Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Getting Transferred! 5/31/2016

So after about 5 months of being in Parkland, I am now being transferred to Commencement Bay. It is bittersweet to leave the ward that I have loved serving with and have made so many good friendships with. But I am excited for the new experiences that I will have and the new friendships I will make. I will be an office elder with my new companion, Elder Goldstrehm. If any of you are wondering what an office elder is:  well basically, I will be a normal missionary and continue to share the gospel and will be doing things such as, bringing other missionaries supplies, setting up for meetings as a mission, and doing a lot of paper work haha. I am most excited because we are in a truck!! This is the one area of the mission that has a truck so I am pretty excited! 

As for this past transfer— it was great, even though we were not able to have a baptism, we learned a lot and had many great miracles. I am sure that many of the people that we have been working with will be baptized in the coming month. If you were wondering about T's baptism today, it was not able to happen because her family is sick with strep throat. We are hoping to be able to have a baptism for her this next week. On the bright side, both Elder Strong and I were able to baptize the kids that the Sister's were working with, on Saturday. Looking back, I learned a lot of great lessons that I will be able to take throughout the rest of my mission. 

I think there were really two lessons that stuck out to me. First, I learned that planning goes a long way. We usually plan for the entire next week on a set day. While planning, we set to see people at certain days of the week. Well, as Elder Strong and I stuck to our plans and relied on the inspiration from the planning, we were able to see many miracles. Sometimes, we were not actually put in that part of the area for the person we thought we were there to see, many times we saw miracles of being in the right place at the right time. For example, last week we planned to go see a member who recently stopped coming to church. As we were going towards his house, a white van pulled up to us and the 19 year old in the passenger seat, J, asked us if he could get baptized. That was a tender mercy to see that God put us in the right place at the right time. Second, I learned not to get discouraged when things don't seem to go right. This transfer, Elder Strong [and I] have had many people commit to being baptized on a certain day and for some reason or another they have not been able to make that day. Somehow things always seemed to just come up and they wouldn't make it to church. I learned that there is a great deal of patience that comes with hard work and not to be discouraged, as long as I did my best.

Well, I hope that you all enjoy this next week and I will post the pictures below! Love you all!

Elder Bullough

Here is our District!
At the baptism of the sister missionaries' investigators

Elder Dale & Elder Bullough with Parkland Ward members
Dinner at a ward member's home

Monday, May 23, 2016

Seattle Temple Trip 5/23/2016

This past week has been bizarre. That is the word I would use to describe it. First, while knocking, Elder Strong and I had a great lesson with a family from Hawaii. I found out that some of their family members are from the city of West Jordan, around Kearns High School, so that was a cool connection. Well, after the lesson, Elder Strong kept walking down the street when we saw an office chair just sitting outside not being used. Immediately, we had the idea to take that chair and replace our other chair that is broken and only has three legs. We knocked on the door and asked the lady if we could have the chair. She said yes and we went to go grab it. Until then, we had not thought about how we were going to get it home. Out of desperation, I decided to just pull it along with my bike... not the best idea. Not even five minutes later the dad that we had just met with earlier comes driving down the street and asked what we were doing, to which we didn't have much of a reply. Thankfully he offered to let us put it in his garage till we could come by with a car and get it. It was definitely a win-win because he was dying of laughter looking at the mess we got into, and now I had a new study chair. 

Second, and this story doesn't have as happy of an ending as the first: yesterday Elder Strong and I went tracting so we locked up our bikes to a stop sign. After a couple of hours we came back to our bike to head to dinner when Elder Strong looks at the bikes, then at me and says, "Hey what happened to your tire?" Sure enough, my front tire was gone... so that was kind of a downer for the day. 

