Timpanogos Temple

Timpanogos Temple

Monday, April 16, 2018


Well everyone, looks like its Monday again. I honestly don’t know where the weeks are going, it really seems like a blink of an eye and then its p-day again. I’ve only got about 15 more of these left, which I guess seems like a lot when I think about it, but honestly they’ll be here and gone like nothing. Anyway, now that the surreal thought of the week is out of the way, let’s get down to business!

Shon’s baptism happened this last Saturday, with the confirmation on the same day. It continues to amaze me how powerful the Holy Ghost is when we just open our hearts, and there really is nothing He can’t do. Shon’s adoptive grandma gave a short talk on the Holy Ghost and spoke about how He prompted Shon’s mom to adopt first his younger sister Camille, and then a year or so later He prompted her to adopt Shon as well. I know that what she said is true because of the light and joy this gospel has brought into Shon’s life, and the light and joy Shon has brought into the lives of his family and us as we’ve taught him. He’s truly an incredible kid, and now he’s part of an incredible gospel family.

Another really awesome part of last week was stake conference in the Israel Canyon stake, particularly the leadership and adult sessions on Saturday. Yes, I thought both sessions were wonderful and I came away spiritually fed. No, it wasn’t because in one of them we watched a scene from Moana and related it to ministering, or because the stake president did a phone survey about google reviews he’d read. Well, maybe just a little. The theme for the conference was “The Aloha Spirit”, which if you think the way I think, was a little profound, pretty ridiculous, and slightly racist for an all-white stake presidency to do. But to be honest, the message hit right home on what the stake needed and made me think a lot about what I can do to improve as a minister to others and as a good friend and neighbor in general. Moral of the story: don’t judge a book by its cover.

Everything I’ve talked about took place on Saturday and a little bit Sunday. The rest of the week was slow and kind of boring. We were stuck inside most of Monday night, TuesdayWednesday, and Thursday while Elder Wood recovered from his wisdom teeth surgery. I capitalized on the time and finished reading the Old Testament (which means I finally officially graduated from seminary, Lisa!). I guess we did have zone conference on Friday, I got to conduct and we gave two 20+ minute training sessions, so that’s exciting too. But yeah, the gospel is still true. Always has been, always will be. Sometimes I don’t show it, others times I try way too hard, but I really care about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Church that espouses it, and I really care about all of you as well. Thanks again for all you do, and thanks for bearing with this book I wrote today. See y’all next week!

Elder Orchard

Elder Johnson, Wood, and Me with Shon after his baptism

He was more interested in his gifts then in talking to people

In case you didn’t believe me about Moana...

We found out why one of our mini fridges stopped working

One of Shon’s baptism pictures where he looks like a G

Monday, April 2, 2018

General Conference and Easter!

Hey Everybody! Life’s good here in the Utah Orem Mission. Most of last week was spent dealing with transfer stuff, with three of the people in our apartment packing to leave, saying bye to a few people, cleaning, traveling, and moving stuff in and out of people’s apartments. Since I’m still fairly new to the area myself and Elder Wood is brand new we’ve spent most of the days just trying to get our feet under us and figure out the area.

The best part of the week had to be Saturday and Sunday. We got to watch General Conference pretty much all day both days. For those of you who don’t know what General Conference is, its where you sit and watch people talk for 8-10 hours. I know, it sounds super boring, I used to think the same thing. But honestly it’s the most spiritually uplifting thing there is. The speakers are inspired men and women that seem to know exactly what to talk about and what things need to be said. The talk I enjoyed the most was given by President Nelson. He spoke about the importance of receiving personal revelation and not just following blindly. I loved it because people think that’s what we do but it’s really not, there’s so much more to it.

The only thing better about this week than General Conference was Easter Sunday. Not that anything about the day was particularly special, but more so the feelings and emotions felt while reflecting on the significance of the day. I’m so grateful for our Savior. There’s really nothing anyone can ever do to repay Him for what he’s done for us, but we can at least try. He accepts the best we have to offer and in return offers so much joy and peace. I hope you all were able to feel that yesterday. Or really any day for that matter. Have a great week everyone, and don’t forget your worth in the sight of God!

