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Well last week I talked about my ankle being a bit messed up and I’m over that now because I nearly lost my thumb on Sunday… not kidding… I went to the emergency room for the second time on my mission and had to get stitched up and wrapped. I’m starting to think I’m a bit accident prone…IT happened while I was setting up some chairs for a big back to school event where people hand out school supplies to the less fortunate and while setting up one of these tables I got my thumb caught in a pinch point where there was a sawed off piece of metal and it just sliced right though the skin and muscle right down to the bone. it didn’t hurt… at first, and it didn’t start bleeding right away so I was able to SEE the bone in my thumb for a second. I was immediately rushed to the emergency room and was fixed up. I have a picture on my fixed up hand on the one drive so there is that as well as the pictures from the baptism this past week.

The baptism went fantastic. Joel, Harley and Bruce all did fantastic and are so excited to be members. I baptized all three and it was so great to see them all in white. I talked to Joel who is the oldest and he said  that he felt so different after stepping out of the font and all of the Lovings are just doing fantastic with coming to church and all of their testimonies are growing so fast. now we just need to find some more progressing investigators because we baptized all of them. Missionary problems I guess 🙂
I was so sure that I was leaving this transfer but it turns out that I am staying. and I am so happy because I found out that Karla (as of Friday last week.) is officially divorced and is set to get married on the 7th of August and be baptized the 8th! That i some of the best news that I have heard all my mission! and I cant wait for the 7th!
eventful week and not in the ways that I expected…or wanted in some cases.
Still in Siloam!
Zach 🙂

HEY!

well this week was eventful in that we had FOUR BAPTISMS THIS WEEK! and it was GREAT! Dylan had his service at 11 on Saturday and it was a ton of fun. Since he is engaged to a young woman in the ward, his soon to be family in law did the planning for us and it was so much fun. That family is very musically talented. Hannah (the girl he is engaged to.) is a wonderful singer and her brother and sister in law are talented on piano and the violin respectively and all three of them did a musical number at the baptism and it was just amazing to listen to. I love music 🙂
The Loving”s baptism was at noon the same day and Lisa, Koda and Jaysic were all super excited to get in the font. Elder Connor came down and he baptized Lisa and Koda and I baptized Jaysic. Elder Connor also baptized Dylan.  The day was a amazing and fun and Sunday was even better. The Loving’s were the first to be confirmed and I did Koda and Jaysic while Bishop McWhorter confirmed Sister Loving. Dylan was after all that and his soon to be Father-in-law (Brother Patterson) confirmed him.
What i thought was just the coolest thing was that we went to the Patterson’s that evening and we were talking with Brother Patterson and he said that Dylan has just been beaming all weekend. and what makes that cool is that Dylan isn’t really the kind of guy to emote at all, so seeing him like that is a real treat and a rarity.
The Loving’s are a family that I would expect to never go less active because of just how solid and open and full of desire she is in leaning more and she is constantly trying her hardest to get to church and get her kids to activities.  The best part about all this is that the other three kids, Joel, Bruce and Harley are getting baptized next week! Its just amazing here.
This Saturday is transfer calls and I think I will be moving… I dont think this because I have been here awhile and my time is up but because I honestly feel like my work is done here. Its a different feeling than I have had the other transfers where I’m nervous. I feel just… ready to go, I love it here and I would love to come back but I am just ready to go.
So aside from the baptisms there is also another interesting thing that happened this week… I went to the Doctor again… this time I needed to get my ankle checked out because on Thursday last week we were playing basketball with some other members in the ward and I twisted my ankle really bad. I sat out the rest of the time but I thought I would get over it after a few days… I didn’t… and my ankle was swelling up and turning purple so after calling Sister Loveland (I almost typed in Sister Shumway, this is going to take some getting used to.) she told me to go to a clinic back in Centerton, one of my older areas, and get checked out.  So I did and the doctor told me I had strained mt ankle which is worse than a sprain and can be worse than a break but mine wasn’t THAT bad so he gave me some rehabilitation exercises to do and sent me on my way. so I have been having to take it easy on walking running and playing basketball… fun.
Another less important but still interesting this that happened was that I realized how far along I am. Instead of thinking how long I have been out I thought how much time I have left 11 months and 12 days… WHAT!?!?!?!? 11 MONTHS! LAST i CHECKED I HAD 24! its all perspective! so I am now freaking out a little bit and trying to look for more people to talk to. but thats not as bad as Elder Bulpit. he is sitting right next to me and this is his second to last p-day before he goes home. I can only wonder what he is feeling right now… better enjoy it some more!

having a good time even if I dont have a lot of time left!
Zach 🙂
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June 22nd

Happy Fathers Day Dad!! sounds like you had a great time with the heat!

