Monday, December 16, 2013

The snow is finally there!!

The "Lighthouse" Building where his congregation meets


Can you say "Snow Angel"?

 (Scottie was not able to send a detailed update last week so this picks up with Friday of that previous week)

Friday, Dec. 6th:
Today was an awesome day. David A. Bednar, from the Quorum of the 12 Apostles, came to speak to us. It was such an incredibly powerful experience and we all learned more than I can even include. He spoke to us for about 3 hours and just talked and let us ask questions and he answered with apostolic authority and it was incredible. Hearing him talk in person, there was no doubt that he was an Apostle of The Lord, called of God, and that the testimony that he bore was true. It was an amazing experience.

Saturday Dec. 7th:
Today, Lilia got baptized! We've been working with her ever since I got here and apparently it's been a lot longer than that, but it was such a beautiful ceremony and incredible to be a part of it. She was just beaming when she was in the water. Her son, Christian (who was baptized about a year ago) got to baptize her, and that just made it so much more special for Lilia. It was great!

At Lilia's Baptism!

Also, on the way home, us and Elders Moleli and Ghramm and the Davalos family all had the biggest snow fight/war/party haha. It was awesome and we got some good pictures I'll try and send your way!

Ready for a snow fight!

Sunday Dec. 8th:
Happy Birthday Savannah! (Savannah turned 16 on Dec. 8th!) Today we went over to the hospital because Angie (the one who was baptized my first week here) was admitted around 3 this morning. She had some problem with the liver, they think, but she's also 7 months pregnant so that was kind of a scare. We went to the hospital and gave her a blessing and just talked and caught up with the whole family to see what we could do to help, we couldn't really do too much but we talked and tried to make them laugh and we were really glad that we were able to be there.

Wednesday Dec. 11th:
Today, I went on exchanges with Elder Moleli (from the other companionship in his apartment) into his area (English area). We went and did some visits, ate dinner with the Rasmussen family, then we got to do something really cool: we took one of his investigators down to Temple Square  to see the Christmas lights. Wow, it's hard to use words to describe how amazing Temple Square looks at night with all the Christmas lights and the Salt Lake Temple in the background all lit up and just shining bright. The spirit felt there is so powerful, and it's undeniable that that place is a place of refuge from a world that is sometimes crazy. We're going to have to take a family trip out to Temple Square in the winter one year, it's very beautiful.

Scottie and Elder Moleli

Thursday Dec. 13th:
Today was a pretty solid and just busy day, but we did get to do something at the end of the night that was pretty special. We went to visit the Jardón family and we got to give their daughter a priesthood blessing. She is 11, and she'd been feeling really bad lately. Her throat started hurting and then her back started hurting and she couldn't sleep well and she started to get depressed because she'd been sick so long. Her name is Ixlandi Naneli, which is a Mayan name and it's really cool. We (Elder Biggs, her father, and I) gave her the blessing and it was incredible. Almost immediately after the blessing, she started talking to us and smiling and laughing and then when we saw her on Saturday she was all smiles and feeling like 100% better. I have a strong testimony that the priesthood power is real and that, through the Lord's help and our faith, miracles have not ceased on this earth.

Friday Dec. 14th:
Today, the funniest thing was that Elders Ghramm, Moleli, Jung, Hearn, Biggs, and I, along with Sis. Vang and Sis. Martinez (sister missionaries in the same district as Scottie), all went to the 8th ward Christmas party and we sang the First Noel. I don't think I ever would have gotten up and sang in front of a big crowd like that before the mission, but with that group of people, it was just a lot of fun and I think we did decent, Elder Hearn (a great singer) definitely carried us haha. But it was a ton of fun, and when I got home I got your packages! The 12 days of Christmas idea is the sweetest thing ever, like, seriously, I can't tell you how much it means to me and how lucky I am to have a family that cares so much about me. The tree is awesome and I'll send you a picture of it decorated and with the lights, and I'm just extremely grateful for you all. I can't wait to get to Skype y'all on Christmas! (Christmas Day will be the first time we will get to speak to Scottie since June, he can call on Christmas day and Mother’s Day

