Saturday, March 17, 2018

Week 94: In which Jose replaces Jessica, we play cards, and I hide my big news

Another Week Rolls By...
(written 12 Mar 2018)

Hello, everyone! It has been a really good week, filled with both good and bad. First of all, I have some crazy news!... or I could wait to tell you later somewhere in the middle of this email. Mwhahahahahaha.

To start off with, Roxana is doing great! We taught both Roxana and Eladio (her boyfriend) a few times this week. We taught them about the Law of Chastity, and on exchanges, Elder Kopp and Elder Johnson (one of the Zone Leaders) taught them about Eternal Families. Roxana and Eladio both came to the Book of Mormon study class this Friday (sadly, it was the ONE TIME we had a ton to do and didn't stay long enough to see them there). Eladio went to California at the beginning of the weekend, and Roxana came to church with her son, Andres.

We have been having a good time in the Vintage together. I don't know if you already knew, but we live with 2 English-speaking missionaries. We've all been really busy lately packing and things, because we're going to be moving! Haha! I was sneaky and stuck it in the middle of the paragraph! Now you can't just easily skim over the letter and find out what the news was. It's really sad to leave the Vintage. It's especially sad because the Vintage is extremely nice, with a lot of amenities. The new apartment is on Crest St. and is called the Crestview apartments. It's going to be a definite downgrade, though. The appliances are really old, and we don't have a laundry machine accessible. It's alright, though, because we've been learning about the different laundromat options, and we have some amazing members for our new neighbors! It's pretty exciting. I'm now going to write a little bit so you can't just look at the end of this paragraph and learn too much. I want to be sure everything is/was a surprise.

Sadly, we had to drop Jessica as an investigator. We've been working really hard with her for a really long time, but when we went by, she told us "I don't want to search for the truth right now. Maybe later, but I'm busy and don't want to right now." We tried to help her, but she refused and started being really stubborn and pushing back, almost arguing with us. So, we just decided to let her go. It's really sad, but it's what she needs right now.

However, the story does not end there. We were tracting last night, and after only a few doors, a man named Jose opened the door and invited us directly in! Apparently, he moved from Mexico very recently, only a few months ago. He told us he likes talking with missionaries from various faiths, but had never talked with Mormon missionaries before. We shared with him about the Book of Mormon, then the message of the Restoration. He was captivated by the idea that we actually have a book that can be used as a proof or test of what we share with the world. He loved the idea! When we finished talking, he told us "I suppose I can just read this book, pray about if it's true, and find out about the rest!" He asked us to come by Wednesday night.

We were later heading somewhere else when, all of a sudden, we realized that not 1 day after dropping Jessica, we had been greatly blessed with an amazing new investigator. This was heightened greatly by the astounding realization that the return appointment on Wednesday we had set with him was at the time we had planned originally to visit Jessica. I am always impressed with how God blesses us so quickly. As soon as our schedule was free enough, He led us to one of His other children.


Elder Adams

Questions from Editor Mom

What notable things happened this week? - We had to let go of Jessica as an investigator.  Roxana is doing well, though, and we've found a ton of really amazing new people to work with!

What’s the best thing that happened to you this week? - I'm honestly not entirely sure. 

Grandma Linda wants to know how happy you are on a scale from 1-10, 10 being best. - I always find it strange to rate anything at a 10, because I feel like things can always get better. However, with that in mind, I'd say about an 8.5 or 9.

What are you doing for fun on P-days? - Elder Kopp and I like playing card games a lot, and we also do sports, prepare for the week, and occasionally other things as they come up.

Do you need anything? - Not really, no. I can't think of anything.


A photo tour of Ben's new apartment:


Friday, March 16, 2018

Week 93: In which we make best friends, I resolve to be early, and I rank my areas

Another week...
(written 5 Mar 2018)

Dear Everyone,

This has been a really good week! Not a lot has been happening, except for some general changes in how efficient we've been. It has been a good week, with a record number of new investigators since I got here! We were really excited about that! We've started teaching a few more people. 3 of them are young women; we also have now met their mom and have a return appointment for tonight! Their mom is Edith, and their names are Adriana, Joana, and Liliana. It was actually kind of funny; a day after we met them and talked with them for the first time, we were walking not far from where they live, and they were walking on a nearby street. They saw us, and yelled out "hey, our best friends!" And came over to say hi. We taught about prayer. Now, when we right them down in our plans or talk about how to help their family, we just refer to them as "Best Friends". As it turns out, Edith, their mom, has an aunt who is a member of the church! Edith has even gone to our meetings before.

We also have a few other new investigators as well: one is the father of a family who goes to one of the many Christian (probably referring to evangelical) churches in the area. We also talked to two guys about our age, Carlos and Fransisco. They seem really nice, and we're excited to teach all of them.

Roxana is still doing really well. We've now broached the Law of Chastity with her boyfriend, Eladio, and her. They took it pretty well, actually! It might take them some time to figure it out, though. We're planning on teaching it fully in the coming week. Jessica doesn't have the Gospel as a really high priority, though, right now, so that's a bit of a challenge.

We're really happy for all of the new opportunities coming our way. Love you all!

Elder Adams

Questions from Editor Mom

Hola mi querido hijo! - Hola, mi querida madre!
So, questions for you!: - Fire away.

How was your week? - It was good! We've found a lot of new people to work with, and continue to make progress with Roxana and her boyfriend, Eladio. However, Jessica took a turn for the worse. Especially with finals right around the corner, actually trying to learn about God is not really a priority for her right now.

What are you and your new companion doing for fun? - We talk, mostly. We also enjoy card games together and just sort of nerding out. It's fun :-)

Has your exercise routine changed with every companion? What is it now? - It changes, yes. With Elder Shoemaker, I lifted weights quite often. However, he took them with him. Now I do sit-ups, jumping jacks, sit-ups, and things like that.

What are your biggest goals for finishing your mission strong? - I want to be 5 minutes early to everything, including personal schedule items. That also pretty much covers the rest. I just want to be the best I can, help others as much as I can in the time that I have left, and bless my companion(s).

Anything funny to share? - I'm honestly not sure. There's not really anything specific I can think of.

What are you looking forward to in the next few weeks/month? - I'm looking forward to getting smartphones in about 1.5 months. I'm also looking forward to just working and doing all I can to improve.

Looking back, what has been your favorite area in your mission? - I've got 3, and I can't decide. Probably Othello, then Moses Lake and Toppenish come to be close seconds. I loved Wenatchee and The Dalles, but missionary work-wise, they were harder compared to the  aforementioned "favorites". However, I wouldn't trade my time in those areas for anything.

Anything else I should ask? - I'm not sure.

I love you and hope you'll be able to look back on the coming week as one of the best ever. - I do, too!

Week 92: In which Roxana returns, Jessica progresses, and I dispense wisdom

A Very Busy Week...
Written 26 Feb 2018

Hello, everyone! It has been a very... interesting... week. In some ways, a lot of things happened. In other ways, not a lot at all happened. Let's start with the more difficult part...

At the very beginning of the week, I decided it would be a good idea to try to get my medication. I handed in the prescription on Monday, and then opted to come pick it up the next day. Tuesday, I went back to Wal Mart to pick up my prescription, but it wasn't ready. They needed permission from my doctor to substitute the name brand for the generic, which is all they carry. We then came back the next day to get it, and they told me that they couldn't actually substitute it because it was just different enough that they needed the doctor to write up a new prescription, so I went in on Thursday for a doctor appointment, went to Wal Mart later that day to drop off the new prescription, picked up one of them Friday and got the other prescription in, and finished off on Saturday by picking up the remaining medication.

Tuesday we had a District Meeting, and we had interviews on Friday. During District Meeting, we talked about the Book of Mormon and how it can strengthen our faith.

Still, despite the craziness, it has been a good week, especially towards the end! Not only did we find Roxana again, but she came to church, and the situation with her boyfriend might be resolving itself a lot sooner than we were thinking; she told her boyfriend that she would leave him if he didn't want to get serious about listening to us, going to church, and being baptized! She even said "It's not going to work if you keep being half-hearted about the missionaries and their message, because I'm going to be serious, and I'm going to get baptized." That made us pretty happy, as you can imagine.

Jessica is also doing really well! She has determined to start coming regularly to church, so we're really excited to work with her on that. We've also been teaching her more, and she has been making really good, steady, progress.

Also, a few weeks ago, a local high councilor here in Moses Lake came and spoke in the branch. He mentioned in his talk that he joined the church in Littleton, MA, which made me audibly gasp/exclaim during the middle of his talk. What made it more interesting is that I was translating.

He also happened to serve in the Lowell Branch a long, long, time ago. He worked with you, Dad, while you were the Branch President. His name is Bro. Dennis Draleau. He remembers you. 

Anyway, thought that was interesting.

Love you all!

Elder Adams

Questions from Editor Mom

Tell us about your week! - It was decent. I will pretty much tell you everything [above].

How was your birthday? - It was awesome! I love everything, thank you so much!

What did you talk to President Lewis about? - I mainly talked with him about the area and the district. It was great! 

What have you done to get to know your companion? Are you finding ways to have fun? - Elder Kopp and I talk a lot, and we get along really well. He's like a mix between Elder West and me. We have so much fun, doing just about everything! We played some card games today already, and we're looking forward to a fun rest of the day. 

What do you hope to remember about the past week? - We found Roxana again, and she came to church! Also, Jessica has continued to do better and better!

Anything funny? - Well, I'm going to have an android smartphone!... for the last 2 weeks of my mission! Yay! Haha.

Love you to the moon and back and...🙂 - Igualmente!


Sis. Lewis asked each missionary for their advice to new missionaries.
Elder Adams:  Study Preach My Gospel and the Book of Mormon as faithfully as you can.  Simply do what God asks and know He will make it all work out in the end.  ALWAYS, ALWAYS follow the promptings; don’t second-guess yourself and God.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Week 91: In which I lose Shoemaker, we lose Roxana, and Jessica loses a migraine


(written 19 Feb 2018)

Hello, everyone!

This has been an eventful week, for sure. Transfers have brought a lot of change to the district, and I personally feel it has shaken things up and made it new enough that it's like a new beginning for us all. Elder Kopp is wonderful! He's a great, dedicated, sensible missionary. He is very determined to do the best he can in whatever given circumstance. He keeps me in line. :-) Seriously, he has an amazing drive, and I hope the two of us can do all we can to work in unity and charity as we continue in this great work. We've already seen miracles, for sure. 

Sadly, Roxana has fallen off the face of the earth. We haven't seen her for a week and a half. We're not sure what to do to find her. We're working on it, though!

Jessica, on the other hand, is amazing! She has really begun getting serious about learning the Gospel again. It's pretty amazing! We gave her a blessing this last Friday for a migraine, and it was totally amazing! She felt completely better again in just a few hours. She has even begun dropping hints that she is seriously considering baptism again. It's really exciting! 

Elder Kopp and I are getting along really, really, well! He was trained by Elder Hibbard, who was trained by Elder West! Yay! Also, he just came from starting his mission in the same area where I started my mission: Mission Ridge in Wenatchee (Spanish)! It's so amazing that things turned out that way.

We've also started trying to use the Book of Mormon more in our encounters, and we've found a bunch more people who are really interested! It's fantastic! Seriously, even though we're worried that we haven't been able to find Roxana for a while, other people are popping out of the woodwork. It's going to be quite the ride!

Love you all!

