Monday, December 23, 2013

Week #12 First Baptism!

Merry Christmas!
      Sorry, I don't have a lot of time today, so its going to be short and sweet!  We had a very Christmas oriented week! We have been doing a ton of service which awesome, because i feel like service is at the heart of the Christmas spirit. Plus this last Wednesday we went down to Nampa for the Christmas Zone conference! We did a white elephant gift exchange which was pretty awesome! I got a sandwich skillet! (I've used it just about every day since) Elder Nelson, (one of the Ap's) got a "buns of steel" work out video! Which is pretty hilarious because he is so strict. There was tons of awesome music and Christmas stories. I've said it before but I will say it again. I love it when all the missionaries meet together! The spirit is so strong! So all day Saturday we split wood for a family that has just moved in. I don't know if I have mentioned them, but they basically have nothing. No furniture, food, dishes, Christmas, and the list goes on! But over the last two weeks with the help of the ward we have gotten them taken care of, and most importantly turned their house into a home! Splitting wood was fun though. We did about 3 cords of wood. I think each of the rounds that we split weighed around 200 -300 lbs. They were giant! So after a day of wrestling those around and throwing the wood into the trailer, I was pretty sore. But you forget about all the pain when you see how big of an impact that it makes on the family! We have a lot you guys! Soooo much to be thankful for! Anyways, That family came to church  the next day and we held a special gospel principals class for the mother. She broke down and just expressed how much love she has for all of us. And how she feels like she is finally "home!" I was so happy! But it gets better when she says this. . "how can I learn more about this church!?" That right there was probably the best Christmas present we could have asked for! I am so excited to continue to help this family and teach them more about how the gospel we have will bless her family soo much! So last Friday we had a Baptism! It was a young boy (14) named James! It was such a good program! We actually got all of the young men involved, one was doing the baptism and all the speakers were youth! But the most impressive part was that there were over 60 people at the baptism!!! (that is almost as many come to sacrament meeting!!) I was so excited to see the support that was there & I think James was a little overwhelmed by the attendance! The spirit was so strong the whole evening! Another cool thing is that about 10 of the people who were there, were non-members! Things are going really good here in McCall! I can't wait for Christmas! We have plans all over the place to visit, I'm excited to see everyone's traditions and get to talk to my family! This truly is a special time of year! Especially in the service of the Lord!    Church is true!
            Merry Christmas!
     - Elder Maynard

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Week #11 - Faith is the Key

    MMMMMcCall says hello, unfortunately there is still not any snow! Just enough to cover the grass. (almost) I was really excited for feet and feet. But i suppose it could still come. So these last couple weeks have just been incredible! We have had the opportunity to talk to and meet with so many new people. One of the ward mission leaders said to me one night, "do you feel like the flood gates have been opened?" He couldn't have said it any better! I think our teaching pool has tripped in size since i got here. and they are all good lessons, families that have been prepared to hear the gospel, Less actives that are ready to make the changes in their lives that they have been procrastinating. We were teaching one family this last week, they moved here from Mexico 16 years ago and during our last lesson they said that they all want to be baptized! I was so excited for them, but then we found out that they aren't legally married. . at first i was really really excited because earlier this month i set a goal for my mission to "be the minister at a wedding!" haha.  But because of other legality they cant get married or they will get deported. So, we are working with that one. But I have faith that they will baptized soon! These last couple weeks i have really learned that faith is key. We have been teaching the youth minister from a non-demoninational church here in mccall. It is awesome, I learn so much every time, and i really feel like i am teaching them a ton each time we meet. They are almost to the point where they will admit that they believe that there was a need for the restoration, and that joseph smith is a true prophet of god. I say "admit" because i already know that they know it! But that is a tricky situation as well because he would have to give up his job to accept what we are teaching him. Plus he is a big time jeeper so he and i connected really well right off the bat. We went out to the Tamarak ski resort/town this last week and it just blew my mind. It is so beautiful! There is billions of dollars in that resort, and all the homes that  have been built up there. Apperantly in 2005 there was a big "tamarak boom" and there was tons and tons of development up there but about two years ago it went bankrupt and pretty much everything stopped in its tracks. Its sad because it really is an incredible place! So of the 300 homes/ski chalets there are 8 full time residents. We had the maintenance guy (member) rat them all out and we went and visited. It actually turned into a good trip. We have two return appointments from that. But i loved the area, the whole time i was up there i was just thinking. "Man, I could live here! and just skii all the time!" Okay, i wanted to share two funny quotes from people we are teaching. 1st: we were just finishing a lesson with this sweet old lady named Bessy, she was raised a southern baptist. (so she is pretty firm on her beliefs) but we finished the lessons and she was praying for us and said. "please bless these fine young men to know that not everyone is a Mormon, and i am definitely one of them." haha, i almost started laughing in the middle of the prayer. 2nd: We were teaching a less active that is doing sooo good! she is coming back to church and preparing for temple etc. anyways, we were talking about how she is going to start dating again and she goes, "I'm done looking for hot guys, my new plan is to find someone like Jack Black, just fat and funny!"  It was awesome! I really love all these people that we are so blessed to have the opportunity to work with. It seems like each week the lord teaches me a very important lesson. last week it was "work work work" this week was "love the people" What a blessing it is for us to be able to come out here to devote 2 years of our lives to become more like Christ! Love you all! Thank so much for the letters/emails. Especially to all ma boiz out in the field! I look up to each and every one of you! Church is true!
Love Elder Maynard!
ps. The fox is doing great! she lives on hot dogs & sour craute, and she loves it when i sing the song "pusha love" to her.  #JT

