Come Follow Me

Come Follow Me
"And he saith unto them, "Come and follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." (Matt. 4:19) As the New Year begins, we, the members of the Willow Wood Ward, invite you to Come and Follow Him!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Elder Colton Price

So I got transfered to Cincinnati Ohio, in the Cherry Grove ward. It is a fantastic ward from the little I have seen of it so far! I am with Elder Berman and he has been out for 20 months so far.
I can't believe that I hit my year mark this Thursday!! I feel like I just left.

So this whole week has been filled with cold, and with meetings.
Monday we had preparation day and we weren't allowed to proselyte outside if we didn't have appointments because of the -25 degree windchill. So not a whole lot of missionary work went on that day.
Tuesday we were asked to be careful when we went outside, so we baked some cookies and took them to less active members houses and checked up on all of our investigators. Wednesday we had transfer calls and Elder Waite and I had some appointments so that day was pretty good.
Then on Thursday we had transfers which, including travel time, went from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm. Then after the transfer meeting I found out that Elder Berman and I have another meeting that night with the stake presidency, President Porter, and a few bishops from the stake. that went from 6:30 pm to 10:00 pm. I didn't even have time to unpack my stuff that night! :)
Friday we, Elder Berman and I, went to a meeting with a few other missionaries at the mission home and that lasted from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm (not including travel time)
So needless to say it was a busy past week and I am kind of meetinged out! I can only imagine how you feel dad :)
It was so much fun listening to President Porter and seeing his vision for the mission. He is an inspired man to say the least. One of the things that he is really focusing on is developing spiritual power in the missionaries so we can teach with the spirit, and develop faith like the ancient prophets had.
Nephi and Lehi (not the ones that sailed the boat) taught the Lamanites and the Nephites with such power and authority it was not possible for the people to disbelieve their words. That is the power that we are trying to develop.
I studied today trying to find out how such faith is developed and how one follows the spirit to be able to perform miracles, and the spirit really made prayer stick out.
Prayer is the way that we find out Gods will for us. It is a way that we can feel the spirit no matter where we are. So I got thinking that prayer is the tool that we have been given to help teach us what the Spirit feels like so we can look for that same guiding feeling in our daily lives. We are taught to let the Spirit direct our prayers, and if we can do that successfully then we have the ability to let it guide our lives. I testify that we have the right to constant guidance from the Holy Ghost.

I want you to know that I know that God is real. Any doubts that I have had have been erased by the spirit. By that same Spirit I know that Christ is the Messiah. He is real and He lives. His Atonement works. I am so grateful that He volunteered to help us all. I love my Savior. I testify that Joseph Smith, the humble farm boy, saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. He spoke with and was taught by them. I am grateful that he was worhty to restor this true church and all that is associated with it. I know that Thomas S Monson is the prophet today. This is the living reality of Gods plan. Of this I testify in the name of Jesus Christ. amen.

Elder Price

Elder Bremen Acord

Dear Family,

Thank you so much for your e-mails this week. Im sorry if my letters these last few weeks have been a little bit short and not as outgoing. Everything is fine, I have just been extremely busy and being a zone leader here in Praia and having a companion that doesn't know how to work the computer I spend a lot of my e-mail time making reports for the mission and for the stake and doing other fancy stuff on the computer. Just want you guys to know that I am happy and healthy and that everything is good here. I am just sooo skinny! I have lost sooo much weight! If you guys could maybe find me some nice little simple diet/work-out plan that I can start doing for these next six months so that I can come home with at least a little bit of muscle on my body, that would be great. :) 

So I am currently serving as zone leader in the Praia West Zone. Praia West zone is like the center of the mission here in Cape Verde. It is the zone of the three strongest wards here in Cape Verde and it is a zone that includes two islands. My Island, Santiago, and the newly opened island, Maio. Which I will be visiting in February probably. there are 20 missionaries in my zone and 3 districts. Because I am a zone leader here in Praia, we meet regularly with the stake president and other leaders relating goals and plans. Two weeks ago I attended a mission leadership council where we made baptism goals and rescue goals for the next 6 months when President Oliveira is released, and when I go home. It was super wierd making goals and plans for the rest of my mission. My companion and I did a lot of study and prayer and came up with the goals of 250 baptism and 120 rescues by the end of June. The rescue goal is a new goal that our mission now has and rescue basically just means to bring a less active back to church, teach him the lessons again, and help him get worthy to get a calling. Once he recieves a calling, he is considered rescued. Since this is the most succesful zone in the mission, our goals were the highest in the mission. 

This is the last week of transfer 12. I have been serving with Elder Gourgel now for 5 weeks. He is angolan but lived in Portugal forever. He is way cool and super funny and we have had a pretty awesome transfer. We are currently serving in V├írzea ward 3 which is a super awesome ward. Most of the other wards here in Praia have two or three companionships working in the ward. Our ward just has Elder Gourgel and I and when we asked President Oliveira to put another one in he said that he cant because it is literally growing way too fast as it is right now and another companionship would just be too much. 

This transfer I have had some very memorable baptisms with some absolutely amazing people. One was with Bemvinda who is 83 years old but absolutely hilarious and she wakes up early and walkes 30 minutes to church every sunday. She says she will go to church until the day she drops dead. Which sadly will be here in a couple of months. The funny/sad part is that she lives up on a hill that looks out right over the Praia Cemetary and she is always making jokes about how she is just waiting to go die in the cemetary. She sees about 3 funerals a day... 

We had two more amazing baptisms this last saturday with two brothers. Sidi and Celestino. Sidi is a teacher and is super smart and he already has a calling as the secretary in the Elders Quorum and His brother Celestino is just one of the nicest guys I have ever met. He works for Coka Cola and when he found out that I love Coke, he got me a sweet coke towel and a calender :) 

Everything is going pretty good here, Im just staying suuuper busy and time is flying by. I absolutely just love my mission. Easily the best mission in the world. I have learned some of the most amazing things here that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Its amazing to be a part of so many miracles and to be able to literally see God's blessing being poured down onto the faithful people here in Cape Verde. 

I love you all sooo much! Thank you for all of your love and support, you guys are amazing :) have an amazing week!

Elder Acord

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Elder Dallin Stout

Monday, January 6th 
This week was great, I had the most random experience ever! Elder Driggs's bike broke as we were riding, we stopped on the side of the road to fix it. As we were waiting for a member to come pick us up a huge green and glittered Hummer Limousine drove by us in the neighborhood! It had 8 wheels, I wish I could get a picture of it. That same day we met a Nun named Myra. We talked to her for a while and gave her a Book of Mormon and she happily took it. A recent convert of ours Eddie had 2 high school friends at his home. They were both wrestlers and tried to get me to go a round with them. We managed to change the subject and one of them asked how are church came to be. We taught them the Restoration lesson, during the lesson one of them would make jokes or distract from the spirit. By the end when we bore testimony we could see their countenance change; I love to see how the spirit can work on people. On Thursday I went on splits with Elder Bate. We taught a lot of people on the street, one man named Thomas was in his garage in a wheel chair. We started talking to him and he told us all about his injuries and how he got them. In the middle of this I noticed that he had pornography inside of his garage. I received a spiritual prompting to listen closely to what Thomas was saying.  I did all I could to focus on him and block out everything else including a TV. He started to pour out his soul to us about his past. I promised him that the message we had to share with him would change and bless his life. We told him about the plan of salvation, and gave him a Book of Mormon. We prayed and he thanked us for helping him feel better. I am thankful for the Holy Ghost and how much of an impact he has in this work of salvation. 

Monday, January 13th 
So when I came on a mission I was hoping to get away from the BYU-U rivalry. Well my Bishop is a die hard Utah fan. The ones that yell at the referees on the TV even when there team is winning. Ya he's awesome and reminds me of some family members back home... (you know who you are!) But most members are BYU fans so that's good. 
There is a member in the stake who is related to Hosea Stout, I'm not sure if I have a relation but that would be cool to find out. 
We got our transfer calls this morning, Elder Driggs is getting transferred to Pasa Robles which is at the very top of the mission. I am staying here at the bottom of the mission. He will have a 3 hour drive tomorrow. My new companion is Elder Collard. 
So this week has been awesome, we found a new investigator named Kevin. We talked to him on the street, he told us about how he had a rough past and has now come back to church. He is Catholic and has allowed us to come back. We taught Erik the Plan of Salvation, we committed him to reading the Book of Mormon daily, and set him with a Baptismal date for the 8th of March. We had a lesson with Madeline, she seems to find excuses why she can't come to church that are not really reasons. She won't commit to a date either because she is cleaning out storage or something. Hopefully we can find out her real concern. We had 2 funerals this week in the ward, the first was Bro  Facral. We had district meeting during the service so we got there afterwards during the lunch. Most of the family were members there so we got to talk with them.  The other funeral was on Saturday for Sister Crowley. The service was at most 20 minutes so it was the shortest I've ever seen. We got to talk to the family who was mostly non members and less active. One woman said she was looking for spiritual guidance so we gave her a Book Of Mormon.    

