Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Week 12/28/2015

This past week was the week of Christmas! It was one of my favorite Christmas's ever. It was also one of my favorite weeks in the mission field so far! The week of Christmas, on Tuesday, we had a mission Christmas party. The Christmas party is one of the most fun parties that the mission puts together during the year! Each zone works on a skit and performs it at the party. Then we have a white elephant gift exchange. I got a bunch of flash cards to learn Portuguese... probably never going to use them. Then we have a gift drawing where names are pulled out of like a hat and we go grab a gift that people donated to the missionaries. The gifts vary from a new pair of boots to even some laundry detergent. I was able to get a new pair of gloves! Yay!! Funny side story about that: about a week earlier I lost my gloves because I left them in an investigator's home and was never able to find them, but luckily my name was drawn and I was able to get some new gloves. God was looking out for me! Then at the end of the party we were able to hear some musical numbers that were performed by some of the missionaries. All in all the Christmas party was a success and a nice break from missionary work. 

Then on Wednesday the zone went caroling to a lady named G. in our ward. She has some physical handicaps and is in a wheel chair and we had learned that she would be alone for Christmas this year. So like thirty of us surprised her and went over to her house to sing to her. She was very grateful and it brought so much joy to her to see the missionaries. Then on Friday it was Christmas and I didn't receive nearly as expensive or as many gifts as years before, but I noticed that this Christmas felt a lot more fulfilling than the years before and I know that it is because of the true meaning of Christmas and the joy that it brings.

And to finish off the week we were able to have a baptism for a young man named E.! He has been waiting 6 months to get baptized and his mom agreed to allow him to be baptized on the 27th. His baptism was very well planned and it brought him so much joy. I am so glad that he was able to feel that blessing in his life and I hope his parents can look back and see the changes that it brings his life, and maybe one day his example will bring his parents into the church. I know that this gospel is true and that it brings true change to people's lives, and it is evident in those who choose to follow Christ because the light shines through them.

P.S. I will post some pictures below of the Christmas party and the baptism.

With love,

Elder Bullough

Washington Tacoma Mission ~ Christmas Party 2015

This was our zone's table at the Christmas party

Elder Bullough's Zone 

Performing a Skit

Christmas Eve at N.'s House

N. fed us on Christmas Eve 

Check out all this food we were served on Christmas Eve!

Christmas Day at our apartment:
This is us opening presents on Christmas morning! 
Got this from my companions!
Got these from my companions!
Elder Lundgreen after opening his gift of the sweet socks I got him
Elder Ellis opening my gift for him, Haha! 

E's Baptism:

This was E. and all of the missionaries that helped him get to baptism

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

N. was baptized!!! 12/21/2015

So this last week was a great week, and yesterday was definitely one of my favorite days on my mission.  N. was able to be BAPTIZED!!! She finally made it! She went 6 days without smoking and is now continuing to quit! Her baptism was very well planned and was amazing. After all that she went through I know that this was all worth it. Elder Ellis did the baptism and I was able to confirm her. Then Elder Sutton one of the missionaries in another area came and played a song that he composed that was a medley of Silent Night and a few other songs that really added the icing to the cake! From the first time I met N. to last night when she bore her testimony of the church, I truly saw the change that the gospel brings to people’s lives. And that change is it brings light into their lives. The gospel brings guidance and hope and I have seen it in N.'s life and also my own. It is so cool to think that God sees us all when we are at our worst but the reason he has such great love for us is because he also sees us at our best! Last night N. was able to see a glimpse of the love that God has for her. And I can’t wait to go and see her this week. She is having us over for Christmas Eve lunch which should be awesome!

Other updates.. This week is Christmas!! Blows my mind how fast time goes by! But one cool thing that the missionaries do on Mondays during the month of December is we go caroling! And even if I can't sing at all, I still love to go caroling! Oh and it is very different for me to not have snow during the winter season... I think I might actually miss the snow a little. But one thing that I do miss is the mountains in Utah! So rather than having a White Christmas, we have a Wet Christmas in Washington.

Well I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas holiday and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas!

I will post some great pictures of the baptism at the bottom.