Yep teaching the Loving Family is really somthing else they are so prepared to recive the message and have a baptism date for the 18 of next month and are progressing quickly.
Elder Pack is the new elder here and he is a short little guy and he loves to just have a good time, he has been everywhere and done a lot of interesting things. been to Alaska for work. went down to New Mexico to be on his grandpas farm and as a result he can relate to nearly anyone and talk with them about anything. he has been out 7 1/2 months. and does not show it, he knows what he is doing and teaches me so many different things about teaching and now I have a bunch of different ideas for teaching and realting to people.
not a ton to report but I hope that you have a great time this week and that everybody has a good time out on the lake skiing!
Love you all!!
Zach

June 15th

Well last week we lost a lot of investigators but this week made up for it by giving us an entire family to teach as well as a set of less actives that are returning to activity. a pretty nice consolation prize all things considered. The family are named the Loving Family and they are GOLDEN!!! we have only been there once and they came to church yesterday and had a great time. did I mention that she has 5 kids and she brought a few of her friends kids with her? and the less active I mentioned before was the one to give all of them a ride giving her the opportunity to come to church for the first time in a year? it was fantastic!we are going back there tomorrow and hopefully things will continue to progress.

transfers this week and Elder Connor will be leaving and I will be staying and My companion will be Elder Pack. iv met him before and he is really a cool guy and serving with him will be fun.
I really wish I could have seen the Temple during the open house and the celebration I hope to go to the temple after I get back and see it in person.
other than the new investigators coming to church this week there isn’t a whole lot to say regarding what us new. today we went out with the zone and hung out in a town called Springdale all day I have some videos but I don’t have the cable to upload the to the One drive right now because we came strait to the library right after. I would also like to say sorry for the lack of pictures I got pretty lazy over the past little while about that.
the funny this about you being in Orlando right now is that we have an investigator who took a vacation out to Orlando to go to Disney World. I doubt that you will run into them but I just think its cool that you are both there.
Humidity is fun right? 🙂

Now I just feel a little sucky about how I performed in track but its amazing that Stephanie is doing so well in her events.

