Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Words from Elder Jared Anderson in Brazil

Well this went by super fast! We got here in our new area and got to work, it was pretty slow the first day not knowing anything, but went a lot better the rest of the week! We are finding a lot of people and i am loving the area already, i hope our president will leave me here to finish my mish. we have one investigator who smokes and drinks coffee, for about all her life, it is the only thing that is left before she can be baptized, her name is Cleide, if you could please pray for her, her kids are already members and she is really trying, thank you so much for everything and i love you guys so much!
-Love Elder Anderson

Words from Sister Hailey Overson in Nevada

Hey everyone!! I don't have much time, but one thing I've learned this week is the power of fasting. Sister Nau and I did a car fast yesterday, which doesn't sound like a big deal but it was for us... mostly cuz everyone here lives so far away from each other and cuz we're out of shape. But we did it and fasted that we'd be able to see miracles. To see people open their hearts and listen to our message. People that normally wouldn't. And we totally did! Normally there is no one on the streets here in Ely. So finding people to talk to is hard. But yesterday, people started popping out all over the place! It was CRAZY! I know that when we show that faith and make that sacrifice- when we give something up- our efforts do not go unnoticed. Heavenly Father is always watching and waiting to help us. I'm so grateful that I get to be serving here in Ely, Nevada. I love this place with all my heart! Everyone keep safe and enjoy that SJ wind;) I love you all so much!
Sister Overson
Pic: Sister Nau got really really really sick one night this week. And after planning for the next day, I was studying and saw my camera... I couldn't resist the selfie;)

Words from Sister Hailey Overson in Nevada

This week has been awesome. Again! We are really trying to push ourselves and get as many lessons as we can this week and the past week. It's been crazy!! But so fun:) We've had a few crazy miracles happen and we know it's because of the hard work we're doing!

We've met THREE families this week where one of the parents are members of the church and the rest are not. We haven't even met them on purpose! Just knocking on doors and all of the sudden a family is super friendly and totally lets us in. We've had SEVEN kids ASK US if they can get baptized!!! What in the world?! So crazy!! It's amazing the way that little children recognize the truths we're teaching them. They are so close to Christ already. So innocent. I can't tell you how amazing it is to teach these kids and see the way their faces light up when we walk in the room. I think so far this is one of the most rewarding things I've experienced. Getting to see the way these kids love the gospel and cling to it with all their might. And they're being such wonderful examples to their parents. It really is incredible. I wish I could write in better detail. But I don't have the time. Just know that I love you. And look to the children in your life. There's so much to be learned from them!!!

Sister Overson

Pics:  My zone went on a fun and crazy hike and that's a pic of a couple of the best sisters in the world!!

Words from Elder Garrett Davis in Thailand

Kalasin again:)
well i am here for at elast another transfer :) i am truly lucky and blessed to be here and to serve amoung these members they truly love the work and are taking care of us:) this week we had transfers and we are now a trio its elder williams elder sayavong and me:) its been great and i am excited to see what we can accomplish here:) so all is well it was a great week of inviting and teaching lessons:) also this is me and a member eating mango and sticky rice with coconut milk:) haha oh ya they are getting me fat this transfer:) all is well ion thailand and the work is progressing:) i lvoe you guys and i am glad that i ahve you as my friends and my family:) i am truly blessed:) i love you guys:)
love your friend 
Elder Davis:)

Words from Elder Garrett Davis in Thailand

So this last week was pretty great:) it starts off on monday when we were off exploring in a different town a storm came through kalasin and did some damage which was pretty impressive it blew over some trees and busted some buildings and fences and windows so we had the chance to go and serve some people clean up some the of the wreckage:) we gathered some trees and some vines off some roofs and we also have the chance to invited because there is this festival in kalasin right now and there are tons of people:) also this week i have the chance to teach some recent converts and investigators and they are solid i love am growing to love the people here and i recognized the Lord in his work everyday:) i love the chance i have to serve here its great:) oh and we also find out whose moving and who is staying this week:) i will let you know but for now everything is going great on this side of the world:) i love you guys i am grateful for all your letters i truly love them:) i love you guys!


Elder Kevin & Sister Paula Long
700 NE Johnson St, Apt 7
Myrtle Creek, Oregon 97457

Elder Shad Lindsey
2009 N 900 E. Unit 128
Provo, UT 84602

Elder Garrett Hollembeak
West Virginia Charleston Mission
888 Oakwood Rd. Ste. 310
Charleston WV
United States

Elder Rick Bloomfield
Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission
7951 S W 6th St, Suite 110
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33324-3211

Elder Chandon Herring
Washington DC North Mission
11700 Falls Road
Potamac, MD 20854-2823
United States

Elder Kyle Byron James
Germany Frankfurt Mission
Kirche Jesu Christi
Corneliusstrasse 18
60325 Frankfurt am Main

Elder Ty Blank
3250 Strawberry Rd
Anchorage, AK 99502

Elder Garrett Davis
Thailand Bangkok Mission
1645/6 New Phetchburi Road
Makkasan, Ratchathewi
Bangkok 10400

Elder Eli Stephen Frazier (pouch)
Peru Lima South Mission
POB 30150
Salt Lake City, Utah 84130-0150

Elder Eli Stephen Frazier (packages)
Av. Jorge Chavez
Santiago de Surco
Lima, Peru

Elder Jake Zieler
Canada Vancouver Mission
8440 Williams Rd.
Richmond, BC V7A1G6

Sister Brittany Platt
Colorado Denver North Mission
1250 Main Street
Broomfield, CO 80020

Elder Adam Otto
135 South 7th Ave
Pocatello, ID 83201

Elder Brandon Day
Oklahoma Oklahoma City Mission
416 SW 79th St. Ste. 210
Oklahoma City, OK 73139-8121

or currently living at:

Elder Brandon Day

3101 NW 150th ST
Apt. 35G
Oklahoma City, OK

Sister Abbie Waite (after Jan. 21)
Texas San Antonio Mission
404 E. Ramsey Rd. Ste. 105
San Antonio, TX 78216-4665

