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. !