Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Merry Christmas

I was thinking really the best gift that I have to offer my family, my Heavenly Father, and everyone I know is my testimony:
"I am so very humbled and grateful to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints and to hold the Holy Melchezidek Priesthood of God. I know that this is Christ’s true church. I know that the prophet Joseph Smith was called to restore the church and bring forth the Book of Mormon as a witness of the gospel in its fullness. The Book of Mormon is filled with important principles and covenants that will bring us closer to our Savior, Jesus Christ, and therefore understand His will for me and how I can return to him and my Heavenly Father. I know that without the love of Jesus Christ for me and His Atonement, I would be nothing and nowhere. All I must do is accept Christ as my redeemer, repent of my sins and short comings, and make and keep the sacred ordinances of salvation. I long for the day my family will be united forever. My responsibility now is to help the rest of God’s children back to their Heavenly Father, and do all I can to prove myself worthy to return to my heavenly Father’s presence. This is the great plan of Happiness meant for as many as will accept it. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen". Bryce Wainwright

Monday, December 14, 2009

Happy Monday

Darn it, I had a letter written and then it got closed because a worker was showing a customer this laptop. Oh well, it'll just be shorter than I want it. I just wrote Bruce though. Thanks so much for your letter and email Mom. I didn't realize Kendall already left and he might be in Mississippi right now. Maybe I could write him if you have his address. I feel bad I never wrote Kyle. Anyway I kinda have been a little discouraged I guess from not having anyone to teach and maybe from the dark. But honestly it's not bad a all, especially because we've already had one baptism and Saturday he baptized his daughter and niece. We haven't seen the sun for like a week from tons of fog. It's actually pretty cool and everything is frosted white. Oh yeah I'm going to try and send a package home tomorrow with some pictures and stuff I don't need. I'm glad Grandma got to come down and see the nativity and the kids and stuff. That's too bad you did all the decorating by yourself. Have a great week Mom and I'll talk to you soon!
Elder Bryce

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Jrnl 11-24-09 through 12-3-09

Jrnl 11-24-09
Last night it was actually raining and melted some of the snow, so today it all turned to ice. I only slipped once and that was leaving someone’s house in the dark. Actually, it was our new investigator, but she’s a funny lady. She is living with a Samoan member family and she’s native American, and the first thing she said when we got there is she’s not going to be a Mormon. She’s even read some of the “Mormon Bible” already. So we cleared up some stuff up for her and committed her to keep reading. Right after that we were able to give Shenna a blessing because she’s having a hysterectomy or something and has been in a lot of pain. We also went with Beau to get her an MP3 player and stuff. She’ll be in the hospital for at least 2 days and Beau has to work so it’ll be tuff, but the Relief Society is going to provide meals and stuff.
Jrnl 11-25-09
Elder Connors gave a good district meeting this morning, mainly about the importance of gathering in the 12 tribes in preparation for the Second coming and having enough faith to do God’s will and expect Him to provide a way to accomplish His purposes.
The new missionaries came in today. 2 sisters, and like 12 Elders. They keep opening or reopening areas like Nome, another in Fairbanks, and stuff. Our district did the Greenie tract with some of the new Elders. Elder Connors and I actually stayed together with Elder Fishburn from Ogden area. It’s funny I was in that spot only six weeks ago. Sister Cranney who came out with me went by herself with one of the new sisters. It was interesting to remember my perspective then and how it has changed. I don’t know if it’s necessarily better now. I liked how bold Elder Fishborn acted even though he barely knew what to say or how to follow up. (I’m not saying I do any better). I just always want to be confident in my God who has called me here and never doubt, and never fear.
We started teaching a Samoan recent convert tonight after our dinner appointment and they wanted to feed us. I made the mistake of trying to refuse (which Elder Connors previously said you can’t refuse Samoans) and he said it’s an insult to not accept things where he’s from so we had a lot of soup and baked bananas – peel and all, that were like as hard as wood. It was good except my stomach almost exploded.
Jrnl. 11-26-09
Happy Thanksgiving! This was a really different day. We had a nice breakfast at a members house with the zone, but I tried not to eat too much to save up for dinner at 4. We went to the Mission Home to pick up Elder Powell and his new companion from the MTC, Elder Stone. They’re staying with us tonight on the couches or something and tomorrow morning we’re dropping them off at the airport going to Saint Petersbury down South. They seem like great missionaries and Elder Powell served here for 6 months, so he knew the members and he loved this ward. it snowed pretty good last night so the roads were way slippery. Especially because it’s Thanksgiving and the roads didn’t get plowed at all. We ate Thanksgiving dinner at a Spanish members home (Rueda’s). it was a fun dinner from 4 till about 7. Elder Powell was from the same town or ward as sister Rueda’s family so that was funny we happened to be eating with them the night he was there. Actually it was really good thing it was Elder Powell staying with us because Sister Rueda wouldn’t have fed us if she didn’t know the missionaries coming. She’s a way funny lady though. She saved her son’s cell number when he called for Mother’s Day on his mission and she tried to call him. I can see mom doing that {cw: In my defense, I’ve had Bryce’s phone number for a couple months. He sent me a letter to his mission President with his cell phone number on it. I have never tried to call it!}. Well, hopefully not. He was a good missionary though and had his companion tell her not to do that.
Jrnl 11-27-09
We shoveled a lot of driveways today. It was warm so the snow was heavy. I’m probably going to be sore in the morning but it’s a good thing to be physically tired. We got stuck right in front of Bishop Kimpton’s house when we parked. Luckily he was out of town. The UPS guy stopped to help push, but then he said good luck, I got to go. We got out easily though after we shoveled the snow from under the car. So it was lucky we had snow shovels.
Jrnl 12-1-09
Today was an average day. We got in some tracking and found some members home before 4 p.m., even though our 1 appointment today fell through. It is so hard to find people home during the daytime which is about 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. now. We had a good dinner with the Clark’s including Megan’s twin sister, Page, who actually made dinner which was churrito’s. Cheyenne is funny. He ate like twice as much as me, and I thought I had a lot, and he is way skinny. He says he always eats like that. He’s lucky he can eat so much without gaining anything. Anyway, last night we talked to the Clark’s about family home evening. (We were supposed to have FHE with the Motugas’, but they must have forgotten). We played a game with them, one of those aggravating ones where you have to figure out a certain pattern. We were going to guess which book of Mormon they picked. . . I’m not describing it well, but it was funny. Except Savannah got a little mad she couldn’t’ figure it out. It was a good thing to do with them though, because Cheyenne said he’s never just played games in his family so hopefully they’ll start doing something like that. Those are some of my most favorite memories is playing games with my family and cousins.
Jrnl 12-3-09
Today was, how about interesting, day. We got all zeros on our key indicators, but we happened to give out a Book of Mormon to an old man who the Pettijohn family had been working with, or at best is friends with. So that was cool. We happened to influence that and Sister Pettijohn got really excited about it. We ate at a Samoan’s house tonight, the Motuga’s and at the Omna’s last night. It is good food, but we almost exploded. The Omna’s actually fed us American food like potatoes, bbq, chicken, meatballs, and corn. At the Motuga’s we had this Hawaiian noodle stuff that was pretty good, fried pork, crab salad, shrimp, raw octopus (which actually wasn’t too bad except the nubby suction things were weird) and some raw fish that I wasn’t man enough to try. Then to top it off we had cake and ice cream. They think they’re doing us a favor, but they might end up killing us. No, it wasn’t bad because we prepared early and had tiny lunches.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Jrnl 11-17-09 through 11-23-09

