Wednesday, September 21, 2016

On Top of the World

Hey Everyone!

This week was a pretty good week. On Wednesday, we had a zone training with the entire zone by President Jaggi and Sister Jaggi and the assistants to the president. It was a really spiritual training. President Jaggi taught us how to overcome Satan by studying the tactics that he uses. Sister Jaggi taught us how we can have better personal and companion study and the assistants taught us about the reason for serving a mission. The reason for serving a mission was a big one for me. One of the main reasons I came on a mission is to see not only the change and happiness in other people but to see that change take place in my life as well. They posed a question to us that really made me think, they said "Did you serve a mission because someone made you? Did you serve a mission to make your self look good and boost your ego?, Did you serve because if you didn't, you would be frowned upon?" They went on to say "The real reason we should serve a mission is because we love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ". That really made me think and change my point of view. I wasn't serving just to see a change in me but I was serving because I loved Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I changed the way I thought about it in my head to: The reason I served a mission is because through my love for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and their love for me I can change and help others change for the better.
On Top of the World
We had exchanges this week and this time I stayed in my area and Elder Pierce was with me. We are both only three weeks into our mission so it was quite the learning experience to try and plan a day by ourselves and figure out what to do since we are both new, but it went good. While on exchanges Elder Pierce must have done something and popped Elder Ballard's tube inside the tire that he has had for 8 months so Elder and Sister Miller took us to the bike shop and we got that fixed and shout out to the Ogden Bike Shop for giving Elder Ballard a free new tube so we could ride again.

Mount Ogden
This week we had the opportunity to serve at the Greek Orthodox Church in Ogden. Our district served there that day and we were helping them get ready for their Greek Festival which they expect to have 15,000 people show up over the three days. When we got there we put raw pork on sticks for kabobs. We did that for about an hour and half. We then helped clean out over 20 trashcans, we then had a pretty good Greek meal for lunch. It was really filling and they are super nice people. Lastly, we helped cut green onions. They promised us that these were not the kind that made you cry but everyone except me and Elder Howard were crying haha. It always feels awesome to be able to serve other people.
Helicopter Pad
Elder Bennett and Elder Ballard

So on Sunday after church we were heading over to give the after baptism lessons to Aiden and as we were locking our bikes in the church we saw Aiden and he had a friend. His friend's name was Christina and she attended church for the first time with Aiden. It was awesome because she came right up to us and said "Church was awesome, I want to be baptized". It was awesome to be able to give her the first lesson and it was cool to see Aiden helping explain things to her that we had just taught him. So we have two baptisms on date for October and will hopefully get two more with Darrin and Kenny which would be awesome.

Well P-day was a pretty fun/tiring day. We got up at about 5:30am and we went hiking again with Jenyr and Colton as well as Elder Rape, Nelson,Dimond, and Pierce. This time we were hiking Mt. Ogden. It was quite the hike, in the morning it was a beautiful hike, it was cool, temperature wise, and the sun had not come up yet. The hike is a 12 mile hike round trip. Everything was all fine and dandy till the sun came out a little over half way up the mountain. It started heating up and that made things difficult, but it was still fun. We ended up taking a shortcut up the side of the mountain off the trail which was fun. We ended up getting to the peak around 11:30 am. It was really cool because they had a helicopter pad and some signs telling about the history of the trail and Mt Ogden. It was an amazing view and it felt nice to be on top of the world. 
We thought the hike back was going to be faster and easier. Well, with the sun out and being exposed to it, it was not fun. The way back down felt twice as long as the hike up because we were all so sore and hot. Elder Pierce and Elder Dimond fell about 45 minutes behind us. We eventually made it back down at around 3 pm. We then had a much needed meal at In and Out. I had a burger and fries and a really good chocolate milk shake. We all got sunburnt pretty bad. Elder Ballard and I went and got some chapstick and aloe vera, it felt great to put on haha.

Leaves changing colors
I just wanted to bear my testimony about the wonderful bodies we have been given. In Isaiah 40:31 it says: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. 

