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