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:

Monday, November 9, 2015

Tender Mercies & Grace 11/9/2015

Well I think I am in week two of being in the field and I have learned that Sundays are my favorite days. I feel such peace on that day and it is a time that I can go to church and forget about all the stresses of a mission for three hours! 

There are a lot of tender mercies on a mission such as the music! I love music and I am in a car area... so happy about that because it gets pretty rainy here! But in the car we listen to uplifting music and it is the best! And some of the music is pretty awesome!! 

The hardest part of a mission is getting yelled at by people, but then the people that want to hear the message make everything better! Another thing is that I am blessed with a weight set in my apartment! To me that is my wake up call that I need to stay in shape haha! I will post a picture of it below. And by the way I don't take that many pictures here because I would get robbed if I carried a camera with me haha! 

The worst thing about Tacoma is it gets dark here at 5:30! And everyone goes to bed!! It is so hard to knock on doors at that time. But they have these little Oreo brownies here that they sell in gas stations! They are the best, I don't know why Utah doesn't have them! 

Well one of the people we are teaching, her name is N., she is so ready to be baptized but is having a hard time seeing that if she just takes that step that things in her life will start to work out. I have seen it with many people. We had this convert who was trying to get a job and after she was baptized things started to fall in place and she got a job! God will help those who put faith in him. So yesterday, Sunday, we tried so hard to get N. to church but she couldn't go because she was sick and just got back from a funeral. It seems that every time we try and she wants to go something comes up in her life preventing her from coming. It is frustrating. But it was nice because we got to see her and talk to her last night. I know that this gospel will bless us in the next life, but more importantly God wants to bless us in this life. And that is what the gospel can do. I have seen it bless many people’s lives. They just had to put forth faith first!

I would like to tell you guys a little bit about the grace of Jesus Christ. Many people believe that we are saved just by his grace. Which is partially true. I heard a talk and this man, Brad Wilcox, related Christ's Grace to piano lessons. When a mother pays for a child to take piano lessons she is like Christ, she pays the dept. Christ paid the debt of all of our sins. Well in return our mothers want us to practice the piano and put in our part. That is our job, repentance, Christ wants us to repent so that we can make it back to our Heavenly Father. And that is the only way we can make it back. And just like practicing the piano, it can be hard, but if we continue to practice repentance diligently we can make it back to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. As missionaries that is our purpose is to declare repentance to the people so they too can enjoy Christ's Grace.

Well, love you all and have a great week.

With love,
Elder Bullough

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

New Missionary Training 11/3/2015

Pictures of Elder Bullough at the New Missionary Training:

Elder Josh Bullough with President & Sister Blatter

All of these photos, as well as many more, were originally posted on the
Washington Tacoma Mission's blog:

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

1st Week & 1st Baptism 11/2/2015

So I arrived in Tacoma on Tuesday. It is so pretty here and very green. But It rains so much!!!! I am constantly drenched... And I have not seen the sun in what feels like a week! So my first area is in Lakewood!!! We only have Elders in this area because it is so dangerous. But I want to tell you that as I am walking in the dark at night knocking on doors I have never felt scared once. We truly are kept safe as missionaries. Plus Lakewood is known as the miracle land in the mission. We have the highest baptism rate in the whole mission because the people are so humble. 

I just had my first baptism on Saturday. It was a miracle, we had planned on it but J. never called us until an hour before, so we had to rush and set everything up. But everything went well and he was baptized! We have another lady, N., that is by far the most ready for baptism but has a hard time talking to her mom about it because she knows her mom will disown her. But I have confidence that she will continue to progress and be baptized! It will bless her life so much, I know it. In my mission we knock on doors... a lot. It was hard to accept at first because most people hate you. It sucks to get yelled at. But the people that let you in and listen make it so much better. 

I have been praying very much lately and they are answered every time! Whether I need food, or just comfort I know my Heavenly Father hears and answers my prayers. He also keeps me safe as I am in this city. 

I love you all!

Elder Bullough