Monday, March 31, 2014

Hello Everyone!!

It is super awesome to hear from you! I always look forward to the time on Mondays that I am able to come and get on the computer and email all of you guys! I enjoy it! :) It is kinda funny because while I am teaching people on Facebook it always seems to come up where they ask "What is a mission like?" People get really caught off guard when I tell them that we get to talk to our family only once a week on email and then get to call/skype you guys 2 times a year. It is really crazy to see their responses just because they are not used to having to do that. It is well worth it though. Although it is super hard not to have family here with you at all times it is only for 2 years, so I can handle it! :)

I think I remember the lady I taught in Maryvale.  I am so happy that I was able to be such an instrument in the Lords hands to be able to touch some people's lives over there in Maryvale. I think that was a super good place for me to be able to start off my mission because the people over there are so friendly and easy to talk to. Even though there are always those people on the street that are not so friendly and nice. But I have gotten used to that I think by now! 

That is a bummer that Caleb isn't feeling too good. :( Make sure to tell him that if he doesn't get better than I will have to kick him or something! ;) (just kidding but he seriously does need to get better) Hopefully it will continue to go away so that Caleb will start to feel better again. I remember that it always seemed to be that when spring break would finally come around I would end up getting sick and not being able to do anything. That would always make me a little bit upset. But hey I got through the spring break in Arizona! Now we are bringing on the real heat soon! That will be super fun!

This week we had a really cool experience with some of the people that we are teaching! We did not teach a ton of lessons, but we met some people who we will be teaching on Saturday.  We went over the Book of Mormon with one of the guys! I was with a member of the bishopric and Elder Roberts was with one of the Ward Missionaries! It was super cool! The person I met is so open and he is just one of the most friendly guys that I think I have run into on my mission so far! We went in and talked a lot about the Book of Mormon and by the end he was super excited to just jump right into the book and read it! :) He said that he was going to bring it to work with him since he was working the graveyard shift that night! It was such a good testimony builder to me that the Book of Mormon is truly the word of god and that it is here to help guide us through our lives today even though the things in it took place long ago! :) It was AWESOME!!! :) 

There was also a missionary that is heading out of the ward that I am currently serving in that is going to Nampa Idaho! He leaves this coming Wednesday and he spoke on Sunday. It was super cool and I made sure to give him some of the ties that I have now accumulated on my mission so far to take with him to Idaho! He is for sure one of the many friends that I have made while I have been out here and I made sure that I gave him my email so that we can keep in contact! He is super awesome and will be a great missionary! So if any of you meet an Elder Garrett Halverson make sure to tell him that Elder Brandon Wallentine says hi!!! 

Anyways thank you for writing me and I will be sure to keep you guys up to date on everything that is going on here in Az! :)

Love you all tons!
Elder Wallentine

Monday, March 24, 2014

Hello Everyone,

Thanks a ton for the packages that you guys sent over here for me! It was really nice to be able to have that for my birthday and it got here just in time too! :) That was awesome! Oh, I do remember someone that always came to seminary who wasn't a member because she wasn't allowed to be baptized! She would always bare her testimony in seminary, and in those cool little seminary conferences about how she knows that the church is true and how she could not wait to finally be able to be baptized! :) That was always really cool to be able to hear from her! That sounds like it was a really good stake conference! That is also super crazy that both Brenden and Riley are both going to be Elders and I am so happy that they are getting ready and preparing to come out on their missions! :) That is always so exciting to hear about my friends back home. 

So when is the Trek that you guys are preparing for? Are Tyler and Emily going on it? That will be a blast!  

So, yesterday for my birthday I was able to have a little bit of fun! :) Of course we went to church in the morning, and it was awesome because it was ward conference! Our bishop got released and we got a new one! The new bishop was the 1st counselor in the bishopric before and he is a super cool guy and I am really looking forward to working more closely with him! :) We had a really cool lesson in Sunday School that was given by the Stake Presidency and it was on temples! They did like a Q & A on how the feelings in the temple were for the youth that participated in the Cultural Celebration and also how the people felt as they were able to go through the temple for the open house a little bit before that! It was really cool because a bunch of just these little primary kids got up and said how they felt and one girl said, "HAPPY!" I think that is a huge part of the plan that God has for us! He wants us all to be happy, and that is one thing that I am really trying to focus on in the mission! When I am happy I have found that more people listen to me. When I am not, then no matter what, there will always, every day, be someone who will do something rude to us and it is really easy to get down on yourself if you do not laugh it off and stay HAPPY! :) Happiness is basically the key to life I think! 

