Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Words from Elder Ty Blank in Alaska

March 31
So this week was a way good one and a lot of stuff happened!
I went on exchanges on Wednesday and that was a lot of fun! My district leader and I get along really well. We had a lot of fun, but also stayed working all day! It was a great day!
So maybe I should explain why I am emailing on Tuesday instead of Monday. So Yesterday was Sewerds Day up here in good ol' Alaska so all the libraries were closed and so now here on Tuesday emailing! It is kinda different. So yesterday was super fun! We went on a 3 mile hike to a place called echo bend and then we had lunch there which was hot dogs and chips! Then we played some football and some ultimate Frisbee! So you could say it was a ton of fun! After that we hiked back 3 miles and went and played some basketball at the church! It was probably one of the best P days so far on my mission!
So this week the man that was baptized a few weeks ago Doug got the priesthood! It is so cool to see new members get the priesthood and now he is super proud and just so ready to serve! That was a big plus for this week!
So on Saturday we went on another exchange, this time with the zone leaders and I again left my area and was coming around the areas! It was a great learning experience for me!
So Wednesday we did some service at the same place we did the hike, so we then had to hike 2 miles in and carry some huge boards for about a mile! It was kinda tiring! It’s ok though! It was a way fun service! I love doing service and we do a lot of it so that is great!
So the ‪#‎becauseHelives‬ initiative is out and I am so excited to continue to spread the news about How Christ lives. He lives today and He is our leader. He broke the bands of death so we could all live again. For this I am grateful. For the knowledge that I have and can spread! It is kinda just awesome!
So the people we are teaching are going well! We have 3 people on date for baptism here pretty soon! I am so excited! Other then that the work continues! It always has and it always will! It cannot be stopped!
I love you guys!
Elder Ty Nolan Blank
April 6
So this week was a good Easter weekend! Not a whole lot to report though! Considering I feel like Tuesday was yesterday! This week has flown by like no other! It is crazy when you focus on obedience then you have way more fun and also the week and days go by way faster!
So we taught the usual people this week! We ended up teaching some of the commandments and we are lucky the spirit was there for most of the lessons because each time we taught the people we are teaching had to make a choice to change their lives to follow these commandments! Teaching is kinda stressful in those moments! As Long as we teach with the spirit though and Let it guide our thoughts and actions all is well!
Friday night we took a kid who is getting ready for his mission out to some houses and we had a lot of success getting into houses we haven't been able to get into in a while! It was a lot of fun! I love talking with and working with youth that are getting ready to leave!
So you could say we had a miracle yesterday! Well kinda! We woke up and it was snowing! I liked it! It was a nice change of pace from everything melting even though it all melted by noon! Kinda reminds me of AZ!
So I loved General Conference this year! It was amazing! Each time I feel like they are talking straight to me! I think one of my favorite talks Was Bishop Causee’s Talk! It was way good! Anchor your Faith in the plain and simple truths of the gospel!
So other than that not a whole lot going on! Just working hard!
We had an awesome family to spend Easter with and that was a blast! We had a great dinner and it was awesome!
I am really close to half way! I hit 10 months on Saturday!
Keep learning and living and loving the gospel. I have seen it change so many people’s lives including mine! It is the only thing that instills a lasting change in the hearts of the people! Keep growing in it and keep loving it! Watch, love, pray, and wait!
I love you guys!
Elder Ty Nolan Blank

Words from Elder Garrett Hollembeak in West Virginia

Hello Everyone,

It was a great week in Parkersburg, we've been getting sunshine and
rainy days off and on this week. Its transfers time again and Elder
Higley is transferring to Malta Idaho. He flies out tomorrow and my
new companion will be Elder Lane. I've never met him before but I'm
excited to stay here in Parkersburg. Our area is really blooming, we
have two investigators that are likely to get baptized in the upcoming
months. We met with one of them yesterday, his name is Dave. He met
with the missionaries a couple of years ago and then stopped meeting
with them. He's been reading and believes that the Book of Mormon is
true. He says its different than what he's used to, but he feels the
Spirit when he reads from it. This past week we met a family that
lives over in Belpre, Ohio who are just incredible. They're in their
sixties and have had over two hundred foster children. Right now they
have a daughter that they adopted named Tasha who was born with a
really rare condition where she literally was born without a brain and
has only 40 percent of her brain stem. She's completely dependent but
she responds to voices and smiles and everything. They recently had
interns from Nationwide Children's Hospital do a research study on
her. The doctors gave her less than ninety days to live and Tasha
turns nineteen next week, the family has had her since she was two
years old. We are really excited to teach them and get to know them
better. We've also been going through the new member lessons with one
of the recent converts that got baptized in July. A couple of weeks
ago it was brought up in ward council that she was active and that
they had no concerns about her but that she had not been through the
missionary discussions after she was baptized. Around the same time
President Salisbury encouraged all of the missionaries to make sure
the new member lessons were completed. So we started meeting with
Sister Weaver and found that while she was active in her calling and
at church she has stopped reading from the Book of Mormon and had not
prayed in awhile. Her testimony was still there but she had fallen out
of the practice of the gospel. She's doing a lot better with prayer
and scripture study and her sacrament attendance is better. It
definitely strengthened my testimony of following the direction of the
bishop and the mission president. It seemed to be a theme throughout
the week of the importance of daily prayer and scripture study and
weekly sacrament attendance. We met with a less active family who had
a lot of concerns about polygamy and Joseph Smith and local leaders
and the whole gambit. However, the more we talked with them the more
we realized that the practices of living the gospel, when neglected,
had affected their belief in gospel. I hope you guys have a great week
and stay safe, I love you.

Words from Elder Shad Lindsey in the Ukraine

hey whats up ya'll!

This week was awesome! It was Easter here in Ukraine so it was the best week of the whole year. Easter is by far the biggest holliday in Ukraine. There were tons of people everywhere and  a lot of families to talked to. It's really cool, on Easter day everyone greets eachother by saying, "eecuc vockrec!" and you answer it by saying, "Vo ictinu vockrec!" 3 times. It means Jesus is risen and yes, He truly has risen. I love the culture of this country. They really understand the meaning of Easter. So we contacted a ton of people and talked to them about the real meaning of easter and stuff. We found so many nice people. It really was a super awesome weekend.

