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, May 29, 2017

Hey Everyone!

I just wanted to send out a quick email to say hey! I'm alive! Stevensville hasn't killed me yet :) 

Things here have been pretty good, the Lord has really taught me a lot in the last 6 weeks. I really feel like this is where I was needed. When I first came here, things were a little rough, but I've been able to find a ton of peace through Christ's atonement. 

I don't have too much time today, but again, I want you all to know that I love you. Thank you for all of your love and kindness. Thank you all for inspiring me to be better :) 

And great scripture that I have been ponderizing lately is 3rd Nephi 13:32-34

I would strongly encourage you all to read it, it's helped me a lot this last week. Basically, we just need to focus on bringing ourselves closer to Christ. As we put our trust in him, things WILL work out. There's more in the scripture, but that's one of the biggest parts of it to me. I hope you all have a wonderful day! I pray that the Lord may bless and keep you all! 

Love you all!

Never Give up, Never Surrender!

-Elder Berrett

Voice Recording May 29 part 4

Well good morning again!  So, just finishing my burrito, my laundry is done, at least the whites, and to make it a little less monotonous and boring, I figured I’d make a voice mail while doing it.  Oh.  I also need to make my bed today.  Ok!  Good to know.  I’ll remember that.  And pick up some stuff in my room.  Like, for the most part its fairly clean. Most of the stuff is off the floor.  Except there’s a couple corners that I’m like eh…. I should probably clean up, and it wouldn’t hurt to vacuum.  Anyways!  Yeah.  That’s life. I need to do that.

I wonder… If I’m going to be over here, I can probably set this down right here.  There we go.  Okay!  Folding time.  Slash hanging time.  I’m trying to think of eventful stuff that has happened this week.  Or other eventful stuff…  Well lets check the area book.

(whistling) Signing in… Going through the 9000 hoops to access the records…. Cause you know, privacy laws.  Lots of peoples personal information is on here.  Splits this week.  I went and taught the Bowmans with one of our ward mission leaders. Super awesome guy.  Brother Hall.  He served a mission in Germany.  Really fun to talk to. He was telling me about one time that he had a companion that was from like southern/central Utah, had a bit of a drawl, and had this giant purple bike.  Just Purple, light purple bike.  He’s like “You have a pink bike”.  “No I don’t.  It’s pank.”  But he was saying it was just a really worn down bike, the poor kid had to hold the light that’s normally supposed to be attached to the bike, he was holding it in his hand while riding and somehow didn’t see…  In Germany, the street signs weren’t on the street, the bike path is attached to the sidewalk in a sense, there’s a small gap between the bike path and the sidewalk where they put the street signs.  And he said it was late at night and they were kind of rushing to an appointment, and they weren’t paying attention too much to whether or not they were staying in the bike lane, or the sidewalk, they were just kind of weaving back and forth, no one is there, it’s night time, and they’re rushing to an appointment.  And his companion somehow didn’t see the street sign and biked just right into this thing.  Just “Boom!” He ended up actually denting the sign, and like bent the whole sign at a 45 degree angle. Pole and everything.  He was a big kid.  Brother Hall was telling us “ I never really saw exactly what he hit, I knew he hit a sign.  But I was like ‘Get up! Get up! Get up!’”  And he got back on his bike, his bike was okay, and they continued to run down to the appointment and make it in time, and he was telling me, “The whole lesson we kept asking if he was okay, like he was really, really pale and he wasn’t saying much.” They offered him food or water, but he just did not feel like taking any. Once they got home, he took off his shirt and there were giant, giant welts, like waist up to his neck, his whole face was turning purple.  He said he was totally fine and ended up recovering well, he just was… yeah.  We were laughing at that with him.  

We had a great lesson with the Bowmans, taught them the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as part of their new member lessons.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is in essence just the 4th Article of Faith, it’s just Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End.  For them we made sure to talk a lot about the Sacrament and the importance of it, and enduring to the end, like really focusing on that, because they’ve had this lesson before and it’s simple. We basically just try to get them to open up about how they’ve grown lately, like say for faith, how they’ve exercised faith recently.  We pointed out how being baptized for them was an exercise in faith, and how they’ve kept the commandments of the Lord.  It was a really good lesson.  So it’s a single mom, and her two kids that were baptized.  The mom, 18 year old daughter, and a boy who is nine? I want to say? And they were baptized like half a week before I got here.  Super great family.  But Collin, he’s a nine year old boy.  He’s like not always paying attention, or at least it looks like it.  And he’s kinda like lying down on the couch, they’re trying to get him to sit up, and I’m just like “I was a nine year old boy once, I know what it’s like.  I ain’t gonna judge.”  And at one point we asked the family a question, like “What’s enduring to the end?”  Or something like that.  And while laying down, or no I think he kinda sat up a bit, he gives this answer, he’s like “Well, we have to endure to the end, we have to increase our testimonies every day in Christ and strive to do that otherwise we’re gonna fail” or something like that, and I’m just like “What?!?! That came out of your mouth?!? You’ve been paying attention?!?”  And everyone was shocked, I mean like, Brother Hall… He’s just like “What?!?” And he’s like “Well I paid attention.  I don’t look like it, but I know everything you guys say.”  I’m like “Oh my goodness Collin!”  So he’s not getting off the hook now.  Like we’d ask him questions the rest of the time and he’d pretend not to hear us.  And we’re like “Collin we know you’re listening to us.”  And he’s like “You’re right…”  And he’d answer and give these amazing, amazing answers. 

Like I’ve had this experience time and time again.  Primary kids – the Lord uses them.  Their faith is just so pure and so strong.  They know things.  Like I’m fairly certain I told you when I was in Butte about the family, the Blakens, that their youngest daughter wanted to get baptized, she was I think 8.  Seven or Eight when her grandmother started taking her to go to church. Like, the family would go to church every now and then, or the kids would at least.  Mom wasn’t active, and dad wasn’t a member.  And this little daughter wanted to get baptized, so she made sure she would go to church every week.  Including when her grandmother couldn’t take her.  The days that her grandmother couldn’t take her, she’d go and wake up her mom and say “Hey mom, can you take me to church?” And she’s 8!  And her mom would say “Okay, well go get yourself showered and dressed and then come wake me up.” You know thinking, that she’s 8 so she’ll get distracted and forget about it and stuff.  And she’d immediately reply to her mom, “I already am.”  She already got herself up, dressed, changed, showered, and then woke her mom up in time to take her to church.  Over time through baring testimony to her family, and getting them to take her to church every week, she got her siblings and her mom all active again, and we’d be sitting down in lessons with her dad and she pretty much got her dad to be “Hey. You need to listen to these guys.”  And of course her mom coming back, and feeling the spirit, and they worked on the dad, and he’s awesome.  I don’t think he’s baptized yet, but I know he’s getting close.  He knows it’s true, he’s just struggling to give up stuff.  You know, having a cold beer at the end of the day, or …  It’s hard.  I get it.  But this 8 year old girl got her whole family reactivated.  And to the point where… Her testimony is just fantastic.  We’d be sitting down to the lesson, and we’d ask a question, and she’d just raise her hand, and just give the most profound doctrinal answer, just so pure and so faithful.  I’m like “Oh my goodness.”  The spirit would be so strong every time she spoke, because she KNEW the gospel was true. She had no doubts.  And so I have a testimony of kids and Collin was just an amazing example of that this week.  

How long has this been?  Only 10 minutes, ok.  Immediately I can’t think of anything else. Did some service this week. Got to help out a guy named Chris.  We’ve been doing service for him about every other week and helping him out.  This week we laid down some irrigation pipe again, he fed us lunch.  He always does amazing, amazing food. Oh yeah, we de-weeded a lot of his green house.  Which considering how hot it was here, like I thought about getting a greenhouse back home so I could grow some fun trees, like banana trees, and I’m like, “No.” I don’t want to be de-weeding in a greenhouse, if it’s this hot here,  I don’t even want to know how hot it would be in Arizona.  But yeah.  Had a great time helping him out. 

That’s about it I think for this week.  I committed myself.  I’m going to make an email, even if it’s short.  So expect one from me. Follow up with me.  We’ll be busy most of the day so it will probably be in the morning while we’re driving or something. Or as we’re driving back. I’ll type out something.  But I won’t have a lot of time to be in wifi today, so that’s probably what I will be doing.  
Love you, have a wonderful day.  May the Lord bless you and keep you. Bye. 

Voice Recording May 29 part 3

Good morning again!  So funny story real quick, ‘Daemon’ has been stuck in my head, I don’t know why.  I always thought that was the funniest thing.  Flo was like “Guys, I promise you, this song about the heart of Jesus overcoming the devil.”  And I’m like, “WHERE in the song does it say that?”  The whole song we’re literally just chanting “Daemon!”, with a couple of things, I think Jesus Christ is mentioned once.  It was just a running joke, I know that’s what the message is about, but I think the song might have been abridged or something because, I remember as we were singing the song, if you flip it over, (to read the translation)  it hardly ever says the word ‘demon’ and it’s all like “The heart of Jesus” and all these things, and “the power of the devil, the power of the devil”, but mostly all this stuff about Jesus, and I’m like, “There’s no way that’s the accurate translation of exactly what we are singing.”

