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!

Monday, February 27, 2017

The day I met aunt Jamie

Hello Everyone!

This last week was absolutely wonderful!

In fact, we just had a powerful stake priesthood session last night and wow. The spirit seriously hit me strong. One of the biggest things that I took away from it is how the spirit works. Lately I've been trying to figure out some big things in my life and it hit me pretty hard that I've been going about it the wrong way. I keep expecting the spirit to just kind of tell me the answers that I need or tell me exactly what I should do. Sometimes we need to just think it through, pray about it, and of we don't hear anything different, go for it. As a great man one told me, I just need to sit and think first, THEN ask for help. Heavenly father's plan is for us to grow, not learn how to follow orders. I am so thankful that I have a loving father who knows me and is willing to help me become better.

Anyways, this week was really wonderful! One of the biggest things that we got to do this week was help someone in Boulder build a house! I got to help our branch president put up a bunch of insulation and help out this poor brother who had moved to town last November with his wife, but have been living out of a camper. It was a super cool experience, service really truly does heal the soul. I was also able to do a lot of thinking while we were doing that. 

Those we have been teaching have been doing really great! Oh! So we have been working with a guy in another ward, he's a less active member, and is really struggling with a trial of faith. Honestly, I have been really blessed to work with him, he has really blessed my life. However lately he has been reminding me of someone and it wasn't until recently that I figured it out. He's a male aunt Jamie! So crazy! Their personalities are so similar! 

Anyways, I love you all! I hope you all have a wonderful day! 

Never give up, Never surrender!
-Elder Berrett

voice recording Feb 27, part 2

Good Morning and happy pancake Monday again!  You’ve reached Elder Berrett!
(gas stove clicking)  There we go. You’ve reached Elder Berrett, the best radio station in all of East Helena.  Only on Monday mornings.  From like 8-9. Maybe. 

Alright, it’s time to make… I’m thinking of putting in just a little more water actually.  Which I’ve heard makes it a lot, this kind of goes against everything I believe in, because clumps are good, when you make pancake mix or just about anything, but hey.  There we go.  Little more… Fluidy? Fluid. I don’t need to add a y to that. Come on Elder Berrett. Grammar up. 

Oh my goodness!  So I was up here making some chili mac for dinner yesterday, and brother Welch was watching TV and of course I’m overhearing it, it was, I mean don’t worry, it was one of those shows about hunting for sasquatch. He was more watching it like “What the heck is this?”, and I was laughing hysterically, because it was so bad, it was a trainwreck that you couldn’t take your eyes off of, and oh my goodness. I think my favorite was, they were in this small town, I think called Whitehall, not the Whitehall that’s right next to me.  I was talking to Brother Welsh about it, and we were both just dying of laughter at this one part, and that’s when I went home.  I mean I only heard 3 or 4 minutes of it. No, probably more like, let’s see I’m standing here at the stove making the mac and cheese, listening to it in the other room, probably 8, 8-10 minutes…

Oh wow.  They’re hot! Oh, perfect, where’s a plate? Pancakes are all bubbly and I just flipped it and it looks amazing. Granted, it’s sitting in butter. Sister Wadsworth would kill me if she saw this. My heart’s going to kill me. And I will end up like poor Elder Hatch.

Anyways, Oh yeah! So, I mean obviously I couldn’t see what was going on, but for some reason they are talking about a law I think that was made? About not killing sasquatches in the area, that a police officer made.  He’s like “You know, sasquatches, they got families, they are living, breathing, caring creatures. And well, man, you just gotta respect a ‘squatch!” And oh, brother welsh and I were dying.  I just busted up laughing when I heard that. Respect the Squatch. That’s right people.  I’ll start a campaign.  I’m sure Ryanne will jump in on that.  I wonder if she still has those sasquatch slippers.  Oh! Is she gonna marry that guy? Last I heard she met some boy and was completely crazy over him. I was thinking of her the other day when we were driving and I saw a Biola bumper sticker. I’m like “Oh! Hey!  I have a friend that goes there!” 

Oh, I don’t know if you’ve heard, so when I was on exchanges in Billings, I ran into Pieter!  Like, craziest thing ever. I was with Elder Pett and we were talking with him for a little bit. I didn’t waste too much time, but I mean, I kinda had to talk to him! Super cool, he’s been doing great.  He’s working, he came up here to go to MSU, he isn’t going any more, apparently there is a, his dad was working at the college and uh, as an accountant and he got fired because he found some numbers he shouldn’t have found. So Pieter doesn’t go there any more.  He’s right now working as an A/C heater repairman, and is thinking about moving back to Arizona and going to ASU.  He was talking about getting a scholarship there. He’s like, “Yeah,  I will probably be going back in the fall or spring.” I’m like “Hey!  I’ll be going back in the fall!” 

I talked about home in this voicemail a lot, I’m going to stop. I promise I don’t think, (sigh) it’s literally only on Mondays. Seeing Pieter was a little hard, I did get a little homesick then, but that was like a week and a half, two weeks ago.

Let me think, we’ve been able to do some really cool work, we got a new stake presidency and had a priesthood conference last night.  There’s this family we’ve been working with,  trying so hard to get them to come, aaagh!  He’s a less active member, she’s not a member, but she’s practically a member, she’s just on parole and can’t be baptized yet.  Oh my goodness, she is so prepared, so ready, he’s still less active, knows it’s true, believes it’s true, but just has a hard time getting out of bed.  And so he was out and about and we were trying so hard to get him to come to the meeting last night and I don’t think he went, but it was super powerful.  Our new stake presidency all spoke to the priesthood, oh my goodness, great, great wonderful talks.

Oh, that flip was kinda crappy.  I’m getting better at making these pancakes.  Oh, I’m gonna need to make more mix.  How much mix do I have? Ohhhh, I only have like a cup left.  Good thing today is Monday!  Good thing I’ve still got 30 bucks on the card and we get more money tomorrow. 
It’s kindof interesting serving out here in East Helena.  It’s like 15 minutes to drive into town.  Like we kinda live in a big little city. Or a big little town.  It’s like someone took Greybull and made it like 5 times the size and really spread out. And then put it right on the outskirts of like, well, Helena Montana.  I was gonna say Cody Wyoming, but then I’m like, no, Helena is way bigger than Cody.   Cody’s got A Walmart.  Helena’s got Costco, and Walmart and they’re getting a winco and I mean any big store you can think of they got it.  Except for Scheels.  Can’t get any tape here.

Man.  I can’t believe Elder Hatch is going home. That really breaks my heart.  At least he’ll get to talk to Nina now.  There was a… Nina’s ex husband talked to President and said that Elder Hatch was flirting with her and doing other things when he wasn’t, and he wasn’t allowed to talk to her the rest of his mission.  I mean President knew, but when there is an accusation like that made, you kinda gotta be a missionary and respect that.

I don’t know if, did you ever hear when I was in Butte, there was a girl that was saying that me and my companion were going into her house and like trying to do things to her when she was alone?  Oh, That was an annoying headache to deal with. I mean it was pretty easy, like she admitted that she was lying. We had never been inside her house, like it wasn’t that much of a concern. When we heard about it, we quickly emailed president and he was like, “yeah, just don’t go back there.” There was a less active that lived at her house.  The sisters were teaching her, and a less active in our ward lived there and so we were contacting him. Not knowing that she lived there as well and, I don’t know.  Butte people are weird. It’s Butte.  Good ol’ Butte Montana just passin’ through.♫♪  That’s like the only phrase of that song I know. (no idea what song he’s talking about) Brother Cheatham was always singing it. 

Ah! Ah! No-no-no-no!  Oh Gosh Darnit!! So I started to flip this pancake, missed, like, flipped like half of it, so now it’s like, an omelet. (Sigh) I’ll take that pancake, I won’t make Elder Shumway eat that.  Better start making more mix.  I’ve got five pancakes made, 1-2-3, yeah… Oh yeah, this one is… I wonder if I can break it in half because it’s too thick to cook in the middle. Oh and yeah, there we go, now it actually looks kinda normal once I do that. I mean it was just folded over perfectly in the middle.  Only problem with flipping it multiple times is it loses its fluffiness.  I wonder what the science is behind that.  Tell me in the comments below! Make sure to like and subscribe! Christopher.
Oh, I love that kid. How’s he doing?  Is he still on his wanting to be a big youtuber, I can’t imagine that he wouldn’t not be, he’s Christopher.  When he gets something in his mind he goes for it for I feel like at least half a year. 

