Friday, April 29, 2016

"When You Know it's Worth It" - April 26, 2016



- I straight up deciphered a lock... We found an old bike lock in the apartment with a 4 letter code and I freakin got it. It was a complete and total guess but that's ok!!! ULegacy... Missionary work... When it comes to locks, we got this. #AchievementUnlocked

- during a lesson the persons phone goes off in the other room and it's the "mom mom ma ma mum mum mama mummy mama..." Ringtone from family guy. When it finishes I thanked Stewie Griffin for joining in on the lesson and then got back to being spiritual. They thought it was funny.

- helped move about a chord of wood on Saturday. Loaded up at this house in the mountains (it was heaven)  then brought it back down in town. SOOO  MUCH WOOD... Where's Michael Scott when you need him... But ya! Super fun day. Most of EQ showed up and it was a blast. We rode with Brother Meuchal and his wife and she said "this is a good song for missionaries" and turned up Tim McGraw for us. I wasn't gonna argue with the 1st counsellors wife! Timmy is more spiritually uplifting than the efy Mormon kids bop they make us listen to but maybe that's just me and Elder Christensen that think that. Really fun day.

- look out our window one day down onto Main Street and there was a beautiful Crimson Sting Ray chilling there... Between the cars in #HamTown and seeing Captain America civil war ads on cereal in the grocery store, the "lock your heart" talk is making quite a few appearances in my personal study's haha. Star Wars was one thing but I'm on a whole new level of nerd when it comes to Marvel.

- Been goin hard on the bikes and that's been a lot of fun. Spring time is unreal here, so pretty. Pretty good success biking, maybe it's cause we look like total goof balls and people aren't as intimated by us,  but I'll take it. My bikes rear brake is about as effective as an offensive coordinator for Peyton Manning but I'm sure the pioneers would have loved to have a bike so I can't complain.

- Church was awesome as always. Freakin love the ward here. We got a s/o from the pulpit during sacrament meeting so that was nice.

Ya, pretty sweet week. Had two exchanges, felt like I wasn't even with Elder Metcalf at all this week which was super weird!

First exchange was with Elder Meinhardt and I freakin love him. We had so much fun. He's going home in a month and even though the exchange is meant for the zone leader to train the district leader he was teaching me the whole time. Such a good elder, down to earth and a straight up stud. Doesn't hurt he knows @TeamBetaAlpha so that's another reason why I like him. Most of the exchange He was asking about Zach and I's adventures so I told him about our operations... Carbon Freeze, Black Sabbath, Pharaohs Revenge, Silver Dove, Karp Yaw, and so on... and he wants to join in on some #StealthOps after the mission, in return he'll take me shed hunting. Love that guy, gonna be sad to see him go home.

Second exchange was to Billings to be with the assistants. Took us about 7 hours and that is one pretty drive. Got to see Missoula, Butte, Bozeman, and Billings all in one day so that was cool. Butte had a sweet Christ statue at the top of the mountain that reminded me of the one in Rio, that was my taste of being a cool South America missionary for the week. "Till we meet again" started playing on our usb as we drove past #BGrade and I may have a pulled a @pettbryan with my emotions. The exchange was awesome. Elder Topham and Elder Crane are total crack ups. They're apartment is 3 levels and sweeeet (not as cool as the camper trailer). I was with Elder Crane all Thursday and he taught me a lot. First time I ever served in Billings and it was a lot of fun. Spent most the day in trailer parks and put a family on date, pretty cool. Also met some 10 year olds and we taught them for a bit about God. I'm a lot better at teaching kids than adults haha. Made a new friend named Alejandra who didn't speak a lick of English but we still got the 10 commandment hand signals down with him.

Highlight of the exchange was our dinner. They had an investigator join us and he was an awesome guy. Currently homeless and looking to get back on his feet and wants God in his life. So he came along and guess where the dinner was... The Wadsworth's! We had to give president directions over the phone on where to go to pick him up and it reminded me of the time @pettbryan was lost in the suburbs of Phoenix and I had to guide him over the phone like Chloe O'Brien would with Jack Bauer. President never said "d*** it Chloe!" But it was still fun. President Wadsworth = @pettbryan.

Dinner was awesome, Sister Wadsworth made tacos and I haven't downed tacos like that since the "tak-o" nights with Jared in the bunker. She kept on telling me to eat more and I'm not about to tell the mission presidents wife no! The investigator was from the east so he and president and I were talking college basketball and sister Wadsworth thought I was from back east too #AchievementUnlocked #Nerd. Then president wanted our opinion on what a "chick flick" is. He claims Pirates of the Caribbean is because the guy gets the girl... Sister Wadsworth was a little frustrated that we all agreed with Pres.  Then we got talkin about Sleep talking and I told them the proudest moement I had as a trainer was when Elder Christensen taught me about the first vision in his sleep. After dinner we taught a brief plan of salvation and I didn't choke like I did in basketball this morning so that was good (we were up 19-15 and ended up losing. Bro Poulson put 3 ice cold dagger 3's in my eyes #TingeyStatus) Really cool lesson, President and Sister Wadsworth taught with us and it was awesome.

Best part of the week was probs Saturday... CARSON'S BAPTISM!!! It was really neat. I got to speak on baptism and as mentioned last week... I knew I had to tie in Star Wars. Did your typical Holy Ghost baptismal talk then slowly retrieved a lightsaber from my bag. I asked him all about it and he impressed those attending with his Star Wars knowledge. I then tied it into that he has been trained and taught, now baptized, and now he has his lightsaber to go out and fight the real battles... But he has to always make sure he has his lightsaber with him.  Sword of the spirit = lightsaber of the spirit.
It got pretty deep haha but that was the main part! I gave him the lightsaber and he asked if I'd sign it for him so I put the MP3 logo on there. Someday Carson will go on a mission and be that goof ball zone leader with a lightsaber in his suit case.

