Monday, December 21, 2015

"He" Is Why I'm out Here - December 21, 2015


- snowed!!! so we spent almost a whole day shoveling drive ways. Dang cold but still lots of fun!

- went to Valier and played some chess with one of our investigators... He beat Elder Asbury in 3 moves and destroyed me.  Cool guy, LOVES football, had a good chat about bowl season.... And the gospel of course.

- found a SWEEEET wooden toy gift shop outside of town. Dude sounds Italian and is dang good at making toys. If his name isn't Gepetto it should be.

- went to a families home to decorate Santa Claus hats. Not gonna lie, the sly drum and feather and mouse I slipped on there was pretty good. LOTS of fun, love experiencing all of these holiday traditions.

- Elder Asbury wears jeans and a beanie to morning basketball for personal exercise.  He's a crack up, funny guy. A lot of laughing and goofing off this transfer but we still get work done.

- Christmas zone conference rocked!!! Pretty bummed Bozeman went to Billings for theirs and I didn't get a chance to see Elder Christensen and the rest of the BROzeman Elders but it was still awesome. Was able to see Elder Walgren!!! Some things I'll never forget in life, such as holding Z for the first time, stealing the pylon from the 2012 holy war, breaking down space mountain, @pettbryan threatening to break my brothers hand if he didn't give him the Mrs Fields cookie .........Seeing President Wadsworth come bolting in yelling that Santa was there can be added to that list. Never seen that side of President Wadsworth before.

****Direct quote from president - "dignity and decorum goes out the door during the holiday season"

- While on the subject of dignity being thrown out the door during the holiday season, I did indeed break out the Darth Vader footie pajamas this week. Realized I left my name tag on my suit coat in the car so I went outside.... With my light saber (obviously).... To retrieve the special cargo. S/O to Abby, Kurt and Diz for the Elder Vader get up and to Elder Walton for introducing me to Star Wars last fall in the bunker, good times. We're gonna have a full on Star Wars marathon in the cave when we all get back and I still wanna wife Padmรจ. <3

Wanna start off with a birthday shout out to one of my best friends, I love ya Grandpa. You have taught me so much. You are a warrior, a fighter, a leader, but best of all, you are my grandpa. I'm so blessed to have 2 sets of amazing grandparents in my life. I'm so blessed to not only represent our Saviors name each day on my name card, but to represent your name too. Thank you for every 9 holes at the Parkway, for the Mickey Mouse caramel apples, and teaching me what it means to be a Utah Man. If Utah Athletics only knew how dedicated you have been throughout your life. I aspire to be as loving and caring as you everyday I serve, love ya grandpa. Can't wait for the next 9 holes.

It was a good week! Was able to give another blessing and that was no doubt a major highlight of the week. The prompting hit hard and would not go away that this missionary needed a blessing. It was one of the most spiritual experiences I have ever had. The priesthood is real, just.... Wow. Wish I could just blurt out to you what happened, but President Packer warned against sharing such experiences too openly so I'll hold back. All I gotta say is experience the priesthood yourself.
Blessings are amazing, THE PRIESTHOOD IS SO COOL, and the veil is thin when you are doing the Lord's work righteously. Very grateful for the experience I had with this missionary. I love the priesthood, Really gaining a better understanding of it and how to use it, I know that knowledge is something I will need in the future.

Ya, good week! Saturday night I was sitting next to our heater (it was actually working, #AchievementUnlocked) thinking about what I was doing last year on the Saturday before Christmas. It was the end of an awesome week in Vegas, sooooooo much fun. Freakin miss my job. Utes played CSU in the Vegas bowl. I let @BPett23 (that's a cute format for your Twitter handle, where'd you get that idea???) wear my Vegas bowl hoodie out of the kindness of my heart, and I remember standing on the field watching the seconds tick by that 4th quarter (#ULegacy trailer
1 reference) thinking.... "Well this is it... Where am I gonna be the next time the Utes take the field." (Had NO clue it'd be Montana....) Utes win, start playing Utah Man, and I have an entire bus ride home thinking about the awesome season we had, Christmas is next week, Disneyland the day after, and a trip to the Mouses kingdom the week after that. Life is dang good.

Now we fast forward a year. Instead of staying in the Mandalay Bay suites playing Xbox and opening bags of MOAR Ute gear, I'm staying in the Staaf apartments opening Christmas letters from home. Instead of being on a bus ride back to Salt Lake jamming to some Bob Seger and Motley Crue, I'm driving back into Conrad jamming to some Archie Christmas album with Elder Asbury. Instead of thinking about spending Christmas at home or going to the mouses kingdom, I'm thinking about that face time call home and transfers coming up shortly after. It's pretty different, but the result is the same. Life is gooooood.

Saturday was a good day, Utes won. 5 in a row !!! Got a email saying we are up 35-0, come back from a lesson to find out we won 35-28.... Win is a win, scoreboard doesn't lie, neither does .I'm freakin proud of my Utes. That's one heck of a season and one to be proud of, Utes upheld the legacy. One more of those and #UReturn is gonna be.... Mmmmm.

As great of a time it is to be a Ute however, it's even a greater time to be a missionary. Saturday was a good day, but not because of the Utes. Someone we had been teaching back in Belgrade got baptized.  The first time I met him I was told by others he would never want to be baptized, but I knew he would. I was able to develop a strong relationship with that family, and Elder Christensen coming along only made it that much better! We were his friend, we'd go over and talk with him about hunting or cars or country music or Talladega Nights.... Or Anchorman.... Or the Other guys (Brother Farell was present at most lessons ;), then out of nowhere he asks us about baptism.... That teaching method isn't exactly recommended in Preach My Gospel but it worked! I was stoked, that's another day Elder Christensen and I will always remember. Then the next week I get the call saying I'm going to Conrad. That's reason 1 of 1,000 that made it hard leaving. I'm so proud of him and his family. Never thought I'd say this.... But that mouse and drum and feather, which I love so deeply as all of you know, have nothing on the joy I feel for him, and the Robisons, and for Oscar and Nora. One more name onto the list of mansion neighbors at the end of Enos 1:27.

