Timpanogos Temple

Timpanogos Temple

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!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Happy 4th of July!

Hey Everybody!

A few things exciting happened this week. The highlight of the week was Thursday when we had our Combined District Meeting, and I'll talk more about that later on. Monday night we ended up not being able to go out because Elder Yoshida wasn't feeling good at all, so I spent the night cleaning our apartment. It was kind of boring being stuck in for the night, but it's nice to see the fruits of my labors in how much nicer our apartment looks now!

Tuesday was a typical day here in Alpine. On Wednesday we had a few meetings. One was to prep for our Combined District Meeting the next day. At that one, the Zone Leaders pretty much just told us what we would be talking about at the CDM and what they learned at MLC. After that, we went to the Mission Office for our District Leaders meeting. President Killpack talked a lot about changing the culture of the mission, which is really something that we need to improve on. Other than that, my favorite part of the meeting was seeing missionaries that I used to serve around, which is always fun.

So on Thursday we finally had our combined district meeting. The reason this one was so important was because the whole focus of the meeting was on Jesus Christ and becoming more like him, which is what our training focus is for this month. Why this training focus and meeting were so important is because it's bringing our focus back to the most important thing. Why are we on a mission? To serve Jesus Christ. How do we become the best missionaries we can be? By trying to be like Jesus Christ. How do we gain eternal life and return to live with our Heavenly Father? By following Jesus Christ's example. I'm sooooo excited for this new training focus and the impact it's going to have! It's a bit of a bold statement, but I feel like this will change the course of a lot of people's missions, even lives, and will have a further reaching effect than we can even imagine. Goodness, I'm getting goosebumps just thinking about it!

Some other good things happened this week. We brought back Friday night pickleball as a missionary activity to invite those who aren't members or are struggling. It wasn't very successful this first time, but I have a feeling it will grow a lot! It was also fast Sunday this week. Fast Sundays are always a struggle because we have to sit through three Sacrament meetings, but they're also really rewarding too. I'm always really grateful for the opportunity to fast and come closer to Heavenly Father!

There are some exciting things coming up this week as well, like the walking in the 4th of July Freedom Festival parade tomorrow morning and more pickleball, but those haven't happened yet, so I can't write about them, haha! I hope everyone has a great week and an awesome Fourth of July!

I love this country so much. God Bless America.

Elder Orchard

We found the real life Bambi

I found a smiley face in the Bible! (1 Kings 11:16 and 32, see for yourself)

There's this new thing called "Cotton Candy Grapes", supposedly
they taste just like cotton candy, but it's debatable. They were
pretty good, but they cost a meager $6.00 a pound.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Utah is on Fire!

Hey Everybody!

This week was good, as always! We were able to get a lot done and do some productive stuff this week. Some exciting stuff happened as well! We started the week off good with a trip to the Timpanogos Temple. I love going to the temple so much! I always feel so peaceful and calm while I am on the temple grounds. Not to mention the food in their cafeteria is pretty good!

The next day we did some service where we moved a huge load of dirt for some less active members. We moved wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow, but it looked like we were barely even making a dent! Finally after about an hour and a half of moving dirt we were done for the day. We'd only moved about half of the pile, but it was enough to fulfill their purposes. We also helped them move some big rocks, but that wasn't as strenuous.

On Saturday a fire somehow caught in American Fork canyon, and since it is really dry here in Utah, it spread like crazy. It was pretty cool to see, but kinda scary because it was so close to our area. Luckily nobody's property was damaged, and I don't think anyone died, so that's good. The coolest part was seeing the big carrier planes dropping gallons and gallons of flame retardant. Now parts of the mountain are dyed red from all the retardant (I bet all those Utes fans are happy about that).

The only other really eventful thing happened on Sunday. I had the opportunity to conduct my first (and second) interview for baptism as a district leader. The really interesting thing was that neither of them spoke any English, so we had to have a translator help out. It was a wonderful opportunity to hear their testimonies at the end, even though I couldn't understand what they were saying, I could still feel the spirit so strongly!

