Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Hello Everyone!!!

Hey, so this week was super cool! We started talking to this guy on the street who called us over nd found out he had met with missionaries 2 years earlier.  We were able to go over on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights and have lessons with him and teach him more about the church.  He told us some super cool things that happened to him since he had been talking to us. He has a very strong testimony on the power of prayer. He told us about one experience he had this week.  He had been having chest pain and hadn't been taking his medicine for it. He told us the next lesson the next day that he had taken his pills and then began to pray and he has not had any problems with it all week now! It was awesome!

We also got together as a whole mission on Sunday night and had a mission president devotional. There were 2 recent converts who spoke to us.  One of them had actually just been baptized earlier that day. The other one spoke about being called to a position in the High Priest Quorum just a few short months after his baptism.  He said it helped him become stronger and feel needed in the church! It was awesome. 

On Monday we went to the mission home early in the morning and had an all day thing at the church building right there next to it.  There were speakers and lots of musical numbers followed by Santa coming and a testimony meeting.  To end it we had a big FHE together which was super cool to be able to get to know everyone a little bit better! Oh, and Kaleb May, the Elder I met in the MTC who became such a great friend--I hadn't seen him in the full 5 months I have been out until this week so I was super happy to be reunited with my good buddy this week! It was awesome! 

Then, today we went to the Mesa Temple as a mission and did a session and then took a big picture as a mission! It is so cool there because there are orange and grapefruit trees all over the grounds and the gardeners said for us to go and pick some of them since they are ripe around Christmas here! It was awesome and I really enjoyed it!

There is also something that is super cool going on in January that we were told about yesterday as well. Elder Holland is going to be down here in AZ to meet with the college kids and then we were told that he wants to come to all of the AZ missions and speak to all of us in person! I am so excited, and everybody else is as well, because who doesn't love Elder Holland!

I live in a safe area now, and it is really nice. It is a little bit weird because in my last area, Maryvale, we always heard sirens and gunshots and then the helicopter going overhead, and now that I am in Ahwatukee there is none of that. CULTURE SHOCK!!! But, if we do hear sirens then we know that someone's cat got stuck in a tree or something! :) Ahwatukee isn't quite on the Reservation but if we go south of our apartment at all then we are on the reservation! I just found that out this week! But yeah! Super excited to give you guys a call soon! 

Love you all tons and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Elder Wallentine

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Hello Everyone!!!
Man, this week has been a little bit crazy, and I am so glad that you sent that package to my new address instead of the old one.  I was a little worried about that! :)  Thank you so much for all of the things that you and the fam does to keep my head up high and happy! The Mission is for sure not easy from what I can already tell, but I am already growing in so many ways that it is hard to count! Although it might just be that I am getting fatter! hahaha

This past week has been super fun! We went to transfer meeting on Wednesday, and both me and the last companion I trained were called again to be trainers.  We both attended another meeting on Friday for the new missionaries! At the transfer meeting I had a really cool experience! President Toone told us (the trainers) to tell something that our trainers did with us that we liked! I stood up and said that my trainer (Elder Forson) was always happy and, no matter what, he always stayed positive rather than getting down on things. Then President Toone looked at me and said that the reason he called me to be a trainer again with a special assignment is because of my positive attitude! It was really awesome for me to hear that and helps me want to live up to the reputation others have of me.  It has really helped me to be able to stay happy and positive all of the time!

Other than that, I love my new companion and know that we will become great friends throughout the time that we serve here in Ahwatukee together! Oh,  there is a family moving from the ward that I am in right now to Idaho!!! She spoke yesterday in church so afterward I immediately went and asked where in Idaho she was going and she said Meridian! So, I said for her to look out for my family up there!! It's kind of funny hearing of people moving up there because sometimes I forget that I am not there right now! hahaha  But, I am having a super good time down here and, although some people are harder to talk to than others, the gospel will be available for everybody and I know that no matter what goes on with us in life, the gospel is always here to help us out!!! Well, I love you and can't wait for all the letters and the package!
Elder Wallentine

Oh, and by the way, I HAVE A CAR NOW!!!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Hello Everyone!!!
Hey, so Thanksgiving was awesome this year, although it was a little bit hard being away from all of the family and friends back home.  I thought it would be a lot harder  and that I would feel homesick, but it was really good for me.  We were able to go over to some members houses for dinner and they did a really good job at making me feel right at home. One of the people that we baptized--a mother and a daughter--had us over for dinner.  The 10 year old daughter always tells us she looks to me and my companion as if we were her older brothers! It was so cool!  We also went over to the first counselor's house for dinner, and they fed us very well, too!  We had ham, turkey, stuffing, potatoes, pie, cheesecake, and sweat potatoes! :) I did miss your famous sweet potato stuff though because that is my absolute favorite!!! But it was awesome!

The interview with the Ipads was really cool and interesting. We went in and did an assessment on how well it is working and the things that they should change to be able to make them work a little bit better in missionary work. So far I love the Ipads because it is a lot easier to be able to stay organized and then we don't have to bike all the way over to the library every day to be able to get on Facebook. Facebook is working really well for me even though some days it is a little bit slower, but I have been teaching some people online and it is really good for me to be able to have the opportunity to not only share with people that I talk to here, but also to the whole entire world!!! I am so happy about that!

Other than that it has been a pretty good week we went over to a lot of members houses and really got to know them all a little bit better! As we did that we could see miracles happening and more people began to talk to us and were interested in what we have to say. It is amazing how things happen even in the ways that you would least expect it.