I think I’m only going to make one or two more pancakes, that should be enough mix. Oh my goodness, I feel like this is way more messy than it normally is.  Oh, crap, how long is this recording?  Oh good, only 11 minutes. I think gmail won’t let me send anything over like, I don’t know, I think 20 minutes is the max but I don’t even want to go close to that.  Let me think… I added too much water, so now I gotta add more flour. I wonder if Alton Brown has anything to say about making pancakes.  I can’t remember what I was making, I think it was just eggs, with Brother Cheatham and he goes “so I was watching the cooking channel the other day, and there’s this really great show, Alton Brown, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of him, but…”  and he starts going off on some of the science he heard.  And I’m all “Oh I’m very familiar with Alton Brown.   I know the very episode you’re watching.  It’s the mac and cheese one.” Oh, I love brother Cheatham so much. 
Plot twist- maybe… no. I’m not even going to think about that, I’m in my own area.  It’s a good area. I was gonna say “Plot twist – maybe I’ll get sent back to Wyoming.”  But I’m like, in all reality, if I was to go anywhere in Wyoming, it would be the other zone.  I’ve served all over Wyoming-West.  Either on exchanges, or I mean I’ve been inside every single building in all three stakes. I mean I haven’t attended every ward, but…

Oh crap. There we go.  Pancakes are cooking.  Oh yeah so everything had just melted. It was perfect.  Things were starting to get a little green again, and we just got like, I don’t know, three inches last night.  It just dumped. On the bright side, I might make my first snow man. That I can recall.  I think I made some in West Valley when I was a toddler, but I think I’m going to make my first snowman today.   I don’t know if it’s wet enough though, that’s the problem.  I think it’s all fairly powdery. If I just throw a bunch of water in the mix will it work? (laughs) Is it like pancake mix? (laughs)  I’ll make pancakes.

How’s Madison doing? She’s got her big trip coming up soon.  (thunk) Ow! That’s a counter.  I just kicked a counter. She’s got to be really looking forward to that because that sounds like a really fun trip. I don’t even know what to think of that pancake, it’s like, peach colored.  What? I clearly didn’t cook it very long, the bubbles are starting to pop.

So, my flash drive is still in Powell. With all my music and stuff on it. I was gonna get it at the last MLC but, they had it in their car, but forgot to get it to me. So I’ll be getting it this MLC, thank goodness I had my other flash drive on me with all my pictures.  Anyways, we’ve been listening to all of the youth music because we need a change of music because we’ve been listening to Elder Shumway’s flash drive and he has like several albums of music on there, but it’s just like, you’ve just listened to it all.  Lots of times. I can now quote Prince of Egypt word for word.  At least of the music, I don’t know any of the non-music parts, because we don’t have access to those.

I hope this pancake is okay, yeah it looks cooked in the middle. How long is this recording?  Sixteen minutes?  I think I’m going to stop this one.  Alright, I love you guys and hope you have a most wonderful day.  May the Lord bless you and keep you.

The cathedral was awesome yesterday (last week) , I’m sorry if you didn’t get any pictures of it. I totally had my camera ready, I got pictures of the outside, and I was getting ready to take pictures inside, Elder Rickenbacker reminded me that in the missionary handbook it says not to take photos of sacred objects or religious things of other churches.  And I went, “oh, that’s right…” We all felt comfortable and felt like it was ok to get a picture of the outside, but to go in someone else’s church and take lots of pictures while, yeah.  It’s an actual cathedral, apparently what makes it a cathedral at least as far as my limited catholic knowledge goes and from what I read is the fact that it’s a Bishop’s chair in it.  And that’s what I know about Catholics. Well, being around Elder hatch I feel like I’ve learned a bit, because he considers himself ½ catholic.

Elder Shumway, the pancakes are just about ready.  (Elder Shumway – “Sweet”) How’s your workout? (elder Shumway –“ good”) Good.  Elder Shumway here goes above and beyond the call. He decides to workout as well Monday mornings, I just kinda workout when we do sports.  He’s like, “No! I’ve got my set routine! I’m gonna do it!” And I go “Go you, son! Woo!” So he had a scholarship to U of A, but then he went on a mission instead, and so he’s trying to be able to walk on the team, is his plan, and he’s a stud.  I respect Elder Shumway a lot.

(banging noises) I don’t know what I’m doing.  Singing ♪♫“And I’m proud to be an American…”♫♪ I think today I’m going to buy a couple three boxes of macaroni and cheese, no, we’re getting fed enough this week I don’t need to spend, nah I don’t need to buy them.

Wait I really need to send this off!  It’s 19 minutes!  19:07, 19:08… I love you!  Bye!

voice recording Feb 27 part 1

Good morning mom!  Happy pancake Monday!  Today is the, I don’t know why I’m looking at my watch.  This watch doesn’t have the date on it.  Have you seen my cool six-shooter watch?  I got this in Wyoming.  It just makes me smile every time I look at it.   It’s got two six shooters that are crossed in front of it,  it was honestly more of a joke between me and my companion,  we’d see something and be like “This is why missionaries need six shooters!”  But granted the list of why missionaries shouldn’t have six shooters is much, much larger.  Elder Shumway and I have come to the conclusion that poaching rites would sky-rocket after some of the emails we get from some of the missionaries. 
But anyways, happy pancake Monday! I’m getting out the pans now. Trying to find the pans now because they’re not, oh gosh darnit! (banging and crashing)  I’ll just use the really big pan today.  (whistling) So I have several options, well really only two, I can use the big like pan-pan, like something that I put over two burners, or I can just go wash a pan in the sink. (sigh)  I should probably just wash one in the sink.   Elder Tucker was telling me that this is what dorm life is like.  He’s like, “Your dishes are always dirty, you never have any clean dishes!” 

Oh! Speaking of that, umm, I was at preparation day the other day and I got a call from Elder Hendricks, and he said he put me down on his application at BYU-I, because he’s talking about housing, he said he did put me down as someone he’d like to room with.  The only problem is I don’t know if I should go to BYU-I.  I haven’t really prayed about it much, I’ve still got another six months.  He’s only got 4 ½.  Like as much as I want to, I don’t know if I should. It just doesn’t, like logically, I don’t know.  When I think about it, it doesn’t necessarily feel right.  I’m not sure why.  I’m kinda thinking of sticking with the initial plan, of going home and doing community college for a year, getting a job and helping you guys out.  And uh, going to the temple a lot and figuring out my life.  I definitely think I want to go into aeronautics.  I was thinking about that the other night.  Not necessarily flying, like even the control tower would be super fun.   I was talking to some members here who worked at a control tower, and you know it’s something that, you work with planes, they encourage you to get a pilots license and fly, and you get to stay close to home. You don’t have to travel a lot. I don’t have to… I can raise a family.   Maybe I will find a wife that like, she just loves flying, and I just love piloting and we’ll go do that together once we’re retired.  Well, that will be our retired job, and then sometime we’ll retire from that.

How long has there been grease sitting in this pan? There we go.  Dawn Ultra.  Dawn helps save wildlife.  Put a little bit of soap in here, and scrub it even more, since the brush is running out.
So how has your week been?  Our week has actually been really good.  Can you believe it, this week that we are in now is the last week of the transfer.  We find out our transfer news on Sunday… Holy Crap.  

Oh! I just got some of the saddest news from Elder Hatch. He uh, so this transfer he’s been in the hospital five times, because of his heart condition. He’s got a, well they discovered it when I was with him, that day I had to take him to the ER, that was terrifying.  So there’s four different things in your heart that pulses, the top two, or the top one just starts like freaking out.  Basically it’s constantly freaking out almost, like working 5 times as hard. And the bottom one is going normal.  It’s like “shh!  It’s okay, it’s okay, you don’t need to freak out!”  But, mixed with his asthma, apparently that and some of the medication he takes it can cause some very serious problems, like that day he woke up and his heart rate was 175, oh bless his heart, but anyways… Been in the hospital 4-5 times, and because of that they are sending him home.   He leaves this Friday with all the sisters in my group.  I know the Lord has a plan for us all.  Elder Hatch just only needed to be on a mission for 18 months.  He needed to go do something back home.  There we go that should be clean, and when I say “should”  I mean I scrubbed that enough, that it’s not, germs deserve to be there.   But yeah, that’s the sad news of the week.

Let me think, what else happened this week?  Zone Conference! Was that this week? Yeah!  I think that was this week!  I don’t remember having a district meeting this week.  So we had zone conference this week.  That was pretty legit.  President and sister Wadsworth were awesome as usual.  The food was really great.  I told sister Wadsworth about the deep fried chocolate filled twinkies I found at Walmart.  I told her not to worry because I didn’t eat any of them. Or buy them. I don’t have that kind of money.  Or health allowance.  You get a heart attack just looking at those things. And I don’t know they’re in the freezer, in a box, I don’t know how good deep fried stuff would be coming out of a box.

