Monday, July 25, 2011

So Busy

Wow, Bethany and Jason's little girl is so big - wow.
We did have some thunderstorms last night which was fun.
Thanks for the update on the reunion. Sounds like it was really fun and enjoyable.
I'm doing just fine on this end of things. I don't have my notes of what happened this past week, but here are a few highlights.
18 July 2011 - volleyball.
19 July 2011 -
20 July 2011 - Had transfer planning meeting from 10-3. Lots and lots of changes - can't tell you yet, but it will be interesting.
21 July 2011 - Had Stephanie's baptism which was really good. Spirit was really strong. Good way for Elder Brase to end his mission.
22 July 2011 - On exchanges with Elder Wilson from Parker, CO. He hung out with lots of my old friends, so we talked a lot. Great Elder. We had a meeting with all the new trainers and trainees who came in last transfer and since Elder Brase was gone on exchanges, I had to take the trainees and talk with them for an hour about how they've been doing so far, any challenges/difficulties, etc - It was really fun.
23 July 2011 - In the office working on transfers from 11-5pm. The Spanish AP's brought us orchata smoothies. Had Carl's Jr for lunch - I enjoy their burgers - expensive though.

24 July 2011 - Brayden, Sister Taylor, and President all spoke in sacrament meeting today. President Taylor had Elder Brase and I stand up and told everyone he trusts us with his life which was great and let everyone know it was Elder Brase last Sunday in the mission. Had lots of appts. Elder Brase had his exit interview.
This morning we had a meeting, and I dropped Elder Brase off at the mission home, we'll be back over there in about 30 minutes for dinner and then taking them to the airport tomorrow. I'm with the 2 Spanish AP's now and rolling with them till transfers (which is Wednesday now instead of Tuesday).
So busy today - have a good one.

Much love,

Elder Perkins

Monday, July 18, 2011

I Love the Temple

President and Sister Beck and New Arizona Phoenix Mission President and Sister Taylor and Son, Braden

11 July 2011 - Had a badminton tournament in our zone (28 missionaries). Elder Brase and I took first place and were awarded a small trophy. Cleaned. Went out with Bishop to have FHE with a family and then went to Stephanie's lesson with him. She accepted baptism and is thinking about a date. She moves out in less then 2 weeks, so we'll see.

12 July 2011 - Went up to Prescott for interviews, then Cottonwood, drove with the Taylors all around. It's an hour and a half to Prescott and then an hour to Cottonwood. After I stayed there on exchanges with Elder Geren - good to catch up - been about 11 months since I was with him.

13 July 2011 - We had a lesson with Stephanie again. She accepted a date for the 21st - great lesson.

14 July 2011 - Did transfer planning from 10-5pm. Elder Brase and I have a big role since President Taylor doesn't know too many of the missionaries. So he asks us tons of questions and plus we are implementing lots of new things since this will be his first full transfer. Very intense. Had a horrible lesson with a family who got hung up on a scripture about Christ causing cities to burn (3 Nephi 9) and told us the Christ they believe in isn't that way, blah blah blah.

15 July 2011 - Went to the temple with President and Sister Taylor. Very good. I love the temple. Had dinner with a member - gave us pizza and had a quick thought.

16 July 2011 - In office for a bit. Got to work in our area a good bit.

17 July 2011 - Church was good. President Taylor is in our ward and after Sunday School grabbed us and we ran to the hospital and had to deal with some missionaries there and work some things out. Got to do some more work in our area.

It has been fun being with President Taylor a lot. He counsels with us A LOT and all I have to say is that it has got to be VERY TOUGH being a Mission President - especially a brand new one. He has to deal with so many issues and I feel for him. But he is just the best. I am amazed at how he composes himself and handles very tough circumstances so smoothly. When I would probably go off on someone, he just lovingly reproves and moves on. He's so great - I'm learning a lot.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Phoenix Dust Storm 2011

The dust storm was fun when it came through. It was so dusty you couldn't see and it was hard to drive in. there was a lite layer of dust everywhere - interesting stuff.

Tell Conner I appreciated his e-mail - means a lot to me. He will do great things in his life. When I was about 17 I probably hit where he is at now.

My past week:
5 July 2011 - Went with the Spanish AP's to drop off a car - we cannot drive by ourselves anymore (we would do it about once a week to move cars around, etc). So we have to go with the Spanish AP's to move cars around now. Ran into the office and had to help the some of the senior couples with their computers - had to program some formats for them. Tracted, visits, coordination.

