This is Dexton's companion Elder F and the other missionary Elder K
Dextons companion is a great artist!
Remember reading about "G" the bird?
Here is the a picture of the feathered friend.
Dexton said that "this is the most important catalog in the world". You can buy animals and have them sent to other areas of the world
It took me awhile to figure this picture out of the tree. He titled it "weeping cherry and regular cherry tree". If you look close at the bottom branch on the right it must be the weeping part grafted into the regular part.
Alright, This week has been awesome, but at the same time, slow!
Monday was the day where we decided to make a Christmas tree out of vanilla coke cans... I think we will need like 200+ cans... Not the smartest decision but it makes life fun;).
Tuesday we were able to meet with President Riggs for Interviews. He interviewed the entire zone one at a time giving us 15 minutes each. That guy is awesome. He truly is inspired of God.
We were told that we get iPads and iPhones by December! I'm way excited for that! Also we will be using facebook pretty soon as well! So I'm pretty stoked!
Tuesday night we ate with the A Family, and guess what we ate? CAFE RIO!!!!!!! There isn't one in our area, so I was pretty bummed. But then we got a call from the A family and they asked what we wanted from there. It's probably the best food I've had so far!
Wednesday wasn't too spectacular other than the fact that me and Elder F opened up to each other. We told each other a lot about our childhoods and things we went through and relationships and stuff like that. It is pretty awesome.
Thursday we went to the chiropractor and it was the exact same as home, except the guy out here was pretty awesome! He asked about how we get selected and the area we get sent to. So we told him that we got sent here by inspiration. Its pretty awesome!:D
S wasn't available to meet so she canceled our appointment. We were pretty bummed about that too!
Elder F also told me today something pretty funny! "We would like to sustain Elder Dexton J. Armstrong, President of the Quorum of the Twelve. and Sister Kellie W. Armstrong, President of the Relief Society" He then raised his right arm to the square.... I told him he was thinking too far into the future, and that I probably wont get there. He just laughed at me!
Friday was good! The Belmont Ridge Ward had their "Fall Festival"/Trunk or Treat. All 4 missionaries had to be the judges of the chili cook-off. There were 15 entries and two of them were just like Gma B's chili. So I put them as first and second.
I also received the package on Friday, and it literally made my week 1000 times better!
Saturday was pretty slow and non-eventful
Sunday was spiritually awesome! It was just great all around!
Halloween we go to the church with the zone and watch movies approved by the Mission President. We are going to watch Despicible me 2 and Monsters University.
Oooo! I would love Christmas Sheet Music! Thats a great idea.
I will share more about the technology as it comes about.
Less-actives (aka inactives) are just as important as non-members. Keep working with them!
Andaline Facer got called to Boise?! Holy Crap! Thats almost as bad as Provo... haha but its a great mission!
Jeff's package was awesome! The cookies were wonderful!
Love my luggage. Could never have gotten them better!
We are teaching D, S, and kind of the O family. I wish I had more time, but I'll answer some of the questions in the letter home! Love you!
I got my back fixed by a chiropractor yesterday and I'm doing some relaxation exercises before bed and they help! I feel a lot better! You might want to send a text Kellie's way as well just telling her that I'm doing better physically. I think she was worried as well. Haha sorry for worrying both of you!
I'm doing wonderful actually! President Riggs is awesome! We had interviews on Tuesday! He just reminded me that everyone gets more and more converted on a mission. He said that the first few weeks are rough, but that it'll get better. I love that guy so much. He also told me that I was going to be a leader and that this was preparing me for leadership positions!
Also, We were told we are going to be using facebook really soon! And we get iPhones and iPads in December! Yay, Skype on Christmas!
Hey so I'm sorry I didn't get more time to talk (email) to you. We usually head to the library pretty early around 10:30-11'ish (about 8:30-9'ish your time) because if we go any later, the library gets crowded and we get limited to about an hour on the computers. So just know that for reference!
So I sent story about DA, a potential investigator to Kellie. Just so I save time & don't have to write again, you can ask her to bring it over & share it with you.
So I don't know if you'll get this before I get my package from you, but did you get the Life of Christ stuff together and did you send it? I guess I'll find out when I get it!
So I didn't get a chance to upload videos but I have 2-3 of them that I want to upload. One is of a huge rainstorm (down-poured for 4-6 days straight), another is of Elder K catching as many gummy bears in his mouth as he could (hey what else were we supposed to do with a 3-pound bag of gummy bears?) & the 3rd is of an MTC experience (Elder S stole my camera and started video recording).
Oh, and by the way, this camera is amazing! For $100 it was probably the best we could buy! I'm able to use all the tricks I learned in my photo class!
