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, March 27, 2017

Weekly letter

Hello everyone! 

This week was absolutely FANTASTIC! 

Quick recap

-Zone conference! I got to catch up with a lot of elders, and also of course, be instructed by President Wadsworth. Honestly every experience I have with him confirms to me that he has the spirit and that he can receive revelation for me. I am so thankful for him and sister Wadsworth. 

-interviews with president! Much of the above, all that I have to add is that he also constantly lifts me up and inspires me to be better. 

-Boulder: it was as awesome experience this week! We got to continue helping a brother build his house. His goal is to have it done by mid April. Honestly, I have such a huge testimony that service brings us closer to God and gives us love for those around us. 

-I got Panda this week! It was amazing! #Pandalove #PandaisoneofthewaysthatweknowGodlovesus

-I got a shout out email from elder Hendricks this week. What a stud.

-OH! We got to take president and Sister Wadsworth with us to a lesson this week! While I will admit, it was a little stressful to prepare for it was super spiritual and our family definitely felt the spirit.

-love you all! Never give up, never surrender! 

Voice Recording 3/27 part 3

Well Howdy mom.  I have most of the pancakes made, in fact I’m making the last one now.  Elder Shumway just cut up a bunch of pineapple and I think it’s going to be a good day.   We don’t have too much planned for the day, other than just going to the church and playing basketball or podball or something and emailing and…  My knees have been really sore lately so….  (beep!) That’s the syrup!   This syrup has one problem, I haven’t tried it yet, but she texted us and she said she forgot to add corn syrup to it.  So I’m mixing it up, we’ll see how it tastes it should…. I feel like the biggest difference is that it will just be a little more liquidy maybe? A little less sugar?  The taste should still be there, so we’ll find out.  The mason jar is full of it, so I’m really excited.  Oh! I think it’s time to flip that pancake.  Thanks for the tip on Alton Brown peeks.  There we go, that’s a nice looking pancake.

This week, oh I’m really excited for this week. This last one was amazing.  Oh,  I gave a discussion in Zone Conference, that went pretty well.  My companion’s was awesome.  Our interviews with President was absolutely fantastic.  I love meeting with President, I just feel of his love so strongly, it’s like an interview with a Bishop that you know loves you and cares about you.  He’s just there to help you progress.  It’s literally his whole job.  We’re convinced that Elder Shumway is going to become an Assistant either this transfer, or pretty soon.   Just cause President is like, “You know, Elder Shumway, I look up to you, you’re like the best missionary in this mission.”  And was apparently complimenting him super a lot in his interview. (laughs)  I’m like “Yep. Well it was nice knowing ya buddy.  I can’t wait to go on an exchange with you at some point next transfer if I’m still a zone leader.”  (laughs) I keep teasing him about it.  I think if not this transfer, certainly soon.  He is definitely assistant material.  He’s awesome, hardworking, obedient, he’s a stud.  He’s really good at talking to others and instructing missionaries.  He knows Preach my Gospel and the scriptures forwards and back.

Alright, pancakes are ready.  I’m excited.  Pancakes and pineapple for breakfast.   I was just listening to “The Trek” from Nashville Tribute, that’s a really good one. All about oh guess what, the trek.  I think that’s about it for now.  I’m going to eat the pancakes.  I’ll have to let you know how it goes, and I hope you have a great day!  Sorry for the short voicemails by the way.

Voice Recording 3/27 pt 2

Good morning again! (coughing fit)  Wow.  Okay.  I think I swallowed some flour. I just got back from switching my laundry.  The washing machines take ages here, so when it finishes you gotta run down and restart it so we can actually get out of here at a reasonable time.   Let’s see… Mixing up the batter... as we speak…. Already looking pretty dang good. If I do say so myself. (whistling Ode to Joy) Butter. All right.

So lets talk a little bit more. Moving the recording over to the cupboard right next to the pan.  Let’s see…  Uh, no, I didn’t see Elder Burch, I saw him at transfers. That was amazing to be able to see Elder Burch. He’s doing great.  Even sent me a letter the other day. It’s sitting on my desk.  I’ve written him a couple drafts, haven’t gotten anything solid yet.  He asked me a question.  I’m just trying to figure out how to phrase stuff.  I’m using the butter knife to cut up the butter. Cause what else are butter knives for, right? (clicking)  There we go.  Getting the hang of this gas stove. (yawns)  Another yawn.

Let me think… We contacted a lot of people this week. Felt inspired to try some formers, sadly most of them weren’t home or didn’t live there any more, and the current people weren’t interested but they were nice, so that was good to see. (laughs)  It’s always really good to meet nice people.
On another note, it’s almost biking season.  I’ll have to see how much I can bike. I know that if I raise the seat up, I’ll be able to bike a bit.  Short distances.  No hills. Per doctors orders, and well, my experience.  Yeah.  Talked to Sister Wadsworth this week.  She pretty much told me that if I want to run the 5k, I’d need a doctor’s note approving that I am ok, and indeed can run the 5k.  And in that interview she pretty much told me “Let’s just make that a goal for your Post-Mission, to get you to that point where you can, because we don’t need a broken Elder Berrett sent home for surgery.”  I’m like, “Yeah, that’s a good point.  I trust you, and I also full-heartedly agree with that statement.  I enjoy serving my mission, and I think it would be best if I remained here.”  

Well the pan is ready, getting hot, butter melted, I think it’s time for the first pancake.  The batter’s still nice and lumpy.  Alright, first pancake down.  Putting a paper towel so it doesn’t make a big mess.  This is great!  Wow, really, really minimal cleanup actually.  Like, the only two extra things that I’ve got to clean are a measurer for the mix, since it’s a little more exact than “eyeball some batter and then pour in some water.”  And the container for melted butter.

(Talking to Companion) Looking for a knife?   A cutting board.  There’s a cutting board right here, I think it might be the only one.

I’m going to pause this recording for now.  Love you, and have a great day! 

Voice Recording 3/27 pt 1

Well good morning mom, happy Monday.  The sun is shining, it’s a beautiful day, it’s warm out.  There’s no snow that I can see except for like on the mountains far off.  It’s going to be a good day today.  Let’s see, I have exchanges today, I’m heading in to Helena 2nd ward.  Actually venturing out of my shell a little bit today.  Going somewhere else.  It’s kinda funny because last transfer, both exchanges I stayed here.  So I’m pretty excited.  It’s going to be fun.  I get to be with Elder Rickenbacker.  Sorry, I’m… it’s just… it’s so nice out.  I’m looking out the window.  I can feel the warmth of the sun.  I’ve really been enjoying it the last couple of days because it’s been so long.  And I know I’m going to go home and it’s going to be like 10 times even better.  I mean hands down it’s still my favorite feeling when you get into that warm car that’s been sitting outside for hours after you’ve been in an air-conditioned building.  Granted, that wonderful feeling only lasts like a few minutes and then you’re scrambling to get the car to cool down.  But it’s wonderful. 

So I’ll just set this right here and I’ll begin, oh I probably need to pull up the recipe too.  Will it still record?  Yes it will!  Oh, so the pancakes, I think I told you about them last week, were wonderful.  Oh! So worth the effort.  The only thing that would make them better is blueberries.  Hands down, I’m buying some today.  With the little money I have left for the month, I’m buying some today.  And, to top it all off, our bishop’s wife makes her own syrup.  Regular and this butterscotch syrup.  And she gave me the recipe for it.  AND made me a jar.   She made it in like 10 minutes.  She’s like “How much time do you guys have?”  Cause we were following up with the Bishop, or we had stopped by the house real quick to report something, I asked her for the recipe, and she’s all “I’ll just make you some, How much time do you have?” And I’m all “Well we need to get going in a couple minutes here.”  And she’s like “Okay, I’ll just make a quick batch!”  Boom!  10 minutes later hands me this mason jar.  I’m really excited to try it.  The recipe is

½ cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbs corn syrup
Boil one minute, then add 1 tsp vanilla.

Okay, so maybe it was buttermilk syrup, not butterscotch, but anyways, I had it last time.  I ate dinner at their house, and it was the most fantastic syrup I’ve ever had in my life.  And I’m so excited to try this!  On the buttermilk pancakes. I think I still have enough buttermilk. Oh yeah, totally. Plus it expires the 24th of May. (March)  I’m assuming however, the buttermilk is like milk and you’re fine for a couple of days.  It doesn’t smell horrid. I shake it and I’m not seeing any curdles or separating.  I think I’m fine.  And, well, I don’t have any other option. I didn’t buy any regular milk last week.  My companion drank straight out of the gallon a couple days ago cause he’s like “You don’t drink this milk anyway”.  So funny. 