Elder Laird and Sister Karen Evans

We were called on a three year Church Guest Services Mission to the Conference Center in July of 2011. We were assigned to the security team of the Conference Center and Temple Square.  We provide security service to all major events at the Conference Center, Conference Center Little Theater and to the Tabernacle on Temple Square.  Our security service includes checking of purses for weapons, electronic devices, using the magnetometer, scanning event tickets, regulating lines, asking security questions to those who have issues with the magnetometer and baggage check at door 14. The goal is to fill the Conference Center with 21,000 people in less than an hour and a half and empty it within a half hour. When any type of weapon is discovered we raise our fist and a member of the LDS security staff will come to our aid and handle the situation. LDS Church policy is there are no weapons allowed on church property.
During the 100 Year Anniversary Celebration of the Boy Scouts of America, at our door we discovered three concealed guns and four knives.  The LDS security staff was very busy for that event.
Karen has mainly worked at checking purses and finding knives with a length of three inches or more.  We both have worked in baggage check. When we have worked in baggage check we have met many people from many foreign countries:  England, Japan, China, Finland, Canada, Central America, South America and Germany. Most are members of the Church but some are not.  When backpacks or suit cases are brought to the Conference Center or to the Tabernacle the people are asked to take them to Baggage Check. The bag is traded in for a check bag slip and the bag is stored on a shelf until the check bag slip is returned and the backpack or suit case is given back to its owner. During the event a bomb sniffing dog is brought into the storage area and the backpacks and suit cases are checked.
When working lines outside, I have had the opportunity to talk to people.  On one occasion an older couple from Montana talked to me and were thinking about serving a mission. It was very enjoyable to encourage them to submit their papers to serve a full time mission for the church.    
We have had an enjoyable time helping get people in and out of the Conference Center for General Conference twice a year, in April and October, and for the Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concerts which usually run Thursday night through Sunday morning.  We also helped on Thursdays and Sunday mornings at the Tabernacle for the Choir broadcasts and practices. We have also had various other assignments of concerts and special events. We are truly blessed to be able to help where we can. We believe in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and believe that Jesus is the Christ.  We love to read the Book of Mormon and appreciate that we now have prophets and apostles on the earth today. We are so happy to be able to protect these men and the people who attend Conferences.  We have met many wonderful people with whom we work and many wonderful people who attend these functions.  It has been a great two and a half years.

Laird and Karen Evans

Elder Brayden Evans

This week I was reading in 2 Nephi 2 and I learned a lot pondering on the teachings of Lehi. Pretty incredible guy if you ask me. I would really like to read the lost section of the Book of Mormon that had more about his life. He really speaks for direct and simple, I like that. You can CHOOSE Eternal Life or you can CHOOSE Eternal Misery. It's crazy the measures Satan goes to to try and make us forget that. We can return with God or go with Satan after this life. There really isn't much middle ground. Think of how much happier we would be if we didn't lose sight of that. Having an Eternal Perspective is extremely Difficult. Repentence is difficult as well. One thing that I have learned in my mission is that the Grace of God is something increadibly real. The other thing that I learned is that it's not the same for everyone. It's not fair, we are all unworthy. It is a decision of the Lord when we feel the Grace of God, and it usually doesn't come all at once. It kicks in when you have that real change of heart like it talks about in Alma 5.
So is it cold back at home?? hahaha I see all of these Gringos come on Sunday to church they are so grossly white. Like it hurts my eyes to look at them. I completely forgot what cold and snow feels like.. Next winter is going to be a long one.
One of the Less Active guys we have been working with just gave me an Exercise Bike until I go home..!! haha yeahhh babby.. Never thought I would be so excited about something like that.
Well I love you guys and thank you for everything
I pray for you guys every day

Elder Evans

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Elder Martin and Sister Jeanette Evans

     Well, we have had another eventful Christmas season with the Tabernacle Choir.  The Christmas concert started on December 12th.  We were helping the dancers.  It was our job to get them on and off stage at the right time.   Martin was helping the soldiers from behind the aduience and I was helping the ballerinas on right stage.  With all the practices it was a gruelling two weeks....BUT FUN!!  Our guest artists ( John Rhys Davies and Deborah Voight) were fabulous.  They truly appreciated the experience to be with the choir, orchestra and bells.
     We are truly belssed to be able to have these great experiences and thank our kind Father in Heaven for the opportunity.

