Timpanogos Temple

Timpanogos Temple

Monday, August 21, 2017

Solar Eclipse?

Hey Everybody!

I hope you all had a great week! Mine was pretty good, and a lot of good things happened. Last Monday we had our district activity. We went and played blaster tag, which is like paintball but with this line of Nerf guns that are like little yellow balls the size of paintballs. We also did a lot of service this week. We helped dig up some weeds Tuesday morning. Our biggest day of service was on Thursday. It was move in day at Wolverine Crossing, one of the student housing apartment buildings near UVU, and our zone leaders invited everyone to come and help out. We didn't have anything planned for the day, so we ended up being there from 9:00 in the morning to 4:30 in the afternoon. We moved a lot of people!

The highlight of the week was the mission tour we had on Friday. Elder LeGrand R. Curtis Jr. of the Quorum of the Seventy came and trained us for a couple hours. We talked a lot about finding people to teach. He focused on three points of how we can be successful in our finding efforts: 1) Have faith, 2) Put in work, and 3) Follow the spirit in all things. I feel that these three points will help us be successful in any and all situations in life. As long as we put our faith in Jesus Christ, work to do our part, and follow the promptings of the spirit, we will be strengthened and guided to happiness. I'm excited to see the success that comes as we follow his counsel!

We've only had a few opportunities to teach this week. We met for the first time since I've come into the area with a family that is coming back into activity. They are an awesome family and super devoted to progressing in the church! The Husband actually received the Aaronic priesthood in church yesterday, which is awesome! We're still working on finding people to teach, and I know the Lord will bless us for our efforts!

I hope everyone has a great week! For those of you within the path of the solar eclipse, enjoy it while it lasts and stay safe!

Elder Orchard

The district after our district activity

Doing some service

The cutest little dog you've ever seen

At first, we thought the cardboard cutout of the guy in the window
was an actual person just staring at us

Monday, August 14, 2017

Hey Everybody!

This week has been alright, not too much going on to talk about but I'll do my best! We started off the week Tuesday with some more exchanges (and we'll be doing more tomorrow). I went to the Lakeridge - Stonewood area with Elder Hatch while Elder Benner and Elder Michaud stayed in my area. We had a great time in Elder Hatch's area. We were pretty busy all day just contacting people, and we saw a lot of success because of it! We had at least one new investigator because of it, and we were able to set up several more teaching opportunities. I learned a lot from Elder Hatch, and I hope I was able to teach him at least something.

On Wednesday we had our district leader's meeting. It was really fun because I was able to get some ideas from some of the other district leaders in the mission. I'll be able to take some of the things I learned and help those in my district be better examples of Jesus Christ. In all honesty though, the best part of the meeting was the chance I had to see some of my missionary friends and a couple of my past companions. It's always a fun time when we get together!

The only other thing that was exciting was our district meeting on Thursday. We had the opportunity to have President Killpack attend our meeting. We did a few role plays about talking to strangers in a lot of different situations. It was great having President there to support us and give insights on how we can improve. It was a bit of a surprise for us that he even showed up. We though Sister Killpack would be coming because she had texted earlier that morning saying she wanted to come, and then President Killpack showed up! It was a pretty great experience!

That's about everything exciting that happened to us this week. I hope everyone has an awesome week, I look forward to hearing from you!

Elder Orchard

Got to see the Provo City Center temple this week

Some dumb picture Elder Benner and I took

Dramatic dog

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

When You Reach for the Sacrament, You Reach for the Savior

Hey Everybody!

This week has been great! We were able to do some pretty fun things! On Tuesday we had the opportunity to go to the MTC open house and help with the tours. We basically just stood there and told people where to walk. They showed us around a bit afterward, so that was pretty cool. On Thursday we did exchanges with some of the other Elders in the district, I stayed in the area with Elder Aisea. The next day we had our Combined District Meeting. I had the opportunity to give a training on how to better find people to teach by working with members and leadership. On Sunday we were pretty busy. We taught sharing time in primary in one of our wards, then we taught the teacher's council in another ward, then we went to a ward walkabout in the same ward we taught Primary and got to interact with some of the members in that ward. We totally schooled a bunch of Primary kids in some pickup basketball, haha!

One of the more interesting things I did this week was crash my bike twice. Luckily the only thing that was hurt was my pride. I didn't get any holes in my pants or shirts! The second time I was in my suit coat and just rolled through the crash. I was totally fine, and so was my suit! I sent my bike in today to get it worked on a bit. It's probably the best, the back brakes weren't working and the front brakes were about on their last leg.

