Monday, December 28, 2015

December 28, 2015

This week has been CRAZY!

At the beginning of the week, our district
leaders companion ripped his Achilles' tendon in half got sent home
for at least 9 our district leader didn't have a companion
which meant Elder Thomas and I were being emergency transferred to
another apartment to be a tripanionship with this one Elder! Now we
are over both wards and areas which is taking a bit of an adjustment.
My companions are both super cool hardworking missionaries so we have
definitely been having some fun! We serve the Rose City Tongan Ward
and it's super cool. The whole sacrament meeting is in Tongan and
everybody is hilarious and always happy. This ward has missionary work
down, and they don't have fear while doing it. We will have members
come to us telling us they have people for us who want to be
baptized!! Straight miracles every week! Plus they over feed us! It's
been awesome.

In the Rocky Butte Ward we have a couple baptisms coming
up for this next month as well! As disorganized and unplanned as we were
for all this change, the work is progressing and it's incredible to be
a part of it!

Christmas was super cool! We woke up, threw on some Christmas tunes, and did some gift opening then departed for some FaceTime with the fam! I was glad to hear all is well and talk to my
family for the first time in a few months!!

That was this week in a much happened and we were so busy.

Yesterday we taught a
couple of classes talking about goals, particularly New Years goals. One
of the best guides to help us achieve the potential God sees we can
achieve is setting goals. Elder M. Russell Ballard said "I am so
thoroughly convinced that if we don’t set goals in our life and learn
how to master the techniques of living to reach our goals, we can
reach a ripe old age and look back on our life only to see that we
reached but a small part of our full potential. When one learns to
master the principles of setting a goal, he (or she) will then be able
to make a great difference in the results he attains in this life."
For those that want to make a great difference, for the better, of
the results in their life....they need to set realistic day by day,
week by week, month by month goals that make you stretch and that work
towards one ultimate or grand goal. You can't just say you want to get
stronger this next year without making a goal to eat healthy and
exercise more. You can't set a goal to strengthen you testimony without
setting daily goals to read the scriptures and pray, go to church on
Sunday's, and ask for missionary like opportunities. As my companions
and I are doing, I invite you all to pick a grand goal (one both
spiritual, and temporal) to pursue and then break it down into sub
goals that will help you attain that grand goal and creat due dates to
accomplish those sub goals that make you stretch. If we ask for help
from the Lord in our efforts to accomplish this, he will see value in
our perseverance in wanting to progress. That's what we are here on
earth for, is to progress. I love you all! HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Sincerely Elder Andrew

Monday, December 21, 2015

December 21, 2015

Hey!! How you all doin! This week has been great! Our focus investigators are continuing to progress and the work in general is super fun!

We had the opportunity to attend a session in the Portland temple this week which was awesome. The outside is all made of marble and it's kinda in the mix of the big city which was cool! The spirit was incredibly strong and that experience was much needed! Never can get too spiritually fed!

We had a zone conference as well and I got to see some of my past companions and visit for a while! That was pretty cool too. The hype about Christmas out here is just as big if not bigger than it is at home! We are guys probably are too! We got our own little Christmas tree and we made a tacky Christmas card. It's a party out here! This week has gone really fast, and other than what I have said already, it just been another missionary work week!

I can't stress enough how important it is to remember the ultimate gift we were given this season and to do so by praying for an opportunity to serve! Back to the fundamentals haha, John 3:16. He was and is the ultimate gift! Love you all! Merry Christmas! Let me know how the festivities were!

Sincerely, elder Andrew

They have this kinda stuff all over the place. 

The Portland Temple. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

December 14, 2015

This week has been sweet!! Transfers were Wednesday and since then I have been in the new area! It's COMPLETELY different. I'm in the Gresham stake, but technically my whole area is in Portland.

There is some extremely interesting people and places to talk to and see.

We already had a pretty cool experience the first day I came out. We were finding and tracked into a family that had just moved here from Africa(Congo). They have a really hard time speaking and understanding english, but are able if we speak slowly. We ended up coming back and teaching the restoration, and they all believe it's true! Saturday we took a couple investigators to a child record baptism and after they said they were certain they want to be baptized as well. The ward is a lot different than my last for sure. It's kind of cool to be totally caught up in one area and kind of have a formula for what you think would help the people you are serving in a specific area, and then move areas and have to start from scratch because what worked in the last area will be totally different in every area. We are determined to hit the pavement hard this transfer though and are relying on the Lord to open our spiritual eyes for how we can really boost the work in this area. Despite the contrast of needs and trials in every area, there is one thing every area, even person in the world, needs the same...and that's a savior. For those who haven't seen the Mormon message "a savior a born" , I like it because for one, I never cease to feel the spirit when I watch it(I've have seen it like 35 times), and two, it does a good job depicting that a savior was born not just for us, the American people, but was a gift from our father to the WORLD(1 nephi 10:4). I like to resemble gift giving as a representation of the great gift we celebrate and had been given to us by the Father. In the video, it sais rejoice three times(with sincerity and enthusiasm). Do we really rejoice? I will honestly say I haven't done enough to show my gratitude for my savior, and never will be able to show enough appreciation for the gift that had been given in Bethlehem. I invite you all to pray in gratitude and an opportunity to walk in the steps of our savior this Christmas season. Peace, happiness, and joy is promised if we do our best to walk as he walked. I can testify to it because I feel that as I do my best to serve him out here in good ole Warshington. Love you guys! Have an awesome coming week!


Elder Andrew

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Monday, December 7, 2015

December 7, 2015

Hey hey hey! I dont know if any of you are aware, but before the end of this next transfer, I will be hitting my six month mark! It is ridiculous how fast time flies out here. It feels like I was in the MTC yesterday. Anyways, this week has been a handful. I got word on transfers! I am being moved to the Gresham stake! Its right on the outskirts of downtown Portland across the river from where I have been serving. I will be serving as co-senior companion with Elder Thomas (came out with me). I kinda remember who he is, he seems like a really humble hard working kid, so I am extremely excited. I also heard this is one of the areas where elders gain some crazy stories, so within the next couple weeks, my emails could possibly get a little more colorful;). The fruits of our labors are finally starting to come about. We have 5 progressing investigators who are all on date for within this next month or so. I am kinda bummed to leave my companion and all of this right when it seems we are to reap the rewards of our efforts. I  guess the Lord wants me somewhere else. Elder burciaga is staying and serving with someone that came out with him and just got done being trained as well! He will do awesome! This month we get to go to the temple, I'm not sure what day though. That will be an awesome Christmas present! The  3 other elders in my apartment and me talk about Christmas quiet a bit. I told them i was gonna (if i was gonna be there) wake up christmas morning and pretend to be dad. Check to see if santa came and turn on some christmas music. hahaha, they werent gonna be allowed out of their room till I checked. (I'm gonna miss that haha) just kidding. We were planning on waking up and making a pretty good breakfast, giving each other some nick nacks possibly, than call home! I think its gonna be an awesome day! I can honestly say I have gained a strong love for my companion and the people which I serve. This charity that God has allowed me to better established has helped me magnify my calling as a representative of Christ. As the scriptures say, charity never faileth. Scripture for this week...1 Corinthians 13.
LOVE YOU ALL, happy holidays.

Elder Andrew

Monday, November 30, 2015

November 29, 2015

This week has been a great week!

Thanksgiving, for starter, was awesome! We ate at a couple members' homes and an investigator's home that night. I just about died for how much we ate! We definitley have a solid ward!

Earlier in the week, we met some interesting people. I met a couple people that told me they would make me rich if I moved out with them or became their friend. haha. One of them loved the beach, I respected that ;). We were tracting in an area where bishop felt we should spend our proselyting time when we felt we should visit a member in the ward. This member happened to have someone at her house that was very interested in the church. We taught him the fist discussion and invited him to be baptised. He said he felt something he could not deny and accepted the invitation! We were super say the least! Later we tried by a less active member that hadn't answered the door in a number of years...he just let us right in with his family...we taught the restoration and got to know them, and they want us back for dinner and another lesson next week! WHAT THE HECK! The end of the week ended on a super high note! We had a couple less active members and 5 of our investigators come to church!! Elder Burciaga and I were as happy as any missionary could be!

