Friday, December 24, 2010

12-20-10



Hey Mom,
It's weird Christmas is in 5 days already. I'm most likely going to call you from one of the Taylor's cell phones. They all have Verizon. If that doesn't work I'll just give you a call and you can call me back. I think I mixed up the time change. If I call at 10 my time, it will be 12 your time. So I'll call around 10. I hope that works. Don't let Brandon sleep in. I could send you a bottle of water if you need ;)
Thank you so much for the Christmas package! You guys are so awesome. I especially love the dried mango and berries and I've been wanting almonds. The little tree was awesome too. I thought you were talking about the one I set up last year. You can never have too much Christmas decorations. I put it in the back room where I keep my stuff. I still have the 2 gifts and Elder Williams mom sent me a stocking. That CD of Brandon and Valorie is way awesome too. I'll have to listen to that on Christmas Eve, because they'll probably be singing to you guys then.
Hope those cards get sent out alright too.
Well, we have a lot of good stuff going on right now, but I think I'll just talk to you about it all on Saturday. One sad thing is the Ebry's, who we've been teaching lately to help Sister Ebry, are struggling pretty bad right now. Brother Ebry has been trying so hard to have a righteous household, but Sister Ebry doesn't have that same desire. The sad thing is that she knows she's not happy and she knows what she needs to do, but doesn't have the faith to do it. Anyway, that's just on my mind. I'll try and have some good stories to tell you guys and hope to hear EVERYTHING about how you are doing. I love you.
Elder Bryce Wainwright

PS- Pictures: My little Christmas tree, and Harley from the Pioneer Home (he's one of my favorites) we've been helping them a lot.

Friday, December 17, 2010

12-12-10

Hey Mom,
That's cool that lady came to the Christmas party. It's funny how sometimes all it takes for people to do something or change is to be invited by someone who they know cares about them. And it helps so much when they see that the whole ward cares about them. We just had a Christmas party too. It was fun and we had a pretty good showing too. Did you guys do the Night in Bethlehem again? That's always cool. Tonight were going to start the 12 days of Christmas for the Ebry's. The Taylor's have never done it before so we're having the kids do it with us. They are pretty excited.
I'm so glad Valerie and Seth are doing so well. Tell Brandon thanks for the pictures and for writing. I can tell Joshua loves him. It looked kinda scary with all those tubes hooked up to him.
Wow. I will be calling you in less than 2 weeks. So, last time Bruce wanted to somehow talk to me as well. I still don't really see how that could work. If you know when Bruce is calling then I can call on Christmas eve or whenever that would be for me. Or else I'll call Christmas morning around 9 or 10 probably which would be 11 or 12 for you. Oh, and who's all going to be there? You need to convince Mark and Emily to come down so they can talk to Bruce and me too.
Are Grandma and Grandpa going to the beach this year? Or you guys?
I'll be praying for Sheila and Lisa to heal well.
Love,
Elder Bryce Wainwright

12-5-10

12-5-10
Wow! That's so awesome that Valerie had her baby already! and that he's safe and healthy. Do you have any pictures yet? That'd be nice. So I still haven't gotten my transfer call from President Dance yet. He should call any moment. I'm pretty sure I'll stay but who knows. That's so sad about Megan Gale. I'll definitely send her a letter.
So the assistants just called us and Elder Williams and I are both staying here! That's such a relief. Especially because Susan Nolte set her baptismal date for Jan. 8th which is this transfer. We have so much more good work going as well so I'm way excited for this transfer. Another family we've been working with a lot is starting to progress. We're trying to help Sister Ebery quit smoking and strengthen her testimony. It's finally starting to click and every time we teach her I can see her testimony and understanding grow. Something else cool is we finally started teaching an inactive part member family that we've been trying to contact the whole time I've been here. That was especially nice because we lost another investigator last week. I got to see the Christmas Devotional yesterday at our dinner. I'm glad because I missed last one. It reminded me of going over to Grandma and Grandpa's to watch those programs.
Today were going to chop down a Christmas tree for our apartment with Sister Taylor's brother. They're letting us use their suburban to take it home. It will be my first real tree I think. The weather is great today too. It's sunny and close to 40 degrees. Probably just as cold in St. George.
Well, give Seth a squeeze and a kiss for me. I'll talk to you soon. Really soon.
Love,
Elder Bryce Wainwright

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

11-29-10

Hey Dad,
It was good to hear from you. Did you get up before 6 to write me? I had an awesome Thanksgiving. I'll try to give good details, but this letter will be for Mom as well:) Actually, I picked up a cold Thursday morning so I just tried to sleep through my District Meeting over the phone. Then at 2pm we went to the church and had an early dinner with a couple families and one of our investigators came, Susan Nolte. Then we took some chairs to the Taylors and helped set up for their dinner with another family. I was stuffed by the end and I didn't even try that ham that was in front of me in the picture. That night another family invited us to play volleyball at the church with them. It was lots of fun, but I slept 13 hours the next night. And I felt crappy the next day so we didn't do a lot, but the Taylors invited us over for leftovers for lunch and we helped them set up Christmas lights afterward. They're so awesome. They'll do anything for us. It made it nice, because I really only get homesick when I'm sick or on holidays.
I'm so glad you all had fun. It sounds like Mark and Brandon made the most of their night as well:)
On Sunday I substituted the youth sunday school class with all the 14-17 year olds and Elder Williams taught Gospel Principles because Susan Nolte came. It went pretty well. I probably taught the same lesson as Mom about Ezekiel and the Good Shepherd. It's a lot harder teaching teenagers than adults. Even though I'm barely not one.
I forgot Matt Earl is going to Utah State already. I'm glad he's doing well at it. Especially the Pipe band, that's awesome. Matt Snow has written me and he sounds great too.
It snowed here for a day. Then it rained and washed it away so it's normal Ketchikan again.
I don't think I need anything for Christmas. I'm loving my XtraTuff boots. Maybe a cool tie. And actually, Elder Williams and I are trying to eat more healthy so we'd probably enjoy some fruit more than sweets. I left my multi-vitamins in my last area so that would be good too. Transfers are next week for me, so I'm really hoping I can stay here one more. Things are so good right now with the work and the ward. I'll let you know what happens as soon as I can. I love you so much and was happy to hear from you a little on Thursday.
Love,
Elder Bryce Wainwright

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving

Thanks so much Mom,
Your letter made me smile. And I guess I'm even grateful that it was fairly long. It sounds like Thanksgiving should be a blast. Mark's birthday especially. I'll try and send him a package today. I'll send it to your house.
Yesterday was a great Sunday, but really lame at the same time. Our new investigator Susan Nolte' came to church and really loved it and felt the Spirit strong and we're teaching her again tomorrow. Treasean also came to church with the Taylors and we taught him again afterward. But, when we took him to his house to talk to his Grandma about his baptism she told us it wouldn't work because they were moving to Prince of Whales today. Treasean didn't even know about it, so it's kinda sketchy. The Taylors even went over there and offered to have Treasean live with them to finish out the year and get baptized, but I don't think it's going to happen. So that was sad to hear. Hopefully the missionaries there can still keep working with him.
This morning Elder Williams and I hiked Deer Mountain. It was pretty cold. 22 degrees when we started and there was some snow on top, but still worth it. We also combed one of the beaches last week for lunch and that was pretty fun. I'll have a great Thanksgiving here. A couple families are having it at the church so we'll go there. Hopefully we'll have one or two investigators with us too. Bruce probably won't do much of anything in Armenia. That'd be hard.
Mom, I just want to thank you for the wonderful mother you were. Not only were you so loving, forgiving, and willing to do anything you could to help me succeed and learn new things, you also managed to teach me discipline, how to take care of myself, and to develop my own testimony. Dad has taught me these things also. As well as how to work hard, make the most of every moment, and appreciate the outdoors. Most of all, I'm grateful for both of your eternal love and concern for me. Kinda like Heavenly Father's.
Anyway, thanks for making it possible for me to be here right now on my mission. I could never have done it without you. Or without all of our family, really.
I'll be thinking of you as well. Happy Thanksgiving! Love
Elder Bryce Wainwright

Monday, November 15, 2010

11-15-10


Hey Mom,
Our investigators are still doing pretty well. It was kinda hard to go to Juneau for half the week, but it was good training and we still picked up another investigator this week from someone who went to the family history center with her mom and we gave them a chapel tour afterward and we found out they'd both read the Book of Mormon before, but the mom wasn't willing to be taught. That was actually one of the things we got trained on was chapel tours. We also talked about laying down our weapons of rebellion that are keeping us from being obedient. Something that I got out of it and from one of the departing sisters was that if I just love the Lord, and show Him my love everyday with every decision that I make, then it will be much easier to follow Him.
Our baptism for Brittnee Gibson and her sister Sheyann went great. I got to baptize Brittnee and confirm Sheyann. Treasean, Brent Taylor's friend, came to the baptism and we taught him afterward. Then he spent the night with the Taylors so he could come to church. He's doing great as long as he can stay strong without the support of his family.
We went out on the boat docks to buy some live crab to cook up and 3 more whales blew their spouts just past the docks. I think Tasia was right. I am on vacation. I'll show you some pictures.
No, I didn't get to see the leadership training. And I'm still a horrible story teller because I smile when I'm talking and laugh before I finish.
Well, I think that's it. Elder Williams wants to go fly fishing today. See you later Bryce

PS- I did get the Extratuffs. They're awesome! I almost forgot to say thanks for the Thanksgiving package. It was way nice to get a letter from everyone. I'll try and hand write them back. Did you get the postcard that is supposed to go to Fenja? Wow, this is a pretty long letter.

