Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Words from Elder McKell Bradshaw in Scotland

Definition of this week: "A lot of Finding..." Yeah so, when you're in the process of building a teaching pool, you do a lot of finding. We kept track of the time we spent finding, and we had over 25 hours worth of finding this week.... that is a lot! Most of the week was pretty sad because we weren't finding a lot of people. No one really for the most part... I think like 5 potentials on the week... but you're gonna think I'm crazy, but one of the best weeks of my mission!!! Those 5 potentials were amazing!! One of them even set up the return appointment herself!! Man and I thought Elder Livingston was crazy when he said he wanted to go for 5 New Investigators this week! Like the most we've had in a week has been 2! So I don't know why I was all in agreement with him, but something said that 5 was what we needed to go for! I'm really excited for this upcoming week! Hopefully some big things are on the verge of happening!! Other than finding, nothing too crazy happened this week, but it was still a great one! Hope everyone has a great week! Peace out!

Words from Sister Abbie Waite in Texas

Dear all, 

I could say that nothing spectacular happened this week, but that wouldn't be true! Something spectacular happens every hour of every day!

The life of a missionary is an incredible one. The work in this area of the field is booming. We are working with members like I never have before and seeing the fruits of it. We are working harder than ever to use our time effectively and make the most of the time we have to work here. The love that I have come to feel for the people here is without measure. People are coming out of the woodwork, just waiting for the restored gospel to bless their lives. 

I can't write of everything that happened this week, but I have some bullet points: 
  • An investigator's teenage son who had never joined us for a lesson finally sat in with us and expressed so much interest! He asked about youth groups that are available, and accepted his own copy of the Book of Mormon. With him joining us, we now have the entire family on track for baptism! ¡Que milagro!
  • We had a special sisters' study this week and it was incredible. The things that you can learn from the Spirit if you are prepared are endless! 
  • An investigator we haven't been able to see for a couple of weeks accepted our invitation to the ward Trunk or Treat and showed up just in time to eat a potato and help clean up... but HE CAME! 
  • It rained ALL DAY on Saturday and that made for quite the adventure! I just love the rain! And traffic was basically nonexistent, which was pretty nice. ;) 
  • We gave a church tour to a new investigator and he agreed to be baptized next month! November 21! 
  • I learned so much on an exchange with Sister Snyder! Some people just know how to lead. I just love her! 
No list of bullet points can adequately describe this week, but I hope that gives you a good taste. 

This week, I fell in love with the Book of Mormon all over again. As I've had the opportunity to really study and teach from it, I have learned SO MUCH. The Book of Mormon truly is an evidence of our Heavenly Father's love for us, and I can feel that love every time I open its pages. 

I don't know if I've already done this, and if I have, you'll have to excuse me. I re-read my favorite chapter of the Book of Mormon this morning, and I'd like to paraphrase it for you. Give you a little look into the mind of Sister Waite: 

Alma 26: 

1: My brothers and sisters, behold I say unto you, how great reason have I to rejoice; for could I have supposed when I started from the land of Arizona that God would have granted unto me such great blessings?

2 And now, I ask, what great blessings has He bestowed upon me? Can ye tell?

3 Behold, I answer for you; for our brethren were in darkness, yea, even in the darkest abyss, but behold, how many of them are brought to behold the marvelous light of God! And this is the blessing which hath been bestowed upon me, that I have been made an instrument in the hands of God to bring about this great work.

4 Behold they do rejoice, and have been brought into the fold of God...

8 Blessed be the name of our God; let us sing to His praise, yea, let us give thanks to His holy name, for He doth work righteousness forever.

9 For if I had not come up out of the land of Arizona, these our dearly beloved brethren, who have so dearly beloved me, would still have been strangers to God...

 11 I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God.

 12 Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in His strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise His name forever.

 13 Behold, how many of our brethren has He loosed from the pains of hell; and they are brought to sing redeeming love, and this because of the power of His word which is in me, therefore have I not great reason to rejoice?

 14 Yea, I have reason to praise him forever, for He is the Most High God, and has loosed our brethren from the chains of hell.

 15 Yea, they were encircled about with everlasting darkness and destruction; but behold, He has brought them into His everlasting light, yea, into everlasting salvation; and they are encircled about with the matchless bounty of His love; yea, and I have been an instrument in His hands of doing this great and marvelous work.

 16 Therefore, let me glory, yea, I will glory in the Lord; yea, I will rejoice, for my joy is full; yea, I will praise my God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of His great power, and of His mercy, and of His long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel...

 27 Now when my heart was depressed, and I was about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted me, and said: Go amongst thy brethren and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.

 31 Now behold, I can look forth and see the fruits of my labors; and are they few? I say unto you, Nay, they are many; yea, and we can witness of their sincerity, because of their love towards their brethren and also towards us...

 35 Now have I not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never was anyone that had so great reason to rejoice as I, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for He has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding; He comprehendeth all things, and He is a merciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on His name.

 36 Now if this is boasting, even so will I boast; for this is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting wo. Yea, blessed is the name of my God, who has been mindful of this people...

 37 Now my brothers and sisters, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, He numbereth His people, and His bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever. 

May we all realize the great reason have we to rejoice! 

