuffed my burger with bacon and cheese. We also played laser tag at their house! After we left the Dunns we had a lesson with the Palmers. They have a 9 year old son Jack, who doesn't want to get baptized so we are helping with that. We taught the gospel of Jesus Christ and how it is crucial that we understand the importance of Baptism. After the lesson we went to Bahama Bucks which is like Zeppes but surprisingly better! We are spoiled missionaries!!

I hope everyone has the best week this coming week! Find way to serve others and the Lord! You will be blessed. The feelings of giving service to someone is priceless. There is always someone the Lord puts in our path everyday that could use our help, the challenge is to recognize that and act on it!

Love Elder Findlay

Perfect missionary meme right? haha!

This is my homie

So many cool cars around here!  This guys garage was sick!

The Venegas at their wedding.  Best Day!!!

Laser tag at the Dunns

Look Ma, no hands! (UGH!!!)

Ping Pong Champs

at a teaching appointment

Ward halloween party...outside!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Salt River Cleanup Week 11

Hello from Mesa!!!
I need to start remembering the weeks better but they just fly by! Nothing too exciting happened this week but a lot is coming up this next week. Next week we have a bunch of Halloween parties in our wards and so that will be fun, and a great way for us to do missionary work!  Also if you remember me talking about Carlos and his family, he and his wife are getting married at the church on Saturday so we are helping prepare for that. I am happy for them.  

So on Tuesday We had a pretty awesome day. We really do a lot of work with the returned missionaries in our wards and that makes it a lot of fun. Ryan Kelly and Jake Jerman are some returned missionaries that help us out and they are both really cool. We did splits with them and then they took us to dinner to a place called Nandos and it was super good Mexican food. Its funny because Ryan relates really well with G talking about video games and kind of nerdy stuff haha. Jake and me really get along well because we love sports and cars. Jake is probably one of my favorite members here, if I am allowed to have favorites;) His mom, Sister J, is like my grandma here in Mesa. She is constantly trying to make me happy ha! She takes super good care of me:) Anyways on Tuesday night we went to the Visitors Center on the temple grounds and we watched Joseph Smith Prophet of the Restoration with a couple of investigators. It went really well. My testimony of Joseph Smith the prophet and the restoration of the gospel has grown so much since I became a missionary . I just can't deny it, I physically couldn't do it. I love learning about him and his testimony. The spirit testifies so strongly to me that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that he was chosen to help restore the gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth. 

Thursday was our most busy day this week. We had back to back lessons so we had to get rides with members so we would be on time to them. We were able to have dinner with an investigator named Saundra. She has had a very hard time because her husband took his life about a month ago and so we have been trying to help her out and get back on track because she is super depressed. Its really hard because we don't really know what to do so we are just giving her company and hanging out with her kids. She really really appreciates it when we come over but we still cant get her to church! We went over to her house again on Saturday and that was an eventful visit. She has two people living in her basement and when we were there they were both crazy drunk and then her son showed up and she has a restraining order on him. So you could imagine it was not good. Its a story for another time but it was definitely the most crazy thing that has happened on my mission.

 Anyways I also got a haircut on Thursday night, and my pal elder Parra gave it to me. Chileans know how to cut hair! He did a great job!

Yes I'm sure you've been getting texts from members haha they love doing that, especially when they have a son or daughter on a mission. We were with the Daniels that night you got the picture from Cold Stone. They really spoiled us that night. We went to Fuddruckers for dinner and had some bomb burgers. Then we went to Cold Stone after and that was super good as well. If you remember they were the first family I had dinner with here in mesa. 

