The Zone

September 29, 2014

Boy oh Boy!

I saw on the calender that Nana gave me that it was Brielle's birthday this past week but I didn't put it together that she would be reaching the age of accountability. I didn't get to go to her baptism but I did get to go see a baptism in Western Hills of my good buddy Ethan. Woo! I'll take what I can get ;)

There are a couple of investigators and families that I taught and found with Elder Martin that are getting baptized next month. I was also talking to the Spanish zone leaders about all of the people I taught when I was first out and everyone is getting baptized and progressing towards the temple. It's just awesome to see the fruits of some hard labor with the Spirit. 

Opposition does come however and one of my good friends and a great missionary went home yesterday on doctors' orders from Salt Lake. He'll be back. However, because he went home, Elder Tanner had to go fill his spot. I was frustrated but completely confident that God's hand was being shown in His work. I miss Elder Tanner pretty terribly even though he is just in the other area of our same ward :P We had SO much fun in this trio and it's really hard to see it end after not even a full two weeks but we'll keep pushing forward. I am glad I still have Elder Day with me, he's awesome! I might add that Sadie sent a letter that arrived at the perfect time when Elder Tanner and I had just gotten back from a split and put a man on date to be baptized and we were flying high and then I got a letter and we were laughing super hard that day and we went to a baptism. It was one of the most joyous days of my mission. So things are great here in Hamilton!
Just a little Ohio country sunset!

Everyone is telling me how awesome Taylor Johansen's farewell talk was and I am so proud of him. He's going to be a stud missionary. Almost wish I was there ;) (Taylor is leaving in October for Samoa)

[Who are some of the missionaries in your zone?] The missionaries in my zone are awesome! We go on exchanges every Friday normally. We've been on two and they have been so much fun! Elder Hulet and Elder Wegrowski are in West Chester and Elder Wagstaff and Elder Murdock are in Liberty. Elder Tanner and Elder Stringham are in Hamilton 3.

[Do we know any of them? What are your Zone's strengths?] I don't think you would know any of them but they are sure awesome! The zone is great at working with members because the West Chester and Liberty areas are very nice upscale areas so it's hard to knock on doors. But we're all about talking to everyone out on the streets so that's what we are working on and our new investigators greatly increased last week. Woo!

[How many Sisters?] So there are 4 sister areas and 4 Elder Areas. 2 sets of Elders in Hamilton and the Sister Training Leaders. Sister Missionaries really can be the Lord's secret weapon. There are some really sharp Sisters out here. They work miracles and I look up to many of them. 

[Do you get to use your Spanish?] So the Miami River Branch is my first area and I covered the Fairfield half (south half) but now I am in the North Half of the stake and therefore I see the Spanish Elders all the time. The branch meets two hours before us so I get to see some old friends. There are plenty of Spanish stores and people around and it's fun to see what my mission used to be like. 

The mission life is really good right now. Fall is in the air, it reminds me of all the good times last year in Eastgate at this time. I am a pretty confident missionary but still being stretched! I enjoy this work quite a bit, and I have been changed by it. Pray for who you can help every day to experience the joy that I do. 

Love you family!

Thank you Nana and Papa Andy for the letter!

Welcome to Hamilton

Elder Day, Tanner, Fivas
September 22, 2014

Happy Preparation Day to you all!

[What is your address?] So my new address is as follows: 595 Creekside Dr. Apt 104, Fairfield OH 45014

The Hamilton area is a lot of fun! It's a pretty run down place downtown and there are a lot of older houses but there are plenty of nice areas and there are 650 people on the ward roster with about 190 active or so. Clearly there are a lot of things to do around here and it's so much fun to do with my new companions.

Exchanges in Liberty in a bike area
[Tell us where your companions are from and how long they've been serving.] I have served around both Elder Tanner and Elder Day already and they are already my good friends so this is a lot of fun. Elder Tanner is from North Salt Lake most recently but he went to Davis High School. Elder Day is from Sandy and he went to Alta High School. I was with Elder Tanner 13 months ago when he barely came into the mission and we lived together back when I was with Elder Marchello in Eastgate. Elder Day was in the neighboring area of Noblesville when I was in Anderson and was a good friend to me and Elder Hansen. Elder Day goes home a transfer before me in December. I sure miss Elder Martin! I hope he is having a lot of fun back in the real world!

[How does it feel to be back on a regular schedule?] The Zone Leader role is a little easier but it's hard for me because I am so not used to it or this area. Things will get much better in just a short time so I am not worried. I miss being around President and his family. Bryan [President's son, who is leaving on a mission to Chile in October] will be back pretty soon so I will miss out there too but I there are people to be baptized here in Hamilton!

[Tell us about all your changes.  How do you feel about them?] I had forgotten what it was like to go through some drastic changes so it's pretty hard sometimes, but work makes it all better. I still can't believe that I value work and recognize it as something that brings happiness. But alas, the truth is the truth is the truth as my good buddy Kevin would say. Comfort zones are nice but that's not what this life is about!