                           Elder Martin and Sister Jeanette Evans

Monday, January 13, 2014

Elder Zach Beckman

Hey yall whats up??? Well this week was transfers and,  yes,  I got transfered to Dayton, Ohio, and I'm in the Englewood Ward!!! But I have some other big news!!!....... I got called to be a Zone Leader!!!!!!!!! at only 6 months too! So ya that is pretty exciting... not gonna lie, except I feel super young and out of place but it will all work out!!! But it is sweet I am being trained to be a ZL by an Elder Barnett.  He is from Ogden, Utah, and he is ok so far.  He is super quiet and I don't know if he doesn't like me or maybe we are still just figuring each other out or what but ya it's going good, just slowly!!!  But for those of you who know Connor Clay at Viewmont, Elder Barnett is like his twin, that's how you would describe him! But ya he is Training me and he has been awesome so far!!!

So we are in the Englewood Ward but our area is super ghetto as in super ghetto like a bunch of gang bangers walkin' around and doing what ever black people do at night.. ha ha ha.. but it's funny because they call our Area, EngleHOOD, in the mission because it is so ghetto.  Even president refers to it as that sometimes, ha ha ha, but it is a pretty fun area so far and the people are all really nice and like us!!!  But something cool is Elder Wells from Fresno, California, is in my zone!!!  He is a Spanish Elder and is Bailey's friend and was in Bev's seminary class!  But ya, he is sweet we got to go play soccer with him and his comp and the Spanish Branch last Saturday morning which was awesome to be able to play again!!! ahh i miss that but it was fun...

Well, Sunday we had a meeting with the stake president and President Porter and it's a meeting where we go over the numbers of how the stake is doing and what we are doing to improve the numbers from month to month and its pretty fun because President Porter just ripps us appart after the meeting which gets us stoked to go out and do more work!  But this meeting was scary becuase they are like "Elder Beckman.... what do you see in these numbers?" and I just sit there looking at like a book of spread sheets like Uhhhh.... then I give my imput, ha ha ha ha ha ha!   It was really scary but I gave all the right answers and president was impresed he said!!!  So that was fun, exciting and scary all at the same time!!!

But this week has been crazy with how much we are doing.... I love being out here though and I can't wait to help out our zone the best that I can! but ya just know that I love you guys and miss you all!!
Elder Beckman

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Elder James Hadley

January 7, 2014

Yesterday morning we received a call from the Salt Lake City airport from Elder Hadley. He was very excited to be on his way to the Mexico City West Mission. He loved his experience at the MTC and is looking forward to sharing the gospel with the people in Mexico. Around 6:30 p.m. he was allowed to call to let us know that he arrived in Mexico City. He said the first leg of the flight he sat by a man that let it be known that he did not want to talk. On second leg he sat by a family from Mexico that he talked to for over 4 hours about the gospel and before they parted the father asked how they could get the missionaries to visit with their family. He was so excited. He said that Mexico is more than he ever dreamed it would be. 

The Hadley Family 

Elder McCade Tracy

January 6, 2014

It's amazing to see the extreme change in myself from the time that we said our good byes at the MTC to calling at the airport just 12 short days later to then calling you two months after entering the field…. I've loved this whole experience and I know that these next 14 months will just fly by because we are constantly changing lives and the work is nothing short of extraordinary. To be able to see people change and accept the gospel and to look back and say to yourself "I was a part of that. The Lord used me to make this change happen in this person." The feelings from this work is indescribable.
 Today the weather is at 9, with the wind chill making it feel like -4! And it's 2 in the afternoon!!!! They said that we were gonna get a whole lot of snow, but instead we got a little snow and a whole lot of wind ;)
A lot of our investigators are sick with the flu, a couple of them are progressing and we'll be trying to teach the 15 step program to quit smoking with them either this week or early next. Just have to wait on them to get the supplies, but everything is looking good for them to get baptized on their scheduled day thus far :) Kelly didn't call and tell us about it! We had no idea that it happened until you told me on the call, but she said that they got everything cleared off the floor and all cleaned up pretty quick. You should ask her to send pictures of it, it looked like a pretty big spill but they got towels and blankets down very quick :)
High - Being able to get a lot of teaching in this week, even with Elder Beard and I not feeling well when we wake up at 6… We're not sick with the flu or anything like that so don't worry about it :)
Low - Not getting anyone to church yesterday, partially because of the supposed "huge storm" so church was pretty slim pickings this week.
To answer your question about the person that moved from Tennessee, she was a referral that we got and since we didn't have anything really to do during that time we decided to go and try to see her. The bad thing was that we couldn't find her address even with using the GPS, we knew that we were close to it, so we called her to verify that she wants to meet with us and that she lived at the address that we had received through the text. She said that she lived there and we set an appointment for Sunday night, since she was in the bike elders area we brought them too so that they could get to know her as well. We met with her and found out that her husband is a Less active member and he was baptized about 20 years ago, as we talked, her name is Misty Ramirez by the way, Misty told us that the Sister missionaries in Nashville were teaching her and it was Sister Burningham and another sister. I asked her to describe what Sister Burningham looked like and she described her exactly like Sid looks!!!! So that's the story, hopefully it's the same person :)
That's great to hear that the first Sunday of 2014 went so well for you all! My favorite experience from last week was being able to have fun with some of the members on New Year's day and also to have fun with our investigators as we taught them about the gospel :) 

