Saturday, December 26, 2015

December 25, 2015: Christmas Call Home!!!

Lookin' good. He sent each of us a copy of the BOM with specific scriptures underlined for each of us personally, in a packing tape case. Sweet. His comp is on the mend and able to drive again, but still morning sluggish with headaches. No tears from Mom until after he was done. President Wadsworth told them to try and keep it to 45min. Clock read 44:50. "Obedience brings blessings, " he says in his letters. "But EXACT obedience brings miracles! " How is this my kid? I couldn't be more proud. (Then he shows me the hole in his suit pants that he can fit his head through from slipping on the ice with his bike.) Yup. There's my boy. 


December 21, 2015: Harry Potter LIED!!! There IS Post On Sundays!

Before the cathedral in grandeur rose
At Ingelburg where Danube goes:
Before its forest or silver spire
Went airily up to clouds and fires;
Before the oak had ready a beam,
While yet the arch was stone and dream --
There where the altar was later laid,
Conrad the cobbler, piled his trade.

It happened one day at the years white end --
Two neighbors called in on their old-time friend;
And they found the shop, so meager and mean,
Made gay with a hundred boughs of green.
Conrad was stitching with face ashine,
But suddenly stopped as he twitched a twine:
"Old friend, good news! At dawn today,
As the cocks were scaring the night away,
The lord appeared in a dream to me,
And said, 'I am coming your Guest to be!'
So I've been busy with feet astir,
Stewing the floor with branches of fir.
The wall is washed and the shelf is shined,
And over the rafter the golly twined.
He comes today, and the table is spread
With milk and honey and even wheaten bread."

His friends went home; and his face grew still
As he watched for a shadow 'cross the window sill.
He lived all the moments o'er and o'er,
When the savior should enter his small, lowly door --
The knock, the call, the latch pulled up,
The lighted face, the offered cup.
He would wash the feet where the spikes had been,
He would kiss the hand where the nails had gone in.
And then at last would sit with Him
And break and eat bread as the days grew dim.

How are we prepared to remember him
Even past the time that the light grow dim?
Do we remember the Savior, into the special season --
Remember the things he did, and for what reason?
Remember dear Christ and the love that he feels
Even to those who spit at his heels;
The birth of the man, who still through it all
To take on our burdens so even we can stand tall?
Would we wash the feet where the spikes had been,
Or even kiss the hands where the nails had gone in?
Would we at last sit with Him,
And break and eat bread as the days grew dim?

Fun-ish preparation day. Worked hard to help Elder Piipo (pee-Poe),
and had huckleberry pancakes. Hauled a lot of wood, and we got to
watch a great video that all the sisters made in temple square while
they were there! It was really cool- they read the Christmas story out
of the bible, but each sister spoke her native tongue! There was
probably a good 7-8 different languages, and I think it showed greatly
how Christ is the savior for us all!
Because we had to go home from Drummond, we were a little behind on
all of our laundry and whatnot. We didn't really get finished washing
and cleaning until about 3, so we weren't able to do much with the
zone. When we showed up to the stake center, the zone was already
raging in a game or pod-ball, so I just kinda jumped in! Haha I'm
starting to get pretty good at it, I think. I was able to get about
half the people out just after I first started, through either
catching or throwing. However that game is so weird because just after
I got out all those people I got out jumped right back up! Lol well I
mean I mean I guess it kept the game going!
Exchanges! I went on an exchange with Elder Crocket today; his
companion is the district leader, and they live almost 2 hours away
from the stake center! So Elder Sedig had a baptismal interview to do,
and with us living about 10 minutes away he decided to save some gas. Haha

Once we got to Ronan (Row-naaan) we had a service project planned, so
we went straight to the members house to help them move some bigger
things from their old house to their new. Lots of tvs, couches, and
dressers to move. Haha I guess as the young, "large of stature" vibe
we seem to give as missionaries, I should be expecting it by now! But
the best part was probably dinner afterwards- the family owned a
Mexican diner in town, and the food tasted just like it was from home!
Man... I really am starting to crave a lot of those small things from
home, like actually good tortillas!  Lol
We had a long morning- Elder Crocket is slow to shower, eat, and get
ready. Studies are supposed to start around 8, but he wasn't ready to
go until like 9! So studies were a little weird, but I guess that is
why we go on exchanges- to become better! Haha
But as we started companionship study, a member of the ward there
called us and asked us to come help move some people into town. Cool,
whatever we thought. He said there was a Uhaul, so we assumed it would
be not long, but not a short project. When we got there.... We were
surprised. Instead of a Uhaul, there was a full size 16-wheel semi
parked out front, filled with all of this persons stuff.
Oh jeez.
Haha I guess he had moved from like Louisiana or something like that,
so to make only one trip he hired a moving company from Georgia to get
all his stuff to Montana!  So we spent probably a good 4 hours moving
them and helping them get everything out. At the end, the movers said
they were so grateful- without us they guessed it would have taken
them almost 13 hours! D: Haha so they insisted that they gave us some
money for lunch. As missionaries, we rent supposed to, but they
insisted so much that we almost literally couldn't leave without it!
We took that money and went to lunch. But we also bought an extra like
15 chicken sandwiches to go around and give to people- take our
disobedience and put some sort of purpose behind it! Haha so as we
were driving to the park, we saw a lady lookin super stressed out in
the middle of the road. After pulling over and going to her, we found
out that her truck was stuck in the road about 200ft off the road, and
that her sister had tried to get her out, but only got her stuck! Haha
So we had two women and two children stuck in the mud down the road,
hungry and needing help! Man, the Lord works in weird ways. So we gave
them all sandwiches, as well as going and buying some gasoline so that
they could move their truck out of the mud! It felt so good to help!

However, we couldn't get them unstuck at first, so a local member came
and tried to help tow her out. Great! We thought, but no. He got too
brave, and his truck got stuck also. Flip.....
So after utilizing every intelligent thing we could think to do, we
decided to go back to the boy-scout basics and get them out. Oddly,
that worked. Hmmmmm
A little bit after that we had dinner, and then we went over to job
corps and played ball with them for a while. It was a lot of fun, and
I think I'm finally starting to see Elder Potter's basketball coaching
coming in handy! Haha we played 21 for probably 2 hours, 4-5 games,
and I won 3!!!!! What in the?! Hahah Thank you Elder Potter!
Driving around in the snow is super sketchy man! We had to drive an
hour to get to Missoula, and there was anywhere from 8-10 inches of
snow on the ground. I'm starting to like whole snow thing less and
We had a zone breakfast this morning- everyone brought something and
we spent probably about an hour telling stories, and in the end the
zone leaders had us each share one thing nice about our companion. I
think it was awesome!
I get to play in district meetings again..... hooray. haha I guess
with the talents the Lord gives me!
I got to practice driving in the parking lot for a while, doughnuts,
slipping, and all! haha It was lots of fun definitely. We got to help
move a few couches for an investigator form the moving van into her
home. The movers had it down for a bit, but eventually one of them
slipped on the ice and dislocated his shoulder!! D: It was super
scary! I tried to help, but I thought that it would have been better
for him to just go to the hospital, so the investigator rushed him to
the hospital and got all those things figured things out!
With our Christmas devotional tomorrow, we have an extra two elders
staying in our apartment. It is working our pretty good. We all get to
study and drive together tomorrow, should be great!
The Christmas devotional was pretty cool! We got to hear a lot of
testimonies from different Elders and Sisters about the Atonement and
we got to sing a bunch of different Christmas songs. We put together a
few great musical numbers as a zone, and so we got to really bring the
spirit in with music. IF there is one thing that I have learned, it is
that music brings the spirit, and there is not too many ways that can
do it better!

