Timpanogos Temple

Timpanogos Temple

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Merry Christmas!

Hey Everybody!

First and foremost, I apologize for the lack of email last week. It was pretty crazy. Elder Campbell left and I had to get a bunch of my own stuff packed up so that I could temporarily move apartments for two weeks. Also, we had zone activity in the morning, so it was just a hectic day. A lot has happened in the last two weeks though! Of all the highlights over the last two weeks, one of the biggest ones was getting to see John Mungin sealed to his wife and kids in the Payson Temple. I got special permission to attend, and the sealing was awesome! It was such a great experience being able to see another huge milestone in John's eternal progression, especially since I got to be with him from the beginning through his baptism. Its something I'll remember for a long time.

Another big milestone in the life of one person we are teaching, named Chris, happened this last week when he and his fiance (now wife) got married. I got to attend the service, and even though it was short, it was very touching to see. We had a small dinner gathering afterwards, but it wasn't near as good as the ceremony itself. I'm looking forward to continuing working with him and seeing him get baptized here in a few weeks!

As you all know, these last two days were Christmas and Christmas Eve! We went to a total of three Christmas Eve sacrament programs on Sunday, all of which were amazing! Then from about 2:30 to the end of the night we were constantly going from members house to members house visiting and eating, then visiting some more and eating a lot more. Pretty much the same thing happened on Christmas Day, except it started at 8:00 with breakfast at a member's home. Of course we also got to open presents from our families and spend an hour video calling them as well, which was probably the highlight of the month! Except for the fact that we ran out of things to talk about after about 5 minutes. But no worries, it was an incredible experience nonetheless! I hope everyone else's Christmas was as good as mine or better, it truly is the most wonderful time of the year! I love this season and the love that everyone has for one another. I know that the only thing it can be attributed to is the light of Christ that is in them. I hope that everyone takes a chance the rest of this Christmas season to remember Jesus Christ and his sacrifice for them! Merry Christmas everyone, and a Happy New Year as well!

Elder Orchard

Mungin Family Sealing

Mungin Family Sealing

Chris’s Wedding

Nativity Squad

Nativity Squad

It was a white Christmas after all! (Although it was all gone by the end of the day)

Gotta love that Utah inversion

Monday, December 11, 2017

Just Another Busy Week!

Hey Everybody!

This week was pretty great! We had a ton of meetings and stuff, so it felt like it lasted forever, but here we are at Monday again so it’s all good! We started off the week Tuesday with MLC, which was SUPER long. By the end of it I felt like I’d lived in the chapel my whole mission up to that point. They introduced the new training focus for December, which is centered on improving teaching skills and on The Gospel of Jesus Christ. I’m excited for it!

The next day we had mission president Interviews. It’s always a blessing to spend some one on one time with President Killpack, even if it’s only 2 minutes because he’s behind schedule! On Thursday we had exchanges. I stayed in the area with Elder Mata. He’s a Spanish missionary and this is only his second transfer. It was a fun time, he’s pretty cool! The next day they threw a surprise preparedness drill at us. There wasn’t an actual emergency, so don’t go telling anyone that, just an exercise to see how prepared everyone would be if there were an emergency. Not many people would be.

Later that day we had our combined district meeting, which went really well except for the entire time I felt sick. I made it through though! We also had a few Ward parties that night and the next day, which are a blast! Elder Campbell and I sang “Silent Night” at one of them. We totally put off preparing for it until the night before, and I thought it was going to be awful because of that. But I said a prayer right before we went on, and it actually turned out pretty well! At least I think it did, I’ll let you know for sure next week when I have the video recording.

On Sunday night, we went to a Stake Musical Fireside called “Carols to our King”. It went really well! We went with one of our investigators named Chris. They really enjoyed it too, but they had to take off right away afterwards to take his son home. Chris is doing great, he really has a strong desire to be baptized! The biggest thing that is holding him back is not having as much of an understanding as he should, and overcoming his struggles with some of the commandments. He’s making progress though, and he’s on date for the 23rd of December, so everybody pray for him!

