Thursday, December 22, 2011

Another letter from Tyler!


I'm sure you're thrilled to know that I am still alive and kicking! Where
do I begin? Oh.. How many pictures did you get from me? I sent 16 I
believe.. and for every e-mail I got an error message saying that they
didn't send... But if they sent, then neato!

For one, NO! I DIDN'T get to see the picture that Sister Lamph drew before
she sent it, but I saw the picture that she referenced it from and I saw
her sketch of Christ. Did you read the story behind it? I found it truly
amazing. :)

DAD!! You'll never guess who I ran into the other day! I'll tell you
Christmas day when I call you... But in case I forget, be sure to remind
me! I was kind of blown away!

Let's see. WELL! The work goes on in Tremonton! We're back up to 4 people
with a baptismal date within the next 4 weeks - I will be having my first 2
baptisms on the 31st of this month! Whoo! A 9 year old named Kolton and a
30+ year old named Jeremy. It's going to be a super exciting day.

Ermm.. I GOT YOUR CHRISTMAS PACKAGE! I haven't opened any of the presents
yet! I'm not entirely sure how I got it. The Mission Office called me and
said that they were not going to be able to forward the package to me, but
lo and behold, it showed up on our doorstep 3 days later... Question mark?
I got the cute little tree decorated and put the little stars on it! All
the neighbors are jealous. Well.. I'd like to think they are. But we only
have one neighbor.

I guess I haven't sent you a picture of our home yet! To be completely
honest, Tremonton looks EXACTLY like Iowa! It's farm country. And if there
weren't mountains on the horizon, I'd be hard pressed to believe that I
WASN'T at home. Kind of funny actually. I'll send you a picture of me just
outside our house. I believe you'll find the resemblance quite shocking.

So everybody asks me how I think the Utah winter is! And the short answer
is... well.. It's possibly the mildest, least threatening winter I can
remember. Its December 20th and we've had one light snow that has since
melted. The coldest it has ever been is like 28 degrees and that was late
at night. My companion (from Arizona) is like, dying, but I'm still cozy
wearing a short sleeve shirt under my jacket. People don't understand how
I'm putting up with the cold, but when I point out that I've lived in Nova
Scotia and then Iowa, they seem to understand a little bit better.

I forgot to mention this last week, but I already had to give a talk! My
first Sunday in Tremonton and they had me speak in 10th ward. We cover the
Tremonton 2nd, 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and 12th wards, the Fairview 1st
ward, Thatcher-Penrose 1st and 2nd wards, the Bothwell ward, and the Elwood
1st and 2nd ward. I may or may not have left out a ward. Blast. I'm drawing
a blank on the other one.. But things are slowly coming together in my head
as to who's bishop and ward mission leader of what ward, and what wards we
need to attend to be with investigators, etc. I'm wondering how long it's
going to be before I'm not the automatic scapegoat for prayers in lessons
(Hey! You're new! You get to pray!), but somehow I think that it's going to
be an everlasting thing.

Umm.. questions questions questions.. Let me open up another tab of your
past e-mails and see if I can shed some light on some things...

Okay. I will call home (not skype) on Christmas day, but I'm NOT entirely
sure WHEN. At a best guess, somewhere between 3 and 5 o clock mountain
time. Reason being that we're going to members' homes for breakfast, lunch,
AND dinner. Feeding the missionaries on Christmas is a very coveted thing,
I guess. I'll probably call after we get home from lunch, as the Hatch's
have volunteered to take us to Brigham City (20 mins away) to eat lunch
with their family, and their best tentative arrival time was between 2:30
and 3. Our time. I'm sure mom will be sitting with the phone next to her
for the majority of the day regardless, so it may not matter when I call :).

