Sunday, November 3, 2013

The End of it All

October 28, 2013
It's surreal sitting here at this computer, composing my final email for the mission.  A week from today, I will be given a ride from a member of the ward here to make it to Denver in time for Tuesday morning's transfer meeting.  After the meeting, I will be interviewed by my mission president for my departing interview, and then attend an 11 o clock session at the temple for a session (I heard there is a new temple video so I will be excited to see it).  The following day I will depart for home.

Today my letter will be less about me and more about those who have supported me.  I'm truly grateful for all of the letters, packages, and prayers that have been offered on my behalf.  I truly know those prayers made a difference for my mission.   I'm so grateful for my family, especially my mom, who faithfully every week sent me a "motivation line" to help me keep going.  They really helped me ponder and think about the "bigger purpose" in everything that I did.

There have been so many changes in the last two years, so it's almost as if an entire chapter of my life is coming to a close.  As I return home it will be my duty and privilege to begin writing my own story.

This last week I was able to attend the baptism of Cole and Nikki McCluer.  Oh how wonderful that was.  Their kids were a big fan of me because I used Grandpa's old "magic tie" trick with them.  (You know the one where you hold the tie in your hand and the blow on it and it shrinks)  One of them saw me and just gave my leg a big hug.  It was so neat.  It was a simple baptism, as not very many people came  (I got to be the pianist for the whole thing and played my hymn arrangements for the interlude) but it was simple and I gave a talk on the holy ghost.  They were so happy and I felt really good about it.

I played the prelude music two Sundays ago in church for sacrament meeting and apparently I was such a hit that the music coordinator got several calls to request me again.  So Sister Nelson, the music coordinator, gave me a call to do a piano solo the next Sunday.  So I spent an afternoon on Saturday composing another arrangement for a hymn and played yesterday.  What I didn't account for was that I would be playing for a missionary farewell so the place was packed.  I was super nervous.  I played it without any mistakes though.  And afterwards I got some very kind compliments from countless people. 

Well my mission is drawing to a close.  I will end my letter today in those famous words by the Prophet Joseph Smith: "Shall we not go on in so great a cause?"

Elder Bringhurst, signing off


Friday, October 25, 2013

Best Miracle Yet!

For a while, I was so worried about my mission fizzling down to an insignificant finish, but this week, something amazing happened.  I don't know if you recall Cole and Nikki from my last area whom Elder Southworth and I started to teach after 7 years of effort from their neighbors.  Well I got a call from Elder Southworth telling me that they have made the decision to finally be baptized on Thursday!  Yay!!  I was so happy when I heard.  So I called the mission president and begged and begged and begged him to let me go to the baptism, and he said if I could find a ride that he would let me attend!  So I get to go over there and get a picture of them in white!   They are so prepared.  When they showed up to church the last week I was there, and apparently they haven't missed a week since.  They are totally active and ready to be baptized.  I've never been so happy in my entire life than I am at this moment!  We are desperately trying to get a ride there, and I hope that it will all work out.

In other news, tomorrow we have zone conference and Elder David S. Baxter of the Seventy will be attending.  I'm so excited for it all to come around and get the opportunity to hear from a general authority right before I go home.

Not much other news at the moment. My piano talents were discovered again so I got to do prelude in Sacrament meeting in church on the piano.  The speaker from the high council gave me a really nice compliment when he spoke for his talk saying that "this type of prelude music is beautiful and greatly encourages the spirit to come in at the meeting."

It’s been a great week with the news of the baptism and I'm ecstatic with the prospect of the baptism this week!  See everyone soon!

Elder Bringhurst

Friday, October 18, 2013

Week Recap

October 14, 2013

Well it has been a week as any other here in the Grand Junction 4th ward.  More and more my box of Rice Krispie countdown treats dwindles as I reach the final stretch of my mission. 

As far as the news center goes, again, not much really happened this week.  We had extensive car troubles owing to a lot of time at the Sears Auto center, but I made good work of it.  While sitting in the waiting room, I talked to an older lady sitting next to me.  After the beginning pleasantries, I learned that she had lived in Ogden, Utah, for a time and she told me she had a dream that before we were all born, we all lived in a great "city" in heaven.  I explained our belief in premortal existence, and she was greatly intrigued.  Naturally the subject rose to religion.  She grew up Catholic, but doesn't practice, and currently is a freelance Christian.  I explained what we did as missionaries and what our purpose is in the two years we have.  It was a wonderful conversation.  It confirmed something to me that I sort of previously had already known from similar experiences.  That people are naturally curious.  It effortlessly glided into the subject of religion, and she had questions.  I didn't really need to "bring anything up" so to speak to discuss it.  She knew I was religious, and felt comfortable sharing with me what she had dreamed about.  I just expounded upon what she had said.  She had to leave rather abruptly after we had talked but she told me that the next time she sees missionaries she will talk to them.  I realized that it's these types of things that happen to people that get them to investigate.  Although I will not be the missionary to teach her, some missionary somewhere along the road will be able to do so, and because of the experience she had with me, she will already have a good opinion of the missionary she talks to. 

What a great way to spread the gospel.  It reminded me of a time in Christ’s life where he was talking to the woman at the well, how the conversation started quite normally.  He simply asked her for a drink of water.  And then he effortlessly explains the need for a never ending supply of water that will forever quench thirst.  She then ASKED QUESTIONS because she was NATURALLY CURIOUS.  It was then the Savior announced to her who he was, and what he had to offer.  It was a great experience to show how we can touch the hearts of those around us.