So Elder F is quite the artist (even though he will deny it to his last breath). He's doing some project for me and I have no idea why. Any ideas on what I could do for him in return? If I had access to photo-shop or even just a computer, I could do something cool. But right now I'm lacking in ideas. Help?
So we decided that we were going to use our mission funds "wisely" and we are going to make a Christmas tree out of Coke cans! Hehe! We are pretty excited and we are saving up cans!
So there is a TED video (some type of seminar I guess) that we watched at a zone meeting. We related it about the gospel & leadership. You should try looking it up. Its about this one guy playing a piece by Choppin. He talks about how only 3% of the world actually likes classical music. The coolest quote that he said is, "the conductor [of an orchestra] relies on his ability to make others powerful". We related that to missionaries & the Spirit and how we make others feel that spirit. We aren't the ones making the spirit, but the investigators feel it none the less!
So I'm already at page 100 in the first journal! Aren't you so proud?!? I'm pretty excited! I've never been that great of a journal writer so this is an accomplishment for me!
I love each of you so very much! Thank you for the support you give me each day! I pray for each & everyone of you! Just let me know if there's ever anything I can do!
Thank you for the calendar. I know Kellie sent it, but the pictures in it are absolutely wonderful!! They bring back so many memories! (PS Dawson's soccer photo makes him look like a stud! Don't let it go to his head!) The calendar almost made me cry (in a good way). I love you guys so much!
This week has had a lot of ups and downs, and overall its been a
really hard week.
The $160 for the luggage made
me pretty mad. I told you that I was one bag was overweight by 6 lbs. The other
bag was under by 2. Generally the luggage only costs $60, but because the bag
was over 50 lbs, they charged me an extra $100 bucks. Its a huge rip off.
I'm going to return a camera
cord that I got. I don't have a usb cord for the camera, so I've had to use
Elder F. I bought one that was supposed to work from CVS but I'm going
to have to return it because it doesn't work with the computers here. I'm
trying to limit my expenses.
So last Monday, I got really
homesick after emailing you guys. We went and played zone sports, and that
really helped. I felt better that night.
TuesdayandWednesdayflew by! And yes, "G" was
awesome! Funny story is that the next day,(wed) we found a turtle! He was in
the middle of the road and had almost gotten ran over by a passing vehicle. So
we named him "Speedy" because he obviously thought himself as a car.
So we picked him up and moved him to the grass. We don't know where he went,
but he's out there somewhere!
Thursdaywas where the week went downhill. I
crashed on some grass when I avoided a pedestrian walking on the sidewalk. He
was walking toward me, and so I went on the grass so that I wouldn't be a
bother to him. I must have hit the grass wrong or something, because I ended up
face first in the grass. I got up and didn't have any pain and I rode off.
Later that night, I realized something was off. My back and neck are hurting
again! In the exact same places as prior to my mission. So I'm going to talk to
President Riggs and see what he says.
I'm also not sleeping very
well. The back problems have made it worse, because I cant seem to get
comfortable. So I've been taking those sleep aid pills, and they'll get me to
sleep, but I wake up several times a night. So those two are the major concerns
I've also been thinking a lot
about why I'm out here. And to be honest, I'm struggling. Not with homesickness
(as much as I miss you guys) but with just if this is the right thing for me to
be doing. It's complicated. But I'm going to talk to President Riggs for
advice. I want to return as an honorable missionary.
Soon Saturday, we went to the S family for
a birthday party for J (their daughter). She just recently returned from
London, so it was kinda cool. A recently RM, who is friends with J, is the
one who took our picture and sent it to you! It was really awesome.
Yesterday, there was a musical
fireside presented by the H Couple. They are really into theatre and singing, and
they are moving out of the ward. So they did this amazing musical fireside,
just the two of them. Sister H pretty much reminds me of an older version of
Dawson better keep up with both
his school work and soccer! By the way, I played Soccer with some young single
adultson saturday! Man it was crazy fun! I
hurt my back more though:p.
You got a hot tub without me
huh?! How dare you! Just kidding! Haha that's awesome! Hopefully you get some more rentals!
Elder F is doing pretty
well! He and I still get along swimmingly!
Elder G and Elder
K are still the humor in our lives! Those two crack us up! Man, next
week, I'll try and post those videos that I took!
So I didn't get too much of a chance to give you all the
info I probably wanted to.
