Monday, October 5, 2015

Email 9-28-2015

Hello everyone.

Sorry I haven't written much lately!  Always have very
little time and so much to do.

It's been great here though. We found
four new investigators this week and Efe got baptized! She asked me to baptize her so that was pretty awesome.  Two of our new investigators came to the baptism then stayed afterwards for the whole women's general broadcast.  One of them has a boyfriend that is a missionary and a brother that's a member.  Then her boyfriend's mom showed up to our branch for branch conference yesterday.  We got her boyfriend's email and brother's number to talk to them.  Pretty sweet.

We had Efe teach us the restoration yesterday and her understanding is so good. She's going to come with us to teach the new investigators Wednesday. This is week 6 of the transfer so I could get transferred but I'm like 96% sure I'm staying.  I got a pretty solid assurance from elder Chilton, the assistant to the mission president and my mission grandpa that I'm staying.  Mission life is hard but great.  Anyways I miss and love you all and hope you have a great week.  I have to run errands
but hopefully I'll be able to email some afterwards.

Elder Alarid
Full-time Missionary
New Hampshire, Manchester Mission
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints



New Hampshire


Elder Johnson at the thrift shop


Monday, August 17, 2015

Email 8-15-2015

Hello everyone!  I hope you are all doing well.  I know today's not Monday but because we went to the temple today, we had to switch our preparation day.  So you won't be hearing from me this coming Monday.  That's ok though.  I'll jump into my week now.

Monday was preparation day.  Good times.  We had dinner at the Felch's but it was family home evening so they had a lesson prepared so we didn't share any message.  Then we went on exchanges with the Wolfeboro Elders.  I went to Wolfeboro with Elder Redford.  Elder Johnson was with Elder Nelson in Plymouth.

Tuesday was alright, Elder Redford was sick so we pretty much stayed in the apartment.  I just studied like all day.  I've been studying a book called Jesus the Christ which is kind of a biography of Christ's life.  It explains a lot and goes pretty deep into some things.  I am really enjoying it.  I read like 100 pages of it Tuesday.

Wednesday was pretty good.  We had district meeting and exchanged back with our companions.  We spent the day in Meredith.  We tracted into a guy named Noah who was really interested.  We taught him the restoration. We're going to meet with him again on Monday.  We had dinner with the Tremblays and tried to help them figure out how to do family history for temple work with little success.

Thursday we had exchanges with the missionaries who are the assistants to the mission president.  Their names are Elder Aldous and Elder Chilton.  Elder Chilton was Elder Johnson's trainer so they went together.  I was with Elder Aldous.  We just split up in Plymouth.  We went and did service at the community meal.  Then we mostly tracted a lot.  Most of the people we planned to see fell through.  We met with Brother Mitchell, the former member.  We were talking with him about the "spark" he felt when first joined the church.  He said it was strong and he shared an experience of when he was preparing to be baptized he had to quit drinking and smoking and he was really struggling.  One day he said a prayer and just like that he no longer had that desire to do those things it had just disappeared.  Pretty cool and crazy.  The assistants stayed the night that night.  We stayed up till like 1:30 just laying in bed all talking.

Friday was fairly uneventful.  We did service at the thrift shop.  We did a bunch of tracting.  We had dinner at the Cases.  And afterwards we went to see the Tremblays and try to help them with their family history again. We got them each one name to take the temple.

Today we woke up at 05:00.  We went to the Boston temple with Brother and Sister Tremblay.  We met some other branch members there.  We went and did baptisms.  We did confirmations because that's all we're allowed to do.  It was way cool though.  It's a pretty temple.  We had a good time and the spirit was really strong.  It was Sister Tremblay's first time and brother Tremblay's first in a long time.

Anyways that's my week so far.  I hope everyone is doing well.  I love and miss you all.

Love,
Elder Alarid

Friday, August 7, 2015

Pics 8-3-2015










Elder Johnson thought this said "Snuggler's Cove" and was real excited.








Email 8-3-2015

Happy Prep-Day friends and family!  How are you all doing?  Everything's going well here.  Had a pretty cool week.  Today I won't have as much time to watch email because we are going to the polar caves which are I guess caves that are icey all year long.  I'll try and send some pics if I get back early enough.  I miss you all and hope you are doing well.  I'll jump into my week now.

Monday was P-Day.  I had some real good email time.  I got an awesome package in the mail.  Packages are the best.  Mail in general really.  We were out of miles for the month so we were walking.  And it's way hot and humid so not fun.  Gotta get some short sleeve shirts.  Good day though.

Tuesday was good.  Just walked like crazy.  We met a real nice guy named Steve whose son is LDS and lives in San Diego.  We had a dinner appointment with Brother Mitchell and he had requested that we review and discuss the articles of faith so he can teach them to his daughter in law.  The articles of faith are the 13 core beliefs that make up our church.

They are:
1 We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.

2 We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.

3 We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

4 We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

5 We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

6 We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.

7 We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.

8 We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

9 We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

10 We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.

11 We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

12 We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

13 We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul--We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

If you have any questions about any of these, feel free to ask me in an email.  After dinner we had the Book of Mormon class and then ice cream after with the class attendees.

Wednesday was solid. We had district meeting in the morning and the two missionary assistants to the mission president were there.  One of them is Elder Chilton, Elder Johnson's trainer.  They're pretty cool. We went to visit our good friend brother MacPherson and got to teach him AND his wife for the first time since I've been here so that was cool.

Thursday was decent.  We did service at the community meal.  Then we tracted in Rumney FOREVER.  And it poured the entire time.  We had a dinner appointment at the Cases and committed them and another sister that was there to give out a Book of Mormon to someone so that was cool.

Friday was pretty cool.  We had a really good lesson with potential investigator named Alexander and his friend Clarity.  We taught about the restoration of the church of Jesus Christ.  It went awesome.  He prayed at the end and we gave both of them copies of the Book of Mormon.  We had service at the thrift shop.  We had dinner with the Tremblays, they're always tons of fun.

Saturday we just basically did service.  For like 10 hours.  First we helped the Branch a Presidents son with his Eagle Scout project.  Just digging holes mostly for us.  Which is more complicated than it sounds here because the soil is like 90% giant rocks.  After that we helped some people move which didn't really go well.  We got there at 10 and that's when they said they would have the truck there.  They weren't organized or ready and the truck didn't get there til like 12:30.  They live in a trailer with 14 cats...

Sunday was awesome.  15 minutes before church I felt like we should go see brother Mitchell and check on him and wake him up if necessary.  We did wake him up but he said he was too tired and he wasn't coming.  You could see that he felt bad because we went out of our way to come see him.  10 minutes into church he walked in.  So that was awesome.  I didn't think he was going to come.  Then BOTH Tremblays bore their testimony.  Brother Tremblay got the Melchizedek Priesthood today, or the higher priesthood, (let me know if you have any questions about the priesthood) and in his testimony he said he was psyched because he would be able to cast out demons and he was pretty sure there was one in his 2 year old son.  I don't think I've ever heard so much laughter in church before.  His son is way crazy and rowdy in church so everybody totally felt that joke.  We got to participate in giving him the priesthood too which was way cool.  We taught the young women in the 3rd hour about missionary work which was pretty awesome.  We had them do role plays about how they could proclaim they are Christian to people without it being weird.  We do role plays a lot as missionaries.  They are awkward but they help.  We had lunch at the Lopez house.  They had Hawaiian haystacks which were hecka good.  It way reminded me of my ward back home because that's the only place I had ever had them.  After we went and saw our potential Gary.  He is atheist and studies religion as a hobby so he knows a ton about the bible and religions.  Not so much about our religion. He has a ton of issues with the bible and it's crazy how a lot of the things he believes fit with what we believe and/or they answer his concerns.  He's in no way convinced but it was cool to see.  He asked a million questions while we taught the restoration so we had to touch on like every topic in the church but I think it really went well.  Except a 30 minute lesson turned into 1 hour and 45 minutes.  But it was fun and he's really nice about it.  He just has genuine concerns about things but he is willing to listen and hear other views.

