Saturday, December 26, 2015

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.

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