Elder Orchard

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Easter - He is Risen!

Hey Everybody,

We had transfers this week, which I’m really bummed about. Elder Williams is leaving and I’m getting Elder Wood as my companion. He’s just coming off of being AP for almost a year, so it should be a good transfer. Not a whole lot has changed in the zone, so it ought to be pretty fun. I’m looking forward to it!

Other than that, this week has been pretty decent. We’re still teaching Shon, and he’s still soaking in everything we tell him. He’s pretty smart for someone as young as he is, especially considering that he barely speaks English. We got to go down to Provo on a Wednesday for a doctors visit for Elder Williams. It kind of made me sad because I’ll be there in a couple of months. It felt surreal.

I’m looking forward to this coming week. First off, I hit my 20 month mark tomorrow, which honestly blows my mind. We spoke in sacrament meeting yesterday, and the third speaker was a Sister that had recently returned from her mission. About halfway through her talk, I realized that she would’ve left on her mission after I left. It was then that I felt like an old fart. Also this coming weekend is General Conference. Saturday and Sunday, pretty much all day. If anyone is interested in hearing real life prophets and apostles, messengers from the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, tune in on BYUTV or on LDS.org. You won’t regret it!

One last thing I wanted to mention. As you all probably know, this coming Sunday is Easter Sunday. The other day, we were riding in our car and listening to a song called “I Am The Resurrection” from the musical Lamb of God. While we were listening to it, the Holy Ghost hit me like a brick wall, confirming something I already knew. The resurrection is real. Our Savior Jesus Christ died, but three days later he was resurrected. He lived then and he still lives today, and because of that we can too. I have every reason to want to know that is true, but it’s not just a belief. I know it’s true, because the Holy Ghost taught and confirmed it. That’s our goal as missionaries, to help people have that same knowledge. I hope everyone can have that opportunity. I hope y’all have a wonderful week!

Elder Orchard

If you want to look super buff, put on a tiny jacket

Elk Burgers and French Fries, both homemade

Looking longingly at LaVell Edwards Stadium

I found a cool hat at DTM

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Hey Everybody!

Sorry for not writing last week, we went to the temple and I just didn’t have enough time to do much else than what I needed to. But I’m alive! For the most part. It’s been a stressful week. Thankfully I have the Savior to give me strength! It’s been a good week though, I honestly can’t complain too much. In the last couple weeks, we’ve had Stake Conference, where Elder Kim B. Clark called a new stake presidency, and we sang in the Stake choir. We also attended all the district meetings in our zone because none of them were on the same day last week. That was really fun because we got to see a lot of people but now I’m kinda just done with district meetings for a while. Oh, also we went to the baptism of a girl that lives in our area. We had dinner with their family, and she invited us to her baptism, so we went. She was probably the smallest 8 year old I’ve ever seen. Probably the best thing was getting to go to the temple though. I love it so much, I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of going. I honestly just wish I could go more often. We will probably go to the Jordan River open house soon with some investigators, so that’s sick.

In terms of teaching, it’s starting to pick up in our area. We started teaching this guy named Chris, he’s been going to church for a while and wanted to be baptized about a year ago but had a falling out with the missionaries. He wants get baptized in Utah lake, which I don’t know why anyone would want that. It’ll be interesting to work with him. We’re still teaching Sean, the little Asian boy. He’s starting to understand more of what we’re teaching him, so that’s good. We’ve also got some other people we’ll try to start teaching this week. Pray for us, we need all the help we can get!

I hope y’all have a great week, I always look forward to hearing from you and seeing how everyone is doing!

Elder Orchard

Majestic mountains in the background, majestic companionships in
the foreground.

The post morning workout struggle is real.

Million Dollar Idea: Accessorize-able sunglasses.

The happiest goodboy I’ve ever seen in my life.

Squad minus Elder Williams.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Tuesday will be Monday

Hey Everybody!

