Saturday, August 30, 2014

My testimony of this gospel, and of missionary work. - A final post as a full time missionary.

Dear, Brothers and Sisters in the field, Friends & Family,

           This week i'm writing you, not from McCall, not from Kuna, not from anywhere in Idaho, but today I write to you from Ogden Utah. It is incredible how quickly your life can change.  . .  Last week I found that my little sister was sick. So, knowing that I would have an impact on her overall health, and after a lot of prayer & discussion with my Mission President, Stake President & Parents. I came to the conclusion that home is where the Lord needs me to be. I am so so grateful for the 7 months i was able to serve the Lord. I know that It has strengthened and prepared me for the trials that my family is facing now, and for the obstacles that i will face in life. I have a new respect for missionary work, I know that even though i am no longer a full time missionary, I can do missionary work. I'm confident in that, and i'm proud to say that i'm still constantly looking for people to teach & serve. I loved my mission, I love the time that I was able to serve. It has changed me. It has given me something that I could not find anywhere else. I have become fully converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I feel that I've been called to a new mission here at home. I know that I've made an impact on the people I've had the opportunity to serve and teach in Idaho. And each of those people have had a huge impact on me. I look up to each of you that are serving so much. I plan on continuing to write and update each of you on the spiritual & missionary experiences i have in the field back here in Ogden.  One i'd like to share with you today is from last Easter Sunday.  Obviously it's a day where our thoughts are so much more fully focused on the atonement of Jesus Christ, and that day our family needed it more than ever.  Jaden wasn't doing well, so my Dad & I were able to give her a blessing. The Priesthood is real, The atonement is real, and i'm so grateful for it. Without Christ's sacrifice we would not be able to receive his grace. #BecauseOfHim we are made whole, #BecauseOfHim we are strengthened. And I can feel that. Now more than ever.  Thank you all so much for the love and support.  Maybe one day i'll be able to return to the INM, but until then I will "press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men." Though I no longer wear his name on my chest, I will always wear it on my sleeve, and always "stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places , even until death."  I love this gospel you guys. I loved my mission, every second of it.   

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Week #26 April 2, 2014 ha-KUNA- matata!!! Transfer!

Man, it has been a crazy two weeks! Last Saturday I got a phone call saying that I was going to be transferred to Kuna Idaho. It is just outside of Boise. So, I went from the Northernmost part of the mission to the Southernmost part.

 Things are completely different. Rather than having a 3 bed 2 Bath house (plus a garage and full kitchen) we live with members in the room above their garage. But at the least we have our own bathroom. Rather than a 4 wheel drive truck we have a 2 wheel bike.  But It turns out that I really enjoy the biking. Rather than it taking almost 4 hours to drive from one end of our area, it takes 30 min to bike it. Its all good because it is all so different and new. 

Also, my new companion, Elder Cope from AZ is way awesome! He and I have been in the same zone before so we were already pumped to be companions! After two days, I can already tell that this will be the best transfer of my mission so far. The area is not as active, the area isn't as fun to look at. But me and Cope are ready to work. And we get along way good. We have things in common, and we can actually have a normal conversation. I'm excited for things.

 First day in the area we spent our entire day riding bikes in the cold rain. #hotwifepoints. But I was excited about it because I had a good attitude about it and my companion is awesome. I would imagine that this is what it would feel like to serve in Ogden haha. Just about every house in this area is a member. We basically cover 5  subdivision within a 2 mile radius. To sum it all up, Its way different than McCall.

 To tell a little about my last week in McCall though, Monday the Sisters from horseshoe bend came up and we gave them a good tour of McCall, played around in the snow and walked around on the lake. Thursday we went on exchanges with the Elders in Payette, that was a lot of fun. The reason that we did was to give a baptismal interview for a kid named Louis. (18) He is getting baptized in about a week. I'm bummed that I wont be there to see it. He is going to Conference in SLC. There are 4 other people that I spent time teaching, that will be baptized this month.  Friday we had our last district meeting, I had us all play a good game of "preach my basketball" for the skill check. It was way Fun! 

Finally after I got the call for transfers we spent a lot of time visiting people, and saying good bye. Also, it was my 6 month mark, so we "burnt my tie" by wrapping it around 2.5lbs of tannerite and shooting it with a AR15. I still have some small pieces of it. haha. It was sad to leave everyone, after 6 months in one spot, it started to feel like a second home. Lots of families that I was really close to, lots of investigators that I was able to teach. It was awesome, but i'm ready for Kuna.   