If we are using missionary terms I'm still a recent convert when it comes to Star Wars. So I thought it was a alright analogy.

We had a cool lesson with one of our investigators. Older guy who is struggling pretty bad with his health. We went to see him and he's been reading the Book of Mormon! We talked about the first few chapters and he's loving it. 3:7 where it talks about not being commanded for things we can't do really struck him as he wants to quit smoking. Spirit was Powerful in this lesson. He loves pictures so we showed him the pictures in the front and when he got to the one of Lehi and his family he said "what the hell is a liahona???"... Instantly thought of "who the hell is happy Gilmore". It was pretty funny, got me crackin up. We explained it to him and he thought it was sweet! He's a good guy.

To wrap it up I want to share with you something Elder Meinhardt and I talked about. I look up to that guy a lot, and I love getting advice from these elders who are about ready to hang it up. We had a good chat and he said "you get to the point where you know it's worth it." That has really stuck with me the past few days. I was with him and Elders Metcalf and Topham and Crane all this week and these are all elders who go home in the next few months while I'm not even halfway. Not exactly sure what it is, but they just "got it" when it comes to missionary work. I often wonder at what point that'll be me, where I "got it", and Elder Meinhardt hit the nail on the head. You get to the point where you know it's worth it.

Few weeks back I talked about those "highlight" moments as a missionary. Those moments I know that this is all worth it. But those days where crap hits the fan and you just feel like Rickey Bobby "I don't know what to do with my hands", hey, I can't honestly say that I sit back and think to myself "ya, this is worth it!" That's the difference, Elder Metcalf and these other Elders that are about done, it's like they have prestige'd in call of duty or something!!! Regardless what happens they still know it's worth it.

So that's what I'm working on. Getting to the point where you constantly know that this is worth it. Not that missionary work is about us, it isn't, but your ability to preach the gospel just notches up to a whole new level when you get there. I'm getting there too, for the most part I love it out here, I'm feeling pretty close to it. I think it just comes over time ( it takes longer for elders which is why sisters only serve for 18, that's my theory). But man, driving through Bozeman and seeing Belgrade last week gave me a boost. Not to sound too dramatic here but some of the hardest days of my life came in Belgrade, but driving past the Dirt road Elder Jaques and I would jog every morning during the trailer days, or burger Bob's, or the "ep-uh-scop-el" church, you realize it was worth it. Looking out to the mountains and seeing the Robison's home. You really know it was worth it. So grateful for those memories, I had no idea I would love it this much. Someday it won't just be looking back at Belgrade, it'll be looking back at it all. Gotta remember that, especially on those tough days. Someday I'm gonna look back and realize it was worth it. 

When we ate dinner in the mission home it was 9 months to the day that I had walked in there with my suit cases and wondering "what on earth did I just get myself into" but 9 months later I walk in and realize the last 9 months were worth it. How much I have changed in those 9 months blows me away and I still gotta lot to improve on. If you don't think the atonement is legit just do a comparison of me then and now haha. 

My mind is everywhere on this one. Just working hard to getting to that point where regardless what happens, you always know it's worth it. I'll be real with ya, it's tough, but I want to get there, I never want to doubt it's not worth it, cause it is. Yes, I'm trenching through the pouring rain on a bike looking like a total goof ball while my family is chillin with the mouse but that's ok, cause for these 2 years it's worth it. 

Love ya fam, church is true. We are gonna go hike to some lake now so I'll probably have to email y'all next week. Sorry!!! I read em all and I love em. Best family out there, family on 3. 

- K 

-  I'm packing my sling shot in case we encounter a furry tractor #DefendTheZone... (Go YouTube "anchorman - furry tractor) 

The drive 

Some trees and stuff

Sting ray <3

MA BOY CARSON!!! You might be able to see the drum and feather socks I wore in honor of the red & white game haha #UteProud

Monday, April 25, 2016

"What Do You Really Want?" - April 18, 2016


- May or may not have wrote in the lyrics to a Katy Perry song at the last 3 verses of 2 Nephi 15. 

- we were chattin with Coach about some of his adventures and all I gotta say is I will never look at a fork lift the same way again... I'll leave it at that haha. In return I told them about some of our adventures but then I remembered we are taught to gain the trust of the ward so I held back after stories of the #ULegacy time lapses. Coach is #Goals haha, I love that family. 
- we stopped by to see Brother Warner and he told us he wants to travel the world for the sole purpose of trying different types of chocolate milk... And while at church he told us he and his wife spent 10 hours the night before playing zombies and that his daughters first word was "Ombies". I told them they are tremendous parents. He is also #goals. 

- did the hour drive to Missoula... Alone. Elder Metcalf was in the truck in front of me but it was weird being in a car alone!!! Didn't activate the lead foot so #AchievementUnlocked 

- So we go back to the home that has the parrot or whatever it is... And I was talking with her for a good 10 minutes. Not gonna lie, I flirted more with that dang parrot than all of highschool combined #NoRegrets #SorryMom. Well I leave and go sit down on the couch and she didn't like that one bit so she flew over and was chilling on my shoulder. Went to take a pic and the thing bit my ear! It got me laughing so that's why the pic is blurry. Then took my pen out of my pocket and that pen... #ItDone. It was awesome, we are tight. I got to feel like a cool South America missionary for a couple minutes. 

- Saw a sky blue Ferrari. Someone tell Guido and Luigi for me. 

- went to KFC with Sister Leighter, super fun, she's a total crack up. Oh man I just love the old ladies up here! I decided Sister Scown from #TheRad is my Montana Grandma Mary and Sister Leighter from #HamTown is my Montana Grandma Pett. 

- Elder Metcalf is telling me how he wants to teach his kids to be quiet and respectful... I said "ya just stick a shock collar on em..." ... After a long 3 seconds of awkward silence I explained I was kidding, pretty sure he thinks I'm a psychopath haha. 

- went to see Brother Pederson and he's got a sweet garden that I gotta show @pettbryan one day. He also has a old jeep he's fixing up, gonna paint it army green and put a white star on the front #SargeStatus and is gonna drive around town in his full military gear. He said he'll take me for a spin after the mission, he's awesome. We got spiritual before we left and brought up enduring to the end which got him going off on all his guns and military equipment... His wife explained enduring to the end doesn't mean killing zombies but I'm down! 

- Brother Holomquist has John deer tractor suspenders from the 60's. #goals

- walking around some apartments and find a family moving some furniture so we go help them out and start talking. Well their 10 year old wanted to race so we got racing. Couple other kids come out and next thing I know one whips out a home made taser and the other had a pocket knife. #ThatEscalatedQuickly... Started having flashbacks to the bunker when Jared would step out of the shadows wearing a bucket hat and with a home made taser in his hand. Anyway, I was going half speed to start but the second the weaponized 10 year olds showed up I was legit running. Good thing I was wearing my limited edition Moroni 9's. 

- walk into church on Sunday and the Bishop called us sexy. Kinda caught me off guard, freakin love Bishop Hawkes. Church was awesome. I love this ward, especially the old ladies that sit on the back row in sacrament meeting, they make us feel like rock stars. Coach brought up Steph Curry and Brother Meuchal brought up Peyton Manning in gospel principles so Sunday school was straight up fire. Sister Della Silva told us she needs to find a way to get her kids not to date and I told her to get them to like the Utes and the mouse... It worked for me! #SorryMom. I just love church haha. Before I started getting serious about this whole mission stuff I'd rather have taken a steel toed boot to the nuggets than go to church but now I love it! 

- Sunday dinner at the Della Silvas where we had elk... Again... It was beautiful. 

Pretty good week overall. Wednesday was the Austin Powers world defense council thing in Helena with the zone leaders and STL's... I had a little better idea what was going on but I'm a rookie compared to some of these other missionaries there so I don't know what input to give. So I'm kinda zoning out... Then President Wadsworth gets up and says "I have a sports trivia question..."

 *this caught my attention, I sit up a little bit... 

"Does anyone know who John Wooden is?"

And I gasped... Like, a loud gasp too. I don't know why haha, I think I was just so excited to have someone say something I can actually talk about! He points to me and I go off on how he used to coach UCLA and won LOTS of championships, and then he and I talked about John Wooden's coaching tactics  - Scoreboard doesn't matter, it's whether or not you gave it your all. 

So president ties this into the gospel and mission leadership cause President Wadsworth is the GOAT and I'm pretty sure the other 27 missionaries there think I'm a total nerd. #NoRegrets. You know in Avengers when someone makes a Wizard of Oz reference and Cap says "I got that reference!" --- how I felt. Good MLC overall. Pretty sure I'm the only one there that can claim they have a lightsaber and Darth Vader footie pajamas while on their mission so that's an #AchievementUnlocked. Met up with Hendricks and Sister Freeman from the MTC district during lunch and we had a good time talking about our days in Provo. 

Other spiritual highlights... GOT TO DO A BAPTISMAL INTERVIEW! It was awesome! 11 year old boy named Carson and he's a stud. We talked about Legos and Star Wars and sports and all that fun stuff for the beginning then got down to business and talked about his baptism... Kind of reminded me of my pre-mission interviews with the bishopric and stake president, pretty sure the majority of those questions were about the Utes haha. 

"now McKay... One last question for you and the most important question I will ask."
*heart starts beating a little faster as Don Hudson gazes into my soul
"... How far are the Utes gonna make it in the tournament?" 

I'll never forget that haha. Good times. Anyway, back to Carson. Just an awesome experience and one I'm grateful to be a part of. Converts have a very strong spirit about them even though their testimony is just getting started. Neat experience having the Holy Ghost tell you "he's ready." I brought up a mission with him at the end and you could tell he was hesitant. So I told him to relax, and that I didn't truly decide till I was 18 so he has time to think about it! We had a good chat and by the end he asked if I will come visit him "before he leaves", HECK YA! Tiger Woods spiritual fist pumps! Love that kid, we'll see what happens in 8 years! His baptism is on Saturday and he asked me to speak so I have all week to ponder about a Star Wars - Holy Ghost comparison... If Uchtdorf can do it during priesthood session than I can do it at a baptism. 

Had a pretty neat experience at Naps. A less active and her husband took us and oh man I love these 2 people. Same couple that fed us ribs and we gave a blessing to her a few weeks back before a exam she had for school. Well we get talking to her about the exam and things didn't go quite as planned, but she told us the blessing is what has carried her through the past few weeks. The Holy Ghost prompted me to say something about the Lords timing and it stuck with her. I love these 2, it takes a strong spirit to get me emotional while downing a 12oz'er with bacon and pepper jack cheese but it happened that night. Priesthood is so cool, I love giving blessings, love that family. Regardless if she comes back to church or he gets baptized, thats one family I'll be seeing a lot. The husband told me to bring my wife up and we will hike St. Mary's one summer (apparently it's a sweet overnight hike). Wanted to ask if I can bring @teambetaalpha instead. 

Then the highlight of the week!!! 2 GROWN DUDES DRESSED IN CHURCH CLOTHES DOIN A LEMONADE STAND ON THE CORNER OF MAIN STREET!!! Nothing too miraculous happened but we met some cool people and had a good time. Like I said last week, it was pretty amazing how we got this idea, so I know something good came from it. Never know what seed could've been planted. So I was keeping a pretty open mind about what good came from this. For me personally, it happened as we were cleaning up. 

I'm throwing some stuff in the truck and a car pulls up to Metcalf with the window down. I'm thinking "oh boy we gotta hostile, here we go... #BuckleUp" as I walk over and get closer to the car I hear the guy in the passenger seat say "Pett, how ya been???". It was Bro Drashinksi from #TheRad!!! He's in town running an auction and saw me on the street handing out lemonade so he flipped around and came back. We get talking about Conrad and then I remembered we had a dinner with Sister Leighter that night who lived in Conrad about 4 years ago. So I tell Zane to come surprise her at KFC. We show up at KFC and get eating and sure enough Zane comes walking in and goes and stands right next to Sister Leighter. She looks up with a "who are you and why are you standing so close to me?" Look, then you see it click in her eyes who it was. And those eyes start to get some tears... As did mine #pettbryanStatus. I thought it would be a fun little reunion, but it was a lot more than that. Zane isn't her son, they aren't close relatives, but they're ward family, #TheRad family, which up here is close enough. 

I don't know what good came from 2 dudes doin a lemonade stand but it led to Zane seeing us, which led to that experience at KFC, which led to me having my eyes opened how lucky I am to serve here. It's a family up here and I'm grateful that I can be a part of these families for a short time. 

To cap it off, I'll leave ya with the question I gave the zone at the end of zone training. I ask it to a lot of people so you may have heard it, but it's
"what do you really want?" 

Well, I gotta practice what I preach so I have been thinking about that question a lot this week. "What do I really want?". There's a lot of things I want, same goes for everyone, but what do I REALLY want. Got me thinking what that REALLY is... 

A naps burger... Nah

Isaac Asiata and the o-block lining up with a @dahlelama headdress helmet... Nah

NCAA football hitting the shelves again... Nah

Playing basketball in Disneyland at the top of the Matterhorn... Nah 

Making videos? Listening to normal people music? Being able to go poop without having to tell anyone??? 

Ya, I want those things. But dang it McKay what do you REALLY want??? 

Then a scripture popped into my mind and it has been stuck on my mind ever since. Alma 36:22, where Alma is talking about his experience of seeing God on his throne and what does Alma say??? 

"My soul did long to be there"

That's it. I have found what I really want. It's what we all want, to return back to God. Problem is a lot of people let the worldly influences be that "really" want. The last 9 months have put into perspective what's important to me. I still want the most BA uniforms in college football and to go see the mouse and go on Kenney Chesney jam sesh's in the Panther and all that, but now I know what I REALLY want, make it back to Him. 

God's teaching me a lot right now and I have A LOT to learn, and I'm so grateful for the testimony I have gained for the first principle we teach people - "God is our loving Heavenly Father". That drive to Missoula I was praying the entire time, it was sweet! Obviously kept my eyes open cause lead foot + closed eyes = Bad Idea but I prayed, eh, more like talked, to God the entire time and it was awesome. Talked about what I have learned and what I gotta work on these next 15, We talked about everything, the Robison's, the family, the grandparents, the nieces and nephews(!!!!!), Mann's coming home soon, life after mission, all that, and I started to realize how strong that connection is getting with my Father in Heaven. And the more I think about Alma 36:22, that's my "REALLY" want. 

So that's my new perspective on this whole mission/life stuff. What do I really want, and is what I'm doing helping me get there. Is what I'm doing helping me get back to God? I want to be with my family and life and my job and all that fun stuff, but for RIGHT NOW, this is where God wants me. For some reason He wants me running around with 10 year olds armed with tasers and running a lemonade stand in Hamilton Montana while my family is at Disneyland. I don't fully understand all of it, but I look at how much he blessed and taught me before my mission, and how much he's blessing and teaching me out here, and I know it's for a reason. 

My soul longs to be with Him. My soul longs to be with my family forever. Heck, I admit I honestly just sometimes want to be sitting in the cave playing Xbox, then hearing little foot steps come down the stairs, and next thing I know Z is out cold and drooling on my shoulder while I carefully switch out Tarzan for NCAA Football while making sure he doesn't wake up... I want that, but what I want more is to be with my family forever. And for that, this is where I need to be. Regardless how hard, slow, boring, or straight up freakin awkward this work may be, I know it's where I need to be. 2 verses later in verse 24 Alma says once he realized this is what he "REALLY" wants he labored unceasingly to help others feel the joy he had felt. Sounds pretty similar to the reason why I decided to serve. 

Don't get me wrong, This work if fun too! I freakin love being a missionary haha. That's just my new perspective on the days where all plans go to crap and you just wanna say "son of a mother duck." (Go watch the first 10 seconds of "coach Hines - play) 

Church is true fam. We all have that same "REALLY" want that Alma had. We wouldn't have followed Christ and His plan if we didn't want to return back to God! Challenge ya to think about what you're doing and if it's getting you there. 

Love ya

- Elder K


1. The taser

2. The race 

3. The parrot

4. The garden
5. exchange with Elder Angle. He's a stud, super nice and hard working elder. We hit up a ice cream parlor for huckleberry ice cream to celebrate Baylee's 1st birthday. #ILoveHuckleBerry 


Monday, April 11, 2016

"Don't Just See the Highlights" - April 11, 2016

What's up FAM!?!?

I have a ton to talk about, just a heads up, this is going be a narrative today. 

- Alright... S/O to Elder @teambetalpha on the sly #ShotsFired in his last weekly email. Don't worry,  I'll never love a girl more than I love you and the mouse <3 . #WellPlayed 

- we spent a solid 5 minutes watching in amazement as ducks were flying around... I finally turn to Elder Metcalf and say "this is what our lives have come to." I honestly feel like Bubbles in Finding Nemo... Who ever knew 2 twenty year old dudes could be so easily entertained. 

- we rock up to the Jessop's late Monday night. Notice everyone is upstairs so we go up. Metcalf is in front of me a few steps and when he gets to the top he says "nope, we gotta leave." I'm a few steps behind and not gonna lie I'm thinking oh dang the Jessop's are practicing black magic or something for family home evening. I come around the corner and... I understood what Metcalf meant... 49-46 with 12 minutes to go in the championship game . Remained calm and we quickly got out before my heart became unlocked.  ---  I think that "Lock Your Heart" talk is centered on Elders checking out females but for me it's Camaros and college sports and Naps burgers. #NoRegrets #SorryMom. Sounds like it was one heck of a game. 

- went and did some yard work for a lady in our ward. I never thought I'd say I miss yard work but oh man I have missed it!!! Something about wearing normal people clothes and getting dirty just feels so relaxing haha. Plus serving your neighbor is good too. But ya, lot of fun. I was able to trim without throwing an @pettbryan temper tantrum when the weed- wacker stopped working so that was good. 

- A 5 year old proposed to me. Ring only fits on my pinky but hey it's the thought that counts. 

- every time we drive past a field of cows I say "see you at Naps" and wave my hand out the window. My zone probably thinks I'm an awful person haha, I'll admit I feel a little bad when there's cute lil calves out there but THOSE NAPS BURGERS THO!!! #ImAMonster

- walk into the Jessop's one day and Mama J said "family on 3". Caught me super off guard not gonna lie. She watched the "I Bet My Life on U" UVid. Can't believe that was a year ago! 

- Koerner boys have started playing ball with us in the mornings so we are up to having 3 on 3 between the Elders, Koerner's, and Brother Poulson and his son Darin (aka cheese pizza) being there. It's not quite the same as the 5:30 days but it's still awesome. Half court only rule still breaks my heart but the church is still true. You wanna get Bro Poulson and I fired up just bring up how you can play full field football and soccer and no one bats an eye... Play full court basketball and the world loses its mind. He's awesome haha, we quote Ted Lasso and Key and Peele. Super fun group to play with, I'm slowly bringing the 5:30 tradition to #HamTown. 

- transfers were on Wednesday. Made the 3 hour drive to Helena and dang that's pretty. Helena Stake Center on transfer day is the biggest cluster I have ever seen. But it was super fun seeing missionary's I haven't seen in a while. Sister Dayes passed a message to Sister Freeman who passed it on to me about Utah getting blown out by Gonzaga... #ShotsFired x3. Elder Rose and I were reunited, haven't seen him since transfer 1 in Brozeman. He goes home next transfer so I won't ever get to serve with him but we are tight haha. That hour at Olive Garden with him, Elder Okerlund, and Elder McMahon was possibly the funniest hour of my life. Can't believe that's been 9 months! I saw my boy Elder Jaques there too! I'm gonna be super sad when all these elders start going home. 

- Something came up where only one elder was coming into our zone which led to 2 areas being combined (1 of which was already covering 2). And the Zone Leaders get to sort it out! Good thing I had Elder Metcalf or else I would have had no clue what to do haha. So now we have a tri-panionship! Elder Bills is the new elder to the zone. He's cool. Super pumped to have him here. 

--- On the Way back we are asking him about his life, he's From the Richfield area and I asked if he's ever had a punch bag... His response..  "All the time"

*turns around 

*gives him high five 

*insert Step Brothers "did we just become best friends"

- we get to Stevensille and Elder Meinhardt is telling Elder Bills the boundaries they cover... It's 3 wards so they cover practically half the valley. 

--- Meinhardt says "everything the light touches is our area..." 

*Elder Meinhardt is quoting Lion Kking!!! No one caught the reference, I couldn't leave him hanging... I obviously gotta get in on this. 

I turn to Elder Bills... "Except that shadowy place... That's the sisters area... You must never go there Elder Bills." 

Elder Bills along with the rest of the elders had no clue what Meinhardt and I were talking about but it was awesome. 

- #HamTown does this sweet thing where the second Friday of every month Main Street gets lit!!! The street is full of vendors and stuff and the shops stay open till 8 #TDFW. It's way fun. We were walking around the booths and it was kinda weird having people want to talk to us for a change. 

- ate duck... It was interesting. 

- we found a less active and were telling him about testimony meeting on Sunday. He loves testimony meeting and it was pretty clear how excited he was by some of the explicit terms he used. Never heard those words used when talking about testimony meeting but he showed up! 

- We were hanging out at the park with the Koerner family before dinner. Kyler likes to think the wood chips are knifes so he's showing me all of his "knives" that are wood chips. Well he brings one up to me that is red and has a white cross on it... He found a Swiss Army knife on the playground! I slyly retrieve it from him and gave it to the mom. The kid is 2 years old and he already knew how to work a Swiss Army knife... Not gonna lie I was impressed. Reminded me of all the times I'd come home to find Z in my room going through my drawers and he'd have all my pocket knives out haha. 

Alright so I have noticed that I don't exactly share too many spiritual experiences in these emails... I think it's because that it is all in my journal and this is the one time I can just let loose and tell people the random stuff that happens throughout the week. But I'm gonna try and share some spiritual experiences like my journal haha. 