They put together a big slideshow of all the missionaries in the
mission, gathering different Christmas pictures from home. Apparently
my mother decided to send the Ugly sweater picture form Madison's
birthday party. My companion got a kick out of it, so I guess it
wasn't a failure! ;)

After a two hour drive home, we rested a bit in our apartment, and the phone went off- a recent convert of our was getting married!!!! IN 15 MINUTES!!!!!!!! Haha we drove so fast to get to the church on time! The wedding was great, and I could tell they were super happy, but I thought it was kinda weird because the wedding in itself lasted..... about 8 minutes. There was about a dozen people there. Huh... different than I thought it would be for being the first wedding I can really recall going to! 
Matt Damon? Elder Mika's seminary teacher saw this picture, and apparantly I look like Matt Damon in it.... huh
We FINALLY got someone to come over and fix our water heater so it would stop leaking all over the apartment! It feels nice to have a  dry floor again! haha
Besides that, we went caroling with the ward. Reminded me of going out with the family every year........ whatever man! 
9 inches of snow today..... TOO MUCH
Shoveling at the church- 3 hours... tired, dead, I am SO DONE WITH SNOW
Snow plow got stuck.................................................... TOO MUCH SNOW

Christmas program today. Lots of singing, lots of special talks, and some pretty cool stories! 
We got to teach the Sunbeams..... man I am starting to find that teaching kids in the water is SO MUCH different than teaching anywhere else. I was good at it in the water, but maybe I'm just out of practice! haha
I got two packages today.  HARRY POTTER LIED!!!!! THERE IS POST ON SUNDAYS! hahah A package from Grandma Wallgren and from the T-town ward!! 

Elder Braden R Wallgren
Montana Billings Mission
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

John 15:15-16
15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

December 7, 2015: Teaching in Missoula

I tried to make it so you can mark your maps at home, tell me if that isn't enough to help! Keep in mind that my map is MT, ID, WY, and a little bit of CO and UT (yellow lines are state borders)

Actually a pretty boring preparation day.... It feels weird to wake up alone and have to work out. Elder Mika has to sleep in due to his concussion, and so mornings are hard! I'm starting to think the Lord put me here to help me with my obedience to the schedule, and I can definitely feel it helping me! With obedience comes miracles, so I am hoping that I may be able to reap the benefits of this part of my mission for a while. 
Zone preparation day was..... Lame. Haha there was only about 8 missionaries there, and so we didn't really get to play any games or anything. It did feel kind of weird, because there are 10 sisters in this zone, and with my last zone only having two, it is definitely a lot different. 4 of the missionaries there were sisters... And it was really weird to play volleyball and basketball with sisters. I guess maybe it's another test that the lord is puttin' me through, tryin' to see if I can remain valiant in my obedience, right? ;P
Got to meet some awesome people, and a bunch of new awesome missionaries. We taught a few lessons to potential investigators. One of them insists on calling us by our first names, and so we had to talk with him for a bit about the sanctity of our title and our calling. I think the Lord was trying to teach us, not have us teach him! We also got to meet with one of our investigators, Don Gowey (goo-ie). He is super excited to become a member of the church, as soon as his leg that recently got fused heals. We made goals with him to get rid of all his tobacco, and we worked hard to help him understand the commandments and the blessing of obedience. With Elder Mika's injury it is a little hard with lessons, and I end up doing most of the talking. I seem to be able to be a little more social in this area, a little less nervous to be bold and step up out of my way to preach the word. Maybe it is aftermath of our lessons, maybe it's because Elder Mika isn't really any senior to me, maybe because it's my second area and I am getting used to missionary work. Whatever the reason may be, I am sure happy that I have seemed to develop new social skills, making missionary work easier! Awesome blessings from the Lord, and again- I hope I can make them last! 
Doctors appointments and rest day for Elder Mika. A lot of physicians and med students, and a lot of people trying to do their best to help my companion get better! 
Not much else. We visited with the Bishop of the Clinton ward, talk with him and our ward mission leader about our goals for the transfer. We went and taught a lesson to a part member family in the ward, try our best to teach the mother through her kids. We tried to teach the plan of salvation, but she ended with more questions than she started with, so we think we're going to have to try that again! 
Besides that.. I have gotten a lot of study time in. I've read the BOM through almost once again, as well as most of Jesus the Christ, which isn't nearly as bad as eveyone says it is. 
District meeting day! 
There are some pretty sweet teachers in our district. They all seem to know just how to make the lesson clear, concise, and just what we need! The sister that spoke about consecration reminded me of Sister Wolkow- handouts, object lessons and all! Haha brings back a lot of great memories! 
We are apparently singing a song as a zone for the upcoming Christmas devotional with President Wadsworth; good thing I have a little bit of knowledge, as they have been practicing for almost 2 months, and now I've just been thrown in! That, and there is now two elders in the zone that aren't tone deaf.... Oh great.... Fun. 
We took a zone picture! Lots of cool people!!! Apparently.... Elder Sedig's (the tallest elder) mom met mine somewhere... He is from Lichfield Park, so I don't doubt it! 