Hermana Annie Johannah Gibbons Platt
Honduras Comayaguela Mission
Edisicio Plaza America Contaguoa a Sears
una cuadra del Mall Multi Plaza 3 Nivel
Teguicigalpa, Francisco Morazán

Elder Dayton Heath Waite
Georgia Atlanta Mission
112 Governors Square Ste A
Peach Tree City, GA 30269
United States

Sister Hailey Overson

Elder Derek Holden

Elder Levi Brandon Crosby
Tennessee Nashville Mission
105 Westpark Dr Ste 190
Brentwood TN 37027
United States

Elder Sam Isaacson

Elder Riley Raban

Elder Porter Richins

Elder Karston Heap

Words from Elder Garrett Hollebeak in West Virginia


Words from Elder Chandon Herring in Washington DC

Well once again another great week in the greatest mission in the history of life. Soon to be competing with Portugal haha. Well we had transfers this week. I am staying here for one more with Elder Levi
and we now have sisters in the ward! Woohoo! They are great missionaries too. My district has grown to be one of, if not the biggest district in the zone! I might just be dramatic but it is big. We have 15 people. Needless to say that call in's every night take forever! But that is ok I love hearing about their areas and what
they're up to. This coming Saturday we finally get to go to the Oval Office! I am really excited!

Today has been a normal pday. We got up and lifted, my arms are done, and then we ate and are now at the church playing hockey! Hurray! I also scored a goal! In like 12 weeks of playing I have scored a goal two weeks in a row and am getting
better! I really enjoy playing. Sadly not on ice and if we did play on ice i would be dead...

Tonight we have dinner and a lesson with a
former investigator. I don't know him but he does not seem very solid since he is no longer responding to us trying to confirm. Haha. 

Tuesday... Chuck out Tuesday! This is known for being a lazy day around
the mission because people need to pack. We had some good stuff though. Ok I made a note in my journal that today was a struggle to get up. I did on time but it was not easy at ALL!!! Haha we all have
those mornings. It is nice having a companion that tries his best and is up on
time. All day was super cold to me. I got all bundled up for studies.
I also had 4 meal appts! We had IHOP for breakfast because it was free pancake day for some reason, then Elder Parker made me waffles, then sister Mays of the College Park ward made us ribs! She is so cool. You would all love her. And for dinner Ryan fed us. At sister Mays home I made the mash potatoes for her. She is just the bomb. Elder Lematua had to eat a scotch bonnet pepper too!  Haha he died. It was so bad I felt bad for him! Jk I laughed for a long time. But it put some hair
on his chest. And humbled him. We were busy and when we were in for
the night I made cinnamon rolls for our district. Yes I am the best district leader ever! They were soooooo good to. Then at about 10:25 I got a haircut from Elder Greding. I did it super short so I don't have
to worry for a while.

Wednesday... Transfers! Always such an exciting meeting when a lot of
areas are white washed and people are getting new comps. It gets more
intense when I actually know the missionaries ;) haha there were a lot
of changes. My area in DC3rd is now a sisters area! WHAT!?!?!? Sisters
in the city! No way! I am sad that my area was changed a lot and sisters are in it. Grrr. Right after we hustled over to Stephons home.  We gave him the Aaronic Priesthood with the Elders Quorum president, Ryan, under the direction of Bishop. It was good to finally get it
done. We had a long meeting with the new sisters next telling them about the area and answering questions. Then institute. It was a great lesson. We watched a general conference talk by president packer
called The Pattern of Our Parentage. It was from 1984 and was great! We had a good night.

Thursday... Snow day!!!! >:( I really do not like snow that much now... There was like a full blown blizzard in our area and we were
shut up. So we planned and studied and then studied Lehis dream specifically for a while.  We had a good lesson via text with a former investigator in Delaware. And we have an Olive Garden across the street so we got permission and went for Elder Parkersburg year mark. Good day.

Friday... Once again no use of our car... But we were able to go out today. Before we did we had our normal routine and then deep cleaned the house once more. It looked good for a few hours then lazy
missionaries messed it up.... Grrrrr. Mom you would have lost it. I almost did haha. Not really it happens everytime. We Took the Metro to the city and contacted. We got a good potential investigator. He
was a cool guy. We were not planning on talking to him specifically but we did and it was great!  We had a good dinner with some members that we are trying to get married.

Saturday... Today was a long but good day. I started by going to the leadership training meeting again. It was great. We have great
leadership. President Cooke is a great motivational speaker. We are all fired up for the transfer. This is a critical one with a lot of things changing. But we can do it! And then the worst thing that could possibly happen did... Daylight savings... Grrrrrrr. This time we lost an hour of sleep noooooooooooooo!

Sunday... We woke up at what seemed like a good hour before normal. Oh
wait it was! >:( but life will go on. We had actually one of the most effective Ward Council meetings ever in this ward!  Then the classes were just great. Only false doctrine in one and It was only that we are born in sin so no big deal. Haha  We also had a lot of people sign up for our
meal calendar so the important stuff is taken care of. :)  We had also one of the best gospel principles classes. For some reason when people teach at church here they just read the book and do not deviate
at all. But this time Jordan taught and there was a lot more discussion and he used more scriptures and questions than the book. It was so refreshing! I learned and enjoyed it so much more. A teacher
really makes the difference. After church was dinner and calling some people. We went to a non active members home and it was a good lesson. He did not want us there but he scheduled a return appt and he is going to start listening to scriptures on his way to work. He is such a good guy. Just in a bad mood. Normally he loves us. It was a night well spent.

So Ya... That is my life! This coming week we are meeting with a lot of members and we are super excited! Thank you all so much for your love, support, and prayers. You will never know how much we need them, until you serve then you get a good idea. Not sure if I told you this before or not but Elder Sorensen had a favorite joke. How do you have a Solar System party?

You "Planet" Plan it hahaha so funny!  Yes we are missionaries.

Elder Herring

Words from Sister Brittany Platt in Colorado

Olo everyone!