Ok.  I’m just staring at the syrup, and outside, and it’s going to be a wonderful day.  I’m super excited.  I love the photos you sent me! I actually have a, its kinda cool on the android, apparently you can have multiple users on the device, and I can edit the user pictures and mine is of me in that little frog t shirt with just like the crazy spiked hair and the biggest grin on my face.  I love those pictures you sent me.  Ok.  Oh here we go.  Also I got that email you sent me, and thank you so much for actually watching that, believe me I was, I was like, “If I could watch ONE thing right now, it would be Alton Brown’s pancake video” and you solved that.  You’re wonderful. 

(yawns)  I had a wonderful night’s sleep last night.  We got to sleep in until 6:30.  The last couple of days we’ve been waking up at 5:45 or 5:30 for things.  Our mission leader wanted to correlate with us before ward council in the morning yesterday so we got up pretty early for that.  I don’t remember why we got up early Saturday though.  I can’t remember.  All’s well that ends well.  (yawns) I don’t know why I’m yawning right now.

Oh yes, I actually need to make the mix.  So I think I was going to divide the mix in half, this week, cause way too many pancakes last week.   And if worse comes to worse, if I need a little bit more, I can just make like a quarter of a batch.  Which I don’t know how I’ll do that because a full batch requires two eggs, I can’t put in ½ an egg… All’s well that ends well.  It’ll work out. 

Ok.  Directions.  Okay, now you said that I need to shake up the mix that I made every now and then, cause the ingredients like separate.  I have the mix in a Ziploc bag, not a lidded container, sorry Alton Brown.  He probably despises Ziploc bags or something like that.  Cause they slowly release too much oxygen, or they separate the hydrogen from the oxygen as it goes in… and I don’t know. (shaking bag)  But I will consider this thoroughly mixed up.

Now instant pancakes.  I have my thing.  “Heat an electric griddle” ok, yeah, blah, blah, blah…  oh crap. Oh, what?! No!  Ok, so I just throw in let’s see, 1 cup buttermilk,  that’s first.  I am really excited about these pancakes again.  And now that I can actually pretend like I know what I’m doing, they’ll be even better, faster, and easier to clean up.  So one cup buttermilk, one egg…Look at me doing fractions and math.  Granted dividing two by two wasn’t exactly the hardest thing ever.  We’ll see how I am when I get to the “one stick of butter”.  Oh, that’s just for greasing the pan.  A whole stick of butter?? I’m pretty sure it said in the video to limit that amount.  I’ll have to go back and read that email you sent.  I usually just use like a tablespoon or something in the pan, let it melt, move it around.

Let’s see, what happened this week so far that I can talk about?  Oooh! Gospel sing last night!  That was awesome!  Gospel Sing, I think I told you about this earlier, is something that the town of Townsend does.  Once a month, basically the whole community gets together, and they sing gospel songs about Christ.  They take turns hosting it at different churches.  This month was hosted at our church and the whole zone came, and we sang Called to Serve and A Child’s Prayer.  It was so amazing!  I loved it!  Honestly though, my favorite were probably the Methodist songs, and the Methodists.  I mean just picture this Methodist choir up there, there’s a guy playing the spoons, a guy playing the acoustic guitar, singing, and everyone's just kinda singing in this choir, and then there’s this guy on the banjo just sitting there in the back. He’s got this beard and everything.  It was so great.  I loved it.  And the best part was, thanks to The Lower Lights, I knew all the songs! (laughs)   We’re singing along and it was great.  I had a blast.

What else do I have to do?  Oh, melted butter.  Duh.  Two tablespoons.  I’m like, “I feel like I’m forgetting something.” Yeah.  The melted butter.  (singing unknown song)  Anyways, Gospel Sing was awesome.  We have an investigator in Boulder that we are planning on bringing.  He was a Baptist preacher for quite awhile in Georgia, so we really think that he’ll enjoy himself at the Gospel Sing next month.  I don’t know why we didn’t think of it earlier.  We were kind of sitting there, and we were saying “Oh My Goodness.  Mike NEEDS to be here.  He needs to be here.”

Umm, let’s see… What else happened this week?  Interviews with President.  They were awesome.  I had  a really great interview with him.  We talked a lot.  Was Zone Conference this week?  Yeah! Holy Cow.  We also had zone conference this week.   Not even close to being melted.   I saw a lot of great old friends.  Elder Bredsgard – He served in Thermopolis pretty much the whole time I served in, well, the Big Horn Basin, down in Wyoming, so we got to know each other really well.  He’s a stud.  Works really hard.  Love him to death.  He’s currently the zone leader in Butte right now.  So I was asking him how people in Butte were doing.  How’s Carl and Ross…  I actually got a facebook message.  Someone posted on my wall.  The Burkes.  He was previously in the… Oh!  I’m getting a call.  From Michigan?  It was just some, I don’t know, recorded call “Your Google listing is about to inspire”  (I think he meant expire, but I left the mistake in because it made me giggle) “Your google listing is about to expire.  If you are a business, call this number to resolve it.” Or “Press one now to talk with me.” And I’m just like, whatever.  We ain’t no business.  So that’s that.  Let’s see…  “two cups of fresh fruit such as blueberries, if desired.”  Well, it’s definitely desired, it’s just not accessible right now.  (yawn)  Why am I yawning so much?  One cup of instant pancake mix.  I think we ran into this before.  At least I know where the 1/3 cup is.  (whistling Star Wars)

Oh!  Here’s another thing that happened this week, that you’ll appreciate.  I tried Cane’s Chicken.  We have this less active that we work with, Steven, he’s from the Valley.  He’s awesome.  I love working with him, teaching him, and helping him to come back.  He’s struggling a bit right now with faith, but he’s getting there.  Anyways, he fed us lunch and made us homemade Cane’s chicken with their sauce.  Elder Shumway later said that it was good, but it definitely wasn’t as good, and it was pretty dang fantastic, so I’m pretty excited to try that. I don’t know if it’s like Get Home and Gotta Try Cane’s Chicken, but if that’s where the kids want to go I’ll be down for it.  Honestly, I’m fine with anywhere.  I do miss Chipotle, not gonna lie. And my clothes are done.  So I’m gonna go change my clothes, well, I meant I’m going to go change a load.  And I’ll be back up here. How long has this recording been going for?  15 minutes.  Ok, I’m going to pause this and send it off.  Love you!  Bye.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Voice Recording 3/20 pt 3

Hey so, Hey mom! Umm, so I was just reading the recipe and I literally answered my own question, so you can feel free to ignore the email I just sent you. Like, I sent off the email and then I go back to the directions, and I… it says “whisk together the egg whites and the buttermilk in a small bowl and in another bowl whisk together the egg yolks with the melted butter.”   Wow. There is lots of cleanup to this recipe.  Well, we got time for it. Better than just sitting around and not doing anything.  Egg whites and buttermilk, so I’m going to need a bit of a larger bowl. Oh, hello.  Was this the one with the crack in the bottom?  No this was that one.  So one of these measuring thingymabobbers for liquids has a hole in the bottom that I found out about on my first or second, I think second pancake Monday with you.  (whistling and singing unknown song) 2 cups buttermilk, okay!

Anyways, lets see, Andy and Ralph, oh I love Andy and Ralph.  They’re doing… They’re struggling. Andy moved back in with Ralph.  Cause she was gonna be baptized a week ago in Great Falls, but decided that she needed to come here. She read the Family Proclamation and the spirit told her that she needed to try being a family, came back and they’ve been struggling. Hard core. We had a lesson set with them this week, we went over and Ralph was pretty much “Let’s just make it short this week, guys.  I’m pretty tired.”  We could tell they’ve been arguing pretty bad.  They both looked like they were just about to burst into tears, and he is not a very emotional guy, he’s this tough farmer.  But, long story short, we went to start giving the lesson we had planned, and the spirit was just like, “No,no,no,no, Stop. You just walked into this situation, do you really think that you need to still give this lesson?”  And we’re like, “No, you’re right, Spirit. What shall we teach?” And he’s like, “Just offer them a blessing to start off.  I’m pretty good with these things.”  And we’re like, “okay, we’ll do that.”  And so we offer them a blessing and it was super powerful, we’re both in tears.  It was really good, and we’ll be seeing how that goes.