We also were able to do a lot of service. The weather has been super warm, so it was nice. People are starting to plant their gardens and stuff. 

ALso yesterday, we went to a party in a little village(thats why I didnt write yesterday). and guess what? I saw the Clark family from Brovary!!! It was so good to see all of them again. We had a really fun time playing games and stuff with all the kids.

I felt this week that God loves me and knows me. I know I'm not very good at typing and stuff and I'm sorry for that. I know a lot of you have a lot of questions and stuff about my mission and I'm not the best at explaining things. But I want you all to know that I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I believe in Him and I want to be like Him. I am so grateful that I have this chance to get to know my Savior in a more personal way. I can't describe it, but I know He is there. And I just want to find those people who are ready to receive Him. It's like a fire in me that just keeps getting bigger and bigger. I know there are people here who ar ready to receive this message. We've just gotta find em'. After my mission we can all talk and I'll answer any questions you guys got ok? 

I love you have a great week

Words from Sister Hailey Overson in Brasil

Hi everyone!! Real quick shout outs to my loved ones with birthdays... Clayton turned 18 on the 11th!!!! My mom turned.... actually I don't think she'd appreciate me putting her age on my group email. Ok fine I'll tell you anyway. She's 29 on the 14th!!! And my fabulous cousin Ayden is going to be 16 on the 15th!!

This week has been so bitter-sweet. I can't tell you enough how wonderful these last three months have been. Never, have I been so blessed. I'm happy all the time! And you know what? It's not because of me. It's because when we turn our will to the Father, He is able to make us someone we can't become on our own. Everything we have here in life is God's. He controls everything, except our hearts. We have to GIVE Him our hearts so that He can mold them and shape them into something more like His. I've worked really hard these two transfers to give up all of my own desires and turn my will to His. And I have reaped the benefits. I'm happy:) And because I am, I'm able to share that happiness with everyone around me:)

Saying goodbye to these people has broken my heart. And looking back, I wish I would've worked EVEN HARDER than I did. It's given me more of that urgency to do everything I can to make my Father proud. And that doesn't just go for the mission. We only have a small amount of time here on Earth! THIS is the time to perform our labors. To show God that we love Him by loving those around us and by following Christ's example in everything that we do. This being said, we obviously don't have to be perfect. That's what Christ's beautiful suffering was for. But we do show our love of God by following Him. By doing the things that would make Him proud. So I invite all of you to share that love. Share your testimony of Christ's love for someone else this week. And see how happy it makes you!! I PROMISE that you will see the difference!! I love you and hope you all have a fab week:) Next email will be from Brazil:p
Sister Overson

Words from Elder Brandon Day in Oklahoma

So this was a pretty great week for us! Still in the same area, but our wards changed up so we have a little bit of new area to work in here in the city. We've been teaching a lot so far and its been great! We have a few people with baptism dates, its been awesome!
We started teaching a young recent convert from the new area, and we taught him a lesson with a basketball and all of his friends gathered around to listen. Then afterwards we played a little pick up game with some 12 year olds and it was actually challenging! They were all really good! But we still beat them haha. It was cool because after that the "crew leader" came up to me and asked if he could come to church with us. He thought we were the coolest guys and he wanted to come to church. So we'll be able to start teaching our recent convert and be able to have all of his friends there at the lesson, then we'll be able to bring them to church. It was so great and a huge blessing! The work is progressing very well here in the area that has been slow with missionary work. So its awesome to be a part of the great work that's building up here!

Have a great week ya'll!
Elder Day

Words from Elder Jared Anderson in Brazil

Well this week was pretty awesome,

We have been trying really hard to work with the members of the ward and it is helping so much. I absolutely love them. We received a reference of one members family member so we decided to pass by. When we got there she was just getting ready to leave, so we talked with her real quick trying to spark up a conversation. She flaty shut us down in every attempt. As we were just about ready to leave we asked her a question, that i cannot even remember now. She stopped and looked at us silently as tears welled up in her eyes and she said, please i need your help. We talked with her of the Plan that God has for each one of us and how we can truly find happiness and peace in this life. She thank us again and again and we marked to pass by her house this week. It is so interesting as a missionary to truly see the spirit of the Lord touch the lives of His children whom He deeply loves and when this happens we too can be participants in feeling this love. I am so grateful for this sacred calling please reach out to those in need the spirit of the Lord WILL touch them although it might not be instantanious, they will feel it and so will we. I lvoe you all and hope you have a great week!
-Elder Anderson

Words from Sister Hailey Overson in Brasil

Ok. I´m in Brasil. I´m alive. And I´m probably one of the happiest people on earth right now. I love this place. I have no time to write, but I do want to testify of the power of God. Because the first day I got here to Brasil, I didn´t speak like ANY Portugues. But now? You wouldn´t believe the improvement I´ve had in one short week. Can´t send pics.. I know you´re all so disappointed;) But I will try next week! The CTM in Brasil is so different from PRovo. But it´s awesome. We go out prosilyting two times a week with REAL people!! IN PORTUGUES!! Say what? Nah I´m serious!! I love you all so much and I know that God loves every single one of us and He´ll help you with everything. No matter how small or dumb you may think it is. Don´t forget to pray for that help!! Have a wonderful week! AMO VOCES!!!!
SIster Overson

Words from Elder Garrett Hollembeak in West Virginia


It was a wonderful week in Parkersburg, it was a beautiful week, the
sun was shining, the tank was clean! Elder Lane and I were able to
teach a lot this week and we are seeing some great progress with our
less active members and our investigators. One of our investigators,
Dave Hess, is getting baptized this Sunday so we are really excited
for him. The work is hastening. It's amazing because he has made so
many great changes in his life in order to be baptized. He loves the
church and is gaining a great understanding of the doctrine. The next
goal is to get him to the temple, we're hoping to work with the ward
really closely to make sure Dave is well retained. What's been really
cool to see is how much this is God's work, as hard as we work we do
very little compared to all that God does to prepare people's hearts
and help them along the way. The timing has been neat too. Dave
investigated the church about a year ago and stopped investigating. He
was super excited to meet with us again and to be baptized. Building
on a foundation of what he learned a year ago made it easier to help
him learn and develop his testimony and it worked out in God's time
when He knew Dave would be ready. The first Sunday he came to church
one of the members recognized him because they grew up together as
kids. Even finding him didn't have a lot to do with us, Elder Higley
and I had some in between time from one lesson to another so we called
a couple of random numbers in our phone, one of them was Dave. I'll
send pictures of the baptism, it should be really great. I hope you
guys have a really great week, thank you for everything you do for me
and for all of the support and prayers. I love you!