Sister Waite

Words from Sister Hannah Platt in Honduras


another short email! haha like always! Well, you are probably all wondering what in the heck the title of my email means. So i will explain ;) THis week, i read a talk called ´´There is no magic in a mission call´´. The writer said that many times, as soon as we recieve our calls about we were are going to serve, the whole world autimatically expects that we are different. That there is some kind of magic in the call the changes us right then and there. When we come into the field, everyone thinks the same thing. That because we arre missionries, we are changed. And it is ture, the mission call does change us. We become authorized servant of our Lord Jesus Christ. But, that does not mean that we change. Change is a choice we each have to make. We are all in a conversion process, and change does not happen immedietely. The sons of Mosiah and Alma were some of the best missionaries that have ever lived. But i love what it says about them. That they became mighty instruments in the hand of the Lord, after they had fasted, prayed, and searched the scriptures. In Alma 5, he says that he recieved his testimony only after he had prayed and fasted a lot. I have come to realize that so much in my mission. Just because we are missionaries does not mean we have changed. We change by choice. As we use the atonment of Jesus Christ, as we repent, as we pray, as we turn to God, we change. It like a lot of things in our lives. There is no magic in marriage. Just becuase we get married, does not mean that everything will now be perfect. We must work to have a happy and healthy marraige. It is like that with all things. There is magic however in the atonement of Jesus Christ. It can change us as we work to use it. This mission has been the best decision of my life. It is sooo hard. But, it has made me realize what change is and how much we need the atonement in our lives. How much i need the atonement! I love this gospel. With all that i have. I know this is the true church. I know Christ lives. I know He loves us and i know He will never leave us. 

THis week, we had ana amazing experience. A family, la familia Funez, was baptized this week. They have been investigating the chruch for a year now, and last monday, they made the decision to get baptized. I havn´t known them for very long, but it was such a blessing fo rme to be in their baptism. It has been a tough road for them. But they have such strong testimonies and to see them make that choice was a blessing for me. 

Well, thats all i have time for. I sure love you all and i am soo grateful for your prayers. Thanks for all tha tyou do fo rme!!! I love you all!!
Hermana Platt

Words from Elder Garrett Hollembeak in West Virginia

Hello! It was a great week here in Parkersburg, all the leaves are
changing and the weather has been great. We got to go to the temple
this Saturday with a group of recent converts and a few other members.
I love the temple and there is such a peace and good spirit there. We
were able to complete 75 baptisms and confirmations between the whole
group and the four missionaries from the ward got to got through an
endowment session. Afterwards we ate at Schmidts and it was even
better than I remember it. The work here is going well and we have a
great group of people to teach. Each week we have Bill and Rusty come
to church and my hope is that they will both be baptized before
December. We are working with our ward mission leader to send a letter
to all of our less active members in December explaining our love for
them and our hope for them to come back to activity. We're hoping to
reach the ones that don't answer they're door and the idea is that
they start that conversation in their home to come back to church.
We'll do something similar with our part member families about the
eternal role of families and encourage them to prayerfully consider
the commitment to make steps towards an eternal family. Another
miracle happened this morning. I got an email from a member in
Morgantown who is living in Utah now that talked to Kate Hicks, one of
my recent converts and said that she is considering coming back to
church. She says she still considers herself a Mormon and committed to
start reading the Book of Mormon again. This time last year Kate was
considering taking her name off the records and it is a testimony to
me that God does not lose His sheep and that He guides them back
perfectly in good time. I hope you guys have a great week and are safe
and healthy. I love you appreciate you so much and am so grateful for
you. Thank you.

Elder Garrett Hollembeak

Words from Elder Samuel Isaacson in Argentina

well this week in disrtict meeting i conducted it! my first thing to conduct and it was in spanish!! so it was really rough!! ahha and my comp who is fluent said the prayer!! haha

we had a second lesson with kendy on thursaday she seems really interested in the gosple!! whitch is awesome!! i think she is already married and everything that way!! so i hope she gets baptized!! she has german ansestory and has the preetiest blue eyes ive eer seen!! 

friday we didnt talk to anyone except a less active! we went by alicia and he rkids were outside saying that she wasnt here so my comp said go ask her whe shell be abck!! haha and they did but only one little girl came back and said she doesnt want us there and that we should walk on our way! so we did we walked about 25 feet to dcide what we were gonna do. then a little boy cam back out with a slingshot saying the same thing that we should leave or he will shoot! so we start walking and he shoots and hit my com in the arm!! haha its sad hpw things were progressing with her and now they arent!! i hope she lets us back in!!

saturday was good we had lunch with a new less active hermana it was really good!! she gave me a bit of a ckicken stomick! haha it was good!! but she is so honest its mean! haha she told my comp for how long hes been in argentina his spanish isnt very good!! haha but she sure can cook!! 

sunday i directed the sacerment meeting!! it was good thing i wrote everything i needed to say down or else i wouldve looked like an idit!! haha we culdnt go out at all on sunday afternoon because they were electing the new president of arentina! and everyone would be getting drunk!! haha

well that was my week!!

i love yo guys!! thanks for everythng youve done for me!! 

love elder isaacson! 

Words from Elder Adam Otto in Idaho

Hey friends and family!!!

It's been a wooonnderrrfull week in Idaho! :) The leaves are turning colors and falling, and it's just so much fun!! It's been really rainy lately too, so the coldness is a bit miserable. But the missionary work rolls on!! :)
Highlights of the Week:

On Wednesday I went on exchanges with one of the assistants, Elder Rush who came out with me! All the zone leaders go on exchanges once a transfer with an assistant. It was pretty good! Got lots of things discussed.

Thursday we had interviews with the Mission President! That went well, and I love the Hancocks sooo much! They are just so cool. President is so inspired. He is super personal and I can tell how much he loves each and every missionary. Sister Hancock is hilarious, and I get along with them so well. They are some of my favorite people. They are just so fun to be around, and they are the perfect example of how a marriage should work! We are super excited for MLC this Friday! LOTS of items to be discussed and resolved.

We have found several new people to teach, who are pretty much golden for baptism! It has been so awesome to have the spirit guide us to these people. Obedience is crucial to being placed in the path of those the Lord has prepared. It's been hard adjusting to a new area and new people, but my love for them is constantly growing! :)

The zone is doing quite well! Lots of ups and downs, it gets super good, then super hectic. But right now things have pretty much evened out. 

