Tuesday, December 20, 2016


Hey all!

Elder Puyogao is great! We've been finding like crazy this week! Seriously, it's been incredible. He might be going home soon, but he's determined to do the most he possibly can while he's here.

Almost everyone we've taught is black too. What a coincidence. There's this super cool young family we found, the Thompsons. Their kids are so funny. One is nine, one is four, and one is three months old. They couldn't come to church this week because of a prior commitment, but hey! Never a better day to come to church than on Christmas!

Pretty sure we still have to work on Christmas. There's only so much harassing members that we want to do, y'know? But it's cool. At least I get to skype home! That's real swell.

This morning we went on a hike with one of our investigators. He's hilarious. He teaches spanish at the college here and was kinda drunk when we met him, but he invited us to go hiking with him?? So we said yeah and had a cool hike and gospel discussion while doing so! It was a good start to the day.

This coming week we get to go to the temple! It's gonna be so cool. I miss being able to go to the temple.

Christmas is coming! We've got our apartment all decked out with... A tinfoil star. At least it's traditional! We actually have a lot of Christmas lights, too.

Hope all of you have a merry Christmas!
Elder Adams


Transfers are happening!

Elder Egbers is leaving, but we already knew that for a couple weeks. Every companionship in the zone is getting shuffled somehow. I'm staying here in somerset and getting Elder Puyogao! He trained my trainer, and this is his last transfer! So this will certainly be an interesting transfer.

Another elder in our apartment complex had to go home, so after driving him up to Bakersfield we've been in a tripan with his companion. It's too many people! I feel like I'm in a mob at doors! But driving up to Bakersfield was scary as heck! I drove a route I'd never driven myself, at night, in the rain and fog. California drivers and roads are NOT meant for rain. Ick.

Otherwise, it's been another slow week. We've been doing what we can, though. Lots of service! Tons and tons of service. It feels good to be able to help others at Christmastime.

Thank you for supporting us!
Elder Adams


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Slow week

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Elder Bednar!

Hey everybody!

So this week was another slow week for us because we had lots of other things going on, BUT! We got to hear inspired counsel from a prophet, seer, and revelator, Elder Bednar of the quorum of the twelve! Seriously he was so cool. I may someday forget what he said, but I will never forget how he taught and how I felt. He mostly just asked us questions and let us ask questions, which sometimes he would answer with more questions. It was an awesome experience, and I hope to be able to teach even a little bit like him.

He also told us that iPads don't matter. Pssh.

Otherwise, Elder Egbers was sick so we didn't get to do too much this week. Pretty sure I'm just cursed, because every companion I have gets sick. But hey, I'm already used to it.

Patty brought a friend to church! A friend we'd taught before, actually! And who watched general conference! Which means she's been to church twice! So I guess we do actually have an investigator who is doing well! Thank goodness she actually lives in our area.

Have a great week!

Elder Adams

Oh yeah forgot some stuff.

So the Lancaster elders are getting scattered as chaff before the wind, I mean emergency transferred to replace some other elders. So now Elder Egbers is a relief society president. And I'm just kinda... here.
(what Hayden means is that his companion is the district leader and now the two of them are the only elders in the district.  The rest are sister missionaries.)

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Short email!

Sorry it's been a slow week so I don't have much to say!

I will say though, that I learned something cool about miracles this week. When we're giving it all we can and get discouraged, get tired, don't want to keep going- we need to keep going. When we do that in faith, God will start opening doors we didn't know were there. Miracles will start happening. Even if they're small miracles.

We did have some fun exchanges this week though! Elder Jones and I went to a italian ice place on main street and a guy there was telling us about how you can see angels and demons on youtube. like okay dude. We also met a guy who was like "hey check out these scriptures, don't they seem contrary to what you guys focus on?" He just didn't understand them, but I realized that even if I didn't understand them too, I still wouldn't be shaken because my testimony is based on a couple things, including that this church is the true church, has been for the entire time it has been on earth, and will continue to be forever. Which is nice to know.

Thanks for supporting your local and faraway missionaries!

Elder Adams

Sommerset and a Baptism

I could just leave it at that really. Yeah, Elder Egburs and I are staying in Somerset this transfer! I'm glad, I really like the ward here. We might switch up our boundaries a little bit with the sisters though.

It rained twice this week, which was super neat.

Patty got baptized! It was so incredible and spiritual. She practically jumped out of the water, she was so excited. There were a ton of members from the ward there too, it was so cool. She said afterwards that she understood why things kept happening that made it take longer to get baptized- God wanted to make sure she really knew. It was so great. Patty has seriously changed my mission so much, it was so good to see someone who is so excited to learn. She was so sad that we'd have to stop visiting, I told her that we still had to do the recent convert lessons and she can feed the missionaries whenever!

