Monday, March 28, 2016

March 28, 2016

This week has been awesome. We met a cool guy on the street and he let me play his guitar for a while! We ended up being bros, and he wants to hang out and talk about the gospel! The weather was ok over here, half rain, half a little better than usual! I hope everyone had an awesome Easter! I'm really excited for General Conference this coming week, because we have a few investigators we are planning on watching it with. Elder Jones had a bug all week, but was a trooper in trying to get over it. This morning I have been reading out of a book, The Power of Everyday Missionaries, an incredible book for those that are interested in sharing the gospel but not quite sure how, where, when, and who to share it with. For those interested in receiving blessings that come with missionary work, check this book out! The book talks about something that would be in relation to this scripture: As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. Let's go about doing some good this week!! Love you all!

Elder Andrew

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Monday, March 21, 2016

March 21, 2016

This week has been phenomenal!!!

Every companionship in the zone is putting people on date! It seemed like every five minutes, people were texting in miracle stories. We saw them within our companionship this week as well! Good to see success despite all the crappy weather lately. We actually had a couple days where the sun seemed to be out, so we took advantage of that and did some service! We had a zone conference as well this week, which went awesome! We received a couple amazing trainings from some companionships as well as President Taylor! Today we are going to ball hard! Best week ever! Also, Sunday, we taught gospel principles. The lesson was on the sacrament! During the discussion, we all shared what we do while the sacrament is being administered each week. I remembered a scripture I came across in my studies...Helaman 5:9     " O remember , remember , my sons, the words which king Benjamin spake unto his people; yea, remember that there is no other way nor means whereby man can be saved, only through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, who shall come; yea, remember that he cometh to redeem the world."
I explained I generally will say a prayer, reread the sacrament prayer and a cool scripture like this. Than I ponder on that and think to myself how I will better take the Saviors name upon myself this coming week. The sacrament is a huge blessing to partake every week! It's one of the specific ways he has asked us to remember him, and we have the privilege of partaking in such a reverent setting administered by the authority of God himself!! So I thought that was cool. Nothing else crazy has been going on, just another bomb week in Vancouver! I love you all!

Elder Andrew

Monday, March 14, 2016

March 14, 2016

This week has been a quick, super productive week! We are teaching a
guy who has ASL and is paralyzed from neck down. He has a great heart
and knows what we have been sharing with him is true. The way he looks
at life, regardless of his circumstance, is incredible. It's forced me to take a step back and count my blessings! He accepted the invitation to be baptized!! 
We have some other incredible people we are teaching that are borderline baptism candidates as well! The ward
and area is on fire! Amazing people are there to help us out as well! Everybody in the zone is getting people on date like crazy! It's looking like we are going to surpass our goals and we are all stoked!!

We had a pretty cool experience the other day! An appointment cancelled on us this week, so Elder Jones and I prayed to ask what we should do, as we normally would. The name "William" came into both of our minds. Neither of us knew who that was, had seen that name in our records or anything. We search him up and somehow dig up a William that hadn't been stopped by in forever! We went over there, he let us
right in, and we taught him the first discussion and got to know him pretty well. He was more than down to meet again and said he would be baptized after he reads the Book of Mormon haha!!! Praying+faith=miracles! Once again. Amazing week!!

Love you all,
Elder Andrew

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Monday, March 7, 2016

March 7, 2016

This week has been SOLID!!

First off, we had transfers, I am now 
serving in the Evergreen Ward in Vancouver!! It's so different than Portland!!! I absolutely love it and my companion, Elder Jones is a stud!! He was in band in high school, and plays a lot of drums. He knows how to play the drum kit pretty well.... He's fun to talk about music with! We were able to go to a couple baptisms for people I had taught in one of my previous areas! That was kind of weird because I got to see some people from my old ward. It is incredible the feeling you get as a missionary seeing people you love and taught make such an important choice! Without a doubt it will effect them and their families forever. We had a couple cool experiences of running into people this week and putting them on date on the spot!!! Miraculous things are about to happen! We have the coolest Zone as well! Everyone is my MTC companion is in there with us!

