Thursday, December 28, 2017

Hello Again :) From Merry Mesa! Week #72

Hey Mom! Long time no talk! I hope the rest of your Christmas was good! After talking with you guys I remembered how much I miss you😂 I really enjoyed talking with everyone, you all seem super happy so that’s a good thing. I have the BEST family ever for the record.

 We went over to the Tahiliani’s house after talking with you guys and hung out there for a while. Sister T made a HUGE buffet for us and it was amazing. She is a saint. We played some pool there and hung out with the “Baller” missionaries😂 After that we went back to the Garners and played games with their family, it was a lot of fun. And then they fed us dinner, which was super super good. We would be a wreck without the Garners😜 

Singing at the Temple Christmas Lights was super cool. Literally I was freezing😐 No it was a really fun experience, you could feel the spirit so strong. I think we sounded good for the most part, did you guys watch it on Facebook? (Mom note: It's on the Mesa Temple Christmas Lights and Concerts page on Facebook if you want to see it)  I haven’t looked at the videos yet, not sure if you can see me. They were using an Ipad to film it. We sang for about 30 minutes and then kind of hung out at the Christmas lights afterwards. Sad to think it will be my last time singing in that choir:( That’s okay, I’m not that good of singer anyways😂

I went on a few exchanges this week, I went to a different area twice. It was a lot of fun minus biking in the cold. I didn’t enjoy that very much but I survived it. I’m more of a whimp than I thought. We biked actually a ton and I kind of missed it! I’m sort of looking forward to biking again. Anyways when I went with Elder Orse we went to a Christmas Adam Party. They had a plethora of food and deserts. I about passed out from how much I ate. They also convinced us to sing carols with them while riding on a trailer through the neighborhood. That was pretty fun, I really felt the spirit of Christ as we sang to people and they gratefully waved back at us. Cool experience.  We also had interviews with President Townsend. It was a good time. 

Coming up on 2018 it blows my mind that it’s already here. The year went by too fast. I hope you cherish every moment of life like I try to do haha. It’s seriously such a blessing to be living in a time like we do where we have the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth. We are some of the luckiest of Gods children. We should be engulfing ourselves in the Book of Mormon and serving others. That’s where the true joy comes from. Thanks for being the BEST! I love you sooo much and it was so good to talk to your face. I hope you have an awesome week! HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Love, Elder Findlay

Siblings!

We loved talking to our favorite missionary on Christmas.
 He is very happy in Mesa!

Caroling

Christmas Eve! A gift from the Garners

This was Sister T's dessert table!
Super fancy and there was SOOOO much food!

My boy Elder Parsons! He goes home in January :( 


Thursday, December 21, 2017

7 Days Until My 2nd Christmas in Mesa! Week #71

Hey Mom!

I know 1 week! Super excited to talk to you guys. We will be at the Garners house for Christmas too. We will call you sometime in the morning like around 11:30. I will message Dad on messenger to get everything set up. I will most likely be doing from my iPad again. 

We had a really good week LAST week. THIS WEEK wasn’t as successful. It was actually pretty rough. Sometimes it's hard to keep things going during the holidays.  We had like 8 lessons fall through in a row. Melissa ended up dropping us because she is just too busy to make time to meet with us for now. And another one of our investigators had to be dropped because of the lack of commitment. It’s been hard but Heavenly Father blessed us with a miracle this weekend! We received a referral of a gentlemen named Bill. He is about 50 years old and just decided to check out the Visitors Center on Saturday. He said he wasn't looking for anything specific but he just felt like he needed to go in. The sisters ended up talking with him and then referred him to us. We met with him at the Visitors Center yesterday after church and it was soooo good. He is super sincere and really wants to change his life and follow God more closely. When I taught him about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, he was speechless and the spirit definitely testified to him of the truth of these things. It’s been a while since I’ve taught someone that sincere, I really hope he can be baptized! Well I mean I hope that for everyone but seriously it would be a miracle. 

