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!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Elder Dallin Stout






Mon, Oct 20, 2014 at 3:48 PM

First week of fasting!


 The work has been great here. On Wednesday Elder Beus and I were fasting for the ward 40 day fast for missionary work. The past 3 months here Elder Beus has not had a referral. But while we were talking with John, a potential investigator, he saw his neighbor and said that we should visit her. After praying and setting up a return appointment with John we went to meet her. Her name is Tamara, she just had a baby and Elder Beus has met her before. We gave her a POS pamphlet and set up a return appointment for next week! Later while in an apartment complex we met a little girl who told us to go see her mom. We did, her name is Ella, and she is great. We set up a return appointment with her too! Before heading in for the night we met a guy named Gustavo who speaks mostly Spanish but accepted an invite to read the Book Of Mormon. We referred him to the Spanish Elders. So the fasting miracles were 2 referrals received and contacted, 3 new investigators and 1 referral to give!(just in one day!) My arm has been healing great, I can do most things, I just don't have my full range of motion/extension yet.
     Elder Beus has been awesome, he has a great connection with the people in town. (he knows a lot of them!) He is not afraid to be bold in his teaching to let people know what they need to do. We also get along really well and know that we can be completely honest and open with each other.
     I know that the complete gospel of Jesus Christ is found in this church, that Jesus is the Son of God and that because of him we all have 2nd chances. There is nothing, no person, no matter how far away from God, that is out of reach of the atonement of Jesus Christ. If we believe and have faith in him, through God all things are possible.
     We also found out something cool from Elders Thornel and Hurst. Colt is the referral we gave them that we met at Wendy's with our ward mission leader. They went over to teach her and also met her mom. Her mom is the lady that all 4 of us helped on the side of the road to push her truck to the gas station! She expressed to them how she was impressed with our service. That when she looked in her rear-view mirror she saw us smiling, laughing and having a good time as we were pushing her down the street. We helped Chris pool to move into his new house, helped clean up at the Marks home, painted at sister Skyler's etc. 

Elder Stout

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Elder Dallin Lambertsen




Tuesday, September 23, 2014

One month down!

Family and Friends,

This week was pretty usual. We had Zone Conference on Tuesday. President Forbes' main focus was on how we can work with the members on missionary work and how we can work with less actives. Which is something our area really needs.

After Zone Conference I went on an exchange with Elder (KC) Roose who was working as a cashier at Target last September and says he knew Joe and saw him all the time. Anyway, the exchange was in Hudson, Wisconsin. We mainly went tracting and met some interesting people. We met a man named Mike who was a member of the church growing up and to quote Elder Roose, he "drank like a fish, and smoked like a train". He was pretty willing to talk and we probably talked for about an hour. His wife came home while we were talking and took a pass along card and told us she wanted us to come back and straighten her husband out. :)

As for my area. We are slowly getting the pendulum moving. We met with a couple families this week and there is definitely potential with them, but I don't want to get too excited. A lot of this past week was dedicated to finding. We did a lot of tracting. We met a guy in Woodbury who thought we were Jehovah's but we quickly clarified. He told us that he was looking to go back to church. He just didn't know which one was the one that was recently built down the street form his place (talk about the Great and Abominable church. I'll send a picture of it soon) but we quickly gave him a restoration lesson and a pass along card with the address of the church. Sadly, he didn't show up. Speaking of church, they did finally hunt me down on Tuesday and I spoke in Sacrament meeting yesterday. In the middle of my talk the high councilman that was there got up and walked out and I had no idea what to do, but as I finally started concluding, he walked back up on the stand. Also, there wasn't any bread so we had an extra-long sacrament hymn while we waited for it.

Not too much happened this week but we are picking up on what this area needs. Hopefully I will have some good stories for next week!

Oh, and my mailbox has been extremely empty, what's up with that?

