Timpanogos Temple

Timpanogos Temple

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Happy Pioneer Day!

Hey everybody!

This week has been pretty great, we've been going and going nonstop, trying to figure out our new area and get adjusted as well as we can. It was hard the first few days because we hadn't gotten a hold of our bikes yet, but now we finally have them and have been able to travel around a lot more quickly.

With transfers this week, its been pretty eventful. I spent a lot of Monday and Tuesday packing and saying goodbye to a few of the people I'd met in Alpine. There weren't too many because I'd only been in Alpine for a transfer, but there were enough to fill the time. I also realized how much stuff I have and felt kinda bad about it, but then I realized that a lot of it is winter stuff that I wont have to deal with after this coming winter season, so that is how I rationalized having way too many bags.

My new companion, Elder Benner, and I whitewashed into our new area, which is when two missionaries leave an area and two new ones come in. It's always exciting when that happens, a bit stressful too, but if the mission president decides to do that then it's what the area needs. We spent the last half of the week meeting ward mission leaders and getting a feel for the area. On Sunday we had meetings from 9:00 to 5:00, as usual. The best was the Elder's Quorum class we attended in one of our wards. The teacher would literally through a handful of candy at anyone who participated in the lesson at all! It was great. We're still trying to eat it all!

We also had a lot of ward celebrations this week. There was a ward breakfast Sunday morning, two ward parties Saturday night, a ward breakfast this morning, and another ward party tonight! I love holidays, haha! We also got to play some sports with some other missionaries today, we spent a good amount of time doing that. But since we're on bikes, its hard to get around so we've mostly just been hanging out in our apartment. It gets a bit boring at times, but its super relaxing.

Well that's all I've got this week, I hope you all have a great week! Write if you can, I love hearing from people!

Elder Orchard

 Some of the cool things we've seen around the area these past few days.

Its not every day that you get to leave the mission (don't worry,
it was approved).

Monday, July 17, 2017

Goodbye Alpine, Hello Orem

Hey Everybody!

This week was great, and went pretty quick too! We were probably the busiest that we've been since I've come into the area. Which is kind of sad for me because I'm getting transferred to a new area, but I'll talk about that later on.

We picked up a few new investigators this week! We met one of them on Monday night. Her name is Elfreda, she's almost 90 and she's super sweet. Unfortunately, she was only in town this last week visiting some friends, she's originally from Minnesota. She was more interested in learning about what we believe rather than actually joining the church, but I feel like she'll come around eventually. The other two we had are named Steve and Troy. They are currently at a recovery lodge, but they're both interested and have showed a lot of progress since we first met them. They both have a huge desire to be baptized! I'm sad I won't get to work with them anymore, but I'll try to keep in contact for sure!

We also had exchanges with the Zone Leaders on Wednesday. I stayed in the area and Elder Casperson came for the day. It was an awesome experience! Elder Casperson has such a strong testimony of Jesus Christ and a desire to share the gospel. I learned a lot from him and I'm glad I had the opportunity. The only downside was that the other Elders, Elder Yoshida and Elder Sansoucie, didn't get back until late, so we didn't leave their apartment until even later, which meant that we got back to our apartment even later! The next morning was rough but it was worth it!

On Saturday we had three parties that we went to. Needless to say, we were stuffed by the end of the day. The first one was a family get together of the friends that Elfreda was visiting. It was great having the opportunity to spend time with them. After that we had two Ward parties to attend. They were really productive because we met a few nonmembers who were really nice, and it was really fun because they were pretty much just get togethers where we got to eat a ton of food. While we were at the second party, a fire broke out on the mountains above Alpine. They were able to contain it enough so that none of the houses were damaged, but they're still putting out little bits of the fire here and there this morning. Luckily it wasn't too dangerous, and as far as I know no one was hurt!

So this morning we got our transfer calls. I almost thought we weren't going to get a call because it came pretty late. Elder Yoshida is staying in the area and getting a new companion, while I'm getting transferred down to Orem. I'll still be district leader, plus I'll be follow-up training, so that's exciting! And I'll finally be in a bike area! That sounds like something you wouldn't normally be excited about, but I'm looking forward to it!

Well, that's the gist of what happened this last week. I hope everyone has a great week and enjoys their summer!

Elder Orchard

Our last picture as a district

Artwork at the Ward party, mine is the building and left, Elder
Yoshida's is everything to the right of the building

Fire! Helicopter reinforcements to put out the flames.

It was a bit toasty in our car

Happy 4th! (belated)

Hey Everybody!