    - Elder Maynard 
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Week #25 March 24, 2014 Giving a Book of Mormon to the cop that pulled me over.... didn't work.

Greetings from McCall!

    Its been an interesting week! Last Monday we actually hung out with a members boyfriend who lives down in Boise, it was a ton of fun! Mostly nice because we are so secluded from other missionaries. . . We just never ever see people that are close to our age. . . It was a lot of fun though!

 I don't have a ton of time this week, we are about to go meet up with some people and try and get a hike in. So i'll just share a couple quick experiences! We taught a guy last week in Council Idaho. . . It was a referral from his friend. . We knocked on his door and he just stood there. (drunk) And said "follow me" We went in and sat down. He looks up at us and says. "i used to be a stake president, i was married in the temple, i know the power of the priesthood. but i screwed up and i lost everything, so if i can tell you boys one thing. It is don't let the adversary get a hold of you even a little bit. . . . I want to change. I've been praying a lot, I need you guys to give me a blessing."  I stood up and said, let us. I then gave him one of the most inspired blessings I've heard. We were there for probably only 20 min. But in those short minutes, I have never felt the spirit so strong. As we spoke with this guy, I realized how important this gospel is. 

 Yesterday in sacrament, one of my cousins. (turns out i'm related to everyone in Idaho) was giving a talk.  . The guy giving the talk has a son out on a mission the same age as me. He was speaking of missionary work. He wasn't well versed, he didn't bring up anything incredibly profound. . But what I learned from his talk was that he was so so proud of his son. And I came away from that talk with a new mentality. A new question to pin on my sleeve. "Are you making your father proud of you? Are you making your heavenly father proud?"  It was some new found motivation that i desperately needed.  Well i'm off to explore the mountains of McCall.  . 

    Keep it real!  

   - Elder Maynard 

 ps.  I got a ticket this week, And when the cop came to the window I tried to hand him a Book of Mormon and said. "I'm glad you stopped me, I have a really important message to share with you."  ( I think that is why i got the ticket rather than a warning) #BikeAreaHereICome! 

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Week #24 March 17, 2014 In the INM- we change lives!

Hey all, 

       So this was was kind of interesting, we had zone conference down in Nampa, and district meeting in Weiser. because of that we ended up spending the three days in Nampa. It was pretty awesome to be able to hang out with some other missionaries! It honestly felt like we were on vacation! haha because we were so far away from "home" and we were gone for 3 days. . So basically in other words no missionary work was done this week haha. We tried hard, but between all of our meetings and the time we spent out of town there just wasn't much time to accomplish anything. Somehow in the time we did have we taught lots of valuable lessons. One of our investigators who was supposed to be getting dunked tomorrow pretty much disappeared. After that I was sitting in sacrament meeting yesterday feeling pretty down because about half of our investigators have dropped. But then i started to look around looked at the three families & two converts I have been able to teach & re-activate and I realized that i'm really changing peoples lives. That is what this mission is all about. Our ZL wrote the question on the board at conference. "In the Idaho Nampa Mission we. . . . "  (and we had to fill in the blank) I think its different for lots of missionaries. Some wrote Baptize, some wrote Party & get sent home, to me. . .  it's change lives! 

 Keep it real Gentlemen! 

      - Elder Maynard 
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Week #24 March 17, 2014 a "Thank You" note

This is a letter President received from someone who was on vacation in McCall & heard me speak. Finally ended up in my possession around Jan 10th 2014.
President [Cannon],
    My name is Andy Weir, I'm a member or the church from queen creek AZ and i just wanted to write to tell you that i was very impressed with one of you missionaries recently. I was in McCall for vacation and on Dec 29th I went to church there with my family and heard the missionaries speak. IT was wonderful. They both did a great job. The older one, Elder [young] spoke on small and simple things - and how great things come from small beginnings. The younger one, Elder Maynard I believe gave an outstanding talk. He described his experience of sharing the gospel with a friend before the mission and drew insights from the to council the congregation on how to talk to and invite friends. He was humble, articulate, and the spirit was there - all combining to create a powerful message. 
     My various extended family members seemed to all have discussed Elder Maynard's talk in their different vehicles on their way home and we ended up talking about it further when we were all together. 
  I obviously don't know this elder but i know that he speaks with power and that he allows the spirit to convey the truth to those who hear him. I would like to tell him "thank you" for doing a great job that Sunday and i wish him well on his mission and life. 
     Its great to know that you have excellent missionaries in the [Nampa] mission and that the Lord is working miracles through his servants.
        Sincerely, Andy Wier.

Week #23 March 10, 2014 I really enjoy the whole rainy pine tree environment.

Hey all, 

     It looks like conference season has begun. We just had our stake conference up here in McCall. It was pretty awesome. We actually had 8 investigators come! I was so pumped about that, especially seeing how most members can't seem to make it haha. But all the talks were great! Everyone was inspired. All of our investigators said they really enjoyed it as well. Its getting to that point where after working with these people for so long that they all are really really close to being ready for baptism. I would expect I'd be able to pull one or two after almost 6 months in one area. I'm really excited though,

 Louis, the kid I jammed with last week, (and again today) will be getting baptized in April after he gets back from general conference! I'm jealous that he gets to go and i don't haha. There is another family that is about ready too. The one that we split so much wood for back in November. We have actually really become quite good friends with this family. I'm excited to see them finally ready to make commitments. Savanna, the 12 yr old girl is one that is ready, i'm so excited for her and her sister to be baptized. They have so much faith. Chad & his wife Sam. This is the guy that had a seizure in sacrament meeting a couple weeks ago. But he is generally doing better. They are preparing to be dunked. And then there is Matt, he is totally ready! His wife just needs to get their paperwork together so she can get divorced from her old husband and they can get married.  There truly are soooo many people that are just prepared to hear the gospel, and we are working hard to not let any of them slip through our fingers. When I got to McCall, we had 1 active investigator. . Today we have 15. Its crazy how much of an effect the ward members can have on these people.

 So we spent a lot of time in the car this week. Zone meeting is in Baker city OR. I am the driver, so my companion slept the whole 4 hr drive. Which was nice. Its good to get to "pretend your alone" every now and then haha. The drive is just beautiful though. It was a drizzling morning, just cruising though the canyon with giant pine trees all around you, and the fog all patchy in the tree tops. I love it. I really love it up here in McCall. So my companion is a super creepy guy hahah, He has been spending lots of time writing a comic that is basically missionaries going around "cleaning up" their area.[murdering apostatized people] I don't really know how i feel about it. . but hey, he is creative. I'm sorta to the point where its like "you do your thing & i'll do mine and then we will go teach the gospel."   But it brings up a really important fact that you need to be yourselves when your on a mission. You cant be fake, you just gotta be your best self.

 Its been raining for about 7 days straight now, I like it. I really enjoy the whole rainy pine tree environment. Waking up to the rain on my window every day always makes me happy. Or the sound of the tractor backing up. (that is how i know it snowed more than 4" while we were sleeping.) McCall is just awesome, The members are awesome, the people are awesome. I told president I would serve my whole mission up here if he wanted haha. Because its pretty much the only pretty place in the mission. Its all fields and cows everywhere else. 

"I don't always move mountains, but when I do, I use the Priesthood."
Keep it real fellas! 

- Elder Maynard 
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Week #22 March 3, 2014 "No Jill, I will not marry your daughter!"

Hey all!
       Greeting from McCall! It was another week that was just on fire! tons of people that are so so prepared to hear the word of god! We taught a investigator in a members home 5 nights this week! That is pretty much unheard of around here, but it is so important! First off, Cool little side story, so the girl who gave me a hug in sacrament meeting a couple months ago, her boyfriend that was at the meeting that heard my talk has committed to be baptized! Its so crazy! He is in Tacoma Washington, James? is that in your mission? or is tacoma its own? Either way its cool to see someone progress that far! 

So funny quote this week. "The LDS church is the only legitimate pyramid scheme!" 

