March 31, 2013

Random March Pictures

Tie Collection - It is yet to be determined if all 48 ties belong to Elder Bell

March 25, 2013

Facebook 3/25/13

Hey I just want to let everybody know I'm having some medical issues right now that are not allowing me to stay in the mission field at this time. I am now back in Utah, but I can't wait to go back out into the field. Thank you for all of the support and encouragement, if you have any questions or would like to know more, I'm open to talk about it, so call/text/message me. Thanks!

March 20, 2013

Email 3/20/13

Hey sorry I forgot to write in my last email, that Monday wasn't going to be our P-day this week. It was our Zone's turn to have a temple trip, and so we got to do that this morning, and they just made today our P-day instead of Monday. Things have been going better, well things got worse, but I've been able to handle a lot of pretty crazy stuff and quite a bit of drama, this past week with a good attitude, so it doesn't seem as bad. If people are wondering why I haven't been writing you back it's because I haven't been getting letters. Somebody crossed out our address on the stickers that they put on our mail to forward to our apartments and put a different number. So some of it went to this other guy, and I'm guessing the rest of them got returned, so if you get it returned please just resend it, and it will get to me. So if you haven't found out by now, I'm obsessed with nice ties, (Stacy Adams are my favorite) and so it's been hard to not buy a lot of ties considering missionaries aren't made of money. Our AP has this thing with his ward and family where if they send him a tie in the mail, he'll send them a picture back of him wearing it in return. He even has an announcement like that in his ward bulletin, we should get one of those for me! haha. I can't get enough of the classy ties.

Temple Trip - Elders: Werner (companion), Escamilla, Bell, Clark, and Garfield

The weather here has been crazy this past week! It was in the 80's, and then it went up to the 100's and now it's back down to the 70's! It's super crazy. It was a hot couple days when it was up in the hundreds. It's still winter is what is the crazy thing! I was worried about the winters here having snow in the mountain areas because I wanted to get away from snow for a while, but I'm starting to wish it would snow instead of getting that hot in the winter. The summer is just going to kill me!

How hot was your winter?

We had a day this week that was really good for tracting. I had been thinking of the streets we hadn't tracted yet, so we went to 10th street and tracted it for about a half hour. The first six houses we went to, we got five return appointments. Unfortunately three of them were referrals for the Spanish missionaries, but it was crazy how many people on that street were interested! We also had a cool tracting experience with a youth member of our ward tracting with us. He was supposed to come to a lesson with us but it fell through so we just took him tracting with us. As soon as we got done praying the street Wabash popped right into my head, and so we went there. We had started on the first house, but saw somebody like 3 houses down walking out to their car and so I went over to him and skipped the other houses. His name is Gio, the member we brought asked him what school he goes to, which we would have never thought about asking, and he goes to a school and is like best friends with somebody Elder Werner had baptized a year ago. Gio was way pumped about meeting with us, I was on exchanges that day with the zone leaders, but they said they had a great first lesson with him. We went over a couple days later to follow up with him and he had read 15 pages of the Book of Mormon already. I'm really excited to work with him. I'm glad we brought that member, because if we hadn't he might not have met with us not knowing his best friend was a member.

We have been helping the little league baseball fields prepare for their season. Our zone probably worked with them once a month maybe twice a month doing service on their fields and snackbar. I don't remember if I wrote about this or not, but me and a couple other Elders repainted their whole clubhouse about a month ago. They had opening day this week and we got asked to come over and do service. When we got there it was like a carnival, they had face paint, games, a blow up house, and cotton candy and snow cones. Elder Clark and I ended up working in the cotton candy and snow cone area and it was a bunch of fun. We were there for six hours it was such a nice day and nice to help out other people get their calories on haha. Before it all started we got to jump in the bounce house and mess around it was pretty fun. During the whole thing we got unlimited snow cones and cotton candy which is really delicious and addicting. I didn't realize how good cotton candy was until Saturday! We both switched off, but mostly it was Elder Clark doing the cotton candy and I was doing the snow cones. All of my experience working at Snowie finally payed off! haha. The cotton candy was really messy and they had us come in our Proselyting clothes. I don't know why, but luckily I didn't spill on myself. They also had a competition at who could throw the fastest, and the missionaries got to do it for free, but couldn't win the prize because it was a movie gift card. I ended up throwing the fastest out of all the missionaries at 74 mph with a baseball, and 71 mph with a softball haha.