So yeah pretty awesome week, especially Sunday.  I miss you all and will try to get to emailing everyone that has emailed me but we have a lot less time today.  So don't be mad if I don't.  Anyways have a great week and keep up being awesome.

Love,
Elder Alarid

Monday, July 27, 2015

Pics 7-27-2015


Brother Tremblay


My pro quality pizza, pre cooked


Side of someone's house, pretty sweet.

Email 7-27-2015

Happy Monday!  How's everyone doing today?  I miss you all.  Everything is going well here.  Had a pretty good productive week, and having lots of fun as always.  I appreciate all the emails I get.  I hope everyone is doing well.  I guess I'll jump into my week.  

Monday was good.  We did all our normal prep day stuff, relaxed and played a little risk. The we had dinner at the Cates and their daughter Moriah had a family home evening lesson planned so we didn't share a message.  We saw the Maines.  They are nice people.  I wish they lived closer so we could visit them more.  They want us to but they live on the edge of our area and we never have enough miles to go there more than once or twice.  

Tuesday was good.  We went back out to Warren and got to teach the restoration like 4 times.  We taught one of our potentials Tyler but turns out he is shipping out for basic the next day.  It's lame because he was really open to it and interested.  We thought we could totally pick him up as an investigator.  But we gave him our number and told him to call us in a couple months when he could and we would get the missionaries in that area to teach him.  He said he would, so hopefully.  Another cool thing that happened that day was Elder Johnson didn't really want to go try to see one potential lady we had there because she had kinda blown us off a couple times and he wanted to wait longer, but I felt like we should.  We went and ended up being able to teach her the restoration.  It was a good lesson.  It was cool because we almost didn't go see her.  Later we went and had dinner with Russ, he's hilarious but a character haha.  He's less active and struggles with some aspects of the church but he's super nice.  I think I emailed about the time we pulled up in his driveway and he pulled a gun on us.  Haha.  He has a fireworks business and does displays and he shot off some sweet M80s for us while we were there.  He gives us a lot of crap but you just have to give it back to him and he'll like you.  He said he really appreciates us coming.  We taught Book of Mormon class.  Then our nonmember friend Sathesh asked us to give him a ride to Hannafords to get groceries because he only has a bike and it was pouring out.  Well that's against mission rules so we couldn't.  But we went and got his groceries for him because he didn't have any food and some other things.  He might let us start teaching him mini-lessons so we can be around more. He just wants to hang out and doesn't get that we don't really have free time.  But if we can teach him anyway we can that's cool.  Grandpa Tony emailed me and said I got a jury summons, that's pretty funny.  I don't think I'll make it back to CA for the trial.  

Wednesday was solid.  We had zone meeting in the morning for like 5 hours.  I lead the zone in reciting our purpose.  Which the D&C section 4 is included in that.
The entire thing is:
Our purpose, is to invite others to come unto Christ, by helping them receive the restored gospel, through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.
Doctrine and covenants section 4:
1 Now behold, a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men.
2 Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.
3 Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work;
4 For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul;
5 And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work.
6 Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence.
7 Ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Amen.

After that I had to talk about part of it that I like. So I talked about "Ask and he shall receive".  It's such a common theme throughout the scriptures.  James 1:5-6, 3 Nephi 18-20, and a ton more repeat that same idea.  Ask God, and he shall giveth liberally.  It's a simple, yet powerful promise.  He has that support for us in everything we do especially when it is aligned with his course.  I have a huge testimony of that since I've been on my mission.  The Lord has been there with me constantly.  It's like he promised in D&C 84:88 "And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." Pretty powerful stuff.  Later after zone conference we were invited to make an appearance at the relief society pool party, mostly to eat food.  Haha so we went there.  All of the sisters decided to rush us and attack us with water balloons.  Elder Johnson scrambled and was gone.  I just stood there and took it like a man.  Haha, tons hit me but every single one bounced off without breaking.  I joked about us missionaries being protected by the armor of God.  Elder Johnson and I had a 2 man mini water balloon fight with 3 a piece.  He missed with all his, I nailed him good right in the neck with my last one.  Afterwards we went and taught Sathesh the 5 minute restoration, that's all we had because he timed us.  :P. He gave us 6 minutes to teach.  In return we had to help him work on his accent.  We were supposed to get the area book planner app for our iPads after zone conference but it didn't happen.  Supposedly we'll get it this upcoming week.

Thursday we served at the community meal.  We tracted a lot and met a potential named Rachel.  She's a college student here and said she things she should learn about other religions so that's cool.  We also went home teaching with Brother Smith and that was fun.  

Friday we did service at the thrift shop.  We got a bunch of ties.  Thrift shops are cool.  They also gave us a throwaway table that were are going to use for our game table.  We are going to convert the back room into a game/chill room.  It'll be sweet.  We met with Jonathan.  We had dinner at the Tremblays and it was make your own pizza night.  Mine was pretty amazing.  I didn't know I had such skill as a pizza chef.  We taught them the 10 commandments and the law of chastity.  They are so cool, I'm going to miss them when I leave.

Saturday was good.  We were supposed to help some people move but it fell through.  So we had a big gap in our plans so we set up to go do service for the Tremblays.  We went and split wood.  The Tremblays were using a wood splitter but to make it go faster I was using an axe and doing it by hand.  It was hard work but pretty fun.  I've never split wood before.  I got pretty bomb at it by the end.  Brother Tremblay was way good, but I was second best fo sho.  We did that for like 4+ hours.  I was exhausted by the end we came home and took our lunch at dinner all at once and slept for like an hour.  We went and taught Sathesh the plan of salvation in 5 minutes.  Then we finally were able to meet with a less active named Ethan.  We've been trying to since I got here.  

Sunday was good.  A member of the mission presidency came to our branch.  He emphasized the importance of us all working together to find people to teach.  He wants us to implement a family mission plan with everyone in the branch.  We had dinner with the Merrifields which is always fun.  

Anyways.  Keep up the emails, and for those of you who haven't, you should!  :) I miss you all.

Love,
Elder Alarid

Email 7-20-2015

Happy Monday!  How's everyone doing today?  I miss you all.  Everything is going well here.  Had a pretty good productive week, and having lots of fun as always.  I appreciate all the emails I get.  I hope everyone is doing well.  I guess I'll jump into my week.