Words from Abby Waite in Texas

Are you sick of hearing me say that we had a week of miracles yet?

Well... We had a week of miracles! 

I don't think there's really any other way to put it! The Lord's hand is in every aspect of the work, and you have to really work hard not to see it! :) 

Armando is doing great! Michael and Matthew are as sweet as ever, and we met an amazing family yesterday while we were out attempting to contact a few referrals in their apartment complex. That's not even the beginning of the things that have happened! As we've been working hard and talking to literally EVERYONE and being so blessed for it! 

The biggest miracle of all this week was Geoff. Before I left, my best friend told me that I'd come to feel the love of the Savior for those whom I serve. I thought I knew what he was talking about then, but this week it hit a whole new level. We've been having Geoff teach us the lessons, and it has been so powerful! He bears simple testimony of what he has come to know is true. He's told us of several occasions that he bore testimony to others who were giving him a hard time for his decision to be baptized. I've been able to watch him grow from "Big Bad Motorcycle" Geoff to just a big softie and I love him so much! (...Don't tell him I called him that, I'll never hear the end of it! ;) ) 

This week in my Book of Mormon reading I came to the 2000 Stripling Warriors in the end of the Book of Alma. It's one of my favorite stories! 

It felt really appropriate to read about their mothers, what with Mother's Day coming up this week. :) I love that the sons of Helaman did not fear because their mothers had taught them that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them (Alma 56:48). And I love the next verse: "We do not doubt our mothers knew it." I'm so grateful that I can echo their testimony! I do not doubt, because I've learned from my own mother. And I do not doubt that she knows it, too! :) 

Another thing I love about the Stripling Warriors is their obedience. But I want to point something out. In Alma 57:21, we read that they obeyed with exactness, and everything was done unto them according to their faith. I think that we too often equate obedience with miracles. However, that's not the case at all. Obedience brings blessings. Blessings build faith. Faith brings miracles. (verses 26 & 27 illustrate that pretty well) :) They were certainly blessed for their obedience, but the miracles came because of their exceeding faith. I love that! :) 

I hope everyone has a wonderful week! How could it be anything else, what with today being Star Wars day and all that. ;) 

Love you all! 
Sister Waite

Words from Sister Brittany Platt in Colorado

Olo Everyone!

Happy Mother's Day on Sunday to every one of you mother's who has influenced my life and helped to raise me (that includes all my friends and my sisters too). I feel so blessed to have so many amazing women in my life. I've been thinking a lot about all of you this last week and I've realized that it truly does take a community to raise a child. Thanks for raising this child! I hope you all have a wonderful, wonderful day and know how much you are loved, revered, honored and appreciated by so many!

So, the reason my e-mail is entitled "Birds" is because, for some reason, the birds here in Colorado are craaaazy! I've hit around 5 to 10 birds with our truck since I've been here in Strasburg. I've only hit like 2 before my mission!!! What the heck? It's like they're daring each other to dive in front of the truck while we drive. Maybe it's some initiation thing with birds? Or maybe they're all high on marijuana too?? I have no idea but it's the weirdest thing! My companions have said the same thing so I know it's not just me! At least I hope not....
Anyhow, this last week was so wonderful! The last several weeks have really been crazy and stressful and so hard, so our goal this last week was to just have fun. And we had fun! We finally got to meet Thunder (the Bronco's horse) on Friday and take pictures with him. SO awesome. And his trainer, Ann Wagner, is adorable. The sweetest lady ever. And we talked a lot with her about our missions and the gospel! She said we could come back she'd make a great Mormon! Guess we'll see? And I gotta tell ya, I'm getting really good with donkeys. I love volunteering at the donkey shelter and I'm learning so much. There's one particular donkey, Curry, that I've fallen in love with and want to adopt when I get home. What do you think mom and dad?! Haha, j/k j/k. We've been talking a lot with the owners and the volunteers there about the gospel and our prayers are being answered to teach these wonderful people! We had one lady tell us she's searching for a church so hopefully we can start teaching some of them soon. With justserve projects we can't proselyte so they have to ask us.
We also got to go to the temple for a temple tour with our ward and we drove with a less-active woman, Kathy (whose husband is not a member), and she loved it. It was her first time to the temple and she's lived here for almost 15 years! Before she picked us up, she said she was just going to wear pants and then her husband got on her and told her she had to wear a dress to the temple. She was so glad she did and we were so glad her husband told her too! Someday he'll get there and we could tell Kathy felt the same way. Also, one of our investigators came with his family (his wife's a member but less-active) and he loved it! And, one of the family's in the ward brought a non-member with them. It was so neat! We had an amazing tour and we were the first tour of the year. It was very special!

