Timpanogos Temple

Timpanogos Temple

Thursday, April 27, 2017

An Exciting Week

Hey everyone!

This last week has been exciting and some great things happened! We had a good amount of lessons and we were able to keep plenty busy. There was plenty of service to do. We helped with some grounds-keeping around one of the chapels we covered. We mostly helped with picking up trash and trimming some of the plants around the property. We also got a call from one of our Bishops saying a family was moving in and needed help moving. We jumped right on it and got to work. On Saturday, we helped set up some chairs and tables for a dinner after one of our baptisms, then helped to take them down afterwards as well. All of these service opportunities were spontaneous and we weren't completely prepared, so we ended up doing it all in our proselyting clothes (white shirt, tie, slacks, etc.). When you're serving a mission, you find that you'll do just about anything in a white shirt and tie.

We also had two baptisms this week! One of them was Brandon, he's been meeting with missionaries for quite some time and finally decided to get baptized. The other was Taylor, he kind of just reached out to us and asked to take the discussions so he could get baptized. Both of them are awesome guys and it was a great day overall, of course! The best part is they both live in the same ward, so their confirmations were during the same sacrament meeting. I'm excited to see their continued progression after baptism and to see how they grow further in the gospel.

Another exciting thing that happened this week was that we met for the first time with a new "Golden Investigator". He's been attending church and reading the scriptures on his own for a few months now and agreed to take the missionary discussions. He's a pretty quiet guy and has a good sense of humor. I can tell its going to a great time meeting with him and helping him grow in the gospel!

I'm trying to do better at taking more pictures and typing a bit less, so forgive me as I work to make the transition. You know what they say, a picture is worth a thousand words! I'm grateful for everyone's support and prayers and I hope to hear from some of you in the coming week! Have a great week!

Elder Orchard

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Happy Easter!

Hey Everyone!

This week has been pretty great! We did some fun things and had some great missionary moments. It was uplifting and edifying all throughout!

The first half of the week was pretty slow and we didn't have a whole lot going on. We taught a few lessons here and there and did what we could to keep busy. On the contrary, Thursday was pretty busy. We started out with a zone Conference around noon or so. We had lunch along with it, which is always nice because we don't have to pay. Instead of the normal zone Conference configuration of sitting at tables, we all sat in the pews in the chapel. It was a different experience, but it was very spiritual nonetheless. The focus was on finding people to teach.

Later that day we had the opportunity to watch a special performance of the musical Lamb of God. It was really awesome because it details the end of the Savior's life. It was also fun because most of the other missionaries in the mission were there too. We were technically only supposed to go if we brought someone that we were working with, but we couldn't find anyone. We asked the mission president's wife and she said we could still go anyway, so it's all good!

On Saturday morning we had two baptismal interviews. Both of them passed, which we weren't surprised about at all because both are amazing guys who are progressing so well. One of them has been meeting with missionaries for several years now and finally accepted a baptismal date. The other we started working with about 5 weeks ago and wanted to be baptized from the get go. We don't have any pictures because they were just interviews, but I'll make sure to send some next week.

Well, that's everything from me. Everything else is going well here and I hope everyone is doing well! Have a great week!

Elder Orchard

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Hey everyone!

This week hasn't been too busy, so I don't have too much to talk about. I'll do what I can to include the exciting things that happened though!

On Tuesday Elder Johnson had to go to the dentist because he thought he might've chipped a tooth and wanted to get it checked out. There wasn't anything to worry about, and the dentist gave him the check up for free, so that was great. While I was sitting in the waiting room, I was reading my scriptures and I noticed they had an Xbox set up for those waiting. I had to laugh because their forms of entertainment were just a bit dated, but it took me back to the good old days of gaming. It almost even made me want to bust out our old Xbox when I get home and play some classics. Of course I didn't play it, that would be just a bit against the rules, but it was still fun to see.

We had a few more opportunities to do service this week. We helped one of our Ward Mission Leaders move some shelves into his basement. He repayed us by making us some pizza and telling us some gruesome construction stories. The pizza didn't taste so good after the first piece.  On Saturday we helped set up chairs for a funeral, then came back later to take some of the chairs down and put up tables for a luncheon, then came back a third time to help clean up after the luncheon and set up for church the next day. It wasn't much, but I always love the opportunity to serve others!

Yesterday we spent about seven hours in church, which is our typical Sunday schedule. It was an especially long seven hours because it was fast Sunday. Let me tell you, there are some interesting testimonies that are presented every time we have fast and testimony meeting. There are so many that are spiritually uplifting though, so it evens out. I would even say it goes beyond and makes it well beyond worth it. At the end of the day, I'm always glad that I have the opportunity to attend three sacraments every week

The rest of the week was pretty normal. We taught lessons, helped people feel the spirit, and tried to be examples of Christ in all that we could. I love the opportunity that I have to dedicate two years to serving him and others. I hope that I can be a positive influence on those here in Utah as well as those back home in Nebraska. I hope everyone has an awesome week!

Elder Orchard

Monday, April 3, 2017

General Conference & Service

Hey everybody!

We've had a great week this past week, especially with General Conference this last weekend. What an amazing opportunity it was to hear from our beloved prophet! I can't wait to tell you all about it and the many other great things that have happened!

This last week we had the opportunity to do lots of service. Most of it took place on Friday, so that was a pretty busy day for us. We started out in the morning by spending time with a few seminary classes at one of the high schools in our area. We pretty much taught the class period by talking about missions, answering questions, and doing an example teaching situation. It was great to get to see all of the youth participate, and we hope that we were able to have a lasting impact on them!

After that, we helped a part member family move across town into their new house. We didn't have anything else planned for the day, so we pretty much used all of our time just helping them move their things. For the first couple of hours we were helping them, we were in white shirts and ties because we still had dinner later in the day. After dinner we were able to change into some actual work clothes and more effectively help them with the process. I love having the opportunity to serve others and being an example of our Savior!

The highlight of this last week was obviously General Conference, as I mentioned earlier. I think this General Conference probably had more of an effect on me than any other conference so far. For both of the Saturday sessions, my companion and I just stayed home and watched. We tried to find someone to watch with, but so many people were out of town that we couldn't find anyone who was available. It's really kind of disheartening to see how many people take Conference for granted out here. We watched the priesthood session at a chapel, as per usual.

Yesterday morning my companion and I had the wonderful opportunity of attending General Conference in person. I would recommend everyone take the opportunity at least once in their life to attend a live session of conference. There is nothing that compares to the enormous outpouring of the spirit felt there. It was particularly special because we were able to be present in person when President Monson spoke. I've looked forward to having the opportunity to hear him speak ever since he was ordained president of the church. I hope he is able to preside at the next conference in October.

Other than Conference and service, our week was pretty typical. I am grateful for the many things I was able to learn this week, and I am looking forward to further learning and growth in the coming weeks! I hope you all have a wonderful week and I look forward to writing again next week!

Elder Orchard

Elder Johnson and Me in the Conference Center

Elder Johnson and Me in front of the Salt Lake City Temple

Some trees in our area that are starting to blossom. They look
awesome, but they don't smell too great.