So Saturday we had a huge service project for most of our mission. It was called the Salt River cleanup project. It was over by Red Mountain way out  in the boonies. It was the farthest I have gone from Mesa ha! There are so many cacti and oh so badly I want to set my hammock up between two of them. I would have to buy some straps that could get destroyed but it would so be worth it! Anyways the Salt River was super low and a ton of people tube it every year so you can imagine people have lost things in the river and left trash everywhere. So we went along the river picking up trash and weird things that people have dropped in the river. Like a frying pan that I found haha. It was actually really fun because President Townsend and his wife were there and most of the missionaries from the mission. Then after that a bunch of us went to JalapeƱo Bucks for lunch, sooooooo gooood. They have the best Brisket, plus missionaries get 50 percent off. (mom note: this missionary definitely isn't starving!~)

Well sorry about the sort of boring email, nothing out of the ordinary happened this week aside from Saundra's house haha. I love hearing about how things are going at home. Mom, you asked if there was anything you could do to help me and the missionary work...One thing that I would love you to do for me is if you see missionaries, please o please help them out. Buy them a drink, send them a referral,  anything. Have them over for dinner, I cant tell you how much it means to missionaries! I know I appreciate it so much! It's good people like that that make an missionary work a little easier. Service has been something I've been focusing on in my studies recently. Service is probably one of the most important things we can do as members of Christ's church. Every time we serve we bring ourselves and others closer to the Savior. Service can turn your day around just like that!!

Have the best week!  I love you all!

Love Elder Findlay

My homies...don't even know what to say about this pic..haha

Elder Parra and I in our halloween costumes haha! Viva la Chile!

We practically live on this couch

This was taken at our Salt River cleanup service project

a text from a member who took them to Cold Stone

Another member text.  This time at a fireside.

Studies are better this way!  haha  

Monday, October 17, 2016

M3SA Week 10

Hey Family!
I cant believe that Kaitlyn already has her wedding dress? That is sooo crazy! And I feel the same way about Kaitlyn getting married, not used to it yet but I'm pumped. I've kind of accepted the fact that when I get back everything will be different. It still sounds like things are going good though and that makes me happy!  Also I got your package and I love it!! Made my day! Also thanks a ton for the clothes, I needed them! I really needed my ankle brace because I've hurt it a couple more times since the MTC, and my ankle is just really weak right now. But now I can play some p-day bball later today. 

This last week was super crazy with transfers going on. We are officially true missionaries because we are on bikes haha! It is definitely a change because we have to plan a lot more carefully, mostly for travel time and everything. Our area is just so small that the most we have biked in one day is probably only 8 miles. Not too much at all. Sometimes we feel like celebrities because everyone driving by us honks at us or waves or whatever. Its pretty awesome. But when the missionaries with cars drive by, they just stick their head out the window and laugh because we are on bikes haha!  My bike makes it easy to ride though.  It's a road bike and if you know me, you know I loovvee mtn bikes so this was definitely a change for me. But it's awesome because it is an 8 speed and you can't see the gears because they are inside the hub of the wheel. It is soooo nice, plus since the wheels are thinner Grabenstein can't beat me in a race.  And I'm practically a pro at riding with no hands too... haha

We did get to switch rooms so now we have AC in our room thank goodness. It's super nice. Elders Harris and Karren are now living at the Polo Club. Elder Parra and Elder Gull are our new roommates and they are spanish elders. They are tons of fun! Elder Parra is from Santiago, Chile and he is sooo funny, he has been out for 4 months. He is actually training Elder Gull. Elder Gull got here on Tuesday and he is super funny too. He is from Boise and looks like a younger Matt Mckinney! We have a ton more fun at the apartment which makes time fly by. 

The work has been really slow because we lost our YSA ward in the transfer and that opened up a lot of time. I really really super duper miss our YSA ward and members. But it is a good thing because we are able to focus more on our other wards. We actually have been teaching this kid named Alex and he is a senior. All of his friends are mormon and so he wants to learn more. We have taught him twice now and he is receiving the lessons really well. I had a cool experience with him while I was teaching. I was sharing the first vision and he said that when I was sharing it his heart was racing and he didn't know why. He felt the spirit so strongly. It was really awesome how he took the lessons. We taught him the plan of salvation last night and that was awesome, a ton of information but he took it well. I love teaching him because it is at a members house and she is his friend and so they have like their whole friend group over so its a party. We have been trying to teach our other investigators and they have just not been able to set up lessons because they are making excuses or just ignoring us. Sometimes people just aren't ready for the gospel and you have to learn to accept that. But we never give up!

