Monday, January 30, 2017


You're flippin' old now. What are you, like 30?!?!? Good stuff. Go do something crazy for you Birthday. Like wrestle a bear or rob an orphanage. Something fun like that!!
So this week has been a lot of saying goodbyes, because I thought I was going to get transferred, and I was right!! Drum roll...
I'm heading up to BRAMPTON!!! Which is where the Toronto Temple is. Technically my area is called Chingacousy Park, because I'm back in an all Spanish area with an all Spanish Ward!!! So I'm pretty pumped about that. My new companion's name is Elder Hansen. I've met him a couple times, but don't know too much about him. I'm still a District Leader. AHHH. But I'll suck it up. My companion, Elder Olson is also becoming a District Leader and my good Peruvian friend, Elder Leyton, is coming down here to work with them. I'm so excited for both of them.
So this last week, we had a lot of dinner appointments and goodbye appointments:
Monday we had a GREAT time. All the District came down and we went and got All You Can Eat Sushi and did some other things (aka Sauna Party!!! :) Later we had a dinner with Ron and Norma Sandor. They are a wonderful couple in our Branch that we very sad to see me leave. Later on Monday, we had an absolutely incredible Family Home Evening with the Velasquez family. I invited Javier (the investigator) to be baptized, and he said yes. He really wants to and I'm so excited to hear about his baptism. :} We also taught the Plan of Salvation and watched a video on Jesus Christ and played a really fun game about Death!!
Tuesday we went by a lot of people and found a lot of people at home. So that was great. One of our favorite members, Jim Renick, took us out to dinner. He had also been invited to our dinner appointments on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday; so we said "Hey. You might as well take us out to dinner on Tuesday and hit records. Four days in a row with the missionaries." So he did. He's such a great guy. Later that night, we had our first English Class in Leamington!! Three Hispanics came, and we were able to show them around the chapel and they all said they'd come back. So that was super great.
Wednesday we watched the Missionary Devotional in Chatham. It was super good. They changed our schedule quite a bit. Like no more daily planning at the end of the day, longer P-Days, stuff like that. I'm happy with it all, except that our lunch time is cut to half an hour. President Shields has the last say on everything though, so we'll see what he says. The overall reason for the schedule change is for missionaries to be able to adapt their studies and scheduling around their teaching appointments and meetings, so they're basically trying to make it more like real life. So when we come home, we will know how to schedule our studies and what not around work and school and real life. So that's really good. Getting me prepared for in a few months. ;)
Later on Wednesday, I went on exchanges with Elder Braedon Kimball from Lehi, Utah. Such a solid missionary. We had a great time. We had a dinner appointment with Peter and Helen Fiss (and Jim Renick) which was delicious, then we had Missionary Coordination there also. On the way home, we were running really low on gas, but I had the faith that we could make it to the next gas station (which was like two minutes away). But my faith was not enough, so the car started to sputter and when I pulled over, it died completely. It was 9:00 PM, our curfew, so we were like "What are we going to do??" The walk to the gas station would have been too long and we didn't have anything to put the gas an. So we knocked a few doors and found Braydon. He was SO sweet. He had a gas tank and he offered to drive us to the nearest station. We got our gas and made it home by 9:15 PM. And we gave Braydon a card and invited him to church. So that was pretty sweet. 'Twas a good memory.
Thursday we met with some more members and said our goodbyes to many of them. We had dinner with Hadley and Barbara Pinch (and Jim Renick) which was delicious. OH YEAH!! I got really sick on Wednesday/Thursday/Friday too, so I didn't actually know if dinner was delicious because I couldn't taste anything. I got a nasty head cold/flu and I couldn't breathe at all through my nose. So that wasn't fun.
Friday we went up to Windsor to help the other Elders with some service. My sickness was pretty rough, so we ended up going to their apartment and I took a really long nap. By the end of it, I was feeling a lot better and all four of us got invited, by a member, to dinner at a Hispanic Restaurant. It was super fun. Great restaurant. Our waitress didn't speak Spanish though, so I was pretty upset.
Saturday, we helped a member move, had English Classes (but no one came :} and had a wonderful dinner with another member family (but not Jim Renick). So that was good.
