Monday, November 30, 2015

Week 23 in the field

This week has been super slow missionary wise but it has been great
with regards to the holiday and spending time with some awesome
members. It started with the turkey bowl on thanksgiving morning. We
played with a lot of other missionaries and some members from our
ward. It was pretty fun to get out there and be active. My team won
every game. It was missionaries vs ward members. I had a good time and
didn't suffer any severe injuries haha which is always good.

Then we went up to Falls Church on thanksgiving afternoon and had
dinner with the Stewart's because nobody in our ward signed up to feed
us on that day. I was so grateful I got to go to the Stewart's for
thanksgiving and spend time with family. The food was amazing and we
got to play some games afterwards. I loved being with family. It's
always nice being with family members for the holidays even if you
just met them recently haha. It was a great time and I'm so happy we
got to go up there.

On Saturday morning we got to go to the temple because a member of our
ward was going through for the first time. Her name is Hirut and her
fathers name is Bayissa. They are from Ethiopia and they were baptized
a little over a year ago and they invited us to go to the temple with
them for their endowment. It's such a blessing to have a temple so
close and to feel of the amazing spirit that is there. They are
putting up the Christmas lights for the visitor center soon so I will
have to make my way up there again soon to see the lights. We have a
couple people we are working with that we know could really enjoy the
spirit of the temple and visitors center!

On Saturday night while we were tracking down potentials, we ran into
a guy named Dave. When we knocked on the door we heard some guy from
the other side yell "Nah Fam we good", so of course I acted like I
couldn't hear so I yelled "what?" "I see you Jehovah's Witness, we
good" "we're not Jehovah's Witness" so then he opens the door and was
wondering about how we got his information, which was his number one
concern. He probably thought we were Feds to be honest. After talking
a little bit more to this guy, which was hilarious but I can't repeat
anything he said, I started telling him about the Book of Mormon and
before I could say anything he ripped it out of my hands and said "I'm
too evil to hold this thing, I feel like I'm gonna catch on fire. The
devil is too strong in me, but I'll tell you what. I can't promise
that I'll read it erryday, but I'll read it at least twice a week.
Sound Gucci?" I was pretty surprised because we didn't say anything
about it and he committed himself to read it and now we're meeting
with him on Tuesday.

Other than that we have just been trying to find as many as we
possibly can. I'm excited to share the new holiday video that the
church put out. It's going to be a good tool to use in our contacting.
It's been pretty tough finding people in our ward and getting the
support of our ward. It makes missionary work pretty hard when you
don't have a lot of support. It just sucks because you feel like you
are giving your all to this ward and area you are serving in but you
don't see any support at all. But I guess it's just another lesson
that a mission teaches you. Most the time in life, the circumstances
you are in aren't going to be the best but you're going to have to
make the most of them. Heavenly Father gives us tough situations to
test our faith and obedience. It's really easy to stray from the path
and b,are it on the circumstance you are in. We need to make sure we
are staying the course even through the ups and downs. It's a valuable
lesson I've had to progressively learn over the course of my mission.
I hope everyone has a great week! Much love!

Elder Leishman

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Week #22 - In the Field

So this week has been pretty good. It's crazy that the holidays are
right around the corner. It's almost surreal. It feels like just
yesterday was June 10th and I was going in the MTC. I can't believe my
6 month mark is only like 2 weeks away. At the beginning of my
mission, I thought this time would never get here. This week has been
pretty normal. We had district meeting on Tuesday and I was able to
teach my district about the role of the Book of Mormon and how it
answers questions of the soul. It was really awesome and we got to
play a game to go along with it. Then, on Wednesday we had zone
teaching and I was able to teach In that as well about learning to
love obedience. It was a good topic to teach on and I feel like there
are a lot of different ways you can take that one topic so I hope
someone from the district/zone got something out of my lesson.

On Thursday I went on an exchange with Elder Schnek. He is goi home
this transfer and he's another one of the district leaders in our
zone. He's an awesome kid and super funny. I learned a lot from him.
It's always nice to go on exchanges so you can get a different feels
for how other missionaries serve their missions. It's pretty fun.

It's so much different not having a car. I feel like I have to plan
extra time every day to walk or bike to lessons. You learn the roads
and stuff in a different way when you walk around. The on
The other day we walked 10 miles. And we were just street contacting
the whole time and nobody wanted to hear a message. It was pretty
discouraging. But walking the 10 miles was a good workout.

I'm really excited for thanksgiving this week because we passed around
our meal calendar yesterday at church and nobody signed up for lunch
or dinner that day. So I texted my cousins (The Stewart's) in Falls
Church to see if my companion and I could join them for a meal and
they said yes! I'm super excited to be able to spend the holiday with
them. It's always fun being with family for the holidays! (Even if you
met them when you started serving in their ward! Haha)

Today we are going to the Pentagon with one of the members from our
ward. He is taking us to lunch in there and showing us around. I'm
really excited to go.

Let me tell you something, Satan is a mean dude. He tries to hit you
from every angle. He tries to discourage you every chance he can
especially when nobody wants to talk to you. It's pretty dang hard to
fight the adversary when you aren't having any luck teaching anyone.
It's really hard to stay positive. But I think that's the biggest
trick in life, is learning to stay positive. Everyday we make a
choice, it will either be a good day or a bad day. It's up to us. We
are the only ones who can control the outcome of our day and we need
to stay positive even if we have every excuse not too!

I hope everyone has a good thanksgiving and enjoys some time off of work and school! I don't get any days off!! Welcome to the missionary
grind. TNDO! (Take no days off)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Week #21 - In the field

This week has been decent. There isn't a lot of teaching going on in
our area right now. It's more or less a lot of finding. We go out
everyday and try to track down all the potentials that are in our area
book. There are a ton of them. A lot of them have been in the area
book since like 2009 and have probably since moved. It's just a matter
of tracks those people down. That's where most of the doors slammed in
our face happen or the people yelling at you. But I guess that's what
makes it interesting. It makes for some good stories, that's for sure.

On Monday, we had dinner at a recent converts house. She is from
Ethiopia. She fed us Ethiopian food. And to my surprise, it was
actually pretty dang good. If you get over the sheer fact that it's
super weird looking, it tastes good! The only way I would describe it
is like an undercooked pancake that's only cooked on one side, that
tastes like sourdough bread, but is gray. You then use that bread type
of thing to pick up the meat or the vegetables or beans or whatever
else you're having. You eat with your hands which is pretty cool. that
was another mission experience that was pretty cool. Who would have
thought you get homemade Ethiopian food while staying in the states?
Pretty sweet.

On Saturday, we spent a lot of time organizing our area book. We broke
our area up into sections (like A1, A2, B1, and B2). We then went
through every person in the area book and looked up their address and
next to their contact, we put the section that they live in. So now
whenever are planning where we are going to work for the day, we can
just go to one of the 10 sections that we have and there is a list of
all the potentials in that area. It's super sweet. It makes tracking
down all those potentials a lot easier.

This week during my studies I have been studying Captain Moroni. That
man is a stud. He is such a feat example of a leader. He knows that he
needs to be physically prepared with soldiers, supplies, and armor.
But then he also knows that he needs to be spiritually prepared as
well. In Alma:43, Moroni even asks Alma, who is the high priest at the
time, where the Lamanites are going to take their army. And the lord
reveals to Alma that they are going to Manti and Moroni is able to
take his army and meet them there and develop something like an ambush
for when they arrive. Captain Moroni is a prime example of the
scripture, "if ye are prepared, he shall not fear". He knows that as
long as he is physically prepared and he relies on the Lord, they will
be given enough strength to conquer their enemies. And one of my
favorite scriptures describing Moroni is Alma 48:17. It says, "17 Yea,
verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever
would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have
been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the
hearts of the children of men." I think that verse says it all. I hope
everyone has a good week!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Week #20 - In the Field

Well, it's been a sweet short week since the last time I talked to you
guys! Not too much has happened, just a lot of street contacting and
checking up on potentials. I had my first sacrament meeting in the
Shirlington Ward which was pretty sweet. Our church building is super
old and small so it's kind of like I go to church in a historical
site. Pretty dang cool!

