Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Arriving in Phoenix

Sister Beck: Loading our new Mission Trailer with all the missionary luggage. It is quite the sight to watch
the entourage of 16 missionaries parade through the airport with all their luggage.

Sister Beck: This is part of the morning prep to make sure they look their best as they go to meet their new companions at the Transfer Building. The shower lines are long in the morning as there are only 3 bathrooms for 16 Elders and Sisters! The morning ritual is really quite amazing to watch. Everyone wakes up at 6:30, takes a shower, prepares for the day, enjoys a breakfast on the patio, watches a short video on manners to assure they are informed on how they should act in members home where they are fed each night, get their final instructions from Sister Beck, gathers up all their belongings and load their suitcases in the trailer and head off to the transfer building.

Photos and Sister Becks comments taken from the Mission Blog:

The Mighty Navajo Nation

Tylers Mission President called today. Tyler has been assigned to the Navajo Reservation in Many Farms, Arizona.

He asked that all correspondence be sent to the Mission Home in Phoenix.

He said to use the US Postal Service for all letters and packages. If you do that, the US Postal Service gives them next day forwarding.
He suggested not using UPS as the Mission Office will have to wait until a Zone Conference or other meeting to get the package to him. He said this could take several weeks.

The mission office is:

Elder Tyler P Perkins
Arizona Phoenix Mission
18001 N 79th Ave Ste C50
Glendale, AZ 85308-3823

He will not be writing until his next Preperation Day which will be on Monday.
He said that Tyler is happy and excited to be there. Can't you just picture Tyler grinning from ear to ear nodding his head in agreement. That is exactly what he would be doing!

Thank you to everyone for your support!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sundays are my favorite day here.

Hey family,

Well thank you for all the letters. They are really fun to read.

I will try to answer some of the questions yall had asked so here they are:

District Leader: The second day I was here, the branch presidency interviewed our whole district to see who they would like to call as the DL. After everyone was interviewed, they talked a bit and then they called me back out and asked if I'd be willing to do that. They don't set you apart or ask for a sustaining vote. They just make the announcement that I'm the new DL.

Tell Dad we have potatoes in some form at almost every meal. Mashed, taters, fries, classic, etc.

Tell Morgan we have decent food here, enough to get by. Some things we eat are: Pasta, sandwiches, wraps, salads, pizza, hot dogs, turkey meals, sesame chicken, chicken cordon blue, wings, and lots of good stuff. We get 3 choices at most meals.

Well let me begin with my week from last Wed.

Last wednesday we got an escort to go to the mall because my comp forgot to bring running shoes. So that was fun to get out for a bit.

We got to do an endowment session in the Provo temple which was really cool with a bunch of Elders and Sisters.
We also had a companionship in our district who began to become contentious one with another so I began working on that.

On Thursday, we started learning how to teach the plan of salvation. We wrapped up the first lesson and we feel pretty good with it.

On Friday we taught the second lesson twice. We learned a lot on how to improve. We got shut down both times pretty bad, but its really fun to testify. I had senior comp interviews. It still feels a bit wierd interviewing people but its a great learning experience. Still working with contentious companionship.
Once a week everyone in the district writes a letter to the branch president about how the week went, improvements, hopes, etc. I, in turn have to read them all and write a district report.

Our zone leaders are way cool. They are going to Hong Kong, China Cantonese speaking so I have learned a few words for Chen.

On Saturday we had a good idea for the Plan of Salvation lesson. We had the simple doctrine down, but really need to work on getting investigators involved and applying it to them (which is most important part).

We went to the Referral Center and called people to make sure they received their copy of a DVD, Book of Mormon, Bible, or whatever they called in for and we get a chance to testify. So I got to testify like to 15 different people and only 1 really listened. Ha it was way fun.

Sundays are my favorite day here. We had Branch Council, then priesthood, was interviewed, leadership, conducted our district meeting, sacrament, temple walk, and had a fireside with a Joseph Smith Expert and watched "Legacy". Everyone looks to me as the most enthusiastic and pumped member of our District which is different. I'm loving the MTC so much. Great oppurtunity.

Monday was a great experience. So we went in to a mock teaching appointment prepared to teach lesson 2 (Plan of salvation) and commit to baptism. But the Spirit totally took over the lesson and we taught totally different stuff. It was the first time that I actually felt like I was guided by the Spirit. We found out what they needed to hear to Come unto Christ, and then basically changed everything we had planned to meet those needs. I love to testify. We pin-pointed our weakness down to asking questions at the beginning of our lessons to get investigators involved immediatley and then we can work together throughout lesson well.

