Monday, July 27, 2015

Week # 5 - In the Field

This has been a crazy/weird week to say the absolute least. I'm so
very surprised how many people open up to us about their personal life
or marriage problems because we are missionaries. I'm so thankful my
call packet didn't say, "You are hereby called to counsel every person
on marital problems or personal situations and make sure you give them
the correct advice." Thanks goodness we are encouraged to NOT say
anything regarding personal situations and just refer them all to our
ward bishop. Man, I can only imagine what it's like being a bishop. I
mean I see the stuff that gets said to missionaries regarding those
personal situations. It would kill me to be a bishop and hear
everyone's problems 24/7. So yeah, that's weird that people open up to
us like that. I don't want to get into details. Freaks me out thinking
about it. Lol.

So on Monday we had a lesson with one of our investigators named
Jarman. This kid is a literal genius. He just graduated high school
(my same graduating class). He was like valedictorian and is going to
Davidson (where Steph Curry went). He told us when we first started
meeting with him and asked him what he wants out of our lessons, he
said, "I just want to learn how to be a better man." Like this kid is
so mature unlike most of the kids in high school or just graduated
which is so awesome. The only thing is, his mom is like super
anti-Mormon, which might lead to some conflict lol. But we had a
lesson at this frozen yogurt place across from our apartment. We
talked a lot about the Book of Mormon and where it came from and stuff
like that. It went really well and we invited him to read the
introduction and the 3 testimonies in the beginning of the book. We
texted him later in the week and asked how his reading was going, and
he replied, "question provoking, when can we meet?" We told him we
could meet the next day and we asked him what specifically he wanted
to talk about. He said, "the first 5 chapters of 1 nephi." Elder
mcinerny and I were both astonished. He had read way above and beyond
what we invited him to do. We met up with him the next day and had an
awesome talk with him about what he had read! Hopefully we can get
another lesson in with him before he leaves to go to school!

On Tuesday night we played basketball. Not street ball. Not half
court. Real, full court, 5 on 5, basketball. Holy cow it was awesome.
One of our investigators named Sean came and played with us. So I mean
an investigator was there, everything goes right? Lol. But we got to
play for about an hour and a half which was so much fun. It was so
nice to be back really ballin again. Made me miss the good ole days
when we had games at the thunderdome. But Sean is awesome. He and his
girlfriend/fiancé of 3 years are both investigating the church. They
have two little girls named Angelie and Heaven. Stephanny (his
girlfriend/fiancé) is awesome. She is actually set for baptism which
is totally cool. She has so much faith. I almost can relate her to
neeta and the desire she has to serve God. She has gained a testimony
of the Book of Mormon and the things we are teaching her. She's knows
it all is true and wants to be baptized. The only thing is, they need
to get married. We might have to postpone her baptism if they can't
get married in time. They want to have a big production with a whole
bunch of family and go on a big vacation. But we are trying to
convince them to just get married civilly and do the big trip later!
Crazy stuff. I'm excited to see where it goes.

On Saturday morning we were able to go to the DC temple and do a
session which was hands down the best part of the week (it beat out
playing ball). We were able to do the 8:30am session because some
members from our ward took us. The DC temple is absolutely beautiful.
You come around this corner on the freeway and it's like BOOM, temple,
right in your face. It's awesome. They say they had to dim the lights
shining on the temple because it was causing accidents on the freeway
it was so bright. But the temple brought me so much peace and comfort.
It's crazy whenever I go to the temple I feel like the things of the
world just get blocked out and I can focus on the most important
things going on in my life. The temple is like a fortress or a
sanctuary. Whenever you enter, you feel safe, you feel peace, you feel
loved by your Heavenly Father.

Earlier in the week I was studying in 2 Nephi chapter 33. And this is
really the last testimony Nephi can offer to us because we know right
after this he ends up passing away. But in this chapter he talks about
so many things that pertain to missionary work. In the first verse he

"For when a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of
the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of man."

