We had a really busy week. I don’t think I have ever been more exhausted in my mission. Well maybe not including that time I slept on the floor for a week. OK second most exhausting.
This week we had another meeting in Phoenix. I shouldn’t complain, im sure the hour and a half drive is miniscule in comparison to many other missions. But when you have to do that on top of a 6 hour meeting it really takes it out of you.
A lot happened this week. Not too much that would be interesting to y’all, but still a lot.
This was the first week of the transfers. My companions name is Elder Derhak. He is from Rochester New York. Elder Derhak’s most notable accomplishment is coming in third in a national cooking competition. So I have been enjoying that. The members however don’t seem to be at ease when they find out at our dinner appointments. Haha. Today we went to Costco and bought him about anything he could ever want in terms of ingredients. It sounds like any hopes of going home skinny are officially lost.
We were meeting with our New Ward mission Leader this week and as we were leaving a bunch of non members came into the church to play soccer. Our WML started to talk to one of them because he is the guys dentist. I recognized him because we had played soccer with him a few times down at the park. He was a really white guy named Dan but spoke good Spanish. So I asked him where he learned Spanish and he said he used to live in Bolivia. So we started chatting with him about the Spanish branch and we invited him and gave him our number. Here comes the cool part, today, he texted us. That’s right, HE TEXTED US. That’s never happened to us before so that’s pretty cool. We are excited to start teaching him in the coming week.
Saturday and Sunday was full of General Conference which I am sure you have heard all about. I really liked the idea and focus on ministering. Here in the America South West area of the church we have been implementing a organizational strategy called ‘Ministering the Ordinances of Exaltation to Individuals and Families (MOE.) ‘ The changes that were made only seem to mirror the success that I have seen in my mission from using the MOE. So needless to say I am excited to see this plan emphasized and expanded to the whole church.
Despite all the changes I thing the most exciting part was when they were announcing the new area 70s. I know. No one ever pays attention during that part, but I joked as they started that I was just waiting to hear out old mission president’s name (he is the only person I know who might be called) Then they did! Either that or there is another Spencer Griffen who got called to be an area 70 instead. But with all that aside I really enjoyed President Nelson at conference. I feel like he brings a whole different personality to the meetings as a whole.
We had a good Easter Sunday. We ate dinner with the Walker family (pictured) , they got a hoot out of that. 4 boys, tall, skinny, and loud. It seemed like a younger clone of our family. The oldest one’s name is Seth. He was baffled that there might be another Seth Walker in this universe.
Right now we only have one investigator in the English ward. Her husband actually called brother walker as we were leaving. Apparently the investigator was in tears because she thought that the other Elders were transferred because she didn’t get baptized. So we went over to calm her down and fix this little misunderstanding and she showed us a picture of her son, who looks JUST like the missionary who was transferred. So that was a new one for me. We got everything figured out and she is better now. I think the transfer might motivate her a little bit to take the church more seriously.
That’s this week. Really busy but really good. I hope you all had a fantastic Easter.
This week was transfers. We were pretty sure that nothing would really change that much. That was our first mistake.
It was all a mess. Basically what we decided on is that I won’t be companions with Elder Groesbeck for his last transfer. I will cover the west side of the branch, and I will double into an English ward in Prescott. But there are no apartments in Prescott, so I will still live in Prescott Valley. It will be good though.
My new companions name is Elder Derhak. I have met him a bunch of times but I have never served around him. It will be a good transfer.
We also had a spanish meeting this week. We are going to start doing video chat rooms where you can go and study together. That will really help some of the younger missionaries learn how to study. I wish I had that.
We had our first big activity in the Spanish branch. It was family history based. Elder Groesbeck and I taught for part of it. A lady from the local Spanish speaking newspaper came and interviewed us. We took home a few pounds of carne asada and a giant cooler of jamaica so I guess you could say it was a success.
Sunday was Maria’s confirmation. Afterward the Andersons invited a lot of the branch over for dinner to celebrate. They made Buffalo burgers. We also took home a lot of extra buffalo burgers.