 Displaying walking in the snow.jpg

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Week #10 Three simple lessons

"I've often said the key to missionary work is work"  This last week has been one of the greatest weeks on my mission yet! And when I look back at it, I realize it is because we worked hard! We taught more lessons than we ever have, and more than the McCall area has had in the last 12 months. The work is just exploding up here right now. Potential investigators seem to just walk right up to our door every day!

This happened last Tuesday when a man showed up to pick up some wood for a family that has just moved in. We got to talking to them and found out this family has nothing. No furniture, no dishes, no anything. So we sent him on his way with the wood and a Christmas tree that we had the week before! Later that afternoon we went out and visited them. At first they were resistant to any contact at all, but once they found out our purpose for coming, they were more than happy to meet with us. Later that week they actually showed up at the ward's Christmas party! President Monson gave a talk in the 80s about when he was a bishop, and helped a family that was moving in from Germany. Once he found out where the family was moving into he went and inspected the apartment, and with the help of the ward, completely remodeled, furnished & stocked this home. So that when the family arrived, they would have a warm welcome. I was really moved by this story. This last Sunday we met with the ward council and I have high hopes that we will have a similar story by the time we have finished helping them. I love serving people!

 This last week a investigator that was dropped months before I got here called and she said. "I don't know who else to call, but our water has been out for a week and we don't know what to do. Can you help?"  My comp looks at me, and I was like "Don't worry, I got it!" Long story short I ended up crawling underneath their trailer house with a handful of pluming that I picked up from the hardware store, and fixed the frozen and broken pipes. It was cold and wet, but they were incredibly grateful and we have an appointment to teach them this week! The Lord truly does answer prayers. 

We have had so many solid appointments, with people who are truly prepared to hear the gospel! In one ward alone we got 5 new investigators! Last Saturday we went to visit a less active that we were teaching, and when we got there we found two guys we had never seen that were definitely waiting for us. One of them was quick to tell us how he used to be an active member and he has been waiting for a sign to come back. The other was in a similar situation, though he was not a member, he too had been waiting for something to come into his life to bring him to repentance. After talking for only a short while we got into a very strong spiritual conversation. Without having ever taught this man about the gospel before, he told us that he could see that we were men of God. I had a very strong prompting to invite him to be baptized. I thought it was kinda crazy since he knows nothing about the gospel, but I opened my mouth and the spirit put out the words. I explained the priesthood, and how Christ died for our sins, and finished with a simple " will you be baptized?" He said yes!   Then I asked him what he thought baptism was. He listed off a dozen incredible things, (repentance, becoming clean, committing to God etc. )  after he finished, he just fell into tears. Along with the LA we went to teach, and the other kid we just met. It was powerful. The next day all three of them showed up to church! He was excited to learn about everything. After I gave him a book of Mormon, and he basically told me that the spirit has already testified to him that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God! It was almost overwhelming, but it is incredible how the lord really does go before us to prepare the hearts of men. 
This week I learned three simple lessons. 1. Teach boldly and simply of the truths that you know. 2. Put all your trust in the Lord.  3. Work work work.  
Chruch is true boys!   love you!
       - Elder Maynard!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Week #9 Rise up like the Son, and labor til the work is done.

