Timpanogos Temple

Timpanogos Temple

Monday, October 16, 2017

Had a Great Week!

Hey Everybody!

This last week has been a great , as always, and a lot of things happened. We had a busy Monday night last week, we ended up teaching two Family Home Evenings. Family Home Evening is a time set aside on Monday nights where a family will get together and spend time with each other. Typically it consists of a short gospel message, some kind of an activity (typically a game), a snack, and just time to hang out. They were both uplifting Family Home Evenings!

Transfers occurred Wednesday morning, but since Elder Amari and I both stayed in the area we didn't really do anything. We were still able to go transfer shopping because we weren't smart and didn't plan enough time in our schedule to go grocery shopping last Monday. There are two new missionaries in our district this transfer, both of them just got into the mission on Wednesday. We had our first district meeting of the transfer and I realized that once again I am tied for the oldest missionary in the group. It's definitely a weird feeling!

Most of the rest of the week was spent doing normal missionary things. We helped do some yard work on Tuesday and cleaned out a garage on Friday. We knocked on a lot doors, unfortunately without much success. We did begin teaching a family, they are all less active and they have a daughter who has not been baptized yet. We are looking forward to working with them further and helping them get back to activity!

That's the gist of what's gone on this last week, I hope everyone has a great week!

Elder Orchard


A quote I really like.

When you have to get up early on P-Day and your companion is having
none of it.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

General Conference

Hey Everyone!

These past few days have gone by pretty quick, like most of them seem to be recently. We've been doing a lot of finding and trying to get in to teach people, but it seems like everyone is either stubborn or forgetful because of how often they miss lessons. It's no problem though, they will come unto Christ on their own time and on the Lord's time, not on mine!

General Conference this last weekend was incredible! I got to go to the Sunday morning session live. They also did Music and the Spoken Word, which is always a great experience. There were so many great talks given, I don't know if I can narrow it down to a favorite. Two that were really good were Elder Zwick's talk about miracles, and President Eyring's talk from the Sunday morning session. I'm not very good at taking notes, so I'll have to wait until next week to give some of my favorite quotes. I would encourage everyone to go the lds.org and read or watch the talks from conference again, or for the first time. They will be a powerful and uplifting messages that will bless your lives.

I was also really sad to hear about the passing of Elder Hales. He was an amazing apostle and he will be missed. I know he completed his work here, and he's helping the Lord with the work in the spirit world!

A few other things happened this week. On Thursday we had our Zone Conference, which is basically an 8 hour meeting with a lunch break and a few other breaks sprinkled throughout the meeting. One focus was retraining us on Online Proselyting, which was a new training because the rest of the missionaries in the world who have devices will be able to use tools like Facebook and Skype for online proselyting. It was also my birthday this last Friday, I turned the ripe old age of 20. I'm now the same age I will be when I get home. It was nice, my companion insisted on telling everyone we talked to. He also wanted to take me to Outback Steakhouse, but I wouldn't let him. I got a nice package from my family, I love them so much!

I hope everyone has a great week! Go out and do something to serve someone today and the rest of the week. Love your neighbor, be a nice person in general, and most of all, try to be like Jesus Christ!

Elder Orchard

Pictures from General Conference:






Monday, September 25, 2017

Faith

Hey Everyone!

This last week has been great, we've been super busy as always! We had plenty of meetings as always, and an exchange to shake things up as well. Most of the week was the normal missionary life. On Wednesday there was a district leaders meeting. It's always nice to have a meeting with President Killpack. Having the opportunity to hear the input from other district leaders and figure out ways I can improve is something I look forward to. It's also definitely a blessing to get to spend some time with some other missionaries and see some old friends I haven't seen in a while.

We had exchanges with the Zone Leaders on Thursday after our district meeting. I went with Elder Mietus to the UVU area, which is a YSA Stake that they cover, and Elder McCarl came to our area with Elder Amari. We did a few different things, from knocking on apartment doors, to hanging out at a YSA event, to teaching a few lessons. It was a fun time and I definitely learned a lot. I wouldn't mind serving with Elder Mietus full time, but I don't know if that will ever happen.

