Herro My Fammery!! Wercome to my favorat term of the werk! It was a busy one!
Tanner Galloway, you are an inspiration!! You never give up, do you? Tallahassee is very lucky to have you going there!! Actually, I'm pretty sure that everyone else from my district in the MTC was going to Tallahassee too! One piece of advice that I have for you is when you are out in the field (or to anyone and everyone else when you feel this way no matter where you are in life), some days you will feel like you are completely and totally alone... You are very easy to get along with you so might not have this problem but some missionaries have companions that they don't always get along with. This makes the work very hard and sometimes you wonder if it's worth your time. But just like in the story you told at your farewell by Elder Brown, God puts us in situations and with certain people to see how we will react and to help us grow. When this time of loneliness comes (hopefully it doesn't but just in case it does) remember that God loves you and knows you better than you know yourself and He will NEVER EVER EVER allow you to go through any trials or troubles that you can't handle. Faith in God includes faith in His timing and decisions. If that doesn't help you a ton, then think of your farewell and luncheon. You had so many people there that you actually ran out of food! That's ridiculous. That's a lot of people. And every single person there supports you 110%! They know, just as I do, that you are going to be such and amazing missionary and will help so many people to come closer to Jesus Christ. Knowing that people are hoping and praying for you every day and night really helps you know that you are not alone. But probably one of the most important things to remember when you feel like you're alone and unsuccessful is you are never alone. Jesus Christ suffered and died for you personally. That includes every single pain, every trial, every temptation, every setback, every door slammed in your face, every person yelling profanity at you for representing our Savior, and every night you lay sleepless in bed wondering if you it's worth it, Jesus Christ knows and has experienced everything you will go through. The sooner you understand this and then use this knowledge to help you grow, the more you will be able to help those around you to grow and come closer to Him too.
We had a Mini-Missionary with us for a few days this week! Brother David Weller is a 26 year old from Tucson. (At 26 years old, 6 feet tall, and about 190 pounds, he's not very mini though!) He grew up in the church but fell away for a couple of years. But about a year and a half ago, he made his way back and decided to serve a mission. He sent in his papers and will be going to Seattle Washington near the end of February. Missionaries who have their calls (maybe even just people preparing to serve missions) can do a mini-mission from a just a few days to a week or possibly longer. It is a way to kinda get your feet wet before completely jumping into a mission. Something he realized though from just a few days in the field is so much of a mission is self-propelled. You can tract down an entire street and have every door slammed in your face and you still keep pushing forward. You don't have the mission president hovering over your shoulder making sure you are working all day. You don't have the Zone Leaders coming into your apartments checking to make sure you are being obedient. All of it is on each individual missionary and his desire to keep pushing forward. He said it was an eye opener but a good one! He will be more prepared now that he's semi used to having people yell and swear at him for doing the work of the Lord! Haha. But he was super awesome! He came with us from Thursday night to Sunday afternoon. This was super good for Elder Deyarmond because I let him take the lead most of the time and it was just like taking over the area and training for him. He's such an awesome missionary already!
(One of the greatest district's ever! (Left Front to Back) Me, Elder Mitchell, Elder Deyarmond, Sister Goodwin. (Right Front to Back) Elder Farnworth David Weller, Sister Walter. (David was a mini-missionary for a few days with us))
We did a lot of service this week. And when I say a lot, I really actually mean A LOT! We started off at the Froehlich's building them a new door for their shed. The one's they had on there blew off and she really wanted a sliding barn door style for it. She found some ideas on pintrest but didn't really know how to combine the different things she liked on each different pin into one final project. This is where Elder Deyarmond and myself come into the picture. She didn't want to spend a lot of money and luckily had found 4 lightweight doors that remind me a lot of barn-style doors. So we came up with a plan made it happen with just those 4 doors, two 8 ft. pieces of PVC pipe, a few 2by4 boards, and some "O"ring screws! I wish that I had my card adapter but I didn't bring it with me... I'll attach a few pictures next time of it! but it looks super awesome and it was super easy! She was very appreciative of course and loves it! :)
The Froehlich's: One of the greatest families in Sierra Vista!
The next project we did was cutting wood for Debbie. Her and Clint are doing very well except they are cold. They don't have a heating system in their house except for their fireplace and without wood, that doesn't do a whole lot of good. So we went with Sister Froehlich, brother Weller, and Hereford Elder's to a non-member's home that the Froehlich's know in Hereford to cut down some trees. I was thinking like big, tall trees like we have in Utah. I forgot that we are in Arizona and everything here that isn't dead, tries to kill you instead. We cut down 2 decent sized mesquite trees. Mesquite trees have thorns though. Maybe thorns isn't the right word. Spines? Needles? Very thin knives? Take your pick! The lady who's property we were on was wearing thick cowboy boots and she accidentally stepped on a branch we had cut down. The needle went THROUGH THE BOTTOM OF HER BOOTS!!! They are sharp!!! And to top it all off, her chainsaw wasn't working... So the other 4 Elders got to work with some hand saws while I fixed the saw. I took it apart and cleaned it out and tried to figure out what was going on. I couldn't get it figured out till I looked at the safety bar in front of the top handle on the saw. I was told that if it was pushed forward that the saw would work. But if it was pulled back towards you, it would stop the saw from working. So after about 45 minutes of working on this saw, I look at the inside of the safety bar. Turns out, the saw was never broken... The sister who's home we were at got the directions mixed up and so instead of it running when the bar is pushed forward, it runs when it's pulled back towards you. She had it pushed forward the whole time and that's why it wasn't running... Once we got that figured out, the work quadrupled in time. In just a few hours, we had 2 big truck-fulls of wood for Debbie and Clint! Once again, no camera card adapter for pictures but I will attach them next time! :)
Well, I must be off! Good luck out there Tanner!
I love you all so much! Thank you for your wonderful emails and all your prayers!
~Elder Kyle Harris