I'm not gonna lie, I miss you guys at home. This season brings back some good memories with the family and friends! Hope the holidays have been good for all of you!

Recently, I read a talk by the title of "What Lack I Yet" given in this last general conference session. It lead me to think of the things that I could do better to progress as a missionary, and as a person in general. Because of my wants pertaining to spiritual lprogression, I decided to take it up to the Lord for detailed, inspired guidance, and have been trying to show my faith throughout these past couple days to have the spirit shed some light on the subject. I like this quote in the talk: "THe Holy Ghost Really does give customized counsel. He is a completely honest companion and will tell us things that no one elese knows or has the courage to say." The Holy Ghost gives us those thoughts or those feelings that allow us to progress and be better. Our Father in Heaven loves us and wants us to progress! This scripture isn't meant to belittle us, but through charity and humility, God has said this is attainable: "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." When I am doing something as good as I possibly think it can be done, the reality of it is: I'm not perfect, nor are any of us and the spirit can tell us in personal detail how we can improve and come closer to our Savior.

My invitation to all this week is to ask yourself and God what or how you can do better (in anything, not just spiritually)...or in better words "what lack I yet." Allow yourself to have some spritual guidance. And I will do the same. Love you guys. Happy Holidays ;)!

Elder Andrew

Monday, November 23, 2015

November 23, 2015

How you all doin!? Thanksgiving is coming up and that day is going to be jam packed for us! We are eating dinner with like every family in the ward! I am going to die. This coming week will be a fun and full week. This last week..once again...has flown by. We had interviews with president and it sounds pretty probable that I might be out of my area. It will definitely be rough considering the relationships I have established and what I have gotten used to..but I still am not counting on it just because you really never know where you are going until you open that letter. The ward has been treating us really well and my companion and I agree we have established some definite trust and respect which is AWESOME. We have been staying busy in our proselyting efforts and had a pretty cool experience this week in an area that our bishop felt inspired to focus our proselyting efforts on. We were visiting a former investigator, who ended up not being home, so we did some tracting.  We knocked on the neighbor's house and he answered. We started talking and it got really interesting. I guess he is some ridiculously smart computer guy who can hack anything. He admitted his beliefs to us - he is an "agnostic atheist" (someone who is open to ideas or beliefs but wants proof). We ended up teaching the restoration to him and when we spoke of the first vision he made a weird face. We asked if he was feeling anything or what his thoughts were. He came back at us saying he felt something very strong...that he could not deny...!!! Inside, I was thrilled. Whether this guy gets baptized or progresses, I don't know..but this little experience I think was rewarded to us because of our labors. We had mission tour (like a zone conference) this week and something president Taylor said was along the lines of ...despite our exact obedience, charity, 100% effort, why does it seem sometimes the Lord isn't blessing us or is there or we aren't having success...its because success, or blessings, or miracles ultimately don't convert us to the gospel. Also, when we have these really cool experiences every so often, we have a greater appreciation for them. True conversion is not what we believe, its through our works and what they allow us to become over time. Charitable is something that people can become. I extend the invitation at the beginning of this Thanksgiving holiday to pray for charity, to have a charitable experience. Over time these acts, or experiences, will engrave in us and allow us to "become" charitable people. Do something for something this holiday season that THEY can be grateful for. I love you all and love it out here! Hope you have an awesome Thanksgiving! Scripture for the week: Ether 12:34.

Elder Andrew

Monday, November 16, 2015

November 16, 2015

This week was crazy jam packed! And next is looking very similar! My comp and I decided to do a little fasting this week and Heavenly Father made sure we were busy and will be busy. Our main focused on investigators have been all sick, so it's been testing our patience quiet a bit. Part of our fast was focused on these specific people.

Something pretty cool happened the day of our fast! Towards the end of the day we got a couple texts, both of which were from these investigators wanting to schedule an appointment!! I have been hoping and praying I don't get transferred out (the 9th) so I can see these guys baptized. Either that our have a miracle and see them baptized this transfer. This week and last, I've learned I need to have a lot more trust in the Lord rather than relying solely on my own efforts. I came across a scripture in my studies that hit me fairly hard. It reads:

30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, even so will he clothe you, if ye are not of little faith.

