Sunday, May 24, 2015

Saturday Service Project Photos - May 2015

A couple of pics from one of our service projects last week. I'm just livin up the mission life out here haha



Hey i hope yall had a great week!
So you know how people talk about the gift of tongues when they go on missions? Well, I believe that I've received the gift of stomachs. I'm not quite sure how but I eat SO much. Like more than I've ever eaten before in my life. The members here expect me to have at least 2 or 3 plates when they have us over for dinner. And not gonna lie, I thought I was staying in good shape here and that the southern food wasn't getting to me cuz i haven't been gaining weight...but I was wrong. We started Insanity this morning...oh dear. Let's just say that's gonna be a LONG 60 days of working out...haha but anyways, the Lord has been blessing us here with murcles! sometimes it's tough because our numbers don't always reflect a lot but it just goes to show the missionary work is NOT about the numbers. This week was such a good one and if you just saw our numbers you wouldn't think it. We've been setting up people and families to teach left and right and we're just establishing a good friendship or foundation with them and it's finally paying off! So here's some cool things that happened this week!

So last Sunday (not yesterday but last week) Xavier got the Priesthood!! and Elder Morrell was able to ordain him and confer the priesthood to him so that was super cool to see him already working towards the next steps he has to take in the church!:)

Then the sisters met a guy named Colton who said he's searching for God in his life and gave him to us. So we go over to meet him and he's this black dude that has a fleur delis tattooed on the front of his neck! He invited us in and we got to know him and he's a rapper and producer that goes by "Nola Boy" hahah so sick. We taught him the restoration and he totally accepted it! He said stuff like "Ya man that totally makes sense to have a prophet again!" we went back the next day and gave him a Book of Mormon and he said he'd been wanting one for a while and that he felt in his heart that our message was true! he wasn't able to come to church and he called us last night to apologize and we ended up reading the Book of Mormon with him and had a little lesson over the phone for like a half hour! pray and everything! it was pretty cool! he's gonna get dunked.

Then we were also able to teach Mike again and he remembers most of what we've taught him about the Restoration and Plan of Salvation and he listens to the Book of Mormon on tape everyday! We were able to teach him the Gospel of Jesus Christ and he's still committed to working towards baptism! He was also able to come to church yesterday because Brother Pearsall (who is pretty much the coolest guy in our branch) was able to give him a ride! Mike came for all 3 hours and loved it! We got a new branch President who introduced himself to Mike and a lot of people were talking to him and he said he felt very comfortable and enlightened there.

And yesterday we were finally able to set up appointments with a couple of families that we've been talking to for so long and the Lord provided us with a way to share the gospel message with them! A cool thing was said yesterday in Branch Conference, our Stake President said that if we pray as families or just as individuals, each day, to have a missionary experience or opportunity then he will bless us with those opportunities!! I've seen it first hand in my life too! When I was at Redlands before my mission, i prayed everyday for missionary opportunities and sure enough, everyday I prayed for one, I had one! It's all about humbling ourselves to God and saying "Here I am! Let me do your work!" I promise yall that if each one of you pray for these chances, the Lord will bless you with them. Those of us who have the blessings of the gospel in our life need to share them!!

I'm learning so much from Elder Morrell and my mission. I feel like I've already grown so much and no matter how hard it is to keep on working or keep obeying the rules or whatever it may be, I keep on going cuz I love Our Savior, Jesus Christ. He should be our motivation for obedience. And not out of fear, but out of love. As we gain a better knowledge of the Atonement, this change of heart will take place and we will willingly follow and obey Christ because we love him. It shouldn't be a burden to keep the commandments. They give us blessings! who doesn't want to be blessed?? and the best part is, we can make mistakes and repent for them so it's like they never even happened! don't take this for granted. We can't fathom what Christ has done for us. It's impossible. But we can show him gratitude for what we do know and the best way to do that is to follow him willingly. I love and miss yall a lot but I'm so glad I have this opportunity to serve!! hope yall have a great week!!

Elder Armstrong

Elder Armstrong
Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission


Spring in Luling 2015

Here's a couple pics of our District and Elder Morrell and I after a nice bike ride in a storm...

Our District

Keepin it real 


May 11, 2015 - Happy Mother's Day Y'All!!

Hey Y'all!

I hope everyone had a great Mother's Day and I hope y'all told your moms how much you love them. It was so nice being able to Skype the family (love you mom & dad!!) but ya it was a great first mother's day out here in Louisiana. Anyways, I hope everyone had a great week too, it was pretty good here in Luling this week!