Monday, November 8, 2010

11/7/10

I'll have to be quick, but this was such a great week. We were incredibly blessed. We picked up 3 really good investigators who all are friends (or living with) members. One was an 11 year old, Traesean, who has been coming to scouts and church with Brent Taylor. He understands very well the gospel and we've set a date for him to be baptized on Dec. 4th. We also are going to have a baptism this Saturday for the 12 year old who's living above us. A cool thing that happened to Elder Williams and I with one of our new investigators was we were told to visit Susan Nolte quite a while ago, but we had been knocking on the wrong house. We had gotten the correct house, but still didn't have luck talking to anyone. Last night, we both thought to try her again, even though we hadn't even planned to see her. She answered this time and let us in and wanted to hear our message. She was prepared to hear our message of the Restoration, and she told us she knew we were sincere about what we taught and she wanted to come to church and said she'd start reading the Book of Mormon tonight! That was so cool to hear and I'm so glad we were able to hear the prompting to visit her and we listened. I just wanted to share that with you. We have the Matlakatla and Prince of Whales Elders here and were flying up to Juneau for the next two days for Zone Conference and training so that's why I gotta go.
I love you Mom and Dad and I'm doing great.
Love, Bryce

PS- That was a cool letter Elder Grigorian wrote to you.
We saw 2 humpback whales and 3 orca this week. SO COOL!
Later

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

11-3-10

11-1-10
Hey Mom and Dad,
I'm so glad you were able to have a fun little vacation with Grandma and Grandpa and you've put the fish to good use. The other week we helped a member in a wheel chair unload a raft engine from off his boat that he's living in. It was cool to see his boat and I had to climb down in his engine room for him too. It probably wasn't the same as the U.S.S. Midway tour, but it was fun. I'm pretty sure I don't use the missionary inflection, but it can be easy to fall into rote teaching or spouting out the principles and not really teaching the investigator. That might just be a visitor center thing.
I had a fun Halloween. They did a trunk or treat thing on Wednesday for mutual and we had a dinner party with the Taylors at another cool family's house. This was also a great week for missionary work. We were very blessed and were able to teach a lot. I don't think I've told you about my new companion yet. His name is Elder Williams from Blackfoot Idaho. He's a big time hunter, and he did rodeo and wrestling. He's served in South Anchorage and Wasilla like me, only he'd get there right as I left. He's a good hard worker and he's going to be a great companion. I don't have much else to say except Helen West's friend Valorie made it to church this Sunday with Helen. It was stake conference, which was interesting because it was broadcast up at Juneau. But I guess even back home they'd broadcast it to the other buildings. The church really is getting pretty big. Have a safe drive home and a great week. I'll be thinking about you all a lot these holidays.
Love,
Bryce

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

10-24-10

Hey Mom,
:) Glad you liked the stuff. It wasn't much, but I thought it'd be cool. It was lame you weren't there, but it was actually a blessing she saw Brandon and Valorie. She enjoyed it, too. To get to the point- I'm staying here in Ketchikan. Elder Offley is going back to Anchorage. I'm getting Elder Williams. I don't know anything about him yet except he's from Idaho and fairly new. Tonight Elder Offley and a missionary who's going home leave, so I'm spending the night with the Prince of Whales elder(who's also a twin) until our companions come. I might get a little time to write you tomorrow, but I wanted to let you know what's going on just in case we don't have time. I hope I stay for quite a while. I love it here.
I told our landlord about the hole and told him I could patch it, but he hasn't looked at it yet. oop, gotta go. Love you lots.
Bryce

Monday, October 18, 2010

10-17-10




Hey Mom,
I'm glad you and Dad and Crystal were able to go up for Julia's birthday, except it totally threw off my surprise. I shouldn't say totally, because what happened is Vicki Taylor was going down to Utah for her daughter's seizures, and went to St. George to visit her sister. So she wanted to bring a surprise package that she could hand deliver to you and Dad. I was thinking you for sure wouldn't be in Salt Lake, because you were gone last week. But luckily, Sister Taylor's sister lives in Brandon and Valorie's neighborhood and is in their ward. So at church Sister Taylor recognized Valorie and talked to them and ended up giving them the package, so it worked out in the end. Thanks for telling me about how all the family is doing. I'm glad you were able to make Grandma's day.
This week we started teaching another really good investigator who is best friends with Helen West(who just got baptized) and she is awesome. She hasn't ever read the Bible, but she has church hopped a lot and has actually been taught by missionaries and took her kids to mutual about ten years ago. She also knows a lot of members besides Helen. The only disappointing thing is she didn't make it to church Sunday:( We have a lot of good things going on right now, so it's exciting. Oh yeah, we had interviews over the phone with President Dance this morning and transfers are in a week so it'll be interesting to see what happens. That also means I'll likely email Tuesday. Well, we found a racquetball court in the rec center here so we're probably going to do that today. Thanks for all you do. Hope you like the packages. The fish is some members gave us and the Taylors gave you some I think. Love you.
Bryce

PS- Here's some funny pictures. Yes, that boat is pulling the house ... somewhere. And the trampoline picture was me, trying to be smart by making my exercise routine bouncing from the trampoline to my bed. Except I bounced a little too hard and my bum went through the wall. So much for being careful.

Monday, October 11, 2010

10-10-10

Hey Mom
I'm glad you liked the pictures. I had fun taking them. I kinda wish I'd taken more. Mostly just of all the people I've met. It's actually quite amazing how many life stories you can hear in a day. I love hearing different peoples attitudes about life, and hopefully I've been able to improve a couple. Even if it's just by being there to let them think out loud.
In the video, Elder Offley was eating African Kayan Pepper which is like 10x hotter than normal kayan pepper. I'll have to eat it soon too. At a year most missionaries burn a shirt. I tried to burn a tie, but it didn't really burn. And I really have been trying to be safe. I haven't climbed up any buildings or poles or anything like that. And the flame thing was a trick photo shot. But I'll remember to be more careful.
Yesterday church was cancelled because there was another big storm and the whole town was out of power and a telephone line was blocking the church. North and South of town will be out of power for half the week.
We got 2 new investigators this week, which was a great blessing for us. And we would have had a third if we had church because Helen West was going to take her friend and she wants us to baptize her. Helen is already such a strong member and is working on her husband and kids too. It's sounds like you guys have had a busy and good week too. Tell Julia happy birthday for me if you're still there. I don't think I got anything for her, dang it.
So, I gotta go and I love you Mom,
Bryce

PS- I fixed the violin bow with a $3 piece so it's good

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

10-3-10

Hey,
That does sound like a fun conference weekend. The pictures are great too. The kids are really growing up. I miss them. Liam has a way funny character. I'll never forget the conference up on Gooseberry Mesa.
That reminds me. I really liked the talk about building character. Except I can't even remember who gave it now. Also, Jeffrey R. Holland's really stuck out to me. It was way different than all his previous talks and it was a good way to start out conference. You might not have heard it because it was one of the first. It made me feel content with where I'm at and that Heavenly Father is pleased. It was more just a good moment for me, than something he was specifically saying. I also liked Elder Uchtdorf's definition of humility as focusing less on yourself and more on others. Last night and the night before at dinner, we talked about our favorite talks so that kinda made up not getting to do it with you guys, but that's definitely my favorite part of conference.
Sorry, I gotta go. The computers are being used up here at the college. Hope I said everything.
Love you and always look up to you.
Bryce