Crap, yeah, how do I even separate an egg first?  I just poured the milk in that and I don’t even know how to separate an egg.  (whistling)  I need eggs first.  Crap.  I’m gonna pause this recording.  I’m going to figure out my life.  See you! So after some brief consulting with my companion and grabbing the eggs, we determined that the best thing to do was to crack the egg and try to put the yolk in one thing and all the rest of the whites in another.  Let’s see… ok whisk the egg whites and the buttermilk, and the egg yolks and the, oh wait, MELTED butter, How much butter? Four tablespoons melted butter. Oh, I did not see that.  You! You look like a bowl.  That’s because you are a bowl.  Is there a microwave?  Yes there is.  Oh my goodness, so much cleanup. (whistling unknown song) 4 tablespoons.  Thank goodness these things come pre-measured in sticks of butter.  So 4 tablespoons, that’s got to be what, 4 sticks? No just kidding I know it says it on the paper.  Put that in the bowl, and I’ll melt that down.  (more whistling while waiting for microwave) Almost. Done. Most of the butter is melted. 

Ah, let’s see.  Boulder.  Boulder is doing great.  We just had an amazing meeting with our stake president the other day, we meet with him every other week as zone leaders and sister training leaders.  We’re not sister training leaders, but the sister training leaders come.  Oh my goodness, we were talking about it the other day and I am so thankful there’s no chance of me ever being a sister training leader, cause that is such a hard assignment.  I’d say it’s up there with Assistant, to be honest.  You’re a sister, over another group of sisters, for instance the sister training leaders in our mission are each over three to four zones.  We have sister training leaders here in Helena in our zone, and they’re over the Butte, Bozeman, both Great Falls zones, and they are required to go on exchanges with every sister in their area, and then also deal with all the problems and drama, and counsel sisters and like that’s our job as zone leaders, but we don’t go on exchanges with all the elders.  Yeah, its… ah bless their hearts. I don’t know how they stay sane.  They both looked pretty stressed.  There’s some struggling sisters in our zone right now, both great sisters, both hard working… crap, which one is which, before I start cracking?  Ummm, Egg whites and buttermilk in a small bowl.  Egg yolks with the melted butter.  So Im going to put both of these right next to each other, whichever start to comes out first is whatever container I try and throw the egg over.  I feel like egg whites would come out first.  So I’m just going to naturally aim for, what would that be? The buttermilk.  Oh crap!! Oh, I can just spoon out the yolk now.  If I can find it.  The whole thing just like dropped in there.  Crap.  I mean, I have to put these both together eventually so it shouldn’t be too big of a difference, right?  Where did the yolk go?! Where did the yolk go?!  Where’d it go?  I can’t see it in the buttermilk.  Oh! I found it!  Oh crap, I think I broke it.  Oh yeah.  So I’m just going to pour the butter in the buttermilk now, just cry, and give up.  Sorry Alton Brown, I know there’s most likely a reason, a very logical reason, but I suck.  I’ll try again next week.  Hopefully with some tips from you, mom.  Just start putting stuff in the sink now.  (whistling star wars) Gosh darnit! I just found the yolk and it’s not broken! After I poured in the butter.  Awesome.  Well, I broke the yolk now.   And now I think I need… Oh yeah, one more egg. “Whisk together egg whites and buttermilk and the egg yolks in melted butter.” Hey so good thing from now on the only thing we’ll have to worry about putting the pancake mix together is the egg thing because the rest is already done. I have all this mix now!  And now that I’ve done it before, it shouldn’t be too hard.  I shouldn’t make (unintelligible) again, this was just a disaster.  But fun! And surely a story for the memories, and journal, and you.

It’s been… wow.  I also need to clean up here.  I feel like a little kid.  “I just helped my mom bake!” And I made the kitchen into a war zone.   There we go, mixing it all thoroughly.  So I have this… How much… Two cups of the pancake mix recipe.  Okay so this is good for three uses it looks like.  I’ve been kind of looking forward to this all week.  I would call this “thoroughly whisked” even though it’s the most lazy whisking and it’s with a spoon.  I just don’t want to go through the bother of cleaning the whisk, not gonna lie.  Oh, this is probably going to make a lot more sense, there’s stuff sticking to the sides.  I think it’s the milk?  No, that’s butter. It’s definitely the butter. Oh!  I get it, the milk is cold, so the butter is starting to solidify.  Oh… oh. I’m going to warm it up a little more.  That’s probably going to do something catastrophic to it. So maybe I will just hurry and combine it with the mix before anything else happens.  You’re probably wincing and have a lot of comments, but hey, better learn now than never? (whistling Star Wars)

Ok, that’s one cup, three-thirds of a cup now, 2, one and two thirds… Two.  Directions – pour the liquid ingredients on top of the dry ingredients mix the batter just enough to bring it together, don’t try to get all the lumps out, Perfect! Because lumps are good, I know that from Brother Cheatham.  Lumps are your friends.  Lumps are friends and food.  This is a lot of mix.  I’m probably going to shorten this down next week I’m probably going to use one cup of buttermilk, one egg, two tablespoons of butter, Just divide the liquid part in half, that way I only use one cup of mix.  Cause already this is looking like a lot.  I’ll make my companion feast with me.  Because I’m sure this will be really tasty, cause this is looking like the perfect consistency, I just about have all the ingredients together, still nice and lumpy… I enjoy using spoons just because I feel like they get all the ingredients out.  Ok, oh yeah, crap, griddle.  I’m supposed to be like buttering it and getting it warmed up.  How long is this recording?

Probably going to pause it… Yeah!  All right, I hope you have a wonderful day, I love you so much and I’m going to make pancakes right after this.  Love you mom! Bye!  Did it save?  I don’t think it did? Save! 

Voice Recording 3/20 pt 2

Hey mom, I’m back. Umm, so funny story, a total Nick-ism, I was looking for measuring cups, the largest thing I found was 1/3 of a cup, and so I was starting to use that, but then the thought came to me, “well, some people I know, I remember back home we kept like measuring things in their containers of flour.”  So I went through their pantry, and I found this big container of flour, “Oh perfect!” and so I open it up, well, I tried to open it up, I…. thank goodness it was right close to the floor, but the lid kind of popped off and it flew out of my hand and landed on the floor and flour went everywhere.  All over my leg, my shirt, my suit pants, er not my suit pants but my blue slacks that match my suit jacket so that’s what I wear most of the time.  So, yeah, I think I’ll title this voice mail “Where’s the broom?”  I just tried to use the vacuum, and that didn’t work too well.  So now I just finished cleaning up the mess that made, and so now I’m sweeping up (conversation with companion) so, I’m sweeping it up right now. It was fun.  It was an adventure, and now I’m just going to have patience and measure out 6 cups of flour with a 1/3 cup measure.  And I can talk to you while doing it. Thank goodness not too much flour was wasted.  She’s probably going to wonder why there’s some flour in the trashcan. (whistling Praise to the Man)

Let’s see… Ok.  I’m going to do this now. (singing Praise to the Man) So I just had the idea that there’s measuring bowls with cups on it, and I’m just going to dump flour in it until it hits six cups, and then pour that in the mixing bowl.  A little more clean up, but a lot less time.  Where’s the 6 cup line on here first? Ok!  Alton Brown’s methods are smarter not harder, right?  Cause that’s kinda what I’m doing right now.  I know it needs to fairly be… please don’t be… that’s 7 cups.  Scoop some out. Oh! Can you hear me?  The thing was clear over here. I hope you could hear all that.  For the most part I like to think that I’m good at projecting, but when I don’t know that I’m supposed to project, that’s another story. (banging) Nope, now it’s down to 5 cups. One…two…three. (a lot of banging going on) What? 5 ½? I’m probably doing something horribly wrong, like they measure liquids or something.  (more banging)  We’ll see how these pancakes turn out.  I am really interested. 
Oh yeah, I’m covered in flour by the way.  Instead of Peeta, I’m “Berrett the pancake maker”.  I throw burnt pancakes out the door to people preparing for their hunger games.  Let’s see 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda.  I did find little measuring spoons though.  At least I know real quickly what I’m doing there.  “Do not purchase if box has been opened or shows signs of tampering. Open here.”  I feel like this is just kind of a, nah I’m just going to use my knife on this box, my knife is downstairs, I’m just gonna grab a knife and… take that perforated tab!  I just cut you open.  So what do you do after you open baking soda, are you just supposed to put it in like a box? A sealed box? Or is this fine?  Umm “Use a new box each month for fresher tasting food.”  Good to know.  So maybe you don’t? I’m just going to open the top, because there’s no way this little measuring thing will fit in that little tab. I know that little tab is great for when you stick it in, and it’s all, “oh look! It’s perfectly level and everything!” But, I don’t know.  I’m probably going about this all wrong.  But, Trial and Error! How else am I going to learn? For college.  And life.