Jrnl 11-17-09
This is the last week of the transfer and Elder Connors is doing “senior week” where I act as the senior companion and make plans and minor decisions. He said his trainer did it with him. This was the first real day like this and it’s actually kind of hard. Especially, with knowing if I am going what the Spirit would have me do. I need to focus more on my thoughts, specifically who I am thinking about. I also notices I haven’t been making it a point to talk to everyone I come across like in stores and restaurants. Our dinner appointment was too busy so they gave us money and we had Subway foot longs and a Cold Stone. I’m still stuffed. We eat so good here. An inactive member, Gary Hamilton, gave us some halibut that is just sitting in our freezer. We’ll have to get someone to cook it for us. Apparently there is a right way to do it. I finally got a picture of a moose. It’s lame, I haven’t taken many pictures at all because we’re not supposed to take pictures while we are proselyting, which is like all the time. Yesterday, I guess it got cold enough that everything are all white. I think it just does that through November.
Jrnl 11-18-09
We had a nice meeting with Bean & Sheena this morning and got them excited about temple work and Patriarchal blessings (except they forgot about the appointment so we basically woke them up). We had dinner at Bishop Kimpton’s tonight and had a good talk. However, we wanted to do “tacking in the home” (list of non members they know and prayerfully decide which to teach) but he refused before we even explained what we wanted to do. He is way busy and starts work at 4 a.m., so I can understand a little. It just seems so hard to get referrals here. So far they’re 8 year olds or less/inactive members. Still, we’re getting a baptism on Saturday and he, Cheyenne, just had his interview with Elder Murphy tonight!
Jrnl 11-19-09
Wow, we drove almost 70 miles today because we had no appointments and didn’t get in members doors for more than 5 minutes. Tonight though we had a good lesson with the Woodards and I got to hear some of Sheen’s testimony. She left the Jehovah Witnesses and Bean was Baptist, I think. They’re a great family and their son Nova is 5 and reminds me of Gary a lot.
Jrnl 11-21-09
Today was a pretty big day. This morning was transfer calls and Elder Connor’s kept talking to the Zone Leaders trying to find out where everyone (particularly if he) was going. We’re both staying for this transfer and Elder Murphy (ZL) is the only one in our district leaving. We had dinner in the church kitchen while we were filling up the font (and shot a couple hoops). Cheyenne’s baptism turned out pretty perfect. Beau Woodard said the opening prayer (he made it just in time), Elder Connors gave a great talk about baptismal covenants, then I got to baptize Cheyenne and I only had to baptize him once (however, I had to pause for a second so I didn’t say “for and in half of. . .” but, yeah. Sister Motuga, a Samoan lady who fellowshipped Cheyenne’s wife and everything, she gave a really nice testimony afterward and it was a perfect way to end it. President and Sister Dance made it to the baptism, too. They even stayed after to help us clean up and lock up. This was such an awesome way to finish off my first transfer.
Jrnl 11-22-09
In Sacrament meeting Cheyenne was confirmed by Elder Connors. President and Sister Dance made it to that, too. Sheena asked us to sit by her and Nova and Blaze because Beau was working in the E.R. and she isn’t really comfortable in the ward yet. The Motuga’s (A Samoan family from Hawaii) sang a great song about our Redeemer always remembers us and while I was listening, I felt lots of love for this ward for some reason. Probably just because thinking about the Savior will fill you with His love.
Cheyenne also got the Aaronic Priesthood in elders Quorum conferred by the Bishop, which is great, so now he can baptize his daughter.
Jrnl 11-23-09
This was a way relaxed preparation day. We did a lot of shopping, at least wandering. The only things I bought besides a couple groceries were 180 degree ear muffs and a Truman G. Madson “Lecture about Temples.” After that and all the regular mission office, email, lunch, laundry, we bummed out and listened to a ton of my Jesus of Nazareth C.D.’s. I kept drifting in and out and this is the least tired I’ve been in a long time. I don’t know if the Spirit wears me out like how Joseph Smith almost passed out after his experience, or if I am just worn down from being out of my comfort zone. But, I’m glad I can have joy as long as I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.