Greetings from McCall Idaho,

   So I am starting to think that when someone up here says, "but you've never experienced a McCall Winter!" They don't realize that it snows anywhere else in the world. It's been 50's all week and just rainy! I think when it finally does snow it will end up being the same as i have always experienced back home! Either way I can not wait for it to actually start snowing! On the other hand the rain has been really nice this last week because we did a ton of service! I love doing the service though, its a good break and really good use of our time in the early afternoons. We helped two people move this week, and they were each big moves! I think it was Elder Steiner that said "when i signed up to be a missionary I didn't realize that I was signing up to be a moving company, a family therapist etc. . " I love that! This last week we were defiantly a moving company! Its good though, probably helps us to stay in shape because of all our Idaho meat and potato dinners. Speaking of dinners, Thanksgiving was awesome! We got to eat with a family down in Cascade that just sent their son off on a mission. So we were sorta like the replacements for him. It was way fun, we just ate a ton of really good food. It was a good solid traditional Thanksgiving feast! I
realized that I have a lot to be thankful for, especially serving as a missionary. There are so many blessings coming into my life because I am in the service of the lord. After that feast we went back to McCall and visited one of our favorite investigators! When we finally rolled up they were standing around a campfire eating goose! I have never had goose! (now I have) It was actually really good, one of their kids actually shot it last week right before our teaching appointment with him.   As we were driving over we came around the corner and he was sledding down the road with his rifle slung around his back and the goose in tow. It was way to funny. Then we ended up eating it! We had one of my favorite service opportunities yet Saturday morning after Thanksgiving we joined the ward for their "Christmas Tree cutting party!" Our job was to find trees for the older widows etc. in our wards. It was way fun to be able to go out and find our own "Grizwald family tree"

I think that it is a tradition that I would like to start up in my own family! It was way fun though, the Campbell's got a tree that was bigger than their van! We even got a little Charley Brown tree for our house! It really was an awesome week! We were noticing that all of the major holidays are going to take place in this transfer so we are getting really excited about that!  So, I think that I may have found my new favorite missionary scripture! I hope that one day soon I will be able to be as good as a missionary as Alma! 

 Alma 29:1-2  
1 O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!
 2 Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.


"Rise up like the Son, and labor till the work is done!"
                                              -Brandon Flowers
Labor on boys! We are in the service of the lord!
Love Elder Maynard!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Week #8 Disney Princess Moment

Its official, I made it through the first cycle of my mission! I am happy to report that I have another 6 weeks ahead of me in the McCall area. And I am still serving with Elder Young. The week wasn't too exciting. Nothing much happened with any of our investigators. One of them actually went to jail (haha) so we had to drop them.

There was something super exciting that happened this last Monday! Right when I got back from e-mailing, my fox was hanging out on the front porch so I walked right up to her and started to pet her. After like 5 min she just crawled into my lap and went to sleep! haha. I was so happy. Then it started to get kinda cold so I was faced with the dilemma of staying outside and freezing or getting up and letting my "Disney Princess" moment end. Then I decided that I would just take the fox inside! haha. So I scooped her up in my arms and carried her inside like a baby. My comp was sooo surprised when I walked into our room with her in my arms. Anyways we ended up teaching the fox the first discussion and now she is completely tame and lives in our apartment 24/7.    It is probably the coolest part about serving in Idaho. Coming home after a long day of proselyting just to see foxxy chillin' in her chair reading the book of Mormon. I love that fox.  (haha - TJ said they let actually her go after about an hour and have not seen her since - too bad, hopefully she will come back for another discussion!)

 ...and I love doing service projects! It really gives me a chance to exercise my planning/organization skills. We had an awesome service project this last week. A tree fell over and hit this lady's deck! So we went over and assessed the damage and what it would take to get the project done. The following Wednesday we had all the YM, their leaders, and several less active members there to help. We cut that tree into rounds, split two other entire pine trees for her to burn this year for heat, and put up plastic around her shed to protect the wood from the snow. It was really awesome to see everyone come together to help this lady out! One of our investigators even came and was able to do a lot of work. Right after that he came up and asked us when we could meet again, and we said. "how about right now?" It was one of the best lessons that we have taught with him. And he told us that he wanted to be baptized soon. He is super committed, and is excited to be working towards a date! We were joking that we should hold his baptism on Jan 1st at 12:01 so he could be the first person in 2014 to join the church. We just need to get the mission president to approve it. Wish me luck!

- Elder Maynard

ps. Beau, My ward mission leader & his wife just got his call and he is headed to your mission! I'm super jealous to be loosing him to you. He is awesome. Watch for him in Dec. Elder Rodger Cambell. 