What was I doing?  Salt! (whistling)  What’s this?  Mediteranean Sea Salt,  I don’t think that’s Kosher salt.  Morton Natural Sea Salt. For cooking and baking.  I’ll do it! Good enough.  How much? One tablespoon. Oh!  (whistling… coughing)  I just accidentally ate a chunk of salt! Ok, next step… The finger identification button thingy isn’t working because flour was on it.  Two tablespoons of sugar, there we go!  There’s a fun one. You can never have enough sugar in your life, right?  The sweeter the better.  Double that part of the recipe! 9 tablespoons!  No, I’m just kidding.  I’ve met enough people on my mission with diabetes.  Well, I say that and then I make pancakes every Monday.  Holy cow this is a lot of mix.  I’m looking at this right now, this is like the equivalent of just buying a thing of mix at the store.  I’m gonna need a Ziploc bag for this.  I think we have those.  Mixing this all up right now.  I’m almost done with the mix part,  I’m making the pancake mix.  So a little longer than my normal week.  Normally by the time I’m done making the second recording most of the pancakes are done. But hey! It’s gonna taste way better, right?  Plus it’s more fun, and now that I’ve made all this mix, this will last me a couple weeks.  And now I know where things are since the whole first recording was just trying to freaking find, and start it.  And I made that whole mix in just one recording.  How long has this been going? 12 minutes.  I think that’s good for now.  I’m going to begin the rest.  Figure out how to separate eggs? Gonna admit, I don’t know how to do that.  So, “eggs, separated” I’m just gonna email you and ask this.  Do I just use the egg whites, or all of the egg? Will you please help me with this?  Love you! Bye!  Sort of… almost… if I can stop this…

Voice Recording 3/20 part 1

Good morning!  Hey, I got it to work!  This is Elder Berrett, signing in, on where am I, Helena KTS 500, No, I’m not even going to.  No. Stopping right there.  Good morning mom, today I’m actually going to make that Alton Brown pancake mix, I’m pretty excited.  I went to the store last Monday and bought everything I need.  Baking powder… crap.  I guess I need baking powder too, but I, oh! I have it right here.  Ok, so I have baking powder, baking soda, flour, buttermilk, all they had was low fat so I hope it’s all good. And sugar, oh, yeah I have some downstairs, perfect.  And then… crap. Butter.  Okay good I have some.  Two eggs, separated.  A whole stick of butter for greasing the pan?!?! I’m not going to use a whole stick of butter.  Maybe I’m reading this wrong.  You’re probably wincing as I’m doing this.  I’m going to pause this recording while I go downstairs to get some sugar. 

Howdy!  I’m back! Alright, let’s see, what do we need to do here first?  “Combine all the ingredients in a lidded container, shake to mix.”  I think I’m just going to mix it in a bowl because I’m using it today.  I’m not making a bunch right now. I really (unintelligible) Mondays.  And, yeah, bowls are a little easier to clean than lidded containers I feel like.  Ok, let’s see.  Except I don’t know how much to make! How much does that all make? 6 cups, wow!  I might as well make it in a lidded container, this is going to be a lot.  I hope I have enough buttermilk, how much buttermilk do I need?  2 cups.  How much is this? 1 quart. I could be totally wrong but I thought it was 4 quarts in a, or 4 cups in a pint and 2 pints in a quart? Anyways, I know that I will have enough in here.  Yeah, and then wasn’t it like 4 quarts in a gallon? I think? Maybe? Oh well.  I know that I have at least 2 cups in here that I’ve got to use by March 24th.  What day is it today?  Today is the 20th or 21st So I pretty much gotta use it all today.  I’m sorry, but this beginning is really boring.

How are you doing, because I’m doing wonderful. Wow, this week.  Kinda hard to believe it’s only been one week since last Monday.  That feels like ages ago. Not gonna lie, but it was super fast.  Ah, let’s see… Monday, Monday. I had a fun lesson with … Lidded container.  I don’t even know where to begin if I’m going to make that much stuff. I need a big container.  We’ve had a lot of stuff happen.  Last Monday we had a lesson with a recent convert that we have here in Helena that we’re teaching.  Tuesday we had MLC.  That was fun.  Holy cow. I really… I’m not going to use that (unintelligible) MLC was amazing as usual.  It was just fantastic, I could not get enough of it, I was so sad when it was over. Nothing much is really changing, the biggest thing is re-emphasizing no facebook friending between elders and sisters. Apparently the mission is having some problems with that-  elder/sister relationships, so we’re working on that. Trying to get that to not happen.

Oh, these look like big, bowls? Sure, why the heck not.  And then I will just pour the extra mix that I don’t use inside, I don’t know, like a whatchamacallit. Sealable bowl thing.  Anyways, I’m talking as I’m working.  MLC was fantastic, wonderful, I loved seeing President and Sister Wadsworth.  Sister Wadsworth even brought us all dessert for MLC and she brought pizza, we were shocked. Well, it wasn’t too shocking since that’s what we have every MLC and it’s tradition, but she’s normally very “Watch what you eat everyone.” And so we teased her a bit about that.  We’re like “Sister Wadsworth, you brought us all these brownies and frosted cookies! What’s gotten into you?” Tons of fun there.

Let’s see, Wednesday, not much happened that day.  We planned for zone training, no, no we didn’t do that Wednesday, that was Thursday.  Crap. I don’t know what we did Wednesday, I’d have to look in my area book, and I’m mixing flour right now.  How many should this make? It doesn’t say.  Oh well!  I’ll find out.  Six cups of flour.  One of the days we had a ginormous, basically from like 12:00 to 4:30, we had a weekly planning, zone training planning, writing the reports for the Boulder branch history, that the sister in charge of branch history asked us to do.  It was really, really unproductive missionary work-wise, it was just kinda stuff that we needed to do, sitting down, in a church… I was ready to blow my brains out.  But it was productive.  And then I was ultra-happy and excited to go do missionary work when we got to.  It was kinda like being sick, and then finally getting to go out and do missionary work, it was the greatest thing ever, just on a smaller, more productive scale.

Wow.  I’m tired.  I slept really well last night.  (drawers opening and closing) Where’s all the measuring cups?  I don’t know where anything is in this house.  That was wonderful.  We went to Boulder, oh, (laughs) you’ll find this funny- so normally we’ve been staying at this family’s house when we go to Boulder.  They’re just snowbirds, travel all over in their RV, go to various places.  Like they stayed in Yuma for awhile.  But we’ve been staying in their house.  We were house sitting with this other guy that they asked to house sit there, he’s a member.  And it’s really great.  We slept in the basement on couches, had some water problems there, and some mice problems, and bug problems… that apparently they didn’t know anything about. And they just got back this week, and they’re like, “Well, we’d love for you to stay with us, but we kinda want  to clean everything up, and get this whole water thing fixed. We’ve got a water line that broke and so we would have water in like 3 minute bursts, and so we didn’t have a place to stay last night. Or Friday night.  We asked around, and the branch president asked around, and we have a place now, but that one day we didn’t, so we slept at the church. (laughs) It was like camping, only, yeah.  It was fun.  It was a bit of a fun campout.  Everyone’s like “Oh, that’s so awful!”  And I’m like “No, it was an adventure.”  I mean, yeah I would never want to do it again, my back’s still a little sore from it, but you know, you lay out your mat, my companion had a sleeping bag, I got that big blue blanket you sent me, and Nina’s TARDIS blanket, a big pillow and just curled up next to the Relief Society heater, it was great.  I actually really enjoyed myself.  And then we went and used a members shower and he made us breakfast and it was great.  That was tons of fun.

