Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July 31st, 2012

Hey you guys!

Hmm.. Even though I knew it was coming, it's still strange to only get one e-mail in a week... I hope Dad and the rest of the gang are traveling safely and especially hope that they will enjoy being so close to Utah :). Hahaha.

Anyways! So this past week has just been... Well, probably one of the best weeks I've had in Mount Lewis so far. We taught 15 lessons last week, and we're leading the zone in teaching right now. In the past 2 days we've committed 3 more people for baptism, and all of them accepted! AND - Amy got baptized on Saturday! It was such an awesome baptism. She's like.. 8 and a half months pregnant, so she had to wear the most billowy baptismal dress I've ever seen.. But almost all of her and her husband's families showed up to support her, and almost all of them are less-active. Amy's mother was a member of the church, but never went... So that's why she was never baptized. Her older sister joined the church after marrying an active member; and it was because of her older sister inviting Amy to meet with missionaries that all of this happened. The relief society president and many other members of the ward came to support her and many of them gave her gifts - including a new set of scriptures with her name on it, if that answers your question Mom! The Spirit there was so strong... After she was baptized she came out of the water and was crying because of the Spirit that was there. We confirmed her that day and she cried during the whole thing. I've never met someone who is so sensitive to the Spirit. She and her husband will be awesome members of the church, and they are well on their way to going to the temple in a year.

Hmm.. What else happened last week... We've been biking so much lately. Yesterday we almost biked 20 miles (which is kind of incredible considering the size of our area..). This is compounded even more by the fact that our entire area is on a hill; very literally. We can go from the far east side of our area to the far west side of our area without pedaling even once. So biking home at night is pretty miserable... The hill we live on is one of the steepest most miserable roads I've ever seen. I want to meet the guy who thought that our road was a good idea and hit him in the face. Walking it was pretty bad but biking it is just horrible. I'll probably be picking out my new bike today - I might just grab one of the mid-range Wal-mart bikes since I had second thoughts on paying $500 on one from the bike shop... Thank you for sending me the extra money :) haha.. I wondered what your reaction would be when I texted you yesterday... I figured if I kept it straight to business then you wouldn't be emotionally affected too much... Fingers crossed.

It's weird that I can't think of anything else to say.. I hope my letters aren't getting TOO brief for you guys. The fact that I e-mailed on Wednesday just made it seem like so much less happened! We're still actively working to set up 4 lessons every single day and the amount of work we're getting done is skyrocketing. We've got so many lessons set up this week... Even if half of them fall through, we use that extra time to re-visit bishops and auxiliaries to see what we can do to help the missionary work  progress in every single ward. It's been tough to try and mobilize the members and leaders in this area... They're all wonderful people - but they're very set in their ways and as a result we have to do 90% of the work for every investigator. Which I truly don't mind.. It's just a problem when we turn the new convert over to the ward and they have no one to hold on to. I love working hard; doing 90% of the legwork in missionary work is exhausting mentally and physically, but it's also exhilarating and rewarding spiritually. We're hoping to pick up 2 more baptismal dates tonight, so keep up your prayers! :)

Mom - Was going to church alone as awesome as traveling alone? Skype seminary sounds pretty awesome. I'd do it. Well.. I'd do anything over 3 years of home study. I hated that so much. I wish I had had a more positive experience of seminary... But I'm glad for the opportunity I have to study my scriptures every day on my mission. It's definitely making up for some lost time. I'd much rather you e-mail me than write letters... E-mailing is just far easier and regardless of how much time I have to be at the computer I can pump out a much bigger message than I'd ever have the patience to write down physically. I was not wearing my suit in the parade... And I haven't dry cleaned my suit since Tremonton. Oopsie daisies. Tell Annie congratulations for me! She's going to be a mommy before I even come home! That's so weird! And I swear you told me Nate was going to write me a letter like.. 6 months ago.. Hahaha. I know everyone has lives! I forgive you all! :)

Anyways. I love you all! :)

- Elder Tyler Grant

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Singing in the Rain!

Hey! So if you were expecting a letter yesterday, then this is it!

As you well know (and I was informed very quickly) yesterday was Pioneer day, which I had NO idea was such a big deal anywhere. It also meant that the family history center and all the libraries were closed... So our mission president gave us special permission to write today. I'm pretty sure that we may have had one or two potlucks at church to celebrate the holiday over the years, but over here..The 24th of July is almost as big as the 4th of July! It's amazing how much people actually cherish their ancestry here - but I guess if there would be a place where the Mormon pioneers would be appreciated, it would be here. We got to march in the parade yesterday! President and Sister Hiers as well as well over 120 of the missionaries in our mission showed up to march, and it was hilarious. The order of the parade was.. Well.. I'll just tell you. The front was the police. Second were some people dressed as pioneers pulling handcarts. Then the marching band. Then the scantily clad dance squad marching and dancing the whole way. Then the high school cheerleaders... And then the missionaries!! Who's idea was it to put the missionaries right behind all of the immodestly dressed girls?? Hahaha.. It was pretty funny. Because when it came down to it, everybody clapped politely for the cheerleaders... And when the missionaries walked by, everybody stood up and applauded and cheered their hearts out. Hahaha.. We spent the whole parade singing "Called to Serve" and "High on the Mountain Top" over and over again, and at every intersection the Polynesian missionaries and many others stopped and did the Haka. If you don't know what that is, look it up on YouTube or something. Oh - did I mention it DOWN POURED the entire parade? All in all it was a very memorable experience... I love the rain. It doesn't rain enough around here, and an excuse to walk in a storm was pretty cool.