31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

32 For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.

34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient is the day unto the evil thereof.

3 Nephi 13

The Lord provides for his children that show their faith and trust in him. Things don't always go how we expect our how we want, but if it's the Lords will, it will happen. Something that I will always be
working on is aligning my will with the will of the Lord. If our investigators are baptized this transfer, so be it! I need some serious patience haha.

This week we have also ran into some interesting people. Some, there appearance was pretty funky, some their beliefs. There was a guy that beliefs in Zeus and Greek mythology so that was interesting. Being exposed to all kinds of liberal and extreme beliefs has been fun as can be! 

The work is going good and me and elder Burciaga have a pretty good time! I love you all!! Remember to trust in the Lord, through thick and thin, and he
will provide!

Elder Andrew

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Monday, November 9, 2015

November 9, 2015

What's up guys! This week has been a little long..not gonna lie. The
weather here is foggy and rainy ALL the time and we walk all day in it
getting soaked. Fun stuff haha. Peoples personality definitely changes
during this season, and it's interesting  talking to people who are in
winter mode out here! Our main investigator has kinda been going
through a rough time, so it's been somewhat hard to coordinate with
her and her family. She is still progressing though, she has been to
church several times along with her brother and say they really like
it! We have final interviews set up, and our fingers are crossed that
things go as planned. There has been some confusion with the church's
recent stance made. It gives me comfort that we are lead and guided by
a modern day prophet who receives revelation for the church as a
whole. For people that had questions concerning this, and quote came
into my mind which was "doubt your doubts before you doubt your
faith". We are members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day
Saints and anybody who is a member is converted to the gospel of Jesus
Christ. At one point or another has come to the realization that this
church holds the power and keys necessary to perfect the saints,
redeem the dead, and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ "boldly,
nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent,
visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every year".
For questions and confirmation, we should always bring it up with our
father in heaven who cares about us more than enough to show us truth.
Sorry for probably over expounding, buts it's been kind of a big deal
up here. Scripture for the week;) Moses 5:8-9. I love serving the
Lord...the church is true! Love you all and have a great week!

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Monday, November 2, 2015

November 2, 2015

Hope you guys had a good Halloween! I'm jealous Jeff can dunk it that good! I have pretty much lost all my hops and any skills I had! It's been raining like crazy and I haven't seen the sun for a few days. The work is going good. The area has at least doubled in progress since I have been here! Our baptism should be within the next couple weeks if things go as planned! I couldn't be more excited! 


First one of these I've seen in a while #ancient

Scripture for the week: 2 Nephi 24:11-16. 

Love you guys!

Elder Andrew

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Monday, October 26, 2015

October 26, 2015

This week was a good one. Monday we went to the "ape caves". We were on the lookout for Sasquatch the whole never know;). It was pretty cool though! It's this huge natural formed cave that's like a mile long and it is pitch black the whole way. It would definitely get a little creepy had I done it alone or not had a good flashlight.

We also tried out one of the 'before mission' tactics early on this week, which I don't know if we are really allowed to do it but oh well. We saw some dudes playing ball while Tracting and we went over and started a pickup game haha. The deal was if they lost they had to listen to our message, if we lost we would get out of their hair. My comp isn't really a ball player back home, and I was sore from lifting and just sucked that day (excuses), so we lost. They wanted to hear our message anyways though! For a good ten to fifteen minutes we talked about Gods plan for his children and the restoration. We got two new investigators out of it and both of them received a Book of Mormon. The 'before mission' tactic wasn't too bad after all.

The work is picking up incredibly! We have 6 progressing investigators, 4 of which are now on date and preparing to be baptized. We found out who is being transferred, and me and Elder Burciaga are staying! I was so happy just cause I have created some really strong friendships and I wanna be a part of this next major movement in the area. The ward is really starting to trust and respect us now and friendships are growing there too. Scripture for the week:

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 
MATHEW 28:19-20

I love this scripture lately because I have been in a "hit the pavement"/"find, teach, and baptize" mindset lately and I don't think it's going to leave any time soon. The lord is definitely on our side if we are proclaiming his word "boldly, nobly, and independent." Miracles happen out here...the girl we had on date now has started including her family in the discussions and we are all best friends. Now they all want to get baptized....AS A FAMILY! With patience and hard work, if we ask, we will receive. I hope all is well at home, you are all in my prayers.

