Amanda is leaving

October 29, 2013

In a few minutes we’ll be leaving to take Amanda to the airport. I just set up another blog for her where we’ll try to post her mail:



October 19, 2013

The other evening I was helping Andrew with his homework. They’re studying American symbols, and he had a worksheet on the Statue of Liberty. Question 1:

The Statue of Liberty raises a ______________ in her left hand.

“Torch,” he said and wrote that down. Question 2:

The Statue of Liberty holds a _________ in her right hand.

“Book,” he says, and starts to write.

“I think it’s supposed to be a tablet,” I say.

“Nuh-uh,” he replies, “they didn’t have tablets back then!”

So I had to explain that “tablet” meant something different back before we had iPads and such.

This week for Sam

August 31, 2012

Not so far behind this time:

Thank you Mom and Dad for keeping me up to date on my car. I’m still hoping it’ll be running when I get home.

This week was a little crazy. Last district meeting the zone leaders came by and told us they felt inspired that this week we could reach the standard of excellence as a zone. So this week we had everyone texting in each time anyone added a new investigator or put anyone on date. Well, yesterday we added up all our numbers and we came up a little short. 3 baptisms short. I didn’t have the best attitude I admit since we keep on having little challenges to boost numbers. There’s always been a big focus on numbers and it’s easy to forget there are people behind them.

This Friday we had our mission toured by two members of the seventy: Elders Foster and Whiteington. [? The closest name to this I can find is Elder Scott D. Whiting.] They did some interesting trainings, mostly on working with members. It was all about being the kind of missionary they can trust. Elder Foster was mission president in Arcadia California where it was illegal to contact people on the street or knock doors. The only way they could teach was through members so he knows what he’s talking about.

I checked out Sister Winn’s blog and it’s way out of date. oh well.

Gotta go. I love y’all.

In totally unrelated news, the Global Strategic Maple Syrup Reserve in Quebec was broken into and millions of dollars of maple syrup were stolen. What is the world coming to?

Sam again

May 5, 2012

I tried to post this on the bus going to work, but the wi-fi wasn’t up to it. Anyway, here’s what he had to say this week:

Hey Y’all and a special howdy to Daniel for emailing his own thing.

We had exchanges with the district leader on Wednesday. This time I went with the DL’s comp into their area. They cover the Swahili branches in the valley so that was fun. We dropped by this lady at work and it turns out her vending machine was broken. She had spent the last 8 hour trying to fix it and we figured it out in 20 min. In thanks she gave us a couple of drinks.

Yesterday we taught in a combined priesthood and relief society class. Then the ward mission leader came up after us. His lesson was titled “doing missionary work the hard way.” I really liked it. He basically said to bring people to the gospel there are three things involved. You have to respect their Agency, have Charity, and bring the Spirit. That’s basically what the mission has been talking about this whole time.

Then we hurried over to help teach a combined YM/YW group in one of our focus wards. That was pretty good too.

So, I’m planning on talking with Pres about maybe Skyping on mothers day, but don’t plan on it yet.

Gotta go. I love y’all.


April 17, 2012

Yes, it’s been quite a while since I posted Sam’s emails. Today I’m catching up.

March 19, 2012

Howdy, Fam
I gotta be quick because Elder Shapcott doesn’t have much to write
home about since he leaves for home in a couple of days. Wednesday in
That shirt’ll be fine and if you send your camera could you please get
a different case? To answer your other question the odds are great!
For General Conference each stake in the area gets a set number of
tickets and to keep the number of tickets up they hand some off to the
missionaries to either go or give their investigators. The stakes I’m
in haven’t given them to me yet so I’m a little nervous.
This week has been a little weird. Even though he goes home soon they
made E. Shapcott go to leadership training for two days. I don’t think
I messed too much up with my regular companion gone. Just missed a few
We got a call the other day. The APs said we went over miles and have
to park the car today and tomorrow. We tried to convince them to wait
till after transfers, but no go.:)
Keeping Shapcott working has been a chore, but not too bad. It didn’t
help when they asked us to bear our testimonies just before an Elder
gave his homecomming. That was our second talk in sacrament, the first
was on sustaining our leaders. To me, that seems like a strange
subject for the missionaries, but you said they spoke on that over
there so I guess it’s a theme.
I love you lots. It really helps after a tough week to hear good
stuff from home so thank you.

March 26, 2012. (Our Ward clerk asked for information for a plack to put up outside the offices. David got Zelda Skyward Sword for his birthday.)

