Timpanogos Temple

Timpanogos Temple

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Another Good Week!

Hey Everybody! It's been a good week, as always, and we've had a great time serving the Lord these last 7 days. A lot has happened this week, and all of it has helped to strengthen my testimony as well as help me to grow in wisdom and experience.

On Tuesday we had dinner with the Ward mission leader of one of the wards in our Stake. The meal was great, but what we got to do after was even better. This Ward Mission Leader's father owned a 1997 Ferrari, and when his father passed away, he inherited it. So, he just has a Ferrari sitting in his garage. He was pretty cool about it and even let us sit in it and take pictures. It isn't the nicest model of Ferrari because it's getting kind of old, but hey, it's still a Ferrari.

On Saturday I had the opportunity to attend the baptism of a young girl named Caitlin, who I taught while I was in my last area. It was especially exciting because she's been ready for baptism for so long. She's been ready since before I even first started teaching her 5 months ago, but some things with her family situation have been delaying the baptism for quite some time. Well, they were finally able to work that out and she was able to get baptized. It was really nice because I was able to return to my old area for a little bit and see some people that I hadn't seen for a while. She'll be moving soon to Herriman, but sadly she won't be in my area, so I won't get to help with the recent convert lessons, but I'm still glad she was able to get baptized anyway! It was an awesome service.

Yesterday, during one of the sacrament meetings we attended we had the opportunity to talk about member missionary work. We based our talks off of Elder Oaks' Conference talk from this last October titled "Sharing the Restored Gospel". While I put off preparing for it until a day or two before, I was still able to gather plenty of material and make a decent talk out of it. The best thing that came out of speaking in sacrament wasn't the visibility or having a whole Ward listen to my wisdom and great knowledge, but the motivation it gave me to study up plenty and prepare spiritually for the talk. I learned many things, and I know my testimony and desire to be a member missionary when I return from my mission has been greatly strengthened.

One of my favorite things that I studied while preparing for the talk was the parable of the Sower found in Matthew 13. While I was studying this parable in preparation for my talk, I realized that the situations that the seeds fall on doesn't only represent how someone can receive the gospel, but it can also be a representation of how the members in an area receive those who are not members. The love and care that we can show to investigators can largely impact whether or not their seed of faith is able to take root and grow. This is why it's so important for us to be valiant member missionaries.

This morning we had our district activity for this transfer. We were initially planning to go on a hike, but the snow and winter weather here made us decide otherwise. Instead, we chose to all meet at a chapel to make waffles, eggs, and hash browns, and just hang out as a district. We messed around in the gym and played some basketball too. It was especially fun because no one was really serious or kept score, so it was just all around a good time.

That brings me to now. After we went shopping, we've just been relaxing and taking it easy. What else is p-day for? I'm grateful for everyone who takes the time to write to me and let me know how their life is. I appreciate all of the unwavering support that everyone gives, and I hope you all have a fantastic week!

Elder Orchard

Monday, February 20, 2017

Hey Everyone!

Not too much has happened this past week, so this one might be a bit more on the short side. I'll try to include anything of particular excitement or anything out of the ordinary that happened, and I hope you are able to enjoy it!

This last Thursday we had interviews with our mission president, President Killpack. This was an opportunity for each missionary to have some one-on-one sit down time with our mission president and discuss any questions that we had or anything of concern. Like always, these interviews were going long and we had run far past the set schedule. This was especially evident because by the time I, and a few of the other Elders in the district, had gone through, he was taking about 5 minutes per interview and was probably just touching on the basics with each. This was no problem of course. We, or at lest I personally, could tell that he still cared for us and our well being despite being a bit rushed. All in all, it was a wonderful experience that allowed us to have a stronger assurance that our mission presidency cares for us.

Yesterday, one of the stakes that we cover had stake conference. We were able to attend the adult session on Saturday night as well as the general session on Sunday. Elder R. Scott Runia of the Seventy was able to attend both sessions. His messages were powerful and uplifting. It is evident that he is a servant of the Lord. We were also blessed to have President Lindley, one of the counselors in the mission presidency, in attendance at the general session on Sunday. He talked a lot about missionary work, of course, and I know that his message will bless this stake with increased work in the weeks to come. All in all, it was a wonderful Stake Conference.

This morning we decided to use some of our extended p-day time to go on a bike ride. We started at the bottom of a hill and rode to the top on the streets, then took a trail to the bottom that was both exciting and a little frightening. It was hard going from not riding a bike for 4 months to riding a long distance uphill. I thought I was going to die! Fortunately, I made it to the top alright, and the ride down was well worth it.

Well, I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but that is about it for my week. Like I said, not too much happened, but what did happen made the week well enjoyable. Thanks again for the support from everyone, I hope you all have a fantastic week!

Elder Orchard

Monday, February 13, 2017

Too Many Fruit Snacks!

Hey everybody! This last week has been pretty normal. As always, there were a few things exciting that happened, but for the most part it was a pretty typical week. I'll include a few highlights that made this last week unique.

