Tuesday, December 16, 2014

I'm me still but I'm different!

Dec 15, 2014
Now let me tell you about my last full week in the mission field. (That's still weird to say but I am coming to grips with it.)

On Monday after I emailed you we ended our day with some bowling. Some missionaries from our Zone joined us, safe to say I still got it. It was pretty fun, except for I felt like exploding after that pizza challenge. That night we went to a Christmas Concert at the Mesa Event Center in downtown Mesa. Our Elders Quorum President's wife was in it so he asked if we could bring an investigator and come with him. We asked President and he was fine with it so we took M-----, that is getting baptized on the 20th. It wasn't an LDS sponsored event or anything but they did have the Bible Videos depicting the Saviors birth playing behind the orchestra and choir so their was a pretty big LDS influence. It was really fun and a great way to continue helping M---- feel comfortable with the Ward members.

On Tuesday we had Zone Training Meeting. It was really good. President has established a new program or initiative for the mission. Last March was our highest baptizing month so President has deemed this coming March as MIRACLE MARCH and has set a goal for 100 baptisms in the mission. It's a pretty big deal, Stake Presidents have been notified, the entire mission (including members) are going to be invited to fast in January for the Lord to bless us with 1,500 New Investigators that month. We counseled about that for quite some time and came to some good conclusions about what we need to do in order for that to happen in March. Exciting stuff. After that we went to a wings place called Long Wongs as a Zone, and then on went on from there. Just another great day as a missionary! I started feeling pretty sick Tuesday morning but I was able to push through.

Wednesday was great. We had what is a called a Temple Excursion, where multiple Zones have their temple day at the same time and start it off w/ a temple chapel session w/ President Jenkins. It was my last time doing a session at the Mesa Temple as a full missionary, I'm glad I got to go one last time. It's one of my favorite temples. After the session we went across the street to a chapel and had our Christmas Activity. We started it off with a nice lunch, then everybody practiced for their Christmas Day performance at the Christmas Lights, and we ended with a Christmas Devotional from President and Sister Jenkins. It was superb! President talked about a 10 year old boy that got baptized the week before Christmas while he was serving his mission in Spain. That little boy went on to serve a mission in Chile, baptizing nearly 1,000 people. That story made me think of W------ from Apache Junction and little J------ that got baptized this past Saturday. Who knows who else these two young man will touch, they're great kids. We also for our Christmas presents from President. He got us all "The Lectures on Faith" by Joseph Smith. They are some incredible talks he gave explaining what faith is, how we obtain it, what we do with it, etc. I was actually going to ask President how to get ahold of a copy during by exit interview. He sure is inspired. :) Wednesday night we also went to the Christmas Lights with B-----. He is a funny man. He spent more time gawking at pretty ladies than anything else but we're still working on him haha. 

ThursdayThursdayThursday... (Unrelated story but we ate with a family that has a Down Syndrome daughter this week and she is 33 but has trouble saying "thirty" so at first she was just saying she was 23. But they finally came to the conclusion that she could say "Thursday" so now when she is asked her age instead of responding, "twenty three" and being 10 years off she simply says, " I am Thursday Three". She's awesome.) I ended up going on an exchange with our Zone Leader, Elder Meng, on Thursday. We were in his area, which literally has the temple in its boundaries and his apartment is right across the street. It was super fun. We visited a member with an edition of the Book of Mormon that was printed in 1830. Taught some really good people... And! Here's a good story. There's a family that opens an Indian Fry Bread stand across the street from the temple every night of Christmas Lights and the stand is right by Elder Meng's apartment. It's pretty expensive so Elder Meng has never got any but I offered to pay for us both and we decided we would pick some up right before heading in Thursday night. As we approached and began to ponder what we wanted I looked to my right and saw someone I recognized... Elder Tofu! He is a big old Tongan guy that I was in the MTC. He was in my Zone and went to Atlanta but was from Mesa. He recently returned home (his family actually moved up to Utah while he was gone but he was just visiting his family, which is the family that sells the Fry Bread) and we had a glorious reunion. I actually told Elder Meng a story about him earlier that day so it was pretty cool. Miracles! I have seriously seen so many people that I have met on my mission in the last couple of weeks, I love the small things that God does to make our lives a little fuller. I especially love when I notice them!

