c I came home December 15,2010 //

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

03/31/2009 (Transfers already?)

Well, transfers are here again. We will probably find out Friday what will happen. I will probably stay here and get a new companion, but I will let you know. I am actually really excited. I love Elder Flint but he has been here for 7 and a half months and has created a really strong bond with most of the members and other people. So I felt like I didn't do much so I am hoping that when he leaves I will be able to get out there and do more work and feel like I belong a little bit more and I am not just there to learn.

Well another update on Todd. I guess when he stopped taking narcotics, he promised himself that in 30 days he would stop smoking. Well Friday was 30 days. We went over on Thursday night and gave him a blessing. I gave it and I feel uncomfortable saying this, because he has been in Vancouver all week with his wife and kids so I haven’t talked to him, but, as I was giving it I could feel the Lord telling me that he won’t have any more temptations to smoke again and I was able to bless him with that. It was crazy.

Another thing that was crazy is he said it had been 30 days. I was shocked that I had been here for 30 days. I was in the bathroom when I was thinking about this and I figured out that since I entered the MTC I have been on my mission 105 days today. Out of 730, that’s not bad.

We haven’t done much teaching. We had an inactive family of about 9 go to church, a single guy, a single mom, and an elderly lady that’s about 85 or so go that haven't been in a couple years. She is really funny and witty. She has shingles in her arm so she can't drive and she has really bad short term memory loss so every time we go over she tells us that no one visits her because she can't remember them coming over.

A lady that is 97 served a mission with her husband in Peru (before dad served his) gave me a letter opener from Peru. It is pretty neat; it has a little design etched into it.

It rained all day Saturday and into the night. Then we woke up Sunday morning and there were 2 to 3 inches of snow on the ground. It was crazy. It melted by noon though. Otherwise the weather hasn't been bad. We have been walking about 15 miles a day or so, which has been really nice. The weather is so nice its fun to just walk and talk with Elder Flint.

Tomorrow we are going for a BBQ at the house of the family of 9 that came to church. They are making Carne Asada. I am really excited. It is one of their daughter’s birthday so that’s why we are going.

On Friday there is a baptism for 2 kids that are 8 and a brother and sister (by adoption) and I and Elder Flint and their dad are singing “I am a child of God”. People love missionaries I guess.

Saturday, during the pouring rain, we had to move a family in from Royal City; it’s up by Moses Lake. And the guy was a metal worker. I have never lifted so much heavy useless junk.

Well that’s about it for this week. I hope all is well in the sunshine state. They say that Eastern Washington doesn't rain much but people lie too. Keep chugging along. I love you all.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

03/24/2009 (Still chuggin along)

Well four weeks down and only two to go on the transfer. The work is progressing but we could do better. Not much is happening other wise.

We had a good experience tracting on Sunday. We were going to only tract for about 15 minutes and we came to this condo-type house and that was the last one. A Mexican guy opened and I introduced ourselves and said what we were doing. Then Elder Flint talked about baptism and the guy perked up. We don't normally talk about baptism on the door step but we did there. He was really interested. Then he said that he and his wife (who wasn't home) go to a different church but the pastor was a little weird. We found out that he told them that he should give them their food stamps which is A. illegal and B. flat out foolish for a pastor to say. He said he and his wife want to get married but don't really have the money to pay for it. So we told him that we can get them married for free and we have free English classes and he can get baptized all for free. He seemed very interested. His name is Efrain. We are going back Thursday.

I bought some new shoes today. They are Johnston-Murphys. I only bought them because they were 50% at a store that was going out of business downtown. They are pretty nice and really comfortable.

Elder Flint gave me his comforter. We went to buy one and he just asked if I just wanted his and I said yes so that was nice of him.

We have been running low on miles so I have borrowed another elder’s bike. I probably look kinda goofy riding but oh well. At least my shirt is on the right way and my helmet isn't backwards. It only takes about 20 minutes to get from one end of town to the other so it’s not bad except it has been really windy. It also helps me get to know the streets better. I feel like I have a good hold on the ward and the streets for the next transfer.

