Saturday, April 22, 2017

Happy Birthday Elder Stotts!

We received these pictures from members who celebrated Elder Stotts's 20th birthday with him on April 18th. We are so grateful for the kindness of the members in his area!

April 17, 2017

It's true that when you are a missionary your perspective changes in regards to Christmas and Easter. My testimony of the Savior has grown deeper and stronger since I've been a full time missionary. I know that what the Prophet Joseph Smith said about the Book of Mormon, "That a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other book." I am currently reading the Book of Mormon for the 5th time while I've been on my mission, and I can say that I have come closer to God by reading it and striving to live by what is taught therein than any other book I've read. Our investigator, Donovan, sang in the primary choir with the other kids yesterday, he's excited to be baptized on the 29th.
The work is rolling forward, no unhallowed hand can stop it, and we only have to decide if we will receive the blessing that come from pushing it along.

I love you!

Stay righteous Y'all!

April 11, 2017

Talk about a crazy week! We drove up to Elko to drop off Elder Davis with the transfer van and then drove to Winnemucca for a mission tour yesterday with Elder Brent K. Nielsen of the seventy, head of the missionary department (the reason you're getting this on Tuesday and not Monday) and obviously we drove back from both, a total of 16 hours of driving on Nevada's lonely highways past dust, sagebrush and not much else. Elder Yost is awesome. I'm a whole 7 inches taller than him, which feels pretty good. He's a really hard worker, so I'm sure we'll see a lot of miracles here. My favorite part of the mission tour was Sister Nielsen's training on how to be a good companion. I took a lot of notes on that one. I'm excited to see where this transfer goes! I know that it will be full of miracles. Listen to conference again! This is counsel we need for our day, don't let it fall on heavy ears!

Stay righteous Y'all!

-Elder Yost

-A really Tasty steak I had on Saturday

-a cool moonshot

April 3, 2017

Hello everyone! Transfer Calls came last night, Elder Davis is going to Carson city, my new companion will be Elder Yost (Pronounced y"oh"st) He was in the MTC with Elder Davis so I actually know him, this is the first time I knew my companion before I was companions with them.
This is also only the 3rd companion I'll have that I'm taller than. I'm not a short guy, but I've had a lot of really tall companions.
Other than that, General Conference was a blast! I went with a couple questions and they were all answered!  I'll share one with you all: One of my questions was "how can I learn to recognize and follow the spirit?" There were at least 3 talks focused on that question. My favorite one was Elder Stevenson's talk, even though he was talking specifically to primary children, we should all listen to his counsel about how we should "Stay close to the Spirit and he will stay close to you."
I'm so grateful we had this opportunity to listen to the words of prophets and apostles these last couple days. I noticed a trend, there were a lot of speakers who focused on inviting us to do the basics, to read the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon, pray and attend church. I add my witness to theirs that if we keep the basics of daily worship in our lives, we will have much greater power over the temptations of the devil, our testimonies will grow stronger, and we will eventually reach our goal of living with our father in heaven. I know that these things are true, I know the book of Mormon is true, I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet, and I know that Jesus Christ lives!

Stay righteous Y'all!!!

March 27, 2017

The work keeps moving along! It snowed three times this week, but it the snow never stuck around for more than a day, so it wasn't bad. We were able to set Brayden and Bailee with a baptismal date for the 8th of April. Their family is having a few struggles right now with finding a new place to live. The place that they’re living right now isn't exactly what I would call ideal. There isn't much insulation and whenever they use heaters too much the breakers fail and the power cuts out. Hopefully they find a new place soon. We were able to set Donovan with a date for the 13th of May. He even got up to bear his testimony yesterday! Of course the first time he got up he got about 5 feet away from the podium and chickened out and sat back down in the pews, but he worked up the nerve to get up and share a story about how he fell from a 2nd story window when he was 5 and he didn't get hurt. That guy's a brave little boy, I don't think I ever had the guts to do that when I was ten. And his mom wasn't even there (she brings him to church but doesn't stay herself, we're working on that).
 More cool things that happened this week, I saw the state prison that has about as many inmates as Ely has people. We went to Garrison and gave out 13 copies of the Book of Mormon for members to read and mark up for their friends. So yeah! It's been a good week!

Remember to always build your foundation on the rock of Christ. If you do, you cannot fall
Helaman 5:12

Stay righteous Y'all!

I don't have time to write captions, so good luck figuring out what the pictures are!