I've been pretty sick the past few days, but I'm doing better now! I am so excited for this upcoming week, and can't wait to see even more miracles! I love yall soooo much and I can't even begin to describe how much I love my mission! The trials and stress is worth it! Have a wonderful day and week :)

Elder Otto

Words from Elder Kyle James in Germany

Words from Elder Chandon Herring in Washinton DC

Well family this week was another wonderful week in the Greatest Mission in the History of life! We have been seeing a lot of mini miracles of the Lord providing a way for his work to move forward. He
gives us gentle humbling reminders that this is His work and we are just here to basically watch it happen. We do our best to be worthy to be at the right place at the right time. One of those experiences
happened last month. We were visiting another Ward just to take the sacrament because we missed our ward for meetings. As we were in sacrament meeting the Stake President cracked open the door and
motioned for us to come out. He is the stake president and VP of the University of Maryland so we obeyed. He introduced us to two people named Amire and Roxanna. They are from India and speak Hindi. Amire is the one who speaks good English while Roxanna speaks none. Anyway Roxanna was given a pass along card and she looked up the church address. She came and brought Amire to translate. He had zero interest but supported her. They had missed church but we taught them a brief lesson on the Restoration and got their info to pass it along. We thought they were great, sent off the referral and didn't think much else. Then this last week we reviewed the baptismal report and they are both on date to be baptized! We were super excited! And it does not end there. We went to a baptism in Glenn Dale and there they were,  seeing how a baptism went with their missionaries (sisters who were teaching the ). We saw them and talked for a while. Amire was not interested at first, but he said, "As I translated for Roxanna I felt something and knew this to be true. I just felt different." Yes they did! They read the Book of Mormon in two weeks. So we had a joyful reunion with them and boy did they glow. :) but yet again the story is not over. That night (last night) at Presidents home for dinner we got a call from their sister missionaries. They said that Amire and Roxanna wanted us to baptize them! We were pumped! 

We have been running into some more people who are just so sincere and wanting to follow Christ. They want truth but really don't know where to find it. Until they talk to us that is :) so that was the highlight of my week. They are being baptized on November 8th the day after Madisen's Bday.

Life is good and we are getting a lot done! Also President Nelson of the Quorum of the 12 is coming here in late November. And I got to call and talk to members of the 1st Quorum of the 70. Love it! And I found the extension numbers for all church leadership. And I mean all ;) hahahahahahaha (oh dear, funny boy)

love you all!

-Elder Herring

Words from Elder Levi Crosby in Kentucky

Well everyone this was one crazy week. So I got transferred down to
Winchester, TN. I moved from Bowling Green which is at the top of the
mission boundaries, to here which is the bottom of the mission so it's
a big change. It really is a lot more humid down here. Thank goodness
I wasn't here in the summer! But Winchester has a little branch here
and we don't have a building so instead.... The branch goes to a
funeral home and that's where we do all of the meetings and stuff so
that was very.. Different! Haha but it's great. The members are super
helpful and just solid. We get fed a lot so that's the best part! My
new companion is Elder Brown, he is from California and has been out
for 20 months. He is pretty cool. I think him and I will do great over
here. We don't have very many investigators so that is what we are
going to focus on is finding some people. But I am pretty exited to
get to know this little area and help this area out. We bike a lot
because we share a car with some hermanas and you know how sister can
be... Haha but anyways how is everybody doing??:) exited for the
football game this weekend?? I sure hope everybody isn't dumb and
let's that rivalry crap get in the way of good sportsmanship. So be
safe this weekend!

So fun fact about today. I get up this morning to make my bed and what
do you know... I find this little bug in my sheets. Then we look under
the box spring and there was 15 more bed bugs! So that's what my p-day
consisted of! Getting rid of these stupid things! So that's why you
got this email today Instead of yesterday! Haha But you have to love
the south! It sure is wearing on me:) but anyways I love y'all and I
hope y'all have a good week!:)

Words from Sister Brittany Platt in Colorado

Wow, sometimes I'm just technically challenged! Haha.

So, yes, transfers were this week and I'm staying in this area which I'm just thrilled about! I have found that there are many reasons why I need to be here, still, and I'm grateful the Lord is trusting me with this area - even though I make so many mistakes! My companion, Sister Smith, got transferred - which I was really bummed about because she's awesome and we were doing such great work! But, I got one of her daughters that she trained as my companion, Sister Dennis, and she's so awesome! I feel really blessed. I've have wonderful companions my whole mission. Either I'm doing something good or I'm doing something bad....I'm gunna go with the good... ;)

Anyhow, this past week was wonderful! Lee is getting baptized on November 21st!!!!!!!! Woo hoo!!!! Miracles. I can see such a difference in her from when we first taught her back in Strasburg. She's much happier and cracks a lot of jokes. She's still pessimistic, but how much I love her for it! I seriously want to adopt her and bring her home with me after the mission! The Spirit has worked wonders in her life.

Sofia is doing great! She came to church on Sunday!!!! Miracles, miracles. She only stayed for the first hour, but she loved it. We stopped by yesterday since we won't be able to teach her this week (she has a huuuuuge karate competition) and we met her mother and she was so nice! And Sofia's dad said he really wants her to go to Young Woman's and stay for all 3 hours of church. I tell ya, it's amazing how children can change their families! She is changing hers and it's wonderful. God is good!
I hope you all know how much I love this gospel! There truly are daily miracles if we only have the good sense to look for them. Our Savior brings so many blessings to our lives when we open the door and let Him in. Something that I've learned this week is to communicate - with yourself, with God, with your family. If something hard is going on, communicate with others. Work it out. Move on. Forgive and forget and don't hold on to past issues or grievances. I've realized when I do that, I'm not really applying the Atonement. I'm being prideful. And boy, do I have a lot of pride! I'm so glad that God tears it down - every day. And when I keep building it back up, He tears it down again. He's so great!

I love y'all so much and hope you have an amazing week! Keep being obedient to the gospel and you'll have so much freedom! It's awesome! God bless you!