So we had one lesson with an awesome investigator named Louis, by the time we met him, he had already read half the Book of Mormon. On our second visit he brought his girlfriend, and she brought her friend! All of these people were sincere and are now investigating the church. After the lesson, Sister Caven's called and gave me quite the compliment. She basically said that she has noticed that My companion and I have very very different personalities, and she says "He does a lot of things that give you a lot of opportunities to make degrading comments towards him, but you never do, you always support and encourage him, and that really brings the spirit!" It made me happy because some{all}times i really do have a hard time getting along. But i suppose I'm doing a good job. Tyler! My companion is wayyy into yugiho, so i can totally relate with you on that! I think its funny. 

So we spent the night in a Motel last week. That was pretty awesome! We had a meeting in the little town of Cambridge, so to save miles, we spent the night in a motel that a member owns. I was thinking to myself, this is probably a very once in a mission sort of thing, but it was cool.

 Some other funny quote this week. Me - "NO JILL! I wont marry your daughter! I don't care if she is my third cousin, The word cousin is still involved, besides there are thousands of RM's" -Jill "Yes, but there is only one Elder Justin Timberlake"  And a funny story to sign off with. So my companion tells everyone about how he has gained 60lbs in 6 months. The other night at our dinner appointment, he just finished giving the same 60 in 6 spill. Then right as he takes the last bite of pie the chair he is sitting on collapses, and he falls to the floor. haha. I guess the chair was already broken & re-glued, but the timing was incredible. "I think that's a sign Elder" Probably the highlight of my week besides yesterday when two of our investigators got up in sacrament meeting and shared how they now know that this is the true church. I love it! Things are going so good! Fasting works! The lord is blessing us! Love all of you guys!
       - Elder Timberlake
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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Week #21 - February 24, 2014 - Change lives, starting with your own!

Hey all!
         First week of the transfer started off pretty great! We are soo busy! I think even more than we can handle. It is so awesome! Our zone has been doing a finding fast & you can really see it working. Just in our are our teaching pool as almost tripled. Yesterday was probably one of the best Sundays that we have had. Of the 15 investigators we have, 10 came to church! It is incredible! Now we are just praying to find a way to teach each of them every week. It is hard to coordinate between investigators and members, but it is always worth it! The difference that it makes in the progress of someone that is investigating the gospel is undeniable. Not to mention how much excitement comes into the homes of the members that are teaching them. It has a huge impact on everyone involved. So a word to everyone back home, don't be afraid to tell the missionaries they can teach in your home anytime they like. Because when they do, that is when work gets done! 

We have several families that are seriously fired up about doing missionary work. We are meeting in their homes 3-4 times a week with different people to teach! The gospel really blesses each of these peoples lives. What I love about all that we have been doing is that the lessons we teach are not just lessons anymore. Every single one was a real discussion with real people who have a real desire to change their lives, and they recognize that this is the way to do it. It is exciting, I really hope I'm around long enough to see each of them through till baptism. 

We have been having a lot of fun too! The ward had a big tubing party at a members home. We put together a 300' run down the back of their mountain. It was way fun. I actually built a good 4' kicker and a new track for the older kids. First time I went off of it, I did a barrel roll on the sled. It was way too fun. We even had 3 investigators come.

This morning before email, I challenged elder Stuver to a chair stacking competition. (pictures included) It was actually way fun. My record is 32 chairs. It was like 14' tall. I'll extend the challenge to all my other brothas who have nothing to do on p-day.  

 "And now, behold, I say unto you, that the thing which will be of the most worth unto you will be to declare repentance unto this people, that you may bring souls unto me, that you may rest with them in the kingdom of my Father. Amen."   - D&C 16:6

We are missionaries! Become more Christlike, don't just do missionary things. Change lives, starting with your own, get out there and do work you tools. 
       - Elder Maynard  

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Week #20 - February 17, 2014 - Different missions are hard for different reasons...

Its crazy how quickly time goes on the mission. Already finished with my 3rd cycle. And I'm ready for the fourth! Again, happy to announce that I'm staying in McCall. It is good because we have so many people up here that I would have been sad to walk away from without seeing them actually get baptized. This way I will be able to stick around and finish up everything I have started!

 It has been a pretty busy week. We have driven so much! Between Zone meeting & District Meeting our entire week kinda got destroyed. We have so many people right now that are just prepared to hear the gospel. Twice we have had members call us and say, "hey, I just talked to my neighbor and they want to be baptized!" Its da best!! I don't think there is any one thing that happened this week that was that unique or special. Just generally a good week up in McCall.

 On Valentines day we went to the bishops house and hung out with all four of his boys. He & his wife were out of town so we just had a Valentines day bachelor party. Ate some pizza then left the boys with a solid lesson on dating haha.  I'm excited for a new transfer, I'm sure I'll see a lot of these people progress. (if they can quit smoking haha) 

So, I've found as talk with people that different missions are hard for different reasons. Example: In 3rd world countries, it is physically demanding to be working and surviving in such a different environment, but the people are humble and want to know about what you have to share. In Idaho, It is spiritually demanding, everyone is happy where they are, no one wants to change, they often have a lot of animosity towards what you have to share, but you get to enjoy the first world amenities. Every mission is different, every missionary struggles with different things, but what I have learned is that we grow from these challenges as we are obedient to the things God asks of us. Keep it up boiz!
- Elder Maynard

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Week #19 - February 10, 2014 - We want to be baptized!

Hey all!
     I'm afraid I don't have too much time today. We have to head down to Wiser pretty soon. 

 This week was pretty good. Our bishop got a phone call last Sunday and the guy on the other end said. "Hi, we just moved in and we want to be baptized!" ha-ha. Those are the phone calls you dream of when you are a missionary. So we went and visited him last Tuesday. He is like this old biker thug/drug dealer, that has totally turned around. We taught such an awesome lesson. On first contact, I committed him to be baptized next week, to start living the word of wisdom, and to come to church. Unfortunately he ended up being really sick. But when he called to tell us how sorry he was he couldn't make it to church he said that "I feel bad I cant make it today, but I absolutely love this book [The Book of Mormon] that you gave me!" haha. Its the kind of situation that only happens in role plays in the MTC. I'm sure he will be baptized in the near future. 

So we are killin it up here. We have 6 People with baptismal dates, only problem is EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM has Word of Wisdom issues that they cant seem to break!  It's sorta frustrating but I know that if they really put all their faith in the Lord, they will overcome it.
Keep it real.
   - Elder Maynard
It would be unusual if someone in church DIDN'T quote John Wayne in church. . .
 #Idaho "I know America is true"

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Week #18 February 3, 2014 BaptizinG the Hell out of People.... AND SKIING!!!

Hey all!
      So, this was probably one of the funnest weeks I've had up here in McCall. Monday our entire district drove up to McCall and we just played all day. We had an awesome breakfast & looked at all of the ice sculptures. (which were incredible!) It was so nice to do something on p-day rather than just sit at our place & do laundry haha. It hard because we are so far away from other missionaries. Down in the valley, there are basketball tournaments, board games, etc etc.  . Its pretty rare to see other missionaries up here. That started the week off great!  During the rest of the week we were working pretty dang hard. We have actually set a baptism date for 6 people. All for the last day of this cycle. I really hope to see each of them in the water. Every single one of them are spiritually prepared and committed, only problem is each and every one of them has w.o.w. issues, but I'm confident that each of them will be able to overcome their vices .  . . and after that, we'll be baptizing the hell out of this area! "literally." Saturday morning we had breakfast in Wiser with the stake president. (Our stake led the mission in baptisms. . .almost 1/3 of the total) That was lots of fun! We were just discussing and brainstorming ways to get the members even more excited about missionary work. The lord is truly hastening his work!    Yesterday we had an awesome sacrament meeting. We had a record amount of investigators show up, which is monumental in my opinion, it really shows their commitment level. Dan, the less active that we just re-activated. He actually got up and bore testimony that he knows this is the true church and expressed a ton of gratitude for the whole ward. Then, as I was sitting in the other ward I got this prompting to go and tell Savannah (12) to get up there and share her testimony. After I told her she gave me a really worried look.  . . I gave her a "you can do it" face. A moment later, I looked back over and she was praying. After she finished she looked straight up at me and said. "okay, lets do it" She walked right up there and gave a little bit of her history, (which is pretty rough) then talked about how much her life has changed since she started to learn about the church. She closed by sharing her experience of praying about everything we have talked about, and how she knows without a doubt that this is the true church! I was sooo pumped! 12 years old and giving the most sincere and spiritual testimony of the whole meeting. I really hope that one day soon her dad will give her permission to be baptized. It was really an awesome day. Sometimes Sundays are hard, but more often than not it is really when we see the fruits of our labors.  

Well, this weeks p-day probably made out to be one of the best days of my mission thus far. (excluding all the spiritual stuff) WE WENT SKIING!!!!!!!!!  yeah, at the last mission conference I got special permission from president! I haven't ever been happier.  We woke up to 2' of fresh snow with blue skies above our heads! Travis Lennord & Nate Hess,  (probably some of my favorite guys in McCall) picked us up and we spent the entire day at Brundage mountain ski resort!! We spent some time with some less actives too.  It was such a gorgeous day! Travis knows the mountain pretty well, so he and I got first tracks on a lot of the trails! It was my comps first time skiing, but he did pretty dang good. Nate and him were more novice and enjoyed their time on the mountain. Travis and I hit every trail. I think I was beaming the entire day. I only did a couple back flips, and neither of us broke any bones!  It couldn't have gone better. (ignoring the fact i spent all of my support card on the day haha) I am soooo happy! I love the snow! I love skiing! haha.
Until next week!
  - Elder Maynard


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Week #17 January 27, 2014 Winter Carnival

Hello Friends!
     Its winter carnival! Its been a pretty crazy week! The population of McCall  quadrupled in size! (at least) There were so many people there for a town with a normal population of about 2,000. It has been a lot of fun though! All of the ice sculptures have just been so impressive! So all the missionaries in our district are coming up today to check all of them out and to go to the "Activity Barn" which is a groomed tubing hill! I have heard that you can reach up to 40 mph on it! I'm so excited! We have a really good day coming! I'll send pictures of them all next week! Because of all the festivities and such, the whole town is involved in one way or another, and because of that EVERY SINGLE  appointment we had canceled! So we had to work extra hard to find people to teach! Somehow our work payed off and we were able to meet our goals for the week! Friday there was a huge firework show out on the lake! Live music and tons of vendors set up! Saturday morning there was a massive parade! There were floats from McCall, Boise & everywhere in between! Everyone is in a really great mood! (but no one wants to talk to us haha.) So we met a guy last week at the grocery store that started the conversation by saying "how does it feel to know that you will be a god one day?" . . . super interesting guy, anyways, we set up an appointment to teach him and he ended up canceling but we didn't know why. Then during the parade we saw him! He was on the corner of the street soap-boxing to the crowds with a sign that said "Sodomites are an abomination to god!" I was like "man, that guy is bold! . . I can't wait to teach him!" After the parade we went to "Sharlie's plunge!" (sharlie is the lake monster) It is a fundraiser, you have to raise $100 to jump into a pool of frozen water! It was hilarious! We had a lot of fun this weekend! McCall is a great place to be serving! Hopefully this week we will have more chances to actually teach! haha.

            - Elder Maynard

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Week #16 ~ January 20, 2014~ Going a little crazy and Persistence is Key

  You know how sometimes when you are a missionary you just kinda go crazy? It happens. I was feeling like that, so I went over to the Lennord's house and stole his guitar and came back to the apartment and played for about 4 hours straight. It centered me back in.  I felt so good after that. After a good full P-day of playing guitar I was all pumped up for another awesome week of missionary work. That is exactly what we did.

 We taught a ton of awesome lessons this week. The members were so involved, which is key! We have been teaching a young couple, It is a part member family and we had been teaching him for a couple weeks, but weren't really getting anywhere! Then we invited them over to this other family that was the same age as them and it was 180* difference. He was actually taking the conversation seriously and started to ask tons of questions, and is committed to a baptismal date! It was so awesome to see the difference.

 Ha, so on our way back from the Zone meeting, we were "racing" with the sisters. I basically taught the whole Plan of Salvation on the freeway! (giving a whole new meaning to the phrase "street contacting")

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 It was really funny, we had a whole lot of fun. We were probably traveling at about 100+ the whole time. . .  Anyways about 5 min after we had stopped cruising parallel, A highway patrol car pulls up next to us and just hovers for about 1 min. Basically just staring us all down. Finally he starts to slow down and we thought we were done for. But he just kept going back until he was  behind the sisters and pulled them over and not us!! It was way funny! The sister training leader was driving too so we made sure to give her a hard time over it. The two biggest secrets in the church are 1. What goes on inside the Temples. 2. What goes on inside the  mission field! soo true. But every week I'm pleased to give you a little glimpse of what it is like to be a full time servant of the lord. haha.

 On a more serious note. Its time for my "Lessons learned" Persistence is key!  We have been teaching a less active by the name of Dan since the very first day I got here, & 13 months prior. He had a lot of grudges and flat out told us that he was never going to come back to church. We continued to visit him every week with hopes that one day he would change his mind! This last week we went in and shared a lot from Uchdorf's talk. Basically just went in and played some hard ball, told him to swallow his pride and go back to church! At the end of the lesson, he said he wouldn't be going. So I challenged him to pray about it.  He called us at9:00 that night and said he was coming! I was so pumped. I let out a huge Cole Nixon "yyyyyyyyyyyes!!" He totally came and everyone was so happy to see him. He was so happy to be there! Persistence is key!  We had so many investigators at sacrament yesterday. I think that is the hardest thing as a missionary but everyone came! It was an awesome day! 

Also, I finished the Book of Mormon again!! We had an awesome week. Elder Stuver and I continue to put our differences aside and work hard. 
Keep it real!
       - Elder Maynard

Week #15 ~January 13, 2014~ Thugs in McCall and Teach by the Spirit

  Its a new cycle up here and I am still so happy to be in McCall. It is so beautiful and the snow is finally coming in by the foot!! My new comp is Elder Stuver from Orem Ut. He is a little quirky, but I realized pretty quickly that regardless of our interests outside of the mission field we are both in the field serving the lord and when we are teaching we are exactly on the same page. We get along well. I guess that is all you can ask for! 

We really had an awesome week though. We really started off the transfer right. We are setting new records left and right. We exceeded all of our goals. Work Work Work. that is as true as it could be! 

So the other night McCall had some excitement. We were over at Brother Hess' house drinking some Mate, and all the sudden his brother in law calls. "Dude! some guy just wrapped a chain around the ATM and ripped it out of the ground with his truck. I saw the whole thing, he is headed towards your house and the cops are chasin' him!"  haha we all went straight to the window to watch this high speed chase! The guys actually shot out all the cop cars that were chasing him and he got away and they have yet to find him. Pretty thug for little ol' McCall ID if you ask me. Haha.

 First week of the transfer and we had a Zone meeting. I love zone meetings. (mostly because I never see any other missionaries) So we are in the La Grande OR zone,  and all of our meetings are in Baker city OR. That is like a 4 hour drive from McCall. It was so good to see everyone though. I love the new district, we went to pizzanos pizza after and got our usual 2' "giant."  Soo good! It is fun to be a missionary. Everyone trusts you and loves you haha.

We were tracting out in the "pumpkin patch" last week and actually tracted into a dinner at a non-members house and now we are teaching them. It is insane how the lord really prepares people to be taught... We see it pretty much on a weekly basis.

 Lesson learned this week: When you are teaching, you have to teach by the spirit.  So we were on splits with the Ward mission leader and he and I went to teach the youth pastor of the Elk Creek church! He and I immediately connected because it turns out he goes to Moab just as often as we do! Anyways we were discussing the Bible, the Book Of Mormon, the Apostasy, the need for a restoration etc. It was awesome conversation. But in reality it was just a debate and we weren't getting anywhere! Then the spirit put some words into my mouth that changed the whole conversation. We were discussing the validity of the testimony of the 3 & the 8. And I basically just cut in and said. "All those witness are important, and they are true, my testimony is important and it is true, but the only witness that you need is that of the holy spirit, & i promise if you humble yourselves before the lord and read the book with an open heart, the Holy ghost will witness to you the truthfulness of this book, & in turn the truthfulness of all things"   

We are doing a great work! Thanks for all the love and support! I look up to each one of you missionaries.  Until next week!
- Elder Fox

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Week #14 January 6, 2014

Hey all!

     We had such and awesome week in McCall! It was a great way to finish off the transfer! It was the best week (as far as numbers go) in my mission so far!

Seeing how it was the last week of the cycle, It is transfer times! I am still in McCall! (I could stay here my whole mission) My new companion is Elder Stuver from Orem Utah! He has been out 6 months.

So we got a referral that was supposed to be "Golden!" So we went and knocked on their door. And they literally called the cops on us & the sheriff came and asked us to leave the neighborhood! Its kinda weird to be in a resort town! We ended up tracting into 4 members homes that were not on the records and we have appointments to go back to each!