Anyways, that was not what I meant to share, but that was just what was in my head.  Having a great day, we just talked to our ward mission leader actually, Brother Wilton, he won’t be taking us out to the Ghost town today, because they just got back in town and they’re really busy, he’s trying to catch up on some work.  We’re like “Don’t worry about it! Totally.  We’re going for a hike today.”  That probably will be enough for my knees, in all honesty.  I know, how sad is it when I can’t do a three mile round trip hike?  Well, I can do it, I just think I’m going to be on some pain killers afterwards.

Oh, let me think, what was I going to… Oh yeah!  So on the 17th, I keep meaning to tell you about this, but I keep forgetting, we’re doing a float!  I’m going to be in a parade.  We’re doing a whole Family History giant parade thing, and ward council is like “Let’s get all our missionaries in our zone on it!” And I’m like, “Oh, okay!” So we’re going to be doing that apparently.  It’s going to be tons of fun, and be offering help with family history, and church tours, and we have two parades, this one, and one in like a month and a half that we’re going to try and do.  So, I’m like, “Alright! This will be fun!” Still gotta get President’s official permission for it, but at least for the whole zone to be there, we will still be there at the very least.  It’ll be good.  I’m really excited and pumped about that.

Other than that, the days going to be going fairly well, still just like we had planned.  I’m going to be going having Family home evening with the family we have dinner with for tonight.  That will be good, it’s the Eyre family.  Elder Johnson really loves them.  I’ve only met them once, but they are really great people.  I guess apart from at church, but that doesn’t really count.  Like when I meet people in their home for the first time, I say “Nice to meet you” because just shaking someone’s hand in the hallway at church doesn’t really count as meeting them. 

Yeah!  That’s about it. All I really have to share.  Thought there was more, but there’s not really.  This will be short.  Love you!  Bye!

Voice Recording May 29 part 2

Good morning, mom!  Let’s see, just finished washing the pan and the spatula.  We ran out of Pam spray which is the saddest day ever.  We ran out like a week ago. Nine days ago.  And I forgot to buy some last Monday.  So, thankfully, in the cupboards I found a thing of sesame oil, so I’ve been using that.  And it’s been an adventure. Since, I’m never too sure if I put in enough until I spread it around, and then I’m like, “Oh crap.  I’m freaking deep frying my eggs right now.”  Today it looks like I put in just enough.  So, kinda the dilemma, I kinda like the taste of using sesame oil more than Pam definitely.  But, I don’t like my eggs to be oily at all.  So I use less oil, but then they stick to the pan.  So that is kinda the dilemma I’m in.  What are some of your cooking thoughts on that?  I mean the taste isn’t that much of a difference, I can deal with it, I mean this morning I’m probably going to go buy Pam and I’m going to deal with it, and use it, because it’s so much easier and faster.  And I don’t end up with oily eggs.  I don’t know.  Yeah.  That’s that.

So, How have you been?  Things have been going well.  Things here have been well.  It has been a tough couple of weeks. My companion’s in the shower now, but it has been a tough couple of weeks. Elder Johnson’s kind of like checking out.  Definitely.  But the Lord has been really good in helping me honestly.  And teaching me a lot more.  Like even in my studies today, I’m going to grab my… I was… oh crap…I don’t even remember where it was.  Gosh darn it.  This is why you write stuff down.  Oh, yes.  Now I remember.  It was last night, I was kinda feeling a little frustrated, and I ended up turning to Alma, Chapter…. It was near the end… sorry, turning to it, if you’ll forgive me… wow I could have sworn like… okay maybe it was a little later… Yeah I think it was a little later.  So I’m in like about the 50’s? Long story short, it’s that one chapter where… Oh! Got it! Alma 56.  Nope. Nope. Gosh Freaking Darnit. Well, I thought I had it. Got it.  Alma 60. So this is the chapter where Moroni basically writes a letter to Pahoran, just chastising him.  Just being like, “Hey, Because of your sin and your ignorance, and forgetting us, men are dying. We don’t have supplies.  All these children, these families are being slaughtered by the Lamanites out here and we can’t protect them adequately enough.”  And then come to find out Pahoran is like “Dude, I’m trying!  My heart sorrows because of this, however I am rejoicing because of your faithfulness.  These men have risen up and basically a civil war has started as well, in the middle of this war.”  And there were a couple of verses that stuck out to me as I was reading, It was kinda like, Alma as he was “Or is it that ye have neglected us because ye are in the heart of the country and ye are surrounded by our security that ye do not cause food to be sent to us, also men to strengthen our armies? Have ye forgotten the commandments of the Lord your God?  Yea, have ye forgotten the captivity of our fathers? Have ye forgotten the many times we have been delivered out of the hands of our enemies? Do ye suppose that the Lord will still deliver us as we sit upon our thrones and do not make use of the means which the Lord has provided for us?”  Especially that verse, 21, really stuck out to me, and I am just like “Am I making use of all the means the Lord has given me to receive strength?  To help others. To love, have charity, patience, forgiveness, and all these things.”  The Lord has taught me a lot about forgiveness recently. I don’t know, it kind of hit me really hard there just kinda taking those verses, not out of the context of the story, but the principles they were saying. I was like “Oh! You’re right!” That was pretty cool for me this morning to read that and to see.  And also I was watching Life of Jesus Christ Bible videos, back in Helena I found a way to basically just download them all, because we don’t have access to the app or anything, so I went on LDS.org on my tablet, and since it’s a Samsung I can just download videos off the internet, or off of the internet we get access to, so LDS.org. I can download and save them to my device to view later.  So I downloaded ALL the Bible videos, and have them all in order, in chronological, so I’ve been watching those and got to the… Oh which one was it? There was a couple that hit me.  I don’t even remember immediately.  I’m trying to look at the list.  Let’s see… My Files… SD card… videos… Bible videos… (whistling Ode to Joy) Yes! Um, so there’s a couple ones, like “Go and Sin No More”, you know the woman who was caught in adultery, that was huge, “Go and sin no more, neither do I condemn thee.” And then the “Forgive Seventy times seven” is big.  And there was a lot of these like, In order for us to receive forgiveness, do we not realize we have to treat others with forgiveness and love them, and cherish them, and help them out?  Even with Alma and Amulek, or Alma initially in the city, he strove to, even has they were rejecting him, to love them, and cherish them.  And that was cool.  However, we’ve been getting along pretty well.  So it’s not that bad, it’s been good.

As far as other things go this week, like I said, we had some great lessons.  Mary is still struggling to come to church.  She was doing super good. And now it’s just been that Satan has been working really hard against them lately.  It’s been things like “Clearly Satan doesn’t want you guys to come to church.” So the last three weeks it’s been, I don’t remember what it was two weeks ago, I really don’t remember.  This last week her son had taken her car and pretty much ran it out of gas, and took all her money and bought cigarettes.  So she was stuck and we found out a little too late to give her a ride.  This week she slept in and woke up right as church was starting and she’s like, “no,no,no,no!” And so she texted us, “Guys, I’m so sorry, is there another session that I can come?” And we’re like, “Yeah!  Don’t worry.  There’s one at 12:30”  Well, apparently she didn’t get the text.  And we texted her at like 12:15, and asked her if she was still coming, and it didn’t work out.  She’s been so looking forward to coming.  She’s an investigator we’ve been teaching.  Super awesome lady.  Used to be Jehovah’s Witness, but never really found a lot of fellowship or love there. She found like care but, in her words, “I had a lot of great experiences with Jehovah’s Witnesses”, but it was always like the attitude of “You should be thankful I’m doing this to you”, she really needed help and they weren’t there for her, but Mormons were, and so that helped a lot.  She’s recently loved the Book of Mormon, although she hasn’t been reading it so  I’m worried about her.  I know she struggles a lot.  Works RIDICULOUS hours at the hospital, and is just always exhausted.  So we’re trying to help her find ways to do that.

Mary, Jacob, Amanda, Hurless family… I didn’t get to meet with them this week.  Another investigator family we are teaching.  It’s this older couple.  Brother Hurless has a terminal brain injury. He’ll be dying soon. I don’t know how soon, but pretty dang soon.  He’s been feeling it more and more affect him, but he’s found a lot of peace in God recently.  The missionaries used to meet with him, and we recontacted him, and they let us in.  Don’t know how interested they are in learning, they love it when we come over and share a message of Christ, of peace and hope.  We went over a couple of times, we challenged him last time to read the Book of Mormon and to pray if families can be eternal.  And this next time, the spirit was kinda telling us, “Yeah, that was great that you taught that, that’s really a principle that they need to hear, but you should teach them HOW families can be eternal, not just that they are, but HOW.” And we’re like, “Oh. Okay.” So that’s our plan for the next lesson. We still need to pray about it obviously, but that’s the thought we had last time.  We’re planning on visiting him this week, or on splits this Thursday.  We have a couple fellowshippers in the ward that they like.  (Sigh)  I love the people here so much.  There’s so many struggles here.  They just break my heart. But, there’s this one guy that we went and did service for, I think I told you about this last week.  Maybe. Maybe not.  We went to help move hay, like I got scratched up ridiculously, and I was kinda like “This is a long service project… I don’t know how effective it is…I’m still doing it… I don’t feel bad about it, but… ”  Those were kinda some of the thoughts going through my head. And then the next day in ward council, literally the next day, the Bishop tells us that he has a terminal disease as well, like it’s getting to the point where he just approached Bishop to make arrangements, finalize his will and everything.  It’s going to be soon.  So it really was good that we, at least that’s what kept hitting me, and even the spirit was like telling me, “No, you’re doing a good thing, shut up.” And so I went and did it. But yeah.  