Uhh.. Mom asks a lot of questions.. Lets see.. I have not bought any ties
yet, but I suppose it might be better if I picked them out, yes? I'll pay
for them with my debit card and hope that you love me enough to pay for it
:) haha. I have NOT gotten my scriptures engraved yet! Shocker! I've been
meaning to, but haven't found the time or really thought about it. So i
guess I haven't been meaning to. Oops. I need to get another suit! Or at
least another jacket.. In the winter we're required to wear the suit jacket
wherever we go, even if we wear a coat (which I haven't yet!). And since
dry cleaning takes like, a week here, I gotta pick up another suit before
too long. Unless you wanted to send me my old one! Because that one's legit
as well.

I'm sorry to hear about Sister Phipps. I remember her face but cannot seem
to recall talking to her very much. Best of luck at the funeral whenever
that may be. Or if it happened, then.. Uhh.. Good job? Tell the Kelly's I
says hi before they go! That will be rather odd indeed. Umm.. 

can wait. I've been away from home for a month already! That's hard enough
to believe. (Going back to other e-mails which I probably ignored questions
to.. oops!) Evan prays for me! Ah! Well tell him I pray for him too! Him
and his crazy advanced algebra.. That's awesome! HEY! You didn't re-send me
andrew's address! I wrote the letter like.. ON December 1st and I still
can't mail it because I don't have the address.. Can I have it please?
RRGH! Oh! Tell Myra Miller that I got her letter and appreciated hearing
from her!

I haven't been extremely diligent at taking pictures since I left the MTC,
so I only have a few to send, but I shall send them nonetheless! Send me
addresses, keep me in your prayers, and I'll be just fine :).

I Love you all!

- Elder Tyler Grant

Into the wilderness he goes!


Hello :) I must first apologize for the long wait between e-mails, but
Sister Hatch was more than willing to call Mom (she has 2 missionaries
out) and tell her I had arrived! The situation was that while i was in
the MTC my p-day was on Wednesday, and in the field my p-day is now
Tuesday. Since we left the MTC early Tuesday morning, I spent my P-day
traveling and in meetings and stuff and things, and was unable to
shoot an e-mail your way, but alas, I am here in the Garland
Tabernacle using one of the most prehistoric computers I have ever
laid eyes on to compose this email. Fingers crossed that it sends!

SO! My first area is a town called Tremonton, Utah. From what I
understand, there are about 4500-5000 people here and like 70-80%
member population. At least thats what i've been told. After hearing
this, I was VERY shocked to find out that we had 6 baptisms planned
before the end of the year in our area alone! o.O The average
missionary in the Utah Ogden mission will baptize about one person
every 2 weeks! So we are very busy! However, you may be shocked to
find out that.. well.. remember Sister Hatch? The 'Bishop's' wife?
Well.. my companion and I cover 14 wards (2 stakes) and she is just
one of 14 I have to remember. I also have to meet and know 14 Ward
Mission leaders, Councilors, Young Men's Leaders, AUxiliaries, etc.
etc. etc. Its crazy! Dad - the mission work is VERY different here. In
Tremonton, we can't tract. Well, we CAN, but only if we want food.
There are so many members and so many communities of members that want
to feed us that if we knock on a random door, we're likely to just end
up with food. The way we find people is we go strictly through the
Ward Mission Leaders, who find people for us to teach and we come and
set up the appointments. As much as we'd love to knock every door, its
just not practical for this area and we'd be wasting time. The only
problem there is with that is that if the ward mission leaders don't
find people for us to teach, we're kind of stuck with not a whole lot
to do. But oh my gosh. The member support here is CRAZY. Lets put it
this way - we get fed every single night of the week except Tuesday
(P-day), and we often leave dinner with either leftovers or some kind
of dessert. In the past week we've been left with 2 loaves of banana
bread, 3 batches of cookies, an entire fruitcake (which tasted like a
potpourri), and an entire chocolate pie. Also people give us fruit and
other things whenever we come visit. We visited Sister Gibbs last
night who works at the Malt-o-meal factory, and apparently one of the
perks of working there is that EVERY shift, they get to bring home 3
bags/boxes of cereal. As a result, she has an entire closetful of
cereal that she can't get rid of. So last night we went to her house
and she loaded up as much cereal as she could into trash bags for both
me and my companion and shipped us off. Did i mention the average
weight gain in this mission is 40 pounds? I'm beginning to see why...
Also - my companion told me that he doesn't like to go out to eat.
Why? Because 90% of the time when you order something, a member will
swoop in and pay for it before we get the chance to. No clue why. He
said that a member paid for 120 dollars worth of groceries for him a
few months ago. It's just unreal. Every single person we talk to asks
us if we have a place to go for Christmas, and if we need to make
phone calls or skype then we are more than welcome to just walk in
their house and use their phone, raid the fridge, and they're totally
okay with it. I don't even know what to do. I struggle with taking all
the generosity, but they're offended if you don't take it from them.
Another situation - we got a text from Sister White today that said
"Hey! I'm headed up to Sam's Club today, can I get you anything?"
Straight up. People treat us celebrities here, and I haven't even done
anything yet!