I wanted to talk about Mothers Day. transfers are on the 6th and mothers day is on the 10th so I’m not sure where or when I will be able to do it but thanks for the time frame. it helps out a little bit. we get transfer calls this Saturday so I can let you know before then if plans change.
This past week we had a sort of Mini Zone conference with President and Sister Shumway and it was centered about the “why” we serve and how we need to not put so much focus on the “how” he also told us that he only has 10 weeks left. and I was reminded that I will have a new president for almost exactly half of my mission. I’m not sure if I have told you this already but the new mission president is named Kevin Loveland and he is a potato farmer from Idaho. (because where else would he be from?) its a little weird to think that President Shumway will be gone because I have gotten so used to him and how he runs things and having a new perspective on things is going to really shake up the mission.
Also this week we broke our record of 8 progressing investigators and got 9 instead its the same people as last time but now we have a guy named Dylan. I may have talked about him before but he is dating one of the young women in the ward and he has been coming to church reading and has been coming to the basketball games that we put on at the church every Thursday. speaking of witch. I’m fairly sure that he broke my nose this past Thursday when he jumped out of bounds to save the ball, hucked it over his shoulder and caught me full in the face. (I was guarding him.) I was seeing stars for about 20 minutes and my nose swelled up pretty good. no pictures on that but you probably didn’t want to see it.
Just yesterday we had a very unusual experience. we were in ward council that morning and the ward is trying to do a lot of reactivation. the ward roster is huge but there are very few active members. And the Bishop wanted to get things set right. so he had each auxiliary come up with a few names that we can focus on. and one of hte names brought up by the council is Peggy Byrd (Bird.) the problem was she has no assigned address on the ward roster a little odd to bring it up but ok. later that afternoon Elder Connor and I were out tracking (shoot me…) and were having zero luck with it and walking back to our car Elder Connor just bleats out “lets get one more.” so I just look across the street at the nearest door and say “okay, that one.” we knock on the door and a lady answers and go into our usual shpeel and she just says “I know all this guys, Im a member.” so that was a bit surprising and we got to talking and she said that her name was Peggy W***. the name Peggy jumped out at me but the last name was different so I didn’t think much of it but as the conversation went on we asked her if she would like her record moved down here and she said that her name on the record was Peggy Byrd… we didn’t say anything about the ward council talking about her but we kept talking and then a man walks up to the door and Peggy introduces him as her Ex-husband and his name is Larry Byrd ( awesome name.) so then it all clicked that she had been divorced at some point after going inactive. and we started talking to Larry then all of a sudden he starts holding his head in his hands and Peggy says “not now Larry I cant help you right now.” and he just says “to late.” and starts to really kind of stumble his way back into the house and then he just drops like a sack of potatoes, just passed right the crap out and the first thing out of my mouth “Should we call an Ambulance!?!?!” and she just says “no he’ll be fine”
“well, how long is he like that?!”
“about five minutes at a time.”
“and how long has this been going on!?!”
“about 12 years”
I was scared out of my mind and during this conversation he comes to again and starts writhing on the ground. and then says “broke another rib!” needless to say I wanted out of there and fast so we closed up the conversation and walked away and as soon as we were in the car we started just freaking out to each other about the whole situation. it is ,so far, the craziest thing that has happen while tracking.but it was cool that we found Peggy and now we know where she lives. now I think the next step is getting Mr. Larry some medical attention.
Doing the Lords work sure gets interesting huh? that’s what you’ve got to look forward to Matt!
I forgot my camera today but I will have some pictures to give you. and I am super excited to hit 10 months. Double digits People!!!
I am indeed still alive and no I did not see any tornadoes but they were all over the place. I took some video of the weather outside and it was pretty crazy. I didn’t see any of the golf ball sized hail that was reported but we did get the Tornado sirens in Owasso to go off and I guess that was a big deal because they hadn’t gone off in like 6 years.what I didn’t expect was for everyone to be so calm when all of this was happening. I was fine during all this because these people know what they are doing when it comes to a tornado.  We still moved on Thursday and as tradition for transfer day, it rained and that was the extent of the weather on that day. I haven’t had to do any service regarding the tornadoes yet because the areas that I am in now didn’t get any significant damage. A tornado storm is not like anything you have ever seen. First off you get these things called “cells” and that is where a tornado is likely to show up. The clouds are spinning in a very ominous way and it gets dark, I mean really dark, really fast. Then the sky turns a weird shade of dark green the wind picks up and lightning like you have never seen rips across the sky making it look like mid-day for half a second before getting really dark again.  The thunder is constant and just keeps rolling for a really long time, its nuts.  This past week I saw a storm chasers car! Hey Dad, do you remember the truck bed liner that we used for the inside of the Jeep? Just imagine that all over the body of a Suzuki sidekick. I got a picture of it because it was so weird looking. and it gave me nightmares for trying to get the stuff off… The horror…
Aside from the terrifying storms. Does this mean that Steph is going up to level 10? I mean, it would be really cool. and why is it that everyone is going to be so old when I get back? that is going to take some getting used to.
My new Companion is Elder Connor and he was in the MTC with me in a different district, and if there is one way to describe him is he just does not stop working and the past few days I have come back to the apartment completely spent. He is from Logan Utah. My new address is 250. N Madison Apr. #E Siloam Springs, Ar 72761.  Maybe I’ll stay here for a while. Its really pretty here, lots of trees and cool looking historic buildings its like back home almost just a lot more hills, but that’s what you get in the Ozarks
(I got a new job working for JetBlue and immediate family gets some pretty sweet flight benefits)
We get to fly anywhere that JetBlue flies for free? Well if you ever get the chance to go to the Grand Cayman islands again, DON’T GO UNTIL I GET BACK THERE. but they do fly to a lot of cool places. Hopefully this new job will be better for you and will be easier to manage. Have fun with it! I also cant wait to see the basement when its done. it will be so cool with all the stuff that you are looking to put into it.
Hope that you all are having a good time with all the changes that are going on over there! I love you.
HI!

I need to say sorry for not emailing yesterday, we were down in Tulsa and we needed to get our cars oil changed and tires rotated then we were hanging out with the YSA branch in Tulsa and the Assistants to the president. It was so great being with them but we went a bit to long and needed to go to an appointment right after and by the time that we were finished we needed to get back home. so that’s my fault but the appointment was with an investigator that we recently found. his name is Zach R*** (Awesome name) and we ran into him while we were going down the less active names on the ward roster. He was living in a house that a member used to live in but never got his records moved. We started talking and left him with a Book of Mormon and he read a large amount of it and had a bunch of questions. After we talked to him about the restoration he started asking about baptism and how we do it and after we explained that we asked if he would like to be baptized and he said yes… I wish EVERY investigator I worked with was this easy and open. We just need to get him to give up some habits and he should be good.

We had a zone conference this past week and I talked to President about not getting a phone call about Grandma and he said that he had a good conversation with Dad. but when I asked about why I wasn’t told about it and that’s when he got a really confused look on his face and and then he asked “I never called you?!” and when I said no he hugged me and said that he was so sorry and that I had every right to be mad, he explained that he had several missionaries family members die within a very small amount of time and he thought that he had already called me skipped over my name on the list. He didn’t give an excuse because he was sorry about it and said that he should have called me. I’m ok now but it was a little… distressing, if that’s the right word. Its fantastic that the funeral went well.

