Elder Nicholas Berrett is currently serving in the Billings Montana mission (serving most of Montana and a good portion of Wyoming) for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He is excited to serve the Lord and the people of Montana and Wyoming for the next two years!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Dear Zach

Good Afternoon / Morning Zach!

Sorry, I say morning because that's when I'm writing this, but it's probably going to be afternoon when you get this.

How are you doing?  How is the quorum?  Any fun plans for Halloween?  My companion and I decided that we are going to dress up as each other, even switch name tags!

Oh! Guess what? It's finally here, eggnog!  I found the most delicious eggnog at our grocery store of choice, Wal-Mart.  It's this amazing caramel eggnog.  Holy cow, it's fantastic!  Also holy cow, I never realized just how powerful fire extinguishers are.  I'm looking at the mess from our fire now (it still hasn't been cleaned up) and wow, seriously though, if you ever have to use one, expect to clean up a mess, it gets everywhere!

You want to know what's one of the saddest things ever?  When you go and contact less-active members of the ward and they just have no testimony of the church whatsoever :/ it sucks.

Zach I love you so much! seriously I think about you guys all the time :)

I hope you have a Fantastic week!

Never Give Up, Never Surrender!
 - Elder Berrett

Monday, October 26, 2015

Dear Madison

My dearest sister Madison, (aka The Great and Powerful Jedi Master)

How are you doing today?  Felt any disturbances in the force?  So quick funny thing, my companion and I may or may not put on masks in the morning, fight with light sabers (paper towel rolls) and call that our morning exercise :)

How was the play? I kept hearing about all the stuff going into it, but never anything about it.   Also how's the new auditorium guy?  On a scale from peanut butter to Stahl?

Madison, I am writing this letter to inform you of a great thing.  Unfortunately I can't remember what it was going to be so I will have to move on now.  Soon.  Anytime  This may be the last line of this paragraph.  Almost there.  Done.

How's being a Sophomore?!  Can you believe you are already 1/4 of the way done with High School?  It's crazy how fast it goes.

How is your viola by the way?  Does it have a name?  It really should!

Oh dang, my companion just woke up from his nap.  We have to go teach a lesson now, can't wait!

I love you!  May the Force be with you Always!
Never Give Up, Never Surrender!
 - Elder Berrett

Dear Christopher

Hi! How are you doing today Christopher?  Thank you so much for the pictures that you sent me! They are so cool!

Hey Christopher, guess what?  My companion and I live right next to train tracks! We get to see a train every day!  It's a really long red and blue train.

Christopher, also, every Monday, we get to eat lunch at an airport! I think that's pretty silly.

I love you Christopher! Can you please give everyone a hug for me?  You give great hugs.

- Elder Berrett

Bonus Snail Mail :) - Dear Family

Good Morning!  It's time to wake up and Be Happy!

Sorry, that's just how I feel a good letter should start off.  I mean, in all honesty, it's a lot easier to write that than to write- Hello mom, hello father, hello Zachary, hello Mad, and hello Squishtopher!   I hope at this point you are reading this in a Fantastic British accent :)

So you will be happy to know that on my mission I have already been fed pasties twice!  Once by an old English lady (yes, homemade), and once from a pasty shop that we have here in Butte.  Sorry about the other letters that I tried to send, but apparently stamps are a thing, and also dogs who eat letters.

So yes, I am indeed writing this letter from Butte.  It's a very.....interesting town.  I don't think I've ever lived in a ghetto before, it's quite different.  Thankfully we finally have a car all to ourselves so there's that, plus I've been told that as long as you avoid Main Street at night, you should be able to avoid most everything.

Sorry it's 10:28, finding the time to write in my journal, let alone write letters is insane!  I'll continue tomorrow, Love you!

Good Evening!  It's now my preparation day, also at night.  Seriously these days are all so crazy busy, If we aren't planning, we're studying, training, contacting, tracting, teaching, or sleeping.  So far every missionary I've asked when they have had time to journal just laughs.  Thankfully I've managed to write every day these past few weeks and plan to continue on!

So kind of a cool miracle tonight, because preparation day ends at 6:00, we are required to obviously stay busy after then.  The problem that occurs however is that we are not allowed to contact active members past 6:00 on Mondays because FHE.  Normally we try to plan to have an active member host a less active during those times but they all fell through.  (plus we forgot to contact members earlier today :/ )  Thankfully we had a backup of contacting and had a list of people that might be interested in us teaching them.  So we prayed then visited those that we felt inspired to visit.  The first was a less active family who was formerly unresponsive and they totally welcomed us in!  They were so pumped to have us over next Sunday and were willing to receive our Daily Scripture texts!  Amazing.  The next was an investigator who told us that she was so excited to be baptized soon!  Crazy! She has met with us for 2 weeks and is already most of the way through the Book of Mormon!  She's almost done with 3rd Nephi!  Plus when asked she quit drinking cold turkey and has never looked back!