I was happy a year ago, it was a good feeling riding that bus back home for Christmas and the mouse, no bus ride home this Christmas, but for some insane reason I'm just as happy now. It's a great time to be a missionary. You really only get 2 years to experience this type of happiness. It's hard being away, can't argue that, but the experiences out here are worth it.

--- small example. We go tracting the other night. Plan was to go to Ohio street, but during the prayer we got the prompting to go one street over to Indiana street. About an hour in and absolutely no success at all, we weren't spittin fire on door steps this time....#Humility. I'm not sugar coatin this one, it sucked. Crisp maybe 9 degrees outside, NO ONE wants to talk to us, "we have no food, we have no jobs, OUR PETS HEADS ARE FALLING OFF" is the best way to describe how we were feeling. then we get to the last house. Sweeeeeeeet old Chevy in the driveway so that's my "in" for something to talk about (gotta have a "in" to talk about or else #Tracting๐Ÿšœ๐Ÿ’จ takes on a whole new level of awkwardness) . Find out it was her husbands who recently passed away. She was super friendly to us and told us she's been struggling during the holiday season. We told her we don't know exactly what she's going through, but that we too were away from our loved ones for Christmas. The conversation we had with this widow made the whole hour of tracting in frozen darkness worth it. Being able to testify to her that she'll be with him again, made that hour worth it.

Did she commit to baptism and read the entire Book of Mormon that night???? No. But I know We were sent to that house for a reason.

Missions really are something special. Don't know why I love something so difficult, but at the same time I do know why. These past almost 6 months have beaten the crap out of me. Physically, mentally, spiritually. When it sucks out here you don't have some headphones and a basketball, you can't make UVids, you can't go for a ride in the panther, can't Arnold Napalm a ginger bread house #OperationCarbonFreeze, can't even call your mom. You have a companion, alright that's nice, but staying within sight and sound

24/7 doesn't mean you wont ever feel alone. It's hard. But, I've had one person who I know I can ALWAYS turn to to help me. And Friday we get to celebrate His birth. I've said before how my perspective has gone from "if I serve a mission I can do anything" to "through Christ I can do I anything". It's true, I know it. Serving a mission has taught me how badly I need Christ in my life. The atonement is untapped power and potential for US. We can not comprehend how powerful it is, but I have felt a glimpse of its power. It's helped me change. See things that I need to be better at. It's comforted me.

It's why I'm out here, He is why I'm out here. He is why I love something so difficult.

Weird that I get to FaceTime home on Friday... Wow. Remember saying "Merry Christmas" to my mom before hanging up and getting on the airplane in July and thinking that day will never come. Time is weird out here. Same dang thing everyday which feels slow, but looking back it CRUISES by. Every second that ticks by its running out. Doesn't feel real I get to actually talk to them!!! I love all of you so much.

The Christmas cards and gifts mean so much. So blessed to be surrounded by such amazing family. "Have a Merry Christmas ya filthy animals".....

--- Someone watch home alone for me. ---

------ do some jumping jacks Lala, he's got 3 days ;)

- Elder K


Monday, December 14, 2015

"Prepare the Way of the Lord" - December 14, 2015


- found a sweeeeeeet ramp by the train yard. #StuntJumpBonus #25Points 

- The lone grocery store in town may be outrageously over priced and sell expired Gatorade, but the music there is just.... Mmmmmmmm. Born in the USA, Another One Bites the Dust, Old Time Rock and Roll, etc. Soooo gooood. 

- Thanks for all the letters and notes this past week fam and friends!!! Loved the letters from the Christmas party!!! The "hail hydra" on the ward card was cute, well played priest quorum.  

- ate at the Scowns on Thursday night. Super awesome old couple. She reminds me a lot of Grandma Mary. Helped them set up their new blu ray player and got her logged into Netflix, they were blown away. Lot of fun! Had to severely control myself when I saw ONCE on there. 

- made some freakin bomb breakfast burritos.... Great odins Raven.... That's all I gotta say. 

- Decided to take one of the back roads to dinner. After a ways we decided to hop on the interstate and play it safe instead. Long story short, we ended up out of our area and in Shelby (like an hour away, welcome to the MBM).... Flipped back around and the exit we were supposed to take is the one we got on at. It was the equivalent of me and @pettbryan departing and boarding the same train in Europe. Hope that makes sense, if not, just know I'm a freakin blonde. 

- had dinner with the Beckers who are AWESOME!!!! Super good chicken. Had a fun night. A lot of it was sister Becker and I bashing on BYU so ya, good night. They're awesome, we had a lot of fun. She actually went to college with Mr Bodily/the #Dictator. 

- had a missionary in the zone tell me he doesn't like Archuleta's Christmas album  (insert "Michael Scott - why are you the way that you are" gif) 

- S/O to my boy Elder Potter who got a speeding ticket... Splash Elders have lead foots... That'll make our return trip/6 month Bromance of Kenney chesney and nba 2k a fun one before his girlfriend gets home from her mission. Splash elders go fast!!! #IWannaGoFast #IfYou'reNotFirstYourLast 

- helped the Thompson's get a giant mattress up to their attic play room. That mattress had no business making it up that stair well but we missionary's are persistent... we were clutch. No idea how we did it, we went full Moroni pushing that thing up there. Go Mormons, Bro Thompson is a stud. Their attic play room is freakin sweeeeeet.   #Goals The Thompson's are an awesome family, Bro Thompson reminds me a lot of Lucas. 

- mad props to @yokester74 for breaking Twitter. #TwitterDreamTeam #NeverForget 

- currently chilling in the church helping the high priest group leader trim his helicopter. He was able to fly it for longer than 30 seconds without kamikazing it so he's almost as good as @pettbryan 

Yep, pretty rockin week!!! Had our first district meeting and I thought it was awesome!! Kinda crazy being in the shoes of a district leader but I love it. Just have a completely different feeling when I'm around these elders and sisters, I know there is so much I can learn from them. At the end I shared with them Alma 26. I compare the book of Alma a lot to my friends, #OperationABRO. It gives me an idea of what we are all going through now and what it'll be like when we are all sitting out in front of home base (And now it came to pass that Alma conducted his brethren back to the land of Zarahemla; even to his own house.)  on our cars talking about Peru, Argentina, Sweden, Ohio, Tennessee, Big Sky, or shining laser pens at Bosnians.... Elder Walton...  Told them I want that to be us one day too. That someday, wether it's in Utah or Micronesia, or the Celestial Kingdom, we will be able to sit back and talk about our district and the relationship we had and the work we did. Wanted to close with a "family on 3" but we ended with a prayer instead. 

