Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mmmm...Tuna Casserole

Thanks a ton for the package. I got it on Tuesday if memory recalls me correctly.

A lot of good stuff - tuna casserole came out awesome. Elder Nielsen and I enjoyed it.

Glad yall enjoyed my pictures - tell Morgan I hope she is doing well and that she looks pretty today.

My companion is a real farm boy though - grew up in small farm town in Idaho - so he teaches me most of the fun stuff. Well hope all is well.

Snowman and Popcorn Popping


Sorry- wasn't able to email this week. So I will read your emails next Monday and reply then. Here's what's new for me:

We have found a lot more investigators- the area is slowly picking up speed. Since this area has been closed, we started with no investigators and it is cool to see that things are picking up.

Met Dale, a Vietnam Veteren who recently had a stroke so its very hard for him to read and write. He's a member so we go over there to read the Book of Mormon with him. Great guy!

I got a letter from Sister Baker which was fun to read. I'll write back to her today too. She sent me a sign that says "Be the kind of Missionary your mother thinks you are."

Splittin lotta woods!

Deep Fried Chicken- used pancake batter- came out very good!

Had our interview with President Beck on Friday, we get interviewed once a transfer, every 6 weeks to see how things are going, set goals, etc.. Went well.

I went on a 24 hour overnight exchange with District Leader. It was cool to see differences of missionaries. We got to teach a lot- good times. I was able to extend my first baptismal commitment which went well.

So, a girl sent our District Leader's companion a box of treats/stuffed animal for Valentines Day. She put a heavy dose of perfume on the stuffed toy in the box. So when I was there, the DL offered me a brownie that came in the box- I took a bite and as I was chewing I noticed a different flavor- he asked me what it tasted like, "...like girl..." I replied.
I swallowed it but it tasted so bad. Like spraying perfume in my mouth. I was sick all night from an upset stomach- good times!

There are a lot of good Elders out here. We have a lot of good times while still working tough.

Church was good, my hymns went well. They didn't have gospel doctrine, primary, youth teachers at church so they skipped Sunday School and went straight to Priesthood and Relief Society. So Elder Nielsen and I got to go teach the Primary. Was way fun, played Snowman and Popcorn Popping, drew and colored- it was cool. I really enjoyed it. We had 5 primary kids.
We only had 10 members when we began church and then had up to 35 when the sacrament was passed.

I hope you enjoy my drawing from Primary, hang it on the fridge for me.

I know like 5 Navajo words now- tough language. We find out this Sunday if we stay or are being transferred.

I am having a blast!

I hope all is well.

Oh, there is so much deeper doctrine out there its so cool. I'm so wanting to dive into those books/research, it's hard keeping focus on the basic, which is what I need to be doing. There is so much out there to learn- but it's all good!

Have fun!



Hello Family, another good and exciting week for me.

Some quick highlights:

* I broke my first axe handle choppin woods

* I'm getting better at splittin woods

* Fed a baby lamb with a bottle

* Held down a sheep so her lamb could milk

* Deep fried french fries!

* Splurged and got 2 Whopper Jr's at the Burger King lounge AND got ice cream at the
A&W in town

* Cleaned up after Chinle Basketball game

* Talked with Becky again (She has Downs Syndrome who is a member) and is on the cheer squad.

We found out a cool story today. We went to the Zone Leaders trailor for PDay and hung out. The Sister couple (Sr's- they don't let young sister missionaries on the Rez) said that one time they took that ward to do Baptisms for the Dead. They said that when Becky came out of the font she turned back and said, "Thank You Dad." (Her dad was doing it) in perfect language as if I or you said it. She then changed and went to do confirmations so her parents walked her in- because they ask for her name- and Becky again said her name perfectly clear- so they call her the miracle child!

After the game she came up and was talking with us doing the fake crying (that Morgan does too) because her team lost. So we talked with her and gave her high 5's. She reminded me a lot of Morgan.

Church was good- played hymns and taught Youth Sunday School.

Found out this ward had 4 Bishops last year. We do what we can do help which is fun. We went to Priesthood because only one youth boy was there.