Monday was good.  We did all our normal prep day stuff, relaxed and played a little risk. The we had dinner at the Cates and their daughter Moriah had a family home evening lesson planned so we didn't share a message.  We saw the Maines.  They are nice people.  I wish they lived closer so we could visit them more.  They want us to but they live on the edge of our area and we never have enough miles to go there more than once or twice.

Tuesday was good.  We went back out to Warren and got to teach the restoration like 4 times.  We taught one of our potentials Tyler but turns out he is shipping out for basic the next day.  It's lame because he was really open to it and interested.  We thought we could totally pick him up as an investigator.  But we gave him our number and told him to call us in a couple months when he could and we would get the missionaries in that area to teach him.  He said he would, so hopefully.  Another cool thing that happened that day was Elder Johnson didn't really want to go try to see one potential lady we had there because she had kinda blown us off a couple times and he wanted to wait longer, but I felt like we should.  We went and ended up being able to teach her the restoration.  It was a good lesson.  It was cool because we almost didn't go see her.  Later we went and had dinner with Russ, he's hilarious but a character haha.  He's less active and struggles with some aspects of the church but he's super nice.  I think I emailed about the time we pulled up in his driveway and he pulled a gun on us.  Haha.  He has a fireworks business and does displays and he shot off some sweet M80s for us while we were there.  He gives us a lot of crap but you just have to give it back to him and he'll like you.  He said he really appreciates us coming.  We taught Book of Mormon class.  Then our nonmember friend Sathesh asked us to give him a ride to Hannafords to get groceries because he only has a bike and it was pouring out.  Well that's against mission rules so we couldn't.  But we went and got his groceries for him because he didn't have any food and some other things.  He might let us start teaching him mini-lessons so we can be around more. He just wants to hang out and doesn't get that we don't really have free time.  But if we can teach him anyway we can that's cool.  Grandpa Tony emailed me and said I got a jury summons, that's pretty funny.  I don't think I'll make it back to CA for the trial.

Wednesday was solid.  We had zone meeting in the morning for like 5 hours.  I lead the zone in reciting our purpose.  Which the D&C section 4 is included in that.
The entire thing is:
Our purpose, is to invite others to come unto Christ, by helping them receive the restored gospel, through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.
Doctrine and covenants section 4:
1 Now behold, a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men.
2 Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.
3 Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work;
4 For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul;
5 And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work.
6 Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence.
7 Ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Amen.

After that I had to talk about part of it that I like. So I talked about "Ask and he shall receive".  It's such a common theme throughout the scriptures.  James 1:5-6, 3 Nephi 18-20, and a ton more repeat that same idea.  Ask God, and he shall giveth liberally.  It's a simple, yet powerful promise.  He has that support for us in everything we do especially when it is aligned with his course.  I have a huge testimony of that since I've been on my mission.  The Lord has been there with me constantly.  It's like he promised in D&C 84:88 "And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." Pretty powerful stuff.  Later after zone conference we were invited to make an appearance at the relief society pool party, mostly to eat food.  Haha so we went there.  All of the sisters decided to rush us and attack us with water balloons.  Elder Johnson scrambled and was gone.  I just stood there and took it like a man.  Haha, tons hit me but every single one bounced off without breaking.  I joked about us missionaries being protected by the armor of God.  Elder Johnson and I had a 2 man mini water ballon fight with 3 a piece.  He missed with all his, I nailed him good right in the neck with my last one.  Afterwards we went and taught Sathesh the 5 minute restoration, that's all we had because he timed us.  :P. He gave us 6 minutes to teach.  In return we had to help him work on his accent.  We were supposed to get the area book planner app for our iPads after zone conference but it didn't happen.  Supposedly we'll get it this upcoming week.

Thursday we served at the community meal.  We tracted a lot and met a potential named Rachel.  She's a college student here and said she things she should learn about other religions so that's cool.  We also went home teaching with Brother Smith and that was fun.

Friday we did service at the thrift shop.  We got a bunch of ties.  Thrift shops are cool.  They also gave us a throwaway table that were are going to use for our game table.  We are going to convert the back room into a game/chill room.  It'll be sweet.  We met with Jonathan.  We had dinner at the Tremblays and it was make your own pizza night.  Mine was pretty amazing.  I didn't know I had such skill as a pizza chef.  We taught them the 10 commandments and the law of chastity.  They are so cool, I'm going to miss them when I leave.

Saturday was good.  We were supposed to help some people move but it fell through.  So we had a big gap in our plans so we set up to go do service for the Tremblays.  We went and split wood.  The Tremblays were using a wood splitter but to make it go faster I was using an axe and doing it by hand.  It was hard work but pretty fun.  I've never split wood before.  I got pretty bomb at it by the end.  Brother Tremblay was way good, but I was second best fo sho.  We did that for like 4+ hours.  I was exhausted by the end we came home and took our lunch at dinner all at once and slept for like an hour.  We went and taught Sathesh the plan of salvation in 5 minutes.  Then we finally were able to meet with a less active named Ethan.  We've been trying to since I got here.

Sunday was good.  A member of the mission presidency came to our branch.  He emphasized the importance of us all working together to find people to teach.  He wants us to implement a family mission plan with everyone in the branch.  We had dinner with the Merrifields which is always fun.

Anyways.  Keep up the emails, and for those of you who haven't, you should!  :) I miss you all.

Love,

Elder Alarid

Email 7-13-2015

Hello people of my other life!  Happy P-Day!  I miss you all.  Everything is going well here.  No one is being transferred.  Permission granted to resume all mail!  :P How's everyone doing?  It's been a decent week but probably our worst week numbers wise.  We have like no one to teach and it's been a real struggle.  So another six weeks with Elder Johnson in Plymouth, New Hampshire.  Anyways, I hope everyone is doing well.  I'll kick off the weekly report now.

Monday was P-Day.  We had a breakfast appointment with the Merrifields which was cool.  We played chess with our friend Sathesh.  He's from India going to college here.  He destroyed both of us, he's like president of the chess club here.  We had a dinner appointment with the Billins that night as well.  The son, Isaac just got back a couple months ago from his mission in the California, San Jose mission.  Planning is stressful because we don't really have any investigators to teach so it's hard to figure out what to do.

Tuesday was fun.  We had a lunch appointment with a friend of some members here named Lew.  He went to some seminars at BYU and got treated better there than he has really anywhere else, so he try's to "pay it back" to the missionaries.  He likes Mormons and missionaries, and he's been to like every church history site and knows all the church vocabulary, but he's pretty into the Episcopal Church and says he isn't interested in converting. But he was expressing some frustrations with the way his church has been going, so maybe in the future.  Oh scary experience!  We were tracting a road Tuesday (knocking doors) and this dog comes charging out of a house from like 100 yards away barking it's head off.  A pretty big dog and it looked mean.  It was raining so we both had umbrellas.  As it got close we both, in unison, put our umbrellas in front of us facing the dog and it stopped and just barked at us.  We walked backwards away from it, still holding the umbrellas, and eventually it went back.  We really think it only didn't attack us because of the umbrellas.  Five minutes later the rain stopped so we almost wouldn't have even brought them out.  Heavenly Father totally sent us the rain to keep us from becoming chew toys.  Pretty cool experience.  We had Book of Mormon class which was good.  We played some basketball before and after which was fun.  Much needed diversion.

