Monday, May 26, 2014

Letter Home from Elder North - May 26, 2014

Date:  May 26, 2014
Area:  Kennett, MO
Companion:  Elder  Jelte

Dear Smurfs,

Good luck with the events back home and congratulations to Zach, already ready to head back out!

Our Bike Week was fine and dandy! I shall account a couple things that happened.
A woman drove up to us, shouting that she used to visit with missionaries and would like us to come over. She shouted the whole time. She seemed happy, not upset, just that her default communication was high volume.
Another man drove up to us and was on a 'mission to Mormons'. It was a fine conversation. He explained that he had looked into the church before (Though I get the feeling he was dealing with some kind of split off group due to what he says he was told, but it is possible he misunderstood). We had a fine conversation and parted ways. Although technically it was a confrontation, it was not hostile or heated.
It is sad he was not able to reach the same conclusion as us when he had tried before, but he gave the appearance that he had actually tried before and his intentions were good! All he wanted was to make sure we were right with God and had come to our religious conclusions ourselves and when we told him we had, he accepted our answer. He may not end up baptized soon, he may never, but he tried.
He says he read and he says he prayed. Sometimes we don't understand when God speaks to us, sometimes we make a mistake in our searching. straight up isn't time! How or why? Who knows? It is not our place to judge but to invite, we cannot determine his past experiences but we can offer new ones that lead to the light we have and want to share.  After we spoke with him I thought about how we rarely find people like that who have actually tried things out and didn't join, then I realized why.
People who have earnestly prayed to know the Book of Mormon is true, read it and studied have a name. 'Recent Converts'.
We had a barbecue with a family outside. Most of them were drunk it seemed. That was interesting. Smart children though, good to talk to.

Blytheville Ward. The potluck is every third Sunday and the turnout is, eh, twenty to thirty I think?

We get the vehicle back, woohoo! The heat is setting in. Funny how all the locals complain about it, almost as if they didn't see it coming, and don't realized it is going to get much. Much worse.

-Elder North
You can write Elder North at:
Elder Bryen Nielsen North
Arkansas Little Rock Mission
608 Oak Street
Kennett, MO 63857

Monday, May 19, 2014

Letter home from Elder Bryen North - May 19, 2014

Date:  May 19, 2014
Area:  Kennett, MO
Companion:  Elder Jelte

Dear HQ,

Best of luck to all the soccer people! I'm glad Zane had fun at his sports event but also glad they did not spare them of having victors in the events. It can be rough but it's important for us to learn that there is a first place. "In this world, if you're not willing to be the best, there's always going to be someone else who will step up and take your place."
Like I said, a rough lesson but important, as the drive to succeed is removed if our smallest effort is rewarded equally to another's largest effort. We will always get what we give, so it's important that we have the incentive to give our all for anything we want to do!

I totally agree, Zane had sports day this past Friday and they give out 1, 2, 3 place ribbons and then honorable mentions.  It was very upsetting to Zane to get third place in an event.  He really wanted first.  It was a good opportunity to focus on we are not always the best at things and if we want to win we have to work hard.

Elder North and Sister Skinner
Thank you mother, for the package! My breakfast is now garnished with a pepperoni to go with the egg and toast.   When I opened it I thought, "Ah yes, delicious pepperoni. I think it's strange it does not need to be refrigerated until opened though."  Then I ate one.

After the last package he teased that packages should consist of not candy but of meat and cheese.  Well I was at the store and there on the shelf were pepperoni and I was reminded that they don't have to be refrigerated before they are opened so I sent him some.

Sounds like it was a good sacrament meeting on prayer.  One of the major things my mission has shown and taught me is the parallel between our earthly families and our heavenly relations. It is so easy to relate gospel principles to family analogies because it isn't a metaphor, it's literal. The Gospel is a set of household rules put forth by a loving parent so the children can learn and grow as safely as they are willing to allow themselves. It can apply to almost anything, from the commandments to ordinances.

I would be very interested to know if Mikel happens upon one of the rare times where the movie is superior, like with The Princess Bride of The Lord of The Rings. Though that would continue to feed his unhealthy distaste for reading.

Mikel announced a couple of days ago that he was going to read a book.  We were shocked and amazed.  He said Hailey had read it and wants to see the movie that is coming out soon.  So he decided to read the book if only to prove to her that the movies are always better.  If you know Mikel he does not like reading AT ALL.
Beale Street

On pdays we COULD branch out...but it would take a minimum of twenty miles to get to the nearest other place, and that does not mean that said nearest place has anything we want to visit.

Our suit coats are not required attire for proselyting, only for meetings (Any church function). We are never exempt from wearing them at meetings though.

Our bike week will be this week, and everything with my bike is still in tip top shape.

The Locketts fancied a visit to Beale Street on the way home from the meeting. We met a man who worked at a temple in Utah there! Elder Jelte and Elder Sleet did some dancing in the middle of the street and got a lot of attention. Later when we approached a band playing they danced and were called up to dance in front of everybody. Took a tad of coaxing but they got up there! It was plenty of fun.

I saw Sister Skinner from my MTC group at the meeting we had with Elder...Kipishke? His name is difficult to spell. German man, very funny. Admitted that he did nothing to prepare till breakfast that morning. Remember kids, it's NEVER too late for revelation!

The potluck is every third Sunday for everybody and is at the Church. We help set up and take down.

Looking forward to bike week! Perfect timing really, as I've been anxious to do more finding.

-Elder North

Monday, May 12, 2014

Letter Home from Elder Bryen North - May 12, 2014

Date:  May 12, 2014
Area:  Kennett, MO
Companion:  Elder Jelte from Utah

Dear Venerable Family,

My new companion Elder Jelte is a fun guy! He's laid back but in good ways, always ready to head out and get work done. He and Elder Steed, the other new missionary, came out together and get along very well as well.