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Violin

Hey Mom!
Thanks so much for the violin and everything. It's so awesome. I liked the piano music just as much as the violin. I don't know the Alvey's very well so it's cool that they did that for me.
Anyway, I don't have a ton of time because we're going to Juneau again today for our Zone Conference. We have the Prince of Whales missionaries with us already. Elder Paul Piper of the 70 will be training us so I'm excited. It'll be my first gen. authority here.
I'm glad you talked to Tasia. She is very thoughtful.
I'm way happy to hear Dad will be working a little with Crystal.
So, I don't think I said I wouldn't want to live in St. George. What I meant is I don't think I could stand never coming back here.
Man, I still haven't told you about this "epic" week. Helen West got baptized Saturday and I confirmed her yesterday. She's so amazing. She's had a fever the past couple days, but she still got baptized. She said even if we had to carry her to the baptism, she wasn't going to let Satan keep her from getting baptized. Her husband wasn't there, which was sad, but she's already working on her kids.
Well, I'm doing great and am very happy! I hope you're doing the same!
Love,
Bryce

PS- This week I'll have been out for a year. That's crazy!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

9-5-10


Hey Mom,
It sounds like it was a good trip up to Mark and Emily's. That is a funny guy that called. We met him at church and he said he needed 3 Book of Mormons to give out. He bore his testimony and said he wanted to serve a mission, but found out he had frontal lobe damage and couldn't. But he's been in 5 mission presidencies and is an awesome missionary. I was going to forewarn you about the call but it was too late.
We were able to teach Helen again and finally teach Natasha(another investigator). But, neither of them came to Church yesterday. Natasha was busy, but we don't even know why Helen didn't come. I'm not really worried about her not being at church, but she wouldn't answer her phone either. We have a really motivated new ward mission leader and Relief Society President so our less active work is improving a lot.
So, I think I'll just send in this deferment paper. Thanks though. I let you know if I need anything else.
Oh yeah. I've been meaning to ask you what you mean by "J". I think your saying just kidding, but usually people abbreviate it with "JK". But I like J, too. :)
I didn't comment last time about what you were saying about pornography. That is pretty crazy. I think I understand a little how destructive it is. Even if it wasn't so addictive and hard to remove, it just degrades and makes worthless the most sacred gift Heavenly Father has given us. A big reason I want to do animation is so I can help make good entertaining movies that kids can watch without having to worry about inappropriate or immoral content in it.
Well, I'm so grateful for everything you and Dad have taught me and how you raised me. Have a great day. I love you.
Bryce

PS- picture of me and Elder Offley above Ketchikan

Monday, August 30, 2010

8-30-10

Hey Mom,
Thanks for talking. And for not making me read your talk ;) I might later. So I looked at my gmail and it says I got accepted to BYU, but I think I was supposed to turn in a missionary deferment form. Did you do that for me by chance? I just printed off a form so if you didn't I could send this in and see if it's not too late to defer I guess. Otherwise I won't worry about it.
Anyway. That's crazy the assistants are up so late. I need my sleep. I don't always get to bed at 10:30 but I'll even take a half hour nap at lunch to get in a good 8 hours a day. We had a great lesson with Helen West again. She had to cancel because she had to wait and sign on heart medicine that was coming, but she called us back and wanted a lesson the next day. She came to church too. She's getting excited for her baptism on the 18th. So, the girl that was really sad was Ashley Bethel who we helped get baptized. She's the wife of the member. Remember the picture I sent home of the huge family, I think you actually sent it back. Ashley got your and Elder Simmons' Mom's emails so she could write you. Did you get an email from her?
Shoot, I gotta go, but I'll talk to you soon. I can feel how much you love and care in you letters. Thanks.
Love,
Bryce

PS- That was a nice letter from Janet. I should probably write her a personal letter back. I haven't been writing Grandma and Grandpa and Grandma personally, either. Is that bad? Probably.

Monday, August 23, 2010

8-23-10

Hey Mom,
Sounds like you had a great week. That's cool about Logan. I'm surprised you remember him. I was thinking how's Eric doing? That's interesting about obesity. It's crazy how even good things can be addicting and take over. I think for me that's sleep and staying at members houses. It's so hard to tell them you have to go when they love having you over so much. There's someone else that said they're related to you Mom by their great uncle or something. They are Alvey's. Do you know who that might be?
So, let me blab about my week. We got to fly up to Juneau for four days. Elder Offley is the District Leader so we went up for a 3 day leadership meeting with Pres. Dance about simplified curriculum for Preach My Gospel. It was really good training, mostly to keep us more focused on our purpose of bringing souls to Christ, and it was cool to see Juneau and work there a little bit. One of my Zone Leaders is from St. George too so it was fun to talk about people we both knew. On the flight back we landed in Petersburg and Wrangell. It was good to get back to Ketchikan though. So, we had another lesson with Helen West before we left and had Sister Taylor there with us. It was a great lesson and we were considering setting a date to be baptized with her, but before we even asked she said "How many lessons do I need to take before I can get baptized, because I feel like I'm ready?" She's planning on September 18th right now. Her husband isn't interested at all and probably won't be at the baptism, even if he's not working. But Helen still has hopes for him and was saying "maybe if I can get him around the temple he might come around, because I really want to be sealed to him". It's way exciting, especially to see her excitement and understanding of the gospel.
The warm sunny days finally left and it's dumping today. We still went fishing though. It wasn't quite as successful as last time but still worth it. My favorite part was watching 3 seals that were hanging out by us catching fish too. Oh, I should tell you I accompanied our gospel principles hymn for my first time. I've been practicing the hymns a little because we have a really nice electric piano in our apartment that looks like a baby grand. OK well I gotta go and I can't think of much else to say, so I love you and will hear from you soon!
Bryce

Monday, August 16, 2010

8-16-10

Hey Mom and Dad,
I'm so glad you had a fun birthday Dad and that you liked the package. Wow that does look like an awesome hike. And it would have been fun to be there with everyone. It's cool Scott and Jonathan came down to go. We're trying to hike a big peak called Deer Mountain today with Travis Taylor (the son of Valerie and Emily's cousin). We were going to do it last Pday, but just hung out with the Taylor's instead. They're a really awesome family and love having us over. Oh, but I did catch a couple of those fish, Elder Offley caught like six, but I was looking for the whale and watching the eagles most the time. We found out they were mostly Chums (dog fish). Something cool- it's been really hot and sunny lately and no one has AC so we've been eating outside, and on Friday we ate on rocks next to a waterfall. It was a little weird because we were in our suits, and the daughter walked up on people who were about to go skinny dipping, but it was still cool.
We had a much better week with our investigators. Some are moving out, but one girl, Natasha, is getting close to baptism if we can get her to come to church. We think her husband is holding her back. This week we started teaching a lady who is so prepared for the gospel. She watches BYU TV all the time and had called our church building for a triple combination. So we dropped one off for her and her husband just said she'd call if she had and questions about it. So we were disappointed that we didn't even get to meet her, but she called us while we were still driving back and asked if we could meet to teach her. She accepted everything we taught and when we were talking about Joseph Smith she said that she knows he is a Prophet. And she said she wants to be sealed to her husband. We asked if she would be baptized and said she would. It was amazing. The next time we met she was sick so we just called her and answered her questions which was pretty much everything that the Articles of Faith cover. She got really excited and said she has been looking all her life for this. She is so in tune with the Spirit. The only thing that is hard is she has bad arthritis and other health issues that make it hard for her to get to church. She was a big highlight of this week.
I've been blabbing enough, I better go. I am so glad you had a great week with everyone. Tell them all I missed being with them! The meteor shower would have been cool too. I wish I could sleep outside here--Especially when our apartment is hot.
I love you two. See ya,
Bryce