So, I don't have like any time but I want you all to know how much I love this mission! I learned something really cool this week. I read a talk by a previous missionary and he said the way we gauge the success of our mission is not by the number of baptisms. While those are great, they're not the main reason we're on a mission. The way we gauge the success of our mission is by obedience. And it's the same thing with life! It doesn't matter how much money we made, or how many toys we had, or what callings we had, or how many honors we received. All that matters is that we're obedient! Obedience brings not only temporal blessings, but eternal blessings! It really is all about obedience. When I come home from my mission, the one thing I want to say honestly is that I was obedient! If I do my best, follow the mission rules, and love my mission and the Lord, that's what matters the most.
So, this week one of the cool things that happened is Jeff received the Aaronic priesthood on Sunday! It was truly a blessing to be there for that and to feel of the spirit and to see the joy in both their lives! This work is truly amazing!
Something really fun this last week is we had sister's pday. So all the sisters in our zone came out to Strasburg and we went and played with donkeys at the donkey shelter and then went to the railroad tracks and took pictures by a huge bridge. It was super fun! Today, our whole zone is coming out and we're having another bonfire. I love this zone! So many amazing missionaries here doing the Lord's work!

Also, some of the greatest miracles I've seen here are the members! Seeing them catch the spirit of missionary work is wonderful! We had a Young Woman bring her non-member friend to church yesterday. She's been reading the BOM and the Strength of Youth Pamphlet. We asked her if she'd like to take the lessons and she said she'd let us know! Crossing my fingers and praying really hard!

Well, that's all I have time for this week. I hope you all have a wonderful, missionary-filled week! Please continue to support the missionaries serving in St. Johns and please remember, they're not perfect! We've had a couple of members here get offended at us over the silliest things and it's really sad. So please, give them a break and help them in any way you can. We're young (well, I'm not so young...) and stupid and ignorant! :) :)

Love you all and God bless you!

Love, Sister Platt

Words from Sister Hannah Platt in Honduras

Hello my dearest friends and family,

This will be pretty short again, but I just wanted to tell you all how much i love this mission. It is so hard. SO HARD! But it was meant to be hard, because that is the only way we can grow!!

THis week was difficult. We walked a million miles.. like really. And i am pretty sure i died of heat like a hundred times.... but i am alive so it`s all good! :) but i experienced a miracle this week. Yesterday, i had a feeling that we needed to fast. So my comp. and i did. We haven`t been having as much succes with our progressing investigators, especially with the church attendence. And if they don`t attend chruch, they can`t get baptized. So yesterday morning, we woke up extra early and walked to each one of their houses to bring them to chruch.. and guess what? no one was home... no one. We seriouly walked three miles and nobody could come. So we entered in the sacrement meeting, and i just prayed with my whole heart that by some miracle they could come. ANd guess what, i had no sooner finished my prayer, than one of our investigators walked in!! MIRACLE!!! i just testify that fasting works. That when we sacrifice just a little bit of what we have, the lord blesses us with ten times more!!!
I love you all so much and i love being a missionary in this crazy country!!

Hermana Platt

Words from Elder Kyle James in Germany

Liebe Familie,

Heya! What up? This week was super good. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Lets fang an!

Montag- We went to a castle. It was free. No one was there. It was awesome! It is on the top of a hill... and we were literally the only ones there. I planned out the P-day... and I was really hoping that everyone would like it... but it started raining on us. BUT everyone loved it even more haha. They said it was awesome. It was Siter Jeppsens first P-day and she loved it. So... I felt like it went well haha! We exited the castle and walked though... like a German farm area.  It was WAY cool to see the castle at the top of the hill in the rain. So beautiful.  P-day was great. I love our area. Good good!

Also, I found out that Charly is living in Gießen. That is flipping crazy! What a Zufall! I remember everyone telling me to go and find her... but I always knew I wouldn't find her... cuz she lived close to Berlin... but she lives in Gießen and is going to the Uni here. That is crazy. It is hardly even believable. 

Dienstag- We just went finding. We fixed our bikes here, too. Elders haven't used their bikes in a long time here.  I wouldn't have any of that! We fixed them up and we have rode around all week. I love it. My comp... not so much. Oh well. It is super fast and fun. We went contacting on our bikes. We went to a park and rode around til we saw someone. We gave out some cards.... so that was good. We also had DDm. I planned it out and gave the only lesson. I talked about how we should be LOSERS. LOVE OBEY SERVE ENJOY REPEAT. hehe I made that up. They really liked it. We made the goal of finding 20 investigators this transfer as a district and we already found 7. Wow. And according to the Zone leaders, our districkt is the best at finding in the zone. Way cool! That makes me feel like a good Leader. One of our Zone leaders in Austin Davis´s friend Elder Melanson. I really like him. We were both up in Düsseldorf together, and we trained kids from die Schweiz. Then we moved down here together, Haha many Zufälle! He is super cool.

Wednesday-- So... We went finding for a while and found 2 new investigators! One guys is super legit and his name is Thomas. The other guy is still cool... but has less potential. One step at a time. 

Donnerstag was super. We went finding and what not. For that evening, I had the idea that we could go finding with the sisters. They came to Gießen and we stood next to a busy bus stop and talked to people. It went way better that I thought it would. The first one to give away 10 cards won... hehe I made a game of it. I got my butt kicked. Sister Ferris gave away 10 in like 5 minutes. Well, it isn't fair. Everyone listens to sisters. Her Golden did great too. She is already fearless. Not bad. I had a blast. I loved it. I gave away around 15 cards and a Book of Mormon. We also got 2 phone numbers. The sisters got a number too. So it was super good. Then we ate Döners together. I didn't realize how successful it was til I had call ins with the Sister training leaders on Sunday.

Freitag--- we had weekly planning, and then we went to a wonderful family's house. The Finds. Everyone here loves them. They are just like our family. Super funny. They love the missionaries. They thought my German was crazy good. But ja:) haha I hear that a lot. I gave a lesson on Miracles.  Bruder Find took us to a train station... but on the way. he brought us to a creepy chapel on a hill and took us inside.

