Monday, May 16, 2011

Just Like Being Home

Nice to hear about the letter from President and the nice things the family is saying.

Lets just say these last 2 weeks have been so crazy and busy. We do so much running around it keeps my life crazy and fun. Lets see. In the past 2 weeks here are some things we have done:
  • Drove all around Phoenix
  • Gotten to drive by myself like 7-8 times - we follow each other to transport cars
  • Had to do an emergency transfer
  • Been in 6 hr plus meetings with President Beck
  • Trained a couple zone leaders
  • Planning specialized training meetings all this next week
  • Moving Elders from apartments into consecrated members housing
  • Decided who gains miles/looses car miles, where to put extra cars, etc.
  • Gone to a number of district meetings and evaluate who could be future leaders
  • In the office a lot doing paper work, etc.
  • Dinner with President and Sister Beck a couple times - always fun. Last night we went over to have like a thirty min. meeting with President and it was about 8:45pm as we were walking out the door when Sister Beck asked if we had had dinner yet. We said no, so she told us to get into the kitchen so she could make a quick meal. Thirty min later she had made, speghetti with garlic bread with mozzerela eggplant - funny stuff - she is so sweet and nice. After we ate that it was like 9:25 and we need to be in by 9:30, so we are washing our dishes off and President asked if we would like a shake, Sister Beck said, "oh they need to hurry home" and President just looked at the clock for about 3 seconds and said, "Oh they have time." So he made us a papaya shake which was great and then we went home. It was just like being at home. Fun times.
  • Teaching Elders the importance of cleanliness
  • Buying a huge travel jug from the local Quik Trip. It keeps your soda cooler, longer - and its a thirst buster, so it busts your thirst. We fill it up when we have long driving days (basically every day).
  • Editing documents on duties of future AP's and trainers in the mission
  • Taking a van test - so now I am certified to drive the 12 (maybe 15, can't remember) passenger van
  • Going to a baptism
  • Going on splits with our Bishopric and then with the priests
  • Working with our WML to decide what to do on 5th Sunday.
  • Getting to know all our ward members, dropping by and teaching them how to be missionaries
  • Tracting
  • Having a couple lessons.
Overall, just busy busy. But that makes it fun. Time goes really fast. Can't believe its middle of May and I've been here for 2 weeks. Sorry for the quick e-mail. We have more office work to do tonight. We have 3 days of mission training this week - break the mission up into thirds - one group on Tues, another on Wed, and the last on Friday (all from 9-4). So it will be a very busy week.

Much love,

Elder Perkins

A Blessing in the Mail

Here is a letter we received from President Beck.

Dear Brother and Sister Perkins,

It is a choice blessing and privilege for me to work with your son, Elder Tyler Perkins, here in the Arizona Phoenix Mission. You can find great satisfaction in the remarkable service your son is rendering to his fellow missionaries and to the wonderful people of Arizona. Truly, he brings honor to his family and to those who love and support him.

I have had the opportunity to work closely with your son as he has served in various leadership responsibilities. He has shown great leadership as he has served his fellow missionaries in these leadership callings.

I am writing today to inform you that he has been called to serve as one of my Assistants. His duties and responsibilities to his fellow missionaries make this an all-encompassing calling. Because of his example and leadership, we know that he will succeed well in his leadership callings.

I extend to you my appreciation for having the opportunity to serve with such a fine young man. Your influence has prepared him for the important and exciting position. It is an honor to serve with him.

May God continue to bless you in all your righteous endeavors.


President Paul S. Beck
Arizona Phoenix Mission

Monday, May 9, 2011

New Assistant to President Beck

Brother and Sister Perkins
I just wanted to send this picture of your son, Elder Perkins, and his companion Elder Brase.
These are two mighty warriors in the mission who serve with diligence. Their leadership power
is unbelievable and we consider it a privilege to work with them side by side. He has been a
phenomenal missionary. Thank you for sending him to us prepared and worthy.
Sister Beck


I'm getting Transferred!!!! Got news today - will be leaving tomorrow at 1 for my new area. Maybe I'll get released and can go to an area and train some new missionary and flip the area and baptize everyone!