So we went to Seymour's little town home this week to see if we could teach him cuz we ran into him last week when we went to see a less active member. Now he's been in the mental hospital for the last month so he's not all there haha but we went over and he was home so he let us in. Now Seymour smokes SO much. like probably 2 or 3 packs a day. And so why we were in there he's just smoking away and Elder Morrell and I are practically choking haha so we ask him if we can share a message with him and he says sure. So we say an opening prayer and as soon as we say amen Seymour hops up and says "Thanks bruh, imma go take a shower now" and so we left hahaha it was so funny. But ya that guy is kind of a trip.

We also saw Mike, our blind investigator this week and he's doing so good! He studied Theology in college so he already has a good knowledge of religious terms like exaltation, resurrection, etc. so it makes it really easy to teach him cuz we don't have to dumb anything down for him. But we taught him the Plan of Salvation and it was so cool cuz before hand we were talking to him about his family and he lost a son in the military and he was telling us that he believes in an afterlife but that it's a mystery and no one knows what it's like. So then Elder Morrell and I were like actually we know exactly what it's like and he was pumped. But ya he excepted it all and at the end we committed him to a baptismal date and he was excited!! So hopefully he makes it. I just love seeing how the spirit changes people.

We also had a lot of service opportunities this week, especially on Saturday. we were out doing yard work for like 8 hours! I loved it, it brought me back to my days of cruisin in Shelby  and mowin lawns in the neighborhood. But when we got done we were driving back home and we passed a house of this guy named Rodney who isn't a member but he always stops and talks to us when he sees us and is just super nice. Anyways, we drive past and he flags us down so we pull over and him and his whole family were having a fish fry and he told us to come and get some food. I was so pumped. We had fried bass, catfish, oysters (SO salty) and frogs! not frog legs, but the whole frog and it tasted way good! Southern hospitality is real!!

It's just so great to see how the gospel not only changes other people, but how it's changed me already. I love working and obeying cuz I'm gaining a better knowledge and love for the atonement. The greatest work we can do is missionary work and you don't have to be a full time missionary to do missionary work. I love this gospel SO much. literally i can't describe it. When I look back on my life i see all the dumb mistakes i made and it's the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and his atonement that has brought me peace and comfort and it's through Christ's sacrifice that I've been able to be forgiven and made clean. We can always repent and always turn to our Father in Heaven, never forget that. Anyways, thanks again yall for the emails and letters and support!! I love yall!!

Elder Armstrong
Elder Armstrong
Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission

Missionary swagger -

May 2015

May - Mission Pictures

This is our barber, Charlie, he's such a cool guy! He'll get dunked soon haha 

Elder Morrell & I next to the Mississippi River

2 Months! ~ May 4, 2015

Well I hit my 2 month mark today!! haha it feels like it's gone by so fast! I know it's not that much time compared to 2 years, but it's getting there! Anyways, I hope yall had a great week! So we had transfers this week and Elder Morrell and I are staying put here in Luling and so are Sister Miskho and Sister Baird! They're such cool sisters! But ya this week was another slow one, not a whole lot went on except a few things.
We went to transfer meeting on Wednesday to get our car back and then we spent the day in Baton Rouge visiting some old members and investigators that Elder Morrell used to know cuz he was in Baton Rouge for like 16 months. And we visited this one lady named Sister Shuler. Now she is one of the most interesting people I've met so far. She has paranoia, schizophrenia and multiple personality disorder. And when she came outside when we pulled up she was holding a cabbage and a knife and proceeded to carve the cabbage throughout our conversation. hahah she also thinks her neighbors plant weeds in her garden and try to poison her hahah she was such a funny lady!

Oh! we also caught a turtle!! Morrell was driving and it was just in the middle of the road so I jumped out and picked it up haha I wanted to kill it and keep it's shell and have everyone sign it at transfer meetings but Elder Morrell said we relocated it in the creek by our apartment. Sheldon would've made a great transfer turtle though...

And then on Saturday we had Xavier's baptism!! oh my goodness it was so spiritual! And we had a lot of support from the branch! We were worried that not a lot of people would show up because we had our day of service from 8-2 that morning and then his baptism at 5. But we had over 40 members show up, it was awesome! Then yesterday I was able to confirm him in Sacrament meeting and that was super cool.