This is the whole purpose of missionary work. To be able to teach by
the spirit and have the spirit touch the persons life. We are just
18-20 year old kids. We have no idea how to be proficient in
persuading people to utilize the gospel. That's what the spirit is
for. We just need to make sure we are conscious of the promptings of
the Holy Ghost and say those things at the correct time that will
help the spirit touch someone's heart. In verse 3 he says:

"For I pray continually for them by day and mine eyes water my pillow
by night, because of them; and I cry unto my God in faith, and I know
that he will hear my cry."

As missionaries we very rarely try to think about ourselves. Our whole
focus should be on how we can serve others. That's one of the great
things about a mission. I could care less what I look like or who
judges me because all I have to worry about is everyone the Lord puts
in my path. My favorite verse of the chapter is verse 14, he says:

"14 And you that will not partake of the goodness of God, and respect
the words of the Jews, and also my words, and the words which shall
proceed forth out of the mouth of the Lamb of God, behold, I bid you
an everlasting farewell, for these words shall condemn you at the last

Nephi is such a BOSS for that verse. He is basically saying "if you
don't listen to my words and the words of Christ, peace out because I
won't be seeing you in the celestial kingdom." Ha I love that so much.
I don't know about you guys, but I look up to Nephi so much and I want
to meet him someday. When we listen to the words of scripture and
actually put them into practice, we will know without a doubt that the
way we are living our lives is ordained of God and through those
practices and enduring to the end, we will return to live with our
Heavenly Father again. And I just like Nephi in verse 12, "I pray the
Father in the name of Christ that many of us, if not all, may be saved
in his kingdom at that great and last day." I pray for every single
one of my friends and family every day that they will take advantage
of this great gospel and make it a priority in their lives. You will
be blessed for doing such. I am a personal witness.

Peace and Blessings,

Elder Leishman

View of the Washington DC temple from the freeway
Elder McInerny and I at the Washington DC temple on July 25, 2015

My first temple session at the Washington DC Temple
Elder McInerny's first visit to Lululemon

The new mission pet - a slug
Everyday that I don't get a letter.
I've been looking for a car with Utah license plate since I arrived in DC.  I finally found one.

My future car

Monday, July 20, 2015

Week #4 in the Field

Another week has come and gone. It's crazy to see these weeks start
flying by. They have a saying that says "on the mission, the days are
weeks and the weeks are days." I can totally attest to that. Each day
feels like it takes forever but then I get to pday each Monday and I
look back on the past week and it feels like it was just pday the day
before. It's crazy. The mission definitely plays with your mind.
Whether it's getting rejected time after time or just sitting there
thinking about life at home and all the things you miss. It definitely
takes a toll on you. And satan knows when we are going through those
rough times and he uses that as an opportunity to attack us. I feel
like he has been working double time on me. I feel like he just sees
all the weaknesses that I have and he is just set on trying to magnify
them. I've been on my knees a lot lately asking for strength from
Heavenly Father when i go through those difficult times. By doing
that, he has helped me really start to realize the tender mercies that
he is giving me. He helps me to see the small blessings and comforts
that he throws into my life. Whether it's some members feeding us
dinner or testifying in a lesson and seeing your testimony spark a
little light in someone's eyes.