Samstag´-- We met with an investigator. We gave him the first lesson and a Book of Mormon. He loved it. I expressed the need of having a restoration and he agreed. So that is super. He said he will pray about the Book of Mormon. I really like missionary work. All we do is invite and help people find out for themselves. It is super:)

Sonntag was a very good day. We drove to church a little early so we could talk with members.  We then ate with a member and with the sisters. I gave the lesson on prayer and talked about Enos and his prayer. I like teaching in German now. It is way easier.

That night... I called everyone in my district to make sure everything was going well. It was... for the most part. I talked to the Sister Training leaders about the sisters here. They told me something that humbled me pretty good. When the were on a split last week with them, one of this sisters in my area said..... 'I really want to become a good missionary and see success, and now that Elder James is here, He will help me become one.' That was way cool.  Everything is going great. I really love being a district leader. I get to help people become the best they can be. I am just... so thankful, that I can serve here. I decided to put eveyone in my distrcit first. For example, we spend a long time on Saturday helping the sisters fix their bikes... cuz they are jealous of ours... and we helped them clean their keller.  I just want to help my district. 

Naja. Things are going super great. I am loving it here! Nothing could go better;) The language is going great for me. We are helping people. My district likes me and my way of doing things. Our district is becoming very erfolgreich. We are just having a blast. And we have bikes;)

I am just thankful for everything. I have tried to be thankful for everything. I am even thankful for my trainer. We hated each other... but he made me a good missionary... because I learned how to not follow a bad example... and to be a good missionary on my own. I am just thankful. I know that God gives us challenges and set backs, not because we are weak and need to be punished... but because he knows we are strong. He gives us trials, so that we can grow and learn, and become more like him. 

Be thankful in your trails! Remember that Jesus already carried our burdens... so that we can give them to him. He is in the yolk with us. 

Cheerfully, thankfully, and prayerfully go through your trials:)

Thank you guys for being awesome! I love you so much!

Today we are going to another castle and playing football and having a picnic!

Hab eine wunderbare Woche!

Ich liebe euch:)

Elder James  

Words from Elder Eli Frazier in Peru

Hey Everyone!
Another awesome week here in Valle!Lots of work to be done here! Another week full of the spirit and learning experiences, I dont have much time but its way good here and im lovin it!
 Heres some pics of a mountain we climbed, we went to the temple with a rescue, and my normal dinner!

Words from Elder Brandon Day in Oklahoma

"Its been another slow week here in the city, but things are looking up! People always call this place the Bible Belt, but I think Oklahoma City is the belt buckle! There are so many huge churches here, its ridiculous! You can literally turn the corner and find a church. So that makes it a struggle because everyone we meet and try to talk to say they are fine and already have a church. But we're doing our best! Yesterday we were fasting as a zone, so about 26 of us missionaries all fasted to help us find new investigators to teach. And it worked! We had a member come to us after church and tell us that they had a friend they accepted to hear the lessons in their home, so miracles are happening! Its so great to see how the Lord blesses us as we put forth our faith in Him. There are so many times where I'm not motivated to work, where I don't want to talk to more people and nothing goes right. But then I stop and think about it and think about how great this experience it and how little time we have to serve, then my motives change and I get excited! And I really notice the change it brings and the success we see from it. This week we have lots of stuff going on and lots of people to see finally, and its mainly because of the few changes we've made on our part. It takes an act of faith to open our eyes to the light of Christ. And I know that's true for everyone. Just keep that in mind as you all go throughout this week, and how you can strengthen your own faith. Thank you all for the love and support!"

Words from Sister Abbigail Waite in Texas

This last week made me very grateful for a car. I have such respect for the Elders and Sisters who do the Lord's work by bike or on foot every day. Our area is big and spread out that we had to make sure not to schedule things without at least 30 minutes in between or we'd be late! Couple that with a lot of cancelled lessons or no-shows and you have a pretty long week! Thankfully, we have great members to get us place to place and an awesome district who took some time out of their own busy missionary schedules to help us out when members couldn't. Especially after dark and in the rain!

Happily, after 10 days of walking (biking in skirts, wind, and rain proved to be very difficult), riding the bus (once, and probably never again. Sister Gagon got really bus sick), and begging for rides... Kevin is back! Our beautiful car!! Oh how we love Kevin. :)

In the midst of all this, we managed to find three people who want to be baptized! Well... they found us. We're hoping to help them work to a baptism in early April or late March. We're so excited for them! We had a sweet lesson with Rosemary about the Holy Ghost that I wish I could say that we planned or could even remember, but it was led by the Spirit and that's how the work should go. I was able to share my favorite scripture (or one of many) with her. John 14:27. I had "mysteriously" come across it that morning during personal study, but used it 3 times with 3 different people. I pray every morning to be led in study to find what I'll need that day and it is answered every day. 

We also made s'mores over out stove before Sister Johnston was transferred on Thursday. I can safely say I've never done that before... but I'd certainly do it again! :) ... And we had a little Texas visitor the other day... Apparently there's a man in our stake who makes earrings out of them... So stay tuned for some super cute cockroach earrings! Haha! :) 

Last week I made a goal to reread Joseph Smith History and memorize his entire experience and not just the two verses in the Restoration pamphlet. It's really been a blessing for me! The First Vision has always been my favorite story from church history; every time I am able to talk or read about it, I feel my testimony grow stronger. A couple summers ago, I had the opportunity to visit the Sacred Grove. I was able to find a quiet place to sit and ponder. I read Joseph's own account of his experience while listening to the gentle rain on the leaves above me. I softly hummed "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" and watched light dance in gorgeous patterns on the ground. I asked again- as I had done many times before- if Joseph had really seen and experienced the things he said he did. As I sat in quiet marvel, I began to feel the quiet stirrings of the Spirit in my heart. Again, though, it was only a quiet confirmation of things I already knew. I had already done the same things that Joseph had done-scripture study and prayer-and I had received my own testimony long before my visit to the Grove. However, just as is always true, the Lord answered when I knocked, letting me know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. Through him, the Lord restored His gospel and His church to the earth. Joseph translated the Book of Mormon, which serves as another testament of Jesus Christ and will only strengthen the faith and testimony you already have of the Savior. I echo the words of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's great-grandfather "No wicked man could write such a book as this; and no good man would write it, unless it were true and he were commanded of God to do so." 

Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. 

Through him, we have the restored gospel. 

The Book of Mormon is the word of God. 

You can know this for yourself! Just sincerely ask! 

Sister Waite

Words from Elder Garrett Hollembeak in West Virginia


It was a great week here in Parkersburg. We got over a foot of snow on
Thursday this week so we had a lot of drives and sidewalks to shovel.
It was a great opportunity to serve our members and show them our love
for them. We had three of our less active members at church this week.
Two of them were the Brother and Sister Lyman. We were able to teach
them on Saturday and Brother Lyman asked for a blessing. You could
tell he felt the Spirit and has really sincere desires to be fully
active. Elder Higley and I are doing good together, he's on his last
month in the mission but he's still going strong. Our zone is doing
really well too, there was a flu bug going around Parkersburg and a
couple of our missionaries got sick, thankfully I'm doing good but
some of our investigators were also under the weather. We got the news
officially this week that Elder D. Todd Christofferson will be coming
to our mission on the 21st to speak to the missionaries. We're all
pretty excited. We also have a big leadership meeting on the twelfth
this week and a couple of people from the missionary department of the
church are coming. One of the highlights of this week happened
yesterday when we got to administer the sacrament to a member of the
ward who recently had heart surgery. It definitely makes you
appreciate the sacrament and what it does for us. I learned recently
the word "sacrament" is another word for ordinance and on Sunday we
take the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. I imagine that the meal the
apostles shared with the Savior prior to the crucifixion was one of
their most sacred experiences and it struck me this week that when we
go to church on Sunday we are afforded the opportunity to break bread
with the Savior by the means of his priesthood holders. Sacrament
meeting is an opportunity to commune with the Spirit and to receive
guidance and instruction for that week. It made me feel humbled that
the Lord allows me to take the sacrament and to be given the blessing
of the Holy Ghost. The more I learn about the gospel the more I
realize how little I understand the scope of God's plan for us but in
the same breath the more I am assured of the truthfulness of the
gospel and the reality of God's love for us and the Savior redeeming
atonement. I hope you guys have a wonderful week and are staying warm
and safe. I love you so much.

Words from Elder Garrett Hollembeak in West Virginia

"Hey Dad, how are you doing? Its been pretty cold and wet out here but
today is a little bit warmer and we were able to have a full three
hours of church yesterday. That's cool that Coulson went skiing, he's
pretty talented and he's got good taste in books. haha. How are his
feet doing? It sounds like a lot of fun birthday celebrations and good
activities going on. We had dinner with a member family yesterday and
their kids are about the same age as Joseph and Emma and it was neat
getting to feel a little slice of the family. That will be cool to go
up to Phoenix, I'll bet its nice there this time of year. Quick
question, do you and Natalie have names to take to the temple, I've
got a lot of names that I've been sharing with the temple system but
if you need some I think I can share them with you guys. I'm sorry to
hear about Brother Collins, thank you for letting me know. Things are
going really well in Parkersburg. We had two areas combine in our ward
so we've just got two sets of missionaries now which will be a good
change for the ward and we got some new area to work with. We had two
of our less active members come to church this week and we are really
excited for this transfer. We set a woman named Kelly on date for
baptism yesterday. Her husband is a member and we are very excited for
her. I think she sees the value in being baptized and wants to have a
strong relationship with God. We have a goal to reactive several of
our less active families. I was reading the allegory of the olive tree
in Jacob this past week and the Lord of the vineyard explains that the
roots and the grafted branches have to be of equal strength. The
grafted branches could be compared to those that are baptized and
roots that are already there could be compared to the members of the
ward. It struck me that if we want to baptize more people into our
ward, we need to make sure that there is enough strength in the roots
to sustain the new grafts. We have about five hundred households on
out ward roster and a little under one hundred adults that regularly
attend. So we've made it our goal to reactivate a significant number
of people in our unit. I'm sure that many baptisms and conversions
will come as the ward becomes stronger and more capable. It takes a
lot of time and energy and attention to help recent converts succeed
in the gospel, and I'm sure it part of God's plan that units have to
be prepared to take care of those that have decided to make covenants.
I'm really excited about this next transfer, it'll be really good. I'm
glad to hear you guys are doing good, I hope you have a great week, I
love you guys and miss you. Be safe, I love you."

Words from Elder Tyler Crosby in Tonga

Hello family and friends,
It has been a while since I have sent a weekly email. I thought I would send one this week since we were blessed with a baptism. It was probably one of the most spiritual baptisms I have ever been too. I am grateful I had the opportunity to teach these two girls.
 To give you some info on my mission. Right now I am training two elders Elder Palanite and Elder Fetu'u. They are both from Tonga. I am serving in Ha'ateiho which is a town on the main island. I love being a missionary and being a part of this gospel. Especially as I see the miracles out here. I hope we can all take a little time to remember how lucky we are. Have a good week!

Ofa Atu! Lots of Love from Tonga,
-Elder Crosby

Words from Elder & Sister Terry Haws in Costa Rica

Hi friends and family, we just got our release info for the plane. We leave Costa Rica at 7:40 a.m. and get into Dallas at 1:00 p.m. We leave Texas at 3:15 pm and arrive at Phoenix international airport at 3:57 p.m. We will be on U.S. Airway flight # 456 terminal # 4. We are so excited to see everyone again and hold you in our arms. Spread the word we are coming home. Love you all so very much and am grateful for your love and support.

