Monday, July 28, 2014

Hello Everyone!!!

That is so cool that Brenden is going off to Argentina! I can't wait for when he gets into the MTC and then out of the MTC. Our mission in the past has had a lot of missionaries come out to our mission for a while when they are waiting for their Visa’s. So there is a chance that if he doesn't get his Visa in a timely manner that he could come here to the Arizona Tempe Mission for a time! President Toone loves having Visa waiters in the mission! :) OH and how Facebook works for us is that we are able to contact certain people. We cannot just talk to family and stuff about personal stuff, but if we are talking to friends/family back home then we need to just make sure that we keep it focused on the work, and also just let President Toone know what is going on! :) It is really kinda cool/weird having an iPad and Facebook as a missionary and now being out for just over a year, I am not sure how much I like it. But, it is a way that some more people will be able to hear the gospel, so I think it is for sure a good cause!

This week was a pretty good week for me and Elder Bono here in the Tempe area! We didn't have as many chances to teach people as we have in the past, but we were able to find some new people that we have been trying to contact in the past a lot! :) One of the ladies that we have been trying to get in contact with since I have been in this area has never answered the door, but I have gained a huge testimony of HARD WORK and PERSISTENCE here on the mission! It seems like no matter how hard Satan works on us to discourage us in situations that come up, if we are just persistent, we can blow him out of the water. It is never that God is trying to punish us for something that we have done when things don't go our way. I know now that it is totally just a test for us. I love the quote from “Evan Almighty” when Morgan Freeman says, "Will God just give us patience, or will he give us the opportunity to be patient?" God is not just going to say, "Oh hey well you asked for it so here ya go!" It is not always going to be that easy. He more often I think says, "Oh hey, You asked for it so here is some WORK that you can do!" Which is a huge blessing for all of us for sure! But after all of the persistence we were able to make contact with her on Saturday and teach her more about prophets! She is also going to be coming to church with us next week! Super exciting!

Well on a less spiritual note. This morning was a pretty fun morning for sure. We woke up like usual at 5:30 and exercised for about an hour and a half, then we ate breakfast, and got ready for the day and stuff. But then is when the morning gets super exciting! One of the missionaries that I live with, Elder Francis, pulled out a bottle of hot sauce and said, "Hey Elder Wallentine, If you drink this I will give you $10!" So obviously I said, "HECK NO THAT IS TOTALLY NOT WORTH IT!" So I ramped up the price to $20. Then if you would have guessed I TOTALLY DRANK IT! :) Its called Tapatio Salsa Picante Hot Sauce and it was a 10 oz bottle of it! That was probably one of the hottest and least enjoyable things that I have ever done, but I got it all done in 1 minute or less! I just downed the entire bottle, and now I am $20 richer!!! I’m a happy missionary! But as you could have guessed, when Dad always says, "IT BURNS GOING IN, AND IT BURNS COMING OUT!" He was totally right! haha :) thank you so much for all that you do for me!!!

Elder Brandon Wallentine

Monday, July 21, 2014

Hello Everyone,

It is so amazing to me of all the little things that God gives us that we can either take for granted, or we can really go and show our gratitude! I mean the tablet incident probably didn't seem too small for Emily, but in the big picture it is pretty small. That is one of the most important lessons that we can learn here on earth I believe, HEAVENLY FATHER LOVES YOU! Although all of us have little bumps, or boulders that are trying to keep us from really feeling our Heavenly Father’s love for us, HE IS STILL THERE!

There is a really cool Mormon Message that just came out this year "The Savior Wants to Forgive." It is a talk that was actually given by Elder Cardon of the 70. Just about 6 months ago Elder Cardon came to the Arizona Tempe Mission and talked to all of us, and gave us training on how we are able to be more effective missionaries. So I have great respect for him. It tells a story of a man who had messed up by doing drugs, and he had also got involved in some robberies, too. He tells one particular instance where he had just committed a robbery and he was hiding outside in some bushes from the cops. He realized how wrong it was that he had done that, and was placing death as an option in his head. But, as he was getting the gun ready he heard a voice saying, "I'm still here." Because of the Holy Ghost and the ability that he has to speak to us, this man was able to have a second chance in life. Because he listened to the Holy Ghost’s prompting he was able to find out the way that he could use the ATONEMENT in his life. He repented of the wrongs he had done and made a 180 with his life! Its a great story. Even though your situation is completely different, it still shows you how the Holy Ghost works through us sometimes to tell us something that can help us. God loves that man in the story, and he loves you and Emily so much that he knew it was important to help out in this circumstance. SUPER AWESOME! :)

This week went really well for us because one of the kids we have been teaching decided that he wanted to go out on High Adventure with the boys in the ward! When he came back he told us that he had a super good time and also he is still getting baptized this next week on July 26th!!! I am super excited for sure! Up at camp he was always talking in a batman voice apparently so all of the boys and the leaders were calling him batman for the entire week on the trip! Super funny!!! Then we had another Mission President Devotional last night and we were able to bring him with us. I think that was one of the best ones possible for him to attend because President Toone related the Holy Ghost to a cell phone. You cannot always know exactly how a cell phone works, and how you are now able to just at the click of a few buttons be talking to someone on the other side of the world. Also, in some places we have worse "reception" than other places, but when we are in the right place, we will have full access to the spirit! The spirit will be able to talk to us. Sometimes we cannot explain how the spirit feels, or how we will be able to recognize it. But we do know that he is there, and he will lead us and guide us to do the things that God wants us to do! It was a super good night. That was one of the highlights of the week other than when I hit my 1 YEAR MARK! That is weird to think about, so I am not thinking about it too much! 

Thank you so much for the awesome package! I love all of the goodies and candy that you guys sent me, as well as the sweet shirt! I love you all so much and can't wait to hear back from you next week! YOU'RE AWESOME!

Elder Brandon Wallentine

Monday, July 7, 2014

Hello Everyone!
Thank you so much for the awesome letters once again! 

That is actually pretty funny that you mentioned the missionary’s family that just moved into your ward back home. I have known about that for about 6 months now because he came up to me and found out that I was from Meridian, Idaho and I told him what part and what ward and he said, "Oh my parents are going to be moving into that area soon." That is super funny that you finally met them though. He is a pretty cool guy even though I haven't really served around him much. We usually just say hi in passing at mission conferences and stuff. It is really fun though.

On the 4th of July here on the mission it was for sure a little bit different than the 4th back home. We went out and just had a normal day from the time we woke up until about 5 o'clock. But then we had to go back inside the apartment and just kinda hang out for the rest of the night. I got a really cool package from Kortney and the Peterson family though! It was pretty fun! It had some fun little 4th of July stuff in it and a little bit of candy and a shirt that says, "YOU MAD CUZ!" I laughed like crazy!

Oh, and I am super excited for this coming transfer because the 2 elders that got transferred into Tempe to live with us are super cool! One of them is an elder that was one of my District Leaders in Maryvale, and the other one is a missionary that also served with me in Maryvale! It is going to be a super fun house! We are going on a house diet and a work out plan because one of the elders brought some weights with him and a work out bench! I am super excited and I am going to get REAL SWOLL! :)
Have a good week!

Elder Brandon Wallentine