I must admit, the work is discouraging sometimes. We went from 6
people getting baptized down to 3, and one of them is shaky. I love it
though! Every time we teach I learn something, and I love the people
that we're teaching too! I don't remember any of the questions that
you guys asked, honestly... o.O And I'll feel really bad if i don't
answer them...

Feel free to post updates, and make sure to remind everyone that I'm
not at the MTC anymore! For any mail, send it to the mission office,
and they forward it to me. The address is:

Elder Tyler Grant
Utah Ogden Mission
4380 South Orchard Avenue
South Ogden, UT 84403

parcel post. If you do, then I have to wait 6 weeks and go pick it up
at the mission office at transfers, and from what I've been told,
theres already a package there for me that I won't be able to go pick
up :( Its okay. I didn't get to tell you guys because I couldn't get
to email. I'll be patient! I'll just have a late Christmas I guess...

OH! There will be a very special package coming from Sister Ravena
Lamph. I can't tell you what it is, but she's a lady in one of our
wards that does something very special for missionary families at NO
COST to me or you. Whenever it comes, PLEASE send her an amazing thank
you note. She's an incredible lady, and what she does is just amazing.

Uhh... Oh! My companion is Elder Scoggin from Arizona, and he's pretty
cool! Kind of quiet and monotone at times, but I'll get over it. Right
when my medication wears off at night and i get full of energy and
ready to go is right when he's about to collapse and fall asleep. So
we'll work through that.

I was going to try and see if i could attach some pictures, but the
outlook is grim for this poor machine. I'll try and attach some in a
separate e-mail so you can get my pictures from the MTC :) I took

Umm.. I don't know what addresses I want. Maybe Josh Crowthers? He's
in Korea and It'd be nice to know how he's doing. I lost Andrew's
address so i haven't gotten to mail him yet, but I'll get it soon.
Ermm... There were a few people in Canada who I told I would write.
You'll be shocked to find they are mostly girls :). Umm.. Lets say
Josh's address, Emily Stuart's, and.. and... I don't remember who
else. OOH! Give me the Kelly's address! I'd love to write them a
letter. GAH! And my friend Brittney Wasden in Idaho! OH MY WORD! I'll
have far too many letters to write.. But I'll get over it.

Well! I'm alive. I'm not fat yet. And the few opportunities that I've
had to teach have been awesome. We got to spend a few hours helping a
less-active family set up Christmas decorations on Saturday, so it was
almost like setting up decorations at home.

BY THE WAY: On Christmas day, I can call you. OR! If you would like to
take the time to figure it out, you can download SKYPE! And we can
video chat. Its your decision. I know that Kim Kelly knows how to
skype so if you have questions ask her. I don't think I can talk
either of you through how to do it in one e-mail, but it's not overly
complicated and it's free! Uhh.. I'm trying to remember other

OH! Dad - I'm slowly realizing that the last time I read through the
Book of Mormon that I probably wasn't completely honest in saying that
I read it all the way through, and I'm counting THIS time as my first
time reading it. I must admit - when you read it every day, it becomes
MUCH easier and MUCH more exciting to read. I'm in Alma 33 right now
and I started reading at the beginning in the MTC. So my pace is
decent. But the more I read it, the more my testimony of it grows.
It's truly another testament of Jesus Christ. And the Alma chapters
have never been more exciting to read! I didn't remember just how SICK
of missionaries that Alma and Amulek and the sons of Mosiah were.
Ammon is a BOSS. It's just an amazing book.

