Monday, July 25, 2016

6/20-6/26 2016: Mission Tour!

ELDER POTTER! (my trainer/1st companion)

We had a mission tour this week; Elder Anderson of the first quorum of
the 70 (from Mesa, AZ!!) came to talk to us, and it was freakin
AWESOME! He covered a lot of things in how we can become better
missionaries through bettering ourselves. My favorite thing that he
said was this (I wrote it in my notes... So it's not word for word,
but it's basically what he said):

"There are times throughout.... Your lives that you will feel like you
can't do it. When you get a new calling, move to a new ward, when the
lord gives a new commandment, or even when you start your own
families. Let me tell you- YOU CAN'T!"

I was super confused when he said this; I was expecting some form of
encouraging something or other about how we need to get over
ourselves..... But no. He flat out said that we can't!

"No Elders and Sisters, you can't! But let me tell you this: the lord
CAN. Are you willing to let the lord do it through you?"

He then went on and said some stuff about when he became a stake
president (high leadership position in the church) and how he felt
like he couldn't do it. He told the area 70 there at the time that he
couldn't do it, and the guy told him that he couldn't. But, if he
allowed the lord to come into him and work through him, he wouldn't be
the one doing the work.

When he said that I just kinda sat back for like 20 minutes in awe,
lost in thought. You know what? WE CAN'T DO IT! Living the
commandments is HARD. Being a disciple of Christ it freakin HARD!
However, when we realize that we can't do it, we become a humble
vessel to allow the lord to accomplish his purposes through us.

There was so much that he talked about that just hit me super hard...
Man I could go on forever... But I'll spare ya'll the book! Haha

This week was pretty cool!

We spent a good amount of time preparation day in the computer library
at the church. We spent a good amount of time organizing the music on
our USB drives, as well as finding some more songs online for us to
get. I think I now have like 650 songs on my USB.......... Yeah that
makes me happy. We did that and then emailed for a few hours, and then
we went and played some games with the zone. Well, because of the
mission tour this week, the zone leaders and the sister training
leaders were in Billings for a meeting for the day, and so there was
four of twelve people missing from the zone. It was small, but it was
nice to just have a few people and make the games a little quicker. We
played podball, a little bit of ultimate frisbee, and then we also
played some basketball.

super cool Sky the other day just outside our door. This picture
doesn't do it justice..... There was lots of purples and reds and
stuff... I got a better picture with my regular camera

We spent the rest of the day finding and Tracting and such things. I'm
starting to think that that might be one point of me being here. There
is A TON of finding to do!
MISSION TOUR!!! We showed up at the stake center at like 7:45 so that
we could practice our song with the other elders and sisters. It felt
weird being the one with keys to unlock doors and whatnot. President
Wadsworth was the only one there when we got there, but he doesn't
have keys so he was just waiting for us! THAT felt super weird!
But anyway the conference was great, Elder and Sister Anderson talked
about a lot of things that I am still trying to process! I think it
will be good! Also, the musical number went pretty good (I think.... I
was playing the piano, and I couldn't hear their voices at all.... So
I'm just going to assume that it was good).
After the tour we went on one-area splits with Lincoln. They didn't
want to drive back to Lincoln just to come back for meetings tomorrow,
so they came with us and we split companions for the night. I went
with Elder Bird, and we taught two lessons to our two progressing
investigators- Corey and Daniel. They both went SUPER good! Corey is
starting to understand the WHY of the gospel, and slowly starting to
gain a testimony. Daniel, after a long discussion about the gospel of
Jesus Christ and lots of clarifications about the priesthood and the
difference between the light of Christ and the gift of the Holy Ghost
(I was teaching things I didn't even know.... Would you look at that!)
Daniel agreed that if baptism into our church was something that God
told him he needed to do, then he would do it!! He said he would pray
about it! I love being able to see the change in people's lives as the
work to grow closer to the savior.
We had a faux-district meeting, where we combined with the other
district to have discussions about things we learned from Elder
Anderson. i still hadn't quite processed yet, and so I was kind of
left to the dust of letting others discuss their views. It was cool.
Then after that, we practiced as a zone for the music festival in
Townsend that we were going to participate in. I guess it's a thing
that they do once a month- a "Gospel Sing". All the churches in
Townsend get together at one of the churches to sing gospel music and
to feel the sprit together. I dunno... All I know is that we are
singing Count Your Blessings with me on the piano and Elder Eriksen on
the Ukulele.