Elders Clark & Bell having way too much fun in the bounce house
Making cotton candy at the carnival
The Elders really felt the spirit in this house

Elder Escamilla and I were companions in the MTC, ward-mates out here in the field, but we have never been in the same district before, so we have never gotten to go on exchanges and work together. We are finally in the same district this transfer and we got to go on exchanges. It was so much fun. We were on bikes, and oh man that is tough. My thighs and legs were burning that entire day. It made me really appreciate having a car. Elder Clark's bike seat is awful, my butt got really sore too, I was whining the whole day haha. But besides the fact we were on bikes and rode up some big hills, it was really fun and Elder Escamilla and I had a good time being companions again.

We got some new roommates at our apartment! :) We actually got kicked out and they are running the apartment. Sunday night I found a nice little friend sitting on the top of my bed. It explains why we've been so itchy, and the random blood stains on our sheets. Yup. We have bed bugs. Pretty awesome haha, just kidding. We had been getting bites and been itchy for the past couple of days. And we joked around about having bed bugs, but never thought we actually had them haha. The next day we washed our sheets and blankets and put them in bags and then called the housing missionaries and they came over and we discovered a bunch of them under our box springs. We looked up online that 120 degrees will kill them so we went around the edges and border of our mattress' and box springs and they would come running out. We ended up using our pass along cards and scooped up all that we could. It was pretty gross. We then had to take all of our clothes whether they were clean or dirty and had to wash them all. We had to throw away our pillows, which made me sad because my pillow was very comfy! I wrote "bed bugs" in sharpie on our pillows because homeless people dumpster dive at our place daily so hopefully they won't take them. I warned them so it's not my fault if they get bed bugs! We moved out and we are now living with our ward-mates. Which will be really fun the nights we have to stay in if we don't have appointments. All four of us have a guitar and so we all like to play together. If we start to get distracted from the work, I'm going to see if we can live with a member until our place gets done getting fumigated. I love our ward-mates and we have a lot of fun, but I'm worried we'll get distracted from going out to work, or even during our studies. We'll probably be out of our apartment for about 2-3 weeks.

A bed bug
Some of the captured bed bugs

There is this mountain that overlooks our whole area called little mountain, and this last week one night we went out and drove to the top with our guitars and had a little jamming session. We're not very good, or in sync with each other at all, so it didn't sound very good but it was still pretty fun. I want to start to play or at least start learning how to play church hymns. I think that would be really cool to learn. I'm not sure if I'm good enough yet though.

Jammin' on Little Mountain
Elder Bell's (highly anticipated) first album cover

I got a package from mom that had a tie in it, she didn't want me to wear... but I did anyways! :) Don't worry I didn't wear this tie outside our apartment. I wanted to start out the tie thing with this tie, if you send me a tie... I'll send you a picture of me wearing it in return! haha. I hope everybody has a good week. I love hearing from everybody so keep those letters coming!

Elder Bell's most recent "classy" tie - a St. Patrick's Day "Beer Tie" from Mom

Love,
Elder Landon Bell

March 14, 2013

The Best 4 Months

Elder Bell has been on his mission for 4 months today! Yesterday we received a DVD from him that highlights the first 4 months of his mission in picture/video form (he said he has been working on this during his P-days). So for those of you that need to get caught up on what Elder Bell has been up to, or just want a refresher, enjoy!

video

March 11, 2013

Email 3/11/13

So this week was pretty good. It was really slow, again, but all in all it went pretty well. But I'm pressing forward. I'm trying my hardest and that's all you can really do. It's all about your attitude, I've found that out recently. The only person who can control your own happiness is you. As long as you do your best and you're trying your hardest you should be happy. I've figured that out, now I just have to apply it to myself.

We have a new rule in our Area/Zone, that once it is dark and you don't have any set appointments you have to be inside. I guess our area is just to dangerous to be outside at night. It really sucks because we get a lot less done. I thought we were able to go visit less actives and stuff, because we have been going around to people we don't know that is on the ward list and have been trying to visit with them at night, but I guess if we don't know who they are, and we don't have a set appointment then we just go back to our apartment.