Fun fact - Elder Scoggin told me that like.. 55% of our baptisms in
this mission are between the ages of 9 and 12. But theres still LOTS!
Utah Ogden is the second highest baptizing mission in the United
States with approximately 2200 baptisms a year. Ish. The number rises
every year. I really think that I"m going to love it here :). Keep me
in your prayers! How's the new Zelda game?? I'm PRETTY sure that came
out by now. We don't get to hear about news or anything, so I can't be
sure. RYAN! How's skyrim treating you? :P

OOH! By the way - President Olson is very lenient when it comes to
music. Not that I'm trying to break rules or anything, but I think
that some CDs would be nice :). Basically nothing too heavy or
degrading, and it must be uplifting and conducive to the Spirit. One
of the things I miss MOST about being home is listening to music,
since i did that a LOT. If you could send me some Relient K CDs that
would be AMAZING! Relient K is widely accepted as approved music
around here and it helps me focus. Some good CDs by them are "Mmhmm" ,
"5 Score and 7 Years Ago" , and "Forget and Not Slow Down." I may pick
up some form of music player but I'm not sure. CDs for the car would
just be neat-o though :).

Well I think I'm going to try and attach some pictures and be on my
way... Maybe. I'm drawing a blank on what else I was going to say..
The church is true in Ogden too! I love being a missionary. And i
haven't even been out a week! Well kind of. But yeah - addresses would
be nice. And next time you send a package, send it through the post
office directly. I'm not sure exactly what that means, come to think
of it. But thats just what I was told.... I love you all! I miss you!
Let me know about skype/facebook/stuff of that nature.


Elder Tyler Grant. (:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tyler's last week in the MTC


It's P-day once more and it has been a remarkably busy week in the MTC. The first few days we were here they told us that if we made it till the first Sunday then the days would fly, and I can testify that's SO true. The days just melt and fly by here! The only reason I can tell the days apart is that I've been writing in my journal still faithfully every night. *High Five*

I don't remember if i mentioned last time, but last Tuesday we had D. Todd Christofferson from the Quorum of the Twelve come and speak to us. Actually I think I DID tell you that. Well, on thanksgiving day, we got to have a special devotional from Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve and it was just fantastic. The most amazing thing about the devotionals that the Apostles give is that literally, they have NO remarks planned, and they talk for 40+ minutes meaningfully and with the Spirit. They get up to the podium with no teleprompter or notes, only a set of scriptures, and they just tell it how it is. It's amazing!

Oh! By a similar note: Last night's devotional was given by Kazuhiko Yamashita of the Quorum of the Seventy. He just got called as a general authority last April so he's still pretty new, but his remarks on missionary work and how key our role is in eternal progression were just astounding. In the Book of Mormon it talks about the gate to the kingdom of heaven being narrow, and that gate is baptism. Like threading a needle, our main role as missionaries is to get them to that gate not just as a baptismal statistic, but as a Brother or Sister as children of God. Missionary work is starting to make sense more and more as the days go by. Haha! BUT! Sister Yamashita also gave a talk before she did, and she's only been speaking English (or should i say, ENGRISH) for 4 months! They moved to Salt Lake City 4 months ago and her English exposure is very primary to say the least. But she got right up in front of 2000 missionaries and told of her conversion story and testimony and it was just awesome! And quite possibly the most broken English I've ever heard, but she was laughing at herself talking the entire time! It was impossible not to love her and feel the strength of her testimony.

I didn't mention Thanksgiving dinner! Well normally the food is good.. But... That had to be THE PINKEST, SLIMIEST turkey I have EVER eaten. It made me really appreciate blessing the food before we ate it... It was strange being away from home, but the Elders in my district are so crazy awesome that it's hard to feel homesick. I guess I'm over it.

