Sunday, December 13, 2015

Words from Elder Garrett Davis in Thailand

well it was a great week and had some interesting parts in it but overall enjoyed it and learned a lot but we started off on a chill monday playing some basketball and chilled till we went out and invited in the city it was a pretty kicked back day gotta love pdays its to bad no one has wrestligng mats trying to find some thai fighting areas but there are none to close to us sadly but we are still looking:) then tuesday we had english and meetings and met with some recent converts everyone is doing well wednesday weinvited and went and saw some investigators at there shops and invted and also had book of mormon class thursday we had zone training which was good and we went on a switch off and i went with my mtc compn and he is still the stud i remember i love ya the guy and friday we ad the chance to go visit some less active and get to know them and visit with them and get to invite as well and saturday we taught a couple recent converts and also had meeting with the leadership as well and that helped sunday by far was my favorite becuase we had to bapstims of two people who have been investigators for 6 months and have to travel to church for 1 hour and it was good to seem them baptized!and then we taught an interesting lesson to an investigator and then we visited a less active grandma and she was great full of faith and we are helping her come to church and then make no bake cookies that night it was a great way to top off the week but i hope all is well and everyone is doing well! Love you guys!
love elder DAvis

Words from Elder Garrett Davis in Thailand

well this past week was great and i feel like we are picking up the pace in Lopburi:) the week started off with pday which was a blast we went hiking up a mountain and it was pretty cool we had a good time we went with a recent member and had a good time:) and then tuesday we had Englsih class whcih we had lots of people turn out for whcih was great by a lot of people i mean 10:) but still it was a good class we also had meetings and inviting wednesday we had a good time we invited and taught people and also get ready for logrtom which is where they put candles into the water or let the lanterns into the sky like off tangled and well i had the chance to do both:) then thursday we had thanksgiving celebrated by going to KFC which is a good meal over here:) then planned and invited and met with some less activses :) the friday wwe had the chance to invited and make some calls saturday we had sports day and also had cordination meeting and help set up for church on sunday sunday we had a good time going to church and we got a couple referals and taught a couple investigators i am really liking it here the members are really helping with the work and its moving forward sorry for the short email but know i love you guy i hope all is well and i am hoping everyone had a great thanksgiving!! and sorry for the spelling errors:)
Love your friend Elder Davis:)!

Words from Elder Garrett Davis in Thailand

well i survived the first full week with all the monkeys:) well this week started off well and we started off by going and visited the zoo and just kind of getting to know the area and had a family home eveing for a sister who is leaving on her mission to England and tuesday was good we had a couple meetings and had the chance to go to big c and invite and get a frew new investigators  and also got to teach english class which went well but we sure have a lot less people than chiang mai but thats alright wednesday went well we met with a recent convert also had book of mormon class and that went well got to become familair with the members too thurday we had long plan and got a little more familair with what is in lopburi and whats in it friday we had cordination meeting and got to know the area more by that i mean invite:) haha but its good inviting gives us the chance to get to knwo the area and people and invited saturday was fun we had the chance to meet with the youth and have sports night and after that we had a baptism of sister แดง who is great and very nice lady:) sunday cam around and we had church also had the chance to talk to some members friends that they brough to church members rock:)! and then we had a chance to meet witha less active who has been gone for a while about 2 years and it was great:) she is trying to get work off for sundays but overall we had a good week we invited a lot but it was well worth in the  members really helped us out! i am looking forward to the coming week i wish everyone the best of luck:) Love you guys 
Love Elder DAvis:)

Words from Elder Samuel Isaacson in Argentina

this week hasnt been to crazy and nothing to funny happened to us! but ill see if i can get a letter writen long enough to please the unpleasable! haha

well we really are the reyes de vera!!! we avraged almst 3 lessons a day! we were 1 lesson from meeting the weekly goal for lessons for the whole mission!! we had 20 lessons and the goal is 21!! so fetching close!! we would of made it but all our plans yesturday fell through!!! we only needed 2 lessons we only got one!! sundays and pdays are tough cause we only get half the work time!!  but its okayt just means we have to work harder thoughout the week to get there!!  we will get the 21 lessons!!

we went back to that drunk guy that kissed us on the hands and was just being drunk!! allot of the same stuff happened!! we were sad he didnt kiss on the hands!! he kept saying he was a god and that stuff!! he started meowing like a cat!! haha but we tried to bring the spirit and teach a lesson!!

we talked to a guy the was the guitar player for the church!! haha but he was just saying a bunch of stupid stuff!! he said he was a member of the church! so we asked if he knew about joseph smith then he was like that guy is a sinner! but when we said he was a prophet of god he shut up!! haha people are stupid! he didnt know how to read but then he tried to quote scriptures in the bible!! cause what his pasture said is the strat truth!! 

well i take the role after my brother jake and dont like my birthday! so on thursday i was kinda grumoy all morning! people werent understanding what i was saying so i was getting mad and pissed at my self!! but then i remembered that being here on the mission is about me speaking spanish isnt about my happiness its about the peoples happiness around me so i tried in the next lesson to focuse on trying to help the person and not my spanish not me feeling the spirit but on them feeling the spirit and understanding of the teaching of the gosple!! and it was a good lesson! my spanish still was not very good i didnt teach or say what i should of probably said! but i was focused on them not me and after the lesson i was in a better mood!! so i learned that when you focuse on the outward and look at what you can do instead of seeing what can be done for you you can and will be happier!!

our investigators are doing good! ramon still has a problem with his smoking! he lives with people that are alwas smoking so its hard to quit!!! victor is doing good but having some family problems right now! his wife is a member and when we share somthing with her she acts like she already knows it all and doesnt need to learn anything!!! witch is wrong everyone is always learning!! thomas s. monson studies and learns somthing different everyday!!! so we can always be learning!!

elder grover and i are doing good loving vera and loving being busy!!!

i love you all!! thanks for your support!!

love elder isaacson!!!

Words from Elder Riley Raban in El Salvador

Yeah we found out last night and this is the reason that I am writing you today. Every change we have p day the day before changes so people can pack their things and not waste any days. My comp is having changes. He is leaving the area and I am staying. I am finally done with training and am way nervous about having to have a new comapanion and showing him all of the members and investigators and stuff. Its crazy because I most likely will have a comp that only speaks spanish so I better enjoy English while I can. Stuff has been going well we have found some new people and the are pretty postive. We are going to find out who my comp is tomorrow and it is going to be exciteing! Tomorrow we have to go to santa Ana and have the Changes Meeting. I am excited and nervous but at least it is good to be out of training! that is all i have time for! hope all is going well!!

Words from Elder Riley Raban in El Salvador

Hello everyone! Sorry that it has taken me to send these group emails. I cant believe that I have been out three months already! It goes by fast! This week we worked with a bunch of new investigators and inactives. We only had one investigator show up to church but the good news is all of the inactives we visited showed up! which is awesome! because there are so many churches here a lot of members will get tired of traveling every sunday and just go to the church next to there house. But we had a ton of people in church today. I felt way good. The churches here are so scary! we were walking to one and there was we walked by that a pastor speaking in tongues and touching people on the forehead and they were all laying on the floor everywhere. It was so creepy! I have seen all different kinds of crazy churches around here! We have found a lot of new people to teach. They are really positive. even though every person has there own version of crazy here, it is amazing to see the Holy Ghost work differently with each person. Its awesome to be able to see people begin to change and want to do what is right. Whether it is an investigator or an inactive that has lost there way. All is good here and thank you all for the prayers and everything else!

