Monday, August 15, 2016

15 Aug 2016 - Final

One last time. It's crazy how time sneaks up on you. As I wrap up my mission a song comes into my head. It's "Your Gonna Miss This" by Trace Adkins. I can't believe it's all over tomorrow. It doesn't seem like I've been out that long. At the same time I've been out here for forever. Home life is kind of a blur, I don't remember what it was like back home. It seems like a far off dream.
Anyway this week was really good! On Monday we went and cashed in all of the coins I've collected over the last two years. It came out to about $76, but the coin machine took like 11%. So I got 60 something dollars back. I went and bought a new pair of shoes at Ross. There just walk around shoes, but there pretty sweet. So  for our activity we played basketball and volleyball. It was really fun. We have a sister in our mission who is going to play Division 1 college volleyball after her mission. She was on the other team. She is kinda scary when it comes to playing volleyball. But anyway she went to spike the ball and I totally blocked her and everyone started yelling and shouting. Then we started smack talking back and forth the rest of the game. It was really fun.
On Tuesday I had my departing interview. We talked about continuing discipleship, college, dating, and how my mission experience was. I love President Palmer so much, Sister Palmer too. We had a lesson with Lyna. We went over the baptismal interview questions. On the way back we ran into two other sets of Elders and we make s'mores in this lady's front lawn. Then we went and saw her pig. And yeah that was Tuesday.

On Wednesday we had a lesson with Jefferson. We taught him how to grow his spiritual crop.
C- Church
R- Read
O- Obey
P- Pray
It went really good and he paid really good attention. We also taught brother Neff. We read 3 Nephi 9 with him. Then we went to the McFarlane's. It was a good visit.
On Thursday I had "Trunky Temple Day." That's what all the missionaries call it. We went to the Salt Lake Temple. Then we ate a chuck-a-Rama. Then we went back to the mission office and had a testimony meeting. It was powerful. I was tired the rest of the day. We went on a mini exchange right before dinner until the end of the evening. I was with Elder Weller the DL.

On Friday we had district meeting. We gave a training on working with stake and ward leaders. We compared working without ward leaders to when Teancum goes to kill the Lamonite king by himself and then gets killed. Following that we had my funeral. That was pretty much our day.
On Saturday we had Lyna's Baptism! It was good. There was lots of people there. I gave the talk on the Holy Ghost and Elder Coleman baptized her. After the baptism I got changed and played basketball with the young men in the Marshallese branch. Most of them were non members. It was fun. Then one of our ward mission leaders took us out to Braza Grill for lunch because I'm leaving. Then we had a lesson with Tommy. We talked about his baptism. Then we went to the church to use the bathroom. We were both in stalls on opposite sides of the bathroom. Someone walked in, used the bathroom and then walked out. We didn't think anything of it. But when we got out and were leaving we saw the bishop and two cops. The bishop saw my shoes and bag under the stall in the bathroom and thought someone had broken into the church and was going to vandalize it. Then when we got it figured out and left we went outside and ran into another set of cops circling the building. So we got the cops called on us. Then we gave a lady a blessing and taught Bill Tate later that night.

On Sunday in the first ward we went to, the bishop had me stand up and announced I was leaving. Then we had Lyna's confirmation. Then at the last Sacrament meeting the Bishop announced I was leaving and then had me come up and bear my testimony. After dinner we had a meeting planing an event with some of the wards and then we visited the McFarlanes.

Elder Pleshek

Monday, August 8, 2016

8 Aug 2016

This week was good. On Monday we played basketball and soccer. After Pday we ate dinner with the Seastrands. We had burgers and ice cream.

On Tuesday we had a lesson with Keven. We shared a some scriptures and prayed with him. Then we went to visit Richard Thompson. He had lots of questions, so we answered them for him. He was really confused about the time line of the Book of Mormon so we helped with that too.
We also taught Diana and she almost died on us. She almost had an Epileptic seizure. So we stopped the lesson and got her a taxi to the store to pic up her medicine.
 On Wednesday  we had exchanges. Elder Thacker came to my area with me. We had lots of fun. We walked around the trailer park for a while and talked to some people. We also ran into the Sisters so we talked to them as well. Then we had a lesson with Jefferson. We taught him the Law of Chastity. He said he would live it. Then that night we went to Brother Neff's house and we got on the subject of the second coming. And then we went to the McFarlanes.

On Thursday we had a lesson with Lyna. We finished teaching her all of the commandments. We have one more lesson to teach her before she gets interviewed. We also had weekly planning. Other than that it was a short day.

