Monday, November 28, 2016

Mesa Adventures Week #16

Merry Merry Christmas!!! I'm super happy Christmas season is coming up. Definitely the most wonderful time of the year!  How was Thanksgiving?  How were the orange rolls?๐Ÿ˜ Well this week was my first week with Elder Eaton. I can't tell you how good he is at being a missionary. We get along really well.  Super glad I have a new companion. He knows how to work and my new missionary schedule is twice as packed as it was before! It's super awesome but I have never been more tired on my mission before. He has been out since January which is awesome, he is pretty darn strict though. It's a great thing but you need to squeeze fun in there somewhere so I am working on that๐Ÿ˜ 

Tuesday was beyond crazy. Since I was getting transferred I packed up all of my stuff and Brother Jarvis helped us move to our new apartments. My new apartment is literally right across the street from Backyard Taco which is soooo awesome! Apparently our apartment is one of the nicest apartments in the whole mission. We have our own kitchen and a super nice bathroom! I love this apartment so much. We live under an orthodontist office. Kinda weird but I'm not complaining? Brother Jarvis has probably been the most caring person towards me since I have been on my mission. He took me in and treated me like a son. I will never forget that man! We helped Elder Renel move into my old apartment and such. Elder Green was with him and Elder Green went home on Wednesday. All the way back to Australia. He was super awesome. I met with Elder Lee and Elder Higham before transfers so they could give me a quick run down of the area. Compared to my last area the teaching pool is very small. We are definitely going to be doing a lot of finding. Once me and Elder Eaton got together we got a ride from my bishop, Bishop Coombs, to the Gilbert Temple. That was such a heart warming experience for me. After teaching Sister Hess for 3 months and then seeing her finally go through the temple was amazing. She was honestly the most excited and ready person to go through the temple that I have ever seen. There were over 100 people going through with her! And sheesh the Gilbert Temple is huge! The celestial room was like 3 or 4 times as big as the Mesa Temple celestial room. Anyways it was really awesome! Absolutely loved it! Plus there is no better way to get to know your new companion then going to the temple! We got some pictures with Sister Hess which I see that you got somehow haha, those were all of the missionaries that she has had. Except Elder Eaton and Elder G's new compy. Gilbert is way nicer than Mesa so we thought we'd stop for some dinner at IN-N-Out Burger! Soooooo good. Haven't had that in forever!

Well one thanksgiving down, one to go haha. Had an awesome experience. Since it is a holiday most people are with their families and that means we aren't allowed to tract. There really isn't much you can do except Plan and visit members if they have invited you over. Since me and Elder Eaton are new to the area we had no idea what was going on for Thanksgiving. Until the Booths called and told us we were eating with them. I felt like family there, they took us in just like that and it was awesome! By far the best meal that I have had on my mission! They had every sort of thanksgiving food, except orange rolls haha! But Sister Booth asked what my favorite thing to eat on Thanksgiving was and I told her ORANGE ROLLS!! She laughed and said that they have it for Easter instead but she is going to make me some so I am beyond pumped for that! We had pie after everything and there were 9 different pies. So much to choose some but I went with the usual, chocolate cream pie๐Ÿ˜ That night our zone did a little get together at one of the church buildings and we just chilled there. Me and Elder Knudsen played a little one on one. It was fun ha, I beat him of course;) idk if I told you but he is my zone leader, I love him to death. He is the only one that I know in my zone besides Elder Eaton. Ahhhhhhhh good day today indeed๐Ÿ˜

We have an investigator named Carol and she just turned 60 today. She is on date to be baptized December 16 and her quit date from smoking was today. She has been trying to quit for a while now but she is really determined this time. She usually calls us 4-5 times a day to see how we are doing or just asking for advice. We told her to call us every time she had a desire or temptation to smoke, so she did that and made it through the day clean! Super awesome, she is the funniest and sweetest lady! She doesn't have any teeth but her smile is the biggest one out there! We have also met two guys in their 30's who are inactive. They both served missions in Rawlings North Carolina and were companions. They are not at all interested in the church anymore. I don't understand why or how someone could devote all of their energy and life for 2 years serving with all their heart and then fall away from the church. That's all I hear down here. I'm not even kidding at least half of the less actives in our wards are returned missionaries. It really just makes me sad and want to help them. Its like they know it's true but just don't show it. Anyways we got to meet Bishop Allen and he took us to Barro's pizza for dinner and it was bomb. He is an awesome guy and his kids love basketball and skiing so we get along really well. 