Monday, August 9, 2010

jumping fish

Hey Mom, My address here is: PO Box 6321 Ketchikan, AK 99901 I didn't know it was here Doug worked. You should find out where he's been. Some of the fishing boats from the Deadliest Catch tv series port here too. This is a really cool place. It's weird to see so many people and tourists. A lot of the members will stop and talk to us. Know what's cool. The first member family I met I found out is both Emily's and Valorie's cousin. His name is Ron Brent Taylor. There's lots of other people who know people from St. George. They're a cool family. They lent us a fishing pole and we went this morning. I'll show you some pictures, the fish were jumping like crazy. And to top it off we were surrounded by bald eagles, and we saw a whale, and on my way out I saw my first Black bear up here. It was such an awesome morning. We didn't have the most success this week. But we do have a few really good investigators we're working with. And I like working with Elder Offley. He's a really cool (little, especially compared with my last companion) missionary. Oh, did Dad get the package I sent? Did he wait until his birthday to open it? I'm glad you got to spend some time with Mark and Emily. How's Maia doing? So, sometimes your letters seem a little long. But I wouldn't say to leave anything out. Because I really enjoy reading yours too. I hope you are content with my letters being short, because I sure can't write letters that long. More because of time than thinking what to say. But speaking of, I better end soon. I love you and your long letters;) And all your encouragement. Happy 33rd anniversary! and Happy Birthday Dad! Love, Bryce PS the pictures are the ferry from the airport to Ketchikan, a cool boardwalk street down town, and the gym in our chapel(the whole chapel is wood like that, it's way pretty)
video

Sunday, August 8, 2010

8-3-10

Hey Mom,
So I did get transferred. I'm in Ketchikan. I just got here so I don't know too much about it. Elder Stokes served here and told me about it though. We're on the furthest south and east point of Alaska. We're closer to Seattle than to Anchorage. It's a little tourist town of about 13000 people. It reminds me of San Fransisco, the steep roads and we're right on the coast. We're actually on an island and we had to ferry across from the airport. I know my companion, Elder Offley, a little already from Anchorage and he served with 2 of my companions so I'm happy about that. It was kinda hard to leave my last area, even though I've been there so long, maybe because I've been there so long. It was especially hard to leave the Bethel family. We had family night with them last night, which was great, but Ashley Bethel especially was way sad that I was leaving. I hope they get sealed in September so I can go to their sealing. But I know they'll do fine because they're such a great family. I also feel at peace and know that I'm supposed to be here and I'm way excited. There's a couple cruise ships that come in every day. I'm quite a lucky missionary.
That's way awesome that Emily had her baby and about Matt! Thanks for the pics. I'll be praying for her. Actually I gotta go though. We're sending other missionaries out to a little island called Whales.
Love you,
Bryce

Monday, July 26, 2010

7-26-10

Thanks for the pictures Mom. And Dad, for taking them, I assume. So, do you think pictures takes care of writing too? Haha. You probably had a busy week. Mark and Brandon wrote me and Bruce good letters. Not too much happened this week for me. We started playing frisbee golf every morning with our district leader to help motivate us in the mornings. I just bought a cool Gerber knife with Grandma and Grandpa's money. Before I forget, next Tuesday is transfers so this is probably my last week in the Valley. I've been here 6 months. It's been really drizzly lately, but we might go hiking anyway today. We had a fun ward barbecue this week, but none of the less actives that we invited came. The Bethel's were there though, that was good. I'll be sad when I leave this ward because the members are so loving. Even the less active ones we're working with. A guy we helped teach the temple prep lessons to really wants us to go with him, but I don't think it'll happen.
So I didn't even know Valorie is pregnant again. How is she doing? Brandon said she might have to be bed ridden. I'm getting excited for Emily.
Oh, so know what would be cool is to have pictures of my artwork. You could even email them to me if you have them. If not don't worry. A couple people wanted to see my artwork. Another thing is did Brandon and Valorie make a cd of them? Brandon was talking about it and that would be cool to have. Anyway, I'm still enjoying the things you gave me. That'll be way sad if Bruce can't get his package.
I better get going. Thanks for everything that you do for me, and for all the prayers. I'm praying for you and always thinking of you.
Love,
Bryce

Monday, July 19, 2010

7-18-10





Matenuska Glacier
Dear Mom and Dad,
First, thanks so much for the great package and letters. I had a wonderful birthday! For breakfast we made smoothies and waffles and then I opened your package, I also got a little package from Tasia Stubbs with a cd and 2 Book of Mormons with her testimony to give out. I was way surprised to get binoculars, they're way awesome. The cd's are perfect too. I appreciated all the hiking supplies too. If it's not too rainy later today we might go hiking. My birthday dinner was great. It was rainy all day until about an hour before our barbeque and we had hamburgers and marinaded chicken and ice-cream cake with the Jones and their kids the Walkers and Rindlisbachers. Also, Elder Simmons was in Palmer for a leadership meeting so he dropped in to wish me happy birthday. That was way cool to see him again for a little bit.
So with Megan's money I bought a frisbee-golf frisbee (there's a course in our area) and with the money you and Grandma Snow gave me I want to buy a knife. There's a really cool Browning bone handled one at Sportsman's Warehouse I might get.
Anyway, I had a wonderful week and I am so well taken care of by Heavenly Father and by you two and everyone.
A cool thing is we had a guy help us make the "peanut smashing game" that Mark made and we tried it out with the Bethel family. They thought it was awesome. We do a lot of family night activities with some less active families so we wanted to teach them a game they could do easily.
We got to go to the Matenuska Glacier last Monday and that was awesome. You can walk anywhere on the glacier which is way cool, but we had to be careful. Here's some pictures. Oh yeah, I loved all the new pictures! The kids are changing a lot. The fishing pictures were cool too, even the belly one;)
Love,
Bryce

Monday, July 12, 2010

7-12-10

Haha, I think my letter got lost in my head. The library was closed to email for the 4th of July, but I had some time while we were doing laundry so I sent you those pictures. I should still probably write a letter because I know my emails are crappy. Maybe I do have hay fever or something because I just haven't felt well the past month or so and have had to sleep in a couple times. Mostly it's like a soar throat. Our area is really slow right now too, so it's been hard to stay motivated. I'm way excited for my birthday though. An awesome family, the Walkers, signed up to feed us and they're making a cake and having a bbq at a park for me. That's pretty much what we did for the 4th too. The Walkers, Jones, and Rindlisbachers had us at their family get-together on Saturday night at the park and we played soccer with them afterward for a bit. They're so awesome. The Jones are the ones that do our laundry and they often feed us lunch too. It feels like home there. We even broke in once to do our laundry. A 2nd story window was open so Elder Simmons boosted me up so I could let him in. Next time they were gone they just left us a spare key.
Before I forget I'm glad you gave Sara a letter from me too. I miss them all so much. I always talk about my nieces and nephews when someone has little kids that do something that reminds me of them. So who's chicken and dog was Sara feeding?
A blender is a good idea. I have craved smoothies a lot. Luckily, my apartments have been well equipped and I've had a blender, so I've been able to make a couple smoothies. And Elder Stokes was actually going to buy some frozen fruits so we could make one on my birthday. So, I might actually get something else, OK? Maybe a good CD, or a tie, or something. I'll wait until I get your package. Thank you Mom for always being so very thoughtful and loving. I have always felt content and taken care of by you and Dad. (except that we never had a dog after Rascal) Haha, just joking. I'm happy to know that you'll be thinking of me. I'll be thinking of you too! All of you! Have a great week and I will too. I love you.

Elder Bryce Wainwright :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

7-5-10






Thanks for the wonderful letter Mom. I'll hand write you a letter, but it's late so I'll just give you these pictures from today. You can see what Elder Stokes looks like. Love you. Talk to you soon
Bryce

PS - I'm working too. Not just "bowling", I mean hiking

Monday, June 28, 2010

Short letters

Hey Mom,

I bet I can write a shorter letter. I'll try not to, even though I am running a bit late. It was my fault that I am. I slept in the past two days. Unintentionally, but I have had a weird soar throat so I don't feel too terrible about it. Anyway, unimportant things. So, I really like my new companion Elder Stokes. He's from Colorado Springs, Colorado and he's actually lived up here before his mission on the air force bases. In his last area he ran into some of his old friends. That would be so weird for me. He's really tall, 6'3", and he doesn't talk much. Already I feel like we're good friends. I think he just takes a while to open up to people, kinda like me. He's willing to work hard, but we've been struggling to find work. We haven't quite on our current investigators, but they're not progressing right now either.
A cool thing that happened was an investigator who moved to Texas found our number and called us up to thank us for teaching her. We didn't think anything had come of it, but she said as soon as she gets settled in a house she's going to look up the missionaries down there and she wants to get baptized. It was great for me and Elder Simmons to hear that before he left. Sometimes we'll never get to see the results of our faith and efforts, but it's sure a blessing to see how the Lord takes care of His sheep.
I'm glad your knee is feeling better Mom. I didn't realize you were still wearing a brace. Wow, Gary is really starting Kindergarten! He's so old. I bet he's ready too. I better write him a quick letter. Can you read it to him?

