Timpanogos Temple

Timpanogos Temple

Thursday, March 30, 2017

A Pretty Great Week!

Hey everybody!

This last week has been pretty great, as always! A lot of good things are happening and we have definitely seen the Lord's hand in our lives as we have worked hard and did the work of the Lord!

Last Monday was pretty eventful. We had the opportunity to leave the mission several times to get some repairs for Elder Johnson's bike as well as to run some errands to Deseret Book. While we were only ever across the street from the mission and like 50 feet out of the mission, it was still exciting to leave the mission. It will be weird after my mission to not have to ask permission to walk across to the other side of the street, haha!

On Tuesday, we had the opportunity to have interviews with our mission president, President Killpack. We only had about 8 minutes apiece, but they are a very productive 8 minutes. I don't think there is anyone in the mission that doesn't look forward to President interviews. Fun fact, I was the first missionary to be interviewed this round of interviews. It's not that special of a thing, but it still makes me somewhat special. Also, during the meeting, those of us who were waiting for companions to interview, rides, and other missionary things, had the opportunity to preview the church's Easter Initiative for 2017, titled "Prince of Peace". It is an awesome video and I feel it will be an even more awesome initiative!

Not a whole lot happened from Tuesday to Thursday. We did a lot of contacting, as usual, and there weren't a whole lot of people home during the days, as usual. On Thursday we had our weekly District Training Meeting. It wasn't all that different than our typical Thursday meetings, but it is still always good to see the district and spend time with them.

On Friday, we had the opportunity to drive down to the mission office to get a hitch installed on our car as well as pick up a new bike rack. This was pretty exciting because we're the first missionaries to get one on our car and the second one total (the first being the Mission Van). We are kind of the guinea pigs of the mission in terms of testing out the bike racks and figuring out how to use them properly and to the best of their ability. We spent about three hours at the mission office and did our weekly planning while we waited for the vehicle coordinator, Elder Anderson, to return with our car. We even helped with some of the office work that the senior couples had. They were more than welcome to allow us to help out!

Saturday and Sunday went by pretty quick. It was pretty rainy here on Saturday, so a lot of people stayed home and we were able to make a lot of good contacts with some potential investigators. On Sunday, we attended our typical three sacrament meetings and tried to stay awake the whole time. We even had the opportunity to speak in one of them. They had planned for four speakers, one of which was a missionary departure, another was a missionary homecoming, and the last two were my companion and me. They also planned for a special musical number in between. By the time our turns to speak came around, we only had about four minutes each to talk. We did our best to condense the 10 minutes of material we had prepared into a 4 minute time slot. It wasn't really an easy task, but somehow we made it work!

The rest of Sunday was pretty typical. This morning, we had the first of two Zone activities this transfer. We played volleyball a good amount of the time as well as did a short get-to-know-you activity. It was pretty much the same as the zone activity we had last transfer, but this time with a little more structure. It was pretty fun all in all, but it could have been better. That brings us up to about now, where we're just sitting around at our apartment relaxing. I couldn't think of a better way to spend p-day!

Well, that's all that I have this week, I love hearing from everyone and I hope you all have a great week!

Elder Orchard

Our mission after the March Musical Fireside a week and a half ago.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Mount Timpanogos Temple

Hey Everybody!

This last week has been quite eventful! A lot has happened that has provided spiritual growth. I know that Heavenly Father has placed many of these things together in the same week for a reason, and I feel that reason was to make sure that I was spiritually fed. I hope to be able to remember these things in the future and always keep in mind how much our Heavenly Father loves and cares for each and every one of us.

On Tuesday, we had the opportunity to attend the Timpanogos Temple as a district. We get the chance to go once every three months, and I personally look forward to that opportunity every time. Elder Johnson and I arrived a little early so that we could get breakfast from the cafeteria under the temple. It was pretty good and kept us full well throughout the session! I love going to the temple because not only do we get to be physically fed if we choose to, but we also get to be spiritually fed. I love being able to just sit in the temple for a few minutes and relax and feel the spirit. It is one of the most refreshing things that I have the opportunity to do.