Love, Sister Platt

Words from Elder Samuel Isaacson in Argentina

this week has been good! we have had a bunch of first lessons with people! but ill see if they let us back in for the second!

we are teaching this one lady and she invited her family to listen! and if i decide to come back to argentina to marry one of my converts i have deffinantly found the girl i get!!! she is smoking!! my trainer is teaching me about chapter 14 of pmg. flirting to convert the snakes!! haha my cowboy charm worked in the states we'll see how it translates into spanish!! hahahaha

but really we taught them a good lesson i think they liked it! i think that family will progress. claudia the lady we first started teaching has talked with missionaries before but her husband didnt like it so she stop but  hher husband just lost his job and said its okay if we teach her again!! maybe we´ll baptize a whole family!!

this other snake... i mean family we are teaching we have passed by multiple times and have taught a different person every time!! haha but every person we{ve talked to has been really nice!! maybe one day we´ll get a second lesson!! ahah

well last night we got a call from the hermanas and they are leaving vera because there pencion is closing! so niw we have all of vera!!! vera is huge when your walking everywhere!! but we get all their investigators!! it should be a good fun exsperince!!!

we went by alicia again ( the lady with the kids that spit and throw rocks!!) and well i got spit on again!! so we have given up on her!! at  least for a few weeks!! all she would have to do if she didnt want us there was tell us nit have her kids lie and spit!!

so we past by a house were we eat lunch to talk to the guy since hes not a member! and we started talking about horses and stuff! and he said he would trade my boots for a pair of argentine spurs! haha i cant decide if its a good trade!! haha he also gave me a hair cut but my head looks so round!! he said he cut it like that cause i didnt talk for myself!! learned my lesson for not talking with him!! haha my comps hair it looks really nice!! he said hed fix mine when it grows longer!! haha

well thats about my week!thanks for al your letters!! and all the support!! i love you all!

love elder isaacson

Words from Sister Abbie Waite in Texas

Dear all, 

I am ever grateful for the miracle of the Atonement. To think that I am not left to wallow in sin or to deal with trials alone fills my soul with such sweet joy! And to think that I have been called and chosen to share that message and that joy with the people of Texas leads me to marvel at the great Plan of our Father. Again, I ask you: "have we not reason to rejoice?" "I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a merciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name (Alma 26:35)."

This was definitely an interesting week. Long story short... things didn't go according to plan! But that's okay, because the Lord always provides a way for us to see miracles. I have never felt so ineffective as a missionary, but I've also never seen such great miracles! We now have three people with a solid baptism date, we had nine investigators at church, and we continue to find! I wish I could list out for you every miracle we saw this week... but that would take too long! This is truly the Lord's work and He is so patient with His imperfect and fallen servants. I can hardly wait to continue the work this week and be the most effective servant I can be!

During a study this week, I had an interesting epiphany about repentance. We've been working with a recent convert who says she doesn't feel worthy of coming to church. That made me SO SAD. So, I dedicated an entire hour of study to repentance. The simplicity of that doctrine astounded me! I don't know why it's always been so intimidating! Repentance involves a change of heart and a desire to forsake sin and serve God. Repentance requires a desire, NOT PERFECTION. If repentance required perfection, then wouldn't we all be in a pickle? Thank heavens it doesn't! All it requires is a change of heart and a desire to change. Repentance isn't so much giving up things, it is allowing our Savior to change us so that we no longer want them. We have to be patient with ourselves. Change takes time. Real repentance comes with a change of heart. Mosiah 5:2 describes it as a "mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually." A disposition to do good continually does not mean that we do not sin or make mistakes, it means that we do not WANT to sin or make mistakes. When we desire to do good continually is when we are truly repentant. And the Lord rejoices over the repentant soul. (Luke 15:3-7) He will search for and reach out to us forever! (Alma 5:60

Jesus Christ suffered so that we won't have to if we will only repent and allow our hearts to be changed (Alma 7:13). 

May we all consider ourselves worthy of the Savior's Atonement and utilize it daily! 

Sister Waite

Words from Elder Adam Otto in Idaho

Words from Sister Brittany Platt in Colorado

Olo everybody!

Week of miracles. Man, where do I start?

Lee is doing amazing! We had a great lesson with her and the Hollingsworths (the missionary couple in our ward) and she has given up lipton tea!! She came to church yesterday and only stayed for Sacrament because she was in a lot of pain. But she's come 3 times to church here and the people are really starting to love her. We feel such an urgency to get her baptized because she is not doing well health-wise. She was in the hospital again last weekend, but she really is a trooper and she keeps going. She made me a blanket back in Strasburg that I finally got and boy, it keeps me warm! She's very talented and can make like 2 afgans a week. It's awesome!

Sofia is doing great! She texted us on Sunday (she wasn't able to come to church because of her karate competition) and said she needed to talk to us. We were like "Oh no. This is either going to be really bad or really good." Well, it was REALLY good! She sent us an awesome text and this is what it said: "So my guy friend Devin was testing for his third degree black belt this wknd. He had to break 3 boards with a punch and he tried three times and shattered two of his knuckles and his hand was extremely swollen. He tried the next day twice but couldn't get it because of his knuckles. So I prayed last night to bless him with the courage, strength, and confidence that he could do it and that my grandmaster would let him pass. I was also praying that he would be okay and get his third degree today. Today they announced that last night he broke the boards and that he passed today. :)" Miracle?? Heck yeah! We were so excited we both screamed! It may seem something very small and simple, but for a 12-year old girl that has had no concept of God growing up and has just started praying for the first time in her life, it was huge. It was such a witness to me that God is SO good and that He does answer prayers! It was such a sweet experience. We texted her a scripture last night about prayer and she texted back asking if she could highlight her scriptures. We were like "Why yes! Please do!" She's amazing. How grateful I am for these wonderful people in my life right now!