elder maynard and elder young ~

Week #7 Christ has no hands on earth but yours

Friends, family, hello again!
       McCall is starting to get some winter weather, and i am really excited for it! I really love this area! So last tuesday we were just studying and I looked out the window and saw some guy throwing some wood out of the ward's storage into the back of his truck. I was like "Elder, do you know this guy?" haha. So we went out and started to talk to him, he ended up being a Jehovah witness. Long story short, after some conversation about what he believed i ended up teaching him the plan of salvation and giving him a Book of Mormon which he committed to read!  We are supposed to meet with him sometime this coming week so I will be super anxious to hear what he has to say about the Book Or Mormon. We are currently teaching a family that we met at the ward party, and its kinda weird to me to be teaching exactly in the form that we always learned about and role-played in the MTC. Just a sweet little family, mom and dad and their two kids, and they all ask pretty much the exact questions that we always prepared for. It is crazy because it just never happens but I love teaching them. Our teaching pool is slowly growing, and I guess that is all we could ask for! I can't wait to experience being a missionary during Christmas, Because being a missionary is sorta like being in that Christmas spirit all the time. So we had a thanksgiving Zone conference down in Nampa. It looks like we just can't get through a week without having at least one day where we drive for 6+ hours. But it was way fun, we did a ton of team building stuff and after fasting for the whole day we had a huge thanksgiving feast!  (we left our place at 4:00am so the fast seemed extra long for us!) I love the conferences though, just being around so many other missionaries is always a treat! When you are surrounded by 50+ of the lord's servants, you cant help but feel the spirit. We had an awesome service project this week too. We helped this crazy old miner move his entire house into a 52' semi trailer. He was awesome. His name was Buck and he just cracked me up. He is a survivalist, so he has like 20 of everything, unless it has to do with guns, then there is something along the lines of 200. I swear we moved like 100 amo cans. (and they were all full!) His brother Digger was there helping us. He is actually one of the coolest guys i have ever met. He is a convert to the church of 20 years, and before that was a hardcore biker. But after one year of being converted he has had uninterrupted service in the church as a missionary. Woah! this guy is dedicated! But the cool part is he still looks like a biker. He has a huge beard, but even still, is one of the spiritually strongest guys I have come across.  It has been a great week, we had lots of good lessons. Last night we taught what we call and "eternal investigator."  This guy has been seeing the missionaries for over 2 years. But as we taught him last night it was really the first time that I really felt like i was teaching 100% by the spirit. There was no doubt that he and his family were touched by it. It was really one of the greatest experiences that I have had up to this point. It reminds me that if you humble yourself and fully trust in the spirit, then you will be able to teach the things and teach the way that Christ would. I still hang by the words of the poem that i read in my farewell. "Christ has no hands on earth but yours." Everyday I just try my hardest to better myself so when it comes time to let the spirit take over I am prepared. I love this work, I love this gospel, I know that being out here has a giant impact on both my life and the lives of those that i have the opportunity to teach.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A few pictures

Half way between the equator and the north pole. 

Mr. Fox is living in our back yard!

Home sweet home!

You are either a gansta or a saint...

      Coming to you from McCall with another great week under my belt! I'm starting to really get past that "new missionary" thing, and really understand what we are doing out here. It feels great! We had two meeting this week, one in Nampa, and another in Baker city. (those are both 3 hours one way) They were great meetings but it really killed our days haha. Plus i had the flu Wednesday-Friday, but I got over it really quickly! I loved each of the meetings though, at the new missionary training meeting in Nampa i got to see all my friends from the mtc which was pretty great! We talked a lot about how we can better our work. Then at our Zone meeting in Baker City we did a lot to figure out how we can find people. Which is important for us specifically in McCall because everyone is so far away that door to door is really not that effective use of our time. We are starting to get creative with the ways we involve members and I think we will start to see some return from that in the next couple weeks. So I am pretty sure that i say this every week but I am growing spiritually so much! I learn, and learn, and learn, every day! and I love that! I can't even start to imagine who I will be after 2 years of this. At Zone conference my ZL said something i really liked. He goes, "when I came out here i thought it was going to be a "punch in, punch out" but I am here to better myself so I can be a missionary for the rest of my life."  I loved it, it really changed my mentality about things because I felt like that for the first little while haha. But I am here to help people become better by bringing them to christ, Just as much as I am building a foundation for the rest of my life. We ate dinner with an older couple who have 7 grandchildren on missions right now! I was just thinking about how incredible that is. Because of their faithfulness, the gospel is being shared to literally thousands of people in every corner of the world! The lord is hastening his work, everywhere you look there is proof of it. I can feel it especially now that I am out in the field.  One of the biggest proofs of it is the Book of Mormon. That book has been saved for THIS dispensation for THIS generation, and I had never thought of it as a sign of the hastening till now but really it is. I really am beginning to love the B.O.M. I was always so confused when i read it before haha. Since I got to the MTC I have already read it once and I have  started up for another round. As a mission we are supposed to read it by Dec, 18. I was so pumped when I heard that goal. Because when I am studying in the scriptures that is really when i feel the spirit and it is when the spirit has the opportunity to teach me the most!  Yesterday one of our Less Actives came to church and after being there for like 5 min, she just started crying and leaned over to me and said. ( this is ridiculous i should have come back a long time ago!) I can tell that yesterday was the start of a new chapter in her life, and that is exactly what I am here to do. Help people change for the best. In the last GC, pres Monson said that trials are so we have the opportunity to build ourselves back up better than we were before WITH the spirit central to our lives. (something like that haha) But if that's all I do out here i know that i will have been the tool through with Christ saves his children. Yesterday we were meeting with one of our recent converts and we had a big conversation about how crazy the world is etc, etc. Anyways he just stood up and yelled, "when it comes down to it your either a Gangtsta or a Saint."  haha. I had a really hard time not laughing. It was awesome! So if i can leave you all with one thing, it would be " are you a Gansta or a Saint? " or in other words  " choose ye this day who ye will serve - joshua something"  But if you wanted to be like a gansta who followed the commandments, loved the lord, and endured to the end, that would be pretty cool too! haha.