Oh yeah a member also gave us a full Costco chicken. Shout out hermana Lerma.
I think that’s all. Talk to you next week.
We had a really busy week. We spent the whole week visiting less actives and trying to get them to the baptism on Saturday. The baptism went well, only a few minor hiccups, like Maria forgetting her towel, the brother giving the prayer not coming, and everyone showing up a half an hour late. Maria also brought two of her friends which is really awesome. We are going to try to teach them this week.
This week is Maria’s baptism. It will be the Monte Vista Branch’s first baptism. Her story is pretty cool so I will probably just share that.
This week was good. Pretty normal.
We had zone conference in Flagstaff on Tuesday. Flagstaff is further from Prescott than I thought. It is also much colder than I thought. But it was a good meeting. Not much to report. It snowed a lot on our drive back. We didn’t end up getting home until 6pm.
We had some good splits with the branch members. Being in this branch stresses me out. It’s only about 2 months old and I feel like every week if enough people don’t come we will go back to not having a branch. We are really lucky to have a lot of support from branch, stake, and mission leaders. We have been seeing a lot of the stake president recently. He has a genuine interest in helping us in the branch and in general missionary work. On Thursday he invited us to give a training on the area plan in the stake bishopric meeting and the mission president came as well. There were a lot of keys in that room.
This morning the stake president took our district out to breakfast. He’s the best.
That’s all I have for today. This week is interviews with President Collins so I will let you know if he drops any good chisme [jokes].
Oh yeah I also saw a heard of wild javalina running around the city. Scared me half to death. I don’t understand how something that large can just chill in a city like that.
Good first full week in Prescott Valley!
This is the first letter I am writing from Prescott Valley Arizona. I
am sitting on the couch in our house. There aren’t any apartments in
PV. In my last place the beds and the desks couldn’t fit in the same
room. Now we have a 3 bed two bath duplex. Our roommates took the
master bedroom so we sleep in one room and study in the other. The
garage has been converted into a gym.
Last week I found out the winter olympics were going on. I asked out
loud “I thought south Korea was in northern hemisphere, why are they
doing the winter olympics in the summer?” Guys, I legitamemtly forgot
it was still winter. And as it turns out just because Phoenix is 85
degrees does not mean the rest of the world is. It has been snowing
for a good 3 hours now. That’s not okay. It’s too cold here.
So this is my first time covering an English ward on my mission. They
asked me to say a prayer in sacrament meeting. It was rough. Elder
Groesbeck mentioned that I sound uncomfortable praying in English. I
cant imagine what it would be like actually serving a foreign language
mission. I think I got over it pretty quickly though. The members are
cool, They don’t cook quite like the hispanics down in the valley. I do
bring with me a bottle of tapatío and a bag of chile tepín with me
wherever I go just in case.
The spanish branch here is pretty new. This was its third Sunday and
we had about 60 people. There used to be a branch here about three
years ago but it had to be dissolved when the branch president went
inactive. So right now we are just searching through the cities of
Prescott and Prescott Valley looking for hispanic people to come to
church. I had the bright idea to go get a phone book and visit anyone
with a hispanic name, its much more effective than knocking random
doors. I feel like if the average american knew that phonebooks still
existed they would be offended that their name number and address was
Our english area is tiny. About 4 square miles. Half of it we can’t
tract or they will call the police on us. Our spanish area however is
huge. We have to go to places like Chino Valley or Williamson which is
all dirt roads. Last week I was afraid of a pitbull knocking me off my
bike and this week I am taking cover in my truck from a mad ostrich.
Missionary work is the same everywhere.
Oh and we heard that a bunch of the branch was playing soccer on
saturday so we showed up. It was a lot of fun. My legs are really
sore. I take it as a warning to start running again before i get home
and cant run for 2 minutes without falling down and dying.
Well i think that’s my week. I will try to send pics later. Hasta luego!