One of our investigators, Guy, is doing really well! He's reading the BOM all the time and is in 2 Nephi. We invited him to be baptized, but he said not yet. I really hope it'll happen for him soon and I know the member family he's living with is a good influence on him. Also, Joslynn, our recent convert, is doing amazing!! Her whole family came to church (except her step-dad) and that was a miracle because her step-dad didn't want his other two kids to go. He's getting very curious about this church, though, so hopefully we'll get to talk to him soon about it.
Also, we had Zone Conference this week and it was wonderful. It was all about courage and boy did I need to hear it! I'm grateful for the inspiration I received from that Conference. And, I got to sing at it, which was really fun for me. I still get so nervous every time! Oh well. It was fun! It was weird hearing missionaries going home give their departing testimonies. I've been out almost 9 months and I just can't imagine ever giving mine. I don't want to give mine! Maybe I can be an eternal missionary? Just stay out here forever? :) Well, transfers are this weekend and we'll see if I stay in Strasburg one more time or get transferred. I would love to be here the rest of my mission, but I know the Lord needs other sisters to come out here and experience this place. I just love how the Lord knows us so well and wants to fulfill every dream and wish we have! He knew I wanted to come out here so not only did He let me, but I got to serve here 6 months, wear my cowboy boots, drive a truck, and play with livestock! What a blessing! He loves us SO much and is just anxious to fulfill our dreams! I've realized this week that God is more than just good. He truly is the ultimate, perfect father we could ever dream of. He knows us so well, better than we know ourselves, because He created us. I was imagining the other day seeing Him again and my heart was overfilled. I hope that day, when I do see Him again, that I can give him the tightest hug and feel worthy to do so. I can't wait to see my dad again!

Well, everyone, I love you so much and I'm so grateful for all you do! I love being from St. Johns and I'm so proud to claim that beautiful town as home. Have a wonderful week and God bless you all!

Love, Sister Platt

Words from Sister Hannah Platt in Honduras


Happy b-day to my brother in law Kyle!!! :) hope it was good!! 

This week was posisbly one of the hardest of my mission, and also the one where i saw the most miracles. I won´t go into all the details of the bad parts so this email will just be about the good that came because of the bad. The other day, we were walking past Rosa´s house (our little investigator that we had to give up because of her grandma) and anyways it starte d to rain really hard and they let us in to get out of the rain! And her grandma was there.. and she started to talk with us and pretty soon, we gained confidnce with her and before we left, we asked if we could come back to teach Rosa, and guess what?! THe grandma said yes!!! It was such a sweet and tender mercy from the Lord. We have been fasting and praying so much taht we could teach her, and our prayer was answered. THe LOrd is so good. I just can´t expalin to you all how much this has meant to me. This mission is so hard. A lot of times, people think central-south american missions are easy. But they aren´t We have to work so hard, just like every other missionary. People don´t just fall into our way and ask us to baptize them. BUt if i have learned anything in this area, its that the lord prepares people for us. ANd rosa was prepared. So is her family. THey are meant to recieve the gospel of Christ. ANd the Lord providd a way for them to recieve it. I am so grateful. I love this mission. I know i say that a lot, but i do. With my whole heart. The Savior has worked miracles in my life here and He is making me into soemthing that i never could have made of myself. How i wish i was more worthy of His love. I am so grateful for what He has done and that He never gives up on me. He never gives up on any of us. NO matter what. We can all change. I testiy of that. I sure love you all. Recieving letters and emails from you all means so much! I can´t even tell you. I am sorry this is short.. i wish ihad time to tell you al that has happened. BUt so is the life of a missionary haha. Have sucha a wodnerful week and a happy mothers day to all the mothers that i love!!! 

Hermana PLatt

Words from Elder Chandon Herring in Washington DC

Well Hello to my dear family. First things first you guys are great! I love you and do brag about you on occasion haha. Today is a good day so far. We got up and ready and my entire apt except for me is off to
Arlington National Cemetery for an "out of the mission" trip because they go home soon. So I am home with Elder Williams who is a cool elder whose companion is also on this trip. We are just going to relax
and have fun today and hope all works out. So my week...

Tuesday... Nothing too exciting today. We did a lot of talking to people and had a lesson with an Investigator at a pizza place. It was his birthday and he is great! His name is Chris he is only investigating because he is marrying a member and he wants to know and understand more of what she believes. He is great and has told us he is not going to be converted he is just there for info. however we are
sure he will be baptized even if it is 20 yrs down the road. He is that kind of guy.

Wednesday... Today was good but tiring. We had to bike a lot and the first appt we went to canceled. Right after that we rode all the way up to the top of our area and met with a member who is so funny! We
had to make it over a nasty hill though. But it was good. She is in an electric wheel chair and holds signs on the sidewalk advertising for cell phone stuff and she just hides behind her sign and you cant
see her at all except for her eyes peeking over the top and it just makes me laugh haha. After her we had dinner with a family. Their kids are super cute to. The youngest was asked if she likes Jesus and she
said, "Yes! But not the Devil... the Devil is stupid..." It was so funny! We had a great time. We ended the night by teaching Ramona. Poor girl. She is just so sad. She does not know how much God loves
her and she tries so hard but she just does not get happy. She cant turn to the scriptures because it is hard to understand and so she watches preachers on tv who speak in tongues (they think) and heal the
sick and tell of seeing God and she just wants to experience something
like that in her life. She is such a good girl though. We are going to help her get to know God, that he lives, and that he really does love her and knows her name. It will be fun seeing the change in her. We got home and the ZLs hid and tried to scare us. They got Elder Tilby so good! haha

Thursday... Meetings... lots of hours in meetings... But after our district meetings and zone meetings we had Cafe Rio again! Woo Hoo!!! It is sooooo good! I love it. We did our weekly planning and we randomly decided to text Ramona. So we did and she responded saying how she was just praying for some help and to know that God is there. This is not the first time that we were literally the answer to her prayer. On our visit earlier she talked about how she asked for a sign and multiple times we had been that sign! It is so fun and weird at
the same time but she still is struggling to see it. Oh well... We had dinner with a member and walked home talking to people. This was when I got attacked. I had just talked to a guy who was changing his car tire and he turned down help but It was ok. I was in a great mood then I felt a blob land on my back left shoulder. I asked Elder TIlby what it was and he just starts laughing. I later discovered and counted a
total of 5 decent sized globs of bird poop on me... Good times i say... good times...

