Wednesday, February 17, 2016

February 15, 2016: Bite to the heart.. AND YOU'RE TOO LATE!

There's a big cow outside of Seeley.... We had to get a picture even
though it was pouring haha,

Sick day today... I think I got something last week and it really
feels bad to walk around and do stuff. I'm doing it because I know
it's going to help, but that doesn't mean I have to be happy about it
haha. Just some stomach aches and other whatnot things, but it seems
to be getting worse and worse. Hopefully it gets better as the week
goes- not puking a lot.... But it is happening....
The zone ditched us... We went to the stake center to play games, but
when we got there the only other missionaries there were the sisters
from Missoula 1st ward. So we hung out with them there for a little
bit, and after a while no one showed up and it turns out I guess 
 that it was decided earlier that day that the zone would be at
the institute building for the day...... And apparently it didn't
occur to anyone to let Clinton or M1 know. Haha it was all good in the
end, got to have some fun playing foosball and round-robin ping-pong.
Been so long since I've really played ping-Pong, and shoot I am a lot
worse than I remember!
We had some good lessons, and a few weird lessons. We went out to
Beavertail, and mistook one lesson for one time with A and D
E with another for Cl and D... So we accidentally
switched them. We went to A and D's first, but they weren't
home. So we went up to Clifford and D's, but they weren't home.
Shoot. Well then we called the Bts (a family in the Drummond
branch. The dividing line for Drummond and Clinton is like right
through the middle of Beavertail... It's weird) and they were home so
we went over to their house and spent about an hour talking about
track and field, as well as relating it to the gospel. I don't know
exactly how it worked out but somehow it did haha.
And after that we went back to A and D to try to catch them
at home, and let me tell you for the first time in the almost 3 months
that I've been here we actually caught them at home! Holy shoot it was
a miracle! We taught an awesome restoration lesson (even though I felt
like I was being stabbed in the side the whole time) and by the end of
the lesson we had set a date for the two of them to be baptized!!!!
The work is progressing, and we are super excited to see everyone's
We had a spontaneous day, mostly due to the fact that the only thing
we had planned for the day was one lesson at 5p.m. So most of the day
was pretty on the fly and improvised as to what we actually did haha.
The days are starting to warm up a bit- drove around with the windows
down most of the day. I think it might of even hit like 40 degrees or
something!!! I'm sweating bullets out here!! Haha but all the snow is
melting; It makes it a little better because now the roads are
fantastically dry, and it's not near as muddy to drive around and find
people. The only downside I can think of is that when it gets cold
tonight, all the melted snow is going to freeze and there are going to
be puddles of ice everywhere. All we can do it hope that it stays warm
and drive carefully tomorrow!
After our morning routine we spent about and hour or two cleaning up
our area book. After we were done... We had 30 uncontacted referrals,
and over 21 new referrals contacted. Our key indicators are going to
be a little boosted this week haha. We didn't receive 30 new
referrals, we just fixed everyone in the area book that was a referral
in reality to make them recorded as a referral. Cleaning and
organizing, boosting and supporting haha. It was good though- now we
have a clean and organized area book, and now we know who we need to
contact to have all the work done that we need!!
We had a few good lessons and visits today- we helped Brother G
write a letter to the Pomona Judicial System for proof of dismissal,
visited Sister B (a less active member) and talked about her son
who is a world-record holding hunter, and had a really cool dinner
with the Ls (also a less active family). We had deer meat for
dinner, and I think there were all sorts of different pieces of the
deer in there haha. I tried a little bit of what I think was tongue,
some of what might have been liver, a little of what I'm pretty sure
was heart, and then the rest of what I had was just loin. All good
stuff, but if they had told me I was eating tongue before I took a
bite I probably would have puked my own tongue out haha. I guess here
in Montana it's nothing- I guess it is tradition here that when you
kill something on a hunt you pull its heart out and take a bite out of
no thank you!!!! Maybe Grandpa Roth would understand why, but no...
No.... NO. I don't understand people out here, and I don't know if I
ever will!
We went running for our workout this morning...., no thank you. I
realized really how out of shape I am getting. I am really starting to
wish that I ran that last year of track last year..... I'm feeling the
effects now!
Good district meeting. Played a few songs out of the children's song
book that I have never heard of, and we were each able to connect our
iPads to a tv and share our area book with everyone. Got some great
advice from other missionaries in the district about how we can help
our investigators, and I hope I was able to give some good advice to
my fellow missionaries.
After that they day was pretty full of some good lessons. We were able
to teach a new investigator we got a few days ago, S, about the
restoration. We taught a few less actives, and helped them learn to
love the Book of Mormon. We seem to be reading the book with a lot of
people as of late.... Maybe it's just some phase that I have hit, but
I think it's successful so whatever I guess! We have really seen that
the book is helping them really begin to understand what having a
testimony is all about. We read the book, we ponder it in our hearts,
then we pray about it. If we pray with a heart that really wants to
know and with a mindset of acting upon any answer we get, God will
answer that prayer. Every. Time. All we have to do is ask. (That is a
good saying.... It's almost like a prophet said that somewhere....)
great lessons learned!
At the end of the day we had a cool lesson with a younger, recent
convert recently married couple in the ward- the Ls. We went over
with the mindset of teaching about the Word of Wisdom and reading from
D&C 89, but the once we got into their home the circumstances kept not
allowing us to begin teaching! Haha so we spent probably a good hour
and a half just talking with them. Their daughter was asleep, and so
we were able to just talk about what is going on in their lives for
quite a while. When we were about 35 minutes into the conversation I
started to tell myself that we needed to get a lesson in, we need to
stop just talking and work into the lesson! But as I thought that and
I tried to change it, another thought popped into my head... But this
one didn't sound like it came from me- "Don't. They need the help. You
can only hear what they need. It's okay" hmmm..... I wonder where that
came from...
The weather average this week- gettin hot! Starting to sweat lakes!
Good weekly planning today. All the snow is melting, and it was a
scorching 52 degrees out today, so we decided to take one of the
tables outside and have weekly planning outside! I'm not going to lie,
but with all the trees and fresh air that were around us I felt like I
was camping again with the scout troop! I felt like it was time to
find a bunch of pine cones and either light them in fire or start
throwing them at each other. Good, good memories! Being away from the
city is really starting to grow on me, like I really thought it never
Taught some good lessons- finished teaching the plan of salvation to
S and her other non-member friend (S knows enough now that she is
starting to testify of truth to her friend more than the members we
have with us are... Can we count her as a member present even if she
isn't a member? Haha) and had a ton of fun with that. I have made this
whole diagram to teach the plan using construction paper and packing
tape, I think I'll attach a picture of it down below. I'm kinda proud
of it- it helps in teaching and it makes me feel good that at least a
little bit of my mom is coming out in me!