So, Sister Dennis and I have several "sayings" that we're doing this transfer. Here they are: "Fear no man"   "Let's ride"  "Shoot the donkey" (referring to trunky talk) and "You wanted me to change the world. Did you think there would be no cost?" -Martin Luther. We've made it a goal this transfer to be consecrated missionaries and to talk to literally everyone. It's a work in progress, but we're seeing miracles from it for sure!

I was reading in the New Testament yesterday and came across 4 wonderful verses that I've been ponderizing. It's the chapter about the Samaritan woman at the well (which is one of my favorite stories), but what I loved the most was what Christ said to His disciples at the well while the woman ran to her city to tell everyone about Christ. This is what He said: 

"35. Say not ye, there are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? Behold, I say unto you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. 36. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. 37. And herein is that saying true, One soweth and another reapeth. 38. I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours."

Sometimes we are Sowers and sometimes we are Reapers. Throughout my mission there are times when I'm a Sower and there are times when I'm a Reaper. The point is that BOTH jobs are necessary and that when someone accepts the gospel, we rejoice together at their acceptance. A reaper is no more important than a sower. Sometimes we're both at the same time! But whatever position we are right now, it changes according to what God needs. He is the one who is doing the work, we're just the laborers. So don't get frustrated if you do a lot of sowing! And don't get comfortable at just sowing or don't want just sowing. Because God wants us to be reapers too! And don't think you're bad at missionary work if you go back to sowing. It's all apart of what God needs. Like Christ said, sometimes He sends us in to reap what others have sown and we haven't had to labour. So we need to be ultimately grateful for those sowers because they did all the work! It was a huge awakening for me that I wanted to share with y'all. I hope it helps with your perspective of missionary work! Don't give up if you don't get to reap right away. Be patient with your sowing and when it's the Lord's time and need, you will reap!
Have a wonderful, missionary-filled week and God bless you all!

Love, Sister Platt

Words from Elder Levi Crosby in Kentucky

Well everyone my week was pretty good! Super busy! I think we had a
total of 25 lessons! Too much for me. Haha fast Sunday was pretty good
yesterday. We had to leave church early yesterday because there was a
funeral service!! Haha I guess that's what you get for having your
sacrament meeting in a funeral home! So we had a miracle happen this
week! Well I guess the first one is that there wasn't any huge fights
over the SJ vs. RV game! Just kidding. I heard that went good and that
there was good sportsmanship. That's how it should be! But the
miracles we had was when our investigator came to church our members
were just so welcoming to him and he said because of that he wants to
become a member and now we set a baptismal date with him for the 21st
of November! We are super exited. He was just one of those golden
investigators who as prepared by the lord for us and I am so thankful
for that. My mission has opened my eyes to a lot the important things
in life and if I had never served a mission I would have never seen
those keys principles and blessing in my life. I am so thankful for
the opportunity that I have to serve the people of Tennessee.

The highlight of this week was we went to this southern restaurant and
I had some of the best catfish ever. The south has truly converted me
on that! I hope and pray you guys have a good week:)

Elder Crosby

Words from Sister Hannah Platt in Honduras

Dear Friends and family,
I am so sorry i am writing soo late. We threw an activity for the sisters that we are over, and got back to our area super late! So that is why i am writing soo late. haha But first of all, HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!! :) i hope it was sure great for all of you!! Honduras doesn´t celebrate halloween, but i made my comp and the other girls we live with (all latins) eat lots of candy and we had fun! The activity we had today was a halloween party and it was great! :) also, we had transfers. I stayed in the area with a new comp! Her name is hermana Tafoya and she is from Mexico. She is amazing and is also the mission nurse :) THis week we saw lots of miracles! One of our investigators finally accepted a date to be baptized! His name is Walter and is dating a memeber in our ward. Our lessons with him have been soo powerful and he told us this week that when we gave him a book of mormon, he felt the power that it had and got chills. He is amazing and studies and has kept all of his commitments! I know with my whol,e heart that as we obey and work hard, the Lord blesses us soo much and i have soo seen that this week! I love this work. It can be soo hard, But it has taught me soo much. Especially about love, charity, hope, faith, and lots of patience. I have been soo grateful to be serving as a sister training leader. These amazing sisters have taught me soo much about love and dedication. I love them!!

 I love you all with my whole heart! Thank you for all that you do! FOry your love and support always!! I will write more next week! have such a great week!!!!
Hermana Platt

Words from Elder Kyle James in Germany

Liebe Famile  

Coming  to you from Karlsruhe! I love this place! A wonderful place to be serving right now. Our whole district lives in the same apartment building, the work is going great, all four of us got 250 euro to buy new bikes, and we live right above the Schwarzwald! I would be perfectly ok dying here haha. 
Here are the elders here:

Vorimo- district leader, half finish, great dude. 
Anderson- vorimos son, hilarious dude that was a competitive chef before the mission.
Draper- my comp. great, chill dude. We get along very well.
all of us get along great and we are having a blast here:) so great!

So I'll describe my week!

Last Monday, we went and ate together as a district. It was fun. I packed a little and wrote emails and such. We had to go a little early to have our last appointment with the Reynolds. It was good:) then we met with the Riches right afterward. It was good to say goodbye to everyone.

On Tuesday, we packed, and then met with a member family that night. They actually have a son in Vince's mission. Elder Westhof? We also worked on Tschüß Books and stuff. Other than that... It was just cleaning and preping.