Friday was the wonderful day of Weekly Planning! What a riot. An older couple in the Ward, the Hastings, took us out to lunch to give us a planning break. They took us to a place called Waldo's, which is super good barbecue food. I had one of the best pulled pork sandwiches of my life. That night we were back at the Christmas Lights, which is a great place to be. Afterwards we swung by for some more fry bread. (It's a good thing I didn't know about is sooner because I would have gained some serious weight.)

We started off Saturday with a Stake Correlation Meeting and breakfast, followed by another breakfast with a member named M---- that is returning to activity, and then it was off to fill up the font for J-----'s baptism! The baptism was great. The talks were awesome and the Ward really showed up to support him. J----- had the opportunity to bare his testimony after he was baptized. He's a very charismatic kid, he stood up there and explained how he knew he would be happy after he was baptized but that he felt happier than if he was at Disneyland haha. It was perfect. He also said he knew the Book of Mormon was true, that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and that Thomas S. Monson was a prophet as well. So cool. M---- also passed his baptism interview right after the baptism, he is getting baptized next Saturday night. :) After his baptism the Ward will have reached their goal of 4 baptisms for the year.

On Sunday I had the opportunity to to confirm J-----. It was a great experience. J----- really is a special kid, he is going to bring about a lot of good in this world if he stays true to the gospel. Saturday after his baptism we stopped by to see him and he invited his friends to meet with us and gave them all copies of the Book of Mormon. It was great! Sunday night we were back at the Christmas Lights with the A----- family! Brother A------ is not a member and we have been meeting with him. And... Last night he announced that he has decided to be baptized! It was so cool to hear him say he had made his decision. This has been a long time coming, I can tell you that. I won't be here when he gets baptized but I'm glad I got to be a part of this. 

Well... I haven't decided how I feel about coming home yet, I haven't chosen an emotion yet. Everyone asks whether I'm sad, excited, etc. But I'm not sure. I know I'm excited to see all of you again and I'm sad that I will no longer be a full time missionary. I have loved my mission so much and I wouldn't change it for the world. It's crazy to think I'm going back to little Riverton, Utah. It's crazy think who I was before. I'm me still but I'm different... I don't know how to explain it. There was a member in my first area that told me that he thought the real reason the church sends young people on missions is for our benefit and baptizing is an after product. But as I look back on my mission I realize that the moments that have changed me most are the times I was inviting others to Christ. The times I was helping them change their lives. It wasn't simply living on my own, making my own bed, cooking my own lunch, or anything else. It was the simple fact that in inviting others to come to Christ I was inviting myself to do the same. I know this church is true, I know that God is my Father and that He loves me. I will see you soon. :)

Elder Alexander

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George will be home Dec 18th 2014 at 10:16 AM. Yea!!!

Me and my sons.

Another great week serving the Lord.

Dec 8, 2014
Hi Mom,
I wanted to say thank you to you and Dad for all you did to help out
A-----. You and Dad are the personification of unconditional love.
You've always loved whoever came into your path and helped them reach
higher, me included. I will never be able to thank you enough for
loving me, and now going out of your comfort zone to love a man you've
never met before. I love A----- very much and I firmly believe he just
needs a chance, the opportunity. Thank you thank you thank you.

My knee is doing fine, it was sore for a few days but I was still able
to push through it. I ran on the treadmill Friday and Saturday so I'm
good to go.

This week was great. We had transfers on Wednesday and we got Elder
Johnson. He is from South Salt Lake, he has been out for a over a
year. He is a good kid..

