Thursday, January 28, 2016

January 23, 2016: Ave Maria- Linda Lacey & Elder Wallgren

Brother and Sister Lacey called on Monday from MT to make sure Mom got this video on YouTube. Elder Wallgren saw the beautiful baby grand and sat down to play. After recognizing the song, Sister Lacey got out her violin and played with him. This recording is after they played through it once only. Mom cried happy tears to hear this. Elder Wallgren is looking more and more like his dad every day. We know he is so happy to share his talents and happy that he can continue to grow musically on his mission, as well! Man, we miss this kid!

January 25, 2016: World Wide Missionary Broadcast/Ave Maria

"Sometimes we feel discouraged because we are not “more” of
something--more spiritual, respected, intelligent, healthy, rich,
friendly, or capable. Naturally, there is nothing wrong with wanting
to improve. God created us to grow and progress. But remember, our
weaknesses can help us to be humble and turn us to Christ, who will
“make weak things become strong.” Satan, on the other hand, uses our
weaknesses to the point that we are discouraged from even trying.
I learned in my life that we don’t need to be “more” of anything to
start to become the person God intended us to become.
God will take you as you are at this very moment and begin to work
with you. All you need is a willing heart, a desire to believe, and
trust in the Lord.
Gideon saw himself as a poor farmer, the least of his father’s house.
But God saw him as a mighty man of valor.
When Samuel chose Saul to be king, Saul tried to talk him out of it.
Saul was from one of the smallest tribes of the house of Israel. How
could he be king? But God saw him as “a choice young man.”
Even the great prophet Moses felt so overwhelmed and discouraged at
one point that he wanted to give up and die. But God did not give up
on Moses.
My dear brothers and sisters, if we look at ourselves only through our
mortal eyes, we may not see ourselves as good enough. But our Heavenly
Father sees us as who we truly are and who we can become. He sees us
as His sons and daughters, as beings of eternal light with everlasting
potential and with a divine destiny."
(Dieter F. Uchtdorf, It Works Wonderully!, Ensign Nov. 2015, p. 22-23)

Start where you are. We don't have to become some impossible Saint for
the Atonement to start working for us. As we work to become better
from where we are right here and right now the Lord with strengthen
us- and then we will become so much more than we ever imagined we
could be!

More service on a preparation day! I love doing it, but my companions
seem to always be against it. There is nothing in the handbook against
it, and I feel like it is a sacrifice for a greater cause... Or
something like that haha. We moved a ton of wood for an investigator,
big logs and small chips. Good workout, as well as a good way to help
her realize that we are good people!
Ronan!!!!!! Went on an exchange to Ronan again, which is awesome! That
place reminds me a lot of Ennis- more people than Drummond and
Seeley Lake, but more spread out. I love it!
Ronan Exchange- not as eventful as last time.... No broken down cars
or moving semis or anything like that. I just learned the importance
of planning haha. We ended up visiting a lot of active members and
asking for referrals, which is always! Keep giving those to the
missionaries- it means a lot!
World wide missionary broadcast: "Teach Repentance, Baptize converts"-
that was pretty cool. Got to hear from a few apostles and members of
the missionary board. Learned about how to work with less active
members and recent converts, and about how the best way to teach is by
inviting the spirit into the room, but it is the choice of the
investigators or members being taught to accept that spirit and let it
envelope them! Besides that the day was pretty uneventful, Elder Mika
is on a prayer high, praying at every and any opportunity possible.
It's good, just a lot different than what I am used to haha. We taught
a lesson to an active-ish family in the ward, and it was interesting
to see someone who had a testimony of the church, but for some reason
had no motivation to act on it. Everyone has different weaknesses than
each other, so it was really cool to help them grow closer to Christ,
or at least we hope.

