Tuesday, September 19, 2017

No Soldier Left Behind! 9/18/2017

Baptisms from Sunday, September 17th:

C, Elder Lund, J, & Elder Bullough 


I hope that these pictures above could set the tone. This week was honestly one of the longest weeks of my mission, starting on Monday and Tuesday both of which went late into the afternoon. [Elder De Hoyos from the Quorum of the Seventy was touring the mission.] Then on Thursday having a new missionary training for 31 new missionaries and roughly 30+ trainers. It was to say the least very hectic and a bit stressful. Although each day was all made worth it after we would come home from our meetings with C and J the two men in the pictures above. We spent almost every night last week at both of their houses getting them ready for baptism, it was a blast! I will always remember the feeling on our drive back being grateful for the Spirit that both Elder Lund and I were able to feel at each of the lessons that we taught them. They were so ready and had made the decision clearly in their heads and to God. They prayed about it, even fasted about it and decided that September 17th was the day to get baptized! 

I want to briefly state their stories, I can't obviously include every detail but I will do my best to include the most important parts of their conversions. 

J found us through the Lakewood elders. They got a referral for him and went by and taught him. After their lesson they referred J to us. We went by that very next day and were able to talk to him and understand some of his story and why he was interested in meeting with us. He moved here from the Little Rock, Arkansas mission, and was taught by the missionaries down there and attended church quite a few times. The way he found the missionaries was quite funny actually. J said that one night he was wondering and prayed to God and asked him for a sign that even a dummy would understand. And the very next day there was a card from our church in his door. Well then, not sure that he could take that as his answer he asked the question again a little while later and then without fail, another card appeared on the door from our church. Boom! So he started meeting with the missionaries and learning and eventually he moved out here. At first he had a hard time with baptism and didn't feel like he was ready but we had one meeting with him where the Spirit was really strong and he committed that on Sunday he would have a date for us that he would be baptized. And sure enough on Sunday, he got his answer. He said that he finally understood why it was so important to come to church, get baptized and continue taking the sacrament, he related it to being recharged every week.--Perfect analogy in my opinion! So he asked us when the next baptism was and we told him that there was another person getting baptized on the 17th, and without hesitation J told us he would do it! 

C has quite a story as well. He grew up with a rough background and had gotten into drinking at a young age, so much that he had become an alcoholic by the age of 23. He mentioned that he couldn't get away from it, nor did he want to. Then one day in his drive back home he was drunk and turned into the wrong way of traffic and had to immediately over-correct and rolled his car, luckily just injuring the car and himself. But more pain than his physical pain at that time was the news that he would no longer be able to serve in the military and was being released due to his DUI. This devastated him and sent him into a depression that resulted in more and more drinking. And at the final moments of his life, he decided that he was going to ask God one last time if He was there. And sure enough no later than 30 minutes after his prayer, here comes the knock at the door of two Mormon missionaries. C said that he knew without a doubt that, that knock was not just a coincidence but was a direct answer to him from God. So he let them in and loved what they shared. As time went on he kept praying and reading, and kept asking God for more guidance. At the beginning of meeting with us, C had already gotten his answer about the Book of Mormon and noticed a huge change in his life for the better. He now had friends in the church, he had a job that one of the members helped him get, and he was overall a more happy person, he was no longer "subject to those chains that held him bound!" After C's baptism he gave an amazing testimony at our "Why I Believe Fireside" that night! 

Well over a few week process both J and C were able to be baptized on the 17th and came up out of those waters new men! 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Excerpts from Letter to Parents 9/13/2017

Elder De Hoyos from the Quorum of the Seventy was visiting the Wa-Tac mission this past Monday and Tuesday, so Elder Bullough did not get a P-day until Wednesday (9/13). He decided to not write a group email letter since Monday isn't that far away. The following are excerpts from his email letter to his parents:

Monday and Tuesday we had our mission tour with Elder De Hoyos and his wife. We learned a ton. The overall theme of what he taught was being better at member missionary work. It was a lot of information but the most powerful part was when Sister De Hoyos shared her conversion story of when she joined the church. It was incredibly powerful. And my favorite part about Elder De Hoyos is how laid back and positive he is. It seemed like that man has no fears in the world!

