President and Sister Porter

There are these "walking man" statues all over Anderson.
 I have been meaning to get more pictures of them!
March 31, 2014

Good Monday dear family! 
Anderson, IN at it's classiest.
Yes, they are spinners.
I laughed hard to see that you got snow dumped on you! 

I went on exchanges to Noblesville and they don't have a car. I now more fully appreciate having a car. It adds so much more drudgery to ride a bike in the bitter cold wind and not being able to warm up after you try a couple of people. And it takes so much longer to get to places! Haha I can now see why God gave His missionaries some cars to drive. 

[What are your thoughts and feelings about President and Sister Porter?] President and Sister Porter are the greatest ever!! They are from Morgan Ut :) Their niece who lived down the street is actually in my zone! Crazy right?! But he is a powerful man. And I googled his dad too because I knew he was a general authority. Powerful Priesthood men beget powerful Priesthood men. :P here is a link to his short blurb when he got called! President and Sister Porter's Bio [10th photo from the top]. And here is a link to the stock he comes from :P L. Aldin Porter

Elder Judd
I am actually pretty close to President Porter. He talks to me often and always looks happy to see me. I guess it helps that our zone is doing so well ;P I always get a big hug from him when I see him as well. Sister Porter likes to joke with me as well and we have fun talking. She complimented me a lot in our last interview together. I feel like a lot of people compete for her attention though so I try not to :P

Me looking Russian
Sharmice and Elder Fivas
[We're wondering if you were transferred.] I do get to stay here in Anderson for another transfer with Elder Bradshaw and I am so excited too! We are doing very well and the ward is catching on fire! We had a baptism a week for the past 3 weeks and we have two or three on the week after [General] Conference. The Sisters are half the success too! The started raking in the blessings for a lot of hard work. I actually got to baptize my friend Sharmice. It was so fun!! She tried to dunk herself before I even said the prayer haha. It was such a cool feeling to feel like I was swimming again, I forgot what it feels like :P 

Life is good here! Elder Bradshaw and I are equally yolked and our strengths match each others' weaknesses very well. I bought my Papa John's pizza last week too! I can't miss a transfer without my favorite pizza! Just going inside that store gets me a little trunked out :P

The weather here is getting nicer and I found out there are places to frisbee golf in Noblesville so I plan to hit that up this transfer. Our missionaries are calling for a fun day. I love my zone! Elder Seegmiller from Kaysville is on fire right now! That should make Gunner [Brayden's cousin, Logan Thomas] proud!
Our mass production of church go-go juice
It motivates people to go to church :P

An amazing pile of leftovers
I love you so much family! I can't believe this week will be 14 months! Ok I can believe ;)


Elder Fivas

We found snakes outside our front door!

Columbus Temple Trip

March 24, 2014

Hey Family!

[I gave a 10-minute update on Brayden's mission in Sacrament meeting yesterday.  Our Bishop has been having us missionary moms (7 of us) take a little time to give updates.  I think everyone likes to hear about the missionaries serving from our ward.] I don't know what you could talk about for 10-minutes up there, mom. I don't even think I tell you enough to update everyone for 10-minutes haha. But I do have my journal that is rapidly filling up. I found it funny that Elder Boekweg mentioned the same thing talking to his parents. We'll just tell it all when we get back. It's justice for not hearing too many stories from dad's mission ;) 

[Do you have any foreign missionaries?] As for foreign missionaries, Elder Carranza who is still one of the Spanish Zone Leaders is from Guatemala and recently Elder Cheng from Hong Kong is in my zone. We actually are going on exchanges with him tomorrow. Him and his companion are hilarious! 

I went to the Columbus temple and on the way I had my first wonderful taste of Waffle House!! Oh sweet strawberry waffles all over mah body!! The temple was amazing and I can't believe how much I learned. Maybe it's because of spiritual growth or maybe it's just the new presentation haha who can say? All of the knowledge comes from the spirit!

[Who are you focusing on now?] Our next baptism coming up is Mike who married into a part member family. It is so cool to see how badly he wants to be sealed to his wife and the things he is doing to quit smoking and drinking coffee. An awesome home teacher is a big part of why he is so open to hear from us.

Transfer week is coming next week and I would very much like to stay here. I have spent three transfers in my other areas though and this is number three here. Will the pattern hold out? It's astonishing to see how fast 6 weeks can go. 

"Waffle House" Waffles
Elder Bradshaw and I have a lot of fun together. We bought Golden Bears to give to our investigators to encourage them to come to church and we sharpied "Church GO GO Juice" onto them. We thought it was pretty funny but it was even more funny when our investigators thought they were produced like that!! Haha one of them asked us if that was Joseph Smith on the can. Oh man it was just a silly idea gone even better than we could have hoped. 