With love,

Elder Bullough

N.'s Baptism Day

Elder Bullough & Elder Lee filling the baptismal font
N. and her kids with all of the missionaries and the bishop 
Elder Bullough with N. & her kids 

Elder Sutton 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Two Month Mark 12/14/2015

Hey, so today I hit my two month mark and literally just noticed it ten seconds ago hahah! This week has been great. There were some hard times but also some great blessings. M. was able to be confirmed on Sunday. We went to a ward Christmas Party which was a lot of fun. I always love getting to know the members. At the beginning of the week we gained another companion and lost Elder Bosshardt. This new elder is from South Korea. It is pretty awesome and it amazes me how much English he knows already. He tried to teach us Korean but I am convinced that I will never be fluent in that language. It amazes me when I hear it that people can understand what they are saying... because it just sounds like jibberish to me hahah. But so far I know how to say "hello" and "will you be baptized?" so I figure I know enough.

When we found out we were getting the new elder from Korea we were very happy because there is a part of our area that is a Korean district so we are planning on baptizing from that area for the first time ever! Elder Lee has a pretty funny sense of humor and in his testimony yesterday he made the whole congregation laugh. He got up and said, "I wanted to go to Mexico on my mission because I love Mexican food. When I got my call I didn't know where Washington Tacoma was but I knew that there had to be a lot a tacos there because Tacoma... Taco-ma... Taco!!!" It definitely made all of us laugh. Hopefully the joke makes sense and you all can see his sense of humor a little. Anyway, I will post a picture at the bottom of Elder Lee and I in the car.

So this week we didn't have a baptism because the people that were set for Sunday fell off date... One of the people didn't want to wake up for church and N. had a cigarette during the week. In order to be baptized she has to be clean for five days. But with all of the stress she has a tough time quitting so we are just constantly praying for her. We also bought her a lot of cinnamon gum because we heard that it helps people as they try to quit. But on the bright side, this week we are planning on her getting baptized and can't wait! 

Well hope you all have a great week!
With love,

Elder Bullough

Transfer Day for Missionaries ~ 12/8/2015

Elder Bullough & Elder Lee

Monday, December 7, 2015

Baptism this week! 12/7/2015

Hey so this week was awesome and we had a baptism!! So N. was supposed to be baptized today but she is trying to overcome her smoking habit because there is a standard to be baptized. So unfortunately she wasn't able to be baptized because she smoked last week, but good news is she is set for this upcoming week! And let me talk about N. for a minute... She is one of my absolute favorite investigators so far. She first was taught by the missionaries in Alaska and she told them that she would be baptized. Well now she is committed and looks forward to this week. She is so strong. She has two kids that are 12 and 11 with her and her other daughter is in her 20's and is moved out. N. has definitely been hit from all directions and she knows that Satan is testing her faith and does not want her to be baptized. She is from Guam and is one of the most humble people I know. She has had a lot of trials in this last month such as she lost her job and her car was taken away. Her mom and sister disowned her because of her decision to get baptized into the Church. And she just lost her husband because he chose to live a different life. But the most amazing thing is that she still keeps her faith strong. She is determined to get baptized and knows that God will help her. The part that amazes me the most is that she has nothing to give, yet she insists that we come over for Christmas so she can feed us!! Definitely keep her in your prayers!

And our baptism this week taught me a lot. I learned that God loves all of his children and wants them to have the blessings of the gospel. M. is a girl we have been teaching for a couple of weeks now. She is 23 and lives with her sister. The thing about M. is she is a little slower and has a slight handicap. She had a stroke when she was younger that has affected her throughout her whole life. The first time we met her we didn't know if she understood the message but the more we met with her, the more we learned about her. She is very smart and knows that God has a plan for each of us. So last night we baptized her and it was a great experience. Baptism was very hard for her physically and mentally, she had to overcome the fear of being underwater and truly had to trust the missionaries baptizing her. And after some time she made that leap of faith and went under. The best part was the message we received at night. She said that she was grateful that we came into her life and that this brought so much joy that she was looking for. She bore her testimony and told us that she knows God is listening because of the feelings she gets. That was such a strength to my testimony to hear that. I will post the picture of her at the bottom.