March 20, 2017

This was a great week. Elder Davis and I are working hard and seeing lots of miracles. My favorite one that happened this week, we received a referral from our bishop for this 60 year old man that was walking from Wendover to Ely. If you know anything about eastern Nevada Geography, Wendover is about 120 miles from Ely. The guy's name is Michael, and he got about 43 miles before a trucker picked him up, (who happened to be a member of the church). The trucker called our bishop and got him the help he needed. To make matters worse, there was a nasty storm and Michael didn't have a jacket. As he and the trucker drove down they talked about the church and Michael got really interested and said he would come! We met with him and arranged for someone to bring him to church, but when they got there he had decided to walk to church instead (What's a mile and a half compared to 43 miles?) It is definitely a miracle that he was able to survive the snowstorm in the middle of nowhere, an even bigger miracle that he got picked up, and an even bigger miracle that the guy who picked him up was a missionary minded member!
I know that miracles will happen as long as we have the faith that is required. And ye may know that he is, by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore I would exhort you that ye deny not the power of God; for he worketh by power, according to the faith of the children of men, the same today and tomorrow, and forever. Moroni 10:7
Remember, there is no greater work than missionary work, and no work has bigger rewards than missionary work. God is ready and willing to give us these opportunities to share what we know to be true. All we have to do is be willing to open our mouths.  For it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say. D+C 100:6

We'll see what miracles happen this week.

March 6, 2017

I've got to say the hardest adjustment I've had on my mission definitely is to the weather. I'm used to a winter that goes from late November to the end of March, but Nevada winters are way different than Minnesota winters. They go anywhere from December to April with little bits of spring sprinkled throughout it. I'm used to once it starts to warm up I don't need to wear a sweater anymore. There is a snow pile outside our apartment, it was almost gone, twice! And then it dumped snow again. We had temperatures in the 50s! And then snow comes to ruin the party... oh well...
Life is good out here. We found a couple new investigators in the form of unbaptized kids who are excited to start taking the lessons. One of them, whose name is Donovan, came to a baptism that happened on Saturday. He's a wild 10 year old, but he wants to be baptized, we just need to get Mom more excited about it, she'll come around eventually. They always do...

The Church is true, the book is Blue, Just ask Jesus He's a Mormon Too!

Stay Righteous Y'all!

-Bi-polar winter

-I found a note from one of my former companions who used to be in this area!

-Oh deers

February 27, 2017

What's up everybody! I wish I had my camera but I forgot it, it's been snowing little Dippin' Dots like snow for a while now, I guess you'll just have to take my word for it. We set up a lot of appointments and then had a lot of appointments drop on us, this week, but hey, that's missionary work. With the schedule change set for about a month now I've been able to do more than an hour of personal study, we plan at 8 and then have personal study from 8:30 to 10:00. I love that so much, because I've found that before the schedule change 1 hour of studies wasn't enough, I would be right in the middle of a good thought and then BOOM, time for companion study. I hope I have that problem back home. But anyway, I've found I am able to feel the spirit a lot more clearly now than before. I love studying the scriptures, I know it will help each of us to recognize the spirit more in our lives.
The biggest miracle we had this week was Jairus, one of our investigators, was at his Dad's house for most of this week, even though it was his mom's week. His dad is a less active, who has just recently made a goal to get to the temple, and his mom is a nonmember. It was a happy surprise when we showed up to work with Frank (his dad) and then he was there! we introduced the Kelllys to the Stop smoking program, a program that is guaranteed to work if you follow all 15 steps exactly over a week. we hope to start them on it soon.

Other than this life is great! The work is moving, we're finding more part-member families to work with it seems like every day. I'm so grateful that I'm able to be out here serving the Lord, I see His hand in this work every day, for truly it is his work. We are blessed to be a part of it.

Stay righteous Y'all!

p.s. don't die

February 20, 2017

Hello everyone! This week was a little slower due to elder Davis and I getting strep throat from our zone leaders. so we recovered from that. Elder Davis had it way worse than I did so once we got on antibiotics I was good to go, But elder Davis was out of it. 

Well, we both survived transfers, so it looks like elder Davis and I will be having another 6 week party, I'm really glad we stayed together, we've been getting along very well and I truly have learned a lot from him, and we have seen tons of miracles together. We'll see what the next 6 weeks brings!

Tana, the pineapple we found last week has been going through some tough times. she broke her back at work this week, and her son's fiance' broke off their engagement all this last week. We can tell that Satan definitely doesn't want her to investigate the church. But the opposition she's facing also gives us hope, It tells me that she is a very powerful spirit and will do a lot of damage to the adversary's kingdom. I know she will be able to push through it. 

