Monday, October 26, 2015

Xandaman update! Week 10

True or false: do elk have fingers? False, but the Guptills made some
good elk steak fingers for dinner Tuesday. We had all sorts of
different types of food this week: Mexican, Philippino, monanyan, and
spaghetti. It was all very good. I had some salmon for the third time
in my life at the Bennetts. It's not bad at all. He knows how to cook
seafood :)

Life is going good up here in big sky, even though that sky will soon
be dropping trillions of unique snowflakes. Today it was actually
rainy, but tomorrow could be a different story!

Last Monday, I met elder stone, a new missionary. He's pretty similar
to me: drummer, beatboxes, and is a little quiet. But we get along
very well. Then we stuffed pie in our faces. It was a competition, but
I just ate it normally ;)

Two awesome spiritual meetings this week: MLT and stake president
lunch. The MLT actually happened this time, unlike last month. It was
really good. After a sweet cinnamon roll and missing an exit, we got
to listen to great messages from the president, his wife, the
assistants and a couple others. The few farewell testimonies were
powerful. Complete obedience to principles is how we qualify for the
spirit and receive the most blessings. We must always keep our
thoughts clean; Satan can't read our thoughts, but he can analyze our

One of the coolest things we did, as a zone, was a purposeful
prayer. In a prayer, you ask a specific question and pause for an
answer. Revelation sometimes comes right then. It was quite amazing.

The second cool meeting was a zone lunch at the stake presidents
house. He fed 14 elders and 2 sisters Dutch oven chicken stew. It was
super good. He even brought an investigator! He's a stud, that looks
like ferris buhler :) The message that he gave was basically that
Christ is the gospel. He Is a physical representation of the gospel.
We are striving to become like him, and once we do, His gospel will
become our gospel. I love that, because it's spot on.

Remember the Robisons? Bro. Robison got baptized and confirmed this
weekend. He also got the Aaronic priesthood so he can baptize the rest
of his family! It is an amazing thing to witness.

The two people we had on date for baptism, Lisa and Danny, aren't
progressing very fast, so that isn't gonna happen yet. But Cody on the
other hand has told us he is ready for baptism! We have been praying
to see what date would be the best. It's super exciting!

Well, those are some highlights of the week. We are just living the
life up here in Montana. I am still a normal person, even if I wear
funny clothes while riding a bike or bear my testimony to strangers.
It's great being a missionary! Thanks for all your support! Keep being
Christlike :)

Elder Wylie coyote

May the spirit be with you

Montana backroads

Getting ready for winter!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Xandaman update! Week 9

Oh no! A car share?! A cat got out of the bag and it told us last
Monday night that we were going to have a car share between us and the
first ward elders. We spent the evening conversing and trying to
handle our impending doom. The next few days went by and we found out
we were the most worried about it. It really isn't that bad. It
actually is helping us work with the ward better and learn how to plan
better. There seems to be more positives that can be pulled out of
challenges than negatives, as long as you have the right perspective.

Anyway, how's Utah? Any snow yet? We are waiting for it. It's starting
to get colder, at least at night. It could crash down any day it

So, transfers were last week of course, and I'm still here in Belgrade
with Elder Schneider. There are only a few new elders in our zone.
Elder Mckenzie, who was my Mtc companion's trainer up in Kalispel last
transfer(elder Hunter), and Elder Stone, who I was told I would get
along with very well. He beat boxes and stuff I guess. We will see
later today.

One of the most notable experiences was with one of my favorite
members; brother Bennett. He had us over for dinner, and let me tell
you, it was pretty amazing. It was strictly meat: rib eye steak, giant
shrimp, and crab legs! It was all very good. I learned the skills
needed to break the crab shells to get the meat out. It was great.
Then a guy named Cody, who lives with bro Bennett, joined us. He's 19
and owns his dad's dry walling business. He is very wise, and should
be a Mormon because he pretty much knows it all already. He just
doesn't see yet why baptism is necessary. We were there for over three
hours. It was an awesome dinner/lesson.

Sometimes, there are days that come around when all your plans go down
the drain. What do you do? Well, sometimes you get together and talk,
or read, or after you regain your energy, pray and find out where you
need to be.  Sundays are supposed to be awesome. At least church was
great, but the rest was less great. We did have an interesting dinner:
rice tacos. They just replaced tortillas with rice. It's a pretty good
combination. I expected a mission to always be 'go go go', but that's
not necessarily realistic. Even though you always have something on
your plate,  once in a while you just need to sit back and digest it
for a second. Everyone needs a little down time. We did have a good
week overall; it wasn't all slow.

How many times can I be reconfirmed that this is the place I'm
supposed to be? I have had that confirmation over and over again.
There is no better time than this to study the gospel so deeply
and spiritually, and it is probably the only time. Ever since I
realized that and gained a great thirst for His word, I have been
motivated to study and learn everything I can from the scriptures and
about the content. I'm loving it. Somehow I didn't ever think I would
love it so much. I'm gonna know the scriptures like nobody has ever
seen! Okay, not quite, but for me at least.
Thank you for all the support. I am eternally grateful ;)

May the spirit be with you

Monday, October 12, 2015

Xandaman update! Week 8

"You're being transferred to...Belgrade 2." You're funny Elder
Kennedy. Our Zone leaders like to try and be funny all the time. They
are great. I don't know if they are getting changed yet, but at least
I know us four Belgrade elders are staying, and our District leader,
Elder DeMille is staying. His old companion, Elder Degraffenried is
now home in Provo figuring out his life.

So to continue that story from last week(I got tired of telling it
like a tv episode:)), the kid, Danny, and his mom, Lisa, are on date
for baptism in a month! I sure hope they will follow through. We are
sure keeping an eye on them.

Some good adventures this week. And older lady in our ward, sis
Pardew(who has kids in Pleasant Grove) took us to 'fiesta mexicana'.
It was pretty good. We surely enjoyed the left-overs. She told me
'when your parents come to pick you up, make sure they get some fresh
fruit near Brigham city'. I don't think it'll be the right season
though. Oh well :) We also went to Taco Bell for lunch one day with
the first ward elders. It was pretty good. Better than having peanut
butter sandwiches :)

One night I was singing kinda loud and funny. When I went upstairs,
Bro Guptill said, "what did you do down there, step on your foot?"
Haha, it was hilarious. He likes to joke around with us a lot.

We went to a baptism for two member kids Saturday. An hour before
the baptism, we noticed that no one came to start filling the bath
tub. Oh, I mean, the font:) (It looks like a large bathtub, but it
takes a while to fill up). So Elder Christensen opened the door from
the inside and we filled it up. It filled up just in time too. I'm
glad we were there to start it :)

Now, I have to tell you more about that one family that just showed up
at church. So basically, they live in the first ward, but they've been
coming to our ward until yesterday. They are back on date for baptism!
So, this family, the Robisons, are awesome. They have a small but
pretty nice house up in the northern more country part of Belgrade.
They have four kids, he's a tech wizard and she is a great cook. They
are all very smart! Bro Robison has a very amazing economy set up in
their home. The kids get 'hired' for a chore or multiple chores, they
get paid a weekly wage in 'Daddy dollars' and get to buy from the
little family shop of goodies, they have to pay for infractions
(disobedience) and can get bonuses and promotions. It's pretty tight.
I love it.

After our awesome lesson with them and us four elders, we stopped and
did some star gazing. The Milky Way is pretty clear to see. Elder Pett
has a green laser pointer too, and it's works great out here. We also
looked at a freaky statue out front of some metal shop. It looked like a
monkey with a horse head and long red hair on a motorcycle. I'm glad I
didn't have a nightmare, haha.

Last night Bro. Teters (another awesome guy in our ward) invited us to
speak at a little single adult fireside. I didn't think we would
almost out number them. So, us four Belgrade elders spoke and
testified about missionary work in the latter days. As we shared
thoughts and stories and discussed this dispensation, it felt good.
Feeling the spirit is indescribably satisfying. How could you not want
to feel that every day? I don't see why we couldn't have a spiritual
experience everyday. Try it out. You can have a spiritual experience
everyday when you prayerfully strive to get your soul questions
answered, especially through the scriptures and the words of the

Honestly, I didn't think I would ever say this, but I'm loving it out
here. Being a missionary isn't bad, as long as you keep busy and be
obedient. I can't sit around and not do anything anymore, because if I
do, I feel a heavy feeling of time being wasted. I want to keep that
feeling. Don't let the time pass by. This time on earth is a
probationary time to prepare to meet God. Always remember that.
"I'd like to 'bear' my testimony."

May the spirit be with you

Monday, October 5, 2015

Xandaman update! Week 7

Good morning, and welcome to another episode of....'The dispensation
of the fullness of times'. Today we're going to look at some elders
who were in the right place at the right time. Elders Schneider and
Wylie wanted to be more guided in their finding, so after they prayed
for help and thought about it, elder Schneider said, "We need to go to
a trailer park". Elder Wylie had already thought of that idea as well,
so they settled on it. As they knocked on a few doors with less than
interested people behind them, a couple of kids rode up to the elders
and said they wanted to learn more about Jesus. The elders were
excited about that idea, and asked when they could come by. The kids
said to come by their parents house later, so that's what the elders
did. When they came back, the kids and their mom were excited to meet
with them and arranged a time to come meet up at their grandparents
house! So that's what the elders did. They were super excited that
night. To be continued... :)

Anyway, how is everyone doing? Is it getting cold down there yet? The
temperatures are heading downhill up here, so I need to go get my
winter coat quick! It'll be fun driving on solid ice in a couple

So one funny thing this week; we got a call from a lady we didn't know
and said she had a bunch of food for us. So when we finally found the
address, they brought us in and gave us a big box and two bags full of
assorted food. We were very grateful. We are still grateful, even
though we came to find out it was all stuff like cans of beans and
veggies, powdered milk, oatmeal, wheat bran cereal, and brownie mix.
Pretty random stuff :)

So, I've come to realize at times, I forget I'm a missionary. Not
because of disobedience, but because I've become one. As we teach and
associate with great and fun members, it's so great, I feel like it's
normal life. Well, it is normal life, just with an amazing calling to
go with it. It really is fun, missionary work, when you get into it
and be yourself.

General conference was great! We watched each session at a different
members houses, one with a less active guy. Sunday morning was 'waffle
morning' at the Guptills. A relative family came to join them (I think
it was one of their kids' family). We enjoyed delicious waffles and
sausage and bacon and fruit. It was really good.

Conference really was great. It was such a great experience listening
to it as a missionary. I was able to watch it with better
understanding and interest. I got some great inspiration as well as
reminders of what I should remember for myself and other people. 

One example is limitations help us see what is really important. Just like
in drumming, when you only give yourself a couple of drums to hit
versus a lot, your creativity enhances, your limitations force you to
see your life priorities and to turn to God. Another good idea is that
self control is a muscle, and we need to continually exercise it so
we begin to take control of our 'natural man' tendencies. A third
thing is we learn the most while we are going through trials. If we
always remember Christ in our suffering, we will get strength, and we
will know that we can learn great things from our experience.

Christ didn't just suffer for us, he is always with us. Don't forget
he is there to bear you up in your afflictions. His yoke is easy and
his burden is light. He is always ready and willing for us to join
with him in going through our life. Do all you can to stay with him.

May the spirit be with you