Well don't worry about me in Mesa,  I'm very well taken care of. I hope everyone at home is doing good and has the best week. Love to hear from you. It is the highlight of my week. I love you soooooooo much and all that you have done and do for me:) 

Elder Findlay

My new wheels!

So the grass is starting to grow here now.  Weird!

Elder Gull and Elder Parra tryin to fit in

Ya, we only need one bike :)

Backyard Taco NEVER disappoints! 

Monday, October 10, 2016

2 Months!

Hello Everyone!
I hope your week has been great! So I actually had my whole email written that I was going to send to you but somehow I accidentally pressed a button and it deleted it so I have to start over:/ And it was a good one!! Its okay I'll try to make this good!!! This week was crazy crazy fast so bare with me!:)

Since this week is transfers we were all able to go as a zone to the temple on Wednesday! We were able to do a session and it was so cool! The celestial room and entire temple is so unique. The celestial room doesn't have a massive gorgeous chandelier but just two smaller ones which was a really cool feature I thought. It was really beautiful. I am so glad we have a temple in our mission.  Wednesday was just a really busy day because after the temple we had a zone training meeting. But of course we went and got lunch as a zone before (well the fun people did;) ) We went to this one place that made some bomb honey BBQ wings. I'm pretty sure that I was the only one who didn't get barbecue sauce on their clothes haha! After our delicious lunch we went to ZTM and talked about our goals and things we wanted to do for the month of October which is flying by already!

So I don't remember if I told you about Brain Food so I'm going to talk about it a little:) Brain Food is a food bank that we do service at every Thursday morning. We pack granola bars, apple sauce, cereal, PB&J, etc. into bags and then these sort of 'lunches' go to schools all around Mesa for kids who don't have lunches.  It's run by a group of wealthy moms in Mesa. We call them "Mesa Moms" and they are really awesome and we love doing service with them! Its really funny because they all show up in their Cadillacs, Porches, Mercedes, you name it ha!! Plus they always play Coldplay while we are working, haha, so I love it! Thursday night we had dinner with the Percy's and helped assemble brother Percy's electric bike!! It's now on my bucket list!!

Friday was probably my favorite day out here in the mission. Every week we have a zone lunch on Friday which we always look forward to. We went with Orse, Thompson, Peoples and Parsons.  They are great elders!  After our lunch we had to take our car to the Chevy dealership so it could get serviced. We did that and so we haven't had a car the last few days. We did get to walk to some places but I actually really enjoyed it because then we have time to talk more about our investigators and how our lessons go. I am looking for a bike to purchase soon because we won't have a car anymore after Tuesday. 

 I also don't remember if I told you about Gladys Knight and the Saints Unified Voices choir coming to Mesa for a fireside/testimony meeting. It was a really good missionary opportunity because we were able to bring investigators to it so that they could hear and love Gladys Knights music and testimony.  It was definitely one of the coolest experiences that I have had!!

Sunday was pretty fun and it was actually my favorite Sunday out here haha! We hung out with Logan Skinner and he actually got back from his mission the day I got to the mission. He served in Brazil and he is the coolest kid. He comes to a lot of lessons with us and helps us out a lot. Sadly he is moving to California soon so that's okay I guess. But overall this week has been pretty good. As you have heard it is transfers this week. I am still with Elder G of course but we are loosing our YSA and car, so we will be biking. Not sure how I feel about that but its okay. Elders Karren and Harris are still in our district but they are moving apartments so we are taking their room! We hate our room because the AC in their doesn't work and their room does, plus it is a hundred times nicer than ours! Super excited about that! 

I know that the Lord needs us to focus on both of our family wards! We are looking forward to great things in our missionary efforts.  I love you all sooooo much!! I love hearing about the crazy things going on at home! I hope your week is awesome!! Be happy and serve others!