On Friday we had Zone Meeting. We had some really good training about companionship unity, using scriptures and overcoming challenges. Then we had training on how to teach simply and a training about keeping Christ at the center of our lives. Then we went and got shakes and hung out with our district leader for our lunch hour. The rest of the day we worked super hard and knocked on every referrals door in the 7th ward.
On Saturday we cleaned the apartment and then had lunch with Erin. It was a good time, but it was super weird. It was like meeting someone in real life that you saw in a dream. That's what home feels like, kinda like a dream. Anyway then we had a lesson with Tommy Bean. We shared some stories out of the Book of Mormon with him. Then we had a lesson with Lyna. There was some commandments that we missed so we taught those. Then we had a lesson with this lady and it was super frustrating. She would question everything thing we said. We would tell her how she can know the truth and she would say, "but how do you know that's not the devil trying to deceive you?" So we would tell her. And she would say the same thing again. So we have another lesson with her on Saturday and we have some answers for her.

On Sunday I bore my testimony twice. It was a pretty regular Sunday. We also had a lesson with Diana. She is doing better. Well that was my week.

Monday, August 1, 2016

1 Aug 2016

This week was great! On Monday we had an all day pday, because everyone was celebrating Pioneer Day and we aren't supposed to be in large crowds we got the day off. We went shopping with our district leader. And then we got back and filled up water balloons for an hour to take to our activity. Our activity was Zone Olympics. It was district on district. The first event was throwing water balloons at the Zone Leaders. Everyone took a turn throwing a water balloon. If you hit them your district got a point. Then we had a water balloon toss and the last event was a soccer tournament. We ended up getting 2nd place. Then we had a huge water fight. Once we ran out of balloons we just filled up the buckets and dumped them on each other. Then we hung out in the church building until 8pm.
On Tuesday we had a lesson with Jefferson. We taught him the Plan of Salvation. It was a good lesson and it was also very interesting. He has I think 4 younger brothers and sisters. They were being loud so our member saw some cupcakes on the stove and called all of the kids over to eat the cupcakes. So that helped. The funny part is that the member that went with us didn't even live there and had no idea what the cupcakes were for. I love serving in the Marshallese branch! It has been one of my favorite places to serve. They are all so hilarious!  Then we had a lesson with Richard Thompson. It was actually really good. He read the Book of Mormon between our visits.
He had lots of good questions for us. The Lord has really been humbling him. He even asked about church! After dinner we had a lesson with Bill Tate. During our lesson his son showed up. That was good, because he talks about his son a lot and it's good to put a face to a name. So that was Tuesday.

Wednesday was pretty uneventful. The whole day was open so we did some finding. Then after dinner we went to my last area to visit the Thaxton's. I found a suit in the apartment that doesn't fit anyone so I burned it at the Thaxton's. It was a good excuse to see them. We had ice cream afterwards and they want to take me out to dinner before I leave.

On Thursday we went to Bountiful for the whole afternoon. We took the mission van this time which is what we will probably be taking from now on unless someone borrows it when we need it. If that happens we get to take the truck, so we hope people use the van more. The mission van is one of those big 9 passenger ones. So the lesson went good. We taught the restoration and put the dad on date for August 27th. Then that night we went and helped Sister Neilson with her back yard. We dug up cinder blocks and made a wall out of them against the fence. We sprayed a lot of bugs with Raid.

On Friday we had district meeting and it was really long. It was long because during accountability the two senior couples took 20 minutes each. They talked about everyone they are teaching and they had to tell a story about every person they are teaching. And the story's weren't even related to what their concern is. We were only supposed to talk about one person and what their concern is. Then we went to In-n-out for lunch. Then we went and set up a lesson with Keven for this next week. Then that night we visited the McFarlanes. That was a good visit.
On Saturday we had a lesson with Tommy Bean. We read out of his children's Book of Mormon with him. We read about Nephi and Lehi in jail. Then we went to Lyna's house to teach her. We taught her the Plan of Salvation and the word of wisdom. She is really shy, but she is opening up to us. We also taught Jefferson, we taught him the word of wisdom and Law of Tithing. He agreed to live both of those. Nothing happened that night.

On Sunday we had a pretty average day. We dipped out of church early to go and see our recent convert Diana. Her son kicked her out and she is living in a small RV thing from the 70s. She was having a tough time, but then when we showed up she was happy as could be and was thanking God for her trials. I wish I could be more like her. She didn't come to church because she was feeling down, but she told us that she would never miss church again and nothing is going to keep her down. So it was awesome to see her. She always makes my day better. Then in the evening we went to a musical fireside in Taylorsville. It was really good. There was a gospel choir made up of Polynesians called "Devine Heritage" they are really good. You need to YouTube them. So that was my week.