Elder Lambertsen



Monday, November 17, 2014

Elder Justin Thiel




October 14, 2014 at 1:16:21 PM MDT


This week was pretty good!  We had one of our investigators get baptized, named Robert Jones. I had been teaching him since I got to Warner Robins, so it was great to see him get baptized after almost 6 months of lessons.  I was able to confirm him and that was a very special experience for me.  His baptism was a catastrophe.. it started out like this... his baptism was at 10 am so we went over to our ward mission leaders house at 8:45 to leave for the church.  We got there just fine and left on time but half way to the church, we found out that our ward mission leader had left his keys to the font at his house, so we turned around and got them.  When we got there, we worked on printing out the programs for the baptism and our ward mission leader started filling up the font. Well by some miss communication.. we ended up with 20 copies of each side of the program instead of 20 double sided copies so we had spend time fixing that.. when I went to check on the font, our ward mission leader had only turned on the hot water so the water was at 100 degrees. So after fixing all of that, it was10 am.  So we all waited for Robert to arrive.  At 10:15 he still hadn't arrived,  so we went over to his house and he had been running late so we headed back to the church with him following behind us.  When we got to the church, we had him and the man baptizing him get dressed and we headed back into the Relief Society room to wait.  Twenty minutes had got by and they still hadn't come back in yet, so now it is at 10:45 am... we go to see what wrong and it turns out that because of another miscommunication, they had been waiting in the font for everyone to come witness the baptism..  So we had an opening prayer with them in the font and then they performed the baptism.  Our ward mission leader was a little flustered, but we went along with the program as if nothing had happened.   When they were dried off and in the relief society room, I gave a talk on Baptism and the Holy Ghost and we ended with a closing prayer..that will be a baptism that no one will forget.. 

In church this Sunday, I had the opportunity to sing a special musical number as a solo.  I sang, "If The Savior Stood Beside Me."  I hadn't had very much time to work on it because of our busy schedule, but the ward members came up to me afterwards and said I did great!!! and many said they were shocked I could sing and asked me why I had been hiding my talent?  I'm sure the Lord helped me and that is why is sounded good.

We were able to meet with Jeffery and Nicole, our investigators, this week and we had an awesome lesson!  We taught them the Plan of Salvation and the whole time Nicole was commenting that it made a lot of sense.  At the end of the lesson, Nicole said, "Man, I want to be a Mormon!" which I'm not going to lie, that was what I was hoping for her to say..:)  We put she and Jeffery on date for the 7th of November.. The only problem is that they are only engaged and living together and they both use the vapor things instead of smoking, so we have some commandments to work on, but they are great!

Our investigator that was set up to be baptized on the 1st of November fell off date because he didn't come to church this week.  We haven't been able to meet with him since our first meeting, but he has been reading the Book of Mormon every day and says that he gets a great feeling every time that he does, so we just need to meet with him again and we are good! 

I'm sorry to hear about everyone getting sick.. that is great to hear about Jacob's accomplishments!  Man I can't believe that he has already been through "Set Your Course!"  He is getting so old!  He is probably a lot taller than he was when I last saw him.

I'll be excited to receive that package and I am glad that you are working on reading the scriptures as a family and praying together.  I have learned the lesson that obedience brings blessings and that the Lord blesses us for our righteous efforts!

I love all of you and hope that you all have a great week!
Love,
Elder Thiel  

       

Monday, November 10, 2014

Elder Dallin Stout





Mon, Oct 13, 2014 at 1:04 PM

This week

     Sister Young invited us to lunch this week with Juan and Shilo. They have connected well and been really great fellowshippers for them. We invited them both to the baptism and to church but they canceled on both. So we didn't go to the baptism but we had great success that night instead! We saw a former investigator and he agreed to meet with us. His grandmother is in the hospital and asked for us to pray for her. We also met on the street a family, the parents were Jennifer and Jimmy who had met with missionaries before. We got their address and will see them soon. 
     I got my arm X-rayed again and its still messed up, but I got the splint and sling off! Elder Beus has been very helpful with everything I can't do still. 
     I know that the Lord is mindful of all his children, and that out of everyone he wants to hear from you and me. Through prayer we can come close to him and receive direction. I am very grateful for that because there is very little that I can do on my own and I am dependent on him to do this work.
     We have done lots of service helping out the women's shelter, painting Sister Skyler's front porch and random acts throughout the day. We helped a lady push her truck to a gas station who was stuck on the side of the road. We helped a "devout atheist" as he told us, fix his tree in his front yard. It was an awesome week!

Elder Stout

Elder Seth Garner







                                            Elder Garner and President and Sister Schmitt



Tue, 14 Oct 2014 12:20

Hello! It has been a good couple of weeks in San Diego, and I am sure that everyone is enjoying the lovely fall colors. Personally, I don't mind the constant sunshine, but it never hurts to get a few rain clouds here and there, which, has happened maybe four times this year. I am so sorry for the lack of an email last week! Repentance is possible though, right? Since I emailed last, there has been quite a bit packed into the days and not enough time it seems. This transfer is quickly coming to a close, which means preparations for the next transfer have already begun, taking a toll on our proselyting as usual. With that being said, I so look forward to these next two transfers, and unfortunately they will be my last. I have known what the outcome of the rest of my mission for several weeks now, as for what will be happening with me assignment wise. It is my pleasure to announce that I will be receiving a new assignment at the end of October, and will no longer be an assistant to the president. It has been one crazy ride, and I have learned so much over the past seven months since I was assigned to be an assistant... More has happened in these months than any other months in my mission! Unfortunately, hardly any of it is recorded in a journal, due to the lack of time and the abundance of exhaustion. So, it has all been a wild blur which I will always reflect and look back on. I will never forget the experience!

