Monday, June 8, 2015

June 8, 2015



​First off let's go back to Transfer day...Shout-out to my Best Man Corey Bryant in the course of our travels on this past backwards and sideways transfers I had the pleasure of meeting "Elder Sawyer Young" (not to be confused with Elder Sawyer) who is from Cedar Hills UT who knew my good friend Corey and his family...love you bro. This is at the Crossroads Mall in Beckly WV

​So the Transfer day started with Elder Sawyer and I getting up at 1:00am and driving to Covington VA by 2:00am, where Elder Yokum and Elder Sawyer took our car to Lexington VA to catch the "Transfer Train" at Lexington VA at 4:15am, while they drove Elder Pulson and I went back to bed for a few hours rising at 6:30am and working in Covington till about 1:00pmwhen we get a call from the assistants  informing us that there had been a mis-hap in Transfers and Elder Tupou was now in Beckly instead of Lexington VA which was about 100 miles from where we were. Thanks to some members the Burdetts who gave us a ride to Beckly while the Zone leaders drove elder pulson's new companion to Covington and dropped him off with Clifton Forge...by the end of the day by 9:30 everyone had arrived safely where they needed to be and thus our transfer begins. This was a photograph of my Dristrict we took right as we all arrived in Covington VA a little after 8:00pm

​We had a really great time at the dandelion festival and amid the festivities in WSS, which was a breath of fresh air from our time in Lewisburg. We will be setting up at various other festivals this summer, and even have our eyes on the State Fair. We are planning on working with B. G. in putting together a Mormon Jeopardy Game with a power point template he put together, and the young women are putting together prizes for the upcoming festivals and fairs. 

Over the next few weeks our ward will be having it's summer turn-over where Medical Student families come and go so we will be saying good bye to a number of great families...but already have a report of 7 new families with children who will be moving into the ward this July beginning Medical School.
The Br. Family, which will be moving back to Utah to take a promotion with the Forest Service.

​The Sh. family who is moving to Princeton WV for his Rotation in his 3rd year of Medical school.


​I love White Sulphur Springs Ward...I am so grateful to be staying here.

​It felt a little like Yearbook day at the end of a school year with so many goodbye's and such but such is life in WSS with WVSOM students.

We had a grand Time with M. H. and his two sons at a Picnic the B's (members) invited us to. They also had a Family Home evening at the picnic which was at Droop Mountain state park...the site of the last major battle of the civil war in west Virginia when the Union took control of Lewisburg.
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Tee-ter-totter fun
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Memorial day Picnic
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Best News of all is that M. Quit Smoking and with that has the Green light to press forward with his Baptism and is now working full-time at the Walmart Deli "life is great" - M.
Some Scenic West Virginia Shots on our travels
West Viginia really is a beautiful green state
The second Memorial Day picnic we attended with the Ward for dinner, in the Greenbriar State Forest.

​As I mentioned Last week A. B. is back Investigating the church again, we helped him out this week on his project to level his backyard to build a shed so he can clean out his attic to build a new room to make space for their third born who will be arriving this October.
This transfer so far has gone by so fast and so much has happened, I will never be able to give all of our many adventures here complete justice in my writing, and with my added responsibilities on reporting on the district's service record, key indicators and reporting on meetings and exchanges I conduct, crowds the time I have to email. But I am really learning and enjoying this calling, and have. Let's Begin 

I will start off with H.G., I stand amazed daily with her progress and growing testimony. Teaching H. has also strengthened my testimony in the Book of Mormon, it really is a wonder because how God helps the sincerer seeker of truth through it.  A few of the experiences we have had with the G. Family these past few weeks are. 

The Concession Stand - We were overjoyed at the opportunity to serve and get to know Brother G. better, when he texted us and asked if we could run the concession stand at the Baseball park on a night which through a scheduling mis-hap, they had double booked and could not be in two parks at once, we with M. H.'s two sons came to help us and we had a blast serving hot dogs, nachos and such, and the Food Handler's permit I got from the Chocolate Festival came in handy too, so that we could entirely run the stand and all the parents could go to the other park and watch their kids play baseball. 