[How are you doing on gift cards?  Are you able to cook for yourselves at all?] I still have gift cards to use and people are feeding us and I make some spaghetti or mac and cheese so I get a balance. I do eat out for the most part though.

Temple Road Trip
So here is what's been on my mind. 

Recently in my manner of riding an exhausting roller coaster of physical, spiritual, and emotional patterns I have learned a couple of things. God expects me to repent more often even when I am not breaking rules. It is expedient that I use the Atonement of Christ to better myself and I have not been very diligent at seeking flaws that I need to fix. Right there is an example of something where I can seek forgiveness. 

I learned that I need not compare myself with others but it is good to learn from their examples. Seeing the Sisters in our area (Sisters Corbridge and Armstrong) have 7 people at church right after they baptized one of their investigators made me very happy. A competitive 18-year old like Elder Bradshaw saw it as us not doing as well as the Sisters. With the help of my awesome companion I saw it as an opportunity to ask myself what was missing in the 22-member presents that we had in comparison to the 7 the Sisters had. The Spirit spoke to me once again and reminded me that I cannot afford to forget the basics, to have more lessons in a member's home, and to not let other peoples' agency affect my happiness. 

Canned Corned Beef
from his St. Patrick's Day Package 
God stretches me more than I could possibly handle by my own strength. I guess only a prideful Elder like me has to be stretched so far to see that I really can't do anything without His help. I have absolute confidence that God puts me through exactly what I need. He truly loves me and the evidence of that is abundant in the people I meet and the things I see and the experiences I have out here. 

I truly believe that the Muncie South Zone is the best zone in the mission. I wouldn't trade a single Elder or Sister in this zone. I love them all very much. Elder Tanner and Elder Murdock are so quick to take advice, Elder Pope and Elder Seegmiller have a  charm like no one else and can make missionary work very fun, Elder Sunderland and Elder Leaupepe work like animals and can carry heavy loads, Sister Porter and Sister Larsen are becoming two of the best Sister missionaries in the mission and apply trainings better than I have ever seen anyone else do, Elder Gunnoe and Elder Reeves keep Elder Bradshaw and me on our toes and use Preach My Gospel more than anyone else in the zone, Elder Judd and Elder Cheng have the desire to be great and are hilarious together and can touch people's hearts with their simple testimonies, and Sister Armstrong and Sister Corbridge have made it heroically through a storm of disappointment into a wonderfully ripe harvest. Finally, Elder Bradshaw has an irrepressible appetite for success and will constantly improve himself. 

Weather's warming up!
Elder McConkie taught me this last week that I can receive personal revelation by keeping the commandments, searching the scriptures, and asking in faith. I just need to seek God's grace in helping me ask the right questions. I am forever grateful for a perfectly patient Heavenly Father to help me ask for even more help.   

Well here are some pictures of things like me eating my canned corned beef!

I love you all! 
Elder Fivas

Happy St. Patrick's Day 2014!

Tie, socks, pin, glasses and
canned corned Beef
March 17, 2014

[This last week has been good.] It has a lot to do with the fact that I got some time to eat dinner almost every day last week. I guess it's way good when you are that busy!

Elder Fivas, Austin, Brittany, Elder Bradshaw
I LOVE the St Patrick's day package. I could have died when I saw the corned beef. There is a restaurant here that sells it too with cabbage so I have my bases covered.

Today I have a "4-zone fun day" so my time is really short because all of preparation day will be a party today.

[How was the baptism on Friday?] The baptism was super awesome last week and it went quickly which was even better! [Brittany] was so happy and she had a bunch of friends there to support her with another person for us to teach ;) I love that rowdy bunch! And her brother Austin who was baptized in December got to baptize her! Then I got to confirm her! Life is good! 

Now for some of the info you asked me for. [What is the highest number of investigators you've had at church?] My highest at church was 6 and we are doing really good hovering around a consistent 5.

[How many missionaries are in your mission?] I think there are 220 missionaries in the mission including Seniors and I think 90 of them are Sisters. I remember hearing that somewhere. 

[How many baptisms occurred as a result from some effort from you?] I have taught 11 people that have been baptized. In some I played more critical roles than others but for the most part I either found them with my companion or we taught them the most. I never totaled them up. That's pretty cool to think about!! 

[Do you only serve the Anderson Ward? And how many also serve in that ward?] There are 1 set of both Elders and Sisters that serve in Anderson. We get the dirtier parts of town ;)

I can't think of any stories right now! It's a good thing I write them all down! Things are going really good so we will have more baptisms. We are planning one to happen on April 4 which I guess is when Kelsey is going to [Stansbury High's] prom!! It  was so cool to read how excited she is.
Exchanges with Elder Judd and Cheng

I sure love you family. Sorry I couldn't write more! And for all the people who sent me handwritten letters like Telisha and TGonzo I am still trying to write you back!