So we have a baptism this Saturday! Amy is getting baptized and I'm just so excited for her. She's been incredible to teach, and I feel so privileged to have been able to work with her. She's pretty much the definition of a golden investigator. She's been going to church and loving it, and she was so excited to show us the program she and her sister have been putting together for her baptism. Everything is just falling into place for her and her family, and I can't help but marvel at what Heavenly Father does for His children. When we commit to live His teachings and His commandments, he WILL bless us. He will never let us down. That's the amazing part. He will always hold up His end of the deal as long as we do our part. Satan may try and push us down, but the undeniable feeling and influence of the Holy Ghost will still guide us to do right. How couldn't it be true? Jesus Christ never forced anybody to do anything. Instead, he showed us the way and invited us to do likewise. He never said we had to take His word for it just because he was the Son of God. With everything, we are invited to make the changes in our life that align us with our Heavenly Father's will and just SEE for ourselves the amazing difference it makes. That's probably my favorite thing about being a missionary. We try so hard to help people to follow Christ, but until they DO it we can do no more. But when they do make those choices, it's the most rewarding thing you can imagine... I love it so much.

We've been teaching a lot of people in the past week. One of our investigators set a marriage date! Another one of our investigators just had her baby and we're now working with her towards a marriage and baptismal date. We've set a goal to set up 4 lessons every single day, and it's making a HUGE impact on our work. If it's winding down to the end of the day and we haven't set up 4 lessons yet, we've been pushing ourselves to find those last people that Heavenly Father would be placing in our path that day to receive the truth. On Monday alone we taught 5 lessons, set up 4 return appointments, and set up 6 lessons with new investigators. It's incredible once again to see just how much Heavenly Father's hand is in this work. And when we push ourselves and use our agency to do His will, He blesses us with success. With our huge pool of people there are so many that are ever closer to the commitment of baptism. There are only 3 more weeks in this transfer.. It's flying so fast. I hope that we can find everyone that we are meant to find and are courageous enough to seize every opportunity to teach and talk to people in whatever setting we may be in.

Mom - You haven't messed with my room EXCEPT let Evan sleep in it (with the CATS) and blast a giant hole in my wall! Other than that I'm sure it's the same. I have a new cousin! Hooray! I can't believe it's been that long since you told me Deidra was pregant. Have I really been gone for 8 months? Holy... I haven't been playing the piano much since we've been working so much and so consistently. I still take the time every once in a while to sit and play for a few minutes.. But I feel like it's something that I may invest more time and energy in once I'm home. NOOOO!!!! They pulled the missionaries from the branch? Why?? There has been so much success.. That won't solve anything! (Didn't I say this to you like.. twice?) We cover 1 stake of 8 wards. There is NO shortage of missionaries right now. They've been splitting a lot of the areas to put even more sets of missionaries in because we have so many. I borrowed the bike from a member family, and actually just yesterday they bought us brand new helmets. Yayyyyy.... Hahaha.

Dad - I do not miss humidity. Or dry crackly grass. It's been super warm here for a long time, but it's bearable! You had to descend to Google Translate to speak Japanese? Ooooohhh.. You're slipping! Haha. I've met like.. 4 people in the last week that served their missions in Japan AFTER the Osaka Mission was dissolved. So you probably wouldn't know them. Are you ever going to do ragbrai in your sit-and-chill-out bike? I'm over the fact that there will be no Dad letter. I hope you enjoy Martin's Cove and especially hope the same for Ryan. Isn't that in Wyoming? And I'm still writing faithfully in my journal every night.. It's kind of weird. These emails to me are kind of a second journal! Hahaha...

Anyhow. I'm about to write Papa a letter. I love you all! The letters from everyone are getting sparse! But I'm over it. Hahaha.


- Elder Tyler Grant :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Guess what? We got bikes!

Just thought I'd throw that in. Reason being - for the 7 weeks I was with Elder Daly we had to basically rebuild our teaching pool from the ground up. And on foot, it was very easy to just walk up to people and start teaching them then and there. But at this point, we've got a HUGE (unbelievably huge..) pool of potential investigators as well as a fairly large number of those we actually have lessons with.. And Elder Stewart and I decided that we need to shift our focus from building our pool to straight teaching. I guess I never realized or comprehended just how much a bike would speed us up. We've been setting up and teaching lessons like crazy! We had 4 on Sunday, 4 yesterday, 3 set up today, 5 set up on Wednesday.. Everything is literally exploding right now and we're almost to the point where we're busier than we can handle. But everything keeps falling into place and just working out... Which leads me to believe that we're not alone in this effort! :)

One of our investigators dropped their baptismal date last week... They still want to meet with us, but they were busy on Sunday and weren't able to attend church; so we have to recommit them for another day and pray for the future. We do have 2 investigators that are rock solid on date for July 28th, so I'm very excited for them. One of them is Jelena, the 9 year old girl who continues to amaze me with her heart of gold. She's probably the kindest, most selfless kid I've ever met. She always wants to help her family, and even tells us that every day she tries to do something  specifically to help Jesus Christ. It's unbelievable to me. Since we've been working with them, her family has returned (with the exception of one) to going to church every Sunday AND staying the full 3 hour block. The other baptism we have scheduled is for Amy, and she is just... Incredible. She's 24 years old and expecting a baby on August 18th (the best birthday in the WORLD) and she wants her child to be blessed and raised LDS.  Her husband is a less-active member who is on his way back; the only thing holding him back is work... We just had a lesson with them yesterday and they were extremely excited and were already setting up details for the program and the time of her baptism. They were able to hear us speak in their ward on Sunday and they both loved the talks we gave. I somehow managed to speak for almost 30 minutes... How crazy is that? But we're going to keep working with all the people we have and this week we will begin committing them to baptism and hope the Spirit will touch their hearts.