One more thing I'd like to share were my thoughts during one of the Sacrament meetings this last Sunday. The day before, I had gone to the church's website at lds.org, and one of the stories on the front page had the title "When You Reach for the Sacrament, You Reach for the Savior". This had a really big impact on me and it helped me to appreciate the sacrament more. The Savior not only gave us a way to remember Him through the Sacrament, but when we take the Sacrament we are able to access the power of His grace and accept it into our lives. When we take the Sacrament, we reach up to the hand that he readily offers to help us up and cleanse us of our mistakes. I'm so grateful for our Savior, Jesus Christ!

I hope everyone has a great week!

Elder Orchard

The new addition to the Provo MTC

Training to be an umbrella model

Some of the murals from the MTC additions

Some of the murals from the MTC additions

Our zone after our combined district meeting

Our zone at our zone activity today (we played nine-square)

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Things are looking up!

Hey Everybody!

This week has been pretty long, lots of biking and learning about the new area. We did a lot this week and made a lot of progress in helping others come unto Christ!

We did a pretty good amount of service this week! On Wednesday morning we helped a nonmember move a bunch of rocks and make a makeshift retaining wall/garden box wall. It was pretty fun, almost like a puzzle to get them to fit together right. On Friday we helped some other Elders help a nonmember move out of his home. We took a trailer full of stuff and had the task of fitting it all into a tiny storage unit. One again, it was like a big puzzle, but we figured it out! The guy was super grateful too! The next day we helped clean out the gutters of a less active lady. There was a bunch of gunk clogging them up, and some birds had nested there recently making it worse. Luckily the birds had flown off already, so we didn't have to deal with them. We had lots of opportunities to help out those in need this last week!

We also had lots of interactions with members this week! Last Monday night, we attended a Pioneer Day block party. There were only a few families involved, so it was really local, but it was still a great opportunity to meet people! There was another similar gathering last night, but it was for no particular reason other than it was the last Sunday of the month. Ward parties are great because we get to meet lots of people. In addition to those we taught a lot in church meetings yesterday. We helped teach two combined 3rd hour lessons, both on missionary work, then in another Ward we gave 15 minute talks each, then after that we talked to a class of youth for a bit about covenants! I was starting to lose my voice by the end of the day!

The only other significant thing that happened was when we had exchanges with the Zone Leaders on Tuesday. I got to spend the day in our area with Elder Singleton. It was really fun because he and I have served around each other a lot before, so we get along pretty great! It was an awesome opportunity to learn as well!

I'm looking forward to another great week to come! We have some pretty promising things planned and it's starting to look up here in Orem! I hope you all have a great week!

Elder Orchard

Sorry, no pictures is week :(

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Happy Pioneer Day!

Hey everybody!

This week has been pretty great, we've been going and going nonstop, trying to figure out our new area and get adjusted as well as we can. It was hard the first few days because we hadn't gotten a hold of our bikes yet, but now we finally have them and have been able to travel around a lot more quickly.

With transfers this week, its been pretty eventful. I spent a lot of Monday and Tuesday packing and saying goodbye to a few of the people I'd met in Alpine. There weren't too many because I'd only been in Alpine for a transfer, but there were enough to fill the time. I also realized how much stuff I have and felt kinda bad about it, but then I realized that a lot of it is winter stuff that I wont have to deal with after this coming winter season, so that is how I rationalized having way too many bags.

My new companion, Elder Benner, and I whitewashed into our new area, which is when two missionaries leave an area and two new ones come in. It's always exciting when that happens, a bit stressful too, but if the mission president decides to do that then it's what the area needs. We spent the last half of the week meeting ward mission leaders and getting a feel for the area. On Sunday we had meetings from 9:00 to 5:00, as usual. The best was the Elder's Quorum class we attended in one of our wards. The teacher would literally through a handful of candy at anyone who participated in the lesson at all! It was great. We're still trying to eat it all!

We also had a lot of ward celebrations this week. There was a ward breakfast Sunday morning, two ward parties Saturday night, a ward breakfast this morning, and another ward party tonight! I love holidays, haha! We also got to play some sports with some other missionaries today, we spent a good amount of time doing that. But since we're on bikes, its hard to get around so we've mostly just been hanging out in our apartment. It gets a bit boring at times, but its super relaxing.

Well that's all I've got this week, I hope you all have a great week! Write if you can, I love hearing from people!

Elder Orchard

 Some of the cool things we've seen around the area these past few days.

Its not every day that you get to leave the mission (don't worry,
it was approved).

Monday, July 17, 2017

Goodbye Alpine, Hello Orem

Hey Everybody!