The Lord knows what he is doing.  That has been the theme of this transfer.  I swear that a lot of these transfers have themes. Like Powell, when I was with Elder Tucker, we joked that our theme was “There can be miracles when you believe.”  And we played that song all the time from Prince of Egypt.  Here it’s “I am the Lord, I know what I am doing. Just listen to me. Listen to my spirit please.  TRUST ME. I know I’m doing.”  I’m like “You’re right.”  I feel like I listen to the Lord, I just doubt sometimes.  Doubting Thomas.  That’s what I am at times.”  And now I’m out of tortillas, good thing today is Monday.

Let’s see, what else has been going on?  As far as eventful stuff goes…  See, the eggs, well I guess you can’t see, but the eggs are good, but oily. Like I only put enough in to just kind of coat the bottom enough that it won’t stick.  I had a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches this week.  Kinda off topic, but holy cow. I’m just like, kinda done with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  There was one day when I had one for lunch, I had a bunch of toast that morning , oh yeah, I discovered an old jar of Nutella in the pantry that no one’s touched.  Long story short, that jar of Nutella is now gone.  I was like “Oooh!” and so every day I would have one or two pieces of toast with Nutella on it.  It was glorious.  But that jar of Nutella is gone.  And I don’t get money for another couple of days so I won’t be buying any this week, which is probably best for my health, since it’s not good for you.  It was such an easy breakfast. I could get up and I was lazy and I’m like “I don’t want to make eggs. I’ve had them every day for awhile.  Oh yay! Nutella!” And so I’d just have toast with Nutella and a bunch of water and lemonade, and that was my breakfast.

How long has this been going? 18 minutes.  Good, I just finished eggs, they are in my tortilla, I need to bless it, so I’m going to stop this recording anyway since it’s getting long, bless my food, and maybe come up with a list of other things I’d like to tell you this week.  I feel so bad about the last couple of weeks, like literally I will be sitting down with my ipad for like an hour, chatting to other people, and like trying to start writing a weekly email, or something. And, I just have no desire to.  I’m like, THIS is just so much easier.  It’s HARD to sit down and write an email.  I’m going to try to force myself to sit down and write something, because it’s the end of a transfer and I haven’t sent one out.  So I’m going to send out SOMETHING even if it’s a “Hey, I’m alive.  Don’t have too much time today.  Love you all.”  With pictures.

Anyways, I’m going to pause this. Love you to death. Have a wonderful day. Bye. 

Voice Recording May 29 part 1

Well, good morning! It’s me, your son, Elder Berrett. It’s a beautiful day.  Just finished personal study, it’s 8:22 am.   Loving life. Still have to make breakfast.  But yeah, it’s just wonderful.  The horses are out today.  Our next door neighbors on both sides have horses and pastures of grass.  Oh and of course like to my left there’s a pasture of grass and horses, and to my right, the same, and trees every where and straight ahead there’s the mountains with white caps of snow and rolling green hills with trees and flowers of all kinds and summer is wonderful.  I love summer. After the winter especially.  This is definitely some place that I’d love to come visit in the summer. 

But I don’t know, I was talking to a family yesterday and they were telling me their kids don’t know but they kept asking me what Gilbert and the area is like, and they’re like, “We’re moving. To Gilbert.” And I’m like, “What?!?” So a family from one of our wards is moving to Gilbert. In like a month.  A month or two. And their kids don’t know yet.  Their oldest is a junior, they have a 14 year old boy.  They have a junior, and a 14 year old boy, an 8 year old boy, and then like a 3 year old I think?  Super, super amazing family.  Love them to death.  Really they showed me, they are moving out to San Tan valley, so I’m like “Okay, that’s not quite in Gilbert, but it’s still in the Gilbert mission.”  I’m like “That’s so cool” but we were talking and kind of comparing and they’re asking me a lot of what it’s like, what it’s like growing up there, and it just kind of further set it in me that I don’t want to live anywhere else right now.  But you know the valley and even Arizona is a wonderful place to live.  As much as I love the beauty and everything out here, I really don’t want to live out here.  I’d love to come and visit, to be around, to have fun, but I just wouldn’t want to live here.  The LDS community isn’t that big.  She was saying that people don’t like to do lots of socializing with people.  They have friends that move to North Dakota because “in the last 10 years 10 people have moved in around us and its just getting way too big here” and so they move.  And I’m like, “What?!?” This place is like so… the houses are so spread apart.  But yeah.  I love home.  But I love it here, so yeah.  That’s my thoughts on that.

For right now, like I’m hungry, well how many eggs do I have? Two.  Uh, yeah, I can just make some eggs.  And like some toast. That’ll be good.  Oh! Duh.  I got transfer news.  Uh, you’re probably wondering about that.  Sorry. (laughs) I am staying here in Stevensville.  Elder Johnson is leaving and going to Cody, Wyoming.   I’m like “Oh!”  This will be his third time in Wyoming.  He was in Thermopolis, same zone that I was in, and then Buffalo.  Which is in the other Wyoming zone.  So he’ll be going to Cody.  He’ll be companions with his trainer.  And I’m like “That is super cool!” And they’re like, “Elder Berrett, do you know who your companion is?” And I’m like, “No!”  And he’s like “Okay, well it’s Elder Haa…”  And I’m like “No way it’s Elder Hendricks, I get my trainer too?” And then they said “Elder Hand.”  And I’m like “Oh.” Okay, so it’s not Elder Hendricks.  It was just kinda funny.  I had to pause, and they way they were saying it at first I totally thought they were going to say Elder Hendricks.  Especially since he… the way his family, they are going to come pick him up and everything and tour the mission, and he gets to extend his mission like two weeks.  And he’s been asking President, he’s like “So the last two weeks, the last transfer or something, can I please be with Elder Berrett?”  But the Lord has a plan.  And I am really excited to meet Elder Hand.  He’s been out six weeks, er six months.  Everything I’ve heard about him has been great.  He seems like a stud.  I’m going to be sad to see Elder Johnson go,  but I’m excited.

Let me think…. So yeah, that’s that.  I’m staying. I’ve got at least another 6 weeks here in Stevensville.  Most likely I will finish here.  I mean, the Lord has a plan, I may be needed somewhere else my last six weeks, but for right now the second to last transfer I will be here in Stevensville.  That’s really crazy to think about.  In six weeks, at the end of this transfer, I will only have one transfer left, I will be starting ‘My Plan’.  I’ll know where I will be the rest of my mission. Like yeah, that blows my mind.  But that’s three months away, I don’t need to think about that.

Things here have been going well.  My desk is a mess.  It’s like somewhat organized, sort of.  On my left I have all my envelopes and stamps and letters and things.  In the very middle is my Preach My Gospel, one of my copies of the Book of Mormon, True to the Faith, Our Search for Happiness, and that’s where I keep my quad.  To the right I have a bunch of papers, my journal, Altoids, pens, a couple of random stuff.  Tylenol, glorious Tylenol.   And Veterinary Liniment Gel.  It’s like extreme icy hot.  And then strewn around I have various marking things, Patriarchal Blessing, the front cover of one of my Preach My Gospels that fell off from use, phone, The Living Christ, lots of pens, flash drive, gospel study journal.  At least I didn’t lose that one.  I still got that one.

I’m excited for today, we have a fun preparation day planned.  We’re going on a hike up Blodgett Mountain or Blodgett Overlook, yes that’s it’s called.  Blodgett Overlook.  And then we’re going to come… so at first we’re going to go to Hamilton, we’re going to be there by… the plan is to be there by 12, or 11:50. Drive off as a zone, to go do service for someone who is making us all lunch, and then go to Blodgett Overlook. Do that, it’s a short hike, apparently beautiful and fun, and then Elder Johnson and I after that will come back here, and one of our ward mission leaders, Brother Wilton is going to take us out to a ghost town around here, so it’ll be kind of fun.  Busy, but fun.

The sunsets here have been gorgeous lately. They’ve been reminding me a bit more of Arizona sunsets.  I’m like, “Oh, I remember what those look like!” It’s kinda cool with the mountains though, living so close to them.  Cause you have this really really dark red that near the end of the sunset will just like come up shooting past the mountains, and if you take a picture of it, with my camera I put it in Sunset mode, or make the brightness go down, then I take a picture and it just looks like red shooting up from behind the mountains. And I’m like “Oh my goodness the world is ending!” It looks so cool. 