So today we also deep cleaned our apartment.  We've been spraying Febreeze so it doesn't smell like drugs anymore and it's totally working!  You would be proud to know that I have been amazing at laundry and dishes.  Oh the joy that comes from being in a clean place.  I love it!  Sorry for not learning that lesson earlier.  My hamper is even always used and there never is anything on the floor.  Seriously.

Ugh.  Tomorrow I have to get a flu shot.  Mission Policy.  I've been putting it off and during my interview with the President on Saturday, he told me that his wife is seriously worried about the few of us who still haven't had it.  And apparently my knee issues were stressing her out last transfer too so I need to remember to give them positive updates in my weekly emails to them as well :)

I love you!  Never Give Up, Never Surrender!
- Elder Nicholas John Berrett I

Quick, where's the fire extinguisher!?

Good morning everyone!
So real quick, I may or may not have just bought a GALIFREYAN CTR RING!!! (thanks Dani) Anyways, this week has been Glorious*! We got a new investigator, who after two days is also a new progressing investigator! Her name is Jean and she is so excited about the gospel! What's really cool is that everything that we teach she usually replies back with "that makes so much sense!" She's going to be a fantastic member!  And seriously! She is totally being baptized :)  So one of the cool things about this area is that we already have someone else on date! I meant to mention that, her baptism is going to be on Nov. 7th!  I can't wait to see it!  So we have one person on date, and 3 progressing. however our new progressing one is about to be put on date, we are going to ask her after the restoration lesson (it's where the spirit is the strongest) but we pretty much already know that she will be baptized, the only thing that will probably keep her from being baptized in a week is that you have to attend church 3 times :) 

Earlier this week we also found a new less active family who said that they would like to get back into the gospel, just don't have any time but they said that they would love for us to come by sometime :)

So funny story, we had transfers with our zone leaders, well actually one of them just joined us for 24 hours and I'm not sure what that's called but oh well. Anyways, after he joined us it got really crazy.
We didn't do much that night because it was splits with the ward then we had a coordination meeting with our ward mission leader. Anyways, that night was so crazy, our downstairs neighbors dogs got out and started chasing us when we got out of the car, then because we had already planned we had a quick companionship inventory then decided to make some food.  Unfortunately the stove had other ideas...........and sorta caught fire.  Thankfully we had a fire extinguisher near by, unfortunately it took several min. and all three of us to realize that in order for it to work you have to pull the pin, THEN squeeze the handle. So if you ever wondered how many elders it takes to put out a fire, its three, as long as they have several min. :)  So, we sorta have a stove, only one of the burners work right now, but it meets our needs :)

(After asking for a bit of clarification)-

So the stove, that's a funny story. 

Literally all that we were doing were trying to boil a pot of water.  Unfortunately apparently our stove over heated, and something (we can't tell what it is now but its black and sticky)  that fell underneath the burner caught fire and spread all over the stove. However the funny part was that even though literally our entire house was full of smoke no smoke alarm went off.  Apparently it, and most of the things in the house, is broken.  Literally this house is so ghetto its hilarious.  We have exposed wires all over the place, lights randomly decide to work sometimes and then other times don't. Our fridge makes strange noises and apparently black mold is a thing. Honestly though I wouldn't trade this place for the world. I love being a missionary here. not only have we had so many opportunities to serve (including the food bank because we also get a free box of food for serving so that helps to cut down on the costs, they only offer that to missionaries :)) and I love all of the people here, even our downstairs neighbors, even if they hate each other and are always yelling and swearing, we love them and try to help out as much as we can :) It's actually really funny, because we have had other missionaries take one look at our situation and then say "we are so sorry" but I dont hate it at all. This is where I need to be and I LOVE IT! this mission is the greatest thing that I have ever done. Without a doubt. 

But anyways, other than that it was an absolutely fantastic week!

Sorry its a short email this week, its been crazy, apparently fire stuff is hard to clean up. :/

*see Flo pronunciation guide pg 7

Never Give up, Never Surrender!

-Elder Berrett

Monday, October 19, 2015

Good Morning!

Good morning everyone and happy Monday!

On today's show we will be talking about stake conference, transfer week, Elder Wessendorf, A new book titled "how to run away from dogs for dummies" and of course the work here Butte.
(Insert catchy tune here)

So this week was transfer week! And now I'm companions with the amazing, awe inspiring, Elder Wessendorf!