Dear Gary,
I miss you so much! Thank you for writing me letters. Are you excited to go to Kindergarten and meet some new friends? I remember when I went to kindergarten I was a little scared, but I had so much fun. I had my brother Bruce to go with me too. If you just do something nice or say hi to someone they will probably want to be your friend. I love you Gary. Give Grandma and Grandpa a big hug for me, OK? See you later,
Love Uncle Brycey

Love you too Mom, keep sharing your great insights.

Bryce

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

6-22-10


Hey Mom!

The Bethel family did get baptized! Everything worked out so perfectly. We taught the kids the last lesson a half hour before their baptismal interviews. I confirmed the 10 year old boy Miles. Man, there's so much I want to talk to you about but I won't have near enough time. I'm staying here, but my companion Elder Simmons is going down to south Anchorage to the same chapel I came from and the neighboring ward. He's having a hard time leaving. He's been a wonderful companion for me, like Elder Jonas sounds to Bruce. I don't know much about my new companion, but I'm sure he'll be great.
We taught Relief Society this Sunday, that was weird and kinda intimidating.
Oops I didn't finish. Well really I gotta go, but I'm glad you got everything alright. Tell Gary I loved his letter and I'll do better to write him. I'm so lucky to have such a loving family. Love you tons Mom.
Bryce
I'm hoping pictures make up for my lack of writing;)

Monday, June 14, 2010

6-14-10

Hey Dad,
Thanks for the letter! Well, last week we didn't have time to go fishing, but we did today. We still haven't caught anything, but we had a couple nibbles and I saw one jump. Yeah, we use salmon roe for bait. This is way different fishing than I've ever done. Right now there's only Kings in and they've barely started. The Reds (Sockeye) are coming in next, then Silvers. We can just fish from shore so we can't dip net or boat but they say the river fishing is great here. I love just being outdoors here. I think the 8 month wait for summer makes me appreciate it a ton. It is so green and pretty here. I'm glad spring was nice and New Harmony reminds me of Alaska. Especially the rocky dirt! I hope you have fun at Thunder Ridge.
So that family, the Bethels, are on date to be baptized tomorrow! They're having their baptismal interviews tonight. The reason why it's so soon is the kids are going to be leaving until the end of July, and the Mom wanted them there and baptized at the same time. The husband is able to baptize them too, so it's way awesome. I didn't think there was any way they would get baptized before the end of this transfer. Elder Simmons is probably leaving so it's way good for him.
Even though I get way excited to fish on Mondays, I'll be excited to do the really important fishing on the rest of the week:)
I love you Dad and I hope you have a wonderful week! Thanks for all that you do and are, especially as my father. Love, Bryce
Hey Mom,
Thanks for the letter. I don't know if you're home now. Sorry this is late. We went fishing this morning. No luck again, but it was worth it. When I said that about your letter I was meaning you described everything so well that it felt like I was there. So I enjoyed reading it. I heard St. George is turning into its own mission. Is that why you're housing missionaries down there?
Oh, before I forget, did you get my package? It has a gift for Crystal, Brandon, and possibly Liam. But I have some little wood things that I want to give to all the nieces and nephews so you can keep Liam’s for now. I hope Crystal got hers in time. I'm going to send Dad at least a card for Father’s Day.
I already told Dad the good news about the Bethel family. The mom and two kids who are 10 and 12 are getting baptized tomorrow! We're teaching the kids the last lesson about the commandments tonight and then they're getting interviewed. They were so prepared to be baptized too. Most of them have friends who are members, and the mom read the entire mormon.org and the Gospel Principles Manuel. Did I tell you the 12 year old went to girls camp with her 2 older sisters and she loved it. We should have a good upcoming week with our other investigators too. So everything is going great. Thank you for your love and prayers.
I love you too!
Bryce
Dang it! My letter is even shorter than your short letter.

Monday, June 7, 2010

6-7-10

Hey Mom,
I just read your letter and I feel like I was there all week. I won't really have much time to write back either. I'm glad Brandon and Valorie's place is working out. And that'll be cool to have the AP's there. Will you feed them breakfast and stuff too? I'm sure they'll love to talk to you about how things are going, but I'd suggest to be considerate of their time too. I'm sure you are. Sis. Hintze's quote is cool. I'm glad Dad went camping. I think offers to go camping are more tempting for me than 4-wheeling or boating. We didn't have any luck fishing last week, but we heard the King's are in and that guy is taking us again today.
This week was so great for me. A part member family that we found and started teaching came to church twice now and we taught the wife pretty much everything and she said she wants to get baptized. Two of their kids do too who aren't baptized. We had Zone Conference and President Dance talked to Elder Simmons and me about them. He was so excited and he told us he hadn't prayed more over any other area. He didn't know what to do because our progress and numbers were so low. This family was definitely an answer to prayer and Elder Simmons and I have seen so many miracles here this last transfer. I've been able to do some fun service this week to: mow lawns, plant a garden, work in a recycle center, dig out an old concrete fence post, and shovel gravel. I'm doing wonderful and I feel like I'm being carried in the Lord's hands. I love you so much Mom and Dad. Just about as much as my Heavenly Father;) Thank you for your example of always striving to put the Lord first and follow Him. Have a great trip to Josh's wedding.
Love,
Bryce

Monday, May 31, 2010

Fishing Cont.

Hello again,
So we went fishing, but didn't have any luck at all. We were a little early in the season. It was still so nice to be out on the river in the sun in 75 degrees. That's why they call it fishing not catching, right. Thanks for the great email and letter you sent. I did love Emily's blog. And thanks for the info about Matt. I don't know if I could handle being in his place. And Argentina sounds pretty intense. The worst bugs up here are mosquitoes. I had a wonderful week too. We found a part member family and the wife wanted us to start teaching her. They're way awesome and their whole family of 9 came to church. Church was all about eternal families and we went over after church and she loved it and has accepted everything we teach her. I can see how she's been prepared to hear the gospel. We also went to that Bible study again and it was only us and Joel so he started asking us some questions and we were able to teach the Plan of Salvation to him. He hasn't accepted it yet, but I think the Spirit will work on him. We did a lot of unplanned service this week which is way fun and helps show that love for people. We've just been busy non-stop it seems which is amazing, especially for the beginning of summer when people are so busy too. I agree with Bruce that I am so very blessed for some reason. I'm trying to just show my gratitude by making the most of every opportunity I have. And then like Brandon told me, be happy with my best and know it's my best. Anyway, I'm glad you and Dad are pleased with your callings and I enjoy hearing what you learned from the Old Testament. Have a wonderful week and I'll be waiting to hear from you next Monday(except we're planning on fishing again).
All my love,
Bryce

We had an amazing dutch oven dinner with ripe watermelon on Sunday that made me think of Dad.

Kimg Salmon Fishing

Hey Mom,
. . . so we're on our way out to go King Salmon fishing right now. A member in the ward is taking us(the guy who's wife died). I just printed your letter off and will have read it later. I guess it's pay backs ;)
I love you and Dad. Have a great Memorial Day!
Love,
Bryce

PS - Grandma's fireplace is awesome! And so are Brandon's sculptures

Monday, May 17, 2010

5-17-2010

Mom,
That's great insight into the Old Testament. I had reasoned that the people of the Old Testament must have been hard hearted and simple minded, but it makes so much sense that it was because of the conditions that they had been in. Recently we have run into some guys who use the Old Testament and harsh punishments that God gave the people to reason that God is unjust, or inhumane, or inconsistent with Christ's teachings. It is sad that they take these lessons that God has given us to learn from, and use it to deny God. One of the guys used to be a preacher and the other got his degree in religion. I think that shows how hard Satan is working and how subtle he is to lead away the hearts of men from God. I want to show your letter to one of these guys.
This past week has been really great though. We've been making progress with a less active guy's son who isn't baptized, and a member family took him to the Priesthood Commemoration camp and then to church yesterday. 3 other people committed to come to church too but didn't make it, so that's a little disappointing but atleast they wanted to come.
We did get to go fishing at a member's private lake. (I forgot to bring my camera cord to send you a picture) I caught a pretty big Rainbow Trout my second cast even though I was using a salmon pole and huge line. I'd say it was about 4 lbs or more. We ate them for lunch the next day. They were good, except the red salmon tastes better.
Anyway, thank you for strong testimony and wisdom. You are such an example to me, even when when you're so far away. I love you too!
Bryce

