Monday, January 30, 2017

Week #86 - "Is the pudding ready?"

So many great things have happened since last Monday, I don't even
know where to begin. We saw a ton of success working with members of
the ward this week. We had a double spilt Tuesday,Wednesday, and Thursday 
nights. That means that we got 2 priesthood holders from the
ward to come out with us and I went with one and Elder Williams went
with another. It helps when you are double booked on appointments. So
we were able to get twice the amount of work done those nights. We had
a couple lessons with the recent convert twins, Adrianna and
Gabrielle. They are awesome. Probably the cutest little 9 year olds
ever and they know a lot about the gospel which is good. We didn't get
too many appointments in with our investigators which was kind of a
bummer but we will get 'em next week. But we did have a family come to
church this week that has been investigator for about the length of my
mission. So I was super pumped about that!! 💪🏼⛪️

Wednesday we had a Worldwide Missionary Broadcast. It was awesome. We
were trained on how we can better "teach repentance and baptize
converts". I really enjoyed it. It was very informative and answered
some of my questions on how I can finish my mission strong and be
effective while doing so. At the end of the broadcast they introduced
to us some changes to our missionary schedule. I'm really excited for
this. It's giving us a lot more ability to choose how we spend our
time. I'm excited. It also means that pday started at 8am, and who
wouldn't want a longer pday?? 🕺🏻I'm super excited for the changes
they made to our schedule. I feel like it will be a lot more

We also had interviews with our mission president this week. It's
always great to sit down with President Huntsman. He's so awesome. The
topic of our interview was on repentance and president had asked all
the missionaries, prior to their interview, to come with their
favorite scripture on repentance. So I came with Isaiah1:18.. If you
don't know what it is, go look it up.👀 It's great!

All in all, it was an exciting week. I'm so grateful for the awesome
experiences I've had so far. As a little side note from this week, I
started the Doctrine and Covenants challenge. I'm not sure if other
missions or missionaries do it. But basically, you start the challenge
when you have 138 days left on your mission and you read a section
every day so you will finish it on the last day of your mission. So I
started that this week. I'm through the first two sections. I'm
excited to dive into the Doctrine and Covenants!!

I hope you all have a great week! I love and miss you ❤

Quote: "There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will
have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again
before we reach the mountaintop of our desires." - Nelson Mandela

- Elder Leishman🕴

Ps. I'll give someone a quarter if they can guess the movie quote in
the subject of this email. 😌

- Elder Leishman🕴

Week #85 - Another day, another dollar

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a great week. Mine was very
eventful. We had a little stoppage of progression with our
investigators that are on date to be baptized. But no worries, we will
get them back rollin here in no time. Just gotta trust the process!

I had the opportunity of going on exchanges in the Manassas 1st Ward
this week, my old area. It's funny because one of the missionaries
that was in my zone when I was ZL there is now my ZL. It's funny how
the roles have reversed lol. But it was so nice to be back. I miss
that place so much. It was great to see some of the members I used to
visit with as well. Shout out to Sister McIllece for having us over
for dinner that night! In the evening, I was able to go visit the
bercians. The family that got baptized while I was there. Man, I miss
William and Brian bercian. They are like my little brothers. But we
had a good lesson about serving in the church. In the middle of the
lesson, William told me that he made the decision that he is going to
serve a mission when he turns 18. Nothing made me more happy!!

On Saturday night around 10:15pm, one of the members of the bishopric
texted us and said that one of the speakers for Sacrament meeting had
called in sick. So they wanted to ask me if I could give a talk the
next day. It was a blessing to be able to speak in the fair oaks ward
again. I love it here. I'm so grateful to have the support of our ward
and I am glad I got the chance for them to hear and know that I have a

I heard there was something big that happened in DC on Friday? Haha
jk, there was so much commotion about the inauguration this week.
People were coming out of the woodworks, but I heard it went well. I
can always say I was in the DC area when Donald Trump was inaugurated.
Pretty cool.