Front left: me, Elder Hatton, Elder Syrett, and Elder Meinhardt 
Middle left: Elder Cromwell, Elder Crocket, Elder Munroe, Elder Sedig, Elder Mika, and Elder Crane
Back left: Sister Rammell, Sister Johnson, Sister Wright, Sister Bell, Sister Sanjaa, Sister Mooth, Sister Adair, Sister Adamson, Sister Shoemaker, and Sister Merrill 
LWe got to go help brother Gowey clean out his home, and throw out all of his tobacco and whatnot. It felt great to help! 
Besides district meeting, not too much. Lots of rest for Elder Mika, lots of study for me! Hahhah 
Day full of finding! 
It snowed a bunch, and so driving was a little sketchy, but with some tips and advice from Elder Mika, I'm not even worried! Except... It's terrifying. 
But yeah.... Lots of finding, and it seems to have much more success than it ever did in Three Forks. Weekly planing day, as it is every week. We started to plan like 6 times, but every time we did someone would call us with service to do! Haha we were super happy to be able to serve everyone, though we didn't get to actually plan until like 4:30! With the attempt to do the most planning we could, we were able to plan and then head over for dinner. Planning is great, but I still kinda hate it. Haha
Besides that we spent the rest of the day traveling all over our area to find people to teach. Potential investigators, tracting, and while lots of contacting people on the street. I'm slowly getting better at it. I think maybe that is why I have been put in Missoula- with Elder Mika's injury I have been working hard to lead our companionship in finding and teaching. On paper, I'm the junior companion. However, I am beginning to feel like I might as well be the senior companion haha. But really, I know that once Elder Mika is all healed and ready to roll, we are going to be an amazing companionship! 
Started off the morning with about an hour of being in the Stake Center alone. It felt really weird, I'm not gonna lie. Elder Mika had another doctors appointment, and they just met us at the Stake Center. The doctor (member of the church) took Elder Mika into a private room and told me to stay put. So I did. Haha I played the piano a bit, got to read my scriptures, and I watched a bunch of the Mormon messages on my iPad. No matter which way you face it, it felt weird.
Lots of cool lessons taught to recent converts, investigators, and active members today. We talked a lot about prayer and Christ- "He's the REASON FOR THE SEASON" And a lot about Christmas! Fun stuff! 
Got to go to Drummond for the weekend! Small, small, town. The whole city is made up of about 8 families, and they are all, or were all, members of the church! Haha I think that the only reason that there isn't a ward in Drummond is that there is just physically not enough room in the town in its current state for there to be a ward! Haha but we have fun! 
We got to stay with some awesome members, and from what we heard she was the best baker in the world. That sounded great and all, but she didn't bake for us! Haha they took us out for dinner though, and they tried so hard to get me to try the "burger challenge"- a 2lb burger, 3lbs of French fries, and a 32oz milkshake. I almost did it..... Almost. Haha I think that my family had trained me well enough with the whole 3 little brothers thing to maybe be able to do it! Haha, maybe! 
Besides that the day was slow. Setting up our room, finding the church and the house we were staying at. Yadda yadda yadda. 
A pretty good Sunday. The branch is huge, really it should be a ward! 
The branch presidency got rearranged; that was cool. Sounds like a few new brethren will be leading the branch! 
They day was pretty slow up until the end- we got to go to a Christmas recital type thing. At the church building, the branch hosts a Christmas music festival every year, for both members and non-members! There was so many people there with wonderful talents, so many non-members! I think we got a good 3 investigators our of it! I love missionary work. 

Elder Braden R Wallgren
Montana Billings Mission
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

John 15:15-16
15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

Monday, December 7, 2015

December 7, 2015: Movin' to Missoula!

Pretty exciting this week! Lots of stuff happening.... My new address is
1250 Aabear Ln. #2
Missoula, MT 59802
To find out why the new address I guess you'll just have to read! ;)

It's winter in Montana
And the gentle breezes blow.
Seventy miles and hour,
At thirty-five below.

Oh how I Love Montana
When the snow's up to you butt.
You take a breath of winter air
And your nose gets frozen shut.

Yes the weather here is wonderful,
I guess I'll hang around.
I could never leave Montana
'Cause I'm frozen to the ground!

Nice and cold preparation day!
Lots of things to do, not a lot of motivation to do many of them! I
had probably 15 or so emails to write.... I think I wrote two.
Definitely not waiting till Monday's to write my weekly email. My
Mondays seem to be a lot smoother when I don't have to spend half the
day trying to think back on the week. I feel so bad for the other
missionaries that don't have the same opportunities I do with an iPad,
and I can definitely see how it is a blessing not only in my teaching,
but in my life in general as a missionary!
We went to wash the car, but it was so flippin cold outside that be
the time I had made my way around the truck with sprayer hose thing,
the water was frozen into ice on the truck. And to only add to our
misery, the sprayer was broken and was leaking water all over whoever
was spraying! I ended up soaked and frozen from head to toe, so much
so that I had to completely change all my clothes, and was almost
going to take a hot bath just to warm myself up! It is definitely not
good for humans to be living out here in this weather.... But then
again, when it's almost 130 degrees outside that's probably not
good.... Haha
The hose before we started:

