Monday, December 27, 2010

What A Way To Celebrate Christmas!

     It was so great to talk to you and the fam on Christmas!

Brock standing in a December rain storm.
 It most definitely was the best gift I could ask for, even though I could not be there with you!

The Vaughn family at an earlier baptism when three
of the children were baptized.  The rest of the familly
was baptized Christmas Eve!
     The Vaughns' baptism was really cool!

I woke up Christmas Eve knowing I was finally going to help bring an entire family of 8 into the Kingdom of God!

     It was a very spiritual experience because I am so close to the family. They are very nice, kind, and loving, and as we have looked out for them they too have looked out for us! :) We didn't have a dinner on Christmas so they fed us! :) We are really close to that family and it was really cool to give them the most important and special gift of all for Christmas! :) The start of the new fresh road to eternal life! :)

     Dad, thanks for all you do! It means the world to me and I am so grateful for you. I wish you a happy new year and an amazing week! Enjoy the snow and all the blessings you have.:) I love you so much and can't wait to see you guys again!
Love you dad!
Elder Big Bird! :)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

White Christmas In Oregon!

The Vaughn family a few weeks ago.  Four members of
the family were baptized on Christmas Eve.  Three of the
the children were baptized earlier.
     It turned out to be a white Christmas in Oregon afterall!  There wasn't any snow on the ground, but there were four members of the Vaughn family dressed in white who entered the waters of baptism on Christmas Eve.

 What a great blessing to get that news from Brock when he called us on Christmas day.

On the phone with
Brock Christmas morning.
     We were able to talk with Brock for nearly 2 1/2 hours.  It was great to catch up on the people he's teaching, the missionaries in his zone and district, and the fact that he still doesn't have a heated apartment for going on a month now.  It was hard to hang up the phone knowing we have to wait until Mother's Day before we can talk again.  We are so grateful for the work Brock is doing and how he has touched so many lives in Oregon!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I'm Dreaming Of A Rainless Christmas!

Elder Bird and Elder Logan take a break from their bike ride in the rain to wish us all a Merry Christmas!

Let It Rain, Let It Rain...Merry Christmas! from Ron Bird on Vimeo.

Led By The Spirit. Right Place. Right Time!

Elder Kirkham on the split.  Notice, as usual,
the rain on the car's windows.
     Tuesday night to Wednesday night we went on exchanges.  It was Elder Kirkham and me. It was fun!  We taught some sick lessons and met some way tight people.

     We met one guy named Jerry Hansen!  So sad.  He got ex-communicated from the church a long time ago.  He told us, "I hated the church!" We had happened to stop by and this is how he greeted us:  "Oh my gosh!  I have been praying for you guys to come over!"  Here we are at his doorstep. He lets us in and tells us the most depressing stories ever.  One was about his wife.  She died a year and a half ago. He was crying the whole time he told his story. "Literally a part of me died that day!"  By that time time I just wanted to stand up and give this guy a hug!  I was like bawling my eyes out. I felt so bad and he just lives all alone!  
     He told us how he found his faith in Christ which became evident to him as he took his wife's ashes to the beach and spread them early in one morning.  He looked up and saw this really bright star.  It touched hims so deeply and he had never seen a star so bright.  So he went home and started to read the Bible! He told us how much he had hated the church and hated religion.  But he was reading the last chapter in Revelations that makes reference to the Lord who will become a bright morning star to the north.  He said Jesus was looking out for him that night! He gave me comfort!
     Jerry told us he started looking around at other churches and did a lot of searching and praying and he said all of them were cool.  But they were missing something!  The only church in town he hadn't been to was the LDS Church because he didn't want to go back.  But then all these little answers and signs started to pop up from the LDS Church and he was prompted that he needed to go back.  We, he says, are one of those signs! He did come to church yesterday and came up to us afterwards and told us, "This is the true church. I have no doubt in my mind! What do I need to do to get baptized?" I was like, WOW!  What a testimony builder. I enjoyed it, plus he took us out for pizza on Saturday.  He is such a nice guy! :)

     Friday night was our Christmas party.  It was fun! Nice to not have to work and just sit and enjoy some things for awhile!

Elder Bird and Elder Johnson stop by the Vaughns
on P-Day.  Elder Johnson has since been transferred
and unfortunately will miss the baptisms.
     This weekend we have 6 baptisms scheduled.
  The rest of the Vaughns! Yes, It's happening finally! They have had their interviews and everything has been cleared and the date and time is set! 6 pm! Yeah!  Saturday! Along with Caley! It's gonna be sick!