Otherwise this week has been pretty slow. Not much teaching or finding new people. It's okay though. We're working on it, and had a lot going on. On the bright side, ya'll get pictures this week!

(the first three photos he sent were of random crap he'd found in their apartment, so I didn't  put those up--Tonya)

Okay, so here are more pictures! Most of the district (my timer wasn't on), the somerset sisters, us, and Patty. AND the best invention ever. We found these little round lights that light up for 15 seconds when you touch them, so they're jaredite lights.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Patty in a picke

Sometimes, even when you feel like it's the Lord's timing, the things you want don't happen. Patty was stressed about baptism and her birthday and other stuff, so her body released too much of her blood thinner medication at once, making her blood way too thin, so she's been really busy with doctor's appointments and has spooky blood eyes and is bruising easily and bleeding randomly and has lots of kidney pain. So, needless to say, no baptism this past week. It's kinda hard, Elder Egburs and I gave her a blessing and honestly I've never felt so prepared to perform a miracle. I'm used to feeling like blessings will maybe help a little bit, but this time I really felt like it would fix this. But it didn't. Which is rough.

Anyway, otherwise the week was good. It was primary program Sunday, which is always cute. We found and taught a decent amount this week, but we've really been focusing on helping the investigators we have to progress and get more meetings set up. I'm not sure what we've been doing that's working, but God seems to be blessing us for it. Things are going okay here.

A cool experience from this last week: We were out walking because we had an appointment fall through. Elder Egburs had just gone to the bathroom right before we left the apartment, but needed to go again, so we stopped at McDonald's. Then we took a different way home and saw a girl on the phone. I don't normally bug people on the phone, but Elder Egburs went for it, as he does. It turns out that she was walking home from work, but had run into a few friends and a girl who was just wandering around crying because her dad died. The girl we talked to was named Audrey, and she's awesome! We met with her again a few days later, and her 17-year old sister had borrowed her book of mormon to read too, which means she might also be interested! Finding miracles happen, at least.

There's an investigator here who has been taught since 2013, and just doesn't seem willing to progress, but we've been starting slow and from the bottom, and she's doing good. She's reading the Book of Mormon with her daughters, and even if they can't understand it, it's starting to help them get along better. I'm so glad my own experience is helping my investigators.

I really know that I'm here in this mission for a reason now. I keep meeting people who I connect with. It's so good to be able to tell people that I had the same concerns and how I was able to reconcile them. So many people here just have a hard time with religion because there's so much bad in the world, so I'm glad we get to be here as lights that cannot be hid.

Also, it rained for like two minutes last night. Lit.

You're all the best!
Elder Adams

Monday, October 17, 2016


Heck yeah Patty is getting baptized! It's been stressful and tough to get her there, things keep going wrong, but she recognized on Sunday "dang, someone really doesn't want me to get baptized." Like yep that's the devil doing that. But it's happening on Saturday! Aaaaaah, it's so exciting. She was telling us how much we changed her life and I was so surprised because I feel like meeting her changed mine tons too. Not to say I had no hope for my mission before, but I'm a lot more confident that miracles happen all the time and we really can find people who are prepared.

It's been a busy week here! On Thursday we had zone conference with Elder Cook of the seventy. He was super cool and I learned so much about how to plan and teach. I especially liked a venn diagram he made of what people "Know", "Feel", and "Do". The people we are supposed to baptize are the ones who fall in the center of all three, who know the doctrine, feel that it's true, and act on that. I'm trying to make sure I'm in that category too, haha. We also learned that if we want to teach progressing investigators, we should be progressing missionaries. I think that'll probably be my mantra for the whole rest of the mission.

On Friday Elder Egburs had a meeting in Bakersfield with all the other leaders, so I spent the day with Elder Bankhead! He came out with me and is a great guy. We didn't find anyone besides a lady for the spanish elders, but we taught a couple lessons! Although the one in my area just consisted of the member talking the whole time and the investigator telling us he didn't want to get baptized into a church, just baptized. Also that God can't influence people inside of buildings. Okay then.

We found a ton of people this week! Talking to everyone is hard sometimes, but it's working really well! We keep being late to things because we're teaching the Restoration to people on the street. It's cool sometimes. This one lady we taught who seemed super solid called us up and canceled her next appointment with us because she met with the JWs and apparently they filled her head with nonsense about us?? Oh well. "Please be respectful and don't knock on my door anymore." Yeah okay ma'am. We won't.

Anyway, we really do talk to a lot of cool people. It's hard to find really solid investigators who will keep commitments, but it's so satisfying when they do and we get to see the changes they make in their lives. Missionary work is so great.

Thank you for your support everyone!
Elder Adams

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Miracle Weekend

Hey everybody!