I've been thinking a lot about being an example lately. Every single one of us are examples and leaders in our own way. A lot of times we are setting examples without recognition of what we are doing and so I have been trying to decide what kind of example I would follow...and than BE THAT. As we all know, the leader of leaders led by his example. The power that came behind his leadership came from his desire to be what a leader should be:
"Walk quietly, as in stocking feet; but walk fearlessly, in faith. Don’t let the ill winds sway you. Walk as leaders with the priesthood in the government of God. Walk with hands ready to help, with hearts full of love for your fellowmen. But walk with a toughness in righteousness." 

We can be the 
best example by showing our hearts are full of love for our fellow brothers and sister. Love them! That's it haha. When we internalize the love that the savior has for us, we learn to love him back, and love his doctrine. Through our love for the doctrine taught by our Savior, we begin to live it and we then can perfectly portray the blessings of this restored gospel.
The week has been good! I hope all of yours will be as well. I love you all!!!!!
Elder Andrew

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Monday, February 29, 2016

February 29, 2016

I forgot what transfer I am on, but its the end of it! That flew by haha!

This week was awesome! We were able to find some people that are interested in the gospel as well as we were able to put a couple people on date for April!! Elder Johnson and I are so stoked for it. I feel so blessed that the Lord is blessing us with these people to teach and befriend.

The weather was awesome over here this last week to! Ton's of sun...which called for a lot more walking! I love going out and finding when the sun is out! Got to take advantage of it over here! We were able to teach gospel principles and attend the primary and be the "guest speakers"! I love the primary. There is an awesome spirit in that class that is different than the others! We discussed in gospel principles "Jesus Christ, our savior and leader". We were talking about in the premortal existence Satan proposed he be our savior and that he wanted all the glory, and then Jesus Christ stood up and said he would volunteer to be our savior for the love that he had for us and his father. As well, with Jesus being our savior, we would be able to keep our agency! We were also talking about how the Savior would be our judge. How suited he would be for that position seeing that he has gone through everything that we have or ever will go through.

3 Listen to him who is the advocate with the Father, who is pleading your cause before him--

4 Saying: Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified;

5 Wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on my name, that they may come unto me and have everlasting life. (D&C 45)

To me, this scripture is pretty comforting!!!!!!! He will be our advocate, he will plead for our cause depending on our desires, he will ask to spare all of us who will choose to believe in him! Jesus sounds like a bro. haha! All I got to do is believe, and follow his example=eternal life and happiness forever!

I love you guys, and hope all is well as the weather over there! Its crazy how much of an impact it can make on your day!

Elder Andrew

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

February 22, 2016


Another great week has passed! We found a couple solid new people ready to investigate the church, they seem pretty prepared so we are stoked! We had a ton of great lessons, members and non members! The Lord just seems to be handing miracles our way and it's starting to feel like we are doing less and less.

An elder we are living with had the opportunity to go to a temple sealing for the first investigator he taught. Over time he had the opportunity to see them progress in the gospel to where they are now. He said it was THE coolest thing to see the change and be able to witness the sealing. He said the spirit was undeniable and emotions were high! We have an opportunity to make some pretty cool promises with the Lord, and in return he has promised us incredible blessings. Now this couple can be together forever and their children will be born into the promise which will not only bind them to their parents, but also effect and influence their lives for better then they, or really any of us can really understand. I was pretty jealous.

Another cool thing this week was interviews with president! The person who is subbing in for president is way cool! Seems like a very understanding loving person!

We ate a pig too! Elder Johnson and I got to eat in the Tongan ward once this week...we got there and they had two big pigs over a fire they had got that morning! It was way cool!

We had exchanges soon after and being with my previous companion for a day was fun.

Lately I have been really focusing on developing Christlike attributes. Rather than just making them actions, I want to really incorporate them to who I am. Yesterday's big look was knowledge. Before I never really thought of knowledge being a Christlike attribute, but it is! In Alma 17:2-3, it talks about how powerful we can be in our ministry when we try to obtain a knowledge for righteous purposes. The sons of Mosiah "had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God.

4 And they had been teaching the word of God for the space of fourteen years among the Lamanites, having had much success in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth;"

Prophecy, revelation, teaching with the power and authority of God....SUCCESS!! I need this! I'm still trying to obtain a knowledge that seems adequate for the task I have at had. Without a doubt, my efforts in this behalf have allowed the spirit to take my words and make them into what God would have me say. "21 Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be loosed; then, if you desire, you shall have my Spirit and my word, yea, the power of God unto the convincing of men." Pretty cool promises.