Can't wait! 12 days till I can call you guys! :)
Love, Brock!

'Tis The Season In Oregon!

Elder Bird in the holiday spirit in Albany, Oregon.
  It is weird that Christmas is right around the corner! :)

Brock next to his tree and presents from home.

     As for what's going on here? We set two dates! One with Devin, and one with Areilla! They are African American and way sick! We hope to get them baptized on the 18th.  As for other investigators, the Vaughns should get baptized this weekend or the next.  I am not holding my breath, but we are really working hard! So it's all good. 
The Vaughn family.  Elders Bird and Johnson have already
baptized three of the children: Angel, Venessa and Ricky.

     Caley is super excited to get baptized! I don't think I have met someone so primed for the commitment. It's been a spiritual week, even though no good stories.  No funny things!

     We have started playing basketball every Tuesday and Thursday with investigators at the stake center. And it works!  So many referrals and new people come who want to be taught.  I am happy I found something that brings the crowd to us to get some work going, instead of walking around in the rain having people shut the door in our face or say bad stuff to us on the street! Hahaha!

Football Talk!  (Oregon and Oregon State played in Corvallis with the Ducks ranked number 1)
     Oh yes,  I knew about that! The whole town was going crazy and the rivalry game was huge here.  The entire state shut down! It was funny because we went tracting during some of the game and every house had the game on.  It was like we didn't even miss any of the game except for when we had appoinments! :) Haha!
Another bit of Oregon scenery.  A nice billboard for the missionaries!
     Tomorrow we meet with president for interviews!  I look forward to his advice to help make me a better, more spiritual missionary! Can't wait to talk to you on Christmas! :)

    Your big boy! :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tacos And Trials, All In The Life Of A Missionary!

Elder Bird's bike.  Luckily they have a car
when the cold coastal rains hit!
      We told Brock about the non-stop snow and cold in Utah, but he just might have us beat, since it's hard for him to stay dry living not far from the Oregon coast!  We also had to break the news about the outcome of the BYU-Utah football game.   

     Well, I have heard all about the BYU game and the weather in Utah!  Man, I wish i was able to go snowboarding! Dang! That sounds like some good serious stuff.  As for here,  the weather isn't too bad right now.  I am in a t-shirt and shorts, but when the humidity hits that air and wetness goes straight to your bones! Geeze!

     This week was kind of a slow one, but we still found some cool people.  We're teaching a guy named George who is really smart.  He has alot of knowledge from the bible but doesn't have strong faith to go with it.  He is having us over for dinner with his family so it will be interesting.  He has a problem with his brain, like he has permanent migraines.  He has a medical card to smoke weed so we will see how it plays out. Hahaha!

     The Vaughns did not get baptized.   Te kids are completely ready for it but Iguess the mom isn't so the bishop wants to hold off and wait a few weeks.  If she ends up not doing what she needs to do we will just baptize the rest of the kids without her. That's definitely not what we want to do!

     Tuesday night we went on exchanges with the zone leaders.  Within the first 5 minutes of our exchange I am driving in the car with Elder Ottesen.  He decides to slam on the brake while I have my Taco Bell in my hands.  Boom!  There goes all my food and drink all over the car!  So,  I am like ok, whatever!  Then we get to the institute building to teach a lesson to a kid named Nate!  I step out of the car quickly because we're in a hurry.  To my surprise I find myself in a 2 foot deep puddle of water! Yeahhhhhhh!  I was soaked!  So I go inside to the building and sit down for the lesson.  When I stand up and Elder Ottesen starts laughing!  Why?  Well, I am covered head to toe in dog hair! Where it came from,  no clue! Then I had probably thee worst sleep ever that night due to the mattress! Hahah! That's the life of a missionary!

     We helped Misti Jones set up her Christmas lights on Saturday morning and we taught the Prestons on Saturday too!  We also picked up 10 new investigators tracting and OYMing so we will see where those lead! 

     Elder Lindsay is really cool and we work really well with each other!  So it's all good!

     I love you so much!
    Love,  Elder Bird! :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A New Companion, New Investigator, And Ridin' The River!

     Hey Dad!  Things have been going alright. 

Elder Bird makes Christmas cookies with "Indy" Jones and
his new companion Elder Lindsay  from Logan.
   My new comp is Elder Lindsay from Logan, Utah!  He just hit his year mark on the 18th of this month.  He is a really cool kid!  I am glad he is here since I am kind of in charge and more familiar with the area.  We are never done working.  I just want to keep finding people so I am not stuck inside studying or out in the rain because it's cold!