Elder Bullough, Elder De Hoyos (Quorum of the Seventy), & Sister De Hoyos

B kind of fell off the teaching pool... so we did not end up baptizing her. Although we had B fall off, we had some serious miracles happen and we have 3 solid people that we are teaching now! Two of them are on date for Saturday! 

C is doing great! He came to church last week, is planning on coming this week, and should be getting baptized this week so keep him in your prayers. He is way awesome and is totally converted! He is way fun to be around and super relaxed, our lessons with him are super fun. Like the last lesson we had with him, we just had him teach us the whole thing like we were investigators haha. It was a cool way to teach and it definitely worked well in that situation. 

Here are all of the pictures of me with the last group of departing missionaries. They have served pretty much their whole mission with me because we came out only a transfer apart (six weeks).
Elder Bird & Elder Bullough

Elder Strong & Elder Bullough—they spent a transfer together in Parkland

Elder Bullough, Elder Droubay, & Elder Bosshardt

Elder Bullough spent his first transfer in a 4-some companionship with Elder Bosshardt in Lakewood

Elder Bullough & Elder Tafua—they spent a couple transfers living together in the same house, but with different companions

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Great Things to Come! 9/4/2017

Well as many of you know, it will be my last transfer on my mission come tomorrow. Which means that I only have 6 weeks left..๐Ÿ˜ฑ I will be ending my mission with Elder Lund here in the College Heights and Skyline wards. I am so excited for the things to come! I am sure that these last 6 weeks will be some of the best weeks on my mission! I am praying and looking forward to the miracles that will happen before I leave this blessed place! 

This last week was super quick and super busy as usual. A couple cool things happened though. On Thursday we went to the temple which was fun and topped it off with a trip to Cafe Rio. Then on Friday we got a call from one of our former investigators, B. She said that she had been living the commandments we had taught her and had set some things right in her life and wanted to get baptized on Sunday. So we agreed to teach her the rest of the lessons and have her baptism on Sunday. Well it was definitely a race but we taught her lessons and set up the baptismal program and then on Sunday we went by to pick her up for church with T from the ward. And... nothing. She wasn't home!? Well long story short she had some cold feet about it and didn't come out to church or get baptized so hopefully we can help her with that in the coming weeks. But good news is that we have a lot of people that we are teaching that have the potential to be baptized in the upcoming weeks! 

Highlight of the week-
By far the highlight of my week was going up to the missionary fireside in Gig Harbor and hearing two of mine and Elder Lund's recent converts speak and share their testimony. "A" shared her story first about how she became a member of the church. It was awesome and brought back some great memories. And then C also spoke. C spoke about how she first met us, when we offered to help her move in. She mentioned how she listened to the message after we helped her, and then came to church, and the process that it was for her to get baptized. One thing that she mentioned stuck out to me, C mentioned how she was wondering why she should join the church if she was already comfortable and happy in her life. She mentioned that her answer came when we told her that the happiness and peace she feels now in her life will only be multiplied after she got baptized. And it did! I know that is true and I have seen it in myself, in her, and in the many other people that have joined the church as I have been on my mission. We may feel peace and joy and happiness in our lives but it is nothing compared to what we will feel as we live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and follow his example and are baptized by his Priesthood. The fireside was definitely the highlight of my week and possibly the highlight of my mission! It is inspiring to see the change that has happened in these converts' lives as they are learning and choosing to live the Gospel. 

It was also a blast to see all of the people in the Gig Harbor stake that I had met while I was there, especially the stake president. Here is a good picture of Elder Lund and me with him:

Elder Lund, President Kasteler, & Elder Bullough



Monday, August 28, 2017

Another Week in Paradise! 8/28/2017

This week was great! We had a baptism!! T and J have been meeting with the missionaries for about 6 years now and have gone through several sets of sister missionaries. So as you could imagine she knew just about everything by the time we met with her. A few weeks back T was talking with a good friend of hers that she has known through work, who happens to be a member. The member and her had a good talk and helped T over her concerns for baptism. That was it, she was ready. T started meeting with us and we set her baptism date for this past Saturday. I guess I learned how influential members of the church can be especially because of the trust that our friends, family, and co-workers can have in us. T's son J also has a neat story. He is 13 and super good at basketball. He has been going to the church just as long as T and originally wanted to get baptized a couple years ago after going to the young men's camp-outs, but after patiently waiting he was baptized with his mom. It was a great baptism and most of the ward came to support which was really special! 