B.G. Comes to Church! - I don't think I have ever been so excited to see someone at church, When H. and B. arrived in true LDS fashion; a few minutes late with three young kids in tow:) just like my family growing up...this made H.'s 5th time at church and she is right at home, and you wouldn't know her from any other member of the ward at this point...B. was welcomed by students and work colleagues from the Medical School...All went well, never the less is was all little foreign for B., his first time and not entirely informed about church.  This was also the first time in my mission I have had an entire "family" attend church together

H.G. Shares her growing Testimony of the Book of Mormon - The following day we went by the Griffith's home where we followed up with Heidi on church the day before...and asked what Brian thought "he hated it" were her words, and at first that was disappointing, but then H. began to explain how she felt...she said along the lines of...I was really hoping he would have been able to make it to Sunday School (B. ended up staying with one of his sons in Primary) and if he had been more present at lessons talking about how missionary discussions really prepared her for church and what to expect and how  welcomed she felt...and then she said "if he would only read the Book of Mormon" it would be easier for him...she then shared how she feels about The Book of Mormon (very positive) and how she noticed the different tones between Nephi and Jacob in her Book of Mormon reading, and that her resulting testimony in the restoration and Joseph Smith as a Prophet..."it makes me think about my responsibility to it (The Book of Mormon)" she also mentioned how she has been sharing Mormon Messages with her Mom and sharing what she has been learning and feeling her mom said "I don't know much about the Mormons, but if that is what you feel is right you should follow it", H. was not expecting that answer and I feel that this was an answer to our prayers and fasting that H. received some much needed support from her family...H. said "that is the person (her mom) who matters, the rest of my family won't care" We talked with her about how she wants us as missionaries to best help and serve B., and talked a little about the long term, she mentioned how even if B. doesn't want to come to church what she will do and in the future. Understand that B. is the one of the greatest men I have had the pleasure of meeting and is an excellent example as a Husband and Father, I have never heard an ill word spoken about him and is a genuinely excited, great guy and is very kind and accepting of us. We continue to hope in time and by H.'s example B. will gain the testimony his wife has and more.

B. is helping us create our Mormon Jeopardy game for the Roncevere river Festival tomorrow,
The Ronceverte River Festival will be this coming Friday-Sunday, we have worked with the youth, relief society, investigators, and a less-active to create what we hope will be a fun, interactive, and informative booth at this busy festival this weekend.

M.H. has quit smoking in a miraculous manner, simply quit, with a little help from the 15 step stop smoking work shop...and with that he and his two sons are on-date for Baptism this month on the 27th of June. The Boys have become good friends with the other young men particularly the 

M.H. has also shared with us his testimony of the Book of Mormon, he says "it has been like God has been playing a game with me...not really but you know what I mean...God has been giving little bits as I have read and answers to questions I have always had and he gives me hints and I have to find them on my own and I am finding them"

Last to mention is A.B. and his family...Alan was the first investigator I found in this area on my first day here back in that chilling January weather. I have come to love him so much and we have simply been reading the Book of Mormon with him and he has loved this, and the Book of Mormon trumps Anti and anything that satan can try to throw in the way...as we have read it with him about 3 chapters a visit I have learned more about it and my testimony and conversion have grown deeper and Alan is finding himself relating to Nephi and it is simply awesome because the spirit does the teaching...no debating or confusion simply reading "the word of god" and enjoying the spirit. A.B. plans on coming to Church this week.

Alright now that we are all up to speed...photo time

​I had an exchange in Beuna Vista Virginia, which is over 90% LDS student Body there are 8 YSA wards here...and a predominate LDS population...it is odd to work in this area that is referred to as "little provo" the statue is titled the Armor of God.

This is B. (blue shirt, investigator, from Indonesia) and C. (Black shirt, Member, from the Philippines)...;you know I never thought in my mission I would be teaching an Indonesian with a Philippino member on top of that we are also meeting with a Brazilian family with Brazilian members.
C. and I, C. also came to a lesson with us to see A.B.
Teaching M.H.'s sons the Plan of Salvation

​I have really enjoyed these plan of salvation chalk lessons...the Boys said "this is great and makes sense and answered my questions I have had"

I love the Book of Mormon..it is true and will go forth to fill the whole earth...White Sulphur Springs is merely my privilege to be the instrument in bringing it to this wonderful place.
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The ward mission leader in BV is a great Brother and a fellow star trek geek. 
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There is a great story behind this...I will tell it one day...but for now I will let you use your imagination.
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Thats all folks:)

love you
ART

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