This week was kinda interesting. We had exchanges both with the elders in our district and the zone leaders. It was really busy and planning was hard and we spent a lot of time cleaning and sorting things out, so we got almost nothing done. We found a new investigator on Monday, but every time we went by to see him again, he wasn't there. It was stressful to have our schedule so messed up and to not have much in the way of numbers.

On Thursday, we had an appointment fall through when we had a member with us. Elder Egburs was like "let's go visit Mike." Mike isn't living at his home for right now because he's taking care of his mom, but he's there at around 3 every day to take care of the house. We stopped by at 7 and he was there! We talked to him and read from the Book of Mormon, and he was all "normally I'm pretty drunk at this time of night, but I didn't feel like drinking today." So that's why we had to stop by. Seriously, so satisfying to follow the Spirit.

On Saturday I had a rough morning. I was stressed and felt sick and didn't want to work, but we went out and it was like everyone we talked to wanted to hear our message. We had an incredible morning. Then there was an Elders Quorum Pool Party, which we went to eat tacos at, but there were actually a lot of less-active members there AND some former investigators! We also went by a former investigator to say hey, but we only ended up talking to his wife and granddaughter. We were just going to share a short message, but she invited us in to tell her about our church and loved it. The poor lady had awful valley fever that destroyed her lungs and spine, but she's survived much longer and at a higher standard of living than any of her doctors expected. She also showed us her giant masonic bible. That was fun. She has 7 kids and 15 grandkids, and wants to see if they'll listen to us too! What a cool old lady.

Then on Sunday Patty called us to set up an appointment because she had some friends she wanted to invite to talk to us! So we answered some of her questions about 2 Nephi and the history of the church, and taught the restoration to a couple of awesome young people who are coming to church with her and us next week! One of them was looking for a church that was firm on its beliefs, but not preaching fire and brimstone all the time, and well- that's us!

I just finished up 3 Nephi this morning. I love the Book of Mormon, but the books after this are just so hard to read, because the people descend into wickedness. It's hard, but it's also rewarding to think of the joy that Mormon, Moroni, the brother of Jared, and Ether must have over all the people who enjoy their writings and have been converted because they followed the Lord's counsel in what to write. Mormon was an incredible historian and writer, and he was given those talents to help build God's kingdom. We're all given talents like that, that we can use to help serve others. Even Elder Egburs's motivational raps, haha.

I hope you all have a good week!
Elder Adams

The Field Is White

Such a great week.

Okay, so our awesome investigator who is progressing super great, Patty? We got her a larger print Book of Mormon (but a fancy special edition one with paintings from some members, not the normal one), and she's loving it. We mean to read the Book of Mormon with her, but ended up teaching the restoration to her two more times because she keeps inviting her co-workers and friends along! What a cool lady. She and a girl who works for her both watched all of conference on Saturday with us!

We are also teaching a guy who lives outside our stake... but everyone we've talked to has basically told us "screw the rules, his salvation matters and he has fellowship in your ward," so that's a thing. He watched some conference with us too, but had to leave because his neck was hurting. He had a tumor that got so bad it cracked some of his vertebrae. Ouch.

Still haven't met some of the other investigators, but have picked up so many new ones that it doesn't seem to matter. Most of them were total surprises to us! We're trying our best and we're experiencing some success for it! How blessed we are for the chance to serve God.

Conference was awesome. I really liked the Presidents Eyering and Uchtdorf's talks during priesthood session, but Elder Oaks's talk on missionary work was cool. Conference is different when you're a missionary, I've never been left wanting more of the Word of God so much. I'm like "six months away for another one??"

We talked to a lot of less-active members this week. Most of them have been really awesome! But one was not a productive person to talk to. We finally figured out why he wasn't coming: he's all "the church has changed." I asked for an example and he told me that when he was a kid, they had to pick up the toys in nursery, unlike in President Eyering's talk, where he mentioned offhand that he picked them up. Like dude, that's not even church policy changing, that's just you finding reasons to complain. But whatever. Thank goodness times change some- back in the days of Sinai, he would be stoned for not keeping the sabbath day holy.

I've been thinking about what "A remission of sins" means. Because remission is used in a medical way to describe when a disease is getting better and not spreading, I think it's an applicable way to think of how we can apply the atonement. As we repent of bigger stuff, we can focus on smaller stuff, just like how when you get rid of a big tumor you can focus on getting rid of the smaller spots so that they don't get really bad later. It's helpful to know how we can keep our sin in remission too, by reading what the scriptures say, like King Benjamin's address.

The mission is awesome! I love being out here, even when people are mean to us. Christ truly does help us turn the other cheek.

Elder Adams

Hello Lancaster!

Hey all!