Wild Berries

I really like that verse because the Lord has given us bodies to be able to do things here on this earth. We should treat our bodies like temples of the L ord. We should maintain a healthy lifestyle and stay away from tea, tobacco, coffee, drugs and alcohol. When things got tough while we were hiking I kept thinking to myself how lucky I am to be able to do this. I am super blessed to have the ability to do things such as play sports, hike a mountain, and serve a mission. I think sometimes we take for granted the wonderful bodies we have been given. I want to invite all of you to treat your bodies as temples of our loving Savior and to give thanks for the things we have been given in life. I am super blessed to be on a mission and to have the ability to serve and sacrifice just two years of my life in return for what Jesus Christ did for us, I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Sweet Email from some Members

Hello families of Elder Ballard & Elder Bennett,

We had the privilege of having your sons in our home tonight and it was a blessing to us and our family. They seem happy, healthy, and we definitely felt of their love for what they do. They shared a message of baptism with our recently baptized daughter, and then she took a turn to teach them about the 12th Article of Faith and what it means to be a good citizen (part of her Faith in God).

We pray as a family for your sons, by name, every evening. They are great missionaries and have the admiration and love of the people here whom they serve. 

Thank you for sharing them with us for this time! We tried making Elder Ballard happy by making sausage ravioli (oops, we substituted tortellini). Next time we'll have to find out what Elder Bennett's favorite dish is, and make that for him. :)

The Pierces

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Another Great Week in Clearfield

Hey everyone so since I was super late uploading my last blog I will keep this one short and simple to catch up for this week. So this week was a pretty good week on Tuesday we had the opportunity to go do service up at the Ogden temple which was awesome! We were able to go below temple and see everything that goes on. I was really surprised at how much there is that goes on below the temple!. Elder Ballard and I helped build and put new shelves in their big freezers in the kitchen. We had exchanges again this week, this time I was able to stay in my area. We had a good exchange and through tracting we were able to find a few new people to teach! A funny/ sad story was while we were on exchanges we were tracting the Clearfield apartments at night and we locked our bikes to a tree. Well when we came back Elder Ballard's bike grip handles were stolen, the kind he had were custom ones that slid on, luckily nothing else got taken but he has had it rough riding with those gone all week haha.

Elder Ballard's custom grips were stolen :(

One of the biggest highlights this week was receiving a package from home! Just like I remember in the MTC packages were the best!. I got a lot of stuff that we needed for around our place and some other goodies as well. I also got three more things of cereal so we should be set for a while haha!. 

Connor could live on cereal
We had some great gospel studies this week and what is so great about them is one the spirit that I feel and two is while we are teaching them I am also learning as well. We were able to go over to a bishops house and have some steaks and play some ping pong which was super competitive and fun.

We had some really good dinners this week including one that we had with the Johnson family. We had fall of the bone ribs that he made with his new smoker, corn ( not quite as good as Nebraska's) beans, chicken, and cake which was awesome! We also had a lot of people show up to our Saturday night basketball games at the church which was great and a lot of fun. It is always a good week when the Huskers win! I am sad I can't watch but I hear and see on Facebook they are doing well, I like our chances versus Oregon this week! Today we went to Rush Fun Plex again with some more missionaries and we were able to have a good time. We played many rounds of laser tag.We also bowled and raced the go karts which is always a blast.
Laser Tag

Although this week was pretty slow we were blessed to be able to find some new people to teach as well as set up a baptismal date in October for a young boy we are teaching. The lord has blessed me in so many ways and it is such an awesome experience to be able to serve a mission here in Ogden, Utah. One of the cool messages we shared this week with our Investigators was about Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah and how they sought to destroy the church. What I liked was a lot of us have made mistakes in our lives and many people think that the sins they have committed are far too great for them to return to church or to be forgiven of. Well,  what is great is that Jesus Christ is loving and he will forgive you for the things you did no matter what. We shared with them as a follow up to that chapter in Alma 17 where the sons of Mosiah and Alma the Younger had a change of heart and were forgiven of the things they had done and turned away from sin.

I have a testimony of Heavenly Father and the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know the Book of Mormon and the Bible are true testaments of our loving Heavenly Father. I just want to let all of you know that no matter your circumstances, what you have done, or what you are going through that if you have a change of heart and a willingness to turn from those sins, that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will forgive you of those things. I want to invite you all to pray and ask Heavenly Father for forgiveness and to turn away form sin, I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

D&C 58:42- Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.