Elder Bringhurst

Moving deeper into October

October 7, 2013

So it’s been another week here in the Grand Junction 4th ward.  The weather has turned a little chillier, as we've already had one night that reached below freezing.  Brrrrrr!  But it’s been pretty mild during the day.

Well conference was a great experience.  We went to the stake center to watch them all.  Besides the wonderful talks that were given, what I also noticed was the Tabernacle Choir's pieces were unusually good.  I really enjoyed the different arrangement of the songs.  They also did a really good job sort of correlating the choir pieces with the conference talks.  Overall conference was great.  

One talk that spoke to me was Edward Dube, that African seventy.  He told of how he did a lot of work in his farm and tried to tell his mother to look back and see all of the work they had finished, and she responded by simply saying something along the lines of, "Edward, we still have more to do."  I thought about my mission, how I am 23 months out, almost done, and am having the tendency to "look back" at all that I had done.  But the fact is, I still have one month left, and I cannot afford to look back now.  It really encouraged me to square my shoulders and finish up strong.

Not much on the missionary front.   The area is struggling profusely with missionary work and I don't have a lot of reference points to work with.  So we are really starting from the ground up.  Hope it starts up soon!

Thank you all for your support.

Elder Bringhurst

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Back in Junction

September 30, 2013

For my 7th and final area, I will be in the Grand Junction 4th ward.  Last transfer it was combined with the 8th ward, so the work is progressing slowly....What else is new? Haha.  My companion is Elder Stantley, big large redheaded kid from San Jose California.  His family is pretty wealthy (he owned a BMW back home) and has only been out 5 months.  Lots of less actives, we do have a car.  No investigators. (seriously)  but hey once again, this situation isn't new to me. 

I will be here until I leave on Monday, November 4th, for Denver to begin preparation to go back home that Wednesday morning.  Not much else to report, we had a slow week, just getting to know the various people we teach.  Love you all and I will have something more next week!
Elder Bringhurst

Leaving Again

September 23, 2013
Well we got transfer calls on Saturday and it looks like I will be leaving to a new area for the last 6 weeks of my mission.  Elder Southworth will be staying here to train a new missionary. No new missionary has been trained here for as long as anyone can remember, which means that the area is turning around for the better :)  When the ward heard I was leaving, I've never gotten so many people come up to me and personally thank me for my service. We truly got the area moving forward.  The branch president told us that he has never seen two missionaries so full of the spirit.  I was touched.  
We both spoke in sacrament meeting yesterday and it was wonderful.  I spoke on the 13th article of faith and connected it to the story of Nehemiah building the wall.  I said the article was a standard of living for the church, and we all had to build our spiritual "walls" around these teachings.  All of the other block meetings alluded to my talk that day.  I never would have dreamed of the impact that I could have on an area in such a short time.  
Also, those two investigators, Cole and Nikki, the family that our branch president held on to for 7 years, both came to church yesterday with their whole family and stayed all 3 hours! They are so close to baptism!  I can't even stand it.  It's too bad I will be leaving.  So next week I will be emailing from another area for the last stretch of my mission!
Elder Bringhurst
ADMINISTRATOR NOTE:  These pictures came with a letter Brandon wrote to his dad.  Here is an excerpt: "I sent you guys some pictures of the hike we went on today with a member named Brother Mortenson.  He took us up this pretty road about two hours from Naturita.  Some place called Lone Cone mountain.  It was really snowy up there because we just had this massive rainstorm not too long ago and the mountain are nice and snow capped.  The snow was so wet and heavy it was perfect for throwing snowballs.  So while we were up there we also built a snowman.  There are leaves and rocks for his face.  It was quite a miracle we got the midsection on there... It probably weighed about a ton!  There's even a stick on there made to look like a pipe.  Haha. It was great.

No News

September 16, 2013

No email was received this week.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Another Week

September 9th

Well this week has been largely uneventful, as it is the way this area goes. We chop a lot of wood, pack a lot of hay, and mow a lot of grass.  We are mostly service missionaries here, but I do have a great miracle.

Our branch president had been working on a dear friend of his for a very long time.  They had been neighbors for 7 years but never ever got the missionaries in the door.  He is a super sweet guy, but just wasn't interested in taking lessons from missionaries.  Well Elder Southworth and I hit it off really well with him at a barbeque, and we became really great friends.  He was going in for surgery and Elder Southworth offered to give him a blessing.  He declined but later told our branch president how touched he was at the offer.  Well to make a long story short we decided to stop by one day to give a birthday card to his wife, and next thing we know, they are both sitting down taking the missionary lessons.  The spirit was strong, and they expressed a desire to improve their lives for the better.  Our branch president was doing cartwheels in his office when we told him the next Sunday. It was super neat.  

The branch has told us that we are the best two missionaries that this branch has ever seen. We are really doing well with the branch and gaining their trust.  One family even gave us a referral that they were hanging on to for a special set of missionaries. It’s been really improving here.

Well that's all I have to report this week, hopefully neither of us get transferred this upcoming transfer.

Elder Bringhurst

No news

September 3, 2013

No email was received this week.