I hope you all have a great week! ❤️

- Elder Leishman🕴

Brian, myself, and William Bercian

Monday, January 16, 2017

Week #84 - Best Week of the Mission (for real)

This week was probably the best week of my mission. I'll give a brief
run down of what happened with our investigators then I'll talk about
our mission Conference. So we still have our investigator, Yolanda, on
date for February 11th. She's still out of town but should be back
soon. We put our investigator Kristin on date for January 28th, which
is super soon but she's so ready to be baptized. I'm really excited
for the work that's been going on. We have had a lot of success
teaching the past couple weeks. I'm so glad Heavenly father is
blessing us with work to do! We also had zone Conference this week. I
love getting instruction from president huntsman. We have a lot of new
rules coming out in our mission. It should be exciting to turn our
mission into the "Washington DC South 2.0" mission. We gotta take it
to the next level with our work and our obedience!

Now let's get to the good stuff Saturday, we had a double mission
Conference. Our mission and the Washington DC North mission. We all
met at the Mt. Vernon Stake Center. We were joined by Elder Ronald A.
Rasband and Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve
Apostles. There were some members of the Seventy there as well. All
together there were about 10 General Authorities if I had to guess.
They were all in town for a military fireside which was going to be
held Saturday night as well as a YSA Stake Conference which they
would preside at on Sunday. . And so while they were in town, the
requested to meet with the missionaries in the area. We started off
the morning taking a mission picture with both of the brethren. That
was awesome. It was like as soon as they came into the cultural hall
for the picture, it got silent. You could hear a pin drop. You could
tell as soon as you saw them that they were servants of the Lord Jesus
Christ. Elder Rasband talked to us about how we can invite our
investigators to repent and how that is the most important thing that
anyone can do in this life. Elder Ballard promised us that if each of
us talk to at least 10 people everyday, our mission will teach and
baptize more than we have before. I thought that was pretty awesome to
hear that promise come from one of the Apostles. The spirit was so
strong all morning. It was literally like a spiritual thanksgiving
where you keep going back for seconds and thirds and fourths. I'll
never forget that day for the rest of my life.

A pretty cool story, so prior to the visit with the brethren, the
weather forecast showed that we were going to have snow, rain, and
freezing rain. Well, Saturday morning rolled around and we had a
little rain but nothing else. I thought that was pretty cool. But
wait, it gets better. The next day at church, we were talking to our
bishop about the whole experience and how the weather calmed and what
not. Now, our bishop, who is a marine, went to the military fireside
on Sunday night with the Apostles. And while Elder Rasband was talking
to them, he told a story about how before all the events that were
supposed to happen this weekend, they saw the weather forecast and saw
that it was going to be horrible weather. Well, he said that him and
Elder Ballard both prayed together, out loud, and asked to Lord to
calm the elements so they could still meet with everyone. And what do
you know? The weather wasn't bad at all and we were able to meet with
them. How awesome is that? Miracles are real, that was one that I
witnessed this week.

While still riding our spiritual high from meeting with members of the
Quorum of the twelve, elder Williams and I prepared a presentation
that we would be giving at our wards Mission Prep. We had an
invitation from our bishop to preform the haka for all the youth that
were preparing for missions. And so if anyone of you are poly or know
what a haka is, you'll know how special it was for us. Well, all week,
elder Williams and I practice the haka in preparation for Sunday night.  
Sunday night, we talked to the youth and tried to motivate
them to be warriors, to enlist in the war that is going on right now
between good and evil. Then at the end, we did the haka for them. It
was such a spiritual experience and elder Williams definitely killed
it and I tried my best to be as "non-palangi" as I possibly could. We
went all out and you could tell the youth know what they needed to do,
they knew they needed to become the warriors that we were changing
about in the haka. I'm so glad I got to be a part of that tremendous
experience. Someone took a video of it that maybe will get sent out at
sometime haha. But if not, I'll attach the pics we took afterwards.

To top it all off, we went to the temple this morning. What a great
way to end off one of the best weeks of my mission. I'm so thankful to
have a temple that I can attend so close by. I'm so blessed to be a
part of this restored gospel. The gospel is true. This work is true. I
stand as a representative of the Lord, Jesus Christ and I know that he
lives and he has his hand in the tiny fragments of our lives. I love
and miss you all. Have a great week!