C----- got baptized on Saturday. He is a really good kid, he is very
quiet but it has been great working him through his understanding of
the gospel. We taught him about the Priesthood on Friday before his
baptism and he is meeting with Bishop next week. We also went with him
to the Christmas Lights Saturday night and he really was a different
person. He walked differently, talked differently, he was brighter.
And on Sunday he told us that he felt it. I've been pondering my
testimony lately, especially what my testimony was before my mission
compared to what it has become. I knew the church was true, for sure.
But my knowledge was based upon different things then it is now. It
was based on the fact that I knew it was a good thing. Going to church
was good, the Book of Mormon was good, a mission was a good thing,
etc. But now I am able to reflect on undeniable spiritual experiences
that God has blessed me with. C------ know the church is good, he knows
that going to church is good. But a lot like me his heart is ready to
accept the spiritual experiences that will surely follow a humble and
willing heart.

A----- surgery went well from what we know. She is home now but we
haven't been able to see her yet. We have a Get Well Soon card that we
are going to be taking over tomorrow. She is such a sweet little girl,
keep praying for her!

This week is going to be great. We have ZTM tomorrow, Temple Excursion
and Christmas Party Wednesday, and J-----'s baptism on Saturday! It
will be another great week serving the Lord.

Love you. <3

Sent from my iPad

Venezia's Pizza Challenge. Two people, two foot pizza, one hour. We
did it in 26 minutes and we got a shirt! Elder Sweeten ate 10 pieces
and I ate 6... But that's ok haha.

Monday, December 1, 2014

God keeps His promises

Dec 1st, 2014
Good afternoon!

Thanksgiving was great! We started off the day with a good ol Turkey Bowl, the Pueblo Zone challenged the Toro Zone and it was great. Me and Elder Meng wrote up some plays and we did pretty good. I twisted my knee when I went to make a catch and had to sit out for awhile, there was a pop and my knee has been swollen a little but since I think I'm ok! I just don't have full mobility. I was also starting to feel sick but we made it to all of our dinners. We started with the Speakmans, the the Evans, then the Delaughters, then a power nap, and finished off with R---- and his family. R----- has talked with missionaries before and invited us over. He is Cuban and he wrapped the turkey in bacon, it was pretty awesome. We got to know them pretty good and we are going back this week to teach their kids about the Ten Commandments. :)

Everything in the area is going great. C---- passed his baptism interview and is set for this coming Saturday, J---- is still planning on the 13th, and M---- is going strong for the 20th they were all at church yesterday and you can really see them changing and understanding. That's one of my favorite parts of being a missionary, when you can really see when people get it.

As for transfers, we will be getting a third companion on Wednesday. His name is Elder Johnson, he has been out over a year so him and Elder Hoggan will keep going strong in the Ward as I quietly slip away on the 18th. I wouldn't have it any other way. I don't know much about Elder Johnson, I've met him a few times but never got to know him. He's a good kid though. 

On Saturday we were able to attend the baptism of G----- and O------. It was incredible. The Spirit was seriously so strong and the fact that they were confirmed at the baptism as well made it even stronger. I believe I told you all about the time we met with them at the Visitors' Center and they set their first baptism date, well we really promised them there that the Gift of the Holy Ghost would change their lives. After receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost they both stood and shared their feelings. With tears in their eyes they tried to explain the joy they felt, something they said they had never felt before, I'm so grateful that I was able to see that promise we made fulfilled. God keeps His promises.

On Saturday night we also found a new family to teach. H---- and M-----. H---- talked to missionaries up in Payson when he was working and gave them his address, they referred him to us and we have been trying for the past month to contact him. We finally caught her home earlier this week and set up an appointment for Saturday. When we stopped by we taught them the Restoration, they are Catholic but very open. They accepted to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. As I said earlier, I started getting sick on Thursday and by Saturday my voice was just about gone. I tried my best to teach and testify but I sounded pretty ridiculous. Luckily the Spirit can still work his magic when you're a little hoarse. 

A----- is going in for a big surgery today and we were able to swing by last night and give her a blessing. Please please keep her in your prayers. She is an awesome little girl.