Peace out!
Love from McCall!

 - Elder Maynard.

Week #5 Got to make some noise!


   I cant believe that it is already another week.  It is sorta crazy how the days are long, but the weeks fly by! Then again I guess it has only  been 4 weeks haha! But this was definitely one of the best weeks! As far as numbers go, this was the highest we have ever been! We actually had 5 investigators at sacrament meeting yesterday. It was one of the greatest experiences yet because this sweet lady named Bobby got up in front of the whole congregation and bore her testimony and thanked the whole ward for the service that we provided. ( i guess i should back up and tell you her story) Her and her husband have had some pretty serious health issues so they are going through some hard times, and they needed help. So she put a note on a car in the church parking lot 2 weeks ago just asking for help. Myself and a man named Dan Jones went out and visited them. Yesterday we ended up taking them an entire trailer full of wood to get them through the winter. They were so grateful, they just did not know how to thank us,  and i told them they should just come to church! And they Did! They were both really interested in the service and she said that is was the best she had felt in a really long time! Anyways she ended up getting up in testimony meeting and thanking everyone! While she was talking she kept describing what i knew was the spirit. I was so happy! And i could feel the spirit so strong! After the meeting they asked for the discussions and we are teaching them this week! Things are really starting to pick up. We had dinner with one of our investigators, and it was way fun. It was "a true idaho meal" we had grouse, (we each had a bird to ourselves) haha. A little bit of dear on the side with corn and potatoes. He said he shot them all within the last week haha! I am definitely in farm county  but it makes me happy. We were visiting another investigator and they were showing us pictures of all 7 of their horses inside of their house!!! haha. I guess they have a tradition that they just let the baby horses inside for the first couple weeks of their lives haha. I think I am going to start to make a list of the most redneck things that happen up here haha. Halloween was nothing special, we had to be inside  by 6:00, I'm sure it was the same for most every missionary that was in the United States. But it was nice to be able to relax a little and just eat some candy. (the members are really good about giving us treats!) Aside from all the cool spiritual experiences It was a good week for me because I got to play guitar! twice! I didn't realize how much i was going to miss music. Anyways last friday the ward had a little pot luck dinner thing and Brother Hunt brought a couple guitars! I was so excited, and when i walked in he was playing a Neutral Milk Hotel song! I was like "What!!??"  It made me so happy and I was way surprised because he is like a 60 year old guy in the bishopric. Anyways we got to jam a little bit, I played some Radiohead songs and he recognized them! It really got me excited to be playing again and talking to someone about gear and different bands we both like. But I will tell you this, I didn't think it was going to be someone in the bishopric haha.

Then last night at our dinner appointment the member we were eating with had a guitar and they asked me to play. It was so fulfilling to be able to make some noise! Now all I need to do is find a member with a drum kit haha!  Hope you are all having a great time back home. And to everyone in the service of the lord, Just remember the importance of the work we are doing. It really strengthens me to know that so many of my friends are out there doing the the same thing that I am. We are part of a great thing, I can feel that now more than ever is the most important time for missionary work. Keep it up! and DONT GET ELIMINATED!

