Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Nice in Mesa Week #59

Hey Mom!!

Man the last few days have been a dream. The weather is sooo nice. It makes things so much more enjoyable. Sorry it's getting cold in UT, the good weather is just getting started here :) Yeah a member told me some of UT got some snow already, deep inside I knew you probably weren't excited about that. 

I did get to eat dinner with Melisa's (Cameron's aunt) parents! It was really awesome! They took us out for dinner and we had a good conversation. They were super kind to me and they said that if I ever need a place to stay, food, money, etc., they will help me out. It was a good time. Afterwards they even took us to a lesson with our investigator Al. And they picked us up afterwards. They are very kind people.  Even after a year I am still making connections in Mesa! 

I had a good week this week. I went on a bunch of exchanges with the elders in our district. The cool thing about it is that I'm in the same district I was in when I first came on the mission. So I was able to go to my greenie area twice! I loved it soooo much! I was able to stop by and visit so many people that I had taught previously and man were they excited to see me! My favorite part was that I was able to visit the Venegas family. Sister Venegas and her two sons were baptized when I was serving in that area and are now doing awesome! They are getting ready to go to the temple and do baptisms and they want me to be there so I'm really looking forward to that. I had another cool experience being in my first area. There was a lady I taught, her name was Angie. We had taught her a lot and she was on date for baptism and ready to go. Then I was transferred. Apparently for the last year the missionaries haven't been able to get into her home and teach her. I decided to drop by this week and she was really excited to see me and to make a long story short she is now going to meet with the missionaries again! I was super excited about it. I love seeing miracles like that. 

Nothing else too exciting happened this week. One thing that I learned this week was that the Book of Mormon can be applied to anyone and everyone. No matter what situation you are in or what obstacles you have ahead of you, The Book of Mormon can be applied to you and your circumstances. Why? Because God truly does know us personally. There is no doubt in my mind that He does. 

Sorry for the really short email, I don't have too much time today. I love you more than you know Mom. You are always in my prayers. Thanks for always sharing your testimony with me, it helps me strengthen mine a lot. It makes being on a mission easier knowing that your family has a love for the gospel. Have a great week! 

Love, Elder Findlay

Sorry no pictures this week 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Newness in Mesa Week #58

Hey Momma! 

Yep transfers went pretty well! It was tough sending Elder Karren home though, he's become one of my best friends. He emailed me and said that all is well in Logan. He said Zane(Elder Nuttall) went to his homecoming talk! Kind of funny that my last two companions are home and hanging out with each other already. They are both doing really good. I love those guys. You seriously make the best of friends on your mission, that's been one of my favorite things about it. 

Our new house is a pretty sweet place. We live in our area with the Brown Family. Elder Brown is actually our mission bike coordinator so I've known him for a while. It's pretty cool that I get to live with them. This is the first time they've housed missionaries. And Sister Brown is a saint, she is already spoiling us. We live in the basement and it's so nice! And it's cool down there which is a blessing in AZ. And here's the plus...we both have queen sized beds😂 It's a really weird feeling, the first night I slept in it I felt like I was home in my own bed. Now I'm used to it though. Sister Brown provided all of the bedding and it's really nice. We have a super nice bathroom too. It's big and easy to keep clean. Our kitchen is nice, we have our own mini-fridge and it works out great. In the mornings for exercise we go outside and shoot hoops, so it feels just like home. 

Elder Bird was here for a transfer before me. He is from Salmon Idaho. Since we cover four wards our Sundays are soooo crazy. We do a lot of splits in order to attend all of our meetings. I went to 3 of the wards and will go to the the 4th next week. The Bishops in each of the wards are awesome! This area is so member dense. The wards are massive. The Stake is super active, to give you an idea 88% of the members are full tithe payers. I feel like I'm in a mini Utah😂 But I really really enjoyed it this week. I was really upset that I was leaving my last area because I love the people so much, but after meeting the amazing people that I did this week, my attitude has changed. One of my Ward Mission Leaders is a returned Mission President and he is such a good person. I felt really loved when I met with him. He knows how to make missionaries feel good and knows what missionary work is all about. I'm really excited to work with him and learn from him. 

Biking has been really stressful because we are both still trying to figure out the area. We have a car with 300 miles a month. That gives us about 10 miles a day. And that goes by really fast. Elder Bird hates biking, so I normally have to drag him into it😅. The area is a good mix economically, but there are a ton of really wealthy neighborhoods. I'm happy to say that there is so much more work happening here than in my last area. We have 3 people on date for baptism, I'm still trying to meet them but I've met almost everyone. We are teaching a man named Chen, he is from China. He is getting baptized in October. Has a very strong testimony of the Gospel and is very excited to be baptized. We are also teaching a gentlemen named Al, yep another Al😂 He is so solid. He comes to church every week, knows the church is true, and has the strongest desire to be baptized. He has come a long way and has changed everything in order to be where he is now. In order for him to be baptized he needs to go back to California where he lived before and take care of some things. So it's just a matter of getting him over there. Other than that we have a few other people we are teaching. This week we taught a young lady named Taz. She was just baptized and now we are teaching her the new member lessons, she's great. 

