Monday, December 29, 2014

Letter Home from Elder North

Date:  December 29, 2014
Area:  Jackson, Tennessee
Companion:  Elder Eatchel

Dear Daring Dos,

I gave a talk in church this Sunday also and eeverythingwent well.  I think I even managed to keep it at about 15 minutes and not run over.  I spoke on "How can I learn to serve more effectively in the church".  I talked about how we can learn from other's good examples, our church leadership, and from the scriptures.  I then spoke about how we can improve our attitudes by making personal connections with those our service influences and through recognizing that the Lord does not ask of us things we cannot do.

We had someone to church on Sunday!  Orlando, a guy who we have been trying to see since I first arrived.  We finally got in contact with him.

Elder Fiso and Elder Wahl got sick over the holiday but are both doing better now.  Luckily Elder Eatchel and I didn't seem to get anything.

Once the new year starts things should finally cool down and people will come back from their Holiday trips!  Here's hoping this next year is a great one for missionary work!

- Elder North


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Letter Home from Elder North

Date:  December 22, 2014
Area:  Jackson, Tennessee
Companion:  Elder Eatchel

Dear Snow Angels,
Christmas Week is here! The past week was a very good one, best week in this area so far. We've had a good track record of each week being better than the last though. We had an investigator to church and our meal calender got chocked full Sunday. I got a Scarf from Grandma Pam and another package from Grandma and Grandpa North. Thank you all for the gifts, soon I shall open them all!
We contacted a lot of referrals we got from previous missionaries, a couple of them we'll be revisiting.
One of our primary investigators has interesting ideas he has developed about the Spirit that are somewhat near to what we believe. I know if he reads and sincerely prays about the Book of Mormon he will have a good experience, so I'm praying he does.
Talk to you family types soon!
-Elder North

Monday, December 15, 2014

Letter Home from Elder North

Date:  December 15, 2015
Area:  Jackson, Tennessee
Companion:  Elder Eatchel

Dear Executors,

What a hectic week on the home front! Madness, truly madness! Things have been significantly more mundane on my end, though I've always had a knack for not getting sick or injured often.

My first full week with Elder Eatchel and things are going well. Better than I had anticipated really. Opening an area can be difficult due to lack of traction and that is pretty much what we're doing. We have more connections now and hope to have some member presents going on this coming week.

We met one interesting individual who had interesting ideas about the second coming, he believed we'd all just muck up the world do the point where our meeting of the savior is just when we all die. Not the most invalid idea, but the scriptures say otherwise and even if we tilt the earth off its axis and all burn up, Christ will still return to the Earth and restore it sooner or later.

The package from the Ward arrived, as did the calendar and so have the 2 packages from the family. I could tell what a lot of them were without opening them though. Diabolical to disallow me from having them now, I say!

We welcomed back a return missionary and it appears her mother is extremely ready to join the church. It's always important to remember that the young can still teach the old and show forth an example. Let no man despise thy youth and all that.

So my bike.  My bike was seriously injured a while back. It was sent to Little Rock for repairs. I was riding it and ended up going over a tree branch. It yanked the derailer up against the spokes. A member looked at it and said that the part that broke was actually intended to do so, so that if a crash happens it saves more expensive parts of the bike from bending or breaking.  They have yet to get back to me on that.
I'll be trying to take more pictures this coming week, since I haven't really taken any since I got here. Everybody be sure to continue praying! Prayer is supremely powerful.


-Elder North

Monday, December 8, 2014

Letter Home from Elder North

Date:  December 8, 2014
Area:  Jackson, Tennessee
Companion:  Elder Eatchel

Dear Juicy Juice Hypotenuse,

Wild times in the mission field! I have been placed in the far Right of the Mission and this could be my second to last area! The Sister Missionaries who I came out with are now going to be headed home soon. A sure sign that I'll be next. I keep trying to tell people I've only been out a year, but Elder Eatchel (My new companion) keeps blowing my cover!

My new companion is like serving with one of my brothers. We know the same jokes and can talk for a long time.

Feel free to send foodstuffs. I enjoy those.  (He enjoys meats, all sorts)

Elder Eatchel bought a 20 pound bag of rice the second night here and we've been spicing up rice so many ways! The ward is very nice and had a Christmas breakfast. Guess who got all the leftover sausage?
It goes well with the rice.

Here there is a mortuary owned by some members who let us use it to rest, email and it will be where I call on Christmas.

We replaced two sister missionaries, one of which was Sister Skinner, who I came out with. It might be tough since we are both new to the area, but it'll be great!