25 Jul 2016

This week was great! On Monday we hung out as a district. We played Spoons, basketball and Volleyball.

On Tuesday we went to Bountiful to teach a Marshallese family. The lesson was really good and we have a return appointment this week. I got to drive and it was pretty exciting. Then we stopped and got Slurpees from 7 eleven. The rest of the day was contacting.
On Wednesday we had a lesson with Diana and then we had another one with Jefferson. Then after that we did a Zone blitz. It was long and hot. Then that night we went and visited the McFarlanes.

On Thursday we had weekly planning. Then we had a lesson with Lyna a Marshallese girl and her family. She is active and so is her family but Lyna's records have been lost and they don't have enough information to recreate them. So she has to be re baptized. So we taught her the restoration and put her on date for August 13th.  In the evening we had a lesson with Bill Tate. It was a pretty good lesson. We talked about faith with him.

On Friday we had district meeting. It was pretty good. Afterwards we ate pizza. Then we had a lesson with Tommy Bean. We read with him about baptism in the Book of Mormon. We are just preparing him for his baptism. He has already been taught everything. Then afterwards we had another lesson with Jefferson. We read in the Book of Mormon with him. Then we went to dinner and I ate a bunch of zucchini. That probably won't happen again. And that was our day.

On Saturday we had a lesson with Keven. We read scriptures with him too. Then I had a meeting with President Palmer. He says he wants to meet you and Dad when we come out in October. Then we burned my old ripped up suit with a family in Taylorsville. I also stepped in a hole and hurt my ankle.

On Sunday there was a lot of church. Jefferson didn't come to church so we have to push his baptism back a week. But yeah that was my week.

Monday, July 18, 2016

18 Jul 2016

This week was great! On Monday we went shopping and then we went to get Elder Coleman a haircut. We went to the Hispanic ladies house again. And the daughter that got offered to me was there. It was kind of awkward. Then we went to our Zone activity. It was supposed to start at 1:45, but everyone was 20 minutes late so we sat outside waiting for everyone to show up. Only half the zone showed up. We played basketball and we also played a game called tiger. Then on our way home from the activity we stopped at 7 eleven with the zone leaders so we could get a free Slurpee. Then we dropped off my stuff off at the Thaxton's. After that we went to visit the McFarlane's.

On Tuesday we got a referral from the Salt lake mission for a Marshallese family in bountiful. So we might be able to borrow the mission van to go up there. We were talking to President Palmer and he said we might get a car in the coming weeks. So I'm excited for that. We had a lesson with Tommy Bean. It was just a short lesson. We have taught him everything so we are teaching home everything that will be on the interview. Then we had a lesson with the Kinere family. They are Marshallese. They are a part member family, the dad and their 10 year old son are non-members. The dad isn't quite ready yet, but the son Jefferson is. We taught him the restoration and put him on date for August 6th. Then that night we had a lesson with Bill Tate. He bought us Pizza so that was cool. We talked about repentance with him.

On Wednesday we had Zone Conference. It was really good! I learned a lot about centering my life on Christ. At the end of the meeting President Palmer had all of the departing missionaries that were there come up and sit on the stand. So one by one in the order we sat we would get up and give our departing testimony. They started on the opposite end so I was the 3rd to last to give mine. My Zone leader Elder Clyde went right before me, him and I were the only department missionaries that cried when we bore our testimonies. After the meeting I had a lot of people come up and tell me that I made them cry. I'm glad I have so many friends. I'm going to miss them so much. It became a little more real for me after the meeting. We ended the night by visiting the McFarlanes.

On Thursday nothing really happened except for weekly planning.

On Friday there was no district meeting because we had Zone conference. We had a lesson with Keven. It was really short. We gave him a large print copy of the Book of Mormon and talked about why the scriptures are important. Then after dinner we biked to Taylorsville to contact some Marshallese potential investigators. We started at 6:30 and when we stopped biking it was 8:30. The only breaks we had were when we stopped to knock a door which was twice. Since we were in Taylorsville we stopped at the Seastrand's house. I know them from when I was in the Taylorsville South Stake and Elder Coleman met them because he took their son teaching when he was in the YSA. So we got a ride home from their son. It was much needed.

Saturday was also a slow day. The highlight is when the Sisters gave us ice cream. The whole day was just contacting. We were supposed to have two lessons, but they both cancelled. Before we headed in we left a box of junk on the Sisters doorstep and then we plastic wrapped the box so that it would take forever to open.