I love you guys, I love it out here! The work is progressing so fast! Have a great week!


Elder Andrew

Monday, February 15, 2016

February 15, 2016

Hey everyone!! I have like no time this week to write...just got back from a cool hike! Miracles have been raining down this last week!! Have to talk about it next week! Love you all!

Elder Andrew

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Monday, February 8, 2016

February 8, 2016

Another week down! As usual, it flew by. I learned a couple lessons
this week haha!

First off, yesterday was fast Sunday and I got up to bear my testimony. I remembered my heart was pounding crazy fast this time. I knew I wanted to bear my testimony but didn't know what to say so I started thinking of things to say and ways to say it....bad Idea.
I don't remember what I said, but it didn't feel that good after. Than I remembered a scripture that I had seen proof of in previous experiences and that was:

19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.

20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

Pretty cool promise. I remember prior and at the beginning of my mission I took a lot of thought for what I was going to say!! I learned there was a difference between planning out a lesson or talk and actually thinking of things to say and how to say them and not just relying on the spirit to bring things to your remembrance. Definitely a mistake i will try not to make again! Something that has just been on my mind.

We met the family who are progressing in the gospel this last Thursday and it was awesome! We show up, and all of them I guess went to Deseret books and picked up quads with their names engraved on them!!! We were so stoked. The main one we are focusing on quick smoking and coffee cold turkey...and has no desire to have it!! Serious prayers being answered! She experienced a miracle from paying her tithing too! She told us it was either groceries and part of the rent or tithing and she chose the latter. A couple days
later, she got a couple of gift cards to Wenco with several hundred dollars on them. We were mesmerized, and kinda had to tell her the Lord doesn't always work like that, but sometimes through our faith, we can witness miracles. They are still progressing rapidly, so keep them in your prayers! as will we.

I got to go on an exchange to my last area, and I realized how much I missed that ward. All of the people in the Tongan ward seriously have the most charity collectively I have ever seen and I seriously look up to them!


I love you guys. Thanks for all you do for me and your support!

Elder Andrew

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Monday, February 1, 2016

February 1, 2016

Hellooooo! Fam and friends how are ya! This week has been a quick one!
Been a little under the weather, but as was everyone...seasons
greetings! We had some really cool stuff happen this week!

We have been meeting with a less active member of the church and saw her a
couple days ago. We went into her home and a new person was there! Told us she was the daughter of this member and had been listening in on our previous visits! She said she felt the spirit strongly and wants to be baptized!! This is the same family who has a grandmother
who wants to be re baptized...!! Seriously the coolest thing ever! So now we are teaching the whole family and they are super receptive to the spirit.

There are some funny things that go on in the city of Portland. Stories for another time, but it's been fun.

Lately a lot of our efforts with the ward has been trying to focus on the temple and regular attendance of the temple...I think most times, we don't necessarily grasp the importance and magnitude of this holy place and what really goes on. Put aside the fact that we receive
incomprehensible blessings for making and keeping promises, this is the literal home on earth of the Lord. If we really wanted to get as close as we could to walking where Jesus walked, this would be the place to do it! I wish so bad we were able to go more often as missionaries. There is a quote that puts it simply. 

"Maintaining our spiritual strength is....a daily challenge.....the greatest source of
that spiritual strength comes....from our temples".-James E. Faust.

I remember back home attempting to visit the temple on a more regular
basis prior to my mission. I could, hands down, recognize a difference in myself, in multiple aspects, when I chose to attend the temple that week. There is an undeniable spirit that dwells there. For me: grab the fam and make a goal to go with each other once a month. For those
who can't quiet go inside or are unable, just go to the visitors center or walk around the grounds...then see within a month what difference it makes. "That whatsoever he shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven" I love you guys, and I'm looking forward to the eternities with you all!! Let's do the simple things so we can have a BALL in the next life.

Elder Andrew

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Monday, January 25, 2016

January 25, 2015

Hey hey! Glad to hear from a lot of you! Sounds like all is well and everyone is having a good time! This week has been super cool and hectic! It was transfer week and we had a baptism(!!!!). I got my new companion (Elder Johnson) and we have been tearing it up! He's been out
about three months, but is a smart kid and is always looking for ways to improve! We teach pretty well together so it has been fun! This last Saturday we baptized Surona, and the day after (on Sunday), she was confirmed and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. The spirit was so strong at both times! My previous companion got to baptize her and I had the opportunity to confirm her! It was the coolest thing ever!