Wednesday we had exchanges with the zone leaders.  We exchanged at district meeting and Elder Buchanan and I headed back to my area so I was leading out.  Elder Buchanan is cool, he's from Utah.  We visited Brother MacPherson and helped him wash his car, then tried to help him with some struggles he is having.  He ran into some former investigators that used to love visiting the missionaries.  They were dropped because they didn't have any interest in converting.  But we got a return appointment to see them next Wednesday.  Turns out we don't even have any record of them in our area book.  We asked to have a lightning lesson with the Smiths and they invited us to dinner which was cool.

Thursday we got a return appointment from tracting which didn't seem super promising, but still pretty cool.  We did service at the community meal for elderly people which was fun as always.  Elder Buchanan beat me at chess but it was a super close intense game.  We did a lighting lesson with the Felch's and shared the "Your Potential, Your Priveleges" Mormon message.  Sister Felch said I inspired her because I was the only member in my family and was on a mission.  I just said, "Well I know the church is true, so no one else can really affect that."  Sister Case is the caregiver for Sister Felch's mom who is disabled and they were both there.  Sister Case said to sister Felch's mom, who is a non-member, "It's like I told you earlier, if you know you just know."  Then her mom looked at me and said, very sincerely, "But how do you know?" I told her that I had visited other church's before and that there's no where the spirit resides like it does in our church.  That feeling is unlike anything else.  It only exists here and it's undeniable once you've felt, and recognized it.  It was a really cool, powerful experience.  Afterwards, we visited Sister Campbell who just had back surgery.  We shared Mosiah 24 with her about how the Lord visits his people in their afflictions and makes their burdens light.  It was cool.  Then we had Ben and Jerrys with the other Elders and exchanged back.

Friday was cool, we tracted and I placed my first two copies of the Book of Mormon.  Elder Johnson hasn't really emphasized it.  I tried to get referrals from every single person I talked to and I just tried really hard.  One guy said we can come back another time so that's cool.  I prayed specifically to find a husband and wife that would be interested, to teach and he was talking about his wife so I hope that's them.  We taught a lightning lesson to the Cases and on the drive over there I felt prompted to give them a Book of Mormon to place and when I did they said they had been planning on asking for one to give to someone they had in mind so that was awesome.  I felt like I did really well on following promptings of the spirit today.  We saw Brother Tremblay for dinner.  I feel like their kids are getting to really like us so that's cool.

Saturday was ok.  We worked hard, but nothing really came of it.  We got a text about transfers.  Neither of us are being transferred.

Sunday was good.  Church was good as always.  Brother Mitchell came, the former member, and I invited him and Brother MacPherson to come to Book of Mormon class on Tuesday.  We visited with Lew for a bit after church.  He's a cool guy.  We also saw the Cases for a bit.  We hung out with Sathesh at dinner for a bit, and I beat him at chess!  I think he got cocky after the first time and underestimated me.  But it was cool.

I miss you all.  Email me.  Have a great week if I don't hear from you.

Love, Elder Alarid

Friday, July 10, 2015

Email 7-6-2015

Happy P-Day everyone!

It's good to be reporting back to the West Coast and semi-less Western folk.  How have you all been? Everything is going well here.  Having a blast and trying to work hard.  The work is proceeding but we're having trouble finding people to teach.  We're planning on dropping two of our non-progressing investigators and we only have one that is progressing but she is in Nigeria until mid-August now.  Lame!  But anyways I'm not too worried.  We are doing everything we can and I don't stress about what isn't happening at this point because I know God is leading the path.  Even if we don't feel like it's happening I know we are doing what he wants and needs us to do.  I just trust that whenever something doesn't seem like it goes right, that it really went right we just don't know what needed to happen.  But anyways This is P-day of week 6 of the transfer.  This is the last week which means transfers are next Tuesday.  Transfers are when we get moved to different areas every six weeks for those of you who don't know.  It's done through prayer and inspiration by our mission president and you don't always move.  I think Elder Johnson and I will probably both stay because he is training still.  I train for two transfers.  But sometimes you have a follow up trainer instead of staying with one for both so he may transfer out.  I could technically transfer too but it'll probably be him.  So if I transfer I'll be moving areas Tuesday so if you have something you want to mail and haven't yet, probably wait until next Monday when I can let everyone know if I'm transferring.  Don't want to miss it.  Anyways I miss the heck out of everyone and hope you are all doing well.  My assignment for you this week is to watch the message "You Never Know" it's great. https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2014-00-008-you-never-know?lang=eng.  Anyways here's what my week consisted of.

Monday was P-day and we did all the normal P-Day stuff.  We gave a bunch of food to a guy who didn't have any and hadn't eaten in a few days.  It seems like emails from myldsmail to myldsmail take a couple hours to go through which is hecka annoying.

Tuesday was cool.  We taught our investigator Efey (Eff-ay) we taught her the gospel of Jesus Christ and I invited her to be baptized on August 29th and she accepted.  We had to extend it far out because she left yesterday to go to Nigeria until August.  She's awesome though!  We taught the Tremblays the restoration with their home teachers, Brother Rino (Ree-no) and Brother Smith.  It went well.  We had Book of Mormon class and I had studied for it that morning so I was able to teach it actually pretty well I think.  Afterwards we had ice cream with the Cases, Sister Tremblay, and Sister Collins.  Fun times.

Wednesday we had exchanges right after district meeting.  I went to Wolfeboro with Elder Reed.  Elder Reed is from Idaho, he's pretty cool.  We met an investigator kid named Tyler who isn't keeping commitments and seems like he kind of thinks it is a game.  I committed him to fast and pray about the truth of the church Sunday for fast and testimony meeting.  He had never fasted before.  Oh cool story I was kind of feeling weird about exchanging and being out of my area because I have stewardship for my area and am supposed to further the work in my area.  But then we got asked to come to dinner by a family that their non-member sister was there and turns out she's from the Plymouth area.  So I actually got a referral for my area while I was on exchanges in Wolfeboro.  The people we had dinner with were the caretakers of the Marriott compound which is basically a private community of all the summer homes for the Marriott family, like the hotel.  They are all church members.  Wolfeboro is like where all the rich people go for summer.  Mitt Romney goes to that ward for summer I think he is there now.  We got a tour of the compound it was pretty crazy.

Thursday was cool too.  I was still in Wolfeboro.  We met with a less active member who is moving to SoCal.  We shared a message called "Encircled in His Gentle Arms" which was the first presidency message from the March Ensign.  It turns out we mixed up our plans and had planned that for someone else but it was like perfect for him and went super well.  Pretty cool.  Later we met a guy who had like two types of cancer pretty bad and was getting ready to start chemo.  He had a great positive outlook on it and it was pretty inspiring.  We exchanged back after that and when I got home I found out Elder Johnson lost the Tiki Spoon.  He couldn't even make it through one exchange with it! What a slacker!  Haha.

Friday we met with Efey and taught her the Word of Wisdom which is about abstaining from unhealthy substances.  She said she would try it and pay attention to the spirit she felt.  I also got her to pray for the first time with us in the lesson.  She tried to get out of it but I persisted and convinced her to.  It was a great prayer and was so cool.  I felt like I finally was able to see where she was at with what we're teaching her by hearing her prayer and I think she's doing great.  She heading to Nigeria yesterday so hopefully everything goes well there that she'll be able to keep progressing when she returns.  We met with the Tremblays for one of the new member lessons and dinner.  Then we played volleyball with them for a little bit.  It was super fun.  We all had a blast.