No News

August 27, 2013

No email was received this week.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Scene of Naturita

Well now that I have some time to write, I'm writing everyone from Nucla, Colorado (a small town about 4 miles outside of Naturita) where we live. It's amazing here.  I'll describe the scenery a little bit.  It's very mountainous, and we live in what I can closely call a "mountain plateau". It’s got a farmer, open area feel, but we are far from any large civilization (the closest "large" town is Montrose, about 2 hours away).  It's absolutely beautiful here.  I can't say there's a place like it.  It's green and lush and we are very close to some huge mountain ranges.

The area is huge.  If you go on to a map, we cover a bunch of cities that are really far apart.  Of the top of my head I can name Naturita, Nucla, Redvale, Norwood, Placerville, and way out there is also Telluride.  It's hard because we are only allotted 400 miles a week and we take one trip a week to Montrose for district meeting and p-day (for this reason, my emails will be coming in on Tuesday morning instead of Monday because the libraries are closed by the time we get back from Montrose on P-day.)

The branch is great.  The branch president has a really thick cowboy accent and works for the power plant as a repairman.  He's always chewing gum it seems like and absolutely loves the missionaries.  About 45 people came to church last week (most over the age of 60) so everybody knew everybody, and I've already been wrangled into playing the piano for priesthood.  It's like stepping into a completely different mission.

Our apartment is hilarious.  It's really low income so it was infested with ants and all of the faucets leak 24/7.  So I'm making it a quest to make it a really nice apartment by steadily fixing and cleaning the apartment.  (I've already fixed the ant problem ha ha.)  It's tiny, only a bedroom, a bathroom, and a kitchen.  And one other room that Elder Southworth has taken over so I don't go in there.  There are no chairs and no table.  I said to Elder Southworth, "I finally feel like a real missionary here!"  It was funny.

The only hard part about the area is the teaching.  We teach an average of 10 lessons a week.   Elder Southworth said it used to be 4.  Yikes!  So our days are very slow and we go through a lot of lists.

Elder Southworth was with me in the MTC. We were in the same room so we know each other well.  We haven't crossed paths very often in the mission field as we've been on different sides of the mission, but we probably will only spend one transfer with each other (since we both leave at the same time)  He's nice.  Loves basketball, but he's ready to go home. So I've just got to encourage him to keep moving.

We are in a car area, so my bike is out of commission... never will ride it again.  When I was packing the bike, I found out the seat bar had actually rusted into the bike.  It's like cement and won’t move.  So my only option was to force the seat down and remove the top of the seat to get it to fit into the box.  It was a rough cut and the bike is just had it. So I won't be sending that bike home ha ha.

Well that's all the info I have for the area I can think of.  If there are any questions please let me know!

Elder Bringhurst



Monday, August 19, 2013


August 12, 2013

So I will do a quick letter about transfers.  I have been transferred and I do not know yet where I am going but I know I am leaving tomorrow morning.  Elder Wallace will stay here and train a new missionary.  I don't know where I'm going, who I will be with, or whether or not I still will be the district leader.  It will be fun to find out.  But I probably will spend my last two transfers in this last area until I go home. 

This week was largely uneventful.  I knew pretty much that I was leaving, so I wanted to see as many people as I could.  The last couple of days have been spent trying to get some pictures of people (if I don't mom will probably kill me ha ha).  We had a fun day today going up to grand mesa and hiking and fishing in various spots. I couldn't fish with no fishing pole, so another missionary and I put together a "man vs. wild" spear fashioned out of a knife and a tree branch and tried to spear fish coming up to the lake's edge.  We didn't catch anything ha ha.  Anyway, it was an interesting and fun time and I got a lot of pictures of the beautiful scenery up there. 

A lot of people were sad to see me go, but I think we did really well this week.  I've got to pack and such, and that will be fun, but on to the final phase of my mission!

Elder Bringhurst

August 14, 2013

I have just been sent to my new area and I am in Naturita, Colorado, a tiny little town.  The ward is not a ward, but a branch.  About 20 people or so come to church each week, so this will be a new experience.  The area is really gorgeous, but the work is really slow, mostly because we spend about 3 hours a day just driving.  My companion is Elder Southworth, who has been out as long as I have, and we are in the library today because he had to finish emailing, so I figured that I would send a quick letter to tell everyone where I was at.

Elder Bringhurst
P.O. Box 241
Naturita, CO, 81422






Monday, August 12, 2013

Onward ever onward

August 5, 2013

This week was a little strange to me because I realized I only had 3 months remaining of my mission.  I think that's 7/8 of the way done. That's crazy.  So first a funny story.  We had testimony meeting this Sunday and I think only a couple people really shared their testimony. The rest just shared their "2 cents" on what the ward needs to improve on.  One lady told the ward that rejecting a calling is rejecting God, and that they need to repent for turning down a calling, and one older brother got up and told the ward that "there are people in this congregation that won't do their home or visiting teaching because they are lazy."   Then he brought me into it.  "Elder Brinkerhoff (everyone apparently thinks this is my name) was at my house for dinner yesterday and we talked about being straightforward with people and now I'm being straightforward."  Can I tell you, you never feel more helpless as a missionary than when someone gets up bearing a really awkward "testimony." 

There were two types of testimonies... Thankimonies and rebukimonies.  So I got up there and at the beginning of my testimony I said "I was pondering what to say for my testimony, so I first had to find out what a testimony is.  I decided that a testimony really is a witness - a witness to the reality of an event or thing, seen or unseen.  So I will bear my witness to the reality of..." I tried to subtly hint that a testimony is not a talk.  It’s a witness.