6 July 2011 - Took the 6 Elders in our house to play bball to help them get up and stay awake. Went to district meeting and I had to give a talk on teach for understanding. Then took off right after that so we could make it to the Deer Valley interviews. That is like my home zone because I was there for like 14-15 months. President Taylor has everyone go around and say 3 things about themselves, has their companion, DL, and ZL all then say 1 thing about that missionary. it was fun. Sister Taylor has story time which is fun. They have a 16 yr old that is the man - Braden - really good kid. Halfway in, we had to make a Target run to pick up some items. Tracted, then went to a PM family - lesson was good. Subway for dinner. Huge dust storms.

7 July 2011 - Played bball this morning. Weekly planning, then went to the Glendale interviews. It was good. lesson with CRollins, they took us out to dinner at Paradise Bakery. Then had a great lesson with the Carpio family - they are great and so sincere.

me and my 2 sons, Elder Geren and Elder Bird - both zone leaders and are legit.

8 July 2011 - So we went to our zone's interviews this morning. In my interview President asked how I was holding up and if I feel overwhelmed. We are doing quite a number of big changes and we have a big role to play in counseling with him and he wanted to know if I was overwhelmed. Told him that I am just loving it and am having a blast. He asked me to program his cell phone and his laptop to link to microsoft outlook with all the missionaries contact info - so I did that today for him. We tracted, dropped off Presidents stuff (they gave us a sandwhich - they counsel with us a lot and ask us about people, areas, situations, etc) - its been really fun. Then began an exchange with E. Turner in his area.

9 July 2011 - So I got to teach a family from Iraq, who barely speaks English - we had to use a translator and that was really fun. Also found someone tracting from Castle Rock, Co - first time so far my mission and he said that he was getting prepared by missionaires to be baptized over there, but then they moved and are looking at getting back into the church. So that was great. Then Elder Brase came to swap us back and they had 4 large pizzas they got for free from a member who manages the local Dominoes Pizza.

10 July 2011 - Got a call this morning from Sis. Jensen saying that Stephanie wants to be baptized. Hallelujah! We met up with the Spanish Ap's to get organized about our transfer meeting that will be this next Thursday to make sure we are all prepared since we will be making a lot of changes. Should be fun. Discussed logistics and repercussions and how we will make it smooth. Then we got to teach a mission prep class that the stake here puts on. It was really fun to teach all them - got about 30 minutes.

Fun stuff.

Missions rock.
I'll try to send some pics here, hopefully they go through.

Living the dream, can't get any better.

Much love,

Elder Perkins

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Pictures from President and Sister Becks Website

Our wonderful assistants Elders Perkins and Brase as they circle the
airport (6 miles worth) waiting for the arrival of our new missionaries.
It is quite the system them have as they drop off each missionary at
their different terminals, gather their expense cards
and then rush in to greet the incoming missionaries.
By the time the transfer is over, they are ready for a long.......nap
which they never get.......n

It was Monday, a P-day and also Memorial Day. We have forgotten
the meaning of celebrating holidays. In the mission there is no such thing
as a holiday. There is too much work to be done, no time for slacking off.
But, today was an exception as we joined the Surprise Zone for a softball
game. It was too hard to sit back and just watch, after all I played softball
growing up and the juices were flowing. So, I joined in the fun. I must
admit I have lost a lot of my skills and wasn't very happy with myself,
but we had sooo much fun. The Zone Leaders brought some watermelon
to eat. Elder Cava, from Tonga, had never played before and learned the
game fast as he knocked them out there. It was a great day!

Zone Leaders and Assistants to the President

Elder Peck wrote the last verse of the mission fight song and the assistants
sang it for everyone. I'll post the song later.
Our President is awesome
He owes it to his Wife
They teach us by example
How to navigate through life.
They'll leave the mission stronger
Than they found it when they came,
If we don't succeed.
they're not the ones to blame.
Arizona, thirsty land
We'll serve the Living Water while we can.

Safety and Blessings

Greetings from the Arizona Desert - it is getting very hot ha. But that makes the work twice as fun when you are sweating all the time.

These last 2 weeks have been CRAZY - with the switch of the mission presidents life has been very busy and fun. Here is the last 2 weeks.