Wednesday was the leaving day! We said goodbye to everyone and finished my packing. Bader, Hall, Moore and I ate some Chinese food. The transfer was super complicated, because prez doesn't want everyone to come to Frankfurt anymore. So Elder Bader, being transferred to Worms, rode with me to Heidelberg. The train ride was horrible! Haha the train kept stopping for some reason! We had to transfer trains in Mannheim, but our train was late, so we missed our connection. It was hard, because we had to carry all of our stuff without any help. So we made it to the next train, and it was packed with people...we store our luggage on the train, packed in it, for 30 minutes. A girl was standing next to me, holding her stomach, sounding like she was gonna puke. I was so scared she was gonna puke on my stuff haha. Well, we finally made it to Heidelberg. We met our comps, and we were on our way to Karlsruhe... We made it back late that night, and I unpacked, and that was it!

Thursday- we had a normal day of studies, and then we hit the streets. We talked to a lot of people and saw a lot of cool things. The street trains are awesome here.  Everything has been going great. We had two appointments and they were awesome.

Friday was also cool... We did weekly planning next to our normal studies. We met with two ladies, who are investigators. One has a b date and the other is on track for one. Busy day. We also eat with the other elders down strairs. They are great. 

Saturday, we had an awesome street display with just us four, and we did work. I handed out 7 books of Mormon and got some contact info. It lasted quite a while. I loved it. I can't wait to go to the Schwarzwald next week on our bikes! We also finished weekly planning and had a lesson with another investigator.

Sunday was great. I've been quite cold lately, cuz my big coat looks pretty nazi. So, I went shopping today and bought a new coat and shoes. They look good so it will be good. But anyway, Sunday. Sunday we went to church and I met the ward. It's a good ward. Pretty big. They members aren't so friendly, but it's ok. I'll learn to love those Germans again haha. After that, we went contacting. I talked to three guys. They are meeting with us tomorrow with all of their friends... Should be interesting. Haha call ins were great. Just dinner at the other elders house.  Awesome:)

Today we went shopping and played soccer. I still hate soccer. But shopping was good. Like I said, I bought new shoes and a coat. Merry Christmas to me!

Everything is going fantastic. I love life here. I love doing everything! 

Next week we are going to the Schwarzwald on our new bikes! We are going biking through the blackforest. Once in a life time opportunity next week:)

Other than that... Everything is great. I love life. I know the church is true.

I love you guys so much!


Elder James 

Von meinem iPad gesendet

Words from Elder Garrett Hollembeak in West Virginia

It was a great week here in Parkersburg. Today is transfer P-Day and I
got the word that I am finishing my mission in the great area of
Parkersburg. When I leave in December I'll have been here almost a
full year. The work is going great and our members are phenomenal. We
went to one family to follow up on a referral and he went out and
introduced us to a bunch of his neighbors. I wanted to include a few
funny phrases that we heard over the last little bit. The people here
love to tell stories but the one liners are hard to beat.

"And that ladies and gentlemen is why I am no longer allowed to sell
Kirby vacuums in the state of Ohio"

"If someone keeps peeing in your cornflakes, you might just need to
move your bowl of cornflakes"

"Be careful with that, that's my shine jug"

"I exercise my right to use herbs with prudence and thanksgiving.. daily"

"If a West Virginia couple gets a divorce, are they still cousins?"

I also wanted to include a few that were a little more spiritual. The
people here are some of the most faithful saints I've ever met.

"Ten percent doesn't even begin to give back what the Lord has given to me"

" 'Will you endure to the end by living faithful to the covenants you've made?'
  'Gladly' "

"I know Dad (Heavenly Father) has got my back because I wouldn't be
here if He didn't love me"

"Teach me"

I hope you guys have a great week and are happy and safe. I love you
and am so thankful for you.

Words from Elder Garett Davis in Thailand

Chiang Mai
well this week was interesting give you a little high lights from this week and time is short monday was good we went and played ping pong and got hair cuts and had family home evening with a quorum of the 70 that was pretty cool! tuesday we went inviting i met this really friendly white guy at the park (sarcasm) props to the instate missionaries :) then we taught english  wednesday we were busy teaching investigators all day thursday we long planned and went and invited we saw our other white friend who actually likes talking to us hes pretty chill:) and also the Elseworth took us out to eat a senior couple from the valley! friday we taught lessons and played sports saturday we invited and ended the night talking to investigators sunday we had investigators and we had a couple walk ins well this week was great i love you guys thank you for your support! love you guys! Elder Davis!:)

Words from Elder McKell Bradshaw in Scotland

Sorry for the short email, it was just a fast week... but I don't know why... not a lot went on! Found some more people to teach, hopefully our appointments with them won't fall through! But we got our moves call yesterday! I am staying here for another transfer!!! My companion though is leaving me for Aberdeen!! My new comp is from South Africa! So it should be fun! Anyway, again sorry for the short email! Love yall! Have a great week!

Words from Elder Levi Crosby in Kentucky

Well hello there everyone! How have y'all been?? I'm sure you've been doing great. I hope the sports team did good last weekend:) so this week was pretty good. We kinda of had some slow days because my companion was kind of sick but other than that it was alright. We had the chance to go down the Jasper, TN which is at the very bottom of the mission for district meeting and that was cool. This week has just been cold. Has it been getting cold over there?? But I'm glad it cooling off because that means the humidity kind of dies out. Haha but this weekend was pretty tough for us to not get into people's homes but to get them to pay attention to what we were trying to teach. Of coarse there was Saturday night football that goes on and It seems like everybody over here watches it. So that was what we faced all weekend. Haha but yesterday we had a pretty good sacrament meeting. Our church meetings got cut 2 hours short because there was a funeral again... Lol it just cracks me up when that happens! But next week we have mission conference and a member of the 70 is going to speak to us and I'm pretty exited about that. 

So the spiritual thought that I have this week is about the history of the church. I have been reading in the "Our Heritage" book that missionaries get when they serve and it talks about the restoration and all of the trails and tribulations that the saints faced back in the 1800s. And man they went though some tough stuff. The sacrifices that they made for the organization of the church is incredible. They had so much faith that the lord would deliver them from their enemies and into the promised land, and he did. And so I challenge you to read and study about the history of the church and what our pioneers went through. I know by reading from their experiences and trials it will build your own testimony and faith that the lord will provide a way. It has done that for me. 