This next week is going to be fun because we are going to the temple with the departing missionaries, and we will be calling people for transfers on Saturday. Can't believe it is already that time!? 

Well love you all and have a great week!

Sister Missionaries and S on the left, Elder Lund, Bishop, T, J and Elder Bullough
Our Study Room:
Elder Bullough
Elder Lund

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Last Piece! 8/21/2017

This last week was awesome! We started off the week with zone conferences. We went to North conference up in Silverdale on Tuesday, then on Wednesday we down to Olympia, and Thursday we finished the zone conferences in Tacoma. It was a lot of fun, and a lot of training! 

We also got a lot of great referrals this week! We helped a lady named T and her son J move into our ward on Saturday. They have been investigating the church for 5 years now and have made the decision to get baptized into our ward this Saturday!! After we finished the move, we went to the ward social and ate hot dogs and burgers while they got to meet the members of the ward! 

We have also been teaching a man named C, who is originally from Stockton, California. He joined the army ever since he graduated and has seen a lot of rough things in his life. C has mentioned over and over that ever sense he has been meeting with us and reading the Book of Mormon he has felt so much happiness! And my favorite quote that he has said was the other night when we were teaching him the Plan of Salvation, he said this: "I want you both to know, you said that you guys aren't soldiers, well that's not true. You are soldiers. You're soldiers for God. And rather than taking lives, you save them. You are soldiers and never forget it!" C is way sick! Super elect! 

And last but definitely not least, P got baptized! Here's the story:

In Lakewood two years ago, Elders Lundgreen, Bosshardt, Ellis, Lee and I all worked with N and her kids and got them baptized into the church. Well at the time P, the father of her kids, was in jail and caught up in the drug life. Well a couple months before he went into jail we had taught him but he wasn't very committed. P continued to live the way he wanted with the stealing, and drugs and then one day he got caught and went to jail. It was there that he really had a wake up call and promised God that he would be clean from that point forth. Well a year and three months later P is still clean and was able to get baptized yesterday! The baptism was a long time coming and took P over a year to get baptized. He went through dozens of missionaries and yesterday at the baptism there was literally an army of missionaries at the baptism. But that's how God works, He doesn't give up. He requires us to be patient and promises us the blessings, but He does require us to have a humble spirit and a contrite heart. From hearing P's testimony, I could tell the change of heart that P had and that he sincerely was born of God when he came out of the water! He was the last Piece of that family. I have looked back since N's baptism and have seen the whole immediate family get baptized, and even some of the extended family! We counted and I think 9 baptisms have come from N getting baptized almost 2 years ago!! Now that is the start of a ripple effect!  It has been a blessing to work with them on my mission-- definitely a tender mercy! 

Here are the pics:




Elder Smith, P, & Elder Bullough

Just saw the solar eclipse thanks to the library for providing the sunglasses! Super good view!

Photo credit Elder Lund!

Monday, August 14, 2017

9-to-9!! 8/14/2017

This week we did a mission-wide 9-9!!! Every companionship in the mission was out knocking doors from 9am to 9pm!! It was a blast and with approval many of us changed companions for the area. I knocked with Elder Daley, a new missionary. We had a ton of fun just walking the entire day and looking for miracles/water haha! In the morning we found a ton of people that said we could come back so that was a tender mercy, and we even found 1 family while we were knocking that moved form Chicago because they want a change in their lives. Bingo!! It's the gospel! So we are just trying to teach them and help them see that this is the change that will benefit their family the most! 

