Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Excerpts from Letter to Parents 2/27/2017

Elder Bullough did not have time to do a group email letter this week, so here are some things he wrote and told his parents about:

I am doing great! I have already learned a ton this transfer! I have a great companion, Elder Sutton, who is very inspiring as well so it makes the journey fun! Sheffield our boy that we are training is also a blast and a great worker so it makes training and being a zone leader pretty smooth. I have enjoyed training on my mission so far, it is so fun!! However, it is sad because most of the guys I have trained are just waiting for their visas so they leave...that is the only sad part! 

Anyway, there are 14 zones in the mission and 168 missionaries not including the senior missionaries. With them, it would put us at probably 180 or so. I am pretty sure that this zone is the biggest in the mission and our ward alone has 10 missionaries in it, haha. There are sisters and us 4 elders and then a couple of senior missionaries as well. The basic role that we have as zone leaders is to get to know the zone and to inspire them. We take part in a training about once a month that we get from the mission president in our MLC (Mission Leadership Conference). This is held monthly and many of the pics on the blog come from this. We also have the chance to work closely with the stake presidents in our zone. This is probably one of my favorite perks of being a zone leader! Every stake president that I have met has been like a spiritual giant and such an example. We meet with our stake presidents about once a week.

I have enjoyed my mission a lot! And recently I have had such a feeling of gratitude looking back and I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have had to meet the people that I have out here and to see their lives change! Such a blessing! Anyway, I have also seen how much of an increase [there has been] in my life. Recently I have learned so much and I am excited to apply the things I am learning. I love what the Lord says about seeking to learn— it is a skill that is priceless.

By way of work, it had slowed down drastically throughout our mission and especially throughout our zone for these past two months. To be honest, it has been difficult because this zone is known to carry the mission. But I am excited because we talked as a zone and decided to do a zone fast yesterday, so Elder Sutton and I are expecting to see some great things happen in this next month!  

Here are some pictures from the Washington Tacoma mission blog (calledtoservewa-tac.blogspot.com):

Sunday Dinner at Sister White's house:

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A Great Week! 2/20/2017

This week went by so quick. So much seemed to happen this week that I don't remember very much. It is kind of a blur. Anyway, we had some special visitors come up and visit that used to be in the mission. Both of my trainers Elder Ellis and Elder Lundgreen came up and visited the mission. It was great to see them again and super weird to see them not as missionaries anymore.

Anyway this week was great, it started out kind of busy with Elder Sutton and I preparing a couple trainings for the missionaries in our zone for both Wednesday and Thursday in our meetings. The meetings went great and got us ready for the work this week.

We had a neat experience this past week. S is a lady that we are working with and she has been progressing very well. She has been coming to the church for the past month and has been reading in the Book of Mormon. In fact, she is already past the Book of Alma! So this past week Elder Sutton and Sheffield went and had prepared a lesson for her. For the past little while, even before I got here, they have been trying to help her commit to baptism. At first she was a little hesitant, so they helped her resolve concerns and understand why baptism is so important and is the next step. After about an hour they came home excited as ever because she accepted their invitation to be baptized on March 10th! 

Well, hope that you all have a great week! 

Elder Bullough

P.S. Anyway, I also thought I would write that Sister White fed us some great food yesterday, we had ribs and chicken! It was such a good meal and tasted amazing! Here is a good group picture of us. Some of those guys are now home like Wyatt Lundgreen, Lacasse and Franks who are in the back row. They came up this week to visit the mission! 

This is Sister White. She is the one who fed us chicken and ribs! She is the best!

Missionaries & former WATAC missionaries gather at Sister White's house on Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017 for a delicious dinner of chicken & ribs. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Greatest Miracle of Them All! 2/13/2017

Update: I was transferred the other day back to Lakewood. Ironically, this is the ward that I actually started out my mission at. I am glad to be here and my new companions are Elder Sutton, Elder Stapley, Elder Sheffield who we are training. He is waiting for his visa to go to Samoa. It has been a blast so far and we are constantly laughing!

The Greatest Miracle of them all:
About 3 months ago I was in a companionship of 4 in the area of Gig Harbor. Every night in our mission we knock from 5pm to 7pm. So to find the place that we would be knocking we each prayed over the map and chose five streets each. As we were correlating we noticed that three of us had chosen the same street. Elder Lund who had already been in the area before decided not to choose that street because he had knocked it before and had not found much success there. But we decided to go on the whim and have two of us knock that street while the other two of us knocked a different area. Elder Killian and I were knocking that specific street when we got a call from a member of our ward, Coleman, who had recently returned from his mission asking if he could come out with us and that he was off work early. We readily accepted his help and told him where to meet us. As we were knocking we took a side road that was more of a back driveway and wasn't really even part of the main road, but it was dark so we didn't see the difference. Well, as we got to the bottom of that road we knocked on the door of C. C was met by all three of us at the door and she declined our first offer to share our message, and persistently we tried again but she shut us down. And as we were about to go on to the next door, Coleman spoke up from behind and asked, "Is there anything that we can help you with?" To be honest, I think that we ask this question a million times a day and rarely get anyone to say yes, but it was just the right time and the right place! C looked at him with a confused face and then back into her house and then back at us. She said that as a matter of fact she did need help because she and her whole family had just moved in and she had no way of taking all the boxes from the garage to the basement. That was it, we were helping and carried down a number of boxes for the next half hour and then when we finished I asked C if we could share our message with her. She accepted! So we went into the dining room and shared the first message! She had lots of questions but accepted our invitation to come out to church. The next day she came to church with us, then the next week we went back and answered questions and that week she brought her mom. This was the beginning of a great process. For the next couple of months we continued to teach C and her family the lessons. Lucky for us their almost next door neighbor, Brother Smith, is a member of our ward and came to each of the lessons with us. He was a huge help in their conversion! 

