Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmas in Paradise! Mesa Mission Week 19

What's up Mom! I can't believe I'm already writing to you again, I could have sworn I just wrote you like yesterday haha! Well Christmas is coming up! Got all the Christmas shopping done? Haha its such a crazy time of year, even as a missionary. 

1st day of Exchanges was sooooo much fun. Probably the best exchange I've been on. I went with Elder Calio in his area, and guess what? They have a car and so I got to drive. Man I miss driving, it was fun. Elder Calio is from Italy and so he has the funniest accent, love him ha! We get along really well, and we just laughed the whole time we were doing stuff. This morning we had an extra hour of study for Elder Calio because he is learning English, that was awesome for me because I had an extra hour of study! I wish we could do that everyday. Elder Calio and Bischoff actually live in my bishops house, bishop Allen, so I get to see him a lot! We then went to visit a member in their area who owns one of the biggest car washes in Mesa and went to his office. His office was sooooo sick, he had Jordan basketball shoes all around his office for sale. It was all I could do to resist drooling over them. That's my weakness right there, so unfair😂 anyways the guy had a massive fish tank in his office, he had hundreds of fish/starfish/eels and there was a short in one of the wires so it killed everything in the tank. He had spent over $10,000 dollars on the fish and he was soooo sad. I felt bad for the dude. But his office was super cool. That night we went and played basketball with a bunch of guys from their ward and then a TON of investigators. It was so sick, they were all tattoos dudes and we played hard! I had my game going for me and they all liked me so they want me and my companion to come back next week! That was the most fun I've had playing basketball here! Like I tell everyone, basketball is the best missionary tool. When you play the game having chemistry with one another, you really bond with the person and that's how you can begin to share with them what you know to be true. 

Day 2 of exchanges: Today I was with Elder Bodily in my area. It was a crazy busy day. He was waiting for a visa to go to Brazil where he was originally called. So he leaves to Brazil on the 2nd of January. We had 4 hours of study because he had to do 12 week and language study. It was awesome for me because again I had an extra hour of study! Love it! Because of the crazy morning with exchanges and everything that took us to dinner with the Iurato's which was awesome. Their daughter Jamie returned from her mission from Australia a little while ago and now she is playing college soccer for ASU and she leads the nation in scoring, she's pretty funny haha! Then to end off our night we met a bunch of crazy people and so yeah haha!

Day 3 of exchanges: Well today I was with Elder Klaus in his area. We had a pretty awesome day! We were able to go to the temple with our zone and President and Sister Townsend. It was really awesome, probably the last time we will be able to go with them for a while. It was super spiritual! We had a really good time there. Then afterwards we had a short zone conference which was great. We talked about the Savior being the bread of life and how we need to realize that he is the bread of life and that we will never thirst or hunger spiritually or physically if we follow his teachings. That night we visited this family and gave the dad a blessing. He then showed me his old Camaro in his garage so we talked for like an hour about it haha! I can really talk cars for days, love them ha! They gave us some eggnog and Elder Klaus is from Brazil so he hasn't had any before so he got his first glass full. He drank the whole thing politely and then as we were biking away he said how terrible it was haha! Just the way he said it in his Brazilian accent was hilarious! Eggnog has really worn on me here, you know how back home I never really liked it? Well now I think I'm beginning to like it haha! Your mission really changes how you eat. Your going to think I'm crazy for saying this but before my mission I was a super picky eater. Everything had to be super plain but now I don't care anymore. I just eat whatever I get and its alright! I know it's hard to believe! The only thing that still gets me is onions though, my tastebuds haven't changed for those things. Anyways after that we went to an investigators house that Elder Klaus had never met because the guy was a referral. We went to the door and he was busy working on his car and so I asked him if I could see it. He opened his garage and he had I think it was an Austin Healy. I think that's what it was called but I don't remember. He was making a fiberglass dash for it and it was pretty cool so we went on again talking about cars for a while and he opened up to us! It was awesome, we then scheduled an appointment with him. Crazy crazy day.

Sunday was super good! At church the Tapias came and then some less active people! Oh and we gave talks in 60th ward, that was great. Not really... I still don't like giving talks haha but it was on D&C 19:23. Glad to have that out of the way ;) We were able to have dinner with the Booths again, if you don't remember they were the family that we had dinner with on Thanksgiving! Such and awesome family and sister Booth is a really good cook. And guess what? She made me orange rolls because on thanksgiving we talked about our family traditions and that's what I said mine was! They were soooooooooo good but not the same as yours Mom. I can taste the love in yours ha! We found 3 new investigators and met some really awesome people! We hardly had to bike on Sunday so we were super happy about that! 

Well Christmas is next week whoa, it sneaks up pretty quick! I can't believe its that time of year again. I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!!!  I am so excited to talk to you all.  I love you sooooo much and can't wait until Sunday! I'm super hyped for it! I hope you have an amazing week! 