Yesterday we had a "Why I Believe Fireside" in the North Stake. We had some really great new members speak. One of the speakers was a little bit nervous but her testimony was so powerful as she spoke about the trials she had been going through for the past couple years. She mentioned that the reason she joined the church is because she wanted to be a part of a better family, with better values, and that is exactly what she saw in the Mormon church! Another guy spoke on how he joined the church cause he yelled out one night, "God give me a sign that you're still there!" He then continued and said that not even a minute later two young men on bikes road up next to him and stopped to talk to him! -Good timing! haha. Anyway a very inspirational night and Elder Sutton also played his last piano piece that he will ever play at a "Why I Believe Fireside" because he went home today.๐Ÿ˜ข 

Elders Hoffer, Lund, Sutton, Bullough and President Leishman






Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Baptism! 8/7/2017-- 100th Blog Post! ๐Ÿ˜Š

It was a great week and felt like a long week but it flew by! 

We had new missionary meeting on Tuesday, Elder Lee left on Wednesday๐Ÿ˜ข, and MLC on Friday. (Mission leadership council) Anyways it was a full week and to top it all off we had a baptism on Saturday for L!! 

Her story is pretty neat. About 6 months ago she was being taught by other missionaries in the area and loved the stuff she was learning but never got baptized because she couldn't give up her smoking habit. Then as time went on the missionaries left and others came in and it was still the same story so slowly the missionaries had to stop going by. Then one day Elder Sutton and I were knocking her apartment complex and knocked into L and she told us her story and why she hasn't been baptized yet. Knowing some of her story already from the previous missionaries Elder Sutton asked, "How much do you want to give up smoking?" She said her desire was at about an 8 out of 10. So he kindly replied okay well keep reading the Book of Mormon and let us know when it gets to a 10. I was surprised at first on how he had handled the situation but looking back I totally agree with it, because about a month later we got a referral from the church saying that a lady named L referred herself and would like to meet with the missionaries. So I called her on the phone and we asked what inspired her to meet with us. She explained that she fell and hurt her back and all she could do was stay on her couch and wait to get healed and during the process she opened the book of Mormon and started reading 2 Nephi chapter 29 (which talks about how God has many different nations around the world and that he commanded them to also write down scripture) she told us that she fully believes that and is ready to get baptized. So we asked how ready she was to give up her smoking habit, and she said 10!! I'm sure it wasn't easy for her but the good thing is that she was determined and with the help of us going over almost every day for two weeks to read with her she did it, and was baptized this past Saturday! Overall I learned that people's desires and nature can change! And usually that change is sparked by the constant study through the Book of Mormon, because of the Spirit that it brings into our lives.

Here are some pictures at L's baptism:


Elder Sutton, L, Elder Lund, & Elder Bullough


Elder Bullough cleaning the baptismal font before the baptism
Here are some pictures that we took as a few of us missionaries, and Elder Lee at the airport just about to leave:


Elder Lee & President Leishman
Pictures from the Mission Leadership Council posted on wa-tacmission.blogspot.com:




Thursday, August 3, 2017

Fastest Green! 7/31/2017

It was a good week, honestly it went so fast that I don't remember much of any of it haha! We had transfers on Tuesday which was crazy because we got 28 new missionaries! We had to drive 3 different vehicles and two of them were vans! It was a blast getting all the new missionaries and a lot of them seem like they will be great missionaries! After the trainers met the new missionaries (which was super crazy as all of the trainers ran in and just about tackled the new missionaries as they gave them a hug haha), we had a testimony meeting with all of the departing missionaries. There were about 25 who went home so it was a long testimony meeting haha! Then that night we had the departing dinner with all of the missionaries going home, it was way fun and the Leishmans made hamburgers and banana floats! The other big thing that happened is that we got Elder Lee so now we are in a foursome until he leaves to go back home on Wednesday. Can't believe that it's been that long.. It's fun being with Elder Lee again because we have just been remembering so many things from when we were in Lakewood almost 2 years ago.

On Thursday and Friday the other two were on exchanges so Elder Lee and I were together all day. We taught a ton of lessons that day, but definitely the highlight lesson was at night with L and her friend K. L is still a non member but will be baptized this Saturday, however her friend K was there and we ended up teaching her the restoration which went super well and L even bore testimony without us even asking-- it was so funny to us because she was already great at fellowshipping and she isn't even a member yet! One thing that really helped in the lesson was the Spirit. Elder Lee did so well at listening to K and the things that were bothering her for a long time. And finally when we had gotten to the bottom of the concern and felt that we understood where she was coming from, we were able to tie it into the gospel and how it would be able to bless her life. As well as K we are still praying and working on getting L baptized on the 5th and then hopefully her friend K will come with her to watch it! 