This week has been really fun.  So we had an amazing lesson with Jacob.  Oh my goodness that kid is a stud!  So freaking prepared for the gospel.  I’m so excited for our lesson hopefully tomorrow with him.   Jacob is the grandson of an active member in our ward. His grandpa lives here and Jacob is about 18, our age and he lives in Salt Lake City.  His mom is less active or inactive and is coming back.  And while he was here his grandpa was “Well since you’re with me, you’re not missing any church!”  And Jacob is not a member, so we’ve been teaching him.  I know he’s on the prayer list if you even have access to that.  Most likely I will be including that list in my weekly email.  So far it’s only like 4 or 5 people.  We taught him the Restoration and he’s like, “This is awesome!  I mean I already know all this, but this is great!”  Apparently so as he’s been here, his grandpa has been telling him about things and teaching him and he went to church, and apparently all the lessons were focused around the Restoration, and the watched one of the Restoration videos, and then he went home and watched the Restoration movie with his grandpa, and then the next day we came over and taught him about the restoration.  So it was great!  We went a little more in depth on some things and his grandpa went a little more in depth on some other things, so he’s got a solid foundation on the Restoration.  And he knows it’s true.  At least to an extent.  Like he doesn’t doubt it, he’s super excited to just read and find out more and learn everything. So teaching him was really fun this week.

We had a lesson with Amanda this week.  She was an online media referral.  So she went on and requested a copy of the Bible and a missionary from Salt Lake followed up and they’re like “Hey!  Yeah!”  And sister Choo, I think her name is, and she’s like “Hey Amanda, thanks for requesting that, we’ll send some missionaries over your way, where do you live?”  and talked to her and convinced her to take a copy of the Book of Mormon as well.  And like THAT DAY, this was like 3 or 4 weeks ago, 3 weeks ago,  and we get a text and we’re in the middle of Priesthood for the second time that day because we’ve got two wards, and it was a 5th Sunday, I remember that, so that was awhile ago then, but it was a 5th Sunday combined lesson, and it was the Just Serve initiative which was starting up here, and I’m like “Hey, I know what this is.  We did this years ago.”  And so we’re like, “Well we can sit here and go through this thing again, OR! Oh Hey! We just got a referral!  Let’s go!”  And so we did. And she’s like “I just requested this a little bit ago! I didn’t realize you guys would be so fast! This is great!” She’s a mom, with two young kids, the daughter is like 9 and the other one is 3, I think, or 7 and 3 or something.  The dad is not religious.  Not interested.  But she was super, super welcoming and everything.  Anyways, that happened awhile ago, and we were sorta staying in contact, we were trying and trying and trying, and we finally got a lesson set up and she’s super busy with her two kids and two jobs and they also moved out here two years ago and are trying to start a farm.  So, she’s been really busy. We were finally able to set up something and have a lesson.  We explained the Book of Mormon to her because she had some questions about it, she hadn’t started reading it yet.  She read the scripture we sent her by text one time, which I’m like, “Why don’t we do that more?  Gosh darnit!” But she read it, and she liked that, and so that was really fun to be able to sit down with her.  She had a couple of questions, we answered, and committed her… Backing up a bit, every question she’d ask, we’d refer her back to the introduction, where Elder Johnson was really good at just coming out and testifying of something, “Yeah!  Like here’s a part of the Book of Mormon where it explains this…”  And so she was like “So what you are saying is that I should just read it and all my questions will be answered.”  And so we committed her read the Title Page, Introduction, Testimony of the Witnesses, and start the Book of Mormon.  And so she’s like “Okay!  Will do!”  And so we’re going to follow up with that. Keep trying to send her scriptures.  At one point she asked the question, “So if you guys are Christians, how come you are so persecuted by everyone else?”  And Elder Johnson and I are just sitting there, “That’s a really good question.”   We didn’t quite come out and tell her it was because “Well, we’re the true church and Satan doesn’t want people to join us…”  And we’re like, “well, there’s lots of reasons.  People just don’t quite know all the facts about us…” 

I do feel a little bad though because I felt the prompting from the spirit to say like, “Satan has always persecuted any of God’s work. Christianity in all its forms.” And just kind of leave it at that to at least set that foundation. I chickened out, so I didn’t.  I don’t even know why I did.  Like it’s not even that big.  I’ve told people bolder things and committed people to do more things, but for that… Ugh.  Always listen to the spirit. That was like my whole personal study today.  The Lord was like, “Please listen to me.”  I was reading about Alma and Amulek and Alma goes to the city of Amonihah, and just gets COMPLETELY rejected.  And so he keeps on trying and keeps on trying to the point where they have to physically throw him out, and so he’s walking away just feeling awful. An angel comes to him and he’s like, “Hey! Rejoice!  One, you’ve been keeping the commandments of the Lord, you’ve been faithful! And now that you’re rejoicing, go back.”  (laughs) So Alma went back SWIFTLY, and went to another entrance, and I’m like “okay, so he’s obeying, but he’s being smart.”  He meets up with Amulek.  Amulek feeds him and immediately recognizes him as a prophet of God, because an angel came and told him, and basically because they both were faithful and listened to the spirit, they had the power with them, so they were able to teach and do great things there.  I only had a half an hour so I only read that one chapter today.   And I also read a bit in Preach My Gospel 4 about the spirit.  One, it was the promise that like missionaries are told to strive to always have the Spirit, to teach with the power of God and of Heaven, and I’m like… In the margin I wrote, “We can literally have the power of heaven with us to teach.  We should never fear. Anything.”  Like, obviously be smart in situations, but we have the power of God with us when we are striving to have the spirit.  Like, that is amazing.   And then also, I noticed this little scripture study box that I’ve never seen before at the end of chapter four, and I’m like, “Oh! What is this?” And at the top it is like “Why you must listen to the spirit.” Oh! Okay.  And I start reading some of the scriptures and it’s just like, I’m trying to remember the exact wording, but in essence it’s just like if you quiet the spirit and don’t listen to it, the Lord is like “There is no place for these people and they will be thrust down to hell.” And I’m like, “Clearly I need to repent of that.” There are times that I get too scared to say what it wants me to say, and I know I’m probably going to struggle with that the rest of my life.  Something that everybody struggles with, to a point.  Like “Spirit, are you sure I shouldn’t take this road?  Like, I went this way my whole life….”  Or “Do I really need to put on my seatbelt right now?  Like, I’m fine.”  No.  If the spirit tells you something, you need to do it. So that was kind of the point of my studies today.  I loved it.  Really great. Journaling’s been great.  Didn’t do it last night.  I’m averaging at least a couple days a week.  The start of my journal is usually, “Okay, a recap of the last few days…” Boom.  But I definitely feel my nights go better if I manage to journal too.  And I know that journaling is an eternal principle.  So, putting that here because I’m just trying to do better.

How long has this been? 19 minutes and 24 seconds.  Okay.  I should probably stop.  I’m gonna quickly wash the pan for my eggs and I’ll start making another recording.  I hope you have a wonderful day.  God bless.  I hope you have a great day at work!  Oh no, you don’t work today, it’s a holiday!  I hope you have a fun day with the kids.  At least I think you don’t work today.  Maybe. I don’t know if everyone gets it off, I just know the library is closed today.  However we had someone come and unlock the family history center real briefly, so I will have like 15 minutes to get on and email dad real quick.  Anyways, I am going to stop this because I don’t want it to be too big that I can’t email it off.  Love you!  Bye! 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Voice Recording May 22 part 2

Well good morning again!  I thought of some stuff.  I just finished putting away my clothes, bed is made, there’s still some stuff on the floor I’ve got to take care of, I’ve got to get a new pillow.   This one doesn’t have a pillowcase and is really, really disgusting.  Like, I’m fairly certain that’s a blood stain and that’s not from me on the pillow.  I probably shouldn’t have said that, but I just kinda turn the pillow over and don’t use that side.  I’ve been forgetting, somehow, every time we go to the store, I really, really need one.  I’ve been kind of just using a sheet as well, I use a sheet and wrap around it as a case. But, I’m just going to buy a new pillow.  And they usually come with cases, so… ( no they don’t….) So that’s just what I’m going to do.  We’re going to Missoula today, so Wal-Mart!  Yay! No more Super-1.  This week.

Let me think, oh yeah.  I discovered a bunch of German chocolate left behind by some previous missionaries.  I don’t know how it slipped through the cracks.  And its fantastic. I’m just like, “what is this?!? How has no one eaten this before?” So there’s like these German chocolate Ritter Sport.  I don’t know.  I’m probably butchering these words.   I have like four of these square things.  This one is like  ‘kokosraspeln’ (I googled it) , there’s definitely coconut in it that I can tell.  So I’m guessing coconut chocolate, and looking on the back it says “vollmilchshokolade”. (I googled it again)  So I’m guessing milch is milk if I remember right, and schokolade, well that’s chocolate, I know that word. (laughs)  Heck, I remember the song (something unintelligible in German) But I’m totally probably butchering these words.  I would have been cringing at myself 2-3 years ago.  This is new…. So this one is Weisse zint crisp.  On the back it says (reads ingredients in German) so, I think that’s white chocolate?  I’m also guessing maybe cinnamon? From the picture on front? 2 of those and 2 coconut ones.  I ate one immediately that I thought it said caramel on it, but no, it was a crunchy something.  Really good still.  Then I got a bunch of these like, I can’t even pronounce that – d-o-u-c-e-u-r?  Basically it’s a chocolate egg.  With a bit of a creamy inside. Or a nougat.  Super good as well and I got 4 of those.  I’ve been rationing them out.  They’re wonderful.

So yeah, that’s my spiel on food.  I also had eggs for breakfast with extra chopped up onions and crushed red pepper as usual.  I didn’t get creative with any green onions this time.  I didn’t have a… no well I did that for a lunch this week.  I made some mac and cheese and decided I’d get creative and instead of putting chili or anything in it, I went “ green chiles are on sale…”  So I put a bunch of those in, I was sad, they said “hot” but they were totally mild.  I’ve been so disappointed in the lack of Mexican food here.  I found some good stuff in Wyoming, but that’s because there’s lots of Mexicans there, and its still not as good as the stuff in Arizona.  Probably just because they can’t Get the good stuff.  They try to grow it themselves, but they don’t put that stuff in the restaurants.  They keep that for themselves.  I had one feed me.  It was amazing.  So yeah, I put green chilies in with my mac and cheese and it was awful.  I can never again.  It wasn’t terrible, disgusting.  I ate it. It was okay, but definitely not something I’d do again.  Now maybe like chili with some green chilies in it I could do, I just felt like I was kinda eating…  it was just two flavors that did not mix.  They are two separate things.  I tasted both mac and cheese separately and green chilies, it was kinda like I was just eating green chilies.  It was not too pleasant. 

Kinda like what I did with that family down in Wyoming.  The Lee’s.  I love them to death.  I told you about that right?  I think I did.  I don’t even remember the stories I’ve had.  I’m gonna be like this old guy when I get home, I’m gonna be like (old man voice) “Yeah, I remember I had this one experience”  And you’re like “Elder Berrett, you’ve told us this one like 7 times in the last hour.” The Lees, they have this long standing tradition with all the missionaries, where so if there is a say, oh for instance the experience I had, I had been there before so it had been done to me, and it was my turn to do it to my new companion, so I told them that transfers happened and they signed up to feed us, and it was like four or five days in, so my companion is kinda thinking he’s getting to know me, and what I’m like, and I’m not really that picky of an eater. Even if we had seafood, like, I’d eat it.  I would never make it for myself, and probably wouldn’t eat too much of it, but I’ll still eat it.  And so we’re sitting there at dinner, and she made this fantastic chicken pot pie with shredded chicken, cream of chicken, with rolls almost, super, super good.  Like I remember taking the first bit and going “Oh this is going to be so hard.”  Basically as a missionary you have to pretend to hate it.  Loathe it. And be absolutely rude and disgusting.  Elder Hatch who is totally a germophobe, they convinced him to spit it out into his napkin a couple times and just like… Me I was just like, I pretended to look like I wasn’t even excited to try it.  I’m like “ohhh, okaaayyy….” Like I’m really just trying to be polite.  I take a bite and I just start gagging.  I can’t even put it down.  I barely did.  And I’m like “So, what all is in here?” And she tells me, and she’s like “It’s our favorite family recipe!”  And she goes on, and on, and I just look at her and go “Well, this is disgusting. I’m sorry, but this is awful.”  And she’s like “Oh we can make you other stuff.” And I’m like “well maybe I can try it again.” They’re trying to convince me to try it again.  “Well maybe it was just a bad bite.”  And I do and the same thing… I mean, oh the theatrics! Oh my goodness I thought Elder Tucker was going to kill me from his reactions. And I remember they were like “we can make you something else.” They tell you a bit about what other elders have done to give you ideas. One elder just requested, he’s like “No.  I want a pb&j, I’m not eating this whatever you’re making.”  And so they are like “We can make you something else…” And I’m like “No, I’ll just have this, and grab the can of green chilies and just start eating them.” (laughs) I only got one or two small spoonfulls in by the time Sister Lee just broke down laughing. She couldn’t take it anymore.  And we had so much more planned. Like she was going to run out of the room supposedly just upset.  Brother Lee was going to chastise us, it was going to be great.  And apparently if both the missionaries are new, then the kids do it to the parents, which I honestly don’t think it’s that much more fun, but it’s fun for the kids.   As a missionary you’re just like “Ok this is weird. These are some bratty kids.  Really, really picky kids.” For all you know that could be normal at their house.  But yeah, just tons of fun.

It’s kinda like there’s a family in Shell, which is close to Graybull, with a long standing tradition which we never did, probably for the best, was to get a bunch of Budlight cans and poke a hole and drain them, and kind of re-solder the bottom. Rinse them out, and solder them up so you can’t see. And they fill them up with rootbeer, before they solder them up of course, and stick them in the fridge and everything, and the missionaries come over and they pretend like they are a bunch of hicks and he’s really a doctor.  He’s like one of our mission medical doctors. And he ends up, when the missionaries come over, and he’ll turn to the missionary who’s been there the longest, and he’ll be like “Honey, pass me a Bud, the elders are here.” And she’ll give him one of the Bud Lights out of the fridge. And he’ll offer one to the missionaries, and the one who’s been there the longest will take one, and drink it with him. So probably for the best, and you’ve probably heard that story, I think I’ve told you that.

We have some wonderful families here as well. Definitely been enjoying the company of lots of these guys.  Brother Wilton, our ward mission leader is the best. We went out on a lesson with him and he just loved it. He loved the teaching, being able to bear his testimony… He definitely felt the spirit and the power of missionary work.  He’s like “We need to do this all the time!” So now we go out with him every Thursday or Friday.

(coughing)  I have this cough randomly.  It’s been with me the last couple of days.  Nothing bad, just a cough.  Oh yeah, did a bunch of service for the Graysons in our ward.  This older couple whose health is not really good.  But they got a bunch of hay for their animals and asked us to come help them bale it and put it away.  It was already pre-rolled and everything so it was just like these 100-115 pound things of hay that we had to lift up and go stack and everything, and oh my goodness.  So my job, we backed the trailer up to the storage place, and my job was to pick it up and throw it up and over a fence, to my companion, throw it on the ground, and he’d pick it up and go stack it.  We did it that way to keep all the animals out.  Like as I’m throwing it, they are totally trying to eat from the trailer, they had a bunch of goats and alpacas.  But anyways, I didn’t get the memo that we’re supposed to have long sleeve shirts, and my arms are just so scratched up. At one point my hands were getting tired from lifting, from the strings or whatever they are, the bailing twine, throwing it over, that I tried to like put my arms under and lift it up that way, and just kind of toss it, and oh my goodness, like I did it, but it hurt.  Oh my goodness.  It was… He’s like “No don’t do that!”  It was like close to pure alfalfa hay and it apparently makes you really really itchy and hurt a lot.  Yeah.  However, I can honestly say that 1) you use every muscle in your body and I definitely felt it.  I lost a bit of weight. (laughs) It was good it was a really really good two hour workout.  And then also a shower after that is one of the greatest things known to man. Oh my goodness it was so great.

Everything is green here.  It’s summertime, grass, trees, everything.  There’s still snow on the mountains. Oh!  Speaking of freaking snow, so Wednesday we drive to Helena, there’s a pass we go over.  I woke up at 3:30, my companion woke up at, I don’t know.  So we had to be in Missoula by 5:30, and it’s about a 30-40 minute drive, so we got up early to get ready and everything, and as we’re pulling out of our house at 4:45, it’s SNOWING.  Dumping.  It’s all kind of melting over here, but I’m like “Oh this can’t be good.”  And of course I’m driving because we’re carpooling with a bunch of other missionaries, so we get to the church in Missoula, they load up in our truck, and we take off.  And it’s not too bad, just basically big clumps of wet rain hitting our car so it’s nothing too bad, and then we get to the pass, er, as we, not even to the pass, like within 20 minutes of leaving Missoula it’s just whitewash everywhere.  Snow is sticking to everything, icy roads… I’m like, “This is freaking MAY!” And I feel like I’m in the middle of winter.  I mean it’s just dumping snow, clinging to everything, roads are icy and slick and snowy and cold and you can’t see anything because it’s a blizzard… Oh my goodness. It was an adventure.  So we drove there and got to Helena by 8:45, had a wonderful mission tour, and then braved that coming back again, same experience.  It was great.

Umm… laundry is almost done.  We’re planning on leaving here to head to Missoula at about 12:00 today so I’m really excited about that.  Like I’m super pumped.  Ummmm….. sorry for all the “Ummm’s”.  How long has this been going on? 15 minutes.  I think I’m probably just going to stop here.  Try to make sure I can’t think of anything else right now, I don’t want to just waste a bunch of time on a recording.  I know you love hearing from me, but at the same time I don’t just want to say “Ummm”, and maybe tell the occasional mission story that comes to mind.  So I’m going to end here.  I hope you have a wonderful day.  May the Lord bless you and keep you.  Just listen to “Entreat Me Not To Leave You” again.  Amazing, amazing song.  Ummm, yeah.  Love you to death.  And remind me, because I don’t know if I sent them off last week, basically like I have taken lots of pictures, I have some, probably including all the nature ones I’ve been taking, probably 25 pictures to send.  I just need to actually sit down and go through them and send them and do that, so. Yeah. I’ll probably try to sit down and do that now.  

