Monday, October 31, 2016

Fruit Rollup - October 24, 2016

What's up Fam!!! 

- got a call from a restricted number last week, he was wanting to bash... these are always my fave people lol. I toyed with him a little bit... I'll leave it at that. 

- YSA Gala was this week. It was being debated if Tuxedo t-shirts were good to wear and I chimed in that they say "I wanna be formal... but I'm here to party too." Sam turns around and says... "shake and bake." 

- during church on Sunday we were listing personal weaknesses and once again "Netflix binge watching" was mentioned.  #WelcomeToTheYSA #MyPeople 

- Sacrament speaker was from the Stake High Council and I think it was Lane Kiffin... well he never did a premature touch down celebration from the pulpit so I knew it wasn't Kiffin but he looked just like him. 

- also during church I was helping Sam decide between Ace Ventura or Lloyd Christmas for the Halloween party. Important stuff. 

- @TeamBetaAlpha's mission trainer was at the YSA visiting this last week. We had a good talk. 

- so the sprained ankle AKA "Foot Roll Up". This happened 2 weeks ago when playing basketball. I didn't mention it last week cause it was still pretty bad and I knew my mom would want a picture and I also knew she'd make me see a doctor if she saw that it was the size of a tennis ball and you all know how much I love doctors so... yeah, I held off #SorryMom. It's better this week though so I think I'm good. Never sprained an ankle that bad but you guys, it was freakin hilarious how swollen it was. Yeah it hurt but anytime I or the elders looked at it we busted up laughing and sometimes you need a good laugh out here so I'm good with taking one for the team. 

--- so I applied the one thing I learned from Murry High #GoSprantas and that was R.I.C.E. and it's getting back to normal. The term "Foot Roll Up" comes from the fact that 

A. I rolled it
B. The bruising was so colorful it looked like the mixed berry fruit roll ups. 

--- hardest part was not letting the Bells see me limping at the wedding so I had to play it off but I don't think they noticed #AchievementUnlocked 

Had a few spiritual highlights too, this week was up and down, but some pretty sweet things happened. 

-Austin,  the high school aged kid Elder Asbury and I taught in Conrad last January got baptized on Saturday. I was super stoked when I heard about that. No secret that #TheRad wasn't the easiest place to do missionary work for Asbury and I but it feels good knowing we helped get that started. 

- "All I Do is RAKE RAKE RAKE no matter what!" Is my latest song I sing when we rake people's leaves. We have had some neat experiences and honestly I have just missed being around old people so it's been fun helping them. This one lady was particularly sweet. She was 90 and she reminded me of Nana, when we left she took my hand to thank us and said "whoever raised you two young men, they did it right." That was probably my number 1 fave moment of the week, s/o to Mom and @pettbryan. 

- Did an exchange with Elder McMiller in #BGrade and we went and saw our old pal Larry (Elder Christensen and I taught him last fall). Super fun catching up with him. Then Elder Hunter and I went out to the Robison's, that's a special family. Lots of memories in that home... newest memory being their dog peed all over Hunter... ALL OVER. It was rough lol. Can't believe it was a year ago they were baptized, I remember thinking to myself on that day "if this is all that happens these 2 years, it's worth it". 

I'm grateful that I have had several experiences out here where I can look back and think...

 "if this is all that happens, it's worth it."

Austin... Corey and McKayla... the Matson's... the old lady we raked leaves for... moments like that. Not gonna lie it's easy to get down at times when things aren't working but I think of those experiences and remember that's what it's really about. I love it out here, no trips to the mouse or college gamedays but it's worth it. It's hard work, missing out on stuff at home can be hard, and it's easy to get caught up in the meaningless stuff out here, but at the end of the day if you are trying to be more Christlike than you were when you started that day, it's a success in my books. In terms of a mission... I'm trying a lot harder to be Christlike than I was at the start so I think I'm on the right track. 

Invitation for all of ya... I found a great article on called the "perfect lie". Awesome article, helped me a ton, check it out. You'll be glad you did. 

Love ya fam, 

- Elder K 


- the #FootRollUp... I had to get something out of the truck and B1 carried me. 