Elder Adams

Questions from Editor Mom

I hope you've had a good week. How has it been? How were transfers? How much did they impact your district? - This week has been hecka-dope. Jessica has made some really good progress, and it's really exciting! During transfers, it was really hard to say goodbye to so many amazing people, but we've gotten some amazing people in return! That's usually how it goes. Elder Kopp is great. Our apartment got changed a lot, though, since Elder Larkin also left. Now it's Elder Miwa, Elder Heaps, Elder Kopp, and me. Our district also got changed up a little; besides Elder Shoemaker being replaced by Elder Kopp, 

How much have you learned about Elder Kopp? Has he told you he wants to learn to play the piano? - I've learned a little, but not a ton yet. He mentioned he wanted to learn some stuff about music, and may have mentioned the piano, but he wasn't incredibly specific.

Do you have any personal goals? - Yes, and for simplicity's sake, I will list ALL our goals:

1. Read the Book of Mormon every day, even when I don't have study time planned in.
2. 5 minutes early to 2 minutes late (MAX) to everything we have.
3. Continue trying to do #FEEDtheFIFTY
4. Brush teeth first thing in the morning (to help me wake up) and first thing when we get back to the apartment every night (so I don't put it off until really late and ALSO am discouraged from eating at night).
5. Drink a bottle (or cup of roughly equivalent size) of water before every meal.
6. Follow our own personal Companionship Study Plan.

And maybe more, but I'm not sure.

I love you more than I can say, and I hope you have a happy birthday this week! - I love you too, and also hope I have a happy birthday :-)

Love you!

Elder Adams


Elder Larkin gave me a tie and signed it:

Some of us after singing at a retirement home for service.

Elder Shoemaker and I, right before he left:

Elder Larkin and I, right before he left:  

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Week 90: In which Roxana progresses, Jessica returns, and Shoemaker leaves

 Last Week of Transfer 15...

(written 12 Feb 2018)

Hola, familia y amigos! Wow, the time is passing waaaaaay too fast. I'm beginning my 16th out of 17 6-week transfer periods! Wow, that's seriously crazy. Sadly, Elder Shoemaker will be abandoning me here in Moses Lake, the legendary Prophet's Puddle. I'm so excited I still get to stay here another 6 weeks (at least)!

To start off with, I'm going to try that same format as earlier, where I take a portion of my letter to President Lewis, edit it, and expand on it. It worked really well when I tried it earlier.

We've continued to work to help our investigators to continue to progress. Roxana is doing really well, and there are others of our investigators who have really begun showing a lot more promise lately, it's very exciting! Roxana has been doing as well as ever, and came to our weekly Book of Mormon study class on Friday. She even brought a teenage girl with her (we still have no idea who that was) Unfortunately, since it was Stake Conference this last weekend, she seemed to be asleep early in the morning when we went to drive in front of her to show her to the building. She didn't answer, and we had to go without her.

Jessica is another of our promising investigators. She was taught a while ago by Elders Shoemaker and Klossner, and was doing incredibly well, but went on vacation to Mexico. While there, she stopped reading the scriptures and praying. When she came back, I was here, and Elder Shoemaker and I have been periodically stopping in to help resolve her concerns and keep her from falling completely away. For a time, we were worried she would be lost. It was a precarious time and even though we would often consider simply dropping her completely and stopping the visits, whenever we would go by "one last time", the Spirit kept urging us to continue coming by to keep her on a lifeline. We would stop by about every 1-2 weeks.

Well, our visits have finally paid off! Her life has settled down some, and she is beginning to feel a little bit better and more able to function now that things are warming up outside. She finally committed 1 1/2 weeks ago to set an appointment with us so we could come by, teach her, and she vowed to not cancel on us. Miraculously, for the first time since I've been her, this amazing lady, who has even been on-date for baptism before, let us into her house. We had a fantastic lesson with Hno. Paine, a local member, she has begun serious study of the Book of Mormon again, and she came to the Book of Mormon class on Friday with her 9-year old son, Athan. It's truly a miracle. We are so excited to really begin working with her in earnest. Her resolve has never been stronger! It's especially a miracle because we have never before gotten anyone to come to the Book of Mormon class from our area. It's been a struggle for all of us. However, this week, we had 2 of the people we are working with show up! It was truly amazing.