Love Elder Findlay
Met this little guy on exchanges, he's rocking my glasses

This is all of us on our first day and now we've been out 4 months! Time is flyin by

sweet old Camero

I sent you guys a package today so it should come sometime this week! I hope you all like it! Don't worry I didn't spend a million dollars on it either haha! Don't mind my face also, I was super tired that night😂

Monday, December 12, 2016

Mesa December - Week 18

How’s the Christmas season? Good I hope! All has been awesome here in Arizona. It was super nice here, I think it was like 60-70 degrees all week and ☀😎 I went on three exchanges this week and it was tiring, I'm so glad it's p-day.

( I asked him if he cooks anything) I think the only thing that I love to cook here is my homemade breakfast sandwiches. I just buy English muffins, sausage, cheese, and eggs. It’s super simple and it is delicious! Love it! I did get your packages also! Thanks so much! Man holy cow the mission office is going bezerk with all of the Christmas packages coming in. Like seriously there was a whole room just full of packages. But I got mine just before the chaos:) 

What's with wards doing Christmas parties in the mornings now? It’s way better at night😂 With the 30th ward we had it at night and ate Jalepeno bucks:) sooooo good. Then the 60th ward was in the morning,  and they did like a story book theme which was cool and then had cinnamon rolls after. And you want to hear something funny? I honestly feel like the 30th ward is bigger than our ward back home, it is HUGE! And I shared my testimony last week to all of those people and it was scary😝

This week we had an awesome zone conference. President Gavarett of the seventy came and shared his thoughts and experiences on missionary work. He is such a spiritual person and a phenomenal teacher! He is from Spain and had an awesome accent. We talked a lot about our mission statement and our purpose as representatives of Jesus Christ. I don't remember if I told you our mission statement but here it is:

Behold I am a disciple of Jesus Christ
I have been called of Him to declare His word among
His people that they might have everlasting life.
We teach repentance and baptized converts.
📕We are a preach my gospel mission📕
We live by consecration, we sow exact obedience🌰,
we grow mighty faith🌱, we harvest precious souls
🙏We expect and facilitate daily miracles 🙏
We talk with everyone, we find with faith,
we teach with power💪💥, we baptized monthly
We are happy, dignified and hard working
❤We love God and show charity for all his children ❤
We are Arizona Mesa Missionaries🌅

Me and Elder Parra and Elder Gull put in all the emojis but it is what we live by in the Mesa Mission. One thing that I learned and thought was cool from Elder Gavarett was that he told us to express our testimony in our prayers. I never thought to do that before so I am definitely trying to implement that idea into my daily prayers. We got out of the meeting at 4 so it was really long. Since Elder Eaton is district leader he has to go on exchanges with everyone in our district which means that I get to go on 7 exchanges this transfer! Whooo! I'm not a very big fan of them yet but I'm sure I will be. So anyways I was on exchanges with Elder Bischoff and we then had dinner with the walkers, they are missionary couple and we had a good time. They are from West Haven and they came out about the same time as I did. After that we went straight to our ward Christmas party and ate more food! I'm pretty sure we had 5 or 6 meals on Friday because during the meeting they fed us a bunch. But the ward party was great. I kid you not though, the 30th ward here is bigger than our ward back home and we live in Utah! I'm serious when I say that it is HUGE! We visited one of our investigators named Torrey. He is a super nice person and his wife too, she is a member. They are struggling a little and if they can't pay rent then they will have to move. That would be a bummer because we just got him on date for baptism and it would have to be postponed. So we are praying for him and hope everything works out!

I had the chance to go to the Visitors Center twice on Saturday! I was still with Elder Bischoff at the time and we had an investigator coming named Billy. We were going to be watching the Joseph Smith movie. She called us like 10-15 min before saying that she was on her way so we were super excited! We got to the VC and she never showed up:( super sad, it would have been so good for her but I guess next time! Later we exchanged back so I was with Elder Eaton again and we got to go to the VC again! Man I love that place, we watched the Joseph Smith movie with the Tapia family. They loved it! After it was over and we were all leaving a Brother pulled us aside and asked us for a blessing. He has been having some struggles in his life. He broke down emotionally while we were talking to him and just felt lost and didn't know what to do. Right then and there I just felt the spirit really strong and when I say that I mean my love for him and his family went up like crazy. I felt like I was talking to myself when I was talking to him because there have been times in my life when I have felt lost, helpless, and didn't know what to do. I just felt a connection with him and then I was able to give him a blessing. It was a tender mercy that I will never forget. That's why it is so important to be a ready worthy priesthood holder of God. You never know when someone is going to reach out their hand asking for help.

Sunday Sunday Sunday. The most tiring day of the week. We had two investigators come to church! It’s the best feeling when you see your investigators keeping commitments! It makes you hyped😂we had the awesome opportunity to teach Gospel Principles class on eternal families. I love teaching because you are able to help someone learn and grow and by doing that you learn from yourself and grow as well. I learned so much by teaching about families! It just reminded me how much I love you guys! You are more than everything to me, I always tell people there is no way I would be on my mission if it wasn't for my family. Everything I do out here is for my Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and my family. The three most important things in my life! Since Elder Eaton is district leader every Sunday night he gets the numbers from our district members for the week and sees how they are doing. I just chill with elder Quist and Watmough, they are funny guys haha! 

