Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Elk Burgers

Hello again everybody!

Actually, I have no idea how many people read these e-mails I send home. Seriously, who has the time to read all the junk I send? Hahaha..

Well this past week has been fruitful once more! We committed one more person to baptism last week, and have come ever closer with a few more of our investigators. I totally forgot my planner this week... What a drag. So my adventures that I can remember may be a wee bit shorter. I think my favorite thing about Star Valley is that people actually follow through on their commitments! Whether we leave them an invitation to pray, read the scriptures, or go to church, the majority of our investigators will actually DO it! We're still having more lessons than ever before in Tremonton, and people ACTUALLY going to church means that they aren't slowed down in their journey towards baptism! Plus - the amazing thing about having General Conference in a few weeks is that we can INSTANTLY make that invitation to everyone we see! It's been weird talking to people who aren't members of the church who say that they don't want anything to do with our message, but they will sit and watch every session of conference just to hear what President Monson has to say. I mean how cool is that?

With one of our investigators this week, we had an AWESOME lesson about Satan. I know, that's not exactly worded right. But she's a lady who has been going to church with her husband for the past few months, and is getting closer to Christ every time she goes. I've never seen so much opposition in one person's behalf by the adversary before. It seems like every time she tries to do the right thing, something wrong happens. I won't go into specifics I guess. But one of the coolest moments of this past week was on Sunday, where I was able to take part in blessing their baby, Sarateli. Her husband was the one who blessed the baby, which was an amazing thing for him, since he's been less-active for basically his entire life, and in the past few months he's made some incredible changes and was able to be worthy to perform the blessing. But he told us that that entire day leading up to the blessing, he could FEEL the influence of Satan trying to beat him down and tempt him. He said that continued up until he walked into the church that day, and everything just left. As SOON as he walked in the door, all doubts and negative thoughts left him. The Spirit was so strong at that meeting - it was an experience I won't forget. Kami and her husband are also going down to Salt Lake to watch conference, so that should be an amazing testimony builder for her. I'm so stoked.

I'm finally going to be getting interviewed by President Olson tomorrow! It's been weird - usually he does interviews every other transfer, but I've been out for like.. 4 months.. And haven't been interviewed yet. Something about mission conference screwing up transfers or something. I don't really know. But it might be my only interview from President Olson! I may get one more, come to think of it. But after that, it'll be our NEW mission president! AAAHHHH!!! His name is President Hiers and he's from Massachusetts, and he's an ex-MARINE! OH NO!! Yeah I'm probably not going to be happy about that. But maybe it'll be good for me to have some authority clamping down to drive me to do better. President Olson is awesome and he's pretty laid back - plus I'm 4 hours from Ogden, so I'm so far out of his clutches that the temptation to not obey all the rules is definitely a real thing. But I'm still trying to do my best every day to follow the rules. I know my weaknesses and I know my Heavenly Father gives them to me to make me stronger, and He has provided me with opportunities to overcome them while I'm here. I'm just hoping that my weaknesses won't prevent me from finding everyone that I'm supposed to find while I'm here. I can say it's my mission, but really its His. As it says in 3 Nephi 5:13 "Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I have been called OF HIM to declare HIS WORD among HIS PEOPLE, that THEY might have everlasting life." That's a pretty unselfish scripture, and I love it.

By the way - people have asked me what scripture I put on my "plaque" ... And I don't have a plaque! In fact, I don't think I'd ever even HEARD of them until I came here. I don't know if you have, but if you haven't - basically its something that gets hung up in the church buildings with a picture of the missionary, their favorite scripture, and a picture of their mission area. I swear I've never heard of them before, but people tell me that when I don't have one, I'm a disgrace! Hahaha.. It's not quite that bad, but they're hung up in every single church building I've ever been in. I just thought that'd be sweet to see 3 missionary plaques hung up in our small little branch building :). Just a thought. Oh and here's the website where they get them from.. (http://www.ldsspecialtygifts.com/mission.html) just in case you wanted to look. No biggie.

Spiritual thought? Kay! This week I was studying Joseph Smith History a little more in-depth and came across a verse that I really liked.. It's the second half of verse 20, where Joseph Smith recognizes the opposition of Satan in the work he's been engaged in. It says: "... It seems as though the adversary was aware, at a very early period of my life, that I was destined to prove a disturber and an annoyer of his kingdom; else why should the powers of darkness combine against me? Why the opposition and persecution that arose against me, almost in my infancy?" We were teaching this guy who had a similar question to Joseph's inquiry: WHY does our religion get so much persecution? Why does everyone single us out and Mormons get "hated on" so much (as he put it)? There is only one conclusion I have come up with: It is true. NO other religion has been attacked, questioned, and tried like ours. Just as Satan tried to turn everything he had on Joseph Smith and his followers from an early period in his life, he was trying to smother the flames of Restoration before they started to spread. But he couldn't. The church grew then, and the church continues to grow. So if this church is true, why are we so scared to talk about it? Where do these thoughts of doubt, fear, and inadequacy come from? I can promise you they don't come from God. Think about Joseph Smith's experience once more. That fateful morning as he went out alone to pray, as he was about to receive quite possibly the most important and world changing revelation of all time, what did Satan do? Let's go to Joseph Smith's own words: "... I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak." There you have it. Satan tried to bind his tongue. He figured that if he could just stop Joseph from uttering that prayer, he could prevent the Restoration of Christ's true church from ever happening. But he couldn't! God and Jesus Christ DID appear to him that day, and called him to be a prophet. So - those feelings of fear and apprehension that we have about sharing the message of the Gospel with our friends and neighbors. They are very real, and they are from Satan - he tries to bind our tongue so that we cannot speak. He gives us fear so that we feel we cannot share this glorious message with our friends. But there is one more scripture I'll share with you. It is one of my absolute FAVORITES. Moroni 8:16 tells us how we can overcome these feelings: "... Behold, I speak with boldness, having authority from God; and I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear." Love. Love conquers fear. If we love our friends and neighbors as our brothers and sisters, we will not be afraid to bear our testimonies to them. Sorry for the lengthy thought.. It's just been on my mind this week. :)

Dad - That's so crazy to hear about the weather there! This morning it was -6 degrees... Rather chilly. And that's so awesome about having a baptism! Congratulate Vern for me, will ya? Hold up. Deidra's new baby..? Did she have her baby!? AH! If so, that's way exciting. And has it really been 8 years since Aunt Kim visited Iowa? Dang! That's like.. Almost 9 years! Hahaha.. So airsoft guns have a history? Wow. But that's not the FIRST time something was big in Japan before it hit the U.S... Just some of the products in Japan are STRICTLY .. uhh .. Japanese. Case in point - the lobster-claw-vending machine? :) Feel free to send pictures/videos of the completed airsoft gun if it ever gets going.. That'll be legit. And cockroaches are icky. Wait. Are you an American citizen yet!? CAN YOU VOTE!? I'm sure as soon as the polls are up, you'll go vote for good old Obama.. Not really. Everyone here is very keen about telling me JUST how they feel about Obama, and they aren't shy about their colorful language either. :) Just try asking them how they feel about the EPA and all their silly regulations. It's pretty funny.

Mom - I know you're handicapped when it comes to typing. I do notice that your emails are considerably less detailed and way shorter than dad's. Yes I got those chips last transfer - did I not thank you for those? I guess you told me to stop talking about ketchup chips, so I kinda did.. :P What do we eat in Star Valley? Umm. People feed us burgers a lot. I've had Elk and Deer for the first time since I've been here, but I've taken to not asking what the burgers are made of. Other than that, they're normal people so they eat normal food. Is that what you were asking? Missionaries have lived with Brother Rich for about 2 years now. Crazy, right? But his wife is deceased and I think he enjoys the company. I DID receive my health card. I don't remember what I'm supposed to use it for. It's in my wallet though. $100 for a package to Australia!? Goodness gracious! Count your blessings, mom.. Haha. Poor Ben. Oh. And if you want to send me a package, it might even be easier if you bypass the mission office. My new address is:

Elder R. Tyler Grant
General Delivery
Afton, WY 83110

So it's not really an address. But it'll get here quicker! :D

Anyways. I can't think of anything else remarkable that's happened. Keep me in your prayers, and I'll keep loving every day that I'm here. :)

Love you all!