So transfer calls were last night, and I am being transferred out to a new area and training a missionary who has been out for 1 transfer so far! It will be super fun and I am super excited, although I will miss all of the people that are here in the ward in Maryvale. This ward has been super good to me and I am super happy that I was able to meet so many new friends in the ward that I would have never met if I wasn't here for this time!!! That is kind of weird to think about how different it could have been if I would have been 19 out here in the field. hahaha

Well, I look forward to hearing from you guys soon and hopefully the package makes it to me okay! I told dad in his email like everything that i need for Christmas! Sweaters, Ties, my Nike socks from back home, and really anything you guys want to send me!!! Other than that, I told him that my shoes are really HOLE-EE now! :) hahaha Thank you so much for all that you guys do to help me out and I am so glad that you guys had a good Thanksgiving! I love you all tons!!!
Elder Wallentine

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Hello Everybody!
Hey there! So this week was a pretty crazy week as well. It was pretty busy and it was just so stressful it felt like. But now looking back on it, it is weird because I can't ever seem to pick out what was so stressful! :) Oh well maybe that's a good thing at times. But, the baptism this week went amazing! It was a really cool experience that she chose me to baptize her and I was so grateful for the opportunity! The room had such a strong spirit during the baptism, and I am so happy that I am able to have those experiences!

The beginning of the week was pretty good and I was able to go on exchanges to a different area. It was really fun to be able to see how the other area was and how it was only 1 1/2 square miles! :) It was so much easier to get around, but I love the area that I am in for sure!

I don't remember what day this happened but it was sometime between Wednesday and Saturday that my companion's bike broke. The chain was rubbing on something so we had to go a little bit slow it would not break. That was a little crazy.  We are going to get it fixed at the next transfer meeting if we end up going. For now he is borrowing the Zone Leader's bike.

I've met some people who make me grateful for the manners I learned growing up.  Me and my companion were riding around and passed a bald man and a lady.  When I asked, "How are you doing today?" the man said, "Better than you!" If you know me at all I could not let that go and stopped and said,  "Really, how are you doing better?" Then he said, "Oh man I should have just kept my mouth shut."  He told me I was on a bike doing Mormon stuff and so I explained that I loved what I was doing.  I told him to have a good day, but it is hard for me to believe people can say rude things.  

So, my companion's mom is always sending him packages and tons of stuff since his dad used to own a sports clothes company. So this time she sent him a package with 2 Nike shirts that say "Many are called few are chosen" on the front! They are so cool and it is so awesome!!! I also really loved the package that you guys sent me with my new belt and all of the oatmeal and the candy in it! THANKS A TON! :) 

The last thing that happened this week was that last night we went over for dinner with that family again! It was super cool because the Bishop and the First Counselor and a ton of people were there as well because their daughter is heading to the MTC today to go to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania! I showed them some pictures of Jason when he was in Phili and told them some of the stories that he told us when he got back and that got her super excited!!! 

Well, thanks for doing all that you do, mom, and also thanks for teaching me how to be nice and teaching me manners early so that I can see how I can change for the better! Thanks for giving me the motivation that I needed to come out here on a mission (even though I always just wanted to be at Brenden's house), thanks for always making it such a big deal to have family time and for us to go to church and do the little things right. Also, thank you so much for all of the support you are continuing to give me while I am out here!
Thank you and I love you tons,

Elder Wallentine!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Hello everybody!!!

So this week has been a super crazy/hard week for me as well. This week I have been having kinda a hard time with home sickness. Just like everything that has happened has made me think of all of you guys back home and I miss it a lot. I miss coming home to meals that are already made for me at night and in the middle of the day. I miss that I was always able to find snacks no matter where I went even though It didn't always seem like it back home! :) I especially miss just being able to tell all of my family and friends what happened to me right when it happened to me. 

We got some sister missionaries in the ward taking the place of my trainer and his companion. They are super good missionaries! One of them is brand new and the other one came out a transfer right after me with my companion. On Saturday the two people we have been teaching over at that family's home were baptized and then confirmed the next day! That was a super cool experience! But then to make the week even more awesome and exciting for me, Sister Hinkle (The mom of the family we eat with on Sundays) her mom has been sitting in on the lessons for a very long time and she has been progressing in the gospel like crazy! It is so awesome to be able to see people be so happy because of the gospel! Now she is going to be getting baptized this Saturday! I also received a very surprising facebook message from her this morning. SHE WANTS ME TO BAPTIZE HER!!! :) I was so happy and I am so excited to be able to baptize Grandma! That made my week!

Anyways last night was a super spiritual experience for me and also kinda a disappointing one as well. The sisters were taking charge of the lesson this time and they chose to teach the Word of Wisdom which was awesome! I was still kind of getting used to the sisters being there other than the other elders. But I figured that I would get used to it soon. While the lesson was going on the subject of caffeine got brought up. One of the sisters was talking about it and how we should not be addicted which was completely true. However, it seemed to me that it was kinda coming off as if caffeine was a sin to be drinking so I just pointed out that it was not a sin and that I sometimes drink soda with caffeine.  One of the sisters did not like my comment and was kind of rude to me.   Oh well, I am not going to hold it against her!  Anyways I am super excited that I was able to be at the baptism on Saturday and that I will be able to help with the baptism this weekend! IT WILL BE AMAZING!

This week we have definitely seen some awesome miracles! We were able to go over to one of the recent convert's homes this week and right across the apartment complex there was a man trying to move a couch into his apartment. We noticed that he was having a bit of a hard time and so we went to help him.  We found out that his wife is a member and he and the kids have been to church about 3 times! They are a super cool family and I am really looking forward to getting to know them a little bit better and become good friends!