We also had an investigator show up to sacrament and bear his testimony...while he was stoned...hahaha oh my goodness this guy was a trip! but then one of our members looked him up and found out he was involved in a murder trial a couple years ago but "wasn't mentally fit to see trial"...when we heard that we were like what the ya i dunno what we'll do about him haha 

Anyways, All is well here! I know i say this a lot but being a missionary is so hard but so rewarding! Like I can't even describe the happiness I felt when I watched Xavier get baptized cuz I knew I contributed to his conversion! the spirit is always here to guide us, we just have to the world's volume down sometimes so we can hear it. Anyways, thanks for all the support! I miss and love yall!!
Elder Armstrong

Pics from my hood - April 2015


Biking & tracting with Elder Morrell in Luling

Luling is Poppin' - April 28, 2015

Hey yall! 

So yesterday was "proselyting Monday" cuz transfers are tomorrow so that's why I didn't get to email. but oh my goodness there was the biggest storm of my life!! literally. at 10am the sky was practically black and we were on tornado lockdown! the sirens were going off and our phone was getting a bunch of emergency texts and of course Elder Morrell and I wanted to see it so we went outside our apartment and were videoing the lightning and stuff and we literally nearly got struck by lightning. I swear on my life it was the scariest thing but I got it on video!! Idk if it's too big to send in an email or not but i'll try, but if you look at it you can see that it was literally just a few feet away from us and the thunder was deafening. it was SO COOL!! hahah but ya we didn't see a tornado but one touched down somewhere else in Louisiana and blew a train off a bridge so that was nuts.

Anyways, this week was pretty slow cuz it was crazy storms all week and we're still on bikes so everytime we went out we got caught in the storms....i hate the rain here haha we saw a 12 foot gator in the middle of the highway though so that was awesome!! and we did a lot of tracting and I had so many doors slammed in my face this week. it was great! haha all i could say was "hello" and they'd be like "nope. not interested." SLAM. I was mad at first but it just got to the point that I just laughed everytime. 

And we got a referral from the sisters here for a guy named Eugene so we went and visited him. Oh my goodness. this guy was a trip haha so he's 72 years old and he told us quite a few stories. Some of which included his multiple visits to jail for fighting, his 4 or 5 ladies that want him to marry them and his vast love for work and money. This dude talked to us for about 2 hours and we talked for maybe 5 minutes the whole time. he has 10 kids and he even said he had a 3 page list of women that he's been with that he wanted to show us but we said we'd have to take a raincheck on that. haha he was a nice dude but he kinda scared me at the end cuz he was trying to convince us that he was crazy and we were like you're not crazy! to which he replied "yes i am! I spent over $500 on this box of knives" he then pulled out a massive box of all different kinds of knives and axes and proceeded to tell us how he has some in every room of his house...hahah the guy was awesome though. I'm pumped to see what he has to say the next time we see him.

And the Lord is blessing us with miracles! We had 4 investigators at sacrament! Xavier, Mr. Charles, Mike and his girlfriend Barbara! It was awesome! And Xavier is getting baptized this Saturday so the first missionary that found him, Elder Makin, is doing that and then he asked me to confirm him  so I'm pumped!! but ya I love it here. The sisters and Elder Morrell and I are killing it here! members of the branch even said that they've never had a group of missionaries as powerful as the 4 of us are so that got me stoked. Being a missionary isn't easy, but i love it :) anyways, thank yall so much for the emails and everything every week!! Love yall!!

Elder Armstrong

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Pepper Palace Pics April 2015

The Pepper Palace
Notice my red face right after taking the "Hot Sauce Challenge" 

Hot Sauce Champion

April pics


The Grand Mississippi River

In a member's home - African American Last Supper

The Pepper Palace - April 20, 2015

Hey yall! I'd like to apologize now for all the pictures i'm gonna send this week haha i took a lot. But holy cow so this week has been awesome! BUT we've been on bikes and sure enough there were thunderstorms ALL WEEK LONG so that was fun to ride in. But first off I'll have yall know that I nearly died twice this week. Literally! the first time was last P day, we wen't downtown for my first time and went to the French Market in New Orleans (btw there are some VERY interesting people here) hahah anyways, we went to this place called the Pepper Palace. Now this place is home to the world's hottest hot sauce. you need to sign a waver to try it. Now for those of yall that know me pretty well, you know that I can't handle hot stuff. at all. and you also know that If people tell me do something that'll be funny/cool....well there's a good chance I'll do it. So long story short, I put about a pea sized drop of this sauce called "flashbang" on a chip and ate it. OH MY GOODNESS. it was like tasting hell. my ears were ringing, my face and hands were tingling and I couldn't even think or talk. It was as if the devil himself were liquified on that tortilla chip. And to make things worst I almost started having a panic attack cuz my mouth hurt so bad. But hey, I survived and got my picture on the wall of flame so I guess it's cool.