On Friday I had my MRI for my knee which was pretty weird. It felt
super weird to have to lay there and have to be dead still for like 30
minutes. It almost felt like a little massage with all the waves
hitting my leg. Kind of peaceful actually. I almost fell asleep! I
have a doctors appointment this week to see what exactly needs to be
done. I'll let you guys know.

Since not too much has happened this week, I want to talk about
something I studied this week. It was in alma chapters 36 & 37. It was
Alma's commandments to his son Helaman. He recounts the story of when
he was visited by an Angel. He talks about how as soon as he
remembered the words of his father, he was freed from the pain and
anguish he was feeling. It's amazing how he just remembered the words
of his father. There have been so many instances in my mission where I
have been faced with two choices and the voice of my father comes into
my head and gives me council on what I need to do. Even if I remember
something he said a few years ago pertaining to a completely different
scenario. I'm so thankful that I had a father who gave me good council
and prepared me for the real world. I'm extremely blessed. I hope
everyone has a great week! Love you guys!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Week #19 (In the field) - Transferred - Lots of Pictures!!

I feel like I haven't emailed home in forever! It's been such a crazy
week and a half with transfers, a wedding, a baptism, and a general
authority visiting! There is too much to write about! I'll start off
with the wedding and baptism. Mike and Tamika's wedding was absolutely
amazing. It was so awesome to see them get married and start their
journey to an eternal family, then on Saturday it was an even greater
experience to see them get baptized. I was able to baptize Mike and it
was such an amazing spiritual experience. It made me so happy to see
all the progress and hard work that they have put into changing their
lives finally pay off. I'll have to try my best to keep in contact
with them especially now that I'm in a new area. I can't wait for Mike
and Tamika to be able to go to the temple and do baptisms for the
dead. It will be an awesome time for them and for their family.

On Thursday we had our transfer meeting. I ended up getting
transferred to a new area. I'm now serving in the Shirlington Ward in
Alexandria. It's right below falls church. So it's not really far away
at all. So far, I really like it here. My new companion is Elder
Hudson from Gilbert, Arizona. He's a pretty cool kid. It's been pretty
nice, we get along really well. He played sports in high school which
makes it easier to relate to him.My new area is a bike area, so I will have

to get a bike soon so I have a way to get around town.

At the beginning of the week we had Elder Perkins of the Seventy come
and visit our mission. That is why we had to switch our Pday. I was
able to meet with him on Tuesday of this week and he was able to give
us some awesome instruction on how to be better missionaries! It's was
a super long day, it went from 8am to 4pm. It was super cool though. I
was able to learn a lot and we got to have a question and answer
session with him at the end and he answered a lot of really cool
questions. It was kind of just the topper to an awesome week!

So, this past week I went to the doctor after I kind of tweaked my
knee playing basketball at the mission home. They took some x-rays and
the doctor did some tests and he said I have a torn ACL. I have to go
get an MRI on it tomorrow to see exactly all the damage that has been
done. The doctor said I probably did it about a year and a half ago
just playing high school ball but I have just learned to kind of deal
with it and play through it. He said since I've had it for so long
that he doesn't think I'll need to get surgery right away and that I
can probably wait till after the mission to have surgery. I will let
you guys know what happens when I find out. One thing is for dang
sure, I'm not coming home. They will have to physically pick me up and
put me on an airplane to get me home. I'll keep you guys posted on the

This week I've been able to do a lot of pondering on the fact that
Heavenly Father gives us trials to mold us into the person he wants us
to become. I feel like I say that to people all the time whether it's
an investigator, less active, or a member, I always tell people that.
I've never really thought about it on a deeper level. Everything we go
through is for our benefit. That's the hardest part about life is
seeing the good in every bad situation. I'm horrible at seeing the
best in the situations but it comes with practice. We may not know why
we are going through a trial in the moment, but after you go through
it and look back on it, you can see how it has helped you. That has
been a theme for me this week as I've thought about things I've
struggled with, missing home, having no investigators, tracting all day, not getting fed by members, etc. the list goes on. But as I look back now I can see how I NEEDED to go through some of
those things to make me into the person Heavenly Father wants me to
become. It's a beautiful thing! I hope you have a great week!

Elder Leishman