Hello Family! I can't believe its Monday already! From what your emails have sounded like, our new ward must be pretty cool! We didn't do those fun activities for scouts or young men. We had a few fun trips for like youth conference. I remember that we went boating twice out at Starvation Res. Man, that seems like it was forever ago! Good memories. GAVIN: How was your scout camp? Do you like the new ward? Are the young men nice? It sounded like a blast so I hope you weren't too home sick. Go on lots of camp outs before you come on your mission, it will teach you how to not be home sick. :) CONNOR: I know you wont get this until you get home from scout camp but how was it? Do you like the ward too?
This week we went on exchanges with Elders Hearn and Heiner. Elder Heiner goes home with Elder Wardell and they wanted to be comps for the day and our district leader approved it. So they drove in from Gila, New Mexico and then I drove back out there with Elder Hearn. He is great! I don't remember very much about him except that we have a lot of the same interests. We both like sports and listened to the same kind of music back home. He goes home in about 9 months or so. I know that I have been East of Utah but I never really had a choice about it. I just always tagged along. Well for the first time, I can say that I finally went east of Utah on my own! Haha I know it's kinda lame to say but I haven't really traveled anywhere but north and west. Well not anymore! ;) Gila, New Mexico is tiny. I thought that Pima was small but at least I can see other peoples houses when I go out my front door. Gila has one church building that is about the size of the gym of our old church there next to the high school. It is really small. There are no stores for 30 miles in any direction and no gas stations for 15 miles in any direction. It was great to see a new area and get to know new people but it really made me appreciate all those months that I was on a bike. We spent easily over 3 hours in the car going to appointments and that isn't counting the 3 hours to get to Gila and back to Pima. But it was great. I loved Elder Hearn! He isn't the best example but he is really easy to get along with. All of the missionaries that are going home at the end of the transfer get to go to the Temple one last time before they go home. So Elder Heiner and Elder Hearn are coming back out here so that Elder Heiner can go to the Temple. That means that I get to be with Elder Hearn again on Tuesday! :)
Elder Wardell got sick the day after exchanges so we stayed in all that day. He just had the 24 hour bug so he is feeling better now but it was hard to see him in pain and I couldn't do anything to help him out. He stayed in bed most of the day except for when he showered and when he came in to try and get some food in his stomach. I studied and slept for a little bit. Elder Wardell has an electric keyboard that he plays on every so often. He is teaching himself how to play and has memorized a hymn or 2. So I decided I should give it a try. I have now learned how to slowly read music and play both the top hand and the bottom hand! Like I said, it is very slow and takes me about three times as long to get through the song but I am learning! :)
This week was President Killpacks final Zone Conference in the Gila Valley. He is such a great mission president. I am really going to miss him and sister Killpack. They have really helped me realize my true potential to be the missionary the Lord knows I can be and I am striving harder than ever to get there. I know I won't be perfect, and trust me, I haven't been, but I am trying and that is what the Lord asks of me. The hardest part for me is getting up on time. Elder Wardell doesn't usually get up till around 9 or even 10, sometimes later. And I don't usually sleep in past 8 but like I said, I'm not perfect. President Killpack says that the morning schedule will either make or break your mission. And I can see the way that it has made my mission better! I’m not saying that I am glad that I sleep in sometimes cause I don't like the fact that I do it. But I don't have the motivation to get up by myself. We have 5 alarms that go off at 6:30 and some of them aren't even in our bedroom! Plus we have a daily challenge from the Zone Leaders to do every morning and the winner of the week gets a prize. We get up and turn off all the alarms and do the challenge but then somehow we end up back in bed. Well I know how, we walk there, but Elder Wardell wont stay up. I go in and turn the light on and ask him if he's going to get in the shower and do that multiple times. But until he's ready to get up, he won't unless he has to. So this week I am going to try and set some appointments for like 9 or 8 in the morning so that he has to get up and maybe that will help him for the last 2 weeks of his mission or so. Don't get me wrong, I love Elder Wardell! He is one of my favorite companions I've had out here. But no one is perfect and everyone has their own battles to work through.
This week we have been talking about Alma 6:6 and relating it the talk given by Elder S. Gifford Nielson called "Hastening the Lord's Game Plan!". You can re-read it here - <https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/10/hastening-the-lords-game-plan?lang=eng> I really liked this talk! In the talk, he asks the Members to pray for 3 things. 1) Pray for the missionaries by name (that includes me and the missionaries in the ward you are in too). 2) Pray for my investigators and the investigators in the ward you are in now too. If you will pray for Aaron Totsoni that would be awesome! I will tell you about him in a second. 3) Pray for missionary opportunities of your own. I realized something though as I was reading Alma 6:6. Alma talks about "mighty prayer". So what makes a prayer mighty...? I think it has to do with the intents of your heart. You can pray for all these things but if you don't have real intent to do them, it doesn't matter what you pray for. Real intent and having the Spirit are the two most important things you can have during a prayer. I've learned that before I pray, if I take like a minute or two to clear my mind, my prayers are more meaningful and I get more out of them and put more into them too!
Now about Aaron Totsoni. Aaron is 22 and absolutely Golden! I have talked about him in past emails. I remember telling you guys that we were teaching him and that he wanted to get baptized! Well the only problem is that he lives in San Carlos, AZ. San Carlos is not only out of our area, it is out of our mission... So President Killpack said that we needed to pass him off to the Elders serving in San Carlos but that we could keep teaching him until they took over. That means that he cant get baptized down here. Well, we told his fellow shipper who just so happens to be the ward Mission Leaders wife. Her and Aaron were great friends before he started taking the lessons and she wanted him to get baptized. So she called President Killpack yesterday. She explained the situation more clearly to President. Aaron lives alone, his parents kicked him out. He drives the 2 hours or so every week to come to church with her. The person he wants to baptize him lives in the ward too. And lastly, he is moving up to Mesa in like 3 weeks for school so San Carlos is only a temporary place for him to live. We got a call from President Killpack and he said, "Elders, because of Aarons situation, you have my permission to baptize him in there in Pima. Keep up the good work Elders!" AARON IS GETTING BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!! The baptism date is set for the 1st of July. It's not a Saturday but it fits best with his schedule and the person he wants to baptize him! Elder Wardell is super excited too cause he has been teaching him from the first lesson. What a great way to end his mission!
Well that about sums up this week. Oh! Connor: Remember how you told me that USA wasn't going anywhere in this world cup? Well, you were wrong!!! Here is what needs to happen for USA to move on to the next round. We either need to win or tie against Germany. If we lose to Germany, then Portugal would have to beat Ghana and our point differential would have to be higher than Portugal's. Portugal is at a -4 point differential and USA is at +1. So we just have to stay above them in that way and we will move on! I can't believe that I am missing everything! They play on Thursday and so you guys better watch it for me cause I can't! If you can, try to go to the Jones's and watch it there cause that where I would be watching if I was home. You can just go there for me! ;)
I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH! Remember to say your prayers and study your scriptures, including PMG! I love you. <3
~Elder Kyle Harris