Christmas decorations from home

Saturday Dec. 15th:
Super busy and mission-changing day today. We got up, I was on exchanges with Elder Ghramm and we played some morning basketball with the 1st Ward and some investigators, so that's a great way to start the day for me. Then we went and helped set up about 5000 candles for a candlelight vigil at the Memorial Cemetery that's next to Winder Farms. I'm not sure what it's for, maybe just to celebrate loved ones at the time of Christmas. Then, we came back and made sure our apartment was clean for inspections, and then Biggs and I spent all afternoon inviting people to our branch Christmas party. We went to the party and it was a huge success, delicious food and lots of people (including some non-members and less-active people, so we mingled with everyone!). Then, at 6:15, we got the call from Pres. Swain. Transfers! So Elder Biggs is leaving this area to go be a zone leader in the Granger North stake with Elder Campos (we kinda guessed he was leaving, he's been in this area for 9 months and president almost never leaves people for longer than that). I will be staying in the area and I've been called as a District Leader and a Trainer (district leader means he will be in charge of the missionaries in his district and Trainer means that he will now be training a new missionary just out of the Missionary Training Center). Wow, so my mission is about to be a lot different than it has been so far haha (he has currently been serving 6 months). I'm pretty nervous but I'm also really excited to see who my new companion will be and who will be in the district (Sis. Vang and Sis. Martinez are also training, so we'll have 3 new missionaries in our area!). Lots of exciting changes coming up!
Monday, Dec. 16th:
I'm learning so much out here.  I really have felt my testimony grow out here. I'm 8 pages away from finishing the Book of Mormon in Spanish for the first time (feel good about that!), and I'm just learning so much. I've met incredible people, things are great. Just don't worry about me, I'm happy and get to train (a new missionary) which means I get a good lunch for free tomorrow (score!) haha, I'm just doing really well :):)
I really appreciate all your love and support, I'm super excited to Skype next week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I gotta go pretty soon, but I love you all so much and I can't wait to Skype next week, stay warm and be safe in Chi-town! (His sister, Sophia, and I are going to Chicago where her Honors Orchestra will perform)


elder Higgins :))

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Scottie and his fellow Elders at Thanksgiving dinner

Thursday - Thanksgiving!! 

The missionaries with the Thompson Family

Today was an awesome Thanksgiving. We all (all four missionaries in his apartment) got up and went over to play sports with the Volta Ward (Samoan ward in the area). We played basketball from 7:30am to 11:30, which was awesome. We went back to the apartment and showered and changed and got presentable. We then had an awesome Thanksgiving meal with the Thompson family, the wml (Ward Mission Leader) for Ghramm and Moleli (Elders Ghramm and Moleli serve in an English speaking congregation as opposed to a Spanish congregation like Scottie)  and they made amazing food: turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, sweet potato casserole, green beans, stuffing, and more.  We were joined by his whole family (including a 101 year old grandma) and after we ate we just posted up in the living room and let our food settle while his daughter played some songs on the guitar. They're a really nice family; it made it easier being away from home. We had another dinner at 5:00 with the Reyes family, and they were super nice as well. Then, we ran back over to the Volta building and played basketball and volleyball for another few hours, and it was a pretty solid day. No worries about us not having enough food, Elder Moleli's family came over and dropped off TONS of food: chicken, turkey, potatoes, ramen, the works. I have a lot to be thankful for, I definitely missed everyone back home and I hope y'all had an amazing day!

The Samoan Ward at play

I am so thankful for you and the family, way more than I can express in words. 