This week was great, and went pretty quick too! We were probably the busiest that we've been since I've come into the area. Which is kind of sad for me because I'm getting transferred to a new area, but I'll talk about that later on.

We picked up a few new investigators this week! We met one of them on Monday night. Her name is Elfreda, she's almost 90 and she's super sweet. Unfortunately, she was only in town this last week visiting some friends, she's originally from Minnesota. She was more interested in learning about what we believe rather than actually joining the church, but I feel like she'll come around eventually. The other two we had are named Steve and Troy. They are currently at a recovery lodge, but they're both interested and have showed a lot of progress since we first met them. They both have a huge desire to be baptized! I'm sad I won't get to work with them anymore, but I'll try to keep in contact for sure!

We also had exchanges with the Zone Leaders on Wednesday. I stayed in the area and Elder Casperson came for the day. It was an awesome experience! Elder Casperson has such a strong testimony of Jesus Christ and a desire to share the gospel. I learned a lot from him and I'm glad I had the opportunity. The only downside was that the other Elders, Elder Yoshida and Elder Sansoucie, didn't get back until late, so we didn't leave their apartment until even later, which meant that we got back to our apartment even later! The next morning was rough but it was worth it!

On Saturday we had three parties that we went to. Needless to say, we were stuffed by the end of the day. The first one was a family get together of the friends that Elfreda was visiting. It was great having the opportunity to spend time with them. After that we had two Ward parties to attend. They were really productive because we met a few nonmembers who were really nice, and it was really fun because they were pretty much just get togethers where we got to eat a ton of food. While we were at the second party, a fire broke out on the mountains above Alpine. They were able to contain it enough so that none of the houses were damaged, but they're still putting out little bits of the fire here and there this morning. Luckily it wasn't too dangerous, and as far as I know no one was hurt!

So this morning we got our transfer calls. I almost thought we weren't going to get a call because it came pretty late. Elder Yoshida is staying in the area and getting a new companion, while I'm getting transferred down to Orem. I'll still be district leader, plus I'll be follow-up training, so that's exciting! And I'll finally be in a bike area! That sounds like something you wouldn't normally be excited about, but I'm looking forward to it!

Well, that's the gist of what happened this last week. I hope everyone has a great week and enjoys their summer!

Elder Orchard

Our last picture as a district

Artwork at the Ward party, mine is the building and left, Elder
Yoshida's is everything to the right of the building

Fire! Helicopter reinforcements to put out the flames.

It was a bit toasty in our car

Happy 4th! (belated)

Hey Everybody!

This week has been pretty eventful, it practically flew by! We started off the week on Tuesday, as you all know, with the Fourth of July! We had the opportunity to walk in the Freedom Festival parade as a mission, along with the Provo mission. It was awesome because I got to see my friend who is serving in the Provo Mission, Elder Richardson. It's been something like 4 or 5 years since I've seen him in person, so it was a great opportunity to see him! The parade was long and hot, but we got tons of applause and it felt awesome to have so many people cheering! After the parade, we spent some time with a family that we are hoping to start teaching soon. When 7:00 pm hit, we had to go into our apartment and stay there for he rest of the night. We mostly just studied and watched videos the rest of the night.

When Thursday rolled around, we had our transfer Zone Conference. I was especially excited for this Zone Conference, which was adapted to this month's training focus and centered on Jesus Christ. There were tons of awesome training, especially from President Killpack. The spirit was so strong the entire time! Afterwards, we had lunch with another zone, then we all went and took pictures in front of the temple. I probably won't be able to send those until next week though.

On Saturday, we had exchanges with the other Elders in our district. I went with Elder Williams in his area. He's a super solid missionary that I hope I have more opportunities to serve around the rest of my mission! The next day, Elder Yoshida and I had the opportunity to speak in a sacrament meeting. I was a bit bummed because we only had 5 minutes to speak apiece. I spoke on agency, some ways that Satan tries to make us abuse our agency, and how we can use our agency to return to live with Heavenly Father through choosing to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

That about wraps up this week! Just a heads up for next week, we'll be getting our transfer calls next Monday, and transfers will be the Wednesday after that. So this could be my last full week with Elder Yoshida in Alpine. We'll see!

Have a great week everyone!

Elder Orchard

My dear friend Elder Richardson, I miss him (again) already

Some of Elder Yoshida's friends that he met while they were serving
in Japan, they let me get in the picture

A new dog that my family picked up on the 4th, yet another change
for when I come home. Her name is Luna, she is 1/2 Belgian Malinois,
1/4 Husky, and 1/4 St. Bernard, so there's a chance she'll be a pretty
big dog!