Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmastime in the Long Beach Mission

SNOW? In Long Beach California????  (nope, hail!)

Pepe's Baptism

Robert's baptism

Dear Mom,
I loved being able to talk with everyone it was like being home for 40 minutes.  I'm really excited that Sherry is LOVING BYU just as much as I did.  I knew Spencer would be psyched to finally have his own laptop.  It's going to be the gift that keeps on giving :P.  Tori is just adorable as ever, I loved getting to talk with her about Dr. Who, I can't wait to watch it all when I come back :).     
     Thank you so much for all the presents.  I never properly thanked you, but you two won the biggest Christmas package in the mission award.  Out of ~140 I had the largest Christmas package :P.  I really really really really like the new pants.  They fit comfortably, look nice (way to remember I like black pants :P), and are machine washable!  All my new clothes are excellent, I can always count on my Mom to buy my good clothes.  Thank you also for sending more toffee.  My companion and I are very excited to munch through it all.  I got SOOOO much candy this year, I'm in heaven :).
     Both P and R were confirmed yesterday.  A very special gift for both of them to receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost on Christmas day.  I'm really grateful for the opportunity to serve here and help people to make sacred covenants with the Lord.  There is nothing better than to help other people to be happy, and this Gospel is the best and only way to receive happiness forever.
      Unfortunately we haven't really found any new investigators for the last couple of weeks so nothing really new is happening in the area.  It's going to be a week of finding, but I know that the Lord will lead us to the people we need to find.
      Christmas Eve was a very special day to me.  I got up that morning and decided that we were going to teach a lesson to someone before lunch.  We had one iffy appointment that I figured would fall through, but I wanted to make sure we still had at least one lesson before lunch.  We went from place to place, meeting people at the door who said they were too busy, or wouldn't find anyone at home.  Our one appointment fell through and I started to remember what Dad had said about Holidays being some of the hardest days as a missionary to do missionary work.  Still we pressed on and went by a referral that we still had to contact.  We didn't find him at home, but two younger Samoans (20's) were out on the porch, and had just cracked open their bottles of Liquor to begin drinking for the day.  We began to teach them, and one of them Jo, wasn't too far gone yet, and he actually had wanted to speak with missionaries because he's trying to find the truth right now.  The other guy, Logo (pronounced low-ngo) was completely gone.  The rest of the lesson went well, although it was kind of comical to teach someone who was completely wasted.  I felt really blessed that I had been able to accomplish my goal to teach a lesson even though the odds were against me.
      Of course the rest of Christmas was just as wonderful as that morning had been with miracle packages, and the Christmas Caroling.  Looking forward to this week as always :)
Thank you again for all that you do for me,
Elder Henry
Ward Christmas Party

Elder Henry with his "Pillow Tie," so he can sleep during church???  haha.  I'm guessing the crown on his head was made by Kelsey's Kindergartners for him.

Some of the families Michael is teaching

Hey Dad,
     I would be all over those car projects if I were home.  I would love to get
into my pair of coveralls and start tinkering with a car, of course these
things sound like lots of fun when you are a missionary.  If I were home
I'm not so sure I would be quite as motivated :P.  I'll let you know before
I go shoe shopping, I'll ask around this week to find out where one can
purchase such shoes and probably go next week (although that will be the
monday after a sunday holiday, so it may not be until the 9th).
     I'm glad everyone enjoyed talking with me as much as I enjoyed picking up
the phone and calling all of you.  Mom was pretty quick to pick up that
phone when I called, had she been sitting there waiting all morning long?
     I'm not going to lie, I'm surprised that Sherry is getting a car for
college so soon.  I thought you were actually joking when you said that, at
first because I never thought you would give up your Insight.
     I want you to know what a great example you are to me of treasuring up not
the things of this world, but treasuring those things which are in heaven.
Everytime I read in the scriptures and think about how to improve the way
I'm living I always look to you and realize you've been showing me how I
should live my life all along.  It's not about how many toys you rack up at
the end of the day, its how much time you spent with your family and made
sure they are raised the best they can be.
Lots of Love,
Elder Henry

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hello Mom!
     Sorry to make you wait an extra day.  We found out last Thursday that we were going to the temple today, so our P-day got switched to Tuesday instead of the normal Monday.  Hope nobody was worried :).
     That's super exciting about Sherry's proficiency scores!  Does that mean she's in the acting program?  I put on the CD you sent me in the car, and my companion is very impressed.  I forgot how talented my sister is!
     I'm glad you explained the shoes.  I'm not going to be able to wear them here in Long Beach, but they certainly will come in handy when I head down to Brazil.  Also the dress shoes you sent me are good, but they probably won't last very long.  My guess is 2ish months of proselyting every day in them.  My shoes get a lot of wear and tear.  I really need a good sturdy pair of shoes that will last me a long time.  The slip-ons don't usually hold up all that much, the leather gets all wrinkled and starts to fall apart easy.  I still need to ship back the bad shoes.  P-days are pretty crazy, but I'll try and get it done soon.
     We bought ourselves a Christmas Tree for our apartment.  I took pictures but we are at the library this week for E-mails, instead of the Family History Center, and these computers won't allow me to put in a USB drive.  Hopefully I'll be able to send them to you next week.  I know how much you appreciate them.
     This week we had two more baptisms!  Always very exciting to be a missionary when people are being baptized.
     R (9) - R was finally baptized on Sunday.  We met with him a couple times last week and he has a good understanding of the Gospel, although he's still a primary kid.  The best part about this baptism is it has opened the door for us for the rest of his Family.  His Mom has just started coming back to church a couple months ago, and has a word of wisdom problem that we are trying to help her with, and Dad isn't a member.  We hope to begin to teach his Dad, a very friendly man, and we have began to teach Robert's older half-brother Jo.
     J (14) - Jis a 14 year old kid, who recently got in a little bit of trouble with the law.  He was arrested because he punched his Dad (not Robert's Dad), and is currently under house arrest at R's house.  He's just like any other youth growing up in the Ghetto, and he's had his first bucket of cold water thrown on his parade.  He feels really bad for what he did, and has sincere desires to repent.  We are really hopeful that with the Gospel, we will be able to help him overcome his circumstances and grow up to be a respectible man.  He's not baptized yet, and because he's on probation he won't be able to be baptized any time soon, regardless he's a good kid that just needs direction and good friends.
     One thing I haven't talked very much about is how amazing the Long Beach 15th Ward Young Men are.  We have a lot of youth that even though they live in Compton/Paramount/North Long Beach, they have had good parents that have taught them well.  They are strong in their testimonies and strive to share the gospel with their friends.  I'm really glad to see such young men preparing to serve missions, and I hope that we will be able to work with them in our missionary efforts.
     P (31) - P was a referral that we met on Dec 11th, and she was baptized this past Sunday.  She has been going to church for 3-4 years now in Utah but never was baptized because she wasn't ready to give up Alcohol or Tobacco, but she quit a few months back and moved down here.  We were able to meet with her several times last week, and she was able to be baptized.  She has a solid testimony of the Restoration, and reads the Book of Mormon everyday.  I'm very excited to have been able to work with her, and to now review the new-member lessons with her.  The Samoan wards are amazing at preparing people for the missionaries to teach.  They love to share the gospel with all their friends and family, and the Compton 1st ward understands that that is the best way to bring people to the joy of the Gospel.
     Not much more happening on the investigator front.  We had a rather interesting weekend where our world was turned completely upside down.  Things are going well though, and good things should continue to come from our efforts.
     Thank you so much for all the packages, and my companion says, "MORE TOFFEE!"  He really enjoyed it, and I've been hoarding most of it to myself :P.  Thank you for the CD's, they brought back a lot of good memories from the old Boychoir days.
All my Love,
Elder Henry