I haven't really eaten anything weird over here! All of the food that the members make for us is super good and I am always super excited to get over and eat it! I love all of the people here and it is super hard when we get doors slammed in our face, but I think I am getting used to it! I am still in Maryvale in West Phoenix and it is for sure a crazy part of town. The ward has been very welcoming and they are really willing to help us out! Anyways I am so glad that I was able to write you today and I look forward to hearing back soon!
Elder Wallentine

 Brandon being "Dan Jones". . . one of the best missionaries ever!!!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Hey err'buddy!
This was a super crazy week over here because on Wednesday we had to get a ride up to Tempe to the mission home for a big meeting. We ended up getting iPads that day which was super AWESOME!!! However, now we are putting everything from the big book of people that we have taught into the iPads. It was taking forever, but we found out that when we have internet (like in the church buildings) we can just talk into the iPad and update everything.  That makes it go a lot faster! Using iPads is so much easier now because we can be talking about a video and just pull it up right there and show it which really helps us out a lot.

The day before we got iPads, I went on exchanges with the District Leader, Elder Francis, and we were in a ward called the Trailside Ward. When I got there,  we did our studies and everything and then we went out and contacted some people. Most of the people were not home so we went out and visited some members,  and they were super cool!  One of them was a professional cheesecake maker.  Another were recent converts and their daughter brought out this little baby doll that had a zombie face on it.  It was super scary.  Then we visited the ward mission leader and we had snow cones and stuff over there!  It was awesome!  

While we were there this other member, who was a body builder, said that for a while he ate nothing but spinach, mustard, and tuna which sounded really weird. So, me and Elder Francis had to give it a try. However, we decided to take it to the next level and blend it all up and then add some protein powder to it! BAD IDEA!!! We then had a little challenge to see who could get it down and both of us did it just fine, but we had a bad taste in our mouths for the rest of the night. 

We have been meeting with a family every Sunday for dinner and they are so awesome! Yesterday Sister Hinkle (the mom in the family) and a lot of her kids--including one of the family friends who is being baptized this week--got up and bore their testimony and it was super cool. That was also the first time that Sister Hinkle's mom had been to our church, and it was super fun to have her there! When we went over for dinner, we talked to the whole family with Grandma, and the two family friends and just shared a little message with them! The Spirit is always so strong in that home.  Their daughter is getting ready to leave in 2 weeks on her mission to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania! Super fun! That was a super cool experience and I have loved being here and getting to know these families!

But yeah, that is about all that has happened this week other than us just,  you know, being out here on the good old mission! So it has been super fun! Well, I love you all and you guys are all awesome!

Elder Wallentine

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Hello everybody!!!
After the egg thing that happened to me everything this week seemed pretty simple and I was able to have a pretty good outlook on things. Sure it gets brought up just about everywhere we go now. . . that I am the one that got hit by the egg, but it is super funny that it happened to me. Everything always seems to happen to me out here rather than the other missionaries! We were talking to the zone leaders last week and told them about all of the things that have happened to us and they said, "Why does everything always happen to Elder Wallentine!" It was really funny!

This week though was super amazing. Something that really stuck out to me was what happened on the street when we were on our way out to a less active member's house. There was this homeless man on the street so we stopped and talked to him for a while. We started trying to share a short message with him and then he began to tell us what he believed.  He told his who he thought Jesus Christ was. . . which was very far off.  So, long story short he started to walk across the street and yelled, "I hope you know that you are paving your way to h###!" It was a big eye opener for me to know that some people think so much differently than us and it is just sad the way they express it to us. But, oh well. That is why I am here-- to find those who need help and help them!!! 

I just want you guys to know that no matter what I am going to stay out for my entire 2 years and I have no plans on coming home early or anything no matter how hard or uncomfortable it may get while I'm out here! Like you said, I never quit anything yet.  I stuck with football the entire 4 years and I don't plan on quitting for little things that happen in the next 2 years!

I am super happy that you have all been keeping me up to date on everything that has been happening back home and with Coco and Izzy! It is so cool to hear how everything is going back home so that I know that everything is good! It is strengthening to me when I get letters from you guys and know everybody is safe!!!

Oh, so last week playing basketball I landed weird on my toe and dislocated it. But I just walked off to the side really fast, popped it back into place, and then continued to play. I went to the doctor because the next 2 days it was super swollen and it was purple.  It isn't broken or anything like the doctor thought that it was but the joint is not feeling all that good when I bend it.  I cant even bend it all the way anymore. So that's a bummer.

Well, thanks for writing to me and I am super excited to hear back next week!!!

Elder Wallentine

That's funny you guys went to Disney World. So, at dinner last night I cut the onions and made them in the shape of Mickey Mouse!!! 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Hello Everyone!
So the belt we got is super lame because I picked it up and the whole metal part of it where it latches together just fell completely off. Super lame so then I just duct taped it together temporarily. So, it will work for a few weeks. 

This week was kind of crazy for me and my companion. We went out and visited a lot of members this week along with investigators and were able to get to know people a lot better! Also, the guy that was going to be baptized on the 26th of this month told us after a while of teaching him that he would be more comfortable with the Spanish missionaries in the Spanish Ward. Not a big deal as long as he is still being taught! We decided to go out on Thursday night and visit one of the young men in the ward and talk to his family for a little while and then we went out proselyting in the apartment complexes that he lives in. Super fun and kinda scary, but it was a cool experience getting to know him a little bit better and just talking to the people around there.

