Thursday, March 25, 2010

Gladys Knight hits NJ! 270+ referrals!

Hey Mom!
Sister Drinkwater called you! I saw the Drinkwaters at the Gladys Knight fireside. She told me that she was going to Utah, so I told her to call you and I gave her your phone number. I love the Drinkwater family. They're so nice and they have a good sense of humor. I think I laughed every time I went over to their house. They live in Pitman, in the Sewell ward. I served there last summer.

I think Elder Okamoto is done with school. He already got his bachelors in Business Economics. He said that he's going to Israel to paint some pictures about their history. He needs to find a wife soon too. He's 28. He has a job as a professional painter for different magazines in Japan.

Something that I've learned on my mission is that goals are important. If you don't have goals, then you won't know where to go or what to do. There was a member that was going through the motions in the cherry hill ward. He doesn't have any goals and it's sad because all he does is work and sleep. He's not active. After you set some goals, then you gotta calculate the cost which means to figure what you have to do to reach the goal. Then follow through.

Is Kyle's Birthday today? I thought he said it was the 27th of March? At least I'm pretty sure that's what he said. He reminded me in his last letter. I sent him a card and a letter.

Last Thursday we had a Gladys Knight and the Saints Unified Voices Choir Fireside at the Cherry Hill Stake center. There where two sessions. We went to the earlier session. The chapel was full and most of the overflow was full. It was a different experience. It felt weird to clap in the church. They sang a few songs at first and then Sis. Knight bore her testimony/conversion story. Then more singing, then I guess it was her seminary teacher(?) who talked about the church and about some points that are usually misunderstood. Then more singing. They sang I Am A Child of God, Gladys style. Some people were really getting into it. Waving their hands in the air. Some people were singing along. There was one or two that stood up to clap. There were a lot of "AMEN!"s during the talking. Afterwords the mission received 270 referrals from both sessions and later a few more came in through the mail. Sis. Knight offered a copy of the Book of Mormon and a Restoration DVD, and a Sampler CD of the music that was played that evening. We spent most of the week trying to deliver these things and trying to get in to teach. I was there for one of the referrals, Doris, We taught her about the restoration. She was baptist, but she had never heard about the LDS Church. She was very interested in learning more. We set up a return appointment for next Monday.

That's it for this week. Stay warm!


Just so you know, those that haven't heard yet, Zack doesn't come home until August! At first I was a little disappointed, but I think it will work out for the best. He is planning to go right into college to finish his degree. Hopefully we will have 3 in college this August!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Brothers Holladay

I thought this was a sweet shot! Jake has always been interested in music. He sometimes tries to learn songs on the piano (yes, he took piano lessons for a while, but wouldn't stick with it). This is Spencer showing him how to play Moonlight Sonata.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Howdy folks!

Oh yeah! You probably did tell me that Dad got a GPS for Christmas. I just forgot. I must be getting old. haha!

Thanks for the helpful tips! I'll have to try those out next time we go over there! We've tried to coerce them into staying still by offering a treat at the end, but that didn't work. I think it made them more crazy. Sugar and wild kids don't mix well.

The Departing slide show consists of little mini-slide-shows of 25 pictures and 3 minutes of music for each misionary. Some times it can get pretty long. The Departing Slideshow in December was 30 minutes. Missionaries usually come to the mission every transfer to fill in the holes that are left from the missionaries going home. Sometimes there aren't any missionaries going home and sometimes there aren't any missinaries coming in. The number of missionaries that come in varies. My group was 9 people coming in. This transfer we had 3 come in, 7 go home. Next transfer we'll have 4 or 5 maybe come in and 6 go home. And the transfer after that we'll have 1 come in and maybe 9 go home. It varies from time to time. From now until the mission closes, I would expect that there will be more missionaries leaving that there will be coming to the mission. We have Zone Conference every transfer. It's usually the 2nd week of the transfer. We also usually have exchanges every transfer. Those are decided by the leadership.

Glad you had fun racketballin.
Whoa! You bought some ammunition? How often does that happen? I hope to one day buy some ammunition of my own.

So about transfers:
This transfer I'm staying in Moorestown. My new Companions are Elder Pfost and Elder and Sister Taylor. I also still have Elder Howard as a companion (WOOHOO!) So if you counted on your fingers, you should have 4 up for 4 companions. I'm pretty sure I've broken a few records. Most companions and An (young)Elder serving with a Sister Missionary. I'm still in the office, but now it's switched up a bit. I'm the ONLY office elder. Elder Pfost and Elder Howard are going to be proselyting full time while I'm in the office with the Taylors. I'll still do proselyting with Pfost and Howard, but not quite as much as I'm used to. I'll still have the same responsibilities, but I will be doing them by myself. One thing that makes me nervous just a little teensy bit is that if anything goes wrong, everyone will know who to blame. Next Transfer I'll be moved somewhere else to finish my mission. And Elder Howard will take over in the office while some one comes to replace him as a proselyting elder. Elder Okamoto is departing this week. His mom came to visit even though she doesn't know very much English. She is very nice and polite. After the Transfer meeting today we had a birthday part for Elder Okamoto because his birthday is tomorrow. I'm kind of sad to see him go. We were pretty tight. One day I'll go to Japan to visit him.

