Monday, January 20, 2014

Last Letter



I can't wait to get back into the swing of things at home. I have so much to figure out when I get there! But I'm exhausted because I hardly slept last night. 

Yesterday was a tender day for me. I cried all through Stake Conference, and again at our departing devotional. I had a hard time controlling my voice as I shared an experience and bore my testimony. President said some very nice things about me from the pulpit and everyone was very complementary afterwards as we talked. 

We didn't quite get our goal of 20 lessons, but we got 19. That's more than we've ever gotten and still something to be proud of. I needed something to work hard at for this final week. :-)

Today I will be picked up to go to the mission home at 4:15. After that I'll be there until I fly out at 10:45am from Ontario to Seatac tomorrow. 

Elder Walker is also getting transferred out of the area, and we're both sad about that. The Byrds won't like that at all... but I think that Elder Teisina and Elder Didrickson will be able to work well with them (they were over the north half of the ward and now they'll be covering the whole ward). The Byrds will soon love them too. :-)

Saturday I had tons of bike problems. So annoying! Especially to think that we might have reached our goal of 20 lessons if it wasn't for that. 

I didn't really do anything special for my birthday. A couple people out here remembered, which was nice. I was on exchanges in 4th ward for most of the day and we went to Rosa Maria's (a famous, San Bernardino version of Dicks, only Mexican food) for a free burrito and drink (horchata). 

Well, I will see you tomorrow! I can't wait! 

I love you!

-Elder Marriott

Monday, January 13, 2014

Life Is Good



lol. I'm speaking on the 26th in College Heights Ward and the 9th in Lincoln Ward, eh? lol. Well. That’s ok. I wanted to speak in 1st Ward yesterday, but they didn't invite me. I almost asked, but I didn't. I love the pulpit lately. The second speaker had canceled and they still didn't think of me... But yes, invite everyone! I plan on inviting Mr. Merdich, the Lincoln Hardware family, etc. 

Maybe I'll have to insure Big Blue when I get home so that I have something to drive around in. ;-) We can worry about that when I get there. :-)

I heard last week that Bro Russell died. I'm sad that I didn't get to meet him. Everything I have heard about him has been wonderful. I have even shared parts of his story out here. 

I should have an opportunity to email next week. I probably won't be picked up by the office until the evening. But I'll probably find all that out on Wednesday at our departing Temple trip. 

We're planning on having an amazing week this last week! We want to teach more lessons than we ever have together. It's already filling up rapidly. I think that it will pass very quickly. 

We had Victor Byrd's baptism on Saturday and I got to confirm him on Sunday! It was so great! The Byrds were amazed at how still Victor sat for his confirmation. They're doing very well. They were anxious to get my contact information so that they could contact me about their baptisms. Sister Byrd insists that I will have to come back. :-)

I lost my helmet this week. That was kind of annoying. It lasted almost two years. We left it on the trunk of the car by accident, and by the time we made it back the next day it was nowhere to be found. Oh well. I'm wearing a spare in the meantime. 

I'm starting to look forward quite a bit to coming home! Life is good. This will be a great week. We're planning on filling it with more lessons than ever and it's already filling up. It will pass quickly. 

Jess will be flying in on the 31st for her niece's baptism. I was invited to attend the service and spend some time with the family. It should be a great time! :-)

Gloria wants to have us over soon also. Maybe she's already contacted you. I can't wait to see them! :-)

I love you!

-Elder Marriott

Monday, January 6, 2014

Hi, Byrds!



Dearest Mother,

That's sad about Grandka! I hope that she makes it long enough for me to get down there. She sent me a wonderful letter just a couple weeks ago. 

No, I don't know anything about having to stay warm. It's lovely. 

Just wait for me to get home to get the car situation figured out. What cars do we have now, anyway? I've only been hearing about the Suburban. I've been talking to people about what it would take to rebuild the Suburban's transmission, and most people say that it's very doable. It should cost less than $500. 