This coming week is going to be crazy busy! We have a ton of exchanges
and tons of appointments set up.

Because I lack in memorizing and quoting scriptures I have been trying to make an extra effort during personal study to get a couple down.

Shout out to my Uncle John! He sent me a cool scripture that I have been trying to get down. It's in Alma 37:6-9. I'm working on just verse 9 right now though. It talks about how missionaries are basically useless in teaching without the Book of Mormon and I'd like to add, the Holy Ghost. There was a cool quote I came across and it said something like (paraphrasing): if by the power of man, someone convinced you the Book of Mormon was true, then by the same power you could be unconvinced. Luckily, we don't teach by the power of man! We teach by the power of God. I have already seen the influence of the hole spirit on people I have taught. This young girl who was baptized this last Saturday is already showing to be a great influence for good for her family and it has influenced a dramatic change for her grandparents whom she lives with! Super cool to stand back and watch the spirit work wonders!

One thing I have been thinking about is how much I miss the Tongan ward!! They were some amazing, charitable people!! Talk about an influence to me!! The work is going good! Love you all.

Elder Andrew

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Monday, January 18, 2016

January 18, 2016

It's transfer week again!!

The past six weeks have been all over the place. I will be staying in the Rocky Butte Ward, and focusing my efforts in that ward alone. The Rose City Tongan ward is getting a couple of my past companions! They are gonna light it up. It was an amazing experience serving in that ward. My new companion's name is Elder Johnson! I haven't met him yet, but I'm pretty sure he has been out for a long while. The trio has been super fun! Never a dull moment! We all got along and taught well with each other. The transition will feel a little weird, I assume, going back to just two elders!

President Taylor has been feeling better, but we have been updated he won't be back on his feet for a month at minimum! The surgery went well though! His efforts and counsel will definitely be missed for this short period. They are bringing someone in his place for the time being. I'm thinking it's going to be one of the Area 70.

This week we were able to attend a child of record baptism which was awesome! But our convert's baptism won't be held until this coming Saturday! It's going to be so cool!!

We were discussing the
atonement after sacrament yesterday, and in our discussion, Elder Thomas relayed a story he was told and I would like to relay it to you all:

Belaying has brought Czenkusch his best and worst moments in climbing.
Czenkusch once fell from a high precipice, yanking out three mechanical supports and pulling his belayer off a ledge. He was stopped, upside down, 10 feet from the ground when his spread-eagle belayer arrested the fall with the strength of his outstretched arms.

"Don saved my life," says Czenkusch. "How do you respond to a guy like
that? Give him a used climbing rope for a Christmas present? No, you
remember him.

Because of the love and outstretched arms of our Savior, we can repent
and be baptized. The greatest act of charity was the atonement, which allows us all to enter into the gates and be eternally happy.

For someone that has saved my life, I would hope my gift back, out of
appreciation, wasn't a "used climbing rope". I'm stoked for all those at home looking to serve a mission within the next year or so. You are going to have the time of your life!! I love you guys! Keep on praying for missionary opportunities!

Elder Andrew

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

January 11, 2016

So, this week has been all over the place!!

First, a couple days ago our mission pres had a heart attack and is going into heart surgery today. Keep him in your prayers!

We also had a ton of exchanges (splits) and I feel like I was in my area for not even half the week!

Regardless of the absences of an area's missionaries, the work seems to
keep progressing! We have a baptism this coming Saturday!! Her name is
Sorona and she is ten years old...been taking the discussions for a
while now! She has a strong testimony for her age and is very excited
for her baptism - as are we!

Last night we had dinner with the 'almost' mayor of Portland. Later that night we came to find out there was only
three that ran! Hahaha. She was super funny though and didn't let us know that, we found out from a member! That was pretty funny.

We have been having a lot of inactive members and non members showing up to church! People have been coming out of the woodwork and baptisms are
on the way!

By the looks of it, I will probably be staying in the Rocky Butte ward with a new companion this next transfer. I'm pumped to work my butt off. It's gonna be a good one! Plus, we just got a
brand new ward mission leader who seems pumped about the work as well.

Nothing much has gone on today so far, got a hair cut, went pawn
shopping...the usual...gonna play some ball!

Something my comps and I have been talking about lately is despite our efforts sometimes, we notice we may not always see the fruits of them. No matter how hard we try and do our part, the work at times has felt like it's at a slump.
We had been trying to come up with an explanation to this, and figured
sometimes the lord doesn't bless us in the way we expect to get blessed always for whatever effort we put in. Maybe we are looking at it completely the wrong way. Shortly after I came across a scripture (Mosiah 2:21) "I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has
created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day,
by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to
your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another--I
say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be
unprofitable servants." This scripture made me think of why I came out
here in the first place - obviously to help others and myself...but
ultimately it was because I felt indebted to my Savior and Father in
Heaven. They incomprehensibly have done so much for me and all of us! I shouldn't be looking for rewards or extra blessings. I should be that unprofitable servant and expect my daily efforts to just be my reward. This is the Lord's work. He provides us with baptisms
to make us feel accomplished. If he wanted to he could do it all himself. I need to stop whining when I feel like 'my work' isn't progressing. Haha. The work is awesome. Love you guys!! Have a great week!

Elder Andrew

Monday, January 4, 2016

January 4, 2015

Hey how has everyone been doing!? This week has been super cool. 

First off, I didn't think it snowed up here...yesterday we woke up to all the roads being covered in ice and a few inches of snow and the wind was super strong! Both bishops texted us early letting us know we didn't have church or any meetings that day!! In Utah I remember they didn't cancel church for anything! So I was kind of thrown back. Basically, we were told by our mission president to stay in yesterday and make good use of our time studying or making calls or whatever we could find to do that was productive. It was a long day!! That night we decided we wanted out of the apartment so we tried driving over to our dinner appointment. There are no snow plows or anything for this kind of weather in Oregon so by this time, all the roads were ice rinks. Somehow we made it there and back in safety!

The work in both areas continues to progress. We have been meeting a lot with active members, which has been working out pretty well actually. People are starting to get in the 'let's baptize' mindset with us, especially the Tongan ward we work with! Everybody is super happy and energetic and you can tell that they really have internalized the gospel. 

We had a pretty cool experience I can't seem to get out of my head that happened Wednesday. It was towards the end of the day and we decided to make one last visit to a single lady in the ward. Brief background, (I had been told this by another missionary, not by her), she is in her late fifties, recently divorced for selfish reasons on the husbands side, lives by herself in an unheated and unlit home, and her family lives far away while her children have disowned her and left the church. We go up and knock on this door, we see someone with a hoody peek through the window then the door opens and she let us in. She had a hood over her head and if I didn't know otherwise, I would have said she was late thirties by the way she moved and looked. I was looking around her home as we were greeted in and I saw  bare walls, no electronics or tv or anything, besides a couple peices of paper on the wall that had her goals (spiritually, financially, physically,...the whole nine yards in detail). From the moment she opened the door, she seemed ecstatic to see us with the biggest of smiles on her face the whole time. As soon as I walked in her home I could feel a different kind of spirit than the one outside. We begin talking and she told us she has been working on schooling to be a real estate investor. In her family room she had a few notebooks and books for school and her laptop to do everything online. She was also telling us she had been giving out Books of Mormon left and right and wanted more copies. The whole time smiling and being joyful, so much so I wanted to laugh, I could not believe how happy she was, especially given her circumstances. I couldn't take it, I flat out asked her how she was so happy!! Haha. She said, from a general perspective she has gone through a lot and she doesn't have much temporal things. She said in its simplicity, she wanted to internalize the principles of the gospel! She might not have every scripture memorized, or have a highly involved calling or whatever...but she took very seriously the basics and fundamentals that we all learn in primary and really applied them to her life. She said in all honesty she could having nothing and she would feel like the luckiest most happy person alive to have the knowledge we do in these latter days! I want to be like her. Maybe it was her culture that helped, the Tongan people seem to all kinda be like this. I asked myself am I striving to be the most charitable person I can be. If I'm not that happy inside, I'm now just gonna take it as I haven't internalized those principals yet. Sorry I went off on that, but she is a perfect portrayal of what the gospel can do for lives. I hope the new year has been good for you all so far!! Again thank you everyone for the Christmas wishes! Keep working towards those goals!! Love you guys!


Elder Andrew

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