So you are probably wondering how I’m feeling/ how I’m
doing! I’m actually doing really
well. This week has probably been an 8
out of a 10 week! Of course everyone
gets a little homesick every now and then but I’m really starting to like it
Theres a movie of it raining out here that I took so I’ll
try to upload it to dropbox when I get a chance. Probably Friday or next Monday! Plus I found out
how to make my camera actually upload, so I’m excited about that.
I’m not gaining or loosing weight. I’m actually the same
weight I was when I left home. I guess I’m
burning off all the calories that I’m eating!
We get fed incredibly well out here!
The only problem I’m having is sleep issues. I’m out of the Trazodone, so I’m back to
those sleeping aid pills. The problem
isn't getting to sleep, its staying asleep that is the issue. I’m probably going to wait another week
before going and seeing the doctor. Just
We had a friend tonight!
There was a small bird that was hiding out on our back porch! We soon found out he had trouble walking, so
we tried to help him out. He then flew
into our apartment! We finally caught
him & released him out the back. We named him “G” in memory of Elder G
(because he is leaving soon). We just
call the bird “G” so no one gets confused.
Money-wise. I’m doing alright. We get $165 a month for pretty much all the
necessities. All of the other things that
aren't required for a mission should be paid for by my home funds. So I’m trying to budget as much as I can!
I’m still bummed about my odometer though. I’ve probably rode 30-40 miles now (just an
estimate). I’m loving my bike though!
And the u-lock works perfectly where you put it! Thank You!
I love you all very much!
I’m really enjoying my time out here!
Can you believe that I've been out for almost an entire month? I can’t!
I keep telling JB that opening the mailbox and seeing a letter from Dexton is like winning the lottery! I can't even imagine what a missionary feels like when he opens the mailbox and may or may not have a letter. Gives me a renewed purpose to write a physical letter to him!
The letters below are ones that he sent each of our family. He wrote them over a period of a few days and sent them all at the same time which is why I have such a weird date on the title. I'll include sections of each letter for your reading enjoyment!
Mom & Dad,
Thank you so much for all you've done to get me out here and for continuing to support me! I am really glad that I made the decision to come out and I'm really glad you helped "push" me out the door.
Thank you for also being good parents. Good parents like you, are the kind who push their children to hard things. Things like an Eagle, Personal Progress and a mission. Heavenly Father did that with us and I'm glad that you guys followed His example (consciously or not).
I've included letters to all 4 kids. I'd prefer getting letters back from them but emails work too. I'll prolly respond to letters faster, plus they give you a boost of energy when you get them in the mail.
I love you both so much. I'm loosing myself in the work and I'm happy. Of course, I miss you all. There are so many dogs out here so I really miss Pixie too. And as annoying as he is, I miss Shash and his screeching. Hope you haven't shot him by the time I get home :-)
But don't worry too much! I fight through the homesickness and it gets easier every day! :-)
So I'm loving my bike. The only problem is the odometer...which is kind of broken. The wire got broken during the shipping. It got twisted and pulled somehow and so now, I need the bottom bracket piece where the wire & actual odometer connect. I'm gonna try and see if I can get help out here to find it. I love you!
Elder Dex Armstrong
-------------------------------------- Sections of the kids letters----------------------------
Cassia-Out here is crazy! You'd really like it out here, especially for Art! There are so many colors & trees & shapes! There are also dogs everywhere. Almost everyone has a dog!
Who is your favorite scripture hero? Mine is Ammon. He's the one who went and saved all the sheep from Lamoni's enemies. He is awesome. He's one of the best missionaries out there. You can learn from his example that doing service can help people receive the gospel!
I love you so much! Heavenly Father does too! Set an example fro your older and younger sister and be modest! I promise that there is blessings from that!
Aleia-How is pixie? Are you taking good care of her for me? I saw that she's going to be "super-dog" for Halloween! She looks so cute!
How is church? Are you liking it or are you bored? Because if it's boring, make it more fun & participate more. Answer as many questions as you can! That's what helped me!
Maybe you could go visit the Temple grounds fro me! That would be really cool! I love the Temple & the spirit there. Will you do that for me? That would mean a lot to me.
Dawson-So from what I know, there aren't any major stores in my area with Magic cards or tournaments. The closest thing (I think) is a Walmart which is out of our area.
I'm learning a lot out here though! In 3rd Nephi 11:14 I thought of something I'l like to share with you. In fact, just read the whole chapter.
In that verse it says "come forth unto me to feel my wounds". We can't physically touch the Savior right now, bur there's a promise in that scripture. If we go unto Him and learn of Him, we will "know that [He] is the God of Israel". I promise & I know that he is there & that He cares for you personally.
------Nicole says-I'll type Tayla's letter later. She has it with her right now------
So this week has been
kinda crazy! Time has flown by!