Monday, December 12, 2011

This Year of 2011

Hate Christmas letters?  Stop reading!  NOW!!!!!!  Quick!  Just close the page!

The Henry family 2011

Dear family and friends,
     Well I decided not to send out a letter with our Christmas cards, because it annoys some people. Its been a pretty eventful year or so for us.  One of the best things was having all of our children at the Temple with us.  They are truly the joy of our life!

We feel very very blessed to have Michael serving his mission, he was able to finish up at Clark College before he left.  We had two kids graduate in a week--Mike from Clark College and Sherry from Prairie High School.

Our two graduates!
Michael's mission call is to Porto Alegre North, Brazil.  However, his visa application was lost and recently the Missionary Travel Office called to let us know, they are resubmitting it.  He spent 9 weeks in the Missionary Training Center in Provo Utah learning Portuguese, then was reassigned temporarily to the Long Beach California Mission to wait for his visa. He loves it there and is serving in Long Beach and Compton in Samoan wards, learning the language and loving being a missionary.
Mike and his companion at his first baptism as a missionary.  Michael was able to confirm him the next week.
 Sherry finished an incredible high school experience with quite a few exceptional honors and awards.  And many others she was "runner up" for--we started joking that she is Miss 95th Percentile (her height, her grades, just missing the cut for a few awards). Her principal called her the most outstanding student he's had at Prairie, she truly excelled in so many areas starting with being a graceful kind caring person.  She has carried those qualities with her to Brigham Young University where she is considering a performing major, finding her way, relishing academic challenges, learning more than ever before, and functioning as an independent wise adult.  Its fun to see her roommates' and friends' reactions to her sense of humor and fearlessness in using it.  She ran her first 5K and placed 5th overall for females out of a couple hundred, went to lots of football games, played intramural Ultimate Frisbee, performed in a student directed version of Oklahoma as well as in her first student film, has truly enjoyed working with her voice teacher Dr. Arden Hopkin, and found she loves learning about science and philosophy as well as tap dancing.  (No, she doesn't have a boyfriend, yes she dates, yes she writes a missionary but they are just good friends. I know you were wondering because so many people ask haha)   Update:  Sherry passed her Acting proficiency audition, and is moving on in the Acting BFA Program next semester!  (BFA=Bachelor of Fine Arts)
Here's a photo of her with her absolutely fabulous roommates. 

   Spencer had an eventful year too, finishing his first year of high school, playing on the tennis team, participating in Rachel's Challenge (a service organization), performing in plays (just started his third rehearsal process in Midsummer Nights Dream), working in the student store, and carrying on his siblings legacy of being a kind, funny student at Prairie.  He's just an enjoyable person.  He also has grown 6 or 7 inches in the past year or so, and has some pretty nasty stretch marks to prove it!  He loves his classes at school and lately has been obsessed with Napoleon ("he's my idol!) (scary haha!).  Here's a photo from The Three Musketeers:
And one from Tennis too showing his studliness and all that ;o)
Tori is growing too, not at the rate Spencer is, but she's hoping to be the shortest Henry child anyway (her sister has complained about guys being too short to date, so Tori has her strategy for the future haha).  She's doing really well in school, loves the Lord with all her heart, knows a lot about the Gospel, and basically is obsessed with Dr. Who and an Anglophile much to her Granny's chagrin.  She is such a pretty little girl that boys are starting to ask her when she will date them, she tells them "not til I'm 16" but confides in me that they are like brothers.  Ha!
Ready for a Portland Winterhawks Hockey game with bff Bailey
Damon is still working for ACS, still serving as Stake Athletic Director, and still my best friend!  I started working at Crafts Americana Group this summer just as Mike was leaving, so I'm gone during the day and he is home holding down the fort. 
     We feel so blessed to have a missionary from our family serving, and such a wonderful family.  Life isn't without its challenges but we're grateful for the ones we have and pray for those with more difficult burdens than ours are at this time.  Thank you for your prayers on our behalf, on Michael's, and for being our friends.

     Much Love from the Henry's in Vancouver!