After that preparation day was kind of boring; we cleaned our apartments, 
(first Ennis, Three Forks later that night) went shopping, and played a 
little ball with the zone. We drove our district leader around because his 
car was being fixed, so we had some issues with timing and space, but 
overall I think it all worked out. We got to go to one of the bishoprics 
house, and now that it is the end of November we FINALLY get to start 
sharing Christmas videos and messages! SUPER excited! If any of you haven't 
seen the new video this year, I would definitely recommend it!
We almost had a lesson in the primary presidents home with some really 
less active members, but they got head lice, and decided having people that 
travel all over town and talk to as many people as humanly possible with 
lice would probably not be the best idea. We agreed, but kind of sadly as 
we didn't have much to do at that point as a back up! Luckily for us, 
Ben Martin called and asked for our help in moving things from his home office 
to his new town office. After hearing I was good with computers, he handed us 
a box full of wires and computer parts and said- "Have fun!" Wow..... Okay. 
So while we spent almost an hour untangling, organizing, and putting together 
his computer, Ben organized and put together phones, desks, and other things 
within the office, with a little help from the muscular Elder Potter. He seemed 
super grateful to have us over to help, and I can tell why- it probably would 
have taken him almost a week to do all that on his own!
We are super excited for him and the things that we might be able to accomplish 
in bringing him closer to Christ!
First day of December....
MAN, where did OCTOBER go?! It seemed like Halloween was just like yesterday!!! 
Time seems to keep slipping by; at this rate I'm going to be home in what will 
feel like a week!
Not too much seemed to go on today, just a bunch of small things that all just 
kinda added up to make the day pretty good!
We got to go help out at the food bank for a few hours, and we got thanked by 
about 13-14 older people that really seemed to enjoy the service we were giving. 
That always feels good to be able to see the fruits of your efforts, helping 
people become more in the situation that Christ wants them to be in- loved, 
cared for, and watched. 
After that we got to go out to Clarckston, which I don't know if I mentioned, 
but it is the middle of nowhere! haha The houses are so spread out, the people 
are CRAZY and everyone seems to watch us like they want to kill us! It is 
always a bit terrifying going out there, we are always worried that something 
might happen while we are occupied proselyting! 
Anyway, we got to go out to Clarckston and tract, teach a bunch of lessons, 
and we got to have dinner! Dinner out there is always good! The members always 
seem to use some sort of game, and it usually looks like maybe they pulled it 
out of their truck the day of! haha Fun stuff!
During dinner, the members gave us a referral to visit someone down the street. 
We accepted, and had a couple choice experiences on the way. First, we got 
attacked by a guard goat. As we walked towards the house, the fattest goat I 
have ever seen in my life waddled towards us, and then it took off running! 
The fastest goat I've ever seen as well! This thing ran 100 yards in probably 
like 11 seconds! This thing... after it got to us it jumped towards Elder Potter, 
and he ran off. Thinking he was dumb for running from a goat, I started to 
walk towards the door. Then, I think the thing noticed  me. He ran towards me, 
jumping up on his hind legs and making noises at me.
I see where his fear came from! 
Both of us being terrified, me showing it less than Elder Potter (of course) we 
ran down the probably 300 meter driveway being chased by this goat the whole way. 
The goat chased us down the driveway, and then continued to chase us down the 
street. After a good 100 more meters or so, the goat stopped chasing us, looked 
the other way down the street, then ran back to the house. Either his goat senses 
started tingling, or another intruder entered into his radar. Man, Montana is weird. 
After that, the next house we walked into was COVERED in beer cans. If I had to 
take a guess, I would say there was probably 2000 beer cans scattered through 
their yard. "PERFECT TEACHING MOMENT!" I screamed when Elder Potter suggested we 
keep walking. So after a little convincing, we made a trek among the cans to find 
a path to the door. We knocked the door, and when the guy opened that door, we heard 
the most disgusting crunching noise I've ever experienced in my life. Three of the 
largest dogs I've ever seen (besides the lion dog, of course) in my life ran out 
the door, and apparently blew this guys knee out. Oh man... we felt so bad! He 
waddled inside, and his wife came to the door. Turns out she is a member, and hasn't 
been to church in almost 3 years! Haha we laughed for a bit about all the beer cans 
in the yard, even though neither me nor my companion dared to ask where they came from. 
That was pretty much all noteworthy that happened thought....... BORING 
Really nothing happened these days. We had appointments cancel on us out the wazoo, 
and lots of things happen that are making me want to leave the area. 
Foreshadowing?! haha yup. 
Christmas parades on Thursday and Friday, and we got to meet a lot of people. 
Walked around and got to get a few presents for home, so lots of fun things goin on!
Surprise surprise! Apparently I did something this week to finish my
work in Three Forks! Got a call from president Wadsworth at 8:30, and
let me tell you- there is not many things scarier than getting a phone
call from the Mission President during studies. Me and Elder Potter
FLIPPED OUT. Haha we weren't exactly sure what was happening, but we
definitely were not expecting what he said.
"Elders, there has been a boulder thrown into water and now we are
dealing with the ripples. We have an Elder over in Missoula who needs
a new companion, and after much prayer, fasting, and council, the lord
has let me know that it is time for you Elder Wallgren to head out!" O.o
Okay?! Hahah mid-transfers I guess! Flip......
So now I'm in Missoula, and I have a new companion! Elder Mika
(pronounced meek-a) is pretty great. We came out here at the same
time, and it's pretty cool to have someone as a companion that knows
what it feels like to only be out 3 months, and to have little
experience, yet a lot of knowledge! He seems be just like me from what
I've gathered. His favorite subject in school was Calculus. Heck yeah.
He has taken two college Chemistry classes. Heck yeah. This guy... Is
basically me but a better athlete, and he has been less active for
most of his life haha. I mean.... He even played all the same video
games I did for Pete's sake! Haha I am really looking forward to the
rest of this transfer with him, and I hope we can really help each
other grow and become better missionaries!
Upon inquiry, I found out that this transfer had to happen because of some pretty complicated stuff! First off, he has had now 4 companions in this one transfer... And this Wednesday will be 3 weeks. Man, he has just had some bad luck! His first companion was on the end of his extension, so he went home a week into the transfer. His second companion was a zoneleader, while he waited for a new companion. His next companion was actually pretty cool. Came from Gilbert, AZ, and was just brand new out of the MTC. Elder Mika was really looking forward to training him. HOWEVER- in an exchange shortly after his new companion, Elder Mika was with the Elder that ran away that one preparation day a few weeks ago. (The short-tempered guy) During the exchange, something happened that made this Elder mad, and so he began to just WAIL on Elder Mika. Elder Mika........ I guess came away from the encounter with severe cuts all over his hands and arms, and a pretty serious concussion. So..... After a day in the hospital, it was decided that training was probably not going to be the best for him. So in all reality, his old companion and me just traded places. Elder Potter is now training his old companion, and I am now here to help take care of Elder Mika. Sister Wadsworth called me and talked with me and said something about my first aid training and how she wanted someone super responsible with him to help him stay safe... I dunno exactly what is going on, all I know is that now, because of his concussion, Elder Mika has been told to sleep almost 18 hours a day. President Wadsworth still expects me to follow the schedule.... So I have A LOT of study time a head of me for the next 2-4 weeks! I love it! Haha So the whole call freaked me out, not to mention he left me hanging Only letting me know that the transfer was going to happen today! So I packed in like 15 minutes. Traveled for a few hours into Missoula, and then really we just kinda hung out. Lots of study. Lots of boredom! Lol 12/6 Fast sunday. It was pretty much that. Church was great, and the ward I'm
now in is pretty great. 
Lots of rest for Elder Mika, and lots of study time for me. We had a lesson 
with a pretty nerdy family, but not in the same sense as me. Really nerdy 
about sports, oddly. None of them play, but all of them know stats. Then we 
had a lesson with a less active family. Still trying really hard to figure 
stuff out here in the area!
I get to drive, as my companion is not really capable. Kinda weird driving 
after three months of not. I'm a little worried about the ice, but my 
companion has a ton of experience driving on ice so he's been helping me!
Sorry for the lame days. We spend a lot of time in the apartment, and so not 
too much to talk about!

Elder Braden R Wallgren
Montana Billings Mission
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

2 Nephi 2:11
11 For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If
not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be
brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery,
neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound
in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as
dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption,
happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility

November 30, 2015: Fun Todo.... We're not in Arizona anymore!

