Monday, August 24, 2015

Report on Southern California Trip

Dear Elder Bailey,

We had a wonderful trip to California.  Thank you for sending such a wonderful testimony to your Grandparents.  It is so hard to know what they think.  Grandpa's hearing is getting so bad, I doubt that he really hears much in conversations.  He mostly guesses.  Grandma has a real problem with short term memory.  She can converse with you and hold her own for a time, but she won't remember that you just had that conversation with her five minutes ago.  She is rather frustrated.  They are both pretty healthy, though, and seem to be doing well for now.

Our last day was spent having a lovely time at the beach at Corona del Mar.  The water was warmer than expected and so beautiful.

Then we went to eat at a cute 1950's diner for lunch.  Cami and Greg enjoyed their sandwiches.  
And then on our way to do more sight-seeing in Los Angeles, we got rear-ended on the freeway.  There was a lot of congestion.  We slowed down, the lady behind us slowed down, but the lady behind her did not.  Ouch!

We are all okay and made it home safely, but the car is now in the shop getting repaired.

Dad and I went to one day of BYU Education Week.  We went to a few outstanding classes.  The ones we enjoyed the most were about Abraham Lincoln.  His honesty and willingness to do God's will were amazing.  Another class we thought was good, and quite entertaining, was about "Five Reasons Joseph Smith Could Not Have Written the Book of Mormon." The presenter was from Texas and had an engaging Southern accent.  We only attended his last class, so we missed all of the build up from the previous classes.  He had advertised all week that he had a surprise for the last class.

A former member of the Church who thought he was a hot-shot journalist had approached the presenter by claiming that anyone with any journalistic skill at all could have written a piece of fiction better than Joseph Smith's "fictional" work: the Book of Mormon.  So the presenter challenged him to write a short story like the First Book of Nephi in just a few days and keep to specific parameters.  Some of the things he had to include were:

1. Narrative, inspirational story about a family that leaves the Middle East and travels to an unknown land.
2. Include 3 completely original place names and 6 original names of people.
3. Write in Biblical style.
4. Must be just 3900 words.
5. Must be first draft with no editions.

If he took the challenge, the presenter would pay him $500 and all of the usage rights would be given to the presenter.  

The guy accepted the challenge, and the presenter showed parts of the "masterpiece" to the class.  It was incredibly lame.  Even one of the made-up names was "I, Nephi" spelled backwards.  Simply ridiculous.

Fortunately the presenter saved the class time by going on to bring the Spirit back to the topic.  We know the Book of Mormon is a translation by the gift and power of God, through his prophet Joseph Smith.  It is too bad that so many people list to follow the adversary, but cannot leave Joseph or the Book of Mormon alone.  They have to continue agitation.

One great story about missionary work.  Another presenter told about how his daughter recently returned from her mission in Tennessee.  She worked with a part member family where the wife was LDS and the husband was a minister of another Church.  The wife told the missionary that she felt that she would be the one who would make a difference in whether the husband would listen to their message.  It had been 12 years of missionary lessons and never would the husband really listen.  On one visit he was persuaded to come in.  "We won't bite...come on in," the Sister Missionary said.  After the lesson and some back and forth discussion, the Sister said to the husband, "Do you catch?"  He said, "Of, course, I can catch."  "Then, CATCH!"  She tossed him the Book of Mormon.  Once he had it in his hands, she said, "Read it."

Some weeks later, the Sister Missionary asked him, "So what did you think?"
He answered quietly and under his breath, "I know it's true."
She said, "What?" (trying to get him to speak up)
"I know it's true."

He was soon after baptized.  He even brought some members of his congregation with him.  Unfortunately, there were protesters at his baptism (angry members of the old church) that were disruptive enough that the police had to come to keep the peace.  

The presenter said that the wonderful news was that his daughter and their family were traveling out to Tennessee in a few months to go through the Temple with this good couple.  How great is that?

I just love wonderful inspirational stories!