Mike's letter 12/12/11

Hey Mom!
     President says no Skype, just phone calls for Christmas.  I'm excited for some sweets.  My shoes actually have a hole in them, and its raining today for the first time in like a month.  I walked outside and my feet got soaked.  Do you want me to send my holey shoes back home?  I live in a locked apartment complex, so packages are really safe when they get delivered.  So I wouldn't worry about it while I'm in Long Beach.
     I'll make sure to keep Sherry in my prayers, I really want her to succeed at BYU :).  I'm really happy that the two of you are getting along a lot better now.  It sounds like all good news from the homefront, expect Spencer's Grades...
     Also transfer calls came in last Saturday, and both Elder Galke and I are staying.  I wasn't very surprised by that, but we'll see if I can make it a whole transfer :P after last transfer's fiasco!
     This week has been a bit of a mixed bag, but it all turned out good in the end.
     Ma'epu of course was Baptized last week, and yesterday I was able to confirm him a member of the Church.  That was a really awesome experience.  I'm very grateful that Ma'epu chose me to confirm him a member of the Church, and I just know that he's going to be a strong member of the Church from here on out.  I have so many hopes and desires for this young child, and I know that if he continues he will one day serve a mission.  That's probably the best gift of it all, knowing that I brought a future missionary into the church :).
     I didn't get to meet with R last week because I was on exchanges with Elder Stringham in the Spanish area.  It was a ton of fun to be back together with him, but we are changing zones this transfer so it's probably the last time I'll be together with him since he goes home in January.  He wasn't baptized yesterday because his Mom couldn't make that time, so he's going to be baptized this coming Sunday.  We also started teaching his 14 year old brother, and he should be baptized sometime in January as well.
     M on the other hand was all sorts of ups and downs last week.  We got a call from our ward mission leader on Tuesday who said that the members that Maria is staying with were upset that we hadn't taught her in a while.  We had an appointment last Thursday, and Elder Galke never set up a return appointment after M canceled on us.  We had planned on seeing her at Church on Sunday but she didn't show up.  The family was very upset with us, and so we had to repair bridges between us.  M was also hurt because she didn't feel like she was a priority for us, and that we didn't care about her.  It was a very sticky situation, and of course there are miscommunications up the wazzu because of the language barrier between us and the family.
     We ended up working everything out, but M is going to the English ward instead of the Samoan wards because she doesn't learn as well in Samoan.  Its a better situation, but it also means that we aren't teaching her anymore.  The other Elders are of course very happy to have her now, but its a little bit sad to see such a Golden investigator leave.  The good news is, our relationship with the Ward Mission Leader and the Bishop wasn't hurt because of this.  Also hopefully I've learned a good lesson about keeping in contact with your investigators.
     At Church yesterday our Ward Mission Leader, Bro. Va'ili came up to us with two people to teach.  So during the second hour of church we sat down with F and P and began to teach them.  They really want to be baptized, and both have been taught by missionaries before.  They are on date to be baptized on the 18th and 25th, and we are meeting with them again tonight.  I really love our ward, they do so much missionary work its just amazing :).
     We also were teaching a less-active/recent convert family last night and we watched Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration.  The father/boyfriend? was actually interested and watched the movie with us.  We have an appointment now to start teaching him, and hopefully once the father figure is on board, the whole family will begin to be active in the church.  I'm really excited to see the changes in their lives.
     I'm really excited to talk with the whole family soon!  I'll talk with you again next week with some pictures (hopefully ^^;).
Elder Henry

Monday, December 5, 2011

First baptism and First Presidency decisions

Hi Mom!
I actually knew they lost my visa paperwork a couple weeks ago, and I don't know if they told you this but the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles actually reviewed my mission call, and it was kind of up in the air as to where I was going.  They weren't sure that I should continue on to Brazil or not, so that was a little scary for me, I didn't know where I was going for a couple weeks, but everything is worked out now.  My guess is I'll be here till about April or so.  Hopefully my Portuguese won't get too rusty.  I'm just glad that Brazil is still on the table ^^.
Also I had the educational history saved on my Computer's Hard Drive, I don't know if you've already re-typed one up or not but its there if you need it (mom note: this was the document that Damon miraculously got Michael's dead computer working to find!).  Brazillian Visas go through cycles of a couple months of fast, a couple months of slow.  From what I hear the Consulate pretty much shuts down from Christmas until post-Lent so I probably won't be seeing a visa anytime soon.  Maybe they'll expidite my visa because they lost my paperwork but I pretty much doubt it.
What time on Christmas do you want me to call?  I know its a bit early to start asking but I'm in church from 7am-1pm most sundays (I don't know if we will just be having a sacrament meeting on Christmas or if they will keep the full 3 hour block) and they prefer us to be done with phone calls by 5pm.  There are still a lot of details to be worked out on our end as well, because we'll have to cram in studies and when my companion wants to call his family but we better get planning sooner than later.
Also if you are still putting together a christmas package for me, I thought of just a couple more things that I could use.  A set of colored pencils (24 count), a set of the Missionary Reference Library (to cut down on shipping expenses you can call up the mission office and order it through them I believe since books are heavy), and I definitely need some of Mom's toffee ^^.
It's been pretty chilly down here recently, in the mornings it gets as low as 40 degrees, with highs in the 60-70's.  One thing that has really surprised me though about living down here is the sun is I still wake up to the sun every morning even though its the dead of winter.  I remember some days in middle school in Vancouver where it would get to be 8:30 or 9:00 before the sun would come up.  Every morning in So-cal is another sunny day, with the sun shining through the windows at 6:30.  Never fails.  (Rough life eh? :P)
Did you all get an oppertunity to watch the First Presidency's Christmas Devotional last night?  It was absolutely beautiful, I loved every minute of it.  Before our stake showed it, a stake choir got up and sang a bunch of Christmas Carols.  Our Ward Mission Leader was the organizer of the choir so he invited us to come up and sing with the choir.  It was the first time its really felt like Christmas :).  I really am going to miss spending this Christmas with the family though.  I'm really glad that I'll have the oppertunity to talk with you on the phone, and I can see why they allow missionaries to do so.  Otherwise we would be home sick all day long :P.
I'm sure you are all dying to hear about my first baptism yesterday, and I'm dying to tell you all about it so here it goes.  Last week we taught Ma'epu twice, but we were on exchanges one of those times, so I only had the oppertunity to teach him once.  We taught him the Word of Wisdom, Law of Chastity (10 year old edition), and the 10 commandments.  We also watched a video of the Prophet to help him to see who he is, and reviewed the Baptismal Interview Questions with him to make sure he was ready to go.  On Friday my old companion Elder Stringham (did I ever mention he's my Zone Leader now?) interviewed him for baptism.  Afterwards he told us that he was super ready to be baptised, and I was sooooo excited for the whole weekend.
Sunday finally rolled around, and 4:00pm couldn't have come slower I tell you!  We showed up at the baptism and Brother Va'ili, the Ward Mission Leader, had put together a beautiful service for Ma'epu.  There was a ward missionary choir, and a Primary Choir there to support Ma'epu.  After some songs and a speech (in the samoan wards they aren't talks, they are speeches) we went to the Baptismal Font.  Ma'epu was really excited to be baptised the whole time.  He could barely sit still in the Chapel.  Elder Galke walked into the font and baptised Ma'epu.  It was one of the happiest moments of my life.  I knew that all the sacrifices, all the hard work, all the suffering and trials I had endured up to this point in preparing and serving a mission, all of that was not in vain, because little Ma'epu was baptized.  Many missionaries have come home without ever seeing one of the people they work with baptized.  I am fortunate to have witnessed that in the first 2 months as serving as a missionary.
After Ma'epu was changed out of his wet clothes, I was anxious to see how he felt.  I will never forget his answer to my question, "How do you feel?".
He replied, "That was so much fun!  Elder Galke said I can do it again in 2 more years!  I want to do it again!"  *facepalm*  I forgot that he's 10 years old.  Regardless I feel like Ma'epu will one day also serve a mission and that he will marry in the temple, partly because I served a mission in Long Beach California.
We weren't able to meet with M last week, and she didn't come to church yesterday because her kid was sick.  Hopefully she is still reading the Book of Mormon, and will be ready to be baptized in a couple weeks.  We have to help her overcome a smoking addiction as well, so keep her in your prayers.
The family that we had Thanksgiving dinner with, the P family, we were able to meet with them last week again.  They believe that the church they are going to is not the true church, but also that no church is true.  Only the bible is the true church, so hopefully we will be able to help them feel the spirit that the Book of Mormon will bring into their lives.  We have an awesome member family that is working with them as well, and they came to our last lesson with them.  We have another appointment with them tonight so hopefully all will go well.
Finally R is doing well.  His Dad is not a member and we had a breakthrough with him last time we were over there.  He said he would like to learn more about this Joseph Smith fellow, and we were very excited to jump all over that :P.  R is scheduled to be baptized next Sunday, and hopefully all will work out with that.  He is a much slower learner than Ma'epu, but to be honest all a 9 year old needs to know is that Jesus is our Savior, and God is our Father, and to follow the commandments.  He paid his tithing yesterday for the first time so he's definitely making progress :).  Have I ever mentioned I love teaching children the Gospel?  Its so much fun because all you have to do is teach true doctrine, and they will excersize their faith on that doctrine.
One last piece of good news!  I've been keeping track, and I haven't gained a single pound in one month of serving in the Samoan wards!  Hooray XD
Thank you all for everything you do.  I'm so happy to recieve letters from home and friends about how their lives are doing.
Love, Elder Henry
"My shoes area already dying" (glad he is working hard!)