- The Koerner's are a recent convert family that I absolutely love. We go over once a week to teach the new member lessons and each time I walk out of the house I'm reminded why we are out here as missionaries. They are such a special family, I just love them. 
- at a dinner with them this week and it really just turned into a Q&A with their son who is thinking about a mission. "How do I leave my family, what if someone passes away?" "What about school and work?" "What if I suck at teaching", just question after question and we are answering them. Midway through I realized those questions sounded all too familiar, because I was asking them a year ago. Kind of hit me in the moment how much the Lord has taught me and helped me grow, because a year ago that was me. A year ago I would have NEVER imagined I'd be bearing a testimony about how much I love this work. It opened my eyes that's for sure, and also got me even more desperate to teach mission prep one day. 

- during weekly planning we decided to pray for new ways we can find investigaors. We pray and both stay on our knees for probably a minute or so to tune into the spirit and receive the revelation we need. In my mind I'm thinking of things we could do and sarcastically think to myself "heck, let's just do a lemonade stand!" So we get up and kind of sit in silence... Then Metcalf turns to me and says... "Why don't we try doing a lemonade stand?". WOW! This may sound dumb to you but it's no coincidence we both just happened to dream up an idea that we haven't even heard of before. Missionary work is cool, Holy Ghost is powerful. Pumped for this lemonade stand. 

- so last week we tract a trailer park that has been on our mind. We had gone a couple times and had absolutely 0 success but we kept on feeling like there was something there for us. We find a 23 year old single mom who grew up going to church with her grandma in Helena but hasn't been in a while since she moved to Hamilton. Sweet! We found a less active that we can get reactivated! So we get a lesson set and head back over with sister Della Silva. Her grandma was their too it was sweet! Her 3 year old daughter trusted me enough to let me color in her Hello Kitty book so that was nice. We get teaching and the mom tells us... "I was never baptized... Am I too old now???" I was trying hard to contain my excitement haha. She wants to get baptized and we are shooting for May 7! Pretty good Mother's Day present. #LightTheU 

- Then Sunday rolls around... I absolutely love Sunday's, even more than Monday's. The sacrament and being with the ward helps me feel closer to my family than emailing does. Ward Council was good, Bishop Hawkes is a total crack up. We are going through the ward list and he says "Dan Smith... BYU.." Coach and I were the only ones that got the reference and busted up laughing.  Next up, testimony meeting... And guess who shows up!!! Our boy Greg!!! (60 year old black man that has a black widow for a spider and is the #GOAT of chess). We have been trying for a long time to get him to come and there he was! It was cool because so many people already knew him from chess youth night and the Jessop's came in clutch and sat by him. Testimony meeting gets going. Then we see the grandma of the girl we put on date start walking up. And she shares her testimony on prayer. How she was praying for someone to be sent to her granddaughter... And how the 2 elders in the ward knocked on her door shortly after. Oh man it was powerful. This obviously gets Metcalf and I up there. As Elder Metcalf is talking Kyliegh Koerner comes and sits by me because she wants to go up! Domino effect of testifying about missionary work! I had no idea what to say so I said what I knew, that God loves us. Gave Kyliegh a fist bump Then she bore an awesome testimony, then her brother got up there, then the mom got up and talked about her conversion and her love for us! It was a testimony meeting I'll never forget. 

And to wrap it all up. I wanna share with you the analogy Coach (Brother Jessop) shared with his Gospel principles class yesterday. How sometimes all we see is the ESPN highlights but never see the rest of the game, or what goes on leading up to the game.  (His lessons always come back to sports, I love it.) 

" Sometimes in the gospel we only see the highlights, and fail to see what's going on the rest of the time" - Coach Jessop 4/11/2016

 That hit me hard as you can imagine. Hype Videos = my life haha.  Really got me thinking... Before I worked for the Utes I only saw the game, only put together the highlights. Then I started working with them, and started to see what goes on the rest of the week. The grind that leads up that game. It blew my mind how much work goes into 60 minutes of playing time a week. Yet, so many people only see what happens on Saturday. 

Making videos was kinda the same way too. No one really saw what I was doing to make the video, don't get me wrong I love doing it, but it's not always easy. Thinking up new ideas, the frustration of being told a certain video wouldn't appeal to recruits and the fan base. No one saw the digging on YouTube for footage cause that's all I would be able to use. The late nights working at the library, the #StealthOps that took place for some of those time lapses. Heck, I didn't care though! Because there was something about seeing the reaction of that final product that made it all worth it. Not the fame or credit necessarily, but how happy I made people!  Seeing Twitter blow up over a video that "wouldn't appeal to recruits or the fan base", seeing how hyped players got. Walking through the facility hearing that video being played down the hall in a coaches office. Or getting home late at night and hearing it being played in your parents room. Making a Disney video that would be used as the go to move when one of the babies are crying. Or when you are only 20 seconds into the dirty Disney and @pettbryan and the rest of the family are already crying they're laughing so hard. Seeing that happiness makes the work worth it. 

Missionary work is the same. I've got highlights, oh man do I have some highlights haha. But sometimes I have to remind myself that it's not always highlights. You gotta work to lead up to it. It's pretty dang hard on me sometimes, but a sacrament meeting like yesterday or seeing Brian Robison baptize his family, those highlights make it worth it. Like Coach said, the gospel itself is the same. We can't expect highlights all the time, but they'll come if we work for them. 

... Well that was pretty much all my email time haha, if I don't email you back just know I love ya. I just gotta rant some times that's all. When something gets in my mind I better talk or type it out or else it's gonna be locked in there. 

