Wednesday, December 28, 2016

WEEK 21  

"We are just spiritual beings having a human experience"

Merry Christmas! 

This has been one of the best weeks so far. It was Christmas week plus we were able to do a lot of fun things. It is always nice to see my family. So this week we find out if we are staying or going. Usually transfer boards are out by now, it's about 12:30 right now so while I am typing this I might just interrupt myself and tell you guys about it. Anyways I will start with the miracles.

The biggest miracle this week was when we Skyped to our families at the Berniers and after we were done Amanda told us that she got her answer. She told us that while she was out side with the dogs she was just thinking about how much we missed our families and that we were still out here. She told us that she just got this overwhelming feeling that Joseph Smith is a prophet and that the Book of Mormon is true. She told us that us being out here even though we miss our families that we must be doing this because we know this is true. We talk to her more about it and told her to pray about a date to be baptized and she told us she would and that she knows that she can stop smoking. That was super crazy because before she told us that she didn't think that she could quit. So that was the coolest miracle. We are hoping to set a date with Amanda and Rourke and have them baptized the same day. We hope to see if we can get Blaine to be baptized with them as well, but we will see.

Now I have some bad news. We talked to Jonny Banks who is teaching the temple prep class to see if he could come out with us and teach. He told us he couldn't but he had some news for us. The Fickle's came up to him after the class and needed to tell him something. All Jonny said was that James is still struggling with his word of wisdom issue. He told the Fickle's to just talk to us about it because we will know what to do about it. So then when the Fickles took us out to dinner they told us about James and how the past few days he has been drinking a lot. They said that James was going to just lie to us and say that he has been sober and still be baptized. He really wants to be baptized and go to the temple but Satan is working against him. We are trying to find a way to talk to James about it without feeling like the Fickle's tattled on him. But we definitely cannot let him be baptized yet, he is not ready. So that is something we are working on with him and hopefully we can still get him baptized.

There are a few more people we have been teaching that are progressing, but they aren't close to baptism yet. William is  one of those people. He is super interested whenever we come over and has always had a lot of questions. He said he came to church last week, but we never saw him and he said he was coming this week but I don't think he did. Hopefully we can see him come sometime soon. We are also going to be able to start teaching Brent again if he is still interested. So that will be in a week or two. He had a baptism date set but said Satan worked against him so hopefully we can get that all figured out. We should be able to start teaching Steve again, the person who makes violins. Since it's after the holidays it is going to be a lot easier to schedule things of people. A lot of people have just told us to come back after the holidays because they are so busy. We met this lady named Kelly who was shoveling her neighbors driveway and we got out and helped her. She doesn't have a church and we invited her to our church but sadly she didn't come. We are trying to go back there and to see if we can take some members with us. We also saw this lady named Sheila who is an ordained minister but doesn't go to church because she hasn't found one she likes. She is a little crazy and laughs superhard and everything but she liked having us over.

So this week we were not in Red Wing as much. On Monday we went up to Cottage Grove for a district P Day. When all the sisters got there we built our gingerbread houses and ours it was definitely the best. And then we went into the gym and just play games. We played three hit staying with a volleyball and we also played a game called signs. It was really fun since we don't see missionaries very often. There are some areas where you are super close to other missionaries and you get to do that kind of thing every P day. 

Tuesday was really fun too. We went on exchanges with our zone leaders and I went up to Hudson with Elder Oldroyd. We met in Ellsworth, which is in our area, and stopped by a less active that Hudson has. Then we went out to River Falls and spent most of the day there. We met this sweet old lady named Janette who is super awesome. We gave her a Christmas present which was just popcorn but apparently she loves popcorn and eats it for dinner sometimes.  Elder Oldroyd told me that she also loves frozen grapes. Elder Last and Elder Oldroyd baked sweets with her last time they were there. While we were there we shared Luke 2 with her about the Saviors birth. We also met this really cool guy named Kareem who actually lives in St. Paul but was visiting a friend. He was super knowledgeable about the Bible and he says every religion is good so he didn't talk bad on our religion. He also said something which I put in my quotes. He said "we are just spiritual beings having a human experiences." Then while we were trying to see some people in this neighborhood we decided to knock on this random door because their lights were on and when she opened the door I started talking to her and she stopped me to ask me why we were outside it's so cold. Then she let us in and we were able to share the light the world video with her and set a return appointment with her. Her name was Carol and she was super nice but a little awkward. The last thing we did that night was go and see some recent converts, Aiden and Gage. They are both still in high school and their grandma used to be a member but removed her name. She reached out to the missionaries and told them that she wanted to be baptized again and that she had two grandsons that wanted to be baptized as well.  So while we were there we played go fish! Ha ha and then taught them about the Saviors birth. Elder Oldroyd said it was super cool to teach them because all they knew was that Jesus died. They did not know much more than that and didn't know a lot about the Savior.