Words from Elder Jared Anderson in Brazil

Dear Family,
So i want to thank you guys so much for your prayers, Simone and her family were baptized this past week and now i was just transferred to another area called Malvinas. I dont have much time but i will write more next week.!
-Love Elder Anderson

Words from ElderJake Zieler in Canada

This week was good!
 One of the best parts of my whole week was having the privilege of going to the one and only Krispy Kreme in all of Canada! I decided to respect this opportunity by buying two dozen donuts fresh off the burner and made sure they were gone within 2 days. There are a lot of different ways you can get closer to heaven while on a mission, and that was one of them:) 
  Besides eating heavenly goodness, we had a solid week of missionary work. One of our investigators, who I mentioned in my last weeks e mail, passed his baptismal interview and is being baptized on Friday! I'm stoked! It'll be an awesome experience.
  We were also able to go help out at a soup kitchen last Saturday morning and help serve breakfast to the homeless. It was super fun and we met a lot of interesting people. Everybody everywhere has a different story. I think we're going to make it a weekly thing.
   I hope everyone has a great week! Enjoy the wind:)
- Elder Z

Words from Elder Chandon Herring in Washington DC

Well hello to all,

This was a good week with us only being shut inside part of Sunday.  Lucky we were able to take the sacrament and get a meeting done before church was canceled yet again. The darn freezing rain. There was like a good 1/4-1/2 inch of ice all over our car! What the?!?

Transfers are this coming Wednesday. Elder Levi is staying with me and elder Lematua is leaving. We are sure he is going to the Spanish program. The AP's
and president have called and asked how his Spanish is multiple times.  One of our roommates is also leaving which will be sad but we think we are getting Elder Crandall from my MTC district so we are excited.

Tuesday... "Today is a historic day!" Said elder Schwitzer of the 70.
He and a man from the missionary dept. came and gave a super long meeting about new iPads, restarting the electronic aspects of missionary life, a mission fast of facebook, we think that is also
world wide, and all that stuff. It was a great meeting and they are great speakers. We are getting new iPads hopefully this coming week that we are allowed to take home with us afterwards. Mom if you know
anything of this message me. It was a good day and the main thing that stood out was our defenses against the adversary on his most used tool of today, the media. He says there are 5 keys steps that when followed protect us. These steps can be modified to fit anything anyone is ever
struggling with and will help all who apply it.

#1 your first defense
against the influence of the adversary is your own personal testimony
and righteousness.

#2 is the influence of the Holy Ghost. He will help you and warn you of coming dangers.

#3 Mission rules ( or family rules
for you folks at home) they are time tested truths that will help you grow at an exponential rate and protect you throughout your life.

#4 technology blocks (or placing barriers between you and the adversary)
we have on our iPad s and on your home computers and td's blocks that
will keep the average joe safe. As long as he does not seek it. Elder Gonzales of the missionary dept. worked for the CIA in intelligence.  He said that you can put the most expensive and extensive blocks on
anything but it all comes down to the individual and if they desire to
get through.

#5 a Companionship auditing. We need to give open access of our devices and lives to those we are 'companions' with. Parents
and trusted loved ones. Have them help check up on us and make them a part of your life. They will be a strength and a help to you. It was a good day!

Wednesday... Temple day! Today I was able to go to the temple for the third time this transfer! Woo hoo! It was probably one of the most spiritual/personal revelation/awesome times of my life! It was so cool! I had an amazing session then took and read my patriarchal blessing at
the end. I loved it! There are so many plain and precious truths taught in the temple and throughout our lives that are so easy to see if we are looking. How are you going to change if you don't look? It was
a good day. We also had a meeting with Bishop about some people he is
concerned about and how to help them. We have 4 prospective elders! We are
going to help them along!

Thursday... Snow morning, we had a late start because of some bad weather yet again. Winter here stinks.  We did weekly
planning and then ran an errand for Elder Colson from the mission office checking out a new apt. For some senior sisters. It was a super nice place! We had a great evening eating and exchanging with a new
member in the ward. He fed us some good tacos and we talked to some super cool people.

Friday... We had a good day! We enjoyed a normal morning of studies and then had a trainer/trainee meeting. It was great! Elder Thornton was there and it was great seeing my dad again. He gave me some
workouts and stuff so I am excited. Next was a good interview with a President. We talked about transfers and if Lematua could do Spanish. We had a good evening with members talking about the ward mission plan and we met with one of the prospective elders. He is so ready! He has
been a member a little over a year. So good!

Saturday... WHITE HOUSE AGAIN!!!!!! I was able to set up with Sister Claude to take my sons to the East wing and on the 14th we do the west wing! Woo Hoo! It was amazing as always. The building is so beautiful and the history is incredible. We had a great time then she fed us
lunch at Johnny Rockets. Super good! The only bad thing about today is that it was so FLIPPEN cold! The wind and the shade from tall buildings gets Ya.  We had a hurried district meeting because we only could do it today. It was great but half the district could not come still. This transfer has been hectic! We had a great
dinner at Olive Garden after with Paul. He is a super odd but good guy. Then we had to hustle home for call outs. We found out who is leaving and staying this transfer.

Sunday... Today had so much potential but let us down. Darn weather.
We had a normal morning and then Ward coordination. We talked about how we can get the ward council more engaged in missionary work. Another ward council meeting and all I can say is if any of you are
involved in that please help the ward mission. You are the example to
the ward. We had an abbreviated sacrament meeting because of weather.
We had two investigators show up! Hurray! Manny was one of them and he
asked us for a blessing. He is such a good guy and I know he is trying
his best. He is preparing to begin making covenants! It is great! Then
Nomon who should be mormon. Haha he is cool to. He really wants to see
meet the mormons and so we are shooting for this weekend. We had
another ward mission meeting and then got home for dinner around 5.
That was when we found out that the whole mission was called in at
noon. Oops. Missed that one.

Today... Nothing exciting yet planned.. Haha

So that is life. I am loving it and the work is picking up a little.
We might get sister missionaries in our ward which would be great!
Thank you so much for your support and love! Love you!