     As for this week, we found a new investigator!  Her name is Caley, is 16 years-old and just had a baby a month ago.  She was a referral from a member. We taught her a couple times this week and she is scheduled to get baptized on December 4th!  I was pretty excited about that!  The Vaughns are still scheduled for baptism this weekend.  Hopefully it works out and iIam sure it will! :) We're going to be over there everyday this week to help them prepare, so it will be good for them!

     On Thanksgiving we have alot to do!  Three turkey bowls, we go to the bishop's house for dinner, and then make the rounds to all the families who want us to stop by.  Haha!

     That's nuts about all the snow in Utah.   I think I would rather serve in the snow than in rain!  In the rain you just get wet.  At least with snow you can stay dry! :)

     I hope you guys have an awesome Thanksgiving!  It's weird it's already Thankgiving.  Time flies!
I love you, wish you the best.  

    Your only son! :) Brock

     We thought we'd share a video Brock sent a couple weeks ago when the weather in Albany-Corvallis was nicer.  Some folks might try to walk on water.  Elder Bird and Elder Johnson put a spin on that by riding their bikes across the Willamette River.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Don't Go, Elder Bird

     When Brock looks back on his mission years from now, this little guy will undoubtedly remain in his heart.  This video shows 5-year-old "Indy" who always loves to see the missionaries at his house while his mom was being taught the Gospel.

Don't Go, Elder Bird from Ron Bird on Vimeo.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Baptisms, Fires, Transfers and Parades!

     As for us getting to the temple, well..... it didn't work out! We had way too much to do and not enough time!  Anyways! Hmmm... 

     Well,  this week we got transfer calls and yes I am getting a new comp! His name is Elder Lindsay, I think.  He will be here tomorrow night.

Elder Johnson and Elder Bird say goodbye after three months in Albany and Corvallis.

     We basically had an alright week!  We started out really slow, and towards the weekend things picked up.  We are teaching a new family of eight or nine, the Prestons.  They are really cool people, so I will let you know how that goes!

     Our baptism (Sat. Nov. 13, 2010) was awesome!   The Vaughns really need it in their life.  We baptized the little kids on Saturday:  Angel, Venessa, and Ricky ages 10, 9, and 12.  The rest of the family is getting baptized here in a few weeks.  It's too bad we had to push back some of the baptisms but they just wanted a little more time.  But it happens, and after they saw their kids get baptized they want to push the date up now but I think we're sticking with Thanksgiving weekend.  Wow!  It's almost Thanksgiving and the year will be 2011 in 6 weeks! Wow! Wow!  Time goes by way fast!

     This week we met alot of people, really too many to even talk about. We were in the Veterans Day parade.  It is the biggest Veterans Day parade on the west side of the Mississippi.  We basically walked all of downtown Albany, handing out B.O.M's,  talking to people. and handing out more cards and pamphlets than I will probably see the rest of my mission!  Hah!  It was a cool, fun experience!


Parading the streets of Albany!

     Also this week we started teaching a girl named Jessica Valentino.  She is 16 and is so ready to be baptized, so hopefully that will happen next month.  We met another kid named Josh, who came up to us and asked us why baptism is so important and why we have to be baptized,  He is way smart too! Haha! He said, "I know Jesus was baptized, and he was perfect so that means we really need to be baptized."  I was like, "Dude you're sick!"  So we set a date with him. He just got back from Iraq and said he really didn't believe in God but he just started reading and praying.  He told us, "And now you guys are walking around here so I felt like I needed to ask you these questions." It's so cool to see how the Lord works.  People just have to open themselves up and let Him work.  That was pretty nuts but I am not surprised. I see so many crazy things and its so cool to witness people change their lives for the better!

Missionary work on the other side of the tracks in Albany!

     Last night while I was writing letters,  I heard some big bangs and people yelling, along with sirens all over, so I just ignored it for awhile, thinking it was another gang fight, until I heard a huge bang! I got up and walked outside to see what it was.  To my surprise the buildings across the street were completely engulfed in flames! I have never seen a fire that big!  We put on our clothes and ran over to get pictures.  The flames were like 30 to 40 feet high.  We video taped it and took pictures!  (We'll post those shots later.)

Not sure if the green babies are investigators or new companions.  We'll get the story on that later.

     That's my week in a nut shell!  I love you guys and I hope you are enjoying your time in a warm comfortable work environment.  The only warmth I get in the rain is the Spirit! Hahaha! jk!

    Your baby boy Brock!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

No Greater Gift Than A Hug

     Last month Elder Bird baptized Misti Jones.  Her little 5-year-old boy Ethan and Brock developed a special bond during the discussions.  Here's a sweet video of the day the Jones threw a birthday party for Elder Bird.  Ethan not only gave him a present, but also a gift that will last a lifetime. 

Give Me A Hug! from Ron Bird on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Whole Nine Yards

No secret.  Brock loves football, which he so willingly gave up to serve the Lord.  He's been greatly blessed for it. 
     But even while on his mission he gets a little taste of the game.  The district gets together for some P-day ball at Oregon State University.  Brock also had the opportunity to run routes with some of the college players.   

     This week it's been pretty slow, but on another note, the Vaughns are getting baptized this upcoming Saturday because we did not realize that stake conference was this week so we pushed it back.
     The really exciting news, Chris Vaughn's best friend plays for the Chargers and they surprised me this week with an autographed Antonio Gates jersey! Soooo sick!  He is also getting me an autographed helmet, football, more jerseys, and pictures of players! So tight!

     We found another family of 9 we're teaching now! They are the Petersons.  We will extend a commitment to baptism this week. Nuts!  And they are pretty solid! So I like that!

     As for this upcoming week we're going to the temple this Friday, so that will be cool! It will be good for me to get in there and pray! I am really excited to see the temple.  It's really beautiful from what I hear.
     I am looking forward to the baptism this weekend with the Vaughns and Ricky Garcia! That's our focus is along with 4 other investigators.

     I love you so much and I thank you for the example you are to me!

    Your little boy!

P.S.   Tell Abbie good luck at try-outs! Tear it up!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Keepin' The Faith

      Elder Bird says the work is hard and it's a trial of faith sometimes, but he and his companion have been blessed with some wonderful people to teach.

     He especially enjoys getting together with other missionaries in the Corvallis Zone. He says their conferences energize his spirit.  As you can tell they make a great team as they have become one of the most productive zones in the Oregon Eugene Mission.

     As for this week, it's been kinda slow.  I don't know why, but it's still fun!  We're going to the temple this weekend and it will be a good time for me to pray and ponder! :)  I need it!

     The Vaughns (family of 7) are getting baptized this weekend!  It will be great and I am stoked for it! I can hardly wait!  We had to push it back because we forgot that stake conference would interfere, but it's all good.   There's no problem pushing it back and it will go down this weekend along with Ricky Garcia's baptism.  I really look forward to it!

     We found another family of 8, the Petersens.  They are really cool!  We found them on Tuesday night tracting and we have been teaching them.  We're going to extend a commitment to them this week and 4 other people!  It's really neat to feel the Spirit in the first lesson when we recite Joseph Smith's first vision.   It is really neat.

     As for things going on here, the weather hasn't been too bad.  It's probably going to start to get cold and rainy here shortly, but it is what it is.  Just gotta keep pushin' forward! :)

     For Thanksgiving we will be at the bishop's house.  He is really cool and it will be fun.  We will have a turkey bowl, so I am stoked about that!  

    I love you!  Hope you have a great week and everything goes well for you.  I love you so very much and am thankful for everything you do for me.  You're awesome and the best mom ever!  You're in my heart always.

Elder Bird

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Life Of A Missionary

This week has been a lot of work! Here is a run through:

Hitting the streets of Albany and Corvallis.

Tuesday we had missionary training with the president then I went up to Corvallis on exchanges where I got to teach and talk to some college folks. That was nice to kind of be back in the real world! Haha!

We taught an institute class Wednesday morning up in Corvallis. That was cool! Wednesday night we got back and Elder Johnson and I went on splits with some ward members. 

Thursday we had zone conference from 8-430. The Spirit was way strong and I learned a lot and felt it was an amazing experience.  After that, we taught some investigators and did some service. 

Typical Oregon scenery.  The Willamette River.

Friday night we did another exchange.  I went with the Spanish elders and taught some lessons in Spanish.  A guy in the apartment next to the Spanish missionaries got in a fight with his sister! Soooo funny! They were punchng each other at three in the morning! They are like 30! Hahah!

Saturday we were up in Corvallis and taught some lessons.  We went to the singles ward dance to say hi to our investigators. 

Elder Johnson waiting for a train?

Sunday was church most of the day and then to the Burtons, a family in the ward, to have dinner.

Elders Bird and Johnson hope to seal the deal with the Vaughns!

So we have been busy. The Vaughns are doing great! They're getting baptized this weekend.  We have a few things to work out, so I hope it goes through!

Elder Bird and Elder Johnson on break at Newport Beach

I talked with President (President MacDonald) a little this week.  He is impressed with everything we have accomplished.  We've been blessed with 2 baptisms this first transfer.  We just keep working hard!

I love you! Hope all is well. I  think about you and pray for you constantly. Keep me up to date on things. Have a great week and stay safe.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Birthday And Halloween From Arrrrregon!!

Happy Halloween Mom

Brock had a member send this pic to Mom.  It's a double holiday for Jannae, since her birthday is on Halloween.

I just wanted to say happy birthday and to tell you how much I love you.  You are the greatest mom ever.  You are truly one of the greatest blessings God has given me!  I thank him everyday for the love and support you give me.

We're not sure where Elder Bird found this little monster, but it's a trick Mom really didn't need to see!

I can assure you I have no tricks, just treats, treats of love for your birthday.  You mean the world to me mom.  You are always in my heart!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pouring Blessings And Rain!

Brock says the weather has turned cold and rainy in Oregon, but as the rain comes down so do the blessings.  He and his companion Elder Johnson have 15 investigators now, including the Vaughn family, a family of seven:

As for the Vaughn family we have been helping them with some repairs to the house, so it's been a busy week! We have been painting, replacing doors, door frames and several other projects.  We have several more investigators!  I think our quota doubled.  We set three more baptismal dates this week so its been busy. We pushed back the Vaughn's baptism to November 6th because of Halloween and one of the kids was out of town so we want the family to be baptized together.  For November 6th we have 12 baptisms scheduled!  We'll see how it works out! 

This week nothing really wierd or exciting has happened. Winter has set in! It rains all the time and it's like buckets of water! I hate it! But, oh well.

We hung out at the bishop's house last night for an hour.   It was fun!  We just talked and read scriptures, so it was a little different.  That's another definition of fun out here!  Hah hah!

As for Reeser Stadium, we played inside their (Oregon State) practice facility and next time the football players will bring some corners to challenge me!  They were really impressed with my routes and hands! This kid who plays linebacker was like,  "Dang, kid! Come play for us!"  Haha! I just laughed. 

I hope all is well back home and that you stay safe and continue to choose the right!

I love you big guy (dad)! I will see you soon! Stay safe and stress free!

Your only boy! :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

This Is What It's All About

Elder Bird had the honor of baptizing Misti Jones on October 2, 2010.
Click on any photo to see web album.

Misti Jones' little boy, Indiana Harrison Ford Jones.

The Jones throw a Superman birthday party for Elder Bird, September 29, 2010

Sweater weather and the Oregon rain!

Yeah, it's been a bit chilly here, but I haven't had time to think about it much! We have been really busy and its been nuts.
We committed 12 people to baptism this last week and they are gonna be baptized on the 30th! One of them is a huge family of 7 and they are all excited to be baptized! I am really stoked! We also had 15 investigators at church. So it was way cool.  So that was, "Oh yeah baby!" We be doin' work!
Our baptism did go through this Saturday. It was very spiritual and the family and the ward were really excited about it, especially his family. They have been waiting so long for him to get baptized. They loved it! Other than that we have been just really been busy with appointments.

Brock on a rail bridge that spans the Willamette River.

I got a flat tire on Thursday so i had to walk my bike to the shop and pay 5 bucks for a new tire. We have met alot of crazy people. I can't help but laugh at some of the people these days! Ha ha! It's so funny what people say sometimes.

The zone at Newport Beach for P-day!
The Vaughn family, the family of 7 we're teaching, started an egg fight in their house! They are crazy. It was so funny! They were just throwing eggs everywhere. I have it on camera! And Alex the 5 year old was running around naked falling over the egg yokes and was covered in egg shells. Then he went in the bathroom and started smashing tomatoes on the ground. He is crazy. The house is outta control! Haha! We're eating there tonight and teaching a lesson :) so hopefully no eggs will interfer with the lesson. Hahah!

A moment of inspiration along the Oregon coast.
We're going to Lincoln City next P-day for the big Nike outlet! Everything there is like 70 percent off so I am way stoked to see what all the jazz is about in Lincoln City! Today we are playing football inside of Reser Stadium (Oregon State University) so that will be a blast!
I hope all is well. And yes people in Oregon are going crazy because Oregon is ranked number one now. Haha! Love you and hope you have a great week! :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Lost In The Work

     These are times when the words "A Marvelous Work And A Wonder" come to mind.  Brock is having an amazing experience in Corvallis.  So many people are touching his life, and no doubt the Lord is touching their lives with the message of the Gospel.  It's exciting to see Elder Bird "lost in the work" as his testimony grows and as his love grows for the members and investigators in his area. 
     By the way, Brock is sending photos from his recent baptism, zone activities, a visit from Elder David A. Bednar, and the beautiful Oregon landscape.  We'll post those photos soon.  In the meantime, here's a slideshow from his days in the MTC and his letter from October 11, 2010:


Hey everyone! It's nuts! I am already done with my first transfer, only 16 more to go! Time flies by! This week has been everything from really busy, to slow, to rainy, to cold, to whatever! Ha ha!