The last highlight of the week was speaking in one of our many Sacrament meetings on Sunday. We had about 12 minutes apiece, and the subject was left up to us. I decided that I wanted to talk about faith. Two of my favorite examples of faith in the Book of Mormon are Nephi and the Brother of Jared (a.k.a. Mohonri Moriancumr). I hope someday I can have enough faith in Jesus Christ to act as quickly and obediently as those two. I'm working on it, I have a long way to go but hopefully I'll be able to get there someday!

I hope everyone has a great week!

Elder Orchard

Some of my old missionary friends at the district leader meeting

A cute litter of puppies we got to hold and stuff

The clouds looked pretty cool on Saturday morning. It then
proceeded to rain for the next day and a half.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A Full Week

Hey Everybody!

This last week has been pretty great! We had a few fun things happen, including interviews, a few Ward parties, and getting a new area book! We opened the week on Tuesday with Mission President interviews, where we had a chance to sit and talk with our Mission President one on one for about 10 minutes. President Killpack is an amazing Mission President, he truly is a Christlike person! We got to hang out with Sister Killpack while we were waiting for our district to finish up, and she's pretty cool too!

On Wednesday night we had a Fall festival in one of our Wards. One focus was honoring Veterans because it was just a few days after 9/11. There were a few nonmembers and less actives there, and there was even one who would avoid making eye contact with us and would turn and walk the other way whenever we wandered near where he was. Some people are so funny! There were another two Ward parties on Saturday. One was a bunch of different dinner parties throughout the Ward, and then all of the people got together at the end for dessert at one of the members houses. The other was a Ward movie night where each group made a short home-video type thing. A few weeks ago we were riding our bikes by at the right time and so we got in the Primary's video, but we got there too late to see it. But we still made it on the silver screen, woohoo!

One last thing is that we've been super busy today! First thing, at 8:00 this morning we went to the golf course and practiced our swings on the driving range for about an hour. We went in preparation for a round we're going to play in a couple weeks. Apparently I have a good swing, but I'm not entirely convinced. Later I was able to get a new suit with a sweet gift certificate to missionary mall. I got some really nice ties too! Then we went to our Zone Activity, which was playing ultimate Frisbee in one of Orem's many parks and eating Costco pizza. Then finally went shopping, and that brings me to sitting here now typing out this email. It's been a full day!

Well, I hope everyone has a great week!

Elder Orchard

Don't leave your iPad unattended around the Poly Elders

A pretty darn cute little girl of a family we teach

Elder Amari working on his swing

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Busy (Great!) Week

Hey Everybody!

This last week has been pretty great! A lot has happened to talk about, so I'll do my best to include as much as I can without making this super long. A couple of big things that happened this week, including having our Combined District Meeting for the month of September, we had another ward party, I got to go back to Alpine for a baptism, and we had a regional broadcast on Sunday! Like I said, we've been busy!

The combined district meeting was pretty great, I gave a training on how the commitments we give in lessons relate to conversion. The whole meeting was a blast! A few days before a lady that was closing down a pool in our area for the winter gave us a ton of candy, so we brought it all with us and shared with the rest of the zone. The next day we had a ward block party. It was in one of the richer wards in our area, so it was pretty nice! They had bounce houses for the little kids, a dunk tank, live music from one of the member's band, and catered barbecue. It was pretty awesome!

On Saturday I got to travel back to Alpine for the baptism of Troy, a guy I had the opportunity to begin teaching about two months ago in Alpine. It was an awesome baptism! Troy has been in an addiction recovery lodge for a while, and it was great to see that he is still making progress and was able to enter in to the waters of baptism! His father, who is not a member, was able to come all the way from Kentucky to attend! It was a great event, I love baptisms!

