[S4E1] I’m a what?

Yer a Wizard, Harry! You see, it’s funny because the area that I’m in is called Merlin, but it’s not as funny because Harry Potter doesn’t have a Merlin character. (I think, I’m not entirely sure, I remember Ron commonly using the swear “Merlin’s Beard!!” So he might have been a real person in the Harry Potter Cannon, but I don’t trust anything outside of the Original books, ’cause J.K. Rowling will say anything for a little bit of publicity)ANYWAY…. I’m going to get started with the actual email.

10: My first move went pretty smoothly, nothing left behind, except for a bag that I’ll be getting on Saturday. Speaking of which, is the day that the Hall family will be baptized! And I got permission to go back and baptize them!!

9: Our living arrangements are pretty nice, yet cramped. We live in the Garage of some members, which has been retrofitted to be a nice little studio apartment. It’s pretty dang small, and has no oven, stove or washer/dryer. So whenever I want to make food, I got to plug in a hot plate, and find counter space for it. 

8: The area of Merlin is a lot like the area of Gold Hill, with a lot of space to tract, but not many doors to knock. Also Merlin has waaaaaaaay more gates than Gold Hill. But it is VERY VERY pretty. So tracting will be hard, our plan is to do a little bit of tracting each day, and do mostly less-active work, and referral contacting. It will be hard, but that’s what I’m here for.

7: My new companion is Elder Sant. He’s a really good guy from Texas, and has been out for over a year. The group that he came out with had 30+ missionaries in it!!! That’s a crazy amount! Every zone in the mission has at least 1 or 2 of them!

6: The ward here is rather small, we barely fill up the chapel, but apparently, we deserve a building all of our own! It’s one of the smaller ones, but it’s nice, and only a few miles from our place! 

5: Merlin is a little further up in the mountains, so we get the most beautiful mornings, with fog, low laying clouds, and a light sprinkle of rain. I’d want to go out on a walk/jog in the morning if it weren’t for cougar sightings around our place. Yeah, so I might get to see/get mauled by a cougar. I’mma need a big knife.

4: The whole Grant’s Pass Zone (My new zone) is fairly young, with none of the missionaries being over their 18 month mark. So that’s pretty cool! A lot of (fairly) young faces, and people who are enthusiastic about the work. It’s hard being with a zone that has a good portion of it leaving.

3: Don’t worry mom, we’re getting fed, and very well too, the Dinner calendar is already full for next month. We have a family that has signed up for each week, and they are super chill and funny. They are so comfortable with the the missionaries, we don’t even knock, we just walk right in as they’re eating dinner! It’s weird to me, I’ve got to knock before I walk in, even if I don’t wait for permission. That’s just weird. We talk a lot about video games, and one of the kids showed me some gameplay for the new OverWatch characters. (yes, it’s okay)

2: I’m glad to be in a new area, it’s been an adjustment, getting to learn a new area book, and new members. But that’s okay. Change is good. That’s how we grow as children of God. Through change and trial we learn to adapt, improvise, and overcome.

1: Elder Jeanselme gave me his Spider-man 2 promotional bobble head!!! I LOVE THAT GUY!!

Elder Berky

[S3E6] Mama if that’s moving up…..

Then IiiiiiIII’MMMMoving out!

Yep, I’m getting transferred out of Gold Hill.

10: So transfer calls came Friday at 4:20 (heuhue) and I found that I will get sent to Merlin, Grants Pass. The funny thing? The Gold Hill ward boundaries touch Merlin’s boundaries. So I’m not going far, but I will be in a new Zone.

9: This whole email is pretty much going to be about transfers, and the joys of leaving my first area! The first thing that I’ve noticed about leaving, is that I have stuff to pack all over the apartment. It’s not even that big, but I just have little things spread out, that I’ve had to track down and figure out how to best pack them.

8: Another thing that I didn’t think about is how much stuff I have in my desk. All of the wonderful letters that you guys send to me, I can’t just throw away, so I got a binder and put all of the other important missionary stuff with the letters.

7: It’s hard leaving your first area. Saying goodbye, to other missionaries, to ward members, but I get a feeling that I’ll be back. Maybe not in Gold Hill, but in the central point zone.

6: We had zone exchanges, which is basically where we get a random companion from the zone and go out in a random area to work for a few hours. It was fun, I went with Elder Anderl to eagle point, and had fun, met some cool people, and found the Eagle point sisters a New person to talk to!

5: So Elder Jeanselme’s new companion is going to be….we don’t know, he’s going to be training a new missionary! He’s excited but scared, it was  funny to see his face when he heard.

4: I got to  plant plenty of peach trees! The church has a welfare farm up here, and they wanted to get some peach trees planted before the winter, and so many volunteers showed up that the planting was done in about 10 minutes! Many hands really do make light work. 