20 June 2011 - Thumb still jammed - hurts to write. Played volleyball this morning and I and another Elder on the other side both went for the spike and jammed it. But it was fun. Washed our car today - threw some wax too. We drive like a 2009 Silverado - it's a very nice truck so we take good care of it. Took a nap. Got haircuts and then had dinner with a women and her two sons - one is partially active. They cooked us some good ribs. Went into the office to get everything in line for zone conference this week. This will be President and Sister Beck's last time in front of the missionaries to teach and work with them. So it needs to be run flawlessly. Worked with some missionaries too.

21 June 2011 - Day 1 of zone conference today. I conducted and I forgot to do announcements, so after the vehicle instruction I had to get back up and do those - also learning how to adjust the microphone so it's at the right place when people come up to the pulpit - fun stuff you get to learn. Sister Beck had Elder Brase and I do a little skit in front of everyone (Ammon and King Lamoni) it was really funny and everyone loved it. We also had to demonstrate teaching the whole first lesson, with inspired questions, resolving concerns, using scriptures...all in 10 minutes which is very hard. President and Sister Beck gave their testimonies too and gave everyone a hug.
All missionaries world-wide are getting portable DVD players so we have been working the kinks out in that. Handed them out today with Preach My Gospel training DVD's to watch.

22 June 2011 - Day 2 of zone conference. We improved our skit and the missionaries loved it - we keep things fun and exciting. President Beck this week is speaking on the Restoration and change management. He's taught that change is external and we have no say in it, but transition is internal and we have complete control over that - transition is the process by which we accept the change and do everything we can to embrace it and move forward. Sisters did a great musical number with a violin and piano. As the missionaries hug President and Sister Beck, I stand behind them and give them the bio of President and Sister Taylor (moving from one to the other). Emotional for lots of people - not really for me yet. Then Elder Juchau came home with me on exchanges. Got up to 113 degrees today. Stayed over 100 past 9pm. It's getting hotter. Went on bishopric splits.

23 June 2011 - Went down to Pep Boys to get them to replace one of our tires that got gashed - 12 inches long. Went to district meeting. I gave a talk on how we use the Book of Mormon to answer the deep questions of the soul. We then took off for Prescott - about a 1 1/2 hour drive. Prescott is up in towards the mountains up north and is great weather. Exchanged back and came back to a dinner appointment at the Power's home. They invited a neighbor over who had lots of questions. Went well and we made out with a chocolate cake.

24 June 2011 - Day 3 of Zone conference. This one was a long week. Today went really well though. Right after I went to Elder Henries area on another exchange - he is really good - I like him a lot. We had to drop off a bed, then a washer. Quick dinner, tracted and then went to a baptism service.

25 June 2011 - Craig Rider - formerly Elder Rider who was in town for a week for a sealing took Elder Brase and I out to lunch. He was my zone leader when I was only 3 months out who recommended me to be the next district leader - which happened so I have him to blame for everything ha. In the office for a couple hours, then had to drive all over Phoenix - hit 3 places and had to pick up/drop off beds, bikes, etc. Had to work with another missionary - just wish people just make the smart decisions. Over 100 all day long, high of 111.

26 June 2011 - Stake conference was awesome today. The stake president here, President Wagner is like the Mormon version of a baptist preacher - and he says it how it is. Like really direct, straightforward, and bold (so of course us missionaries love him). He discussed that when we don't do our hometeaching, we are not fulfilling the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood. Then he reads a verse in D&C 84 and says, If you don't do your home teaching, your sins will not be forgiven you...and you will live in the terrestial kingdom. You will not be with your family forever." Great stuff.
Then discussed how God doesn't care if we want to keep the commandments, or if we don't like it. All he cares is if we will do it. and says "do you think God cared if Abraham wanted to sacrifice his he cared was to see if he would do it. Then he brought his whole family up to the podium and says, "My wife and family is not the most important thing to me....then discussed how it is the baptism and temple covenants that is the most important thing to us because they allow us residency in highest degree of celestial kingdom and allow us to be with our family forever.
Brings back memories of dad saying. What is number 1 priority - your relationship with God, 2 is your wife, 3 is your family...and 10 or something is your job. Ha.
He also discussed facebook and gave warnings and the law of chastity and it was great. We had an investigator there who said he wasn't too big a fan of the presentation of how President Wagner said it, but he was fine.

27 June 2011 - Elder Brase and I have some excellent companionship studies. Went into Pres. Weathersby's office - chiropractor for Elder Brase - he was the stake president of the last stake I was in, so good to talk with him. Ran around the whole day - busy P-day, did some deep cleaning. I am the most tech savy of the 4 assistants so I get to do all the technology/computer assignments. So I spent like 2 hours on President and Sister Taylor's cell phones trying to set them up for when they arrive. Lots of preparation being made. In the office a lot today.