Have a wonderful week,
Love, Mom

From Elder Bailey:

Well, this week was pretty good.  We taught a 17 year old investigator that we have not met with in 3 months because she lives outside our area.  She wants to come to our ward.  She is super golden and wants to be baptized but we are waiting on parental consent.  Mom said yes and Dad said, “I will think about it.”  She knows the Bible super well and recognizes the Spirit, and knows the Book of Mormon is true.  She is trying to take the time she has waiting for her parents to say, “yes,” to build a good gospel foundation. We taught about tithing, and she already knew what it was and explained it to us perfectly before we taught it.  It was awesome!!!!  Brother Taylor came back and we are setting up splits in our wards this week.  We are going to get a lot of work done this week.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Testimony to Grandparents

August 3rd, 2015

Dear Elder Bailey,

We had a nice little visit with Brother Taylor yesterday.  He came by with grandson Stewart who is now about 6'2".  Stewart dislocated his elbow working out in 2-a-days for Timpview football. We showed them the pizza oven and heard what he had to say about missionary work in your area.  Brother Taylor is such a nice man.  We really enjoyed his visit.  So glad you have such wonderful people to rely on in your area.

Unfortunately, he had no room in his wife's car to take your bar bells back with him.  So sorry.

Carolyn and Jacob's new house

The big news is that Carolyn and Jake are buying a new house, well, new to them anyway.  It was built in 2007 and has a climbing tree in the back yard.  It is only about 6 miles away from Jake's parent's house and they will still go to the same ward building, although they will be in a different ward.  Here is the picture they sent.  It has a very open floor plan with 1800 square feet and 3 bedrooms, two bathrooms and a generous kitchen.   They will be able to move in before school starts in September.  That was the goal and looks like they will meet it.  We are so happy for them.

Love, Mom

From Elder Bailey:

I’m sorry to hear about the bar, but that's ok.  The work is going good.  Not much to report on this week.  Elder Bowman and I are staying together 1 more transfer.  

August 10th, 2015

Dear Elder Bailey,

So, for the last two weeks I was doing a Summer Theater Camp in the backyard.  Things were going fine, until we got the weather forecast for Friday and Saturday.  We were forecast to get heavy monsoon thunderstorms for all of Friday and into Saturday.  We were praying earnestly for divine intervention so that we could go on with our little show.  The rains did come for Friday and well into Friday night.  However by midnight, the forecast changed and projected that there would be sunshine for Saturday.  So we got up early and with Chase's help got the stage and chairs and shade canopies set up just in time for the cast and audience to come.  It was very wet, but we were really blessed.  It was a miracle.

This Friday we are going down to visit your grandparents in Los Angeles.  Greg and Cami are going with us so that Cami can show off her new husband to the grandparents.  We will also take a tour around LA seeing some of the sites and interesting architecture.  We also plan on going to the beach.  It should be fun.

Do you have anything you want us to pass on about your mission to the grandparents?  How about a little message to them?  I will print off a few pictures for them that I have been getting from you and my spies down there.

Have you run into Sister Washburn yet?  
Sister Kamberlynne Washburn
Are you still going to practices with the mission choir?  What were you preparing to sing for?  A fireside or something?

Can't believe that school will be starting in a few weeks.  Seems like we had such a short summer.  Dad and I took a drive this afternoon up and over the Alpine Loop.  We promised ourselves to do that more than once this summer.  So now, I think we have driven it three times.  Woo-hoo!  It was beautiful and was starting to feel a little bit chilly up at the top.  August in Utah -- the evenings are just starting to have a bit of cool crispness.

Hope your week went well.  We love to hear anything about what you are doing or learning or sharing with the people you teach.  It was so nice getting to meet your Ward Mission Leader Brother Taylor.  So glad that you have wonderful people there in Gilbert Arizona.

From Elder Bailey,

This week was super slow and not productive.  But on Monday we found a less active that we were told to go by and we got to know him.  He really wanted us to come by.  We gave him a blessing.  He came to church on Sunday.