the Helena zone

After the practice we went back down to the computer lab so that I
could take the music that was in the hymn book and transpose it down a
few steps (the ukulele music was in C and the hymn book is in D......
Not too bad).
After that we didn't have much to do.... So we basically spent all day
finding, and then a little bit of time for me to practice and to get
ready. Not too bad of a day.
PLANNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Haha I'm actually sort of starting to like
planning, keeping in mind the results of the efforts. I know that if
we don't plan, our lives SUCK for the next week! So that was cool. I
WRECKED Elder Merrell in foosball during one of our breaks..... But I
don't mean to brag! ;P
After planning we went and had another super GREAT lesson with Carrie,
the less active working towards the temple. She is super excited to
grow a relationship with God again, and she is willing to o anything
that is needed to get there!!! Makes me happy that even after almost
40 years of not coming to church, she can still feel at least a little
bit the influence of the Holy Ghost.
As we went out finding that day, we kept seeing Vivant (security
systems) salespeople EVERYWHERE. I think in the two hours we were out
and about, we saw maybe 15-16 sales people! We know because they were
all recently retuned missionaries, and so they all came up and talked
to us about how they would love to be in our shoes haha. But man, we
realized that Vivant is ATTACKING Helena!!!! Makes me laugh to see
that those RMs are still loving being out and about.

We went and helped out our zone leaders with a move in the evening,
and we got a really good dinner out of it, so it was good. The lady we
moved was a total hoarder, and so there was so much trash, dust, and
who knows what else when we moved.

Yeah....... It was gross.

We were SUPER out of miles, so we spent all day WALKIN AROUND. Neither
of us wanted to bike, really, so we just parked in one spot and walked
around all day. Really made us appreciate having cars. Another
missionary friend of mine in Japan emailed me last week telling me to
stop complaining about having to walk and bike, because that's
basically all he does, and so with that in mind I really began to see
the blessing that having a car is!
For dinner that night we didn't have anything planned, but my FAITH
FOR FOOD seemed to kick in again- Bishop Wardell called us to let us
know about some things he wanted us to take care of, and then he
invited us over for dinner!!!! Hahah Elder Merrell just kinda sat in
awe at how that seems to happen so often.

we saw this SOUPer cool hanging thing while Tracting around.... I
made that comment to elder Merrell and he hit me..... But I had to
send it...

Another day of basically nothing but walking around. I like days like
that, but they are also super tiring. We walked probably a good 10-12
miles throughout the day, and man did we start to feel it! We
eventually made our way over to our dinner appointment, where we had
MORE PIZZA!!! Hahah this time it was the good stuff, though- Mackenzie
River for the win! We had the dinner with a family that has a
missionary out currently, so it was cool to talk with them about it
for a little bit. However, we had to kind of rush out of there so we
could get to Townsend for the gospel sing.
It was actually pretty cool! There was a little part where my
inner-Tolleson ghetto came out and all the missionaries said I sounded
like I belonged in a non-denominational choir when we did a little
free-style thingy at the end. Made me laugh that they said that.
Everyone else there said they liked it. Tried to ask me to sing like a
solo thing and I just had to say no... Of course. Haha it was a good
Another full day of finding, church was super good, and the. We
accidentally took a 2 hour nap, but the rest of the day we just kind
wandered around.
I went Book of Mormon CRAZY though! I handed out like 5 copies of the
book in like 90 minutes!!! I think I was super hyped because I read a
lot of talks by Ezra Taft Benson about FLOODING the earth with the
Book of Mormon, so I just went HAM! It was sweet.

Oh yeah... Got transfer info! Apparently whatever I had to do here in
Helena is done, because now I'm off to Kalispell 1st and 3rd wards!
Elder Hansen served there previously, and he only talked highly of it,
so I'm excited! I loved my 6 weeks here in Helena, and I can't wait to
head to the bro zone that is Kalispell!!!!

Elder Braden R Wallgren

Montana Billings Mission
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Isaiah 61:1
1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath
anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to
bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and
the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

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