Friday... MY FIRST INTERVIEW EVER!!!! (Baptismal interview) Today was amazing. It started out with a flippen hard leg day in the gym. I was done! So was Thornton so i did not feel too bad. We then went up to New Carrollton again and spent 4 hours with the Knights talking about family history
and getting the missionaries converted to it and all sorts of stuff. They are having me help.  I do not know why other than Sister Knight said it just felt right. I have no idea what I am doing! But it will work. Today in studies I was reading about Nephi and for some reason he just seemed so much cooler than normal. It was when he was tied up on the ship and that whole thing and he is such a good example and a
boss! I love the guy! We went to see Bro. Mason who has the biggest, whitest, and most perfect teeth I have ever seen! It was a good time and then my interview. It was with a girl named Ronica. She is a good
one and is now married to a member. It was cool hearing her testimony and seeing what changes she has made and is wiling to make to be close to God.

Saturday... Stake Missionary Day!!!! Today was fun. We met at the stake center early and did our studies then were assigned a youth who is putting in his papers to come with us for a few hours. It was a lot
of fun! We got two good lessons at the same time. I went to teach Dorenda with Thornton and the Youth while Perrin went with Tilby to teach Corliss. It was great! As we started the lesson with Dorenda I
was heading the lesson and then I just felt the spirit say to shut up.  So I did and just watched. E Thornton and the Youth did amazing as well following the spirit but as we taught we saw how much Dorenda
just needs to think. The spirit was so strong in those silent moments when she was thinking. She would always say "No" to a commitment then lean back, fan her face, smile, laugh and then agree because she said she knew she needs to. It was quite fun haha. We went out contacting
for the night and spent an hour talking to an Evangelist missionary by his car. We all just shared our beliefs but it was an amazing discussion. He is well versed in the scriptures and knows who Christ
is. he just needs the priesthood and what we share! He is going to make a great bishop.

Sunday... Today was good. We had Dorenda and Tony come to church and
both are seriously considering getting baptized. It is great! Church was amazing and the testimonies here are very similar to DC 3rd. The people are so good. and the Bishop is even back from Nigeria! He was
gone for over a month and a half. At the baptism afterwards Tony was just in awe and overwhelmed by the spirit and I was able to be a witness. It was so cool she came out of the water clapping haha. I love this gospel!  We had dinner on base with the Swanks and it was good. She made the
burgers but for some reason they shrunk a lot and were more like meat balls. haha. So overall a good day

So that is life here in DC. I am loving it and am continuing to learn. I hope you all make the time to do the little things you should like go to the temple, really read the scriptures, pray, and talk about the
gospel with your member and non member friends. It should be a part of who we are. I love you all and hope you have a great week! Love you!

Elder Herring

Words from Sister Brittany Platt in Colorado

Olo everyone!
So, I got transferred. I'm SO sad to leave Strasburg! Oh how I love that place and the people there. Church got cancelled yesterday because of the bad weather, so I drove around trying to say goodbye to all the people that are so dear to me. I only got to see about half of them, but I'm glad I got to say goodbye. What an incredible place! I'm so blessed I got to spend 1/3 of my mission there. God really knows us well and is always trying to bless us!

My new area is in Arapahoe, which is just north of Parker (my first area). My ward is the Fox Hollows ward and it's the smallest area in the mission! I went from the biggest area to the smallest area! And the ward is pretty wealthy so all the houses are really nice. I honestly feel a bit out of place! I'm a country gal, so I miss the dirt and the mud and the dust and the small, country living. But, I'm here on this mission to learn and grow, so I'm sure this area will stretch me and I'll learn a lot. My companion is Sister Wilde and she's from a small town (the size of St. Johns) in Canada and she knows how to drive wagons too! I'm sure we'll get along just grand. There's not much missionary work here to do, she's told me, so we're going to try and focus on member missionary work this transfer and really help the ward. It kind of feels like Parker again, but I love working with members so I'm excited!
I got to Skype with my family and a dear friend yesterday and it was wonderful! I'm so grateful for technology and that we get to talk to our families as if they are in the next room! I finally got to Skype with Hannah too and that was a tender mercy. I love my dear sister and am so proud of her and the missionary she is. I'm so proud of all missionaries that come out and serve! It's not easy, by any means. But it's totally worth it.
I want you all to know how much I love this gospel and this work! Honestly, I don't think missions really ever get easy, but we do get better at the work. I'm still not that good, but what I love about being a missionary is even though we're awkward and not the best teachers, the spirit makes up for what we lack. Thank heavens for the Holy Ghost! He teaches people in ways that we never could and I'm so grateful to have him with me always.
I hope you all have a wonderful, missionary-filled week! Remember, please don't pray for the missionaries to find, but please pray that you can find people for the missionaries to teach. Members are awesome and I have a testimony of member-missionary work!

Love you all and God bless you!

Love, Sister Platt

Words from Elder Adam Otto in Idaho

This week was something else! The best lesson I learned this week was probably seeing blessings come from obeying the spirit and keeping our word. As we continually strive to do what's right, blessings and miracles are placed before us. Ones that we would have missed otherwise!

One night, our day was running out of time, and we were looking for someone to invite to be baptized. As we were diligently searching, we ran into this woman on the street. She was very friendly and her name was Andra. We talked to her for about 15 minutes. She was a member, but less active. She didn't believe anymore in some of the teachings of the church. She was walking across town to see her brother. She had just gotten in a fight with her boyfriend, and was having a difficult time. We talked to her for a bit, and then we brought up how God gives us trials, but nothing we can't handle. She started sobbing, right there on the street. It was so sad! It was really hard for me not to cry with her. But she just expressed to us all of her feelings, and we tried to comfort her the best we could. We bore our testimonies of God's love for her, and offered to help her with anything. She said she was fine, and thanked us for talking to her. Then she continued on her way. It touched me so much. I knew we needed to see her for a reason. I knew that as we were obedient in seeking to invite someone to be baptized, we were able to be where the Lord needed us to be at that time!

We had a lesson with one of our investigators this week, and taught about the commitments we make at baptism and the Gift of the Holy ghost. As we were talking about how to recognize the Holy Ghost, and the comfort it brings to us, I felt prompted to share with him and his less active mom  how we were prompted by the Holy Ghost to go knock on his door. His mom started crying. I knew she was feeling God's love for her, and I knew that she knew God was watching over her and her son, leading his servants to their home. The spirit was so strong, it was such a great lesson!