On Sunday, instead of having our regular meetings, all the stakes in our mission, the Provo mission, and the St. George mission watched a regional broadcast. There were at least 250 Stakes watching (that's a lot of people!). Elder Stevenson from the quorum of the twelve apostles was the presiding authority. He gave an awesome talk at the end as well. He talked about how humility, obedience, and virtue were all prerequisite to having the spirit with us. I'll definitely take his advice!

Also! I almost forgot, we got to go to the temple this morning as a district, since we're so far south in the mission, our mission president told our zone we could go to the Provo temple this time around. It was a great trip!

I hope everyone has a great week! You all are amazing!

Elder Orchard


At the temple this morning


Our candy stash

These fires don't help the air quality

Our zone after our Combined District Meeting

Our zone after our Combined District Meeting

Troy's Baptism

A cool looking sunset

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Happy Labor Day!

Hello Everybody!

This last week has been great! We had transfers, and they went mostly smoothly. My new companion, Elder Amari, got moved in alright and everything is great with him...except someone took his tablet or something. Yeah so we've been going almost a week on just one tablet. It's worked out so far, but it's been a bit stressful. Hopefully we recover his tablet soon, but in the meantime, we'll just have to make due!

So Elder Amari is from Atlanta, Georgia, he's been out for about four months now. He's a convert to the church, so his testimony is super strong, and he's really motivated to go out and work. He's always wanting to go knock doors and get people baptized, haha! It's awesome being able to work with someone who has so much enthusiasm!

We had our first district meeting of the transfer on Thursday. With this last transfer, a lot of stuff got changed around area wise, and our district is completely different. The first meeting of every transfer is always really awkward, especially when everyone is new and you've only talked to them a little bit around the mission. But they're all amazing and I'm looking forward to a great transfer!

We had a breakfast this morning for Labor Day, and there was a Ward Walkabout last night, but other than that not much has happened. We've spent most of this last week getting Elder Amari acquainted to the area and making plans for how we're going to get work done. I'm excited for when we get to work this next week! I hope you all have a great week! See you all next Monday!

Elder Orchard


A wild hot air balloon was spotted this morning

Elder Amari and me

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Exchanges

Hey Everybody!

This week has been pretty great, and pretty busy. We had to take care of the rest of the exchanges for this transfer. On Tuesday I stayed in the area with Elder Michaud, and on Thursday I went to the Lakeview - Sunset Heights area with Elder McGowan. They were both pretty fun, and great learning experiences! There were a lot of big hills in Elder McGowan's area, and we played basketball with a bunch of other people on Friday morning, so my legs were super sore the rest of the week!

I was supposed to go back to Alpine on Saturday for a baptism of someone I taught in that area. You might remember him, his name is Troy. It had to be pushed back a few weeks, but it'll happen soon enough, so all is well! On Sunday the Orem Stake had their Stake conference. There were a lot of great talks! One of my favorites was by one of the High Councilman. In his talk, he compared keeping the Sabbath day holy to body building and "gains".

Later that day, we helped teach a gospel principles class about the word of wisdom. One of the biggest things I took away from the discussion was why we live the word of wisdom (and any commandment, for that matter). Many of the guidelines we follow in keeping the word of wisdom have obvious effects on our health, while others are not so apparent. Sometimes its hard to reason why we're told not to do something. But I have a testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and because I know he is a Prophet, I know that the commandments that we live are direct instructions from our Heavenly Father. When we do what our Heavenly Father has instructed us to do, not only does it keep us physically and mentally clean, but it also keeps ups spiritually clean. When we are spiritually clean, we can feel the influence of the Holy Ghost in our life to teach us and comfort us. This is reason enough for me to live any of the commandments given!

One last bit of information is that we had transfer calls this morning. I'll be staying in the area, and Elder Sorensen will be going to American Fork. My new companion will be Elder Amari. I've served around him a little bit, he's an awesome Elder! It's going to be a great next transfer!

Elder Orchard

Enjoying 92% of the eclipse last Monday

Our last picture as a district for this transfer