Sorry, I’m still trying to figure out where all the measuring cups might be.  Like, I could eyeball it, but this is kinda baking, and you’re not supposed to do that with baking. (yawns)  Let’s see, tons of stuff happened this week, but I can’t think of anything right now, while I’m sitting up here in the kitchen.  Zone training. That was super fun.  We had that Friday morning.  It was pretty spiritual, I went  up there to give a discussion, I had all these notes planned and then as I was starting it, it just didn’t feel right, and the spirit just pretty much lead me to do another discussion. Not necessarily another discussion, same topic, Preach My Gospel chapter 10- Becoming Better Teachers, but just doing it in a way different way.  It was really powerful and really good.  And kinda lead in perfectly to my companion’s role play.  Where previously I was like “How am I going to do this?”  Liquid smoke?? Hmm. Other than that, it was no, not “other than that”, the whole day was great.  Let’s see. 
Friday also we gave a pretty miraculous blessing to someone.  She’s never been too religious before, she’s going through a lot of family troubles right now, and she has a co-worker at work who’s a member, and asked her if she would like a blessing, Kinda explained to her a little what it was, and she said “absolutely.”  So she came to the church, and we taught her about it, explained to her the process, how it’s done by the priesthood, what the priesthood is…  It really brought her a lot of peace and comfort.  She really enjoyed it.  And I was just thankful to be a part of it.  She was in tears by the end.  We were able to talk to her about the Book of Mormon, shared a scripture from it, and promised that she’d find that same peace that she felt from her blessing in it.  We’re following up with her soon, so really excited to see where that goes.  She lives in our area.  The member doesn’t, she lives in 6th ward, but her friend lives in East Helena, our area.  So I’ll tell you how that goes next week.  I’m really excited to follow up with that.  It’s been awhile since I’ve really sat down and taught someone like that, I don’t know.  

We’ve been really trying to find, like we have some investigators, but they’re not really progressing, apart from Andy and Ralph in Boulder.  I’ll tell you about that in the next voice mail. They are, wow, I hope they continue to progress and that things continue to go well for them.  We’re trying to find right now.  We’re really praying that we will find some more work.  It’s been a bit of a struggle.  We have some less actives that are starting to progress, but as far as investigators go, not too many, especially here in Boulder.  We’re really hoping to find some.  We were finding some, but they just haven’t been panning out.  We’re really praying to focus on that as a mission.  So, hope all goes well.  I’m excited to see all that’s going to happen this next week.  

We have Zone Conference on Tuesday and the assistants aren’t going to make it, cause of all the zone conferences they have to go to every transfer, and zone conference is where we have multiple zones gather together, we’re having Bozeman and Butte come here this transfer, and since the assistants aren’t coming and we’re the host zone, we were asked to give the assistants discussions which are both 30 minute discussions on a chapter in Preach My Gospel.  And I’m actually a little stressed out about it.  I have some ideas of what I want to speak on, but not for 30 minutes. Especially since for preparation day we were planning on going outside since the weather has been so nice.  No snow this week! All sun.  It’s been wonderful, up in like the 50’s and 60’s. I hear Arizona is up in the 90’s this week.  That sounds wonderful.  But we’re planning on going outside and playing ultimate Frisbee, but I won’t be able to play too much, so we’ll see how that goes.  More to follow!

Love you, I’m going to send this off since this recordings now at 15 minutes. Love you, have a wonderful day, I’m going to find that measuring cup before I begin to record again because this is really bothering me.  And multitasking is hard.  

Love you! Bye!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Voice Recording 3/13/17 pt 2

Good morning again! It’s me! Elder Berrett. Let’s see, what was I gonna, oh yes, so we were in Boulder this last week, and we ran into, we were out contacting a less active that we’ve been trying to contact for awhile.  This was like our third time trying and he hasn’t been home.   But, as we were knocking on his door, his next door neighbor was coming out of her car, and we were like, “perfect!”  So we went over, “Hi!  How are you doing?”  You know, just trying to be as friendly as we can. And she was really receptive, she started talking to us, and welcomed us into her home.  So we sit down and we begin to start sharing a message with her, and wow.  It was a bit of an adventure.  She was a… what’s the best way to put it?  The way she… She’s a “all in one”, kindof like a Buddhist-Christian ? God is more of a being.  Something that lives inside every single one of us, and connects us all.  We don’t really have… he controls us but we have to submit ourselves to his will to have inner peace and joy.  A lot of the stuff she was saying, actually I’m like, Well, yeah, that’s, you know we’re testifying of.  We’re like, you know Families are so important, or all these things.  We’re trying to latch.  She’s just kinda going on, almost trying to convert us.  And we’re like, “Absolutely yes, families are important!” Just latching on to these principles that she’s saying, and we’d been there quite awhile, and we just kinda got to the point where we gotta get going, so we quickly started to just testify and invite her to see if she could increase her knowledge of Jesus Christ, she definitely believes in Him, and so we invited her to read the Book of Mormon, to see if that will increase her faith.  And uh, at first she’s accepting it, and then she sees the Book of Mormon and is all “ Oh, no,no,no,no,no.. I’m not reading that.  And she kind of looks at us and it’s almost like realization kind of hit.  I guess she’s heard some stuff,  just maybe about what we believe, except it wasn’t really that bad. She’s just like “Well I know that some of you guys believe that your church is true…”  And I’m like, “Yeah?!?...”  She’s like, “You’ve just got to give in to the all-in-one God, and allow him to just control you.  Don’t believe in the church, just believe in the God.”  And I’m like, “Well yeah, we do!”  The reason I’m sharing all this was because the spirit was prompting me at that moment to just kinda share my testimony of the restoration. We did, and we left her with that and our testimonies, but as we were leaving, she looked at me, and she said, “Well, I don’t know why God has put you on this path, but he has for a reason and I’m glad that you found this, but when the spirit tells you otherwise, you should leave, and listen to the spirit and go where it tells you to go.”  And I said, “You know, yes, if the spirit, it never entered my mind, but if the spirit were to lead me elsewhere I would, but, I know that God does not lie. I know that He has told me that this church is true.”  So it was kind of a cool testimony experience for me. Yeah.

Let’s see, what else this week?  I’m on pancake number 5 by the way. There we go.  Last pancake here. (whistling Ode to Joy)  Most of the missionaries in the zone are doing good. Transfers are pretty good.  There’s one companionship that’s struggling. A pair of sisters. One of them is super, super quiet.  One of them is super, super happy and just wants to talk all the ti… Oh.  Gee, I wonder who that sounds like?  But she’s a bit more of an overpowering, a dominant personality and is trying to get the other one to really talk more, which makes the other one draw away even more.  The quiet one comes from like a farm.  Grew up with cattle, like a dairy farm… homeschooled…  She’s an awesome, awesome super powerful missionary, but is a little hesitant at times, she’s kinda struggling with her new companion.  They’re struggling.  So we’re keeping them in our prayers since there’s not much else we as Elders can do.  Sister Training Leaders are on it though.   They’re pretty awesome sisters. One of them is a brand new Sister Training Leader.  She’s definitely like, (laughs) oh she was really wide-eyed last night.  She’s just like “Oh my goodness, what is going on??” Day 5 of being a Sister Training Leader and she’s… Oh bless her heart.  They’ve got a hard, hard job.  They go on exchanges with every single sister in their area that they cover. Every transfer.  And these Sister Training Leaders cover 4 zones. 5, I think. 4 or 5 zones.  Which means they go on lots of exchanges. Lots of driving, and also, lots of drama.   Bless their hearts.  I am so thankful that I’m an elder.

Oh crap.  Last pancake and I mess it up. I was going to go to flip it and I kinda like, I don’t know, apparently didn’t get the last part up, and I went to flip it and it just kinda curled up on itself. (sigh) We can’t all be perfect.  That’s why the atonement’s real.  (whistling Ode to Joy)

Let’s see, what else? Oh, all the snow is finally melting.  We just got another huge snow storm a couple days ago, it had pretty much just all melted, and then it dumps on us!  That’s Montana winters for ya. So I never got to make a snowman.  Last Monday it was just way too powdery.  It wasn’t wet enough.  Which is alright.  It’s something I can do with my kids at some point, or even next time it snows.  At this point I’ve just kinda given up hope that it’s going to be the last one. It’s just like, yeah, it’s gonna happen.  Just accept it for what it is. And call it good. 

And that’s all the pancake mix.  Six pancakes. Perfect. Enough for Elder Shumway and I.  Turn the stove off.  I’m hungry, I’m not going to wait for Elder Shumway, I’m just going to say the blessing and start eating.  How long has this recording been going? This recording has been paused. So… Maybe it was going? So I really hope it’s going. Because last I checked it said four minutes and now it says nine so I think it’s been going? But it says paused.  But the thing is blinking and the counter is still going so I’m just going to ignore that, call it a glitch and keep on going.

This week coming up we have MLC on Tuesday, we just finished setting up for it.  Oh, that’s right, after our mission prep fireside that we just had, all the youth from the stake, juniors and seniors, were invited to this mission prep/temple prep/life prep fireside. Super good.  Us and the sister training leaders were asked to lead a discussion on the importance of building your testimony and increasing your knowledge.  And that was really fun.  Really fun role play.  Elder Shumway got up and he drew this example of a football play on the white board.  You know, all these X’s and O’s.  And then he said “I need someone who doesn’t know anything about football. Actually Camie volunteered.  And he’s like “Perfect.  Now Camie, I want you, in 30 seconds, tell me a…”  It was like a… there was the number 3 in it…It was like a 3 person defense, 3 region? No, “3 something defense. Go!” Clearly I don’t know what I’m talking about too. And at which point she kinda looked at it and went , “What do the X’s mean?”  She did a wonderful job, bless her heart.  But, you know, we thanked her, and sat her down, and then pretty much said that we need to learn the gospel.  At some point or other someone is going to ask if we believe it, and if we have, they are going to ask us again.  We’re going to reach points in our life, where we have to know these things.  And if you don’t know it now, you’re going to end up stammering and stuck and not knowing what to do.  And apparently that actually connected with a lot of the youth.  So It was cool, and then right after that we had a Preach My Gospel lesson, shared a bunch of scriptures, D&C 11:21, a lot of Second Nephi…  That’s a lot of good looking pancakes.  And overall, it was really awesome.  We had treats because all the missionaries were there.  Oh yeah, so all the juniors and seniors were invited, and I think maybe we had 6 people come.  No, maybe it was like 8 or 10 youth, but WAY less than everyone thought was going to come.  There was a whole ward that was like, “No, we’re just not going to come.”  The Townsend ward. Oh, the stake presidency was not too happy there.  Especially since some of the youth from that ward were on the program.

But, let’s see… syrup, Oh, there’s already a plate there.  I only needed to grab one plate. I need to grab another fork though. Grab another fark, as apparently they say in American Fark. Ok there we go.  And I’m gonna say a prayer and send this off. Love you mom! Bye! 

Voice Recording 3/13/17 pt 1

Good morning mom! It’s me! Elder Berrett! Yeah, so happy, happy pancake Monday! I’m actually making pancakes today.  I was going to try Alton Brown’s pancakes today, but as I was looking around I realized 1) I don’t have all of the ingredients, and I have a little bit of Krusteaz left that I just want to finish off and get rid of and I’m a little too lazy this morning. However, I’m going to buy stuff at Walmart this week and make it next week. 

Wow.  It’s been a really crazy week. Oh! Oh! That box has a hole in it.  Good to know. I’ve got flour on me.  Apparently my box of Krusteaz has a hole in it. And so does the bag in the box.  Better not be… nah, okay good.  Worried there for a moment.  I was like, “there better not be mice….” No. It’s not. In Boulder, we live with… you know, on second thought… I’m just gonna throw this away.  Better not risk it, right? In all honesty, there’s like a tiny, tiny bit left, like I can make a pancake. Maybe.  Good thing I have back-up mix.  In the house we stay in in Boulder, no more actually, just spent our last week there, the house over there has mice. So I’m a little cautious about some of the stuff whenever we go to Boulder.

Did my companion just get some stuff out of the car? I’ll be right back, I think he might have left the house. Bye! Hey I’m back! Ok yeah, he heard some birds and wanted to go play fetch with the dog. I can now see him and hear him. So, it’s alright.

What was I going to do?  Oh yeah, get my mixing bowl.  This week has definitely been a crazy week. Had transfers this week. If I said this the last transfer, and I’ll say it again, if I can go the rest of my life without seeing another suitcase, I will be happy.  You know, transfers in Wyoming were never that bad.  Maybe it’s just because everyone from Bozeman, Sheridan, I think even Missoula, no not Missoula, Kallispel, Butte, Great Falls, Great Falls East… I think there’s like 5 zones that all just kind of like converge.  Not to mention all the missionaries going to those zones come up in a big transfer van.  That all happens on Wednesday.  They have all the zone leaders here, and on Thursday we have all the new missionaries coming in, so all the zone leaders come back. And there’s more luggage and other things.  This time it was just four sisters. The weather was so bad, because we just had a giant ice storm pretty much, that President Wadsworth drove them up himself.

What even is this measuring thing?  There’s just like a measuring cup inside the mix here. And I don’t know, it doesn’t say what it is.  If I had to eyeball it, I’d say like a quarter of a cup.  Good thing I already know how much mix I need.  I can eyeball that.  I’ve been making it in the same container for several weeks now.  Hmmm. Pancakes sound good this morning.  We just had pancakes Wednesday with our bishop, one of his missionaries was previously in his ward here, was in town, because she’s serving in the Butte zone, in Dillon, and she was in a trio with one of our sisters until she got her missionary, so he fed us dinner Wednesday night, well really just to feed her, but since we’re his missionaries he invited us.  It was great.  He made super, well his wife made super, super good blueberry pancakes.  Oh, I must have eaten like 7 or 8 of them. Love those.  Anyways after that, I was like, “man, I need to try this Alton Brown recipe because I am sure it is way better than this stuff”. Because their pancakes were just so perfect.  And I’m like, “Alton Brown also makes things perfect.”  Whether or not I can duplicate it, that’s the question. 

Other than transfers this week has been really good, I promise.  It just kinda takes it out of me.  Just so many missionaries moving around. I definitely went to sleep exhausted that night, let me tell you. (whistling I Love To See The Temple)

No Butter? We’re out of Butter?  We have margarine.  I really don’t want to use that stuff. It just doesn’t taste right.  It’s a lot easier, but it just doesn’t taste right.  And I swear everyone here in Montana uses it. I never really met too many people in Wyoming, but up here in Helena, everyone uses it.  Yeah, no butter. I’d rather use cooking spray.  Do we have any of that? Yes! Pam.

Uh, let’s see what else has been going on this week? I thought of a list last night, I didn’t actually write it down, I thought of a list of stuff that I was going to talk to you about.   Ummm, clearly that worked out well. 

Pam doesn’t taste quite right either, but it tastes better than margarine in my opinion.  Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Oh speaking of that, (the obnoxious youtube-esque thing about the comments) how’s Christopher doing? Love that kid. Oh my goodness, he’s a hoot.

Oh!  Have you seen the new Restoration video? Oh my goodness.  We were in Boulder, visiting the Grovers. Love that family. 

Might be a little too watery, or there’s a great big clump of flour that I didn’t mix in.  There we go, that helps.  Oh, I forgot to actually turn on the stove.

Let’s see what else has happened, oh yeah, the new Restoration video. If you haven’t seen it, go to history.LDS.org.    Oh my goodness, super good.  Even that whole website, if you have time to just look at that website, oh man.  They go through the whole history, including like way before.  I mean there’s stuff in there that I’m like, “I didn’t even know that!” They include stuff from all nine accounts of the first vision.  Joseph Smith’s four I believe, or five, I can’t remember, well and then there’s four or five other accounts, of things that he had recounted to people. Like personally, and then they had went and written down. There’s nine accounts total.  And they pulled from all nine of these to make the most detailed video and account and it’s just, Wow.   The spirit is super strong in it. I love it. I love it.  We ate dinner with our bishop again last night.  Super great family.  I love them.  And his wife made the comment, “Yeah, it’s like when they came out with the new temple videos! It just looks so much better!!”  (laughs)

I’m tired.  I didn’t really get to go to bed until midnight last night. I don’t know why.  Like I was laying in bed, I was in bed by 10:00.  Just couldn’t sleep.  Personal study this morning was wonderful.  First Nephi is great. I was… What was I reading this morning? Yes!  First Nephi 3-5. Just kinda, I don’t know.  The differences between Laman and Lemuel are obviously sticking out to me.  One thing that stuck out to me was how we have to do things together.  And how we have to trust the Lord. You know there’s a reason the Lord sent all four of them because they all had to learn from each other.  Rather than just Nephi, even though Nephi was, yeah he totally could have done it by himself.  As we know he did. Sort of. And you know at the very end he ended up going into the city by himself, slaying Laban, and getting the plates.  Coming back with Zoram.  But, the Lord does not work that way.  The Lord puts us around other people that need strengthening, that we need to learn from, and they need to learn from us.  I don’t know, it’s amazing, the Lords plan for us.

Alright, how long is this recording? 13:40.  I’m sorry that this one has been a bit of a ramble. I’m probably going to send this one off.   Oooh, there we go, that was a nice flip.  I got my first pancake going, I have the mix all ready, just flipped it perfectly, I don’t know, I probably would have maybe made this side a little browner. But it was, I don’t know, I think it’s going to cook perfectly.  I’m excited to eat that pancake.  Elder Shumway just asked me how many pancakes I’m making, so I think I’m going to make a little more. 