Another week ahead... We have our Austin Powers World Defense Council thing on Wednesday in Helena... And they need someone to drive the car that used to be used in the pre-combined area up there... You know what that means... #TheyBack. It'll be weird driving a car alone but I'm sticking that car 5 mph under the speed limit on cruise control. Hamilton is straight up gorgeous right now. Like wow I'm loving this weather, "summertime" by Kenney Chesney has been stuck in my head all week as you can imagine but MoTab will have to do for now. 

Happy b-day to BayBay this week, can't believe you are 1!!! I love ya Baylee. I have 2 words for the rest of the family going to Disneyland this week but you enjoy it little girl! I love you! 

- Elder K

- buffs
- German shepherd/wolf/husky mix. #IWantOne

- found Lil Sebastian at Hamilton tonight 
- moon

- selfie after putting someone on date... Started by elder Christensen and I in Belgrade 
- he was so happy to get a Utes banner in there. Told me if anyone brings in a BYU one he'll place it in the corner away from the pac 12 schools. #ShotsFired. He said it, not me. 

- challenger 

- Kasey, probably my favorite dog ever. She's huge. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Get Up, It's Conference - April 4, 2016

What's up FAM!?!?!


Super relieved. Most of our zone is sticking together too. One companionship got doubled out so we get to drive to Helena on Wednesday to welcome 2 new elders to the zone. Kind of weird being on this side of end of transfer interviews and all that responsible stuff but it's been fun being a zone leader! I love my zone!  The Elders and Sisters here  have taught me A LOT. Especially Elder Metcalf, grateful I have 6 more weeks to learn from him.

Weekly highlights - 

- tracting out a trailer park one day, met this cool old guy named Dave. He fully acknowledged he was intoxicated and said to come back when he wasn't drunk but super funny and nice guy!!! Cool dude. We went back and he had absolutely no recollection of talking with us 3 nights prior but hey more teaching practice for us!

- District meeting was interesting. Instead of having set discussions and role plays we just had practically an open vent sesh and wrote all the things we struggle with as missionary's on the board. We were on the topic of "sight and sound 24/7" and Elder Brimley (DL) said... "Ya if you run out to the car while your comp is in the church they could get hit by a car and die..." 

*goes all quiet* 
*contemplates if Anchorman is appropriate for district meeting
 "Boy... that escalated quickly." 
*I couldn't pass it up, it was too golden of an opportunity 

This led to a solid 5 minutes of the district talking about everything that could go wrong while walking out to your truck while your comp stays in the church. Meanwhile I'm just sitting there quoting the entire dialogue from that scene in Anchorman by myself... 

Metcalf - "a baby could fall out of the sky and fall in your hands" (we aren't allowed to touch kids at all) 

"... I saw that! Brick killed guy!" 


... Little bummed no one knew what the heck I was talking about, it was kind of like seminary senior year when I'd be quoting Ron Burgundy and @teambetalpha wasn't there to quote it with me. Really good district meeting though in all honesty. Missionary work isn't always easy and honestly you just gotta let it out sometimes.  This work is great and all but you just gotta vent sometimes. Good district meeting. 

- We were talking to this guy who said a llama talked to him. I was impressed!!!! #AchievementUnlocked ... It was after we left and I made a reference to Kuzco and Emperors New Groove that Elder Metcalf explained the "llama" he was talking about was a title for a person. I'm blonde. This is why we have companions. 

- had a sweet gospel discussion with this guy at a McDonald's at 9:00 at night. Definitely has some interesting perspectives and some of it strangely enough ties into our gospel pretty well. Some of it straight up blew my mind haha, cool guy. HE HAD A JONNY CASH TATOO!!! #RingOfFire

- went and spent an afternoon doing service for this guy in his backyard. Moving around bunny cages, carrying troughs, putting up wiring for a chicken fence, just an awesome afternoon. The chickens were idiots (one went full kamikaze and got mangled in the wire seconds after we put it up #NaturalSelection)  but his 3 dogs were awesome. A golden retriever and 2 black labs, we had a lot of fun playing fetch. It felt sooooo good getting dirty and wearing normal people clothes. Exactly what I imagined serving a mission in Montana would be like haha, love it here.

- doing some street contacting on Main St one day, decided to go say hi to the guy who runs the barber shop. BIG PAC 12 fan. Had banners for the Oregon and Washington schools hanging on the wall... Asked if I got him a Utes one if he would hang it up. He said absolutely! Could you get on that mom, thanks ;) #BackThePac

- Girl Scouts were selling cookies and I caved into temptation and bought a box. Looked to Elder Metcalf and said "take the thinmints and run back inside... That's our food for the week". He wasn't too familiar with Benchwarmers so I had to explain myself on that one. #GusBus. 

- Teaching a lesson on faith and prayer and I told them about the time three 18 year old boys got stranded on a Moab jeep trail in the middle of nowhere (one of many times Jared nearly got us killed) and we decided to pray for help.  Couple hours later someone came and we got out. We weren't exactly the most stalwart seminary students at Murray but when it came down to it we knew what we needed to do! I left out the part where @teambetaalpha and I found the matrix of the primes to revive Huby's spark #AutoBotsRollOut but still a good lesson. I don't know if we ever told the moms about this but now that we are on missions I think we're good. #SorryMom. 

- Brother Warner showed me his nerf guns... I want to be like Brother Warner when I grow up haha. He's the one that plays C.O.D. with his wife when they get the kids to sleep, such a stud, reminds me of Jared. He invited me up for the ward nerf wars after the mission, #HamTown goes all out. 

- Was taping up conference and Ron Swanson quotes on my personal study wall... Asked Elder Metcalf "where's that bonding strip?". And he gave me that typical look of "what the freak are you talking about now?", so I explained the infamous line from Buzz, that's still one of my favorite Toy Story lines. 