This coming week will be really exciting! I found out that my district leader is serving in my greenie area and I will be able to go back for exchanges! I have two exchanges this week and both days I will be in that area! I'm super excited. They told me that Sister Venegas, the lady who we taught and was baptized, she is now doing her visiting teaching with an innactive member and is helping her come back to church! I love seeing things like that happen. So if you couldn't tell I'm really excited about going back! 

As far as dinner appointments goes, we actually haven't had too many. But the members I did meet with were awesome. To answer your question about me being picky or not, I'm definitely not as picky anymore that's for sure. I eat whatever people give me and I enjoy it. I still don't like onions though, I still struggle with that one haha. And I'm still warming up to tomatoes😁. By the way that food at grandmas look really good. I still think Grandma Susan's cooking beats all the good food I've had here. 

I've definitely seen Gods hand in my life this last week. He has helped me know the area in such a short period of time. Last night we had a Stake General Priesthood meeting and I felt the spirit really strong. President Bawden, our Stake president, talked about teaching our children the principles of the gospel so that they not only hear it, but understand it. I kept thinking about my family and how well they taught me the gospel. I couldn't have asked for better parents or a better family. I am grateful for them and know that I can be with them for eternity. Thanks for all of the love Mom! I love you so much, have a good week in UT!
Love, Elder Findlay
We had a truck for a week. I was in love with it!

I am so spoiled in my queen sized bed.
My bed is the one made ;)

My works perfect

A glimpse of my area

This is one of my investigators homes 

Everyday I walk down the stairs and get to look at this..JIMMER! I get along really well with the Brown family.  They love basketball like I do ☺

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Adios Amigos! Transfer time in Mesa week #57


Its that time again! Transfer week! This past transfer disappeared into oblivion. Sometimes it was slow but even when it's slow it's super fast. I did find out on Saturday that I will be transferred. I am really bummed about it, I will miss this area a lot. I love the people here and even though the work is slow, I'm going to be jealous of the missionaries who serve in these wards. Actually funny story, Elder Child will be one of the new missionaries in my area! He's excited, I've told him all about it. Sunday was hard saying goodbye to everyone but I will be back to visit. I have had plenty of homes offered for us to stay at when we all come to Mesa after my mission😁 

As far as where I will be going and who my new companion will be, I am going to the Citrus Heights Stake. My new companion is Elder Bird😂 He actually came out with me. He lives to play basketball, that's the first thing he told me when we met. He was Elder Karren's companion at one time. I'm excited!  He's from Idaho. Whooo! First comp from the potato land! It seems like all the missionaries here are from Idaho. Interesting thing about my new area, I will be covering 4 wards now and I'm back on bike! Well, we have a car but we only have 300 miles a month. So I'm basically biking for the next while. I got super lucky that I skipped past summer without having to bike. I mean it's still hot now but everyday I had a car I was super grateful. Anyways my wards are Avalon, Estate Groves, Hermosa Groves, and Valley View wards. From what President Townsend told me this area is tougher than the area that I'm in right now...but he said they are awesome wards and it will be great. So I will work hard and hopefully see miracles happen once again.

Also I will be moving in with members again. I'm pretty excited about that. That means it will be easier to keep our place clean. I'm excited to not have to clean after roommates anymore😂 The cool thing about it is that I will live up the street a few houses from the mission office! The mission office is in the parking lot of our church building, so that will be really nice. 

Elder Karren will be getting dropped off at the mission office today at 4:( I don't like sending missionaries home because then you have to wait until you get home in order to see them again. My other companions who are still in the mission see me all the time, so it's pretty nice. Our mission is so small that we just bump into each other all the time. Anyways Elder Karren has been really good at keeping focus and it's made it easier for me to focus too. I'm going to miss that guy, luckily he lives really close to me so we'll be able to do something fun when we are both home. 

This last week was pretty good. We visited some good families, talked to a crazy guy on the street, and did lots of service. Since we were in a car accident last week we had to take it in so they could fix it. So for a loaner car we got a Nissan truck! Man I was so happy, I hadn't driven a truck in like a year! So I've been driving it all week and it's the best car I've driven on my mission. It puts the Chevy Cruz to shame....Chevy is weak....everything about it goes against my name😝 But hey I like having a car so I can live with it. Speaking of cars I told Elder Karren this week that I thought it was peach days and I was right! I love peach days. I'm glad both of the trucks were in it. You know what I miss a ton? Utah peaches. There was a family we had dinner with this week who bought some peaches and said "these are the best peaches we have ever had!". I took a bite out of it and it was so hard, it was like biting into an apple. I'm my head I was like "what kind of peaches are these?" Haha now I realize how good Utah peaches are😂 I won't take that for granted ever again...