- Elder Leishman🕴

Elder Williams and I after our Haka at our ward Mission Prep class

- Elder Leishman🕴

Monday, January 9, 2017

Week #83 - Prime time

This week was awesome. It started last Monday when we went to manassas
to play some football. With the new rearranging of the stakes, the
manassas 1st Ward is back in my zone so we can go there on pdays. We
set up a time to go play some football Monday morning and as we
were pulling up, we got a text from the elders we were meeting up with
saying that they were going to cancel because of the rain.....
weak👎🏼. We would have played rain, snow, or shine. That left us with
a lot of free time so we decided to go visit some of the members in
the Manassas 1st Ward. We were with elder Simpson and elder Thompson,
elder Simpson served in manassas recently so it was good for us to
catch up with the members there. They are awesome!! I felt like I was
at home.

Here's where the good stuff comes in. So Tuesday  at district meeting,
we did a practice teach of putting an investigator on date to be
baptized. I decided I would practice for our investigator named
Yolanda, who we had a lesson with that same night. So we do the
practice teach and I don't really think much of it. But we go to the
lesson that night and we were teaching her the plan of salvation and
as soon as we got to "Our life on earth" the spirit hit elder Williams
and I and said we need to put her on date. So elder Williams sets it
up real nice with a great lead into the invitation and then I invite
her with a specific day, and she says, "you know what, yes! I will
prepare myself to be baptized on February 11th!" Man, that was one of
those awesome mission moments that I will always remember. We are
super excited for Yolanda, she's going out of town for a couple weeks
but, we are definitely excited to help her prepare for her baptism on
February 11th!

Tuesday night we got to go play some basketball at the church.
Every Tuesday  they have a whole bunch of nonmembers come out and play
with them so we got permission from our DL to go out and play. It was
super fun to get back on the court and hoop. I'm terrible now
though... the only thing I had going for me is the spot up 3 👌🏼I
won't ever lose that.🔥 it was a lot of fun though.

On Saturday, I hit an exchange with my boy elder Simpson. It was sick
to be with him, we hadn't gone on an exchange in about a year. Crazy.
It snowed on Saturday  so we got to trek through the snow on foot. It
was pretty fun. It has been FREEZING cold though. I'll never take for
granted the 115 degree heat again. I miss it. This kind of cold
freezes your bones... but hey, I did get to use the snow boots that
grandpa Leishman sent me last year. They were pretty handy to have.

Funniest part of the week was when elder Williams was trying to walk
across a log that had fallen over a little river and he fell in😂😂
ill attach the video. He walked around for like the next hour and a
half with wet pants... poor guy.

We found out this week that President Huntsman is changing our mission
schedule. Particularly the mornings and pdays.  He changed pdays so
now they will start at 8am instead of 10am. He switched a couple other
things around, I'll send more about it next week when we know more.

I hope you all have a great week. I love you all! ❤️ Isaiah 52:7

- Elder Leishman🕴

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Week #82 - New Year, New Companion

Happy New Year!! I can't believe it's 2️⃣0️⃣1️⃣7️⃣(2017 for those who
don't have emojis)!!🎊 Man, where had the time gone? I feel like this
past year flew by in the blink of an eye. I'm very excited to see what
2017 has to bring. Here's to another great year🍻

Many things have happened since last Monday. On Tuesday night, elder
Arritt and I found out that we wouldn't be companions anymore. He was
getting transferred to the Fairfax Ward. Which is only one or two
wards over. It was sad not being with my son anymore. He is a great
missionary and a great friend of mine. He is a stud. My new companion
is elder Williams. He's from west valley city, Utah. He's super sweet.
He's been out for about 6 months so he's starting to get the hang of
things. His family is from Samoa so we are going to have a great time
together. He likes to play sports like basketball, football, and
volleyball. I'm pretty excited for what's in store.

