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.

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