-Elder North


If you would like to send Elder North something for Christmas you can send it to this address and it will get there faster than going through the mission home.  Thanks for your love and support.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Letter Home from Elder North

Date:  December 1, 2014
Area:  Bartlett, Tennessee
Companion:  Edler Rushton



Dear Reptile Room,

I am getting transferred! Due to a massive amount of missionaries leaving in December, a number of areas need to be closed down. Lakeland is one of them. So next week I'll be in yet another new place! I started this letter several hours ago, but only now can resume due to many things running late and having to pick up an additional missionary. Time has been horrendously cut short and I cannot gather my thoughts good gravy.

We had Thanksgiving dinner at the Vanderlinden's and I had 14 toasted sourdough baguette slices with goat cheese provided by Sister Duncan, a visitor from Virginia.

-Elder North

Monday, November 24, 2014

Letter home from Elder North

Date:  November 24, 2014

Area:  Bartlett, Tennessee
Companion:  Elder Rushton


Dear Microsoft Sans,
The biggest role of the Holy Ghost in my experience is during studies. From there it is a matter of following what you've gone over and having faith in what you do.
We're respected well enough. Everyone is polite, but sometimes they confuse polite with actual real rudeness where they don't want to reject use to our face and will just stop communicating. Always easier if they just tell us they don't want to meet anymore.
I use my iPod and speaker but I've listened to pretty much everything on it, so not nearly as much anymore. I wish I had some way to put more or new things on it.
It is getting somewhat cold, but not cold enough.
Typically we shop at Wal Mart, especially now since I've been sent cards for there.
No strange customs really, not that I've seen. Everything seems pretty normal.
So this is the end of yet another transfer. I am likely to stay in Lakeland, but it is possible for me to be transferred! We shall see what the future holds.

-Elder North

Monday, November 17, 2014

Letter Home from Elder North

Date:  November 17, 2014
Area:  Bartlett, Tennessee
Companion:  Elder Rushton

Dear Lunar Citizens,
 
WHAT!?! A mission prep class taught by Coy's Grandfather!?! I want to go home to attend that!
 
I got letters from The Stake, The holdens and Grandma Mary. Best part about Preperation day is easily Emailing. Communication is fabulous!
 
For breakfast I have an Egg and a piece of toast. For a while I had bacon that Sister Buerer bought us, but it ran out.
 
Lunch is a hot dog, dinner we have at a member's home pretty much every day here. Elder Rushton doesn't eat out much.
 
We had a slow week but had a good meeting with recent convert Bruno. I think he and Dad would get along, they're somewhat similar.
 
Sorry for the brevity, but I'm short on time this week. See ya'll later!
 
-Elder North

Monday, November 10, 2014

Letter Home from Elder North

Date:  November 10, 2014
Area:  Bartlett, Tennessee
Companion:  Elder Rushton
 
Dear Irons,
 
To answer some questions; I am in the Lakeland Ward, and it's a typical Ward size for out here. Filling the pews but not packed in.  Our Ward Mission Leader is Brother...Marineu(spelling?). He's great! We meet with him after church every Sunday and he's pretty ready and willing to be involved.  I believe our ward just covers Lakeland and we share the building with the Arlington Ward.  It takes 15 minutes by car to go to church and the Burns take us each week.
Strangest thing this transfer? Met an odd fellow named Jimmy who seemed to blow a bit more boastful smoke than I think even he realizes but honestly he was nothing compared to what West Memphis and Kennett were pretty much daily. Lakeland is a sort of middle ground of sensibility between those two areas and Oxford.
They had me introduce myself and bear my testimony, that's all. And all there ought to be. Don't go bringing down the Talk Pox upon me! Such is not to be wished upon even our most loathesome enemies, so I would much desire you not to invoke it on me!
 
Yes we do have a washer and dryer in this place too.
We've had no investigators to church yet since I have been here, but we do have a solid couple as investigators. Arin and her husband, so you are likely to hear about them more in the future.
 
-Elder North

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Letter Home from Elder Bryen North

Date:  November 3, 2014
Area:  Bartlett, Tennessee
Companion:  Elder Rushton

Dear Jays,

Elder Rushton has a good testimony of the gospel and much more knowledge than some may think.  We go to the gym every morning to work out, so that's a thing now.

Our apartment is very nice, Elder Rushton chose it when it was opened several months ago.  Just he and I are in our apartment but in our complex we have a set of Spanish Elders.  Also very near are the Arlington Elders.

ProJenica!