 Link to boradcast videos:

Weekly planning! I hate it. Didn't take near as long as last well but
it still takes what feels like years to finish! I know it is super
important..... But there has to be some way to make it interesting! We
had a pretty cool plan of salvation lesson with S H, connecting
every point with a string of scriptures that we studied and brought to
the lesson. Good lesson!
Meeting with Bishop- out of the frying pan and into the fire. We went
over to meet and talk with him about less actives in the ward, and he
gave us a few names to visit. One of which was the Js. Sister J
is a very nice lady. She is working hard to get back to the temple and
start doing family history. Brother J, however, is not quite as
nice..... He is the author of a few pieces of literature that are
particularly against the church. He has a very strong "testimony"
against the church, and yet for some reason he hasn't left the church
yet. I don't know... 
We went to Drummond to teach the few people we have there, which isn't
many. We did a lot of finding, and a lot of looking for less actives
and such things. At lunch, I was invited to sit down and play a
musical number for the family, so I played a few things I had
memorized. I guess the sister plays the violin very well, and she
recognized the Prelude in C that I played, so she grabbed her violin
and began to play Avè Maria with it! It felt fantastic to be able to
play with someone again!

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While visiting a less active member, we started a conversation about
his dogs. They were big hound dogs- and I mean BIG. We talked with him
about it for a while. And it turns out he hunts lions with them.
LIONS. I don't.... I can't.... What?! Montana.... I don't understand
Church- full of last minute preparation! So it turns out that the
Drummond branch likes to have a musical number every Sunday. They have
plenty of musical talent in the branch, so that is understandable!
However, I guess we decided to come on the one Sunday when they didn't
have anyone scheduled..... So the sister I played the number with on
her violin volunteered us (voluntold?) to play in church. So I show up
to church, and to my surprise I am on the program.... Huh?! Well...
Good opportunity I suppose! And then after sacrament meeting, we got
assigned to teach a Gospel Principles class... For the first time in
almost 8 years in that branch. Fun? I guess.... We ran into a guy
while tracting at the motel who was a less active member, who
supposedly had been hitchhiking for almost 7 years! He had a
disagreement in his family so he just left! We talked with him about
eternal families, and he seemed to like that... But he was only a year
older than me! He likes the life he lives, but I can't even imagine
After that we had a few interesting lessons- lessons that definitely
did not go the way we wanted them to.
First, we went and taught D W about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Good lesson! However, and don't ask me how it got to it, we ended up
talking about his belief in God, and it turns out he has a partial
belief in the Greek gods. Wait..... What?! Yep. He fully believed for
most of his life that Zeus was the ultimate ruler of the universe.
Some thing about Hollywood played a roll in that, but man almighty
And then, back in Clinton, we had a lesson with a 21 year old marine
reserve. We walked into his house and he was playing Korn on his
computer... And then Avenged Sevenfold, and then Metallica, and then
Slipknot, and it just kept going! It was super weird to hear the music
I used to listen to. I can definitely see why it is not recommended
for scripture study now haha. I think the Lord was trying to tell me
something there.....

That's all for the week... Sorry it's super jumbled haha

I found this gem..... If you don't get it you don't belong to my family haha

I was looking through my family tree and I found this stud in late
300B.C.- I can see the resemblance, can you?

When the snow gets so thick the road is gone... As well as anything
100ft away from you

January 18, 2016: The Unknowing Patriarch and Universal Ice Rink

"Now is the time for each of us to work toward our personal
conversion, toward becoming what our Heavenly Father desires us to
become. As we do so, we should remember that our family
relationships--even more than our Church callings--are the setting in
which the most important part of that development can occur. The
conversion we must achieve requires us to be a good husband and father
or a good wife and mother. Being a successful Church leader is not
enough. Exaltation is an eternal family experience, and it is our
mortal family experiences that are best suited to prepare us for it."
(Dallin H. Oaks, The Challenge to Become, Ensign Nov. 2000, 32-34)

Remember that being sealed members of a family means that we are going
to be together forever. FOREVER. If there is any time in which we
should learn to become unified members of his gospel it is right here,
in the setting of our own home. I definitely recommend that you all
read this talk of his, it is absolutely amazing!