Second time, we're riding our bikes on the highway and there are a bunch of stores and food places that people are turning in and out of on the side of the highway we're on. Anyways, I'm about 10 feet away from a van and it's stopped so I assume she sees me. Well very clearly in my head I hear "go wide around this car" so without hesitating I go wider around it and as soon as I'm in front of it, she hits the gas to shoot a gap in traffic and it felt like I was watching her in slow motion but she literally misses my back tire by like 8 inches! Elder Morrell was behind me and he was freaking out cuz if she hit me I would've been flung into oncoming traffic and that wouldn't have been good for anybody. But by listening to the Holy Ghost I was definitely saved there.

It was also a really spiritual week too. I gave the spiritual thought at a joint zone conference so that was a little frightening. And I also taught my first instruction in district meeting which was cool. But Elder Morrell and I have been really faithful and diligent in our finding and contacting efforts lately and the Lord is blessing us with success. We are finding so many potential investigators and by the end of this week we should have up to 8 more investigators! That's really good considering we've only had 1 or 2 this whole transfer. But the coolest spiritual experience we had this week was with Mike.

Now idk if I talked about him to yall last week, but we found Mike while tracting in Hahnville. He's a legally blind, retired cop. He was raised catholic and studied theology so he knows a lot about religion. But we had an appointment with him on Saturday. We went over and he's such a cool guy and for a blind dude he gets around really well. But we taught him the restoration and it was so powerful. He understand all of it and kept saying "mmhmm" or "that makes sense" it was awesome! At the end he said "Ya know, we go through life as students, and God sends us the teachers. Well I feel like yall are the teachers that he's sent to me." I had such a strong feeling to invite him to be baptized and so i did and without hesitation he said "Yes. If I keep believing what yall are teaching then yes I'll be baptized." Morrell and I were so pumped!! We have a lunch appointment with him and his girlfriend tomorrow so that'll be fun.

The Lord is blessing us with miracles here in Louisiana. It's definitely a tough area but we keep working hard and being faithful and it's paying off. I love this work even though its so hard sometimes. I know that Heavenly Father prepares all his children at one point or another to receive the gospel and it's our job as missionaries to find those who are ready. Thank yall so much for the weekly letters and support!! Love yall!!

-Elder Armstrong


Reptiles of LA

I caught this baby leopard gecko!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

April 13, 2015 Pictures

On the levy

A moustache photo shoot

April 13, 2015

 Ohhh Louisiana

 Hey y'all!! K this week was so funny and so boring all at the same time, I'll start the boring first. So Elder Morrell had bronchitis this week so we sat in for a couple days which sucked cuz I got SOOO bored just sitting there all day. So I took all the church magazines in our apartment and cut out all the pictures of Jesus and created "Jesus Wall" haha I filled up a whole wall with pics of Jesus, so that was pretty cool. Oh and they took our car this week cuz some elder broke his ankle and sure enough, the week they take it, it rains ALL WEEK...i love the rain but holy cow when it rains here it pours. for hours. so we try to go sympathy tracting and people just laugh at us half the time. so that's always a good time. hopefully we get another car in a few weeks, but for now we're on bikes...awesome. 

Anyways, funny stories! So last P day we went to this less active members house named Manny. Now, Manny is like a gourmet chef and he loves having big lunch parties with all the missionaries. And he's VERY open about how he's attracted to men. and the Elder that converted him is like a huge homophobe and he was there with all us missionaries so manny just kept saying stuff like "Lookin good Elder Whitmarsh!" and then he'd wink hahah it was so funny. I was laughing so hard and was SO glad that wasn't me cuz i'd have been so uncomfortable! but Elder Whitmarsh and him are tight so he was a good sport about it. But Manny made some gumbo, and it was my first gumbo and it was AMAZING. oh my goodness gumbo is the best.