Elder Raban

Words from Elder McKell Brasdshaw in Scotland

Hey Everyone!!! It's been a great week here in the great land of Scotland!!! Like I said last week things are really beginning to pick up!!! We got another 3 New Investigators!!! It was awesome!!! I mean it was a family, but who cares!! I'd teach a family any day!! They were awesome!!! They even said that they'd definitely be baptized if they come to know it's true!!! So that was the highlight of the week!!! Oh and it SNOWED!!! First of the year! (But it's flippin cold!!! Not used to this kind of cold, being from Arizona...) But needless to say, it's going great out here! Crazy to think it's almost Christmas!!! Love the Holidays! Anyways, hope everyone has a great week!! Love y'all!!!

Words from Elder Chandon Herring in Washinton DC

Well my family its been another interesting week. A lot has happened and we are doing our best with what we have. This week here was actually fairly good. We had a lot of really interesting experiences. We've been trying to do what is called the elder Ballard challenge. That is where every missionary talks to at least 10 people every day for a period of about seven weeks. That comes out to just about 80,000 people for our mission. It gets really difficult when we don't have too much time to go and do it but we make it work. :-) On the Saturday night we went contacting at the Rockville metro stop. It was really good.  we started a little late because we had previous engagements but we always love the opportunity to talk with people. I started talking with a man and he was one who I've seen before. He and I had a really long talk about families and how his family is doing right now. Just let me say that we are very blessed with the families that we have and the jobs we have. I had a wonderful opportunity to testify to him of the divinity of this great and glorious work. It really has made all the difference to me and my family and seeing the ways it can help him and his family. We had a great lesson as we talked about the restoration and about the significance of it all. He promised that he would read the book of Mormon with his family and that they would pray about it because he's always looking for truth. People tell us that all the time so you can always tell when they are sincere or not and he was very sincere. I went around and talked to a few more people but then I came across a lady. She has been having a very rough week! So much has happened and she is trying her best. We met with her and she was so curious about everything that we had to say again we taught her the restoration and the bits and pieces of the plan of salvation. As I was teaching her elder Ord came over and asked to speak with me. The man that he had been talking to was a member of the church who had had a series of bad luck experiences,  I guess, that left him homeless and destitute. He held the Mel  priesthood and was preparing to go to the temple right before all the bad stuff happened. He asked for a blessing and the lady I was teaching was able to be there for it. It really was a wonderful experience and she was touched. We're very excited to continue to meet with her. We talked with the homeless man for a bit longer and then we had to go. It was a little past curfew ;-) that night just kind of helped open my eyes to see how much that we really do have. I'm so very grateful for my family and for the Gospel in my life. There's so many people I have that have helped or can help me if I need it. I am in a position that I have those Who love me always around me and always there for support. I hope all of you know that if you need me to do anything for you all you have to do is ask and I'll do what I can. I love you all so much and I hope you have a wonderful week!

-Herr Bear

Words from Sister Brittany Platt in Colorado

Olo everybody!

Transfers were today and I'm staying with my amazing companion Sister Dennis in this area! I'm so excited to stay here for Christmas, especially to be with the member we live with, Sister Jerkes. We put up a tree the other night and it looks like a "Frozen" tree! It's all blue and silver and white. We joked about buying an Elsa doll to put on the top. :)

So, this week was amazing! We finally got to teach a 9-year old from a less-active family that we've been trying to see for 3 months! We taught her at our ward mission leader's home, and the lesson really affected her mom. She met with the Bishop that night and it went well. Her name is Ellie and we're excited to help her get baptized and her mom come back to church!

Also, guess what?! Kirsten, Sophia's aunt, is now an investigator!! She had us over for dinner Tuesday night with the Hollingsworths, and she just ate up everything we told her. She accepted the baptismal invite and she's been reading the BOM and the Gospel Principles book and all the pamphlets we give her. I've never seen anything like it! She texted us Wednesday night and asked if we could give her something specific to read in preparation for the next lesson. We were like "Oh my gosh! Who are you?!" She's so prepared it's unreal. She couldn't come to church on Sunday cuz she was sick, but we're meeting with her again this week. Please pray that she'll accept a baptismal date! We're thinking the week of Christmas! Also, Sophia is doing awesome! She still hasn't accepted a baptismal date yet (I think her aunt will help a lot), but she says she feels good about everything!

Also, we're teaching a lady from India named Ranjeeta. I can't remember if I mentioned her or not, but we met with her on Sunday and she agreed to take all the lessons and she bought us a gift!! She's feeding us Indian food on Friday and we're so excited! She's amazing. She's 32 and already has her doctorate degree. She's awesome! 

This week is our Christmas Devotionals and we're so excited! Sister Dennis and I bought ugly Christmas sweaters to wear and it's gunna be so fun! I hope y'all continue to use the initiative! We've been using it in everything we do and it's been awesome! I hope the Christmas Devotional on Sunday touched you like it touched me! I loved how President Uchtdorf talked about giving thanks to our Heavenly Father this Christmas Season and honoring Him. It gave me a different perspective on why we celebrate. Really, we're celebrating God giving us an amazing gift. Yes, we're celebrating the Savior's birth. But, we're also celebrating God's goodness and love to us by sending us a Savior. So awesome! Love you all and have an amazing week!

Love, Sister Platt

Words from Elder Adam Otto in Idaho

Happy December!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful November, and I hope everyone is ready to embrace the happiness of December!! It's the most wonderful time of the year!

This week was super superb! We had zone conference on Thursday, and oh boy that hit the spot! I love the Christmas zone conferences because they are so much fun and so inspired. It's going to be wonderful sharing the new Christmas video the church has put out. We have already seen so many miracles from working diligently to spread Christmas cheer :)We had a talent show again this year, and my companion and I along with some other missionaries in our zone participated in it, we did skits. They were sooo funny, I was laughing the whole time. I have missed acting!!!!

On Saturday, Madi was baptized and confirmed!!!!! It was such a special experience. Teaching her has been absolutely amazing. I know the Savior has a very special plan for her and all of us :) We are in good hands!

I am so grateful for this opportunity I have to serve a mission. It has been the best 15 months of my life, and for my life too. I have learned so much about myself, and my savior. And especially about the Saviors love for each person in the world. I know I was sent to preach the gospel here in Idaho for sooo many reasons. There have been (and still are!) trials here I couldn't have faced anywhere else. People I have met here are now permanent in my life. I have been given so much, and I wouldn't ever trade it for anything. I am so grateful for Jesus Christ and his atoning sacrifice! We have so much to give! I know my prayers are heard. Not always answered in the way I like, but they are always answered. I am never alone because my Heavenly Father is always there for me.

Thanks so much for all you do! I love you all and have a happy week! Share the true gift with everyone :)