So we had our first Sunday here in the Mesa 30th and 60th ward. Both super awesome wards. Its funny because one of our ward meets at the church building on brown and I am not kidding, it is identical to our old church building in Reno. It really made me feel at home haha, it was really great! It poured all night while we were on our bikes and it got super windy even some trees blew over. We were soaked and freezing! It got down to like 50 degrees so it was chilly!!! Anyways all is well down in Arizona. Big changes are happening and that's really what missionary work is. I love this gospel. Especially during Christmas season because it is really a time to remember Jesus Christ and serve others. There is a new Christmas initiative on called light the world. You guys should watch it together for family home evening or something. Its light the world in 25 ways over 25 days. There is an advent calendar that goes along with it and each day has a different way to serve others in simple ways. You guys should do it throughout this Christmas season! It would be really awesome and I know the Lord will bless you for it! Man I love you guys to the moon and back, pray for you all the time, and wish you could be here with me! I hope you have an amazing week and tell everyone back home I love them! :)
Love, Elder Findlay
I miss my zone :'(

We just had to get a picture with Brother B and he insisted on wearing his wife's jacket haha

Best temple day ever!

My pad...

This is one of the Root kids and he is awesome

Thanksgiving Day

Monday, November 21, 2016

Transfer News Week #15

Heyo beautiful mother! How are things going? How is the wedding coming along? Thanksgiving is coming up this week!  Man I'm going to miss your orange rolls very very much! I would be super lucky if I had them on Thanksgiving. What have you been up to in your days? Anything out of the ordinary? Getting cold I'm assuming?๐Ÿ˜‚ yes I got your package! Thank you so much! It was perfect timing because the night I got it was suuuuuppppeeerrr chilly. Just because we are on bikes and that makes it kind of cold, but not with my jacket now! 

(I asked him about his mission president)...
President Townsend is such a good person. He and I are really close. He is all for repentance. Teach repentance and baptize converts. He isn't really strict on rules because he wants us to make the right choice on our own. If you ask a question he'll say "well what does the white handbook say?" He then lets us determine the best thing to do according to the handbook. It is awesome how supportive he is of everyone. He and his wife are really nice, they are actually from Washington. I want you to meet them eventually!

So this week has been a blur. Transfers are on Tuesday and it's going to be CRAZY! That's the day I am going to the Gilbert Temple for Sister Hess and I get my new companion! Yep I get a new companion, and can you guess who it is? Elder Eaton. Yep the one that Grandma and Grandpa are always emailing me about. I think he is in their ward if I remember correctly. (actually, he is the son of President Eaton, who Cameron's grandpa served with as a counselor in the Federal Way Washington Mission. And a long time family friend.  What a small world!) Anyways we are white washing our new area, we are in the Mesa East stake.  He is district leader so that will be pretty cool! I will learn a lot I'm sure. I'm a little bummed because I just barely got to know the people in my wards and was finally adjusting, and now I don't even know if we are going to have thanksgiving dinner:/ and guess what? They gave us a car! And then took it away because someone else needed it more. Got my hopes up for nothing, guess I'll stick with my bike haha. I'm most bummed about moving apartments. Elders Parra and Gull are my best friends here on my mish and now I won't see them anymore๐Ÿ˜ญ that's gonna be hard. And then I won't see Elder Thompson anymore either, we're tight. Been with each other since day 1. But I am really excited to meet new people and do new things. We are super close to the temple and backyard taco so I'm happy about that too! I am practically packed and ready to go and am confident that the Lord has work for me there. It's the start of a new adventure! 

Other than transfers nothing really too crazy happened this week. All I remember is that it was over just like that! haha.  On Tuesday night we helped our investigator Tyler move in his new bed and clean his room up. It was awesome, then I shared a short message about blessings. And yeah I really did feel the prayers and fasting from the ward! (the youth in our ward had a 24 hour fast this past week for the missionaries serving from our ward)  I've been working on having more charity towards others and I think that really helped out! 

One thing that I've really begun to find on my mission is my own testimony. I thought I knew it before my mission but it has grown so much more. Finding it has been amazing, really diving into the BOM and learning more about Joseph Smith. My testimony of Joseph Smith is definitely the strongest it's ever been. It just speaks to me when I teach the first vision, I couldn't deny it even if I wanted to. The words would not come out of my mouth. I love how much love I feel from sharing my testimony. My knowledge and teaching ability is not very strong, but my testimony is unbreakable. That's what I love about this gospel. There are always ways to improve and grow as a child of God. 

We found out transfer news on Saturday night so on Sunday we had to say goodbye to everyone. It was one of the hardest things I've had to do. We had 14 progressing investigators and 4 with dates to be baptized. I'm sad that I don't get to see them take place but I'm super excited for them. There are so many good families here and I will miss them. I've heard that a lot of elders go back to their first area near the end of their missions. That would be the coolest experience. But I am really excited to see what's next, I've only heard good things about the Mesa 30th and Mesa 60th wards! 

Well I hope you have the best thanksgiving mom! Save some orange rolls for me!! I love you sooooo much and can't wait to talk to you in a month! LOVE YA!!
Love, Elder Findlay
Our last supper

Gonna miss this kid

Last comp picture with Elder G

How my mornings go...

