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