Wednesday, June 17, 2015

June 15, 2015 Swig & Such...

Hi family and friends!

First off, this week my brother Tyler Johnson aka Big T had a birthday so happy birthday T! I miss you!

Also happy birthday to Grandma Julie and Happy Fathers' day to dad this Sunday! (Don't worry I will write you both letters this week.)

We had such a great week! We found a lot of people to teach and were very busy. I was able to go on exchanges with one of the APs Elder Sawyer on Tuesday in our area and I learned so much from him! He's from Montana right next to Flathead Lake so he taught me some Montana words like heffer. He's one of my favorite people.

We are teaching this guy named Jason. He has been taught by missionaries for a while already, but we just started teaching him more frequently. If everything goes right, he's going to be baptized next month! He bore his testimony last fast Sunday at church about how we can't have friends like Laman and Lemuel so yeah, he's pretty solid. Also we are teaching the son in law of a family in our ward. Their daughter and him just moved in with them and he came to church yesterday! Last night we had a Why I Believe Fireside and we had 2 recent converts from our ward speak at it! They are sibs-- brother and sister and this week we started to teach their dad!
So all in all there are some exciting things that could happen here, which is rare so we are really happy to be able to have this much success!

I'm grateful for the quiet examples of service and diligence that I have here from the members in our wards. Most are from the strong youth. One example is a 16 year old young man who is the only one of his family of 6 who is active right now but he still comes every week on time to bless the sacrament and serve faithfully in his Priesthood calling. That guy knows what it means to "embark in the service of

A member from Kingman, Sister Westbrook came to visit us because Elder
Rockwood used to serve down there and she's sort of the missionary mom there. She grew up in St. George and her maiden name is Abby Taylor. She went to high school with moms cousin Danny Shakespeare! And her husband knows Kyle Hurst! Anyway on her way back from visiting St. George she brought us some cookies from Swig in St. George so that was pretty much the greatest thing ever. Her mom is a teacher at Snow Canyon. You're the best Sister Westbrook!

Great week!
Love you guys!

Elder Faldmo

Monday, June 15, 2015

Hiiii! June 8, 2015

Hey guys I swear I just emailed you yesterday!
This is going by so fast! Oh every other missionary says the same thing in their emails too? oh ok. 

S/O to @mammafaldmo for sending me the Lake Powell calendar and Yonanas.  You're my favorite mom!

It was a week of spiritual growth for me and I loved it.   We had MLC (Mission Leadership Council) and so I was able to see Elder Chambers and some other buds there! I learned so much from President Snow and the APs.
Me and Elder Chambers reunited again... My companion Elder Rockwood on the left and his on the right. 

President Snow gave a training on "Expanding your Practice."  For those of you who don't know, President Snow was one of the big dogs at Albertsons before he was a mission president so he compared the leadership of a business to leadership in a mission and also using our ward councils effectively.  He's a genius! Grandma Julie and Uncle Jason should've been there! 

We received our iPads this week.  Yes, they actually came and they are so useful! They APs gave a really good training on using them wisely.  I can already tell that having them on my mission will help me for the rest of my life in using technology! I'm starting to get away from bad habits and develop good ones. If you want a sweet app go download "LDS Pamphlets" on the app store! 

Many of you might have heard the sad story of Austen Russell.  He was the 9 year old boy who died in a tragic accident a little over a week ago… right after I got to this area. His funeral was on Saturday.  I didn't know Austen and I don't know his family personally.  They live is our neighborhood but in a different ward.  Austen, from what it sounds like, is a replica of my little brother Sam.  His young life was absorbed with playing and watching sports and being the stud on his team.  He was an avid BYU fan and many BYU stars have tweeted and sent encouraging messages to his family including Jimmer.  Saturday was one of the hardest days and also one of my most grateful days on my mission because of the funeral.  I couldn't even imagine losing Sam and in the way that it happened.  It was amazing to see the mother and the father of Austen get up and talk and bear testimony of the plan of salvation to a congregation that was more than 50% non-LDS.  It was very very hard for me to sit through when Austen's 2 older brothers got up and shared memories they had with Austen playing sports in their yard and practicing with Austen.  I love you Samuel John!