So last pday we were able to go into downtown DC to the national mall,
which was super cool! We got to go to the air and space museum which
blew my mind with all the cool stuff that was there. We rode the metro
into DC which is another experience in itself. It was my first time on
a metro and those things are crazy. Especially when we came home
around rush hour time and the whole train was packed. But after the
air and space museum, we walked to a restaurant by the Capitol
building. It's called Good Stuff Eatery. It was so good, it was like a
burger place that's super popular here. A lot of famous people go
there and they have burgers named after people such as president
Obama. I tried to get some pictures but i really couldn't because a
lot of stuff was under construction. And I didn't want to feel like
one of those basic tourist missionaries lol. But after we got back
into falls church on Monday night we were kinda completely lost on
what we should do since Neeta was our only real progressing
investigator. So we decided we were going to go to the park and play
some ball with the brothers lol. It was good to get back on the court
even if I was in proselyting clothes lol. When we told some of the
guys there that we wanted to play, most of them laughed and thought we
could even play. I kinda took that to heart. Like you think because we
are missionaries we can't break your ankles? So we started to play and
mine and elder mcinernys team was kicking tail and we won't like 3
straight games. Let's just say we earned the respect of the brothers
and Jefferson park that night. Although I got my nice clothes all
sweaty and I was playing in dress shoes, it was still fun! It made me
miss playing in actual games and what not.

We were able to have interviews with President Huntsman. Holy cow it
was probably one of the best days on my mission so far. It was so good
to actually sit down and have a one on one conversation with him. We
talked a lot about my decision to serve a mission and kinda the road
that brought me to where I am now. He told me that he's super excited
that I will be the first set of missionaries he has for the most part
of the two years. He also told me that most of the mission goes home
in the next 3 transfers so he is expecting me to step up and be a
leader in the mission. Elder McInerny said something to him about
having me be a trainer right after I'm doing being trained, and
president said that will probably happen. Crazy..... I feel so young
to be on a mission let alone being a trainer. But hey I'm willing to
step up to the challenge and serve with everything I've got!

The rest of this week has just been full of tracting and some member
lessons. We have this pretty big apartment complex that we are trying
to tract the whole thing. It's been taking a lot of time and effort
and we've gotten a ton of referrals for the Spanish sisters but nobody
for us to teach. But hey I guess we are all on the same team so it
doesn't matter if we teach them or the Spanish sisters, they just need
to hear our life changing message.

I started read True to the Faith this week which is awesome. I'm
almost done with it and I started on like Wednesday. It has taught me
a lot of things about the church and what we believe that I didn't
even know before. When I got to the part that talks about marriage, I
couldn't help but think about my family and the amazing parents that
Heavenly Father has blessed me with. Parents that love the gospel and
don't just teach us how to live, they show us. It brought me so much
peace and assurance that I can be with my family forever and that even
though death may temporarily separate us, there will be a time when we
can see our family and loved ones again in the next life. It really
made me think about the parent that I want to be and how I want to
build a strong foundation in the gospel for my family to build on.
Seeing the many great examples of awesome families that I have had
such a blessing being around has made me so excited for the joy and
happiness I will receive when I have a family of my own and that my
family and I will be strong in our gospel roots and valiant in our
testimony of Jesus Christ. I want my kids to be able to know without a
doubt that I have a testimony that Jesus is the Christ and that he
atoned for all of our sins and that through him we are made clean
again. They will know that if it weren't for the infinite love of our
savior that nothing we have can be possible. I can't wait to share
that message to my children. It's one thing sharing it to random
people you meet on the street and it's another thing sharing it with
someone that you know and that you are around a lot and that you love
with your whole heart. I can't wait for the day when I can be sealed
in the temple for time and all eternity to a wife and to my kids. Oh
the joy and happiness this gospel gives me.

Love you all,
Elder Leishman

McLean Zone
A member owns the frozen yogurt store and invites the missionaries to eat there.  :)

Dinner with the Stewart Family (Grandma Harrison's cousin)
When boredom sets in
The epitome of a missionary dinner

Monday, July 13, 2015

Week #3 in the Field

Holy cow. I never in my wildest dreams thought that I could eat so much Indian food in 2 weeks. Since we've been getting closer and closer to Neeta's baptism we have been visiting her a lot more which is good and bad. It's good because we've been able to keep her on track and not let the trials of the adversary get to her too bad. But it is bad because everytime we see her she insists on feeding us. Whether we just came from a meal or not lol. She works in this Indian vegetarian restaurant and sometimes we visit her there and that's when she really likes to pile the food on our plates. We keep telling her she is going to make us fat but she doesn't buy it lol. Be aware the story I'm about to tell about Neeta's baptism is very long and very crazy. Be prepared. 