I wrote to tell him about his dad and I watching his friend Jenica on Jeopardy.  It was super cool and she did AMAZING.  So amazing that we had to go find another episode because she wasn't on just one but two episodes of Jeopardy.  Kudos to her for an awesome job representing Utah.

The ward is pretty neat.  We get a lot of meals so I've been meeting a lot of the people faster than in previous areas.  One guy, Brother Davis (Day-Vees) is building a full on plane in his garage.  It's way cool.  We also rode in a very nice car belonging to Brother Stone.  A GT 500 something or another I think.

There isn't a whole lot to report this week, just focusing on finding.

- Elder North

Thanks to a companion that takes pictures and sends them to his mom we are back to getting pictures!!!  Wahoo.

Bolwing on Pday in their new shirts


Some role playing at a meeting





meeting

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Letter Home from Elder North

Date:  October 27, 2014
Area:  Lakeland, TN
Companion:  Elder Rushton


Dear Ranchers,
 
In Lakeland now with a new companion! Elder Rushton. This letter will be short since this library is weird and terrible! I don't think it's going to be our regular email spot though.
 
Elder Rushton is on the last leg of his mission and will be leaving 2 weeks into next transfer. That'll put me in the lurch for a bit, so...interesting times ahead! In case I need to get new library cards, please to send me mail. Or a package of Pepperonni, ya know whichever you can do faster I guess.
 
Please pray for Rachel from my last area that she can recieve spiritual answers!
 
-Elder North

You can now write Elder North at:
Elder Bryen North
7850 Crescent River Drive #308
Memphis TN 38133


Monday, October 20, 2014

Letter home from Elder North

Date:  October 20, 2014
Area:  Oxford, Mississippi
Companion:  Elder Despain

Dear Pitchers,

Thanks to the family for the GIANT card.  There was also a package of gum and slim jims.  What a combo.  The new shoes arrived and are fantastic.  I'm certain everything will last.  Granted, I thought that when I started...

I am getting transferred!  I will be leaving Wednesday and on my way to my new area around three.

The only major unfinished business here will be Rachel Cooper, but Elder Despain is a diligent guy and will be sure to do all he can.  I hope he gets a very sensible companion.  On Sunday we had a huge and fantastic lesson with Brother Hall and Rachel.  I think it went really well.  We talked about the pattern of apostasy and the need for each individual to work out their own salvation.

A knowledge of the gospel is a big deal and sometimes we think of it somewhat lightly.  Remember to study and seek the truth.  I stand by the testimony that put me out on a mission for two years.  This is Christ's restored church and the invitation to join is extended to all.

- Elder North

Monday, October 13, 2014

Letter home from Elder North

Date:  October 13, 2014
Area:  Oxford, Mississippi
Companion:  Elder Despain

Dear Spellslingers,

Birthday was alright.  We went to a Chinese food place, pretty much the extent of the festivities.  The baptism fell through due to an unforeseen emergency. We don't have all the details yet.  You'll know if we finally get to have it.  I'll take pictures!  For real!

This could be my last week in Oxford!  We'll find out very soon what will happend to me.  By very soon I mean in a week.

Our major investigator is Rachel.  She has big questions and we try all we can to lead her to the big answers, from the Big Man.  Prayer is the ultimate resolution of all spiritual questions.  I invite everyboyd to remember to pray about anything and everything!  What is important to us is imporatnt to God.  Maybe not what we think is imporant though, or quite what we want, but those things that have real impact on our lives.  Pray always and not feint.  Because that could be the tell-tale sign of some serious medical issues.

- Elder North

Monday, October 6, 2014

Letter Home from Elder North

Date:  October 6, 2014
Area:  Oxford, Mississippi
Companion:  Elder Despain

Dear Dragons,

The month of Halloween and my birthday is here!  Spooky, yes?  We had a successful conference weekend with Rachel coming to two sessions live and planning to watch it more later herself.  We watched all but the last session at the church, then watched it from a member's home.  We will be having a meal with Rachel later next week.

General Conference is a time that as a world wide church we gather to listen to our leaders.  The conference is held in Salt Lake City Utah but is broadcast all over the world in 55 languages.  You can find more information on the link below. 

https://www.lds.org/church/events/181st-general-conference-of-the-church?lang=eng

This transfer is now coming to a close.  We got some good work in and hopefully will see some of the fruit of the labor as we go.  If anything I know we continue to grow in our own understanding of the gospel.  That is always valuable.  This is the Lord's church, and that is not a matter of exclusivity.  All are welcome and invited to come and join!