Anyway we had a sad experience as well.  We are teaching a part member family who talk way too much, and Elder Wallace and I decided after much prayer and counseling with ward leaders that we needed to drop them (stop teaching them).  It was really sad, but we went in there with almost a script that we put together during companionship study.  In essence we simply stated that our lessons mean nothing unless you act on them, and that it would be better for us and for them if we took a break for a couple months.  Well we went in there and she took that to mean she wasn't welcome at church and that we were telling them they were horrible people.  So she starts putting us on a "guilt trip" ("I've been going to church and paying my tithing and praying!") and at the end of her monologue she threw us out of the house and told us never to come back.  Oh dear.

In other news, transfers are this week, and I'm pretty sure that I am going to go to another area, but I'm not 100 percent.  So I will let you know next week what the verdict is.

That's all I have this week.  I love you all and have a great week!

Elder Bringhurst



The Summer Continues

July 29, 2013

I have been doing something interesting for the last part of my mission.  I was thinking of ways that I could improve my ability to have more effective personal study (because 20 months into your mission, you can only read Preach my Gospel so many times.) So I bought a composition notebook and began a "study journal"  but it’s not a list of scriptures and zone conferences, they are essays.  I write based on what I observe and think about as a missionary.  They cover a variety of topics and I'm also using them to better improve my abhorring handwriting.  So I plan on writing at least 1 essay a day and by the time I'm done I'll have a large collection of essays.

 Anyway, so my birthday…  Well my birthday was kind of a bust on p -day and we didn't really do anything, so it was pretty bad.  But I guess the zone leaders felt bad so they planned a "surprise" birthday on Thursday.  They took the liberty of buying me a cake, a bunch of dollar store gifts (including a "fake" lottery ticket, they had me going there for a second, but then I read the fine print and they just started laughing at me)  and they also got me a gallon of milk... whole milk.  That just wasn't fair!  So I attempted the gallon challenge.  I was doing really well.  In 5 minutes I had drank half of the gallon.  But I was almost done,  only 4/5 of it remaining (I guess your body has a way of "measuring" the content in your stomach... a gallon of milk is approximately 8.6 pounds....) and well, I guess my body rejected it because I went from feeling fine to loosing it all!  Oh it was nasty; they even caught the whole thing on video!  It was really nasty ha ha.  It came out my nose and I couldn't get the smell of rotten milk out of my nose all day.  Ha ha it was a big laugh.  So yes I failed.  I drank it too fast.  I still had over a half hour remaining and I thought I could just finish it all up.  But I needed to take it slower.  Everyone says I could have done it no sweat if it was 1 or 2 percent milk.  But no... I did whole milk. It was a big laugh to say the least.

On the missionary front we had a great week.  We had 22 lessons and that is a lot more than we usually get, so things are going great there.  Nobody getting close yet, but we are working our hardest with the people that we have.  Thank you all for all of the fabulous birthday gifts!

Elder Bringhurst


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My 21st Year

Thank you for all of your birthday wishes and your gifts.  It really made my day.  I even decorated the apartment with the decorations that were sent to me.  Thank you all so much!

We have had a really good week.  We taught a lot of lessons and a lot of them were to investigators.  So a lot of fun was had in teaching so many people.  We also had an excellent missionary minded Sunday.  Bro McCann spoke in sacrament meeting and gave an excellent talk on missionary work.  He effectively said that missionary work needs to shift from being simply tracting and inviting people to church, but an everyday service type of mindset.  He said that by small and simple things, great things are brought to pass, so missionary work can have a great harvest if every member begins to do the small and simple things that eventually bring souls to the gospel.  It was really great.

Another part is sad.  Last night Sister McCann, brother McCann’s wife, heart stopped beating and she was rushed to the hospital.  They got her going again and she is currently in the ICU.  We are praying for her to get better.  Her son called us, the missionaries, because we were the first people he thought of to ask for help.  It was sweet of him.  So we hope she will be able to recover to full health.

That's all in the news of missionary front this week.  Thank you all for your support and have a wonderful week!

Elder Bringhurst



Saturday, July 20, 2013


Me at Mount Garfield
July 15, 2013

So we had a couple of cool experiences this week that were unexpected.  One is that we are doing something called the "prayer approach" with people, wherein we ask to leave a priesthood blessing on their home and pray for their specific challenges.  Every time I have done this, there has been a remarkable outcome.  I'll share a couple. 

We were contacting a former investigator known in our records only as the "Padilla" family.  The record indicated that they were very close to baptism a while ago with other missionaries but that they started going to another church because their children didn't like our church.  Well we knocked on her door early this week and she opened the door and said she was busy.  But I asked if there was anything we could do and she said that times were rough right now and just to pray for her family, so we offered to say a prayer in her home.  She accepted and asked her what we should pray for specifically.  Her eyes welled up with tears and she explained how her teenage daughter was on probation and was constantly sneaking out and that the family was suffering because of the decisions she was making.  We talked a little while longer and we wrote down everything we were to pray for (we have to do this, they ask for a lot sometimes).  Elder Wallace then offered the prayer, and you could hear her sobbing during the prayer.  After the prayer we asked her how she felt, and she said she felt "as if a large burden was taken off of her shoulders."  We offered to help clean her house up a bit and she accepted again.  After we left we set up an appointment to return.  When we returned, we asked how things were doing and she said that conditions in her house and with her daughter drastically improved after the prayer and she was surprised at that.  We taught her some of the 1st lesson and she wanted us to keep coming back and teaching her more.