Sunday we were blessed to see one of our investigators at church. She a mother named Laura and she's been trying to get out to church with her husband for a while, but she kept getting sick. Finally, she came out (her husband was sick, this time) and she really enjoyed it. I ended up giving a talk on Chastity, I mean, Charity, which supposedly was pretty good. Laura said she's going to come back with her husband and son next Sunday, so I'm excited for the other Elders to baptize them all. :}
Later on Sunday, we met with a man we found through this online ad website called Kijiji. He's a SUPER awesome guy named Chris who's going through a lot of problems in his life. He told us that he already believes that Joseph Smith could be a prophet and he LOVES the Book of Mormon. He had lost his first copy, and when we pulled one out and gave it to him, he lit up like a Christmas tree. It was SO cool. I'm SUPER excited to hear about his baptism. ;)
And now I'm here. I'm packed for the most part, because today we're driving two hours to London, where our District going to meet up for the last time and go to Smokes. I also made a cheesecake, so that'll be fun. After that, we're going to stay in Mississauga, my old area, overnight so we can get to Brampton early in the morning. We'll probably end up going by some people in Mississauga, so I'm pretty excited.
The Branch is super sad to see me go, but I got my goodbyes in and we took some great pictures. Jim Renick and I have matching cuff links (except his are gold colored) so we had to get a picture of that. Enjoy!!
One thing that really stuck out to me, in the Missionary Broadcast was the importance of Sacrament Meeting. Elder Oaks talked about it a LOT and he talked about how not only is it a very persuasive teacher for Investigators, but it will help missionaries stay active after their missionaries, if they partake of the sacrament worthily and correctly. And that applies to everyone. The sacrament is SUCH an important thing. It's the main reason why we come to church. Along with prayer and scripture study, Sacrament is one of the best ways to help us grow our testimonies and stay strong and active in the church. So go and partake of the sacrament. And enjoy it!!! I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week. Chao!! 
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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

It's the Dawn Of A New Era!!

It's the Dawn Of A New Era!!
Haha. Yeah. I know all the good places to live in in Ontario. I think I'm going to stay in America for awhile though. It's a lot better. :) 
AWW!! All this talk of snow makes me so jealous, "snow" jealous. Haha. Here in Leamington, Spring has come early. It has been raining for the last few days and it's been pretty warm and sunny. Pretty messed up stuff. Oh my goodness. Avatar and the Last Airbender. Have fun with that.
LOGAN!!!! Give me more details on your dates!!!! Send me pictures!!! And I still don't know who Olivia Christiansen is.
Good work on the ladies too, Micah. I liked your quote.
This last week was pretty glorious.
Monday we had a fun P-Day in Sarnia. We went to East Side Mario's. One of my favorite Canadian Italian Restaurants. Then we drove 2 1/2 hours and had a nice dinner appointment and later a sweet Family Home Evening with one of our Hispanic Investigators. He's doing great and is going to get baptized soon. :)
Tuesday through Thursday were days of hard core blitzing (or putting up fliers). We just got permission and the materials to start English Classes here in Leamington and we've been passing out lots of cards and putting up lots of fliers to make it well known. We also had some good appointments and dinners on Tuesday. 
On Wednesday we blitzed in Windsor and it was super fun to be in a bigger city again. Lots of crazy people and places. I Heart Toronto.
Thursday I went on exchanges with Elder Ethan Mathewson from Calgary. He's such a good guy and we had a good time. While on the road, we saw a Utah license plate, so we followed this guy around for like 15 minutes, inconspicuously. Finally he parked at some Rec Center and got out of his car. A father with two little kids. Definitely a Mormon. We didn't talk to him though. Because I mean like "Hi, we're Mormons probably just like you so. I'm also from Utah so we followed you for like 15 minutes to talk to you." Weird. So we went to our dinner appointment instead.
Friday we had my last (hopefully) District Meeting. It was super fun. And afterwards I went on exchanges to London with Elder Adam Taylor, from Kaysville, Utah. And yeah, he's related to Flints. So we told everyone that we are cousins. On exchanges we taught lots of Arabian people who didn't speak much English. We also had a sweet dinner appointment with a family from Utah. So that was fun. Saturday night we got a phone call from two Hispanics that were interested in the English Classes, so we invited them to church on Sunday. And they came!!!
