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!