As I was reflecting on these last four and a half months I was pondering the question "what is the biggest thing I've learned here?". Instantly the scripture from 1 Nephi 3:7 came to my mind. The Lord promises that he will prepare a way for us to accomplish the things that he commands us to do. When I first got into the area I was super discouraged and was thinking to myself how in the world am I going to be able to find success here? There are no people outside, everything is gated, we aren't allowed to knock doors, and people aren't looking for anything else in their lives because they feel that they have it all. This last transfer I realized that the Lord DOES prepare a way for us succeed in all we do. Even if it seems impossible, I have no doubt in my mind that we will find success though hard work and patience. I know that because I saw it, I've seen so many miracles come way out of left field where I never expected them to come from. The Lords plan is bigger than mine. He knows the way for each of us and will help us in all things that we do.

Well I hope you all have a great week! I love you! Thanks for all of the love and support from home! 

Love, Elder Findlay

This is the #1 largest Elk in the world.
Bro Miller shot it a while back, point to point it's 502😱

Arizona sunsets!!!! 😄😄😄

accidental smolder shot

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Happy Labor Day! Mesa Week #56

Hey Momma!

Happy Labor Day to you too! The lake looks like a lot of fun! Will this be your last trip up there? Just seeing the water makes me want to swim haha its so hot here, I could go for some Bear Lake water. And that's a real bummer to hear about Kaitlyn. That's no fun at all. I hope she gets feeling well soon. I'm sure Brett is a fantastic nurse😂

Where do I even start...this week was so great! (For the most part). Remember I talked a bit about TJ last week? Well he's so awesome! We met with him four times this last week and I have never seen so much change in someone before. One lesson we read the Book of Mormon with him, just the first chapter of 1 Nephi. We basically taught again points of the restoration from it and also helped TJ learn how to read and apply scripture. He had never prayed before, never read scriptures, and he came to church a few times but that was about it. He's a really smart kid, he read with us and had some good questions. We committed him to read from the Book of Mormon and pray about it. He said he would and he did! He prayed 3 times and read 4 chapters. He even took notes on what he learned and how he felt! He told us that he feels really good inside when he prays. We then taught him the Plan of Salvation and he was very touched by it. We really focused on the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how He can heal us spiritually. It was cool because right after we had finished teaching about that, TJ said that he had been looking for this very point. He wanted to fix the mistakes he had made in the past and feel forgiveness. He just never knew how to do that. The spirit was really strong and that was when I invited him to be baptized and he said yes! He will be baptized on October 7th and it will be special. When we left the lesson and got to our car we celebrated quite a bit haha, finally things are turning around! I am super excited for him! Unfortunately we wont be able to teach him anymore because he is YSA age. So we handed him off to the other missionaries and away we went! I am kind of bummed that I don't get to teach him anymore but when WE succeed we ALL succeed. It's all the same work. I will be back for his baptism!😁 

We had another miracle this week. We received a referral of someone who was chatting online with other missionaries. We texted her and started asking why she wanted to talk with them. She told us that she wanted to join our church and didn't know how! You could probably imagine what I felt like when I read it haha, I was dumbfounded. I looked over at Elder Karren and asked "Is this for real?". Ha we both just started laughing and soaked up the blessing the Lord had given us! We are hoping to meet with this person this week and guide her to the waters of Baptism. 

Yeah Transfers are next Tuesday so that's pretty exciting, also kind of scary. Change is always scary, but that's how we grow. We actually had interviews with President Townsend and I asked about transfers and what possibilities there could be. He said that he might only have 2 sets of missionaries in our stake instead of 3. So that would mean either I would stay and pick up a 4th ward, or I will be transferred to somewhere else. I'm not sure what will happen but I'm excited to see what does. I really love this area, the people are so amazing and I've made so many friendships here. I will find out on Saturday where I will be!

Church was great yesterday, I love fast and testimony meeting. We met with some awesome families that night as well. We were driving home for the night when some lady blew through a red light and smashed into the front of our car when we were turning on a green arrow. I was the one driving, and I saw her coming and slowed down as much as I could but it was too late and we ran into each other. It wasn't too bad, her car was hurt more than ours was. No one was injured, it just made us late coming home haha. But all is well. A little sore but that's okay, I'll take it. It was definitely a blessing that it wasn't worse.

I think thats it for this week! I love seeing people change their lives so that they can follow the Savior. When people do that, they are blessed with so many blessings. More than they can count and I've seen that in my life. I love this Gospel and know its true! I love you Mom! You are such an amazing person!  Have a great week!

Love, Elder Findlay


A picture of Elder Findlay and Elder Karren
that someone texted me (mom) this week :)

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