Just think if we didn't have the knowledge that we have of eternal families, of the restoration of the priesthood power to seal families in the temple, and of what will happen after this life.  Also later that night, the Spirit again confirmed to me that the Book of Mormon is completely true and Joseph Smith restored all of these truths on the earth in these the last days.  I know it's all true.

Elder Faldmo

just some more thoughts from vegas.

i love all of the families in our ward.  our bishop, the one that played for coach wagner at byu hawaii has a grandma who taught our uncle bruce in high school!!!!

there's one family, the Dalton family who is one of my favorites too! they are like a combination of the clarks and the poulsens.  sister dalton is like our second mom out here.  her oldest is 12 and she is like maggie and they also have  4 boys who are all younger. one who is 10 named Ty and would be really good friends with Sam.  

Me and Elder Rockwood and the Sister Training Leaders for our Zone after a meeting.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

ROCKMO June 1, 2015

i wanted to give one more shoutout to another monte bello family that i said goodbye to on last monday.  this is the family of our ward mission leader who passed away from cancer about a month ago.  the oldest son just got back from his mission in chile. they have been so strong through all of their trials.  i love them so much. that's something i've learned on my mission.  you have to learn to love people-- if you don't already know how.  there are a few people that we had started teaching here in monte bello that had told the previous missionaries no, they didn't want to have the missionary lessons. they said they wanted us to teach them because we "actually cared about them and aren't fake".  you gotta love the people and I really do!

Sup FAM! 

Don't even get me started with how much I love this new area! It's such a blessing to be here right now.  

So the area that I cover is two wards and it's like a neighborhood in Santa Clara, UT or the Clark's neighborhood in Orem because that's literally what our area is... a few neighborhoods.  It's like a mini-Provo with some non-members sprinkled in there too… but don't let that make you think that there's nothing to do here cause we are having a lot of success! We are teaching this awesome big family that is about to adopt another girl and also teaching a lot of part-member families.  It's definitely different work than my last area in the ghetto but the gospel of Jesus Christ is the same everywhere.  We just present it differently here.  #teachpeoplenotlessons

The members here are so good at missionary work! We are getting a lot of referrals from them and it's great! They aren't scared!

The Edwards Family lives in my zone (cousins of the Clarks… so pretty much my cousins too right?)
and this week I went to lunch with Will Edwards and also Tommy Taylor who was passing through on his way back from California! I also saw Will again last night at a fireside we had and we are having dinner with them on Tuesday!

Elder Rockwood is one of the coolest guys I know. We have so much in common! We are getting up at 5:45 every morning to workout and play basketball.  He played for BYU-Hawaii before his mission for the same coach that coached Dad at Dixie.  Also, one of our Bishops played for Coach Wagner too at BYU-Hawaii!  We are both left-handed, and his older sister is my Aunt Jill's personal trainer in Provo!  Small world! 

This next paragraph is for Will Clark.
One night this week we went over to one of our members house to meet some of their son's friends.  They were all basketball players for Foothill High School last year and they played against you (Orem) and beat you 2 seasons ago! Some of them are playing in college right now.  The member of our ward is the one who hit the game winning shot in one of the games against you in Orem!

That high school is also the same high school that has the dance team that goes to nationals every year in Orlando so Maggie and Abby… look for the members of my ward on ESPN in 2 months or so and maybe you can get as good as them! 

One of the members in our wards is the Hulshoff family and they said they were in Chris and Aubrey's ward when they lived in California. 

Here everyone, member and nonmember alike, know the missionaries.  Our work is mostly part-member families and tracting (first time on my mission I've done it).  So when we knock on nonmember's doors, it's not "who are you?" the response is, "what's up guys, want some water?" They might not be interested but their neighbors on their left, right, and across the street are Mormon so they love us.  