We have some of the typical things in common. Movies, language, home state, two working arms. I do not know if he has earned the Liahona either so we just might work together to do that.  

The CDs were projects performed with Elder Morgan. One was given to The Orey Children, the other two a pair of Sister Missionaries. You'll have to contact them over the contents, it has been a while since they were issued and they are out of stock.

We had ham sandwiches as a joke at David and Trisha's. By the end up a conversation I ended up making a couple simple sandwiches as a joke. Beside that we ate at home, for Kennett is a desolate place in that regard.

A question has been put suggesting that there is a city in which to see sites nearby. The only site is that of a moose with wings outside of the apartments Barbie and Cody live in(Which I do plan on getting a picture with). Besides that, there is no city nor sites to cite on site nor in sight.

Last day all together for these missionaries.

Elder Mantangi leaves Kennett

Looking forward to another six weeks! See you all soon!

-Elder North

It was great getting to talk to Elder North yesterday for Mother's Day.  We were able to Skype with him although it wasn't a great connection so he was very fuzzy and there was about a six second delay.  He would speak and then we would see his lips move.  It was a bit humorous and of course in true Bubba fashion he used that to tease us a bit.  It was great, he looks good and sounds good.  I am thankful for the technology that allows us to stay well connected with our missionaries.  Please write Bryen if you get a chance.  He would love to hear from you.  He sent us a video of him giving us a walk through of his house.  It was great.  He has all his cards displayed.

Elder Bryen North
Arkansas Little Rock Mission
608 Oak Street
Kennett, MO 63857

Monday, May 5, 2014

Letter Home from Elder Bryen North - May 5, 2014

Date:  May 5, 2014
Area:  Kennett, Missouri
Companion:  Elder Mantangi

Dear Fams,

I suspect I will be able to call home for mother's day after church, but I am having a hard time pinning down the exact course of action I'll be able to take. 

Bunderson and Matangi are leaving, and now Sleet and I are left in the area. We got here at the same time. The two Elders running the show are now out of here. This makes it harder to be sure how things will work out since we have no idea who our new companions will be. We may try after church our time but if that doesn't work out we could try for later that evening.

Our last full week was fine and we got some delicious hawaiian ham and bacon sandwiches from Sister Jackson, after that we had steaks with the Locketts. Wonderful day yesterday. The Blytheville Elders had recently reactivated a great family and we are hoping they continue to stay active, they seem pretty excited to return to church!

Sunday was the big day all around, some teachers were missing so Elder Matangi and I taught the youth. This included the kids from the reactivated family and they were stand-offish but I liked them.

I'll get a picture of my new companion out hopefully on Wednesday!

-Elder North

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Letter Home from Elder North - April 28, 2014

Dear Gremlins,

Hoo boy, here we go...I have no idea what our plans are in terms of Mother's Day. We may have something more figured out when it gets close.
When it gets close????  Ummm it is only two weeks away!  UGH

The chips are not purchased by me. Blytheville, since they are next to the members (Mostly Brother McKinley, one of the counselors in the bishopric) get a good deal of loot generously donated to them. Large bags of chicken, cereal, all sorts of stuff. Kennett's coffers remain empty save we get a trickle of the nectar bestowed the Blytheville Elders.

Vraska is a wild cat that lives in out backyard. My companion is partial to feeding it.

We do not burn copies of The Book of Mormon, despite their proximity to the fireplace. As for the Army Men, those were in fact in the Marion Apartment. They are the men you sent me for my 100 day mark.
He sent a video home of his house.  I was teasing him about the Book of Mormon's being kept on top of the fireplace.  Apparently he felt the need to make sure I knew they were not using them for fuel for the fire.

For service we laid concrete for the Food Pantry. I suppose I learned a tad more about laying concrete. I hope the pictures of that were sent.


Sadly the family we met hasn't answered the door and the young lady's grandmother does not want us over. We're trying to see other ways we can meet with her. Elder Wright is from Idaho.

I suppose I get along best with Elder Sleet, though this is liable to illusion on my part. He is a very entertaining guy, especially when playing basketball. Very expressive.

We had Stake Conference this Sunday! President Petersen gave his final talk before he leaves. He is an impressive man and I'm reminded of a quote I heard from a Return Missionary, "Every Missionary is convinced their Mission President is going to be an Apostle."
I wonder how that will hold up come the next Mission President.

My clothes have all help up nicely. I'm overly cautious when doing laundry, nothing has gone wrong just yet.

I think laying the concrete was funny. We were filling in two tunnels and Elder Sleet and Elder Matangi infiltrated said tunnels. They didn't go anywhere, but still.

Please do not jinx my lucky streak! I'm two transfers in now without speaking! Flying under the radar is what prevents missile crises.

The Locketts live in a trailer park next to Wal-Mart, and we found out yesterday they live right next to Elder Matangi's uncle, who is a traveling workman of some kind.

I think I will try and take more videos. They are a great means of conveying information.

We have been working a great deal with Cody this past week and he has introduced us to a good number of people.
In all honestly, that's it. There was some rain, but we were not aware of the weather warnings. In the morning we discovered a tornado had occurred after the fact.
He was under a tornado warning until 2am and near Little Rock there was a devestating tornado that touched down causing at least 14 death.  All missionaries were accounted for.

-Elder North
Drop Elder North a line when you get a chance.  He isn't great about writing back but I know he appreciates hearing from people.  He even keeps all his cards in his living room on a half wall type thing!

Elder Bryen North
Arkansas Little Rock Mission
608 Oak Street
Kennett, MO 63857