11/23-11/29 2015
Mostly a bunch of random thoughts or stories this week.... It's like a
highlight video
We got to find out where everyone else was going. A lot of Elders
leaving! Our best friends over in Belgrade are leaving, and so we were
pretty sad about that, but we got to spend an awesome preparation day
with them! A little nerve wracking with the new Elders coming in- two
assistants to the president got released and are now serving in their
place! Haha a little weird, but I guess they are just missionaries
too, right?
I'm going to say.... Interesting experience at zone games. We had two
Elders start to wrestle over a ball during dodgeball, and one was
definitely bigger than the other. As such, he went too far without
really realizing it! This made the smaller Elder quite upset, upset
enough actually that he stormed off..... And then went missing!
Everyone in the zone spent 20 minutes scanning and searching the
church, and no one could find him! He didn't show up until about 3
hours later! Wow... Definitely an experience reminding me that we are
all still 18-21 year olds!
The cold is starting to kill me knees. It's bearable when I take my
meds, but as the dork-tard that I am I seem to forget more often than
After a little shopping at Walmart and dinner we didn't have much to
do, so we kept working our way down the ward list to help us find more
people and those that maybe need us!
Found an awesome wood chess set, but Elder Potter's not letting me use
it! Lol it's probably for the better. I got a little mad at him, but I
think in the end I was more annoyed at myself for doing something
dumb. Ah well. Se la vi!
Got to teach a lesson to one of the widows in the ward. She's pretty
shy, and really kinda keeps to herself and her few friends she has. We
went over planning to talk about some stuff that stake president talked
about, but the lesson went a little unexpectedly. We started to ask
her if she was doing the 7 things he asked...... And she was doing all
of them, perfectly. The lesson ended up being pretty awkward because
even as we would bring other things up, she would be doing them. She was
so obedient, and so humble about it! I think that lesson was meant more
for us than it ever could have been for her!
We went to probably the most sporty family in the ward for dinner.
Crap. Haha the discussion too, so many turns toward football and
basketball that I became completely lost! I can definitely see the
nerd in me comin out- almost 2 hours at their house and I was lost for
most of it? I'll not happily repeat that again!
We didn't have too many lessons scheduled in the evening/night after
dinner, so we started to sit make visits to members of the ward
council. We stopped in at the 2nd councilor in the Elders Quorum
Presidency's house, and he kinda sat us down and really just talked
with us about his life lol. Turns out is a state and national cow
auctioneer champion, and in the top 5 for the world! Wow.... Some
interesting talents out here in Montana! Haha
It's only getting colder and colder, and snowier and snowier. And more
and more icy! There have been pretty intense storm warnings most of
the week, and they are well placed! It is getting bad enough that
President Wadsworth sent a message to the whole mission telling
everyone that if we don't feel safe driving to stay inside until we do!
Wow...... Not like home!
Relief about home! Dad emailed me and let me know everything that is
goin on at home.... Definitely a relief from some stress there!
Met with a less active, slowly becoming more active member of the
ward. He's a pretty cool guy! He used to work as a manger at a casino
chain, so Sunday's were an issue. However, now he quit so he's getting
back to church as much as he can.
Me and Elder Potter kept laughing, because he seriously seemed like an
adult version of myself. He set up an Alienware network all throughout
his home, to all his tvs and basically everything in his house! He
played wow, Diablo, skyrim, LoL, and all those other nerdy games that
I hope to still be playing when I'm his age and retired!
He was a pretty awesome guy, and has done a lot in his life. He was
the head designer for all the decor at chase stadium- the bleachers,
the pool. The giant baseball, and all such things. WHAT?!
Haha it's a small world I guess!
The roads are starting to get super sketchy.... I'm so glad I'm not
driving! We drove all around, and it seriously felt like we were ice
skating at times!
We helped at the thrift store again today, and we got a few cool
trinkets and such. I bought a cologne bottle that looks like a bust of
Ben Frnaklin. Cuz... Why not?!
We dropped off a Book of Mormon to an investigator.... And she came to
the door wearing a shirt.
Only a shirt.
Yap we got outta there ASAP.
She had this on her car!

We had dinner with the Elder's Quorum President. This young girl we've
never met walked in in the middle of dinner...... Sat at the table,
and started eating.......
Turns out that is his daughter from his first wife.... So many things
confused me that night.
Stuffed full turkey day (HA I'm so funny)
The first dinner we went to was at Kelly Harmons, a recent convert in
the ward. We got to go over a little early and help them make stuff
and finish setting up and whatnot. While we waited, their
granddaughter pulled us over asking us to help her- and then she
proceeded to have us take the decorations off the tree, and on. Off
then back on, then take them off, etc. for TWO HOURS. Keep in mind she
was like....7.
Dinner was GREAT and some pretty awesome pies! (Nothing like home, of
course). After dinner Elder Potter fell asleep in front of the TV, and
for some reason I wasn't tired at all.... So I got to watch like an
hour of football. It was........ It felt wrong but I couldn't do
anything cause I tried to wake him up and he just kinda shrugged me
off... Oh well it is in the past I suppose! Cowboys v. Panthers. Good
game.... But I couldn't take it anymore when the halftime show came
on, so I woke him up and we left. Pretty good, got to talk to a lot of
the Harmons non-member family, and got to let them know that we
weren't as crazy as they thought! ;)
We had another dinner, also with the Harmons! Haha no this was a less
active couple in the ward, and they invited us over. He made some
pretty good ham, some really gross sweet potatoes, and some lemon box
pie that was good, but not as world famous as he claimed it was. Haha.
We talked for a bit, and got to spend a good a part of time chatting
and being around them. They had Hawaiian rolls- my new favorite!
Two lame games! First and only time to actually watch football on my mission
I really started to realize how cold it was- I accidentally left my
gallon water bottle in the car, and in the morning it was as hard as a
rock. All ice. It's too cold.
Traveled to Ennis, and got to tract in "hick central" as all the
townsfolk call it! Haha but yes I can see how Jeffers is that way! Got
my first door slammed in my face.... 6 times. And I think I maybe got
a gun almost pulled on me. Not quite sure, but i do know that we are
not tracting out there anymore!
Look what we found. While tracting! This was someone's pet... You
can't see it but it had a collar and a leash nearby and everything...
Pretty boring day........  All days in Ennis now that we don't have 
anyone to teach seem to be that way. 
There was a woman's craft bazaar thing that we got to go to. Pretty cool! 
Got a few Christmas presents for some friends back at home, for pretty 
cheap too! We got to help out there for a little with the history 
association and help them get the word and it about the new museum! 
Then we had pretty much the worst night ever.... We had 6 appointments 
cancel, and zero success in any sort of proselytizing, and the temperature 
dropped to almost 20 below!! Hard... Hard night. Haven't figured out 
what lesson I was supposed to learn, but I hope to soon!
Church was SUPER low attendance. 27 people. Man... A. Ranch is definitely 
different than home. We got to teach a lesson to everyone in third hour 
about who to use preach my gospel, and using it to help us preach 
his gospel. (oh I see what they did there!) good lesson, don't remember 
most of it! 
We got to have dinner with an awesome couple that just got back from their 
mission in Estonia, and man they are ready to preach to word to the 
people in Ennis! They already (being home for almost a month) have a lesson 
set up to have us teach someone in their home! Some people are just ready 
to go and do!  
The deer are getting crazy in town! I counted almost 47 in under 3 hours! 
They are getting so common that I'm beginning to not even notice them! 
It's kind of funny, actually. 