 ***Elder Massau has shown me some pics from home and Micronesia very well may be the celestial kingdom BTDUBS**** 

Ya, love our district. So much I need to learn as a missionary and they've already taught me a lot. Also got to interview with President Wadsworth again on Saturday. Major bonus out of transferring to a different zone as I interviewed with him just a few weeks earlier in Bozeman. President is awesome. We sit down, he sighs and asks "how long have we been doing this???" 
"About 5 and a half months" I say 
 "Well... we have been together every step of the way" 

Soooo true! It's been fun, we both came in new and have been learning on the go. We had a pretty good chat, I Look up to President and Sister Wadsworth a lot. Asked him some questions I had and he gave me some tips on being a district leader and how to receive revelation now and after my mission and it was powerful. Love President Wadsworth, Once again, he reminds a lot of @pettbryan. 

Driving home from stake conference yesterday thinking about what I was gonna email home the next day, and was kinda bummed. It was a good week, but not a lot of success. Worked hard but nothing much to show for it. Well after a freakin awesome dinner with the bishop and his family, we hit the pavement for some more #Tracting๐Ÿšœ๐Ÿ’จ.... And it was getting hot in Conrad despite it being a crisp 28 degrees! If the Spirit of God like a fire is burning then Elder Asbury and I were straight spittin fire on door steps!!! Once we were back on the street I was doing Coach Shah sonic claps of excitement that echoed throughout all of Conrad. #GetYourEyesRight #Technique

Alright on a more humble note, it was good. The spirit guided us to the correct street (day after pres gives advice on revelation) and we found the elect, we found those who have been prepared for this gospel. Got TWO new investigators. We felt prompted to talk about the potential God sees in us and why we are here, you could see it really made them think. So grateful for the spirit and revelation we can receive, Conrad is about to blow up. Elder Christensen and I said it in Belgrade and it's time we spiritually nuke this place too, what better time to do it too??? 

5 And behold, there shall a new star arise, such an one as ye never have beheld; and this also shall be a sign unto you.
6 And behold this is not all, there shall be many signs and wonders in heaven.
7 And it shall come to pass that ye shall all be amazed, and wonder, insomuch that ye shall fall to the earth.
8 And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall believe on the Son of God, the same shall have everlasting life.
9 And behold, thus hath the Lord commanded me, by his angel, that I should come and tell this thing unto you; yea, he hath commanded that I should prophesy these things unto you; yea, he hath said unto me: Cry unto this people, repent and prepare the way of the Lord.

We have been asked to "prepare the way of the lord". Whether that's in your own life or the lives around you, Prepare them for the coming of our Savior!!! Teach em, love them! Don't let your fears of doubts decide who is ready to experience the blessings this gospel has to offer. I Love Christmas, love missionary work, love food, love lamps, pretty much just love life, and it's no coincidence that I'm sharing the gospel as I love it so much. Get out and try it yourself. 

Love ya guys! 

- Elder K 

ULegacy applies now more than ever, uphold the legacy UBoyz, make em quit. 


Monday, December 7, 2015

Stick to the Task - December 7, 2015

What's up everyone?  Week 2 down in Conrad, awesome week. 

- ate dinner with the Weisgram family. She has lived here for about 70 years so we got a pretty sweet run down on the history of Conrad. Made me feel lucky to be serving here. We talked about when the interstate was put in and once again thought of Cars haha. Also had some bomb tacos, almost as good as Jared and I's taco nights in the bunker. 

 - went to Valier to do some work. A 30 minute drive outta Conrad, even smaller town. This one has a single yellow light in town and I swear every third blink is slower.... It was sweet. The lake was frozen so we went to check it out. No mom we didn't go play on it despite my inner Jared Walton telling me to. 

- another awesome dinner at a members house, they had 007 on the N64 but I couldn't justify how takin down tangos old school style would fulfill my missionary purpose so I had to refuse some serious temptation to play it. #AchievementUnlocked

- These roads out here.... Straight and flat... Gotta be careful after my last incident in Bozeman but tough to not go fast especially when you are jamming to David Archuleta MoTab Christmas album. Can't wait to bring the panther up here. #IWannaGoFast 

- Theres a loud siren that goes off at 9 every night. 

- Decorated the tree at the library for the Christmas piano recital which ROCKED!!!

- furnace stopped working so we had to call up the former elders to figure out how to relight it. Felt like we were diffusing a bomb in the final minutes of 24. #DangItChloe 

- lady at Wendy's somehow thought our names were Asburg and Pete... Did some role plays for training and I was Skittle and my comp was Guadeloupe. After further review we now refer to each other as "Guadeloupe Asburg" and "Skittle Pete". Elder Asbury is a stud. Have loved training him these past few weeks and look forward to the next 4.  

- Found my new favorite street. I did say in my farewell talk that Montana is Ron Swanson territory.  

- taught a mission prep class to the priests, did my best to be as awesome as Mike and Hilary. 

- couldn't help but think "ding fries are done" during the second to last song of the Christmas devotional. 

- Brown Christmas Party looked awesome. Props to Ally for photo bombing most the pics. 

- s/o to @yokester74 for partying it up in the Magic Kingdom with @pettbryan. Can't wait to meet ya one day. Miss that mouse like crazy. Heard about the Disney dating site and I'm down. I'll attach a link to the Disney video on my profile. (JK mom)

- Last, happy birthday to my amazing sister Abby and stud brother Kasey. Love you so much Abby, thanks for wishing for me 20 years ago. Especially grateful you wished for a brother cause 1. Being a girl sounds way too hard and 2. 18 months isn't long enough to serve. Love you, and thanks for giving me a stud brother and hilarious niece. As for the CO, thanks for being an awesome example to me whether it's on Nuketown, Backyard Badminton, or Missionary Work. Love ya bro, you look good bald. 