Well this next coming week I get to do four more exchanges! They are good but I'm glad to be almost done with them so we can focus on our area more:) I hope everyone has the best week back at home! Remember the true meaning of Christmas! Without our Savior we would have nothing! I can't tell you how excited I am to talk to you guys on Christmas! LOVE YOU!
Arizona Mesa missionaries at the twinkie fun run on Thanksgiving

Eating dinner with a great family! They had us wear aprons so we wouldn't mess up our shirts...haha!
A member had some snow from Utah so I got a taste of it!

First time on my mission to chill in my hammock for a minute :)

Our tree...Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Summa Time Week #17

Heyo from Mesa! Man I can't believe its already p-day again! Like I say in every email, time flies by. I loved loved loved getting your email mom! It made my day!  How is everything back home coming into the month of December? House decorated? Lights up? If they are I would love to see pictures! We decorated our apartment! Haha its pretty cozy here, I love it! And how's the weather? Is my car covered in snow?😭 

This week I have really loved. It's been the best week on my mission. We had so many good things happen. After a week and a half of being in the area we got 3 people on date for baptism and doubled the size of our teaching pool. If you work and do what the Lord wants, he will deliver😇 

Wednesday was probably my favorite day of the week, really fun and successful! We had district meeting in the morning for the first time in our new district. Elder Eaton is our district leader so he and I got everything ready for it. It turned out really good and our district is pretty funny! I was kind of hesitant at first towards my district but they are good. Later in the afternoon we helped this one family move out and that was pretty fun, a good chunk of the priest quorum came and I love them haha! They are like a reflection of our once priest quorum in the 7th ward! They reminded me so much of the guys in my quorum. Same's crazy. I love my quorum back home and here. I kid you not they are like identical ha! Its pretty awesome! We had dinner with the Arnetts and they are the nicest people, I think I found my grandparents for this ward! They are super nice people and love the missionaries! We finished off the night by having some really cool visits! We visited one of our new investigators named Patrick, he just had knee surgery and so we gave him a priesthood blessing. We hope and pray that he will see the results of a priesthood blessing and connect the dots! After that we visited the Tapia's. They are less actives and we had an awesome lesson on the Plan of Salvation! Their two sons Gabriel and Israel are 10 and 9 and very smart. We were feeling the spirit and asked them to be baptized and they totally want to! We set their date for January 21st and I've never seen anyone more excited for baptism than they are! The Lord really works his miracles in his vineyard, people are out there everywhere ready to receive the gospel. Its up to us to find them and help them.

First day of December was great!!! We taught two of our investigators at the same time and it was soooo good! Their names are Patrick and Phylicia and they are the nicest people. We taught the restoration and it literally took 2 hours because they had so many questions. It's always a good sign when they are really thinking about what you say. They know a lot about the Bible and are really excited to read the BOM. That night we were able to go to the Mesa Temple Christmas lights for the first time! It was beautiful! It was just as good as temple square, maybe even better. I tried getting some pictures but they didn't turn out super well but I hope you like them! Josh emailed me saying when they are coming to Mesa. I'm super excited for that. We want to meet up at the Christmas lights sometime! It will be fun to see them! 

Loved last Sunday! We had an awesome time at both of our wards! The Tapias came to church today which was so great! They have the two boys who we got on date for baptism this week. Sister Arrington came to church for the first time in a while as well! We were super happy about that! Since today was fast Sunday that meant fast and testimony meeting. Being new missionaries in the area we got to bare our testimony in front of both our wards! People think that missionaries don't get afraid of talking in front of a lot of people but holy cow I still do! haha!😂 maybe someday it will become easier. Anyways we had to really rush from church to dinner because the 60th ward ends at 4:30 and dinner is at 5. We got to eat with the Flakes and they are such nice people, I felt like I was eating Christmas dinner with the family! It was that good. We got the opportunity to watch the Christmas Devotional on BYU tv at Bishop Allens house. Super super good, it was great because every time the choir came on screen, I saw my dentist and Mrs Woods my 7th grade English teacher!😂 We were able to have an investigator of ours watch it with us and they really enjoyed it. We finished of the night by having a lesson with two more new investigators! Billy and Diego! Billy is super awesome! She was really interested in what we had to share about the restoration and kept on asking questions. She really likes the Mormon church but is afraid to stick with one religion because she feels like their is more out there. We need to help her realize that this is the only true and full church of Christ on the earth today. It was such a fun lesson to teach, she is definitely on the path towards baptism. The Lord has blessed us so much by giving us the knowledge of the restored gospel. I am finally beginning to love it. Today I can honestly say it was the first time that I truly loved serving. Its been a bit of a struggle for me to find happiness and joy in the work, but I finally think I am getting it down! 

I love you so much Mom, your the best out there. I love getting pictures of everyone back home. Its nice to see that things are going well! I pray for you everyday and hope you have the best of weeks!😊LOVE YOU!❤️