Ma'epu, Elder Galke and Myself ready for his Baptism!

Ma'epu, his Grandparents, Elder Galke and Myself

Monday, November 28, 2011

Letter from Elder Henry 11/28/11

Dear Mom,

 That is an awful strange combination.  That is a huge zone!  Unless missionaries are doubling up on wards like they did when I left.  Of course my entire mission is probably about the size of Vancouver :P, so my idea of geography is a little distorted. (He was replying to my note that we don't have the Zone Leaders anymore and the zone is up to Woodland)  I've officially decided that there is no way I'm going to live in city limits for the rest of my life.  City life just is not all its cracked up to be.  Everything is crowded, you have to worry about crime, there isn't any nature to enjoy, there are people everywhere who could care less about you, and in all there really aren't any upsides.  It takes just as long, and just as much gas to get to the grocery store, as it did for me back home.  I'm happy to serve my mission here, but I'm definitely not enjoying city life as much as I thought I would.  I guess I always had kind of a magical sense of what it would be like to live in the city.  But that dream has been crushed by reality :P.

I didn't take any pictures this past week for no good reason other than its hard to find time to take some.  I'm definitely going to try and take some this week (especially today being P-day), and I'll try to get some with my Investigators as well.

That's crazy to think both Steven and Brittany are home from their missions!  I can not believe how fast time goes.  Fortunately I still have lots of time to enjoy my mission :P.
I'm glad to hear we destroyed the Beavers yet again.  Not that I had any doubts, but it's always good to hear the news ^^. 

I live in a really nice part of town, but there are a couple of Elder's that live in East Rancho Dominguez, that cover the Spanish area for Compton, and they are in much more danger.  We heard them talking about gun shots going off outside their apartment complex, and another person was telling us their cousin was killed this last Thursday right in their neighborhood.  So I'm counting my blessings for living so far outside the Ghetto areas of our area.

I'm going to send a Christmas wish-list at the end of this E-mail to give you some idea of things to send.  It isn't an exhaustive list, just some things I've scribbled down during the week, and also I can live without any of these things.  I just wanted to give you some idea of what to send since I would have no idea what a missionary wants :P.

This week has been another great week in the mission field.  We were able to meet with all three of our investigators that are going to be baptized soon, and they all seem solid as ever.  I don't understand it, I worked my tail off in Huntington Beach, and I come over into this area and I don't even have to work to get these people to keep commitments.  They are just ready to be baptized.  The members found them, they were prepared by God, and then we just show up to complete the picture.  It made me realize a couple of things:

1.  Missionaries are far from the only ones who convert people to the gospel.  We do our best to find people, and to help people to understand the importance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but there are a lot more people involved then I first realized.

2.  Callings are not a hobby.  They are callings from Heavenly Father and they deserve our full attention to magnifying them.  One of the reasons we are seeing so much success is because our Ward Mission Leader, Brother Va'ili, is on top of things.  He has a band of about 30-40 ward missionaries and they find people to teach, they invite people to church, they do everything they can as if they were full-time missionaries just with less time to find people.  When they find and prepare people to hear the Gospel everything works out perfectly.

3.  You can do your best, but things don't always go the way you want them to.  The fact of the matter is sometimes things just don't work even though you put your heart and soul into it.  It's important to understand in these situations that its not your fault, and we shouldn't seek to blame others either.  Just continue to do your best and hopefully you learn from what went wrong and you can do it better the next time.

I know you were complaining about others not giving specifics.  So here are some of the stories of my investigators.

Ma'epu (10) - Ma'epu is by far my favorite investigator of all time.  I love to see him, and he always makes me feel like I'm doing my job as a missionary because he is always so happy.  He has been reading everyday and came to church again yesterday.  Everything is set up for his baptism next week, and I'm way excited ^^.  There really isn't much more to tell because he's so easy to teach, we just show up, talk, and make sure he understands.  He always surprises me by how much he can comprehend :).  He's going to be an awesome missionary one day.

R (9) - Robert loves the missionaries.  This past week I didn't get to meet with him because we went on exchanges, but we went by later in the week to see if we could teach him, and his Mom wasn't home.  We turned away to leave and he looked so sad as if he had done something wrong!  He was so excited to talk with us that when we weren't able to stay for very long he was incredibly disappointed.  He wasn't at church yesterday, but I'm thinking his Mom might have been gone with family this past week or something so he didn't have a ride.  We'll have to arrange something for when she isn't there so he can still make it to Primary and Sacrament.

M (20's) - Maria has just completely surprised me, not because I didn't think she would read the Book of Mormon, but because I've never actually had an investigator follow through on their commitments.  She has been reading the Book of Mormon and is really enjoying it, she also was at church yesterday.  She probably won't be baptized this Sunday because we've only taught her twice and she has a smoking problem.  She has amazing faith though, and I'm excited to see the changes in her in the coming weeks :).  Maria was a referral from our ward mission leader, Bro. Va'ili that the Ward Missionaries found.  We would never have found her otherwise, and she is ready to make covenants with the Lord to improve her life.  She has a lot of questions, and the Book of Mormon has all the answers.