So then Wednesday morning we went to Eagan for district meeting and met Elder Last and Elder Huntley at the Eagan Sister's apartment. We usually do not have district meeting in an apartment we usually do at the church but we all went to Eagan because we were having a district blitz in Eagan. So after district meeting all of the missionaries in our district did missionary work in Eagans area. Eagan used to be an elder area but they just barely put sisters in and they don't have a lot of work. So we decided we would help them out and do this blitz.  I got to go with Elder Last again and it felt just like when I was in New Prague I really missed being with him. And then after we all met up and talked about it.

They took forever for transfers so I'm just putting it at the end. Drumroll please… I am staying in Red Wing with Elder Huntley! But one of my zone leaders, Elder Oldroyd is going to be one of the assistants to the president. Also they put sister missionaries in New Prague. I talked to the assistants to the president saying that New Prague needs sisters so I pretty much did that.  Well not much else happened this week so I look forward to talking to you guys again next week. I love y'all so much!

Elder Bullock

Elder Huntley and Elder Bullock's creation

Goofing off

Monday, December 19, 2016


Mele Kalikimaka! (Merry Christmas in Hawaiian.)

This week was a super long week, but it was a super good week and I enjoyed it. We have gotten a ton of snow and we may or may not have played in it. We even spent some time shoveling people's driveways. We went over to the Berniers and started shoveling their driveway, but Blaine didn't like that so he came out and helped us. Then later that night there was a bunch of snow again so we shoveled it again for him and he is one of those people that doesn't like getting help from people. Then we just went around and did some other people's that we were teaching. The only part I didn't like, well it was still pretty fun, was getting into our driveway with all the snow. We live on a hill so it took us about half an hour to get up it and we had to get a lot of speed and I had to push. We eventually got it and now it is plowed so it's fine now. It was also pretty cold, but the coldest was yesterday and when we left for church it was -40 with the windchill. So it wasn't too bad, but I think we have climatized to the cold or we just have good clothing because it hasn't been too bad at all. Well and we don't have to be outside that much with our car, but our car is never warm because by the time it starts warming up we are already where we were going.

We have been to the Berniers a lot this week and we even were able to watch 17 Miracles with them! I really love that movie and we are going to try and watch Ephraim's Rescue which goes with 17 Miracles. They came to church again and they always call it their church which is super cool because there are some people that get baptized and still call it your church. We went over for dinner on Sunday and they fed us some thick steaks... like they were huge. That was Elder Huntley's third time eating steak over there and only my first. But they are all totally getting baptized. I don't know if I will be here for it, but I know it will happen eventually.

We haven't seen Bernie or James that much this week, but they are still going strong. They come every week for all three hours and they are involved in class. James keeps saying how excited he is for his baptism and he just wants to go to the temple super bad. Last Sunday we told Bernie that she could go do baptisms for the dead and she told us she wanted to wait for James. We had a linger longer after church and we sat by them and they just always talk about their studies and how much they love the scriptures. It is so cool to see the change in them especially James.

On Thursday we did service at Connecting Connections and we were almost done cause we had to go soon, but then this guy showed up and he had some dressers he wanted to donate and that was exactly what we were looking for so we rode in his truck with him to his house to grab the key to his old house where the dressers were. While we were driving we were just talking to him and then he asked a few questions about the church and we were able to teach a lesson, but he was the pastor for the first covenant church so we were able to ask him some questions too. He was a super cool guy and when we got the dressers and dropped them off at the people who needed them we asked him if we could come by and talk to him some more and he said we could, but he is super busy so just call his church and we gave him our number too. So we are going to convert him and his church and the New Life United Pentecostal church. 

So I don't remember if I talked about this in my last email so if I did just pretend I didn't. Plus there is new stuff since last week... so we got this call from some missionaries in Rochester and they told us about a family that moved into our area and the guy was a member, but his wife wasn't and they were being taught in the past so we should go ever there. So we called him and set up an appointment with him. So we went over on Saturday and he let us in and they had two new puppies that were so adorable, but not as good as my puppies back home! So R****** used to have her own dog sled team and she is starting that up again so she got some puppies and will get more eventually I think. J**** works on hot rod cars and has had a bunch of cool cars and he also like guns and was showing us his guns and to be honest... they were pretty sick. He said they moved here for safety reasons and doesn't wasn't us to give their address or number to the members. I guess there were some people that messed with them and is going through court now. Anyways they told us that she wants to become a member and told us when they were available to meet and so we are going to start teaching her and set a date with her!