Pretty normal preparation day- sore from zone games, shopping, the
whole nine yards. I got my haircut at the beauty school- and I don't
know what I was expecting, but it did not turn out like I wanted it
to. The instructor I guess has cut many missionaries hair before, so
she sent me off with a newer student who had one instruction- cut him
down to a 4 and come to me after, and I'll tell you where to go from
there. I didn't really know what that meant..... All I know is that
when I got done and looked in the mirror, I wasn't the happiest. Now
just let me say- if I was home, I would have loved it. Short, tight,
and perfect for swimming. But on my mission..... Not so much! Haha
well I guess I'll just have to give it a week or so and I'll be happy.
Se la vi.
Besides that preparation day was pretty dull. Taught another lesson to
Brother St, which with his pot and Tobacco is always
The weather here is odd- one night it will be snowing like crazy, then
it will melt, but still be under 20 degrees, I don't understand. All
it means for us is ice and weird amounts of slush on the ground.
Few good lessons, a bash or two (maybe... Neither of us were sure. He
just kept asking us "and what does that mean to you?!" And then smiling
really big and dorky like.....) but not too much exciting- and then we
went to Brother G's. Lessons with him are always pretty sweet, but
this one was intense.
So we started the lesson like we usually do- greetings, small talk,
prayer, etc. We planned on teaching lesson about patriarchal
blessings, and how the priesthood works through the patriarch. Brother
G stopped us midway through the lesson and began to relay the
"vision" he had as he slept the night before. In said vision, he saw
Elder Mika, speaking before thousands in his "own church" (we think he
meant as Bishop... But we don't know), as well as his future eternal
companion. We don't know how he could tell, but he said that this
virtuous young lady could be found in Montana at some point during
Elder Mika's mission, whether in the past or the future- no one knows.
As well as that, he saw me, working hard to support missionaries-
financially, emotionally, and physically. He said I would bring
happiness to many around the world as I help bring God's word to them.
Now as me and Elder Mika were laughing, along with Brother G, at
these predictions he was making, a realization slowly came to us-
these predictions seemed familiar. An odd amount of familiar. And I
don't know who it hit first, my companion or me, but we realized then,
and very quickly, that the words that Brother G had said matched
up very closely with statements in our patriarchal blessings.... o.o
Apparently Elder Mika's blessings says some things about him becoming
a great communicator in his future.... Speaking before thousands?!
(The wife thing has no connection, but it was funny)
And my blessing says some things about how I will support many youth
in their valiant efforts to obey God's
commandments.................... Supporting missionaries?! Holy
goodness we were pretty freaked out, I'm not going to lie!
We had another lesson with Sister N (the cat lady) which went
pretty good. I don't know why we keep going... That cat stalks me
every time we go inside, and it freaks me out! We had dinner with a
pretty active family, the musical family of the ward, apparently.
Reminded me a bit of home, but they all were obsessed with snow
sports. Elder Mika really enjoyed that, and they went off for about 30
minutes talking about skiing and snowboarding, and for the entirety of
the whole conversation I was lost..... Dang AZ boy.
As we were driving to their home we found a friend on the road. I
attached picture... I think you should love it!