So, on Saturday we had Neeta's baptism and oh let me tell you it was a whirlwind of craziness the 24 hours prior to her baptism. So I'll start the night before at about 6pm. So we head over to Neeta's house to visit her husband who is an inactive member with a pretty bad drinking problem. And we had heard from Neeta that he hadn't drank any alcohol in like 4 or 5 days so we were going over there to congratulate him. And of course when we get there we find out that he is drunk. So we go in there and try to talk to him about the baptism and what not and he causes all this commotion and freaks out because Neeta asked Elder McInerny to baptize her. And her husband wanted President Stuart(member of our stake presidency) to baptize her and we tried to convince him that you know it's Neeta's decision and that its up to her who she wants to do it. And he just won't get it and keeps freaking out because he is drunk. And then he really starts to tick off Elder McInerny and he kind of gets pretty aggressive with his words and stuff and is calling us names and what not. And don't get me wrong this is a 4'8 Indian guy that probably weights about 115 pounds. And elder McInerny and I aren't the smallest peas in the pod like you don't want to make either of us mad which is exactly what he was doing. Man it's crazy. Now I know what they say when they say that alcohol is liquid confidence. So finally elder McInerny and I just left because he started saying that if McInerny baptized her that he would divorce her then next day!!! Like what??? This man is cray. So we decide to leave and go talk to Neeta at her restaurant and tell her about what had just happened and she was fine with it. She didn't really care. All she cared about was getting baptized the next day which is awesome. So we finish there and are getting back to our apartment and it's like 9:15 right when we are supposed to be home. So we start working out and whatever then all the sudden at like 10:15 we get a call from Neeta who had just gotten home from work and can't find her husband anywhere. He wasn't answering his phone, his mom didn't know where he was (she lives with them) and so Neeta is freaking out and telling us that she wants to cancel the baptism because she can't find her husband. And so we hop in the car and drive to Neeta's house (remember it's like 10:30 now) and on our way over there we call her husband and he answers us and tells us that he is at President Stuart's house!!!!! And so we talk to president Stuart on the phone and he tells us everything is going to be fine and what not and that he is calming Neeta's husband down and that we should still plan on everything as is for the next day. And so we get to Neeta's and tell her the news and she is relieved that we found him and such. So we decide to leave Neeta's before her husband got home because that would just make him even more mad. So we decide to go to president Stuart's house and kinda follow her husband home to see where he goes and what not. (Remember her husband is still drunk right now, we debated calling the police and reporting a DUI) and so we find him and starting following him and he pulls into a 7-11 gas station and we see him walk inside then walk outside with a case of beer. And he calls us on the phone and tells us that he is going to let Neeta get baptized the next day but that as soon as it's over, he is going to divorce her and then he sends us some texts telling us that we ruined his whole marriage life and that we are making a fool out of Neeta. And he uses some pretty choice verbiage during all this. Like what is wrong man. I never thought I would have to deal with this from a MEMBER on my mission. And so we decide to follow him home and he gets home but never gets out of his car so we park there and just watch him for a little bit and he stays outside in his car for like 30 more mins. Them he drives a little down the street and just parks there. And we come to find out the next day that he just spent the night in his car down the street. And so elder McInerny and I weren't even home and in bed till like midnight trying to deal with all this stuff and we just woke up exhausted the next morning. But the baptismal service was awesome. The spirit was so strong and it was so cool to see my first investigator baptized!! Nothing to crazy happened after the baptism or so we haven't heard anything. But I was able to confirm her yesterday in sacrament meeting and her husband actually came to church but he sat by himself in the back and we never talked to him but ya. It was a crazy 24 hours to say the least. Satan was trying all that he could to not get her baptized but he don't got nothing on elders leishman and mcinerny!!! 

