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