The weather this coming week: (take off 8-10 degrees for wind chill) 
Well that's my week.... Sorry if it sucks. I forget how to type some nights. 

Elder Braden R Wallgren
Montana Billings Mission
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Proverbs 21:19
19 It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.

November 23, 2015: Service service SERVICE

An Elder emailed me this, and I love it! Couldn't have said it better myself!
How can we better balance our lives and being able to cope with the
varying complexities of society. I sometimes find it hard for myself
to task things down, it can easily defeat peace and Harmony that we
are indulging for. Throughout this week I was able to learn that for
myself. I was able to come up with ways that I found valuable to
meeting life's demands and helped me stayed effective and
well-equipped for any challenges. To me personally, we can enhance our
effectiveness as individuals to develop a sense of accomplishment if we

*Establish Priorities*. Think about your life and set goals. Ponder it
out in your mind. Jesus our exemplar, in the book of Luke "withdrew
himself in the wilderness and prayed".

*Set Goals*. Plan out short-term goals that you can reach. Write down
your attainable goal and work toward the important ones. Don't forget
to pray for divine guidance. *Budget Wisely*. This is something I am
guilty at. We all face financial challenges in life. Through wise
budgeting, control your real needs and measure them according to your
wants in life. Don't forget to pay your tithing.

*Build Relationships*. Stay close to your parents, relatives and
friends. This will help keep your life in balance. Built trust and
good sense of communication with families. *Study The Scriptures*.
Reading the scripture helps you feel the spirit of the Lord.  One of
the ways I have gained my sure knowledge that Jesus is the Christ is
through my study of the scriptures. The Apostle Paul said "All
scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for
doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in

*Take Care Of Yourself*. I find myself guilty of this. Sometimes I
have difficulty finding the time for sufficient rest, exercise, and
relaxation. Good Physical appearance enhance our dignity and

 *Live The Gospel*. It's necessary that we should always accept God in
our life. Drawing closer to him give us a reassurance of our purpose
in life.

The last important step is to *Pray Often* .  My last suggestion is to
pray often as individuals and as families. You can know the right
decisions to make each day through constant, sincere prayer. With the
challenges that we face our Heavenly Father will continually help us.
Just do the very best you can each day. Do the basic things and,
before you realize it, your life will be full of spiritual
understanding that will confirm to you that your Heavenly Father loves
you. When a person knows this, then life will be full of purpose and
meaning, making balance easier to maintain.