Tell grandma and grandpa that I love the gospel, and the atonement is real.  On my mission I have learned how the gospel brings the family closer together and blesses our lives.  The themes of repentance and forgiveness are so beautiful.  My mission president always says that we are imperfect people having perfect moments and the gospel is to help us become perfected in Christ.  I love you and I know that Jesus Christ lives.   

P-Day Fun in July

July 28th, 2015

Dear Elder Bailey, 

So we got a couple of pictures from Sister Clawson last week.  You were with an Elder Bambo.  Is he a new companion or were you on splits?  Anyway, it is always so good to get pictures!!!!!!!

Speaking of pictures, here is one that I think you might enjoy.  I noticed on Facebook that Jeremy Harvey was traveling back out to BYU-I and had a picture taken of this sign on   I-70 just as you leave Baltimore.
Terminus of I-70 outside of Baltimore

Notice the Terminus at the other end of I-70.  It is Cove Fort way out in Utah.  Do you remember going there once when you were little?  We got those Pioneer yo-yo's on a string there.  That sign has always cracked me up.  I-70 only goes between Baltimore and Cove Fort.  Such a funny sign.

Dad has been such a hiker lately.  Last week he climbed Lone Peak.  This week he and Bob hiked to the top of Timpanogos.  Your Dad really does not like heights and dead off places.  I am not sure he will do that hike again.  The view is great, but the scary steep slopes are not so great.  I agree.  I climbed it once, and once is enough for me!

Today is Abigail's 8th birthday.  Her baptism is next Saturday.  It would be nice if you told me something that I could write in a card to give her from you about how proud you are of her decision to be baptized or something to that effect.  She would like that very much.

We had a couple of family parties at our house last week.  My brother Bill was out visiting from South Carolina.  He wanted to cook Grandpa Tom some steaks, so we all got together at our house and enjoyed a steak dinner while visiting with him.  Then on Friday, Chase had never experienced a "Bailey Pizza Party" so we hosted one.  It turned out rather fun with kids playing basketball and riding their scooters all over the place.  We even made dessert pizzas and then sang Happy Birthday to Abigail.  It is so fun seeing little Leo and Zak trying to "one up" each other.  Leo has learned to crawl and walk in the last month.  Not to be outdone, Zak watches Leo and squirms out of his parent's arms to try crawling and walking.  Zak has really got a competitive streak!  It won't be long for him to catch up with Leo, even though Leo is four months older!

I have been thinking of you a lot this week.  I am preparing for another Summer Theater Camp in the backyard that starts tomorrow.  We are doing "Momotaro."  Still have the recordings you made of the songs you sang and I also have the costumes you wore.  Cannot believe that the time has flown by so fast.  Wish me luck with the 27 kids I have yet to meet.

I finally bought the flags you requested, but I wondered if you knew your address so that I could send them directly to you and not to the Mission Office.  Just let me know where to send them.

Stay hydrated!!!!  I love hearing about the little miracles you have on your mission. We are so pleased with the wonderful missionary you are and the wonderful reports we get about you.

Love you so much!


From Elder Bailey:

Tell Abigail to "walk in the newness of life" and that she is awesome.

P-Day Fun on Bubble Seat
I was on exchanges with Elder Bambo.  Elder Bowman and I got to take the Stake President out teaching with us.  We taught Wendy an “eternal investigator” whose son got baptized 4 years ago.  That was an awesome lesson.  She wants to be baptized but is waiting for her husband.  We taught about eternal families and sang "Families Can Be Together Forever."  We focused on the Atonement in the family.  Hopefully we can get her baptized.  This week was really slow but hopefully this next week will be better.  

Brother Taylor will be in Provo on Saturday and wants to come by and try a brick oven pizza.  Also, if you could send down my long silver barbell with the spiny clips on the ends with him that would be awesome.  If he can’t, that's cool.  This morning we played “knocker soccer,” but we thought it would be more fun to just charge each other playing sharks and minnows and last man standing.  

P-Day Fun with Zone