I know that these next months have much in store for me, and there is still a lot of room for growth. It is going to be great to be a "normal" missionary again, and focus everything that I have on my new area, as well as my new companion. I am going to replace a set of sisters in an area fairly close to La Mesa, where there is a ward that just needs a whole lot of love. I will also be training a new missionary who has, I think, entered the MTC... This week? Well, he will get here the end of October. Boy, it is going to be a blast! Before I knew that I was going to be getting a new assignment, I was praying for something to happen that would allow me to grow more before my mission is over. I was praying for that A LOT. When President Schmitt told me in an interview what was going to be happening, I knew that my prayers were answered. The Spirit confirmed that this is what I need to become the missionary that Heavenly Father wants me to be. I have had a vision of myself at the end of the mission and what kind of person I would be, and I am not there yet... These next few weeks are going to be dedicated to fulfilling my purpose, strengthening this ward, finding those that need to be found, giving this new missionary the best experience he could possibly have at the beginning of his mission, and becoming the missionary that I NEED to be. While serving as an assistant for these next two weeks, I am still going to dedicate myself to helping in anyway that I can. I have been blessed! I could not have asked for better situations and circumstances that a mission had to offer! And it's not over yet! I love the Lord! I love the council that He gave during this past General Conference through His chosen servants. My mind has been filled with questions and concerns, which I came away from conference having them all answered and cleared up. I am ready for the next chapter and what it has to offer, and I am willing to offer everything I've got to get it! I hope that you all have a fantastic week!

Love,
        Elder Garner

Happy October!



Happy Halloween from Elder Garner!!







Elder Brandon Wallis






Tuesday, September 23, 2014 11:57 AM


Hey so a lot has happened! haha. I am in El Paso and it's AWESOME!!! The apartment is what you probably saw online. It is like a resort! I want to swim so bad in the pool here. It's one of the nicest pools I've seen in a while! ahhhh!!!! The weather has been awesome. We've had a lot of rain and it's pretty humid. I kind of like the change! I feel like I'm in Florida... I'll be sure to look up Mike! I was really excited when I got called down here because of that soul reason! My companion is Elder Hill. We're a little rushed this week, so I'll have to upload some more pictures and videos next week. I'm in a car share area, which is awesome! I get to bike for a week and then have a car for a week. Because we're all the way down here, I wasn't able to get my bike :/ so I'm using one that is already here, which isn't bad. The roads here are flat. I'm actually using a fixed gear bike right now. Kind of fun! I'm going to need to buy some cages for the pedals so I can stop better though... our investigator pool is ok... a lot of them have been taught for a long time and none of them are progressing. Looks like this area had plateaued pretty bad. That's usually when they do a transfer though for new ideas and new methods of work. So I'm here to shake things up a bit.

Yesterday was Temple day!!! So I drove all the way down to El Paso only to drive back up to Albuquerque on Monday haha. A member drove us up there though, so I got to sleep! It was a super cool trip. I learned so much, and I'm so glad I wrote it all down last night, because I can't remember it all off the top of my head anymore! The biggest things that stood out to me were the need to go to the Temple as often as possible. I have a goal of when I get home to go weekly. Because I need the blessings of the Temple, especially with the decisions and big life changes that will be happening when I get home. President Miller made us a promise that if we go to the Temple weekly then we will be better students, better employees, and we will receive confirmations and guidance for the big decisions coming up in our lives such as schooling, career, and marriage. I also pondered on my purpose as a missionary. I know my purpose and it's to invite others to come unto Christ, but with this last trip it gave that purpose a deeper meaning. I'm to invite others to come unto Christ ALL THE WAY. Not just baptism, or church, or read scriptures for a bit, but to make it to the TEMPLE!!! Elder Bednar says the only reason we baptize is so we can go into the Temple. In a way that is true! We need to be clean in order to enter God's house, that is through Baptism.

