Monday, March 26, 2012

Sarah & Isatu

This past Saturday there was an awesome baptismal service held for Sarah and her daughter Isatu.  They walked into church one day and stayed for 6+ hours and accepted a baptismal date the first time that I met with them.  Their story goes on from there but that is all history.  Here are some pictures from the baptismal service. I, the favorite elder, had the privileged of baptizing Isatu, Elder Norris Baptized Sarah.

Now Fanta is a whole different story from her sister and mom.  She is by far the cutest little girl ever.  It took her a while to get her to warm up to me but now ever time she sees me she runs and screams to meet me.  Although whenever we tried to take a picture of her she would fold her arms and frown so E. Bay being the master he is was able to snatch the picture above of her which resembles how she usually is.  She likes to play the game of when your crouch down to talk to her she pushes you over and laughs.

It was a great experience all together and I am happy for both of them.  They have already seen the difference that it makes in their lives.

I hope everything is going well for you folks back home.  I continue to be out of the loop but keeps things exciting I guess.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

How did I do?

This week was the week that my life in the office was supposed to slow down but it seemed to forget that it was supposed to :p.  There was only one meeting planned for the middle of the week that normally I don't need to do anything for but I managed to wiggle my way into a whole lot of work of which I am great-full for.  I had a heck of a lot of fun doing it.

 Well with leadership meeting this week we were trying to come up with a way to effectively show people where we are in baptisms for the month and where we need to be.  As well as get all of the Church leaders in the are on the same page as the missionaries... As you can imagine what will interest church leaders will most likely bore missionaries.  Old people just tend to enjoy practical boring things while half of the missionaries out here could care less what a bar graph says.  Well I was asked to just create a chart of bar graphs (not included because it isn't all that impressive or interesting) and then I started brainstorming with E. Johnson on how to get missionaries to look at this email because I know I wouldn't look at an email of just graphs.... let alone care or understand what it means to me. So one of the things that happens in the mission is a weekly email that contains what is called Zone Shout Outs. Which is the only email sent out that everybody pays attention to and so I got the thought... why not create something that includes both the zone shout outs and the main part of the information that we would like the missionaries to know.  Realizing that the main part is better then nothing this is what we came up with.
One problem we saw last year is that our goal was always in the back of our mind but no one took it to heart until the end of the year when they realized they might not make it. With this we are hoping to create this fire and motivation to occur each and every month because they realize where they need to be to reach there goal.

I would appreciate some opinions concerning the design of it.  This is my first design that has used strictly text, which is probably my weakest point of design.  The reason for the color choice is it matches the page of bar graphs in case a missionary does decide to look at the graph it is color coordinated. It is also designed to be able to expand as far as numbers changing and the geographical breakdowns (previously known as zone shout outs).  The top part is a map of the mission in case people were confused. The numbers surrounding the map are how many bapt that happened that week.  This was all designed in inkscape (free) for those who are interested.    Oh and it is also my first design that I have used the color yellow in... Proof alone that I am a changed man :P

Above is one reason why this week was busy.  This took up a day and a half of work and the rest consisted of a baptismal interview which meant going on an exchange... And of course that only caused more stress because we had a presentation somewhere else the next day that president needed us for but because we were on exchange we didn't get all that we needed to done.  Causing a lot of stress in the morning trying to exchange back while completing everything before the meeting started.  Needless to say it all worked out perfectly but it was rather stressful in large part to E. Bay.  He is truly a blessing to have as a comp.

Well I've got to go throw a program together for the Baptism tonight.  I will post pictures of it up next time.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Mormonism 101

One thing that has been a big push in the mission lately as well as just the mormon culture in general, at least in Virginia. Is this article that the church has just released which includes some FAQ that are commonly discussed as well as an info-graphic on some statistics concerning the church.  These are both something I would highly recommend reading and making yourself familiar with.

Here is the info-graphic that is contained on the site.  I realize that some that read this post wont bother looking and so I figure I'd put some enticement.  No shame in that right?

Much love from Virginia!  I have to peace out just thought I would post this up while I've got some extra P-day time. 