On the other hand, we had an amazing miracle. Earlier in the week, Elder Strong and I had plans to meet with several people, and at the last second each of them fell through. Stranded and out of plans, we wondered what we were going to do so late in the evening. Well, as we were walking we saw a lady named L taking out her trash and asked if we could take it for her. Just then she asked if we were with the Mormon church. After talking to her for a little we found out that L just moved up from California and had been going to the Mormon church there for over a year and had been taught all of the lessons by the missionaries. She told us that she came up here and lost contact with the missionaries down there and wanted to know where the church was so she could get baptized. By this point, Elder Strong and I were amazed that we found her. Not every day does someone you meet tell you that they want to join the church! As the Book of Mormon would say, we were "exceedingly astonished!?!" I know without a doubt that God put us in exactly the right place at the right time, and yes, our plans had to be cancelled in order for us to meet L. I am so grateful that God led us to her so we can help her find the church in Washington!

Church was great and we had four people show up to church that we are teaching. And each of them had a great time! We should have a baptism this next week on the 31st for T! And we have started teaching L and are planning on helping her get baptized soon as well. 

Also, as a mission we had a chance to go to the temple so I will post some pictures that I took there!

Love you all and hope you have a great week!

Elder Bullough

Seattle Temple Trip ~ May 17, 2016

Elder Strong and I riding the bus on the way up to the temple

The Seattle Temple

Monday, May 16, 2016

Lemon Leaves 5/16/2016

This past week was good. First off, we are teaching this lady T who is very prepared for the restored gospel. She is currently a single mother and is constantly running back and forth trying to do all of the daily chores of life. She has realized that she can't do it by herself and needs God's hand in her life. Not only is she doing the mother part on her own, but she is also trying to finish school and is working on top of it all. Yesterday, when we went to teach her, T told us of all that she was trying to get done and that she had been running around all day long. Immediately, I remembered a video clip that the church put out called "You Never Know." After we watched the clip, T mentioned how much it related to her life. Elder Strong and I helped her understand that in life sometimes the best thing to do is to step back and look at all we have accomplished and not to let the little things get us carried away. I think that this is a principle that all of us can apply in our lives when we are feeling overwhelmed.  

A cheesy story from knocking doors and how God works through us.
While knocking Elder Strong and I talked to this lady who was weeding her garden and asked if we could help her. She allowed us to help her and in return she gave me some herbal leaves that smelled like lemons. —They smelled super good by the way! Anyway, we continued on and I had a handful of leaves that smelled like lemons and thought to myself… "What do I do with these?" Well, of course, I turned to Elder Strong and told him that I was going to do a demonstration at one of the doors and somehow relate the gospel to these leaves! A few doors down, a lady named A answered and asked if we were collecting flowers on the way. I was so glad that she asked and immediately I went into my analogy. Not really believing that it would work I asked her if she would ever believe that these leaves smelled like lemons. Out of curiosity, she smelled them and was able to see that they really did smell like lemons! Then I shared with her that it takes faith to partake of something that you are unfamiliar with. It takes faith to believe someone when they tell you something. Just like it took faith for her to know that the leaves smelled like lemons. It takes faith for some to believe that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. We invited her to read it and to our surprise she said yes! She told us that her mother-in-law had recently converted and that her life was completely changed around. She told us that because of this she has become more open and is willing to look for herself. We look forward to meeting with A again and helping her see these same changes take place in her life.

Last update, just got back from golfing for my third time and I am getting better! And this time was a blast because the member of our church who took us rented a golf cart! That was probably the most fun part!! I will post the pictures below. Love and hope you all have a great week! 

—Elder Bullough

If you want to watch the video "You Never Know," click here: www.mormonchannel.org/watch/series/mormon-messages/you-never-know

Golfing today for P-day:

Me driving the golf cart!
This sweet chair that we found!