Then on Sunday some guy kinda bore his testimony rather than saying the closing prayer. It really caught me off guard... oh well, one of those things that just proves people are crazy here!

Stay righteous y'all!

Here's a pictue of a HUGE mining truck from far away. it's in a little town called Ruth about 5 miles from Ely. We saw a semi carrying the wheels for these bad boys today, they were easily 12 feet tall, JUST the wheels. 

February 13, 2017

Man what a week! Miracles happening left and right! First, The Jakubisins got baptized! I've absolutely loved working with them! During gospel principles on Sunday we had a fantastic lesson with sister Jakubisin about the importance of eternal families she teared up at lest 3 times during it. They have progressed so much since I've came here, I'm so happy I was able to work with them up to this point. And I'm even more grateful that I can see a huge change of heart in both brother and sister Jakubisin. The Gospel truly does change lives! We've been talking with Brother and sister Jakubisin a lot about going to the temple, and now that their kids have been baptized, the next step is to be sealed together for time and all eternity. Neither of them have been to the temple yet, but they are sure excited to go! 

​Another Miracle we had this week. Last night we had a lesson with this super prepared person. Her name is Tana. She has been going through some challenges that are really making her question her faith. But instead of doubting, she's asking us to teach her! She is what we call a pineapple, a 7, a golden contact, or whatever you want to call it. We got a text from our bishop saying "here's someone who wants to meet with you, her name is Tana" That's it, we didn't know why, but she is super golden. We taught her the restoration and committed her to be baptized and she accepted! There are truly prepared people/Pineapples/7's/or Golden Investigators all around us. I know that everyone reading this knows AT LEAST 1 person who is like this. But the only thing holding them back is that they just don't know where to find the truth. That's our job to invite them. If your afraid of losing a friend if you invite them to learn more, imagine what amazing friends you'll be if they accept and are baptized.
D&C 18:15  And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this peopleand bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!

Isn't that worth the risk? You should "Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason for the hope that is in you" 1 Peter 3:15

Stay righteous Y'all!

February 6, 2017

Hello again! I'm having fun chilling out here in Ely. I'm starting to really love it here. The people are awesome, and there are many humble people here who are trying to improve their lives. Drugs are a major problem here. It seems that everyone here has either used drugs, had a family member who used/uses drugs, or has a friend who used/uses drugs. Ely being a small town, drugs are one of the plagues that this town has. The church has a big presence here, with only 4,000 or so people there are 3 wards, and about half the Ely Stake is in Ely. Easily a third of the people here are LDS. Not all of them active. So we have a lot of ground to cover. President Fullmer said that back when Ely was a young town, people came from Utah to hide from the church, so many people here have some Relatives or ancestors that were part of the church. So there is a lot of work to be done.

There are a couple big things that happened this week. First, Elder Davis and I went to Utah! I can Finally say that I've served my mission in Utah. Don't worry, we didn't leave mission boundaries (although we took a wrong turn and almost went to the Las Vegas west mission... But we didn't!) We cover the Garrison Branch which is about .1 miles into Utah. It's really funny because elder Davis is from cedar city, which is about 3 hours closer than Reno.

The other Big things that happened... The Jakubisins passed their baptismal interviews! They’re getting baptized on Saturday!!! And another part member family we are working with, The Kelly's, we were able to set with a baptismal date for March 18th! They're all progressing and are ready to make this change in their lives! It's been a super exciting week!

That's about it for this week,

Stay righteous Y'all!

January 30, 2017

Hello Everyone! This was truly another fantastic week. We had a worldwide missionary broadcast where they shook some things up like our daily schedule, we are now going to be planning for our day in the morning, at least the rest of the world is going to now, President Chesnut told us a week before the broadcast, so we've been living the new schedule for awhile now. We had zone conference in Elko, so we drove up on Thursday and stayed with some elders there, it was fun to be able to see elder Carpenter again (He's my half-Brother, in mission lingo, and also one of my past companions, that was a fun transfer), as well as a lot of other missionaries I've served around during the last year. Since we are 3 hours from the nearest Walmart, President let us go there after zone conference, we then ate dinner at the Costa Vida (also the only one for three hours) and then made the three hour drive back to Ely. Sometimes I like being literally in the middle of nowhere, sometimes it can be a little lonely, but the Ely zone is a really close knit zone because of it. We also had interviews yesterday during church, and since president didn't have anything to do for the rest of the day before he drove 5 hours back to Reno he came to sacrament meeting to hear my talk! I love President and sister Chesnut! 