But that’s that for this recording, I’m going to send this off.  I hope you’re having a good day, we’ve had a pretty great week, Oh, oh my goodness I just remembered something I was going to tell you, it’s a story, so I’ll have to go into it in my next recording.  But I hope you have a wonderful day.  Love you mom, Bye! 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Voice Recording 3/6/17 pt 2

Good morning, good morning!♪♫  Happy morning again! Eggs are going great.  Oh! Hello! I just flipped it and it went everywhere.  Or little bits of it went everywhere.  Ok, this egg is most definitely done, moving it off the burner, and putting the bagel in the toaster.  It’s amazing the things you take for granted when you’re at home. Like, for instance, a toaster.  I REALLY missed having a toaster when I was in, let me think, cause I don’t know if I had one in Great Falls, that was so long ago. If we did we never really used it.   Butte, never really had one. Like we got one near the end of my stay there, and that was nice, but I missed it at times. And like, at least now that I’ve had one, oh my goodness, it’s been great. 

Oh! And in Powell I got used to having a Panini press. The members there had one and it was glorious. Paninis for days. Like the most simplest lunch ever.  You just – Bread! Turkey! Pastrami! Cheese! Boom! Put it in the Panini maker, press it down… It’s just basically a fancy grilled cheese. A quick grilled cheese.  I could probably just make one for lunch today and have it be the exact same, now that I think about it. It was just a grilled cheese.  Just, yeah. Really good though, I enjoyed it thoroughly.

It snowed a bit yesterday but it all melted. It’s so nice. There’s still remnants of the snow from winter, you’ll still see patches, there’s still snow on the mountains.  For the most part it’s all off the roads. It’s so nice. Grass is coming back, all the trees are still dead. Minus all the pine. That is the cool thing about Montana.  Like in Arizona, all the trees just die, minus palm trees.  Basically if you put them in the winter here, everything would be dead. But now you have these, like I look and you see these dead trees, but then you have pine trees. And they’re just always alive. And always looking great. Maybe that’s why they’re everywhere, because people are like “I want to be able to look at a tree year round, and not have to rake leaves.” That is definitely one thing that I’m like, I don’t know if I want to live in a place with fall, like it’s beautiful to go see and visit, but then leaves. And if you don’t get them raked up before snow hits, you gotta deal with a lot of mushy old leaves when it all melts.  #Arizonaforthewin. 

Let me think, oh we had a powerful recent convert fireside last night.  That was pretty amazing.  Basically it was all the recent converts or the recently reactivated members within the last year or two, and they were invited to come bear their testimonies and hear the testimonies of others.  It was about an hour and a half, so it was like the length if a Sacrament meeting, with some treats.  It was a Sacrament meeting with treats. Minus the sacrament. The sacrament is our treat. I forgot where I was going with all this…. Oh yes! Wonderful, wonderful meeting.  I really enjoyed it.  Super spiritual and powerful, there’s a few points where, I will admit, I was struggling to stay awake. I feel that that hits, I don’t know, I’ve had points where like, it’s hit me really hard.  There were some sacrament meetings where I’m like, this is it.  I’m dead. But then there’s other ones where I’m like totally awake! I don’t know, maybe it happens more in the summer?  I don’t know, I think it’s probably more summer.  This last winter was hard. Cause I hardly ever fell asleep in Butte the whole time I was there.  Greybull was fine until it started to get warmer… maybe it is the summer? Cause I don’t think I struggled… oh, okay well, I did struggle a bit in Powell, but that was usually only the last ward and we’re at church from 7:30 to 4:00 with all the ward council meetings.  So maybe that’s part of it.  At least I hope it is. I hate to uh, yeah.  I remember I used to do that back home a lot. And you’d bring up the point, “You gotta get over this for your mission!”  Well, for the most part I did. If I fall asleep it’s usually for only 10 or 15 minutes. Then I’m totally awake for the rest of the meeting.  It’s bad.  I have no excuses.  I haven’t been doing it lately in these sacrament meetings though. It’s like, my problem now is extra meetings. Like stake conferences or firesides. It’s like, well, end of the day, I’m sitting down in a comfy chair.  Good night.  I’m gonna pause this real quick while I bless the food.

Alright I’m back. And now I’m going to take this over to the table.  Oh, I’m hungry. And I also feel a little sick to my stomach.  But I’m hungry, so we’ll see how this goes.  Going and getting a haircut today.  Really great guy, I’m debating it, so all the missionaries keep talking about this guy, he’s super, super great, it’s expensive, so I’ve been saving up a little bit of money for it.  The thing is, it’s a $20 hair cut, which I’m like “pfff, that’s so much money…” but he’s also a real barber, like straight shave, everything. It’s only like an extra $4 and I kinda want to try that today. But the problem is, is that like I still need to shave today, it’s not that much, so I kinda feel that getting a straight shave on a mission is kinda, pointless. If that makes sense just because it’s, I don’t know, there’s not much to take off other than the stuff you grew overnight. I hope that made any sense.  I’m probably just going to shave and maybe try one later when I get home.  Because I do want to have that experience at some point in my life.

This sandwich looks really good.  I put some cream cheese on the top bun.  Yep. It’s good.

Oh! Duh! I know what you’re waiting for! Transfer news. (laughs)  Bless your heart, mom.  So we both got our transfer news and we’re both staying here Helena.  I’m really excited and it’s gonna be another great transfer. I love it here, I love Elder Shumway, it’s gonna be wonderful. Elder Hendricks I know is staying in Billings.  Our zone isn’t changing too much, apart from the three missionaries who went home, and there’s one more missionary that’s going down to Lovell, Wyoming. I loved giving him that news.  It was great.

To be completely honest, I can’t think of anything else to talk about, and I really want to enjoy my sandwich.  So I’m going to stop this recording, I’m going to send it off, and I’ll probably send another one later!  Love you mom.  Thank you for all you do. And I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day. Bye!

Voice Recording 3/6/17 pt 1

Good morning mom! It’s me, Elder Berrett!  Happy sorta kinda maybe pancake Monday, even though there won’t be any pancakes made today. I think I have all the stuff to make the mix you sent me, and I’m really excited to try that out, but we’ll be having lots of pancakes Wednesday, and also, I don’t know, my stomach doesn’t feel right, so I don’t want to throw a bunch of sugar at it right now. Well, I say that and now I’m going to go eat a….So for breakfast today I’m making a bagel-egg sandwich, which is fine, but then I have a cinnamon sugar muffin that we’ll see how I feel after the eggs.

But I figure continue the tradition and at least make something today.  I’ve been feeling pretty good lately.  Really, really congested. Throat hasn’t been… I had a brief stint the other day where my throat was feeling really bad. I couldn’t really talk too much, but it wasn’t as bad as last week. So it’s been pretty good.  Still a little congested now if you can hear that.

So again Happy Monday.  How are you doing today? Because I am doing absolutely fantastic.  What all happened this week?  Let’s see, yeah, sent home a lot of the sisters I came out with. Saw sister Crosland, sister, no I didn’t see sister Hodgson, she came out with elder Hendricks so she went home last transfer.  Saw Sister Unatowa, Sister Wong, sister Fredrickson, she was in my MTC district, so was sister Wong…. Um, Elder Isley, also in our zone but didn’t come out with me.  Finished his mission and was going home.  Everyone in the surrounding areas comes to Helena and drives off and we run that so it’s… that was interesting. 

Funny enough, the hardest part about all that was actually seeing Elder Hendricks. It was wonderful and I loved seeing him, he came up because he’s kinda with the assistants right now. Actually I’m not sure why because he technically has a companion. I don’t know.  He has another companion that’s with him, who is actually his new companion since Elder Hatch went home. Bless his heart. Elder Hendricks and I talked a little bit, it was so great to see him.  We smiled, we laughed. I think it was just hard because it really started my mind thinking, “Holy crap”… like, maybe it was also a mix of like the sisters I came out with going home, but I was like “What am I going to do when I get home?” If I’m going to BYU-I, I need to figure out my life right now, I need to find a way to do things.  But this last week was fast Sunday, I fasted and prayed, and I received a lot of comfort in the decision that I shouldn’t go to BYU-I, at least immediately. I don’t know what I am going to do a year or two years after I get home, but immediately I need to go home, work, spend time with my family, and go to CGCC. And that’s the impression that I feel I received.  It was really comforting actually, and kinda powerful, just to… Especially, oh what night was it, Saturday night, I was getting really, really stressed out.  To the point where that was the only thing on my mind.  I was able to work, but I was talking to my companion and I was like, “Listen, I am legitimately stressed out right now.”  It was on my mind, I couldn’t let go of it, and pretty much as I was beginning my fast that night… Well, yeah I started at the night, not right after dinner because I was feeling pretty dehydrated and we both went home and chugged a bunch of water, cause we were both a little low on water and then started our fast. We both had water bottles and we pretty much just downed one, and then we began our fast. It was really good, it helped me over.  But anyways, pretty much as I began my fast, a lot of that stress just kind of left. And the thought kinda came to my head what I should do, and I thought about it, and it seemed like the most logical decision to not pursue going to BYU-I right now, and the spirit kinda really comforted me in that, so, yeah.  That’s my decision.