One of the young men also brought two investigators to Church this Sunday, and we were able to talk with them a little bit.  They live out of our mission, so we won't be teaching them, but still good things happen when we just have the courage to invite a friend to come to church.  That's one thing Samoans are great at, inviting people to come with them to church, and as you can see it is working miracles.

The only other thing that happened last week was Thanksgiving.  We didn't have a huge dinner like we had planned.  In fact we only ate with one Samoan family and they aren't even members.  All the other Samoans were at large family gatherings outside our area, so we couldn't attend.

I'm very grateful for this Thanksgiving though.  As I mentioned before the people who invited us in for Thanksgiving weren't members.  We had only met them once before, and they invited us to come over (as Samoans are prone to do) for dinner.  We came into the house and all the lights were off.  It was about 5 or 6 in the evening so the sun was just about set, and there was really no light.  This poor family live in Government Housing, and the power had gone out for half the complex.

At the table was a very small turkey, a big bowl of potato salad, and some stuffing.  The rest of the family had just finished eating, and so we came in and sat down to eat with them.  We only had a flashlight for light to see where our food was, and she began to tell us about how she had bought the turkey.  The week before they didn't know if they would have enough money for a turkey, or a thanksgiving dinner.  Then someone from one of the local Churches came by and gave her a 40$ gift card to a grocery store, for thanksgiving.  She went a purchased the turkey, and a sack of potatoes, some eggs, and fixings for stuffing, as well as a very small Pecan pie.

The Turkey had next to no meat on it, and the stuffing was made from the turkey's gizzards, but that dinner tasted better than I have ever eaten before.  This woman, though she was not a member of our faith, knew that she needed to give.  We were very hungry, and no one had taken us in because they were busy with other things, but she was not.  She had nothing to give, yet still gave us of her food and her prized pecan pie.  Sitting there in an unlit room, with the smallest turkey you've ever seen, I truly saw someone who showed their faith in Christ.   I will never forget her, or her generosity towards two young missionaries, with no family and no food, knowing that as a disciple of Jesus Christ she needed to help others no matter her circumstances.

We have an appointment to teach her today, but I don't think I could ever do anything to repay the kindness she showed me on that Thanksgiving day.

Thank you all for your warm wishes and love,
~Elder Henry


A new watch, professional looking ( I prefer analog clocks, but will be happy with a watch :P)
New Ties!
A Scripture Case
A set of colored pencils

Some Music CD's:
The Garden by Michael McLean & Bryce Neubert
One or Two Christmas CD's
A MoTab CD
and any others you might think would be good.  The only guidelines are they have to be something that you feel the spirit while listening to, they have to draw your thoughts closer to Christ, and help you to focus on the work.  Deseret Book has a couple of good selections and I'm sure Seagull books will have some good ones as well.  If you burn me a CD make sure it's an audio CD not an MP3 CD, because MP3 CD's won't work in our cars.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Elder Henry 11/21/11 from Samoan Compton California

Hey Dad,
I'm glad Granny got to you guys safe and sound :).  Sounds like she might be stuck with you for a good amount of time.  Tell her thank you for the letters she sent, I really enjoy hearing from her.
      That's crazy that the kids have the whole week off.  I was just telling my companion yesterday that back in Vancouver, we only get Wednesday-Friday off, but apparently the times have changed.  They just don't make kids like they used to anymore :P.
I'm really grateful that you and Mom have always been such an awesome example to me.  You have no idea how many times I tell a story in a lesson of when I saw my Mother and Father keeping God's commandments and they were blessed.  Your faithfulness is blessing the lives of the people I'm serving, not just because I am on a mission, but because I have the opportunity to share with them what happens when you do as God has commanded.
     Its funny you should mention the rain.  It doesn't happen very often here, but it did yesterday and believe me it was the FUNNIEST thing I have ever seen.  People literally are terrified of the rain down here.  We got a light sprinkle all day long, and everyone was driving 5 MPH under the speed limit, people missed church because it was too wet outside, the whole city shut down because of it.  It was like there was a foot of snow out on the ground, city streets were completely empty.  Seriously I was laughing very very very hard on the inside.  Oh and everyone was using an umbrella, like if you got touched by the rain you would melt into a puddle or something.  My companion is equally afraid of the rain and was very concerned when I refused to use an umbrella :P.
     It's back to the 70's and sunny today, but I really enjoy seeing the rain come down, because it always reminds me of home.  Our mission president has given us permission to just hang out with members all day after we finish our meetings on Thursday.  So from about 2-9pm we will be hoping from thanksgiving dinner to thanksgiving dinner and spending time with the members.  Best way to spend the holidays is with your friends and family :)
     I love you lots,
Elder Henry
P.S. My Mission President loves me, and of course that's mutual. 

Dear Mom,
     I'm really excited to be here in the Samoan wards.  It's been a blast recently and we have quite a few baptisms in the works so that is really exciting :).  I've been trying to watch my waist-line and I did a fair job of it in the MTC, but it will definitely be a struggle.
     Which wards did Brother McCausland serve in?  We live in the nice area of Long Beach, and we don't proselyte when all the gangs are out and about.  To be honest though, there are two big gangs in Compton/Paramount, and they are both Samoan gangs that make sure the Missionaries go unharmed.
     I have received both of Julia's letters.  I'm really happy to hear all about the ward doing so well without me.  I'm especially excited because Sister Brown is excited I'm trying to learn Samoan.  It's definitely a very different language from Portuguese and English, but a different strange from Japanese.  It is a really fun language to speak though :).
     That is a huge bummer about the Ducks losing to USC.  Oh well it happens from time to time, but we all know that the Ducks are the Best ;).  One of the members here is moving up to Pullman to play for WSU, and he played on the same high school team as Kenny Rowe (sp?), so that was fun to talk with him about.  There are a couple Duck fans to talk to here and there.
     I do study Portuguese for an hour a day during my normal language study, and I have to study Samoan whenever I have free time.  So its really tough to balance not forgetting Portuguese and trying to cram another language into my brain ^^;
     This past week was a really good week.  We picked up two new investigators, and two of our investigators came to church yesterday!  It's always super exciting to see people actually change how they behave because they feel the spirit of the Lord.  I'm so grateful to be a missionary who gets to see this on an almost day to day basis.
     We have 3 investigators in total right now, and they all came from member referrals:
     Ma'epu is a 10 year old boy living with his grandparents.  He is such a smart kid, and he reads his Book of Mormon by himself everyday.  I absolutely love being around him because he is so eager to learn and he loves being around us.  It is really awesome to be able to work with Primary age kids, they have so much love for the people around them and they really look up to you.  He came to church for the first time in a while yesterday and is set to be baptized on December 4th.  He will probably be the first baptism of my mission because he is set to go, just needs to be taught a little more.
     M is another investigator that lives in the same apartment complex as Ma'epu in Compton.  She's in her 20's and is living with some members from the ward.  We had a first lesson with her this last week and she was really excited to learn more about the Gospel and what we had to teach.  She just kept saying in the lessons, "Just tell me more, I want to know more".  She has been through some rough times and really wants to draw closer to God.  She said she'll be baptized if she receives an answer on Dec. 4th.
     Our last investigator's name is R.  He is another Primary age boy who's family is just starting to come back to church and he needs to be baptized.  We had a first lesson with him this past week and he's a really shy boy.  He's a really funny kid because he was running up and down the stairs waiting for us to come, and then when we were teaching him he played the 'I'm too shy' game with us.  He was at church this week and he's set for baptism on Dec. 11th.
     My new companion is a whole different experience from my last set of companions.  He is a really loving person, and just shows how much he loves everyone.  He's always talking about how much he loves serving in this area, how much he's grateful to be my companion.  Very compassionate missionary who's really excited to be serving among the Samoans.
     Working in this area is really different from my last area and it can be kind of frustrating to me because it literally takes us 20 minutes to get from our apartment to Compton/Paramount/North Long Beach, where all the Samoans are.  We can't teach as many people as I would like because everyone is so spread out.  There are tons of people here waiting to hear the message of the Gospel and I just don't have enough time in the day to do it!
     I hope you all enjoy your thanksgiving break.  I know I'll be missing sharing it with all of you, but I have a lot of friends here who need me right now.  I'll let you know if I survived all the food for Thanksgiving next week.
Lots of Love,
Elder Henry