We got some investigators- hopefully things turn out good.

Good thing I can partly play piano- comes in handy A LOT here.

Quote for the week for me:

"It is only those who do not know how to work that do not love it. To those who do, it is better than play."

By John Mason Brown (not sure who he is)

I hope all is well!


Monday, February 22, 2010

Good Times!


Today is President's Day so we will email tomorrow, Chapter House is closed. It's been a crazy week! We got some big time news at our zone conference on Saturday. They are creating a new mission, the New Mexico, Farmington Mission on July 1, 2010. They have already called a Mission President and it was just made public on Saturday morning so you can read about it online. In order to create it, they will be pulling zones away from other missions (Provo, Mesa, Phoenix, etc.) It will be a four corners mission- including Navajo Reservations.

So...if I am still here on that date, I will be incorporated into the New Mexico, Farmington Mission. We have 3 transfers til them so I could be transferred down to Phoenix and stay in this mission. They say they will lose about half the geographic size and only around 20% of missionaries (most are in Phoenix). So we are supposed to just continue on until then- we don't even know most the details.

Because of all this bad weather recently, we've pulled a couple people out of the mud, chopped woods (Navajo's always say woods, never wood), and give other service.

We tracted into a lady who told us some crazy philosophies- that people on earth suck energy from each other and once we start sucking energy from God we'll all rise to heaven, blah blah blah and we then met a Quaker.

We meet a LOT of drunk Navajo's. We only have 1 store here (a Conoco gas station) where a lot of them hang out. So we go and talk with them on occasion. They just hang outside the store asking for money. We have made a lot of friends- they like us, HA! We give them pass along cards and tell them to put it into their pockets so when they wake up in the morning and can actually think, they might call in.

On Friday we went to the Chinle (the big town here- 30 min away) and helped clean up after the basketball game (High School). We showed up and they have an ARENA!!
This is a little 3A school- maybe 6 or 700 students and they have a basketball stadium that holds 7,000+!!!

DC's gym can only hold like 1800-2000. You see, they don't have movie theaters, bowling alleys, restaurants, arcades, etc. here. The only form of entertainment they have is high school basketball. This thing was huge!! They even have an instant reply screen over half court (4 sided box thing)- it was impressive. I would definitely pay to just watch games there. We got there with 10 minutes left in the game--SO GOOD to see a sport game for just a bit! That is definitely been the hardest thing for me- no National Championship, no Super Bowl, no NBA All Star game, no Daytona 500, no Olympics, NOTHING! But...its all good.

We gave talks on Sunday in Church. We've have some investigators which is exciting. We still need to find people to teach- lots of searching and tracting. It's been so much fun- Elder Nielsen is way cool!

Lots of good times.

Our car battery died and we got another flat so we will be walking probably this week.

Everything is good so far- having a good time so far!

It's been phenomenal!

Oh, we ate dinner on Wednesday for first time at a members home! Just an older couple--Fun Times!

This place will get going soon.


Elder Tyler Perkins

Mission Life in Many Farms

Letter dated 2-08-2010

It's always good getting your emails.

The town we are in is very small- there is a small government chapter house that we can go to to use their computers. They only have 2 and there is usually a line- because not many people out here have the money for computers or internet access. So I only get like 15 minutes to quickly read ya'lls emails and reply- so sorry they're not that great. We come mainly to email President Beck for our weekly report.

It has been very interesting here so far. This is almost like a third world country. The Navajo Nation is a sovereign nation- so federal government has no power here- no state patrols or anything (taxes). The Navajo Nation has it's own taxes, own cops (or policemen, for mom), etc.. All the houses out here are very tiny. Most places are the size of our trailor home (2 rooms, kitchen, living room). We have only seen about 5 two story houses here. I shouldn't say houses- only very few actual houses here. Most live in trailor homes like us or in a traditional hogan, which is very small. A lot of people still don't have electricity or running water in their house. Only the homes and trailors do. Most houses have wood stoves that they use to heat the home up. So everyone here has to chop wood. We have already chopped wood- Elder Nielsen taught me how. In the Spring/Summer we'll get to learn how to shear sheep for the wool.