Mom's Questions -

1) Teaching with President was really neat. It was a different experience. He knows so much doctrine, scriptures, etc. that he basically speaks in scripture. So to us it sounds like he is overloading him, but he really isn't. To the investigator it seems natural because President won't say any refrences, or whatever, but just speaks it. He uses a lot of doctrine. But he is focused on a goal - he comes into the lesson with a goal (usually always to set a baptism date) - and everything he teaches ties back into that goal. Got to have a plan.
2) I've tried using my glasses more. Not this past week, but the week before I used them almost every day. I usually use them in meetings so I can clearly see the speakers. But while tracting and around the house I don't. But I'm trying to get in the habit.
3)Nothing you can really do for me other then stand ready at any time for a call - probably will be in the afternoon of evening. Prepare everyone with at least a 5 minute return and report on the last 6 months.
MEETINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5/7 days this week.
25 April 2011 - Played bball with select groups of Elders to play a little harder, but not too hard that it gets competitive and we get mad - you just can't really get into bball when you have to play with sisters and other elders. Had a short lesson with the Bailey's.

26 April 2011 - Went to the church early to try and find a musical number we can do for leadership training tomorrow. We had zone leader council today from 10-3pm. It was really good. The two big lessons I took away was 1)Invite everyone, on daily basis to be baptized (that's the way they preached it in the Scriptures - "Repent and be Baptized". 2)Lovingly make up the difference when wards are not up to par - no whining. President Beck has about 2 months left and said he will sprint to the finish which will be good. We are also going to start something new in the mission - the moment we set a baptism date, we pull out calenders and chart the critical steps to baptism with them and then review their progress in each lesson - Dallas, TX Mission does this and they secure 90-100% of the baptism dates they set - our mission is about 60%. We tried a calender approach in our zone about 3 months ago and it failed because it was poorly presented by us and no follow-up - really just a nice thought, but not implemented. But this is exaclty what the mission needs and it is new and improved and great. Interviewed Adam & Ashley Corrington for baptism and they passed - I really like baptism interviews with kids - they just rock and get it. You understand why the Savior loved children so much - they are just happy, and willing to follow Christ.

27 April 2011 - Had district leader council with our 3 district leaders - got them pumped on the mission monthly focus of extending and securing baptismal dates. We had a leadership training from 10-3 today - brought in all the district leaders. It was almost the same training as yesterday - really trying to get the leaders on board with this so that they will implement and hold accountable missionaries for it so it doesn't fall flat - the leaders own the culture of the mission. Played hymn 220 for our musical number and 3 other elders sang - pretty good. Was on the phone for an hour tonight with one of our High Councilman over missionary work - couple struggles between missionaries and their bishops/ward mission leaders. It'll be ok.

28 April 2011 - Pretty good distict meeting. You could tell during it that 2 sisters were really struggling throughout it. So after, Elder Bird and I sat down with Sisters Moody and Zollinger. We worked through their concerns and had a really good discussion - I don't like seeing other people down or sad. So we really tried to cheer them up and later got some really nice feedback from them. We had a great lesson with Delaney. We confirmed her baptism date and then made a calender that we've been trained on and charted out her path to baptism (church every week, lessons twice a week, interview date, watch a baptism, meet the bishop, etc.). She's so golden, I wish I could keep teaching her, but we have to pass her off to the YSA.

29 April 2011 - So this morning we had a specialized training over the same things as the past 3 days - On how we really live our purpose by inviting souls to baptism and then skills training all on the baptism calender. After, Elder Bird and came to my area on exchanges - I really enjoy being with Elder Bird. We had a great lesson with Alex on the Plan of Salvation - hoping then turn out good - not comfortable with baptism or church yet, so we'll see. So we went tracting and Elder Bird took the first door and left them a card - decent door approach. I took the next 2 doors and challenged them both to be baptized. Then Elder Bird took the next one and invited them to be baptized and after said - I wasn't going to go another door without challenging someone to baptism. It was funny. Invited like 9 or so people to be baptized while tracting - fun stuff. Had a lesson with Alberto and the Tiemans - they fed us dinner too.

30 April 2011 - Had dinner with the Wilde's and shared a scripture - cool to hear that she said that she often gets so much guidance from our little scripture thoughts (something I take for granted a lot).

1 May 2011 - Tracting today was fun - there was one house with like 7-9 drunk people outside in theire garage having a party and I walked up and two walked onto the driveway to meet us and I basically challenged them to follow Christ and be baptized. They said no and started walking back in and another guy in the garage shouted something at us and I took a couple steps forward and said to them, "Will you all follow the Christ's invitation to be baptized into His church" or something like that, and they laughed and told us to get off their property - so we left. But it was awesome. It's cool when you get past your fears and you just go out and invite all to follow Christ and be baptized. Had a drunk man we tracted into like 5-6 weeks ago walk into church. We took him into sacrament and then he came to a fireside we had that night - I invited him to be baptized like each time - but he is Bosnian and doesn't understand much - but we have a lesson with him tomorrow at 1:30 that hopefully turns out good.