Wednesday morning was transfer morning, but since Elder Johnson and I stayed together, it was mostly the same as any other morning. However, we got an email form the Vehicle Coordinator saying that we had to come into the mission office to get our new insurance cards for our car, so we got to make the trip to the mission office anyway. I love going to the mission office on transfer days because I get to see a lot of the missionaries that I wouldn't normally get to see during the transfer. I've met so many other amazing missionaries so far, and it is really nice to get to see them every now and then. It definitely helps that our mission is so small and travel around the mission is incredibly convenient! The next day we had our beginning to the transfer District Training Meeting, but our entire district stayed the same, so it was just like any regular DTM.

On Friday, we had our bi-annual Missionary Musical Fireside at the Alpine Tabernacle in American Fork. For these firesides, we typically have a guest keynote speaker and a guest musical performer or group, along with testimonies, conversion stories, and musical numbers from missionaries in the mission. This time around we had Hank Smith as our guest speaker. He is a lot like John Bytheway in that he speaks to a lot of youth groups and such, but is overall just a great inspirational speaker. The musical guest was the Utah Valley Children's Choir. They were awesome, except I don't know if I would call them a "children's" choir because some of them drove themselves to the tabernacle. The theme of this fireside was the family. As a mission, we were asked to attempt to memorize The Family: A Proclamation to the World. Elder Johnson and I were able to memorize the whole thing, and we recited it as a mission at the fireside. All in all, it was a fantastic evening!

Saturday went by as any other day, and on Sunday we had Stake Conference in one of our Stakes. We watched the general session at one of the other buildings in the Stake other than the Stake Center so that we could watch with some investigators, but all of the talks were still very spiritual. We had the opportunity to hear from our mission president, President Killpack, who was in attendance. We were also able to hear from Elder Kevin G. Worthen, who is a member of the quorum of the Seventy as well as the president of BYU. It was a great meeting and we enjoyed it thoroughly.

The rest of Sunday was pretty casual. In one of our wards, we had the opportunity to teach a combined youth class about missionary work, but other than that, it was a normal Sunday afternoon. That brings me to this morning when I am writing this. We have the whole rest of our p-day to use, and I'm sure we'll find a great way to use it! I hope everyone has a great week and has all of their prayers answered, and I look forward to hearing from you!

Elder Orchard

Our district at the Mount Timpanogos Temple

Hank Smith and Me after the Musical Fireside

Monday, March 13, 2017

Great things are happening!

Hey everyone!

This week was pretty exciting! We got a lot of work done and some great things are happening in this area! I know the Lord has been working to influence the people in this area and we are seeing blessings left and right for our efforts.

On Tuesday we met with a young man who is very eager to get baptized. We've had several people reach out to us telling us he wanted to get baptized, so we finally contacted him to set something up. When we first met him, he was super enthusiastic and very excited to have the opportunity to be taught. We set a baptismal date almost right away! He even agreed to meet twice a week so that we could work and meet the goal that we set with him. He is an awesome guy and we know he will be a very strong member. The best part is he lives in Draper and is moving to South Jordan, which are both out of our mission. However, he goes to his girlfriends home ward and wants to take the lessons at their house, which is in our area! We look forward to seeing him get baptized.

Other than the guy above, we had four more new investigators this week. Three of them are brothers and sisters, and the fourth is a lady that we were trying to meet with for a while, but she was always super busy, so it was taking a while to set up an appointment. The father of the three kids actually reached out to us and asked to meet with the missionaries. We met with them Tuesday and the three kids were all super excited. We hope that we can continue working with them and help them get baptized. We were also finally able to meet with the other lady. We weren't able to share the message of the restoration because we didn't have a whole lot of time, but we feel we will be able to share it soon.

On Sunday we had the opportunity to speak in church...twice! One of them we had almost two weeks to prepare for, but the other we were asked on the Thursday before because the other speakers had backed out. For that one, we had to speak for 20 minutes apiece because there were no other speakers. The second one we only had to speak for 15. Of course, I didn't start preparing for the talk until the day before. Is there really any other way to do it? I talked about obedience and took a lot of stuff from Elder Christofferson's talk from this last General Conference titled "Abide in My Love". I feel that I did pretty good, except it was mostly the spirit that did all of the work to be honest.