I had only ever heard of frozen rain before... And that it sucked. I
learned for myself that freezing rain does, in fact, suck. For those
of you who may not know (I dunno... Ethan maybe?) freezing rain is
when it rains, but it is so cold that all the rain that hits the
ground turns to ice very quickly-VERY quickly. And then it rains on
top of that ice- to make another layer of ice. So basically, when the
storm is over, there is layers upon layers of ice all over the roads,
the sidewalks, the roofs, the cars, and EVERYTHING that was holding
still during the storm. Ice...... Everywhere. I thought I hated
walking and driving in the snow, but I found out that it is actually
not even that bad! We got stuck once, and all the dang ice wasn't
helping at all!
Weekly planning- yeah. We took too long this week. We started at 10
and went until almost 3... With only an hour break for lunch. On the
upside... We have 25 lessons scheduled for next week! We had 4 lessons
scheduled, and three of them cancelled. Every one tells me this is
normal for missionaries.... But man it still stinks!
Because of the freezing rain, the whole ground everywhere was like an
ice rink. Driving, walking, or biking. It's all just a big ice rink!
We had to go up this huge hill to get to dinner, and we didn't dare
drive. We tried to walk normal... But that didn't work. We tried to
support each other.... But that didn't work. We eventually had to have
the members come pick us up in their truck. They chained their truck
up, which I had never seen before, and they came down and picked us
up, then worked back up to their home.
We had a zone training- talked a lot about concentration, a bunch
about driving conditions (apparently instead of trying to avoid
animals on the freeway you just drive through them... Huh. Not the
best for your car, but it makes us 90% more likely to be okay after
the accident!) and we talked about using our iPads as tools for the
work instead of weapons of distraction!
We got to go to Seeley Lake- always a really cool place to be, but
everything is so spread out that teaching and finding are super hard!
We taught a few very VERY short and condensed versions of the
restoration, and we got some pretty cool return appointments.
We had a lesson with our one investigator (or family of I suppose) in
Seeley in the branch president's home. We studied Lehi's vision, and I
feel like we definitely were able to teach very well. The branch
president lives on the edge of the world though, and it takes almost
45 minutes to get to his house from the Main Street in town!
A full day in Seeley- SNOW SCULPTURES!!!! Haha the annual Seeley Snos
festival was apparently this weekend, and so we spent a lot of time
walking up and down "main" street checking out the attractions and
talking to people. They had some pretty sweet snow sculptures- bears,
elk, deer, people, cars, etc. I would have taken pictures but my iPad
couldn't get in the right light so all my pictures just looked like
big bright white masses on the screen. Ah well, it was a great sight
to see! Then we had a lesson with a less active member in the branch,
who apparently has a daughter serving a mission in my AZ home mission!
I guess she has served right in Avondale since she got out! Haha small
world I guess!
We had a lesson with the D family (our few investigators in
Seeley) again, but this time it was a little more awkward. We had to
teach the law of Chastity to three younger girls- 12, 12, and 15. The
worst part was is that one of the 12 year olds was visiting! Not even
a member of the family! Ack it was weird... But in the end we were
able to teach it to their definite understanding............ We hope.
After the lesson it started to snow. And Snow. And snow. We had some
extra time so we went to the church and tried to shovel, but by the
time we were "done" there was almost more snow on the sidewalks than
when we began! Haha we decided we needed to get going home before the
storm got any worse, so we slowly, SLOWLY drove home.
Good Sunday. Some pretty cool lessons and some pretty sweet stories.
We had to try to prove to a group of 12-14 year olds that God existed,
which was a lot harder than I thought. I hope I wasn't as void of
logic and reason when I was that age as I saw that day. Then again....
I probably was haha.
We had a lesson with an investigator right after church, but we ended
up having to leave soon after- she didn't believe that we had prophets
now and that because we believed that we were going to hell. Yeah...
Montana is interesting, to say the least!
Taught a few good doorstep lessons after that, but not much more
that's too interesting to say.

Pictures this week-
Don't you just love the Mountain view? Excuse the rib cage in the foreground.

Lovely view..... Then you look down..... AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA hahah
what actually happened is I needed to stop and urinate, but we were in
the middle of a forest. So I went to pee, and as I rounded the tree,
to my surprise I found this lovely thing lying on the side of the
road...... Only in Montana. I thought is was a bear at first.... But
then we noticed the hooves. Super disappointed that the antlers are
gone though... my companion and I want something to send home, without
the effort of going shed hunting!

Lovely view of Seeley Lake after a few hour "light" snow storm....
Relatively speaking still a great view!

When we shoveled at the church. The good three inches that was there
when we started, and it was higher than that after we were "done"

Thursday, January 14, 2016

January 10, 2016: 5 Things

I really wanted to make sure that as I went to the funeral, people knew what I was all about 
1/4-1/10 2016
Jesus'? Jesuses? Jesusi?

This is a little thing the stake presidency invited the missionaries
to do in our email home this week, so here it is:

5 things that I love about missionary work:
1. Meeting new people- companions, investigators, members, and all
other sorts of randomness that comes with being a missionary.
2. Teaching lessons- I love that feeling that we get when the spirit
teaches through me. I have recently found that I can know I had a
successful lesson if I walk out of it having learned something from what
I said. Often times I seem to say things that I didn't even know I
3. Learning to work with someone 24/7- everyone says that married life
is different. Well, I feel like (and everyone tells me that) learning
to be with and learning to be unified with my companion while being with
him everyday is helping me. I just hope that I can carry it on into
the rest of my life!
4. Studying the scriptures- not only am I learning so much, but I find
so many little dumb things that are not-so-serious within the scriptures.
If you try to tell me that some of the prophets didn't have a sense of
humor than you haven't read the Scriptures yet haha.
5. Growing closer to God- each day something happens. EVERY DAY. Some
days are a lot more intense that others, but everyday I grow closer to
him in some way.
5 things that I'm surprised I like about missionary work:
1. Talking to people- talking to EVERYONE. For some reason I love
talking to random people on the street.
2. I'm surprised at how much what my parents taught me is coming in
handy- both in the field and in the apartment. Cleaning, manners, etc.
Thanks M & D! Love you both!
3. Planning- the act of actually planning, no. I hate actually doing
the planning. But I love the rewards that come from planning: those
weeks that we plan super well seem to be those weeks that so much more
gets done, and those weeks that we seem to have less time to sit and
be bored.
4. Cleaning- yeah............. It feels great to have it done. I love
the feeling of having a clean apartment.
5. Not having wordly distractions- I love Star Wars, TV, video games,
and all that other crap that comes with being in the world. However, I
have really begun to realize that, even though at times it really
stinks to not be able to do stuff like that, not having those
distractions is helping me get so much more done, and it is helping me
begin to realize what things really matter in life!
5 things I would recommend to a perspective missionary:
1. Don't slack on your reading of the scriptures. Yes, we have a lot
of time to read and get to know them while we're out here, but if you
were to come out with a super good understanding of the scriptures
imagine how much better of a teacher you could be!
2. Start now. Don't wait. One thing that really helped me was going
out with the missionaries often. I really got to know what teaching
lessons was like, and what sort of things you actually do as a
missionary. That definitely helped the beginning of my mission not be
as scary as I saw it was for some elders.
3. Get in good habits now. Daily scripture study, waking up at a
decent time, go to bed at a decent time, daily prayers, and all that
jazz. It is super hard to just start those habits when you get out
rather than already have them down before you go. It was super
difficult for me.
4. Don't worry too much about mail/emails. I did for a while, but as
I've started to not care as much my day to day life seems to be A LOT
less stressful.
5. Work hard to develop interpersonal characteristics. It may seem a
little obvious, but I went on an exchange with a elder a few months
ago who did not like talking to other people. He wasn't a bad teacher,
in fact he knew a ton about the gospel (they think I don't know crap
about the gospel.... But I dew!) but in lessons and on the street he
wasn't the most open to talking to people. Your life and the life of
your companion will be so much easier if you can already be
comfortable with just talking to people.