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Zone Conference Week

This week was a pretty standard 2nd week of the transfers.  Every transfer during the 2nd we week the mission holds zone conferences which is where the zones meet together and get trained by the APs, the Mission President, and the Zone Leaders.  Which means that the APs, the mission president, and my comp and I have to drive around each day but Monday and Saturday to these meetings which take place all over the mission...  As you can probably guess by the end of the 4th zone conference I start to have nightmares about listening to the same thing one more time... Its pretty bad.  To illustrate how bad it is I thought it was fitting to post this picture of my companion dying from his allergies ( we will pretend it is because of going to 4 different zone conferences)

But backing up a little bit to Monday.  On Monday we had the honor of going golfing with one of the senior missionaries who was just released this last transfer meeting from managing the finances of the mission. I wasn't able to get a picture with the senior missionary in it but here is me and E. Peterson and Johnson and Bay.  I didn't do as good at golfing as I did with bowling but I didn't do too bad... got a 48 on a par 3 course which is +21. Not really good at all but hey who cares.  All in all it was a fabulous p day and a great way to start off the week.

me, E. Peterson, Johnson, Bay
As far as my area.  It is going great! we should be having 2 baptisms coming up here in the next week and we are looking forward to that.  After this week we should have a little bit more down time to finish things up in the office and get out and knock some doors.  But it may have to wait another week because I've got a lot of work to complete to make reporting easier for the next office elders.

I feel I might be fighting something but it may just be a bad case of too much junk food.. I've gotten back on to my work out schedule which usually means that I stop eating junk food as well so that will be cured here coming up soon.  Can I just say I am way happy I don't have any allergies... after seeing my comp almost die from them just about everyday I continually shout out thanks for not having allergies.

I apologize for this post it is scatter brained and not very entertaining.   Didn't have much to say this time around.


here are a few good stories shared at Zone Conference.  I would highly recommend reading them.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Out to get me

This week was exciting enough that is for sure... any more exciting and I just may have to quit my job and walk away :P (not really).  This week is without a doubt a lot more calm then last week but certainly contains a heck of a lot of driving.  The mission has been switching out their cars lately, buying new ones and selling the old ones.  Which means that we have to not only pick up the cars but then deliver them to the missionaries that are getting them.  All of which included me and my comp, but don't get me wrong I'm not complaining too much it was just a lot of driving... 

We picked up 4 new cars this week we got some more of the cruzes that i talked about last week (think i did at least) then we got 2 Subaru Legacy which are hands down the nicest car I've driven thus far.  It still felt like a sports car which I didn't like too much but it rode around super smooth and you just kinda felt like you could sit back and chillax and take it easy which is something I'm awfully fond of.  Still would prefer a more classy feel but absolutely loved driving these guys off the lot.  Kinda an addicting feeling driving a car off of the car lot... hopefully I don;t get too addicted to it because I don;t think it is a very good habit if I am to stay out of debt....

On one of these car adventures we ended up getting home a little late from picking an old car up after we dropped off the new one... Me not thinking very well decided I'd go straight to the apartment instead of dropping the extra car off that my comp was driving. Now normally that wouldn't be a problem... especially in Utah. But for those of you who have never lived in Virginia every stinking place to park in here is either painted yellow (meaning you cant park there) or it requires a parking permit.  I have parked a car at my apt before with no problem so i figured just one night would be fine... Sure enough the next morning  when we go out to take the car to get detailed so we can sell it it seems to have vanished.  One of those oh crap...... moments for sure.  We go to the front office and get the tow truck company's number and give them a call. Sure enough they snatched the little buger and its gonna cost 125 to pick it up. I was pretty darn ticked.  Although thankfully the senior couples that I work close with were kind enough to help us with a large chunk of the cost cause it wasn't our car but one we picked up for them it still was rather annoying.   

When we went to pick it up the office of the tow truck place was this  little trailer shack looking thing with the window about 6x6in and thats all there was to talk through and everything... I think that if for safety a company has to only have a tiny window so that they don't get the crap beaten out of them they are doing something wrong... maybe thats just me. I sure was as nice as i could be to the lady hoping she would drop the price a little bit but I think they have seen that trick before or something... it was a no go.  

Other then dropping cars of this week has been pretty normal... Involved lots of stake correlation reports which I am currently so sick of doing but thats ok.  I had an excellent exchange with my district leaders comp as well which doesn't happen too often cause of our busy schedule but we snuck one in. 

Overall I can say that this week was pretty good.  one of the senior missionaries out here has the motto of "life is good" I'd say this week complements his motto 

One of my ponderings of this week is trying to find one word to explain my life as well as my beliefs and theories... if any of you have some a word that has changed your life and inspired you to do better I would dare to go as far as asking you to share that word with me in hopes of getting inspiration.  I promise I wont steal it from you either. I thought about change as one but that one has already been taken ha ha.  

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Blessed transfer week.

This week has been a rather exciting week indeed.  Granted those of you who are reading this may not agree because you don't get very many good stories out of it but rather it is just busy... So you wont here much about it other then that but my hopes are that I will at least be able to get a few good tales down this time around.  I just had to ramble on for this first paragraph in order to motivate myself to continue one... which is why most of my first paragraphs don't make much sense :P

So the week starts off with the breath before the storm so to say... On Monday we have next to nothing to do which allowed us to take a full p-day which hardly ever happens. Now that I think about it it didn't even really happen again but the work that I had to do was rather exciting work. I got to go pick up 2 brand spanking new Chevy Cruizes and take them for a little joy ride while talking to an Elder I haven't talked to for a good long while.  During all this we managed to find some jazz music to play in the background as we dove deeper and deeper into thought.  Such a wonderful blessing jazz music is.  