Something else kinda funny happened this week as well. Just yesterday we went to church and then went over to a member's house for dinner and a lesson afterwards. The dinner was super good and then the family and their friends and some others in the ward came there as well. It is a BLAST! Last night when we went there we had an awesome time and my trainer taught most of the lesson with a few comments from others and it was super good. I had a headache through it because I don't know if I had drank enough water throughout the day. But on the way home something funny/super lame happened. All four of us missionaries were biking down the road on the way home and this car drove by and threw something at us. I couldn't tell what it was and it kinda looked like an ice ball. We didn't really think anything of it. But, I didn't realize the care made a U-turn and came back and threw the same thing again. This time, shortly after they threw it, I found out what it was. They were throwing EGGS at us from the car window. The egg went flying from the car and hit me straight in the missionary tag and also got all over in my planner and on my white shirt. Good thing that was the last day that I was using that planner. But it just showed me how dumb people can sometimes be.  I was pretty ticked, probably because of my headache and now being covered in egg. We are all able to laugh at it now. Good thing!

I am so happy that I decided to come out here on a mission even though there are quite a few times that I really just want to go and get a ticket and fly back home. It is hard out here but I figure that it will be worth it when it is all over. Oh, and the hardest part is the money. When I heard we get $115 a month to live on, I thought it would be easy and that I would be able to do it no problem. Today we went shopping right before we got on email and I only had $4 in my mission account. So I had to use my personal funds and I only bought eggs, milk, bananas, and strawberries. But that pasta will start to do me good here soon!

Make sure you all keep me informed about what is happening back home! I love you all tons and look forward to hearing back from you!

Elder Wallentine

Friday, October 18, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was a super crazy week for me and my companion for sure. We started off the week on P-day playing basketball and I will tell you what I am for sure getting better! But always room for improvement! haha  It is super fun to have these experiences to get together as a zone and to be able to make new friends and to have better relationships with others. The zone that I am in is the best!

Then, throughout the week we had some lessons with people in our area and it was super cool. We were able to go to some of our neighbors and made some new friends there. We also have a baptism coming up on the 26th for a 22 year old guy that lives down the street from us! He is super cool! We have been over to his house 3 times this past week and every time it is a super good experience and we can feel the Spirit so strongly! It's AMAZING!!!

This morning we got a zone activity approved to go and hike up a mountain that they call South Mountain. It is a lot like Table Rock but it has cacti all over the place which is super cool. It took us about an hour to hike up, and then at the top we took some pictures and had a little devotional as a zone. That was a super cool experience because the Spirit was so strong on the top of that mountain and it was super fun to be there as friends in the zone. In the devotional we went over why we set goals and why they are important! We also talked about how every single one of us in the zone were chosen and set apart to be here in this Phoenix zone at this very time. That is super cool and it really helps me to see how I am a part of our Heavenly Father's plan for us. It's awesome to have experiences like that!

Well, I will make sure to keep writing all of you guys.  You should send me some CD's with mission music on it!!!
Love you tons!!!

Elder Wallentine

Monday, October 7, 2013

Hello Everyone,

I got to baptize my first person this last week on Friday and that was awesome! She has been super happy and excited for that day for the past month. So, it was fun to be able to see her enter into the waters of baptism! Our goal for a zone this month is to get 20 baptisms, so make sure you keep us in your prayers!!!

This week has been especially hard for me because I was getting a little bit homesick thinking of how we usually are watching conference with those fun games and eating our coffee cake in the morning. We have all of those traditions so it was super tough and weird when, as missionaries, we didn't do all of that stuff. We went to the stake center and watched conference there. 

Earlier this week I got kinda angry at this guy we met on the street.  He was bugging me and my companion about living the law of chastity and was telling us that we don't know anything. We started to explain to him that it is our own choice and that it is the way it is supposed to be done, but he would not listen. So, it started to get a little bit heated and I said, "Okay, we are leaving!" I grabbed my bike and the guy said to me "You can't just leave like that!" So I started to leave and then he said something else to me that I cannot remember.  I stopped right there and put my kickstand back down and just wanted to hit the guy. My companion said, "Hey,  lets go" so we did. That was a super bad morning for me. However, we didn't let it make us down for the day. 

We came to the library and worked on Facebook for an hour and then we had some lessons set up. All of our lessons fell through, but we found two other people, and we had a lesson with them. We had never met them before, but we set them to a baptism date for the 26th and they accepted. That was a super cool experience for me to be able to see how fast things can happen. The first part of the day was super hard but the Lord will bless you as long as you are doing what you are supposed to be doing!

In conference something that really stood out to me is enduring to the end. Super powerful because we know that no matter what we do we can be forgiven by God. But, we have to go through the repentance process and continue doing what is right. 

My companion's bike got stolen a week ago right in front of us and then yesterday we found out that it is super easy to break into our house through the back door because I forgot my key for lunch and we had to break in using a bike pump! hahaha super funny!!!!   

Well, that is about all that I have for this week!  

Elder Wallentine

Monday, September 30, 2013

Hello Everyone!!!

That is freaking LEGIT that Tyler was able to make it to that race and that he was able to do so good. Sometimes doing sports in the rain is super fun but my preference would for sure not be running in the rain. I guess that makes Tyler a bigger man than me in that aspect :).  It has been forever since I have been to the Oregon Coast but I can almost picture how that was down there this time. That is crazy how rainy it was that whole trip, but I bet it was still a blast! 

I am super happy that all of you guys liked my experience that I had with the socks, and it is super cool for me to know that I am helping people out even just by these small and simple things. 
This week I had a few more experiences with giving a little bit to those who probably needed it more than me.