So with the pictures thing,
I'm going to end up buying a sd card reader or something like that to make it
much easier to upload the pictures. (Given, I can find one). Elder K (one of my batchmates who is in my district) sends his home and has his mom
send one back. It works... but It could get expensive by the end of my mission.
So with the name
badges, they give you a magnetic one, and a normal slide over your pocket one.
So the one on the lapel is my magnetic one. Funny story though! We went past
CVS (kinda like walgreens) and got some things we couldn't get at the Giant
store. When we were leaving, I looked down to find my normal slide name badge
missing. We looked through the whole store without any luck... so I'm gonna
have to order another one:p. Oh well!
As for S, she got
her job back. (thankfully) and so she's a bit happier. Yep!
We get to go on P-days and Fridays!
That reminds me! Our
mission isn't an iPad mission yet, but we know we will get some soon! Every
companionship will get two iPads and 1 iPhone. We will be required to spend at
least an hour on Facebook/FaceTime/Skype everyday! That'll be SO hard;). (I'm
Yep, Elder F is
the best!!! He's teaching me magic card tricks too!!! That's so awesome! What a
So with the whole xbox charge thing.... that's the monthly thing I keep getting charged for and I don't know
where from. Maybe you could try and contact Microsoft
about it. There is a number that you'll need to call next to where the charge
is online. Could you do that?
Haha! So that's where my dungeons and dragons book ended up?!!! We were wondering! I thought I chose my address to ship it out
here, but I guess I didn't. I'd love for you to send it out! We'd love it for
the next p-day!:D
Wahoo!!!! Arrow is the
best show ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You'll love it! And just in time for season 2 as
well!:D Good job Pops! Way to get hooked;).
Yep, high school life
is tough and fun! But keep it up Tayla!
Haha the fantastic
teenage hormone stage;) Welcome to it! (Cassia)
And the matching
clothes stage... Good for Aleia!:D
You and Dad seem like
you are doing well! As well as the rest of the family!:D
We have a CD player in
every missionary apartment, as well as a dvd player! So it's really cool!
My bike is doing well!
I love it! It runs smoother than Elder F, Elder G or Elder
K's bike. The only downside is that I don't have shocks so there are
times where it'll get slightly bumpy. I don't mind though!
So the leaves are
changing, but not as beautifully as they usually do. It's rained for the last
4ish days (almost all day every day). Crazy! So we won't experience as much
change in the trees as we usually would!
So the most memorable
experience that I've had this week has probably been Elder K breaking 6
chairs! Yep 6! So he and Elder G are in the new apartment, which means
they need furniture. So Brother C (a member in our ward) picked up 6 free
chairs and a dining table and gave them to those two. Well lets just say the
legs weren't made out of the sturdiest metal and they all ended up breaking or
bending beyond repair:p. The best part was he would break at least one a day!
Haha it makes me laugh!
So I love you all so
much. I miss you guys a ton! Just know that you are in my prayers each and
I'm going to type this one up even thought its a handwritten letter. This way Its easier for everyone to read. I can tell he is a great missionary who is trying to keep us updated on all things. -Nicole
So I didn't get to actually upload many pictures to dropbox. My camera is stupid and will only let me upload on at a time, at least through the Library Computers.
Let me tell you about the people here!
The S Family-They moved here from England. A great family. The parents are about mid 40's-50's. They have 4 kids. J, J ,P and J. Sister S is the meal coordinator for us missionaries in the Belmont Ridge Ward.
The D family-They let us come and eat breakfast and watch conference Sunday morning. They have 5 kids.
Bishop L-Bishop of the Belmont Ridge Ward! What a great guy! We met with him on Friday night to introduce Elder K and I.
Brother W-He's our Ward mission leader. He's who we call when it's absolutely pouring outside! (even though we only needed a ride across the street)
"Giants" - Its a store like Smith's. We don't have a Walmart in our area, so we make due with what we have. You'd think the richest area of the US would have a Walmart.
R-(We don't know his last name). What we do know is that he's a science major in College now. He has had and loved a ton of Theology questions, so he's the one who asked us if we got paid to be out here.
Sisters E & L-They are one pair of the sister missionaries in our stake. They serve in the Singles Ward. Sister E was one of those in the other district that came from the MTC with me.
President Matt Riggs & Sister Dawna Riggs-Our mission president(s). Their children are musically talented & like to play the cello violin & piano. Their family has been here anywhere from 6 months-1year I believe. Their old house is right next the Gilbert temple. President Riggs is a lawyer and owns several offices throughout Arizona.