Isaiah 1:18- Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Aiden's Baptism and Adams Canyon

Tuesday August 30th

Well, today was a pretty long day I was on exchanges for the day in Sunset with Elder Dimond and it started by getting up at 5:40 am, we got picked up by ZLs and we worked out at Syracuse High school. I did a T25 workout with one of the other elders and I was exhausted!.When we got done we went back and did our morning routine. It is a little different doing my morning routine with someone new but it was a good learning experience. We had a busy day, after our first lesson fell through we tracted for an hour and met some good people. We then hit up subway for lunch. We then went and visited a few other investigators they were teaching. We then visited the young women's presidents house and got some referrals. We then had dinner at a family's house and we had good ole fashion hamburgers and hot dogs which were great. We then went with another member and visited a less active and we were able to teach a lesson and then put one of their sons on date for baptism which was awesome. We then visited another person named Jessica who they have put on date. The only problem holding her back was her smoking problem and we taught her a lesson on the importance of keeping our bodies clean and healthy. We then tracted for a while then we headed back for the night. Walking around all day and not having my bike made me realize how thankful I am to have a bike haha!

Wednesday August 31st

Wednesday started off with a district and zone meeting in the morning. After a short zone meeting we split off into our districts and had a lesson by Elder Dimond our DL. Our lesson was on how we can overcome discouragement as missionaries. It was a really good lesson and I learned a lot. After that we do what we call district tracting. So we all went on exchanges with someone new for an hour. I went with one of ZLs Elder Alman. He is one of the coolest Elders here and he is from Norway. We knocked a few doors then came across this older lady and we had quite the talk with her. Her son is a member but she isn't. She believes only in science so it was interesting to hear what she had to say and had some very odd and interesting ways she tried to prove us wrong. We left her a Book of Mormon and she said she would give it a look and we both bore our testimonies. After that it was lunch time so we rode our bikes to the Pizza factory and had some really good pizza! Pizza seems like the food I can eat and never get tired of it. We talked to a guy named Andrew in the apartment complex we cover and we shared a spiritual message and we put him on date for the 24th of September which is awesome. We then biked over for dinner at the Mauulao Family. They were an awesome family and they cooked some awesome chicken! The dad was really cool and treated us like royalty.. We shared a spiritual message about charity and the pure love of  Christ and it was an awesome message. We were supposed to go on splits tonight but it fell through but Brother Furner happened to call us and asked Elder Ballard if he could look at his car. When we got there Elder Ballard was able to find the problem in less than 10 minutes and the next thing I knew we were at O'Reily's getting the part to fix it. Brother Furner got us some Frostys at Wendys and after about an hour Elder Ballard was able to fix the part and get the car running again. The Furners were very grateful because it save them a towing fee and a trip to the shop.

Thursday September 1st

Today was a pretty laid back day. We didn't have anything till around noon. We got on our service clothes and biked over towards the house of the project. We stopped at Taco Time and got our weekly free food which is always great. We finished eating about 30 minutes early so we headed over to a pawn shop near buy and looked around. It had a lot of cool stuff in it and it helped pass the time. We biked over to the members house and there was a lot of other missionaries there too. 
We did some yard work we pulled all the weeds all around there house, mowed there front and back lawn, and cleaned up sticks around there place. There was a lot of spiders while we were pulling weeds and I guess they have tarantulas here in Utah and they found one a couple days ago. After we were done they bought us Little Cesar's pizza and we had a good time eating. Then we played some basketball at their place after. After dinner we stopped by this humongous house in Syracuse. It is essentially a mansion and they have an huge pool house and full indoor basketball court and it the winter they convert it to a half sized hockey rink. After a long ride home we took a little powernap then we were off to dinner. The dinner was at the Oakstone apartments about a 15 minute bike ride away from our place and it was down pouring outside and storming. We called Elder Barlow and we were thankful for a ride to our dinner appointment. We had a nice dinner with a small family.
We then got a ride home and then after the storm passed we rode our bikes over to a members house and got him the details to set up the program for Aiden's Baptism. We then got a ride to Walmart and did our grocery shopping.