Love and hope you all have a great week and enjoy this holiday season.
Elder Bullough

This is all of us at M.'s baptism:

This is Elder Ellis and I and we just got this tree from our bishop. It was awesome! Because we have no ornaments we just put a bunch of books and pictures of Christ in it haha... We also have our medicine bottles and other random things!!

Elder Ellis

Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving Day 2015

This past week was awesome and went by so fast. I don't even know where to start. So we had a lot of new investigators that we had come to church. N. and her kids came and she is on date for next week to be baptized! It was awesome because yesterday we took her to see a baptism and she loved it and can't wait to get baptized.

So since last week was Thanksgiving I will write most of what happened on that day. The thing about thanksgiving on a mission is we don't proselyte, (knock on doors), which was a nice break. So the night before we went to IHOP and ate a lot so I was still pretty full from that meal. Then in the morning my companions and I chose not to eat because we had four meals set up for Thanksgiving Dinner. FOUR!!! In the morning we played football which was so awesome. I love the traditional Turkey Bowl [back home]. [Playing football] definitely made me remember being at home and every Thanksgiving we would go play a game of football at the church. After that we went to our first meal. 

The first family was the S___, the wife is Korean, and most of the time we can't understand her but she sure did make some great food. We had Korean style ribs and these peppers filled with cheese and bacon...oh man!! Then we went to Brother E___'s house and ate with their family. We were beginning our journey towards being in a FOOD COMA! The whole family was there and they had turkey and ham that was really good. That family made me feel right at home because they had all of their family together and were laughing and joking and you could feel how close they are as a family. It made me realize how much I love being with family on Thanksgiving. Well after that we had to run to the third meal at the M___. By this time we were so full and didn't think we could make it... luckily the family told us right as we showed up that we didn't have to eat, because they understand that we probably had eaten a lot already. So we just had a slice of pie and visited. It was great to have that time to recoup and get mentally ready for the next meal! 

Well our last and final meal was at a Filipino lady's house in our ward, sister W___. So back story on her: She is all of the missionaries' favorite person because she always looks out for us and makes sure we have food. I am 100% sure that God is pouring out blessings in her life. She often calls us and says, "Hey I have food for you." It is the best! Well at her house she had turkey, and ham, and fried bananas... which in my opinion are not the greatest but I guess people in the Philippines like them haha. After all of the meals we went home at around 8:00 and just went to bed because we were SO FULL! And that was probably the major part of the week. I will post some pictures of the week and Thanksgiving so you guys can see the fun.

With love,
Elder Bullough

This is the field where we played football

This picture is of our zone and all of us that played football on Thanksgiving morning.

Round 1

Round 2 on Thanksgiving Day
This is Mount Rainer, which you normally can't see it because it is too dark or foggy.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Walk by Faith 11/23/2015

So this week was great and we had a lot of fun and success. We got N. out to church and she loved it. We hope that she will be baptized next week so keep her in your prayers. I also met this kid C. and we have been teaching him for two weeks and he is already through half of the Book of Mormon!?! I couldn't believe it when he told me. Haha! But the cool thing about him is he has a ton of pets. I will show you guys the pictures of me and his snakes. But I hope that his Mom will let him come to church because we have to get her permission since he is only 15.

The best part of my mission has been meeting the people and helping them come closer to Christ. It is not easy but I know that it will help these people and bless their lives. Everyone we teach is faced with problems. Many of them live in small one room apartments and struggle to pay the bills. They don't have stable jobs and they constantly get robbed or their houses get broken into. The only way we missionaries can help them is by teaching them to walk by faith and to come to church and that by doing this they will receive blessings. Taking that step of faith is like walking in the dark. They have to rely on God. 

N. last week came to church but it was very hard for her to come to church. Because she just barely bought a car and had enough credit. Well, in order for her to make that payment she needed to work the rest of the week including Sunday. Sunday morning we received a text that said, "I told my work I can't go in and I am taking the car back tomorrow. I am coming to church." This truly took faith and I know that she will be blessed because of it. It sounds crazy but walking by faith and relying on God truly works. J. was baptized about a month ago and she didn't have a job and struggled finding one. But she proceeded with faith and one week after her baptism, she found a job. I have often had to walk by faith and rely on God on my mission but I know that it works because God does love us and he wants to bless us.