The investigator that we had in gospel principals is named J*** H*** and he is dating one on the young women in the ward and he started coming to church a while ago but only recently started talking to us and he has been having a great time in church and we actually have a lesson with him later today.  He asked us after church if he could meet with us so he could asked questions and have a more one-on-one lesson. He is awesome and I can see him getting baptized within the next month or so.

Tell Hunter I said hey and that we are going to be next door neighbors! (A kid in our ward got called to Tennessee Nashville Mission)

Love you!

Zach
Mom,
I heard about Grandma Nona from Dad, I spent some time this morning to think about it all and, I don’t want to say that I’m over it but I have accepted that fact that she is gone and I wont see her for a while, but I’m okay with it. I’m going to do a sort of mini memorial on Thursday at noon for her funeral. I remember Aunt Grace (This is my Aunt) but not all that well. But it still is sad that she has passed on as well. I looked up Ponca City (where my Aunt lived) and its not in our mission but its only just outside the boundaries.
I’m happy that president had a good report for me. You always feel like there are just eyes staring at your back constantly and you know that if you do something that somebody doesn’t like they will report it strait to President and he may or may not tell you about it. I’v been called in before (about something good not bad) and that scared me to death. I really don’t want to be on his “bad list”
I am tempted to write “what new mission president?” but I cant do it because THAT’S ALL PEOPLE TALK ABOUT! even President Shumway is talking about his time almost being up and how he wants to finish strong and how we need to be prepared for whatever changes will come about from the new president. I will get him at my year mark almost exactly so half and half with two mission presidents will be interesting.
That D&C (Doctrine and Covenants 68:6, I sent it too him) verse is actually Sister Shumway’s favorite verse and she like to let everyone know it. I have heard about it almost every time I have met with her because, lets be honest, Missionary work is demotivating and you tend to get a little down.
Love you!!
Mom and Dad,
What’s even cooler about that day (the one when they taught 17 lessons) is that we are now making it a once a week thing on Saturday and we did it again  and had some more success, about 11 lessons, so not as much success but still a good day. I know that there were a few who wanted the missionaries to come back but they were in the other Elder’s area. The investigators that I talked about the last few weeks, Harold and Sally, are going to be baptized this Saturday and are crazy excited about it. All that needs to happen is the baptismal interview and it will be official. Everybody in the ward loves them and they might as well be a part of the ward already because they are always there and always participating and just loving being there. But yesterday (Sunday) was amazing for a number of reasons. We have been talking to a returning member and this past week he brought a friend to church. He (the friend) had never been in a Mormon church before and he walked in while we were singing the opening hymn. When the sacrament got passed he took the bread and started to cry and as he was listening to the testimony’s you could visibly see the spirit working on him. Towards the end of the meeting he said to the member that brought him “can I go up there?” and Ryan just said “Do you want to?” and he said that “something is telling me to.” so he stood up and went to the pulpit. He bore a testimony of thanks and gratitude to all the people in the building and then he went back down and all the while he was walking down the aisle people were shaking his hand and thanking him for his testimony. His name is H*****, he is a Navajo Indian and he has fallen under some bad times. He currently is homeless and is going to school for welding and he just hides his welding gear away throughout the day and goes to pick it up when he goes to school. He is trying his hardest to be strong and get help but everything has been robbed from him. He doesn’t even have ID to apply for financial aid because it was stolen from him. But even after all this he tries to never ask for money or hand outs. The way that he met Ryan was him asking for some food just to get through the day which he did and they got to talking and Ryan invited him to come to church with him. He agreed and then he came today and after sacrament meeting we met with him in a classroom with Ryan and he told us his whole story. We gave him a blessing and as soon as we were done I will always remember what he said “What did you do to me?” he said that he felt so calm and reassured that everything will be okay. All he has to do is finish this last week of welding school and then everything else will work out. This week is his “final exam” and if he fails he cannot become a welder because they wont let you take the test again, ever. He said now he feels so much better and feels like he can get through it.  It was a fantastic Sunday and he said that he will be coming back next week.
Today is the 7 month mark of leaving and people are now starting to say that I’m an older Missionary (or you could say and Elder lol.)
The most recent Zone training meeting was this past week and it was also interviews with President and Sister Shumway and I told them about what happened that Saturday with 17 lessons and they took notes and wanted to tell the other missionaries in the mission about it.  President also complimented me on my new hair style. Yeah pictures 🙂
???????????????????????
I have a newly renewed vigor to “sew seeds.” and I am looking to make a difference somewhere.
working harder than ever
Zach 🙂