Monday, November 30, 2009

11-30-09 letter

I'm glad you had such a good Thanksgiving! I had a great one too with a Spanish family who was pretty funny and reminded me of Doug Snow's family. We also were hosting 2 Elders. One served in our ward for 6 months and was actually from the home town of the family we ate Thanksgiving dinner with.
Our work is actually pretty slow right now and we don't really have investigators, except three 8 year olds. But, we're still working hard and that's all that matters. I'm learning to be more bold and outgoing, but I still talk quiet a lot and feel really awkward talking to random people, especially while we're shopping. I haven't figured out a good way to bring up the gospel when your looking at cereal. I'll have to try and be creative to make it interesting. I did remember Marks birthday and you should hopefully have gotten a letter by now and I was hoping you could mail it too him. Have a great week, I'm glad you and dad have been hanging out with the Ghica's. Keep having fun for me:) I love you so much Mom and Dad, Love, your son, Bryce

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Jrnl 11-9-09 --11-15-09 & letter

Jrnl 11-9-09
This was an interesting preparation day. It was a good thing we did our cleaning, emailing, sending out a letter, and shopping all before lunch, because after playing racquetball for about an hour and a half, we had an emergency service project. It was a little tuff. I think this old lady had been evicted because she had a huge u-haul that looked like her stuff had just been piled in, and we were trying to put it all in a storage unit that was just a little bigger than the u-haul. She was too weak to pick anything up and she hadn’t found anywhere to stay, either. I was so glad I and some other elders could help her, even though we missed our dinner. We had another good meeting with Cheyenne and gave him a quad set of scriptures so his house is pretty loaded now with Book of Mormons. Last time we met with him on Saturday, Megan’s twin sister was over and she was saying she doesn’t believe God would send any of his children to hell. Elder Connors pretty much refuted that idea. Yeah, he’s very straight forward and upfront with anything he doesn’t agree with or not true. Which, I think it worked out all right in this case and he talked about his father’s example later and that is likely the strongest I’ve felt the Spirit during our lessons so far. She also committed to come to church with the Clarks.
Jrnl 11-11-09
This morning we left at 7 a.m. for Zone Conference because we were car pooling with Elder Murphy and Giles (ZL’s) and Elder Connors had a DL meeting. During that Sister Dance talked to the junior companions about cooperating with and loving our companions. She told us to tell our comps an attribute or principle they exemplify and how they have showed it. The rest of zone Conference was really good, too. A lot of it was reiterating and reporting back on Elder Arnold of the Seventy from the last Zone Conference. Mostly on teaching with and about the Book of Mormon and working through and with members. Elder Grawrock, Lowe, and Lewis were there from my MTC district. It was nice to see them again. It felt like meeting up with old friends again.
Dinner was a crazy event. We were going to be late for dinner so we left a message on the Bishop’s (last name) phone. So when we got to her house and said we’re sorry for being late and all she said we weren’t late at all. We were kind of confused and didn’t see any food or anything. So finally Elder Connors asked if she had signed up for dinner and she said no. Eventually we found out there were 2 ‘Bishop’ families and the ones who were signed up had just moved in. As if the last name Bishop isn’t confusing enough. And this practically happened last night with the Thompson families, too. I’ll eventually get it all down if I stay her long enough. We taught Savan Clark the Gospel of Jesus Christ tonight because Cheyenne was at work still. She is 8 and she said she wants to get baptized.
Jrnl 11-12-09
I’d say today was a tuff day. Elder Connors and I were both very tired after lunch. And it didn’t help that I had a headache and not one person was home before 5 p.m. But, because I am so blessed, we set an appointment with a less active and part member sister, and had a nice dinner with the Woodard’s (recent converts). It was good to get to know them better and I think it was really good for Sheena. She’s been sick and has to get surgery soon for some ‘female’ reason and she has seemed a bit bogged down. It’s really hard to leave homes and keep appointments under an hour when you’re having good conversations and starting to really get to know them. Keeping lessons and appointments short is something I want to work on based on the Zone Conference. Oh yeah, I was also blessed by getting 3 letters from home! Which I’m going to finish reading now.
Jrnl 11-13-09
This morning was weekly planning and it’s sad to say, but I think this was the first time I really opened up to Elder Connors and told him what I thought and felt of how he is teaching me. I haven’t been able to understand him and his reasoning, but I’m coming to learn that he really does care about me and my diligence to this work and he has put his trust in me and expects me to be my best but I learned some important lessons and the situation is better. I know I’ve been doing all I can and obedience is the most important thing I can be doing right now because that is what brings me the Spirit and that is the only way I can be successful.
Jrnl 11-14-09
We went to Jeremy (recently reactivated) Porter’s this morning and had a delicious pancake, eggs, and bacon breakfast with them. We made Jeremy late for work, though. Jeremy is way cool and has a very strong testimony. (He reminds me of Mark how he’s built and kind of how he acts.) It’s awesome, and very kind of them, they gave us one of their bathroom scales so now we have one. I’m not sure if that’s motivating or depressing. So far it’s stayed the same all five times in a row I stepped on it. I’m glad it’s Sunday tomorrow.
We’ve been listening to some really sweet CD’s. Elder Connors got “The Presidents of the Church" by Truman G. Madsen and it says some amazing stories about all the prophets. I’m now listening to Lectures on Faith that Joseph Smith prepared for I think the School of the Prophets. It’s powerful stuff about faith, it’s necessity, and the Godhead and stuff. I also just bought "Jesus of Nazareth" by Truman G. Madsen. Elder Connors said you can basically only get CD’s here in Anchorage, so I made sure I had a couple. A member also gave us some TAB Choir CD’s.
Jrnl 11-15-09
This Sunday was actually quite productive. Cheyenne finally made it to church a second time with his family even including his wife Megan’s twin sister, Page, who hadn’t been to church for a long time but we committed her to come with Megan. Anyway, now Cheyenne is getting baptized on Saturday. I’m going to get to baptize him. Also, Sister Wright brought an investigator with her and stayed for all of church. Then we had the Elders (Day & Rashband) set an appointment to teach her. It was kind of funny she’s probably 70 or 80 and she said she’s basically sick of being Lutheran so she’s checking out the Mormon Church. Later tonight I had a chance to talk to Bishop Kimpton a little while Elder Connors was taking a pit stop. He was way excited about Cheyenne getting baptized (oh yeah, and a random guy who had been dropped from his baptism date a while back came to church and the bishop convinced him he needed to be baptized) and it was nice to just talk to him because sometimes it feels like we’re just someone the bishop has to deal with or in the way. He’s a really great man, though. We just need to earn his trust, I guess.

Hey Mom and Dad,
I just wanted to write you a little note. Dad, I think I’m starting to appreciate your calling as a bishop. I still don’t know at all how you have the energy to be Bishop, work all day, and still have fun and be so happy afterward. I hope I can acquire some of that attitude. Every day I think about and feel the love you both have for me. I imagine our Heavenly Father’s love is much like yours only magnified. I am so lucky to know a little of His love and plans for me and all His children. I am trying to learn how to share Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ’s love and influence with this ward and every one we talk to.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, or weekend if it’s over. You don’t have to buy another T.V. on Black Friday . . . at least until I get back :) Love you! I’ll talk to you Monday, Bryce
Galatians 6:11
Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand. :)