December 30, 2013

It was a huge blessing to be able to see you and the whole family! Right after the call, it felt like a dream to know that I'm now half way done with my calls home and it's only a few months before I get to see everyone again :) Thank you so much, I've been doing a lot of great things in getting to the point that I want to be at and the great thing is that I've only been taking the supplaments for just over a month and I've made such a dramatic change from where I started out, I can't wait to see what will come of this hard work, and yes, we've been able to stay focused for the four days that we were able to work this week. We were able to hit a good number of our goals that we set last week, even though it was a little tough to press that end call button, it made me want to work even harder than ever and I knew that through doing missionary work and teaching people was gonna be the only way that I was going to get through not being able to see everyone for another five months :)
That's awesome! I can't believe that now I'm the only missionary in the whole family out right now.... It's a little scary, but now it just makes me want to work even harder! 
Oh! Before I forget, what's Sidney Burningham's email? I want to know because we got a referral from Tennessee and she said that Sister Burningham was the one teaching her so I want to ask Sid if it's the same person that they were teaching that just moved up to Owensboro!
Yeah, we've been able to set a few more and re-set a couple that we've been working on. We've met with a few of them and we've added a couple more investigators in the last few days, and they've all got baptismal dates at this moment! We were able to re-set a bap date with Adrianna's grandmother for Feb. 1, there's also a few others that we've set for Feb. 1 so we're hoping for at least one on that day. There's quite a few of our investigators that we'll be going over the quit smoking program with them so hopefully that'll help them draw closer to that goal of baptism!
High - Other than talking to you all ;) My high of the week was being able to meet with a lot of our investigators that we haven't been able to see in the last week and a half! As well as being able to re-set a few of the baptismal dates that we lost over the last couple weeks.
Low - Other than having to push the end call button, was not having anyone come to church yesterday and not being able to see everyone that we would have liked to this last week.
Here's the picture of Adrianna's baptism! Hopefully we'll be able to have a whole lot more of these moments in the near future!

December 24, 2013
Sorry for not getting to you earlier, the Library is closed today so we have to email at Best Buy :) Also, we were in Louisville yesterday for the Mission Christmas Conference/party ;) 
The baptism was AWESOME! The little girls name is Adreianna, she's 9 years old, a really cool thing that happened during it was that her mom and dad were both crying during the whole baptism! There is not a doubt in my mind that her mom won't be baptized soon, I did take pictures, also I won't be able to send pictures today because of emailing at best buy! I was the one who baptized her, and it was so awesome to be able to have that opportunity to perform that ordinance again :) 
My favorite thing about serving a mission during the Christmas season is that there are so many people who are interested and want to hear our message about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! It seems like the last little bit, Elder Beard and I haven't really tried to find anyone and yet we were able to find some more investigators over this past week. We also had interviews last week, and President Woodbury told me that I would be in Owensboro for at least one more transfer, and maybe even longer depending on the success that Elder Beard and I have while we're working together. No matter what, I will be pleading with him to let me stay as next transfer draws to a close because I know that there is so much more work here to be done and I feel and believe that it's the right time for Elder Beard and I to do the work that we were sent here to do. 
Over this next week we don't really have a whole lot of things set up, but with the days that we do, we will be filling our schedule up as much as possible in order to do our part as we serve during this important part of the year, we will be focusing on our solid people so that we can re-set the baptismal dates with them, we really wanted to get Adrianna baptized first so that she can be the rock or first stone for the whole family :)
We were able to get one at church, Tim (a new investigator that lives right by the church), he had a good time during sacrament, sadly he had to leave after that because he wasn't feeling very good but we're really glad that he was able to come to church for that time :)
We have not been able to do it quite yet, that's our goal for this next week, and there's not a doubt that we won't be able to do that soon.
High - Baptizing Adrianna on Saturday, two days before Joseph Smiths birthday and three months after the Angel Moroni appeared to Joseph :) Also, allowing the spirit to work on Adriannas' mom and dad at her baptism :)
Low - Seeing all the missionaries, that I've worked with through my mission so far, go home in the next two weeks. It was really tough to see them for the last time, but it was really good though because they helped me in so many ways that it's indescribable. Yes, I did take pictures with them ;)
We didn't have an ice storm this last week, but we did have a really big rain storm on Saturday! We were driving around in it seeing some investigators, and as we were driving a huge wind blast ripped through the city and it began to rain sideways, don't worry I got it all on video!!!!!! :D