Love you guys,
Elder Andrew

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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

October 19, 2015

This week has been an interesting week. For some reason, all the missionaries from other faiths have been coming up to us and wanting to "bible study". We talked to some Jehovah Witnesses the other day for a while...they like to talk...a lot and almost try to get the conversation heated. Good thing I wasn't feeling overly headstrong that day, or I would have got kind of into it!

Our investigators for the most part are progressing. We had to move one of their baptismal dates to a little later date cause she still hasn't made it to church that's kind of frustrating. I hope I stay here for another transfer so I can see a couple of our investigators baptized.

Transfers are next week and we should be getting transfer letters this Friday!

I have been sharing my favorite scripture after meals with families for a brief message. In Ether 12:27, it talks about humbling ourselves and admitting our weaknesses. Once we do this, our weaknesses will be made strengths through the Lord.

Nothing out of the ordinary other than that this week. Another week of miracles everyday this week. Thank you for all all the support and prayers in my behalf! I love you guys, and I love serving the Lord!

Elder Andrew

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Monday, October 12, 2015

October 12, 2015

Two weeks until my second transfer!

Time is flying by and training is going well!

It's been a very wet week! Both my shoes have huge holes on the bottom from walking so much. That definitely increased the fun walking out in the rain with no-sole shoes!

This week has also been a week of bashers coming up to us and wanting to "talk". I'm pretty headstrong I found out, and it is easy for me to get into (not forgetting to testify) it because I know a couple things now haha...not worth it anyways though, we rarely get anything out of them. One of the bashers was a lady that had a TON of armpit hair (she was wearing a tank top) and she gave my companion a huge hug after haha!! I took a big step back cause I didn't want the same for me. The same day we had people throwing crap out of the car at us and that night we got soaked cause someone drove by and threw their drink at us. I was laughing really hard and my comp almost started crying.

We have been visiting a less active once a week that was a truck driver. He always tells us how much of a thug he was back in the day. We get a pretty good laugh out of visiting with him.

As far as the work, we are still working with several investigators on their baptisms within the next month. I kind
of hope I'm not transferred so I can see them be baptized!! We found a lady who was interested and brought us in with her WHOLE family. She thought her husband was gonna prove us wrong or bash with us. It ended up being an extremely spiritual experience and we gave everyone Books of Mormon and they all committed to reading and praying if it is true, and being baptized if they feel it's true!

The relationships with the people in this area are getting very strong. I am developing friendships that I would have never seen coming. Loving the people
gets you twice as far in the work..thanks for the advice pops!

This Sunday I bore my testimony on charity and Christlike love, and next
Sunday they are making me sing a solo in sacrament meeting ... it's gonna be hilarious. Oh well, if I screw up, at least people can get a good laugh out of it! I love you guys!

Elder Andrew

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Friday, October 9, 2015

October 5, 2015

This week was a really good one;) hahaha, I feel like I say that every week. We have picking up a ton of new investigators! We have at least four progressing and that want to work towards baptism! We have been getting pretty close to our investigators and families. They invite us over for meals and ask us to do all this fun stuff that we can't do cause mission rules, but friendships have definitely been gained out of running into and teaching these people.

Other than that, this week has been a pretty normal week, and it flew by so it's hard for me to remember anything overly significant!

General conference was cool! I liked one of the first talks by Elder Uchtdorf: keeping things simple. The doctrine and principles are so simple but they really do take more than a lifetime to fully understand and comprehend. Faith in the fundamentals should be our foundation. People worry about the in-depth, including myself, maybe a little to much where as I could be focusing on putting my efforts in better understanding the atonement or Christ's doctrine instead of controversial church history topics.