We really did see a bunch of miracles this week! They were small, but they were definitely there! Sorry I can't write all of them! I don't have enough time! But know that there are blessings and miracles out there!!!!

I am so grateful for my mission. I am soooo blessed to be able to see miracles and blessings, and people's lives change every day! I love my mission so much. This gospel is prefect. I know our Heavenly Father loves us, and watches over us. He knows our needs and our concerns! He wants to hear from us; pray to Him! 

Thank you all so much for everything! I love you all!!!
Elder Otto

Words from Elder Tyler Crosby in Tonga

Dear family and friends,


It has been an awesome couple weeks here in Tonga. My mission is going so good and is such a blessing to me. I recently just got transferred to a new area and got a new companion. I was in my last area for almost 8 months so it was pretty hard to leave all of the people and the great friends from there. My new companion is Elder Anderson from Riverton, Utah. He has been out for about 8 months now. HE is an awesome elder and probably be my last comp of my mission. That is pretty crazy to think about actually. Well, The main purpose of this email is to let all of you mothers out there know how much I appreciate you guys. All of the mom's in my life! Especially the one that brought me to this earth. She has be there from the start. From the sicknesses, injuries, helping me in school, making me behave, to being my biggest suppoter on my mission. I really dont know what I would do without her. I have been so blessed with the mom I have. I hope we will all take a little time to remember our mom's and let them know we love them. I am thankful I have such a good heavenly father who sent me to my mom. I know I need to work on being more grateful and give a little more thanks.

Mom, I love you so much and owe my life to you. Have a HAPPY MOTHER"S DAY!!! <----- To all Mother's also. 

Here is a Pic of my new companion and I.


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

Words from Elder Kyle James in Germany

Hey Familie,

So yeah! I really don't have much to say... since we did skype yesterday. 

But I will outline our week.

Monday-- We had a normal day. We met with the Fromes and had our check. We also helped the sisters get rid of stuff out of their Keller. 

Tuesday-- We went to the temple. It was, again, awesome. I loved it. I really do love it in German. It makes me smile. The end is also fun hehe. But yeah. The temple auf Deutsch is great. Try it some time!

Wednesday-- We did something... I can't remember! Oh no. Oh Yeah! We served sister Stahl. We helped take down wallpaper. I love service. She also taught us to make nudeln. 

Donnerstag-- We met with Thomas's wife. That was good. Good lesson. I really like  helping people out like that. I also took a stress walk in a forest and saw the cool bomb marks from the war.

Freitag we had interviews.  I needed it. I loved it. I love President Stoddard. 

Samstag we had a split. I was with good old Bentley. We were in Solingen together, I am glad to serve with him again.

Sonntag war wunderbar. I skype with my famile! I really loved it. Thank you so much for everything! I really love you guys. We got back late, but thats ok. I talked to the zone leaders the whole way back. I rode my bike with only one hand! Next to traffic! It was cool. I had a great talk with our bischof here. He really is a good guy. He likes what I am doing. I told him that I wont let numbers determine my success... but the Sweat and Blood I shed serving his ward. And he was way happy. I told that to the GML as well... and he loved it. I am so glad that I can serve here. I'm going to change things around. I am going to teach this to my district as well.

Naja. Today, We are going to Friedberg to play sports, I am way excited. We will come back later and give Domine the chance to skype. 

But I really, I am so thankful. I am way excited to start really serving. I love that feeling.

Find a way to serve everyday. For when we serve our fellow men... we serve only our God.

Thanks guys! I love you very much! Have a great week!!


Elder James

and Happy mothers day mom!!

Words from Elder Chandon Herring in Washington DC

So this will be brief because i have a lot to do and no time to do it!  Funny because we got up early and lifted then filled water balloons until 10:00am for the zone activity. We had a lot of fun but it was a long day and i am super tired! We got home and i got cooking and cleaning and shopping. We are feeding the Biolos tonight who are an awesome senior couple who spoil us so i decided to spoil them. We are doing cafe rio type burritos. It will be good. Tonight we have a few appts so i hope they hold. This week overall was amazing and again it was so nice seeing my family yesterday! I sure love you guys and i loved talking to you. I am excited to do it again! We had a few good lessons this week. One of them was with Dorenda again. She started by talking about how she was not going to be
baptized because she would be the only latter day saint in her family and she does not like to belong to anything. She feels it limits her. But by the end we had set appts for the rest of month. She says we are her two sons, and she is going to pray outloud if she should be baptized. It was super cool. As we taught elder tilby and i both had cool experiences kind of like giving a blessing. We opened our mouths to speak and opened the scriptures to her and she knew it was true. We spoke what she needed to hear but it was not us. It was one of those super great experiences. I love being a missionary!  We also got a new potential investigator named kim, she has a desire to find truth. We taught the resotration and she loved it! She is inviting her son to join us this next time to get him involved. She is so kind and humble.
I love the faith of the people here!

Thank you all so much for your love and support! I am so blessed to ghave you! Be safe and have a great week! I love you!


Elder Herring

Words from Sister Abby Waite in Texas

"Dear all, 

Wonderful things continue to happen here in the Zilker Park area of the great TSAM! I'll just pick a few to tell y'all about because if I told them all, I wouldn't have any stories to tell later! ;) 

Michael and Matthew are getting baptized this Saturday! I'm so excited for them! They're both so smart and know so much about the gospel already! I love them both so much and it's been exciting to watch them grow and become more and more excited for the step they're taking! And their mom loves it, too! She asked us the other day if we could continue meeting after the baptism... we thought about it for a total of -.000000001 seconds and said yes! Of course we're going to continue teaching them! It's just always great when they ask you to. :) 

CESARIO! ... I don't know how much I've actually said about Cesario. He's 17 and requested a Book of Mormon from the church website in March. He called us a couple weeks ago and said he'd been reading and wanted to learn more! Music to every missionary's ears! :) He's super great! He asks great questions and practically teaches the lesson himself! He's already been "likening" the scriptures to himself... and we didn't even have to say anything! Cesario came to church yesterday and gave it a thumbs up and said he learned a lot. So we're super excited for him! 