3: It was Elder Randall’s birthday this week, so we stayed the night over at their place. For his birthday his family had sent out a big box of glowsticks and little glowstick accessories. So we had a bit of a mini rave, of the four of us. With no drugs, just some accidentally purchased energy slushies. 

2: This wack chair scared the crap out of me when I sat down on it. (pic below)

1: As I was reading The Living Christ, and pondering on 2 Corinthians 13:1, I came to the realization that the two or three witnesses that the scripture talks about are these: Personal Revelation, Ancient Revelation, Modern-day Revelation – by looking at those all together we can gain a true testimony of Christ and the gospel. So, going off that, I’m going to issue a challenge, read a scripture, and then ponder on it. Try to connect the dots and find more revelation that God wants you to have.
I love you all, and can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for me in Merlin, Oregon!

Ya Boi

Elder Berky

Pickin’ & juicin’ apples

Went over to the Lewis’ rental home and picked a bunch of apples. Went home and washed them then went to the Hyer’s home where they had a scatter and press set up to shred the apples and then press the juice out of them. Stayed there about 3 hours and made over 30 gallons of juice, 21 of which was ours that we took home and started drinking and froze the rest.

Ammon guarding the apples we picked

[S3E5] Zone Conference, and a Broken Shower.

I’m not sure what I can do for a cute little intro, so I’m just going to start.

10: We did service for a member in our ward, and we expected to help take out a tree. However the guys with the big machine didn’t come that day, so we just split wood and stacked it for the members instead. Was fun.

9: Also they had chickens! It was fun trying to catch them, and kinda made me homesick. (pics below)

8: I don’t know if I’ve told you guys this, but the Hall family has SOOOOO many cats. They’ve got about 12 cats just wandering around their property, and some of them are very friendly. (Also pics)

7: Zone conference was this week, and it was great! We talked plenty about studying, and staying physically and mentally healthy. It was really good, and I took a lot of notes. It was also really good to see some of the other missionaries. 

6: Sunday night, we got a call from Bri (who’s in California right now) and she was talking with her friend about the gospel, but being a recent convert, she doesn’t know everything about the church. So we had a good hour-long conversation with Bri’s friend about the Restoration of the gospel, all over the phone. Man we really are living in the future. 

5: We did some more service! This time, it wasn’t for a charity event, it was just for a marathon. BUT we did get these really cool safety vests, and construction flags. I got to stop some traffic so the runners could pass. The funny thing is, I didn’t even have any authority to direct traffic. People just trust you if you have a safety vest. 

4: So our shower broke. I got in, and pulled up the rod to have the shower run,  but the whole contraption just fell apart. That was fun. So hopefully the housing guys will come over and we won’t have to do sponge baths.

3: We (no, I) made some mac ‘n’ cheese. But not from a kraft box, but like from scratch. It turned out really well. We just were out of milk for the rest of the week.

2: Elder Jeanselme just barely (like 20 minutes ago) locked our keys in the trunk of the car. He really didn’t want me to say that, and spread his shame. So I am.

1: For a spiritual thought, I want to talk about the women’s session of conference. We’ve been asked to apply the challenges that have been extended to the women. So I’ve been re-reading the BoM, and reading the Relief Society charter since those are really the only things that I can do. (Can’t go to the temple, already not using social media) But I want Y’all at home to be doing the same things. I can promise that as you do so, you’ll feel an increase in the spirit, and further clarity in life.
I love all of you, and will email you next week

Ya Boi,

Elder Berky

[S3E4] 2 Hour Church!!!

Soooo, Conference is going to going to be the majority of what I put in here, cause it’s the biggest thing. (I’m excited for 2 hour church)

10: I’ve said 2 hour church a few times now, so I’m going to talk about it. I don’t just like it cause it’ll be shorter, but rather that the gospel will be taught more in homes. That’s the real important thing. Members will have more focused gospel resources to study and teach at home. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say I want shorter church, 1 o’clock church is a killer.

9: It has been a rather rainy week, which has been real great, cause I really don’t like the heat. But it really does make it hard to get up in the morning. Everything’s just so dark, you really just want to roll over and keep sleeping. But That’s not what I’m here for, I’ve got to get better at that.

8:We have been having “exchanges” with Medford 3rd. But they haven’t really been exchanges, more like sleepovers at their apartment, to “conserve miles for district meeting” We do use up plenty of miles just getting to district meeting, (Gold Hill is about 15 minutes away from the stake center) so we’ve been justifying hanging out with them, and playing card games.