That’s sweet that Brooke is putting in her papers! Crazy crazy. Life goes by too fast sometimes. Once this year is over time is going to even go faster😭

Sorry for the short email. We had a really long choir practice today for the Temple Christmas lights concert. If you want you can even watch it live on this Facebook page:

Mesa Temple Christmas lights and concerts

That’s if you want to see me sing terribly😂 it should be pretty good. I did get the Christmas package with the 12 days of Christmas. We’ve been doing it every night and it’s been fun😂 Thanks Momma, I will look for my package tomorrow. I have to go to the mission office tomorrow anyways. Sorry again for the super lame email. I just had hardly any time to email today. Tell Dad I loved his email and that I can’t wait to see him next week! I love you Mom. You are the best. Talk to ya next week!
Love, Elder Findlay
The Garners spoil us every Sunday
 with a PRIME lunch😂


We had zone Conference this week and
each missionary got a gift bag. Guess
who it was from? Yeah Citrus Heights Stake,
my last area. They are very generous😂

Part of our area, it’s sketchy at night haha😂

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

It's Merry in Mesa! Week#70

Hi Momma!

Yeah last week was a little crazy, and this week was just about as crazy in some ways. I again saw so many blessings and miracles happen! We had a lot of success with our investigators and the work is moving along really well 😊 

As far as the trio is going, well it’s kind of not now😂 I emailed President Townsend on Monday and told him that I had never been in a tripanionship before so I was excited to see what happens, I then asked what advice he could give me. The morning of transfers, which was on Tuesday, I got a response from him saying that I wouldn’t be in a tripanionship anymore because an Elder from our mission was going home early😭 He was in our district and had only been out for six weeks. So Elder Landbeck will now be be Elder Orse’s new companion. I was super sad, I love that missionary that went home. Funniest missionary I’ve ever met😂  So me and Elder Draper are still going at it together. But now we have 3 beds in our room. They basically told us to keep it for the transfer. There’s literally nowhere to put it so it just takes up space. I’ve tried pushing it up to my bed and make it a king size😂 Yeah that doesn’t work...oh well.

We had first lessons with a few of our investigators this week. Our first one was with Melissa, she went to the Christmas Lights and asked for missionaries to come by and teach her. So we finally met with her and she is AMAZING. She knows hardly anything about religion, even anything about Jesus Christ. Why He is important, what He can do for us, what He has done for us. It was cool to teach about Christ in such a simple way that even a child could understand it, and that’s how we taught Melissa. She really enjoyed it and since then has been reading and praying about the Book of Mormon everyday! We have really high hopes for her😊

We also found a new part-member Family, the Karazcos, in the area that no one knew about! They are a younger couple who have been inactive for most of their lives. Well this week they came to church! And to the ward Christmas party! On top of that her brother, Newton, is like 20 years old. We started teaching him and he wants to be baptized so bad. So we scheduled a baptism for him on January 13th! Hopefully we can help him meet that date. He really wants it and I know God does too😁

I played pool with that inactive member again, it was the most drunk I’d ever seen him. He was falling all over the place and singing as loud as he could. We try to get some spiritual stuff in but he is never in the right mindset to hear. But we almost got him to come to the Christmas party! We are making progress little by little! At the end of our visit he comes up to me and gives the biggest hug and says I love you😂 If you knew him and how he sounds when he talks you would die of laughter, he’s a funny dude! I would be sooo happy to see him become active again. We're going to keep working on him.

I saw that Sister Kenny went to our house haha, she sent me a picture with you guys! It’s weird thinking that she’s back in Pleasant View. Yeah she was in my district her last transfer, so the last six weeks. I served by her in my first area and then never saw her until this last transfer. But it was a super fun transfer haha, good memories. 

So I will be talking to you guys on Christmas which I believe is on a Monday. Not sure what time we will do it yet, it’s too far to tell right now. We are going to be with the Garners on Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Years so we are taken care of pretty well this year😇 

I will look for your 12 Days package this week, thanks mom! :) Thanks for everything you do for me Mom! You are such a saint! I hope everyone has a good week. I love this season, I love my mission, and I love my Savior Jesus Christ! #LightTheWorld

Love, Elder Findlay
Some Nativities at the Temple Lights

Our Christmas set up.



My boy Salem (Elder Karren...a previous comp)
was back in Mesa for a few days!

This is TJ. It was cool because Salem came back and
 we were all reunited. Hopefully he gets baptized soon. 