Anyways I hope and pray that y'all are doing well and choosing the right. I love each and everyone of you and I'm thankful for all of the support you have given me. Don't forget about Veterans Day this Wednesday! Go and give thanks to all of those who have served and are still serving.

Words from Elder Eli Frazier in Peru

Well another awesome week. traveled at least a good 20 hours in total this past week! Said goodbye to my comp Elder Riveros who finished his mission and got my new companion Elder Herrera from Columbia. He looks like a north american and the first time i actualy saw him i thought he spoke English so i talked and talked in Enlgish but then he just said, Soy de Columbia hahaha. And i couldnt believe it! But we get along well. He has a little less than a year in the mission but has  crazy past and a big heart.
My scripture this week is Doctrina and Convenios 97:8
Are you accepted? 
Are we making sacrifices to be able to be accepted?! 
I learned about famillies and God this week, that if we really want to put our families first, then we put God first. Fulfilling our callings. This is truly putting family first in our lives. 
Love and miss you all!
Elder FRazier

Words from Elder Samuel Isaacson in Argentina

this week has been good! we have had a bunch of first lessons with people! but ill see if they let us back in for the second!

we are teaching this one lady and she invited her family to listen! and if i decide to come back to argentina to marry one of my converts i have deffinantly found the girl i get!!! she is smoking!! my trainer is teaching me about chapter 14 of pmg. flirting to convert the snakes!! haha my cowboy charm worked in the states we'll see how it translates into spanish!! hahahaha

but really we taught them a good lesson i think they liked it! i think that family will progress. claudia the lady we first started teaching has talked with missionaries before but her husband didnt like it so she stop but  hher husband just lost his job and said its okay if we teach her again!! maybe we´ll baptize a whole family!!

this other snake... i mean family we are teaching we have passed by multiple times and have taught a different person every time!! haha but every person we{ve talked to has been really nice!! maybe one day we´ll get a second lesson!! ahah

well last night we got a call from the hermanas and they are leaving vera because there pencion is closing! so niw we have all of vera!!! vera is huge when your walking everywhere!! but we get all their investigators!! it should be a good fun exsperince!!!

we went by alicia again ( the lady with the kids that spit and throw rocks!!) and well i got spit on again!! so we have given up on her!! at  least for a few weeks!! all she would have to do if she didnt want us there was tell us nit have her kids lie and spit!!

so we past by a house were we eat lunch to talk to the guy since hes not a member! and we started talking about horses and stuff! and he said he would trade my boots for a pair of argentine spurs! haha i cant decide if its a good trade!! haha he also gave me a hair cut but my head looks so round!! he said he cut it like that cause i didnt talk for myself!! learned my lesson for not talking with him!! haha my comps hair it looks really nice!! he said hed fix mine when it grows longer!! haha

well thats about my week!thanks for al your letters!! and all the support!! i love you all!

love elder isaacson

Words from Sister Hannah Platt in Honduras

Hello my dear friends and family!!

How are everyone on this beautiful day? :) well, i have lots of news! First off, we had changes again! SOme sisters here in the city needed emergency changes so they called us and i have a new new companion. haha Her name is hermana Hackney and she is from California. She will be leaving in December so this is her last change. This week was relaly good. We were able to listen to the area President, Elder Duncan and he really opened our eyes to the way our misison needs to work. It was so wonderufl for us. We have made a lot of goals as a mission and as a companionship and i am so excited to see the changes that will take place. Walter is doing well! :) He is still reading and praying. The only problem is that he lives in antoher ward and we might have to hand him off to those missionaries, but whatever happens, i am just soo grateful for the chance i have had to know him and help learn of the gospel and of the Savior and the Restoration. We also are taching a new part-member family. The mom, Mayra, is a member, but the dad, Yury, is not. SO we have been working with them and he came to church yesterday! yay! :) I am soo grateful for the chance to teach families. The gospel makes such a difference in the lives of families as they pray together, read the scriptures together, have family nights, and go to church each Sunday. I know with my whole heart that families are eternal! All familes can be forever. It is possible through our savior! THis week we had exchanges with some sisiters who have been ahving a lot of problems in their companionship adn i learned so much from them. We were able to work with them and help them make goals and i learned and saw the difference the atonement can make in relationships. As we apply the atonemetn no only in our personal lives, but in our ralationships, we will have stronger ties and happier moments. The Atonement is key to happiness and to success and i know that ot be true. 

Well folks, thats all i have time for! Bu ti sure love you all and i am so grateufl for all that you do! have such a wonderufl week!
Hermana Platt

Words from Sister Brittany Platt in Colorado

Words from Elder Adam Otto in Idaho

Hey!! We got transfer calls on Saturday, and guess what? Guess! Well.......the Ammon Zone Leaders are going to be....Elder Otto and Elder Dart!!! Wooohooo!! We are both staying, and we are SO excited. We have had so much fun together, and the best experiences. We will now cover one whole stake with 8 wards, and a part of another stake with 3 wards. It's gonna be super busy, but nothing we can't handle with the help of the Lord. :) 

Missions are absolutely amazing. I am so blessed to be a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. It's been an amazing experience, and every day gets better and better. I remember at the beginning of my mission when it was sooo hard to wake up in the mornings. How I was so scared to talk to people, and do missionary things. Now I am so happy to say I jump out of bed with faith, instead of fear! I know that God is with me, and he will provide miracles and safety for us as we are obedient. Missions are soooo fun. For reals! The gospel has changed me so much. And it's such an easier change when I align my will to the Lords. How grateful I am for the Atonement!!

This week was wonderFALL! It has been gorgeous outside with all of the different colored leaves. And guess what?! It snowed a few times, and it was so happy! Life gets so much better when we appreciate the little things. It makes bigger things even better. It's been an amazing journey as I have come to realize all of the many blessings we have been given. Every little thing is a gift from God, and we must treat it as such!

