My pen is now in Dewey, Arizona. September 19, 2016

So I had a pen that I had since the beginning of the MTC. It was seriously my favorite pen. In the MTC we were having a discussion on stress when the teacher asked "what makes you stressed?" and I said, "when I don't have a pen here." It was funny but for the last two months I've had this pen and poured into my journal with it every night, taken notes, study journal, everything. I loved this pen. I planned on just buying copies of it so I could refill it up because I never wanted to use any other pen ever again. So we went to help someone move out and I thought well I love this pen, I guess I'll bring it with. My pen is now in Dewey, Arizona. Yes I lost this pen, and I know it's dumb but I felt really bummed out for losing my favorite pen. It's not the same to write in ink anymore.

 Other than that I've been being more worried lately and I was having a hard time sleeping because I wake up in the middle of the night, sitting cross-legged in my bed thinking about everything I have to worry about. Until I completely wake up I think 'I have to finish this before I go to bed' and I just keep thinking about it. So we have a book called 'Adjusting to Missionary Life' which is an inspired book I'm sure and it's helped. Not necessarily in the book but it helped me put together a program where I write down some things I'm worried about and I stick them in an envelope the hour before I go to bed and then I just don't think about it. I take that time to unwind and relax. This is after daily planning of course but it's really been helping me.

I also got to go on exchanges this week. I went with Elder Miller, one of the Spanish elders. This meant all the lessons that day were in Spanish. You'd think I'd be really confused the whole time, but if the Spirit needs you to know Spanish and speak Spanish, well you know Spanish and you can speak Spanish. It's the weirdest feeling. Although it wasn't like I could just fluently understand, but the few years in high school I completely forgot about started coming back throughout the day, I could put input into a lesson, read from the scriptures and understand where a lesson was going. It was really cool to be a part of.

We gave a tour of the church to an investigator a few nights ago, and it was fun. We were looking at the classrooms and the paintings and then we went to the chapel to see all of the pews. We opened the door and I just felt a wave. It was just wow! The chapel is a sacred place. I felt a spirit in there that I know I've felt before, always in times of great importance in my life. I have never realized how much importance is in what we do every Sunday. If anyone is reading this, make an effort to go to one of those churches, with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, this Sunday and try to feel a feeling that I know if you let it in, will make you feel peaceful and quiet and happy.

I like p-day, it's a good refresher. I like that we still get to work through at the end, I think if we didn't do anything on p-day or if there wasn't that time deadline it'd make me less effective the rest of the week instead of more effective.
I really like it here on a mission, I feel like I feel more comfortable in my own skin, like I know who I am more. I didn't even realize how little I knew myself until I forgot myself in the service of others. Weird really, I forgot myself so I could really know who I was.

Now I'd like to share my testimony, but in Spanish. (Not google translated, this is my knowledge of grammer and sentence structure)
Y aquí es mi testimonio en español:
Yo no entiendo español mucho, pero yo soy un missionario porque yo sé
que el Libro de Mormon es de dios y yo sé que José Smith fue un
profeta y porque de José Smith tienamos un restauración de evangelio

de Jesucristo.

So that's our fridge. It makes noises till you hit it.

Cicadas and Javelinas. September 12, 2016

There is a bug here called a cicada that is huge and makes the loudest sound ever. It sounds scary. There are skunks running around at night, just around the neighborhood. Signs that say "Don't drive here when it's flooding or you'll drown." Groups of little hog things running around called javelinas that sometimes try to attack people. Coyotes once were spotted by my neighbor a few years ago. Sometimes I think to myself where in the world am I living in...Cottonwood, Arizona!!

Sometimes this place can feel scary, but then I think of the people that live here. The hummingbirds all around. Big prickly pears. Sometimes this place feels amazing too.

I had my first zone meeting this week. It was a blast. A missionary who is leaving in a few days gave a talk on Preach My Gospel, which I never realized until the MTC is such an amazing guide for missionaries. On the way up to the meeting in Flagstaff, I ate at 5 guys for the first time. I never realized how awesome their burgers are. Later in the week we helped a family move in who raises mini horses. Mini horses are awesome!

There is a recent convert who was baptized a few weeks ago who works at Subway. So a customer calls in one day and orders a six-foot long sandwich, gives a fake number, and then never picks it up. So he bought the whole thing for half off and gave us this huge sandwich which is no joke a foot and a half long and twice as thick as any normal sub sandwich. It was roast beef with everything on it. Best day to not have a dinner appointment ever!