28 June 2011 - Had zone leader council today. It was in the high council room of the stake center - this would be President Beck's last council to the zone leaders and assistants of the mission since he leaves tomorrow. Sister Beck spoke on relying on the Lord. President Beck spoke on leadership and how we must choose to lead and make a difference. Very good. I don't think the Lord is giving us any time to really think about them leaving - still hasn't hit us. At the end, President Beck gave us each a letter that President and Sister Taylor had written and given to us. So fun to read that. Went over to the mission home right after and helped them clean out there friends. More office work. Had a lesson with Jamie and Larry Weber and brought their home teacher - she has been less active for awhile and we have been working with her for like 3 months and now her non-member husband has been sitting in. Had coordination meeting and then ran back into the office to finish some things for President Taylor in the morning. Got letters from the Telford family.

29 June 2011 - Today was the big switch. Elder Brase and I went to some district meetings and while that happened, President Beck picked up the Taylor's from the airport and they met for about 3 hours. Just a quick overlap and then President and Sister Beck were gone and President and Sister Taylor were in. We were scheduled to have a lesson tonight with an investigator with President Taylor, but it canceled two hours before we were suppose to go out. So we ended up going over to the mission home and meeting/getting to know the Taylor's. They are just awesome. They even have a 16 year old son they are bringing (they have a blog you can look up). They are so nice and comfortable and easy to talk to, and really smart, sharp and talented. They are great. Sister Taylor is so sweet and nice. Braden, their 16 year old, is a really good kid too. So then we went tracting with President Taylor for an hour and he taught us to be personable which was great (really showed by example). Then we made a couple visits and then went back and had dinner with them and discussed some things and some changes that might occur - nothing too big. On his mission, President Taylor went through 4 mission presidents and asked us where we stood. We told him that the biggest lesson we've both learned is that there is safety and blessings that come from following your priesthood leaders and honoring your covenants and we support anything he says or wants done 100%. They are just great. We are so excited and they are legit. Great things will continue to happen.

30 June 2011 - Weekly planned, lunch, office, tracting. Had dinner and a lesson at an investigator families home with their member friends and they accepted to begin the discussions which was great. Also had to drive down to the ghetto of Phoenix to drop off an AC unit - only saw like 4 people get beat up, just kidding. Then got dropped off with Elder Mouritsen in his area for exchanges.

1 July 2011 - Played some racquetball this morning - it is tough. Had a first lesson with a tract back and totally just set a baptism date with her like it was nothing. She is golden and was just ready. Then went to a district meeting. Went tracting and taught another one of their investigators - it's nice going into other areas to teach their people. Had dinner at a nice restaurant missionaries eat for free at - market bistro - really good food. Elder Mouritson is really good - been in leadership almost his whole mission and just solid. Swapped back.

2 July 2011 - We have been jogging the last couple days (one secret is that soon this will be a running mission) - so Elder Brase and I are taking the lead and we are going to go running every morning. Had a lesson with a stubborn Romanion Christian who fought almost everything we said, until we just threw down the doctrine and she was stunned and didn't say anything. Followed it up with solid testimony and committed her to read and pray and then just left. So we'll see.

3 July 2011 - Stephanie and Coleman both came to church which was great. President and Sister Taylor came too and bore their testimonies. Tracted for over 2 hours - it's warm outside. Storm came in the evening after we were getting in - some little rain, but it brings the humidity. Had a dinner and lesson with Stephanie. She made some mushroom, chicken soup with coconut milk - decent. We threw down baptism on her again since she is leaving for CA in 3 weeks and so we'll see if she commits.

4 July 2011 - Did a run this morning. After studies, we drove to the mission home and then President Taylor drove us and Braden out to a zone activity - so we played volleyball, basketball, and dodgeball for a good couple hours. On the way there and back we had some good discussions on rules and how too many just complicate things and shrink the trust box. Good exercise. His forte is being very personable with people. We had to be in by 6pm today unless we had a teaching appointment, so President and Sister Taylor had us over at 6:15 and we had some burgers with them. Then we discussed things until 9:15 - lots of changes are going to happen. This will be a very busy and exciting and fun next few months. Ha! Oh I can't wait. Big stuff that I love.

This morning we ran into the office and he asked if I had gotten any sleep with all the stuff we talked about. I love it.
President and Sister Taylor are just great. Our mission will just embrace them.

Elder Perkins