I also went on exchanges this last week with Elder Memmott in his area, Moses Lake 9th Branch Central Spanish (we're normally in the North, and cover most of everything north of Highway 17). Not a lot happened on exchanges, honestly; it was simply due to the fact that there were no lessons scheduled that day in their area and no one we knocked into was incredibly interested. It was all right, though; Elder Memmott and I did some good work together, and I learned a lot from him. He's a really, really, good missionary. As I recall, we did actually find some people that could be interested, and had a lot of really good talks with a lot of people.

We have also been working with Luis and his mom, Magali. They are so awesome! The two parents have had issues with their previous churches, mainly due to people going for the wrong reasons. They have had some very negative experiences, but with us, they're always super welcoming and open. We ran into Magali in Wal-Mart while shopping today, and we set up a visit for this Tuesday so Elder Shoemaker can say goodbye.

It's been a great week, folks! Tune in next week to see what changes in the wind will come with the new transfer.

Much Love, 

Elder Adams

Questions from Editor Mom

Are you really embarking on Transfer 15 of your mission this week!? How do you feel about that? - It's weird. Actually, there are 17 transfers in a mission, and for Spanish Elders, the MTC counts as one of those. That means that technically, counting all of my full transfers, I am embarking on Transfer #16. There are only 2 left. Yes, that's extremely weird for me. It's pretty unreal.

How is the family you found progressing? I'm trying to think of who you could be referring to. There are 3 potential people to whom you could be referring.  Maybe 4, but one of them we haven't seen since that time. 1 - Roxana/Eladio/their son? 2 - Aurora, Vanessa, and family? 3 - Luis, Magali, and family? 4 - Random Catholic family we found once while tracting? (We haven't found them again yet; they're really busy with the Catholic church).

Did you get your Valentine's Day packages?  Please feel free to share things. I got the packages, but I didn't open the wrapped things. I did open the non-wrapped things, though, and they were divinely delicious. Yes, I shared quite a bit. Everyone agreed (except Elder Shoemaker, because he is very picky and specific about his food) that they were pretty much some of the most divine chocolates they had ever tasted. It was great! Also, the edible art is a cool idea. I haven't eating any of that yet.

What's the transfer news? (You don't have to share it again in your main letter--I can just post your answer here.) - Elder Shoemaker is sadly leaving to Quincy West to be companions with Elder Alonzo. I will be sticking around as District Leader and will be receiving Elder Kopp (I think - it was hard to tell on the voicemail) as my new companion!

How are you handling your allergies?With a lot of tissues... Seriously, though, I'm doing really well. I've learned more or less how to handle them now.

Pictures from Ben

All of us at dinner last night (Sunday Feb 11) with Hinocencio and Juana Aguilar, some members here. Hinocencio was baptized several months ago by Elders Shoemaker and Klossner, but then moved out of our area. We had delicious Mexican Soup (Caldo) and Tamales. It was delicious. Left to Right: Elder Memmott, Elder Ruesch, Elder Shoemaker

We found a Mexican flag in our closet, so I hung it up in our study room. Aww yeah.
President asked us to make a copy of our apartment key. We found this design and went for it. Now, our apartment door cannot oppose us!
Elder Larking eating cookie dough with a spoon and hiding behind some unopened rolls of toilet paper. We were all just talking around the table one night, and I wanted to capture the moment.
On exchanges with Elder Memmott, I found a sweet blue woven pillow thing. I then proceeded to mess around with it. It is all recorded with pictures.
Elder Miwa (left) and Elder Larkin (right) giving us a ride to a Zone Sports/Workout morning (6:30 AM)

Our beloved District:
Elder Palacios and I having Carl's Jr. on exchanges:
Elder Miwa got himself stuck in one of those pull-up bar thingies and then decided to still try to eat his lunch.

More Pictures

This week was stake conference in Moses Lake, and Sis. Lewis (the mission mom) was there and took lots of pictures and shared them on her blog.  Here are a few that featured Ben.