One of our members has pet monkeys, yeah like the real kind.  They have 2 squirrel monkeys that are very friendly, except they stole my pen when I met them! I don't have a picture with them yet, but I will get one in the near future.  

I love you guys! Have a great week! 

Elder Faldmo
... but one last thing about monte bello-- temple right there!

earthquakes, baptisms and transfers... May 25, 2015

Worst part about transfers... Goodbyes
This is the coolest, craziest, funniest family in Monte Bello 
The Hermosillo Family

Hey everyone!

I am going to be transferred tomorrow to Henderson to the Black Mountain/Green Valley Zone! I will be able to go on exchanges with the Valley Verde Ward Elders where the Clarks' cousins the Edwards live!   It's going to be 2 English wards. My companion is Elder Rockwood.  He's one of my best buds here in the mission and he plays basketball for BYU-Hawaii so I'm pretty pumped cause we'll be gettin' buckets every morning. He's from Washington and has been out for one more transfer than me. Elder Felix is going wayyyy out to Needles, California for his next area.  The two missionaries that are replacing us are Elder Wasden (my companion before Felix) and Elder Lopez who is a really good missionary so Monte Bello is in good hands.  

On Friday we had an earthquake hit if y'all heard.  Elder Felix and I were in our apartment and we are on the second floor and the ground just starts shaking and our building starts swaying from side to side.  I guess it was like a 5.something… I can't remember that's what a member told us. 

We had 2 baptisms in our ward on Saturday.  One was a 8 year old boy named Juanito that Elder Felix and I have been teaching.  His mom and dad can't get baptized yet because they are not married but they wanted him to get baptized because he just turned 8.  The other was for the other Elders in our ward.  
My buddy Juanito got baptized!

On Wednesday we had a mission-wide conference with all of the missionaries here come to, even the out of valley ones in Arizona and California.  They brought in the big guns, Elder Clarke from the Seventy and Brother Donaldson (missionary department) came and gave us training.  Most of it was learning things for after our missions and how to develop good habits with technology because we are getting iPads in about a week.  He gave us dating advice too… which is kinda weird but one things he said was, "If you're dating a girl, take her to hike Mt. Timpanogos.  If she complains on the way up, drop her!" So yeah it was a very lively, funny, and great training.  I learned a lot.  It was also good to see all of my missionary friends again.  (Elder Thorne, Chambers, Wasden, Carroll, etc.)

Yesterday, we went to an appointment with a lady we just met and she said her brother lives there too and he's a member but doesn't go to church.  So we got there and it was just her brother there. We sit down and he starts talking about his conversion story and how he joined the church because he worked at a tv station in Las Vegas and one of the anchors was Mormon and introduced him to the church. Then he said his name was Dave McCann and I was like, "hold up, I think my dad knew him in High School!!" then he showed me a picture and sure enough it was that Dave McCann. True Blue Dave McCann.  He said that because we came, he is going to start going back to church! So that was a cool connection to make right before I left.

Yesterday in Sacrament meeting we didn't start the sacrament until around 9:45 because we had 7 confirmations. 5 were the Castellanos Family from last Sunday's baptism.  Juan, Miguel and Gustavo all got the Priesthood yesterday too! 

One thing I've learned on my mission is that probably the best part is meeting people, serving them, teaching them, and helping them see how the Gospel of Jesus Christ can bless them personally.  It is great to be able to love them and help them on the path that we are all trying to stay on back to our Heavenly Father.  IT'S A GREAT DAY TO BE A MISSIONARY!!! I love all of you and hope you have a great Memorial Day! 

elder faldmo

Meet Marco Antonio. He recently moved here from Mexico.  Elder Conley and Salanoa were biking around the end of April and he yelled out at them but couldn't really speak any English so he pulls out his smartphone and goes on a translator and asks them, "do you know where the church of Christ is?" then the Elders responded through the phone and told him that we were.  They called us and we went to the chapel and taught him a lesson in the chapel and set him for a baptism date. He ended up living in the other elders area in our ward so they taught him and he got baptized on Saturday!!