Monday, November 7, 2011

Letter from Elder Henry 11/7/11

One of our favorite families in the ward the Nichols and the three of us.

One of our investigators, B, and Elder Stringham on Oct. 30th.

My Zone Leader Elder Bateman roasting Marshmallows over a burning magazine (in a safe contained fire pit)

One of the members prepared a really yummy japanese dish, that had an awesome Japanese name that I can't remember.  He did call them Japanese pancakes though, and they were delicious ^^

My zone at the last transfer

My new companion Elder Chadwick is from Kentucky, and he is an amazing missionary.  He is kind, patient, caring, and direct.  He knows how to teach, and does it very well.  Seriously if you were to take a model Preach My Gospel missionary and make it into a human being, you have Elder Chadwick.  He was a zone leader last transfer and he knows how to lead out in the companionship, but also works hard on making sure that Elder Mathews and I are learning too.  He practices with us to help us to improve and has really helped me as a missionary this past week.
He went to BYU before coming out into the field, and will be back this Winter semester.  He's 5'11" so a little bit too short for Sherry ;).  He's studying to go into law school, and is a very driven person.
Elder Mathews on the other hand is very much the opposite kind of person.  He's from Spanish Fork, Utah and is bouncing off the walls energetic.  He has a huge heart.  He's very motivated to improve himself, and loves to play Rugby.  He went to Snow College before his mission and wants to be a Criminal Profiler for the FBI.  As typical with Utahns he's anti-BYU :P.
This past week has been absolutely amazing for missionary work!  I don't even know where to begin XD.  So you are going to get a play by play missionary style! (the parenthesis are the ages of the investigators so you get a better idea of who they are)
B (77) - Last week B came with us to the departing missionary farewell and that went pretty good.  We did service for him and sat down and gave him a bit of a spiritual thought.  At the end we invited him to resume learning more about the Gospel, and he accepted the invitation!  We weren't able to teach him other than the thought last week, but he surprised me by showing up to Church yesterday!!!  I couldn't believe B was sitting down in the pews.  The Ward really reached out to him and made him feel welcome to Church.  In fact we were in a PEC meeting when he got to church, and one of the members noticed that he looked a little lost, so he went up to him introduced himself and got him a seat in the chapel to wait for us.  It was an amazing experience to have him at Church.
L and V (50's) - V is our Romanian investigator, and L is really holding him back.  She's very much set in her ways, otherwise we would see V coming to church for sure.  We met with him last week and read 1 NE 3 with him.  Hopefully he begins to read on his own, but the prospects look slim.  He's a very very nice man, just trying to push through some challenges right now, especially financially.  He offered us some shark meat this past week, and we didn't really have any idea how to cook it, so he said he'll fix it up for us next time we come by.  He has a heart as big as the ocean itself.
G (30) - G we met with two weeks ago and have been having a hard time meeting with him ever since.  He promised to read the whole Book of Mormon by Oct 28th, but still has yet to crack it open.  Hopefully we will be able to meet with him again, and he will begin to read the Book of Mormon.
K (22) - K is a Polynesian we met on the street last week and asked if he would be interested in learning more about the Gospel.  He invited us back and we had an awesome first lesson with him.  He said that he wanted to start going to church and that he hadn't been to any church in 9 years.  We haven't been able to get a hold of him for a couple of days, but I'm sure we'll be able to get a hold of him soon.
J (20) - J is a new investigator we found by showing up to an appointment with a woman named K L who lives in the same house.  K wasn't there and J answered the door.  She invited us to come back on Saturday at 3:15, and we had a first lesson on her porch.  She just texted us this morning and she said she has read the introduction to the Book of Mormon, and part of the Book of Nephi!  She wasn't able to come to Church yesterday because of work, but she accepted the Baptismal invitation for Nov. 26th.  We will be meeting with her this Thursday again so hopefully all will continue to go well with her.  So she in herself was a miracle, but there is a double miracle to this story which I'll talk about a little later.
S (17) - S is a young woman who just turned 17 years old.  She is good friends with a lot of the Young Woman in the ward who have brought her to Church for about 4 weeks in a row.  Last week they introduced us to her and we set up an appointment to teach her on Tuesday of last week.  She accepted the lesson well, and we invited her to be baptized on Nov 19th.  She was very surprised because it was so soon, and her Mom had some reservations about her being baptized before she was 18.  We were pretty excited about this, but this Sunday was a true miracle.
Yesterday, S came to Church after we had arranged a ride for her.  She was sitting in fast and testimony meeting and then turned to Sis. Davidson (the member that she had come to church with) and asked if she could go up.  We were sitting a couple rows back and we saw her walk up to the podium.  We weren't quite sure what to expect because we had only met her once, so we sat a little bit anxiously.  There were 3-4 people in front of her, and eventually it was her turn to go.  Her friend T stood by her for comfort, and she bore her testimony in Church.  In front of everyone.  It was a beautiful testimony about how she had seen when she was involved with church activities her life seem to go better.  She had more patience for the bad, she had more peace in her life, she got along better with her mom, the things she struggled with weren't as much of a struggle.  She also talked about how when she wasn't coming to church life was harder for her, and that she wanted to be a member.  She then talked about her baptismal date of Nov 19th and how excited she was to continue learning and to be baptized.  I couldn't believe my ears, the three of us missionaries got huge grins on our faces that were there for the rest of the meeting.  I have never seen such an amazing event happen ever before in missionary work.  I still can't believe how fortunate I was to witness this.  By the way this was the same meeting B was in, so hopefully he felt the power of her testimony ;).
We also had an amazing experience with one of the recently activated members in the ward.  His name is P, and I think I might have mentioned him before.  He's 20 years old, and a gamer, sound familiar?  He just received the Aaronic Priesthood about a month ago, and has just taken off in terms of progression.  When I first met him, he was embarrassed to share his testimony, or even say a prayer aloud.
We met with him last Friday, and had planned on teaching him Family History.  We figured that with his extensive use of the computer that maybe we could talk him into doing some Family History work to help him be a little bit more productive with his use of time.  Near the end of the lesson, we were inviting him to go to the Family History Center, and I was prompted to bear my testimony of how Missionary Work and Family History work was the same work, and that when he found those names and took them to the Temple it would be the same as if we found people to teach and baptize.  He then walked over to the bathroom, and began drying tears from his eyes.  I had never seen P so emotional before, and he then related an experience of how he was praying last night to his Heavenly Father as to what he should do with his life, where he needed to go.  He knew that he needed to go and do something but was unsure where to find it.  He also told us that he probably wouldn't be able to serve a mission because of some emotional problems.  Then we knocked on his door the next day and there we were, giving him that opportunity to work, and also to be a missionary.  I was so happy to be an answer to one of Heavenly Father's children, I have no doubt in my mind that we were led there to share that answer with him.  When we are listening to the small promptings of the Holy Ghost that's when we see these miracles happen.
Saturday P came out with us to teach J.  I was pretty nervous because P had expressed concern with even sharing a testimony, but he was excited to be with us so I hoped for the best.  Towards the end of the lesson P bore his testimony about the Book of Mormon, and how it had changed his life.  I was so excited that P had been able to overcome his fears.
Sunday P then proceeded to impress me once again by getting up and bearing his testimony in front of the whole ward!  He was amazing, my mind was absolutely blown by his courage to face his fears and to get up in testimony meeting.
Other than that, things have been pretty regular around here.  The weather has been getting pretty chilly, it stays about 60 degrees nowadays and we have been having some pretty (minor) rainstorms.  I am loving the oppertunity I have to serve here in Huntington Beach.
I love you all, thank you for all the letters :)
Love,  Elder Henry