- Elder Tyler Grant

Star Valley, Wyoming

Hi again!

How's everybody been? I hope it's been all right! As I read through the e-mail I sent you last week, I realized that it was possibly the longest e-mail I've ever sent. Which makes me feel I deserve a pat on the back. *Applause*

SO! This week has been way sweet in terms of the work! We had more lessons with a member present in the past week than any of the 12 weeks I was in Tremonton, and we're still picking up investigators every day! In fact, we picked up 4 new investigators between March 5th and March 11th. Which is almost unheard of unless it's an entire family, but they're 4 separate individuals! In fact, in this mission, our mission president has redefined the terms of 'new investigator' that they are NOT an investigator until they say they'll be baptized! So that's 4 people who are that much closer to taking the step of faith to follow Christ. High fives all around!

Last Thursday we had an awesome experience at a Family Home Evening. There's this guy named Brian who has been inactive for most of his life. In the past few months, he's made a lot of changes in his life and has decided to start going to church again, so he's been going pretty regularly. Well Brian invited us over to his home to share a message at their family home evening, and we discovered that his wife and two kids are not members of the church. We had NO intention of committing any of them to baptism, because although that's what we normally do on the first lesson, we were just going to share a thought with them to invite the Spirit. His wife has been Anti in the past and is JUST starting to come around and realize that the Church isn't so bad. Well his wife was sick so she was asleep when we got there, so we just taught Brian and his two sons, one who is 13 and one is 7. We taught about the Gospel of Jesus Christ - how Christ led by example and showed us the pathway we need to live life in order to return to our Heavenly Father. As we shared about faith, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the holy ghost, the 13 year old got really excited. He's been going to church with his dad on some weeks but other weeks he's been going to the baptist church.. Which is pretty funny. But after we were done, he said "So that's what I need to do to get to heaven." We asked him what he meant. "Well, I have faith, and I know how to repent.. So I guess I should probably get baptized as soon as possible!" It was so awesome! We had no intention of pressing the issue, but in the end the Spirit did its own thing and he committed himself for baptism 3 weeks from now! Hahaha.

Oh! On Sunday Elder Billmire and I spoke in sacrament meeting about missionary work (which we often do..) and a guy came up to me afterward and asked me what part of Iowa I'm from. I answered with the usual, telling him Northwest Iowa pretty close to Omaha. He then told me he was born in Storm Lake and moved to Fonda when he was in elementary school. Small world moment number one!

In terms of the weather around here, It's been pretty.. Well, I don't know! It's gotten to be like, -5 degrees a few times, but I don't understand! It doesn't FEEL cold! You know what I mean, right? In Iowa there's that wet, biting cold that sinks into your clothes and skin and never leaves. There's also the ridiculous wind that makes it feel 20 degrees colder at all times. But Star Valley.. Doesn't seem to have that! Yeah, it gets cold just about every day. But you don't FEEL it. The air here is dry so it doesn't soak in and stay. And the wind is almost non-existent a lot of the time. The valley is completely surrounded by mountains, so it kind of cuts off most of the wind. I've only worn my winter boots one time, and that was when Elder Billmire and I decided to make a snowman in our backyard! And what a snowman that was... The snow here sucks. It's not wet and is hard to pack. So our snowman ended up looking like a giant dog turd. Oopsie daisies! Pictures will be included next time I send home stuff.

