Sunday, July 27, 2014

First Text and Picture from Arizona - July 24th, 2014

We got a text message from a very kind member in Arizona who fed Elder B. and his companion one of the first nights in the mission.  Here's what she said:

"Hi Sister Bailey, this is Sister Jackson in Arizona! :)  We've just had dinner with your boy and he is awesome and we just wanted to let you know he's doing great and surviving the heat!!!"

How wonderful and thoughtful that she would think not only to feed him but take a picture and send a note.  That is just what I needed to hear.  Thank you Sister Jackson!!!  Our missionary is in such a great place with thoughtful and caring people.  That is so great!  (Can't quite make out the name on his companion's name tag, though.  Guess I will have to wait to find out about his new companion. (Sigh))

Friday, July 18th, 2014 Last P-Day in the MTC

Thanks for sending all the cookies but PLEASE STOP!

They both played in the 2013 State High School Football Championship Game.  Timpview won.

 I HAVE COOKIES FOR DAYS AND AM SO SICK OF COOKIES.  I'm just giving them away now.  My companion is Elder Charlie Brewer, he’s from Salt Lake and played football for East High, which is really funny and we had a good laugh for a few days.  I am running into so many people I know and even a cousin of the Lunt family. (I think he’s going Cambodian speaking)  It was so cool to get a picture with him.  I don’t have the picture, but he is sending it to his family.  

Tell Bonnie I met an Elder Bailey from Japan and he speaks very little English, but he’s going to California.  We are not doing the call center at all because we have NO FREE TIME AT ALL, except P-Day, and Ian Frandsen was the only person to write me last P-day so I just slept.  We all are having trouble sleeping and are waking up in the middle of the night at the same time, and we work and learn long and hard.  There are 2 other elders in our room: Elder Shivley (shy-v-lee) and Elder Conover.  Shivley is from Salmon, Idaho and played football.  He is almost a year older than all of us.  In fact, I am the 2nd youngest in the district.  My comp is a month older, Elder Shivley also worked for a year before coming on the mish.  

"If you look closely out the window over my shoulder you can see almost see my house."

Elder Conover has the strongest testimony and most powerful conversion story I have ever heard.  He used to live in California and was in a gang called Fontana.  Since he was 12, he sold drugs, beat people up, was caught in a couple shootouts with other gangs (he has a hat that a bullet went though that he was wearing).  He was in a really bad spot until he was 16 and his brother who got baptized a year earlier came out and saw what he was doing and said "you’re coming with me to Logan."  And so he moved there and made some good friends and one invited him and another guy to church and he was baptized like 4 weeks later.  But its so amazing what the atonement can do for people.  He really regrets a lot of the things he did but he doesn’t feel quite as bad now that he has repented and changed.  It’s kinda scary that the gang he was in knows where he is and what he’s doing, but they are ok with him being a missionary and have told him that they don’t need his help at the moment and he can just do his own thing.  He said they will only ask for his help if there’s a big gang war or something (his words) but he doesn’t want to help them cuz he has separated himself from them.  He really worries about his family in the gangs and especially for his mother who is always off doing drugs and we gave him a blessing.   But in that blessing it said to not worry, she will be safe.  I just think its so amazing he joined the church and is here on a mission. I know that he will be able to convert even the hardest of hearts. I kinda laugh at the way he walks sometimes cuz you can tell he is used to wearing low riders and it just makes me laugh, but he’s a great guy.

 Love, Elder B

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Arrival in Gilbert Arizona - July 22, 2014

          Thank goodness for Mission Secretaries!  We received a kind note and picture informing us that Elder Mitchell Bailey and his companions made it safely to the Arizona Gilbert Mission.  They were greeted, fed and loved by the Mission President and his wife and the staff.  They had individual interviews with the mission president, had some training sessions, got acquainted with their bikes, and finally were sent to host families' homes for much needed sleep.  The Elders will be involved this morning with more training and then find out where their first assignments will be and who their new companions will be.  Exciting times.  They look exhausted from a long hot day, but happy.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bike Long and Prosper in Gilbert Arizona, Elder Bailey!

          Elder Mitchell Alan Bailey was called to the Gilbert Arizona Mission and was to report to the MTC on July 9th, 2014.  More than thirty of his family members came to hear his farewell talk in Sacrament Meeting on June 29th.  He gave a wonderful talk on "Being My Brother's Keeper" which made his mother cry, and then we all sang "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go, Dear Lord."  After Church, we gathered to have refreshments and this cake.  The wish is inscribed on his cake along with the Arizona Flag: "Bike Long and Prosper, Elder Bailey!" He will certainly be biking long and hard on his mission.


          On the evening of Tuesday, July 8th, his family and friends gathered together for his setting apart with President Ostergar of the Oak Hills Stake.  His brothers and several friends stood in the circle along with his father, grandfather Tom Lee and uncle David Acheson.  Aunt Bonnie and sister Cami and I drove him to the MTC at 12:30 pm Wednesday.  It was such a long drive --all 2 1/2 blocks -- but they would not let him walk, even if he wanted to.  We said our goodbyes very quickly, took a couple of last photos and off he went in the able hands of his hosts.  Bonnie and Barby and I all took turns sending packages of treats, mostly cookies, up to him in the MTC.  When we finally got his email on P-day more than a week later, he said PLEASE DON'T SEND ANY MORE COOKIES!  He had more than enough and was just giving them away.  That was the whole point -- he was supposed to share the LOVE!

         And now he is off to Gilbert AZ.  He called me from the airport to reassure me that he had packed everything well and was doing fine.  He also said that he was excited and happy to finally go to his field of labor.  Goodbye, Elder Mitchell Bailey!  Bike long and Prosper!