 Well I was hitting the book of Alma hard this past week. Gosh there's some good stuff in there. Quick run down on some things I caught.... 

 - Alma 10: 4 Amulek goes full Ron Burgundy.... 4 And behold, I am also a man of no small reputation among all those who know me; yea, and behold, I have many (leather bound books) kindreds and friends, I have also acquired much riches by the hand of my industry (and my apartment smells of rich mahogany)

- Chapter 11 he straight up roasts Zeezrom in front of most of Ammonihah and calls him out as a child of hell. (Still remember getting a snapchat from @teambetaalpha senior year of that verse <3) 

- Chapter 14 they are cast into prison. After showing continued faith and patience, Verse 29 they "Tony Stark" it and bust outta there. "and when they saw Alma and Amulek coming forth out of the prison, and the walls thereof had fallen to the earth, they were struck with great fear".
- Alma 16 we start to see some slight contention in the land, no worries though, Alma prays to God for the perfect battle plan and they take down the Lamanites. We are told to steer far away from politics but I gotta say I wouldn't mind having a president who prays to God before making military decisions. Worked pretty well for Alma. 

- Chapter 17.... Is just pure excellence. Ammon is the Jack Bauer/JamesBond/Optimus Prime/ @TeamBetaAlpha/ dad from taken of Book of Mormon times. Love that chapter, and not just because the dude is cutting off arms and racking up the care package and RC XD kill streak. So many hidden hints towards leadership. 

-  Verse 11 - "Your patience when you have nothing & your attitude when you have everything"

- Verse 29 "you make your own fate" 

- Ch. 18, 9-10 "never stop serving"

- Verse 12  "Stick to the Task"

- Verse 17 "humility" 

- and so much more. Sweet chapter on leadership and one that I needed ... One more Ron Burgundy reference, after the servants bring all the arms Ammon cut off to the king... "He was astonished exceedingly" = "I'm not even mad... That's amazing" 

- Last, chapter 20 we learn of Lamoni who is the greatest recent convert in the Book of Mormon. Wrote  "Robison's, Oscar, Sister Fife,'Bro BooYa" in the margin of that one.

Book of Mormon is sweet, not sure how many people compare it to Tony Stark or Ron Burgundy but I love it! Along with the @MPett3 spark notes of the first bit of Alma I also want to share a quote from president Ezra Taft Benson in 1988. 

"We are commanded by God to take this gospel to all the world. That is the cause that must unite us today. Only the gospel will save the world from the calamity of its own self-destruction. Only the gospel will unite men of all races and nationalities in peace. Only the gospel will bring joy, happiness, and salvation to the human family”

- Save the world from its own self destruction 

- Unite men of all races and nationalities in peace 

- Bring joy, happiness, and salvation to the human family

Look at the world around us, safe to say we are struggling in those 3 areas. A prophet of God has promised us that the gospel is the only way for these statements to come true. ONLY the gospel can fix it. We have been called to preach this gospel. Makes you realize how important this work is. Constantly search for opportunities to share this gospel with those around you. It's selfish of us not to. What better time to share the gospel than during this wonderful season too???? 

Yep, good week. People in Conrad are pretty set in their ways but we are working hard. Work is a little slow, but it's gonna pick up. Someone we have been teaching had a 2 year old daughter who was sick and we were able to give her a blessing and that was awesome, love giving blessings. You could tell he wants to be able to do that some day. Priesthood is real and it is powerful, so grateful that I am able to use it. Also have a young family we found last week and have started teaching and they are awesome. The dad is the town butcher and we offered to do service for him but later found out we aren't allowed. Church doesnt trust us with sharp objects and that's probably good. Was gonna send a pic of me wearing an apron covered in elk blood but once again my inner Jared Walton was countered with a ... "McKay.... no" in my mind from my mother. 

Love ya guys, 3 weeks I'll have another best friend and I'm pumped!!! Pop him out before Christmas please Lala. It's a special time of year. Get on your knees and tell God how grateful you really are, so grateful for my family. Something I have been doing lately is testifying to God. We testify so much as missionaries... Heck, Elder Christensen testified the Book of Mormon to me in his sleep!!! #AchievementUnlocked, but how often do we testify to God??? Tell him what you know, and what you want to know. He's there for us. 

Love ya,
- Elder K

- holy war in sin city.... Can only imagine how toxic that's gonna get!!! Wish I could make a vid for this one... So many ideas...  Make Em Quit UBoyz

Monday, November 30, 2015

Pressure Determines What Type of Missionary You Will Be - November 30, 2015

What's up everyone!!!

It was a crazy and long week. Transfers left me pretty drained.

Definitely hard leaving Belgrade. Monday night we went and visited members of the ward and I would have needed a whole extra week to visit everyone I wanted to. Belgrade holds a special place in my heart and not gonna lie it plucked my heart strings driving past that water tower. Got on the transfer van in Bozeman, then we left for Helena which meant we drove past Belgrade. Felt the exact same way I did when I took Front Runner through Murray after the MTC. Lots of memories, lots of people I love, but I'll be back.

Got to Helena where I met Elder Landry (stud zone leader) and we packed up the truck for Great Falls. On the drive from Helena (BEAUTIFUL DRIVE, complete blizzard but it was sweet) I asked who my district leader is.... "You." I laughed, then asked again.... "You"

I was already nervous knowing I'm going into a new area along with training a new missionary then this bomb is dropped on me. So we get to Helena and I'm still trying to comprehend what I'm gonna do then I see ma boy Elder Jaques. He too is training so we spent the night hanging out in Great Falls since our companions didn't arrive till the next day. This was a major blessing getting to talk with him, gave me the run down on being a district leader and it was much needed, repaid him by introducing him to a steak burrito enchilada style and a order of chips and queso (???? - sorry for the spelling Spanish speaking missionary friends) so ya, much needed advice from my old trainer. We had a good time reminiscing of the trailer days and our good friend Jimbo that we drilled on our way to the trailer for the first day (Jimbo is a gopher, not a person).