Haha last Saturday we had an interesting day too! Afton is kind of a small community in itself. But! On Tuesday, the boys and girls basketball team left (and so did half of Star Valley..) to go play at the state championships, which lasted all the way till Saturday! The girls got 4th in the state and the boys got 2nd, which is pretty good! Until you try and realize just how many high schools there are in Wyoming.. Hahaha. But anyway! It's been difficult to find people home since they've been gone. But on Friday and Saturday, there's something called the Hill Climbs that was going on up in Grover, Wyoming. And we didn't think anything of it until Saturday, when we drove down main street and didn't see a SINGLE car! There was literally nobody home. At all. So we decided in an effort to try and do SOMEthing for the day, that we'd drive up and check out what these hill climbs were. And it turns out they're super cool! We went into a canyon and the gist of the hill climbs is exactly what it sounds like. People ride their snowmobiles up sheer inclines (up an entire mountain, steep as a wall..) while swerving through slalom gates and dodging walls and ramps to see who gets the fastest time! I took plenty of pictures and saw plenty of snowmobile wipe outs. Try and imagine a $12,000 snowmobile barrel-rolling down a mountain towards you. It gets intense! But we did get to talk to some people, and the majority of the people there were drinking beer and smoking, so we found the right crowd to hang out with!

On one more slightly less fun note that I'm sure Dad will make fun of me for, I've noticed that since I've come out on my mission, my ... "aversion" to blood has become much more, shall we say, intense! Yesterday morning, I woke up at about 6:00 AM to feel my nose starting to bleed, and I caught it before it made a huge mess of my sheets and blankets. But I couldn't get it to stop bleeding for over an hour, and the amount of blood that left me scared me. Every time I tried to stand up, I lost my balance or blacked out or got a huge throbbing headache. It's mostly gone today and I'm sure most of it is psychological, but it kinda freaked me out to say the least.

Okay time for Dad's spiritual thought! This past week I was reading through the Pearl of Great Price a little bit, realizing that I never really 'studied' it while I was in seminary. But there was a verse that really kind of stuck out to me and it's kind of a depressing one, honestly. In the book of Moses, the Lord shows Enoch EVERYTHING. Enoch sees the entire world that God has created, and he even sees our day. It's Moses 7:26 that hit me super hard. As Enoch is looking over our day: "And he beheld Satan; and he had a great chain in his hand, and it veiled the whole face of the earth with darkness; and he looked up and laughed, and his angels rejoiced." How true is that today? The verse that makes it even more powerful is 7:28: "And it came to pass that the God of heaven looked upon the residue of the people, and he wept." God can see us. We are all his children. His work, his glory, his joy is to see us all progress, choose to follow Christ, and be happy. But how much harder would it be to look upon us and see that despite everything he's given us, Satan has taken hold of the hearts of the people and is laughing as he is dragging people down. The end of verse 36 seals the deal: "... and among all the workmanship of mine hands there has not been so great wickedness as among thy brethren." People slip up. Satan wins his fair share of battles. But it's up to us to show our Heavenly Father that we are grateful for what he has given us, and return to live with him again.

Mom - *gasp* did you get to eat at HuHot? Oh how I miss that place.. In Star Valley it's pretty sparse as to establishments for eating. There's a Burger King. And a Subway. And a Mexican restaurant. And a steakhouse. And that's pretty much it. Tell you MORE about my new area!? I swear I told you enough! Okay.. We live with a man named Budd  - he's in his 80s and his wife is deceased. He lives WAYYYY up on the mountainside and we have to drive a super long muddy road to get to his house. He lives on the main floor and we have the upper floor to ourselves. It's about the same size as the Tremonton apartment, if not a little bit smaller. I'll have to make a video of it like I did last time if you'd like? Anyway - Budd buys us groceries! He keeps the pantry and fridge full of food so we don't ever have to buy anything.. I swear, in this mission I'm so spoiled. :) We went to 5 sacrament meetings last Sunday but spoke in just one of them. There seem to be a LOT of people around here who are non members that go to church with their member spouses, and they just haven't been baptized! There's a lady who has been going to church for 30 years now and has never taken that step. There's also a guy who goes every single week, has a calling (scoutmaster), and even gives talks in church when he's asked to, but he's not a member! I mean what the heck! Oh, can you send me my electric razor? I mean, I totally miss that thing.. Shaving cream every single day can get pretty annoying.