Now for the week:
Pretty chill preparation day in Ennis. Got to relax most of the day
and get lots of small things done that definitely needed to be done.
I'm finding Jerry Seinfeld's theory on the activity level of adults to
be true- the older and older we get, the more and more appealing doing
nothing seems to be! Haha but really just emails, cleaning the
apartment, and working on some stuff for investigators and what not.
Definitely a well-needed day of rest from the normal hustle and bustle
of missionary work!
A day to relax among the many is surely needed. I can see why after 6
days of making the universe as we know it, the Lord needed a little
rest. Yes- he could have kept going. No- he didn't NEED to stop. But
to provide that example for us, not only to show that we don't work on
Sunday's or anything such like it, but to show us that-even though
working hard everyday is great-we need to rest. I'm growing more and
more grateful everyday for everything Christ did, and everything that
he does, for us. The example that he provided- whether you are Mormon,
Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, or anything in-between- is an
amazing example for us all to follow to be able to become a good
person; the BEST person, that God knows we can be! (Weird that I got
all that form a day of sitting around doing nothing, right? Haha)
Taught a few rock solid lessons! Helping Talon work his way toward
getting the priesthood, and we can tell (we think) that he is excited
for the opportunity to have it! It's weird to me that some people are
SUPER ready to receive the things we have, others are at the tipping
point of being ready, and everyone else is being prepared in their own
way- even if neither they nor ourselves realize it!
Working with a TON of less actives and part member families in Ennis.
A lot of people who seem to have a testimony of the gospel, but for
some reason they don't yet realize the importance that Heavenly Father
has given to church and following the specific principles given in it!
Trying my hardest not get too discouraged (disappointed? Angry? Sad? I
don't know what is in store for me at this point!) and just love
everyone I teach, and love the experiences they have, and learn for
myself how to better listen to those I teach and teach to their
specific needs and concerns!
Fun day today, a lot of work moving forward in non-traditional ways!
We are working hard with Molly and her family; they seem to be having
a hard time coming to church, and we are starting to get a little sad
that they don't realize the full blessings that they can receive from
attending church each Sunday! The branch president tells us that we
can only shove is so far down their throats, and after that it's their
choice on whether or not to swallow. Kind of a different analogy, but
it gets his point across! Haha I really do hope that sooner, rather
than later, we can help them realize the importance of worshiping God
in the best ways that we can, and of going to church to build, hold,
and sustain those beliefs that we have!
Still working hard to clean up the ward list, as well as our area
book. With transfers coming up soon, we don't want to leave any other
elders or sisters with huge lists of uncontacted people! We are trying
to find as many new investigators as we can, and as we are obedient
and diligent we seem to be finding the most success. The Lord can only
bless us according to our obedience, right? I realize only now that
the Three Forks ward has had more convert baptisms in the past three
months than 8 year old baptisms all year!
Everyone tells me that the only reason we have so much success (7 of
the 12 baptisms in our zone since I've been here are from Three
Forks/Ennis!) is because this area seems to have a "culture of
obedience" as everyone has been calling it. That is, each set of
missionaries that have been here for, who knows how long, have been so
obedience that it seems as each new set gets here, the blessings and
miracles are only magnified! I thought for the longest time that me
and my companion weren't disobedient, but we weren't the most obedient
missionaries in the world. I came to find out, however, that the
issues that the two of us have pertaining to disobedience are tiny
compared to what a lot of other missionaries are doing! Haha I know
that it is bad to compare yourself to others, but it seems that our
obedience, compared to theirs, is definitely shown in the
investigators we have and the baptisms we have been privileged to take
part of! I'm just so happy that we get to not only be obedient and
receive blessings from that, but that we get to have fun while we do
it! There are A LOT of missionaries that try so hard to be obedient
that they have almost no fun, and there are even some that feel like
having fun IS being disobedient.
Let me say this- nowhere in the scriptures does the Lord say we can't
have fun. The Lord needs us to obey and listen, but BY FAR does he
want us to be miserable doing it!
We got to help organize and facilitate the Young Men's activity. The
young men's president is discouraged often, as it seems like none of
the young men come to any activities he has planned, let alone church!
We both hoped that by having someone else plan and publicize the
activity, maybe more youth would show up! We planned to play board
games and work to help the young men grow closer together; however,
out of 7 young men invited, 2 showed up. Man.... So with no board
games actually AT the activity, we went and grabbed the chalkboard and
played pictionary for almost 2 hours! We had so much fun, and  I can
definitely tell that the young men had fun too! I hope that our
efforts to help the branch are working, and that we are progressing
towards their goal of becoming a ward as soon as possible! Like I said
earlier- progressing the work and doing the things the Lord wants
doesn't have to be miserable! Be a deciple of Christ, but be a fun,
happy one!
District meeting & a bunch of unusual appointments seemed to come up today.
District meeting was great! We had an assistant to the president
there, and he was going to talk to us about planning! Unfortunately,
one of the other elders in the district is super sick, so the
assistant took him out to the couches to go take a nap and to get
better! Haha so our district leader ended up talking about planning!
Fun stuff! I got to play the piano again, and I can definitely see
myself getting a little better. Maybe the Lord is trying to tell me
something, or teach me something, or whatever. Either way, I am happy
for the opportunity to be able to develop my talents and help others
feel the spirit of the whole thing.
After district meeting we went to Wal-Mart and printed some more
pictures, and went to Wendy's and spent some of Elder Potters birthday
money (he got a gift card. He shared. I wasn't disappointed.). We came
back Three Forks, and we kind of hung out in the apartment for a
while; unpacked, relaxed for a few, etc.
Then we went and did some service in the thrift store. Serving there
is always an experience. The volunteer that always works there,
Claudia, is a self-proclaimed "pew hoppin' Pentecostal" who is the
biggest Jesus-Freak I've ever seen. Gospel radio is always playing in
the store. She wears like 4 necklaces, all with crosses on them, and
then one ring on each finger, each having something or other to do
with Christ or Christianity. Like... I know it's wonderful and all
that she loves Jesus and wants to follow him, but c'mon lady! Haha no,
we both love being around her, and everyone calls her aunt Claudia! We
as missionaries don't (some standard about titles of family members
needing more respect than that. I dunno the reason behind the rule,
only that I've been asked not to call anyone by mom, dad, aunt, etc.
so I just follow it!) but I can definitely see why some do!
We were riding our bikes back to the apartment..... And I fell. Let's
just leave it at that. I said something jokingly about breaking the
rules, and then the Lord shows me who's boss. I was in pain... But okay.
If you want to know more... I guess you could email me. It's a pretty
funny story if you want to hear it!
Then we took Seamus Rumelhart out tracting with us, which is always a
great experience! I remember when Saun and Peter used to take me out
tracting with them- a great experience in fun, and a great experience
to learn and to grow! I've always thought that the youth are our
biggest resource, and I think I might be right!
Anyway, we went tracting for an hour, but funny enough we only knocked
on like 4 houses. The first house was an older lady named Iris Young.
She was raking pine cones and leaves in her front yard, so we offered
to help and got to help her for a little. Turns out she used to be
VERY active in her ward in Tennessee, active enough actually where
missionaries used to be housed with her and her husband! She says the
only reason she doesn't come to church is because she doesn't know
anyone, so we are excited to help her get to know some people and get
her back into activity!
The next house we knocked on the person (sitting right in front of the
window, in plain view to anyone outside) I guess just decided not to
come to the door. We knocked and rang the doorbell twice.... And he
looked at us, then didn't come to the door!!!! Haha. The experience of
being a missionary, I suppose!
The next house we knocked on the lady let us in. Now I'm not gonna
lie, she wasn't the ugliest person in the world.... And she was
wearing nothing but a bath robe. I looked at my companion and at
Seamus... I could tell that we were all equally as nervous when she
told us to come in...
Luckily for us (lucky...more like blessed!) as soon as we came in she
told us to sit and talk to her son while she went and put some clothes
on. Man... You could feel the tension in the room leave faster than a
turkey on thanksgiving! (I dunno... Something someone said over the
pulpit a few weeks ago!) So we got to talking to her son, and it turns
out they they are once active members of this ward! They've lived in
the ward most of their lives, and they were active when they were in
town! Once the mom came back out she explained to us that they moved
so far away that traveling 45 minutes to get to church wasn't really
affordable, so they just kinda stopped coming. So when they moved back
into town, they just already hadn't been coming to church for almost
10 years, and so they just kept not coming. The mom said that she
really did want to come to back to church, she just needed the right
kind of motivation! She said she thinks that maybe the Lord sent us to
be her motivation, and we definitely,y couldn't disagree! She said her
parents recently got sealed in the temple, and that she kind of wanted
to start to work to get her and her husband sealed in the temple, as
well as herself sealed to her parents! We could definitely tell that
she has a testimony, and that all she needed was the right motivation
to become a very strong member of the ward! Man... The Lord is just
throwin people at us!!
After that we had a dinner/lesson with a referral that the Bishop gave
us the previous week. That was very interesting.... All I'm allowed to
say (lots of personal issues that I probably shouldn't talk about) is
that he recently went through some family troubles and he now feels
like he needs Christ in his life. He is doing research on a bunch of
different churches, as he is just trying to find the church that most
closely follows the things Christ wants us to do! Haha GOLDEN or so it
seems! He's super interested in the Book of Mormon, and he really
wants to know more. We are super excited to teach him, but also
nervous because of what's going on in his family!
Actually a pretty normal Thursday. We did lots of service, lots of
teaching. Planned to go on splits, but one of the members called us
and cancelled- his wife went into labor. O.o Haha so we taught two
lessons with the three of us. Lessons went pretty great, and even
though we got home super late I could definitely feel the love the
people had for us and to have us over!
Didn't have a ton of plans to fill, but we seemed to be able to keep
ourselves busy for most of the day!
Our studies we SUPER slow, which seemed to me to be the first sign
that today was going to stink! Reading was hard, planning was hard,
and keeping focused just in general was pretty difficult. We tried to
do things that would keep us up and alert, but everything we did just
seemed to make us more distracted and less focused! I guess I can't
expect every study session to be perfect! Haha Hopefully
before the next time it's like this I will have found a way that makes
it easy to stay focused and on task!
After that, the day was just FILLED with finding opportunities. We
contacted referrals, visited less actives, visited part member
families, and TRACTED. lots to get done, but after a while getting
doors shut in our face and slander thrown at us, we starts to get a
little tired of trying to find people! Haha it was hard work, but I
can see how in the end it was definitely worth it!
Had just a few lessons- one with Andy and one with the Rumelharts. The
lesson with Andy went as well as a lesson with an eight-year-old could
go; we tried to keep his attention and tried to teach him these
things, but by the end of the lesson we seem to have to drag him along
with us! Haha hard work, but the happiness that I can see it's
bringing him and his family is definitely well worth it!
Dinner with the Rumelharts tonight went about as well as a dinner
could go! We have a great relationship with that family, and they seem
to love us too! Their oldest son, Seamus, invited a "friend" over, and
we got to teach her about the restoration! She reminds me a lot of
Brooke White, except she isn't a member and she has bubblegum pink
hair! She seems like a really awesome person and we could definitely
tell that even if she hasn't realized it yet, she is looking for the
We got to hang out at their house for a while, and do things that a
family of 5 does (reminded me so much of home it was unbelievable!)
Sister Rumelhart showed me the pictures of Ethan in his Captain Hook
costume; Sad enough it took me about 30seconds to realize that it was
him, then there's the fact that I have no idea what is going at home
right now- I feel so out of the loop!
Sister Rumelhart made my favorite pink lemonade pie- well her daughter
did, actually- and it reminded me of home so much! So many fun, silly,
dumb memories seem to follow me with that pie! So many 12-minute
thanksgivings, fights over who ate the last piece, and many, many
sneaks in the middle of the night! Haha definitely love my family,
wouldn't trade them for anything in the world!
We then played an intense game of pterodactyl, which was probably the
best thing I could think to do to relive some of this mission-related
stress. 35 minutes of crying due to laughter definitely put me right
back on track to being de-stressed!
After that great experience, the day did not much but slow down. My
companion and I were so beat that trying to set anything else up
became a chore! We ended up really just going and hanging out at the
church; I played the piano for a bit while Elder Potter sat and read
his 4,000,000th email for the day. Haha I exaggerate, but man it does
seem like he gets too many emails for his own good!
"When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the
service of your God."  I felt amazingly the power and spirit of this
scripture today! We started the day with almost NOTHING planned. To be
completely honest- I think all we had planned to do was walk around
and try super hard to find someone to teach! We have two investigators
on date right now- but one is eight and the other one we aren't really
quite sure about her motivations! Our teaching pool is slowly getting
depleted as we find those listed that we find really don't want us
over, and so the list of people for us to teach is slowly but surely
shrinking! Anyway, like I said service seemed to play a great role for
us! We started out by going and helping a very potential, very
promising, potential investigator. Kelly Harmons mother seems to be
getting more and more interested as we work, and so she invited us
over to her home to have us help her with some things. First, we
scraped and brushed all the paint off of her smoke shack (the room
where she smokes cigarettes). That was definitely a job that seems a
lot easier than it actually is! Then, she had us go to her big tool
shed (probably about the size of our house in Phoenix!) and help her
organize and move stuff around- lots of high places and lots of heavy
things! Last, she had us rearrange her furniture in her front room,
and move her tv to a more convenient position. Less glare, better
light, whatever it may be. Haha we spent about two hours over there,
and then we had lunch with her and were able to spend a short little
while visiting and getting to know her! She seems like an awesome
woman, and I can feel the Lord working in her and softening her heart
as we work with her!
As we were leaving her house to go tract and find people, one of the
ward missionaries called us in need of our truck- oh heck yeah. We
rushed right over there, and we worked hard moving things- heavy
things. We moved two cement mixers, half a dozen solar panels, two oak
doors, a tool box that weighed more than I did, and a wood stove! That
definitely was hard work, not to mention that we had to move it up and
down a hill!!! Tiring work, but we could definitely tell that this
family needed the help. They had one last day before they moved to
California for the winter, and the only form of transportation they
had was a little 1998 Toyota Corella (Corolla? I dunno....) with no
trailer or anything! We could defining feel his gratitude, and we felt
amazing (sore, but amazing) walking away from a great opportunity like
Got transfer calls.... Another satisfying but lame call. Both myself
and my companion are staying for another 6 weeks. Yay!! We are super
excited because that means we get to spend thanksgiving here and
Christmas AND New Years! At the end of next transfer, me and Elder
Potter will have been together for 18 weeks! Getting to know each
other REALLY well!!
Then we went to dinner- oh boy dinner. We dinner at Sister Searles
house. (Pronounced like Sears the store (without the s) and then like
lllls lol) We had this pretty good stroganoff-roast-soup thing, which
she kept swearing was super bland, but both my companion and I LOVED
it! Then, just like with Peter and Saun a few years ago- she whipped
out the gingerbread houses! Oh heck yeah! Haha we spent a little while
working on those with here kids- we kind of just took her three kids
off her hands! She seemed super appreciative, and we definitely had
fun! Win-win right?  Lol Elder Potter took the 2 and 4 year olds, and
I took the overly intelligent 7 year old. We were able to build some
pretty good lookin houses if you asked me- or at least better then
gingerbread trailer park from a few years ago! Hahaha

