"They just do whatever God sends them to do that day." December 5, 2016

So this Tuesday was another exchange and I was with Elder Crook. I led the area and got very lost. But we found where we were eventually and worked. No one was interested on Tuesday but that's ok. After that, we went to visit this referral. Turns out she moved away a few years ago but the man living there told me that following the spirit is important. Amen brother.

After an exchange with Elder Olvera we saw this family moving out as we were getting ready to head home. The next few hours was spent moving heavy furniture and boxes. I'm pretty sure I'm a professional mover by now. It was a rough move so to make up for it they asked if we wanted some pizza they were going to get. We told them we'll have a piece cuz pizza tastes good. While we were sitting they asked, "so do you guys always do this, did you just wake up this morning and think I'm gonna help someone move out." When someone else there we were talking to during the move who I thought was cool said, "They just do whatever God sends them to do that day." That was an awesome moment.

So on Wednesday we decided to go tracting. We have a new ward that had everyone that missionaries were working with moved to a different ward because of boundary changes. So this one ward was empty. So we started from the bottom and knocked doors. It's been four weeks and no one has wanted to hear anything about Christ or Christmas. But on Wednesday we tracted into this one family, the Sanchez family. They've been looking for someone to teach them about God so that they could give opportunities to have Christ in their life to their new son. We met with them again on Thursday and taught a lesson on Friday. They came to church and loved it and we're meeting with them again today. They're so cool!

This week has been awesome and amazing and especially because of Christmas. People just want to hear about Christ during this time of year. And this new initiative has been awesome. Whoever's reading this go on Mormon.org and find the advent calendar. It's amazing!

Missionary work is amazing and spiritual and I've learned and grown more than I ever have in my life. But the best part of the week every week is Sunday. The sabbath. The things you learn at church will guide you in your life. The only other physical places I've learned more is at home or at the temple. And the two things I do that guide me the most is prayer and the scriptures. We all know ways to bring God into our lives. Praying to our Heavenly Father and His word, the scriptures. The next step is to gain a testimony that it works for you too. I know it will. Try it out. Read and pray. See what happens.

A Saguaro that Waves. November 28, 2016

Annie was baptized and I don't know if I said that last week but she's a relief society sister who is super cool. The other missionaries have been teaching Annie for a while before I got here and she was baptized right after I got here. She's got really great friends in the church who have helped her out. Same with Markayla, she was also baptized. We're still teaching her parents and they're doing great as well!

For Thanksgiving, we ate at two members houses. The Ricks and the McWilliams. I ate too much food. It was so good! Elder Bies and I also made a chocolate peanut butter mile high icebox pie.It tasted awesome. And we also made lil smokies wrapped in bacon covered in brown sugar.
This week on Sunday I heard an amazing talk about gaining wisdom and avoiding stumbling blocks. We also ate meatball subs after because one of our wards fed us right after church because we are there for seven hours through lunch.

My little cousin Evelyn sent flat Stanley over here because "flat Stanley needed a vacation. Welcome to Buckeye, Arizona Stanley. My little cousin is cool!

Today for pday we set up Christmas decorations.

The saguaro that waves.

I still no hablo bueno. November 21, 2016

So I want to apologize about last week. I was whining and I was complaining. This area is a great place filled with better than great people. I couldn't see it because I thought it was hard. I was not seeing the true purpose. I am here to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. I'm here to do anything I can to make a difference. I don't want to be the missionary who stops progressing during times when it's hard and complains about it being hard. I want to be someone who doesn't listen to what he hears and makes a difference. It will be a process to become that and the atonement will be what can get me to that point and I know I will not become perfect but I know I will be perfect in trying to be that kind of missionary.

Buckeye is an interesting place full of interesting smells and interesting dirt roads when it rains which happened yesterday. It's a place full of people who are amazing. I should be grateful to be here and I hope I am.

This week has been busy and crazy. Annie was baptized this Saturday and it was some planning ahead of time but it went well. It's amazing to see someone make that first step.

This week has also been crazy in the sense that I was in charge of the area for a few hours while Elder Bies was in a meeting in Phoenix. I was lost due to my map reading skills but it all went well. We tracted into a lot of Spanish people so I could brush up on my Spanish speaking. I still no hablo bueno.

We also baked pumpkin pie! Which was fun and messy! We ate it at our early Thanksgiving dinner at the Penrods who are an awesome family. I ate pecan pie for the second time ever too.

Lately here in Buckeye we are driving through rough road in the truck to get to places where we can knock doors because one part of the area is completely new. We're doing what we can to find someone to teach there and it's going better. It feels like we're close to finding someone who's ready to listen. In the other part of the area it's really rural and spread out and it's so cool to drive through there. I've seen saguaros that wave at us every time we drive by. There's also one family that we meet with and their daughter is being baptized this week. It's amazing to see how strong they are.

my new place...