Dad - An airsoft gun, huh?  Who knew that even YOU could descend to such a juvenile field! Haha joking, obviously. It just seems so.. Not cool compared to blowing up pumpkins! I'm sure it will be awesome. Uhh.. I think it'd be easiest if you sent it to me on a USB drive. I think I'm going to start using one of those to back up my pictures on. That 8GB SD card you sent me doesn't work on my camera! I'm pretty sure it's the fact that my camera is like.. 4 years old and isn't compatible with anything anymore. So if you send it on a USB I can watch the video AND save all my pictures on it. It's a win-win! I can't wait to see how legit Ryan's piano performance is. I DID get the e-mail Papa sent me, and I guess I never wrote him back? I thought I did, but I don't see anything in the sent mail box. So I'll shoot one his way. For district meetings we actually meet up in Thayne which is 15 minutes away, but it's still in Star Valley. Elder Billmire and I cover the bottom half of the valley and there are two other goofballs that cover the north half. For District Leader Training, however, we have to drive to Montpelier, which is about, an hour away. There, the district leaders meet with the zone leaders for trainings and stuff, and I kinda just sit out and play piano and study. And I totally have those verses highlighted already! It's a pretty awesome story - but what's funnier is if you look up those scriptures (which are in the left column of the left hand page) if you look in the right column right across from it, there's a story about a lady who is mad at another lady that tricked her into boiling and eating her baby. So yes, it's definitely still Old Testament. :)

I think that about wraps it up for this week! I got a letter from Andrew Olson, which put a smile on my face for the day. Man I miss that kid. But if you think about it, he's only been out in the mission field for 4 weeks longer than I have. He just spent a transfer and a half in the MTC. So we've had similar time frames with trainers/transfers/etc. I love it here in Star Valley, and I miss all of you!

Love you all!

- Elder Tyler Grant

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Star Valley, Wyoming

Hi everyone!

So yes, it's true! I got transferred! Last Wednesday morning we drove down to South Ogden for my first time since I reported, and I rode the mission van up to Logan. Side note - packing is NOT fun. At ALL. Especially because I feel like i have so much stuff! I'm considering sending most of my long sleeve shirts home, because I have literally worn a long sleeve shirt one time since I've left home, and that was in the MTC. But anyway, I met up with my new companion in Logan. His name is Elder Billmire and he's from Texas. He's an awesome missionary - very laid back, but a very hard worker. He honestly reminds me EXACTLY of Zack Kelly. Like, in every single way. So that's probably why I've been having so much fun around him.

Anyway, so yes! We cover half of Star Valley in Wyoming. We only cover one stake this time, which consists of 9 wards, which believe it or not is pretty small for any area in this mission :). Haha - but we cover a town of about 2000 people called Afton, and then a few other surrounding towns named Osmond, Fairview, and Smoot! Yes, SMOOT! I was wondering where I had heard that before, but I SWEAR that right when I opened my mission call, Miss Kim Kelly told me that she had family or people she knew in Smoot, so if you can tell me who they are, we'll be sure to go visit them! Especially because Smoot is a thriving metropolis of about 100 people.. Hahaha. Oh by the way. Star Valley is 3 hours from Logan. Yes. 3 Hours from the next populated area in the mission. And an hour and a half from the next set of missionaries. We're kind of like lone soldiers up here, but I love it! The drive up here was crazy because we climbed and fell between 4800 and 7200 elevation and drove through 3 separate canyons in the middle of a blizzard. Hahaha it was so awesome! It has snowed 5 of the 7 days I've been here. It actually feels like winter! Star Valley is also an enormous change compared to Tremonton in the member concentration. For one, everybody is so spread out. In Tremonton we were allowed 1400 miles for a month, and in Star Valley we get 2400. But the other major difference is that Tremonton had about 80-85% member population, and Star Valley is closer to 60%.