This week's email will be short, it’s been a busy day. We’ve been doing a lot of busy work, trying to find new people to teach, cleaning our area book, and meeting with as much leadership as we can to get our faces out there. We had MLC on Tuesday, super long and honestly kind of boring, but still a really great meeting. Then we had our zone meeting on Thursday, kinda just taking stuff from MLC and replicating it but still making it our own.

Oh yeah! We’re gonna start teaching this 9 year old kid named Sean. He was adopted from China and has been going to church for a couple months and loves it. He’s super funny, his favorite English word is diarrhea. I can already tell it’s gonna be fun teaching him. This weeks going to be a good one!

As a heads up, our p-day next week will be on Tuesday since it’s a temple day. So if you don’t get an email Monday don’t get too upset. I know, my emails are probably the highlight of your weeks, that must be why I get so many replies, but you’ll have to wait another day longer than normal. Hope y’all have a great week!

Elder Orchard

The beginnings of a masterpiece. I’ll send more progress next week.

I’d make a great Harry Potter.

Monday, February 26, 2018

What a Week!

Hey Everybody!

I hope everyone is having a great week, I know that I certainly am. What a week this last one was! The highlight for sure was getting to see the Weilacher family enter the waters of baptism! It was so incredible and such a spiritual service. The whole family except the oldest daughter was baptized. It is such an amazing opportunity because even though I just got into the area and have only taught them once or twice I still love them already and have so much happiness for them as a family! There were so many people at the baptismal service that we had to hold it in the chapel, and we had to squeeze into the room with the font.

So I guess just a few other cool things this week, One is that I got to interview this guy named Fernando for baptism. He’s an amazing guy and I’m so happy he was able to get baptized! Also we gave two talks in sacrament meeting this week. My first one was on a few parts of the plan of salvation. I talked for 15 minutes about how the Atonement of Jesus Christ provides cleansing from sin, succor in our trials, and the gift of resurrection. I also talked about the importance of living righteously so that our families can live together forever. In my second talk, I talked about the blessings and freedom that are the results of obedience, and the bondage that comes because of disobedience. I have a very real and very strong witness of all the topics I was able to share my insights on. I feel particularly strongly about the restored truth of the eternal family. I’ve witnessed the power that knowledge brings into the lives of people I’ve taught, and more evidently in my own life. Anyone who’s struggling with loss can have peace in knowing that we’ll be reunited with our loved ones again. I can’t adequately describe how much I know that that is true.

I hope I’m able to provide some kind of comfort to others through my thoughts and emails. I’m eternally grateful for all of those who have blessed my life and I want to do what I can to pay it back. I hope everyone is safe in all they do and I’m looking forward to writing again next week. Until then!

Elder Orchard

The Weilacher Family

Saw a pretty cool book about the history of the world the other day

Sole the snow loving dog

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Crazy Week, Super Cool

Hey Everybody!

It’s been a crazy week, lots of good stuff going on though. We had transfers on Wednesday, so I spent the first part of the week saying by to people and packing up. I was pretty excited for transfers for a few reasons, a couple of those being that I’m now in Saratoga Springs, and I’ve always wanted to serve on the west side of the lake, I’m serving in a trio with two other Elders that I get along great with (Elder Williams and Elder Johnson), and I’m part of a pretty sweet district. The only bad part is that we didn’t have a car for the first two days, and our area is pretty big, not to mention the zone covers like half of the mission. Thank goodness we’ve got some pretty rad elders in the zone who helped out a ton with rides and stuff!

So, I’m pretty pumped for this coming Saturday because we recently got clearance for this super cool family to be baptized. Because of their family background, they had to get special permission from the first presidency for it to happen. They did, and it’s happening this Saturday. It’s a family of 5 and their niece, so that’s pretty dang sweet. It was really cool because I was just thinking the week before that all of the people I’ve helped get baptized have been individuals and it would be really special for a whole family to get baptized, and now we have the opportunity to see it happen. I am 100% without a doubt sure that it is a miracle. The Lord really cares about his children and is involved in our missionary work!

That’s about it for this week, I’m short on time, but I hope everyone has a great week! Talk to y’all later!

Elder Orchard

Only picture this week is of my mission dad, Elder Zimsky. He finished up his mission this last week. Congratulations Elder Zimsky!