Now I will answer your trunky questions haha. I have started giving away some ties, not all but some. I will be bringing the last two suits I have here with me home as well as both of my long sleeve white shirts. I am going to leave most of my slacks because there are some Elders that could use them more than I can when I get home. I'm going to have plenty of room. I'm actually going to be living out of my suitcase the next couple weeks because with us getting a third companion I am giving him my closet space, cupboard space, bed, and desk. I will be sleeping on the floor which I'm pretty excited about haha.

I will have a departure dinner with President, probably the night before I leave. They usually don't have a departure dinner for those going home midtransfer or they would just have us go with the group going home tomorrow but since there are a larger number of us going home for school President decided to hold one for us. There is only one other Elder going home with me, Elder Spencer. We will be on the same flight. And then there are a few Sisters.


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Missionary Thanksgivings are great in Mesa.

Nov 24, 2014
Thank you! I thought that would be an appropriate phrase to start off
this email with. As we have been visiting members and talking about
gratitude I have had ample time to ponder what I am thankful for. Here
are just a few, because the list could go on forever:

1. My family. I love everything about our family. It's funny how being
twelve hours apart for two years can bring you so much closer to
someone. I love my family so much.

2. The Gospel (The Atonement). I mentioned this a little bit to Elyse
when I emailed her today but I am so grateful for the simplicity of
the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the  infinite power of the Atonement.
It provides progress, it allows me to change who I am. The Gospel, or
the Savior in general gives me a perfect "island" (or goal) of who I
need to be. What I need to do to be happy. And if I'm not happy I can
repent! It's not always easy but it's worth it.

3. My Mission. For obvious reasons I am grateful that I have been able
to tell people about the truths of the gospel. One specific thing I am
grateful for is the fact that Heavenly Father allows us to learn from
experience. I love studying a lot, but the biggest lessons I have
learned haven't been at my desk. They have been knocking on a
strangers door, or inviting someone I've only known for 30 minutes to
be baptized. It's been in the hard days where I want to just go home
but push through to a miracle. God lets us grow and learn for
ourselves. He is always watching, as a love Father would. Always ready
to correct but letting us make the decision.

Thank you for your great Thanksgiving thoughts as well. :)

This week was great! We spent a lot of our time solidifying the
investigators we recently found but we were still able to find a few

We went to see J----- Monday night and he asked us if he could get
baptized. He set a date for  December 13th and came to church with us
yesterday, he is a great kid. He brought his cousin E----- (who is a
bit of a troublemaker) and taught him all about getting Sacrament as
it was passed. He is solid.

C----- is doing great. He is getting it really well, which makes sense
since he has been coming to church for the past 7 months and his
watched two sessions of General Conference. We were able to take him
to F---- and D------'s baptism on Saturday (which was incredible) and
he already has his baptism all planned out.

M-----, who we started teaching last week, also accepted a baptism date.
He will be preparing for Dec 20th. Exciting things are happening
here. The Ward hasn't had a baptism in about 10 months so everyone
seems to be pretty excited. We had nine investigators at church
yesterday, it was really cool. One of those investigators was B------!
It was pretty sweet. He is going to be a process but he is a really
good guy.

We ran our mission 5k this morning, did I tell you about that? Well
the whole mission got together and ran a 5k! I have never been the
biggest fan of running but we have been training for a couple months.
Me and Elder Meng ran a 5k on Saturday during exercise and did it in
about 28 minutes. Today my goal was to beat President (who is in
pretty good shape) and I just barely did! I passed him on the final
stretch, but he forgave me after. I ran it in 24:50 today. I'm
surprisingly not as dead as I though I would be though!

As for Thanksgiving thus far we have an 'eating appointment' at 12, 2,
3, 5, & 6. With one more to be scheduled today. Three of them are
actually with non members which will be awesome. Missionary
Thanksgivings are great in Mesa.

That is awesome about Uncle Allen and Aunt Denise! They're the
greatest. Tell them if they need someone to stay in their house while
they're gone then I will be around haha. I will be sure to ask
President Jenkins what advice he has for Uncle Allen. Dad sent me an
email and said that President Eyring said that the missionaries are
called to the Mission President, and I can tell you that that is true.
President Jenkins once told me that President Uchtdorf told him the
same thing. Uncle Allen is going to bless a lot of lives!