Elder Otto

Words from Sister Hannah Platt in Honduras

My dearest friends and family,
So many wonderful things have happened this week. First off,i just want to tell you all about our miracle investigator! Her name is Dominica and lives in very poor circumstances. She is 64 and has an infecction on her leg that is just terrible which makes it super hard for her to walk. We found her in our area book and i can´t tell you how wonderful it has been to be working with her. The other day, we invited her to church and she said she wasn´t sure if she could go and then she iddin´t answer our phone calls so we figured taht was a no. So on Sunday, we were in our gospel pricipals class when all the suden, she walks in! I was just amazed to see her! We went right over and talked to her and it turned out that she had walked the entire way to be able to come. She lives super far from the church! But she walked and with her bad leg. I am just soo stunned by the faith that she has! She can´t read, but has her daughter read the BOM to her. She was drinking coffee, but when we taught her the word of wisdom she asked us to help her stop. We bought her avena (oatmeal) and since she has had that, she has stopped drinking coffee completely. She has decided that she wants to be baptized the 26th of December. I  can´t even begin to describe the miracle she is for me. and such an example of true faith!! Another miracle this week was that we found a new family to teach! And they are soo wonderful! It is a mom and dad and three daughters. The daughters speak English adn thats actually why they let us in the house. It was such a great lesson, and the mom just cried and cried as soon as we sat down. She told us that she knew we had been sent to her taht day. it was such a sweet and tender mercy and such a miracle.
Well, i just loved the Christmas devotional last night! Elder Bednars talk sooo touched me and really made me reflect in Christ. He truly is the light of this world. And i thought of my life. Many times, i have been in darkness. I am for sure not perfect and have made a lot of mistakes. Many times, i have felt that darkness has closed in on my life and that i couldn´t escape. We feel that way a lot in our lives. But, when we accept Christ and His atonement, we accept the light. And it makes all the difference! I know that is true with my whole heart! I have let Christ in. I have let His atonement change me. And i have seen as others have accepted the light as well here in Honduras and in my own family and i know that He is the Light. Repentence is possible and forgiveness is real. We have such a wonderful opportunity this time of year to reflect on our dear Lord and King and to accept His light and to help others accept it as well. I know that He lives. I testify of Him. I love Him.
I sure love all of you. I am soo grateful for all that you have done for me. This misison is incredible. It is very hard, but each day, i can feel the Savior carrying me, helping me, and making me better. Have such an incredible week!!
hermana Platt

Words from Elder Eli Frazier in Peru

Words from Sister Abbie Waite in Texas

Dear all! :) 

This week has been yet another wonderful one! My vision of practically EVERYTHING has risen and expanded. It has been quite the memorable journey and I am excited to see it continue. 

There's so much to talk about, but I'll start with Sister Moorman! (Yes... it's pronounced like Mormon. It's too perfect! Haha!) She's incredible! She tells us every time she sees us that she can feel the truth in her heart. I love her so much! When we invited her to be baptized, she didn't even let us get the words out of our mouths before she shouted "YES!" Amazing!

We also had another lesson with the man from last week's letter. It was an incredible experience. I knew it was coming, so all week I prayed and studied and hoped and it paid off! I was prepared to receive every single one of his questions and there was more than one pause while he tried to figure out how to prove us wrong. He just couldn't do it! I could feel the Spirit leading me to what scriptures to use and what to do. Just amazing.  Funny thing was, though, that he told us that love is the greatest motive of all. Go figure! Haha! I may or may not have had to fake a coughing episode to hide the giggles that him telling us that brought on. I guess he just needed a week to let it sink in. :) 

I had the opportunity to attend MLC (Mission Leadership Council) and it was a life-changing experience. I don't know that I have room or time to really explain all the revelation I received, but it was incredible. The fire and Spirit in that room was almost tangible. I felt like I could reach out and literally touch it. I left that room wanting to share that vision with EVERYONE that I met: investigators, contacts, members, and other missionaries. How great is my opportunity as a historian to catch that vision and record it so that anyone can feel it? It's incredible. 

I've been thinking a lot about what helped me catch the vision of the mission when I was a "younger" missionary. (I still have a whole month before anyone can call me old!) I can still remember the day when Sister Montclair showed me the "Qualities of a TSAMer" list and we talked about each one. I took that list and every day following I would pick a quality and find scriptures to support it. That was when I first saw the higher vision for missionaries and when I first began to realize that this is much bigger than 18 months. I still continually ask "What lack I yet?", especially relating to the Qualities of a TSAMer. It is always a humbling experience, but I'm excited to continue working on those things and become better and more of who my Father sees me becoming. 

I am excited to be trained by Elder Rafael E. Pino of the Seventy this week. It's going to be an amazing experience. We have been praying and preparing as a mission and it's sure to be incredible.

Isn't everything about the gospel incredible, though? 

Sister Waite

P.S. If you would like a copy of that list, I'd be happy to send you one! Have a wonderful Christmas season! IT'S HERE! :D 

Words from Elder Kyle James in Germany

Liebe Familie,

Guten Tag meine lieben! Ich freue mich euch zu schreiben!

This week has been great, stressful, and extremely fulfilling. I
really love being here. AHHH it's almost the end! It's crazy! I don't
want to go home! Haha

Well on Monday, Elder Vorimo and I went and ate döner and looked for a
scarf for a family. We also went to the church and played piano. I can
played Silent Night, the German one, and Praise to the Man, pretty
well. Naja! We then played Sorry with Bruder Döschner.

On Tuesday, we kept ourselves busy, meeting with Sagbo, Henschl and Sandra.
I really can't remember what else we did... But that's fine:)  haha

On Wednesday, I was on a split with Vorimo. We had ddm and I had a
theme about how much time we have left. It scared me! Haha Elder
Anderson and Draper went on appointments for us, while I went with
Vorimo. We met with their old investigator, Juliet. She is a refugee
with her boyfriend and her baby God's Power. Yup. His name is God's
Power. Funny stuff. The whole day was
fun. Haha God's Power almost fell off of the bed. Haha

Thursday was a busy day, I went to a less active family with Vorimo.
His name is brother Roth. He is a big guy, but very nice. His wife is
from Eastern Europe. She speaks like no German. She pointed to a
picture of Christ saying "my only love".... She is losing it because
she is old... But, she cooks well. They were great. After that, we went
back by on Juliet, but she was just leaving, so we ran to the train
with her. Great day!

Friday was crazy. We were having comp study, when we get a call from a
random number.

"Hello, my name is Lucky, and I want to be a member of the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Can we meet?

Me: "........................ YEAH! We will come on Sunday"

"I heard a lot of good things from your church. I can't wait to meet"

Hahahahaha well, that how we find investigators here!

We weekly planned and rearranged our apartment. Then we had a lesson
with Sagbo, while Vorimo and Draper taught Henschl. Sagbo was a great
lesson. We called the sisters in Saarbrücken, Mainly for sister
Pettit, so that she could teach the lesson in French. It was awesome!
Sagbo is a great dude with great questions.

On Saturday, we did an awesome service project for the sweetest lady
in the world, Sister Pely. We helped her husband load an entire barn
loft full of wood. I can tell you, I am SO SORE! My body hates me
today. I can barely walk! We had to have moved 3 tons of wood. I was
the thrower, throwing logs to Anderson. One log missed and destroyed a
solar panel on his moped. He was sour! Haha yelled at us. Oh well. We
helped him with he wood so it was fair. She made us an awesome
Hungarian goulash. It was incredible. She also played Christmas music.
After that we went home and did studies. Then we hustled over to the
Christmas market to watch Santa fly across the market. It was
incredible. I'll send a picture. German Christmas markets are
incredible!! I'm gonna miss them so much!

Sunday was stressful. It was Sister Henschls confirmation day, so we
rode with her on the trains. But... We didn't make it on time for her
confirmation. So we did it in the bishops office. It was good. It was
way stressful though! Gee. But Sister Church, an American, went to New
York and brought us back American goodies! I wanted pop tarts haha
they were awesome! I love the churches. After church, we went down to
Baden Baden, where our new friend Lucky lives. We met him by a big
church, and he and his friend Alfred walk us up to their home. It was
a huge refugee camp. We saw hundreds of chill black guys walking
around this place. I called them all brother and they all loved me. We
go to his room, and we teach him, Lucky, his friend, Alfred, and their
Muslim friend, Omar, the first lesson. It was so amazing. They made us
promise to bring them to church, because they really want to come.
They love us. Lucky offered an amazingly humble prayer. We set
baptismal dates with them for January the 17th. I'm so pumped!
We met another guy, Adam, from Togo, who also will be a new
investigator. Lucky has apparently heard many good things about our
church, and looked up our website, and saw the two numbers for the
elders here, and picked ours. He loves the work we are doing. I am so
excited to teach these humble men. We called President Stoddard on the
way home, and he freaked out, he though it was the coolest story ever.
He made me write him today about what happened in my weekly email. Oh
yeah,at stake conference, President Stoddard told one of his favorite
stories to our stake. The one where I told a guy it was way sad to
believe that he would never see his family again. He's told that to
every stake in Germany haha. I'm famous! He has also copied and pasted
two parts of my emails to him to his weekly email to the mission. Haha
famous! Just kidding!