This area that I have the opportunity to serve in is amazing. The members here love missionaries. We have a dinner appointment nearly every day. People love to talk with us, help us out with rides if we really need them to. But most of all the members here love missionary work. They love coming to lessons with us and helping us help people learn for themselves the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

I also have also had the opportunity to learn something cool. There is a relationship between Faith and Obedience. And you can see this through a story about cows at . If a cow gets into a field it could eat itself to death. But to the cow, the field looks good. Farmers know this so they put up a fence. If the cow trusted the farmer enough to believe that the fence was there for a reason it wouldn't break the fence and get into the field and partake of a dangerous and fatal lifestyle.

It is the same with Heavenly Father. He has given us standards of living not to be a barrier or a restriction. It's to protect us from what, at the time, may seem enticing and good, but can be dangerous and spiritually fatal. We must have Faith which we have acted on and a trust that The Lord has been protecting us from dangerous things by giving us obedience. And obedience is the fence, the quality of being that allows us to follow the standards that He has placed in our path. If we have that faith, that obedience is a protection, and then we will not only be obedient but we will have a desire to do so. And thus protecting us from the dangers that are harmful to our bodies and also harmful to our spirit.

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3: 5-6

We, as the cow, may not understand what could be harmful or how harmful it may be. The Lord has been right so far. Trust that He is so now. "He shall direct thy paths."

We saw these pigs at a members house. I forgot to talk about them
because of the Great Email Deletion of Last Pday... haha!

 When you worked hard all week but still have to go to a weekly planning meeting...

A Sirloin Steak as Big as my Face. September 5, 2016

I got to go to the temple this week with my mission president. And I don't have that much time this week to tell you all the amazing things I feel about the temple. Something happened to my email and a lot of the things I was ready to send today got deleted. So to those of you who sent me something and I didn't respond I'm sorry, I still love you and actually wrote back, you just wouldn't know. By the time I could get to where I can now send this email, I don't have a lot of time because I have to get back to work soon. There are people that need to know that God loves them and has restored his church on the Earth today so that they can live with him again. So I will only tell you about the temple today that all people should make the temple a priority and that is really is a place of peace, clarity, and refuge.

This week has been amazing. I believe Cottonwood is the world's best-kept secret. It really is a great place to be and I'm thankful that I have to opportunity to be involved in such a great work in a place as great as this.

I ate a sirloin steak as big as my face this week with a side of a mountain of mashed potatoes, and homemade bread. I also ate more toast than I thought could be toasted in one week. And bought (mom, I don't know how much is in those little cartons next to the gallons of milk cartons) of chocolate milk last Monday and "accidentally" ran out on Wednesday.

I also want to talk about trials and what they really are. I could go on for a while about this but I'm going to follow the example of the man who fed me steak and just get to the meat. Bad things happen to good people so that good people aren't weak. God loves us so much that he wants to learn. So he allows us to learn what bad is because without bad there would be no good. If you were never sad how would you ever know you were happy. That's why God lets bad things happen to good people. Because we all came to this Earth to learn and to grow.

Crazy Monsoon Season. August 29, 2016

So the baptism went great. I actually got to be a witness! There haven't been any dust storms, but there's been a lot of rain and crazy thunder. This week has been really really busy. We had a lot of potential investigators and so we had a lot of new investigators so we were teaching a lot of lessons. I've been meeting a lot of new people in the ward now and I'm starting to learn names and faces. It's still hard though because there are so many new people. A few nights ago I didn't sleep at all because there was roaring thunder all night long. It was crazy. It even hailed a little bit one day. I'm starting to think people lied about az being hot and dry because it's been cold and wet. People tell me I came during a really crazy monsoon season. The ward members here are amazing. A different member feeds us each night and so far I've loved every meal.

And today is p day. We heard there was this creek and we wanted to see it. I took some pictures it was really cool and then we saw this grasshopper and wanted to see if a fish would eat it. So we threw it in the creek and it starts swimming back. So I get a stick and try to sway it further into the water and I totally slip. I had mud all over and I then I fell in. Then after I changed we went to see tuzigoot. It was cool.

So I also wanted to talk about something mission related. I was reading in Preach my Gospel in the finding people chapter and one of the topics is having faith that Heavenly Father is preparing hearts to hear the word of God. And it's true. There are people everywhere that are willing to hear about Jesus Christ and how through his restored gospel we can have the truest joy that God has to offer. So the people that know the truth now have the duty, obligation, and commandment to find these lost sheep and bring them to the fold of God. You don't have to be on a mission to do missionary work, in fact, actual full-time missionaries will be so much more effective if they could have the opportunity to have the members doing missionary work with them. When missionaries and ward members become one in purpose not only does that lead to more baptism into Christ's church but also retention of these members and a deepening conversion in everyone that is involved in this great work.

Our Heavenly Father loves each of his children more than we can comprehend and His son Jesus Christ has in actuality lived on this Earth and died preparing the way, which is His Gospel so that we may have eternal life. And He lives again today.