Guess what! I'm still in Antelope Valley. But that's cool! I could spend my whole mission here and that'd be alright. I like AV. I have a new companion! His name is Elder Egburs, and he's great. He works hard and has limitless energy. He's also the district leader. This district is so cool! I went from a tiny 3 companionship one to one with five! And it's a great area.

Elder Egburs has been here before, and he's had a good time. But the area just got split, so we don't have that many unknocked doors. We're trying to get creative, like by inviting the primary kids to invite their friends to the primary program. I think it'll be really good.

We have a couple of cool investigators! Patty is an awesome old lady who has like 40 horses and tons of other animals. She's cool. We read Alma 32 with her and she's all "OH" and understood how to read the Book of Mormon with faith. We're still working on getting her a big one, haha.

The other investigator I've met is James. He has a broken neck, but is super cool and gets what we teach for the most part. He's very mainstream Christian and it's kinda interesting. We taught him a couple times during the week. We'd love to baptize him buuuuuut... he lives in a different stake. He was a friend of some members, and that's why he's around here.

We have like 5 other investigators, but I haven't met them yet.

I really like this valley. It's peaceful enough, and not as smoggy and hot as Bakersfield. There are lots and lots of different Christian churches, and I'm confident that the work will pick up and the wards and stakes will grow immensely.

Part of the struggle I see here is that people don't seem to realize that it's not just a church you go to, ours is a religion you live. And it'll change lives! But people seem to just think it's a different church to go to on Sunday. It's so much more than that. Living the Gospel of Christ in every aspect of your life, at all times, is what is intended. Not attending church occasionally. I love to see the difference it makes in the lives of new members who really strive to live the Gospel. There's a family that fed us the other day, and they were just baptized in the last year. They are so excited about the Gospel and about how it applies to everything, even movies. It was neat to see.

Thank you for your letters!

Elder Adams

Goodbye Palmdale

Hey everyone!

Transfers are Wednesday this time! And Elder Harden and I are both getting transferred! And neither of us know where or even if we're together still. So yes, it's a bad idea to send me any packages right now ;P Anyway, I wish I could have stayed here for a little longer so I could see Frankie's baptism and try to teach a couple more people that we've met. But it's alright. I like Palmdale, but God knows where we need to go, and who needs to be here. I guess we've done what we were entrusted with this area for.

Anyway, this week was real slow. We had more car trouble, and got our battery replaced on Tuesday, so that took a lot of time. The next days was cleaning inspections, and Elder Harden threw out his back making his bed, so we spent lots of time at the doctor's, too. They told him to rest for a few days and not do too much, so I've been stuck resting for a few days and not doing too much. I've actually read tons and tons of scriptures and Ensigns. So I was trying to be productive. To break the monotony and cover appointments, we went on exchanges with the other elders a couple times. I was running around with Elder Gold most of the time. We have... disagreements. But it's alright! We've worked it out some and I learned a lot about working with people who are hard to work with.

A couple cool things did happen to us! The other elders had a baptism and it was a neat experience! We taught the restoration while the baptismee was getting dressed, and there was this non-member on the first row who looked so astonished. I'm pretty sure the Spirit was speaking to her heart! And then this single guy in the ward came up and chastised us for a bunch of stuff after we were done with the baptism. He was trying to be "helpful" but he was just kinda rude. He got on our case that evening too, at the Spanish-English multicultural thing. We were sitting at a table with pamphlets and stuff while the other elders were out talking, and he came over and got on our case about being antisocial. We sure showed him, we placed like four copies of the Book of Mormon with nonmembers and taught a couple people the restoration with the help of the Spanish elders and members.

The multicultural event was so cool. The Spanish branch has such diverse origins and they had all this food and stuff from their countries. It was so cool. There was also music and dancing! Not that we danced. We don't dance or something like that ;P

I read lots of scriptures, and pondered a lot, and I feel like I've really learned a lot! This week I was really impressed by the faith of Amulek and Alma's kindness to him. When Amulek received Alma and Alma blessed his house, I'd always just thought that was because he was the prophet, but I've realized that really it's because he was a missionary, and that's our privilege and duty too. Alma also took in Amulek and comforted him after the saints in Ammonihah were martyred. It's implied that Amulek's family were among them, and his faith in holding fast to his beliefs during and after the tragedy is truly incredible. Alma took him into his own house afterwards, and "administered unto him in his tribulation, and strengthened him in the Lord." He set a really good example of mourning and comforting, even without the details. I hope I too can develop that much charity.

Thank you all for your support! Wherever I go, I'll always be thankful for your prayers and kind words.
Elder Adams

The Devil rides upon the asphalt

Hey all!