That's the majority of what happened this week, other than just trying to contact people and find work. I hope everyone has a great week and enjoys the nice summer weather!

Elder Orchard

Our District at the Timpanogos Temple (I like the call it the "Timple")

The fire in American Fork Canyon

The view from a house we visited this week

A video of us driving down the driveway of the same house mentioned
in 3, the video isn't even half of the driveway

A video of a plane dropping flame retardant on the mountain to
prevent if from spreading farther north on the mountain

Monday, June 19, 2017

Just Another Ordinary Week

Hey Everybody!

I'm gonna be honest with you up front, this week was pretty slow and not a whole lot happened. I'll try to make it interesting and I've got some good pictures, so hopefully everyone enjoys!

One of the highlights from this last week was our interviews with President Killpack. I always look forward to the opportunity to meet one on one with President! Even though we usually have to fast track some of the interviews due to getting behind, including mine because I'm pretty easygoing and almost never have any problems, the five or six minutes we had together were still very beneficial and uplifting! I'm glad that we have this opportunity every transfer!

Sunday was a pretty typical Sunday for us. We got to spend from 7:30 to 2:30 in sacrament and other meetings. This last week, one of the stakes we covered had their stake trek, which is where all of the youth that sign up to do it get to go to some remote place and pull around a multi-hundred pound hand cart in the blazing heat, all while wearing really old looking clothing. I'm sure you're probably wondering "Why in the heck would anyone do that?", but it really is an awesome experience. The purpose is to give the youth a sliver of what it was like for the pioneers to cross the plains back in the 1800s. While we didn't go on Trek ourselves, all of the testimonies and experiences that people shared really made me reminisce back to when I went on Trek and had such an awesome experience. The friendships I made there are some of the stronger ones I have to this day!

This morning we got to go the the Killpack's home as a zone for breakfast, then we went to a nearby park and played games for a while. Some of the things we played were Kuub, which is where you have wooden blocks that you throw at your opponents wooden blocks. The best way I can describe it is a mix between bowling and chess. We also played volleyball and Frisbee. It was a great time all around!

That's all I got. I hope everyone has a great week and enjoys the nice summer weather!

Elder Orchard

1) Our district this transfer from left to right: Sister Quinteros, Sister Solis, Elder Yoshida, Yours truly, Elder Halliday, and Elder Williams
2) A picture one of my brothers made for my dad for Father's Day. I liked it so much I had to include it
3)-5) We got to play with some Boas at one of our dinners this last week

Our district this transfer from left to right: Sister Quinteros, Sister Solis, Elder Yoshida, Yours truly, Elder Halliday, and Elder Williams

A picture one of my brothers made for my dad for Father's Day. I liked it so much I had to include it

 We got to play with some Boas at one of our dinners this last week: 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

New Area - Alpine

Hey Everybody!

This week has been interesting, there have been a lot of changes! First of all, I got transferred to a new area. I left Herriman after being there for four months and took my talents to the city of Alpine. I spent most of Monday night and Tuesday packing my stuff up and trying to say goodbye to people in Herriman. Unfortunately I wasn't able to catch everyone I wanted to, but maybe I'll be able to go back sometime, and if not, there is always after my mission! The transfers happened Wednesday morning, and I began the next phase of my mission. My new companion is Elder Yoshida. He is from Tokyo, Japan. He's 27 and a convert to the church, so he's got a really strong testimony. He also really likes Michael Jackson. He really just likes music in general, but Michael is definitely his favorite.

We spent a good part of Wednesday through today just trying to get me introduced to the new area. It's a beautiful area, we are way up in a cove sort of, so there are mountains pretty much surrounding us. It's awesome! I still don't know hardly anyone in the area, but I still have at least six more weeks to figure it out. I've already met several people that have connections to back home, which is crazy to think about. The world is already a small place, and the church just makes it smaller!

We were only able to do a little bit of service. We helped put up some retaining wall bricks for a lady. They were these brick mold pieces made by one of our ward members that works at The Home Depot. They had put an earlier model up a few years ago, but they were falling apart and didn't look all that great. The replacements look really good though! We also helped a family move in to their new home in our area.