We have been giving a lot of blessings lately. I am kinda happy because I have been able to get the anointing down in English and I also did one in Spanish. That was hard but I did it so hopefully I will do better next time.

We had stake conference this weekend which was really good. President and Sister Belnap came and gave really good talks. I have never been to an adult session of conference but they are awesome. Very spiritual. During the Sunday session President Belnap had us all stand up and he read off our names and where we were serving. That is interesting. The stake president then spoke and said thanks to President Belnap for letting his stake have all of the good missionaries and President Belnap just smiled and nodded his head. He doesn't smile very often so that was interesting.

The weather hasn't been bad. About 50's with rain and pretty windy. But when it's sunny it’s real nice. I haven't taken a lot of pictures, but a few. There are 40 thousand people in Walla Walla. So it’s decent size but not too big. I think my companion is a little excited to go home. He says he doesn't want to but I think he is pretty burned out. He is going to BYU in the summer but I don't know what he is going to do until then. He wants to be a lawyer. He is from St. George.

Well, I am really liking Walla Walla. I told a lady last night that I would stay here the whole time if I could. They actually have a downtown area. They have tall buildings and cool little shops. I really like it. It is a neat town. The city is run by wineries and the penitentiary here. Walla Walla is the second wine capitol of the world behind Napa and the pen is the second biggest in Washington. Someone told me that Walla Walla was supposed to be the New York of the west. It is kinda laid out that way too. A lot of the houses are really old. Like late 1800's. We went in the cemetery and there are graves from people that died in like the 1880's. So it is a cool town.

Well keep on doing what you are doing. I am an 8th of the way done which is scary how fast it has gone. I am really enjoying myself. I love you all.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

03/18/2009 (Time is starting to fly)

Hello from Walla Walla. We are at the library today. On the way in we got stopped by a JW and she just talked to us the whole time and wouldn't let us talk and told us she didn't know why we had Elder on our name tag because it says in the Bible to not have Elder on your name tag. She kept going on about how we talk about heaven and she believes we have eternal life so I guess she believes she can live forever. I don't know what’s going on.

Things are going well. We had 21 people out to church on Sunday. That was really exciting. After Church we talked to Christine, the German foreign exchange student, about baptism. She said she knows the church is true but still isn't sure about baptism. I think it is because she is afraid to ask her mom because she expressed fear about that.

We also asked two little Mexican boys to be baptized. Their names are ironically enough George (13) and Brian (11). They have an interesting story. The mom is a member but for a while her husband wouldn't let her go to church. Then she was allowed to go to church but the missionaries weren't allowed over. Then the missionaries were allowed over but they couldn't talk to the boys about the church. Then they could talk to them about church and it seems like he is going to let them be baptized but we will see. Awesome kids. Brian is a little more excited about it and has said that he also wants to serve a mission which is awesome.

We also asked another kid named Leo to be baptized but his grandma who is a member and takes care of him has a tough time coming to church herself so that one is a little sticky situation.

Oh yeah I almost forgot. So last Sunday we went to Tito's house and he started off by telling us that his Mother-in-law noticed he was talking to us and told him that he was going to have to wear special underwear. I thought that was funny and interesting to watch Satan take action. Then he told us that he was diagnosed with active TB and the doctor told him to wear a mask that he then put on after we were in his house a good 10 minutes. Yeah I know. But he did say that he had read 3 Nephi 11 and told us it was about baptism. So anyway we call Sister Belnap about this because we are supposed to call her about all medical things and she has us call Doctor Fise who is in charge of all of the missions in Washington. So we call him and I could hear his nervousness over the phone. He tells us we have to go get a skin test and call him and ask if Tito is legal and all of that jazz. I don't know if you know but Mexicans don't like to be asked if they are legal. So we call him and he is, he has a nice home and nice cars so I figured he was, and he said he had a blood test and a chest x ray and the doctor was legit. So we go down to the county health center and get the test and the lady says what’s this guy’s name. So we tell her so she can look him up. So we go back Wednesday (President said we couldn't tell you because he didn't want our moms calling, SORRY!!) So we go back on Wednesday to get it read and Elder Flint's was fine but mine was pretty red so she tells me the nurse has to see mine. I was sweating bullets to say the least. Anyway she said I don't have it and she said if we HAD been exposed to it that it would be a low chance that we had it. So I said he didn't have it, and she said we have not had any new reports of Active TB (I guess they are informed about all of them). Anyway, she wouldn't flat out say he didn't have it but she pretty much said he didn't. So we go on and call him because he set another appointment that night. He tells us that he didn't end up having active TB. I KNOW. All that for nothing. Then he said he didn’t have time to talk to us anymore. He’s not sick and he dropped us. The Nerve. Anyway, that was the event of the week.