Here's some pictures!

Love Elder Fivas

Small Rules to Gain Greater Power

I won an Apollo Creed out of a claw machine haha.
 He was right on top and I got him first try for 50 cents
March 10, 2014

Hey family! Life is good here and our zone is breaking records so no reasons to complain!

[Did your mission reach its goal of 222 baptisms?] The mission got 221 baptisms, I believe, and there were crazy things happening down to the wire. We see it as success though. One man got thrown in jail on false charges so he didn't show up to his baptism and had to wait 'til the next week and another woman was taught and put on date all ready to be baptized but the Sisters teaching her realized she lived barely over the mission boundary in the Indianapolis mission. :P Just some examples. We are going to get 720 this year. It was such a powerful spirit when we set that goal!
"The blazer is just funny"

Elder Bradshaw and I are baptizing our recent convert Austin's older sister Brittany this friday. It's going to be great!! I love that family so much! 

[Do you get the chance to play basketball?] I never did get to play basketball but I did go bowling last week. 

[Tell us about some of your appointments this week.] There is a part member family we found that is just awesome. They came to church because their awesome faithful home teacher has taken away their excuses to not come over the years :P
They make everything themselves and are the most creative and thrifty people you'll meet and they are just cool. She is very proud of her Native American heritage and they have an awesome house. I took a picture with a crossbow they made and Elder Bradshaw has the bow they made. He even made a shotgun that fires, haha. We taught them twice last week and on the second lesson we tied in the word of wisdom into the plan of salvation and he totally got it. We're working on his smoking. Why wait to teach people the commandments? Give them the challenge and blessings come sooner than later! 

Speaking of blessings, our mission has tightened up. Small and simple things bring to pass great things so we are focusing on the small rules to gain greater power. No energy drinks, actually go to bed at 10:30 and the only music we can listen to and have is the stuff you can get off of I don't really have a problem with that but I will have to send a lot of CD's home haha.

I forgot to mention that we are going to the Columbus temple next Tuesday [March 18]!! Woo hoo!

Life is good ya'll!

Elder Fivas

Josh, Brittany, Bobbie and George

March 3, 2014
Elder Fivas and Elder Bradshaw

Hey there dear family! 

I will get right into answering your questions! 
[What was the highlight of your week?] The highlight of the week was when Bro. Phillips started teaching our investigator totally by the Spirit and totally boldly and it was so awesome and spiritual! I had never seen a member teach that well! I had never seen a missionary teach that well, actually! They came to church the next day for the first time too, and that was awesome! It's a complicated living-together situation, otherwise Bobbie (the girl), would be getting baptized very soon. Oh well! God will figure out a way!

Elder Fivas and George
[What was the most outrageous thing you did this week?] The most outrageous thing I did last week... Well I ate 3 McFlurries when I have never paid any attention to those before my mission. Soft serve ice cream just rocks! And it snowed again so the roads were fun to drive on, he he. But the awesomest thing that I did was hold a hedgehog named George! Less-actives have the darndest things! haha.

[What did you study (and learn) in your personal studies last week?] I learned great new scriptures and ways to teach in Personal studies this last week. I am getting so much better than where I was. There is a very specific model called the baptismal quadrant that we are supposed to follow that determines [what we] study. We start with accountability and then plan our day and look ahead to see who we will be teaching, then we study their needs and set a question to study for them in the morning. Then we study it personally, then we collaborate our studies and make an inspired lesson plan according to the commitments we want to leave our investigators, and then we teach with power and authority. It's a great model!

[Tell us about your best appointment this week.] The best appointment this week was when I went to the Smith's house and Josh gave me a picture he drew for me and told me he read the first chapter in the Book of Mormon "because you're Fivas and you asked me to". I love those guys! They are all 23 or so and we're going bowling with them today, actually. It just made me feel good that he thinks so highly of me. Brittany is actually getting baptized on the 22nd. 

I discovered a great new restaurant called Culvers. Their burgers rock and their custard is crazy good! Not quite my raspberry concrete from Neilson's but close ;)

The weather should be getting warmer, don't worry :P 

 Elder Bradshaw is super talented at the piano!
I sure love you all a bunch! I still have plenty of ups and downs and it seems that the mission gets harder with added responsibility but I feel that it is the model of life. Greater joys and more frequent and greater lows :P

Thank you so much for everything you do for me!

Elder Fivas