Monday, October 31, 2011

Letter from Elder Henry, pics of the girls

Dear Mom,
YAY!!!  That's awesome that Trevor was baptized!!  There is no better news to a missionary then that of a baptism in a former area with someone you worked with.  I'm so glad that everything worked out for him.
I'm still here in Huntington Beach 1st and Pierside wards.  My address is the same as before, and anyone who was worried that I might not have gotten their letters, I sent out the news that I would be transfered a week early.  Transfers aren't until tomorrow, sorry if that confused anyone.
Speak of Transfers my trainer, Elder Stringham is being transfered to Long Beach, and Elder Mathews and I are staying.  We'll be recieving a new companion Elder Chadwick tomorrow.  He's supposed to be one of the best missionaries in the mission, so I'm super excited.
My Portuguese is officially ruined.  I was talking to a member in the ward in Portuguese yesterday and he said, how is the work going, which is a super easy phrase and I still couldn't understand him.  I'm not too worried though, once I get to Brazil I'll pick things back up pretty quick.  So far as Visa's go, the two other visa waiters who came out with me to Long Beach both got their Visas, so they are in Brazil right now.  I'm half jealous, half excited because at least visas seem to be picking up in speed.  My guess though is I'll be in Long Beach through 2011.  Which isn't a bad thing, by the way ;).  I'm super excited to spend the holidays with the ward here :D.
That's awesome that Tori won the contest!  You'll definitely have to send me Photo's :).  I also love the picture she sent me.  Sorry my handwriting is poor Tori, I'll work on that for you, or you can always send me e-mails, and that way you can read them.
I'm stuck down here in Trojan country so its hard to get updates about the Ducks.  From what I hear though this week we play Stanford and that (pretty much) decides who's going to be the Top Dog of the PAC-12.  So thank you for all the updates :).
I forgot my SD-Card to USB stick so no pictures this week, I'm sorry :(.  I've been taking pictures though so you will get some next week, and you'll get to see my new companion.
This past week was a bit of a mixed bag.  We've been recieving tons of referrals, but have a hard time contacting them, so we didn't teach as many lessons as I would have liked.  I also had my first disaster of a lesson last week, which I guess happens to all missionaries at one point or another.  I was teaching by myself because we were on splits with a new investigator.  Her name is J, and her boyfriend S is a member.  She felt really uncomfortable, and stopped me at the end of the lesson.  The member S got pretty upset with Elder Stringham because he sent a newbie to teach the lesson.
I've tried my hardest to learn from this trial, and its pretty rough when you are getting a verbal rebuke from a member but part of humility is being able to accept criticism, even when its not very constructive.  The important part about the lesson is that I did my very best, and the spirit was really strong in the lesson.  I certainly can improve my teaching skills, and I will throughout my mission, but for now all I can give is what I have.
Not to be a downer on anyone's day, I want you all to know that I'm really happy out here.  Some really awesome things happened this last week as well.  For instance, B one of our former investigators that we have been doing service for, really is starting to warm back up to us.  Yesterday he came with us to a departing missionary farewell, and he really enjoyed that.  Hopefully he will want to resume having us teach as well as serve him, but I think that we will just continue to do as Ammon and serve until he comes to us.
We also picked up a new investigator last week.  His name is G, and I don't know all that much about him.  I wasn't in the lesson with him, but what I do know is that he promised to read the whole Book of Mormon by last Friday.  Hopefully he did, but we will see.  It's always fun to have new people to teach.  One thing I'm really grateful for is the amount of time we get to sit down with just us and the investigators.  It's awesome to meet new people and try and share the gospel with them.
We also had a less active come to the family history center with us last week.  I think I might of mentioned Bro. H before in my E-mails (if I haven't he's an older man 80's who's an inactive member of the church).  He absolutely loved coming and doing family history work!  He had a great experience and he's opened up a lot more to us after that.  He's also told us why he doesn't come to church, and hopefully we'll be able to work through that with him.
I think that's the highlights of the week, no baptisms yet, but I feel them coming soon.  I think that the next two months will be some of the best months of my mission.  The work here is doing great.  I hope everyone at home is taking the time to be a good missionary ;)
I'm so grateful for all your letters and support, it means the world to me to recieve letters from you guys :).
Elder Henry
P.S.  Mission President is making us stay in for Halloween this year.  How crazy is that?  Apparently Mormon Missionaries are supposed to be a big costume this year, so President doesn't want us getting mixed up for fakes.  I hope we get trick-or-treaters tonight :).