Off to Buckeye, Arizona. November 14, 2016

I found out I was leaving and everything but after going to the transfer building and I finally found out where I was going I drove down there with Brother Edwards our ward mission leader to meet Elder Beis. He's cool. We talk Pokemon. This area is a lot different. It's super rural, spread out, and smells funny. Tracting can't really happen in many places and the only tracking area is a good 30 to 45 minutes away from anywhere else through a lot of dirt roads and random desert trails. It kinda sucks but I'm learning a lot. This week really has been just settling in, meeting the people, getting to know the wards. One ward is in that one tracting area super far away, but we go there a lot because that ward is completely new and there is no one teaching there yet. The other ward is rural farmland. Tracting there will get you shot by angry landowners. But there's still good work to be done anywhere. We keep trying.

To answer your questions:
Where did you end up? Buckeye
Who's your companion? Elder Beis, he's cool
Do you drive or bike? Drive, definitely drive
How many elders live with you? Just two of us now
Are you a trainer now or not yet? Not a trainer
Send us a pic of your new place:) It looks like a white box in the middle of the desert

1st time picking cotton!

In Buckeye!

The view...

My charizard slippers I bought with Grandmas birthday money :)

Ohmygoodness imm19! November 8, 2016

Ohmygoodness imm19! It feels weird. It's a weird age. But I'm still a teenager so I'm not a grown up haha. Thank you so much for the birthday stuff. Sister Schlup is super cool and she makes really good spaghetti sauce. The birthday "party" was fun but we had to get to sleep at 10:30. I'm jelly you guys got to do the sandwich thing again. That was really fun last time (get it... Jelly)
(From Carma: our family made Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a homeless shelter)

I've been down before. I'm down about getting transferred. But it's those good days that make it worth it. 50% of the days are meh. 25% are awesome. 25% are just awful. But those good days are the days that make everything worth it.

Facebook is not running yet. We've been so so busy lately.
But so this week has been interesting again. A lot of interesting weeks. Our stake president had a bbq and we invited all of our investigators. Only one came but it was still so much fun. We also had our last trainer/trainee meeting where I could see all of my friends from the MTC. It was awesome. I'm now officially done with training.

My birthday was really fun. It was Sunday so church was one of my birthday presents. But it really was just a good day.

I really going to miss Elder Townsend. And Cottonwood. We found out this morning from a call from the president that I was leaving. I'm not happy. But I am happy. It's weird but I just love Cottonwood so much that I really don't want to leave.

Kind of a Hard Week. October 31, 2016

I really wish I had more to talk about this week. It's feeling like a really hard week. We've had a lot of lessons fall through and a lot of people stop progressing and drop us. We've taught many lessons though. We as a district set a goal to teach 100 lessons between all of us with a member there at the lesson for the month of October. We hit that goal.

I've also been trying real hard to be healthier. It's been weird but I try running for exercise and eating better. I eat a lot of vegetables now and I just don't know what to do with myself, haha!  But I do just feel better the rest of the day.

In reviewing the week I think the only thing that's been significant is that we had interviews with the president this week and I learned how much our president cares about us. He's a really awesome guy and I'm glad he's my president.

I realize that I've been gone for almost 100 days, but the weirdest thing is that I still feel like I was dropped off yesterday. I feel like it's gone so super-fast, almost the blink of an eye. But if I think back it feels so natural to be out here, like I've always been on a mission.

This has been another one of my hardest weeks. I've seen a lot offer things that I need to work on so that I will be able to help others. I've seen a lot of the things that I took for granted and never knew I should've been so thankful for. This week has been a testimony to me that trials and hard times aren't because Heavenly Father is punishing us. But that those trials are a refiner’s fire to make us better than more refined into who he knows we have the potential to become.

 So Sister Driver gave us super high-quality eggs that taste awesome and I dropped one :(

My friend had a major surgery this week. Go Super Nan! We've got your back!

1st Baptism and Zone Conference. October 24, 2016

So this week started with washing and waxing the car. The Cruz looks awesome. We had a waxing party at the church and went through a lot of blue microfiber rags. It was fun. After we waxed them and cleaned them I had my first zone conference. It was Cottonwood, Flagstaff, and Prescott there. When we got there we inspected our cars and topped offed oil and such.

Zone Conference was awesome! There was an awesome lesson on invitations from the Assistants. And President Griffon was there too. Then we had lunch which was sandwiches and I love sandwiches. And also brownies and I love brownies. Sister Perry likes to take pictures and I hope you got them but I don't know if they send them.

So ward boundary realignments happened I think I told you already but what happened in the last week is we had to give all of our investigators that are in the Sister Missionaries ward over to them. I really liked those people, most of them I considered my friends. It was fun to get to meet them and teach them and help them and now I might not see them for perhaps a very long time.

This Saturday was an awesome Saturday. Two young women were baptized. The older one has a great family who we've taught a little bit and she was really interested and decided to take the lessons. She has been doing so well and she's super smart and understands doctrine of the gospel really fast. Her dad is super cool too, I like getting to teach him when we can. The younger one and her family are awesome too. They have this tiny little dog that’s super funny.  I love teaching them. The rest of the family was baptized in Utah when they used to live there. Our ward mission leader baptized the older one and I actually got to baptize the younger one. It was an amazing experience! I love both those families!

This week was super busy but one of the best so far. I've loved getting to be out here and see people grow closer to Christ. Especially those people on Saturday.

I don't have anything planned for my birthday except by coincidence we're eating with an awesome member the day before. The only other thing I have planned is feeling weirded out that I'm 19:)

Found this gas mask at a thrift store.