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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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