I don't know if I have told you all yet, but the climate is weird here. There is a lot of rain and it gets very cold in the winter because of the humidity. Also, the sun comes out every few days and it is glorious when it does. We can normally never see past like 100 feet because we are surrounded by fog and tall, tall trees. But when it clears up we can see Mount Rainier and it is beautiful. I still am trying to get a good picture of that.

Have a good week, love you all.
Elder Bullough

C. & Elder Bullough holding C.'s pet snake

Elder Bullough, Elder Lundgreen, Elder Ellis, & Elder Bosshardt

"Me & this super sweet skeleton that was in
our ward mission leader's house"

Praying for Food!

The following 2 excerpts are from letters to Elder Bullough's family. They are a good reminder for all of us to look after the missionaries serving in our own ward and stake boundaries.

From a letter dated Nov. 9, 2015:
I want you all to know how much God truly blesses us. I have had many miracles that have come as answers to my prayers...  The first week is very rough because you have no clue what is going on. And because I came here on a Tuesday I had to wait until Monday to buy food, forcing me to eat from my companions. So it happened that this was the last week of the month and we were running out of food. I was scared I wouldn’t be able to eat. So I decided that on fast Sunday I would fast for food. Kind of ironic! But that week we had three members buy us food. I think it might have even been four. In Lakewood, this is a miracle because the people are poor. But God is a God of miracles!

From a letter dated Nov. 16, 2015:
I would like to start off with a cool miracle that happened to me yesterday! I was in stake conference, it was the best one I have ever been to, but anyway... I just said a prayer and asked Heavenly Father to provide us with a member meal that night because I wasn't sure if we would get a chance to eat with all of the things going on. Well I had that faith and wasn't sure who or how it was going to happen. But at 1:00 we got a text from Sister White and it said, "do you guys have plans for a meal tonight?" I pretty much jumped for joy! my companions thought that I was just hungry, but really I was more happy that God was willing to answer my prayer! That definitely strengthened my testimony and was a reminder that God looks out for us and blesses us, we just have to ask. So my challenge to you is to feed the missionaries. I had no clue how much it means to get fed until I came out here. So set up a date and serve them a meal.

Speaking of Stake Conference, here are some pictures from the Lakewood Saturday Stake Conference Ice Cream Party with Elder David L. Stapleton 11/14/2015:

Monday, November 16, 2015

My Companions 11/16/2015

So this week was awesome and it is crazy that I have been out for a month. On a mission they say that the days are like weeks and the weeks are like days. This is so true!!! 

So first off I have three companions and I don't know if I have talked about them yet. First, Elder Lundgreen, he has been out a year and is my trainer and also a zone leader. He is from Sandy, UT and graduated from Brighton high school. Funny thing about him, he got his bike stolen 2 weeks ago and the other day he said, "Hey that's my bike!" And so he talked to the guy that had it and bought it back for 50 dollars hahah! 

Second there is Elder Bosshardt and he is from Redman, UT. He has been out 3 months and is still learning the ropes with me. He is way good at basketball and his family owns a salt company so we are never in need of salt haha! 

Third Elder Ellis, he has been out a little longer than a year and is from Las Vegas, Nevada. He is a super funny guy and is super strong! He is the one that keeps us laughing all of the time and is really outgoing and talks to people easily. He is also one of our zone leaders. Well I don't have that much time this week but all is going well and the work is going great. I will also try to get a picture next week of all of my companions and me together.

Also, during basketball I hurt my finger and my companions and I thought it was broken, but luckily it’s not. I will show you all the picture. It was pretty bruised up.

Love you all,

Elder Bullough

Elder Bullough's foursome companionship in Lakewood:
Elder Ellis is on the left, Elder Bullough is in the middle, 
Elder Lundgreen is on the front right, & Elder Bosshardt is behind him
(Thanks for the photo, Elder Lundgreen!)

My basketball injury: