Monday, December 30, 2013

December 30, 2013 - Elder Bryen North's Letter Home

Christmas Eve at the T****
Date:  December 30, 2013
Area:  West Memphis
Companion:  Elder Morgan (at least for another day that is.)

Dear New Year Party Goers,
Looking forward to another year? This begins what will be my full year of Missionary Service! Twelve consecutive months of work all bearing the mark of 2014. I may never have another one like it! It's rather exciting. I boggles me that I've been out almost half a year now as it is. This time next year I'll be over the hump and getting ready to leave. 

I hope all of you have something planned that you can use to commemorate this year as well! Often they take the form of quickly abandoned 'New Years Resolutions'. Select something to work on, to build and do it so you can look back and say, 'that was the year I learned piano/spent more time with the family/mastered Duck Hunt'.
Christmas party at the church
O**** Family kids

The Gospel is one all about continually progression and moving forward, because standing still is counter-productive!
Christmas was a fine occasion. We spent Christmas Eve with the T****, who we had not seen in a terrible long while. I am so glad we got to visit again before Elder Morgan left. Christmas day was great and I was able to call home via Skype. Looks like everybody is doing well.

I'll be getting a new companion and we'll be set for new experiences. See you all soon!
-Elder North
Two thumbs up!

Lunch with other missionaries

Monday, December 23, 2013

December 23, 2013 - Letter Home from Elder Bryen North

Date:  December 23, 2013
Location:  West Memphis, Arkansas
Companion:  Elder Morgan

Dear Christmas Elves,

I have received one package form home containing gifts and the previous one from earlier this month from the ward.  I also got a card form my favorite Great Grandma!  I appreciate it immensely, seeing that she signed it even!  Give her all the love from me.  All of it.  I also received a card from Grandma Pam and Grandpa Geoff.  I got e-mails from my little sisters!  Thank you all so very much!

One of his packages didn't get delivered.  I called on it today and it sounds like it is suppose to be delivered sometime today.  It was the less important one at least.  

We went to Christmas Zone Conference and watched Ephraim's Rescue (very good, if you have yet to see it, I recommend it).  Zone Conference are when the Mission President and Assistants speak to us on things and they're fun and great learning experiences.

The next day we did service running toys for Toys for Tots.  That was excellent.

Truly those two things seemed to dominate the week.  It felt pretty short.  We saw the Anderson's last night and she built homemade peppermint patties!  You use mashed potatoes to make them.  I suggest you try it.

Merry Christmas to all and remember the words of President Monson.  "Giving, not getting" is whee true joy is found.  Toys are fun and gifts are great, but that's not why we celebrate.  The season here is meant for those near to receive your love for them, loud and clear.

- Elder North

I got a call from a ward member on Saturday evening saying, not sure if you have heard about the weather here but wanted you to know your missionary is fine.  I hadn't hear but apparently they were having some severe weather.  I got to hear Bryen laugh in the background which is always cool.  I have attached the article if your interested in reading it.

We get to talk to Bryen on Skype for Christmas so we are really excited about seeing and talking to him.  It will be a crazy busy day with opening gifts with the kids at home, then talking to our three missionaries, and then having everyone over for Christmas dinner.  We are excited about it all.

Didn't get any pictures of him this week from anyone, so hopefully we will get some from Christmas from someone.  :)

Thank you for your love and support of Elder Bryen North.

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

Monday, December 16, 2013

December 16, 2013 - Letter Home

Elder's Morgan, Mourino, Talbert and North
Date:  December 16, 2013
Area:  West Memphis
Companion:  Elder Morgan

Dear Devout Disciples of Deven (May his hair grow even longer),

Not sure what is up with that greeting.  Deven's hair is getting a little long but nothing like it was several years ago for Les Mis.  

This week felt extremely long.  I believe because we did not have church due to the ice last Sunday. I think my brain segments weeks based on church attendance, so not having church smashed two weeks together.  We had some surprise people to church this week though.  Sister and Brother T*** gave taks!  Brother Teeter says he heard that dad got a Ham Raido license and wants to know if it is 20 meter.  I thought it was Kenn who got his license though?

Actually Jed, Tony, and Kenn all got theirs recently.  Jed's raido is 2-meter.

We attended a children's community play that M**** D**** was in, along with some people from the Branch.  Sister W*** was the director.  We will be Skyping form her house on Christmas.  I'll give you a quick call when I'm ready or know when I will be ready so you can be prepared and make sure I am not overlapping with Amber and Jered.

