Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A Week of Miracles! 8/31/2016

Last Monday, we got our new companions and I am training Elder Masey, who is fresh from the plane! He is from Ocala, Florida and just graduated last year. It is rare for someone to be trained as an office elder their first transfer in the mission, but the Lord definitely saw it fit. It has been great because he is a hard worker and is motivated to do the work. And it has been nice because he is pretty good at setting up the sound systems for mission conferences, while I do better with the computer stuff. This past week we accomplished a lot! 

First, Monday evening we came to our apartment and because I was living in another apartment for a week and left the trash out, the apartment was raided with little gnats. That was fun. I had no idea how to get rid of them, in fact, I tried putting duct tape on the ceiling to catch them-- that didn't work. Elder Masey and I found out from a member that there is a trick that you can do with apple cider vinegar that works. So now we no longer have a gnat problem!:)

Second, Elder Masey and I had a baptism for A! Elder Goldstrohm and I had been teaching their family for a little while now and she had told us that she would like to be baptized on the 28th. This past week it seemed like it had fallen through and wasn't going to happen. Well, while we were tracting (knocking doors) on Saturday, we received a text that said, "Hey Elders! It’s A. I heard that the meeting was cancelled tonight but I would still like to get baptized this Sunday." When I read this text I pretty much jumped out of my shoes! It was a miracle! Immediately, we went over and finalized everything for the baptism, and Sunday, A was able to get baptized! And to put the cherry on top, Elder Masey was able to baptize her for his first time.

Third, we had a "Mission Tour" in our mission, which is when a leader of our church comes to give a training. This happens like once a year in our mission. We were blessed to have 2 members of the quorum of the 70 come and join us. Being the office elders, Elder Masey and I had to set up everything which was a bit stressful but the tour ended up going very smoothly. 

Something that I was reminded of today is that God, is our loving Father in Heaven. And that he is ever aware of us and hears and answers our every prayers. It is so important for us to pray with a sincere heart and just to talk to Him because that it when real answers come, and that is when real change occurs. 

Well I will post the pictures below and I hope you all have a great week! Love you all!

Elder Bullough

A's Baptism:

A and her family with Elder Bullough and Elder Masey
Elder Bullough and Elder Masey

                             Elder Masey meets his new trainer, Elder Bullough                              (These pictures all came from the WA-TAC mission blog)

A picture from the WA-TAC mission blog on 8/24/2016

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Faith is the Power! 8/22/2016

Quick update- Elder Goldstrohm went home with a group about a week early so I had the chance to cover two wards in a 3-some. It was kind of busy to cover two areas, but fun at the same time. We also got transfer calls this past Saturday and I will be staying in the Commencement Bay area and have the opportunity of training a new missionary!

This week I was reminded of a very important lesson. Faith is the Power! I had a chance to knock with a young man, named Pitone, who was spending the week with a friend in this ward. While we were knocking on some doors in an apartment complex, I was surprised because of his zeal to talk at every door. For his first time knocking I was surprised with his courage. Then I asked him a question that I think would explain the "zeal" that he had for sharing the gospel. I asked him if he had read the Book of Mormon, to which he responded that he had. He told me that he received his witness that the book is true when he was 13 years old, because he prayed about it—which is the key! Then he told me something that reminded me of my conversion. He said that he had made it a goal to read the Book of Mormon again, and this time around he was noticing how many cool stories of faith there were. This is exactly what I had noticed as I was reading the Book of Mormon for my first time through, I was drawn by all of the marvelous stories of faith that the prophets of old showed. Which reminded me that faith really is the power that brings miracles. That night we went forth with a great amount of faith and taught a lot of lessons by just bearing testimony of what we knew to be true. It made all of the difference and we came back from the night filled with how great it felt to be led by the Spirit! 

Well love you all and have a great week! 
Elder Bullough

Here is a picture of me and Pitone, the young man who went knocking with me!
Picture from the WA-TAC blog (posted 8/19)

Monday, August 15, 2016

Crazy Week Ahead 8/15/2016

The following paragraphs are from the email that Elder Bullough sent his parents on 8/15/16:

I don't have too much time to email today. I have been busy all day because Elder Goldstrohm is going home tomorrow so we have been finalizing a ton of stuff and not to mention he had to pack today. This week we are losing a lot of great missionaries because they have all served two years and are going home to make the school date. Kinda crazy. The mission is going to be so different. Anyway this week is going to be kind of different because the next group of missionaries doesn't come until next week. I will be in a trio with the Skyline Elders for the week and we will be working two areas. So technically I am tackling the area by myself for the week, but I am definitely up for the challenge. The craziest part is I will be doing a split with the ward member during church so I will be the only missionary in the ward that day. Haha. 

Anyway the work is going great and we have a lot of amazing investigators that we are teaching. It is so cool to see that it isn't us but the Lord that is converting. It has been a great lesson for me and has shown me that baptisms really do happen on the Lord's timing.

-Elder Bullough

Camel Ride & a Self-Referral!!! 8/8/2016

Last P-day our zone went to the zoo for an activity. I forgot how fun the zoo was. The best part was I lost a bet and had to go on a little camel ride. . . so worth it!! haha. Anyway I will post pictures below.