My boy Elder Thompson and Jake on the left

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Light the World... Week #69

Hey Mom!

It’s finally December!! And it’s going by fast already! I had a super successful last week of the transfer. I saw so many miracles take place and I can’t thank Heavenly Father enough for bringing about those miracles. For the last five weeks we’ve been struggling to find people to teach and I’ve really just tried figuring out which families in the area to focus on. This week we received 8 referrals, I’m serious 8! It was so crazy! We picked up 3 new investigators and now we are staying super busy and are having a lot of success! Two of the investigators we picked up want to be baptized and we will be working with them. The rest are referrals from the Temple Christmas Lights, that means they requested a missionary visit to their home. Super awesome, the VC has been getting over 60 referrals a night. Huge blessing to missionary work!👍 Now our area is pretty poppin, luckily me and Elder Draper are staying.......but there’s a catch😅

We received transfer news on Saturday this week and found out that we are both staying thank goodness, but we are getting another companion....so we will be in a tripanionship. I’m not sure how I feel about that, honestly because we can hardly fit two people in our place and now three...oh boy. I hope he’s clean😂 His name is Elder Landbeck, he’s from Maryland.  It will be good though, he and Elder Draper will get along really well, they both like the same sort of stuff. Now I get to be Senior Companion of two missionaries😂 I’m sure it will be fun, we will make it work. 

So this week was a big change with missionary work, we got our Smartphone!! It’s super crazy I know. We share one as a companionship, except the new missionaries that come out they will already have their own phones. So now I cruise around with my iPad and smartphone haha, such spoiled missionaries. It’s nice because we have data on it which means we don’t have to go to the church every 5 minutes to sync our areabook.  It has a hotspot which is handy dandy. I feel super weird with it sometimes, it’s a Samsung galaxy - similar to my phone before I left. The one Jack has😂 Anyways it’s just weird. But I like it a lot. Contacting people is a lot easier and now we can finally use group texting! Good stuff.

I got to play pool with a crazy dude😂 It was nuts. He’s a member but very inactive, I almost won but still lost because I stink at pool😂 I told him if I beat him he has to come to church, he agreed. Rematch next week. 

The week started off a little hectic I have to say. On Tuesday morning I was doing my personal study in our room when I smelt some weird smelling smoke. I thought it was coming from outside because our windows were open but then I realized that it was coming from the laundry room. So I went in and it was all smokey and I couldn’t figure out what it was. Nothing was on in there so I had no idea where the smoke was coming from. No one was home but me and Elder Draper, so I called 911 and the fire department came and checked it out. Turns out it was an electrical fire that was caused from the water heater somehow. Luckily the fire fizzled out by itself! Jk it wasn’t luck at all, I know God put it out for us. He’s watching out for us😁 I’m glad our house didn’t burn down😂 So basically we didn’t have a water heater all week so we had cold showers everyday....that has been a good waker uper😂 But seriously now I have a testimony of hot water

Salt Lake is looking the same! Except the light the world vending machines, aren’t those the best! We don’t have any here but they look sweet. I bet the wait to donate was worth it. That’s basically what I share with everyone I meet, Light The World. Everyone needs to hear a good message and feel the true spirit of Christmas.

Man Jack looks like a straight up G😂 When I left he was just a little guy. That’s cool that he played some ball with Christian. 

Well I think that’s about it for this week. I’m super excited for this next transfer and I see a lot of success happening! I love you so much Mom! Have a good week!


Love Elder Findlay

Old Ford suits me well :)


I love Elder Sharp

Last district lunch

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Most Bizarre Week of my Mission! Mesa Week #68

What’s up Mom!