Most people here speak English- only the older people (60+) are usually only Navajo speaking. We have some Navajo Book of Mormon copies to give out.

Most people here are very poor and live from paycheck to paycheck- we've been asked many times for cash.

The people love the land too- everyone lives on a couple acres at least- this makes it very hard to tract. There are some government housing which is more compact which we can tract out. People live in family units most of the time.

We have gone through our book and only have like one or two real investigators. So we have a lot of finding to do here.

The Navajo people are very nice though which is good and bad. People respect us and will listen and/or talk with us but will never be baptized- so it's tough to find real investigators. A lot of them are very traditional and have their ways and don't want to change. So far, we have only seen like 10 other white people who live here (other than missionaries). Not really a culture shock, but just a totally different lifestyle here.

Here's the past week:

February 1 P day, rested, laundry, shopping, bball, washed our truck (we get about 40 miles a day to drive- not much- so lots of walking- we will park off the main road and walk down the dirt roads usually). Have a bad cough, Elder Nielsen gave me some pills to help. At the store we got cussed out because we didn't give someone money (there are a ton of pan handlers here).

February 2 Lots of tracting- no success- pretty cold and windy.

February 4 Chopped wood this morning- still have bad cough.

February 5 Had zone meeting today- had to play hymns, opening and closing. Learned that I am in the .000% of people to live on Earth to be missionary for the LDS Church- this was related to Abraham 3:22-23. We got pizza! The only store in Many Farms is a Conoco Gas which we go to a lot, we tract, go use their bathroom when out and get a drink. Talked with a drunk Navajo guy who prayed and sang traditional stuff for us. There are so many dogs here! Every house has on average 3 dogs. You gotta learn how to calm them down and how to act around them. Elder Nielsen gave me a foot long club- now we each keep one in our backpacks just in case.

(Marti's commentary: When Kellie and Conner read this, they thought it meant a foot long Club Sandwich! It was hilarious!!)

Back to Tyler...

February 7 Played in Sacrament Meeting and Priesthood, I get about 2 hours a week to practice. Met a man from India with thick accent. Talked with him for about an hour at his place. Very cool person. Talked about his Hindu beliefs- now I can see a bit of what dad's interactions are like. Kind of hit me that I'm teaching the descendants of the Book of Mormon- the Navajo ancestors ARE the Lamanites- pretty cool.

February 8 P Day- laundry, emails, shopping- I bought: bread, Coke, Dr. Pepper, 2 boxes of Cheese Its, 24 Ramen packages, a bag of cereal, 4 frozen pizzas. I also have: hot dogs, bologna, pancake mix, PB&J, tuna fish, mac and cheese, tomato soup, burritos, corn dogs, bagels, eggs, french fries. We can only buy the cheep stuff. We do shopping in Chinle- kind of far so we're only there like twice a week (pday and for meetings). There's a Burger King- so we eat there on Pdays for lunch.

Well, that's all I have!!

I am very excited to get Many Farms going again. Tell everyone HI!


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I spy Tyler

Sister Beck:

Sunday, February 14, 2010
Saturday Feb. 13th the church announced the creation of the New Mexico Farmington Mission from a realignment of the Arizona Mesa, Arizona Phoenix, Arizona Tuscon and New Mexico Alburqurque missions in the North America Southwest Area, and the Utah Provo Mission in the Utah South Area. This will result in the Flagstaff, Page, Tuba City and Chinle Stakes all being part of the New Farmington Albuquerque Mission effective July 1, 2010. While we are excited about the growth of the church in our mission and the opportunity of creative a new mission, we will miss our close associations with the fine stake presidents, members, senior couples and junior missionaries. This will also allow us the opportunity to focus on the remaining 14 stakes located in the Valley and Prescott/Cottonwood area. It is truly a miracle to see how the bountiful harvest of souls is allowing the Lord's work to move forward so quickly. The new Mission truly establishes a wonderful opportunity to focus on the reservation and our Lamanite brothers and sisters.