This week has been pretty eventful, it practically flew by! We started off the week on Tuesday, as you all know, with the Fourth of July! We had the opportunity to walk in the Freedom Festival parade as a mission, along with the Provo mission. It was awesome because I got to see my friend who is serving in the Provo Mission, Elder Richardson. It's been something like 4 or 5 years since I've seen him in person, so it was a great opportunity to see him! The parade was long and hot, but we got tons of applause and it felt awesome to have so many people cheering! After the parade, we spent some time with a family that we are hoping to start teaching soon. When 7:00 pm hit, we had to go into our apartment and stay there for he rest of the night. We mostly just studied and watched videos the rest of the night.

When Thursday rolled around, we had our transfer Zone Conference. I was especially excited for this Zone Conference, which was adapted to this month's training focus and centered on Jesus Christ. There were tons of awesome training, especially from President Killpack. The spirit was so strong the entire time! Afterwards, we had lunch with another zone, then we all went and took pictures in front of the temple. I probably won't be able to send those until next week though.

On Saturday, we had exchanges with the other Elders in our district. I went with Elder Williams in his area. He's a super solid missionary that I hope I have more opportunities to serve around the rest of my mission! The next day, Elder Yoshida and I had the opportunity to speak in a sacrament meeting. I was a bit bummed because we only had 5 minutes to speak apiece. I spoke on agency, some ways that Satan tries to make us abuse our agency, and how we can use our agency to return to live with Heavenly Father through choosing to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

That about wraps up this week! Just a heads up for next week, we'll be getting our transfer calls next Monday, and transfers will be the Wednesday after that. So this could be my last full week with Elder Yoshida in Alpine. We'll see!

Have a great week everyone!

Elder Orchard

My dear friend Elder Richardson, I miss him (again) already

Some of Elder Yoshida's friends that he met while they were serving
in Japan, they let me get in the picture

A new dog that my family picked up on the 4th, yet another change
for when I come home. Her name is Luna, she is 1/2 Belgian Malinois,
1/4 Husky, and 1/4 St. Bernard, so there's a chance she'll be a pretty
big dog!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Happy 4th of July!

Hey Everybody!

A few things exciting happened this week. The highlight of the week was Thursday when we had our Combined District Meeting, and I'll talk more about that later on. Monday night we ended up not being able to go out because Elder Yoshida wasn't feeling good at all, so I spent the night cleaning our apartment. It was kind of boring being stuck in for the night, but it's nice to see the fruits of my labors in how much nicer our apartment looks now!

Tuesday was a typical day here in Alpine. On Wednesday we had a few meetings. One was to prep for our Combined District Meeting the next day. At that one, the Zone Leaders pretty much just told us what we would be talking about at the CDM and what they learned at MLC. After that, we went to the Mission Office for our District Leaders meeting. President Killpack talked a lot about changing the culture of the mission, which is really something that we need to improve on. Other than that, my favorite part of the meeting was seeing missionaries that I used to serve around, which is always fun.

So on Thursday we finally had our combined district meeting. The reason this one was so important was because the whole focus of the meeting was on Jesus Christ and becoming more like him, which is what our training focus is for this month. Why this training focus and meeting were so important is because it's bringing our focus back to the most important thing. Why are we on a mission? To serve Jesus Christ. How do we become the best missionaries we can be? By trying to be like Jesus Christ. How do we gain eternal life and return to live with our Heavenly Father? By following Jesus Christ's example. I'm sooooo excited for this new training focus and the impact it's going to have! It's a bit of a bold statement, but I feel like this will change the course of a lot of people's missions, even lives, and will have a further reaching effect than we can even imagine. Goodness, I'm getting goosebumps just thinking about it!

Some other good things happened this week. We brought back Friday night pickleball as a missionary activity to invite those who aren't members or are struggling. It wasn't very successful this first time, but I have a feeling it will grow a lot! It was also fast Sunday this week. Fast Sundays are always a struggle because we have to sit through three Sacrament meetings, but they're also really rewarding too. I'm always really grateful for the opportunity to fast and come closer to Heavenly Father!

There are some exciting things coming up this week as well, like the walking in the 4th of July Freedom Festival parade tomorrow morning and more pickleball, but those haven't happened yet, so I can't write about them, haha! I hope everyone has a great week and an awesome Fourth of July!

I love this country so much. God Bless America.

Elder Orchard

We found the real life Bambi

I found a smiley face in the Bible! (1 Kings 11:16 and 32, see for yourself)

There's this new thing called "Cotton Candy Grapes", supposedly
they taste just like cotton candy, but it's debatable. They were
pretty good, but they cost a meager $6.00 a pound.