Regardless of how many members there are, the work here is AWESOME!! When I got here they didn't have that many investigators or anyone that was really close to baptism, but in the past week we have literally picked up 2 people with a date, committed 3 more to be baptized but no date yet, and have almost 20 other people who are on our potentials list that we just need to set up an appointment with! The work is EXPLODING here because of the temple that's going to be erected here before too long! No one knows where it's gonna be yet, and it's been funny talking to people about their reactions when they found out there was gonna be a temple. The unanimous reaction from members around here was "Wait.. Is that a joke? We're not a city.." Hahaha. But the members here are pretty awesome! They're not QUITE as supportive as the Tremonton members, but there's something funny about them that I didn't expect: people SWEAR around here like it's nobody's business. Even the fully active members! I know it's kind of a problem, but at the same time it's pretty funny to hear people bear their testimonies one second and then swear the next. Hahaha... It's going to be an adjustment!!

There has also been something going on around here that I find funny. So a few months ago, the high school had a formal dance. The girls that showed up to this dance decided not to dress entirely appropriately, to put it lightly. I've had it described as it looked like they were wearing bathing suits... Yeah inappropriate. But anyway. The school has always had a dress code with dances, but after this happened they decided to put their foot down and actually enforce the dress code. Problem. Prom is coming up. The school put up posters talking about how the dress code was going to be enforced and if you didn't show up appropriately dressed then you wouldn't be let into prom. Anyhow - this has kind of started something similar to World War III at the high school. Some non member girls freaked out and wrote some extremely angry letters to the editorials saying that they're just "trying to get them to dress like the Mormon girls" and how everything "reaks of the 'For the Strength of Youth' pamphlet that they're trying to convert us to." As a result, a few people got together and decided they are going to have a SECOND prom a week later! They've rented out the civic center and are not enforcing a dress code. One of our ward missionaries has very affectionately dubbed the two dances "Celestial Prom" and "Skank Prom." Hahaha.. So there's drama out here in the middle of nowhere too! It's just interesting to see how Satan works to try and tear down the standards that we've been given. The dress code wasn't even that bad either! They just basically wanted them to look like they were WEARING CLOTHES... But yeah. My companion and I are thinking about showing up to the alternate prom and passing out Restoration pamphlets and For the Strength of Youth pamphlets just to see how that goes over.. Haha what do you think? :)

Oh. One more funny story from last week that I forgot to mention.. If you remember all I've told you about Leven's then you'll know that it's a hotspot for missionaries to go get super sick ties for 5 bucks each. Anyway - for the past few weeks we had been expecting a new shipment of ties to come in and every single time we'd go in they'd tell us that the ties were COMING, but not there yet. Last Tuesday we got there and the story was the same. But since transfers were the next day, they did us a favor. The owners of the store  called the UPS truck, flagged him down, and asked him to come deliver the ties that morning that were not supposed to arrive till that afternoon! So we beheld an ENTIRE SHIPMENT of about 4000 brand new ties get delivered right before our eyes!! I felt like a little kid sitting at the window waiting for Santa to come. It was so awesome.

OH! OUR MISSION IS BEING SPLIT!! On July 1st (When President Olson leaves..) we are losing 3 entire zones!! They're forming not one, but TWO new Salt Lake City Missions (that will make FIVE missions, if anyone's counting..) and are taking out a LOT of the area from the south end of our mission to form the new boundaries. There's gonna be like... 40 missionaries in this mission that will be shifted over to the new mission if they are serving in any of those areas at that time. I really REALLY hope I don't have to switch missions.. That would just suck. From what Elder Billmire has heard from President Olson, he and I are going to be up here in Star Valley for a while though. So hopefully I'll be safe. It'll be nice to actually have a companion for longer than 6 weeks, actually.. I've only been out 3 months but I'm already on my third companion. That makes me look like a problem missionary! But I promise that's not the case! My first companion got called as a Zone Leader after serving with me, and my second companion got called as a trainer. So it's not because I don't get along! I have loved all my companions so far, and have made an effort to learn from them as I serve with them.