The next experience is similar.  We are teaching a less active lady and she had been blowing us off for a few weeks and even sent a text saying she "wasn't ready for the commitment."  We decided to stop by yesterday after church, and we found her watering her garden and invited us in.  After our first pleasantries she said sorry for blowing us off and told us that her family was being torn apart because of differences and her granddaughters were being hurt by relatives and that her nephew was being charged for murder that she believes he didn't commit.  Again, we offered to give this prayer and she accepted.  Her daughter (also a less active member of the church) joined us and asked that we pray for her and her husband's marriage to succeed.  I offered the prayer this time, and afterwards we asked how she felt.  She said she felt peaceful and that everything was going to be okay.  She told us that just before we came by, she and her daughter were talking about the situation and she felt more scared and alone than ever before.  She went out to water her garden and then she heard our voices call to her and she saw us riding up to her house.  She said a prayer of gratitude to Father in Heaven and invited us in.  It was a neat one.

We also got to meet President Murdock this week.  He came to our district and interviewed us all with his wife.  He has 10 kids (all active in the church) and he served a mission in England I believe.  He is way different than president Maynes.  He almost reminds me a bit of bishop Borup.  He is really funny and full of energy.  So it was nice to get acquainted with him.

Well that's all I have for this week.  I love you all and have a great one!

Elder Bringhurst



Slow week, but still fun

July 8, 2013

So this week was quite uneventful.  We really couldn't get much done on the 4th of July and it was also transfers this week as well, so we had a slow start to the transfer.  But that's okay!  We were able to do our first JustServe project on Friday.  We went to a place called Habitat for Humanity where they sell thrift items to raise money to build houses for charity.  We worked at the store and volunteered for about 3 hours to help stock shelves, move furniture, and complete orders.   It was a really good experience.  Elder Wallace worked in the office doing some office work and the office lady said they would hire him because he worked so fast.  Also our manager said "these are the kind of volunteers that I like.  They are always bugging you to see what they can do next."  It was really positive and turned out to be the best idea for us all.  A lot of the staff and volunteers were just juvenile delinquents or people working for food stamps so they aren't used to having actual hardworking people.  A lot of them asked us about the church and we even got a referral for another ward while we were there.  I think the church is on the right track with this.

In other news, we got Serena baptized (less active mother and nonmember father.)  She turns 9 on the15th so it got done just in time.  Serena even asked me to speak on baptism so it was really neat.  Every one of her family members were in tears and even her father shed a tear or two.  Her father also seemed really anxious to meet with us this week, so maybe the spirit spoke to him! 

We also got Brandon at church.  I've taken a special interest in him while I've been here and it looks like it might be working.  I asked him how long it’s been since he's come to church and he said I was the first missionary in several years, perhaps a decade that actually succeeded in getting him here.  He said "I've been pretty stubborn" "You just needed another missionary more stubborn than you then," I replied.  "I think the proper term is 'persistent'" he says.  That was funny.

Well that’s all I have this week.  I'm glad everyone had fun on their trips and hope you have a great summer!

Elder Bringhurst

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Transfer news

ADMINISTRATOR NOTE: Sorry folks for getting behind on the posts. With girl’s camp and our cruise to Alaska I’ve been gone. Enjoy getting caught up!

July 1, 2013

Well, Elder Wallace and I are staying together another transfer. It’s been a fun transfer and I'm excited to stay another transfer! I love this ward and I'm excited about all that has been going on. Elder Wallace and I gave a talk yesterday in church and it was really great (even though I only had 7 minutes to give my prepared 20 minute talk ha ha. So I ended up just giving the basics and bearing my testimony about the restoration). It really was a great day and a great experience. Brother McCann, our ward mission leader, gave a great talk in the 3rd hour to all the adult members about ward missionary work. It was so cool to see him get up there and magnify his calling even though he was still so new to the church.

We also were able to help a part member family get their 8 year old daughter an interview for baptism and will be baptized next week. It's almost like a "less active" baptism.

Well we bid farewell to President Maynes last Friday as President Murdock takes the front seat for the next 3 years. I haven't met him yet, but apparently he owns a car dealership in Bountiful. He's 58 years old and that's all I really know (oh and I guess he has 10 children)

This week was rough. I had to deal with a wee bit of a fever on Friday and Saturday. I have this pain on the left side of my neck behind my Adams apple and it’s making it hard to swallow.   So I'm going to see a doctor tomorrow for that. It's not very fun.  I couldn’t really sleep last night because of it.

Anywho, that’s all I have on the missionary front. We keep going on and keep pushing through!

Elder Bringhurst





Life and Times

June 24, 2013

Well it's been another week gone to who knows where, but I've had a pretty good week. Might I say first how much missionary exchanges are starting to wear on me? I really don't have a lot of energy left for the whole deal, as we went on the 4th exchange of the transfer with a 5th being prepared for in the coming week. That's kind of nuts.

 Okay, this week. This week was good. I got a strong impression not to see the Satanist guy anymore so we didn't see him. But we have had a great week otherwise. One moment was really great. A couple (the wife is a nonmember) finally came around to see us after an incredible 4 week stretch of not seeing us, and the brother told me that I was his favorite missionary that he had in his home and that at first he thought I was a cocky doctor’s son but now really loves me and he said that I changed his life and helped him through some of the hardest times of these last few weeks and calls us all of the time now asking if we need rides. It was really neat; he got really emotional during the whole thing.