- out by the robisons, tough to tell in the picture but that's at least 100 elk.. then some antelope too. #WelcomeToMontana 

- me and @TeamBetaAlpha's trainer 

- #UteProud

Monday, October 17, 2016

A Wedding and Reunion - October 17, 2016

What's up Fam!!! 

- snowed... a lot... on Tuesday. Good couple inches. It's all melted and we were back to 60's and sunny by the end of the week but still pretty fun. #WelcomeToMontana 

- got a flu shot. I didn't die. #AchievementUnlocked 

 - due to confidentiality purposes I can't enter full detail at the moment but #OperationFoxHollow is still going strong. 

- Actually been doing a lot of Op's recently. Mainly undercover and/or stealth. We had an investigator going through a rough day... so we got Ethan (recent convert from #BGrade) to let us into Yellowstone Hall (the freshman housing whose staff hates us, we aren't allowed in... but when has that ever stopped me on a college campus #ULegacy) We snuck up to her floor and went tactical recon and dropped the special cargo(ice cream) at her door then bounced for the back exit. #OperationMooseTrax 

- honestly... who ever thought all those adventures my friends and I did would have prepared me for my mission. Not the same without @TeamBetaAlpha though. Delivering treats to people is a little different than breaking someone out of seminary #OperationBlackSabbath but the skill sets are the same. Elder Hunter has done a good job stepping in. 

- institute was on D&C 76 and once again Brother Bishop was setting off mind grenades in my head ALL NIGHT LONG. 

- so... an Elder here is having GF probs... we needed to cheer him up so we bought him chocolate and turned it more into a surprise celebration that he's single and can party it up with me. It was a good time. #OperationCarHack

- I straight up have dreams about BDubs. 

- Love the YSA's... we got goin on about Parks and Rec and things escalated quickly and they pulled up YouTube videos and I only folded for like 10 seconds then I got my act together. Not gonna lie, I love that show, It's so funny, those 10 seconds I was dying laughing. #BigOlCookie 

- having dinner with a YSA dude... the guy... is Buzz Lightyear at Disneyworld!!!! I was fangirling kind of bad when we started talking Disney. Cool dude. I can officially say I ate Noodles and Co. with Buzz Lightyear. #MrsNesbitt 

--- YouTube "Buzz Lightyear Mrs Nesbitt" if you don't know what I'm talking about. Seriously since that night I can't stop thinking about Toy Story then I was thinking about the Mrs Nesbitt Scene and it makes me laugh so hard. No doubt in my top 5 of fave Disney moments. 

------ speaking of toy story, @pettbryan I imagine you are going to see the mouse this weekend and since you only have a few more rounds of TSM without me enjoy winning while you can. #ShotsFired #BM. 

- the whole "name your shoes like they are scriptural basketball shoes" is catching on in the YSA and Zone. #Moroni7s #Lehi12s 

- Elder Bennet broke out into singing Summer of '69 and it made me shed a manly tear

- we caught Pickachu.#AchievementUnlocked 

--- clarification: this girl lost her cat and we were helping her find it. Cats name was Pickachu. If I had a red ball I would have thrown it at it. 

- Dexter and Max spoke in Sacrament Meeting. Jarret's were in to hear Dexter speak and Brother J and I had a good College Football Live MBM Edition™ after the meeting was over. I love that family. They remind me so much of my mom and dad. 

- ate dinner with Gina and Kenny last night. I love them, we brought over some salsa. Gina made a mean pot of chili and it was awesome. Oh yeah #PlotTwist I love chili now. 

Yeah, ate dinner with Buzz Lightyear. Caught Pikachu. Stealth Op'd into the Bozeman YSA Elders equivalent of North Korea. It was a good week. Personal favorite was going up to Big Sky for Glen's wedding. Lot of reasons it was awesome. Super happy for them and I also got to see the Bell's from the Ward back home!!! My mom has already lit up FB about it so I'm sure most of you know, but Mark is Glen's brother and the last few months I have had the sweet opportunity of helping teach he and his wife a little along with Elders McElvany and Bennett. 