I know that's an imposing title for this weekly email, but it's actually been the best week so far. It just started off kinda rough. On Monday I went and bought a bike! I don't think there are actually any bike areas left here, but we burn through miles like crazy, so I figured that I might as well get one to help out. And get more fit. And the bike was really cool and I love it. Anyway, it was useful because the day before, our car broke down. We thought it might be a battery problem, but weren't totally sure. Someone came and jumped it, and it started, but it had been having other electrical problems before. We took it to the Chevy dealer on Tuesday (It's a cruze), and it took them seven hours to fix a faulty negative battery cable. And then it did the same thing again last night. But we'll give the car another chance for now.

The next morning we went for a bike ride up a huge hill with the other elders from P4. Up the hill was hard, but down was fun until Elder Gold hydroplaned and flew onto the sidewalk. He was pretty banged up, but didn't actually end up breaking anything. He just shoved his humerus further into the socket, but they spent that whole day and the next one at the doctor's. First because of trying to find out what was with his arm, then because he might have had a concussion. So things were very quiet for west Palmdale on Tuesday.

Basically I think roads must be cursed for us. But we still need to drive on them.'

Anyway, the rest of the week was great! We met lots of new investigators, some cool less active people, and some people the sisters were teaching but we'd lost track of! Our goals for the coming week are basically teaching the restoration a million times, getting people to read the Book of Mormon, and put a ring on it. Yeesh. Some of these people and their avoiding marriage.

ooh! One of our new investigators didn't even open the door at first, he just yelled and asked who we were. Missionaries! But he didn't want to hear it at first. So we started walking away, but then he was like "hey!" and asked us if we were Lancaster Baptist. They're everywhere here, and put cards on everyone's doors and have buses to take people to church. It's wild. But we told him no, and he had no idea our church existed! So we told him some and gave him a pamphlet and a return appointment. I don't know why he came outside, but I'm thanking the Spirit for it.

We're doing a 65-day Book of Mormon challenge out here, and it's super great. I'm actually way ahead, but I'm actually learning a lot. One of my favorites is some details about when Nephi broke his bow. After he did, everyone started murmuring, and Nephi chastised his brothers for it. It didn't even say what he said because he does it so dang much. They were "humbled", so he went and made a new bow and asked his dad what to do. He knew it wasn't his place to chastise his dad, so he invited Lehi to let the Lord do it. And oh boy did He. So much so that Lehi was "exceedingly sorrowful" and never murmured again. I think it's a valuable lesson about how to correct people and call them to repentance- it's not always our duty. Sometimes we just need to let God do it. Also, true repentance comes from knowing you've disappointed God, not your brother.

Thanks for all your support everyone! I love hearing from all of you!
God be with you,
Elder Adams


Hey all,

It's been another long week. Days of all 0s on key indicators are getting kinda old. I get that people are busy, but keeping appointments is the polite thing, y'know? Ah well. It can't be helped. At least we're talking to a lot of people and hopefully being a good influence. We met a guy this week who wasn't ready just yet, he says he's too angry at God right now, but he'll listen someday. He swore a lot, but he'll be really prepared when he talks to missionaries again, I'm confident. We gave him a pamphlet with our number on it, so maybe he'll get a hold of the missionaries in the future.

We also got a referral for a guy with a lot of members in his family. He finally decided to take the discussions and read the Book of Mormon, but he just had back surgery, so this week really didn't work for him. I think he'll be a good guy to teach.

Our one investigator with a baptismal date came to church! He's the one with autism, so it's hard for him to come unless his mom comes too. She's normally really sick, but was able to come this week! I think they had a great time and will work hard to come again. Both of them have some walking troubles, so I'm glad we were able to find a wheelchair.

Right! I forgot about the wheelchair! Last week we were out tracting and there was a yard sale going on that we stopped at for a minute. They had a wheelchair, and we'd been looking for some for the church. It was in good condition, so we asked how much it was, and the guy told us 20$! We were blown away! He asked us what we wanted it for, and we told him it was for our church, and he was all "Take it then! It's free!" It was so cool. There are a lot of good people here who are living the truth that they have, but just don't quite see that we can give them more. It's disappointing sometimes, but I'm glad to see everyone isn't miserable and mean.

Last night our car wouldn't start. We were just about to head home, too. We eventually got a member to come jump it for us, but it took a while and was kinda boring. It was a little chilly too, so we were sitting in the car listening to Teewee tell us every couple minutes that our battery might be low. Thanks Teewee. Teewee is what they use to make sure we're driving safely. It yells at us if we go too fast, or accelerate, turn, or brake too quickly. It makes sense, but sometimes it's just like "Teewee we're trying our best why do you yell."

Fasting yesterday was cool. We didn't have any incredible miracles besides our investigator coming to church, but I feel better. This week will go better.