December 16, 2013

I'm doing really great! I've never felt better, from working (both working out and doing missionary work) with Elder Beard, my knowledge of the gospel has grown and I'm getting stronger each and every day, the week started off kinda slow but it picked up near the end and honestly it didn't feel like we were really working very hard, but we did better overall than we did last week number wise.
We only got one, her name is Adrianna and she's a 9 year old granddaughter of another investigator of ours, yesterday was her third time to church so she can get baptized on Saturday!!! We've got a couple things to go over with her but we'll be able to get her baptized before the Mission Christmas party and before the call home! We've had to move a lot back, and we still have to re-set them, but we were able to add a couple with some new investigators that we were able to see this week :) The majority of our investigators are progressing, they just need to find someway to come to church and work towards baptism.
High - Doing a whole lot of work without really feeling like I've done a lot. Also, getting Adrianna to church so that she can reach her goal to get baptized on the 21st!
Low - Not having all those come to church that committed throughout the week. Also, having to push a few bap. dates back because of last week and no church
I just love how open and inviting people are during this time of the year, it seems like we stand out above the rest around this time so more people are really finding us as we're out contacting or stopping by to teach someone. It seems like they're more likely to accept the message because of their own belief in Christ and they find out that a lot of their beliefs are similar or right on with ours.
 I've learned that I know more that what I thought I knew, Elder Beard has helped me come to more knowledge of the scriptures, as well as help me become more confident in myself while working out for these last 3 weeks.
 I've noticed that I'm more intune with the spirit and really acting on the promptings that I recieve, whether for investigators or where to go for the day. I've just come to know that I can be a very powerful and successful missionary, if I only put my mind to it and push myself to do all that I possibly can to be obedient and follow the rules, I know that I will be blessed with so much success because I'm learning to become a hard working and smart missionary with the knowledge that is gained through studies and revelation.

December 9, 2013

I'm doing wonderful! We've been up to a lot, over this last week we were able to grow our teaching pool so much that it's ridiculous! We ended up with 14 new investigators that really want to learn more about the gospel and what we have to offer :) We met with a few members who offered their homes for teaching appointments as we get nearer to becoming a ward! We also doubled our goal/ the standard of other lessons taught as we got 20 in just one week.
We were unable to get them to church, on a count of them being sick and paired with the storm, they decided to cancel church on Sunday so all but two of our seven baptismal dates have to be re set with our investigators...
High - getting a whole lot of people to teach without really trying to find people, we found five new investigators just from one referral who was moving and we went as they were moving things. As we started to help, we began talking with them individually and they seem pretty interested and want to meet with us :)
Low - Having church get cancelled and having just about all of our investigators get sick
Just more confirmation to move forward, and also that I need to be doing all that I can to help our investigators towards the waters of baptism in the next month and a half or so.
Owensboro has taught me to not judge the people right off the bat, it has taught me that there are many wonderful people who are ready and willing to hear our message of the Savior. All I need to do is trust in the Lord and go out and find these people!

December 2, 2013

I know! It's crazy that Christmas is in a couple weeks! It's been a really fast 6 months but it has been amazing and completely worth it, Thanksgiving was a blast! We had so much food that we didn't know what to do! Nonetheless, it was really nice to have a day for ourselves a little bit because it was a non-proselyting day for us so the numbers didn't count if we went and taught someone.
Yes! We are having so much success with just the little time in which we've been paired together! Over the last couple days we've dropped a lot of people who weren't really progressing and that Elder Stoddard was just seeing just to see really, and the same day that we dropped all those people we went and tracted an apartment complex and we were able to find 5 new investigators in a matter of an hour and a half! 
Elder Beard is a really hard working missionary, he's only been out a transfer less than me and we've served around each other our whole missions thus far and now we get to work together! Owensboro has been getting prepared for two hard working missionaries and I believe that we are it. We both have the vision of getting a lot of people baptized in the next month or two, right now (on Saturday and Sunday) we have been able to set not just one or two baptismal dates for Dec. 28 but we've set 5 with people who are ready to progress in the gospel and learn more about it! 
High - Getting 6 new investigators in a matter of two days work with Elder Beard!
Low - not getting any investigators to church, but we were able to get two of them to the other two hours so it counted as member presents at church :)
I had a pretty spiritual experience last night, I was giving someone a blessing, and I promised her a few things and then the words just stopped coming and I kinda felt unworthy to be standing there..... I know that I am clean but it felt like someone else was there and I dared not to open my eyes. As I struggled for words I closed the blessing and began to think and pray, and a feeling of peace came over me like I've never felt before.... I knew that someone was there with me and giving me the words that I needed to say, and I know that I was only supposed to promise her a few things, I absolutely love to be so close with the spirit and so sensitive to it at this time :) It truly is a blessing to have this priesthood power and to "live worthy of it" as President Monson puts it. There has been a change in me that I've come to see slowly, I know that I'm not the same person that left the MTC back in March, and it's been such an amazing ride and growth over the last nine months of service.