The plan of salvation diagram that I made- kinda proud of myself...
I'm not going to lie!

We also taught a good lesson to some Less-ish active members; talked
about how coming to church AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE is good for us, and is
definitely a commandment from God. I'm learning a lot as I teach,
which from what I hear is a good sign that the spirit is at least
somewhat present with us. I have been told by a few people that one of
my biggest goals for my mission should be to learn how to recognize
and understand the spirit. Something I am definitely looking forward
to by the end of my mission, but something that I am going to try to
work on every day.
Good day today- lots of finding, and a few good lessons taught. We
taught a lessons to a very less active member in the ward- he is
driving truck 9 months out of the year and is away from home, so when
he is home he is set that church is not in the top list of priorities
to do with his family in the small amount of time he has. We tried to
talk with him about it, but it didn't go as well as we would have
hoped. Oh well.. Se la vi, right? After that we just spent most of the
time trying to find more people to teach, as well as find a ride for
our investigators to church. It seems like all the investigators that
we have in Clinton can't drive, and I think there is some logic behind
that. They can't drive, so they are at home more often. Because they
are at home more often we are more likely to run into them while
tracting. Therefore, it makes sense that as we get more investigators,
more of them are likely to not be able to drive! Haha but it all
reality it can actually be a blessing- as we work with the members to
get rides for the people, we grow in trust with the members. As we
grow in trust of the members, they are more likely to give us solid
referrals of people they know and of souls that we can save!
Baptism day!!!!!!