How goes it it Utah? Well I probably had one of the most eventful weeks of my mission this week😂 I saw so many people from my hometown! Running into the Marriotts, Naylors, and Markers was a treat! Yeah it was cool seeing the Marriotts at the temple, they seemed to be doing good. Bayleigh seemed pretty excited about getting out to the mission field. When I ran into the Naylors I was just walking through the Temple lights and I heard someone scream my name, then I was tackle hugged by Jeff😂 It was really good to see him. For those who don’t know he was my young men’s president growing up. THEN we went back to the our place and I was cleaning for our housing inspection the next morning when I heard the doorbell ring. I was like who could that possibly be, and it was Rob Marker😂 I was like no way, I must be dreaming haha, so their whole family came into our living room and we talked for a while. Man all of their kids are WAY bigger than when I left. It’s so weird! As far as how I felt seeing everyone I felt fine, it was different that’s for sure. But it was definitely a tender mercy from Heavenly Father. He gives me those a lot, I try to always be grateful for them😁

So we live with members and the Schnebly’s asked us if we could move a bunch of boxes of books from their front yard to their back yard sometime. There was no way me and Elder Draper could do that ourselves, so we got the whole district together and we did it in an hour or so on Wednesday morning. It was super tiring, those boxes weighed like 40-50 lbs each. I was so dead after it. Sister Schnebly also made us some delicious breakfast so it was a good morning. Our district is pretty tight so there is never a quiet moment😂

Thanksgiving was BOMB as ever. Every year Mesa does the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 5k and 10k. It’s a pretty huge deal, a ton of people showed up. We volunteered to help out there in the morning because what better thing to do on Thanksgiving! We were first assigned to direct the parking lot traffic, not my favorite thing haha. But it worked out, people just aren’t good at listening😒 After everyone was parked we helped out at the water stations on the course. I got to show off my lighting fast cup placing skills, preparing the Sacrament prepared me for this very moment in my life😂 There were a handful of missionaries running and every time they ran by we would just throw cups of water on them, and basically just started a huge water fight. We went with Elder Bland and  Elder Crossly which made it that much more fun!

We ate Thanksgiving dinner with the Garners. The service took up most of the morning and early afternoon, so by the time we were done with our studies and getting ready it was time to go to dinner. Brother Garner made a super good fried turkey which was a new experience for me. I’ve never had that before, and I approve. They had a ton of family there. The Garners are such a great family, they are a young family. Anyways Brother Garner lives right next to his Mom’s house and he has 10 siblings, 5 of which still live at his moms. The cool thing about those 5 is that they are special needs and they are ANGELS. One of them is Garrett, he has down syndrome and he can’t speak. So he’s been teaching me some sign language haha, he’s taught me to sign the words crazy and poop😂 It was fun to have Thanksgiving with all of them, whenever I’m around them I always feel the spirit. They all have such pure spirits. You can’t help but feel a piece of heaven when your around them. God loves ALL of his children.  

THE TEMPLE LIGHTS ARE THE GREATEST THING OF MY LIFE OH MY GOODNESS. They are super pretty this year, they have a ton more lights than last year. We don’t work there at all, we just bring investigators or other people to enjoy them. But it’s been such a blessing, we’ve already received a few solid referrals which we desperately needed!! Such a huge missionary tool here in Mesa. The first night they had over 6,000 people there and it was so cool. Since we live so close we walk through the lights every night on our way home, we are the luckiest missionaries to live right across the street from it. Everyday I’m grateful for that. And we have already received 2 referrals from it!

Time flies by here. Everyday I wake up under my covers thinking "wasn't I literally just here?"😂 The weeks are like days to me. This week was great. We stayed busy for the most part. We are working with a young boy named Logan, he is almost 9 and isn’t baptized yet so we are helping him progress towards that. His mom is a convert of just over a year so she is still learning a lot. It’s good though, we are slowly having more and more work. We’ve been working with a less active member who finally came to church this week! He really enjoyed it so that was a huge miracle.

Today for p-day we had another good ball sesh. I invited TJ, the one who me and Elder Karren taught in Las Sendas. He is such a baller and he brought his friend who is super good too. Our team went undefeated😂 It was the first time I saw TJ since I was transferred. He’s gone to church the last 3 weeks, loves the YSA Ward, and is intending on being baptized here pretty soon. Salem(Elder Karren) has been messaging him from home and is planning on coming up this next month. So we will all get together and do something fun. 

I love my mission and I especially love the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know it’s true and it is definitely the greatest thing you could possibly have. I love you Mom! Your the best!

Love, Elder Findlay

Mesa Temple Lights!!!



The Naylors found me at the temple lights!