Sunday was pretty nuts because they came right after sacrament meeting started and I was on the stand directing the music. They spoke like No English, so I booked it off the stage and gave them headphones (because I translate the meetings into Spanish). Then I went back on stage, translated the meeting, directed the music, and Elder Olson and I sang "Nearer My God To Thee" in English and Spanish as a musical number. We made a lot of people cry, so that was successful. We had a lot of lessons Sunday and saw lots of success. So we were super happy.
Today, we have a sweet P-Day planned where we're going to meet up as a District and go to the sauna, get all you can eat sushi, and if time allows, go to a Sikh and a Masonic temple and see if they give tours. So we're pretty pumped.
Yesterday, our Stake President came and gave a stellar talk in Sacrament meeting. He gave us ways we can be happier in life and have joy. Those ways were things like "raise your eyebrows more and laugh, open your windows and get some fresh air, go on a walk or a jog, eat a little bit of chocolate everyday, etc." It was pretty great and just made me realize more how important it is to be happy in life. Life is not meant to be lived sad, so if you're sad in life, Change your life!!!! Change things up so that you can be happy. Do what you want and what you love!!! This life is to short to not be happy. I love you all and hope that you have a great week. Chao!!!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Crazy Awesome Week!!!!

Crazy Awesome Week!!!!
I'm glad that life is calming down a little. Busy, but calmer. Ugh, I'm not terribly excited to do group projects. I don't like trusting in other people. People aren't trustable. I love em, but I don't trust em'. :) Clogging?? Good stuff. Something random funny I learned a few weeks ago was how to actually pronounce my first name. I was reading in the Book of Mormon Pronunciation guide and it said Ammon was proununced like "am-un" as in "underneath," not like "am-in" as in "I am in the bathtub." So that's fun. I heart the Book of Mormon!! Also, what hospital was I born in, Mom; and at what time was I born?? Brooklyn and I found out we were both born in Corvallis, Oregon. Her 47 days after I was born. Did you know any Boehmes in Corvallis?? Fun stuff.
This week was pretty great. It started off strong last Monday, because we had a FHE with a Mexican family and they brought their friend who wants to learn more about the church. So we were able to teach him the Restoration and get him started on teaching him. He was super responsive and it all went super well.
On Tuesday, we were able to meet with one of our other investigators who we've been trying to get to church for the longest time, without success. So this was kind of a make it or break it lesson, and she said she'd come to church!! And then she came!!  It was SO good!! But I'll talk about that later.
Wednesday, we helped clean an inactive member's house, so he can feel the Spirit more and want to come back to church. Our progress with him is slow but steady. Later that day, we had an incredible dinner with our ward mission leader, of chicken, rice, asparagus, and parsnip (which I've now tried twice this week, and let me tell you, I Heart Parsnip). WE later had Missionary Coordination, which was good.
Thursday, I went on exchanges with an Elder from Hong Kong, China. I've actually been serving around him for 6 out of the 8 months he's been on his mission. So they were very fun exchanges..until he puked. We had an awesome dinner with a member family. I ate parsnips again. :} Later, in the middle of the night, I woke up because he was throwing up. So that was fun.
The next morning, Friday the 13th!!! We had District Meeting. We told scary stories, ate chicken feet (that some Elders brought), brownies, and of course, we did missionary stuff too. ;) Later that day, we taught some good lessons. We met with our Recent Convert who we were supposed to be going to the Toronto Temple with on Saturday, but due to health problems, we didn't go. So that was pretty upsetting. But life goes on.
So yeah, Saturday we mostly just weekly planned and didn't go to the temple. We did get Pupusas, though. So life got better. :)
Sunday was a crazy stellar day. We had two investigators come to church and we taught Primary again!! It all went super well. Then we had a luncheon after church. Lots of Chili!! We had to leave directly after the luncheon, and then we drove two hours north to a city named Sarnia. I had to do four baptismal interviews yesterday. It was pretty crazy. Luckily everyone passed. We had to stay the night last night here in Sarnia, with the Elders. It was a blast. They made us ribs and potatoes. It was pretty great. So now I'm here in Sarnia emailing. We'll be staying here for the day and then driving back for some appointments. So we're pretty excited. I'm super tired though because we didn't sleep much at all last night. Go missionary life!!