April 24- Happy Easter

Happy Easter,

18 April 2011 - Had a district activity today - played soccer with the deer valley district - fun stuff. Messed around on the piano trying to play a cool 'Kolob' arrangement by ear - only have the first little bit down. Went over to the Bailey's and they invited us to stay for dinner - had a mini piano recital too which was fun.

19 April 2011 - This morning we had our 6am breakfast at President Weathersby's. Then we had a lesson at 10am with Galen. President Beck wanted to come to our lesson so he taught with us. Went really well - set a baptism date. Then began an exchange with Elder Gibson - goes home in 3 months, had a good day. Then did a double swap at night and went down to Elder Trussell in his area.

20 April 2011 - I love Elder Trussell - we tore it up today. Cool story - so this morning we were thinking of what skills training to do in his district meeting since he hadn't planned one yet. Talked for about 5 min and decided to do one on how to deal with a partmember family in setting up lessons with them. So we did that in his district meeting. At 3:30 we had a window of heaven on Madrams Ln (we pray to know when and where we should be to find the elect). First door we knock on we meet a 15 yr old boy. Talk for a couple minutes and I invited him to be baptized at the door. He said yes and that his dad was a LA member. Came back later and met his mother (also a LA) - and got to apply our skills training and set up lessons to teach and baptize him. Elder Trussell is a good missionary - happy and a hard worker.

21 April 2011 - Bro. Eagar took us to Johnny Rockets today - a vintage restaurant with juke boxes, shakes and burgers. Pretty good. Set our goals for May and went to Elder Bird's district meeting. Contacted and found a Hindu man who let us in. I accidentally walked through his shrine room with statues and a worship mat and he didn't like that too much. Went over to Zach Lloyd's for dinner and a lesson with his 20 yr old niece. She is Christian and her dad has been LA forever and so she knows very little. We were teaching her the lesson when I locked in eye contact and quoted the first vision, then paused. She started getting a little teary eyed and I asked how she was feeling. It was basically perfect - she felt the Spirit so strong and loved it. I invited her to be baptized and she accepted - only thing is she lives outside our area so we'll have to transfer her, but it was great. The first vision account does it's job. She told them that she was impressed with our eye contact and that we were her age and had such a foundation and knowledge and testimony. Swapped, so Elder Zollweg is with me tonight and tomorrow.

22 April 2011 - Had a situation last night where a missionary called his district leader up and told him off. I don't like that stuff - so when I found out, I called them both and told them I wanted to meet with each of them today at 1:30. So we all met up and discussed it like men. I don't like mean people or people who take offense. So we talked and worked it all out. Why can't missionaries just be obedient and be good. Elder Zollweg had a good day today - we found another Hindu man - lots of them in our area - usually never listen to us. Had dinner with the Wilde's and Myria talked to me about pregnancies for about 15 min (in detail too) - so that was strange. I guess it'll help me when my wife goes through that stuff. Exchanges always tire me out and we've done a lot recently. Gotta be doing the ABC's throughout (Always Be Coaching).

23 April 2011 - Drove up and got an oil change today, went out to lunch with some Elders. Planning on going to the Mesa Easter Pageant again this year, but our investigator bailed so we decided to go tracting instead. I try to make 2 or so calls each night to zone members just to tell them their awesome and see how their day's are going.

24 April 2011 - Bro. Eagar got us some chocolate Easter bunnies- nice of him. Last night at 10pm or so a lady from CA called and said her LA sister who's in our ward is in the hospital and needs a blessing ASAP. So this morning, we drove out there and gave her and her non-member husband a blessing. Both shaken up pretty bad - she had a seizure and they think she might have a cancerous tumor and they have a 2.5 month old baby - so pretty scarred. But the blessings were really good. Really cool. Had a change in one of our Bishopric's. Church was good. Had a Children's Choir Fireside last night which was awesome. We set up displays for people to look at after - a big missionary push. Got to mop the floors after, been forever since I've mopped.

April 17- Missionary Work Makes Me Smile

I sent camera to Nikon to get evaluation to see if they can fix it. Will let you know when i hear back.

11 April 2011 - Taught Galen again - it's been awhile. He is confused on a lot of points and just wants clarity. He hasn't been reading and praying as much as he should so that was our discussion points today. He has a 2 yr old daughter. We had a zone activity after for P-day. Put 2 of the sisters in charge and they did a great job - did an Olympic thing which was really cool. Had Chick-fil-a after with Elder Bird and Elder Cecil. Taught the Toledo's. Such a cool family. Had a lesson with one of our new investigators named Ronnie who we tracted into about 2 months ago and finally got in -tract backs are tough. Had a really good lesson on the restoration and brought s. Christensen who is a convert too and did a great job - they hit it off nicely. Also trying to get in with a really nice family, the Berry's.