Yeah!  It’s been a really good week.  We got a new investigator in Boulder. That was pretty epic.  

Yeah, that’s right, I’m making some for Elder Shumway too, more mix. I’m filling a cup full of mix, I’ve got the skillet on the stove. Oh, I need to buy more pancake mix today.  Good thing I still have money because I budgeted. 

Oh, yeah, hear this?  I can actually talk now! Yesterday my voice was killing me. I couldn’t talk… granted I’ve had about five different cough drops today, and my throat is really coated, and all the antiseptic in the cough drops is probably working it’s magic, cause I woke up feeling just as bad. But today it’s mostly, I don’t know I woke up feeling really sick yesterday, but it’s been getting better.  Emergen-C, I’ve been taking it.

(Gas stove clicking)  There we go.  Woah, smell that propane.  Using this gas stove here.   Kind of interesting, everyone in Wyoming has those giant propane tanks outside. Where do you fill them up?  Like, they must be heavy.  Can you just put them in your truck and drive them to a spot? How often do you… man I’m going to have to ask brother Welsh about that.  Well they said it’s cheaper out here than using natural gas or electricity. I mean, I believe it because everyone out here does it.

(singing I Love To See the temple)  ooh probably a little too much butter. The first pancake is going to taste really buttery.  (more singing and whistling) Let me think, what else has happened this week, I feel like I’ve done a lot… Oh yeah! I went on exchanges, I went with an elder Eisley, serving Townsend, Elder Eisley was someone I actually served with in Butte, he was serving in Deer Lodge.  Love Deer Lodge.  Fun little place.  He’s a really good, but quiet missionary.  Although this last month, well he goes home Friday, he’s gotten, sad to say, pretty trunky.   I was noticing some things when I was on exchanges with him, but for the most part he was trying to be good. But his companion has been talking to us. And is sad to say, he was looking forward to Friday.  Which if anything, made me want to make sure I don’t get trunky.  You’re just… you just kind of affect everything around you.  Everyone notices.  It’s one thing to be excited about going home, like yeah, absolutely you should be excited about going home and seeing your family, but when it affects your work ethic, and your consecration…

Oh my goodness I need to add more water, this is bread dough.   Ohh, that’s what I need to make some time.  It’s been awhile.  Brother Cheatham gave me a really good recipe for, not necessarily bread-bread, but like rolls or fry bread.  Just kind of dough that you would use for smaller things.  Oh my goodness, that stuff.  I could eat it by the pound.  There we go, scraping the flour that’s on the bottom… (whistling)  Ok, I feel like that’s mixed in enough.   Yeah.

Ok, how long has this recording been going? Sixteen minutes.  I should probably save this and send it off.  Love you mom hope you have a… Oh! it’s only 7:56.    I guess I will wait 4 minutes and then send it off.  Wow.  Yeah, we’ve done everything we need to this morning, I’m trying to think, I guess I showered first, I don’t know if I normally do that on Mondays?  We switch off, who gets to shower first. Cause whoever doesn’t shower first gets to be lazy for an extra 15-20 minutes.  It’s probably not the best thing to admit, but hey, it’s an extra 15-20 minutes of laziness…. Usually do some physical therapy… that’s going pretty good, my knee hasn’t been bothering me too much. Which is good since I sorta left my knee brace in Billings on exchanges.  I’ll get it back at MLC. For now I’ve been using lots of knee tape.  And it’s been going pretty well.  I have noticed that, Oh my goodness, crap. Ok, there we go, I’m taking that pan off the burner. Apparently when you let butter just sit on a hot burner, it kinda burns.  It’s not too badly burnt now, I can see it’s starting to get a little brownish in parts, so take it off, mix it around, or you know I could probably actually since it’s ready, put in that pancake mix. 

I’m going to quickly send this off, or, save it, start a new one, and start making the pancakes.

Love you!  Bye! 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

random texts from people

It totally makes my day to get random texts from people with pictures of my missionary.  Sometimes those pictures come with comments about what a great missionary/young man he is.  It's the best.

Monday, February 20, 2017

I love to see the temple, I just went there Friday :)

This week was absolutely wonderful! 

I am so thankful to have a temple here in my mission, it was honestly one of the most fantastic experiences that I have had in a while. Anyways, backing up a bit. 

This week I got to go to billings on an exchange! It was absolutely Fantastic! On it, I got to learn and spend time with Elder Pett. He is such a stud! While I had a wonderful experience in Billings, getting there was quite a challenge. Long story short neither of us had made this drive before, and we had both forgotten to download a offline map. So much confusion ensued. Thankfully I think we only had to back track about 1 1/2 hours. Once we got to billings, it was about 10:15 at night.:) 

One cool spot is that during our trip to Billings I got to run into Pieter! It was really great to talk with him, and see how he has been doing. 

After our awesome trip to billings, we went home, packed our bags again and drove off to boulder. Holy cow is the work in Boulder progressing! We got a  new investigator over there and we were able to get several referrals from members there! Honestly, when I left Powell I was pretty worried that I would get to an area with not much going, and I was so thankful that three lord has been pouring miracle after miracle in our area!

Today was also pretty cool! We got to go tour the old Catholic cathedral, and then go get ice cream at an old ice cream/ soda parlor. It was so cool! Definitely something that I would start up if I was an entrepreneur. Elder hatch, I'm looking to you to start one up. 

Everything here in Helena is melting! All of the snow is finally leaving us. Granted it is supposed to come back soon, however for now I get to enjoy grass and 40° Weather. :)

I love you all and I hope that you have a wonderful day! 

Never give up, Never Surrender!
-Elder Berrett

1. Walking downtown Helena!

2-4. The ice cream bar!

5,6. St. Helena Cathedral 

7. Eating glorious panda

8. A body like thing I found with Elder Pett while tracting. 

Pancakes Cleanup

Good morning again! Just so you know, quick update, the pancakes were wonderful and delicious.  I was just talking with my companion while eating them so I didn’t make a voice recording. Oh, super good.  He did however guilt trip me into eating a lot less Panda, a lot less pancakes… already been really good at eating a lot less ice-cream since it hurts my stomach.  So, I’ll pretty much be making a voice recording while cleaning up, since I’ve already ignored it for like half an hour and we’ve got stuff to do.

Let’s see, in your email today you asked if I had anything fun planned, and holy cow do we ever! I’m so excited.  We’re planning on, sister Crosland, she’s in my zone again, I started out with her in Great Falls, and then she was in Lovell Wyoming for a little bit, but only like a transfer or two, and now she’s here, and she’s going home in a couple of weeks, and that’s really really weird because she came out with me.  But for her second to last preparation day, because I think she’s planning on just emailing and getting ready, I don’t know what she’s doing next week, but this week she’s planned out a big thing for everyone. We’re going to the Cathedral at 12:00, tour that, and after that we’re going to go get ice-cream, so I might want to stop by and try out some of that Lactaid stuff, I should be fine, I haven’t had any dairy.  I find it just like, amplifies depending on how much I eat.  So if I were to like, eat a bowl of cereal, I feel a little uncomfortable, but not too bad, but then if I were to have something like with lots of dairy in it later that day, like ice-cream for dessert or something, and it would kinda, ugh, yeah.  But I should be fine, since we are eating dinner with the (unintelligible) tonight, I don’t know if they usually give dessert, I’ve only had dinner with them once, um, yeah. That’s about it.   

(whistling) The dog is freaking out right now.  The light is bouncing off my watch and she’s like “Aaaah! I’m gonna kill it!”

But yes, so after the Cathedral, we’re gonna go get ice-cream, and then after we get ice-cream, we’re gonna go to the stake center, no not the stake center, the 6th avenue building, our building, where we normally meet up and play sports all together.  It’s so weird being around other missionaries.  It’s not quite like Butte where you saw the missionaries every single day, at least the zone leaders we’d see them at night to sync up at Great Harvest.  The sisters we’d see usually driving around or doing something, or we’d have an activity planned with them.   Here it’s more like we’d see the missionaries a couple of times a week, cause we’re not in Helena, we’re in East Helena, really creative name there, it’s like this small town that’s pretty much connected to Helena. They’re like “Brown Thing!” (?)  But they’re pretty good.  So we see people at district meeting, random service projects, when we’re not spending the whole freaking week in Billings or Boulder or whatever.