God be with you!
Elder Adams

Monday, September 5, 2016

Mi Palabra Favorita es.....

Hola everyone!

I'm still speaking english actually. I just got a good chance to hear lots and lots of spanish and say "yo testifico" a lot this week. Elder Harden and I went on exchanges with the zone leaders. They cover the same area, but spanish. We found them lots of investigators but only one for ourselves, haha. The ones we found are super sweet though! There's a guy named Jesus who saw us across the street when we were headed back to the car and said "Mormones!" He lived in Utah for years and years, but he and his wife never converted. When he saw us he was excited to hear where we were from and if we'd been to the Provo City Center temple, since he went to the open house. We went in and Elder Snow taught them the restoration, and they loved it! I wish I could have helped, haha.

We also taught some kids who are in an immersion program at school, so while they were reading in spanish, I did get to say some stuff! And that's where I learned how to say word, since they were talking about their favorite english words. I like "banderas." It's fun to say.

I haven't gotten to meet our new investigator yet! We should talk to him on Wednesday though. It's a great thing, because it feels like there's a little bit of a drought and bad luck going on here. 
We got dropped by a couple of people around here recently, which is sad, but it's their decision.

I wish I'd taken a picture of my scriptures to add on to this. They're starting to look pretty crazy, since I've been putting little sticky-note tabs on scriptures from PMG. It's been great to go through and read all of them and study them, but I think I'll need to figure out a different scripture case situation.

The members here are feeding us pretty well! The latino ones especially. Their food is really good. I'm not going to say I love spicy food now, but I'm definitely "warming" up to it. And the music! On Saturday nights everyone is partying, and the spanish music cracks me up. Every time I hear accordions it makes me smile.

We talked to a bunch of little kids outside one of the parties. They asked who we were, so we told them we're missionaries that go around teaching people about Jesus. They were all "I love Jesus!" until one was like "I love cheez-its!" and then they all talked about their favorite foods. Maybe I'll stick to teaching kids that are baptism age ;P

I also had my first bible-bashing. That was a thing. It grew my testimony of the word of wisdom though. We saw some teens outside of a Christian concert in someone's backyard, and they asked how we were enjoying the service and if we were mormons and stuff. We walked down the street and back, and when we saw them again they were smoking. Then they followed us and tried to tell us that God told them to prove we were wrong. I don't think it works that way. It was frustrating, not because their questions were hard or anything, but because they just weren't willing to listen. Now I know that smoking is DEFINITELY bad for your spirit.

Even if it feels like we're not teaching too many people, I know we're doing God's work. Every day is long and difficult, but I've never loved what I'm doing more. I feel courageous and steadfast in a way I never have before, despite the trials. Thank you so much everyone, for supporting the missionaries.

Elder Adams

Monday, August 29, 2016

AC is a blessing

Hey all!

It's been a hot week here in Palmdale, but that's alright. I'm getting used to it. ( his air conditioning was out for 2 days) I think I lost my sunglasses though. It gets really cool in the evenings, mostly because it is so windy. Despite the wind, I haven't had to deal with any dust storms or anything yet.

There have been some fires around here too, but they've been a little ways away and out of my area. Not that my area is very large. It's basically all populated, but has no parks or anything, so it's kinda hard to find things to do once the sun goes down, since we're not supposed be knocking doors at all after the sun sets, unless we have an appointment set up.

So about the 92-year old woman I was teaching. She's great, but her family stopped by and told her to not meet with us anymore since they want her to stay in the church she's been in her whole life. We're stepping back for the moment, but we're not giving up yet. We'd have pushed more then, but there's so little chance when she's so old for her family to forgive her. She'll be able to accept the Gospel after this life though, even if we cannot get the fullness of it to her yet.

We're also teaching an autistic young man who is super great. He gets what we teach for the most part, but his responses don't always show it. He wants to get baptized, and would be ready if we could get him to come to church, but his mom is really sick and has a hard time coming. They're a great family, and we're working hard to get him out.

There's a less-active, part member family we've tried to visit a lot, but haven't gotten to teach a lesson to yet. One young man in particular is almost ready to be baptized, but his dad wants to do it and won't come to church. The mom really wants to get sealed too, so I hope that his heart will be softened. I felt inspired to ask them to read the Book of Mormon as a family, but we haven't had the chance to invite them yet.

We also met a super cool Latino guy with a couple of older kids who invited us in and listened to us. He'd been helped out by missionaries before, but hadn't had the lessons, so we taught him the restoration. He was so excited that hisquestions got answered, about things like why there were so many Christian churches and why God only called prophets in Israel in the Bible. He told us he knew he needed to get back on the right path, and that it was our job to get him there, but we had to tell him we're just there to teach and invite, he has to work hard too.