7: But we actually did a real exchange with Medford 3rd on Tuesday, and it was super cool. Elder Helser (He’s a new missionary from Gilbert!) and I went up to talk to a guy who moved into Medford 3rd’s area, but is staying at his parent’s place in our area. (Ya, weird) He’s on date, but has a problem with smoking. We knew that going in, but we didn’t know that he was so done that he agreed to rip up his cigs and soak them in water in front of us. Yeah, that was super cool. He then wanted us to get rid of all his reminders of his smoking habit, and gave us his ashtrays to chuck. Yeah. This dude is legit as all get out.

6: On the other hand of our exchanges, Elder Randall and Jeanselme went to go teach Bianca law of chastity. That’s fun enough, but it gets even better when y’all learn that Bianca has a crush on Elder Randall. HAHAA!! They went over everything, and Bianca was super embarrased. Super funny.

5: Talked to this one kid on his doorstep for about an hour about video games. That was fun, and apparently I need to play dark souls. Nobody let me forget that when I get home. Gotta play dark souls.

4: One night Elder Jeanselme decided to just keep repeating my name in a crappy southern accent. Over and over and over. Needless to say, it got annoying pretty fast. But because I have five younger brothers I know how to deal with annoying. So I just locked myself in the room and listened to music/journaled while he kept going “Hey Elder BUUrrrKAY” for about an hour. This went on so long, and I wasn’t going to compromise until he stopped that Elder Jeanselme figured out that he was going to have to sleep in the kitchen. And he did! He made a little bed out of the couch cushions with his pants as a pillow… Yeah, I let him back in, after he learned that I know how to deal with annoying. 

3: We finally got a chance to do a real sit-down lesson with Jason (Lourie’s husband)! He’s been in Portland all month for his training. Dude’s gonna be a truck driver, so we haven’t really had a good chance to have a lesson with him. He hasn’t let that stop him from learning the gospel. Dude’s been reading and listening to talks this whole time! Truly elect.

2: I took so many notes during conference, I wish I had taken pictures, or wrote some of them down  because they are actually pretty decent. And I also drew some pretty good stuff! My art is getting much better!

1: I can’t wait for all the conference talks to come to gospel library, so I can re-read them, especially the campfire one.

I love you all, and encourage you all to keep studying conference!

Elder Berky

S3E3 Interviews and exchanges, and car problems.

I don’t know what I can do to start off in a clever and funny way so I’ll just start by starting.

10: We got a new car!! It’s a light grey 2019 Corolla! It’s very nice, even though there’s nothing really new about it as opposed to our old one. It’s mainly just a miles thing.

9: We had to change the car on Thursday, which also happened to be interviews, so that worked out pretty well. However because it took the car guys forever to change out the TIWI so that was kinda a wasted day. Darn.

8: As we have been working with people, I keep seeing things just come up, that makes it hard for them to follow God’s teachings. It’s frustrating to see people who are going through hard times, and knowing that we can’t really help them, but just teach them to help themselves. 

7: We did some mini-exchanges/sleepover with the medford 3rd elders, and that was a lot of fun. 

6: IT FINALLY RAINED!!! I’m so happy that I’ve finally seen rain the rainiest state in the country! It wasn’t a lot, but it should help with the fires, and it just feels real nice. Reminds me of the lyrics “I like to look for rainbows wherever there is rain, and ponder on the beauty of an earth made clean again…” Funny thing is that song is called “Baptism”.

5: We spent several hours in this cool army surplus store today, and were just looking at plenty of cool army things, and I spotted a pair of mission-appropriate boots for cheap, which I’m going to need for the upcoming rain and snow. But elder Helser snagged them instead and so I’ll see if they got restocked next week. Army surplus store is very cool 10/10 am shopping there again. 

4: We were at service with the pear farm, but got a call to help someone move her stuff into her house back in Gold Hill. Even though it was a long drive (15 min) we helped her move in some music stuff, and a giant china cabinet. Thankful we were in service clothes and not proselyting clothes.

3: Speaking of service in Proselyting clothes, we did do that! We got the prompting to visit this one sister after dinner, and saw a guy throwing branches and stuff into the back of his truck. We helped him out for about an hour, even though it was dark, and he really appreciated it. We gave our number and said if they needed anything more, just to let us know.

2: Elder Jeanselme got drugged.

1: I’m not just going to leave it at that, don’t worry. So the story behind #2 is; while we were at Medford 3rd’s, Elder Randall gave Elder Jeanselme a vitamin gummy. This vitamin gummy had Melationin in it. Elder Randall didn’t tell us this until Jeanselme had already eaten it. So Friday I got to deal with a rather sleepy and loopy Elder Jeanselme. That was funny. No videos tho, he just passed out when we went back to the apartment.

Bonus round: I found this funny decoration in the bathroom of a Mexican place.