Then later in the week we got bible bashed by a guy named Oscar (the guy who yelled at us from the tub). He went off about how the spirit was telling him to not read the BOM and we were like hmm...really...then we tried to just give him a pass along card with a pic of Jesus on it and he said he couldn't accept it cuz it was a false representation of Christ. I asked him why and he said "Jesus wasn't white! He was a dark skinned man!" He thought Jesus was black?!?! what the...I've never heard that before and literally had to keep myself from laughing.

On a more spiritual note, our only progressing investigator, Xavier, committed to baptism this week!!! We asked him at the beginning of our lesson on Friday if he'd prepare to be baptized on May 2nd and he said "I haven't gotten an answer yet, but i should by then, so ya." Well I wasn't too confident with that so we kept teaching and Elder Morrell had him read 2 Nephi 31 and while he was reading it came to me!! i knew exactly what to say! So when he was done reading, I asked him "When you think about your baptism, being all dressed in white and entering the water, how do you feel?" and he sat there for a sec and then said "I feel really good and peaceful and happy like I finally made it!" I felt the spirit SO strongly and told him, "Xavier, that's your answer you've been looking for! That feeling is the spirit telling you that it's the right thing to do!" He literally lit up and was beaming. Smiling so big. and he practically yelled "lets do it!!" haha i love that guy to death. so hopefully everything works out for him to be baptized in a few weeks!! I'm so pumped.

I just want yall to know how much I love the people here. Even the ones who bash me and yell at me. I love them because Christ loves me unconditionally and ultimately, as missionaries, we're just trying to help people strengthen their relationship with Christ. It's tough sometimes but God's servants are all given strength and are glorious in his eyes (1 Nephi 21:5) I love this gospel and I promise any and all of you that if you just take a few moments to read from the Book of Mormon everyday you will strengthen your relationship with Christ and know of it's truth! I miss and love all yall! Have a great week!!

-Elder Armstrong

Monday, April 13, 2015

April 6, 2015 Pictures

Sooo I totally left out that I ate crawfish for the first time this week! (For Easter lunch at the Margans.) I ain't gonna lie... it was freaking weird. Hahaha. 



Oh, and we also almost caught a gator that was sleeping!! Like literally I was 3 feet away and then it woke up and scared the crap out of me!! hahaha


April 6, 2015

It's already been a month?!

Hey y'all!!

K first off, I just want to say that General Conference this weekend was AMAZING!! I've never gotten more out of it before. I wasn't tired at all and I felt the spirit so strongly, it was great. Personally my favorite talks were the one by Elder Holland cuz he always gets me pumped. But I loved Elder Kevin W. Pearson of the Seventy's talk. He talked about how we can always stay true to the gospel. He told us to never forget to pray, obedience builds faith in Christ & to read the Book of Mormon Everyday, Everyday, Everyday! it was great.

Anyways, we had a great week! I went on exchanges for Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday morning in Laplace with our district leader, Elder Whittier. He's been out about 9 months and so I was kinda nervous that I was gonna do bad but I actually kind of took over in his area which was so cool. Like Elder Morrell and I try to talk to everyone so I've gotten pretty good at starting conversations and contacting everyone I see but Elder Whittier isn't as comfortable with that. So as we went out tracting and contacting he said it was so cool that I could talk to anyone and that I was already better than a lot of missionaries at it and so I thought that was such a compliment! We were able to teach an 8 year old girl prepping for baptism and it was so cool to feel how innocent she is and the power and innocence of her spirit. We also gave a lady in the ward a blessing which was cool.

So I got back to Luling on Thursday and idk what it is but a lot of ladies hit on Elder Morrell and I...I guess they just like us Utah boys hahah anyways, we were contacting in a city called Wagaman and we went to a McDonalds that is in the city that we always go to. And there is this middle aged black lady who works there named Erica and she is there every time we go and when we walk in she yells "MMM MMM it's Mr. Armstrong!" so that always makes me smile. And on Friday we were out contacting again and this lady was sitting on her porch drinking a beer and we walked up and started talking to her. Her name is Miss Michelle and she's like 40 somethin but she started talking and said "Y,all are a couple of handsome young men!" and we laughed and were like "Ohhh thanks" and she continued and said "No really if I was young again...mmm mmm" in my mind I was thinking "Oh dear. please no." hahaha then she started telling us about her daughter and niece and how we should talk to them and we explained that we can't really date and she was quite disappointed. I guess we just a couple of lady killers.