Love you to death!  Hope you have a great day!  Bye! 

Voice Recording May 22 pt 1

I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts♫♪  Good morning!  How are you doing?  I’m doing pretty good out here. Let me think, the sun is shining, it’s a beautiful day, the tank is clean… I think I’ve made that joke before on this (?) (laughs)  Actually I need to do some cleaning up a little bit.  We have some dirty dishes that we need to do.  On my bed I have clothes half put away… All my clothes-clothes are folded, but they’re still on my bed.  And then I just have a basket full of socks that I need to put together and fold up or roll up or whatever and put in my drawer.  Yeah.  Then as soon as I do that, I’ll make my bed.  That’s my excuse for not making my bed yet.

Let me think, we had some really good days.  Man, I had stuff I was gonna talk about, but I don’t remember anything.  We have some really, really fun preparation day plans today.  We were planning on going to the stake center and I think just doing another “Zone Prep day” yay.  Every week.  But instead, us, the zone leaders and the Corvalis elders, which actually live with the zone leaders right now since their apartment flooded with raw sewage, where have you heard that one before?  They’ll be coming with us.  So last night, some members offered to drive us and some other members up to Missoula to go play laser tag and eat lunch.  I think it’s because they will really miss Elder Johnson, they heard he’s leaving.  But they are really really great members, and I’m really excited.  I haven’t been laser tagging in ages.  I’m going to have to take some ibuprofen first, but that’s what pain meds are for.  So you can do fun stuff.  I’m just kidding.  I know that’s not what pain meds are for.

So awesome.  So Mission Tour was amazing. Elder Dyches of the Seventy was just so great. He was a mission president I want to say twice, but I’m thinking more once.  We just had a really really great experience with him.  At one point he even had President and Sister Wadsworth leave the room and on a white board he listed one by one, first he started with sister Wadsworth and then president Wadsworth, all the great qualities we could think about them.  For Sister Wadsworth it was all “She loves us, she cares about us, she’s motherly, she cares about our health…”  All these great things, and then someone shouted out “Opinionated” (laughs) which is fair, she definitely has her opinions and she’ll stick to them and make sure that you do them.  And he laughed, and said “just for that one, I’m putting it on the board.”  For President Wadsworth it was like “hilarious, loving, has a great testimony and shares it.  Great knowledge of the scriptures. Cares about us and our lives back home.  Wants the best for us.” You know, all these great things.  I took a picture of them, but I can’t remember.  And so then he invited them back in and that was just tons of fun to see their reactions.  Love them to death.  Love President and Sister Wadsworth.  They really are your parents away from home. The longer and longer I’ve been on a mission, the longer and longer I’m really like feeling that.  Yeah, he was amazing, gave us some great advice.  Talked to us a lot.  We were promised that as we prepared for it, we would get a lot out of it.  Kind of like Sacrament meeting.  You know, how big of a cup are you going to bring today to be filled up type of deal.  Where we prepare ourselves to be spiritually uplifted, and it was just amazing.  I really tried to pray and read the scriptures.  At one point, while we were waiting for him to come, because they were having some car problems and were late a bit, the assistants were going around, and they were promising us that if we were reverent we would get more and oh my goodness, I got so much out of it. It was great.  I’m not trying to brag, I hope you know that, but it was just like, I was really spiritually uplifted. I loved it!  He gave us a lot of promises about obedience.  Made a lot of comments I love like “Companionship study is the LIFEBLOOD of a companionship. If you are having a wonderful companionship study every day, you don’t need to have companionship inventories.”  I’m like, “Awesome!” And we’ve already seen that.  We’ve had a couple of great companionship studies, and its just like the spirit that is felt is amazing.

Things here are going great.  Also, I got to see Elder Burch and Elder Hendricks.  That was amazing.  I love those two guys so much.  We got to see Elder Tucker. I got my journal back.  Well, my journal 2.0.  I told you that, right?  That like after I left Powell, the journal that I’ve had that long on my mission, it went poof!  I had the Elders there looking for it,  I was really looking for it, and I was just like, “ I don’t know where it went, so I guess I don’t have that journal anymore.  I’m hoping it really turns up.  I have my contact information in there so.   Granted, I wasn’t the most diligent, but there’s still good stuff in there.  This journal, actually I think it was a bit of a wakeup call for me too, it turned out at least for me better because with this new journal I’ve gotten I’ve been… I still miss days and weeks, well, I missed weeks this time because it was with Elder Tucker.  I gave it to him at transfers, I’m like, “okay.”  He’s like, “ Can I have just a little bit more time to write a note for you in it.”  And I’m like “Sure! Go for it!” And he’s a zone leader, so he’s like “I’ll give it to your zone leaders at MLC.” He says he had an “Elder Berrett moment” and forgot.  So I got it at mission tour now.  So I have my journal and its been great writing in that every night again.

Anyways, Elder Hendricks and I exchanged name tags.  So now I have one of his and he has one of mine. We don’t obviously wear them, but, yeah.  Ooh, speaking of which, yeah I can do that today.  I’ve got to call the office and order a bunch of name tags, since you can’t order any your last transfer.  They said that if you want to wear home any shiny extra new name tags on the plane ride home, order them basically now.  I’m like “Oh, ok.”  You can order a max of four per month, I found that out awhile back and so I’m thinking that if I order some like now, and then order some in like a month before my last transfer, that will be like 6-7 nametags that I will have that I can give out to my kids when they go on a mission, or something like that, you know?  I feel like it’s good to have extra nametags.  The church may not like me doing it, but to be fair, I do pay for them, its like 2 bucks a nametag. 2-3 bucks that they just kinda take out of my allotment for the next month.

(Whistling the Nutcracker Suite)  Again, I love that new book you sent me.  I just recently went through them all again.  They’re great.   Just finished laundry.  It’s been a pretty good Monday so far. ( yawns)  I’m tired.  I’ve been less tired recently, so that’s been good. Been getting some good sleep.
Oh yeah, another thing Elder Dyches kinda like, he didn’t quite chas… he never really chastised us, there was kinda one point where he was like, “We’re in the chapel where you take the sacrament.  Be more reverent.” He talked about the sacrament and the importance of it, and we’re like, “You’re right, we’re sorry.”  It was during President Wadsworths when we were shouting out things and getting all rowdy, and he’s like “Guys, this is still a very sacred place we’re in.”  Anyways, I don’t even remember what I was going to talk about.  It was just a great experience with Elder Dyches.  Mission tours are the best thing ever.  I’m a little sad I missed Elder Christofferson, a couple months ago because I was in Wyoming, but hey, he gave some blessings to the mission, like an Apostolic Blessing that I DEFINITELY felt.  It was really cool.  I wasn’t even there.  I didn’t even hear about it, until like from President and sister Wadsworth a couple weeks later, and I still felt it. It was amazing.  Those are definitely real.

Umm. Yeah, I really don’t have too much to report.  Laundry’s going good. (laughs)

Just wrote Christopher a birthday letter.  Bless that wonderful kid. Love him to death.

Um, yeah, I’m going to pause this recording, how long has it been going on?  12 minutes.  Yeah, I’m going to pause this recording, gather my thoughts, and probably going to make another one in a little bit.  Love ya to death and hope you have a wonderful day.  Bye! 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Voice recording May 15 part 2

Making pancakes, making, making pancakes ♪♫  That came into my mind as I wrote the little memo or title of the top of my last voice recording. (subject line in the email) .  I taught a less active Steve, I love him so much! In Helena.  One of his ring tones, he had lots of different ring tones for people that were all nerdy, was, uh…  Wow! How can I not remember that? Well, it has been two years.  Ummm, the space cowboys…. Ummm, only had one season…. Firefly! I think of Castle, the term ‘Space Cowboys’ but it’s… yeah Firefly.  It was that ring tone, so that was really cool.  He was in a tough situation trying to get his life back in order, get back to church, still looking for a job.  He finally found one, and prayers were all answered.

Oh yeah, this thing is so empty, I don’t know if you can hear that. (Shaking can of Pam) Let’s hope that something actually comes out. Well, sorta. Enough that I can cook pancakes with.  I’ll take it.  This is a really touchy gas stove.  If I try to go to low, the flame just extinguishes itself, but the gas is still coming out.  You’re a little moody today, but it’s normally alright.