Friday September 2nd

Today we didn't have anything again until noon. The Barlows picked us up for our weekly meeting at their place. We had really good hoagie sandwhiches. After the meeting we went to a few stores with Elder Barlow to look for some shoes. It is hard around 1-3 because everyone is at work or the kids are at school so it is pretty slow hours. We went over to tract at some apartments that all the previous missionaries call the Stinky Apartments. The story behind the Stinky Apartments is when some elders were tracting there one time they knocked on a door and they could smell something awful. The guy came to the door and looked pretty nervous and was like- what do you want? After talking to him for a little bit and then the elders asked him what that smell was he just said I'm busy. They said it smelled like a rotting body or animal. They never found out what is was but they know the police and fire department showed up there a few hours later. Anways so me and Elder Ballard biked over there. Well, it was a dirty apartment complex inside and out. The previous elders have tracted there and said only two people said they could come back. So we went and tried the two doors one answered and said they weren't interested and the other didn't answer. So we just left. Our dinner appointment said they wouldn't be able to have us so they just bought us pizza for dinner. Elder Palomo and Elder Escobar came over and they had dinner at our place so it was a good time. We then went over and had a lesson with Aiden and the district leader came and gave him his baptismal interview and he passed which was awesome.

Saturday September 3rd

Well, today we had an early morning. We got up at 530 am and we biked about 20 minutes to the Syracuse stake center to play speedball. Speedball is like soccer, basketball, and football combined. It is played on the basketball court. After the teams are split up one team starts with the soccer ball in their hands. The objective is to get close to your hoop and shoot the soccer ball and make it. Once the ball touch the ground the only way to get it back up is to have one of your own teammates kick it back up to you. It was super fun and super tiring as well. After that we biked back to the place. We took a little nap and then got ready for the day. Today was a big day because it was Aiden's Baptism. We originally had Aiden's Baptism set for 11 am but due to the stake baptism day going from 9-1 we had to have it at 2 pm. We biked up to the state center at around noon to get Elder Ballard his suit. After that we went back and had some lunch and then headed back up around 1:30. It was nice because the font and room were already set up for us. We told Aiden and his family to be there at 1:50. We were getting kind of nervous because it was 2 pm and they hadn't shown up yet. They eventually showed about 10 minutes later. It was a good baptism, Elder Ballard baptized him and I helped do the 4 minute restoration with Elder Dimond. After the baptism we went to go take pictures bu only 1 turned out clear. 
Aiden's baptism
After that we went home and then we biked down to our dinner appointment. We ate at a young couples house, they are both return missionaries and the husband served in Peru. So we had a Peruvian dinner. We had a green spaghetti it covered in basil and spinach. We got served a lot of it and since I'm not picky I ate all of it but Elder Ballard didn't care for it haha. We then had a mystery meat which happened to be cow heart, I thought it tasted good. Then we had a sweet tasting slushy drink. It is made from the purple corn grown in Peru. He told us that is ferments super fast so if he would have made it earlier this morning by the time we would have drank it, it would be alcoholic. After that we went to the stake center for our weekly Saturday night basketball games with investigators. Well no one showed up so me and Elder Ballard just played horse. I was super homesick today because it was the first Husker game. It reminded me of watching college football and Husker games with the family every week. I am glad Nebraska got the win though!