Another highlight was church. We had an incredible 6 nonmembers in sacrament meeting and another 5-6 less actives as well. So things really did turn out pretty well. I'm excited for everyone to have been there. It was a blast. We were running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to wrangle everyone to class (like 20 people or so were in gospel principles, from last week’s 5)

Last thing, the mission president broadcast. Wow that was neat. One of the big jokes I have with brother McCann, (who was sustained yesterday as ward mission leader after his September baptism last year!) is that missionaries need I-Pads to electronically store all the info of people we teach (rather than a mess of teaching records and bad addresses known as the "area book") so that we can better function more efficiently as missionaries. He was cracking up at the broadcast when Elder Perry talked about "mobile devices" that the missionaries would get with the change to a more cyberspace approach to missionary work. The other thing that was cool was that apparently the churches will be opened at other times during the week for guided tours by the missionaries ???  Not a lot of specifics there but he said one of the complaints received was that "people would get the courage to come to an LDS building, only to find it locked and empty."  But missionaries using Facebook and other resources to proselyte?? That’s nuts. Too bad by the time it gets implemented I will probably be returning home. But how exciting for future missionaries.

Another cool thing is that Bishop asked Elder Wallace and I to each give a 20 minute talk in sacrament meeting. He said "I want you to speak as if the whole congregation was investigators, and you were trying to convert them." He gave me an assignment to speak on the restoration, and Elder Wallace the plan of Salvation. This will be awesome. He said the object is to set the tone for the 5th Sunday lesson (which is on the Mission president broadcast taught by our convert ward mission leader Brother McCann) taught in the 3rd hour.

So it has been eventful, wonderful things are happening and it will continue to grow!

Elder Bringhurst




Crazy Times

June 17, 2013

So I was on the phone with another missionary because he was having some problems with his companion and he needed to talk to me, and he says "hang on." And this lady comes up to him on the other line saying how wrong they are about telling people they need to change. She said "those missionary friends of yours on bikes (elder Wallace and I) told some of my tenants that they are going to hell!" (We didn't.   I told this lady that in order to get baptized she needed to get off probation and quit smoking. I guess she took that to mean I was telling her she's going to hell  -- ha ha)  This other Elder was being reasonable with her but she was drunk and I could just hear the conversation getting more and more vicious on her part. She started cursing (a perfect indicator that she knows she is losing control of the conversation) and telling him never to bother her tenants. So she storms off (cursing like a sailor) and I told the missionary to stay on the phone and tell me what she was doing. She goes to a shed, picks up a hammer and a little revolver and starts marching back to the house. I'm getting nervous now and I told this elder that if she gets within 10 feet of the house to call the cops. Well, one of the neighbors saw her and convinced her to let go of the gun and the hammer. So crisis averted. So that's my crazy experience of the week.

We also picked up a very strange new investigator who calls himself "toshy" (A name given to him by a sensei of his). Well, we met this guy at City Market, and asked if he wanted a Book of Mormon and he said yes.  So we went over to his house the next day and WOW, this guy is crazy. He's a self declared communist and he's considered Satan as his Savior.  Oh and did I mention that he said that everyone that doesn't benefit society should deserve to die? Yeah we have some work to do with him.

Well that's my week. Neither Roberto nor Bill showed up to church.  How sad. But we will keep moving!

Elder Bringhurst




Sunday, June 16, 2013

Bring on the heat!

June 10, 2013

I don't understand it, but I'm pretty sure a month ago it was below freezing... Well today it is supposed to be in the triple digits! ouch. Needless to say, it’s been hot. Kind of embarrassing to go to every appointment with sweat going down my back like a waterfall. I have to drink an incredible amount of water, and my milk cravings have gone up as well, up to 3- 4 gallons a week! So I'm definitely in drinking water and milk mode.

We've had a "separating the wheat from the tares" week as well. We had to drop a few people that weren't progressing and a few people dropped us as well because they didn't want to talk "religion." (interesting that you let Mormon missionaries in with the intention NOT to talk religion) anyway, we have been praying for new investigators. I really thought it was turning hopeless until we get a text from bishop that literally says "Hey I got a new investigator for you, he will be in church on Sunday." This was Bill, a slower guy who lives alone and works at home Depot. He was introduced to the church by a mystery less active member who we don't know and he showed up yesterday and stayed all three hours. We will be seeing him on Saturday and hopefully will get something out of it. I was dumbfounded, I couldn't believe it. I was hoping God would provide but not THAT miraculously and instantaneously. I call these types of investigators "manna from heaven" because they seem to come out of nowhere. I really was grateful for this.

Also, this Hispanic guy named Roberto has been coming to church and staying all three hours each time. He speaks a little English, but this time he surprised everyone. He showed up to church and (just to be clear this guy waxes floors for a living, not a rich guy) he tries to pay his tithing! We had to explain that since he wasn't a member he did not need to pay tithing and he said "well then I want to be a member." Sweet! (only problem is he doesn't live anywhere.. so that will be a little bit of a stretch to get missionaries to him.) But once he gets an apartment we can assign him the appropriate missionaries. That is really awesome! Talk about a solid investigator with real intent. This guy understands about half of what he hears, but he stays all three hours, awake and attentive with a big smile on his face, and he felt the need to pay his tithing. Those types are rare. But we got his number and will follow up as soon as we can!