Sunday was very churchy. We got to bless the sacrament in one of the wards. There were some really good talks in church this week! We ate dinner with this Samoan family and I got so full. They sent us home with more food than we ate at dinner. Then we had a meeting with one of our Ward mission leaders. That was pretty much our night. That was my week.

Monday, July 11, 2016

11 Jul 2016

This week was great! On Monday we got haircuts. We got them from a lady in the Spanish branch. We can't speak Spanish so the Sisters came with us.  While Elder Case was getting his hair cut the sisters were talking to this other lady who was there. Then I heard them all laugh and one of the Sisters turned to me and said, "She thinks you’re handsome and she wants to present her daughter to you." So the lady handed me her phone and showed me a picture of her daughter. I wasn't sure what to say so I didn't say anything. I've never been offered anyone's daughter before. After that we went to Donut Falls. It was really crowded, but it was the 4th of July so we expected it would be. It was a lot easier this time through and there wasn't any near death experience, so that was good. I didn't go all the way up to the falls cuz it got kinda steep for my liking. So I chilled with Sister Martinez and we watched everyone climb to the top. On the way back to the car we saw this family and they had a girl with them who was around 10 years old. She saw a chipmunk and said, "Look a little rat!"  It was really funny. 

The Zone leaders gave us a ride home to change our shoes, because they were wet from walking through the water. Then we met at the zone building and played games until 9. I got sick at around 7:30. It's probably because I ate 3 double cheeseburgers and then played basketball right after.

Transfer day! We got Elder Case all packed up and shipped him off to Grantsville. His new companion is Elder Bowler. He is the Shortest Elder in the mission standing at 5'4" and Elder Case is 6'9". So that's pretty great. They dropped me off at the new zone building and I waited there for like an hour for Elder Coleman. He had to take a detour through Magna so his companion could pick up his new companion.

We eventually got back to the house and unpacked and then went off to some lessons. We taught a lesson to a lady named Amanda Powers. She is a non-member who is engaged to a less active member. We taught her the restoration, but when we got to the end of the lesson we felt impressed to hold off on inviting her to be baptized. And that was our first day together.

On Wednesday we taught Tommy Bean. He was supposed to have gotten baptized on Saturday, but he wants his grandpa to baptize him. His grandpa isn't super active so he met with the bishop and they agreed that the grandpa would be ready next month. So he is getting baptized on August 20th. The grandparents are also starting to work towards the temple again, so that's super exciting. Then that night we met with brother Neff. It was a great lesson as always. We talked about scripture study.

Thursday was pretty uneventful. We had weekly planning and that finished a little early so I did some additional scripture study. We had Cafe Rio for dinner so that was good. I love Cafe Rio it's like my favorite place to eat. Then we visited people for the rest of the night.

On Friday I studied D&C 106 and 107 for my studies. It was really good! Then we headed off to district meeting. The Sisters were 15 minutes late. We did a small intro thing with everyone. I told everyone that I had been out a little over a year, and then everyone laughed at me. It was a good district meeting, but it felt weird not being the one giving the training. I didn't think I would miss being district leader, but I actually do. I miss the extra opportunity to serve others and checking up on everyone and asking how there day was. I feel like a mantle was taken from me. Oh well maybe it's just to give me a taste of what going home will be like. 

Then we went to Cafe Rio for lunch. After we went and taught Keven about prophets and scriptures. It was a short lesson. So we actually didn't have dinner this week and neither did the Spanish Sisters so we all went and ate dinner at one of their members houses. It was pretty good. I'm not used to eating Hispanic food. Not much happened that night.

On Saturday we had a morning workout with the Zone. We did Zumba. It was interesting. Then we got home and left at 8:30 to go help the District Leader with a service project. We mixed and layed concrete. I've never done that before, it was cool I guess. Then until dinner we visited Bishops and Ward Mission Leaders. We have some great support here. All of the auxiliaries seem to love us. So hopefully we will have some work spread evenly around the stake. We had another lesson with Rose. We teach her at Brother Aini's house. He is from the branch and he is on the high council. So we really can't move on with the lessons a whole lot because she hasn't prayed about the Book of Mormon yet. So we went a little more in depth about prophets and the scriptures and why they are so important. She said she would read and pray about it before our next meeting. It was a really good lesson.