The baptism this week- it's a bad picture I know but it is the best
one I could find so far... If I find another I'll send it out!
(Starting from the left- me, Niki, Kylee, and Elder Mika. Niki is 13
and Kylee is 16)

Super awesome day! Kylee and Niki Whitman (Daniels/Snider family in
Seeley Lake) got baptized today!!! The service was absolutely awesome,
and very different from what I had really seen before. Brother Hill
conducted the service, as well as gave an awesome on the fly Holy
Ghost talk. He knows the scriptures so well and really helps everyone
understand what they are telling us to do. As well with that, Tracey
Daniels (Kylee and Niki's mom) gave a fantastic talk on Baptism. It is
the first one I have ever heard of from a non-member, but she did
fantastic! She talked about how the covenants we make at baptism are
like a "Kit" for life. They help us move forward. The covenants we
make are:
Keep the commandments
Always Remember him
Take his name upon us
Kit-Kat.... It took me a while to figure out haha. But she made these
awesome little card with kit-Kats attached to them,mane I'm not going
to lie, I honestly thought it might have been my mother standing up
there haha. I was kind of nervous to baptize Niki, mostly because the
only form of baptisms I had done before was for the dead, so I was
worried that I might go into the font and include the "Baptize you for
and in behalf of..." And totally just feel completely embarrassed
haha. But, I didn't, and I only have to do it once, so I did something
right! It was kinda funny though, because I had told her before to
make sure she bends her knees, but I didn't show her what I meant....
So when she went under the water she tucked her knees and went into a
ball! Haha it made me laugh, but I still am super happy for both of
those girls!!
The day slowed down after that- we helped the Bishop find his dog,
drove around visiting less actives, and then pretty much called it a
Drove down to Seeley Lake in the morning to be able to be in sacrament
meeting for the girl's confirmation. Meetings in Seeley are always
super weird, because there is almost no one there so sacrament takes
no time, and then the speakers have ample time to try to instruct us
haha. The two speakers were a couple- the local seminary teacher and
then her husband who has been slowed mentally due to a car accident.
The sister spoke.... And spoke.... And spoke... About Esther and her
story and what we can learn from it- I think she tried to prepare a
seminary lesson to just give in church... And it took that long haha.
It was really good though, and I definitely got some good insights
from what she said. Her husband is an awesome man- he spoke about the
beatitudes from the savior, and he really spoke about how by doing
those things we can become just like the savior. Even though it is
hard, we can be just like children and follow Christ without question.
He made a joke about him being more like a child than anyone... It was
kind of awkward, but apparently he does it all the time. Funny guy
We spent the rest of the day visiting people in the area. We taught
the Daniels/Snider/Whitman family how to have FHE, and then we met a
new less active sister for us who, after some clarification, knew
exactly where both of us lived! Weird life, and a small world!
Elder Hanson on the left. (Pic from member in MT)
I am staying here in Clinton, Drummond, and Seeley Lake- my new
companion is going to be Elder Hanson. He has been out for just over a
year, and apparently he has the "#1 voice in Texas" I don't know what
that means.... But it is what my zone leaders said. Elder Mika is
going to Stevensvile. Gonna miss that Elder, but I know he's going to
do great things!

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

John 15:10-15
10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I
have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in
you, and that your joy might be full.
12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life
for his friends.
14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
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.

Monday, February 15, 2016

February 8, 2016: Antarctic Shift and a Deer Hit

I don't know how well you can see it... But it's the biggest icicle
I've seen in my life so far. If I had to guess, I'd say it was 6.5-7
feet tall!