Hey, y’all
Plack questions: My first name is Samuel. I can’t believe you forgot:(
I entered the MTC December 8, 2011 and will probably leave the same day 2013
I’m not sure which scripture to use. Just put down Mosiah 2:41
and unless I learn otherwise on July 1st I’m in the Utah, Salt Lake
City Mission.
So, after all the transfers Elder Shapcott went home, I’m staying in
the same area, and my new comp is named Elder Robinson.
Some quick info on Robinson. He’s from a little town called Attisson,
in Alabama. He’s still got an accent. Before he got transferred to
this area he was serving in our Wyoming Zone up by Randolph, Utah. We
get along pretty well.
This week has been pretty slow. Shapcott was getting ready to go and
I’ve got to introduce Elder Robinson to 17 Bishops and ward mission
leaders. Not to mention the stake presidents.
A few things of note happened though. The most miraculous thing
happened with my investigator [redacted]. You know how I had told you how
things had gotten a little awkward and we’ve told him he’s either
gotta move out of his girlfriend’s place or get married and him telling
us he doesn’t love her or want to marry her. Well, with his whole
getting off prescription drugs thing we convinced him to move out.
That is until Tuesday. I’m not sure exactly what happened even though
[redacted] spent a long time talking about it, but he was getting ready to
move out when he decided to read some of the Book of Mormon. His
girlfriend [redacted] came over and started reading with him and explaining
it. Suddenly the spirit came in and told him to marry her. His whole
outlook changed. To him the world became a brighter place. He called
us that night and the next morning Elder Shapcott and I got them their
marriage license. We barely got to transfers on time, but we didn’t
care. They’re getting married on Friday and he’s getting baptized
April 7!!!!!!!!!!! WOO HOO!!!!
We went to dinner last night and one of the people there served with
his dad in the London south mission. Just goes to show. Another crazy
random happenstance was just yesterday at one of the wards we went to.
Quick disclaimer, Elder Shapcott and I didn’t spend a whole lot of
time in this particular ward because he didn’t like the former bishop,
so I was pretty surprised I was shaking hands at the doors and a Sister
Pierce comes up and tells me her maiden name is Pew. I asked her where
she was from and she said Mesa, Arizona. The evidence was building. I
took a closer look and was struck by some familiar facial features.
Plus she was about as tall as Sarah.
It’s a small church world.
Just so you know, I’m super jealous of David. I’ve gotta play that
when I get home.
Well, I’ve gotta go.

April 2, 2012 (The story he mentions was about a city clerk in Guatemala who wanted a bribe to process the paperwork for a marriage of my investigators.)

Hey, y’all
That’s pretty cool about the alge eater. What other fish did you get?
I remember another YM/YW air guitar thing my last year in YM. That was
pretty cool. The group that won did that “Where is my hairbrush?” song
from Veggie Tales. By the way I never heard that story from your
mission Dad. In our mission we’ve got a senior couple that knows all
the ins and outs of marriage laws. Pres Winn has told us two unmarried
young men aren’t very persuasive on marriage so he’s got Elder Dayhle
(nicknamed Guapo). It’s a huge problem in our mission. So many couples
are choosing to cohabitate over marrying we really need some help.
On a related note, [redacted] and [redacted] got married on Friday! It was a
small ceremony, about ten people there to show support. The gym was
taken, but with the small numbers it was better that way, some kind of
missionary reunion was being set up. The Bishop married them, [redacted]
(my recent convert) and I were witnesses, and since [redacted] gave me the
rings to hold onto he started calling me his ‘best man’ (I should add
that to my list of things I didn’t know I’d do on my mission). So
[Redacted] is on track to be baptized this next Friday!
General Conference is way different in person. It wouldn’t surprise me
if you didn’t see me at conference, our tickets were way up and to the
Gotta go. I’ll mail y’all the tickets I used and a seating chart.

April 9, 2012

Waz up?
The conference sessions I was able to attend were the Saturday
afternoon, priesthood, and Sunday afternoon. I should also tell you
that I found out that our families can talk to us at conference. So,
if you have the opportunity all the missionaries congregate in front
of the reflection pool.
So, we bugged [redacted] a lot this week. He had a couple of strange
experiences, but his baptism went off without a hitch. It was pretty
amazing. People he knew from years ago and hadn’t heard from him in
years dropped everything to come see [redacted] baptized. When he
disappeared they were left to assume the worst so many happy reunions
were to be found. [Redacted] also had us come up to share testimonies during
the baptism. The spirit was super strong. We had one of our
investigators there. [redacted] who also has had some interesting things
happen. She has wanted for a long time a strong confirmation that the
church is true, in spite of many little things she’s seen. Well, Elder
Robinson told her to show her faith and set a baptism date to work
towards. She finally accepted and three days later while at her
school/work at the hospital she got it while talking to an older lady
who joined the church last September. She was so excited. She called
up her boyfriend and said she’d talk to him as soon as she got off.
Well, two hours later when she came to talk with him she was having a
hard time recalling what she felt. She told us later when we had
dinner with them that the memory was vague, like it happened years ago.
So frustrating!
So, because today’s our temple day, I put her name in the temple.
Hopefully that’ll keep Satan out of her head.
All in all though it’s been a good week. [Redacted]’s baptized and we got
a few people who’re working towards that goal. We were able to hit the
standard of excellence too. (That’s the pres’s goal for what he wants
our numbers to be each week.)
I love y’all and am praying for y’all. (Especally for Jonathans team
to get it together)

April 16, 2012 (Amanda was telling people at Youth Conference that she was born in Croatia.)

Hey y’all, it’s your favorite missionary.
Croatia? Really? Well at least they had fun at youth conference. My experiences didn’t last very long.
Well, things have been a little slow. Elder Robinson hasn’t been feeling well and I might be catching the same thing, so we missed a couple of days. Another companionship has been sick as well so our district leader decided we should all be sick together, so I spent a day hanging around a bunch of sleepy sick people. Bored out of my mind. I really hope I don’t get so sick I can’t go out and work.
Good news though; [redacted] is becoming more and more sure she’s getting baptized. Her family now knows everything and we pushed her date back a little, but now her whole family will attend.
That’s all I can think of right now. Those sick days really mess things up.

Another grab-bag

February 10, 2012

Sam at Zone Conference.

Beyond Blue Part Four: Better Living in the 21st Century. Like I said before, he paints a pretty picture, but I’m not sure we have the moral capital to pull it off.

This is for Erick: Rejected Tom Swift, Jr. Novels.

Part two

February 3, 2012

Following up from my last post: Beyond Blue Part Two: Recasting The Dream. This one focuses on education.

Also, Sam’s mission president’s wife has a blog, and she recently posted pictures of Sam’s MTC group arriving at the mission home.