We got an advertise referral for a “Finding Faith in Christ” DVD for last night but we got hung up at the appointment before so we were late and the guy had left, but his friend told us he had been expecting us and waiting for the movie so he could be a good investigator. We are going there tonight.

Todd, The detoxing guy is doing really well. He and his wife were holding hands at church so they look like they are on the mend. He tried to quit smoking the other day but his body did the same thing it did when he stopped with the narcotics so he decided to do it one at a time. Which I don't blame him. He gave us a free Camelback which he got from his brother in the coast guard so that was sweet. He is going to go out with us either tomorrow or Friday so that should be fun.

We do teaching in English and teach an English class. Those are on Wednesday nights which I won’t be going to tonight because I have to go with an English elder to some guy’s house that only knows Spanish so that should be fun.

We do exercises every morning. We get 1000 miles a month on the car so we walk if we need to save miles. It has been really really nice here during the days so I somewhat enjoy walking. Elder Flint is from St. George. I don’t wear my coat, at all. Maybe next winter. I wore it in the MTC though so it was worth it.

Last night we had shrimp cocktail at a Mexican lady’s house. It wasn't that bad. I was surprised. I haven’t had anything I don't like here. They all think we need dessert and it is usually brownies so that is getting old and it’s only been 3 weeks.

Well I better run. Keep up the good work everyone. Everything is well here.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Pictures (March 2009)

My brother-in-law would be proud of the next two pictures.

I found another Elder Bear to use as a companion.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

03/10/2009 (Busy Busy)

Hello from the snowy Walla Walla! It has snowed three days this week. It usually melts by the time it hits the ground or within two hours but still. It is the middle of March. It is not supposed to snow! The weird thing is there are a couple of days that are 55 and sunny and pretty nice days. It is confusing.

We have been working hard. Wednesday was zone conference which was really fun. It was just kinda fun to get away from the work I guess. Then that evening we did a couple of visits then taught English that night.

On Friday we went tracting at the labor camps. It’s just like an apartment complex type thing that farms let their workers live in. So we tracted there and talked to a lot of Mexicans and got a lot of return appointments. We asked one guy to read the Book of Mormon and he seemed interested. His name his Augustine. Then the very next house we went to, we talked to a lady named Veronica. She seemed a little stand-offish at first but we did a little small talk and got her to open up. Elder Flint then asked what she was cooking because it smelled good and she said enchiladas and asked if we wanted some. And you know it is rude to turn down food, so we politely accepted and they were so good!! We have a return appointment with her tonight. We taught a few more people and got about 4 or 5 potential investigators from it so it was a success. One thing that was funny was a group of about 3 or 4 little girls went riding by us on their bikes and one said look at the white guys in Spanish and Elder Flint without missing a beat said yeah look at us. The girl that said it turned around and stared at us so long I thought she was going to crash on her bike. It was pretty funny.

There are 3 colleges here in Walla Walla. On Sunday, a northwest religion class from Whitman College came and visited our sacrament meeting. Though I don’t think any of them are going to get baptized, they at least were able to come and witness what we do. The professor mentioned to the Bishop that it seemed like we were very organized. Other than that, they didn't say much, at least not to us.

Todd, the one addicted to narcotics, attended church on Sunday. He is separated from his wife, I don’t know if they are divorced or not but they are separated. She left him because she had been clean from alcoholism for 16 months now and was mad because he couldn't get over the narcotics. But now that he is over it, she came and visited him. They are trying to get back to church and even want to be sealed in the temple. He has been doing really well. He still smokes cigarettes but that is better than narcotics.