This email is probably going to be pretty scatterbrained, I apologize.
My mind is all over the place and focusing is super hard. I think
preparation day today is going to be full of naps and recuperation
time haha.
Transfer preparation days are always weird... Mixed feelings as elders
and sister leave, but little pieces of excitement as we get to become
acquainted with more and more missionaries!
Following the pattern, it was a little weird to go to preparation day
with the zone. There was only like 4 elders and sisters leaving, so
not too many people, but still weird haha. Either way, preparation day
was pretty awesome! We went bowling as a zone, and if any of you know
how good I am at that, you will definitely know why my excitement
decreased a little about preparation day hahaha. I feel like it was
probably a little successful... Seeing as I scored about 85 on my
first round. I did better than most, but definitely worse than a lot
After that I played pod ball in my Sunday best (without a suit coat of
course!). Everything is fine, but I am realizing now that it is a
blessing that I didn't tear all of my clothes!
A few lessons followed, one with Brother G, and one with Sister
N (the house with the cat.... Yeah, THE CAT). We got to study a
few great chapters out of the Book of Mormon, and I am loving being
able to get to know not only the book better, but being able to learn
and grow as I get to know the prophets of old SO much better!
Our new zone with the 2nd councilor in the stake presidency and 4 of his 6 kids. (He tells everyone that he has all girls except for 4 of them haha)
1/5 We had planned to go to Drummond today, but things didn't quite work out the way that we wanted them to, so we ended up staying in Clinton..... With no plans. Days like this really help me realize the importance of planning. Days like this when we have no plans really show me how helpful having detailed plans for our day makes it run a lot smoother, but it also makes it move SO much faster. No plans and lots of Tracting seem to be a package deal. Those days that we have a lot of free time are those days that we visit a lot of less actives and those days that we attempt to find a lot of people to teach. The day was pretty full of such activities, haha. Besides that, we really didn't do much of anything. A few lessons we were able to squeeze in as we made visits, but no big noteworthy events! 1/6 Wednesday...... Oh Wednesday. I found out that bikes and myself apparently do not agree with each other. Like, AT ALL. We had planned to spend most of the day in East Missoula, about 4-5 or so miles from our apartment. We wanted to save miles, so with the short distance we decided that riding our bikes would be a good idea. Was it? No. At least..... Not in the end. So the day started out fine, we made it to east Missoula with really no issues. We were a little tired, but that could be expected after riding a bike 5 miles uphill. We took a small water break, and then we tracted out most of the little section of the town we were in. Got a few solid return appointments, found some of our old potential investigators, and met some really awesome people! The day seemed to be going great...... Then we rode back. So remember that experience I had in Christmas Eve when I fell into the road off my bike and ripped my pants? Well...... None of my clothes are torn this time! However................... Okay so here's what happened- we were riding under a bridge, and the road curves as it goes under the bridge. Being so, it is almost IMPOSSIBLE to see any cars coming from around the bend. As such, it is very risky to be riding into oncoming traffic as the bend comes. I WASNT. I was at least attempting to be smart. But like I said, it has become be apparent to me that my bicycle does not agree with me. Keep in mind this next part happened all within about 10 seconds: As we turned the bend, my bike decided it wanted to slip into the lane with oncoming traffic. Well, there was a car behind me so I thought that maybe I could make onto the other side of the road instead of jumping in front of the car coming up from behind me. As I did so, I remembered that with the turn and the bridge in front of me, seeing any sort of oncoming traffic was almost impossible! All that I am fully aware that happened is this (and mom this is where you skip ahead and not watch me die)- I heard a very VERY loud scream: "ELDER!" And as I looked around the bend a very..... Wide semi-truck was rounding the bend..... As I was in the middle of the lane. My death, I could see it. But seeing as both I am still able to type is email and no one received a call about ad sort of hospitalization, I think that one might conclude that the lord definitely is watching out for his missionaries. Anyway, as I saw the mode of my impending doom approaching, my legs seemed to do what my mind couldn't-MOVE. So in a moment of extreme Unknown athleticism, I did what I only wished I might have been able to do on the track. I jumped onto the top frame of my bike, and then used its forward momentum to propel myself off the road into the snow bank 15ft away. Covered in snow and scared out of my brains, I turned around to see the condition of the scene behind me. Here is the picture I saw- Elder Mika standing in front of semi pulling my bike out from underneath it, my bike 3/4 of the way underneath it, and then a truck driver who almost looked more terrified than I was. After a moment of quick discussion between the driver and elder Mika, Elder Mika was off the road with my bike and the truck was on its way down the highway. By the time elder Mika got to me I realized that I was still lying in the snow, even though it was probably only about 20 more seconds after my moment of adrenaline-rushed acrobatics. On an attempt to stand up (I have concluded that this was likely cause by both the sudden rush of adrenaline plus the accumulative shock to my mind as I registered what happened) my legs buckled under me an I feel, right back down to the snow. Once my companion reached the place I was, he leaned my bike against the guard rail and attempted to help me up. Once I had regained my bearings and was able to stand up, the whole of what just transpired seemed to hit me all at once. I should have died..... Like I said earlier- I found out very quickly that the lord definitely is watching out for and caring for his missionaries- don't forget it. After slowly making our way back to the apartment, I was able to collapse into a chair, and with an exhaustion that only comes with riding 10 miles plus a "deadly" (HA!) amount of adrenaline, instantly fall asleep. Elder Mika let me sleep for about 45 minutes, and upon awakening we decided that the best way to get our minds off of the subject would be to go teach. The rest of the day seemed like a pretty big bore, but we did get to teach a few pretty good lessons to some people. 