Monday, November 23, 2009


First of all, business: I actually haven't even cashed Megan's check. I could have today, but I totally forgot. But I know how I want to spend it. Either some 360 earmuffs or a CD from the LDS bookstore here. I just got another Truman G. Madsen talk called House of God, The Blessings of the Temple. I'm way excited to listen to it. Maybe I'll wait a transfer when I can listen to it right before I go to the Anchorage Temple. Anyway I'll try and write her soon. The mail takes about 3 or 4 days I think. One extra day if it is sent to the office. Oh yeah, we got transfer calls Saturday morning and Elder Connors and I am staying for this transfer. It'll be a great transfer. We'll have Thanksgiving and Christmas. (We're going to like at least 5 families for Thanksgiving so I'll have to prepare to eat all that food) I won't need any boots, this winter at least. We are rarely outdoors anyway and we stay way warm. It's back up to 30 degrees today and it's only really snowed a lot twice so most the roads aren't ice :) (yes I was surprised you could make a smiley face dad!) I will send you my journals about my first baptism! and I got to baptize him! and I only had to do it once! (Oh, I did start sending you original journals again Mom, I got too lazy I guess to keep doing the carbon copies.) Elder Connors talked at the baptism and confirmed him on Sunday. He, Chyenne, also got the Aaronic Priesthood so he can now baptize his 8 year old daughter who we started teaching.
Thank you so much for your email of thanks to Bruce. It was very kind what you said about everyone and me. Every day I realize how grateful I am for my family and how much love we have for each other. Really the one thing that has been hard for me so far is not being in the presence of my family. But I feel of your prayers and I'll always remember your love. Speaking of. . . I love you all.
Elder Bryce Wainwright

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thank you & Baptism

Hey, tell Crystal and mark thanks for the letters. Gary and Julia are so funny and I really wish I could be there to play with and tickle all of them. We have a baptism set for this Saturday night and I will be baptizing him. I keep forgetting to thank Crystal for her inspiration for having me take my down blanket. I love it, and I wouldn't have had a blanket otherwise. Thanks for all the letters and the blessing. You don't have to email me updates on our blogs because I can't look at it. I'll send you some letters this week I think. My trainer has about a 50% chance of being transferred already. He got a heads up that he will sometime from President Dance. I had a really nice Sabbath. Elder Connors is having me basically be the Senior companion and make the decisions this week. He said his trainer did it to him too. It'll be hard but I'm sure I'll learn a lot of what he does and deals with. I love you more than ever Mom and Dad and I'm so grateful for the wonderful parents you are. Talk soon, love Bryce

Journals 10-31-09 through 11-8-09

Jrnl 10-31-09
Happy Halloween! Today was mostly a normal day. It was nice to get to go to the Trunk or Treat though. Cheyenne went with his family. The people upstairs are partying pretty hard. Like every day we can hear their rap. So we’ll pray in the car on our way out. So we go street contacting like every other day, which actually isn’t very much, but this isn’t a good tracking area supposedly. Anyway, It’s starting to get pretty cold and I’m worried about when it starts snowing. I’m anxious to see snow, though. Everyone keeps saying it should have snowed by now. And it’ll be awesome to actually have a white Christmas (and a car with good heating). We taught Dale Whaline lesson 1 and bore our testimonies to him. He seemed more interested in talking than the lesson, but he still wants to red the Book of Mormon. Elder Connors said it’s now basically up to him to commit himself to read and then pray about it. That is really the only way the Spirit can testify of it’s truth is when the individuals are motivated to make that personal act of faith.
Jrnl 11-1-09
I had a really nice fast Sunday. Cheyenne and his family made it. We were way worried when Church started and they weren’t there. We were getting close to driving over to their house. But they made it and there were some nice testimonies bore. I think it was a blessing that Cheyenne left before Priesthood because there is a brother who is very antagonistic with his comments and it wasn’t a very constructive discussion about temple work, so it wouldn’t have been good for Cheyenne to be there. But every day I see Cheyenne’s testimony grow. Also he’s gone a day and one half without smoking so he’s well on his way.
Jrnl 11-3-09