There is this member named Myrl that we'll go see about once a week. He was less active, but now we have him coming back to church. He is awesome. He is this older guy that's about 70 years old. Even though we have got him coming back to church the past few weeks, we still go over there because he needs a lot of strengthening. He is a really lonely guy and we make his week when we go over and visit with him. He'll usually have us play him in a game of pool and then we'll share our message with him. It's a lot of fun, and it really helps him out. His home teacher tells us that he is always talking about the missionaries. He took us out to lunch this week at his favorite burger place and then he even danced for us haha. He claimed he could boogie, so we had to get some proof!

Myrl Boogie dancing

This week we did a lot of preparation for the baptism and made sure that it went well. We usually do testimonies during the baptismal program while the people are getting changed, but it was always the same people going up and essentially saying the same things, so we started playing Mormon Messages. We found this really cool one that is called "The Patterns of Light". They don't have it out on DVD yet and it's a three part video. So one night after it was dark and our appointments fell through we went over to a members house and downloaded the videos and put it on DVD. It ended up being really good, and perfect for the baptism.





When we were preparing for the baptism, we were going through some of the Hymns to see which ones they wanted. Kayla wanted "I Am a Child of God" And Don said "How about for me, you play 'Eye of the Tiger'!" hahaha Don is way funny, he's such a great guy.

I've been learning how to play guitar and so this past week I decided I would buy one. It's a Black Fender guitar it's pretty sweet, and it sounds really good. I've got a Red Utes sticker on there too, so that makes it even sweeter! The guitar store out here is crazy, they have guitars for like 10 grand. I've been practicing a lot during my free time in the mornings before studies, during lunch break, the times we have to go in after dark, and any other free time I have. I'm still not very good at it though. I can play "Good Riddance" by Green Day, "The Cave" by Mumford and Sons, and "Fall for You" by Second Hand Serenade. Hopefully I'll be able to get good here soon! I've been giving up my lunch time naps for guitar practice but it's worth it.

Elder Bell's guitar

Kayla and Don Schreiner's baptism was last weekend and everything went great! We were in a rut all week running all around trying to find different baptismal suits to fit Don but we finally found one. Tim, (Don's son and Kayla's dad) baptized both of them, but Don is too big for him to do it by himself and so I was in the font and I helped with the baptism for Don, helping him back up and stuff like that. All of the Schreiner kids came and so it was like a three-ring circus. Those kids are so wild! Everything ended up being a great baptism.

Schreiner Baptism - 3/8/2013

This week we had lunch at 5 Guys, and it was really weird. I love 5 guys, the food was good, but it was just weird being there. For 3 and a half months I've been living in the ghetto, where there are no normal fast-food places like that. Everybody there was clean and happy, which is a total opposite of what most people are like in San B. We found out that our area is like 3 miles bigger then we thought it was, but most of it is industrial stuff, and so when we went looking around the area that we didn't know was ours, we found a 5 Guys. It's weird how San B works. It's nice from like 60th street down to 30th and then the south (My area) down to 2nd is all ghetto, and then it starts to get nice again at the bottom of our area. So it's like a Ghetto Sandwich or something. So that 5 Guys was down there. They have bulletin boards where you can color flash cards and put them up, and so Elder Clark and I both made some signs and put them up, along with our pass along cards. Elder Clark and I are good friends, we get along really well!

5 Guys signs

The work out here lately has been super super slow. We'll have appointments with investigators, and potential investigators but it seems like every single one has fallen through this past week. We end up Tracting for about 3 hours a day. We get a lot of contacts and potential investigators but we just are having a hard time finding somebody who is solid, interested, and will keep commitments. Sunday I confirmed Kayla a member of the church and that was pretty cool. My first confirmation, Melvina felt like it wasn't much of the spirit talking and it was all me coming up with what to say during the blessing, but Kayla's confirmation was awesome, I don't feel like any of it was me, it was all the spirit.