On Tuesday we cleaned bathrooms again. : )

We had a member of the Seventy, Elder David Evans, talk about how we need to use the Book of Mormon more often. He said it is not good enough for us to ask investigators to read only snipets and pieces, they must read the whole book. He reminded us that most of us gained our testimony after we actually read it and we need the investigators to do the same thing. Then we had our district devotional review and leadership training.

The MTC has been great. I am improving so much and the friends I've made have been great. We have a lot to do this last week. Our plane leaves Tuesday morning at like 9 a.m. for Arizona. We have 16 going down. We have a little joke here that we love to testify and its so true. Testifying is so fun.

Only 3 min left before computer shuts down. We only get 30 min here in MTC, not sure in the field.

Tell Ashton, Drew, Franci, Van Luevens, Sally, Conner, Kellie, Morgan thank you for the letters. I really appreciate them a lot. I love hearing how things are going.

Tell Grandpa he is the man. I never got a chance to tell him how much I appreciated everything he did for he. Hope he is doing alright. Its funny to think he is only like 2 min from me right now. But tell him that he was a great role model.

Thanks for letters mom and dad, I really enjoy hearing your thoughts. Tell dad I am really enjoying my time. The harder you work, the funner it gets.
32 seconds.

Much love,
Elder Perkins

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My first three days in the MTC

Mom: When Tyler was packing, Carson Telford came over to teach Tyler the "proper way" to shine his shoes. You will understand why this is important when you read Tylers letter home...

Hi Everyone!

Even though it's not P-day, our Branch Presidency wanted us to write a letter home. I have P-day on Wednesday which is when I'll write home.

On the flight over here, I sat by a Sister Missionary from Tonga. She had been serving in Denver and was being transferred to Temple Square. This was the first time I introduced myself as Elder Perkins. It's been hard for me to call everyone Elders and Sisters and not "guys."

When I arrived I met my district and companion. His name is Elder McCarty. He's a great guy and we are working hard to motivate each other and do the work. We have 10 members of our district, 6 Elders and 4 Sisters. Elder McCarty and I, as well as 3 of the Sisters will be going to the Arizona Phoenix Mission. The other 5 will be in the California Carlsbad Mission. We have all gotten to know each other now and we all get along very well.

The first day here, we had a couple of classes. We have 2 permanent teachers (one in the morning and one in the evening) to teach our district. We are in a room with only our district for classes. We also have large group meetings occasionally with about 20 zones. Our zone has 3 districs.

Here is an example of a normal day for us...
6:30-7:00am Arise and Prepare
7:00-7:30am Breakfast
7:30- 8:10am Personal/Companion Studay (we get to choose in planning session)
8:10-11:30am Class with Sister Hariss
11:30-12:15pm Lunch
12:15-1:00pm Study (Personal/Companion)
1:00-4:30pm Class with Brother Lovejoy (cool name!)
4:30-5:15pm Dinner
5:15-6:15pm Personal Study
6:15-7:15pm Companion Study
7:15-7:45pm Daily planning for next day
7:45-8:10pm Study (Personal/Companion)
8:10-9:00pm Gym
9:00-9:30pm Study (Personal/Companion)
9:30-10:30pm Reflect, Prayer,Study, Lights Out

In our classes we learn about teaching skills, practice teaching, Preach My Gospel (a ton!), and scriptures. We will be going to practice teaching where people come in to volunteer as investigators and we can answer phone calls when people see our commercials. We get a lot of study time!!

Elder McCarty and I memorized "Our Purpose" and Joseph Smiths account of The First Vision like on Thursday. We just have a lot of classes and I'm learning so much.

On Thursday night I was also called to be the District Leader of our district. Somethings I've already had to do include: conduct all classes, authorize companionship exchanges, teach our District Lessons (on Sundays), interview the Senior Companions, conduct some of the planning sessions, read each members weekly report and write a district report, gone to a couple of Branch and training meetings and more.

Just when I began thinking how little time I have here and how much I have to do, I get this fantastic calling. It's tough but I love it! Our district goals for this coming week are:
1.) Teach often.
2.) Smile always.
3.) Be on Time!

I taught a 30 minute lesson on the Atonement today which went well. You can always tell when you have the Spirit here. It's so powerful and its been the most I've felt His presence.

The first day I got a "word" from a counselor from our District Presidency because my shoes were not shined to his expectations. HA! We have a lot of rules like no pink ties, no gum, no handshaking (flu season), and many more in the white handbook.

Each sacrament meeting with our zone (about 30 people) we have 2 Elders speak and a member of the Branch Presidency. The catch is, all Elders in the zone have to prepare a 5 minute lesson and during the meeting they pick 2 Elders/Sisters to speak.