Next day I met Elder Asbury from Northern California. He's awesome. Quiet, humble, hardworking elder. Celebrity look alike is probably Andrei Kirilenko. We grabbed some food then made the 1 hour drive to Conrad. The small town feel and the way the Christmas decorations are hung up on Main Street reminds me a lot of Radiator Springs. Our apartment is pretty old but it has running water and a furnace so I'll take it. A lot better than what other missionary's have so I can't complain.

Our first dinner in Conrad was also our first Thanksgiving dinner in the field and we went out to Bishop Briggs. It was about an hour drive out of town and it was gorgeous. Not much civilization out here. Our area is HUGE and we cover a few small towns outside of Conrad.

***Coming from "Sack Lake City"  I thought Belgrade was a small town....

Then I went to Conrad.... Then I drove through Dupuyer.... They just keep getting smaller and smaller.

Ya, huge area. Lots of driving, lots of cows.... Not a lot of people, pictures will show that. We get to the Bishop's place and they own this sweet ranch type place that's like the nature center on steroids. Sooooooo cool. Mountains in his backyard are the other side of Glacier National Park which is pretty cool. We went on a little off road Montana safari to help him find his son who was out looking for an elk and that was fun. Dinner was in the Education Center and it was super good. They have a sweet set up, definitely will be going back up there with the family one day.

Ward is awesome too. Really enjoyed Sunday and getting to meet everyone. Sister Becker is a huge Utes fan so we had a good chat and the Bishop's wife has apparently already watched some Uvids. Really friendly ward.

It was a hard week, real adjustment for me. Not gonna lie it was probably the hardest week so far. Just feels like I have a lot going on. Great Falls Zone has been one of the least successful zones in the mission and here I am leading a district with a new missionary in a new area. Never really aspired to be a district leader or any of that yet here I am. I've really had to turn to the atonement this past week, I'm a firm believer every trial we go through is an opportunity to learn and if that's what I need to learn then so be it. The atonement is real, I have needed it and will continue to need it. This time of year isn't easy, seeing Christmas everywhere I look is hard.

Feels like I got a lot riding on this transfer, but I received an email from my dad, and though it wasn't about missionary work, a quote really stood out to me.

"Pressure determines what type of leader you will be"

Ya, lot going on,  but I'm grateful for the challenges that lay ahead.

I will go and do, even though I don't really have a clue what the heck I'm doing. I just want to be happy, and end of the day nothing out here is going to bring me more happiness than filling in more names under my list of "mansion neighbors" I have at the end of Enos 1:27. So ya, pressure is certainly there, definitely a little scared and nervous, but onward ever onward. Doing my first baptismal interview on Friday so at least the sisters in Shelby know what they are doing haha.

Conrad is sweet though, Gonna be cool bringing my family up here one day.

Love ya,

- Elder K

Monday, November 23, 2015

Sad Goodbye to Belgrade 1st Ward - November 23, 2015


What's up everyone!!! Pretty crazy week, we drilled a deer!!! (Don't worry mom we were fine) and I got the flu on Wednesday and it sucked.

Can't really sugar coat that experience too much, being a sick missionary sucks. I'd typically just plop down and take down tangos or lead the Georgia State Panthers to the Sun Belt Championship or watch Netflix but you can't really do that on a mission. You're either sleeping or studying.... And you can only sleep so much and you can only study so much in a day. On the bright side it made me be grateful for when I'm not sick, gave me a new perspective  of how fortunate I am to have this time to serve.

It was a week of giving blessings, our ward is just going through a rough time right now haha. Between car accidents or slipping on ice or just being sick, it kept us busy this week. I was even in on the fun and I asked Brother BooYa to give me a blessing. The priesthood is real, major blessing in my life that I hold it and can use it to serve others.

Well, we got transfer calls on Saturday and I'll be taking my talents to Conrad, Montana. It hit me pretty hard, and it's still hitting me hard. It's honestly not fair, 4 months ago I said bye to family and it feels like I have to do the same thing this week. Feel the exact same way I did back in July. Why do I have to love it so much??? They say leave the area better than you found it, but the area made me better.

So here I am, back at square 1. Feeling the same way I did before I left. I'll be training a new missionary in a new area for the holiday season and I'm freaked out haha. Heavenly Father and President Wadsworth must have some serious faith in me cause I got no idea how I'm gonna pull this one off, onward ever onward.

Sorry if this is a complete downer of a email, but oh man this is weird. Belgrade was special. The people here feel like family. Elder Christensen is practically my brother. Just nuts that I gotta say bye to this family too. Andy Bernard said it best "I wish there was a way to know you are in the good old days before you actually left em".

These past 4 months have been the hardest of my life, but they were the good days, and now I have to move on. As stupid as it sounds it's that same feeling I had walking out of the Magic Kingdom after going hard with Kurt back in January or filming that last time lapse in Rice Eccles. I just compared Belgrade to the drum and feather and that mouse, that'll tell you how sweet Belgrade is. Ugh it just doesn't make sense, why did I have to love it so much. Don't know how I'm gonna do it, I'm scared like I was before I left, but I got the same answer I did before I left...

"Be strong and of a good courage, be not afraid, for the Lord thy God is with thee, whithersoever thou goest."

I'm going to miss Belgrade, but there is work to be done in Conrad. Still have to find Luigi, Guido, Fillmore, and a few other cars and I guess that means I have to leave Belgrade to do it. It's tough grasping the idea that I love this place as much as home, and now I have to leave it. I thought a mission gets easier the longer you have been out but I have cried more the past 2 days than I have since I started this mission. Doesn't get easier, God just makes you stronger.