Ran into the Marriotts at the Mesa Temple too!
Bayleigh took out her endowments and is going to leave for her mission to Santiago, Chile in a few weeks

The Markers found me too!!!

Thanks for the doughnuts Josh, Melisa, Jett & Amelia!

My district is the bomb!

     The sisters at the visitors center made this   
“I’m a Mormon” thing and for some 
reason I’m the only Elder in it😂 

I found the white version of my car!!


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Doughnuts for Days! Week #67

Hey Momma!

Happy almost Thanksgiving!! I can’t believe it’s that time of year again.  I am getting ready for the loads of food we will eat this week...yes! We have plans to go to the Garner's house for Thanksgiving. They are the BEST family ever. We will also be going over there for Christmas Eve and Christmas. Plus they feed us like twice a week anyways. They are such a blessing to us. 

I’ve been getting into the holiday spirit lately, I’ve been bringing out the Christmas vibes😂 On Saturday we had the chance to go out to Globe for a baptism of one of the investigators Elder Draper taught when he was there. Elder Jackson also came with us so we were in a trio for the day. Anyways the drive over there is like an hour and a half. We basically sang Christmas music at the top of our lungs the whole time. Then on the ride back we were wiped out and slept. Luckily I drove up so I didn’t have to drive back. It was a fun little road trip. It was super cool as far as the temperature goes up there. Like 10 or 15 degrees cooler. They get snow in December usually so we are planning to go up there again and experience the snow. I miss snow sooo much. Christmas isn’t the same without it😂

I had a cool experience this week. It was on Monday night and the time was around 8:30ish. We were both wiped out and it was kind of a rough day. Anyways I was thinking to myself and then I told Elder Draper that we needed something to cheer us up. So I said we are going to get some donuts😂 We live near a donut shop and so we went there. We get into the shop and I started talking to the lady at the register, turns she had just moved from out of state a few months ago and started working there. Her name was Portia and as I was talking to her I felt prompted to invite her to the temple Christmas lights. She had never heard of them and we talked some more and it turns out she is a member of recent. She said she hadn’t been able to find where her ward meets or when it was. She said she had no idea how to find that out, so she just hadn’t been going. She felt helpless. We figured out where her ward met and connected her with her Bishop and the missionaries there. She was super super happy, she even gave us free donuts😂 Anyways it was a little tender mercy but it had an impact on me. There are people all around us who are searching for the Savior, who don’t know where to find Him. In this experience it was a literal search, but there are lost sheep looking for their shepherd and we are the means of helping them find their way. As we go about our day, look for those lost sheep and reach out to them. It’s an everyday joy we can experience!😁

Also random answer from last email, yes I did get my flu shot. It was in October. So I should hopefully be good for the next year. I did catch a cold the last few days though. The cold weather isn’t helping either😂 Mom!! I’m such a wimp!!! It’s like 70 degrees and I’m FREEZING cold all the time! I’ve been wearing hoodies every chance I get. I guess AZ got the best of me... Anyways I hope my cold goes away soon. A bunch of people have it so it’s going around. I should be fine though, still kicking. 

We had fun mission blessing the other day! We had district meeting this week and had a district lunch after. Well we were feeling expensive so we decided to go to The Cheesecake Factory😅 Yep us poor missionaries. Luckily I don’t spend a ton of money on food, I’m pretty good about saving money. So I could afford it but I’m not sure about the other missionaries. There were 8 of us there. We were just about to order when a guy comes up to me, gives me his credit card and business card and says “I am one of the three Nephites, buy whatever you want and drop my card off at my office when you're done”. And then he just walked away😂😂 I was like what just happened?!, so that’s when I knew without a doubt that we are some of the most spoiled missionaries😅 I am so grateful for all of the wonderful people in Mesa. They are everywhere and they are angels in disguise. As we were driving away I saw this poor homeless dude on the side of the road. I felt really bad because I just ate at a ridiculously expensive restaurant and this guy can barely feed himself. I got a slice of strawberry cheesecake to go and let me tell ya, I wanted it sooo bad, but I would’ve felt terrible if I didn’t give it to him. So I gave it to him, he was really grateful and I felt the love of Christ and I know he did too. Again there are so many little opportunities for us to help people feel the love of Christ, especially this holiday season. 