No crazy challenges for you guys this week, just keep on keepin on;) Maybe listen to the young ones a little more because they are familiar and say these things that are so simple, but so true. Our investigators' 6 year old daughter out of no where just said "Jesus can do everything". That's inspired, and I think it hit all of us in the room harder than we thought. Just keep it simple, coming from President Uchtdorf. Love you all!

Elder Andrew

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September 28, 2015

This week has been a good one...for the most part. We have been gathering a few new investigators and we put some one on date the other day! We have really have been making it clear lately with those we are teaching that baptism is a goal and we as missionaries are there to help them get there and understand why it is essential for eternal progression.


Training has been fun, it's a lot more work on my part, but I like taking initiative and it seems my way of doing things is working out...haha. My comp is cool and the ward loooves him. We aren't exactly alike, but we make it happen, I love the kid!

A lot of this week I've been pretty sick, with the flu or something...we got through the week though so it all good! The other day we were Tracting and ran into an interesting person. He really wants us to tell people and focus on the fact God is almighty and we must fear him. It was pretty funny, he was like grabbing my face and rubbing it like a little kid and kept telling me I missed a spot on the stache...;) hahaha burciaga was laughing way hard, I was pretty weirded out. He kept pointing at mount hood and saying out God created that and how almighty he is. Sometimes he would yell, sometimes he would whisper. It was an interesting experience to have a drunk old biker dude with a beard grab my face, but I noticed he had the light of Christ. I saw it in his eyes. He passion and love he had for Christ was exponential, and it hit me hard. When he brought up we need to fear God, I was thinking. I agree but maybe not in the same way he thought. As missionaries sometimes we run across some pretty funky people, and are purpose is to bring ALL unto Christ. During my studies I came across this and I think it's pretty cool. It relates to missionaries and non missionaries:

"9 Only rebel not ye against the Lord, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the Lord is with us: fear them not." 

Sometimes we are scared of a reaction, or timid to talk to people. The Lord has prepared certain people that are in need of hearing the message we have to share. My challenge to you all is to look past the "cover of the book" or outer appearance, and to not fear the people, and submit yourselves to the will of the Lord. The last days are here, anyways, it's the least we can do for what our savior has done for us. Just look at the moon the other night....that was pretty cool how red it was. I love you guys. Keep hitting me up with the fun stuff you do at home.

Sincerely ,
Elder Andrew 

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Saturday, September 26, 2015

September 21, 2015

First Week of Second Transers

This past week was different, transfers came and I got my new trainee. My new companion is cool...he's a character! His name is Elder Burciaga, he's from Arizona. I don't think he's too used to walking...the first day of work for him opened his eyes I think. I think I have been killing him as far as work haha. One thing I've have learned is he snores CRAZY loud haha...and he falls asleep at the flip of a switch. Yesterday in church he fell asleep like ten times and started snoring super loud and I had to keep nudging him! But he has a big heart and really strong testimony. He was sealed to his family a month before he came out as well as baptize his step dad, so I thought that was pretty cool. He has kinda grown up living kind of a rough life from the sounds of things, but he has pulled through and seen that light at the end of the tunnel.

I miss my boys Clanton and Stephens, but it's still fun in the apartment. We have been workin hard and picked up another few investigators. Our progressings cancelled appointments on us last week so I was bummed about that, but we are doing our best to keep them around. Our goal is to get three people on date within the next couple weeks that we didn't already have on date. It's gonna take some faith for sure. Alma 32 is an awesome chapter that talks a lot of faith and compares faith to a seed, that if we nourish it, it will grow. In D&C 18:19 it sais "And if you have not faith, hope, and charity, you can do nothing". Everything requires faith whether it consists of our religious outlook, or just day to day things. Once we exercise our faith in something(nourish the seed), we begin to have a perfect knowledge of that thing. Missionary work definitely takes a lot of faith. At home you guys can exercise your faith by the simple day to day things (prayer, reading from BOM, church), but I'd challenge you all to go out of your way and talk to others who might be interested in hearing a message we as Mormons have to share, but doing so your faith will grow.