Last story for the week, we met this guy named Mr. Charles last week when he was out mowing his lawn he stopped and yelled '"My Mormon Brothas!" This guy has a freakin story. So we went over on Friday to teach him and he has us come in and sit down. and he is a BIG black dude. like 6' 6" and at least 250 or 260 but he's not fat. and he's got scars all over his face and arms. anyways, we start reading from the bible and talking with him about Christ and he tells us how he used to not care about Christ and he said "I done everythin possible on the street except kill a man" like it was nuts. he told us about how he used to buy and sell drugs and did 17 1/2 years in prison but he came to Christ and chose his path now, it was so cool! he wants to keep meeting with us and see what we know! i'm pumped to teach him.

But anyways, a less active in our ward just called us and has a flat tire and needs a ride so we have to go help him now and have plans for the rest of P day so idk if i'll be able to really email any of y'all today but i'll try! I love y'all and am so thankful for this opportunity I have to be a missionary!! 

-Elder Armstrong

March 30, 2015

I'm just postin up next to my future set of wheels . . . 

March 30, 2015

Hey!! I'm in the tub!! 
Hey y'all!! So, first off I hope these emails are at least semi-entertaining and that y'all enjoy reading them - even though they're kinda long. I think my stories are funny but maybe that's just me...haha anyhow, I bet a lot of y'all are wonderin why I titled my email what it is...well let me tell ya! So. We were tracting down this street and we were trying to go see a potential investigator named Oscar. We get to his house and knock on the door and there's a window right next to it and some guy yells "Hey!! Hey who's there??" Not gonna lie it kinda scared me but we were like "uhh the missionaries..." Then Oscar was like "I'm in the tub!! come back later!" hahah that made me laugh pretty hard.

Things are good out here though. We've been working out in the mornings with the sisters in our area and one of them is a personal trainer...holy crap I thought I was in shape and I was sorely mistaken. Leg day was last Wednesday and Elder Morrell and I are just barely able to walk normal's been rough. Haha We had kind of a slow week because we were planning a devotional for this last Thursday about the life of Jesus Christ but we ended up having to cancel it because a couple of guys randomly showed up and started replacing the carpet at the same time we were supposed to have our devotional! And no one knows who called them! I think it was Satan...but that's just me. But on Wednesday Elder Morrell and I were able to go the temple with a member in our branch, Brother Pearsall! It was so fun! I love the temple SO much. Literally the best place on earth. Like I said it was a slow week but I've got a couple of things that happened that were pretty cool.

So first, we were riding through this neighborhood and I saw this guy and felt really strongly to go and talk to him so we flipped around and went up to his door and some old lady came to the window and yelled at us to leave hahah so we left and visited some other people. A couple hours later when we were leaving we rode down his street and he was out walking his dog so we stopped and talked to him, his name is Mr. Seymour. He's been wanting to go to church for a long time cuz he's catholic but doesn't like it there. So he said we can come meet with him this week and that he'll come to church in a couple of Sundays! But he said the old lady that yelled at us was his mom and that she though we were Jehova's Witnesses and so that's why she yelled at us! so we rode back to the house and she was out on the porch and Elder Morrell stops and says, "Ma'am, we're not Jehova's Witnesses." She was like "Oh, you're not?" Then he said "Nope, we're Mormons!" then she smiled and said "Well come on in!" hahaha I thought that was awesome.

We had another great lesson with Xavier and we had real talk with him about baptism and the spirit was so strong it was amazing. He said he needs a little more time but could see himself getting baptized which is awesome!! I can't wait for the day that he says he's ready to be baptized!!:)

Anyways, I want y'all to know how much I love my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Without him we'd all be lost. But through him anything is possible. The mission is SO hard at times but "I will trust, and not be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength."(2Nephi22:2) I promise all of you that the Gospel of Jesus Christ can bring comfort and peace no matter what challenge you are going through. We are given trials to test our faith and devotion to him. Living the gospel is definitely not easy, but like my parents always told me "Nothing worth doing in life is ever going to come easy." Always remember to turn to your Father in Heaven in humble prayer and he will deliver you. I miss y'all a lot and thanks so much for all the emails and letters!! Love y'all!!

-Elder Armstrong

Sooo this little creek and trees are actually right behind our apartment complex and we always see little gators in there. 

Elder Morrell & I at the temple

Elder Armstrong
Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission

Sunday, March 29, 2015

March 23, 2015

Hey everyone!!