I love these people, even though I just met them. Missionary work is cool that way. I'm constantly blessed with courage I haven't had before, and words I've never thought of. God qualifies those He calls when they work hard, and although my work isn't perfect, we've still been blessed.

I started collecting bottlecaps and writing a number on the back. I'm trying to get one every day, but I got a little ahead of myself trying to catch up for the days I was at the MTC, so the next one I need to get will be number 37 on Thursday. So many bottlecaps is going to be heavy by the end of my mission, haha.

I hope everyone at home is doing well. God be with you until we meet again!

Elder Adams

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The MTC lied. (he's kidding)

Anyway, this isn't actually an iPad mission. It was a bit of a shock, and it's hard suddenly not having the resources that were available before. Instead we have lots and lots of cars. It seems like nearly everyone has a car. I guess it's probably a gain weight mission.

We're in Palmdale, in the very south of the mission, in the best ward ever. It seriously is a good ward with good people. Palmdale is a really interesting town because it was planned very specifically and is very new. The roads are named really well as long as you're on the main ones, but turn into nonsense once you actually go off of them intowhere the houses are. There are so many little roads named all kinds of things like Cantlewood or Jupiter or Vittorio. But they don't follow any naming scheme! It'd be so hard to get around without a GPS, so I'm glad we have one.

We haven't had a whole lot of success, but that's okay. It's just the first week. We've transferred into an area where there were sisters before, so we spent some time cleaning and have been meeting people and trying to sort out the sisters' plans that they left behind. We did meet a super cool old lady from a referral though! She's in her 90s and has tons of medical stuff going on, but she loves the pamphlets and wants to get baptized! She would have come to church on Sunday, but her doctor said to wait. I know that she's still around so she can receive the Gospel.

It is really hot here. It's not worth it to walk around during the day or anything so we just drive around to houses where potential investigators and part member families are. Most of the good work we'll do is going to be in the evening, once it's cooler and people are home.

God be with you!
Elder Adams

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Lead Kindly Light

Hey all. It's been a long week.

So Elder J, my companion, is a tall guy. And he got tall really
fast. But that causes some problems, y'know? He had some inexplicable
shoulder pain that was hard to deal with but not very severe, at least
until now. It started getting worse on Monday, so our zone leader took
him to the doctor on Tuesday. They decided it was a pinched nerve, but
that to do all the tests for it and maybe surgery, they wanted him to
head home for a while. He left that night, and now I'm in a trio with
Elder Coburn and Elder Taylor.

I get a little bit of how my mom felt now. I just have to be like
"it's not like he's dead or anything." But it's just hard. I've never
felt so much... Grief. The others were angry or sad, but I couldn't
think of any other word. It took a lot of getting emotions out and
praying and reading scriptures to be alright. But I feel peace about
it now. Right after he left I was sitting in the hall with the zone
leaders, who are also in our district. It had been a long day for them
too, so we were all kinda a mess. I was humming "Lead Kindly Light",
and then someone down the hall started playing it on a violin in a
classroom! Not only that, but that's what the choir sang at the
devotional that night. They announced it and I was like "okay okay! I
get it! I'm alright!"

Also when we where sitting around, there was an elderly elder playing
the piano in a nearby classroom. He was playing mostly church music,
but some other stuff, and it was all very very jazzy, so it felt like
being in a fancy lounge. He was playing for his wife, but I had to go
tell him thanks for playing, it soothed our souls. It made me really
want to play the piano a lot. We also had roast beef and mashed
potatoes for dinner, and all these little nice things added up to
generally being okay by the end of the day. Now when anything good
happens at all: "God is good."

It's been busy but typical otherwise. Lots of learning, lots of
teaching, lots of volleyball. I'm really sad I don't get to keep
teaching one of the investigators we were assigned this week, because
she was awesome. I dunno if she was a member, but the Spirit was like
"she needs to be in the church right now immediately" because she was
just so good. I'll try to stop by the TRC room she was at so I can at
least leave her with anothertestimony or something.

So you know those stories where missionaries go knock one more door or
talk to just one more person at he end of the day and are blessed for
it? It feels like that is every day here. I always learn the most in
the last two hours of the day. And here at the end of my stay. I feel
pretty confident now, not that I'll convert and baptize everyone ever,
but that as long as I keep working, my deficiencies won't matter as
much and my talents will be magnified.

iPads are seriously inspired of the Lord here. Like seriously, I'm the
worst at scripture references, but if I can just remember a few words
(or have them brought to my remembrance,) I can search them in Gospel
Library. It's incredible, and has been super helpful for finding
specific scriptures and stories, especially in the New Testament. It's
easier to focus on using technology well when you're guided by the
Spirit, too.