Elder Herring

Words from Elder Ty Blank in Alaska


Man what a week! It was a really good one and also a really crazy one at the same time! Well we did some really fun stuff this week and also some cool stuff happened!

Well it is time for the transfer news I guess.... President called and said that The Lord wants me to go down and serve in The Beach Lake Ward in Eagle River. SO yes I am getting transferred! As usual with transfers I am sad to leave, but also excited to see what is going to come next in my mission! And for those who don’t know Eagle River is like 10-15 min from Anchorage so it will be warm down there! Elder Brown will be staying here and keeping up the good work in The Fairbanks 5th ward! There will be more news on that in the coming week! 


What else happened this week?!? Ummm on Saturday we got to spend 4 hours in the morning doing service! Now this wasn't just any old service! This was one of the coolest services that you could ever imagine! So now I need you to think really hard to the beginning of Frozen... Now what are they doing?!? You have to answer... They are harvesting Ice! That is what we did! We harvested ice. It was just like Frozen in real life! It was pretty cool! I know you are all jealous. It’s ok..... :)


So it has been warming up lately which is super nice! I haven’t needed to wear a jacket all week! That is nice! So now I don’t really have to worry about crazy Fairbanks weather! It snowed on Saturday.... Ya it snowed a lot... It was like a spring time storm. It was kinda crazy! I guess that is cool!


So Elder Brown and I have decided to start having more lessons with active members about Joseph Smith! I did this earlier in my mission and it really helps strengthen my testimony every time I am able to share it with others! It’s kinda incredible how that works! It’s kinda just how Faith is compared to a seed in Alma 32! I think the principle is the same however! :) It is just awesome! 


So I am honestly sad to be getting transferred, this ward is great and I am going to miss it a ton. The people we have been working with are doing great and I hope they will continue to do great after I leave! I am going to miss it here, but hopefully I will be able to make it back up here before my mission ends! That would be awesome! I love Fairbanks and all the people here and all they have taught me! I have really grown as I have been up here and experienced long cold and dark days. I know I was here because the Lord wanted me to be here and now I am leaving because that is what the Lord wants! I am Thankful to have served here!



Only 3 more months and I will be out a year! How crazy is that!?!?!



Elder Ty Nolan Blank! 

Words from Elder Brandon Day in Oklahoma

"Well its been a pretty slow week here in the city, we've been snowed in all day 3 times this week, and we had 3 other days full of conferences we went to, so we haven't been able to work much in our area. One of the trainings we had this week was about testifying and to always be holding a Book of Mormon and give one away every chance we get. It sounds difficult but its pretty fun! On Friday the roads were still a little slick from the snow and we were driving down a busy street and someone stopped in front of us so we stopped, then someone ran into the back of our car. Our nifty little bike rack that comes equipped on all the awesome mission vehicles took the impact and saved our car! It was a 17 year old girl that hit us and she was pretty scared and nervous because she had never hit anyone. So we got her information and everything then we told her who we are and what we do. We ended up giving her a Book of Mormon and she agreed to hear a message from us! Crazy miracles happen all the time! It was a pretty cool experience even though we got hit, but that doesn't matter. Hopefully we get to teach her soon! But great things have happened since we have been carrying a Book of Mormon everywhere, and we've given away so many. We're starting to find more people because of it and its been such a huge blessing for us. I challenge all of you to give away at least 1 Book of Mormon in the month of March, and if any of you get that chance email me about your experience!! Great blessings will come to us all as we strive to spread this amazing gospel!"

Words from Sister Abbigail Waite in Texas

 know you all are dying to hear the transfer news ;)... Sister Gagon and I
are staying together here in Zilker Park! Yay!! :)

That's super exciting for me because I really love Sister Gagon. We have so
much in commo and I've learned so much from her! Elder Pew (an Assistant to
the President) told us that they all expect miracles from us this next
transfer. And we're ready to deliver! :)

I really, really love Zilker Park. It's got to be the best area in the
whole mission! I really love the ward and all the people that I have
been able to meet. Just love them to death!

So much that I rode my bike this week just to be able to see them! Our
poor car is having transmission issues (I know, me and transmission
problems...), so we took it in to be fixed. This week has been the
coldest and rainiest by far, but we didn't let that stop us! We've
been on foot and bike all week! :) And we've met some very interesting
people that way... Haha! :)

The best thing ever happened this week! Alana and Jadon were baptized!
They're both so awesome. Jadon got his hair cut, so you  won't get to
see his crazy curly hair... but it was awesome. It was so great to see
them be baptized. Now that I think about it, the first time I've seen
Alana REALLY smilie was after her baptism. Wow! This really is the
happiest message on Earth! Jadon is a crazy 8 year-old and he asked to
bear his testimony... if was one of the sweetest testimonies I've ever
heard. So simple, but so powerful. Especially for an 8 year-old! I'm
so excited for them. :)

My littler sister sent me a banana this week... I haven't tried to eat
it yet... but we'll see. ;)

So this week I've done a lot of thinking about our Heavenly Father. We
all lived with Him before this life and were happy, because what else
would we be in the presence of such a loving Heavenly Father? Yet we
knew we needed to come here in order to progress, so we did it. But
we're not left alone and wandering without guides! We have scriptures
and prophets and all of that stuff, but we also have the PERFECT
EXAMPLE, Jesus Christ. Heavenly Father just loves us SO much (John
3:16). I usually think of it as "He gave us a way to get back to Him.
And we so want to be with Him again." but the other day I flipped it
around. HE so wants to be with US again. And I may or may not of
cried. (You'll never be able to prove it.) I've never thought of it
like that, but of course it's true! It's sort of like physics. When
you push on something, it pushes back with the exact same force. We
want so badly to be with Him again (even if some of us don't realize
it), and Heavenly Father wants us back just as much. Probably even
more, which breaks the analogy. Everything he does it to save souls.
Everything. His very purpose is to bring us back (Moses 1:39). I love
Him so much, and He loves me so much, and He just loves all of you so
much, and it's just a whole lot of love going on. Always remember

Sister Waite

Words from Sister Brittany Platt in Colorado

Olo Everyone!