Well that's all I have for this week. It has been a roller coaster but we did manage another week with 20 lessons, so things are still rolling!

Elder Bringhurst



Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Another Week

Well I don't have anything this week of too much consequence in highlight, other than some news we got at zone conference this week. Apparently The CDSM (Colorado Denver South Mission) has been chosen along with only 3 other missions to pilot this new church program called "JustServe." The point of the program is intended to show the world that we don't just talk of the Savior, but strive to follow his example. The basis of the program is to have full time missionaries and ward members work together to do community service every week in conjunction with charity organizations and other faiths. We are required to strive to do between 4 and 10 hours on non proselyting community service each week in an attempt to have a bigger impact in the community and to dissolve misconceptions about members of the church. It will begin to be implemented in a couple of weeks (the idea is just in its infancy so we will have to fix all of the kinks and other minor glitches as we go along). will be the main site for us and members and zone leaders will post a bunch of projects going on in the community there and we can sign up from there. It is a really neat new program and I think it will work out pretty well.

Also the new mission president conference being held at the MTC later this month has always been a closed circuit program for new mission presidents, but this time the first presidency has asked that everyone with a calling associated with missionary work be a part of the proceedings. It’s a historic new development and everyone is actually really excited for it all!

 On the missionary front we had a couple of exchanges this week that went pretty well, and we found 2 new investigators this week! So were doing well on the numbers front.

The weather has also gotten pretty warm, with a high of 90 predicted for today, so I'm carrying a lot of water. I also got into my first boxing match of my life last Monday. I've never really boxed in my life so it was interesting. I boxed Elder Nadauld in about a 2 minute round. None of us really won but it was still pretty fun.

Well that's all I have for this week and I'm really excited for the coming events!

Elder Bringhurst


New Companion, New Day

May 28, 2013

So I received my new companion a last week on Tuesday. His name is Elder Wallace, he's from a microscopic town called Paint Rock in Texas. (217 people) He's pretty awesome. We liked each other from the get-go. He is only one transfer behind me so we are both pretty experienced missionaries. So things will be pretty good. Elder Nielson left to serve in Montrose.

This first week was pretty slow because I decided to stop seeing all of the OUP's (old useless people) that occupied a good amount of our time. But being district leader is already a good challenge. Day 2 of the transfer I get a call from another missionary saying that they cannot stand their companion and they want to go on exchanges. So it looks like it will be fun.

As district leader I conduct district meetings, go on exchanges with every missionary in the district and with the zone leaders (which the zone leaders are a part of my district meeting).  We also have a senior couple in our district so, in all, there are 10 people in the district: 4 elder missionary companionships (including myself) and the senior couple.

The first district meeting went really well. We did a fun game getting to know each other and it was pretty cool. I also drew 9 dots in the pattern of a 3x3 box, and had them think of ways that they can draw one continuous line that only changes direction 3 times and will intersect all 9 lines. They have to be straight lines. There is only 1 possible solution, and they kept trying to make it work. (The trick is you have to think "outside of the box".) While they were thinking, I wrote the quote "insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result." Albert Einstein. So while they are doing this, they look at the quote and start laughing because they can't figure it out. So I showed the correct solution and the lines go "outside the box" to make it work. It was an effective training. I told them missionary work is the same. If you find out something is not working, it will continue to not work. We can't be stuck in a rut and we want to try something new.

Well Elder Wallace and I are doing pretty good. Things are going great and I'm excited to see what happens for the transfer.

Elder Bringhurst


Monday, May 27, 2013


May 20, 2013

This week the transfer news was pretty much expected. Elder Nielson was expected to leave and he is, so tomorrow I will be getting a new companion. It should be pretty fun. But there was another surprise. President Maynes has asked me to be the district leader for next transfer! It's my first time doing it, so I hope I do a good job. He told me that I have "proven to be a diligent missionary" so he issued me the call. So we will see what happens with that.

We also got a new less active to teach. She hasn't been to church in 9 years, but we contacted her because her daughter tried out for the college's music program headed by Dr. Atkinson, who is also President Atkinson, the western stakes mission president who has similar authority to President Maynes. He encouraged her to meet with the missionaries again, and she agreed so now we will start teaching her. It should be pretty neat, she seems like she really wants to go to the temple. I want good things to happen for this area, and I have an opportunity to make it happen now, so things should really get going here pretty soon.

Thank you all for your love and support.

Elder Bringhurst

 P.S. I did my piano solo yesterday as well and it went really well. I didn't make any mistakes and the next speaker choked up a little at the beginning of her talk because of it. We also hiked a mountain called Mt. Garfield today in the morning. It's a 2 mile hike that ascends 2000 feet. DAH!! It was super steep. But I outlasted all the other missionaries up it (a couple gave up) and was the first one up there. So I guess I'm still healthy even though I'm fat.  Ha ha



May 13. 2013

We were teaching an investigator named Frank the other day, and then some people came out to talk to us including a recent convert that I taught clear back when I was serving in the 9th ward at the beginning of my mission. Come to find out, he stopped going to church, fell off the bandwagon, and started attending another church. I talked with him a long time while we were there. I told him that he knew that our church was true, and he knew it because the Spirit had told him. I told him he was an Aaronic Priesthood holder that has a responsibility to fulfill his calling, and that he needs to return. It was a powerful moment, and finally he admitted that he still had a testimony but was just having a hard time quitting smoking. I got his phone number and he committed to once again start attending church! It was cool.

Also a Baptist minister-in-training pulled over to talk to us with the intent that we needed to be saved. A couple of funny moments: him - "Are you saved?" me- "Are we in heaven?"  him - "No.“ me - " Well, I guess I haven’t been saved yet because I'm still here."   Another one:  him - "Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior by confessing him with your mouth?" me -  "Yes."  Him -  "When?" me -  " At my baptism." him -  "Well,  baptism isn't essential for going to heaven."  me -  "What about the Savior's declaration 'he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned?' " .... no comment on his side. Anyway, I got him to admit I was "saved" and that opened up for me to ask him to read the Book of Mormon. "I only read the Bible." was his reply "it’s all I need." I felt inspired to say "but what if it is true?" No comment and he drove off. It was funny. That's an abridged version but still it was pretty humorous.

We also had this family move in that apparently is black listed so I get a call from at least 4 people telling us not to associate with them at all.   Whatever. It all is confusing. So I hit my 18 month mark last week! Crazy. Well that's all I have this week. I love you all and have a great week!

Elder Bringhurst


Saturday, May 11, 2013

What Happens When Drugs and Christianity Collide?

So a couple days ago we received a referral from some other missionaries for a17 year old looking for positivity in his life. We had some time yesterday so I suggested we check it out. 

We enter into this trailer park called Riverview, probably the most low income place in our ward (It was kind of like the "scary" neighborhood from "The Blind Side"). We had never been there before so we got a little nervous. Well anyway we bike around the park to the trailer he lives in, and out he comes, ready to meet us. Totally drunk and stoned, he starts going on and on and on about government conspiracies and (I kid you not) the impending Zombie apocalypse. I wasn't exactly sure how to take this kid. He was extremely Christian and very much what you would call a "believer." He said, "I've been saved by the grace of God, I'm good." I'm sitting there thinking, “well you got a ways to go,”  Anyway, after about a half hour of this (and a couple of random prayers thrown in there) I started to tell him we could help him get off drugs but he needed to meet with us regularly. I said "I have two conditions, 1. That you are sober, and 2. That you read what we ask you to read and pray about it. He consented and we will be seeing him on Wednesday. I'm super excited to teach him.   Think about it.  What if we manage to get him off drugs, stop drinking, coming to church, and straightening out his life? That's amazing! Not only that, when we were about to leave, the OTHER 19 year old we met a few days ago pulls in to that same trailer and recognizes us. Small world!

The ringing in my ear is still there, but not as bad as it was. Sound is a lot clearer so everything will be good. After I sent my letter last Monday I mentioned what happened to President Maynes in that letter. Not 10 minutes later I get a phone call from him. He said "Elder Bringhurst, couple of questions. 1. Why were you playing with a potato cannon?" I felt really stupid at that point. "Because a member of our ward wanted to show us his potato cannon so it perked my curiosity.” Then he asked if I actually got hit by the tennis ball inside. I said no. Anyway he wanted me to go to a doctor (President, you realize that there isn't anything they can do for this type of injury?) So we went to a member doctor who looked at it for free. He said I had some minor hearing loss (doc the problem isn't hearing loss, is hearing bamboozlement) but my eardrum wasn't ruptured. So everything should calm down soon in the ear.

Well that's my update this week.  Hope everything continues to be Awesome!

Elder Bringhurst


Monday, April 29, 2013

Two Words: Potato Cannon

I had an interesting experience this week. We are teaching a self proclaimed "jack Mormon" named and he is an interesting guy. He connects really well with the people here in Grand Junction, so he is a great contact to have.

He has all of these cool toys, like he let me shoot this 80 pound crossbow that's about the size of a pistol (whoa), and he had some fun. Then he said "hey do you want to see my potato cannon?" (I was imagining like a PVC pipe with a funnel attached to it powered by an air compressor). "Sure" I said. I needed a drink inside so while I was getting a drink, unbeknownst to me, he was filling a large metal potato cannon with gas. I came outside, unaware he had already loaded it and said "whoa that's super cool, can I hold it?" He chuckles, "sure just hold it real straight." I don't know why I didn't catch he had loaded it so I said "why?"  He said "You'll see." He then strikes on a wielder and just as soon as I realize what's going on ---- BOOOOOOOOOOOM!!! The loudest noise I've ever heard literally pushes against me, followed by the most acute ringing in my left ear I'd ever heard. About 15 seconds after the blast the tennis ball that was inserted inside landed near the house.

That ringing didn't go away. My ear is still ringing as I write this letter and everything sounds like it’s underwater in my left ear (my right ear is okay thank goodness) This happened Saturday afternoon, so yup..still ringing. I'll add that to my list of stupid things I've done in my life haha. No my ear didn't bleed and most people I've talked to said it will go away in a couple days.

Another interesting experience. We were biking and someone's dog decided to dart in front of our bikes (super smart) causing us to slow for fear of running the dog over. Well the owner came over, a19 year old who announced he was high on drugs and was conversing with his friend. We started talking with him and then got to start talking to him and his friends. The conversation went really well and he actually handed out 2 books of Mormon and a pamphlet with our phone number. Haven't seen them since but hey, the whole need no physician right?

Can't think of any other things that happened this week, but we are still trying. I wish I could get at least 1 more baptism though.

Elder Bringhurst