Funny Story! I had to teach my teacher a lesson for practice, I was very excited when I began. After talking for a bit he said, "It's been tough ever since my daughter died." (or something along those lines) I replied, "That's great! because our Father in Heaven..." and I went on. The class was laughing and I wasn't sure why. Afterwards, he said, "You can't say 'It's great that your daughter died!'" I gotta watch what I say more. Haha!

Our district is way cool. I'm having such a fun time here. I hope all is well.

Missionary Work Rocks!

Elder Perkins

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

First Email Home

Well the first week is finally over. The first week has been way fun and cool. My branch presidency asked me to write a hand written letter home on Sunday, just to let yall know I've made it and things are ok. So I sent that off on Monday, so that will give a description of my first few days. The days are so long here. We have so much stuff going on, I lose track of everything. Well I think my letter home contained the first half of Sunday so now I'll finish that day off. After sacrament meeting we got to walk to the temple and stay there for like 45 minutes and take pictures. After that we went to a great fireside given by the MTC Administrative Director on D&C 121. After that we got to watch the Joseph Smith movie which was way awesome. I thorouglhy enjoyed my time.

On Monday we got to have 2 teaching experiences. They have a building here where people from the community/church volunteer to come in and be taught as investigators (sometimes you do get a real life investigator, sometimes an inactive, or sometimes a bishop). Myself and Elder McCarty (my companion) did pretty well. We both have a little different teaching methods which is interesting to work out sometimes. You can see the importance of planning ahead of time so you both are on the exact same page when it comes to teaching.

On tuesday, we first had to do service. Elder McCarty and I had to clean 6 bathrooms in a building in about fifty minutes. We spent about 20 minutes in the first bathroom, and then we got kinda yelled at and had to fly thru the rest of them. It was some serious speed cleaning. We taught again and this time it kinda hit me just how simply we need to teach things. And you really have to know your stuff in order to teach simply. This whole first week all the teachers have stressed is to get to know your investigator and teach their needs. It doesn't matter what you know, how well you think you did, all that matters is if you addressed there needs. So you have to know everything about the lessons in PMG to know the specific concepts to bring up to an investigator. Last night, Elder L. Tom Perry also came and spoke to us for our devotional. This is only the second time I've seen an apostle of God. He spoke on the First Lesson in PMG and the power of it. He bore his testimony throughout and how this is the first thing investigators will hear and how we need to declare it. It was way cool. After I had leadership training.

A cool story. We have a sister missionary in our district who is usually very very happy, smily, and fun. But yesterday at breakfast she was just like dead. You could tell something was wrong. So the day went on, and I saw her in the afternoon in the same mood. I had a feeling to offer her an invitation for a priesthood blessing. I pulled her aside and told her that if she would like one, she could come speak to me or any of the zone leaders. She then told me she wanted a blessing of comfort. So Elder McCarty and I gave her a blessing. This was the first time I have ever given a blessing of comfort. I can't remember the words I said, but I do remember it was way cool because things kept coming to my head. After that, we seperated and I was just praying she would feel better (I still wasn't sure what her original problems were). The next time we saw her, she was totally back to her usual self. Then I found out she had stil not received a letter home and other things. So then I started praying she would get a letter that day at dinner time (I have to check the mail 2 times a day for our district). I went and got the mail, praying a letter would be there for her. And there was one!!! I was so happy to give her that letter. She was so happy the rest of the day and it was an awesome experience to see how the priesthood can bless someones life. It was way cool how it worked out.

Well I got Dad's letter yesterday too. It was so nice to get a letter. I really didn't think it would feel this good to get a letter, but it was awesome. I really enjoyed reading it. I've probably read it multiple times now. Tell him it was great and to keep writing me. None of the leaders would tell us who won the game b/c of distractions, so it was nice to hear. Glad everything is going well at home.

Well I only get 30 minutes a week to be online with letters. So if it is free, then send me letters via or something. When you send it that way, I get a hard copy printed off and can read it throughout the week so I can spend more time typing back home now and telling yall all the good stuff. I have 3 more minutes of computer time and if the timer hits 0, then the whole computer shuts off. Thanks for all the support and I will write back next week.


Elder Perkins

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Called To Serve

Tyler opened his mission call November 12, 2009.  He was staying with his grandfather Perkins in Provo, Ut.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Tyler is officially Elder Perkins!

Tyler entered the MTC on Wednesday Jan. 6, 2010.  He has been Called to serve in the Arizona, Phoenix Mission.