Love you all guys! By the sounds of things, it sounds like everything's going alright! Don't be afraid to let me know if crap goes down at home!! Haha

Elder Andrew

Sunday, September 20, 2015

September 14, 2015

This week...a lot has happened...we got transfer letters first off,
 and I am staying in the area..and training a new elder. I'm one of three doing this out of all the newer missionaries. As part of the call, obviously I take over the area and am "senior companion". I think I'm going to have a rude awakening regardless how involved I think I am in the companionship because in like a day, I'm going to have to start doing EVERYTHING. I'm pretty nervous, considering I've only been out for about six weeks (a lot of time people don't listen or take seriously newer missionaries). I'm gonna do my best to stay on top of things tho. We have a new game plan for the ward as far as missionary work and I think it will be very effective if we can put it to action.

Other than transfers we have been fairly busy with appointments so there hasn't been a lot of time to tract. We have three progressing investigators who should be on date for baptism within the next week and it will be on me cause Clanton will be out of here. It's sweet to see some hard work start to pay off.

At the beginning of the week I gave my first two blessing! A less active asked us to bless her children for the new school year on the spot so I was pretty nervous, but you could definitely feel the spirit and it went well as far as me not screwing up or anything haha.

We have talked to a few people that want to convert us to "science" and think God is as real as leprechauns and the Book of Mormon is no better than reading out of a Harry Potter book, so they are kinda fun to talk to.

We had a cool service project where I got cut up and stuff (for the ward) cause we were taking out blackberry bushes. Decent week!

This next week will be interesting. We have been doing tons of service lately too. Service is one of if not the best way to show Christlike charity to others. Through service our love and appreciation for God and the people we serve increases and our understanding for true happiness grows. If you haven't already seen it, look up the "lift"Mormon's pretty cool. I can promise you guys serving others will bring you closer to Christ and with that , would invite you to look for opportunities to serve those around you, whether it been a project or just a smile. Love you guys!

Elder Andrew

Monday, September 7, 2015

September 7, 2015

This week was fast!

We have been getting suuper busy! There is a new set of missionaries coming in and we won't have enough trainers to train all of they are picking three of the 32 elders last
transfered to train someone after only being trained for 6 weeks....and
the AP's and Zone Leaders are saying I'm one of the I'm kinda nervous. I'm kinda not even close to done with my own training technically, but I guess they think I'm ready.

Transfers is this next week. I think my companion Elder Clanton will be moving to a different area, but you never know I guess. President Taylor receives revelation and it's NEVER foreseeable. 

This week has been cool though, we ran into Damien Lillard's home....gave his brother and friend a Book of Mormon, and they want us to come back. Damien will be there next time we are there!! We were stoked on that! We were tracting and ran into a lady that had leperacy....! She looked extremely rough, it was pretty sad. We have been getting quite successful though as far as the work. This area was at a stand still, now we have around ten investigators,three of which are progressing, and one on date. It's definitely a pretty rough area to tract cause we are in a very wealthy area, so people aren't really in a humbling stage in life where they really need anything else, they think they are content where they are, which is understandable.

We had the zone leaders stay at our apartment like four nights this weeks cause they were temporarily kicked out of there apartment. We had some

Glad things are running smoothly at home and everybody is happy.

Love you guys.

Elder Andrew

Monday, August 31, 2015

Sunday Dinner at The Schnell's

August 31, 2015

Hey yall!!

The work is progressing and we are working till we drop everyday! It's honestly an awesome feeling! We picked up a few new investigators this week, so we are pretty stoked about that.

So earlier this week we had a prompting to go visit some member at his house for a drink of water and a quick message haha....turns out his girlfriend was there who is now a very interested investigator and they gave me one of their old acoustic guitars for FREE!!! I was so stoked by the end of that night...that day was awesome anyways, everyone answered their doors that day, we handed out all of our b.o.m.s, taught like a million lessons...we were on fire, and that's how a lot of the week was, with the exception of a day or too!

My testimony and love for this gospel strengthens everyday. We have had a few people, get out of there car and try to bash with us, and by the end of the discussion, my testimony is only strengthened. I'd invite you guys to look for your own testimony builders rather than let them come to will give you missionary chances that you can act on, and you can have a glimpse of the miracles I see everyday. 

Love you all, and am glad all is well. 

Love ya!!