I've been singing a lot since I've been here! We sing hymns before and after every class, but the most meaningful Hymn's we've sung were last night at the devotional. We opened with "Called To Serve" which is always a fuel-injected Hallelujah from all of the Elders and Sisters singing at full blast. For intermediate hymn I got to sing with the MTC Choir with a special arrangement of "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" that was just.. moving. The part where God and Jesus Christ appear to him in the song is where it goes A Cappella in 6 part harmony and its almost like a whisper that grows and grows and grows. The Spirit just exploded and it was incredible. To top it off, the devotional ended with us singing "Praise to the Man" which, I  admit, I teared up a little bit. :)

I'm back! Sorry. I had to go turn in my suit to dry cleaning and get my hair shaped up a bit. Such is the life of a missionary. Umm... I don't remember what my thought processes were, so I'll try to think of a new one... And i forgot to bring all your letters with questions on them so I don't have your questions. What a drag...

Uhh... Sooner or later I'll send you my memory card. I've actually been taking pictures AND journaling. I know, right? Who is this kid??

My next e-mail to you guys will be from the mission field, as this is my last P-Day in the MTC. We're shipping out to Ogden early next Tuesday!! I can't believe it's almost that time. Its crazy. Also - can you send me Andrew Olson's address in a DearElder maybe? If you send it to me in a letter that'd be fine but i wouldn't get it for a while and if you send me an e-mail then i won't be able to check till my next P-day, which I don't know when its gonna be.

And YES! I'm getting your DearElders and they're really neat. :P I think they start costing a bit once I'm not in the MTC, like 44 cents or something? They just forward it to the mission home and they print it off and mail it to me from there, so you're just paying for the stamp and a few cents. Its still quicker than a letter, but snail-mails are always appreciated too :). By the way - my selection of ties? Comparatively to almost every other missionary here, my ties are drab and dreary. I would appreciate if you'd send me some neat-o new ties in the future, but I'm willing to wait until Christmas! Then again, a great quote I've heard here:

"Obedience brings blessings, but exact obedience brings miracles."

So not some snazzy-wazzy ties, but a few more to add some variety to my repertoire would be nice!

Well I should probably get going. I still have to go do laundry and write a letter to one of my friends. Have you put up the link to DearElder and/or my mission blog on my facebook so that all that miss me may rejoice once more? Thanks for all the help. AND thanks for the package! I was craving some of DE LORDS CHEEEEEEEEEEEEPS... and NACHOOOOOOOOO cheese. :) I don't know if you picked out what was in it, but I appreciate the thought!

Well I love you all! I'm still learning as much as I can, and the church is still true! Its strange how little time i have to actually dig in and read the Book of Mormon with all the technical teaching skills that are .. uhh .. taught. That sounds silly. But hey. I'm not learning a language here. I can screw up English if i want!!


Elder Tyler Grant

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tyler's first email from the MTC

Hi family!

As I'm sure you now realize, I actually DO have a missionary email account! And the information will be sent to you with this message, so neat! But realize I can only open and send mail on Wednesdays here, so don't freak out if I'm not responding. I'm alive, I'm in the MTC, and I'm being fed more than you guys ever fed me, so HA!

ANYWAY! I DID end up leaving Sioux City! Eventually. I sat in the airport for 3 hours because they couldn't get a cargo door open. Noobs. From Minneapolis I was able to make a SUPER tight connection (landed at 11:08, boarded at 11:14, flight left at 11:15) to Salt Lake so that was a blessing. I even got to talk to a lady on the 3 hour flight about what I was doing as a missionary, so that was cool! And it was really difficult to fight the temptation to watch the in flight movie when i had nothing to do but read Preach my Gospel and sleep. But the movie was Larry Crowne and there was no sound, so I'm over it.

Hey! I LOVE the MTC! I've learned so much in the past week that its incredible. My companion is Elder James from Florida (if you haven't already gotten my letter i sent o.O) and he's a swell guy. And also the most polite guy i've ever met! Polite.. Elder. THAT is a hard habit to break. We aren't guys. We're Elders. And honestly, I'm starting to feel like one!