I’m having so much fun messing with this dog.  It’s getting really frustrated with me. I should probably stop. I should probably actually do my dishes too.  It’s one thing I’ve gotten really good at living with members, is doing my dishes.  Because as a missionary, you are constant guests in their house, and you don’t want to leave them with tons of dishes to do on your behalf.  To quote I think Brother Cheatham when I first moved in, they were just kinda going over the house rules, and they’re like “We’re not your parents, we won’t be doing your dishes, they will be done at the end of every night.  We’re fine if you have to leave for the end of the day, but they will be done before you go to bed.” So brother cheatham.  I love brother Cheatham.  Wonderful, wonderful, glorious man.  Well, I washed a fork. It’s clean now. Nope, it’s not. (Sounds of water running, and Nick singing some unkown song.) Plate’s clean.  Now for the spatula.  I do enjoy pancakes too, because they are fairly easy to clean up.  It’s not too disgusting of a cleanup either, not to say like, well like greasy foods, like if I were to make let’s say, I don’t know, tacos, like well I’d do it, obviously, I just…oh, cleaning that pan or something like that, I just don’t enjoy.  Granted, I don’t enjoy cleaning too many things, but I do it. Cause you kinda got to. 

I think going on a mission is a great skill/life learning experience. Yeah.  When I was with Elder Tucker he would tell me about his college roommates.  He said he always loved having a returned missionary as a roommate because they knew how to clean.  Not to say that they were the best at it, cause at the end of the day we are still only 20-21 single, college kids. But apparently we are a lot better at it than non-returned missionaries.  Which I guess I can kind of see.  I mean, you know what my cleaning skills were like before my mission. They were alright if I actually did them. (running water, whistling)  So Madison, Zach, Christopher- Go on a mission. It will change your life.  And apparently make you a better cleaner.  

Why aren’t you working? (I think he’s asking the brush?) She has one of those scrubber brush things that release soap while you use them, I really like them. This is the second members house that I’ve lived in that have them and they are really nice. If I am ever forced to live in my own apartment as a missionary I am getting one.   Oh, I hope that never happens. Well, at the end of the day, I think I might be fine with it.  It’s me thinking, “yeah, it’s not going to be the Cheathams, it’s not going to be the…” sorry, wow, am I really spacing on their name? The members I lived with in Wyoming, or in Powell. I love them. Jeide’s!  Okay. I feel awful. How could I forget their name?  That’s like forgetting Madison’s name.  No. That’s not as bad as forgetting Madison’s name. But, still.

I thought that comment you made in your email about Christopher… Oh. I thought I was done cleaning. I still have the container I made the pancake mix in to clean. Close though! Last thing.  Anyways, I thought the comment you made about Christopher still wanting to be a youtube star was hilarious.  Ten followers?  Are they just like his classmates? Like, not to be rude but, I mean I guess if they’re really funny.  Obviously I can’t watch them.

It’s kinda funny having a Samsung tablet.  So, Moss 360 you know, once it’s installed it’s like the, it’s a device management software that the church installs on it. However, at least with an android you can install it yourself, so you know, when you get your tablet you make sure your companion is around you and watching you at all times when you’re using it, and then you go into the google play store and download Moss 360, you type in your credentials, and then it installs it on your device. It’s safe and locked down. You should always use it when your companion is near you, I mean it’s not like… Does it make sense what I am saying? You’re now actually protected, you can only access LDS.org, that type of stuff.  I was going somewhere with this. Oh yeah, Moss 360 what it does, one of the other things that it does is that it, when you first get your device it’s like, “Oh, youtube! CNN!” all these other things that are pre-installed on it, well instead of deleting the apps, Moss 360 just kind of hides them I guess from your view. You can’t actually access them, but they’re still downloaded on the device. And they still update. And so, there will be times when I am trying to do something, or use the wifi and I’m like, “Oh. Well, apparently youtube is updating. Yippee. Looks like I can’t download stuff for the next minute or two.”  Well I can, and I do, but it’s just slower.  I’m sure if I went into the settings there might be a way to, like an application manager or find a way to remove them but I don’t have time for that.

This was a lot easier to clean than last time.  The special protein pancake stuff was super hard to clean. This stuff was like “Oh! You want to rinse me off with water and then scrub the rest with soap? Yeah, go for it! Sure. I don’t want to hang around here anyway.” (running water and whistling) I do think these brushes probably use more soap, so if you’re trying to save money, these brushes probably aren’t the best. They’re just so much more easier to clean with though.  Pros and cons.  Alright, put the rack back in the sink, put the plate there to dry… All done! Oh, put the pan back in the… (banging)  Good. That’s it! Oh, nope. Put the butter away. How’d I forget that one?  Close! But no cigar.

Oh, so random sermon of the day, there’s a place we pass, probably every day. We just see it from the road. Called The Man Store.  And in the store they offer, I think it says, “All manner of cigars, microbrews…”  And just basically other Natural Man stuff.  I’m sitting there thinking and going, You know, that’s not really a Man store.  You know that’s stuff that Satan advertises as “manly” and all these other things, but at the end of the day, what does that do to you? Let’s see, it gives you lung cancer, makes you so you die earlier, let’s see, you become a drunk, you become… I don’t know, just all these negative things and I’m like, that’s not what a man is.  To quote the scouts, a man is “trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, reverent, and sometimes hungry.” (laughs)  So that’s my rant of the day. 

I’m pretty excited for all that we have planned today.  How long has this recording been going? 16 minutes! I should probably stop this recording so that it will send.

I love you so much mom and hope you have a wonderful day. Bye!

Pancake Monday

Good morning mom! How are you doing today?

This has been a, oh my goodness, a truly wonderful week. Oh, and happy pancake Monday!  It’s been kind of nice, I think I’m just making this a routine, every Monday just making pancakes and making voice recordings.  I might switch it up with something else. Cause, I don’t know, this is my third time having pancakes this week.  A member made them for us once this week, I made them for dinner one day, no, it was lunch, during weekly planning when we were in Boulder.

It’s been a crazy week. I’ve only actually slept in my bed here I think 2 out of the 7 nights this week. Honestly last night I slept so well. It was so great to be back in my own bed.

(A lot of banging) Got me the pan, will not forget to heat it up this time, and the mix is already made. I’m using the Krusteaz Complete Pancake Mix Buttermilk.  Light and Fluffy of course.  And I’m pretty excited, I made it the other day and it turned out great.  Loved the taste, loved everything about it.  I found a good pancake mix. Now when I get home, or even budget better, I think I’m going to try to make my own pancake mix.  Go with dad’s recipe.  Cause that in my mind is one of the best pancake recipes known to man.  Granted, you have to use like a freaking cup of vanilla extract. Not that much, but you know what I’m saying.

(whistling a hymn) Oh! This week, this week has been so fantastic. Mom, I got to go to the temple this week.  First time in eighteen months. Well, 17 ½ months from yesterday.  I mean, holy cow, last time I went was when I first came into the mission. It brought me to tears. Just, I mean even sitting down in the waiting room.  Just…. Ohhh.  Or sitting in the Celestial room.  I am so thankful to be a member of this church. It has brought me so much peace in my life. It was really cool sitting there in the temple, it was, not that I had any doubt, but just any and all doubt that God was our loving Heavenly Father, My Father, that he KNOWS us, and that we have a plan was just washed from my mind.  I felt like I was literally there talking with God.  It was amazing. I can’t wait to go back to the temple with you guys. That is one thing that I am so thankful about Gilbert, the fact that we live 5 minutes from a temple. 

But yeah, we went to Billings this week, we left Wednesday, around 5:00, pulled into Billings around 10:30. Or that’s when we got to the Assistants house. It’s normally a 3 ½ hour drive but we got pretty lost.  I never must have driven to Billings, I can do it from Powell with my eyes closed, but  to drive from Helena is another story.  Even though I’ve gone from Billings to Helena I was never the one driving, in fact I’m pretty sure I took a nap both times I went there. I wasn’t the driver or the co-pilot, so nap-time!

Exchanges with the assistants was awesome. I went with Elder Pett.  I don’t know if I’ve ever talked about him, he came out with Elder Hendricks, so right before me. Fantastic missionary. So amazing. Such a nerd and so hilarious.  While I was there we talked, had a great time.  It was so cool to be able to walk around a city, just street contact people, just walk around a couple blocks and just offer people the gospel.  It reminded me back of when I did the mini-mission in the San Tan valley. Except, there’s more people.  San Tan valley is just one big neighborhood. This was more people, a little more city-like.  It was kindof like a mini Salt Lake minus the, no, yeah, there’s a temple there, so a mini Salt Lake! We even have an office building! The mission office. It was really exciting.  I loved going around there. 

We then, to finish the exchange, Friday morning went to the temple, which was again Fantastic. And then we went down to Boulder. And spent Friday and Saturday there. Well Friday night, and Saturday night, went to church in Boulder, it’s the branch we cover.  We go attend church there once… ooooh this pancake’s looking good! Perfect flip and nice, it’s my first pancake. Ummm, we attend church there every other week, it was great. Oh, you’ll find this funny, we both got a Valentine’s gift from this 17 year old girl in the ward, the branch.  Yeah, it was an adventure.  She gave me a whole thing of Milky Ways and elder Shumway a whole thing of Snickers.  What? (to companion)  And ties. She got us ties. Elder Shumway proceeded to eat a majority of the Snickers on the way from Boulder to Helena.  It’s a 25 minute drive.

(Elder Shumway) I’m going to send out a voicemail if you’re ok with that. (Nick) Yes. Please send out that voice mail.  So we need to talk about the Book of Mormons goal, tell them the Gospel Sing is cancelled, and I felt like there was a third thing.  (Elder Shumway) What? (Nick) I felt like there was a third thing we need to tell the zone.  Ummm, Obviously keep encouraging them to live the zone plan. (Elder Shumway) Yeah.  (Nick) Gotta love it when you don’t remember stuff cause I know that there’s a third thing.  We talked about it with one of our district leaders the other night… Oh!  Remind them about service on Wednesday!! There we go!  I remembered something!

Oh, I need plates, where are the plates? (whistling) So, lately when I’ve been making pancakes I’ve been putting some butter on the skillet as the first thing and that first pancake that comes off is just full of butter.  Tastes wonderful.  I’m sure sister Wadsworth would probably kill me if she saw me eating this.  Oh my goodness!  We saw the most hilarious thing at Walmart last week!  Deep Fried Twinkies.  They sell deep fried twinkies at Walmart.  Like in the freezer goods section.  They even had a deep fried chocolate filled twinkie.  We’re like “Oh my goodness if sister Wadsworth saw this…”  She’s very big on us living healthy, which is good.  Exercise, eat right… she’s not like “You need to go vegan” or anything, or vegetarian, but just actually think about what you eat. Bless her heart.  I’m sure we as missionaries give them so many heart attacks. Worry them.

I really like this mix cause I feel like, I use as much mix as the other ones, and this box is full of mix too, and the same amount only makes three pancakes, but three pancakes are a little more filling, so I don’t know.  The grill’s gotten a little too hot… There we go, that’s what a good pancake looks like.
Oh, let me think, this week has been, it’s been an adventure. But it’s been wonderful.  Things here have been going well. Oh, all the snow is melting.  We’ve had a nice warm spell this last week.  It’s gotten up in the 40’s. It’s been so nice. I don’t feel like I’m ice skating everywhere and having freaking war flashbacks to ice-skating with the Allen ranch ward.  It’s been pretty good here. Pancakes are looking good.

How have you guys been doing?  Is uh… I don’t even know what to ask.  I love that email you sent me of that picture that Madison posted on Instagram or something? (part muffled conversation about borrowing a charger)  I’m going to pause this recording.  Love you mom! Bye! 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Helena, Week 3

Hello everyone!

This last week has been absolutely wonderful! Like so many that I know, I feel like the Lord has truly spoken to me this week. 

Lately I have really been feeling like I haven't been doing enough. And through much prayer and fasting, I have truly felt the Lord's hand in my life. 

While I have received a ton of small answers and help from the lord, I actually feel like some of the biggest help I got came when our stake was visited by 2 general authorities. Here in Helena our stake President and his wife were apparently called to be a mission president in Sydney Australia! Anyways, because of this we had to have a new stake presidency organized. During their visit  (Elder Sexton and Elder Klebingat) both testified strongly of the savior and of his atonement. 

At one point during their visit they answered a question that a young girl asked them a little earlier which was "What do we do when we feel like we have been going through a trial for a long time?" To this question they both testified of how truly thanks to our Heavenly Father's plan and Jesus Christ's Atonement, we have truly nothing to fear. 

Also this week I was reading the Book of Mormon. And in 1st Nephi 7:12 it reads "12 Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten that the Lord is able to do all things according to his will, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise faith in him? Wherefore, let us be faithful to him." 

Long story short, the lesson for me this week was that I really need to stop stressing over "am I doing enough?" And instead I need to turn my focus more to building my faith in my Savior Jesus Christ. At the end of the day, we CAN'T do enough, but as we turn our thoughts and hearts to the Savior, we will be able to overcome and accomplish all things. I have truly felt His love this week. I know that I can overcome all things and feel true joy in and through Him. 

I know that I have been absolutely horrid at staying in contact with a lot of people, but I wanted to add as many of my friends to this email as I could, so that you can all I know that I love you all and pray for you all. I hope that you have a wonderful day!

Never give up, Never Surrender!

Also P.s. the pictures are our zone getting together for zone preparation day!

Good Morning part 3

And good morning again!  I’m standing here making pancakes and I’m bored, cause my companion is downstairs still trying to fix the toilet seat so I’m gonna be up here making you voice mails.   Chatting more.  Because it beats just standing there staring at a pancake.

I’m not a big fan of this mix.  Like, oh, I can’t say until I’ve tasted it but at least while I’m cooking it, just because normally how like when you’re making a pancake, and you know when to flip it cause the bubbles start popping at the top?  This one doesn’t do that whole bubble thing.  It’s kinda starting to a little bit, once it’s ready to flip, but like for the most part it’s kind of, just kind of a timing feel thing.  Like see, it was barely starting to have any bubbles starting to form and I just flipped it, and it was CLEARLY like, it was ready to flip.  So maybe I don’t know, maybe I need to try these pancakes and  if they’re not cooked in the middle at all and I should be waiting a lot longer, and kinda singe the top, I don’t know, it’s on like Low to 2.  It’s not that I’m cooking them too fast.

What else?  Today I will be buying stuff to make another raspberry pie.   It’s about that time of year I really want raspberry pie.  And, at least in my opinion, you will probably excommunicate me from the family for saying this but I’ve found that frozen raspberries work just as well as regular raspberries.  Granted, I’ve only made a pie with regular raspberries once, and they may not have been the best raspberries so there’s that.  But I’ve found that like honestly I can make a pie with, you can probably tell  like if you were to do a taste test, take a bite of one and then the other, but in the middle of winter you’re not going to get any good raspberries, buy a package of the frozen ones, that you’d use for smoothies, thaw them, put em in side a, (dog barking) Oh, my name tag is reflecting light and the dog is flipping out again.

I don’t remember where I was going, I think I was talking about something.   I really don’t remember.  Probably for the best, the Spirit was like “Stop Talking. It’s getting ridiculous. Someone please shut him up.”

Alright, pancake three turned out pretty good.  I’m a little worried it’s getting too hot again so I’m gonna turn it down.   Oh there we go.  Okay,  so this mix is only good for making about 4 pancakes  per... thingy?  As opposed to my last one that made 6 for myself and I was stuffed beyond capacity.

I do love the trees out here though.  Lots of pine trees everywhere.  Love being close to the mountains, I do love that feel. You know, being able to look outside your window and just see lots of mountains everywhere. (dog barking) He really loves the light.  I keep walking in this area.  I need to stay out of that area.  As I walk by the table it just hits the light.  (laughs) The dog is just staring at the wall waiting for the light to appear again.   Yeah, I don’t think I’m going to get a dog.  Like if my wife really, really, really wants one, I’ll let her have like a Vector (the Cheathams dog) but other than that…  Any other dog that’s small is a punting dog and any other big ones make my eyes itch, so yeah.  And definitely no cats.  Cats are just right out. 

See?  This one wasn’t even forming bubbles and once I flipped it, it’s definitely done. Brownish.  It’s not even that perfect pancake look.  The pancakes still look pretty good, just not the best.

I really, kind of off subject but I just found the phone in my pocket, I’ve really kinda fallen in love with T9 word.  The texting with the numbers.  It’s just so easy and fast and once you get the hang of it, you can text without looking at the phone.  Like we can be sitting at dinners and we’ll need to quickly respond to a text an investigator sent us and I’ll be looking at the member “Oh yeah! Absolutely!” while texting a response under the table. Pass it to my companion who quickly glances at it to approve it and hit send. 

I think that’s about it, this pancake is about done, so I’m going to stop.  Love you Bye!