Love Elder Findlay
Weekly sunset pic

My long lost brother

Most of our zone at the temple

super cool electric bike we helped a member with

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Week #8 on the Mish...

Hey guys!
Well this week was a roller coaster haha. We had so many good things planned with our investigators and so many of them cancelled. That is honestly the most frustrating thing in the mission but what can ya do. One of our YSA members is L. and he is a recent convert and got baptized in February. He received the Melchizedek priesthood this week and it was super awesome because his grandpa gave him the blessing. He is soooo sick haha, my kind of friend! He loves hiking and hammocking so we get along pretty well. He also took us to this one place called Pho for lunch. It was Vietnamese soup and it was interesting.... I'm just going to say that I'm glad I'm in Mesa;) (and not in Vietnam!)

Another cool thing that happened this week was that I got to give my first blessing!!! It was probably the scariest moment of my life but it was really cool. This random lady just texted us and asked if we could give her son a blessing and so we did. Their family is less active and so we are planning on getting them back to church:) We teach a TON of less actives here. Most of the referrals we get are less actives. Its kind of tricky teaching them. We are teaching this lady P. and she is an inactive member. Every time we teach her an awesome lesson she looks at us and says, "Oh I know that it's true, I just get lazy and don't have time to go".  Its super frustrating because she knows that it is true but she just doesn't come. Ahhhhhhhh!  Speaking of less actives, we also teach the V. family and they are my favorite!!! The dad Carlos was less active but we got him coming back to church. He has been coming to church for the last 5 weeks or so and now we are teaching his family. His wife is catholic and her ex husband is a minister. They have 2 boys of their own, A. an J. who are both under five, and they love me haha! The two older boys B. and C. are from the wife's previous marriage so they are obligated to go with their dad to the catholic church. But we have been teaching them and they both really want to come to our church really bad,  but they can't because of their real dad. Its kind of funny because Carlos thinks that we are only coming over to teach the boys but really we are there to teach him too haha! After 2 weeks of church he thought he was full on active again so that's why he thinks that we are there for the boys haha!! I love their family so much!

We had a bunch of lessons planned for each day of this week. We at least had 4 or 5. Unfortunately, when we have a good day planned like that it sometimes falls apart.  Each day we had 3 or 4 of the lessons cancel:/ So it was a hard week but luckily it had a great ending. General conference was really fun!! We went to a family's house in one of the wards we serve in. They are the B. family and they are pretty much the best family in Mesa haha!! We watched all of sessions with them and it was a blast! We had a huge breakfast with german pancakes and bacon and it was so good. Oh it was the best breakfast that I've had in a long time. I think my favorite speaker was Juan Uceda. It was really cool getting to see him speak because he came to the MTC while I was there and he gave the best talk!!! I feel like I relate to him so much.  He really speaks to me.  Conference was super fun but then again it was also hard because I wanted to watch it with you guys. I got a little homesick during it because I knew what you guys would be doing. I'm super jealous that you guys got to go to the Sunday morning session!! That's so awesome that you could be there in person, especially with Grandma and Grandpa and the Evans! It looked like a ton of fun! 

Hahahahah I totally called it that Kaitlyn and Brett were going to get married. I could just see it in their eyes ;) I am super happy for them and also super duper bummed out that I can't be at the wedding. But it's ok, I am where I am supposed to be. I can't tell you how excited I am to have Brett part of our family, he's such a stud and I know that he will take care of her!! And one thing I am super excited about is that I will be able to talk to you guys 4 days before they get married (on Christmas)!! 

 Oh yeah and the food down here is not a problem at all, I practically have steak every other night ha! I can't complain one bit! I love you all!  I hope your week is full of sunshine and happiness!!!

Love always,  Elder Findlay
This is me and Chewy, watching conference.
 We are pretty much brothers now ;)

Weekly Arizona sunset pic....crazy beautiful!

We decided that shorts are better than pants. 
Squad up.

no caption needed.

These are some new shoes I picked up at Ross.  
Hope they please you all. haha