Saturday, happy Fourth of July.  We mostly spent all day tracking down less actives and updating their info, the missionaries must have been really lax before on updating it because like 90% of them have no info.  We're trying to update everyone.  We pooled money together to try and make a decent meal (hamburger helper) but Elder Johnson burnt the heck out of it like really bad.  It was pretty terrible but luckily we had also bought a couple small Ben and Jerrys so that kind of kept our spirits up about it.  Nope, we didn't get to see any fireworks.  No exceptions allowed about the 21:00 in the apartment rule.  Kind of lame but it is what it is.  That's not what I'm here for but it would've been cool.

Sunday was good.  It was fast Sunday and man was I hungry all day.  During testimony meeting I bore my testimony on the importance of following promptings and opening your mouth.  I talked about how Satan tried to bind Joseph Smith's tongue before the first vision of God, the Father and Jesus Christ and how Elder Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke during a devotional while I was at the MTC and he said all Satan has to do to win is to keep us from opening our mouths.  I related this to missionary work especially and then also to testimony meeting and how people needed to hear what you are prompted to say.  Also how if they feel like they need to go up and bear their testimony that is from the Holy Ghost and how if afterwards they feel like they don't want to, that is the devil trying to bind their tongue.  Before I went there was long pauses in between testimonies and afterwards it was pretty rapid fire so that was pretty cool.  Also lots of people began to bear their testimonies about missionary experiences which is awesome.  Afterwards we went and visited the Cases and their daughter and Brother Case's sister were there.  When we talked about sharing a message with Brother and Sister Case the daughter and sister decided to go for a walk.  The daughter is inactive and the sister isn't a member of the church.  It's hard to know how much the gospel can bless the lives of those you care about but not know how to show them.  We shared a Mormon message with them called You Never Know which is about how we don't see the good that comes from our actions and how it affects people.  We encouraged them to keep setting good examples and to have faith in our Heavenly Father for his plans are beyond our sight and they always are better than whatever we can imagine for ourselves.  We went and home taught with a member who's home teaching companion is in Australia.  For those who don't know home teaching is something that the church has setup for its members to visit each other and make sure everyone is doing well and uplift them and help them in any way you can.  You teach a spiritual message put out by the first presidency of the church each month.  The first presidency messages are always really good.

I miss everyone and hope you will keep me updated as to what is going on.  I appreciate all emails and everything!

Love,
Elder Alarid

Monday, June 15, 2015

Email 6-15-2015

Hey everyone!

I miss you all and hope everything is going well there.  Email me and keep me updated.  Getting emails throughout the week is awesome :) Anyways everything here is going great.  We're keeping busy.  Missionaries don't have much to any free time and even the little we have is pretty dictated as far as what we can do.  But it's probably good.  Keeps us focused on the task at hand.  I wrote a letter Sunday morning then found out I was only supposed to write them on p days.  That's rough I was pretty sure we were able to write them throughout the week.  Lame.  Anyways I'll talk about what has happened since I emailed last.

Last Monday.  So we found out that we weren't aloud to use the cars for our exchange I don't remember if I talked about that in the last email or not but it was pretty lame.  Elder Johnson left that night and Elder Williams showed up who was another brand new missionary.  We just tried to street contact that night in Plymouth. It was late and no one was out so it was rough.

Tuesday was obnoxious, we street contacted for a good while and got a lot of ITLs (invitations to learn) then we had to take some online course for using the iPads.  We tried biking to see an investigator but turns out we went the wrong way so we went like 10 miles total of nonstop big hills.  It was obnoxious.  Plus it was raining decently heavy.  We had to cancel our dinner appt because we had no way to get there and had to find a ride to the church to teach the Book of Mormon class. Finally we found one but we were pretty late.  Brother Case took us there and we got McFlurrys after which was a tender mercy.  We got back at like 2050 and the other Elders were waiting outside at the apartment and then I realized I had the keys and they couldn't get in haha whoops!  It was funny though.  So we switched back companions.  Oh and Sister Larcher who we were supposed to have dinner with brought us pizza so that was way cool.

Wednesday we had district meeting, we found out we are getting rid of ITLs and are using a RAs (return appointments) instead and we will keep being able to read our emails during the week.  So keep emailing me :P We helped the Trembleys move their chicken coop.  Then we met with the Branch Mission Leader Bro Lopez who I found out likes Star Wars and Smallville, what a boss! We met with an investigator named Lisa and shared the He Lives video with her but she couldn't really see it because she is waiting on new glasses so we'll have to share it again.  Skyler entered the MTC today I miss that Elder.  I hope he is doing great!

Thursday was cool.  We had service at the community center which was fun.  It was cool seeing people I had met and served there the previous week and they were cool.  We got international stamps during lunch so I could send a letter to Maddyson/Sister Martin.  We met with the Maines, Brother Maine has MS and is disabled they both seem really nice.  Then we met with another investigator, I feel like like we aren't really helping him progress because I don't think he really cares about our message, I think he just likes the company.   We went to dinner at the Clarkes and they seemed cool.  Brother Clark was career military he was in the Navy then the Army.  Finally we met with Jonathon and shared a message called "the Lord wants to forgive." It was pretty cool.

Friday we had weekly planning which was solid. Then we had service at the thrift shop.  It was productive.  Next we met with Brother Boyd he is a pretty old less active member.  He smokes and has a lot of health problems.  Elder Johnson says we usually read 1 chapter and then go.  But he kept asking to read the next chapter so we read like 4 chapters.  He seemed super nice though haha.  His smoky apartment clung to us for like an hour.  Then we tracked for a long time and met lots of nice people and like 3-4 potentials.  One lady said she was having a really hard time and some medical problems then we showed her the He Lives video and she said it made her day.  So that was really cool.  Also we had Burger King for dinner, pretty solid.

Saturday was aight.  We had the baptismal interview for Sister Tremblay in the morning, she passed haha.  Elder Jensen did it, the ZL (Zone Leader) from Roseville.  We called one of our potentials from the previous day and he agreed to meet with us on Wednesday.  We met with Brother McPherson and shared a Mormon message with him called "You Will Be Freed" which was about Satan taking away our agency with addictions and how we can overcome this through Jesus Christ.

We went shopping and split the cost to have taco night which was sweet.  I picked up some cinnamon toast crunch for my cereal of the week.  Oh yeah! I gave my first blessing of comfort today, I'll be real, I've been freaking out about doing that.  And it was great.  The blessing really calmed some struggles he was having now and he told me about how it super calmed some stuff he was worrying about from his patriarchal blessing and he told me some more but I can't get too specific but suffice it to say it was really cool and makes me not so worried about blessing.  It was really powerful being the mouthpiece of our Heavenly Father.  He said it was exactly what he needed to hear and it was cool.  We met with an excommunicated member who was excommunicated twice and we don't know why.  He seemed to know a lot about doctrine and was nice and had a temple picture on the wall so I'm curious.