How does one describe elder Wessendorf? Well. He's experienced, knowledgeable, and also completely random! The only difference is that he's actually really good at sports. Especially basketball and Pod-ball. Plus he's all about getting "jacked" and keeps telling me how "jacked" we are going to get.  I'm a little curious to see how that will go :)

Butte is pretty interesting. Basically it's divided into three parts.

The flats, Mid-town, and Up-Town. The flats is where all of the farms and nice houses are, Mid-town is sketchy, up town is where all the sketchy people hang out. I'll let you guess where we live :) Actually we are in between up-town and Mid-town. It's actually a pretty nice house.

Basically as long as you remember to lock all of the locks and put up the brace on the back door you are completely safe. Honestly though, once you do all of the locks you feel so safe. I've never had this many locks on a door and it's really fun to lock them all. :)

Thankfully we are really lucky and respected here in butte. Most people see us as "religious men" and either talk to us or are polite.

The rest are usually drunk and tell us satan worshippers to go away and kill babies somewhere else. ;) It's so funny to listen to all of the stories that people come up with. I swear some of these people think we probably actually have horns or something. :) Usually it's just the people that are high that are the fun ones though. :)

So one cool thing that we do here in Butte is we get to serve at the food bank once a week, we serve for two hours and help then we get to take home a box of food!!! While I'm sad to leave Great Falls and the great Air Force base. We get tons of food here :) also apparently there is someone in the ward here assigned to make sure that the missionaries get fed every night by a member so that's really cool! We have met tons of great people and had tons of great food!

The work is also going pretty great here too! While our area was just recently opened again, so we had a teaching pool of 0, we now have 3 progressing investigators, one investigator with a baptismal date who in two weeks has almost completely finished reading the Book of Mormon, about 5 new investigators, and about 8 potentials! It's so much fun to be able to meet so many people and help them come closer to God :) I am so thankful for all of the opportunities that we have to serve here. Service is so pushed here that we pretty much have a minimum requirement of 5 hours a week, thankfully we have Justserve.org to help with that. (You should all use it! It's so amazing! 2 stars! 5 thumbs up!)

Sorry I have to go now, apparently getting "jacked" is a thing :) talk to you all soon!

Monday, October 12, 2015

If you give an elder a recipe

If you give an elder a recipe (in particular it's the cowboy casserole that Mama T sent),
He will want to make it.
When he and his companion decide to make it, 
they will also decide that they must make cornbread muffins to go with it.
When they decide that they must make cornbread muffins to go with it,
They will then tear apart the entire house looking for corn.
When they realize that they already have a box of premade cornbread muffin mix, 
they will laugh then play Rock-Paper-Scissors, to determine who makes what.
When Elder Berrett wins the cornbread muffins,
he will attempt to follow the instructions.
When Elder Berrett attempts to follow the instructions, 
he will inevitably end up pouring in 1/2 cup of water instead of milk. 
When Elder Berrett ends up pouring in 1/2 cup of water instead of milk,
He will then assume that the only logical thing to do is to pour in 1/2 cup of evaporated milk, add flour, then hope for the best. 
When the elders hope for the best,
they will enjoy a delicious meal with the 9 min. that they have left of dinner and then hope that the mess will go away.
When the elders hope that the mess will go away, 
it doesn't.
The end  
Really hoping these aren't the ingredients used in his cowboy casserole or that he has to eat these at all.  Ick.

Can you believe that it has already been 1 1/2 months, a whole transfer. Wow. I still can't get over the fact that I've been here that long and I'm still having to look at my little glorious notebook (again thank you Hannah Oliekan For that amazing gift last Christmas timeish, it has saved my life so many times I really cannot thank you enough!) To remember the names of all of these people. However as amazing as this area is, and how utterly amazing the people are, I will have to bid it adieu. 

So last night elder Hendricks and I got our transfer news! Unfortunately I will be leaving Great Falls and heading to some place called Butte. The cool part is, My new trainer, will be Elder Wessendorf, Elder Hendricks' old companion/trainer! I've heard so much about this man and now I finally get to serve with him! 

Great Falls, and this entire companionship have been amazing! I think one of the coolest parts about transfers is that they are completely inspired by the lord. My testimony of that has increased so much. Elder Hendricks has helped me so much as a missionary and as a person. He has helped me to be way more loving, caring, forgiving, and generally more Christlike. 

Elder Hendricks will be staying here and will continue to serve as district leader and get a new companion (whose name we have both forgotten).

On the bright side, because transfers are on Wednesday, I GET MY KNEE BRACE ON WEDNESDAY!!!! (insert fireworks and exploding Death Stars here) I'm so pumped to be able to walk normally again and not have everyone ask (Are you ok? Why are you playing dodgeball with that? Do you want to sit down? Did you know that Joseph Smith also had a limp too?) 

Sorry this emails a little hectic, elder Hendricks and I are rushing trying to do everything to say and say goodbye to everyone today that we don't have a lesson with. 

Let's see what else, oh actually missionary work!

The work has been fantastic this week! not only have people all of the sudden become more receptive, but a ton of members have been contacting us this week asking how they can help further the work and if there are any investigators that they can fellowship. We have one of our investigators, Dan, who we have been trying to contact all transfer, who just called us and set up two lessons this past week. while one of them fell through it was still amazing! He is almost on date for baptism and he is so willing to learn!

Also, The wedding. for those of you who didn't hear, one of our less active couples asked me to marry them this past week, it was so crazy, I'm only 18! I don't even know what to say!  Sadly/thankfully after a really nice conversation with our mission president, he came to the conclusion that the Bishop should marry them. Unfortunately because the Bishop was sick this last week they put it off until tomorrow. 

I hope that you all have a most fantastic week! The church is true! Thank you all so much for all that you do!

-Never give up, Never Surrender!
-Elder Berrett
P.S. Companionship quote of the week "Elder, last I checked, Hell wasn't Horizontal." 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

Well this week has definitely been one for the history books. 

So as many of you are most likely aware, it was conference week!!! A time where the prophet, the first presidency, the quorum of the 12 Apostles, and other leaders of our church speak to us. While I have experienced this my whole life, there is something miraculous about listening to it as a missionary and with personal and investigators questions in mind. I don't know about you all, but this was an amazing conference. 

One of my favourite talks was given by Elder Randal K. Bennett. In his talk he talks how important it is to remember that we are never alone! That we never have to rely on our strength alone but we have that of the Savior's to rely on. My other favourite point that he made was that we were created that we might have JOY! God has a perfect plan for us so that we might have that ultimate joy with Him again. And that while it may seem near impossible at the time to overcome things or even be happy in the moment, as we put forth our own efforts God will more than match our efforts and show us His love. 

My other favourite talk was by Elder Uchtdorf funny enough during the women's conference. It was the quote "Now is a part of eternity" We can have Joy now!  We can experience the joys of eternity now!

So kind of a fun thing happened this week.  It snowed.  It is literally an entirely different world. Elder Hendricks and I woke up Saturday morning to a (I would say blanket, but there was nothing warm or comforting about it) sheet of snow.  It was everywhere. Even in the half rain half snow that was coming down was white. Thankfully while I was nowhere near prepared for this, there are kind, glorious elders out there who left a closet full of extra coats and gloves. So while I may have looked silly with all sorts of mismatching items, I was at least able to bike these last few days and not be too cold.  Unfortunately however apparently this isn't even anything to what it will be like in January or even later this month. While I dread the thought of such a thing I can now testify of how amazing hot cocoa is at the end of the day.  Imagine this glorious sight if you will: Coming in from the bitter, deathly wasteland of a place and taking off your coat. Then you grab a blanket and a cup of hot caramel hot cocoa and curl up next to the near celestial heater and drink this glorious nectar while planning for the next day. Why anyone would want a "white" (deathly, cold, bitter, wasteland-like) Christmas is beyond me. 

 All of that aside though this week actually has been really fantastic! We were even able to put an investigator on date! Another blessing that Elder Hendricks and I got is that we were able to put a smile on so many faces this week. This Monday we made it our goal to make everyone we talk to smile and it has been fantastic, even as they try to slam the door in our face we are able to feel God's love for them and help them to have a better day :) I know that as we strive to love those that we teach and meet that we will continue to see blessings come from that. 

Another great blessing that we were able to receive this week was that a lot of the less actives that we have been working with are coming to Conference and are feeling the spirit! We even have two whole families who have completely returned to activity! While there have been a few people that have dropped us, the spirit has been so strong this week. 

Did I tell you guys about our less active members Charlene and Robert that we are teaching?  So in order to go to the temple they need to actually be civilly married and they want one of us, not the bishop, to perform the ceremony! I don't even know what to do! I'm 18! We are currently working with the mission president to figure things out but it's insane. They want to be married by the end of the week. 

I love you all and absolutely love this work! while it is cold and hard, I would NEVER give this up.  It is such a blessing to see people change as they accept the gospel into their lives or even come to realize that yes, Christ's church HAS been restored to the earth today.  Thank you all for all of your support and I love you all! 

Never Give up, Never Surrender!

-Elder Berrett