There is an area that we have not been able to make it to very much in the past that is a few miles away from our house. We decided that we were going to go and do our best to try to contact everybody that we saw on the road that night. One of the guys that we started talking to asked us to keep on talking to him and to walk with him. He mentioned that he was from the Indian Reservation and that he needed some money for food. He asked me if I could help him out. I said, "Well, let's go to the store really fast and I will buy you a little something to eat."  He said alright and we walked to a gas station that was just right down the road and I bought him two tamales.  He was super thankful and while we were at the gas station waiting for him to come out there was another man that was standing outside swearing, and drunk.  So, I walked up to him and started to talk to him so that he would stop harassing the store worker. He was saying the F word like every other word so finally I said, "Why are you swearing?"  He went on after staring at me funny for a few seconds. Then I said again, "Can you please stop swearing, I would rather not hear those words." He did the same thing so the last time I said, "Okay, stop swearing because I don't want to hear it and there is no reason to be saying those things right now!" Then he stopped and he didn't swear for the rest of the time I was talking to him. Then we walked with the guy home and we were on our way. It was amazing to me that even a man as drunk as he was just by being bold in what you believe and know to be right you can completely change the environment that you are in. Super cool!

Thanks again for all of the awesome snacks and all of the letters! I always love hearing from you guys and make sure to keep on writing to me!!!

Love you all tons!!!

Elder Wallentine

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Whats Up all people reading this!

I loved the package this week, and I think that it made all of the guys staying with me super jealous with all of the food and muffin mixes and stuff! Thanks a ton!!! 

I was having a super good week this week even though some things didn't happen that I was expecting and wanting to happen really bad. Oh well... things happen for a reason I guess! :) I did have some super cool experiences this week though.  Although they are not super crazy, they are just little things that meant a lot to me being out here in the mission field. 

I love being able to go over to members' houses and share a short message with them. Last night we went over and had dinner with a family after church and it was ridiculously awesome! It was a great meal and there were a ton of people there. After the meal we went in the living room and shared a message with them through object lessons and then expounding on the lessons. We shared with them an object lesson with the rat trap that I bought about temptation. You take the rat trap, set it, and put it on the floor. Then you take a newspaper or anything else you want to smash and hold it far away. The newspaper represents us and the distance between us and the trap is where god wants us to be in life. He doesn't want us to be right next to the trap because if you get close it is easier to set it off and get trapped. If we begin to give into temptations from Satan we get a little bit closer to that trap and soon we are like a millimeter away and it just takes a little thing to send us over. Once we get trapped the pressure of the trap is like the guilt that is on our shoulders after we have sinned. But through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we are able to repent and Christ helps us lift up that pressure and we can be on our way to get back to where God wants us to be again. We shared that with many families this week and I think that it is one of my favorite lessons so far. It has really helped me to understand how important the Atonement is in all of our lives. Super Awesome!!!

Another experience that I had this week just happened last night at like 8:30 pm. We were on our way over to an investigator's house and there was a man sitting down at the bus stop. He just sat down and he didn't have any shoes on and his clothes were a little torn and worn out. We stopped and asked him if there was anything that we could do for him to help him out. He quickly responded and said to me "Do you have an extra pair of socks?" I answered and said, "No, I don't have an extra pair of socks." Then we continued to talk with him. As I was thinking I was wondering why I hadn't just given him the socks that I was wearing. Then he asked again "Do you have any spare socks or shoes that I could wear?" When I realized how foolish I was that I hadn't given him my own pair of socks in the first place, I quickly answered back and said, "Here, let me take off my socks and you can have them."  He was very grateful as I took off my shoes and socks and gave my socks to him and put on my shoes and was on my way. Although we did not share a gospel message with him and we probably will never see him again, I shared something of mine and it made me feel good serving someone that I had never met before.

Well, that is about it for this week and I will make sure to keep on telling you guys all of the crazy stuff that is going on over here. Also, of course all of the awesome stuff that is going on which outweighs the crazy stuff for sure!!!
I love you all!!!

Elder Wallentine

Monday, September 16, 2013

Hello Everybody!!!
Thank you so much for all of those ideas for the object lessons! I think that the prayer one will be super awesome! I actually forgot all about that one and now that you tell me that really everything can be used for an object lesson, I have a ton more ideas on what I can do! That would be awesome if I could get grandpa's book though! I can use all of the help that I can get! As I have been using the object lessons that I have here with me right now, I've found that all of the little kids love them! I also really like them because just by using them it kind of makes the thing I am trying to teach seem a lot simpler to me as well!

Being a trainer is super fun and I love my new companion as well as my old companion! My new companion is named Elder Erikson and he is also an 18 year old, and he is from Rexburg, Idaho so we get along great! We have a ton in common and I think that we will be able to be very successful in this area that we are now in! I'M SUPER EXCITED!!! But I am for sure going to be learning a few things from him and I hope that I will be able to teach him a few things as well! It will be a WIN WIN situation!
So last night we found out that we might have bedbugs coming into our new house and we are also infested with cockroaches. NO FUN at all. But the way I see it, we are not in the house a whole lot of time other than when we are sleeping so if it gets to be a big deal then we will call someone and get it taken care of! It will all work out one way or another! hahaha I am really loving my mission so far and I will for sure let all of you guys know if any other crazy things happen! 

For this week we have 2 new baptisms on Saturday! Super excited! Also, those two and also another family of four was able to make it out to church this week and the two parents of that family are really excited about everything in the church and really want to be baptized! They are all super cool! 