- found one of those 2 piece Starbursts packs... Opened it up and I got 2 reds!!! #TenderMercies

- We are over at a family's house and we are talking to the 4 year old about the parrot... He says "on its second birthday, it turns 2!" I look at over at Metcalf and do the silent "mind blown" hand gesture. Those kids were awesome. We played Simon Says and it got heated. 

- walking the streets and we say hi to this one lady. She responds with her middle finger... And I completely lost it I was laughing so hard. Told her to have a nice day and we went on our way. Not exactly the response she was expecting, I don't think she knew that's an expression of love in my family. 

- was looking for some Mormon Messages we could share with Josh and found one filmed at Murray!!!! Caught me super off guard but heck ya! #GoSprtnas 

- Bro Shepherd and Bro Walker took us to Pizza Hut for the lunch buffet... They told us to be sure and eat a lot because it's a buffet... All those times at PPC with the guys trained me for this moment. Super fun, love those guys. 

Good week. Big highlight being the weekend obviously. Conference man... Woke up Saturday feeling hyped! You know those Saturday's in the fall when you wake up knowing it's a day slated with college football and how good that feeling is??? You throw on some ball shorts and a sweatshirt and are singing the College Gameday theme song as you are running down the stairs to join up with @pettbryan in the man cave for 3 hours of college gameday and a day of nothing but college football bliss and you got that feeling of oh man life is just good... 


Unfortunately I still had to wear church clothes and Lee Corso wasn't a speaker but it was still awesome. Took a ton of notes and the one question I had been praying about was answered several times. I'll give a little summary of some of my highlights: 

- Losing the keys talk made me think of the time we were driving to Vegas for Utah-UNLV and @pettbryan forgot the tickets. I doubt he used the same language as my dad but still. 

- 99% sure I saw Noah Thackeray in the choir during priesthood session. 

- The guy talking about social media platforms that need to be set aside during family councils never mentioned Twitter... 🐸☕

- Steven E. Snow's talk hit me pretty good. If the last 9 months have taught me anything it's that "I need thee every second" not every hour. That hymn has taken on a new meaning for me. 

- loved the talk on family councils. Our family councils were the best even though they usually escalated quickly... Ex: @pettbryan walking Brady by the ear around the house demanding the Mrs. Fields cookie. 

- Priesthood session was straight up fire. Loved the talk on the best leaders are the best followers.

- President Uchtdorf's #ShotsFired at guys looking for perfect woman was awesome. The Chewbacca reference gave me a tear of joy. And just when I thought I couldn't love the German anymore he slips in the "what legacy do you want to leave on your posterity". #ULegacy

- Loved hearing President Eyring talk about mission stories of families being sealed. Kinda hit me I already have my story and the next chapter is in November when Elder Christensen and I will be wearing our avengers socks at the Robison's sealing. So excited!!!! 

- the #ShotsFired from Elder Hales about the guys that dream about girls so they think they have to marry them was pure gold. That got me laughin. I imagine there were some pretty awkward YSA meeting houses in Provo when he said that. 

- Refugee talk was one I wasn't expecting, biggest thought that came to my mind is any pain we can take from someone, we take that pain from the Savior too. Loved that talk. 

- Elder Holland's talk was pure excellence. That's all I have to say. 

- and so much more. I took like 6 pages of notes. 

My favorite part of all wasn't even a talk, but it really got to me. Book of Mormon calls it "piercing of the soul", myself and Coach Hines call it "plucking of the heart strings" and that's the best way to describe the closing hymn of the Saturday AM session. Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. Chills man, CHILLS. I'm all about those chills, goal in every video I ever made was somewhere you are gonna get chills, and the MoTab Choir gave them to me. I got an overwhelming feeling of how much God loves all of us. 

Then Elder Holland's talk was the perfect way to close it. I'll fully admit there's days I'm dreading tomorrow. It's a little gut wrenching at times out here knowing you aren't seeing your family for A LONG time. The last 9 months have beaten the crap out of me, but the last 9 months have also taught me how much God loves me. How do I know he loves me??? Because He gave me that family I miss so much out here. I know I say it every week and I'll continue to say it, but I'm so grateful for my family. That hymn hit me hard, because my family is the greatest blessing God has given me. 

"Here's my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above." 

Eternal families. That's what it's all about people!!! So grateful for my family, I couldn't ask for better grandparents, for better cousins, for better aunts and uncles, for better siblings, for better friends, for better nieces and Nephew'S(!!!!!!!!), and I especially couldn't ask for a better mom and dad. Bottom line is we are one tight family. So grateful that joy is eternal cause it's what I live for. 

Gotta give it all the Lord. Go that inch for those around you and give your heart to the Lord, and He'll take care of ya. I'm a perfect example cause I was a complete and total emotional train wreck thinking about leaving my family (just ask them) yet somehow I have made it 9 months! That right there shows me God is looking out for all of us if we try and give our heart to Him. 

Church is true, fam. I love ya. 

- Elder K

- big sky
- district pics. When in doubt strike the heisman. #CallMeKaelin
Elder Metcalf, Elder Angle, Elder Pett, Elder Brimley, Sister Embry, Sister Johnson, Sister Sanjaa & Sister Felemi 
- Elder Angle has a sweet Polaroid
- Jonny Cash Tattoo

-  found this on Main Street. Elder Asbury would win it hands down

- old Time cars to Corvettes and Camaros. Coolest cars I have ever seen have been here
- 2 fams we watched conference with had a combined like 10 girls and they were making fly's during conference. It was awesome haha. 

- baby Brother Weisgram!!!! #GOAT

- this family had a huge dog. Little intimidating. The second I petted her she flopped onto her back, soooo cute. Same dog as Nana from Peter Pan!!!