PS- Elder Simmons and I are going to hike Lazy Mountain today. I'm excited. However, I don't know how "lazy" of a hike it'll be.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

5-11-10

Hey again!
I'm so glad I was able to talk to everyone. And I loved talking individually to you. Were Crystal and Ionut, at our house when I called? If they were, I wish I would have talked to them. At least I got to earlier a little. I can't believe it's been almost 8 months since I left. It felt so normal to talk to you. I have so many good memories to remember with the family. Kinda like your lesson I'm trying to always remember the Savior by noticing the answers to my prayers and remembering when the Holy Ghost has prompted me to do something. Sometimes it's easier to recognize the Spirit in the past than while your trying to follow it.
So both Elder Simmons and I are staying. We were surprised but we're way excited to stay. Also, good news, 2 of our investigators who we thought didn't want us to come over asked why we hadn't been over for so long. So it was great to get invitations to come over. I think we'll be able to get a couple people to the point of baptism this transfer so we have a lot to look forward to and work toward. This morning we had a Bible study with 2 pastors from a local Christian church and it went pretty well. We didn't really disagree on anything so that was better than our last visit with the one in our area and his wife. A member of our ward is good friends with the wife though so that helps us have their trust more. It's sad that they have so much knowledge and faith, but don't understand what they are missing.
Could you tell everyone thank you for all their help financially and especially for their prayers? It's such a blessing to be able to give all of my time to studying and teaching and not have to worry about what's in my wallet or what to eat, like it talks about in the scriptures.
Thank you for love and care.
I love you (two)too!
Bryce

PS- We might go fishing today. The lakes are all melted.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Cranes

Hey Mom and Dad,
It sounds like you had a good week. I'm glad you like the census job Dad. So many people think we're Jehovah's Witnesses. But tracting does seem to be getting better because of spring. The grass is finally starting to turn green and people are just sitting outside soaking up the sun. A funny thing is people burn their grass so it will grow faster. I don't think it does.
Our area really is picking up though. We have 5 investigators basically and should get 2 more next week.
So with phone calls Bruce wants to see if we can conference call, but I think that would mean I would have to call at 9pm-ish on Saturday night. Because I am 2 hours earlier than you, and you are 11 hours earlier than Bruce, right? Can you email me back as soon as you can to see if you want to do that?
If not, I'll probably call you around 1pm, so 3pm your time. And that would be fine with me too.
Anyway, I'm just excited to talk to you too!
Love you all, and I'll talk to you soon.
Love,
Bryce
PS too,
The sandhill cranes and geese only stuck around for about 3 days so they must be further north. They are loud and funny sounding. The Canadian Geese reminded me of that movie though. We opened our back sliding door and could hear them while we studied. There's a couple bald Eagles we see around though. I'm so excited for the summer here, except the mosquitoes which are already here. That's an awesome story about that hummingbird Mom. All of nature is a testament of God's creations I think.
Anyway, take care Mom and Dad

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

4-18-10

Hey Mom,
Thanks so much for your letter. And the birthdays. I can't believe I couldn't remember yours and I always mix up Brandon's and Crystal's. That is great to hear that Emily is pregnant. I assumed she was from what you said.
It's amazing how the "primary answers" for the gospel are really the primary answers to most our needs. Like it's amazing Liam already knows that Jesus Christ was Resurrected.
I can totally see how you were describing Joshua. It's awesome he can entertain himself so well. He's so tuff too.
That was cool to hear how mission calls are made.
Man, I was hoping Matt would get to stay in Argentina, but I'm sure this trial will strengthen him like you were saying about Elder Scott. Let him know he's in my prayers too.
This week we've seen some progress with some people we tracted into. One guy knows some members, started to read the Book of Mormon, and was going to come to church, but didn't make it. Another lady we gave a Book of Mormon to also has a friend in the ward that we found out about. So that makes it nice to have members who have the trust of the people already. We found another guy who is a really tuff guy to teach. He used to be a preacher and now he doubts if God even exists. He thinks that man just make up God to have a reason to have their will done. He also knows there's many errors and contradictions in the Bible so he doesn't take any of it for truth, and he thinks the Book of Mormon is the same way. We got him to commit to read some of the Book of Mormon though. It's hard to help him recognize God's hand in his life when he questions everything. He says he wants to know if God really exists, but he's not willing to make that necessary step of faith before his witness will come. I'm sure he's had some witnesses and just hasn't recognized them. Anyway, we're trying to find anyone who might be ready for the gospel, but I can see how Satan makes people, and us, be busy just to be busy and miss out on important opportunities. I really hope I never miss one because I didn't listen to the Spirit.
I love you Mom. Thanks for thinking of me. I'm thinking of you too.
Love,
Bryce

PS Could you tell Ionut Happy Birthday and make sure he knows how grateful I am for him and how much I miss him. Thanks!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

4-11-10

Hey Mom,
My bite is fine. I didn't get stitches or anything and I was taken care of. One lady in the ward stitched and patched my pants up and Sister Jones who does our laundry gave me some stuff to put on it.
We've been giving out a lot of Book of Mormons, but haven't been able to get any return appointments really. Except one lady has actually been reading the Book of Mormon so we'll definitely keep working with them. She works on Sundays though:(
A less active woman fell down her stairs in the middle of the night and died who us and our Ward Mission Leader and his wife have been getting to really know and make progress with. Her husband is really having a hard time and blaming himself because he always gets up to help her down stairs. I think that talk from Elder Scott about trusting in the Lord would help him. I hope this experience will allow him to come in closer to the church and not push him away. It will always be hard though.
It was Elder Simmons birthday on Emilies birthday so that was fun. We had a little party at our dinner appointment. I made him breakfast, but I felt kinda bad I didn't get him anything. (and we cooked up some red salmon for lunch)
I gave a five minute talk on Sunday. That was the least nervous I've ever been to give a talk, but only because I prayed and was talking about the Restoration.
Dang I feel bad I missed Grandma's birthday. I guess I missed Gary and Sara's too. I don't really know when everyone's is. This is bad, but Mom is yours on May 20th?
They days now are about normal summer days, but we gain like 5 min a day.
I was going to send you more pictures but I forgot my camera.
I'm glad Dad is busy and tell him I love him too! You should send some pictures of Grandma's place when it's done and stuff.
I love you so much and think about you both every day
Take care! and I will too.
Love, Bryce

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Sunday

Hey Mom and Dad,
Thanks so much for both your letters. I feel like I'm learning so much about you and your strong testimonies. It definitely gives me strength. Myldsmail wasn't working for a while and I don't have too much time so I'm afraid I'll have to be a little brief.(especially compared to Mom's letter)
Conference was amazing! Either it gets better each time or I listen better each time. I agree Mom that it seemed to go by fast and when President Monson spoke, I think at the end of Saturday afternoon,(actually it was Priesthood) I felt that Heavenly Father was speaking through him to me. Not even necessarily by what he was saying either. Elder Uchtdorf's talk in Priesthood was my favorite or the one I needed most, and Elder Eyrings. I liked how he said "patience is actively working towards worthy goals, and not getting discouraged when you don't see results"(or something like that). Patience and diligence have a lot to do with each other I think. We still don't have any investigators so we're working on both of those things and also trying to stay light hearted and enthusiastic when we talk to people. Elder Simmons recorded conference on his audio recorder so we listened to Elder Uchtdorf's again.
I'm so glad everything seems to be going well with you. I just heard there's 11 inches of snow in St. George from a member's cousin. Is that possible? (no)
We went running this morning for about 2 miles. It was pretty warm, but it about killed me. We also hiked a little mountain last Monday. It's so great to excercise and not have to wear a coat.
I love you all,
Have a great rest of the week.
Bryce

PS
I got bit by a dog behind the knee right after conference. The first door we tracted a dog tried to bite Elder Simmons, then the very next door as we were walking away another dog nipped me and tore my pants on the seam. Only 3 teeth punctured skin. It's not anything like Bruce's dog bite.
I'm sending a couple pictures too. I only have one 4GB card, so I probably won't send it for a while.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