Mostly, I just want to say I am so thankful for prayer and the more I pray in faith, the more I learn the importance and great power that it has. I know heavenly Father has so many blessings that He is just waiting to give to me if I only ask. I think that’s kind of how that scripture works that says we won’t have room enough to receive our blessings. We taught lesson 2 to a member family, the Laucks, specifically their sons, and I need to work on a lot. Mostly, simplify, personalize, and leave out the extra ‘um’ after each word. We had a good lesson with Cheyenne and the Elder’s Quorum Pres. Beckwith. We read 2 Nephi 4 and I felt a good strong spirit in our discussions and Cheyenne is way beyond ready for baptism. I think his testimony is necessary to help strengthen his wife and daughters testimonies. I liked during our lesson Elder Connors suggested reading verses 31-35 when we take the Sacrament. I might take up that. It sounds like a prayer.
Jrnl 11-4-09
Today was a crazy day. Nothing went through like all day and I was so tired just sitting in the car and stuff. I think I’m getting sick though cause I’ve had a headache and a little sore throat it feels like. I know it won’t keep me from working though because of the blessing Dad gave me before I left. But anyway, tonight we finally got in to a part member’s home and were talking with the non-member husband and his wife got there right before our next appointment so we were way late to our next appointment with the Eastons (she cuts hair). Luckily they were fine with us being late and all, but it was bad because all the sudden it was 9:35 and the latest we’re supposed to stay out is 9:30. So yeah, we got out of there quick. I don’t know if it’s the time change, but all the sudden we started being late. It’s definitely something I know I need to fix because I’ve already seen how it can cause lots of problems.
We did a lot of good service today and yesterday for a less active member, Jeff Johnson, who is moving out. Yesterday Jeff, Elder Connors, and I loaded and unloaded a U-haul truck in like 3 hours. Today’s load only took a half hour less with the rest of our district and Bishop Kimpton helping. He really appreciated the help and yesterday he even took us out to lunch. I think service is my favorite thing because I can easily show people I care about them by my work and I don’t have to try and say it. But talking about the gospel is definitely the most productive thing for my purpose, because the Spirit can speak through my words. So, there is moderation in all things, even tracking in Anchorage.
I’m trying so hard not to get fat, but we’re fed so much and it’s good food. The average weight gain in the mission is 40lbs. Elder Connors and I decided we might just need to eat only dinner.
I was looking for a folder that had my patriarchal blessing in it and I just barely kneeled down on my desk chair to pray for help. It was pretty awesome. I saw the corner of the folder in a pile of Ensigns before I even got off my knees. It was cool too, because I don’t think I would have looked there if I hadn’t knelt and prayed. Well, that’s about all I have to say, but I’m still writing so I can fill the whole page. That hasn’t happened for a while.
Jrnl 11-8-09
I’m glad it’s Sunday. It was Ward conference today and actually we had a 2 hour Priesthood meeting which was really nice about going after the lost sheep. However, Cheyenne didn’t come again! We talked to Megan and she said he didn’t feel well and he was pretty mad that he didn’t make it. He’s so ready to be baptized though.
It’s snowing now! There’s about an inch of snow on the ground already. We’ve been listening to Christmas music in the car and now it’s really feeling like Christmas time.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Thanks so much for mailing the letters! That will help me out a lot actually. It's way good to hear your having fun with Gary and Sara and everyone. Gary wrote me a letter and I was laughing out loud from it. It finally snowed last night! It's way awesome there's like an inch and it doesn't really melt off the roads. Our car has studded tires though so we don't really slide at all. I'll have to send you some pictures, though. I've been meaning to. I think I can print them at Walmart. I really liked ward conference yesterday. I already feel like a part of this ward. I am playing racquetball today and I did last pday too. It's nice to have time to do fun stuff like that. Maybe I'll get to go ice skating this winter. I love you all and I'm excited to get some letters.
Oh yeah, I started feeling feverish and congested and a soar throat, but I got a blessing and I'm feeling better already.
We were going to have a baptism on the 14th but now it should be on the 21st.
Love you.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