The MTC is LOADED with teaching opportunities. I've already taught like 8 or 9 lessons to both our teachers and ACTUAL investigators to the church! Yesterday we taught a lady named Laura Morrin who joined the church 15 years ago and fell away, but volunteered to come to the MTC to learn a little more about the church and hear what the missionaries have to say. We committed her to pray and to pick up the Book of Mormon, and she even specifically asked to be taught the Restoration by us next week! It was awesome.

The Spirit here is incredible. As are the teachers! Our teachers we sit with in class for 6 hours a day are Brother Thacker and Brother Medeiros, and they're just incredible. I've started to learn some Gospel truths and concepts that I've thought I've known for my entire life finally start to click in my head, and I can actually teach! Its only been a week, but it feels like forever.

I'M GONNA BE FAT! The food here.. is all you can eat. 3 times a day. And it's waaaaay too good for me to just eat a little. BUT! A resolve I'm sure you'll be curious i have: I eat at least one healthy meal a day. THAT MEANS SALAD! The other day I stomached a good portion of a Greek Salad complete with black olives, regular olives, vinegar and oil, tomatoes, feta cheese, and other monstrosities. I don't want to sit here and eat like a cafeteria and get chubby. I eat sooo much and burn the calories by... well... sitting in class for 6 hours a day. Quite the workout plan. But during the hour of gym time we get every day I've taken up running! And i have a solemn resolve to do so!

Guess what!? I haven't missed a day of scripture study yet! And I've said more prayers here than anywhere else in my life. I pray like... 10 times a day. Literally. Companionship prayer, meals, every class, before teaching, and so many other times. I've truly learned the power that prayer has to bless us in our daily activities, no matter how small. AND! I've been taking pictures! AND! I've written in a journal I bought every single night since I got here. When my journal fills up I'll probably mail it home so that you guys can read it.

OOH! I joined the MTC Choir! Its nothing like All-State and the director is kind of a .. Non-Tollefson, but i love it anyway. Singing during firesides and devotionals is really powerful and a huge outpouring of the Spirit. Singing with 1500+ missionaries at full blast singing "High on the Mountaintop" was just... incredible. Indescribable.

SPEAKING OF DEVOTIONALS!! Guess who came to speak with us last night!? Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Uh huh. For real. He's an amazing speaker. And he even bestowed an Apostolic Blessing upon us! I don't remember specifically what it was, but it was something along the lines of "No matter how hard your trials, sorrows, and challenges on your mission are - they will be swallowed up in your joy of Christ." I may or may not have teared up a little bit. Oh! And another apostle is coming to the MTC tomorrow for Thanksgiving! We don't know which one it is, but at a GUESS I'm thinking President Eyring or Elder Bednar. Best guesses :)
Well I got to go to the temple today to go do endowments! It was also amazing. The spirit is so strong in the temple. The Provo Temple is HUGE! But guess what? It doesn't have a Terrestrial Room like the Winter Quarters temple does. But the Celestial room is just amazing and a half. I love the temple.

Well I have to go eat/do laundry/study/whatever else i do around here! Wednesdays are my P-Days, bee tee dubs, and its the only day I can check e-mail. BUT! If you wanna send me a few snailmails i'd very much love to hear from you! ALSO!! Theres a service that the church provides called where you can send me an e-mail, and the MTC prints it off and gives it to me that day!! Its quicker than snail-mail and I'd love to hear from you :). ALSO! You can post a link to on my facebook because I'm allowed to receive letters from anyone who chooses to write to me. Just tell them that I need a return address so i can snail-mail them back!

But I'd best be off! Its time to shove more food down into my poor stomach.

The church is true! I love you all! I'm doing fine, I love it here, and I've never been more sure that what I'm doing is the right thing to do.


- Elder Tyler Grant :)

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Monday, November 14, 2011

This is a post to show my mom how to post letters on this while I am away for 2 years :)