WOW. Louisiana is reeaaallyy different. like my gosh it is so strange. First off, it's flippin' hot. Like imagine if Satan wore's hotter than that and it's not even spring?! 

And here, instead of saying "kids" or "children" people say "churn" (example: "Look at all dem little churn runnin' 'round.") 

I got put with the sickest trainer, his name is Elder Morrell! He's from Layton, UT and went to Northridge a couple years ago. He was the AP but got pulled down to train me and we get along great! He played football in high school and he likes to have fun and work hard which is perfect cuz that's what I want to do. 

We're in a little town off the Mississippi River. We're out in the bayous. YESSSSS!!! And i've already seen 4 freakin gators so that's awesome. kinda freaky tho...they're scary when you realize that you're not in the zoo and they could eat you...anyways, I've realized right away though that it's gonna be TOUGH out here. Like we've had 10 appointments this week and they all cancelled. what the heck?? rude. but whatever. and we only have 1 progressing investigator who is 16 and is named Xavier. He wants to be baptized and has been taught everything but just doesn't have the desire to follow through with our commitments so we're gonna have "real talk" with him this week. 

Quick little story, we were riding our bikes down this street and we'd say hi to people and they'd be like "'sup detectives" or "sup undercovers" they think were cops and they don't really like us...some ladies were nice though so that was a plus.

Also, we got bible bashed in the nicest way possible by this lady named Rachelle. Hahah we were walkin and i felt like we should go talk to her, so we did. And in the nicest way possible she told us we were gonna go to hell for spreading the false gospel of the false prophet Joseph Smith...kind of upsetting. actually VERY upsetting. but she was genuinely concerned for our wellfare cuz we were "nice young men" and shouldn't ruin our lives. haha good times here in the bible belt.

I know that we should trust in the Lord 100% and if we're doing what we're supposed to and have faith then He will help us no matter what!! (see 2 Nephi 22:2) The mission won't be easy but it's the least I could do to serve our Savior after all he has given me. I miss y'all like crazy!! Thanks for all the support!! love y'all!

-Elder Armstrong

March 17, 2015 - First Day in the new mission

Arriving in Louisiana

Meeting my new mission president & his wife at the airport  

Louisiana! I'm here!

Idk what I'm doin' in this picture of me by Lake Pontchartrain haha... my new companion, Elder Morrell, said, "What the heck kind of face is that??"

Ridin' our bikes -

and in this next pic I'm eating some jalapeno relish, sent to us by 
Elder Morrell's momma, and it was fetchin hot! haha

MTC Temple Trip & A little time to "chill" - MTC style

Visiting the Provo Temple 
Elder Armstrong and Elder Stimpson
Basketball shorts & snacks - a few minutes to chill @ the MTC

MTC Pics

Finally! The computer photo upload worked! These pics were taken during the last few days in the MTC & go with the blog entry titled "4 Days 'til Louisiana" 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

4 Days 'til Louisiana

March 13, 2015

I don't know how to describe how the time goes here in the sometimes its SO slow and it feels like the day will never end, and then 2 hours later you're like whoa; that was only like 5 minutes! I'm loving it here though!! But it definitely has it's this guy in my district, Elder Harman (the larger kid with the glasses in the pictures) is a struggle to get along with. Like I've tried to exercise love and patience but he is ALWAYS singing this weird showtune versions of scripture songs and hymns. His feet smell so bad that the smell consumes the room. He's always up past 10:30 keeping the lights on and keeping all of us up doing who knows what. And he's had the worst cough since we got here. Like literally, LITERALLY sounds like a dog barking. And not a tiny dog. Like a fetching german shepherd. It's awful. And we've all kinda been pranking eachother in the room but I nearly lost it with him a couple days ago. I was in bed and I was almost asleep and the lights go on and so I jump out of bed and turn them off (after they've been on for a while) and the next thing I knew, I was covered in medicated baby powder - the stuff that smells like aloe or whatever. Elder Harman sat there and sprayed it all over me when I got up, and I about lost it with him. I didn't swear and I didn't get physical and to be honest, i'm not quite sure how hahaha but we've since moved on from that and lets just say it'll be nice to say goodbye to him :)