Well, most the rest of the week was pretty normal. Just a lot of tracking. A lot of doors slammed in our faces and people yelling at us. Even little old lady's would freak out on us and it was kind of funny to see someone that looks so calm just flip out when you ask her about Jesus Christ.

But along with confirming Neeta yesterday I gave a talk in sacrament meeting which was surprisingly really easy (blessing of being a missionary). My topic was "oh ye that embark in the service of God". I talked a lot about missionary work and stuff, I also quoted a lot of things from a talk by elder Bruce R. McConkie from the October 1974 general conference titled "Be Valiant in the Fight of Faith". It's such an awesome talk. Many promised blessings that we receive if we are valiant in inviting others unto Christ. But it also talks about some punishment that we can receive if we aren't valiant. All in all, I suggest you all go back and read it it's so great. Ponder the words that he tells us.
(You can read the talk here:

And also, I invite you guys to look up a talk by Brad Wilcox titled "His Grace is Sufficient". I listened to it this week and it changed my life. It really opened my eyes to the atonement and what Christ really did for us. After you guys listen to it, I want to hear your thoughts so feel free to email me what you think about it.

(You can read the full talk:
(or there is a Re-cap of the talk here:

My companion and I are actually going into Washington DC today to go to some of the museums and what not. We are allowed to go into the city via the metro once every transfer! So I'm going into the city for my first time and going to the Mall and seeing all the sights and what not! I'm super excited! I'll be sure to take pictures ! 

To end with a little spiritual thought, here is an excerpt from my talk yesterday: 

Now there neither are nor can be any neutrals in this war. Every member of the Church is on one side or the other. The soldiers who fight in its battles will either, with Paul, come off victorious and win “a crown of righteousness,” or they shall, in Paul’s language, “be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” in that day when he comes to take “vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thes. 1:9, 8.) ..... "In this war all who do not stand forth courageously and valiantly are by that fact alone aiding the cause of the enemy."
Are we in or are we out? I'm definitely in. There is no gray area. It's all black and white. It's the Saviors way or it's the worlds way. Make your choice. And "as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord". (Joshua 24:15)

Much love from DC 
Elder Leishman

Eating Indian Food with Neeta

Saturday, July 11, 2015

New pictures

My MTC group the day we arrived in DC

At Neeta's baptism - July 11, 2015

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Pictures from the misson home

With the missionaries I traveled out to DC with.

With President and Sister Riggs

Washington Monument in the background

Monday, July 6, 2015

Week #2 In the Field

So I'm going to be honest right now, I'm pretty sure I've helped more
people move than I have actually taught lessons. That's how many
people ask the missionaries to help them move. On Tuesday we helped
two families move for 2 and a half hours. Oh and it was pouring rain.
Welcome to Virginia.

We actually have a baptism coming up this Saturday!! Which is
awesome!! It's our investigator named Neeta! She's the sweetest little
Indian lady I've ever met. She has the most faith out of anyone I've
ever come into contact with. We have been teaching her about
commandments this week and she drinks coffee and tea. So we were
teaching her about the word of wisdom and she said "ok I'll stop
drinking those. For God I'll do anything." Then we were teaching her
about fasting. And in her culture they fast for 40 days like Jesus
did. But when we told her that we only need to fast on the first
Sunday of each month she insisted that she keeps fasting for 40 days
because she loves God so much. I never thought I'd ever have to
convince someone to lessen their fast? Lol. She is amazing though. She
has been investigating the church since about December but there is
one draw back. She is illiterate. She can't read or write English or
Hindi. Which has definitely been a challenge because she have to read
to her out of the Book of Mormon but every time we do, she breaks down
into tears. She loves to watch Mormon messages and other church
videos. She hasn't decided yet who she wants to baptize her so I'll
have to let you guys know if she wants me too which would be awesome!