On Sunday we gave talks in the 7th ward on missionary work. It's weird to think that this could have been the last talk on my mission. Everyone seemed to have liked it. I wasn't super prepared for my talk because I was going to put finishing touches on my talk Sunday morning but I ended up redoing the whole thing. It turned out good though. Then we went to the Marshallese branch. After Sacrament meeting we were talking to Brother Aini and he asked us if we like teaching Marshallese people. We said, "Of course. We especially love teaching the Marshallese people."  He got this really excited look on his face and said "Oh, I will get you two or three more people to work with then!" And then he went over to this lady in the branch and asked her for referrals for us! He was so excited. So I guess all you have to do is ask. Then we went to 3rd Ward Sacrament meeting. After that we had a lesson with Diana. She now lives in an RV so that's kind of interesting. But there are no signs of her giving up hope. She gets so happy and thankful at everything we say. We told her we would get her a gospel art book so she could picture things better and she said thank you so much and started to cry. She is awesome! Then on Sunday night we got 5 referrals from the Marshallese branch for people that come actively but are not members. So things are really starting to look up!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

4 July 2016

 This week was great! On Monday we went and hiked Bell Canyon. It was super fun and really hot. There was a stream that was close to the path in some parts so we had a few water fights. When we got to the top there was a waterfall. So we went up the trail that took us up to the top of the waterfall. The creek runs through the woods and then goes to the rockface and then falls. So at the edge of the woods there was a big rock where the water comes out. So the Spanish Sister climbed on to it. The rock was covered in green algae and Sister Martinez slipped and her companion caught her. So one of the Elders went and grabbed her iPad out of her hand and then dragged her off the rock. So we almost lost a sister in the falls. When we were on the was back home Sister Martinez realized she left her iPad on top of the mountain. So the Zone Leaders went back to get it. It took them 2 1/2 hours to climb up and get it and come back down.

On Tuesday I went with Elder Hunt in his area on exchanges. We woke up in the morning and he was sick. So we didn't get out until 2. It was a slow day. We didn't have any lessons, but we did service for one of his Bishops who just had his wife pass away. They had like 10 kids and the youngest is a year old. So it felt good to help.

On Wednesday we had a lesson with two young recent converts after lunch. Then we had a pass off lesson with the Spanish Sisters. We taught a recent convert who wants to attend the English Ward. So that was fun. Then that night we taught Brother Neff. We had a lesson on service, it was really good! He is so excited to do his calling. Then after that we went and visited the McFarlanes. That was really fun.

On Thursday we went and visited Diana before we had weekly planning. She wants to be a missionary so bad. She is telling all of her friends about the Gospel. Then we had weekly planning. That went as well as can be expected. Then we had a lesson with Keven. We taught him about prayer and scripture study.  Then we had dinner and went finding the rest of the night.

Friday was awesome! We had a really good district meeting this week. We were doing accountability and then we went way off of what I planned. We started talking about what the Lord expects of us. So we decided to go back to the basics and make goals that are simple, but powerful. Then I gave a training on enduring to the end. Elder Andersen who is one of my ZLs said it was the best district meeting he has ever been to. So I thought that was cool. After lunch we did a Zone Blitz. Everyone in the zone went into two areas and got a list of people to visit. We didn't find any success on our list, but other people did. 

Then that night we met with our Marshallese investigator Rose. The lesson was super powerful and the spirit was really strong. It was probably one of the best lessons on my mission. She wasn't hesitant to accept any of our commitments. We taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We talked about the Holy Ghost and read Galatians 5:22 and explained what the Spirit feels like. Then I asked her if she was feeling those things right now and she said she did. So I asked her if she would like to feel like that all the time and she said yes. At the end we invited her to be baptized. And she said no. I was legitimately shocked! She told us she was feeling the Spirit and it seemed like it was going to be the perfect lesson and she just shot us down. I was so sad on the way home.

On Saturday we had another Zone blitz. We found one person that said we could come back. So that was cool we helped some other missionaries find some work. The rest of the day was finding. Then we got transfer calls at about 9:55pm. Elder Case is going to Grantsville and I am staying and will be senior companion to Elder Coleman. I am so excited! Elder Coleman is one of my best friends. So I was really happy about that. Our Zone got dissolved so I'm back in the Granger Zone. I also got released as a District Leader, I'm sad about that. I really loved that calling. It gave me a chance to serve more  people and it helped me grow to love my district members more. But this last 6 weeks will be a blast and I am going to work my absolute hardest.

Sunday was pretty regular. We bore our testimonies in the first meeting we went to. The second sacrament meeting we went to was long. Three people bore there testimonies and left 10 minutes. A lot of it wasn't even testimony. That kind of upset me. But yeah that was our week.