I am so thankful to be able to teach such humble people. These people
are being tossed about, driven from their homes and families, with no
money to their names. YET they believe in God, yet they worship their
Savior! Yet they thank God for his miracles in their lives. It is
truly incredible.
I am so thankful for their humility. I am so prideful. I have a long
way to go until I can be like them. They are the real teachers in our
Them, and the spirit.

I'm loving life! Things are still stressful with the situation last
week, but I thank God for his great people, that teach me more than I
can ever teach. Like Elder Domine. I was his trainer, but he taught me
love and patience. Now these humble Africans. Teaching me to be

When I call Sagbo on the phone, I say Hey! How are you?

He responds always:

Good James, I thank God.

Can't we all be like that?

This is my wish.

I love you guys!

Elder James

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Words from Elder Chandon Herring in Washington DC

Well it is that time of year. The music is playing, people are smiling, good deads are beginning to be done. It overall is a glorious time of year. It is especially nice now being a missionary because we get to talk to more receptive people! Woo Hoo!!

Tuesday... So today was a good day we did an exchange with the Suitland zone leaders. I went with Elder Fisher to Anacostia. I was with them for about three hours. And it was a lot of fun. We contacted some very interesting people and checked on some. It was good to see some people that I had taught before. Some of which had not progressed very well since I had been gone. Some have even been forgotten sadly.  We met with the ward mission leader. He's a
new man who's moved into the ward since I've been gone. He is a very very on top of it kind of person. He is in charge of all of the security for all of the embassies in the Americas. We met and discussed what their training would be on in church that next Sunday.  Following that we went to dinner with the Melborn family. It was a lot of fun because I remember the first night Elder Tilby and I found them. They've been doing exceptionally well and are continuing to stay
strong in the church. Our exchange ended pretty late so I ended up just staying the night in the Anacostia apartment. I even got to sleep in my own bed. Well my old one that is. Elder Fisher and I broke a rule though we were up until 1 o'clock in the morning talking. I was super tired but it was good to talk.

Wednesday... Today we spent a good chunk of time getting some of the Cooke's Christmas stuff in order but multitasking and still doing lots of good missionary work. We then went to the office for our regular meetings and looked at transfers. It went well and we got a decent amount done. Sadly Elder Ord is wanting to be done this transfer.
After we got done, with the meeting that is, we went with President to the metro to get our contacts for the day. It was a lot of fun and it's good seeing president get out and do it.

Thursday... Thanksgiving! Today was an awesome day. We began the day with our ward turkey bowl. I have to say I didn't do too bad. I was the center most of the time but I was able to catch a touchdown pass laid out a couple people and caught a pass and ran it in for a touchdown. I look like a tight end! One of the times that I was running in for the touchdown a member of the ward grabbed on to me and as he was holding on I drug him for 10 yards. It was fun. We
then went home and cleaned up then drove to Elder and Sister Kelly's house. We sent a picture to mom after we had eaten. It was a ton of fun and we had a really good talk. They shared some of the sacrifices they make to serve a mission. I was shocked at how much seniors do and I am very grateful to be serving with them! We were at their house for about three hours and helped them make and clean up the food. We then went to our second appointment. We went to the Pratt house and they are the most kind family. Brother Pratt looks like Yoda. We had a lot of fun talking to them!

Friday... Today we spent lots of time doing admin stuff. We planned a lot of things to help get referrals contacted sooner for the upcoming festival of lights but the highlight of the day was when we went out to do a metro contacting. I was told I was hot and I was given two hugs. Woo hoo! I still got it even after year and a half on a mission! lol  We were able to talk to some really cool people. There are a lot of people who really are looking for the truth but they know
not where to find it. I'm glad that I'm able to be here and share with them what we know!

Saturday... Today was awesome! We went on an exchange with the Laurel missionaries. They're both really young in the mission and both are very hard-working. I went with Elder Carol, so yes I thought about grandma (Carol) the whole time, and we were out and about contacting and checking on people. As we knocked on a door the lady that answered was
about our age she didn't seem particularly interested in anything but we invited her to listen to a brief 20 minute lesson on her porch. She agreed and she began to seem fairly interested in what we had to say.  we had a prayer and we were teaching well and then her mom came. Her mom arrived from getting groceries And was not particularly fond of us
being there. She came in with some simple questions but then went about to bash us. I have to say I'm very proud of myself for not doing it back.  When I was with Elder Humphrey he taught me how to do so :-)   I was a good boy and we shared our testimonies and left with a prayer then started to leave but as we were walking away we both turned and offered service and ended up getting a return appointment to meet with her and her family to read The Christmas story out of Luke chapter 2. It's one of my favorites and it's a great opportunity to get into her home. We ended on a much better note than we could have. I'm so grateful for the power and the spirit a testimony brings and that we were able to do as Christ would do.

Sunday... The Sundays are numbered that will still have Bishop Baird.  Right now he is the stake president and the bishop. So the members are lucky if they get him for their temple recommend interview it's only one interview ;)  We met and had a great church meeting and the apostasy began in the church when we rolled out the elders meal calendar in our ward for the first time in a very long time, haha.  Like it's never been rolled out since we've been there. We then went contacting and we met some really interesting people. I was able to go and talk to some Jehovah's Witnesses. They were very polite and it was a good opportunity to leave a good impression. Afterwards we hustled over to a baptism and then dinner with the Cooke's it really was a good ending to the day. As we were driving home Elder Ord pointed out that president didn't get his contacts for the day. So we went to the metro stop to finish for him. On our way there we got for contacts at red lights talking to people as they drove by. It's a lot of fun to do that and it kind of throws them for a loop.

So as you can see like continues to go well here in Washington DC!  Just so you know I'm sitting at our table eating chips and salsa, casa manana salsa, and some eggnog. It's been a rainy day and it's a wonderful little treat! I love you all and I hope you have a wonderful week!

-Elder Herring

Words from Elder Levi Crosby in Tennessee

Hello people! How are y'all??:) I'm sure you all are good and chubby
after this thanksgiving! Haha I sure am:) my thanksgiving was pretty
good. It started off with a turkey-bowl.. That was pretty fun. Then we
ate our first dinner! I had deep fried turkey and man that's the
stuff! It was bomb. Then we had a second dinner and thats where I
loaded up on the desserts! Yeah I gained a few pounds. Lol but this
week was just a great week!

This last Saturday I had a few baptisms... My first one was in my last
area in Bowling Green, KY and that was awesome! I Skyped in on that. I
was so exited to hear that the lady I was teaching for 4.5 months
finally quit smoking and was baptized! That made my week. Then Elder
Brown and I had a baptism with our newer investigator! He is just
awesome! He is the guy that quit chewing tobacco in like 2 days! It
was legit. So this week was full of miracles! I am truly blessed:)

The coolest thing I got to do this week was perform a confirmation in
sacrament meeting.. I was pretty nervous at first about not screwing
up the words but the spirit helped me out. It was just so awesome to
see someone progress in the gospel and be a better person. And I am
thankful for the privilege I have to help these people do that! The
mission has been a blessing:) so far.... Haha just kidding!