We have a baptism this week on the 16th, 4 more on the 30th, and 2 the following weekend! So we stay pretty busy! We found a family of 8 this week. So crazy! They were praying for Heavenly Father's help and before you knew it, we were on their doorstep! :) Feels great! We will commit them to baptism tonight! We are going over there for dinner, so it will be fun! Her husband knows a lot of people, one of them being the Chargers GM! he said he is gonna get me an autographed helmet, and an autographed Antonio Gates jersey. He said if he wasn't able to get one before I left I could have his because he has a room full of autographed NFL gear! Soooo sick!

We also have been meeting with a lot of part member families. We're baptizing one this weekend! I am so happy for the family. They have been waiting forever for this! His name is Jordan Tranthum! Way cool kid. My goal before I leave this area is to baptize all the part members. It's interesting to see all these members come up to us and say how grateful they are because of the progress we have made with their family members. Well, I am still the same crazy kid, I have fun and goof off, but when it comes down to teaching and preaching the Gospel I mean buisness! Ha ha!

Catheline Reynold's huband is Seventh Day Adventist. They just got married and we have been working with him. We have taught him all the lessons but I was very blunt with him about keeping his commitments. He said he wouldn't come to church, but after I talked to him for awhile the whole conversation turned around and he was willing to come to church afterall! Catheline told me she knows God sent us to her husband for a reason, no one else could get through. It totally made my week!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Baptism And An Apostle

     Brock is now in the thick of missionary work in Oregon! He just had his first baptism and it happened to be on conference weekend between sessions.
     "So I was all dressed in white. That was a really cool experience. I enjoyed it!" The new member's name is Misti Jones. Brock and his companion Elder Johnson had a wonderful experience getting to know her and teacher her about the Gospel:
     "On Saturday we went over to Misti's for dinner. They had a surprise party for me. (Brock's birthday was Sept. 29th) Her 5-year-old son gave me a present. Sooooo nice of them! They got me a Superman cake, a Superman t-shirt, and a Superman themed party because he calls me Superman. So that was really fun! Misti said that was the least she could do because we have done so much for her and her family.She is really stoked for her baptism!"  Watch for pictures from the baptism.  They will be posted soon!
     The work seems to be going really well in Corvallis.
     "We also committed three more people to baptism this week, one being Jordan Tranthum. He is 18 and his family is all converts but him. So I got the prompting to give him a call! So we did and set up a time, and now he is already sending out his invitations for his baptism! It's on October 16th, along with a girl named Teddy who is 16. We're also teaching Toni Reynolds who was a 7th Day Adventist. He is a really cool guy. He just married his wife. She is a member so he decided to take the discussions because it is important to her. We have worked with him and he is excited to get baptized now! We have a lot of investigators!"

     Brock had a special experience last month when Elder David A. Bednar stopped in for a mission conference.

Brock's zone posing with Elder Bednar.  Elder Bird is way in the back row.

     "Man he is so smart. He is just like a normal guy but every question that was asked he answered in a way that blew my mind. The things he taught us were incredible. He said our gathering wasn't a meeting or a conference, but it was a revelatory session where the Spirit would speak to us personally and reveal things that can help better us. It was so true!"
     Even P-days are good!
     "This week in Oregon has been great! We went to Newport Beach for P-day. Man, it was a blast! We played football and soccer on the beach with the whole zone."
     "We have had a lot of good work going on. We have been working hard. We just started a new program called "Collect the Elect." We went around to every house in every ward and basically sought out referrals. Just from the young women alone we got 145. Altogether we are close to 200 referrals, so we're definitely happy we don't have to spend all our time tracting. We have been promised for every 5 referrals we should have one baptism. So we have tons of work to do!"
     "This week I went on exchanges with a Spanish speaking Elder named Klienfelter from Arizona. It was really fun. We met a lot of people on the OSU campus. I got the chance to brush up on some Spanish and even helped teach a lesson in Spanish, so that was pretty neat. I enjoyed it. We actually committed one of his investigators to baptism! He is a really chill missionary...he's my district leader."
     "This last week I have really focused on the Preach My Gospel and how to better myself as a missionary. I spent a lot of time reading the scriptures, praying, pondering and trying to listen to the words of the Holy Ghost. It has built me up and my faith has grown. I read Ether 12 and studied it for hours. Take a look at it. It's my favorite chapter."

Monday, October 4, 2010

Collect The Elect!

From September 20, 2010

This week in Oregon has been great! We went to Newport Beach for P-day, man was it a blast!

Brock's zone at Newport Beach, OR.
 We have had alot of good work going on! We have been working hard!  We just started a new program called "Collect the Elect!"  We went around to every house in every ward and sought out referrals! Just from young women we received 145! Altogether we are close to 200 referrals. So we definitely are happy we don't have to spend our time tracting!  We can focus our efforts on our referrals!  We have been promised for every 5 referrals we should have one baptism!  So we have tons of work to do!

Another view of  Newport Beach.
This week I went on exchanges with a Spanish elder named Elder Klienfelter from Arizona.  It was really fun! We met alot of people on the OSU campus! I got the chance to brush up on some Spanish and even taught a lesson in Spanish a few times so that was pretty neat!  I enjoyed it!  We  committed one of his investigators to baptism! :) He is a really chill missionary. He actually was a firefighter before he came out on his mission and he has been out 9 months! He is my district leader.
     This week Elder Johnson and I committed a few of our investigators to be baptized next weekend so I am really stoked for that!  This last week I have really focused on the Preach My Gospel and how to better myself as a missionary.  I spent alot of time reading the scriptures and praying,  pondering and listening to the words of the Holy Ghost.  It has built me up so much stronger and my faith has grown for I know my life is in God's hands and I need to exercise my calling to its full potential! Yes sometimes it's hard out here but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger!  The Spirit has comforted me in ways that are indescribable.  I am so thankful for your love and support back home! I really am!  I bless you guys with the Spirit that will assure you I am doing a great job.
     I read Ether12 last night and studied it for hours. It definitely changed my mission, especially verse 27!  Take a look at it, my favorite chapter!  I love you all.

LOVE, your Elder Bird! :)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Corvallis is Pretty Cool!

     Brock hit the ground running when he touched down in Oregon on August 24th.  We have some catching up and back tracking to do to get the blog up to date.  Here's Brock's first letter from Corvallis:

August 30, 2010

     Corvallis is pretty cool so far.  I enjoy it!  Meeting people and talking to them is great!  They are interesting to listen to.  One guy thought we got magic underwear in the temple.  When we are in the temple, he thought, they could make us fly!!  I laughed very hard when he said that.  No joke.  People here are sooooo weird!  But it's fun.
     We have meals with the members every night.  They love missionaries!  And the members out here are so nice.  All of them are!  My companion is way tight from Missouri.  This week we got 7 new investigators!  We committed three of them to baptism this week as well as a bunch of others.  We had a baptism last Saturday!  Her name is Jessica Periman.  Her whole family now wants to be baptized!  
Elder Bird with Jessica Periman and Brock's companion Elder Johnson.  Jessica was baptized the Saturday after Brock arrived in Oregon.  He confirmed Jessica!
     Our schedule so far, if things go as planned, we will have 3 baptisms every weekend this transfer!  It's really awesome!
     Sundays are the best.  I  actually gave a talk on Sunday and confirmed Jess.  It was cool!  We cover two wards so we go to church for 6 hours!
     Um, I got a bike when I got here.  It's sweet!  Black and red GIANT!  We drive 5 days out of the week!

     Brock was part of a large group of new missionaries to the Oregon Eugene Mission!  This is a snapshot of the greenies soon after they arrived and met with President and Sister MacDonald.  See if you can pick out Brock in the group.

Brock with his new group of greenies.  He's in the back row, fifth Elder from L-R.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

MTC Highlights!

Three weeks at the MTC went by like a flash! Here are some of the highlights of Brock's experiences there:

August 5, 2010. (The first full day at the MTC)

"How's it going? I am completely fine! It is so weird to think I will be gone for two whole years!! When I was bored today I would reach for my phone to text someone or to see if anyone had text me. So that has been hard! But other than that I seem to be doing fine. I miss my bed, my room, my home, everyone I love!! But I know my reward will be great in the end."

Brock did say that he met up with several of his buddies including his high school friend Jake Roper.  Being with such good company made the transition to missionary life go that much smoother!

Elder Bird and Elder Jake Roper hook up at MTC!

August 7, 2010.