"To add further sorrow and complexity to their circumstance, their
transgression had spiritual consequences as well, cutting them off
from the presence of God forever. Because we were then born into that
fallen world and because we too would transgress the laws of God, we
also were sentenced to the same penalties that Adam and Eve faced.
What a plight! The entire human race in free fall--every man, woman,
and child in it physically tumbling toward permanent death,
spiritually plunging toward eternal anguish. Is that what life was
meant to be? Is this the grand finale of the human experience? Are we
all just hanging in a cold canyon somewhere in an indifferent
universe, each of us searching for a toehold, each of us seeking for
something to grip--with nothing but the feeling of sand sliding under
our fingers, nothing to save us, nothing to hold on to, much less
anything to hold on to us? Is our only purpose in life an empty
existential exercise--simply to leap as high as we can, hang on for
our prescribed three score years and ten, then fail and fall, and keep
falling forever?
The answer to those questions is an unequivocal and eternal no! With
prophets ancient and modern, I testify that “all things have been done
in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.” Thus, from the moment
those first parents stepped out of the Garden of Eden, the God and
Father of us all, anticipating Adam and Eve’s decision, dispatched the
very angels of heaven to declare to them--and down through time to
us--that this entire sequence was designed for our eternal happiness.
It was part of His divine plan, which provided for a Savior, the very
Son of God Himself--another “Adam,” the Apostle Paul would call
Him--who would come in the meridian of time to atone for the first
Adam’s transgression. That Atonement would achieve complete victory
over physical death, unconditionally granting resurrection to every
person who has been born or ever will be born into this world.
Mercifully it would also provide forgiveness for the personal sins of
all, from Adam to the end of the world, conditioned upon repentance
and obedience to divine commandments" (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Where
Justice, Love, and Mercy Meet, April 2015 General Conference)

Even though Adam fell into the world with sin and all the ups and
downs that come with it, we are happy. In fact, it is BECAUSE Adam
fell that we might be happy. All we have to do is do our best to
follow Christ and be forgiven of our sins through repentance. It is a
hard thing to do all the time everyday, but if we do the best we
possibly can and consistently try to get better as we slug along this

Sorry for not sending the email last week..... And Sorry if this email
stinks...... I've been super sick and out of it for most of the week,
so I honestly just forgot to send it, and I wasn't able to type much
each night cause I was just ready to fall asleep....

Had a fun preparation day- got all the specifics we needed to get done
for it to be a successful day; shopping, washing the car, cleaning,
laundry, etc. We played podball at the church for probably 2
hours...... Non stop. Holy goodness I was tired at the end of the day
haha. As we started to head home there was a small blizzard- about 8-9
inches of snow in about 45 minutes. I say small blizzard because it
really wasn't snowing that hard... But it was definitely snowing A
LOT. It was pretty sketchy because we had to go all the way to the end
of Clinton to get to a lesson, so we drove for most of the 45 minutes
through the snow piles haha. But we has some good lessons with some
less actives, so it was for sure worth it!
So we lost our gas card.... Apparently I'm not good at holding onto
things. As such, we wanted to save as much gas as possible- we are
walking..... EVERYWHERE! We walked all around west Riverside, Bonner,
and Miltown. I couldn't guess how far we walked, but it was a lot. We
taught some pretty cool lessons to people as we passed them in the
road, and some kind of odd ones. We taught a lesson to a guy with an
Irish accent, and we were pretty sure he was drunk out of his mind.
Fun stuff happening in Montana! With the snow the day before, we
walked around with our shovels and gave a lot of service helping
people shovel their snow. I'm slowly getting better and better at it;
by the time I get home I will be able to shovel circles around all of
you... ALL OF YOU.
Pretty good district meeting. I'm getting better and better at being
able to play hymns without a ton of practice. I'm really starting to
see that the Lord is blessing me and helping me learn by pushing me
way out of my comfort zone... Hmmm sounds familiar. But besides that
district meeting was cool. Some awesome role plays and councils from
other missionaries and our district leader. But holy crud Elder
Crockett brought Mike and Ikes- A 3LB BAG OF THEM! Mike and Ikes are
BE GOOD. Hahah I don't know why but I love em!
A book of hymns that I saw a member's house.... I want it....

Did a lot more shoveling today. It snows some nights, and because of
such there seems to be often days that we have opportunities to serve
and to show others the love of the lord.
We walked around a lot more again today, staying in most of East
Missoula and visiting less actives and tracting all along the way. We
were getting pretty discouraged because no one was coming to the door,
and then we got to the last 30 minutes of the day.
First, we knocked on a potential investigator's house. Oh boy... We
talked (he talked at us) for probably about 30 minutes about a range
of topics- from God shifting the earth 12 degrees in order for it to
be flooded to Muslims taking over Missoula. Oh man...sometimes its very