One thing that has been on my mind these last few days has been about Sacrament meeting. I'll try not to rant to much or be negative, but let me tell you, Sacrament Meeting is NOT the place to give deep, intricate, confusing talks. Our sacrament meeting yesterday was honestly not great for our investigators. A High Council Member came down with his "traveling companion." And his "traveling companion" decided not only to talk how God has created innumerable universes and human life on other worlds (and even aliens was brought up), but went on for about 30 minutes, which made it so we had to cancel the intermediate hymn and the High Council Member, who had an incredible talk on asking God for answers (which is exactly what one of our investigators needed) had to condense his talk to about 5 minutes. It was pretty bad. SO, the moral of the story, and the word I want to get out, is that during Sacrament Meeting teach SIMPLE DOCTRINES!!!! Invite the Spirit, teach Simple Doctrine, and bear strong testimony. THAT'S how you make sacrament meeting great. Be aware of your audience. MOST of the time, there are non-members in the congregation. So be smart!!! I love the Gospel and I love focusing and expounding on simple, basic doctrines. It brings the Spirit so much. I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week. 3 days and I have six months left. But who's counting?? Not me!! 

I ate too much pizza today.

I ate too much pizza today.
That's really all I can think of right now.
But HEY! The trip sounds like it was pretty fun. Savannah, you make me laugh so hard. I Spy A Hobo. I'm very jealous that you all got so much snow. We got a little storm here. But it melted within, like, hours. I'm glad you got my cards. And a letter from Sister Saunderson. She is definitely one of my mothers here in Leamington. You'll probably get another letter from a member here. The members love us here. I don't know why. We don't really do anything. ;)
Okay, we do some things. This is what we did last week.
Tuesday, P-Day. We had the Elders from Windsor come to our place because my companion got super sick. So we ate the cheesecake, went to the sauna, and later that day we met with a less-active member, who came to church yesterday!!! So that was fun.
Wednesday, I went on exchanges with an Elder Ceyvion Wilkins. He's a super great missionary from California and we had an awesome time. We visited the most crazy member of our Branch and we stayed up really late talking. Then he wanted to go to the sauna in the morning (the sauna is now a tradition in the District, everyone in the District will experience it :). Trust me though, going to the sauna in the morning is not fun. You think it wakes you up and clears you up. It not only makes you not awake, it just makes you sweaty and gross too.
Later that day, we went and shoveled snow for a lot of people. We went by a less active member who had just gotten into a bike accident. He had got into a state of hibernation, but we were able to wake him up and meet with him. It was nice. For dinner, we got Pupusas (because Elder Wilkins hadn't experienced them yet). Then we drove two hours to London, to stay the night for a Zone Council the next day. We were supposed to have a practice, that night, for a musical number I was in charge of for the Zone Council. But it turned into a "no one came" and "no one wanted to be in it" kind of practice. So that stunk.
The next morning, we regrouped for the musical number and practiced and actually did a pretty great job. I played the piano and sang a solo for it and the other solo was by.....drum roll.....SISTER SMOOT!!! Then we sang a duet in the song. So they're you go, Dad. Be happy. I'll share the video with your google drive, so you can watch the musical number, because it's too big to send.
Later that day, I had interviews with President Shields. He is such a good time. It was more of a fun conversation that an interview. Just so you know, Mom, he told me I can play the games on P-Day (as long as I don't get obsessed with them). So the question now is if I'm going to actually play them or not. ;) After interviews, I went on another exchanged with Elder Berret Robison from Idaho Falls, Idaho. He is a great guy that just got sent to my District (because of an emergency transfer). We of course went to the sauna that night. :)
On Saturday, we had a lot of plans, but we had to go to Windsor to do an apartment inspection, because their superintendent was complaining. But there was nothing wrong. We then went to Chatham to exchanged back. So...lots of driving for me.
Sunday, we were asked to teach Primary, which was great because we had a new Primary-aged investigator at church that day. AND we were assigned to teach the First Vision. So we just taught the First Discussion, which went great. We haven't seen an investigator at church since we got here in Leamington, so it was quite a miracle. Later that night, we watched the YSA Devotional where President & Sister Nelson talked, with our New Convert. It was SUPER good.
