Monday, November 25, 2013

November 25, 2013 - Letter Home

Elder North and Elder Morgan
Date - November 25, 2013
Companion - Elder Morgan
Area - West Memphis

Dearest Mudda, Dearest Fadda, (And everybody else)

I have my new Companion Elder Morgan!  He is from Boise, Idaho.  He was follow-up trained by Elder Anderson.  He's solid, to be sure.  We get along fine.  We have six baptismal dates right now.  Four for the seventh and two for the twenty-eight.  I'm expected to keep things going well here, otherwise Elder Anderson has vowed to destroy me.

I received a letter from home and from Ken and Amy this week.  Thank you all very much!  I will be sending a package home very soon containing some things for Mother to scrapbook and the legacy name tag for Jered to take with him to Guatemala.    Hmmm..I should get a spare tag for me and Amber should get one and we should switch.

When I was in the trio I slept on the floor because the couch is too small and ya can't stretch out.  Terrible! It was good though, taught a very cool woman, S****.

Elder North, Oveson, Morgan, and Talbert - West Memphis Missionaries

When we teach discussions it is very much like how Deven taught you all with Jered.  We trade off, use pamphlets to help keep attention and on track.  I do not have the first vision memorized just yet.  Very close though.

We had his brother who returned home in May and his brother that is leaving in December teach Family Home Evening last week and give us the first discussion.

I haven't gotten comments on my suit.  My clothes are doing great.  The weather isn't that cold.  I'm doing fine.  For a while I didn't even have my rain jacket.  I forgot it at the Wall's home, but they got it back to me.

The inside lining of his suit is quite grovey so I was wondering if anyone had commented on it.

No one is feeding us for Thanksgiving.

Not true, I heard today he will be going over to the O**** families mom's house.  They will be having an ugly tie contest that day!  I got some pictures today from Sister O****.  I figured if Elder North is not going to send me any I must become friends with the locals.  :)  A mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do!

Elder Morgan got a fabulous package his first day here.  His mother sent him a massive bag of 100% Whey from costco.  He makes protein shakes that taste like chocolate milk.  Fantastic and kind of funny.  Elder Talbert gave me a briefcase as well.  I plan on using it well.  It's shiny and amusing.  I'm excited for Jered and hope he prepares well.  My advice would be to read preach my gospel.  It's good and expected.

- Elder North

Eating at the O*** Family's
Elder Talbert

Please send mail to:
Elder Bryen North
Arkansas Little Rock Mission
606 Rainer #10
West Memphis, AR 72301

You can also check out his blog at

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Surprise pictures are wonderful!

Date - November 19, 2013
Companion - In a Trio with Elder Talber and Overson until new companion is assigned this week.
Area - West Memphis

Sister Longshore took this picture of Elder Overson, North, and Talber as they went to her house to drop off Elder North's companion Elder Anderson as he is going home.

Monday, November 18, 2013

November 18, 2013 - Letter Home

Date - November 18, 2013
Companion - In a Trio with Elder Talber and Overson until new companion is assigned this week.
Area - West Memphis

Dear Ya'll,

Elder Anderson is out the door and Elder North is in for a lot more responsibility down here!  It's going to be tougher and I hope I am ready.  For a couple days I will be with the Marion Elders until I receive my new companion.

Not sure what he means by more responsibility but I am guessing it is because he will be the one that knows the area.  Guess we will find out next week!

Companionship inventories are part of the Weekly Planning Process, as such, they happen each week.

As for changes to the mission, they are cutting back on zones in order to free up experienced Missionaries to act as Trainers.  I will need a professional bag by the start of the next year.  In addition, the use of iPads is upcoming in the New Year as well.

When Bryen went out they were still having the missionaries use backpacks but that has changed and they want them to look more professional and less like college kids so they want them to have messenger bags instead.

Something funny from the transfer,
Elder North is pumping up his bike tire and says, "Elder Anderson, is this pump made of iron?"  Elder Anderson says, "I don't know, why?"  Elder North.. "Because that would mean I'm pumping iron."

Not much time this week since I am e-mailing from Bartlett.  Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

- Elder North

Monday, November 11, 2013

November 11, 2013 - Letter Home

Dear Homebase,

This will be my final P-day with my companion Elder Anderson.  He returns home before next Monday.  It's been a solid time with him.  He's a scriptural master with a strong testimony of the work and of the church and set a fantastic example for me.  He doesn't want to go home.  He leaves before transfers.  I will be with Elder Talbert and Elder Oveson for a few days until I get my new companion.  Taking over the area, wish me luck.

I believe transfers are not until the 20th.  

Aw yeah!  Good on Mikel!  Keep the improv strong.  Wasn't until my mission I realized how much church and some school activities help prepare people for missions and life.  The church especially, with giving people talks and callings even in youth really prepares kids and gives them experience for a lot of things.