On Saturday we also saw William W. and he has always asked a lot questions when we are there and this time we were able to have more of a lesson than usual. He was asking questions like what you had to do to be baptized and things like that. He said he was coming to church but sadly he didn't. He will come eventually I think so we have high hopes for him! He just found out he has stage 2 lung cancer so we were able to talk to him about it a little and he was asking things like why we go through trials and things like that!

So we had a pretty crazy miracle this week. We went to the YMCA to try and get a gym membership and since we don't make any money we were trying to get a discounted membership and we went in and told them we were missionaries and we didn't make money and they had us fill out some stuff and then the next day we got this call from this guy that works there and he told us that him and his staff kind of talked it over and they decided since we do so much to help out the community that they were just going to give us a free six month membership and all we had to do was just tell them when we were leaving and stuff so now we are going to get to be swoldiers and it makes it a lot easier to work out since it is cold out and we can actually go running now!

So right now we are on our way to Cottage Grove to have a district p day and so I am typing this in the car on my IPad. We are going to be making gingerbread houses and playing board games haha so much fun! So I won't have as much time to email today! Anyways that's about it for this week! I will talk to y'all next week! 

Elder Bullock

-40 with windchill

Elder Huntley and I keeping warm

Ice crystals on the eyelashes

Elder Huntley's snow angel
Elder Bullock's snow angel

Monday, December 12, 2016

Week 19

Hey guys!  So the highlight of this week would have to be the snow! I have been praying for it for awhile and we have gotten a bunch Saturday and Yesterday! We have been having a little trouble getting up our driveway and I usually have to get out and push because we live on a hill, but it is so worth it. It is supposed to get pretty cold soon too! Its been in the teens and I have gotten fairly used to it by now. The bad part about the snow is that not a lot of people came to church yesterday and we only had one investigator and that was James. I am getting pretty excited for his baptism and I should be here for it, but we will see. We actually stopped by yesterday and listening to him talk about the gospel I can just feel that he is really committed to it and I just love hearing his testimony! He called us a few days ago just to tell us he missed hearing our voices and that he had been reading some conference talks. I thought it was super cool! 

We saw the Berniers this week as well and it went super good! Amanda was in a good mood and she usually isn't because she was always hurting. They were asking a lot of questions and saying things like, if I got baptized, and it was super awesome. We are going to go over there and watch 17 Miracles with them sometime because they want to learn more about the saints and all that. They watched the movie The Prophet of the Restoration and they liked it. They kind of saved us because we had a dinner scheduled, but we were up in Oakdale for a Zone Conference and I guess every year they watch a movie as a zone around Christmas so we watched it's a Wonderful life. I also got to see the temple and it is super beautiful. It is a small temple, but I like it. It is actually right next to the stake center too. Anyways, we couldn't make it back in time for our dinner and so as we were driving home we got a text from Amanda and she told us to come over for some pizza so we were super blessed! 

Another cool miracle this week was we got a referral from one of the youth in the ward, Angela, and she was talking about the gospel with her friend Alex, but I guess they stopped talking so she wanted us to go over and try to teach her, but she didn't want us to use her name so we were trying to figure out how we could get a way in without using Angela's name and so we did a role play and Elder Huntley pretended to be Alex and I acted like I was knocking on her door. So after I was done talking Elder Huntley felt like there were some things I said that would really help her. So we went over to Alex's and we knocked on the door and it wasn't Alex, but I decided to just say what I was going to say and she told us she wasn't interested. Then we asked her if there was anyone she knew that could use this message and her face lit up and she said Alex. She told us that she was at her moms right now, but we could stop by on Monday after school. We think it was her step mom we talked to, but her name was Charity. I thought that was super cool and I know that wouldn't have happened if we didn't prepare for it.

Well not much else really happened this week. There weren't as many people at church this week either because of the snow! Anyways that's about it! I will talk to y'all next week.

Elder Bullock

Zone Conference

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

Monday, December 5, 2016

Week 18- Four month mark

Hey guys!

I guess I will start with the highlight of the week! On Saturday I hit my four month mark and on that day I had my first baptism! It felt so awesome to be there for that and to see them change their lives. Elder Huntley did the baptism since he had been there the whole time for her and was the one who taught her the most. She did choose me to be one of the witnesses though which was pretty cool, I just made sure she went all the way under the water. We had a lot of people there to support her which was really cool to see. I know it really helps converts stay active when the ward is there to support them. When she got to the church she told us that Satan was working on her and  was a little stressed because she was afraid she was going to be late for her baptism. She was actually early, but she wanted to be extra early. We told her that she was fine and that we have everything planned out and all she had to do was be there. Then after that everything went awesome and it was a cool experience for us, since she was Hawaiian her husband said the opening prayer in Hawaiian and her daughter said the closing in Hawaiian as well. The next day on Sunday she was confirmed and Brother Hadler was supposed to do it, but when we all went up there he wasn't there so we had to have someone else do it and she asked Elder Huntley to do that as well. After we sat down we saw Brother Hadler and he told us he had to put his plow on since it snowed that day and he owns properties that he has to plow and so he was late. He explained it to them after and they understood so it was all okay! We got James involved in the confirmation by having him hold the mic during it and so he was kind of part of the circle. I am pretty confident that James is going to be baptized and I feel like they will both stay active in the church. It would be pretty cool to be there when they are getting sealed in the temple. 

