Monday, March 30, 2015

Week 86

I can't believe it, i am totally famous by association! Special shoutout to Grandma Tingey for saying the prayer in General Conference!

It's been a pretty awesome/stressfull/exciting week! First things first, Mr. Xu got baptised! haha that was probably the most stressful part of the week. He doesn't speak any english at all and his accent is extremely hard to understand, but somehow we were able to communicate and get everything figured out. He is awesome. He's only been in Australia for a few months and one of the recent converts in our branch introduced him to the missionaries and he's been committed to the church since the very beginning. He's had to quit smoking and drinking, the week he was SUPPOSED to get baptised, his wife tried to come to australia and something happened and she got deported and now can't come for like 3 years, and yet he never wavered. He pushed back his baptism because it was too much to handle in one week, but it was always in the plans. It's amazing to me how people can change like that. The power of the atonement is so real. Elder Ward perfomed the bapstim and it all went really smooth. I had to give the talk on the gift of the holy ghost and that was pretty stressfull, but i think our branch president just likes me or something because he got up after me to give the final welcome to the branch and he said that my mandarin is better than his... not true, and it's easy to sound fluent when you're reading a talk and you have help from a native to write it... haha oh well. Cool fact about our branch president, he was the first person set apart as a sealer in the Hong Kong temple.

THis past week we were able to find 6 new investigators! It was awesome. It's strange to me how sometimes people say yes and sometimes they say no, and we spend so much time trying to figure out how to "find by the spirit" and to "find those that are prepared" and i've noticed that it's very rare, if ever, that i feel i am prompted to talk to a certain person. More often than not, if i just do my job, never avoid the chance to share the gospel, and pray for opportunities, i find myself looking back and seeing where we were led by the spirit to find someone. Hindsight is a beatiful thing, and i know that Heavenly Father has used us as tools in his hands this past week and that is a wonderful feeling. We were walking home one night and we started talking to this old chinese couple that was taking their grandkids for a walk and they were so excited that we could speak chinese that they were both trying to talk to us, but they had the old chinese person yell thing going on so everyone was looking at us and we walked with them for a while and then, when we invited to learn they just laughed and said, "okay bye bye" haha so we crossed the street, but there was a girl that had been walking behind us and she crossed with us and asked us where we learned our mandarin. So we started talking for a bit and walked with her and invited her to learn and she said yes! so we met with her yesterday again and taught the whole restoration, and gave her a book of mormon and she agreed to read it and pray about it and if the answer is yes, then she'll get baptised. That was a cool experience for me. Her name is Joy and it would've been really easy for us to just walk back to the flat because it was already past 9:00 but looking back, i know we were guided by the spirit to find her. and for some reason teaching her just seemed to flow really well. The different principles we taught all seemed to fit together really well and we could apply them to her life and it all just felt like we had help from the spirit. And that's what it's all about. that's one of the best feelings in missionary work.

We met up with our man Tierry on thursday up in redfern at a park next to the Sydney University campus. (That campus is huge and it flies the rainbow flag...) Tierry is about 26, studying engineering and is keen as a kite. His only problem is that he can't come to church because of his schooling. I think he does experiments or something on sundays with his class. We had an awesome lesson about God and our relationship to him and how he can help us in our life. And i think i've decided that my favorite thing to teach people to do is how to pray. It's so simple and yet you know as you're teaching someone how for the first time that it will change their life completely if they embrace it. I've learned a lot about prayer over the past couple months. I love it so much. Tierry told us he's excited to pray and we're meeting with him again this thursday.

We met with Irene on friday morning. She's hilarious. The first time we talked to her was in the train station and we asked her if she'd ever been to church and she said yes so we asked her what she thought and she just got the biggest smile on her face and said "it was really cool". haha so we're hoping to get her to come to church with us. We got about 1/4 through the restoration and she asked us what the book of mormon was so we did what PMG tells us and we adjusted our lesson plan for her and talked for pretty much the rest of the time about the book of mormon and where it came from and how it can help us and we read Moroni 10:3-5 with her and invited her to read and pray and invited her to be baptised and she said she needs to learn more before she makes any big decisions so hopefully she keeps the commitment to read and pray.

Matt is doing good. he had an interview yesterday for the aaronic priesthood so he should be getting ordained next week. They are planning a big trip to the temple for all the recent converts in the branch so we're trying to get everyone ready for that. Lots of exciting stuff happening!

Love you all! hope yous have an amazing week:) I love being a representative of our saviour and his gospel. It's a burden that's heavy, but it's really worth it. I feel like i've grown a lot the past couple weeks here and i'm excited for what the coming weeks hold. Can't believe the transfer is already half over. by the end of this week i will have about 4 months left....crazy! love you!!!!

-Elder Tingey

Me, Bro Xu, Elder ward, and Matt

Week 85

Good morning everyone:) Hope you all have had a great week. Ours was pretty roller-coastery. It's okay, though because the goods outweigh the bads. hahaha it's funny how change, especially in mission life, gets rid of some of our challenges, but it deals us a whole new hand to play with. and no matter where you go, you can't get away from challenges because that's what it's all about. haha chinese has been beating me up recently, but it's given me a different perspective on things. Elder Ward gave me a quote from Muhammed Ali where he said "i hated every minute of training, but i told myself 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion'." How awesome is that?!?! suffer through it now, and celebrate later. It's all worth it.

Elder Ward and i tried something this week that i haven't tried my whole mission. Morning train contacting! haha it was great! we did it twice and got 5 phone numbers from it. We met with two of those people this weekend and one of them is really keen to learn. Her name is Chloe. She's been to church a couple times and is really interested to know about it. and she's studying Statistics at Sydney University! haha so i gave her a high-five and told her that's what i want to study. She said it's really hard.... hahaha oh well. if it's not hard, it's not worth it, right? But we talked to her about God for a while and moved it into the restoration. It was a great lesson and we'll be seeing her this week again, hopefully.

Matt got confirmed yesterday! he is now a full-on member. We just need to get him the aaronic priesthood and into the temple for baptisms for the dead. He is the man. He's given up a lot to get to where he's at right now. i look up to him a lot. I can't remember how much i've told yous about him, but he's 27, doesn't speak hardly any english. he works with drywall or something. i couldn't understand when he was telling me. but it's hard labor and he used to smoke heaps, but he gave it up, and he is doing really well. he asked if he can pass the sacrament ever so we are going to talk to him about the priesthood tonight. keep praying for him!

We met with a recent convert, brother Yin on friday night and he is awesome. He just got the Melchizedek Priesthood last week and apparently he's given the missionaries like 3 referrals that have all gotten baptised. And our investigator, mr. Xu, who is supposed to be getting baptised this weekend, was a referral from him. We talked to him about the kingdoms of glory and he told us the he thinks he will be going to the terrestrial. this led us to a long talk about enduring to the end and it was so cool because he expressed to us how difficult it is to endure to the end. And he's right. It's really not easy. He said if it was endure for a couple days, or a couple months, that would be easy, but until the end is a long time. That's something i've thought a lot about because i've both heard of and seen missionaries go home and NOT endure to the end. So i've been worried about that happening to me. It's definitely not easy to live the gospel, and i know it won't be easy when i come home, but as i sat in that kitchen with brother yin and elder ward i realized just how valuable the celestial kingdom is. It's worth every effort and sacrifice necessary to obtain it. We suffer now, and live the rest of eternity champions!

Another investigator we met with on saturday was Carol. She is pretty interested in learning about God and we gave her a plan of salvation pamphlet last time we saw her so we went over it with her. She told us that it was hard for her to believe that we will be resurrected. so that was sad for us to hear, but we kept talking about the plan of salvation and then we brought up eternal families and her eyes seemed to light up. she suddenly had a bunch of questions for us and it was really good. We finished the lesson and realized that looking back on it, it was the most all over the place lesson we'd had in a long time, but we both felt it went really well. We invited her to church but she told us she'd been to church before and it was too boring..... dangit. hahaha its times like those where i realize why people like Hillsong do what they do... haaha oh well. we'll get her there. there's a special invitation sunday coming up in april so we will get her there.

Love you all! have a great week! church is true! love you all very much. Miss you like crazy. i talked to sister back this past week and they are for sure doing a group going home on august 11 so i'm not sure but i think i will probably go in that group just so i can have a couple weeks before school starts. i think that would be nice.

Elder Tingey

PS one of the ladies we teach english looked up our church on the internet and ended up on the website for taiwan and she asked us about our slogan.... so i didn't really know what she was talking about but i guess they stress this a lot in taiwan: 没有任何的成功能够弥补家庭的失败 no success can compensate for failure in the home. Good stuff.

here's the four amigos on our way out the door. i had a picture of the harbor and the opera house, but my SD card just freaked out and all my pictures got deleted! dang it! but the only ones i lost were the ones from this past week because i have a backup USB! haha thinkin smart. so i'll get another pic of the harbour this week and send it to yous.

Week 84

Holy cow it's p-day again. That was possibly the fastest week ever. maybe it's because i don't know what's going on half the time, or maybe it's because i love it here, but time is going way too fast for comfort. We live about a 2 minute walk from the train station and the shops. our address is 15/21 West street, Hurstville if you want to google maps it. but i dont think i'll get letters much faster if you send them to my flat because we are at the mission office a couple times a week. once for DTM, once for MCM, and once for church. (the mission office is part of the mortdale stake centre) so there isn't much waiting for mail. But we live so close to the shops and train station that if ever we have a few extra minutes we go and walk around and talk to people. We have a car, but we only use it when we're going to really far places that are too hard to get to by train. so we walk a lot, and i am exhausted every night. physically and mentally. My understanding comes and goes. it depends on the conversation, but elder ward is really good with listening so we get by.

Matt's baptism was yesterday and it was awesome. they do baptisms after church here and then he'll be confirmed next sunday. President and Sister Back came and so i had to sit at the back with them and translate for them. hahaha it was rough, especially since i couldn't hear very well, but it worked out okay. haha and then i had to give the closing prayer and i was so nervous because i've never prayed in chinese in front of that many people so i just kept it really simple and short, and when i said amen, our branch president jumped up all excited and started yelling chinese at me! haha i couldn't understand most of what he said because i was caught so off guard, but he was smiling and i caught a hen hao in there somewhere so i'm assuming it was a good thing. haha i love learning chinese because almost all chinese people are so happy you're learning their language that they will just give you compliment after compliment even if your chinese is terrible. Church is actually really interesting, because it's meant to be a cantonese branch, and it always has been, but the past couple years it has kindof been changing and now there's a lot of people that only speak mandarin that come. Most people can speak or at least understand both, but there's a few that can't, especially the investigators. so if the person speaking is speaking cantonese, they have someone translating into mandarin and the other way around. and there's always someone translating into english because we have an indian man and an aussie bloke who both dont speak any chinese, but they are married to chinese girls so they come to our branch. haha its cool. so i listen to most of sacrament through an earpiece. yesterday there was 1 talk in cantonese, 1 talk in english, the sacrament prayers were both in mandarin, and the hymns were a combination of all three at once. haha it's exciting. apparently they're planning on splitting it soon into a cantonese and a mandarin branch. i think that would be good. people need to hear the gospel in their own tongue.

Matt is doing really well and we're meeting up with him tonight. We have another guy on date for this coming sunday, but i haven't met him yet because we haven't been able to meet up with him so it might have to get pushed back. His name is mr. Xu. Other than that we have quite a few people we meet with. We teach a woman named Jill english. she's from taiwan and she's hilarious. not interested in learning about the gospel, but really cool. Then we meet with a guy named Tom who we teach english for half an hour and then teach him the gospel for half an hour. he's cool and we spent pretty much the whole half hour teaching him how to pronounce St. Patrick's day. haha it was great. We talked to these two girls on the street earlier this week and we met with one of them, Carol, on saturday. and the other one, Georgina, on sunday. Georgina lives in Chatswood, which is ages away so it's harder to meet with her, but carol lives here in hurstville so it's not as difficult. They are both going to university right now. We pretty much just taught about God and who he is with both of them. We meet with Jimmy, who is a malaysian gangster. haha he's the man. he took us to get smoothies and pulled a wad of fifties out of his pocket to pay for them.... hahah he's a good guy. we have mr Chan who is a very funny guy. He and his wife are investigating and he seems pretty interested. So i'll keep yous in the loop on all of them. Its pretty much china town here in hurstville so we just walk around and talk to all the chinese people. and if we're not doin that, then we're driving all over the sydney suburbs, visiting people. This thursday we are having MCM at our branch mission leader's house and he apparently lives really close to the harbor so that should be exciting. And that is why everyone wishes they were cool enough to be in Bankstown 3rd. haha I love it!

Have a wonderful week! hope sarah and john are loving having a newborn again. I'm scared at how fast time is moving right now. I've heard rumor of them doing a group going home august 11th so we'll see if that's really happening or not. Love you all! I may not be able to understand a lot of what's going on around me, but i can understand my feelings and i can feel the same spirit. The church is true. it really is. Talk to you next week! love you and im praying for yous!

-Elder Tingey

ps i got a new suit last week and it's pretty sweet. but i need to get it fitted now so i don't have any pictures yet...

Matt's Baptism 
left to right me, Matt, elder Cui, Elder Lam, Sodi, and elder ward. There was a double baptism so sodi is the other elders investigator and i replaced elder Cui when i came here and president said it was okay for him to come back to baptize matt.

Week 83

This should give you a good idea of where I got transferred to! :)

Another transfer has come and right now i am sitting at the Kogarah(pronounced cogra) library. It's technically in our area because we don't actually have an area. i'm in Bankstown 3rd branch! It's the chinese branch and we cover pretty much all of sydney. The picture i sent you is actually from the north mission. we went there last night to meet an investigator. Apparently the only way to get to our branch mission leader's house using public transport is to take the harbor ferry under the harbor bridge.... bahahaha i'm so flippin excited. My companion is elder Ward from the MTC days! haha now i've been companions with everyone from my MTC room. I really am so excited. We are getting smashed with the chinese, but it's all good. Elder Ward has been here for 2 transfers already so his chinese is pretty good. He understands a lot more than i do. Haha i'm amazed at how its possible for so many people to live in australia and survive with speaking zero english. We have 2 investigators on date right now and neither of them can speak any english. We met with Matt last night. He is getting baptised this weekend. He's the man. We had dinner and talked about his baptism. Apparently he has given up smoking and he told us that when he feels a temptation to smoke, he prays and it goes away. He's awesome. and i can't understand a lot of what he says, but that's okay. we get through. The other guy we have on date is Shu xiansheng. everyone just calls him mr shu. he was supposed to get baptised this weekend, but his wife got caught up in customs and is being held in the airport as we speak. SO we are trying to help him out because he doesn't speak any english so he needs us to translate, but they won't give us any information because we are a third party. haha it's a bit of a mess so the baptism is post-poned for a bit. but we'll get him back on. Elder Ward said he's extremely keen and he wants his wife to get baptised. so if we can get her into the country then she'll be sweet! haha  Our flat is in hurstville, which is pretty much china town. We were talking to a guy last night that was telling us that Hurstville is better than the actual chinatown in downtown sydney because it's cleaner and there's just as many chinese people. We went street contacting for like 2 hours last night and got to talk to HEAPS of people. I really love it here. It's going to be a great area. I told elder ward that i hope the next time i unpack is in my bedroom at home. I want to die here! The branch is technically a cantonese branch, but president said the long term goal is to turn it into a mandarin branch. So we'll see what we can do for that. I'll have to tell you about our investigators and stuff next week. i'm still learning it all. We have to do a FHE tonight and the family can't speak english so it will be very interesting. I guess that's the problem when you replace a missionary from beijing with a missionary from Utah.... that's alright. pray for me to get the gift of tongues! oh also, there's a group of old chinese men that play chinese chess in the park and i have made it my goal to learn how to play, and then challenge one of them to a game. so we'll see how that goes. There's a kid from hong kong in our flat that i will get to teach me and train me. His name is elder Lam and his comp is elder Fisher.

Last week was pretty sweet. It was sad to say goodbye to everyone but it was still good. I really loved mudgee branch and i hope to be able to go back to visit sometime. They have such awesome members. Very excited to serve here for now. I think it will help me not be too trunky. SHould be pretty sweet. I had a hectic experience last week that i've been dying to tellyou all about, but there's a picture that goes with it so i'll wait to send the picture to tell yous. IT was cool.

SHout out to the cutest newborn in the world right now, Gracie Hanks! Can't wait to meet her! haha i'm pretty sure it's like totally against the rules to have a child while your sibling is on a mission, but i guess i'll get over it. Love you Sarah and John! Congrats!

Have a good week everyone. I'm sure there are some questions so just email them to me and i will answer them for you:) WO AI NIMEN!!!!!


THis is what we call a skucks delux

This man's name is Luigi. A few weeks ago the elders in cowra told me they had someone they wanted me to meet. SO we went on trade-offs and we drove out to this tiny town in the middle of nowhere to meet him. He said he lived in sydney about 30 years ago and he used to do personal Bible studies with President Burton Tingey. He said grandpa thought his beliefs were interesting and he got him to speak at a fireside one time. He said he met grandma, but it was only once and it was just in passing. His surname is like Debelissimo or something italian like that. He was a cool guy and it was so cool to talk to him about grandpa. He said grandpa was a great man and that he taught him a lot about the book of mormon. Pretty sweet, eh?

An artsy pic of Mudgee through our dirty windshield 

Week 82

Alright another beautiful week in Austraya! (except it DID rain pretty hard a couple of the days...) Wildlife spotted this week: 1 Kookaburra, 3 Foxes, 2 blue-tongued lizards, 2 regular lizards, 1 Wallaby, heaps of Kangaroos, 1 wombat (dead), 3 Huntsmans, and a whole ton of sheep, goats, cows, horses, and llamas. Beauty, mate.

Well, we'll start with the sad news: Gary isn't getting baptised this week. His wife had to go out of town for a few weeks so we are postponing it a couple weeks. We figured it would probably be best for her to be there for it. So sadly, i probably wont be here to see him get baptised in our branch president's pool... but that's okay! i'm just glad i've been able to teach him as much as i have. He's the man. 

We had a district training meeting on friday down in orange. It was Elder Stewart's first training and he did a really good job! haha he used a quote from Ice Cube in it. hahaha if you don't know who ice cube is, he is a rapper. It was good though. the quote was, "our art reflects our reality" so he talked about how "our message should reflect our reality". it was cool. So that was really good and i was on cloud nine since i wasn't the one doing the training! haha oh the sweet release.... but i have a feeling i might get a call from president for this next transfer. we'll see, though. So since the meeting was on friday morning we slept over in Bathurst thursday night and also, a couple days earlier the bathurst sisters called and asked if i would help them out with their baptism on saturday so i agreed and they told me i would be singing a duet with sister Tauti..... yes. it happened... apparently i sing now... but anyways, they wanted to practice on thursday night so we met at the senior couple's house and practiced. and it just so happened that the APs had been on trade-offs in our zone for the past couple days and were planning to sleep at the senior couple's house that night before they drove down to sydney in the morning. Right now we have two companionships of APs. one works in the office and the other goes out and does trade-offs and they switch off every week. It's pretty cool. Elder Wu from back in the Camden days is one of them, and Elder Weller became one last transfer. He's the one who knows the Smiths. lives up near oakley. so it was elder weller and elder Tito who slept over with us in bathurst and they had some very interesting stories to tell us that i'll have to wait til i get home to tell yous. haha crazy stuff going on. glad i'm not the one dealing with it... haha sorry i really struggled explaining that.

so after DTM we had a district P-day where we went to a waterfall just outside of orange. it was cool. I'll send some pictures of it. One of the sisters in our district goes home today because she extended, but her visa expires so she has to finish mid transfer so it was kindof sad, but she seems pretty excited to go home. so it wasn't too trunky for any of us. It's weird because everyone that's been here the whole time i've been here and that have been my leaders my whole mission are going home now. My trainer goes home next transfer. It's weird. Still no word about whether they're doing a group going home a week early, but i think i'll hear soon. if not, then the 24th it will be. and i'll just get off the plane and go to class with a tag on... hahaha 

The sister's baptism went well. They had a baptismal interview they needed done so we would have been there anyways and so they figured it would just make sense for me to sing with sister Tauti. But in case you're wondering, we smashed it. haha luckily sister tauti has the voice of an angel and i just was backup. But we were having some refreshments after and Elder hill, the senior missionary asked me if we had to get back to mudgee any time soon and we didn't have any appointments so i said no and he told me he had someone he wanted me to come visit with him. It was a chinese couple that used to investigate and the wife didn't have very good english so he wanted me to speak to them in mandarin! hahaha i was soooo happy. it was great. it was a bit strange because i was the only one they were talking to and we had my companion and the senior couple there. but it was good. I got to ask them if they wanted to be together forever and you could tell it was something they hadn't thought about very much, but i think it touched a nerve. They have a young son. But i got to talk about how i miss my family very much and i am so grateful that i know we are a forever family. Which is VERY true! Love you all so much! One thing i did realise is how hard a time i have understanding people. i think that might be due, in part, to lack of immersion in the language, but we keep trying! 

Church was really good. Fast and testimony in a small branch is cool because everyone has to bear testimony or else there's awkward extra time at the end so each person in the branch bore testimony and the spirit was so strong. and then we had sunday school on the sermon on the mount. i LOVE the sermon on the mount. so good. and then in priesthood there was a discussion on whether or not Jesus was white...haha dangit. but it was okay. didn't get TOO heated. 

Going into the last week of this transfer. hopefully we can finnish it off strong. I listened to a devotional by david a bednar that was called "that we might not shrink". it was really good about accepting the will of God in our lives. he tells a story of a young couple where the husband was diagnosed with Cancer 3 weeks after they got married. and he visited them and the kid asked for a blessing and elder bednar, instead of asking if he had the faith to be healed, asked if he had the faith NOT to be healed. it's a really interesting concept. caused a lot of pondering and application to my own life. if you can find it, it's really good. 
Love you all! have a great week! 

Elder Tingey

PS tell Nathan hello for me! 

The Waterfall

Here's us at the waterfall. Elder Smith tryin to save me from temptation.

Week 81

Alright what a week, what a week. 

I've got some pics for yous from last p-day. we went on this hike to this big rock called castle rock. It's like in the midst of this big forest, and this rock just juts up and you climb it and can see above the trees. it's pretty cool so i'll send some of those pictures in a bit. Pretty sweet view. Elder Stewart hit the nail right on the head with a comment he made once. He said that "Australia has a strange beauty that involves lots of rocks." it's very true. We had trade-offs with the zone leaders and i was still in the area so me and elder Macarthur smashed it out and i was exhausted by the end of the day. Which was a problem because it was an hour each way to drive to trade back and i was knackered. But we made it home okay. man, lots of driving this week. The conference was on saturday so we drove down to bathurst on friday night where elder stewart gave his first baptismal interview for the sisters there and we slept there for the night with the dubbo and cowra elders in the senior couple's house. then we drove down to Baulkham hills saturday morning and didn't get back to bathurst again until 9:30 so we slept there and got up early and drove back to mudgee. It was a lot of driving, but i got elder Smith to drive from sydney to bathurst saturday night for me. haha i kindof conned him into it but it worked out alright. It was pretty cool to see everyone again. It was pretty frustrating, though, because the way they had it scheduled was that there was a meeting in the morning/afternoon that was supposed to end at 1 and then they would leave and we were meant to meet in a parking lot up the street at 1 and then when they left we would move our cars in, but for some reason they went over and so we ended up having to leave our cars in the parking lot up the street and walk down and then whoever was in the front of all of us started walking the wrong way so then they were calling us back and they got most of us, but some people were too far ahead and like around the corner or something so they just kept walking and they were heaps late... plus it was like 32 degrees outside and ridiculously humid and i was sweatin like a toasted cheeser! haha but it worked out in the end. but we didnt get to shake elder bednar's hand, and i think it's because those people were late... and i'm sure the north mission will forever blame us...haha oh well. i'd probably rather have 20 minutes more of elder bednar speaking to us than get 2 seconds of a hand shake... Elder Bednar was awesome, by the way. haha it was crack-up because before he started he asked one of the sisters in our mission to come up to the front because apparently her mom works in the salt lake temple and serves the apostles lunch on thursdays so she gave elder bednar some candy to give to her and he gave it to her and sister bednar stood up and told how it originally had come in a really cute little bag with a pink ribbon and she was worried it would get messed up on the flight so she told him to put it in a ziploc bag and he thought she meant to take the candy out of the original bag and put it in a ziploc so he threw the first bag away... hahaha and then he said, "the difference between men and women is that men only care the candy gets there!" hahaha it was pretty funny, i thought. Its so cool to see the apostles in a setting other than general conference because though they're still dignified and collected and servants of the lord, they are a bit less formal. it was cool. He talked about how in the church we play a game called "guess what's in my head" when we ask questions that have a specific answer we're looking for and for the rest of the conference he had hand-held microphones going around the audience and he would ask questions and he never once was fishing for an answer. It was cool. He's the man. He had us read a couple of his talks before we went and i think i'll try to send yous one because it's awesome. But we discussed things we learned from those talks and he answered any questions people had and then he just opened it up to questions and i was excited because i heard that he doesn't take people's stupid deep-doctrine questions and he's not afraid to rebuke people right then and there... but nobody asked any dumb questions. so that was a bit disappointing, but that's okay. There were some really good questions that i liked. One elder asked what elder bednar was hoping we would do as a result of this conference and his answer was really interesting. He pretty much said that he wanted us to become spiritually self reliant and to be better at helping others become spiritually self-reliant. One of the things he said was that apostles aren't here to answer all of our questions so he doesn't want to have to go visit our stake in a few years and have to help us because we've been reading anti-mormon literature or something. it was pretty cool. Another sister from the north mission asked how she can know her service is accepted of the lord and he gave D&C 97:7-8 as an answer. it was cool. he told us to memorize it so i'm going to do that. It was cool, too, because there were 4 seventies there as well and Elder Robbins, who gave one of my favorite general conference talks from october was there and as people asked questions he would invite the seventies and their wives to give an answer and then he would add his two-bits. It was just the epitome of all being uplifted and edified. I had two really stand-out experiences while i was there. I had gone into the conference with a few questions written down and i wanted an answer to one really bad so i was even raising my hand to ask it! but i was pretty far back and there were a bunch of elders in front of me with hands up and a few people around me had already made comments so it was looking really bleak that i would be picked and then this kid stood up and asked almost word for word the question i was wanting to ask. It was a weird feeling. Of all the people there and of all the questions people had in the room, almost the exact one i had got asked. pretty cool. and then near the end of the conference Elder Bednar was wrapping it up and he began to testify of the saviour and his mission and ministry and it was like the room was filled with the spirit as if  the roof had been pulled off and it had been poured in with a giant bucket. He is an apostle of God. I know it. Just like it was said of Christ, the same applied to him, that "he taught as one having authority, not as the scribes." I'm grateful to know that we are led by those who hold the authority and they are led by the Lord. i think that's a big stress-reliever. 

Love you all. Hope you're all having a great week. whether you're in Holladay, south jordan, or Ireland. and that you're praying for missionary opportunities! Elder Bednar said that missionaries are meant to be full-time teachers and members are full-time finders! 


Elder Tingey

Castle Rock

Pretty good view... oh and there's a cool forest back there too!

Gettin pretty artsy up in here.

Happy valentine's day! Thank you for the package! didn't help much with my diet, but it was still good. I only had the patience to form one heart-shaped cookie and then we used the cookie cutter. we made them at the senior couple's house on friday night. 

right after the conference.