All of us Golfing! Brother and Sister Price are on the right

Monday, May 9, 2016

The Lord is My Shepherd! 5/9/2016

This week not too much happened. Elder Strong and I spent a lot of time contacting people and teaching lessons. But there is one experience that happened this week that reminded me that this is the Lord's work and He does guide us. On Friday, we planned to see Jo___, someone who we had been working with a few months ago, but since he wasn't home we decide to knock [in the neighborhood] around his house. This area that we were knocking was a richer area. For those of you who know missionary work, you know that wealthy areas are harder to find people. Well, Elder Strong and I went forward with faith and continued to knock around the area. At the last house that we knocked on, a lady opened the door and said she didn't have time because she was busy with a loss in the family. We showed our sorrow for her and asked if we could offer her a prayer of comfort. Immediately after the prayer she said to us, "You can come back next Friday!" This was great because we were looking for that one person who was prepared, and because we followed the prompting to knock that street, we were able to find Ja___! I know that the Lord was able to lead us that day to her so that we could help bring her to the truth! 

Well, yesterday was Mother's Day and that was super fun because the bishop in our ward had all of the men fill the roles in the meetings. And I guess I drew the short stick so I was the chorister... and if any of you know me, at least a little bit, you know that I am not musically talented at all when it comes to singing! So that was kind of a disaster, but other than my hands swinging around in an unorganized way the hymns went pretty well. Then, Elder Strong and I were able to go to primary last hour and that was fun because it was full of screaming children and I think that we are just lucky that nobody was hurt or hospitalized! Haha. But all in all, church was a success and the men were able to take over for a day.

Well I love and hope you all have a great week! 

Elder Bullough

Elder Bullough talking with his family via Skype on Mother's Day!

Mt. Rainier

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A Week of Highs & Lows 5/2/2016

Last week started off pretty well. Last Monday evening, we had a family over at a member's home in our ward for some fun and games. P is our maintenance guy at our apartment. Both him and his wife and their son, V, joined us at the members. P and his wife are both members of the church but they haven't been in a while so we are trying to help them find friends in the ward. The only thing is that P's wife doesn't speak very much English, so the lesson quickly turned from English to Spanish. Surprisingly, I was able to understand the gist of what was being said and was able to teach with P translating for me. It was a neat experience for both families, and they were able to form a friendship fairly easily, especially because V is about the same age as the other boys. Well P's wife was able to come out to church yesterday with Sister G, the member, and really enjoyed it. 

Later, throughout the week, it seemed like everything was falling through. J, wasn't able to get baptized because he didn't feel quite ready so we postponed that. Then a few of the people we were teaching dropped us. So looking forward to Sunday, Elder Strong and I wondered if we would have anyone at church. Well, Saturday came and we were determined to go out and fill the holes. We worked hard and it did pay off. By the end of Saturday, we were led to many people who needed our message at that exact time. We not only filled the holes, but we were able to find more people than we lost. I think back to a story in the Bible that I have been pondering all week. In John, the Lord comes to his disciples who have been fishing all night and asks them if they have caught any. To which they respond to the stranger in the distance that they had not. Then Jesus tells them to cast their nets on the side of the boat and "ye shall find." When the disciples followed the Savior’s direction, their nets were filled so full that they weren't able to lift it back into the boat. I feel like the Savior taught me this lesson. When it seemed like we were having no luck we had to listen to to the Spirit and cast our spiritual nets where the Savior would have us. In return, as we followed the Savior’s direction—just as the disciples did, our nets were filled.

Last night, our stake had a fireside. J, our recent convert was asked to speak and share his conversion story. It was so cool to hear his side of the story and how he explained that he wanted nothing more than to scare us away with his pit bulls when we came to his house. But as time went on he learned the Savior’s love for him and found purpose to his life and is a part of something greater. Those who came out were truly touched by the sincerity of his testimony. It is so cool that not more than three months ago J was sitting on his porch confused and wondering where his life was going, and now he was able to get up in front of the the whole stake and share what he knew to be true. This gospel does change people and it is true. 

Have a great week and love you all!

Elder Bullough

Parkland District Meeting

Elder Bullough with his new companion, Elder Strong

"Why I Believe" Missionary Music Fireside ~ May 1, 2016