-Elder Landon Bell

March 6, 2013

Mission Videos

Elder Bell sent me his video card and asked me to upload some of the videos off of there. Here are some good ones that I thought everyone would enjoy! (NOTE: If you are viewing this through an RSS feed you may have to visit the blog directly to see the videos)

Traditional MTC Farewell - "God Be With You Till We Meet Again"


video


Jaramiah performs "I Believe I Can Fly" after Billy's Baptism


video


Sign Dancing Fundraiser for Baby Isaiah - Part 1


video


Sign Dancing Fundraiser for Baby Isaiah - Part 2


video

March 4, 2013

Email 3/4/13

Hey guys, this letter probably won't be as long as it usually is this week. Things have been pretty hard out here lately. We've barely been able to teach any lessons this past week. I think we ended out the week with 6 lessons taught, which is pretty terrible compared to the 15-20 lessons a week we usually are teaching. The work is really slow, and I've been in a Bum mood lately, so that doesn't help anything either. Satan's been working really hard on me trying to make me give up. I don't know what's wrong, haha. I've just been so down lately. Hopefully things will start to get better soon.

Our days consist of having a few appointments, and then tracting the rest of the day, and then the appointments fall through so we end up tracting like the whole day. We get quite a bit of potential investigators from tracting, but a lot of them have been falling through on the appointments. It's hard because we have great feelings about somebody, but they're too scared to say no to your face, so they tell you to come back and they don't answer or they aren't home, and then you never see them again. It's hard to decide who to come back too and teach, and who to not come back too. There are some names on the ward list who we don't know so we just assume they're less active, and so we've been trying to visit all of them, but most of the time they don't answer either.

Elder Werner was telling us this story about how he was on exchanges one time and worked in our ward, and he went to this ladies house and she took him to her backyard and said "well.. Here's Blue Beard.." and sitting there was this dead cat with flies all around it, He went on to tell us how he had to bury this cat for this lady in our ward. Since him and I are going around visiting the people in our ward that are less active we go to this house, and it just has this gnarly smell coming from inside, that we could smell outside. We knew it was a cat lady. It ended up being that same lady that had him bury Blue Beard haha. R.I.P Blue Beard.. That story doesn't really have much of a point to it, I just thought it was funny.. haha.

I've been really into getting new ties lately, and since missionaries don't have jobs, we've been going around to all the thrift stores and searching through a bunch of those. This last week, I think I got like 16 new ties. They are so cheap and some of them are way nice. I really like the Gnarly, flower ties that there are. I have quite a bit of those. We'll go on P-day and sometimes even during lunch hour. It's pretty fun to go to all of the Thrift stores in our area searching for ties.

Don and Kayla Schreiners baptism is supposed to be this Friday, but we don't know what's going on with it yet. Don is ready and he wants to be baptized this Friday, and we're trying to decide if Kayla is ready or not. Both of them said that they didn't feel like they were ready and that they didn't know enough about the church, but we handled it very well. We showed them the video "You know enough." A Mormon Messages video that talks about how you don't have to know everything and that our life is a spiritual Journey, we all learn new things each day. A quote from that talk I really like is "You don't know everything, but you know enough." The spirit was really strong and they could definitely feel it. Don even prayed right there in front of us and asked if the 8th was the right day to be baptized and he got his answer as a yes. There is a lot of complications going on about the baptism that we have to resolve tonight. Don wants to for sure get baptized this Friday, and we'll see about Kayla tonight after we go and visit them.

The weather here has been pretty weird lately. It will be really warm and then it will be cold the next day. Saturday we decided we would walk around all day and tract and contact people on the street. It was eighty five degrees that day! It was so hot! I am not looking forward to the summers where it is like one ten! I'm going to die when it gets that hot. My back was just drenched in sweat haha it was pretty gross. I thought that my CamelBak had a leak in it or something like that. When we were walking around we ran into this guy who was on a Jazzy scooter and he had this sub-woofer and speaker bungie corded to the back of it. It was pretty loud. It was way funny though, oh the things you'll see while you're out here in the ghetto!

Church was pretty good this week. Well, it was good for me, I was able to feel the spirit and it put me in a better mood. But it was bad for investigators. We didn't have anybody show up to church that we are, or have been teaching. The Schreiners car broke down and they were like an hour away, Melvina's daughter had an asthma attack so Billy and Melvina were with her at the hospital. Jessie's kids were sick, and all of the other investigators we have bailed out and didn't show up. It was a pretty rough week.

Alright well sorry this letter is so short, that's about all I've got. Nothing exciting happened this week that I have to write about. Hopefully this next week will go better and we'll be able to start teaching some lessons. Thank you to those people who are writing me, it means a lot and can really help out when I've been having a rough day/week. Take care.

-Elder Landon Bell