Geoff is still super great. He's still reading in the Book of Mormon and shares his insights with us. They're all really great! Every day is a day closer to baptism! :) 

One of my favorite things about being a missionary is feeling the Spirit so much! I got to testify of forever families the other day, and felt the Spirit so strongly! It's true! It's all true! :) 

I made a St. Johns connection the other day! We had dinner with a new couple in our ward on Tuesday. They asked where I was from, and when I said "St. Johns, Arizona," Sister Clayton stopped me and told me she knew where it was! She was there playing the violin with William Joseph last July. It was super crazy! I knew I recognized her from somewhere! She said she liked St. Johns, but could only really remember that there were people lined up at the park for free food (24th Celebration) and she really liked the milkshakes at the grocery store. :)

This week was really great! I loved every minute! And this next week is looking super great as well! Especially with a mission conference on Wednesday! :)

So I was studying a couple mornings ago and came across 1 Corinthians 12:31:

"But covet [or seek] earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way."

It got me thinking about what BEST gift it really was that I need to be earnestly searching for. Then I remembered Ether 12:11:

" the gift of his Son hath God prepared a more excellent way; and it is by faith that it hath been fulfilled."

I love finding verses that connect like this! Maybe I'm just super late to the party, but I absolutely loved it! 

In giving us His Son, Heavenly Father gave us the best gift possible. And it's up to us to seek Him earnestly! As we do so, we will be able to take steps on the "more excellent way" of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

I don't think I could say it any better than Moroni does, though: 

"...I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written, that the grace of God the Father, and also the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of them, may be and abide in you forever." 

I hope y'all have a wonderful week! 

Sister Waite"

Words from Elder Adam Otto in Idaho

This week was pretty amazing! We had lot's of fun, failures, potential, and miracles! Just like every week :) But even though every week has the same principles in it, each week gets better and better! :) No two weeks are the same!

Monday was pretty tough. Probably the lowest day of my mission. We were getting really desperate. We had very few investigators and very little success. But we knew we had to keep pushing forward. We put all our faith and trust in the Lord, and told him we would continue doing our best and being obedient! The next day, we found Dustin!

Dustin is an 8 year old kid, with member parents. We were knocking on doors at an apartment building, when out of the blue he just rode up on his bike and told us to go to his house and teach him! So we ran over to his house, taught the plan of salvation, and he is sooo prepared! We taught him a few more times this week, and set a baptism date for June 6th! He turns 9 the day before! The Lord has truly blessed us with Dustin. He is so ready for the gospel, and has been wanting to get baptized for a while; his parents just haven't been active. But now, they are all for it, and we are working on getting the whole family back to church! 

This week we also have been contacting many people in the ward councils. We went to a High priest group leaders house, and his wife was the activity days leader. She said that there were several girls (about 6 of them!) attending activity days that were not members! So we found out who was taking these girls, contacted their friends, asked her to ask them if they would meet with missionaries, and two of them said yes! This week we will be having lessons with them! 

We also found another boy, who is 11. His brother just got back from his mission, and he referred him to us! So we will be teaching him tomorrow, with his returned missionary brother! The Lord is handing us people to teach! Our work is finally paying off! And we will continue to work hard to be worthy of these blessings!!

This week I have really been studying the scriptures, really hard. I have been DISECTING the stories of the sons of Mosiah and Alma. They were such superb missionaries! There is so much to learn from these scriptural heroes, and they were just so faithful!! I have found peace, comfort, hope, and guidance, as I realize that their trials were much harder than mine. They had success when they gave themselves to much prayer and fasting, and continued doing what the Lord asked them to do, even when it seemed unrealistic, or pointless. Thousands of people were converted, and baptized unto repentance. They went through terrible trials, and hardships, just to find the one. The one who was prepared. And by doing so, they found thousands of people to teach! And they rejoice tremendously of their God! Our Heavenly Father is so merciful unto us. He loves us, and wants the very best for us. We just have to be willing to trust and follow Him. I know this is true!

Thanks so much for all you do! I appreciate your prayers and I love you all! I hope you all have a wonderful week, and hold FAST to the iron rod!! :)

Elder Otto

P.S. All of you who are considering or debating about going on missions, let this be an answer to your prayers: GO ON ONE! It's the best thing ever, as you lose yourself, and focus your life on serving God and our brothers and sisters. There are so many eternal blessings that come from it, and the spiritual maturity you gain is priceless. Go go go!!!!! There are people you told in the premortal life that you would find them!!! They are waiting for YOU. Go! :) It's the best! There's my spill :)

Words from Elder Eli Frazier in Peru

Another awesome week of working for the Lord!  Found 3 new families to teach! Also had a family home evening last night that one of our investigating families had and it was awesome. They themselves invited other people to come and listen to us! This family will be married and baptized on the 19 of June:) One of the little girls named Crystal who is 7 years old kept asking me why my eyes are green, why my hair is light brown, why my teeth are so white, why im tall (im not really tall but to them i am haha) and why my ears are pointy hahaha and *i told her i don't know, why are your eyes brown and why are you short etc.* and she said * it doesnt matter i love you hermano Frazier* And these kind of moments is why im here. And then of course her and all her little friends told me how i have to come back and take them to Disney Land haha:)  Well i love you all and hope you guys are doing well. Dont forget to read and pray and have your family home evenings!"

Words from Sister Brittany Platt in Colorado

Olo everone!

Things are goin pretty well. I'm so sad to be gone from Strasburg as I love that place so much. It truly is home and I've found myself a bit homesick for it this last week. But, I know that we can't stay in one place forever and I know God needs us all over, even if it's hard.
So, my companion, Sister Wilde, is wonderful! She's from a very small town, the size of St. Johns, in Canada. She's a cowgirl and knows how to drive wagons so we get along great!! I've been very blessed to have companions that are country girls and we all get along so well! She's 20 and has about 3 months left on her mission. And she's such a hard worker and is teaching me a lot. I'm truly grateful for her! Our signature on our texts is araphoecowgirls and the members of the ward thinks it's hilarious. Gotta make it personal right?!