Sunday September 4th
Well today started off pretty early, we had a stake presidency meeting with all the missionaries at 7 at the church. Today was the day that Aiden was being confirmed. It was awesome to be able to help confirm Aiden a member of the church and to receive the gift of the holy ghost. It was pretty awesome because the dad, Kenny, was singing all the hymns and paying close attention to the meeting. I think that having his son set the example for him to want to come closer to Jesus Christ and be baptized is certainly going to help. It was cool to have Aiden sit by me and ask me a lot of good questions you wouldn't expect a 10 year old to ask. It just so happen to be fast and testimony meeting today and Aiden pokes me and asks "can I go up there?" and I said sure, so I taught him how to open and close and he did an awesome job. It was pretty funny because while he was up there waiting his turn he was bouncing up and down in his chair and waving at us haha. After church we stopped by Aiden's house and had a good spirtual lesson with the dad. Our goal is to have Kenny and Aiden'slittle brother Darrin (9) baptized in October. We had dinner again down in the Oakstone apartments with a young family. It was pretty interesting because they had a ton of Harry Potter stuff including there dining table was all painted Harry Potter. After dinner we went home and the ZLs picked us up. They took us back down to Oakstone to knock on a door that some referred to us. Well, it just so happened that they gave us the wrong door number because we have already taught these people before. Well so me and Elder Ballard decided to knock the door next to it. A guy opened up and said hey elders. They were a few returned missionaries. One of them had just gotten back from his mission 5 days ago. We talked with them a bit and they were really cool. They were about to go pick up some home made salsa and asked if we wanted to come. They dropped us off at the soccer fields and they wanted us to meet there other return missionary friends too. They were all super cool and nice and they took us to our next appointment. They offered to give us a ride anywhere and we asked if we could get a ride to go hiking at Adams Canyon in the morning and they said mind if we come? It was awesome they were super cool.

Monday September 5th

Today was a great day. We got up at 5:30 and got ready to go hiking. Jenyr, one of the returned missionaries came and picked up with his little brother Devin. We stopped by Krispy Kreme to kill some time while we waited for the other RM, Colton, to go pick up Elder Fu and Welch and his friend. Anyways after that we headed to Adams Canyon.
Adams Canyon
It was pretty chilly out. It was low 50 degrees with a slight breeze and we were all in shorts and sweatshirts. We started up on a trail that lead up to the beginning of Adams Canyon. For some reason we just took off on a different trail that had barely if rarely ever gets used. I could see why it never got used because it was straight up and super steep. I felt bad for Jenyr because he was carrying a camping stove  and a bunch of breakfast food to eat up wherever we stopped. We hiked up for about 45 minutes till we found this perfect spot. 
When we got up there Elder Fu found a perfectly white egg. We don't know where it came from and we thought there was a dead bird inside of it, Anyways, he had fun taking pictures with the egg. 
Elder Fu's egg
Elder Fu & his egg
It was really an awesome place because you could see out over everything and the sun was just starting to come up it was awesome.
Sunrise in Adams Canyon

We left our camera with the people cooking breakfast and we headed about another 1000 ft up to a huge rock formation and we climbed up there and got some really cool pictures. 
Elder Bennett is in the middle of this group
Elder Bennett & Elder Ballard

Elder Fu was making us all really nervous because he was climbing, standing, and sitting on the very edge of rock fixtures that were over hanging a super big drop off. 
Elder Fu- crazy!!!
After that we climbed down and went and had breakfast. We had eggs, bacon, and toast, it was awesome. 
With the music going and eating breakfast on the top of the mountain with our feet dangling off the edge was awesome.

We ended up cooking the egg, and no there was no dead bird inside, we all partook of the egg and it was good!. We decided to head back down. We ended up going back to Jenyrs house and we all just chilled there and wrote emails. After a while Jenyr took us to the mall and Ballard returned and got himself a different suit. We got back and went to a barbecue that Aiden'sfamily was having with their neighbors. We had some good food there. We went in and talked to Aiden for a bit and then someone came up and said " Your bikes got stolen" we got really nervous because in this part of town we always lock our bikes but forgot to do that tonight. We came out and saw everyone trying to hold back from laughing so immediately we knew they had pranked us haha. Overall it was a really fun P-day.

Elder Bennett
Cute dog that Connor said made him homesick for Mo
Connor is under strict instructions to send me a photo of himself every week, he told me I need to send him one of Mo everyweek, lol!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Clearfield, Utah