Not a lot really happened thing week because my companion was pretty
sick so there was a few days we stayed home and he slept and I just
studied till I about died. Literally 5 hours straight of studying will
really get ya! But I learned so much during that time so I'm grateful
for the chance I had to study and further my knowledge of the Book of
Mormon and Preach My Gospel.

We got to meet our new mission president on Friday which was awesome!!
President Huntsman is an amazing man I can already tell that he is
called of God and that he will lead and direct us down straight and
narrow paths and help us further the work here. Sister Huntsman was
super sweet also. We were able to meet almost all of their kids. We
met 7 of their 8 kids. One of their sons is on a mission. They have 6
girls and 2 boys. Crazy big family to move to Virginia to be mission
presidents. But fun fact for you, his dad was the mission president of
our mission about 35 years ago. So he is pretty familiar with the
area. And he has a brother that lives in our mission. I'm so excited
to work under President Huntsman!

The 4th of July wasn't as fun as I expected it to be but we did end up
having a fun time! We went to dinner at a members in-laws house and
had some BBQ! It was good to have some good ole home cooking (since
we've basically eaten Indian food everyday this week). We played some
games and did some activities with their family and watched them light
off some fireworks! Then after that around 9 we went to this bridge in
Falls Church which over looks a high school that puts on a firework
show. The fireworks there weren't as cool as the Cul-de-sac of Fire.
Nothing really compares to that. But I ran into a lady there that knew
aunt Kath which was pretty cool! We were actually home by like 10pm
that night even though our mission president said we could be out till

The weird thing about serving a mission is that I find myself not
really getting upset over worldly things. (I mean I will always get a
little bent when some random people cuss us out or scream at us for
knocking on their door or call us possessed by demons) But instead I
find myself getting upset when people don't use the atonement to its
fullest potential and maximize the suffering that Christ bared for all
of our sins. For instance, we are working with a less active member
who has a severe alcohol problem. We talk to him probably everyday and
everyday he tells us that he is going to stop. We have made deals with
him numerous times that we would come over everyday and read with him
and help him fight those temptations. But instead we will text him
every once in a while at night just to make sure he is keeping his
commitments. And usually he is drunk and texts us back some very
choice words about the church and what not. We have literally tried
everything with him. I even blatantly said to him "you need
professional help" and he just won't take advantage of the atonement
or our advice for professional help I'm that case. It's so frustrating
when you put all this time and effort in with people who could care
less about everything Jesus Christ did for us. So my council to you
guys is to make sure that you ALWAYS utilize the atonement to its
fullest potential. The atonement wasn't only for our sins, but it was
also for everything in life that is unfair or unjust. Christ suffered
for every pain and affliction we could possibly imagine. If you use
the atonement and realize that because of Christ we don't have to
suffer those afflictions your life will be so much more happy. But
don't get me wrong, we should absolutely use the atonement to repent
for our sins because without that we wouldn't be able to return to
live with Heavenly Father in the Celestial Kingdom. Which should be
everyone's ultimate goal.

In conclusion, I was studying in 1 Nephi 22 this week and I thought I
would share with you one thing that really stood out to me. In verse
25 it says, "And he gathereth his children from the four quarters of
the earth; and he numbereth his sheep, and they know him; and there
shall be one fold and one shepherd; and he shall feed his sheep, and
in him they shall find pasture." When Jesus Christ comes again, we
will know him, we will desire his presence if we have lived a true and
faithful life. And when that time comes, he will feed us and through
him we will find our home. A mission isn't the funniest thing I've
ever done or even the most enjoyable, but "I have a desire to serve,
so I am called to the work."(D&C 4:3) I love you all!

Much Love,
Elder Leishman

This sombrero has been in our apartment for 2 years.

Companion selfie time

Happy 4th of July!!

Bree sent me stuff for the 4th of July.