Love you - Elder Maynard.

ps. Daniel, that is cool you guys are starting the whole 21st century missionary thing. I swear that is all anyone ever talks about up here in my mission. "when will we get ipad's, when can we get on facebook?"  Let me know what you think of it once you really get going. And to everyone else serving, do you guys have any of that yet? if you do what do you think of it?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Week #4 - McCall Idaho

Hey all,
        Thank you for all of your letters/email to me. I feel selfish because I spent all my time reading and less time replying so I will have to make this quick. It has been a crazy week! Our area is so spread out that it is hard to make sure we touch on all the wards that we cover. But we have managed to have another great week, we found one new investigator knocking doors, and the high school  boys in the ward brought us another referral, so we are slowly growing our teaching pool!  Friday we had a Leadership meeting in Baker City, which is like a 3.5 hour drive from McCall! so we had to get up at 5:00 to make it to that. We pretty much spent the whole day driving but when we got back into town we went to the ward party which was a "hoedown." It was really pretty fun, there was  a huge bon fire and lots of fun games but the cool part is that there were probably 50% non-members, so we were talking to people all night, and have a couple return appointments this coming week! Something kinda crazy happened today too. My Mom sent me a referral for one of our relatives and it turns out that we actually taught them a lesson last Saturday! I was so excited to hear that!  I can't wait to tell them that we are cousins haha.  Things are really going good though, I am slowly adjusting to missionary life. It is so great to read letters from everyone! And to my other Boiz on missions, your mail is like scripture to me, it is truly inspiring to read how everyone else in the field is doing! I know that what we are doing is important and that every person we talk to and tech will be truly blessed. I know that as we continually work to bring people closer to Christ, we will be blessed as well! You guys are awesome, thanks for the support! Today during our planning I scheduled myself in to play red light green light with the fox that lives in our back yard so i best get going so I don't miss that appointment! I know the lord is on my side #AsLongAsIGotMySuit&Tie #AndNameTag #AndBookOfMormon 

  Love - Elder Maynard

ps, James, I loved your analogy about being the right kind of tool
pps, Someone in the real world tell me how the moth & the flame was haha. 
So the ward had a "hoedown" party this last weekend, here we are in our new proselyting clothes for up here in hickville.  haha The other kid in the picture is named Cole Walgren. He went on a mission in Cali, then one day he randomly woke up 50% blind? crazy huh? So he is sorta like our 3rd missionary for McCall. He comes out with us when there are people we need his help with. (single women.... (you need 3+ men to visit girls)  Anyways. I'm a cowboy.  . . not really , they call me city boy because I have nice suits haha. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Pictures from McCall

First week and first Baptism

Greetings from McCall, 

           Last Saturday I had my first convert baptism, It was an awesome experience. (even though I didn't really have a ton to do with her conversion, really just finishing where the other missionaries had left off!) But the work is moving forward! I really love it up here in McCall! The pine trees and the lake are such a great thing to wake up to each day! I hear we are supposed to have a pretty mean winter up here. ( 5-10 feet of snow) But I am really excited for that! I love the snow! So my area is actually pretty big, it covers McCall, Council, Cascade, and Riggins. The only bad thing about that is that we only get 1500 miles a month with our truck. (yeah, we are already over)  Most of those cities are 50 miles one way! So we do our best to drive as little as possible. But that is hard because we are in Idaho and there is about a 2 mile gap between houses haha. Either way we are finding ways to get the work done! We have been doing a ton of service, mostly cutting, splitting, & stacking wood, and then moving it, and then moving it again! haha. Every single house up here burns wood for heat during the winter so it is a pretty big deal. It gives us a great opportunity for service. This coming week should be pretty great! We have two appointments with potential investigators, one of them is Rebecca's mom. ( the girl that was baptized last Saturday) the other is a teenage boy who actually went with all the ym to the temple and sat outside wile they did baptisms.  He asked the leader he was with what he had to do to go inside and he said " get baptized! " so now he is taking the lessons! It is a good example of how members need to do their part to find investigators. All the boys his age are really supportive and want to help him out! There are a ton of less actives up here. McCall is where people come to hide from things haha. They are the hardest, but we have a lot of awesome people in our teaching pool that are interested in starting back up. The members are really great too! We honestly have a dinner scheduled every night of the week! It is so awesome because we get some good home cooked meals and it is always a cool teaching opportunity. Getting up at 6:30 really isn't hard because we are always going to sleep at 10:00.( or earlier)  after we get home it is just like "how long till we can go to sleep?"  So I think it was Landon or Tyler that said his favorite part of the day is personal study time! I totally agree I swear, even though I am speaking English, I have been given the gift of tongues and I can finally understand what the scriptures are talking about haha. I love it though! Always trying my best to improve in every way, and I know that the lord is on my side. 

            Keep it real! 

                           - Elder Maynard

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Hello from Idaho!