I remember Mark Bell coming by for mission prep with me, Mike and Hillary (G.O.A.T.'s of mission prep teachers) and telling me about his brother up in Montana... 15 months later we are together at his wedding. The gospel is so neat fam, there really is no coincidence. I have seen that a lot. 

With that said... pretty crazy seeing them haha. Honestly it felt exactly like it does when I see members from an old area. That tells you right there how much I love my Montana family. I also got some of my moms salsa and grandmas peanut butter balls sent up so pretty stoked about that! Seeing them was a rush, didn't feel like 15 months was the last I had seen them, slapped me in the face a little how fast time has gone/going. I gotta make the most of what I have left. 

I love this gospel fam, I love it so much. If you let it, it can really change lives. It's changed mine. We are all on different levels but what matters is you move forward.  I know Heavenly Father has a plan for us and I'm grateful that he is letting me play a small part in bringing that plan to others. The plan He has for us is so much bigger and greater than our minds can fully grasp. Stay patient and keep the eternal perspective in mind when the trials hit. Don't have a meltdown and toss on a flower hat and have a tea party with a pink apron when thinks don't go quite as well as you planned. 

*tie in Mrs Nesbit to the gospel* #AchievementUnlocked

--- please YouTube "Buzz Lightyear Mrs Nesbit" for me. 

Love ya fam! 
- Elder K 


- the wedding/reunion 

- got the elders to wear the red ties on Saturday...

-  stealth op with Ethan and Elder Hunter

- #WelcomeToMontana

- visual representation of Mrs Nesbit (s/o to Abby for sending this) 


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Bear Jordan - October 10, 2016

What's up Fam!!! 

- we taught Institute Tuesday night. That was fun. I drew a baby groot under the keystone arch. Also shed a manly tear when everyone went to BDubs after but we had to go in because it was 9:00. #MissionaryProbs 

- carried Sam on my back up to the second floor of the Institute for a lesson since he was too tired to walk. I love him. He wants me to come up and work with MSU football and I'm kind of down... either that or he comes and works EQ for Utah. Regardless, we will hit up BDubs together someday. 

- had a Zone Conference in Billings. Super awesome. I talked to Elder Baird and he gave me a hug when we brought up the Cal game during our College Football Live MBM Edition™. We also talked about the BYU-Toledo football game that sounded more like a basketball game. He may be 60+ and a Cougar fan but Elder Baird and I are brothers, I love him. 

- still having Naps Burger withdrawals so we tried a new burger place... Got this burger called a "El Scorcho" and it scorched me more than once. #SorryMom

- I can't psychologically handle bdubs as a missionary so I just go hard on the spicy stuff at other places to make sure my body is still in shape for the return. 

- we met this super chill guy from Saudi Arabia while walking campus, Elder Hunter pointed out he had a GoPro so it made for a easy contacting approach.  He was pretty interested in what we were doing as missionaries and we taught him the Restoration. He's Muslim and he thought it was cool we believed in prophets of old and modern day. We made a deal we will study the Quran with him if he studies the Book of Mormon with us, should be fun, I'm hyped for it. 

- went and checked out the tailgating lot during the MSU game... it was no RES but it felt good being around a college football atmosphere. 

- B1 gave us a call explaining they had just been set up for a bible bash sesh. We invited them over to vent and things escalated quickly and we played this game where we bounce the Nerf foam swords at the ground REALLY REALLY HARD and hit each other with them. It was entertaining... pretty scary too not gonna lie.  #ThingsYouDoWhenYouCantWatchSNF

- we also got a random 5 page anti text from "Trevor the Anti Guy" (no joke his name in our phone, never even heard of this guy before lol). So I got some fire drafts typed up in our phone that I didn't send for obvious reasons but mainly being this is the mission field... not Twitter. Mission has changed me a lot, but honestly some things never change.... I'm still a smart a** when it comes to people bashing on something I love. #TwitterDreamTeam 