Well, it's been a crazy week! It was also Stake Conference here, so I was able to see all the missionaries down here in the Stake. Which was AWESOME!!! Lots of friends that I haven't seen in a while. Just like my areas in the past I know I'm here in El Paso for a reason, or reasons. It's always exciting to find what or who that reason is! In every area I've had I can name at least one person that I felt like I was there specifically for, and people that were there or companions that were there specifically for me. The mission is the refiners fire, it's a microcosm of life. There are many growing pains in the mission, but that's the exciting part. I've learned so much, and have so much more to learn! It's been amazing to be able to go all over the mission, to experience the culture in each area. I love this church, and this gospel. I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I know that He lives and that He is our older brother. I know we have a loving Heavenly Father who loves us enough to allow us to go through the pain of life to be able to become like Him. I know that the Temple is the house of the Lord. He walks those halls. I love this work, and I love the fact that I don't ever have to stop doing it. Every member a missionary.

I love you all! As far as a care package, I need to buy some more pants... Alamo kinda destroyed some of them and the biking has been pretty hard on them too haha. Cliff bars are great, and anything else you want to throw in there haha. Thank you!!!

Love,
Elder Wallis



Elder Brandon Wallis leaving the Alamo Reservation







                                        PEACE!!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Elder Brennan McEwan


Monday, October 06, 2014 12:18 AM

How do they keep finding us?



Hey family,

This week we ran into a ton of crazies. And now we're thinking about teaching one. Ugh. Sometimes, I really think Preach My Gospel should have a section about various mental health disorders and how to diagnose them. Or at least how to get rid of them.

The best crazy guy for this week was somebody that we actually met before, but we completely forgot about him. Right up until he popped out of the crowd, got about an inch from my nose and started shouting MAODUNGMAODUNGMAODUNGMAODUNG! Having a brainfart, I asked him what he was talking about. Then he started saying something about a "new god" and other crazy stuff. Seeing the look of utter confusion in my face, he turned to Elder Wong, asked him if he knew what he was talking about. Elder Wong nodded with a smirk, and the guy wandered off satisfied. A few seconds latter I figured out he was talking about Mao ZeDong. I'm a little bit afraid to know what caused the unique nature of this guy's affliction....

And thinking of crazy, I'm pretty sure the guy next to me in the library is speaking Parseltongue to himself or something. It's a little bit disconcerting. 

On the plus side, we got to go on a pretty fun ward event this week. At first we weren't really planning on it because it was an all day event, but the Bishop asked us to come so we went for it. We went on two tour buses down to this cool little fishing village/tourist trap called Tai O, and I got to eat all kinds of crazy food there. Plus, J managed to come, so it was good to see her. After that, we went to this sort of cool fort in the middle of nowhere, and then we went to this really nice park. It was a pretty fun event - we got a lot of chances to talk to less actives and part-member families that we don't really get to see that often. It was a little stressful running around trying to find everyone, but overall it was fun. Except for the part where me and Elder W both nearly died on the way there. Neither of us has really been in cars at all for the past while, and riding a tour bus up and down twisty mountain roads is not really a good way to be reintroduced to them. Ugh. 

As for investigators, we ended up postponing Brother L's baptismal date. He just doesn't really seem to have any great desire to get baptized right now. Honestly, I think that he's got some desire, but part of the problem is that he's still really hard to communicate with. We also haven't finished teaching all of the doctrine. We're going to keep working with him, and we're going to try really hard to ask better questions to help him open up. I also really want to find him a good fellowshipper - so far he's been too shy to talk to ward members even though some of them have gone out of their way to try and get to know him. It's probably going to be a bit of a challenge.

E is still completely unmotivated to do anything. We tried really hard this week to talk to him about the importance of having goals in life and how religion can help him. Unfortunately, he's just so lazy that he seems happy enough to sit at home and sleep all day and have no friends and hate his parents. Elder W took that lesson pretty hard - at the end, E basically said that anything he ever said about wanting to change was just because he was too embarrassed to reject us. Elder W genuinely cares about him, and it's tough for him to see E
 throwing his life in the toilet like this. The only thing E has shown interest in is reading scriptures, so we're probably going to start doing that with him once in a while.

We also saw Sister L, the woman that we've been teaching since I got to Tai Po. We haven't seen her in about a month because by this point we've partially dropped her because she's stuck. She hasn't made any real progress, and basically just made a bunch of weird excuses why she couldn't read, pray or come to church. We committed to call her every other day this week to remind her to read and pray, so we'll so how things go. Honestly, I don't think a lot is going to happen with that, but it's worth a shot.