I'm really enjoying serving with Elder Stewart. He's another one of those missionaries that  is an incredibly hard worker. He's a tad rough around the edges, but he's allowed to be since he's from Memphis Tennessee... Hahaha. But after seeing the area and seeing the potentials that Elder Daly and I worked so hard to build, his jaw dropped to the floor. He said he's never come into an area where it was so evident that the missionaries before him had worked so hard. And immediately we got to work - I know this transfer (even though it's only 5 weeks..) we can see miracles. Everyone is so CLOSE! With a few prayers and diligence, things are going to start happening around here. I just know it.

We were also able to finally teach Miki last week! She had us over for dinner and then we taught her a quick lesson on feeling the Spirit and prayer.. And she is just so prepared! As I mentioned before she has been to girls camps, youth conferences, just about everything you can imagine. And she knows exactly what the Spirit feels like. I just can't believe she isn't already a member of the church. We weren't able to teach a full lesson, but this coming week we're getting her to come to church and hopefully she'll recognize that the feelings of the Spirit are more than just warm fuzzy feelings, but in reality it is God telling us that something is true.

Another fun fact - on Sunday night we were able to attend a fireside with M. Russell Ballard. And it wasn't at all what I was expecting.. Since it was all about Pioneer Day and historical stuff. But it was a blessing in itself to just be in the presence of one of the Apostles of Jesus Christ.

Mom - I can't believe I'm almost not a teenager anymore. In all reality it probably won't feel a whole lot different.. Probably because life in the mission field is so sheltered and cut off from anywhere else that nothing feels real besides being a missionary. I'm starting to feel more and more that this IS my home and that Iowa is just like.. I don't know.. It seems more like a dream. If that makes sense. There's no place I'd rather be than the Utah Ogden Mission haha.. Tell Andrew Olson that I'm here to stay. And that kid needs to write back for a change! That punk! There are a few students in our area (we're about.. 5 miles from Weber State University) but all of them go to the YSA wards so we don't really work with them a whole lot. Hey I remember the Dunnicks! Tell Allen and Austin I say hi! Oh my gosh. I can't believe Evan is a freshman. That's crazy! ... You bought a piano. Is it pretty nice? Or does it just take up more space in the living room? :) Haha.. Impulse buy! I'll look for some music for Ryan. I need to send some things home SO badly, but I am nowhere near a post office (or if I am I have NO idea where it is) and I have no box. So that's a problem... What's the gerbil's name? You have 3 missionaries to choose from now - is it Tyler, Andrew, or Ben?

Dad - Yeah I'm pretty much used to being called Elder Grant or at the very least being called Grant. Every once in a while there will be someone named Tyler around me and that part of my brain almost responds when someone talks to them. But it's mostly gone. I think I've heard that teenage porcupine talk! Or at least I've heard OF it for sure. The more I think if it, it's very true.. I don't think I spent a lot of time with you since you were always at work or meetings and I was always at school related things or work. So yes - I definitely think that trip to Colorado was a memorable one! That boulder field was just awesome. There were so many hidden passages and things... Did you get a chance to really explore them or did you just kind of glance around? I dont' recall. Hopefully you guys get some rain. It's rained like 4 times in the past 6 days, which is nice because it cools things off from the regular 95-100 degrees. I think you mean Elder Daly, not Elder Lewis :) Haha. The AREA is Mount Lewis, silly goose! Best of luck with the truck situation, and try and control mom's impulse buying a little more... I'm afraid when I come home there will be a space shuttle in our backyard :).

I love you all. Stay classy!

- Elder Tyler Grant

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Changes! July 10th, 2012

Things! They are changing!

First and foremost today is transfer day. And with all of the things that would be turning upside down with the mission split, new mission president, losing 55 missionaries and gaining 32, and all of those things.. I'm staying in Mount Lewis! But Elder Daly is leaving! We were both pretty surprised. I'll be sad to see him go - he's going to be a District Leader down in South Ogden for the last 5 weeks of his mission. I'm also grateful because I'm getting another companion to learn from instead of a companion to train or to teach. His name is Elder Stewart and he's been out on his mission for well over a year. I was getting nervous because of all the new missionaries that they may need me to be a senior companion or a trainer; and while I'd be thankful for the opportunity to serve, it's just a relief that I have at the very least 5 more weeks to learn from another companion who has more experience in the mission field. While it's amazing that there are missionaries training after 2 or 3 transfers in the field, there is also a very large detriment to that... As soon as we are made a senior companion, we basically have no more opportunities to look up to or learn from a companion, and we have to be the role model and the leader in teaching and contacting situations. I have improved my communication stills enormously in the last 7 weeks with Elder Daly and feel much more confident now... So if the call DOES come, I know I will be ready.