jrnl & letters 10-15- through 10-28-2009

jrnl 10-14-09
I actually didn’t write in my journal this day cause I didn’t really get a chance. But, I’m here. It’s 6:25 a.m. on Thursday the 15th and I’m at the Dance’s house. (Mission President) We all stayed here last night in the basement and in a little while we’re all going to get our trainers. The Dances’ are so great. I got interviewed with President Dance and got to talk a lot more with Sister Dance. We’ve agreed she’s already like our mother. So, pretty much as son as we got here we went tracting. We stopped at the temple and had a missionary, I went with Elder Shea, to tract a street for a half hour. I was actually pretty nervous and didn’t really say anything to the first . . . and maybe second people I was supposed to talk to.
Jrnl 10-15-09
So later today was my first full day in Alaska with my new companion, elder Michael J. Conners and we’re serving in the Jewel lake Ward in Anchorage. It’s so crazy. I can barely believe I’m here. Today we mostly talked with Boe who just got baptized and is getting the Priesthood tomorrow. Then we ate at the Sour Dough restaurant with some members from Orem and got to teach Cheyenne and his wife Megan the third lesson a little. She’s been inactive and he set a date to be baptized and hopefully he’ll help his daughter get baptized too. It’s been such an awesome crazy day. I’m honestly really nervous right now, but I know I don’t even have to worry. I’ve been blessed so much already.
Hey family, (Tell Brandon I haven’t had to use his big eraser yet ) I can email immediate family, but yeah, that’s it. I can handwrite though but I don’t have addresses.)
I emailed you earlier today, but mostly I forgot to tell you It’ll be easier and bettr if you just mail letters to the mission home address. Then I won’t lose any or anyting. I’ve had great weather here so far. It was supposed to snow 2 weeks ago but is sunny and like 50’s (that’s still cold I think). It’s not quite as pretty as I imagined, but I hear the rest is prettier than Anchorage. It kind reminds me of St. George size wise and with mountains around it (except a lot greener and lots of wood homes). Maybe it just feels like home. Love you lots, Bryce