We had a pretty good day today, up and working and studying and then at 9:00 we taught Juana. We had district meeting and the assistants joined us, so that was a surprise! Sis. Vang and Sis. Martinez made us some awesome Oreo truffles, I ate a bunch, and then we went and grabbed lunch. We taught Geovani, and then we went to finish weekly planning. We finally got to update the iPads to iOS7 so that was kinda cool (his mission is one of the test areas for new technology) then we had a delicious dinner of steak and potatoes and pecan pie with the Christensen family. We had a wonderful visit with all 5 of the Espinoza’s and now we're in the apartment. Elder Mau (AP) (assistant to the mission president) is staying with us tonight, so that'll be fun!


Today was an interesting day! We got up, did some workouts (all 5 of us, lots of fun), and then we did some studying. We had choir practice and I got to see Elder Burgin (his former companion) again, so good to hang out with him. After practice we got to go eat lunch with Burgin and his new companion, Elder Quiles, and then we had some afternoon visits and such. Our dinner was hilarious because we showed up, she'd forgotten, she brought her less active son out so we ended up just teaching him and then leaving and heading to the apartment to grab a quick bite to eat, but then Hermano Thompson from our branch called us over and just randomly fed us....divine intervention right there haha. We left and had a great lesson with the Rocha family. We were all sharing scriptures we liked and I had a prompting to share

3 Nephi 15:9 -

  • Behold, I am the law , and the light . Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life. 
 When I did she broke down crying saying she'd heard that exact scripture in a dream but she never knew where to find it. She said she wanted to start coming to church again so her family could feel those blessings, it was super powerful! We're really hoping to see her tomorrow!


Today was great! The Rocha's came to church, which was great! We had a powerful fast and testimony
meeting (monthly meeting where congregation members fast and have the opportunity to stand and bare their testimonies of Jesus Christ and the Gospel), and we really felt the Spirit strongly. Today was a mission wide fast for the hastening of the work, thousands of people participated! Want to hear a riddle I heard today? "The rich need it, the poor have it, if you eat it you will die." Answer? "Nothing." We had some afternoon visits, and then went on splits for the night so that Biggs (Scottie’s companion) could stay and teach and I could go to the Spanish Devotional. Sabath went with me. The songs and testimonies were really good, and Elder Arnold and his wife (from the Quorums of the Seventies) (Seventies are called to proclaim the gospel and build up the Church) came and gave testimonies too, in Spanish! It was powerful, and I'm really thankful I was there!

 Want to hear something cool? I think David A. Bednar (a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) is coming to speak to us on Friday, it’s a special mission meeting, we'll find out more later on this week!

Thank you so much for that box, that was amazingly sweet and the treats were delicious and I shared with all the elders and they wanted me to send my thanks! (I sent a “Thanksgiving” box of treats to share with his fellow missionaries)  

Box of Thanksgiving treats from home

(His response to my asking him if he had any new/interesting dishes for Thanksgiving): No ma'am, but there was jello....I've had more jello since I got out here than I ever have in my entire life haha, that's for sure. The turkey was very good though, very tender, apparently Bro. Thompson is like the master chef of his family. They didn't have mac and cheese though!

P.S. The picture of you and daddy together almost put me in tears. (I sent lots of photos from our Thanksgiving gathering) I'm so thankful to have parents who love each other so much and who are such good examples to me. I want that one day, I want to get married in the temple and I want to have a family that's active in the church. I've met way too many people out here that have become less active and their lives have fallen apart. I'm really growing in my testimony, thank you for helping me get to this point. 

Scottie's parents on Thanksgiving Day!

Love always,


(From his email to his Aunt Tammy):

Hey Tía Tammy!!!!

It's so good to hear from you! I didn't get to get on (the computer) on Thanksgiving, but your note made me smile!

I bet the food was amazing! We ate until we were stuffed....and then ate again haha, it was delicious but not quite southern Thanksgiving ;)

I love you so much, thanks for everything you do! I'm so thankful to have you as an Aunt!

Word of the week: tormenta - storm. Sometimes, life comes at us like a storm, but if we keep our faith and keep pushing forward, we'll make it through!