The biggest miracle we had this week, The Jacobisins were able to come to shift sacrament meeting! (since the biggest employer here in Ely is the copper mine, and the miners have crazy 12 hour shifts that aren't the same from week to week, the Ely stake set up a shift for the workers who have the Day shift on Sunday that meets at 6:30pm) I was pretty disappointed when they didn't show up for sacrament, especially when we had a lesson with them earlier that day. But after church got out we saw them! they told us that after the lesson, Brother Jacobisin went back to sleep, and sister Jacobisin wasn't there for the lesson, so they slept through church, but sister Jacobisin knew the importance of coming to church to partake of the sacrament, so she came to Shift sacrament with her kids. She is definitely the driving force that will get their kids baptized. The kid's names are Jayden (8), Saybree (9), and Gavin (10). They're getting baptized in 12 days!!!

Well that's just about it for this week, 
Stay righteous Y'all!

P.S. Just in case you wanted to send me a letter, we don't actually have a mailbox, we see the other missionaries in our zone every day, so send letters to their address: 1144 Avenue D, Ely, Nevada 89301

-I love the Icicles here!

-Elder Carpenter and I

January 23, 2017

Hello again from the winter wonderland of Ely, Nevada! We had an amazing miracle happen yesterday in which 8 investigators and potential investigators came to church!!!The Jacobisins, the Kelly's, other less active families with unbaptized kids we're working with, and a new investigator who used to be a drug dealer but has since turned his life around and his daughter. Needless to say, Elder Davis and I had a really fantastic week! The field is certainly white both figuratively and literally. (we're having a really big snowstorm right now) We were able to set the Jacobisin's kids (a LA family who has 2 unbaptized kids, 9 and 10) With a baptismal date for February 11th! They have a brother who is 8 who is going to be baptized on the same day as them. Elder Davis and I are getting along very well, and I'm learning a lot from him. Things are getting rolling in the Ely 1st ward, the ward council has set a goal for 10 baptisms this year, and I wouldn't be surprised if we were able to get 8 in the first 6 months. We have Zone conference In Elko on Friday, So that means we'll be driving up 3 hours to Elko on Thursday night and then drive back after zone conference the next day. Also I love that there are some super awesome Icicles here. While it gets very cold during the night it warms up during the day, making for some really impressive Ice spears...

'Till next week
Stay righteous Y'all!

Oh yeah, and Elder Davis Sprained his foot, But he's taking it like a champ and it hasn't even slowed him down!

Random pictures that we received from members working with Elder Stotts 

January 16, 2017

Hello everyone! My first week in Ely wasn't really spent in Ely. I spent the night in Sun Valley with the sparks zone leaders on Tuesday, and then spent 6 hours on the transfer van headed to Elko, where I got to see elder Carpenter again! I got excited to see him and slipped on the slush... And then Elder Davis and I drove 3 hours down to Ely. AAAANNND then on Saturday we got up early to drive 5 hours to Reno for a mission conference with Elder Christofferson! He was accompanied by Elder Pearson of the seventy and Elder Larkin of the Area seventy. We had a Q+A session with Elder Christofferson and I certainly learned a lot from the experience. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to talk with an Apostle of Jesus Christ. Ely is awesome!  It isn't the biggest town, but people are So much nicer here. They actually want to talk with you! I feel like I'm going to be here a long time. I'm definitely happy about that!

One thing I learned from the meeting with Elder Christofferson is that I need to be grateful more. The Lord is anxious to bless us, and how he want's us to develop an attitude of gratitude! It makes life so much easier! 

Stay warm! Unless you're my parents, then you should stay cool, have fun in Florida!!

January 9, 2017

Hey Guys! First things first, I got transferred to Ely! 

I'm so grateful that I was able to serve in the Spanish Springs and Red Hawk wards, even if it was only for 2 transfers (or 3 months for you normal people). I will be serving in the Ely 1st ward and the Garrison branch. Garrison covers the only part of Utah that is in our mission, so I can say I served my mission in Utah!
I don't know my new companion, elder Davis, But I know he's from Utah, and I'm his second companion, So I'm excited to work with him!

Next, Clara got baptized! And her mom came to it! She's super solid, I'm glad I was able to teach her the lessons. Standing next to her is her Friend who introduced her to the church, Aubrey Borino. Brother Borino baptized her. See how powerful a simple invite to Youth activities can be? That's how it started, Aubrey Invited Clara to the youth activities, which she liked, and then invited her to church! That's all it took!