interesting to be here in Montana, because there are more people than
you would care to think of here that are like that. And they get
together... AND COUNCIL.
After that we had good experience! We tracted into a younger sister
who was very receptive to our message! We went into her home and she
told us that she was happy to have us over, and that she needed a good
pick-me-up for the day! We ran into her literally at 8:50, right before
we decided we wanted to go home-good lesson to learn for me! (As a
side note.... The YSA Sisters stopped by her home today (2/8) and it
turns out that even though she did like having us over, and she
thought she might want to keep meeting us, at the moment she is very
uninterested. Oh well, Se la vi.)
Weekly planning didn't take nearly as long as it has taken us in the
past few weeks- doesn't make it any more pleasant, but it was better!
Besides that we spent most of the day visiting people in Clinton,
finding more people to teach, and then at the end of the day we helped
Brother Gowey set up a account and link his parents
to him in order to start looking at his history. I didn't know some
people really liked family history that much, but it is a really,
really cool thing that can really help us grow closer to the past. He
tried to ask us how to add a wife and find his wife; however, never
having done that for myself for anyone else I really had no idea what
I was doing haha!
We had lunch with Brother G, our ward mission leader in Clinton,
today. He took us to the only place that is within our area boundaries-
which just so happened to be a bar. So we ate lunch at a bar.
Interesting experience. Luckily, it was like noon and no one is
getting drunk at noon- not even in Montana haha.
We spent another day walking around East Missoula visiting less
actives, tracting, and finding potential investigators. Lots of fun,
and my knees aren't hurting near as bad as they should be, which is
good. I hope it doesn't catch up to me at some point though haha.
We had dinner with Sister N (cat lady) and her family, as well
as the YSA Sisters. The Sisters are teaching an investigator that lives
in Sister N's home.... I don't know if they are related, but
there is like 10 people that live in that home, so who knows?!
Anyway... It was pretty awkward at times- the Sisters are about the
same age we are and it became very apparent that there were moments
when the conversation got too......... Too...... Personal. We tried
our best to keep it professional and appropriate but it is still
pretty hard haha! After that we walked around east Missoula some more,
and we ended up running into this lady who was so where in between
91-95. She had a memory problem and she told the same 3 stories in the
hour that we were there, each changing a bit every time she told it
Exchange today with Elder Kennedy- the last one of his mission! He is
headed home next week and is super excited for it. I tried my best to
make it as good as possible, but it was hard because we needed to go
to Seeley Lake for the W girls' baptismal interviews. We had
some fun trying to find our way around... But we did a good enough job
and were able to get some good stuff done! We had a lesson with Sister
O, the less active younger sister who is married to a Jehovah's
Witness.. We had a good lesson though, we read the 10 commandments out
of the bible, and he brought in his JW bible and read them with us. It
was a good lesson!
At the baptismal interview N (one of the girls) asked me to baptize
her! Super exiting! I am very happy that she asked me, but most of all
I am super excited that I get to see her be baptized and grow closer
to the lord!
Had a pretty sweet jam session with Elder Kennedy on our way out of
Seeley Lake- sang to all the sky we possibly could in the hour it
takes to get home- awesome way to end the exchange!
Spent Sunday in Drummond- fast and testimony meeting in a branch is
odd. Small amount of people to talks means everyone has to talk haha.
It was good though! On our way out of church though, we saw a lady
hit a deer!!! We pulled off to the side of the road, and tried to help
her figure out what is going on- we gave her water and helped her calm
down, helped her get in touch with the proper authorities, and most of
all we took pictures haha. The car and the lady were okay, aside from
a little damage to the headlight. After talking with the lady for a
bit we found out that she was from the Netherlands, and had only been
in the US for like a month! Haha welcome to America.. I guess! She was
really an awesome woman though, and we were able to give her a Book of
Mormon and a restoration pamphlet and she said because we pulled right
over to help and make sure was okay she would read the whole book and
talk to missionaries in her area! The lord works in mysterious ways!
Besides that we had some good lessons with the less actives in the
area, and we taught an awesome lesson to Dan inside of some member's
homes. Good lesson, and we can see that the spirit is really helping
him in his life!

The deer that was hit.... My companion was brave enough to touch it
but I couldn't bring myself to do it!!!