Then after church we went back and did some studies and did our training for the day, and got out to work! Dinner was super good and we had it at a members house! They have a little boy and a 15 month old girl as well and they were super funny to be able to have there! They were running around playing with the trains and cars that were sitting right behind us and it was awesome! :) We also had a really good week with finding some people for us to teach! We went out tracting one night because we had already visited the other people in a complex. We tracted into 3 families who are all super willing to have us in their homes and we have set up lessons with all 3 of them! :) They are super awesome and all super friendly people! :) Oh and I of course was able to make an AWESOME BIRTHDAY CAKE! :D It was the best even though it wasn't quite as good as the cakes that you usually make for us on our birthdays! :) But it was pretty good! Thank you for all of the goodies and also all of the ties that you sent me they were awesome! :) I love you Mom, Dad, Jason, Katie, Izzy, Ryan, Ashley, Brandon (Bob), Collette, Tyler, Emily, and Caleb! You guys are the bomb and I could definitely not ask for any family that is better for me than you guys! 

Elder Brandon Wallentine

Monday, March 17, 2014

Hello Everyone!!!
It is always super cool for me to be able to recognize the promptings of the Spirit! I never really knew back home if it was just my thoughts or if it was actually the Spirit telling me to do something. Sometimes it is super hard! But I have learned that if it is something good that has come into my head and I get the urge to do it, then as long as it truly is good and righteous then nothing bad will come of it and it will really help in the future! :) We had a really cool thing happen yesterday with that! JB came to church with us again, like he usually does, and after church he turned to us and said, "Man, everything at church today was totally focused on me!" It was awesome to be able to see that he was able to recognize what the Spirit was telling him rather than just hearing the words that the teachers were saying! That is a huge testimony builder for me to be able to see first hand how the Holy Ghost can truly testify of truth to us and guide us in a way that we can all understand individually! :) Then last night was another one of those Mission President Devotionals and we went with JB again. Then right when we were leaving he said the same thing! He said it was all focused on him and that he really enjoyed what President Toone had to say! He talked about how The Book of Mormon is literally a story about all of us! We can take any verse in the Book of Mormon and liken it to something that is happening or that has happened to us in our lives! It is super cool that it is written like that, and it truly shows that God cares about and loves all of us!

Sometimes I think that being a missionary is so hard and it is so easy to get discouraged while we are out here on our missions.  If you are looking for ways to be a party pooper, it is really hard! :) But it is totally worth it because no matter what we go through while we are here we will be able to gain a stronger testimony through all of this and we will go back a better person than we were when we left! Holidays I think are the hardest part for me to stay positive through. I have really been thinking about my birthday coming up here in the next week and honestly I have no idea what to do. I think that it will probably be the most normal birthday that I have ever had. Back home I always at least had an option to go out and hang out with cousins or friends and stuff and we always without fail did something fun or at least had a really fun cake! :) That is one thing that I will for sure miss on Sunday but I know that it is not really a big deal while I am out here on my mission. It is really weird for me to already have been out for 8 months and just barely be turning 19. I am still the youngest missionary in my zone besides one missionary who's birthday is on the same day as me. That is super crazy! :) But apparently I was the youngest one in my whole MTC group! Pretty funny!
Oh, so this week was a super good week for missionary work! We didn't have as many lessons as we usually do, but we were able to come in contact with some more people that really are here to learn! :) We met one guy at the park right behind one of the apartment complexes that we are in daily! There are a bunch of basketball courts all over the park and there was just this guy that was playing by himself just shooting around. So we decided that we were going to go walk up to him and ask if we could play with him for a bit before our next appointment! :) He let us come and play and then soon we began to talk about missionary work and then that led to the next thing and we began to talk to him about the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ! He lives outside of our area but he said that he is at that park almost every night so we are going to see if we can come back in contact with him one of these days this next week! :) It is just super cool to be able to have so many fun experiences even though there are always those moments that are not so great either! It is really good for me to be able to see both sides, though. I am glad that I learned to be able to laugh through things and get through hard things with a smile! I still get teased about not being able to keep a straight face because every time that I try I am still smiling without even knowing about it! Pretty funny! :)
Thanks for the awesome letter and also for the money that you deposited into my account! I really appreciate it and hope that you guys all have an amazing week and I will try to do the same! :) Brenden is working on his papers!!! :) That was the highlight of my week is just being able to hear that my Brotha from anotha Motha was preparing for his mission!!! :)
Love you all!
Elder Brandon Wallentine

Monday, March 10, 2014

Hello Everyone!!!