[You never told us about the Reds game! Was it the best time ever? Tell us about it!] Oh the Reds game was a riot! It was a time to relax and watch a game and be with friends. The missionaries seem to be even more entertained by the music played than the game :P I am trying to send pictures.

I cannot find my camera cord or my memory card adapter but I will see what I can do to send some pictures your way. I sure love you family. 

Love Elder Fivas 

"I'm being transferred!"

Cincinnati Mission at the Red's Game
September 16, 2014

[Tell us how transfers work] So transfers are awesome and totally led by the Spirit and it's cool to see what's going on as we look at the big transfer white board filled with missionary magnets. So we come and see what President has done and he asks us what we think and what we'd change and what not. 

Transfer meeting
So the crazy news is that I am being transferred! I am going to Hamilton, Ohio as a Zone Leader to help the Cincy North Stake. If things go the way they are planned right now then I will be in another trio. I am very excited but I will terribly miss the Porters and this awesome Western Hills Ward!!! 

I have to get back to the new missionaries but I sure love you all! I'll see what I can do for babe. Happy birthday!!!!

Memories Captured Electronically!

September 8, 2014

Elder Fivas: "Guess where we are going today as a whole mission?"
Mom: "Does it have to do with the photo I saw on Facebook with an older brother sorting tickets?"
Elder Fivas: "Hahaha cheater! I have kept it a secret for two months and you get tipped off by Facebook? Did you see what they are for?"
Mom: "No. Couldn't see what they were for. But I could tell they were for something legit. Tell us!"
Elder Fivas: "Behold I say unto thee! We're going to the Red's game tonight! GO REDS WOOOOO"
Mom: "That is awesome! We are so happy for you. Have a dog for dad! How did Pres. do this?!"
Elder Fivas: "He just made it happen ;P
So I am going to send a bunch of pictures but I can't really remember much. I'll make comments on the pictures :P"

This is a pic taken by a Priest from the ward.
He swapped faces of Brayden
and Elder Carranza.  Haha

We went to Huntington, Indiana on exchanges and had some awesome times together, capitalized by gyros!

We were in Huntington with Elder Waite and Elder Anderton (the blonde) Elder Carranza was with the Spanish zone leaders

We saw the semi full of birds on the way back and we got a kick out of it. It just isn't a natural occurrence to see that.

A member knows I love White Castle so he came back from a ward he moved to to take me there and Elder Glissmeyer got his first taste.

We also had exchanges with Elder Stoddard and Elder Glissmyer, which was way fun. We switched back on a hill overlooking the Nasty Nati while drinking some root beer and Mtn Dew.

A Slice of Humble Pie

Elders Martin, Carranza, Fivas
September 3, 2014

Hey Parents! So since I last wrote I have had a whole bunch of fun! We had Leadership Council and I have seen a lot of my buddies on exchanges and the work in the Western Hills ward continues to roll forth in a wave of glory! There was this AWESOME stake soccer tournament and picnic and we had a lot of fun with all sorts of people. I have not played 5 games of soccer in a long time and I have all sorts of sore legs but I sure do love that sport more and more. The best part of the soccer games I would say was bonding with the men in the ward. I love it here. 

Pres. Porter cooking breakfast
[Do you have any desire to try to get into winter semester at BYU late? If so I would have to start on that soon.] Dad your questions were well put and not too distracting so thank you. I do think it's crazy that those kind of questions are already creeping up on me. President Porter thought I was going home in March haha.  As of right now I have very little desire to be in school in the upcoming winter semester. God could change my mind but I doubt He will. The real question would be for spring and summer semester.
The Nelson's home

I love Elder and Sister Nelson!!!
[Will you be living here with us and working in Idaho until Fall semester 2015 or will you be looking for housing and work in the Utah area?] As of right now I can't think of wanting to go anywhere but with my family in Idaho. I catch myself dreaming of the day where I can once again play Monopoly with y'all. haha Board games are banned in our mission.

This past week was pretty hard on me because I gave heed to Satan's negativity without noticing. I made silly mistakes that were easily recovered from but I was pretty hard on myself and sad. Well, God has given me spiritual experiences to bolster me up once again and teach me to rely on the Savior because I don't have the skills to do a lot of things right. God can change circumstances to create something beautifully spiritual out of something that I thought went horribly wrong. Long story short, I didn't make sure one of our investigator's wife got home right after sacrament meeting like she asked because I assumed she could figure it out. Our investigator is an alcoholic and a very angry person but will be baptized by the end of this year, I foresee, but he blew up at me and I was really hurt by it because it was my fault more than my other companions. Anyway, it's all better now and we are closer because of it and he explained to me how he was going to punch us all out but didn't because angels were surrounding us and him and he heard God say to listen to these boys. God changes circumstances ladies and gentlemen. Miracles are not logical. 

In our leadership council we ended with a testimony meeting and it was extremely powerful. Very spiritual. I was able to sit still and not fall asleep up on the stand haha

That's my piece for this week!
Elder Fivas

Elder Fivas and Elder Carranza
p.s. Elder Carranza taught us how to make banana bread and it was delicious. We took loaves around to members and it was a great time! Better than cookies ;)