Tuesday wasn't all that bad.  We ended up splitting up and I went to visit people with a missionary who was going home while my companion took an elder to get an x-ray then we had to take all of the mail that has been on hold since Saturday to the transfer chapel including bikes and zone boxes.  We were able to get it all in one load though thanks to our trusty 12 passenger E350 :) by the time we got home it was time for bed. 

Wednesday was a little more busy but it didn't really seem like it because it started off with taking a missionary to physical therapy and then out to Sorak Garden for a classy lunch.  After that is when the explosion happened and up tell now my comp and I have had no time to just sit and think.  Once we got back from lunch we had to empty the seats out of the van and clean it out for all of the new missionaries luggage because it was raining and we couldn't put them in the truck.  After making it nice and clean we drove to the airport where we met up with the AP's and ate a donut while we waited for there flight to land.  For those of you who go to airports often enough the police there can be rather picky about where you park so, because the AP's like to be there for the new missionaries, my comp and I split up and I got the van and he got a different car and I just sat there listening to music while pondering by myself (pretty odd thing to do as a missionary thats for sure).

Fast forwarding a bit because all of the little details don't matter much but rather that it was full of random stuff that we had to attend but not necessarily do anything for but clean up after.  After transfers happened on Thursday we went to dinner with the departing missionaries.  This meal is one of my favorites for a few reasons.  One being Sister Albright is an amazing cook and goes all out with this meal and the next is in watching all for these missionaries going home you are able to pick up so many characteristics that they have developed over 2 years and you are able to figure out how to apply them to your life.  Its kinda like seeing the answer to the tests  :) woot for cheating.  After the meal they get to have a testimony meeting which is one of the most powerful meetings you could go too.  Two years of trials and lessons learned are shared and that is all the detail I will go into on that one.  When that meeting is all done we go bowling... And this is probably where I will get excited and my sentences will start to make less sense then they already do...

Elder Doyle came in before he left and gave the Pres. a dollar and said this is for the person who wins bowling which just added some motivation for people to do well.  Fast forwarding again... well rewind first.  Last time I went bowling I had E. Crockett teach me how to spin the ball properly so that it comes at the pins from the side and increases your chance of a strike.  I decided I would only bowl that way to  master the skill a little better.  K now fast forwarding.  About half way through the game sister albright decides to throw in $20 if anybody can beat 160... Now you have to understand that in bowling my I rarely break 100 and on my best of days the highest score i got was maybe 115.  So I just kinda shrugged off being able to get above 160 and continued to try and master the walk which is an important part.... Gotta get the strut right or there is no chance you will be good :P Well I'm not sure how to word the next part so i will just put the picture up :)
Im the one on the bottom.  'H'
I look a little odd... thats all good though.

I also had Sister Albright take a picture of me holding up the ball that helped me win the game as well as the dollar bill and the $20(I'll put it up when i get it from her).  One thing that is kinda funny is before we went in to bowl I told E. Bay ( my comp) that if i bowled 150+ i'd buy some bowling shoes... thats how confident i was that I wouldn't break 150 but sure enough it happened.  Now I'm deciding if i should actually follow through with the bowling shoes or not :P 

Well after winning that game I was pretty sure I could do it again but of course I couldn't...I did however still break 100!  103 ha ha.   Now I owe one of the missionaries that went home lunch when I get home in a yearish.  

After bowling we went back to the mission home and I got to bed around 2.  When I say bed I mean the couch in the main room without a blanket or anything and still in my white shirt and suit pants :P I fell asleep waiting for another missionary to grab blankets which he never did so I froze all night.  Then at 5 we woke up and drove them to the air port then went home and crashed in a real bed (with a blanket) and slept and took a nap. 

I keep remember more stuff... sorry.  After the nap we had to distribute the Cruizes to missionaries which meant driving the entire day.  And of course one of the missionaries... Sisters.  gave us a car that had absolutely no gas and they took the gas card as well which left us praying that we could make the 40 min drive to our next drop off point and use that set of sisters gas card. thankfully we made it but it was certainly a close one

Thats the just of what a transfer week looks like with all of the little boring details that we have to do :P rather busy for everyone here in the office but always fun thats for sure.  

I was considering putting some of my ponderings of late but that would make it even longer so I may just save it for a rainy day...

Congratz for making it to the end!


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