I was super happy to be able to attend the dedication of the temple. Although we didn't have another dedication this week, church was amazing yesterday! They talked a ton on Faith and Repentance! We had ward conference and we were supposed to get a new bishop, but then the stake president got stuck out of town and so he could not be there. They are now waiting another 2 weeks before they put the new bishop in place. It was really funny because everybody has been asking us if we have the inside scoop on who the new bishop is going to be. hahaha I never thought that I would be asked that but I guess the mission never fails to surprise me! :)

So after sacrament meeting me and my companion Elder Roberts taught the Gospel Principals class because the teacher wasn't there. We got a text on Saturday night that we might be having to teach so we were at least prepared. But, we got to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ! Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. As we were teaching it took a turn and we started to talk about how we can tell that we are truly converted and how do we check our spiritual fuel level? We talked about it for quite a while and then a story popped in my head that President Gordon B. Hinckley talked about in a general conference about promptings of the Holy Ghost. It was the story about a father and a son who lived on a farm and the son was outside riding his horse around the pasture. The dad was sitting inside reading his newspaper. Then the father got a prompting that he needed to go run outside. So, he put his newspaper down and quickly ran outside to see that there was a horse that was going crazy running around out in the pasture. He ran over and stopped the horse and to his surprise he found his son who had fallen off of the horse and whose foot got stuck in the saddle. He was just hanging on the side of the horse while it was running around and could have been seriously injured and even killed if the dad had not received that prompting and followed it. It was a huge testimony to me that when we are feeling the spirit and when we are able to get those kind of promptings then it tells us that we are being worthy of the Spirit's presence in our lives! I love that story! :)

This last week was super awesome! :) We had a ton of opportunities to serve others and were able to help 3 families move. I love to do that kind of service for others because now that I am out here I am so used to just sitting and having discussions with people which I still love and could never not love it! But, it is really nice to actually do something where we are still serving and we are able to move around while doing it! :) I should basically be a professional mover when I get back home! ;) Also this week we got a phone call from President Toone, and Elder Roberts got his Visa to go out to India! It happened a lot sooner than what they were expecting! They thought that it would take up to a year for them to get the Visa, but it only took a couple of weeks so he will be leaving to India at the end of the transfer which means a new companion for me again! haha It is really fun to be able to meet all of these new people that are from all over the world and it is awesome that I am able to make some new friends! 

Today for P-Day we are having a district activity and I have now been called to be the activity planning guy for the district, because obviously I am the one that knows how to have fun in the mission field while still being EXACTLY OBEDIENT! It is going to be super fun and we are going to play something called chair soccer! It is a really fun game where every person playing sets up a chair and then they have to guard their own chair while also trying to hit the other people's chair with a soccer ball. If your chair gets hit then you have to sit down and then try to grab the ball with your hands and throw it at another person's chair to get back in! :) It is a blast and we played it a ton in my first 6 weeks in the mission field! 

Hmmmm... as for birthday stuff I am not really sure. But basically anything that you guys want to send me I will be super happy with! I just love getting packages in general so I will not be complaining at all! :) Thanks a ton Mommy! I don't know what I would do without you and also the rest of the family!!!

Elder Wallentine

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Hello Everybody!!

