The verdict is........ Elder Koo and I are staying together! I thought
most likely one of us would leave, I have never had a companion for
longer than two transfers. Not anymore though! This transfer will be
shorter though, four weeks long instead of six. I think because of the
holidays. That means the next one will probably be 8 weeks long to
make up for it. We are excited to still be together. We both love this
stake and we work well together. The work was unusually slow this week
however, so we are kind of bummed about that, but we know that we need
to keep working hard and we will find more people. We moved into
Pepperwood on Wednesday. We have one of the nicest apartments in the
mission now. We have a full kitchen, a bathroom, and our own washer
and dryer. I'm most excited for the kitchen, now I can buy the good
food! We will miss the Martins though, who we were living with before.
We are now with the McHenrys. They have been very kind to us and let
us move in even though they have a lot going on right now. They also
have supplied us with a lot of things they didn't need to. We also had
some more snow this week. It stuck this time. I've never driven in
snow before... we're alive though so I think we will be good. Other
changes in our district this transfer is Elder Walker has a new
companion. His name is Elder Alpin. I have been with Elder Alpin in a
few zones before so I know him. He is coming from my old area, the
Midvalley stake. Elder Austin, Elder Walker's last companion, is taking
his spot in the Midvalley stake. He will do good there. We also have
both zone leaders in our district now. We only had one the past few
transfers. It will be a good transfer. I'm glad that I don't have
anyone that I need to worry about. They are all good missionaries and
will see a lot of success. Thanksgiving is this week. We have had more
offers for us to come to people's homes than I think I can count.
People have even started to offer for Christmas as well. It's crazy.
Transfers will happen about the week before Christmas, so Elder Koo
and I don't know if we will even be here. We are excited for
Thanksgiving, it will be Elder Koo's first one. They obviously don't
have that in China or Korea. We have already been getting a lot of
food from members, but I feel we will have an overflowing fridge this
next week after the holiday. Things are going well, we are just trying
to find more work. Have a great week and Happy Thanksgiving!!!! Love
Elders Koo, Walker, Alpin and McKinney (with a beanie!)
Got our first real snow this week. Most of it has melted though.
Temperature dropped really quickly. It's been in the 20's the past
couple days. Had to start bundling up. Got out the coat, gloves,
scarf, beanie, and long sleeves. Other than that it has been a pretty
normal week. We went out and tried to find people to teach. Tracting
in the cold is not the most fun thing to do, but that is alright. We
tracted into two families that seem like really good potentials so we
are excited for that. One of them speaks Chinese so Elder Koo will be
the one doing everything there. We are still waiting to hear from
Hernalens father. We got a call too that we will be moving into
Pepperwood on transfer day which is this Wednesday. Which then means
that I am not sure if I will ever live there or not. Whether I'm being
transferred or not I guess I need to still pack up... that is kind of
depressing. I've got a lot of stuff to pack. Oh well. Things are going
well though, having a good time and enjoying being on a mission. Hope
you all have a great week!
And in Mom's letter: I've been having my stake president's
wife teach me how to play the piano a little bit. I haven't really had
much time for practice, but I think I've learned enough that I could
teach myself if I had time. I've got most of Nearer My God to Thee
down. No idea what will happen with transfers, I'll have someone let
you know though. Hope you have a great week! Love you!
This week was great! The weather has been nice so far. Supposed to
start getting colder now though. I have realized this week how much I
really love this stake. Elder Baclawski is back in his own stake now
with another companion. He is with Elder Pugh. It is Elder Pugh's
first transfer, he has been out for about 5 weeks now. So Elder Koo
and I have been by ourselves since Tuesday. It has been kind of nice
to only have to worry about one stake again, but it was still fun to
have him with us. We might be moving soon into the Pepperwood area.
There is a family that is willing to house us but it needs to be
approved by the mission first so we will see if it works out. I just
hope that if we do move we get a sticker for the gate. Normally when
we go into pepperwood we stop for the guards. All of them are really
cool with us and they stopped asking where we are going and just open
the gate for us. But it would be nice to go through the residence side
where it opens automatically for all the cars with stickers. Oh well,
its cool to talk to them still so I won't mind either way. Elder Koo
doesn't know how to drive because they need to be 19 in China to
drive. Now that he is here though he can get his license. So I took
him to a church parking lot and started to teach him how to drive. It
was quite fun actually. He did very well for his first time driving.
I'll let him practice a few more times and then he can go get his
permit and start driving during they day as long as I'm in the car
with him. Then eventually he can get his license so that will be good.
The mission actually encourages the missionaries to get licenses if
they don't already have one. Things have been going good though
overall. Hernalen wants to get baptized, but in her culture (she is
from the Philippines) they don't make any big choices like this
without the consent of the parents. So she is waiting for her dad to
give consent. The mother is already on board. It is hard though
because they live back in the Philippines and he is gone a lot for
work. Other than that though she is ready to be baptized. She is the
only one we are teaching right now unfortunately but we will find some
more this week :) We went to the baptism of an eight year old this
last Saturday. It was the sister of Ryan B. who was baptized in July
right before Elder Williams left. She turned eight last month and so
she was baptized :) We also got to have a companion study with
President and Sister Bishop on Saturday morning. He is the first
counselor in the mission presidency and he lives in our area. They've
been saying ever since I've been here that they've wanted to do one,
but we finally had one haha. It was really cool and we learned some
different ways to try to find service here in the area. Things are
going well. Thank you for all that you do for me, I really appreciate
it. Love you all and hope you have a great week!
Unfortunately, it is true. This morning when we got up for workout
there was snow on the car. Yesterday it had snowed on half of the
mountain. It has begun, and I want it to end. Oh well, life goes on.
This week was good though! Still in a threesome and still covering two
stakes. Fun stuff. I'm glad though because the stake that we are
covering that was not originally our own has not seen a lot of work
for the past seven or so months and now we found someone to teach and
they are on date to be baptized this month! We are excited for that.
Her name is Mary C. Hernalen is doing well and is ready to be
baptized, but she wants her father to approve it first. Her parents
live in the Philippines. Those are the only investigators we have
right now. Malia is doing well since her baptism. We had stake
conference this weekend in our stake. The Saturday night session was
all about the life of Christ and the Sunday session was about the
hastening of the work of salvation. It was all really wonderful and
lots of great talks! I went on an exchange with one of the sets of
Elders in our district. I went with Elder Austin. He is really great
and we are actually a lot alike so it was great to be with him for a
full 24 hours. I love being in my stake though :) I've loved every
stake I've served in. Our mission president came up with what we call
our core beliefs. They are five beliefs that we are trying to make a
part of ourselves. He also gave us another study guide that goes along
with those core beliefs so I am really excited for that! I've already
started studying it and it is wonderful! Here are our core beliefs:
1. I will learn, love, live, and teach the doctrine of Christ. I am
called to the work of the harvest. Bringing souls to Christ and to the
blessings of the Atonement will be my passion.
2. I will be a preach my gospel missionary(the manual that teaches us
how to be missionaries) and be exactly obedient to the missionary
handbook (our rules basically)
3. I will fear no man. As the Lord's representative and in doing His
work I will boldly go forth and open my mouth to share the gospel with
4. I will strive daily through scripture study, prayer, and personal
righteousness for the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. I will
courageously follow His direction.
5. I will let the Sacrament change me each week as I use it to access
the Atonement and to renew my covenants with the Lord.
Our belief is that we will be successful as we do that. Successful in
fulfilling our purpose as missionaries as well as successful in
changing ourselves along the way.
I hope you all have a great week! Love you all!
Elder Baclawski and Elder McKinney in front, Elder Walker (from Clovis!), Elder Austin and Elder Koo in the back
Note from the editor: Prayers are answered and Elder McKinney found his camera! It was in a box of supplies... YAY!