Once again sorry if this is a complete downer of a email but wow, just doesn't feel real. Words can't  describe how I feel. Why do I love this so much??? The past 4 months have straight up been mental, physical, emotional, spiritual warfare but I love it. Walking out of church on Sunday felt the same as it did walking out the Sunday before I left. We aren't supposed to tell anyone until Monday but we told our ward council and next thing I know it's being announced in Sacrament Meeting (#NoRegrets) and I had to say the closing prayer. Felt like another farewell, thought I only do one of those??? Brother Rogers who is the most BA Ward mission leader out there had tears in his eyes when I told him, these people have changed my life. Whether it's drifting in a '69 Camaro with Cameron Richards or hearing Brother Gehringer list the starting lineups for every Packers team to play, living in a trailer at the Chidesters, Flarp with the Bishop and Mexican Horse Races with the Turners. Community Cafe and the Thrift Store and the nights with Sister Fife and Bro BooYa. Elders quorums with non stop Dumb and Dumber references and Chuck Norris jokes, #AmericaIsNumber1.

Truck loads of potatoes. Spending every second of every day with an elder that is practically my brother now. Seeing Oscar dressed in white and walking into the Robison's home and seeing Hannah, Lilly, Thomas, Benji, and Henry. Brother Robison told me I changed their life, but they changed my life. Saying bye to Henry was like saying bye to Z!

When I accepted that call In March it was to serve with all my heart, might, mind, and strength. To work my butt off and be obedient. No where does it mention there or in Preach My Gospel or in The District videos that I would love it so much. It doesn't mention that I'd be so heart broken to say goodbye to people I love. I was called to serve, but in reality I've been called to love. Had no idea I would love this work so much.

Love you guys, the church is true. Understand this email was pretty much a giant rant but WOW. This is nuts. No freakin way I'd put myself through this if I didn't know for a surety that this gospel is true.

Got a new missionary to train on Wednesday and his first transfer is the holidays. I gotta be rock solid for him, and I'm not sure how I'm gonna do it. I need the Atonement now more than ever, onward ever onward. Have an awesome Thanksgiving. We all have so much to be grateful for, I'm grateful for Belgrade and everyone here that changed my life, grateful for the next chapter in Conrad.

"It's about the journey, yours and mine. The lives we touch, the world we can change, the legacy we can leave behind."

 Wanted to leave a legacy in Belgrade, but Belgrade left a legacy in me.

- Elder K

Btdubs, population of Belgrade is roughly 10k.... Conrad is 2500....

Monday, November 16, 2015

Onward Ever Onward - November 16, 2015

Waaaassssuuuup everyone!!! Another good week, it's a winter wonderland and it WENT BY SO DANG FAST!!! 

----- anytime I say "insert gif" just go search for that gif, it'll be worth it ----- 

- Community Cafe on Tuesday, love it there. I've made some pretty good homeless friends haha, funny guys. Doesn't take much to make some people happy. Starting to get the hang of serving food, even struck the "Heisman" after getting a large order for a family 100% right. 

- Ate with the Richards again... Was expecting scripture roulette but.... Well.... Instead we were Cruising Belgrade in his '69 Camaro (insert Tony Stark "I want one" gif) and wow baby..... 0-80 in less than 4 seconds. He did give us some solid mission advice as well. Cameron is a stud, reminds me a lot of Kasey. 

- Tracting is rough.... It's pitch black by like 5:30 and no one really wants to talk to us. We did find a frozen stream to throw rocks into so that was a big deal. One night we finally found a dude that wants to talk to us! Talk for about 30 minutes on his doorstep and invited him to pray and read about the Book of Mormon. He tells us he'd pray.... But that he'll pray we'll stop being Mormon, #BuzzKill. (Doc rivers blank stare gif) . Tracting is honestly pretty fun though haha, onward ever onward. 

- Interviews with President Wadsworth were on Friday. LOVE President and Sister Wadsworth. Was telling her how since we aren't allowed to use weights we have to get really creative with working out... Example: the bunk bed bowflex.... Pretty sure it'd be safer to just let us use weights so we don't have to get creative. 

- The interview itself went really well. Good talking to President about our recent success and he told me he'll move Heaven and Earth if it means being at the temple sealing next year. That really meant a lot. Afterwards I told him he reminds me of my dad and that's probably why I like him so much. His response "well your dad must be pretty cool, can't wait to meet him". The idea of President Wadsworth and @pettbryan in the same room gets me excited. Look up to both of them very much. 

- Did exchanges with our District Leader Elder DeMille. Awesome elder. Had some really spiritual experiences but I probably won't share them on here. I'll just say that Heavenly Father is no doubt preparing people and I REALLY hope I get one more transfer here. I could barely contain my excitement that night. This work is special. 

 - Not sure how but I sat in gum.... So it looked like I pooped gum. 

 - Service at the thrift store and "Pink Houses" came on the radio. Felt like I was back on the hill filming specialists. Miss my Coach Whitt music playlist. 

- Bro Robison gets all this sweet new tech for his job so we got to see the iPad plus.... Wow. Once again, Tony Stark " I want one" gif. During priesthood the young men taught him how to bless and pass the sacrament, really cool. 

- Went doorbell ditching with cookies and scriptures that we felt like the family or person needed. It was awesome. Felt good going stealth ops. Made some dang good cookies too. Definitely gonna have to wife a girl that is down to take the missionary's on service stealth ops. 

- Video of Diz dancing to Uptown Funk has gone viral with the missionaries of Brozeman. Thanks for sending that Abby! 

- Had 2 dinners that Elder Christensen and I sit down and we realize we forgot our suit coats (rule in the MBM) ... "We have no car.... We have no suit coats.... ELDER PETT'S HEAD IS FALLING OFF!!!!" Is probably our new favorite non spiritually uplifting thing to say, Dumb and Dumber is probably the best way to sum up our companionship. We're freaking goof balls. Elder Christensen is a total crack up, people probably look at us throwing rocks into a frozen stream and wonder how the heck we have 5 baptisms haha. The ward likes us so we must be doing something right. It's been a fun couple transfers with him, even if he was throwing "bear downs" at me Saturday night. 

- Went to Bishop Carlson's house last night and I love the Carlson family, we joke around probably way too much but it's impossible to not let your inner child come out when in the Carlson's home. Gonna have to do a Disney video for them someday. 

- and for Z.... Not only did I find Red, found Stanley too! 

Continuing to study from Mosiah and I found a scripture that reminded me a lot of President Monson in the fall conference session. (This is from the first ever general conference where King Benjamin is on a tower yelling, #LoudNoises) 

"For even at this time, my whole frame doth tremble exceedingly while attempting to speak unto you; but the Lord God doth support me"

Everyone could tell he was struggling, but much like King Benjamin, President Monson was and continues to be supported by the Lord. We have prophets for a reason, because Heavenly Father knows we need them. The Book of Mormon repeats a phrase over and over.... 

"Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper in the land"

In a time where there is so much chaos in the world, we need to be turning to God, when in reality it feels like more people are turning away. These are the latter days, the last days, and whether that means 10 years or 1,000 years, we know it's only going to get worse. Listen to the prophet, we have him for a reason. The Lord is hastening his work, but that also means the opposition is too. I'm so grateful for the knowledge I have, and so grateful for a prophet that continues to lead us. President Monson is a prophet called of God, he receives revelation from Him. This church is true and I will forever stand by it. 

There's real evil in the world. Friday proved that, it reminded me of Alma chapter 14 where the innocent people are dying and Amulek is so pained. He wants to help. 

10 And when Amulek saw the pains of the women and children who were consuming in the fire, he also was pained; and he said unto Alma: How can we witness this awful scene? Therefore let us stretch forth our hands, and exercise the power of God which is in us, and save them from the flames.
11 But Alma said unto him: The Spirit constraineth me that I must not stretch forth mine hand; for behold the Lord receiveth them up unto himself, in glory; and he doth suffer that they may do this thing, or that the people may do this thing unto them, according to the hardness of their hearts, that the judgments which he shall exercise upon them in his wrath may be just; and the blood of the innocent shall stand as a witness against them, yea, and cry mightily against them at the last day.
12 Now Amulek said unto Alma: Behold, perhaps they will burn us also.
13 And Alma said: Be it according to the will of the Lord. But, behold, our work is not finished

Our work is not finished. The spreading of the gospel of Jesus Christ is more important and vital now more than ever. It's going to get worse, we must turn to God now more than ever. 

It went fast, fastest week of the mission so far no doubt. Lots of really memorable experiences and after that night with Elder DeMille, really hoping I get another 6 here. I'll go where I need to go, but oh man something special is on its way. Love Belgrade so much, starting to really feel like home and that honestly makes me a little nervous. Weird that I've already been out this long, weird that I get videos where Z no longer says "desth". Weird that a place I never heard of 4 months ago feels like home. I love this work so much, so grateful I have been called to serve in days where we face the most opposition. The light of Christ is much needed in a world as dark as ours today. 

"All in, or in the way, onward ever onward." 
Love ya

- Elder K



Monday, November 9, 2015

"His Work, Not Mine" - November 9, 2015


- it snowed..... A lot.

- Belgrade 1st Ward continues to fatten us up for the winter. Had dinner at the Bishop's house which is always an adventure.... We have some fun. Also ate at the Gehringer's and Brother Gehringer was rattling off the starting line ups from the 1st ever super bowl championship Packer team again.... I was thoroughly impressed. On my bucket list to watch a Packers game with him. Despite cheering for different teams, I think he and grandpa Phil would be good friends.

- Last week during the elders quorum "what do you teach your kids"lesson our EQ Pres said "USA is #1" so we have quite the hashtag convos with him. We also spent a good chunk of elders quorum going into depth on how to "popcorn read".

- Helped split wood Wednesday night..... It was a lot of wood.....Didn't actually chop it cause of #ExactObedience and all but we did move it. Lots of fun, I'll take any chance I get to wear normal people clothes and get dirty.

- Young boy in our ward got baptized on Saturday so we went. His great-grandpa is from Salt Lake City and instantly asked if I'm related to Lynn Pett. Whether it's Costco or Belgrade, Montana, seems like everyone knows him haha. We talked about golf and the good old Murray Parkway Golf Course. Von Butler was his name, good guy.

- Good to see the missionaries made an appearance at the Riverview Ward Chili Cook Off.... No shocker that Craig Davies won it.

- picked up another giant white board for our apartment.... Not sure why but now we have 2!!

- several youth at church came up to tell me the Utes beat UW (University of Washington)....Planting seeds of Ute pride along with the gospel out here.

- got to finally experience a Mexican horse race at the Turners. #AchievementUnlocked

Just another solid week in Belgrade, Montana. Really have been cracking down on this giant list of potentials we got and while most of them haven't panned out, we got one on Tuesday! We were checking out some names in a neighborhood.... It was pretty cold and snowy... I'll leave it at that for the sake of my mothers imagination haha ... And we were about to take off and call it a night then I remembered this dude Elder Jaques and I tracted into a while back. He said we could come back any time and we tried a lot but could never get him at the right time.

Well we went to try and him and #SpritualFistPumps were going all night as we taught him. He's awesome! Told us about how he stands up for Mormons all the time and how he believes we have things figured out in today's world. Strong believer in Christ and the Bible and after sharing a few scriptures about the Book of Mormon he believes it too could be the word of God. Elder Christensen and I weren't too sure what to do cause at this point we are usually arguing how it is the word of God and this dude straight up accepted it. He's solid, still a lot to teach him, but the Lord has prepared him for us and us for him.

Biggest highlight of the week was church on Sunday. A sister in our ward is taking off for Portugal to serve a mission so it was her farewell and we got to speak with her in sacrament meeting. They claim sister missionaries are better than elders.... ya, it's true. Her talk was super good and super long so we didn't get a chance to do our talks but we did get to bear a quick testimony. I spoke my second week in Belgrade and have bore my testimony quite a few times, but this time it felt different. Maybe it was the setting of being at a farewell or the fact it was my 4 month mark, but something felt different. I remembered speaking at my farewell, and looking out and seeing so many people that changed my life and I had that same feeling as I was up there. Felt like I was talking to my family. Really do love this ward.