Elder Andrew

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Week 5

What's up guys!

Sorry I didn't have a ton of time to write last week, but time is FLYING. It seriously feels like every other day is P-day.

So last week, to start out on a negative note, we lost Matt (our really cool investigator) cause he got kicked out of the nursing home for insurance reasons. It was depressing cause he was really interested and now that he is out of there, he is also out of our area so we
can't do anything about it. We talked to him on the phone and he said he is probably just going to go back to his old church. We compensated for having a straight up awesome week this week though. We found three new investigators, who are all interested a lot! 

By the end of the week and during meetings, me and Elder Clanton are just done cause we are in the only walking area in the whole mission. It's been a little
hard walking cause all the hills in our area, and there was a huge natural fire so everywhere has been super smokey and hurts to breathe. Haha sister training leaders thought we were acting like we were to cool to be at one meeting cause we looked tired, but I guess thats what
you get when you walk 15 to 30 miles a day in smoke. Oh well, our work has definitely paid off and we can both agree we saw miracles this week. 

As far as living, all four of us living together are best buds and are laughing or singing when we are studying. 130 bucks a month for everything can kinda make it hard, but it's slowly teaching me
better budgeting and spending habits. 

It's awesome out here, I love the work, and am doing my best to work my hardest. Everyday I learn something knew.

A quick thought for you all: we had a lesson the other night about how God has blesses us and how it's sometimes hard to see his hand in our lives. We have to remember that a lot of blessings that he has promised us are eternal, and if we live our life right and in harmony with Christ's teachings, we we can see the small ways God has blessed us here on earth, but more importantly, better appreciate the blessings that he has promised us eternally. God loves us all very much and wants us aware of the blessings we can receive if we are patient and obedient to his commandments. Obedience and patience has allowed me to see the blessings in my life and better appreciate the blessings to come.

I hope you all had a great week. Remember to think of referrals for the local missionaries in your's a lot of help;) love you all

Elder Andrew

Monday, August 10, 2015

First Missionary Selfies

Me and Clanton's first selfies.

Honestly I lucked out...amazing apartment, member meals every night...I eat well all the now a matter of realizing we are blessed so we need to work even harder haha

Week 2

Yo! This week has been awesome!! We walk soooo much! I already basically have holes in my shoes and some pretty nearly blisters! We spend a TON of time knocking on doors. We have the biggest walking area in the mission, plus it has a ton of hills, so by the end of the day we are just done haha!

My companion Elder Clanton is a stud! I've been teaching him how to do a backflip and how to play the guitar, in return he is going to teach me how to unicycle haha!

The work is awesome tho! Even tho it's only been a week, I've already been cussed out, spit on, told I'm wrong or what I'm supposed to believe, knocked on a million doors, it's definitely been an adventure!

Yesterday our work payed off and we picked up three new potential progressing investigators! One of them is like forty and is in a rehabilitation center for the next month, but his story is crazy! He sat us down telling us he was curious about what we believe and had some other questions. Then he told the story. Basically, he got in this motorcycle accident and fell off a cliff...he remembers hovering over his body and looking at the scenery and his bike that was up on the road as well as himself down below at the bottom of a cliff. He could see himself laying on a rock by some water (an out of body experience!). And then all of a sudden he was sucked back into his body, and felt incredible pain laying face down on the rock. Me and Clanton's jaw was dropped as he told us this story. I guess he was in a an area where it gets extremely cold in the night time. Every bone in his body was broken and he told us he was unable to move. He had a pack of cigarettes he was using to keep his body warm through the night and the next day. At the end of the next day he came to his last cigarette and basically just said a prayer (never really having much experience in prayer) relying upon God to work things out. No more than ten minutes later, someone looked over the cliff and found him and called 911. So that story was humbling experience and spark for any questions he might have had to provide an explanation for what happened! The spirit was definitely there as we taught and talked and we have a re visit tomorrow so we will see how it goes!

I'm glad everyone is doing good and having fun!

Start preparing now, cause this really is hard work and it takes a lot of faith for a lot of the stuff we do!

You guys are in my prayers always and I miss you all a ton!

Much love, Elder Andrew;)