Well, that's about all I have this week. We're trying to build up the area right now, so there isn't a whole lot going on yet, but hopefully we'll be able to find some more work! I hope everyone has a great week!

Elder Orchard

A panorama of most of our area

The donkey of a lady that we are trying to teach

Utah has some pretty decent sunsets

Elder Yoshida and me

Monday, June 5, 2017


Hey everybody!

This last week has been good, a little slow, but it's still been awesome! We did a lot of service this week and a few other things as well. We were able to find some productive things to do though!

The first half of this week was interesting. Since it was the end of the month, we were running out of miles. On Wednesday we had about 20 miles left, and it takes 10 miles just to drive our area and back, so we had to be really careful. At about 3:00 we parked our car and walked around all the rest of the day. It's really refreshing to be able to walk around and enjoy the nice summer weather! Plus it's a lot less awkward to talk to people when they're already outside rather than driving up to them in a car. It has its ups and downs, but overall we enjoyed it.

On Thursday we had the first official "Combined District Meeting", which is just a fancy way of saying Zone Training Meeting without actually calling it a zone meeting because zone meetings aren't allowed to happen anymore. I had the opportunity to conduct the meeting, which was really easy but it still stressed me out because I like to make mountains out of molehills. It was a really great meeting and I learned a lot!

Another way we were able to spend time this week was by doing a lot of service! We spent a couple hours painting toy cars for a charity that donates them to kids in need. I was a bit low on creativity at first, but I just started painting and he creativity flowed through me! The Friday after that we helped a nonmember move out of her apartment. She is relocating down to St. George, so unfortunately we won't be able to help her unpack everything when she gets there, but we made sure that the missionaries in St. George were there and able to help out! Hopefully we were able to plant a few seeds and she will accept the gospel into her life!

Other than that, there wasn't a whole lot that we did this week. We put in a lot of work and we are starting to see the fruits of our efforts! I hope everyone has a great week and I hope I hear from you all soon!

Elder Orchard

A flower I made out of play dough

Our zone this transfer

Our zone again

A rainbow we saw

Monday, May 29, 2017

Happy Memorial Day

Hey Everybody!

This week has been pretty good! Some days seemed kind of slow, but overall it still felt like it went by pretty quick. The regular week started off Tuesday morning with our annual Zone Conference. This transfer was one of the combined zone conferences, and it felt so long. The seven hour meeting (which already sounds extremely long) felt like it was about twice as long. I guess there was something I needed to hear and pay attention to. I think I might've figured it out, I guess we'll see!

On Wednesday we had exchanges with our Zone leaders. Elder Kentish, one of our Zone Leaders, came to our area with me, while Elder Davisson went with our other Zone Leader, Elder Pittman. I learned a lot from Elder Kentish and I'm grateful to have him as a Zone leader!

We were finally able to finish digging up a stump that we've been working on for what felt like an eternity. We went back and added up the total amount of time it took to cut down the tree and dig up the stump, and it added up to somewhere around seven hours! At least now I feel like I have somewhat of an idea how to take out a tree stump without any power tools or other things like that. Which, you know, will come in handy so often.

We capped off the week on Saturday with another baptism! Once again, the baptism went off without a hitch and we had a great time. The girl that was baptized was Kylee. Her younger sister was baptized the same day. We got permission to do both of the confirmations at the baptismal service, which was so spiritual. I know I sound like a broken record, but I love baptisms so much. The spirit is always so strong and it is such a faith building experience. With the exception of seeing a family get sealed in the temple, baptisms are the most influential decision a person can make. They truly stand as a witness to the truth and importance of this work.

Those are the highlights of this week. I hope all of you had a great one and have a great Memorial Day! I'll talk to you all next week!

Elder Orchard

A sweet picture we got of the sunset coming into the Salt Lake valley

The tree stump we dug out

A big stack of cups we made when we were bored

A picture from Kylee's baptism