- so you know that wasp nest from hell that is conveniently outside our door??? Well now that it's cold they are getting really slow and I have been killing a ton. Got a 6 kill streak one day. #RcXD #DragonFire #NapalmStrike 

- we hit up Home Depot this morning because Elder Hunter needed to buy something. McElvany and I decided to go check out the Halloween decorations. Well there was this giant spider thing that launches forward when you walk past... and it freaked me out, bad. I screamed, LOUD. People were staring. 2 old ladies were laughing. Hunter and Bennett were on the other side of the store (keep in mind HD is pretty big) and they heard it and knew it was me. It was a rough moment. Up there with the breaking and entering that went down in Missoula during the NBA play offs for most embarrassing moment of the mission. 

In terms of teaching and actual missionary work and important stuff: we have 2 solid girls we are teaching right now that we are hoping to have on date soon. They are both progressing and one had a neat experience where she got a confirmation the Book of Mormon is true. It's way fun teaching them. Other than that we are still hitting up campus and finding those that are ready to hear our message.  We have some others we are working with but the 2 girls are the most solid right now. We have been blessed with some good success here and the YSA is coming in clutch in inviting their friends for lessons. 

Honestly it's all a blur fam, can't believe I have been doing this for 15 months. I'm loving it so much, I thought I'd be more stoked being out this long but I'm really not. This work is a drag sometimes and you get the occasional dingleberries throwing anti at you and trying to tear down your testimony, but man I love it. Every day the Lord teaches me something, and it's something I need to learn. Even the moments we face opposition I learn and have my testimony strengthened. I love this Gospel, I'm not perfect at it, but I love it so much. 

We attended a mission call opening this week for Ryan Bishop (total baller, I love him. Imagine a more white/Mormon Allen Iverson on the court) and before he opened it the dad said how happy he is for his son to take the next step in his journey back to his Heavenly Father. I loved that, how often do we forget that that is the whole reason why we are here? To go through experiences and make decisions so that we can return back to Him. 

Missions obviously aren't a requirement to get back to Heavenly Father, but it's certainly helped me grow and learn and put me on that right path. The miracles, the people, the experiences, those are the real blessings from being out here. You always hear "you'll be blessed" and a lot of missionaries (including me at the beginning) translate "being blessed for serving a mission" = going home and getting the perfect job, getting a nice car, wifing a hot girl (for me it was NCAA Football hitting the shelves at GameStop again #SorryMom) but I've realized the true blessings from a mission are things more like... appreciating your family, applying the Atonement, learning to love those around you, gaining a testimony... and most definitely the relationships you make with people out here and helping them progress towards getting back to Heavenly Father. 

As much as I love taking Georgia State to the Sun Belt Championship on NCAA Football, I'd take list 2 blessings over list 1 everyday. Like I have said in the past, the Gospel is our best shot at happiness, other things can make you happy too, Disney is still life, but the Gospel is what's gonna lead to eternal joy. I love being able to share that with others. 

I'm grateful I can do this, especially grateful for the people I serve around and serve with. 

I love you all, thanks for being the best family. So hyped that I get to come home to a new nephew AND a new niece next year (still a longs way away so quit getting trunky @pettbryan), pretty stoked when I heard about that. I seriously have the best family ever. 

Happy birthday to Potato Boy (Kurt) and Britt this next week! 

Love ya fam 

- Elder K 


- got this today. I needed it.  #BearJordan 🏀🐻 

- possibly the last time I'll see Elder McMahon in the mission, we go WAY back, back to the #BGrade days. Gonna miss this guy. 

- when you run out of water and you are thirsty and need to improvise. 
- Institute with groot

- B1 left this in our apartment. #LoveGames 

- #WelcomeToMontana

- saw this at a thrift store, thought of Grandma Pett 

- in case anyone wanted to ball at the Sister's baptism in Livingston 

- it's a girl! 

- #GoCatsGo

- Walmart today... got a little distracted. 4 seconds it takes to walks past the tv with Civil War on is the hardest part of the day. Then we have to walk past the Star Wars section and it went downhill from there #SorryMom. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Huckleberry Smoothies - October 3, 2016

What's up fam!!! 