So transfers is happening this week and I am staying here in
Winchester for 6 more weeks with Elder Brown:) I am pretty happy about
that. We are moving into a different apartment so I will have to send
out a new address to y'all for mail and stuff:) anyways I hope you
have a good week and are all recovered from your food coma's! Ha love
you all and thanks for all that you do:)

- Elder Levi Crosby

Words from Elder Garrett Hollembeak in West VIrginia

It was a great week here in Parkersburg, West Virginia. We had a total of three Thanksgiving dinners, with a few dessert stops along the way, so we got our fill of turkey. The holiday was a great opportunity to be with our less active families, and a few non-member families that had relatives in. One of the families we visited lives in a little town called Mineral Wells outside of Parkersburg. Their son Joe has been taking the discussions with the Morgantown YSA missionaries and he invited us over for Thanksgiving. It was a really neat full circle moment, seeing work go on from my first area impact me almost two years later. The Lord is very detailed with his blessings. This week we also made some good headway with an investigator named Jena. We've been meeting with her for about six months and her mom's fiance passed away last week. She called us over to pray with her mom and share some scriptures with her. When we met with her later she told us about how seeing Robert pass away helped her understand that we do have a spirit and that there is more out there than what we can see. She still has some anxiety about coming to church but I think she's not far off, and once she starts coming it won't be long until she's baptized. We've also been really blessed with a lady named Jean who is progressing really well. Her granddaughter Whitney joined the church back in July and we started going over to Jean's to help with yard work in September. At first we just served and answered the occasional question and now she's meeting with the Northside missionaries every week and has come to church the last three Sundays. What's even better is that her dad was a member of the church but stopped attending when she was seven and she wasn't exposed to the church after that. So the Lord is working on this family and I have no doubt that there are people pulling for her on the other side of the veil. She told us a story she heard when she was a kid about a lion that had been raised by goats all of his life and thought he was a goat. When he got older he saw another lion and recognized what he really was. She said that when we started coming around she realized what she really was and knows that deep down she supposed to be a latter day saint. We have high hopes for her that she will be baptized in the coming months. I hope you guys are all doing good, I'm excited to hear about the girl from your home teaching family that is getting baptized, we'll keep her in our prayers. I love you guys and am grateful for everything you do for me.

Words from Elder Otto in Idaho

Hey everybody!!

This week was so super good! It's been like one of my most favorite weeks in my mission! I don't know why, but it was just really good! We had so many little miracles and lots of struggles and trials! But everything works out how it needs to! 

This week we found a bunch of new investigators, taught a ton of lessons, and just had so much fun! Working with members is the key. It is SO nice when the members go out with us to help find and teach! We have so much more success, and it makes lots more people happy :) So go do it! 

Thanksgiving was great! This year, we just had one dinner. It was with a less active family that we teach every week and they are absolutely hilarious! Makes me feel at home :) They have some goofy kids and lots of pets :) Last year we had 3 dinners, so it was nice only to have one. We did a service project thanksgiving morning helping out at a marathon to feed the hungry. It was a TON of fun, but holy moly it was cold! It had snowed all night, and there was about 7 inches of snow! Brrrr! Then, at 6 that night we got together with our zone and had a blast playing a bunch of games. We have the best missionaries in the mission in our zone. I love em so much. Ahhhh it's the best! Lemme tell ya, missions are the absolute best. You make the best friends ever, feel super happy, grow from the worst trials, and change into who our Savior wants us to be! I love my mission so much :)

On Friday we had MLC, and oh my gosh, it was the best one I have been to yet! We discussed so many things, and the spirit was super strong. I am so grateful for our mission. I am so privileged to serve in the Idaho Pocatello Mission! it's for real the best one there is!!! :) I love itttt!!! I KNOW I was sent here for a purpose! I have met incredible people who have changed my life forever! Heavenly Father always knows what he's doing :) He sure does love us!

So on Saturday on our way to dinner, we got in a car wreck! It was pretty bad. My companion was driving and we slid right through a stop sign on the ice and T-boned someone. Their whole door was smashed and their windows shattered. Our car just got beat up in the front a little. But their car was totally destroyed on one side. There were three teenage boys in the car, and none of them got hurt. We just got our heads thrown a bit, and my knees hit the glove box pretty hard. I have some bruises and some pain in them, but we are ok! I went to the Chiropractor this morning and he helped pop my head back in place haha! Heavenly Father was for sure watching out for us!

On Sunday, we gave talks again. It went really well! We have to give talks pretty often in our mission. Covering 10 wards, yeesh! But it's for the best! We go to four sacrament meetings each sunday as well. I am so blessed to get to partake of the sacrament so often!

I hope yall enjoyed your thanksgiving! I love all of you, and love yourself too! Have a wonderful week!!! :)
Elder Otto

Words from Sister Brittany Platt in Colorado

Olo everybody!

I have like no time, so sorry this will be short! But, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We ate two dinners and got super stuffed! And, we got permission from President to go visit Tina in the hospital. She got a blessing and she's out now and doing better. We're going to see her Thursday!

We had an amazing two miracles this week:One, we got a referral from the Denver South mission for an Indian lady named Ranjeeta. Sister Dennis went and taught her when we were on exchanges and said she's such an awesome lady and so excited about the gospel! We're meeting with her again on Saturday and I'm so thrilled to meet her!

The second miracle is Sophia came to church again with her aunt Kirsten. Sophia went to Utah for Thanksgiving to visit all of her Mormon family and had a wonderful time! Her aunt Kirsten loved church and we had a huge discussion in Sunday School about the Word of Wisdom because she had a lot of questions. She said she wanted us to teach her, so she invited us and the Hollingsworths (the missionary couple in our ward) over for dinner and a lesson on Tuesday!!!! Then, she texted us later that night and told us how excited she was to be on this spiritual journey and how grateful she was for us in her life. It truly was one of the most wonderful things I've ever experienced! Last Monday Sophia had texted us right after we got done e-mailing saying her aunt wanted a Book of Mormon, so we took one over to her that night and she's been reading it. Can I just say how golden and prepared this wonderful women is?! Man, missionary work is amazing! And so joyful!! We're just thrilled to be a part of this amazing woman's life at this time and to teach her about the restored gospel. God is SO good!

Also, I hope you all will go watch the new Christmas video that just came out yesterday, and check out the website: There's a paper you can download and write on and take a picture with it and then post it online. I encourage everyone to do this and to share the video with as many people as possible! There's pass-along cards for it that you can get online or from your local missionaries. This initiative is huge!!!! Please don't pass up this wonderful opportunity to share it with your friends. Remember, Christ is the reason for the season! When this initiative first came out last year, it's what got us in with Jeff and Sarah, my first converts on the mission. So, I have a huge testimony about this initiative! It truly changes lives! 

I love you all and hope you have a wonderful, missionary-filled week! God bless you all!