Third, We get to hear an Apostle on Saturday! D. Todd Christofferson is coming to a mission wide conference this Saturday! So it looks like I'll be making the 6-7 hour drive to Ely 3 times this week.  But I am DEFINITELY not mad about that.

Other than that we almost drowned with how much rain we got! Jk, There was just a lot of puddles everywhere, granted they were really big puddles. Some of the roads were also recommissioned by the rain into rivers. We weren't able to help, but tons of people were sandbagging all day Friday and Saturday. They said that it was going to be a once in 50 year flood, but they had another bad flood just in 2006, so I guess now it's a twice in 10 year flood ;)
I forgot my camera, so I can't show you pictures... sorry...

A little bit about Ely: It's in the mountains, so it gets cold and lots of snow, like Minnesota! Minus the mountains of course. The Ely Zone is in a 3 way tie for the smallest zone in the mission, there are only 8 missionaries and 1 district. I think it's about 2000 people "large" and it has a whole stake, granted it's a small stake. I'm excited! one of the things I miss being here in Sparks was how little snow we had, but I don't have to worry about that anymore!

Stay righteous Y'all!

January 2, 2017

Hello everybody! You'd think that since it was the holidays people would be more willing to talk to us, but nope! People are still going on vacations here. Most of the schools have 3 or more weeks off for winter break. Things have been cooling down here lately too. At least it's not so bad during the day. President Chesnut has told all the missionaries in the mission to go and visit every member in the mission, and share with them this initiative, and I want to share it with you guys:

Get a brand new copy of the Book of Mormon and begin to read it cover to cover. As you read it, have someone in mind of whom you could give it to, and then with them in mind, mark certain scriptures that you think would be beneficial to their conversion. By the time you finish it you will have a personalized Book of Mormon for that person. And then share your testimony with them and give it to them.

Another thing you might want to do is invite your friends to a convert baptism in your area. The church has studies that show that 80% of investigators who attend a baptism will eventually go on to their own. Baptismal services are a fantastic tool for missionary work!

That's how Clara started, she attended the Endemano's baptism, felt the spirit, and afterward told her member friend that she wanted to be baptized as well!

Oh, and by the way that's happening on Saturday!

Till next week!

December 26, 2016

Hello everyone! I hope you had a merry Christmas! I loved seeing my family on Skype. I love this time of year, especially as a missionary! The world seems to be filled with an extra portion of the spirit during this time. While you're throwing away wrapping paper, testing out the new gadgets you got, or boxing up the Christmas decorations for next year, make sure to ponder on the supreme gift that Jesus Christ gave us. I love saying this, but there wouldn't be a Christmas without Easter. I know that Jesus Christ suffered the ultimate price, and in a supreme act of love, He offered to us the ability to improve ourselves until we are able to do as He would. I testify that He is our Savior, our Redeemer, and our exemplar. I'm so grateful I have this opportunity to share this message with the people of northern Nevada.

Stay Righteous Y'all!!!

December 19, 2016

Another great week! We had a Zone Conference/Christmas party on wednesday with all the west side zones (Sparks, Reno, Reno North, Quincy, Fallon, and Carson City) So about 70% of the mission was there, so I got to see a lot of old friends that I had served around before. We hung out at the institute building for the University of Nevada. I didn't lose a single game of Foosball (aren't you proud mom?)

It also snowed! Driving hasn't been too big of an issue, but the roads do get a little icy at night, but it hasn't been anything too bad.
Clara's Baptism has been moved to January 7th, and since she'll be out of town for the next two weeks the last time we have to do her interview is tonight! Elder Hadley is my District leader, he's also in a biking area, so that means we'll have to pick him up and bring him back home, so long miles!
This week ended with a dual sparks stake fireside, "a living Christmas card" as the called it. It was awesome, they had some awesome music and showed video presentations of the Savior's life.
About that, It's Christmastime! I truly love this season. I love how it inspires us to be more kind and loving towards each other. But one thing I've noticed is that rarely that feeling persists very far into the next year. So my invitation to you this week is to try to have that spirit of love and giving in your heart until next Christmas. Think of the gift that God gave us, a chance to become better, become more holy, more Christlike. I can promise you that If you look for little ways to keep the Christmas spirit with you throughout 2017, you will become a Christlike person, a true disciple of Christ. I love you all!

Merry Christmas!!!