I hope you all have a great week, I know I will! I get to go to John Mungin’s sealing on Saturday morning, I’ve been looking forward to this for the entire last year! I’ll talk to you all next week!

Elder Ethan Orchard
“Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness” Moroni 10:32

A picture of a picture taken at a Christmas party a week and a half or so ago, back when my hair was atrociously short:

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Light the World!

Hey Everybody! It’s been a good week here in the UOM! We’ve been busy and working hard, and a few fun things have happened along the way. We had a baptism this week! Her name is Sabrina, her husband is a returned missionary and she’s grown up around the church and even graduated seminary but never got baptized. I only taught them once before the baptism, but I’m looking forward to working with them more during the after baptism discussions! The only service project we had this week was raking leaves. We thought it would be a quick project, but we ended up raking leaves for almost 3 hours! Not to mention it was December, which it’s weird enough to be raking leaves in December. This weekend also kicked off the beginning of the Christmas Party season. We had 3 Christmas parties on Saturday, a breakfast and two dinner parties. And there are plenty more to come! It’s going to be a crazy month!

Friday also kicked off the beginning of the month, which means it was the beginning of the Church’s #LighttheWorld initiative. There is a great video introducing the program, as well as a theme for every day based on a scripture. The purpose of the program is to serve others and ultimately become like Jesus Christ through small charitable acts. The end goal is to build momentum and have people feel the spirit of charity and love throughout the year, not just during the Holiday season. The intro video, a calendar with all the days, and a video for each day can be found at Mormon.org. Everybody can take part and serve one another as we try and light the world one person at a time! You are all amazing people, I hope everyone has a great week!

Also! We got to go to the temple this morning! Amazing experience, as always. Temples truly are the house of the Lord!

Elder Ethan Orchard
“Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness” Moroni 10:32

P.s. My companion and I committed to give up desserts and sweets as an act of solidarity with an investigator who is trying to give up tea. If anyone is planning on sending stuff for Christmas, feel free to leave out the sugar! Tank you!

Light the World!

Sabrina’s baptism

Our district at the temple

Our district, still at the temple

A bunch of dear we saw in a field

Monday, November 27, 2017

Light the World

Hey Everybody!

It’s been a busy week here in the UOM! We had transfers this last week, and a lot of changes have gone down. The least of which is that my companion and I are opening and leading a new zone, the Battle Creek Zone! We’re serving in Lindon right now, which is exciting because this is the second time I’ve served here, and it’s right across the street from the Northridge Stake, which I served in for four months. It so surreal thinking of memories and feeling like they just happened not that long ago, then realizing they happened over a year ago! My companion's name is Elder Campbell. He’s from Maryland, and he’s been out for a while. Whenever people ask, he tells them he’s been out just over a year, but let’s just say I’ll be getting a new companion here in about three weeks, haha!

We were packed this last Thursday with Turkey Bowl in the morning and dinners the rest of the day. It was great because we got to eat a ton, but miserable because we felt like we were going to die from food overdose. It was great! The rest of the weekend was spent getting readjusted to the area. It was strange seeing people that I already knew, and kinda funny when some of them didn’t remember me. We had the opportunity to teach sharing time in two wards, so a total of four times because of Junior and Senior Primary, which I didn’t even know was a thing until I came out on my mission. Some of the little kids were so cute! Others were brats. You know, the usual mix. I feel like I have grown a lot in this last week alone. My companion had a meeting for preparing to go home on Saturday morning, so I just sat in the office with one of the APs and studied for a solid two hours. The funny thing is, I wish I would have had more time to read the scriptures. It felt like it flew by so fast! I would say that a miracle I saw this week was just the renewed excitement to learn a lot and get up early to exercise and all these other great things that will benefit me. It’s a miracle because it’s something that I really needed and have been praying for for a while. I hope everyone else is able to have their prayers answered, or at least that they are able to be the answer to someone else’s prayer!