Some of the other missionaries nearby are also doing pretty well. The Mandarin Elders are absolutely killing it right now - they've had a ton of people at church lately. They even brought this one guy who's even taller than me. (!) I was a little alarmed to see my clear supremacy challenged. Plus, if nothing else, the other Cantonese companionship finally found somebody who's not crazy or a high school student. It's been a while for them. Plus, she's a girl, and our relief society is really, really good at fellowshipping - so many people jumped on her that at first I thought she was somebody's sister from out of town or something. Now if only we could get our Elder's Quorum like that...

Oh, thinking of which, no, I haven't seen General Conference yet. We see it a week delayed here because the live broadcast is really, really late at night. Ironically, some of our members stayed up to watch it anyway, but, it's a lot nicer for everyone else to see it at a more reasonable time a week later. I'll definitely let you know how Elder Wong's talk is - I'm excited to see. Though, I think it's a bit funny that they chose him to be the first non-native speaker since his English is also not bad... he's done some talks and stuff for the mission and he does just fine. 

So that's most of what I can think of for his week. Sounds like you guys had a pretty busy time with the run up to Washington.Sounds like Dad's still got a pretty rough time ahead of him too though. Though... perhaps this is incredibly stupid... but who is Aril again? I can't quite remember right now. Good luck on all that stuff though - and make sure to stay safe. That's a ton of driving ahead of you....

I'll see if I can send you guys some pictures from Tai O and other stuff.

Love you guys lots!

Elder Brennan McEwan



                                     Elder McEwan and Elder Wong in Tai O











Elder Brennan McEwan





 Monday, September 29, 2014 12:35 AM

 Miles and Miles


Hey family!

This week was fairly good, but it was honestly pretty slow. We were able to meet with a few of our investigators, but the bad part was that the streets were really rough this week. I really, really want to find some more people to teach, but so far we just haven't had much luck. Actually, I'll rephrase that and say that we haven't had much luck for ourselves. We tried banner finding for the first time in Tai Po since I've been here, and we got some awesome results. We ended up finding a family for the Mandarin Elders, and we also found this one less active or long-time former investigator that seems ready to meet with us. Anyway, I'm pretty excited about banner finding, and I think we're definitely going to be trying to use that a bit more. 

Thinking of the Mandarin Elders, they've been killing it at church lately. I think they may have had more than twenty people in their Gospel Principles class at church this week. I felt a little bit bad when meanwhile we only had two investigators in ours, one of which is more or less one of the Mandarin sisters investigators, and is also mildly crazy. Anyway, I'm really happy to see the Mandarin Elders doing so well though. I also may or may not have made a bad joke about us being like John the Baptist yesterday.

As for investigators, A, our high school student that's waiting until he's eighteen to get baptized, is still doing well. Sounds like he's heard some anti by now - some that's actually credible, and some of the stupid kind. Fortunately, he's got enough of a testimony by now that it doesn't really phase him. I'm glad to see that he's progressing like that. E, our twenty-six year old, is still about the same. In other words, is completely depressing and seems to have absolutely nothing going on in his life. We basically just talked to him about setting goals this week - not even so much in the Gospel as much as having goals in life at all. Unfortunately, he still just seems happy to waste his life sleeping all day. We're going to keep working with him, but it's probably going to be a long road. We've stopped counting his baptismal date because there's no way he's going to be ready to get baptized next week.
Brother L, our middle-aged man, is doing okay. He made it to church, a baptismal meeting, and the recent convert fireside. Unfortunately, he also is probably not going to be ready for his baptismal date next week. He just really doesn't have any particular desire to be baptized right now. We also still have to teach him some of the commandments. Mostly, I think we're just going to need to be able to communicate with him better if much is going to happen with him. He did make progress on that front though. I asked him if anything interesting happened at work, and after saying "nope" he asked me "How about you?" Woo! A conversation that made it further than "pretty good!" Woo! 

Oh yeah, thinking of which, my response was that this angry old guy slapped my hand on the street when I tried to shake his hand and he walked into it after doing his best to ignore me. That happened. Don't worry, I'm perfectly okay (old people don't pack much of a punch) but I was pretty shocked to see someone actually get bold enough to actually hit me. That was a first, for sure.

Brother L... is also pretty set where he is. He didn't make it to church this week, but he did go to the recent convert fireside, and we met with him after that. The lesson was really long, and not a lot was accomplished. He really wanted "historical evidence" to prove the Book of Mormon was true, so we showed him a video in the church called "Ancient America Speaks." He thought it was interesting, but after that he started going off on a million crazy tangents. About an hour into the lesson, Stake President Cheng came in and sat down with us. (President Cheng has met Brother L twice after meetings and agreed to talk to him.) Brother L started asking him a bunch of questions, and after another half hour, E showed up for his lesson. After some quick discussion, we ended up leaving President Cheng and Brother H (the normal fellowhshipper we scheduled) with Brother Land taught E. An hour later, we waved goodbye to E, but then were horrified to see that President Cheng was still there with Brother L. We decided to sit back in on the lesson, and it ended up going for about an hour after that (right around three hours altogether.) Brother L is still pretty fixed on his views, regardless of some amazing questions and powerful testimonies from President Cheng. We're probably going to call President Cheng tonight and apologize for eating up so much time and ask for his opinion on what we should do with Brother L.