This morning I had a crazy adventure, reminiscent of my pudding extravaganza. The Butterfields (from my first area, I love them) gave me some "cookie butter" for Christmas, and I wanted to make pancakes to try it out on. But, I guess my brain wasn't working all that well and I got the oil and milk measurements mixed up. So, I put tons of oil in! I scooped out as much as I could, but they ended up having a kind of cracker taste to them. But, the cookie butter was good! ;-)

Also, the Byrds came to church yesterday. I showed them my blog (Hi Byrds!) so they might be reading this now. Brother Byrd was impressed by my adventures. I guess he read some random stuff from last year. A lot happens in two years! Anyway, it looks like Victor will be baptized on Saturday, and then Brother Byrd will follow as soon as he can meet all the requirements. Sister Byrd is still sitting on the fence a bit. 

Church is back to 9:00am now. I like that time much better. Everyone complains that it's way too early, but I love that it leaves a day afterwards. We got way more done yesterday than we usually get to. 

We spent some time cleaning an apartment that was unbelievably filthy. That was true service. We spent hours there and didn't even clean half of the kitchen. I'm grateful that I'm a much cleaner person now than I've ever been. 

New Years Eve we had to go in a bit early, and it was easy to see why. On our way home the whole town seemed to be awake and getting ready for something big and slightly immoral. It's sad that so many people celebrate the New Year coming in that way. 

I hope that this is a good week for you! I look forward to it myself. "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work." 

Don't run faster than you have strength!

I love you! I'll see you in 15 days!

-Elder Marriott

Morning View

12-30-13
Dearest Mother,

Sounds like Christmas was a success! I wonder if I'll be home for next Christmas... ;-)

I'm super jealous that you get to watch the new Hobbit movies! That's going to be pretty high on my list of priorities when I get home! I hope that there will be a theater somewhere that will have the new Hobbit movie still playing. 
I don't know what my plans will be as far as a job is concerned. I figure that it will probably be easier to find a job in Utah, but I don't know for sure. Maybe I can pick up some hours at the hardware store or something. 
Grandka sent me a fun letter this week. She sent a copy of a letter from Great-Great-Grandma Erickson which was pretty cool. 
Yesterday Elder Walker was sick and throwing up all day. So, I spent a lot of time listening to Conference, organizing our ward list and making maps of all our areas. Hopefully the time pans out to something. We were going to sing Brightly Beams in Sacrament, but that didn't pan out. Hopefully we can sing it before I go home. I only have three Sundays left!
The Byrds came to church yesterday! Brother Byrd called us afterwards to let us know how it went. He said that it wasn't as bad as he thought it was going to be, so that's good. ;-) 
So, the reason that I'm emailing so late today and that this is a bit short is that Elder Kent F Richards came and visited the mission this morning. He trained us for 3 hours and then President Van Cott trained after that. It was a great meeting. Elder Richards talked a lot about keeping everything simple so that it's more understandable and so that the Spirit can testify of it. 
I hope that everyone has a wonderful New Years!

I love you!

-Elder Marriott



I forgot to send a picture that I took of the view I see every morning from our apartment as I'm working out. 
Also, I'm assuming that Peter's Sara Lee is of the baker variety? ;-) lol.

I love you!

-Elder Marriott
 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Cards

So, I have lots to write about this week, but I'm trying to keep my computer time short today because I have so much to do. I took on the ambitious project of sending out over 100 Christmas Cards, and I still have about 3 to stamp and address. Doing that has made me realize that I don't have as many addresses of family as I would have liked, especially on the Hall side. I did get a card from the Ashcrofts, though, so I was able to send them a card. 
 