Today was pretty warm. It got up to 68 today. Warmer than we're used to. I think it's supposed to stay warm for the rest of the week.

This week I spent most of the time putting the slideshow together. Most of that time I spent trying to get rid of bugs. Making the slideshow is the easy part. It's burning it onto a DVD that's the difficult part. The program always freezes up when you tell it to create the disc, so I have to fiddle with it a little bit until it writes. Last transfer it worked the first try and this time I had to play with it a while before it decided to work. So that's pretty much all I had this week.Happy St. Patricks day! Are you wearing green?


Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Hey Mom!

Yeah I got the new shoes from Missionary Mall. They're nice! Thanks for taking care of that for

Sounds like you had a fun trip! How many kids do the Hansen's(Beth) have now? I didn't know you had a GPS! When did you get that? That's a bummer that Lego land only let you in for 20 minutes! They just decided not to do it that week end or what? I love the pics. Mike took some pretty good ones.

Tell Uncle Jack and Uncle Sam I said Happy Birthday!

It's that time again. Transfers are next week. Still not sure which one of us is going. We won't find out until Saturday night probably. I'll let you know what happens, next week.

This week was pretty good. We stopped by the behavioral hospital to see a less-active from Sewell. I don't know if you remember Cheryl. It was my first time touching a full beer can? anyways, she went there to help get herself mentally stable. She seem like a very normal person to me. It was good to see a familiar face again. She's supposed to go home this week. Then on Sunday we ate at the Sikahema's again. Sis. Sikahema always cooks good food! We taught Misty, an investigator, this week. Her kids are super rambunctious. At least the 2 youngest are. The oldest seems to be the most normal person in the family. They are very wild children. Spoiled rotton to the core. We taught Misty and Nick(the oldest) the plan of salvation. It went great. The other two got home and then we taught them the 10 commandments using our fingers and we tried to make it interactive. Do you have any ideas on how to get wild children to focus for 2 minutes? Don't you have some experience in that field?
Other than that, not too much has been going on. I've been working on the Departing slideshow and that's taken quite a bit of time.

The mission does go pretty fast. And it accelerates the longer you're in the field.

It's warmed up this week. It's been in the 50's for a while, though I think we're going to dip down sometime in the next 7 days.

Well, I think that's it for this week. Your turn.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Hey Momalywomaly,

Oh Never mind. Pres. said I have 3 options.(?) I guess I could go home August 17th, but I don't think I'll wait that long. I'm still uncertain when I'd like to go home. I would like to go to Philly to eat my last Cheese-steak. I'm kind of hoping to go to Camden. It's pretty much the only place I haven't served that is along the Delaware River. I'm not sure when I want to go home yet. I'm kind of torn.

That's great that we've got Cartoon Network! That and the 2 History channels. Those are the only 3 channels that we'll ever need!

I guess it only makes sense that the Carlson's move to the Carlson Heights. Their name is written all over it! They do have a pretty big house! What would you do with a house that big? there would be so much room you wouldn't know what to do with it.(Though I'm sure you could figure something out)

Whoa! John's going into massage therapy? That's totally Whack! Does he give good shoulder massages? I hope he can give me a few massages for free once he gets licensed.

So I guess you're on your way to Nevada right? And then onto San Diego. How's the drive? Are you there yet? Is Mike hungry? Does Spencer need to go to the bathroom? Are you having fun yet? Is Mike driving yet?(YIKES!)

My P-Day won't change unless I extend longer than July. I think if I were to extend my P-day would change to Thursday.? The Office Couple (The Taylors) will continue to be the office couple for the Philadelphia mission in July. They just got to the mission last fall so I think they'll stick around for a few more months. I guess if I extend at all a lot of things could change. I'm not sure what is going to happen with the AP's. They cover the whole stake (YSA branch) because they have unlimited miles. I don't think they'll have unlimited miles when the switcharoo hits. Philadelphia is getting a new mission president right when the switch happens. I think that the APs will be split. One will go to the Philly Mission and the other will go to the Morristown Mission. I'm pretty sure that most of the apartments will stay the same unless the new mission president decides otherwise.
I'm not sure if I'll be transferred this transfer. There's a possibility that either one of us could be transferred, either Elder Howard or I. I guess it depends on if Pres. thinks I can be a super big help next transfer. I've been with Elder Howard for 2 transfers so it's pretty much guaranteed that one of us is being transferred. Since I've been here longer, I'll probably get the boot. I forgot to ask Pres. if I was being transferred during interviews.

This week we were able to teach a family of investigators. The mom is like in her 30's. Her name is Misty and she has 3 kids. Ages 11-boy-nicholas 9-girl-kaylee 7-boy-zachary. The two youngest are extremely wild(they're pretty much spoiled rotten), but Nick seems to be the most normal in the family. The lesson went pretty well. We cleared up some concerns that Misty had about the Book of Mormon. She thought that it was another version of the Bible. She had met with missionaries before she moved to New Jersey 5 months ago. She said that she read the Book of Mormon 2 hours everyday personally and then some more with her children. She said that she couldn't find her copy of the Book of Mormon so we gave her a new one. We have a return appointment next week.

Well gotta go!