We had a good ball sesh today right before our music practice for the Christmas lights. Over half the mission was there watching us ball. I got a sick alley oop dunk that I wish I would’ve got on film...it’s okay I have a lot of witnesses😂 Anyways I love mission ball, it’s the best. But I love my mission more. I am so happy to be here in Mesa serving the Lord.  I wouldn’t change it for the world. I feel the spirit so often and there is no better thing. I love the Gospel and I know it’s true. I want to share it with everyone.  I love you so much Momma!! You are the best. Thanks for being the best. Have a great week!


Love, Elder Findlay

My awesome district

He's out! ;)

Here's a short clip of my and my boy Elder Thompson. This dunk isn't clean but the one I didn't get on video was legendary!  haha
Mission ball is the best


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Blessings on Blessings on Blessings Week #66

Hey Mom!

Man I have a lot to talk about this week, we'll sort of. It seems like we do a ton and then when it's time to recap in your weekly letter you kind of forget what you did throughout the week a little bit haha. I would be lost without my journal! I'm happy to say that we are finding more success day by day. It's slower but it is success. I've really seen Heavenly Father's hand in my life this week. There have been a lot of learning experiences that I've been able to have and grow from. Basically we've trying really hard to contact all of our investigators in our area book. There are still a handful of people that I haven't been able to meet but this week I was able to meet with more. 

I've been really trying to figure out what is going to work best in this area. I talked to President about it and said that our focus in this area especially should be on part member families and so that's what we are beginning to do. So far there are a couple families that we are working with. The Sanchez Family and Torres family. Super good families that just need some spiritual help and I'm really excited to help them. Plus their kids are soooo funny, man I love Hispanics! They are the kindest people. I went on exchanges with Elder Orse a few days ago and there was a huge fiesta going in an apartment complex. We were walking through and they all just invited us in haha. They didn't speak English and we didn't speak Spanish but we had a good time! I managed to communicate just a little bit though thanks to jr high Spanish, which I was terrible at by the way, and also with the Lord's help of course. They even fed us😂 I got this nice looking fish head and it wasn't bad actually...I just couldn't look at the face while eating😂 good stuff 

Since we live right by the temple sometimes before we go in for the night we sit on the benches on the temple grounds and message people. There is just a really special feeling there. Anyways they are putting up all of the Christmas lights and decorations! It's looking super good, man I cannot wait for Christmas. Still my favorite holiday by far. It's going to be such a great missionary tool especially because I'm literally right next to it so we will most likely receive a lot of referrals. We are super lucky to have the Visitors center in our mission because it brings in soooooo many referrals. Blessings on blessings on blessings. Plus we've been handing out Christmas light cards like candy and people love it. Another reason why I love my mission!😂

So I've been trying really hard to meet each member of the bishopric in each ward and I was finally able to do that this week......but then they re-organized the bishopric in Pioneer ward😐So I guess I will get to do it again, lucky me! 

Yes I would like to receive Hailey's and Greyson's emails haha, if it's not too much of a hassle. They are both crack ups so I'm good with that. And lucky for me I get regular food, mostly. Poor Greyson (a friend serving in Guatemala that has had several bad cases of food poisoning), my stomach is weak and so I'm glad I'm serving in America. Actually where I'm at right now all the local people call it Mesaco😂 I'm trying to learn as much Spanish as I can...

So school is the big question for me right now. (He needs to register for fall semester soon).  I'm torn between Utah state and BYU Idaho right now. I'm not sure where I want to go. Most of my friends from home are going to Utah state as well as a bunch of friends from my mission. I also kind of want to stay in Utah but I don't know. BUT I also feel like BYU I would be a great place for me....what do you think? But ultimately I know it's up to me. I will definitely need the Lords help with this one.

Well it's been an awesome week. Sorry nothing too exciting to report but, hopefully next week there will be more excitement! I love reading your emails and seeing everything at home go well! Have a good week Momma! Love you!

Our new district

Cool graffiti wall

Pueblo Zone

My fish head dinner.
 See mom, I'm not such a picky eater anymore!

Elder Orse and I with Roberto the fish dude

The kids are the BEST! :)