We spent a good deal of time on campus, it is an excellent place to pass by large amounts of people, allowing us to contact them or even them just talking to us.  We hope to focus on finding new investigators, so if you pray for me pray for us to find!

- Elder North

Monday, September 29, 2014

Surprise letter from Elder North

Date:  September 29, 2014
Area:  Oxford, Mississippi
Companion:  Elder Despain

Dear What Pumpkins,

By the flowing magical grace of Elder Despain he has seen fit to grant me an added moment to deliver unto you a more proper epistle.

We have just had a FABULOUS lesson with Rachel, our Catholic investigator. She is learning and praying earnestly to overcome her doubts, fears and questions. We help as best we can but are confident the lord will see her through the darkness.

Our other main investigator, a young lady named Brooke, just went to church in Florida and we will be seeing her tomorrow. I think I may have already mentioned her baptismal date being on my birthday.

We went to the Elder Zwick meeting where they announced the iPads and I saw the Orey's again! I'm sure you already know about it since she no doubt sent you all the pictures. Elder Zwick told on President Wakolo to the mission about his speeding, which was hilarious.

I mentioned we did a lot of walking this week and boy is that the case. Going home one night Elder Despain also decided we should try a short cut. Almost nine o clock, it was dark out and we went tromping through a trail through the trees. It turned out well, so no harm no foul I suppose.

We did not end up doing the dinner thing on campus, which was kind of a bummer. It seemed like a cool opportunity. We ended up meeting with Rachel at that time instead. So no loss.

One of the best parts was a lesson with a less active woman. Visiting with her and we feel she's warming up considerably! She came to church this week and had her baby blessed. The baby's name is Serenity and she's darling.

It's been an exhausting week.

-Elder North

Letter home from Elder North

Date:  September 29, 2014
Area:  Oxford, Mississippi
Companion:  Elder Despain

Dear Pumpkins,

We walked a lot this week.

Not given time to email this week. Apologies. Thanks for the mail, Grandma Mary and Ken and Amy.

-Elder North

Shortest letter yet!  :)  O well at least he took the time to send something.  His birthday is on October 11th so it would be wonderful if you could write him.  Happy that I got some pictures from the Orey's this week!

Elder Bryen North
801 Frontage Rd. #915
Oxford, Mississippi 38655



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Letter Home from Elder North

Date:  September 21, 2014
Area:  Oxford, Mississippi
Companion:  Elder Despain

Dear Party People,

Happy Birthday to Grandma Nielsen! We all love and admire you!

We had a very interesting development this week. A couple of girls came to church, turned out they were investigators! Successfully fooling Elder Despain and I, as they walked with confidence through the building. We have began teaching them to find they have both heard the first lesson already via phone Sister Missionaries, and already have a baptismal date for my birthday, the 11th of October! Fast times in the Oxford Life.

On Tuesday we may be attending a dinner to share our beliefs on Campus, That'll be cool.

We have a few dates but will be needing to focus on finding in the coming weeks I feel. We're more staying afloat then flying in terms of our investigator pool. Still, if things continue as they have, we're sure to have a fine transfer.

I got Grandpa North's package! Thanks for the treats. I suppose I'm to attempt learning how to use the harmonica now?

I'll probably make some videos.

-Elder North

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Letter Home from Elder North

Date:  September 15, 2014
Area:  Oxford, Mississippi
Companion:  Elder Despain

Dear Gummies,

First and foremost, Mikel.  You are a champion and have a fantastic Senior Picture!  Keep up the good work.

We do not buy school pictures since I take my kids pictures.  That and Mikel is of the opinion that when someone is scanning the yearbook they should do double take when they pass his picture.  He messed up his hair and made as goofy face as he could get away with.  

This has been a productive and long feeling week.  We had CJ and Rachel to church!  That was excellent.  It will be the highlight of next week catching up with them on their experience.  We had delicious soup with the Andrew family last night as well.

Speaking of food. The past couple of months I have been eating at a Thai food place, it is great.  I always get a five on the spiciness and its delicious.  I remember when I was foolishly against spicy food.  Hilarious.  As for exotic things, we don't get served much of those, but they do have a special brand of chips here in the south called Zapps.  They have a number of Southern Flavors like, honey mustard, sweet creole onion, vooodoo, spicy cajun crawtators, and cajun dill gatertators.

Cool experience from last night, we were touching base at our apartment and suddenly Edler Despain decides we ought to head to the church.  We did need something printed off by the ward leader but when we got there, no one was available to do that.  Then our investigator Gooch texted us asking when church was.  Church had already happened and ended a few hours ago, but it just so happened that a CES devotional was going down in half an hour!  So we invited him to that and he showed up and we watched it with him.  Outta the blue!  It was great and he enjoyed it.