Let me think, Oh yeah!  I went on exchanges to Hamilton yesterday, that was awesome.  Ate at a place called Naps.  I’m not sure where they got that name, but for me, after you eat at Naps, you want to go take a nap.  The burgers are the size of your face.  It’s pretty much like a Slater’s burger.  Except minus all the glorious bacon.  But they have this thing called the Naps Deal, which is this giant patty, I think it’s a 12 oz, yeah, it’s a 12 ounce patty, with bacon and cheese, and then you dress it yourself with sauces and condiments and everything.  Super, super good meat.  Really good.  I asked for mine medium and they definitely did that well. It wasn’t… It was cooked amazingly. It was, dare I say, a perfect medium.  Laundry’s done.  But they are known for their Nap’s Deal, the Bitterroot Challenge.  Which it costs $35, but if you do it, it’s free.  It’s one of those Man vs. Food challenges, basically.  So you have a burger, with three 12-ounce patties.  Three of these giant patties on it.  One is already as big as your face.  With that you have a giant milkshake, I’m trying to remember how big it is, looking at it, I’m thinking it was like an Iceberg mini.  So that would be 32 ounce?  And then a pound of fries.  And you have 25 minutes to eat all of this.  And I remember someone on my mission was telling me this, and I’m sitting here thinking “Holy cow! That’s disgusting!” And he looks at me, and he goes, “Yeah, it’s breaking the word of wisdom.”  Which it is.  There is a missionary here who tried it twice, couldn’t do it, but if I remember right, I can’t remember if it was the first or the second time, both times he went home and threw up according to one of the missionaries that’s still there.  But either the first or the second time he was quoted with saying "The spirit is not with me. I broke the word of wisdom. This is how it feels, I’m never doing that again.”  I think it was the second time because he said he was never going to do that again.  But yeah, we have the word of wisdom for a reason.  It’s not healthy to try to do stuff like that.

Griddle should be just about heated up.  Really excited for this week.  We have a lesson with a new investigator this week, a progressing investigator, hopefully a part member family.  (bang!)  That’s closed.  Good. Oh, it is nice having a washer and dryer. I was a little surprised that we had an apartment with a, well, we’ve always had an apartment with a washer and a dryer.  I’ve just been really, really fortunate because there are definitely missionary apartments that do not have washers and dryers,  I’ve been on exchanges and it kind of sucks. 

MMMM. It smells ready.  How long has it been?  Six minutes!  Oh yeah, it’s pancake time! (Whistling Star Wars)  This is gonna be some good pancakes, I think.  Plate, spatula ready.  Clean up as I go…(more whistling) key change! Oh wait did I sing that in a different key?  Gosh darnit I’m gonna need, I guess that could be another key change, but no.

Um, Oh! Madison! Mom if you could pass this along, or I don’t know if she gets these, cause I think I sent it to her email too.  If you could take a picture for me, of the… There’s those two signs in Flo’s room, of the, you know, to find “Do”, Or Do is always the last sharp, or the last flat or something like that.  If you could take a picture of those, because I’ve forgotten that, and that’s really bugged me, when I try to sing hymns, or I’m sight reading something and I’m like “I don’t freaking know solfedge (sp?) for this.  I can’t remember.”  I remember Do is always what key you’re in, but I can’t remember how to figure out what key I’m in.  It’s just bad music theory all around.  I suppose if I really sat and thought about it, I could at least remember how to find key.  So, uh… Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battles.  Battle Ends And Down Goes Charles’ Father.  That’s the order of sharps and flats.  Crap!  But I don’t remember how that helps me!  Long story short, this is why you practice and know theory so that when you go on a mission, you don’t forget everything.

Pancakes turned a little well… I think it’s a little thick. I don’t know if it’s cooking in the middle. A little worried about that.  I might add just a little more water to the mix yeah, it definitely looks a little thick.  Oh! Way too much water! Crap, crap, crap, crap crap….  Well now they’re going to be really really thin, which means I need to add a little more mix, which means my companion might, if he wants, be getting some pancakes. (sounds of stirring) That definitely comes out a lot easier. Mmmmm.  Smells good.  Not as good as Alton Brown, but… good.  Nothing beats Alton Brown.  Alton Brown is great.   Brother Cheatham comes close, but he also gets most of his tips from Alton Brown I found out.

Oh!  There’s a family I worked with in Greybull, the Tolmans. Love them to death, so much. They’re the family that we had all our lessons with a recently baptized member, Marcy.  Anyways, they’ve been unable to have kids and they’ve been married for awhile, and they want, want kids and the Lord has finally put them in a position where they’ve just adopted their first little baby girl.  She was just born, she’s officially theirs.  They sent me some pictures, and ohhhhh.  They look so happy.  Of course my favorite to top it all off is a picture of Brother Tolman, asleep in a recliner, rocking this baby, and just the look on his face, is just like pure exhaustion.  And I’m like “Yep.  From what I know, that’s what comes with babies.”  But, also from what I’ve heard, it’s worth it.  I mean, I’m here from that, so… yeah.

Life is good.  It’s hard.  But it’s good. I feel so bad for all the crap I’ve put you through.  I’m sitting here, just like, “Everyone freaking has their own agency.  Is this how my mother felt when she taught me and struggled with me?”  And I’m just like, “Awesome.” And I know this is only a fraction in comparison and parenting is gonna be fun.   Thankfully my patriarchal blessing tells me I am going to find lots of joy.  “I’ll find joy as I raise my kids in righteousness”, is what it says.  Which is also a bit of another concern, because it says “YOU will have joy as YOU raise these children in righteousness.” And I’m like, “What about my wife??”   So, there’s that.  I really hope it’s one of those cases where it’s just, you know, “Oh this is just a particular blessing about you.” So, I hope I’m not a single dad.

The mountains are just beautiful.  I love living next to the mountains. I think I’d love to visit here a lot during the summer, but I just don’t really want to deal with snow anymore. I’ve had enough of it to know that it’s not something I want to live in.  Like, I could do it, totally, and I’d probably learn to just deal with it, but winters in Arizona are just so much better.  I do like the ideas of summers where you can just like kick us out. “Hey!  It’s nice outside!  Go play!” Kind of like in Utah.  But yeah, that’s about that.

How long has this been going on?  I’m on my third pancake.  First one was too thick, second one was super, super small, and the third one is coming up now…. Nice. I think I turned it down a little too much.  I turned it down a bit ago. It was cooking a little too fast, but I think I turned it down too much.

I’ve been really tired lately.  There’s that. Granted, like I get a full 8 hours of sleep and I’m exhausted.  I can only imagine what college or parenthood is like. (yawns)  oh, man.  A member gave me more of that horse ligament gel.  That stuff is really awesome.  It’s like extreme icy hot, and she bought some for me and her mom who has arthritis and bad knees and everything.  Apparently her mother is like “Oh this stuff is amazing! Thank you so much!”  She’s like 80 or 90 and so at least its helping! Like it just gives me relief.  I don’t know if it necessarily helps, but it just gives relief.  It’s good.  Supposedly it helps circulate more blood flow and allows for the regrowth of muscles and ligaments and everything, you give it to a horse with a sprained leg or something.  I don’t know.  I just know it feels amazing.  I also know not to get it in your eyes or anywhere that’s sensitive because it hurts.

Umm, yeah, that’s about it. I’m gonna finish this recording here, Love you a ton, it was really great to see you yesterday.   I’m excited for the rest of the week and all that’s going to happen.  I can’t wait to hear your email later today.  I’m sure as you can’t wait to read mine.  I’m a, wow, really tired. (yawning) Have a wonderful day, I love you a ton mom.  May the Lord bless you and keep you.  Bye!   

Pictures -

Lunch of Champions

Freaking Awesome Sunsets

Gospel Truth

Planning for District Meeting

Voice Recording May 15 - part 1

Well good morning!  It’s me, your son. Your first, your eldest son.  Elder Berrett here.  Are you having a good day?  I’m having a pretty good day.  The sun is shining, the sky is a beautiful, beautiful blue.  There’s clouds off in the distance near the mountains.  The mountains are still white with snow.  Or at least the caps of them.  The grass is green… the brown bushes are slowly gaining back life.  Most of the trees are green now.  I am halfway through, or I was, my companion got in the shower, so now I’m like, “okay, sweet, I’ll record something since…” Yeah.  So I was halfway through finishing a letter to elder Burch, don’t worry it’s only 4 months late.   He sent me a really, really awesome letter like 4 months ago that I’ve been procrastinating writing a response to.  It’s been bad.  I’ve talked to him since then.  I’ve loved him, and emailed him, but I have this letter that I need to write and I was going to do it a couple weeks ago, but I’m like “Oh mother’s day.”  And every Monday I keep just putting it off.  And I’m like “No, today I’m writing this freaking letter.”  I love him to death and in his last letter he was pretty much “I’m so sorry for how I was as a companion” or as a trainee basically.  And I’m like, “What are you sorry about?!?  I didn’t even train you, you trained yourself.  I was just there for moral support.  It was great.”

So yeah.  I really hope I get to train again. I have that desire.  Like I really, really want to.  Even in my prayers last night I was like, “Heavenly Father, If it be thy will, please allow me to train again.  I understand… I have the but-if-not faith.  I know that whatever companion you put me with, it’s for a reason, and that we’re going to do good together. But, I would love to train again.” So, that’s where I am right now. 