Thursday afternoon we had transfers. It always tough to see some of
your friends go home but then it's fun to see new missionaries come
into the mission. It's like a never ending cycle haha. But after
transfers we had a zone meeting and then headed off to our area to hit
the pavement. We had a good evening. We walked for a long time... 🚶🏻

The rest of the week was mainly filled with walking around the area
and introducing elder Williams to our investigators. We had some good
lessons as well. One with our investigator named, Celia. She's
awesome. She is one of our members hospice Nurse so we teach her in
their home every Friday. . We talked about the plan of salvation this
week and she had a lot of questions that we were able to answer. We
had another lesson with one of our investigators named Sharon. She is
very sweet but doesn't see the need for organized religion. We had a
good conversation with her about why and how Christ established a
church when he was on the earth.

We had a pretty cool miracle happen Saturday night. We got a
referral for this guy named Islam. And in the information it said
"Brother Islam needs a ride to church but doesn't have a car or a
phone" so we decided to stop by his address. We caught him at home and
were able to talk to him for a bit. He is the only member of the
church in his family, the rest are Muslim. And the rest of his family
doesn't like that he is a member of the church. He just moved to our
area from Annandale where he said he used to go to our church but
stopped going about 2 years ago. He said he can feel the difference in
his life when he is going to out church and when he isn't so he wants
to start going again. It was about 7pm when we met with him and we
told him that church started at 9am the next morning and he said he
wanted to go if we got him a ride. So we made a couple calls and got
him a ride. Fast forward to the next morning, we go pick him up with a
member and he ACTUALLY came to church. It was pretty amazing. He had a
good time and was able to meet a lot of members. We are going to try
and hook him up with a job here pretty soon.

All in all, it was a great week. I learned so many great things and
saw so many miracles. I know that this work is true because I see the
hand of the lord everyday. I hope you all have a great week and a
Happy New Year!!

- Elder Leishman🕴
- Elder Leishman🕴

Week #81 - Merry Christmas🎄

Merry Christmas everyone!!🎅🏿☃️ I hope you all had a safe and
enjoyable week. There are so many things to be grateful for during the
holidays. I'm so thankful for those of you who sent me packages or
Christmas cards. They were all awesome. You know, I never really proof
read through my emails. So I'm sorry if these get repetitive or
boring. I feel like I'm pretty candid about everything on my mission
and I don't really plan on changing that anytime soon. I'm not one to
sugarcoat anything so I'll just give it to you how it is.  I have so
much to write about this week so this might get long... but it will be
pretty interesting so keep reading 🙏🏼

Last Monday, we went to the Dulles air and space museum which is on
our ward boundary. We were with elder hardy and elder Finlayson. It's
was a pretty chill pday. I hadn't had one of those in a while. It gave
me some good time to relax and take a deep breath. Which I definitely
needed to get through this week.

On Wednesday, we had a district Meeting and did a white elephant gift
exchange. Afterwards, we took some Christmas district pictures. It was
pretty fun. But in the evening on Wednesday, we went up to the temple
visitors center with some recent converts in our ward. It was such a
great time. We got tickets for the concert in the evening and enjoyed
that. We got to see all the amazing Christmas lights again and feel
the special spirit with comes from the visitors center. The little
girls that we were with were super cute and went up and sang with some
of the performers. They sang, "Let it Go" (basically my favorite
song). It was super fun.

Thursday brought us some fun experiences as well. We were able to go
up to the visitors center AGAIN!! It was super fun! We went with one
of our investigators this time. It was crazy busy that night because
it was Polynesian night. I think every Polynesian person in northern
Virginia was there. So the tickets to their show went super fast and
we weren't able to get any right when we got there. We had to walk
around and find people with extra tickets. Luckily, we were able to
find 2 extra tickets and our investigator was able to go watch the
show with one of the members we were with. While they were in the
show, I had the opportunity to talk with Hermana Acosta (DC Temple
Visitors Center sister missionary) who i know from back home. She put
me to work talking to nonmembers around the VC. It turned out to be an
awesome evening. Both of our nights at the visitors center were pretty
late and we didn't get home till late. But it was all worth it. The
spirit is always so strong when you have the opportunity to take an
investigator to the VC. A pretty cool experience happened while we
were talking to some nonmembers in the VC. We started talking to this
Asian couple who said they loved the lights and had never been up
there before. We got talking about their religious background and they
said that we could send missionaries over to their house to teach them
more. So we asked them where they live and they said "well we live in
Virginia" (remembers the temple and visitors center are both in
maryland) and i said "well, we live I Virginia as well. Which part do
you live in?" And the wife said "Chantilly" and I was like "no way!!
That's where we live. We live in the Chantilly/fairfax area." It was a
super cool experience. come to find out, they only live about 4 blocks
away from our apartment. Talk about coincidence..... I think not.