Love, Sister Platt

Words from Elder Samuel Isaacson in Argentina

my week has been good. nothing really exciting but good all the same!

last tuesday was good taught a couple lessons. i think 3 that day to new people!! that is matching my personal record in vera!! so we were excited about that!! the people we taught were cool and they listened to me stumble through the first lesson and laughed when i second guessed myself on a word!! haha  but after their  laughs they helped me!! haha

we went to a members house to ask one of them to give a talk and i relized that familys here are just like families in the states!! haha they have someofthe same jokes!! it made me laugh!! its funner be able talk stumble through sentances with members and watch them try to figure out what i am saying!! haha then they laugh when i try to figure out what they say to me!! haha!!

on wed. we beat my personal best for lessons and got 4!!!! we were super excited about that!! we got 4 on thursday too!! so we are doing goodin the new bigger area!!! i thought having the new area we be a lot more work and walking!! but it is a lot of walking but its not as bad as i thought!! its actually fun because we see different people everyday we arent saying hola to the same people everyday!! 

on friday i think we only had 2 lessons but it is better then none!! our investigator ramon is doing good he has to quit smoking!! he didnt smoke yesturday so if he doesnt smoke all week he can be baptized this saturday!!! so we are praying hard for him!! he can do it!! he is awesome!! we had to kill some old investigators because they wouldnt talk to us!! but we are finding new people everyday!! 
one of our ''old'' investigators we went to her house like every other day and she was never home! her family said yeah come this time she will be here!! we finally asked when is she ever home!! her daught said she goes to work at 7 and doesnt come home until 11!!! i believe their is people that work that much but not here in argentina!! 

on saturday we were walking and my comp has trained me to keep my eyes pilled for things on the ground like marbles or old coins!! i havent found many marbles but i have found a 100 peso coin from like 1978 and a 50 peso coins from the same year!! between the both of us we have found over 300 peso coins on the ground!!! im getting rich!! thats like 30 dolars!!!

sunday we wentto church then right after church we had to stay in our pencion all the rest of the day!! so we didnt get to go look for coins!!! i mean people to teach!!
but after study at 4:30 we went to take a sunday nap!! we slept until 8:30 then we fried some oreos and messed around until like 10:45 cause we had some much energey!!  haha

today we went to reconquista for our P-day to do a zone activity!! its been fun we played vollyball and futball and i only hit the ball over they fence 3 times!!! haha

thats my week so far!! so yeah pretty lame!!

thanks for everything!! i love you all!!!

love elder isaacson!!

Words from Elder Jake Zieler in Canada

This week was cold!
We spent American Thanksgiving eating cheeseburgers and fries! Haha wasn't the same, but it was still good. 
While driving down the street last night with a member, a huge Lynx jumped out in the road and it got my blood flowing! haha I could've shot it with a blowgun it was so close! 
It's starting to look like Christmas here! Every day, the trees are covered in snow and it always looks like those pictures you see on screen savers and stuff, but in real life. 
I also learned that just this last week, a family from a small town called Merritt got baptized and i was blessed enough to have been one of the missionaries that helped find them. God is great!
Have a great week everyone!

This pic is of me and my boy Elder Mogle!!! He's a stud!

Words from Sister Hannah Platt in Honduras

Words from Elder Chandon Herring in Washington DC

Well this week was wonderful but this weekend was even better! President Nelson of the 12 apostles came to re organize the stake presidency of The Washington DC stake and dedicate a new church building on Capitol Hill. He was in town from Friday to Sunday night. We had several fire sides/meetings with him but he did not meet with the missionaries. He was way too busy. He just came from Asia and so many random countries. Very tired man but he moved about buoyantly. First thing is first I was absolutely correct our Bishop in the Rockville Ward became the Stake President! Bishop Baird is so amazing. I will send you his talk. Then the second councilor was Bishop Nelson of the DC3rd Ward from the start of my mission. It really was a spirit packed weekend and endless learning and meaning in every detail. I loved it all. We had a lot of good trainings and meetings this week as well. The hardest part is we have started the Elder Ballard challenge where each person talks to and invites 10 people a day. So 20 per companionship. It really is not that difficult but when you are in meetings and trainings and planning all day it gets a little bit more difficult to get. We did not miss a single day and we end at the end of December. It is so wonderful though because it helps us keep our focus on our purpose everyday even if it is for a brief time. President Cooke is trying to do it as well. We were down in ANACOSTIA again this last week and did some contacting when it was pretty darn late and super cold. It really was a neat experience because all of the people we spoke with were accountable and able to keep commitments. They all have such a hunger for truth. The people in SE DC are so receptive to the spirit. I love serving here and it really is such a neat time to be in the lords vineyard. We are safe and vigilant and doing our best to be better. I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Family and friends,

I failed to take the time to celebrate thanksgiving with you in my letter. I am so grateful to have you to lean on and support me. You all have touched me and guided me countless times in my life by your example in the life you live. I would not be here doing what I am doing without each and every one of you. I am especially indebted to my mother and father. Those two individuals have dedicated so much time and love (and food :) ) into my wellbeing and progress that I can never say thank you enough. You all are amazing!  Have a wonderful thanksgiving and be safe!

Elder Herring

Words from Elder Levi Crosby in Tennessee

Hey everyone! Sorry I was slacking last week and didn't send y'all an
email! I hope you all forgive me(: so how is everyone doing?? I bet
you're doing great. Well if you wanted to know I'm doing pretty great
over here too! Especially because we are having a baptism this
Saturday! It's exiting! He is a middle aged dude and is just so solid.
He loves the members here and things couldn't be better. He even quit
chewing tobacco in 10 days, he just dropped it like it was nothing! So
if you can't tell Winchester is treating me well:)

This week is Thanksgiving and it should be a good one. We have a
turkey bowl to go to and we have like 2 or 3 dinner appointments! So I
am just getting spoiled over here. These past few weeks I have gained
a stronger testimony of the Book of Mormon and just of the church. We
were in a lesson with a newer investigator and he just interrupts us
and says "this book is true. There is no way it can just come from an
ordinary man." And that was awesome to me that he gained a testimony
just from reading and studying and that strengthened my testimony of
the power that comes from the Book of Mormon. This gospel has to be
true. Yesterday in Sunday school we were talking about missionary work
and how no other church is like us. We send out 18, 19, and 20 years
olds to go and preach the gospel throughout the world. It has to be
true. I know it is. I am so thankful for this precious time I have to
serve as a missionary. I'm thankful for this time of year where we get
to remember and think about all of the things we are thankful for. So
just take a few minutes and think of all of the things you are
thankful for. I'm sure your list will be rather large. I know mine is.

So the coolest thing happened today. We were fishing and we look in
the water and there was a 8-point buck swimming right in front of us!
How cool is that! Then I leaned why chickens cross the road. Because
they were running away from my companion! Haha anyways I hope y'all
have a great Turkey Day and I love you all:)

- Elder Levi Crosby

Words from Sister Brittany Platt in Colorado

Olo everybody!

What a wonderful time to be Thankful! I'd like to share my ponderized scripture with you about being thankful. It's D&C 138:28: "If thou art merry, praise the Lord with singing, with music, with dancing, and with a prayer of praise and thanksgiving." At this time of year, I want to express my gratitude for the Savior, for my family, for my mission, for the Atonement and the Plan of Salvation, and for every person in my life that has touched me and changed me. I feel so blessed and so lucky to have led the life I've lived and to have the family and friends I have. God truly is SO good.

Lee's baptism was wonderful!!! She is terrified of water and is claustrophobic, so she was scared to death to get into the font. But she did it anyway because she's stubborn and awesome! Elder Hollingsworth, the couple that's serving in our ward from Alabama, baptized her and he did awesome. She had a look of pure fright when he put her in and out of the water. But, right after it happened she said "That was fast!" Haha. She was glowing after she got dried and dressed. And when she got confirmed on Sunday, she had a huge smile from ear to ear. It was truly a very wonderful experience to be a part of! She's changed so much from when I met her a year ago, and yet she's still the same person. She doesn't take any nonsense from anyone and she'll always be straight up with you. It's awesome! How grateful I am that she made this choice in her life at this time. In her confirmation blessing, the Lord told her that if she kept learning and going to church, she would be able to go to the temple and get sealed to her deceased husband and have a wonderful and very sacred experience there. It was beautiful! 

Also, we had a cool experience yesterday at church as well. Sophia came to church with her aunt, and her aunt came to our Gospel Principles class. My comp and I were teaching about Judgement and the Kingdoms of Glory, and this lady asked a very awesome question. She asked how she and her husband, who had passed away five years ago, could be together forever if they didn't belong to this church? She was a little bit antagonistic with it at first. But, after some wonderful and very profound answers from everyone in the class, her countenance changed and she softened a lot. At the end of class she asked if she could keep the gospel principles book to read! MIRACLES! It was awesome! We also had a less-active man that the elders brought to church come to our class. He hasn't been back in 20 years and we talked with him after the class and he said it felt good to be back. He had a wonderful time and we were so glad to see him there! 