This past week has also seen miracles. To be honest, it has been a frustrating transfer in some aspects largely due to the fact that we've been working so hard and so consistently but have seen very little success. We have been praying and working diligently to do all we can to be worthy of the blessings that Heavenly Father has for us, but for a while it's been hard to see them. Finally, however, we've seemed to break the surface and have seen miracles. On Friday we committed a 25 year old lady to be baptized and her less-active husband to work towards blessing their baby, and they both accepted. They both went to Church on Sunday and are extremely excited for what the future has in store for them. Then, on Saturday, we visited a referral that some other Zone Leaders gave to us for someone they met at a 4th of July parade. As the father let us into the house, a little girl ran up to us to shake our hands, and said "Hello! My name is Jelena, I am 9 years old, and I want to be baptized!" We then learned that the family was just recently becoming active again and the girl LOVES going to church, and the family is very supportive of her decision. Then, on Sunday, we went and talked to another one of our investigators named Enrique who was taught by missionaries 2 years ago but never wanted to be baptized. We took him to a baptism last Thursday and he was able to feel the Spirit there.. And as we spoke to him on Sunday, he accepted a baptismal date as well! I'm so thankful for the chance that I have to be serving here at this time. I'm also grateful for the testimony that I now have that if we will give it our all every single day and do everything we can to bring to pass the Lord's will, he will do the rest. Even though it feels like we keep working and working and just running into a wall... If we get back up again and keep going, it is then that miracles come to pass.

I hope you all had a great 4th of July! Ours was.. Well.. Fantastic.. Ish. No one wants to meet with us. But the highlight of the night was definitely the fireworks show. We went over to the 2nd counselor in the stake presidency's house way up on the mountain and watched from their 3rd story balcony.. And it was incredible. We could see fireworks for 30 miles south, 20 miles north, and 30 miles west. We saw hundreds and hundreds of fireworks going off from thousands of houses in the valley, and we were in sight of 5 fireworks shows for different cities. It was pretty much a once in a lifetime opportunity.

I'm completely blanking out as to what else happened this week. I'm sure there were other things. But they must not be very important. This next transfer is only 5 weeks, so it's going to be an entire 2 weeks shorter than the one we just had.. Which is scary. Because that literally flew. Also. It's 111 degrees out right now. *high five*

Mom - Say bye to the Radford's for me. I'll miss them! I wonder who will replace him in the Stake Presidency.. I am most certainly in a cooking area. The members here are ... Different than anywhere else I've served. I love them still- Ogden is just a different world. Talking about picking me up already? Don't even worry about it. It's not close, and I'm not planning on letting it SEEM close :). Haha. We talked to Miki this past week, it didn't end up as a lesson because she had to take off.. But she's making us dinner on Thursday and we'll teach her then. I haven't written to Papa yet.. It seems to be all I can do to write you guys an email and take off since we have so many things to do on P-day. Tell him I'm sorry - I'll get to it as soon as I can. And yes my medication came.

Dad - All the Kelly's are still around, right? I thought I remembered Matt and Zack having somewhat of a mix-up for schooling. You haven't gone on that high adventure thing yet? I swear that was a long time ago.. Man. I am just blanking out right now. I'll have more details/things next week.

I love you all. Thank you for your support!

- Elder Tyler Grant

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Back from Canada

For those of you who follow Tyler's experiences as a missionary I am happy to report that I have found the passwords to login and have added his last four letters. Sorry for the delay. Please keep him in your prayers!


July 3, 2012

Hey folks. People. Nouns.

What's up? Man.. I think it's gonna be another case of me having a TON to say but as soon as I sit down at the computer and completely blank out as to what I was going to say. Blast.. Well.. Here goes nothing.

Happy Canada Day to everyone! It's so weird. I wished a lot of people a Happy Canada Day and literally every single one of them had no idea that it was a holiday at all. I was almost offended, and then I realized that I don't know any holidays for other countries either. Except Cinco de Mayo. And for some reason the United States has adopted that one as a holiday too. Trust me, I know. When I was in Star Valley there was a sale all day on hardshell tacos to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. It's the closest thing I've ever had to Taco Tuesday since I left.. It was depressing in a way. I'm learning that the 4th of July is a lot like every other holiday while you're on your mission.. Nobody wants to meet with us leading up to it or on the day of. So it's been a slow past few days, but for the 3 days after the 4th of July we have a TON of lessons set up. Including one with the girl named Miki I told you about last week. She rescheduled last minute so we didn't get to go teach her last week, so we're teaching her today.. Keep her in your prayers!