This e-mail is going to be pretty short, sorry. Time flies when I e-mail!
So, this last week was awesome! The LA lady from Round Valley, Krystal, asked us to teach her 11-year old daughter who isn't baptized so she can get baptized!! So awesome! And we got permission from the mission president to go to two performances of the Strasburg Elementary School's Peter Pan play. Several of the kids in our ward, Krystal's daughter, and another daughter of a LA family who we're teaching the lessons to were in it. It was amazing!!!! The lady who runs the show is a member of our ward and she did a fabulous job! The kids were so talented and so cute and the auditorium was packed! Reminds me of home. And it was great being out in public and having people see us. Also, Jeff and Sarah are doing SO good! They've read the entire quad!!! Everything! And they took notes and wrote down questions about what they read so we could discuss. And they've watched like every Mormon movie out there! So so awesome. And Jeff is receiving the Aaronc priesthood soon and they both want to go to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. Truly, the Lord has prepared them so much! We're meeting with them about twice a week and we just love them. I feel like they're family and hopefully they can come visit St. Johns so I can introduce you all to them! Such wonderful people!
Also, we had a family call us that just moved into our ward and asked us to come over to their home with the elders to bless their house. They just moved here from Venezuela (the wife is from there, the husband is American). He's been less-active for years because after he got baptized, he went and contracted with the military over in the middle-east for five years and kinda lost contact with the church. But, they finally moved over here and are the coolest family! They came to church yesterday, and one of the members of the bishopric bore his testimony about missionary work and talked about his mission to Venezuela! They were so excited and went and talked to him in Spanish immediately afterwards. They asked us to teach them the lessons again and the husband wants to receive the priesthood so he can baptize his son. Miracles miracles!

Well, I'd better go. I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week! Here's my new favorite scripture for you all: James 5:16 "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth him much." Keep praying to the Lord fervently and it will do you so much good!

God bless you!

Love, Sister Platt

Words from Sister Hannah Platt in Honduras

"Friends and family,

I have no time to write, but i just wanted to send an email out so no one worries! I am doing fine and things are great here! I am loving my new comp. and we are really working hard! I have never been this exhausted before. :) But a missionary with lots of work is a happy missionary :) I love you all and i love this work. It is such a privilege to be a missionary and to be apart of the Lord´s work. I know this church is true! That´s about all i have time fore. But i hope you are all well! Thanks so much for you letters and support! Also, i just wanted to give a quick thanks so Missy Waite, Sister Whitmer, Ashley, and the Pattersons for you letters!!! :) and my parents of course haha. But really thanks so much for all the support you give me!"

Words from Elder & Sister Neal Lambson in the Philippines

"Each month we meet with the missionaries in their Zone Leaders Training Meeting.  There is always something to learn on such occasions.  This time was no different.  Is we were discussing ways that we could be of greater service to our local leaders, I noticed tiny, tiny ants on the tile floor.  A large crumb had fallen from a cookie that Sister had provide to be eaten during merianda time.  Anyway, there were four ants that had taken it upon themselves to fetch up that crumb, and transport it to their year's supply, which was somewhere across that large cultural hall floor.  Each tile was 16x16, and I watched them together carrying it across in just a short period of time; maybe a minute.  Other ants would come up to observe the task at hand, yet those ants did not join in to help with the effort.  Round and round the outsiders circle observing from a distance. Then things changed when those four ants had made thier way across that tile, and came to a grout joint.  In the joint they faltered, unable to push the tiny crumb up, across and out of that chasm that held it bound.  At that point as if they had issued out a call for help; here came three more ants a running and joined in the cause.  Another ant was out front of the group, as if to say, "come on, you can do it, push and pull together, you're almost across." In just a few moments they had crossed over that deep chasm and continued with the task at hand.  Those other ants that showed up to help in the cause, immediately it seemed said their good-bys and went their own way.  What a lesson!  It coincided with exactly what the missionaries were discussing at that present time.  How can we as missionaries help our leaders in their callings? A great lesson was taught by those ants.

Today in English lessons with the Sister Missionaries we continued with conversational English and role playing.  In a recentl workshop that Sister Galbraith (Mission Nurse) gave to the missionaries on preparing inexpensive, nutritional delicious food.  she challenged the missionaries to take the time to prepare such a meal.  So, I asked Sister Lorente to explain to me what she would purchase at the pelanky(market) for such a meal.  She said that she would buy some munoke (chicken). "The whole chicken, or parts of it, or what?"  "Oh, Elder Lambson I would buy only the legs, the feet, the head, and the skin." What else? I asked,  Her response, "that's all".  So much for a well rounded balanced meal. 

Recently, I went on splits with Elders Mesina, and VillaRosa.  We went and visited a recent convert who lived just down the road from us in the jungle.  We sat outside on a board bench, and visited.  Looking inside ther 10x10 concrete home with coconut leaves on the roof, I could see inside.  The concrete floor was clean and bare.  I not see any indication of any furnishings inside.  She had no electricity, running water, or bathroom facilities.  Good thing that she and her little family lived just a 100 meters from the river where they could wash, go to the bathroom, and do their laundry.  I was most thankful though that I had just recently eaten, and politely declined their offering to share their evening meal with them.  "Busog, Busog" I said as I rubbed my stomach.  I do not think that I could have stomached that curried dog meat.

A few days ago Sister was waiting for some music students to show up, so she started teaching a couple of guys who just came along. They were so excited. One of them started playing the top hand so fluently, she thought, wow, that is so pretty, and went on through toward the end of the book to see how he did, and when she showed him some of the hymns, she asked him to see if he was ready to add the bottom hand. Suddenly she remembered he had no left arm!  Her comment about it all was "What a boo, boo!."

The experiences that we are having in this place are unbelievable.  The Lord has blessed us so. This is His work, This is His Gospel.  We recognize that we need His help.  We pray for it, we plead for, and we pour out our soul unto God to receive it.  Its True!"

Elder and Sister Lambson