Almost there. You might all get another email from me super soon on
Monday, or not until the next one, since we leave here at 3:30 am on
Monday. We fly to Phoenix first, then into Bakersfield. I'm excited to
get out there, but also nervous, since it'll be way harder than this.

"Keep thou my feet, I do not ask to The distant scene- one step enough for me."

Thanks everyone,
Elder Adams

Monday, August 1, 2016

"Volleyball for days"

explanations of Hayden's acronyms and other things

hey all! Just a note from Hayden's mom, in case you aren't familiar with some of the acronyms or phrases he uses.

The MTC is the missionary training center in Provo, Utah. That's where they spend 3-6 weeks learning how to be an effective missionary and learning the language, if necessary.

The TRC is the teaching resource center.  They provide members who will act as people who want to learn about the church for the missionaries to practice teaching and sometimes they have people who really are learning about the church.

An investigator is someone they are teaching the gospel to.

All missionaries go in pairs, called companionships.  Hayden and his companion are to stay together 24/7 .  A district is a group of several companionships. This provides a chain of leadership that makes sure all missionaries have help and guidance as they need it and makes it easier for the couple (mission president and his wife) responsible for the approximately 200 missionaries in his mission to keep track of them.

The males missionaries are referred to as Elder_____ (insert last name) and the females as Sister________ (insert last name).

FHE is family home evening.  At BYU the students are divided into many, many congregations of 150-300 students.  Usually at least one apartment of boys and one apartment of girls are assigned to a family home evening group.  They meet once a week as a "family" for a lesson and fun activities.  Honestly, I loved my FHE "brothers" and they became like real brothers to me.

When Hayden's three weeks are up, he will fly to Bakersfield to begin his real work, teaching people about the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Every 6ish weeks they have transfers, where the missionaries may or may not be moved to other cities and/or receive a different companion.

A zone is a group of districts. They meet together for training and inspirational messages from time to time.

I know I've forgotten a few things.  If you have questions, ask me and I will explain!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

First letter

Elder Adams 2.0
Hello all! It's only been like 48 hours, but I'm totally different now! I'm all metal and terminator-esque. Just kidding. I'm the same but full of spirit and I know my way around the MTC now. Friday is P-day for me, so you can expect emails each week around this time.

Even if I'm still the same old Elder Adams, I'm actually part of a neat experiment here! I'm one of a couple districts that gets ipads/android tablets here in the MTC! Which is kinda crazy all things considered, but they're pretty nice. We were told that when President Monson was asked if he was really sure about giving us iPads, he said "God doesn't want to give the internet to Satan." That's a cool thing. Oh, and just as vaccines have been developed to combat previous plagues, hopefully the discipline that missionaries here will develop with technology will act as a vaccine against the plague that is pornography. They stress being on task and careful with the iPads, but I'm not too worried. My roommates and companion and I are all in the ipad group, and are getting used to using them for teaching and tracking progress pretty quickly. I think we get them out in the field too, but in the MTC was a surprise.

Speaking of roommates and companions, they're pretty cool. Elder Taylor is the district leader and is real good at singing. Elder Coburn is related to Jeff Coburn and had heard about me before I came out here! And my companion Elder Johnson is a cool dude. He's super tall and quiet, but when he talks he says important stuff. He also hardly eats anything, as opposed to me who eats a lot. He worked as a propane shophand too! That's so unique! The other Elders in my district are really funny. Elder Hardin was adopted from Ukraine, so he and his brother refer to themselves as their parents' store-bought kids.

Food's been pretty decent! Although maybe I just have the scout camp thing of being so hungry that I don't totally care. Except last night's was interesting. I've never had anything that could be described as mystery meat before, but that was pretty close :I 

I've run into a lot of people I know! It's so crazy! Elders Wheatley and Vance are the only elders I've seen, but I've seen a bunch of sisters I knew at college, including Sister Christiansen from my FHE group down at BYU.

Plenty of spiritual stuff has happened too! Yesterday we taught a roleplay lesson to a fake investigator, but it went pretty well since we took it seriously. It was mostly just about prayer, but when she prayed at the end I felt God's love for who we were teaching in a way, even if she was just fictional. Or what He would feel if she was real? Something like that. Anyway, it was cool! I'm excited to do more teaching!

I wouldn't say that I'm taking to this like a fish to water, but it's been pretty good. I'm not having a super rough time or anything. I bet it's everyone's prayers for the missionaries and for me, so thank you for your support! I'll keep working hard!

I'll leave you all with a joke that Elder Rasmussen would like:
How do you think the unthinkable?

With an ithberg!

Say it out loud, it's even funnier that way.

Anyway, I can see your emails any time during the week, I can just only respond today, so feel free to send them whenever you'd like!

-Elder Adams