Honestly, I felt kind of bad that President Cheng ended up getting dragged into that mess. He's a really great guy, and he's really deserving of respect. I feel like maybe he should have tried to escape when he wandered into the room, assessed the situation, and said "We're not talking about the gospel?" Sigh. I guess sometimes there's only so much we can do.

We were also able to meet with a new less active this week - A-M. He's a really nice guy, but it kind of looks like he was baptized more because the missionaries were cool and played lots of sports and stuff with him rather than real testimony. He's got a lot of interest to hang out with us, but it's probably going to take some careful work to get him to have some real spiritual interest. 

In other news, like Dad mentioned, there's some political protests going on on Hong Kong island and some of the areas near it. I honestly don't know a ton about them because we're not allowed to talk about politics with people. (it's a white handbook rule) Two of our college age investigators said they were going to join the protests in Central though. Sounds like it's related to something like Mainland China basically wants to replace primary elections with appointees of their choice - but like I said, I don't know much. I did see some news footage of the police popping tear gas cans into crowds while I was riding the MTR though. Don't worry though, Tai Po is still nice and calm and doesn't have enough student age people to really care about anything.

That's most of what I can think of for this week. We found for most of the week, so there's not really that much interesting stuff to talk about.

Love you guys lots,

Elder Brennan McEwan



We found the door up in the crazy mountain-ghettos and thought it was funny.


Check out all the detail in the architecture!!!  Beautiful!!










Elder Brennan McEwan




Monday, September 22, 2014 4:18 AM

Short Week


Hey Family!

This week was pretty short since it's only been a few days since we went to the temple. Anyway, it's been a fairly good half week, and a few kind of interesting things happened. Oh, but before I start talking - I need to tease. I've actually known this for like two weeks now, but I forgot to say it. Anyway, this coming General Conference - I know secrets. And, I can say that there's some special stuff coming up this year. And Hong Kong's getting a shout out of sorts right at the start. That's all. Heh heh heh.

Anyway, our investigators are still doing reasonably well, but some of them have been kind of frustrating. Especially Mr. L, who we actually kicked off of the library computer just a few minutes ago. (Actually, by the sounds of it, Mr. L sort of lives at the library. Thinking back on things, I'm pretty sure that I've seen him here before. I almost secretly think that he may have been the guy that I made fun of for researching the baked beans of Hong Kong for the entire hour and a half I was at the library...)

We met this new person that we counted as a new investigator named Mr. C. He's actually one of the most sad people that I've ever met. Both times when we've met him, he's been drunk, and smoking and drinking. Without any joke, I think that he is literally drinking himself to death - his skin is really ragged and he leaned off the park bench we were sitting up and threw up three times the second time we talked with him. He also told us that there's this number that measures how badly your liver is degraded - the more it degrades, the more fat cells are in your liver. A normal person is around 55 on this scale. He told us that he's at 3680. From some evidence on his person like a ring and a picture on his phone, it looks like maybe he's going through a divorce or the death of his wife or something. He's got some gospel interest, but unfortunately both times we've talked to him, he got progressively less accepting the more he drank. Honestly, he's not really willing to change right now - he said that both to us and to God when we invited him to pray. Even then, we're probably still going to check up on him once in a while - I'm not exaggerating that he's probably going to die if nobody does anything. We've encouraged him to seek professional help, but so far he's not really that willing.

On the brighter side, our recent convert, J, is still doing well. We were able to meet with her and talk with her a bit this week. It sounds like with her new job she isn't going to be able to make it to church every single Sunday while she's still a junior employee, but I'm not really worried. She has a lot of desire to make it to church. I've also noticed that she's incredibly sensitive to the Spirit. It's not really a perfect situation, but I trust that she's going to make the best of what she has.