Just under a month ago, C happened upon a verse in 2 Nephi 31:17, which ironically talks about baptism by water and also the baptism by fire (the Holy Ghost). This was a great jump in her process and from there we continued to do our best to answer all of her questions and concerns and to help her get baptized. Each lesson was completely taught by the Spirit. I will never forget the Spirit that I felt or the way that it guided each of us during our visits.

Meanwhile, C's daughter M decided to move back up with her family after finishing some schooling down in Oregon. The Saturday before M came up, we invited C to invite her to come with us to church. The next week she brought her daughters and M became more interested as well so she started to sit in the lessons. 

One of my favorite parts of this story is that one day we had prepared to teach a lesson about the commandments shortly before their baptism. When we got into the lesson, we could feel something was missing. And just then C told us that she was just having a hard part with "Joseph Smith." So we felt inspired to throw out our old plans and teach the first vision again and then read Joseph Smith's History as well so that we could hear his story from his own words. When we did this it was powerful and I can still remember how that room felt as we were reading his story! We committed them to pray that night and ask God if Joseph Smith was a true prophet. Well, when we came back the next day both of them had gotten their answer! C mentioned how she had felt the Spirit as we were reading about his story and believed it was true. And M told us that she prayed and got her answer as well, in her own words..."I got a strong, Yes!" That is incredible, I am always amazed with our Heavenly Father and how much He loves us to give us answers to our questions that we have. 

Well to finish the story C and M were baptized on the 12th of this week and it was a wonderful experience! The baptismal service was amazing and each of the talks brought a sweet message and the Spirit to the room. I am proud of the choice that C and M made and I know it will bless their lives forever! 

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

Elder Lund, M, C, and Elder Bullough

Brother Smith, Elder Lund, Z, M, C, L, and Elder Bullough

M, C's mother Z, C, and C's other daughter L

Elder Sutton, Elder Stapely, Elder Sheffield, and Elder Bullough

Elder Stapely, Elder Bullough, Elder Sheffield, and Elder Sutton

Pictures of Elder Bullough 2/13/2017

The following pictures were posted on the Washington Tacoma Mission blog at calledtoservewa-tac.blogspot.com: 

Mission Leadership Conference ~ February 3, 2017

Transfer Day ~ February 7, 2017

New Missionaries meet their Trainers:
Elder Sheffield (new missionary)

Elder Bullough, Elder Sheffield, Elder Sutton, Elder Stapely

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

There is No Growth in the Comfort Zone! 1/30/2017

This week was great. The craziest part about the week was that on Wednesday all of the missions around the world received a training from the leaders of the church about the change in the missionary schedule. The changes are very small but still are quite a change from what I have been used to for the past 15 months. One of the coolest changes is that preparation day is now longer!! I am sure that every missionary in the world is happy about that change! 

This week Elder Lund and I had some awesome experiences teaching lessons and each lesson varied so much!

Earlier in the week, we had a chance to meet with C and her family. We mainly just answered concerns and focused on how they can get an answer to their prayers. At the end of the lesson we committed them to pray about baptism. Well this Sunday they came to church and we followed up on their prayer and C said that she feels like she is getting closer to being ready. She asked us if we could come over more during the week to get her questions answered. We gladly accepted and told her we would! 

Then Elder Lund and I went over to our ward mission leader's house because he and his brother invited their friend B to listen to our message. We ate brisket and then taught B the restoration. The best part of the lesson was when Josh, who is a member, shared his testimony with B in a powerful way and promised him so many blessings! It was amazing how real and how bold his testimony was to B and it brought such a powerful influence of the Spirit. B accepted our invitation to read the Book of Mormon and come to church! -The power of friendship in conversion!

And last but not least, we taught D the plan of salvation last night and it went great! It was also a lot of fun because we used flashcards to teach the lesson. I personally think that everyone there learned a lot because of the visual aids that helped us teach! It was so funny because she called it the "Jesus Puzzle" haha! We liked that spin on it.

Well hope that you all have a great day and enjoy the week!

Elder Bullough