Monday, December 17, 2012

Holy Moses!!!

Dec. 17, 2012
What's up everybody!?
Another week come and gone already!?!??? Hahaha, it's crazy! Although I can't help but keep looking at the bigger picture and saying to myself "I have a looooooooong ways to go still!" Haha, but it's all good. Just take it week by week, and it's going pretty quick when I'm able to focus! So let's get started! Haha

Just one week 'til Christmas! That's definitely exciting, i'm interested to see just how Christmas is done for missionaries out here. It's gonna be sweet for sure! And only 4 weeks until Breanne is gonna pop? That's crazy!!!!! And so exciting! I can't wait to see pictures!

So mom mentioned the RLDS and I can't remember what I said last time to be honest. But there's some other things that I think I missed. The must frustrating thing that I've run into with them is that they ALL believe that "we're on the same page" or that we believe the same things. And when they have that mentality, they aren't willing or open to accept the TRUE gospel into their lives. So they make for some TOUGH investigators. We just got a new couple that we are teaching. We found them just a few weeks ago, I think I mentioned it? Manuel bought Elder Stephens and I lunch at McDonalds. But they haven't been free until just 2 days ago. So we're teaching them a little bit right now. It's very tough because they just want to talk about the similarities between our religions. I tried asking some inspired questions but they seemed like they weren't interested too much in talking about OUR side of the gospel. So we'll see if we can get somewhere with them.

We also found 4 new investigators this week, so the Lord has definitely blessed us! Hopefully now we can do our part, and teach them the way He would want us to. But we took them to the visitors center on Saturday, and they were all REALLY interested. We took them through God's plan for the family. It's a short presentation, about 15 minutes. But anyways, it was a super good lesson, we plan on seeing them again real soon!

So the people want to know if I ever serve on the visitors center grounds? I'm not sure exactly what you mean, but let me see if I can make it clear. As far as I know the only people that take people through the presentations are the Sister Missionaries. They train for that for a long time, because I guess there's some memorizations required. And the only other people that serve IN the visitors center are the Senior couples. However, we can bring in as many investigators as we want, and come through the presentations with them to answer questions. But as far as like... working at the visitors center? We don't do that. So I hope that helps you guys! I probably should have mentioned that huh?

LETTERS!!! Holy Moses! I got 6 letters on Saturday!!!!! 6!?!?!? Way to go! Hopefully you guys can keep that up eh? Hahaha, just kidding. But I REALLY appreciate it! I love all you guys! I'm going to write back just as soon as I can ok? That was sweet. Let's try and keep that going! I need all of your encouragement! It really helps me out! Thank you guys so much!

OH! One last thing, I met Elder Walker just yesterday. He trained my MTC comp. Elder Norton! It was definitely great catching up with him, and talking about good ol' Elder Norton. It was awesome! We got the chance to work with him too, he leaves tomorrow so he was just with us for a day. But that was a super cool experience, he's a great guy, and a great missionary too!

Uhm.... lets see... I think that's all that I wanted to share with you guys. I sure hope that's enough info to keep you going for the week! And if not, please feel free to write me! That way I'll know what more I can say!

I love you all!
Elder DeFreese
P.S. Let's keep that challenge going ok? Invite someone to church this week! Bring someone that Christmas spirit!

Me and Elder White, he dies this week. (goes home)
Sweet car we saw outside of Wendy's!

Monday, December 10, 2012

No way!!!!

Dec. 10, 2012
Hey there! This message brought to you from the land of the frozen chosen! Haha, I heard that term a couple times this past week. Pretty funny! Ha, anyways. Lets get started!
So to talk about those new investigators that I found with Elder Stephens, no we haven't seen either yet. We tried to contact Becky but she hasn't been home when we came. So we'll keep trying. And Manuel is super busy right now, and he has asked that we come next Saturday (not this coming one, but the one after). So hopefully we'll be able to get in touch with him and start the journey! Haha. There are a lot of RLDS people out here, and I thought that would be tough. But it's... different. They believe in the Book of Mormon and everything, they believe in Joseph Smith. So for the most part we just have to get them to read the B.O.M. More, and pray about it. And pray about our teachings of the prophets that WE have. (for those who don't know, they believe that the prophet should be a descendent of Joseph Smith). So it's a whole lot of praying and hoping. Kinda different than most other investigators. In some ways it's a little easier. But in other ways it's a LOT harder.
My mom said she loved what I said about Fast and Testimony meeting last week. And she said something interesting. She said that the silence can be good, because everyone is just feeling the spirit and being still. But I just wanted to say that, when you feel the spirit, and it's telling you of the truth of something... Testify of it! Get up there! The time is yours to help others come unto Christ. I know for me it's real hard to get up there, but think of it this way. All you do is testify of the truth right? How hard is it to get up there and testify about the truth of Gravity? Try your best to get up there and testify with the power and knowledge you have, because it helps not only yourself grow, but everyone else that can hear you. Hopefully that makes sense, I have no idea.
I sure hope everyone is taking my challenge to invite and find others in your ward boundaries to come to church! When we bring others to church, we are that much more in tune with the spirit, and that much more happy, because of what we are bringing to these other people. Do what you can to get others involved. I can promise that as you do, you'll feel that joy and happiness that comes from bringing the Gospel to others.
Glad to hear you guys got snow! I really miss the snow! We haven't gotten any snow at all yet. Some rain, some mist and stuff. But that's about it. Up until about Thursday we have been having really mild weather. Around 60 degrees most of the time. But the past couple days has been more around the 20's. Every single day is super cold, and it's pretty windy out here too, so the wind chill comes into effect. Apparently it barely ever snows here, that's what i've heard. So i'm a bit dissapointed, I really miss it! But I really love it out here too. There's squirrels all over the place out here!!!!! Have I mentioned that?? It's ridiculous!! Haha, super cool though!
Glad to hear that Braden passed his Motorcycle driving test and everything. Would have liked to hear that from HIM though! Hahaha, jk I get it. You highschoolers are "super busy" hahahaha! Nah, I bet he's pretty busy with everything.
Mom said something about the sister missionaries, about how they're increasing a lot? Oh trust me, we've HEARD! Haha, in the MTC that's almost all anyone talked about. I'm not sure if I told you guys, but the number of applicants jumped 471% from the day of the announcement, to the 24th of October. Super crazy. But while I was there, there were about 25 18 year olds already in the MTC, so that was way cool! And we've heard that we are getting a huge influx of 18 year olds around March. So that's going to be very exciting.
So this week has been pretty slow to be honest. Most of our teaching appointments fell through, and a couple investigators dropped us. So our teaching pool is REAL low right now. So this week we are going to hit the streets hard and try to find some investigators. Hopefully the Lord will bless us this week. Or perhaps we need a bit more than a week of trials? We shall see! I suppose that's all, I keep forgetting my notebook to tell you guys all about my week. I'm sorry! But at least we kind of have the pictures figured out right? Anyways, I'll try to be more informative next week. Also, I got ONE letter this last week. Kinda dissapointing, my comp. got 2 packages and 6 letters, so I honestly felt a little left out. But hey! I know you all have a LITTLE bit of time, so don't be scared... WRITE ME!!!!!! Hahahaha, I could use all the support I can get! I love you all, and please take my challenges seriously. Bear strong testimony, and invite others to church.
Elder DeFreese.

Are you kidding me?!?!?!?!​???

Dec. 3, 2012
Hey everyone!
I know not everyone will get the title, but I used to say it very, VERY often. Haha! So I'm a little upset because I wrote down a bunch of stuff that I wanted to talk about but I forgot it back at the apartment. Shoot! So I'll go through my moms e-mail, respond to some stuff and hopefully I'll remember most of what I wanted to cover.
Mom asked if I play sports here more than I did at home. Well... back home just before I left I was playing basketball a good hour or two per day so the answer would be no. We play sports every P-Day, and then if we're lucky there's a special occasion in the week that the mission pres. allows us to play. The Turkey Bowl being one of them. But we do play a lot of sports on P-day! Probably a good 4 hours worth of playing. Basketball here.... lately it's been kind of a joke. Sometimes the Polynesians come and play with us, but lately they haven't. So it's just been the elders. Some of them don't really play very hard, and a lot of them don't play to win, they play for fun. And those of you that remember playing with me, I play to win! So it's a little frustrating at times, but I really do enjoy playing anyways. I just have to tell myself that it doesn't matter! But it's basketball, so it matters more to me than it does to them. Anyways, I love it regardless of how much we play, or how hard we play. It's super fun!
Hows Elder Nelson out in Taiwan?! Last I heard he was doing pretty great, I wish that I could hear from him more often! But I know this will get to him somehow so... Elder Nelson keep up the good work! And don't forget who you are, or who your best pal is! I love you man!
Sorry everyone else, had to do it! haha,OH! Fast and Testimony meeting was SICK!!!!! WOOH! I'm sorry to say, but it feels like I'm getting a little ashamed of my home ward. But this fast and testimony meeting was so awesome! Bro. Orr (2nd counselor bishopric) said the time was theirs til 5 after the hour. And the second he said Amen, 20 people shot up! They got in line, and all those people filled the remaining time! Each individual person had a very strong testimony, and great stories too! so to explain why I'm a little ashamed of our ward I would just like to say this. I KNOW each of you has a strong testimony, just like Independence 3rd ward out here. And when that fast and testimony meeting comes? Don't be afraid to get up there and share what you know! What can it hurt? Anyways, I hope some of you take that message and remember it next fast and testimony meeting.
Oh yeah! Another thing I need to talk about is the exchanges that we just went on! Well... not just barely, but it was Wednesday. What an exchange is, is one missionary companionship such as mine, and the Zone Leaders (or assistants to the pres.) Will switch companionships for 24 hours. So I stayed here in the Independence zone, while Elder Hayes went to Blue Springs. I got paired with Elder Stephens, who is about 6 foot 4? Ish. haha, he's a super cool, way nice guy. He's been out about... 14 months? So yeah, he's awesome. We did a lot of tracting, and contacting, and laughing. Haha, it was super fun. We got 2 new investigators. 1 is Manuel, a strong believer in his faith, but willing to listen to our message. We won't be able to meet with him for 2 more weeks though. He's out of town. And then Beckie, she is super cool, late 20's with an RLDS background. Anyways, the exchanges went really well and I'll try to send some pictures from it in a sec.
Another week come and gone! I miss all of you, and I really hope to hear from you guys soon. How is Shawn Bulow doing? Haven't heard from that guy in a while. Miss him! Please don't be afraid to write me! I promise I'll write you back, it might take a while, but I will! Anyway, I hope to hear from you soon, and I love you all!
Elder DeFreese

Just doing my studies.

Merry Christmas!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 26, 2012
Well hello there everyone! I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, and possibly made some sweet black Friday purchases? I remember we aren't usually too big on going to those black Friday things. Too crazy! Haha, but from what I hear everyone is doing great! I think I'll comment on what Mom said about thanksgiving first, then I'll share my experience. Sounds like it was super quiet for you guys! Bet you're really missin' me and my craziness now! Hahaha, just a few people and way too much food! Haha, sweet!
So my experience was... changed at the last minute! The way it works is in church we pass around a sign up sheet for the members to feed us missionaries, and the Samoan family that had signed up to feed us, only meant to sign up for the Sisters, so they didn't know they were feeding us too! They had only made stuff for the sisters because they were headed to a big family gathering somewhere more south. But that's ok! We ended up eating at the Mendoza's another member family, and they are, as you can probably guess, Hispanic! So we had a Hispanic Thanksgiving! Maybe it was close to what Don eats? I have no idea. Probably not, I actually liked the food a ton! There were these things... i don't know how to spell it but I think it's Posolitos, they are these super good things filled with meat and peppers and stuff. I had like 6 or 7 of 'em! But other than that it was a ton of turkey, they had 2 full turkeys! Also they had a bunch of rice, beans, and soda. Me and Elder Hayes got into an eating contest, which I won by a full half a plate! haha, but he is still pretty adamant that I cheated because I had to take a bathroom break. But it was super fun, they had a lot of family over, and they had a lot of food! Way nice experience. Ok, let's see... I brought a list of topics I wanted to cover so let me go to the next one on the list!
G-Brown! Hahahaha, this guy is super crazy! Haha, he's a member of the 7th day advocates. So they have church on Saturday. But he has an INSANE knowledge of the bible, and he spouts out scripture and doctrine all the time. But the other day he was talking to us, and we were trying to talk about the Book of Mormon and he wouldn't listen. So we let him talk because he wouldn't let us! He started talking about Mama and Papa Lucifer (basically, men and women who are OF the world) And how they are servants of Satan. He had us read an entire chapter from Matthew 25 I think? I don't remember specifically, but the whole time he's nodding along saying stuff like, "amen brotha!" "praise the lord!" All that stuff, and he's talking about how he has to love everyone. Being a commandment. So he's talking about loving mama and papa Lucifer, and us being Mormons, he says, "You're Mormons, you my brothas, but I still gotta love ya!" Then randomly while we're talking. Mid sentence he just stops us and says, "Lets pray brothas!" So we prayed right there, super weird! haha, next on the list...
Mckay! He's another Poly guy. Super cool, future missionary! I'm not sure when he's going to turn in his papers or anything but he's working on 'em. But we play basketball with him every P-day, and last week I beet him one on one and he's pretty darn good! haha, maybe he let up on me a little eh? Anyways, He is a super good guy with a real good testimony. Solid missionary for sure!
Then we have Pizza Street. This place is awesome!!! For 4.50 we can go here and have all you can eat, pretty decent pizza and it's real close to where we live! We have eaten there like... 4 or 5 times already! It's so GOOD!!!!!! Hey Don do you have one of those?? Hahahahaha... just kidding! But it's really good, and super cheap, that's why we like it.
Our ward is AMAZING! I feel a little embarrassed about our ward sometimes. Let me explain. These guys are ALL ABOUT missionary work!!!! Every single Sunday, and every time we talk to a member, they are always asking how they can help, and asking about our investigators. We have so many people who want to help us that we just don't have enough investigators! Haha, but we're definitely trying to get some more real soon! So, as far as our ward goes, I know that we barely ever had missionaries over there. I don't remember seeing them that often. But that doesn't matter. We are ALL missionaries! So my advice to you guys, is to really focus on those less actives that are in or around wherever you are. I can promise you that you will find joy and happiness in bringing those people to church. Not only bring them to church, but ward activities! I encourage all of you to bring or invite one person to church this coming week, and see the blessings that come from it! We can all do missionary work, even when we aren't serving.
AH! I almost forgot to talk about the Turkey bowl we had! Our ward and 3 companionships of the missionaries in our area got together to play football! There were enough to have 4 teams of 5 on 5 going. It was super fun! And I got to show everyone how fast I am, they were really suprised! I scored a lot of TD's! haha, Elder Hayes is a QB... or at least he was one in High school. So he was having a ball tossing to me. It was way fun, and I think we had a good bonding experience with the ward members.
Hm... I think that's about everything I wanted to cover. I love you all! And I really hope to hear from you guys soon! Don't be afraid to write me a letter! Haha, anyways, I love you guys, and I hope this week goes well for you.
Elder DeFreese
P.S. I'm trying to get some pictures, my camera doesn't work so Elder Hayes and I are trying to figure something out. I'll try to send them in another e-mail in a minute...
 Left to Right, Elders Brady, Johnson, and Norton, my MTC roomies!

District at the Temple, first P-day!

District behind the Temple, 2nd P-day
Our MTC zone at the temple

Typical MTC food
Our christmas lights!

Elder Moss and I, we got to be really close friends in the MTC

District shirts!

Temple in KC Missouri!

Elder hayes and I with the finished product of our service to Kip.

Good Morning!

Elder Hayes, Kapono, and myself at the Visitors Center

Workin' Hard!

Thanksgiving results!
30 oz. steak with Bro. Dooley (member) we each took half though! Haha
Kips house with the lights and our contribution to his decorations

Gospel mad libs?

Come ON!!!!!!

November 19, 2012
Hey everyone!
Well lets see... I'm gonna try to do this the best way that I can remember. I forgot my journal so I just have to go off memory. But lets see... I can't remember specifics really but I'll do my best. As far as our investigators and less actives are going, it's going fairly well! Kip (less active) has come to church now twice in a row! So we are definitely excited about that, hopefully we can keep that going. However, none of our investigators came to church, so we are kind of bummed about that. Oh well, we'll work with them on that. Another less active, Kenny (I told you about him right?) anyways, he's doing pretty good. Last we talked to him his girlfriend had broken up with him so he was a bit torn up. We played basketball and catch with him and he really seemed to appreciate it. His mom does too, for the most part it's just the two of them home all the time, so she could use a break sometimes.
There's the McCaslin family! (Paul... did I talk about him last time?) Anyways, they are doing much better than last time. He's one of those guys who could talk for hours and hours about anything at all, and we barely get a word in edgewise. But this time his wife was there, which is a huge help. She tells him to shut up all the time, because he has a lot of questions and she says, "How do you expect them to answer when you just keep talking??" But she's awesome. I feel like if Paul wasn't there she would be right close to baptism! But we're working with them a lot. Paul has a lot of questions about either really small details of the gospel, or super like... deep doctrinal questions. But I feel really good about him.
Jeff is also doing well, last we taught him was on Sunday, I'm not sure what I said about him. Anyways, we have talked to him a little since then, he's really busy so we can't have set up meetings all the time, so we call him sometimes. But he sounds like he's doing really good. He has a genuine desire to just know the truth, and we have it! I hope he can get his answer soon, I think once he gets that answer, he'll be baptized in no time!
Andy is also doing well! Last time we had a chance to talk to him he was getting back into working and everything, and he was happy about that. But he's worried that if he goes any further with the Gospel that his wife will not like it, and they'll move apart. But we're going to try to teach him soon, and hopefully calm those fears. He's a super nice guy, and I believe that he has a strong faith in Joseph Smith and the gospel and all that. He's a very awesome guy!
Hm... OH! Hahahaha... the McDaniel family. Awesome family, they are a part member family. But they are way nice, and super awesome. We go over there a lot, and kind of hang out and teach lessons, they seem to be pretty receptive. They just need to take that step to come to church. We are working on that. But anyways, I'm pretty sure that the girl Carli (we gave her a blessing last week, did I talk about that?) anyways, I'm pretty sure she has a crush on either Elder Hayes, or both of us! Haha, it's kind of weird, she messes with us a lot, and she tries to sit as close as she can to us. I try to like stand up and walk over to a different spot but she keeps messing with us and stuff. Oh well, she's a good person and everything. She'll get over it! Haha, but me and Elder Hayes joke about it all the time, but I'm pretty sure she likes him more. Haha, funny stuff!
We had zone conference this past week! Not at all what I expected! Haha, but whatever works I guess! It was super cool, lots of talks and lessons, food! It was a super spiritual experience and now we are all pumped! I can't wait to get back out there! I saw a couple of the elders back from the MTC there! Elders Johnson, and Brady. Way cool, great guys! But they're doing super good, and they're very excited to continue the work.
I don't really know what else to say... I guess I'll just load a couple of pictures now and call it good? Oh wait, this Thanksgiving we have a dinner appointment with a Polynesian family, so we aren't going to make any other plans. They feed us SO GOOD!!!! It's awesome! Oh yeah, I almost forgot to tell you about Kapono! He's a super cool, soon to be missionary. He's a Polynesian kid, 20 years old. He comes from a less active family but he's made the commitment already to serve the Lord. He can't turn in his papers til January, but we are all psyched for him! I can't wait to see where he's going. He's also a part of the family that's going to be feeding us on Thanksgiving, so that's cool. He comes with us sometimes when we teach too, and he's got such a great understanding and knowledge of the Gospel already! It's crazy! But anyways, that's all I can think of. I haven't received many letters yet, send em in! You know you want to! Haha, but those of you who have sent me something, thank you so much! I really appreciate and look forward to hearing from all of you! Hope to hear from you soon!
Elder DeFreese
So here's some pictures... ok maybe not. I'm so sorry! The Library here has a block on all USB stuff, so... I'm going to try to figure that out for the rest of the time that I have, but it's not looking good. I really wish there was something I could do! Anyways, I'll try my best to get those pictures to you guys soon somehow...


November 12, 2012
Hello from Missouri!
Crazy stuff! I guess I'll start with the plane eh? Our plane was very small, only like 50 people or so? Maybe not 50... I dunno maybe 30? Anyways, really small plane. They tried to seat the missionaries next to someone who wasn't a missionary which makes sense, but I was seated next to a man named Jim, he has a company here in Missouri and he was coming for a business meeting. I talked to him for a little while and he didn't really seem to interested, but since I had to wake up at 4:45 that morning I really felt like I needed a nap. So I put my head on the wall and I fell asleep for a good hour or so. When I woke up, Jim was taking a nap too, I had planned on talking to him a little about our church and stuff but I didn't want to wake him up. He did wake up a few minutes later though, and he immediately started asking me questions! I did my best to answer them, he was asking mostly about missionary work. He is a member of the Baptist church I think? But he really knew the bible, and we talked a bit about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Way cool guy, but I told him that I would pray for his business meeting and hope that it went well and everything and I wished him well. As we were leaving I gave him a pass along card about the site, and invited him to go to it to learn more. He seemed pretty interested in that, and I hope that he went to it. After that the day was mostly uneventful, We went to some places but we didn't really stay long. We went to the temple, and took some pictures and ate lunch, but we didn't really do much there. Afterwards we went to the Liberty Jail, very spiritual place, but again, we didn't stay too long. Then we went to the Mission home and kinda got settled in and ate dinner and had a meeting. We each met with the president after taking some more pictures, and in my meeting with him he told me about my comp./trainer (Elder Hayes) and he sounded like a really cool guy. Then he told me that I would be just across the street from the mission office! So my area is Independence Missouri, very cool!
So lets see... shall we talk about Elder Hayes? OK! haha, He's awesome! Elder Hayes is from Bountiful Utah, and he played football and baseball for them. So he's a sports guy, which I am SO thankful for! Also he's really sarcastic and really funny, so we are working very well together. We haven't taught too many lessons yet, but that's OK. This area is kinda hard with the Community of Christ church and everyone like that. Not too many people really accept us. But that's OK! Elder Hayes and I are getting along great, we're working hard and loving it! Lets see... The people. Well we hang out with Kip a lot, he's a less active member who works at the car wash down here, and he drives us places if it's too cold or far for our bikes. (yeah I'm in a bike area!) He's really cool though, we do a lot of service with him, and we got him to church just yesterday! So hopefully we can keep him coming. We have dinners pretty much covered in this area, the people are really helpful and generous as far as dinners go. So don't worry about me eating! We taught a family... I forget their last name! But anyways, the son (Kenny) is a member, although he has downs syndrome (spelling right? NO CLUE!) Anyways, he's way cool, but for the most part we just do some service for them, the family isn't home much and Kenny gets pretty lonely. So we shoot hoops with him for a while and then teach a quick lesson. We also taught Andy just yesterday before dinner. He really believes in the gospel but he's having a hard time because he just had back surgery and he's been in rehab for about 6 months, but he's going back to work today! His wife is also really nice, but she doesn't want anything to do with the gospel. So it's tough because Andy wont commit to anything because he doesn't want to ruin his marriage. So we'll be working with him on that. We taught Jeff as well, that was after dinner last night. He is an RLDS member, and he has a lot of knowledge about the scriptures. So he believes most everything that we do, but we are working with him as best we can. A very cool experience though, Elder Hayes and myself were in Priesthood meeting and the Bishop (Bishop OLSEN! Cool right??!) Anyways, Bishop Olsen asked us about an investigator that we were teaching. Both of us immediately said Jeff at the same time, and the Bishop had everyone write down his name, and include him in their prayers! Cool experience right?! The spirit workin on us already! So hopefully he lets the spirit work on him as well. After that we went over to the McDaniel's family and we gave the daughter Carli a blessing, she has been having a problem with her ear, she had surgery on it but it's still bothering her. We gave her a blessing and she got really quiet, you could tell the spirit was working on her, and she could feel it. We all could! But that was really cool. So that's about our investigators so far!
My first day here in the field, I had to buy all my sheets and pillow and stuff, and yes mom, I had enough money! Still do! But I bought all that, as well as some food. But other than that the first day (with Elder Hayes I mean) was really uneventful, we went and bought stuff that I'll need, and before I knew it, it was time for bed! But we've been working really hard, trying to get stuff done! I'm so mad though! Today being a holiday, most places were closed so we were going to have to write tomorrow instead. But we found a place that's open and everyone wanted to write, so here I am. The reason I'm mad is because I left the cord that would connect my camera to the computer! Sorry about that! So unfortunately again, no pictures. Sorry everyone! But I'll get them as SOON AS I CAN!
So what's going on with everyone!? How's Braden? What's going on in school and everything? Dad, keep up the sports input, I love it! How's work for you dad? Mom! I sure hope that your trip has been great, and I hope work isn't too hectic when you get back to it! Jason and your family, how's the house? How's Hailey and Jack? Sean and Fam! What's up with you guys!? And Bre and Drew, how was the anniversary? I feel like I haven't talked to you guys in forever! I'm sure missing you guys! So I realize that you guys probably don't have my address huh? Well let me just get that for ya! I gotta hear from you guys!!! Especially Alex, I haven't heard from you in way too long! So here it is, 517 W Walnut St. independence Missouri 64050. So what questions do you guys have? I hope I filled you in enough, I'm sure mom will write me another book of questions real soon though! Haha, I sure hope to hear from you guys real soon! Keep me in the loop and I'll try to do the same! I love you all and I hope all is well with you guys!
Elder DeFreese


November 5, 2012
Hello everyone!
It's been a whole nother week! Crazy right? Not really, it's all the same here at the MTC, lots of class, lots of teaching and lots of eating! Again, the pictures won't load up to these computers so I guess for now I'm just going to try to load up some photos next P-Day when I'm in Missouri! Other than that I guess I'll have to send my SD card when I fill it. So hopefully that works out well. Can I just send it in an envelope or does it have to be in a package? So this week I wrote down a couple things that I thought I should mention. Hopefully this system works out well. First on my list is Come Thou Fount. As a district we sang that for our last Sunday devotional. Would you believe that I was the most powerful singer there? At least, that's what everyone told me. I'm thinking about singing that when I get home. So yeah, I actually sing here. It's different though, when it's our district I feel comfortable really singing loud/proudly. But when it's in a big congregation I feel more self conscious so I just sing quieter. But I sing! Weird right? Haha, but yeah, Come Thou Fount is probably my favorite song/hymn. Even though it's not in the hymn book anymore! But that was probably one of the most powerful experiences I've had here. The spirit was really strong while we sang that, it was AWESOME!!! Next is the package I got most recently, with the Vanilla Coke and Dart guns! Those guns are a huge hit over here, everyone loves messing around with em! Way fun! Thanks so much, that really brightened everyone's day! The coke is crazy delicious, I really missed that. I have... 5 cans left? Yeah, I'm trying to drink all of it before I leave because I don't want to pack it. That would more than likely explode all over everything! Also this week Elder Norton and myself got to teach a lesson on repentance. He had the visual side of things and I had the discussion part of it. It was going really well, everyone was into it, and with about 5 minutes left I was starting to bear my testimony. The spirit was strong in the room, and just as I was starting, Pres. Whetten (branch president) cut me off to tell me to stop. So the lesson was pretty much ruined after that. But it's ok, I think everyone got something out of it. Elder Norton is... really slow. We are late to almost everything! He seems kind of oblivious to what's going on around him. Like when we're leaving the class room it takes him about 5 extra minutes to get everything prepped to go to our next class/appointment. But it's ok, he has an amazing knowledge and testimony of the Gospel, and I appreciate and love him for sure. HOWEVER, sometimes he's really fast at getting ready and he loses me! Like on Friday for in-field orientation (I'll talk about that in a second) right after a lesson/class, he left immediately without waiting up for me. I knew where to go though, and I knew where he would be. So I got to the next room and lo and behold, he was standing on the stage looking for me! If that's not enough, get this. I walk right up to him, make eye contact with Elder Norton, and motion to sit down. Somehow he doesn't really see me, and he goes outside to look for me! So I finally catch up to him and he says, "Oh there you are! I've been looking all over for you!" But it made a good memory, I love this guy. As far as what In Field Orientation is, it's basically training on stuff that we haven't really gone over. So that was definitely helpful, for the most part we went over a lot of different ways to contact people besides tracting. Like different locations, settings, all that stuff. And we practiced the Baptismal interview as well. So for the most part In Field orientation is basically just training in all of the stuff besides teaching. But It went really well. Brother Glazier was the head of the whole thing! I'm not sure if he talked to Mom or Dad yet, but he saw me and we talked a little bit. It was way cool to see someone from Springville! Anyways, I'm not sure what else to write, that's everything that was on my list. OH! So I'm leaving for Missouri Wednesday, my flight leaves at 9:50 AM, but we are probably going to be getting there around 7 ish, so mom its possible that I will see you. Just a heads up, the most I can do as a missionary is give you a quick handshake and walk away. So to save us time, If I see you first I'm honestly going to turn and walk the other direction. I don't want to make things harder on you. I'm going to be giving you a call either when I land or before I take off, I'm not sure when yet. So yeah, I'm leaving pretty soon! Anything else? I have no idea, I can't really think. I'm writing from in the laundry room again. There's a bunch of computers close to the machines, so once you get your stuff in a machine you can hurry and write. The cycles are about 35 minutes so it works pretty good. But it's also really distracting. Oh well! It's simple and easy. Uhhh... I didn't win the Dear Elder contest! It's 6 in one day, and I got 5! So we've still got time! Send me some dear elders please! I really need em! Anyways, I love you all and I hope to hear from all of you real soon!
Elder DeFreese

Holy Moses!

October 29, 2012
Dear Everyone!
First, I want to say that for every e-mail I'm going to try to say something funny or something that I used to say back home, in the subject line. Hopefully that makes it more enjoyable :). This week has been pretty busy, it's the MTC! I honestly have no idea what to write, I feel bad. But lets see... I don't know what I talked about last time so if I repeat myself I'm sorry. The food here is great, but if you don't eat enough fruits and veggies it really messes with your system. It tastes good, and there's usually 3 or 4 different things that you can choose from. So the food aspect of things is great. I'm really loving my district, and everyone here really. I feel like I'm really getting to know everyone better, and I feel like they're getting to know me better. And we all love each other! These guys are awesome, and they love me too I think. Who knows! haha, so lets see.... classes are getting frustrating. We teach 3 times a day usually, sometimes more. And we have a LOT of stuff to study, and read, and memorize. It gets a little overwhelming at times, but it's all good. Every Sunday we all have to prepare 5 minute talks, so I'm getting used to that a little bit. Braden, I think you'll be happy to know that I'm doing a lot of the voices and characters that we used to do, with my fellow elders here. They really like a lot of em. So it's fun :). I feel bad too, these computers are so frustrating. I've tried for the past like 10 minutes to try to get these pictures attached, but the stupid computer can't read it. So I'm going to have to wait until I get into the field, or just fill up the SD card and send it home. Maybe when that happens you could send an e-mail out to some people with the pictures. Also, could somebody PLEASE dear elder me Elder Eyring's segment on the Fellowship of the Unashamed. While we're on the subject of dear elders. SEND ME MORE! I gotta beat our district record of 6! We have a little competition going on here, so you guys should help me out by winning the district record, AND letting me know how you're doing!!!! Alex especially, I gotta hear from you! :( Now that that's taken care of. Lets see what else should I say... P-days are.... different. I don't know how to describe it here. But there's a lot of free time, but not really a lot for me to do besides study. So that's what we do for most of it. Right now I'm in the laundry room, and that's kinda weird. It feels really different writing you guys while everyone is like, reading over my shoulder. But that's ok, they're just jealous! When you guys write me, ask me questions! I really have no idea what to say, I feel like I'm rambling on about nothing important. We have listened to a lot of great talks and read them too, and we have taught a lot of lessons. I feel like I'm really starting to get the hang of it. But in all reality I bet when I get into the field it's going to be a big punch to the face! I'm going to really be humbled by my lack of knowledge! Haha, but it's ok. I don't know if I have said this to you guys yet, but I say it a lot here. This Gospel is a learning Gospel, I'm not going to have a perfect knowledge of it even if I studied like a missionary for my entire life. But we keep pushing on :) What's going on in sports? What's going on with Braden? I really have no Idea what to write you guys... I feel bad. Please send me Dear Elders! OH! Mom, I REALLY appreciate those packages and stuff, BUT. It's really really hard to eat/share everything here at the MTC, everyone else is getting candy and goodies from their moms too, and so they're full all the time. Also it's really hard to find the time to eat, because we aren't allowed to have food in any buildings but our bedrooms and the cafeteria. So I really appreciate all that you have sent, I'm just saying that I may not get the chance to eat it all. That doesn't mean don't send anything! Maybe just... less? How about a coke! I'm really thirsty up in here! Basketball is going great by the way, we have some nicknames going around. Everyone gets the first name of a hall of famer (or their nickname) and then the last name of a current NBA player. My nickname is Magic Bryant. Everyone calls me Kobe though, which I appreciate. I feel like I'm doing pretty well against these guys, and they're mostly pretty good athletes. So hopefully that does a good job of explaining things, and I really hope that you guys dear elder me. Handwritten letters are always good too. I feel like I'm begging you guys to write me... don't feel any pressure but I could sure use the encouragement. :) Yeah... I have no idea what to say, so I'll end it here. Hope all is going well, I'll continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers!
Elder DeFreese

First P-day

October 22, 2012
Hey everyone!
I only get half an hour to write/read your e-mails and stuff every P-day so Dear Elders would be best. ( Anyways. My first day was pretty good, it's been crazy busy from the start. The first day was crazy, we had to teach in our very first class, that was a little stressful but we got through it ok. My companion is Elder (Mikal) Norton, he's a great guy and a good missionary. For those of you back home who knew him, try to compare him to Tom Setzer. That's the closest comparison that I can come to. A little socially awkward but he's still got some very cool ideas and such. And yes, he's kind of a nerd. :) Me and Elder Norton are getting along pretty good, so far it's a bit tough at times to help him set up a real lesson plan for our investigators (so far we are teaching 2, but we are getting a few more real soon on top of those). He really likes to speak/teach by the spirit. Which is good, but at the same time we have learned and experienced what happens when we don't have a good enough outline or plan for our lesson. We have run short on almost all of our lessons so far. But that's ok, that's something that I need to work on, it's not about the time really. It's about teaching with the spirit as your helper, the spirit shouldn't be what you base a lesson on. But we're learning, so i'm trying to stay positive and not get down on myself or our companionship too much. My teachers are really good so far, and they are all return missionaries as well. So they have first hand experiences to teach us with, which is awesome! Oh by the way, Elder Norton is from South Jordan so, he's a Utah boy just like me :). My district is awesome too, I'll try to upload some pictures to this e-mail but idk, we'll see. My district is comprised of 8 elders whose names are, Elder Brady & Elder Johnson (roommates) Elder Ross and Elder Rojas (Ross is our DL). And Elder Everitt and Lowry. They are all great people and super cool missionaries as well. I think that me and Elder Brady get along best, but really if you can remember I'm very friendly to everyone, so hopefully they all feel pretty close to me. But whatevs! OH! Jason, (or anyone I guess) can you please send me a letter or dear elder about the Fellowship of the Unashamed? It's the one that was in that copy of the scriptures you gave me. The handwriting is a little hard for me to read, but I get most of it :) I really love it! DON! You'll be very happy to know that your letter has kept me here at the MTC. Friday was my hardest day by far. I was getting really homesick and I was really overwhelmed with all the information and I was depressed about how slowly I felt like I was progressing. BUT, I read your letter once I got back to my room, and it really calmed me down. And I just want to say thank you. I really don't know what to write other than that... the food is great. HOWEVER, it really messes with my digestion and it really makes me feel sick. One of my teachers suggested more fruit and stuff like that, and since then I eat a bunch of fruit along with my meals and that balances it out very well. When you're feeling sick and stuff like that, it's very hard to focus on the spirit and what you're learning so that has really helped me out a lot. Thanks for the package, and my silk PJ's mom, that was very nice. The pistachios I don't have much opportunity to eat, but i'm trying to eat them at night. Our study time is in our classroom so we're not allowed food or drink in there. So besides the cafeteria I can only eat snacks in my room. I'm really bad at writing e-mail right now, because I don't know what to cover really. SHOOT! I forgot my camera in my room and I only have 5 minutes left. So i'm really sorry but there won't be any photos this time around. But just know that i'm doing well so far, and this Gospel is a learning Gospel, so just like me, don't get frustrated if you feel like you don't know enough :) I really love you all and I hope to hear from you soon! Please remember to Dear Elder me! It's much faster, and I could really use all the love and support you guys can send!
With Love,
Elder DeFreese