Elder Morgan returns home on the thirty first.  So I will be getting another companion on the 1st of January. I was afraid when I first met him because he seemed sort of checked out, but it's just his personality.  He has zero aversion to work and we continue to do what we can.  His casual commitment might seem bad at first, but really it's just that being a missionary is now his nature.  It's not an active effort to keep himself in check, he just is, so he seems a lot more relaxed.  When we find ourselves with a dropped appointment he pretty much always has an idea or two of what we can do to accomplish something or someone to see.

No, there isn't a Christmas Tree in our apartment.  I put my package from the ward under my desk.  There it shall wait till Christmas despite Elder Morgan telling me to just open it.

- Elder North

Elder North With J****
Ugly tie contest with the West Memphis Elders
Date: December 9, 2013
Companion:  Elder Morgan
Area:  West Memphis Arkansas

Dear All The People,

Congratulations to Jered on his talk!  I know he dislikes being put on the spot for a lot of things.  I remember going to the hot chocolate thing form last year and I do recall that Jered wasn't there...I also do not remember why though.  Sounds like the farewell was delicious and fun time for all!  Everyone look ahead, because a lot of the same menu items should be turning up again when I get back.  (Hinthintnudgenudge)

Jered, Elder Bryen North's brother who is a year younger than him to the day will get set apart as a missionary in a few hours and leave for Guatemala tomorrow.  Guess the meatballs sounded good to him that he is having to hint at them already.  HEHEHE

Best of luck to Sierra Samowitz on her mission!  Use your time to prepare well, both as preparation and as doing things you will be giving up for a short time.  If there is anything I know for sure it is the fact that it is indeed a SHORT TIME.  Already I've been here half a year and I've only just arrived.  Soon I'll feel departure near (and likely try to hide).  For leaving the mission's no easy thing, any RM will tell.  You meet and love the people here and hate to give farewells.

Sierra is a friend who got her call to Japan and leaves April 14th.

Joe is a cute kid, we have fun together.

Joe is a members kid.  His mom who I am not friends with on Facebook related this story to me.  She said her boy Joe really likes Elder North and that they even look alike with both wearing glasses.  She said Joe is very finicky about food, so now when we (and his Primary teachers) want him to try something, we tell him, "Really?  Well, Elder North really like it and thought you would too."  They went to this members house for Thanksgiving and had an ugly tie contest, Bryen didn't win.  Guess we need to send him ugly ties for Christmas.  HAHA  On Thanksgiving Elder North had everyone captive trying to solve the riddle of how the circus midget killed himself.  He also had sweet potatoes for the first time that he remembered.  He thought they were carrots.  Well Jed and I don't like sweet potatoes so he doesn't get them from us but Grandma North always makes them.  He must have never ventured there.  :)

You can thank Brother Eric Jones for the pictures and his wife for arranging them.  Speaking of thanks, thanks once again to Grandma Mary for her postcard.  I now feel the pain of sending something and then not being sure if it arrived.  I will try much, much harder to acknowledge mail I receive.  Thank you Jarin and Bethany for the letter about your trip!

See you all soon, Don't stop Belivin'
- Elder North

Elder North would love to hear from you so don't hesitate to write!
Elder Bryen North
Arkansas Little Rock Mission

606 Rainer #10
West Memphis missionaries.  Elder Overson, Morgan, Talbert, and North
West Memphis, AR 72301

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

December 2, 2013 - Letter Home

Date:  December 2, 2013
Companion:  Elder Morgan
Area:  West Memphis

Dear Turkeys,

Happy Thanksgiving, looking forward to the holidays.  Holidays are a tad rough on Missionary work, as it's hardly an opportune time for two young fellows to be taken in for a lesson.  Better weather though, that's for sure!

It is funny to hear him say better weather, since his sister in Chicago is freezing and isn't finding it better at all.

We had Thanksgiving dinner with the O**** family.

Soccer seems to be going very well.  Is anyone participating in any theatrical events?

I would like to thank Grandma Mary for her letter and previous letters.  She has sent a lot!  I will soon have enough fish paper to decorate a full wall.

The biggest thing we have going now I would say is C****.  He has a new baptismal date and is reading the Book of Mormon for a thirty day challenge.  Hopefully he continues to follow through and will gain that witness.  We are also working with M****, a 10 year old who wants to be baptized and we will be giving her the lessons.

If it has not arrived yet, there will soon be arriving a mailing envelope with some pictures and name tag.  Just in time for Jered to take it with him.  Hopefully the tag didn't break or anything.

Jered is leaving on December 10th for his mission in Guatemala.  The North boys have all shared a name tag for part of their mission starting with their Uncles Kenn and Karl, then Deven, Bryen, and now Jered.  They each put a sticker on the back.  Jered can wear the name tag on the flight there but then will be issued a Spanish one.  Below are a few of the pictures sent home.

- Elder North

Typical Bubba faces!