Keep in mind- you have a 7 year led designing and telling a 19 year old with 
depth perception issues where to put stuff. Considering: I think it looks 
flipping AMAZING. Haha
After dinner we planned to go to the Blanchards to teach a lesson to their 
family, but plans change! Ha they actually called us and invited us over to 
the house that they are currently building, and we got to sit and chat with 
them for a little, then we actually got to help them stain some of their 
floors! We laughed after we were done at a few things 1- how much stain I 
had in my arms. 2- how good I was at it considering I had never even seen 
it done before. And finally 3- that fact that as a city boy going to UHigh 
school, that was probably the only time I'm ever going to be staining our 
floor (although brother Blanchard is a dentist, so I guess you never know!) 
It was pretty late after that, so all we really could do was head home! 
Sunday as pretty awesome! Slow day, but awesome! Sacrament meeting we had 
the old stake president come and talk with us, and learned a lot about 
being thankful for the things we have and the things we get around this 
time of year. 
During priesthood, I got asked to ordain Kelly Harmon (got baptized like 
a month ago) to the office of priest, as well as confer the priesthood on 
him! SUPER special experience, and I can't think of anything else like it! 
After church we went and sang with the ward choir, practicing for the 
Christmas sacrament meeting concert thing. Haha in a small ward like this I 
was actually quite surprised at how big the choir was! Not too many people who 
could sing great, but the spirit that was with them made the music so much 
more beautiful! After practice though, I was standing next to the pianist 
who was practicing the song we were singing (a few I've never heard!) and 
then the choir director asked me if I would sing the solos for the first 
few songs... O.O 
Haha I guess my talents are shinning?! Lol I dunno all she said is that she 
thought my high-ish voice worked for what she needed! I told I didn't know 
if I could, because they are planning on singing at a stake concert thing 
that I don't think we can go to. I haven't talked to my zone leaders yet, but 
I am kind of crossing my fingers that they will okay it!!
After that we had dinner with our ward mission leader, (5 kids and another 
on the way!) which is always great! Then, after about 4 appointments cancelled 
on us, we decided to go home and take a nap (we were tired as flip) and then 
we went to the church and continued to work down the ward list and our area 
book and find people to teach! 

Highs and lows for this week, but overall it was pretty good! 

Elder Braden R Wallgren
Montana Billings Mission
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

1 Corinthians 13:4-8
4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth 
not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, 
thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, 
endureth all things.
8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; 
whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, 
it shall vanish away.