Also, everyone go to www.mormon.org and check out the “Light the World” initiative that the church has started. It’s an amazing way to bring light into a world that so often gets shrouded in darkness. This email is an official invitation to everyone who receives it to light up someone else’s world through small acts of service throughout the month of December. The website has tons of ideas how to do so, and there are even more unwritten ways that we can serve others. I promise anyone that participates in it will have a brighter Christmas season and will feel more joy during this holiday season than they have in years past. Light the World, my friends!

Elder Ethan Orchard
“Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness” Moroni 10:32

Only picture this week is of a sweet sunrise we saw this morning. Not just the sky, but everywhere else looked like the world had put a filter on itself.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey Everybody!

We’ve been super busy this last week! We had exchanges on Wednesday. I spent the day in our area with Elder Johnson. We taught a little 9 year old girl for the first time, and overall it was a pretty fun experience with him! We helped a guy put up a retaining wall for a while on Saturday morning. This is the third time we’ve helped him, and we’re almost done! It’s taken a lot of work and effort, and it’s nice to see it pay off! That same night we had a holiday dinner in one of our wards. It was a pretty good day!

On Sunday night, we had our semiannual Mission Musical Fireside. It was a blast and a huge success! I sang a musical number titled “How Great is the Miracle” with some other missionaries. The real highlight of the show was Vocal Point and Sheri Dew! Vocal Point sounded amazing, and Sheri Dew told some amazing stories! We then got to recite “The Living Christ” as a mission. I felt the spirit so strong as we all collectively testified of our Savior. It is a miracle knowing there are so many amazing missionaries in this mission, as well as knowing that some people’s hearts were touched during the program. I’m already looking forward to the next one!

Our day today was super busy as well! We had transfer calls this morning. I’ll leave this area to go back up to Lindon. I’ve served there before, but it was at the very beginning of my mission, so it’s been a while. The best part is I’ll be able to visit some of my old areas on P-Days! We also had our district activity today, we played blaster tag, which is like an official Nerf duel. It was great!

Well, I hope everyone has a great week! I love you all!

Elder Ethan Orchard
“Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness” Moroni 10:32

Some of Mission Family at the Fireside.

A picture with some of the other members of my district...

and then made a whole lot better!

Our district after Blaster Tag

Nobody’s gonna turn us away while I’ve got this bad boy on.

Monday, November 13, 2017

“I Know That My Redeemer Lives”

Hey Everybody!

This week was pretty great, not too out of the ordinary but just enough to make it exciting. We did exchanges on Tuesday with the other Elders in our district, I got to spend the day with Elder Ketchum. He’s an awesome missionary! We had way too many meetings this week, we had a zone conference on Wednesday, then a combined district meeting the next day. They were kind of boring, but they were pretty great because we got smartphones in our mission and there were a few rules changed.

What made the meetings and the week the best though was our focus on our Savior, Jesus Christ. We spent a good majority of both of the meetings talking about Christ and how we can try to be like Him and follow His example. I’m so grateful for my Savior, for the love he gives me, and for all the second chances I get because of him. I’m grateful that I can be forgiven and that if I truly try to be like him I can have the humility to forgive others as well. Everyone can change and improve, and it’s through Jesus Christ that we can reach our potential. We had the opportunity yesterday in two separate sacrament meetings to sing the hymn “I Know That My Redeemer Lives”. Both times I felt overwhelmed with gratitude when we sang the line “Oh sweet, the joy this sentence gives: ‘I know that my redeemer lives’”. Christ lives and stands at the head of this church today, I know that He does. I can’t express how grateful I am for all that he does for me. I love you all and hope everyone is able to have a great week and find some joy in our Savior!

Elder Ethan Orchard
“Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness” Moroni 10:32

Post Combined District Meeting

Post Combined District Meeting

Poor kitten just wanted to join in on the discussion

Breaking in the new phones

The new phones again, with a background to remind us why we do what we do

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

“Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness” Moroni 10:32

Hey Everybody!