I got an e-mail from Jade (my 14-year old convert in my last area) today saying that she got to go to the temple last week and do baptisms for the dead. She said it was a wonderful experience and that she felt the Spirit so strong and learned a lot. It was truly wonderful hearing that from her! This gospel really does change lives in so many ways! We must always keep learning and growing because it will continue to bless us as we do so!

Several people have asked me about the stock show, and sadly we got rejected. My mission president is asking to be put on some kind of waiting list if they have one. I'm really bummed it didn't happen, but maybe a miracle will happen and we can get in last second! 

Well, everyone, I hope y'all have a wonderful, gratitude-filled week! I love this gospel so much and am so grateful for everything! God bless you all!

Love, Sister Platt

Words from Sister Hannah Platt in Honduras

So another super quick email!! Just wanted to wish you all a very happy thanksgiving! Eat lots for me ok!! Especailly pumpkin pie ;) I am doing very well! we had a very crazy week and had to have exchanges with different hermanas three times. We are very tired, but i can´t tell you how grateful i am for the chance to serve. This thanksgiving, i am soo grateaful for all of you! For the love and the support you have all giving me my whole life and for getting me here on this mission. I love the gospel soo much! And i know that it is true!! I am especially grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that He lives! ANd i know that if we obey all of HIs commandments, and do our absolute best, He will fight our dailey battles and we will conquer Satans and all temptations! I am so grateful for His atonement! And i testify that it works. Repentence is possible. We can all be healed! I lov e this mission and i love this country. I hope you all have such a wonderful week! I love you and will write more next week!
Hermana Platt

Words from Sister Abbie Waite in Texas

Dear all,

How glorious is the work of the Lord! It brings me such great joy to be an agent of the Lord; serving Him with all my heart, might, mind, and strength. The miracles are never ceasing!

This week, while I pondered things that I could work on to be a more effective servant, my train of thought led me to realize the many great purposes our Father in Heaven has for all that He does. There is not one single thing that He has ever done that serves no purpose or one purpose only. Missionary work is not an exception to this. Some purposes for missionary work that I've come up with are: 

1. To invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel
2. To spread the light of the gospel in order to counteract ever increasing availability of wickedness
3. To strengthen the stakes of Zion
4. To increase our vision
5. To hasten the work and purposes of the Lord
6. To prepare the future leaders of the church physically, mentally, emotionally, and especially spiritually for the challenges they will face 

There are so many more! God does not create anything without a purpose. If so, He would cease to be God (see 2 Nephi 2:12). I used to only see one or two purposes for missionary work. Over my mission, my vision has expanded and been raised higher than ever before. Before I served my Master, I did not know Him. I surely thought that I did, but how little did I actually know! HE LOVES US. HE HAS SUCH A VISION. I can hardly wait to know Him even more. (see Mosiah 5:13)

This week was one of miracles! We met so many people who are willing to continue learning, our investigator on date is on fire with the gospel, members are bringing family members and friends to church and sharing the gospel, and the work continues onward!

I was privileged to give a training to the new missionaries and their trainers at a special meeting this week. It was incredible to feel of God's love for His children as I studied and prayed and pondered and prayed some more about what it was that HE wanted them to know. This work is truly led by Him. I do not remember most of what I said while giving my training, but I know that it was what He needed them to know. It was neat to listen to them ask questions and to be able to answer them. It was sort of a weird double vision thing: I could see how much I have grown and how much these Elders and Sisters are sure to grow. Incredible! 

The TSAM is full of remarkable missionaries. I will be ever grateful for the call to serve here in this wonderful work with these wonderful people. I can imagine no greater call nor place! 

I was reading in 3 Nephi 11 this week, and had one of the sweetest spiritual experiences of my life. Oh, how I look forward to the day that my ears will hear the voice of my Father! For my ears will be open and I will look steadfastly to Him! I once had someone ask me what I would do if Christ walked into the room. I had a hard time deciding exactly what I would do. But this is my answer now: I don't know that I would have the power to do anything BUT fall to the earth and worship Him! He is my Savior! However, I do know, also, that He wouldn't let me stay there for long. He would tell me to arise and come forth unto Him. To come to know Him as the Savior, just as He did with the Nephites. What a joyful day that will be! Praise to the Lord!

Sister Waite

P.S. Have a glorious Thanksgiving! At the risk of sounding incredibly cheesy, may I also add: Gratitude is an attitude! :) 

"Could I suggest that we see gratitude as a disposition, a way of life that stands independent of our current situation? In other words, I’m suggesting that instead of being thankful for things, we focus on being thankful in our circumstances--whatever they may be."
-President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Grateful In Any Circumstance, April 2014 General Conference

Words from Elder McKell Bradshaw in Scotland

Hey Everyone! Hope all is well back in good ole SJ, (unless you're not in SJ...) It's been a great week here in the great country of Scotland!! Feels like the fruits of our labors here, are beginning to show!! FINALLY! Haha, just kidding! We've had a lot of success here! But we found this girl named Vivian, who is awesome! Someone can say "GOLDEN!" Then we got a call one day at seriously 3 in the morning from a guy, who was a former investigator that me and my trainer had to drop because he never showed up to appointments, calling us saying that he needed help! He wants to be a better person all around! (He's a recovering alcoholic) So we met up with him later that day, and really explained how this gospel is going to bless his life through the Atonement! It was really an awesome lesson! So I can definitely say that we were blessed AMAZINGLY this week! Anyway, we've got a good week planned, and it should be awesome! Anyway, love you all! Hope your week is fantastic!

Words from Elder Chandon Herring in Washinton DC

Well hello to all how was your week good good mine went well. This week was transfer week so it was really good and also really bad. Sad to see so many good missionaries go home. But we have some New incredible ones.

Tuesday... Today is my favorite day of the transfer where we pick up the new arrivals. We get to meet them at the airport for the first time and see the bewildered look on their faces. It's almost like your deer in the headlights but they try so hard. We had a lot of little logistical things to do first. But we made it to the airport on time and picked up the missionaries and rushed them to the Mission HOME as soon as we could. What's normally about a 30 minute drive turned into two hours because traffic is superb on the beltway. It's sad I went straight from the airport to the Mission HOME and all the new arrivals took the metro to The temple where they unloaded, went to the visitor center, took pictures with the Cookes, reloaded up, and drove to the Mission HOME, us beating them by only 7 to 10 minutes. But there's just not time for us to get everything done that we need to. And we set a record this was the earliest we got the new arrivals to bed and us to bed as well so absolutely no complaints on our part.

Wednesday... The transfer day I looked forward to at the beginning of my mission but was really sad to see it finally come. Today was the day that my father died along with two other super good missionaries Elder Humphrey and Elder Elliot. The testimony meeting was superb and we all learned from these departing missionaries. It was fun with the damage control that we had to do after the transfer meeting as people try to figure out stuff. it's fine because they can figure it out on their own we just kind of gently guide them to read the package of instructions that we gave them :-) but when they're all gone we know we're good and head off to the airport. At the airport president has started a new tradition where you eat at Ben's chili bowl and it's pretty good.

Thursday... Today was 100% administrative stuff. What we did was stare at a computer screen update things and yeah. It was really sad because we had a missionary going home to Hong Kong and he missed his flight in New York where he was supposed to change planes. We can completely understand how that happened because he had to change terminals on the tram in the super tight layover time at an airport that he has never been to before. Other than that there's nothing to exciting.