(I wonder if this will affect Tyler?)

February Zone Conference

Sister Beck:

We just finished 5 days of Zone Conference instruction. I taught "How to become a Bold Missionary" and President followed up with the doctrine of "Teaching with the Spirit".

He's like his father...brief and to the point!

The weather has been pretty cold so far. Stays only in the 40's for the highs. So I usually wear that heavy coat we got at costco and dad's jacket he didn't want for x-mas. Tell Morgan I'm glad she had a good birthday. I'll be back when she turns 23!

Oh we're good for dinners. We get about 3 a week from members and can handle other small things.

Have they put a plaque up for me? I want my scripture I think to be Alma 29:9 if they do. I'll write a letter with all the details of this past week.

Tell Michael that he will love the MTC. It's way cool and fun. It's good cause you kinda wanna leave after the third week so it works out nice. Let me know who his 2 classroom teachers are. And let me know his e-mail once he sets it up. Let him know that its way fun and he's gonna love the mission.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A View of Many Farms

Click around and see where Tyler calls home. Take a drive down the highway by clicking the arrows on the street.

View Larger Map

Piano Lessons Are Worth It!


This area is pretty big. It covers up north to Rock Point, out east to Round Rock, and out west to Rough Rock. The people here are so spread out. We might go out tracting for a couple hours and only hit a few homes because they live far apart.

This last week we just tried to get situated with our area book and the area, so we drove around and tracted some places and tried to meet some people. We shared a couple spiritual thoughts and this coming week we have some actual appointments.

They have a ward here, but it is very small. They had about 35 people at church this Sunday (6 youth, 7 primary kids, 7 Mel Priesthood holder, 3 Aaronic). Classes are really small. I got to play 4 hymns in sacrament meeting (#'s: 3, 177, 3, 96). Elder Nielsen and I taught the youth class. We both gave talks in sacrament meeting and set up the sacrament table, and I gave the closing prayer in sacrament meeting.

We have a large number of less active members that we will be looking for to bring back to church. It's tough to go find people and find new investigators because everyone is so dispersed. But I'm excited to get to work and help out the ward here.

It's funny cause there are no addresses here. In the directory they will say like...3.2 miles north of Conoco, first left, blue house w/ white fence....first right past church, red brick home, etc. So it's tough to find people.

It is going to be hard to do e-mails here. So please write letters to the mission home and then I will e-mail or write letters back.

Thanks for the bedding yall sent, its very warm. Thanks for all the support. Hope all is well. I'm having a blast. Elder Nielsen is way cool and it's been really fun. I'm excited to keep working.

I've already been told that we are Lucifer's angels here to corrupt people and another guy cussed us out today at the store. Makes us laugh.

Love yall, I'll write next week.

Elder Tyler Perkins

Arriving in Phoenix and Many Farms Arizona

We flew in to Phoenix, 16 of us Elders and had a great lunch. We had orientation for most of the day and a testimony meeting after dinner. President Beck interviewed me. He is such a great man. He is very to the point, let's get it done, work hard, stay obedient--kinda reminds me of Dad a bit. He is very cool and nice to talk to.

Please tell Taylor, Brother Blatter and Uncle Charlie thanks for the support, I'll try to write back on P Day.

Jan 27- Got my trainer! Elder Nielson from Idaho. He is a great Elder! He's been out around 14 months and I think I am the fifth Elder he's trained. He has lived on a farm and has had jobs since he was 12--very hard working and obedient worker.

We got our assignment at noon to serve in Many Farms Arizona. We are reopening the area, so everything is basically starting fresh. It took us seven hours to drive to Many Farms. It is on the reservation.

We live in a trailor home on the church's land, basically the chapels parking lot. There is another trailor home for the Senior Missionaries here.

We met them, the Bishop and the Ward Mission Leader last night. It is a very tiny church building, most men have several callings. Our area is big, we cover one ward. Everyone here is either Navajo or Hopi.

We have our weekly planning here, 3 hours long, because we are starting from scratch since Elders haven't been here for a bit.

I'm pumped to go.

Elder Perkins