Well, it is still super hot up here but I think I might just barely be starting to get used to it right when it is about to start to cool down a little bit! Oh well!!! In the next package you guys send me you should send me some snacks and food! hahahahaha! (feel free to tell other people back in Idaho to) :) hahaha Well, I love you all tons!
Love Elder Brandon Wallentine

p.s. Tell everybody to add me on Facebook

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Mommy and Other people!!!
This week has been super crazy and also kinda mellow at the same time.  It was really weird. We went on exchanges on Thursday.  I went to another part of Phoenix and my companion stayed in Maryvale, but my area was super cool! We were going around trying to find some people to teach and didn't have much success, but then when we found someone that was home we were able to talk to them for a little while and it was an awesome experience! Remember when I was getting my blessing by the stake president and he said that I would be looked at as a father figure to some of the kids on my mission? Well, this little five year old girl was at the lesson and her father left her and her mother. During the prayer she wanted to say it and I had been playing water guns with her had talking to her and stuff and during the prayer she said, "I wish these guys were my dad!" She repeated that several times and it was an awesome experience to me. It was cool to know that the stake president really can receive revelation to what is going to happen and how we can help others. Super Cool!!!

Other than that this week was super mellow and stuff until I woke up this morning and got a phone call!!! So we were supposed to get transfer news last night, but it was running late so they called us about it this morning and it was awesome! My companion answered the phone and said, "Hey President Toone" hahaha then he began to talk and after he was finished he talked to me and asked me if I would accept the call to be a new missionary trainer on Wednesday! :) Wow!!! As soon as I heard those words I just like went into shock because I have only been out here for like six weeks! But I know that my Mission President received revelation to call me and I accepted. Instantly Nephi popped into my head when he said, "I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the lord giveth no commandment unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commanded them." Super powerful moment in my mission so far and I am super excited to be able to share all that I have learned with others!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ISABELLE!!! I wish that I could see her and give her a huge hug! I am sure that all of you guys had a blast and I was so happy when i got all of the letters in the mail from all of you guys! It is always so fun to be able to read letters! It is awesome that Collette can say my name now as Caleb told me! That is super exciting! Well it is awesome to hear all of your stories and make sure to tell Caitlyn congratulations on the wedding for me! That is super crazy that she is married!

Well before I go I need to tell you what I made for dinner for myself last night!!! So I was feeling super imaginative so I decided that I was going to attempt to make a milkshake. I had a plum, a tangerine, and milk. When I mixed it all together it didn't have much flavor so I decided to go searching for more items to put into it. We had no more fruit so I improvised a tad. I found some strawberry jam, and a strawberry pop tart and then some ice and tossed it in there. It was super good, although it didn't sound that good, it was way delicious!!! My new favorite milkshake!!! Everybody should TRY IT!!! Well can't wait to hear back from all of you guys. I love ya!
Elder Wallentine

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mommy! And everybody else!!!
Hey, so I was able to come over to the bishop's house with my companion today.  They had us over for breakfast and now we are writing emails and letters at their house until we have to go shopping. That is a relief that we were able to come and write to you guys! 

I was in my first big dust storm this week and that was a crazy experience. We were talking to this guy in an apartment complex and we talked to him for a half hour.  He offered me and my comp some weed, and said that he has strippers in his apartment. GROSS!!! That was a super weird conversation and soon turned into a talk about the Law of Chastity and the Word of Wisdom.  I'm not really sure what he was thinking when we were telling him all of these things. But, anyways we ended up praying with him and as soon as we said amen the dust storm hit us.  We had to ride our bikes about a mile and a half home in the dust storm because they don't want us being out in them. Of course it had to start to rain when we were on our way back too! hahahah

Something Amazing happened this week though. The zone leaders talked to us and we get to use Facebook for missionary work starting tomorrow. I am going to be able to use my home Facebook account and I can now teach people all over the world on Skype. The best part is that I could get one of you or some of my friends to teach investigators over Skype with me kinda like my companion. That will be super awesome, and I am way excited. It will be super weird being able to be back on Facebook, though since I haven't been on for a month and a half. CRAZY!!!

Hey, well good job on the running and also that is awesome that Tyler was able to do so good in his meet. That is ridiculous that he might have qualified for that race. GOOD LUCK TYLER!!! Well, make sure that you guys stay safe over there in Idaho. I am trying to stay safe here in Arizona and not get shot or anything and it is working out pretty good!!!! Well, I have to go and I can't wait to get your letters and stuff in the mail. I will be waiting for it!!!!
I love you all a ton,
Elder Wallentine

Monday, August 26, 2013

Dear Mom!!!

Well, that is awesome to know that I am in so many prayers. The bishop here is asking all of the ward members to not only pray for the missionaries but to pray for me and my companion, Elder Forson, by name so that we get that help to find those that we specifically need to find and teach. I thought that was super cool. 

We baptized a family of 4 on Saturday and also one of our investigators we have been working with for a long time.  They were working with him before I came. The service was awesome but the building lost its power and so it was burning hot in the church during the baptisms. That was kinda crazy. Our mission president came to the baptism and after I was done talking for about 10 minutes about the Joseph Smith story we had him and his wife, Sister Toone, share a message with us, and it was super cool. There were a ton of non-members at the baptism! We were able to find 8 new investigators to teach and we are working with them so that they can take that step of baptism too! Yay!!!