On Wednesday night we had a lesson with one of our new investigators. This is the second time we've taught them, and we decided to try and set a baptismal date for them. They accepted, and we are shooting for the last Saturday before the end of the transfer. We have another investigator we are working with. They have a baptismal date for after the end of the transfer, but we have faith that when we finish the discussions they will realize it would be better to just go ahead with it rather than to wait. The last news we have teaching wise is that we got a new investigator. He shows a lot of promise. He was taught by missionaries before and was even had a baptism date, but he backed out because he didn't feel like he was doing it for the right reasons. We have faith that as we continue to teach him, he will realize the importance of baptism and why it is such an important ordinance. We know that through faith, and with the help of the Lord, all things are possible!

The biggest difference between this last week and other weeks is that my companion, Elder Johnson, and I ate about a thousand fruit snacks. We bought enough to fill a display jar and just kept snacking on them throughout the week. Sometimes, like last Friday during weekly planning, we would just sit there and eat a steady stream for upwards of half an hour. I can tell you this much, eating that many fruit snacks is not good for the body. I know this because I felt terrible all week. I think it even contributed to me getting a little sick. That, and I wasn't sleeping the greatest because I'm in a new apartment. I've had plenty of time to adjust now and the fruit snacks are gone, so I'm feeling a lot better now and, hopefully, my health will be better this next week.

One interesting thing that happened was that our Area Book app, the thing that we rely on for our planner and source of information, crashed for about 8 hours on Saturday. It was really a burden because we couldn't see anything that we had planned and couldn't find any information that would help us contact people in our area. Apparently it was a worldwide problem too. Luckily they were able to fix it before too long, so we were able to have some help in the work. Nobody was really surprised about it because the app is really buggy and crashes all the time anyway. We have a saying about the app: "The idea is inspired, but the programming is not". I can't express how true that is.

Today was a pretty exciting day. We told a member about how we are kind of bored on p-days, so they bought us a ton of stuff to help keep us entertained. Some of these things included: a ping-pong set that is adjustable and fits in any size of table; a badminton set that you can play indoors; an air hockey set that is supposed to work on any surface (we haven't tried it yet, so there isn't any proof); a big thing called "Chillbo Baggins" that fills with air and is super comfy to lay on; and a rugby ball to play catch with. They also gave me a bath robe which is super comfy too. Needless to say, they're one of my favorite member families now.

Well, other than that it was a pretty regular week. I know that this next week will be exciting and filled with miracles that will help the work progress. I can't wait to see the Lords hand in my life and have the opportunity to be an instrument in his hands in progressing his work. I hope you all have a great week!

Elder Orchard

Squaring up for ping pong!

Chillin' on the Chillbo Baggins.

Monday, February 6, 2017

New Area

Hey Everyone!

This past week has been great, and it has been an awesome start to a new transfer! I got moved up out of Utah County to an area around the point of the mountain. It's definitely strange seeing so many Utah fans. I've done my best to avoid talking about my post-mission plans because I don't want to get attacked or something! Haha, I'm just joking, they're all wonderful people regardless of which school they root for.

Wednesday morning we had transfers. We all met at the mission office and separated to our areas. In order to save time and gas, we decided it'd be best to carpool. I ended up waiting at the mission office for almost an hour and a half because we misjudged how long it would take for my new companion to get there. It's all good though because I got to hang out with a bunch of other missionaries, which is always fun! Well, when my new companion got here, we loaded all of my stuff up, and that's when I learned we had to pack another person in because we were carpooling back as well! We ended up having four Elders and two Elders worth of luggage to stuff in our car. Needless to say, it was pretty packed! We dropped the other two off and finally made it back to our area. I had a bit of time to unpack, but we went out to meet leadership pretty early on and to try and get me acquainted to the area.

Speaking of my new companion, his name is Elder Johnson. He's from Mahomet, Illinois. He likes to sing and act and all sorts of things like that. We get along really great and we have a similar sense of humor, so it makes our days go by pretty quick. The most interesting thing is that he is from the same Stake as my Uncle Paul and Aunt Angie. We figured this out when I saw that my cousin Kathy liked his mission page. We then proceeded to realize that the Kathy Orchard that his sister is friends with and the Kathy Orchard that is my cousin are the same person! It is quite the coincidence! Well anyway, we get along great and this past week has been good. I can already tell that it's going to be a great transfer!

The highlights of these last two weeks have probably been the mass eating of fruit snacks and seeing a guy juggle fire on a unicycle. Before I got into the area, Elder Johnson had emptied a box of 50 packs of fruit smiles into a glad bowl container thing. He'd eaten a few throughout the week, so there were still a ton left. Anyway, Friday comes along, which was weekly planning day. We were pretty bored throughout, so we just kept snacking on the fruit snacks. We ended up eating all of them. This week, to raise the challenge, we each got a box of 50 packs again, so now we have a giant cake display thing full of fruit snacks. It's pretty epic.

On Saturday we were driving around trying to visit and contact people, when we drove by a group of kids following a guy dressed as a jester coming out of a house. We saw him grab a unicycle from somewhere down the road and decided to watch what he was going to do. He proceeded to get out three torches, light them on fire, then ride around on his unicycle juggling them. We got a video of it (hopefully it uploads to the blog), so we were pretty excited. He almost fell a few times, but overall it was a great performance.

Other than that, not too much exciting has changed. We've been relaxing most of the day and taking it easy. I hope everyone has a great week!

Elder Orchard

6 Apache Helicopters flying away from Camp Williams

Epic bowl of fruit smiles.

Juggling Jester on a unicycle.