Gonna miss these peeps so much :)

Long Day!

Happy Cactus :)

Monday, November 14, 2016

That missionary life: Week # 14


How's everything going?  How was your week? Anything crazy or abnormal happen?๐Ÿ˜‚ I think the craziest thing that happened this week was the elections. I may be on a mission but of course I still heard all about it. Its so crazy, I can't believe trump won. Its a bummer that I didn't vote haha but I'm fine with how everything turned out, the lord is in control and I have full trust in Him:) I heard that Cali wants to secede?? Haha and a bunch of protests and riots are going on? I just love being on a mission during all of this chaos, because everything is sweet and sound in Mesa! 

Wednesday Carlos took us to backyard taco because we helped him move furniture and stuff into his house. Elder Parra and Gull also came with us and we had a blast๐Ÿ˜‚ We finally had another lesson with one of our investigators named Angie. We did have her on date for baptism but she was too busy and we couldn't get any lessons set up. We've taught her the first three lessons and she took them really well, her hang up is that she needs to know EVERYTHING before she goes any further. And its hard to even get close to that when she hasn't been reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it. I know that once she does that she will truly feel like she knows by the Holy Ghost. I want to see her baptized super bad!!

Thursday was by far the best day of the week! Temple day!! I could hardly sleep the night before I was so excited! Man I wish I would've gone to the temple everyday before my mission, it's that good! Don't ever take the temple for granted that's for sure! It is the closest we can be to our Heavenly Father and Savior.  I wish I would have realized that before! Anyways it was super spiritual, and then afterwards we went to wings express which was suuupppeerrrr good. It's a tradition for us, haha. Thursday was just crazy, we were riding our bikes along Adobe(the road we spend most of our time on) and one of our investigators was crossing the street so I slowed down to talk to him. Elder G was riding right behind me and wasn't paying attention. So he didn't see me slow down until the last minute, and he slammed on the break. Guess which one he used? Yep the front break๐Ÿ˜‚ he flew over the handle bars and fell sooo hard! I turned around just in time and saw the whole thing happen! Its funny because our investigator saw the whole thing too, his name is Tyler and he is 10 so we couldn't help but laugh haha!! He was alright though, just scrapes and bruises. But he acts like he got shot a billion times. Poor guy. Then we had dinner with Brother Green and we went to five guys. I've missed that place! It was so good! We are spoiled missionaries๐Ÿ˜‚

Friday was really long because we basically did weekly planning until dinner. Sooooooo long, but good. That took us to dinner with Bro. Brinkerhoff. We had elk steaks, it was super good. It was like juicy jerky! We were scheduled to have a lesson with 3 of our investigators that night at the Brinkerhoffs. Their son joey had a soccer game so we also went to that with our investigators. Their a family of of 3, Saundra is the mom, Mckaylee is her daughter and then Tyler her son is the youngest. He is the one who watched elder G crash๐Ÿ˜‚ anyways we sat around a fire pit, roasted s'mores, and had an awesome lesson about the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have learned so much about teaching with the spirit and I know that when the spirit is present in our lessons, hearts are changed.  It is not always easy for me to rely on the spirit to teach, but I am working on it!

We have a convert to the church named Sister H. and her one year mark is next week! She is going to the temple and she really wants us to come! I'm super pumped because she is going through the Gilbert temple and I got permission from President to go to that! I've never been to the Gilbert temple or Gilbert so I am really looking forward to it! So many good things are happening here, blessings on blessings on blessings. 

Thanks a bunch for sending the shoes and stuff. It will be awesome! Idk what I would do without you:) I love you! So yeah transfers are not this week but the next. Elder G will probably be transferred out of my area. Me and Elder Thompson and Elder Bland will more than likely stay because we have only been here for 2 transfers. If I am lucky I will be in a car again, but I won't complain if I don't๐Ÿ˜‚. Things are going good and the work is moving right along. The weather is great and traffic is terrible. All of the snowbirds are back and you can definitely tell the difference! Don't worry though, I am careful on my bike. I wear a helmet all of the time and keep my hands on the handle bars about 10 percent of the time;) I love you! I really pray for you everyday in every prayer. I hope you have an amazing week!! 
Elder Findlay

couple more pics from our amazing Flat Iron hike last week 

Temple Day!

Two favorite things together: mustang & mission :)

My Boi Elder Bland turned 19 today

This is us, currently going shopping. Gotta love the missionary life!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Flat Iron Week 13


I know 3 months, that's crazy! It flies by, let me tell ya. I love reading your letters, I look forward to them soooo much. You always say the best things and it really helps me out.  