Oh, and all of the stories are just beginning about how crazy it is here in Arizona! :) Yesterday there was another shooting that was in our apartment complexes and some guy knocked on someone's door and then as soon as the guy opened the door the other guy shot him 3 times. When we got home from church there were cops all over the place and our whole complex was roped off. So, we just went over to a member's house and made dinner and brownies and taught a lesson until we could at least get into our house! hahahaha super funny!

Also, yesterday at church I had the opportunity to give my first priesthood blessing ever and it was in front of the whole congregation for a confirmation in the church. That was super nerve-racking!!! Then on top of that I got a call from the first counselor in the bishopric that morning and was asked to give a 7 minute talk on the Plan of Salvation. I ended up giving a 22 minute talk and they had to almost kick me off of the stand! ;) Super funny because usually I have the problem of being too short on talks rather than giving super long ones. hahaha  It was a super busy Sunday for us.

Well, other than that good luck with everything back home.  I cant wait to hear back from you guys and so far I think I am fine with supplies and stuff, but I am cool with anything that anybody wants to send me! I will be excited to receive some letters in the mail from all of you!!!

Love you all!

Elder Brandon Wallentine

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Hello Mom and whoever else is reading this!!!
It is awesome to hear from you and it is always great to read about all of the stuff that is going on with Collette and Isabelle!  My two favorite little girls in the whole world are driving me crazy not being able to see my two little nieces. Hahahaha! I told Emily that I want them to be able to say my name so that they don't forget about me when I am gone. That would STINK!!!
Tell the Griffin family that I will be thinking about them constantly and that I wish that I could do more, but it is hard when I am a few states over. Something that I have really learned is that being specific in prayers and studies is really important and it will bring miracles.
In Arizona it is crazy hot. They said that is was going to start to cool down by the end of the month but I don't think I believe them because for the past week it was 110+ degrees outside and I was burning. hahahaha. The day that it got to be like 117 degrees, me and my comp couldn't find a member to take us around in the car so we rode our bikes all day long and got to a total of about 9 miles by the end of the day. That was pretty crazy. But, it is not bothering me too much. I think I am handling the heat better than I would have thought I would handle being tossed into a frying pan like an egg. :)
There has been some crazy things that have happened this week and they were all within two days and right by where we live. So, first we were in an investigators house a couple apartments down from our house and right on the other side of a brick wall we heard something that sounded like gun shots. Then we went outside to leave and head back home and everyone was looking at the house and telling us to get back inside because someone was shooting out of the house. So me and my companion decided that we were just going to continue on and go home. (We found out that there was a shooter). Then when we got back to the house there were fire trucks and ambulances and someone had gotten hit by a car right outside the gate to our apartment complex which was super crazy. 

Then the next day we were driving down the road and cops were all over with a big huge setup thing and a whole neighborhood was roped off because someone had gotten pulled out of a car and shot. It was a ridiculous week and I am going to have tons of stories for sure by the end of the two years. Especially since I have only been away from home for a month.
Oh, hey by the way, I love to get real paper letters because then I can read them right when I get them and they make me so happy because then I know for sure that nobody is forgetting about me while I am gone. hahahahaha ;) I am going to be going to the temple this Wednesday and I have heard a ton of good things about the new video so I am super excited!

Well I love you all and I look forward to hearing from you guys!!!!
Elder Wallentine

Oh and P.S. apparently I have to go and buy a card reader in order to send you guys pictures so I will go get one so that you guys will have more pictures of my mission life!!!!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Hey Mom and anybody else who is reading this!!!

So over here in Arizona my life is definitely starting to see a fair amount of struggles and also blessings. I am having a really hard time connecting with the people here because they are more serious and all of them have been through a ton of big things.  Most of them are recovering from drug use or they are all waiting to get off of probation and stuff like that. Mostly everybody that I have talked to here have tattoos all over their bodies and have gone to jail.  Some of them were in there for kinda scary things that I won't go into too much detail about. It is really weird for me to be in this part of town on the west side of Arizona because, like I said before, it feels more like Mexico than Arizona.  About 50% of the people that we talk to on the street don't even speak English, so obviously it is kinda hard for me to get my point across.  Hahahahaha!  Today we are going into the south side of Phoenix with the Zone Leaders who are our room mates to go to Kohls and get some tan pants since they are now allowed in the mission! I also found out a big thing that i do not like.... MEXICAN CANDY!!! That is the most disgusting stuff I have ever tasted on the face of the earth. It tastes more like rotting vegetables than it does candy. It's Nasty. But, the Mexican food that we have been eating has been really good.

So, we didn't buy enough cereal and milk to last us all through the week so I decided I would get a little creative with the waffles and the waffle maker! Instead of just making regular boring waffles that still taste pretty good I decided to mix some Oreos in the mix and then we put peanut butter in the mix as well. They tasted delicious! Or maybe they were gross and I was just starving. One of the two! It doesn't help that I am still an 18 year old boy and I want to eat everything that I possibly can. All of the other Elders that are in my apartment are 20+ years old and I am the young 18 year old that has all of the energy in the world! Its awesome. I love being able to eat anything because I am biking all over town!

We met with a family last night that we are trying to help learn the gospel and they are really progressing but they don't know if Jesus is their Savior. Which is kinda a big part of the whole thing that will bring us through the rest of everything. When we went over there we were trying to get them to understand and then they brought up some really weird subjects and we had to just sit and listen for a while. After that the feeling in the room was super strong but it was not a good feeling at all. It felt more like something had just come in and taken my heart right out of my body. I asked the investigator how he was feeling and he said he was felling the same thing.  We both just felt completely empty inside and it was awful. My companion and I were talking a little bit after and he said it did not feel like the good feelings that come from the Holy Ghost. So,  we are going back tonight and we are going to give them some Priesthood Blessings and try to get that good spirit in the home. It was scary.