One thing that President Nelson really focused on, and something I'll echo right now is he focused on the teachings and lives of two people (or groups of people): The Modern Day Prophets and Jesus Christ. He talked about if how if we want to be some of the greatest leaders of the world, we need to study the words and doings of some of the greatest leaders that have ever lived in this world. It was really a wake up call for me, because I know that I could be studying the life and words of Jesus Christ a lot more than I am. And this is my challenge to all of you. Studying the life of Jesus Christ, read about him, watch the Bible Videos about him, and then live like he did. Our purpose in this life is to become like Jesus was and to become like Jesus is now. I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!!! Chao!!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Happy New Year!

Crazy Crazy Week.
I'm sorry that it rained on you all down there. I hope you're all enjoying it anyway.
My week was pretty much a roller coaster.
Last Tuesday (P-Day) we were up in Windsor because the Elders up there invited us to go to a funeral...for P-Day. It was super awkward, but we got lunch afterwards. So that's good I guess. Later that day a member in Windsor texted us and asked us if we could help him move some big stuff (refrigerator, washer, etc.). So we did and he surprised us by feeding us steak afterwards. It was SO sweet. I don't think I've had steak like that since I've been on my mission...which has been a long time. :)
We had District Meeting last Friday, so I brought some fudge that I had failed at making (because it didn't set), and we used it for Banana Splits!! So that worked. We also celebrated New Year's Eve Eve. So that was good. Later on Friday I went on an exchange with Elder Anthony Bybee from Kimberly, Idaho. He is a stellar guy and we had a great time. 
Saturday was New Year's Eve!!! Elder Bybee (since he's half Venezuelan) wanted to go to the Venezuelan restaurant in Leamington. So we had a delicious lunch there. It's sad because he doesn't speak Spanish so the elderly waitress there ranted about his parents and how they should've taught him Spanish. I told her (in Spanish) that my father is Colombian and he taught me a little, so no complaints there. ;)
Later that day we did some service for a member, then we went back up to Windsor to spend New Year's Eve with the Elders up there. We met a sweet Costa Rican part member family up there (who hopefully we'll teach and baptize the parents) and then we went to the apartment. I had prepared to make a Smores Cheesecake for New Years, but when we got to their apartment, their oven was broken. Somehow it slipped their minds (after I talked up making this cheesecake for days) that you need a working oven to make a Cheesecake. So no Cheesecake. But that's okay!! Because I made it today. See photos below.
The New Year's was pretty chill though. We went on the porch at Midnight, and cheered and yelled and looked at Detroit. The Motherland. 2017. I'm coming home. :')
When Sunday rolled around. We were tired and hungry (because it was fast Sunday) and I may have dozed off a few times in sacrament meeting. Whoops. Later that day, though, we stopped by our Venezuelan investigator who postponed us until the New Year. She was super happy to see us and super grateful for the little Book of Mormon we got for her for Christmas. She still hasn't read it though. :|
On her own anyway. We re-committed her to reading it and she seems solid about reading it this time. So that's great.
Monday, we had a sweet lesson with two investigators that we've been trying to meet with, basically since we got to Leamington. It was a sweet lesson, we watched the Restoration video and committed them both to coming to church. They're a mother and father who have been trying different religions for most of their life. Now they're going to try ours!! They remind me a lot of you two, Mom and Dad. They talk a lot and the man has a beard and a belly and reminds me of cavemen. Like you Dad. ;) Hopefully we'll see them this Sunday!!