Tuesday August 23rd, 2016

Today was the last time in the MTC!. We got up at 6:50 am and got ready for the day ahead. It was pretty hard trying to fit all the stuff we took out from the suitcase, especially

when I can't remember where everything was when I unpacked my stuff. We had to be there at 7:50 am and we all got there at about 7:55. I was put in charge as the travel leader over 19 other people, so I handled all the tickets. We boarded a travel bus with all our luggage and then we headed down to the Provo station. It took us about 10 minutes to get there so it wasn't bad. We all boarded the Front Runner and got situated. There was barely anyone on. Me, Welch, Peterson, and Johnson all sat together on the upper part of the train. 
On the train with Elder Peterson
We had 13 stops and it was about a 2 hour ride. We all shared cookies and swedish fish since we didn't have breakfast. It was nice they had wifi, so I could send my emails from Monday. We finally arrived at Ogden and when we got there the Mission President and his wife, Brother and Sister Jaggi ( Yaggi) were all waiting with open arms. We loaded our luggage into a trailer and me, Peterson, and Welch got to ride in president Jaggi's car to the temple. He told us that we will have a lot of fun in the mission. He actually took all the missionaries out paint balling last week. We toured the tabernacle there and it was amazing. The organ pipes are the second largest next to the conference center pipes and they cost 1.4 million dollars alone. The Ogden temple is the most expensive temple ever built and a lot of the building contains a lot of 24k gold. We then got some pictures and then headed over to the mission office.

We all got checked in and then we had about 3 hours of training. Then they said "time to go tracting" so we were all pretty nervous but it was fun. We got paired with an experienced elder and we headed out. Me and Elder Shillig (experienced one) tracted at the some apartments, it was around 4 o' clock so a lot of people were not home. We had 3 people people open the doors but they were either members all ready or were not interested. It was a good experience because it was real now. We then went back and had dinner. We had sloppy joes, brownies, and homemade rootbeer. We met President Jaggi's family and then we had a testimony meeting. We didn't know we were staying at a senior couple's home so we had to get an overnight bag ready. I opened up a very green package from my family and it was awesome to see. Me and Elder Young stayed at the Strongs home. I got to sleep in a queen size bed which will probably be my last time in 2 years haha.
Greenie package
Elder Welch and greenie package

Wednesday August 24th, 2016

We got to sleep in a little bit since the Strongs home was 5 minutes from the mission office. We got all ready and Brother Strong had a big breakfast waiting for us which was nice. We headed over to the mission office and then we had a few more hours of training. Then the moment we all were nervous/excited for was finding out our new companions. We all headed into the chapel and waited. The AP (Assistants to President Jaggi) read of each of the new missionaries names and when our name was called we stood up. I stood up and I was now companions with Elder Jared Ballard. 
Elder Ballard
He came up and gave me a big hug. After that we had lunch with everyone and we got to know each other. He is from Missouri, was home-schooled, had 13 siblings (was adopted), has competed in mountain bike races, played professional paintball for 2 years, and worked in his brothers collision and repair mechanic shop for 3 years. He is a pretty cool dude, he likes to joke a lot and is a great teacher. 

We packed my luggage into Brother and Sister Millers car and we headed over to our place. We are living in the bottom of Brother and Sister Berry's home. It is an older home, we have a kitchen, bathroom, fridge, shower, and a big space downstairs. Since it was transfer day we didn't have much planned. I unpacked and then I took a nap. 

Go Big Red!

We found out that we are a Facebook mission so we get to get on Facebook. Since I did't have a bike yet, we had to walk to visit people, but it's about a 5 minute walk. We are in a pretty rough part of the Ogden mission a lot of converts or investigators live in low income apartments and there is a lot of drugs, alcohol, etc. We talked to some tough looking dudes for a while and they actually come and play basketball with us at the stake center. I had my first dinner appointment with the Bowhinkles. They live in a super nice home in the nice neighborhood. They were a really cool family. There son served a mission in Mexico City and he baptized over 140 people! The parents both served in Australia and met on the mission. We then headed back over to the rough apartments and taught Aiden House. He is a 9 year old boy who lives in not ideal conditions but he wants to be baptized. We taught him the plan of salvation and we got a baptismal date for September 3rd for him. After we got home we got a ride to Walmart and I got some food to get me through the week.