Well... I think that's all this week. Don't have too much fun without
me on Thursday. :) Oh yeah! And Brother Carroll will be bringing a
duffle bad up full of some stuff of mine sometime this week. Most of
it is shoes... I promise I have done more than shop while I have been
down here haha. Love you!

Love, Elder Alexander

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Miraculous weeks follow trials.

Nov 17, 2014
Hello, hello.
Heavenly Father was very good to us this week. We were able to find 8 new people to teach! We have had struggles the last few weeks with people actually committing and going from potentials to investigators but this weeks the windows of heaven were truly opened! And it's funny that miraculous weeks follow trials. I don't think I mentioned it but last week I had some bike problems... I tried to pump up my front tire, just to get some more air in it, and when I went to take the pump off the stem it ripped the stem right out of the tire! Luckily an Elder that lives in our same apartment complex had an extra tube so I was able to make a quick switch. Then we went to the church building to do some Online Proselyting and when I went to ride away I was greeted by a flat tire. :( Once again luckily there were some missionaries at the church building with a car so they gave us a ride to get a pump and ANOTHER new tube. And then that night on the way home I crashed on my bike... I was able to stay on my feet but my bike flew out from under me. But sometimes I welcome those small bumps in the road because I know that there's something great coming. :)

The first of the new investigators... A----. She's a little nine year old girl that has been coming to church with her neighbors the E----- family. Sister E----- is a single mother with one daughter, the Ward Council has asked us to teach her. So... We invited them to have A----t over so we can teach her too! We had a nice lesson Monday night and are meeting with them tonight. Keep A---- in your prayers, she is going to have a pretty extensive surgery the beginning of December that she is really nervous for. She's a good girl.

Then there is E-----. She had talked with Elder Hoggan and his previous companion a few months ago and we ran into her again the first week was here. Since then we have been trying to meet with her and it finally worked out this week. She has a few kids and needs a lot of help with them, the church and the gospel is going to be the best thing for them. She is going to meet with us on Wednesday again.

Last Sunday after we set up the appointment with the E----- family and A----- we were leaving these little apartments in our area and we ran into a lady by the name of A------. She told us that she had recently started attending the Jehovah's Witness church but was always open to learning more. We went by on Wednesday night and she said she only had ten minutes. Plenty of time! We were able to teach her the Restoration and her husband ended up joining us, his name is B-----. They are super open. We were supposed to meet with them on Sunday night but he had to wake up at 3am so we just talked at the door for a minute and set up something for Tuesday. I'm excited to see what happens with them.

Next we have J----, S-----, & A------. They are three kids that have been taught previously but the missionaries stopped because the grandfather wouldn't progress. But they need the gospel and they are ready, especially Jeremy. The first thing he asked was, "Is it alright if I get baptized into your church in a month?" A----- is his brother and S----- is his cousin but J---- is the only one that seems to want to progress. I will keep you posted on them!

Lastly there is M----. He lives with a family in the Ward, the D----. He is their nephew, 20 years old, loves football. Sister D----- recently got baptized in February and Brother ----- has been inactive for years. But they are an awesome family. We had met M----- previously but he had always stayed in the other room when we'd come over for dinner. But just last week he decided to come to church and we have been building a relationship with him. We went to eat dinner with them on Friday and he ate with us! We were planning on being pretty bold about inviting him to meet with us but he made it pretty easy on us when he asked what we do as missionaries. :) He's a really good kid.

So that's all the new people! I'm excited to see what happens. Not all of them will go on to be baptized, that's a reality. But I'm grateful that I am blessed to play some part in sharing the everlasting gospel with them!

