Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Hi everyone! I have just received devastating news! AH! Elder Scoggin, who I thought was going to be my trainer for an entire 12 weeks, is being transferred to be a Zone Leader in Hyrum. And I'm getting a new companion tomorrow who no one in our zone has ever heard of... So I'm hoping for the best! But at any rate, it has been awesome serving with him and I'm definitely a better missionary because of him.

This week has been... Umm.. Pretty neat! Elder Scoggin and I have taken turns getting sick and that's been a real treat.. Pause.. Not. But we've lived through it all. I received and consumed 2 more bags of ketchup chips (thank you mom!) and can't wait until some kind soul decides to send me more.. :D

In terms of teaching, this week has been a bit of a slum. We've baptized a lot of our church goers and are rebuilding once more. We HAVE picked up a few miracle baptismal dates though! Want to know how old they are? One is 9. The other is... 9. It's a common theme in this mission to baptize children, you see. But hey! Baptism is the minimum requirement for the Celestial Kingdom, so I'm okay with it!

The first kid is named Carson, and he lives with a fairly less active family. His dad is a Jehovah's Witness and his mom is LDS. How does that even work out..? But anyway. We've tried to contact them for the past 5 weeks and they are literally never home. But we caught them home last Thursday and asked when we could come by and start teaching him. The funny part - after we asked about lessons, his mom said "Nah.. He's had all the lessons already. Let's just get him dunked. How does February 4th sound?" Hahaha! So we went over some questions and reviewed some stuff with him and he's good to go too! Yay for 9 year olds.

Speaking of miracle 9 year olds.. There is a kid named McKade who we literally haven't even met yet. Literally 10 minutes after we committed Carson to a date, we went over to his Bishop's house to tell him about the baptism coming up. Bishop then told us about McKade, a kid who's 8 years old right now and has been waiting for his dad to become worthy to baptize him. Sadly, it's not going to happen for a very long time, and they want him to be baptized on February 4th. Did I mention that February 4th is his birthday? Classic Ogden baptism. Snatch all the 9 year olds as soon as you can :) hahaha.. Just kidding, obviously. But it's still awesome that I get to be a part of it. We've been super blessed to have been here at this time.

Umm. That was so many questions that I don't even know which one to confront first. Gah! Before I do, I have a story here that I think Dad will appreciate... A high councilman shared this story in sacrament this past sunday. Check it out. (: The allegory of the toothpaste factory!

"A toothpaste factory had a problem: they sometimes shipped empty boxes, without the tube inside. This was due to the way the production line was set up, and people with experience in designing production lines will tell you how difficult it is to have everything happen with timing so precise that every single unit coming out of it is perfect 100% of the time.

Small variations in the environment (which can’t be controlled in a cost-effective fashion) mean you must have quality assurance checks smartly distributed across the line so that customers all the way down to the supermarket don’t get angry and buy another product instead.

Understanding how important that was, the CEO of the toothpaste factory got the top people in the company together and they decided to start a new project, in which they would hire an external engineering company to solve their empty boxes problem, as their internal engineering department was already too stretched to take on any extra effort.

The project followed the usual process: budget and project sponsor allocated, RFP, third-parties selected, and six months (and $8 million) later they had a fantastic solution — on time, on budget, high quality and everyone in the project had a great time.
They solved the problem by using high-tech precision scales that would sound a bell and flash lights whenever a toothpaste box would weigh less than it should. The line would stop, and someone had to walk over and yank the defective box out of it, pressing another button when done to re-start the line.

A while later, the CEO decides to have a look at the ROI of the project: amazing results! No empty boxes ever shipped out of the factory after the scales were put in place. Very few customer complaints, and they were gaining market share. That’s some money well spent! – He says, before looking closely at the other statistics in the report.

It turns out; the number of defects picked up by the scales was 0 after three weeks of production use. It should’ve been picking up at least a dozen a day, so maybe there was something wrong with the report. He filed a bug against it, and after some investigation, the engineers come back saying the report was actually correct. The scales really weren’t picking up any defects, because all boxes that got to that point in the conveyor belt were good.

Puzzled, the CEO travels down to the factory, and walks up to the part of the line where the precision scales were installed.

A few feet before the scale, there was a $20 desk fan, blowing the empty boxes out of the belt and into a bin.

“Oh, that,” says one of the workers — “one of the guys put it there cause he was tired of walking over….. every time the bell rang”.

Feel free to relate it to the Gospel. I don't want to massacre the way that he related it, but all in all, funny story!

Lets see... questions slash follow up... MANKINI!? YUCK!! At the same time, it's something that you would definitely do, dad.. Haha. That baptism sounds amazing. Is Elder Faas still there? He's been there so long! It's clear that they're definitely working hard, and it's so sweet to hear about the fruits of their labors. Another small world moment for you - I just discovered yesterday that Sister Maurer, a missionary in my district, was friends with Andrew Baxter  before the mission. She's from New Zealand. Crazy, right? Mom - I've got about a third of my concerta supply I believe... Some more would probably be a good idea! I've sent letters to about every one that I know and still haven't gotten any back :) So maybe I truly am postal-service-handicapped... Blast. I haven't had to wear my boots yet! It has snowed exactly 2 times since I've been here and both times the snow has melted within 24 hours. Some winter... Evan? High School? *Shudders*... Good luck! As for our apartment, we live with a member family. Kind of. Their garage isn't attached to their house, and our apartment is attached to the garage. If that makes sense. It's very comfortable, very warm, and the members we live with are very kind.

Well I was going to attach pictures... But I forgot my camera cord. And my camera. Double drat. Umm.. I'll be sure to send letters your way updating you on my situation in Tremonton with my new companion and stuff and things and stuff.

Love you all!!

- Elder Tyler Grant

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