- MLC in Helena was on Tuesday. Potter and I sat by each other and by the way our Gatorade bottles were positioned it looked like the splash elders were in a post game press conference. 

- Elder/sister relationships were brought up during MLC as a concern in the mission... President Wadsworth was sitting in the corner and straight up whipped out the 3 goggles as his response... (page 33 of the missionary handbook talks about it).  President Wadsworth = GOAT. 

- k this is a little ironic coming off of the last bullet point... but I like to position myself during MLC across the room from President and the AP's so I can wink at Elder Wells. Only problem is there were sisters sitting in front of him so I had to be pretty sly about it so they didn't think I was winking at them. Sister Hodgson caught me once but I think she knew I was winking at Elder Wells so we are good. #BroManceLives

- highlight of it all was the drive back... we were riding in the swagwagon minivan with the Wyoming zone leaders and we really wanted to pass Elder Baird ahead of us in the transfer van... Speeding past the vehicle coordinator = "that's a bold move Cotton, let's see how it plays out for him."  Elder Smith came in clutch. We passed him... And I think he still has driving privileges #AchievementUnlocked 

- honestly I just have so much fun with the missionaries out here. We have a fun fam. It's awesome. 

- during role call for the trainer conference call I told Elder McElvany to say "pre-sent." 

- I also accept full responsibility for the zone now non stop quoting Coach Hines and old Greg. The force choking is also getting a little out of control. #SorryMom

- last Monday Captain America Civil War was playing inside Walmart and since then I have had like 5 dreams about that movie. It's an issue. 

- so after I found out about the Utah game that ripped out my heart and beat it with a 7 iron, Elder McElvany and I went and got smoothies. It was great. Bounce back Utes. It's after games like this I really miss makin hype vids. #WillBeTillIDie

-  we saw this dude dunk on a 8 foot hoop then dab and it made my day. 

- Elder McElvany hit his year mark so we had a lil party at Cold Stone. 

- the campus has been doing this week long zombie nerf war thing... totally something @teambetaalpha and I would do #TacticalStealth. If I wasn't a full time representative of the church I'd be ALL OVER THAT right now. Under barrel go pro mount and everything. It's been fun to watch and is a good way to strike up a conversation. 

- Sunday nights we have Belgrade 1 come over and start their laundry and things get out of hand kind of quick...  #ThingsYouDoWhenYouCantWatchSNF #ThatEscalatedQuickly 

It was a wild week, one of my favorites as a missionary. Wednesday especially was one of the funnest days of missionary work. We had 3 awesome lessons in the YSA with our investigators, lesson number  4 at the Turner's fell through... but we still got to chill with the Turner's and eat huckleberry smoothies. 

--- background on Brother Turner's huckleberry smoothie... if Steph Curry was a smoothie... it'd be that one. They are beautiful. They are happiness. They are freakin amazing. 

Anyway. The 3 lessons went really well. They were 3 very different lessons, but the Spirit did a great job in helping Elder Hunter and I in knowing what we needed to share and what concerns we needed to resolve. It was a sweet day, a day that really strengthened my testimony and helped me realize how fortunate I am to know what I know. Church is true fam. I love sharing it with others. 

Then you have conference... I loved it, so much. Went in with 2 questions and both were answered several times. Took some solid notes but main thoughts were... 

- President Uchtdorf's talk on the plan of happiness was a great way to start off. That was such a strong focus of mine when I first came out, I want to get back to that. 

- singing Called to Serve with all members and missionaries was powerful. United together eternal soldiers. 

- plan of salvation and restoration were hit hard. Honestly everything shared was nothing more than you see in Preach my Gospel. All the basics. We need to reinforce the basics and they did. 

 - "Joy isn't from circumstances, rather on our focus" I loved that. I really loved that. 

 - Stephan... the fire cracker... sounds like something Jared and I would do. #SorryMom 

- President Eyring talking about gratitude, really liked that. Was reading in Ether earlier this week about how the people were filled with gratitude and joy when they reached the promised land... they had been stuck in a barge for 344 days and were grateful for it, that amazes me. 