The CES devotional was very nice and I recommend it, it was given by D. Todd Christofferson.
https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/watch/ces-devotionals/2014/09?lang=eng

- Elder North

Monday, September 8, 2014

Letter home from Elder North

Date:  September 8, 2014
Area:  Oxford, Mississippi
Companion:  Elder Despain

Dear Grapes,

No call this morning, so I am staying in Oxford for the time being! Another six weeks with the all powerful Elder Despain! It's been interesting.
We started teaching a Catholic girl who saw the Book of Mormon Musical. Combined with previous hearsay about the church she wants to look into it and is the most studious investigator I've ever seen. She does her reading assignments and more and I hope this trend continues.

We had CJ over to the ward BBQ and he was able to meet some members and do a church tour. He seemed very thoughtful after.

The new GPS sent to me works great and I'm very grateful. Elder Despain was over the moon when it arrived, glad we could use a new one since his is failing.

Just a thought about the Book of Mormon:  Nephi being called to specific action and later as a prophet may also indicate that Sam was not meant for that same calling. We are given few details about what Sam was occupied with throughout the Book of Mormon. Perhaps he cared for the grandchildren, or took care of Sariah?
Nephi is indeed the example, but Sam holds a valuable lesson in observing others. So long as we can see their hearts are in the right place and that they take up the good fight when necessary, we needn't judge them further.

Things are geared up for heavy traction in the coming six weeks, let us hope we can accomplish all the lord has required of us.

-Elder North


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Letter home from Elder North - September 1, 2014

Date:  September 1, 2014
Area:  Oxford, Mississippi
Companion:  Elder Despain

Dear Chairmen,

Congratulations on the talk Mikel, I recently had to speak in church as well. My topic was Prophets. I ended up going over time rambling on but everybody seemed to have liked it.

I did try grits back when I was in West Memphis, I did not find them very pleasant though. As for Handy Andy's, we almost went there today but being Labor day, it was closed.

Our most recent district meeting was held here in Oxford.

Last night was one of the best lessons of my mission. We met a man named CJ a few days ago on the bus. Just saw him briefly was all. Saturday we were walking about and saw him on Campus. We approached and spoke with him, explaining what we do and asking if we'd be able to visit him. We left him with a
pamphlet and set a time to see him at his apartment. At church we requested a member join us for the appointment and despite living 25 miles away, brother Webb volunteered. We went there with him and met with CJ and everything was great. We spoke about the Restoration and gave our invitations to pray, read, pray and come to church. Having brother Webb there was also excellent. He accepted and we should be having him at the ward BBQ Wednesday.

"Life is not enough just believing or just doing, a combination of this is necessary for becoming."
Everyone remember to do your best to become a disciple of Christ. This is his church, his restored gospel and his invitation.

-Elder North
Pictures are from August at a zone meeting.



Elder North is not much of a writer but he still enjoys hearing from everyone so if you find some time drop him a line.
Elder Bryen Nielsen North
Arkansas Little Rock Mission
801 Frontage Road, Apartment 915
Oxford, Mississippi 38655

Monday, August 25, 2014

Letter Home from Elder Bryen North

Date:  August 25, 2014
Area:  Oxford, Mississippi
Companion:  Elder Cy Despain


Dear Director,

The general area is usually referred to as Ole Miss. We will be visiting the campus plenty in the time to come because school is starting back up again and a lot of people will be showing up. On the campus they have a spot called Fulton Chapel. A white building, looks like a chapel on the outside but on the inside is a theater. It's never locked and often empty, we like to hang out in there to feel the Air Conditioning and take phone calls while around there.
We ride the buses rather often. The public transportation here is pretty good. Costs a dollar per ride and you can get a transfer ticket sometimes to save you a dollar on the return trip, or if you need to switch buses to reach a certain part of town. None of the buses are double decker though.

The area is centered on Oxford and Ole Miss, but is an enormous area that is far from everybody else. It seems to be my fate to be far from the other areas. We go out to a place called Batesville, also Bruce, Banner, Water Valley and Paris.

We recently had dinner with the Jones, who have a Lego tower of Orthanc in their living room. (One of the Two Towers from Lord of the Rings, Saruman's Tower in Isengard)

We last night ate with the Griffith's, who have a son named Jaxon. He is two, but claims to be three, and is very cool. Thank you Grandma for your letters, and at the meeting I finally got an old letter from Karoline!

-Elder North