That is exciting about Riley getting called to the Houston Texas mission! That is super funny because that is where my trainer is from and it sounds like a really fun place to serve! It sounds like it is pretty similar to Maryvale in some parts, but it sounds like a blast! :) I was so excited to hear that!
I have been really thinking about what I can do to improve myself as a missionary. President Toone messaged all of us and challenged us to read the entire book of Mormon in 9 weeks. I am totally going to do it! :) Right now I am in Mosiah where Isaiah is prophesying the atonement and how Jesus Christ is going to be the one who is going to carry our burdens and He is going to be mocked and beaten. It is another reminder of what the power of the priesthood can really do in seeing things that are to come! This weekend we got to go up to the stake center and watch the cultural celebration! :) It was so cool to see when the prophet got out in the front of everybody, they all shouted like he was a big rock star! It was really cool and reminded me of whe I was able to participate in those celebrations for the Boise temple just a little bit before I left on my mission! It was such a good experience and I felt so bad for those youth who chose not to participate because I knew what they were missing out on. It was a really cool thing though and you guys should watch it on Youtube! :)
Then it was even better because early last week the zone leaders had told us that we were not going to be able to watch the celebration.:( But then they told us on Friday that we were able to watch it! :) I was so excited!  We got to go with one of our investigators and then also with JB! It was a really cool experience! Then we had another super crazy spiritual experience at the Temple Dedication on Sunday morning! We got there right when it started and they did the Cornerstone where the prophet and Henrey B. Eyring and some others got to place the mud around the stone so that they finished the construction process! It was super cool! :) President Monson is just such a cool and loving guy. He could not help just saying hi to everyone that waved to him and shaking all of the kids hands! He even invited 2 little boys and 2 little girls up to help put the mud on the stone! It was the best thing ever! Then the actual dedication was just amazing listening to the speakers and listening to the choir. It was a really good experience! :)
Oh and my Trainee is probably one of the best companions I could ever have! He is from Wisconsin and is waiting for his Visa to go to India.  He doesn’t know how long it will take to get it, so he is serving here until then.  In the mean time, I am his trainer and so far in the mission I have 2 sons (Trainees), 1 step son (2nd half trainee), and 2 grandsons (My Trainees Trainees)! :) My posterity is like that of Abraham’s seed! It is super cool! Well thanks a ton for everything and I love you guys a ton! I have still been teaching some people on Facebook and if any of you guys have someone that is interested, then add me to the conversation and we can teach them together! :) This will be the best transfer of the mission! :)
Love you all!
Elder Wallentine

Monday, March 3, 2014

Hello Everyone!!! 
So this week was another really good week! I am fully recovered from the little accident I had the other week and have no pain at all anymore which is awesome! We had a good week with teaching too! We taught about 20 lessons this last week and it is really fun for me to be getting on Facebook and finding my friends that have never heard of what I am doing out here on my mission! It is just a huge testament to me that the work is hastening and everybody will now have the chance to be able to hear the gospel. Whether they accept it is their choice and that is where the agency that God gives us comes into play! But, it is still really cool because most of my friends in Belgium have never even seen a missionary out on the road biking around so then I am able to kind of tell them what we do and if they want that they can even meet the missionaries over in Belgium by going onto! Crazy how high-tech the church is now. Its pretty fun! :)
Yesterday we had transfer calls come in and I was telling everybody that I wanted to be a trainer again because I love it! :) So it was killing me all day to know what was going to happen as most transfer call days do. But then I got a call from who I thought were the assistants because it popped up as "Oscarmier" on the phone. One of the assistants is my first zone leader in the mission so we are really good friends and the other one is just a crazy cool guy too! :) So I picked up the phone and said, "WHATS UP!" Then I heard President Toone laughing which was super funny. I realized that I was talking to him and not the assistants, but I love him too! :) President Toone is probably the best mission president in the whole world! He then said, "Elder Wallentine, I have Sister Toone, and the assistants here with me and we would like to call you to be a trainer!" I said, "Yes!!!" Then he said, "Will you accept that?" and I said, "YES IT WAS MY LIFE LONG DREAM!" So I am going to be training a new missionary again this next transfer which I am super stoked about! :) I have only had 1 transfer so far where I was not training or being trained! Crazy!!! :) So I am staying in my area and my companion is being transferred out to somewhere else.
We also had a cool experience at another mission president devotional. We went with JB and it was a super cool one even though President Toone wasn't able to attend due to transfer calls and stuff. But it was a super cool experience and to be able to be there again with him and also to see all of the non-members that attended. You can just tell that all of them felt the spirit as they were in that chapel together! Its awesome! :)
Anyways that is about it and I will send you guys a picture of me and my new companion once he gets here! :) HAPPY BIRTHDAY TYLER!!! Now go find a girl and go on a date! (group date of course) ;)
Love you all tons!!!
Elder Wallentine