Yesterday we got into every house we visited. It was pretty nice. They were all less actives but we had a good discussion with all of them.

I don't know if I have told you this before or not but this Sunday we have a thing called invitation Sunday. It is just a Sunday where the talks are just on basic doctrine and members are encouraged to invite their friends. It is a mission thing and they did it like last October and they got 26 baptisms off of it. So we will see how that goes. I have to translate in the Spanish sacrament meeting to people that don’t know Spanish that go there. I don’t know why they go but I have to wear a head set with a microphone and they wear headphones and I translate to them. I am a little nervous but I figure if I don’t know what they said in Spanish, I can just make it up, they won’t know the difference.

Well the work is progressing here. Two weeks have gone quickly. My three-month mark is coming up next week. That is crazy. I hope it still goes fast, maybe even faster. We have been working hard but we still have a lot to do. I look forward to talking to you next week. Take care.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Well, the e-mail I wrote today was pretty lame so I decided to write a letter.

Now a little about Walla Walla. It seems like any small town that the people grow up and say they will never come back but somehow they are still here. Walla in some Indian language means water and when you say it twice, it means waters. There are a lot of lakes and creeks. It is actually a pretty town. There are four Spanish Elders in our district and the other ones are serving in Milton-Freewater which is just on the other side of the Oregon border. So we go there quite often so I have been to Washington and Oregon which brings my state count to 16, if I remember right.

Even though they know Spanish, we do their Spanish work because they only do English. Weird, I know. But so we cover like five wards with Spanish and one with English. We stay busy though. Tonight, we went out with the leader of the Spanish group and didn’t get into one house. It was pouring rain too. So that made it fun. The guy addicted to narcotics called and said he got four hours of sleep today after having none for five days. He is an awesome guy and trying to turn his life around.

Our baptism goal for this transfer is five. So I will keep you posted on that. Sister Belnap told us to have you keep our investigators in your prayers and put them on the prayer roll. The names are Tito, Christine, Brian, George, Pedro, Martha, Daniel, Bernardo. You don’t need to pray for them individually but those are their names for the prayer roll. Well life is good, sorry about the lame e-mail. Keep up the good work.


Elder Bair

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

03/03/2009 (Walla Walla week 1)

Well I arrived to Walla Walla and it is a weird town. It is a really old town with old colonial-looking houses. A lot of the people are kinda weird but there are nice normal ones too. It is an English speaking ward with about 20 or so Spanish members. The English ward starts at 11:30 and we go there and then at 12 we go to the Relief society room for the Spanish sacrament meeting. It is pretty fun.

We are teaching a few people. On Saturday we knocked on one door and a guy named Tito came out. We said who we were and he pretty much let us in. We taught him the first lesson and told him to read 3 Nephi 11. He sounded very interested. We are going back tonight at 7 for a follow up. I have a good feeling about him.

We do a lot of less active work which isn't very fun to me. We have been talking to one guy named Todd. He called us on Sunday during church and said he was in the hospital. I guess he had been taking narcotics since he was 13 and he is now 43. He just stopped taking them cold turkey. He is fine he just has to wait for it to get out of his body. We go over there almost every day now to just talk to him and keep him company. He is really trying to change his life around.

Our P-days are on Tuesday. We usually go to the library to e-mail but you have to have a letter to show you live in Walla Walla but I haven't gotten a letter yet so we are at the family history center.

My companion is Elder Flint. He is from St. George and he is going home at the end of this transfer. He is a really cool guy. He looks like Jamison Hunter and kinda has a personality like Matt Pobst. I really like him. He was supposed to go home this last transfer but he wanted to stay another one. Right now I want to go home 15 transfers early.

But on the bright side I have made it through the first week. Tomorrow we have zone conference which should take all day so that should be nice. The work is progressing so that is also good.

Well I better get going. Sorry Scott, Stacy, and Christi that I didn't write you. I received all of your e-mails and enjoy reading them. I will talk to you guys next week.

I love you all and think of you a lot.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Pictures (March 2009)

Kennewick Mission zones.

Matthew's travel group with President and Sister Belnap.

Matthew with President and Sister Belnap.