Sunday was cool.  We had branch council and they asked us to come to presidency meeting each Sunday which is awesome because they only have branch council once a week and we were talking about how we could get them to meet more with us.  Sacrament was cool.  It was fast and testimony meeting, I went up and bore my testimony and I had also been asked to give the closing prayer.  Elder Johnson got asked to give a talk next week, I was totally expecting to be asked haha.  Narrowly avoided.  We were taught how to fill the font for Saturday.  Then we went to Gospel Principles which we were expecting to teach but we got there a couple minutes late because we were being shown how to fill the font.  Isaac, the branch missionary who recently came back from his mission in the California, San Jose mission, was teaching so that was kinda cool.  Then we taught primary which was kind of crazy.  Then we had at our dinner appointment at the Merrifields which was at lunch time with breakfast food.  Haha it was French toast and biscuits and gravy.  Pretty good stuff.  Then we met with the Tremblays and talked about baptismal clothes, the second coming, resurrection, the millennium, and other stuff.  And that was pretty much our Sunday.

I miss everyone and hope everyone is doing well.  Shoot me an email.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Email 6-8-2015

So it has been a while since I've been able to email.  I miss you all.  Everything is going really well here.  I was sent to the Plymouth Branch in New Hampshire.  I will try and go into everything that has happened over the last almost two weeks a littler farther into the email.  Also I get two hours to email instead of one!  Awesome.  ALSO!  I can read emails throughout the week, I just can't reply until Monday.  Which is awesome!  So it's awesome when I get emails throughout the week from people and I appreciate that!  It may be changing this week as the mission President gives out more rules about our Ipads but for now we can check our emails whenever we are in the apartment.

So I'll start where I left off on the last email which I believe was Wednesday in the MTC.
Wednesday was cool.  P-day in the MTC.  Obviously I emailed.  And I couldn't get my SD card to work which was annoying.  The computers were blocked up so much that I couldn't trouble shoot it and get it working.  We did laundry and just kind of hung out for a while before we went to the temple.  The Provo Temple was cool.  It felt huge inside and designed kind of like a maze.  I got lost a couple times.  It was really cool going with my district and doing endowments and the spirit was really strong.  The new district came in and they all seemed pretty cool.  We really tried to set a good example for them and keep up the tempo and excitement so it was an easier adjustment for them.

Thursday was kind of lame.  One of the sister's had a grandfather die Wednesday night.  She was really close with him so that was hard for her.  She didn't come to class that day but we saw her at lunch and dinner, she is so strong.  Our Progressive investigator Kate committed to be baptized and our TRC investigator told us he was gone the other day because he got engaged that day.  Which made him interested a lot more in learning about the church since his fiancĂ© wants to be married in the temple.  We started having trouble staying as focused in class because we were all kind of thinking about heading into the field as it got closer and closer.

Friday was pretty lame, we had in-field orientation all day long.  It just dragged on and on.  I didn't need to get a tetanus shot which is sweet, and saved me $50.  I had some deep talks with Sisters Hoffman and Bagshaw about the atonement, Satan, and the souls lost with him which was cool.

Saturday felt weird because it was the last normal MTC day.  We kind of had to fight the feeling that Saturday didn't matter because we were leaving the next night.  Our progressive investigator is good to go and was going to be baptized on June 15th.  We told her we were being transferred and other missionaries would finish her lessons.  Our TRC investigator was more difficult.  We fought and fought with him to get him to pray about anything we said and about the church, and he kept fighting us on it.  One day he committed to do it on his own but he didn't.  He kept asking us how he would know the answers and we kept telling him and he wouldn't pray.  Today finally we were able to get him to pray and ask with us there and that was our last lesson at the end.  Even though we didn't like finish the lessons with him, it felt like a huge step with him because he finally overcame that resistance to praying.  Sister Fisher and I got into a minorly heated discussion about blind faith.  She said we shouldn't question anything in our church because it can lead us astray.  I feel like that is dangerous for a few reasons.  We are commanded to ask of God to find out of all things for ourselves, we tell our investigators to question their religions so that they can see that ours is true and we can't be hypocritical, if I never questioned the truth of the church I wouldn't have joined it, and finally if Satan ever somehow infiltrated the Church we would all follow him astray because we just listened without asking for ourselves.  I say pray to God and ask about everything.  There's a difference between that and looking to find stuff saying that the church is wrong.

Sunday was a long day.  We had morning meetings for branch leadership.  Then we had Priesthood where I lead the ordinance training.  I taught about blessings.  Then we took our temple walk around the Provo Temple which our branch.  We never got too close with the new district which was sad but we tried and they didn't seem super interested.  Elder Lee and Elder Randall are going to the Canada, Winnipeg mission.  Maybe they'll run into Maddyson.  Sacrament was good.  Then we had a devotional by Janice Kapp Perry who apparently is some big children's hymn writer.  She just kinda talked about her life and sang songs.  Then we watched some cheesy LDS movie.  We sang our last closing hymn and prayer with our district and headed back to our rooms.  It was sad, I'm going to miss the Sisters.  Then we had to pack to leave early the next morning.  I didn't get to bed until like 00:30.

Monday morning at 02:45 we had to get up and head down to the buses.  I was the travel leader for all 18 going to our mission so I had to keep track of them and try to keep them together.  That didn't really work, everyone kind of went off on their own.  We had missionaries not staying with their companions, not checking in, etc.  It was annoying.  I slept through 80% of the flight to Detroit.  We didn't sit next to our companions on the plane, it wasn't booked that way and when I got off he had disappeared.  We looked all over for him and it turned out he waited like two minutes and when we weren't out yet he decided to go down to the gate by himself and call his family, it was frustrating.  Then we flew to New Hampshire which was a couple hours.  When we got there Pres. and Sis. Stoker met us in baggage claim.  We went from there to the mission home where we stayed the night.  They seem really nice.  They are from Mesa AZ.  We had dinner there and Sister Stoker made something called CafĂ© Rio which was really good.  Then we had interviews so he could get a feel for us and see where and who with we should be assigned.  It was raining from the time we got there which surprised me.  Pres. Stoker converted at 18 and went on a mission a year later.  It was hard waiting to find out where I was going, it was like waiting for my call all over again.  It's super green here and the trees are so thick EVERYWHERE.  It's crazy.  It's like the whole state is one big forest.

Tuesday we had breakfast at the mission home then went to the Church in Manchester for transfer meeting.  We got our Ipads.  Then we had transfer meeting.  It was super sad saying goodbye to the Elder's from my district.  I was assigned to serve in the Plymouth Branch area with Elder Mckay Johnson as my companion.  He's 19.  He's from Mesa AZ (Not a Utah Mormon).  And he's pretty legit.  He's obedient and has had some pretty lame disobedient companions for his last few.  His last companion went home after six months at this transfer.  We taught a family named the Tremblay's (Trem-Blay)who Bro Tremblay is a less active who has returned and his wife is getting baptized on the 20th.  They have two kids.  They are pretty awesome and are so excited about everything and keep all their commitments.  Bro Trembley is baptizing Sis Trembley which is awesome.  His dad is confirming her.  We met an investigator named Stephen who reminds me alot of my Uncle Frank.  We taught at a BoM class that day and street contacted some.  A member made us food but we had to pick it up to go because she is a single sister.