Umm.. Spiritual thought for the week for Dad.. Umm.. Oh! In the past week in my studies I found a scripture that hit me really hard. It's the last verse in the book of Enos, and I wonder why it's never stuck out to me before. It's a scripture that has really motivated me to strive to do my best each and every day. This gospel that we know to be true is a gospel of transformation; a gospel of change; and each and every day is a new opportunity to show our Heavenly Father that we are doing our best. But this verse deals with how we want our Heavenly Father to view us, and the faith that Enos has. Verse 27: "And I soon go to the place of my rest, which is with my Redeemer; for I know that in him I shall rest. And I rejoice in the day when my mortal shall put on immortality, and shall stand before him; then shall I see his face with pleasure, and he will say unto me: Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father. Amen." How  powerful is that? How amazing would it be to KNOW that our Heavenly Father will be pleased with our life here on Earth? Sure, we screw up. But through the Atonement of Christ, all of our burdens can be washed away and we can become perfected beings. On the other hand, I cross referenced this verse to Alma 12:14, which is a SCARY scripture. It's kind of a kick in the butt for me to know how we will feel if we DIDN'T give it our all. Verse 14: "For our words will condemn us, yea, all our works will condemn us; we shall not be found spotless; and our thoughts will also condemn us; and in this awful state we shall not dare to look up to our God; and we would fain be glad if we could command the rocks and the mountains to fall upon us to hide us from his presence." Wow. How do WE want to feel at the judgment day? Will we be able to look Christ straight in the eyes with pleasure? Or will we want to hide? It's completely up to us.

Lets check out the questions for the day... Oh! For one, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOMMY!! I totally didn't forget it I promise!! :) Mom - I haven't worn my boots yet.. I don't know if I'm going to need them! My Ecco's are rollin' just fine. And no I haven't been chasing cows, but I think I have seen more deer and elk here in the past week than I have in my ENTIRE LIFE. The deer just walk through town in the middle of the day. They hang out in people's yards, in parking lots, and just walk around like stray cats. It's really funny actually. I have the music for "All of Me" already, but I haven't had any time to practice it. Been working too hard! But I HAVE had a little bit of time to work on Jon Schmidt's "Waterfall" which is coming along pretty well. I haven't practiced in about 4 weeks though.. It was kind of a first transfer project I guess. As for addresses I don't know of any. Just tell Ryan to write me back! And tell him to get up in the morning! Make sure that he listens to Troy Dunn's "Life is a Football Game" with Dad. Or even make it an FHE!! There's some profound stuff in there that I know he'll benefit from. I've listened to a few talk tapes here and there, and I truly have found some that I love and have learned a lot from! There's another one you need to look up. Look up Bill Carpenter's conversion story. It's kind of an older audio recording, but it talks of a guy who was going to school to become a Catholic priest and ended up serving a mission in the Des Moines Iowa mission. Check that one out. :)

I'm running out of stuff to say! I hope I included enough details for Mom.. In short, I absolutely LOVE it here already and am so excited to see all the work unfold that is starting to come to pass. I miss you guys!

Love you all!

- Elder Tyler Grant :)


Hi Family!!

So.. I'm sure all of you are DYING to know what's happening up here... So here's the truth. I am being transferred. But where?

Yes, really! Funny story actually. The work here this past transfer has been rather frustrating and a LOT of foundational work. Trying to rebuild our investigator pool, get people to church, getting referrals, and helping the ward mission leaders 'catch the vision' of the work. Some wards have been doing extremely well, and others have just kinda flopped. Our mission president told us to ignore the other wards and get to work in the ones that will. So that's been our mentality this past week. We've also been extra-diligent at our studies, waking up on time, exercising, and getting out the door as soon as we can. As a result, we've been able to set up a LOT of appointments and meet a lot of new awesome people. Sadly, our last 15 appointments have cancelled. Yes, fifteen. So while I've learned a lot in this area and have grown to understand the vision of missionary work while I'm here, I'm ready for a change.

So Monday night came around, and that's when leadership calls are made. As in our mission president individually calls missionaries who are either going to train, be District Leader, or Zone leader. Elder Hall had been getting the feeling that he was going to be getting some kind of call, and I have been getting the very distinct impression that I'm leaving Tremonton. So we got home, and kinda just waited for that call to come. It didn't. 9:30 still nothing. 10:00 still nothing. 10:30 still nothing. So we decided we were going to be stuck here another transfer, and all of a sudden at 10:45 (we were already in bed trying to sleep...) the phone rings. Elder Hall has been called to train! And that meant I was leaving! So I spent all night wondering WHERE I would be going.