Oh man.. I love Ogden. There are so many crazy people around here. Elder Daly and I calculated it the other day.. In our area, small as it is, there is probably less than 15% of the houses in our area that contain active members. That is WAY low! Just in the west half of our area alone, there are over 550 apartments, trailers, and duplex's that have an incredibly high turnover rate, and are FULL of nonmembers. The only great thing about being so close to a holiday is that EVERYONE is outside. So we've picked up a ton of appointments and contacts by walking up to people's barbecues, lemonade stands, and other things. Would you believe I haven't been sunburned even once? It's been over 90 degrees every single day for the past two weeks.. I have a ridiculous farmers tan. I have a tan line (contrasting between pale and super dark) halfway up my neck where my collared shirt goes. I have a tan midway up to my shoulder.. and my personal favorite, is a perfect white strip where my watch goes every single day. It looks fantastic. Pretty goofy actually. But I'm way proud of it. But as I was saying about crazy people, you never KNOW who's going to listen. We ran into a lady last week who on first contact seemed radiant with the spirit and wanted to learn, so we set up an appointment the next day. She wasn't there when we went by again.. So we asked her neighbor where she was. She had just gotten evicted from her apartment that morning because she blew up her pipes with fireworks. Not only that, but her neighbor told us she smoked heavily, drank heavily, and was married to a woman! How golden can you get!? Hahaha.. You can't go in with preconceived notions though. Anyone can change. If we tell ourselves there's no hope for them, we cannot truly believe in the power of the Atonement. Anyone can change. Miracles can happen. As somebody told us this week, two people can accomplish ANYTHING... As long as one of them is Jesus Christ. I know that to be true; people can change. It's tough that we can't change them against their will sometimes.. But that's Heavenly Father's plan and it was the only way we could truly experience joy.

We've also done quite a bit of service this past week.. I love doing service. It softens peoples hearts no matter who they are or what their opinion of the church is. In the past week we hooked up a computer and moved two desks, helped a FedEx guy unload over 40 packages, drained and moved a waterbed, and installed a light fixture not knowing they forgot to turn off the fuse.. So we installed it on a live wire with absolutely no electrical experience. But it worked! Probably some earnest prayers were answered on that one.. The weird thing is, before you go on a mission, there's no way you can comprehend just what serving a mission is. If you add up the components, it doesn't sound like fun at all. We go around for 10 to 12 hours a day in the 90 degree heat talking to strangers about God. We also help people move in and out of homes, teach church classes, get doors slammed in our face, live with companions we may not get along with (and we don't get to choose..), and all this for what? We don't get paid.. In fact, we pay almost $10,000 for the opportunity to do it. And despite all those factors, it's the most rewarding experience of my whole life. I can't even explain it. But I know that this is where I'm supposed to be at this time in my life. Words can't adequately describe how I feel all of the time. But it's amazing.

In other news, I finally started carrying the step counter around with me.. And we were shocked! The first day we brought it with us, we walked 12 miles (over 22,000 steps) and the day after that we walked 14 miles (over 27,000 steps). We didn't even KNOW we were walking that much. But it would explain why I'm losing weight.. Haha. My legs are stronger and my tummy is smaller.. Hoorah! I also got my scriptures engraved last week! It only cost me $2... Can you believe that? Welcome to Utah.. Also - Can I get Ben Olson's address? I've been meaning to write him a letter to see how Brisbane is nowadays.. Oh! And President Hiers has officially taken over! Which means the reign of the Olson's is over. The mission is also officially split now. Last Tuesday we DID make it to the trampoline park, and it was exhausting.. But oh so worth it. I re-perfected my backflip (which I haven't done in years) and played trampoline dodgeball. I love P-Days.. Haha.

Mom - You guys are already leaving Canada? That went so fast! By the way - I already received and consumed both bags of ketchup chips.. It was a much needed surprise! I haven't gotten any meds yet.. But if they're on the way then I believe you. I actually haven't had any of those general authority walk in the sacrament meeting experiences yet.. They happen a lot down in Bountiful, but that's in the other mission now. That's also way cool to hear about Evan's experience at the temple! But when the Brigham City temple starts its open house (August 18th!) then we get to go check that one out. July 4th is a tough day for missionaries.. Not sure what we're gonna do yet. And there is actually no chance of me serving with my MTC companion again! Because he's officially in the Salt Lake City mission!
Dad - Quizno's in the airport is not only a terrible idea because it's sketchy as can be, but it's also like.. $10 a sub! How horrible! That would never fit in the missionary budget haha. Oh the cottage.. It's never going to be the same as Affie and Papa's cottage, but it's as close as we have right now. I would have LOVED to have been there in the heavy rain. Utah's rain is so weak. It's only rained one day that was even close to a pretty good rain.. But it just doesn't STORM around here. I miss it a lot. Was Ryan disappointed he didn't get to eat lobster or the fact he didn't get to cuddle with them? I also miss donairs and donair pizza. Next time! In 2014! Maybe! That's so far away! I wish you guys the best of luck on the high adventure trip. I hope that Ryan enjoys it as much as we enjoyed the trip to Colorado. Find some boulder labyrinths and he'll be content. I too was stunned Jon Schmidt showed up, but then again he DOES live in Bountiful. Actually last time I checked he was a high councilman down there. And he puts on some amazing firesides.

Anyway. That was my week. I hope you all make a smooth recovery from the greatness of the Great White North. Talk to you next week!

Love you all!!

- Elder Tyler Grant

June 19th, 2012

Hey what's up?

It's been a pretty good week here. The only frustrating thing about this area has been the fact that we have a ton of potential investigators, but haven't been able to set up lessons with them... They all seem to have crazy schedules and are incredibly hard to catch home. So while we've been gathering a ton of contacts, they haven't really gone anywhere from the first contact. Which has kind of sucked. But! In this past week, we really focused on getting appointments set up with the people we have (which is a ton..) and as a result we taught a LOT of first lessons to people, and were able to gauge their actual interest and set up return appointments with a lot of them. We contacted just about all of the referrals, and they keep coming in! Just yesterday morning we had 3 more come in from the MTC and from our zone leaders.. So we can definitely feel the Lord's hand in this work. I also would like to express appreciation for all of your prayers... They are definitely being felt :).