November 25, 2013
It's alright :) Thank you, Happy Thanksgiving to you as well! It's wonderful to have a branch as big as this one open their arms to yet another missionary coming from the ghettos of Louisville ;) a member gave us these spuds, and even though I've never seen one or even heard of them! I tried it and it was pretty tasty, thank goodness I'm not a picky eater, I don't know what would happen if I was :P  We had dinner with a member family last night and they have a little girl named Ellie, she's 4 yrs. old and just adorable as can be :) Just so you know I've got one suit at the dry cleaners getting altered and cleaned so I'll be picking it up on Wednesday all cleaned and pressed.
 The teaching pool is staying about the same, we're constantly trying to find new people to teach and bring closer to Christ. This last week was a down week for lessons, I don't know why but some how it wasn't as good as the other weeks. We got one person to church and he's one of our new investigators who will be moving to Tell City, IN in the next little bit which stinks because he's super golden and ready to be baptized!
High - Getting to stay in Owensboro as the work is starting to speed up and getting to work with another hard working missionary this next transfer!
Low - Having just about all of our investigators other than one keep their commitment to come to church, as well as not teaching as many people as we would have liked to this past week.

Elder Colton Price

Transfers are on Thursday, and I will be leaving for sure.
I want to let you know about the power of the Atonement. It enables us to change. I am so grateful for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and that He was willing to lay down His life for a sinner such as I. I love Him and will ever be indebted to Him. I echo James E Faust "I wonder how many drops He shed for me" Jesus truly is the Christ. He is my Friend and Brother. Because of Him I am never alone. Because of Him, you never have to be alone. He came to represent our Heavenly Father to us; how perfect a job He did. I know that God lives and that He loves us. I know this by the power of the Holy Ghost. I know that He called Joseph Smith to be His prophet in these last days. That the prophetic mantle rests upon Thomas S Monson, I have no doubt. The Spirit has whispered that truth to me as well. I know that this is the true church, founded upon the chief cornerstone Jesus Christ Himself. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I have felt it enlarge my soul.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


Elder Seth Garner

Elder Seth Garner's Letter:

I can't quite explain how I am feeling right now. There is something about being a missionary that never gets old. Sometimes I feel like things couldn't possibly get any better, but then they somehow do. The unforgettable feeling from the Spirit is the same for me every time, it's amazing and it just never gets old. I have been blessed to have this feeling multiple times on my mission, and it is the most indescribable feeling I have ever felt. It has got to be one of the best things about being a missionary! I thank the Lord for allowing me to feel this Spiritual witness time and time again, which only strengthens my testimony and gives me a greater desire to share what I know.

Anthony Mwereru was baptized on Saturday, December 28th, at 10:00. There were so many people at the service who were there to support him in his decision! Brother Lythgoe was able to baptize him. Elder New and I were the witnesses. As soon as he came back up out of the water, that same feeling that has resonated in my soul had returned, letting me know that Anthony's life had changed forever in the most positive way imaginable. I felt the same feeling as I helped Anthony be confirmed a member of the church and receive the Holy Ghost. When I first met Anthony, he was a very humble, happy man, with a bright countenance. When I saw him the day after his confirmation, his countenance had changed completely, going from happiness, to complete joy, which comes only from living the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Anthony's wife and two boys attended the baptism. I know that they felt the Spirit as they watched their dad be baptized. It was a very tender moment, especially for his wife Kim. We have plans to begin teaching her and the two boys soon, so that they can receive the same blessings as Anthony. God is good... Sometimes I wonder how I was so blessed to be here at this time, and help in the hastening of the work of Salvation. IT IS SO GREAT!

I hope you all have a wonderful New Year! I still can't believe that it is 2014... Holy smokes, that makes me feel sick... Little too fast, if you ask me! Anyways, I will be having a wonderful New Year's Eve inside my apartment tonight! President asked all the missionaries to be in early. I don't even know if I could stay up until midnight anymore! 10:00 rolls around every night and I feel like a zombie.
       Elder Garner

PS) "Merry Christmas Mr. Potter!"
   "... And a happy New Year to you too... IN JAIL!"
Couldn't help but think about "It's a Wonderful Life" this past week.