Update on the week. We have been teaching a few people but mainly it has been J. So his story is way cool and he is doing really great and loving the church. A couple of weeks ago we received a referral for him. He actually requested for us to come by himself. Elder Goldstrohm and I went by and taught him that week and it went great. He had ordered us pizza so that was a bonus. Then we brought a member of our ward Brother Torella to come with us and that lesson went better than the first. It was a very spiritual lesson and at the end both the ward member and J were hugging because they just connected so well. It was like an immediate friendship. Well J has come to church and loved it and told us he wants to be baptized on the 3rd of September. He is a great guy and really gets along with a lot of the ward members. This reminds me of a quote that I read the other day from President Hinckley. He said that every new convert needs: "A friend in the Church to whom he can constantly turn, who will walk beside him, who will answer his questions, who will understand his problems." It is so true being a new member of the church can be hard because there are a lot of different things in the church and it is like learning a whole new language but a friend in the church can really be a positive thing for these new and returning members. 

Love you all and hope you have a great week!
Elder Bullough

Elder Bullough riding a camel

Elder Lundgreen, Elder Bullough, & Elder Ellis at the zoo 

Elder Goldstrohm & Elder Bullough

Monday, August 1, 2016

Another One Bites the Dust 8/1/2016

This week went really great! At the beginning of the week, Elder Goldstrohm and I went out to Morton/Toledo, Washington to move out an apartment that had been closed out. For those who don't know, it is like a two hour drive and the area is very what you would call “Boonie,” meaning small farm town in the middle of nowhere. That was pretty much an all day thing but the countryside was very beautiful and definitely a lot more quiet than the city. The move took up most of our Tuesday and left little time to proselyte that day.

On Friday, we got a call from a lady who was moving out of her apartment and needed someone with a trailer that could move out her furniture. Being at last desperation, Elder Goldstrohm, I, and a few other missionaries went to help her out. This move was a lot more than expected and the temperature that day got to be what felt like 90 degrees, perfect weather for moving heavy furniture-- not. But after a few hours we got everything out and the place was empty. I have to say I was impressed that four 19-20 year old guys were able to pack the trailer full and make it in one trip. That was a blessing! Unfortunately after 4 hours the lady and her grandmother were not interested, but were extremely grateful. It was kind of a bummer that nothing seemed to come from our hard work that day. Well, that night I went to bed feeling a little down that nothing came out of the day. 

The next day was Saturday. Saturday is probably the most important day of the week because usually people remember church is the next day rather than if we saw someone on Monday. We had a bunch of appointments that we had to see that day and in some cases we had to do "splits" to see them all. The amazing thing was that each person that we had an appointment with that day, kept their appointment. And each lesson went great! Then yesterday each of these people that we saw came to church! If anyone knows missionary work, that is not usually the case. I am definitely calling that a blessing from God!

Last, but definitely not least, J who was recently baptized was able to be confirmed yesterday. It was so great to see him get confirmed in church. He has had a long journey to get on the path but I am glad that he will now have the guidance of the Holy Ghost to be with him and keep him moving in the right direction. 

"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." John 14:26

Christ taught that after we receive the Holy Ghost, by the laying on of hands, the Holy Ghost will be there to be a constant companion to comfort and guide us in our daily lives. I know that this is true and I have seen it in my life and the lives of others. 

Have a great week! Love you all.
Elder Bullough

Quick Update Plus Pics 7/25/2016

Hey so this week the computer had some difficulties so I will be brief. This week was great. We had three families come to church which was great! We taught a bunch of lessons during the week and found new people to teach. We also played basketball with some guys at a local park which was fun!

Hope you all enjoy the pictures!

Elder Bullough

[Note:  Since Elder Bullough wasn't able to write very much in the group email letter, we wanted to share the following excerpts from his most recent letter to us (his parents) in which he answers some of our questions and provides a little more detail about his mission.]

"Yeah, so as an office elder we do get the perk of listening to the trainings some of the time. We have to haul around the stuff for the departing missionaries but the perk is that we get to have fun at the departing missionary party, and Sister Blatter always has cheesecake! We don't take the missionaries to the airport or pick up the arriving missionaries. That is the job of the assistants to the president, haha. That is one perk that we do not have. Anyway this next week I will be going down to Toledo, Washington and then traveling out to Elma all in one day to move some stuff. I am getting pretty good at hauling the trailer, haha!"

"Almost every house has a dog and last week Elder Goldstrohm almost got mauled by a pit bull, but he hit it with a basketball before it could bite him. I have had a few scary moments with dogs as well, but have come up lucky. It is usually when I go into the gate and they come around late and we are already at the gate so I have two options, run or bid them to come sniff my hand. Luckily, the latter has been working and they choose not to eat us. Haha!"

"Amazing Grace" is a WA-TAC tradition and is our mission theme song so we sing it as often as we gather. It is definitely one of my favorites and has much more meaning to me now. We do a great rendition of it!"

These pics were posted on the WA-TAC mission blog on 7/21/2016: