Friday, February 6, 2015

News from Ryan


This week has been one of my best in Aber.  We have started to teach a guy by the name of Chen Gui.  He is a student from China and he is currently working on his phd.  We met him on Tuesday, taught him on Friday, and he came with us to church on sunday.  He really enjoyed it and he wants to come to church every week now!  The lessons are a lot harder to teach because he doesn't know a lot of English but we have a lot of Chinese materials.  So whenever we get stuck trying to explain a certain word we will just point at it in the leaflets and he usually gets it right away.  One of the words that we were trying to explain was Authority.  After about 5 minutes we find it in Chinese in the Restoration leaflet, show it to him, and he says, "Ohhh, like a right."  I definitely plan on using those leaflets more often.  ha 
The Family History Class that we put on last Thursday was a massive success!  We had around 18 people there and 6 of them were none members.  They were impressed and said that they were going to tell all of their friends about it.  There is a rumor going around saying that if we get enough people to consistantly come that they will build us a family history center! 
We lost our phone on Friday night.  We looked everywhere and it was no where to be found.  On Sunday morning at around 7 we got a knock on our window.  It was Brother MNountford with our phone.  I woke up that morning, walked outside and found it in a puddle.  It must have fallen out of the car when we were at his house the other day.  It actually worked for awhile and then it died .  We have had to do callins from a payphone for the past few days.  I fell like I'm living in the 60's! 
Well I hope that all of you have a fantastic week!  Love you!


I don't even know where to start for this past week.  I don't think I have ever been so tired in my life.  We worked so hard this week and we were blessed to find two new investigators Shan and Gabriel. 
Shan in from Malaysia and we first met him 2 weeks and arranged to meet him last Tuesday.  But when we showed up at his flat no one was home.  We gave him a call and he felt so bad that he forgot that he insisted that we came over for lunch on Friday.  We showed up on Friday and he made us this really good Malaysian fried rice.  He was so interested in what we taught him after dinner that he invited us to come over the next day.  So we came back on Saturday and read from the Book of Mormon with him.  He is a really great guy and I can see the Spirit working on him. 
On Thursday every team in our zone was challenged by the zone leaders to find 2 new investigators each.  We took the challenge and on Friday we received Shan.  We only had two days left and so we planned to meet someone on Saturday morning that we could get a sameday return appointment with.  We had two hours on Sat morning to find and we told ourselves that we would go to any length to acheive that goal.  With ten minutes left we were getting desperate.  We started to walk back towards our flat when Elder Elsholz says, "Look!  Chinese!" (The Chinese are usually very open to the gospel so we tend to run after them when we see them).  Right when I looked I saw them round a corner so we took off running after him.  I round the corner first and started running up the hill he was now climbing.  I caught up half way up the hill, called to him, and while trying to catch my breath introduced myself.  It turns out that he wasn't Chinese, he was Spanish and named Gabriel.  But he was really cool.  I asked if we could meet with him and right away he says, "Sure, come over at 4:30."  I was surprised that I said,"Wait, Today?!"  haha  It was great experience. 
We are also still teaching Chen and he is doing great.  He has a hard time understanding everything that people say at church so during Sacrament we told him to pay attention to how he feels.  Afterwards he told us that he felt Peace. 
The Gospel of Jesus Christ brings happiness.  It brings peace.  I know that to be true! 


We were able to Skype Ryan this week because our sweet Grandma Fillerup passed away. His e-mail was brief, but it reassured us that Ryan was doing well. He wrote:

I don't have a lot to say today because I told you so much during Skype last night.  Just know that I love all of you and I am grateful for the strength that you have shown during this hard time.  I hope that this coming week will be better than the last.  I love you! 


So many things have happened this week.  We are no longer teaching Chen or Shan.  Gabriel just got back from Poland a few days ago so we will start to teach him again in a few days.  We are also now teaching a really cool couple.  Their names are Jane and Tony.  They were being taught by the sister missionaries down in Newcastle Emilyn but they moved up into our area so we are now teaching them.  The Sisters taught them nearly everything and they really want to be baptized.  All we really have to do is teach them the last bit and prepare them for baptism. 
The Family History class is getting more and more people each week.  We aren't allowed to proselyte during the classes but we are allowed to answer any question that people have about the church.  We have already had quite a few and we are actually going to meet with a guy named Eric who we met from the class. 
I am being fed so much!  The members here are amazing and we are being fed almost everyday.  So don't worry about a thing mom!  ha  At one of our Dinner appointments, with the Richards, we played the Humility Game.  The objective is to have a normal conversation without using the words Me, I, Myself, Mine, or your own name.  Everyone starts out with 10 pieces of rice and every time you say one of those words you lose a piece.  The last rule is that you have to answer any question that is asked without lying.  It was a lot of fun. 
Things here are amazing.  I feel like I am learning something new everyday.  Only the Gospel can bring such Clarity and Happiness into someones life.  I know that to be true.  I love all of you!  Have a great week!


We have officially began week 4 of the transfer.  Last week went by so quick and so many things have happened. 
We ran into Chen again last Monday and were able to teach him on Monday evening.  He told us that he was super busy with schill and unable to meet with us.  He also told us that one of his friends told him not to meet with us because he didn't think Chen should stop smoking.  It's sad what a bad influence friends can be on a person.  But I think that it got to him because after meeting with him on Monday he has done all that he can to avoid us.  One day we were walking back to our flat for lunch and saw him smoking.  When we got closer he saw us and hid behind a car.  It was completely obvious but we just kept going like nothing happened.  We were able to talk with him since then and he doesn't want to meet with us anymore.  I'm just glad that we left on good terms. 
Jane and Tony are still doing great.  We were able to meet with them 3 times this past week.  They are really excited to be baptized and are even planning on going to the temple to be sealed.  They are so amazing. 
It also loooks like a lot of people from our branch might be moving.  The Sitty family is moving south to Newcastle Emlyn next friday.  The Barneys will be moving at the end of December and the Jolliffes are looking to move as well.  That is 10% of our branch and we will definitely miss all of them. 
Oh and I almost forgot!  While waiting for Jane and Tony outside of their flat a guy approached Elder Elsholz and asked, "Are you guys working security?"  Elder Elsholz looks at him as if confused and said, "Uhhh..No."  The guy then immediately asks, "Do you know where I can buy some cocaine?"  haha  Elder Elsholz looked so freaked out and quickly told him no and tried to explain that we were teachers for our church.  Before Elder Elsholz could finish the guy interupts him by saying, "Come on!  Hook a brother up!"  Right after saying that he notices our badges and starts to walking away while barking at us. 
Well I had a great week and hope that all of you did too!  The Church is true! 


Elder Elsholz and I will be staying in Aberystwyth together!  It was completely unexpected but that is what happened.  I am glad to be serving with him again.  He is a good missionary and we have set some high goals and expect to see miracles this transfer.  One of those goals is to beyond Exactly Obedient.  We want to go beyond of what is expected of us.  President Thomas S. Monson once said, "Obedience brings blessings, but Exact obedience brings Miracles." 
This past week has been a good example of how obedience can change everything.  We decided to start with our morning schedule.  Instead of waking up at 6:30 we decided to be exercising by 6:30.  That did require waking up earlier but it did give us more energy when we used the full 30 minutes that was given to us.  I have noticed that energy help carry me throughout the day.  And as a result, we taught more double the amount of lessons and were blessed with 5 new investigators.  The things that we changed may look small but at the end of the day they made a huge difference.  I would even say that this past week has been my most fulfilling and successful.  I love my mission.  I love serving the Lord.  I love seeing the gospel change others lives. 
I love all of you!  Have a great week!


We were able to Skype Ryan again after the passing of our Grandpa Fillerup, and it was such a comfort to hear his voice. (And we love the English 'loads' word choice.) Here were his remarks:

I am hanging in there.  I know that Grandpa is in a better place with Grandma by his side.  That brings loads of comfort to me. I have already felt him and Grandma.


I feel like I have a lot to catch up on and I don't even know where to start. I am still in Aberystwyth with Elder Elsholz and we have seen a lot of progress the last 4 months that we have served together.  We Whitewashed the area.  That means that we pretty much had to start with nothing when we came in.  We didn't know any members, we didn't know the area, I was driving with no idea what I was doing, and we had no investigators.  We went from teaching 17 lessons in our first transfer to teaching over 40 this transfer. 
This past week we were able to teach 4 New Investigators and one of them even made it to church!  Her name is Ruth and she is so awesome.  We met her last week while street contacting and told us that she has wanted to strengthen her relationship with God for a long time.  She said that church was a little different from what she is used to but she still enjoyed it. 
Calum is another one of our New Investigators.  He is at Aber University studying International Politics.  He told us the his friend lived in Canada with a Mormon family and that his friend couldn't say one bad thing about him.  He was the nicest guy and he invited us back to his flat for the next day.  We went by the next day and we startted talking about the Restoration.  He said that it all made sense and that he would read the Book of Mormon.  He then said, "It took me a long time to understand the Bible but the understanding came and so did it's truth.  I will not just toss this to the side because this can be true as well."  He is what we call the "dream Investigator" 
Another guy that we are working with is named Brandon. When talking with him he described his belief and faith in a very phycological and scientific way.  And everything that he said matches what we believe.  He just had a very roundabout way of saying it.  ha  His response to the Book of Mormon was really funny.  We usually commit people to read a little bit everyday and to Pray about it.  He just grabbed it and said I'll read it, you'll just have to give me a coulpe of weeks.  ha  He is so Elect. 
We are working with a few more but time is short.  I would just like to say that I love my Mission.  I love being able to share a message that helps people understand that God still speaks with us today.  That He loves us enough to call another prophet to the earth to clear up the confusion that man has brought into the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I know this message to be true.  I have seen it bless my life and those that I have taught. 
I love all of you so much!  Have a great week! 


It doesn't feel like the holidays at all.  I almost feel like it can't be without being home.  And it's just bizarre how fast they came.  We have quite a few Americans in our branch so hopefully we can get together for a nice Thanksgiving meal.  If not, I'll just go to KFC.  ha I miss you too.  I hate not being home for holidays.  It's not the same.  I did get a new companion.  His name is Elder Ruttan, he is 6 months out, he collects rocks, he sings jazz, and he's Canadian. Our heater has been broken for the last 2 weeks so it's very cold. Raining and freezing.


Hello everyone!  How are you?  What has been going on in your lives? 
This week has been full of adventure.  We got the calls on Monday night telling us about transfers.  Elder Elsholz was moved to Rugby, England and I stayed here in Aberystwyth.  This will be my 4th transfer here and I am very happy to be staying.  My new companion is Elder Ruttan,he has been out for 6 months, and he is Canadian!  Not including the MTC, he is my first companion that isn't from Utah.  He is a great guy and we have worked well together so far.
On Thursday we picked up a new Investigator named Dominique.  She is from London and is here studying to become a teacher.  Elder Ruttan and I text her everyday to ask her how her reading and praying is going.  A few days ago she got really excited and said that for the first time since she has been here she has been able to have a full nights sleep.  She told us that she was excited and couldn't wait to meet with us again. 
Another one of investigators is named Tom.  Healso goes to Aber University and studies International Politics.  He doesn't have a belief in God but said that it was a topic that always interested him.  He asks us the best questions, he reads, and he even gave an amazing closing prayer the last time that we met with him. 
Oh, I also wanted to tell you a story!  On Wednesday Elder Esholz and I drove down to Swansea so that he could take the couch to the mission home.  I stayed behind and was paired up with Elder Eyanson until 6pm when the couch would return with my new companion. Elder Eyanson and I were walking around the town center for hours talking to people.  One of the people that we stopped was a less-active man.  We talked to him for a bit and was able to set up a time to meet with him later that evening in town center.  So the day went on and eventually we made our way into to town center.  We sat down with Andy andhad a pretty good lesson with him.  Afterwards, we went our separate ways and Elder Eyanson and I went back to another missionaries flat for dinner.  It was after dinner that I realized that my car and flat keys were missing and I couldn't find them anywhere!  We ran back to the spot where we had the appointment and they were no where to be found.  I was freaking out because with the keys I couldn't drive or get into our flat.  So we ran to our Zone leader, who was on a split with Elder Hern, and recruited them for the search.  But before we began Elder Lowe asked to say a prayer.  After the prayer we returned to where we taught the lesson and continued our search.  Out of no where, two girls that were ignoring us before asked us what we were looking for.  They were completely drunk but they were a huge help!  One of them started to tell us where and who had our keys while the other girl started to pet the top of Elder Hern's head.  haha He was freaking out and had no idea what to do.  So long story short, the two girls lead us through the city to a group of teenagers and we were able to get the keys back!  One of the girls even asked if she could meet with the missionaries because she has been wanting to change her life around.  How cool is that?  I know we wouldn't have found the keys without that Prayer. 
I keep forgetting to take pictures but I will this week and I'll send them next Monday!
Have a great week!  Love you!


I'll be honest with you.  Right now I am sick and can't think straight.  I have been staring at the computer screen for ten minutes and I can't think of a whole lot to say.  ha 
Here are some bullet points that sum up the week:
-Ruth came to Church yesterday and really enjoyed it.  We recommited her to being baptised and she was all for it.  We are very excited for her. 
-We taught a high of 16 lessons and now have 4 New Investigators
-The Sisters down in Newcastle Emilyn have a baptism for this Saturday!
-We had Zone meeting down in Swansea.  The training was focused on getting members to go out teaching with us and getting investigators to church.
-The Barney's had a Baby girl this morning!
-And this one is for Mom. I am being fed a lot and the members have been taking good care of me. 
I hope that all of you have a great week.  I love you! 


I miss seeing dogs.  Not as many people own them out here because you have to insure them.  You might as well have a kid if you do that. 


Hello Everyone!  I hope that you are having a great week.  Sorry but I don't have a lot of time today.  We had a lesson earlier and it took a lot more time than we had planned. 

This past week has been amazing!  A couple of weeks ago we had a guy named Nathaniel just walk into Church and now he is getting baptized soon.  Isn't that just crazy?  Good things happen when you work hard.  I asked him yesterday how his reading and praying went and he said, "I guess you can say that I am convinced.  I have received an answer I know it's true."  I am so excited for him.  I will definitely have more time to talk next week. 

Mom, I didn't get hurt in my fall so don't worry.  haha Thank you for the money!  I was able to buy a camera.  I will definitely try not to fall on this one.  I love you all!  Have a great week! 


I don't even know where to start when it comes to this week.  I feel like a million things have happened.  I'll just make a short list:
1.  I got my licence!  I was surprised that I was able to get it so fast but everything worked out perfectly.  There are two parts to the test.  The first one is the Theory test.  There wasn't one in Aberystwyth so we had to drive to Swansea to take it there.  After the test I was told that it might be a month or so until I could take the second part which is the Practical.  I was freaking out a bit in my mind because a month would put me past my year mark and I can't drive past my year mark without a licence.  But a miracle happened and there was a cancelation.  The problem was that it was 3 days after my theory.  I was freaking out but was able to pass it no problem!  Yay! 
2.  Our Investigator Nathaniel had a really cool experience while praying and now knows that Thomas S. Monson is the Prophet on the earth today.  It was fantastic.  We watched the Christmas Devotional last night with him and he said that the Spirit was so strong.  We talked with him and if all goes well he will be ready to be baptized on the 27th of this month!  Wohoo!  He is so awesome! 
3.  With Christmas right around the corner we have been having a hard time finding more people to teach and 6 of our investigators are going home for the holidays!  It's a bummer but we are still doing what we can. 
4.  Transfers are this week!  I have been here 4 transfers and there is a slight possibility of me leaving.  I heard that not many people will be transferred this time around because Christmas is right around the corner but we shall see tonight.  I will have a member email you to let you know what happens.  I will most likely be Sister Barney.  The only transfer information that I know is about the Sisters in our district.  Sister Cook is going home and Sister Gaffney is training!  We have a lot of Sisters coming into the mission and all of the sisters, minus the Sister Traning Leaders and one other set, will be traing.  That's a lot! 
5.  I haven't received the package yet but will get in on Wednesday.  I am very excited!  My new camera is great!  I just got a case for it so hopefully it won't get destroyed like the last one. 
I don't know exactly what else to add.  Just know that I love all of you so much!  I hope that you have a great week!  Adios! 


It was so great to be able to see all of you yesterday!  I love all of you so much and hope that you had a wonderful Christmas!  Have a great week!


Hello Everyone!  How are you?  Having a good week?  What's new? 
I am doing well.  I was really sick yesterday and it may have been food poisoning.  I don't know but I felt aweful.  The rest of the week went alright though.  Mom will be happy to hear that we had a dinner appoiintment every single day this week! 
I did have a funny experience. We met with this guy who is Buhdist.  He wanted to meet with us because he didn't know anything about our faith and he wanted to have a better understanding of us.  So we met with him one day at the park .  Elder Ruttan and I sat down on either side of him on a park bench and we asked if we could start with a prayer.  He agreed but asked if he could meditate at the same time.  I have never had anyone ask me that before but said it was okay.  He got into his meditation position, and while he held his meditation beads, I said the opening prayer.  After finishing the prayer I look over and he was still meditating.  Elder Ruttan and I sat there quietly trying to be respectful.  He stayed in that position for 15 minutes without moving!  Then he opens his eyes and stares off in front of him for another 5.  After that, out of no where, he started to slowly move his hands out towards both of us. I stared at his hand that was stretched towards me and my first thought was, "I think he wants me to hold his hand."  Right when I thought that I looked up at Elder Ruttan and he was slowly grabbing the other guys hand.  While feeling very uncomfortable I held his hand with Elder Ruttan.  We sat there for another 5 minutes in complete silence.  He then let out a huge sigh and released our hands.  And started to talk like nothing happened.  It was really awkward but we were able to teach him and he really liked what we taught. 
I don't have much more to say.  This past week has gone by really fast but not much has happened.  I do want to bear my testimony though.  I know that this is Christ's true Church.  I know that Joseph Smith saw God the Father, and His Son Jesus Christ.  I know that he was called to be a prophet to restore Christ's Church to the Earth. 
I love all of you!  Hope that you have a great week!


This past week has been great.  I had an interesting call from President Rasmussen on Monday and he called me to be a Zone Leader.  It was a bit of a shock. I actually never told you guys this, but I have been a district leader for two transfers. haha. 

On Wednesday I moved from Aberystwyth to Swansea which is in Southern Wales.  It's about a 2 hour drive south of Aber.  Swansea is a nice area from what I can see.  It's a city of around 250,000 and there are 4 sets of missionaries here.  I am serving in a ward of around 120 and so far the ward is very friendly.  We even have some really cool Recent Converts that are always willing to go with us to appointments.  I love it.  Oh and I almost forgot to tell you who my new companion is!  I am now serving with Elder Lowe.  He is from Bendigo, Australia.  He knows how to get work done so I'm glad to be serving with him.  Elder Lowe has been in this area for the same amount of time that I was in Aber and he is staying one more.  Crazy right?  We are the only two left from our original Zone. 
I have only been here for 5 days and so much has happened.  Just one miracle after another.  I don't have very much time today to tell you but hopefully I will find time this week to write some of them down in a letter to send home next week.  I love all of you and hope that you have a great week!  Bye!