3-21-10

Hey Mom,
I'm so glad you could help Grandma and spend some time with her and Scott. I'm sure working with Dad helped me build my confidence and I hope that helped Gary. I was even surprised how much Dad let me help make decisions on the Washington house and Shop.
Thanks for your insight on blessings from God. I never really thought of that. But yeah, God gives us trials to learn and grow from them. It's just hard to see that when you're right in the middle of one.
Our family night kinda plummeted. 2 active member families came, but the families they invited didn't make it and no one else. But, I think we have been blessed for our efforts. We ran into some members who have been hiding and aren't on our records and we've taught and have given out some Book of Mormon's to some people who have good potential to become investigators.
Today we might go dog mushing. I don't know how it'll work out though because the snow is mostly melted around here.
I'm getting excited for conference. I can't believe it's already here again. We were talking about Prophet's in Gospel Principles on Sunday and someone said a quote from Joseph Smith that was something like he felt like an acorn about to explode with revelation that held that he had to hold in because the church wasn't ready for it. I wonder what President Monson yearns to tell us and warn us. I hope I can be prepared to get what I need out of conference. I'm so grateful we have a Prophet on earth who can lead us to the Savior and knows what we need. I hope I can get some people to this conference.
Thanks for the wonderful letter Mom,
Love Bryce

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

3-15-10

Hey Mom,
Thanks for your letter, and the updates on Matt. It sounds like people there are so ready for the gospel. At least a lot more so than here. I think it's because people are comfortable here. They have nice cars, big yards, snow toys, they can keep to themselves, and so many people smoke a ton. It's legal to have weed, just not legal to grow it. Which doesn't make any sense. There definitely are people who are ready or looking for the gospel, it can just seem really hard to find them. Elder Simmons and I are trying something different and we have been passing out flyers to invite families to have a family night at the church. I'm a little nervous people won't show, but whatever happens is supposed to I guess. We have no investigators we're teaching so it's taking a lot of faith on our part to just keep tracting and teaching members because we feel like it's not being successful. There's so many Jehovah's Witnesses up here. Everyone keeps telling us we've already been by and it's really JW's. Anyway, something I learned from ZC was to get referrals from members is just build their faith and teach them the simple message we teach so they will be more confident in sharing it. Also when teaching, the most important thing is to listen. Really listen to the investigator and ask good questions instead of worrying about what to say next or covering all the content of the lessons. And then just listen for the Spirit and it will show me what I need to say next. PMG does talk about that, but it just hit me harder in ZC. So, I guess what recharges my batteries is teaching people. Mostly because I need to work on it so much.
What you were saying about marriage definitely applies to missionary companions too. When we have the same goals and purposes the minor things are smoothed over.
So I've started buying fruit because not many people have it at dinner. The fruit is expensive and has to be a little raw or bruised because it's barged up here. But I'm not complaining at all. Last night we had stake and potatoes and ice cream and pie. I'm jealous it's getting green there. We have a month or two before the snow will all melt here. But I think our daylight is passing up yours already so that's nice. Well I better send this so you can get it.
I love you Mom and Dad,
Bryce

Oh yeah, I saw Dad yesterday, leaning on the white F150. Haha, some members google earthed our house last night and it has a picture with Dad and I think Gary is in front of the McArthurs house. I remember Dad saying he saw the Google car driving up the circle. Anyway that was cool.

Monday, March 8, 2010

3-8-10

Man, I feel so lucky. Just about everyone wrote me today. So, not much happened investigator wise with me but this week went so fast. We did a lot of service helping someone move, someone do electrical, we helped with the Iditerod(I was hoping we'd see some dog sleds or something but we just packed everything back into a storage unit) also, just on our way to email we helped this girl get out of a snow drift. The snow blows in piles on the roads and in this spot it was probably 50 mph winds! We were inspired to stay in our service clothes, but I literally thought my face would freeze. It was covered in water, snot, and ice! We had Zone Conference this week. It was really good and I needed it. Brother Watson spoke and he helped write Preach My Gospel and is in charge of the Dpt. of Proselyting or something. It helped me increase my faith and gave me a lot to work on with how I teach by staying focused on my purpose.
So it sounds like quite a bit is going on there. I'm glad Dad is making the Washington house nice for you two. I am also so grateful that Dad was able to be the bishop when I left on my mission. It only made him twice the example to me. That's also awesome Brother (Bishop) Decker will be able to send out Josh. And I'm glad Cody is doing well. Kendall and Bruce seem to be doing so great too. I wish I heard more from Matt though.
That's way funny you and Bruce's companion were studying Abraham and Lot and stuff because my companion is too. He was glad to hear someone else was struggling with the Old Testament too. He almost gave up because it just doesn't have the same power as the Book of Mormon and it's the Law of Moses. He realized a lot of it is about the temple and it is still all testifying and preparing the people for Christ to come.
Well, don't work too hard you two. I love you Mom and Dad. I am so grateful that our whole family is sealed and temple worthy. It is so sad to see how often it seems that is not the case and so many families are torn apart. I think that is why I don't miss you all too much. Take care and I'll talk to you soon.
Bryce

3-8-10

Man, I feel so lucky. Just about everyone wrote me today. So, not much happened investigator wise with me but this week went so fast. We did a lot of service helping someone move, someone do electrical, we helped with the Iditerod(I was hoping we'd see some dog sleds or something but we just packed everything back into a storage unit) also, just on our way to email we helped this girl get out of a snow drift. The snow blows in piles on the roads and in this spot it was probably 50 mph winds! We were inspired to stay in our service clothes, but I literally thought my face would freeze. It was covered in water, snot, and ice! We had Zone Conference this week. It was really good and I needed it. Brother Watson spoke and he helped write Preach My Gospel and is in charge of the Dpt. of Proselyting or something. It helped me increase my faith and gave me a lot to work on with how I teach by staying focused on my purpose.
So it sounds like quite a bit is going on there. I'm glad Dad is making the Washington house nice for you two. I am also so grateful that Dad was able to be the bishop when I left on my mission. It only made him twice the example to me. That's also awesome Brother (Bishop) Decker will be able to send out Josh. And I'm glad Cody is doing well. Kendall and Bruce seem to be doing so great too. I wish I heard more from Matt though.
That's way funny you and Bruce's companion were studying Abraham and Lot and stuff because my companion is too. He was glad to hear someone else was struggling with the Old Testament too. He almost gave up because it just doesn't have the same power as the Book of Mormon and it's the Law of Moses. He realized a lot of it is about the temple and it is still all testifying and preparing the people for Christ to come.
Well, don't work too hard you two. I love you Mom and Dad. I am so grateful that our whole family is sealed and temple worthy. It is so sad to see how often it seems that is not the case and so many families are torn apart. I think that is why I don't miss you all too much. Take care and I'll talk to you soon.
Bryce

Monday, February 22, 2010

New Area

So my new companion is Elder Simmons. I like him a lot, he's from Boise Idaho basically, he's kinda quiet like me, he loves outdoors and dirtbikes, and he's a great teacher of the gospel. This area is a little harder because the houses are so spread out here, but we taught a new investigator at a members' home for family home evening so that was a great way to start out the week. Except that night Elder Simmons got the 24 hour flu or something and we had to stay in the apartment the next day. At least I was able to finish the Book of Mormon and Pearl of Great Price. Our area is right in the middle of Palmer and Wasilla so we're in both towns. Our apartment is huge. There used to be 4 elders so there's 2 bedrooms(we only use one for the walk in closet that I get) and it's 2 stories with 1 and 1/2 bathrooms. This shower actually has pressure too! There's some great members in the ward. I'm so surprised how many people know where St. George is or have been there. Like one guy is related to the Ence's if you know any of them. Oh and yeah it's Sean Stoker who's coming here in March. I didn't know him way well but that'll be cool to see him. I actually might not since I'm not in Anchorage anymore and I don't think I'll be able to go to the temple up here. So Dad, the Elder Smith you told me to look out for was my last companion.(I think I forgot to tell you that) That's sweet there's an ice rink there. We're going to try and find someone with some skates we can steal and go skating.
Anyway, that is crazy to hear your putting the house up for sale and everything, but I'm glad your trying to follow the Prophet's counsel and I know you'll be blessed for it. I definitely know we're tried when we are doing what's right. I'm glad my room is a good memory for you:) It's gotten up to 50 degrees up here! We're just wearing our suit coats. I better be telling you guys to stay warm it sounds like. Well, I'll definitely pray for you all and, stay warm.
Love,
Bryce

PS my address is:

7850 Duchess A5
Palmer, AK
99645

Monday, February 15, 2010

transfer 2-15-10

I'm sad I didn't get a letter or email from you. Maybe the mission office is just holding my mail because I'm getting transferred today. Yeah, I'm going to Wasilla, so it's less than an hour away. I only had 1 transfer with Elder Smith, he's going to be training a new elder, so that's way awesome because he's only been out 6 months. It's kinda hard to be leaving this area. I got to say bye to a lot of the members yesterday. But what's sad is we just set a baptismal date for a guy we're teaching, Russ King, (that's not the sad part) and I will miss the baptism and didn't even get to say bye. However, I feel good about my new area and my new companion. I hear he's a hard worker. So we did eat some of the octipus. I didn't dare bite the head but I got a good 3 1/2 tentacles. I almost gagged at first, but it wasn't as bad as I thought. We tried to warm it up first in the microwave, but one of the legs started to blow up. The Iditerod is going on this week (it's a dog sled race across Alaska if you don't know what it is) and I might be able to help out with it. That will justify missing out on the Olympics. Actually I didn't even know they had started until the next day. It's crazy there is so much bad weather down south, especially on the East Coast, because it is the warmest winter they've had here in a while. I think that's evidence of the signs of the times. Anyway, I'm doing great and I gotta go to pick up the old AP from the airport. Love you Mom and Dad.
Bryce

Monday, February 8, 2010

Super Bowl Sunday

It's been a pretty warm winter here, except it finally started snowing again the past 2 days. We're playing racquetball again today and Elder Smith is way excited to play.
So we checked up on that Samoan guy we gave a blessing to at 2:30 am and he said "I feel great Elders, I'm going to take you to Taco (Taco Bell)" They had us order what we wanted then they ordered a ton of taco's. I was thinking man they must be hungry, but I should have known they were getting it all for us! I was so bloated. Yesterday another one of the Samoan family gave us a whole ton of baby octipus! Luckily we were fasting so we didn't have to eat it in front of them. We're going to try some today, atleast one. I think they're raw in some coconut milk or something. Like the head and suction cups and everything! We had some more tracting success this week and it was a whole family. They are catholic, but I don't think they're practicing because they had a hard time remembering their churches name. They didn't really have any concerns either and accepted a Book of Mormon. However, it was lame, none of our investigators came to church! Oh well, we can't do much about that. But it's been a pretty busy week except yesterday being SuperBowl Sunday was tuff. It was worse than any holiday. Well, I gotta go and try and figure out how to change my email stuff.
Love you all,
Bryce

Monday, February 1, 2010

Special Sacrament Meeting

Hey Mom and everyone,
This week has flown by. We had Zone Conference and this Sunday the wards in the whole state were supposed to bring investigators to church and Sacrament meeting was devoted specifically to Christ. Our ward only got 3 nonmembers to church, and we didn't get any of our investigators there. We even picked up 5 new investigators before Sunday and 3 of our 11 investigators had committed to be there for sure. At least we were able to teach this older lady, Kim, who came to church on her own and is a friend of a member in our ward. We've been so blessed in our tracting and 3 of our new investigators came from that. So last night, or this morning I should say, Sister Motuga (Samoan family) called us at 2:25 am and I thought it was just the alarm and hung up on her. She called back and said Bro Motuga was having a hard time breathing and was asking for a blessing before they went to the hospital. We called our ZL's to ask for permission, but they obviously didn't answer. So we decided to just go. Bro Motuga's brother was there, but he couldn't give him a blessing so I'm glad we could help. I was so tired this morning though and we slept instead of showering.
Sorry, I told you I'd send some journals last week, but I didn't send them until this morning. I did get everything from Summer, but I don't think I wrote her. I'm having a hard time finding time to write, but I can do better. Fast Sunday, I'll remember everyone, (As long as you all remember your red ties :)) I did love working on that house and shop(in Washington)and I miss it actually. Not really the heat. We went to the ski resort in the mountain range by us last Pday, I started to tell you about it. It was way pretty there and the mountains seemed huge. We went up a lift through the clouds and half way up the mountain. I got some nice pictures that I don't know if I should print or just wait and send my sd card with all my pictures. Today we want to play racquetball again or maybe basketball. I finally tried Moose meat with some rice. It's pretty good. And a less active guy gave us some more Halibut and Moose burger meat to cook up. Man, I'm excited for summer when I can actually go fishing. It's pretty expensive though until I've lived here for a year, so my second summer I'll likely fish more. I can't believe I've been out for over 4 months and Bruce has been out half a year. I can already see how my time is so short here. Last night at dinner this lady was talking about advice for life and she said "don't blink." I agree.
Oh, we're changing email addresses just so you know. You can still email to this address, but I'll probably switch over soon. I counldn't figure out how to do it today though.
Anyway, thanks for the letters. I love you, you know.
Bryce

Monday, January 25, 2010

1-25-10

I am way excited to be teaching so much. This week we taught 21 lessons. We had way good tracting success and got 2 investigators who we taught on the spot and gave them a Book of Mormon to read. One guy said he has a member friend and has studied up on the church a lot, but isn't convinced about Joseph Smith seeing God and Jesus. He says he's a UFC fighter and showed us some crazy scars he has. Elder Smith knows the guy he said he fought and he's way good. Our coolest tracting experience was this older AfricanAmerican lady who was missing almost all her teeth told us to "please come back" the next day. She wasn't there when we went back so we thought she might have blown us off or something, but one time her daughter answered and said she was in the hospital and her husband just died. Her daughter said Joan would read the Book of Mormon so hopefully she brings it over to her, and she seems like she's really looking for answers. We were also way surprised when our investigator Dale Whaline called us up and we were able to give him a tour of the church and teach him the Plan of Salvation. He didn't make it to church, but he knows it's true and is praying about getting baptized. Something is just getting in his way. Anyway we're getting close with a lot of people and it's way exciting. We just don't know how to get them to church.
pictures. I'll need to print some, or try and fill up my card so I can send it to you. Today we're going to take a lift to the top of Alyeska so I should get some good pictures. I don't even have one of my companion yet. I realize I haven't been sending journals. I'll try to send some today. I'm trying to email better letters too. We mostly stay here our full hour now. But it is getting about time to go so I love you tons and I really am learning the language well:) Hope to hear from you soon, Bryce

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

1-18-10

Hey Mom and Dad,
Thanks for both of your letters. I do love hearing from you every week too. It was fun hearing about some of your experiences dad. I'll keep praying for Scott. I don't know what I told you about Elder Smith, but he's a great companion. Especially for only being out 5 months. He's from Highland, he's going to play safety for Weber State football. He reminds me of Matt Snow. His brother is in Texas. We're working way good together. We taught 24 lessons last week, which is more than our district leader said he's ever taught in a week. We got about 3 new investigators this week but we keep finding out they live out of our area. We should meet a new one this week who is a recent convert's mom and she actually is in our ward. We were also going to commit our main investigator Dale Whaline to a baptismal date, but we think he's avoiding us. Anyway, we have a lot to be doing and teaching.
That's way sad to hear about Gloria. And let me know about Grandma Snow too. Atleast she's doing better it sounds like. Take care and I will too. We might play some Risk with a family, the Bairds. That should be fun.
Love you,
Bryce

Monday, January 11, 2010

Summer's letters

Hey Mom,
Yes I did get your letter and thanks. I did get Summer's letters and they made me way happy. You can tell her thanks if you get a chance to talk to her before me, haha. I'm so bad at writing. I get so many letters though! I'm just so loved I guess ;) You and Crystal sound like you have such crazy schedules! I appreciate how much time you must put to writing me and stuff.
Anyway I have a great companion. Elder Smith and I are working way hard with tracting and teaching lessons, and we're already getting blessed for it. We got one new investigator from tracting but he's not too solid and he's about all that's come from tracting except a guy that ran out in his whitey tighties who we had woken up and he yelled "What are you doing? You can't be here if you don't live here!" he looked quite ridiculous and we were about to ask what he was doing, but then he slammed the door. There are definitely some interesting people here. I'm learning a lot from teaching though even just members, and just relying on the Spirit. We should get one or two baptisms this transfer. Were teaching a couple people who know the gospel is true, they just have a hard time making commitments and let little things get in their way. I'm so grateful for the answers that the gospel has. God will give us anything we really stand in need of. Thanks for your love and prayers. I'm excited to get your letter!
Bryce