We also were able to teach Brother L, E and Brother L this week. E
 and Brother L are both doing reasonably well, but they've both got the same problem. Neither of them really have any desire right now. Brother L is more willing to keep commitments, but it still feels like he's doing that more because it's homework and less because of internal desire. He also straight up said that he doesn't really think baptism is really all that special. E, on the other hand, doesn't really have desire to do much of anything at all. He said some things that make me feel like he might be dealing with some actual depression. Maybe we should invite him to seek professional help as well - no jokes there either. (Though I am a little sad that I've had to think about this with so many of my investigators in Tai Po...)

Brother L... is still pretty difficult. This week's lesson was honestly really hard for me. He started asking a bunch of crazy questions in really complex Chinese, which did not go well for me. I actually stayed really quiet during the lesson, especially after I offered up an interpretation for a scripture that Brother L then turned around and drove an imaginary wedge between me and Elder W, claiming that we "had many different opinions within the same church." (The wedge only existed in his head - Me and Elder W were still just fine.) It was really frustrating to me to not be able to understand what was really going on and to not be able to contribute much. What I did gather though, is that Brother L
 wants to find out that the Book of Mormon is true before he reads it. He's going to need some work.

So that's about it for the teaching this week. The streets have still been a little bit rough. Oh well. I'm doing my best to keep my attitude up on the street, and I think it's helping me stay sane and happy, if nothing else. I'm more or less willing to take all the "mh daak haahn" in the world if it means that I can find another person like J, so, I'm kind of keeping that in mind as we find. It's a work in progress.

Anyway, P-Day today was pretty fun. It was Elder G's birthday, and his mom sent him a decent chunk of cash with the instructions to have fun with some other missionaries. We were originally going to go bowling, but unfortunately it turns out that the ceiling of the alley we were going to go to caved in about a week before. So, instead, we went to Pizza Hut and he cheng'd us out to more than a thousand dollars worth of pizza. It was very, very good. (Thinking of which - did you know that Pizza Hut is actually incredibly high class in Hong Kong? I'm not just talking about a cultural perception of it or anything - it's genuinely a really fancy restaurant here. And they stuff their crusts with pure happiness and joy. Om nom nom.)


We also had to sing for this goofy primary program thing on Saturday night. It was kind of fun to see the primary kids do their thing, but we accidentally scheduled and then lost an appointment at the same time as it, so both me and Elder W were a bit irked about that.

I also got to have the opportunity to have a short interview with President Hawks this week. The more I meet him, the more impressed I am with his wisdom and advice. I'm really glad that I've had the opportunity to serve under his direction.

Love,

Elder Brennan McEwan

So one is the tasty and classy pasta me and Elder Wong made



Elder Dallin Stout







Mon, Oct 6, 2014 at 2:04 PM

This week


     Well last Monday I saw Bob, my investigator from Santa Barbara! He was drunk out of his mind, beat up and homeless. I think he had a friend take him up here since he lives in Lompoc. We got a local bishop to take him to a shelter but ended up getting him a motel room for the night. 
     Tuesday, we had President interviews and also watched "Meet the Mormons" which was really cool! 
     Wednesday, we took Chris Young, a recent convert, and his wife to a lesson with Juan and Shilo. We talked about Eternal families and the temple. We related it to baptism as our first covenant to follow Jesus and invited them to take that step and Shilo said yes! The Youngs shared their experiences, testimonies and connected with them. 
     Thursday, we saw Naomi, she has been stressed because her husband just got out of jail and went back to drug abuse and cheating. He turned himself in this same day. I felt to opened my Book Of Mormon and randomly did so right to Alma 34:40-41 and it says: "And now my beloved brethren, I would exhort you to have patience, and that ye bear with all manner of afflictions;  that ye do not revile against those who do cast you out because of your exceeding poverty, lest ye become sinners like unto them;  But that ye have patience and bear with those afflictions, with a firm hope that ye shall one day rest from all your afflictions." It brought her comfort and she took a copy for herself. Just the night before I was praying and felt to ask for guidance on how I could use the Book Of Mormon more effectively. 
     Sunday we Went to see bro Lusby who is LA. He used to live in Layton and is currently an assistant football coach at Lompoc High! Well Elder Beus is from Ogden and also played football, so we hit it off and connected with him really well!
     My companion has been really awesome and a great support for me. We get along very well, talk about our family history and he loves to get out and work. Monday was crazy we were at the insta care and hospital for our entire P-day getting x-rays, a splint and sling and he was patient. 
     General Conference was awesome! In the MTC choir I saw Cameron Peterson from my Layton ward, Dallin Tracy from my Centerville ward and a kid I recognized from Layton high! I loved all the insights I got from the speakers, I have felt my testimony grow in prophets, the Lords appointed servants and in Jesus Christ.
     We have done lots of service at the food pantry and met a few less active members who work there. We also have  worked at members homes but all I really get to do is watch and do what I can with one-arm jobs.
Elder Stout



Sunday, November 2, 2014

Elder Zach Beckman





Mon, 6 Oct 2014 13:45

Elder Beckman Update!!