We had zone training this past week, and it went VERY well. The spirit was way strong, and the training's we gave were directed by the spirit so perfectly. We put a lot of effort into it, and it turned out great. My confidence in my Savior has increased dramatically within the past few days. He truly is the rock of my foundation. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me!

Our zone had 5 baptisms this weekend, so we are super pumped! Our goal is 17 for this month, and it looks like we are going to reach it! We have so much potential, in our areas and in our hearts. A few days ago we set a date in our area with a kid named Daniel! He will be baptized on Dec 12th! It's pretty exciting- he has a great story. (For another day). We have so many people who are being prepared right now!!

I did my first baptism interview the other day! It really was an awesome experience. She was so ready for baptism, and it was super spiritual. The Sisters teaching her have had a lot of companionship struggles lately, and it's been amazing to see them work things through and have a success past few weeks before one of them goes home. They are solid sisters, and so it's no wonder they had 2 baptisms on saturday. I love learning from the examples of other missionaries. It helps me evaluate myself and learn what I can do better.

Well, I have to go, but I love you all! I hope you have a wonderful week, and remember how much Heavenly Father Loves you!!
Elder Otto

Words from Elder Chandon Herring in Washington DC

Happy birthday Madi!!!!!!! That is enough itself to prove this was a great week! Love you!

Tuesday... Today was a good day. We went to the DC stake center for the zone district meeting. We had to give a training on being safe with the sun going down at 5 o'clock. It went super well there was good discussion and we were able to clear up the policy the mission has. President gave a good workshop on how to teach in the Lords way. We then spent the rest of the day sitting down working on transfers and language program meetings to make sure that this coming transfers is as effective as it should be.

Wednesday... Temple trip! Today we were able to go to the temple and it was wonderful! It is such a blessing to go as often as we do. I hope it carries over to after my mission. After the temple we went to the mission office for staff meeting it was good and same as always we were able to get a lot done and organize for the transfer. After the meeting we sat down and worked on apartments for the transfer to see where we needed to fill or where we could close. We got quite a bit done. It was sad in the aspects that a missionary is being sent home. He elected to go home himself. It is really sad I served around him for a while and he was a good missionary and had a lot of potential. We then switched over to a Chevy Cruz it's our new car so we have a CD player again and can now go ham on Christmas music. :)

Thursday... This was the day that the transfer mess began. we went to bed around midnight. But overall the day was really good.  We've been doing super good getting to our studies on time and having real learning experiences. I absolutely love that time! We then went to the Silver Spring zone district meeting where we did the same presentation that we did on Tuesday. It went a lot better today since we had some practice:) President went to give his and he was on one! it was weird he was kind of snippy and super intense. Really powerful though. We're not sure why but it was good! And then later in the day I began my mass email of guilt. The guilt is on my part I hate asking parents for money. I had to send emails to the parents of all the missionaries to figure out paying for iPads. Lots of them have had them paid for. But there are quite a bit that have not and I just feel awful asking them to send us $381. Don't worry mom and dad mine is paid for :-) we then looked at the transfer board again. We are super lucky we found a mistake that we made, we put a Spanish trainee with an English trainer glad we caught that one!

Friday... Today was when I got my official first experience of signing a lease. Well the process that leads to that. We're not quite to that point but were working on it :-) we had a good amount of free time this morning that we were able to catch up on everything. we made all the whitewash packets for transfers and a lot of the agendas. We also have the trainer meeting where we help the Trainers get ready for this coming transfer. We have a really good group this time and I'm excited to see what they do. We had a super good discussion and we were able to get them fired up. We had a good lesson to end the night at the VISITORS CENTER. We met with Gabe a super cool story he literally walked into church and said he wanted to be baptized. We taught him the new member lessons and he really needed to talk

Saturday... Today my dear little sister turned 18 she is a stinker but she's cute :-) we went early in the morning to the Silver Spring stake center to do a presentation with the cooks.  Sister Cooke asked Elder Ord and I to share our stories about why we came on our mission and what we had at home. The Silver Spring stake was doing a missionary day for their primary so there was a ton of 8 to 11-year-olds there. It went really good and we were able to help them see that we are normal people :-) and guess what surprise! We went to the mission office and kept working on transfers! But what made it even better was we were able to have lunch at Café Rio! It was a good night because as we were winding down and getting ready for bed Elder Ord and I had a really good talk. It's good to get to know him better and be more comfortable around him he is still really weird but I love the guy.

Sunday... So our bishop is incredible. We had our ward council meeting early in the morning and we talked about the churches statement clarifying apostasy. Our bishop fosters such a wonderful learning environment. He asks incredible questions and gets the council talking about these issues. It was very peaceful and the spirit was there to testify of the truthfulness of this direction that we are receiving and that there is a living prophet on the earth. It just shows that the church does not plan on changing their stand there anytime soon. We were able to stay for sacrament meeting but then we had to drive out to Glendale for the baptism of Amir and Roxanna. It was absolutely wonderful they're great people! I was able to baptize Roxanna. She doesn't understand a lot of English so Amir translates everything for her but when Amir was sharing his testimony she was standing in the back crying. It's just so touching because all she goes off of is when she feels the spirit. They are incredible, I mean they read the book of Mormon in two weeks! Really!?! Then we had dinner at the Cook's house and had to eat quickly because we had to go to the Chevy chase chapel for a ward mission training. It went really well and the presentations were great. It is just a good way to see the ward missionaries that we have and the ones that we have that are so devoted. We are spoiled in the Rockville ward because we have just incredible ones.

So that was another week in the greatest mission in the history of life.  we're loving it here and getting a lot done. This week will be fun with transfers and then Thanksgiving in the next couple weeks. I love you all so much and hope you have a great week!

-Elder Herring