    Man! Well yesterday I flew in from Provo, kinda took a weird route up here though. Monday morning we woke up at 1:30 and took a bus to SLC, flew from there to Oakland CA, (don't ask me why?) And then from there went to Boise! Finally around 1:00 in the afternoon we got to Nampa. There were 28 Missionaries that came up on the flight with us! All of them were headed to Nampa! Once we got in we went straight to the church building and had some lunch and did some other training stuff. After lunch we went out and did some door to door tracting  just in the neighborhood with some temporary companions. After we finished that we went back to the church for dinner and were finally assigned our companions and our areas!  I will be serving in McCall Idaho, with Elder Young from Logan, Utah  for the next 6 weeks! I am so excited to be here! It is really a cool town! So beautiful! Anyways, we were supposed to drive back up to McCall from Nampa last night, but we were both way to tired! So we spent the night in Ontario with some other missionaries. I didn't get to go to sleep until about 11:00.  This morning drove to McCall then we went and did some service, helped a lady in the ward move! And now we are just settling in and getting ready for the week! I am so happy to be out of the MTC and into the field! There is actually a baptism this Saturday that is a convert from the missionaries that were here before me! I would send some pictures of what it looks like up here but I still have not had a chance to go buy a cord for my camera! (I guess computers with SD slots aren't that common up here in the boonies!)   Anyways! I am doing great! I hope that everyone is doing well back at home! I had a fantastic birthday! Thanks so much for all the treats and birthday wishes! I've got a big winter ahead of me full of snowmobiling, skiing, and snowboarding!  =)  Just kidding. I really am kinda just following my trainer right now! Elder Young is an awesome guy! I know that we will work great together! But I don't have too much to say because I really still don't know exactly what is going on! Just trying to transition between that MTC to Mission life!  I'm super excited though! I know that this is the Lord's work and I can't wait to really start to get out there and help spread the gospel.  Love you all, Miss you all! I will send pictures next week!

                                - Elder Maynard!  

Here is my address (for the next 6 weeks only) 

Elder Maynard 
P.O box 192 
McCall Idaho 83638  

Thursday, October 10, 2013

MTC crew

 From left to right  we have Elder Morse 21 from Seattle Wa. Elder Park 23  from American Fork, (the honey badger)  Elder Richardson 18 Draper Utah, Elder Meyers 20 from Fresno California, Elder Stevenson  25 (my companion) from Pheonix Arizona, then ME 19 . Sister Clegg Provo Utah 19, Sister Robinson 20 from Missouri. 

A message from Hogwarts

 Hey everyone! how are all of you doing? Miss you already! First week has been pretty great! Soo much has happened already! I guess it probably just feels that way when you are getting up at 6:00 and going to bed at 11:00 with every second of your day scheduled out. But I am enjoying it the MTC! A lot more than anyone told me i would. That is probably because i have an awesome companion. He and I get along so well! We like the same music, and he plays guitar and stuff which is awesome! His name is elder Stevenson, from Phoenix Arizona. He is actually 25, just a spiritual giant and way awesome to hang around. We always get in trouble because we are laughing so hard. I think that it is a good thing, some people here are way to serious. The first day was weird, kinda overwhelming but good, it was so organized, just like a volunteer standing every 5 feet to tell you what to do next. But after like the third day, you go from having no idea what is going on to feeling like you own the place.  So on the second day here we met our branch presidency and went over some rules and other things. Then we were all received a calling. Me and my companion are actually Zone leaders!! (so we are in charge of everyone in our zone). What does it mean to be a zone leader?? Well, we aren't really sure. haha just kidding, we don't really do a lot, we just keep everyone in line, and plan out sacrament meetings. Our district is awesome, there are a bunch of cool people from all over the place here and we all get along really well. Our district leader is a . . . . . character. . . haha he does a good job but .. .  well he is a good guy! We call him the Honey Badger. I think it was day three we taught our first lesson, So yeah they really don't mess around here. I cant even start to tell you how much I have grown spiritually in just the last 7 days though, everyone is here for the same reason and the spirit is always so strong.. .  .Until me or elder Stevenson say something inappropriate and start another laughing fit! haha. Oh, turns our there are a bunch of people here that i know, Chandler Ward, and Tanner Marriott are on the same floor as me so we have hung out a little.  The food isn't too bad, (as long as you pick the right meals) but im sure it would get old really fast! I feel bad for the people who have to stay here for like 10 weeks. General Conference was amazing! it was so cool to be able to watch it here at the MTC. I don' t know if it was because i was here with however many other hundreds of missionaries, but I would like to say it was one of the best conferences i have ever heard. One of my favorite times is when all the missionaries stand and sing called to serve! Our district is getting really really good at volleyball, that is what we spend all of our gym time doing. Except for the first half another elder and I run up to the provo temple and back around campus. There are 4 guys in our room, which is great, some guys have to have 6. I am usually so tired after each day that i dont have any trouble sleeping. Yesterday we got a new elder in our district from Japan, his name is Kishimoto. Doesn't speak a ton of English but is a cool guy.  Haha so i convinced everyone in our district that i speak Norwegian haha.  (i just remembered that!)   Another funny thing is that every time Elder Stevenson or  I see a pretty sister one of us say "Helllooo sisters of zion!!" . .   so yeah, my only complaint about the mtc is that there way to many pretty sisters around here, and there is nothing you can do about it. . . ( I guess that is part of the training, right?) haha. But in all seriousness, this has already been one of the best experiences I have ever had. I have never felt the spirit so much, or so strongly. I feel like I already know the gospel at least 10x better than i did when i left so i cant imagine what it will be like in two years! Life here at Hogwarts is good, but I cant wait to actually get out into nampa & start working my magic. haha.  OH YEAH! ITS MY BIRTHDAY! 19!! I totally forgot until I logged on to the computer and looked at the date, It's wierd, its like i'm in a black hole where, and there is no sense of reality, and all you know is whatever is going on inside this lds prision. But this morning at 5:00 we got up and did a session at the temple. That being said, I guess it has been a pretty fantastic birthday already! Tonight, we are having a birthday party at our residence with another elder whose birthday was three days ago. His aunt sent him some wayyyy good cupcakes and a bottle of bubbly!    Anyways just wanted to thank everyone for all the letters that you have sent, and if you are using dear elder and are wondering if it works? yes it works great! thanks for the mail/packages, I love them all.  I would send some pictures too, but this computer doesn't have a slot for my sd card.  Well sorry for the scattered message, i am just trying to get down as much as i can, and this was probably only about 1/10 of what has happened. But in conclusion, I am doing very well, and I miss you all! I'm going to write you all back on paper during the 0-10 min of free time I have during the day. 