1/7 After a fun day like Wednesday, today was a pretty big drag. We went to Seeley lake, which is always pretty cool, but that is so small and we go there so little that there is very VERY little to do. That being said, we did have a few pretty good lessons and service opportunities. We helped an older couple out in the branch- we moved about three pickup loads of food storage across town. Cans, boxes, and all sort of good stuff. This couple lives on their own, but they DEFINITELY have enough food storage to last them the three months that they need! After that we visited a les active lady in the branch- a new mother! This sister was only about 7 months older than me, but she had one 4 month old baby, and another one on the way! D: it was definitely a big shock to me not only to see someone not that much older than me married, but with 1 1/2 kids! A real reality shock for me, if nothing else! After we had a pretty awesome lesson about the plan of salvation with her, we were able to go to our branch mission leaders house and "work for dinner" haha. We pulled out his two snowblowers and then after a crashcourse lesson on how to work it from elder Mika (I guess they work almost exactly like a lawn mower! Who knew?!) myself and elder Mika cleared his 1/2 acre front lawn of all the snow. Lots of work, but definitely not near as difficult as shoveling it all! We then had an awesome Italian dinner with them (or at least Costco's version of one) and I found out that he is probably the smartest guy that anyone is ever going to meet! He has the scriptures memorized, and he worked in the college chromosome research lab for 35 years! He was able to answer many of the questions that we had, and leave us thinking about the meaning of life lol. We had planned to teach the one family of progressing investigators we have in Seeley lake that night, but being as the mom of the group had just gone through a miscarriage, she wasn't quite in the mood to talk much about God. As we were out of things to do, we decided that rather than stay the night and risk getting snowed in the next day, we needed to travel home. 1/8 Weekly planning!!! With my new zeal for planning, I was motivated to do the best I could to fill our schedule to the MAX! And I was! For about 20 minutes..... Then it became as much of a drag as it has always been Haha. After we finished panning we had a funeral to attend for the less active mother of 4 of our investigators. She was very very old and we believe it was definitely time for her to return to her father. Sad, sad funeral. Many of the people didn't understand the progression that she was making. My dad once told me that non-member funerals are much more depressing, and I found out what he meant at this one. But besides that my companion and I just acted like the young men usual,y do at these types of funerals. We set up chairs and tables, served lunch to everyone afterwards, and then took down chairs and tables after the services were over. Nice reminder of home right?! ;) We had dinner at dusty Elbert's home, one of our investigators just outside of Clinton. She made taco stuffed bell peppers......... Holy goodness. She is a surgeon, but apparently she got her first minor in culinary arts! It was flippin good... We didn't get to stay to teach much of a lesson, as we had a lesson with brother Gowey, so we had to jet out ASAP. 1/9 President Lindsay (2nd councilor in the Missoula Stake Stake presidency) invited all the missionaries in our zone over for breakfast. It was a pretty good experience- we got to meet his family, as well as have a few great little devotional talks after we finished. Learned a lot about being a diligent missionary and about how to teach about feeling the spirit to our investigators. We taught a bunch of lessons today- sue, brother slabaugh, sister Nichols, and a few other less actives who I'm sure you won't recognize their names. We taught a lot about receiving revelation, and for two of them we actually read and studied out of the book of revelations. Fun stuff happening haha. The iPad's we have are an amazing resources. We had a lot of questions asked to us about things we didn't know, but having gospel library we were able to look at seminary and institute manuals, talks, guides to the scriptures, and all sorts of other fun stuff. Awesome lesson-filled day! 1/10 Just another sabbath day. We went to church, and then tracted and taught a bunch of less actives and potential investigators. We had one lady bash with us about the bible, and it was hard because she knew is so much better than us, and even as we tried to leave she wouldn't let step away. Some people work that way i guess. I'm real,y starting to realize the real meaning of the statistic about Montana having the worst drinking and drug problem in the US. We ran into a few houses where there was almost more alcohol bottles around the house than there was yard to have them in, as well as a few houses that when the person came to the door I had some definite flashbacks to my El Prado days. The people here really need the message we have and I am so excited to share it!!!!!!
29 pictures of Jesus! We counted.... And we have 31 pictures of Jesus in our apartment... 29 in this picture! Go ahead..... Count 'em
Elder Braden R Wallgren
Montana Billings Mission
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Alma 12:14-15
14 For our words will condemn us, yea, all our works will condemn us; 
we shall not be found spotless; and our thoughts will also condemn us; 
and in this awful state we shall not dare to look up to our God; and we 
would fain be glad if we could command the rocks and the mountains to fall
 upon us to hide us from his presence.

15 But this cannot be; we must come forth and stand before him in his glory,
 and in his power, and in his might, majesty, and dominion, and acknowledge 
to our everlasting shame that all his judgments are just; that he is just in
 all his works, and that he is merciful unto the children of men, and that 
he has all power to save every man that believeth on his name and bringeth 
forth fruit meet for repentance.