Wednesday we had our district meeting in Laconia.  I met the other Elder's in our district.  There's only three areas in our district so six Elders.  Everyone seems nice.  There's an Elder from Roseville his name is Elder Jensen.  We went street contacting and tracting which we probably do almost every day so I went mention it anymore.  Just assume we did.  :P  We met a cool potential investigator while tracting named David.  He's probably 18 or so and his dad is a Methodist Pastor but lives in another state.  His parents are divorced and he felt like he's kind of lost his faith.  He seemed interested and I hope we can meet with him and help him out.  We met with Bro Lopez who is the Branch Mission Leader.  Then we went to the Rino's (Ree-no) for dinner who both seemed super nice.  Brother Rino is fron Concord, CA.  It was cool finding a potential while tracting, it helped me be more interested in it because I didn't really have high expectations for tracting.  I love teaching real people after the MTC Role-plays.  Elder Johnson and I seem to click well during teaching.

Thursday we did a lot of service.  We went and served meals at the community center to Seniors which we do every Thursday.  And we helped plant a Garden at the Lopez's.  We then had dinner with the Billin's who seem nice.  The son, Isaac who recently got back from serving his mission in the California, San Jose mission and is a Branch missionary who I guess comes with us sometimes.  We met with Johnathon who is a little special needs but seems super nice.

Friday we did weekly planning in the morning which was super long but kind of awesome.  We planned lessons for all of our investigators ands less actives.  We got to think about what they need and really focus on each one which was really cool.  Then we went and served at a Thrift shop in Plymouth.  It was fun.  All the proceeds of the thrift shop go to a homeless shelter here in town.  The lady who manages it really likes and appreciates the missionaries I think.  We serve there every Friday.  Then we went and taught Brother Mcpherson who is a convert who has depression and we shared a Mormon Message with him called Good Things to Come which has Elder Holland in it and is awesome.  My challenge to everyone who reads this is to look up the Good Things to Come Video and watch it.  Here's the link.  Good Things to Come

Saturday we didn't get a lot of missionary work done but it was a pretty good day.  We did service for the Cate's which went way longer then planned.  The Cate's are both converts and super nice people.  We went out and helped them carry around 50 bags of fertilizer and some other stuff.  Then we had part one of Stake Conference in Concord.  they drove us there.  A 70 named Elder Kunez (I think?) came and talked.  It focused a ton on the Sabbath and the bishopric and ward council are now being asked to plan sacrament meetings a month in advance which I think is pretty awesome.  The Cate's wanted to stop for dinner and we did but it put us way past the time we were supposed to be home which was stressing Elder Johnson out but it was kind of out of our control we couldn't tell the members who had helped us out by driving us that they needed to drive straight home.  We didn't get home til like 22:30 ish.

Sunday was so long.  We were so tired when we woke up and went to Laconia for Stake Conference part two.  The same 70 was there again.  The Smith's took us there.  They are super nice, both converts.  Sister Smith had stage 4 colon cancer and five years ago was given 12-18 months to live.  She got baptized two years ago and I could totally see how Heavenly Father had pushed her to that.  She has no cancer left in her body at this point.  So awesome!  It's amazing how we get to a certain point in our lives after all the trials, tribulations, and struggles.  And we can finally see how all the pieces fit together and how it all shaped and pushed us in the direction our Heavenly Father wants us to go.  It's a perfect puzzle and I have a huge testimony of that.  We then had breakfast lunch at the Merrifields which was cool and Bro Merrifield is a convert.  There are tons of converts out here.  They referred their less active daughter to us to go see which is cool.  Everybody seems super nice here, I expected people to be more stand-offish than they are.  We watched Pres. Monson's biography which was cool and interesting.  We had to plan for today and tomorrow because Elder Johnson has to go to Missionary Leadership Training because he is the DL now.  Which means I'm going to be here alone for a while with another brand new missionary.  I don't know where anything is or anything and barely know anyone.  It'll be interesting we'll probably spend half the day lost.  But I'll survive.  At least I get to drive for a little while!  :)

Today is P-day!  We went and did laundry at the Merrifields during study time, then we had lunch.  Now we are at the library emailing.  We could do it from home on our ipads but typing is so much faster on a computer!

Let's see what else can I tell.  The weather is amazing here right now.  When it's sunny it's pretty cool, like high of 70.  Then it rains quite a bit, which could be a problem because I have no rain jacket or anything.  I didn't expect it at all but apparently it rains a lot during the summer too.  It's really pretty and super green here.  So many trees and so much grass.  Everything is super spread out.

Elder Johnson had to stop drinking caffeine because he was getting high blood pressure and elevated heart rate.  He drinks a lot of mountain dew.  We got some Baja Blast because it was in walmart the first time we went shopping.  It's gone now :(

Ticks are a big problem here.  They are everywhere.  I've found like 4 on me so far, one had bitten me, so they had to put me on some antibiotic because they carry lyme disease which is bad here.

Anyways I'll be on for a little longer so hit me up!  Also email me throughout the week!  It's kind of like getting mail.  Speaking of getting mail, my address is 3 Fox Park drive #14, Plymouth NH 03264.  That's just while I'm in this area, but I should be here for a while.  We live in an apartment.  This is a college town but school is out so it's pretty quiet.  We picked up a mini-fridge that was left outside when the college kids moved out.  It works awesome and we made it our soda fridge haha.

Pics 6-9-2015




Elder Johnson my trainer, we haven't really taken any pics yet, we'll get a better one by next week


Pics 6-9-2015




Awesome Elder Shiotani and I at the Salt Lake Temple


Elder Cobb the MTC Comp


Back left to bottom right, Elder Skoubye, Elder Davies, Myself, Elder Cobb, Sister Bagshaw, Sister Hoffman, Sister Fisher, Sister Mackelprang


Our District


Our first zone right to left Elder King, Elder Mitchell, Elder Crapo, Elder Van Slyke








Monday, June 1, 2015

Email 6-1-2015

Made It!

I'm here at the Mission home in New Hampshire.  I'll be interviewed by my Mission President tonight and find out where I'm going tomorrow.  Everything is going well, I miss you all.  I don't think I'll probably be able to email this week because P Day was today.  But I miss you all and everything is going well.  I'll update you as soon as I can.  It is rainy and cool and wonderful here tonight.

Love you all,
Elder Alarid

Email 5-27-2015

Finally P-Day!

Hello!  This last week has been pretty crazy.  The MTC is kind of intense as far as time vs. work allotment.  But we've adjusted for the most part.  It was really hard and intense like the first two days, but I feel like they might've given us less time to get things done on those days to keep everyone focused on the work and not on missing home.  They really keep you structured and focus.  So I made my flight barely, my luggage made it, everything worked out.  I made it to Utah, and Brother Shiotani, picked me up from the airport and we went down to temple square to check things out for a while.  We took pictures in front of the temple.  We went to the church office building and got a tour and were able to go to the top and look out at the city.  Then we went to the beehive house and got a tour.  We stopped at a burger place called JCW's I think.  We got burgers and small shakes and the small shakes were enormous and pretty good.  And their fries were like deceivingly a large amount. Then he dropped me off at the MTC and all it was commotion from there, you keep going non-stop, get your id, get your books, drop your stuff off, I met my companion Elder Cobb, then we went to our classroom, we met the rest of our district and then went to the orientation.  The other two Elders in our room were Elder Davis and Elder Skoubye (Sko - Bee) The sisters are Sister's Fisher, Bagshaw, Hoffman, and Mackelprang.  We taught an investigator that night with like 40 of the new missionaries and they just gave you the mic if you wanted to say something, it was annoying because it jumped all over the place and had no direction.  The food is ok.  I just try and eat the kind of food that you can't really mess up and that seems to go ok, anything else is usually pretty bad.  We met the rest of our zone, Elder Mitchell, Elder King, Elder Van Slyke, Elder Crapo (Cray poh), Sister Hammond, Sister Hill, Sister Beebe (She's from our stake, Sheldon Ward), and Sister Wolf.  I noticed even the first day how strong the spirit was at the MTC, there are so many missionaries, all worthy and righteous, all with the same goal, all in one area. It's powerful.  There's a constant buzz of the spirit in the air.