       Keep it real, Church is true 

                          - Elder Maynard

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Getting Ready and MTC drop off Pics

Everything he needs for 2 years laid out on his bed.
Good luck signs on the gate.
Watch out, here he comes!

Dad getting his luggage out of the back.

Smile... no tears dad....
Last family pic for 2 years!
See you in 2!

MTC Drop Off

Yes, the adventure has begun! Yesterday we dropped off TJ- oops! Elder Maynard - at the MTC. 

It was a busy morning for not having to be there until 1:15. 

We had stayed up until 1:30 am getting everything packed into his suitcases (3 of them plus a garment bag! He is determined to be the best dressed missionary in Idaho!) Jaden and Mom were up and down at the gate by 7am to hang Good Luck posters - then we all got ready for the day. 

Before we left the left the house we had one last family prayer. Mom cried the whole way through.... 

We then went to the shop to get the trailer (business owners never stop working - driving by the factory today meant we had to pick up spas!) Grandma and Grandpa Griffiths met us there for one final hug.

From there we went to Walmart because mom had forgotten to get him twin sheets! Then we headed down to the factory to drop off the trailer so they could get it loaded.

Then we finally headed for Provo. 

I'm not sure how the rest of the family was feeling, but since we still had him with us, it didn't quite feel real yet. But the next hour was over before we knew what hit us!

We stopped for lunch at California Pizza Kitchen in the mall. Another missionary family came in not long after us - Wednesday's are big missionary lunch days in Provo I'm sure! We were all pretty quiet - not a lot of conversation, just staring at TJ- ELDER MAYNARD!

By the time our pizzas arrived, we were a bit afraid we were going to be late, but we ended up being early. Looking back, I wish we would have stopped at the park and said more goodbyes and had more hugs, but we didn't. We just drove straight to the MTC. The line to go into the MTC was steady and full. I don't think they would have known if we were late or early - but what happened next - for us is still a blur. We made our way into the line of vehicles, stopped at a director who asked if we had an Elder or a sister. He then put a blue sticky paper on our windshield. We were then directed to the left, where we felt like we were in a parade - lines of existing Elders and Sisters were waving to us from the sidewalk. We found a place to pull over and 2 Elders walked up to us and said hello. Shawn jumped into the back of the truck, handed out his luggage as mom tried to snap as many photos as possible. The Elders helping us were so nice and mom had them take a quick family pic, but that caused another Sister to come and tell us we had to move along! Quick hug for everyone and they wisked him away! We all jumped into the truck and drove away. silence. just like that he was gone. even dad had tears. mom had plenty. Jaden was just quietly sad. 

It was a long quiet drive home for us. I am anxious to hear how the rest of the day went for our Elder. 

If you want to send him a letter - click on the link to the right, under his name. It will take you to a site called Dear Elder. They print and deliver the letters everyday. His unit # is 90. 

He is scheduled to fly out to Idaho on October 15th. 

Please make comments -
Adventure begins. !