Good morning part 2

Alright!  So good morning again.  I’m now officially starting the pancakes.  Things seem to be going good so far.  Well, except that this one mix that I’m using, it says that for one cup mix, use one cup milk, it’s that special protein one that Elder Shumway likes, but the measuring cup that I used has a hole in the bottom. So we’ve got lots of dripped milk everywhere that I’ll be cleaning up.  I’m gonna let the family know, because.  Alright.  Lumps are a good thing.  At least according to brother Cheatham.  And IHOP.

(A lot of banging)  Ooooh!  Lots of flour is built up in the spoon.  Woo-hoo!  Get that out of the spoon and mix that up with the rest of the mix…   (whistling the Star Wars while drumming on the side of the bowl.)  (singing to the tune of Star Wars) And lets add a little bit of more mix, some more mix, because it’s too liquidy. ♪♫ (more whistling)  Alright I think that’s good, oh crap I’m supposed to get the skillet ready.  I think I forgot this last time too.  I found the non-stick pan…
How’re things going for you guys?  Things have been going really good for us here.  Snow’s definitely melting more.  Not as much snow, but still ice.  The ice is melting, and we’re going to have a fairly nice warm week.  It’s going to be up in the 40’s.  How awful is it that I can say that?  But, it’s getting better.

Reminder:  We need to buy more milk.  We probably have a cup or two left. Let’s see… So Elder Shumway has requested that I try out this pan that looks like a cow’s face.  A cartoon cow face.  I might take a picture of it.  Pose with it.  We’ll see how this one works out, I’m not too sure.  I’m gonna make a couple with this mix, with the regular griddle just to see how it works on it.  Cause I know that this mix tends to solidify fairly quickly.  Oh I should probably turn the stove on.  (clicking)  There we go, got it lit.  Turn it on 2 to low.  (singing to an unknown tune)♪♫Scooping some butter, put it in the pan ♪♫. Oh, you know, I’ve really come to love the first pancake that you make in a pan that you just put butter in.  It’s just so, so delicious.  Wonderful.  Glorious.  Umm, Fantastic. Makes you want to shout Geronimo! Allons-y! I don’t know, that’s about it. Stupendous. Makes me feel like I can do anything.  I can go testify of Christ to absolutely anyone after eating one of those pancakes.  I can stand up in front of a whole congregation, in fact, I’d go so far as to say a whole conglomeration.   I need to look up the actual definition of conglomeration. As far as I’m concerned all it is is like a group of people smaller than a town, but I think larger than a hamlet.   Oh… maybe I added to much flour stuff mix.  Better add a little bit more milk. Or maybe it’s just solidifying, which means I do need to add more milk.  There we go.   That’s looking a lot more like pancake batter.

Ok, so!  Potential news for this week, we have zone conference coming up next week, it will be in Bozeman, sadly not Butte, I was a little saddened by that, I was looking forward to going back and uh, maybe go chastise my recent convert, for not being as active as she promised.   She’s still active.  Fairly.  She comes about once a month.  Slacker. But, we all have our own agency, it doesn’t mean I can’t enforce it.  Elder Hatch always said that his mom joked around that she was going to write a book called “Agency, and How to Enforce It – A Parenting Guide.”

Helena is starting to grow on me a little bit.  It is pretty nice here. Really beautiful.  We’re going to be touring the Cathedral soon.  I really want to do that.  I don’t know. I feel like if I’m going to be in a big city, I’d rather be home.  Not that I’m getting homesick per se, but it’s just like, I feel like I keep comparing Helena as a city to a place like home.  If that makes sense.  Oh it’s cold, it’s snowy… I just need to get over myself.  And stop comparing.  I really only think about these things on preparation days, I promise I don’t do this all the time.  We’ve had a lot, a lot of fun here. Done a lot of great work. 

Oh, I think I mentioned him Tuesday, maybe, maybe not.  But we ran into someone, yeah, I wouldn’t have mentioned him on Tuesday because we ran into him on Thursday.  On Thursday we, I’m trying to remember his name.  For the longest time we kept calling him Joe. That’s what keeps sticking in my mind. So lately I’ve been calling him “Not Joe”.  But he’s a really awesome guy, he was less active for awhile since he moved here.  He’s from Mesa Arizona, moved here in like August/September of last year.  Lost his job in October, he was a really successful IT guy in Arizona, in the Phoenix area, and then ended up moving up here for half the pay so that he could be closer to his kids who live in Boulder.  But then the place that he got a job at decided that they don’t need his position any more. So he’s kinda struggling right now.  He’s really having a crisis of faith. But in that lesson that we met him, he actually lives in First Ward, but the bishop in First Ward decided that Elders would be best for him, so they called us and asked us to go visit him.  Since there are sisters in that ward.  And wow, not only was it super spiritual, but it was one of those moments where it was the spirit testifying to you that you are here for that person. I think his name, it’s not Calzona, I know it’s not that, I’ll have to look it up.  I wonder can I look it up while doing a voice recording? Maybe I can.  (to his companion- ) Elder!  What’s the name of “Not Joe”?  Stephen.  Stephen!

 (Elder Shumway) Do you know where some Super glue is?  (Elder Berrett) No, I don’t know where Super Glue is, why? (Elder Shumway) I’m trying to fix the toilet.  (EB) You’re trying to fix the what? Oh.  (laughs)  Our toilet seat has been coming off the hinges.  It was like that when I got here, don’t ask me how that happened.  (Muffled conversation, laughing)

That is a perfectly flipped uh, pancake.  I forgot the word. Butter pancake! That’s the main word I forgot. Oh that just looks wonderful.  I am really excited for this. Elder, I used your mix.  I’m honestly really scared to use the cow pan, like I’m going to try it, but I’m not going to be able to flip it.  Like, there’s no way.   It’s a small, tiny shaped pan.  It’s like the size of one pancake, but I have no clue how you’d flip something in it.  Cause you can’t really scoop in it, like maybe, but, like you’d have to transition from this pan, like scoop it out of here and into like a griddle.  Cause there’s no way you’d be able to like flip it perfectly and put it back in its little shape holder thing.  Elder Shumway suggested that it’s for cooking eggs, but I’m not sure, it looks like it would be for… I’m gonna turn the heat up just a little bit. Low seems a little too low.   Ok. Perfect.  (whistling)  That first pancake can be mine since I’m not sure how well it’s cooked in the middle.  Ok, now for pancake number two!  Pancake 2.0 definitely bigger.  Ohhhh.  Spoon dropped in the mix.

We’ll see how long this lasts.  Best of luck with the super glue my friend.  (mumbled conversation)
Being in a companionship is interesting, it’s kinda like being in a bachelor life, but you have, you have a companion obviously so you’re not by yourself.  Granted, as a missionary, our focus is way different than maybe a normal bachelor life, and I don’t know what I’m talking about.  Because our focus is on helping others and loving others, and helping others come closer to Christ.  In fact, our PURPOSE is to invite others, “Our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.”  I don’t know why I was so thrown off reciting that. Maybe it’s because I said “Our purpose” at the start and not “My purpose”.

Flip. Oh, there we go.  That is a much better looking golden pancake.  The last pancake, when I flipped it, the top kinda looked a little white-ish almost, that’s why I’m a little worried how thoroughly it’s cooked.  Maybe that’s just… Maybe that’s the effect of the butter. Maybe.  We’ll find out.

I’m gonna end this voice mail.  Voice mail.  This isn’t a voice mail. Well, actually it’s a voice recording that’s sent over mail, Voice. Mail.  Oh, that’s funny.  So, love you mom, I hope that you have a wonderful day, tell the siblings I love em, and keep on smiling J  Bye guys! 

Good Morning!

Well good morning!

It’s now Monday morning,  Looking back, I was going through my memos and apparently I made a voice recording Tuesday that I never finished.  I’ll still send that off but, yeah, don’t expect an end to that apparently.  I don’t even remember what I wrote. (said) 

However, just like last Monday, we too are making, because we just have so much time here in this house, our preparation day now begins at 8 am, and that’s when we start our laundry because that’s when we get out of the shower, using the water, and the rule is, we are not allowed to leave any laundry in the dryer, or anything, which is smart, so we have to do all our laundry before we leave the house.  So we have until like 12.  That’s like 4 hours to write emails, sit down, make breakfast.  It’s wonderful, I get pancakes at least once a week.  Twice if we go to Boulder.  The member there always makes us pancakes, he’s so awesome.

So today we have assembled the gas stove, eggs, Power Cakes Protein Packed Flapjack and Waffle Mix, and then also Krusteaz complete pancake buttermilk mix. Light and Fluffy.  I’m also gonna make myself a bagel.  So we'll see how that goes.  I’m really excited for this morning.  Get a nice big breakfast, it’s gonna be great. 

So to start off, I’m just gonna make a bagel and talk.  My companion is finishing his morning workout, and he’ll be up here shortly.  Which means I’ll probably stop recording.

This past week has been really eventful.  Really good.  We went on exchanges with the, oh, I keep trying to call them the Powell 2nd Ward Elders.   But we’re not in Powell. The Helena 2nd Ward Elders.  I went with elder Roberts, and Elder Shumway went with Elder Rickenbacker, the district leader.  Both, both wonderful, hard working elders.  I love being with Elder Roberts, he’s been out 4 ½ months, and he really reminded me of myself back then.  Not to say that I’ve changed too much, it’s just that he’s So! Excited! about everything. I love it.

Of course now that we were on exchanges and I was staying in our area, I had to drive.  It was kind of an adventure. Out here the last couple of days everything has melted and then overnight it freezes, and then we had freezing rain, and then, I don’t know, we just had a sheet of glass over everything.  And trying to make the trip to Boulder was fun.  But, we survived.  And then we decided to drive more and go visit people out of town and all these things and oh it was an adventure.  Didn’t get stuck though.   Almost did, a lot. At one point we were driving up a hill and our car started driving backwards, giant snow banks on either side and I’m like “Okay! I guess…”  tapping the breaks, and trying to do everything I can, I’m trying to turn to the back of the vehicle kind of grazes the back of the snowbank, and that’s what finally worked and stopped and I was able to kinda turn the car around and gently go down the hill the right way, turn around and book it up this time.  It was an adventure.

Let me think… we weren’t able to teach too many lessons this week, we were able to place a couple copies of the Book of Mormon though.  And that was, that was wonderful.  We felt pretty spiritually prompted to give it to a couple members in Boulder, and both times that we gave it to the families they were like “There’s been someone on our mind! We are so excited to give it to them!”  Clearly a prompting from the spirit.  It was super cool.

Let me think, oh yeah, duh! Stake Conference! We had TWO General Authorities attending.  Obviously to set apart and announce the new Stake Presidency and do all that.  Since our current Stake President is going to Australia.  I don’t know any of them apart from the second counselor became the first counselor, but that’s it.  But hey, it was pretty spiritual and I loved the General Authorities there.  One was from Germany, he was super legit.  He was made a Seventy in April of 2014, gave a General Conference talk in October of 2014, he’s been a mission president, and now he’s an insanely spiritual General Authority, told us a lot of Doctrine concerning the pre-earth life and things like that in Stake Conference.  Super Cool.  And he’s only like 47 or 49…  Spiritual giant let me tell you.  He’s from  Frankfurt Germany, his name is Jorg Klebingat.  Elder Jorg Klebingat.  Oh, it’s funny, he said, he made the joke, he said “Most spiritual people come from Frankfurt Germany”,  and in my head I was going “AMEN, Brother!”

Oh, I’d love to go back to Germany some day.   I’m not sure how I’m going to do that, apart from visiting on a small vacation, but I’d like to do more. Like, I’d like to live there for a little bit, but I just don’t think it’s going to end up happening. If I’m being completely honest.  Granted I know sooo much.  I’m only 20. I have no clue what I’m going to do, so maybe! It would be super fun.
(thunk) Ah! Oh yay. The bagel landed on the right side, so the cream cheese didn’t get all over the counter. Yay.

Elder Shumway and I have been having a bit of a disagreement. Jokingly of course.  I feel that Christmas music should be played year round, he feels the opposite. That’s really it.  There’s no arguing. I used some scriptures to prove my point. He looks at me and chastises me.  It’s been great.

Today is preparation day.  Preparation days here in Helena are different definitely. It’s kinda like they were in Butte, honestly.  It’s been awhile since I’ve had that.  Everyone getting together, playing basketball, or podball or something.  Only there’s more people here than in Butte.  In Butte there was just 3 companionships, here there’s all six.  There’s only 6 in the whole zone. So weird.  I will admit, I kinda miss the nice small quiet preparation days. You know, where you get together with other missionaries sometimes, most of the time it’s just you and the other Powell Elders, or just brother Cheatham.  And you just kinda sit around, maybe go do some service, email, talk a lot, sing to music.  But it’s really fun out here, it’s like its own, it’s hard to compare the two.  I really enjoy it.  But I’m pretty excited for preparation day today.  We’ve seen a lot of increased zone unity lately. It’s been wonderful.  I mean not that like there was any dis-unity.  Or Dis-harmony?  Discord?  I don’t know whatever adjective you want to use, but it’s been very, very good here.  Everyone is super great.  Two of the sisters that I came out with that are in the zone are going home.  That’s super weird.  Sister Crosland and sister Unatoa (Sp?) Both fantastic sisters, both going home. 

Oh! My laundry is done downstairs.

(thunk) OH!!! Both bagels landed, of course, cream cheese side down. Well, I’m gonna go sort the laundry, probably make myself a new bagel. And then I’ll be back!  Bye!  Love you!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Tuesday Morning

Good morning mom!  Today is Tuesday the 6th? 7th?  It’s the day after I talked to you last.  It’s a wonderful morning, the sun is high, I am making myself a nice bagel this morning.  I’m surprised, I’m just not that hungry this morning.  Just a bagel. That’s gonna do it for me.  I remember the days when I’d be so hungry, I’d just come home from school and eat like four or five sandwiches.  The only reason I’d stop eating then was because literally my jaw would hurt. I’m gonna say a prayer over this food real quick.

Alright, I’m back.  And you know I was thinking, I’m pretty thankful for the new schedule change.  Part of it, we pretty much get an extra half hour in the mornings just to get ready.  Things are a lot less rushed.  So our normal schedule for us is 6:30 we wake up, exercise, and then we have from 7 – 8:30, instead of 7-8 to shower, get changed, eat breakfast… It’s really nice.  We find that we both end up getting completely ready by 7:45, and then eat breakfast, relax a little bit, take it nice and easy.  It’s wonderful! Really wonderful.

Anyways, today we have some fun plans, well, sorta.  We do have some administrative tasks to do, we need to install some Fire/CO2 detectors in a couple of the apartments in our zone, but other than that… We get to go out to lunch with an Elder that Elder Shumway trained.  They have to come into, where am I?  Helena? Yeah, they have to come into Helena for a doctor's appointment, and asked that we have lunch with them.  So that’s pretty cool and I’m really excited for Elder Shumway. 

Other than that, not much else, we actually have a couple of referrals that we are planning on trying today.  It’s gonna be a good day.

Recently as a zone, I’ve never set a goal like this before, we made our zone mission plan, and we came to the conclusion that we wanted to set a goal for how many Book of Mormons we wanted to give out, really just to increase our finding efforts,  it’s not like we’re trying to meet a quota or anything, it’s just finding has been really down in the mission, and this is a fun way we thought of doing it.  Our goal is 400 in the next 4 weeks. With all six companionships. (Companion – “Elder! It’s 200!”)  Our goal is 200.  Thank you, Elder.  There’s a bit of a difference there.

I’m really excited for this, and I’ll follow up with you tonight on how the day went.

Love you! Bye!

Monday, February 6, 2017

February 6 conversation

Hey, so we got your packages J  Christopher was like “Why did nick send me this?”  He thought it was all presents for him.  We put most of it in storage for you, kept the chocolate out, the magnet (thank you very much) and the kids confiscated the Christmas tree thingy.   But what’s up with the magic cards?  Are you into that these days?  Which companion corrupted you? I hope you didn’t spend too much $ on that giant box…

The magic cards were something that we got to play with a sick missionary a long time ago, I don't know if you remember that back when I was first a zone leader. Anyways, we went on 1-2 exchanges a week to help them out and keep their area alive. We found a bunch of magic cards on sale and got them so that whoever was with the sick missionary could play with him since that was basically his favourite game ever. He had gotten permission from President to play card and board games since the poor guy literally couldn't do anything else:/ but ya. Those were left over from that period, I knew I shouldn't have or use them anymore so I sent them home. And no, not getting into that. The game was fun because of him, but It wasn't fun enough to spend ridiculous amounts of money on EVERY STINKING YEAR.

And no thankfully that was sent by a member who owns a FED EX outlet and sends home stuff for missionaries for free. He was very kind:) 

Christopher did pretty well at his pinewood derby.  We bought a pre-cut car from michaels, and he and Maddie spray painted it black.  He’s all about the cars these days.  He plays this game called Forza which is a racing game, and you earn $ by racing and then you can buy new cars.  He has quite the collection.  He even bought an old Subaru cause it looked a lot like your old car.  And we talk about all the cars he sees on the street.  Currently his favorite “dream car” is a Nissan – crap I can’t remember… it’s got three letters, I think one of them is an R….  – anyways, there’s some guy on youtube who’s fairly famous and he used his youtube earnings to buy himself a car and Christopher is obsessed.  He also plans on being a famous youtuber. “I need a million subscribers” “How can I get fan mail?”.  He’s making me crazy with it.  His very first video got three views yesterday, but I suspect they all might be him. (I don’t think he has followers? I don’t know?) 

Hahaha go Christopher! I've come to the conclusion that I don't really know anything about cars, especially trucks. I asked someone the other day if their Ford F150 had a Cummins in it. Apparently the F150 isn't normally a diesel, and the Cummins is a Dodge diesel engine. And that's hilarious that Squish wants to be a famous you tuber. Not going to lie, I'm totally going to watch his channel when I get home, but of course I'm his brother and I think he's adorable so...

Loving your voice recordings by the way.  I’m only ½ way through the second one.  I will keep Talena (last name redacted) and her daughter in my prayers and you too so that you can go to their baptism.  That would be so awesome!  How were the pancakes?  Is that the mix I sent you?  It looked like something you would like. I just laughed listening to you making those.  It’s like having you in the room with me. 


And actually I just got word that I will not be allowed to. President has asked that I use this time to work in my own area, which makes sense. 

The pancakes were pretty good :) and yes, that is the same mix that you sent me. :)

Post Pancakes

Well Good mornin’ to yeh.  (In what sounds like an Irish accent) That was me attempting to do a really terrible Scottish accent.  That was really bad.

So mom, just thought I’d check in, the pancakes were pretty good.  It does feel like I’m eating sugar by the spoonful, and so I don’t know how I feel about that, especially since I literally just talked about how I’ve lost some weight and how I was really excited about that. Ok, this one’s a lot better, I think the last one wasn’t cooked too well.  This one everything is cooked in it, it definitely tastes a lot better.

(Companion mumbles something)  (Nick responds to companion) - May the Lord Bless you and keep you.  Extra cool points if you can tell me where that song is from.

You know the other day you were telling me about Madison and Zach and all the things they are doing in school and everything and I just really think it’s so cool that I have siblings that are, not only just find out who they are, but I can relate to them more.  Zach, I can actually relate to him a little bit.  Well, we could always relate to some degree, but I just feel like we didn’t have a really close relationship back when I was home.  It’s something I’ve just always wanted to really develop more.  Cause I love that kid.  He’s an awesome brother.

Oh, so I’m still going back and forth on the decision to have dogs some day.  (Big sigh) I keep telling myself I’m not going to and then like I’d go visit the Cheatham’s, and oh, Vector, he’s just so adorable. And so nice, and never barks. Hypoallergenic, doesn’t shed.  They said it was the easiest dog to ever potty train.  But, I don’t know? I definitely don’t want a cat, that’s been decided already.  Cats hurt too much plus I sneeze too much and my eyes hurt too much.  Of course I keep talking about all of this like I get a say.  We’ll see what happens. 

We were listening to Hank Smith the other day and he brings up an interesting point that in his talk he’s talking about how him and his wife are fighting, and it “was one of our Grand Fights” he says.  We were fighting over a microwave.  We moved into this new house, and he starts getting out the microwave and his wife says “oh we’ll have to get a new microwave” and he says “Why? It works perfectly fine.” To which his wife replies, “Well it doesn’t match.” And he’s thinking Match? Like, it works, what do you mean it doesn’t match? And so she takes him around, very carefully, and starts showing off the appliances. She shows him the stove and says “What color is it?” And he says “Well it’s” oh crap, I can’t remember, it’s that nice like silvery color, stainless steel! “It’s stainless steel.” And she says very good, now what’s the dishwasher, and he says “Stainless steel” and she goes off and everything is stainless steel, and then she goes, “Now what color is the microwave?” and he says “White.” And she says “See? Now you understand why we have to get a different microwave.  And so he said they fought about this for awhile, and he said that microwave must have come in and out of the box 800 times.  He said he came home one day to find it duct taped in a box in the garage, and so he got it out, and used it.  But he said like all great arguments, she wanted a new microwave, I didn’t, so we compromised and we got a new microwave.  He then gave the example of, which is what got me on this tangent, of “My wife loves cats, I hate cats, so we compromised, and now we have three cats.” So, there’s that.

Oh, so we were in Boulder the other day, and while Boulder was wonderful, love it. Beautiful. The house we live in is beautiful.  The house we live in, the water pump or something is broken.  And so we only get maybe 3-5 minutes of water before we have to reset the system.  And so, in essence, we were camping for a couple of days.  Obviously we got enough to wash our hair, and quickly freshen up, but today, being able to take a nice, beautiful 10 minute shower, was just so wonderful.  I love that feeling. I was so, so happy.  Almost as happy as Toshi the dog that we live with who, (I’m definitely not going to get one like Toshi) but she’s been, apparently my watch has been reflecting light while I’ve been eating the pancakes,   and she’s been going berserk.  Just like trying to catch the light.  She looks so happy doing it. And that’s how I felt when I took a nice wonderful shower this morning.

Let me think, what else?  I’m getting a hair cut today, it’s going to be great. Hair is getting a little long.  Oh yeah, definitely getting a hair cut today.  At some point we’ve got to go put in Standards of Excellence and all the key indicator numbers.  Umm, I don’t know.  Today I think is going to be a relaxing day.  I don’t think we will be playing podball too much.  Sister Wadsworth says that if it starts to get competitive, then we were to all immediately stop playing, and take a break, and go do something relaxing to calm down.  Oh, bless her heart.  So, I don’t know how much of that we will be doing today.  Elder Shumway is a really sportsy guy so he’s a little saddened by that.  I’m totally fine going and finding something to do.

Oh! So, I think I’ll get your thoughts on this, cause I’m really excited.  But we got a call the other day, asking to help out on May 20th, which means I might not even be in Helena, that’s in 3 ½ months so if I stay, I think 2 more transfers, so I mean that would be 3 transfers in an area, that wouldn’t be too unbelievable.  That’s how long I was in both Greybull and Powell.  But they asked the missionaries, every year they’ve done this for the last 15 years, to help out at a race.  Some race for cancer, or something like that. And one of the options is to do a 3k. And I’m thinking that I might be able to do that.  If I work really, really hard, be very, very gentle with my knees, and get them up to maybe that par, I might be able to run again and do a 3k! I’m really, really hoping I can.  I’ve missed running so much.  I was talking to some people the other day…

Oh!  So one thing I’d like to look into, I’ve come up with so many things I want to look into after my mission, but I was talking to someone the other day and he’s someone who works in a control tower.  And he’s telling me about his job, and it just sounded really, really cool.  It’s something I might want to look into. I know I was, I don’t know, I’ve had a couple of different things, and I know I don’t need to worry about that right now, and I’m not, it’s just some random thoughts.  I remember being so dead set that I was going to find a way to make being a lighting designer work, but I think it will be a hobby.  I can’t really think of a way that that would work, I wouldn’t want to be away from my family.  I don’t want to do anything that takes me away from my family.  That is the one thing that I’ve learned.  The one thing I’m sure about.  And probably I don’t want to go into anything with English.  That’s one of the other things. (laughs) Or chemistry. English or Chemistry are the two things I don’t want to go into.  But yeah, that’s about it.

The pancakes were pretty good, the batch made five of them, I’ve eaten 3 and I’m stuffed. And my companion is stuffed, so I will find something to do with these two pancakes.  And I’ve got to clean up.  Man that’s definitely part of growing up, dishes don’t magically clean themselves. (laughs) Yeah.  Laundry doesn’t get folded. By itself.  Things I’m glad that you made us learn how to do, and do, but I definitely still took advantage of when I was living back home.  Buying soap.  I don’t even have to pay any taxes or any bills yet.  That’ll be fun.

But yeah, “Things are going good”. (laughs)

I hope you guys really enjoy these, I know you keep telling me that you do, and I enjoy making them for a little bit, and like come whatever minute I’m on right now, so I think I’m going to stop, at like minute 8, especially when I start running out of things to say, and I’m like rambling, I hope you find it okay.

But I love you guys a lot!  I hope you have a great day.  I hope to talk to you more. And I can’t wait to see all that’s in store for us this week.

Yeah! That’s about it, Love you guys, bye!  (whistling Star Wars as he finds the off button)