Thursday August 25th, 2016
Today was a pretty good day. The day started off with getting up early to run. We are training for a mission wide 5K that the mission president has decided we will do every 3 months and it is mandatory. We are trying to be a healthier mission so in 4 weeks we will have that marathon. The zone with the fastest combined score all will win free tshirts. We ran for about 20 minutes today and I was exhausted since it had been a while since I have last ran. After that we had got ready and had personal and comp study where me and my companion both fell asleep after about 10 minutes of it. We woke up and then we called the senior couple who lives close to us for a ride to the zone meeting. We set goals and expectations for each other and we set a zone goal of baptizing 23 people this September. After that we waited 30 minutes for a ride back home. When we got back home it was lunch time so we decided to go to Taco time where they serve us free food. We will go there about once a week so we don't abuse the privilege. It was about a 35 minute walk there. We got honked and waved at about 20 times. The food was pretty good there and we talked to a young return missionary who had served his mission in Brazil. 

After that we walked to Syracuse and talked to Elder Ballard's old and favorite bishop. Then we walked to the Miller's house and Elder Miller gave us a ride to Ogden to the Bike Shoppe to get me a new bike. I ended up getting a nice bike and got a missionary discount.
New Bike
When we got back we were riding it to a members home to see if they had a helmet I could have. I got one and as we were leaving a thorn burr was stuck in my tire and it made a hole in my brand new bike. We hurried back and home and luckily enough my companion worked in a car repair shop for 3 years and was also a avid biker so he got my tired fixed right up and put a new tube in from an old bike. 

We then had dinner had a members home and it was really good. The dad told us he has a 100 mile marathon that he was running in next month which is insane!. We then went around and looked for new investigators and recent converts to talk to but no one was home. We came across the Spanish missionaries and we were able to stand in on a blessing for a woman that was struggling with things. After that we went back and got our bikes from the church building because the area is the one worst parts of Ogden so we didn't want our bikes to get stolen.

Friday August 26th, 2016

Today started off with our normal routine although we did wake up a little bit later then 6:30. We have two whiteboard in our rooms that are used for scheduling of the week, for investigators, goals, and numbers. We have a set time each week that we do this. It is pretty cool to see the whiteboard fill up with people. We had a district prayer call where we all call each other and on the speakerphone we pray for our investigators so that was pretty cool. We have a weekly correlation meeting with our senior missionary couples, Elder and Sister Barlow. We talk about who we are teaching and potential investigators and numbers etc. They had lunch for us and they served us sloppy joes and watermelon which was really good. 

After that we biked about 15 minutes over to the Millers where they loaned us a bike lock which is definitely needed in Clearfield. We then biked over to the House family at their apartment and just talked with the dad. He always seems like he is in a better mood when we come over. After that we went outside and found that my back tire was completely flat so the Millers gave us a ride home which was much needed. 

Later that night we had a dinner appointment at the Moons. On the way there we were stopped by Sister Jones. Her 17 year old son had just passed away from a brain tumor and she invited us to come to the funeral because there is going to be a lot of non members. She also said that the group Gentri was singing there. 

Dinner at the Moons was good. It was interesting because everything we ate was from their garden, picked fresh that day. The night was pretty was pretty slow. We get mocked a lot by the teenage crowd in the rough parts of Clearfield but we just turn the other cheek and ignore them. We talked to Krystal Gonzales again and she said she was going to go to church we also gave her the Book of Mormon challenge. As we were walking to the gas station to get something to drink, we met "Dragon" (a nickname that he likes to be called) he is a really cool teenager and we talked to him a bit. He backed out the day before he was supposed to be baptized and we haven't seem him till now. We talked to him and told him how much we loved him and that things can get better. We gave him the Book of Mormon challenge as well and invited him to church. When we left another lady had stopped us and said she had just moved in with her three kids and is a member and told us to stop by sometime. We made it to the gas station and got some drinks. The lady at the gas station is always so nice and she refuses to let us pay. I feel bad doing that but she just won't let us.

Saturday August 27th, 2016

It has been a struggle to get up on time but we are trying haha. This morning we headed over to the funeral of Josh Jones. The funeral was huge. There was over 200 people there and a lot of them included members, family, Airforce, bikers, police, and fire department. It was a nice funeral and I could tell that Josh touched many peoples lives. Gentri also sounded good. After that we went home and ate lunch. The funeral procession drove by where we are staying and the casket was followed/lead by over 70 bikers so it was pretty cool.. We got some green slime from the Barlows to fix my bike which helped tremendously. We then went to a luncheon at the church for the funeral and they had some really good food.