- when the mom wrote in her goal journal "patience with Brett"... that's how my mom probably felt/feels about me and @pettbryan. 

- fave talk was from Elder Rasband. K, buckle up on this one. So you know how I kinda went hard on ULegacy before my mission???  Last video before the mission. All that. Well, it kind of set the tone for my mission also. I wanted to leave a legacy. Kind of my theme.

Now, the scripture Elder Rasband read (Helaman 5:6-7)was the original scripture from the splash elder exchange and scripture roulette from over a year ago. When Potter and I sat in the Richard's home as new missionaries and I randomly flipped to that scripture, it hit me. I loved it, talked about representing those before you and carrying it on with your name. To me, it was the #ULegacy scripture for my mission that I had been looking for. Fast forward over a year and an Apostle is talking about it... he even mentioned legacy a few times. I especially loved how he talked about his name, what it meant. 

This is where it gets sweet. What's cool is I was thinking that exact same thing earlier this week, who I represent. I randomly decided I needed to write it in my journal... I wrote this in on Tuesday before conference... 

Who do U represent? 
Elder - Christ. the church. Missionaries. 
McKay - Eli. 
Philip - Grandpa Phil 
Pett - Grandpa Pett. Dad. 
- uphold the legacy - I WILL

 IS THAT NUTS OR WHAT!!! Elder Rasband did the exact same thing 5 days later in general conference while also referencing to the ULegacy scripture I randomly flipped to over a year ago. 

Yeah, that kind of blew my mind a little. The gospel does that to me now and then. 

I just love missions so much. You learn a lot. You experience a lot. You love a lot. This was just one of those weeks I'll look back and wish I could live again. Got to watch conference with Gina and Kenny... watched Priesthood with Brother Barber (just like last year)  also watched at the Turner's... got to see Bishop Carlson this week, stopped by to see the Rogers last night. I know these are just names to most of you, but they truly are my family that had a major impact on me at the beginning of my mission and continue to do so. Never fails that as I drive through Belgrade I'm reminded of how much I love my family there. It was one year ago this week Elder Christensen and I went out to teach the Robisons for the first time. One year. WHAT. JUST. HAPPENED. 

I love it. I love what it's teaching me. I love testifying of Christ ALL THE TIME. I love the fun we are having, especially in this zone. I especially love my family up here, Hamilton and Conrad too. It's been a good 15. What started as me wanting to leave a legacy quickly switched to my family here leaving a legacy on me. I want to represent and make them proud just as much as my family back home. Can't say enough how happy I am I served my mission so close to home haha. 

Remember family, joy comes from our focus, not our circumstance. I have especially learned that on my mission and I know I'll need to apply it after. You guys are gonna think I'm nuts, but not gonna lie, that's something I needed to learn. Example, being in Berkeley Saturday night would have been rough had I been back home working, but I feel like that quote is applicable. I loved my job... a lot, but if I want that as a career, that's a very good principle to learn for when things don't go quite as well as you wish they would. 

That's one more thing I'm being taught out here. It's non stop learning. I love it. 

Church is true. Love ya. 

- Elder K


- MLC/Splash elder post game press conference. Elder Wells isn't visible in this picture (behind the sisters) so you can imagine my dilemma in trying to wink at him. I think I ended up going like 6/7 without the sisters noticing. 

- Passing Elder Baird. We were freaking out we got so excited. It was a bold move. 

- Bozeman in the Fall, it's gorgeous. 

- Huckleberry smoothie. 

- ball in the morning. The second one with McElvany and I has been the main pic for memes in the zone.  Also made a reverse lay up for the first time in my life. 

- this car sticker made my day. #WelcomeToMontana 

- Cold Stone party. Happy 1 year McBuckets

- Gina's kitten attacked the scrambled eggs during the morning session. I usually hate cats but I love hers. 
- Saturday night Smoothie run... it was a rough night. #WillBeTillIDie

- put this as an alarm a few days before Elder Rasband's conference talk. Still can't believe how cool that is. 

- Bro Turner in the Luv Sac during genconf... bad idea. 😴