Today we had our zone activity. We did a few "Minute to Win It" sort of mini games, but for the most part we just played basketball. It was pretty fun because we got to spend time and just hang out with the other missionaries in our zone, who are all pretty cool people. It wasn't all that exciting, but that's okay because it doesn't have to be exciting to be fun.

Today is the last Monday of the transfer, so that means it is the day that everybody found out what was happening with transfers. Elder Johnson and I will be staying together another transfer and covering the same area. In fact, our entire district is staying the same! We were both pretty excited about the news because we get along pretty well and we have a lot of promising work in the area. We are looking forward to all of the great things going on in this area and the miracles to come!

That's all I have for this week, I hope everyone is doing swell and living life to the fullest. I hope you all have a great week and I'll write to you all next week!

Elder Orchard

A portrait of Elder Johnson

A panorama of the mountains above some houses

Jammin in the car wash

Monday, March 6, 2017

Blessings Come From Obedience

Hey everybody!

This last week has been pretty exciting! A lot has happened, and we have seen many blessings occur in our area. I know that this has been because of our obedience and willingness to keep the commandments and live within the rules. I hope that by sharing a few of the blessings I can share in a small part how much Heavenly Father loves his children.

The highlight this last week was probably our Zone Conference. Our Zone and another Zone gathered together in the same chapel to receive training from our mission president, President Killpack, his wife Sister Killpack, the Assistants to the President, and the Zone Leaders over our two zones. It was a wonderful opportunity not only because we got to see so many different missionaries and spend time together, but also because we were able to be uplifted and edified by our wonderful leadership. The theme of the Zone Conference was using the Book of Mormon in conversion. Some things that I learned from the training were that the Book of Mormon can answer any questions we have and that I should always keep a Book of Mormon on me in case I meet someone that wants one. The training came in handy almost immediately. That same night, we had a lesson where we taught every principle from a scripture in the Book of Mormon. After the lesson, the son of someone we are teaching who has never shown any interest gladly accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon. It just goes to show how quickly the Lord will bless us for following promptings and taking our training's to heart.

On Saturday night we gave a training in one of our stakes that we cover. The training was over how to better be a Ward Mission Leader and Ward Missionary in Utah. We drew a lot of the source material for our training from past Ward Mission Leaders who had done awesome jobs in their callings. While this meeting wasn't too exciting, and the attendance was a little lower than desired, we know that the training will have a lasting effect on the missionary work in this area. We know that those who were able to attend will be able to take the things they learned and apply them to their wards to help hasten the Lord's work.

For the most part, yesterday was just like any other Sunday in the Utah Orem Mission. We attended one three hour block with one of our investigators from 9:00 to 12:00, then went across town to another three hour block that ran from 1:00 to 4:00. This second block of church was especially exciting because Elder Johnson and I had the opportunity to teach sharing time for both the Junior and Senior primaries. This was really fun because kids are so sweet and are fun to work with. It was a great practice for us because it helped us work on teaching simply. We gave a short 15 minute lesson in each about following the prophet. I am personally so grateful for our prophet today, Thomas S. Monson. I know that he is a living prophet and that he provides revelation that can and will help us every day of our lives. I look forward to every opportunity that I have to sustain him as the prophet and president of the Church.

Other than these few things, the most miracles we saw this last week came in the form of potential investigators. There have been several people we have either talked to or been told about who are very excited to take the lessons and work towards baptism. I know that the Lord has been placing these people in our path as blessing for our concerted effort to be diligent and obedient. I know that the Lord will continue to bless us as well because that is the only way this work will progress. I am constantly grateful for his hand in my life.

I hope everyone is able to have a wonderful week! I look forward to hearing how everybody is doing, and I look forward to writing again next week!

Elder Orchard

A snow Shrek that someone made after last Monday's snow showers.

A speed limit sign that broke off of its pole. We picked it up so
it wouldn't get damaged and are planning on taking it to a police
department later in the day.