The highlight of this week was definitely Halloween on Tuesday. We spent pretty much the whole day with the rest of our mission at dinner, getting taught by our mission president and his wife about the temple, and then spending the rest of the night at the temple. It was so great to see so many other missionaries and spend some good time with them. But the best part of the night was getting to go through the temple. It is such a miracle and a blessing to be so close to so many temples. I can’t even express how grateful I am for every opportunity I get to go. It brings so much peace to my heart, and I always feel so happy and uplifted when I’ve spent time in the temple. Even if you aren’t able to go in to the temple, just being on the grounds themselves is a miracle and a blessing. The rest of the week was good, full of service and teaching, but nothing even comes close to being in the temple. Have a great week everyone!

Elder Ethan Orchard

Holiness To The Lord, the House Of The Lord

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween

Hey Everybody!

Another Monday, another week gone by, and each one feels like it’s going quicker than the last. We stayed pretty busy this week. We had interviews with President Killpack on Wednesday, those are always great experiences. I don’t think I need the reminder every transfer, but it is always nice to know and feel President’s love for me and for the other missionaries.

We also did a ton of service. We counted up the hours, we did about 9 and a half hours of service for people in our area. We saw a miracle through service too! We were raking a member’s leaves, and someone we’d had dinner with a week or so before drove by and told us about a completely inactive member who was getting kicked out by her ex-boyfriend on really short notice. We were able to run over and help her move stuff out and just be there for some support.

We’ve had a lot of teaching opportunities as well. We had an amazing lesson with one of our investigators named Paul, his testimony is so strong and he would’ve been baptized months ago if it weren’t for a predicament he is in. We also met with a girl named Dannit and a guy named Fabian, both people we started teaching recently. Dannit accepted a baptismal date for November 18th (another miracle there!), but Fabian said he’d have to think about it some more first. Pray for him to feel the spirit! We’ve got a lot coming up this week too! We’re going golfing here before too long, so I’ll have to wrap this up. I hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween! Don’t eat too much candy!

Also, shout out to my good friend Elder Clayton Redding, he just finished his first week in the mission field, serving in the Monticello area of the New Mexico Farmington mission. Good luck man!

Elder Orchard

We met some of the cutest puppies this week

 Elder Amari wrecked his bike, as a result we had to make a trip to the urgent care center:

I don’t think that’s a missionary-approved jacket, but it sure looks nice

Monday, October 23, 2017

Hard Work Brings Blessings!

Hey Everybody!

This last week was pretty exciting! We got some good work going, and we've definitely seen blessings for our hard work!

We did a lot of service this last week! We helped the same lady we helped with yard work last week again, this time we pulled some more plants out and raked up some leaves. We then helped another lady move a ton of big, heavy rocks from the back of her house to the front. We weren't really sure why we were doing it, but it was still service and we're always willing to help! We also helped some people move on Saturday morning, so we definitely put in some good work this last week!

We also had a lot of meetings, which is never fun. But we were able to balance it out with a good amount of teaching! And some great investigators too! Fabian is a new one we've been teaching recently, he's from Peru and is living with his aunt, who is a recent convert. He already committed to reading 10 pages a day from the Book of Mormon! We also met with the Baeza family again, and they were able to make it to church this week! I'm so excited to keep meeting with them and see the influence of the gospel in their lives!

We had a few miracles this week too! First off, at our correlation meeting on Wednesday one of our ward mission leaders told us about a less active family with an unbaptized daughter that decided to come to church all by themselves. They said they wanted to come to church every week! They didn't make it yesterday, but I'm not losing hope! Also, the blessings we've been receiving and the people we're able to work with is a miracle itself! I hope everyone has a great week!

Elder Orchard

Only picture this week is of these way nice cars we saw parked
outside a collision repair place.

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


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