One super sweet experience I had this week was, on exchanges with Elder Bybee, we visited a member in the hospital who I had never met before. From comments from members and one phone call we had with her, I was expecting a cranky, cold old woman. But when we got there, and I saw her, I felt this overwhelming sense of love for her. I can't even talk about it right now without tearing up. We talked with her for about an hour and she became one of my favorite people in the whole wide world. He name is Laurena and she is missing a foot because of a disease she has called Sharku Disease. Because of that disease she will soon loose her other foot. But she was actually in the hospital because she caught pneumonia. So she has a lot of things not going so well for her. Nonetheless, she was one of the happiest people I've ever met and was delighted to talk with us. I ended up giving her a blessing and I KNEW that she was going to be alright. She'll overcome the pneumonia and get back to her everyday life. I felt so much love for that little woman lying in the hospital bed. I can't explain it in words other than it was Charity. The pure love of Christ. As a missionary you have these experiences and grow to love the people you work with because of the Spirit and the Charity you feel with them. And then you have to leave them. THAT! is the hardest part of missionary work. It's not the cold, it's not knocking doors, it's not homesickness, it's not bad companions. It's leaving the people you love and have had incredible experiences with. And there's a lot of those people. But that's life. We are blessed, though, with the knowledge that one day, we will dwell with them in Heaven. With such joy and happiness that we can't even comprehend on this Earth. And I know that is true. I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!!!

Merry Christmas!

Well, this'll probably be quite short.
Due to the fact that we Skyped for like a long time. :)
I hope you all have a great time in Puerto Rico or Harry Potter World. Don't get too drunk of Butter Beer...without me!! ;)
Good work on the show Soph. Trust me, I've been given pieces minutes before the performance and have had to improv it. I can't imagine doing that ice skating though!! Nice job!! Sorry you have to work on Christmas/Boxing Day, Mom. So did I. ;) I just have to wait a few months, then I'll get my break. 
This last week was quite a blast though with all the Christmas festivities and what not. Sadly, because of Christmas and New Years, our investigators like to postpone our visits until 2017. So we didn't have a ton of stuff to do. But I'm not bitter. :)
The week really picked up Thursday/Friday. We drove into London Thursday night for Zone Conference on Friday. We stayed the night with some other Elders, which was very fun. Friday we had a great Christmas Zone Conference. I, like usual, had to play the piano and accompany most of the most musical numbers performed there. It was a ton of fun and I got to see a lot of missionaries that I haven't seen in a while. So that was great.
On Friday, we had a Christmas Eve Breakfast with one of our favorite families in the Branch, the Saundersons. We had a traditional Dutch plate called Habbakuk or something (they're like thick crepes). It was great. That day we also went to Doug's house (a less-active member) and sang Christmas songs with him, which was very special and spiritual for all of us. And on Christmas Eve night, we went to Branch President Biggley's house and had a very nice dinner with him and his wife. Needless to say, I was absolutely stuffed by the end of the night.
Christmas was super great. For the first time in a long time (because I either play the piano/organ, or translate into Spanish) I got to sit in the audience for Sacrament Meeting and sing my little heart out. It was actually very nice. Later that day, we went to the Kemp family's house. Skyped you all, had an Incredible Christmas lunch/dinner, and played a fun game were basically you just put whipped cream on this lever and smash it into your face. Pretty great. Later, we went to another family's house and had some more dinner/dessert and had a good time with them all. A pretty typical Christmas as a missionary. I had a great time Skyping you all. It seems like nothing has really changed with any of you (except for some kids' sizes), so keep it that way until I get home. ;) 
Yesterday was Boxing Day, so we didn't have P-Day. We decided to walk through the town and see if people were out buying stuff (because Boxing Day is basically Canada's Black Friday). I don't think that Leamington got the message that you buy stuff on Boxing Day because NO ONE was out doing anything. We walked by all the stores that had huge BOXING DAY SALES and signs on them, and the stores were completely empty. Sad day. Then it started to POUR rain!!! We were about a mile away from our car. So we walked through the huge rain storm and got soaked to the bones. The rainstorm continued for the rest of the day and thick fog came in to to make the driving conditions even more dangerous. But I didn't get in a crash. So take that Mother Nature. The rain melted most all the snow, which I'm fine with because Christmas is over. But I was VERY happy to have snow this last Christmas. I don't like Christmas without all.
I don't have too much to say, expect this simple truth that Jesus Christ lives. We've celebrated His birth. Now what?? What came after the birth of Jesus was far more important than His birth. And that was His life, what He did. He taught, led, blessed, gave the blind their sight, healed the sick, and raised the dead; He atoned for our sins, pains, and afflictions; He suffered the worst type of death the world has ever known; He rose from the grave after three days so that we could live again. Let's never forget that. Let's never take Him off of our minds and off of our hearts. He lives. I know He does. I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week. Happy New Years!!!