And right now I’m also planning on, since I was looking, and I’m like, Well, since I don’t have any eggs, I have tortillas though, but I’m not going to do anything with those.  I don’t have any bread, so I can’t make toast, and you can’t toast a tortilla, I guess I could fry it up, but nah.  I don’t even think Nutella would go good on that.  Maybe.  Probably the best thing for that would be like honey and sugar.  But I’m not going to do that today.  Because I opened up the pantry, and I saw a giant thing of Krusteaz buttermilk pancake mix.  Oh… and it’s pretty dang empty.  So I might be trying that whole tortilla thing unless there’s… Okay!  I found some Great Value Complete Pancake and Waffle Mix. Buttermilk even!  So I’ll be trying that.

It’s a beautiful day, the sun is high, the birds are singing and I’m not gonna die today.  Yeah, I’m really enjoying myself today.   Talking to you guys yesterday was amazing.  Having the Anderson’s there- Total Bonus.  I love you all so much.  I hope you enjoyed the call as much as I did.  I kinda got off and I thought I should have prepared way more for that, I was so like more just excited for the fact that I’m like “I’m going to Skype them and it’s going to be great!” And then it happened and I’m like “What do I say?”  But I was just really thankful just to see you guys smiling, and I’m just really thankful for you guys and the Andersons who take care of and love you guys.  That’s awesome.  

Let me think, Today in my studies I had a really, really wonderful study session.  I read Mosiah chapter 9 and 10.   And in there it was all,  it’s a story of Zeniff and his people.  They go to reclaim the land of Nephi from the Lamanites, they basically go up there and see if they can reclaim this land that they used to live in.  And, on the way there the first time, in all essence had this giant civil war, some of them just wanted to go in and slaughter all the Lamanites in the area and Zeniff is all “No, I saw some goodness in these people we don’t need to do that, that’s wrong.”  And the leader of their group is like, “well…” He said that he’s a blood thirsty person.  Zeniff is quoted saying so.  They have a big battle and only 50 of them are left alive and so they go back to Zarahemla, at which point they are like “Hey, so this happened, we’re sorry.” But then Zeniff says, He being overzealous to obtain this land that he saw again,  goes and basically tells everyone, he’s like “hey, anyone who wants to come, I’m trying to gather as many people as I can, we’re going back up there.” So he tries it a second time with a bunch of people.  And they are able to successfully persuade the king. He says through “their wisdom”  and the king just basically gives it up.  And he’s like “Yeah!  In fact, I’ll have all my people leave!”  And all these things and based on the actions of the Lamanites, I myself would be a little curious why. And I’m fairly certain, it doesn’t come out and say, but I’m fairly certain, it doesn’t come out and say, the spirit of the Lord was trying to work on them, it was like “Hey guys, this is obviously a trap. Don’t go there a second time. Don’t accept his offer.  Don’t move in. Oh. They did all those things.”   And they lived there for 11 years.  And they were prospering and it was great.  And they were basically putting their trust in themselves.  And after that the king obviously came and ambushed them out of the blue.  After 11 or 12 years.  And slaughtered a bunch.  However, as they are being slaughtered, they prayed unto the Lord mightily, and gained his strength immediately and were able to push them back, However they lost a lot of men, and they were humbled and turned to the Lord and as I’m kinda reading about this and it happened again like 22 years later, they were humbled, and they were prepared for the Lamanites to come, but the fact that they were still in this area and they made the initial decision to kinda, in my mind, I could be wrong, but I’m fairly certain it was against what the Lord wanted them to do.  Because they were in that bondage of captivity, the Lord wouldn’t, well as far as my knowledge of the scriptures has lead me to believe, the Lord would not allow his people to fall into captivity. Except they became a faithless people.  I know it says that in the scriptures, so I think I’ve proven this to myself.  But it was kind of an interesting lesson a bit on, you know again, the Lord is going to warn us, and help us, and if we don’t heed the promptings of the spirit, even if they don’t make sense, like he was in a situation where he really , REALLY wanted this land. They had a temple there. You know, all these things, and he’s like “We need this land again.  This land of our fathers.”  He saw how great it was and his desire to have this land overrode for him what the spirit was saying, and he went against it and did what he wanted.  When we do that, we’re pretty much going to get ourselves into trouble. It was kind of a cool promise.  As we listen to the spirit, we’re going to have that strength, that peace, and we’re going to stay out of those situations or put into captivity. Also I do like that even though they did make that mistake, in the instant that they prayed to Him for help and strength, He was there.  Did he deliver them out of captivity?  No.  They were there for quite awhile, several generations if I remember right, but he gave them strength to overcome it, or to endure it.  I did love that. I really did love that.

How long has this been going on?  I’ve been talking about that for a bit.  Eleven minutes. I have the box out, I haven’t even looked at it yet.  “For pancakes, combine mix and water.”  Okay, so it’s just like Krusteaz. (whistling)  Do we have a measuring thing?  Like one of those like cup things that have like four or five cups or a quart or something?  (cabinets banging)  No, we do not. (Sighs) We have a mason jar.  That would work.  I’m not making that many pancakes.  Ok.  I should probably wash it out, I don’t know how long it’s been there. Is that a crack in the bottom?  (water running)  Nope!  I filled it up with water and it’s fine.  Well… yeah. Yeah, it’s fine.

Let’s see… for preparation today, the whole zone is coming here again. I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that, but that’s a different story.  The President has been pushing, well suggesting, less zone activities because of all the Elder and Sister relationships that have been developing.  It’s bad.  And we’re a small enough zone and a couple of the sisters are pretty flirty.  So I’m just like.  “Ok. If that’s what you guys want to do…”  They’re all coming here, not much I can do about that.
Okay, got that all rinsed out and ready to go.  We’ll start off with a cup…. What’s that? I’m looking at this thing and it’s either three quarters of a cup or a cup, and I’m not seeing any markings on it.  It looks like there once was something, but it’s like rubbed off.  Oh, hey!  Here’s some newer ones.  I see a one cup, sweet.   (whistling various songs)

Uh, let’s see… what else has been going on lately?  Oh, hey flour, or pancake mix.  It’s a little more than just flour.  Oh yeah!  We have mission tour this week. As in like a general authority is coming to our mission. I’m really excited for that.  It’s a Seventy… Elder… I’ll have to look up his name in a moment here.  He is a, well, we’ve been told from President Wadsworth, he stressed this a lot apparently at MLC, and our Zone Leaders were telling us this a ZLC, (MLC is Mission Leadership Council, ZLC is Zone Leadership Council) They were telling us that this General Authority is known for rebuking missions.  So he’s like “PLEASE be on your best behavior, I literally have no control over what happens at all, I don’t know the program, I don’t know anything.  Behave yourselves.”  Even though the weekly email this week was “Please be prepared to arrive promptly at 8:45, Reverently, standing with your zones, and be prepared to take a zone picture with him, and then go sit down, reverently, in your seats in the chapel, together, studying the gospel, waiting for it to start.”  I’m like, “Will do!” I’m like that’s what we’re always asked to do, but does it always happen that way? No. And the General Authority also wants to shake all of our hands individually, kind of like what Richard G Scott did.  So that’s gonna be kind of cool.  I throw that around like, “Yeah, I met Richard G Scott. He was great.”

I was reading a talk the other day, I’m trying to remember who it was by, I almost want to say it was President Nelson, it was a devotional, I remember that.  But in it he says, “Yeah, so, I’ve KNOWN 10 of the last prophets we’ve had. And here’s the qualities I’ve seen among them and all these things.”  And I’m like “Holy Cow!  That’s legit.”  He knew 10 of the last prophets we’ve had personally.  Like I’ve MET an apostle.  And sadly he’s not living anymore, but, he has a great work to do on the other side of the veil.  He’s needed over there.  I love reading his talks.   Richard G Scott was awesome.  Um, so yeah!  I’m really excited for mission tour.  It’s different from a zone conference, at least this time because there’s only going to be two mission tours, instead of the normal like six zone conference schedule.  So normally for like a zone conference we would join up with, it would be our zone and Missoula.  And Wyoming was just us, and Wyoming East.  Billings it’s Billings and Billings East.  Helena was a little bigger, it was us, Bozeman, and Butte.  But for this one, there’s only two of them, and it will be us, crap, what is it? Missoula, what’s the place I was just at?  Helena, Butte,  Great Falls, Great Falls East, Kallispell, I fell like I’m forgetting some place.  Anyway, so it’s like half the mission in one, and half in the other.  It’s going to be huge.  They have told us however, “please do not make this like a ‘Oh, hey! Here’s all my old companions right here!’ That is not the purpose of this” and they pretty much said that we will get rebuked if that’s the way that you are going to treat it.  I did like the way that President Wadsworth put It though in the email that he sent out this week, I love the weekly email that they send to us, “He is coming prepared with the spirit to teach us all, we need to strive to be prepared to receive it.   In essence, How big of a cup are we bringing?  And I was like “Oooh, mic slam President! Drop the mic!” That was awesome.  

That’s cream cheese, not butter. I don’t think we have any butter. That’s awkward.  We might have a bit of Pam left. I guess I will be using Pam. Let’s hope that works…. Oh my goodness this has been over 20 minutes, I’m going to pause this and send it off. Love you, bye!