Elder F-This is my Comp! He's awesome! His favorite color is blue (Wink, Wink). And he's a xbox nerd like me. He's shorter than I am but is very persistent. He & elder G were comps who got separated but they are still best friends. He's from California
Elder G & K-Elder K is one of my "batchmates". He came out with me from the MTC. He is from Circleville, UT. Elder G is an awesome guy. He's only here for 5 more weeks & then he goes home. He doesn't want to leave. He's an inspiration to me. He's from Sandy, UT.
President Wenn-My MTC branch [resident. This guy is 45-5- years old & is probably about 4'6. He served in the Washington DC Mission (it hadn't been split yet). I wouldn't be surprised if he became an apostle.
The W family-a family that let us watch conference at their house Sat Morning and Sunday Afternoon. There is 3 of them Bro and Sis W and their son J. Great family!
So we found out that 800,000 people are out of jobs right now because of the whole government issue. Crazy, right? Oh my gosh!
SC- Our only progressing investigator. I met her on Thursday night. She went through a divorce and now is really depressed. She had a baptismal date but it fell through. She also has issues with coffee & with faith. She's really trying though cause she watched all 4 sessions of General Conference and did it at her own home too!
I am sleeping better out here so it's been better! I'm also not as homesick.
So I had a neat experience. On the flight home I began to get sick as the plane descended. I kept praying & praying that I wouldn't throw up. The sister next to me, Sister A, said "Stay strong, Elder Armstrong, we are almost done." As soon as we hit/landed on the runway, I lost it. But right before it came up, suddenly it was gone. I was sweating. shaking, and clammy, but there were no feeling of sickness. I know The Lord helped me.
In spite of being helped, can you come pick me up in two years? I don't want to have to deal with that again.
Well, I really love you all. I pray for you guys every morning and every night. The Lord really cares for each & every one of you!
I had a chance to email back and forth with Dex for a few minutes on his Pday. Here a some scattered thoughts of what he shared:
-I'm great! I'm totally loving it out here. My companion is Elder F and he is awesome! Man, Pixie! Totally rocking that superhero costume for Halloween!
-Right now it's pouring like crazy! We went shopping and had to get a ride even though we live right across the street!
-BTW, I'm in Ashburn, VA - The number 1 richest place in America! Crazy right?!
-So my bike isn't here yet... So I'm riding a crappy replacement for the day;) lol
-So i'll explain all the little details in the email i send later, but I am sleeping better. We watched conference at members homes except for the Saturday evening and priesthood session. We saw those at the stake center that is only a block away. The first night here we stayed at President Riggs house. It was awesome! We haven't actually tracted yet. We've visted people who we felt we needed to, but no serious tracting. The apartment is nice! I really like it! It's small but still spacious!
-Well we are going to a place called, "Carolina Brothers" for lunch. It's a barbeque place and missionaries eat for free! I'm way excited.
-We get fed a ton out here. Lunch and dinner were provided during
-Yeah! I saw elder capt! He's awesome! We took a few pics together!
-I'm doing good! Just focusing on the work makes everything better!
-Packages are right to our door! So my apartment address works!:D (address included on next blog post)
So I got here on Wed, and was taken to the mission president's home! We stayed there for a night and he interviewed us all. We got up in the morning, headed over to the stake center in Centreville and were able to meet our new comps! I got an awesome comp! His name is Elder F and we get along better than ever! I already love the guy to death. We love lots of things together! We live in apartments that are awesome! There are two other Elders who live in the Apartment Complex. Those Elders are Elder G and Elder K (He's new too). Elder G and Elder F used to be comps together and then President split them apart and put them with us. They are best friends! I hop me and Elder F can become like that!
When we got our comps we went back and got ready for our appointment at 7. Her name is SC. She is our only progressing investigator right now, but that's okay. She is really struggling with having faith and being happy. So we are trying to help her.
Conference was awesome!! We were invited over for 3 of the 4 sessions. Saturday night and the Priesthood session were watched at the stake center. The families here are extremely nice. We get fed more than we ought to. But it's really awesome.
So this is the #1 richest place in the US. Our ward/stake is the #1 smallest in geographical area. That's crazy right?
I am glad that Dawson has been kicking butt! Keep it up dude! I really am having a blast out here! There are so many cool families and the atmosphere of everything is awesome.
We had a kid ask us if we got paid after eating lunch at McD's on Friday. His name is R and because of that question we got to talk to him! So hopefully he takes the bait and starts taking lessons!
Hey, could you send me some recipes? Also I would prefer the German Pancake Recipe and the Crepe recipe!
That's about it! Love you guys so much!!I'll email next monday! (or tuesday if we go to the temple)