All in all it was a great week! Hope that you all have a great week! 

Elder Bullough

Elders Lee, Bullough, Sutton, & Lund at Sister White's home

Photos from wa-tacmissionblogspot.com:

Elder Sutton & Elder Turley

Elders Briggs, Alvarez, and Bullough
Sister Leishman & Elder Lee

Banana Splits at the Leishmans

Monday, July 24, 2017

Going to the Fireside! 7/24/2017

This week went by so fast! Most of the week we either spent knocking or with President talking about transfers. On Saturday we made transfer calls after they were all put together. It was President Leishman's first time doing transfers so it took some time and thought into where everyone should go. We are getting like 28 new missionaries this transfer so we needed a lot of trainers this time-- and the next month is looking like we will have more than that coming in!! Transfers is happening tomorrow so we are going early to pick up the new missionaries and we are taking 4 different vehicles to get all of them! 

Update on the area-- L fell back a little with her smoking throughout the week.. which we were pretty devastated about but the good news is that she has definitely come back so much stronger from it. We had her pick her own date and she looked at the calendar and chose August 4th and then on Friday night it sounds like she made a break through with the smoking and decided that she is done and threw out the rest of her cigarettes and bought some gum to chew just to keep her mind off of the cravings. I have faith that she will do it this time and that she is ready! Keep her in your prayers! 

Highlight of the week~ 

The Bremerton stake had a "Why I Believe Fireside" this past Sunday and it was awesome. About six recent converts got up and gave their story on why they joined the church. Each one of them gave a great testimony, and a bonus was that M, one of the girls that I taught with Elder Lund in Gig Harbor, shared her testimony as well! It was so impressive to hear her side of the story and what she thought as we were teaching her the lessons. Here is a picture of us all at the fireside:

Malia, Elder Quinton, Me, Lund, and Mina
 A picture of Elder Bullough & his companions posted on wa-tacmission.blogspot.com:
Elder ?, Elder Sutton, Elder Bullough, & Elder Lund

Monday, July 17, 2017

"If Opportunity Doesn't Knock, Build a Door" 7/17/2017

This week was a blast! We worked, worked, worked! Lots of good things happened. First off, on Friday we were on exchanges and Elder Braswell and I talked to this man named K in his car at a Safeway parking lot and invited him to come on a tour of our church right then. He accepted and met us at the church a few minutes later and we took him on a tour. It was unusual because he had so many questions and was pretty curious how the church worked and what a ward was. We did our best to answer his questions and then Elder Braswell shared a verse from 1 Corinthians chapter 12 that talks about callings in the church, which K seemed to like. Then K came to church on Sunday and said he really enjoyed it! Unfortunately he is not in our area so the other missionaries in the Stadium area are excited to be working with him haha! 

Another tender mercy is that during our first church meeting, a guy named L walked into the meeting that we didn't recognize so we went and talked to him. He mentioned that he was just looking for a church and happened to come across ours so he thought he would check it out. -- As you can imagine I was so happy to hear that hahah! Turns out that he works with a lot of the members of the ward at his job so that was an instant connection and after the meeting he agreed to take the lessons! 

Then last but not least, in our second church meeting at the YSA ward a girl brought her friend to church that was a non-member and she stayed the whole time and is now interested in taking the lessons too! It definitely was a great Sunday and God sure helped us out by sending some people our way! 

And to put the cherry on top, L has been meeting with the missionaries off and on for a few months and had reached out to us and this time she seems like she is ready. Her smoking habit had stopped her from getting baptized in the past, which is understandable because it is a hard habit to overcome, but she is now saying that she is ready and has been reading the Book of Mormon and has a great testimony of it! So crossing my fingers that she will continue to be strong and can be baptized this weekend! 

Well love you all and have a great week! 

Pictures from the new mission blog:  wa-tacmission.blogspot.com:

Central Conference "Meet & Greet" the new mission president

South Conference "Meet & Greet" the new mission president

Mission Leadership Conference

Mission Leadership Conference

Sunday evening conference call with the missionaries