Wednesday, September 30, 2009

..and some more Zackness!

From Mom...

The part of the visit you will appreciate more was the first leg of my flight home:

I always sat in the front row so I could have leg room. My first flight was to BWI (Baltimore). It’s only an hour flight. A man not too much older than I, was sitting in the front with his elderly mother, who board the plane in a wheelchair. I was tired, so I laid my head back and closed my eyes. The spirit told me to talk to him (and you know how difficult that would be for me from my extreme shyness! lol), so I asked him where they were going. He said he was taking his mom to his sister’s to visit. I don’t remember how the conversation got into Mormonism, but he asked if I was Mormon. We started out talking about temples and why only members who live high standards could go inside. I told him how happy my life was because I choose to be good and how unhappy my life would be if I made bad choices. We talked for a long time about the Plan of Salvation and what it means to be resurrected. I explained to him how families were so important to us. We also talked about being married not just for time, but for eternity and why choosing the right person to be with forever was important. He wondered about polygamy and if our way of life was similar to the Amish people. It was amazing to me how clear and simple the answers popped into my head as he asked each question. I had confidence to answer every question and could feel my testimony strengthen as I explained each principle of the gospel to him. As I left, I thought, “No wonder Zack loves being a missionary!” Dad laughed when I told him it was fun sharing the gospel! I guess he never thought of it as fun.

Dear Mom,

I thought you might appreciate that I gave you 2 emails. I was trying to make up for that time when I wasn't able to send you just one.

I got transferred to the other side of the ward. I'm in Mantua now with Elder Thielen. The Mantua apartment is nice because it has a washer and dryer and dishwasher. It's got the works. The only bad part about it is that it's very...used, so we may need to do some handy work.

We cover the whole ward for another week and then the Sisters move in. So this week Elder Thielen and I are going to live like kings. We have 2 cars, 2 apartments, and pretty much endless miles. But just for a week. Then we must humbly resign even half of our kingdom to the sisters.

Sister Largo and Sister Fernelius are going to share the ward with us. I learned that I may or may not go to the Princeton area at the end of the month. When President Winegar called to tell me where I was going, he told me that the lease for the Mantua apartment would be up at the end of October so they were going to move both me and Elder Thielen to Princeton for the last two weeks of the transfer. Today President said that he wasn't sure who was going up there any more. So this transfer is going to be an interesting one.

I'm glad you enjoyed your visit to New York! I hope you got everything completed that you wanted to.
That is so cool that you got to talk to that gentleman on the plane! I LOVE it when people ask questions! It makes me sooooooo happy when people ask questions! Because it doesn't happen very often. Did you use the commitment pattern as described in the 11th Chapter of Preach My Gospel?

Good luck with your projects. I hope you're able to finish them before I get home. Maybe you could commit Jake and/or John to help you? Or maybe Mike?

My Book of Mormon study is going well. I just started over so I'm in 1st Nephi. I just pasted Nephi's vision. Nephi is very smart and obedient. And he's such a good example, not just to his older brothers, but to me as well(not that I'm as bad as Laman and Lamuel).

This transfer President wants us to read all of PMG and pay attention to CH 11. Also this transfer he wants us to be perfect. No guarantees, but I will definitely give it my best shot.

So that's basically my report. Hopefully you get my snail-mail within a short time.


My Bad. Here's Zack's latest.

Hey mom! WHOA! Do I really only have 10 months left? Time to get crackin! I'll never understand why anyone wouldn't want what Mormonism has to offer either. It is sad to see people reject something that could REALLY benefit them. But everyone has their agency. That's something I've had to learn. Nothin' anyone else can do 'bout it. Sounds like you've had a lot of fun lately. I don't think I've seen a 4W for 14 months. Just motorcycles. You'll have to redo your duet so I can hear it. I'm sure it was very good. Last Sunday we sang Guide us O Thou Great Jehovah Hymn #83. It was good. Our numbers were kind of dwindling in unbelief. Elder Beeston was the only Tenor (He did not like that at all because he's still learning). Sounds like you've got a busy week scheduled! Hope you get everything finished. On that subject, did you ever get all of your 'projects' done?

Lets see...This week we helped a less active, Bro. Johnson, cut away a tree that had fallen down during a storm. He did most of the cutting actually. We just moved the pieces that he cut away and put them in a pile. Afterwords he showed us some combat moves. I learned that he is an ex-special forces. It was mostly hand to hand combat self-defense. It was pretty cool. Later that evening Elder Beeston and I practiced on each other, but we found that we had forgotten some of what he taught us. I hope to go back before I get transferred so he can show me how to do those moves again and possibly more.

Speaking of transfers, I have received word that both me and Elder Beeston are being doubled out. Apparently they're sending Sister missionaries. Also the Mantua Elders will be closing their apartment by October. So it will be just sisters. I'm kind of disappointed that I won't be here because this area has gained so much potential. I hope they do a good job. I'll find out on Saturday for sure where I'll go or if I'm actually going to stay for a little bit.

We had a great Zone Conference on Monday. Elder Jones from the Second Quorum of the Seventy was the General Authority who spoke to us. It was really good. I learned how to better help people make commitments. I learned how to better teach people according to their needs. I learned how to ask better questions. It was very uplifting and inspiring. After zone conference, we ate at Bishop Drinkwater's house. We had pizza. Later we helped him put together a shower frame that he is building for his kids. It was a little difficult because the instructions weren't very clear, but we managed to put it all together. When we left all that was left was the hard part---caulking and making sure everything is aligned.

We set a baptismal date with an Investigator, Terri, she's in her mid 40's with 2 kids. She's been taught for the past year or so. She set the date for May 9th of next year. She said she wanted to accomplish some goals before she gets baptized (such as divorcing her drugged out husband, moving to a smaller house, ect.) We had a good visit with her with the Sis. Drinkwater. We invited her to come to General Conference with some questions and we also taught her about fasting. She really liked the idea of fasting. I hope she continues to do well.

Well that's all I've got to report this week. I'll tell you if I get transferred next week.

Love ya!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I love this pic. I saw the original in the VanGough museum in Amsterdam. Anyways...I won't be posting Zack's letters here anymore because I don't think anyone reads them. If you e-mail me, I'll be glad to pass his letters on to you as I do for his small fan club.

New York Trip

Took a trip to NY to see my dad. The weather was great! These beautiful ladies are my dad's cousins. The one on the right is my Aunt Dorothy, Bonnie Root in the middle and her sister Diane on the left. Bonnie treated us to a very nice lunch and they helped with some genealogy info.
This is my Uncle Jayson and my dad. Uncle Jayson just found out that he has colon cancer. He could have it removed, but his heart isn't strong enough for an operation. So he is waiting.
This is my dad and Uncle Phil.
This is Molly. She owns a restaurant who serves the best food in NY. She uses Mason jars for the cups. We like to eat here when I visit. Dad is one of her favorite customers.
This is DD (dumb dog). I think she liked me better than dad because I took her for a run every morning. She is very annoying, but very smart. I had her leash/run trained by the time I left.

This is my dad and Helen. Thanks for letting me hang out with you guys!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Last summer fun!

We had a fun time with Uncle Jack 4Wheelin up Maple Canyon!
Now I'm off to New York!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

New Post!

Whoa, where did the time go? Well I was going to do a longer update, but I can't find my camera (senior moment) to get the pics off, so you'll have to settle for Zack's updates. Here are the last 2.


Dear Mom,

Sorry I didn't email you last week. I was trying to save e-postage. lol! JK. I had typed up the email and then right before I clicked the send button(I had the cursor on it), I ran out of time and it shut down on me. I didn't write a snail mail because I figured you would get it after I emailed you today. We had to do a survey on the computer on Friday so I figured I could just send the email to you then. But, Elder Beeston reminded me that it's against the rules, and if they found out that I emailed on a day other than P-day without permission, I would lose privaleges. So I waited until today. Yerp. Thats my story and I'm sticking to it.

So this week we've been struggling to find people to teach. We've lost almost all of our investigators. Arowolo is gone. He went back to Nigera. Mike might be moving down to Florida for work. And others have either moved or aren't interested. We have two main investigators that we're focusing on. Sunny is scheduled to be baptized this Sunday. She had to be interviewed by Pres. Winegar because of past problems. Pres. gave us the OK, but she needs to be interviewed again to make sure she has quit smoking. We talked to her a few days ago, and she said the she is pretty much done smoking. Her quit date is today. She seems pretty solid. She is kind of high up in the black community so she's really influential. She has been telling all of her friends about the gospel and how she has quit smoking which has motivated some of her friends to quit smoking as well. She is bringing a friend tonight to the ARP(Addiction Recovery Program). We're hoping that she continues to spread the gospel and that her friends will meet with us. Then we have Terri. She has been taught for more than a year I think. She's been taught everything. She has had many baptismal dates but they didn't happen. She just needs to take the plunge. She said that has been having a rough time lately and she picked up the BOM and started reading and she just flipped it open randomly and read a few verses in Mosiah. It talked about giving your whole heart to God and following Him. We tied that back to baptism and she kind of went silent. My guess is that she has some fears of being baptized, which is understandable because it's a big step. We've told her that she would really benefit from being baptized and recieving the gift of the Holy Ghost and she agreed. It's kind of difficult.

Oh last week, just to spice things up, they cut our budget to $125 a month instead of 140. They said that they're cutting it because of laundry. Some apartments have a washer and dryer and some don't which makes it a little unbalanced budget-wise depending on where you are stations. They said that they will refund us for laundry now we just have to tell them how much. Fun times!

We had a day of Sacrifice again on Saturday. That meant no car, no money, and we can't eat our own food and we can't ask active members to feed us. It was a great experience! We got to talk with a few people and we found some who were interested. We knocked on houses and told them of our message and sometimes we asked for water and every time we asked we received. I was going to ask someone for a snack, but I figured I'd wait till 9 to eat. I didn't feel all that hungry most of the day anyways. We walked almost 14 miles that day (I got a blister on my heel). We were beat when we got home.

I'm running out of time and I still have to email President. Sorry it's kind of short.



Hey mom!

Sunny's baptism was great! She was so excited. She has been telling all of her friends and now her friends are excited and want to be baptized too. Sunny is really happy that she was baptized. She said it felt like a huge burden had been lifted off of her shoulders.

Yesterday we found one new investigator and one potential investigator during a window. We've started to implement the law of sacrifice when we set windows. This time we went out with just a Book of Mormon to place. When we found Dutchess; she was very open and she asked a lot of good questions (I love it when people ask questions!) We set a return appointment and she seems really interested in where we go after this life. Then we met Michelle(potential).

Interviews and inspections were yesterday. We pasted inspections. And interviews went great. We found out that the Mantua Elder's(Okamoto and Thielen) apartment will close at the end of next month. I have hypothesized that Elder Thielen and I will be companions next transfer as the areas will combine into one. Elder Beeston says that President said there will be sisters in the area instead of Elders. Sounds crazy to me, but I wouldn't put it out of President's scopes.

My computer time is up. I had better send this to you before it gets deleted.

Love ya!