Here is Tori in her Halloween costume, she actually won a prize at our Ward Party, it was the first time she's ever won anything and she was so excited!
Here are a couple more photos of Sherry at BYU with the best roommates a mom could ever hope for her daughter!  

Sherry is the tall one of the group...she can thank her Dad for those genes!  Happy Halloween!

Sherry and her roommates Emily (L) and Hannah (R) after running the Parents Weekend 5K.  It was Sherry's first ever race and she placed 6th out of the 150 or so women!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Oct. 24th Letters and Photos from Mike

Photo from a half mission conference Long Beach Mission, Michael is in the second row, fourth from the right.

Dear Mom,  
     Sunday's are by far the best day of the week.  Since we cover two wards we get to go to 2 sacrament meetings, and 5 hours total of church.  It's so awesome going to church as a Missionary, because it is your responsibility and calling to go and meet all the people you don't know in the ward.  We had an awesome sacrament meeting yesterday in the Pierside Singles Ward, where the bishop got up and asked people to come up and share with us their favorite hymn, and a quick testimony about that hymn.  Then the congregation would sing the first verse of the hymn.  It was amazing!  The spirit was so strong in that meeting, Hymns are just an amazing way to feel closer to our Savior and Heavenly Father.
     We had an interesting thing happen to us yesterday at church though.  There was a non-member who was there and loved all three meetings at church.  We were thinking AWESOME!!!  Golden investigator.  The catch is he's Muslim and from Egypt, and right now we can't teach people from Egypt, because their lives might be in danger if their family heard that they were thinking of switching religions.  Hopefully things will get worked out, because he really loves church.
     I really have no idea what's going on in politics at the moment.  It's crazy to think I'm in the middle of California and yet I have no idea what's going on in the world!
     So MK our favorite investigator went through another rough time last week.  She got fired from her job, and so she moved back to San Jose, California.  We are forwarding her onto the missionaries up there and hopefully she will be baptized up there, but she's out of our hands now.  Its sad to see our best investigator go through so much opposition trying to get to baptism.
     We do have one investigator who is progressing though :).  V had another lesson this past week and is reading the Book of Mormon.  We should be having another lesson this week with him.  Hopefully his wife will come around as well, she's going to be the real struggle, because she's happy where she is at.  Hopefully the Lord will work some magic with her.
     We also have a lot of people with a lot of potential to start teaching so hopefully some more people will be coming our way.  I'll tell you what though, when I get to Brasil, I'm really going to appreciate how many people I'll be able to teach ^^;.
     I had a really cool experience this past week.  We went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders, and they are in the Spanish area.  Well my trainer decided to send me to their area because, "it would be good for your Portuguese".  Man was I terrified!  But I got to the area and a prayed that I would be able to understand and participate in the work there, I didn't want to just sit there and be useless for 24 hours.  During all the lessons we had with the Spanish speakers I was able to understand everything they said.  Portuguese is pretty similar to Spanish, but I don't really speak all that much Portuguese, but the Lord took what little I did know and magnified it so that I was able to understand Spanish.  I'm really thankful for the gifts of the spirit, and I know that without Heavenly Father's help I wouldn't have been able to understand very much at all.
     Well I'm happy everything is going well on the home front.  Good luck with the Job, I'm really grateful for the sacrifice you are making so that I can be out here.  I love you all so much, thanks to everyone who has sent me letters.  I will try and write back as soon as possible, but P-days are SUPER busy, so please understand if you don't get one back quickly.
Elder Henry
Also this week is transfers, so send all your letters to the mission office instead of my apartment this week.  I'll send you my new address if I get transferred.  The Mission office address is:
 Elder Michael J. Henry
6500 E Atherton St.
Long Beach, CA 90815

Hey Dad,

This week was a little bit rough, but it ended on a good note which always kind of wipes away any bad feelings.  We spent a lot of time last week trying to find new people, and we are getting a lot of people who could have potential.  Hopefully we will find some new people to teach soon.
     We get to go to the Ward Trunk-or-Treat this weekend and I'm SUPER stoked!  I really love to two wards I'm in and I'm hoping I don't get transfered this week because I finally am getting to know the members and making relationships with them.  I feel like we are on the verge of a huge surge of investigators, and hopefully baptisms.  It's super exciting to be here right now.
     I really like the Road to Damascus talk.  Paul is my hero when it comes to being an awesome missionary.  He's such an amazing example of how important it is to talk to everyone and always be moving to find new people to teach and baptize.
     I actually haven't played basketball since I left the MTC.  P-days are really busy for us because we have to drive other missionaries around so they can buy groceries and the like.  Although today we have a sporting activity so maybe we will play some Basketball.
     I don't know if you remember how much it means to have members feed you, but I think it is always one of my top 3 things I look forward to in my day.  I love being able to meet with the members and eat food :D.
     I'm really excited to go to Brasil, and I actually met someone this past week who served a mission in Porto Alegre back in 1978-1980.  It was a ton of fun talking to him about how he had to wait in the MTC for his visa, but how awesome it was down there.  The most important part though is not to waste a single day of my mission, regardless of where I am.  I never want to look back on my mission and think I didn't give it my all.
     I'm glad things are going well, I better e-mail mom before I run out of time.  I love you dad, thanks for all your support,
Elder Henry

Elder Henry (right) with his MTC District at the Provo Temple.

 There is picture of a can of Bird's nest drink that I tried, which is a drink that they make in Asia from a bird that gathers up all sorts of stuff into the nest.  Then they take the nest and make it into a drink, it was quite... interesting.
 My District at the MTC, with my Professor Irmao Villanova

  MTC District with Professor Irma Gonzales

My companions in our NOW clean (thanks to Elder Henry) apartment You would be so proud of me, I came into the apartment and I have been cleaning it bit by bit until its up to Mom(ish) standards.  It was a pig-sty when I first came in.

Friday, October 21, 2011

BYU Photos

A million reasons why BYU is the most wonderful place to send your children to college.

Click on the link to see pics of the first part of Sherry's freshman year.  (Sure wish Mike would've taken photos of his freshman year!).