We did see the Berniers this week as well and I love this family. We went by to see if we could set a date with Rourke and we kind of talked to him about the baptismal questions and told him about the commitment that he would be making. After we taught him his dad wanted to wait and make Rourke go to all three hours of church  for a couple months to make sure he really wants to do this and I was kind of mad because I wanted to set a date with him, but I see why now because on Sunday Rourke didn't want to go to the last two hours. So I feel like it was a good choice to wait for him. After we taught Rourke we talked to Amanda a little bit and we asked her if she wanted to quit smoking and if she wanted to get baptized and she said she wanted to quit, but she didn't think she could and that she could never be as good as the sisters in the ward. We were thinking about trying to get a  sister to fellowship her and try and help her and it was cool because on Sunday Sister McGrath came up to her after church and started talking to her and asked her if she had ever been to Relief Society yet and then asked her if she would come this week or next and told her she thinks she would like it and then gave Amanda her number and I thought that was super cool. Sister McGrath is super awesome and she is the one who converted her husband and now they have been through the temple. Now when we talked to Blaine after Amanda he told us he is not going to quit chewing and even if it is going to kill him he won't quit. He believes the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith is a prophet and everything we tell him and he comes to church every week and even wanted to be baptized until he found out about the Word of Wisdom. So he chews during sacrament and even has his bottle and we were talking about it in Ward Council before church and some people were saying we should tell him to stop and the Bishop said not to worry about it because it isn't worth pushing him away. So then we saw him come to church and he didn't have chew in his mouth and that was the first time that I had seen him without it. He looked completely different and it was partly because he shaved his beard so he looked way different. So hopefully that can continue at least during sacrament!

We stopped by Brant's this week and we were supposed to meet with him on Saturday, but we were in the area and so we stopped by and then the next day he sent us a text and told us that he doesn't want to meet anymore until January and doesn't want any contact at all. He said it is because he is still having an issue with alcohol and he isn't on his medication right now so that is kind of a bummer, but hopefully we can continue with him next transfer. 

On Saturday we went to Mickey D's to celebrate our baptism and then when we prayed for our food a guy came up to us and thanked us for praying for our food and then just walked off and I wanted to run after him and try to get his name, but I thought that might be to weird. It was still a super cool  experience and we even took a selfie after! 

On Thursday we went and got haircuts and I was pretty excited because my hair  was that awkward medium length stage so we went to Sister McGraths and she cut it for us and I had the measurements from last time in my head and it liked it that length, but after I told her and she cut it... it was shorter than I wanted and so I was wondering why it was so short and I guess I was just super confused because later I realized that I told her the wrong length so now my hair is pretty short and I have come to accept it. Its getting cold enough where I can just wear beanies all the time anyway so its all good!

This morning we actually got to teach seminary so that was a cool experience and we taught about the parable of Lazurus and the rich man in Luke 16 and I actually learned a lot from studying it last night. I am not sure if y'all have read it or not but it talks about a rich man  and a beggar named Lazurus who is begging for food at the rich mans gate and the rich man never gives him any and so in this life the rich man lives a comfortable life and Lazurus is in torment and then after they both die it talks about how the rich man is in spirit prison and how he sees Lazurus in Abraham's Bosom, which is spirit paradise. So now Lazurus is the one who is living the comfortable life and the rich man is in torment. And the rich man cries out to Abraham and and asks him to bring Lazurus back from the dead and send him to go teach his brothers so that they won't have to suffer like he is and Abraham told him that he won't do that because he already has prophets on the earth and if they won't listen to them they won't listen even if they see a miracle. I can think of when Laman and Lemuel saw angels multiple times, but they still rebelled and it didn't convert them. Alma the Younger saw an angel, but he was converted and ends up being an amazing prophet and my favorite in the Book of Mormon. It wasn't because Alma saw an angel that he was converted it was because he fasted and prayed to know these things and I love what he says in Alma 36 about his experience, but you can read that on your own (; 

Anyways it was a good week like usual and I will talk to y'all next week!

Elder Bullock

Bernie's Baptism