C----- is coming along great! He feels his faith growing and he has started praying, he is pretty quiet but as we have gotten to know him he has opened up a lot more. I gave him a tie after our lesson on Saturday to help soften him up haha. We are going to go with him to a baptism this Saturday so he can see what a baptism is like because the 6th us coming up quick! The baptism we are taking him to is F------ from the 18th Ward! I'm excited to see him make that covenant, and Elder Sweeten gave me some pretty exciting news. D-----, F-----s mom, has decided to be baptized with him on the 22nd. :) I knew she would follow soon after! She really wants to make sure that it is F-----'s decision so she hasn't even told him yet that she will be getting baptized with him. I'm excited to witness it.

Today B----- took me, Elder Hoggan, and Elder Meng (our roommate) out on an adventure! We took a back road out to Globe past all these lakes and saw some cool sights and explored a bit. I have some good pictures, I will send you some today! We also stopped in Miami and got some really good Mexican food from a place called The Burger House that I've always heard about. It was really fun.

This week we also had Zone Conference. It was 7 hours long! But it didn't seem like that, it was a great meeting. I got to participate in the training on planning and was in charge of demonstrating preparing a lesson plan during weekly. It went well. I also got to bare my "final" testimony. I spent a large part of it testifying of the fact that when we are obedient we can have confidence that WHATEVER happens to us is for our benefit. I almost said, "I'm grateful for the opportunity I have had to preach the gospel." But I corrected myself and expressed my gratitude for the ability to continue to spread the gospel. Both because I have a whole month left to commit myself fully to this work and the fact that my service will never truly end. I will continue to serve my Father in Heaven willingly and I know that He will bless me.

"...we can see that the Lord in his great infinite goodness doth bless and prosper those who put their trust in him." Hellman 12:1


Elder Alexander

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This is a cave we climbed up to.

We also stopped in Miami and got some really good
Mexican food from this place called The Burger House
that I've always heard about. It was really fun.

Beginning of a long path of "refining fire".

Nov 10, 2014
Another week gone by! And this one was seriously a blur... I shall start off with some P Day stories from last week. We drove out to Apache Junction with Elder Sweeten and Elder Bennett to a road that is called Idaho Road and went north until it turns into a dirt road and then ends at the mouth of a trail that really just goes into the wilderness. So we went and explored. We had our fun and headed back, on the way back I had my first big cactus run in... I looked down as I was walking and felt a little disturbance on my left foot. A little cholla cactus, or nicknamed "jumping cactus", had jumped a ride on my toe. I didn't really want to take the time to carefully remove it so I tried to kick it off with my right foot. That didn't work. With it now on my right foot I tried to kick it off with my originally affected foot and this time it stabbed into my big toe pretty good. I wasn't too happy. In frustration I grabbed a rock and knocked it off, but in my follow through my hand hit into ANOTHER stinking jumping cactus! It was ridiculous. At this point, with a cactus pretty well stuck into my hand, the other Elders realized I was missing and dashed to my aid. Elder Sweeten tried his best to help but at first all that was accomplished was he got stabbed and it got stabbed into my hand In a different way. Eventually we got the bright idea to pinch it with two rocks and pull it off swiftly. Elder Sweeten was able to do that effectively but as he flung it off my finger (which bled pretty good and has been bruised all week) it found a new resting place on Elder Hoggan's leg! Haha, we were able to get it off pretty quick but it was hilarious. Even after that we want another hike this week with our Elders Quorum President, Brother Osborn, we took the Peralta trail on the backside of the Superstitions. It was good fun. Lanny Owens came with Elder Sweeten and Elder Bennett, that man can move for his age. 

J------ and her family moved up north to Arizona, we were able to teach her one more time and help them move. We will miss them and they will definitely be baptized eventually. It's probably the best thing for her and her family though because her mother was recently baptized.

Things are going good with the ward. We are trying to help them the best we can, especially with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up. It is such a great season for missionary work, and with the temple so close and the great tradition of Christmas lights there is no shortage of opportunities to invite, invite, invite. What's the harm in inviting your neighbor to the neighborhood Christmas party or to the Christmas lights? The biggest thing I've learned in regards to working with members is that if the Lord knows we are willing to open our mouths and invite he will be more likely to place within our lives people who both need and are prepared to receive the gospel. So, we invite our members to invite and then inevitably there will be people that move into the Ward that are prepared. Even if it is unrelated to an actual invitation extended by a ward member it is still evidence that the Ward has gained the trust of the Lord. J---- and G------ are a great example of that. The message we have been sharing is a Mormon Message about "The Spirit of Thanksgiving" after we take the time to discuss with the family what they are thankful for we talk about showing our thankfulness for the gospel by living it and sharing it! :) It's going well.