12 April 2011 - went to Elder Beeston's area - went to get on our bikes and my bikes tire had exploded - they filled it completely full of air the other day when it was really cold - heated up and air expanded and it most of blown. Tracted almost all day. Elder Beeston has been out about 7 months and is pretty solid. I got a bloody nose on Elder Mendenhall's tie he really liked that I stole for the day. Luckily - saliva gets blood out surprisingly well. So i spat on the tie and got it out. If you are really looking up close, you can see a yellowish glow to a certain area, but you really can't tell. So now he was Elder Perkins blood and spit soaked into his tie. Then, I stepped on a thorn bush and it went straight through my shoe and nailed my foot. That hurt and I had to take all the inside out to get the blasted thorn out. Got to drive today - i like driving a little. Went to their newly called WML's house today and I trained him on the member work whell. I went on splits with one of their priests which is weird since neither of us know the area and we just made some random visits and have to explain that they will probably never see either of us again - but it helps because we can be as direct as we want because we'll never see them again.

13 April 2011 - had a district leader council this morning before zone meeting. Discussed their challenges and then I talked to them about the magnitude of their calling and how to magnify it. Zone conference was really good - all on getting investigators to church. President Merrill came and spoke - really good. Bro. Gladden (less-active) took us out to dinner tonight - went to a place called sauce - in between a Fazzolis and an Olive Garden - i got a mini pizza and it was pretty good I thought. Swung by the Baily's - mom is less active and non-member kids (15 and 10) don't like missionaries. But the mom says I click with the kids well & this time they sat in for our scripture and prayer which is a good start.

14 April 2011 - We've doubled the amount of exchanges for the next 2 weeks. We will hit all but one companionship in the zone in the next 2 weeks - so will be very busy. Met up with the sisters to do a church tour to pass off one of our investigators to the YSA ward. Bro. Eagar took us to red robin for lunch which was great and then we began an exchange. Elder Berry, who only has two weeks left is here with me.

15 April 2011 - had a lesson with Galen. invited to the Easter pageant Elder Bird had a good district meeting - i got to share my thoughts on following up & importance of it. Were tracting a street and had prayed to find someone. No such luck and as we were walking back to the car I felt to go down another street and hit a house with the garage door open. So we went over and talked with a guy for about 20 minutes, placed a Book of Mormon, and got his number - hopefully he reads so he can get his answer.

16 April 2011 - in low 90's today. i think it got up to 93 or so. Got a little red on face and arms - tracted like 7 hours. I love tough work. Bro. Eagar made us biscuits and sausage gravy for breakfast. Met some crazy man today who is crazy and he talked to us for like an hour.

17 April 2011 - went on exchanges to another ward with Elder Kennington and Elder Barton. Elder Barton is a 6 week missionary who lives here in Peoria, Arizona. He has some disabilites which won't allow him to serve a full 2 year mission. His parents drop him off at the missionaires place at 7am and then pick him up every night at 9pm. He sleeps at his house, but works with the elders all day - he is a really great man. I had a blast working with him - really strong testimony - simple and powerful - just the way i like em.

President Beck called and wants to go and teach a lesson with Elder Hall and I this next week, so that should be fun. I've practiced teaching with him at zone leader council, but never taught a real lesson with him. We have 4 exchanges this next week. very busy.

Missionary work makes me smile. It's fun asking less actives what is keeping them from coming to church and they have no good excuse, or inviting someone you've been talking to for 2 minutes to follow Christ and be baptized, or working with a missionary who is struggling, or bearing your testimony to some anti who wants to burn your churches down, or playing soccer with your district on p-day, or making a roast beef and turkey swiss melt for lunch, or sweating a lot as you bike up a steep hill in hopes to find someone tracting that needs the gospel, or find a 20 year old who had a pre-mature baby just pass away and see how happy she gets when you testify that she will see her baby again and they Will be together forever, or teach a ward mission leader how he can succeed in his calling, or discussing with a stake presidency member how we can help the bishops catch the vision they see, or moving gravel for an investigator....all in the same week.

Life just honestly can't get much better then this - you are always happy and cheerful as a missionary. Tough times may come, but true success is when you go from failure to failure without loosing enthusiasm. I love it. Hope it never ends.