I love the CD player and speaker.  Elder Anderson loves using the speaker with his iPod.  He has the whole History of the Church on his iPod, it is very cool.

Everything else is going alright.  An investigator given to us by Sister Crickmore who seems so great may have dropped off the map.  On the other hand she may have just been busy.  We'll find out soon if she does not went to speak with us.  Hopefully nothing went wrong.  C*** will be getting baptized this week though. There was a fluke earlier but now it appears he will for sure.  Fingers and arms crossed.

When they talk about dropping someone that is because they do not want to waste their time nor the people they are trying to teach.  So if someone isn't following through with reading and learning or keeps breaking appointments or things like that they use the term drop meaning they will go their own ways.  A lot of the time people will decide they don't want to know anymore but instead of telling them missionaries that they just stop showing up or dodge their calls.  The missionaries want to give people the benefit of the doubt, knowing everyone is busy so they keep trying to call or stop by for awhile.  

When I was on an exchange with Elder Minnick we met a man at his door who lived with Investigators Elder Minnick had a return appointment for.  He spoke to us with genuine but misguided concern that being on a mission while eighteen or nineteen for two years was a waste of our precious prime time in life.  That we would be better off attending college or joining the workforce in order to benefit society the most.

I have learned beyond a shadow of a doubt that that idea is completely false.  There is no greater benefit for me or for society as a whole than for me to sere a full-time mission at this very moment.  Doing it later would be procrastination and not doing it at all would be devastating to all those I could have reached.  The message of the gospel is the greatest thing and believing and adhering to it is the easiest and best way to improve our lives.

I would never have know what I've missed if I hadn't come on my Mission.  The blessings, wisdom and majesty of Jesus Christ's Church are enormous and it is painful whenever someone rejects this glad message.  The love of God is the drive for everything from both parties and I cannot express how great my gratitude for recognizing that is.

One of the first things Elder Anderson taught me was the significance of baptism and how we as missionaries are meant to baptize people.  That step combined with the gift of the Holy Ghost is one of the most important things we can grant to allow greater conversion to occur.  Our Stake Conference here spoke a lot about acting as Missionaries and Saints in our respective areas.  Remember to keep strong and true to the faith and get the Good Word out there.

- Elder North

Elder North would love to hear from you.  So please drop him a note in the mail.  Missionaries love to get mail, it brightens their days to hear of things at home.  Also people are starting to ask about Christmas.  I am usually not a big proponent of gift cards but for Missionaries they are one of the best things.  You can get them for local places, it gives them a chance to go out to eat or get the things they need at the store.  Missionaries don't want to collect a lot of things because then they have to move them from each place when they transfer so gift cards work really well.  So places like Taco Bell, Wal Mart, Applebee's are all great.  Thank you for the love and support you give our family by supporting Bryen in whatever way you can.  

Elder Bryen North
Arkansas Little Rock Mission
606 Rainer #10
West Memphis, AR 72301

Monday, November 4, 2013

November 4, 2013 - Letter Home

Dear Characters of a Different Story,

Halloween isn't addressed formally by the mission, but it's pretty obviously a terrible night for missionary work.  We spent some time with the Wall's family, they had a casual party for the occasion.

Grandma Rita and Grandpa Terry!  Sincere salutations from Bishop and Sister Longshore!  Cue the "It's a Small World" music.

The lady who sent me the picture of Elder North this past week use to be in my Mother and Father-in-law's ward here in Utah.

I recall receiving a letter from Grandma Mary, I apologize when I fail to remember.  I suppose I should bring them with me when I e-mail to remind me.

The most surprising thing about serving a mission I have found is.  I always assumed that people simply were not aware that smoking and drinking were actual sins, and only knew it was unhealthy but just kept the habit. Seems like most everyone kind of feels that it is wrong because when they recognize us as 'church people' they tuck away their cigarettes and drink and act guilty.

We live in an apartment next to a field.  The area is mostly suburban.  We shop at Wal-Mart and try to use coupons.

Elder Anderson goes home on like the 18th so this will be my last transfer with him.

Little choked for time but I appreciate the ridiculously excessive amount of time you all take to write me or read my mail home.

That is his way of saying he LOVES us too!

- Elder North

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Surprise call and picture!

Yesterday on November 1, 2013

received a call from Sister L***** in Memphis.  Elder North had gone on exchanges with an Elder there and those Elders live with the L****'s.  She was very nice and called me to let me know he looks good and stuff.  I told her don't hesitate to send a picture because he isn't very good at that.  :)  She snapped one and texted it to me.  Sooo wonderful.  He does look good!  I am so thankful for members that take the time to call and share something about my missionary or send a picture through e-mail or text.  I know my kids are fine and I am so thankful they are serving missions but we parents still miss them and it is nice to get that connection once and awhile.