The second day that alarm went off at 06:30 and it was rough, the other Elder's in our zone were full of energy, loudness, and excitement so that really helped us alot.  We were going like non-stop from 06:30 to 22:30.  We had a lot of class and were preparing to teach the restoration to our progressive investigator.  Which is a teacher that has a character than you teach like a real lesson.  We had our meetings with the branch presidency and I was asked to serve as the District leader, which means I am responsible for the 8 Elders and Sisters in our district and keep everyone focused, and run meetings, and give assignments and such.  I felt super overwhelmed already and as a "DL" it threw alot more responsibility my way.  I felt like there wasn't enough time to get everything done.  But I loved the atmosphere and I love everyone in my district.  I feel like everyone is really good and brings something to the table.  It's kind of weird here because we are like in a bubble, we are cut off from the outside world, our branch President talked to me about an oil spill of the coast of CA and I had no idea, so weird.  I don't know anything that's happening outside of here, we could be at war with China for all I know.

The third day was good, the spirit was strong during our lessons.  I have to go get mail twice a day once during lunch and dinner for the district because I'm a DL.  Some of the Sister's in our district were really homesick and we decided to write letters for them telling them what we love about them.  Like we'd each write a paragraph on a single piece of paper for each sister, not like individual letters.  We taught our first progressive investigator "PI" but they accidently gave us the wrong one with the same name so we went in and had the wrong backstory and didn't know him and were completely unprepared but it didn't go too bad considering.  Plus we weren't even supposed to teach our PI til the next day so weren't as prepared as we could've been.  We found out who our TRC investigator is going to be so we'll be teaching him all next week, a TRC investigator is a maybe non-member, maybe member, that comes and is payed to be taught the lessons by the MTC missionaries.  I felt like we were really bonding as a district and I was really making a difference as the "DL".  I've never loved people so purely so quickly before.

The fourth day was really difficult not because I wanted to go home or the spirit wasn't there but I was feeling really sick.  Like a bad cold or something and it had been building the few previous days and I felt like death on this day.  It was a struggle to keep composed and I could barely focus, but I felt like I had a duty to the district to keep everything running smoothly.  I do a lot more than I was expecting.

Sister Craft sent me an enormous brownie box from Dear Elder!  She's so awesome and nice!  Please get me her email so I can write her!  :)  I found out we go into the field on monday.  Crazy!  We're here for less than two weeks.  I love the spirit here and my district but I can't wait to get into the field and do what I came to do.  I wish the Sisters in our district were going to our mission, I'm going to miss them.  We taught a new PI, her name is Kate and her dad died three months ago we really connected with her and decided to teach about temples early and how the church blesses families and the celestial kingdom.  The spirit was strong.

Sunday, was really good, we met with the branch presidency in the morning and established goals for the next week and learned some new stuff.  We had our district meeting which was cool and we went for a temple walk around the Provo temple.  While we were at the Provo temple a older man named Lindsey asked us for a blessing and I assisted in it.  It was awesome because even though I wasn't the one giving the blessing, the same words came to me that he was saying.  We had our Sacrament meeting and I got to bless the Sacrament.  Then we had dinner and gave the Sister's our letters and they really appreciated it.  We had a devotional tonight taught by Brother Allen who is the managing director of the missionary department and it was awesome.  It was really reassuring and my district really needed to hear what he said.  He felt inspired to play Come, Come, Ye Saints and the Spirit was so strong.  We all needed to hear it.  Then we watched the Character of Christ by Elder Bednar and as per usual he was all fire basically saying Christ looks outward to help others rather than selfishly looking inward and we all need to stop looking inward at what we want and we're not here for us, it's not about us.  I love Elder Bednar's talks.  I hope he becomes Prophet some day :P And I basically forgot all Sunday that it was my birthday.

Monday was great, we woke up and were singing Hakuna Matata, and A Girl Worth Serving For, while we were getting ready at the top of our lungs.  We had a 06:15 service project.  Who cleans toilets at 06:15!  Our TRC investigator did not show up so we get one less day with them.  Two of the Elder's in my zone left that night, Elder Crapo, and Elder Van Slyke to the New York Utica mission.  It's kinda weird because everyone was released Sunday so their district has no DL or ZL (Zone Leaders) in it.  We had lots of study time and did two 5 minute spotlights were we just find out about a person and ask questions, about Elder Skoubye and Sister Hoffman.  The district needed it and it was nice.

Tuesday was great we taught our progressive investigator and it went really well, she said she wants to follow Christ because of his love for her and atonement.  We didn't get to what we wanted to but it went well and we answered lots of good questions and the spirit was strong.  We met our TRC investigator for the first time and just talked to him about his life and ours for most of the time which was good because by the time we began teaching we felt like he was pretty comfortable with us.  We had a devotional by Elder Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve.  It was awesome.  I'll share some quotes I liked.  "It doesn't matter how many baptisms you have I only expect one convert from you on your mission and that is you." "This IS real life Elders and Sisters." "You can never go back to anything you were before."  "You're God's investigators.  Don't turn your back on him."  "Obedience is the first law of everything."  "We don't do it your way, this isn't Burger King, this is the Lord's work, we do it His way."  "The white handbook is the product of 180 years of missionary experience and after two weeks you think you can question it."  It was amazing, afterwards we met as a zone with Brother Bliss from our branch presidency and talked about all the things that stood out.  The last of the other district left that night.  All to Ohio, Columbus mission and it was sad and we miss them.

And today is P-Day!  We had a little study time in the morning, then cleaned the residence, I finally got all my stuff organized and have to start packing soon.  We are emailing now, then we have to do laundry, we get to go to the temple later as a district.  It'll be sweet.  Later we get our new district in and a couple of the Elders are going to the Canada, Winnipeg mission.  Maybe Maddy will see them!

Anyways everything is going great.  And I'm happy here, but also ready to head to New Hampshire and start the real work.  I appreciate everyone's emails, sorry if I don't get back to everyone individually because I have like no time.

I love and miss you all,

Elder Alarid

Pics 5-19-2015

Night before leaving for the MTC, after getting set apart as a missionary.




Elder Taylor Alarid with most of his family the night before he left for the MTC


Elder Alarid with the Martin Family (except for Maddy who is on her mission in Canada!)


Elder Alarid with his Aunt and Uncle and their kids


Elder Alarid with Skyler Lethco, who will be going to the New Mexico, Farmington  Mission in June