B----- is doing great! He came with us to the Joseph Smith movie at the Visitors' Center on Friday and he loved it. He's really receptive. We gave him a Book of Mormon and on Saturday, I was on an exchange with our District Leader Elder Price, we went over and read through the introduction with him and went through the pictures in the front. He says that he already knows the Book of Mormon is true but he is looking at it from a very historical view rather than spiritual so we are working on that. He was supposed to come with us to church on Sunday but he was out too late playing poker because he was doing well, he says that we give him good luck... Hopefully that will help us get him to church soon. He might be taking us out to Globe next week.

I believe I mentioned C----- in my last letter. He is an awesome kid, we got to teach him again on Saturday and he was super receptive. He read the chapter we left him (3 Nephi 11) and we were able to teach him the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Using an objective lesson I will have to show you when I get home. :) When we talked about faith he told us that he feels like his faith in Christ is growing, it's awesome how honest and open he is. A little quiet but the more comfortable he gets with us he better it gets. In the end we invited him to be baptized and he said yes! He is preparing for December 6th, I'm very excited for him.

I know this church is true! Peace and happiness follow those who live the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that the Savior lives and that He understands me. If we do what He has asked and move forward with faith I know that we can have confidence that the path we are pursuing will be for our good. It might be hard, or painful but if we are obedient to the commandments established by God, the one who knows all things, we truly can be comforted by the fact that our trials are simply refining us to be what God expects us to be. My mission has been the beginning of a long path of "refining fire" I can't wait to see what God can make of an awkward little boy from Riverton, Utah. :) Thank you, once again, for raising me with the truths that I have. They have blessed me and will bless me forever. Mom and Dad, I love you and I will spend the rest of my life thanking you for raising me to believe in Jesus Christ.

Elder Alexander

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

I love Mesa!

Nov 3, 2013
Hello Madre!
I got the package and I totally loved it. You did great, I wore the
new tie you bought me to church . I'm a big fan of it. I love
the Thank You Cards as well. I may wait until I get home to send them
all out but we will see.

 We refer to missionaries that are going home as "dying" so I am
in my dying area, most likely at least.

The M---- family is doing good. I talk with them on Facebook every
once and awhile, they are still struggling quite a bit but O----- and
G------ came to church yesterday and they are planning on getting
baptized the end of the month. J----- and G------ are doing great as
well, J----- texted me yesterday and he seemed really good. I love
those two!

We had regional conference on Sunday. It was Stake Conference and it
was broadcast-ed from Salt Lake to all of the AZ Stakes. President
Uchtdorf and Elder Christofferson spoke and it was AMAZING! We are so
blessed to have the leadership that we do, they are so inspired.

We were able to go to the PHX Temple Open House one last time on
Friday with an investigator named B-----. He is a retired single old
man and he is awesome. He was blown away by the beauty of the temple
and now we are going to the Visitor's Center with him this week to
watch the Joseph Smith movie. I'm so excited, he is a really sincere
and honest man. He actually started investigating because of the
flooding a couple months ago and the missionaries were able to help

On Friday night we got to go to the temple and do a session because we
weren't allowed to go anywhere unannounced. It was great! I got to sit
by President Jenkins during the session and it was great, sure love
that man. I love Mesa!

President asked me to come to a council on Thursday and we talked
about how the mission needs to be trained on planning during our
upcoming Zone Conference. I probably won't have to present the
training but I am a part of planning it. One thing I have learned on my
mission is the importance and the proper way of planning. I hope I can
keep it going when I get home.

Thanks for everything Mom. I love you.

Elder Alexander

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