And this morning I found out :). It is the FURTHEST north and FURTHEST east area in our mission. I'm SO excited!! Sure, it might be cold. But apparently they've recently split the area because there is a LOT of work there and everyone is getting hyped about the new temple! So by this time tomorrow, I will be in Star Valley, Wyoming! Yay! :))

SO to recap this past week:

Right after I finished emailing you guys last week, we had one of the craziest days of my mission so far. We had 3 lessons that night, and every single one of them went through! Which is a pleasant change of pace from the rest of the transfer. Anyway - we took this kid named Dylan with us. He's 17 years old and is a convert of about a year ago. So we took him out on splits with us to try and give him a boost. So after our last lesson of the evening, we were wayyyy out in Bothwell. Basically, it's about 20 minutes from our home, and all it is is fields and houses that are way spread apart. It's basically Iowa with no streetlights, powerlines, or anything. BUT we parked in the investigator's driveway, and come to find out it had been raining while we were inside. And our car got stuck. In the mud. We didn't get UNstuck until about 9:45 that night. After an hour of pushing, slipping in mud, and ruining my suit pants and white shirt, we FINALLY got free, and Dylan got home a LITTLE bit late. But overall it was an extremely fun day.

Sister White sent you a picture of me as an angel!? Yay! Anyway - I don't remember if I told you about this a few weeks ago, but for district meeting they put together a life size Lehi's Dream that took up an entire gym. Well a few weeks ago, they didn't get to put everything together that they wanted. So yesterday, we had a 2-Zone district meeting (40 missionaries...) epic Lehi's Dream! It was basically the Disneyland of district meetings.. And they picked me to be the angel, which consisted of me putting glitter in my hair and donning a women's baptismal dress, and sitting up on the basketball hoop to seem like I'm floating. To complete the vision, we included a giant great and spacious building, a huge tree of life, iron rods, the Inception soundtrack for epic music, and 3 fog machines. Yes. Three fog machines. It was awesome. I have taken about 100 pictures in the past week, so when I send you more pictures I'm sure you'll be thrilled. :)

Evan! I was SO happy to get your letter dude! That's awesome that you had a sweet Christmas! And I KNEW that you'd like that orange tie. I picked it out especially for you, bud! And I'm also crazy  eager to hear Ryan's rendition of "All of Me.." because that song is incredibly intense.

Dad - I had EVERY intention of sending you a spiritual thought this week, but I'm kind of running on excitement right now because I can't believe I'm going to Star Valley Wyoming. GAH! It's so crazy! I suppose I can send you one dealing with President Uchtdorf's talk "You Matter to Him." Basically the gist of the talk is that as humans in this enormous universe, we are almost insignificant. We are nothing compared to God, but we mean everything to God. What kind of paradox is that? Anyway - when I think of all the miracles that have been happening to us lately in Tremonton, I can see how easy it would be to think that we are being superstar missionaries and WE are the reason that there are so many successes in the area. But it is important to realize that we are doing the Lord's work, and we are instruments in his hands. Think of Alma 26:12. Ammon is basically jumping for joy because they have gone in and baptized half of the Lamanite kingdom. And Aaron stops him and says "Whoa, Ammon. You're getting carried away and are being prideful." Ammon's response is what amazes me. Verses 11-12: "But Ammon said unto him: I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God. Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strengt I can do all things; yea behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will raise his name forever." Just an awesome thought for the day :).
I love all of you. I have loved serving in Tremonton and have been blessed to serve among such awesome people. But I'm extremely excited for this opportunity to go check out Star Valley for a while. :)

Love you!

- Elder Tyler Grant (:

P.S. Look up the talk "Life is a Football Game" by Troy Dunn. Don't read it - get an audio recording. It's well worth an hour of your time.