Hey everyone!!! This week was just a crazy week for me and Elder Christensen!   We had like zero time to spend in our own area this week so it was a really fast week for us.  It feels like just yesterday we talked to you guys!!  But it was filled with so many fun things and just a lot of fun things to do!

So this Tuesday was Interviews with president and it was so LONG!!  We were there from 8 am to 4pm doing teaching role plays and area book and planner checks and holy cow!!!  It just took for ever!!  But it was really fun because we got to be around the Porters all day and that was really fun!  But after it was all over, it was time for dinner and so me and Elder Christensen decided that we wanted to go out to Chilis for dinner and so we went there and had ourselves a nice meal to end off the long process of interviews!!!

Next was Thursday!  We helped a guy move out of our ward and he is moving to Utah!!  But it was so ridiculous it started at 10 am, so the only people available to help move was all the high priests and then the missionaries.... so the high priests in our ward are like super old like the guys who walk in with walkers and canes and stuff, so at the move it was 6 missionaries and 6 old guys.  But it was basically us moving this really rich guy out of his house all day!!  I think it took like 4+ hours to do it all, but I remember moving this huge couch up to the garage and after finally getting in there we went back for more stuff and then we come back and all 6 of the high priests are just sitting on the couch half asleep and I just laughed to myself because I don't know why they even came ha ha ha!!!  But ya, that shot like half of our day and so we had to make the rest of the day really effective!!

Next was Friday and we had Mission Leadership Council... that was a hoot as always.  That is where president talks to us all and what he wants us to really work with our missionaries on.  But it was really fun!!  So president pulled me and Elder Christensen aside with two other sets of sisters and told us to prepare a presentation for a new music rule in the mission and we had like 15 mins to prepare it ha ha ha!!   But it was so funny because I thought we were all going to get up and present it, but instead president asked who was going to be the person who presented it and they all pointed to me.  So I had to stand up in front of everyone and say why we should have a new music rule in the mission ha ha ha ha!!!  It was so scary, but super good at the same time.  I must say I did a pretty good job!  But everyone but this one sister agreed with me, but because she disagreed we could not pass the new rule!!  So ya, she basically messed up the whole mission!!  But it's okay, because I am not dying yet about the music, so I will survive!!

And then lastly, it was the Time of year of GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!

What a great week it was!! Hope all is going well with everyone. please don't be a stranger and not write me from time to time!!  I love more than anything to hear updates of peoples lives on Mondays!!!
~Keep Smiling~

LOVE
Elder Beckman

Elder Dallin Stout





Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 4:44 PM

First week in Lompoc!



 Crazy week! At transfer meeting I was able to see almost all of my past companions. Elder Sandholtz (one of them) is going home and gave his last testimony to us. This week has been quite eventful in my new area. Elder Beus has taken me to meet some of the people in the area for the first few days. The ward is very great, we share it with Elders Thornel and Hurst. We are in a 4 man apartment with them and its awesome, we get along very well. 
     My companion Elder Beus is awesome! On Saturday we were riding into town on a bike path and I was going very fast. I took a sharp turn with my brakes locked up and slid over a small gutter, gravel and hit hard into a cement wall. My left side was banged up but I stayed on my feet. I couldn't feel much pain because of my adrenaline rush so we rode to the church and cleaned up. we left a message for the Elders to come get us before our phone died and I iced my elbow until they came a few hours later. By then the instacare was closed so we went home and my comp made me a sling out of a scarf. I went to church Sunday and continued to ice my arm. The wrist thumb and elbow were swollen and my hip had a big bruise. I just got treatment today, the doctor x-rayed my arm and he is confident that my elbow has a hairline fracture. so he made a splint for my arm and got me a sling. We just now got back from the hospital where a recent convert is in the ER and wanted a blessing. So I am typing this one handed, its been a crazy day but Elder Beus is patient and has been helping by doing things for me.
     I definitely know that the Lord is looking out for me. The Dr. said a guy wiped out at the same place I did and was in the hospital for 3 months! Elder Beus was behind me at the accident and said that it was graceful, the best way I could have crashed. So I'm counting my blessings, I have a testimony that the Lord watches out for us, loves us and that this work truly is his work.
     We have been able to do 9 hours of service for people this week, I have met some terrific people doing so and it feels great to be helpful everywhere we can!  
With love Elder Stout