I was also able to confirm Amy during that same sacrament meeting and that too was very special. The gift of the Holy Ghost helps us to become as Christlike as possible, and I thought about my own mom. She is the most loving, giving, happy, Christlike  person I know... I mean think about it she puts up with @pettbryan and I....that alone is a true accomplishment of love, faith, knowledge, temperance, patience, guidance, diligence, etc... It was very special being able to give a mother the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Seems like moms just automatically have those attributes then the Holy Ghost magnifies it even more.

I swear every email comes back to this, but I love my family so much, especially my mom. I love being out here, no matter how hard it is. I used to have dreams I'd be on a mission and I'd wake up and feel relieved I was in my bed at home, now I have dreams I'm at home and wake up and feel relieved I'm in Belgrade. It's weird that I miss home, but don't want to be home. It's weird that despite how hard it can be, I want to be out here. I wouldn't be out here if I didn't know this is all true, it's that simple. Belgrade is a special place and I'm very fortunate to have the success we have had, but all the glory to the Lord. His work, not mine. Love you guys, love this work.

- Elder K 

---- yep, tell Z I found the Hudson Hornet


Monday, November 2, 2015

A Whole New Level of Amazing - November 2, 2015

What's up!!!

- first off s/o to @dahlelama for the Sailor Swoop t-shirt, luv you man. #MOARLASOARVISON

- 3 bears spotted down the street from the stake center, unfortunately we had a dinner we had to get to or else I would've gotten pics.

- Saw a dude standing in the middle of the street holding a piece of card board that had "trump is a racist pig" written on it. That was fun.

- Exchange in Bozeman freakin rocked. Did a lot of tracting at MSU and it felt soooooooo good being back on a college campus. Made me miss Jared and I's adventures last year on the hill. Taught some solid lessons and met some awesome people. Can honestly admit I probably said hi to more girls that day than I did all last year so #AchievementUnlocked.

- Also got to volunteer at the community cafe while on my exchange.
Sooooooo much fun. Met an old dude named Thomas that was mute so I taught him the restoration while he responded by typing on his iPad.
Very interesting experience, didn't like me talking about the Book of Mormon but still fun. Also made some new friends that live in Belgrade and want us to come teach them, pretty pumped about that. Really enjoy working the soup kitchen (still no Prius's involved). Love seeing how happy people get when you bring them their food, really makes me realize how good I had it growing up.

- District meeting was spiritually uplifting as always but the role plays get a little out of hand when the splash elders are involved.
Elder Potter played the role of a dog while I took the role of a missionary tracting. He is now splash elder and/or the potter spaniel.

It probably sounds dumb but the simple things out here make you laugh, freakin love Elder Potter

 - Heard "Beer in Mexico" on the radio while working the thrift store and we found a $5 gps.

- WARD HALLOWEEN PARTY FREAKIN ROCKED!!!!! Love this Ward so much, oh man I'll be making trips up here for that party when I get home. Award for best family costume went to the Chidester's for doing Inside Out.... But for best independent costume had to go to Brother Pommerville who dressed up as a Brother Stovall. Apparently his wife didn't think the shorts were appropriate for a Ward party (they
weren't) so she made him wear *her* tights, #ManCardRevoked. Oscar was also a dang good Captain Hook too!

Wow. Another week done, can't believe it's already November. I've said it before and I'll say it again..... The weirdest thing about serving a mission right now, is that it doesn't feel weird anymore. I've just gotten used to this lifestyle of 100% gospel and having demon puppy's bite me while praying with investigators, or having people walk up to you to tell you you are a cult. I'm actually used to that??? What the heck???? But one thing that I don't think I'll ever get used to, no matter how many times or how little it happens these next 20 months, is what we did on Saturday....  And it includes filling up that font.

Dang, I thought last week was special, and it was! But last Saturday was a whole new level of amazing. Brian struggled getting them under the water, but it even made it that much more genuine. That night we went over for dinner and Brian told us that was the best day of their life. That family means so much to me.

As for Oscar.... Well he didn't plug his nose all the way so when we came up he coughed for a few seconds... Then said "wow!!" And laughed.

He and Nora were so happy. Whenever he prays he always talks about how "today is a good day" and that he hopes tomorrow can be even better.

He came up to us after the baptism and said "today is a good day, there will be no more bad days, my soul is pure". I didn't even know what to say back to him. He has a very special spirit. I was able to confirm him during sacrament meeting and the spirit he has truly is pure. Who knows if he will  be able to serve a mission, but he has been a missionary to me. Can't wait for the day he and I are up in heaven playing super smash bros/Pokemon and his body and mind are perfected, we are eternal best friends.

Church on Sunday was really special. For the first time in a couple months, I really felt like I was at home. After the confirmation was testimony meeting and Brother Turner got it started. Maybe it's the Grey hair or the fact he was snoring during conference a month ago, but he really reminds me of @pettbryan. He has a daughter serving and a son leaving in a few months. It was very special hearing his testimony as a father of kids serving, from the perspective of a missionary, especially when he reminds me so much of my dad. He said that the blessings felt when they are away, out weigh any of the struggles of having them gone. Then in Elders quorum we were talking about the lessons we teach our kids. I obviously don't have any kids so I shared the number one thing @pettbryan taught me, to love my mom.

My dad has taught me many many many many things..... But I'm especially grateful he taught me that one. So blessed to have the family I have, I'd be nothing without them.

Elder Christensen and I were sharing stories about when we have felt the spirit the strongest in our life or true happiness. Took me a second to think of one, but once they started coming they just didn't stop. Brady baptizing me, Stick to the Task, the Mann's setting apart, holding Z or Diz or BayBay for the first time, that last night in Disneyland watching fireworks after camping out on Main Street for 6 hours for that spot. So many times in my life I have felt that true happiness, and it's because of my family. Now as a missionary, I feel that same feeling with other families.

New month ahead of us, time to get back to work! Got a pretty good feeling about a few families so another big week ahead of us. Very blessed to be apart of this work, still hits me randomly at times that I'm actually a missionary. You spend your whole life thinking "2 years", when now it's "20 months".  Gotta make it all count, every second that ticks by, it's running out.

Love ya guys, going to explore the Bridgers today so be ready for some sweet pics next week!!!

- Elder K

----- remember how Mater used to be blue??? That one's for you Z!!!