So, this area is a bit like Parker (my first area). It's very small, but very nice. The work here is also pretty different from Strasburg so that's an adjustment. But, we've come up with a great area vision and are trying to get things moving. The ward here is SO nice and I've already met a family originally from Snowflake! How cool is that? Wherever I go, there's always someone I meet from back home. God is so good!
At church, there was an investigator there and a few non-members! One of them came to Sunday School with us and his wife (who's a returning less-active) is from the south and very loud! The class was about eternal marriage and she had to leave half way through to go feed the baby. As she was walking out the door, she turned to her husband and said in front of everyone: "You'd better pay attention! And you need to get baptized!" Haha. It was hilarious and her husband didn't seem to embarrassed by it. So, we're going over there this week to see if we can pick him back up as an investigator. Crossin my fingers and praying!
We were so blessed on Saturday with tons of service! We went over in he morning to a member's home to help them with lawn service and we ended up talking to their neighbors (the wife had met with missionaries before) and ended up mowing their lawn and trimming their trees and left a really good impression with the husband. We're going back this week to hopefully teach their daughter who's really interested in the church. Then, our ward mission leader texted us and said his neighbor said we could come by and help her as well. When she asked him for help and he offered us to serve, she said no way. But, then she warmed up to the idea and told him we could come. They've been inviting her to things for 7 years and she's never said yes, until then! So, we went over and did yard work for her (her husband's deployed right now) and she loved us so much she invited to feed us dinner and asked if we could come back next week. And afterward she told our ward mission leader how impressed she was and she can't wait to see us again. God is SO good! MIRACLES! I have such a testimony of service. It softens people's hearts and it softens ours! Also, we just moved in with a recent convert and are teaching her the new member lessons. And she's talking to all of her neighbors about the gospel and introducing us to as many people as she can. She's amazing and is retired from the military.
So, those are all the miracles and happenings of this last week! We've been super busy with a lot of meetings, but now that that's slowed down, we have more time to focus on our vision and visit as many people as possible this week. I love being a missionary! It's hard and heart-breaking at times, but it's truly the best thing ever! Oh, and we get to read "The Power of Every day Missionaries" and I love that book! If you haven't read it please do. It's changing how I look at missionary work as a missionary and as a member.
I hope you know how much I love this gospel and my Savior! I'm learning to draw upon Him every day and He's changing me in ways I never thought possible. I'll never ever regret leavin things behind to come on a mission, even in my old age. Best decision ever! I love you all and am so grateful for your prayers, love an support. Have a wonderful week and go out there and invite everyone you meet!

God bless you!

Love, Sister Platt

Words from Sister Hannah Platt in Honduras

"My dear family and friends,

Oh my goodness!! I just love to write you all :) so i got to talk to my dear parents yesterday through skype and my dear sister Britt. What a blessing it was for me!! :) i just can´t describe how amazing it was to talk to my dear family and to see the way we have changed as a family through missionary service! It is a blessing for me to witness.

So to start off... i have to tell you all a funny story.. this week, i got hit.. by a horse... like straight on... i was walking with my comp. through one of the outlying areas.. and these two little boys come up behind us on a horse. They yelled at us to move.. which my companion did. I don´t really know what i was thinking.. but i stayed there in the middle of the road. And the horse, which was running, hit me full on... the miracle of the whole thing was that i didn´t fall over or anything.. i truly believe that angels picked me up and carried me safely! But, it is just hilarious now to think about. Most missionaries get bit by dogs on their missions.. and i get hit by a horse :) haha ya... my comp and i laughed at it for about an hour :)

So, we found out today that we have transfers. My comp will be leaving the area.. i am sooo sad. This has been the best transfer of my mission and it has been amazing to work with Hermana King. I know that Lord put me with her for a reason and i have learned osoo much! I love her and it will be hard without her, but i am ready to do what the Lord wants.
I love this area. This area has changed me so much and i am so grateful to get to stay and continue to work. This week, i learned the importance of an eternal perspective. Sometimes, in our lives we get so worried about little things, important things yes, but little things. It is so important that we always think about the whole eternity. Our choices affect the rest of our eternity, not just this life. I wish i could tell you all more about this... but i have to go... ugh!! haha no time ever... but i love you guys!! Thanks for all you do!! I promise to write a lot more next week. I just need you all to know how much i love this mission. I would encourage all who are thinking of going to take it to the Lord and do all you can to prepare. This is the best choice i have ever made. Yes, its hard. Some days, i just want to quit. But then i think of all the Lord has given me. And i look at these people here who have nothing, and somehow, the Savior keeps me going. I love Honduras. I love the people. I want to help them change their lives so much, and yet, they are the ones changing mine. I am so grateful to be here. And i am grateful for all of you!"


Hermana Platt

Words from Elder Garrett Davis in Thailand

"Samut Prakan:)!
Well another one bites the dust:) well it was a great week this week and it started off with a bang with skype to my family on Monday morning it was great, then after we are set and down i went to china town (yeah they have china town in Thailand haha) and the we went to the office and i saw my old companion elder crump and President Senior. Tuesday with meetings inviting and and meet with some investigators Wednesday we as great i woke up thundering and rain and it was great it was just morning for most the morning and we had a normal day and we then had a great surprise when we came home we found a big rat caught in the rat trap it was good kill Thursday we went finding less activities and also we found a member from Cambodia who has been looking for the church in the area she is solid it was great she has been here for three months already and we randomly ran into her and her husband while inviting:)! Friday we had inviting like normally and then we had some interviews at the church then we had the chance to meet with the bishop and he took us to Bangkok grill it was pretty good first time i had a hamburger in Thailand and it wasn't too bad:) Saturday we went and visited members and we also had the chance to meet with with some investigators Sunday rolls around we have church and then we eat and had the chance to go visit some members and people who didn't make it to church and then we headed home and made dinner! it was a great week i am looking forward to the next one i love you guys that you for the letters i love them and i will respond but i am slow sorry about that:) I wish you guys the best take care:) 
Love Elder Davis:)
here is the dinner we had with some members at the church it was great and here is some weird fruit they have here:)"