Timpanogos Temple

Timpanogos Temple

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


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

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