Sister Syndey Burningham

Hey Everyone!

So great to hear about all that is going on back home.  I just have to start this email by updating you on transfers, there weren't any huge changes in the mission but I did get a new companion.  She served in Oak Ridge, so we have that in common because that was my first area too.  Her name is Sister Macall Weight from Provo, Utah.  She is 19 and so amazing.  She went to high school with my last companion so it's just so fun when we all get to see each other.  She wants to work hard and she is now a sister training leader with me so we're kind of getting her used to that and we will start our exchanges tomorrow for the transfer, she will be such a blessing to those that we exchange with.  She is HILARIOUS.  So she's sort got a lot of struggles right now.  She was riding her bike in Oak Ridge and she got hit by a car and broke her hand but she gets her cast off in 3 weeks!  Next week she has to get  root canal but she'll be okay and she actually has had hives for about three weeks because she was allergic to the medicine they gave her for her tooth hurting so bad.  But don't worry she has met so many people and everyone is loving her.  She's seriously amazing.  Not sure how I keep getting so lucky with companions.  The Lord just keeps on blessing me with them.  They have become some of my best friends.
Okay, I just have to tell the story about Misty Ramirez due to some news I received from my Mom this morning.  So back to the beginning:  When Sister Turner was here we tracted into Misty and Victor, her husband who is a member and has been for about twenty years, he's been very inactive.  We met them and they were so prepared to come back.  So we taught Misty all the lessons and I have such a love for her and Victor, she was ready to be baptized but then Victor's work took them to Kentucky and we didn't lose contact but we weren't sure what to do.  She has decided to have her baby up there, which is due in April, it's a baby boy!  So to make a long story short we referred her to the missionaries in Kentucky, and I was feeling pretty sad about the whole thing, I couldn't figure out why she couldn't just stay here and it all work out the way we had planned.  But we know the Lord has a better way, He always does.  I found out this morning that Elder McCade Tracy from our home ward is now teaching Misty.  It's really a little miracle and I'm so grateful that the Lord knows His children and knows what is best, we just have to trust in Him.
There's a quote I was reading from a conference talk by Elder Gerald Causse.  You know I love these quotes from our general authorities.  But it really hit me.

"I bear witness that no one is a stranger to our Heavenly Father.  There is no one whose soul is not precious.  With Peter I testify that God is no respecter of persons."

The more I meet people I do, and learn of their stories, their struggles and what they believe, the more I love them and come to want salvation for them.  No matter where any of us are in the world, there is someone we can share the gospel with.  It's not as hard as we make it out to be.  I'm so grateful for my family and for the gospel, they are the most important things to me and I know that that's the way Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ wanted it to be.  This is Christ's church, I know that to be true. 

Keep on Keepin' on I love you all so much thank you for everything!  Have a wonderful week.

Sister Burningham

Elder Bremen Acord

Heyyy family!
9 days until Christmas!! I cannot wait to see you guys! First week with the new zone, area and comp. Varzea is a really strong ward. Definitely the strongest ward I have worked in. Almost everything works how it should. It makes our work as missionaries a LOT easier. In a lot of other areas sometimes it felt like I was just running the ward. Here, the ward handles everything, we just teach. Elder Gourgel is cool. It is different serving with an African and always speaking Portuguese, but it's sweet. We have been in a triple all week with Elder Pumbumua from Mozambique. Its been a very African filled week and its going to be a very African Christmas! haha 
Dad! You are done with hockey and lacross! What are you going to do with all of your spare time now?? hahaha I'm just kidding. Viewmont has been so lucky to have you, they will be lucky if the hockey and lacross program keeps going as smoothly as it has been these last years. Congratulations on the amazing work. 
Mom, Christmas plans for the zone, we had the Santiago Christmas party this last Tuesday, Christmas, my plans are you guys. Who do I want there? Mom, Dad, Addie, Jesse, Sage, and Emma. if anybody else really wants to, thats up to you guys :) for skype, it looks like the earlier that all of you guys can do it, the better, but we will see next Monday. My number is 2389933999 call me anytime ;) Thanks for the money, I decided that I am going to try and spend the least of it on me, and use it to bless the lives of a couple families for Christmas. We will go buy some stuff for the kids and leave it at the door and run :) I LOVE CHRISTMAS. I am going to be a Christmas maniac when I am home. I love you all soooo much! 9 days!!!!! :)

Elder Acord

 my posterity. From right to left- Me, my son Elder Montes, His son Elder Godfrey and his son Elder Cruz. I have a great grand child!

Sidi and Celestino are the ones in the middle. Sidi is the one with his little daughter in front of him.