Friday... Today was awesome. We began the day and spent most of it at the leadership training meeting where we discuss and prepare the training plans for the transfer. It went super well we have very young leadership but they are well-prepared and are going to do a fantastic job. We're very excited to see what they are able to accomplish. After that we went down with President and Sister Cooke to a Suitland high priest meeting. We join them for dinner and it was wonderful to see the incredible people that are part of the Suitland stake. I swear if we had to replace the entire quorum of the 12 apostles we could do that from Suitland. The Cooke's talked about member missionary work and then they asked Elder Ord and I to talk about our experience with member missionaries. It was a very very good meeting and I'm getting better at talking to a group of people. Still scares the heck out of me but I can do it! Sister Cooke did such a wonderful job as well as president.

Saturday... Sadly today was another administrative day but I noticed how President is using preach my gospel and the Scriptures a lot more. Normally he would use like a verse here and there but now he's using quite a few everywhere. It's a good example for me and wanting to use them more. I challenged you to do the same :-)

Sunday... Sunday was good as always we had church m our perfect ward and then we went to check on a less active who didn't come who we are planning on. She was having a lot of struggles and we were able to give her a blessing it was a really cool experience. She's so humble from this experience and is just trusting the Lord will take her where she needs to go. We then had dinner with the Cooke family and it was delicious :-) we ended the night with why I believe The speaker was President Harrison of the Washington DC stake. He is going to be released next week when President Nelson comes. We think he'll be an area 70. He's that awesome :-) and then our bishop will take his place as president :-) I told you our ward is perfect :-) well that's it for my week I love you all so much hope you have a good one as well! Love you!

-Elder Herring

Words from Sister Brittany Platt in Colorado

Olo everybody!

I have like no time, so this is gunna be short. Lee is getting baptized on Saturday!!! We're so excited! We're meeting with her tonight at our mission president's home to teach about temples and family history and eternal marriage. I'm just thrilled to go into more detail about this with her so that she can prepare to go to the temple. Please keep her in your prayers! We're also meeting with a less-active woman named Tina. She is wonderful! She is dying from cancer and the doctor's have stopped giving her blood transfusions and have told her there's nothing more they can do. It absolutely breaks my heart! But, she's so humble and loving and she's wanting to make her life right before she passes. She's feeding us dinner on Tuesday along with her boyfriend and we're going to teach her about the plan of salvation. Please pray that that goes well and that it helps her to feel the Spirit and to feel peaceful, and to make right everything with God. She has so touched my life and I'm grateful we've had the chance to get to know her and to help her spiritually. It really just emphasizes to me how short this life really is, and how important it is that we use the time we've been given wisely. That's why I titled my e-mail "we're all human becomings." We're more than just beings. We're children of God becoming what He wants us to become!

One more thought and then I have to go! With the policy changes with the Handbook and the ridiculous outcry and lies of the media, I just want those who are questioning to think about this: Families are super important to God. Also, baptism is a very, very sacred and serious covenant. We do not make it unless we're willing to follow and support the teachings of God through His servants the Prophet and Apostles. We will not have a child, who comes from a homosexual family life, make a covenant that they literally cannot, with out an educated decision, support and uphold when their family teaches something that God states is wrong. It's not fair to the child, nor to their family, nor to the Lord. I'm sick of the media and all the crap they say that is not true. If you question, please pray! Please become educated! And please read it straight from the horse's mouth if you do question:

We support and follow what the Prophet says because we know that the Prophet will never lead us astray. Ever. God's laws on families are very clear. As missionaries, we support and sustain the Prophet and we will teach what we know to be true. 

I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week! Thanks for your countless prayers and support on my behalf. I'm truly grateful!

Love, Sister Platt

Words from Sister Hannah Platt in Honduras

Dearest Friends and Family,

First off, HAPPY VETERANS DAY (late... i know... sorry) to all the amazing men and women out there who have given soo much for our dear country!! I especailly want to wish my dad a Happy Veterans Day. I love you daddy! Thanks for all you have done!! 

Well another week has gone by! I am just amazed at how fast the time flies by here in the field! This week was good. We worked a lot with the sisters as many of them are having problems with disobedience and with their companions. But it was a good and we were able to help them. This week has helped me want to be more obedient. My comp and i have made lots of goals to be exactly obedient. She always says that obedience brings blessings but obedience with exactitud brings miracles. I know that true for every aspect of our lives. As we try our hardest to obey, the Lord will give us exactly what we need and more.

This week we had to pass off Walter to the other missionaries. It was very hard, but i know it was the right thing to do. I know he will continue to grow through the gospel. We are still working with Yury and his wife. We arent able to meet with him too much as he works as a profesor and isn´t home too much. But he is soo amazing and really understands all that we teach! 

Well thats all i have time for but i sure love you all! You are amazing! Remember to always open your mouth and share the gospel! Help your missionaries! We need so much help from the members!! I love you guys!!

Hermana Platt

Words from Sister Abbie Waite in Texas

Dear all, 

This week has been an incredible whirlwind of so much that it's gone in a blur. It's one of those things where it feels like last Monday was three years ago, yet it also feels like it was 5 minutes ago. Time is a weird thing like that. 

Why was time a weird thing this week?! Transfers, that's why! I got the news to pack up on Tuesday and showed up to transfer meeting on Thursday anxious and ready to know where I would be spending the next 5 weeks of my mission (we'll be having transfers a little early this time around because of Christmas). In the TSAM, we have two transfer meetings: one in San Antonio at 9 am and one in Austin at 2 pm. The missionaries in San Antonio gather to hear who will be going where, and it takes about an hour. Then, missionaries staying in San Antonio get to go back to work, and those going up to Austin head on up! The Austin transfer meeting goes the same way. They call out areas and which missionaries will be serving there. If your name isn't called, you know that you're either heading up to Austin or down to San Antonio, depending on which meeting you're at. (Don't worry if you're confused... I'm confused, too. We're in this together.) 

I waited anxiously as they called names, but mine wasn't called. If you successfully deciphered that last paragraph, you know what that means... I'm now in San Antonio! It's a little different, but Texas is still Texas and I still love it! I'm in an area called Balcones Heights with my wonderful companion Sister Johnson! I've also been given the special assignment to be a historian. I have the opportunity to go to a bunch of meetings and take notes and gather blurbs from other missionaries about their thoughts and feelings on the meeting and put them all together into a monthly history of the mission that will be sent to Salt Lake and be available to anyone in the world! So lots of writing! I'm so excited! I get to catch the vision of the mission and put it into words! 

Balcones Heights is incredible! So many miracles are happening! I can hardly wait to see more and more! There are so many people out and about! That's one thing I missed about my first area. I'm so excited to talk to everyone and open my mouth and share the gospel! 

I was reading in the Book of Mormon this week and learned something new. (When does that not happen, though? Isn't the word of God so incredible?) I was reading in 3 Nephi 7:18. It says: 

" came to pass that they were angry with him, even because he had greater power than they, for it were not possible that they could disbelieve his words, for so great was his faith on the Lord Jesus Christ that angels did minister unto him daily." 

Nephi, an incredible missionary and prophet, had been teaching a people who just didn't want to listen. Yet, because of his faith, it was not possible for them to disbelieve his words! Oh that I could have such great faith as Nephi that people could not disbelieve my words! It seems unattainable, but it isn't! How can I gain such great faith? Here are some of my ideas:
    * Earnest prayers
    * Scripture STUDY, not just reading
    * Repentance
    * Obedience
    * Service
    * Preparation for revelation

These are all ideas on how you, too, can increase your faith. What are some other ideas that you have? I'd love to hear them! 

May we always be seeking to increase our faith in the Redeemer of this world! 

Sister Waite