Wow! Today was so great. Alaska is a lot different than I expected. It’s a lot flatter than I thought and Anchorage is pretty big. We’re in the North West I think. Our area goes to the shore about. Supposedly we can see Mount Mackinley from here to the North but I haven’t yet. So we street contacted after lunch, but mostly that’s going on a walk so people don’t think we’re lazy and drive everywhere, but luckily that’s exactly what we do. So why today was so great was Boe got the Aaronic Priesthood and his wife got a blessing. Then after that at the Montague’s I gave Milia a blessing. I felt so inadequate to do it, but I was so grateful for that opportunity, though. I had no idea what I was doing. So it’s a dang good thing the Spirit does. I’m learning so much already-especially names. Well, good night, for yesterday too.
Jrnl 10-17-09
I am so grateful for my companion. He works hard and really tries to be strictly obedient. He’s a great example for me and he’s very willing to teach me and get me involved in the ward. We’re visiting a ton of members actually to get referrals and get them doing missionary work. I’m realizing this is a big part of my job and helping inactives. So apparently my trainer is my “dad.” And his trainer is his dad, and so forth. So maybe one day I’ll have a son.
Jrnl 10-18-09
Today was a good Sabbath. I met so many people. It’s so cool teaching Cheyenne. It has helped me be comfortable teaching and I can see progress with him and his wife. She came to church without him with Reese and Sky. I was able to give Cheyenne a blessing of comfort to quit smoking. I know he has great faith and will overcome this if he really wants to. I said in his blessing his example will affect everyone around him. I just hope I can keep faith in the power I hold.
Jrnl 10-19-09
“Monday is a special day, it’s the day we get ready for . . .all the rest of the days.” I went shopping, like for my first time ever. Food and all. (It’s a lot for food, especially in Alaska) Luckily I had a reserve from Mom and dad. Elder Connors had me get a Carrhardt coat instead of a Parka. I’m glad it looks a lot nicer. I also got a light jacket and 2 sweet ties because Elder Conner said I need some nicer ones. I was supposed to take a driving test at the DMV, but after 5 laps we gave up looking for it. That plus going to the President’s office, plus laundry, plus email, took most of p-day. We email on display computers at a MAC Store so we have to get off if customers come over or if other missionaries need to use them. My whole days are a ton slower than the MTC it seems like. That is nice.
Jrnl 10-21-09
I’m already not motivated to write in my journal. I didn’t yesterday, but I am right now because I know it’s good and I should. Today was actually a pretty good day. I’ve been here a week now and I’m getting to know a lot of the ward members. There’s a ton of part member and inactive families that we’ll be learning to work with. Today we actually set an appointment to teach a guy whose wife is inactive. I’ll hopefully say if anything comes of that on Sat. 24th. We are getting or trying to get the members to be member missionaries and hopefully they will get excited about it and interested.
Jrnl 10-22-09
Today I studied Christ’s miracles like bread and fishes – twice, walking on water and stuff. Also a talk from Elder Packer about what missionaries need to know. I like he talked about 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 how Christ is basically glorified in my weaknesses because he can show his strength when I no longer have any. Yeah, so today we didn’t have any appointments set up, besides Cheyenne, so I prayed to myself someone would be ready to hear us teach and we then turned around and went to someone’s house we hadn’t caught them home yet and we got an appointment set up with them. Also, we went here we were headed earlier and he said we could come back again so it all worked out great and I know my prayer helped. I saw Elder Lewis from my MTC district at a 4 hour service Trick or Treat thing. That was fun to talk with him and Sister Cranney who came in on the same flight.
Jrnl 10-23-09
Today is 1 week and a day since I’ve been here and I already got to have an interview with President Dance and another one basically with Sister Dance. They were very nice interviews and very helpful. Pre. Dance basically told me to watch, listen to, and learn from Elder Conners, be patient with myself, keep trying to be better at teaching, obedience, and recognizing the Spirit, pray for my companion while teaching and elsewhere, use footnotes to see and use the power of the Book of Mormon, and finally study the Book of Mormon daily likely during my personal study. So all of those things will help me a lot if I really do them. I really like teaching Cheyenne though and we’ve gotten some members to come over with us so he should feel welcome and I think it’ll help him quit smoking actually too.
Jrnl 10-25-09
Today was the Sabbath and it was the Primary program so that was pretty fun. I wonder if it was the same thing at home. It was actually way lame though because Cheyenne was supposed to be at church and he got work off and was totally planning on being there. Tonight we found out that they had slept in and missed it but Cheyenne felt bad and read all the rest of 1 Nephi. He understood it all and really connected with how Nephi’s family went through practically the same thing Moses’ family did and he didn’t understand how Laman & Lemuel could still deny the power of God after all the chances and experiences they had. It’s just like how sign seekers wouldn’t believe even if they saw the sign. It wouldn’t benefit them if they don’t have any faith. I know Cheyenne has such great faith, I just hope he has confidence in himself.
Jrnl 10-27-09
Yesterday we had exchanges after lunch and I stayed in Jewel Lake Ward with Elder Giles who is one of my Zone leaders. He’s very friendly and it was fun to get to know him better. We didn’t get much teaching in though cause I had to go to the DMV to take the written test for an Alaska License but I forgot my birth certificate and stuff. Then of course, I didn’t have the letter that proves I’m an Alaska resident so I had to go back a second time. Luckily I passed so I don’t have to go back again.
So we’re supposed to be encouraging members to get into non members and less actives homes and have them bring us in to teach. We’re seeing some of that and we got 5 families to teach today. And apparently this is a lot of people to be teaching for Anchorage areas. There are a lot of really nice and expensive homes here, especially compared to the rest of Alaska. But, I think this ward is ready and willing to get a lot of missionary work done. I got to teach my first lesson today with the Laucks who are a less active family.
Jrnl 10-28-09
Today,(Wed) was p-day because we were supposed to go to the temple at 5 a.m., but sadly Elder Connors was up on the pot all night so he had to sleep. I apparently had to sleep also, because I slept until 8 a.m. for personal study. (That’s not good and I better not do that again). Luckily I had my license because Elder Connors had me drive us shopping. We played an intense game of Electronic Monopoly with the Zone (Elder Murphy and Giles ZL) Elder Day and Rashband, and Sister Banlitt & Cranney (she came out on same plane). I held out for 3rd place. Tonight we’re giving a man a blessing whose wife is inactive. I hope he receives it well and it will build his faith. He seems like a very pleasant, open minded man. What’s cool is we talked to him right after I prayed that we might find someone who is ready to hear the gospel we have. It’s kind of hard for me to understand and act when I’m being prompted to do something. I’m sure I’ll need to work on this everyday while I’m here.
Hey Family,
I have a hard time writing much on email because it takes me a long time to read all the emails. I got the letter from Megan and you. Thanks for the stamps and it’s been nice having the debit card. Hopefully I won’t need to use it much anymore. Sorry about the one confusing journal page, you’ll see if you haven’t yet. So yeah I can email immediate family. You can all email or mail me. If you always mail with US mail, for boxes too, then you can always just send them to the mission office address. So, on Halloween we can go to the ward trunk-or-treat. That’ll be fun. Except I think I have to still dress up as a missionary. Well hopefully I can still send this off today. Love you, Bryce