(He's answering mom questions next...) 
So I actually haven't attempted to wash my pants yet, I haven't had time haha hopefully I can do it this week! My ankle is doing better as long as I wear my brace, it is a life saver! So for Thanksgiving I think I am going to Bishop Vennards house, he has like a huge turkey fest with a ton of people. But who knows, plans always change here in Mesa! So our investigators in Salt River ward are doing awesome, we don't have too many investigators in Alta Mesa but we are working on that. 

This last week was a blast! Of course it was Halloween, so we went to the Tahliani's house with the usual group of elders. Sister Tahliani bought Barro's Pizza, which is the best pizza ever, and we watched The Other Side of Heaven in their crazy cool theater room. It was the most relaxed I have felt in a long time. It was so nice to get a few hours of relax time. Before I left on my mission I thought P-day was sort of that relaxing day but holy cow I was wrong. P-day is my most stressful day of the week. There is a whole list of things I have to get done in time and its crazy haha. Anyways it was a really fun night, and I got to enjoy lots and lots of candy. 

This week was really different than weeks in the past because I went on exchanges twice. I found out that I love going on exchanges because it allows me to experience new things! On Tuesday I got to go on exchanges with my district leader Elder Karren. I went into his area and we had a really awesome time. I learned a ton from him.  He is a very obedient missionary and he knows how to work hard! I don't know how he does it but he showed so much care for me and how my mission has been. I got a lot of pointers from him that helped me realize my purpose a little better. On Wednesday I went on exchanges with Elder Taylor, he is my zone leader. He has been out for about a year and a half and is such a nice dude. I have had a little trouble always finding joy in the work and he brought to my attention how to find joy in the work and how to love the people we find/teach. We had some great member visits and finding opportunities. We were about to retire for the night when we were walking by alta mesa park and we saw a kid playing basketball. We went up to him and I started talking to him about basketball and stuff. Of course we got along really well because of that. I went on to tell him about what we as missionaries teach and he really enjoyed it. He accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon. We also set up a lesson with him, then we ended by playing some basketball. Couldn't have asked for a better time! The Lord sometimes reaches people through our interests and talents when it comes to missionary work.

On Thursday I was back with Elder Grabenstein, we went and worked at Brain Food that morning and had a lot of fun with that as usual. Since a bunch of us elders were together at Brain Food we decided to have lunch together so we went to elder Hanks and Blands apartment. It was pretty fun. I pretty much just live off of corn dogs for food haha! Anyways I had gotten a flat on my bike earlier that week and so I finally got that fixed. She rides brand new again! We got to have dinner with the Egberts and they are great! They are a very young family in our Salt River ward. Brother Egbert served in the Tempe mission so we could relate quite a bit. He had some cool stories from his mission as well as some scary ones. He gave us really good advice for our mission. Oh and I forgot about this, the whole day it was pouring and we were on could imagine how that went. Haha, no I really enjoyed being on a bike in the rain, it was super cool outside and plus I finally got to use my rain jacket which was a life saver by the way! Everything that happened on Thursday was in the rain:) Anyways we visited this sister Dalyna. She is an investigator of ours and young adult and lives with a bunch of her friends and so I felt that we should visit her so we did. She was actually there so we got an appointment set up!! It was a really good day!!

On Friday we helped brother Mulks move his mom into her new apartment. Then they made us a delicious breakfast that was really good! We just did a lot of moving this weekend. Saturday morning we also helped 3 families move. So in case you are wondering I am getting shredded๐Ÿ˜‚

On Saturday night we were supposed to have a lesson with an investigator Saundra and her son, but she ended up cancelling. We had like a whole bonfire set up so we just enjoyed it with Bro Brinkerhoff. He has a flame thrower so we used that, definitely a first for me! We also went to the Giles house, she is my grandma away from home. She gives me cookies and milk whenever we stop by. Her daughter lives in Huntsville and so we have some things in common. She knows the McKay boys, like Tanner who graduated with me. 

This morning we went and hiked Flat Iron.  If you look it up you will know why it is called that. Anyways it took us about 4 hours to do it, and it was very hard, but totally worth it! Brother Brinkerhoff took us and it was so much fun, it reminded me of home and all of the hikes that we did as a family. It is so steep when you are on your way up. It was a leg killer, especially on the way back down. Our legs were jello and I felt like I forgot how to walk! From the top you can see everything, Mesa, Apache Junction, Gilbert, Tempe, Phoenix. It is the coolest view you will ever see. When I get home we will have to hike it because I know you would love it! Here are some pretty good pictures, but in a lot of them I wasn't ready when Brinkerhoff took the picture, so sorry haha! 

Anyways, I hope you all have a fantastic week!  Stay strong and be happy!
Love, Elder Findlay
You are so beautiful to me, can't you see...

My pancake omelet sandwich!
 Probably the best thing I've made here

flame throwing

P-day hike up Flat Iron

me and my g-pa Elder Knudsen

We went to the tip top

A picture sent from the Davis family :)