We got to go to the Bountiful Temple last week, and it was a way cool experience. Then again, I feel that just about every time I go to the temple.. But it had been over 4 months since I'd gone, and I went with a question in mind. I went through the temple session and afterwards I was sitting there praying and I looked over and picked up the Bible. I opened the Bible to a random page and scanned and stopped on one verse.. And it was exactly what I needed to hear. I love the temple. It is truly a house of God and I know he answered the question that I had. The Bountiful temple is beautiful - you should have gone to Scott's wedding there. After all, at the time I was literally almost 5 hours away.. You wouldn't have even been close!

So I guess Sister White spoiled the fireside story for me! I guess I can tell you anyways.. Last Sunday we went down to Bountiful so I could sing in a musical fireside themed around The Restoration of the Gospel. Basically, missionaries would invite their investigators and other families to feel the Spirit there and help them on their journey to conversion. It was incredible - it was an all missionary choir with lots of separate quartets, trios, a-Capella things, solos, and in between each musical number a set of missionaries would get up and share a portion of the first lesson. The coolest part was probably when Sister Olson got up to speak at the end.. She was almost in tears. The Spirit was so strong there. She got up and asked all the missionaries to stand up. On the stand and all throughout the congregation we all stood up - there were probably over 100 elders and sisters there. She then said, "These are all mine! And I promise you.. You can trust them with your lives. What they are teaching you is true. I know it from the bottom of my heart." It was way powerful - plus I guess I saw the White's there.. Haha.

I don't know why I'm struggling to find things to write about this week! I know it's been a very eventful week.. I just get to the computer screen and I blank out.. Well if anything I think I'll be sending you a few pictures/MAYBE videos today. So you can appreciate those :). Fun fact. I just looked in my backpack and I brought my camera - but not my camera cord! BLAST! Maybe next time..

Oh! One scripture I found this week that I've been thinking about a lot.. It's in 2 Timothy 2:2-3. "And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. That really spoke to me. When we were baptized, we promised (as it says in Mosiah) to stand as a witness of Christ in all places, and in all things. As a missionary, I've really been able to see that these things can bless the lives of those around us. We have felt the witness of the Holy Ghost testify of truth; we have Heavenly Father on our side. And although sometimes it may feel like the world is standing against us, we can endure. We can hold to the words of the prophets as contained in the Book of Mormon and the Bible. I know that the Book of Mormon and the Bible are both witnesses of Christ. I have a testimony of the Book of Mormon and I know that every day that I read it it invites the Spirit into our day and into our lives.

Mom - That sounds like the absolute craziest trip to Canada EVER!! I mean what the heck! So now you've been to Maine, huh? That's hilarious. I hope Evan didn't have a meltdown.. I happen to remember he does that sometimes. Did he at least sleep in the car on the way to Mineville? *gasp* you didn't say hi to any of my friends! How dare you! A couple of them have written me letters.. But not very many! So you'll have to chastise them for me... Haha. I can't believe it's been 7 months. There are almost more people in the mission who have been out less time than me than there are that have been out longer. It's unbelievable. Next week we are writing our letters to President Hiers instead of President Olson. Everything is changing.. The office staff is all different now. Everything is turning upside down! It's not even gonna feel like the same mission anymore. But I'll get over it. :)

Dad - Punt Toby across the room for me, will ya? That cat.. I wonder if he'll survive till I get home? Remember that one New Year's Eve where you guys all went out and blew stuff up and I was inside playing Age of Empires because nobody told me it was starting yet? You promised me you'd take me out and blow stuff up sometime... So I'll take you up on that - I'll even help you make chemicals sometime. Haha. I hope you had a happy father's day - every sacrament meeting we went to was like "Everybody call your dad's TODAY! No excuses!" But we can't.. So I hope you forgive me for that. I still haven't checked out those talk tapes! I WANT TO! There's just no time.. Haha we've been so busy. Actually, on P-Days we've been going to a place called Toad's, which happens to be a place where missionaries can go and play infinite mini golf, go-karts, and laser tag for 3 hours for the award winning price of $1!! How cool is that? We were going to go to the trampoline park today, but couldn't find a ride.. So we may go play laser tag again. Oh how we suffer.. Hahaha.

Sorry if this is a boring letter this week. I hope you all enjoy Canada, say hi to everyone for me! I'll send you pictures next week. Probably.

- Elder Tyler Grant :)

June 26th, 2012

Hey everybody!

This past week has been a week of goodbyes.. It's terrible! On Thursday we had Mission Conference... And it was just... Weird! All 220+ missionaries were gathered together to basically say goodbye to President Olson.. But we're also losing about 40 missionaries to the Salt Lake Mission.. And about 15 missionaries are going home.. There's just too much leaving! Our new mission president will take over on Thursday, and we're also losing 4 of the 6 office senior couples missionaries. President and Sister Olson got up and bore their testimonies, and shared a few closing remarks. Then we all pretended to be Disney characters and tried to teach each other... I discovered it's extremely hard to teach the Genie from Aladdin anything about the Plan of Salvation because he doesn't have a body.. Blast. To lighten the mood, guess who came!? The one.. The only.. JON SCHMIDT!! It was a surprise to everyone. He came and played all of his biggest songs and hymn arrangements, including "All of Me." So I got that on video. Next time I send home a CD with pictures you'll have to show Ryan. Tell him he has to learn Jon Schmidt's "Renaissance Hymn" as his next project. It's a medley of the two hymns "Guide us O Thou Great Jehovah" and "Let Zion in Her Beauty Rise." It's also amazing. So after all the spiritual stuff we went outside and played a bunch of games.. Including dodgeball, water balloon volleyball, and a tug of war. Then the sprinklers turned on. And people started grabbing trash cans and filling them with water. And it erupted into a 200 person water fight. All in all, it was a very fun day.

On Sunday we had the last musical fireside, and this one was themed around the life of Jesus Christ. Instead of being held in a random church building like the one in Bountiful, it was held in the Logan Tabernacle (I bet Kim Kelly knows where that is!). There was a special spirit there as people performed their pieces, both full choir and a cappella groups. They also had 2 people get up and bear their testimonies. One of them was a lawyer who had been baptized just a week before. The other was a man who had been inactive his entire life, and through the missionaries was able to return and baptize his son. I was just grateful for the opportunity I had to sing in a choir again! I didn't think I'd miss that as much as I do.. But the longer I'm in the field the more I miss it. I didn't get to do any of the a cappella stuff.. Maybe next time. I think that was my favorite part of doing All State Chorus.. Sure, being in the choir itself was great. But I just loved singing and practicing in a quartet. That's my dream career - tenor in a barbershop quartet.. Hahaha. Maybe I'll get one of those pinstripe suits with a bowler hat and a cane too. :)

In terms of missionary work, we taught quite a few lessons this past week. We're going to be teaching a girl named Miki today and I'm really excited for her. She's 20 years old and lives in an apartment with her 1 year old son. And she has so much church exposure! She has an uncle that served a mission in the Phillipines. She's been to youth conference twice, and she went to girls camp with her friends 5 times. It's crazy! So we're having our first lesson with her tonight.. We had a lot of other lessons this week trying to get people to commit to live the commandments, and there's kind of a common theme.. We have FIVE investigators that want to be baptized! But all of them need to get MARRIED first! And they're not getting married until August, October, November, December, and February. 3 of them are only living together because of financial circumstances and they have no where else to live. One of them has 11 kids and one due in the next week. It's amazing the kind of people we get to interact with as missionaries. They're all so different! Their circumstances are all vastly different. But they're all children of God and they're all seeking for the same things. They're seeking for the fruits of the Spirit as it says in Galatians 5:22. Love, joy, peace... All of them come through living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And as a missionary, we strive earnestly to develop charity and come to love all those we teach. I love our investigators. It's come to the point where some nights I'll wake up in the middle of the night and I'll be thinking about them instead of myself. What do THEY need to know. What questions do THEY have. And ultimately, the joy that THEY will feel as they accept the ordinances of baptism and keeping all of Heavenly Father's commandments.

I have my camera with me today! I'll attach a few pictures and send them your way. I'm glad you all made it to Canada in one piece. Did you say hi to people for me yet? If not, I'll be sorely disappointed. I really want to see the movie "Brave." :( Oh well! It'll still be a movie in November 2013! It also sounds like you've already visited and seen a TON of Nova Scotia buddies already. Eat some strawberries and maybe some of Bill Frank's chowder for me! And send ketchup chips my way.. *shifty eyes*
Mom - The Bountiful Temple is very beautiful. The sad part is as of Sunday it will be out of the mission! NOO! BUT! In awesome news, the open house for the Brigham City Temple starts on my birthday! So we'll have another beautiful temple within the mission bounds. We'll also have the Ogden Temple if they ever finish that. We'll also have Star Valley in.. 3 or 4 years. Hahaha. Someday. Bountiful is about an hour south of here if you were wondering. You just called yourself a former investigator! That's weird. I've never thought about that before. I wonder what the missionaries were thinking as they taught you.. How long did they teach you before you were baptized? I hope you enjoy the cottage. Do you think that stream will ever clean up?

Dad - To be honest I don't really look at the number of weeks you put at the top. In fact, I'm still at the point where I know that I have so many more weeks left than I've been out that it doesn't even concern me! But who knows how long that will last.. Did you get to order any Sackville Pizza? Er.. Pizza Girls? Or have you decided that the pizza place in Cole Harbour (Tony's [?]) is better? Chocolate fondue.. Do you realize how hard it is to convince people that I don't like eating dessert? I basically have to tell them the entire story of me being allergic to eggs and peanut butter and thus I never developed much of an attachment to cookies and cake and things for them to believe me.. How come you're taking RYAN to the Bay of Fundy and you never took me! You didn't take me to Peggy's Cove either! I feel unloved! Haha.. We'll just have to hit up the slot canyons. Then I may forgive you.

I love you all. I'll send a few pictures your way.. Guess what we're doing today!? We're going to a missionary barbecue in South Ogden and then after that we're going down to Kaysville to an indoor trampoline park that's free for missionaries! I'm pumped. Pray for me!

- Elder Tyler Grant :)

June 12th, 2012

Hey everyone!

How's everybody doing!?

On Thursday we had interviews with President Olson, and I felt.. So much better after talking to him. I know I'm not perfect, and I've struggled with knowing that I'm doing all that I can do in every situation. The counsel and answers to questions that I had have been a much needed boost over the past week.

So this past week.. I've learned a lot. Like.. A lot. I've truly come to understand that Heavenly Father places us in different situations and different areas so that we can learn things when he needs us to learn them. So let me start by saying this: in my first 4 transfers, I struggled a LOT with getting up on time, and a lot of times I was never nearly as diligent or obedient as I knew I should have been. And despite that, I felt like we still had success. I was still learning how to teach, how to study, and how to live and learn from companions. But this transfer... I've been much better at getting up on time - almost. For the first few weeks, I was getting up at 7:00 AM instead of 6:30 AM, since that first half hour is for exercising and since we walk so much every day I didn't see it was important. I've been exhausted at the end of every day, so that extra half hour of sleep seemed logical and justified for me. But this past week we've been frustrated with appointments falling through, investigators being insincere, and many other things. So on Saturday I made a firm resolve: Heavenly Father wants us to be obedient in every circumstance, so I promised Him and myself that I would begin getting up at 6:30 AM. And do you know what changed? I'll tell you..

On Saturday we did our weekly planning and then headed off. The very first house that we visited (which was supposedly a former investigator) turned out to be a wrong address. But the lady invited us in, told us she was a member, and then said she had a 15 year old grandson and an 8 year old granddaughter who wanted to be baptized [lets count the investigators/referrals : 1 & 2]. We walked a little further down the street and talked to a young women's president, and she gave us a referral for a non-member 14 year old girl named Rosi who went to girls camp and expressed interest to be baptized [ 3 ]. The zone leaders text-ed us that day and set up an appointment with a 79 year old lady named Frances who's children are members of the church who wanted to meet with us [ 4 ]. That evening we tracted into a 21 year old lady named Kristina who was extremely excited to see us and set up a return appointment immediately [ 5 ]. On Sunday at church, one of the bishops came up to us and said there was a 40 year old lady named Kira who was getting married to a member shortly and wants to be baptized [ 6 ]. At correlation meeting after church one of our ward mission leaders told us about two former investigators who nearly got baptized in the past who wanted to meet with us again [ 7 & 8 ]. On Monday we went visiting some former investigators in some apartments, and ran into two separate people named Mike and Tiffany who have met with missionaries before and invited us immediately back [ 9 & 10 ]. We visited a young women's president in another ward and she told us about a 14 year old girl named Hayley who went to girl's camp and wants to meet with us and her less-active family may want to come back [ 11 ]. The zone leaders then set up another appointment with a newly moved in part member family in the trailer park for tonight [ 12 ]. And then we got ANOTHER referral from a family who's in the bishopric with a non member husband and daughter who have been going to church [ 13 & 14 ].

Yes. Really. We've picked up 14 potentials and referrals in the past 3 days. It's been INSANE! This is one of those times that I know the Lord has been withholding blessings from us because I chose to justify my actions, and when I "experimented upon the word" as it says in Alma, he decided to shower us with success. I can't believe how blessed we've been. Who knows if every single appointment will go through or if every person who came forward will end up being baptized. But I know that the Lord is preparing people and he wants to guide us. After all, it is HIS work, not ours. As it says in D&C 82:10 - "I the Lord am bound WHEN YE DO WHAT I SAY, but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise." I know that this wasn't just a coincidence, or to be exact, 14 coincidences. It is his PROMISE to us that if we are being obedient to the commandments and following what the prophets have counseled us to do that he will bless us. I just think this time he was a little blunt with us just to prove a point and say "See what you've been missing out on!?" It's been incredible.

I'd write more, but I'm pretty sure our ride is coming to pick us up in a few minutes, and I feel it'd be rude to keep them waiting.. so I'll answer your questions quickly.

Mom - Ketchup chips would be much appreciated! And yes I drank the peach juice you sent me. I need more Advair, albuterol, and concerta.
 I can't believe you slept in a tent. You've NEVER slept in a tent. *high five!* Tell the Radford's I say hi. And those JW girls didn't come to our church last week! We were disappointed.. but we'll follow up with them. Girls in Nova Scotia? Uhh.. Tell them I love them :). That'd probably cover it..

Dad - I'm pretty sure I'm gonna have to learn to drive the vette when I get home.. It's long overdue. I can't believe you stole my shady trees. But I'll get over it - it's less sticks to pick up. Did you ever have any punk companions on your mission? As in ones that were fed up with working or maybe not as obedient as they could have been? You really didn't talk about your mission much, after all.. Haha. The excommunication JW process sounds horrible. But it's not easy to come back to ANY church after you've fallen away by choice or excommunicated. I've seen that time and time again - a lot of people WANT to come back, but lack the courage or motivation. Read that talk by Bishop Edgley from last conference and you'll know what I mean. And actually, in the past week (speaking of the Lord placing us in people's paths..) there have been 4 opportunities we've had to give random people blessings, whether they've flagged us down from their porch or picked us up on the side of the road. Unplanned opportunities to serve are everywhere.
Okay. Our ride is like.. Here. I love you guys!

- Elder Tyler Grant :)