Elder Perkins

April 11- Hike with President Beck and Zone Leaders

April 4- Conference

Sounds like everyone is doing very well back at home. That is very good to hear. Tell Kellie that when we go to college together, she will need to introduce me to all her friends so i can get married very quickly - after conference this weekend, i am not going to waste any time, ha.

My sprained ankle is doing perfectly fine. I sent some pictures, but it got really swollen that night and bruised - hurt for about a week and them went away - it still is not 100%, but it'll do. President Beck is in a very hurry up mode. He has a lot to teach us in these last couple months. We already know the new mission president is President Taylor - my guess would be they are in very close contact with each other so the transition is perfectly smooth.

The study session with President Beck was very intense - it is then i realized just how much doctrine there is in the church - it is fascinating how simple it is, but there is so much contained in each of those simple principles. For the Q&A session, I started it off by asking about D&C 121 - specifically about the doctrine of the Priesthood and they went on for about 45 minutes about Abraham and Melchizedek, The Abrahamic Covenant, Patriarchal Order, Apostolic Order, Temple Stuff, Calling and Elections, Oath and Covenant of Priesthood, Alma 13, and much more. Lot of things blew my mind.

We actually watched all 5 session of conference with Bro. Eagar - we had plans to watch it with 2 other investigators who both canceled on us right before which was a bummer. Conference was great though.
28 March 2011 - Got my package from mom - lots of fun stuff and Cheez-its which i like. The AP's called and asked if I could put together a musical number for Zone leader council tomorrow morning, so went to church and tried something out. Took a nap. Visited Monique and she and her husband made us some dinner - she is close, but just can't get past the whole organized religion thing. Invited her to watch conference.

29 March 2011 - Got to the mission home at 6:30am. All zone leaders there and we had a quick breakfast and then set off to hike Sunrise Mountain. At the bottom, President told us to pick up a rock and we'd carry it to the top. We stopped in 3 spots of the mountain (1/3 up, 2/3 up, and at the summit). Each representing a kingdom of glory - each takes work and has a nice view, but the bottom two do not compare to the top. President instructed us for 20 minutes at the top - we built a symbolic altar out of the stones we carried to the top and rededicated ourselves to work harder - the sky is our limit. Went back to the mission home, showered and changed and started zone leader council at 11. It's fun meeting with everyone - E. Farnsworth, Geren, Tripp, Henrie, etc. Really good elders. Musical number was decent. Stopped by Maria's -back from 2 month trip to Bolivia - showed us some pictures.

30 March 2011 - Had district leader council this morning with the 3 district leaders. 3 focus areas in april are: 1)extending baptism invitations daily 2)Church Tours 3) Training all auxiliary presidencies on member work wheel. After that, I began exchange with E. Trussell. He is really cool - i enjoyed it. We went to teach a 12 yr old with her grandparents who are LA and their wml's wife. Well halfway through the lesson - i went back and forth with her for about 10 minutes and everyone just watched us. I invited her to be baptized and she said no because she doesn't feel ready. So we read Mosiah 18 with her and went through each qualification and then she said that she felt more comfortable with baptism. So it went well actually.

31 March 2011 - Exchanges back pretty early. Weekly planning. Began exchange with E. Bird - went to Anthem ward coordination and Bro. Krueger got a picture with us.

1 April 2011 - Fun being with Elder Bird - we have a concern in his district where the members feel that setting a baptism date in first or second lesson puts too much pressure on the investigators and then they drop off. They feel that if we teach them for 3-4 weeks and build there testimony before setting a date, then more would be baptized. This is not true in most cases - so we will handle it. Next Wed. we are having a zone meeting and I'm slotted for a 30 minute talk on the doctrine of the baptismal invitation - I think i will start off like President Monson did in priesthood saying, "Now I do not intend to offend anyone today...but..." I love it when they say that because you know they are going to cut straight to it.

2-3 April 2011 - Conference all day - Priesthood was the best session as always. As well as the two talks on Sunday about discipline and chastising. We tracted in between the sessions. Elder Bird and Elder Cecil were here for the sessions on Saturday which made it fun - had a BBQ in between those sessions.

April 4- Sprained Ankle from March Ultimate Frisbee

its not broken. it was sore and hurt to walk on for about a week, but swelling and bruising eventually went down and now its at 90%. but it makes the work funner when it hurts to walk around. Just like the hotter it gets outside, the funner it makes it. we've been in the 90's and someone said it barely clipped 100 this Friday, but not sure. Starting to sweat now - makes ya smile.