Other than that though my mission has been nothing but positive and I'm sure that I will even think of a way to make that moment in my mission a positive one! I am smiling everywhere I go and I am keeping my energy high--drinking lots of water in the 100 degree weather and I hope and pray that all of you back home are doing okay also. I love all of you guys and can't wait till I have more stories to share with all of you guys. Can't wait to hear back.


Elder Wallentine

Monday, August 5, 2013


Hey so my first week was super cool. I got an awesome trainer and i got placed in a part of Phoenix called Maryvale. It is a ton like how Jason would describe Phili to us. There are gangsters everywhere and everybody smokes and drinks and in a lot of the houses that we visit we can smell marijuana.  It is really gross. But anyways the members here are really nice and we all tease each other already even though I have only been here for one Sunday! Its awesome.

So far here we have done a ton of cooking for ourselves just because there are like 80 active members and like 300 inactive members.  It’s crazy. It has been like 110 degrees since the day that I got here to Phoenix and it is supposed to be starting to cool down to like 90's for the next month. I am super excited! I’m doing fine adjusting to mission life.  It is really not that hard. By the time you have to be back in the apartment and stuff at night you just want to lay down and pass out.  Its crazy.

We teach so many people and there are so many people here to teach. In our ward there is maybe like 80-100 active members and then there are 300 inactive members. So we have some work cut out for us to do here. It is super exciting to know that all of the boys in the ward are stepping up and trying to set a good example now that I am gone. I really hope that Brenden and Riley get on missions soon so that they can write to me from where they are serving!

The mission field is definitely a lot different than how I expected it. I thought that it would be like so strict that it would ruin all for the fun.  But it is the exact opposite. Some of the rules are actually there and they make it better and of course safer for us to be around. Where I am everybody has their bikes duct taped just to make them look like they are really crappy bikes so that they wont get stolen. But I haven’t done that yet so as of right now my bike is probably in the hands of some Mexican Gangster downtown or something. It is really weird to think that there are places as poor and dirty as this place is here in the US. It’s crazy to think about. everybody lives in apartments and we get fed very little by the members. Almost all of the members are recent converts also.

Well it’s been amazing so far mostly because I haven’t been mugged or beaten up yet so that is the upside along with every other part of my mission.

Elder Wallentine

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Brother and Sister Hoopes housed and fed the new elders breakfast the first night and morning in the mission field.

New missionaries that arrived in the Tempe, AZ mission.

Elder Wallentine with President and Sister Toone.

Elder Wallentine being. . .. well. . . Elder Wallentine!

Elder Wallentine ran into his cousin, Elder Barber, on the last day he was in the MTC.  A happy reunion!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Dear Family,

Hey, so me and my companion got asked to be zone leaders on Thursday and of course we accepted.  I am learning so much about prayer and missionary work.  Every day we are studying for like 8 hours and in between we load up on food.  I am so happy that I came on a mission and I've only been gone for like 3 days.  It's an awesome feeling.  Some of the elders get mail from girlfriends already and it's funny because I am not even jealous.  The sister missionaries are all super awesome and so nice.  My teachers and branch president here are all awesome.

Thank you so much for all of the snacks! I got the package of those and also my pants and I was so excited! Every time I get a letter or package in the mail it makes my whole day better! So thank you! Make sure that you tell Ryan that I say hi.  Also, I got both of my investigators to commit to baptism this week--all in the same day! It was an awesome experience. 

My address will be changing to Arizona as of tomorrow so I won't be receiving any of the things being sent to Provo for a while. I am so happy that the MTC is not just another terrible like scout camp thing that we used to go on. It is so fun and we have all of these firesides and stuff, and on Sundays we get to watch Legacy and Character of Christ. It was amazing.

Make sure that you guys all keep me informed and post pictures on the emails of my two favorite nieces! I miss them and all of you guys a ton. Of course not enough to ever even think about coming home from my mission, but I can't wait to get home and be able to see them running around again!  My companion and roommates are amazing and I love them. It feels like we are best friends and I have only known them for two weeks. It is really weird how that worked out.

Well, I have to go do laundry so I will write you soon. I look forward to hearing from all of you.  I love you all a ton!

Elder Wallentine

Monday, July 22, 2013

Elder Wallentine's First Email!!!

Dear Family,

I am doing a great job at the MTC so far and it is a blast here at the West Campus. There are way less missionaries here so we only have to have four Elders in a room together and we all have a shower in our rooms. It is awesome. I really love the MTC and it has made my testimony of the gospel grow so much and it is amazing for a life experience. I love all of the Elders and Sisters here just like they were my own brothers and sisters. Hugging is really hard through since the age changed and the Sisters got even more attractive than they already were. The food here is good but every meal they have these doughnuts that are just disgusting and taste like they have been sitting out for days. They are gross. Today we went to the Main MTC for breakfast and they had a ton of good food that we don't get here. They had pancakes and bacon and eggs and it was all delicious. Tell Emily and Caleb thanks a ton for taking care of Charley and that they should only feed him crickets cuz he hasn't eaten the last two mice. I was really worried that you guys weren't mailing me back because I can't check my email everyday but when I got online I was super happy that I saw your emails. Well I will for sure write you guys more letters and the letter coming to you guys now has my address in the envelope that the MTC gave to me for my family.

Thank you so much for writing me and I look forward to hearing more. I will try to send you guys some pictures with my emails also.

Love you all,
Elder Brandon Wallentine