Timpanogos Temple

Timpanogos Temple

Monday, January 30, 2017

Hey Everyone!

This last week has been okay. There were a few things that happened that I'm kind of bummed about, but overall its been good. There weren't too many eventful things that happened, but I'll try to include the more exciting things.

This last Wednesday we had the Worldwide Missionary Broadcast. I was really excited about this, not only because of all the great learning that I received, but also because I got to see all of my good friends from around the mission. In all reality, it was an awesome broadcast and I learned a lot of great things. What was really exciting was that the Church is implementing some changes to the missionary schedule. They are making it so that missionaries have more flexibility with how their day plays out. Planning is in the morning now too, and there are only four key indicators. I think this will be really beneficial because it will help us to focus more on our missionary purpose and on what matters most, which is teaching repentance and baptizing converts. The best part is that P-Day starts at 8:00 now! I don't know what I'm going to do with all of my free time on Mondays now.

It's been snowing a lot these past couple weeks, and it has finally let up. On Thursday, we spent about 2 hours shoveling snow. We shoveled almost an entire road of driveways. Luckily, its been cold all week, so it didnt all melt the same day. This might sound odd, but it's kind of disappointing shoveling a bunch of snow just to have it all be gone by the end of the day. It's nice to feel like we actually accomplished something.

Sunday was a pretty good day. We had stake conference in one of the stakes that we covered. We were invited to sit up on the stand, but unfortunately we aren't allowed to sit on the stand unless we have a part in the program. I wouldn't mind giving a talk in conference. I wouldn't mind giving a talk, and it would definitely be worth it to be seen by everyone. Also on Sunday, an investigator that we've been trying to get to come to church for 4 months finally came. It was pretty exciting!

Well, it's not much, but that's the highlights of this last week. It's great to hear from everyone, and I'm glad that I have the opportunity to feel your blessings and love! Have a great week!

Elder Orchard

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Hey Everyone!

These last few weeks have been rather hectic, and we are staying busy as always. Both today and last Monday were pretty packed because we had our district activity last week and our zone activity this week. It's been pretty fun to get to spend so much time with other missionaries!

Like I said before, last Monday we had our district activity. It was pretty awesome because we all got Nerf guns and went to a chapel and pretty much shot each other for a couple of hours. That was awesome because there was no shortage of bullets, plus its a great way to let out some energy. We were in teams of companionship, but Elder Hemstreet and I never won. We gave it our best shot though!

Earlier this week, on Wednesday, between lunch and dinner, we had the opportunity to participate in a Zone Conference. Zone Conferences are wonderful opportunities where we get to meet as a zone, sometimes in just our zone and sometimes with another, and hear from our mission president as well as other leaders in the zones. These events are amazing opportunities to be uplifted and edified. The amount of growth that comes out of just a few-hour meeting is absolutely incredible. I always look forward to this opportunity and I'm already looking forward to the next. Each missionary is asked to prepare a three minute talk on a designated topic, and one will be picked to give theirs during the conference. I was picked this time, and I gave a talk on accountability. I was actually so happy to have the opportunity to give my talk because I was prepared and I wanted the chance to help those in my zone.

Last Saturday was pretty exciting because we had a baptism! The one who was baptized was this young girl named Savanna. She wasn't baptized when she was eight because her family has moved around a lot and that has made it hard for them to stay active for two long. The ward they are living in now has really embraced them though, and I don't think there is anything to worry about there. She has a pretty strong testimony, and she is pretty knowledgeable for someone her age. I am so grateful for the opportunity I've had to be a part of the process and help her achieve her goal of being baptized. It was also awesome to be able to work with her brother to help him prepare for the ordinance. Baptisms are always fantastic testimony builders!

Today we had our zone activity. We went to the same chapel and played laser tag this week. I personally didn't think it was as fun as the Nerf war, but we still had a good time. After playing a couple of games with the laser guns, we decided to play capture the flag a few times to close out the activity. Overall it was fun.

Well, those are the highlights of my week. I love hearing from everyone and I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Elder Orchard

Monday, January 9, 2017

Hey everybody!

These last few weeks have been rather eventful. We were able to end the year with a great week, and then turn around and start the year with an even better week. We've been working hard, and our efforts are as fruitful as ever!

A little over a week ago, we had our New Year's Eve celebration. Since it would've been almost useless to try and proselyte in the evening with everyone having parties, we gathered as a district in a chapel and spent the evening there. We were able to watch Ephraim's Rescue, which is a fantastic movie. It is a great movie because the central theme of the movie is being ready and worthy when the Lord calls upon us to serve. I have noticed this principle in my missionary work as I've done my best to serve the Lord. We never know when we will be needed to administer to those who are less fortunate than us. I've striven to keep myself as worthy as I can because I could be called at any time to help someone in need. That kind of responsibility is expected as a full-time missionary, but it is a principle that we should all challenge ourselves to live by. The rest of the night after we finished the movie we spent playing Apples to Apples. At 9:00, we had our own little New Year's Eve celebration with just us. After that we had to go home and attend to our regular night time schedule.

The following Monday was pretty interesting. We spent most of the day just relaxing because that's the best thing to do on Mondays. It snowed most of the day, so driving around was pretty interesting. When 6:00 rolled around, there were plenty of people who needed help shoveling snow, so we got right on it. One of my favorite things that I've had so many opportunities to do on my mission has been to serve others. It is so fulfilling to see someone in need and provide an act of kindness and love for them. I look forward to every opportunity to serve.

On Wednesday, we had our Zone Interviews with President Killpack. This time in the transfer is fantastic because each Elder and Sister in the mission has the opportunity to sit down with our loving mission president and receive individual council for ourselves and our areas. I love having the opportunity to talk one on one with President Killpack. He always helps me to see the best in myself and reminds me that I am a consecrated servant of Jesus Christ. This aid that he gives to all of the missionaries sustains us throughout the transfer.

The highlight of this last week was when I was able to baptize a convert  women. Although I had no part in teaching her, Elder Fairbanks and I were the Elders who found her, and she took a strong liking to us because we visited her occasionally at the Wendy's where she worked. When the time finally came around for her to be baptized, she asked if I would do the honor. I was nervous at first because she is the first person that I have ever baptized. It all went well though, and the spirit was so strong throughout the entire service. I look forward to the opportunity to participate in the sacred ordinance of baptism in the future because of how much it helps to strengthen my testimony and those who attend.

All in all, these last few weeks have been pretty fantastic. I hope and pray that they are a reflection of how the rest of my mission goes. It is strange to think that before too long, I will hit my 6 month mark. I can't believe I am almost a quarter of the way through my ministry already. Well, I look forward to hearing from all of you, and I am grateful for all of the love and support that I feel daily. I hope you all have a great week!

Elder Orchard