"I have met a lot of new friends! Elder Elledge is like my new best friend. He is from Hawaii and he will be serving in the Salt Lake City South Mission. So he will be out in Sandy in the mission home the 25th so keep a look outfor him. He is really cool. I told him to drop by if he ended up serving there and you would feed him. Haha!
It's crazy how strong the Spirit is here at the MTC. I love it! It really is so fun! I can't wait to get out to Oregon on the 25th! I gave my first Priesthood blessing. It was insane the rush of the Spirit was overwhelming! I loved it. Ha, I pray so much it's fun now! And my testimony has grown so much already!
I taught my first lesson today. It's pretty awesome. I love it! I am learning so much! And it's true!
I miss you mom. I look at my pocket watch everyday. Dad, I miss beating you up and golfing! Glad we went golfing before I left. I love the memories!"

Elder Elledge from Hawaii.  Brock's best MTC buddy.

August 10, 2010.

"It (the MTC experience) is so worth the spiritual growth in that amount of time. Love it! Yesterday I taught a man named Lee Jepperson who was abused by his dad and his mother was an alcoholic. It was so good to share our message. It's way fun to teach and just listen to the Spirit guide and direct us! We truly are vessels for Christ our Savior to speak through us so that we may help others with their salvation! I have all four lessons memorized along with all the Articles of Faith, and a billion scriptures! I never knew I could learn soooo much! But I guess that's what studying does to ya all day long! I am glad to be here!"

August 12, 2010

"Hey fam! Everything is going good here!
On P-day we went to the temple for a three-and-a-half hour session because the (movie) broke while we were in it. So we missed dinner and I was starved all night. But that's nothing compared to Jesus not eating. He fasted forever!
I want to tell everyone in the family I love them. You guys are great and mean the world to me. My thoughts and prayers are with you everyday. Don't forget family scriptures.
This Gospel is true and I love it. Just as much as all of you!

August 14, 2010

Mom, I just want to tell you how much I love and appreciate all you do! I miss you and everyone lots!
The new game in the MTC is how many letter will Elder Bird get today. I have been averaging about 7 letters a day!
I am just a solo missionary bouncing around. But I just stick with Elders Elledge and Staker. It's way more fun with them!
I have learned a lot this week! My mind keeps expanding and our teachings are going great! I'm excited to hear about what else is going on back in Sandy. I love you all and hope everyone is doing alright!"

August 17, 2010

 Brock's Grandpa Bird Passes Away. Elder Bird Shares A Sacred Testimony.

Brock's Grandpa Dean Bird
"Hey guys! I am sad to hear about Grandpa Bird. I am going to miss him! I cried when I read the letter. He was such a great guy. But it gives me comfort knowing I will see him again. We just have to remember that this life is only temporary. The day before I received the letter from mom about him being sick I had a real strong spiritual prompting to pray for him out of nowhere. So when I read that I was shocked!"

Brock told us of a spirtual witness from the Holy Ghost that we can only share a portion of:

"I have never experienced the feelings I have felt in that moment my whole life! Ever since that has happened I have felt a strong undeniable presence within my presence. As I teach investigators I can't even explain. I do things and say things that I have had no knowledge of. For I know this Church is true. I will never doubt, deny or anything of that kind against the church. For I know Joseph saw Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ. And I know that this Church is the only church on this earth that has the fulness of the Gospel and the Priesthood. I will magnify my calling as a missionary in every way. I will defend the Church and die knowing I will live again. I encourage all of you to get on your knees and pray to the Lord daily. Exercise your faith and your callings. for his return is near and we must be prepared!
I love you all and can't wait until we meet again. I am excited to get out to Oregon next week!"

Saturday, August 7, 2010

August 4, 2010--Brock's Mission Begins

Brock entered the MTC on August 4th, 2010. We found that is one of the hardest things for parents to do. After spending a few minutes at the Provo Temple, we dropped Brock off at the MTC curb. He bravely walked to the main entrance with his two suitcases, a backpack and his pillow to begin his two year adventure in the Oregon Eugene Mission. We were excited to get Brock's first letter on August 6th, dad's birthday. That was the best birthday present ever. When we opened it, wow were we relieved. "I am completely fine" were Brock's opening words. Brock was especially blessed on that first day. "As soon as you dropped me off Jake Roper and his family were at the top of the hill. So we just stuck together the whole day..." Jake is his good friend. He also met up with Nate Monson from the neighboring Ashley Park Ward and Spencer Hilla who Brock played football with at Dixie State. The real clincher was when Brock found out his high school buddy Dillon Hill was in the room right next to him. Despite the comfort of having good friends around him Brock says, "I miss my bed, my room, my home, and everyone I love!! But I know my reward will be great in the end." Brock went on to say, "My companion is really cool and I'm thankful for that." Elder Bird will be in the MTC until August 24th.