Anyways, Elder Stimpson is still funny and is such a hick I love it. Hahaha he always talks about trucks and cows and has this southern drawl and we have some good laughs together. And Elder Thielen is hilarious too. He draws these little cartoons of all of us in the district and they're so funny. I'll send some pics next week of what he's done, but ya I got along with those 2 really well. And I love learning the gospel!! I wish I was in Baton Rouge already but I'm flyin' out on Tuesday morning!! (and no mom and dad you can't come say hi at the airport, it's against the rules) but ya it's crazy. I feel like I've learned so much but still have a ton left to learn!! It's amazing what the spirit can do though. The biggest struggle for me at the beginning of the week was learning how to let the spirit work through me and fill my mouth and mind with the right words. Cuz obviously I can feel the spirit but it's confusing on how to interpret it sometimes. But we (me and my companion, Elder Stimpson) were in a lesson with an investigator here at the MTC and it's funny cuz he (my companion) hardly says ANYTHING. Like when we hang out he talks a lot, but he clams up in the lessons and doesnt trust himself to talk hahaha but we were sitting in a lesson and were trying to talk about how we know that God is our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ is His Son and I can't remember what I said, but I felt the spirit so strong and was bearing my testimony to her (our investigator) and remembering scriptures and things like I never have before and she was in tears and I was practically shaking cuz the spirit was so strong. It was amazing. I know this church is true and I love this gospel so so so so much and I know that if we exercise complete faith in Heavenly Father anything is possible.

Thanks so much though for all the emails and letters and packages from everyone!! I attached some pics of the guys in my room and my district! And I'll try and write all of you back, they only give us an hour to do this though and our schedule is pretty packed, but I'll try and get back to all of you! Love y'all!!

-Elder Armstrong

Sunday, March 8, 2015

DAY 3 in the MTC

                                                                                                   March 6, 2015
Hey everybody! So I'm on day 3 here in the MTC and am loving it! Not gonna lie, studying all day is a bit of a change from sitting around and doing nothing most of the time...but it's great! The spirit here in the MTC is so strong! I'm really trying to focus on not just feeling the spirit, but actually trying to interpret what it wants me to say. I'd say that's the biggest challenge I have ahead because I know Preach My Gospel pretty well, it's just knowing what the spirit wants me to say and when to say it.
   Now my companion is Elder Stimpson and he's from some tiny town called Deetrick, Idaho population 300. He worked on a dairy farm and wants to grow up to be a rich dairy man and to be honest he kind of reminds me of Josh Weight a little bit hahaha he also kind of has some southern accent/drawl so I call him Oklahoma sometimes and he doesn't like that too much. And I thought he'd be going to Louisiana with me but he's actually going to Philadelphia with the other 2 guys and 2 girls in our district. Oh ya! I'm the District Leader so that's kind of cool. There's 8 of us, 4 guys and 4 girls. The other guys in our district and room are pretty funny, Elder Thielen and Elder Harman. Elder Harman is a kid from Idaho that is SO excited about everything. EVERYTHING. It's a little too much energy for me at times. And Elder Thielen is from Carson City, Nevada and is pretty funny. 
   I've seen a lot of people here that I know! Like Jen Dodge, Emily Orton, Scott Tew, Tanner Galloway, Whitney Vest & Skyler Jolley's older brother works here in the gym so I talked with him for a little bit. Anyways, it's so cool to see how much i've grown in just a couple days. I'm excited to keep learning and growing and to get out into the field!! I miss you guys but I know I'm out here doing what I'm supposed to for the right reasons and i couldn't be happier :) And I tried to attach some pictures but this computer is being dumb and wont open my camera when I plug it in sooo i'll try and figure that out. Anyways, Thanks for all the prayers and emails! Love ya guys! 
-Elder Armstrong

Reporting to the MTC - March 4, 2015

This blog belongs to Elder Armstrong; however, since missionaries are not allowed to "blog" while serving a mission, he's asked me (his mother) to update his blog when he sends us emails and photos. I'm happy to help out! Thanks for your support & interest.  Here's to the to the next 2 years!!

MTC Drop-Off

I quickly snapped this pic right as this nice MTC Host Greeter (who is also an Elder at the MTC) welcomed us. He helped with getting the luggage out of our vehicle and said he'd be Elder Armstrong's companion into the building. We were given about 2 minutes or less to get the luggage out and say our good-byes. It was all so fast!!  You can just tell by the smile on Elder Armstrong's face, how excited he was to be there. He really was in such great spirits and couldn't wait to begin his mission! So proud of him! 

 It's official. The mission has begun! 

Walking in to the MTC.
He was focused, happy to be there, & really calm about everything. He is truly ready!