Oh my goodness I am so congested right now.  Anyways, cool experience.  That was fun. I need to butter this pan, where’s the butter?  Oh my goodness the butter is gone. Wow. Really congested.
Anyways, it was a really good week. I know for a moment there I was like, If I go to BYU-I, that’s gonna be, the tri-mester would start soon, I’d have to find a way to take the ACT or SAT.  I mean I know missionaries that are doing that on their mission, but, well at least I’ve heard of a couple that have done it.  That would be stressful, studying for that early in morning.  I would have to go home from my mission 30 days early.  There’s a lot of elders that came out with me that are doing that, because of school.  And just kind of all these things that I’m like, you know, it’s all this extra work, and I’m not feeling the prompting that I need to do it.  It’s all this extra stress, all these extra hoops I need to jump through, and I don’t know?  Does that make sense what I am saying?  It just feels right that I need to go home. And stay out the full time.  Oh, I’m so excited for that. I’ll admit, part of me was hoping I didn’t have to go home 30 days early, cause that’s like in 5 months. But, yeah, I think the tri-mester starts like 2 days after I would get home normally.  So they’re going home early to see family, prepare, you know.  Umm, yeah, so that’s that.

Other than that small, oh what was that article I saw on LDS.org? They called it I think “A Quarter Life Crisis”. (laughs) That was a fun read.  So other than that, it has been a really good week.
We got (redacted) and, oh, there goes the full names again. We got the Sinclair family, it’s a part member/less active family that we’ve been working with.  She would totally already be a member if it weren’t for the fact that, you know, parole and stuff.  So if you could please edit out that first name that would be great. They’re an awesome, awesome family.  She’s been struggling to get up for church at 9:00 am.  And now that they got their kid back they’re especially excited about that, but it’s been a struggle for them.  So she gave us permission at 7:30 to go and bang on the door like cops to wake them up and so that’s what we did. (laughs) Called them a couple of times, and when they didn’t answer we went and just banged on the door, and got the dogs just continually barking until she came and answered the door and said thank you for waking her up and they came to church.  It was great!  They did leave right after sacrament though, cause their daughter was, she’s 3 or 4, and she hates dresses and she kept trying to tear her dress off.  I think they were pretty embarrassed and weren’t sure what to do, they did just get their kid back, they’re sober, they’re trying to get back into church and everything, and this happened.  I can imagine that it would be really stressful for them.  We’re planning on visiting them tomorrow, having members visit them, just trying to comfort and love them.  I mean, you’re a mom, and thankfully there are other members of the ward who understand, any tips?? Ah, the joys of parenthood that I don’t know yet.

Where’s the butter? (crash) Oh! I found the butter. I dropped the butter. The butter dish is gone.  This is so weird. There’s usually a small plate with the butter on it right next to the stove. I guess I will just make a new one. (whistling Jurassic Park)

Today I had a really fantastic, how long has this recording been going on? Oh! Only 10 minutes. Ok.  Today I had a really fantastic personal study session. I recently started re-reading the Book of Mormon and I have a bunch of fancy study tools now. Normally I just have like a pen, you know, highlight, make notes in… But Elder Shumway’s like, “no, no, no, no buddy, you gotta do this right.” So now I have like little colored tabs that I can put in, I have twistable Crayola crayons… you know to mark with different colors.  I’m doing the Doctrine of Christ read through. I did it a couple of times in Greybull and in Powell, but I kept accidentally handing out the book I was reading so I never really got to finish it.  In fact I don’t think I ever got through First Nephi. Or I got to Second Nephi.  I got through First Nephi a lot and I learned a lot in First Nephi, I love First Nephi.  But, you know it was kinda funny because a lot of people are like “Oh, yeah, yeah, I just can’t get through First Nephi cause I get out of the habit of reading…” And I just kept accidentally giving out my Book of Mormon, or forgetting which one it was. But I don’t feel like I was that serious about doing it, you know?  Like I was doing it because President challenged us all to, and it was great, and I learned a lot, and got a testimony more of it, but now I’m sitting down and I’m, oh I’m just learning so much.
(Stove clicking in the back ground) Hey!  There we go, first try! #success.  

Today I read First Nephi Chapter 2. It’s preparation day so sadly it’s a little less personal study time.  We used to have a full hour, now we have a half hour, because preparation day starts at 8:00.  It was really good. It was a lot about faith in Jesus Christ and enduring to the end.  I saw Lehi teaching his kids or really trying to teach them about the principle of enduring to the end.  “Lemuel, may you be like this river continually flowing unto righteousness.  Laman,” I’m pretty sure, or maybe I’m getting the names mixed up, but the other one was “Laman, may thou be steadfast and immovable like this mountain in keeping the commandments of God.”  Earlier a couple of verses, after they get there, he builds an altar of stones, after they have just been traveling three days and thanks the Lord. Showing their kids that we thank the Lord for everything.  That, this is how we can keep our faith alive. This is how we find joy and peace. I see a great example of that teaching, which actually is coming to mind right now as I’m testifying to you of this, the spirit is just like “Boom! Boom! Boom! Here’s a bunch more examples!” As I’m just thinking of it, there’s another great example where Nephi applies that teaching, um you see, after, it’s like later in First Nephi, they haven’t gotten to the point where he’s building the boat yet, but you see, I think it’s in the same chapter, and Hank Smith, l love listening to Hank Smith, he talks about this.  The two comparisons in attitudes you see between Nephi and Laman and Lemuel. Nephi: “You know, it’s been a hard journey, but I’m so thankful for it.  The Lord has made our women strong like unto us men, that they might give plenty of suck unto their children.  He’s let raw meat taste sweet unto us. He’s helped us through all this, so that we might achieve all that he wants us to achieve.”  He talks about the blessings they’ve gotten, and you can clearly see he’s applying the principle of thanking God.  And then you have Laman and Lemuel, you know, who are going on about How “Their women have toiled, being big with child, and how it would have been better had they been dead” and they’re just basically complaining the whole time.  Elder Holland (laughs) There’s a quote from him, that says that “for all the complaining that Laman and Lemuel” I’m paraphrasing here because I don’t remember the exact quote, but it’s “For all the complaining that they were doing, surely Nephi must have said once, ‘Hit me again for I can still hear you!’” (laughs) I’m like, “Elder Holland!!” Oh, I love the scriptures.  Really wonderful, I can’t wait for my study session tomorrow. I was just finishing in my prayer, I’m like, “Heavenly Father, thank you for this great session! Please bless me that I might continue to have this strong desire to continue to study hard and to learn a lot as I do this read through.” And already I’m feeling the spirit and it’s just, it was a good day. It was a good day.

Why did I just wash my hands after cracking that one egg when I still have more eggs to crack? I had a weird dream last night, it wasn’t necessarily a dream, it was like 5:30, I kinda woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep, and so I’m just kinda sitting there and pondering, or laying there and pondering since you’re not really supposed to get up before your companion, so I’m just kinda sitting there. And, I don’t know, maybe it was the Lord continuing to help me see the wise decision of going home and not going to BYU-I immediately, or even at all, I don’t know. But, it was a lot of, I don’t even know how to describe it, almost like I felt that I’d have a lot of joy, that I saw my family a lot.  It was just kind of day dreaming almost, I don’t remember much about it, but I remember being with my family a lot, you guys, my friends, helping them… I don’t even know how to describe it, I’m just gonna stop talking.  It was super cool and the Lord just basically confirmed to me this morning that that’s what I need to do.  I don’t even know what it was. It was awesome though. 

That’s my day so far, I’m gonna pause this recording and send it off since it’s 18 minutes long now, oh my goodness, I really hope it sends off.  I love you so much! Happy Monday! Bye!