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sorry, couldn't write

Hey sorry I couldn't write you
I have pday today because we were supposed to go to the temple this morning. Elder Connors is pretty sick so we didn't make it which was pretty sad. He is having me drive though which is kinda cool. I should get to go to the temple every 2 transfers unless I'm too far away. It still hasn't snowed yet and only started raining like yesterday. I'm excited for it to snow. Here in Anchorage the coldest it gets is around -20 degrees. It's only like 50 now. Bruce wrote a nice letter. He seems to be catching right on to the culture and everything. I'm still trying to catch on to the Alaska culture too. The people here seem pretty settled in, except they work a lot. A lot of the people here are very rich. I like the ward a lot. They're very welcoming to me and we're getting fed a lot. This area is definitely a lower baptizing area but we are starting a lot of teaching already.
That's crazy you all got sick, I'm glad your getting better. Everyone here's sick too it seems. I'll send some journals home today. Thanks for the emails, prayer, and love. I love you and I'll talk later.
Elder Bryce Wainwright

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Elder Wainwright with President & Sister Dance

Elder Bryce Wainwright
3808 W. 79th Ave #2
Anchorage, AK 99502

Friday, October 23, 2009

Yes, Yes, I'm in Alaska

Hey Mom, thanks for all your emails. I have so much to tell you but likely won't get to. Hopefully I remember the important stuff though. So I'm not sick at all. I can only email you and dad at home so you'll have to spread it around for me:) A blog page like dad was talking about would be cool too. Monday is my Prep day. I have my overcoat if I didn't tell you and I just got a nice coat nicer than a parka. I have a great companion, Elder Connors, I think he most reminds me of Scott Snow. He's very dedicated and cares about strict obedience, but he's also lax and very willing to help me out and get me comfortable with the schedule, ward, and work. We have a guy Chyenne who already has a date set to be baptized and he let me give him a blessing of comfort to help him quit smoking. That was so awesome and I know it'll help if he felt what I felt during it. I definitely felt of God's love for Chyenne. That was cool. It sounds like Bruce is doing great. Probably next time I'll write a personal letter to him you can forward him. I don't know if I trust all that pouch stuff either. Well, I love the Mission Pres. and his wife. He's also focused on the rules more too which is good. Oh yeah, like apparently I can't use my mp3 player at all:( So much for that I guess. Hopefully I can get a member to burn the music to a cd. If not I'll send it to you to burn some cd's for me:) Cd's even mp3 cd's work in our car. We drive a red ford fussion! I feel like we're on vacation. My companion and I have our own app. with 2 rooms and a kitchen and living room. We just have one ward to cover and we're working a lot with the members right now, trying to get them to do the work. Dang I gotta go to the DMV and shop and such. Love you so much!

Elder Wainwright
The Church of
of Latter-day Saints