After a while we went to go visit Aiden House and the family. As we were walking a party was going on at the park. They had huge speakers and the music was so loud we heard it at our house. As we were walking by they all waved and told us to come over. It was a Polynesian sweet 16 and they had so much good food there. They were members and told us to each take a box of food. We wanted to eat it so bad because it looked so good instead we decided we would bring it to Aiden's house because they needed it more than we did. Then ended up not being home so we just brought it back to the church and put it in the fridge. 

We then talked to some people and we talked to one dude that had a nasty spider bite that made his whole entire hand purple and puffy. He doesn't know if it was a black widow or what it was but it was nasty. We went to our dinner appointment but no one was home so we just went home and ate some sandwiches. We then went to a block party at some apartment complexes for some people who were interested in the church. We talked to them and got to know them a little more. After that we played some basketball at the stake center with some guys from the hood who are actually arena football players for a pro team. That was a lot of fun and we enjoyed it.

Sunday August 28th, 2016

Today was my first Sunday in the mission. We had an early morning we had to be to the church by 8 am for some church meetings. We went to the Freeport Branch for sacrament meeting. After that we Went home and took a nap until around 11:30 and then we had sandwiches for lunch. We then went to the our investigators house 30 minutes before church started and she said she was going to get ready and that she would be there. Well we went to sacrament meeting and she never showed up and she told us she became very "ill" after we left haha. We got the privilege to help confirm ET and guy who Elder Ballard baptized last week, which was cool. After sacrament we went to a gospel principles class and learned about the Charity and pure love of Christ. After that we got to help confer the Aaronic priesthood to ET as well. 

After that we warmed up the food we had gotten yesterday and headed over to the House family. They were very happy for the food and really enjoyed it. We set up Aiden's Baptismal Program for this Saturday which is awesome. We had a dinner appointment but the daughter of the family got sick so they brought us over dinner. They brought over an Indian dish they said with pita bread and it was like a honey mustard chicken dish with potatoes in it and a giant fruit salad. It was pretty good. After that we went to the Tousely family's house and went to say goodbye to ET who was going to Missouri for work and it is kind of funny that hes going back to Elder Ballard's hometown for work. We got there and then 2 other sets of missionaries showed up and we had like a going away party for him. He expressed how thankful he was to us. We also got a investigator who was there who was asking about the church so we set up a time to meet with him later this week.

Monday August 29th, 2016

Well today was my first official P-day in the field. We had planned to go hiking at Adams Canyon with some other missionaries but they backed out last second so we might go next week. We instead got a call asking if wanted to go to Rush Fun Plex so we decided to go there. There were quite a few missionaries there and it was nice because the place was literally empty due to school starting last week. We got there and the first thing we did is play Laser tag. The Fun Plex reminded me of the Fun Plex center back home but this place was a lot bigger and better. 

Then after laser tag we went and rode go karts it was cool because the go karts were in the the top portion of the building so it was in indoor track and it was all glow in the dark so it was pretty dark in there. After that we did Glow in the dark bowling. I was reminded once again that I am terrible at bowling. A few other missionaries showed up and we played some more laser tag and rode more go karts. We were there all day and I was super tired. 
We decided to eat with everyone at the McDonalds in the Walmart close by. We got there and we were about to order when Elder Ballard realized he forgot his wallet at Rush so we had to get our bikes and go back. 

When we got back to the bike racks there was a car sitting there and a little boy said hey missionaries to us and we talked to him and his mom The family has a son serving in Mexico and that they were thankful for the missionaries. We went in and ate and since it was around 4 oclock and I hadn't eaten, I ordered 4 cheeseburgers. After a while of eating the little boy came into the store and gave me and Elder Ballard each ten bucks which was really nice. After that we had a long bike ride home. We got home and took naps till around 6 . We then went out contacting and met with a few people but it was a pretty slow night. We came back and I got ready for exhanges. Elder Dimond and his companion came and picked us up and I stayed at Elder Dimonds Place to start the exchange.