We also got to see sister gutzwiller and Nancy (members from
quantico). They were visiting the VC that night as well. It was so
good to see them again. They are awesome!!

Christmas Eve was another exciting day. It definitely doesn't feel
like Christmas as a missionary. It's like, I see all the decorations
and Christmas lights but it doesn't feel the same. Next Christmas
should be awesome. In the evening, we had a couple awesome dinners. I
did not go hungry which was a huge blessing. The food was amazing and
the company was even better.

Sunday (aka. Mom's birthday, aka. Jesus Christ's birthday), was
awesome. We had church for only 1 hour but it was a great hour. We had
one speaker and then we sang numerous songs, the spirit was very
strong as members of the ward bore their testimonies about certain
songs and then we sang the first verse all together. There was a lot
of extended family in our ward today which made it very diverse and
exciting. I love meeting new people. After church, we went home with a
member family and they let us FaceTime our families while they
finished opening Christmas presents. It was SO good talking to the fam
bam. I miss them so much. So much has changed over the past 7 months
since i last FaceTimed with them. I feel like I'm going to come home
to a completely different family, but for the better of course. We
spent the rest of Christmas with members and ate lots of good food.
I'm definitely going to need to add an extra day of cardio in this
week for how much food I ate the past 3 days. 😷

I had a lot of time to ponder on Christmas Day, especially after I was
done talking to the family. I love talking to them but talking to them
gave me a sense of what is going to happen in a couple months. And I
know every missionary who has ever served can say that Christmas is
the most trunky day of the year. Yeah, thats was exactly how it was.
Talking about apartments and school and dating and what not really got
me thinking...But it made me think about how much I really do love my
mission. I love every single day, even the tough ones. And let me tell
you, there are way more tough ones than there are easy ones. It made
me think about how honestly, I don't really want my mission to end.
Thinking about all these stresses of everyday life like work, school,
dating, more school, all those things just make me so anxious and
stressed. I'm not looking forward to any of those things. I love my
family and will be excited to see them but the mission really is the
best reality anyone could ever have. I hope and pray that I can
fulfill all that my Heavenly Father has in store for me these next few
months and he won't let me get to stressed or anxious thinking about
what lies ahead.

On another note, president huntsman called the whole mission last
night and announced that over this past weekend, we were able to reach
our yearly goal of 300 baptisms as a mission. Yahoo✊🏼 he also
announced something pretty dang sick and if you made it to the end of
this email, you will be one of the few who realizes what awesome
things lie ahead for us. President announced that he was talking to
Elder Gerritt W. Gong of the Presidency of the Seventy and he said
that he wanted to come and visit our mission on January 14th. He also
said that he wanted to bring some of his friends with him, Elder
Ronald A. Rasband and Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the
Twelve Apostles. WHAT!! How cool is that? President called the
missionary department and asked if something like this has ever
happened and they said no. Never have 2 members of the quorum of the
twelve visited a mission together along with a member of the
presidency of the Seventy. That will be 3 men in High leadership
positions in the church visiting with us on January 14th. I'm beyond
excited. That will probably be one of the coolest days of my mission.
Pumped!! 💪🏼

Transfers are this week, I am always excited to see things get split
up and moved around. Should be fun! Talk to you all next year!! Much

- Elder Leishman🕴

At the Air and Space Museum with brodies

Zone picture

District Picture

At the temple visitors center

At the temple visitors center with the cutest 9 year olds ever.

Sister Calverts hat that I might need to borrow.

- Elder Leishman🕴