New years eve was great! We ate at bishops again and had a awesome feast! After which we went back to the house and polised a bottle of apple juice and went to bed before 10! Happy new year! haha. 2014 will be the year of the gospel! It will be one year that I will be able to completely dedicate to the gospel!  I Think that is awesome!

Lesson I learned this week: we are changing peoples lives! That never really hit me before this week! We went to a recent converts birthday party and as we were celebrating with him I realized "I was that one missionary" the one that was able to teach him the gospel and turn his life into a completely different direction. Its awesome! we are really changing peoples lives! Keep up the good work!  Until next time! 

      - Elder Maynard 

Week #13 December 30, 2013

Merry Christmas! & A Happy New Year from McCall!
         Well,  first Christmas out on the mission was awesome! We pretty much spent the whole day with two different families! It was great to just kick back and relax for a little bit. Talking with the family was so awesome! I still think that it is so cool that we were able to Skype! I'm sure missionary work is lots different than it was 50 years ago! I'm grateful to be serving when and where I am this day!

We spent Christmas morning with the Lenord's, They are awesome! Plus they have a little boy named TJ, ( I think that says it all! haha.)  We had a lot of fun there watching the little kids open gifts!  We got lots of gifts as well! Lots of much needed socks/thermals/fox stuff from the family! It all made me so happy! On Christmas Eve we ate with 4 different families! At the Leedom's house we played some fun games and they even got us some sweet sweaters that say McCall on them! I was way excited for that! (because I didn't expect it & the sweaters are pretty cool!) Christmas night we went over to our bishop's and had a very fancy feast! It was sooo good! I was really happy they let us be a part of their family for 5 hours! haha. We even played Taboo and Pictionary. ( so I felt I was right at home!) Overall it was as good as it could have been without being home with my family!

The rest of the week was a little tough to find people to teach because everyone was out of town. Or we would run into people who were up visiting their second homes. The highlights of the week were Christmas Eve/ Christmas day, and then we had an awesome Sunday yesterday! Thursday night Bishop asked us if we could speak in sacrament meeting. So that is exactly what we did yesterday! It went very very well! We both spoke on Missionary work. This is actually the third time I have spoke in this ward in the last 2.5 months!  It was interesting because there was over 400 people at sacrament. (we usually have about 80) there were soo many visitors! Even still the talks went great! After we were done there was a lady that came up to me and said she was from San Diego, & that "it was the best talk she has heard in years, and that it was exactly what she needed to hear!" woah! that brings me to the lesson I learned this week. "Put 100% of your trust into the spirit."  I just think it is awesome how often the lord uses us to answer someone's prayer! As long as we are willing to trust in the promptings of the spirit and act on them!

Another funny thing. . one of the Young Women in the ward came up and shook E. Young's hand, and told him he did a good job. Then turned to me and said the same, but she totally just gave me a big hug! haha. I put my hands straight up in the air and was like. "TIME OUT!" she turned bright red! I shook her hand and thanked her. It was super funny though!

We had quite a few investigators at church which is always good! During the service one of them had a seizure! (He has epilepsy) I felt bad because it was the first time he came to church! But he is planning on coming next week! Oh! also I ran into Sam Tams! (I went to school with him!) It was kinda strange to see someone that I know! But it was still great! Needless to say, it was a very eventful Sunday!

Later that night I learned a little more about following the spirit!  We had run out of people to visit, but still had 1.5 hours before we would head home! So as we sat in the parking lot trying to think of someone we could drop in on, I pulled out the phone and started scrolling though the contacts. It was less than 30 seconds before I came across Sarah's name!  Right as I saw it I had the strongest impression to go visit her! (we have been trying to catch her for 3 weeks) I Called her up and she said that she just had surgery on her mouth and really needed us to come visit because she was feeling a little down! We ended up going over and sharing an awesome message and have a return appointment to start the lessons! It is awesome how when you learn to fully trust in the lord he will lead and guide you in what to say and do! (I'm still learning!)

So this is the last week of the transfer! I guess there is a possibility I will be training next week! I'm excited for then new transfer as well as the new year! It will give me a lot of motivation to improve on things I know I need to!  Well, I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas! And I hope you have a great start to a new year!   Church is true!
     - Elder Maynard!