So, this week started on a sad note. We had stopped in a fast-food restaurant to do some paper work Monday evening and when we came out someone had ripped the light off of by bike. That was really sad for me because I really liked that light. And, to add insult to injury, all they did was rip the light off the end of the cable. So, it will be pretty much useless as a light. I still have the battery and charger...
We've also set an ambitious goal to give everyone in the ward a little folded missionary shirt-and-tie with a hook so they can hang in on their Christmas tree. But, we're probably only half way done, so we're going to be pretty busy all the way through Christmas day, I think. 
Elder Walker had his bike fixed up this week and somehow he got faster while the bike was in the shop. That was kind of annoying. I like to be faster than my companion. ;-) Now his easily rolls faster than mine when we go downhill. But, he has two years of bike riding ahead of him, so it's a good thing. 
There's a member of our ward that gave me a Christmas ornament that he picked up in Germany when he was traveling for business. I took a picture of it to send home. It's really quite nice!
I was figuring that the transmission on the Suburban would need to be fixed soon. That's too bad that you spent all that right before I got home. I probably could have gotten it done a lot cheaper... I'm surprised that it would be $1000 for the parts to rebuild that transmission. I wonder what options there are for doing it on the cheap. Probably just getting a used transmission and swapping it out. I wonder how hard it would be to switch it to a manual transmission. I had put a nice rotor and cap in the suburban before I left, but I guess they don't last forever. I don't even remember what cars we still have at home...
Porcia had another surgery? I hope that she's ok! Getting a hold of missionaries isn't that hard if you know who to call. Often the missionaries in your ward will have their contact info, or you can call the mission office and get it that way. (btw, I've actually talked to people who have served senior missions in the Tacoma mission. That's kind of fun. :-) )
I hope that you have a wonderful couple of days!

I love you!

-Elder Marriott

The Reason for the Season



December 15, 2013

Dear Mom,

I'm sorry that you didn't have a very good week... There are people that we talk to that just put a lot of things off until after the holidays. You almost have to if you want to celebrate to the fullest. Don't worry about me for Chirstmas, though. :-) I was delighted to get the light and grips this past week. It was like Christmas morning! :-) My light is brighter than some cars. :-) Elder Walker's light used to drown mine totally out, now mine drowns his out. He who dies with the best toys wins! ;-)

Also, it's very nice to not have black stuff worn into my hands all the time and one hand is no longer resting directly on the handle bar. I'm just trying to make everything last for another 5 weeks, but that's one thing that would've needed to be fixed anyway. Thank you! :-)

Mazda 3, eh? That was my vote. They seem like good little cars. I hope that Lexi and Erik got manual transmission! Sometimes I day dream about what I want to get when I get home. When I first came out I missed working on cars. Part of me wants to get something that needs a rebuild - like an engine or transmission. Then I could spend a couple weeks working on it before I head down to Utah. :-)

I'm not sure either what you could put down for me in the Christmas newsletter. I'm back on bike for the first time since last Christmas. I'm training again. I was in the Singles Ward for a long time, then in Fontana (where we put the Font in Fontana), now back in San Bernardino. I'm getting old, losing weight, my eyesight is getting worse... I'm truly a San Bernardino Missionary, having served here for 12 of my 17 transfers. 

The weather is turning nice again. It was 70 degrees this morning at 10am as we were biking to the Family History Center to email. It's supposed to get into the low 80's today. This is what Southern California is best for!

We have a couple investigators that we're very excited about. We prayed Soledad out of a job and now she can attend church on Sunday! She's so excited to be baptized. :-) Also, the B family came to our ward's Christmas party and were very impressed with how friendly the ward was to them. We were super disappointed that they didn't come to church yesterday, though. They're still getting the hang of what it means to keep the Sabbath Day holy. One of the member's explained to Brother B that if he wants his business to be blessed that he needs to not work on Sunday. So, that's what he did: nothing. Somehow we missed communicating that that's just the first half of keeping the Sabbath holy. But, they're making lots of progress! :-)

President reiterated the need to keep our calls to 40 minutes at Christmas. We were hoping that since he has a daughter in the field that he might lax that rule a bit. But, he hasn't had a call with her yet, so maybe things will change. ;-) Anyway, I'll be coming home less than a month after Christmas. :-)

Enjoy the Season! It only comes once a year! We've been sharing a Mormon message with a lot of families in our area. It's wonderful. You can watch it here.

I love you! :-)

-Elder Marriott
 

P. S. We just watched "The Reason Behind Christmas" a new mormon message (you can go to mormonchannel.org and watch it.) We don't have sound on these computers and it was still really good! Elder Walker is watching videos while I finish up...